(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Thursday, 24 September, 2020) At 3:00 AM today, the Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated based on all available data at 655 km East of Infanta, Quezon (15.3 °N, 127.7 °E). Southwest Monsoon affecting Palawan, Visayas and Mindanao. Caraga Region will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to Southwest Monsoon. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to moderate winds coming from Southwest to West will prevail and the coastal waters will be slight to moderate with wave height from 0.6 to 2.1 meters.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

SK officials, volunteers in AgSur village share food packs to over 1,500 households

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 4 (PIA) -- The Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials, together with other volunteers of Barangay Poblacion, Rosario, province of Agusan del Sur conducted a house to house delivery of foods packs, as their way of showing their concern to the families who are greatly affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

More than 1,500 families have received the relief assistance which contains the pack of rice, canned goods, and noodles.

“We appreciate the effort of the SK officials and the council for this help. We hope that more could benefit especially during these trying times,” said Rechel Tindugan, a resident and beneficiary.

Alberto Picot, Jr., SK chair of Barangay Poblacion stressed the vital role of the youth especially during this time of the pandemic.

Hence, he called on the other youths and volunteers in other areas to be participative in conducting community activities as a way of helping also the government.  

“The youths are one with th

e government in helping the people cope with life and their daily needs during this time of the pandemic, and we feel responsible that amid this crisis, we should be able to do something for our constituents,” bared Picot.

Meanwhile, punong barangay Joel Bantilan lauded the effort of the SK officials and youth volunteers in their area for the assistance they have extended to the locals.

“This is such timely since the people are really affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and our youths here are really helping them cope with life,” said Bantilan. (JPG/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

BFP receives P54-M worth of supplies from U.S.

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Aug. 4 -- The United States, through the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), turned over a donation of P54.8 million ($1.1 million) in sustainment supplies to the Special Response Units (SRU) of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) National Headquarters in Quezon City.

The supplies will assist the BFP in fulfilling their mandate as the Philippines’ Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) response agency. The BFP is also one of the primary agencies conducting decontamination and response activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

DTRA and the BFP have a longstanding partnership to strengthen the Philippines’ capabilities to respond to CBRN incidents and conduct chemical inspections and decontamination operations.

DTRA is also supporting the BFP and other Filipino agencies in their development of Counter-Weapons of Mass Destruction capabilities. (U.S. Embassy/VLG/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

NPA killed, high-powered firearms recovered in Surigao Norte clash

By Cpt. Joash U. Pramis

PLACER, Surigao del Norte, Aug. 4 -- A New People’s Army (NPA) terrorist was killed and four high-powered firearms were recovered by operating troops of the 30th Infantry (Fight On) Battalion during an encounter with the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) in Barangay Camp Edward, Alegria, this province on July 20.

Based on the report, civilians tipped off to the operating government troops regarding the presence of fully armed CTG in the area. The firefight lasted for about 30 minutes and the responding soldiers were able to seize a hideout occupied by an estimated 30 members of the Guerilla Front, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee.

Aside from the unidentified slain body, three AK47s and one M16 rifle were also retrieved from the encounter site while two soldiers were slightly injured during the clash.  

In his statement, Col. George L. Banzon, commander of the 901st Infantry Brigade, expressed his gratitude to the community for providing timely information leading to the successful operation.

He also stressed that the 901st Infantry Brigade will continue to intensify focus military operations to flush those who refuse to surrender and abandon their armed struggle.   

Col. Banzon also called on the members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA to give peace a chance by going back to the folds of the law and avail the programs being offered by the government for them live normal lives.

On the other hand, he reiterated his statements when he took over the Brigade that he will not hesitate to use full military might to protect the people and the community against those who continue to pursue their twisted ideology and sow terror.

“We express our sincerest thanks to the concerned citizens who provided us with accurate information to prevent the CTG from their terroristic activities. Indeed, it was a clear indication that the local communities are already fed up with their wrongdoings. Our operation will continue and we will not stop in our quest to ensure the safety and security of the communities that were terrorized by these communist armed group. I urge the members of the communist terrorist group to lay down their arms and live a peaceful life. Using violence to impose will on the peace loving people have no place in our civilized society,” he said.

The troops are still conducting follow-up operations to go after the retreating armed terrorists. (CMO Officer, 901st  Bde, 9ID, PA/VLG/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

U.S. donates P14.80-M worth of PPE to PGH, PH medical facilities

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Aug. 4 -– The United States (U.S.), through the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and in coordination with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), distributed P14.8 million ($300,000) worth of regionally manufactured personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and COVID-19 treatment centers across the Philippines.

This latest donation brings overall U.S. government assistance to the Philippines’ COVID-19 response efforts to nearly P981 million ($19.8 million).

“This delivery of PPE demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the Philippines to stop COVID-19. During this month, which began with a commemoration of Philippine-American Friendship Day, we are honored to support our Filipino friends, partners, and allies with the PPE they need to assist communities confronting the pandemic,” said U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim.

Recipients for this donation were determined by a needs assessment based on pandemic infection rates, current PPE supply levels, and projected future needs. The United States will continue to support Filipino frontline workers.

Dr. Robert S. Pope, director of DTRA’s Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, said they are proud to support brave Filipino medical workers to ensure they are safe and healthy while providing essential medical care to those affected by this deadly virus.

“We value our longstanding partnerships in the Philippines. One day, we will look back on these events and know that our partnership helped enable a robust response that saved lives and prevented further contagion in the Philippines and surrounding region,” Pope said.

The PGH and the U.S. Department of Defense have a long history of mutual support dating back to World War II. During the War, Filipino and American medical personnel worked together to treat soldiers and civilians during the Battle of Manila, following the liberation of PGH through joint U.S.-Philippine effort. (U.S. Embassy/VLG/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Army seizes high-powered firearms, ammunition from NPA in Surigao Sur

By Lt. Krisjuper Andreo Punsalan

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Aug. 4 -- Army troopers in the province of

Surigao del Sur have reported recovering several high-powered rifles, ammunition and some documents after its 10-minute clash with the weakened Guerilla Front 19 (GF19) of the New People's Army (NPA) recently.

Pursuit operations by the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion (3SFBn), Philippine Army yielded one AK47 rifle; one M16 rifle; one AK magazine; one M16 magazine; one homemade shotgun; one cal. 22 rifle, seven shotgun ammunition; one smartphone; five keypad phones; one tablet; one power bank; bulk of medical supplies; assorted documents; and personal belongings on July 20 in Sitio Panukmuan, Diatagon, Lianga town.

“There was a 10-minute encounter but the NPA terrorists immediately fled and mixed with the IP community to evade government forces that caused alarm and chaos on civilians,“ said 3SFBn Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Joey Baybayan.

“We call on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR), the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), and International Committee on the Red Cross (ICRC) and other rights groups to condemn in the highest terms and take action against Communist NPA terrorists who use the IP community as human shields,“ Hawudon Jumar Bucales, Lianga Indigenous People's Mandatory Representative (IPMR) said.

 

“Unknown to the international arena and self-proclaimed rights advocates, Communist NPA terrorists infiltrates the IP communities to force the tribe to become members of their underground mass organizations, politico-military structure and eventually, party members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and National Democratic Front (NDF) to sustain the NPA terrorists in the far-flung sitios,” Bucales added.

“The passage of the Anti-Terror Act of 2020 is a big boost to secure the IP communities from these terroristic conspiracies and shaping of the CPP, NDF and the NPA terrorists,” said Datu Constancio Duhac, Lianga tribal chieftain.

Penalties, if proven, included the imposable penalty is imprisonment of 12 years and life imprisonment without the benefit of parole.

The NPA, the armed wing of CPP, and NDF, was listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

The CPP-NPA was declared as a designated/identified terrorist organization under the Philippines’ Republic Act No. 1016. (3SFBn CMO/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

MGB-13 strengthens women participation in resilient development

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Aug. 4 -- The Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Point System of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Regional Office 13 held its series of webinar on pursuing climate-, gender-, and health-responsive programs on environment and natural resources management via Zoom platform recently.

The webinar series was aimed to increase the participants’ understanding of the links of biodiversity management, climate change, disasters, gender, and health and identify possible entry points and recommendations in the pursuit of climate-, gender-, and health-responsive environment and natural resources management programs. 

The said webinar was hosted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) National Gender and Development Focal Point System and Climate Change Service, and was attended by the directors, GAD focal persons and planning chiefs of the DENR Central Office Services, Bureaus and attached agencies. Other heads of the DENR family also took part in the said activity.

DENR Undersecretary for Climate Change and DENR National GAD Focal Point System Chairperson Atty. Analiza Rebuelta, in her welcome message, emphasized the need to undertake gender mainstreaming in the environment and natural resources management.

 

She expounded on the critical role of women in the crafting of policies and programs and improvement of local natural resource governance, conservation efforts and more sustainable livelihoods. 

Usec Teh also discussed the need to promote gender equality and equity that will intensify participation, benefits and development outcomes. 

“The essence of gender mainstreaming is strengthening women's participation and leadership. Women play important roles for leading actions to strengthen resilience to disaster and climate-related shocks and stresses, especially at the local level. Women have valuable capacities to strengthen the resilience of communities in the changing climate and at times of disaster,” she said.

Usec. Teh encouraged the participants to challenge existing standards and paradigms and concur with the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and also encouraged the participants to ask questions and share their experiences in order for them to have a productive webinar.

The first part of the webinar series centered on Biodiversity, wherein Armida Andres, Planning Chief of Biodiversity Management Bureau introduced  the participants through Linking Biodiversity, Climate Change, and Disasters by Pursuing Climate-responsive Programs on Biodiversity Management.  

While, Katherine Vinegas, Gender Consultant of ASEAN Center for Biodiversity discussed Biodiversity and Gender. 

Presentation on Healthy Planet, Healthy People: Understanding the Linkages between Biodiversity and Human Health given by Dr. Geminn Louis Apostol, Head Environmental Health Specialist of the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health followed through.

The second part of the webinar series revolved around Forests and Director Lourdes C. Wagan of the Forest Management Bureau presented linking Forests, Climate Change, and Disasters: Pursuing Healthy, Gender- and Climate-responsive Programs on Forest Management while Wilma Rojas, Gender Consultant, talked about Forests and Gender, and Lastly, Dr. Helen Sigua, Medical Doctor discussed Forests and Health. 

After the presentations, the participants raised issues and concerns which the presenters tackled and noted.

Towards the end of the activity, Usec. Teh expressed her appreciation of the participants’ active involvement and keen support to the DENR webinar series. (MGB-13/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

PMO Surigao frontliners undergo rapid antibody testing

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Aug. 4  -- In line with the Philippine Ports Authority’s (PPA's) efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in workplaces, passenger terminals, and other port operational areas, some 50 Port Management Office (PMO) Surigao port workers manning the frontlines underwent Rapid Antibody testing recently at the Port of Surigao.

Subjected to rapid test are port police operatives, port operations personnel, cashiering and collection representatives, utility workers, security guards and other personnel who were required to be physically present and interact with port users and clients, particularly at the Passenger Terminal Building and Port Integrated Clearance Office (PICO).

The testing was conducted in close coordination with the Surigao del Norte Provincial Health Office. Incidentally, the port of Surigao hosts a Rapid Testing Booth manned by personnel from the provincial health office. (PPA-PMO Surigao/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Moderno, dekalidad na serbisyo, pwedeng ma-avail sa ospital ng Agusan del Norte

By Nora C. Lanuza

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Agosto 4 (PIA) -- Upang mas matugonan pa ang pangangailangan ng mga Agusanons at karatig bayan nito lalo na sa panahon ngayon na may coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, mas binigyan pa ng dagdag na atensyon ng probinsya ng Agusan del Norte ang pagpapaangat ng serbisyo at pasilidad ang provincial hospital ng probinsya.

Sa pagtutulongan ng provincial government ng Agusan del Norte, Department of Health at Philippine Charity Sweeptakes Office, mga bago at modernong equipment na nagkakahala ng mahigit isang daan at dalawampung milyong peso (P120 million) ang kasalukuyang nasa provincial hospital sa ngayon.

Ayon kay Agusan del Norte provincial health officer at hospital chief Dr. Oodelio Y. Ferrer, malaking tulong ito upang magampanan at maibigay ang mga pangangailangan ng mga pasyente lalo na’t “State of the Art” ang mga ito. Siguradong marami ang makikinabang nito at hindi kailangan pang magpunta sa mga private hospitals at sa ibang lugar upang ma-avail ito.

Dagdag pa ni Dr. Ferrer, isa itong katuparan sa ilalim ng Amomang Agusan Program ng AGUSAN Up – ang development agenda ng Agusan del Norte sa pangunguna ni Gobernador Dale B. Corvera na gawing moderno ang mga equipment at magkaroon ng mga espesyalista upang mas mapaganda pa ang serbisyo nito at mas marami pa ang matulongan lalo na sa panahong may pandemya.

Anya, hindi na kailangan pang pumunta sa ibang lugar o sa pribadong ospital ang mga pasyente dahil pwede na itong ma-avail sa naturang ospital. Sa ngayon mayroon na itong intensive care unit para sa adult at pedia, neonatal intensive care unit, high risk pregnancy unit, respiratory unit, physical therapy unit, endoscopy unit, minimal access surgery unit, COVID-19 triage, queuing system and new admitting section at marami pang iba.   

Ayon din kay Gob. Corvera na suportado at seryoso ang probinsya sa tuloy-tuloy na pagpapamoderno sa ospital pati na rin ang mga municipal at barangay health centers upang masiguro ang kalidad ng health services ng probinsya. (NCLM/PIA Agusan del Norte)