(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Monday, 21 September, 2020) At 3:00 AM today, the center of Tropical Depression "MARCE" was estimated based on all available data at 1,300 km East Northeast of Extreme Northern Luzon (24.3 °N, 133.9 °E) with maximum sustained winds of 55 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 70 km/h. It is almost stationary. Meanwhile, a Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated based on all available data at 75 km Northeast of Borongan City, Eastern Samar (12.0 °N, 126.0 °E). Caraga Region will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms.Light winds coming from Southwest will prevail and the coastal waters will be Slight with wave height from 0.6 to 1.2 meters.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Retooled Community Support Program launched in Agusan Sur town

By 1Lt. Krisjuper Andreo Punzalan

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, Sept. 7 -- The local government unit (LGU) here has launched the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) to deliver basic services in the conflict-affected areas of Sitio Tibog, Sitio Ugnop and Purok 7 of Barangay Mabuhay, Prosperidad on September 2 benefiting 79 households.

Mayor Frederick Mark Plaza Mellana led the RCSP team along with the core teams, local peace and order and development council members.

It is composed of the Basic Services Delivery team which will serve as the bridge of the RCSP team to the national government; the Citizenship and Community Participation team which will strengthen barangay-based institutions and sectoral organizations to engage in participatory issue resolution; the Peace Law Enforcement and Development Support Team which will protect and secure RCSP team and beneficiaries on the conduct of the peace and development activities; the Local Development and Peace and Order Councils which will screen and prioritize the needed government interventions in the community; and the RCSP core team that directly supports the local chief executive in the operationalization of the RCSP.

Upon identification of the issues by the RCSP and the Community Support team of the 8th Special Forces Company of the 3rd Special Forces ”Arrowhead” Battalion, the issues on basic services such as the rehabilitation of farm-to-market road from Sitio Tibog to Purok 7 and access to potable water in Sitio Ugnop were immediately addressed and resolved by the LGU and concerned agencies.

Further, a Serbisyo Caravan consisting of outreach programs, medical services, birth registration, free haircut, and donation of food supplies were provided to 79 households.

“This is the first time that we focused our efforts and actually went to those far-flung communities that needed the services of the government. Usually, these services are brought to a barangay proper or the center among other barangays, but this time we also have to immerse there for us to know their real situation and needs,” Mayor Mellana said.

The mayor also added that the RCSP is aimed at addressing the root causes of insurgency. "We hope na mawala na ang armed conflict sa municipality of Prosperidad so we can explore our fullest potential in eco and agritourism. We may not have all the resources but we are doing our best na maramdaman ang good governance kahit sa pinakamalayong sitios,” said Mellana.

RCSP is one of the national government’s mechanisms in implementing the whole-of-nation approach to successfully end local communist armed conflict (ELCAC) which was institutionalized by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70.

Meanwhile, the Prosperidad RCSP is anchored on the theme “USWAG-Prosperidad” which means ‘Uban ta Sa kalambuan Walay puwas nga programang Agrikultura, industriya ng turismo para sa Gobyernong lokal sa Prosperidad’ to drumbeat their campaign in promoting peace and development. (CMO officer, 3SFBn/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Army joins 'serbisyo caravan' in SurSur town 

By Capt. Edwin Leo Francisco

SAN MIGUEL, Surigao del Sur, Sept. 7 -- Amid the threat of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the 75th Infantry “Marauder” Battalion (75IB) , Philippine Army participated and secured the area during the conduct of the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) dubbed as “Serbisyo and Peace Caravan 2020" initiated by the local government unit (LGU) of San Miguel held in Bolhoon Elementary School, Barangay Bolhoon, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur on September 3, 2020.

RCSP is a convergence mechanism for LGUs particularly in the barangays for the identification of issues and needed government intervention. It is anchored on empowerment framework aimed to develop the capacity of the community to organize themselves and own development by bringing about value-chain interventions to uplift their current condition.

The delivery of various government services and programs through to the people of Brgy. Bolhoon highlighted the event which benefited some 1,500 individuals.

Among the free services offered were medical consultation/check-up; free acquisition of Police Clearance; registration of Birth Certificate; deworming and rabies vaccination; acquisition of Certificate of Land Ownership (CLOA); consultation regarding Alternative Learning System (ALS); feeding program; civil registration for the "Kasalan ng Bayan" set on September 28, 2020; distribution of falcata seeds, fingerlings, relief goods; and free haircut.

The distribution of vitamins was conducted exclusively for the lactating and pregnant women. Counseling as well as circumcision for the male children were also offered.

San Miguel Mayor Hazel Elizalde expressed her gratitude to the 75IB and the government line agencies for the continuous support and cooperation that contributed a lot for the success of the activity.

“As a public servant, it is my role and responsibility to help and serve you. Through Executive Order No. 70, the government and line agencies will unite to deliver basic services and programs to the people and community,” said Mayor Elizalde.

75IB commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Villarosa ably represented by executive officer Major Marlon Bagara, emphasized that the "Marauder" troopers have observed and respected the cultural sensitivity of the Manobos, the indigent people of Brgy. Bolhoon.

“The government and the Philippine Army, together with the partner stakeholders, united through this endeavor to serve well the communities particularly in the far-flung areas,” Maj. Bagara said.

Department of Education (DepEd) Surigao del Sur Division representative Danilo Alcantara confirmed that Tribal Filipino Program in Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) is not accredited by DepEd. He encouraged the parents to enroll their children in DepEd schools for them to obtain legal documents for their children’s education.

Several Schools of Living Traditions (SLT), an indigenous peoples (IP) school run by DepEd have already operationalized in the selected IP communities in San Miguel that cause the closure of most TRIFPSS schools in the town.

For the duration of the activity, health protocols were strictly observed such as wearing of face mask, hand sanitizing, and social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (75IB-CMO/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

DepEd completes construction of 2 IP schools in SurSur

By Lt. Krisjuper Andreo Punsalan

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Sept. 7 -- Two makeshift schools of the Department of Education (DepEd) intended for the indigenous peoples (IPs) in Sitio Simowao Diatagon, Lianga town and Sitio Lucnodon, Mahaba, Marihatag town in Surigao del Sur are now completed and ready for use upon the resumption of classes in October.

These schools, according to a report, will provide quality education and will replace the communist-linked Tribal Filipino Program in Surigao Del Sur (TRIFPSS) to prevent radicalization and NPA recruitment of IP youth.

The IP schools are part of the tangible peace development programs of the Caraga Regional Task Force in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) spearheaded by Surigao Sur Provincial Governor and Regional Peace and Order Committee Chairman Alexander T. Pimentel, Regional Development Council-Social Development Committee (RDC-SDC) Chairman and Bayugan City Mayor Kirk A. Asis, DepEd Regional Office XIII Director Francis Cesar B. Bringas, the IP tribal councils and local government units (LGU) of Marihatag and Lianga.

The 544th Engineer Battalion under LTC Rodel V. Pangilinan CE GSC PA served as the workforce while the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion under LTC Joey Baybayan set the groundwork and security through the conduct of Community Support Program (CSP), one of the mechanisms of the Whole of Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

Contrary to the false reports, DepEd Surigao del Sur Schools Division Superintendent Josita Carmen said they are not closing the IP schools in the province, instead, the said department worked hard in opening DepEd IP schools to provide quality education.

“We did not focus on closing the alleged NPA terrorist-linked TRIFPSS or ALCADEV schools. Rather, we put our time and efforts to lay the foundation in building DepEd schools so that our IP community can have an option,” said Supt. Carmen.

“Fortunately, the IPs have chosen to enroll in our schools as this is their request to have DepEd accredited IP schools in their communities,” she added.

Meantime, Lianga Tribal Chieftain Datu Constancio Duhac, along with tribal and sitio leaders said, “We refute and we can prove, without blurring our faces, that militant group MAPASU, Save Our Schools are spreading fake news saying that the government and the military are abusing the IP community. This is what we are working for, to build ‘genuine IP schools’ for our children to stop NPA terrorists’ exploitation and recruitment. This is what the tribe dreamt of and we thank the government for fulfilling it.”

Lianga IP Mandatory Representative (IPMR) Jumar Bucales (Datu Nahikyad) said that Communist NPA Terrorist and its allies are working so hard to discredit the government efforts through their propaganda in various platforms of social media.

“If they are genuine enough (MAPASU and Save Our Schools), they should have joined and helped the legitimate the IP leaders like us in our efforts to bring hope to our children instead of attacking us and accusing us  as paramilitary. We will not allow MAPASU, Save Our Schools and their cohorts from exploiting our children again,” Bucales said.

The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), and RTF-ELCAC member agencies led by NCIP Secretary Allen Capuyan, with the IP children and parents, Marihatag and Lianga LGUs held the first ceremonial flag raisings in the newly constructed IP schools on August 24 in Sitio Simuwao and Sept 1 in Sitio Lucnodon, respectively.

Meanwhile, the DepEd Surigao del Sur Division plans a systematic and practical approach to provide quality education to cope up despite the new normal brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are working on a practical approach for the continuous delivery of IP Education despite the pandemic and the new normal in the hinterlands and we will propose it to the IATF,” Supt. Carmen said. (3SFBn-CMO/PIA-Surigao del Sur)