Thursday, June 29, 2017

Army joins LGU-led medical mission in AgSur

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, June 29 (PIA) – The 26th Infantry Battalion (IB), Philippine Army has recently joined in the medical caravan with the two local government units in La Paz and Talacogon, Agusan del Sur.

2Lt. Romel Arnado, Civil-Military Opertions (CMO) officer of 26IB bared that some 800 individuals from the two municipalities have benefitted in the medical check-up, circumcision and eye check-up with free reading eyeglasses

“The medical mission in La Paz was held in the morning on Saturday, while afternoon in Talacogon. It was supported by the provincial government of Agusan del Sur through second district Representative Evelyn Plaza-Mellana,  La Paz mayor Ambrosio Lim,  and Talacogon mayor Jezreel Masendo,” underscored Arnado.

Also, in time with the conduct of the medical mission, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez extended cash assistance to the Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities in La Paz and Talacogon.

In his message, Alvarez gave emphasis on his current scholarship program to IP-youths, as well as the educational program of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Meanwhile, LTC Rommel Pagayon, battalion commander of 26IB led the overall supervision and area security operation in the two venues.

The medical mission caravan was anchored on the theme: “Malasakit sa may Sakit.” (JPG/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


MGB-13 holds info caravan in Caraga region

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, June 29 (PIA) – As part of the undertakings for the 2017 Environment Month Celebration, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau - Regional Office No. 13 (MGB-13), in cooperation with the Caraga Mine Environmental Management Council and the Community Relations, Education and Development Officers (CREDO), Inc., has been conducting an Information Caravan in select areas within Caraga region.

The four-day events took place in different venues: Loreto Municipal Gym in Loreto, Dinagat Islands (June 27); Provincial Convention Center in Surigao City (June 28); Cantilan Municipal Gym in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur (June 29); and in Caraga State University (CSU) - Butuan City campus (June 30).

“The activity aims to heighten public awareness of the current state of Caraga minerals industry. In the same way, it aims to foster the participation of and dialogue between the media and the mining stakeholders in achieving our common goals of responsible mining, ecological sustainability and social development,” said MGB-13 regional director Roger De Dios.

It will culminate through a press conference on Friday, June 30, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. in this city.

“We also hope to forge collaborative ties with our media colleagues in the promotion of accountability, transparency and equity,” underscored De Dios. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


Aggie chief launches Easy Access Loan Program for farmers

By Aurelius P. Arais

BUTUAN CITY, June 29 - The government is beefing-up its effort to alleviate the economic conditions of the farmers and fisherfolks in the countryside.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol launched a nationwide credit program for the farmers and fisherfolks dubbed as Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) Program.

The launching ceremony was held at Malimono, Surigao del Norte some 32 kilometers away from Surigao City on June 26, 2017.

Through PLEA, marginal and small rural farmers and fisherfolks in the area can loan an amount of up to P50,000.00 with no collateral.

Borrowers can pay the loaned amount from 2 to 10 years depending on the commodity or activity with only 6% per annum or 0.5% per month interest rate.

During the launching ceremony, Secretary Piñol awarded to Malimono Multi-Purpose Cooperative an amount of P15 million as lending conduits where borrowers can access the said loan program.

“Our farmers have 3 basic needs which is technology, financing, and marketing, and PLEA is one of the answers to their financial needs,” Piñol said.

The loaned amount is intended to finance any agricultural or fishery production activities covered with insurance through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC).

However, before a farmer or fisherfolk could access the loan, they shall be enrolled in the Juan Magsasaka’t Mangingisda Database System and issued with an intervention card.

Prior to the launching in Malimono, DA Central Office through the Information and Communications Technology Services (DA-ICTS) conducted a data gathering activity through an interview and geo-tagging the areas to identify the location of their farms and fishing grounds.

“The reason why farmers are hesitant to lend money from the banks is due to numerous documents needed, that is why we simplified the process, once you are registered in our database system and issued with Juan Magsasaka’t Mangingisda Card you are now eligible for the loan program,” Piñol explained.

PLEA with funding support of up to P20 Billion through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) is targeting around 2 million family-beneficiaries across the country. (DA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


DSWD-Caraga’s assistance to Marawi IDPs reaches P14.4M

By Abegail R. Alvarez

BUTUAN CITY, June 29 - As response to humanitarian assistance and social responsibility, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Caraga proved its swift and compassionate service (maagap at mapagkalingang serbisyo) by augmenting a total of 30,000 Family Food Packs (FFPs) amounting to P9,859,200 and P4,579,894-worth of non-food items intended for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) due to the on-going gun fight between the government authorities and local terrorist group in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

The first leg of relief distribution of 10,000 FFPs to the affected families was delivered on May 27, 2017, while additional FFPs were transported in June 1 and lastly, in June 19.

Each family food pack consists of 6 kilos of rice, 6 canned goods, and 8 sachets of 3-in-1 coffee, while the non-food items include blanket, plastic mat, mosquito net, malong, laminated sacks, and hygiene kits.

Also, the department deployed 10 social workers who will assist in the disaster response operations and will conduct psycho-social processing for victims dealing physical and psychological symptoms that are generally associated with trauma exposure brought about by the siege.

On the other hand, DSWD Caraga OIC-Regional Director Mita Chuchi Gupana-Lim ensured that the agency is always willing to send an additional augmentation support if needed since repacking is still on-going at Tiniwisan Warehouse, this city.

“We are always ready to provide additional intervention for the families affected in Marawi Siege. In fact, we are closely coordinating with the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Offices (PSWDOs) in the region to check the presence of IDPs and offer them appropriate interventions.  Also, we are continuously checking request from the LGUs for us to fast track our delivery of service,” said Lim.

As of now, the department is still waiting for the submission of masterlist and other related information by the concerned LGUs, although the agency already responded the communication letter from the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos seeking assistance from the reported IDPs, and the said request was already forwarded to CSWDO in Butuan City for validation and assessment for their needs. (DSWD-Caraga Social Marketing Unit/PIA-Caraga)


Tagalog News: IP leaders ng Caraga region nanawagan ng agarang aksyon sa problema sa Ancestral Domain at FPIC

Ni Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Hunyo 29 (PIA) - Nanawagan ngayon ang grupo ng Indigenous Peoples o IP women at tribal leaders ng Caraga region sa pamahalaan sa agarang pagresolba sa mga isyu ng kanilang Ancestral Domain at mga proyekto sa gobyerno na pumapasok sa kanilang lugar na walang free, prior and informed consent (FPIC).

Sa ginanap na IP Women’s Congress dito sa lungsod kamakailan, inihayag ni Joeralyn Paje ng Manobo Federation of Agusan del Sur na resolbahin na sana ng gobyerno ang kasalukuyang problema sa kanilang teritoryo sa tatlong komunidad ng Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte at Surigao del Sur, at mga proyekto ng ibat-ibang ahensya ng gobyerno na walang koordinasyon sa mga tribal communities.

Samantala, nangako naman si Atty. Jake Dumagan Jr., ang regional director ng National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Caraga na magtitipon-tipon ngayon ang ibat-ibang ahensya ng gobyerno upang mas mapag-usapan ang mga gagawing hakbang at mabigyang solusyon umano ang mga hinaing ng mga IPs sa rehiyon.

Ayon kay Dumagan, kabilang na sa mga ahensyang magbibigay interbensyon sa mga pangangailangan ng IPs ay ang Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Education (DepEd) at Department of Agriculture (DA).

Nabanggit din ni Atty. Dumagan na isa sa mga hiling ng IPs sa NCIP ay ang mabigyan na ng Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles ang Kahugpungan sa mga Tribung Mamanwang Manobo (KATRIMMA) at Federation of Trento Manobo Tribal Councils, Incorporated (FETREMTCO).


Ayon naman kay Butch Olano, ang head of office ng Amnesty International – Philippines’ Empowerment, Education, Justice (EEJ), isang non-government organization na naka-base sa Caraga region at siyang nanguna sa ginawang IP Women’s Congress, kasama ng ibat-ibang ahensya ng pamahalaan, itinataguyod din ng Amnesty International ang karapatang economikal, sosyal, at politikal ng mga IPs. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)