10.17.2016

Monday, October 17, 2016


FNRI-DOST sets Reg’l Dissemination Forum on 2015 Updating Survey

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 17 (PIA) – The Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) is set to hold the Regional Dissemination Forum on the 2015 Updating Survey on October 25, 2016 at Balanghai Hotel and Convention Center, this city.

“The FNRI-DOST will be holding this year a series of dissemination fora on the results of the 2015 Updating on the Nutritional Status of Filipino Children and Other Population Groups. The Updating survey is a follow-up survey conducted every two to three years in between the National Nutrition Surveys (NNS). The NNS is conducted by the Institute every five years as part of its mandate to provide official statistics on food, nutrition and health status of the country,” disclosed Mario Capanzana, FNRI-DOST director.

Capanzana also highlighted that the fora aim to inform key stakeholders in the government and private sectors involved in food, nutrition and health programs on the initial results of the updating survey. “These will include sat and dissemination on 1) anthropometry; 2) adult health and nutrition; 3) food security; 4) households’ and members’ participation in selected nutrition and related government programs; 5) maternal health and nutrition; 6) socio-economic status; and 7) infant and young child feeding practices,” he said.

The fora will also provide a venue for inquiries and sharing of experiences and recommendations of possible action points for application of th survey results in local policy-making and program planning.

Capanzana further explained that each regional forum will be attended by about 50 to 130 participants including members of the Regional Development Council (RDC), Provincial Governors, Provincial Nutrition Action Officers (PNAOs), Mayors, Municipal/City Nutrition Action Officers, representatives from the non-government organizations (NGOs) in the region involved in food, nutrition, and health as well as selected media and information officers.

Also, the forum is anchored on the theme “Kumusta na ba ang kalagayang pang-nutrisyon ni Juan at Juana.” It will consist of two parts: Part I is presentation of results of the various survey components, and Part II is workshop on the formulation of an action plan and policy recommendations aimed at solving the identified nutrition problems in the region. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


TESDA chief bares opportunities for Caraganons

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 17 (PIA) – In time with the Regional Consultation with Industry and TVET Stakeholders here, Sec. Guiling Mamondiong, director general of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) bared good news and opportunities for Caraganons.

With the new administration, the secretary emphasized that there is an increase in the number of scholarship grants along with other services and programs of the agency for Caraga.

“There is more opportunities for all, especially with the government’s provision of scholarship. Some 30,000 scholarship grants are ready for this year, much higher compared to the previous year’s 17,000 for Caraga region. It could possibly increase, if necessary,” disclosed Mamondiong.

TESDA will also give priority to the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) youths for the scholarship grants and other relevant skills trainings.

Sec. Mamondiong also reiterated the online registration of those who are interested to avail of the skills training in their office to ensure that those deserving applicants could really avail of the program of TESDA and will not be put to waste.

On the displaced OFWs, Mamondiong encouraged them to visit TESDA offices in their respective areas to avail of the special skills training for them as part of the reintegration program of TESDA so they can continue their livelihood.

The secretary, further stressed that a dialogue with the industry and TVET stakeholders is very important to address the needs, issues and concerns that exist in the region. This is why TESDA has gathered different sectors to really provide the immediate needs of the region in terms of employment, tourism, and agro-industrial activities, among others.

He added that they are mandating their employees to become trainers in their respective area of responsibility to cover the number of trainees who would like to avail of the skills training especially with the number of illegal drug surrenderees who are subject to be trained as part of their rehabilitation. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


SCCI receives outstanding chamber award

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Oct. 17 (PIA) - The Surigao Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (SCCI) was awarded as the 2016 Most Outstanding Chamber in Mindanao for the Provincial Level Category during the 42nd Philippine Business Conference held recently at Marriott Hotel, Pasay City.

SCCI President Concepcion “Ciony” Paqueo said the chamber was awarded for its commendable efforts in accelerating business growth in the province of Surigao del Norte and by its leadership and dynamism, strong advocacy programs, increase on its membership base, and effective delivery of services to its members.

“This award will not be possible without the full support of the officers, the board of directors, the members and the secretariat," Pacque said.

"Also, with the strong collaborative efforts with the provincial government headed by Governor Sol F. Matugas, city government headed by Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas, and with our local and foreign partners in continuing the advocacy for economic development and poverty alleviation. Our heartfelt gratitude and congratulations to all of us,” Paqueo added.

SCCI also received a plaque of appreciation for successfully hosting the 25th Mindanao Business Conference (MinBizCon) last August 24-26, 2016 held at Gateway Hotel, this city. (SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Provincial athletic meet opens in Tandag

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Oct. 17 (PIA) – Thousands of delegates from the municipalities of Surigao del Sur will be heading to the city as they vie for supremacy in the Annual Provincial Athletic Meet slated from October 17 to 21 here.

In a letter sent to Philippine Information Agency, the venue of this year’s activity will be held at the Surigao del Sur State University (SDSSU) Main Campus, this city. Other identified venues include Tago town and Barobo town for the swimming competition.

The week-long event will feature a number of sports disciplines, which will be held on the following venues: Futzal (girls) secondary; Softball - Elementary and Secondary; Volleyball (Boys and Girls) Secondary; and Special Games at SDSSU grounds, Tandag City; Table Tennis (Boys and Girls) Elementary and Secondary at SDSSU Gym, Tandag City; Gymnastic (Boys and Girls) Elementary and Secondary and Taekwondo (Boys and Girls) Elementary and Secondary will be held at Gamut Gym, Tago; Sipa/Sepak Takraw at Victoria Basketball Court, Victoria, Tago; Tennis (Boys and Girls) Elementary and Secondary will be at DPWH Tennis Court, Tandag City; Volleyball (Boys and Girls) Elementary – Falcon Memorial Elementary School, Tago.

The said event will culminate on Friday, October 21. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


TESDA chief assures training for drug surrenderees

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 17 (PIA) – Sec. Guiling A. Mamondiong, Director-General of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) on Tuesday said that the agency is willing to provide skills training to drug surrenderees.

Speaking before the local tri-media during the press conference held in one of the local convention centers here, Sec. Mamondiong said this is one of the priority programs of the agency in support to the program of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

The official explained that with the increasing number of drug surrenderees, the Duterte administration is keen on empowering them by providing skills training that will change their lifestyle. “The skills trainings that they will obtain will allow them to change their lives for the better,” the official said in Tagalog language.

When asked how this process will be undertaken, the official said those surrenderees who need to be rehabilitated must undertake the rehabilitation first. “After the period of rehabilitation and found out that they are already okay, then that’s the time that TESDA will come in and provide them the skills training according to their choice,” Sec. Mamondiong said. (TESDA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Rep. Barbers says rehabilitation is key to eradicate drug problem

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Oct. 17 (PIA) – Rep. Robert Ace S. Barbers of Surigao del Norte emphasized the importance of legislating the proposed establishment of rehabilitation centers—even though there is an existing law prescribing for the construction of at least one facility in each province—due to its funding component.

“Although it is provided in Section 75 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 on the need to establish at least one treatment and rehabilitation center in each province, the cost of constructing, operating and managing these facilities must be taken into consideration. The funding needed for the implementation of the proposed bills, if passed into law, shall be included in the General Appropriations Act which Congress’ legislates,” Barbers said during the meeting of the Committee on Dangerous Drugs on the establishment of rehabilitation centers.

Barbers also supports the proposal of the Dangerous Drugs Board to prioritize the establishment and maintenance of outpatient drug treatment and rehabilitation facilities. Data from the 2015 United Nations World Drug Report shows that of the 715,699 individuals who surrendered as of September 20, 2016, only 0.6 -1 percent of them require in-patient care in treatment and rehab centers.

“The 99 percent, who may be introduced by out-patient facilities, must be given more importance because they are those individuals who require immediate medical intervention,” he said.

“Rehabilitation is better than punishment. We must treat them as patients—not criminals. We must give these individuals the opportunity for rehabilitation and eventual reintegration to the community,” Barbers added. (SDN-2nd District Congressional Office/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


TESDA Sec vows more scholarship slots for Caraga in 2017

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 17 (PIA) – In line with the free education program of the present administration, Sec. Guiling A. Mamondiong of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) said the scholarship slots for Caraga region next year will double.

This development came after the local tri-media here asked the TESDA chief on what changes the Caraganons will expect from the Duterte administration.
Sec. Mamondiong said this year 11,334 slots were given to Caraga and next year, a total of 30,000 slots will be allocated in the different scholarship programs of TESDA.

The two regular scholarship programs for which the agency has been providing are the Private Education Students Financial Assistance (PESFA), and the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP).

The PESFA scholarship program was established through Section 8 of Republic Act No. 8545, otherwise known as the Expanded Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) Act.  PESFA offers educational grants to qualified and deserving college freshmen both in degree and   non-degree courses.  The program seeks to extend financial assistance to marginalized but deserving students in post-secondary non-degree courses; promote TVET; contribute to the development of a competent skilled workforce; and assist private institutions in their development efforts by assuring a steady supply of enrollees to their course offerings.

The PESFA directed the beneficiaries on the choices of careers to the critical skills requirements of in-demand jobs in the labor market. It also allows for equity distribution of the opportunities made available through government subsidies.
Meanwhile, the TWSP provides immediate interventions to meet the need for highly critical skills. The program has two-fold objectives: 1. To purposively drive TVET provision to available jobs through incentives and appropriate training programs that are directly connected to existing jobs for immediate employment, both locally and overseas and; 2. To build and strengthen the capacity and capability of TVET institutions in expanding and improving the delivery of quality, efficient and relevant training programs that meet job requirements, including programs for higher levels of technology.

The program was launched in May 2006 with funding from the Office of the President and mainstreamed in the regular budget in 2008. This program is a response to the clamor of industry to address the critical skills shortages in priority sectors, particularly the Business Process Outsourcing, metals and engineering, construction and tourism, among others.

Another scholarship, the Special Training for Empoyment Program (STEP) is a community-based specialty training program that seeks to address the specific needs of the communities and promote employment particularly through entrepreneurial, self-employment and service oriented activities. Aside from free training and competency assessment, scholars will receive starter toolkits and training allowance of P60.00 per day during the entire duration of the program. Said allowance will be released directly to the scholars at the end of the training which they may use as a seed capital to start their livelihood undertakings.

In pursuit of attaining the Philippine Development Plan’s goal of inclusive growth and poverty reduction, and promoting good governance at the local level, the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cluster (HDPRC), through the Bottom-up Budgeting (BuB) Oversight Agencies, shall implement the Bottom-up Budgeting (BuB). This program seeks to increase citizen’s access to local service delivery through a demand-driven budget planning process and to strengthen government accountability in local public service provision.

The BuB oversight and participating agencies are tasked to ensure the implementation of priority poverty reduction projects as identified at the city/municipal level through the BuB participatory planning and budgeting process.

It is an approach to the preparation of agency budget proposals, taking into consideration the development needs of cities/municipalities as identified in their respective local poverty action plans that shall be formulated with the strong participation of basic sector organizations and other civil society organizations. (TESDA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


MinDA signs deal with PCCI to enhance trade in Mindanao

PASAY CITY, Oct. 17 (PIA) – An agreement aimed to encourage investments in Mindanao was signed by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and industry (PCCI) during the recently concluded 42nd Philippine Business Conference (PBC) held at the Marriott Hotel’s Grand Ballroom here in this city.

Secretary Datu Abul Khayr Alonto, MinDA chair and PCCI President George Barcelon signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which calls for the two organizations to work together to promote investments and formulate policy agenda that will enhance trade and business in the island-region of Mindanao.

MinDA is a sub-national government agency mandated to promote, coordinate, and facilitate socioeconomic in Mindanao, while the PCCI is the country’s largest business organization.

“In carrying out our commitments for Mindanao, we will focus on the conduct of policy dialogues, the development and implementation of trade and investment promotion activities, and the implementation of training, exchange of information and other capacity-building programs,” said Secretary Alonto.

He explained that formulating the policy agenda for Mindanao, will involve the PCCI local chambers, industry and trade associations, and key business stakeholders in the island-region to ensure that prevailing concerns affecting the business sector will be thoroughly reviewed and discussed.

“We will also conduct business matching-related activities with the PCCI and the Investment Promotion Desk of Mindanao’s Local Government Units (LGUs), particularly in keeping the relevance of the Mindanao Business Conference (MinBizCon) and the participation of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the overall trade and business development of the island-region,” said Secretary Alonto.

He added that capacity-building programs that will facilitate the exchange of information leading towards trade promotion and investment generation will be conducted as well through the signed MOU.

Secretary Alonto, who visited Makassar in Indonesia to participate in the recently concluded 3rd BIMP-EAGA and IMT-GT Trade Expo, Conference, and Business Matching said that one of the aims of the MOU is to push for the active participation of Mindanao in the BIMP-EAGA and other similar sub-regional platforms.

BIMP-EAGA stands for Brunei Darussalam Indonesia Malaysia the Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area, while IMT-GT stands for Indonesia Malaysia Thailand Growth Triangle. The BIMP-EAGA was launched in 1994 as a key strategy to accelerate social and economic development of less developed areas in participating countries. The IMT-GT on the other hand was formed in 1993 with similar goals of promoting trade, investment, and tourism in less-developed states and provinces in Sumatra, Indonesia, Peninsular Malaysia, and Southern Thailand. Both sub-regional groups aim to harness private sector leadership in initiatives to promote cross-border investments and improve connectivity.

“MinDA and the PCCI have been collaborating for so many years now, particularly the advancement of policy recommendations for Mindanao through the conduct of the MinBizCon,” said Secretary Alonto while adding, “the private sector is a strong partner of MinDA in efforts to modernize the region’s agri-based industries and accelerate development in logistics, power, infrastructure, resource management and tourism.”

In the 25th MinBizCon held in August at the Gateway Hotel in Surigao City, Barcelon acknowledged the role of Mindanao in helping the country achieve broad growth across all sectors and said that “Mindanao today day is a far-cry from the old Mindanao that we know.”

He said “all eyes are now on the region as it transformed into an economy that is ripe for the picking. It plays a significant role in the country’s economic and social development, being strategically located in the East Asian economic corridor.”

Barcelon added that Mindanao plays a key role in unlocking ASEAN’s potential as the turning point of transforming the Philippines from middle- to high-income through increased trade and investments with its nearest ASEAN neighbors – Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.

He commended the island-region’s economy which grew by 7.4 percent in 2014 that contributed 20.7 percent to the Philippine economy in the same year, with its robust agricultural produce, supplying most of the world with banana, pineapple, and tuna. (MinDA/PIA-Caraga)


Surigao Norte solon urges LGU to check if commercial buildings are complying with parking, building permit requirements

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Oct. 17 (PIA) – Second district representative Robert Ace Barbers urges local government units (LGUs) to check if owners of commercial buildings are complying with parking and building permit requirements; and to exhaust all means to alleviate traffic congestion.

The legislator notes that noncompliance contributes to the country’s horrendous traffic situation in highly-urbanized areas as clients and customers of establishments are forced to park on streets, which are supposedly dedicated for moving vehicles.

“Building owners should provide ample parking spaces for their tenants and must strictly comply with building permit and parking requirements. The problem is, as I have observed, madaming mga establisyemento ngayon ang nagsusulputan pero wala namang parking spaces, at kung meron man, it’s still not enough to cater to all their clients,” said Barbers.

In order to multiply their profit, some businesses have altered their approved structural plans and have rented out the spaces intended for parking.

“Inspect all these commercial buildings and if LGUs discover that owners refused to comply with the requirements, penalize them! Revoke their building and occupancy permits,” the Barbers expressed.

Consequently, the Surigao del Norte lawmaker also moved for the speedy passage of Sidewalks and Public Roads Use Act. House Bill 2561, which was filed in August, seeks to regulate the use of sidewalks and public roads. The city or municipal government will be responsible for the implementation of the provisions of this Act.

While awaiting enactment of the said legislation, Barbers urges all local governments to take a hardline stance on the campaign to free main and secondary roads of illegally parked vehicles, saying that the traffic problem is expected to hit new heighs at the onset of the Christmas season.

“We want to exhaust all possibilities in order to lessen our traffic woes, especially now that Christmas is fast-approaching. Local governments should take the initiative to rid streets in their respective localities of parked vehicles and other obstructions that hamper the flow of traffic. Traffic along major thoroughfares are worsening because secondary and even tertiary roads are clogged,” Barbers stated.

“Kaya naman nakiki-usap tayo sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na mahigpit na ipagbawal ang illegal parking. Gayun din, humihingi tayo ng kaunting disiplina mula sa publiko. As long as we’re helping each other, we can be sure that the road to progress will be one that will be easier to traverse.” Barbers added. (SDN-Second District Congressional Office/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Surigao Norte starts medicine assistance distribution to senior citizens

By Arlene C. Tongco

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Oct. 17 (PIA) – The provincial government of Surigao del Norte through the Provincial Social Services Office (PSSO) has started its distribution of the medicine assistance for Senior Citizens ages 80 years old and above.

A total of 1,119 senior citizens in the municipalities of Siargao Island and 1,837 senior citizens in the mainland municipalities benefited the program.

The said initiative was conceptualized by Governor Sol Matugas and supported by Vice Governor Arturo Carlos Egay, Jr. and the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan by virtue of Republic Act 9994 also known as “An Act Granting additional benefits and privileges of Senior Citizens.”

The project is also in consonance with the HEALS plus agenda of the province. (PSSO-SDN/PIA-Surigao del Norte)