(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Monday, 26 July 2021) Southwest Monsoon affecting the country. ACTIVE TROPICAL CYCLONES OUTSIDE PAR AS OF 3:00 AM TODAY: TYPHOON "IN-FA" (FORMERLY "FABIAN") {2106} LOCATION: 1,070 KM NORTH OF EXTREME NORTHERN LUZON (30.4°N, 121.5°E) MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS: 100 KM/H NEAR THE CENTER GUSTINESS: UP TO 140 KM/H MOVEMENT: NORTHWESTWARD AT 10 KM/H TROPICAL STORM "NEPARTAK" {2108} LOCATION: 2,980 KM EAST NORTHEAST OF EXTREME NORTHERN LUZON (31.0°N, 149.5°E) MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS: 75 KM/H NEAR THE CENTER GUSTINESS: UP TO 90 KM/H MOVEMENT: NORTHWARD AT 20 KM/H Caraga Region will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Southwest Monsoon. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from Southwest will prevail with Slight to Moderate seas / (0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Tandag City provides aid to 34 families hit by TS Auring

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Feb. 27 (PIA) -- Tandag City Mayor Roxanne Pimentel led on Thursday the distribution of assistance to 34 families at the City Hall Motorpool, which houses were reportedly damaged due to heavy rains and gusty winds brought by Tropical Storm Auring last week.

Based on the report, each family received P10,000.00 as cash assistance from the city government.

Aside from the financial assistance, the beneficiaries also received kitchenwares/utensils, vitamins, t-shirts, facemasks, and food packs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Caraga.

In his online post, Vicente Minguillan of Barangay Bungtod, one of the beneficiaries, extended his appreciation to Mayor Pimentel for the immediate assistance given to them.

On Feb. 24, around 1,060 families from Barangay San Agustin Sur also received food packs in collaboration with the city government, Vonric Event Services, and the Office of Sen. Bong Go.

Meanwhile, 290 family-residents of Purok Cabugan, and 121 family-residents of Purok Moonglow, all in Barangay Bag-ong Lungsod also received the food packs from the city government.

During the relief distribution, the City Health Office also conducted an information education campaign on leptospirosis prophylaxis post-exposure and COVID-19 vaccination, following the minimum health standard. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)

Dinagat cops plant 300 seedlings as part of 'Plant-A-Tree' program

SAN JOSE, Dinagat Islands, Feb. 27 -- The personnel of the Police Provincial Office (PPO) in Dinagat Islands recently conducted a tree-planting program at Sitio Iring-iring, Barangay Wilson, San Jose, this province.

A total of 300 fruit-bearing seedlings were planted as part of their advocacy in environmental protection and preservation and exemplifying one of their core values of “Makakalikasan” and adopt a program dubbed as “PLANT-A-TREE PROGRAM: THE PNP’s New Normal of Disaster Preparedness and Response.”

The activity served as the contribution of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in promoting environmental protection and preservation and the new normal of disaster management and to showcase the importance of promoting environmental conservation in Dinagat Islands.

This also acknowledges the importance of cooperation in order to achieve the goals of PNP Chief PGen. Debold M. Sinas in the protection and preservation of the environment and natural resources.

Dinagat Islands Police Provincial Director PCol. Germano P. Mallari emphasized that through the conduct of the tree planting activities, the provincial office will be able to promote the preservation of the environment as it is equivalent to the protection of human life. (PPO-Dinagat Islands/PIA-Dinagat Islands)

Bridging knowledge, closing the gap: IPs in agriculture

By Kent Warren H. Fugoso

Leaning towards development for the ancestral domains of the Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) / Indigenous Peoples (IPs), the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Caraga through the Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran ng Kababayang Katutubo (4K), mobilizes its efforts in creating a livelihood and agricultural productivity program that will touch into four components such as Social Preparation, Production and Livelihood, Marketing Assistance and Enterprise Development, and Project Management. The project will also provide capacity building that will link the IP community to credit facilities and crop insurance. All of these will be catered through the targeted Community Needs-Assessments (CNA).

‘No One Left Behind’

The 4Ks, which commenced last 2020, is intended for the IPs to throw light on norms that they are the “left behind” sectors in the society. The year 2020 has an allocated budget of P13.7 million while 2021 has P14.9 million. 

“Our IPs have massive spaces and lands for agricultural products but it is not productive. This is the reason why this initiative is lodge under the DA, of course in coordination with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to safeguard the customs, traditions, values, beliefs, and interest of the communities,” said Edelmira Luminarias, DA – Caraga 4K Program Focal Person.

Before the implementation of the project, a joint special order with the DA and NCIP was established to work hand-in-hand. 

‘Checking the validity’

The project will cater to IP farmers and fisherfolk of recognized Indigenous Political Structure (IPS) by the NCIP, who has a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT), Certificate of Ancestral Land Title (CALT), and Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claims (CADC). In addition, they should also be registered in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).

“The reason, why we need to look thoroughly at the recognized members of the IPS, is because there are some who are claiming to be a member of an IP community and recognized by the NCIP so that they can avail of the benefits. They must be registered in the RSBSA so that they will be insured under the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC),” Luminarias said. 

‘Benefits from the component’

The 4Ks anchor its benefits from four different components allotting different scope of interventions. For the Social Preparation, the scope of interventions includes validation of the Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP), Community Needs Assessment, Registration of IP Farmers to RSBSA, Registration of farmers to the PCIC, and identifying the specific interventions for capability building and conduct of training. 

After determining the social preparations, component two focuses on the provision of support services and livelihood assistance. Production of support services includes quality seeds, organic and inorganic fertilizers, pre-and-post harvest equipment, tools and machinery, breeder animals to name a few. Component two also targets to improve access of technology through the conduct of technology demonstration projects as a show window of technology through approaches like ‘learning by doing’ and ‘to-see-is to-believe’ for easy adoption of technology.

Component three will focus on the marketing assistance and enterprise development which is in coordination with DA-Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division as key players. Technical assistance and literacy training take place to access finance, markets, services, and partnerships outside the ancestral domains. This component also aims to match the market and create linkages and a farm consolidation approach as well as value-adding of their products.

The last component will be the Project Management implementation, coordination and provision of logistics are ensured and appropriately conducted. “Consultation in every Ancestral Domain is necessary so that we can keep up with the effects of the implementation. We have to hold onto our aim to provide initiative but in accord with their customs and tradition,” Luminarias said. 

‘Target communities’

For the year 2020, DA-4Ks identified 10 recipients of the 4K Program Intervention. Three IPOs from Agusan del Norte, three from Surigao del Sur, one from Surigao del Norte, two from Surigao del Norte, and one from Butuan City.

For 2021, as of the latest data, DA-4Ks listed three recipients from Agusan del Sur. These are IPOs from Rosario, Bunawan, and Sibagat, Agusan del Sur. 

“For the list of recipients, we already incorporated the farm clustering approach so that these selected recipients will feel better access to resources, technologies, and markets basing on their specific sectors,” Luminarias said. 

‘Closing the gap, Opening better opportunities’

The never-ending story of the IP communities revolves around being deficit in terms of capital and financial capacity, technical knowledge to produce quality agricultural products, lack of marketing skills, and lack of confidence. All of these dilemmas create gaps that hinder these communities to function well in the agriculture sector. 

But as the saying goes ‘alone we can do so little, together we can do so much,' there’s always a better chance to change the usual. With their expertise and historical legacies, bonded with government support and interventions, they will no longer be the ‘left behind.’ (DA RAFIS-13/PIA Caraga)

DTI conducts price monitoring in Surigao Norte town

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Feb. 27  -- True to its advocacy to protect the consumers, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Surigao del Norte Consumer Protection Unit recently conducted the Price Monitoring in the Poblacion area of Claver town.

The Price Monitoring Team of DTI headed by Provincial Director Elmer M. Natad together with Trade and Industry Development Specialist Rennel Dalagan, Price Monitor Staff Roxan Ocho, Anamae Apao and Negosyo Center Claver Staff Melanie Ogalde conducted price monitoring on five retailers and five hardware/construction suppliers.

Natad said the basic necessities and prime commodities under the jurisdiction of DTI were closely monitored from time to time to prevent unnecessary and uncalled for increase in suggested retail price.

He said these items under DTI's BNPC list are composed of processed and manufactured foods such as: noodles, coffee, soap, salt, sardines, other select canned goods, among others and specific list of these items can be viewed at DTI’s website at www.dti.gov.ph.

Manatad added that letters of inquiry were issued to establishments who deviate using the SRP or price trends and they will be made to explain in writing how their price came to be above what was set within five days of notification. (Negosyo Center Claver, DTI-SDN/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Surigao Norte stakeholders unite vs NPA terrorists’ extortion

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Feb. 26 -- Eighteen project engineers and in-charge of the constructions companies and several personnel of the local government units (LGUs) within the area of responsibility of the 30th Infantry (Fight On) Battalion (30IB), Philippine Army attended the first Contractors and Business Establishments Security Forum held at the 30IB headquarters in Brgy. Mahanub, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte on Feb. 19.

The forum, organized by the Army’s 30IB under the supervision of the 901st Infantry Brigade, in partnership with several local government units (LGUs) in the province of Surigao del Norte, was aimed at enhancing the coordinative mechanism among economic stakeholders, LGUs, and the security sectors by emphasizing “shared security responsibility” concept.

This is to ensure that implementation of all government projects and economic activities are unhampered and uninterrupted as an offshoot to the communist terrorists' threats and intimidation usually resulting to sabotage and destruction of company properties particularly those in the remote areas. 

Salient points of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) was presented to the participants in order to raise awareness on their rights and protection as non-combatants against all attacks and human rights abuses where most of them already suffered the cruelty and abuses from these communist terrorists.

The CARHRIHL was an agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army CPP-NPA-NDF) to ensure the protection of civilians against all forms of human rights abuse.

An information briefing on the concept of shared security responsibility was also presented by Lt. Col. Ryan Charles G. Callanta, commanding officer of the 30IB, to the concerned stakeholders (construction companies, communities, LGUs, Integrated Territorial Defense System (ITDS), and security sectors in which each component has separate but equally important roles and responsibilities to ensure that peace and security are maintained and implementation of government projects within the area will be attained.

In his message, BGen. George L. Banzon, commander of the 901st Infantry Brigade, assured the attendees that securing and protecting the entire province’s economic activities are among the topmost priorities of the entire 901st Infantry Brigade together with its two infantry battalions and the PNP. 

“Extortion is a lifeblood of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG). If we work together and stop the extortion scheme of the communist terrorists in Surigao del Norte, it will be a significant blow to its weakening posture. I, therefore, encouraged all of us to work together and do our respective part in this specific endeavor. If we can do this, then we can expect that peace, progress, and development will take its full throttle in this part of the country. Lastly, I thanked everyone for giving us your time,” underscored BGen. Banzon. (30IB, Phil. Army/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

DAR Project ConVERGE provides abaca production, enterprise skills trainings

By Gil E. Miranda

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 27 -- In an effort to help abaca farmers increase their income, a total of 868 abaca-farmers were beef up with series of capacity building that reached up to 35 series of sessions implemented under the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) of Agusan del Norte’s Project Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment (ConVERGE).

The participants were composed of some 352 agrarian reform beneficiaries, 516 small-holder farmers, 78 Indigenous People (IPs) consisting of 47 women and 31 males. Of the total count of 868 participants, 488 or 56% are women involved.

PARPO II Andre B. Atega, CESO V, lauded the performance of the project ConVERGE team citing the last year 2020 accomplishment that aimed to support the value chain implementation of the abaca farmer-groups to raise their living standards.

Under the project, the series of trainings comprised of Abaca Production Technology, Fiber Craft Trainings and Equipment, Value Addition and Diversification-Abaca Pulp and Paper, Market and Investment Facilitation, Rural Finance Facilitation and Ginger production, among others, he said.

Project Coordinator Annelyn R. Chan of DAR Planning and Monitoring Evaluation Unit (PMEU) said, that out of 18 trainings targeted last year, the project reached up to thirty-five trainings or 194% in its performance in advancing the endeavors of abaca farmer-organizations that could bring positive long-term results to improve productivity and income.

She noted that the project ConVERGE was able to deliver last year’s target trainings despite the government act their restrictions due to coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. The project did not cease to provide support to the abaca farmers.

“The provision of abaca production technology trainings provided focused on good agricultural practices in partnership with the PhilFIDA, which coached the ARB Organizations on how to improve fiber quality attributed to a higher price and income,” Chan said. (DAR Agusan del Norte/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Government enlightens AgNor residents on NPA's deception

KITCHARAO, Agusan del Norte, Feb. 27 --  To enlighten the residents about the tactics of the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs), the 29th Infantry (Matatag Fighters) Battalion (29IB) in collaboration with the Kitcharao Municipal Police Station, Municipal Local Government Unit of Kitcharao, and its Barangay Local Government Units recently led the conduct of an Information Education Campaign (IEC) in Brgy. Mahayahay, Sangay and San Roque of Kitcharao, this province.

Under the IEC, CMO Officer of 29IB, 1st Lieut. Edmar C. Colagong discussed the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, the Republic Act (RA) No. 11479, a law whose intent is to prevent, prohibit, and penalize terrorism in the country. He also tackled the Executive Order No. 70 Series of 2018 (EO 70) which seeks to institutionalize the Whole-of-Nation Approach. This approach makes possible the participation of many government agencies and units by harmonizing government development efforts and services to support, facilitate and pursue the country’s peace agenda.

PLt. Allan Rey Daag, Chief of Kitcharao Municipal Police Station discussed RA 10168 otherwise known as the “Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012”. The said law was created to "reinforce the country’s fight against terrorism by criminalizing the financing of terrorism and related offenses, and preventing and suppressing the commission of offenses through freezing and forfeiture of properties or funds while protecting human rights."

During the IEC, the CNTs' recruitment process was highlighted. The lecture enlightened the public regarding how these terrorists persuade and deceive their ‘to-be members’ to join the armed struggle.

According to Lt. Col Aristotle F. Antonio, Acting Commanding Officer of 29IB, they will do their best they can, using all the means they have to save their constituents who have been blinded and fooled by these CNTs. “We will never get tired, no matter how many IEC assemblies we have to organize so long as we do not miss the opportunity to reach out to those who have lost their way because of the duplicitous ways and dangerous lies of the devils disguised as the CNTs,” he said.

“My dear fellows, especially the youth, wake up and hearken to the voice which leads you to that which is right and not the voice that will drag you to a life of misery. Listen to us and don’t trust the NPA's lies,” Antonio added. (29th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Soldiers, CTG clash anew in Surigao del Norte

By Cpt. Joash Pramis

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Feb. 27 -- The army troops and communist terrorist group (CTG) clash anew in Sitio Barubangkaw, Barangay Taganito, Claver, Surigao del Norte, Thursday morning, February 25.

Based on the report, the encounter ensued between operating troops of 30th Infantry Battalion (30IB) and members of SYPC2, GF16 under a certain “Jelong” when the soldiers responded to the reports about the presence of the said armed group in the area.

The said firefight lasted for about 10 minutes and resulted in the seizure of one M14 rifle, assorted magazines, ammunitions, personal belongings, hammocks, and assorted medicines.

There was no casualty recorded on both sides while the pursuit operation is still ongoing.

According to Lt. Col. Charles Ryan G. Callanta, commanding officer of the 30IB, they immediately launched the operation when they received the information regarding the whereabouts of the CTG.

“We are determined to go after the CTG because we want to ensure the safety and security of the locals specifically the indigenous peoples. The initial information revealed that the CTG was monitored for their foraging activity targeting the IP communities within the area," Lt. Col. Callanta said.

Meanwhile, BGen. George L. Banzon, commander of the 901st Infantry (Fight’Em) Brigade, expressed his gratitude to the residents who gave their full trust and untiring support to the soldiers by giving timely information that led to the successful operation.

“As we always say, the information coming from the localities are very vital. The outcome in the recent incident clearly manifests that we can promptly act on the arising situation if the community willingly cooperates. Our main objective is to prevent this armed group from entering the community and disrupting their lives,” he said.

BGen. Banzon denounced the CTG for pestering the IP communities. He said that such was a clear violation and great disrespect on the rights and culture of the indigenous people.

He, however, gave the assurance that the operating troops will continue to be relentless in conducting security operations so that the communities will be safeguarded from the threat of the CTG who capitalizes violence to pursue their agenda. (901st Infantry Brigade/PIA-Surigao del Norte)