Friday, November 18, 2016


Buenavista's far flung communities to benefit Peace Caravan set in December 2

By Nora C. Lanuza Molde

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 18 (PIA) – Elementary pupils, secondary students and members of the indigenous families of Barangay Sangay in Buenavista town, Agusan del Norte will benefit the basic services during the Peace Caravan scheduled on December 2, 2016.

The 23rd Infantry "Masigasig" Battalion (23IB), Philippine Army together with different partner agencies will reach out the far-flung communities in the said town to provide basic services, it was learned.

According to 23IB community relations officer Capt. Edwin Leo Francisco, the services to be provided will include free medical, dental, distribution of medicines and vitamins; distribution of school supplies, awarding of Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) and certificate of enrollees of TESDA skills training; distribution of livelihood kits and free haircut services; information, education and communication (IEC) campaign on government programs; and other related services.

Partner agencies include the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Health (DOH), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), and others. (NCLM, PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Surigao Norte hosts regional development plan consultation

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Nov. 18 (PIA) – The provincial government of Surigao del Norte hosted the Regional Development Council (RDC) meeting and Surigao City Consultation on the RDC Plan 2017-2022 held on November 15, 2016 at the Provincial Convention Center, this city.

According to Provincial Information Officer Mary Jul Escalante, the discussion of the council meeting was focused on the long-term vision of President Rodrigo Duterte dubbed as “Ambisyon Natin 2040,” through Executive Order No. 5 and the necessity to formulate priority local government development plans align to the programs of the national government.

“Based on the report of NEDA, the President wants the first draft of the said development plan to be finished before the end of the year,” said Escalante.

She further said that the provincial government was able to present its 2016 to 2019 priority programs focused on education, health, environment, agriculture and aquaculture, and economy, among others.

“On the part of the city government, they were able to present their vision and developments anchored on 'With blessings of the Divine Providence, Surigao in 2025: a model city for good governance, economic dynamism, and environmental quality,'" Escalante added. (SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


News Feature: Mechanization ends farmers misery

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, Nov. 18 (PIA) – The province of Agusan del Sur experiences Type 2 Climate or commonly known to Caraganons as wet and very wet. It has no dry season with a very pronounced wet season of heavy precipitation where corn farmers vulnerability is high during harvest.

Francisco Moreno felt sorry recounting the previous years' losses on his corn produce. "There was a time when the buyer returned all my corn because it is wet. We can't dry it due to rains that lasted for days," he said. "Sometimes, since no buyer will take it, it would just rot in our area," he added.

As president of the Federation of Corn Farmers in the Municipality of Prosperidad, he knew the plight of the farmers in his area.  Although the town has been a hall of famer to the Department of Agriculture's (DA's) Outstanding Corn Quality Awards, drying remains a problem they had to battle every year.

Farmers' losses during wet season would add up to the money spent for drying on sunny days with only a handful of drying pavements in the area to cater the needs to dry corn grains.

"I spend around P1,500 each day for six people to help in drying the corn, which will take 1-2 weeks.  For farmers whose areas are far from the multi-purpose drying pavements, they have to spend additional 30 pesos for each sack for transportation," said Francisco.

To address the problem, the DA has pushed for farm mechanization to help the farmers. Together with the local government unit of Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, DA funded and turned over a P3.2 Million worth Corn Vertical Dryer with 12.7 tons or 250 sack per load drying capacity benefitting four corn cluster barangays of Salvador, New Maug, Azpetia, and Los Arcos. The usual 1-2 weeks drying time of is now reduced to 5-6 hours saving time and money for the corn farmers.

According to DA Caraga regional executive director Renato Manantan, the facility is able to load 30-40 tons per day. Even if it is raining, farmers can still dry and sell their corn in uniform quality.

"Farmers here will not only save from post-harvest losses but also improve the quality of their corn grits. They can now command a better price and increase their income especially if they continue to consolidate and strengthen the association," said Manantan.

The vertical corn drying facility is expected to serve more than 800 hectares of corn area in the municipality. With its mobile feature, the dryer can be transferred to other areas to serve more farmers.

In that rainy day where the facility was turned over, Francisco Moreno and the rest of the corn farmers in Prosperidad could only express hope and excitement.

"The past three days my corn grits were wet with rain but I worry no more. Change has come. Our misery has ended," said Francisco. (DA-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


AgNor guv approves P1.4M resettlement site in Santiago town

By Aimee B. Sienes

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 18 (PIA) - The provincial government of Agusan del Norte is all set for the purchase of the 12,072 square meter lot amounting to P1,400,352 to be utilized as resettlement site for Barangay Poblacion 1 in the municipality of Santiago, Agusan del Norte.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Norte recently authorized Provincial Governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba, through Sanggunian Resolution No. 059-2016, authored by Provincial Board Member Aquino W. Gambe, to sign for and in behalf of the province the Deed of Absolute Sale by and between the province of Agusan del Norte and Clarita M. Luzon for the acquisition of the said parcel of land.

The Committee on Human Settlements, Land Use and Provincial Properties, chaired by Board Member Gambe, in its study, found the project to be beneficial for the informal settlers in the said barangay for them to be able to own a lot where their permanent houses will be constructed, thus, recommended to grant authority to the provincial governor.

This has been a continuous effort of Gov. Angel’s administration to provide quality social services to the people of Agusan del Norte. (LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Agusan del Norte bags quality corn hall of fame award

By Aimee B. Sienes

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 18 (PIA) - The provincial government of Agusan del Norte bagged the quality corn hall of fame award and received a plaque and cash incentive during the 12th Philippine National Corn Congress in conjunction with 4th National Quality Corn Achievers Awards in Koronadal City, South Cotabato held on November 16-18, 2016.

Provincial Governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba personally received the said award and cash incentive of P5,000,000, together with Vice Governor Ramon AG. Bungabong, Provincial Board Members Elizabeth Marie R. Calo, Dick Victor B. Carmona, Lucia E. Jundis, Virgilio R. Escasiñas, Jr. and Benjamin D. Lim.

Agusan del Norte Provincial Agriculturist Alvin P. Aclan also received his award as Outstanding Provincial Agriculturist and Oscar S. Tuyor as Hall of Famer Outstanding Provincial Corn Coordinator during the said congress and awarding. (LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


News Feature: Empowered farmers: Key to a sustainable vegetable industry

By Vanessa Pontillo

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 18 (PIA) - Empowering the farmers with adequate knowledge, appropriate technologies and ample support will lead to a sustainable vegetable industry in the region.

Presently, there is high demand but low supply of vegetables in the region. Data from the Philippine Statistics (PSA) show that Caraga has a total of 4,900 hectares planted with vegetables.

During the crafting of the roadmap for vegetables, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga High-Value Crops Program Coordinator Marco Antonio Morido said there is a need to increase production areas and this has been supported by the DA through seed distribution which aims to lower production cost of farmers as well as provide them access to quality seeds.

Agusan del Norte Vegetable Growers Association President Dominador Buenafe said that the vegetable industry of the region can be more competitive if local producers are given the needed assistance, especially in financing and marketing.

Upon discussion, it was noted that vegetables from Caraga are expensive mainly because of the high cost of inputs. Some crops particularly the highland vegetables are not suitable for the Caraga climate.

Because of the low supply, vegetable growers of Caraga have weak market linkages since they often cannot meet the required volume of buyers. “The farm clustering approach is ideal for the region in order for small scale farmers to meet the demands of the market thus we are promoting this to our vegetable growers here,” Morido also said.

The farm clustering approach is done by merging several smallholder farms committed to establishing a market-linked agro-enterprise within a defined territory.  This is a way to increase the productivity of the cluster thus making them more competitive.

Currently, the bulk of vegetables produced locally, apart from those marketed within the region, are sold to Cebu and Leyte.

DA-Caraga conducted the crafting of a roadmap to obtain the inputs of the stakeholders on the issues affecting the industry and how to steer it to the right direction. The activity was held on November 11 in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur and was participated by farmers, Local Government Units, and DA attached agencies.

Elene Espina, a vegetable grower from San Francisco, Agusan del Sur said that with the developments to come, she looks forward to the day that they will no longer be ordinary farmers but rather farmer-entrepreneurs who are able to stand on their own. (DA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)