(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Friday, 27 November, 2020) At 3:00 AM today, a Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated in the vicinity of Bubulong Munti, Bulacan(15.1°N, 121.0°E). Northeast Monsoon affecting Luzon. Caraga Region will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail and the coastal waters will be Slight to Moderate with wave height from 06 to 2.5 meters.

Monday, June 1, 2020

BIR-Caraga urges prompt tax payments

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, June 1 (PIA) -- “The government needs your taxes to keep our government running and to continue to operate and finance especially during this challenging time. If you have the means and available fund, you may remit it now through our online facility or come directly to our office,” appealed Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) - Revenue District Office No. 17 director Jose Eric Furia to the taxpayers amid the crisis brought by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Furia admitted a drop in tax collection by P300 million in the month of April in Caraga Region as an impact of the implemented community quarantine.

“The pandemic has really caused an unprecedented economic setback due to temporary closure of businesses, and thus, has triggered a downturn in the collection,” said Furia.

To address, therefore, the effect of COVID-19 in the country’s tax collection, Furia is reminding the taxpayers in the region to comply with the compulsory contribution to state revenue.

“That is why, despite the extension of the deadline we are still requesting our taxpayers to pay their taxes if they have resources for payment. They may pay their taxes through online payment,” said Furia.

BIR-Caraga encouraged taxpayers to remit and settle their dues on time, as online facility is readily available even with the pandemic.

“The government needs our taxes especially during this time of crisis, as these will be used to support the response for the pandemic. So, we really need to do our obligation to pay,” said Shane Benolirao, business owner of a home-based printing shop. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)

3 new COVID-19 cases tallied in Caraga region

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, June 1 (PIA) -- Three new cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Caraga region were confirmed by the Department of Health (DOH) Caraga.

The patients are 26 years old, male, and a resident of Butuan City; 41 years old, male, and 37 years old, male, both residents of the province of Agusan del Sur. 

All of the patients have no pre-existing medical condition and are currently asymptomatic and in stable condition.

They were part of the recent batch of Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) who returned to Caraga region in late May.

According to the local government unit (LGU) of Agusan del Sur, the 37-year-old is an ROF from the United States of America and arrived in Manila on April 24 and tested negative on May 3. He arrived in in Nasipit Port in Agusan del Norte on May 24.

The 41-year-old is an LSI from Cagayan de Oro City who arrived at the province on May 22.

The former case is now under strict facility quarantine in an isolation facility in San Fransisco town while the latter is quarantined in the provincial quarantine facility. His residency is yet to be determined.

“We have already done contact tracing and informed concerned individuals and local officials of concerned municipalities,” said Dr. Jacqueline Momville, Provincial Health Officer of Agusan del Sur, during on Sunday’s virtual press briefing via PTV Agusan del Norte.

Meanwhile, the 26-year-old patient is now under strict facility quarantine in Butuan City.

DOH Caraga stated that their agency is in close coordination among other local authorities for the conduct of contact tracing as well as monitoring of the ROFs and LSIs who are now in the region.

Preparations have also been made for the arrival of new batches of individuals returning to the region. Around 700 Caraganons who have been stranded in Metro Manila for more than two months are expected to arrive on June 2.

Caraga region previously had five confirmed cases. Four of these have recovered while one remains under strict facility quarantine. The number of confirmed cases have now totalled to eight. (DMNR/PIACaraga)

P7.4 Million DA’s expanded SURE aid fund benefits 296 farmers, fisherfolk

By Fretcher Magatao

BUTUAN CITY, June 1 -- The Department of Agriculture through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (DA-ACPC) distributes a total of P7.4 million cash assistance to 296 farmers and fisherfolk in Caraga whose incomes were affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The 296 farmers and fisherfolk beneficiaries are from the municipalities of Las Nieves, Nasipit, Buenavista and Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte and Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur. The financial assistance is released by Baug Carp Beneficiaries Multipurpose Cooperative and the Bayugan Achievers Multipurpose Cooperative as partner conduits.

“The amount should be used to support the farming activities of our farmers despite the effects brought by the COVID-19,” said OIC-Assistant Regional Director for Operations Rebecca Atega.

Atega shared that the government is working on making sure that food production is sustained by the food producers despite the challenges and restrictions of the pandemic.

This loanable fund is under DA’s Ahon Lahat Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra sa COVID-19 or the Expanded SURE Aid and Recovery Project (SURE COVID-19). The emergency and recovery credit assistance program would respond to the needs of the marginalized small farmers and fisherfolk (MSFF).

Under the SURE COVID-19 loan program, eligible farmers and fisherfolk may borrow up to P25,000 per farming household, with no collateral, zero interest, and payable in 10 years.

“The amount we received is a big help to us. I am grateful that through this, we can just continue to finance our farming activities,” said Lucia Salo, a farmer from Brgy. La Union, Cabadbaran City.

DA-ACPC continues to partner with conduit lending institutions which include rural banks, cooperative banks, cooperatives, and viable non-government organizations (NGO) and associations that provide accessible and affordable credit to the borrowers in the countryside. (DA-Caraga/PIA Caraga)

DOTr Caraga may paala-ala sa publiko hingil sa ipinatutupad na patakaran sa ilalim ng MGCQ  

By Nora C. Lanuza

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Hunyo 1 (PIA) -- Sa pagpapatupad ng modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) sa rehiyon ng Caraga, nanawagan si Department of Transportation (DOTr) Caraga acting regional director Engr. Nordy Plaza sa mga Caraganon na may expired licenses na mag umpisa na sa pagrenew dahil mahigpit na silang magmomonitor sa mga ito. 

Ayon kay director Plaza, lahat ng nag-expire na registration at licenses sa panahon na community quarantine ay binigyan ng hanggang anim napong (60) araw na palugit para makapagrenew. 

Dagdag pa ng opisyal, sa boong Pilipinas kasama ang Caraga region sa dalawampu’t apat (24) na pilot sites para sa Land Transportation Management System, isang improvement system ng pagkuha ng bagong lisensya. 


Ayon naman kay Urbano Maglines, Jr., operations chief ng LTO Caraga, mahigpit pa rin ang pagbabantay sa mga daan at highways kahit nasa MGCQ ang rehiyon lalo na’t dahan-dahan ng nagsibalikan ang mga sasakyan sa kalsada. 

Dagdag pa ni Maglines, maliban sa road safety, proteksyon sa kalusugan ng publiko  ang pinakaprayoridad ng ahensya. 

Sa lungsod din nga Cabadbaran, ayon kay district supervisor Engr. Eugene P. Rula, mula ng magbalik operasyon ang district, sa loob ng limang (5) araw na operasyon, nagkaroon sila ng P1,230,008.50 revenue collections mula sa registration, licensing at law enforcement. (NCLM/PIA Caraga)

LGU-Dinagat Islands distributes packed meals to frontliners

By Venus L. Garcia

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, June 1 (PIA) -- To help relieve the frontliners from enormous strain at work and to give support to the persons under mandatory quarantine who are accommodated at the municipal care and containment center in Cagdianao, Dinagat Islands, the provincial government of Dinagat Islands distributed healthy meals to them.

Governor Arelen "Kaka" Bag-ao personally went to the market to buy the ingredients and helped in cooking and preparing some 100 packed meals.

These were distributed to the frontliners of the Rural Health Units, Philippine National Police and Bureau of Fire Protection who are deployed to quarantine checkpoints and different barangay health centers. The governor also checked their situation at work.

To protect the communities from the threat of the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Gov. Bag-ao also urged all the residents to cooperate by staying at home and to follow the imposed guidelines.


She also thanked the government line agencies for the delivery of services, the private entities and other organizations that extended support through financial, food, and medical equipment donations.

Meanwhile, municipal mayor Adolfo “Denden” Longos appreciated the assistance provided by the provincial government of Dinagat Islands to the frontliners. 

The frontliners were thankful as well for the kind of support.

LGU-Dinagat Islands also conducted the same activity in the municipalities of Tubajon and Loreto.  

The LGU-Dinagat Islands remains steadfast to respond even for COVID-19 worst-case scenario. (SDR/VLG/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Pagbabayad ng buwis, ipinaalala ng BIR-Caraga

By Venus L. Garcia

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Hunyo 1 (PIA) -- “Kailangan ng gobyerno natin ang inyong taxes upang patuloy na mag-operate at finance lalung-lalo ngayong panahon ng pandemya. Kung mayroon na kayong sapat na pambayad maaari na po ninyong ibayad sa pamamagitan ng online facility o diretso sa opisina ng BIR.”

Ito ang naging panawagan ni BIR-Revenue District Office No. 17 director Jose Eric Furia sa gitna ng krisis dulot ng coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Aminado si Furia na bagsak ng P300 milyon ang koleksyon ng buwis ng kanilang ahensiya sa buwan ng Abril dahil na rin sa ipinapatupad na community quarantine.

“Talagang nagkakaroon ng economic crisis due to temporary closure of businesses. Kaya bagsak talaga ang koleksyon natin,” sabi ni Furia.

Base sa naitala ng BIR Caraga ay may bilang na 22,000 na mga taxpayer ang pumunta sa kanilang opisina sa buwan ng Pebrero; bumaba ng 12,000 sa buwan ng Marso; at sa Abril ay talagang bagsak kung saan mas mababa sa isang libo lamang ang pumunta para sa tax payment transaction.

Kaya naman, bilang paraan upang matugunan ang negatibong epektong ito ng COVID-19, tinatawagan anya nila ang bawat taxpayer sa rehiyon upang ipaunawa at hikayatin na magbayad na ng kanilang buwis at mag file na ng kanilang annual income tax return.

“Kaya naman sa kabila ng extension of deadline na ibinigay ay umaapela pa rin kami sa taxpayers na kung pwede magbayad na sila ng buwis. Maaari nila itong bayaran online,” sabi ni Furia.

Hinihikayat ng BIR-Caraga ang bawat taxpayer na hangga’t maari ay huwag nang patagalin pa ang pagbayad, kung meron naman na silang pambayad.

“Kailangan ng pamahalaan ang ating binabayarang buwis lalung-lalo na ngayon dahil gagamitin ito sa response support para sa COVID-19. Kaya obligasyon natin na magbayad,” sabi ni Shane Benolirao, business owner ng home-based printing shop. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)

LGU-Dinagat Islands namahagi ng pagkain sa frontliners

By Venus L. Garcia

LUNGSOD NG SURIGAO, Surigao del Norte, Hunyo 1 (PIA) -- Para maibsan ang pangamba at pagod ng mga frontliners at masuportahan ang persons under mandatory quarantine na nasa municipal care and containment center sa Cagdianao, Dinagat Islands, namahagi sa kanila ng pagkain ang lokal na pamahalaan ng probinsya ng Dinagat Islands.

Mismong si Gobernador Arlene "Kaka" Bag-ao ang namili ng sangkap ng putaheng lulutuin at personal na tumulong sa paghahanda at pagluluto sa sinigang na sabaw, fried chicken, at dessert.

Kasama si board member Noli Albis, pinuntahan at ipinamahagi ni Gob. Bag-ao sa mga frontliner ng Rural Health Unit, Philippine National police at Bureau of Fire Prrotection na nakatalaga sa iba’t ibang barangay health centers at checkpoints. Inalam din ng gobernador ang kalagayan ng mga frontliner.


Hinikayat ni Gob. Bag-ao ang lahat ng mga residente na magtutulungan at manatili lamang sa kanilang mga tahanan at sumunod sa mga guidelines na pinaiiral sa buong probinsya upang mailigtas ang kanilang pamilya sa panganib na dulot ng coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Nagpapasalamat din si Gob. Bag-ao sa lahat ng ahensya ng pamahalaan sa kanilang serbisyo at sa mga pribadong indibidwal at iba’t ibang organisasyon na nagpaabot din ng tulong at suporta sa pamamagitan ng kanilang mga donasyong pinansyal, pagkain at mga medikal na kagamitan.

Nagpapasalamat naman si Cagdianao municipal mayor Adolfo Longos sa malasakit at tulong na ipinaabot ng provincial government ng Dinagat Islands sa mga frontliner na nagserbisyo para panatilihing ligtas ang bawat residente laban sa COVID-19.

Ipinaabot rin ng mga frontliner ang kanilang saya at pasasalamat sa kanilang natanggap na pagkain.

Namahagi naman ng naturang pagkain si Gob. Bag-ao sa munisipto ng Tubajon at Loreto.

Samantala, ang probinsya ng Dinagat Islands ay nakahanda naman para tumugon sa problemang dala ng pandemya. (SDR/VLG/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Rookie veggie grower gaining grounds in farming

A former driver is now a budding farmer.

Richard Gagareno of Barangay Buhangin, Butuan City worked as a driver for over ten years. But earlier this year, after being convinced by a former classmate, he decided to venture into vegetable farming.

Together with his partner, Romer Amante, they developed a 1,000 square meter (sq.m.) land early this year. A bigger portion, 900 sq.m was planted with ampalaya.

They had their first harvest earlier this month of May and after seven harvests, they have already earned P26,000.

Gagareno said that he is glad he tried out farming because it is a lot different from having to go to work. He said that with farming, he earns a lot more plus he has control of his time.

He also said that there is a sense of fulfillment knowing that he is among those who provide food for the people. (DA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

Urban agriculture opens window of opportunity

By VPSanchez

As the country continues to hurdle the challenges of living in the so-called “new normal” setting, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is also unceasing in its efforts to ensure food security in the country.

Hence, in celebration of the Farmers and Fisherfolk’s Month, it is only fitting to pay tribute and recognize the efforts of the farmers and fishers who have committed themselves to produce food to feed the Filipino people even at this time when the whole nation is facing the health crisis.

When coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hit the country, the DA implemented the Ahon Lahat Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Laban sa COVID, otherwise known as the Plant Plant Plant Program to cushion the impact of the pandemic.

One of the projects under the said program is ‘Urban Agriculture’ wherein residents in metropolitan areas are encouraged to have their own vegetable gardens.

The Department distributed vegetable seeds to individuals who are interested to plant. This is so that they can have their own food source which can also be an income-generating initiative.

As of May 26, the DA has already distributed various vegetable seeds to 3,465 individual recipients.

One such budding farmer is Richard Gagareno of Brgy. Buhangin, Butuan City, who, together with his partner Romer Amante, established a 1,000 square meter (sq.m.) vegetable garden in March of this year.

Gagareno shared that 900 sq.m of their area is planted with ‘ampalaya’ or bitter gourd and that they had their first harvest early this month.

“We have harvested seven times already and earned a total of P26,000, so far. I can now say that there is really money in farming,” he said.

He also said that aside from their regular buyers from the Langihan, Libertad, and Ampayon public markets, there are also people who go to their farm to buy some of their produce.

Gagareno, who used to work as a driver for private companies, said that he is glad he tried out vegetable farming because he does not only earn more but he also has control of his time. In addition, he said that there is a sense of fulfillment knowing that he is among those who provide food for the people.

Recently, their farm was chosen as the venue for a pick and pay vegetable harvesting activity initiated by the DA – Caraga as part of the celebration of the Farmers and Fisherfolk’s Month.

Through the activity, consumers were given a chance to experience personally harvesting the vegetables they bought at the farm. (DA-RFO Caraga/RAFIS/PIA-Caraga)