(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Tuesday, 23 April 2024) Easterlies affecting the country. 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 to Easterlies/Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to moderate winds coming from East to Southeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Third set of Caraga COVID-19 samples tested negative

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 1 -- Department of Health – Center for Health and Development (DOH-CHD) Caraga received the results of the third set of samples sent to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC). All five samples tested negative for COVID-19.

“Although results are favorable, this does not mean that we should be complacent. There is so much to do to halt the spread of this disease. I urge everyone to continue to stay at home, maintain physical distancing, regularly wash hands, observe proper cough etiquette and adapt healthy habits to strengthen your defenses against infection,” said DOHD-CHD Caraga regional director Jose R. Llacuna, Jr.

As of this time, there are still pending laboratory results. There are 13 remaining patients under investigation (PUIs) with one recorded death (with pre-exising medical condition). There are also 7,676 total persons under monitoring (PUMs) wherein 6,623 were cleared and done with the isolation period, as of March 31, 2020.

“We thank our partners from the local government units (LGUs), uniformed personnel, health workers, volunteers and other stakeholders for their strong will and determination to combat COVID-19. The extensive measures set by the LGUs should be followed. Remember that anyone can be infected. Let us not lower our guards but sustain our heightened efforts instead,” Dr. Llacuna said. (DOH-CHD Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

PDI intensifies fishery law enforcement with patrol boats from BFAR

By Salve Mordeno-Dinolan

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Apr. 1 -- The Department of Agriculture - Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) Caraga led by regional director Visa Tan-Dimerin and represented by assistant regional director Edgardo P. Balambao, recently turned-over two units of 30-footer fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) patrol boats, equipped with 16-horsepower twin gasoline marine engines and underwater fittings to the local government of the province of Dinagat Island (PDI) through Cong. Alan B. Ecleo, the vice chairperson on Aquaculture and Fisheries.

The initiative is under the FB Pagbabago Program, which is designed to provide modern and disaster-resilient fishing boats and resource-appropriate fishing gears.

The said program spearheaded by BFAR national director Eduardo B. Gongona also supports Department of Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar’s Masagang Ani at Mataas na Kita approach to uplift the economic status of both Filipino farmers and fisherfolk.

Also present in the activity were BFAR provincial fisheries officer Mansueto Cadelina and staff, OIC of the Regional Maritime Unit-13 Lt. Col. Hadji Ballangan and his team, and the beneficiaries from Barangays R. E. Ecleo Sr. and Mabini of the Municipality of Cagdianao, Dinagat Islands represented by punong barangays Zacarias Gumamera and Alexsander Eraya, respectively.

Cong. Ecleo thanked DA-BFAR for responding to their request and for the agency's constant support to the local government. He also promised the beneficiaries to provide the outrigger of the patrol boats.

In his message, Balambao assured the beneficiaries that DA-BFAR will continue to support the livelihood projects of Dinagat and its enforcement of fishery laws.

"Take good care of the patrol boats. These are of great help in your livelihood and in the implementation of fishery laws," Balambao said.

"We are thankful for the support of the Cong. Ecleo and of BFAR. We now have a boat to catch and stop illegal fishing activities," Punong Barangay Gumamera responded.

PLtCol Ballangan added that the Maritime Group in Caraga is always ready to assist BFAR in curbing illegal fishing activities in Dinagat and the entire region. (BFAR-Caraga/VLG/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

BFAR-13 holds training on preparation of unified fisheries ordinance

By Venus L. Garcia

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Apr. 1 -- With an aim to formulate a unified fisheries ordinance in each municipality in Dinagat Islands and to strengthen partnership and coordination with local governments to address the occurrence of illegal, unreported, unregulated fishing (IUUF), a training was conducted recently by the Department of Agriculture - Bureau of Fisheries and Natural Resources (DA-BFAR) Caraga led by regional director Visa Tan- Dimerin and its Regional Fisheries Management Regulatory and Enforcement Division (FMRED), in coordination with the Provincial Government Office of Dinagat Islands held on March 4 to 6 at the Provincial Governor’s Conference Hall in San Jose, Province of Dinagat Islands.

It was attended by the local chief executives, vice mayors, Sangguniang Bayan chairperson on agriculture, municipal agriculturists, agricultural technologists for fisheries, municipal environment and natural resource officers together with representatives from the Provincial Agriculture Office and BFAR Provincial Fisheries Office.

Provincial Agriculturist Oswaldo T. Borja, in his message, reminded the  participants of the local government units' (LGUs') responsibility as cited in the Section 16 of the Philippine Fisheries Code as amended by RA 10654, which states that the municipal government shall have the jurisdiction over municipal waters. LGUs shall be responsible for the protection, for the conservation, for the management and utilization of all fishery and aquatic resources within municipal waters.

“Let us be united, let us continue working together, let us continue our battlecry - which is to deter and totally eliminate the illegal fishing activities in our province,” Borja said.

As one of the resource speakers, Atty. Asis G. Perez, former BFAR national director and currently the Senior Adviser of Tanggol Kalikasan, facilitated the identification of the activities in the respective municipal waters that the community wants to allow but has to be regulated as initial step in the formulation of their respective unified fisheries ordinances.

Perez emphasized that municipal fisheries ordinances, to be unified, should be consistent and complementary with each other.

“It is very important that you have this level of coordination so that the ordinances that you have are consistent with the others,” said Perez.

The status of the fisheries resource in Dinagat Islands with notes from Fisheries Management Area (FMA) 8 was also reported by Joyce Baclayo, DA-BFAR National Stock Assessment Program (NSAP) project leader, in order for the local government units to have an overview of their resource.

Meanwhile, chief aquaculturist Sandra Victoria R. Arcamo of DA-BFAR Central Office discussed the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management wherein she emphasized that “conservation is finding a balance between ecological well-being and human well-being through good governance for future generations.”

Arcamo also said that at least 15 percent of the total municipal waters should be set aside for marine protected areas (MPAs).

The legal framework for the delineation and delimitation of municipal waters and the importance of delineation and its methods and activities were also presented.

“As of February 29, 2020, we have delineated some 928 coastal cities and municipalities in the Philippines but only 311 are certified,” said Engr. Mario A. Princer of the Maritime Affairs Division of the Department of Natural Resource and Environment – National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (DENR-NAMRIA), adding that part of the FOs should be the delineation of municipal waters as mandated by law.

Citing the crucial role of management plan in the establishment of MPAs, Rene Zaldy Porlaje BFAR’s Fisheries Resource Management Division said that MPA management plan provides a direction, reduces the risk of uncertainties, and reduces overlapping and wasteful action. “It also promotes innovative ideas, facilitates decision-making, and establishes standards for controlling,” Porlaje added.

The activities would be instrumental in the implementation of all fishery laws and regulations.

“Our efforts should not end in the enforcement alone. We need to look forward to the future of our aquatic resources, and that our direction should be to develop the fisheries industry in the province as our source of economic activities that will augment income and alleviate the quality of lives of our fisherfolk and communities,” said Gov. Arlene "Kaka" J. Bag-ao.

Gov. Bag-ao clarified that the unified FOs does not mean a single fisheries ordinance for the entire province. It means that they have seven ordinances with similar provisions, in terms of enforcement and regulation, and definition of illegal fishing. It should also reflect the unique features of their respective municipalities, as these will be the bases for the development ofthe Provincial Coastal Resource Management Plans and Programs.

“After this, the next challenge is how we are going to design our capital investments. We just want to lay down the foundation of what type of capital and business we are going to embark on depending on the nature of your fishery ordinances and to that of your partnership with the fisherfolk. You protect, you earn - that will be our theoretical framework in the province,” Gov. Bag-ao underscored.

Moreover, according to Deprtment of the iInterior and Local Government (DILG) provincial Director Domingo E. Bulabog the MC 2018-59 reiterates the existing national policy to ensure that LGUs must play an active role in coastal resource management (CRM), to hold them accountable to their action and inaction towards the monitoring and regulation of fisheries activities and serve as a reminder and ensure that the law is strictly enforced, followed and implemented.

It can be recalled that last year, the Regional Bureau held the Fisheries Law Enforcement Training for Local Chief Executives and Other Official in the same province. (BFAR-Caraga/VLG/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

DOST awards compliant food establishments in Siargao Island

By Venus L. Garcia

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Apr. 1 -- After a series of food safety-related trainings and inspections of the food establishments in Siargao Island, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Caraga has recognized and awarded the restaurants, eateries and homestays that passed the food establishment inspection and grading system (FEIGS), the first food grading system implemented in the country.

Of the 53 food establishments that voluntarily went through the process of inspection, 27 have highly conformed with the food safety standards and received a grade “A” equivalent to an excellent rating and “B” for very satisfactory.

Seven restaurants and three eateries obtained a grade of A; and 10 restaurants, six eateries, and one homestay garnered a grade of B after the last inspection.

During the awarding ceremony, DOST Secretary Fortunato dela PeΓ±a emphasized the importance of food safety in public health and tourism industry, particularly in Siargao Island which is known to be one of the leading tourist destinations in the Philippines.

“By maintaining this kind of quality of facilities and services, the owners/operators will continue to get more clients and the tourists who came from all over the world can spread the word about which places are excellent to go. This grading system will really help them,” said Sec. Dela PeΓ±a.

Jose Rose Tekseth, owner of Pamomoan Beach Resort in Del Carmen, Siargao said it is really helpful and advantageous, as they were able to determine the aspects that need to be improved in order to meet the standards.

“I am very glad that we are recognized and rated excellent and that our efforts have borne fruit.  We are proud to deliver the best services to our customers,” said Tekseth.

Del Carmen Mayor Proserfina Coro also acknowledged the DOST for implementing measures for food safety and for ensuring the cleanliness of food establishments on the island.

"We thank the DOST for providing us the technical assistance such as trainings, consultancy and monitoring. The evaluation of food establishments really helped the business operators in improving their services, especially in the preparation and handling of foods," Coro said.

Evelyn Lao Singuan, owner of the King Crab restaurant, also noted a significant increase in their daily sales and said they got positive feedbacks from their customers. Her business got an ‘A’ rating for excellence in cleanliness and food hygiene.

According to DOST Caraga regional director Dominga Mallonga, the FEIGS helps to empower the local government units (LGUs) in establishing a mechanism that encourages food safety practices among food service establishments while providing informed choices to customers.

“This will also serve as a marketing leverage for them because more customers will patronize their business upon learning the kind of standard they maintained. It only proves the effectiveness of FEIGS project which bares the tagline, ‘clean places, safe food, happy customers.’ And so with happy customers, there are no complaints,” said Mallonga.

The implementation of which started in March 2018 has garnered more than 85 percent approval, as conducted in nine partner LGUs in Siargao Islands. There are 1,002 inspectors and food handlers who were trained on Food Safety.

After piloting the FEGS project in Siargao Island, Mallonga said that they are indeed in the process of implementing the same to the other areas in the region.

"We are optimistic that more LGUs here in Caraga will opt to apply the FEIGS project in their locality. As part of our expansion plan, we will also come up with a different checklist as a basis for the evaluation and monitoring intended for the ambulant vendors, especially those stalls selling street foods, because they also need to comply with the sanitation standards," said Mallonga.

Meanwhile, the locals were glad with the implementation of the FEIGS, as it will surely create an impact for ecotourism opportunities in the island.

“As a consumer, we only want to experience the satisfaction in the basis of food and service quality, physical environment, and hygiene and cleanliness. Food service sanitation is one of the important factors that we consider when we decide to eat in food establishments. With FEIGS, we are assured of consuming the clean and safe foods,” said Meryrose Macabodbod, student of Oguing Navarro Memorial National High School in Sayak, Del Carmen.

FEIGS is a research and development project and a proactive measure which aims to prevent the occurrence of food poisoning outbreaks as a consequence of unhygienic conditions and practices in food handling. (Venus L. Garcia/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Food establishments sa Siargao na pumasa sa inspeksyon, kinilala

By Venus L. Garcia

LUNGSOD NG SURIGAO, Surigao del Norte, Marso 31 (PIA) -- Matapos ang puspusang training at inspeksyon sa mga kainan sa Siargao Island, kinilala ng Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Caraga ang food establishments na pumasa sa Food Establishment Inspection at Grading System o FEIGS. Ito ang  kauna-unahang food grading system sa bansa.

Ang FEIGS ay isang research at development project at proactive measure na naglalayong tugunan ang problema sa food poisoning dahil sa maling food handling.

Sa awarding ceremony, binigyang diin ni  DOST Secretary Fortunato dela PeΓ±a ang kahalagahan ng food safety sa public health at tourism industry, lalung-lalo na sa Siargao Island na kabilang sa top tourist destinations ng bansa.

“Sa pagpapanatili ng ganitong klaseng kalidad ng serbisyo at pasilidad, siguradong dadami ang kliyente na galing pa sa ibang bansa ng mga pasadong food establishments at sila na rin mismo ang makakapagsabi sa iba kung saan ito mapupuntahan. Ang grading system na ito ay talagang makakatulong sa mga business owners,” sabi ni Sec. Dela PeΓ±a.

Sa 53 food establishments na boluntaryong sumailalim sa pagsusuri, 27 ang nagpakita ng husay pagdating sa sanitation standards.

Binigyan ng grade "A" ang mga nakakuha ng excellent rating at "B" para sa very satisfactory.

Ayon kay Jose Rose Tekseth, may-ari ng Pamomoan Beach Resort sa Del Carmen, Siargao, malaking pakinabang para sa kanila ang FEIGS dahil sa pamamagitan nito ay natugunan nila ang kung ano ang nararapat para pumasa sa standards.

“Sobrang saya namin dahil nagbunga na rin ang aming pagpupursige na pumasa sa criteria ng FEIGS. Proud din kami na maibigay ang malinis at mahusay na serbisyo sa aming mga customers,” sabi ni Tekseth.

Samantala, nagpapasalamat naman si Del Carmen Mayor Proserfina sa DOST sa pagpapatupad ng food safety measures upang masiguro ang kalinisan ng food establishments sa isla.

"Maraming salamat DOST sa technical assistance gaya ng trainings, consultancy and monitoring. Malaking tulong talaga ito sa mga business operator upang mapabuti ang pagproseso at paghahanda ng mga pagkain,” sabi ni Coro.

Napansin din anya ni Evelyn Lao Singuan, may-ari ng King Crab restaurant, na tumaas ang sales nila at nakatanggap ng positibong feedbacks galing sa kanilang mga customer. Ang kanyang negosyong kainan ay nakakuha ng ‘A’ rating dahil sa excellent ito sa cleanliness at food hygiene. 

Ayon kay DOST Caraga regional director Dominga Mallonga, makakatulong rin ang FEIGS para maging batayan ng  mga customer pagdating sa  pagkain at serbisyo.

“Magsisilbi ito bilang marketing leverage dahil mas maraming customers ang tumangkilik sa kanilang negosyo nang malaman ang uri ng standard na kanilang ipinakita. Patunay ito sa tagline ng FEIGS project na ‘clean places, safe food, happy customers.’ At kung masaya ang mga customer wala rin maririnig na reklamo ang mga may-ari,” sabi ni Mallonga.

Ang implementasyon ng FEIGS na nagsimula noong March 2018 ay nakakuha ng mahigit 85 percent approval. Ito ay isinagawa sa siyam na partner LGUs sa Siargao Island. Mayroon itong 1,002 inspectors at food handlers na sinanay sa Food Safety.

Ayon kay Mallonga ay panaghahandaan na rin ng kanilang ahensiya ang pagpapatupad ng FEIGS sa iba pang mga probinsiya at lungsod sa rehiyon.

“Positibo tayo na mas marami pang LGUs ang tutulong na isulong ang FEIGS sa kanilang lugar. Bahagi ng ating expansion plan ay ang paggawa ng ibang checklist na pagbabasehan sa evaluation na akma sa mga ambulant vendors gaya ng mga nagbebenta ng street foods dahil sila rin ay kailangang mag-comply sa sanitation standards,” sabi ni Mallonga.

Ikinasaya naman ng mga taga-Siargao ang tugon ng mga lokal na pamahalaan sa nasabing proyekto.

“Dahil sa FEIGS, nakakasiguro tayong mga customers na malinis at ligtas tayo sa ating kinakain,” sabi ni Meryrose Macabodbod, studyante ng Oguing Navarro Memorial National High School, Sayak, Del Carmen. 

Ang FEIGS ay research at development project at proactive measure na naglalayong maiwasan ang food poisoning outbreaks na maaring sanhi ng hindi maayos na paghahanda ng pagkain at maling pamamaraan ng food handling. (VLG/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

DOST-SEI announces 9,788 new S&T scholarship qualifiers

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 1 -- A total of 9,788 graduating senior high school students will have a reason to celebrate as they clinch a slot in the country’s premier science scholarship programs – the Department of Science and Technology - Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) Scholarship Programs. 

Out of the total number of passers, 5,917 qualified as scholars under the RA 7687 Scholarship Program, which provide for academically talented students who belong to economically disadvantaged families; while 3,871 qualified under the DOST-SEI Merit Scholarship Program.

The 2020 DOST-SEI Undergraduate Scholarship Examination, which was held on October 20, 2019 in 347 test centers nationwide, hit a record-breaking 102,526 examinees. 

Dr. Josette T. Biyo, DOST-SEI director, said the scholarships will provide greater opportunity to students especially to those who are hard up in life as they pursue a college science degree.

“This scholarship program is certainly a package of opportunities as qualifiers, especially those who are underprivileged, will get to continue their education in leading universities and colleges. We are hopeful that they, four or five years from now, will undertake productive efforts in the areas of research and development, industry and innovation, and S&T services.” Dr. Biyo said.

The new S&T scholars will receive a monthly stipend at P7,000; tuition fee subsidy up to P40,000 per academic year for those who are enrolled in private universities and colleges; book allowance; MS/PE clothing allowance (one-time only); one economy-class roundtrip fare per year for those studying outside of their home province; outright thesis allowance; and group accident insurance. 

The scholarship qualifiers must pursue a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree program in any of the priority fields of study at a state university or college or any private higher education institution that is recognized by Commission on Higher Education as Center of Excellence or Center of Development or with FAAP Level III accreditation for the BS program that he/she intend to enroll in. The list of priority S&T programs can be found on the SEI website: www.sei.dost.gov.ph

DOST-SEI scholars are required to render service in the country along their fields of specialization after graduation for a period equivalent to the number of years they enjoyed the scholarship as a return service. 

“We believe that through the different scholarship programs of DOST-SEI, we are helping infuse a new blood of talent and skills into our workforce as well as supply a fresh breed of responsible citizens who use science in their daily lives. Now more than ever, we need young people to serve as ambassadors of science as the issues we face in terms of natural disasters, health pandemics, and others rely on sound scientific information to make better decisions for the public good,” Biyo added. (DOST-STII/PIA-Caraga)

U.S. commits P139M assistance for COVID-19 response in PH

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 1 -- The United States (U.S.) Embassy in the Philippines announced recently that the U.S. government has committed more than P139 million ($2.7 million) to support the Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) in its response to COVID-19 in the country.

The U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will collaborate with Philippine government counterparts to establish and implement internationally-recognized infectious disease threat prevention and response strategies, and enhance infection control.

U.S. assistance will strengthen specimen transport systems and laboratory capacity to accurately and rapidly detect cases. The assistance will also help protect health workers and patients by ensuring that hygiene products, masks, waste management supplies, and other necessary commodities are available, delivered, and managed appropriately.

Moreover, the U.S. government supported programs will expand communities’ disease preparedness and access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services and commodities. (U.S. Embassy in the Philippines/PIA-Caraga)

Balikatan 2020 exercise cancelled due to COVID-19 threat

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 1 -- The United States (US) Indo-Pacific Command has cancelled the exercise “Balikatan 2020” which was initially set on May 4 to 15 in the Philippines to ensure the health and safety of the participating forces and the locals in the communities near the planned training areas.

The exercise cancellation is in accordance with the international travel restrictions implemented by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) as well as the Republic of the Philippines in response to the outbreak of COVID-19. 

“In light of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding COVID-19 pandemic and in the best interest of the health and safety of both countries’ forces, it is prudent to cancel Balikatan 2020,” said Adm. Phil Davidson, commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

“We remain deeply committed to our long-standing alliance and friendship,” he added.

Balikatan is an annual exercise between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States, and involves participation from Australia. The United States and the Philippines have shared values and enjoy a warm relationship deeply rooted in history, and the U.S. remains committed to the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.

The DoD’s priorities remain the protection of service members, their families, and the department’s civilian work force; safeguarding and maintaining the ability to defend the nation and its interests; and supporting allies and partners in this fight. (U.S. Embassy in the Philippines/PIA-Caraga)

Curfew hours violators arrested in Siargao Island

SIARGAO ISLANDS, Surigao del Norte, Apr. 1 -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Caraga region remains strict in the implementation of curfew hours, social distancing, and suspension of mass gathering to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), yet another violators in the community were arrested by partying in General Luna, Siargao Islands.

PNP Caraga regional director Brigadier General Joselito T. Esquivel, Jr, said that the police officers responded immediately upon receiving a report that a group of individuals, some are foreigners, gathered in a resort and having a drinking spree despite social distancing rule is still in effect amid COVID-19 outbreak. There were seven of them who were apprehended.

“We urge the public to take seriously the curfew being implemented especially that we are under a community quarantine. Anyone who fails to observe this regulation requiring people to remain indoors will be dealt with accordingly,” Esquivel said.

General Luna is known for its reputation as the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines” where the locals and tourists enjoy binge drinking and hopping at the bars and restaurants. (PNP-Caraga/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Butuan Medical Center, mahigpit ang precautionary measures laban COVID-19

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Abril 1 (PIA) -- Mas pinaigting pa ng Butuan Medical Center (BMC) and pagsagawa ng precautionary measures laban sa pagkalat ng coronavirus disease o COVID-19 upang paprotektahan ang mga pasyente nito, lalung-lalu na ang mga doktor at nurses.

Kaya naman malaking bagay din ito sa pagpapanatiling ligtas o negatibo sa kaso ng COVID-19 ang Caraga region. Ito ay matapos mag-negatibo sa COVID-19 ang siyam na swab samples sa pangalawang batch ng testing sa mga patients under investigation (PUIs) na sinuri sa Southern Philippines Medical Center sa Davao City.

Ayon kay Department of Health (DOH) Caraga regional director Dr. Jose Llacuna Jr., sa siyam na PUIs, anim nito ay naka-confined sa Caraga Regional Hospital sa Surigao City habang ang tatlo naman ay sa Adela Serra Ty Memorial Medical Center sa Surigao del Sur.

Patuloy naman ang paghihigpit habang ipinatutupad ang precautionary measures sa mga checkpoints, pamilihan at lalung-lalu na sa mga ospital.

Sa BMC, kung saan may 36 na mga doctor at 129 nurses ang patuloy na nagbibigay serbisyo at tumututok sa kondisyon ng mga pasyente, pinapatupad na nila ang “No visitors allowed” Policy at limitado sa isang watcher lang kada pasyente.

Ipinagbawal na ring pumasok ang mga outpatient at may nakatalaga na itong area sa labas ng nasabing pasilidad. Ito ay upang maiwasan ang close contact at pagkalat ng virus.

Dumadaan din sa thermal scanning at disinfection tent ang lahat ng indibidwal na pumapasok sa entrance ng ospital.

Ayon kay Paul Ritchie Pelos, head ng Quarantine Facility Unit sa Butuan Medical Center, may isang PUI na may mild case sa kanilang ospital at dalawa naman sa quarantine facility subalit bumubuti na ang kondisyon ng mga ito.

Dagdag pa ni Pelos, malaking bagay ang suporta at kooperasyon ng mga mamamayan sa mga barangay sa pagsunod sa mga health protocols at sa pagreport o pagkonsulta sa mga health workers at frontliners sa anumang impormasyon ukol sa COVID-19.

Pinaalalahanan din niya ang lahat para sa proper hygiene, regular na paghugas ng kamay, social distancing at manatili sa loob ng bahay.

“Panatilihin po nating ligtas ang ating mga sarili at pamilya laban sa COVID-19. Tayo po ay magkaisa na mawakasan na ang pagkalat ng nasabing virus. Manatili lang po kayo sa inyong mga tahanan habang ginagawa po naming mga frontliners ang aming tungkulin,” ani ni Pelos. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

DAR, DSWD turn over 1.4M project in Dinagat Islands

By Daryll M. Tumbaga

SAN JOSE, Dinagat Islands, Apr. 1 (PIA) -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has turned over recently its Convergence on Livelihood Assistance for ARBs Project (CLAAP) in Barangay Sta. Cruz, Tubajon town and Barangay Wilson in San Jose town, this province.

In Barangay Sta Cruz, a total of 28 farmer-members of SAFCOCO (Sta. Cruz Agra-Farmers Consumer Cooperative) will benefit the project. These beneficiaries will be managing a rice trading enterprise worth P700,000.

While in Barangay Wilson, a total of 28 farmer-members of COMCRECO (Community Credit Cooperative) benefited the broiler production and marketing enterprise worth P700,000.

DAR-Surigao del Norte Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Maria Elizabeth L. De Guzman, in her message, emphasized to the recipients the need to sustain the project given to them.

She said that this livelihood enterprise will give the opportunity to increase the household income of the beneficiaries and that they should manage it well for its sustainability.

On her part, Mayor Simplicia P. Pedrablanca of Tubajon challenged the recipients to make the project sustainable and productive.

She said that this is just one of those opportunities that the government provides intervention to deserving organizations.

Meanwhile, on behalf of SAFCOCO, Chairperson Cepriano T. Membreve expressed their gratefulness that finally, they receive the said project.

He assured that they will work hard to sustain the project and prove their gratefulness to the government especially to DAR and DSWD for giving them the said livelihood project. (DAR-SDN/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Surigao Norte solon sends food aid to displaced port workers amid COVID-19 quarantine

By Noli C. Nusog

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Apr. 1 (PIA) -- Port workers at the Port of Surigao get help anew recently as food packs were sent for their benefit, courtesy of Surigao del Norte 2nd District Representative Robert Ace Barbers.

It may be recalled that the Laurente Family, a local franchisee of McDonald’s, recently provided more than a hundred food packs for Surigao porters and dockworkers.

Liza Monteros, public information officer for the Office of Representative Barbers said that though modest, the food packs were heartily given especially since it was bought using the lawmaker’s personal funds.

“Congressman Barbers is well aware of the difficulties faced by porters and dockworkers unable to earn due to the COVID 19 community quarantine that’s why he personally directed us to facilitate the distribution of food relief packs using his personal funds,” Monteros said.

A total of 240 food packs were distributed by volunteers from the Office of Rep. Robert Ace Barbers not just to porters and dockworkers but to janitors and security guards as well who were also forced to work reduced hours, if not temporarily displaced. A travel ban in Surigao City and the province of Surigao del Norte is in effect while a community quarantine is imposed to contain the spread of COVID 19. (PPA-PMO/PIA-Surigao del Norte)