(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).

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

AgNor releases augmentation fund to LGUs

BUTUAN CITY, April 14 -- A total of P11,000,000.00 was released Monday by the provincial government of Agusan del Norte led by Governor Dale B. Corvera to augment the Quick Response Fund of the 10 municipalities and one city of the province.

"This is our way of supporting our constituents in these trying times through the municipalities who have direct contact with the people through the barangays,” Governor Corvera said.

According to Gov. Corvera, who is also the Chairman of the Regional Task Force for COVID 19 One Caraga Shield, each municipality and city in the province will receive P1,000,000.00 which can be used for the purchase of relief goods and other needs in the fight against COVID-19.

He said that this is just the initial assistance the province will provide to the municipalities and city. Relief goods will also be provided through them.

It can be recalled that the province through Executive Order No. 21 series of 2020 is placed under an Enhanced Community Quarantine in line with the guidelines set by the Regional Task Force for COVID 19 One Caraga Shield. The Governor noted that he has no idea when will this crisis ends and what will be the situation in the coming weeks thus the province is augmenting the capability of its hospitals in facing this crisis.

“We should be one step ahead in this fight against COVID-19,” he stressed. (Agusan Up/PIA Agusan del Norte)

DA assures available food amid COVID-19 threat

BUTUAN CITY, April 14 -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) boosts up its commitment to provide adequate support to food production. This is to ensure that there will be available and affordable food for every Filipino family.

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar assures that the country has enough rice for the next three months, with additional supply from dry season harvest expected to sustain stock inventory level until June.

The harvest season has now come for the Caraga region, it is expected to produce 315,947 metric tons or an equivalent of 134% rice sufficiency by the end of the first semester of the year based on the data of the DA-Caraga Rice Program through the consolidated planting report of the local government units.

"We expect no rice shortage during the duration of the localized community quarantine in the region. On top of the department's budget for this year, we are expecting a supplemental fund under the Plant, Plant, Plant Program or Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Laban sa COVID-19 Program," DA Caraga OIC-Regional Technical Director for Operations Rebecca R. Atega said.

The Plant, Plant, Plant Program is an initiative of the DA to increase farm productivity and ensure food sufficiency during the COVID-19 emergency.

In the region, rice consumption average of 118.14 kilograms per person annually. Surigao del Norte posted the highest per capita consumption of rice at 121.07 kilograms per person annually. The least consumption is registered in the Province of Dinagat Islands at 114.61 kilograms.

The pressure in the rice industry to produce more is a vital action amidst the challenging time. DA-Caraga is again calling on the public to patronize other alternative staple food such as white corn, sweet potato, banana (saba), and cassava rather than relying solely on rice.

This is to take part in the advocacy to be rice responsible consumers.

"The department considers the rice farmers and other workers in the sector as one of the food security frontliners. Despite the concerns brought by the COVID-19 pandemic we will continue to empower them to ensure continued production, through the provision of high-yielding seeds, farm inputs, technologies, and the rehabilitation and establishment of the small-scale irrigation projects that will improve the production," Atega said.

Under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Program, the department through the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) – Agusan is now set for the distribution of high-quality inbred seeds that will benefit more than 40,000 farmers. This will be planted in May for the wet cropping season.

Along with this, the Rice Program is set to release around 1,600 bags of hybrid rice for the early planters in the region.

On the other hand, the agricultural modernization intervention last year to 280 farmer associations and cooperatives under RCEF and Rice Program will contribute to bringing savings in input and labor cost.

Equipment such as mechanical rice transplanters, four-wheel-drive tractors, rice combine harvesters, hand tractors, rice threshers, rice reapers, seed spreaders, and pump and engine sets are the mechanized systems that will help the rice farmers in the region. 

With these various interventions, it is expected that each rice farmer will increase their yield by 1-2 metric tons per hectare.

Further, OIC-RTD Atega also commended the Regional Task Force for COVID-19 One Caraga Shield- a harmonized guidelines for the regional community quarantine in the region to address the threat of the disease.

"The harmonized guidelines in the region answers the Department's appeal to all local chief executives to let agri-fishery essential commodities to easily pass through quarantine exit and entry points through the DA issued food lane conduct pass," Atega said.

The food lane accreditation of DA-Caraga has already served around 3,000 walk-in and online clients in the region.

Another move to boost domestic supply is the promotion of urban agriculture. Each household in the region is encouraged to grow their food like leafy and lowland vegetables and other root crops. These plants are low maintenance and can easily grow, Atega added.

The DA together with its attached agencies and bureaus are doing the proactive measures as an initiative in combating the threats of COVID-19. (DA Caraga/PIA Caraga)

Additional ‘uniformed heroes’ sent off to regional borders vs COVID-19

BUTUAN CITY, April 14 -- During the send-off ceremony held here on Monday, another multitude of uniformed personnel have been deployed to the four regional border quarantine control points to contain the spread of corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Caraga.

Police Regional Office (PRO) 13 Director Brigadier General Joselito T. Esquivel, Jr. disclosed that a total of 168 cops shall reinforce the troops manning the regional land borders in Brgy. Tagcatong, Carmen, Agusan del Norte; Brgy. Sisimon, Veruela, Agusan del Sur; Brgy. San Roque, Lingig, Surigao del Sur; and Brgy. Langkilaan, Trento, Agusan del Sur.

Aside from the PNP, the Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Army and Philippine Coast Guard also sent additional personnel to the land boundaries as the region closed its borders since the implementation of enhanced community quarantine on April 6, 2020.

Prior to the deployment, the troops were briefed well on their duties and responsibilities including the safety tips of protecting themselves from COVID-19 infection. They also received face masks, face shields, alcohols, vitamins, thermal scanners, gloves, and other personal protective equipment from PRO13.

“Based on the update from the Department of Health Caraga yesterday, our lone COVID-19 patient tested negative in his second confirmatory test and only one negative result is needed to declare him clear of the virus. With this, let us continue doing our share in this fight. We are in the last line of defense,” BGen. Esquivel Jr., added.

He also highlighted the contributions of uniformed personnel in addressing the pandemic citing their pivotal roles in the implementation of guidelines and procedures set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The deployed police personnel shall perform 10-day duty and will eventually undergo 16-day quarantine at the places identified by the unit commanders. Afterwards, they can go home for six days. This regular rotation of duty has been observed for them to have enough rest and sleep.

No less than the National Task Force COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. cited Caraga region along with Baguio City and Davao as good role models in relentless efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. (PNP Caraga/PIA Caraga) 

Civic groups install sanitation tents at Surigao port

By Noli C. Nusog

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Apr. 14 (PIA) -- With the help of local civic organizations, the Port Management Office of Surigao upped the ante in the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with the recent installation of sanitation tents at the Port of Surigao.

The Junior Chamber International-Surigao Wensie (JCI-Surigao Wensie)  installed one unit near the Port Integrated Clearance Office (PICO) and Business Offices of the Port of Surigao while the local chapter of Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) installed another unit at the Borromeo street entrance of the Eva Macapagal Passenger Terminal.

Acting PMO Surigao Port Manager Froilan Caturla said that prior to the installation of sanitation tents by the Jaycees and the PICE, the PMO already has standing orders from Philippine Ports Authority General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago to construct and install sanitation tents at ports under its jurisdiction. “We are actually in the process of constructing the tents initially at the Port of Surigao but the Surigao Wensie Jaycees and the PICE jumped the gun, so to speak, and installed these tents just as we are about to do it,” Caturla said.

Caturla added that the construction and installation of sanitation tents at other ports under the PMO’s jurisdiction are on-going as planned.

“By having tents for the sanitation/disinfection of persons going to and from the business and clearance offices of ports under PMO Surigao, the spread of COVID 19 is much more controlled and contained,” Caturla said.

The design of both sanitation tents has three components -the structure or frame, spraying/diffuser, and disinfectant solution. Upon entering the tent, a person is requested to turn up the lever and activate the diffuser system for at least thirty seconds to adequately spray the body with a disinfectant solution made of color-safe bleach mixed with water.

Aside from the sanitation tent installed at the Port of Surigao, the Surigao Wensie Jaycees mounted another unit at the Caraga Regional Hospital in Surigao City. On the other hand, the Surigao del Norte chapter of the PICE has undertaken the construction and installation of sanitation tents with technical assistance from its members. (PPA-PMO Surigao/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Displaced Dinagat port workers get food packs from TMO personnel

SAN JOSE, Dinagat Islands, Apr. 14 (PIA) -- As the province of Dinagat Islands goes on community quarantine amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19) threat, displaced port workers at the Port of San Jose recently received food packs from staff and personnel of the Terminal Management Office (TMO) of Dinagat Islands of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

More than 40 dockworkers at the capital town’s seaport received food packs containing rice, canned goods, instant noodles and other foodstuffs to tide them over as incomes were lost due to the travel ban and scaled-down operations.

Dinagat Islands Terminal Manager Jerk Comparativo said that while the food packs provided by TMO personnel may be modest, they hope to somehow make a difference and help the vulnerable and most affected sectors of the island port community, especially those who were economically displaced as a result of the community quarantine.

“In these trying times, we in TMO Dinagat realized that we should do something to help the dockworkers that’s why we decided to pool resources from our personal funds and bought these food packs for them,” Comparativo said. (Noli C. Nusog, PPA-PMO Surigao/PIA-Dinagat Islands)