2.23.2017

Thursday, February 23, 2017

4Ps’ cash card pawning rife in SurSur

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Feb. 23 (PIA) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office here hinted that “cash card pawning” was quite rampant among beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Surigao del Sur.

According to Jimbo Jamoner, DSWD Provincial Grievance Officer, the scheme has been discovered and started to be officially documented since 2014.

Initially it was found out that some 100 household beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Barobo town, 105 kilometers south this city, were not in possession of their respective cash card. Upon checking out further, to Jamoner’s dismay, their cash cards had already been in the hands of “loan sharks” for some time.   Involved moneylenders owned up to the money-making deal, he bared.

With breakdown of cases at “300 plus in 2015” and “500 plus in 2016,” documents showed that cash card pawning had been noted at about 1,000 household beneficiaries, the grievance officer disclosed. 

Jamoner admitted to have noticed that the “numbers” had been continuing to heap up even up to this time.

Lest the purpose of the program would be defeated, the DSWD here had taken up the cudgel of bringing the matter to the attention of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to craft a legislative solution to put a stop to the malpractice.

Yesterday, the second of the four-day series of public hearing in select areas province-wide was held at the Capitol Social Hall for the proposed ordinance entitled “Prohibiting Government Officials/Employees and Private Individuals/Groups and Local Businesses or Corporation in Accepting Pantawid Pamilya Cash Card as Loan Collateral.”  The event was filled to the rafters, most of them were 4Ps grantees, it was learned.

A day earlier, February 21, 2017, the first public hearing was held at Lanuza Gymnasium in Lanuza town, 43 kilometers north, this city.  The last two schedules had been set for Barobo town and Bislig City, respectively, on February 23 and 24, 2017.

Jamoner revealed that resorting to “resealing” the cash card by concerned DSWD authorities right after withdrawal from ATM failed to foil card holders from doing so.   Resealing was likened to laminating the card in a thin plastic material not only for protective purposes but primarily to dissuade pawnbrokers to accept any offer. 

Behind the conduct of the series of public hearing have been officials of the DSWD, in close ties with the Provincial Advisory Committee (PAC), the Committee on Social Services and Community Development, the Committee on Laws and Justice and Human Rights as well as other stakeholders.

Governor Vicente Pimentel, Jr., SP Members Mary Grace Lim and Teresita Palma-Donasco respectively chair the above-mentioned committees.

Meanwhile, the provincial grievance officer hoped that people engaging in such deals would be meted out punitive actions sooner or later. 

As of November 2016, there are 44,565 households which stand to benefit under the 4Ps in the entire province, according to Jamoner.

However, Meiraflor Cabigon, DSWD Social Welfare Officer IV and Provincial Link of the Pantawid Pamilya bared during the recent affair that there had been over 46,000 households in their rolls of 4Ps as of the latest. (Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


DSWD-Caraga, NGAs lead 2017 adoption consciousness celebration

By Ryan Malbas Tapayan

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 23 - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in partnership with other national government agencies (NGAs), leads this year’s week-long Adoption Consciousness Celebration from February 11-19, 2017.

With the theme “Pagmamahal Palaganapin, Legal na Pag-aampon Ating Gawin (Spread Unconditional Love through Legal Adoption),” the celebration targets to advocate legal adoption as a means of providing compassion and unconditional love to abandoned, neglected and surrendered children.

The Adoption Forum served as one of the highlights since there were invited partner-agencies, selected Local Government Units (LGUs), adoptive parents who attended the said activity at LJ Mega Convention, this city on Feb. 16.

The primary objectives of the activity are:  1) to disseminate basic information about legal adoption including the adoption process, documentary requirements, procedures and the benefits and effects of adoption to the public; 2)  to educate the public on the legal process of adoption that may lead to applicants for domestic adoptions or inquiries on adoption and other forms of alternative family care; 3)  to respond to inquiries of the public on adoption and other forms of alternative family care thru Adoption Help Desks; and 4)  to provide program orientation on adoption and foster care laws and guidelines to the officials and staff of DILG.

Jessie Catherine Aranas, Regional Focal on Adoption, reported during the seminar the total picture of adoption natiowide.

“According to DSWD – Protective Services Bureau, out of 5,695 children declared as legally available for adoption (CY 2009- as of January 17, 2017), only 1,409 children were placed-out for domestic adoption. The data reveals that there is a high number of neglected/abandoned children in centers/institutions waiting to be adopted,” said Aranas.

“Other than this growing data, issues such as public’s perception on adoption, lack of interest of families to adopt and the discrimination experienced by adopted children should likewise be addressed,” she added.

OIC Regional Director Mita Chuchi Gupana-Lim encourages all government agencies to promote and advocate legal adoption as it remains a strange concept in the society.

“Let us altogether advocate legal adoption all the time and not just during occasions that we commemorate this celebration. The underlying objective is towards our goal of providing a child a kind of family he/she deserves,” Lim exclaimed.

Presidential Proclamation No. 72 signed on February 3, 1999 by the former President Ejercito Estrada stipulated the observance of Adoption Consciousness Day to call for public attention and ensure nationwide awareness on legal adoption of surrendered, orphaned, abandoned, and neglected Filipino children in need of permanent home. (Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Phivolcs finds unusual ground movements in no-fault areas near Surigao City

By Jun Ian Facundo

SAN JOSE, Dinagat Islands, Feb. 23 (PIA) - Team of experts from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) visited San Jose, Dinagat Islands on Friday, February 17 to install an earthquake monitoring device after major aftershocks were recorded in the Province of Dinagat Islands even when no existing faults cut across the island province.

On February 10, the Surigao earthquake was also felt by the residents in Dinagat Islands. But unlike Surigao, the Province of Dinagat Islands managed to shun the devastation, reported zero injuries and casualties and recorded only a few damaged infrastructures.

However, the Philvolcs team expressed that the number of aftershocks with magnitudes ranging from 2.2 up to 3.0 recorded in the province is in the same range with the aftershocks happening in Surigao City.

The aftershocks felt by the Dinagatnons puzzled the Phivolcs Team who are also monitoring aftershocks in Surigao City and nearby towns in mainland Surigao del Norte. According to Engr. Melchor P. Lasala of Phivolcs, the sudden shift of the majority of earthquake aftershocks towards Dinagat Islands is unusual as since there is no major fault located in the island province.

“What is interesting about this phenomena is the aftershocks are not identical to each other. They have different intensity and the epicenters weren’t concentrated in the same location,” explains Engr. Lasala.

Fourty-one aftershocks were already recorded with epicenters located near Municipality of Basilisa, San Jose and Dinagat. The recently recorded in this series is a 2.9 intensity aftershock in the Municipality of Loreto.

The Phivolcs team installed the earthquake monitoring device to further observe this unusual phenomena. The team secured the device in the town of San Jose and tasked the DOST Provincial Office of Dinagat Islands to watch over the device. The primary function of the device is to record sudden soil movement in the area in a period of time. The device is equipped with a Geographic Positioning System (GPS and other applications that are vital to the monitoring of any movement.

The Phivolcs team will visit the island bimonthly to inspect and monitor the device. Phivolcs urged Dinagatnons to report any sightings of unusual cracks in the soil and be resilient with the aftershocks that will continue to occur. (DOST-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Feature: Behind CRAM 2017: An expression of gratitude

By Liza M. Guinguing

The success of Caraga Regional Athletic Meet (CRAM) 2017 in Tandag City can be attributed to the confidence and motivation from the prime movers of the Department of Education (DepEd) regional office led by the Dr. May B.  Eclar; likewise the highly capable and spirited CRAM Technical Working Group, to the support and willpower of the front-runners of the 12 participating divisions, provinces and cities. More so, for the exemplary coordination in bringing together the people of the host province, city and divisions.

Together, all have opened a new chapter of the sporting history of Caraga Region as well as showcased to the country the appeal as sports capital. The participation of all has promoted the spirit of solidarity. The games have become not just an important event in the regional sports calendar but also a platform for friendship  and cultural exchanges across the region.

At this moment when the flame is about to extinguished, it is but fitting to give due credit and recognition to the inter-agency tasking deeply rooted from the strong leadership of Surigao del Sur Provincial Governor Vicente T. Pimentel, Jr. and his working associates, Tandag City Mayor Alexander T. Pimentel, Representative of First District Prospero A. Pichay and Representative of the Second District Johnny T. Pimentel.

From its opening salvo, to the daily sporting activities, all the people behind are in full gear to see to it that everything is in place. Their hard work is remunerated by the capability of the Steering Committee composed of the Schools Division Superintendents of Surigao del Sur, Dr. Marilou B. Dedumo, CESO V and Tandag City, Dr. Gregoria T. Su, PESS and Education Supervisors and other Division Personnel.

From this strong partnership, yields the excellence-motivated services of the people who worked in the field. One of SurSur’s brand of hospitality is making sure that all are properly billeted, welcomed and supplied with enough essentials. In addition, Police Officers, Personnel from Philippine Army, Fire Marshals, Waste Management In-charge, CAT Officers, Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts, Medical Team, private Contributors are visible all over Tandag specially in the different sporting areas.

The officiating officials who ensured the fair and smooth conduct of the games; the working Committee on Finance, Souvenir Program, Ground Preparation, Publicity/Media/Communication, Billeting Facilities, Playing Venues, ID’s of Athletic Delegation, Athletic Equipment/Procurement of Sports Materials, Technical Assistance, General Services, Security, Peace and order, Medical, Dental, Sanitation, and Emergency Preparedness, Transportation, Prizes, Trophies, and Awards, Upkeep of Grandstand and other Playing Venues, Usherettes, Grand and Oval Parade, Inspectorate, Mass and Church Services, Corsage/Leis and Tokens, Lightning Facilities, Sound System, Water Facilities, Guests Accommodation, Flagpoles, Strings, Torch, and Banners, Welcome Signage, Signs and Tarpaulins, Stage Decoration, Program Hosting, Food and Refreshment, Mass Field Demonstration and Chorale/Ceremonial Cutting of Ribbon have remarkably shown their best shot to make sure that all of the planned activities and preparations will be realized.

The whole CRAM endeavor reveals not just the sports aptitude of the young Caraganon athletes but as well as the nobility of these seemingly modern day heroes whose noble acts may not have been printed on books but are the best imprinted on the head, hand and heart of these promising athletes.

Truly, the people who worked collectively behind CRAM 2017 are the wind beneath the wings of these determined athletes as they soar higher in their quest of fulfilling their sports potentials. (DepEd/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Agusan del Norte reigns special games

By Lyoid Hunahuna

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Feb. 23 (PIA) - The special games of the 20th Caraga Regional Athletic (CRAM) winded up with triumphant smiles from the special children, coaches and delegation officials from the division of Agusan del Norte as they were hailed as over all champion of the CRAM special events garnering a total  of 15 gold, 11 silver and five bronze medals.

Receiving their medals and trophies, the CRAM partakers with special needs together with their coaches of Agusan del Norte expressed their happiness as they stood on the victory stand signifying their triumph in the different athletic events over the other 11 delegations despite their disabilities.

On the other hand, the special athletes from Siargao Islands ranked as over-all 1st runner up copping 15 gold, eight silver and 11 bronze medals while Cabadbaran City racked up eight gold, seven silver and three bronze medals, and landed as 2nd runner up. (DepEd/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


43 students sign scholarship with DOST Caraga

By Gabrielle Espinosa

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 23 (PIA) - A total of 43 scholars from the different state universities and colleges (SUCs) and private institutions in Caraga recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for the granting of their Junior Level Science Scholarship (JLSS) effective this school year 2016-2017.

The JLSS orientation and MoA signing was conducted consecutively in three separate venues: Caraga State University, Philippine Normal University and Surigao State College of Technology.

Policies of the scholarship agreement were discussed with the students along with their parents during the MoA signing and orientation.

Ricardo Varela, chief of the technical operations of DOST Caraga, emphasized the responsibility that the students bring with them not only as DOST scholars but also as future S&T contributors in the country.

“The number of scholars who have passionately and seriously pursued their field have been decreasing in this country. As DOST scholars, you have to look more than just being a scholar and the responsibilities this entails even after you graduate. We believe that you are one of those chosen few who will greatly contribute to nation building. We hope that you will not fail your countrymen,” Varela said.

Meriam Bouquia, the regional scholarship coordinator, also explained the different privileges that the scholars can get after their graduation. According to Bouquia, the scholars can still acquire scholarships from other institutions providing that it does not conflict with the general policies stipulated under the JLSS Memorandum of Agreement.

The Junior Level Science Scholarship (JLSS) is one of the S&T scholarships of DOST Science Education Institution catered to the on-going regular 3rd year students with Bachelor of Science degrees in the field of natural sciences, engineering and mathematics. This year’s pioneering batch of JLSS scholars will be given 2-3 years of scholarship contract, depending on the course they are taking in. (DOST-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


DTI Surigao Norte, SEC remind public on investment scam

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Feb. 23 (PIA) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Surigao del Norte has posted its latest advisory from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding the companies SUREADZ/SUREADZ, J.I. JOE Marketing, 7Seals Trading and Fazcoin Marketing Services.

The said companies are engaged in illegal solicitation of investments by enticing the public to invest in its Revenue Profit Shares/Revenue Shares Investment and Hybrid Marketing Compensation Plan for a minimum amount of P1,000 or up to P1,000.000 for a promise of 100 percent return/profit upon maturity date or expiration of term (either 60-day term or 30-day term) as preferred by the investor plus 10 percent commissions at the end of the term.

Per verification by the Commission, said companies are not authorized to solicit investments from the public as these entities did not secure prior registration and/or license or permit to solicit investments from SEC as required under Section 8.1 of the Securities Regulation Code.

The SEC also added that those who invite or recruit other people to join or invest in the said venture or other investment contracts or securities to the public maybe held criminally liable or accordingly sanctioned or penalized, in accordance with the Supreme Court decision in the case of SEC vs. Oudine Santos (G.R No. 19554, March 19, 2014).

The public is hereby advised to stop investing and recruiting other people to invest money into such scheme and to take the necessary precautions in dealing with the above-named entities and their representatives.

The SEC is requesting the public to call their office at SEC Cagayan de Oro Extension Office at Telephone Numbers (088) 857-4235 or 857-7225 for more information regarding the operation of the said entities. (SEC/DTI-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)