(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Monday, 05 June 2023) Southwest Monsoon affecting the western section of Central and Southern Luzon. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due Southwest Monsoon. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming Southwest to West will prevail with Slight to Moderate seas (1.0 to 2.1 meters).

Thursday, September 3, 2020

COVID-19 cases in Caraga now at 549

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 3 – The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday reported that Caraga region has now registered 549 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases with the 12 new positives for the virus.

"DO Caraga announces receipt of 34 RT-PCR confirmatory results from the GeneXpert Reference Laboratory of Butuan Medical Center and Philippine National Red Cross Manila where 22 tested negative and twelve (12) turned positive for the COVID-19 virus," it said.

The negative RT-PCR results are from the high-risk individuals who had positive Rapid Antibody-based Tests, health care workers and close contacts of previously confirmed cases.

Of the 12 confirmed positive cases, 75% (9) are frontliners wherein 50% (6) are tagged as local transmission cases, 25% (3) are close contacts of previously confirmed local transmission cases, 17% (2) are Returning Overseas Filipinos with one case quarantined in Manila, and 8% (1) is a health care worker who is also a close contact of a previously confirmed case. About 67% (8) belong to ages 20-40 years old; the youngest is 25 years old and the oldest is 50 years old. As to sex distribution, 67% (8) are males while 33% (4) are females.

The confirmed cases are distributed in the following areas: Butuan City-Villa Kananga (4), Libertad (3), Baan Km.3 (1), Bancasi (1), Ong Yiu (1), Tiniwisan (1) and Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte (1). 

As to the medical status of patients, 83% (10) are asymptomatic while the remaining cases have exhibited mild to moderate symptoms. Furthermore, asymptomatic cases are strictly monitored in following quarantine protocols while symptomatic patients are admitted and managed accordingly.

As of September 2, COVID-19 confirmed positive cases in Caraga region now totals to 549 with 367 (67%) recoveries that have been discharged and released, 172 (31%) are active cases wherein 60% (104) are asymptomatic, 37% (64) are mild to moderate, and 2% (4) are severe, and 2% (10) deaths.

“As the COVID-19 cases in Butuan City continuously rise, we are closely coordinating and collaborating with the local government as well as with DILG, PIA, private and public hospitals, and other stakeholders in the monitoring and management of cases and isolation facilities," said DOH Caraga Regional Director Jose R. Llacuna, Jr.

"Likewise, we are also looking into the infection prevention and control measures of organizations and offices especially if there is a presence of unusual case clustering. DOH Caraga will monitor the trend of cases, and efficiently and effectively implement containment measures. We call on everyone to never get tired practicing the minimum health standards like wearing of masks, physical distancing and regular hand washing. We are accountable to our own health and this starts by exercising maximum vigilance,” he added. (DOH Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

Butuan's public market stall vendors appeal for relief assistance during 6-day lockdown

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 3 (PIA) -- The stall owners and vendors at the Salvador L. Calo Supermarket, also known as the "Langihan Public Market" here have asked relief assistance from the local government unit (LGU) of Butuan during the six-day lockdown effective Aug. 26 after three vendors got positive rapid test result, and one eventually died.

Jennilyn Supangan was one of the vendors affected by the temporary closure of the market. “Life has been hard these past few days since the lockdown. We hope to receive relief assistance from the government to support us in our daily needs especially that we have children to feed,” she said.

Consumers were also affected and expressed sympathy to the vendors with the hope that they could soon go back to its operations. “As consumers, we also find it difficult to go elsewhere to buy our food. The public market is where we usually find fresh and affordable food to eat,” said Leah Palarca.

Meanwhile, the LGU-Butuan has started releasing the relief assistance to the affected vendors. "There are around 600 plus families affected dyan and we already submitted the names of the vendors, families affected," bared Atty. Edwin Jon Pizarro, OIC of the Office of the City Economic Enterprise (OCEE).

The City Health Office continues to conduct contract tracing and disinfection in the vicinity of the public market.

Stall vendors also hoped that contact tracing would be over and disinfection in the public market will regularly be conducted for their safety. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

Army, LGU continue to deliver basic services to AgSur IP communities

By 2Lt. Cecille C Tapa

TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur, Sept. 3 – The 26th Infantry (Ever Onward) Battalion (26IB), 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division, Philippine Army, together with the Municipal Local Government Unit (LGU) of San Luis, Agusan del Sur led by Mayor Phoebe Y. Corvera once again embarked on the implementation of the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) as a strategy to realize the objectives of Executive Order No. 70 or the “whole-of-nation approach” during the mission planning orientation of RCSP held on September 1, 2020, at the Municipal Hall, San Luis, this province.

The delivery of basic services to the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) particularly in the identified barangays of the said municipality were discussed. "The government needs to reach out and we have to be responsive to the needs of these communities. Through the delivery of basic social services, the IPs may have the opportunity to live safer and healthier," Corvera said.

“This gathering is just like any other committee gatherings which tackles our individual functions to continue our mandated tasks in providing social services to the community and  to ensure that all concerned agencies are onboard for this year’s implementation,“ underscored Atty. Charles V. Lim, Municipal Local Government Operations Officer (MLGOO).

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Reynald Romel A. Goce, commanding officer of 26IB, bared that “the army is deploying community peace and development teams which are encouraging community-based initiatives defined by the local communities. With the LGU's efforts against insurgency, geared towards presenting long-term solutions and at the same time addressing the immediate needs of the local community, basic services will be provided."

"In addition, all government agencies should take their functions seriously and make appropriate actions especially in conflict affected areas and vulnerable communities and ensure the participation of all sectors in delivering basic services to achieve social development and sustainable peace," Goce added. (CMO, 26IB/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

60 Butuan farmers learn agricultural extension approach

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 3 -- Around 60 farmer-cooperators of the 100 techno demonstration areas of hybrid rice in the city attended a participatory and an interactive learning approach through the Farmer's Field School (FFS).

The Department of Agriculture (DA) – Caraga together with the Local Government Unit of Butuan City and the Rice Productivity Advocacy Incorporated (Rice Board) provided an opportunity for the farmer-cooperators to practice and test or evaluate sustainable land-use technologies and introduce new technologies by comparing their conventional practices.

In a study conducted by DA-Caraga's Research Division, Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur FFS-graduate farmers who adopted the FFS – recommended technologies improved their yield and income after the course implementation based on its initial findings.

Butuan City's Rice Program Coordinator Nestor Fuentes, in a statement, attested that FFS is an effective extension approach as it adheres to the principles of "learning by doing."

"The field is the learning place for our farmer-cooperators as they explore and educate themselves on the issues and topics that affect their livelihood," said Fuentes.

The ultimate aim of the farmers' field school is to improve the farmers' knowledge and decision-making abilities so they can cope with pest and crop management problems on their own.

Felicita L. Bagtilay, 60 years old and a farmer-cooperator, shared the importance of FFS to her as a rice farmer for 45 years.

"Participating in FFS allows me to learn more and adopt the new technologies that I need for my area. Learning never stops, because this is needed to improve our farming practices," she said.

Further, farmer-cooperators and selected farmer leaders from Butuan City, RTR, and Buenavista, Agusan del Norte will be conducting a field visitation next month on the techno-demo areas to personally observe the hybrid technologies applied in the said areas. (DA Caraga/PIA Caraga)

DA, partners to launch 'Project PEACE' in Agusan Norte

By Vanessa P. Sanchez

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 3 -- In the midst of the global health crisis the whole world is facing, the government is exhausting all efforts to ensure food availability and accessibility for every Filipino.

In the region, the People Empowerment in Agriculture for Community Enhancement or Project PEACE, a community vegetable production project in select barangays initiated by the Province of Agusan del Norte through the Office of Congresswoman Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba in coordination with the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Caraga is set to be launched on the last week of this month.

The project was created to cushion the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)  particularly in selected far-flung and poorest of the poor barangays of the province by establishing vegetable gardens that would serve as their own food source.

Other collaborating agencies of the project are the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA), Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, and the Provincial and Municipal Local Government Units of Agusan del Norte.

Under the program, five areas have been identified in which the techno demo of the vegetable gardens will be established namely Brgy.Lower Olave in Buenavista, Brgy. Sto. Niño in Remedios T. Romualdez, Brgy. Del Pilar in Cabadbaran, Brgy. Bangayan in Kitcharao, and one barangay in Butuan City.

A Training of Trainers for the group who will be working on the techno demo gardens was recently conducted attended by the representatives from the Army, Philippine National Police, Indigenous Peoples, former rebels, and former drug surrenderees facilitated by the Agricultural Training Institute, TESDA, and DA-Caraga.

According to DA-Caraga Regional Technical Director Rebecca R. Atega, the vegetable was chosen for this project since compared to other crops, it is quicker to grow and harvest.

On the other hand, DA-Caraga Regional Executive Director Abel James I. Monteagudo said that at this time of a pandemic, food production at your own backyard is the hope of ensuring food security.

“The simple act of teaching people the basics in planting can have a huge impact,” Monteagudo said. (DA13-RAFIS/PIA Agusan del Norte)