(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 13 November, 2019) Today, the center of TD "RAMON" was estimated at 515 km East of Borongan, Eastern Samar (12.2N,130.1E), with maximum sustained winds of 55 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 70 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 Thunderstorms. Light to moderate winds from Northwest to Southwest with slight to moderate seas. PAGASA/jpf

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


Datu-led armed men in SurSur surrender to authorities, face charges

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 11 (PIA) -- Armed men led by Jasmen Acevedo alias "Datu Jasmen" have voluntarily surrendered to the authorities.

This was after the conduct of a series of dialogue thru peaceful negotiation with concerned government agencies.

Datu Jasmen's group is composed of lumad residents from Barangay Umalag, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur.

According to the Philippine Army, the surrenderees are former members of the New People's Army (NPA) who now want to live peacefully in mainstream society.

The group also surrendered with them one M16 rifle, one carbine rifle, three homemade shotguns, and two caliber .45.

Datu Jasmen said, they were forced to use firearms and other weapons as they want to protect their ancestors' lands from the abusive NPAs who showed interest to claim and use it.

To ensure the safety and security of the surenderees, they were brought to the headquarters of the 36th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Dayoan, Tago, Surigao del Sur from the municipality of San Miguel, accompanied by the local officials, policemen, army, and IP leaders who helped in the negotiation.

The warrant of arrest was also formally served to the group, read and explained to them by Police Lieutenant Colonel Allan Macapagal, the deputy provincial director for operation of Police Provincial Office in Surigao del Sur.

The surrenderees were charged for three counts of robbery with homicide based on the warrant of arrest released on December 5, 2012 by presiding Judge Rufo Naragas. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

TESDA, DOTr launch 'tsuper iskolar' in Caraga

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 11 -- Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-Caraga in partnership with the Department of Transportation (DOTr)-Caraga recently launched the “Tsuper Iskolar” program here.

In his message delivered by TESDA Spokesperson Dir. Florencio F. Sunico, Jr., TESDA Secretary Isidro S. Lapeña said since the inauguration of the program in April 2019 in Pangasinan, the Tsuper Iskolar Program has already been launched in 12 regions, with total attendees of 5,885, and with an approved training plan costing Php 139 million to date.

Sec. Lapeña also said all the remaining regions are expected to follow, “and our goal is to be able to complete all the regional launch before the end of December so that all the training programs as planned will be implemented this year,” he added.

The TESDA chief also pointed out that TESDA has been pleased and privileged to partner with DOTr under the leadership of Secretary Arthur Tugade for this important and laudable program of capacity building for the stakeholders in the transport sector who are affected by the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

“Essentially this training program includes retraining and retooling for new skills requirements and/or providing alternative skills for those affected by modernization in the transport industry,” Lapeña said.

The “Tsuper Iskolar” program capacitates the stakeholders of the PUVMP through training; advocate the program to the different beneficiaries of TVET, especially the transportation sector; and achieve the specific purpose of creating awareness and publicity. (TESDA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

TESDA, DOTr convergence to create enabling environment for Filipinos – Sec. Lapeña

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 11 -- Secretary Isidro S. Lapeña of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) on Friday said the convergence with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) creates an enabling environment for the Filipinos.

In his speech delivered by TESDA Spokesperson Dir. Florencio F. Sunico, Jr. during the “Tsuper Iskolar” program launch held in one of the malls here, the official is hoping that with the convergence efforts among the national government agencies with mandates on the transport sector (primarily the DOTR), the primary stakeholders, and the local government units, together it can create an enabling environment that would be responsive and relevant to the skills demands of the industry in its current and long term requirements.

Sec. Lapeña also said the “Tsuper Iskolar” program includes retraining and retooling for new skills requirements and/or providing alternative skills for those affected by modernization in the transport industry.

“With the program package consisting of free skills training, free skills assessment, free entrepreneurship training plus a training support fund of 350 daily for 35 days to cover transportation and food allowance, our beneficiaries (which are the operators, drivers and their family members and their dependents) are assured of their daily subsistence allowance while on training for their specific skills,” he said.

The TESDA chief further stressed that the idea is to provide a safety net to all stakeholders affected by the implementation of the PUV modernization and allow a smooth transition into the new scheme in the transport sector.

On June 19, 2017, the DOTr issued Department Order No. 2017-011 (Re: Omnibus Guidelines on the Planning and Identification of Public Road Transportation Services and Franchise Issuance) or the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), a flagship program of the Duterte administration which envisions a restructured, modern, well-managed and environmentally sustainable transport sector where drivers and operators have stable, sufficient and dignified livelihoods while commuters get to their destinations quickly, safely and comfortably.

In order to soften the impact and assist small operators who will be affected by the PUVMP, stakeholders will have access to various trainings and social support programs which will be offered to enable them to be competent, self-sufficient and well-equipped with the necessary technical knowledge and skills. (TESDA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

Farm biz school beefs up AgNor farmers 

By  Gil E. Miranda

CABADBARAN CITY, Agusan del Norte, Sept. 11 -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) of Agusan del Norte in partnership with the local government unit of Jabonga launched recently the Farm Business School (FBS) targeting at least 28 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) members of Libas Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LFMPC) held at Brgy. Libas, Jabonga town.

The FBS is comprised of 25-session on-site capability building that aimed to capacitate the farmers with entrepreneurial and management skills for running a profitable farm business through learning by doing approach.

During the launching, a Memorandum of Agreement for the FBS was inked between the DAR-Provincial Office, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Provincial Office, Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and Local Government Unit (LGU) of Jabonga and Libas Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LFMPC).

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO II) Andre B. Atega is grateful for the support from the different stakeholders.

Atega encouraged the participants to promote unity and cooperation. He also inspired the participants to learn how to make their farming enterprise and farm operation profitable and be able to respond to market demands.

ARBDSP Head Ellen J. Torralba said that the FBS enables the participants to learn knowledge about different farming method, farm business management and create market linkages to increase profitability.

Torralba challenged the participants to complete the 25 sessions and apply what they have learned to their farms.

DAR FBS Coordinator Junita D. Balibay said that with the active participation of partner-implementers, the 25-session on-site capability building is expected to be completed within December this year.

LFMPC BOD Chair Elson F. Morada, on behalf of the group, expressed gratitude to the facilitators while beaming in optimism that the knowledge gained would greatly help positive impact in the lives of the farmers. (DAR Agusan del Norte/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Parents, teachers back AFP's presence in schools

By Lt. Krisjuper Andreo Punsalan

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Sept. 11 -- Contrary to the malicious statements of the leftist groups, the schools in the provinces of Agusan and Surigao del Sur have welcomed the 3rd Special Forces (Arrowhead) Battalion (3SFBn) in their school grounds for the conduct of an information drive to the students. Dubbed as “Ugnayan sa Paaralan,” the 3SFBn conducted a symposium to the following schools: Marihatag High School, Antipolo National High School, San Isidro National High School and Cresencio S. Lago High School, all in the municipality of Marihatag held last Sept. 5, 2019.

The discussions focused mainly on nationalism, positive activism, good manners, respect to elders and other values-based topics. The series of 'ugnayan sa paaralan' symposium started since the outbreak of youth activists’ disappearance allegedly caused by the political groups.

Lt. Col. Joey Baybayan, Commanding Officer of the 3SFBN, expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the education officials, parents and students for the trust and confidence.

“I am thankful because of the way they look up to us but I think teachers and parents are also our heroes because of their unconditional love. They will do whatever it takes to protect their children. Likewise, we will exhaust all peaceful means to protect them from being recruited by these Communist NPA Terrorists,” Col. Baybayan said.

The 3SFBn’s massive information drive is still ongoing and school partnership and coordination become more frequent as part of the preparatory activities of the upcoming Youth Leadership Summit before the year ends. (3rd SFBn-CMO/PIA-Surigao del Sur)