(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Friday, 28 February, 2020) Caraga and Davao Region will experienced cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to Easterlies. Rest of Mindanao will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to Localized Thunderstorms. Moderate to strong winds from the Northeast and the coastal waters will be moderate to rough. PAGASA Mindanao/jaf

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Andanar allays public’s fear of COVID-19

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 13 (PIA) -- Amid the threat of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Philippines’ top communications officer Secretary Martin Andanar appealed to the public not to panic and overreact but to remain calm, vigilant, and maintain taking preventive measures to protect oneself from the strain of the virus.

During his recent visit in Caraga region, Andanar also urged the Caraganons, especially the netizens and youths to be responsible sharers and users of information and to avoid spreading unverified information on COVID-19.

“The virus can affect anyone regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender or age. Stop blaming anyone or any country for the spread of the virus. Think and discern everything that you have read or heard. Efforts were made by the PCOO to avert the proliferation of fake news and updates about the COVID-19,” said Andanar.

This he said, referring also to the PCOO’s effort of promoting the students’ involvement to curb the distribution of wrong information about the COVID-19 though the Youth for Truth program under the Dismiss Disinformation campaign of the government in which the PCOO has been working on at the same time.

“The youths are the perfect age group capable of fighting the fake news on COVID-19 because they are identified to be digital natives who are active and exposed to social media,” said Andanar.

Moreover, Andanar strongly discouraged everyone to engage in xenophobic behaviors and discrimination, saying that Filipinos should continue to be level-headed and compassionate.

“Rest assured that the government is doing its best to protect the health and welfare of the Filipinos. For now, Filipinos from China, Hongkong or Macao are given the chance to come back to our country, provided that they would strictly follow the imposed rules for quarantine. But those who wanted to go back to the countries affected by the virus are prohibited to travel until further notice,” Andanar said.

Meanwhile, the local government of Tandag, Butuan and Surigao cities, together with the Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte provinces in Caraga region, have already issued an executive order directing the creation of the response team and formulation of guidelines to monitor, contain, and prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

“The LGUs have prioritized the issuance of the executive order as a proactive action to strictly implement the protocols and to prevent the entry of the COVID-19 in our region. We also wanted to focus our attention and preparation for such situation,” said Agusan del Norte governor Dale Corvera.

By citing the necessary preparations, the Agusan del Norte Provincial Hospital and Butuan City Medical Center were prompt with their readiness to accommodate patients where COVID-19 infection is yet to be confirmed.

According to Dr. Odelio Ferrer, provincial health officer of Agusan del Norte, the government-run hospital has already designated a holding area and an isolation room intended for COVID-19 suspected cases, if there is any.

“It’s much better that we follow the universal precautionary measures such as the regular washing of hands and use of face mask. We are also ready to assist patients when needed to be referred to the Caraga Regional Hospital with Level II facility for COVID-19 cases,” said Ferrer.

With the earlier declaration of the nCoV, now called COVID-19, outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern, Andanar guaranteed that the PCOO and its attached agencies are intensifying their efforts in the delivery of timely, accurate and reliable information; public service reminders and news about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andanar said the public can also get updates from the Department of Health’s (DOH’s) official webpage (www.doh.gov.ph/2019-ncov/updates) dedicated to COVID-19. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)

Army participates in clean-up drive, tree planting in AgSur

By Cpt. Edwin Leo J. Francisco

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Feb. 12 - The Charlie (Cyborg) Company of 75th Infantry “Marauder” Battalion has actively participated in the Simultaneous River Clean-Up/River for Life Program and Tree Planting Activity held on February 7, 2020 in Barangay Consuelo, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur.

The activity started with a Zumba exercise, solidarity walk, and followed by the river clean-up and tree planting.

This was joined by the local government unit headed by municipal administrator Marvin B. Mique; Department of Environment and Natural Resources - City Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR-CENRO) of Bunawan headed by forester Jerome H. Albia; Municipal Police Station headed by PCpt. Joburt Agpaoa; Alpha Phi Omega International (Philippines), Incorporated; Monalisa Fraternity and Sorority; PHILSAGA Mining Corporation; Agusan del Sur State College of Agriculture and Technology (ASSCAT); MENRO of Trento; MENRO of Sta. Josefa; MENRO of Bunawan; Barangay Council of Brgy. Consuelo; and personnel of Charlie Company, 75IB led by 1Lt. Begie P De Jesus, company commander and LTC Warren C Munda, commanding officer of 75IB.

The various participating agencies have willfully took their part in the commitment towards the preservation and environmental protection as the activity aims to fight against climate change; helping the community to protect and conserve the Coo creek, and all the natural resources within the area.

Moreover, they collected 74.7 kilos of assorted plastic garbage and planted 300 molave seedlings.

Meanwhile, punong barangay Gregorio B. Maloloy-on, Sr. of  Consuelo, expressed his appreciation to those who participated in the activity and emphasized the importance of preserving the nature that will benefit the next generations. (CMO officer, 75IB/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Start anew at any given moment

Sharon Tecson Tumbaga – a former Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) for five years in Jeddah, mother to a charming daughter, and a loving wife to Felix B. Tumbaga, who was also a former OFW in the same country for nine years, was one of the ‘Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay!’ Program beneficiaries back in 2017.

Due to an unexpected ill-fated event in her workplace, working as a ward assistant in a hospital with her husband was both a blessing and a nightmare for the couple. When her contract got terminated, she could only wish to go back home as soon as possible; then later on, her husband followed suit. Few months later since her arrival in the Philippines, she was informed about the ‘Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay’ program of OWWA.

Having all the documentary requirements needed to qualify as a beneficiary, she decided to apply in the said program for an additional capital to continue the business operation of her Sari-Sari Store at their residential home in Bading, Butuan City, which has been existing since her childhood years. It was a sigh of relief when she finally got the cash assistance in the amount of P20,000 as a fund to start her store in full-packed operation once again.

Two years later, she ventured to a wholesale and retail business of beverage products with the support of her husband. The couple works hand in hand in managing their second venture. The success of her business venture relies on her firm policy when it comes to managing her Sari-Sari Store; the ‘Bawal ang utang’. She was firm of her policy and strictly implements it whenever a customer attempts to buy in credit at her store.


“Gamay ra baya atung ginansya aning tindahan. Kung magpa-utang ko sa tindahan wala nakoy makompra, dili nako ma-roll ang kita sa tindahan. Ma close gyud ang negosyo kung mauhon. (I only get a small portion of profit from selling goods through my store.

 If I tolerated the customers to buy in credit, I wouldn’t be able to purchase new goods to sell, rolling out the profit would be close to impossible. Thus, the business would lead to total closure),” Sharon stated in an interview.

Along with her skills in successfully managing her business undertakings, she is also grateful for the cash assistance that she received from OWWA under the ‘Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay’ program. It paved the way for her to start anew in the country and redeem herself from the distressed situation she had experienced as an OFW. (OWWA-RWO 13/PIA-Caraga)


Pangamba ng publiko kontra COVID-19 pinawi ni PCOO Sec. Andanar

By Venus L. Garcia

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Enero 13 (PIA) -- Sa gitna ng banta ng coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), nagpaalala si Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar sa publiko na huwag mag panic ngunit patuloy na maging alerto at panatilihin ang malinis at malusog na pangangatawan. 

Sa kanyang pag-ikot sa mga probinsiya sa rehiyon ng Caraga, hinikayat rin niya ang Caraganons partikular ang netizens at kabataan na maging responsable sa pagpo-post sa social media ukol sa COVID-19.

“Ang virus ay walang pinipiling nationality. Kaya huwag tayong manisi kanino man at itigil ang pagkalat ng maling impormasyon. Para maiwasan ang fake news, kaakibat natin ang grupo ng Youth for Truth kung saan nagtuturo ng media literacy. Ang mga kabataan ay perfect na edad para labanan ang fake news dahil sila ay mga digital natives at aktibo sa social media,” sabi ni Andanar.

Nakiusap din si Andanar sa publiko na isantabi ang diskriminasyon. Sa halip ay laliman pa ang pang-unawa at mag bayanihan.

“Ito pong ginagawa ng ating gobyerno ay para sa kapakanan ng bawat Pilipino. Sa ngayon ay pinapayagan namang makapasok ang mga Pilipinong gustong umuwi sa Pilipinas galing China, Hogkong at Macao subalit yung gustong bumalik sa China ay ipinagbabawal ng gobyerno until further notice. Isasailalim sila sa quarantine procedure dahil kinakailangan nating i-contain and virus para hindi umakyat sa lebel na mitigation,” sabi ni Andanar.

Samantala, una ng nagpalabas ang mga lokal na pamahalaan ng lungsod ng Tandag, Butuan at Surigao at probinsya ng Agusan del Norte sa Caraga region ng kautusan na naglalayon bumuo ng COVID-19 response team at lumikha  ng guidelines para i-monitor, contain, kontrol at pigilan ang pagkalat ng COVID-19.

“Siniguro naming mag-isssue ng executive order bilang proactive measure upang striktong maipatupad ang protocol para maiwasan ang pagpasok ng virus sa rehiyon. Nais din natin na mapagtuonan pa lalo ng pansin at preparasyon ang sitwasyon,” sabi ni Agusan del Norte Gov. Dale Corvera.

Samantala, nakahanda na rin ang Agusan del Norte Provincial Hospital at Butuan City Medical Center para i-accommodate ang anumang kaso na may kinalaman sa COVID-19.

Ayon kay Dr. Odelio Ferrer, provincial health officer ng Agusan del Norte, inayos na nila ang pasilidad. May nakatalaga na rin anyang holding area at isolation room sa ospital na maaring kinakailanganin.

“Maging mahinahon lamang tayo at iwasang mag panic. Mas maigi na sundin natin ang universal precautionary measures gaya ng madalas na paghugas ng kamay; paggamit ng face mask; at pag-iwas sa mga mataong lugar. Nandiyan rin ang Caraga Regional Hospital na may level II facility para sa COVID-19 cases,” sabi ni Ferrer.

Ayon kay Andanar, sa pagdeklara sa COVID-19 o naunang kilala na 2019-nCoV na public health emergency, pinalakas pang lalo ng PCOO at  attached agencies ang pagbabahagi ng public service reminders, news at updates tungkol sa COVID-19.

May nakatalaga ring official webpage ang Department of Health (www.doh.gov.ph/2019-ncov/updates) para sa pagbibigay ng komprehensibong update ukol sa COVID-19. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


Anti-truancy gimando sa RTR


By Shiene V. Deligero

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 13 -- Gimando na karon sa lungsod sa Remedios T. Romualdez kun RTR probinsya sa Agusan del Norte human gi-deklarang balido sa Sangguniang Panlalawigan ang Municipal Ordinance No. 332-2019 sa gipahigayong 28th regular sesyon kaniadtong Enero 27, 2020.

Unod sa maong ordinansa mao ang pagmando sa Anti-truancy o kontra- bulakboleros diin kini sila ang mga estudyante sa elementarya ug sekondarya nga naka-enrol sa publiko ug pribado nga mga eskwelahan sa munisipyo sa RTR nga wala sa eskwelahan o bisan unsang kalihokan sa eskwelahan nga walay igong hinungdan.

Ang maong ordinansa gipangamahanan ni Sangguniang Bayan Member Nilo T. Fediles nga nagtumong sa pagpanalipod sa interes sa mga estudyante, tabangan ang mga estudyante nga mahimong mas responsable ug produktibo pinaagi sa pagtambong kanunay sa mga klase ug ug mga kalihokan sa eskwelahan pugngan sila nga mag standby gawas sa eskwelahan diin maoy hinungdan nga sila madala sa mga krimen sa kadalanan ug uban pang mga matang sa katalagman, ipaniguro sa mga ginikanan sa mga estudyante nga ang ilang mga anak luwas sa maong tulunghaan, pagkontrola ug pagpugong sa mga bata sa paghimo og daotan.

Ubos usab sa maong ordinansa adunay ipahamtang nga mga silot alang sa mga truant, mga establisemento sa komersyo, mga ginikanan o guardians nga nakalapas sa maong gisaad nga mga probisyon.

Ang pag-apruba giduso pinaagi ni Board Member Rodulfo A. Pitogo, tsirman sa Committee on education and culture. (LGU Agusan del Norte/PIA Agusan del Norte)