(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Monday, 26 February 2024) Easterlies affecting the eastern section of the country. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies / Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with Slight to Moderate seas (0.6 to 2.5 meters).

Monday, September 16, 2019

Caraga village leaders join 1st Barangay Summit on EO 70

By Jennifer P.  Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 16 (PIA) - The Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) Caraga spearheaded recently the first Barangay Summit on Executive Order No. 70, wherein some 80 punong barangays of this city, Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur were given an opportunity to raise their issues and concerns with the presence of national officials and other stakeholders.

The barangay summit is aimed to present the RTF-ELCAC initiatives and opportunities of alignment to the barangay level and increase buy-in of stakeholders in localizing the whole-of-nation approach to the grassroots level.

According to Jhonryll Denuro, punong barangay of Manila de Bugabos, Butuan City, the conduct of barangay summit is of great help so that concerned government agencies, not only in the regional but also in the national level could respond and give immediate action.

He said the residents in their barangay wished that a farm-to-market road be constructed for more convenient and easy delivery of their products to the market.

“At least we could have the most needed programs of our constituents if not all of our concerns that we raised will be provided by the government,” he added.

This was also the main concern among the residents in Barangay Maliwanag – one of the remote areas of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur. Aside from cheaper transportation cost, the farm-to-market road could cut the long travel time that greatly affects the quality of products.

Farmers also asked for a machinery to be used for rice milling.

Also, the participants were delighted with the presence of National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon Jr., who have heard all their sentiments.

Cabinet secretary Karlo Nograles, cabinet officer for the Regional Development and Security (CORDS) in Caraga region, bared that the Caraga RTF-ELCAC was the first to conduct the barangay summit among all other regions nationwide.

He said that proposals from the barangays on how to end the insurgency in their areas of concern were presented.

The official further assured that needed programs and projects would be funded and would reach the concerned barangays.

Meanwhile, a covenant signing was also conducted, wherein all the barangay officials, employees of government agencies, together with the private sector and media unite and expressed their commitment to support all the activities of the RTF-ELCAC in the region.

The conduct of barangay summit will also continue in other provinces of Caraga. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

OWWA Caraga records 29 rebate claimants on Day-1

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 16 -- In compliance with the provisions of the Republic Act 10801 or the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Act, which is to implement the grant of rebate to long-time members of OWWA, the OWWA Regional Welfare Office – Caraga (OWWA RWO Caraga) has started the releasing of OWWA rebate on September 10, 2019 with 29 successful member-OFW claimants.

OWWA rebate claims on the first day vary from P941.25 up to P7,341.75 which was based on the number of contributions made as of December 31, 2017. Most of the claimants so far are seafarers from Nasipit and Butuan City in the province of Agusan del Norte.

Seafarer Benedicto Gay Toledo from Butuan City was the claimant of the 7,341.75, the highest claimant so far. He was a seafarer for 23 years until he retires from sea life in 2017. 

As of this writing, OWWA RWO Caraga recorded 61 online appointments (Agusan del Norte – 54, Agusan del Sur – 4, Surigao del Sur – 2, Province of Dinagat Islands – 4) and 35 releases with the total amount of P87,546.25.

For further inquiries about the OWWA Rebate Program, all interested individuals are invited to visit the OWWA RWO Caraga located at Nimfa Tiu Bldg II, JP Rosales Ave., Butuan City or call OWWA Caraga hotline 815-1894/ 09399259895/ 09173150590. (OWWA-13/PIA-Caraga)

AgSur coops attend coaching session on raw material sustainability

By Rechel D. Besonia

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur, Sept. 16 -- “CARP implementation does not end with the distribution of lands to the landless farmer.”

This was the statement of Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) II Jamil Amatonding Jr., as he spoke before the officials/members of the seven Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organization (ARBOs) in the province during the coaching session on production module and supply preparation for the sustainability of raw materials of ARBO processed products held at the Mabe’s Savory Place on September 4-5, 2019.

Amatonding said that the agency is mandated to deliver a more responsive and integrated package of support service to the ARBs and their organization as a holistic approach to the program’s objective to alleviate farmers from poverty and provide them and their family a more stable future.

Village-Level Farm-focused Enterprise Development (VLFED) Coordinator of the Bureau of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development Cynthia Zacate, together with Provincial VLFED Coordinator Corine Munion, facilitated the coaching session.

In her message, Zacate said that the sustainability of raw materials is very important so that the supply chain will not be affected and to ensure that the product demand will meet.

Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer (CARPO) Fe Mosquera also emphasized that this module enables the beneficiaries to produce market competitive products through value-adding and competent management and operation of enterprises and livelihood activities.

The ARBOs involved were the RAM Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (RARBEMCO) for their kisum kaong vinegar, Magkiangkang Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MAMPC) for their tableya, Kaagakap Multi-Purpose Cooperative (KAAGAPMUCO) for their Amoma Care Virgin Coconut Oil, all were FDA approved. Other two non-food ARBOs were the San Martin Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SAFAMCO) for abaca production and Farmers Alternative Self-Reliance Multi-Purpose Cooperative (FASRMCO) for rubber production. The Filipinas Palmoil Plantation Inc. Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (FPPI ARB MPC’s) crystal cooking oil and AMARBEMCO’s tableya who were on the process for their FDA approval were also present.

VLFED is implemented in line with the agency’s continuing thrusts of strengthening the agri-enterprise among the ARBs and their organizations, enable them to sustain the productivity of their awarded lands and ensure that their product is compliant with the Food and Drug Administration-Licensed to Operate (FDA-LTO) to create additional livelihood opportunities for the farmer-beneficiaries who have limited capital and insufficient income. (DAR-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Over 7K member-OFWs in Caraga benefit from OWWA Rebate Program

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 16 – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Regional Welfare Office – Caraga has started the releasing of the OWWA Rebate on September 10, 2019, to those qualified OFW-members who have successfully set their appointment starting September 2, 2019, at the OWWA rebate portal via the OWWA website - owwa.gov.ph.

The OWWA Rebate portal is an online system wherein member-OFWs can easily verify if they are eligible for the rebate program and also serves as an appointment system where the qualified beneficiaries can set an appointment to the nearest OWWA Regional Welfare Offices.

Eligible beneficiaries of the rebate program are: (1) OFWs who have been members of OWWA for at least ten years with at least five or more contributions made as of December 31, 2017; and (2) OFW-member or his/her family has not availed of any program or benefit from OWWA.

Qualified beneficiaries may present their appointment code that was sent through a text message and bring at least one valid government-issued ID to their chosen OWWA Regional Welfare Office for verification.

For cases were eligible member-OFWs are on board/on-site, with medical concerns and deceased OFWs, among others, the next of kin/family member may claim the OWWA rebate on their behalf. They will just have to present the necessary documentary requirements in the OWWA Regional Welfare Offices where they set an appointment for verification process.

After the verification process, the beneficiaries will provide their banking details where OWWA will deposit the amount of their rebate and will be credited to them after one banking day. The OFW may also opt to donate their rebate to the Tuloy-Aral Project (TAP) of OWWA to help send kids of less fortunate OFWs to school.

Qualified OFWs may be able to claim P941.25 up to P13,177.50 based on the number of their contributions. The computation for the Rebate Program is based on an actuarial study commissioned by OWWA which determined the capability of the OWWA Fund to implement the rebate program without negatively affecting the regular programs and services of the agency. Based on the actuarial study, P1 billion were earmarked for the rebate program to be distributed to the 556,000 beneficiaries per OWWA database.

The OWWA Rebate Program is in compliance with the provision of the Republic Act 10801 or the OWWA Act which is to implement the grant of rebate to long-time members of OWWA.

For further inquiries about the OWWA Rebate Program, visit the nearest OWWA Regional Welfare Office in your area or call OWWA Hotline 1348. (OWWA-13/PIA-Caraga)

DAR hosts investment forum to SurSur coffee farmers 

By Myra Yu

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Sept. 16 -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) through its Project ConVERGE recently hosted an investment forum to the coffee farmers in the province held in Tagbina town.

With the theme “Maximizing gains in marketing niche through product enrichment,” the said activity aims to promote the coffee produced by the local farmers in Barobo and Tagbina agrarian reform community (BaTa ARC) cluster. Also, it intends to explore potential marketing contracts, buyers and linkages to different financial institutions that will convey investment to the agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations (ARBOs).

In his message, DAR Caraga 13 Regional Director Leomides Villareal has challenged the coffee farmers to give their best to convince the investors and maximize the opportunity to showcase the viability of their produced coffee.

“The fact that Mabuhay Kahayagan Coffee Growers Cooperative brewed coffee or known as Café de Tagbina has now its Food and Drug Administration (FDA) License to Operate is an advantage to a wider market opening," said RD Villareal.

Meanwhile, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Leoncio C. Bautista, Jr. proudly announced that this initiative of DAR Project ConVERGE will hopefully open opportunities to the local coffee farmers to find the right market and investors. “Looking forward to a bigger marketing contract that will help increase the income of the farmers,” PARPO Bautista said.

On the same occasion, actual cupping session was conducted by Mark Anthony Balahay, Licensed Coffee Q Grader in Caraga, that included roasting, brewing, tasting/cupping of the samples of coffee beans produced by the Mabuhay Coffee Growers Cooperative (MKCGC) and Barangay Villaberde Coffee Growers Cooperative (BAVILCOGCO). It will answer the specific requirements of the buyers depending on how coffee beans are being processed either wet or dry.

Also, breakout sessions with individual banks were facilitated whereby ARBO participants directly asked or discussed the financial requirements in accessing loans for additional capital.

Among the invited potential buyers and investors were Tribung Kape Inc., Coffee Industrial Machinery Cooperation, ACDI/VOCA PhilCAFE Project, Consolidated Cooperative Bank (CCB), Rizal Micro Banking (RMB), First Integrated Community Cooperative (FICCO) and Land Bank of the Philippines. (DAR-PIO/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

Agusan Sur LGUs support Army’s community support program

By 1Lt Percival J Carido

TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur, Sept. 16 – Two towns in the province of Agusan de Sur, together with the 26th Infantry (Ever Onward) Battalion of the Philippine Army have recently launched their Community Support Program (CSP) in two separate send-off ceremonies conducted in Lapaz and Talacogon.

The said ceremonies were initiated to signify the start of the CSP that aims to build a developed and resilient community especially in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Area (GIDA) and Conflict-Affected Areas (ConAAs).

Through the collective and collaborative efforts of the CSP teams composed of the local government units (LGUs), line agencies and 26th IB, the program will be integrated to spur economic growth and address the fundamental issues being confronted and used by the CPP-NPA in polluting the minds of the populace thus arousing hatred against the government.

Michael Lim, Municipal Mayor of Lapaz, expressed his full trust and confidence to the soldiers from whom he expects to work hand in hand as their partner in community development and peacebuilding. “As the newly installed chief executive of this municipality, this CSP is very timely for my goals and objectives in enforcing progress, development and sustainment of economic growth and peace for my constituents especially for those far-flung communities,” Lim said.

Meanwhile, Talacogon Mayor Pauline Masendo, likewise received and sent-off the CSP teams and gave assurance that the local government will fully support the soldiers' activities in assisting her constituents towards maintaining peace and development in the area.

Recognizing the importance of delivery of basic services, the 26th IB and other line agencies are geared to uplift economic conditions and achieve sustainable peace in the said towns by utilizing available programs of the government, as the CSP creates significant headway in reaching out to communities.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Romeo Jimenea, Commanding Officer of 26th IB said, “CSP deployments are designed to expedite government’s development programs by unveiling issues and concerns within the communities that need to be addressed. This is also the answer to strongly enforce EO 70 as it will highlight the whole-of-nation approach in addressing issues and concerns within the localities.”

“That’s why the different government agencies take part in this send-off ceremony. It doesn’t mean that you will also be deployed in the community but anytime of the day you will be called to address the identified issues by our troops,” added Lt. Col. Jimenea.

Currently, CSP teams are deployed in barangay Comota and Langasian, all of Lapaz, likewise in barangays Marbon and Zillovia, both in Talacogon, Agusan del Sur. (CMO officer, 26IB/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Caraga RTF-ELCAC nagdaos ng Barangay Summit sa EO 70

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Setyembre 16 (PIA) - Ibinahagi at ipinaabot ng mga punong barangay ng lungsod ng Butuan, Agusan del Norte at Agusan del Sur ang kanilang mga hinaing sa pagdaraos ng Barangay Summit sa Executive Order No. 70 ng Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) Caraga na ginanap dito sa lungsod.

Ayon kay Jhonryll Denuro, punong barangay ng Manila de Bugabos, Butuan City, malaking tulong ang  summit ng RTF-ELCAC para matugnan ng mga kinauukulang ahensiya hindi lamang sa regional kundi hanggang national level ang mga hamong kanilang kinahaharap.

Pangunahing problema pa rin sa kanilang lugar ang pangangailangan ng maayos na kalsada o farm to market road upang mapadali ang pagbiyahe ng kanilang produkto sa merkado.

Ito rin ang hiling ng mga residente sa Barangay Maliwanag, isa sa mga remote areas sa Esperanza, Agusan del Sur na maayos ang kanilang kalsada upang hindi na pahirapan sa pagbiyahe ng mga residente lalu na’t mahal ang pamasahe.

Hiling naman ng magsasaka na mabigyan sila ng makinarya para sa paggiling ng palay.

Iilan lang sila sa 80 barangays na naimbitahan sa nasabing barangay summit.

Lubos din silang nagagalak sa pagdalo ni National Security Adviser Sec. Hermogenes Esperon Jr., na pinakinggan ang kanilang panig.

Ayon kay Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, cabinet officer ng Regional Development And Security (CORDS) sa Caraga region, pinakauna ang RTF-ELCAC Caraga sa mga rehiyon na nagdaos ng barangay summit.

Dito iprinisenta ang mga suhestiyon ng mga barangay kung papaano masugpo ang insurhensiya sa kanilang areas of concern.

Pagtitiyak naman ng opisyal na makararating sa kanila ang mga programa at proyekto na kinakailangan at mapondohan ang mga ito.

Samantala, isinagawa rin ang covenant signing, kung saan nagkaisa ang lahat ng barangay officials, mga kawani ng gobyerno, pribadong sektor at media na susuportahan sa lahat ng inisyatibo ng RTF-ELCAC sa rehiyon.

Magpapatuloy din ang pagsagawa ng barangay summit sa ibang probinsya ng Caraga. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

180 pasyente, nakinabang sa surgical mission sa Surigao del Norte

By Venus L. Garcia

LUNGSOD NG SURIGAO, Surigao del Norte, Setyembre 16 (PIA) -- Nasa 180 ang natulungan ng libreng operasyon ng ilang foundation katuwang ang lokal na pamahalaan ng Surigao del Norte at mga ospital.

Sa unang dalawang araw ng surgical mission na isinagawa sa Surigao del Norte Provincial Hospital o SDNPH, umabot sa 54 na pasyente ang sumailalim sa major surgery para sa hernia, thyroid mass at iba pa. Animnapu’t limang pasyente naman ang sumailalim sa minor operation.

Ayon kay Dr. Chrismar Mocorro, officer-in-charge ng SDNPH, wala nang binayaran ang mga benepisyaryo dahil sagot na ito ng social services fund ng provincial government office.

“Layunin natin na matulungan ang mga pasyente kaya’t hanggang maaari ay wala silang dapat bayaran. Libre lahat kasali na ang medisina. Kakaiba ito sa lahat ng medical mission na naisagawa na dito sa amin dahil sa presensya ng pathologist kung saan yung mga reading ng masses gaya ng ceast at tumor ay malalaman natin agadkung ito ba ay malignant o hindi,” sabi ni Mocorro.

Samantala, bukod sa 47 na pasyenteng natulungan para sa minor surgery na isinagawa sa Dapa District Hospital ay nakinabanag din sa libreng konsultasyon lalo na ang mga hindi nag-qualify na maoperahan.

“Ang misyon namin ay tumulong sa mga pasyente ng Pilipnas na kailangan ng operasyon. Kaya ginagawa namin yan sa tatlong bagay. Isa nito ay yung pagbibigay ng libreng operasyon; pangalawa, yung mga ospital na kulang ng gamit ay tinutulungan namin sila sa mga kagamitan; at pangatlo, yung mga local surgeons, anesthesiologists, at nurses tinuturuan din naming,” sabi ni Dr. Lester Suntay, presidente ng World Surgical Foundation (WSF).

Lubos naman ang pasasalamat ng mga natulungang pasyente. Malaking tulong daw ito para sa kanilang kalusugan at mga pangangailangang medikal.

“Malaking tulong talaga ito sa akin. Masayang-masaya ako dahil sa wakas ay masolusyunan na rin ang matagal ko nang pagtitiis dahil sa aking sakit na hernia. Maraming salamat po sa lahat ng tumulong lalung-lalo na ang mga doctor,” sabi ni Remegio Caligner, 64 na taong gulang.

Ganun din naman ang malaking pasasalamat ni Corazon Morillo nang matagumpay na maoperahan ang bukol sa kanyang dibdib. “Ikinagalak ko po ng lubos na may mga organisasyon, tao at doktor na buong pusong tumulong sa amin na walang pambayad sa pangpagamot,” sabi ni Morillo.

Malaki rin ang naiambag ng Megawide Foundation (MF) sa ginanap na surgical mission. Ayon kay Sheila Lynn Nawata, MF chief operating officer, ikinalugod nilang makipagtulungan sa WSF dahil sa mga mahuhusay at mapagkakatiwalaang mga doctor nito.

“Sila talaga ay nagbigay serbisyo upang matugunan ang surgical backlog sa underserved na mga komunidad. Kaya layunin din ng Megawide Foundation na mabigyan ang underserved Filipino communities ng first-world solutions. Umaasa kami na mas marami pa kaming matulungan,” sabi ni Nawata.

Ang surgical mission sa Surigao del Norte ay pampito sa mga isinagawa ng mga nasabing foundation at nakahanay na ring gawin ito sa Roxas City, Ilocos at Sorsogon ngayong taon. (VLG/PIA-Surigao del Norte)