(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Monday, 27 May 2024) At 3:00 AM today, the center of the eye of Typhoon "AGHON" {EWINIAR} was estimated based on all available data at 95 km East of Baler, Aurora (15.6°N, 122.5°E) with maximum sustained winds of 140 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 170 km/h. It is moving North Northeastward at 10 km/h. Southwesterly Windflow affecting the western section of Southern Luzon and Visayas. 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 partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. 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 South to Southwest will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.5 meters).

Monday, 13 May 2024

MinDA, PIA strengthen network of information officers in Mindanao

By Renelle Escuadro

BUTUAN CITY (PIA) – The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), in partnership with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga, recently convened all information officers in the Caraga region in Butuan City.

As the first leg of the Mindanao Communicators Network (MindaComNet),  120 information officers from the national line agencies (NGAs), local government units (LGUs), and state universities and colleges (SUCs) in Caraga participated,  looking forward to the key agencies of the government and stakeholders nurturing the MindaComNet.  

The MindaComNet Caraga Regional Congress served as an avenue of insightful discussions, deeper understanding of the Mindanao Peace and Development Agenda that are consistent with the peace and development initiatives of the government,  recent updates on Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines  East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) cooperation, the importance of accurate peace, public  safety  and security communication, and sustainable tourism promotion, among others, that information officers needed to strategically communicate across all platforms to come up with a unified message to promote  Caraga as a peaceful, beautiful, and bountiful region in Mindanao.

The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga gathered the information officers from the different national government agencies, local government units, and state universities  and colleges in Caraga region for the  Mindanao Communicators Network (MindaComNet) - Caraga Regional Congress in Butuan City on April 29-30, 2024. The information officers expressed their enthusiasm to revive and sustain the network and collaborate with the rest of the information officers in Mindanao. (Photo: PIA - Caraga). 
Dir. Olie B. Dagala of the Investment Promotions and Public Affairs Office of MinDA welcomed all participants and said, “MindaComNet is a group of information and public relations officers that serves as a platform for communication exchange and advocacy of various Mindanao imperatives.”

“The Memorandum of Understanding between MinDA and PIA in 2023 underscored the pivotal role of the information officers in communicating the Mindanao Peace and Development Agenda to the grassroots.  It is significant to sustain the MindaComNet and link everyone for possible MinDA integration, learning interventions, and collaborations,” he added.

As a staunch ally of MinDA,  PIA Caraga Regional Head Venus L. Garcia  provided a notable timeline of the MindaComNet having its inception on September 20, 2000 in Cagayan de Oro City, with members coming from Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, and Caraga.

Garcia supported the call to brace the organization in all the regions, stating, “This initiative will maximize the flow of information by pooling the resources of as many agencies and organizations as possible with the aim of contributing to local, regional, and national development. Strengthening the group will also address many information and communication gaps in society through partnerships and resource generation.”

Adrian M. Tamayo, chief of the Public Relations Division of  MinDA, tackled  BIMP-EAGA to update significant hidden potential in Mindanao.

“Mindanao happens to be as large as South Korea in terms of land area, ang bigger than Portugal. If we can come together and use this as a synergy, we can be as economically advanced as these countries because the potential that they are enjoying is the same potential that we have, but we have not fully recognized it,” said Tamayo.

The members of the panel, comprising the Philippine Information Agency Caraga, the Department of Tourism Caraga, the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines, the Mindanao Development Authority, and the Philippine National Police, provided objective answers to the questions raised by the information officers during the open forum of the Mindanao Communicators Network (MindaComNet)-Caraga Regional Congress in Butuan City on April 29–30, 2024. (Photo: PIA-Caraga)

Antonio Peralta, chairperson of the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines (ECCP), emphasized how travel advisories and exaggerated news negatively impact the business environment in Mindanao and deter travelers and investors from investing in the region. He pointed out that regardless of any enhancements made, the perception of Mindanao must change in order for substantial progress to occur.

Emelian Lawansa, head of the Area Management Office of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) in Northeastern Mindanao, presented the Strategic Mindanao Agenda 2023-2028, a socio-economic imperative that called for strategic actions that are aligned with the economic agenda of the current administration.

"The Mindanao 2020 Peace and Development Plan is a 30-year plan that was formulated in 2010. It is a clear vision of what Mindanao will be by 2030," he said.

In the promotion of a peaceful Caraga, according to Philippine National Police Regional Office 13 director, PBGen. Kirby John P. Kraft, represented by PCol. Ringo Z. Zarzoso, regional community affairs and development division chief, said, “The Police Regional Office (PRO) 13 has maximized its deployment of personnel on the ground and upgraded its operational and administrative capabilities. It has widened its interoperability, liaised with other government agencies, and mobilized its logistical assets to better serve the public.”

“These security measures implemented by PNP PRO13 are designed to promote peace and ensure public safety and internal security in the Caraga region. These initiatives and programs are in line with the promotion and advocacy of the national government’s peace and development efforts in Mindanao,” Zarzoso said.

In a discussion entitled "Love the Philippines: Promotion, Marketing Strategies, and Advocacy Campaign on Sustainable Tourism for Mindanao Development," Department of Tourism (DOT) Caraga Regional Director Ivonnie Dumadag shared that she just joined the different sectors in the Cagayan de Oro City for the three-day Mindanao Travel Expo (MTEx) 2024, as the department fully promotes Mindanao as a vibrant, safe, and relatively beautiful island to visit.

Dumadag also gave an overview of the rich history and culture of Caraga region, as well as the branding campaign of the country, "LOVE the Philippines."

"The L represents rich biodiversity; O represents the award-winning beauty of the surfing spots and destinations; V means festivity; and E represents love for the economy. From landscape to cultural aspects of the country are represented in this branding campaign," she said.

“This LOVE the Philippines branding campaign is in support of the National Tourism Development Plan. DOT's mission is to encourage, promote, and develop tourism as a major socio-economic activity to generate foreign currency and local employment, ultimately spreading the benefits of tourism to both the private and public sectors,” she added.

Meanwhile, in the open forum, MinDA noted their plan on how to sustain the activity and stimulate the cooperation of the information officers in the regions and in the entire Mindanao in communicating the development and countering issues and concerns that hindered the development in the region.

Acknowledging the challenges in terms of resources for the communicators, it is further believed that there will never be enough resources; however, everyone can bank on the strength of the communicators when it comes to capabilities.

During the workshop activity of the Mindanao Communicators Network (MindaComNet) at the Caraga Regional Congress in Butuan City, information officers had the opportunity to brainstorm with other participants on the challenges perceived and enabling conditions to sustain the information network and establish the relevance to revive the MindaComNet. With the guidance of the information center managers of the Philippine Information Agency Caraga, information officers were able to submit action plans and recommendations to the Mindanao Development Authority on how to sustain MindaComNet and have more collaborations in the future. (Photo: PIA-Caraga)

The finale of the Congress engaged the participants, who were grouped into five, and identified some challenges perceived and enabling conditions to sustain the information network and establish its relevance to reviitalize  MindaComNet.

The information officers of the local government units in the Province of Dinagat Islands, along with the IOs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Information and Communications and Technology (DICT), and Office of Civil Defense (OCD), recognized the challenges in sustaining the information network, provided the strengths to sustain the network, and recommended some projects and activities that the IOs may want to pursue for sustainability.

On the other hand, MinDA, PNP, and the Philippine Army, as panel members of the press conference, supported the peace and security status of the region, affirming that indeed, Caraga is peaceful, beautiful, and bountiful. (RLE/PIA-Caraga)