(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 24 July 2019) Mindanao will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to localized thunderstorms. Light to moderate winds from Southwest with slight to moderate seas. PAGASA Mindanao/jaf

Wednesday, May 15, 2019


Ex-NPAs urge Caraga rebels to rejoin gov't

By Venus L. Garcia

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, May 15 (PIA) -- The former members of the new people’s army (NPA) terrorist group are urging their former allies who are still active in the resistance against the government to find their way back to the mainstream society.

Edward Gultia, a teacher who previously served the Tribal Filipino Program in Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) for 19 years, revealed that the school is not accredited by the Department of Education and is run by New People’s Army (NPA).

“What were inculcated to us during exclusive gatherings in a secluded and mountainous part in Surigao del Sur where these NPA rebels inhabit are plainly the same with what were being taught to the students of TRIFPSS,” revealed Gultia, adding that the learners would grow up hating the government.

Sonny Boy Acebedo, a former student of the TRIFPSS, also shared how the NPA rebels had indoctrinated the students by influencing them to adopt radically different beliefs against the government, and by teaching them on how to manipulate and use firearms at a very young age.

According also to Datu Jomar “Nahikyad” Bocales, municipal tribal chieftain of Lianga, Surigao del Sur, the ideas and principles taught in the TRIFPSS and Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development, Inc. (ALCADEV) schools are contrary to the democratic system of government, wherein the Lumad students were motivated for rebellion.

This, according to him, was confirmed by his contacts within the circle of the NPA movement.

Rico Maca, indigenous peoples mandatory representative (IPMR) of San Miguel municipality in Surigao del Sur, also said that the NPA operators of the TRIFPSS and ALCADEV schools barred the implementation of DepEd’s Indigenous Peoples Education (IPEd) curriculum framework in the area.

“It’s very obvious to see how these TRIFPSS and NPA are closely related. In fact, they are even into killing of the Lumad leaders who support the imposition of IPEd in the communities," he said.

The former NPAs hope for the active rebels to return and profess their loyalty anew to government so they could live a more meaningful and peaceful life. (VLG/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Workers trained on new communication techniques 

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte, May 15 -- About a hundred of population workers and volunteers from different areas of Caraga were trained on effective Interpersonal Communication and Counseling (IPC/C), as a core strategy for facilitating behavior change among clients leading to the attainment of desired healthy behaviors.

In the IPCC on Family Planning (FP) training workshop conducted by the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM)-Caraga, Director Alexander A. Makinano disclosed that the three batches of non-health service providers including population workers were equipped with practical information, skills, techniques, and resources to improve the quality and assess the effectiveness of interpersonal communication, counseling, and group communication to strengthen the delivery of health services at their respective area.

POPCOM emphasized that the training workshop helped the frontline non-health service providers maximize the one-on-one provider-client interactions to accurately assess the health concern of the client that caused to visit to the facility and offer a viable solution.

The agency, on the other hand, stressed that most provider-group interactions are organized for health education, and the conduct of various family planning demand generation activities like Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning class, and Usapan sessions.

The training workshop also helped enhance the effectiveness of non-health service providers in conducting these sessions to enable their clients or the couples, particularly those with unmet need on modern FP, to practice modern FP method of their choice and eliminate unintended pregnancies among social-economically poor women. (POPCOM Caraga/PIA Caraga)

PPA remits record-breaking P9.4-B in dividend, taxes for 2018

MANILA, May 15 -- The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) continued its strong fiscal performance in 2018 as it remits P3.5 billion in dividends to the national coffers for 2018.

On top of this, the state-owned agency likewise paid P5.9 billion in taxes for 2018, more than half of total taxes paid in the last 10 years.

Overall, the PPA is contributing a record-breaking amount of P9.4 billion in terms of dividends and taxes to the national government for the past year, which can be used for the government’s various social welfare, health and other projects.

Latest data from the PPA showed that total dividends for 2018 amounts to P3.5 billion, setting another all-time record for the PPA. Last year, PPA remitted some P3.1 billion, its highest recorded dividend in the last 30 years. Dividend payment for 2018 overshadowed last year’s dividend and marks PPA’s highest dividend payment in its history.

While growth percentage slowed down for the period covered, the increase in dividend remains high as the 2018 figure is 13 percent higher than the 2017 dividend.

PPA is mandated to remit at least 50 percent of its annual net income to the national government after it was granted fiscal autonomy during the term of President Corazon C. Aquino.

Meanwhile, total revenues for 2018 reached P17.49 billion or 8.13 percent higher than the target for the year. The amount is also higher by P14 percent compared to the total revenues recorded a year earlier.

According to PPA general manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago, the agency’s performance in the past two years has placed the PPA on stable financial ground which will enable it to continue sustaining port services of the highest standards.

“This was achieved amid the agency’s massive infrastructure spending in port repair, modernization and development in support of the government’s Build, Build, Build program for the Philippines to achieve the ‘golden age’ of infrastructure,” Santiago said.
Santiago added that the streamlining of port processes and aligning it with global standards coupled with strategic port development and modernization have greatly contributed to this strong performance.

“This is also a testament to the resiliency of the Philippine economy as it continues to thrive despite external pressures from different foreign economies,” Santiago said.

With this, the PPA is expected to once again land in the higher echelon of the ‘Billionaires Club’ of Government Owned and Controlled Corporations contributing billions of pesos in dividends to the National Government. PPA is a consistent member of this club in the last decade but belonging only to the bottom half of the club. It only upped the ante when the new administration took over in 2016. (Philippine Ports Authority/PIA-Caraga)

POPCOM eyes to end spousal violence

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte, May 15 -- Mainstreaming gender equality as part of its continuing advocacy to address issues in population management, Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) Caraga heightens its implementation of various Gender Responsive Population Strategies (GRPops) at the local level, in close coordination with program partners and stakeholders.

POPCOM emphasized that the interrelationship between gender and population matters have been continuously taken into account in the implementation of the Philippine Population Management Program activities through its three major program components, namely Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning (RPFP), Adolescent Health and Development (AHD), and Population and Development (POPDEV) Integration.

POPCOM hopes that everyone in the community shall actively support the various programs of the government.

The Commission also believes that through concerted efforts of the various sectors in the society and when there is equality, Filipinos can build stronger, healthier families, strengthen communities, and create a safe environment for their children.

To further intensify its advocacy, POPCOM Caraga facilitated Gender Sensitivity Training among personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)-Butuan City Jail and the local government employees of San Agustin Municipality, Surigao del Sur.

The activity oriented the participants on Gender Concepts including gender issues that exist in the organization and households.

Director Alexander A. Makinano of POPCOM Caraga reiterated that population issues cut across gender issues such that human sexuality, gender roles and expectations, and gender socialization ultimately affect values, attitudes, and emotions manifested by the individual.

To recall, in the preliminary results of the 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Caraga has the highest percentage (15%) of ever-married women age 15-49 who ever experienced sexual violence committed by their husband/partner among other regions.

On the 2013 NDHS, Caraga Region was previously placed third with 7.6 percent.

Violence against women and children (VAWC) is one common type of gender-based violence that exists in the society and it is one of the barriers to women empowerment and development. (POPCOM Caraga/PIA Caraga)

POPCOM, DOLE boost family planning in private firms

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte, May 15 -- Various private companies with 200 workers or more in the region were trained on Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning (RPFP), organized by the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) Caraga in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Caraga.

As agency members of the POPCOM Board of Commissioners (BOC), POPCOM underscored that the activity aimed to assimilate the RPFP program in their respective workplace, incorporate in the HR budget, and extend the program to people’s organizations under their agency. 

Provision of RPFP information and services in the workplace both in the public and private sectors is one of the priority strategies under the said program.

The RPFP priority strategies are geared towards assisting couples to achieve their desired number, timing and spacing of children within the demand of responsible parenthood through effective family planning.

To further heighten its advocacy, POPCOM Caraga has recently conducted another RPFP in the Workplace Seminar-Workshop in Butuan City and Surigao del Norte, targeted the private companies with 200 employees and above. (POPCOM Caraga/PIA Caraga)