Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Army to continue whole-of-nation initiatives, heeds PH prexy’s ceasefire order

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 24 (PIA) – After the declaration of President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday for a ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines – New Peoples Army – National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), 4th Infantry Division commanding general MGen. Benjamin Madrigal issued a directive as a guide for the uniformed personnel serving under his area of responsibility to carry on the said marching order as announced.

According to Madrigal, there will be no military offensive operations against the NPA. However, he emphasized that they will continue peripheral prophilactic patrols to ensure the security of their troops and facilities. He likewise said that this does not stop them from responding to terroristic attacks of NPAs targeting civilian and government facilities.

“As directed, we will continue our support to law enforcement operations of the PNP, conduct checkpoints to deter any hostile activities in the area, secure all vital installations, and support to the Bayanihan activities or the whole-of-nation initiatives that are jointly undertaken by all stakeholders to help improve the living condition of our fellow countrymen,” underscored Madrigal.

Moreover, he stated that they will not let their guards down after the said declaration. “We will remain vigilant in our respective area of responsibility,” said Madrigal.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Rey Pasco, commanding officer of the Army's 4th Civil- Military Operations Battalion, remarked that they are in support to the temporary cessation of aggressive actions between the government and the communist armed groups. “We will respond accordingly based on the directives from the higher-ups and pursue the strategic advantage to culminate the state of chaos in critical areas of the country. We will work for specific solutions to underlying disputes without associated bloodshed, if possible. With concerted efforts, we envisioned a peaceful end of the polarizing effects of violence and pursue our goals for national development,” expressed Pasco. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


OCD-13 to hold DDRM-related trainings for PDRRMC Agusan del Sur

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 24 (PIA) – The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Caraga as chair of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) is set to hold various disaster preparedness trainings for the Provincial DRRMC/Local DRRMCs in the province of Agusan del Sur for this second semester.

In her report during a meeting of the Disaster Preparedness Committee chaired by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), April Rose Sanchez, information officer of OCD Caraga bared that based on their Annual Plans and Budgets for calendar year 2016, they have set schedules for the different DRRM trainings for the region which include Agusan del Sur.

On September 19-20, 2016, the PDRRMC with the City and Municipal DRRMCs will be participating in the Emergency Telecommunications Summit dubbed as Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Bayanihan: Operationalization of Rapid Emergency Telecommunication Team (RETT).

The one-day Orientation on Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment (PDRA) for the five component cities in Caraga region including Bayugan City is set on September 2, 2016.

Also, the Training on Rapid Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (RDANA) for the Five Component Cities of Caraga which include Bayugan City in Agusan del Sur will be held on October 24-27, 2016 in the city.

On October 26, 2016, uniformed personnel in Caraga region will also be participating in the Executive Course in Incident Command System (ICS) to be held in the city. (JPG/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Butuanons to celebrate 116th Philippine Civil Service anniv

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 24 (PIA) – Butuanons will once again celebrate this year’s 116th Philippine Civil Service Month anniversary in September with the theme: “Sigaw ng Lingkod Bayani: Malasakit Para sa Taumbayan, Kapwa Kawani at Kalikasan.”

According to Civil Service Commission (CSC) Caraga regional director Resurreccion Pueyo, a coastal clean-up campaign is set on September 16, 2016 at Barangay Masao, which will be participated by the different partner stakeholders in the city.

“Government employees will also be participating in the simultaneous flag raising and renewal of oath of office in their respective offices on September 19, 2016,” added Pueyo.

Pueyo futher revealed that a mangrove planting activity is also set on September 23, 2016 at the USS Marshall Memorial Complex in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte.

Meanwhile, Butuanons are encouraged to join in the Free Orientation on Republic Act 6713, Barangay Official Eligibilities and ARTA for Butuan City and Agusan del Norte. This will be held at the CSC Caraga HRD Center here.

Special treats for government employees like discount packages and freebies from selected government/private companies for civil servants nationwide. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


News Feature: Honey: For health and wealth

By Aurelius P. Arais

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 24 (PIA) - Considering its health benefits and livelihood opportunity, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga is eyeing to boost beekeeping in the region.

As a start, DA Caraga sent out 20 individuals to Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Center (NMACLRC) in Dalwangan, Malaybalay City to attend the basic beekeeping training from August 15-19.

Participants who were composed of DA Staff and LGU personnel were taught on the proper beekeeping procedure focusing on technical and management practices to make it viable and sustainable.

Dr. Roche Rey Barrios, livestock program focal person, said that the training is the initial stage of DA Caraga’s support for beekeeping in coordination with the local government units.

“Graduates from this training upon return will serve as trainers for the farmers in our region,” he said.

To concretize its support, DA Caraga has been set to establish a bee farm in its 4 Research Stations and on selected participating LGUs as a showcase for learning.

Arnold Valle, president of the Bukidnon Beekeepers Association and one of the resource person said that beekeeping is a great help for farmers.

“Honeybee serves as a partner for the farmers since they help pollinate the plants to increase production and at the same time it can produce honey which is good for human body,” Valle said.

Zaldy Idulsa, a practicing beekeeper also said that there is market for honey in the country.

“Nowadays people are health conscious, they tend to look for healthier and natural products; and as far as sweetener is concerned, honey is the best,” he said.

Honey, a sweet food made by bees foraging nectar from plants particularly on its flowers is known as a powerful immune system booster. (DA Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Surigao Norte solon seeks ‘junior citizens’ discounts

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Aug. 24 (PIA) - Surigao del Norte 2nd district representative Robert Ace Barbers has filed a bill mandating a comprehensive program of benefits and privileges for children aged 0-12.

House Bill 2881 or the Junior Citizens Act seeks to alleviate the financial woes of families with meager income by giving benefits and discounts that children can enjoy.

As provided in the bill, Junior Citizens whose annual family income does not exceed P250,000 shall be entitled to 20% discount and exemption from VAT on purchases of medical services, goods and other privileges.  The said amount for the annual family income is the estimated poverty threshold for a family of four.

If enacted, the bill will play a crucial role in addressing the concerns of the country’s underprivileged junior citizens who play an important part in nation-building.

“It is unfortunate that legislations and policies underscore minimal consideration on the basic and fundamental needs of our children,” Barbers said.

“Compared to other countries, Filipino children have limited access to basic services and are definitely left behind in terms of obtaining their economic, social and health rights. How we take care of our children is a reflection of our character as a nation,” Barbers pointed out.

The proposed Junior Citizens Act also aims to make all junior citizens, regardless of income status, automatic Philhealth members until they reach the age of 12.

“The ideal is that Filipino families should not be hounded by the amount they spend on their children’s basic food and non-food needs. Enrolling all junior citizens to Philhealth must be automatic, not optional,” Barbers added.

The Secretary of Health will be responsible for formulating the Implementing Rules and Regulations to carry out the objectives of this Act, including the creation of the Office of the Junior Citizens Affairs, in consultation with other governing agencies. (Legislative Staff/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


4 NPA rebels killed in Agusan Sur clash

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Aug. 24 (PIA) - Four members of the New People's Army (NPA) rebels were killed in a firefight with government troops in Agusan del Sur on Saturday morning.

Lt. Colonel Rommel Pagayon, commanding officer of the 26th Infantry Battalion, Phil. Army, said his troops were on prophylactic patrol when they were fired at by the NPAs in Sitio Kihingay, Barangay San Pedro, San Luis at around 7:50 a.m.

The said NPA rebels were earlier reported to be extorting food and provisions. Pagayon said the rebel atrocity forced some residents to flee.

It was learned that the same NPA group had accepted responsibility earlier for the massacre of the Bucalas family in Zilovia of Talacogon in May this year where a pregnant family member was among those killed.

Pagayon said the troops recovered three AK47 and two M16 rifles, two ICOM radios, 20 back packs and subversive documents.

Major General Benjamin Madrigal of the 4th Infantry Division then ordered the troops to bring the NPA cadavers down for them to be accorded with a decent burial by their respective families. (FEA/26IB Phil. Army/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


DSWD Caraga supports newly-approved “Anti-Mail Order Bride Law”

By Eunice G. Montaos

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 24 (PIA) - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga supports the recently-approved new law that will prevent Filipinos from becoming mail order brides.

Also known as “Anti-Mail Order Bride Law,” the Republic Act 10906 or “An act providing stronger measures against unlawful practices, business, and schemes of matching and offering Filipinos to foreign nationals for purposes of marriage or common law partnership, repealing for the purpose republic act no. 6955” penalizes any person who has in any way engaged in business to exploit Filipinos to offer to foreigners for marriage.

The law specifically states in Section 3 that it is illegal for anyone to engage in the following: (a) business matching a Filipino to a foreigner for marriage or common law partnership on a mail-order basis, personal introduction, email, or websites on the internet; (b) exhibit, advertise, publish, print, or distribute, or cause the exhibition, advertisement, publication, printing, or distribution of brochures, flyers, or propaganda materials, which are calculated to promote the prohibited acts in the preceding paragraph, or to post, advertise, or upload such materials  through websites on the internet; (c) solicit, enlist, or in any manner, attract or induce any Filipino to become a member in any club or association whose objective is to match any Filipino nationals to foreign nationals for the purpose of marriage or common law partnership for a fee; and (d) to use the postal service or any website on the internet to promote the prohibited acts.

The Section 6 of the law clearly states that the DSWD shall implement preventive, protective, and rehabilitative programs for victims of the unlawful acts and practices mentioned in Section 3.

DSWD Caraga regional director Minda B. Brigoli says that according to the law, the DSWD shall coordinate with the local government units (LGUs) in providing case management service and developing a system for accreditation among non-government organizations (NGOs) for purposes of establishing centers and programs and interventions in various levels of the community.

“The agency shall also provide the following basic services to the victims: (1) temporary shelter or housing and food; (2) Psychological support and counselling; (3) Twenty-four (24)-hour call center for crisis calls and technology-based counselling and referral system; (4) Assistance in coordination with local law enforcement entities; and (5) Assistance in coordination with the Department of Justice (DOJ), among others,” Brigoli adds.

Other agencies involved in the enactment of this law are DOJ, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), Commission of Filipino Overseas (CFO), LGUs, Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and NGOs. (Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


DSWD-Caraga trains LGUs on the use of Social Protection Handbook

By Eunice G. Montaos

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 24 (PIA) – The local government units (LGUs) in Caraga region underwent recently trainings on the use of Social Protection (SP) Handbook spearheaded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Participants of the training were local social welfare officers, planning officers, local and regional DILG officers/representatives, regional DSWD planning officers, and NEDA representatives.

The roll-out training aims to explain to the LGUs the content and structure of the mentioned handbook which are crucial in preparing them (LGUs) for their role as advocates of Social Protection.

Also, the training will identify knowledge and skills needed using the instructional design of the SP handbook in undertaking advocacy, identifying risk and vulnerabilities, analysing, planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.

DSWD Regional Director Minda B. Brigoli shared in her message that the SP Handbook serves as the primary reference manual in implementing social protection interventions from the national to LGU level.

“This training further serves as technical assistance for the participating LGUs in meeting the standards for LSWDO functionality which is a major component in the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Seal of Good Local Governance and DSWD-LSWDO Functionality assessments,” Brigoli added.

“This activity aims to capacitate the LGUs for them to translate social protection inputs into tangible action plans in their respective LGUs,” she concluded.

DSWD-Caraga, through the Planning Unit of the Policy and Plans Division, conducted three batches for the training. These were held at Shacene Pension House, Tandag City (August 2-5, 2016), Amontay Beach Resort, Agusan del Norte (August 9-12, 2016), and Gateway Hotel, Surigao City (August 16-19, 2016), respectively.

The Joint Memorandum Circular No.1 series of 2015 issued by DSWD and DILG enjoins all provinces, cities, and municipalities to use the SP Handbook for local planning, budgeting, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating social protection programs. (Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


DSWD, partner-agencies strengthen efforts to help recovering drug dependents

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 24 (PIA) - Amid efforts to reinforce programs and services for drug dependents, the Department of Social Welfare and Development spearheaded a multi-agency Training of Trainers (TOT) on the Implementation of Aftercare, Reintegration and Transformation Support for Recovering Drug Dependents, held recently at the Social Welfare and Development Center for Asia and the Pacific (SWADCAP) in Taguig City.

The activity was participated in by the focal persons from the 17 regional offices of DSWD, as well as partner agencies, like the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Department of Health (DOH), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Department of Justice Parole and Probation Administration (DOJ-PPA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Education (DepEd), Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), and Department of Agriculture (DA).

Resource persons from partner-agencies discussed the scope of drug dependency in the Philippines, existing programs in rehabilitation centers managed by DOH, and community-based programs to be implemented by DILG.

According to PDEA Information Officer V, Louie Lagasca, the Philippines is the second top shabu user in Southeast Asia. Shabu, marijuana and ecstasy are major types of drugs in the country.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jasmin Peralta, Program Manager of DOH-Dangerous Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program (DDAPTP) disclosed that as of July 16, there are 44 DOH-accredited Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers. Of this number, 16 are government operated, while 26 are run by the private sector like NGOs, and foundations.

The DILG, for its part will focus on its community based rehabilitation program, which shall include the organization of community rehabilitation network (CRN) and mobilization of the Mamamayang Ayaw sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Ilegal na Droga (MASA MASID) at the barangay level.

According to Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo, there is a need to come up with effective rehabilitation programs in view of the administration’s relentless drive against illegal drugs, resulting to the surrender of thousands of pushers and users.

“Kailangang may komprehensibong programa, lalo na para sa mga menor de edad upang sila’y matulungang makapagbagong buhay. Hindi lamang DSWD ang magpapatupad nito kundi lahat ng ahensyang may mandato o tungkuling tumulong sa mga nalulon sa droga (There is a need for a comprehensive  program, especially for minors to help them transform their lives. It is not only DSWD which shall implement this, but other agencies mandated to help drug dependents),” expressed Taguiwalo. (DSWD-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Tagalog News: Caraga inendorso ang apat na nominado sa pagiging RDC chair

Ni Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Agosto 24 (PIA) - Sa pangunguna ng National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) - Caraga bilang secretariat ng Regional Development Council (RDC) - 13, ginanap dito sa lungsod kamakailan ang reorganizational meeting kung saan sa pamamagitan ng secret balloting bilang proseso sa pagboto para sa pagpili ng mga nominado ay naisumite nito ang resolusyong pag-eendorso kay president Rodrigo Duterte sa mga personaheng nominado upang umupo bilang RDC chairperson para sa taong kasulukuyan hanggang 2019.

Kabilang dito sina Butuan City Mayor Ronnie Vicente Lagnada, Tandag City Mayor Alexander Pimentel, Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol Matuga at Bislig City Mayor Librado Navarro. Naging nominado din sina private sector representatives (PSR) Engr. Epimaco Galero, Jr. at Engr. Leonel Santos bilang RDC co-chair.

Samantala, nakapaghalal na rin ang RDC ng bagong committee chairs. Nanalo bilang chairperson si PSR Epimaco Galero, Jr. at co-chair nito si mayor Librado Navarro ng LGU-Bislig City para sa Infractructure Development Committee; Butuan City mayor Ronnie Lagnada at PSR Leonel Santos bilang chair at co-chair ng Economic Development Committee; DSWD regional director Minda Brigoli at PSR Pazfigurita Ojeda ng Cabadbaran City bilang chair at co-chair para sa Social Development Committee; at Tandag City mayor Alexander Pimentel at PSR Helen Arellano ng Agusan del Sur bilang chair at co-chair para sa  Development Administration Committee.

Ang nasabing reorganisasyon ay nangyayari kada tatlong taon. Ayon kay NEDA-Caraga regional director Mylah Faye Aurora Carino, ang RDC ay ang regional counterpart ng NEDA board na siyang pumapatnubay sa socio-economic at physical planning ng rehiyon, nag-aapruba ng iba’t ibang programa at proyekto ng regional line agencies, at nag-rerekomenda sa pangulo ng bansa/ ng natatanging polisiya at programang magpapalaganap ng rehiyunal at lokal na kaunlaran.

Bilang isa sa mga nominado, inihayag ni mayor Lagnada ang kanyang makatotohanang suporta at intensyon na maninilbihan para sa ikauunlad ng rehiyon.       

“Naniniwala ako na maibahagi ko ang aking kaalaman sa pagiging engineer tungo sa direction setting at planong pang-ekonomiya ng ating rehiyon. Ibig kong maging parte lalung-lalo na sa pagsasagawa ng comprehensive master plan para sa Caraga,” sabi ni Lagnada.

Sa nasabing reorganizational meeting, pinagtibay rin ng mga non-voting members ang kani-kanilang commitment sa RDC. Inaasahang ma-iappoint ng pangulong Duterte ang tatalagang RDC chair sa lalong madaling panahon. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


Tagalog News: Bangkay ng mga napatay na NPA sa Agusa Sur nakuha na ng mga militar para sa maayos na libing

Ni Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Agosto 24 (PIA) - Kaugnay sa sagupaang nangyari nito lamang Sabado sa pagitan ng militar at CAFGU laban sa bandidong grupo ng New Peoples Army o NPA, mabilis na inaksyunan ng 401st Brigade sa pamumuno ni Col. Cristobal Zaragoza ang pagkuha sa mga bangkay ng apat na namatay na NPA ayon na rin sa utos ni MGen Benjamin Madrigal, commanding general ng 4th Infantry Division na mabigyan ito ng maayos at disenteng libing.

Matatandaang bago pa man naideklara ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang ceasefire, nagsagawa ng prophylactic patrol ang nasabing grupo ng militar noong August 20, 2016 sa sitio Kihingay, Brgy, San Pedro, San Luis, Agusan del Sur matapos umano naireport sa kanila ng mga sibilyan ang presensiya ng humigit-kumulang 30 miyembro ng NPA na pinangunahan umano ni commnader Antoy ng Guerilla Front 88 na nagsagawa ng food extortion at nananakot sa mga ayaw magbigay ng bigas at pagkain sa kanila.

Kabilang sa na-recover ng operating troops ng 26th Infantry Battalion ang limang high-powered rifles, dalawang Icom communication radio, 20 back packs at subversive documents.

Ayun kay Col. Zaragoza, kabilang sa apat na rebeldeng napaslang ay si Patricio Mondejar alyas “Jerome” na taga La Paz, Agusan del Sur, habang ang tatlo ay hindi pa nakikilala.

Samantala, ang nasabing grupo ng NPA ay ang siyang responsible din umano sa pag-masaker ng sibilyang pamilya Bucalas nitong buwan lamang ng Mayo sa Zilovia, Talacogon, Agusan del Sur kung saan kabilang ang buntis nitong kapamilya sa nasawi.

Pinahatid ni Col. Zaragoza ang kanyang pakikiramay sa mga kamag-anak ng mga namatay at nananawagan ito sa mga sugatang NPA na bumaba na para maipagamot at hinikayat niyang magbagong buhay na ang mga ito. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)