Thursday, December 15, 2016


Surigao Norte underlines local investment code to attract more investors

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Dec. 15 (PIA) – The provincial government of Surigao del Norte underlined its local investment code on top of the economic and livelihood, social services and environment programs for the year 2017 during the HEALS Plus Convergence Meeting held recently at the PGO Conference Hall, this city.

Provincial Information Center Officer Mary Jul Escalante disclosed that it was discussed during the said meeting to review the Investment Code of the province to attract, promote and encourage domestic and foreign investments in the province.

She said that Local Investment and Incentive Code was also discussed for each municipality to captivate more investors and to generate more jobs, increase income, hasten social progress in the municipality, and contribute to the overall economic growth of the province.

While on social services, Escalante said that the province will prioritize the welfare of the senior citizens, children/youth, persons with disability (PWDs) and Indigenous People (IP) through skills enhancement training; values formation; entrepreneurial, leadership and basic business management; among others.

Esclante further said that programs for environment are also underway in coordination with different national line agencies. (PIC-PGO/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Surigao Sur to host CRAM 2017

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Dec. 15 (PIA) – The Department of Education (DepEd) Surigao del Sur Division disclosed during its initial coordination meeting conducted on Monday that the province of Surigao del Sur will be the host for the upcoming Caraga Regional Athletic Meet (CRAM) set on February 2017.

The different committee chairpersons and members were introduced by DepEd Surigao del Sur Division Education Program Coordinator Antonio Salazar during the conference. The functions, duties and responsibilities of each created committee were also defined and elaborated.

Along this line, the provincial government headed by governor Vicente Pimentel, Jr. has already committed to support the hosting of the huge and historic event to be held in this city.

The governor confirmed to give financial assistance to DepEd amounting to P5M, said Provincial Treasurer’s Office chief Crispa Geli.

It can be recalled that Surigao del Sur was the host of CRAM for two consecutive years on 2014 and 2015. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


NFA Surigao Norte offers ‘Open Sale’

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Dec. 15 (PIA) – The provincial office of the National Food Authority (NFA) Surigao del Norte offered an “Open Sale” of rice (Thailand and Vietnam rice) to all NFA licensed Grains and Businessmen.

According to NFA provincial manager Gleen P. Echin, all business rice retailers, wholesalers, millers or warehousemen can buy the NFA rice at P22.50 and P25.00 pesos per kilo and can sell at a suggested price of P27.00 per kilo.

She said that as a way of making friendly business, even those newly registered NFA establishments can immediately buy rice individually and not by group.

Echin announced that starting December 9, all grains businessmen in Siargao Island can deposit their payment through Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) Dapa Branch.

For interested businessmen, simply visit the NFA office at Km. 10, Surigao City, Tan Warehouse in Bilang-Bilang, Surigao City, San Jose town in Dinagat Islands province, and Dapa, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte or call NFA hotline numbers at 09328681554 or 09178258302. (NFA-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


DA chief turns over checks to 3 SurSur LGUs

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Dec. 15 (PIA) – Three towns in Surigao del Sur, namely, Cantilan, San Miguel and Bayabas received each a check during the recent visit of Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol in Surigao del Sur.

According to Elmer Ayad, of Department of Agriculture, Cantilan town received a total of P1M fund for purchase of rice planter with rotator (P500,000) and for the rehabilitation of solar drier (P500,000.00). For San Miguel town, they received P400,000 to fund the Moscuvado Sugarcane Processing. Also, Bayabas town was given P500,000 for the construction of Multi-Purpose Development Pavement (MPDP).

Aside from the checks, Secretary Piñol also said that there will be 80 units of power tillers and mechanical dryers with a capacity of 250 bags per day set to be delivered.

DA chief is eyeing on how to boost the agricultural production both in farm and aqua marine areas in this province. (NGPB/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Butuan SPED Center reaps awards in RSPC 2016

By Elysa Velle L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 15 (PIA) – Campus journalists from the Butuan Special Education (SPED) Center of this city had garnered 15 several awards both in individual and group events during the recently concluded Regional Schools Press Conference (RSPC) 2016 held in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur.

The five-day campus journalism event gathered in one reputable competition the young talented pupils and students who have exceptional skills and competence in news/feature/sports writing, broadcasting, photojournalism, scriptwriting, editorial cartooning, collaborative desktop, copyreading and headline writing.

According to coach Flyn Gerald Labajo of Butuan SPED Center, for the individual events – English category, Marco Raphael Liceralde clinched the 6th place for Science and Health feature writing while Elysa Velle Garcia and Chris Adrielle Abrea returned home as 5th placer in copyreading and headline writing and 7th placer in news writing, respectively. He added that for the Filipino category, Cielo Marie Badar ranked 7th place in Science and Health feature writing.

In group contests, winners for the script writing and radio broadcasting-English category include J U Kirsten de Gracia (2nd place, Best Anchor); Athena Gail Ampoon (3rd place, Best in Infomercial); Hannah Theresa Dorico (4th place, Best in Technical Application); Team Award (5th Place, Best in News Script); and Marie Angela Grace Aala – Director (4th place, Best in Radio Broadcast).

There are also those who excelled in the Filipino category for group events, and they are Maria Cassandra Ericka Apostol (3rd place, Best Anchor); Joanna Margarette Barsana (4th place, Best in Technical Application); Team Award (5th place, Best in News Script); Team Award (6th place, Best in Infomercial); Ma. Nicole Damiar – Director ( 4th place, Best in Radio Broadcast).

Meanwhile, the collaborative and desktop publishing (Filipino) group bagged the 2nd place award. Among them who put forth the effort and ability are Sophia Marie Lazarte (Lay-out Artist); Jessa Guiral (News Writer); Neyza Hope Indonto (Editorial Writer); Josephine Rosette Ramirez (Feature Writer); Klein Timothy Magallano (Editorial Cartooning); Jayzen Seth Ezriel Panaligan (Sports Writer); Shiloh Ruth Sasuman (Photojournalist).

All the winners, having gone through the division competitions, received medals during the awarding ceremonies.

Butuan City Division ranked 2nd Runner-up (Elementary level) in the overall ranking among the 12 competing divisions. (Butuan SPED Center/PIA-Caraga)


Feature: NPA rebels quit from the revolutionary movement

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Dec. 15 (PIA) – Significant number of New People’s Army (NPA) surrenderees were recorded in this province, according to an official from the 26th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army.

Lieutenant Colonel Rommel Pagayon, commanding officer of 26IB, Philippine Army underscored that these surenderees used to live in fear and hunger while they were far away from their families and loved ones. Their lives were burdened on series of hardships and always on evasion. They used to be on the other side of the mainstream society, fighting against the government. “But things were changed when they laid down their arms and were welcomed back to the folds of the government,” he said.

Pagayon further emphasized that with the initiatives and efforts of the Philippine Army to neutralize the left-leaning groups, several NPA rebels have already surrendered and returned to the mainstream society.
It can be recalled that last July 31, 2016, Yoyoy Bat-aw and Rey Pasado Carlos alias ‘Rex’, both from Guerilla Front 34 came down from the mountains of Loreto, Agusan del Sur and surrendered with their M1 Garand rifle and KG9. Also, on November 10 of same year, Wengweng Gumansel of Guerilla Front 89 and Erwin Mansumangkay alias ‘RR’ of Guerilla Front 88 gave up their arms and hoped to live a better and safer life. They brought along with them three high-powered firearms (1 AR18 rifle, 1 carbine and 1 Garand rifle) to attest their sincerity in surrendering to the government that they once challenged.

“We used to run for our lives if our masses inform us of the presence of the army in their community, for we were afraid to die. We walked on the mountains even at the middle of the night or intense heat of the day with little food just to evade them,” Gumansel said as he tearfully recalls his past experience in the revolutionary movement.

In August  2016, Jason Istar Behing, 28 years old and Jeffry Azarcon Maca, 28 years old, both members of SPP21C, Guerilla Front Committee 21 (GFC21), North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC), voluntarily surrendered with two M16 rifle with bandolier and three magazines to 29IB, Philippine Army in Barangay Del Pilar, Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte.

Also, in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur, another member of the NPA who surrendered to the 3rd Special Forces Battalion was presented to Agusan del Sur Governor Adolph Edward Plaza on November 9, 2016. The rebel returnee also surrendered his M16 rifle to the government.

Ricky Salinas Bocales, known as ‘Ka Javelan’, 25 years old of Brgy. La Purisima, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur also realized that he was deceived by the wrong ideology. According to him, he was with the NPA for four years and just like the other surrenderees, he also experienced a hard life because their group was often moving from one place to another with limited food.

It was learned that the aforementioned surrenderees decided to quit the rebel group due to the NPA's broken promises. Accordingly, they used their firearms in extorting small and large business firms and instill fear to the minds of the people. They also expressed their gratitude to the army who helped them live a new life.

The surrender was made possible through the successful negotiations of the 26th Infantry (Ever Onward) Battalion and the continuing effect of the resolution of the different issues in the communities through the Bayanihan Team Activities (BTA) in collaboration with the municipal local government units (LGUs) and provincial government of of Agusan del Sur.

These former rebels (FRs) are now enrolled to the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) to assist them to live a peaceful life and become productive citizens.
With the onset of attaining just and lasting peace, the 401st Brigade with all its battalions is gaining its ground in winning the hearts and minds of the people and bridging resolutions to their concerns which will eventually lead to the realization of its mission as stated “to help the LGU maintain an environment conducive for sustainable development and a just and lasting peace by year end 2016.” (26IB/401st Brigade, Phil. Army/Jennifer P. Gaitano/PIA-Agusan del Sur)