(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Saturday, 03 June 2023) Southwest Monsoon affecting the country. ACTIVE TROPICAL CYCLONE AS OF 3:00 AM TODAY SEVERE TROPICAL STORM MAWAR {2302} (FORMERLY "BETTY") LOCATION: 945 KM NORTHEAST OF EXTREME NORTHERN LUZON (26.9°N, 128.3°E) MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS: 95 KM/H GUSTINESS: UP TO 145 KM/H MOVEMENT: NORTHEASTWARD AT 25 KM/H FOR. 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. Moderate to Strong winds coming from South to Southwest will prevail with Moderate to Rough seas (1.2 to 2.8 meters).

Thursday, April 23, 2020

PCOO chief distributes relief goods to media workers in Caraga

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, April 23 (PIA) – Just as everyone takes measures to stop the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and provides aid to the affected communities, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar also looks after the welfare of the local media practitioners in the Caraga region by benevolently sending relief assistance in kind.

Bulk of rice grains were delivered by a supplier from Cagayan de Oro City to the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga Regional Office on Wednesday. The 500 packs were prepared and scheduled for distribution to the recipient media workers across the region.

This is the second region in Mindanao to benefit the relief assistance that the PCOO chief has personally extended out from his own pocket. The first was allocated for Region 10.

“Experiencing before the nature of work among the people from the media industry, I can truly empathize with their plight especially during this time of COVID-19 crisis and I am more inclined of helping them as my way of thanking them also for their great effort in the delivery of vital information and COVID-19 updates to the public,” said Sec. Andanar.

In this challenging time, Sec. Andanar recognized the invaluable contributions of the frontline media members who have risked their lives from exposing to the unseen virus just to carry out their duty of gathering relevant data and informing the public effectively.

Sec. Andanar said that the modest assistance he supplied may somehow help in providing temporary relief to the media beneficiaries. He said that acts of compassion and kindness should also dominate as the world battles COVID-19.

“We pray that our fellow journalists will continue to be motivated to perform their duties as truthful and responsible despite the threat posed by COVID-19. Your safety is also our primordial concern. We could not afford to see you in a critical situation when there is something that we can really do to keep you safe and secure,” said Sec. Andanar.

Moreover, Sec. Andanar also reiterated the call for cooperation of everyone as it is crucial to human survival. “Compliance to the guidelines is important. I encourage you all to please follow the plea of our government to stay at home, to wear a mask, and to follow social distancing,” he emphasized.

As the head of the Laging Handa communications crisis center, Sec. Andanar encourages the public to be more vigilant and to stay updated with the latest news and information.

Apart from providing special COVID-19 coverage programs on Cabinet Report, Mediaman’s Mancave Podcast and PTV’s Alerto, Sec. Andanar can also be heard providing COVID-19 related updates as the host of the Laging Handa Network Briefing and Laging Handa Public Briefing, telecast at 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., respectively, via People’s Television Network, Radyo Pilipinas and livestreamed in all PIA Facebook pages. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)

TESDA Caraga extends additional support to COVID-19 frontliners

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, April 23 -- Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-Caraga extended its support to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) frontliners in the city by donating recently additional 142 face shields and 200 washable face masks, this time, for police officers.

Following the directives of TESDA Sec. Isidro S. Lapeña and TESDA-Caraga Regional Director Ashary A. Banto, TESDA-Agusan del Norte Acting Provincial Director Liza B. Budtan and TESDA-Caraga Acting Regional Operations Division (ROD) Chief Novielita A. Dispo hand-over the said PPEs to PNP-Caraga through PCol. Jimili L. Macaraeg, Acting Deputy Regional Director for Administration; and PCol. Ruben B. Delos Santos, Chief of the Regional Community Affairs and Development Division.

The facemasks were produced by Northern Mindanao School of Fisheries (NMSF) headed by School Administrator Romel M. Natad.

It can be recalled that early this month, same PPEs were also turned-over to medical frontliners of Butuan Medical Center thru NMSF and the ATSBAN, a TVET organization in Agusan del Norte. (TESDA Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)

Caraga transport sector pleads for gov't assistance

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, April 23 (PIA) -- After a month of being under the imposed enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to the threat posed by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the transport sector who were greatly affected by the suspension of operations has asked the help and assistance from the government.  

They said that no matter how hard they try to survive daily, they still feel how difficult it is without having any livelihood to sustain their needs.

Jose Evagelous Lawenko, chairperson of Diamond Transport Service Cooperative (DATSCO) in Butuan City was one of those being affected in the transport sector. He called on the concerned government agencies to help address the issues and concerns, as well as financial assistance to support the needs of their respective family.

“I am really saddened on the current crisis that we all experience this time especially that our drivers no longer have job due to the ECQ, that’s why I am appealing to all the government agencies concerned to help the transport sector cope with life by provision of any available assistance,” said Lawenko.

He added that with the meager savings they have in their cooperative, they have decided to utilize it to buy the basic commodities and distributed to their driver-workers. However, they stressed it would not be enough to sustain each of their family’s needs.

The DATSCO and the rest of the transport sector also hope that they could also receive aid from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Meanwhile, Dir. Maria Kristina Cassion of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)-Caraga, revealed that they are constantly coordinating with their head office, along with the DSWD and other concerned government agencies for any available assistance they could give for the transport sector.

In the conduct of “Libreng Sakay” or free ride for the health workers and other frontliners, Dir. Cassion also appealed to the stakeholders for help through gasoline support for the said operation and food for the drivers who operate the shuttle services.

“We are calling on all our partner stakeholders in the region to help us, as we try our best to reach out to the transport sector that is also greatly affected by this COVID-19 pandemic. We also recognized those who have already extended their support not only for the sector but also for the frontliners,” Cassion underscored.

Currently, there are already three confirmed COVID-19 cases in Caraga region. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

DOH confirms 3rd COVID-19 case in Caraga

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 23 (PIA) -- Caraga region now holds three confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), as confirmed by the Department of Health (DOH) Caraga in their public briefing on Wednesday, April 22.

The patient is a ten-year-old Filipino female from Butuan City who did not exhibit signs and symptoms of the disease and had no travel history locally and abroad. However, she was in close contact with an individual who attended the Araw ng Dabaw six-cock-derby at the New Davao Matina Gallera, Davao City.

The third confirmed case was among the six samples in the third batch of the Rapid Antibody Tests conducted by the city government of Butuan. After having tested positive for an antibody test, the samples were subjected to real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) confirmatory test, where the five other samples yielded negative results.

At present, the patient remains asymptomatic.  

While the first confirmed case had a travel history in Manila, the remaining two cases originated from exposure to individuals who attended a recent event in Davao City. As such, local authorities are closely monitoring the transmission status in the city.

Meanwhile, DOH Caraga regional director Dr. Jose Llacuna, Jr. lauded the efforts of local government units in the region, particularly of Butuan, for their swift response on the matter.

In addition, he reminded the public once again to maintain strict compliance to health and safety protocols of the authorities. Dr. Llacuna, Jr. also emphasized the need for greater cooperation from the people by reporting to the health authorities when close contact with persons with travel history occurred.

“Now more than ever, everyone of us should lend our cooperation, working together as a team unified with a common purpose which is to end the battle against COVID-19,” he affirmed.

The health agency is currently awaiting for the results of the fourth batch of samples that were sent to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) on April 21. (PIA-Caraga)

DA’s 'Kadiwa on Wheels' rolls in various Butuan villages 

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, April 23 (PIA) -- The local residents in the different barangays of this city are delighted to learn about the operation of the “Kadiwa on Wheels” by the Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga wherein they could buy vegetables, meat products, fish, milk and other basic commodities inside their barangay.

The said agriproducts are cheaper than those being sold in the markets, hence, these would be more convenient and accessible for the local residents in Butuan City while the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is still in effect.

To ensure that social distancing is always observed, each barangay has started implementing the color coding scheme where the “Kadiwa on Wheels” are also seen at the covered courts of every barangay.

According to Rolando Apit, chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture in Barangay Pangabugan, anyone from their barangay is allowed to buy the said products which are readily available at the “Kadiwa on Wheels” in their area, as long as they wear face mask and observe social distancing to protect them from the coronavirus disease COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are thankful to DA for initiating this activity in our barangay for us to have easy access on the basic commodities,” cited Apit.

Sheila Roperos, who is residing in Barangay Bading, expressed that this effort of the government lessens their burden in going to the public market while the ECQ is being implemented.

“This is very helpful for us since we need not go to the public market and buy food for our family,” Roperos said.

Lynn Pareñas, chief of Agribusiness and Marketing Division of the DA-Caraga bared that the “Kadiwa on Wheels” is intended to help not only the consumers, but also the farmers and entrepreneurs on who continue to work for their livelihood. (JPG/NCLM/PIA-Caraga)

Vegetable production to avert hunger during health crisis

By Vanessa P. Sanchez

BUTUAN CITY, April 23 -- In the midst of the country’s battle with a health crisis brought by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), vegetable production could be one saving grace in preventing people from going hungry.

With most of the country placed on enhanced quarantine, some businesses were closed and a number of people lost their jobs and their means of providing for their families’ needs.

To address the situation and prevent people from going hungry, the Department of Agriculture (DA) implemented the Ahon Lahat Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS COVID-19) or Plant Plant Plant Program.

Under the program, the department encourages the public to have their own food production initiative by having vegetable gardens in their backyards. In support of this, the DA has been distributing vegetable seeds to individuals and organizations who expressed interest to engage in vegetable gardening. Some vegetables may already be harvested one month after planting so it ensures food availability in the coming months despite the crisis situation.

In Caraga, 530 kilograms worth P3.1 million of vegetable seeds from the buffer stocks of the previous year have been distributed so far. This is on top of this year’s buffer and regular procurement of vegetable seeds which will amount to P11.1 million as well as the emergency procurement worth P1.4 million in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The most commonly grown vegetables in Caraga are the lowland type such as eggplant, ampalaya, squash, and okra. As per data from the department, the regular vegetable production for this year is projected to be increasing. Eggplant is projected to have the biggest total production at 2,973 metric tons from March to September. This is followed by squash which is set to have a total production of 1,331 metric tons for the same period. Ampalaya is projected to have the third biggest production at 772 metric tons.

But with more and more people taking on vegetable gardening as a productive way to utilize their time during this quarantine and as a food source initiative, these figures may still increase.

DA – Caraga High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) Coordinator Marco Antonio C. Morido said that more lowland vegetables are grown in the region since more lowland areas have been developed here.

Meanwhile, the most consumed vegetables in the region are eggplant, squash, mongo, and ampalaya.  Per capita consumption of eggplant is at 0.39 kilograms per month, 0.37 kilograms per month for squash, 0.19 kilograms per month for mongo, and 0.17 kilograms per month for eggplant.

According to the World Health Organization, the recommended intake for vegetables is 400 grams per day which means that Caraganons do not meet the recommended daily vegetable consumption. However, with the health crisis now, more people are inclined to eat healthy and nutritious foods and are thus turning to vegetables with some even planting their own in their backyards.

“With more people planting vegetables in their own backyard, we can ensure food sufficiency and security even as we are facing a crisis. This way, we don’t have to rely on the produce of the farmers alone, but individuals can already contribute to our production. Moreover, we are also encouraging the public to also plant indigenous vegetables like malunggay and alugbati since indigenous vegetables are also rich in nutrients and there many sources of planting materials for these,” Morido said.

The Plant Plant Plant Program is the DA’s response to COVID-19 that aims to give immediate interventions for food production and availability, accessibility, affordability, and food price stabilization. (DA13-RAFIS/PIA Caraga)

1-milyon nalikom ng PPO SurSur, bilang suporta sa PNP Bayanihan Fund Challenge

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

LUNGSOD NG TANDAG, Surigao del Sur, Abril 23 (PIA) -- Bilang pagtugon sa panawagan ni Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa sa inilunsad na “Bayanihan Fund Challenge,” isang milyon ang agad nalikom ng Police Provincial Office sa Surigao del Sur na pinamumunuan ni Police Col. James Goforth.

Napag-alaman mula sa kay PCol. Goforth na ang isang milyon na kanilang nalikom ay nagmula sa boluntaryong kontribusyon ng mga kapulisan sa buong probinsya ng Surigao del Sur na binubuo ng dalawang component cities at 17 munisipyo.

Sa panayam kay PCol. Goforth, sinabi niya na ang kanilang nalikom ay naturn over na sa Police Regional Office ng Caraga sa Butuan City.

Bukod sa pinansiyal na tulong, gumawa din ng inisyatibo ang mga kapulisan sa probinsya sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng food packs sa mga pamilyang mahihirap o nasa laylayan ng lipunan. May 100 pamilya ang benepisyaryo sa barangay La Purisima sa bayan ng Cagwait, samantalang 50 pamilya naman sa Boniao Village, Telaje ng Tandag City, ayon pa kay PCol. Goforth. Bawat food packs ay naglalaman ng limang kilong bigas, limang canned goods, kalahating dosenang itlog, milo, biscuits, at detergent soap.

Samantala, bilang paghahanda, naglalaan na nang espasyo ang Police Provincial Office ng Surigao del Sur ng “isolation area” para sa mga posibleng magkakaroon ito ng “suspect case” sa COVID-19. As of April 21, nanatiling COVID-19 free pa ang buong pwersa ng kapulisan sa Surigao del Sur, ayun pa sa opisyal. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)

DA Caraga distributes corn seeds for backyard gardening

By Aurelius P. Arais

BUTUAN CITY, April 23 - Securing food is everybody’s concern.

Aside from ensuring peace security, Caraga Region’s army personnel are now engaged in food security mission.

In support of their endeavor, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga turned-over vegetable and corn seeds recently at 52nd Engineer (Kaayadan) Brigade, Philippine Army, Patin- ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.

Lt. Col. Rodel Pangilinan, commanding officer of the 544th Engineer (Pioneers) Battalion accepted the seeds for their garden inside the camp handed-over by DA Caraga through Regional Technical Director Rebecca Atega with program coordinators Marco Antonio Morido and Melody Guimary of High-Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) and Corn Program, respectively.

DA Caraga will also turn-over corn seeds to the 402nd Brigade at Bancasi, Butuan City and will be conducting a briefing on corn, cassava, and vegetable production for the army personnel.

Guimary said that aside from the army, the DA corn program will also allocate seeds for the civilian households who are willing to plant corn in their backyard.

“We have remaining seeds from our regular seed support distribution early this year. We will repack them into half kilos each for those willing to plant corn,” Guimary said.

The half kilos corn seed is good enough to at least 200 square meters lot area or it may be used also as an intercropped to vegetables.

She said that based on the remaining stocks inventory, they may able to distribute soon of up to 700 packs of .5 kilo corn seeds.

“Our seed household distribution is part of our support of the Plant Plant Plant Program under the Ahon Lahat Pagkaing Sapat Kontra COVID-19 (ALPAS COVID-19),” Guimary explained.

Aside from seed distribution for households, DA Caraga’s corn program is also proposing a reprogramming of the P7.5 M budget for food production support amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Once duly approved, the fund will be used for additional corn seed procurement including pesticides and production of bio-control agents,” Guimary said.

Secretary William Dar appealed to the public that while staying at home due to Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), they will utilize their time for productive activities such as urban gardening to ensure a steady supply of food for the family. (DA Caraga/PIA Caraga)

'Kadiwa on Wheels' ng DA umarangkada sa iba’t ibang barangay ng Butuan

By Nora C. Lanuza

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Abril 23 (PIA) -- Umarangkada na sa iba’t ibang barangay dito sa lungsod ang Kadiwa on Wheels ng Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga upang dalhin ang sari-saring ani ng mga magsasaka at produkto ng mga entreprenuers.

Sari-saring gulay, karne, isda, gatas at mga pang araw-araw ng pangangailan ng bawat pamilya ay pwede ng mabili sa mga barangay na bibisitahin ng Kadiwa on Wheels ng DA sa lungsod ng Butuan. Ang mga naturang agri products ay mas mura pa kumpara sa mga nasa pamilihan.

Hindi naging suliranin sa mga fronliners at sa mga residente sa ibat’ ibang barangay ng Butuan City kahit paman nasa enahanced community quarantine ang buong lungsod at may color coding scheme pang ipinapatupad sa bawat barangay, dahil nasa barangay covered court na nila mismo matatagpuan at mabibili ang kanilang pangangailangan sa araw-araw.

Ayon kay Kagawad Rolando Apit, ang committee on Agriculture chairman ng Barangay Pangabugan, napakalaking tulong ang pagpunta ng Kadiwa on Wheels sa kanilang lugar, dahil lahat ng kanilang mga residente ay pwedeng bumili dito basta’t magsoot lamang ng face mask at gawin ang social distancing.

Mas pinadali na rin ang pagbili ng pangangailangan ayon kay Sheila Roperos, isang ginang ng Barangay Bading na nakabenepisyo din sa nasabing pamilihan.

Ang Kadiwa on Wheels ayon kay Lynn Pareñas, ang chief ng agribusiness and marketing division ng DA Caraga ay isang tulong hindi lang para sa mga kunsomador kundi lalo na sa mga magsasaka at mga entrepreneurs upang matulongang maibenta ang kanilang mga ani at mga paninda at mga produkto. (NCLM/PIA Caraga)

Transport sector sa Caraga region, humiling ng tulong sa gobyerno

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Abril 23 (PIA) -- Isang buwan nang ideklara ang enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) ay humiling ng tulong sa gobyerno ang mga apektado ng suspensyon sa operasyon ng mga pampublikong sasakyan.

Ayon sa sektor ng transportasyon, bagamat patuloy na nagsusumikap sa harap ng krisis sa coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, hindi maikakaila na apektado na ang kanilang hanapbuhay.

Isa si Jose Evagelous Lawenko, chairperson ng Diamond Transport Service Cooperative (DATSCO) sa lungsod ng Butuan sa nanawagan sa lokal na pamahalaan at mga ahensiya ng gobyerno at hiniling na matugunan ang pangangailangan ng mga drivers at operators ng public utility vehicles sa rehiyon.

“Nakakalungkot po talaga ang sitwasyon ng ating mga drivers at operators sa transport sector dito sa Butuan, maging sa ibang probinsya. Walang-wala po talaga sila ngayon. Sana po ay mabigyan ng ayuda ang sektor para maka-survive po sa krisis na ito,” ani ni Lawenko.

Dagdag pa ni Lawenko, sa kaunting pundo na nailikom ng kanilang kooperatiba, ginamit nila ito upang makapagbigay ng tulong sa kanilang mga drivers subalit hindi ito sapat sa panggastos sa pangkain at iba pang pangangailangan ng bawat pamilya nito.

Umaasa silang makakatanggap din sila ng ayuda mula sa Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) at Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Samantala, sinabi naman ni Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)-Caraga regional director Maria Kristina Cassion, na patuloy ang kanilang koordinasyon sa kanilang head office, maging sa DSWD at iba pang kinauukulang ahensiya para tulong sa transport sektor.

Sa isinasagawang libreng sakay para sa mga health workers at iba pang frontliners, nanawagan din si Dir. Cassion sa mga stakeholders ng tulong sa pamamagitan ng pagbigay ng gasolina para sa operasyong ito at pagkain para sa mga drivers ng shuttle services.

“Nananawagan po kami sa lahat ng ating mga partner stakeholders na tumulong po sa transport sector, at sa ating mga drivers na nagsasagawa ng libreng sakay, maging sa ating mga frontliners. Magkaisa po tayong tulungan ang mga nangangailangan at patuloy na labanan ang pagkalat ng virus,” sabi ni Cassion.

Sa kasalukuyan, may tatlong kaso na ng COVID-19 ang rehiyon ng Caraga. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)