Thursday, October 5, 2017

Valorian troopers to lead 2nd ‘KANINhawaan’ feast day

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Oct. 5 (PIA) – The 36th Infantry “Valor” Battalion (36IB) of the Philippine Army headed by Lt. Col. Xerxes Trinidad is all set for the celebration of the 2nd “KANINhawaan” feast day on Oct. 10, 2017 to be held at the Multipurpose Hall, Barangay Lindoy in Tago town this province.

The said event is the outcome of the successful implementation of the Valorian troopers’ initiative program dubbed as “Project kaPALAYapaan,” which means there is a peace in rice farming.

In partnership with the local government unit of Tago and Marihatag and the provincial government of Surigao del Sur, through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, the Valorian troopers conceptualized the project during the time of Lt. Col. Randolph Rojas in order to address the perennial problem of the farmers.

The project introduced modern customary farming by using organic fertilizer to resolve the farmers concern on high cost, low yield farm production.

Good Harvest Company Chief Executive Officer Ignacio Lauzon introduced the organic farming method and proposed that the municipality of Tago be the pilot area, considering that it is one of the rice producing towns in the province.

The project was first implemented in June 2016 with the support of various stakeholders. (NGPBarcena/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


PhilRice showcases R4D projects during farmers’ field day in Agusan

By Nora C. Lanuza-Molde  

REMEDIOS T. ROMUALDEZ, Agusan del Norte, Oct. 5 (PIA) – The Philippine Rice (PhilRice) Research Institute Agusan del Norte Experimentation Station will showcase different Rice Science for Development (R4D) projects during the Farmers’ Field Day and Forum (Lakbay Palay) on October 12.

According to PhilRice Branch Director Abner T. Montecalvo, more than 1,000 farmers and other stakeholders from different provinces in Mindanao will be participate during the event to be held in Barangay Basilisa, in the municipality of Remedios T. Romualdez (RTR).

“We are hoping to have Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol as our keynote speaker. The annual gathering will feature a field tour to the various R4D projects, demonstration areas, different farming technologies and the Farmers’ Forum,” said Montecalvo.

This year’s event is anchored on the theme “Teknolohiya + Negosyo = #Bongga!” (NCLM/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


IFAD to fund four municipalities in AgNor under DAR Project ConVERGE

By Gil E. Miranda

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 5 – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Agusan del Norte and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) combined resources to implement the Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment Project (CONVERGE) in four municipalities of Tubay, Jabonga, Kitcharao and Santiago, (TUJAKITSAN) Cluster.

The proponents are the San Isidro Upland Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SIUFMULCO) and twenty-one (21) Peoples’ Organizations (POs,) which are engaged in the production of high quality abaca fibers within the cluster of TUJAKITSAN.

The project allotted about P21 million for the procurement of 27 units of portable abaca stripping machines, production of abaca in 700 hectares of land and for the procurement of a 10-wheeler hauling truck.

In partnership with the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA), several activities were programmed through the last quarter of 2017. With the introduction of new technologies, this project aims to increase the capacity of the organizations to produce abaca.

Other major project in the pipeline is the farm-to-market road (FMR), which will be implemented in 2018. A total of P33 million has been allotted for the rehabilitation of the 5-kilometer farm-to-market road in Santiago, from NRJ Poblacion 2 to Cadahondahonan.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Andre B. Atega, CESO V, disclosed that the local government of Santiago already formulated its counterpart and the Detailed Design and Program of Works (DD/POW) is still on-going.

Atega said that the department is intensifying its efforts to increase the income of abaca farmers by at least thirty percent.

IFAD Project Managing Consultant Gomer G. Tumbali added that in line with the government’s sustainable development goal, this project aims to increase agricultural productivity and promote the welfare and development of farmers.

“The project is expected to reduce poverty in TUJAKITSAN ARC by engaging the farmer-groups in value chain-based agricultural processes for abaca production in the area,” Tumbali added. (NCLM/DAR-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


Presidential chopper rescues wounded soldier
 
TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur, Oct. 5 – The recent clash between the Community Support team of Bravo Company, 26th Infantry Battalion and Guerilla Front Committee 88 (GF88) of the New People’s Army (NPA) brought two contrasting realities in the persistent insurgency problem in the country.

This was pointed out by the Army’s 401st Brigade Commander, Col. Andres Centino during the press briefing held recently at the headquarters of 26IB in Talacogon, this province, where he narrated that while he exhausted all means to extricate one wounded Army personnel, the NPAs callously left two of their members to die in the mountains.

Exercising operational control of 26IB, Centino ensured the safety of the wounded personnel by requesting Higher Headquarters of the Army for a night capable aircraft. The Presidential Helicopter Unit under the Presidential Security Group (PSG) was able to successfully save the Army personnel on September 29, about 10 hours after the gun battle.

Unfortunately, two NPA members were later discovered left obviously for dead through the reports of civilians. Centino said that the NPA leaders should bear responsibility for this insensitive and heartless neglect on their part. “The NPA rank and file should realize this kind of consequence in their undeserving adventure,” he added.

The encounter resulted to six high-powered firearms recovered, with one improvised explosive device (IED), subversive documents and personal items secured. (26IB Phil. Army/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Building bridges, deeper relationships the Kalahi-CIDSS way

By Joana Rica P. Millama & Marko Davey D. Reyes

A concrete footbridge in Sitio Maapod, Cabacungan, Barobo, Surigao del Sur.
A bumpy, rocky, 48 minutes ride along one of the coastal barangays in Barobo, Surigao del Sur brings to a humble fishing community blessed with tall falcata and coconut trees. But amidst the façade of a scenic and calm community, at the end of the long rollercoaster ride lies a story of challenges and hope.

Sitio Maapod, one of the oldest barrios in Barangay Cabacungan, had long been experiencing discomfort due to lack of infrastructural amenities in their far-flung abode. But for the community, there was a turn-around when in 2013, the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD’s) Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) was introduced in the area; a ray of hope beamed for the community and the Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU). Slowly the ray of hope turned to bigger realities and strengthened relationships. The community enjoyed four good years under the program which led to four sub-projects for the barangay.

Punong Barangay Helario V. Curada, recalls, “Upat na ka-proyekto ang among nadawat gikan sa Kalahi-CIDSS. Ako mapasalamaton nga dako gayud ang kausaban sa mga recipients. Una, mautro gayud ang panginabuhian, sa tubig nga dili na sila mahago [ug kabo], sa daycare centers nga kumpleto gayud ug pasilidad ug komportable ang mga kabataan sailang pagtuon. Pero ang pinakaimportante ug pinakadako nga impact gayud sa tanan mao kining concrete footbridge nga mao ang exit ug entrance sa mga tawo diri sa Sitio Maapod (We received four projects from Kalahi-CIDSS and I am so thankful because a lot really changed. First, the lifestyle changed, the water is already accessible that it is not difficult for them to fetch; the daycare centers are built with complete facilities and comfortable enough for the pupils to study. But the most important and biggest impact of all is the concrete footbridge which serves as the entrance and exit of the residents here in Sitio Maapod).”

Curada still vividly recalls their situation before the construction of the 58-linear meter concrete footbridge. First, when it was low tide, residents were forced to cross the river since the boats could not dock. This caused injury to the residents, especially that there are sharp objects on the riverbanks. Second, residents had to pay double; they had to go to the Poblacion since they will have to take the habal-habal then transfer to a “bangka” (boat) to cross the river.

Lastly, Curada witnessed the hardwork of every community volunteer in realizing the said project – from the identification of their needs, attendance in general assemblies and meetings, and preparation of important documents just to show how badly they wanted to own their dream footbridge and end their long-time agony with the construction and completion of the community sub-project.

This was attested by Anita Lobo, the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) Chairperson when she emotionally shared their challenges as residents in the remote sitio. “Grabe gayud kalisod sa amung kahimtang. Sauna, baruto ra ang amung sakyan na wala pa ang tulay. Maglisod gayud ug tabok ang mga tiguwang, PWDs ug labi na ang mga buntis (Our situation was really hard. Before, without the bridge, we only rode boats. It was hard for the senior citizens, PWDs, and especially the pregnant women to cross),” she said.

Their miseries turned into gladness as Kalahi-CIDSS’ community-driven development (CDD) approach was introduced to the community. The CDD strategy was an instrument which gave the community access to decision-making for the realization of their needs. This led to the empowerment of the citizens by enabling them to implement their community sub-project.

“Daghan gayud na mga pagsulay ug kabalaka ang naagian nako sama sa mga kaubanan na gahiay ug ulo kay dili magpakita sa mga seminars tungod sa mga pasumangil, pero ako nalang paningkamutan na ako ang mutambong ug ako nalang ipasabot sa ila ang mga buhaton pagkahuman (There were many challenges that I experienced, such as co-members who do not attend in seminars, but I strive to attend and just convey the things that need to be done after),” Anita said.

Anita also mentioned that some of the members were almost on the point of giving up, but she stood still and held on hoping that the program will resolve their problem.

Their hardships were turned to joyous tears when the 3.2M-worth footbridge with 41-linear meter hand laid rock embankment was successfully inaugurated early in September 2017.

Indeed, in the midst of slender discouragements coupled with anxieties, the once humble sitio now stands firm in building bridges and deeper relationships; ensuring that the next generations will no longer have to face the challenges they have been through. (FEA/JPG/DSWD-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Carmen, SurSur LGUs, communities converge in DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS facilitated Talakayan

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

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Oct. 5 – Around 200 people gathered and filled the Carmen Municipal Gymnasium for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services’ (Kalahi-CIDSS’) Municipal Talakayan.

Barangay/Municipal Local Government Unit (B/MLGU) officials, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS volunteers as well as non-volunteers converged in the venue for the event dubbed as: “Panaghisgot-hisgot 2017: Tulay sa Pagkab-ot sa Kalambuan para sa Umaabot.”

DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS Caraga Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) officers and Sub-Regional Program Management Office (SRPMO) staff, along with the Area Coordinating Team (ACT) of Carmen, in partnership with the Foundation for the Development of Agusanons, Inc. (FDAI) facilitated the said activity.

Designed as an evaluation tool to measure overall progress of areas implementing Kalahi-CIDSS sub-projects,the Municipal Talakayan is an avenue for local stakeholders to engage in an organized municipal-level dialogue to tackle and assess development status of the municipality, with the aid of different data gathered from the comprehensive reports on Kalahi-CIDSS project implementation and local governance management performance.

Municipal Mayor Jane Plaza in her welcome remarks, expressed her gratitude to the attendees. She also encouraged them to participate in the activity in order to enhance their awareness of their municipality’s development situation, in line with their efforts to achieve their development vision.

“I would like to stress the importance of an empowered community. That is why we are here, that is why all of you from the community are invited, because we want also to know if the projects that we have been implementing and even the projects that we are planning and will be prioritizing will fit or will fill in the gaps that we see when we crafted the vision. This is a good venue where we are able to look at where we are now. This is to determine if our actions are still anchored to that vision,” Plaza said.

Lucy Herbolingo-Arpilleda, DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS M&E officer for Database, also emphasized the significance of the Municipal Talakayan in improving local governance, with the use of information generated from the activity.

“One of the main objectives of this activity is to see if the identified needs in the barangay level coincide with the municipal-level. This will help ensure that the programs and services that will be included in the crafting of the municipal development plan will be more responsive to the needs of the people,” Arpilleda said.

The event had elaborate presentations of the following: municipal profile and development status, development needs, interventions and gaps, and municipal agenda. It also included a gallery walk and focus group discussions (FGDs), and concluded with synthesis and evaluation of the Municipal Talakayan. (FEA/JPG/ Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Siargao pilots Cuban polyclinic model

By John Glenn A. Platil

SURIGAO CITY, Oct. 5 (PIA) – The Service Delivery Network: Philippine Adaptation of the Cuban Healthcare Model was officially launched in Pilar, Surigao del Norte.

In her message, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial recognized the need for ordinary civilians to avail of free consultation in order to minimize the influx of sick patients.

“In Cuba, prevention is better than cure. Everyone has to undergo annual check-up. I firmly believe that we can replicate it here in the Philippines, if only we have the determination and the strong will to do it. President Duterte aspires for the health care system under his administration to be accessible to all Filipinos,” said Ubial.

Ubial added that right after the oath-taking of President Rodrigo Duterte, she was directed to fly to Cuba to learn the best practices in its universally-acclaimed Polyclinic Model.

Vice Governor Arturo Carlos Egay, Jr. also affirmed that despite the many challenges that they are facing with, government leaders never stop chasing their goals to provide quality health care services for all.

“From the commencement of this endeavor, we’ve been optimistic that the replication of project based on the Cuban Health System will benefit our province. Surigao del Norte is rich with natural resources but is still on its continuing battle against poverty, and this project will surely go a long way by keeping our people healthy, making them more productive,” said Egay.

Meanwhile, Surigao del Norte 1st district representative Francisco Jose ‘Bingo’ Matugas II assured everyone of his full support to the meaningful undertaking. He also congratulated the people of Pilar for being the pilot center of the Cuban Polyclinic Model.

Ubial signed the pledge of support, together with Assistant Secretary Leonita Gorgolon, Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Secretary Kadil Sinolinding, other top officials and guests and leading practitioners from the medical community.

Pilar Mayor Ma. Liza Resurreccion expressed her gratitude for this opportunity as this will be of great help to the locals. (PGO-SDN/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


US-PHL partnership advances learning outcomes

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 5 – T he United States (US) government, through the US Embassy in the Philippines’ United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with Synergeia Foundation, gathered nearly 400 leaders from local governments, schools, and the private sector to share their best practices in education governance during the 11th National Education Summit on September 28 to 29.

Topics on community engagement, budgeting, partnerships, and decentralization of basic education were discussed.

The summit was a part of USAID’s five-year, P430M Education Governance Effectiveness (EdGE) project that supports the Philippines’ goal of improving learning outcomes in the early grades.

“At USAID, we believe that education serves as a driver for development and the elimination of extreme poverty. Education is transformational for individuals and societies. It also creates pathways to better health, economic growth, a sustainable environment, and peaceful, democratic societies,” said USAID Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II in his message on the second day of the summit.

At the end of the summit, USAID and Synergeia awarded the Seal of Good Education Governance to 24 local governments for demonstrating remarkable commitment to improving education governance. The children in their respective regions have achieved higher scores in the National Achievement Test (NAT), and student attendance has increased. As a result, more children are now expected to complete primary school.


The winners of the Seal are: Santol and Bacnotan, La Union; Diadi, Solano and Villaverde, Nueva Vizcaya; Diffun, Quirino; Alimodan, Cabatuan, Concepcion, Lambunao, Miag-ao and Mina, Iloilo; Dao and Ivisan, Capiz; Argao, Balamban and Dalaguete, Cebu; Bongao and Simunul, Tawi-Tawi; Datu Paglas and North Upi, Maguindanao; Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental; Tuba, Benguet, and Valenzuela City. (U.S. Embassy/PIA-Caraga)