(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Sunday, 21 April 2024) Easterlies affecting the country. π—¦π—¬π—‘π—’π—£π—¦π—œπ—¦: Trough of a Low Pressure Area (LPA) affecting southern Mindanao. Ridge of High Pressure Area extending over the eastern sections of Northern and Central Luzon. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—˜π—”π—§π—›π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience Cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to Trough of a Low Pressure Area (LPA). Possible flash floods or landslides due to moderate to at times heavy rains. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

LGU campaigns for safe Socorro, reintegration program now in place

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte -- The municipality of Socorro in the island of Bucas Grande, Surigao del Norte stood resilient, secure and flourishing amidst the controversial case pertaining to the alleged occultism of Sitio Kapihan. In her official statement, Mayor Riza Rafonselle T. Timcang, assured both local and foreign tourists that even in the face of the recent challenges, Socorro remained safe and welcoming destination, dedicated to providing excellent service to their guests.

The local chief executive emphasized, "The local government unit of Socorro already deployed law enforcers in many parts of the island and checkpoints are being conducted 24/7 in different areas to ensure the safety of tourists and citizens and to maintain peace and order in the whole municipality. We assured the tourists that the tourism activities of the whole island of Bucas Grande will not be affected by the recent issue and that the matter does not pose any danger or threat to our valued visitors."

According to consolidated reports of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) chaired by Governor Robert Lyndon Barbers that Socorro Bayanihan Services, Inc. (SBSI) was officially founded in 1980 by  Rosalina L. Taruc and Don Albino Taruc. On February 2019 right after the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that struck the province, all the members of SBSI living within the island hastily trooped to Sitio Kapihan, a mountainous area in Bucas Grande Island. By February to November 2019, a mass resignation from employment of personnel from the Department of Education (DepEd), Philippine National Police (PNP), LGU, barangays and from the Socorro Empowered People's Cooperative (SOEMCO) took place. 

As reported, 121 members of SOEMCO, who at the same time SBSI members, abandoned their loans amounting to P8.9 million, and chose to live in isolation and confinement within Sitio Kapihan, a 353 hectares of land owned by the government which was leased to the SBSI by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources–Protected Area Management Board (DENR–PAMB) under a 25-year duration for agriculture and farming purposes. 

An opportune happened since April 2023 and onwards, as SBSI members who escaped from Sitio Kapihan approached the government for help and revealed the alleged atrocities within the organization, that caught the attention of the general public.

With ongoing  legislative hearing, and the suspension of the protected area of Sitio Kapihan by the DENR, the provincial government of Surigao del Norte, through the Provincial Task Force, took an initial step through coordination meeting with key government agencies, with mandate to closely monitor the Kapihan crisis, and to put in place anticipatory resources and reintegration planning and feasible programs, including the peace and security situation of the LGU until the situation normalizes.

With the profiling conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), it will continue to monitor and support the social welfare needs of the vulnerable members through psycho-social interventions and others. 

The Department of Education (DepEd) will facilitate easy access to education for the affected children, especially those who stopped going to school as they joined the said organization. 

Relocation and shelter, as vital for reintegration, was also highlighted and led by the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) with recommendation that the LGU should provide the location or possible lots as resettlement areas with proposed housing models from the National Housing Authority (NHA) and financing options. 

Other regional line agencies such as PNP, AFP, CHR and others gave their share to come up with a streamlined reintegration program to our fellow Filipinos who are currently under crisis situation. (With reports from PTO/PPOC/SDR, PIA-Surigao del Norte)