(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.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Butuan City village SK launches activities for youth week amid pandemic

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 2 (PIA) -- Despite the limitations posed by the current pandemic, the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation of Brgy. Golden Ribbon here launched various activities in line with the celebration of the Linggo ng Kabataan 2020.

Groups of youth were given the chance to show their artistry by taking part in the various activities prepared by the youth council such as the week-long mural painting contest. Participants are made to depict this year's theme "A drug-free barangay is a safe space for the youth," which was also chosen to give recognition to Brgy. Golden Ribbon for being the first drug-free barangay in the city.

A Miss Gay competition was also launched virtually to highlight the LGBTQIA+ community in the youth.

SK Federation chairperson Engr. Wen Kok Chiang Lim II stated that it was still important for their youth to celebrate the event even with the whole nation facing a health crisis.

“We wanted to showcase the talent of our youth through the arts. We see these competitions as the appropriate avenues for such purpose,” he said.

Participants of the mural painting contest viewed the competition as a way to show support to the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the barangay.

Along with her teammates, Angeline Go aims to educate the youth through their painting, depicting the detrimental effects of drug usage and abuse. She also emphasized the importance of using their skills as an outlet to explore their passion and creativity. 

“Pay attention to what you love doing and use it to create healthy hobbies. In that way, we are able to use our free time to cultivate our passion instead of resorting to activities that may actually do more harm than good,” she added.

Fellow participant Danilo Sasan shares the same view with Go’s opinion.  While he remained unassuming of his skills in drawing and painting, he also believes that it does not matter whether someone is good at what they’re doing, so long as they enjoy doing it, which is why he encourages his fellow youth to engage in the community and take part in their activities, especially those intended for the youth.

“I understand that some of the youth members are shy and this might be because we feel the need to be good at everything we do. The skill level doesn’t matter, so long as you feel happy engaging in these activities and able to share it with your peers.”

The event was organized in partnership with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Caraga. (DMNR/PIA-Caraga) 

150 rebels, supporters surrender in Agusan Norte

By 1Lt. Roel T. Maglalang

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte, Sept. 2 -- A total of 150 members and mass supporters of the Communist New People’s Army Terrorist (CNT) formally surrendered all together and pledged allegiance to the government in a ceremony held recently in Sitio Macopa, Barangay Poblacion, Carmen town, this province.


The activity was led by the 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion (23IB), Philippine Army with the support of the local government unit (LGU) of Carmen, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the different line agencies of the government.

Among the one hundred fifty (150) CNT members who surrendered, 30 were members of the Militia ng Bayan (MB) while 120 were mass supporters of the movement who come from two barangays in Carmen town and were part of the underground links and affiliates of the CNTs, particularly the Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad, Yunit Milisyang Bayan, Pambansang Katipunan ng Magbubukid sa Pilipinas, Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan and Kabataang Makabayan.

The mass surrender was achieved through the efforts of the Community Support Program (CSP) of the 23rd IB and the Community Action (ComAct) Team of the PNP, with the support of the council members of Barangay Rojales and Poblacion and the Local Government Unit to clear and to dismantle the remaining members of the Guerrilla Front (GF) 4A as well as destroy the Sentro de Grabidad (SDG) CAOCAO and Sub-Regional Sentro de Gabidad (SRSDG) SAGAY of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) of the CNT. The ultimate aim of the joint efforts is to bring peace and order and pave the way for the implementation of the development initiatives of the government to the conflict-affected areas of Barangays Rojales and Poblacion in Carmen.

During the ceremony, the 150 mass surrenderers denounced the CNTs, formally cut their allegiance to the communist movement, and declared the CNTs as persona non grata in their barangays. The declaration of persona non grata is the result of the realization of the residents of the manipulations done by the CNTs and the expression that they are already fed up, sick and tired of the presence and exploitation of the communist rebels. They also condemned the terroristic acts done by the CNTs in their communities and pledged to support the programs and services of the government in their localities.

The former rebels also handed over firearms during the ceremony and burned the CPP-NPA flag as a symbol of their decision in choosing a new path for peace and development. The surrendered firearms were accepted by Mayor Jovette C. Calo of Carmen town and Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, the Acting Commanding Officer of 23IB.

In her statement, Mayor Calo expressed gratitude to the residents of Barangays Poblacion and Rojales, especially to the former members of the CNTs for their decision to leave the communist movement and return to the folds of the law.

“Now you have chosen the right path of your life to reach out to your dreams not only for yourself but for your family as well. In fact, your courage and braveness symbolized the cutting-off of support to the CNTs,” Mayor Calo said.

She added that as the mother of the municipality, she is encouraging every parent to become vigilant and look after their children to protect them from the recruitment of the CNTs. “We need to protect them from the deceptions of the CNTs. I hope that after this activity, you will become the parents who think about what will be your next step to change your community for the better,” Mayor Calo said.

In his testimony, Alias June, one of the surrenderers thanked the government and the 23rd IB for the new opportunities given to them to live peacefully. “Nagpasalamat mi og dako sa atong gobyerno ug sa kasundalohan sa 23IB, sa kapulisan ug sa tanan nga agency nga naningkamot ug nitabang aron mahan-ay ang among kinabuhi. Layo ra kaayo ang trato sa CPP-NPA sa amoa kung itandi nako sa pag trato sa kasundaluhan ug sa gobyerno sa amo. Mao nga dako kaayo ang ano pag mahay sa pag supporta namo sa walhong grupo nga wala man nakatabang ka name,” Alias Jun said.

During the activity, each of the former rebels was also provided with initial assistance such as five kilos of rice from the LGU Carmen.

Furthermore, the Technical Education Skills Development Authority in Agusan del Norte (TESDA-ADN) led by Provincial Director Rey Cueva also provided them with marinated bangus and assorted biscuits. As long-term assistance, TESDA-ADN will also process the former rebels to be enrolled in the different scholarship grants of the agency for them to undergo schooling on different skills education and training programs.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Paulo, in his message during the ceremony, expressed gladness over the increasing number of CNT members who surrendered to the government to embrace a peaceful life by reintegrating into mainstream society.

“We urge the remaining members of the CNTS to lay down their arms and return to their families and communities. We are always willing to help and assist you to get back to your normal lives,” Paulo said.

He added that the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) is designed to reshape the lives of CNTs who awaken from their dark days inside the communist movement and decide to renew their lives.

“Our brothers and sisters who are already exasperated and riled while languishing from miserable lives inside the CNT movement deserve to live peacefully. The government is giving them the chance to experience new lives with their families,” Paulo said. (CMO Officer, 23IB PA)

Mga kabataan sa isang baranggay sa Butuan, ginunita ang Linggo ng Kabataan

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Setyembre 2 (PIA) -- Sa kabila ng mga hamon dulot ng kasalukuyang pandemiya, naglunsad ng mga aktibidad ang Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation ng Brgy. Golden Ribbon nang lungsod para sa selebrasyon ng Linggo ng Kabataan 2020.

Tagisan ng galing ang mga grupo ng kabataan na lumahok sa iba’t-ibang kompetisyon gaya ng mural painting contest. Kinakailangan nilang mailarawan ang temang “A drug-free barangay is a safe space for the youth” na siyang napili bilang pagkilala sa Brgy. Golden Ribbon bilang kauna-unahang drug-free barangay sa lungsod.

Naglunsad din ng virtual Miss Gay competition para sa mga miyembro ng LGBTQIA+ community sa youth sector.

Ayon kay SK Federation chairperson Engr. Wen Kok Chiang Lim II, ipinagpatuloy nila ang selebrasyon dahil importante pa din na mabigyan ng pagkakataon na maipakita ng mga kabataan ang kanilang talento sa gitna ng mga hamong dulot ng krisis.

“Nais po naming na maipakita ang talento ng aming kabataan sa sining. Ito ay maipapamalas nila ng husto sa pamamagitan ng mga inilunsad naming na aktibidad,” aniya.

Para sa mga kalahok, ang mural painting contest ay nagsisilbing paraan ng pagsuporta para sa kampanya ng kanilang barangay kontra droga.

Kasama ang kaniyang mga kasamahan, nais ni Angeline Go na maipahayag sa kanyang kapwa kabataan ang mga masasamang epekto ng paggamit at pag abuso ng ilegal na droga na binigyang-diin nila sa kanilang painting.

Ibinahagi din niya ang kahalagan ng paggamit ng skills sa pagdiskubre ng passion at creativity ng mga kabataan.

“Sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay-pansin ng ating mga hilig, matutuklasan po natin kung ano po talaga yung mga bagay na nais nating gawin,” ayon kay Go.

Sang-ayon naman si Danilo Sasan sa pahayag ni Go. Dagdag niya, hindi naman kinakailangan na magaling upang gawin ang mga bagay-bagay na nagbibigay-aliw kung kaya’t hinihikayat niya lahat ng mga kabataan na makisalo sa mga aktibidad ng kanilang komunidad.

“Alam ko po na may mga kabataang mahiyain lang talaga at siguro dahil po iyon sa kinakailangan na maging magaling po tayo sa ng ating ginagawa. Pero hindi naman po kailangan na ganun, basta po nag-eenjoy po tayo at naibabahagi natin ito sa ating mga kaibigan at kapwa.”

Ang selebrasyon ay inorganize ng naturang SK kasama ang Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Caraga. (DMNR/PIA-Caraga)

Former rebels join TOTs for organic agriculture

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 2 (PIA) -- The former rebels in Agusan del Norte are among the sectors who joined in the training of trainers (TOTs) for Organic Agriculture.

Alias Henry, who surrendered to the 29th Infantry Battalion (29IB), Philippine Army was one of the active participants who was eager to share his learnings to the locals in the priority barangays.

Unlike his previous experience while still in the New People’s Army (NPA) movement where he usually used deadly weapons or firearms, alias Henry now equipped himself with the right information and knowledge on organic agriculture as a way to sustain his daily living.

“For those who are still in the NPA movement, please surrender and let’s unite and work together for our future. Do not allow yourselves to become victims of abuse and exploitation of the NPA,” said alias Henry.

This training on organic farming is part of the PEACE (People Empowerment in Agriculture for Community Enterprise) Project initiated by the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC).

It also forms part of the government’s strategies for the poverty reduction, livelihood and employment cluster with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) as the lead agency, which intends to curb the insurgency problem in the region.

“I am ready and willing to impart my knowledge especially in producing an organic fertilizer that will help us in our demo farm,” bared PFC Reymar Aballe of 23rd Infantry Battalion.

“With the help of our trainers, locals would be able to learn how to sustain food for their family from their own backyard in their respective community. By October, we expect that the demo farm will be accredited by the Agricultural Training Institute, so that by November, TESDA could also accredit it as a farm school,” underscored Dir. Rey Cueva of TESDA-Agusan del Norte.

Alias Henry also called on the youth not to be deceived by the wrong ideologies and false propaganda of the NPA communist terrorist group.

“Do not allow yourselves to be deceived by the wrong ideologies of the NPA making you believe that they have the solutions to your problems,” alias Henry said.

After this training, participants will be deployed to the identified barangays of the province to help locals and enhance their skills, particularly on organic agriculture with an aim to help uplift their lives and have an option  for sustainable livelihood. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

LGU initiatives during pandemic help farmers, consumers

By Rhea Abao

The local officials have a big role to play to conform to coronavirus disease 2019  (COVID-19) health directives and at the same in ensuring the local population's food security.

The nature of the pandemic gives challenges to actors of the food system at every level such as the disruptions to food supply chains, market losses, and the required safety measures for workers.

In the Caraga region, local government units (LGUs) are now the first responders on the needs of the affected populations mainly to provide food for all.

LGU's responsive measures

In the municipality of Claver, Surigao del Norte through the leadership of Mayor Georgia D. Gokiangkee, has found responsive measures to ensure the continuity of their food supply and ease market disruptions.

"The imposition of the localized community quarantine measures in the middle of March 2020 limits our work and field operations but this did not hinder us to continue our partnership with our local farmers to address food availability and accessibility in the municipality. The LGU has bought over P1.69 million worth of agricultural goods directly from the farmers," said Engr. Carlos S. Quirequire, OIC-Municipal Agriculturist of Claver.

The Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) reached out to 35 rice farmers from the irrigator's association and farmer groups within the town to supply milled rice for the relief operations. The LGU purchased 532 bags at P2,200 per bag of 50 kilograms.

Aside from the milled rice, they also bought 810 kilos of squash at P10 per kilo from a local farmer and outsource assorted vegetables from the other municipalities and cities in the region with a total worth P521,167. 

Through this, a total of 13,674 families of the municipality benefited from the LGU's procurement of rice and vegetables for project relief operations.

"We wanted to help our farmers by buying their products to ensure their income despite the implementation of the community quarantine. Aside from it, the LGU sees a better alternative of providing nutritious food packs for our constituents," said Quirequire.

According to Queriqueri, if a farmer will sell 100 bags of fresh palay directly to traders he can only earn around P85,000 while if a farmer will mill his products he can earn P116,000.

"Without the proactive measures of the municipal office, we will be selling our fresh palay to the rice traders at a farm gate price ranging from P16 to P18 per kilo. But the rice procurement initiated by the LGU during the lockdown aids us to earn more out of our products as they encouraged us to do value-adding to boosts our income," said Rene Taer, president of Ladgaron Irrigators Association.

He is also grateful for the initiative of the LGU in buying out his 25 bags of milled rice wherein he sold it at a total of P55,000.

Pro farmer-consumer initiative

As the locals observed the community quarantine, the vegetable farmers and fishers were able to sell their fresh harvest as the municipal agriculture office initiated the 'Tabo sa Munisipyo.'

"Tabo sa Munisipyo is our version of Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita here in our town. This is to help our farmers and fishers to continue earning even at the height of the pandemic. This is also our way to ease the difficulties of consumers in accessing fresh produce at a good price," said Quirequire.

On the other hand, part of their assistance is to find market linkages to their local producers. The municipal agriculture office used the available platforms like social media to reach interested buyers. 

Russell Acero, daughter of the watermelon farmer from Brgy. Sapa, Claver is grateful for the action taken by the MAO for helping them to sell their produce.

"Due to the lockdown, we encountered cancellation of orders from our usual buyers. But with the quick response of the MAO, we were able to sell our 10,000 kilos of watermelon at P8 per kilo through online orders and tabo sa munisipyo," she said.

The support of the municipal government did not leave the farmer-producers empty-handed nor let their goods go to waste with no return of their investments. 

"The move of the LGU-Claver demonstrates that we could do more if we will strategize the food supply chain in our community. Hopefully, these initiatives will continue and be replicated with other LGU's this will be instrumental in improving farm productivity, thereby improving the quality of lives of the farmers," said DA-Caraga Regional Executive Director Abel James I. Monteagudo.

The DA continues to strengthen its ties with the LGUs to effectively strategize the support not just for the farmers but for all stakeholders. With a strong LGU's decision making, the needs of the community are better identified. (DA13-RAFIS/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Probinsya ng Agusan del Norte handang tugonan ang banta ng COVID-19

By Nora C. Lanuza

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Setyembre 2 (PIA) -- Upang mas matiyak ang kaligtasan ng mga Agusanons sa panahon na may coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, nagbigay ng dagdag na pondo ang probinsya ng Agusan del Norte sa lahat ng kanyang sampung munisipyo at isang syudad upang magkaroon ng sariling quarantine facilities na tutugon sa problemang dulot ng COVID-19. Bilang suporta nagbigay ang probinsya ng tig-iisang milyong peso sa bawat local government unit bilang tulong at dagdag sa pag-establish ng nasabing pasilidad.

Ayon kay Gobernador Dale B. Corvera ng Agusan del Norte, handa ang probinsya at maliban din sa labing isang quarantine facilities, mayroon ding tatlong quarantine facilities ang probinsya na matatagpuan sa bayan ng Nasipit at Jabonga at sa Bancasi, Butuan City at may mga isolation facilities din na nakahanda.

Samantala, kahit nasa modified community quarantine na ang rehiyon ng Caraga, mahigpit pa rin ang pagpapatupad ng health protocols sa mga regional boundaries na papasaok sa rehiyon ng Caraga.

Ayon kay PLt. Joseph Arnaiz, ang team leader ng regional boundary control point sa Tagcatong, Carmen, Agusan del Norte, hindi sila naging maluwag sa kanilang pagpapatupad ng pagcheck ng valid requirements papasok ng rehiyon, sa panahon na may kulang ang dokumento na dala ng mga gustong pumasok sa rehiyon, binibigyan nila ng pagkakataon nga makapagcomply dito at sila na rin mismo ang tumutulong na makipagcoordinte sa kanilang pinaggalingan.

Dagdag pa ni PLt Arnaiz, sa panahong may kulang ang mga dokumento na dala ng isang papasok sa rehiyon, hindi nila pinababayaan.

Maliban din sa pagchechek ng iba pang dokumento na dala-dala ng mga gustong papasok sa rehiyon, ayon kay Anbert Cayna, Jr., nurse assigned sa checkpoint, mahigpit nilang hinahanap ang medical certificates at health declaration dahil makikita doon ang assessment nila sa kanilang kalusugan.

Nagpapasalamat din si Gobernador Corvera sa DPWH Caraga dahil sa programa nilang mag-eestablish ng quarantine facility sa bawat distrito sa rehiyon. (NCLM/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Hiling ng Tribung Manobo sa gobyerno, tutukan sana kami 

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Setyembre 2 (PIA) - Hiniling ng mga katotobong Manobo sa Bunawan, Agusan del Sur ang pagtatalaga ng opisyal na tututok sa kanila.

Sa pagbisita ng mga kinatawan ng National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), hiniling nila na maiparating sa kanilang lugar ang edukasyon at pangkabuhayan.

“Nangangailangan tayo more on education at pangalawa yung hanapbuhay. At sana yung forever na livelihood tulad ng fruit trees, isda o kung ano man para ma-suportahan ‘yung pangangailangan ng komunidad,” ani ni Datu Alberto Prado, tribal secretary ng Consuelo Manobo Tribe ng Certificate of Ancestral Domain (CADT) 136.

Kabilang din sa problema nila ang panggugulo ng mga armadong grupo sa kanilang mapayapang komunidad.

“Umaasa rin kami na sa tulong ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte, mapoprotektahan po ang karapatan ng mga IPs sa territorial jurisdiction nito,” sabi ni Prado.

Target naman ng NCIP na mapuntahan ang ibat-ibang conflict affected areas upang makuha o marinig mismo sa mga IP communities ang kanilang hinaing at pangangailangan lalo na ngayong may pandemic.

Bahagi rin ito sa pagpapatupad ng Executive Order 70 o ang Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) ng administrasyong Duterte. (JPG/PIA-Agusan del Sur)