7.05.2017

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

PHL welcomes arrival of 67 new US peace corps volunteers

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, July 5 (PIA) – In time with the 2017 Philippine-American Friendship Week, 67 new United States (US) Peace Corps volunteers joined the family of more than 9,000 Americans who have served as volunteers in the Philippines since 1961, making the Philippines the second oldest with peace corps program.

Ranging from ages 21 to 69, these volunteers journeyed by bringing diverse experience, technical expertise, and spirited enthusiasm to learn about the Philippines as they embark on their new adventure.

Immediately after their arrival on Sunday, the volunteers started to undergo an intensive 10 and a half weeks of pre-service training covering technical skills, language, and cultural studies to prepare them for their service.

In partnership with the Department of Education, the Department of Welfare and Social Development, local government units, and non-governmental organizations, the volunteers will be assigned to work for a period of 27 months in communities throughout the Philippines in the fields of education, youth development, and environment.

Inspired by President John F. Kennedy, the goal of the US Peace Corps in the Philippines is to promote peace and friendship of both nations as volunteers work side-by-side with Filipinos to help build better lives for their communities. (U.S. Embassy/VLG/PIA-Caraga)


SurSur's nutrition, national disaster resilience month kick-off activity set

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, July 5 (PIA) – It's all systems go for the 43rd Nutrition Month and National Disaster Resilience Month kick-off activity in Surigao del Sur led by the city government here in collaboration with the provincial government of Surigao del Sur.

Governor Vicente Pimentel Jr. has issued a Memorandum No. 22-17 addressed to all the members of the Provincial Nutrition Committee (PNC) to participate in the nutrition parade followed by a program on Friday, July 7 in the city.

Based on the program of activities, the overview of the 43rd Nutrition Month and the National Disaster Resilience Month will be presented by City Nutrition Action Officer Ermalinda Donasco and City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Marivic Bandoy, respectively.

Adela Serra Ty Memorial Medical Center (ASTMMC) chief Janice Pagaran-Alcordo will grace the event as its keynote speaker.

There will also be a “Nutri-Hataw” as part of the lined-up activity, it was learned.

Provincial Nutrition Office chief Ermelinda Ascarez and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office chief Abel de Guzman both confirmed that in Lanuza town, same celebration will also be conducted on July 6, 2017.

There will also be a tree planting activity in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) dubbed as “Itanim Ko, Para sa Kaligtasan Nyo” and  Rescuers’ Convention to be conducted this month, de Guzman added.

The Local DRRM officers and Volunteer Rescuers’ from the two cities and 17 municipalities have confirmed their participation in the said activities. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


DepEd, DRRMO SurSur hold DRR-CCA awareness contest for students

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, July 5 PIA) – The Department of Education (DepEd) - Surigao del Sur Division and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (PDRRM) Office led on Monday the conduct of the Disaster Risk Reduction-Climate Change Adaptation (DRR-CCA) Awareness Contest for the students - Division Level in Surigao del Sur.

PDRRM officer Abel de Guzman said the activity is in line with the celebration of the National Disaster Resilience Month 2017.

Below is the list of winners:

On the spot Poster Making: (elementary) - Florean Angelie Sela of Hinatuan town;

On the spot Poster Making: (secondary) John Kimilat of Bigaan National High School in Hinatuan town;

Video Clip Making: Gwenlie Antonette Suniel of Carrascal National High School from Carrascal town;

On the Spot Essay Writing: Maybelle Jay Espinedo of Madrid National High School;

Quiz Bee: Mae Suarez of Madrid National High School;

Jingle Making Contest: Carrascal District group.

All winners received P1,000.00 cash each. They will also represent the province for the Regional level on Wednesday, July 5, 2017 in Butuan City in five different events, according to Rufino Reyes, Education Program Supervisor.

This year’s activity carries the theme, “Kamalayan, sa Kahandaan Katumbas ay Kaligtasan.” (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


DILG to LGUs: 'Maging LISTO at Alerto'

By Florian Faith Jr. P. Bayawa

BUTUAN CITY, July 5 - The Disaster Preparedness (DP) Committee of the Regional Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) – Region 13 (Caraga) chaired by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) placed emphasis on the preparedness measures of Local Government Units (LGUs) to be always “Listo at Alerto” for any natural or man-made disasters during the 2nd Quarter Disaster Preparedness Committee Meeting on June 23, 2017 at Prince Hotel, this city.

Donald A. Seronay, the OIC-Assistant Regional Director of DILG representing the Vice Chair for Disaster Preparedness - Regional Director Lilibeth A. Famacion, CESO III presided the committee meeting. He stressed that it is better to be prepared than being caught unaware and become one of the casualties in the event of disaster. The reason we are investing so much on preparedness because we are not capable to respond given our meager resources.

During the meeting, “Operation LISTO” was discussed, a program launched by DILG, which is a national advocacy program on disaster preparedness that guides LGUs and DILG personnel on actions needed to be undertaken before, during and after a typhoon. Part of the program is to strengthen the capacity and level of preparedness of the LGUs through the formation of L!STO Teams both from the interior and local governments. The discussions focused on the implementation of Listong Pamayanan, which is centered on the conduct of community drills and the Listong Pamilyang Pilipino with the support of the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC), which is centered on the distribution of Gabay at Mapa (family-based preparation for disaster) and the conduct of Family Development Sessions to 4Ps families.

Ray Gregory F. Jaranilla also presented the draft of the Regional Disaster Preparedness Plan (RDPP) of the Caraga, which serves as the roadmap of the region in disaster preparedness actions.

The meeting was attended by the Provincial and City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officers (P/CDRRMOs), Local Resource Institutes (LRIs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and DP member agencies. Part of the meeting was the E-Budget System for LGUs by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the convenience of LGUs in tagging their Annual Investment Program (AIP) for Climate Change Expenditure, Status of LGU compliance on Climate and Disaster Risk Assessment (CDRA), Climate Change Expenditure Tagging (CCET) and Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP). The Office of Civil Defense also provided updates on the RDRRMC Operations Manual and the Caraga State University presented the Geo-SAFER Mindanao Project for the generation of high resolution flood hazard maps. The discussion also include the compliance of LGUs in the preparation of 2017 La Niña Action Plan / Oplan Tag-ulan.

As the Vice Chair for Disaster preparedness, the department is pushing every LGU to comply with the minimum standards of disaster preparedness, observe the expedient utilization of the disaster funds, and follow strictly the Operation L!STO protocols para maging L!STO at Alerto for any eventualities. (DILG 13/PIA-Caraga)


Let's get energy projects moving, says DOE chief

BUTUAN CITY, July 5 (PIA) - The Department of Energy (DOE) emphasized the need to streamline regulatory processes for energy projects to speed up the provision of stable and affordable energy throughout the country.

Upon his assumption as DOE chief, Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi has been strongly pushing for a sound policy that will ensure energy projects to be carried out on time.

Supporting this call, President Rodrigo Duterte issued on 30 June 2017 Executive Order (EO) No. 30, creating an Energy Investment Coordinating Council (EICC) led by the DOE that will spearhead and coordinate national government efforts to harmonize, integrate and streamline regulatory processes, requirements and forms relevant to the development of energy investments in the country.

The EICC will maintain a database of information and a web-based monitoring system for information exchange and updates to uphold transparency and accountability.

“The council will guide the various agencies in speeding up their regulatory processes for the fast realization of energy projects to be tagged as "Projects of National Significance’ under the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP)," Cusi explained.

Cusi pinted out that “the PEP sets the vision for our energy affairs in order to deliver the objectives of Dutertenomics, particularly in identifying energy projects that need to be built and constructed on schedule.”

He further emphasized that “the longer the processing of energy projects gets, the more expensive it becomes, which could also impact on the delivery of energy services and their affordability.”

The EO provides that government agencies concerned with energy projects should presume other agencies were able to act upon and issue their respective permits within a 30-day period.

“Given that energy investors have complete requirements, cutting down the period of issuance of permits will certainly speed up the realization of energy projects,” Cusi said.

The EICC will be chaired by the DOE and shall be composed of representatives from various national government agencies and relevant energy institutions (e.g. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Finance, Department of Justice, Department of Transportation, National Electrification Administration, National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, National Power Corp., National Transmission Corp., Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development and other relevant government agencies). (DOE/PIA-Caraga)


US, PH officials attend proliferation security initiative engagement

BUTUAN CITY, July 5 – Representatives from the governments of the Philippines and the United States (US) recently convened to discuss ways of preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their delivery systems, and related materials during the first bilateral proliferation security initiative (PSI) engagement

The US Department of Defense and the Philippines Anti-Terrorism Council-Program Management Center led a whole-of-government discussion wherein participants sought to examine national and international legal authorities which enable WMD interdictions; exercise whole-of-government decision-making processes; discuss challenges in countering WMD proliferation when only limited or ambiguous information is available; demonstrate the benefits of cooperation within the PSI context; and consider our mutual role in implementing relevant United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolutions.

"The challenges in preventing WMD proliferation are not getting any easier, with bad actors seeking to acquire dual-use materials to advance their WMD or missile programs, disguising the transactions, and using front companies to hide the end users.  We are pleased that the Philippines government partnered with us to explore these issues and to demonstrate their continued commitment to PSI's statement of interdiction principles," said Andrea Yaffe, the US lead for the event.

Meanwhile, MGen Danilo M. Servando (Ret), head of Philippine delegation also said in his opening statement that "PSI is an area of increased cooperative engagement, not only between the US and Philippine government, but also with other PSI partner countries as we perform our international obligations under the UN Security Council mandates.”

The PSI is an international cooperative effort endorsed by 105 countries to stop trafficking in WMD, their delivery systems, and related materials to and from State and non-state actors of proliferation concern.  PSI is designed to counter the threat posed by WMD proliferation through international cooperation and information sharing, and when necessary, coordinated action.  The PSI is an activity, not an organization, and participation is voluntary: each participating state decides whether and how to engage in PSI activities on a case-by-case basis.

Participating countries demonstrate their commitment to the PSI statement of interdiction principles by undertaking actions consistent with their national legal authorities and relevant international law and legal frameworks. (U.S. Embassy/PIA-Caraga)


DOST-FPRDI’s 60th anniv highlights ‘Pistahan sa Gubat’ exhibit

BUTUAN CITY, July 5 (PIA) - As part of its 60th anniversary celebration, the DOST-Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) is holding a ‘Pistahan sa Gubat’, an exhibit and trade fair featuring furniture pieces, handicrafts and other products manufactured by forest-based and related enterprises, at the DOST-FPRDI Compound, Forestry Campus, UP Los Baños which will run until July 6, 2017.

The Pistahan sa Gubat celebrates local craftsmanship by bringing in forest products artisans and small and medium enterprises together. It allows a venue for local artists and entrepreneurs to have an exchange of knowledge as well as display and sell their products.

Likewise, the institute will showcase some of its technologies and services through technology demonstrations, laboratory visits and exhibits. Techno demo topics include charcoal briquetting, water hyacinth processing, handmade papermaking, engineered bamboo, wood bending, finishing and dyeing, and foldable and do-it-yourself (DIY) bamboo shelters.

This year’s milestone anniversary will highlight how DOST-FPRDI, through appropriate technologies and services, has empowered the country’s forest-based industries and communities over the last six decades.

Aside from Pistahan sa Gubat, a Research Chair Lecture was also held on July 4 with the topic: “Improving the Utilization of Bamboo for Engineered Products Manufacture,” discussed by Dr. Rico J. Cabangon of the Engineered Products Development Section, Technology Innovation Division. (DOST-STII/PIA-Caraga)


PSA gears up for 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey

BUTUAN CITY, July 5 - The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) will conduct the 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) from August 7 to September 23, this year.

The 2017 NDHS is the eleventh in a series of national demographic and health surveys undertaken in the Philippines since 1968. This is a national sample survey designed to provide information on population, family planning, maternal and child health, child survival, HIV/AIDS, and reproductive health in the Philippines.

The NDHS is undertaken as part of the worldwide Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) Program. The international DHS Program is designed to: a) assist countries in conducting household sample surveys to periodically monitor changes in population, health, and nutrition; and b) provide database that can be used by researchers investigating topics related to population, health, and nutrition.

The survey will involve interviewing a randomly selected group of respondents who are between 15 and 49 years of age. These respondents will be asked questions about their background, the children they have given birth to, their knowledge and use of family planning methods, the health of their children, their awareness of HIV/AIDS, and other information that will be helpful to policy ma

kers and administrators in health and family planning fields. The survey will also collect data on Violence Against Women.

A total of about 30,832 households throughout the country have been scientifically selected from the sample Enumeration Areas. Each of these households will be visited and interviewed using the Household Questionnaire. All women aged 15 to 49 years in the sample households will be interviewed using the Individual Woman’s Questionnaire. In Caraga, our Field Interviewers will be visiting around 1,720 households.

The PSA Field Staff and trained Field Interviewers in Caraga will do comprehensive door-to-door interview to the sample households during enumeration period. All information provided by the households will be kept strictly confidential as stipulated under Article 55 of RA 10625. (PSA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)