Thursday, July 26, 2018


401st Brigade commander highlights solidarity among personnel

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

AGUSAN DEL SUR, July 26 (PIA) - As the 401st Brigade, Philippine Army celebrates  its 46th anniversary, Brigadier General Andres Centino highlighted the solidarity and unity among their personnel through the years in the area of responsibility.

BGen. Centino said the past year was full of challenges, however, the brigade remained solid, united and have faced those challenges fearlessly. He also acknowledged the efforts of the operational control units and all the men and women of the brigade for their sincere dedication in accomplishing the brigade's mission.

“The brigade, including our battalions, combat support and service support units, did not fail the people of Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur in protecting them from threats, and will continue to keep them safe in their communities and facilitate the resolution of their issues and concerns with all the concerned agencies of government through their community support programs in the barangays,” said BGen. Centino. 

In putting substance to its mission, BGen. Centino also emphasized that the brigade does not only ensure the safety and security of the populace but also takes part in community peace building, reaching out to people in the grassroots and creates an atmosphere where all can work together in harmony towards economic and human development.

“For 46 years, the 401st Brigade, Phil. Army, has remained focused in its mission and will continue to uphold peace and security among civilians and stakeholders in its area of responsibility,” expressed BGen. Centino.

The commanding officer also bared that the brigade also gives emphasis in engaging the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) being the most vulnerable sector to CPP-NPA exploitation.

“The brigade initiated an IP Leaders Forum in Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur in order to facilitate the resolution of their issues and concerns. They also facilitated the attendance of IP Leaders in Davao City for a dialogue with President Rodrigo Duterte, and just last March 2018, the first Regional IP Leader’s Summit was held in Butuan City through the recommendation of 401st Brigade and was adopted by the Regional Peace and Order Council,” he recalled.

The 401st Brigade, Phil. Army, started its humble beginning in Jolo, Sulu. It was first activated as the 4th Infantry Brigade on December 1, 1972 pursuant to general order number 45, General Headquarters, Armed Forces of the Philippines. It was organized under 4th Infantry Division under the command of Col. Alfonso Alcoseba as its first commander. Under its operational control were 26th Infantry Battalion operating in Basilan province; the 11th Infantry Battalion operating in the coastal areas of Taglibi Patikul, Sulu; and the 1st Marine Battalion landing team (MBLT) operating in Sibalo Hills, Sulu. (PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Catholic lay leaders to help teach FP

BUTUAN CITY, July 26 - Leaders of the Diocese of Butuan vowed to promote Responsible Parenthood and Natural Family Planning (RP-NFP) after attended the training-workshop organized by the Commission on Population-Caraga (PopCom) in Agusan del Sur and Agusan del Norte, respectively, in collaboration with Family and Life Apostolate.

As a strategy to engage different sectors and gather support for advocacy initiatives, PopCom-Caraga reached out to religious leaders to intensify its campaign on NFP program among church workers, volunteers and parishioners in order to address the needs of married couples who wanted to plan the size of their family and to space births by giving adequate information on fertility awareness and natural family planning methods.

With the latest National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), 33% of currently married women are using modern contraceptives, 16% are using traditional methods and less than one percent is adopting modern Natural Family Planning methods.

According to PopCom, the NDHS’s indication of less than one percent use of NFP methods could also be the cause of the government, as well as the Church’s, limited promotion of NFP program, aside from the fact that some couples considered NFP methods too difficult to adopt.

PopCom Caraga Regional Director Alexander A. Makinano admitted that promoting the family planning program to faith-based organizations particularly the Catholic Church is both a challenge and an opportunity to gain support for the said program.

To build on the gains of RP-NFP, PopCom Caraga continued its collaboration with non-government organizations (NGOs), faith-based organizations (FBOs), and religious organizations in the region by conducting RP-NFP training to enhance the capability of the Church’s workers and volunteers in teaching and monitoring the NFP methods of their acceptors and would-be acceptors in their respective communities.

PopCom emphasized that the training is designed to mainstream the NFP program, to strengthen the government and the Church partnership in the implementation of the program particularly in the region, and to promote the value formation that is integral to the Church’s moral guidelines and to enable the target couples to make an informed choice based on the formation of a right conscience.

In its continuing advocacy, PopCom Caraga will conduct another RP-NFP training-workshop for Candelaria Parish leaders and members in Cabadbaran City, this August. (PopCom-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)