(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 22, 2020

DOH Caraga confirms local transmission of COVID-19 in Butuan

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, June 22 (PIA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) Caraga confirms locally transmitted cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the city.

Among the 25 new cases in Caraga region, two were found to have a travel history in Butuan City and three had no travel history in areas with community-wide transmission of the disease. The remainder of the tally are comprised of four Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and 16 Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs).

In response to this, the city government of Butuan has declared the implementation of Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) to 33 of its barangays, namely Agao; Agusan Pequeño; Ambago; Baan Km. 3; Baan Riverside; Bading; Bayanihan; Buhangin; Dagohoy; Diego Silang; Doongan; Dumalagan; Fort Poyohon; Golden Ribbon; Holy Redeemer; Humabon; Imadejas; J. P. Rizal; Lapu-lapu; Leon Kilat; Libertad; Limaha; New Society Village; Obrero; Ong Yiu; Raja Soliman; San Ignacio; San Vicente; Sikatuna; Silongan; Tandang Sora; Urduja; and Villa Kanangga.

The MECQ has been imposed since June 18. Tightened checkpoints among the identified barangays have now resumed and residents are required to use their quarantine passes for all their transactions.

Meanwhile, the remaining barangays in the city continue to be under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).

As present, the region now has 56 cases, 49 of which are active cases, with seven recoveries and zero deaths. (DMNR/PIACaraga)

Over P2M E-CLIP fund released to AgNor FRs amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, June 22 -- While the government continuously address the pressing issues and concerns related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it also ensures that other concerns are being addressed such as the problem on insurgency.

With the continuing effort of the concerned government agencies in the fight against terrorism and insurgency, some 22 former rebels have received financial assistance from the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

The former rebel-beneficiaries are provided with the livelihood, immediate and reintegration assistance amounting to P86,000 as a head start in their journey to a new life. A total of P2.8-million was released to the beneficiaries.

Alias Karla, who was recruited in the movement of the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) when she was 14 years old was one of the beneficiaries of the E-CLIP.

According to Karla, her life now gets better, which is far different from her life when she was still involved in the circle of CPP-NPA. And as she, along with other former rebels surrendered to the folds of the law, they were able to see and experience how the government authorities take care of them.

“I voluntarily returned to the government’s fold because I can no longer bear the hardships and difficulties I am experiencing with the CPP-NPA, and I miss my family so much,” she said.

Alias Boyka also expressed his gratitude to all the concerned government agencies that helped them as they return to the mainstream society.

“I do not want to die of starvation, which I used to experience when I was still in the movement. I want to live a peaceful life with my family,” he said.

Apart from the financial assistance, the former rebel also received hygiene kits from the Department of Health (DOH), and 10 of them were also given the firearms remuneration depending on the type of firearms which they surrendered.

Meanwhile, Agusan del Norte Governor Dale Corvera and District Representative Maria Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba, recognized the heroism of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel who continue to resolve the insurgency problem in the province.

Matba also appealed to the public to support the government’s proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill.
Governor Corvera also directed the Provincial Social Welfare and Development to fast-track the establishment of the halfway house for the former rebels. (JPG/NCL/PIA-Caraga)

DAR turns over agri machineries to Surigao Norte farmers

By Venus L. Garcia

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, June 22 (PIA) -- As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to affect the lives, livelihood and economy across the country, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) - Surigao del Norte carries on with the implementation of their programs for the farmers.

The agency releases over P1.3 million pesos worth of farm facilities to the Himamaug Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (HARBCO) in the municipality of Taganaan, Surigao del Norte under its Climate Resilient Farm Productivity Support Project.

At least 100 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) who are members of the HARBCO will directly benefit from it.

“These farm implements are a necessity for farming in this day and age and the government through DAR provided these to our farmers for free,” said Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) Maria Elizabeth de Guzman of DAR in Surigao del Norte.

The service machineries include a four-wheel drive tractor, rotary tiller, and trailer that would greatly enhance the overall productivity.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Maria Elizabeth de Guzman of the Department of Agrarian Reform - Surigao del Norte leads the turn over of the P1.358 million farm machineries to HARBCO. (DAR-Surigao del Norte)
By utilizing these new equipment, farmers are able to get more work done in a shorter period of time. This would mean increase in yield and income among farmers.  

De Guzman said the cooperative also hopes to become a key player as main supplier of fruits and vegetables in the local market.

“We have seen the passion of the HARBCO members in improving their organization and uplifting their lives. They are much determined to keep up with the advancement in farming,” said De Guzman.

Apart from agricultural mechanization, De Guzman added that DAR-Surigao del Norte has also distributed food packs, food supplement, pesticides, fertilizers, and farm production kits to all the agrarian reform beneficiaries in the area.

Meanwhile, the members of the HARBCO are thankful for the equipment that they received from DAR and for the support of the local government unit of Taganaan.

They have committed to ensure the regular maintenance of the newly acquired equipment and maximize the use as intended for their purpose.

The Climate Resilient Farm Productivity Support Project of DAR aims to sustain the agricultural production as a primary means of livelihood of the agrarian community and an intervention to strengthen the resilience to the effects of climate change. (VLG/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Agri-4Ps initiative elevates affected livelihoods

By Kent Warren H. Fugoso

BUTUAN CITY, June 22 -- With its goal to strengthen the food sufficiency and security in households amidst the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, residents from Purok 12-A Employees Village, Libertad, this city have been actively involved with the Department of Agriculture's (DA) Plant, Plant, Plant or Agri-4P's initiative through their communal garden.

Hanawi Alauya, an employee of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Caraga, and a resident of the said village, together with seven other families, started a 400-square-meter communal garden last second week of April for the reason that this will be a good support to the hampered livelihood of his neighbors affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

"As a public servant, working under the umbrella of DA, I felt the need to support my affected neighbors and told them that, to sustain our needs during these times, we have to plant. I acquired seedlings from the DA Regional Office, cultivated my vacant lot and we started to plant here," he said.

Since the quarantine, Alauya and his neighbors work tirelessly every weekend to plant more, inspect the vegetables and develop their garden located just beside their homes while practicing social distancing measures.

Lyn Montes, one of the workers of the communal garden, who benefited from this initiative, expressed her gratitude to Alauya and the Department of Agriculture-Caraga who somehow sustain her and other family's financial burden through vegetable gardening.

"I am a tricycle driver and my husband is a construction worker, our jobs were greatly affected during the ECQ. I'm thankful that we have this communal garden because we don't have that financial capacity to buy groceries instead, we just get our foods in the garden. It doesn't matter if we only eat vegetables all day since this will boost our immune system to fight the virus," Montes said.

She also added that gardening did not just elevate their financial burden but also improved the relationship between her and her children.

"At their young age, I really teach my children the importance of gardening, I answer all their queries and the dos and don'ts in terms of planting. When it's 4:00 in the afternoon already, they always volunteer to water the plants,” Montes said.

Vegetables planted in the communal garden includes pechay, mustasa, okra, opo, alugbati, and talong.

Moreover, an estimated 300-square-meter new communal garden located 2 blocks away from the original location is currently made to expand their vegetable production. The neighborhood also eye this expansion for corn production through the Project Maisan sa Nataran or Pro-Mais Movement, the latest food production initiative by the DA-Caraga Corn Program.

"Plant, Plant, Plant Program" or "Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Laban sa Covid-19 program is initiated by the Department of Agriculture to increase the country’s food sufficiency level during the emergency situation brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This program also ensures that urban agriculture or farming in metropolitan areas will be introduced. (DA Caraga RAFIS/PIA Caraga)

AgSur farmers receive free certified seeds under RRP

BUTUAN CITY, June 22 -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga in partnership with the local government units started the delivery and distribution of the subsidized inbred certified seeds in the region.

The intervention is part of the agency's “Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat Kontra COVID-19,” or the Plant, Plant, Plant Program under the Rice Resiliency Project (RRP). Of the 8.5-billion national funds for RRP, the region has 207-million allocations.

Around 60,000 local rice farmers in the region will benefit the intervention. Three subprojects of the project are implemented the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Enhanced, the Expanded Inbred Rice Production, and the Expanded Hybrid Rice Production.

In the town of Rosario, Agusan del Sur, around 130 rice farmers are now receiving inbred certified seeds through RRP's Expanded Inbred Sub-project.

Zenaida T. Quimno, 51, from P-5 Poblacion said that the intervention will lessen her production cost for the wet cropping season.

"I spent around 1,500 to buy 40 kg rice seeds for a hectare, but through the free certified seeds I availed under DA's RRP this is a big help for me," she shared.

For the municipality of San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, about 300 rice farmers also received the said support.

Alfredo J. Jurado, 64, from P-6 Brgy. 5 shared his excitement to plant the NSIC Rc18 in his area.

"Given to have favorable weather I am looking forward to having a good harvest because I will be planting certified seeds this is comparable from the home saved seeds the I’ve been using before," he said.

The project targets to increase local rice production through the use of high-quality seeds and sufficient fertilization based on recommendations. The recipients will be given the option to choose among the top-performing varieties accepted in the region such as NSIC Rc 222, 18, and 160.

Aside from the free rice seeds, farmers will also be given two bags of fertilizers. To avail of free inputs, farmers must be listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA). They also need to present empty sacks of their purchased fertilizer and official receipt upon claiming their fertilizer subsidy from the Municipal/City Agriculture Office. (DA-Caraga/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Manobo association receives rice seeds from DA-SAAD

By Mark Angelo Pineda

BUTUAN CITY, June 22 -- The members of Ocao Farmers’ Association of Rosario, Agusan del Sur have received 30 bags of inbred rice seeds through the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga on June 11, 2020.

Together with his members, Rodel Rodrigo, chairperson of the Manobo-led association, received the rice seeds turned over by Ariel Obillos, SAAD Area Coordinator, at Novele, Rosario, Agusan del Sur.

“Mapasalamaton mi nga naay gihatag [nga supply] ang DA…kay usa sad ni nga makatabang ma-lessen among gastos. Kung mupalit mi ani nga similya mahal baya, muabot og P1500. Dako gyud ni’g tabang ang SAAD (We are thankful that the DA through SAAD has provided us with rice seeds. This would have cost us P1,500. With these free seeds, our production cost is lessened),” said Rodrigo.

The supply of rice seeds and other agricultural inputs is part of the SAAD interventions that aim to establish agri-communal enterprises in areas with high poverty incidence in the region.

Since 2019, members of Ocao FA (27 indigenous people and 3 non-IPs) have undergone technical trainings on rice production. With the trainings and agricultural inputs, the association will have the means to plant rice by the next cropping season covering 30 hectares.

For this year, the association will receive a total worth of 875,800 for rice production support.

Rice production and livestock production are the main forces in the labor market in ADS. As such, this intervention will eventually help address concerns on food production and poverty at the local level.

DA-Caraga, although slightly hampered by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, continuously rolls out interventions to the SAAD recipients in Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur. (DA-SAAD Caraga/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

DBP eyes more tie-ups with financial firms for financial inclusion

BUTUAN CITY, June 22 -- State-run Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) will forge ahead with its financial inclusion initiatives this year by tapping financial technology companies (FinTech), non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs), as well as rural banks while optimizing available information technology (IT) applications to improve service delivery to its customers, a top official said.

DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel G. Herbosa said the bank will harness synergies from existing partnerships with NBFIs and FinTech companies in providing essential banking services while reassessing plans for further branch expansion in the mid-term.

“DBP views its partnerships with FinTech firms, NBFIs, and potential alliances with progressive rural banks as a means to bridge the so-called “last mile” in providing essential banking services especially in the far-flung and unbanked communities,” Herbosa said.

DBP is the eighth largest bank in the country in terms of assets and has a branch network of 129 branches including 11 branch units, most of which are located in underserved and unbanked areas of the country. The bank also has 837 automated teller machines nationwide.

Herbosa cited the bank’s programs with the Social Security System and the Department of Agriculture where an NBFI and a prominent FinTech firm were extensively used in disbursing cash aid to low-income beneficiaries such as farmers and minimum wage workers.

He said the bank leveraged on the broad network and IT capabilities of these institutions to achieve efficiency in both scale and scope, which enabled faster and more seamless pay-outs.

“These collaborations could be a model for future undertakings that would require massive amounts of disbursements to individual recipients in a short period of time,” Herbosa said.

Herbosa said that DBP is looking at scaling down its expansion plans adding that "the current market situation and trends dictate the need to reevaluate the viability of the brick-and-mortar approach to banking.”

He said DBP would rechannel its resources at widening customer touchpoints by capitalizing on available and emerging technologies and enhancing existing banking infrastructure and systems.

“Moving forward, DBP as a development bank would need to beef up its retail banking capability while catering to its niche of institutional customers such as local government units, water districts, as well as micro, small and medium enterprises,” Herbosa said. (DBP/PIA-Caraga)

DTI trains Surigao Norte IPs in handicraft making

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, June 22 -- Twenty (20) members of the Mamanwa tribe in Brgy. Camp Edward, Alegria were trained in handicraft making through the partnership of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) on June 10 -12, 2020.

The indigenous peoples (IP) were trained to produce mats, bags, baskets and other handcrafted products using indigenous materials growing prominently in the area.

The materials include abaca, rattan strips (lagus), and golden sika (sayabay).

The said training aimed to equip select participants with necessary skills as preparation to potential bulk orders since only a few from the community has enough knowledge on handicraft products as seen through the validation conducted by DTI-Surigao del Norte.

Manny Venus and Felix Abatayo, skilled weavers in Brgy. Camp Edward, served as the trainers who supervised the three-day activity.

To help the Mamanwas meet their assigned tasks during the workshops, starter kits and tools were given for their processing activities.

Participants were expected to execute and produce at least five designs for product enhancement and mass production.

The outputs of this activity will be market matched in the local and regional market and will also be showcased in trade fairs.

“Gusto namo nga pag mahisgotan ang Mamanwa sa Alegria, ang produkto ang malambigit sa amo, dili lang ang among royalty (We want that the Mamanwa in Alegria will also be known because of our products, not just because of our royalty,” one of the participants said. (DTI Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte).

Agrarian org receives P1.3M farm facilities from DAR Surigao Norte

By Daryll M. Tumbaga

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, June 22 (PIA) -- The Department of Agrarian Reform in Surigao del Norte (DAR-SDN) handed over to Himamaug Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (HARBCO) the P1.358 million-peso worth of farm machineries and equipment on June 3, 2020 in Brgy. Himamaug in Taganaan, this province.

The program is under the Climate Resilient Farm Productivity Support Project, which aims to lessen the burden of long hours of heavy manual labour for land preparation in farming activities.

The said service facility machineries that included a four-wheel drive tractor, a rotary biller, and a trailer are expected to benefit some 100 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) who are HARBCO members and other farmers in Himamaug.

During the turnover, DAR-SDN provincial agrarian reform program officer Maria Elizabeth L. De Guzman reminded HARBCO of why they were entrusted by DAR of the service facilities.

She said the organization deserved the said machineries because they saw the passion for them to really make an improvement and development, both organizationally and individually, and they demonstrated utmost interest and participation in all DAR’s agrarian activities conducted for them.

De Guzman added that she will be looking forward to the time when HARBCO becomes a supplier of vegetables in the local market.

On his part, Mayor Cesar B. Diaz challenged HARBCO officials and members to take care of the equipment and farm machineries and follow rules and regulations under its operations and maintenance that this blessing will be used to its full potential and assured HARBCO that Taganaan LGU will always support them.

In response, HARBCO chairperson Lilibeth Beberino expressed her gratitude and thanked DAR for entrusting them the said machineries that will help the members lessen their burden and increased their income.

The DAR’s Climate Resilient Farm Productivity Support Project is also being implemented to provide farm machines with the end goal of improving farm productivity and enhance the earning capabilities of ARBs in a sustainable manner through their organization. (DAR-SDN/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Local transmission sa Butuan City, kinumpirma ng DOH Caraga

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Hunyo 22 (PIA) -- Kinumpirma ng Department of Health (DOH) Caraga na may local transmission na ng coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) dito sa lungsod.

Sa 25 na bagong kasong naitala sa Caraga region, dalawa dito ay may travel history sa Butuan City at tatlo ay nanatili lamang sa nasabing lungsod sa kasagsagan ng COVID-19 pandemic.

Binubuo naman ng apat na Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) at 16 Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) ang natitirang kumpirmadong kaso.

Dahil dito, isinailalim muli ng city government ng Butuan sa Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) ang 33 na mga barangay sa lungsod: Agao; Agusan Pequeño; Ambago; Baan Km. 3; Baan Riverside; Bading; Bayanihan; Buhangin; Dagohoy; Diego Silang; Doongan; Dumalagan; Fort Poyohon; Golden Ribbon; Holy Redeemer; Humabon; Imadejas; J. P. Rizal; Lapu-lapu; Leon Kilat; Libertad; Limaha; New Society Village; Obrero; Ong Yiu; Raja Soliman; San Ignacio; San Vicente; Sikatuna; Silongan; Tandang Sora; Urduja; at Villa Kanangga.

Naipatupad na ang MECQ simula noong Hunyo 18. Ibinalik muli ang mahigpit na control points sa mga naturang barangay. Lahat din ng mga residente  ay kinakailangang gumamit ng mga quarantine passes sa kanilang transaksyon.

Nananatiling nasa Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) ang natitirang 53 na mga barangays nito.

Sa kabuuan, may 56 cases na ang Caraga region. Apat na pu’t siyam dito ay active cases habang pito dito ay nakarecover na. Walang pang naitalang namatay sa rehiyon. (DMNR/PIACaraga)

DAR namahagi ng P1.3-M makinarya sa mga magsasaka sa Surigao Norte

By Venus L. Garcia

LUNGSOD NG SURIGAO, Surigao del Norte, Hunyo 22 (PIA) -- Sa gitna ng kasalukuyang pagsubok na nararanasan ng bansa dulot ng pandemya, walang patid sa pagpapatupad ng kanilang mga programa ang Department of Agrarian Reform - Surigao del Norte.

Namahagi ito ng gamit sa pagsasaka na nagkakahalaga ng P1.358 milyon sa Himamaug Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (HARBCO) sa bayan ng Taganaan, Surigao del Norte. Ito ay naisakatuparan sa ilalim ng Climate Resilient Farm Productivity Support Project ng ahensiya.

Mahigit kumulang 100 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) na miyembro ng  HARBCO ang direktang makakabenipisyo nito.

Kabilang sa naipamahagi ay four-wheel drive tractor, rotary tiller, at trailer. Ang mga makabagong kagamitan na ipinagkaloob sa mga farmer-beneficiaries ay makakatulong na mapabilis ang pagtatanim at maitaas ang produksyon.

“Itong farm implements ay talagang makakatulong sa pagsasaka lalo na sa modernong panahon ngayon at ang ating pamahalaan, sa pamamagitan ng DAR, ay libre itong ipinamigay sa kanila,” sabi ni Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) Maria Elizabeth de Guzman ng DAR-Surigao del Norte.

Habang pinapagaan nito ang pagtatanim ay inaasahan naman ng nasabing kooperatiba na madagdagan ang kanilang ani at kita. Sa tulong ng mga makinarya ay umaasa rin sila na magiging taga suplay ng mga prutas at gulay sa lokal na merkado.

Dagdag pa ni De Guzman, namimigay din sila ng food packs, food supplement, pesticides, fertilizers, at farm production kits sa lahat ng mga ARB.

Nagpapasalamat naman si Lilibeth Beberino, HARBCO chairperson, sa DAR-Surigao del Norte at sa lokal na pamahalaaan ng Taganaan sa suporta upang lalong maging maunlad at produktibo ang kanilang kooperatiba.

Ang Climate Resilient Farm Productivity Support Project ng DAR ay isang proyekto na naglalayong masustain ang produksyong pang-agrikultura bilang pangunahing paraan ng pangkabuhayan ng ararian community at isa ring kahandaan laban sa epekto ng climate change. (SDR/VLG/PIA-Surigao del Norte)