(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Friday, 01 March 2024) Northeast Monsoon affecting Luzon. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur, will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies/Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Moderate to strong winds coming from Northeast to East will prevail with moderate to rough seas (1.2 to 2.8 meters).

Friday, March 26, 2021

Dinagat Islands LGU backs gov’t info drive for COVID-19 vaccination

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 26 (PIA) -- With their commitment to uphold the health and welfare of Dinagatnons, the provincial government of Dinagat Islands joins the national government in campaigning for the vaccination of every Filipino from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which has claimed millions of lives across the world since its outbreak.

Since the beginning of the year, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), together with the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) conducted a series of engagements with local government units across the nation dubbed as the “Pagdalaw/Pagdu-aw” (visit) to engage with local officials and members of concerned sectors on the on-going vaccination program launched by the national government.

On its fifth leg in Caraga region, the municipality of Loreto in Dinagat Islands was visited, where PIA Director-General Ramon Cualoping III and PCOO Sec. Martin Andanar discussed among municipal officials down to the barangay level, the youth, and officials of the provincial government on Monday, March 22, the current developments of the national vaccination program and the future endeavors of the national government concerning vaccination.

To achieve this, the agency launched the “#ExplainExplainExplain” campaign, in addition to the many communication efforts launched by the PCOO, to intensify information dissemination at the time when the public needs it most. Living up to its name, the campaign was named to explain to the public the actions taken by the government in its vaccination efforts in particular, in addition to informing.

“Why are we here? It is because we, as government communicators, eagerly continue to communicate President Rodrigo Duterte’s directives – to provide safe, effective, and free vaccines to the Filipino people,” said PIA chief Usec. Ramon Cualoping III.

“This is our avenue. This is one of the ways of bringing information to the people and making them understand what really is happening, what is the vaccine roadmap, when will the people get vaccinated, are they really effective, and so on,” he added.

The extensiveness of these efforts was lauded by participating officials. Provincial Governor Arlene Bag-ao thanked the presence of the agency chiefs and for extending their initiatives down to the grassroots level. She then cited the strong coordination among local government units in the province to respond better to the needs of Dinagatnons.

“Kalahating taon na ang lumipas na wala tayong COVID-19 cases habang patuloy na nagtutulungan ang provincial at municipal governments sa pagsisigurong buhay ang lokal na ekonomiya,” the governor added.

Loreto Municipal Mayor Doandre Bill Ladaga echoed the same words of gratitude for the national government, stating that their responsiveness is key for local government units to materialize their plans and projects for the development of their respective areas.

Meanwhile, during the engagement, Usec. Cualoping elaborated the importance of all the efforts the government has been exerting since the issue on availing vaccines was discussed, which is to achieve a “Healthy Pilipinas.” This, he said, can be attained by achieving herd immunity, which requires getting at least 70% of the country’s entire population vaccinated from the disease.

“As of March 15, 2021, about 96% or 1,125,600 total doses we have were already distributed in 929 vaccination sites nationwide, with 39% of the said figures were administered for the first dose.”

Vaccine from other brands will be arriving soon, he added, both the donated and the procured.

Despite the availability of vaccines, the government official urged residents of the province to continue to abide by health protocols and, as much as possible, submit themselves for inoculation. (DMNR/PIA-Caraga)

Surigao Norte LGU to boost fishery to foster recovery from pandemic

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 26 (PIA) -- With various sectors in the economy now striving to bounce back from the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the local government unit of the municipality of San Benito in Siargao Islands in the province of Surigao del Norte plans on embarking on sardine production in an effort to boost local fishery.

While known for its rich seaweed farming, Municipal Mayor Gina Menil said seaweed production has been low since the onset of the pandemic.

The town’s seaweed farm, located at Sitio Campingganon in Brgy. Maribojoc, can produce seaweeds year-round. But farmers are now faced with shortage of needed materials which in turn affected their local business.

This pushed Mayor Menil to opt for other business prospects, with sardine production in mind.

Located on the northwest side of Siargao Island, the town also occupies a portion of the Pacific Ocean which provides them the advantage of catching some of the finest fish in the sea. San Benito prides itself in being one of the top producers of yellow fin tuna, a tuna species commonly used for fish dishes served in high-end restaurants.

“Ito ay binebenta ng mga mangingisda sa iba’t-ibang bahagi ng probinsya. Kung sila ay malaking pump boat, dinadala po ito sa Surigao City. Yung iba naman na maliit ang pump boat, dinadala lamang sa mga magkalapit na bayan sa Siargao,” she said in an interview for the Network Briefing News episode on Tuesday with Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Sec. Martin Andanar.

“Kaya ako po ay nangangarap para sa aking mga kababayan sa San Benito, gusto ko po sana since marami po ang nahuhuli na ganung klaseng isda dito, ay [magtatag] ng sardine production. Alam kong mas maraming matutulungan na mga kababayan natin dito sa San Benito.”

Meanwhile, the mayor appealed to the national government for assistance to aid their seaweed farming.

“Sana po, meron pong makatulog sa amin. Malaki ang production niyan. Umaabot ang pagbebenta ng mga tao sa Cebu City,” she added.

PCOO Sec. Andanar assured the local chief that these concerns will be voiced to the Department of Agriculture.

“Wag po kayo mag-alala, Mayor, at ang tanggapan ko po ay bukas para kayo po ay ibridge kay Secretary Willam Dar.” (DMNR/PIA-Caraga)

Infra projects boosted in Surigao Norte town amid pandemic

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 26 (PIA) -- Several infrastructure projects in the municipality of San Benito in Siargao Islands are currently in the works despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Town Mayor Gina Menil reports the on-going construction of the P67-million municipal multi-purpose building in Brgy. Nuevo Campo. Phase 1 of the building construction is currently being completed since its groundbreaking ceremony on February 25, 2021.

“Aside from that, we have also a municipal gymnasium na ngayon ay ginagawa na,” the mayor added during an interview on Tuesday for the Network Briefing News hosted by Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Sec. Martin Andanar.

The construction of the building is still in its early phases. Mayor Menil said the project is costs about P47 million in total.

Discussing the newness of the said projects, the town mayor did not shy away from admitting to being a novice in the field of politics, having been appointed as the municipal mayor less than two years ago. But while such was the case, her determination to foster the growth of San Benito town through infrastructure.

The mayor also cited the continuous assistance she receives from the national and the provincial governments for the success of her projects, particularly those mentioned above.

The town of San Benito is a 6th class municipality, with at least 6,000 individuals making up its entire population. (DMNR/PIA-Caraga)

Locals in Surigao Norte town upbeat on COVID-19 vaccination

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 26 (PIA) -- The locals of San Benito town in Siargao Island in the Surigao del Norte province are now willing to undergo vaccination for the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) after months of hesitation, town mayor Gina Menil said.

In an interview with the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Sec. Martin Andanar for the Network Briefing Episode, the town chief said the acceptance rate among residents have ballooned since they launched an information drive for the government’s vaccination program.

“Nung una, medyo nahirapan kaming mag convince sa kanila. At first, nung humingi ako ng listahan from punong barangays but then wala munang nagbigay ng listahan. It’s because natakot sila,” the mayor said.

Thus, the local government unit strived to promote awareness on the COVID-19 vaccines and the vaccination process in collaboration with the municipal health office. And in no time, public confidence increased and fear of the vaccines was gradually eradicated.

“After a week na nagconduct sila ng information drive, very productive or positive ang [feedback] na nakuha sa katawhan sa San Benito and they are willing to [be] vaccinate[d]. Inexplain ng maigi na sila muna ang maunang mabigyan ng bakuna – mga doctors, nurses, at mga opsiyales.”

This, Mayor Menil said, was what convinced the people to receive jabs for COVID-19.

As of March 24, 2021, a total of 10,711 health care workers in Caraga region have already received the COVID-19 vaccines, with 91.32% inoculated with the Sinovac vaccines while 44.8% with AstraZeneca. The Department of Health (DOH) Caraga said it will aim to inoculate 57,364 individuals in Caraga based on the masterlist created for the eligible population (DMNR/PIA-Caraga)