(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, August 9, 2018


DAR, LGU ink MOA for 'LinkSFarM' Project in AgSur

By Jennifer P. Gaitano /Rechel D. Besonia

VERUELA, Agusan del Sur, Aug. 9 – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Agusan del Sur, together with the local government unit of Veruela, and La Fortuna Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LAMUPCO) - a recipient Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARB) Organization of LinkSFarM project, signed a two-year Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on August 2, 2018 at the KALAHI Farmers Center in Veruela, this province.

LinkSFarM, a partnership project that links agrarian reform beneficiaries to better market connections, integrates the supply chain and utilizes the eight steps in agro-enterprise clustering approach to increase the production and income of ARBs and their household through agricultural extension, marketing assistance, and capacity building.

In her message, Veruela Municipal Mayor Myrna Mondejar, challenged the farmers to take care of the project because this will help them as they venture into another livelihood and generate more income as farmers.

“I am so thankful that DAR has eyed the needs of our farmers here in Veruela, which is to find the right market for our locally-produced goods,” she said. 

Sangguniang Bayan (SB) member Salimar Mondejar, SB member Adelo Micutuan, Municipal Agriculturist Susan Chavez, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Leoncio Bautista Jr., Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer Fe Mosquera, Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer Vilma Romero, Provincial LikSFarM Point Person Engr. Gudy Centina, LinkSFarM MEL2A Point Person Wiluna Orongan, PARCOMM Member Ruperto Bacudan and LAMUPCO Chairman Reynaldo Maido also attended said activity.

It was learned that before the MOA signing proper, LinkSFarM Point Person Engr. Gudy Centina conducted an orientation about the project and highlighted the obligations of DAR in the project implementation and monitoring as well as the part of the LGU in assigning an Agro-Enterprise Facilitator (AEF) who will provide technical assistance to the partner ARBO/AE clusters and update to the LGU management on the progress of the project. Also discussed was the role of the ARB Organization or the LAMUPCO as partner farmers.

Likewise, former Mayor Salimar Mondejar, now member of the Sangguniang Bayan in Veruela promised to personally help the department in monitoring the project so that it will not go into waste.

“We are so privileged to have been given this opportunity. Together, we will not let this chance fail. We must put our heart into it because this will bring forth better opportunities in the future,” said Mondejar, as he challenged LAMUPCO.

On his response, LAMUPCO Chairperson Reynaldo Maido thanked DAR in helping banana farmers like them to have a better market of their produce.

“Salamat sa DAR sa pagsalig ug tabang para kanamo nga mga mag uuma sa saging (Thanks to DAR for the trust and the help they extended to us banana farmers),” he said.

“For years, the department had continuously find avenues to help our people. We help them engage in business to become self-reliant. I am hoping that the farmers in Veruela will emulate us by taking the government’s assistance seriously,” bared PARPO II Leoncio Bautista, as he ended the activity with a message. (DAR-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Military widow receives rice vending livelihood assistance from DOLE

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, Aug. 9 - The Department of Labor and Employment-Agusan del Sur Provincial Office (DOLE-ADS-PO) has recently released rice vending livelihood assistance worth PhP20,000.00 to the bereaved family of late Corporal (Cpl) Manser T. Morgadez.

It can be recalled that it was November last year (2017) when Josel D. Morgadez wrote a letter to the Office of the President requesting employment and livelihood assistance.

Josel Morgadez is the widow of late Cpl Manser T. Morgadez of the Philippine Army who died on October 22, 2017 due to cerebro-vascular disease hypertensive intracerebral hemorrhage after providing route security to Loreto Mayor Ligaya L. Otaza at Brgy. San Isidro, Loreto, Agusan del Sur.

In her letter, Morgadez stated that she could hardly meet the needs of her family after the death of her husband.

As part of DOLE’s commitment to assist the Killed-in-Action and Wounded in-Action (KIA/WIA) casualties and their beneficiaries, a livelihood assistance is given to qualified immediate family members of AFP and PNP KIA-WIA.

Daghan kaayong salamat sa inyong gi hatag nga grant sa akoa. Salamat kay bisan wala na ang akong bana naa gihapon mga tao sama ninyo nga andam mo suporta sa among pang adlaw-adlaw nga panginahanglan. Kaning Livelihood assitance nga inyong gi hatag, akoa kining palambuon og padaghanon isip usa ka Negosyo. Daghan kaayong salamat sa inyo ug sa Ginoo (Thank you so much for the grant you have given to me. Even though I lost my husband, there are people like you who support those who are in great need of daily subsistence. I will ensure the success of this livelihood assistance you have given. I thank you and the Lord for everything),” said Morgadez.

Morgadez is now a public servant after winning in the recent election as Barangay Kagawad in Brgy. Poblacion La Paz, Agusan del Sur. (DOLE-13/PIA-Agusan del Sur)
  
Ambulant vendors benefit from DOLE’s 'Negosyo Kariton' grants

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, Aug. 9 - The Department of Labor and Employment-Agusan del Sur Provincial Office (DOLE-ADS-PO) has recently released PhP460,000.00 worth of "Negosyo sa Kariton" (Nego-Kart), including cart accessories to 23 ambulant vendors in the municipality of San Francisco, this province.

The livelihood project given to the beneficiaries is under the DOLE-Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP), which aims to help the informal sector workers in the entire region to generate income through this program from the department.

The project was implemented with the collaboration of DOLE, Philippine Employment Service Office (PESO), and the local government unit of San Francisco, Agusan del Sur.

Daghang Salamat sa DOLE Agusan del Sur sa inyong gi hatag nga Nego-Kart para namong mga vendors. Dako kaayo ning tabang para sa among panginabuhian og para sa kaugmaon sa among tag-sa tag-sa ka pamilya. Amoa kining pa lambuon og ampingan sosama sa inyong pag serbisyo sa mga taong nanginahanglan sa inyong tabang. Dili sakto ang pag pasalamat lamang para ma suklian ang mga taong nagpaluyo ani nga programa (Thank you so much to DOLE Agusan del Sur for giving Nego-Karts to vendors like us. This is a big help for us and for the future of our families.

We will ensure the success of this undertaking and will take care of it in the same way that you have taken care to reach out to us. Giving thanks is not enough to return back the favor to people behind this program),” said Necelym Signar, one of the beneficiaries.

Also, Jocelyn L. Bastareche, DOLE Agusan del Sur provincial head, provided a short background of the project and simple inspirational message to the recipients as well as an overview of how DOLE put an effort in giving decent jobs. 

“I would like to thank DOLE for funding the Nego-Karts. This is a big help for the vendors to improve their livelihood,” said Mayor Jenny D. De Asis of LGU-San Francisco. (DOLE-13/PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Caraga gov’t agencies, NGOs amplify call vs human trafficking


By Mike Ariel Plaza

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 9 - “It takes a community to prevent trafficking in persons from happening.”

This was said by Hon. Judge Isabel Corazon Plaza, keynote speaker of the celebration of the 2018 World Day Against Trafficking (WDAT) organized recently by the Regional Inter-agency Committee Against Trafficking – Violence Against Women and their Children (RIACAT-VAWC) at the Agusan del Norte Capitol Gym here.

In her speech, Plaza stressed how fighting against human trafficking continues to be a struggle but with the help of RIACAT-VAWC member government agencies and non-government organizations in the region, she hopes that the call to end human trafficking will become more “resounding.”

“Trafficking in persons is not only a national problem; it is a global one. They call it modern slavery but I would like to call it the worst kind of business a person can think of,” Plaza said.

DSWD-Caraga OIC Regional Director Mita Chuchi Gupana-Lim, who also chairs RIACAT-VAWC, said that in ending human trafficking, the agencies need the cooperation of all the citizens to report existence of this crime in their localities.

“We want to emphasize that all of us can do something to stop trafficking in persons,” Lim said, urging everyone to report to the proper authorities any form of trafficking that they observe in their neighbourhood as “this terrible crime cannot be solved by one agency alone.”

“If we are not going to do something, one of us or a member of our family could be a victim because this is happening everywhere. We should do something. We should do something more. We shouldn’t be just complacent. We should be observant,” Plaza emphasized.

‘Be wary’

During the program, two victim-survivors of trafficking, who are both former overseas Filipino workers gave their testimonials.

Elsie Saguso and Rosejean German of Butuan City were both victims of illegal recruitment.

Saguso who worked in Saudi Arabia was maltreated and was unpaid by her employer for a year.

“Wala koy contact sa akong mga anak ug gipatrabaho ko sa laing balay nga walay suhol (I was not allowed to contact my children and I was made to work in other households without being paid),” Saguso said while narrating how she spent days looking for food in trash bins as this was not provided by her employer.

“Halos ikamatay na nako ang sakit sa akong lawas (I almost died because of physical pain),” she said.

German, on one hand, worked underpaid for more than a year in China with two different employers without day-off.

Niabot ang panahon nga nadakpan ko sa Immigration ug nadetain for 45 days (I was caught by the Immigration and got detained for 45 days),” German said.

Saguso and German said that people should be wary in applying for jobs abroad.

Sa tanan nga gusto mag-abroad, gihangyo nako nga siguraduon ninyo nga ang inyong agency ligal. Ayaw mo og adto kung walay kasiguradoan kay lisod didto (Those who wanted to work abroad, please make sure that your recruitment agency is legal. Don’t go if you’re not sure of the agency’s legality because life there will be very difficult),” Saguso expressed. 

DSWD’s RRPTP

Both victim-survivors were assisted by the Philippine government to fly back home and were referred to the DSWD-Caraga through the Protective Services Unit’s Recovery and Reintegration Program for the Trafficked Persons (RRPTP).

Daku akong pasalamat sa RRPTP sa DSWD kay ako nakauli nga maayo sa among panimalay. Gihatagan ko nila og livelihood assistance ug educational assistance ang akong mga anak (I am very much grateful of DSWD’s RRPTP because I was able to come home okay. They provided livelihood assistance and educational assistance for my children),” German said.

DSWD-Caraga has served a total of 39 victim-survivors of trafficking from January to June 2018.

According to Lim, 24 of these clients are from Agusan del Norte, six from Agusan del Sur, four from Surigao del Norte and five from Surigao del Sur. Most of the victims are females and are between 18 and 30 years old.

“These are the only cases reported to us; we do not know yet of the many cases that probably remain unreported,” Lim said, emphasizing the importance of making acts of trafficking known for the authorities to respond to it.

Spoken word, poster making

RIACAT-VAWC’s celebration started with a “Bubble Walk for Hope” from Butuan City Guingona Park to the Capitol Gym of Agusan del Norte where participants from member agencies and organizations had a morning zumba cum foam party.

Competitions on spoken word poetry for college students and poster making for high school students were also held.

Winners of the competition are as follows:

 Spoken Word Poetry
1st – Ann Mae Monique R. Jongko (Father Saturnino Urios University)
2nd – Donna Mae P. Magtibay (Caraga State University)
3rd – Jexan Macate (Butuan City Colleges)

 Poster Making
1st – Hannah Clarice P. Cagadas (Bayugan National Comprehensive High School)
2nd – Earl Brian V. Corregidor (Tandag National Science High School)
3rd – Jhanna Vanessa Marie E. CaƱete (Gamut National High School)
All the outputs of the competitions revolved around this year’s theme for WDAT, “Better Lives thru Safer Migration, Stop Human Trafficking!" (DSWD-13/PIA-Caraga) 

DSWD-Caraga starts UCT registration for Listahanan

By Abegail R. Alvarez

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 9 -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Caraga, through the National Household Targeting System (NHTS), started the registration activities for the eligible Listahanan-identified beneficiaries of the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) program in Caraga Region.

The registration activity is a process where the UCT beneficiaries will be enrolled for cash card account opening from Land Bank of the Philippines where they will receive their cash grant, as stipulated in Republic Act 10963 otherwise known as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

In coordination with the City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers (C/MSWDOs), the department completed the registration of 82 barangays in Butuan City at the identified registration sites. Meanwhile, the registration on selected municipalities in Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur is still on going.

To facilitate the said activities, Policy and Plans Division Chief Jean Paul S. Parajes and Regional Field Coordinator Aldie Mae A. Andoy supervised and monitored the registration sites with the augmentation from the barangay personnel.

“We were instructed by Regional Director Mita Chuchi Gupana-Lim to ensure orderly conduct of this activity. That is why prior the registration, we have coordinated with the Barangay Local Government Units (BLGUs) who are hosting the registration sites for logistics augmentation and manpower, which they provided,” said Parajes.

Based on the guidelines, the UCT beneficiaries are households that underwent updating and validation process by the hired Listahanan UCT validators last April and May region-wide. The data collected from the respondents were subject to Proxy Means Test (PMT) where households belonging to 1st to 7th income deciles were eligible for the program.

In preparation for the payout, the DSWD hired notifiers whose tasks are to visit the houses and inform the eligible households who are in the final list to receive UCT cash grant. The notifier will hand the Notification Form to the household and explain to them that they are qualified to receive the monthly cash grant of PhP200 in CY 2018 and PhP300 in CY 2019-2020. The households will also be given a Landbank Cash Card Enrollment Form and are required to comply the requirements such as three pieces 2×2 photo ID, photocopy of valid ID and other documents to support their identity. All forms will be submitted during the registration schedule.

During the registration, the hired verifiers will check the completeness and veracity of the submitted documents. These documents will be forwarded to Land Bank to facilitate their account opening.

After which, the department together with the Land Bank, will conduct the payout which is initially scheduled in August this year.

The UCT Program is the biggest tax reform mitigation program under the TRAIN Law. It seeks to provide cash grants to poor households and individuals who may not directly benefit from the lower income tax rates but may be adversely affected by the rising prices. (DSWD-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)