(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.

Friday, April 3, 2020

PCOO, AgNorte guv dispel fake news on COVID-19

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 3 (PIA) -- Agusan del Norte Governor Dale B. Corvera with Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar dispelled fake news amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

During the Laging Handa Network Briefing on April 2, Governor Corvera clarified that the Malasakit Center in Butuan City was not used as a storage facility for the donated medical equipment donated for hospitals and frontline workers. This is in response to the circulating news that the Malasakit Centers, particularly in Metro Manila, are taking in donations from private donors and handing them out to its supposed beneficiaries with Senator Christopher “Bong” Go’s name plastered on the items.

“The Malasakit Center is a one-stop-shop for indigent citizens who wish to avail medical services without compromising their budgets and is not for such purposes,” Sec. Andanar affirmed.

Further, the country’s top communications officer elucidated that anyone who wishes to contribute through donations can give it directly to its chosen beneficiaries. This, in turn, invalidates the viral posts pertaining to the ransacking done to certain hospitals in Metro Manila due to the regulations imposed by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).

“Our function is to bridge the donors and frontline agencies and workers and address the prevalence of shortage of needed medical supplies during this pandemic,” he added.

The Caraga Regional Task Force on COVID-19 is actively combating the spread of fake news on COVID-19 in the region.

RMN-DXBC Radio Anchor and Station Manager Ramil Bangues said that the Cybercrime Unit of the police force in Caraga is constantly monitoring different social media pages to immediately provide appropriate interventions on the matter.

Such diligence resulted in the apprehension of a pastor in the province of Agusan del Sur on March 20, after spreading false information in a Facebook post that some patients of the said disease were living in two separate towns in the province.

Governor Corvera also views the importance of the accessibility of the communication lines between the national and local governments in effectively carrying out the daily duties of the government.

He cited the Laging Handa Network Briefing program as manifestations of accessible communication lines and lauded Sec. Andanar for creating the program.

“The program is a great tool for local officials to make their concerns and plight of the Filipinos in the southern part of this country known to the whole nation and in turn enable awareness that maintains inclusivity,” the governor expressed.

Legitimate information on the development of the country amid the pandemic can be accessed through the Laging Handa and the PCOO pages on Facebook, Twitter, and on YouTube. (PIA-Caraga)

SurSur worries safety, lack of PPEs for frontliners

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Arpr. 13 -- Due to the ongoing threat posed by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and concern on the health situation of the frontliners who still continue to serve the locals, the provincial government of Surigao del Sur is worried about the depleting stocks of personal protective equipment (PPEs) for the frontliners.

According to Governor Alexander Pimentel, there is scarcity in the availability of PPEs to be used by the frontliners, hence, putting them at risk as they do their operations in the field.

The Adela Serra Ty Memorial Medical Center (ASTMMC), which is one of the biggest hospitals in Caraga region situated in Tandag City, is in dire need of additional PPE that would ensure the safety and protection of the medical workers .

It is also one of the two hospitals identified by the Department of Health to accommodate those patients under investigation in the region.

“Since the Caraga Regional Hospital is already full and could no longer accommodate more, there are patients who have been referred to Adela Serra Ty Memorial Medical Center for treatment, and our frontliners really need PPEs to also ensure their protection,” said Pimentel.

Meanwhile, Dr. Eric Montesclaros, the provincial health officer highlighted that Surigao del Sur remains to be negative from COVID-19.

The four-day work week for employees of the capitol and other local government units is also implemented while the whole province is under the preventive community quarantine. (JPG/NGBT/PIA-Caraga)

Caraga remains steadfast amid health crisis, intensifies measures to remain COVID19-free

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 3 (PIA) -- Government officials in Caraga remain vigilant despite having no positive cases of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In his interview in the Laging Handa Network Briefing on Thursday with Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar, Regional Development Council (RDC) Chairperson and Agusan del Norte Provincial Governor Dale B. Corvera enumerated the measures undertaken by the different stakeholders to combat the spread of the disease in the region.

Recently, the RDC along with other line agencies activated the regional task force dubbed as One Caraga Shield through the provisions of the Resolution No. 7, Series of 2020. Its mandate is primarily to come up with a region-wide guideline on the community quarantine and related measures that local government units (LGUs) can adopt.

Spearheading the creation of the harmonized guidelines is the Caraga Regional Task Force for COVID-19 and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“We want to maintain the integrity of Caraga as the only region in the country that does not have any positive cases,” he added.

On April 1, the task force enforced the closing of all borders in the region.

The governor also disclosed to Sec. Andanar that the supply of food for the residents in the region, particularly in Agusan del Norte, is sufficient since production has not stopped.

Furthermore, displaced workers in the region are continuously given assistance through the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) of the Department of Labor and Employment. Suspended workers or workers who follow a flexible work arrangement resulting in reduced income but with formal employment will be receiving P5,000 while individuals who qualify for the Barangay Ko, Buhay Ko (BKBK) will be receiving P3,000 as their compensation.

Governor Corvera also highlighted the importance of a harmonious relationship between the national government and the local government units to address the current crisis, citing the importance of constant communication among the different local leaders as key to the success of their daily operations.

Caraga region is currently overseeing nine patients under investigation (PUIs), seven of which are placed under strict home quarantine while the remaining are currently admitted. Of the 7,804 persons placed under monitoring, 7,674 have completed their isolation period while 130 are still being monitored. (FEA/DMNR/PIA-Caraga)

Hybrid rice model farm increases yield of Butuan farmers

BUTUAN CITY, April 3 -- Rice farmers in Barangay Lemon, this city begin to reap the benefits of planting hybrid rice.

Last year, 40 rice farmers in the city accepted the challenge to be farmer-cooperators of the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Caraga's Hybrid Rice Model Farm Project. 

The 76-hectare model farm is a collaborative project with the city government of Butuan and nine private seed companies. It stages the nine hybrid rice seeds such as M20-public hybrid, M51-Pioneer 79, M50-TH82, M78-Longping 937, M81-SL-19H, M46-Bigante Plus, Boiseeds 453, Syngenta NK5017, Ramgo-Kimbee 58.

The use of hybrid rice is an approach to improve the yield to more than 6-8 metric tons per hectare given that appropriate farming technologies and good agricultural practices are applied.

"The department has been exploring all strategies to see to it that we sustain food security especially now in the challenging time in our history. The model farm will encourage more farmers to try and plant hybrid rice seeds in the region," DA-Caraga, OIC-Regional Technical Director for Operations Rebecca R. Atega said.

The farmer cooperators were provided with free hybrid rice seeds and fertilizers. Aside from planting the nine varieties of hybrid rice, different planting methods were demonstrated and rice mechanization was integrated.

"The department is establishing technology demonstration (techno-demo) farms to give farmers the options to choose from with regard to the most suitable hybrid rice variety to use," Atega said.

Sammy Barneso, 32, a rice farmer for five years shared his on-farm experience planting hybrid rice for the first time.

He planted M46-Bigante Plus (hybrid) in one hectare and Rc300 (inbred) in another hectare. Based on the recommendation he applied six bags of fertilizers for the hybrid rice while three bags for the inbred variety.

"I am grateful for the result because there is a big difference in the yield between the hybrid and inbred seeds. The result showed that I can maximize my production through the help of the high yielding variety," Barneso testified.  

His testing has shown significant yield advantage of hybrid rice over the inbred rice. He harvested 90 bags or equivalent to 5.31 metric tons by using Rc300 while 134 bags equivalent to 7.77 metric tons using M46-Bigante Plus.

Based on the estimated production cost farmers need at least 25,000 for inbred while 35,000 for hybrid rice.

"With higher yield, hybrid rice production also translates to higher gross returns. My gross income for inbred rice production is 90,000 while I earned 116,000 for the hybrid rice production. Which has a difference of 26,000, this is a big help for us," Barneso said.

Through his experience, Sammy Barneso is one of those who are now convinced to use again the technology for the next cropping season. 

Meanwhile, DA-Caraga Rice Program is now undergoing the data analysis and impact assessment of the said model farm.

The region has 74,580 hectares planted with rice for the dry cropping season (Sept. 2019 – March 2020) wherein 2,189 hectares were planted with hybrid rice.

The Department is now on its clustering approach in promoting hybrid rice and the city of Butuan has been one of the department's partners in implementing the program.

"Hybrid rice can grow best when there is appropriate water and fertilizer coupled with appropriate technologies. As part of our strategy identifying areas for this matter is necessary. We are encouraging other farmers, especially those areas who are good for hybrid rice production to adopt the technology," said Marisa Garces, Rice Program Focal Person.  

For the continuous adoption of the technology this year, rice farmers in the region's five provinces will receive 6,648 bags of hybrid seeds worth 33 million and 18,000 bags of fertilizers worth 22 million, Garces added. (DA Caraga/PIA Agusan del Norte)

POPCOM Caraga continues service amid COVID-19 threat

By May Ann O. Escobal

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte, April 3 -- The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM)-Caraga continues its information and services for the population program amidst contagion, coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19.

Regional Director Alexander A. Makinano of POPCOM Caraga issued regional guidelines, including the adoption of a four-day workweek and work-from-home, to ensure the safety and health of the personnel without sacrificing the mandate of the agency, primarily the coordinating arm for the country’s population management program.

Under the special work arrangement, they are now enforcing, regular function of the agency will be done with adequate workforce to address the concerns of their program partners and stakeholders, particularly the local population workers and volunteers.

POPCOM Caraga can be reached online through its official website, http://caraga.popcom.gov.ph/; email addresses popcom_caraga@yahoo.com and caraga@popcom.gov.ph; official Facebook account “PopCom Caraga” as well as through mobile numbers 0945-221-7568 (Globe) and 0949-414-1541 (Smart).

POPCOM Caraga is open from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. as personnel are assigned to specific day schedule in compliance with POPCOM Central Office Memorandum No. 2020-195 dated March 16, 2020 and Civil Service Memorandum Circular No. 07, series of 2020.

Noting the social distancing measures against COVID-19 and continuously working for the Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP), POPCOM Caraga is encouraging population officers, local government units, and program partners in the region to maximize the use of electronic media in coordinating, communicating, and sending reports.

Meanwhile, Dir. Makinano reminded everyone to continue to look after each other’s health and safety.

“Let us keep on seeking the Divine Intercession that this health crisis shall be over very soon, and we’ll go back to the normal life in continuously serving the Filipino families,” urged Dir. Makinano. (POPCOM Caraga/PIA Caraga)