(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Saturday, 16 January, 2021) Localized Thunderstorms affecting Mindanao. Caraga Region will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to localized thunderstorms . Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. 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, January 6, 2021

PH gov't officials explain vaccination program for all Filipinos

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 6 – During the first vaccine cluster briefing hosted by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and Philippine Information Agency (PIA), government officials assured Filipinos on the implementation of the vaccination program this year.

Invited guest speakers are National Task Force (NTF) Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr.; NTF Deputy Chief Implementer Sec. Vince Dizon; Philippine Information Agency Director-General Usec. Ramon Cualoping III; Food and Drug Administration Director-General Usec. Eric Domingo; Department of Science and Technology Executive Director Jaime Montoya; and World Health Organization Representative Dr. Socorro Escalante.

Usec. Cualoping highlighted that it has always been the vision of President Rodrigo Duterte since 2016 to provide a comfortable life for all the Filipino people. "And now in the midst of the pandemic, it is our goal to have a safe and effective vaccine available for all Filipinos," he said.

“Bida Solusyon is the government's strong and cohesive information campaign against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. It aims to encourage Filipinos to take an active role in the fight against the common enemy. With Bida Solusyon plus the availability of the vaccines, we hope to bring the lives of Filipinos back to normal," added Cualoping.

Secretary Galvez also stressed that no one will be left behind, all Filipinos will be vaccinated. The government is negotiating with the different companies/suppliers to ensure the supply of the vaccine.

“Health care workers, indigent senior citizens, poor communities, uniformed personnel, teachers and school workers, government workers, essential workers, vulnerable and co-morbid groups, Overseas Filipino Workers, other remaining workforce, and students are among the priority sectors to be vaccinated,” Galvez bared.

Galvez further said that the expanded vaccine access is in partnership with the private sector and the local government units (LGUs). "The vaccine program is not the sole responsibility of the government. This is the reason why the whole-of-government and the whole-of-nation approach shall be adopted, maximizing manpower, expertise, and processes to ensure integrated implementation of the COVID-19 immunization program," he said.

Dr. Jaime Montoya of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development emphasized that the task group on Scientific Evaluation and Selection reviews the results of clinical trials, existing evidence, and international recommendations to ensure that the best vaccine will be chosen that is safe and effective for the Filipinos.

"Complying to scientific standards ensures that a COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for humans. It also guarantees that the trials conducted followed the highest ethical requirements/standards. All vaccine candidates are required to undergo clinical trials, or experiments involving humans, to test its safety and efficacy," he said.

Meanwhile, according to Secretary Vince Dizon, NTF Deputy Chief Implementer, the target number of Filipinos to be vaccinated this year is at 50 to 70 million Filipinos. "We believe that with the support of the Filipino people, we could achieve this goal. We thank the LGUs, mayors, governors, and other officials, as well as the private sector who have been with us since the onset of the pandemic," said Sec. Dizon. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

56 former rebels receive E-CLIP benefits in AgSur

By 2Lt. Cecille Tappa

TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur, Jan. 6 – Fifty-six (56) former rebels (FRs) from the province of Agusan del Sur received benefits during the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) Awarding held recently at the Naliyagan Ground, Patin-ay, Prosperidad, this province.

The province awarded livelihood assistance amounting to P50,000.00, immediate assistance of P15,000.00 and firearms remuneration to the 31 FRs of 3rd Special Forces Battalion, 26 FRs of 26 Infantry (Ever Onward) Battalion, three FRs of Philippine National Police and one FR of 401st Infantry (Unity) Brigade.

“Dako kaayo among pasalamat kay tinood gayud ang gisaad kanamu nga kami pagatabangan sa gobyerno alang sa among pagsugod sa bag-ong kinabuhi nga gawasnon kauban ang among pamilya, kining maong kantidad daku na kini ug ikatabang aron kami maka tukod sa among panginabuhian diri patag uban ang among pamilya, ug ako naga agni sa among kanhi kaubanan nga anaa pa sa kabukiran nga musurender na aron makabaton usan kamu ug kalinaw sa pag puyo uban ang inyong mga mahal sa kinabuhi (We are very thankful that the government has been true to its promise to us, as we will start a new life with our family in the mainstream society. This financial assistance is of great help for our family, and I’m encouraging those who are still in the movement to surrender and live a peaceful dwelling)," said alias ‘Jorja’, a former rebel.

E-CLIP is a government program intended for the re-integration of all members of the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army - National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) who will support the peace negotiation program of the government and ultimately lay down their arms to the fold of law. It was made possible through the generous support of Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago B. Cane Jr. in collaboration with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Provincial Social Welfare and Development (PSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

"The pandemic has brought huge changes in our lives, it affects every Filipino, but the provincial government will not cease to look for innovation and initiatives to implement the government programs to all our constituents especially to our brothers and sisters who have decided to choose the right path in the mainstream society,” underscored Cane. 

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Reynald Romel A Goce, Commanding Officer of 26IB cheered all the FRs upon receiving the E-CLIP benefits. "Congratulations to all of you who have just received the livelihood and immediate assistance from the government. I hope that you will be wise in spending all of your money, start a business and earn a living. The government is always ready to help you, but first, you must help yourselves,” he said.

"Our door remains open in accepting those who want to live a peaceful life. We are offering you a way out to surrender but if you continue to resist, I will assure you that the government will stop you until no one is left in the armed struggle,” Goce ended. (Acting CMO, 26IB/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Army distributes gift packages to far-flung villagers in AgSur town

TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur, Jan. 6 - The residents of Sitio Kamalangan, Barangay Binicalan, San Luis of this province have recently received gift packages from the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division (4ID), Philippine Army.

The 4ID under the command of Major General Andres C. Centino initiated the said activity as a way of sharing blessings to the underprivileged, those who lack access to better opportunities, far-flung and isolated communities in its area of operation.

A total of 503 residents received the gift packages which consisted of foods, clothes, slippers, shoes, blankets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, toys, and school supplies. The distribution was facilitated by the 26th Infantry (Ever Onward) Battalion.

Sitio Kamalangan of Brgy. Binicalan was chosen as the beneficiary since it is considered as one of the remote communities in the province.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Reynald Romel A. Goce expressed his gratitude to 4ID for choosing Sitio Kamalangan as the beneficiary in its area of operations. "Thank you to 4ID team for bringing cheers to the residents in this far-flung barangay," he said.

"The leadership of 4ID continues to intensify linkages with the different stakeholders in order to reach out to all remotely isolated areas in our Area of Operations. Our main goal for conducting this kind of activity is to bring the spirit of Christmas to the locals amidst COVID-19," said Maj. Gen. Centino.

"It is our genuine desire to give hope and joy to the less fortunate people this holiday season. We will not stop here, there's more we can offer to the people with the support of our active partner agencies, I guarantee that the government services will reach even into the most isolated areas,” he added. (2Lt. Cecille Tappa, acting CMO, 26IB/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Konstruksyon sa bagong tulay sa Agusan del Norte sinimulan na

By Nora C. Lanuza

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Enero 6 (PIA) – Sinimulan na ang konstruksyon ng higit kalahating kilometrong tulay na inaasahang makakatulong sa paglago ng ekonomiya sa probinsya ng Agusan del Norte at karatig lugar nito.

Ang nasabing tulay ay pinaglaanan ng pamahalaan ng isa’t kalahating bilyong pisong pondo.

Laking pasasalamat ni Mayor Avelina Rosales ng Las Nieves kay Presidente Rodrigo Duterte sa tulong ni Congresswoman Maria Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba dahil sa pag-apruba ng konstrukyon nito. Ayon pa ni Rosales, matagal na itong hinihintay ng mga mamamayan sa lugar, simula pa noong taong 2015.

Ang konstruksyon ay magsisimula sa Barangay Malicato at sinuguro ni Gobernador Dale Corvera na sa loob ng tatlo hanggang limang taong konstruksyon ng tulay, tuloy-tuloy ang budget nito.

Siniguro din ni Cong. Matba na sa gagawing konstruksyon sa tulay, magkakaroon ng trabaho ang mga mamamayan sa nasabing lugar.

Sa ginawang ground breaking ceremony, ipinaalam din ni Project Engr. Jerome Meso na magsisimula na ang konstruksyon nito.

Ang Las Nieves ay may 20 barangays at isang second class municipality na may 28,414 populasyon base sa 2015 census. (NCLM/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Mayo gideklarang bulan sa pamilya sa LGU Carmen

By Ramil L. Pasco

DAKBAYAN SA BUTUAN, Enero 6 -- Mamahimo nang ‘Family Month’ ang bulan sa Mayo sa lungsod sa Carmen ning lalawigan kada tuig human gi-aprobahan ug gidiklarang balido sa Sangguniang Panlalawigan sa Agusan del Norte atol sa ika 70 nga sesyon regular kaniadtong Desyembre 21, 2020 ang Municipal Ordinance No. 62-2020 nga nagdeklara niini.

Nakita sa Committee on Municipal Affairs diin tsirman si Board Member Meriam G. Pagaran nga ang nahisgutang lakang nahiuyon sa Article II, Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution, nga naghatag estado nga giila ang kabalaan sa kinabuhi sa pamilya nga mapanalipdan ug palig-onon aron sa ingon nga kini ang prayoridad nga pagdumala sa kaugalingon diha sa katilingban ug kabahin na sa atong kultora.

Subay usab kini sa Proclamation No. 847, nga giisyu ni kanhing pangulo Benigno C. Aquino III, nga gideklara nga ang ika-upat nga domingo sa Septyembre isip adlaw sa pasalamat sa pamilya.

Ang maong lakang gipalabang pinaagi sa Sanggunian Resolution No. 602-2020 sa pagpanginahan ni Board Member Pagaran, tsirman sa Committee on Municipal Affairs, inubanan nila Board Member Benjamin D. Lim Jr. ug Board Member Francisco Y. Chan, Jr., isip mga co-authors. (LGU Agusan del Norte/PIA Agusan del Norte)