(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Saturday, 27 November 2021) Shear Line affecting the eastern sections of Northern and Central Luzon. Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting Palawan and Zamboanga Peninsula. Easterlies / Localized Thunderstorm affecting the rest of Mindanao. Caraga Region will have Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to Easterlies / Localized Thunderstorm. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with Slight to Moderate coastal waters / (0.6 to 2.1 meters). /span>



Monday, January 04, 2021

DTI opens OTOP Hub Caraga, OTOP Dinagat Islands

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 4 (PIA) -- Amid the challenges of businesses and economy of the country due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Caraga ensures that micro, small at medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region are given appropriate support form the government through the agency.

Part of the intervention was the opening of the One Town, One Product o OTOP PH Hub Caraga and OTOP Dinagat Islands situated at the 3rd and ground level of the SM City Butuan wherein several food and non-food items made by local producers are available.

“We need a lot of pump priming. Business opportunities are necessary at this time because we need economic activities. We have to build lives again and have to start all over again. I think it’s about time that we come together and work for economic development in Caraga,” said DTI-Caraga regional director Edwin Banquerigo.

The DTI-Caraga also inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with its partners GDH Caraga Inc., Create Food Inc., and Binuhat Arts and Crafts Trading.

With the start of operations of the OTOP hub, the local producers felt the significant intervention of the government. 

According to Banquerigo, the DTI-Caraga, their agency has been providing product and market development support to the MSMEs and comprehensive entrepreneurship development training to enhance the competence of the entrepreneurs.

“To all our producers, always remember you are the engine of growth and that every product that you produce you create jobs, you create livelihood opportunities. And this is what we really want, this is what we really need to push Caraga further,” said Banquerigo.

For other programs of the DTI, Banquerigo said that they also give business or livelihood starter kits and there is also the Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa program to those who are affected by the disaster such as the pandemic in order for them to recover economically.

Meanwhile, city administrator Reynante Desiata of the local government unit of Butuan said that through the OTOP Hub, as a retail store, it is a good venue to showcase the distinct products of Caraga.

“This is also our call to all Caraganons to patronize our local products. This is our way of helping our local entrepreneurs. We are calling all everyone to support OTOP and local producers in Caraga region and Butuan City,” Desiata said.

DTI-Dinagat Islands provincial director Arnold Faelnar also bared that the establishment of said OTOP outlets will pave the way in introducing the locally-made products not only to the buyers from the Caraga region and Philippines but also to people from other places outside the county. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)

Flood victims in Agusan Sur areas receive assistance from Sen. Bong Go

BAYUGAN CITY, Agusan del Sur, Jan. 4 -- Senator Christopher “Bong” Go sent assistance to victims of the recent Tropical Depression Vicky in the municipalities of Prosperidad and Rosario, Agusan del Sur on December 28 and 29, respectively. The senator continues to help Filipinos in crises especially during the holiday season.

Go’s team provided financial assistance, meals, food packs, masks, face shields, vitamins, and medicine packs to 500 beneficiaries in Prosperidad and another half a thousand from Rosario in Agusan del Sur.

They carried out the distribution activities while complying with necessary health and safety protocols issued by the government to avoid the further spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“Mayroon po akong pinadala na grocery packs sa inyo. Lahat po kayo makakatanggap ng grocery packs. Mayroon ding vitamins. Inumin niyo po ito dahil pampalakas po ito ng resistensya (I have sent grocery packs for all of you. All of you will receive the grocery packs. Included also are vitamins. Consume it to help boost your resistance),” Go said during his video message to the recipients.

“Mayroon din po kaming pinadala na mask at face shield. Pakiusap lang na suotin niyo po ito dahil delikado pa ang panahon. Mag social distancing at maghugas ng kamay. Sa mga taga-Agusan, huwag kayong mag-alala. Kapag mayroon ng vaccine na safe, uunahin po namin kayo diyan (We also sent masks and face shields. Please use it to protect you in this time of pandemic. Observe social distancing and wash your hands regularly. To all of you here in Agusan, don’t worry. Once we have the vaccine, we will prioritize you),” he assured them.

Go also recognized the efforts of the local governments of the two municipalities led, respectively, by Prosperidad Mayor Frederick Mark P. Mellana and Vice Mayor Jesusimo L. Ronquillo; and Rosario Mayor Jupiter Abulog.

He advised local officials, including the councilors, barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials and municipal staff, present to always prioritize the poor and vulnerable sectors when it comes to public service.

Due to limited transportation and the need to commute to work, Go also gave away bicycles to selected recipients. The senator also distributed tablets to another set of chosen beneficiaries for their children’s use for online classes under the blended learning set-up.

Go also reminded residents who need medical attention to avail of services from the nearest Malasakit Centers located at the Butuan Medical Center in Butuan City, and in neighboring Compostela Valley Provincial Hospital - Montevista in Davao de Oro.
 
“Mayroon tayong Malasakit Center na pwede ninyong lapitan. Kung kailangan niyo ng tulong sa ospital, puntahan niyo lang ito at tutulong po ang staff sa inyo (We have Malasakit Center that is ready to attend to your medical needs. Should you be needing help from the hospital, go to Malasakit Center and the staff will help you),” he said.
 
Malasakit Centers are one-stop shops where four government agencies, namely the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Health (DOH), the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), and PhilHealth are placed under one roof whose medical programs help poor and indigent patients.

Meanwhile, personnel from the DSWD separately provided financial assistance to the victims while the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Housing Authority (NHA), Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) assessed and validated potential beneficiaries for their respective programs.

The Department of Agriculture (DA), including its associate agencies Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), distributed additional aid to Rosario beneficiaries. The assistance included a recirculating dryer under its Enhanced Kadiwa Grant, pouches of assorted vegetable seeds and rice seeds, a 12-footer fiberglass paddle boat, and fishing gears.

The DA-PCA also provided social amelioration to coconut farmers. Moreover, the Rosario local government unit received financial assistance from the agriculture department under its Enhanced Kadiwa Grant Puhunan Pang-Agribusiness program.

“Kami ni Pangulong Duterte, patuloy kaming magseserbisyo sa inyo dahil para sa amin, ang serbisyo sa tao ay serbisyo sa ating Panginoon (President Duterte and I continue to serve you because for us, the services that we provide you are the services that we also offer to God),” he ended. (Office of SBG/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Bunawan residents thankful for the assistance from Senator Bong Go

BAYUGAN CITY, Agusan del Sur, Jan. 4 – The residents of different barangays in the municipality of Bunawan, Agusan del Sur are thankful as they received the assistance from Senator Christopher “Bong” Go during his recent visit to residents affected by Tropical Depression Vicky, right before welcoming the new year 2021.

On Tuesday, December 29, Go and his team initiated a distribution activity held at the Zotico Moday Sports Complex and Cultural Center of said municipality. There, a total of 500 typhoon victims were provided with meals/food, medicine packs, vitamins, masks and face shields while strictly complying with health and safety protocols to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

“Ang hindi ko makakalimutan na sikreto ni Presidente [Rodrigo] Duterte na kanyang itinuro sa akin ay ang unahin at mahalin mo ang kapwa Pilipino mo — dito, hinding-hindi ka magkakamali (One thing that I could never forget President Rodrigo Duterte told me is to love and prioritize our co-Filipino – and one will never regret it),” Go began in his speech.

“Kung mamatay man ako papauwi, masaya ako dahil nakapunta ako ng Bunawan at nakapagserbisyo ako sa mga kapwa ko (Should I die as I go home, I’d be happy that I was able to visit Bunawan and was able to give the services to you),” he continued.
 
During Go’s visit, selected indigents have received shoes from the senator.  Others were provided with bicycles for their commute to work given limited public transportation options. Another set of beneficiaries were given tablets so their children can participate better in the blended learning set-up being implemented in schools.

The Senator, also the chair of the Senate Committee on Health, acknowledged that the pandemic had overburdened many people with their medical and healthcare needs. Given this, he offered to assist those in need of medical assistance.

“Lapitan nyo lang kami. Tutulong kami sa pampagamot ninyo. Kung anumang karamdaman ninyo, susuporta kami. Dahil para sa amin, importante ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino (Just approach us. We will help you in your medical needs. Whatever illness or sickness you have, we are here to give support. Because for us, life of each Filipino is important),” he said.

He also advised them that they may conveniently seek further aid from government through the Malasakit Center at the Butuan Medical Center in Butuan City or neighboring Compostela Valley Provincial Hospital in Nabunturan, Davao de Oro. He promised that a Malasakit Center would also be opened in Agusan del Sur soon. 

“Batas na po ang Malasakit Center. Para po ito sa bawat Pilipino. At sisiguraduhin namin na magkakaroon rin ng ganito dito sa probinsya ninyo para matulungan ang mga taga rito na nangangailangan ng tulong pangkalusugan (The Malasakit Center is already a law. This is for all the Filipino people. And we assure you that the province of Agusan del Sur will also have this soon to address your health needs),” he said.

The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop where Filipino patients can conveniently avail medical assistance from the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. Go is the principal author and sponsor of Republic Act 11463, otherwise known as the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019.

The Senator also reminded everyone to cooperate with the government, remain vigilant, and follow health protocols to put a stop to the spread of COVID-19 especially as the New Year is fast approaching.

“Pakiusap, ‘wag muna mag-party sa New Year dahil delikado pa ang panahon. Sumunod tayo sa gobyerno. Ginagawa naman ito para sa inyong kapakanan. We need your cooperation (I am appealing to everyone to avoid having parties as we celebrate the New Year since it is still not safe during this time of the pandemic. Obey the government. We are doing this for your safety. We need your cooperation),” he appealed.

“Kapag mayroon na pong safe na vaccine, uunahin namin ni Presidente ang mga mahihirap, vulnerable at lahat ng mga frontliners para makabalik na kayo sa normal ninyong pamumuhay (Once we have the vaccine, the President will see to it that those who are poor, vulnerable and all the frontliners will get it first ans with hope that we could all have a normal living),” he added.

Aside from the aid that Go’s office provided, national agencies also extended assistance as part of the holistic approach of government to help affected communities recover and build back better.

Representatives of the DSWD provided each beneficiary with separate financial assistance to cover their immediate needs.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) supplied the local farmers’ cooperative with a recirculating-type grain dryer, assorted vegetable seeds and rice seeds. It also offered financial grants to help farmers purchase other equipment and supplies.

The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) extended further support by distributing checks to qualified farmers. Meanwhile, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) provided aid to local coconut farmers in the form of financial assistance, fertilizers, rice, chickens and eggs while indigenous farmers received separate financial support. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), in turn, provided fisherfolk with fiber glass paddle boats and tilapia fingerlings.

In addition to the above, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Housing Authority (NHA), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), all committed to extend aid upon completing their assessments.

During his speech, the Senator expressed his appreciation for all the local officials for their untiring service throughout a tremendously challenging year. He recognized Governor Santiago Cane Jr.; Vice Governor Samuel Tortor; 2nd District Board Member Edwin Elorde; Mayor Sylvia Elorde; Vice Mayor Gilbert Elorde; Councilors Elmer Desales, June Barrios, Ruth Amador, Cipriano Dique, Ednard Gil Elorde, George Villanueva, Ronald Cesar Bustillo, Rolito Peñaloga; and ABC President Rudy Ayala, among others.

He also thanked Bunawan Brook Punong Barangay Emelio Saberdo, Poblacion Punong Barangay Antonio Barrios, Nueva Era Punong Barangay Joel Largo, San Andres Punong Barangay Candelario Salas, Consuelo Punong Barangay Gregorio Maloloy-on, Libertad Punong Barangay Fernando Luna, Mambalili Punong Barangay Jammy Vab Montes, San Teodoro Punong Barangay Charlito Rensulat, Imelda Punong Barangay Ronald Anteg, and SK President Kinny Caballes.    

Similar activities were carried out by the Senator’s outreach teams for 1,000 typhoon victims in the towns of Prosperidad and Rosario on December 28 and 29, respectively. (Office of SBG/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Office of SBG, gov’t agencies extend help to AgSur flood victims

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Jan. 4 – The Office of Senator Bong Go, together with the different government line agencies has converged its efforts in providing the needed assistance for the flood victims in the municipalities of San Francisco and Talacogon, all of this province.

During two separate distribution activities held at the respective municipal evacuation centers of San Francisco and Talacogon, Go’s team provided food packs, masks, face shields, vitamins, medicine packs, and free meals to a total of 1,000 beneficiaries. The distribution activities were done in compliance with the necessary health and safety protocols to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases.

Some selected beneficiaries were also provided bicycles that they could use to commute to work given the limited public transportation options due to the pandemic. Others were given tablets to help their children in the blended learning set-up being implemented in schools.

“Nakikiusap ako sa inyo mga kabataan. Mag-aral kayo nang mabuti dahil iyan lamang ang puhunan natin dito sa mundo - ang edukasyon. Kapag nakapagtapos kayo ng pag-aaral, magiging masaya ang ating mga magulang at iyan lang ang pakunswelo natin sa kanila na halos nagpapakamatay magtrabaho para lang makapagtapos kayo ng pag-aaral (I asked all the youth to study well because it will help you live a better life in this world. Once you are able to finish your studies, your parents will be very happy and that will be the best give that you could give them to show that their sacrifices and effort really pays off),” he emphasized.

Personnel from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD were also present to distribute separate financial assistance to the typhoon victims, while the Department of Agriculture (DA) provided the local farmers’ cooperative with a recirculating-type grain dryer, assorted vegetable seeds, and rice seeds. It also offered financial grants to help farmers purchase other equipment and supplies.

The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) extended additional support by distributing checks to qualified farmers. Meanwhile, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) sent both financial and agricultural aid in the form of fertilizers, rice, chickens, and eggs while local farmers received separate monetary support. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), in turn, provided fisherfolk with fiberglass paddle boats and tilapia fingerlings.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Housing Authority (NHA), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), all committed to extend aid upon completing their assessments.

The Senator, who is the principal author and sponsor of the Malasakit Centers Act of 2019, advised victims with medical concerns to go to their nearest Malasakit Center at the Butuan Medical Center in Butuan City or neighboring Compostela Valley Provincial Hospital in Nabunturan, Davao de Oro. 

Go said that the Malasakit Centers serve as one-stop shops where four government agencies, namely the DSWD, Department of Health, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and PhilHealth, are housed to provide medical assistance to Filipinos especially poor and indigent patients.

Furthermore, the Senator offered to personally help beneficiaries who require urgent medical treatment on top of what Malasakit Centers can cover.

“Kung sinuman ang gustong magpa-opera sa inyo sa Davao o Manila na may sakit sa puso o kung ano pa man ang kailangan niyo sa pagpapa-ospital, lapitan niyo lang ako o ang mga lokal na opisyal dyan. Ako na po ang sasagot sa inyo sa pagpapa-ospital. Pati pamasahe ninyo ako na ang sasagot (Whoever would need to undergo an operation in Davao or in Manila who have heart disease or any other illness and needs to be confined to the hospital, just approach me or the local officials in the area. I will shoulder all your expenses in the hospital including your transportation fare),” he said.

During his speech, the senator recognized the efforts of local officials of San Francisco and Talacogon for serving their constituents untiringly despite the difficult times. He specifically thanked San Francisco Vice Mayor Bernardino Ursos, Councilors Genden Dayondon and Edwino Dandan, Municipal Administrator Maurice Montilla, and the barangay officials of the town.

During the distribution activity in Talacogon, he thanked Mayor Pauline Marie Masendo, Vice Mayor Melchor Demegillo, Municipal Administrator Gina Gatab, and the town councilors and barangay officials present in the event.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, the Senator continues to reach out and extend much-needed relief to Filipinos in crisis situations.

Ending his message to them, Go said that he and President Rodrigo Duterte will devotedly serve the country, especially since the Filipino people have entrusted them with the opportunity to serve. (Office of SBG/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

OTOP Hub Caraga at Dinagat Islands binuksan ng DTI

By Venus L. Garcia

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Enero 4 (PIA) -- Sa gitna ng mga hamon ng pagnenegosyo at ekonomiya ng bansa lalo na ngayong may coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, tiniyak pa rin ng Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Caraga na bigyan ng sapat na suporta ang mga micro, small at medium enterprise (MSME) sa rehiyon.

Kabilang sa mga hakbang ang pagbubukas ng One Town, One Product o OTOP PH Hub Caraga at OTOP Dinagat Islands na matatagpuan sa 3rd at ground level ng SM City Butuan kung saan tampok ang iba’t ibang produkto na likha ng mga lokal na taga-gawa galing sa iba’t ibang lungsod at probinsya ng rehiyon.

“We need a lot of pump priming. Kailangan tayong magbukas ng business opportunities dahil kailangan natin ng economic activities. We have to build lives again, we have to start all over again. I think it’s about time that we come together and work para sa economic development ng Caraga,” sabi ni DTI-Caraga regional director Edwin Banquerigo.

Nagkaroon din ng memorandun of agreement (MOA) signing ang DTI-Caraga at mga partner nito na GDH Caraga Inc., Create Food Inc., at Binuhat Arts and Crafts Trading.

Sa pagbukas ng mga nasabing hub at OTOP outlet, ramdam ng mga miyembro nito ang pagbibigay halaga ng pamahalaan sa mga local producers.

Ayon kay director Banquerigo, patuloy din ang DTI-Caraga sa kanilang product at market development support sa mga MSME at komprehensibong entrepreneurship development training para ma-enhance ang competence ng mga negosyante.

“To all our producers, always remember you are the engine of growth and that every product that you produce you create jobs, you create livelihood opportunities. And this is what we really want, this is what we really need to push caraga further,” sabi ni Banquerigo.

Para sa iba pang programa ng DTI, nariyan din anya ang pamimigay ng business o livelihood starter kits ng ahensiya at pangkabuhayan sa pagbangon at ginhawa program para sa mga apektado ng disaster gaya ng pendemya upang makapagrecover economically.

Samantala, sinabi rin ni city administrator Reynante Desiata ng local government unit ng Butuan na sa pamamagitan ng OTOP Hub, bilang retail store, magbibigay daan ito para mai-showcase ang mga natatanging produktong likha.

“This is also our call to all Caraganons to patronize our local products. This is our way of helping our local entrepreneurs. We are calling all Caraganons to support OTOP and local producers in Caraga region and Butuan City,” sabi ni Desiata.

Ayon naman kay DTI-Dinagat Islands provincial director Arnold Faelnar, ang pagbukas ng nasabing OTOP outlets ay paraan din para maipakilala ang mga produktong galing sa Dinagat Islands at iba pang probinsya ng rehiyon lalung-lalo na sa ibang bansa dahil marami rin anya ang bumibili at tumatangkilik nito na mga Pinoy na nasa iba’t ibang bahagi ng mundo. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)

Agri Galing Mobile Photography competition isinagawa ng DA Caraga

By Nora C. Lanuza

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Enero 4 (PIA) -- Sa layuning ma-showcase ang kayamanan sa agrikultura at pangingisda sa rehiyon ng Caraga, nagsagawa ng agri galing mobile photography competition ang Department of Agriculture ng rehiyon na nilahokan ng iba’t ibang sektor.

Binigyan ng isang buwan ang lahat na nakilahok upang makapagsumite ng kanilang entries kung saan ang tema ay nakasentro sa pagdiriwang ng rice awareness month at organic month.

Masaya si Charmagne dela Peña, ang 1st placer sa millenial category dahil sa oportunidad na naipromote ang agriculture sa pamamagitan ng kanyang talento sa photography kahit sa panahon na may banta ang coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Hinikayat din ni dela Peña ang iba pang may hilig sa photography na makilahok sa pagpromote ng agriculture.

Ayon kay DA regional technical director Rebecca Atega, ang kompetisyon ay isa sa mga stratehiya ng ahensya upang maipa-abot ang kahalagahan ng agrikultura sa pamamagitan ng larawan. Dagdag pa ni Atega, ito rin ay paraan kung saan ang mga kalahok ay maging instrumento upang ma-inspire ang iba pa na suportahan ang agrikultura.

May dalawang category ang nasabing competition – ang Gen Z category at Millenial category. Sa Gen Z category nakuha ni Aaron Dax Ucat ang 1st place, sumunod si Jobert Cordero at pangatlo si Jan Edcel Man-on. Nakuha din ni Ribeth Morgado and 2nd place at Garald Rago ang 3rd place sa Millenial category. (NCLM/PIA Caraga)

33 FRs in Agusan Norte, Butuan receive assistance

By Karen Kie V. Decamotan

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 4 -- Another 33 former rebels (FRs) from Agusan del Norte and Butuan City received assistance in an activity recently attended by the four department secretaries of the national government and local officials.

The package, handed over to FRs during the Awarding of Assistance to FRs and Interfacing of Regional Task Force ELCAC and Regional Task Force for COVID-19 One Caraga Shield (RTF COCS) in Butuan City, included cash, food packs, hygiene kits, and personal items.

Sec. Eduardo Año of the Department Interior and Local Government, Sec. Delfin Lorenzana of the Department of National Defense, Sec. Francisco Duque III of the Department of Health and Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr. of the Office of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process personally awarded the package to the FRS.

Gov. Dale B. Corvera, chairperson of both the Caraga Regional Development Council and RTF COCS as well as Rep. Maria Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba of the 2nd District of Agusan del Norte and other officials of Caraga also attended the event.

In his welcome message, Gov. Corvera shared how the region responded to the pressing issues surrounding insurgency while mitigating the effects of the pandemic.

He added that at this point, the region focused on efforts at improving the local economy while managing the risk of the pandemic and at the same time, ensured that the strong partnership and collaboration of the stakeholders in the fight against insurgency is sustained until the end of the problem.

“As chairperson of the Regional Development Council, RTF COCS and Agusan del Norte Peace and Order Council, it is our pride that so far, we are the only region throughout the country to have a regional peacebuilding initiatives, the Caraga roadmap for peace which is aligned to the goals of EO70 in ending the Local Communist Armed Conflict by addressing not only insurgency but also the other major conflict lines like criminality, resourced based conflicts, and issues and challenges of the Indigenous People living therein,” Gov. Corvera said. (Agusan Up, LGU Agusan del Norte/PIA Agusan del Norte)

AgSur youth leaders say no to CPP-NPA-NDF

By 2Lt. Cecille Tappa

TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur, Jan. 4 – The Propelling Our Inherited Nation Through Youth Inc. (POINTY) youth leaders from different municipalities of Agusan del Sur have recently expressed their condemnation on the atrocities and deceptions of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) during its 2nd Provincial Meeting held at the headquarters of the 26th Infantry Battalion (26IB), Philippine Army.

The activity was aimed to increase the awareness of the youth sector about the deceptive recruitment of the said terrorist group and to empower them about their significant role in nation-building.

A total of 17 POINTY youth leaders attended the said activity. “My utmost gratitude to the Armed Forces of the Philippines for giving us the chance to nurture in our role on nation-building, to my co-leaders, let's be an advocate of peace and development. As members of the youth sector, we are here to correct the mistakes of the past. We will not allow these left-leaning organizations to deceive us,” said Aubrey Guttierez, POINTY leader.

The youth is considered as a vulnerable sector for recruitment for they are prone to radicalization and violent extremism.

During the open forum, they had various agenda pertaining to the sustainment and improvement of the POINTY organization. Everyone got the chance to present updates on their upcoming programs, projects and activities to their respective municipalities for the calendar year 2021.

"The youth plays a significant role in our society, some of them will be the future legislators and leaders. At their very young age, let us mold their character to become good and useful citizens of our country," underlined Lt. Col. Reynald Romel A. Goce, 26IB Commanding Officer.

"I challenge all the parents out there, it is our duty to protect our children against the communist terrorists groups. To the youth sector, be part of the change and help the government in peace-building. Also, encourage your fellows to be part of this campaign. To the NPAs, stop recruiting the youth, hands off," Goce ended. (Acting CMO, 26IB/PIA-Agusan del Sur)