Wednesday, September 28, 2016


SurSur bares activities for coop month

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Sept 28 (PIA) – The province of Surigao del Sur and the city government of Tandag have lined up various activities for this year's Cooperative Month celebration this October.

This year’s theme is “Cooperatives: The Catalyst of Chage through Poverty Eradication and Social Transformation.”

In an interview, Provincial Cooperative Development Officer Angeles Canda and Tandag City Cooperative Development Officer Lorna Nova said among the identified activities include the hanging of streamers and tarpaulins, which will start on Saturday, October 1; Zumba or Hataw exercise on October 1 as kick off activity of the celebration; Regional Cooperative Month Summit to be held in Butuan City on October 4-5, 2016; National Cooperative Summit on October 24-26; and tree planting activity, which is also a culmination activity scheduled on October 29 held in Barangay Maticdum, this city. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


CENRO Lianga, partners gather 255 kgs of garbage during clean-up drive

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

LIANGA, Surigao del Sur, Sept. 28 (PIA) - Personnel of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Lianga and officials and employees of the local government units of San Agustin, Marihatag, and Barobo collected a total of 255 kilograms of garbage during the simultaneous clean-up activity held recently in several locations of the province.

Jun Mark Bernaldez of CENRO Lianga said the activity is part of the observance of the 2016 National Clean-up Month Celebration.

Anchored on the theme: “Bayan Ko, Linis Ko: Partnering Towards People’s Environmental Movement,” Bernalez said the synchronized clean-up drive was conducted in Tawnaga Creek, Terminal and Park located in Barangay Otieza, San Agustin town; Marihatag Park, Terminal and Creek located in Barangay Poblacion, Marihatag; and all barangays within the municipality of Barobo.

According to Bernalez, some of the waste materials collected were plastics, cellophanes and debris that caused pollution with adverse impact to the environment. The said waste materials were properly segregated, in accordance with Republic Act 9003 known as “Solid Waste Management Act” and transported to the sanitary landfill for proper disposition.

CENRO Lianga chief Hernan Hernandez was grateful for the active participation of the concerned partners in the local government units.

“The celebration was successfully undertaken wherein the participants are helping to mitigate the impact of global warming and climate change through proper waste management. Regular clean-up activity is very important rto all of us to ensure a balance and healthful ecology,” said Hernandez.

The simultaneous clean-up drive is the annual celebration pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 244 that declares every September as National Clean-up Month. The event aims to maintain the cleanliness of the environment particularly in the coastal, river, creek/estero and other public places that promote the way of life as well as the ecological balance of the earth. (NGBT/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Caraga Region shakes for #Pagyanig2016

By April Rose Anne Y. Sanchez

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 28 (PIA) - Several local government units (LGUs) and public and private stakeholders of Caraga Region simultaneously performed the “Duck, Cover and Hold” technique on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 9:00 A.M. in line with the 3rd Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED).

Dubbed as “PAGYANIG 2016,” the nationwide drill measures the country’s readiness whenever an earthquake strikes. This is a form of raising awareness to populace on the proper actions to be done before, during and after the occurrence of earthquake.

The ceremonial site of Caraga Region is the municipality of Talacogon, Agusan del Sur where a total of 9,571 individuals participated in the drill. The provinces in the region have also identified ceremonial sites in their respective areas of responsibilities.

The drill in the region’s ceremonial site was led by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Caraga Region together with the Bureau of Fire Protection, Department of Public Works and Highways and RESPOND, Inc. as pool of evaluators. Likewise, drills conducted region-wide were led and evaluated by national/regional-line agencies and local disaster risk reduction and management councils.

This tested the readiness and level of preparedness of Caraga in efficiently and effectively responding to high magnitude earthquake. Moreover, gaps, issues and lessons learned were identified during the drills. The exercise improves the ability and capacity of Caraga Region to respond to and recover from earthquake.

All drills in the region were officially terminated at 12:00 noon. (OCD-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


OWWA-Caraga joins Angot festival jobs fair

By Sheamin Lae C. Dogmoc

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 28 (PIA) - The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Caraga participated in the Angot Festival Jobs Fair 2016 on September 26 at Brgy. Poblacion, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.

Said activity is part of the celebration of 15th Angot Festival and 56th Town Fiesta, it was learned.

Participating agencies who are presently offering jobs across Asia, Middle East and U.S. include: Jenerick International Manpower Inc. with 2,105 job vacancies, Al-Alama International Manpower Services with 820 vacancies, and Eastern Overseas Employment Center with 365 vacancies.

Meanwhile, several companies offering various jobs for local employment were also present: Sweetsation Inc. (Dunkin Donuts), Philsaga Mining Corporation, Timberland Security Agency and Bachelors Express. 

During her talk, Provincial PESO Manager Divina Lagumbay, emphasized the importance of participating in bringing the job opportunities to the people. “Paving the way of employment for them would somehow set an encouragement for them to participate and take chance for the opportunity. The same event is encouraged to counter illegal recruitment and human trafficking,” she added.

OWWA-Caraga also catered to a number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), beneficiaries and dependents with their queries and concerns. With the help of Ronilo Maningo, OWWA-Family Welfare Officer, five individuals mostly OFWs were attended to with their respective concerns.

Reynold Monte, one of the OFWs, sought help for application in the Balik Pinas, Balik Hanap-buhay Program (BPBH). Monte expressed his thanks to OWWA upon knowing that he was qualified to apply for the program. “I feel so lucky to be assisted here. It is so convenient on my part without the need to travel to Butuan City,” stated by Monte, in local dialect. (OWWA-Caraga/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Butuan's 3 barangays among most populated in Caraga Region

By Maria Lourdes Pizarro-Apego

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 28 (PIA) - Three barangays in the city are currently among the top ten most populated barangays in Caraga region.

These are Barangays Libertad, San Vicente and Doongan.

Based on the result of the 2015 Census of Population released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Barangay Libertad which has a population of 21,703 is second most populated barangay in the region while Barangay San Vicente, with a population of 16,187 is ranked fifth and Barangay Doongan, with a population of 13,728 is tenth most populated.

The number one most populated barangay in the region is Barangay Mangagoy in Bislig City with a population of 32,464, followed by Barangay Libertad Butuan City, Barangay Washington in Surigao City with a population of 18, 900, Barangay Taft also in Surigao City, with a population of 18,571, and fifth most populated is Poblacion Trento with a population of 18,139.

The sixth most populated barangay in Caraga region is Barangay San Vicente of Butuan City, followed by Barangay Poblacion Bayugan with a population of 16,010, Barangay San Juan in Surigao City with a population of 14,925, followed by Bayugan 3 of Rosario with a population of 13,922 and Barangay Doongan, Butuan City. (Radyo ng Bayan Butuan/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Rep. Barbers calls on local chief executives to mobilize anti-drug abuse council

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Sept. 28 (PIA) – Surigao del Norte 2nd district representative Robert Ace S. Barbers once again hits out at the uncooperative local government units (LGUs) for their inaction to lead the fight against illegal drugs in their respective areas.

“The challenge now is for the local government units to mobilize the anti-drug abuse council in their respective areas. There’s an existing law for this. LGUs can be penalized for gross negligence due to their passiveness,” Barbers said.

He said that according to Section 51 of R.A. 9165, LGUs shall appropriate a substantial portion of their respective annual budgets to assist in or enhance the enforcement of the Dangerous Drugs Act by giving priority to preventive or educational programs and the rehabilitation or treatment of drug dependents.

“Every Provincial Drug Abuse Council must spearhead the training and capacity-building activities of their respective Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils to enable them to effectively help in this grave war on drugs,” Barbers added. (SDR/Congressional Office/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Feature: First class slaughterhouse facility rises in AgNor town

By Dan Gudahl

September 22, 2016 was a momentous day in the history of the Philippine Cold Chain Project (PCCP).  The morning was spent at the ribbon cutting for the now well-equipped municipal slaughterhouse in Buenavista, Agusan del Norte. The new slaughterhouse is located just a few kilometers west of Butuan City.

When PCCP started working on slaughterhouse development, we made the rounds visiting local mayors that requested some assistance and wanted to collaborate.  The problem faced here in the Philippines is that each mayor and local government unit has the responsibility to deal with issues of public health and sanitation in their municipalities.  Part of this responsibility includes enforcement of rules and regulations regarding the slaughter of animals and assurance that this process is done in a humane and clean fashion.  Backyard slaughtering in the town is not legal and should be done in a slaughterhouse.

After evaluating the situation in Buenavista, we found out that it was not unlike most other municipalities that the team visited.  First of all, the mayor, his engineer and local staff involved with the public market and slaughterhouse did not possess an in-depth knowledge on how to make a new slaughterhouse work.

The existing slaughterhouse, located a short distance from the wet market could be described as a black cement slab and table with a cast iron tub for scalding pigs.  All slaughtering was done on the floor of this totally inadequate facility.

To promote change and improvements, the local government unit (LGU) had built a new “slaughter” house in another location. We inspected the existing place where animals were butchered and, afterwards, visited the newly-built structure where the slaughtering will be done. On touring this new facility, it had the rudimentary design features of a pig and cattle slaughter facility.  However, the overall materials used showed that the contractor was familiar with building houses but not building slaughter facilities.  The floor tiles, drainage system, water system, roof, entrances for people and animals were mostly done incorrectly, if not all!

PCCP staff then proceeded to work with the LGU and mayor’s office to redesign the new facility. There were necessary design changes to turn it into a working facility.  The project had been able to locate an excellent contractor based out of Manila who specializes in slaughter plant construction.  This contractor had been able to take measurements, prefabricate equipment and deliver it to the site. The construction team lived on site until the installation was completed.  They also worked with the LGU to initiate necessary design changes and improvements.

PCCP discovered, as well, that plans developed by the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) for small-scale slaughter facilities have not been adequately vetted.  One problem with the NMIS plans is in the design of the chute for the pigs when entering the plant.  PCCP changed this design to be just wide enough for the pig to walk in and also walls should be made of hollow block and not rails.   The ramp should also be on a gradual angle and not difficult for the animal to walk up.  In this way, stress on the livestock and handler is minimized.

The Philippines has good law on the books that mandates humane treatment of animals.  A properly designed facility should assure that the animal’s welfare is a primary concern.  PCCP works with NMIS provincial unit to help raise awareness about what is illegal.  “Zorro” marking where the pig is marked with a razor blade on its hide for identification purposes should be stopped.  Stunning the pig with ineffective means that end up torturing the animal should be stopped as well.  In PCCP-assisted facilities, a stunner is installed.  After the pig walks up to the slaughterhouse, it is held in a specially designed chute.  The butcher rinses off the pig and then uses the stunner.  The stunner is a “y” shaped device that is placed behind the pig’s ears on its neck.  A foot pedal is used to start and stop and electric charge which stuns the pig to the point of unconsciousness.  There is no noise if this device is used correctly.  The chute then has a swinging door, which allows easy access to the now stunned pig.  The pig then is “stuck” so that the blood drains and is caught in a sanitary container.  Pig blood is a very popular cooking ingredient here in the Philippines so it is saved.  Once this process is complete, the carcass is placed in the scalding tank.  This tank has been designed in such a way that it is easy to maintain the water at a scalding temperature without the presence of smoke from the fire in the slaughterhouse.  Above this tank there is an electric winch.  This winch, along with a stainless steel gambrel is used to pull the carcass out of the scalding tank in a way that keeps the butcher safe from the hot water and also helps him to avoid heavy lifting.  The carcass is now placed on a stainless table where it is scraped of all its hair.  People here like to have their pork with “skin on” unlike in the United States where the skin is usually removed.  Once scraped the gambrel is attached to a hook and this hook is on a roller which is placed on a rail.  This makes for easy movement of the carcass.  At this stage, the butchers may choose to “flame” the carcass as well which entails using a blow torch to burn of any remaining hair or fuzz on the skin.  The carcass is now open and the entrails are placed in a stainless container.  These entrails and the carcass are examined by the local LGU meat inspector.  The entrails are passed through an opening to a “dirty” area where they are further processed.  The butchers, who are wearing boots, aprons, hair net and face mask continue their work while standing on an elevated metal platform.  Once everything is clean and sorted, the carcass can be weighed, bagged in plastic or chilled (if a cooler is available).  At the end of the rail, the carcass is then transferred to a meat van and taken to the local market where the meat vendor cuts the carcass up in appropriate meat cuts.

The butchers have to wear proper equipment including rubber boots and pass through a foot bath and hand wash before they can start to work.  They should also have available a rest area and bathroom facility on site and be trained in proper procedures and sanitation techniques.  A knife dip should be used regularly to keep knives clean and sanitary.  Also the work areas should be kept clean.  In order to facilitate this, the proper design includes overhead water piping with hoses and pressure nozzles available in properly spaced intervals.  Outside the facility, there should be a wall with a gate, a cement “apron” around the slaughter house, and adequate water holding and water treatment facilities to handle the large amount of waste water generated by the facility.

In the case of Buenavista, there was a very nice ribbon cutting ceremony attended by all barangay captains and also members of the mayor’s management committee or SB.  The facility was properly blessed by the local priest and speeches were given.  This was followed by a typical meal that included roast pig.  The best part for me however was being able to see a project though to implementation.  It took longer than we expected but, in the end, PCCP and the LGU were able to come together and surmount all difficulties faced.  There is more to do at the new facility, including installation of a cattle line, cementing for the lot outside and putting up a wall and gate.  Still, Buenavista can now take pride of their 'AA' slaughter house facility where things are being done properly without any “on-floor” butchering and reduced stress for the pigs and people involved. (Winrock-PCCP/PIA-Caraga)


Sec. Panelo graces inauguration of rehab center, launching of SURE program in AgSur

By David M. Suyao

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, Sept. 28 (PIA) - Chief Presidential Legal Council Atty. Salvador Panelo flew all the way from Manila to grace the inauguration of the Residential Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (RTRC) and the formal launching of the Substance Use Recovery and Enlightenment (SURE) program that will address the needs of the victims who submitted themselves at the height of the war staged by the government against illegal drugs.

The SURE program became Ordinance No. 135 series of 2016 passed by Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Santiago Cane Jr., approved on September 14, 2016 by Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza. The RTRC is one of the components of the SURE program purposely to house severely affected victims of illegal drugs, who submitted themselves for treatment during the operation “Tokhang.”

Presently, there are already patients who avail of the totally free services of the RTRC located at the 401st Infantry Brigade Headquarters in New Leyte, Awa, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.

After the blessing of the RTRC, Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza and 1st District Representative Maria Valentina Plaza, with Sec. Salvador Panelo, Department of Health (DOH) Usec. Achilles Gerard Bravo, PNP 13 regional director PCSupt. Rolando Felix, BGen. Ronnie Evangelista of the Eastern Mindanao Command, Philippine Army, and other dignitaries proceeded to the Provincial Government Center for the formal launching of the SURE program at the Outreach Drop-in Center (ODIC).

“If Pres. Duterte did not win the election, will all these things about drugs be unearthed? Will there be a President as decisive as now?” BGen. Evangelista remarked.

“In all sectors of the society, drug menace is there. I would suggest that instead of barking against each other, why don’t we exhaust our resources? Why don’t we exhaust our energy into contributing to resolve this drug menace? This is no longer for us because we have been affected already. This is for the next generation and the generation to come,” BGen. Evangelista added.

In his statement, DOH Usec. Achilles Gerard Bravo said he is glad to announce that the plan to establish rehabilitation centers was decentralized at the regional level. He added that while the national government is in the process of implementing the plan nationwide, Agusan del Sur has already established its own.

According to Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza, he was toying with the idea of formulating SURE program and establishing the ODIC in Agusan del Sur for a very long time until he met an International Certified Substance Abuse Therapist by the name of Mark Larry Chua two years ago.

“I believe it’s God’s blessings for the Agusanons that President Rodrigo Duterte became our President because we have one common goal: To eradicate the drug problem in the country. Now here we are, inaugurating the RTRC and launching the SURE program. Presently, there are 41 recovering persons from drug addiction in the ODIC. And I am very proud that only in Agusan del Sur that this program and project exist. I am also honored to say that the people of Agusan del Sur is my inspiration and it is my moral duty and responsibility to give better life of every Agusanon,” Gov. Plaza said.

Meanwhile, Sec. Salvador Panelo thanked Gov. Plaza for giving him the opportunity to join the activity. Panelo said he was impressed with Gov. Plaza’s sincerity and passion, which is evident in his accomplishments for several years serving as governor and with programs like the SURE. Sec. Panelo also recalled the statements made by President Rodrigo Duterte regarding the war against illegal drugs.

“Our country is facing very sensitive, very dangerous problem. The President said never in his imagination that we have such a drug menace in a magnitude that even the most visionary could not visualize – the 712,000 surrenderees. There are already 3.7 million addicted with these dangerous drugs and once already afflicted for more than a year, it is no longer reversible. We can now imagine we have 3.7 million potential killers, rapist, robbers and other criminals," he said.

"I then suggested to the President that with this kind of people, we need an island with facilities like schools and other facilities that would address the needs of the people and have these people transferred to that island in order to save them and save the society from them,” Sec. Panelo added. (PPIO-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Cebuano News: Ika-22 nga Siargao International Surfing Cup sa General Luna gisugdan

Ni Mary Jul E. Escalante

DAKBAYAN SA SURIGAO, Surigao del Norte, Sept. 28 (PIA) – Malampuson nga gisugdan ang ika-22 nga Siargao International Surfing Cup niadtong Septyembre 23, 2016 didto sa Cloud 9, lungsod sa General Luna, ning probinsya.

Mokabat sa 64 ka mga mahiligon sa surfing gikan sa nagkalain-laing nasod sama sa Australia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Hawaii, Hongkong, Indonesia, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, USA ug Philippines ang me partisipar sa maong kompetisyon.

Ang maong kalihukan gitambungan sa mga inilang bisita sama nila House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez sa House of Representative, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea sa Office of the President, DOT Dir. Shalimar Hofer Tamano nga nagrepresentar ni DOT Sec. Wanda Corazon Teo, COMELEC Commissioner Atty. Ma. Rowena Guanzon uban sa iyang mga kauban nga mga comelec directors ug uban pang mga pinasidunggang bisita.

Ang maong tinuig nga kompetisyon gisugdan niadtong Septyembre 23 og kini mahuman sa Septyembre 29, 2016. (PGO-PIC/PIA-Surigao del Norte)