(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, July 19, 2018


AgNor PDRRMC to hold climate change, DRRM confab

By Nora L. Molde

BUTUAN CITY, July 19 (PIA) – In line with this year’s observance of the National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM), the province of Agusan del Norte, through the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), will hold its 1st Provincial Climate Change (CC) and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Convention on July 26-27 here. 

PDRRM Office chief Erma Suyo said the event aims to present science-based studies and initiatives that can be utilized for Climate Change Adaptation measures as basis for local planning.  

"This will also be the basis in order for the province to come up with programs and initiatives that are tailor-made for its needs that geared towards maximizing sectoral outputs in a sustainable manner," she said.

According to Merry Chris Cabonce of PDRRMO, some 200 participants are expected to attend the provincial convention. These include different DRRM council members of the province, emergency response teams, school coordinators, private partners, and other stakeholders.

Sessions include the Philippines commitment to Sendai framework on Climate Change, climate-resilient farming initiatives for the province of Agusan del Norte, climate-resilient aquaculture farming, downscaling climate information, concept of an effective early warning system, PhiLIDAR initiatives for Agusan River Basin, and importance of biodiversity of the Agusan watershed.

As part of the NDRM observance, Suyo also said that the PDRRMC through the PDRRMO will host the 1st Himig DRRM – a song writing composition and interpretation on July 21.

She said the event, which is open to all Agusanons, aims to spread DRRM and Climate Change Adaptation awareness through singing and creative interpretation. (NCLM/PIA-Agusan del Norte)

DA envisions rise of corn industry in Caraga Region

By Aurelius P. Arais

BUTUAN CITY, July 19 --  To keep up the momentum of the thriving corn industry in Caraga Region, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is looking for possible areas for the expansion of corn production.

In the recent 2nd Regional Corn Congress (RCC) held in Butuan City, Melchor Bautista, chief statistical specialist of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Caraga reported an increase in the volume of production, area harvested as well as its average yield per hectare based on the 2017 data and the 2018 1st quarter preliminary estimate. 

From January to March 2017, the volume of corn production in Caraga Region was 1,079 metric tons (MT) while in the current year for the same period, data showed 2,144 MT. Also, the area harvested in the 1st quarter of 2017 covered 424 hectares, while for this year on the same period, it reached 650 hectares.

Meanwhile, a total average yield of 2.54 MT per hectare was recorded for the 1st quarter of 2017 while 3.30 MT per hectare was recorded for the same period. 

Melody Guimary, DA Caraga’s regional corn program coordinator said the challenge that lies ahead is how to keep up the momentum until the end of 2018 and even beyond. 

“Though our yield and volume of production posted an increase we are not yet confident since the area planted has slightly declined over the past years due to some other reasons such as change of crop planted,” she said.

One of the strategies of the agriculture department in the region is to look for other areas potential for corn production.

“Currently, we are coordinating with our partners in the local government units (LGUs) to help us look for potential areas for corn production, so we can coordinate with the owners to venture into corn farming,” Guimary stressed.

In 2017, based on PSA data, Caraga Region posted a volume of corn production reaching 119,980 metric tons from an area spanning 34,034 hectares.

“What we are aiming now is to surpass our previous records through our massive interventions for the farmer, not just production support but technical and marketing support,” Guimary said.

DA Caraga Regional Executive Director Abel James Monteagudo posed a challenge to all the participants of the 2nd RCC, comprised of corn coordinators from various LGUs in the region as well as farmers, to work as a team to achieve the goal in an easier way.

“In sports just like basketball, you cannot win if you don’t know how to work as a team, same is true with an organizational goal such as in the agricultural sector, every member has to work in a team,” he explained.

Caraga Region’s corn industry has been the bread and butter of more than 32,000 farmers. (DA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

DAR AgNor distributes P1.8-M worth of equipment to abaca farmers

By Gil E. Miranda

BUTUAN CITY, July 19 -- A total of 2,172 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs), that included 427 Indigenous Peoples (IPs) stand to benefit from 12 units of mobile abaca stripping machines worth PhP1.8 million under the Project Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment (ConVERGE), implemented by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) of Agusan del Norte.

The abaca farmers are composed of 21 farmer-groups involving San Isidro Upland Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SIUFMULCO), as the lead proponent group of 20 participating farmer-groups in the four municipalities of Tubay, Jabonga, Kitcharao and Santiago (TUJAKITSAN) cluster.

DAR Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Andre B. Atega said the equipment will enhance the production and quality of abaca fiber to better meet market demands that significantly improve the lives of the agrarian reform beneficiaries and other abaca farmer-workers. 

The 12 units are just initial release for the farmer-organizations that are already yielding abaca fiber, while the next units to be delivered are for those that are in the process of expanding their plantation up to 200 hectares over a five-year period.

SIUFMULCO manager Leonora Mila said they are thankful to DAR through its ConVERGE project that brings positive impact on the way of life among the abaca famers in the cluster.

Based on the original target proposal of project ConVERGE, a total of 27 stripping machines are supposedly distributed to cater to the needs of the abaca-farmers in the cluster.

Project ConVERGE has several activities on the pipeline that include abaca production seminar, entrepreneurial skills training, abaca planting materials and production inputs, abaca-shed house, and a 10-wheeler truck.

The project intends to strengthen SIUFMULCO as the lead proponent group of 20 member-organization in TUJAKITSAN Cluster consisting Tubay, Jabonga, Kitcharao and Santiago to better meet market demands by improving production of high quality abaca fiber. (DAR-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)

Surigao del Norte guv urges gov't workers to speed up reforms

By Venus l. Garcia/John Glenn A. Platil

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, July 19  -- Surigao del Norte Governor Sol Matugas encouraged the employees of the provincial office and representatives of the different line agencies to speed up development reforms during the Strategic Management Planning Workshop held in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte from July 9 to 11, this year.

Gov. Matugas said that in consonance with the Health, Education and Environment, Agri-Aquaculture, Livelihood and Social Services, Security, Spirituality (HEALS) Plus "Byahe sa Kadaugan" (Ride to Victory) agenda, poverty must continue to decline with the following priority programs:

  1. Completion of the Cuban Health Care System, service delivery network
  2. Focus on public health to encourage preventive remedy than curative medication
  3. Hospital development as well as updating of facilities, equipped with state-of-the-art amenities and equipment
  4. Enhancement of the Rice Center project and swine production initiative
  5. Establishing more sanctuaries and initiate more market encounters
  6. Building of farm schools and move towards mechanized farming and expansion of irrigation systems
  7. Improvement of the economic competitiveness by looking into the investment side of the program
  8. Promoting adventure, heritage and farm tourism projects
  9. Proper waste management, eco-farms advocacy, and water treatment under the environmental conservation program
  10. Creating more programs for women and the youth, especially for children in conflict-affected areas
  11. Business ventures through Puhunan sa Pag-asenso (PSP) program

The lady governor also urged the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) members to craft policies and legislations that would support programs in different departments, and to sustain the campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte against illegal narcotics and all forms of criminality.

"Patients must be treated equal as far as the hospitals are concerned. That is a challenge, and that hospitals must be the centers of survival. Basic life support facilities must be provided,” Matugas said.

She added that the long trip to Dipolog City was worth it for she felt the place is going to share much with the participants as they search for model services initiated by other local officials.

“The boulevard project, for example, is a product of creative mind and strong political will aimed at changing the people’s way of life. Indeed, we seek for holistic outcome,” said Matugas.

In addition, Matugas noted that the relocation sites have restored the confidence in people toward the leadership in Dipolog which she described as "so high".

“There is pride in their hearts. I commend the mayor for you could see how things go around their city hospital due to systematic management. There are quite a number of inclusive programs which include quality and affordable medicines,” said Matugas.

In a short period of time, Matugas said the entire meaningful endeavor has opened an array of training development approaches.

“We need to capture the priorities for 2019. Innovation - that’s the work of the Provincial Budget Office. All we need is a productive mind, coupled with imagining things and simplifying the burden of planning and budgeting. Prioritizing brings us to the essential change we need to happen,” she said.

According to Matugas, the programs should lead to reforms that will manifest social values of love and care and for people to be empowered and imbued with a passion for excellence.

Matugas likewise challenged the officials and heads of offices to look beyond their programs; revisit them and reach out to those in need.

“Make up your mind because you are the ones to set the change you want to happen,” concluded Matugas.  (PGO-SDN/PIA-Surigao del) 

53 SLP beneficiaries join entrep seminar in AgSur

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, July 19 - Some 53 beneficiaries of the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently participated in the entrepreneurship seminar held at the barangay halls of San Vicente and Magsaysay, this municipality.

The seminar was organized to equip the future entrepreneurs and help them understand how to manage a business. They will soon start their trading business funded thru SLP.

"I am thankful for this seminar as I learned a lot about business," said Liela Dagaang, SLP beneficiary of San Vicente.

The participants were introduced to entrepreneurship thru workshop using Business Expense Savings Training (BEST) Game Module.

The BEST game is a comprehensive training instrument designed to stimulate positive intervention in developing small businesses.

It is a reality-based business game in which the participants had the opportunity to experience how to operate business in real life.

Anthony Mark S. Cataloña of DSWD-SLP and Rezel May C. Goloran of the NegosyoCenter Provincial Hub facilitated the seminar. (DTI-Agusan del Sur/ PIA-Agusan del Sur)

AgSur consumer groups to practice organic farming

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur, July 19 – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Agusan del Sur (AdS), in partnership with the local government unit here thru the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO), recently convened the members of the consumer organization - Pagpakabana sa Katungod sa Konsumador sa Agusan del Sur (PAKKADS) and convinced them to practice organically grown-farming in their respective areas.

Ailyn Aleman of MAO-San Francisco shared to the group the benefits in organic farming. Aleman said in planting vegetables, temperature and location shall be considered.

“In a cool and shady area, the best plants are those leafy vegetables locally known as "petsay (pechay), letsugas (lettuce), alugbati (Malabar spinach), sibuyas (onion), and luy-a (ginger)," while plants which can sustain from direct sunlight are "malunggay (moringa) and amargoso (bitter gourd)," said Aleman.

Aleman also advised the group, before cooking vegetables especially if sources were not determined and how it was grown, it shall be washed thoroughly specially sayote (chayote), carrots, eggplant and other leafy vegetables to remove possible pesticide residue, which is not good for human health.

In cleaning, Aleman clarified that it shall be dipped into the water-vinegar solution or rinsed it with the baking soda solution. She further mentioned that plants that were not much exposed to chemicals as they grow were "pako (young fern), dabong (bamboo shoot), saluyot (jute), kulitis (nettle) and moringa."

The group then agreed to adopt and practice this type of farming. In the coming months, they will start growing plants, which seedlings shall be provided by the MAO while monitoring will be conducted and rewards will be provided to the best grower. (JPG/DTI-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Feature: Claudy steps up for Brgy. Datu

By Russ Cleppin M. Paster

Claudy Loraine Orejas, a mother of five, has given her time for volunteerism in their little community in Datu, Pilar, Surigao del Norte. She was able to manage her time despite having a day job working as a government employee, and volunteering – serving as Barangay Sub-Project Management Team Chairperson. She shared that volunteering was never an easy job for her.

“Sugod pa gane gajud bagan mudili na gane tana ako na kay daghan ako trabaho. Pagkahibayo nako na mud crab fattening ang proyekto, nasayangan ako ba na balibaran nako so, ako tag-ingganyo ang mga tao kay dli man lagi mu attend nan meeting, tag-ingganyo nako sila na mu-attend kay ang Kalahi-CIDSS kinahanglan 100 percent gajud ang attendance bisan ang isa ka bayay tag-isa ka representante. Sunod kon jaoy mga seminar support ra ako pirmi gajud na dapat muintra ang mga volunteers kay isa man jaon na dapat nila himuon para makuha ang mud crab na project (At the start, I did not want to engage with the implementation since I was busy.

But when I learned that the proposed project was mud crab fattening, I changed my mind and did not want to waste the opportunity, that is why I began encouraging the people to participate, because Kalahi-CIDSS demands 100% participation – at least one member per household. I also encouraged them to attend seminars because it was required),” she said.

Claudy was a bit shy during the interview – a typical characteristic for newbie volunteers of the program. But through their exposure with Kalahi-CIDSS, they have learned how to cope with their environment and use their voice to encourage and empower others. 

“Ang empowerment bagan jaon na strengthen kaw kay ako sab medyo may pagka-masipogon man sab ako jaon dili ako karajaw tig-storya. Pero mu try gajud ako bisan dli ako mahibayo mu try gihapon para dili sab sila muhaod magsipog-sipog (Before, I was shy and passive but because of Kalahi-CIDSS I was empowered and strengthened. Even though sometimes I doubt myself, I always try my best to participate so that other volunteers might also be encouraged to be active,” she said.

Community Driven-Development is one of the most effective community empowerment schemes recognized by World Bank. It enables the people to address local problems with the help of the government’s financial and technical support. This process is being utilized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) to address the existing problems in the communities. (DSWD-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

DOLE releases livelihood grant to Surigao Norte coop

By Romelyn B. Bactol

GIGAQUIT, Surigao del Norte, July 19 - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Surigao del Norte Provincial Office released recently a livelihood grant worth Php775,200 to the local government unit (LGU) of Gigaquit for the enhancement of chicken egg production of Cawayan Agra Farmers Cooperative (CAFACO).

Ronabeth Bermudez Cabañas, focal person of the DOLE's Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP), handed over the livelihood check for the project enhancement to the representative of Mayor Elvira A. Egay, Senior Private Secretary Carlos M. Egay, together with the officers and members of CAFACO and PESO Manager David Nueda.

CAFACO chairperson Teresita A. Natad expressed her gratitude for the additional funds provided by DOLE for their project.

“This enhancement assistance is a big help for the farmers to increase production of their products,” Natad said.

CAFACO is already operating for about 22 years with 71 members.

The first release for the project was in December 2012 amounting to Php490,149.82 which was spent for raising 600 chicken and for the construction of brooder house, poultry house and the stock room for the eggs.

The said project brought them the award as the Best Livelihood Project in the province of Surigao del Norte in which they became representative to the regional level this 2018.

After the search for the Best Livelihood Project last February, the officers and members of CAFACO submitted a proposal to DOLE for the enhancement of their project aiming to continually help the members and to provide indirect employment to the people of Gigaquit, and to supply the increasing demand of egg in the market.

Kabuhayan Enhancement is the second component of the DILEEP which provides additional capital to the existing livelihood undertakings such as the chicken egg production of CAFACO to enable them to grow into viable and sustainable business. (DOLE Caraga/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

NC-Talacogon trains more biz operators on financial literacy

TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur, July 19 -- Another 40 business operators of this municipality recently underwent a seminar on Financial Literacy.

This group, which is re engaged into food processing, fish retailing and sari-sari store, has already been facilitated to access financing for additional capital to their business.  

Remy Coquilla, a retired teacher turned into a businesswoman, thanked the organizers for the additional knowledge they gained on how to better manage their business.

"Pasalamat ako kay dunay dugang inputs akong nakuha mahitungod sa negosyo mihatag ni kanako ug dugang kahibalo mahitungod sa panginabuhian (I’m so thankful for the additional knowledge that I gained on how to better manage a business and this will help me with my livelihood)," Coquilla said.

She further encouraged her co-participants to save from their earnings, "that we need to change from what we were used to: we saved when all our expenses were paid which most of the time nothing was left."

"With this new learning, let us try to apply it. This is for our advantage, get a percentage from our income for our savings then the rest will be used for our daily requirements," Coquilla added.

NC Talacogon will also schedule same training to beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and Indigenous Peoples this coming July 25, 2018. (DTI-Agusan del Sur/ PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Tagalog News: Caraganons, nagkaisa para sa pangangalaga sa Agusan River Basin

Ni Venus L. Garcia

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Hulyo 19 (PIA) - Ang banta ng climate change, siltation, domestic waste, lumalalang biodiversity, krisis sa tubig at hindi angkop na kalidad nito ay ilan lamang sa mga dahilan kung kaya nakilahok ang mga lokal na opisyal ng barangay at chief executives ng Butuan City at Agusan del Norte kasali ang mga kinatawan ng iba’t ibang national government agencies at civil society organizations sa isinagawang Lower Agusan River Basin (ARB) Summit kamakailan dito sa lungsod ng Butuan.

Layunin nitong palakasin ang kooperasyon ng iba't-ibang stakeholders na makilahok sa itinatag na Lower ARB Council na siyang mangunguna sa pagtugon sa adhikain para mapanitili ang balanseng ecosystem ng ilog batay na rin sa Agusan River Basin master plan. 

Sa 18 major river basins sa bansa kung saan walo nito ay matatagpuan sa pulo ng Mindanao, ang ARB ay tinaguriang 3rd largest river basin sa Pilipinas na nahahati sa upper, middle at lower ARB. 

Hinimok ni Fr. Carlito Clase, acting chairperson ng ARB governing board, ang bawat Agusanon na palaganapin ang holistic approach upang maipanumbalik ang dating kalagayan nito at mas lalo pang mapakinabangan ng komunidad ang economic at environmental value nito.

Binigyang diin naman ni Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga regional director Felix Alicer ang pagbuo ng programa at polisiya na magpapalakas sa adaptability, resource management practices at kahandaan lalung-lalo na ng indigenous groups na naninirahan sa kalapit na lugar nito.

Nais naman ni River Basin Control Office executive director Antonio Daño na bumuo ng stratehiyang maghaharmonize sa lokal at rehiyonal na planong pangkaunlaran para sa river basin.

Ayon naman kay Lordelie Enjambre, acting chief ng Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) AMO-NEM, ang isinagawang summit at workshop ay hindi lamang pagkakataon ng pagbabahagi ng best practices kundi magbibigay daan ito tungo sa adoption ng Agusan River master plan na sinimulan noon pang 2003. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)