(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 21 October, 2020) At 3:00 AM today, the center of Tropical Storm "PEPITO" {SAUDEL} was estimated based on all available data at 30 km West of Baguio City (16.4°N, 120.3°E) with maximum sustained winds of 75 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 115 km/h. It is moving West Northwestward at 30 km/h. Mindanao will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Localized Thunderstorm. Moderate to strong winds from Northwest to Southwest and the coastal waters will be moderate to rough (2.5 to 4.0 m).

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

DOST Caraga launches R&Ds, projects for COVID-19

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 14 (PIA) -- With an even greater determination to fulfill its mandate to forge a path to greater social and economic development through science and technology, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Caraga continues to launch initiatives and projects to battle the effects of the pandemic and continue to address existing local issues in Caraga region that could be remedied through science and technology.

Since the onset of the pandemic, efforts of local government units in the region have also been geared towards enabling access to testing, in addition to mitigating other concerns brought about by the health crisis. As a means of augmentation, the DOST Caraga distributed nine specimen booth collections (SBCs) to hospitals across the region that are equipped with COVID-19 facilities.

“The provision of SBCs is a collaborative effort between their office and the DOST Central Office, Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, and Philippine Council for Industry Energy and Emerging Technologies. Five of these were funded by the said institutions while the rest were from the funds of our office,” said DOST Caraga regional director Dominga Mallonga.  

The regional director also disclosed that two SBCs are yet to be distributed to the district hospitals in Bunawa town in the province of Agusan del Sur, and Hinatuan town in Surigao del Sur.

In its efforts to further study the pandemic on a local scope, the department teamed up with the local government of Butuan to conduct a study in the form of a research and development initiative. In addition to the SBC, the city government was provided with an RT-PCR machine, a Class II Biosafety Cabinet, and 300 DOST – University of the Philippines (UP) – Diliman amplified test kits.

To stir the participation of aspiring local inventors, a region-wide competition dubbed as “Outsmarting COVID-19: Online Makers’ Challenge” was launched.

“This is the department’s efforts to provide an avenue for those who have the passion to invent, particularly inventions that offer solutions to tackle the spread of the disease,” the regional director emphasized.

Two categories were opened, one for student participants and the other for non-students. Upon the contest’s conclusion in September, five winners were hailed. Inventions from the Student Category that bagged the top three places were Automated Customer Queuing Counter; Nipahol Disinfectant; and Non-Contact Body Temperature Scanned and Hand Sanitizing while those from the Non-Student Category were a mobile contact-tracing application “Chokepoint”, which utilizes a geo-tagging feature a quick response (QR) code; Touchless Garbage Robot; and A Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Physical Distancing Accurate Rechargeable Face Shield. First place winners received a cash prize amounting to P30,000.

Having their potentials seen by the panel of judges, both the Chokepoint application and the rechargeable face shield were recommended to the Caraga Regional Task Force for COVID-19 One Caraga Shield (RTF-COCS) for funding in order to make both inventions available for public consumption.

Meanwhile, the staff of Maker Space is coming up with other inventions, in particular, a touchless mechanical device for handwashing and sanitizing which they plan on distributing to checkpoints. This is to lessen the risk of exposure to the virus from touching contaminated surfaces and objects.

DOST Caraga is also in unison with the implementation of blended learning. Access to learning materials and devices now used to facilitate new modes of learning remains a problem for the majority of Filipinos, especially those residing in far-flung areas. As such, the department will be providing interactive learning materials and computers to learners in the remote areas of the province of Dinagat Islands. Stations are now being constructed so that learners can take turns in using the said materials.

Other initiatives are also being spearheaded by the department in addition to those related to COVID-19. Research and development initiatives are currently being completed in partnership with state colleges in the region. To bolster food innovation, a RnD was launched in partnership with Agusan del Sur State College of Agriculture and Technology (ASCAT), making use of raw agricultural products to create food products.

A similar initiative is also being undertaken with Surigao del Sur State University – Lianga Campus and consortia for agriculture research and development to further study the aquaculture in the area, specifically in lobster production. This is part of their efforts to boost lobster production in the area. The same project will also be launched in the province of Dinagat Islands.

Skills training and development remains a priority of the department despite the pandemic. Series of webinars are being conducted for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). In addition, free training skills were also launched, in partnership with Course, an online course provider offering courses in a wide range of disciplines and specialization.

“Now that we’re cooped up in our houses most of the time, we can always make use of our time to learn new skills, which remains paramount even with the pandemic,” said Director Mallonga.

Free registration to Coursera is available until October 31. To enroll, a step-by-step instruction can be accessed via https://www.facebook.com/DOST.Caraga/posts/3512772905421144. (DMNR/PIA-Caraga)

Agusan Norte health workers avail TESDA skills training

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 14 -- In line with the 109th Founding Anniversary of the Provincial Hospital of Agusan del Norte, health workers of the premier hospital of the province have availed skills training from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) held recently.

TESDA-Agusan del Norte Provincial Director Rey Cueva said 16 personnel of the provincial hospital underwent training on Prepare and Produce Bakery Products through the Provincial Training Center of Agusan del Norte headed by Administrator Abegail B. Eupena.

Also, 11 personnel has availed skills training in Prepare Dining Area for Service such as Table Skirting and Perform Bed Make-up through the Northern Mindanao School of Fisheries (NMSF) under Administrator Romel M. Natad.

It was learned that the trainees of the two skills trainings aforementioned have already completed the trainings and were able to receive their Certificate of Training from TESDA-Agusan del Norte.

Meanwhile, the training on Land Preparation leading to Organic Agriculture Production is currently on-going for which participants are 24 former rebels (FRs) who are now under the custody of the 23rd IB, 29th IB and the PNP.

Dir. Cueva said that with the training they have obtained, the provincial hospital will now be self-sufficient because the products that will be produced by the graduates will now be used for hospital consumption of the patients as well as the personnel.

“For example in the Produce Bakery Products, the graduates will be baking bread and pastries that will be served to the patients as well as to the other personnel of the Provincial Hospital… This is the same with the training in Land Preparation… After the land preparation, planting organic vegetables will follow… The vegetables that will be harvested will also be used for hospital consumption,” Dir. Cueva said.

Dir. Cueva added that graduates in the Prepare Dining Area for Service will be the one to do the table skirting especially when there are special occasions. They are also expected to perform bed make-up in different hospital rooms.

This undertaking was made possible through the Office of the 2nd Congressional District of the province through Cong. Ma. Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba, the Provincial Government of Agusan del Norte through Gov. Dale B. Corvera, Agusan del Norte Provincial Hospital through Provincial Health Officer I – Dr. Odelio Y. Ferrer, Agusan del Norte Provincial Administrator Gerry Joey P. Laurito, sand TESDA-Agusan del Norte Provincial Office. (TESDA Agusan del Norte/PIA Agusan del Norte)

AgSur town, Army lead barangay dev't plan workshop, enhance village officials’ competency

By 1Lt. Percival Carido

ESPERANZA, Agusan del Sur, Oct. 14 -- The local government unit (LGU) of Esperanza and 26th Infantry (Ever Onward) Battalion (26IB), Philippine Army through the Municipal Planning and Development Office have enhanced the competency of the Barangay Development Council (BDC) during the Barangay Development Plan (BDP) Formulation for Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP)  Target Barangays for CY 2020 held at the Municipal Hall recently.

The three-day workshop was aimed to guide, train, and assist the barangay local authorities in the planning and preparation of their respective development plans. Topics on the economic sector, environment, infrastructure, social services, and good governance were discussed during the workshop.

The BDP is an official document that contains the programs, projects, and activities (PPAs) intended to provide solutions to issues and concerns in the barangay which were commonly used by the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) as propagandas against the government.

Municipal Mayor Leonida P. Manpatilan of Esperanza encouraged the barangay council to aim more for the development of their barangay. "A vision without action is merely a dream. As the leaders of your barangay, it is your responsibility to create a vision of what do you want your barangay to be," she said.

As per Section 106 of the Local Government Code of 1991, the LGU is mandated to have a comprehensive multi-sectoral development plan to be initiated by its development council and approved by its Sanggunian. For this purpose, the development council at the provincial, city, municipal, or barangay level, shall assist the corresponding Sanggunian in setting the direction of economic and social development and coordinating development efforts within its territorial jurisdiction.

"The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) cannot do it alone. The fight against insurgency is a collaborative effort among all concerned line agencies. Everyone is involved and this BDP is like a compass to show the direction of your barangay. This will also strengthen our community preventing the terrorist from their recruitment and deceptions," said Atty. Daniel Longaquit, Municipal Local Government Operations Officer.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Reynald Rommel A. Goce, commanding officer of 26IB, emphasized on the importance of BDP formulation in ending the insurgency. "The barangay is considered as the smallest unit of the government and its role in the conduct of government functions is very important. Through your development plans, we can identify the issues and concerns of your barangay. When resolved, the communist terrorists can no longer use these issues as their propaganda against the government," he said.

"Insurgency ends when development begins. I believe that the barangays of Esperanza will put their plans into action in order to end insurgency and attain a higher level of peace. Also, economic prosperity and social justice in their barangays will be achieved, improving their quality of life," Goce added. (CMO, 26IB/PIA-Agusan del Sur) 

FRs undergo crops production training

By 1Lt Roel T. Maglalang

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte, Oct. 14 --  Ten selected former rebels (FRs) from the 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion (23rd IB), Philippine Army are now undergoing a 10-day live-in Community-Based Training on Prepared Land for Agricultural Crops Production Leading to Agricultural Crops Production NC III.

The training will run from October 7 until October 17, 2020 at Village 2, Barangay Libertad, Butuan City.

The said training is the outcome of the convergence of efforts of the 23rd IB and the provincial government of Agusan del Norte, together with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority – Agusan del Norte (TESDA-ADN). The training is being supervised by Allandale B. Idea, the support staff trainer of the Northern Mindanao Schools of Fisheries (NMSF) where the participating FRs will also receive daily allowance with free meals and snacks.

The 10-day training aims to create an organic farm that is capable of producing different kinds of healthy and fresh vegetables. The harvest will be utilized and benefited by the less fortunate patients and workers of the Agusan del Norte Provincial Hospital. The proposed site of the farm will be at the back of the said hospital.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, the acting commander of 23IB, thanked the provincial government and TESDA for the opportunity given to the FRs and for helping them become resilient individuals who can stand and survive even without the support and assistance from the government.

“This project is like a give-and-take relationship between the FRs and the line agencies of the government. The FRs will render manpower assistance to help the PLGU of Agusan del Norte in launching its projects and in return, the latter will provide cash assistance and allowance as well as enhance their knowledge on how to produce organic crops productively,” Paulo said.

He added that the project will help FRs acquire sustainable livelihood especially when they are reintegrated into their communities.

“They will be earning using their skills and capabilities with the help of TESDA and other concerned agencies. May this training be successful in order to create an agricultural livelihood project which will be benefited by the less fortunate Agusanons especially in this time of pandemic until everyone will be encouraged to also create their organic farm for them to have their alternative source of income for an additional livelihood,” Paulo said. (CMO Officer, 23IB, 4ID, PA/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Pagsuot og face mask sa Las Nieves gimando

By SVDeligero

DAKBAYAN SA BUTUAN, Oktubre 14 -- Hugot nga ipatuman karon sa lungsod sa Las Nieves ning probinsya ang pagsuot og facemask sa insaktong paagi human giaprobahan sa Sangguniang Panlalawigan ang Municipal Ordinance No. 493-2020 nga nag mando niini.

Ang maong ordinansa gipangamahanan ni Sangguniang Bayan Member Antonio N. Jongko.

Ang maong patakaran sa munisipyo kinahanglan nga ang tanang katawhan ug residente nga maabtan sa hurisdiksyon sa maong lungsod lumalabay man o mga motorista kinahanglan nga magsul-ob og face mask aron pinaagi niini masiguro ang seguridad batok sa makamatay nga Covid-19 virus ug ingon man aron mapugngan ang pagkuyanap niini.

Ubos sa maong ordinansa mao kini ang ipatuman:

• Tanang katawhan regardless sa edad, rango, posisyon kinahanglan mag gamit og face mask kung naa sila sa teritoryo sa lungsod.

• Mga residente nga mo gawas sa ilang panimalay, Lima (5) ka kilometro ang kalay-on gikan sa gipuy-an, magsul-ob og face mask. 

• Mga katawhang mag jogging/running ug brisk walking nga adunay 1 ka kilometrong distansya gikan sa iyang mga kauban pwedeng kuhaon ang gisul-ob nga mask.

•  Tanan nga mga barangay, opisyales sa gobyerno ug mga kawani niini apil ang mga pribadong kompanya magsul-ob og maayo sa mask samtang naa sa maong lungsod.

• Tanang laborers, trabahador nga anaa sa kadalanan ug anaa sa pampublikong lugar hugot nga magsul-ob o mag gamit og Face mask.

Apan gitugutan usab sa maong lungsod nga dili magsul-ob og mask ang mga Agricultural workers/fisher folks sama sa kung mag harvest og humay, mangingisda, performing carpentry and masonry works ug uban pa nga mabug-at nga trabaho.

Adunay ipahamtang nga silot sa kinsa mang molapas sa maong gipatuman nga ordinansa. P300 pesos alang sa unang paglapas, P500 pesos sa ikaduhang paglapas ug P1,000 ka pesos sa ika-tulong paglapas.

Ang pag-aproba pinaagi sa Sanggunian Resolution No. 417-2020 nga gipangamahanan ni Board Member James T. Reserva, tsirman sa Committee on Laws, Ethics and Good Governance. (LGU Agusan del Norte/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Mga IPs sa Caraga nakinabang sa road construction ng gobyerno

By Nora L. Molde

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Oktubre 14 (PIA) -- Mula noong sinimulan ang konstruksyon ng Cabadbaran-Puting Bato-Lanuza road noong taong 2015, nagsimula ring naglipatan at gumawa ng kanilang mga barong-barong ang mga Mamanwa sa gilid ng daan, palapit sa kabihasnan. Sila ang mga indigenous peoples o IPs mula sa kabundukan ng Agusan del Norte at Surigao del Sur kung saan may presensya ng insurhensiya.

Malaki ang pasasalamat ng mga IPs at kung saan ilan sa kanilang anking ancestral domains ay nagkaroon ng daan kung saan ito ay malaki ang maitutulong at magbibigay ng pag-asa sa kanila at sa susunod pang mga henerasyon na hindi masisira ang kanilang kultura at tradisyon.

Masaya ding ibinalita ni DPWH Caraga regional director Engr. Pol delos Santos na marami na sa mga IPs ang nakikinabang sa road construction ng gobyerno.

Dagdag pa ni director delos Santos, tuwang-tuwa ang mga IPs dahil madali na nilang madadala ang kanilang mga produkto sa merkado.

Ayon pa kay RD Delos Santos, lahat ng mga missing link sa rehiyon ay magkakaroon ng daan at dito maiibebenta ang mga produkto ng mga magsasaka sa mas mahal na halaga. "Umasa po kayo sa tulong ng ating Gobyerno, matatapos din ang lahat ng konstruksyon ng ating mga daan at lahat tayo makikinabang," dagdag ni delos Santos.

Pinaghandaan din ng DPWH Agusan del Norte district engineering office ang darating na panahon na tag-ulan sa probinsya, kung saan tinututukan ang mabilis na konstrusyon ng flood control projects sa probinsya bago ang tag-ulan.

Inaasahang matatapos na ang construction ng river bank protection sa Agusan river, Maningalao section sa lungsod ng Las Nieves sa susunod na buwan. Ito ay inaasahang magproprotekta sa magus bridge sa nasabing lugar.

Ang konstruksyon ng dike with revetment sa Bangonay river sa lungsod ng Jabonga na may haba na 962 meters ay nasa 77.23 percent na ang natapos  at inaasahang magproprotekta sa baha at mga pananim ng mga residente ng Jabonga at magproprotekta sa Bangonay bridge sa daang maharlika sa malakas na buhos ng tubig kung sakaling darating ang malakas na buhos ng ulan ay inaasahan ding matapos sa darating sa Pebrero sa susunod na taon.

Samantala, patuloy pa rin ang suporta ng DPWH sa konstrukyon ng mga isolation facilities sa iba’t ibang LGU ng rehiyon. May pitong facilities na may 50-bed ang kapasidad ang kasalukuyan ng ginagawa ngayon, ayon pa sa DPWH. (NCLM/PIA-Agusan del Norte)