(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Tuesday, 19 October 2021) Northeasterly windflow affecting Extreme Northern Luzon. Localized thunderstorm affecting Mindanao. Caraga Region will have Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with Slight to Moderate seas / (0.6 to 2.1 meters).



Thursday, April 15, 2021

PCOO chief: PRRD continues to help uplift the lives of Filipinos

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 15 (PIA) -- In time with the conduct of the Regional Pre-SONA (State of the Nation Address) Series, which the first leg was held here on Thursday, Secretary Martin Andanar of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) emphasized that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s administration continues to help uplift the lives of the Filipino people amid challenges and during this health crisis.

Andanar has acknowledged President Duterte for his commitment and dedication to serve the country and uplift the lives of the Filipino people. "The leader of a nation represents its voice, face, and aspirations. It is also said that leadership is a matter of destiny or chosen by fate. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte rides on the crest of both," he said.

"On the sixth and final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 26, we shall listen to the embodiment of how people's aspirations have been achieved. At its center lies the realization that every Filipino has, indeed, been touched by his words, his actions, and his leadership," Andanar added as he enjoined everyone to support and look forward to PRRD's last SONA this year.

According to Andanar, since Duterte became the president of the country, he has been consistent in his words and performance in government service. His commitment and dedication were also manifested in how his administration run the government by ensuring that necessary and significant programs shall be provided to the people in the communities.

"His most significant contribution to the legacy of his presidency is the vision that every Filipino must have a life of dignity and comfort. This vision is reflected in the policies, programs, projects, and progressive plans already done over the past five years, and about to be completed by the end of his term. The details on how this administration has fared would be summarized by the Cabinet Secretaries heading their respective clusters to better coordinate, monitor, and improve the progress of every regions," underscored Andanar.

Emphasizing on how the government continues to survive from the current health crisis, the good secretary also highlighted that with Duterte leading the country, the Filipino people can cope with the challenges and adapt to the new normal. "Despite the pandemic's cruel and invasive nature, we have the president in sight, regularly talking to the nation, calming our fears, and delivering all possible assistance for the most vulnerable and deprived. He assures the people that the commander-in-chief is leading. He knows what he is doing, and what he is doing is for the good of all," he said.

Also, as he described President Duterte being the leader of this country and how his administration managed to address all the pressing issues and concerns, Andanar elaborated that the president has been true and sincere in his commitment to serve the Filipinos and provide them a better life.

"He is surreal, charismatic, and inspiring. Traits that radiate from his time as the mayor of the city of Davao, with the strength of his power coming from the people in the streets, the sidewalks, and the derelict sitios. He defies all odds, unorthodox in many of his ways, sometimes with sardonic humor, fighting first the illegal drug networks, the corruption in government, and now this vicious virus. At best, he converses with the people in a language understandable enough. Without the high-sounding platitudes of political oratory, he gained the people's trust by speaking from his heart and opening his soul for the benefit of the country," revealed Andanar. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

11 former rebels in Surigao Norte get assistance under E-CLIP

By Venus L. Garcia

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Apr. 15 (PIA) -- The eleven former rebels (FRs) in the province of Surigao del Norte were provided with assistance from the government through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) in a simple ceremony held at the Provincial Capitol, Surigao City, April 14.

Each FR received P65,000 as immediate financial and livelihood assistance while those who surrendered their firearms have received an additional amount as remuneration.

Also, non-monetary items were given to the former rebels such as food packs and health kits.

Surigao del Norte Gov. Francisco Matugas and 901st Infantry Brigade commander Brigadier General George Banzon led the distribution of said cash aid to the NPA combatants who surrendered to the government during the late months of 2020 and early of 2021.

To make the former rebels more productive and sustain their lives as they go back to the mainstream society, the provincial government of Surigao del Norte will also aid them through trainings, employment, and community-based income-generating activities.

Overall, the package of assistance provided to the 11 former rebels amounted to P2.1 million.

Banzon reiterated that returning to the fold of the law is still the better option. He urged other NPA rebels to restore their allegiance to the government.

Through E-CLIP, FRs can be reintegrated back to the community, be with their families, and start over with their new, normal lives with the help of the financial benefits intended for their development. (VLG/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

581 trainees in Agusan Norte PRLEC priority villages finish skills training

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 15 -- A total of 581 graduates from Sitios Hinandayan, Mimbahandi and Salaysayon, all of Barangay Camagong, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte have finished skills training and received Certificate of Training Completion from Sec. Isidro S. Lapeña of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

During the graduation rites held recently in Sitio Mimbahandi mini-gym, Sec. Lapeña emphasized that the skills obtained by the graduates is a wealth that cannot be taken away from them.

“You can guarantee that the knowledge you obtained from the trainings will be yours forever… Wherever you will go, you will always bring with you the skills you have now,” Lapeña said in Tagalog dialect.

Sec. Lapeña also said that the government has high hopes that this will serve as a way to transform the lives of every resident in Brgy. Camagong. “Thus, we hope that you will make use of the new skills that you have to transform not only your lives but as well as the lives of the people here in your community,” he said.

The official also committed to find a way so that the graduates can make use of what they have learned in the training. “If we can provide toolkits for our graduates so that they can immediately apply what they have learned, then we will do it,” addressing the directive to TESDA-Agusan del Norte Provincial Director Rey M. Cueva.

Specifically, Lapeña stressed that toolkits in prepare bakery production must be provided so that the community will already have its bakery, since there is a total of 67 graduates in the Prepare Bakery Products. “In this way, they will no longer go to Nasipit proper just to buy bread and pastry products,” he said.

Since the mode of transportation in the three sitios are motorcycle, the 67 graduates in Small Engine Repair and Maintenance will be given a livelihood opportunity by means of putting up a repair and maintenance shop. “Aside from providing livelihood opportunity to these graduates, the people of Brgy. Camagong can avail of its services without going to Nasipit proper,” Lapeña added.

In Sitio Salaysayon, Sec. Lapeña said there is a need for the local residents to experience electricity. In this case, he said that the 29 graduates in Basic Solar Power Installation will be given an opportunity to apply what they have learned so that solar electric will be installed in the area.

Lapeña likewise informed those in attendance that TESDA will also train the community in agri-crop production to ensure that there will be food in the table of each family. “The Department of Agriculture through their attached agencies like the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) will assist us in providing you with the skills needed,” he said.

The official is here in the region to attend series of TVET-related activities as well as to monitor the program and project implementation of the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) for which TESDA is the lead agency and Sec. Lapeña is the national chairman.

At the Regional level, TESDA-Caraga Regional Director Tarhata S. Mapandi, CESO III is hands-on in the implementation of Priority Barangay Development Program through Sustainable Enterprise Development focusing on Agriculture and its added value chain interventions under EO 70 Framework. (TESDA Caraga/PIA-Agusan del Norte)

AgNor tribal chieftains express gratitude, continuous support to TESDA

By Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Apr. 15 -- Higaonon tribal chieftains in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte have expressed their gratitude and continuous support to Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in its quest to achieve long-lasting peace and development.

This, after TESDA Sec. Isidro S. Lapeña recently visited Sitio Minbahandi of Barangay Camagong, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte to inaugurate the Busilak Enterprise Village and graced the graduation of some 581 TESDA trainees from Sitios Minbahandi, Hinandayan and Salaysayon.

In their messages, Datu Talagsaon – Jimbo M. Mansaguinda, Sitio Minbahandi Tribal Chieftain, underscored the services extended by Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) member-agencies led by TESDA for the different programs given to them.

He also cited the efforts made by Agusan del Norte Governor Dale B. Corvera and Nasipit Municipal Mayor Enrico R. Corvera for converging the government agencies so that more residents of the barangay will benefit from its programs and services.

Also, Datu Salangkuan – Revise S. Mandahinog, Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR) stressed that without peace, there will be no progress and development in a certain area.

He also pointed out that with the convergence that government agencies have conducted, it is a clear manifestation that the government is serious in its quest to achieve long-lasting peace and development.

“With the gestures that these officials of our government have shown, I believe that the present administration is certain that through the convergence efforts, long-lasting peace and development is not impossible to achieve,” he said.

With these developments, the tribal chieftains expressed their all-out support to the government since their communities are among the major beneficiaries of the programs and services of the different agencies.

Datu Bawang – Eddie S. Ampiyawan said because of the remarkable help that they received from the government, we commit to be of service to their community and continue the legacy that the present administration has made. (TESDA Caraga/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Chocolate City on the rise in Agusan del Norte

By Vanessa P. Sanchez

Dreams become a reality when intentions turn into action.

And with this in mind, the members of the Nasipit Cacao Farmers Ventures Association, Incorporated (NACAFAVA) are working hard to make their dream of making their hometown Nasipit of Agusan del Norte a Chocolate City, a reality.

It was way back in 2016 when cacao growers in Nasipit first organized themselves into an association which they called the NACAFAVA.  

The association availed of a Cacao Production project under the Bottom-Up Budgeting Program of the Department of Agriculture. Members were provided with planting materials according to the size of their production areas. They were also given fertilizers and fermentation boxes. 

Along with the inputs provided, the members of NACAFAVA were also given technical assistance including various training from which they learned how to take better care of their cacao trees.

NACAFAVA member Marcelita D. Romo shares that being part of an organization has been a big help to their cacao venture. 

“Previously, our knowledge in cacao farming is very limited, but through the trainings, we learned a lot about new technologies and farming practices such as proper planting distance and pruning which improves our production,” he said.

Romo added that since they were also able to avail of a Shared Service Facility project from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) last year, they now have access to post-harvest equipment which come in handy for their processing activities.

“The quality of our tableya has really improved due to our processing equipment. Now, I prefer to process my harvested beans rather than just sell the dried beans since I can earn much more from the tableya,” Romo said.

According to Romo, a kilo of dried cacao beans sells for P150 per kilo while a kilo of tableya would sell for about P300.   

NACAFAVA President Merlyn B. Lumocso said that they are thankful that the government agencies are working together to assist farmers and farmers’ associations in their endeavors. 

 “We are happy that more and more of our members are now engaging in cacao processing because this is one way that we can contribute to achieving the goal of Nasipit to be a Chocolate City,” she said.

Lumocso also shared that NACAFAVA has just started processing cacao beans into tableya. The association buys beans from the members and processes them in their facility. Some of the tableya were bought by some members while the others were displayed at the DTI’s Negosyo Center.

Little by little, Lumocso said that they are getting closer to realizing their dreams, not just of improving their farming ventures, but also in making a name in the cacao industry. (DA 13 – RAFIS/PIA Agusan del Norte)