(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Tuesday, 29 September, 2020) Southwest Monsoon affecting the western section of Luzon, Frontal System affecting Northern Luzon. Caraga Region will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to Southwest Monsoon/ Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms.Light to Moderate winds coming from Southwest and west will prevail and the coastal waters will be Slight to Moderate with wave height from 0.6 to 2.5 meters.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Dinagat Islands town eyes food supply production during health crisis

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, August 14 (PIA) -- Food security remains a great concern that continues to be addressed by the municipal government of Loreto in Dinagat Islands.

Loreto town mayor Doandre Bill Lagada reiterated in today’s episode of the Laging Handa Network Briefing with Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar the measures they have done to maintain food production in the locality.

They have continuously advocated for their residents and constituents to embark on backyard gardening by distributing seedlings. Mayor Ladaga noted the improvement of their agriculture, stating that even those who are not familiar with gardening are now eager to expand their own gardens.

As to food self-sufficiency, the local government unit of Loreto has implemented strategies to transport goods to the mainland of the province.

The mayor admitted that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic served as a ‘wake-up call’ for their local government to boos their local agriculture.

“When we experienced the effects of the pandemic on March, we were able to see the insufficiency of our food supply, which our Municipal Agriculture Office quickly addressed,” he said.

With the presence of Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar in the same episode, the mayor took the opportunity to solicit additional assistance to help farmers in increasing food production.

The agriculture secretary was quick to answer to the call, stating that they may approach their regional office in Caraga to voice out their concerns. The department will make sure to tend to their appeals as they are also promoting the Plant, Plant, Plant program of the government, wherein all aspects of food production such as crop, livestock, and fisheries are being targeted.

Furthermore, the secretary has stated that he will personally coordinate with DA Caraga regional director Abel Monteagudo to help farmers not just in Loreto town as well as in the whole Dinagat Islands province and in Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte in marketing their products by establishing market linkages. Teams will be deployed to tackle on the matter. (DMNR/PIA-Caraga)

Dinagat Islands town to improve tourism facilities amid pandemic

 By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 14 (PIA) -- With the whole nation grappling with the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the municipality of Loreto in Dinagat Islands province aimed to make use of the temporary suspension of accommodating tourists in the area to improve their facilities.

During his guesting in today’s episode of the Laging Handa Network Briefing with Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar, Municipal Mayor Doandre Bill Lagada bared that they aim to make use of the travel restrictions to improve their local tourism.

“Boosting our local tourism after the pandemic is admittedly a great challenge to the local government unit,” he furthered.

The municipality is known for its ecotourism. Tourists flock to witness its famous Bonsai Forest, which is currently under a mining claim.

“Despite this, both the municipal and provincial governments are coming up with strategies to preserve the forest,” Mayor Lagada clarified.

According to the mayor, preserving the forest is important to the town, since it has been part of the town for hundreds of years. (DMNR/PIA-Caraga)

Caraga RDC supports inclusive education amidst pandemic

By Hazel O. Fuentes

BUTUAN CITY, August 14 (PIA) – In preparation for the resumption of classes during the ‘new normal’, the Caraga Regional Development Committee (RDC) has extended their support to the implementation of inclusive learning despite the challenges posed by the current health crisis.

The Department of Education (DepEd) Caraga has been preparing for distance learning through alternative learning modalities such as online learning, blended learning, modular learning and TV/Radio-based instruction for the opening of classes on August 24. Radio and television will be used as a mode of teaching delivery for students who do not have access to a computer and/or other similar devices or the internet.

To date, 649,000 or 85 percent of learners in the region have been enlisted.

DepEd Caraga regional director Francis Cesar Bringas disclosed that while a concrete strategy to implement the said learning modalities, enabling TV/radio-based instruction remains a challenge due to the lack of funding to secure airtime.

The Social Development Committee (SDC) of the council has initiated to lobby the said concern to the DepEd Central Office and engage the Congress to authorize DepEd for the said expenditure to be used in light of the 3- or 6-hour daily air time.

“Aside from the 30-hour per month free of charge public service time provided by TV/radio stations, DepEd needs to earmark budget for the airtime of the educational materials to the far-flung areas,” said cluster chairperson and regional director of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Caraga Bonifacio Uy.

The Committee agreed to endorse to the Caraga RDC the request for Congress through the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to provide funding for the procurement of airtime to broadcast educational materials and instructions for SY 2020-2021.

Director Bringas also noted that the welfare of all those involved in the implementation of the blended learning will be given the utmost attention.

“DepEd Caraga will give utmost priority to the health and safety of the teachers, parents and learners as the department prepares and ensures that education continues under the “new normal,” he affirmed. (NEDA Caraga/DMNR/PIA-Caraga)

Dinagat Islands town establishes isolation facility

By Don Manuelo O. Patrimonio

BUTUAN CITY, August 14 (PIA) – In line with the intensified efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) amid the continuous growth of confirmed cases in Caraga region, a local elementary school was converted to a Municipal Care and Containment Center (MCCC) by the municipal government of Basilisa town in the province of Dinagat Islands to serve as an isolation facility for the returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), locally stranded individuals (LSIs), and suspect and probable cases in the municipality.

Its 80-bed capacity has been allocated to cater in equal number of female and male patients, equipped with fixtures to maintain patient privacy, among others.

The said facility had been operational since August 11.

While funding posed as a challenge due to the pandemic, the municipal government was able to source out funds for the facility by realigning its existing budget for unprogrammed projects and activities for Gender and Development (GAD) and Peace and Order (POC) under the FY 2020.

The setting up and operationalization of MCCCs in municipalities is deemed crucial as more and more Basilisanhons are still coming in the ports of the province to come home in the midst of a health crisis.

In addition, this served as a compliance to the call of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Usec. Epimaco V. Densing III enjoining all government agencies and local government units (LGUs) to render full assistance and coordinate among line agencies to mobilize the necessary resources efficiently to curtail and eliminate the threat of COVID-19, through a memorandum issued on April 14, 2020.

As it is situated in the Tag-abaca Central Elementary School, the newly-established MCCC will cater in as many patients up until the resumption of classes.

To date, the province of Dinagat Islands is one of the two provinces in the whole country to maintain a COVID-19-free status, along with Batanes. (DILG Caraga/DMNR/PIACaraga)

OWWA-13 now accepts online scholarship application for AY 2020-2021

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 14 –The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) – Regional Welfare Office Caraga is once again calling for applicants for its two baccalaureate scholarship programs, namely OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (ODSP) and Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) for A.Y. 2020-2021.

The OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (ODSP) is a scholarship program that offers P20,000.00 financial assistance per academic year to qualified dependents of active OWWA members whose monthly salary is not more than US$600.

The applicant must be an incoming 2nd year to 5th year college student, intending to enroll or currently enrolled in any four to five-year baccalaureate degree of their choice in any CHED accredited State Colleges or State Universities. The legal dependent must be the child of a married OFW-member, or sibling of a single or childless OFW-member.

Meanwhile, Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) is a scholarship program that offers P60,000.00 financial assistance per academic year to qualified dependents of active OWWA members who shall enroll or is currently enrolled in any four-year or five-year baccalaureate course in any college or university.

The scholar will be entitled to a financial assistance of P30,000.00 per semester to be paid directly to the school. If the tuition fee is more than the financial assistance, the scholar must shoulder the difference; if less, the difference shall be released to the scholar upon submission of the grades for the semester.

For incoming freshmen, meaning, grade 12 graduating students, they must be single and not be more than 21 years old, with a general weighted average (GWA) of 85 percent or higher for the preceding school years (Grade 11 and Grade 10) and belonging to the top 20 percent of the graduating class. They must also belong to the top 400 qualifiers of the OWWA qualifying exam to be administered by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Applicants who are already enrolled in 2nd to 5th year must be single, not more than 30 years old to qualify, with a grade not lower than B or 85 percent in all academic and non-academic subjects from the previous school years.

The acceptance of the application starts this August 2020 and deadline of submission will be on August 30, 2020 or until slots are available, but not later than September 15, 2020.

For more details, interested applicants may call the OWWA Regional Welfare Office-Caraga’s Education and Training Unit at telephone number (085) 815-1894 or hotline numbers 09399259895 (Smart) / 09383163838 (TnT) / 09173150590 (globe). (OWWA-13/PIA-Caraga)