(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Friday, 25 September, 2020) At 3:00 AM today, the Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated based on all available data at 615 km East of Baler, Aurora (15.4 °N, 127.3 °E). Southwest Monsoon affecting Southern Luzon and Visayas. Caraga Region will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Moderate winds coming from Southwest will prevail and the coastal waters will be moderate with wave height from 1.2 to 2.5 meters.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

AgSur guv highlights Agusanons’ unity vs COVID-19

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, June 16 (PIA) - In time with the celebration of this year’s 122nd Philippine Independence Day, the provincial government of Agusan del Sur led by Governor Santiago Cane, Jr., highlighted how Agusanons unite, cope and survive the new normal amid the threat posed by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The governor cited that the said celebration is a manifestation of an exhilarating state of pride and optimism of Filipinos all over the world through the years of battles with the pressing challenges of time.

"Independence Day is a symbolism of unity. Our cultural ancestors who directed us to the freedom we are experiencing now did not perceive independence as a mere transfer of political powers. They perceived it as an instrument of rebuilding the country and amalgamating its parts to effect transformational change that promotes equality, connectivity and inclusivity," underscored Cane.


Governor Cane also said that the COVID-19 is the tyrant at this decade. “I shall say that we have not prepared for the emergence of this pandemic as we are really wrestling of these efforts. However, I truly believe that the best antidote to counteract the effects of this virus is unity. Unity means that people and the government should work hand in hand and must render cooperation. To put an end to this menace, there should be equality in all the projects implemented by the government particularly on health,” he added.

As the province continues to strictly implement the health protocols and preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19, Governor Cane emphasized the need of the people to cooperate in this effort of the government with the intent to keep them safe and secure against the spread of said virus.

“As we inject equality, people will also give their support by following all the health protocols and security measures. There should also be no gaps between the government and the people to promote connectivity. If we have connectivity, we will better address problems in the grassroots level and on top of these, everyone regardless of any background, must be given an opportunity to take part in every intervention and measures to increase growth and inclusivity,” bared Cane.

He further reiterated that the Philippine Independence Day 2020 is celebrating the nation’s heroic frontliners in the battle against the coronavirus disease pandemic amid simpler ceremonies following health and safety protocols of the community quarantine to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The commemoration of this year's Philippine Independence Day celebration on June 12, 2020, carries the theme, “Kalayaan 2020: Tungo sa Bansang Malaya, Nagbabayanihan, at Ligtas (Kalayaan 2020: Towards a Free, United, and Safe Nation)” in various celebration sites across the nation. (JPG/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

BBB program highlighted during PCOO’s 6th COVID-19 town hall meeting

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, June 16 (PIA) -- As one of the guest resource speakers during the 6th COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Meeting hosted by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), Anna Mae Lamentillo, chairperson of the Department of Public Work and Highways (DPWH's) Build Build Build Committee, presented how the Philippines would survive from this coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

She said that with the Build, Build, Build Program, the economist ranked the Philippines' financial strength as 6th among 66 emerging economies (as of April 2020).

According to Lamentillo, the Build Build Build program of the government is not only an infrastructure solution but a socio-economic solution. "The credit rating of BBB+ is the highest in our country's history," she said.

“As of March 2020, the Philippines has $89 billion reserves. This is the highest recorded so far. This can cover close to eight months of imports," she added.

The official also revealed that the priority measures to revive the economy during the COVID-19 crisis, include the following: Restart and accelerate the Build Build Build Program; Mass hiring of contract tracers to lower the peak of COVIDand provide jobs; Attract foreign investors to relocate from other countries; Stimulate consumer spending by reviving manufacturing of products that have a strong, inelastic demand; and Support the whole value chain of the products.

The BBB projects are being prioritized to benefit the economy and to generate more jobs. She said that they are making sure these projects are implemented as planned. "Our project operation is 24/7 not only hasten the completion but to provide more jobs," she underscored. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

SurSur town opens municipal gym as new quarantine facility for LSIs, ROFs

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur, June 16 -- The local government unit (LGU) of Hinatuan opens another quarantine facility for the Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) and Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) at its municipal gymnasium.

The LSIs and ROFs have been assisted back home since the LGU rolled out its Balik Hinatuan program.

Mayor Shem G. Garay said the opening of the 87-room new quarantine facility is necessary to ensure that all returning Hinatuanons will undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine before they can go back to their homes. This is to ensure the welfare and safety of the residents.

Hinatuan remains COVID-19-free, as of June 15, 2020. (LGU-Hinatuan/PIA-Bislig City)

Employee to entrepreneur: An MSME success story of ideal choice drygoods store

Making the leap from employee to entrepreneur is certainly a challenge, but for Ferdinand Simbajon, it is a challenge worth taking.

After completing his degree, Ferdinand started his career in the corporate world and worked in an advertising agency for five years in Metro Manila. Working in the city was fun, and he learned a lot while pursuing his goals and responsibilities in the four corners of his office. But then, when he went back to his native province in Surigao del Sur he lost interest in looking for another job and wished to own and manage a small business.

Ferdinand always believed in the power of prayers. He asked for an opportunity to have his own business and then worked hard for it. With the P3,500.00 capital, he started to buy and sell ready to wear products. From being an employee, he became an entrepreneur and hired two employees.

Customer preferences became a challenge for Ferdinand as he personally handpicked each item that he would sell in the store. From clothes to shoes and accessories, he would always make sure that the items are in the latest fashion trend. Also, he would stock and display items depending on seasons and events. Ferdinand, together with his wife, would sometimes personally pick up all his merchandises from his suppliers from Metro Manila, Cagayan de Oro and Davao City.

Like any other businessmen, Ferdinand encountered financial problems and other difficult situations throughout the operation of his business for 14 years. Fortunately, he was able to survive through loans which were added to his capital for the operation and inventory of items. Attending knowledge-building seminars and programs also enhanced his capability to compete in the market. One of these programs is the Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) program of the Department of Trade and Industry which gives lectures and trainings to entrepreneurs like him about financial management, marketing and market trends, operations management and entrepreneurship mindset, among others.

Withstanding the process of starting a new business and making it succesful through the years is the testament of the hardships Ferdinand experienced and the dedication he had to face all those.

Now, IDEAL CHOICE is one of the leading stores that people in the locality go to for clothing and fashion needs for all occasions, setting the trends other businesses follow.  Ferdinand was also able to establish another business, DONA’S APPAREL COLLECTION, named after her wife who is also his business parnter. It sells handbags and accessories as well, but most of the clothes are for more formal events like gowns and barongs.

“Believe, work hard and have faith,” Ferdinand said. This is the mantra that made his business and story successful and a line that he promises he will continue to do so. (DTI-Surigao del Sur/DTI-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

DepEd Caraga, puspusan ang paghahanda para sa pasukan sa Agosto

By Nora C. Lanuza

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Hunyo 16 (PIA) -- Kahit paman patuloy ang banta ng coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), pusposan pa rin ang paghahanda ng Department of Education (DepEd) Caraga para sa darating na pagbubukas ng klase.

Base na rin sa guidelines at issuances ng DepEd central office, gumawa ng sariling version ng paghahanda ang rehiyon ng Caraga upang matugonan ang mga pangangailan ng mga mag-aaral sa panahon na may banta pa ang COVID-19.

Ayon kay DepEd assistant regional director Arsenio Cornites, Jr., may sariling edition ng learning continuity plan o LCP ang rehiyon upang maging gabay ng mga guro, magulang at kumonidad sa darating na pasukan. Maliban sa learners enrolment survey form kung saan malalaman ang kahandaan at kung anong kakulangan meron ang mga mag-aaral at mga magulang, ang DepEd ay handa rin tugonan ang mga ito. Pero kahit paman sa ginagawang paghahanda, aminado pa rin si ARD Cornites na may mga challenges paring dapat nilang harapin.

Pahayag din ni Agusan del Norte schools division superintendent (SDS) Romeo Aprovechar, hindi maging hadlang sa pagpapatuloy ng pag-aaral kung walang mga gadgets ang mga kabataan, gumagawa na sila ng mga interventions kagaya ng orientation sa mga magulang sa iba’t ibang pamamaraan upang matugonan ang mga kakulangang ito base na rin sa resulta ng ginawang learners enrolment survey.

Dagdag pa ni SDS Aprovechar, very supportive ang mga local chief executives sa lalawigan upang matugonan ang mga kakulangan at pangangailan para sa darating na pasukan. May mga stakeholders din na nagbigay ng kanilang suporta.

At sa bago pa lang na ginawang stakeholders forum ng DepEd Agusan del Norte, nagpahiwatig din ng suporta si Gobernador Dale B. Corvera. Ayon ni Gob. Corvera, handa ang probinsya na tulongan ang DepEd at mga mag-aaral sa kanilang mga pangagailan lalo na sa malalayong lugar kung saan walang internet connection. Magbibigay ang probinsya ng mga transistor radios upang magamit sa kanilang pag-aaral. Ngunit, ayon sa opisyal, hihintayin nila ang opisyal na request ng DepEd kung ano ang kakulangan na kailangang tugunan ng probinsya.

Samantala, sa limang araw din na ginawang online enrolment ng isang mababang paaralan sa lungsod ng Butuan, nakapagtala na sila na mahigit siyam na raan o mahigit 19 percent sa bilang ng mga enrolment.

Ayon kay Dr. Jonas Jomonong, ang principal ng nasabing paaralan, ang Butuan Central Elementary school, nakipag-ugnayan na rin ang paaralan sa kanilang mga service brangays upang matugonan ang kakulangan ng gadgets at internet connections para sa enrolment. Nanawagan din si Jomonong sa mga magulang at stakeholders ng suporta upang mas maging handa  pa ang darating na pasukan. (NCLM/PIA Caraga)

 

Agrarian-Farmer prospers in pandemic as locals shop vegetables

By Gil E. Miranda

CABADBARAN CITY, Agusan  del Norte, June 15 -- As people embraced the new normal way of life during and after lockdown brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, profits followed by a certain vegetable farmer of Barangay Sanghan, this city.

Ruben Ragas, a small-scale vegetable producer, survives from the terrible recession. Even his community hardly believed the sales are higher than the normal season.

Employees, friends, and neighbors dropped by and noticed the bulk of vegetables that overflowing the passageway, which transformed his nipa-hut into buyer-friendly outlets.

With the help of his tech-savvy kids, social-media posted-pictures showing different kinds of vegetables.

“During the lockdown, and even days of new normal, our sales dramatically increased. With the tagged line of “pick and pay” posting vegetables over social media,” Ragas said.

Ragas Farm becomes the source of food directly from his farm and becomes a model that gained popularity attracting more visitors allowed to pick vegetables and even fruits at affordable price.

Ruben said that due to the pandemic, locked-down causes the streets emptied and the local market limits buyers for more than two months in fear from coronavirus risk.

He looked the recession as a challenge that seemed he nearly affected, but he tried to shape up the challenge and determined for helping people’s needs during the pandemic.

“Before, I thought that the pandemic could quietly affect my life, but I never lose hope, in time of crisis, there’s no reason to be failed. Today, I am proud being a farmer for everything made for the purpose,” Ragas said.

During the crisis, he smashed and could not express himself when he earned a total of P440,660 during the pandemic.

Ruben’s two-month record selling vegetable showed him earning P 283,605 gross income in April and 157,660 in May.

“It’s different the new-normal, I now collectively made thousand of pesos in two months period,” Ruben further said.

He explained when times like this selling instead of bringing off my produce to the market, my income is higher than from normal-time selling,” said Ragas.

In the scorching heat and surrounded by livestock such as goat, turkey, native chicken, Ruben worked relentlessly on his farm.

Using integrated farm practices, he now harvesting varieties of vegetables and fruits. He said that today’s best seller is the lemon that known for its vitamin C that could boost the immune system.

Today, as people back to normal ways, together with his family, he still believed the value of hard work and persistence that allows him to succeed and not the recession in fear of the virus.

Being an agrarian reform beneficiary, he is proud and values the land given by the Department of Agrarian Reform.

"I am so much thankful and proud of the department’s land distribution program,” Ruben said in vernacular. (DAR Agusan del Norte/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Caraga’s urban gardening practices sustainable agriculture

By Rhea Abao

BUTUAN CITY, June 16 -- Urban gardening draws attention to many as the country continues to reel from the adverse effects of the novel coronavirus disease pandemic.

As communities and families were on quarantine a movement sprung in urban areas across the country as the Department of Agriculture (DA) leads in the promotion of the Plant, Plant Plant Program, or Agri 4P's.

Filipinos are now more engaged in growing their food in their own backyard. Youths are forming community movements that support green advocacy. Private and government institutions also support government efforts in the pursuit of food sufficiency and security.

In the Caraga region, to complement the urban gardening initiatives of the Department the Organic Agriculture Program look into the essential role of the fertilizer in the overall growth and yield of vegetable crops. With this, massive production of concoctions from fruit and plant extracts were produced.

"The growing interest of Caraganons in growing their own food inspires us to impart the benefits of organic agriculture practice by offering free concoctions. This is how the program continuously promotes sustainable agriculture," said Cindy Burdeos, DA-Caraga Regional Organic Agriculture Program Focal Person.

Concoctions are also referred to as natural fertilizers, it is eco-friendly sourced from natural materials such as plants, mineral, or animal sources.

"Natural fertilizers can enhance the growth and health of the plants. Through this intervention our urban gardeners can produce fresh and safe food for their families," Burdeos said.

The application of concoctions can also contribute to the healing of the soil by ending the chemically-induced depletion and strengthening the soil's potential as carbon-consuming sinks thus, promotes sustainable agriculture, she added.

Currently, the program is distributing the following concoctions: Fish Amino Acid (FAA), Fermented Fruit Juice (FFJ), Oriental Herbal Nutrient (OHN), Fermented Plant Juice (FPJ), and Indigenous Microorganism (IMO).

As the demand increases for the concoctions, the DA-Caraga through the Organic Agriculture Program offers free training with regards to the preparations of the said inputs. (DA 13-RAFIS/PIA Caraga) 

DA Caraga launches project 'maisan sa nataran'

By Vanessa P. Sanchez

BUTUAN CITY, June 16 -- As the country transitions to the so-called “new normal” way of living, the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Caraga continues to strategize its interventions and advocacies to promote and secure sustainable food production through the Plant Plant Plant Program.

With this, the DA-Caraga, distributed recently various interventions to walk-in clients who want to have their own food production at home.  Over 200 walk-in individuals received various vegetable seedlings and seeds for them to plant in their backyards to serve as their own food source.

In addition to vegetables, the DA-Caraga is also promoting backyard corn production and launched the Project Maisan sa Nataran or Pro-Mais as the latest addition to the integrated and diversified food production in the home. 

Corn is also a staple food in the country and has numerous health benefits that include controlling diabetes, prevention of heart ailment, and lowers hypertension. Through the project, individuals who were willing to plant corn and have an available area of at least 100 sq.m were given ¼ kilo corn seeds. To further encourage the people to patronize corn, free-tasting of rice-corn blend or cooked rice mixed with corn was also conducted. To complement this food production initiative, the Organic Agriculture (OA)Program also handed out organic concoctions that the people can use and apply on their vegetables to ensure these would be safe for them and their families to consume. The concoctions were made by the DA – OA staff and some of the organic agriculture practitioners in the region who still had spare available concoctions also shared.

Further, the first 15 individuals who came to take part in today’s activity received two heads of native chicken from the Livestock Program for them to raise and start their own chicken production. Vitamins for chicken and stylo seeds, a kind of forage legume for small and large ruminants were also given out as support to the local livestock raisers. Dir. Monteagudo thanked the people who came and showed their interest in doing their part in attaining food sufficiency. “We really need to be self-sufficient in our food even just in our own households especially now that there is a health crisis so it is important that we start growing our own food,” he said.

Monteagudo further said that the distribution of the interventions was conducted today as the Department’s way also of celebrating Independence Day.

On the other hand, government employee Gemalyn Limbaga said that she really appreciated this initiative of the Department.

“I am thankful for this program because it is a big help to the people especially now that many are having financial difficulties. With these planting materials, we are assured of having available food for our families and also get to share with others,” she said.

The Ahon Lahat Pagkaing Sapat kontra sa COVID-19 or Plant Plant Plant Program is the DA’s response to the COVID-19 health crisis that aims to give immediate interventions for food production and availability. (DA 13-RAFIS/PIA Caraga)