(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Monday, 05 June 2023) Southwest Monsoon affecting the western section of Central and Southern Luzon. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due Southwest Monsoon. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming Southwest to West will prevail with Slight to Moderate seas (1.0 to 2.1 meters).

Monday, March 23, 2020

Local leaders urge public cooperation on localized community quarantine

By Nora C. Lanuza

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 23 (PIA) -- Following reports that there are residents of Butuan City and Agusan del Norte who failed to follow measures and protocols set by the local leaders in the implementation of a community quarantine, Governor Dale B. Corvera of the province of Agusan del Norte reiterated his call to Agusanons to please stay at home and follow the measures to avoid the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the province.

Governor Corvera said he acknowledged the very critical role of the front liners against the virus. He said, the strict implementation of Executive Order No. 18, its measures and protocols being set, is for the betterment of every Agusanon.

"The front liners are putting their lives at risk to protect the entry of the virus to our province, let us not make their sacrifices put into useless. We are asking for your cooperation and please stay at your home while the order is still being enforced,” he added.

Gov. Corvera said that if the situation will worsen, they are also forced to put the province into an enhanced community quarantine like what happened in Luzon, "so now that we can still control of the situation, avoid going out from your respective homes,” said Corvera.

Governor Corvera also urged the public to spare time to pray, because this is the most effective weapon to combat the virus.

Meanwhile, Butuan City Mayor Ronnie Vicente Lagnada also called on Butuanons to cooperate and be vigilant, he said that even if he is still in home quarantine, the government is still on top of the situation. The city task force with the help of both the public and private sectors is doing its best to contain the spread of the virus.

Violators on the measures and protocols set on the issued executive order will be penalized and be given appropriate actions, he said.

The local official also encouraged the public utility operators and drivers not to increase fare to help residents cope with the situation, especially that other companies have closed their establishments to protect their employees from the virus.

Earlier, the Butuan City law enforcement team apprehended two drivers who were not observing social distancing in their multicabs by exceeding eight passengers. The violators were escorted to the police station and the vehicles were sent to the local traffic and management office for processing of affidavit of undertaking.

As of this writing, the province of Agusan del Norte and Butuan City are still free from COVID-19. (NCLM/PIA Caraga)

AgSur appeals to media, locals to verify COVID-19 info before sharing

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, March 23 (PIA) -- As the need of timely, accurate and reliable information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) is vital in this crisis situation, the Provincial Public Information Office (PPIO) in Agusan del Sur has called on the public particularly the media from the different towns to only tell and share verified and validated information from legitimate sources.

Alfredo Plaza, Jr., PPIO chief, emphasized that this should be the primary concern of the media, so people remained well-informed despite the localized community quarantine implemented in the entire province.

“All should be responsible in making sure that the information they have gathered are verified and validated before sharing it with others in various platforms. This is to prevent people from confusion and make them panic over baseless information,” said Plaza.

Plaza further reminded all that any individual who will be caught creating fake news and sharing it online will be charged for violating the Anti-Cyber Crime Act, wherein responsible person/s shall be put to prison and shall pay the corresponding penalty.

“Remember, this is not about who gets the news first and be on the spotlight, but it’s about ensuring that everyone around us is able to get the right information and let them be aware of the things to do and what to avoid for them to be spared from the spread of the harmful COVID-19,” Plaza added.

Meanwhile, Plaza further bared that those media personalities, who are working within the province of Agusan del Sur and are gathering data in the different municipalities for their reports, are urged to have with them their ID and should undergo the screening process at the checkpoints, as the community quarantine is strictly implemented in the entire province.

“No one is exempted to undergo the health protocol,” he said. (JPG/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

AgNor local officials seek support from national gov’t

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, March 23 (PIA) - Amid the outbreak and health threat brought by the coronavirus or COVID-19 in the country, the local officials of Agusan del Norte brought up their concerns and asked the national government to provide testing kits for the Caraga region.

They also seek the support for the provision of personal protective equipment for the frontliners.

According to Governor Dale Corvera, despite being a COVID-free region, it has recorded more than 3,800 persons under monitoring (PUMs) while 13 are patients under investigation (PUIs).

“If only we have readily available testing kits in the region, we would easily know who are those affected and who are not based on the results. Our frontliners also need to have the personal protective equipment that they could use while they handle the PUIs in the health facility,” said Corvera.    

Meanwhile, the City Tourism of Butuan has also asked assistance from the national government to help in addressing the concern of the tourists who were stranded due to the ongoing implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon and localized community quarantine in the different regions.

Butuan City Tourism Officer Evangeline Peña-Dominese asked for special trips for the return of the tourists in their respective places, as well as those Butuanons and Caraganons who were stranded in other parts of the country.

“For now, we only have one concern in the tourism sector, and that is to ask for help from the national government that if possible they could provide a special trip/s for the tourists who were stranded and let them go back to their homes. Same with those Caraganons who were also stranded in other areas,” Dominese cited.

The government called on the public to obey and follow the health protocols imposed by the authorities in the designated checkpoints, including the curfew hours and other rules and regulations in order to continuously prevent the spread of the said virus.

Everyone is also reminded of the regular washing of hands, the use of alcohol or sanitizers, and is encouraged to stay at home. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

AgSur guv urges public to cooperate with authorities in implementing precautionary measures

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, March 23 (PIA) -- With the ongoing implementation of the community quarantine in the entire province of Agusan del Sur, Governor Santiago Cane, Jr. called on the locals to obey and follow the rules and regulations imposed by the authorities from the Department of Health (DOH), Provincial/Municipal/City/Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) in fighting against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease.

"We should follow orders from the officials in the barangay/city/municipality/province, as well as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) for us to ensure that nobody will be affected by the said virus," Gov. Cane, said.

The barangay officials are also making the move to properly inform their constituents on the things to do in order to continuously prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease. Hotline and emergency numbers are posted in every barangay so people could immediately report any related incident.

The governor, who leads the Agusan del Sur Task Force COVID-19, is also visiting the designated checkpoint in the province to personally check and assess whether the health protocols are continuously followed/complied. This is to ensure the implementation of the precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the said virus while the province is under community quarantine.

Meanwhile, despite being a COVID-Free province and region, for now, Gov. Cane urged everyone not to be complacent, instead, always follow and apply the precautionary measures and health protocol, maintain proper hygiene, social distancing, and to stay at home, and to ensure that said disease would not affect more people and increase the number of persons under monitoring (PUMs) and patients under investigation (PUIs).

"Going outside your houses and roaming elsewhere would only give the virus the chance to infect more people without you knowing you have it already. Don't be a virus carrier. Stay home, stay clean, and be safe," said Cane. (JPG/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Joint task force to combat COVID-19 launched in SurSur

By Cpt. Jonald D Romorosa

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Mar. 23 -- Concerned law enforcement agencies have formally launched the Provincial Joint Task Force Corona Virus Surigao del Sur Shield (PJTF CV SDS Shield) on Saturday, March 21, 2020, held at the Surigao del Sur Police Provincial Office, Camp Vicente Pimentel Sr., Brgy. Telaje, this city.
The said task force was organized to oversee and support the implementation of the directives of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID). Its mission is to maintain the peace and order, and enforcement of laws to prevent and contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by establishing quarantine control points to seal-off the five main entrance and exit points in the province of Surigao del Sur.

The event was spearheaded by Police Provincial Office chief PCol. James Goforth, as the designated commander of the task force, along with 36th Infantry Battalion (36IB) Commander Lt. Colonel Jezreel Diagmel, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and chiefs of police of the 17 municipalities, and two cities of the province.

The activity was highlighted by the signing of the PNP-AFP-PCG-BFP Joint implementing directive Nr. 1-2020 in support of IATF-MEID. 

In his statement, Lt. Col. Diagmel lauded the bold move of the PNP Surigao del Sur for activating and organizing the Joint Task Force in the province. 

“We in the Philippine Army, particularly the 36IB, will fully support the implementation of PJTF CV SDS Shield. We will ensure that the peace and order will be fully implemented as we combat this virulent disease,” Diagmel said. He also urged every Surigaonon to cooperate and bear with the security forces in these trying times.

The joint task force has established five main quarantine control points to seal-off the entrance and exit points in the following areas: Barangay Adlay, Carrascal via Claver, Surigao del Norte; Barangay Payasan, Lianga via Los Arcos, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur; Sitio Cutlog, Barangay Bahi, Barobo via San Francisco, Agusan del Sur; Barangay San Jose, Bislig City via Trento, Agusan del Sur; and Sitio Lomar, Barangay Sabang, Lingig via Boston, Davao Oriental. (CMO Officer, 36IB/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

Bayugan City households receive quarantine pass

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, March 23 (PIA) -- As the entire province of Agusan del Sur implements the community quarantine as part of the provincial government’s precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the city government of Bayugan has already distributed the quarantine pass to every household.

The city government wanted to limit the movement of the local residents for less exposure outside their homes and prevent the chance of spreading the disease.

It can be recalled that Bayugan City Mayor Kirk Asis has issued the Executive Order No. 65, series of 2020, wherein he declared the entire city under general community quarantine.

“While Bayugan City remains free of positive COVID-19 case, there are limited testing kits available and it takes weeks to get the results back, thus, an urgent need for a 'Mandatory Self-Isolation for All' because everyone is a suspect now carrying the coronavirus in this life-and-death situation,” bared Asis.

Just recently, Mayor Asis also announced that the LGU has issued a quarantine pass allowing individuals to go out of their houses to buy the basic commodities and other essentials, as well as, for those employees in public and private entities.

“Along with the pass, individuals should also present their ID for verification. Without the pass, anyone will not be allowed to go out from their homes and roam elsewhere without official business,” said Asis.

Mayor Asis added that the quarantine pass, which the city government will be providing to every household shall not be reproduced, otherwise, those who will be caught violating will be put to prison. He further bared that the pass shall only be produced by the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) office and City Planning Office. The pass is also non-transferable with other users.

Mayor Asis also urged the uniform personnel and quarantine officers, persons in authority and agents of persons in authority both in the city and barangay levels to be present at border points and also oversee the movement of the people in internet shops/cafes, basketball courts and other recreational areas.

He also urged the concerned personnel to monitor the prices in grocery stores, sari-sari stores, 24-hours convenience stores, supermarkets, fast food restaurants, pharmacies, and public markets, and other essential business establishments.

Meanwhile, other municipalities like Sibagat has also released and distributed the quarantine pass to the barangays. (JPG/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Buhi sa buli: Badjaos weaving positivity

Olivia straightens up as she was about to fold the last strip of the dried buli leaf to cap off her day.

Olivia Jawatan, 49 years old, a mother of three, works hard to earn for her family’s needs. For a Badjao like her, it is unlikely that she depends on a sustainable job, or a livelihood. But after enjoying the benefits of one of the government’s programs, she is able to enjoy a livelihood she has learned to love.

The Badjao, like many of the country’s indigenous peoples, are a vulnerable tribe. Forced resettlements, homelessness, and extreme poverty remain the constant challenges to their living. These push them to take the risky path of begging on the streets or diving for coins thrown to them at the pier, to earn a living.

Widely known as “sea gypsies” because they live and fish in coastal areas, they are often beyond the reach of government assistance due to their nomadic existence. Yet, a barangay in Surigao City proves this untrue.

Out of their shells

Canlanipa is one of the 54 barangays in the capital of Surigao del Norte. In its barangay’s coastal areas, live an estimated 250 Badjao households. Most of these households have no source of living. Others own small fishing boats, but it was unable to sustain their daily needs. Fortunately, a survey was done in 2009 and Badjao families of Canlanipa were assessed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

From the surveyed families, 41 households qualified for DSWD’s new program, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) – the country’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program. 28 families qualified for the regular UCT, while 13 families were qualified for the Modified CCT.

It was a challenge for the qualified families. The program had different conditions that the members would comply with to receive their grants. In the early part of the program’s implementation, they had a hard time complying with the conditions. Olivia shares how hard it is for a Badjao parent like her to understand everything about the conditions of the program.

“Kasagaran sa amo diri dili makabayo mubasa o musuyat. Dako gajud na tabang an amo tribal leader sa pagproseso sa mga rekisitos na kinahanglanon nan 4Ps (Most of us here are illiterate. Our tribal leader is really of great help to us in processing the requirements needed for the Program),” Olivia said.

Badjaos, like other IP groups, depend on their tribal leaders. Fortunately, one of their more dependable and strong-willed leaders, Dahila Araman, was one of the beneficiaries of the program.
She was chosen as one of the program’s parent-leaders in their barangay because of her inherent virtues, wisdom, and charisma. Prior to being a parent-leader, she has served her community for over 34 years, ensuring peace and order among tribal members. She rendered service with her compassion, helping the community whenever there are problems that need to be addressed at all times.

Though language barrier is an issue, Dahila sees to it that her members are in compliance with the conditions of 4Ps such as keeping their children in school, maintaining health check-ups, and attending the monthly Family Development Sessions (FDS). During these times, she serves as the translator of their discussions, should her members need translating about the contents of the modules they are using. It is also a breather for their City Link assigned to have Dahila as the parent leader since she can easily provide her service to all, ensuring that no Badjao is left out.

Change of living

“Pagmulaong gani na Badjao, an huna-huna dajon nan mga tawo manlimosay kami. Pero diri sa amo barangay, taghinay-hinajan na namo pagbag-o an amo panginabuhi tungod sa amo mga nakat-unan sa FDS (When you say Badjao, the people will automatically think that we are beggars. But here in our barangay, we are slowly changing our way of life, especially in terms of our livelihood – and this is because of what we learned during our FDS),” Dahila said, as she explained the importance of attending the monthly FDS.

In Chapter 13 of the Program’s operations manual, the grantees have the most crucial role in achieving transformation and development of the family thus, “it designed the FDS to have a venue for household grantees to enhance and acquire new skills and knowledge in responding to their roles.” Moreover, the second module (Responsible Parenthood), presents a topic on Family Resource Management, in which the grantees are taught of income-generating strategies and marketing procedures. One of these is buli weaving.

“Gikan ini sa dahon sa buli, amo dajon ibuyad sa suga. Pagmamaya na, amo na dajon sugdan an paghimo sa banig. Tungod kay waya may amo hamok na materyales, amo ra kinamuton (These are from the strands of buli/buri palm. When it dries, we start the weaving process. Since we do not have equipment, we manually weave these mats),” Olivia shared.

Buri (Corypha Elata), is a large fan palm commonly found in tropical countries. Its leaves are sliced into strips, sun dried and dyed.

An arduous and very tedious process, buli weaving requires hard work, determination and patience from the Badjao women. Despite its being still a callow enterprise, it has the potential of becoming sustainable in the long run as it is linked to economic opportunities, a characteristic that, for Paterna M. Ruiz, Undersecretary of the Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), emphasized as vital to the alleviation of poverty, even in small ways.

Financial literacy

Data presented by NAPC showed that 21.9 million or 21.6 percent of Filipinos are income poor. Under the Department’s Major Thrusts in line with the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, it seeks to lay down foundation for inclusive growth, a high-trust and resilient society, and a globally-competitive knowledge economy.

“Dako an amo pagpasalamat sa DSWD-4Ps kay kuman naanam-anam na pagkakita sa mga tawo na dili kami taman ra sa pagpangajo sa kadayanan sa Surigao, kon dili naningkamot sab kami para mulambo sa kinabuhi (We owe our big thanks to DSWD-4Ps because now the people can slowly see that we are not just beggars on the streets of Surigao, but we are working hard to have a good life),” Dahil said.

Olivia and Dahila are just two of the Badjao residents in Surigao enjoying the benefits of the Pantawid Pamilya Program. With their relentless pursuit to provide for their families, and change the image of the Badjao’s, they strive to be productive citizens by putting into action what they learned from the program.

Without a doubt, their financial literacy has reflected the efforts of the Department in attaining its service brand – DSWD May Malasakit, and for the Badjao community, this is just the start. (Social Marketing Section/DSWD Field Office Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

Curfew hour sa Agusan del Norte hugot nga ipatuman

By Jessica O. Mellejor

DAKBAYAN SA BUTUAN, Marso 23 -- Hugot nga ipatuman sa lokal nga pangamhanan sa Agusan del Norte ang bag-ohay pa lamang naaprubahan nga Provincial Ordinance No. 548-2020, "An Ordinance Imposing Curfew Hours in the province of Agusan del Norte from 10:00 o’clock in the evening to 5:00 o’clock the following morning for adults and 8:00 o’clock in the evening to 5:00 o’clock the following morning for minors due to covid-19 and other high-risk and infectious diseases, for public safety and security, and providing penalties thereof."

Kini gimando ubos sa Provincial Ordinance No. 548-2020, nga gipanginahanan ni Provincial Board Member Elizabeth Marie R. Calo, nga gipasa ug gi-aprobahan sa Sangguniang Panlalawigan sa Agusan del Norte atol sa ilang ika 5th Special Sesyon niadtong Marso 17, 2020.

Basi usab kini sa Proklamasyon No. 922 nga gi-isyu ni Presidente Rodrigo R. Duterte, gideklara nga usa ka State of Public Health Emergency sa tibouk Pilipinas.

Ubos sa Seksyon 4 sa maong ordinansa panahon sa mga oras sa curfew, mga hamtong ug mga menor de edad dili tugutan nga naa sa kadalanan, komersyal nga establisemento, sentro sa kalingawan, pampublikong mga parke, sementeryo, o bisan unsang ubang mga lugar sa gawas sa kasilinganan gawas kung gihatag sa ilalum sa Seksyon 6 sa kini nga ordinansa.

Mao kini ang ipasilot sa kadtong nakalapas sa maong ordinansa: Kung ang nakasala usa ka menor de edad, ang silot kinahanglan maglangkob sa usa ka pagbadlong sa awtorisado nga opisyal sa barangay; ug Kung ang nakasala dese otso (18) ka tuig pataas (hingkod), ang nakasala kinahanglan pahimangno nga mobalik sa iyang kaugalingon nga pinuy-anan, kung adunay pagbatok, ang nakasala kinahanglan nga dad-on pagbalik sa iyang puy-anan.

Hugtanon kining ipatuman ni Gobernador Dale B. Corvera batok sa corona virus. (LGU Agusan del Norte/PIA Agusan del Norte)