Tuesday, August 15, 2017

AMIC to recognize outstanding achievements in communication

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 15 (PIA) – The Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) will highlight the 2017 AMIC Asia Communication Award during its 25th Annual Conference by recognizing the outstanding achievements in various fields of communication – research, education, institution building, and journalism.

Started in 2006, 15 communication exemplars in Asia have been recognized as AMIC communication laureates.

“This year, some experts in communication and journalism in Asia-Pacific have confirmed their participation in AMIC 25th Annual Conference which is set on September 27-29, 2017 at Miriam College, Quezon City,” said Ramon Tuazon, secretary general of AMIC.

Among the communication icons who will be coming for the conference are Dr. John Lent, Wimal Dissayanake, Dr. Shelton Gunaratne, Dr. Ronny Adhikarya, Prof. Ang Peng Hwa, Dr. Cherian George, Mr. ArunMahizhnan, and Dr. Peixin Cao. They will be joined by Filipino communication scholars including AMIC chairperson Crispin Maslog and Dr. Florangel Rosario-Braid.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) assistant director general for communication Frank La Rue will deliver the keynote address.

Some 300 participants that include academics, professionals, information officers, and policymakers from the region and other parts of the world are expected to attend.

The topics for discussion during the conference are Asian philosophies, religions, and communication; Asian communication theories and paradigms; freedom of expression in a post-truth era; communication and culture; communication education and training; media and information literacy; communication media; communication strategies and approaches; inclusive knowledge societies; global communication; and Asian business communication.

According to Tuazon, an innovation in this year’s forum id the Business Matching Session wherein participating institutions are given a platform to discuss partnership ideas and possibly enter into formal agreements. “The Business Session will also encourage participants and sponsors to launch new products (e.g. publications) and services during the three-day conference,” he said.

With the theme, Rethinking Communication in a Resurgent Asia, the conference will encourage paper presenters to question traditional standards and mindsets and come up with pioneering, innovative, creative, and disturbing topics including the so-called "new normal."

AMIC’s Annual Conference is the premier event on Asia communication media, attracting eminent international speakers and participants. To register online, interested individuals may visit AMIC’s conference website at www.amicmanila2017.net. (AMIC/VLG/PIA-Caraga)


LGU Dinagat organizes basketball tourney

By Susil D. Ragas

SAN JOSE, Dinagat Islands, Aug. 15 (PIA) - The Provincial Sports Committee in the province of Dinagat Islands thru the provincial vice governor’s office is set to hold a Governor’s Cup Inter-Local Government Units Basketball Tournament this coming September 20-30, 2017.

During the preparatory meeting conducted recently, it was agreed by the 23 committee members that the tourney will be divided into two categories: Category A (Secondary Level) and Category B (Inter-Local Government Units - Unity Cup).

It has also been agreed that players for the Category A must have the following qualifications: a) must be a resident of the municipality; b) student outside Dinagat Islands is allowed to play in their respective municipality provided that they have previous school records in the said municipality; c) 18 years old and below on September 30, 2017.

For Category B, players must also have the following qualifications: a) must be elected municipal officials including ABC President and permanent employees in the municipality; b) must secure medical certificate and must be physically fit to play; c) must submit player’s waiver.

Prizes await for the winners of the said tournament include resource and learning center worth P1.5 million, P100,000, P75,000, 50,000, P30,000, P24,000, P20,000 cash prize, and P10,000 for the consolation prize. (PIO-Dinagat Islands/PIA-Dinagat Islands)


DAR AgNor credit support to ARBs reaches P25M

By Gil E. Miranda

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 15 - Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR's) total fund released under the Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP) to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) in the province of Agusan del Norte has now reached to P25 Million as disclosed during the mid-year assessment conducted by the DAR Agusan del Norte provincial office.

More than 2,000 ARBs from different agrarian reform communities (ARCs) in the province have benefitted the DAR’s flagship rural poverty program called APCP which is expected to increase their productivity and household income.

In the 1st quarter in 2017, nearly P11 Million credit line has been approved by LBP and P8 million total released to four ARBOs in the second quarter, which benefitted to 226 borrowers.

The six ARBOs included Baliguian Organic Farmers Irrigators Association (BOFIA); Maong Agrarian Farmers Cooperative (MAFCO); New Generation Organic Farmers Cooperative (NGOFC) and Rosario Agrarian Reform Cooperative (RARC).

APCP Point Person Luningning B. Ycoy said that the agency provides credit assistance to some ARB Organizations who qualified under the lending program of Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).

“Aside from lending facility, the APCP provides package of assistance to the borrowers, which include orientation and technical assistance, TIN Application facilitation, periodic review and assessment and mandatory insurance subsidy to all APCP borrowers,” Ycoy added.

The APCP is a joint credit and capacity development initiative among the DAR, Department of Agriculture and LBP. (DAR-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


News Feature: ESI does it!

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 15 - “Is your life worth fighting for?”

Have you ever asked yourself this line?  If you believe in your dreams and visions, and if you know in your heart that success is just around the corner, then truly, life is worth fighting for.

There is no easy way to success. You have to work hard for it; you have to commit and direct all your efforts towards making things happen.  This is how couple Ruelito and Erlinda Mercurio of Nasipit, Agusan del Norte traversed through life. The road to success did not come easy for them. They went through huge and seemingly insurmountable struggles to sustain their family of four.

“I am amazed at how far we have come and I am very proud of our humble beginnings,” Erlinda shares. It was in 2007 when she and Ruelito worked as ticket auditors for a bus company in Manila. Their income had been enough during those days, but the company was shut down. All employees, including the couple, were forced to find other jobs.

They made countless attempts at finding other sources of income until they decided on putting up a business using their family savings. They tried running an internet café, and an electronic shop after that. Unfortunately, both businesses did not prosper, leaving them with no other choice but to move back to Erlinda’s hometown to start anew and to look for brighter opportunities.

Upon reaching Nasipit, Erlinda’s sister offered them a small house in which they could stay in Barangay Ata-atahon in Nasipit. Their new home was very quiet compared to the hustle and bustle of Manila.

It was through that silence that a very loud noise kept playing in Ruelito’s head: “You are the head of the family! You have mouths to feed! Your two sons must have an education!” But what could he do in Ata-atahon, a very small and quiet place with very few people? This was the question that kept hounding him.

Their days passed in the home with a silence that was deafening. The Mercurio couple still had to figure out what to do next, but try as they might, they couldn’t come up with solutions to alleviate their situation.

Not until Erlinda saw the pair of slippers in the corner. The slippers seemed to stare back at her, challenging her. She took both in her hands and asked her husband, “Would you, by any chance, know how to make slippers?”  Excitedly, Ruelito replied, “I was a worker in a slipper factory.” He also shared that he worked in the cutting department, and so he knew the ins and outs of production.

With newfound hope, the couple borrowed seed money from Erlinda’s sister. They were able to buy all the materials except for insoles, because these were expensive.  In their stead, Ruelito saw their floor mat and utilized it as the insole for his very first pair of slippers. The mat functioned astonishingly as insole.

As soon as the first batch of slippers was done, each and every one sold out within their neighborhood in less than 24 hours.  Thrilled with the outcome, they continued to make slippers using floor mats. Once the mats ran out, they went to look for alternative materials in the garbage, which they then cleaned and disinfected.

Slowly, the couple was able to come up with just enough capital for them to buy the right insole material. They obtained the necessary licenses and registrations, and to their delight, Erenz Slippers Industry, or ESI, came into existence in 2011.

Their children were able to go back to school and whatever debts and loans they had incurred were gradually paid off. The business also enabled them to build a small house with a workshop for their slipper production. “We were able to get back on our feet, thanks to our slipper business,” Erlinda says wistfully.

To sustain and expand their business, the couple approached several government agencies. They encountered their first major breakthrough when they learned of the establishment of the Negosyo Center (NC) in Nasipit.

The NC-Nasipit provided them with a series of interventions, among them labeling assistance, design ideas, and a skills training, complete with starter kits, on slipper-making for their neighbors. Said interventions were successfully undertaken in order to expand ESI’s manpower and to increase their productivity.

The NC facilitated their participation in several trade fairs and exhibits. For the very first time, ESI slippers were sold in a big mall when they joined the NKatbp Trade Fair and the CARAT Expo in Robinsons Place-Butuan. Both events did not only generate a sizeable amount of sales; more importantly, the experience provided them with valuable knowledge on how to improve their products and sharpened their marketing and negotiation skills. “We are very grateful to NC-Nasipit for the solid and steady assistance they give us," the Mercurio couple expressed.

ESI now has regular workers to sustain their production. To date, they are able to produce at least a hundred pairs of slippers in a week, all of which are displayed in local market outlets in Nasipit.

NC-Nasipit is currently working on bringing ESI products to major market channels in the Butuan and Cabadbaran Cities.

The couple shares that a breakdown or a failure is not a termination point; instead, it is an educational experience. “Tiyaga lang talaga. Kapit lang at huwag mawalan ng pag-asa,” the Mercurios knowingly add.

Truly, the ESI story tells affirms that the ones who persevere are the ones who succeed. (DTI-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)