Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Army joins ‘Araw ng San Agustin’ celebration

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, Aug. 29 (PIA) – The 26th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army has actively participated in the opening of this year’s Araw ng San Agustin’ celebration held recently in the municipality of Talacogon, this province.

The said celebration was highlighted by the conduct of fun walk, Zumba exercises and followed by the clean up drive along Agusan River in Brgy. San Agustin participated by barangay officials, 26IB personnel, and the local populace.

During the opening, Barangay Captain Yvonnete Cano reiterated the importance of celebrating the milestones of the municipality of Talacogon, especially the improvement in Brgy. San Agustin, which benefitted the locals. She further stressed that unity and continued collaboration with partner stakeholders will further strengthen the economic and peace and order stability of the area.

Meanwhile, according to 2Lt. Romel Arnado, Civil Military Operations (CMO) officer of 26IB, in behalf of the unit headed by their battalion commander LtCol. Rommel  Pagayon, the 26IB has expressed gratitude to the barangay officials and locals for making the army one of the partners in the yearly conduct of sad activities, as part of the municipality’s local festivities. (JPG/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


TESDA to award PIA, partners during ‘Araw ng Parangal’ on Aug. 31

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 29 (PIA) – As active partner of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga is one of the awardees during the annual conduct of ‘Araw ng Parangal’ – TESDA Caraga Service and Institutional Awards Ceremonies on August 31, 2017 at the LMX Convention Center, this city.

TESDA Caraga regional director Ashary Banto said that said activity is in line with the 23rd anniversary celebration of their agency.

“We have been good partners in delivering the programs and services of the government especially in TESDA, and we believe this is an opportune time for us to recognize all your efforts during this awarding ceremonies, together with our partner stakeholders from other sectors in the region,” underlined Banto.

Said event is anchored on the theme “Malasakit at Pagbabago… TESDA, Susi sa Kaunlaran.” (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


Phil. Red Cross AgNor-Butuan City Chapter reports accomplishments, upcoming events

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 29 (PIA) - The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Agusan del Norte-Butuan City chapter, together with the representatives from government agencies tackled different updates and activities conducted by the committees for the month of July 2017, as well as the set of activities in the coming months.

The Blood Services committee has collected 708 units of blood in the month of July including those acquired from bloodletting activities. For the blood processing fee, the Blood Service Facility has collected the total amount of P1,423,450.00 for the month of July.

The Safety Services also revealed that they were able to provide first aid station and ambulance during the following activities: Golden Jubilee Parish Encounter (July 9); 50th Golden Jubilee Celebration (July 10); 2nd Run for Peaceful & Safer Butuan (July 16); & Abayan Festival Fluvial Procession (July 30).

For this year, the 12th Biennial Chapterwide Red Cross Youth Assembly was conducted August 18, 2017, at the Golden Tara Hall of Balanghai Hotel, Butuan City with 150 RCYs from Cabadbaran City, Butuan City, and other parts of Agusan del Norte. 1st District Agusan del Norte Cong. Lawrence Lemuel Fortun is one of the guest speakers during the said event.

The 9th Biennial Chapter Assembly is set on November 8, 2017, with expected 250 participants to be held in one of the local convention centers here.

Meanwhile, the chapter also called on the public to support the conduct of Bingo for a Cause set on Oct. 28, 2017 (Saturday), 1:00 p.m. at Balanghai Hotel, this city. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


Army, PGO-AgSur launch USAD program in Sta. Josefa

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, Aug. 29 (PIA) - The provincial government here headed by Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza, in coordination with the 26th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army has recently launched the Upland Sustainable Agri-Forestry Development (USAD) Program in Barangay Sta. Isabel, municipality of Sta. Josefa, of this province.

According to 26IB Civil Military Operations (CMO) Officer 2Lt Romel Arnado, the following were distributed to the farmer-beneficiaries: a total of 2,750 rubber seedlings; 6,870 cacao seedlings; 7,700 falcata seedlings; 10 bags of corn; and 10 bags of fertilizers.

“Aside from the aforementioned services, the farmers have also availed the free medical check-up through the medical teams who voluntarily joined. Beneficiaries also experienced reflexology and were given free medicines,” cited Arnado.

The 26IB personnel also provided manpower assistance and secured the venue of the activity.

In his press statement, LtCol. Rommel Pagayon, commander of 26IB expressed his confidence that this initiative of the provincial government of Agusan del Sur will continue to uplift the lives of the less privileged farmers and families especially those in the geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.

“The active partnership of various stakeholders in addressing the developmental issues is a step forward to a secured community. Surely, the activity is part of the resolution of issues brought about by the 26IB Bayanihan team activities,” underlined Pagayon.

The USAD is the flagship program of the provincial government of Agusan del Sur that addressed poverty and food problem, and is now at the height of its implementation. The main objective of this program include developing of rubber, coffee cacao plantation in the mountainous areas and upland rice in the lower areas that can attract farmers, technologists and tourist in order to learn and improve the technology in upland farming, and enjoy the sceneries that the beauty of farming can bring. (JPG/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Surigao City to commemorate 47th charter day anniv

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Aug. 29 (PIA) - The city government here will commemorate its 47th Charter Day Anniversary celebration on August 31, in front of the city hall.

This year’s celebration with the theme, “Serbisyong Matinud-anon; Surigaonon Mapagarbohon,” will kick-off with a Thanksgiving Mass at 6:00 a.m. to be held at the City Cathedral followed by a simple program in front of the city hall and to culminate with the City Officials’ and Employees’ Night at 7:00 p.m. at the city gymnasium.

The formal opening of the celebration will start at 8:00 a.m. with the singing of the national anthem to be led by the city chorale ensemble then the raising of the Philippine Flag to be led by Surigao City Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas, Governor Sol F. Matugas, Vice Mayor Alfonso S. Casurra, Vice Gov. Arturo Carlos Egay, Jr, all City Councilors and Provincial Board Members.

Department of Health undersecretary Achilles Gerald C. Bravo will be the guest of honor during the formal opening program.

The last part of the celebration is the charter anniversary grand parade at around 8:00 a.m. to be followed by the awarding of prizes for best float.

Surigao City celebrates its charter day pursuant to Republic Act No. 6134, Surigao was converted to a chartered city on August 31, 1970, with Pedro Espina as its first city mayor. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)


DA-Caraga calls for establishment of more coffee nurseries

By Vanessa P. Sanchez

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 29 - Blessed with suitable agro-climatic condition plus the availability of farm technologies, Caraga’s coffee industry looks very promising.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), an average growth rate of 12.8 percent in Caraga’s coffee production is experienced from 2010 to 2015.

However, the supply is still not enough to meet the demand for coffee. “Nestle Philippines, the biggest coffee buyer in the country is able to source out locally only 25 percent of our coffee requirement, the remaining 75 percent has to be imported,” Eddie Baylin, Nestle Area Agronomist for Caraga, said.

During the crafting of the coffee industry road map of the region in 2016, the lack of quality planting materials was identified as among the weak points of the industry.

Currently, there is only one accredited coffee nursery in the region, the Mabuhay Kahayagan Coffee Growers Cooperative nursery in Tagbina, Surigao del Sur.

Accreditation of plant nurseries ensures quality planting materials that are free from pests and diseases. On the other hand, accredited plant nurseries will have access to technical assistance and supervision, access to government programs in terms of marketing, and is entitled to identified scion/plant propagules from government registered scion groves.

Among the requirements of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI)for nursery accreditation is the establishment of the nursery at least one year prior to application. It should also have a minimum area of 1,000 sq.m. with a stock inventory of planting materials valued at P100,000 per crop applied. It should also have a scion grove and seed garden planted with National Seed Industry Council (NSIC) approved and registered varieties/cultivars of fruit, plantation and root crops established at least a year before application. The nursery must also have a minimum of 20 mother trees per variety/strain of the crop applied following the recommended distance. The scion grove should not be more than five (5) kilometer radius from the nursery for accessibility. All propagules to be used in sexual/asexual propagation must be obtained from tagged trees by Plant Material Certification of the established foundation/scion/budwood and seed garden.

“There is a need to establish more nurseries in the region because we want to be assured of the production of quality and high yielding planting materials to meet our coffee production target,” said DA-Caraga High-Value Crops Development Program Coordinator Marco Antonio Morido.

Based on the roadmap, Caraga has a projected target of increased coffee production from 1,716MT in 2016 to 3,712MT in 2022.

Applicants for nursery accreditation may either be an individual applicant or designated representative of an association/corporation/cooperative/Non-Government Organization (NGO)/Local Government Units (LGUs) or State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) engaged in plant nursery business. They must have a propagator who has undergone training on the nursery establishment and principles on plant propagation conducted by BPI, DA-Regional Offices and SUCs. (DA-Caraga)


News Feature: BSP to issue commemorative coins to honor Pinoy heroes

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 29 (PIA) – In line with this year’s celebration of the National Heroes Day, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will be issuing commemorative circulation coins in recognition of the noble deeds and contributions of the three Filipinos in their time.

This is to preserve historical accounts through Philippine currency in view of the 100th birth anniversary of educator and historian Reverend Horacio dela Costa and the 150th birth anniversaries of two Philippine Revolutionary Army officers, Generals Artemio Ricarte and Isidro Torres.

Born on May 9, 1916 in Mabuan, Quezon, Reverend Horacio dela Costa was the first Filipino Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the Ateneo de Manila University and the first Filipino to become the provincial head of the Society of Jesus in the Philipines. A Republic Cultural Heritage Awardee for distinguished historical writing and a charter member of the Philippine National Historical Society, he was one of the founders of the Philippine Historical Association, secretary of the International Association of Historians Asia, and a member of the National Historical Commission. During World War II, Reverend dela Costa helped bring clothes and medicines to Filipino and American soldiers who had evaded or escaped from Japanese prison camps, resulting in his imprisonment in Fort Santiago for two months. In 1975, he was diagnosed with cancer, and in 1977, he died at the age of 60.

Hailing from Batac, Ilocos Norte, General Artemio Ricarte was born on October 20, 1866. When he joined the Katipunan, he adopted the nom-de-guerre (Viper). He was named brigadier general in General Emilio Aguinaldo’s army and elected capital general of the Filipino army at the Tejeros Convention, a rank which corresponds to the present chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. During the Filipino-American War, he was banished to Guam together with Apolinario Mabini. General Ricarte refused to take the oath of allegiance to the United States , so he was deported to Hong Kong. He eventually lived in self-exile in Japan for 25 years. Then he flew back to the Philippines to help Japan in the pacification movement. When the Japanese forces retreated to the mountain province where they made their last strand, General Ricarte followed them but caught dysentery. He died in 1945 in Kalinga, Mountain Province.

More famously known as Matang Lawin, General Isidro Torres was born on April 10, 1866. He became a Katipunero wile serving as cabeza de barangay of his town in Matimbo, Malolos, Bulacan. He attained the rank of colonel when the fighting raged around Biak-na-Bato, and General Aguinaldo appointed him brigadier general upon the organization of military departmental zones in Central Luzon at Mt. Puray. He was also named the director of arms, assistant secretary of war, and later, military governor of Bulacan. He also represented Palaos Island (Palua) in the Malolos Congress. The Americans offered him the gubernatorial seat of Bulacan, but general Torres refused it. After living in Japan for some time, he came home and settled in San Antonio, Nueva Ecija. He died in 1928.

Although they differ in their notable individual biography, their heroic portrayals marked significantly in the country’s history.

The obverse side of each coin will feature the respective portrait of the historical figures, while the reverse side of all coins will feature the denomination P1, a silhouette of an eagle, the BSP seal, and the year mark. (BSP/PIA-Caraga)


Feature: Food for the Soul: A Story of the Bidlisiw Foundation of the Missionary Sisters of Mercy, Inc.

For the past 30 years, the Missionary Sisters of Mercy, Inc. has been running the Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU) Extension School in Tagpalico, Agusan del Sur. With more than 200 Higaonon and Manobo students from Nursery to Grade Six in their care, the Sisters have to raise at least P60,000 every month to take care of all their needs.

This was the challenge faced by Sister Niña L. Achacoso, MSM, and Production Manager of the Bidlisiw Foundation of MSM, Inc. She knew she had to think out of the box and secure dependable means to provide for everyone. Besides running the school, Sister Niña attends to different missions and takes charge of Bethany Homes, which takes care of abused women and children.

Turmeric

In 2013, Sister Marife “Mafe” Vargas treated a huge number of ailments the lumads of Tagpalico were experiencing--- flu, stomach aches, cough, and colds--- with turmeric. Described as “the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and potentially reversing disease,” Sister Mafe developed the miracle root to make it readily available to the locals.

Eleven kilos of raw turmeric produce an estimated 4 kilos of turmeric in powdered form. Sister Mafe and a number of scholars would kuskos (scrub) and puga (wring) 10 kilos of turmeric every week for 24 hours to sell the powdered form at P50.00 per quarter of a kilo. The process was tedious, as it required manual washing, juicing, cooking, settling and pulverizing.

In June of 2014, their manual tasks were brought down to a significant minimum when the Department of Trade and Industry-Agusan del Norte (DTI-AdN), through the Shared Service Facility (SSF) Program, awarded them with following equipment: a juice extractor, cast iron pulverizer, stainless steel pulverizer, another small pulverizer, roaster, sealer and electronic weighing scale, the value of which totalled P800, 000.00.

Today, the Sisters and their scholars are able to process 50 kilos of pure, high-quality turmeric every two weeks. A kilo now sells for P700.00. They also sell 150-gram packs at P100.00.

The number of buyers and suppliers of raw turmeric grew significantly since their first venture in 2013. However, because turmeric takes at least a year to grow, their production continues to be limited by the volume of raw materials brought to them by suppliers from Barangays Ampayon and Sto. Niño in Butuan City and Sibagat, San Luis, Tagpalico, Kipanis, Esperanza and Talacogon in Agusan del Sur.

A production that yields sales of P50,000.00 every two months is currently overseen by three Sisters, among them the Mother Superior; one full-time worker and one on-call assistant from their beverage production building in Baan, Butuan City.

Salted Eggs

Sr. Niña has mastered the art of making salted eggs. Commonly called itlog na maalat, she started out with a capital of only P300.00. This produced 50 salted eggs that sold at P10.00 per piece. Her initial capital grew to P1, 300.00 once she was able to produce 100 eggs. However, production stopped briefly when supplies for raw duck eggs reached a standstill.

In 2013, DTI-Agusan del Norte Provincial Director Gay A. Tidalgo saw the potential for the Sisters to be independent and stop relying on donations. Amidst resistance, PD Tidalgo gently but firmly highlighted the Sisters’ capabilities to their superiors: with their industry and perseverance, they could be entrepreneurs and achieve higher levels of productivity. This way, they could help more people in more ways.

To ensure adequate support, the Sisters were given a starter kit that included duck eggs, two sacks of salt, a 19-inch kaldero or cooking pot, 7 mega boxes, 8 egg trays and 28 holed trays. DTI-AdN also conducted a series of entrepreneurial training to aid Sr. Niña and her workers in their production.

Today, Sr. Niña’s salted eggs bring in sales of P20, 000 to P35, 000.00 a month, which she sells at a retail price of P15.00, and P13.00 at wholesale. Her current set goal is to produce 300 eggs per month and 500 eggs during activity-filled months, such as December and May.

Corn Coffee

The Sisters grow and process their own coffee from farms in Ampayon, Butuan City, and Kapingis, Sibagat and Tagpalico in Agusan del Sur. The finished product is then sold to the local communities and brought to Cebu by Sisters who travel.

After DTI-AdN’s intervention in the form of a roaster for both coffee and corn, sales of P100.00 for every quarter of a kilo are enjoyed by the beneficiaries of Bethany Homes, a sanctuary for abused women and children. Residents of the Home engage in therapeutic activities such as planting corn and vegetables and raising hogs.

One of their greater production concerns is that they cannot yet cater to the demands for supply of their coffee due to the exacting manner the corn is chosen. Production of their coffee corn is made every six months, and in some instances, only once a year.

Sesame Balls

Another delicacy that Sr. Niña enjoys making is binangkal or sesame balls. These are sold at the MSM Chance for the Poor store, located across from the St. Joseph Cathedral along J. C. Aquino Avenue.  The balls sell for P60.00 for a pack of 10, and at P50.00 when bought wholesale.

With DTI-AdN’s marketing assistance, the MSM Sisters are able to showcase their products in OTOP stores, as well as participate in regional, national and international trade fairs that provide the needed exposure and markets for their creations.

Today, sales generated by the MSM Sisters’ goods average P60,000.00 every month, but the smiles on the Sisters’ faces are priceless. (DTI-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Tagalog News: PNP personnel ng Caraga region pinarangalan kasabay sa kanilang ika-116th Police Service Anniversary celebration

Ni Jennifer P. Gaitano

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Agosto 29 (PIA) - Kasabay sa selebrasyon ng ika-116th Police Service Anniversary na ginanap kamakailan sa Camp Rafael Rodriguez, lungsod ng Butuan, pinarangalan din ang ilan-ilang personahe ng Philippine National Police (PNP) sa ibat-ibang probinsya ng Caraga region.

Personal na dumalo si Police Deputy Director General Ramon Apolinario sa nasabing selebrasyon at awarding ceremony kasama si Police Chief Superintendent Rolando Felix, ang regional director ng PNP Caraga, at iba pang opisyal ng ahensya.

Hinikayat ni PDDG Apolinario ang mga hanay ng kapulisan na mas lalo pang pagbutihin ang kanilang tungkulin at panatilihing maayos at ligtas ang mga komunidad ng rehiyon. Marami pa anya ang magagawa ng PNP sa kanilang patuloy na implementasyon sa kampanya ng gobyerno laban kriminalidad at ilegal na gawain.

Ang Regional Public Safety Battalion 13 ay ginawaran bilang first runner-up Best Regional Public Safety Battalion (national level). Ang Surigao del Norte Police Provincial Office ang nakakuha ng parangal na may pinakamaraming naaresto, at Agusan del Sur Police Provincial Office naman ang may pinakamaraming naitalang nagsurender sa implementasyon ng Project Double Barrel.

Agusan del Norte Police Provincial Office ang unit na may pinakamaraming na-neutralized na mga High Value Targets at ang Dinagat Islands Police Provincial Office ang may Highest Percentage of Accounted Watchlisted Illegal Drugs personalities.

Samantalang ang Butuan City Police Office ang may largest volume of confiscated Shabu. At Top Performing Police Station naman ang Surigao City Police Station, Surigao del Norte Police Provincial Office sa implementasyon ng Project Double Barrel (station level).

Sa probinsya ng Agusan del Sur, Best Component City Police Station ang Bayugan City Police Station; Best Municipal Police Station ang Talacogon Municipal Police Station; at Best Provincial Public Safety Company.

Ang Surigao del Sur Police Provincial Office naman ang nakakuha ng Best Police Provincial Office. Ginawaran din ang Agusan del Norte Police Provincial Office bilang Best Provincial Women and Children Protection Desk, at Best Provincial Human Rights Desk. Ang Surigao del Sur PPO naman ang Best Provincial Police Strategy Management Unit.

Para naman sa Individual Category Awards, Best Senior Police Commissioned Officer for Administration si Police Senior Superintendent Rogelio Raymundo Jr; Best Senior Police Commissioned Officer for Operations si Police Superintendent Excelso Lazaga Jr; Best Junior Police Commissioned Officer for Administration si Police Senior Inspector Allen Dogao; Best Junior Police Commissioned Officer for Operations naman si Police Senior Inspector Johncel Barrameda; Best Senior Police Non-Commissioned Officer for Operations si SP02 Ana Rose Rivas; Best Junior Police Non-Commissioned Officer for Operations si P02 Lotis Alison; at Best Non-Uniformed Personnel (non-supervisory level) si NUP Megan Fajardo. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)