(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).

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Tourism boost eyed by Dinagat Islands LGU as local economy recovers from pandemic

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 28 (PIA) -- While it was able to control concerns on public health and maintain low confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the local government unit of Loreto town in the Province of Dinagat Islands is still confronted by the impact of the pandemic.

And to address this, the municipal government is turning to boosting local tourism in hopes of reviving its local economy.

“Kami po ay hindi naman masasabing totally affected considering ang dinagat ay kung sa kaso ay mababa naman yung naging kaso ng Dinagat [Islands] pero ang pinaghahandaan po talaga naming ay yung pagbangon. Ang ekonomiya, ang economic side natin, kung paano yung mga tao na muling makabangon , kumita. At alam kong sa pamamagitan ng tourism, malaki-laki po itong maitulong,” said Town Mayor Doandre Bill Ladaga during his interview with Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Sec. Martin Andanar on Wednesday, March 24, for the Network Briefing News.

The town is known for its robust ecotourism and houses the famous Mount Redondo Natural Bonsai Forest as well as the historic Campintac Black Beach No. 2, where the American liberation troops during the World War II landed on October 17, 1944.

While travel restrictions are still being implemented, the mayor said local tourists continue to flock to their tourist attractions and even observed an influx of tourist arrivals. To better accommodate them, the local government is eyeing on providing better and accessible accommodation, with investors joining the project.

“Meron na po tayong ginagawa na mga buildings o mga villa houses sa [Sitio] Campintac. Nagplano pa kami na maglalagay ulit ng mga facilities at yung mga investors din natin, yung mga lokal na mga negosynate, natutuwa naman kami na dumadami na yung nagtatayo ng mga lodging houses.”

Local laws on environmental protection also come into play in their efforts to improve tourism, as they continue to strictly implement regulations on mining activities and disallowed mining to take place in certain areas.

But these preparations might be extinguished as mobility and ease of transportation going to Loreto remains a problem. Visitors will have to take a two-hour ride from Surigao City to get to the town; travel time is even longer for those coming from Siargao Islands, as they will have to endure a two-hour land trip and another hour traveling by sea.

“Kami po ay nag e-encourage ng mga investors na sana po meron ng magkakalakas ng loob para iupgrade natin yung transportation natin para sa ganun ay mas lalong maattract yung mga turista na pumunta sa lugar,” Mayor Ladaga said.

He also called on the national and provincial governments to help address this problem and also grant the municipal government projects to improve their access roads leading to local tourist sites.

Meanwhile, travelers coming from outside the province are still prohibited from entering the province. Both the provincial government and the League of Municipal Mayors of Dinagat Islands agreed to have at least a month for local chief executives to observe their area while COVID-19 cases continue to fluctuate in Caraga region. (DMNR/PIA-Caraga)

Bislig kicks off vaccination drive with Sinovac shot

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Mar. 28 (PIA) -- The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination drive in the city kicked off recently with a staff nurse of Bislig District Hospital (BDH) and a medical doctor of Andres Soriano Memorial Hospital Cooperative (ASMHC) receiving the first dose administered.

(Photo by: CIO Bislig) 

Staff Nurse Esbie Imperial of BDH and Dr. Angelo Dimaano of ASMHC were among the first batch of health care workers who agreed to be inoculated with Sinovac's CoronaVac to boost the public’s confidence in COVID-19 vaccines.

Gracing the ceremonial vaccination were the officials from the Department of Health (DOH) Caraga Region led by Assistant Regional Director Dr. Sadaila Raki-in, and witnessed by Provincial Health Office chief Dr. Eric Montesclaros, and officials from the ASMHC, and Bislig District Hospital.

A total of 300 doses of Sinovac vaccine arrived in the city last March 9, 2021, from the DOH Caraga in Butuan City, which was then transported by its personnel, escorted by men in uniform bound for BDH and ASMHC. Each hospital received 150 vials, face shields, face masks, safety collector boxes, and vaccine carriers in preparation for the COVID-19 vaccination rollout for the healthcare workers.

Before the arrival of the vaccines, the city government under Mayor Florencio Garay, in collaboration with the BDH and ASMHC, conducted a simulation exercise to ensure the smooth flow of the administration of the first dose of the vaccine. The simulation exercise had its designated venue in one place for the smooth flow of the process, which included: pre-vaccination screening, waiting area, registration, screening, health education, vaccine administration, and observation. The Provincial Health Office and DOH-Provincial Health Team supervised the simulation. (with a report from CIO-Bislig/PIA Bislig City)

Authorities arrest Top Most Wanted NPA member in Caraga

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Norte, Mar. 28 (PIA) -- Authorities arrested the "Top Most Wanted" New People's Army (NPA) member in the Regional Priority Target in Brgy. Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City in a joint police-army operation conducted around 5:30 AM, on March 21, 2021.

By virtue of the warrant of arrest for murder under Criminal Case No. 2020-85 without bail bond, and multiple attempted murder under Criminal Case No. 2020-116 with bail bond fixed at Php120,000.00, Renalyn G. Tejero a.k.a. "Tiray/Teray/Lyn", 25 years old, and resident Brgy. Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur was captured by the authorities.

Based on the report, Tejero was one of the primary suspects of the killing of former rebels, Zaldy Acidillo YbaƱez and Datu Bernandino Astudillo, in Sitio Inadan, Barangay Magroyong, San Miguel, of this province on March 19, 2020.

The intelligence report also bared that the arrested personality was the Secretary of Kabataang Makabayan, an underground Sectoral Youth Organization of the NPA; member of the Executive Committee, Regional United Front, Regional White Area Committee, Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC); and a full-time member of Sub-Regional Sentro De Grabidad Southland, NEMRC.

Accordingly, Tejero was involved in organizing the youth/student to become NPA members in the guise of front organizations, actively participated in the underground movement of the NPA, and was implicated in numerous NPA-initiated atrocities.

In a statement, Police Brigadier General Romeo M. Caramat, Jr, Police Regional Office (PRO) 13 Director, affirmed that her apprehension was based on the strength of a warrant of arrest issued by the local court. "With the help of the community, AFP, and all stakeholders, I believe that the days are numbered against those NPA members with warrants of arrest," he said.

PBGen. Caramat has vowed to keep the substantial gains of PRO-13 in ending local armed-conflict with the guidance of PNP Chief, Police General Debold M. Sinas. (with a report from PRO-13/PIA Surigao del Sur)

Bislig City starts AstraZeneca vaccination

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Mar. 28 -- Frontline workers, uniformed personnel and barangay health workers in the city received their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine last Mar. 23 at the Bislig City Cultural Sports Center (BCCSC).

Based on the report, the city government received the 45 vials of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) AstraZenica vaccine with a total of 450 doses coming from the Department of Health (DOH).  

Criselda C. Gallego, Nurse III of the City Health Office, received the first shot of AstraZenica vaccine. “No pain at all, normal rajud akong gibati. Akong gi-awhag ang mga Bisliganon nga magpa bakuna na kita ug dili mahadlok kay kini mohatag kanato ug proteksyon ug makaluwas sa kamatayon (I feel normal. I urge the Bisliganons to get vaccinated and not to be afraid because it will give us protection)," she said.

The second dose of Astrazenica vaccines will take place after four weeks, it was learned. 

Earlier, the Andres Soriano Memorial Hospital Cooperative and Bislig District Hospital kicked-off their COVID-19 vaccination after they received the 300 doses of Sinovac vaccines for their healthcare workers. (with a report from CIO-Bislig/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

47 beneficiaries complete tailoring NCII training in SurSur

By 1lt Emmanuel Magsanoc II

MADRID, Surigao del Sur, Mar. 28 -- A total of 47 beneficiaries from Barangay Tigabong and Barangay Buntalid all of Cantilan, Surigao del Sur completed their training on Tailoring National Certificate (NC) II facilitated by the Philippine Army's 36th Infantry “Valor” Battalion (36th IB), held in Barangay Tigabong, Cantilan town on March 12, 2021.

The graduates are composed of seven former rebels, five mass supporters, and 35 residents who received their respective NC II after completing the training and passing the Competency Assessment required by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). 

The activity is in line with the efforts of the Community Support Program (CSP) of 36th IB in collaboration with the Lorenz International Skills Training Academy, Inc., TESDA-Caraga Region, and the Local Government Unit of Barangay Tigabong.

During the activity, Lt. Col. Jezreel Diagmel, Commander of 36th IB, congratulated the new graduates and expressed his confidence that those who gained the knowledge and skills in tailoring will become more productive in this time of the pandemic. He added that the activity is another manifestation that the government is very sincere in helping the community to uplift the economic condition of the people in Cantilan.

He further added that the government has offered much training which will serve as a means to have better earnings and livelihood opportunities particularly to the former rebels, mass supporters, and their families. The graduates, who are now well-equipped with skills in tailoring, have now the ability to address the basic needs of their families. “This training will greatly help individual graduates to have other sources of income as they applied their new sets of skills to earn a living," Lt. Col. Diagmel said.

A certain alias "Kem," a former rebel, lauded the government for this project intervention. "Ako isip usa ka kanhing myembro sa New People`s Army, gitagaan usab og higayun sa gobyerno nga mabuhing normal og higayon nga maka kuhag programa nga akong magamit arun makatabang sa paglambo kauban ang akong pamilya (As a former member of the New People`s Army, I was also given a chance by the government to live a normal life and a chance to avail of a program that I could use to help grow with my family)," he said.

As one of the short courses offered by TESDA, the Tailoring NC II trains the individual in cutting and sewing textiles into presentable and casual attires. According to the graduates, they also become knowledgeable in maintaining the sewing machines and creative in designing ordinary outfits. (CMO Officer 36IB/PIA-Surigao del Sur)