(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Sunday, 17 January, 2021) At 3:00 AM today, a Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated based on all available data at 490 km East Southeast of Davao City. Tail-end of Frontal System (Shear line) affecting the eastern section of Southern Luzon,Visayas and Mindanao. Northeast Monsoon affecting the rest of Luzon. Caraga Region will experience Cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to Tail-end of Frontal System. Possible flash floods or landslides due to moderate to heavy rains. Light to moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail and the coastal waters will be slight to moderate (0.6 to 2.1 meters wave height).

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

TESDA recognizes FRs’ trust to gov’t

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 23 – Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-Agusan del Norte Provincial Office has recognized the efforts of some 918 former rebels (FRs) for putting back their trust to the government.

This, after 28 members of the Militia ng Bayan (MB) and 890 Underground Mass Organization (UGMO) surrendered and withdraw their support to CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNT) in a ceremony held recently at Brgy. Durian, Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte.

According to the FB page of the Philippine Army’s 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion (23IB), the FRs also voluntarily handed over three-caliber 22 rifles, three-caliber 357 revolvers, one-caliber 38 revolver, one home-made 357 revolver, four home-made shotguns, and one power generator.

In his message, TESDA-Agusan del Norte Provincial Director Rey M. Cueva said that TESDA is willing to help the local government unit of Las Nieves to revive the training center in Brgy. Mat-i, Las Nieves.

The official also vowed to facilitate the requirements needed in order to add TESDA programs in the said training center. “In this way, more skills/qualifications can be chosen by the residents,” Dir. Cueva said.

He also stressed that TESDA will again provide scholarship slots as well as skills and livelihood programs so that more residents of Las Nieves including the FRs can avail of skills trainings that will somehow help improve and even transform their lives.

Dir. Cueva also pointed out that a pulong-pulong has been already set by the member-agencies of the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) in Agusan del Norte on January 2021 to identify and assess the needs of the residents so that skills and livelihood interventions will be provided.

Cueva further said the FRs move to surrender and giving their trust back to the government is a step towards achieving a long-lasting peace and development in the municipality of Las Nieves in particular, and the province of Agusan del Norte in general.

The mass surrender and oath of allegiance activity was graced by Las Nieves Mayor Avelina S. Rosales; Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, Commanding Officer of the 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion; Agusan del Norte Board Member Dick Victor Carmona; Lt. Col, Quintin T. Casabar Jr., Force Commander of the 1st Agusan del Norte Provincial Mobile Force Company; and barangay officials, it was gathered. (TESDA Agusan del Norte with reports and photos from 23rd Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army)

4 agrarian orgs get FDA-LTO approval

By Daryll M. Tumbaga

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Dec. 23 (PIA) -- Four assisted agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations (ARBOs) of the Department of Agrarian Reform in Surigao del Norte (DAR-SDN) acquired recently their Licenses to Operate (LTO) from the Food and Drugs Administration through the Department of Agrarian Reform’s Village Level Farm-focused Enterprise Development (VLFED) Project.

The ARBOs are Garcia ARB Cooperative (GARBECO) of Sta. Monica, Honrado ARB Cooperative (HONARBECO) of San Francisco and Trinidad ARB Cooperative (TARBECO) of Surigao City all of Surigao del Norte; and Jacquez Agra Multi-purpose Cooperative (JAMPCO) of San Jose in the province of Dinagat Islands.

With the FDA approval, the ARBOs have secured licenses for their processing centers to produce their agri-based products, namely: turmeric herbal powder, salabat, malunggay powder, sambong powder and lagundi powder of GARBECO; pure tableya of HONARBECO; banana chips and papaya pickles of TARBECO; and turmeric and ginger powder of JAMPCO.

GARBECO chairperson Tessie M. Vertudazo said they have waited for this moment that they will be given licenses to operate of their processing centers.

She said that it will be a big opportunity for GARBECO that they can now cater to customers globally knowing that their products are FDA-LTO-approved.

The DAR and Department of Trade and Industry’s synchronized and worked together in improving the products of these agri-based organizations. As such, the ARBOs underwent trainings on good manufacturing practices, promotional packaging, product labeling and pricing.

Lilibeth Arce, chairperson of TARBECO also expressed her gratitude, she said that after many months of preparation and complying with all the necessary requirements, including incurring additional costs, finally they are granted LTOs.

Aside from the rigorous and laborious trainings, the said ARBOs also embarked on the renovation and improvement of their processing centers to comply with the standards of FDA.

Meanwhile, DAR Provincial Office of Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands led by PARPO Maria Elizabeth L. De Guzman together with CARPO Alfredo Alvarez took pride in these significant achievements of the said ARBOs for acquiring the LTOs for their micro-enterprises.

In her message, FDA representative Virginia Delani said it is a feat that should be celebrated because the said processing centers of the ARBOs were the first of its kind to have secured LTOs in both provinces the Surigao Norte and Dinagat Islands.

On his part, CARPO Alvarez said that is their goal that the rest of their assisted ARBOs will have their processing centers FDA-LTO-certified.

“Our next steps will be guiding the said ARBOs to access operation capitalization from financing institutions leading to national and global markets,” said PARPO De Guzman. (DAR-SDN/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

PMO Surigao exceeds target revenue despite COVID-19

By NC Nusog

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Dec. 23 (PIA)-- The Port Management Office (PMO) of Surigao del Norte has a lot to be thankful for this year as it surpassed its target revenue.

Despite the challenges wrought upon by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the PMO not just managed to surpass target revenue, it went on to register its highest annual income since it was established in 1977.

As of December 2020, PMO Surigao reported earnings of P622 million, representing an increase of around 8% from last year’s collections.

Rising ship calls and cargo throughout, along with the expiration of the Board of Investments (BOI) privileges of some private ports, fueled the increased collections and managed to meet revenue targets as early as November.

In his remarks during the Thanksgiving Fellowship held on Friday, Dec. 18, PMO Surigao Acting Port Manager Froilan Caturla acknowledged the overwhelming contributions of PMO Surigao personnel, particularly to the frontliners who kept the PMO up and running despite the risks and challenges of COVID 19.

“Although we cap off the year with no festivities and parties, we are gathered here today to honor our frontliners and all those who have displayed wondrous performance in the midst of the pandemic,” Caturla said. (PMO-PPA/PIA-Surigao del Norte)