(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Thursday, 05 December, 2019) Today, the center of TS "TISOY" was estimated at 540 km West of Subic, Zambales (14.8N,115.3E) 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 15 km/h. Mindanao will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to Localized Thunderstorm. Moderate to strong winds from Northeast to Southeast with moderate to rough seas. PAGASA/jpf

Monday, September 30, 2019

Sec. Esperon to public: Help prevent NPA's recruitment to studes in HEIs

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 30 (PIA) -- With the government’s strengthened campaign against the recruitment of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) to students of various colleges and universities in the country, National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon Jr., urged all stakeholders to be cautious and help prevent such acts of the communist-terrorist groups.

He said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s administration gives priority to education to ensure the youth’s bright future. Hence, it also assures the provision of appropriate programs, projects, and opportunities for the youth’s welfare.

“Remember that the president, it is the president who wants for free tertiary education in all the state universities. So you can say that he has a big concern for education especially for those who could not afford to a more expensive tertiary learning institutions,“ said Sec. Esperon.

Esperon was also dismayed on several youths who were deceived and recruited by the CPP-NPA and were not able to continue their education. However, he also cited the significant number of young NPA members who surrendered to the folds of the law.

“We’ve seen that there are Grades 3 and 5 who were included in the surrenderees. Just imagine if only they were given the chance to continue their education, they could have experienced a happy childhood. And that is why we are now very strong on alternative learning systems and TESDA skills trainings and scholarship program because we want to capacitate our human resources,” said Esperon.

The official also emphasized that provinces of Caraga region could have been more developed without the chaos, exploitation, and abuse among indigenous peoples and farmers that were instigated by the CPP-NPA.

The Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) has been stepping up its effort and initiatives with the different sectors in Caraga to continuously address the insurgency problem in the barangay level.

Meanwhile, Esperon stressed that barangay officials should take this move seriously to help the government achieve lasting peace and development in the country. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

First batch of TESDA, DOTR trainees undergo masonry course

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 30 (PIA) -- Some 25 trainees which comprised the first batch for the Masonry National Certificate II of the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) and Department of Transportation (DOTr) are now undertaking the one-month skills training here.

This is an initiative of TESDA together with Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance), a non-government organization with the aim to boost the construction industry in Caraga region.

Alejandro Golle, a resident of Tubay, Agusan del Norte and one of the trainees promised to perform his best in the training and hoped to be employed in a construction company right after the one-month skills training.

“I’m thankful to be among the trainees in this course on masonry and I’m positive and hopeful that after the training, I could be employed in any of the construction companies,” said Golle.

According to TESDA-Caraga Regional Director Ashary Banto, the training is also in support to the government’s build, build, build program. He said, they targeted a total of 250 trainees for masonry.

“Through this training, facilitation of employment of the trainees to the construction companies would be easier. They are regularly monitored and their performance will be assessed by the trainors,” said Banto.

The official added that after the conduct of said training in Butuan City, it will also be carried out in Surigao del Norte and other provinces of Caraga.

Banto encouraged interested individuals to visit the nearest TESDA offices in their area to know the requirements.

Meanwhile, Genome Jun Fortun, regional coordinator of Villar SIPAG, bared that trainees who give value to their job and perform well during the training would be employed in their construction companies.


“Just do the job well and we’ll see to it that you’ll get the job you deserve after the training,” said Fortun. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

AgNor villages avail free services 

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 30 (PIA) -- As the government intensifies the implementation of the Executive Order No. 70 or the whole-of-nation approach to end local communist armed conflict in the Caraga region, the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC)-Agusan del Norte has conducted another immersion in the three barangays of Remedios T. Romualdez (RTR) town.

More than 800 residents from different walks of life in the barangays of Tagbongabong, San Antonio and Balang-Balang of RTR have availed and benefitted from the medical, dental and social services, including legal consultations held in Barangay Tagbongabong.

Krizia Mae Mangadlao, a six-month pregnant from Barangay Balang-Balang was one of the beneficiaries who also received a buntis kit from the government. She said she was able to save some money intended to buy things for her baby.

“This is really of great help to me and the rest of the pregnant women. I hope this kind of activity will continue to help more Agusanons,” said Mangadlao.

The senior citizens also availed of the free services, which included Rosalinda Mundia, who benefitted from the free medicines.

“Thank you to all the government agencies who took part in this immersion and we continue to give our trust and confidence to the administration,” Mundia said.

Mayor Richard Daquipil was thankful to the different government agencies for choosing the municipality of RTR as the venue for the conduct of PPOC immersion, as it was the first time that such kind of activity was held in their area.

This, according to the mayor, is one of the ways to show to the locals that the government is doing its best to provide what they need by bringing the services closer to the people.

Mayor Daquipil also urged all residents to help the government in its effort to address the problem on insurgency.

The barangays of Tagbongabong, Mahaba, San Antonio and Balang-Balang were among the identified rebel-infested barangays in the region. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

Caraga promotes ease of doing business, competitive LGUs

By Marilou Autor-Salado

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 30 -- Twenty cities and municipalities participated in the conduct of Coaching-Workshop on Regulatory Simplification for Local Governments (RS4LG) on September 12-13, 2019 in Butuan City, which was facilitated by Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) - Caraga in coordination with the Local Government Academy.

Regulatory simplification is the process of making a business process simple and efficient by reducing or removing specific elements and keeping only the essential steps in the process.

Thus, key officials like the Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO) and the Treasurer, among others, were coached to do exhaustive review of their city or municipality’s regulatory framework with the objectives of removing unnecessary requirements in registering a business.

This is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s platform of ensuring that the processing of business permits is fast tracked and the documentary requirements are reduced.

As emphasized in his opening message, DILG Caraga assistant regional director Donald Seronay said “the focus of the RS4LG is to enhance the processing of business permits and licenses by streamlining documentary requirements of LGUs making them more attractive to investors.”

Mayette Patag, the consultant and resource person on RS4LG, also stated that streamlining the process of issuing permits, licenses and clearances is only an initial step.

“The dream is to have ‘no contact policy’ in applying for business permits and licenses. The government is looking forward to a portal where anyone can transact, apply, pay, and then claim. The good news is that our government is trying to make it possible through RA 11032,” Patag said.

This year, the focus local government units (LGUs) were supposedly the 4th to 6th income class municipalities since most have already been oriented on simplifying processes.

However, based on the monitoring report on Business Permits and Licensing (BPLS) as well as the Governance Assessment Result (GAR) of the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG), there are still several LGUs that are not consistent in its compliance to BPLS standards and in fact, several LGUs have outstanding “red” color in the Business Friendliness area of the SGLG.

Said activity was only one among the lined up activities such as The Caraga Roadshow on BPLS Automation, the Regional Rollout on PPP 101 and Joint Ventures, and the Campaign for Digital Governance Awards aimed to boost the business and investment environment of the region as complement to the effort for peace and development.

While the current flow of activities puts the limelight on the implementation of EO 70 and peace-building interventions, we need to work harder in prepping the LGUs to be business friendly and competitive to guarantee positive outcome, said Seronay. (LGOO V, DILG-13/PIA Caraga)

NPAs, supporters pledge loyalty to gov't

By 1Lt Nonette B. Banggad

CABADBARAN CITY, Agusan del Norte, Sept. 30 -- Two hundred nineteen members and supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA) terrorists from three different far-off areas of the municipality of Remedios T. Romualdez (RTR), Agusan del Norte recently took their oath and pledged allegiance of support to the government by simultaneously declaring the NPA as persona non-grata (PNG) in their barangays held recently in Brgy. Tagbongabong, RTR, Agusan del Norte.

The said members and mass supporters were composed of 38 members of the NPA, 22 Militia ng Bayan (MB) and 159 Underground Mass Organizations (UGMOs), all of whom were identified through the initiative if the 29IB. The efforts of the 29IB Community Support Teams were strengthened with the assistance from the Philippine National Police counterparts in the areas of Barangays San Antonio, Balang-balang and Tagbongabong.

The said 219 individuals took their oath of allegiance to the government led by Governor Dale B. Corvera of Agusan del Norte. Said oathtaking was followed by the symbolic burning of the NPA’s flag and clothes as a sign of withdrawal of support to the NPA.

The pledge of loyalty was also reinforced as two barangays of Balang-balang and Tagbongabong signed a resolution declaring NPA as Persona Non-grata in their barangays.

Mayor Richard B. Daquipil of RTR urged his people to withdraw whatever support they are providing to the NPAs, "because as we can see the government is here to help and support us. A government who truly looks after its people and its domain. Let us therefore come and work together in unity for RTR’s peace and development.”

“There would be no development in the area if there would be no peace. Likewise, there would certainly be no peace, if there would be no development," said Gov. Corvera.


"It goes together. So, let us, therefore, bear in mind that this insurgency, is not just a military or police problem, but rather this is everyone’s concern. Therefore, we must do something to contribute in resolving this issue,” he added. (CMO Officer, 29IB, PA/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Investment forum opens opportunities to coffee farmers in Surigao Sur

By Dir. Cleon Lester Chavez

TAGBINA, Surigao del Sur, Sept. 30 -- Opportunities sparked for coffee farmers after the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) held an investment forum last September 11, here.

Dubbed “Maximizing Gains in Marketing Niche Through Product Enrichment,” the forum sought to explore potential marketing contracts, buyers and linkages to different financial institutions that will provide investment to the agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations (ARBOs).

DAR Caraga Regional Director Leomides Villareal challenged the coffee farmers to take to heart the learnings from the investment forum.

“It is very timely that we promote and showcase our locally-produced coffee,” he said.

As a side activity, the actual cupping session was conducted by Mark Anthony Balahay, a licensed Q Grader in Caraga.

Among the activities conducted during the forum included roasting, brewing, and tasting of the sample coffee beans produced by the Mabuhay Coffee Growers Cooperative and Barangay Villaberde Coffee Growers Cooperative.

Balahay explained that the forum would cater to the specific requirements of the buyers depending on how coffee beans are being processed, either wet or dry.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Leoncio C. Bautista, Jr. expressed hopes that this initiative, carried out under the Project Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment, would open opportunities for the farmers, especially in the Barobo-Tagbina agrarian reform communities.

“I’m looking forward to bigger marketing contracts that will help increase the income of the farmers”, PARPO Bautista said.

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

6 NPAs surrender to Army in SurSur

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Sept. 30 (PIA) – Six members of the New People’s Army (NPA) of the weakened Guerilla Front 14 North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (WGF14, NEMRC) have voluntarily surrendered to the troops of the 75th Infantry (Marauder) Battalion (75IB), Philippine Army based in Bislig City, this province on Sept. 23, 2019, a military official confirmed.

Capt. Edwin Leo Francisco, 75IB Civil-Military Operations (CMO) Officer, identified the surrenderees as AKA Bong, AKA Pat, AKA Adan, AKA Shiela, AKA Bugoy and AKA Galo.

Francisco said they have also surrendered several war materials, namely: one M4 Carbine; two cal. 45 pistol; one M16A1 rifle (Elisco); one M653 assault rifle; four rifle grenades; live ammunition; and three bandoliers.

The surrenderees will undergo the process of validation before they will be enrolled in a government program intended for Former Rebels (FRs) - the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP). The process included the documentation, debriefing, and psychosocial intervention, the official said.

They will receive immediate cash assistance, reintegration, and livelihood assistance, as well. The firearms and weapons they surrendered will be assessed and the remuneration depends on the condition if it is serviceable or not, Capt. Francisco added.

Meanwhile, 75IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Warren Munda called on the remaining NPA terrorists to surrender and return to the folds of the government.

The official is optimistic to accomplish their mission with the support from people in the community and the local government units under their area of responsibility. (75IB/PIA-Surigao del Sur) 

NPA bomb expert surrenders in SurSur

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Sept. 30 (PIA) -- A New People’s Army (NPA) bomb expert identified as AKA Junio surrendered to the 75th Infantry “Marauder” Battalion (75IB) headquarters in Bislig City on Sept. 24, 2019.

According to 75IB Civil-Military Operations (CMO) officer Captain Edwin Leo Francisco, he brought along with him several war materials composed of one cal. 45 pistol, one magazine loaded with five rounds cal. 45, and one 357 revolver with four rounds of ammunition.

Capt. Francisco said AKA Junio was convinced by his comrades to surrender to the 75IB. Through proper coordination, the troops extended its assistance to secure for his safety, to live a normal life with his family and children.

"Wala na ko gaduha-duha nga mosurrender sa 75IB. Gusto na ko nga magpuyo nga malinawon kauban ang akong pamilya nga wala nay gikahadlukan pa (I did not hesitate to surrender to the 75IB. I want to live in peace with my family without worrying)," AKA Junio said.

Meanwhile, 75IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Warren Munda called on the remaining NPA terrorists to go back to the folds of the government.  (75IB/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

US, PH launch food for progress program

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 30 -- The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), together with the Philippine government, launched today a new 'Food for Progress' project focused on strengthening sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) regulatory systems in the Philippines. 

On Friday, September 27, visiting U.S. Undersecretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney met with Philippine Undersecretary of Agriculture Rodolfo Vicerra and Undersecretary of Health Rolando Enrique Domingo to discuss the four-year project, which will be funded with the proceeds of donated U.S. agricultural commodities sold in the Philippine market.  The most recent Food for Progress project in the Philippines used U.S. soybean meal as the donated commodity.

“This project aims to strengthen Philippine food security by delivering their consumers and agribusiness access to safe, affordable, and nutritious foods and feedstuffs through an improved regulatory framework based on risk-based principles and streamlined processes that ultimately enhance livelihoods while increasing opportunities for United States-Philippines trade,”McKinney said.

Meanwhile, Vicerra said, "The Department of Agriculture welcomes this opportunity to enhance the capacity of its regulatory agencies in ensuring that food safety, sanitary and phytosanitary concerns are addressed alongside the flow of trade.”  

Domingo also added that he is “optimistic that the collaboration brought about by this project will strengthen the regulatory function capacity of the Philippines Food and Drug Administration.  This will enable the agency to develop a risk-based regulatory system that will promote effective and efficient outcomes.”  

Food for Progress is a USDA program that partners with developing countries and emerging democracies committed to introducing and expanding free enterprise in the agricultural sector. 

USDA has selected Winrock International through a competitive award process to implement the project with an estimated $8.5 million operating budget.  The project will pursue activities to strengthen Philippine regulatory agencies’ SPS systems through the adoption of risk-based and international standards to facilitate agricultural trade. (U.S. Embassy Manila/PIA-Caraga)
#FoodForProgressProject

Pinakaunang batch ng trainees sumabak na sa Masonry course ng TESDA

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Setyembre 30 (PIA) -- Sumasabak na sa isang buwang pagsasanay ang 25 trainees ng Mobile Training Program sa Masonry National Certificate II ng Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) Caraga.


Isa itong inisyatibo ng TESDA kasama ang non-government organization na Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) upang mas mapalago pa ang construction industry sa rehiyon.

Isa si Alejandro Golle sa mga sumailalim sa nasabing training at nangakong pagbubutihin ang kanyang pagsasanay para makapasok at makapagtrabaho sa construction company pagkatapos ng isang buwang training.

“Malaki po ang aking pasasalamat sa TESDA kasi dahil dito madagdagan ang aking eksperyensa sa masonry at pagkatapos nito, mayroon na akong certificate sa masonry,” sabi ni Golle.

“Para sa aking mga kasamahan, nasimulan na natin ito kaya ipagpatuloy lang natin para matapos natin ang training at maging NC II holder,” pahayag ni Dennis Destreza.

Ayon kay TESDA-Caraga Regional Director Ashary Banto, ang nasabing pagsasanay ay bilang suporta na rin sa Build, Build, Build (BBB) program ng gobyerno. Nasa 250 trainees ang kanilang target sa lungsod.

“Ang training na ito ay naka-align sa standards kung ano yung latest na strategy or techniques at procedures sa construction industry. Kasi ang bottom line natin dito, kung may graduate tayo sa ilalim ng TESDA, madali na yung employment facilitation,” sabi ni Banto.

Dagdag pa ng opisyal, pagkatapos sa Butuan City, lilibot din sila sa Surigao del Norte, at iba pang probinsya ng rehiyon.

Para sa mga interesadong sumailalim sa trainings ng TESDA, hinimok ni Dir. Banto ang mga ito na bumisita sa pinakamalapit na TESDA office sa kanilang lugar upang malaman ang requirements.

Samantala, tiniyak naman ni Genome Jun Fortun, regional coordinator ng Villar SIPAG na ang mga trainees na masisipag at may pagmamamhal sa trabaho ay kanilang kukuning empleyado sa kanilang mga construction companies.

“Pagkatapos ng training, automatic na ma-hire sa construction company ang mga trainees. Ang hiling ko lang, galingan niyo sa training. Ang iba dito may alam na sa masonry pero madaragdagan pa ang inyong mga kaalaman at sana’y gamitin niyo yan as tool para sa mga bahay na inyong kinokonstrak,” sabi ni Fortun. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

Mga magulang mula sa ibat-ibang barangay sa Butuan City, tinalakay ang mental health

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Setyembre 30 (PIA) -- Bagamat abala sa trabaho, gawaing bahay at pag-aalaga ng mga anak, naglaan ng oras ang ilang mga magulang mula sa ibat-ibang barangay sa lungsod para sa ika-27th selebrasyon ng National Family Week ngayong buwan ng Setyembre.

Kabilang sa mga tinalakay rito ang usapin sa mental health and wellness, responsible parenting at family planning.

Sa tulong ng resource persons mula sa mga kinauukulang ahensiya ng pamahalaan, nadagdagan pa ang kaalaman ng mga magulang sa mga mahahalagang usapin sa pamilya lalo na ang positibong pagdidisiplina sa mga anak.

Isa si Ellen Malalom, residente ng Barangay Pagatpatan na may 10 anak sa aktibong nakibahagi rito kung saan ibinahagi niya ang kanyang mga karanasan at hamong kinakaharap ng kanyang pamilya.

Sinabi niya na hindi madali ang pagiging magulang lalo na’t sampu ang kaniyang anak, at ilan dito ay minsan na ring napabilang sa “child at risk” o yung mga minor-de-edad na naglalayas o nasa lansangan.

“Hindi madali ang pagiging magulang sa mga anak lalu na sa akin na 10 sila. Minsan na rin akong dumaan sa depresyon dahil sa mga problema at hamon sa aming pamilya. Patuloy lang tayong manalig at huwag mawalan ng pagasa. Mas lalo nating ipakita sa ating mga anak kung gaano natin sila kamahal,” pahayag ni Malalom.

Ayon kay Luzvilla Fortun, focal person ng family, women and community section ng City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) sa Butuan, mahalaga ang paglaan ng oras at komunikasyon sa bawat miyembro ng pamilya upang maiwasan ang ano mang hindi pagkakaintindihan at nang maayos agad ang ano mang problema.

“Patuloy an gaming ginagawang counseling sa mga magulang sa mga barangay at handa kaming tumulong sa bawat pamilya na nangangailangan ng patnubay. Isinusulong natin ang mga aktibidad na mas lalu pang magpapatibay sa relasyon ng pamilya,” sabi ni Fortun.

Samantala, binigyang-diin din ni Edilyn Pujadas, focal person for family sector ng DSWD-Caraga na kailangang pagtuonan ng pansin ang mental health dahil ito ang kadalasang isyu sa pamilya partikular na ang pagkakaroon ng depresyon.

“Mahalaga na mas matutukan pa ng mga kinauukulang ahensiya ang isyu sa mental health dahil marami na rin ang nakakaranas nito. Ito rin ang madalas na isyu sa pamilya na nababaliwala at nagdudulot pa ng ibang problema, kaya napapanahon ang ating isinasagawang forum ngayon upang mas maintindihan ng mga magulang at pamilya ang pagkakaroon ng kompleto at panatag na pamilya,” sabi ni Pujadas.

Kaugnay nito, aktibo rin ang Regional Inter-Agency Committee for Filipino Family (RIAC-FF) Caraga sa pagawa ng mga aktibidad na mas magpapatibay pa sa relasyon ng bawat pamilya sa rehiyon. Patuloy din ang pagpapatupad ng mga programa para sa ikauunlad ng mga komunidad.

Ang taunang selebrasyon ay alinsunod sa Presidential Proclamation No. 60 na nilagdaan noong September 28, 1992. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)