Monday, September 19, 2016


CARAT Expo 2016 set to boost market opportunities

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Sept 19 (PIA) – Caraga region is set to reach new heights, starting off with its first Caraga Agricultural Trade and Marketing Exposition or the CARAT Expo 2016, a multi-stakeholder trade and marketing initiative focused on showcasing Caraga’s rich agricultural and fishery products on November 9-13, 2016, this city.

The CARAT Expo helps local trade associations, producers, agro-entrepreneurs in creating new markets and in improving buyer-seller relationships; launch and institutionalize a media technology-use plan for the promotion of a signature brand for Caraga; and help improve productivity and strengthen food supply chain in the region by educating producer groups and trade associations on new technologies and innovations in agriculture from several national and international resource persons.

“Caraga has marked a significant growth in its agricultural products. A substantial number of farmers and marine producers have increased in their productivity. Hence, the challenge to sustain the momentum of the region’s agricultural development has been reached and must be brought to the next level. One step is to begin promoting Caraga local products, establish market links and networks and open new avenues for agricultural trade and commerce,” underscored Butuan City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) president Roger Ramirez.

The CARAT Expo, a regional event that brings together the producers, buyers and sellers will be featuring products daily during the weeklong activity: Day 1 - Lobster Day; Day 2 – Mango Day; Day 3 – Aquamarine Day; Day 4 – Coconut; Day 5 – Livestock Day; Day 6 – Veggies Day; Day 7 – Palay/Banana/Tubers Day.

Meanwhile, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Caraga regional director Mylah Faye Aurora Carino said that CARAT Expo is very important for many reasons. “First, it promotes the region’s many agri-fishery products. Second, it features presentations on the latest technologies and innovations on agri and fishery. Third, it will allow the various producers in Caraga to determine which product should be considered as the region’s signature product. Thus, I am enjoining all the stakeholders to support this very worthwhile endeavor,” stressed Cariño.

Among also of the many activities set by the organizers of the CARAT Expo are products display, trading, business encounters, skills competition, cooking demos, live band party, and contests on essay writing, poster making, dancing, singing, bartending, fruits garnishing, table setting, cooking and eating.

CARAT Expo welcomes all the leading agricultural retailers and wholesalers, food producers, agronomics, agriculturists, engineers, technicians, farmers, manufacturers, food traders and exporters, researchers, agriculture students, educators, and consumers.

The event is envisioned to be an annual gathering of producers, suppliers, marketers, investors and buyers that will serve as strategic venue for market-matching, linkages and agri-investment.

Driven by its objectives, the organizers - the Caraga Chamber of Commerce, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Agriculture (DA), supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Winrock International and various stakeholders are coming together to promote a signature brand for the region.

For interested sponsors and exhibitors, you may contact the secretariat at (085) 342-8859, (085) 342-9404, +639157969861, +639995761855, or email them at caratexpo@gmail.com. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


News Feature: Butuan biz group promotes 'Caraga Lobster' as regional signature brand

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 19 (PIA) - For a region that envisions of becoming the fishery, agri-forestry, mineral and eco-tourism center of the country, the upcoming Caraga Agricultural Trade and marketing Exposition (CARAT Expo 2016) slated to open here on November 9-13, 2016 is seen to bolster a signature brand for the region – the ‘Caraga Lobster.’

As the lead chamber in organizing the CARAT Expo, Butuan City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. (BCCFI) tagged it as the premiere agri-fishery-related event in Mindanao that targets to identify a local product that will significantly stand out as the chief and distinctive product of Caraga region.

This 2016 CARAT Expo is also conceptualized to supplement the Philippine Cold Chain Project’s (PCCP) thrust of providing more focused marketing and trading initiatives to help increase productivity and create trade opportunities for small producers in Caraga.

Dan Gudhal, chief of party of the Winrock International, underlined that the Philippine Cold Chain Project (PCCP) is a four-year United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funded program implemented by the Winrock International in Caraga region. He added that it has two primary objectives. One is to increase the production of perishable high-valued commodities, and the other is to improve marketing of those same commodities.

“We are working with things like lobster, vegetables, fisheries and the other products here in Caraga region. We are very excited to have lobster as the signature brand for Caraga region because lobster is a high-valued product and it’s something unique to the Caraga region. It really exemplifies the wonderful opportunities that are available here in Caraga,” said Gudhal.

The abundant local products of Caraga provinces

Caraga region as an administrative region in the country occupying the northeastern section of the island of Mindanao is known to be rich and abundant in agricultural and aquamarine products.

BCCFI president Roger Ramirez said that “what makes the Agusan Norte mangos extraordinary palatable is because of the sea breeze and ideal amount of moisture that gives the right sweetness and healthy fiber."

Abundant in Agusan del Sur province is the palm fruit called ‘kaong’. It is a main ingredient for the famous Pinoy ‘halo-halo’ and some other dessert salads, declared Freddie Mero, Agusan de Sur chamber president.

Boosting also the Surigao del Norte’s product, Surigao City chamber president Conception Paqueo said that swordfish, locally called ‘liplipan,’ is superb for kinilaw, grill, or paksiw. “It is also top notch for the International Game Fishing Competition in Siargao,” she added.

While king crabs in Bislig City is considered to be the biggest type in the country with its distinct taste, ‘vannamie,’ also known as white shrimps, a variety of prawn which is abundant in the municipality of Tagum, Surigao del Sur which is seven kilometers away from Tandag City is the most popular in dishes and recipes. They are also perfect for cocktail or events in a boodle feast, said Tandag chamber president Emma Guerra.

In Dinagat Islands, ‘lapu-lapu’ or groupers come in different colors and sizes yet has the same delectable taste. It is perfect for ‘escabeche’ dish.

On top of the provincial products, Caraga brings to the country and to the world its regional product brand - the ‘CARAGA Lobster.’

“Among the many products which Caraga is planning to showcase is the lobster because the people of Dinagat Islands have successfully cultured lobsters and a lot of them are already earning a livelihood from raising lobster in captivity. So lobster is a very prominent product to be displayed during the CARAT Expo, including other aquamarine products such as milkfish, grouper, lapu-lapu and seven other species which have been declared by Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources as technically feasible to be raised in captivity. Watch out for CARAT Expo coming very soon,” said Department of Trade and Industry Caraga regional director Brielgo Pagaran.

Caraga Lobster will banner Caraga region as it projects the largest and fastest growing economic hub in Mindanao. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


SDSSU to host 2016 Mindanao universities & colleges sports, cultural competition

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Sept. 19 (PIA) – The Surigao del Sur State University (SDSSU) is set to host this year’s Mindanao State Universities and Colleges Sports and Cultural competition scheduled on November.

According to SDSSU president Dr. Baceledes Estal, some 6,000 delegates from 29 state universities and colleges in Mindanao are expected to join the event.

Estal also said that Governor Vicente Pimentel Jr., and Tandag City Mayor Alexander Pimentel have pledged to support the spectacular event.

Meanwhile, Provincial Administrator Efren Rivas confirmed that the rehabilitation of the Surigao del Sur Sports Center is already on-going as part of the preparation for the forthcoming activities.

Estal, further said that other events such as the cultural competition activities and basketball games will also take place in Cantilan town considering that they have the standard basketball court aside from Tandag City. (FEA/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Caraga army receives new military vehicles

By 1LT Karl Jan S Devaras

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 19 (PIA) - A ceremonial blessing of the 34 newly-issued military trucks of the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division, Philippine Army was conducted on Monday at the Division Advance Command Post (DACP) in Barangay Bancasi, this city.

Rev. Fr. Joshue Cadorna, OAD, rector of Order of Discalced Agustinians (OAD) seminary led the blessing of the 27 units of KM 450 and seven units of KM 451 before their deployment to the 4ID units in Caraga region.

The KM 450 truck is a light 4x4 multi-purpose all-terrain military truck with a payload capacity of 530 kilogram on hard surface roads and 330 kg on cross-country terrain. It can tow light trailers or artillery pieces and can accommodate 14 fully-armed troops to include the driver. Its windshield and body walls may be folded down for added combat versatility.

This versatile 1 ¼ ton troop carrier light KM450 truck is most used in transportation, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations of the 4ID.

On the other hand, the KM 451 ambulance vehicle truck is mounted with an integrated shelter that is equipped with emergency rescue medical devices on a 1 ¼ ton standard chassis thereby improving the operation convenience of medical staffs and patients. It can accommodate eight walk-in patients or four patients on stretchers. It is mainly used to extricate wounded troops in combat since the truck is furnished with emergency medical treatment equipment and drugs. Also, the truck ambulance is most useful in providing humanitarian assistance during disasters.

The issuance of said vehicles to the army units in the region is part of the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). (4ID, PA/PIA-Caraga)


News Feature: Surigao Norte launches eye care program

By Fema D. Bayana

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Sept. 19 (PIA) – Truly a lucky year for the province of Surigao del Norte to be a recipient of the Fred Hollows Foundation, a global non-profit aid organization inspired by the work of an Australian eye surgeon named Fred Hollows, which focuses on treating and preventing blindness and other visual problems in almost 22 countries worldwide.

The foundation had recently began its work in the Philippines, where Tarlac as its first beneficiary and Surigao del Norte as the second with focus on developing sustainable Community Eye Care services through a thorough advocacy and influencing policy makers to include community eye care among its health services.

Series of project briefings/presentations to all stakeholders and partners such as local ophthalmologists, optometrists, city health office, provincial and city DepEd health division personnel and provincial/city DSWD were conducted as well as role clarification for each level signaled the beginning of this journey.

Capacity building for the Municipal Health Officers, selected hospital and school nurses, and barangay health workers who will be instrumental in the case-finding and screening of clients will be the next step.

The Philippine Blindness Prevention Program envisions that all Filipinos specifically Surigaonons shall enjoy the right to sight by year 2020. With this premise, for the next two and a half years, the province’s eye care program shall be affordable and accessible to many especially the marginalized individuals with an effort to sustain and integrate the program in the health services of the province. (PHO-SDN/PIA-Surigao del Norte)