3.09.2017

Thursday, March 9, 2017

DOLE, LGU Carrascal open 80 slots for summer jobs

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Mar. 9 (PIA) – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Caraga and the local government unit of Carrascal will offer summer jobs to some 80 poor-but-deserving students.

Dubbed as Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES), the program is intended for those interested students who are willing to work for 22 days.

The initiative is open to all qualified high school, college or vocational students aged 15-30 years old, including dropout students who are willing to continue their studies.

Under the SPES, the DOLE will shoulder the 40 percent of the salaries of the beneficiaries, while their employers--government agencies, such as local government units, and private companies and other sponsor-institutions will pay the 60 percent. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


SurSur administrator bares NPAs’ widespread extortion

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Mar. 9 (PIA) – Provincial Administrator Efren Rivas here told Capitol employees on Monday that extortion activities by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels had already “gone very far.”

Citing Tandag City Mayor Alexander “Ayek” Pimentel as his source of information, the administrator said that even stall holders at the newly opened Tandag City Public Market had not been spared of the collection for revolutionary taxes.

Rivas, in passing, mentioned that not only businesses here were being milked regularly but even the poor folks in the countryside.

The provincial government here holds a flag ceremony program every Monday where every office under its arm has a turn to report any information, updates or accomplishments. Last Monday, March 6, the Provincial Accounting Office was the program host and the administrator was called to give a message.

In a separate interview, Mayor Pimentel did not mince words in confirming about what he disclosed, saying he was just airing the sentiments of his constituents.

If during the 80’s or 90’s, people here were giving out financial aid for the rebels’ cause; to impose the same right now could be against their own volition or freewill, he explained.

In the meantime, Mayor Pimentel could only make a wish that “revolutionary taxes” being imposed must stop.  He likewise said that should President Rodrigo Duterte give a green light for the peacetalks to resume, scrapping this levy must be included among the main agenda.

When pressed about the extent of revolutionary taxes on businesses in his city, the mayor quickly replied “all!”  Worse, Pimentel pointed out that businesses here had to pay taxes not only for government but also for the rebels, stressing on what seemed to be “double taxation.”

This scheme was not only taking place in Tandag but province-wide, he added.

For PSSupt. Romaldo Bayting, PNP provincial director here, his office would always be ready to press charges against the rebels should any victim come out with a complaint.

The provincial police chief also made a remark that this illegal act was putting the rebels on the losing end as they had already morphed themselves into criminals.

On the other hand, Col. Franco Nemesio “Jojo” Gacal, 402nd Infantry Brigade commander based in the province, hailed Mayor Pimentel on the exposé.

The army official clarified that not only did Mayor Pimentel brought out the matter during the “February 28 Peace Forum” here, he was also told about what the rebels had been doing.

Gacal bared that stall holders at the Tandag City Public Market were allegedly being taxed P50 on a daily basis.  Like Mayor Pimentel, the brigade commander believed that this activity was being carried out province-wide.  In fact, Col. Gacal said that toll collection had been taking place “nationwide.”

He also said that it was good that the issue was made public for it to be openly discussed.

Gacal agreed that if the leftist groups were indeed pro-people, they would surely turn away from taking advantage especially of the poor. (Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


POPCOM Caraga calls for women empowerment

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 9 (PIA) – The Commission on Population (POPCOM) Caraga joins the entire bureaucracy in the continuing campaign to empower women through socioeconomic advancement in celebration of this year’s Women’s Month.

Under the theme for this year’s event  “We Make Change Work for Women”, POPCOM quoted that women should be active drivers in bringing about positive changes, and that they should also reap from development efforts.  This can be made possible by empowering women – enabling them to meaningfully engage with other development stakeholders, and by fully implementing the Magna Carta of Women.

The provision of basic education for all boys and girls is a goal that can be advanced through the empowerment of women, training teachers to be gender sensitive, promoting the value of making school of sage   vehicle in postponing early marriages and childbearing by promoting universal access to reproductive health.

In its advocacy campaign, POPCOM clearly emphasizes that freedom from violence, especially for girls and women is a core right and essential to the ability to lead a productive life.

POPCOM Caraga Regional Director Alexander A. Makinano points out that POPCOM is working closely with the Local Lady Legislators League for the possible conduct of Regional Summit on Reproductive Health  to generate support from the legislators particularly on the following measures : Executive Order No. 12 –Attaining and sustaining Zero Unmet Need for Modern FP; HB 4742 – Establish a national policy in preventing teenage pregnancies & institutionalize social protection for teenage parents; HB 4689 – Establishment & operation of population offices mandatory.

“With the endorsement of the local legislators to the various measures, including that of the Regional Development Council, it will create positive change in the lives of every woman and will spell a difference,” says Makinano.

To recall, RDC-Caraga adopted the following measures in response to the growing incidence of teenage pregnancy in the region: Resolution No. 38, series of 2014 – Requesting the LGUs to pass an ordinance requiring boarding house operators to secure business permits; Resolution No. 39, series of 2014 – Requesting the LGUs to pass an ordinance regulating the access of teenagers to motels, hotels and beach cottages; and Resolution No. 6 – supporting the conduct of International Men’s Day in Caraga Region. (POPCOM-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


IFAD project ConVERGE seen to boost farmers’ income in Agusan Norte

By Gil E. Miranda

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 9 (PIA) - The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Agusan del Norte intensifies its effort to advance the implementation of Project ConVERGE (Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment) under the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) framework.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Andre B. Atega disclosed during the Monday convocation that the total estimated allocation amounted to more than P354 Million based on the revised Feasibility Study (FC) is now on finalization stage.

Since 2016, DAR-Provincial Project Management Office in this province was conducting series of planning and information gathering involving the local government units, stakeholders and the participating ARBOs for the identification and selection of project beneficiaries and specific project areas and appropriate interventions.

The project aimed to increase agricultural productivity and promote marketing for abaca fiber industry through value-chain enhancement for certain crops and products of the farmers in TUJAKITSAN cluster (Tubay, Jabonga, Kitcharao and Santiago).

According to Planning Officer Annelyn R. Chan, “by providing  the ARBOs with this project ConVERGE, an estimated of 3,350  Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries in TUJAKITSAN cluster are expected to improve their production and income.”

The TUJAKITSAN cluster consists of 20 participating Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) lead by San Isidro Upland Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SIUFMULCO) of Santiago town.

Based on the revised FS under Project ConVERGE, P33 million has been allotted for the farm-to-market road in Santiago that includes the rehabilitation of Barangay San Isidro to Calasunahan and Sarog road; P199 million for Abaca Processing and Trading Operation; P77 million for the Increase Agricultural Production; and P45 million for Capacity Enhancement of the ARBOs. (DAR-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


1 soldier killed, 1 injured in NPA attack in Surigao Norte town

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Mar. 9 (PIA) - A soldier was killed while another was wounded as government troops on the ground responded to a planned NPA attack at around 9:00 p.m. on March 8, 2017 in Brgy. Budlingin, Alegria town.

The 30-minute firefight has resulted to one casualty on the government side (name not yet released prior notice to kin) and several damages to civilian properties in the barangay.

Likewise, pursuit operations was launched by the government troops to apprehend the perpetrators who were reported by civilians to have sustained casualties.

"These NPA rebels clearly do not respect the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law wherein civilian population and properties shall not be object to attacks. Despite of the death of one of our soldiers, we will continue to protect and defend our communities and continue to facilitate the entry of development," Lt. Col. Rico Amaro, 30th Infantry Battalion (30IB) Commander said.

He said the 30IB troopers deployed in Surigao del Norte clarified that the Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda - Lumad, Guerilla Front 16, Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee under a.k.a. Ricky was behind the attack.

Amaro further said that it was the same group and in the same barangay that abducted PFC Erwin Salan on January 29 as part of natiowide series of the New Peoples Army (NPA) attrocities that prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to withdraw the unilateral ceasefire and label the rebel group as terrorist.

"Brgy. Budlingin is the center of IP communities in Alegria, Surigao del Norte. It was the NPA that killed their tribal leader last year who's making a stand against NPA recruitment of the IPs. It was the constituents of the Brgy that wanted our soldiers to be present in their community and conduct Peace and Development Outreach Program (PDOP) to prevent the NPA recruitment of IP including minors and extorsion of Royalty Fees received by IPs in the area," he said.

"Our IP communities have had too much of exploitation from these criminals and we have a hero that just died last night protecting our IP. We call on for the support of everyone, let us not allow our peace loving IPs to be exploited and be trained by the NPAs to become criminals. Let us all empower and protect them," Col. Amaro added. (30th Infantry Battalion, Phil. Army/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


U.S. Embassy in the PH opens funding opportunity for ‘YSEALI Summit 2017’

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 9 (PIA) - The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting a proposal for a cooperative agreement to develop and implement the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Summit, a five-day advanced leadership workshop in the Philippines. The YSEALI Summit is tentatively planned for early October 2017.

During the 40th anniversary year of United States (U.S.) – Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) relations, the 2017 YSEALI Summit will bring together approximately 250 YSEALI exchange program alumni from ASEAN member countries for an advanced leadership workshop that will equip participants with the knowledge, attitude, and skills to address the complex and dynamic political, social, economic, and environmental issues that the U.S. and ASEAN will confront in the next 40 years. The workshop will develop participants’ leadership competencies in systems and design thinking, dialogue and negotiations, initiating and sustaining collaborative action, and other skills needed to advance participants’ leadership capacity and ability to develop systemic, innovative, and collaborative solutions to complex and dynamic problems. Participants will also discuss the role of youth and YSEALI in addressing ASEAN’s challenges and goals and in strengthening U.S. – ASEAN relations.

YSEALI is the U.S. government’s signature initiative to engage emerging young leaders in ASEAN, specifically from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. YSEALI aims to create a network of young Southeast Asian leaders who work across national borders to solve common problems in the four pillars of YSEALI – civic engagement, economic development, education, and environment and natural resources management.


Detailed information about this notice of funding opportunity and the application requirements can be found at www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=292231. (U.S. Embassy/PIA-Caraga)