(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Saturday, 28 November, 2020) Tail-end of a Frontal System affecting the eastern section of Northern Luzon. Northeast Monsoon affecting the rest of Northern Luzon. Easterlies affecting Mindanao and the rest of the country. Caraga Region will experience Cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to Easterlies. Possible flash floods or landslides during moderate to at times heavy rains. Light to Moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail and the coastal waters will be Slight to Moderate with wave height from 0.6 to 2.5 meters.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Olympic-size swimming pool opens in Surigao del Norte

By Venus L. Garcia

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Oct. 22 (PIA) -- The province of Surigao del Norte takes pride of its newly inaugurated Olympic-size swimming pool inside the provincial sports complex.

The opening of the 50-meter swimming pool strengthens the initiative of the provincial government in promoting optimal health and wellness of the locals through sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The simple celebration started with a motorcade along the major thoroughfares heading towards the provincial sports complex. Surigao del Norte Gov. Francisco Matugas led the inauguration together with other local officials of the province and local government unit of Surigao City.

According to Edwin Ausa, the provincial wellness, sports and youth development officer, the opening of the swimming pool will entice more individuals especially the youth to engage in sports activities and is also an ideal venue for recreation of Surigaonons.

He said that using sports as a vehicle to attract young people could help in keeping them away from bad vices.

“Basically, this swimming pool will cater all those who are here in the mainland. I’m sure in the future we can have superstars in terms of swimming,” he said.

In the meantime, temporary closure of the sports complex is imposed as a mitigating measure due to the pandemic. (VLG/SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

PH manufacturers ensure quality infra materials

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 22 (PIA) -- As a way to express their full support of the government’s prioritization of local products and construction materials for infrastructure and public works projects, as provided for in the recently signed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2, the Pioneer Float Glass Manufacturing Incorporated (PFGMI), together with Puyat Steel Corporation (PSC) and Sonic Steel Industries Incorporated (SSII), have joined the Cement Manufacturers’ Association of the Philippines (CeMAP) and Philippine Iron and Steel Institute (PISI) in ensuring quality and adequate supply of locally-made construction materials.

Since the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis, CeMAP and PISI, whose members include PSC and SSII, and PFGMI have stood in solidarity with government leaders and key industry stakeholders in striking a delicate balance between navigating the health crisis and keeping the economy afloat.

Through this partnering effort and unwavering commitment, many Filipino jobs were preserved and this placed the country on the road to economic recovery.

With the use of local building materials, such as cement, steel, and glass for the ongoing Build Build Build (BBB) program, these industries can fully help support the nation’s economic recovery by continuing to generate employment, contributing to the national income through taxes, and ensuring that the multiplier effect of supporting local businesses is fully taken advantage of.

“The Philippine building materials industries, especially the cement industry, is confident and ready to ensure that our Philippine infrastructure projects will have adequate materials supply from companies that are proud to be manufacturing locally,” said CeMAP Executive Director Cirilo Pestaño.

“Likewise, the steel industry is ready to assure that our local projects will receive the best quality of building materials, including Philippine steel, available for the government’s ongoing and upcoming projects. As an industry, we are ready to do our part and play a key role in the swift economic recovery of the nation,” PISI President Ronald C. Magsajo also added.

PSC Executive Vice President Eugenio R. Puyat II also emphasized that PSC fully supports the government’s prioritization of Philippine manufactured products and construction materials for infrastructure and public works projects.

"Philippine funded projects, as well as all other projects, must give preference to Philippine manufactured products as long as it meets quality standards required,” he underscored.

Meanwhile, PFGMI President and CEO Paul Vincent Go highlighted that “in solidarity with the cement and steel industry, PFGMI as the leading domestic manufacturer of float glass in the Philippines, guarantees the availability of glass products of the highest quality to its key customers, which includes the downstream wholesale glass supply market, to support domestic demand for institutional, industrial, and residential glass products.” (JPG/PIA-Caraga) 

CeMAP promotes high-quality local cement products

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 22 (PIA) - With its commitment to serve and ensure quality to the Filipino cement consumers, the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CeMAP) eyes counter-checking cement products to ensure that these are truly manufactured locally.

In CeMAP’s press statement, the company cited that there have been reports of malicious and inappropriately labelled cement products circulating in the different parts of the country. This was brought to the attention of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) the cement bags of Union V Super Strength 40 manufactured by Philcement Corporation.

Based on the CeMAP’s report to DTI dated January 28, 2020, the said cement bags produced by Philcement Corporation were labelled “Product of the Philippines”. CeMAP elaborated that it is publicly known that Philicement Corporation is one of the companies engaged in cement importation.

“Further, the PS License Number was not printed on the bags and that the Batch Identification Number and Manufacturing Date were not understandable to consumers, both of which are required by the Philippine National Standards (PNS),” said Cirilo Pestaño, CeMAP executive director.

Pestaño emphasized that CeMAP simply wants to know if all of Philcement’s products are indeed manufactured in the Philippines as indicated on their cement bags. Philcement is yet to respond to the query. Meanwhile, concerned government offices are urged to conduct a thorough investigation on the matter.

“We strongly advocate for the provision of accurate information to the public to facilitate sound choice and the proper exercise of consumer rights. To enable faster economic recovery, the government is promoting use of locally manufactured products to preserve jobs and make the most of the multiplier effect and contribution of domestic manufacturing activities to the Philippine economy. It is therefore imperative that products sold in the market, like cement, are appropriately labelled and represented as such,” added Pestaño.

CeMAP further pointed out that this concern is in line with their commitment to work with all stakeholders in promoting consumer welfare and protection as part of their advocacy and for the safety and overall benefit of Filipino cement consumers.

The Cement Manufacturers' Association of the Philippines (CeMAP) was established in 1973 with the aim of pooling the cement industry's resources to ensure the industry's growth and share in the development of the Philippine economy.

The association's main responsibilities include consistently monitoring the quality of cement produced by local manufacturers, promoting strict compliance with recognized quality standards, and advocation in adherence to environmental standards in the production of cement. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

FRs complete TESDA training on land prep

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 22 – A total of 24 former rebels (FRs) in Agusan del Norte have completed the skills training given by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

TESDA-Agusan del Norte Provincial Director Rey M. Cueva said the FRs underwent 9-day training on Land Preparation leading to Organic Agriculture Production.  “Participants are 24 FRs and are under the custody of the 23rd Infantry Battalion, 29th Infantry Battalion and the Philippine National Police,” he said.

The official added like the 16 personnel of the Agusan del Norte Provincial Hospital who underwent training on Prepare and Produce Bakery Products and the 11 personnel who finished skills training in Prepare Dining Area for Service, after the Land Preparation, training on Organic Agriculture Production will follow.

Later on, the official pointed out that the provincial government, in partnership with TESDA-Agusan del Norte has already laid down its plan to create a mini-organic farm right at the training site located at the back of the provincial hospital to ensure self-sufficient in providing food to the patients and the personnel as well.

Dir. Cueva further said this is still part of the 109th anniversary celebration of the Agusan del Norte Provincial Hospital through the Office of Congresswoman Ma. Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba of the 2nd District, as well as the Provincial Government through Governor Dale B. Corvera.

It was also made possible through the Agusan del Norte Provincial Hospital through Provincial Health Officer I – Dr. Odelio Y. Ferrer, Agusan del Norte Provincial Administrator Gerry Joey P. Laurito, and TESDA-Agusan del Norte Provincial Office.

Under the land preparation, the scope of the training focused on clearing, plowing, harrowing and farrowing of the land, it was learned.

Land preparation is a farm activity typically involves plowing, harrowing, and leveling the field to make it suitable for crop establishment. (TESDA Agusan del Norte/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Agusan Norte guv to fund .5M PRLEC enterprise dev’t projects

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 22 – Agusan del Norte Governor Dale B. Corvera said the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) will fund the enterprise development projects of the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) which totaled half-a-million pesos.

In a meeting held Tuesday at the Provincial Covered Court with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-Agusan del Norte Provincial Director Rey M. Cueva and Provincial Administrator Joey Gerry Laurito, Gov. Corvera assured that he will support the PRLEC enterprise development projects and will give funds for its establishment.

Gov. Corvera added this will be made possible through the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) who is also very supportive of peace and development causes.

Dir. Cueva said among the projects to be established is the habal-habal spare parts store and vulcanizing shop in Sitio Zapanta Valley, Bangayan, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte amounting to P100,000.00.

Also, a bakery and refreshment will soon be established in the area with an estimated amount of P75,000.00, as well as barbershop and salon that will cost P40,000.00, while a Gulayan/Bagsakan Center that will process fruits and vegetable products amounting to P35,000.00 will also form part of the lined-up projects.

Meanwhile, in San Antonio, Remedios T. Romualdez (RTR) town, a restaurant/kiosk will be established soon. The project will cost P100,000.00. Another project is the beads-making and souvenir items which costs P50,000.00.

In a related development, a bakery and refreshment amounting to P50,000.00 will be put up in Brgy. Simbalan, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte. Likewise, beads-making and souvenir items which costs P50,000.00 will also be put up in the area.

This undertaking shows that the official has fully supported the PRLEC and TESDA in its quest to achieve a long-lasting peace and development in the province of Agusan del Norte. (TESDA Agusan del Norte/PIA Agusan del Norte)

NPA terrorists arrested in Surigao del Norte

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Oct. 22 -- Two active members of the communist terrorist group (CTG) fell into the hands of the authorities following their arrest in Purok 1, Barangay Marayag, Mainit, Surigao del Norte on October 3.

Based on the report, the arrested communist New People’s Army (NPA) terrorists were identified as Regil D. Dano also known as Pluto,  37 years old, an active member of SYP21C, Guerilla Front 21 and his brother Erwin “Benz” D. Dano, 23 years old, an active member of SDG21, Guerilla Front 21.

Regil, listed as top three most wanted in Police Regional Office 13, was apprehended by virtue of warrant of arrest for the crime of murder issued by Judge Marigel S. Dagani-Hugo of Branch 3, Butuan City Regional Trial Court dated July 22, 2020 while Erwin Dano was arrested for violation of Republic Act 9516 or Illegal Possession of Explosive. Both personalities are residents of Sitio Dugyaman, Brgy Anticala, Butuan City.

Lt. Col. Isagani Criste, Battalion Commander of 29th Infantry (Matatag) Battalion, said that the operation was conducted by combined elements of 29IB and Philippine National Police in response to the information received about the presence of the wanted persons in the said barangay. 

Meanwhile, Col. George Banzon, Commander of 901st Infantry (Fight’Em) Brigade, commended the soldiers and police for the successful joint operation made possible by the cooperation of the concerned individuals who provided the reliable information.

“It is a clear manifestation that the people of Caraga are tired already of NPA terrorists’ wrongdoings specifically their involvement in the unlawful activities such as extortion, arson, murder, kidnapping and other related crimes as well as victimizing innocent civilians by luring them to join senseless armed struggle,” he said.

Col. Banzon further said that joint operations with other law enforcement agencies will be intensified against the communist terrorist group to further speed up the imminent defeat of the insurgents so that peace and security will be ensured.

“We in the security sector are merging our efforts to materialize our mandates in this whole-of-the-nation approach to eradicate CTGs. In line with this, we are urging the public to continue your support so that we can sustain what we have started here in Caraga," he said. (901st Infantry Brigade, Phil. Army/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Mga ahensya ng gobyerno, nagkaisa laban sa smuggling

By Caroline Ann D. Rodero

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Oktubre 22 -- Pormal na lumagda sa ginanap na virtual Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing noong Martes, Oktubre 20, 2020 ang 31 na mga ahensya ng gobyerno para sa implementasyon ng Inter-Agency Coordinated Border Management Committee (ICBMC).

Pinangunahan ni Bureau of Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerero ang paglagda sa kasunduan.

Kabilang sa mga ahensya ng Department of Agriculture na nakiisa sa nabanggit na MOU signing ang mga sumusunod: Bureau of Animal Industry, Bureau of Plant Industry, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, National Food Authority, National Meat Inspection Service, Sugar Regulatory Administration at National Tobacco Administration.

Layunin ng ICBMC na sa pamamagitan ng bukas na ugnayan sa pagitan ng iba’t-ibang ahensya ng gobyerno ay masawata ang smuggling sa Pilipinas. Pinagkaisahan ng mga bumubuo ng OCBMC na gumawa ng operational protocol para sa implementasyon ng enhance border security. Maliban dito, mapagtitibay nito ang kooperasyon at koordinasyon ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno na may mga mahahalagang tungkuling ginagampanan upang masiguro ang border protection.

Ang nasabing programa ay magbibigay daan din upang  maiiwasan ang pagpasok ng mga sakit na maaaring makaapekto sa sektor ng agrikultura. (DA-BAI/PIA-Caraga)