(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, November 18, 2020

DILG-13 empowers vulnerable sectors in Butuan City

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 18 -- The vulnerable sectors of Butuan City were empowered to become advocates of peace and development through an activity dubbed “Capacitating Urban Communities for Peace and Development (CUCPD)” organized by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Caraga Regional Office and DILG-Butuan held recently in this city.

“We are grateful for the ardent support of the local government unit (LGU) of Butuan City and the members of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) for helping us in the conduct of CUCPD. Capacitating the vulnerable sectors of the lone highly urbanized city of our region, we are confident that we will be able to achieve the long-sought peace and development in Caraga in no time,” said DILG Caraga regional director Lilibeth Famacion.

The activity centered on educating the youth and students; labor, transport, women, and urban poor sectors identified as the most susceptible to local armed conflict manipulations and recruitment and on the tactics and strategies employed by the communist terrorist groups (CTGs) to deceive citizens to favor and join their violent cause.

Participants were given an overview of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 or Republic Act (RA) No. 11479 and Anti-Violent Extremism during the first day. Likewise, they were apprised of the corresponding government programs that would help them overcome the pressing issues and concerns that affect their sector.

During the first four days of the CUCPD, presentations on RA 11479 by Hanna Duero of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA); methodological infiltration steps that CTGs implement to take over a specific area by Captain Charles Doroin of the 402nd Infantry Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP); and concepts of Violent Extremism Florian Bayawa of the DILG were discussed.

Civil society organizations (CSOs) led by Dr. Victor Emmanuel Ozarraga of the Gawad Kalinga and Jaime Makinano of the Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resource in Rural Areas (PhilDHRRA) discussed the concept of resiliency amid the pandemic.

The representatives from national government agencies also presented the various forms of assistance that their respective offices can offer to those whose livelihoods have been impacted by the pandemic.

Youth and students were also educated on the threats of the online world by PCMS Raul Salubre and PSSg Razzel Labarate of the Cybercrime Unit of the Philippine National Police.

They were warned of the various forms of crimes that loom around the internet, especially in social media applications, and how they can avoid falling prey to such illegal acts. They were also taught about the strategies on how they can make their social media accounts more secure.

Also, Pedro Tecson of the Department of Education (DepEd) and Glynmer Jamito of the Propelling Our Inherited Nation Through Our Youth (POINTY) imparted to the participants the values on how to become responsible social media users and how to become peacemakers in the digital era and the new normal.

Meanwhile, members of the business sector were invited to have a dialogue with the DILG, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on the threats and challenges that entrepreneurs have struggled with and how the government can be of further assistance.

The participants shared about the losses of the business sector due to the pandemic and also expresses that amid the health crisis, entrepreneurs continue to receive calls from CTGs extorting them of money.

Director Famacion, together with Major Mark Lagud of the 4th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and NEDA Caraga regional director Priscilla Sonido, also committed to continually assist local entrepreneurs through the RTF-ELCAC to ensure that they can recover from their losses and that the extortions from CTGs will stop.

Expo for Peace

As a culmination of the week-long activity, a Peace and Development Expo was held to give a platform to the sectors to voice out their responses to the activities conducted through the CUCPD which will help the RTF-ELCAC assess the effectiveness of its efforts and in identifying future interventions for the urban communities.

Frontline service delivery agencies such as the Department of Health, Department of Transportation-Land Transportation Office, Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Commission on Higher Education, National Housing Authority, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority set up a one-stop-shop during the activity to provide immediate assistance and information about their programs to the participants.

During the Expo, educational gadgets were also turned over by director Famacion to the DepEd Caraga for the newly established Schools of Living Traditions in Sitio Simowao, Brgy. Diatagon, Lianga and Sitio Lucnodon, Brgy. Mahaba, Marihatag in the Province of Surigao del Sur.

The makeshift schools were established to house the displaced students of the closed illegal and anti-government educational institutions in the area.

Adhering to the health protocols, only half of the capacity of the venue was occupied throughout the event. However, to ensure that the discussions will still reach the general public, personnel from the Butuan City Public Information Office were present to document the activities. The recordings will be uploaded to the official DILG Caraga Facebook page and YouTube account. (DILG-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

Caraga MRFC activities, MMT inspections continue amidst COVID-19 pandemic

By Lizlit C. Cabag and Manevil M. Espineli

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Nov. 18 (PIA) -- The Mine Rehabilitation Fund Committees (MRFCs) and the Multi-partite Monitoring Teams (MMTs) of Caraga mining companies have carried on with their respective duties by conducting regular and special meetings and inspections amidst the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The MRFC is a body that consists of private and public entities and one of its major duties and responsibilities is to ensure that the approved Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program (EPEP)/Annual EPEP (AEPEP) of the mining and mineral processing projects shall be strictly implemented.

The MRFC deputizes the MMT as its monitoring arm.  The MRFC meetings and MMT inspections are regularly conducted quarterly for operating companies and semi-annually for non-operating companies.

The unprecedented effects of the pandemic, which include a series of lockdowns and quarantine protocols, hampered the conduct of the meetings and inspections.  

In response to the current situation, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) released Regional Memorandum Order No. 2020-24 entitled “Interim Guidelines/Protocols for the Operations of the MRFC and MMT during the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) or New Normal” so that the MRFC and the MMT can carry out their functions in monitoring the implementation of the 2020 AEPEP of mining and mineral processing projects notwithstanding the setbacks.

Some of the stipulated guidelines were the temporary reduction of MMT members which may range from four to seven members only to ensure a very minimum risk of exposure to COVID-19.  

Instead of quarterly monitoring, semi-annual monitoring is conducted at the mine/plant site to check compliance with the implementation of the 2020 AEPEP.  As for the MRFC, meetings were conducted after the semi-annual monitoring of the MMT.   

A face-to-face meeting is preferred but if not possible then a virtual meeting is conducted or a combined face-to-face and virtual meeting is arranged. In the case of a face-to-face meeting, the number of attendees from the mining company is reduced to a bare minimum in order to minimize person-to-person interaction. For both MMT and MRFC, the safety and health protocols such as wearing of face mask and personal protective equipment, social distancing and adherence to established personal hygiene/disinfection/sanitation/good housekeeping were strictly observed.

As of October 2020, 83 MRFC meetings and 52 MMT inspections have already been conducted.  The MGB-13, together with its stakeholders, constantly ensures that the safety of the members and its employees is of utmost importance as it continues to perform its duties and deliver public service amidst the pandemic. (MGB-13/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Mga bata at magulang sa liblib na barangay sa Agusan Sur tumanggap ng regalo mula PNP, pribadong sektor

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Nob. 18 (PIA) -- Wala mang naitalang kaso ng coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) ang Barangay Desamparados hanggang sa ngayon, kabilang pa rin ang mga residente dito sa prayoridad ng lokal na pamahalaan na mabigyang tulong ngayong panahon ng pandemya.

Ang Barangay Desamparados ay isa sa mga liblib na lugar sa bayan ng Talacogon, Agusan del Sur, kung saan mas pinaigting ng lokal na pamahalaan ang seguridad at proteksyon ng mga residente dito laban sa pagkalat at patuloy na pagtaas ng kaso ng COVID-19 sa ibat-ibang lugar ng nasabing probinsya.

Kasama ang Philippine National Police (PNP), Agusan Media Club, at Philsaga Mining Corporation inihatid nila sa lugar ang kanilang regalo na ikinatuwa ng mga bata at kanilang mga magulang.

Bawat isa sa kanila ay tumanggap ng nutribuns, ice cream, face mask at face shield.

Pinaalalahanan din sila ng mahahalagang impormasyon na makatutulong upang hindi mahawaan ng nasabing virus.

Ayon kay Richard Grande, presidente ng Agusan Media Club, marami pang barangay ang kanilang pupuntahan at dadalhan ng mga regalo sa kabila ng pandemya.

“Ang outreach program na ito para po sa kabataan ay naglalayong bigyan sila ng nutritious product tulad nitong nutribun na ginagawa na namin na may malunggay at saka kalabasa.. Sa buwang ito, marami pa kaming gagawin,” ani ni Grande.

Ibinahagi rin ng PNP ang mga paraan kung papaano makatulong ang mga residente na masugpo ang insurgency o anumang insidente sa lugar. (JPG/PIA-Agusan del Sur)