(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Tuesday, 02 June, 2020) Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting Mindanao. Meanwhile, Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated based on all available data at 770 km East of Casiguran, Aurora (15.2°N, 129.3°E). Zamboanga Peninsula, BARMM and SOCCSKSARGEN will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers or thunderstorms due to ITCZ. The rest of Mindanao will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers or thunderstorms due to ITCZ. Light to moderate winds from the Southeast to Variable with slight to moderate seas.

Sunday, May 3, 2020


DOH Caraga distributes ambulances to health facilities, hospitals

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, May 3 (PIA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) Caraga distributed ambulances to different health facilities and hospitals in Caraga region.

Nine Rural Health Units (RHUs), city health office, and city and provincial hospitals across the region received one unit of ambulance. Two units were given to the province of Agusan del Norte, each distributed to Las Nieves Municipal Hospital and city health office of Cabadbaran City.  Two units were also given to the province of Agusan del Sur which were distributed to the RHUs in the municipalities of San Luis and Trento.

Three units were given to the province of Surigao del Norte, which were given to its provincial hospital and RHUs in Claver and Malimono towns. The province of Surigao del Sur also received one unit which was given to the RHU in Cortes while another one was given to Butuan City which was given to Butuan Medical Center.

In a virtual interview with DOH Caraga regional director Dr. Jose Llacuna, Jr., he clarified that the vehicle units were acquired by the agency through the bidding conducted last year and not necessarily to better the health response amid the pandemic.

However, the arrival of the vehicles could not have been better, as these will be used especially by the RHUs in the region, which serves as the only access for locals in far-flung areas to basic health care services.

“The vehicle units will definitely help with the health response in Caraga, more so that we are now facing a great health crisis,” Dr. Llacuna added.

The health department is awaiting for the second batch of ambulances which comprises of 16 units. (DMR/PIACaraga)

DA distributes 178 Million cash aid to Caraga rice farmers

By Rhea A. Abao

BUTUAN CITY, May 3 -- To ease the challenges of the rice farmers who are affected by the low palay prices last year the Department of Agriculture (DA) - Caraga distributed the 5,000 cash aid to each of the qualified rice farmers in the Caraga region.

The DA’s Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) Program started the distribution of cash grants in partnership with the Development Bank of the Philippines last January 28, this year.

Around 19,278 rice farmers in the region had already received the said assistance with a total of 96.4 million cash support.

Rice farmers who are tilling 0.5 hectares to two hectares of land and registered in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) are the beneficiaries of the program.

For the province of Agusan del Norte a total of 4,637 rice farmers received the cash assistance in the 4 municipalities and the cities of Cabadbaran and Butuan. In the province of Agusan del Sur around 5,468 received the financial aid from the 12 municipalities and Bayugan City.

On the other hand, Surigao del Sur reaches 5,018 eligible farmers from the 16 CashAidmunicipalities and Tandag City. For the province of Surigao del Norte 17 municipalities and Surigao City benefitted the financial support with a corresponding total of 4,155 beneficiaries.

"RFFA is the Department’s aid to the rice farmers severely affected by the sudden drop of the buying price of palay when the Rice Tarrification Law (RTL) was enacted. Its benefits and positive results will soon be experienced in the coming years as the RTL’s long-term twin goals are to provide affordable prices to consumers while raising the income of our rice farmers," said DA-Caraga Regional Executive Director Abel James I. Monteagudo.

Despite the restrictions brought about by the pandemic, DA-Caraga together with the support of the Local Government Units (LGU) managed to distribute the needed financial assistance to the farmers and help them as they also go through difficult times due to the restrictions of movement during community quarantine.

Joseph M. Libres, 47, a rice farmer from P-5 Barangay Humilog, RTR, Agusan del Norte said he will use the amount to buy food, and if there still some he will also buy fertilizers for his one-hectare rice area. "The cash assistance is a big help for my family and for my continuous production of local rice," Libres said.

“We are grateful for the unceasing and steadfast support of the LGUs. Since the start of this endeavor, they have been on the same page with us. Complying with the requirements needed to facilitate approval to fast track releases, our LGUs are indeed important partners in carrying out this program,” Director Monteagudo added.

Aside from the unconditional cash transfer provided by the DA, other financial aids such as Survival and Recovery (SURE) Loan Assistance payable in 10 years with zero interest and the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) with low interest is also made available to farmers to help finance farming needs.

The distribution of cash aid still continues until the 38,000 target eligible rice farmers in the region receive the support. (DA Caraga-RAFIS/PIA Caraga)

DA Caraga to establish P445 million worth of FMR projects

By Fretcher Magatao

BUTUAN CITY, May 3 -- The Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) of the Regional Development Council (RDC) approves for endorsement to the RDC the Department of Agriculture (DA) - Caraga's P445 million worth of 28 farm-to-market road (FMR) projects all over the region this year.

The said FMRs are “For Later Release (FLR)” or the targets under DBM-evaluated Budget Execution Documents (BEDs) for FY 2020 prepared and submitted by the agencies through the Unified Reporting System (URS).

The FLR’s total budget is based on the proposed FMR projects from the local government units. Agusan del Norte has the biggest allocation of P203,000 or equivalent to 10 FMR projects to be established to the identified areas of the province.

“These projects will be implemented in rural areas across the region as part of DA’s agenda to develop and improve logistics and the movement of goods for the agriculture sector,” said Engr. Rene Morales, Chief of Regional Agricultural Engineering Division (RAED).

The FMR project is under the Farm-to-Market Road Development Program (FMRDP)that aims to support farmers in rural communities. The Program requires the development of infrastructure support services including the rehabilitation of existing and the construction of new rural roads.

In 2019, the dispense of intervention in the region through FMRDP amounted to a total of  P378 million equivalent to 23.12 km of ongoing and completed FMRs which covers an approximate of 11,500 hectares of influence area planted with various crops. It also records a total beneficiary of 5,385 farmers and fishers and generated jobs to 276 individuals.

This project will also allow the food producers to easily bring their produce to the market or in trading areas where they may achieve maximum profit from their production.

Morales said that DA is in partnership with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) being the government agency designated as the engineering and construction arm responsible for the planning, design, and construction of infrastructure facilities.

The project is in line with the new thinking approach for agriculture introduced by Agriculture Secretary William Dar to level-up productivity and income in the agriculture sector. (DA13-RAFIS/PIA Caraga)