Wednesday, June 7, 2017

OPAPP Sec, Marawi Crisis Management Committee work on mechanism to ensure on time delivery of relief to civilians

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

ILIGAN CITY, June 7 (PIA) – The Crisis Management Committee claimed that they have put in place mechanisms that will ensure on time delivery of relief goods to the civilians affected by the armed conflict in Marawi City.

This was confirmed by Secretary Jesus Dureza of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) during a press briefing held on Monday at the provincial capitol of Lanao del Sur in Marawi City.

With all the work needed as the government does its best to rescue trapped civilians from the areas covered by the Maute local terrorist group, Sec. Dureza also gives priority to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are now at the evacuation centers and those staying in their relatives’ houses.

The secretary also emphasized that with the peace corridor, the government is optimistic that it will ensure the safety of civilians and the delivery of the needed humanitarian aid for the IDPs.

“The government and the Crisis Management Committee here have already put in place mechanisms that will ensure all these processes done. Necessary collaboration with all concerned agencies is constant,” stressed Dureza.

Also, Irene Santiago, chairperson of the implementing panel tasked to oversee humanitarian efforts in Marawi underlined that with the peace corridor, humanitarian groups could use a secure space to evacuate wounded and trapped civilians, as well as retrieve bodies for burial.

“We have already discussed necessary things to make everything possible as we will continue to rescue civilians and at the same time safeguard the IDPs needs,” said Santiago. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


AFP: No Intel failure in Marawi siege

By Venus L. Garcia

ILIGAN CITY, June 7 (PIA) – The clash that erupted in Marawi City which started with a raid on Muslim extremist leader Isnilon Hapilon hideout was never a failure of intelligence, claimed Lt. Col. Joar Herrer, spokesperson of 1st Infantry Division, Philippine Army, in an interview at Lanao del Sur Provincial Capitol in Marawi City.

“For the AFP, it’s not a failure of intelligence because first of all we have already uncovered the activities of Maute. There were reports that they would seal and shape Marawi because this is the only Islamic city in the country. So, our troops launched a deliberate raid,” Herrera said.

According to him, the militant group had the grand plan to totally burn down Marawi. They were conducting law enforcement operation afternoon of that day, together with police forces in the province, but upon reaching Basak Malulut gunfire greeted the government forces forcing them to fire back.

“So, there was a sporadic firefight and diversionary attack. Just imagine if the military didn’t do it, Marawi crisis could have been worse. However, we cannot discount the perception of others about the incident,” said Herrera.

The siege has prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare Martial Law for 60 days over Mindanao. It has also led to cutting his visit short in Russia. “The Martial Law is a political decision of the president and the AFP is very capable to finish the job,” remarked Herrera.

He also said that the Army troops have risked their lives in the battleground and even in the conduct of house to house clearing operation. “Up to this time, rescue operations are being done ensuring minimal civilian casualties. No amount of combat victory if these innocent civilians will just be killed,” underscored Herrera.

“What are we afraid of? Martial Law or violence and terrorism? It is more fearful if we allow chaos and warfare to succeed,” said Herrera. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


Diocese of Iligan, MSU extend relief assistance to Marawi evacuees

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

ILIGAN CITY, June 7 (PIA) – The Diocese of Iligan City, together with Mindanao State University (MSU) - Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao (IPDM) has joined hands for a common cause to help the internally displaced persons (IDPs) who suffered the effect of the armed conflict in Marawi City and are now in the evacuation centers here.

Sr. Fe Socorro Salimbangon, Diocesan Caritas Coordinator of the Diocese of Iligan City said that they have partnered with National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) under the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and Catholic Relief Services for the relief distribution to more or less 2,000 IDPs in the barangays of this city.

“The food packs contain salted dried fish, rice, sardines, mongo, and other food items,” enumerated Salimbangon. She also called on those interested donors who want to donate to have it thru cash instead so evacuees could also buy other needs.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mark Anthony Torres, officer-in-charge of MSU-IPDM, also disclosed that they have student-volunteers and friends from MSU and other schools in Iligan City who help them in the whole duration of the relief operation of their organization in partnership with other sectors.

“Food packs, hygiene kits, household kits will be given to evacuees. The 1st batch of relief distribution is composed of 650 hygiene kits and 1,250 household kits. We prioritized those who are not in the main evacuation centers and also need special care,” elaborated Torres.

Torres added that more donations from their partners are coming to accommodate some 1,600 home based families/evacuees in the affected barangays. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


RSC Caraga prepares search for outstanding volunteer; accepts nominations for 2017

By Nora C. Lanuza Molde

BUTUAN CITY, June 7 (PIA) – This year’s Search for Outstanding Volunteer (SOV) is now open.

This annual activity serves as highlight of the celebration of the National Volunteers’ Month every month of December. It highlights and recognizes the exemplary performance and dedication to service of Filipino volunteers in building strong communities across the country through volunteerism.

This is open to all individuals of Filipino citizenship and Filipino volunteer organizations or local chapter organizations of foreign volunteer organizations that currently provide volunteer assistance in the Philippines.

The SOV has two award categories – the National Outstanding Volunteer Award (NOVA) and the Volunteer Lifetime Achievement Award (VLAA).  The NOVA is a recognition conferred to outstanding volunteer individuals and organizations, including corporate volunteering initiatives that are chosen from among the regional qualifiers. The VLAA is conferred to a Filipino volunteer or a Filipino volunteer organization or a local chapter of a foreign volunteer organization serving in the Philippines.

During the SOV regional search committee’s (RSC) meeting held recently at the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Caraga regional office here, the RSC reviewed the guidelines of the SOV and set activities to promote and even intensify its campaign on the said search.

The RSC in Caraga has set July 14, 2017 for the deadline in accepting nominations in order for the committee to have enough time in evaluating the regional entries. The RSC has also scheduled the site validations from July 21 to 24, 2017. The meetings, deliberation, and documentation of entries before its submission to the National Selection Committee were also agreed by the members of the RSC.

The conferment of awards is in Manila during the NVM celebration on December 2017.

For inquiries, please contact NEDA Caraga at (085) 342-5774; 815-0306 or email caraga.neda@gmail.com. Nomination forms are available online at www.pnvsca.gov.ph. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga)


Tandag City revives nutrition council

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, June 7 (PIA) – In response to the nutrition challenges of the city, the local government unit of Tandag City reorganized and revitalized the city nutrition committee (CNC) through the conduct of a 2-day Re-organization and Reactivation Meeting held recently here.

According to City Nutrition Office chief Ermalinda Donasco, the reactivation of the CNC is aimed to reduce, if not eradicate the malnutrition problem of the city. The revitalized council is now being chaired by Mayor Alexander Pimentel.

Donasco said the malnutrition problem of the city is still a public issue with an average of 12.0 percent or 850 pre-school children aged 0-7 years old prevalence for a period of three years from calendar year 2013 to 2015. This magnitude ranks number one and the highest prevalence rate of malnutrition problem among six cities in Caraga Region.

On 2016, the city ranked as third from the highest prevalence rate of malnutrition problem in Caraga. As of January to March 2017, the prevalence rate is 9.52 percent. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


PDRRMO Dinagat holds DRR-CCA youth camp 2017

By Susil D. Ragas

SAN JOSE, Dinagat Islands, June 7 (PIA) - The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Office (PDRRMO) conducted a Listong Kabataan: Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change (DRR-CCA) Camp 2017 held recently at the Provincial Guest Center, Capitol Compound, Cuarinta, this province.

The one-day camp, which was intended for the 100 children and youths from the different barangays of the province, is anchored on the theme, “Listong Kabataang Diagatnon: Tulay Tungo sa Ligtas at Maunlad na Kumunidad.”

According to PDRRMO officer Rosario "Inday" Roxas Jra, the activity aims to equip the youths with basic knowledge, be alert in all aspects, and identify ways to ensure protection and promotion for students’ rights.

Topics and concerns discussed during the said camp include environmental protection and preservation program of the province, protecting the rights of the child, child labor prevention and elimination program, operation listo program cum listong pamilyang Pilipino, and orientation on local council for the protection of children. (PIO-Dinagat Islands/PIA-Dinagat Islands)


DOLE SurSur-assisted projects win in regional level

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, June 7 (PIA) - Two projects assisted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Surigao del Sur won as Best DOLE-assisted project in the regional level under group and individual categories held recently at the Waterfront Pavilion Hotel in Manila.

The Pure Ever Purified Drinking Water, a group project in Bislig City, bagged the 2nd place under the group category in the Search for Best DOLE-assisted livelihood project at the National Level.  The plaque of recognition and cash award of P50,000 were received by Joselito S. Soriano, chairman of Pure Ever Drinking Water-Multi Purpose Association.

For the individual category, Anabelle Cabaña was awarded as the Regional Best DOLE-Assisted Project and she received a plaque of recognition and cash award of P30,000.

According to DOLE Surigao del Sur provincial office, Cabaña was one of the 25 beneficiaries provided with livelihood assistance from DOLE last December 2015. She qualified the program being a mother of a 16-year old child laborer in Aras-asan, Cagwait, Surigao del Sur.

The said livelihood program, according to DOLE, aimed to augment their income and to prevent their children from engaging in any forms of child labor. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


News Feature: AgSur town bags rice achievers hall of fame

By Rhea C. Abao

BUTUAN CITY, June 7 - Prosperidad is a Spanish word which means prosperity. True to its name, the municipality prospers to be one of the outstanding rice producer in Caraga Region.

The municipality of Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur bagged for the third time the Outstanding Municipality for the 2016 Rice Achievers Award in the national level.

Rice Achievers Awards (RAA) is an annual event organized by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to recognize the outstanding province, municipalities/cities, irrigators associations (IAs), small water impounding systems associations (SWISAs), agricultural extension workers (AEW), and the local farmer technicians (LFT) for their significant contributions to the rice industry. This is to encourage commitment and ensure excellent performance of our LGU stakeholders of their respective functions and responsibilities.

The success of the municipality being an awardee for three consecutive years (2014, 2015 and 2016) is attributed to the collaborative efforts of the national, provincial and municipal government in implementing program and projects for rice farming. The municipality maintained an average yield of 5 metric tons per hectare for irrigated areas and 4 metric tons per hectare for rainfed in the last three years.

"There are various contributing factors for the success that we gained. One of these is the increase in area planted to hybrid rice and certified seeds through High Yielding Technology Adoption (HYTA) and High-Quality Seeds Assistance Program from the DA. Another factor is the input production support to farmers or irrigators association for crop protection and production especially in identified low yielding areas," said Municipal Agriculturist Marlita Cortez.

The continuous training and support to agricultural extension services, provision of pre and post production facilities and the support of the local officials also paved the way for the success of the municipality.

For 2016, The municipality has an allocation of 1.67 percent internal revenue allotment (IRA) for rice or an equivalent of 3.14 million. The budget allocated reveals the strong support of the LGU to develop the rice production of the municipality.

Aside from the recognition brought by the municipality, ten outstanding AEWs were also recognized. Four of them came from Butuan City, namely: Nestor J. Fuentes, Thelma A. Burgos, Segundina O. Ayag, Agnes C. Alcazar.

For the municipality of Buenavista, Agusan del Norte four AEWs stood out. These are Basilisa C. Huera, Concepcion P. Suma-oy, Gertrulyn T. Natonton and Cecilia G. Abdulmajid.

Marion G. Martin III from Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur and Victoria A. Roda from Jabonga, Agusan del Norte are also recognized as outstanding agricultural extension workers in the region.

Connie A. Erigan from Butuan City, Josephine D. Alutaya, Bislig City and Raul V. Cambarihan from Basilisa, Province of Dinagat Islands also join the roster of awardees as outstanding Local Farmer Technicians.

A total of 13 individuals and one municipality brought a significant contribution to the development of the rice sector in the region. Each individual will receive 20,000 cash prize and a plaque of appreciation. While the municipality of Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur will receive 1 million worth of agriculture-related projects as an incentive for their efforts.

The awarding was held recently at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Roxas Boulevard, Manila. (DA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


DAR AgSur spearheads customer service training

By Hazel Hope V. Bautista

BUTUAN CITY, June 7 - In its aim to improve the delivery of service to different clientele groups, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Provincial Office of Agusan del Sur in partnership with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) conducted recently the four-day training on Basic Customer Service Skills to 57 employees at VCDU Prince Hotel, this city.

The training, which was conducted in two batches specifically, intends to address both rational and experimental aspect of public service.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Leoncio C. Bautista Jr., in his message, stressed the importance of upgrading the department’s delivery of service in order to give satisfaction to the customers.

“By providing quality and efficient service to our direct, indirect, internal and external customers, we will be able to identify and understand the expectations of our various customers for us to deliver appropriate measures that would answer their individual needs,” said Renante Sangre, one of the participants of the said training. (DAR-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


DAR AgNor holds records management seminar for agrarian orgs

By Gil E. Miranda

BUTUAN CITY, June 7 - The Provincial Agrarian Reform of Agusan del Norte recently conducted a series of seminars on Records Management to five Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organizations (ARBOs) in Agusan del Norte here.

Participants are coop officers and staffs from different ARBOs that comprised of 91 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries.

Chief Judith M. Domingo of Program Beneficiaries Development Division, in her message, that the seminar is part of the mandate of DAR under the organizational capability building program to improve and empower the agrarian reform beneficiary organizations.

APCP Point Person Luningning B. Ycoy said that the seminar is to provide systematic approach in records keeping and managing files to improve their operations.

Liberato U. Pulido, one of the trainers of Propegemus Foundation Inc., discussed about the importance of keeping the records and managing the files. 

Participants expressed their gratitude to DAR management in providing seminar  that can be used to improve their organization. (DAR-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


DAR conducts orientation on Climate Resilient Farm Productivity to AgSur coop

By Dimple Joy B. Suarez

BAYUGAN CITY, June 7 - The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Provincial Office of Agusan del Sur through the Program Beneficiaries Development Division has recently conducted the orientation on Climate Resilient Farm Productivity Orientation to 35 Agrarian Reform Beneficiary (ARB) members of Gamao Multipurpose Cooperative (GAMPC) held recently at Barangay Gamao, this city.

Engr. Randy Dapar and ARPO II Jemmielho Azares of the Sustainable Agribusiness and Rural Enterprise Development section together with the staff of DAR municipal office of Bayugan facilitated the said activity.

“Climate resilient farm productivity is a sustainable approach to uplift the farmer’s way of living through DAR support services projects that might also help the association recover from the devastation caused by a possible typhoon,” Azares said during his message.

“It is derived in conducting participatory appraisals to identify local potentials and challenges of the cooperative to minimize its effect,” added Azares.

“Isip usa ka mag uuma, kini may usa ka importanteng tulun-an arun makapangandam sa dili matagna nga panahon o klima, salamat kay kini makatabang pag ayo sa amo, labi na usa ako ug sa akong mga kaubanan sa kooperatiba arun among masayran ang maayo namo nga pagabuhaton sa panahon nga adunay bagyo nga moabot (As a farmer, this is very important for us to know the possible impacts of typhoon to the farm productivity and income. Thank you because this will definitely help me and all other member of the cooperative so that we will know how we will respond during typhoon),” expressed Amalia Cebuano, member of GAMPC.

Climate resilient farm productivity represents an effort to incorporate in our work the new challenges posed by climate change and its impacts to the farmers. It also promotes sustainability through appropriate agricultural research and extension services based on the technologies that reduce dependence on external inputs and help adapt to climate change and reinforce local knowledge. (DAR-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


U.S. Military Presents New Weapons and Equipment to Philippine Marine Corps Commandant for Counterterror Fight

MANILA, June 7 - Commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat accepted new counterterrorism weapons and equipment from United States Embassy military representatives during a transfer ceremony at PMC Headquarters in Taguig, June 5.

Officials from the Joint United States Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) turned over weapons and equipment delivered recently under the U.S. government’s Counterterrorism Train and Equip Program at a ceremony at PMC Headquarters.  This equipment will enhance the PMC’s counterterrorism capabilities, and help protect Philippine Marines actively engaged in counterterrorism operations in the southern Philippines.

The weapons and equipment include 300 M4 carbines, 200 Glock 21 pistols, 4 M134D Gatling-style machine guns, and 100 M203 grenade launchers delivered May 18-22 to Clark Air Base.  JUSMAG also delivered 25 new Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC) with outboard motors May 30 to PMC Headquarters.   The PMC’s Inshore Boat Battalion and Marine Special Operations Group have already employed previous U.S. Counterterrorism Train and Equip gear in ongoing combat operations in the southern Philippines.

Since 2007, representatives from JUSMAG have delivered and programmed Php7.3 billion of military equipment to the Philippine Marine Corps and other branches of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to enhance counterterrorism capabilities.  In addition, the AFP has procured small-arms weapons, water craft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and personal protective equipment as part of the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales system and other programs.

Over the last five years, the U.S. government has allocated Php15 billion of grant funding to provide the AFP with equipment, including corresponding upgrades and training.  The equipment transfers and continued bilateral training and exercises demonstrate the commitment of the United States to work with the Philippines towards building safer communities and eradicating global terror networks. (US Embassy Manila Information Office/PIA-Caraga)


Tagalog News: Religious sector at NGO nagtulungan sa pagsasagawa ng relief operations sa Marawi City

Ni Venus L. Garcia

LUNGSOD NG ILIGAN, Hunyo 7 (PIA) - Nakahanda na ang kinakasang relief operation ng Catholic Service Center (CSC) ng Diocese of Iligan, sa pakikipagtulongan ng Catholic Relief Service (CRS), isang non-government organization, at ng Mindanao State University – Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao (MSU-IPDM) para mamahagi ng household at hygiene kits sa mga kababayan na nangangailangan ng suporta matapos makaligtas sa terrorismong dulot ng militanteng grupo ng Maute sa Marawi City.

Ayon kay Dr. Mark Anthony Torres, officer-in-charge ng MSU-IPDM, hangad nilang bigyan ng humanitarian assistance ang mga internally displaced persons o evacuees na namamalagi pa hanggang ngayon sa mga temporary shelters na hindi pa masyadong nabigyan ng kanilang pangunahing pangangailangan.

Ang first batch ng relief goods na kanilang ipamamahagi ay aabot sa 1,250 household kits na naglalaman ng kumot, plastic mat, dining utensils, cooking pot, mosquito net, flashlight at drawstring bag. Nasa 650 hygiene kits naman ang inihandang ipamimigay, kasali na ang chamber pot at jerry cans.

Samantala, sinabi naman ni Sr. Fe Socorro Salimbangon, caritas coordinator ng Diocese of Iligan na may humigit kumulang isang daang sako ng bigas galing sa national secretariat for social action o NASSA ng Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), salted dried fish, mongo at sardines ang itinalaga para sa 2,000 recipients.

Sabay-sabay ring nagpaabot ng serbisyo ang mga muslim at christian volunteers na siyang boluntaryong mag-rerepack ng mga relief goods. Ayon kay Jeffrey Lugo, kusang loob niyang itinalaga ang kanyang oras upang sa ganitong paraan ay magampanan ang shared responsibility sa pagsaklolo sa mga kababayang apektado upang maibsan ang kapighatiang dinaranas nila.

Dagdag pa ni Torres, magbibigay din sila ng psychosocial support sa mga evacuees. Maliban nito ay may 1,600 home-based families ang balak din nilang babahagian ng nasabing kits sa 2nd batch na relief operation. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


Tagalog News: OPAPP Sec, Marawi Crisis Management Committee nagtatag ng mekanismong makakasigurong umaabot ang humanitarian assistance sa mga IDPs

Ni Jennifer P. Gaitano

LUNGSOD NG ILIGAN, Hunyo 7 (PIA) – Nakatatag na nang mga mekanismo ang Crisis Management Committee sa Marawi City kasama ang lokal na pamahalaan upang masigurong umaabot sa mga apektadong sibilyan at internally displaced persons o IDPs ang mga humanitarian assistance na pinapaabot ng ibat-ibang organisasyon at ahensya ng gobyerno bagamat patuloy pa rin ang bakbakan sa panig ng Maute group at Philippine Army.

Ito ay kinumpirma rin ni Secretary Jesus Dureza ng Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) sa isang press briefing kamakailan na ginanap sa provincial capitol ng Lanao del Sur.

Ayon kay Dureza, patuloy na ginagawan ng paraan ng pamahalaan kung papaano matutulungan ang mga naipit na sibilyan sa ilang barangay na hawak pa ng Maute group. Sinisigurado din umano ng pamahalaan at ng Crisis Management Committee sa Marawi City na nakakatanggap ng relief assistance ang mga evacuees.

Napag-alaman din na sa pamamagitan ng peace corridor na pinagkasunduan at tinatag ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte kasama ang Moro Islamic Liberation Front, naisisiguro rin umano nito na napapanahon and paghatid o pagbahagi ng mga humanitarian assistance sa mga apektadong sibilyan.


Sinabi naman ni Irene Santiago, ang chairperson ng implementing panel na natahasan ni Pangulong Duterte sa pag-oversee ng mga puamapasok na humanitarian efforts sa Marawi City, na mayroon ding magagamit na espasyo ang mga humanitarian groups kung sakaling may mga sugatan at narescue silang mga sibilyan sa apektadong lugar ng nasabing lungsod. Kasali na rin umano ang pagretrieve sa mga bangkay upang mabigyan ng disenteng libing. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)