(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Thursday, 19 September 2019) At 3AM today, the center of TD "NIMFA" was estimated at 785 km East Northeast of Basco, Batanes (22.2N, 129.3E) with maximum sustained winds of 55 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 70 km/h. It is moving Northeast slowly. Mindanao will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to Localized Thunderstorms. Moderate to strong winds from South to Southwest with moderate to rough seas.PAGASA/jpf

Wednesday, July 3, 2019


LGU-Dinagat Islands reaps fully gender responsive LGU Award

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, July 3 (PIA) -- The Regional Development Council-Regional Gender and Development Committee (RDC-RGADC) Caraga awarded the local government units in Caraga region for being gender responsive in the implementation of their programs and projects in the communities.

During the awards conferment ceremony of the Search for Caraga’s Most Gender Responsive Local Government Unit (SCMGR-LGU), the province of Dinagat Islands received the fully gender responsive LGU award while the cities of Cabadbaran and Bislig, as well as the provinces of Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte received the gender responsive LGUs awards.

The cities of Butuan, Tandag, and province of Agusan del Sur were also given awards for being gender sensitive LGUs.

Bayugan City and Surigao City were also recognized as gender neutral LGUs.

According to vice governor Benglen Ecleo of Dinagat Islands, it is a privilege and a huge opportunity for the province to be declared as fully gender responsive LGU, among other LGUs that joined in the search. He emphasized that the provincial government would continue in mainstreaming gender responsive programs and services for the constituents, and in addressing gender issues.

“We hope to continue what the province has started implementing to continuously address gender issues and promote the welfare of men and women,” said Ecleo.

As the honored guest, Regional Director Mylah Faye Aurora Carino of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-Region 10 also stressed the need to recognize the LGUs that are giving their best and their sincerity in providing the right programs, projects and services useful to various communities.

Meanwhile, RDC-RGADC chairperson and Commission on Human Rights (CHR)-Caraga regional director Atty. Jerefe Tubigon-Bacang, congratulated all the winning LGUs and encouraged them to continue to do more and be consistent in all their gender-mainstreamed programs and services for all the sectors in the region. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

PDRRMC AgNor recognizes health providers

By Nora L. Molde

BUTUAN CITY, July 3 (PIA) -- The province of Agusan del Norte, through its Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), has recognized the contribution of the health providers of the provincial and district hospitals during the kick-off ceremony of the month-long celebration of the National Disaster Resilient Month, here.

PDRRMO chief Erma Suyo said it is the time for them to be recognized because they are always there for the Agusanons not only during emergencies and crisis but especially during the time of disasters.

“We give recognition for all your sacrifices, for even if you are also a victim of disasters, still you continue to manage your work and provide immediate response and services,” Suyo said.

Dr. Gertrudes Cembrano of the Nasipit District Hospital said she did not expect the recognition accorded to them.

“This recognition given to us being the province’s DRRM hero is an inspiration for us to give our best so that we can provide better services to the people,” Dr. Cembrano said.

Aside from recognizing the DRRM Heroes, different contests participated by the different responders coming from the different municipalities of the province are also held during the kick-off ceremony.

Ten contestants joined the Best DRRM Chant and seven for the Best DRRM Factor.

The Philippine National Police Provincial Office got the first place on both the Best in DRRM Chant and DRRM Factor, while the Bureau of Fire Protection Provincial Office got the Best in Uniform.

Also, a video clip making contest, DRRM contest to include essay writing, quiz bee and poster making contest; DRR-CCA convention; training-workshop on Forecasting and Weather Observation and Date Interpretation of Early Warning Signals; and NDRM Bae competition will be conducted during the monthlong celebration. (NCLM/PIA Agusan del Norte)

LGU-Bayugan City ensures compliance to standard building code 

By Jennifer P. Gaitano


AGUSAN DEL SUR, July 3 (PIA) - The local government unit here ensures that they would be more meticulous and keen on deciding which infra projects are fitted and necessary, and it follows the standard building code considering that fault lines have been traced by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) within the city.

Mayor-elect Kirk Asis of Bayugan City said, resilient building design or earthquake proof structure is a must in order for it to withstand even during severe seismic shaking.

He said, this information is already known to the locals and the LGU is serious in ensuring the safety and security of the people as it implements various infra projects in the city.

Mayor Asis also emphasized that the LGU is continuously intensifying its capability building efforts for their local rescue teams to make them more equipped to respond in any disaster event like earthquake.

The official added that the guidance, assistance, and augmentation of other government agencies, as well as the provision of the necessary rescue equipment, have greatly helped the city.

Meanwhile, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Caraga Regional Director Dominga Mallonga reminds different offices near the fault lines to always be proactive and alert to prevent them from being harmed during earthquake.

She further reiterated that it is very important for the LGUs to comply with the standard building code requirement not only for the business establishments but including residences.

It can be recalled that Bayugan City was the national ceremonial site for the 2nd quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) this year. (JPG/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

NNC Caraga reminds workers to spend an hour daily for exercise at work

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, July 3 (PIA) - In time with the kick-off celebration of this year’s Nutrition Month, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) Caraga encourages the public particularly those workers in various government agencies and private institutions to allocate an hour daily for physical activities to prevent them from acquiring different diseases.

According to Dr. Gerna Manatad, assistant regional director of DOH-Center for Health Development (CHD) Caraga, while workers perform their daily functions at work, there is also a need for them to ensure physical and health wellness.

She emphasized that workers could at least do physical activities during their break time.

“So you could just stand and walk, or sing and dance for a moment just to break the sedentary cycle, do it,” elaborated Manatad.

Dr. Manatad added that without physical activities like exercise, this would lead to various illnesses and diseases, especially for those who sit in front of their computer monitors for long hours.

Hypertensive and diabetes are some of the non-communicable diseases and cardio vascular disease that anyone could get without active lifestyle.

Meanwhile, Leah Vina Vargas, nutrition officer III of NNC Caraga also bared that despite continued efforts of the government towards good nutrition and physical wellness, many are still overweight and obese due to eating non-nutritious food and without proper exercise.

She said, based on the data released by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) in 2015, four percent or 0.5-million of children aged five below; nine percent or 3-million adolescents; and 33 percent or 18-million adults have been recorded as overweight and obese in the country.

With this, Dr. Manatad urged everyone to be a well-informed citizens and have the right choice of food that will give them the right nutrients for their body, and most importantly, to exercise. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

A hope for Arabella

By Rechel Besonia

Deep in the remote area of La Paz, Agusan del Sur, in a dusty barangay Sagunto where life is hard and food is scarce, a four-year-old girl’s eyes were glazed with discomfort. She sat on her mother’s lap and wearily gnawed on a hard root crop and stared vacantly at one corner where fellow kids of her age were playing.

In a family of five, her parents simply couldn’t keep up with the needs of her family. Her father being a seasonal construction worker, earned a meager while her mom is left at home to take care of her and her two siblings.

Life is really a constant struggle for Arabella’s family. Rubie, her mother, is beaming with pain every time she sees her children weeping for something to eat. It seems to have drifted her dreams for her kids, especially for young Arabella, who, at a young age have shown so much interest in education.

Bella, her nickname, is a child with ambition. She was described by many to be diligent and responsible.

“We were getting used to the habit of managing hunger. It was a challenge to get food for more than once in a day. I remember one time, it was raining and we were feasting on a piece of dried fish and rice for dinner as that was the only food I could buy for them, Bella uttered how she wanted to go to school,” her mother narrated.

 “Ma, gusto na gyud ko mo skwela, kung pwede didto lang sa sentro kay maayo daw motudlo si teacher Gloria (Ma, I really want to go to school, if it's possible in the town where teacher Gloria is teaching),” were her exact words.

“Nak among paningkamotan sa imong papa ha kay gasto baya kaayo mamasahe pa ug balon pa gyud nimo, unsaon nalang nato naa pa baya kay duha ka igsoon (Your father will give his best effort, yet we must also consider that we might not be able to afford it since it will be too expensive, and you still have your two other little siblings),” came Rubie’s response.

Being born into a poor family, Bella was exposed to this self-sacrifice at an earlier age. She became independent and self-reliant.

For Bella’s parents, hearing those words and seeing sincerity on their daughter’s interest motivates them to work doubly hard. They look forward for achieving her dreams no matter how hard it is, even if it has to be an uphill climb.

Came June 2018, Rubie took the risk of enrolling Bella in La Paz Day Care Center. She doesn’t know by then if it would ever last, if she could really survive the brawl but nevertheless, all she knew and she could ever hope for is for her young Arabella to pursue her dreams.

Everyday, Rubie wakes her up at 4:00 in the morning to start the long haul. She would prepare their breakfast and uniform while Bella helped her in cleaning the house.

After taking breakfast, and when everything else falls in place, they would catch the early ride to downtown La Paz. Once in a blue moon, they would hitch in their neighbor’s service. But most often, they would ride in habal-habal for P60.00 back and forth fare.

Apart from the foreseen financial struggle, Rubie was also taken aback after contemplating that she could not continually provide for Bella’s food. During those times when she doesn’t have extra money for her baon, she would tell Bella to skip the class, but the young Arabella constantly refused to do so, instead, she would always tell her mother to never bother finding her baon.

“I thought of how easy it would be to drift away into nothingness. I thought of how easy it would be to not have to get up every morning to face another day of emptiness. I thought of the peace I would have if I were no longer afraid all the time and how wonderful it would be to be free from the prison of my mind,” Rubie said.

But that was just a thought. In reality, it was really hard. Yet, there is one belief that sits in the back of her mind that keeps her going day after day. It's hope.

There is always something that she hoped for. she hoped for change, for strength, for love. She hoped that things won’t always be as they have been. She hoped for intervention from the government to end poverty.

True enough, her prayers were answered. One day, the Department of Agrarian Reform thru the project coordinator Engr. Hanizarah Saripada and Rachelle Monique Torralba came to La Paz to bring forth the good news on the new project called the Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty or PAHP.

It is a collaborative effort between the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Agrarian Reform, and the Department of Agriculture to engage poor households and work closely with the rural communities to provide essential social and economic services toward eliminating hunger and alleviating poverty.

This collaborative multi-stakeholder program will target the creation of a community food hub to serve as a facility that can store food items for the various feeding programs of the DSWD and other similar on the ground programs of other agencies like the education, health, and local government units.

Smallholder farmer organizations such as LAMPUFACO in La Paz was tasked to ensure a steady food supply for various feeding programs for Day Care Centers including that of Arabella’s school.

Mothers, like Rubie, were grouped into five to take charge on the preparation of the meal 5 times a week.

“It was a big help for us really. Everything was provided for us. All we have to do is to cook the required menu for the day,” Rubie said.

Besides, the menu is prepared carefully to ensure that the nutritional value will never be compromised. Thus, making the children more participative during class activities.

“It’s crucial not to just feed children but to nourish them too, said Engr. Hanizarah Saripada, PAHP project coordinator. The more the child is nourished, the more she becomes smarter, and we are aiming for this to happen to the 10,000 children of Agusan del Sur who will benefit the program,” she continued.

Indeed it is.

Gloria Fuentes, the teacher, attests that since the feeding program commenced, she saw a lot of improvements in her students. Bella, in particular, became active during class recitation and activities. Her young mind was honed even more.

Because of the program, she doesn’t have to skip class, she doesn’t have to recite and read in an empty stomach. She became less aloof. In fact, she topped the class during their recognition day.

Arabella became a picture of a happy and contented child. “Salamat kaayo sa akong mama nga wala ko pasagdi sa akong pangandoy nga maka skwela diri sa La Paz Day Care Center ug salamat pod sa PAHP program sa DAR nga natabangan ang among kalisod, dili na magproblema akong mama sa akong baon kada adlaw (Thank you to my mother for not giving up on my dreams to study in La Paz Day Care Center. Thank you as well to the PAHP program of DAR, it really helped my mother not to bother finding my baon every day)," she said.

For Rubie, it doesn’t matter what circumstance she had in her life. She managed to stand up and think about how she can make it better. She is forever thankful for the program and for the people behind its implementation.

Because of PAHP, there is hope for children like Arabella. (DAR-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Mga manggagawa pinaalalahanan ng NNC na maglaan ng oras para sa pisikal na aktibidad

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Hulyo 3 (PIA) - Sa pagsisimula ng selebrasyon ng buwan ng nutrisyon, hinimok ng National Nutrition Council (NNC) Caraga ang publiko lalo na ang mga empleyado ng mga ahensiya ng pamahalaan na ugaliing maglaan ng isang oras para sa pisikal na aktibidad upang maiwasan ang ibat-ibang sakit.

Ayon kay Dr. Gerna Manatad ng Department of Health - Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) Caraga, habang ginagampanan ng mga manggagawa ang kanilang tungkulin o trabaho, importante rin na bigyan nila ng halaga ang kanilang kalusugan.

Ayon sa opisyal, tuwing nasa trabaho ay maglaan ng maikling oras para magehersiyo tulad na lamang tuwing break time.

“Pwede naman tumaya, maglakad-lakad, o di kaya kumanta at sumayaw para hindi lang puro nakaupo sa buong araw. Tuwing break time ng mga empleyado, gawin nila ito,” sabi ni Manatad.

Dagdag pa ni Dr. Manatad, maraming sakit na naidudulot sa katawan ang kawalan ng ehersiyo  sa buong araw lalo na sa mga ilang oras na nakaupo at nakatutok sa kanilang mga computers.

Hypertensive at diabetes ang ilan sa mga non-communicable diseases at cardio vascular diseases na maaaring maranasan ng mga taong walang active lifestyle.

Ibinahagi naman ni Leah Vina Vargas, nutrition officer III ng NNC-Caraga na marami pa ring naitalang overweight at stunting dahil sa pagkain ng mga hindi masustansiyang pagkain at kawalan ehersisyo.

Base sa datus ng Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) sa taong 2015, may apat na porsyento o 0.5-milyong mga batang may edad lima pababa; siyam na porsyento o 3-milyong adolescents; at tatlumput-tatlong porsyento o 18-milyong adults ang overweight at obese ang naitala sa bansa.

Dahil dito, hinimok ni Dr. Manatad ang lahat lalo na sa mga barangay na maging well-informed citizens at piliin ang mga pagkaing nakapagbibigay sustansya at tamang nutrisyon sa katawan, at ang pinakamahalaga ay ang pag-ehersisyo. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)