(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Friday, 23 October, 2020) Northeasterly Surface Windflow affecting Extreme Northern Luzon. Caraga Region will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to localized thunderstorms . Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from Southwest to South will prevail and the coastal waters will be moderate to rough with wave height from 0.6 to 2.5 meters.

Monday, February 10, 2020

PCOO intensifies gov't-media working relationship, effective communication in the regions

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 10 (PIA) -- With the aim to strengthen the good working relationship between the government and media entities, and to develop its effective communication systems and processes, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has been regularly holding media engagements, where both could exchange valuable information and properly address any concern.

According to PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar, the media continues to play a vital role, particularly in countering the spread of fake news on cyber and mainstream media and other various platforms.

He said the media has greatly contributed to the fulfillment of making every Filipino become a well-informed citizen and fully-aware of how the government resolves pressing issues and concerns of the different sectors.

The secretary added that the Duterte administration continues to look into the needs of the government radio stations in the country by replacing the decades-old existing equipment with the brand new and upgraded broadcast equipment, in order to widen reach and better serve the listening public.

Gregorio Tataro, Jr., station manager of Radyo Pilipinas in Tandag City, thanked President Rodrigo Duterte through the PCOO, stressing that it is only in this current administration that their long overdue request to the national government was granted.
“We thanked Secretary Andanar for this development, this does not only boost our morale, but also shows his real concern for us in the Philippine Broadcasting Service. We are also grateful to President Rodrigo Duterte for continuously ensuring the people’s welfare and development,” cited Tataro.

“With the new radio equipment, we can now provide assurance that this will help improve the daily news dissemination services we are providing to the people of Tandag. Truly, we are grateful for this opportunity,” Tataro added.

Meanwhile, Secretary Andanar has recently gathered the media practitioners from Tandag City and Butuan City and shared with them the accomplishments and ongoing programs and projects under the Duterte Legacy.

“The Duterte Legacy is a communications campaign with the aim to inform the Filipino people on the accomplishments of President Rodrigo Duterte and ongoing programs and services, as well as the policies that were established that has uplifted the lives of the people,” said Andanar.

With this development, the media expressed their full support and commitment to assist the government in upholding and disseminating timely, accurate and relevant information and news in the region. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

Soldiers undergo IP cultural sensitivity awareness

By 1Lt. Percival Carido

TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur, Feb. 10 - Prior to their deployment, the Community Support Program (CSP) Team of the Philippine Army has undergone series of lectures regarding the native’s customs and traditions in the area of operation, held recently at the 26th Infantry “Ever Onward” Battalion (26IB) Headquarters.

Carlos M. Otacan, alias Datu Balobagyo, the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur, together with other IP leaders actively joined in the said activity. Otacan discussed briefly the Indigenous People's Rights Act (IPRA) laws while the other tribal leaders discussed the different customs and traditions of their respective tribes namely Manobo, Higaonon, and Banwaon, among others.

“Respect begets respect. If you respect the natives' way of life and beliefs, surely you will earn their respect too,” Otacan said.

According to Lt. Col. Romeo C. Jimenea, the commanding officer of 26th IB, the said lecture was part of the retraining program for the CSP teams before their immersion in the community, to serve as their diplomatic weapon in dealing with the IP communities. He further said that the knowledge that they will acquire from the lectures is very necessary for winning the trust and confidence of the populace.

“Respect the IP members, be kind and set good examples because you will represent the government. If you learn to adapt their customs and traditions, you will win the hearts and minds of the IP community,” said Jimenea.

“We belie all issues of the leftist group that the CSP is part of militarization in the countryside. The objective of the CSP is to serve as a bridge between the community and concerned government agencies, to deliver basic services and address the community’s concerns. If we accomplish all of these, for sure, there will be no more victims of the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army (CPP-NPA’s) deception and propaganda,” Jimenea added. (CMO Officer, 3SFBn/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

OWWA Caraga scholar graduates, now Licensed Professional Teachers

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 10 – Twelve graduate scholars under the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Dependents Scholarship Program (ODSP) of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) – Regional Welfare Office Caraga took their oath as Licensed Professional Teachers on February 2, 2020 at the Limketkai Center, Cagayan de Oro City. They were among the 83,152 passers of the September 2019 Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET).

The following scholars are: Dean Albert P. Manla (Surigao State College of Technology – Surigao City), Jenny E. Bacor (Surigao del Sur State University – Lianga campus), Jenny-Vi B. Logronio (Philippine Normal University Mindanao), Rojohn S. Logronio (Surigao del Sur State University – Cagwait campus), Ariane E. Liwat (Philippine Normal University Mindanao), Cris Queen N. Llano (Surigao State College of Technology – Surigao City), Jessamae B. Batolanon (Philippine Electronics and Communication Institute of Technology – Butuan City), Lovelle Joyce Gemma N. Mindoro (University of Southern Philippines – Bislig City Campus), Michelle M. Bago (Caraga State University), Queenie P. Olarte (Caraga State University), Ronald L. Bajenting (Philippine Normal University Mindanao) and Suzette T. Pacon (Bukidnon State University – Gingoog Campus).

With their achievement, OWWA RWO Caraga is proud and honored for what they have accomplished and let them be an inspiration to their fellow scholars who are still in the process of attaining their dreams and aspirations.

The OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (ODSP) of OWWA provides Php10,000 financial assistance per semester to qualified legal dependents of an active OWWA member-OFWs with a monthly salary of US$ 600.00 or below, regardless of job category. The applicant must be an incoming 2nd year to 5th year college student, intending to enroll or currently enrolled in any 4-5 year baccalaureate degree of their choice in any CHED accredited State Colleges or State Universities.

For the calendar year 2019, OWWA RWO Caraga has 99 new ODSP scholars aside from the 91 maintained or currently enrolled in the different state colleges or universities and a total of 58 graduates under the said scholarship program.

OWWA is not all about repatriation, welfare cases, reintegration, and the likes. The agency has also other programs that complement the need of its member-OFWs such as the education and training assistance. OWWA believes that by supporting the desire of the client OFWs to provide a better education for their kids, they are helping the migrant workers achieve their dreams for their children and families.

For more information about the scholarship program, interested applicants may visit OWWA RWO Caraga office at Nimfa Tiu, Bldg II, JP Rosales Ave., Butuan City or contact the Education and Training Unit at telephone number 815-1894 and hotline number 09508211225. (AJMH/OWWA RWO Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

15 NPA with 17 guns yielded in AgSur

MACO, Davao de Oro, Feb. 10 -- After around 15 days of focused military operations and dialogues, six regular New Peoples Army (NPA) members, and nine Militia ng Bayan (MB) members have surrendered on Monday, February 3, 2020 in La Paz town, Agusan del Sur.

The communist combatants submitted with them 17 high and low powered firearms, and other war materiels during their surrender to La Paz Mayor Michael Lim.

Also present during the surrender were 1001st Infantry Brigade Deputy Brigade Commander Colonel Glenn Jun Calambuhay, and 60th Infantry Battalion Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Ronaldo Sarmiento.

According to reports, one of the surrenderers approached the municipal and army officials during the Pulong-pulong at Barangay Kasapa 2, La Paz town at around 9:00 a.m., tipping them that he and his comrades wanted to lay down their arms.

Around an hour later, some 15 men came and surrendered, bringing with them 10 garand and homemade rifles, one shotgun, six pistols, and assorted magazines.

With such action, Brigade Commander Colonel John Oberio of the 1001st Infantry Brigade stressed that the group will be processed and eventually, receive the cash benefits under Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).

He said that skills enhancement and livelihood programs from government agencies will also be provided to the surrenderers in the implementation of Executive Order No 70 or utilizing the whole of government and whole of nation approach to end local communist armed conflict (ELCAC).

During the interview, the surrenderers bared that they are among the surviving elements of the last encounter in the area on January 26, 2020.

The military operations in the province of Agusan del Sur was triggered by an information from a concerned citizen last December 2019.

The information said that around 100 armed men started to converge at the hillside of the province, probably to celebrate the anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines on December 26.

However, the army was curtailed to pursue the communist group back then due to ceasefire implemented by the Republic of the Philippines last December 23, 2019 to January 7, 2020. It was just on the middle of January 2020 that the military started a focused military operation.

Brigade Commander Colonel Oberio appreciated the the bold actions of the residents, which contributed to the significant development of peace and security in the municipality.

“This turn of events is a clear manifestation that the residents are already tired and exhausted of the intimidation and coercion conducted by the communist group,” Col. Oberio said.

He added that the army troops are still pursuing the remaining elements of the communist group on the ground.

“The 1001st brigade continues to execute its mandate to uplift the peace and security situation in our area while remain relentless in our efforts to crash down this communist terrorist group up to its last member,” he said. (1001st Infantry Brigade/mlu/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Army troopers recover landmines in AgNor

By 1Lt. Miguel O. Borromeo 

CABADBARAN CITY, Agusan del Norte, Feb. 10 -- Troops of the 29th Infantry (MATATAG) Battalion (29IB), Philippine Army recovered three anti-personnel mines at Sitio Ancile in Brgy. Bangayan, Kitcharao, this province recently.

Based on the report, a concerned resident of the said area while going to his farm noticed a suspicious item on the ground which he verified to be a land mine. The said resident immediately went to the 29IB troopers stationed at Zapanta Patrol Base to report what he had discovered. The troops, after immediately validating the given information, proceeded to the area and found the said improvised anti-personnel mines with detonating cords weighing 33 pounds each which can inflict great casualties not only to the soldiers but also to civilians and properties near the area. The said recovered mines were brought to the 29IB headquarters in Brgy. Del Pilar, Cabadbaran City for safekeeping and proper disposition.

It can be recalled that last January 16, 2020, in the same barangay and municipality, the 29IB troopers encountered the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) which resulted in the recovery of anti-personnel mines and other valuable war materials. 

A certain Datu Lando, a Mamanwa tribal leader, said that they were already tired with the series of conflicts in their area. “Gikapoy nami makadungog ug makakita’g gubat ug panagbangi sa among lugar. Ang gusto lang namo malinawong kinabuhi dinhing dapita, mao ng naglaum ko nga dili na mubalik ang teroristang NPA ug mugubot sa pa amo. Wala silay lugar dinhing dapita (We are tired already of hearing and seeing wars and conflicts in our area. What we only want is to have a peaceful life here, so I hope those CNTs never come back and trouble us anymore. They have no place here)," he said.

According to Lt. Col. Isagani O. Criste, Commanding Officer of 29IB, the CNTs proved by their actions that they truly do not have any respect for human rights. "They don’t care about who might be affected by their destructive landmines as long as they could do their wicked plans,” he said.

“I am grateful to the concerned resident who provided us valid information without which, great damage would surely have been inflicted in the area,” Criste added. (CMO Officer, 29IB, PA/PIA Agusan del Norte)

First TF-ELCAC facility in Caraga inaugurated in Bayugan City

By 1Lt. Krisjuper Andreo Punsalan

BAYUGAN CITY, Agusan del Sur, Feb. 10 – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Assistant Secretary for Security Operations Alexander L. Macario, together with Bayugan City Mayor Kirk A. Asis led the inauguration and blessing of the Kalinaw Building held on February 6, 2019 at the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion headquarters in Barangay Noli, this city.

The Kalinaw Buidling is the first inter-agency facility to support the initiatives of the whole-of-nation approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC), as it will house the conduct of deradicalization and reintegration programs for Former Rebels (FRs) in the Caraga region.

“Tama na, sobra na. (We had enough, this is too much.) We need to end insurgency, especially here in Bayugan City. Before the deployment of the 3rd Special “Arrowhead” Battalion in our city, we ranked 113th among the competitive cities in the Philippines.

 After the conduct of Bayanihan Team Activity (BTA) and Community Support Program (CSP) from 2016-2018 by the Special Forces, our ranking significantly increased making us number 12 as of this date. We are grateful for our partnership with the 3rd SF Battalion to bring the basic and social services to the farthest barangays, as we continue to address the root causes of insurgency. That is why, we supported and approved this project,” said Mayor Asis.

“This, I think, is the first of its kind, in the Philippines and I will bring this to the attention of the National Task Force-ELCAC so that they can challenge the local chief executives and local government units (LGUs) nationwide to do the same,“ underscored Asec. Macario.

“Kung gugustuhin ng LGU na tapusin ang insurgency, magagawa ito. Political will talaga and commitment ang kailangan para umunlad pa lalo ang bawat lugar sa Pilipinas. (Should the LGU wants to end the insurgency, it is possible and doable. With great political will and sincere commitment, every region in the country will progress). I commend the City of Bayugan for this peace and development project, which was borne out of the collective ideas of the members of the Bayugan City Peace and Order Council, the Sangguniang Bayan Members and the Mayor,” Macario added.

The Kalinaw Building is a fully furnished three-storey facility that also aims to promote inter-agency collaborations to produce developmental and synergistic ideas that can greatly contribute in building lasting and genuine peace not only in Bayugan City but in the whole Caraga region.  

This will also be an instrument of good governance as this will house the conduct of various stakeholders’ capability and capacity building through training and education such as the Retooled Community Support Program orientation to further implement the Executive Order (EO) 70 in the city.

Also present during the said activity included BGen. Lincoln Francisco T. Tagle, Special Forces Regiment (Airborne) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; 402nd Infantry Brigade Commander BGen. Maurito L. Licudine; 401st Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Allan D. Hambala; 3SFBn Commanding Officer LTC Joey B. Baybayan; Bayugan City officials and stakeholders; and the officers, men and women of the 3SFBn. (CMO officer, 3SFBn/ PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Magandang relasyon, epektibong komunikasyon kasama ang media sa mga rehiyon, pinagtibay ng gobyerno

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Pebrero 10 (PIA) - Sa layong mas mapagtibay pa ang epektibong komunikasyon ng media practitioners at ng gobyerno, pinaigting ngayon ng Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) ang dayalogo at palitan ng impormasyon ang dalawang sektor.

Ayon kay PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar, mahalaga ang tungkulin ng media lalo na sa pagsugpo ng pagkalat ng fake news sa ibat-ibang platforms.

“Malaki ang kontribusyon ng media sa pagpapaabot ng impormasyon ukol sa mga nangyayari sa lipunan sa bawat mamamayan at sa mga ginagawang hakbang ng gobyerno upang masolusyunan ang mga issue at concern ng mga sektor,” banggit ni Andanar.

Dagdag pa ng opisyal, patuloy din ang pagpapaunlad ng administrasyon Duterte sa mga government broadcast stations sa pamamagitan ng pagbigay ng mga makabagong kagamitan upang mas mapalawak pa nito ang paghahatid balita sa mga komunidad.

Laking pasasalamat ni Gregorio Tataro, Jr., station manager ng Radyo Pilipinas sa Tandag City kay Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte dahil sa matagal na panahon, ngayon lang sila napagtuonan ng pansin at nabigyan ng mga makabagong kagamitan.

“Sa tulong na ito ni Secretary Andanar, hindi lang naka-boost ng morale namin kundi nagpakita talaga siya ng concern sa mga stations sa ilalim ng Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS). Gusto rin naming ipaabot ang aming pasasalamat kay Pangulong Duterte sa patuloy na suporta at pagbigay-tugon sa pangangailangan ng mga broadcast stations,” ani ni Tataro.

Samantala, tinipon naman ni Secretary Andanar ang mga media practitioners sa Tandag City at Butuan City sa rehiyon ng Caraga at ibinahagi sa kanila ang Duterte Legacy ng administrasyon.

“Ang Duterte Legacy ay isang communications campaign na layong maipaalam sa publiko ang mga legacy o mga nagawa ng presidente simula nang siya’y maupo sa pwesto noong 2016. Importanteng malaman ito ng publiko dahil marami pa ang hindi nakakaalam sa mga naitatag na polisiya ng presidente,” sabi ni Andanar.

Buo naman ang suporta ng mga media at nag-commit na tutulong sa pagpapalaganap ng tama, naaayon, at napapanahon balita sa rehiyon. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)