(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Friday, 07 October 2022) Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting Palawan, Visayas and Mindanao. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) / Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas / (0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

NNC-DOH to convene Caraga Nutrition advocates for PPAN 2017-2022

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, April 25 (PIA) – The National Nutrition Council (NNC) Caraga under the Department of Health (DOH) will be convening nutrition advocates from the region in Iloilo City on May 1-3, 2017 to introduce the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition 2017-2022.

DOH-Caraga regional director Jose Llacuna Jr. bared that the invited participants are members of the regional nutrition media group organized by NNC.

“Participants are active members of the regional nutrition media group, a multi-sectoral organization envisioning an empowered and resourceful society through nutrition otherwise known as Caraga Movers,” underscored Llacuna.

Llacuna also recalled that the mobilization of nutrition stakeholders and media partners as nutrition advocates in the region shall strengthen the promotion of good nutrition to increase public awareness and facilitate change of behavior of the population group towards good nutrition and healthy lifestyle in order to prevent the onset and worsening of malnutrition problem both under and over nutrition and lifestyle diet related diseases. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

Bayugan Chamber inducts new officers, members

BAYUGAN CITY, Agusan del Sur, April 25 – Some 36 business operators this city has just formalized its membership to the City of Bayugan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Incorporated (CBCCI).

Installed CBCCI President Atty. Rafael V. Ybañes led the oath-taking during the induction ceremony held recently with the theme: “Principle-Centered Paradigm a Must in Business.”

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Eastern Mindanao Regional Governor Sisinio Narisma was the inducting officer. 

The activity was also graced by Bayugan City Mayor Kim Lope Asis, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) assistant regional director Lolita Dorado, Butuan City Chamber Past President Jocelyn Yee, Agusan del Sur Chamber President  Freddie Mero, Fil-Chinese Chamber of Commerce President Armand Orilla and Chamber of Real Estate Builders Association Board of Director Crevi Honculada.

Supervising Trade and Industry Development Specialist Jose Baron and Negosyo Center (NC) Project Staff Charlotte Pingol represented DTI-Agusan Del Sur OIC-Provincial Director Brenda Corvera.

CBCCI is one the stakeholders and partners of NC–Bayugan City. (DTI-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Caraga Palm Oil industry stakeholders meet to localize national roadmap, prepare AgSur regional plan

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, Apr. 25 - Stakeholders of the Palm Oil industry cluster from all over Caraga region have recently gathered together in San Francisco town this province to craft their development direction.

Guided by the Philippine Palm Oil Roadmap 2013-2023, the Department of Trade and industry (DTI) Caraga Region with DTI-Agusan del Sur provincial office, organized a localization and planning workshop to determine issues and strategies embodied in the roadmap to meet the needs of the oil palm growers and other players in the regional setting.

While presenting the national roadmap, DTI-Caraga Regional Director Brielgo Pagaran acknowledged that there are certain sectors that still have some questions about the industry.  He said there is a need to address these concerns for the cluster to be able to unleash the full potential of the palm oil industry.

Also, in his message, C.K. Chang of Agusan Plantations Inc. (API) group of companies and current Caraga Palm Oil Development Council chair shared his journey in the Philippines as an oil palm grower.  He is one of the pioneer growers of oil palm in the region particularly in Agusan del Sur, which hosts the biggest oil palm plantations in Caraga.

“I am satisfied with the outcome,” expressed Ricky Nemiño, president of the Oil Palm Growers Association of Surigao Sur (OPGASS). He, together with the association’s other officers and members composed the second biggest delegation, next to Agusan del Sur who joined the workshop. (DTI-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Feature: From nowhere to victory

Success doesn’t happen on a screen or in a cubicle. You need to get out into the real world. - Steve Tobak

In the fourteen years of existence in the war-torn and poverty stricken province of Zamboanga del Sur, at last! He finally left. Blubbering as he stared the maybe last glance towards that shanty that borne him some hatred, struggle and of love. He had to. Breathing heavily as he walked away with his backpack-a “walk of destiny” as he named it- the lone light from the little household he’d called home slowly vanishes from his eyes.

“Where to nard?” asked one of his neighbors.

“I don’t know. Maybe, nowhere,” he sighed.

Youngest among the seven siblings, Jonard Ecot, only son of his mother’s second partner, who abandoned them before he was born, had to do something infrequent. “Nard” as they call him, thought of what they call “chasing Manila Dream.” Carrying this dream, he officially became a vagabond at 13. His mother, a single parent, was barely earning for their everyday meals. Feeling the struggle of his old pale lady, he decided to leave- without everyone’s knowledge. Saving his twenty-peso a week as an all-around helper in a family in his hometown, Nard walked away with P700 towards wherever his money could take him.

From Ramon Magsaysay to Pagadian City, then to Cagayan de Oro City. Every city he’s into, the teenager would work as an all-around helper-dishwasher, labor, waiter and even as a baby-sitter- just to earn to provide his needs. He would work at least two months in a city, and would decide to hop in again to another city to look for, well, as a cliché as it would seem, greener pasture. He’d traveled to Digos City until Nard reached Surigao City, which, perhaps the city that made a turning point of his life. Unlike in the other cities, the teen worked as a helper in two carenderias inside the city public terminal. Working hard labor, day in day out, Nard stayed inside the owner’s jitney. He would fix and keep his things every early in the morning before the driver would arrive. Cost-cutting, his first eatery employer laid him off. Needing to survive, Nard took the shot of another carenderia employment, this time with scarcely having sleep and rest. Motivated to earn for a living, he still worked for it for survival. Yet, his efforts were not paid off. After almost two months of hard works, his employer didn’t seem to mind his labors and paid no compensation.

Depressed. Tired. Oppressed. Nard got fed up.

In 2011, that was early dawn. Nard once more walked away. Yet again, without everyone’s knowledge. This time, bringing away with him the P1,800.00 proceeds from the cash box of the carenderia, which for him served as a settling of scores, and would compensate his two month labors.

Carrying his backpack, he boarded the earliest bus for Butuan City, unmindful of his destination.

“Where to Nard?” asked the bus crew.

He again sighed the words, “I don’t know. Nowhere.” He was 15 then.

After finding out what happened, the carenderia owner reported the incident to the local police.

Eventually, Jonard’s bus was flagged down by RTR cops, and was arrested. Learning about his age and that he has no one and nowhere to go, the local police took custody of Jonard. He turned into an errand boy (striker) of the local police station and would cook for the cops, help clean the station, do carpentry and all. Every morning, he could see students passing by the police station and came to think of going to school. Sooner, Nard went to high school with the support of the local police officers. For years of living in the police station, Jonard was exposed to the works of policemen, thus, a change of mind and heart for him.

He then gave up chasing his Manila Dream. He now dreams of graduation day and promised to go back to his previous place a Policeman.

Nard’s police guardians were eventually transferred to Police Provincial Public Safety Company based in Camagong, Nasipit, and so as he. He continued his studies and took up BS Criminology with all aids from his new family- brothers, sisters and uncles in his new home, hence, declaring himself a vagabond no more.

Until came this day, escorted by his proud PPSC family in camouflage, Jonard donned with toga, is now clutching in his arms his prized diploma.

But Nard isn’t finished yet, he will be a Policeman like his keepers.

Quite a journey for a wanderer. Too much Good days and as well as Bad days along the way, nevertheless, both are essential to life. Good days will give us happiness, bad days provide experiences.

Asked now where to go?

Jonard with jest, “until Victory!” (PNP-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

DENR launches biochar project, promotes green economy

By Johny Natad

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Apr. 25 (PIA) - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) officially launches Biochar Community Enterprise Project as one of the Green Economy Model (GEM) of the agency held at Ecopark, Barangay Hayanggabon, Claver, Surigao del Norte on April 18, 2017.

DENR Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez, who led the project launching ceremony with the cutting of ribbon, encouraged the participating household members (PHM), local government units, and other community partners to be involved in green economy through biochar project.

The Biochar Enterprise Project is one of the DENR interventions aimed to remediate environmental problems and promote community enterprise. DENR Administrative Order No. 2017-05 signed on February 23, 2017 provides the guidelines in the implementation of the biochar program in conjunction with the implementation of the Sustainable Integrated Area Development (SIAD) approach of the agency program on reforestation, mine rehabilitation, green energy, pollution mitigation, ecotourism, agro-forestry, rehabilitation of coastal environment, among others.

The Biochar is charred biomass from agricultural wastes like rice hull, rice straw, bagasse, corn stovers produced by high heating of these materials with very limited oxygen similar to charcoal but where biochar is meant for soil amendments and charcoal is for cooking.

Biochar is very useful to unsanitary landfills, unsanitary livestock raising, unsanitary sewage disposal, greenhouse gas emission from agriculture and landfills, and heavily degraded land from mining.  It also address the acidification of forest lands, supports better survivial of seedlings and tress in the reforestation program, removal of heavy metal from soils, removal of oil spills from mangroves and coastal water and areas, improving indoor environment from molds and air borne toxin, reduce illegal tree cutting for charcoal making, preserving fruits and vegetables without the use of electricity, reducing flies and cockroaches in homes and buildings, composting kitchen and household biomass waste for landfill reduction.  (PIO-PENRO Surigao del Sur/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

MGB conducts groundwater rResource, vulnerability assessment to Caraga LGUs

By Ralph Angelo B. Plaza

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Apr. 25 (PIA) - The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Caraga conducted a Groundwater Resource and Vulnerability Assessment from January to April 2017 in four municipalities of Agusan del Norte and Province of Dinagat Islands.

A team of geologists, geologic aide, and laboratory technician from the MGB Caraga Geosciences Division conducted the said assessment in the following municipalities covering 47 barangays: municipality of Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte with 20 barangays; Magallanes, Agusan del Norte with eight barangays; Loreto, Dinagat Islands with 10, and Tubajon, Dinagat Islands with nine barangays.

One of the functions of the MGB is the conduct of specialized researches and assessment of the country’s groundwater resources.

The Groundwater Resource and Vulnerability Assessment Program is a major activity that the MGB has initiated to conduct as its contribution to the implementation of one of the provisions of the Clean Water Act (2004) which is to prepare and publish a national groundwater vulnerability map incorporating the prevailing standards and methodologies.

The objectives of the Groundwater Resource and Vulnerability Assessment Program are as follows: Assess the availability of groundwater on the various geologic formations in the entire country; Establish the quality/chemistry of groundwater in groundwater basins; Establish the potentials and limitations of available groundwater in the various groundwater basins; and Assess groundwater vulnerability of aquifers in the country.

The team is tasked to make an inventory of all the water sources of every barangay during fieldwork.  Similarly, to document the water sources.

Primary field data such as geology, geomorphology and the type of water source were gathered. The source of water could either be well type (shallow or deep), spring type, sinkhole, or river.

Water samples were also collected per water source for the analysis of physical and chemical properties. The said properties were analyzed within 24 hours after the samples were collected.

In addition, interviews were also conducted by the team in every barangay to gather secondary field data such as date of well construction, puroks supplied, location of the water source and other details in order for the team to note the past and present situation of the water sources. (MGB-Caraga/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

PHL aims for 20,000MW RE capacities

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 25 (PIA) – To sustain economic gains and continuously elevate the quality of life in the country, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said that the Philippines endeavors to add at least 20,000 megawatts of renewable energy (RE) capacities by 2040.

Cusi issued the statement during the recent launch by the DOE and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) of the Renewables Readiness Assessment (RRA) for the country at the Energy Center at Bonifacio Global City.

“RRA is a collaboration among the DOE, IRENA and other renewable energy stakeholders from both the public and private sectors. It is vital in our vision towards attaining 20,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacities by 2040,” said Cusi.

The DOE chief said that with the Philippine governments’ aggressive stance towards building RE capacities, there is a “need to identify and analyze key challenges to further guide our stakeholders in our policies, regulatory and institutional framework.”

He said that formulating RRA involved research, interviews, focus group discussions and several multi-stakeholder consultations.

The goal, he added, is to provide a comprehensive and detailed analyses of the country’s RE profile in order to recommend measures to deal with the pertinent issues in the industry.

Cusi said that the Philippine RRA will also contribute to a database of the status of renewables readiness across member countries of IRENA.

The DOE-Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB) also prepared the launching ceremony of the RRA to serve as a forum with industry stakeholders to inform them on its results, solicit their views in carrying out the recommendations and discuss opportunities and challenges of the RE sector.

The launching was graced by DOE Assistant Secretary Roberto Uy, DOE-REMB Director Mario Marasigan, DOE-REMB Assistant Director Marissa Cerezo, National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) Chairperson Atty. Jose Layug Jr., IRENA Senior Programme Officer Gurbuz Gunol and IRENA Regional Programme Officer for Asia-Pacific Yong Chen.

IRENA is an intergovernmental organization that supports countries in transitioning into a sustainable energy future. It serves as the principal platform for international cooperation and an avenue to explore other values of renewable energy as it promotes widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms in the pursuit of sustainable development.

“The DOE is committed to provide a level of playing field among RE developers to assure the country of its indigenous and sustainable energy for the consuming public,” said Cusi. (DOE/PIA-Caraga)

U.S. Army Pacific presents ‘purple heart’ replica to family of WWII PH scout

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 25 (PIA) - Filipino private first class Adriano Alagon’s posthumously awarded ‘Purple Heart’ medal was lost in the aftermath of World War II, but on April 19, 2017, Gen. Robert B. Brown, commanding general of the United States (U.S.) Army Pacific, presented recently a replica of the medal to Alagon’s only surviving daughter, Elisea Alagon Jamoralin.  The formal ceremony took place at the historic Fort Shafter headquarters in Honolulu, HI, a building used during World War II to plan for the liberation of the Philippines in 1944.

“Through the horrors and terror of this period, we can take what endures over the years: the freedom and sacrifices made for our two nations by soldiers like Pfc. Alagon,” said General Brown, before presenting the medal.

During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, Alagon was a member of the 14th Engineer Battalion, Philippine Scouts, who gallantly served shoulder-to-shoulder with American forces.  Enduring some of the fiercest battles of the defensive campaign, Alagon was captured on his birthday, made to endure the horrific march across Bataan, and subsequently killed by his captors after spending nearly two years in brutal conditions as a prisoner of war.

Jamoralin was only eight years old when she lost her father.  Her daughter, Philippine Consul General in Honolulu Gina Jamoralin, researched her grandfather’s saga and contacted the U.S. Army about a replacement award.  “Today’s event is the culmination of my search for answers in what might have been forgotten by succeeding generations.  While we miss our grandfather, we are consoled by the fact he died for his country and we are deeply proud of him,” said Consul General Jamoralin on behalf of the family.

The family also brought a framed copy of an original letter signed by then President Harry Truman, saying: “He stands in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die so that freedom might live, and increase its blessings. Freedom lives- and through it- he lives.”

“I’ve never heard it captured so well,” said Gen. Brown.  “Freedom does live. Thanks to men and women like private Alagon. His sacrifice really humbles us here today.”

In May, soldiers of U.S. Army Pacific will participate in Exercise Balikatan, the annual Philippine-U.S. military bilateral training exercise that is a signature element of the Philippine-U.S. alliance focused on a variety of missions, including humanitarian assistance/disaster relief and counterterrorism. (U.S. Embassy/PIA-Caraga)

Agusan Norte ties up with LANHS for OJT program

By Aimee B. Sienes

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 25 (PIA) - The provincial government of Agusan del Norte recently inked an agreement with the Los Angeles National High School (LANHS) relative to the On-the-Job Training Program of its senior high school students.

The province through the Provincial Agriculturist Office (PAO) agreed to accept the senior high school students of LANHS as trainees and to avail of the use of its various facilities in the Provincial Diversified Demo Farm in Los Angeles in support to the school’s program and complement the existing curricula on senior high school.

The said training is a program requirement of the courses in Technology and Vocational Livelihood (TVL) Crop Production offered by the school wherein the qualified students will undergo work immersion and training exposures prior to graduation in order to be adequately familiar with the actual work to enhance their formal education training.

Provincial Governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba was authorized by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan through Sanggunian Resolution No. 087-2017, authored by Provincial Board Member Aquino W. Gambe, to sign the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the LANHS considering that the MOA is essential to determine the scope, responsibility and accountability of the two parties. (LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)

Agusan Norte implements SALINTUBIG in Buenavista town

By Aimee B. Sienes

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 25 (PIA) - The provincial government of Agusan del Norte is set to implement the SALINTUBIG Program, otherwise known as Sagana sa Ligtas na Tubig in the municipality of Buenavista after the approval by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan during its regular session on April 10, 2017.

In Sanggunian Resolution No. 112-2107, authored by Provincial Board Member Elizabeth Marie R. Calo, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan gave authority to Provincial Governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba, to sign in behalf of the province the mmorandum of Agreement by and among the province, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the local government of Buenavista for the implementation of the said program.

The SALINTUBIG Program is a national government’s response to the lack of access to sufficient and safe water supply in the countryside.

Based on the Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS) conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), it revealed that while the population with access to safe drinking water and sanitary toilet facilities increased, a large portion of the population obtained their water from sources that are considered unsafe such as unprotected well, undeveloped spring, river, stream, pond, lake, dam, rainwater, among others.

The municipality of Buenavista was identified as one of the beneficiaries based on the criteria set by the DILG, Department of Health (DOH) and National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC). (LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)

Mayapay tribe welcomes Masigasig troopers

By Cpt Edwin Leo Francisco

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 25 (PIA) – The Mayapay Tribal Council (MATRICO) on Friday has welcomed the presence of the 23rd Infantry (MASIGASIG) Battalion, 4th Infantry (DIAMOND) Division, Philippine Army, based in Purok-6, Brgy Alubijid, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte thru an "inpandawatan" ritual or “acceptance of the tribe” rites.

The ritual seeks to strengthen the army's relationship with the IP stakeholders towards achieving peace and development in the area.

The ritual is usually conducted amongst different tribes in the area to settle misunderstandings and/or acceptance of certain customs and traditions of a particular tribe, it was learned. Living or settling of a community within the tribal domain of a particular tribe needs the acceptance and blessing of that particular tribe.

The ritual, which started at 9:00 a.m., was facilitated by the Masigasig troopers and participated by the different tribal leaders from Mayapay Tribal Council. It was officiated by Richard “Datu Malakas” L. Gubaton, the baylan (shaman) of the tribe. The ritual continued with the calling for the “supernaturals” in the area for the soldier’s safe and peaceful stay in their highland ancestral domain areas.

"The importance of inpandawatan ritual is to determine and resolve any misunderstandings between the tribe and the 23rd IB,” Datu Malakas stated.

A certificate of Free Prior Informal Consent (FPIC) was then handed to LTC Emil Cruz, the commanding officer of the unit, at the end of the program to certify that the Mayapay tribe was allowing the presence of the 23rd IB in its tribal domain. (CMO Officer, 23IB, 4ID, PA/PIA-Agusan del Norte)