(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Thursday, 13 December 2018) Northeast Monsoon affecting Northern Luzon. Mindanao will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to localized thunderstorm. Winds will have light to moderate winds coming from Northeast with slight to moderate seas. (PAGASA)

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Agnor guv strengthens veterans’ benefits

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 28 – Provincial Governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba ensured that the provincial government of Agusan del Norte extends its support to the veterans of the province, including their dependents, for the realization of their hospitalization program and medical care and treatment.

This is based on the mandate of Republic Act (R.A.) no. 6498 or “An Act Standardizing and Upgrading the Benefits For Military Veterans and their Dependents,” as amended by R.A. no. 7696, which states that the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office will provide hospitalization, medical care and treatment to Filipino veterans and their dependents with its accredited government or private hospitals through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

To include the said program for the veterans in the province, Gov. Amante-Matba was authorized by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan through Sanggunian Resolution No. 333-2017, authored by Provincial Board Member Elizabeth Marie R. Calo, to sign the MOA with the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, Agusan del Norte Provincial Hospital and Cabadbaran District Hospital.

Under the said MOA, the Provincial Hospital and Cabadbaran District Hospital were chosen by the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) to be included in its accredited hospitals to carry out its objectives.

The agreement further stated that the two hospitals shall make available their services and facilities for the care and treatment of veterans and their dependents in accordance with the provisions of R.A. 6498 as amended by R.A. 7696. All bills incurred for the hospitalization and treatment shall be reimbursed under the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office-Veterans Memorial Medical Center (PVAO-VMMC) Hospitalization Program. (ABSienes, LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


AgSur Negosyo Centers staff finish 5-day Small Business Counseling Course 101

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, Dec. 28 – Nine (9) Agusan del Sur Negosyo Center (NC) project staff have completed the Small Business Counseling Course (SBCC 101) organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Caraga Negosyo Center Coordinating Unit.

The graduates were as follows: Elphie Plaza (NC Talacogon/Bayugan City); Charlotte Carl Pingol (NC-Bayugan City); Charlz Palen (NC Esperanza/Project Entrep); Caryl Joy Husain Zapanta (NC-Provincial Hub/Srtike Team for IPs); Shiela Mae Silong and Mark Bogani (NC-Trento);  France Tumulak Suaybaguio (NC-Bunawan); Yoraidyll Shanxt Tutor (NC-Provincial Hub/BuB); and Aibel Tolentino (NC Provincial Hub and Project Entrep and Strike Team for IPs). 

The rest of the NC project staff and counselors had the same training in 2015 and 2016.

All the participants said they had fun while learning. They also became more confident to serve NC clients with the added knowledge and the tools and techniques, which they can use in their jobs.

Tapped by DTI Caraga as resource persons and facilitators was the father and son tandem Rene S.L. Resurrecion and Rene Mikhael Resurrecion of the Association of Development Facilitators and Enterprise Counselors, lnc. (ADFEC, lnc.). (DTI-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


DTI Negosyo Center leads food safety, good manufacturing practices seminar in Surigao Norte town

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Dec. 28 (PIA) – A total of 32 food processors and handlers were capacitated on the basic food safety and good manufacturing practices (GMP) held at the Legislative Function Hall in the municipality of Claver, this province.

The seminar aimed to bring awareness to the food processors and handlers in the municipality concerning food safety and quality, specifically to increase responsiveness to basic hygiene and reduce the riskof food borne diseases.

DTI Surigao del Norte Trade and Industry Development Specialist Mardel Allen Delanto served as the resource person for the said activity.

Major topics discussed include the importance of GMP, contamination control, and personnel and premise hygiene.

With the said training, Claver food handlers and processors who are directly involved in food preparation were able to acquire working knowledge on the basics of GMP and food safety that will benefit not only the enterprise itself, but also benefit its consumers, as it reduces risk of food borne diseases, increase awareness of basic hygiene, reduced recall/wastage of food, and improve staff management commitment to food safety. (DTI-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Shopping tips for healthful eating

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 28 – Consumers today have many choices when it comes to food, especially at the grocery store. With numerous items and brand names, how does one go about choosing foods that are enjoyable, affordable, and most importantly, those that provide proper nutrition?

The List

Before you head out to the market, take time to make a list. It will save you time and money.

What to eat this week. List out meal ideas for the week, keeping in mind which days you’ll have time to cook and which days you’ll be pressed for time to put dinner on the table. When time is short, opt for vegetable salads or boil or steam green, leafy or other vegetables and ready-to-eat fortified foodstuffs containing low fat, cholesterol, and sodium or salt.

Organize the list. As you create your shopping list, check your menu options against the Food Guide Pyramid developed by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-FNRI) to ensure you’ve remembered everything from rice, breads and cereals to fats and oils, meat, fish and poultry, milk and other dairy products to vegetables and fruits.

This will help ensure that you are purchasing a variety of foods that provide all your nutrient needs.

Don’t forget snacks! Everyone enjoys a little boost between meals, so choose nutritious, great tasting snack foods such as low-fat nuts, popcorn and fruits.
The Strategy

Avoid going to the market or grocery when you are hungry. Leave the decisions with your head, not your stomach. It’s easier to stick to the list if you are not hungry, so make sure to eat something before you go shopping.

Set a routine. Establish a day and time that makes it easy for you to move quickly and easily through the store or market and stay focused on your market list.

Save money. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season because these are cheaper. In the grocery store, look for foodstuffs that are on sale.

The labels. Read food labels. You can compare nutrients and ingredients between similar foodstuffs. Determine which nutrients the food contributes to your total diet.

The tricks in going to the grocery store: Knowing how to shop and what to look for in each section of the store helps you save your time.
Farm Products. Since fresh agricultural products (like green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, fruits like bananas, papaya, mango, pineapple) which contribute vitamins and minerals don’t last very long, buy only the amount you can eat for a few days. Roots and tubers such as kamote, potatoes and gabi can be bought in bulk for a one to two-week supply. These are important sources of energy, fiber and vitamins. 

Meat, fish, chicken, eggs, dried beans and nuts. Get your protein! These foods are sources of high-quality protein. Buy meat, fish, and chicken, especially when they are on sale.

Milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products, small fish like dilis. Including these in your diet is an easy way to get your recommended intake of calcium to prevent osteoporosis.

Frozen. The frozen foods section is a great place for convenient, nutritious food choices for any meal occasion – breakfast, lunch, dinner – and even dessert. Read nutrition labels and choose low fat, cholesterol, and sodium (salt) content of different brands. 

Canned foods. Canned fruits and vegetables are also great to have on hand because they are similar and some are fortified, hence, higher in nutrients than their fresh counterparts. Most importantly, they don’t spoil as quickly!

For more information on food and nutrition, contact:  Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City; Telephone/ Fax Nos: 837-2934 or 837-3164; Direct Line:839-1839; DOST Trunk Line: 837-2071-82 local 2296 or 2284; e-mail: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph or at mar_v_c@yahoo.com; FNRI-DOST website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph.

You may also like their Facebook page at facebook.com/FNRI.DOST or follow their Twitter account at twitter.com/FNRI_DOST. (IAAgdeppa, Ph.D., FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)


Simple tips for happy holiday eating

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 28 – Partying during the holiday season is so common and is so difficult to avoid. Frequent partying, like a couple of days or nights in a week, can lead you to becoming overweight or obese.

Here are some simple tips you can follow to maintain your weight during the holidays.

Plan ahead! Eat meals with lower fat and calories during the day to save up for “splurges” at social events;
Balance party eating with other meals like salads and fruits;

Be selective. Choose specials foods. Keep and eat small portions;

Focus on socializing. Greet people you know – conversation is calorie-free;

Do not drink alcohol with an empty stomach because it may lead to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar level since it may inhibit the release of glucose from glycogen in the liver.

After a holiday meal, take a walk. Walking burns calories and helps deal with holiday stress.

For happy holiday eating, remember to include variety of foods in your plate.

For more information on food and nutrition, contact:  Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City; Telephone/ Fax Nos: 837-2934 or 837-3164; Direct Line:839-1839; DOST Trunk Line: 837-2071-82 local 2296 or 2284; e-mail: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph or at mar_v_c@yahoo.com; FNRI-DOST website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph.

You may also like their Facebook page at facebook.com/FNRI.DOST or follow their Twitter account at twitter.com/FNRI_DOST. (MIGGlorioso, FNRI-DOST S & T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)


HIV does not have to be a death sentence

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 28 – Starting as a mysterious pneumonia-like infection in the 1980s, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is the most advanced stage of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection usually manifested by the accumulation of diseases rooting from having very low or no immune system response.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), HIV targets the immune system and weakens people’s defense systems against infections and certain cancers. It destroys and impairs the functions of the immune cells while increases the vulnerability of an infected person a wide range of diseases that a person not infected can normally fight off.

Although a lot of misconceptions about the transmission of HIV have been circulating for years now, HIV can only be transmitted through the exchange of certain body fluids specifically the blood, vaginal secretions, semen, and breast milk.

Consequently, saliva or sweat and any other body fluids can not transfer the virus, not even mosquito bites.

Signs and symptoms of the virus infection may vary from one person to the other, but the most noticeable are swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, fever, diarrhea, and cough that can later develop to severe illnesses such as tuberculosis, cryptococcal meningitis, lymphoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, to name a few, as confirmed by the WHO.

Nevertheless, the only way to know if a person is HIV positive is through HIV testing.

The WHO revealed that “HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 34 million lives so far in 2014, where 1.2 million people died from HIV-related causes globally. Moreover, there were approximately 36.9 million people living with HIV at the end of 2014 with 2 million people becoming newly infected with HIV in 2014 globally.”

In the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) revealed that there were over 27,000 cases of reported HIV as of July 2015. Though the prevalence of HIV and AIDS in the country is low, the Philippines has the fastest growing HIV epidemic in the world, according to WHO.

As to date, there is no known cure for HIV. The issue of HIV has imposed a stigma in the society up until today. However, getting tested positive for HIV is not a death sentence anymore.

There is a continuous development for the regression and treatment of the virus through effective anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs to help prevent transmission of the virus and let people living with it enjoy productive lives.

In line with this, the United Nations (UN) in 2000 has committed and signed time-bound and quantifiable targets to address issues of extreme poverty, along with its underlying causes known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which are expected to be met by 2015.

The MDG 6 focuses on combating HIV or AIDS, malaria and other diseases by reversing the spread of HIV or AIDS, malaria and other diseases by 2015.

The battle against HIV or AIDS is achievable by limiting exposure to risk factors and observing HIV preventions like using condom and sterile injecting equipment, and early detection of the virus via HIV testing.

If found positive, don’t lose hope. With continuous ARV treatment, regular check-up and counseling coupled with healthy lifestyle, eating properly, having the right mind and attitude, and regular exercise, people living with the virus can live longer and stronger. (JRADoringo, FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)


PNP Caraga awarded as best JABRAC

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 28 – The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Caraga was adjudged as Best Joint Anti-Bank Robbery Action Committee (JABRAC) during the awarding ceremony held at the PNP National Headquarters in Camp Rafael T. Crame, Quezon City on December 15, 2017.

Senior Supt Ernesto Flores, Deputy Regional Director for Operations, received the plaque of distinction for the successful conduct of impact programs and activities from October 16, 2016 to October 16, 2017.

“The efforts of our JABRAC in strengthening ties and maximizing security measures to prevent bank robberies and other related crimes had made PNP Caraga a recipient of this award,” said Chief Supt Noli Romana, Regional Director and the chairperson of JABRAC.

JABRAC is a joint effort of the PNP and private sector to fight robbery and other bank-related crimes.

Anchored on the principle of unified response and integrated efforts among its members, the committee provides overall planning, coordination and monitoring to ensure the safety and security of the banks and other financial instructions. (PNP-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


2017 OFW Family Day gathers 1,500 Caraganon OFWs, families

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 28 – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in Caraga, in partnership with the local government of Surigao del Sur, celebrated the OFW Family Day dubbed “Pamaskong Handog para sa Pamilyang OFW” at the Barobo Gymnasium, Barobo, Surigao del Sur on December 16, 2017.

Some 1,500 OFW and dependents, coming from the different municipalities of Surigao del Sur and other provinces, along with their local government unit (LGU) representatives and Public Employment and Service Office (PESO) officers, gathered in the joyous celebration.

Various national line agencies and social partners joined together to bring services and presents to the OFW families.

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), under their OFW program, supported the activity and gave away prizes for their trivia questions that set a festive vibe to the crowd. The Caraga Association of Recruitment Agencies (CARA) performed a dance presentation, then immediately proceeded to giving away a number of raffle draw prizes. Social partners such as PEPSI Cola, Motortrade, Pru-Life UK, Camella Homes, Sunpride Foods and Tanduay Distillers brought goods for the raffle and dance contest prizes. Cash gifts were also raffled by B-MEG and/or San Miguel Foods Corporation, ten winners for P1,000.00 each while LBC Express also raffled six, each at P500.00.

Local government officials also attended the gathering. Surigao del Sur Vice Governor Manuel O. Alameda, Sr., delighted by the huge number of people in attendance gave cash prizes to six raffle winners on top of the grocery items. Governor Vicente Pimentel, although was not able to attend the event, sent a video greeting to the constituent OFWs. Sangguniang bayan Member Margarita Garay also donated kitchen wares for the OFWs to take home.

OWWA made sure to prepare a number of exciting prizes from grocery items, rice sacks, home appliances and bicycles.

Eight OFW family circles joined in the dance competition, all the teams danced in the tune of “Para Sayo” by Iñigo Pascual.  OFWs and their dependents gracefully danced their hearts out. In the end, the Sulong Mt. Diwata OFW and Dependents Association from San Francisco, Agusan del Sur bagged the first prize amounting to P6,000.00. United OFW Family Circle of Bislig won second place and Tucada OFW and Dependents – Cortes Cluster won third with prizes P4,000.00 and P2,500.00, respectively. All non-winning teams received a consolation prize of P1,000.00 each.

Meanwhile, the OWWA Caraga officers and staff prepared a dance number to entertain the participants. To make sure that the participants stayed active up until the end of the program, a community dance was led by OWWA Officers and Staff where the attendees grooved gracefully.

A simultaneous free health and beauty clinic was also carried out with services including facial massage, body massage, manicure and pedicure, and haircut.

Further, the Information Caravan on Reintegration Program was also incorporated in the celebration. (JPIMillones, OWWA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Help picky teens eat healthy foods

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 28 – Adolescence is probably one of the most confusing and experimental stages of the human life.

It is when rapid changes occur inside the body like hormonal surges, which prepares the teens to face the real world and become adults.

Proper nutrition is necessary in supporting these changes and in attaining optimal growth and development.

According to the Philippine Dietary Reference Intakes (PDRI) by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-FNRI), adolescents have the highest recommended energy intake per day, with an average of 2,800 calories for males and 2,200 calories for females.

A balanced diet fuels the growing teen body and boosts intake of nutrients for energy, growth, and proper functioning of bodily processes.

Among teens who are usually picky eaters, this is easier said than done.

Here are some tips in getting your picky teens eat healthy foods:

Be very hands-on with what they eat. Cook more meals at home and make each meal more interesting by adding fun and creativity to the foods. Create a food collage or make a fruit smiley on top of their cereals to encourage them to eat the food you prepared;

Let them eat breakfast. This is a good training to instill in their young minds that breakfast is the most important meal of the day;

Make eating a bonding moment between you and your teens. Make it fun by injecting themes or motifs every now and then;

Walk the talk. It is important that your teens see that you practice what you preach by eating nutritious foods and staying healthy;

Make them involved by having them help you in the kitchen. Try to bring them to the grocery with you too;
Don’t force them to eat foods that they don’t like. They will only loathe the foods you give them;

Introduce them to different food items from time to time. This will make their diets more varied;

Instead of serving your teens sugary desserts, try stocking fruits in the fridge and serve the fruits as desserts. Fruits like mangoes, grapes, and apples are as delectable as cakes but not as high in calories;

Disguise healthy foods by adding them to a classic dish. Add vegetables like carrots and celery with meatballs or add squash with pudding;

Include calcium-rich foods in their diet for bone growth. According to the PDRI, adolescents have the highest recommended calcium intake per day at 1,000 milligrams (mg). Make sure to include milk, dairy products or small fishes like anchovies and tagunton in their diet;

Make a healthy snack ready. Most of the time, teens will always be hungry and will ask for food. Have a stock of granola bars, yogurts, and whole grain sandwiches.

Shifting from childhood to adulthood is critical and demands thorough attention to successfully carry it out.

Aside from the biological changes in the body, this is the period when outside influences have great impacts to the decisions of the adolescents in creating self-concept, sense of identity, sexual orientation, and self-esteem.

Consequently, it is the best time for family values and ties to shine through the whole process of an adolescent so that they become comfortable in accepting social roles and responsibilities in the community.

What better way to strengthen this tie than through healthy eating!

For more information on food and nutrition, contact:  Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City; Telephone/ Fax Nos: 837-2934 or 837-3164; Direct Line:839-1839; DOST Trunk Line: 837-2071-82 local 2296 or 2284; e-mail: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph or at mar_v_c@yahoo.com; FNRI-DOST website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph.

You may also like their Facebook page at facebook.com/FNRI.DOST or follow their Twitter account at twitter.com/FNRI_DOST.  (JRADoringo, FNRI-DOST S & T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)


Nutritional needs of teenagers

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 28 – Because of the rapid growth and development during teenage years, adolescents have greater needs for certain nutrients. Below are certain nutrients needed by teenagers in greater amounts. These are based on the Philippine Dietary Reference Intakes (PDRI) 2015 developed by Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-FNRI). The PDRI is a new set of multi-level standards wherein the Recommended Energy/Nutrient Intake (REI/ RNI) is one of the components. The REI/RNI is the level of intake of energy or nutrient which is considered adequate for the maintenance of health and well-being of healthy persons in the population.

Energy – Adolescent boys need more energy foods because of an increase in physical activities than adolescent girls. The energy requirement of adolescents aged 13-15 years is 2700 kcal for 48.5 kg boys while 2170 kcal for 46 kg girls. For adolescents aged 16-18 years, it is 3010 kcal for 59 kg boys while 2280 kcal for 51.5 kg girls;

Protein – The need for body building foods is also high among teenagers because of accelerated growth and development. The protein need of adolescents (13 -15 years) is 62 grams per day for boys and 57 grams per day for girls. For adolescents aged 16-18 years, it is 73 grams per day for boys while 61 grams for girls is needed;

Calcium – Teenagers have higher requirements for calcium as the adolescence period is a vital time for bone development. Teenagers need extra calcium to store up an optimal amount of bone (peak bone mass). Building bone mass through a balanced diet, including adequate calcium may delay the onset or limit chances of developing osteoporosis later in life. Calcium requirement for an adolescent boy or girl (13-18 years) is 1000 mg per day;

Iron – Both teenage boys and girls need additional iron due to the growth spurt. Among teenage girls, the onset of “monthly period” increases the need for iron. The recommendation for iron is 19 mg/ day for teenage boys (13-15 years) while it is 28 mg/day for teenage girls (13-15 years). Iron requirements of teenage girls cannot be met by usual diet alone. Intake of iron-rich and iron-fortified foods and the use of supplements are recommended, if necessary.

It is important to plan how to get adequate iron. Iron from meat is better absorbed by the body than the iron from plant sources. However, the absorption of iron from plants is improved by eating fruit or drinking juice that contains vitamin C with the iron-rich food.

Meet the changing nutritional needs of a growing teenager by choosing and enjoying a diet that includes a variety of foods from the Pinggang Pinoy, coupled with regular physical activity.


For more information on food and nutrition, contact:  Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City; Tel/Fax Num:  8372934 and 8373164; email: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph, mar_v_c@yahoo.com; FNRI-DOST website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph.; FNRI Facebook page: facebook.com/FNRI-DOST; FNRI Twitter account: twitter.com/FNRI-DOST (MIGGlorioso, FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)