(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Friday, 09 December 2022) At 3:00 AM today, the Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated based on all available data at 610 km East of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur (7.4°N, 131.8°E). Shear Line affecting Northern Luzon. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience Cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due Trough of LPA. Possible flash floods or landslides due to moderate to at times heavy rains. Light to moderate winds coming from Northeast to Northwest will prevail with slight to moderate seas / (0.6 to 2.5 meters).

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Caraga RLECC to go digital

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 23 (PIA) – “The Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (RLECC) in Caraga is the first RLECC in the country to go digital, as we utilize various digital platforms in doing our communication operations.”

This was the statement of regional director Abner Caga of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga, the chairperson of the Sub-committee on Public Information during the sub-comiitee meeting held on Tuesday at the regional office here.

RD Caga emphasized that there is a need for the sub-committee to craft a communication plan to guide member agencies in all their activities and for them to assess whether existing plans and activities are effective and useful, thus, it will also serve as their basis to pursue with existing activities or platforms in the next coming months.

Caga shared the background of how media works in the region, as well as the trend of the technology these days. He said the sub-committee will be tapping the media and the member-agencies will just have to provide relevant information for broader reach of recipients.

The good director underlined how PIA operates and disseminates timely, accurate and relevant information. He also enumerated the different platforms of the agency, which include press and photo releases, SMS/textblast, Caraga INFOcus electronic news magazine, Advance Forward Emergency Broadcasting System (AFEBS) communication facility, Facebook pages and other social networking sites.

RD Caga also presented special platform of the agency like the One Mindanao mobile application, where anyone can download it conveniently for free thru their smartphones. “We can always put an RLECC icon in PIA’s mobile application if the sub-committee opted to have it included. Updates of the sub-committee and its partners will be posted there,” he said.

The sub-committee then agreed to draft the communication plan during its next meeting. Caga expressed his confidence that the sub-committee is capable and assertive of doing its functions and responsibilities.

“We will discuss this further again and we’ll place every detail in our communication plan,” Caga stressed. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

Butuanons to commemorate 496th first mass celebration in PH soil

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 23 (PIA) – Butuanons will once again participate in the different lined-up activities for this year’s 496th commemoration of the first mass celebration in Philippine soil from March 28-31, 2017.

On March 28, a Thanksgiving Mass will be celebrated at Bood Promontory and Eco Park in Barangay Pinamanculan, this city by officiating priest Rev. Fr. Joesilo Amalla, followed with the short program at the same venue.

Cherry May Busa, city councilor and chairperson of Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) Committee on Tourism will deliver her welcome message during the program. Butuan City Heritage Society president Gregorio Jose Hontiveros, 1st District (Butan City and Las Nieves) representative Atty. Lawrence Lemuel Fortun, Butuan City mayor Engr. Ronnie Vicente Lagnada will also share their inspirational messages.

On the same date, the following activities will also be held at the Caraga State University (CSU): opening program; dance drama; presentation of Ethnic Contemporary Dances; Budjong Chorale presentation; showcase of CSU’s dairy products and Cabadbaran City products; Onaw products demonstration and display; as well as the on-the-spot poster making contest and "baroto" ride.

On March 29, the following activities are also scheduled at Libertad National High School: Chorale presentation (Butuan and Visayan Songs); Philippine Folk Dances; Kundiman and Folk Songs; and Contemporary and Pinoy Pop Dances. In the afternoon of the same day, the Manobo and Folk Dances, on-the-spot Essay writing contest and Baroto ride will be held at Butuan City School of Arts and Trades.

On March 30, the visual art exhibit, Manobo Dance tutorial, bead working, and Baroto ride will be conducted at Agusan National High School.

The culminating activities on March 31 include the commemorative Latin Mass, program, and awarding ceremony for the on-the-spot Poster making and Essay writing contests.

Meanwhile, representatives from the different sectors will also be participating in the forum in the afternoon of March 31 at Bood Promontory and Eco Park in Barangay Pinamanculan, Butuan City.

The said commemoration is anchored on the theme, “One People. One Heritage. One Voice.” (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

RTWPB-13 launches ‘2017 Productivity Olympics’ in Butuan City

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 23 (PIA) – With the objective to intensify national awareness and commitment to quality and productivity and to showcase the best productivity improvement practices, the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board in Caraga Region (RTWPB-13) launches today in this city the 2017 Productivity Olympics.

“It is a biennial national competition for best productivity practices of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) nationwide. This is done to encourage them to adopt productivity improvement programs,” said Earl dela Victoria, board secretary of RTWPB-13.

Qualified MSMEs who may join the Search for the Best Productivity Improvement Program are those that are duly registered with the appropriate government agencies (e.g. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), Local Government Units (LGU)); must have a productivity program, existing for at least two years; and never been a recipient of the Productivity Olympics award at the national level of the same category.

“The award categories for MSMEs are agribusiness, service and industry. And the criteria include best in business excellence (total productivity - 25 percent, expansion and growth – 20 percent, awards/recognition/certification – 5 percent) and best in resource management (people – 35 percent, system, technology and green – 15 percent),” mentioned dela Victoria.

The regional screening committee (RSC), composed of the RTWPB and an external quality and productivity champion in the region, shall review all MSME applicants according to the prescribed criteria. The RSC shall select the regional nominees from whom the national screening committees (NSC) shall select the list of national finalists for submission to the national judging panel (NJP).

Dela Victoria said that the NJP, tripartite in composition and headed by the DOLE Secretary, shall likewise select the national winners. “Awarding will be in October, in time with the celebration of the National Quality and Productivity Month,” he added.

The winners will be receiving trophy, certificate and cash award. They too will be given the privilege to use the Productivity Olympics 2017 Award logo for publicity purposes for three years (2017-2019), and the priority endorsement to other training programs and services of the NWPC/RTWPBs and other DOLE agencies.

Interested MSMEs may fill out and submit the nomination form not later than May 30, 2017 to the RTWPB having jurisdiction over the place where the applicant is located. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)

70 women, PWDs undergo store management training in Surigao Norte town

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Mar. 23 (PIA) – A total of 70 members of the women and persons with disabilities (PWD) associations under the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) in Socorro town, underwent a training on merchandising and store management on March 7-8, 2017 held in Socorro town, this province.

According to DTI-Trade and Industry Development Specialists Mardell Allen G. Delanto, the two-day activity aims to uplift small enterprises and improve the businesses of common citizens at the grassroots in general.

"This effort will help retail vendors under the SLP of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to improve their micro-economic activities and at the same time, it will benefit the way they handle clients and customers in their store operations,” said Delanto.

Delanto emphasized that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through its services, provides various interventions to micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to promote the ease of doing business and spur economic growth in the countryside.

The two-day training was conducted by the provincial office of the DTI in partnership with the DSWD. (DTI-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Miss PH Earth 2016 beauties visit Bislig City

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Mar. 23 (PIA) – The Miss Philippines Earth 2016 queens visit the “booming city by bay” in Surigao del Sur – Bislig on March 22 to 24, 2017.

The Miss Earth Foundation, Inc., in Facebook post, says that the environmental queens will visit the various tourist attractions in the city.

The Miss Philippines Earth 2016 reigning queens are expected to experience the culture of Bislig has to offer, and participate in various environmental activities, promote eco-tourism and do school tour activities.

Entertainment by the Miss Philippines-Earth (MPE) Angels (the singing beauty queens), and a Fashion Show by the MPE queens shall also take place in this environmental campaign, it was learned. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)

PSA to conduct consumer expectation survey in Agusan Norte, Surigao Norte

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 23 - The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in Caraga will conduct a consumer expectations survey (CES) on April 1 to 12, 2017 to the provinces of Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte.

CES is a household-based survey on the consumers’ assessment of their family income, financial situation, and the economic condition of the country.  It is conducted on a quarterly basis and administered on a sample basis at the household level.  The said survey is a joint undertaking between the PSA and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The PSA’s responsibility is to undertake the data collection and encoding of the questionnaires while generation of tables and analysis of the results for the BSP.

It aims to provide a quick and regular assessment of the financial condition of consumers and economic condition of the country at present and in the near future, from the consumers’ own viewpoints; to generate forecasts in the direction of the country’s economic activity based on consumers’ outlook in the current quarter, next quarter and the next 12 months; and to provide quick and regular assessment of consumers’ confidence in terms of their income and expenditures as well as their outlook on key economic indicators closely monitored by the BSP such as inflation, exchange rate and interest rates.

PSA assures the respondents that all information collected by the hired Statistical Researchers from the sample households shall be kept strictly confidential and shall not be used for purposes of taxation, investigation or regulation as provided under Article 55 of Republic Act 10625. (PSA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

DOE to hold energy efficiency workshop

BUTUAN CITY, Mar 23 - The Department of Energy (DOE) will hold a Regional Workshop on Energy Efficiency and Minimum Energy Performance in the commercial and industrial sectors on March 29 and 30 at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay City.

The workshop is being organized by the DOE, in partnership with the Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers of the Philippines (IIEE), and other local and international organizations.

The two-day event is in line with the European Union (EU) funded High Efficiency Motors (HEMs) project under the EU’s Switch Asia Program. HEMS aims to accelerate the acceptance of more energy-efficient electric motors and drive systems in the Philippine industries.

The objectives of the workshop are the following:

1. To learn about international initiatives that can benefit the Philippines and the ASEAN;

2. To learn from regional and international best practices on Energy Efficiency (EE) and Minimum Energy Performance (MEP);

3. To draw up an action plan for a regional cooperation on EE standards and labeling of electric motors; and

4. To conduct public and stakeholders’ consultation on the Philippine Energy Standards and Labelling Implementing Guidelines and MEP in the commercial and industrial sectors.

The regional workshop will develop policy measures and instruments that will sustain the switch to more energy efficient appliances and equipment, starting with electric motors and drive systems. (DOE/PIA-Caraga)

RTWPB Caraga conducts ‘Productivity 101’ to 300 workers

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 23 – The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) Caraga conducted six sessions of Productivity 101 to 300 workers of Wing-On Incorporated from February to March 2017 as part of the Workers Enhancement Program initiated by the company’s human resource department.

RTWPB Board Secretary Earl Dela Victoria said the activity is part of the continuous productivity improvement program of Wing-On since becoming a beneficiary of the productivity programs of the Board.

“Employees play a significant role in the growth and success of an establishment," said Dela Victoria.

"We have to enhance their talents and skills to be competitive and to do that, we have to, first, adopt a productivity and quality culture and mindset,” Dela Victoria added. (NWPC/PIA-Caraga)

DOE readies mechanisms in managing energy supply

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 23  - The Department of Energy (DOE) is readying measures to ensure the sufficiency and stability of energy supply in the years to come, especially during the summer when the power supply is traditionally lean.

In line with this, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi has issued the appropriate directives to the Electric Power Industry Management Bureau, the Energy Utilization Management Bureau and the entire DOE to conduct a massive information, education and communication (IEC) drive.

The goal set by the DOE chief is to ensure the implementation of an effective demand-side management program for energy supply.

On the Post-Malampaya Scheduled Maintenance Shutdown coordination meeting among industry players, the following inputs were discussed and submitted to support the Secretary's directive:

1.     To continue the close coordination among the stakeholders in monitoring the entire energy supply chain (i.e., from energy resource development to the power plants to the distribution utilities up to the consumers composed of the industrial, commercial and residential levels);

2. To continue the advocacy for the development of indigenous energy resources, in which the permitting system must be addressed by giving importance to energy projects and classifying such as projects of national significance;

3.   To ensure delivery of power to the consumers by:

a.   ensuring the completion of power plants in time for the summer months. For instance, the Limay Coal-Fired Power Plant in Bataan that have already been delayed for various reasons to go online;

b.   monitoring the output of the power plants through the conduct of performance assessment and audit. For instance, the maintenance schedules of the power plants during the summer months like the Pagbilao Coal-fired Power Plant;

c.   preparing the availability of the Malaya Thermal Power Plant as a back-up generation to ensure sufficiency of supply and d. ensuring the readiness of the Interruptible Load Program (ILP), in which the DOE is looking into a change in policy where the differential in the cost of running the generators will not be passed on to the consumers, but instead to be paid for by power plants that went on forced outage.

ILP serves as an option for Distribution Utilities (DUs) like the Manila Electric Company and electric cooperatives to ask their big load customers to serve their own power needs by using their own generator sets to augment power supply capacity in times of Red Alert Status or when power supply reserves are thin.

“We have to give our consumers options on how to manage their use of energy without sacrificing their productivity,” Cusi emphasized.

“The DOE is already conducting an IEC campaign to the top government load users like the Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), etc., and energy tips for consumers,” Cusi said.

Meanwhile, Cusi said “the DOE is also looking at the quick resolution of the Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA) by the Supreme Court. Under the RCOA regime, the contestable customers and the retail electricity suppliers are compelled to be more efficient in the delivery and use of energy resources."

Additionally, the DOE is looking at the pending applications of DUs and electric cooperatives on modern mechanisms for demand-side management with the Energy Regulatory Commission, like the smart grid and the pre-paid electricity technologies.

In conclusion, Sec. Cusi reiterates the energy saving tips for the consumers as follows:

1.     Bawasan ng dalawang oras ang paggamit ng aircon araw-araw. Makatitipid ng 30.50 kWh na konsumo, katumbas nito ay P346.50 na tipid kada buwan.

2.     Ilagay ang thermostat ng aircon sa 25 oC. Makatitipid ng 12.6 kWh na konsumo, katumbas nito ay P138.60 na tipid kada buwan.

3.     Bawasan ng isang oras ang paggamit ng TV (mula sampung oras gawing siyam oras). Makatitipid ng 1.8 kWh na konsumo, katumbas nito ay P19.80 na tipid kada buwan.

4.     Ilagay sa “Low” ang electric fan sa halip na “High”. Makatitipid ng 4.8kWh na konsumo, katumbas nito ay P52.80 na tipid kada buwan.

5.     Bawasan ng isang oras ang paggamit ng ilaw araw-araw. Sa isang ilaw, makatitipid ng 0.45 kWh na konsumo, katumbas nito ay P4.95 na tipid kada buwan.

6.    Bawasan ng isang oras ang paggamit ng computer araw-araw. Makatitipid ng 4.5 kWh na konsumo, katumbas nito ay P49.50 na tipid kada buwan.

7.    Mas mainam gumamit ng laptop dahil mas mababa ang konsumo nito kaysa desktop. Makatitipid ng 30kWh na konsumo, katumbas nito ay P330 na tipid kada buwan.

8.    Iwasan ang pag bukas-sara ng refrigerator kung hindi kailangan. Makatitipid ng 2.59 kWh na konsumo, katumbas nito ay P28 na tipid kada buwan.

9.    Bawasan ng isangoras ang pag plantsa kada linggo, gawin itong Sabado o Linggo para makaiwas sa “peak hours”. Makatitipid ng 4kWh na konsumo, katumbas nito ay P44 na tipid kada buwan. (DOE/PIA-Caraga)

PNP foils NPA’s sinister plot in SurSur

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Mar. 23 (PIA) – The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Surigao del Sur had the belief that it foiled the evil plan of the New People’s Army (NPA) to “sow terror” after overrunning its position in Purok 1, Barangay Tambis, Barobo town, 105 kilometers, south, this city.

At around 1:30 p.m. on March 21, a 30-minute firefight ensued between state forces and rebel groups when Police Chief Inspector (PCI) Manolo Andrew Agcaoili, chief of police (COP) of Barobo Municipal Police Station (MPS), mustered his men together with other PNP forces to conduct a clearing operation.

Coordination was likewise made with the 75th Infantry Battalion (75IB) of the Philippine Army (PA) under Lt. Col. Wilfredo Amoma, which he said had done its part to keep the rebels at bay and not to do more harm in the community.

Agcaoili said the successful operation was jointly carried out together with the 1st Maneuver Company, Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) 13 led by PSInsp. Mawi Arcilla.  Also, a little later, reinforcement troops from Agusan del Sur Provincial Public Safety Company, 3rd Maneuver Company, PNP-Special Action Force (SAF), and 11th Special Action Company (SAC) arrived to join the fray.

Earlier, the police officer admitted it had been tipped off about the activity of some highly suspicious armed men believed to be members of the rebel groups roaming around the area.  However, sightings had been reported to be there for a couple of weeks already.

Upon arrival, an improvised explosive device (IED) went-off, breaking the windshield of one of the police cars.  The enemy also started firing upon the troops which signaled the onset of the fierce gun battle, PCI Agcaoili stressed.  The area where the IED was blown up was only three meters away from the national highway, he added.  The Barobo town COP also said that the explosive could have been aimed at anybody, citing “To whom it may concern.”

No one was hurt on the government side, but the police chief indicated that the pack of rebels, estimated to be at some 20 to 30 members, could have sustained injuries.

Recovered from the clash site were four gallons of gasoline, four black tents, one black hammock, one crumpled electrical wire, one unit black Nokia cellphone, one metal shrapnel, two flashlights, and a lot more of personal belongings, including a pack of sanitary napkin, Agcaoili bared.

The Barobo police chief had linked the presence of rebels to the upcoming March 29 NPA anniversary, who, he believed seeking to mark their occasion with a bang.

The armed group who had been operating in the area belongs to Guerilla Front Committee (GFC) 19A headed by a certain “Ian” under the Northeastern Mindanao Regional Command (NEMRC), Agcaoili confirmed.

However, he clarified that an in-depth investigation had been ongoing in order to identify in particular the persons behind the plot for the filing of appropriate charges. (Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

RxBox paves new way for better health in Caraga

By Gabrielle Espinosa

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 23  - Caraganons living in rural and remote areas can now have better access to the government’s healthcare services and can even get advice from healthcare experts across the country. This is all thanks to the RxBox Telehealth Device, a life-saving health care technology that transforms the health information system of the country.

Through the partnership initiated by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) together with the National Telehealth Center, UP Diliman College of Engineering, Advanced Science and Technology Institute, and the Department of Health (DOH), the RxBox aims to deploy the RxBox units in the remote areas across the country through a project called “Roll-out of 1000 RxBox Telehealth Device in Selected Rural Health Centers in the Philippines”. This initiative is one among DOST’s efforts for a “Smarter Philippines.”

RxBox – “Real Life Experience in a Box”

The RxBox is a multi-component program that can capture real-time electronic health data from the patients. It contains an electronic tablet connected to the medical apparatuses like the Blood Pressure Monitor, Pulse Oximeter, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Maternal Tocometer, Fetal Doppler and Temperature Sensor. The tablet is programmed to collect electronic health data from the built-in medical sensors attached to the apparatuses. The simplified data immediately appears on the screen of the e-tablet once a patient is being examined through the apparatus, hence the real life experience.

Modernizing the health information system

More than its capacity to gather electronic health data from the patients, the RxBox technology has also introduced a novelty on the health information gathering system in rural and remote areas through a paperless medical record system. Once a patient has been examined, the real-time health data automatically stores in the information database of every patient through the program’s electronic medical record system, the Community Health Information Tracking System or CHITS.

Aside from providing a rich health information database, the system also allows the healthcare workers to instantly send the patient’s health information to health care specialists across the country when the need arises for any further expert advice.

The CHITS model pioneers in the advancement of health information system in areas that are hardly reached by nurses, medical doctors and other medical specialists. Through providing easy access to specialists, better patient care and reduction of costs will be achieved in the long run.

RxBox in Caraga

A total of 55 RxBox units are scheduled for deployment to 52 remote areas all over the region. Municipal Health Officers, Nurses, Midwife and IT Staff who works at the municipalities of these areas will be trained on the operations and management of the RxBox unit prior to its deployment. The areas prioritized will be given one RxBox unit, an additional central processing unit (CPU) and an internet router for the transmission of health data to healthcare experts.

Together with the Department of Health Caraga, the project has already conducted an orientation to the Provincial Health Officers. The RxBox team of Caraga gained a positive response and an all-out support from the local government units across the reigion. The Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Health continues to work hand-in-hand in its aspiration to promote a healthier Caraga. (DOST-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)