5.07.2017

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Caraga economy growing, says PSA chief

By Nora C. Lanuza Molde

BUTUAN CITY, May 4 (PIA) - The economy of Caraga grew by 2.5 percent in 2016 in gross regional domestic product (GRDP), the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.

PSA Caraga regional director Dr. Rosalinda Apura said the increase is not that high as compared to 4.5 percent posted in 2015.

Apura also said that services sector contributed the largest share in the region’s total economic output with 48.4 percent, and still the main driver for the region’s growth.

The industry sector on the other hand followed the services sector that also contributed 35.1 percent in the region’s growth followed with 16.5 percent from the agriculture, hunting, forestry, and fishing (AHFF), Apura added.

Based on PSA Caraga’s data, Services expanded from 5.5 percent in 2015 to 8.7 percent in 2016.  Financial Intermediation grew by 14.5 percent; Other Services by 10.5 percent; Trade and Repair by 8.7 percent; Transportation, Storage and Communication by 7.8 percent; Public Administration and Defense by 6.4 percent; and Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities by 6.2 percent.

Also, PSA Caraga bared that the industry sector suffered a reversal from 10.5 percent in 2015 to 3.3 percent in 2016 due to a contraction in Mining and Quarrying (MAQ). Manufacturing, Electricity, Gas and Water Supply and Construction posted expansions of 5.9 percent, 5.0 percent, and 4.1 percent, respectively. MAQ declined by 8.5 percent, it was learned.

The AHFF declined by 2.3 percent in 2016 as fishing further slowed down to negative 3.3 percent. Agriculture and Forestry posted an improvement though still negative growth of 0.8 percent, as recorded by PSA Caraga.

Apura further said that the services sector contributed 4.0 percentage points to the region’s total growth in 2016. On the other hand, industry and AHFF pulled down the growth by 1.2 percentage points and 0.2 percentage point, respectively. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga)


Free tuli benefits 107 boys in SurSur town

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, May 4 (PIA) – One hundred seven (107) school-aged boys benefited a free circumcision dubbed "summer operation tuli" held on Tuesday at the Cagwait Elementary School in Cagwait town of this province.

According to 36th Infantry Battalion spokesperson Captain Al Anthony Pueblas, aside from circumcision, other services such as shoe repair and haircut were also offered to the local residents.

Pueblas said the activity was aimed to cater to the physical needs and holistic development of school-aged boys.

Pueblas added that it was realized thru the sponsorship of the Cagwait Teachers and Employees Cooperative (CAGTEC) in collaboration with the 402nd Brigade and the 36th Infantry Battalion, Phil. Army. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


NRCP research uncovers marine sediment-derived microbes for killing “superbugs”

By Mary Charlotte O. Fresco

BUTUAN CITY, May 4 - A research funded by the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) has recently discovered special types of microorganism from sediments collected from the ocean floor which have demonstrated an ability to kill aggressive disease-causing pathogens or “superbugs” which have become resistant to modern antibiotics.

“Superbugs” is a new medical terminology that refers to bacteria which have developed genes that are resistant to different antibiotics; the infections caused by these bacteria are harder to treat.

Dr. Doralyn S. Dalisay, together with her research team, has put up a “microbial library” for cultivation of these marine sediment-derived microorganisms and a “extract library” of these isolates for antimicrobial testings. Extracts from the library showed strong inhibitory activities against a panel of test pathogenic drug-resistant bacteria and fungi.

“The findings are quite promising and if more microorganisms like these will be discovered and tested, this [endeavor] will place the Philippines in the global frontiers of medical and therapeutic research,” said Dr. Dalisay, a researcher of NRCP who is leading the study, during the launching of the research program entitled “Marine Sediment-Derived Actinobacteria: New Vista for Natural Products Discovery in the Philippines” last March 29, 2017 in Iloilo City.  The launch was attended by University of San Agustin President Fr. Frederick C. Comendador, Vice President for Academic Affairs Fr. Manuel M. Vergara, Associate Vice President for Research Dr. Jonel P. Saludes, NRCP Executive Director Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay, and staff from the NRCP-Research Development and Management Division.

Dr. Dalisay is a research scientist at the University of San Agustin in Iloilo.

“The highly biodiverse marine microorganisms thriving in the sediments surrounding the Philippine archipelago has not been investigated well with regard to their potential for developing products that are of interest in biotechnology and pharmaceutical sciences”, Dr. Dalisay added.

Thus, the first and second phase of this research program are focused on isolating marine sediment-derived microorganisms, determine their antimicrobial activities and biogeographical distribution in the Philippine archipelago.  The third phase will focus on evaluating their anticancer activities, studying their biodiversity, and performing genomic analysis to establish relationships between metabolite biosynthesis potential, taxonomy, and the habitats and locations from which the isolates originate. These research efforts will prioritize isolates for future investigations and provide a road map for guiding future natural products discovery efforts.

NRCP, being the country’s premier agency for supporting and nurturing basic research, has undergone strategic innovations, one of which is aligning its research priorities to the most pressing needs of the country and to give Filipinos better health and life through medical research. (DOST-STII/PIA-Caraga)


RJJWC members gather, fortify advocacy vs lowering age of criminal liability

By Eunice Montaos Plaza

BUTUAN CITY, May 4 – Chaired by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), members of the Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Committee (RJJWC) have recently gathered at Prince Hotel, this city for their quarterly meeting to discuss updates as to the latest going of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act (JJWA) now that it is being deliberated at the Congress.

Part of their discussion was the committee’s position on the pending bill on lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) from 15 to nine years old.

The members of the RJJWC expressed their stand that no child should be put in jail rather they should undergo the diversion program or be placed in a rehabilitation center for youth for recovery and possible re-integration to their families and communities.

Reynaldo Balmori, Chief Personnel Records Management Officer of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)-Caraga, who attended the meeting as representative of BJMP stated his opinion on the issue saying that even the physical design of the jail would suggest that it is no place for a child to be placed.

“Putting a child in jail together with adult offenders is never a good idea as a child is known to be vulnerable and can easily be influenced,” Balmori said.

“When they will be mixed with adult offenders, it is like we put them to the academy of criminal minds,” he added.

The RJJWC first quarter meeting agreed on conducting follow-up of resolutions for the local government units (LGUs) opposing the MACR in support to the committee’s advocacy.

DSWD Caraga OIC Regional Director Mita Chuchi Gupana-Lim stated that the said resolutions from the local government units (LGUs) is important to show and support the cause of DSWD and also to promote the welfare of children.

“We really need to strengthen our laws to protect our children,” Lim said.

Social Welfare Officer Dante Rosales and Marietta Jandayan, RJJWC Caraga secretariat, also provided updates on the submission of the LGUs as to the Comprehensive Local Juvenile Intervention Program (CLJIP) of the LGUs which were trained last year.

The RJJWC is an inter-agency structure mandated to oversee and ensure implementation of the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act. The committee is expected to provide support in all areas of monitoring, policy and program development, advocacy and social mobilization. (Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


AgSur flood victims receive cash shelter assistance

By Abegail R. Alvarez

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, May 4 - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Caraga through the Disaster Response Management Unit has recently distributed the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) cash grant to 55 families in the municipality of Loreto, this province.

The said families were affected by flash flood after series of heavy rains and Low Pressure Areas (LPAs) that hit the region for the past few months.

Under ESA, families whose houses are partially damaged received P10,000 while families whose houses are totally damaged received P30,000. The total amount disbursed during the distribution sum up to P1,250,000.

Also, for totally damaged houses, 10 days cash for work assistance at P210 per day will be given to the families, while five days assistance will be granted to partially damaged houses with the same amount. However, proper documentation such as photos and receipts will be submitted to prove the construction/rehabilitation of their houses.

ESA is a cash grant provided to families whose houses are either totally or partially damaged. It may be released in cash or in the form of construction materials, dependent on the situation favourable to the beneficiaries and the timelines set for the project implementation. (Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Mindanao casket-maker installs DOST-FPRDI lumber dryer

By Rizalina K. Araral

BUTUAN CITY, May 4 - One of biggest casket-makers in Mindanao is almost done putting up its furnace-type lumber dryer (FTLD), after DOST-FPRDI researcher Caesar A. Cuaresma supervised the facility’s installation last March.

“The 3,000-board-feet capacity lumber dryer of King Jude Metal Caskets and Accessories is about 70 percent completed, after the major parts were put in place last month. The owners requested for the immediate construction of the dryer so that they would be better able to meet the quality and volume requirements of St. Peter Funeral Parlors, their sole client,” said Pedrito A. Lontok of DOST-FPRDI.

Funds for the dryer were loaned from the DOST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP).

DOST-FPRDI’s FTLD enables small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to make high quality finished products from properly kiln-dried wood. Made of locally sourced materials, it is easy to install and operate, uses woodwastes as fuel, and dries lumber to a moisture content acceptable to both local and foreign markets.

In the SOCCKSARGEN region where King Jude Metal Casket and Accessorites is based, two other companies have also availed themselves of SETUP loans for their own FTLDs: the Ramon Tan Sawmill in Tacurong City and the Tecuala Mini Sawmill and Woodworks in Kidapawan City. (DOST-STII/PIA-Caraga)


Caraga on track in meeting the 2022 Cacao challenge

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, May 4 - The National Cacao Roadmap 2016-2022 calls for Caraga Region to commit 3,000 metric tons of dried beans production by 2022.

At the target yield of two kilos per tree and 500 trees per hectare, this would require some 3,000 hectares of productive cacao trees.

Cacao industry cluster stakeholders who attended the regional localization of the national roadmap early this month reported the baseline in terms of hectares planted to cacao at 3,975.

Agusan del Sur accounted for 65 percent of this number at 2,584 hectares.

Although productivity is still low in some of the cacao farms, Philippine National Cacao Industry Council (PNCIC)-Caraga Chapter chairman Christopher Lindo and the rest of the stakeholders coming from the region’s five provinces are confident that even before 2022, the region can already meet or even exceed the roadmap target commitment.


The roadmap localization was attended by over 100 stakeholders which include the cacao input providers, farmers, traders, processors and enablers held recently at the Mabe’s Savory Place in San Francisco town, this province. (DTI-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)