Monday, July 24, 2017

Caraga nutrition advocates intensify campaign against malnutrition

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, July 24 (PIA) - The nutrition advocates from government agencies, media and private stakeholders in the region known as Caraga Movers convened on Thursday for its meeting held at Almont Hotel's Inland Resort, this city.

The National Nutrition Council (NNC) under the Department of Health (DOH) Caraga organized said activity. The group discussed nutrition updates and Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition ‎2017-2022.

Leah Vina Vargas, nutrition officer III of NNC-DOH Caraga reiterated that the Caraga Movers is a multi-sectoral organization envisioning an empowered and resourceful society through nutrition.

In her discussion on the 2017 Nutrition Month celebration and its objectives, Vargas cited that one of the objectives of this year's campaign is to help the citizens identify the healthy foods that will give them good diet and nutrition and prevent unhealthy foods being sold in the market.

“The National Nutrition Council’s 2017 Nutrition Month theme: “Healthy Diet, Gawing Habit – For Life!” It is a call for all Filipinos to start the consumption of healthier foods and discourage them from eating unhealthy diets that has never been stronger and louder,” Vargas relayed.

Also, Aldrin Atienza, nutrition officer of NNC-DOH Caraga highlighted the importance of a healthier diet. He emphasized that "our body has specific needs, people should therefore eat with balance, variety and moderation."

“People should eat the right quantity of food, reducing food waste. We should be able to control ourselves from eating too much food,” reminded Atienza.

Meanwhile, Karlyn Rose Panes, nutrition officer of NNC-DOH Caraga also stressed that eating unhealthy foods easily leads people to have non-communicable diseases and may shorten life span. “We should observe right eating habits and choose to live longer,” she said.

This years’ Nutrition Month celebration is aimed to promote healthy diets to contribute to the reduction of overweight, obesity and non-communicable diseases. It also teaches the public on how to better discern between healthy and unhealthy foods for better food choices; and encourage food industry including farmers, producers and distributors and food establishments to produce and make available healthier food options to consumers. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


DOST Caraga announces scholarships for junior college students for SY 2017-2018

By Meriam B. Bouquia

BUTUAN CITY, July 24 - The Department of Science and Technology (DOST-Caraga) is now accepting applicants for the 2017 Junior Level Science Scholarships (JLSS) for Third Year College Students.

This year’s JLSS Program has three (3) categories: Republic Act (RA) 10612, which aims to strengthen the country’s science and technology education by fast-tracking graduates in the sciences, mathematics and engineering who shall teach science and mathematics in secondary schools throughout the country; RA 7687 – awarded to poor, talented and deserving students who belong to families whose socioeconomic status do not exceed the set values of certain indicators; and Merit – awarded to students with high aptitude in science and mathematics and are willing to pursue careers in the fields of science and technology.

The implementation of RA 10612 supports the execution of Section 8 of the K to 12 law which urges the hiring of teachers from among the graduates of science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses.

The selection of DOST scholars is through a written examination which will be held on November 19, 2017 (Sunday) at identified testing centers all over the country.  To be eligible to take the scholarship examination, applicants must have the following qualifications: Natural-born Filipino citizen; Incoming regular 3rd year college student in an identified priority S&T course for SY 2017-2018; Have a general weighted average (GWA) of at least 83% or its equivalent in his/her first and second years in college; Qualifier of the 2017 JLSS Examination.

Qualifiers of this scholarship program will receive the privileges following the existing financial assistance of the RA 7687 and RA 10612 scholars.  They will be entitled to subsidy for tuition fee and other school fees, monthly living allowance for 10 to 11 months, book allowance, and more during the last 2 or 3 years of their undergraduate studies.

Application forms are available at the DOST Caraga Regional Office, CSU Compound, Ampayon, Butuan City and DOST Provincial Offices in Patin-ay, Agusan del Sur, Surigao City, Bislig City Tandag City, and San Jose, Province of Dinagat Islands  and can be downloaded at http//www.sei.dost.gov.ph.

Deadline for submission of application form and supporting documents is on September 22, 2017.

For inquiries, please visit or call DOST-Caraga @ telephone no. 342-6225 (DOST-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


DTI intensifies entrepreneurship, consumer advocacy for students in Surigao Norte

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, July 24 (PIA) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Surigao del Norte provincial office has intensified its entrepreneurship and consumer advocacy through the conduct of two Entrepreneurship and Consumer Education Seminars (ECES) in the municipality of Bacuag and Surigao City.

The seminar was conducted under the Consumer Advocacy in Negosyo Center for Young Associates (ALCANCYA), a project aims to provide basic understanding on entrepreneurship, consumer rights and responsibilities to senior high school students.

The seminar in Bacuag was held recently in Bacuag National Agro-Industrial School with a total of 177 students attending while that in Surigao City it was held at Caraga Regional Science High School (CRHS) attended by students from CRHS and Surigao del Norte National High School (SNNHS) with 77 participants who are also joining the three-day event on ASEAN Youth Business Forum and Trade Expo.

Technical staff from Consumer Protection Unit (CPU) of DTI Surigao del Norte composed of Trade and Industry Development Specialists Josephine D. Gabutin, Lourdes A. Chua, and Supervising Trade and Industry Development Specialists Rodrigo R. Matabaran, conducted the said seminar and assisted by Sheila Pagapong and Joana Villamor both Negosyo Center Business Counsellors.

Schools administrators and teachers of said schools appreciated the efforts of DTI in conducting the seminar which they believe the students gained knowledge that can help them make a well informed decision in their day to day affairs especially when they buy products as well as on future plans to pursue possible entrepreneurial endeavors. (DTI-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


SSS, NG release more than P4.6B for educ loan program

BUTUAN CITY, July 24 - State-run Social Security System (SSS), in partnership with the National Government (NG), has disbursed more than P4.61 billion for its education beneficiaries since it rolled out the Education Assistance Loan Program (EALP) in 2012.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said around 81,200 student-beneficiaries have benefited since the program began.

“The program only started five years ago and we have already served more than 73,000 members and their beneficiaries. This partnership with the national government is really meant to help our members finance the educational need of their immediate family members,” Dooc said.

“We wish that the program fund will continue to revolve among our member-borrowers and future beneficiaries. So we also ask our successful beneficiaries, those who have already completed either a college degree or vocational course, to pay their respective loan amounts. Loan payment is also easy with up to 18 months of grace period from the last release of loan proceeds,” he added.

From the 7, 542 beneficiaries in 2012, it increased nearly 11 times to reach the present number of beneficiaries.

For the said beneficiaries, total disbursement was recorded at P4.61 billion this year from the P900.55 million on the pilot year. SSS and NG shared equally the disbursed amount to members.

Dooc clarified that SSS does not receive any subsidy from NG, contrary to recent news reports.

“We wish to clarify that SSS does not receive any subsidy from the national government. EALP is the only SSS program that has a counterpart funding from the national government and this is a loan program for our members,” Dooc said.

“All expenses of SSS including benefit payments like pension and operating expenses are sourced from the collection and investment income,” he explained further.

Recent data from the Bureau of Treasury showed that in May, SSS received P73 million of assistance from the national government as part of its share to the Education Assistance Fund Program (EAFP).

The amount disbursed by the government was requested by SSS in advance in anticipation of the expected number of applications for the incoming semester, said Dooc.

Under the EAFP, SSS is allowed to provide educational loan assistance to its members with a total fund allocation of P7 billion; P3.5 billion of which will be financed by the national government as approved by then President Benigno Aquino III and the other half from SSS.

EAFP loan beneficiaries can be SSS members including their legal spouses or children. While unmarried members can have their siblings, including half-brothers or half-sisters as beneficiaries. To qualify for the loan, members must not earn more than P25,000 a month.

At present, the EALP fund has already been allocated to member-beneficiaries. However, SSS still receives applications to the loan program on a waitlist basis. Only when a member-beneficiary has dropped or graduated from school will there be an opening for a new loan applicant.

“As I have mentioned earlier, the fund of this program is a revolving fund. We have to wait for the repayments from our successful beneficiaries which will be used for future loan releases,” Dooc said. (SSS/PIA-Caraga)


Feature: Shining a light on safety in SurSur

By April Mae N. Waban & Marko Davey D. Reyes

A smile as bright as the sun lit up the faces of barangay officials and community volunteers of Antao, Carmen, Surigao del Sur as they gleefully show their newly-installed 28 units solar powered street lights.

The sub-project amounting to P933,760 was completed through the concerted efforts of the community and funded through the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD’s) Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) program.

For several years, residents of Barangay Antao relied on gas lamps and regular light bulbs not just to light up their homes but also their streets at night. Although they had existing street lights, these were only installed in Purok 5 which is one of the most interior parts of the barangay.

Since the barangay had a limited budget or Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share, there would not be enough resources to fund the installation of street lights to all 6 Puroks. As night falls, roads and other pathways in the barangay become less visible and accessible thereby increasing the risk of accidents and crimes.

In fact, robbery after dark was not uncommon in the village as offenders take the opportunity of the lightless streets, thus, their barangay officials decided to enforce a curfew. However, this was not still enough to ensure the safety of the residents. They thought improving their street lighting would help them address this. When the Kalahi-CIDSS program came into their municipality, the community lobbied the street lights project as the program uses the Community Driven Development (CDD) approach.

Kalahi-CIDSS’ CDD approach helps strengthen community participation by providing opportunities for communities to partake in community development activities. With this approach, communities are made to determine their needs, recommend a solution to answer these and implement the sub-projects themselves. Barangay Antao was one of the barangays chosen for prioritization with their proposed sub-project. Now, with their improved street lighting, about 236 households in barangay are expected to benefit from safer streets and prevent accidents during the night. (Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Former Cong. Aquino named father of Agusan del Norte

By Jay Vincent V. Demain

BUTUAN CITY, July 24 - The provincial government of Agusan del Norte named the former Congressman Jose C. Aquino as the Father of Agusan del Norte when it celebrated its 50 year founding anniversary last June 12-17, 2017.

Through Provincial Resolution No. 174-2017, provincial officials recognized the efforts of the late Congressman Aquino of the Congressional District of the then province of Agusan del Norte when he authored Republic Act 4979 - the law that divided the lone province into two provinces, namely: Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur that Congress enacted on June 12, 1967.

Provincial Board Member Elizabeth Marie R. Calo, author of said resolution, said that it is but fitting to honor the initiative of the former congressman that made history in the creation of the province of Agusan del Norte.

Honorable Aquino, before he was elected as Congressman in the 6th Congress from 1965-1969, also served as the Governor of the province of Agusan from 1964-1965 and the last Governor before the province was divided.

With its 50 years of existence from its creation up to this moment, the province of Agusan del Norte has grown into a progressive province and still continues to envolve and achieve significant milestone as a leading agri-forest and and service provider in Caraga.

The separation of Agusan del Norte paved the way for a more focused governance administration and implementation of plans, programs, projects and activities for the development and welfare of the province and its constituents. (LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Agusan del Norte entrepreneurs: There is more to techno upgrading in DOST

By Aliana Gene Sarmiento

“SETUP is bringing technology and innovation closer to us, the local entrepreneurs” – Lourdes Manulat of ILM Trading, entrepreneur and SETUP client.

The Training on Innovation and Product Development for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) in Agusan del Norte organized by the Provincial Science and Technology Center-SETUP recently kicked off at Almont City Hotel, Butuan City.

The Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) is a nationwide strategy of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to assist and encourage S&T innovations among qualified MSMEs. Eighteen SETUP clients in Agusan del Norte attended the said training as part of SETUP activities to equip them with needed skills for productivity and competitiveness.

According to Ricardo N. Varela, Assistant Regional Director of DOST-Caraga, it is part of DOST’s mandate to assist in the socio-economic growth of Filipinos. Providing technology upgrading opportunities to MSMEs means more jobs and income for the locals. Aside from acquiring new equipment, SETUP clients also receive free trainings, technical assistance and others. The participants applauded the efforts of the Provincial Science and Technology-ADN for making the assistance fast and hassle-free in their part.

The two-day training facilitated by Prof. Richard S. Celeste, a business management expert and entrepreneur from Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, focuses on three aspects: developing the skills of the participants in identifying new and creative products; developing a more customer-centered approach in business,and; encouraging innovation and collaboration in their respective companies. Earlier in the training, the participants made their own innovative products out of plastic straws, bottles and papers and prepared their own product presentation.

“Most of our local entrepreneurs give less prioritization on the importance of innovation and product development. To be competitive and more profitable, they needed these two,” said Ednon John Aparicio, Project Assistant for PSTC-ADN SETUP Program.

Interested clients and entrepreneurs can visit their respective provincial science and technology centers in the region to know more about the program. (DOST/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Tagalog News: Budayaw Festival gaganapin sa Mindanao

Ni Regal C. Oribia

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Hulyo 24 (PIA) - Sa pagtataguyod na mapanatili at mapaunlad ang sining at kultura sa ating bansa, gaganapin ang kauna-unahang Budayaw Festival sa Mindanao na may temang “taking pride in the creative diversity of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) region.”

Ang nasabing aktibidad ay gaganapin ng limang araw sa General Santos city at Saranggani province ngayong darating na September 20 hanggang 24.

Ayon kay National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) chief Adelina Suemith na ang salitang budayaw ay mula sa pinagsamang mga salita mula sa lengguwaheng bahasa “Budaya” na ang ibig sabihin ay pamana at kultura, at salitang Filipino na “dayaw” na ang ibig sabihin naman ay maganda at mabuti.

Sinabi rin niya na nasa 50 communities sa buong bansa ang inaasahang dadalo sa nasabing festival at isa sa mga gaganapin ay ang mga traditioanal games ng bawat bansa na gagawin ng isang araw. Bukod pa rito, nagpa-abot din siya ng mensahe sa department of education na sana ay mapasama na ang mga tradisyonal na larong pinoy sa asignatura ng Physical Education.

Dagdag pa niya, mahigit kumulang 75 na partisipante ang dadalo mula bansang Malaysia, 150 naman sa bansang Indonesia at 40 sa bansang Brunei Darussalam at nilinaw din nito na ang nasabing festival ay hindi isang kompetisyon kundi ito ay isang paraan sa pagbahagi ng kaalaman, sining, kultura ng bawat miyembro at pagtaguyod ng kapayapaan lalong lalo na sa lugar ng Mindanao. 

Ang Pilipinas din umano ang nagboluntaryo upang manguna sa gaganaping festival dahil sa bansa ginanap ang ika-limampung anibersaryo ng Association of Southeast Asian Nation o ASEAN. (RCO/PIA-Caraga)


Tagalog News: NEDA Caraga nanguna sa paglunsad ng regional development plan sa isla ng Dinagat

LUNGSOD NG SURIGAO, Hulyo 24 (PIA) - Inilunsad kamakailan ng National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Caraga kasama ang mga miyembro ng Caraga Regional Development Council (RDC) ang Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2017-2022 na ginanap sa Ecleo-Macapagal gymnasium, bayan ng Dinagat, sa Dinagat Islands.

Ang matagumpay na paglunsad ay pinangunahan ni NEDA caraga regional director Mylah Faye Aurora Cariño, Dinagat Islands provincial administrator Gwendolyn Ecleo-Pols, congresswoman Arlen “Kaka” Bag-ao, at mga opisyales ng nasabing bayan.

Sa kanyang mensahe, ipinaliwanag ni NEDA Caraga director Cariño na ang RDP 2017-2022 ay inaprubahan noong Marso a-dose nitong taon at pinagtibay sa pamamagitan ng Regional Development Council Resolution no. 8, series of 2017.

Ayon pa kay Carino, ang RDP ay nakasentro sa 0-10 point Socioeconomic Agenda ng Duterte administration tungo sa tagumpay ng Ambisyon Natin 2040 na “Matatag, Maginhawa, at Panatag na Buhay.”

Binigyan diin ni director Cariño na sa taong 2022, nilalayon ng RDP na ang buong rehiyon ng Caraga ay magiging fishery, agro-forestry, mining, at eco-tourism o FAME center ng bansa.

Samantala, inihayag naman ni provincial administrator Ecleo-Pols ang kanilang malaking pasasalamat sa NEDA Caraga at sa lahat ng government line agencies sa suportang ibinigay sa local government unit (LGU) ng Dinagat Islands.


Napakalaking tulong umano ito para sa mga Dinagatnons upang mapaunlad ang lalawigan ayon sa programa ng pamahalaan lalung-lalo na sa fishery at eco-tourism. (VLG/SDR/PIA-Caraga)