(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Thursday, 14 November, 2019) Today, the center of Tropical Storm "RAMON" was estimated at 365 km East of Legazpi City,Albay (13.4N,127.1E), 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 10 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

Monday, November 4, 2019

Caraga farmers join in Lakbay Palay, learns new farming techniques

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 4 (PIA) -- About a thousand farmers, students and other stakeholders from different provinces in Caraga region joined the institutional field day dubbed as “Lakbay Palay” conducted by the Philippine Rice Research Institute or PhilRice held at the PhilRice Agusan Experiment Station in Remedios T. Romualdez, Agusan del Norte.

The whole-day event provided an opportunity for farmers to know the various cost-reducing and high-yielding rice technologies.

Included also was the field demonstration of the top five high performing varieties that will be distributed through the rice competitiveness enhancement program for its seed component.


Various machineries were also showcased such as combine harvester, transplanter, drum seeder, reversible flatbed dryer that would elevate the harvesting productivity.

PhilRice Agusan ranch manager Joventino Tado said their office continues to help the rice farmers and the rice industry to be more profitable, resilient and sustainable.

“The farmer groups of the provinces that are recipients of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) such as Agusan del Norte can now request for provision of a mechanical dryer to be used in drying their ‘palay’ or rice grains,” said Tado.

He added that it would really help the farmers to be more competitive, resilient and sustainable.

Tado reiterated that their office continues to improve the competitiveness of the Filipino rice farmers and the Philippine rice industry and transforms it to be more profitable, resilient, and sustainable through responsive, balanced, environmentally sound and partnership-based research, development, and extension.

The participants also learned about the practical and effective ways of planting and growing rice such as the minus-one element technique, alternate wetting at drying, and white stem borer management.

Meanwhile, Gilbert Maturan, farmer-leader of the Dacutan Farmers Multi-purpose Cooperative (DAFAMCO), has also bared the gains of attending the event by being able to learn the new techniques in farming that would help increase productivity.

Philrice Agusan also distributed certified seeds, rodenticides at fertilizers to the farmers. Booths were also installed showcasing the rice research and development products and services.

The students were also encouraged to get involved in rice farming in support to the vision of a food-secure Philippines.

“This is a good opportunity for us young individuals who are more inclined to farming, especially on my part as an agricrop production student. My parents are also farmers, so I am fortunate to have heard all the lectures and witnessed the practical demo for me to baa be to impart it to them to improve our farming processes and to use the kind of fertilizers that would better produce good quality of rice,” said Angelo Diego, student of Batangbalang National High School, Agusan del Norte.

The lined-up activities also aim to bring the services closer to the people as mandated in the Executive Order 70 of President Rodrigo Durterte.

PhilRice is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on November 5, 1985, as amended, to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies for farmers. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)
  
DA provides livestock interventions to SurSur farmers

By Rhea C. Abao

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Nov. 4 -- Poverty reduction and sustainable development rely mostly on empowering people. One of the avenues to empower them is through interventions for sustainable livelihoods.

The Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program provided livelihood support to each of the four farmer groups in Surigao del Sur with a total cost worth 2.5 Million.

Each association from Barangay San Roque, Bislig City, and Barangay Panaosawan in the Municipality of Bayabas received a one-unit goat house and one packet (11 heads) of goat.

Hilario Rosel, a member of the Riverside Panaosawan Farmers Association (RIPAFA), a seasonal laborer admits that he has no definite monthly income to support the basic needs of his family. He is called to work only during harvest season and his medical condition affects him to get other jobs.

"As one of the members of RIPAFA, I am very grateful for the project because this will be a great help to add my income," said Rosel.

The same intervention was also given to the P-7 Panaosawon Farmers' Association.

According to Dr. Roche Rey Barrios, the City Veterinarian of Bislig, goat rearing has distinct economic and managerial advantages over other livestock because of its less initial investment, low input requirement, higher prolificacy, early sexual maturity, and ease in marketing.

They play a big role in supporting the livelihood system of the men and women in the rural areas, he added.

On the other hand, two newly-formed associations the Goat Raisers Association of Sitio Sanyata (GRASS) and Goat Raisers Association of Mabog (GRAM) from Barangay San Roque, Bislig City were now also practicing their potentials as livestock keepers.

Fifty-six-year-old, Marietta Añasco, a member of GRASS shared that the intervention is timely as they need to have another source to augment their income because they are affected by the low buying price of copra.

"Aside from the extra income that we can get from goat raising, our favorite bonding –tsismis (gossip) with our neighbors will now lessen because our time will be spent now on managing our new source of income," said Añasco.

DA-SAAD Caraga Deputy Program Coordinator Roberto Hipolao, Jr. said that the Department will continually assist the beneficiaries and monitor the intervention to ensure the proper implementation and execution of the operation to achieve the project objectives.

SAAD is a special program initiated and funded by the DA. The program was launched to address poverty particularly in rural areas that are often inaccessible, lacks infrastructure, and where the poorest of the poor resides. (DA-Caraga RAFIS/PIA-Surigao del Sur) 

NPA surrenderee pinpoints high-powered firearm’s location in SurSur

By 1Lt. Krisjuper Andreo Punsalan

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Nov 4  -- A squad leader of the Weakened Guerilla Front 30 (WGF30), Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) identified as alias Kakar surrendered to 7th Special Forces “Spartans” Company (7SFC), 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion (3SFBn) on Nov. 1 and pinpointed the location of one 5.56mm M4 Carbine Bushmaster Rifle at the hinterland of Purok Bombels, Awisan, this city. The said surrenderee is currently at the 7SFC headquarters in Mararag, Marihatag, Surigao del Sur for proper custodial debriefing.
                                                           
According to Alias Kakar, 34 years old, he was recruited by a certain Otillo Galagate, a Militia ng Bayan member in barangay Tina, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur two to three years ago.

“Walay kaugmaon tungod sa korapsyon ng mga kumander (There is no future because of the corrupt commanders),” said Kakar.

He said that to be with the Communist NPA Terrorist is to live in a miserable life.

“Hindi na baling mahirap ang buhay basta kasama ko ang aking pamilya, ang anak at asawa ko,” he added.

The provincial government of Surigao del Sur’s all-out support to the Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict has gained tremendous results and positive feedbacks all over the Caraga region. Recently, Surigao del Sur Governor Alexander Pimentel was appointed as the Regional Peace and Order Council Committee Chairman for his steadfast commitment in initiating various peace and development efforts in the province.

Alias Kakar along with other new surrenderees will be enrolled in the Enhanced Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) to receive benefits for choosing the path to peace. Based on the implementing rules and regulations of Administrative Order No. 10 signed by the president in 2018, Kakar, as a former rebel, is qualified to receive E-CLIP’s livelihood assistance, reintegration programs, firearms remuneration, and other benefits as provided by law for NPA surrenderees. (CMO-3SFBn/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

Army saves wounded NPA youth in AgNor encounter

By 1Lt. Nonette B. Banggad

CABADBARAN CITY, Agusan del Norte, Nov. 4 – Troops of 29th Infantry “Matatag” Battalion (29IB), Philippine Army saved a young New People’s Army (NPA) combatant who was wounded in an encounter that took place on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 in Barangay San Isidro, Santiago town in Agusan del Norte.

The wounded NPA youth, identified as alias Kent, was immediately provided first aid by the 29IB operating troops and wasted no time in bringing him to the nearest hospital for further medication to save his life. 

According to Lt. Col. Isagani O. Criste, the Commanding Officer of the 29IB, alias Kent was only 17 when he joined the communist movement and stayed with the group for more than two years.

Lt. Col. Criste was also deeply sad seeing as young as alias Kent already engaging in an armed struggle. "Deceived and fooled by the NPAs' lies and propaganda. This youth had almost lost his precious life like his comrade who died in the encounter earlier," he said.

"I know most of the youths who have been recruited just like alias Kent do not truly desire what they're doing. They have just been misguided, influenced and worst they have just been used for a lost cause by the NPA terrorist. Some of them were threatened and molested especially the young female recruits," Lt. Col. Criste added.

Lt. Col. Criste then called on other NPA members who are still in the mountains to come home and return to the folds of the law.

"Your families are waiting for you. We will gladly assist you back to mainstream society and live peacefully. We will continue to intensify our efforts to help and rescue those who have been deceived by the NPA especially the youths like alias Kent, we can do this with the support of the partner stakeholders in Agusan del Norte," Criste added. (CMO Officer, 29IB, Philippine Army/PIA Agusan del Norte)

13 more SurSur villages condemn NPAs

By Lt. Krisjuper Andreo Punsalan

SAN AGUSTIN, Surigao del Sur, Nov. 4 -- All 13 barangays of the municipality of San Agustin, Surigao del Sur declared the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA) persona non-grata through resolutions citing the collection of revolutionary taxes, hostage-takings, harassments and killings of innocent and defenseless civilians as primary reasons for their decision to condemn the NPAs. The declaration was officially made public by the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion (3SFBn) official recently.        
Lt. Colonel Joey Baybayan, 3SFBn Commanding Officer, expressed his gratitude to the local government unit (LGU) of San Agustin under the leadership of Mayor Libertad Alameda for their courageous stand against the NPAs.

“The San Agustin LGU's declaration is a courageous move and a concrete manifestation of their all-out support to the country’s Whole-Of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. Not all local leaders have the guts to do this in some parts of the country,” Lt. Col. Baybayan said.

The 3SFBn warns the public to be more vigilant because the remaining NPAs have no other means to gain support but to intimidate and terrorize the indigenous people's communities, local leaders, investors and residents from far-flung areas, liquidation of personnel and destruction of government properties such as burning construction equipment to delay the government’s developmental projects just to show that they still exist.

“These terrorists are desperate now because they have nothing left but their deception-based propaganda, their failed and useless ideology, their firearms, and explosives intended to sow fear to the defenseless. Help us locate them through all forms of communication," LTC Baybayan added.

Meanwhile, an unarmed and off-duty CAA Pablo Omblero was executed by the alleged NPAs last October 27 in Valencia City, Bukidnon, a concrete proof of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) violation and another clear reason for all Filipinos and the international community to condemn the CNTs. (CMO-3rdSFBn/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

1 killed, 1 injured in Agusan Norte clash

By 1Lt. Nonette B. Banggad 

CABADBARAN CITY, Agusan del Norte, Nov. 4 -- Following the mandate of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to end the insurgency, the troops of 29th Infantry “Matatag” Battalion (29IB), Philippine Army conducted an intensified combat operations in Agusan Norte areas. As a result, one member of the New People’s Army (NPA) died and another one wounded with two high powered firearms captured during the encounter in an uninhabited and forested area in Brgy. San Isidro, Santiago, Agusan del Norte on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.

The troops were conducting combat operations as a response to the report received by the unit from concerned civilians. The prompt and swift action of the troops resulted in an encounter with undetermined numbers of NPA, believed to be members of Sentro De Grabidad (SDG) 16A, Guerilla Front Committee (GFC) 16 of North Eastern Mindanao Regional Command (NEMRC) under the leadership of alias Kadong.

The firefight lasted for about 15 minutes after which the rest of the NPAs scampered and withdrew towards East direction leaving behind their dead and wounded cohorts with one M4 rifle with sniper scope and another one M4 rifle with two magazines fully loaded with ammunition, two bandoliers, one anti-personnel mines, medicine kit, one UHF handheld radio, one backpack containing other personal belongings of the NPAs and subversive documents. Bloodstains were also seen in the withdrawal routes indicating that the NPAs suffered numerous casualties.

Lt. Col. Isagani O. Criste, 29IB Commanding Officer, said that they will continue the offensive operations to make the NPAs come out from their hiding place.

"To the NPA members who are still in doubt with the government, I encourage you to come down and lay down your weapons while you still have your chance. Don’t wait for the time that we will meet each other in the mountains because if that happens, we will make sure that you will pay the just consequences of your actions,” Lt. Col. Criste said. (CMO Officer, 29IB, Philippine Army/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Army troops seize another NPA lair in SurSur

By Major Francisco Garello, Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Nov. 4 -- Elements of the 36th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army under the 402nd Infantry "Stingers" Brigade seized recently another CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNT) lair at Sitio Suba, Brgy. Mabuhay, this city.

The CNT lair has an estimated area of about 50x100 square meters that can accommodate around 50 CNT members. It was believed to be abandoned days ago. After a careful search on the lair, the troops seized two anti-personnel mines (pipe type) with 50 meters wire, ½ sack of rice and CNT personal belongings.   

The 402nd Brigade has intensified its operation against the CNTs in the outskirts barangays and the hinterlands due to the persistent appeal of the people to ensure safety and security so that peace and development efforts in their communities continue.

Since January 2019, the Stingers Brigade has already seized 57 lairs during armed encounters and routine security patrols. For the last quarter alone, a total of 14 CNT hideouts were seized wherein most of them were tipped off from the civilian residents. (402nd Bde-CMO/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

Mahigit 100 NPA, supporters sa Agusan Norte nagbalik loob sa gobyerno

By May Amor O. Alabado

LUNGSOD NG CABADBARAN, Agusan del Norte, Nobyembre 4 -- Dumarami na ang nagbabalik loob sa gobyerno at ngayon ay nakipagtulungan upang tuluyan para masugpo ang insurhensiya sa probinsya ng Agusan del Norte.

Sa isinagawang community immersion sa barangay Mahaba sa lungsod ng Cabadbaran, may 137 regular na miyembro ng New Peoples Army (NPA), militia ng bayan (MB) at underground mass organization (UGMO) members ang sumuko sa 29th Infantry Batallion, Philippine Army.

Kabilang sa mga sumuko ay si alias "Bem-Bem" na dating medic sa Guerilla Front Committee 21C (GFC 21C), na nanilbihan bilang isang medic sa loob ng 14 na taon.

Ayonn pa sa kanya, ang buhay niya sa bundok ay hindi naging madali kaya malaking tulong ang kanyang pagbabalik-loob sa gobyerno upang mamuhay nang tahimik at higit sa lahat ay makapagpatuloy na sa pag-aaral ang kanyang mga anak.

Ayon naman kay alias "Ondong," isang high ranking official at dating political infrastructure officer ng 21C, na nanilbihan ng sampung taon sa NPA, ang pagnanais niyang mamuhay ng mapayapa kasama ang pamilya, ang unang dahilan ng kanyang pagsuko.

Sa isinagawang community immersion, nanawagan din si Mayor Judy Amante ng Cabadbaran City sa mga NPAs na magbalik-loob na sa gobyerno. At bilang tagapangalaga sa lungsod, layunin niyang mapanatili ang kapayaapaan sa kanyang nasasakupan kung kaya’t mahalaga ang pagsagawa ng community immersion upang maipakita sa mga tao na tapat ang gobyerno sa kanila. (NCLM/MOA/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Makabagong pamamaraan sa pagsasaka ibinida sa Lakbay Palay sa Caraga

By Venus L. Garcia

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Nobyembre 4 (PIA) -- Nakibahagi ang iba't ibang sektor sa rehiyon ng Caraga sa taunang ‘Lakbay Palay’ ng Philippine Rice Research Institute o PhilRice Agusan na ginanap sa PhilRice Agusan Experiment Station, Remedos T. Romualdez, Agusan del Norte.

Maliban sa mga magsasaka lumahok rin dito ang mga estudyante at iba pang stakeholders.

Kabilang sa aktibidad nito ang field tour sa palayan upang personal na makita ang kalidad ng binhi at field demonstration ng top five high performing varieties na siyang ipamamahagi sa ilalim ng rice competitiveness enhancement program (RCEF) para sa seed component nito.

Itinampok din ang mga makinarya gaya ng combine harvester, transplanter, drumseeder, reversible flatbed dryer at iba pa na nakakatulong na mabawasan gastos sa produksiyon ng mga magsasaka.

Ayon kay PhilRice agusan branch manager Joventino Tado, patuloy ang kanilang ahensiya sa pagtulong sa sektor ng agrikultura para mapabuti at mapataas pa ang ani ng mga magsasaka.

“Ang mga farmer group sa bawat recipient province ng RCEF gaya ng Agusan del Norte ay pwede na nilang irequest ang mechanical dryer para dun patuyuin ang kanilang aning palay. Kapaki-pakinabang ito sa kanila, na nakakatulong na ma-empower pang maging competitive, resilient at sustainable,” sabi ni Tado.

Isinagawa rin ang information clinic kung saan itinuturo kung paano maging mekanisado at maging maalam sa bagong pamamaraan ng pagtatanim gaya ng minus one element o MOE technique, alternate wetting at drying, at white stem borer management.

“Mahalaga itong okasyon na ito dahil malalaman namin kung ano ang nararapat gawin sa aming sakahan. Marami kaming matututunan sa kaganapan dito,” sabi ni Gilbert Maturan, farmer-leader ng Dacutan Farmers Multi-purpose Cooperative (DAFAMCO).

Maliban sa pagtuturo ng mga kaalaman patungkol sa pagsasaka ay namahagi rin ang PhilRice ng libreng certified seeds, rodenticides at fertilizers. Nariyan din ang mga booth kung saan itinampok ang rice research and development products at services o knowledge products.

“Magandang oportunidad ito para sa aming kabataan lalung-lalo na sa akin na agricrop production student. Magsasaka rin ang aking mga magulang kaya makakatulong ito na mapabuti ang aming pagsasaka at maging pamilyar sa mga technique,” sabi ni Angelo Diego, mag-aaral sa Batangbalang National High School, Agusa del Norte.

Ang tema ng nasabing Lakbay Palay o Farmers’ Day ay nakapaloob sa benepisyong hatid ng rice competitiveness enhancement program o RCEF. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)