News Feature: Solidifying building blocks of peace and progress
By Venus L. Garcia
BUTUAN CITY, Sept 23 (PIA) - The complex reality of putting the puzzle pieces together or fitting in the blocks to shape the desired approach for our nation’s lengthy road to peace, stability, and development is existent. But the Philippines sees a stronghold of progress through reinforcement of effective strategies under the leadership of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
For Tandag City Mayor Alexander T. Pimentel, he perceived the sincere intent of the President on stopping mass poverty, corruption, crime and illegal drugs.
“Thus far, he has made remarkable gains in the country's fight against illegal drugs, especially targeting the so-called narco-politicians and coddlers of drug lords,” enunciated Pimentel.
He further said that the prospects for lasting peace are rife. The Oslo round of Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) peace panel - National Democratic Front (NDF) recent talks ended in high note with the indefinite ceasefire declaration, enabling both panels now to move into the succeeding rounds.
“Likewise, plans to engage in peace talks with all the major Muslim groups have also taken shape, slowly making good on his promise to bring peace to Mindanao within his term,” mentioned Pimentel.
Citing more of his observations, Pimentel said that the President has made an indelible mark during the recent ASEAN Summit, bringing into fore the life-long issues of our people while reaffirming our country's commitment to the ideals of our Asian neighbors and the international community.
“President Digong, with his resolve, can very well steer this nation back again to where it should be,” underscored Pimentel.
In that regard, the pace and evolving tactics employed are integral to complement the constructive change that is fundamental in peacebuilding and for fulfillment of inclusive growth.
As typically heard, “peace is what we make of it,” thus, by keeping the beam sturdy to brace the undertakings in countering violent unrest, insurgencies and terrorism, the country’s sustained progress is winnable. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)
PSA Caraga ready for 2015 POPCEN Reg’l Data Dissemination Forum
By Jennifer P. Gaitano
BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 23 (PIA) – The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) will once again spearhead the conduct of the 2015 Census of Population (POPCEN) Regional Data Dissemination Forum on September 27, 2016 at Rosario’s Seafood Restaurant and Convention Center, this city.
According to PSA Caraga regional director Rosalinda Celeste-Apura, the objective of said forum is to raise awareness among stakeholders and users on the importance and relevance of the data especially in the formulation of plns, policies and programs.
“The forum will cover topics such as: POPCEN 2015 population counts, population density and population counts by legislative district,” added Apura.
It was also learned that the participants of said event are representatives from the regional line agencies, local government units, academe, media, religious organizations and other private stakeholders. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)
Police joins clean-up drive in Surigao Norte town
By Susil D. Ragas
SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Sept. 23 (PIA) – The municipal police station (MPS) of Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte joined the nationwide Clean-Up Day on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016.
According to Gigaquit MPS officer-in-charge Police Insp. Sabino M. Pagasian, some police personnel helped in collecting dried leaves and other waste materials at Doot Beach while others led the clean-up of several garbage materials in the streets of barangay Alambique and Ipil.
Insp. Pagasian said the activity aims to intensify public awareness and participation on proper solid waste management.
“We encourage everyone to make it a habit that every day is a clean-up day, so that we can have a clean and healthy environment,” said Pagasian.
This year’s observance of the National Clean-up Month is anchored on the theme, “Bayan Ko, Linis Ko.”
The said observance is mandated by virtue of Proclamation No. 244 series of 1993 declaring the month of September of every as National Clean-up Month. (SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)
News Feature: DAR Caraga hands-over FDA's license to operate to AgSur coop
By Corine G. Munion
SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur, Sept. 23 (PIA) - The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has recently handed-over the License to Operate (LTO) approved by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) to Kaagap Multi-Purpose Cooperative (KAAGAPMUCO) for its Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) project during the Coconut Farmers Congress held at San Francisco Municipal Gymnasium, this province.
The issuance of LTO to KAAGAPMUCO is said to be the first in DAR Caraga Region. The coop took pride in becoming globally competitive being an importer, distributor, wholesaler and manufacturer of VCO products.
For KAAGAPMUCO, acquiring the said LTO was not just a walk in the park. The documentation process was tedious and the compliance to the building specifications was also very stringent. It took them eight months to finally complete the documents and submit to FDA Caraga Regional Office. Availability of funds for the renovation of production plant that conforms with the FDA specifications, schedule of laboratory testing, site inspection by FDA personnel were just some of the factors to consider in the delay.
With the assistance from the DAR Agusan del Sur thru the Program Beneficiaries Development Division in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Agusan del Sur, the coop was able to pass the entire documents required.
“We are very happy that finally we already received what we aimed for a long time. Right now we are in the process of negotiating with prospective buyers here and abroad,” expressed Maximino Robles Jr., manager of KAAGAPMUCO.
VCO is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. Aside from its perceptible nutty aroma, it is recognized to be the purest form of coconut oil, being chemical and additive free. It is higher in vitamin content, antioxidants and minerals. Because of its wide range of market demand nowadays, the members of KAAGAPMUCO are hopeful that their VCO products will also be recognized globally. (DAR-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)
DA Caraga monitors project to ensure proper implementation
BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 23 (PIA) - Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga’s Regional Project Coordination Office (RPCO) team recently visited the farm-to-market road (FMR) project in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur to ensure that the ongoing construction abides with the requirements set by the project.
“We not only listen to your reports, but we also would like to see personally what’s happening on the ground,” said DA Caraga Regional Executive Director Renato Manantan during the second quarter PRDP coordination meeting. “I will sit with the PPMIUs in the provinces and please don’t hesitate to share your experiences with PRDP,” he added.
The visit to the P13.87 million Tag-anahaw to San Isidro Farm-to-Market Road (FMR), which was reported to have an accomplishment of 41 percent was assisted by Mayor Leonida Manpatilan of Esperanza wherein she shared both her struggles and excitement of the project.
“The concrete road will shorten the transportation of goods from the two barangays and the farmers of the community is more inspired seeing the ongoing construction of the FMR,” said Mayor Manpatilan.
Travelling from Tag-anahaw to San Isidro will take 7 kilometer. Most of the time, the goods are partly damaged when it reached the market since the long transportation passes through rough roads.
“We have been waiting for this concrete road where the transportation of our product is shortened from 7 to 1 kilometer,” said San Isidro Barangay Captain Ferdinand Lazaga. “All of the residents in the two barangays will benefit from this project especially the children coming from Tag-anahaw who would walk to and from their school,” Lazaga added.
The 1.4 km FMR that has 230 hectares influence area will benefit 728 farming individuals including the indigenous people (IP). Rice, corn, banana and other high value crops are among the commodities that are being grown in the area.
DA has been keen in monitoring its infrastructure projects. “We will always stick with the guidelines set for PRDP projects, what we are asking from the LGUs is to help us monitor these ongoing projects,” said Alternate I-BUILD Head Engr. Gilbert Ken Zaportiza.
Residents and local officials in the barangays have also been active in monitoring the project. “We are glad that we are part of this project, people from RPCO and even the contractor considers our side for its smooth implementation,” said Lazaga. (RPCO-13/PIA-Caraga)
Drug rehab center opens inside army camp in AgSur
PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, Sept. 23 (PIA) - The 401st Infantry "Unity" Brigade, Philippine Army based here was the first camp to host a drug abuse rehabilitation center in partnership with the provincial government here.
Named as Residential Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (RTRC), the facility was opened on Sept. 22 with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Atty. Salvador Panelo as guest of honor representing President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
The two-hectare facility inside the army camp is part of the provincial government’s Substance Use Recovery and Enlightenment (SURE) Program to give drug use victims a second chance at life and avoid them from becoming victims of the drug syndicates who are trying to cover their tracks.
It will be managed and administered by the provincial government of Agusan del Sur and can accommodate 60 patients in the meantime while waiting for new buildings to be constructed.
Meanwhile, Agusan del Sur Governor Adolph Edward “Eddiebong” Plaza took pride in the partnership with the army for supporting his program to support the anti-drug campaign of the government.
Col. Cristobal Zaragoza, the 401st Brigade Commander of the 4th Infantry Division, was also thankful to the governor for involving the brigade in their program to showcase the collaboration of stakeholders in the province.
Brigadier General Ronnie Evangelista, the Deputy Commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EASTMINCOM) also graced the said activity. (401st Brigade, Phil. Army/PIA-Agusan del Sur)
DAR AgSur conducts cascading on new issuances to harmonize interpretation of laws
By Clark Howell B. Yu
PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, Sept. 23 (PIA) - The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) thru the Legal Services Division conducted the cascading on the features of the latest Administrative Orders and Memorandum Circular affecting the issuance of various certificates for the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) to its personnel and beneficiaries held recently at Almont Inland Resort, Butuan City.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) II Leoncio C. Bautista Jr.; PARPO I Allan Mundala, legal division chief of DAR regional office; and Atty. Marie Lou Nueva-Ruiz served as the speakers of said activity. The municipal agrarian reform program officers, and all the legal officers were also present.
“The ultimate objective for this cascading is not only for the participants to have the same interpretation of the laws but to have a concise and effective execution of the same. Minimize mistake, if there is any, however, at least to its tiniest state,” PARPO I Mundala stressed.
On the first day, Legal Officer Joven Tafalla discussed the features of Memorandum Circular (MC) 4 series 2016, also known as the “Procedure and Requirements for Issuance of Certificates of Finality for ALI, Land Use, and Cancellation Case Decisions of the DAR Secretary and Regional Directors.”
During the second day, legal officers Shelah Pal-Badiang and Adelo Estavas also discussed the guidelines on the issuance of DAR Clearance on Transfer of Agricultural Lands to Private Persons contained in A.O. 6 and the Rules and Procedures Governing the Voluntary Transfer of Ownership of Agricultural Lands covered by Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOA) or an Emancipation Patent (EP) Prior to the Termination of the Holding Period in A.O. 7, respectively.
Meanwhile, Atty. Marie Lou Nueva-Ruiz, also tackled on the third day the features of A. O. 3 otherwise known as the “Guidelines and Procedures to Stabilize Ownership and Tenureship of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries with CLOA.”
“I believe that this new guidelines are products of the brilliant minds but I expect daunting tasks ahead, particularly on the provision of getting a unanimous consent from the community of collective owners or active members and I think we, along with all the MARPOs have the same wavelength on this matter. However, we will still surely give our unceasing effort to serve the stakeholders,” expressed MARPO Chito Tubin.
These guidelines were issued by then secretary Virgilio Delos Reyes before he stepped down in his office on June 30, 2016. (DAR-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)
Surigao Norte solon appeals to private sector to donate strong signal jammers to stop drug trade in Bilibid
SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Sept. 23 (PIA) - In light of the recent revelation that convicted drug lords still manage to run their “businesses” inside the New Bilibid Prison through the use of communication gadgets, Surigao del Norte 2nd district representative Robert Ace S. Barbers made an appeal before the private sector to donate state-of-the-art and high-powered signal jammers to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to end drug related activities inside the national penitentiary.
“It’s quite alarming that despite being heavily guarded by no less than the elite Special Action Force, inmates of the maximum security compound can still get away with their illicit criminal acts. Drug trade is still very much active inside and outside Bilibid as per the testimonies of the witnesses. Walang saysay ang pagpapahuli at pagpapakulong sa mga drug convicts kung sa loob mismo ng kulungan ay may pagkakataon silang maipagpatuloy ang ganitong kalakaran,” Barbers said.
“Aside from using cellular phones for drug trade, inmates use it to arrange delivery of contrabands and execute plans of retaliation. In all legality, convicted criminals have no business using communication gadgets while inside the Bilibid," Barbers said during the House investigation on the proliferation of drug syndicates at the New Bilibid Prison,” he lamented.
“This is why there is a need to install state-of-the-art and high powered signal jammers especially in buildings where hardcore drug lords are detained. Cellular phones are getting smaller and are therefor harder to detect by our already-burdened prison guards. Kaya nga kailangan ng signal jammers, para kahit may cellphones silang hawak, useless na ang mga ito,” said Barbers.
"The DOJ admitted that they have no technology to jam 3G or LTE-able mobile phones. Hence, I appeal to the private sector to donate signal jammers to be used against the commission of criminal acts by inmates. Together, let's work hand-in-hand to challenge the status quo so we, as a country, can finally welcome the change that everyone so desires,” he added. (AG, Congressional Office/PIA-Surigao del Norte)