(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Thursday, 14 November, 2019) Today, the center of Tropical Storm "RAMON" was estimated at 365 km East of Legazpi City,Albay (13.4N,127.1E), with maximum sustained winds of 65 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 80 km/h. It is moving West Northwest at 10 km/h. Mindanao will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to Localized Thunderstorms. Light to moderate winds from Northwest to Southwest with slight to moderate seas. PAGASA/jpf

Thursday, February 14, 2019


4,087 volunteers join advocacy on healthy environment in Bislig City

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Feb. 14 (PIA) – A total of 4,087 volunteers  joined in the simultaneous river cleanup activity recently held here, according to Eddie Duhaylungsod of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Prior to the cleanup drive,  the volunteers from the national line agencies, city government offices, students, academe, and non-government organizations participated in the Zumba dance and Solidarity Walk.

The 75th Infantry Battalion and other volunteers have rendered their time and effort in cleaning the assigned area designated to them from Post 1 Bridge to Dampingan, and Caramcam in Mangagoy, Bislig City in response to the advocacy for a healthy environment.

Lt. Col. Jaime Datuin of the 75IB has appreciated the effort of the DENR-CENRO personnel who facilitated the realization of such kind of activity.

“I am very grateful for the DENR for facilitating this activity and inviting us to this advocacy campaign calling for action to revitalize rivers,” Datuin said.

“I am thankful for this opportunity, that we give our concern to our environment, and I encourage everyone to be responsible in throwing their garbage for the development and cleanliness of our community in general,” he added. (PIA Surigao del Sur)

Cabadbaran City forms TWG for street food park construction

By Jessica O. Mellejor

CABADBARAN CITY, Agusan del Norte, Feb. 14 -The City Council of Cabadbaran created a Technical Working Group for the construction of Street Food Park or a common selling area for street food vendors in the city in order to accelerate the economic efforts here.

This was created through City Ordinance No. 2018-047, authored by the Sangguniang Panlungsod Member Joan A. Monding.

The Committee learned that the city of Cabadbaran has a rising number of street or sidewalk food vendors illegally operating their small business within the city that often perceived as nuisances causing obstruction or vehicular and human traffic, and pollution along sidewalks and thoroughfares, despite its prohibition under Municipal Ordinance No. 11-1993.

The move has been approved recently by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan through the efforts of Provincial Board Member Aquino W. Gambe, by virtue of Sanggunian Resolution No. 001-2019 that created the Technical Working Group (TWG) in Cabadbaran City. (LGU Agusan del Norte/PIA Agusan del Norte)

DSWD expands program for indigent senior citizens

By Mike Ariel Plaza

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 14 - The number of indigent senior citizens who received their social pension in the calendar year 2018 has increased by 1.81 percent, serving a total of 130,796 beneficiaries as compared to 128,466 in 2017.

A total of Php784,776, 000 has been disbursed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) – Caraga through the Social Pension Program to the member elderly persons in the five provinces of the region.

DSWD Caraga OIC Regional Director Mita Chuchi Gupana – Lim said that this increase in the number of target beneficiaries served only highlights the Department’s dedication in accommodating more "poor and vulnerable” senior citizens to the program.

"Senior citizens are an important engine in the society and should not be seen as a dependent burden to anyone else,” Lim said, adding that DSWD, as the lead agency in social protection and poverty alleviation, lingers to reinforce its commitment towards promoting the welfare of senior citizens.

Lim also stressed that from 9,375 beneficiaries when the program started in the region in 2011, it can be seen that the social pension program for “abandoned, neglected, frail, sickly, and poor” elderly persons continues to expand and give them comfort and advantage.

“Social Pension program aims to reinforce the goal of the Department to protect and promote the rights of the vulnerable senior citizens in attaining a more decent and quality life,” shesaid.

Sarah Rose Salingay, focal person for social pension, said that in ensuring the delivery of quality service to the 130, 796 beneficiaries, a clearly defined mode of payment, validation strategy, grievance mechanism and data banking are installed; all for safeguarding a government resource.

Salingay also shared that one recurring issue in the implementation of the program is the concern of having a master list of SSS pensioners for the implementers’ reference in determining the eligibility status of the senior citizens.

“Validation activities both by the local government and units and the DSWD field office could not be perfectly done without the said document, hence inclusion and exclusion errors exist. However, efforts do not stop there, instead, the grievance mechanism was intensified to address the increasing complaints of individuals and other concern citizens,” she clarified.

Both Lim and Salingay said that the DSWD wanted to ascertain that the benefits delivered are given to the deserving social pensioners.

With this, the DSWD-Caraga officially informed all LGUs to have a revalidation of all existing beneficiaries based on the eligibility criteria and had it notarized to ensure the veracity and authenticity of information reflected in the validation report.

“The said strategy is helpful in ensuring that the beneficiaries endorsed by the LGU are really eligible to avail the program as a number of senior citizens were non-eligible and were recommended for delisting due to having pensions from SSS and are financially stable,” Salingay said, adding that replacements of beneficiaries have already been made considering those who are on the waiting list.

Republic Act 9994 states that the beneficiaries for the social pension must be: (1) frail, sickly or with disability; (2) receive no pension from GSIS, SSS, AFPMBAI and other insurance companies; and (3) do not have permanent source of income or regular support from relatives.

One of the highlights for the social pension program in the previous calendar year is the institutionalization of regional standing agreement with LGUS that if beneficiaries failed to claim their stipend for two consecutive quarters despite the door to door delivery, said beneficiaries will be delisted.

However, Salingay clarified that they will be reactivated in the list once the LGU notifies the field office.

Lim attributes the success of the implementation of the program in the region to the responsive LGU partners and stakeholders and the proactive staff in crafting the Monitoring and Evaluation tool as basis for determining the eligibility status of the beneficiaries.

“The continuous commitment of DSWD to protect the rights of the poor and vulnerable sector in the region provided an opportunity to set in place the necessary and responsive programs and services for the said sector,” she stressed. (DSWD-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

Gov’t support propels rise of Caraga’s corn industry

By Aurelius P. Arais

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 14 - Strong government support and favorable weather condition have paved the way for the rise of the corn industry in Caraga Region during last year’s cropping season.

Based on 2018 corn performance data, Caraga Region posted a positive increase compared to the 2017 data in terms of area harvested, production and yield.

As per Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) record, in 2017 the area harvested for the corn in the region was 34,034 hectares with a total production of 119,980 metric tons (MT) and an average yield of 3.53 MT per hectare.

Last years’ performance exceeded the 2017 record, with 36,699 hectares area harvested and produced 135,627 MT with an average yield of 3.70 MT per hectare.

In comparison, the area harvested from 2017 to 2018 posted an increase of 8 percent while production posted an increase of 13 percent and a yield increase of 5 percent.

Melody Guimary, DA-Caraga regional corn program coordinator, said that last year’s increase was due to favorable weather condition for corn production and the support extended by DA Caraga to the farmers.

“Our support to corn farmers had led the way for an increase of Caraga’s performance in corn industry in 2018,” she said.

DA-Caraga had distributed around P60 million-worth of agricultural equipment for farm mechanization and post-harvest facilities in 2018 such as farm tractors, corn picker, combine harvester, compact corn mill, vertical dryer, and other facilities.

Aside from mechanization support, DA also extended technical support through training, provision of corn seeds and ameliorant, and market support.

"This year, 2019, we are hopeful that the momentum will continue for better production and looking forward to more vibrant corn industry in the region,” Guimary said.
She added that for 2019, the DA-Caraga corn program is targetting to increase corn production with an additional 3,000 hectares of corn area.

“Though our projection is not that easy, we are closely working with the local government units (LGUs) in identifying new areas for corn production that would eventually contribute to the increase of our production for the current year,” Guimary explained.

With an open mind of the farmers to embrace right farming technology and favorable weather condition, Guimary is optimistic that 2019 would be another great year for the corn industry in the region. (DA Caraga/PIA Caraga)

Senior citizens, veterans at retiradong sundalo nakinabang sa medical/dental mission sa AgSur

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur, Peb. 14 (PIA) - Bilang handog ngayong buwan ng mga puso sa mga beterano, retiradong sundalo at senior citizens sa Caraga region, isang free medical/dental mission ang isinagawa ng PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority sa bayan ng San Francisco sa Agusan del Sur.

Nasa mahigit-kumulang 1,000 ang nakabenepisyo sa nasabing medical at dental mission.  Nabigyan ang mga ito ng libreng gamot, check-up at ang ilan ay nabigyan din ng libreng eyeglasses.

Ilan-ilang benepisyaryo rin ang nagpahayag ng kanilang pasasalamat kasama ang lokal na pamahalaan ng San Francisco. Isa na dito si Ginoong Alberto Laranjo, 63 years old na isang retired army sa nasabing probinsya. Ayon sa kanya, noong taong 2000 sya tumigil sa serbisyo subalit hanggang ngayon ay nananatili pa rin ang kanyang interest at pagmamahal sa Philippine Army.

Maliban sa benepisyong kanyang natanggap mula sa medical mission, nagsilbing reunion din ang pagkakataon nang makita niyang muli ang ilan niyang mga katropa noon.

Sinabi naman ni retired Col. Alexander Noble, isa sa mga board of directors ng PHIVIDEC, na parte ng kanilang layunin ang pagbigay tugon sa mga pangangailangan ng mga veterans at AFP retirees na makatutulong din sa kanilang patuloy na pagiging aktibo sa mga gawain sa kani-kanilang komunidad.

Ang PHIVIDEC ay nagsimula noong 1974 sa bisa ng presidential decree no. 538 bilang isang industrial estate developer at may ilan-ilan na rin programa at proyektong naisagawa sa ibat-ibang bahagi ng bansa.

Samantala, matapos ang kanilang medical mission sa Agusan del Sur, nagpunta din sa Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte ang PHIVIDEC upang doon ay magbigay serbisyo sa mga nabanggit na sektor.  (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

Ibat-ibang sektor ng Surigao City, aktibong nakilahok sa FOI Caravan

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

SURIGAO CITY, Peb. 14 (PIA) - Malaki ang pasasalamat ng mga Surigaonon sa isinagawang Freedom of Information (FOI) Caravan na pinangunahan mismo ni Secretary Martin Andanar ng Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) na layong bigyang linaw ang mga isyung may kinalaman sa mga programa’t proyekto ng pamahalaan.

Ilan sa mga kalahok at estudyante ng Surigao State College of Technology (SSCT) ang nagbahagi ng positibong reaksyon hinggil sa benepisyong hatid ng mabilis at transparent na pagkuha ng mga impormasyon mula sa mga kinauukulang ahensya ng gobyerno.

Ang FOI ay layong paigtingin ang pagpapatupad sa karapatan ng bawat pilipino na humingi ng impormasyon tungkol sa mga kalakaran sa ating gobyerno.

Kabilang si Marife Dumale, 3rd year College student ng SSCT Del Carmen, Siargao Islands ng Surigao del Norte sa mga dumalo sa nasabing FOI forum. Pahayag niya, malaking ang maidudulot ng FOI sa kanila.

Sinabi naman ni Rey Suravasquez na mas magiging madali sa katulad niyang media practitioner ang pagkuha o pag-access sa mga mahahalagang impormasyon mula sa pamahalaan dahil sa mas maayos mabilis na mekanismo ng FOI.

Paliwanag ni Sec. Andanar, layon ng PCOO na mas mapaigting pa ang media policies, press freedom, at freedom of information na tutugon sa mga kinakailangang sulosyon sa ibat-ibang isyung kinakaharap ng publiko at gobyerno. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)