(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 16 June 2021) Localized Thunderstorms affecting Mindanao. Region will have Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Localized Thunderstorm. Possible flash floods or landslides due to severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from Southeast to Southwest will prevail with Slight to Moderate seas / (0.6 to 2.5 meters).

Monday, April 12, 2021

DOH-13 IDs 41 areas with local transmission in Caraga

By Doreen Marielle N. Rosales

BUTUAN CITY, April 12 (PIA) -- At least 41 areas across Caraga region have been identified by the Department of Health (DOH) Caraga with cases of local transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

As of Wednesday, April 7, Surigao del Sur tops the list of areas with recorded local transmission cases, with 12 out of 17 of its municipalities (Barobo, Cantilan, Carmen, Carrascal, Hinatuan, Lanuza, Lianga, Lingig, Madrid, Marihatag, Tagbina, and Tago) and its two component cities, Bislig and Tandag, affected.

Agusan del Sur follows the list, with eight municipalities (Bunawan, Loreto, Rosario, San Fransisco, San Luis, Sta. Josefa, Talacogon, and Trento)  and the city of Bayugan grappling with the impact of the local transmission of COVID-19.

Seven municipalities of Agusan del Norte (Buenavista, Carmen, Jabonga, Kitcharao, Magallanes, Nasipit, and Tubay) were not able to prevent the transmission, affecting especially its capital city, Cabadbaran.  

Despite the strict implementation of community quarantine and travel protocols, four municipalities in the Surigao del Norte (Alegria, Bacuag, Claver, and Placer) as well the municipalities of Dapa, San Isidro, and Socorro in the Siargao Islands were unable to preempt the transmission of the fatal virus locally despite being geographically-isolated from the mainland.

This was also the case of the municipality of Loreto in the Province of Dinagat Islands, with its point of entry in San Jose town located 26 kilometers away from Surigao City. 

While strict implementation of travel protocols is still in place in some provinces coupled with an intensified enforcement of minimum health standards across Caraga region, DOH Caraga predicts that local transmission may reach areas with zero local transmission cases in the incoming months.

“An influx of returning residents is anticipated in the summer season so we can expect cases to rise during that time period,” said Dr. Dioharra Aparri of the Regional Epidemiological Surveillance Unit of DOH Caraga during the 29th Regional Task Force against COVID-19 (RTF COVID-19) Meeting on Thursday, April 8.

As prevention, coordination and close monitoring are still being done by government agencies and local government units handling returning overseas Filipino workers (ROFs), returning residents, and local tourists.

The Province of Dinagat Islands requiring incoming travelers to contact the local government unit of their destination and prepare health declaration forms while a negative RT-PCR test result is required for all those entering the province of Surigao del Norte via sea or air travel while those traveling via land are to adhere to the travel protocols set by the LGUs.

The province has also issued an order on Tuesday, April 6, prohibiting the entry of those coming from Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal except residents of the province, government Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) on a special mission, and private APOR with urgent transactions in the province. (DMNR/PIACaraga)

High-powered firearms, landmines seized in SurSur clash

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Apr. 12 -- The Philippine Army has recovered high-powered firearms and landmines in a clash with the Communist New People’s Army Terrorist (CNT) in Carmen town on Thursday, an army official confirmed. 

Lt. Col. Jezreel Diagmel, Commanding Officer of the 36 Infantry (Valor) Battalion (36IB), said his soldiers encountered the CNTs believed to be members of Platoon 2, Guerilla Front 30 of North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) under Noel Tumarlas Alacre alias Megan/Hardy around 2:00 pm, April 8, 2012, at the vicinity of Sitio Togopon, Barangay Hinapoyan in Carmen.

Diagmel said the local residents in the community reported the presence of the CNTs roaming around the community. They also received reports of extortion activities conducted by the terrorist group.

Lt. Col. Diagmel added that the firefight lasted for about 15 minutes. 

Seized during the operation were one M4 rifle; one M653 rifle; one 4-liter improvised explosive device (IED); one rifle grenade, one Asus smartphone, one amazon mini-tablet, 100-meter wire, short and long magazine for M16, olive green sweatshirt with NPA markings, ammunition of AK47 and M16, backpacks, assorted medicine and assorted personal belongings.

“The 36IB assures relentless efforts to prevent the CNTs from spreading damage and violence to the peace-loving people of Surigaonon,” said Lt. Col. Diagmel. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)

Farmers get drinking water through DAR’s CP-WASH Project

By Gil E. Miranda

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 12 -- An Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organization (ARBO) assisted by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) of Agusan del Norte is now enjoying a safe drinking water after the agency has recently turned over the Community-Managed Potable Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (CP-WASH) project.

DAR Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO II) for Agusan del Norte, Andre B. Atega, CESO V noted that the DAR turned over the project to Samahang Magsasaka ng Rizal Association (SMRA), a DAR-assisted organization in Brgy. Sumile of Butuan City.

PARPO II Atega noted that the agency’s CP-WASH project aimed to shore up the community’s supply of water they need at home and to address the threat of water-borne diseases.

Ellen Torralba, officer-in-charge Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer of the Program Beneficiaries Development Division of DAR-Agusan del Norte said the project directly benefitted to at least 549 households that include 577 ARBs within the barangay of Sumile.

Project Coordinator Engineer Raul Hermoso said that the agency provides technology trainings and materials including the construction of water and sanitation facilities amounting to PhP50,000.

Chairman Rufino Ladao of SMRA said that the project is indeed a blessing that brings a huge impact in the lives of the farmers in his community.

According to Ladao, they are planning to make this project an income-generating to significantly increase the organization’s income in the future.

“Kaniadto problema namo ang tubig mainom, pasalamat mi sa DAR sa tabang dinhi sa among dapit (We used to have a problem with drinking water, we thank DAR for the help here in our village)," said Ladao. (DAR Agusan del Norte/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Smart rice agriculture soon to hit the airwaves in Caraga Region

By Rhea C. Abao

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 12 -- The Department of Agriculture (DA)- Caraga together with the DA-Agricultural Training Institute-13 and DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute-Agusan gears up for the implementation of the Unified School-on-the-Air Program on Smart Rice Agriculture (SOA-SRA) in the region through a weeklong orientation with LGU partners regionwide.

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar's Eight Paradigms enunciated rural transformation, foremost of which is the modernization and competitiveness of the Philippine Agriculture through the use of cutting-edge technologies.

In line with this is the implementation of a radio-based distance learning program on modern rice agriculture with a targeted reach of 3,000 farmers in municipalities and cities with average yields of less than 4t/ha in the region.

Tapping radio as a medium is a strategic and creative solution of the Department to the massive information and educational needs of farmers. Radio also amplifies the limited reach of agricultural extension workers and stands as a practical platform during a pandemic such as COVID-19.

DA-Caraga Regional Executive Director Abel James I. Monteagudo said that the context of Smart Rice Agriculture revolves around climate change adaptation and mitigation at the same time addressing national food security.

“The expected outcome of SOA-SRA is the widespread awareness and understanding of modern, climate-smart rice agriculture technologies with corresponding support services, increasing the productivity and income of rice farmers,” Monteagudo said.

In coordination with the Local Government Units, SOA-SRA is now accepting farmer-enrollees who have registered in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA). Other interested farmers who have not registered in the RSBSA or have not availed of any of the Government’s assistance are encouraged to participate in the SOA-SRA program.

SOA-SRA will be airing on May-August 2021 in the local radio stations in the Caraga region. Rice farmers may coordinate with their respective LGUs for enrollment. (DA-Caraga RAFIS/PIA Caraga)

Improved technology for increased productivity

By Vanessa P. Sanchez

They say that to succeed in any field, continuous education is a must.

And this is what Bruno G. Ampoloquio, a farmer from Nasipit, Agusan del Norte, must have bore in his mind as even though he holds a degree in agriculture and has already a number of years of experience in farming, he still joins training and seminars to learn new things and be kept abreast of the new technologies in agriculture.

Ampoloquio is engaged in banana, mango, and vegetable farming. He is a member of the Nasipit Vegetable Growers Association (NAVEGROWA).

Last year, their association was chosen to be the project cooperator of the Techno Demo on Vegetable Production conducted by the Department of Agriculture (DA) - Caraga through the High-Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) and in coordination with the Municipal Agriculture Office of Nasipit.

He said that the technology that he learned from the techno demo such as proper land preparation, use of plastic mulch, use of quality seeds, balance and timely application of fertilizers, proper pruning, sufficient irrigation, and Integrated Pest and Disease Management, he now applies on his own vegetable production. 

He said that there is really a notable difference in his production of ampalaya compared to previous croppings.

"In my previous ampalaya venture, I used to harvest an average of 100 kilos from 400 hills, but for this cropping, applying what I have learned from our techno demo last year, I have been harvesting an average of 300 kilos from 240 hills. And bigger production means bigger income,” he said.

Ampoloquio said this is why he does not close his door to learning new things, and because he believes education is a continuous process. In addition, he encourages other farmers to also take part in training so that they too can improve their farming practices and succeed in their farming endeavors. (DA 13 – RAFIS/PIA Agusan del Norte)

PPA Surigao culminates Women’s Month 2021 celeb

By NC Nusog

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Apr. 12 -– The month-long celebration of the 2021 National Women’s Month was aptly concluded with a simple lunch at the Gender and Development (GAD) Center of the Port Management Office (PMO) of Surigao.

The celebration was concluded with a lunch in recognition of, and a gesture of appreciation for, the valuable contribution of women colleagues serving the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

PMO Surigao Acting Port Manager Froilan U. Caturla spearheaded the arrangements for the noontime fellowship which also included the awarding ceremonies for the Tiktok Challenge, mini–Badminton Tournament and the GAD Awareness Online Quiz Bowl.

Zumba sessions were also regularly held during the month-long celebrations.

On the other hand, the PMO’s Port Police Division (PPD) also took part in the Surigao City PNP’s “Si Aleng Pulis” – a community-based public affairs program streamed live via the Surigao City PNP’s Facebook page.

Almira A. Olayvar, Port Police Officer II of the PMO Surigao PPD participated as one of the panelists during the Women's Month special live stream.

She also discussed, among others, various law enforcement initiatives and programs of the PPA, particularly those that involve the protection and security of women and children at our ports. (PMO-PPA, Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)