(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 30 November 2022) Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting Mindanao. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due ITCZ/Shearline. Possible flash floods or landslides due to moderate to at times heavy rains. Light to moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas / (0.6 to 2.5 meters).

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

433 DSWD grantees receive CA during Parangal 2018 in SurSur

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, April 25 (PIA) - Some 433 graduates who were grantees under the Expanded Students’ Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) were awarded the Certificate of Appreciation during the special recognition rites dubbed as “Parangal 2018” on Monday, April 23, at Surigao del Sur State University, this city.

This year's ceremony was anchored on the theme “Araw ng Pagkilala Ituwid ang Kabataan sa mas Maunlad na Kinabukasan.”

One of the ESGP-PA grantees, Cecilia Geofro, finished her studies as magna cum laude with a course Bachelor of Science in Education major in English in Bislig City.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) - Provincial Link Meiraflor Cabigon said, of the 433 baccalaureate graduates, 421 come from Surigao del Sur and 12 are from the province of Surigao del Norte.

Data showed that Tandag City topped the number of grantees with 53 graduates; followed by Tagbina with 48 graduates; Barobo, 36 graduates; Tago, 30 graduates; Lingig with 29 graduates; San Agustin with 25 graduates; Carmen, 25 graduates; Lianga, 24 graduates; Cantilan, 22 graduates; Lanuza, 20 graduates; Bislig City with 16 graduates; Hinatuan, 14 graduates; Madrid, 12 graduates; Marihatag, 11 graduates; Carrascal,11 graduates; Cortes,11 graduates; Bayabas with nine graduates; and Cagwait with two graduates.

Cabigon explained that the beneficiaries of this program were the indigent household recipients of DSWD's Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Meanwhile, E/SGP-PA aims to contribute to the National Government’s thrusts in effectively addressing poverty alleviation by increasing the number of graduates in higher education among poor households and to get these graduates employed in high value added occupations in order to lift their families out of poverty and contribute to national development. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)

DILG Dinagat Islands, PDEA hold BADAC symposium

By Winel Ponteros

SAN JOSE, Dinagat Islands, April 25 (PIA) - The provincial office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Dinagat Islands conducted the BADAC Symposium cum Strengthening of Barangay Drug Clearing Program (BDCP) Implementation on April 19, 2018 at Guest Center, Barangay Cuarinta, San Jose town.

This was in partnership with the Philippine National Police-Dinagat Islands and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Caraga.

Discussed during the said symposium were updates on the Barangay Drug Clearing Program (BDCP) implementation of the province, parameters of Barangay Drug Clearing Program (Legal Basis- DDB Regulations No.3 Series of 2017), guidelines on Community Based Treatment and Rehabilitation Program for people affected with substance use and dependence, and the creation of BDCP Municipal Technical Working Group.

Barangay Aurelio in San Jose town and Barangay Ferdinand in Basilisa were presented as  “model barangays” and soon to be declared as “Drug-Free” barangays.

The said activity was participated in by barangay officials from the 100 barangays of the province. (PIO-Dinagat Islands/PIA-Dinagat Islands)

Kalahi-CIDSS livelihood, enterprise partner-beneficiaries undergo TRAIN law orientation

By Russ Cleppin M. Paster/Marko Davey D. Reyes

BUTUAN CITY, April 25 - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Caraga, through the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services’ (Kalahi-CIDSS) – Livelihood and Enterprise (L and E) modality, conducted an orientation on the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law or TRAIN LAW on April 6, 2018 at the DSWD Caraga Conference Hall here.

This was to address the challenge on educating and translating the salient features of Republic Act 10963 otherwise known as the TRAIN LAW to beneficiaries of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

In attendance were the beneficiaries, together with representatives of the Regional Program Management Office (RPMO) and Area Coordinating Teams (ACT).

Revenue Officer, Mr. Ellezer E. Dumaran, served as the resource speaker for the activity.

Dumaran discussed changes on the Personal Income Tax (PIT) and some impacts the TRAIN Law can make in their enterprises highlighting the use of correct books in accounting and the timely payment of taxes.

One of the goals of the TRAIN Law is to lower the PIT. Through this, small-scale entrepreneurs can now have a bigger profit, thereby improving the well-being of individuals and households, which would then lead to the decrease of poverty.

An open forum was also initiated which paved way for participants to raise questions regarding the TRAIN Law, and be given explanations with regards to their queries.

The “L and E” is one of the new modalities being implemented by the DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS Program.

Through the utilization of Community-Driven Development, communities who have identified livelihood needs and have existing resources are extended funds and capability building activities to ensure a more active planning, budgeting and implementing of a community livelihood program. (DSWD-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

Provincial ordinances penalizing 4Ps cash card pawnees, pawners up in Caraga

By Joana Rica Millama

BUTUAN CITY, April 25 (PIA) - Due to the intensifying issue of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program partner-beneficiaries pawning their cash cards, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga lobbied to all provincial lawmakers to craft an ordinance prohibiting the illegal act and penalizing the persons involved.
This was an offshoot of the discussions done by the Caraga Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) on the said issue prevailing nationwide. The lobbying efforts were primarily initiated by the Provincial Links with the support of the Regional Program Management Office.

The use of 4Ps cash cards, identification cards, and “kasabutan” as loan collateral or pawn security has been a communication issue since 2011 – where it was magnified as a widespread failure.

To address this concern, different legislative bodies in the five provinces of Caraga, namely, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur, purposely created provincial ordinances last year to penalize and sanction loan sharks, lenders, and government officials who would violate the law.

These ordinances state that “government officials and employees, private individual or groups, financial or lending institutions, and local businesses or corporations, are prohibited to accept cash cards as loan collateral,” with penal provisions having a fine of P1000 to P5000, suspension/cancellation of business permits and registrations, and a 10-day imprisonment with the discretion of the court.

Furthermore, officials who would violate shall be filed a case under RA. 6713 or be removed from government service.

The provisions based on the National Advisory Committee (NAC) Resolution No. 20 of 4Ps, “Procedural guidelines in handling misdemeanor cases of beneficiaries,” were also reiterated in the ordinances to warn the beneficiaries of the sanctions should they continue to pawn their cards.

Violation of these will result to: First Offense – Counseling by the City/Municipal Link with a written warning from the head of the Provincial Operations Office; Second Offense – Counseling by the Provincial Link (Social Welfare Officer III) with a written warning from the Regional Director; Household grants shall be suspended/not released for one (1) payment period or two months; Third Offense – Delisting of the concerned households under Grievance Redress System (GRS) Fraud duly addressed by the Regional Director and tagging shall be facilitated by the Regional Grievance Officers; Household’s delisted status is non-appealable.

These laws have an enforcement structure called as Provincial/City/Municipal Convergence Advisory Committees headed by the City/Municipal Governor/Mayor as chairperson and P/C/MSWDO as vice-chairperson. They shall ensure the full implementation of these ordinances.

With the ordinances being passed, DSWD Caraga expects for this illegal act to lessen this year.

Pantawid Pamilya is only one of the poverty reduction strategies of the national government implemented by the DSWD, which focuses on human capital investment through provision of health and education cash grants to eligible poor households with children 0-18 years old, with the primary aim to break the intergenerational poverty cycle. (DSWD-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

SurSur CSC gets new chief

By Greg Tataro, Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, April 25 (PIA) - Finally, a full-fledged provincial director for the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Field Office in Surigao del Sur has been installed.

Effective April 13, 2018, Alan Besario was named as the new Provincial Director (PD) to take the place of Director Imelda Bongabong. Bongabong, Chief Human Resource Specialist, was assigned as acting PD when former PD Ruth Beniga vacated the post on February 28, 2018.

Besario was recommended by CSC former Caraga Regional Director (RD) Resurreccion Pueyo together with Assistant Regional Director (ARD) Atty. Winston Plaza.

In an initial interview, PD Besario said that the turn-over rites here was presided over by the new CSC Caraga Regional Director (RD) Atty. Annabelle Rosell.

RD Rosell, prior to taking the helm which also took effect on April 13, 2018, was the director of the Davao Regional Office XI, he added.

Meanwhile, Besario, hired as Certified Public Accountant (CPA) upon entry to the commission, bared that being a native of Surigao City, he was indeed a true blue Caraganon.  Some five years ago, he was with Caraga CSC Regional Office as one of its division chiefs, he said.

Prior to his comeback, Besario said that he was the Camiguin Island CSC director. (Radyo Pilipinas-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

37K Caraganon students to benefit from free higher education

By Zachary Claire Cruz

BUTUAN CITY, April 25 (PIA) - Around 32,000 to 37,000 students are expected to benefit from the free higher education in state universities and colleges (SUCs) in Caraga starting this academic year 2018-2019.

In the nationwide information caravan for Republic Act (RA) 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act of 2017 (UAQTEA) Caraga leg recently held here, Dr. Maricar Casquejo, regional director of the Commission on Higher and Education (CHED) said that all Caraganon students enrolling in undergraduate courses can avail of the program.

Casquejo said the UAQTEA is expected to be implemented in 78 local universities and colleges all over the country that have been recognized to be compliant with CHED requirements.

“In Caraga, Hinatuan Southern College is the first local college institution to comply with the specified requirements,” she said.

Unlike in the “Free Tuition of 2017” where only tuition is free, the new law will also cover miscellaneous fees, among others. (ZCC/PIA-Caraga)

PLEA liberates farmers from loan sharks

By Aurelius P. Arais

AGUSAN DEL SUR, April 24 (PIA) - Typical Filipino farmers need financing to sustain their farm operations. That is why some of them hooked to loan sharks who would charge neck-level interest rates. But this is no longer the case in a barangay in the town of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur.

Members of the Dakutan Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative (DAFAMCO) are now enjoying low-interest rate financing package through the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) program of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

PLEA, a nationwide credit program, is currently implemented in selected municipalities across the nation through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC).

Brigida Naparan, 59, a resident of Purok 10 of Barangay Dakutan one of the recipient- borrower said that through PLEA, she was able to access a loan amount of P22,000.00 intended for a one-half hectare of rice farm.

“The loan amount I’ve got from PLEA was used for labor expenses during land preparation, planting, inputs, and fertilizer,” she said.

Naparan said that prior to the implementation of PLEA, she succumbed to personal lenders who imposed an ultra-high-interest rate of 20 percent per cropping of rice. With PLEA, the interest rate is only six percent per annum or 0.5 percent per month.

Meanwhile, Abdul Rakman Batingal, 37, also a PLEA loan borrower, said that with the P45,000.00 good for one hectare, the amount has immensely benefitted his farm.

He used it to cover labor expenses for seedbed, land preparation for planting, and farm inputs and fertilizers.

“PLEA really helps me a lot. Before, I used to lend money from loan sharks who collected 10 percent per month or 30 percent per cropping whereas in PLEA, the interest is only six percent per annum, so it is really a big advantage for us farmers,” he smilingly narrated.

Showing his nearly harvested rice farm, Mang Abdul is confident that this coming harvest he could pay back in full his PLEA loan through their cooperative.

“In my entire life, this is the first time that I’ve experienced this kind of loan program with very minimal interest. I’ve never expected this to come here in our place,” Mang Abdul said.

Jose Zaldy Manug, the municipal agriculturist of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur said that they supported PLEA program through extending technical support for farmers to ensure a good harvest.

“PLEA is a laudable program of DA, I am hoping for more farmer cooperatives to be partnered as lending conduits with ACPC to reach out more farmers who are in need of financial support,” he said.

DA-ACPC is partnering with local financial institutions such as farmer cooperatives to extend the financial loan to farmers.

As of press time, DA-ACPC has identified five lending conduits in Caraga Region with an approved credit fund allocation of P40 million and expected to increase as more cooperatives are applying to be a lending partner.

A total of 591 farmers have already accessed the loan package and currently enjoying the very minimal interest rate.

PLEA was launched last June 2017 during the visit of DA Secretary Manny Piñol in Malimono, Surigao del  Norte.

Through PLEA, marginal and small rural farmers and fisherfolk may avail a loan amount of up to P50,000.00 with no collateral.

Borrowers can pay the loaned amount from two to 10 years depending on the commodity or activity. (DA Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

Tagalog news: Comelec magsasagawa ng recall election sa Cabadbaran City

Ni Nora C. Lanuza Molde

CABADBARAN CITY, Agusan del Norte, Abril 24 (PIA) - Isang recall election ang gaganapin sa Mayo 5 sa kasalukuyang taon dito sa lungsod para sa posisyon ng pagka-alkalde.

Ayon kay Cabadbaran City election officer Atty. Mark Christer Sorilla, ang nasabing recall election ay gaganapin sa pamamagitan ng isang manual election. Matatandaan na isang Mr. Famador at 12,044 supporting petetioners ay nagfile ng petition for recall laban sa incumbent mayor.

Dagdag pa ni Atty. Sorilla, dumaan sa proseso ang nasabing petition at nakakuha nang mahigit 20 percent petetioners sa kabuoang bilang ng rehistradong botante na 45,953 sa nasabing lugar at noong march 20 ay nagkaroon ng affirmition galing sa commission en banc na gagawin ang naturang recall election sa Mayo 5.

Si Atty. Sorilla ay nagpahayag din ng kahandaan hindi lang sa gaganaping recall election sa Mayo 5 pati na rin sa barangay at SK elections sa Mayo 14. Sa ginanap na City Joint Security Control Center (CJSCC) command conference at Re-activation, ang mga opisyales ng PNP Cabadbaran at ang 29IB ay nagpahayg din ng kanilang kahandaan at suporta sa mga naturang elections.

Sa panig din ng AFP, patuloy ang pagseguro nila sa seguridad at kaayusan sa gagawing Recall election at sa Barangay at SK elections sa darating na Mayo 14. May mga nakadeploy ng mga kasundaluhan sa mga lugar kung saan kakailanganin ang maigting na seguredad.

Ayon naman kay Cabadbaran City chief of police police senior inspector Renel Serrano, may 356 PNP personnel ang itinalaga para sa naturang election lalo na sa anim na lugar kung saan naitalang mas kinailangan ang special attention o areas of concern sa darating na election.

Sa ginanap sa CJSCC command conference, isinagawa din ng mga dumalo ang covenant signing para sa secure and fair election. (NCLM/PIA-Agusan del Norte)