Thursday, March 16, 2017

GIZ-COSERAM to hold 3rd Partners’ Forum in Butuan City

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 16 (PIA) – The Conflict Sensitive Resource and Asset Management (COSERAM) Program, supported by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) is set to hold the 3rd Partners’ Forum on April 5-6, 2017 at Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort, this city.

Sais activity is also in partnership with other government agencies, which include the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), and Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP).

GIZ principal advisor Peter Hauschnik bared that some 200 participants are expected to attend said forum which are composed of representatives from national, regional and local government agencies, academe and civil society organizations.

“The forum aims to provide a venue for stock-taking and looking ahead: Two years into Phase 2 of COSERAM. With this event, we would like to offer the opportunity to build bridges of experiences between the involved stakeholders. It shall serve also as a venue of information exchange between the three COSERAM regions (Caraga, Region 10 and 11) as well as national level on lessons learned throughout the course of implementation of COSERAM,” underlined Hauschnik.

For more information on the said event, the GIZ can be reached at telephone number (02) 814-0719; 651-5167. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


Law enforcers, prosecutors enhance knowledge, skills on TIP

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 16 (PIA) – Law enforcers and prosecutors in Caraga region will be participating in the two-day training workshop dubbed “Affidavit Drafting Workshop on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) for Region XIII Investigators and Prosecutors” on March 29-30, 2017 in one of the local convention centers here.

The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), in partnership with the United States Department of Justice – Criminal Division, Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Assistant and Training (OPDAT) and Criminologist and Criminal Justice Professionals (PSCCJP), spearheads said activity.

Atty. Clementino Rabor, assistant regional prosecutor and regional task force head of the Regional Anti-Trafficking Task Force in Caraga bared that the two-day training workshop is designed to enhance the competencies of the law enforcers and prosecutors in combating human trafficking, specifically in the Caraga region.

“It aims to better equip the participants with knowledge and skills in investigating and building-up solid human trafficking cases to ensure a conviction as well as to establish better coordination and cooperation among relevant stakeholders,” underlined Rabor.

It was also learned that employees from the different government agencies who have related functions and responsibilities handling trafficking cases or issues and concerns could also participate as observers during said activity. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


SurSur guv delighted over resumption of peace talks

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Mar. 16 (PIA) – Surigao del Sur Provincial Governor Vicente Pimentel Jr. was delighted over the resumption of peace talks between the Philippine Government and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) in April this year.

In a radio interview, the provincial governor said that there is a need for the resumption of peace talks between the national government and the CPP-NPA-NDF in order to achieve long lasting peace.

Pimentel believed that the four-decade conflict has already affected the source of income and livelihood of the people in the affected areas.

Despite series of anti-insurgency operations conducted late last year, Governor Pimentel as well as the military and police authorities confirmed that no “bloody encounter” between the government and the NPA rebels had happened in Surigao del Sur. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


SurSur employees commemorate Women’s Month celebration

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Mar. 16 (PIA) - The provincial employees of Surigao del Sur with the national line agencies joined the nation in celebrating the Women’s Month this year with series of activities lined up for the month of March.

The celebration kicked-off with the fun run and “Hataw” (Zumba) on March 1 facilitated by the Surigao del Sur Women Employees Association (SSWEA) in partnership with the Provincial Government Office.

On March 8, as part of the International Women’s Day celebration, a symposium was conducted participated by the women employees from the different national line agencies, government-owned and controlled corporations, and provincial government.

Ma. Carla Lopez Pichay, journalist, entrepreneur and first lady of 1st District Congressman Prospero Pichay Jr, was the event's keynote speaker.

Meanwhile, the Philippines' first woman chess grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna also graced the occasion. “Since it’s women’s month, I want to inform you all that the Filipino women chess players are as brilliant as the men grandmasters," Frayna said.

Earlier this month, the Provincial Health Office (PHO) facilitated the diet counseling, while the Adela Serra Ty Memorial Medical Center (ASTMMC) facilitated the pap smear and laboratory examination for all the women.

The month-long celebration will culminate on March 27, which will be highlighted with the Health Summit and the Gabay sa Negosyo Video Presentation with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Dinagat Islands LGU celebrates Women’s Month

By Susil D. Ragas

SAN JOSE, Dinagat Islands, Mar. 16 (PIA) - The provincial government of Dinagat Islands conducted a convergence activity dubbed “Handog Serbisyo nan Probinsya Para sa mga Kababayen-an sa Dinagat Islands” on March 15, 2017 held at the Dinagat Municipal Gym, this province.

The one-day activity is in line with the celebration of Women’s Month, this whole month of March with the theme, “We Make Change Work for Women.”

During the said event, the Provincial Health Office served different services for free such as provision of multivitamins with iron to all pregnant women, laboratory examination (blood sugar testing to 200 women), hepatitis B screening and dental examination.

The Provincial Agriculturist Office also distributed commercial vegetable seeds such as ampalaya seeds (140 pouches), pole sitaw (130 pouches), eggplant (130 pouches), sweet pepper (140 pouches), okra (10 kilograms), tomato seeds (130 pouches), upland kangkong (10 kilograms), and organic fertilizer (117 liters).

Meanwhile, the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office distributed financial assistance worth P200 to indigenous mothers of the municipality under the survival and subsistence level.

Further, the municipality of Dinagat received recently an award for being the first placer in Accessibility Compliant Municipality with cash incentives worth P15,000 pesos from board member Nilo P. Demerey, Jr.

Hundreds of empowered women from the 12 barangays of the said municipality participated the activity. (PIO-Dinagat Islands/PIA-Dinagat Islands)


COMELEC to conduct satellite registration for PWDs, senior citizens in Butuan City

By Regal C. Oribia

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 16 (PIA) - In line with the existing Commission on Elections (COMELEC) resolution for registration of persons with disability (PWD), senior citizens, heavily pregnant women and other vulnerable sectors of our society, COMELEC-Butuan will be conducting a Special Satellite Registration at Robinsons Place Main Atrium on Sunday, March 19, 2017, this city.

The event will start at 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. “This is for the convenience of the registrants on that special day, in preparation for the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections slated on October 23, 2017," said election officer Atty. Samuel Rollo.

“We will also be having a last six days of registration starting April 24 until the 29th in the same venue to ensure the convenience and safety of the registrants as well as the personnel,” added Rollo. (RCO/PIA-Caraga) 


NPA rebels attack AgNor town; 89 families displaced

By 2Lt. Ashley Mae del Rosario

CABADBARAN CITY, Agusan del Norte, Mar. 16 (PIA) – The New People’s Army (NPA) rebels attacked the community of Brgy. Hinimbangan, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte forcing 89 families to evacuate at the municipal gymnasium of Brgy. Crossing, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte on March 15, 2017. ​

Accordingly, the NPA guerrillas attacked the soldiers of the 29th Infantry Battalion (29IB), Philippine Army who are conducting development support and security operations in Barangay Hinambangan in Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte.

According to the residents, the NPA rebels forced the school faculty to cancel their classes while other NPA guerillas indiscriminately fired upon the houses in the community.

“Once again, the NPAs have violated the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect to Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), which is the only document that was duly signed by the GRP and NDF when they indiscriminately attacked the said community that caused the eventual and force evacuation of the people," said 29IB Battalion Commander LTC Glenn Joy Aynera.

"Our troops were there to help the LGU in identifying the needs of the community in order to alleviate their living condition. However, this terroristic attack of the NPAs sowed fear among the people in that community. Rest assured that together with the PNP we will defend the community and will bring back the peace and order in the area," Aynera added.

Meanwhile, the 29IB troopers coordinated with the local government unit of Kitcharao to address the basic needs of the displaced families in the area.

Likewise, they also distributed relief goods and food packs together with the Municipal Social Welfare Development.

"Despite the incident, we are still thankful that the people in that community still vowed to fully support the development programs of the government especially that it will benefit their families. With this, the 29th Infantry Battalion will continue its efforts in solving the insurgency situation that hinders the peace and development in the area," Aynera concluded. (PIA-Agusan del Norte)


DA-ACPC extends SURE loan package to calamity stricken farmers

By Aurelius P. Arais

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 16 (PIA) - A sure and faster way of helping affected small farmers to recover from recent severe flooding in Caraga Region has been given utmost priority of the government.

After Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol’s ground assessment of affected areas in Caraga, the DA immediately provided a recovery loan package called SURE program.

SURE, which stands for Survival and Recovery, gives access to farmers to avail of an interest-free loan package amounting P25,000 payable in three years.

The loan package is now implemented through DA’s Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) in partnership with conduit banks, cooperatives and other financial institutions whichever is accessible to the farmers in affected areas.

ACPC Administrative Officer Noel Clarence Ducusin said that the SURE program is a response of the government to help the farmers recover faster from damages brought by intermittent weather conditions and calamities.

“After Secretary Piñol saw in person the extent of damage on farms during his personal visit here in Caraga Region, ACPC immediately formulated the guidelines for this kind of loan package,” Ducusin revealed.

As per guideline, SURE recovery loan package is extended to small farmers whose farms incurred considerable damages brought by calamities and is situated in an area declared under the state of calamity.  SURE gives priority to small farmers, meaning, a farmer whose land area is not more than five hectares.

The said loan package is designed to finance the requirements of rehabilitating the farms, and or livelihood activities of fisherfolks to include the purchase of production inputs, repair of farm or fishery assets, acquisition of livestock or working animals.  

Typhoon Auring and the Tail-End of the Cold Front last January has placed 12 municipalities in Agusan del Sur, three municipalities in Agusan del Norte and the city of Butuan under the state of calamity.

Currently, ACPC is awaiting the final lists of affected farmers who may qualify the loan portfolio from the respective local government units to ascertain the needed amount and to give the go signal to the financial conduits to start releasing the loan package. The loan package is also open to fisherfolks.  (DA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)