Wednesday, August 10, 2016


NCDA to hold seminar on how to handle PWDs in tourism industry

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 10 (PIA) – The National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT) will be holding the seminar on how to handle Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in tourism industry on August 18, 2016 here.

According to NCDA acting executive director Carmen Zubiaga, this one-day seminar is aimed at promoting the government’s National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) and other equally important laws and mandates on disability among duty bearers and stakeholders in order to attain goals on “Accessible Tourism For All” as provided thereof.

“The seminar will involve the participation of the workers in the business industry, hotel and restaurant managers, tour guides, resort and transport operators, and other DOT-accredited establishment. Other participants in this seminar would include officials of the government who oversee the implementation of tourism industry, the media, among others,” added Zubiaga.

It can be recalled that the Regional Council on Disability Affairs (RCDA) led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga has conducted on July 20-22, 2016 the seminar on how to handle the behavior of children with special needs. This time, the NCDA and RCDA will be giving focus to the PWDs.

The National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) is the national government agency mandated to formulate policies and coordinate the activities of all agencies, whether public or private, concerning disability issues and concerns. As such, the NCDA is the lead agency tasked to steer the course of program development for persons with disabilities and the delivery of services to the sector.

The NCDA is tasked to monitor the implementation of several laws to ensure the protection of PWDs’ civil and political rights. These laws include Republic Act No 7277 (Magna Carta for Disabled Persons), Batas Pambansa Blg. 344 (Accessibility Law), Republic Act 6759 (White Cane Act) and ILO Convention No. 159 (Vocational Rehabilitation of Persons With Disability). It has also been tasked, through Proclamation No. 125, to coordinate activities and to monitor the observance of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons (1993-2002) in the Philippines. Proclamation No. 125 was issued by the President on January 15, 1993, to enjoin both the government and the private entities to organize projects based on the policy categories mentioned in the agenda for action of the decade. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


DOLE Phils back to normal operation after talks with SurSur guv

By Nida Grace Barcena-Tranquilan

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Aug. 10 (PIA) – The DOLE Philippines, Incorporated (Stanfilco Division) operating in three towns of this province was reportedly back to its regular operation on Monday, August 8 after DOLE Phils. officials met with Governor VicenteT. Pimentel Jr. over the weekend at his residence here.

The special meeting was also attended by the concerned agencies, local chief executives of Tagbina, Barobo, and Tago, and Philippine Army.

The said meeting was aimed to resolve the issue concerning the company's sudden declaration of indefinite shutdown of its operation.

The company cited security threat made by the New Peoples Army as the main reason of their closure. The Philippine Army assured that they will secure the national highway to prevent the incident from happening again. The local government officials also vowed to support the security forces in solving the insurgency problem in the province.

It can be recalled that the said company declared an indefinite shutdown of its operation on August 3, affecting more than a thousand employees mostly Surigaonons. A protest rally was conducted in Barobo town condemning the New People’s Army for being responsible in the series of burning incident of the company's container vans. (NGBT/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Feature Story: Coffee perks up farmers’ lives

By Joie L. Ceballos

The soon to be launched Robusta coffee in Tagbina, Surigao del Sur was 50 years in the making. And if the farmers of barangay Kahayagan in this municipality took them that long, this coffee must be very, very good!

In 1965 farmers started to grow coffee in a forest reserve area owned by Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines (PICOP). Their organic coffee has already created local yet loyal customers, but it was very slow to go mainstream due to lack of support.

Since their product has a big market in Caraga region, 30 farmers created the Mabuhay- Kahayagan Coffee Growers (MKCGC) in 2007 and contributed P1,000 each for their starting capital. Three years later, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) distributed an area covering 2,772 hectares for the coffee plantation.

But for these poor farmers, running farmers, running the cooperative was not easy, most especially when coffee growing came to a halt brought about by the low buying price of fresh berries. With continued guidance from DAR, the organization was encouraged to just plant more and utilizes the land until Nestle became the organization’s valued buyer. Nestle provided the organization with quality variety of coffee and several planting and growing trainings. On the other hand, the DAR developed the organizations maturity with various capability-building trainings and continuing seminars on product development.

Under the common service facilities component of DAR’s Agrarian Reform community Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) project, MKCGC received one unit flatbed drier and sprayer all worth P1.4 million. The dryer encouraged the farmers to expand their coffee farms so that it could cater bigger volume than of the present facility.

The DAR also helped the cooperative by looking for partner-agencies to develop their coffee business. Aside from the DAR’s dehuller machine for the coffee beans, the Department of Agriculture also provided one, the Department of Social Welfare and Development gave P350,000 to help with their coffee production needs and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) offered one industrial coffee  grinder and two industrial coffee roasters. The DOST also taught the farmers about the nutritional facts of coffee.

The business went on the nestle using the world market’s fair price and the cooperative grew to 143 members with a working capital of more than P100,000.

But MKCGC could not just stop as supplier to Nestle. With a special arrangement, Nestle allowed the use of 5 percent - 10 percent of the farmers harvest for their own product. And with the business development service component of DAR-ARCCESS, MKCGC was trained in roasting, grinding and packaging that gave birth to another business opportunity for the cooperative - the Tagbina Robusta Coffee.

While waiting for the approval of the facilities from the ARCCESS’ common service facilities component like roaster and grinder, MKCGC, in pursuit of bringing their product closer to the market, tapped outsource services but continues to hope for the approval of the facilities.

Construction is on-going for the MKCGC’s coffee processing center implemented under DAR’s village-level processing center enhancement program. Under this program, the DAR gave P500,000 and the Tagbina town provided a counterpart of P200,000 for the construction of processing center.

The Tagbina Robusta Coffee, which soon be launched in the market, will not only provide our coffee time with new aroma but also perks a new hope of success for Tagbina coffee farmers. (DAR-CARAGA Info officer/PARO-SDS/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


15th HRSD confab, venue for transition

By Robert E. Roperos

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Aug. 10 (PIA) – “The 15th Human Resource and Skills Development (HRSD) conference is a good venue for transition,” said Mindanao Technical Vocational Education and Training (MinTVET) spokesperson John Franco.

During the press conference on Tuesday, August 9 held at the lobby of the Philippine Gateway Hotel here, Franco said the conduct of the annual summit served as venue for the technical-vocational sector to be updated with the latest development that our country is facing specifically with the ASEAN integration that has been implemented.

“We need to be updated with the latest technology, methods, and curriculum in tech-voc so that Mindanaoans will be given the opportunity to compete not only in the national but as well as in the international skills,” Franco said.

With the new officials under the Duterte administration, Franco added the conduct of the activity will give challenge to those officials who are tasked to continue what has been started by the previous administration so that no Filipinos will be left behind in as far as skills development is concerned.

Meanwhile, Angela Natividad, another spokesperson of MinTVET underscored that with the ASEAN Integration, this means that skilled workers in the ASEAN member-nations can freely go in and out from these countries which specifically means that “our Filipino skilled workers can work freely with these member-countries as long as they are technically qualified. Likewise, skilled workers from other ASEAN member-countries will also do the same.”

With this development, Natividad stressed that there is a need for the Filipino workforce to be updated to cope with the demand of the ASEAN integration. “This will also mean that our TVET graduates will be given greater chances to be hired and work abroad… this is the reason why we need to upgrade their skills,” Natividad added.

The Human Resource and Skills Development (HRSD) Conference is an annual gathering of Technical-Vocational (Tech-Voc) schools in the six regions of Mindanao which primarily aimed to strengthen the education and training of manpower skills among Mindanaoans.

This is also to ensure that tech-voc students and school administrators will be given the opportunity to be acquainted and somehow share the best practices that each region is doing for skills development.

This year, Caraga Region hosted the grandest event of the TVET in Mindanao. According to the Secretariat, as of 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, some 586 delegates were in attendance. (Regional Information Officer, TESDA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Caraga’s HRSD confab sets record-breaking participants

By Robert E. Roperos

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Aug. 10 (PIA) – A record-breaking number of delegates in the 15th Human Resource and Skills Development (HRSD) Conference has been noted by the Secretariat.

Mindanao Technical-Vocational Education and Training (MinTVET) spokesperson John Franco revealed during the press conference here on August 9 that as of 10:30 a.m., the Secretariat has recorded some 583 in the attendance.

“This attendance is the biggest in the history of HRSD Conference,” he said. This figure, according to Franco has somehow surpassed the number of delegates during the previous years’ conduct of the annual gathering of Mindanao TVET sectors.

We are so thankful to the host region – Caraga and the host organization – the Caraga Association of Technical Vocational Insitutions, Inc. (CATVII) for this resounding response from our partners in the different regions in Mindanao.

We also salute the leadership of the provincial government of Surigao del Norte thru Governor Sol F. Matugas for the hundred percent support extended to CATVII, TESDA-Caraga, and the MinTVET.

In other development, MinTVET Spokesperson Angela Nativitidad is elated over the peace and order situation in the city saying that with the presence of foreigners just walking around the corners, this means that the security in the city is stable.

“There’s nothing to worry about the security as well as the peace and order here in the city… So, I think, this is one of the perfect venues we have so far in HRSD,” Natividad said.

The 15th HRSD Conference is hosted by the Caraga Association of Technical-Vocational Institutions, Inc. (CATVII) and TESDA-Caraga and is anchored on the theme: “Onwards TVET: Changes and Transitions towards 2020.” The two-day event opened on Tuesday and will end Wednesday, August 10, 2016.

It aims to convene as one and unified sector in Technical-Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Mindanao discussing, sharing and exchanging common points that would significantly contribute to national and regional TVET success.

It also aimed to discuss the challenges of the future of TVET amidst the current global financial crisis and its effects on the TVET sector. Likewise, it serves as a venue for sharing and learning from best practices in skills development and training and education as a benchmark initiative for continuous improvement.

Participants of the conference include: Private and Public TVET School Administrators, TVET Institution Heads, Training Managers and Trainers, Industry Groups or Associations, TVET Industry Partners, TESDA Provincial Directors, Training Center Chiefs, ROD/Finance Chiefs, and selected TESD Specialists. (TESDA-Caraga/PIA-Surigao del Norte)