Thursday, June 21, 2018


Mindanao NGO to hold consultation on migration, peace in Butuan

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, June 21 (PIA) - The Mindanao Migrants Center for Empowering Actions, Inc. (MMCEAI), a rights-based service organization based  in Davao City for migrants– active and returning OFWs and their immediately families and communities, is set to hold the Caraga Stakeholders Conversation on Migration, Environment, Peace and Development (MEPD) on June 27, 2018 at Grand Palace Hotel, this city. The MEPD is the second leg of the six regional consultations to be organized in Mindanao this year.

Accordng to MMCEAI executive director Inorisa Sialana-Elento, the MEPD is aimed at enhancing the synergies among civil society organizations, government agencies and other concerned stakeholders on the issue of migration, environment, peace and development efforts in Mindanao.

It can be recalled that in 2014 MMCEAI convened the Mindanao Summit on Migration, Environment, Peace and Development (MEPD) of which stakeholders – civil society organizations (CSOs), humanitarian organizations, government and local government representative/s partake in the crafting of the Mindanao Multi-Sectoral Action Plan on Migration, Environment, Peace and Development. 

“Indeed, the Action Plan has provided appreciation and stimulations for continuing dialogue in the local level. Nevertheless, the local initiative/s fall short in formulating, addressing, and consolidating collective actions despite the pressing concern, issues and challenges to migration, environment, peace and development,” said Elento.

Inspired by the initial actions of local stakeholders, MMCEAI will re-engage and co-facilitate the convening of the series of consultation-forum on MEPD, highlighting region specific migration issues as it aims to identify areas where the local government and local stakeholders could better strengthen their capacity to prevent and respond to cases of trafficking in persons, illegal recruitment and migration-related gender-based violence, among others. (PIA-Caraga)

Feature: Developing leaders, building resilient communities through Kalahi-CIDSS

By Christine T. Tikim and Marko Davey D. Reyes

Barangay Katipunan is one of the barangays of Pilar, Surigao del Norte. A fishing community, they get to enjoy the rich, abundant waters surrounding the barangay. They have fishing as their main source of livelihood. But with the blessings of their rich seas and mangrove forests surrounding their barangay, also comes challenges to their community. 

For communities to prosper, it is important for them to manage their resources and maximize on whatever they have, for their own benefit. And that, the people of Katipunan were able to accomplish. But with their growing population, issues and problems arose. They could not just rely on their existing resources, but they also need to access basic services. Here lies the dilemma for their community.


Flora Forcadilla, Barangay Chairperson of Katipunan, who has been living in the area for decades now shares their community’s story. “Sa una, pipila lang kami lumulupyo dinhi sa Katipunan. Mga mangingisda ang mga unang namuyo dinhi. Tungod sa bakhawan, daghan isda dinhi. Apan niabot ang panahon nga midaghan na ang mga tawo. Tungod niini, nigawas ang mga panginahanglanon namo (Before, we were only few residents here in Katipunan – mostly fisher folks.  But when the time came when the population ballooned, people began to realize there are different needs we had to address),” Kapitana Flora said.

Indeed, the significant location of the barangay was quite advantageous for livelihood, specifically fishing. But with the terrain they had, it was difficult to travel to and from the barangay.

From the Poblacion, one could take a Bangka going to Katipunan. But traversing the seas is more challenging. The seas are usually rough especially during the rainy season. Several bangkas have been capsized within the waters of Katipunan. But you could also take another route. But it is farther, and you have to spend more riding a habal-habal.

Because of this, the people of Katipunan have this dilemma – they either have to stay in Katipunan and be near their fishing grounds, or move to another place, where they would have to find ways to adapt in another environment, in an unfamiliar community.

Kapitana Flora has been Barangay Chairperson for 10 years now – she has been the community’s leader since 2007. The barangay local government unit (BLGU) has been doing their best for the community, but still, they fall short of providing all the necessary needs of the community with the meager allocated budget they have for the barangay.

“Daghan na kami mga bata, apan walay eskwelahan nga tarong. Daghan kami mga nagkinahanglan sa mga tambal ug regular nga check-up. Wala kami source nang tubig. Ang mga balay nga anaa sa kilid sa dagat maigo sa mga kusog nga balod. Mga motor maglisod ug byahe kay adunay mga suba, ug tubig, unya ang tulay, sinumpay ra nga kahoy – gabok pa gyud (The population of our children is growing, yet we do not have proper schools. There are quite a number of persons needing medical attention. We do not have a viable source of water. The houses near the shores are being pounded by the powerful waves. Motorcycles have a hard time traversing the barangay because a large parts of the barangay covered by water, and they are passing through makeshift, dilapidated wooden bridges),” Kapitan Flora laments when asked about the condition of their barangay, especially in the past. 

But this changed when the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) Program. The program, which utilizes the Community-Driven Development strategy in its implementation, provided opportunities to the community to deal with the different problems which challenged them.

When the program started, everyone was hopeful that the Kalahi-CIDSS would somewhat, be the solution to their problems. Kapitana Flora was among those who was most hopeful.

“Sa Kalahi-CIDSS, nahatagan mi ug paglaum kay adunay dakong pondo mosulod nga maoy magamit namo sa pagtukod sa mga imprastraktura nga makatabang sa among mga katawhan. Excited kaming tanan kay nindot ang pamaagi sa programa, tanan adunay tingog, ug pwede mokapartisipar sa implimentasyon (With Kalahi-CIDSS, we now have funds that we could use to build different infrastructures that would definitely help us – this gave us hope. We were all excited because the program’s implementation strategy was unique, everyone has the chance to participate and let their voices be heard),” Kapitana Flora added.

Through the program, the barangay was able to implement, and complete a 108 linear meters Sea wall which protected the houses from strong waves.  In their second year with the program, they were able to have their first ever Health Care Station.

To address their problems with their water provision, the community proposed, and received rainwater harvesters distributed among the households. Another community project they proposed and implemented was their Day Care Center – it was a dream come true to them, especially parents who have prayed for it for a long time.

To address their problems of accessibility, since their barangay is basically surrounded by bodies of water that hindered them from easily travelling from one part of the barangay to another, two Foot Bridge, 6 and 7 linear meters length, joined Purok-1, Purok-2 and Purok-3.

Lastly, the community was able to propose and implement 35 solar street lights going to Sitio Emanuel, ensuring the safety of the residents in the area.

Though the community projects were successfully implemented, it was a big challenge to the BLGU. Kapitana Flora faced a lot of challenges during the course of the implementation of the program. Though the community leads in the implementation (with the BLGU supporting), Kapitana Flora could not just sit back and let the opportunity pass by without extending her services to the community.

With the challenge of meeting deadlines, and ensuring everything were in place, she was present in the project sites. She was even active in filing rocks in their seawall project because the BLGU could only provide in-kind counterpart.

“Dako ang pondo nga gikan sa Kalahi-CIDSS. Ang barangay halos walay mahatag nga counterpart nga cash kay wala gayud kami pondo. Mao nga in-kind nalang among contribution, mao kana nga nag pahina o bayanihan kami. Ako ang magsayo gayud diha sa site aron motrabaho ug mag alsa sa mga bato aron mapasunod nako ang katawhan nga motabang usab sila (Kalahi-CIDSS was able to provide us with enough budget. The barangay could not raise enough budget for counterpart because we were short of cash.

We could only afford to contribute in-kind, that is why we had to do “pahina” or “bayanihan” instead. I woke up early to be at the site and file large rocks to lead the community in helping out in the project),” she said.

Through her leadership, and her will to transform their community, and by simply showing her love and care for the people of Katipunan, Kapitana Flora was able to inspire and lead her community and make their dreams and aspirations a reality.

Through their hard work and dedication, the community was able to capitalize and ensure that the goals of the program were achieved. With the support of the BLGU, they were able to turn the challenges they faced into a strong determination to better their community – and this is through the harmonious implementation of the program.

Today, Kapitana Flora, who is in her last term as Barangay Chairperson could easily look back at her legacy and claim that she was able to deliver for the people of Katipunan, through the help of the Kalahi-CIDSS program. (DSWD-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

Caraganons flock job, business fairs in Agusan Norte

BUTUAN CITY, June 21 - Some 827 job applicants flock to the recent Kalayaan 2018 Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (TNK) Job and Business Fairs in Agusan del Norte which gathered 20 companies and agencies offering 597 local and 11,279 overseas job openings.

There were 299 so-called near hires and of the 153 deemed qualified job applicants, 45 were hired on the spot.

Twenty-five applicants joined the techno demo while 36 visited the Negosyo Center corner for various inquiries.

The activity, supposedly part of the nationwide simultaneous Kalayaan 2018 TNK, was conducted June 15, 2018 at the Provincial Training Center in Butuan City as part of the Agusan del Norte Founding Anniversary and 4th Sadow Festival.

It was organized by the Provincial Government of Agusan del Norte in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Social Security System (SSS), Philhealth, Pag-IBIG Fund or the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), and the Bureau of Internal Revenue – completed the “one-stop-shop” to provide services to those who will be joining or preparing to join the workforce.

DTI Agusan del Norte for its part mounted its own product display at the Agro Trade Fair, a Diskwento Caravan participated by 15 sellers, the above-mentioned techno demo on laundry soap and dishwashing liquid, and a mobile Negosyo Center service corner.

Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member Virgilio Escasinas representing Provincial Governor Angel Amante-Matba, in his welcome message, thanked the participating companies, stressing that the province is now finalizing an ordinance creating the Provincial Employment Service Office (PESO) with a provision for their presence in the barangays. 

Director Julius Sol O. Jamero of TESDA shared the agency’s programs and services and invited the applicants to beef up their chances of landing a job by getting National Certification (NC) from the agency.

Brenda Corvera, OIC Provincial Director of DTI Agusan del Norte explained that the collaboration for the TNK is to implement the government’s so-called blue-print for “Decent Job Creation through Employment and Entrepreneurship 2017-2022.” 

From being merely a “jobs fair” before it has evolved into a jobs and business/livelihood fairs to make those wanting jobs realize that there is the option of creating jobs for themselves through self-employment utilizing their skills or by establishing their own business.

DOLE Provincial Head Keith Duran thanked the provincial government, the companies who are in attendance, the one-stop service agencies and the job applicants as he formally opened the activity. (DTI-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)

DSWD-Caraga gears up for ISO 9001:2015 Certification this year

By Joana Rica P. Millama

BUTUAN CITY, June 21 - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) led by its top management, is taking a step way higher through acquiring International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2015 or commonly known as Quality Management System (QMS) Certification.

ISO 9001:2015 is a renowned management system which provides an organized structure for incorporating a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement of an organization.

To be fully equipped with the right tool for successful QMS Certification, DSWD conducted a Full Awareness Training Course for its key personnel on June 5 at the Field Office, Butuan City. This was facilitated by the Anglo Japanese American (AJA) Registrars.

DSWD Caraga OIC-Regional Director Mita Chuchi Lim stated that attaining ISO 9001:2015 will help in ensuring that customers get consistent, achieving good quality products and services, and bring many organizational benefits.

“This training course from the Field Office is our way of affirming the public that part of our 'maagap at mapagkalingang serbisyo,' we shall ensure de-kalidad or quality service because this is what our clienteles deserve,” Lim said.

The primary objectives of the course are to examine the Structure of Management System Standards as evidenced in the 2015 version, understand the benefits of this new version, examine the requirements in the 2015 International Standard by comparing it to the existing 2008 version, and outline the preparation process and the certification process.

With ISO 9001:2008 being incorporated in the Department since December 2015, DSWD seeks to be more client-friendly in its continued pursuit of service delivery in Caraga by putting greater emphasis on leadership engagement, helping address the organizational risks, and addressing supply chain management more effectively. 

This year, the Field Office aims to transit from ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015 QMS. The training course is just the first step for the whole transition process. (Social Marketing Unit/DSWD-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)