Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Butuanons enjoy Abayan Festival activities

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 2 (PIA) – In line with this year’s celebration of the 66th ‘Adlaw Hong Butuan’ (Butuan City charter day), Butuanons also celebrated the Abayan Festival on Sunday with a thanksgiving mass, fluvial parade, cultural cheer dance competition, and Baoto Race.

Government employees, together with local officials, private individuals, students, and media gathered early morning on Sunday at the Phil. Ports Authority (PPA) grounds here and actively participated in the lined-up activities for the said festival.

In his message, Butuan City Mayor Ronnie Vicente Lagnada urged all Butuanons to protect and conserve the Agusan River where rich aquamarine resources can be found.

"Let us not destroy the rich resources that we have in our Agusan River. Let us all be part, cooperate and make this celebration more meaningful by helping the government in all its efforts to protect the waters in Agusan River," stressed Lagnada.

Also, Agusan del Norte 1st district representative Atty. Lawrence Fortun underlined that the city government thru the City Tourism Office will intensify its campaign and programs that will invite more tourists, as well as investors. He also said that the government will continue to ensure the environmental protection of the city.

Meanwhile, retired PSSupt. Ramon Espiritu recalled the history of the Abayan Festival in Butuan. "It can be remembered that Butuan River during the early 17th and 18th century was infested with crocodiles. It was unsafe to travel, especially at night, in any part of Butuan River due to the presence of these numerous crocodiles to attack them while paddling their barotos," he said.

The Abayan Festival is celebrated annualy in honor of St. Anne, which happens to be the patroness of Agusan River every last Sunday of July. The most awaited activity here is the “baroto” race, which will be in different categories. The term “baroto” actually means a boat.

Also, the said festival is usually celebrated in one week wherein young ones and also those young at hearts can participate in Hula-hoop Race, Lemon Relay, and some other original Filipino games. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


Caraga RDRRMC awards regional gawad KALASAG winners

By Nora C. Lanuza Molde

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 2 (PIA) – The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) Caraga through the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) has awarded this year’s winners of the Regional Gawad KALASAG search here.

According to RDRRMC chairperson and OCD regional director Manuel Luis M. Ochotorena, the Gawad KALASAG Search for Excellence in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Humanitarian Assistance was designed to encourage the participation of various stakeholders in crafting and implementing DRRM-related policies, strategies and programs to protect or shield the hazard prone communities from the adverse impacts of natural and human-induced calamities.

Ochotorena said 32 entries from 17 categories bagged the 1st to 3rd places as regional winners while five entries were given Gawad KALASAG citations this year.

For the Provincial DRRM Council Category winners, the province of Dinagat Islands got the 1st place; 2nd Place - Agusan del Norte; 3rd Place – Agusan del Sur; 4th Place - Surigao del Sur; and 5th Place - Surigao del Norte.

Butuan City received the award for being the 1st placer in the Highly Urbanized City DRRM Council Category.

The Component City Category winners are: 1st Place – Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte; 2nd Place - Bislig City, Surigao del Sur; and 3rd Place - Surigao City, Surigao del Norte.

For the 1st to 3rd Class Municipal DRRM Council Category: 1st Place - Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur; 2nd Place - Cagdianao, Dinagat Islands; and 3rd Place - Trento, Agusan del Sur, while for the 4th to 6th Class Municipal DRRM Council Category, the winners are: 1st Place - Dinagat, Dinagat Islands; 2nd Place - Cagwait, Surigao del Sur; and 3rd Place – Carmen, Agusan del Norte.

The Brgy. Quezon in Mainit, Surigao del Norte got the 1st place for the Urban Barangay DRRM Committee Category.

The Rural Barangay DRRM Committee Category winners are: 1st Place – Brgy. Esperanza, Loreto, Dinagat Islands; 2nd Place – Brgy. Alegria, San Francisco, Agusan del Sur; and 3rd Place - Brgy. Aras-asan, Cagwait, Surigao del Sur.

Schools Category (Public Urban) 1st place is Bayugan National Comprehensive High School, Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur; and Surigao City National High School, Surigao City, Surigao del Norte got the 2nd place.

For Public Rural Schools Category: 1st Place - Zamora Elementary School, Talacogon, Agusan del Sur; 2nd Place – Claver National High School, Claver, Surigao del Norte; 3rd Place - Santiago Elementary School, Santiago, Agusan del Norte.

St. Paul University Surigao (SPUS), Surigao City got the 1st place for the Schools Category (Private Urban), while Adela Sierra Ty Memorial Medical Center, Tandag City, Surigao del Sur got the Hospital Category (National) 1st Place.

For the Hospital Category (LGU), Hinatuan District Hospital, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur got the 1st place and Sibog Katawhan Alang sa Paglambo (SIKAP), Inc., San Francisco, Agusan del Sur bagged the 1st place for the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) Category.

The Peoples Organizations (POs) Category 1st Place is Nagkahiusang Mangingisda sa Hinatuan (NAMAHIN), Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.

For the Volunteer Organizations (VOs) Category, Rescue and Emergency Service Provider on Disaster (RESPOND), Inc., Nasipit, Agusan del Norte got the 1st Place.

The Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) 13, Camp Rafael Rodriguez, PRO 13, Libertad, Butuan City also bagged the 1st place for the Government Emergency Response Management Services (GEMS) Category.

For the Heroic Act Group Category, the award went to the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) 13, Camp Rafael Rodriguez, PRO 13, Libertad, this city.

The following also received the Gawad KALASAG Citations: Municipality of Tubod, Surigao del Norte for the 4th-6th Class Municipal DRRM Council Category; Barangay Cayawan, Malimono, Surigao del Norte for Rural Barangay DRRM Committee Category; Surigao Filipino-Chinese Volunteer Fire Brigade, Surigao City, Surigao del Norte for Volunteer Organizations (VOs) Category; Barangay Organization Security Service – Barangay Emergency Special Team (BOSS-BEST), Surigao City, Surigao del Norte for Government Emergency Response Management Services (GEMS) Category; and Rural Health Unit of LGU Cagwait, Surigao del Sur for Heroic Act on Humanitarian Assistance – Group Category.

Meanwhile, partner agencies, members of the regional selection committee and focal persons were also given recognition during the awarding ceremony.

Gawad is a Filipino term for “award,” while KALASAG is an acronym for “KALAmidad at SAkuna Labanan, SAriling Galing ang Kaligtasan” and another Filipino term for “shield” used by early Filipinos as means of protection from attacks of enemies or harmful animals. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga)


AgNor PDRRMC recognizes partners

By Nora C. Lanuza Molde

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 2 (PIA) – The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) of Agusan del Norte during its 2nd quarter full council meeting held Thursday has recognized the support of its partners.

Governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba, chairperson of the PDRRMC awarded certificates/plaques of recognition to the different government agencies, non-government organizations, and civil society groups for the support to the council during the observance of the month-long celebration of the National Disaster Consciousness Month (NDCM) and to the council’s activities.

Also, governor Matba gives due recognition to the three youth for their bravery and heroic act during the sinking of a motorized boat in Magallanes, Agusan del Norte last June 11, 2016.

The youth being recognized were Kenzo Wahing, Jonathan Palen and Steven Sabuero, all from the municipality of Magallanes, Agusan del Norte. The three youth were able to rescue several passengers of the ill-fated motorized boat.

Gov. Matba was impressed to know that there are youth who are willing to risk their lives just to save others. “It is appropriate to give them that acknowledgement so that they can be a model to other youth in doing the same, not only during calamities, disasters but when time calls for it,” governor Matba said.

The recently held 2nd quarter meeting also culminates the provincial celebration of the NDCM. This year’s celebration of the NDCM is anchored on the theme “Kahandaan at Pagtugon sa Sakuna, Tungkulin ng Bawat Isa.” (NCLM/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Surigao Norte crisis management committee creates resolutions

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Aug. 2 (PIA) - The Provincial Crisis Management Committee, which was activated recently through Executive Order No. 027 series of 2016 has proposed resolutions purposely for the safe release of the three police officers and one non-uniformed personnel who were abducted recently in Malimono town by the New People's Army (NPA) rebels.

During its committee meeting two resolutions were drafted such as creating a joint negotiating team for the safe release of the abducted personnel and a resolution requesting the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army (PA) to stop or suspend rescue operations to give way for a peaceful negotiation.

When asked about the stand of the government troops, 30th Infantry Battalion, PA commanding officer Colonel Rico Amaro said that they are bounded by their mandate to protect the people in the community and that the operation is considered as a special case.

Amaro, however emphasized the difference between offensive military operations and law enforcement and added that the former cannot be suspended.

PNP provincial director PSSupt. Antony Maghari supported the statement of Col. Amaro and said that a crime was already committed hence, the law enforcement agency are bound to pursue their police functions.

He said that they will continue law enforcement operations and request assistance of the government troops whenever necessary.

“There is a crime committed and that the incident happened before the proclamation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of unilateral ceasefire,” Maghari said.

Maghari added that he has yet to receive any further order from the central headquarters. (SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Tandag LGU holds anti-smoking ban orientation

By Nida Grace Barcena-Tranquilan

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Aug. 2 (PIA) – The city government of Tandag thru the Anti-Smoking Task Force (ASTF) spearheaded on Friday an orientation of Ordinance Number 02-2015 also known as “The Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance of Tandag City” at the Seminar Hall Capitol Hills, this city.

Aldy Novo of ASTF bared that the smoking ban was approved on March 31, 2015 by former city mayor Roxanne Pimentel.

“This ordinance is 90 percent patterned to the Task Force Davao City Anti-Ordinance and it has been effective in Davao City,” Novo said in hi message during the orientation.

Novo said that several activities will be conducted in preparation for the full implementation of the said ordinance this August. He added that aside from the series orientation conducted, the Anti-Smoking Task Force will inspect several establishments, government offices including Barangay Halls on August 9. "We will be the putting up 'No Smoking' signages throughout Tandag on August 17. We will also have a deputized enforcers training on August 22-26," Novo said.

During the orientation, Fatima Azarcon talked on “What is in a Cigarette” where she tackled the health risks of smoking.

Meantime, city legal officer Atty Janissa Delicona discussed in detail the salient points of ordinance number 02-2015.

The said orientation was joined by the employees and representatives of the national line agencies, provincial government, city government and barangay officials from the 21 barangays of this city.

Another orientation will be held on August 4 to be participated in by stakeholders from the different business establishments in the city, it was learned. (NGBT/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


DENR opens hotlines for environmental concerns, complaints

By Nida Grace Barcena-Tranquilan

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Aug. 2 (PIA) - To strengthen community and civil society participation in reporting to the agency for any complaints and information about any environmental crimes, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) in Surigao del Sur has bared the hotline numbers and email addresses of the department and its field offices.

PENRO information officer Johnny Natad bared that the said endeavor is in line with the standing instruction of DENR Secretary Regina Paz Lopez that each field office must have hotline contacts in order to hear and receive important reports from concerned people in their coverage areas.

According to Natad, the mobile phone number hotline for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) central office is 0917-522-9344, and email address aksyonkalikasan@denr.gov.ph while the DENR Caraga regional office landline number is (085) 815-2277, cellphone number 0916–390–8094; and e-mail add denrcaraga13hotline@yahoo.com. 

For PENRO Surigao del Sur manning three CENROs, they can contact the following hotline numbers: for landline (086) 211–3337; Cellphone # 0910–577–5457, while you can also contact on their e-mail address thru sdspenro@gmail.com.

For CENRO Bislig covering Bislig City and three municipalities of Hinatuan, Tagbina, and Lingig their hotline numbers are: (086) 645–0034 (landline); and 0910–0452396 (mobile), with an e-mail address denr_bislig@yahoo.com.

The CENRO Cantilan, which covers Tandag City and CARCANMADLANCOR municipalities composed of Carrascal, Cantilan, Madrid, Carmen, Lanuza, and Cortes, their hotline numbers are: (086) 212–5222 (landline); 0998–5546489 (mobile); and the e-mail address: denrcenrocantilanhotline@gmail.com.

While CENRO Lianga covering eight municipalities composed of Tago, Bayabas, Cagwait, San Miguel, Marihatag, San Agustin, Lianga, and Barobo has the following contact numbers: (086) 214–4030 (landline); 0907–1697840 (mobile); and e-mail address cenrolianga@yahoo.com.

PENRO Surigao del Sur chief Jose Flavio V. Concha urged everyone to report to the office and its nearest field offices for any related environmental complaints and illegal activities in Surigao del Sur.

"Secretary Lopez believed that the best way to protect our environment is by actively involving civil society in the development agenda and encourage us to become pro-active and inspire people to become part in our environmental development initiatives," Concha said.

Meanwhile, DENR Secretary Lopez announced that every Wednesday is declared "People’s Day" in all DENR offices nationwide starting August 10 to allow officials and employees to address public concerns and queries.

The “People’s Day” is one of the agency’s programs, which aims at fostering strong partnership with all stakeholders working effectively on environmental programs and its implementations, Natad said. (NGBT/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


DTI Surigao Norte intensifies ProGED program

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Aug. 2 (PIA) – To enable the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBOs) and Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) adjust to potential impacts of Climate Change, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Surigao del Norte provincial office conducted a Green Values (Promotion of Green Economic Development –ProGED) Climate Change Adaptation and Waste Management seminar held recently at the Surigao del Norte Go Negosyo Center, this city.

DTI provincial director Celestino Negapatan said that DTI’s advocacy is to promote greening strategies/measures not only to mitigate Climate Change but also to promote MSMEs competitiveness.

He said that DTI fosters the long term competitiveness of agrarian reform beneficiaries and micro small medium enterprises through resource and efficient conservation measures like the use of renewable energy as well as measures that make them more resilient to Climate Change.

“The DTI as a catalyst for economic development and as a partner of MSMEs for growth towards competitiveness conducted the said activity to familiarize the participants of the ProGED and encourage them to adopt smart and environment friendly measures and practices in their operations,” Negapatan said. (SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


‘3 dead, 17 injured’ in mock explosion at Surigao port

By Eugenio "Jun" Lira, Jr.

SURIGAO CITY, Aug. 2 (PIA) - Panic and cries for help broke loose as injured bodies littered inside the passenger terminal building (PTB) in this seaport seconds after an explosive device exploded on Wednesday morning, port authorities said.

Port Manager Mildred Padilla said the ‘terrifying scene’ accounted for three casualties, 17 injured persons and dozens of passengers and port users evacuated as a result of the mock explosion minutes after an abandoned bag was ‘found’ by a security guard inside the PTB and was reported to the Port Police Division.

“This bomb drill we have today is a scenario created with the help of different government offices to test the readiness and emergency response of these agencies vis-à-vis any possible terroristic attacks on our port which is considered one of the vital government installations that needs protection. This is the result of the recommendation of PP/Supt Froilan Caturla who labored to make this exercise possible,” Padilla said.

She singled out the PNP Region 13 Maritime Group, led by P/Supt Melvin Laguros, that conducted the Bomb Threat and Explosion Drill Seminar which preceded an hour before the “bombing” of the PTB.

Padilla said it started at around 10:30 a.m. when security guard Freddie Romero, a roving guard, noticed an abandoned bag near the ticketing booth but when he checked about the ownership of the bag the latter failed to locate its owner as passengers or persons near the location deny ownership of the same and failed to notice who brought the said bag in the area.

“The guard then informed PP/Froilan Caturla about the unattended bag and they immediately secured the area together with the help of PP/Insp Dixon Gonzales, security commander Roger Montilla, some guards and porters. Caturla then called the assistance of the K9 unit of the Philippine Coast Guard so the bag could be checked by a K9 dog, the port manager disclosed.

PP/Supt Froilan Caturla, port police commander, said he then ordered the immediate evacuation of passengers and other persons from the vicinity when the K9 dog sat beside the abandoned bag after sniffing it for several seconds.

“Normally, when a K9 dog sniffs something and sits beside the object – it means that bag contains explosives. So, I immediately ordered the evacuation of people from the vicinity of the PTB and ticketing booth to the designated evacuation area just beside the PPA Administration Bldg. and then I called for assistance from the CDRRMC, PNP, BFP, ERS, City TMO and PCBSI,” Caturla revealed.

He said while they were busy in the evacuation, the abandoned bag suddenly exploded and a score of people were hit resulting to three casualties and 17 injured that were immediately attended to with the timely arrival of the City Rescue Team headed by Mario Gesta and BFP Response Unit led by SFO4 Albert Lerio.

Caturla said after the blast, a composite of the PCG K9 unit, Philippine Army and PNP Maritime EOD personnel conducted an immediate clearing operation at the PTB Shed and adjacent areas where they found another unattended bag which was transferred and later detonated by the team at a safe distance in the middle of the highway in front of the PTB.

After the clearing activity, the composite team recommended the return of the ‘evacuees’ to the PTB which then resumed normal operation amid positive responses from the public, Caturla said.

Atty. Roldan Calejesan, PPA-Surigao Legal Officer and designated information officer, said the port management had also commended other government officials and media personalities who helped in the successful staging and wide dissemination of the bomb drill.

The list included LCDR Alberto Ferre of Phil. Coast Guard, P/Supt Noel Silvosa of City PNP, SPO1 Richard Charvet (bomb technician) of PNP Maritime Group, Atty. Manuel Coro and Annette Villaces of CDRRMC, Atty. Manuel Delani of City TMO, Jojo Ferol of DxRS, Alex Salvo of Joy-FM, Nestor Guballa of DxSJ-FM and Branch Manager Edgardo Tidalgo of PCBSI, a cargo-handling in Surigao port. (PPA-Surigao/PIA-Caraga)


LGU Carmen, PNP, DILG conduct 'Oplan Tokhang' symposium

By Atty. Mary Christine Anthonette M. Salise-Punzalan

CARMEN, Agusan del Norte, Aug. 2 (PIA) - The local government unit of Carmen, Agusan del Norte through its Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council (MADAC), Carmen Municipal Police Station and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) conducted a symposium/orientation on Republic Act 9165 otherwise known as “The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002” and its Ill-Effects on Health and the Community in support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s program called “Oplan Tokhang.”

The symposium/orientation was purposely conducted to inform the participants on how drugs destroy lives.

Over 300 tokhang volunteers attended the activity.

A mass-oathtaking and mass singing of “Natutulog Ba Ang Diyos” of Oplan Tokhang’s self-confessed users and pushers followed suit.

“We all know that the President is serious in his fight against illegal drugs and he places a great responsibility to the local officials down to the barangays to solve this menace so we should exert our best efforts to support him,” Carmen Mayor Ramon Calo said.

Agusan del Norte police provincial director PSSupt. Ronel Jaurigue presented the drug situation of the country and noted that there are 1.8 Million drug pushers and users nationwide.

He added that the fight against illegal drugs is not only the responsibility of the police but it needs “the Whole-of-Government Approach.”

The salient features of Republic Act 9165 and its penalties was discussed by Mun. Trial Court Carmen presiding judge Nemeson B. Cañete.

Carmen Municipal Police Station chief PSInsp. Franklin A Lacana encouraged the tokhang volunteers to be serious in their oath because the president already gave them a second chance.  He also warned them of the consequences that they will face should they continue using drugs.

The activity concluded with the signing of the Covenant to ensure support from the tokhang volunteers. (LGU-Carmen, Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Agrarian beneficiaries in Surigao Norte undergo financial literacy training

By Daryll M. Tumbaga

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, August 2 (PIA) - A total of 100 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) have undergone a training-seminar on financial literacy, a capability development training under the Agrarian Production Credit Program of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

The said seminar aimed to raise awareness to the ARBs on the importance of financial literacy in their daily undertakings especially on budgeting, savings and investments.

The training was conducted in a series of batches, first in Barangay Honrado, municipality of San Francisco participated by 37 ARBs, the other one in Brgy. Himamaug, Taganaan with 38 ARBs participating, and lastly in Brgy. Lobogon, Del Carmen participated by 25 ARBs.

The ARBs underwent workshop and made their family monthly budgeting coupled with reality checking on family’s income and expenses, and a dream map on financial stability on the next five years.

According to Ma. Rebecca C. Orga, an ARB of Himamaug, Taganaan, she was very thankful for the training that she underwent because it helped her understand better the financial status of her family and how to spend wisely and efficiently.

The said seminar is conducted by the DAR provincial office in Surigao del Norte through its Program Beneficiaries Development Division. (DAR-SDN/PIA- Surigao del Norte)