(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Tuesday, 24 November, 2020) Northeast Monsoon affecting Luzon and Visayas. Tail-End of Frontal System (Shearline) affecting the eastern sections of Mindanao. Caraga Region will experience Cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorm due to Tail-end of a Frontal System (Shearline). Possible flash floods or landslides due to light to moderate to at times heavy rains. Light to Moderate winds coming from Northeast to North will prevail and the coastal waters will be Slight to Moderate with wave height from 0.6 to 2.1 meters.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Caraga IPs benefit from government’s road construction

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 21 (PIA) -- Since the start of construction of the Cabadbaran-Puting Bato-Lanuza road in year 2015, the Mamanwa tribe has also vacated their former places and started living on a nipa hut along the highways.

These are the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) from the mountainous areas in the provinces of Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Sur, wherein insurgency was the main problem.

With this project, the ancestral domains of the IPs are now accessible, and it gives hope to the IP communities, as well as to the next generations that their culture and tradition be known to other people.

According to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), many of the IP communities have already benefited from the government’s road construction effort.

“I’m happy that our government was able to provide our IPs the much-needed road construction from the metropolis connecting different places going to the mountainous areas. They felt that the government has never forgotten them,” said Engr. Pol Delos Santos, regional director of DPWH-Caraga.

The IPs, he added, were thankful as they could now bring and deliver their products to the market conveniently. “They are happy because they are now able to sell their products on a higher price and transportation is no longer a difficulty for them,” he bared.

The construction of the flood control projects is also underway.

The construction of the river bank protection in Agusan River, Maningalao section in the municipality of Las Nieves is also expected to be completed by next month.

Meanwhile, the dike in Bangonay River in the municipality of Jabonga with 962 meters is now at 77.23 percent complete and full completion is expected by February of next year. This particular project will protect the residents and their farm against possible floodings.

Along with this is the construction of the seven isolation facilities in various LGUs of the region. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

Cebu City SK gives aid for distance learning implementation

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 21 (PIA) -- Youth leaders in Cebu City are now launching initiatives to better implement distance learning in the city and assist learners in adapting to the new modes of learning, especially those who have little to no means to access it.

During her guesting in the Bisaya Gyud program with Communications chief Secretary Martin Andanar on Saturday, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation president Jessica Resch said that the city's SK Federation was able to provide free uniform and school supplies upon the opening of the new school year through the P1 million financial assistance from the city government.

An e-learning hub called “Thinking Space” was established equipped with computer sets with internet connection and printers. Students enrolled in the online learning and modular system may avail of the services offered by the hub. The said project is in line with the youth group’s Assist sa Balik Eskwela (ABE) initiative.

Aside from the mentioned COVID-19 initiatives, other projects for other pressing concerns such as employment and substance abuse prevention will also be launched.

“We also wanted to give equitable access to quality education and also create projects to tackle disaster risk reduction and resilience. Amid this pandemic, we also want to address the provision of youth employment and livelihood and even health and anti-drug abuse. Other initiatives for COVID-19 response will also be launched,” added the youth leader.

At the conclusion of the program, Councilor Resch urged her fellow youth and youth leaders to remain steadfast amid the pandemic and “take the lead” in adapting to the new normal.

“While this pandemic is a phenomenon that is completely foreign to us, let us not falter and instead make the effort to take the lead as we embrace the new normal,” she said.

The SK leader also emphasized that the youth’s engagement should not just be within the period of the pandemic.

“Even after this pandemic, we should continue to support meaningful youth engagement and participation in enabling sustainable development and contribute to nation building. In fact, the pandemic should only serve as a catalyst for us to unleash our full potential as youth leaders in this proud country,” she affirmed.

Bisaya Gyud is a weekly public service and entertainment program hosted by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar aired on select radio stations across the country and streamed live on its official Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/bisayagyudph, every Saturday.

The program was initially launched to provide assistance to underprivileged Bisaya and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). At the height of the pandemic, the program also devoted its episodes to addressing various issues of the Bisayas concerning the pandemic.

The program also explores Bisaya music and artists, and features Bisaya success stories. (DMNR/PIA-Caraga)

Aspiring inventors in Caraga join local online makers’ competition

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 21 (PIA) -- Aspiring inventors in Caraga region take part in an online makers’ challenge launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Caraga.

Dubbed as “Outsmarting COVID-19: Online Makers’ Challenge,” the contest served as an avenue for those who hold an interest in innovating to exhibit their brilliance by creating inventions that can help address the pressing issues faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Inventions of all sorts were submitted, with entries ranging from alcohol made from local plants to the automated queuing machine to monitor the required capacity establishments are made to follow to operate.

The latter was a brainchild of Mar Louise Pazo, a Carmen town native and college freshmen who bagged the first place in the Student Category. According to him, establishments in their area remain crowded despite the imposed minimum health protocol. Even with police officers and barangay officials monitoring the area, residents fail to observe physical distancing.

“Then an idea hit me – what if I made a machine that can enable people to observe physical distancing? The machine I invented was just very simple. I didn’t expect to win because I wasn’t even sure if it was appealing enough. Winning the contest was surreal to me,” the young inventor said.

His winning invention, an automated customer queuing counter, helps establishments observe the required limited capacity to operate by detecting the number of customers who go in and out of the establishment using ultrasonic sensors attached in both the entry and exit points. A green bulb signals the customers to come in while a red light flickers to notify customers that the establishment is full, activating an alarm to indicate that the required capacity has been reached.

Meanwhile, for the computer engineer Gideon Buniel, his aspiration to be of service to the community through his inventions motivated him to partake in the contest. Gaining prestige was the least of his concerns.

“As an engineer, I feel the need to take part in bettering the community. When I make projects, I do not think of the monetary gain but rather focus on the positive impact it can have on the people around me. This became even more relevant now that we are all dealing with this health crisis. I want to be of help especially to those who were greatly affected by the pandemic, particularly those who do not have the resources to access these technological advancements,” the engineer elaborated.

His entries include the i-Throw: An Internet of Things (IoT) Touchless Garbage Robot, a trash bin attached with sensors that flips the bin open upon detecting motion. It also comes with three light-emitting diode (LED) indicators to detect the amount of trash in the bin and a buzzer to signal that the bin is full. A web server will be used to monitor the trash bin’s activity.

Another invention called the Project 1M: A Do-It-Yourself Physical Distancing Accurate Rechargeable Face Shield, is a face shield that helps its user observe the 1-meter physical distancing protocol. An ultrasonic sensor detects the distance between its user and persons of close proximity. Its green LED will light up when the required physical distance has been complied while a red LED with a buzzer will be activated when the said distance is violated.  The said inventions landed him in the second and third places in the Open Category.

Overcoming obstacles was one of the highlights of Zebina Genoring and Shena Tanasas’ experience upon joining the contest. Addressing the scarcity of disinfectant and sanitizing products in their hometown in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur was what pushed them to make the Nipahol Antiseptic/Disinfectant.

The college freshmen participants reiterated that looking for laboratory equipment to extract the nipa, a plant abundant in their area used to make the alcohol, was their biggest challenge.  This almost discouraged them to continue their participation in the contest.  But with the help of the municipal government, the Rural Health Unit (RHU), and the Sitio Ipil Winemakers Association (SIWA), the nipa-derived alcohol was successfully manufactured, landing the second place in the Student Category.

The experiences of both participants during the contest only made them realize how truly challenging it can be for anyone who aspires to become inventors. And for Zebina, it is important to remember one’s goal behind making their inventions despite the hurdles.

“Just strive harder and do not let your determination be swayed by the obstacles and challenges that may come your way. Whatever happens, maintain optimism and pursue your passion in inventing,” the student inventor added.

When asked about the future of their inventions, all participants expressed that they are open to opportunities for possible collaborations and even have their creations funded and have it available for public consumption.

A P30,000 cash prize was given to first place winners, P20,000 for second placers, and P10,000 for third placers. (DMNR/PIA-Caraga)  

Secretary Dar: Meat safety is a shared responsibility

By Roberta L. Riguer

BUTUAN CITY, Oct. 21 -- Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar, in a speech delivered yesterday, Oct. 20, during the opening ceremony of Meat Safety Consciousness Week at the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) Salvador H. Escudero Hall, expressed his appreciation to the employees of NMIS for their impressive performance in ensuring meat safety.

“Food Safety, particularly, meat safety is a shared responsibility,” Secretary Dar said.

He also emphasized that the NMIS is the first responder whenever meat safety is compromised. “It is during these times that the NMIS must take the opportunity to empower the local government units’ capabilities to ensure the safety of meat in their localities,” he added.

He encouraged the NMIS to strengthen its partnership with stakeholders. “I acknowledge that you do not have the numbers to fully complement the immensity of your responsibility in ensuring safe meat that is why you have to build a strong partnership with your stakeholders,“ he furthered.

Secretary Dar also encouraged the NMIS employees that they must put the interest of the public and the country above all else in the performance of their duty.  He also reminded them not to besmirch the integrity of NMIS when they deliver their mandated services to the public.

Secretary Dar also commended the NMIS in instituting measures to make sure that meat will reach the market, whether they are sold in physical markets or online, in good condition.

“In this trying time, no matter what difficulty we are in, whether in a pandemic or not, we proceed head-on. We must not be distracted by the difficulties. As part of the government, we are mandated to fulfill our duties and functions as the gatekeeper of safe meat.  After all, we have sworn to protect the public against direct and indirect hazards brought by unsafe meat," Secretary Dar emphasized. (DA-NMIS/PIA-Caraga)