Friday, February 17, 2017

DFA Butuan implements online appointment system for passport applicants

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 17 (PIA) – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) here will be fully implementing its online appointment system for passport applicants on Monday, February 20, 2017.

It can be recalled that DFA has initially started its appointment system since April 2016, and it applicants should have to take online appointment before transacting at their field office at 3rd floor of Robinsons Place, this city.

Starting on Monday, the DFA here will no longer accept walk-in applicants except for senior citizens, pregnant women, minor from 0-7 years old, Persons with Disability and returning OFWs on short vacation.

For online appointment, visit DFA website at https://www.passport.gov.ph. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


Pag-IBIG Fund promotes saving programs for employees

By Regal C. Oribia

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 17 (PIA) – The Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), more popularly known as Pag-IBIG Fund intends to promote further its savings programs to help all the government and private employees achieve financial independence during retirement.

Under the Pag-IBIG program 1, a member can have a total accumulated value (TAV) of more than P90,000 in just 10 years by increasing the employee’s share on top of the mandatory monthly contribution of P100 as required by law.

The program has a superior savings features compared to banks which has no maintaining balance required, no fees collected during inactivity/dormancy, and tax-exempt dividends given that the declared dividends for the last five years have not gone down below the four percent level.

Hence, the bigger the savings, the bigger the loanable amount which is 80 percent of the member’s savings regardless of the number of months contributions. And it can be used for payment of child’s tuition fee, home improvements, purchase of needed appliances, medicines, among others.

In addition, Pag-IBIG Fund has an optional investment program called Modified Pag-IBIG 2 (MP2) which has a higher annual tax-exempt dividend rate than Pag-IBIG 1. It has a fixed term of five years and pre-termination shall only be allowed under the following circumstances: total disability or insanity, separation from service by reason of health, and death of the member. The minimum savings required is P500 per month.

The management understands that the plight of the retirees more often than not was caused by the absence or the lack of knowledge in managing their finances. And they believe that there is no better way to lessen, if not eliminate the problem, but to save more.

Pag-IBIG Fund suggested a formula to ensure savings which is Income minus Savings equals Expenses (I-S=E). (RCO/PIA-Caraga)


PSA Caraga joins 2017 civil registration month celebration

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 17 (PIA) -  The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Caraga has set various activities in celebration of the 2017 Civil Registration Month this February in partnership with the PSA provincial offices and some local government units of Caraga.

PSA Caraga regional director Dr. Rosalinda C. Apura said the celebration kicked-off with the simultaneous hanging of streamers, panel exhibits on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS); mobile registration conducted to different barangays in the region in coordination with the Local Civil Registrars; information dissemination conducted to various schools; mass wedding; civil registration quiz for PSA employees and Local Civil Registrars Office staff- provincial and regional levels.

Other activities include Best Display on CRVS: Death Statistics using Infographics to be participated by LCROs of Agusan del Norte; and poster making and slogan contests to high school students of Agusan del Norte.

There will also be in-house training on Decentralized Vital Statistics System (DVSS) and updates on Marriage Registration still to be conducted by PSA-Agusan del Norte.

The month-long celebration is one of the approaches of the agency in giving continuous awareness on the importance of Civil Registration in the life of the Filipino people.

This year’s celebration carries the theme, “Pilipinong Rehistrado, Matatag na Kinabukasan ay Sigurado.” (FEA/PSA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Agusan Norte OKs inter-agency convergence for abaca commodity

By Aimee B. Sienes

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 17 (PIA) - The provincial government of Agusan del Norte is into Program Contract for an Inter-Agency Convergence for Abaca Commodity to institutionalize support for the implementation of the Provincial Commodity Investment Plan (PCIP) in the province.

This is now adopted and approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan through Provincial Resolution No. 034-2017, authored by Vice Governor Ramon AG. Bungabong, during its 25th regular session recently.

The program contract for abaca commodity incorporates the identified priority programs and projects of the province for inclusion in its list of projects for the year 2017 in line with the implementation of the PCIP.

Under this program, the Caraga State University (CSU) shall align the province’s programs, projects and activities through research and development, knowledge management, industry/commodity profiling, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Information Education Campaign (IEC) and industry forum.

Governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba endorsed the said program contract to the SP to concretize the plans that are in line with the agriculture and economic development thrusts of the province. (LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Mindanao scholars complete 14-day training on corridor dev’t in Korea

DAVAO CITY, Feb. 17 (PIA) – A delegation of Mindanao scholars from government agencies and development organizations completed a 14-day course on corridor development on Friday in the city of Seongnam in South Korea.

The 24 participants from Mindanao underwent a series of training and lectures on Building Strategy for Economic Development through Corridor Approach from February 5 to 18 funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

One of the main objectives of the program is to enhance the capacity of the participants in preparing strategic policies that will contribute to the economic growth and development in Mindanao. KOICA is a development aid agency founded in 1991 to maximize the effectiveness of Korea's grant aid programs for developing countries.

Among the expected output from the training is an action plan on establishing sustainable economic development policy in Mindanao, enhancing the capacity of public officials, as well revitalizing the regional or rural economic development in the island-region.

“This training will enhance further the skills of our scholars and employees who will play key roles in pushing our initiatives to establish economic zones in Mindanao through the corridors program,” said Secretary Datu Abul Khayr Alonto, chairman of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

He added that the region is currently looking at a holistic approach in which Mindanao’s agriculture and its component sectors such as fisheries and aquamarine culture are crucial to Mindanao’s development, following the thrust of strengthening the corridors approach to development.

The training included study visits to some of Korea’s industry facilities and historical sites including the Busan Port, Korea Expressway Corporation Traffic Center, Samsung Innovation Museum, and Cheongpyeong Temple. It is also part of the continuing efforts to strengthen cooperation in trade between Philippines and Korea.

“This was a great opportunity for us to see for ourselves Korea’s regional economic development strategies and best practices, which we can also apply in Mindanao,” said Gerardo Reynaldo, MinDA’s chief of the Central Mindanao area office and the head of the Mindanao delegation to Korea.

Reynaldo added that the lectures and on-site education from the training provided sufficient insights on how to better pursue the Mindanao Development Corridors Program, as well as the Mindanao Ecozones Development. Also joining the MinDA participants are representatives from the local government units, academe, non-government organizations, and ecozone agencies.

The delegates also took part in the unveiling ceremony of the Asia-Pacific and Africa Cooperation Academy (APACA) led by its Head Dr. Un-Seong Jeon and Director Joanne E. Jeong.

The APACA is an institution at Kangwon National University designed to specialize in various leadership training programs for individuals in Korea and abroad. Some of these programs are implemented in cooperation with KOICA, which has been actively promoting sustainable development, strengthening partnerships with developing partners, and enhancing the local ownership of beneficiaries among developing countries.

“We are looking forward to applying the action plan we crafted here, with the help of our professional experts in Korea, to our respective offices once we get back home. There are still so many potentials to be tapped in Mindanao,” Reynaldo said.

The 24 Mindanao scholars included Arvin Chua from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Leah Tarhata Mehila from the Regional Economic Zone Authority-ARMM, Sukarno Baraguir from the Regional Board of Investments-ARMM, Gilbert Gordo from the University of Southeastern Philippines, Eileen San Juan from the City Government of Cagayan de Oro, Marie Angelique Go from the City Government of Zamboanga, Norhayna Diamla from the Provincial Government of Lanao del Sur, Christopher Lawrence Arnuco from the Zamboanga Ecozone Authority, Lucio Jamero Jr. from the The Musikahan sa Tagum Foundation, Abdul Gaffur Madki Howard Alonto II from the Department of Justice (DOJ) Region X, Abner Caga from the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Caraga, Ameen Andrew Alonto from the Regional Legislative Assembly-ARMM, and Gerardo Reynaldo, Lordilie Enjambre, Makmod Pasawilan, Ana Marie Bless Labor, Yvette Valderia, Marjorie Apurado, Carlos Cerezo, Renato Buhat Jr., Iris Mae Ferraris, Ambrojoe Daud, and Heidi Villanueva from MinDA. The delegation were also joined by KOICA Philippines Program Manager Francis Afable. (MinDA/PIA-Caraga)


Agusan Norte helps neighboring province

By Aimee B. Sienes

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 17 (PIA) - The provincial government of Agusan del Norte, through the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMC) recently extended help and support to the neighboring province of Agusan del Sur following heavy rains that hit the province and affected many families and individuals.

The province, through the Agusan del Norte PDRRMC, provided relief assistance and benefitted 722 affected families in the municipalities of Talacogon, Bunawan and La Paz.

Aside from the relief assistance, 20 families in the municipality of La Paz were also provided with hygiene kits, family size mats and mosquito nets.

PDRRMO Chief Erma R. Suyo led the team in the delivery of relief goods coursed through the three MDRRMC OpCen of the respective municipality. (LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)