(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 01 February 2023) Northeast Monsoon affecting Luzon and Visayas. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Islands will experience Cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to Shear Line. Possible flash floods or landslides due to moderate to at times heavy rains. Moderate to Strong winds coming from Northeast to North will prevail with Moderate to Rough seas / (2.5 to 4.0 meters).

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

DTI conducts Diskwento Caravan in flood-affected areas in AgSur town

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, Feb. 7 (PIA) – Some 300 consumers/households have availed of the discounted prices from the Diskwento Caravan conducted recently in the barangays of Osmena, Poblacion and Sagunto by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) provincial office here with its regional office, in coordination with the local government unit of La Paz.

According to DTI Agusan del Sur Provincial Director Brenda Corvera, the Diskwento Caravan was conducted to give chance to the flood-affected families to buy basic commodities and other dry goods at low prices.

Commodities offered include the following: sardines, beef loaf, corned beef, sausage, and other canned goods, noodles, coffee, milk, bread, laundry soap, detergent powder, bath soap, kitchen wares/utensils, mosquito nets, raincoats, shoes, umbrella, slippers, curtains, blankets, blouses and t-shirts.

Suppliers who joined the Caravan include Life Giving Products and Specialty Co., D’ Best Value Products Distribution Corporation, Sunpride Foods Incorporated, Happy Enterprises from Butuan City and some local producers of Agusan del Sur.

It was also learned that on February 10, 2017, another Diskwento Caravan will be conducted in Barangay Panagangan, La Paz, Agusan del Sur. With this, DTI is inviting more consumers to come on the scheduled date. (JPG/DTI-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

2 rebels surrender at the start of army offensive operation in Caraga

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, Feb. 7 (PIA) - Two regular members of the New Peoples Army (NPA) in this province have surrendered to the 3rd Special Forces Battalion based in Bayugan City on Monday, February 6, 2017. They brought with them one M16, two garand, one carbine, one Light Anti-Tank Weapon and two IEDs.

The surenderees who were identified as Jerry Petelo alias ‘Wawie’ and Rany Ayawon alias ‘Dondon’ of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Party Committee (NEMRC) of the NPA operating in Agusan Norte and Agusan del Sur cited their frustration against the NPA leadership after their promised allowances were no longer given. The fear of the incoming army offensive was also among the reasons for their surrender.

The two surrenderees further revealed that a lot of their NPA companions in their unit share the same sentiment after President Rodrigo Duterte lifted the unilateral ceasefire earlier declared. They said that many have already left their unit for good while others are planning to surrender.

Lt. Col. Cristobal Zaragoza, Brigade Commander of the 401st Brigade, assured the duo that they will be treated well and will be assisted in their return to the mainstream society per instruction of MGen. Benjamin Madrigal, the 4th Infantry Division Commander.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero of the Eastern Mindanao Command congratulated the 401st Brigade especially Capt. Jasper Bayrante  and CInsp. Rommel Villamor for ensuring the safety of the two NPA-surrenderees when they extricated from their main group.

Also, the duo will be given their benefits under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) of the government and incentives for the firearms they have returned to start a new life. (401st Brigade, Phil. Army/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

DTI reminds repair shop owners to apply for shop accreditation, renewal

PROPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, Feb. 7 (PIA) – To ensure that repair shops operating in the province will have or maintain their accreditation, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Provincial Office here has conducted its provincial team monitoring primarily to remind service repair enterprises to apply for accreditation and renewal.

As provided in the Presidential Decree No. 1572, service repair enterprises engage in repairs of motor vehicles, heavy equipment, engines and engineering work, electronics, electrical, air conditioning and refrigeration, office machines and data processing equipment, medical and industrial equipment, appliances and related devices are required to be accredited first with the DTI before starting operation.

DTI Agusan del Sur Provincial Director Brenda Corvera said that the accreditation aims to protect the interest of the customer by ensuring that these enterprises comply with the standards in terms of the following: tools and equipment, competency of workers, insurance and others. “Yearly accreditation hopes to discourage unfair practices of service repair enterprises and encourage continual improvement and adherence to set standards,” she added.

Accreditation applicants are required to submit the following to DTI office: Duly accomplished application form; Copy of Comprehensive General Liability Insurance Policy and Official Receipt; Warranty; List of tools and equipment and corresponding value; List of shop employees; Photo of the shop; Shop lay-out, organizational chart; Certificate of Competency from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); and Dealership agreement for 5 Star Category. (JPG/DTI-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

PopCom intensifies campaign for family planning

By May Ann O. Escobal

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 7 (PIA) - The Commission on Population (PopCom) has always been positive that through concerted efforts with the local government units (LGUs) and other relevant government agencies, family planning services shall be made available to all women and couples who need such services.

In the recently approved Executive Order No. 12 of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, entitled Attaining and Sustaining “Zero Unmet Need for Modern Family Planning” through the Strict Implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act, all LGUs are encouraged to integrate strategies in their Local Development Plans (LDPs) and investment programs to support universal access to Reproductive Health (RH) services through demand generation, service delivery network and mobilization of community volunteers including the Barangay Health Workers (BHWs), Barangay Population Volunteers (BPVs) and Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs).

In close collaboration with all LGUs, house-to-house visit and other intensive community-based demand generation and referral activities shall be conducted to ensure the provision of quality modern family planning information and services, within the principle of informed choice and voluntarism. Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and private sector shall also be tapped in implementing these interventions to ensure that all women and couples who wanted to space or limit pregnancies through the use of modern FP shall be referred and served.

With the prevailing population issues, the Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP) will be pursued to address the key population issues in the country towards its overall goal of “Matatag, Maginhawa, at Planadong Pamilyang Pilipino.” This aims to empower every Filipino individual and family to achieve their aspirations and development goals by enabling them to have their desired number and spacing of children with the demands of responsible parenthood and principles of informed choice.

The population of Caraga Region will increase by 2,663,610 by end of 2017, based on projections made by the Commission on Population (PopCom) Caraga using data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), and this projection includes women of reproductive age and adolescent girls. PopCom further disclosed that adolescent pregnancies are also in the rise.

“High unintended and unplanned pregnancies, low contraceptive use and high unmet need for modern family planning, and low involvement of men in Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Family Planning are among the contributing factors of these development issues.” PopCom Caraga Regional Director Alexander A. Makinano reiterated.

The PopCom official also stressed the demographic, socio-economic and health implications of these population issues for these are very critical in attaining the sustainable development goals – if the population continue to rise and will not be addressed. (Popcom-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

NGCP to pursue Visayas-Mindanao grid connection

By Glory Rebleza

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Feb. 7 (PIA) - The results are out. National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) completed the first step towards unifying the nation’s three power grids.

In an NGCP-commissioned hydrographic survey conducted from September to November 2016, a viable route along the country’s western seaboard – beginning in Cebu and terminating in Dipolog– was determined as viable for the implementation of the plans of interconnecting the Visayas and Mindanao grids.

The Luzon and Visayas grids have long been connected via NGCP’s Naga – Ormoc High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) line.

“NGCP is pleased to report that we already finished the hydrographic survey that will determine the route of the Visayas-Mindanao Interconnection Project (VMIP). With this development, we now have a clearer plan on the project’s implementation. Power resource sharing between the country’s major islands will now become a reality,” declared NGCP.

Previous feasibility studies conducted by the National Power Corporation, one dating back to as early as 1984, were deferred by the government, then the grid operator.  An earlier study conducted by NGCP revealed eastern routes as unsuitable for submarine cable ground laying because of a significant quantity of live ordinance – torpedoes and high explosive shells – from the Battle of Surigao in 1944, an underwater volcano, fault lines, and seismic hazards, such as unstable rock slabs that can cause landslips and tsunamis.

NGCP is seeking the support of the public and its stakeholders for the full and immediate implementation of the project. “NGCP assures its stakeholders of the company’s dedication to determine the most reliable and cost-efficient path to completion. This is a large undertaking. We want this facility to be state-of-the-art, as well as sturdy enough to last generations," it said.

“We are considering many factors in the design and implementation of the project, including changing weather conditions. Ensuring the quality and reliability of power transmission services to both Visayas and Mindanao customers is of paramount importance,” the company said.

With the hydrographic survey result, NGCP will now proceed with the preparation of a conceptual design, detailed cost-estimate, and update of system simulation study using the Cebu-Dipolog route, in order to complete documents needed for its ERC application by April 2017.

Inland and route surveys for substations and associated overhead transmission lines will also coincide with the preparation of documents. Barring unforeseen circumstances and unavoidable delays, the project is estimated to be completed by December 2020.

“We need the support of the government, the Energy Regulatory Commission, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the different local government units the project will traverse, among others, to push this forward. With their full support, we are confident that we will be able to complete this project on time,” stated the company.

NGCP is a privately owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid. It transmits high-voltage electricity through “power superhighways” that include the interconnected system of transmission lines, towers, substations, and related assets.

The consortium, which holds the 25-year concession contract to operate the country's power transmission network, is comprised of Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp. led by Henry Sy, Jr., Calaca High Power Corporation led by Robert Coyiuto, Jr., and the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) as technical partner. (NGCP/PIA-Surigao del Norte)