Page 1


[ Contents 14 -20 April 2018

Volume II, No. 54

DOE pushes for e-trike, energy-efficient public transport ASEAN NEWS

9 10

PH congratulates Putin on re-election as Russian president


Turnbull, Cayetano hold bilateral talks



11 13


21 22 23 24


MinDA, World Bank to launch Mindanao jobs study Mindanao to get bulk of electrification projects this year

Gov’t allocates additional funds for Caraga IPs DOST continues adding science to local product enhancement PNP Caraga implements Election Gun Ban


16 18 19


Learning insights on the work and life of a teacher



Documents found show NPA in distress DOH-run hospital in SurSur gets a booster pump for water supply Surigao del Norte stakeholders support DTI’s CMCI roadshow DTI Agusan Sur equips SLP beneficiaries, former OFWs on entrepreneurship DTI to focus intervention on coconut farmers of Anolingan to increase producers of geonet Surigao del Norte stakeholders support DTI’s CMCI roadshow


16 24


DOST eyes 235 more Balik Scientists ‘til 2022


NFA sets new bidding for rice imports


News Briefs Some 1,000 SUC/HEI heads, students, parents, media, government employees & other stakeholders of Caraga region participated today’s Nationwide Information Caravan for RA 10931 -the “Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act” in Butuan City. Information and Education campaign through a MultiSectoral Forum on the Use of Alternative Fuels in Caraga region conducted here, the Department of Energy (DOE) stood at the forefront in capturing the interest of over a hundred participants to advocate and be part in the localized implementation of E-trikes. Eighteen Consumer Welfare Desk Officers (CWDs) of this city recently participated in a seminar on the implementing guidelines of Suggested Retail Prices (SRPs) and the granting of Bagwis Award.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga, recently conducted the seminar on “Financial Literacy” to equip the latter’s beneficiaries in starting up their respective businesses.

Cover Story

DOE pushes for e-trike, energ By: Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY - In its leg of the information and education campaign through a Multi-Sectoral Forum on the Use of Alternative Fuels in Caraga region conducted here, the Department of Energy (DOE) stood at the forefront in capturing the interest of over a hundred participants to advocate and be part in the localized implementation of E-trikes. In his welcome message, representing in behalf of Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga regional director Abner Caga, deputy regional director Fryan Abkilan emphasized that the government through the DOE and PIA has already been conducting series of campaign


activities nationwide to enhance people’s awareness, knowledge and understanding about alternative fuels as future’s most cost-effective renewable resources. “The present administration is in fact advocating the use of cleaner 14 - 20 April, 2018

gy-efficient public transport alternative energy fuels and the use of The electric vehicle technology electronic vehicles,” Abkilan said. reduces or eliminates air pollution due to tail pipe emission, and it produces The tips on smart energy use are less noise and vibrations. also elaborated. There’s an emphasis on employing smart electricity According to Engr. Simon Leonor, consumption measure or action at senior science specialist of DOE, the workplace, at home, or wherever government is working into market people might be to help save energy. transformation through introduction of The forum aimed to present the energy-efficient electric vehicles or the importance of cleaner alternative e-trike project. He said that e-trike uses energy fuels, energy technologies and electric motors and motor controllers the efficient utilization of energy for for propulsion and it is powered by onpeople’s appreciation. board battery packs. E-trike to strike out pollution Apart from compressed natural gas, auto-liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for taxis, the electronic vehicles (EV) or E-trikes are considered to likely improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. “Through the alternative fuels program, it seeks to achieve energy security through fuel diversification while meeting environmental challenges. This is why the DOE is committed to push for alternative transport utilizing “green vehicles” such as E-trikes. The introduction of energy-efficient electric vehicles in the market is envisioned to bring forth a sustainable transport system,” said Engr. Federico Domingo, Jr., supervising science research specialist of DOE. 14 - 20 April, 2018

Leonor further cited the advantages of electric vehicle: It is cheaper to run since the cost of charging an EV is equivalent to paying around 30 percent of the cost per liter of gasoline; EVs can be charged anywhere with a power point/source, just like charging a mobile phone. “You can wake up with a ‘full tank’ every morning by plugging in at home, and never have to go out of your way to a gasoline station,” he added. As emphasized by Leonor, EVs can convert up to 90 percent of energy from their batteries into driving. This compares to 20-30 percent for a petrol or diesel vehicles. Meanwhile, Karolline De Vera, science research specialist I from the DOE mentioned that there is a need


to shift into alternative fuels to avoid or will help reduce the problem on lessen pollution. She said that alternative pollution caused by hazardous gas fuels are cheaper than oil. and chemicals emitted by less efficient vehicles,” Rosinas stated. “We aim to shift to the use of alternative fuels because more than Also, Rosinas planned to establish 70% are using oil fuel which is more specific routes within the city and hazardous to the environment. That’s purposely serve the commuters with why it is really advantageous to utilize, ease and convenience. He added patronize and promote the use of that he has long been using electric alternative fuels,” she emphasized. power via solar energy source in the household, thus, the same will do well Under the alternative fuels in charging EV batteries in a lesser cost. program, the country’s dependence on imported oil will be reduced by providing The DOE remains open to all local energy consumers with alternative and government units as E-trike off-takers advance energy technologies and of their respective localities. Through more environment-friendly fuel options this, the Philippines is envisioned to be aside from conventional fuels, such as at the forefront in terms of effectively gasoline and diesel. implementing an environment-friendly, efficient, and sustainable transport The e-trike is under the Market system. (VLG/JPG/PIA-Caraga) Transformation program of the Department of Energy. This is part of the P1.7 billion loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank wherein 3,000 e-trikes are to be distributed in the different regions of the country. As part of the contribution to sustainable transport, Engr. Charito Rosinas, former chief engineer of an international vessel, expressed interest and is one among those who are at the fence about investing on E-trike, and this will be the first EVs to roam along the thoroughfares in Butuan City. Rosinas is more concerned of the benefits that EVs may contribute towards a healthy and stable environment. “I am in support to environmental protection and preservation and I believe EVs


14 - 20 April, 2018

Photo Gallery Nationwide Information Caravan for RA10931

Balanghai Hotel and Convention Center, Butuan City 20 April 2018 Universal Access to Quality Tertiary UnIFAST Press Conference Education Act.

PH congratulates Putin on reelection as Russian president

By: Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

MANILA - The Philippine government congratulated President Vladimir Putin on his reelection following his victory in Russia’s presidential elections held on Sunday. “President Rodrigo Duterte extends the warmest congratulations of the Filipino people to President Vladimir Putin on his re-election,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement released Monday. “As he resumes performance of his duties, President (Rodrigo) Duterte wishes President Putin more success in leading Russia to greater progress and in advancing the cause of peace and security in our region and in the larger international community,” he added. The official said Duterte will continue to work with Putin in further strengthening the “reinvigorated relations” between Manila and Moscow.

ASEAN-Russia dialogue relations and to advance our common interests in multilateral fora including the United Nations,” Cayetano said. Putin won overwhelmingly in Sunday’s elections that allowed him to lead Russia for another six years. Russia’s Central Election Commission announced that the incumbent president won 75.9 percent of the vote, handily winning over seven other candidates.

As per the Department of Foreign Affairs, the elections were observed by two senior officials from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) who were among several foreign “We also look forward to working delegations invited to observe the more closely together to strengthen polls. (PNA) 14 - 20 April, 2018


Turnbull, Cayetano hold bilateral talks MANILA - Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano will held a bilateral meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop on Saturday.

The meeting wias during the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Australia Special Summit in Sydney on March 17-18.

Turnbull said the summit marks the “coming of age” of Australia’s relationship with Southeast Asia. He reaffirmed Canberra’s commitment to various partnerships with the ASEAN The foreign affairs department bloc. said no detail has been issued yet on the topics discussed, but before During the summit, the two leaving for Sydney, Cayetano said he parties will discuss the threat posed by will reaffirm the country’s commitment North Korea and the importance of on the government’s war against terror maintaining pressure through economic and is poised to share the country’s sanctions. development agenda before Australia and the bloc’s member states. The summit will have two major lead-in events: a business summit and Cayetano will serve as the “special a counter-terrorism conference. representative” of President Rodrigo Duterte at the leaders’ dialogue. Based on the ASEAN bulletin, the summit’s lead-in events include a Reg’l security, prosperity This business summit, while at the conclusion year’s ASEAN-Australia Special Summit of the counter-terrorism conference on will tackle ways to bolster partnership Saturday, the two parties are poised to in education, economic cooperation, sign a memorandum of understanding and countering terrorism and other on cooperation to counter international security challenges between the two terrorism. (PNA) parties.


14 - 20 April, 2018

Regional News

Gov’t allocates additional funds for Caraga IPs By: Jennifer P. Gaitano and Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY - In line with the conduct of the two-day Indigenous Peoples (IP) Leaders Summit held recently here with guest speaker Secretary Jesus Dureza of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), local officials and government agencies committed to provide additional funds for the priority programs and projects for the IPs in the region. 14 - 20 April, 2018


REGIONAL NEWS Agusan del Sur Governor Adolph Edward Plaza committed a P5 million fund for the priority programs and projects intended for the IPs. Apart from that, Butuan City Mayor Ronnie Vicente Lagnada also committed P2 million, while the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Caraga will allot funds worth P15 million. On educational assistance program, the Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) has already given P8 million through NCIP. For Caraga region alone, 200 slots are allotted for the 2018 scholarship to be granted to indigenous peoples. As venue host of the two-day IP Leaders Summit, Mayor Lagnada, expressed that the said summit was one way of recognizing the presence of the IP communities in the region. This will also create good linkage with the private sector, not only with the government.

Meanwhile, Sec. Jesus Dureza, underlined that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wanted to ensure by all means that the welfare of the IPs are provided to them through the programs of the government that would directly address their concerns. He also emphasized that Caraga has a diverse culture, thus, everyone should be respected of their rights. Sec. Dureza further underscored the aspiration of Pres. Duterte to preserve the indigenous peoples’ culture and individual identity. Indeed, an IP convergence group was created to keep abreast of the issues and concerns for the government to act appropriately on them.

“Be more action-driven and participative in realizing the proposed programs and projects to achieve lasting peace and sustainable development. The administration is really keeping a friendly atmosphere among all IP communities in the country to come and work together “We take note of all your issues in improving the IPs way of living,” and concerns and we will see to it that expressed Sec. Dureza. thru our concerted efforts, we would be able to address these,” he said. Also, as an outright action of OPAPP Sec. Jesus Dureza upon Caraga Regional Peace and knowing the pressing concerns of the Order Council (RPOC) chair and Lumads in Caraga region, he led the Agusan del Norte governor Ma. appointing of a point person/group Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba is through the heads of government committed to support the programs agencies with the help of LGU officials and projects for the Indigenous to lead, look into and focus in taking Peoples of Caraga region. actions involving the titling of ancestral domains. (JPG/VLG/PIA-Caraga)


14 - 20 April, 2018


DOST continues adding science to local product enhancement By: Aliana Gene Sarmiento

BUTUAN CITY Value adding in our local products is vital in improving the competitiveness of our small-scale entrepreneurs in the market and ensuring a circular economy, said Ricardo Varela, Assistant Regional Director of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Caraga. Experts from DOST Caraga, Caraga State University (CSU) and Caraga Food Innovation Center (FIC) trained local farm workers on proper food handling and processing of dairy products in Brgy. Dumalagan, Butuan City, April 4-5, 2018.

personnel Danilo Facundo and Dr. Emmanuel Nono, veterinarian and Director of Income Generating Project of CSU assessed the technical needs of the farm. Ms. Meriam Nono, nutritionist from CSU, trained the farm workers of Jolly Goat Dairy Farm and DOST Caraga personnel in processing goat milk into yogurt, white cheese, pastillas, and milk chocolate.

The proprietor of Jolly Goat Dairy Farm, Engr. Aniceto Bonpin, Jr. requested DOST for technical assistance on establishing marketable products from the goat’s milk they produce in the farm. Local entrepreneur

Prior to the training, DOST Caraga

14 - 20 April, 2018

Engr. Aniceto Bonpin, Jr., a proud


REGIONAL NEWS Butuanon, is the proprietor of Jolly Goat continue learning. In fact, I plan to Dairy Farm, a 3-hectare farm land in build a training facility in the farm to Purok 4, Brgy. Dumalagan, Butuan City. encourage farmers and livestock raisers to be trained on the proper He started the farm two years ago ways of raising goats. If they do it right, with an empty farm lot, knowledge in the success is higher and they can innovate ways.” raising goats and a passion for helping other Butuan locals. According to Engr. Bonpin, with DOST’s technical assistance, he is more In two years, he and his team confident to bridge the gap between raised more than a hundred goats the farmers, consumers and buyers and developed products from goat in Caraga. Engr. Bonpin also availed milk like goat milk soap, fresh goat milk technical assistance in food safety and others. He also integrated organic and proper plant layout from DOST. farming and vermiculture in the farm. (DOST-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

He shared, “I like people to

PNP Caraga implements Election Gun Ban By: Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY In line with the upcoming May 14, 2018 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Caraga has started to enforce the election ban on firearms, explosives, and other deadly weapons.


14 - 20 April, 2018

REGIONAL NEWS PNP Caraga regional director PCSupt. Noli Romana, reiterated Resolution No. 10197 of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), that provides among others: “No person shall bear, carry or transport firearms or deadly weapons in public places, including any building, street, park, private vehicle or public conveyance, even if licensed to carry the same, unless authorized in writing by the Commission on Elections.”

and legibly his name, rank and serial number, which shall remain visible at all times and in the actual performance of his election duty in the specific area designated by the COMELEC. It was also learned that the COMELEC may issue exemption to qualified individuals who by nature are considered high risk individuals. “We will apprehend persons including law enforcers who will violate election gun ban and will set up COMELEC checkpoints to be manned by local police as part of our security precautions,” emphasized PCSupt. Romana.

Romana underscored that personnel of PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other law enforcement agencies of the government who are duly deputized by the COMELEC are the only authorized to carry and possess firearms during the The regional PNP chief further election period. assured that the Caraga cops will remain vigilant in its law enforcement However, the good director clarified and security operations to prevent that when in possession of firearms, the election-related violence and ensure deputized law enforcement officers safe and fair elections. (JPG/PNP-13/ must be in full uniform showing clearly PIA-Caraga)

14 - 20 April, 2018


Provincial News

Surigao del Sur

Learning insights on the work and life of a teacher

By: Nida Grace P. Barcena

Almost all Surigaonons knew of the terrible accident that happened to the two teachers in San Miguel town in Surigao del Sur early this year. As they were going to their respective stations, the teachers were riding a boat which sank in a river due to the strong current of water.

Elnie Anthony Barcena had the same experience during his first assignment in Barangay Calatngan in San Miguel when he was employed by the Department of Education (DepEd). He Of the two teachers, only one said that the life of a teacher is not easy, survived and the other drowned. especially for those who are assigned She risked her life for her passion, in the far-flung areas. commitment, dedication and love for work - that is to teach the Indigenous Based on the teachers’ People (IP) or “Lumad” children. experiences, it is indeed very challenging to be assigned in far San Miguel-District 3 in-charge flung areas because teachers would


14 - 20 April, 2018

PROVINCIAL NEWS encounter variety of uncomfortable means of transportation like “banka”, “habal-habal” and even the use of animals such as horse and carabao just to reach their station. It becomes more challenging if the weather is not good. They will resort to hiking since the river is too risky to pass through, and hiking is a struggle for them. The sticky mud, jumping over canals and some peaks in the mountain, trekking the different terrain, wallowed in creeks, and walking on corn fields and coconut fields with perspiration dripping from their forehead, while bringing their food supplies and other needs for the entire week or a month. Despite the situation, teachers in far-flung areas have not ceased from constantly wearing cheerful faces and optimistic outlook for the love of work and to inspire the lives of the children who are patiently waiting for every start of the week for their love and care, and that somehow change their lives through education.

good education, the good values and the chance of transforming an individual into a productive member of the community. Teachers are not present just to teach children, but they serve as a resource person, a confidante, a friend, and a model to the community. That is the reason why they have a great impact, not only to their students, but also to the community they teach. Teacher Glenn Cubillan who recently passed away because of the accident that happened while she was on her way to her station, demonstrated those qualities worth emulating. According to the neophyte district in-charge, he has several questions that bothered him on what to do or how to handle this kind of situation. Perhaps, he is still not ready to handle these kinds of difficulties.

Truly, teachers risk their lives and that of their entire family just to pursue their chosen vocation; that is to expand the gift of education wherever and whenever opportunity comes.

Losing one teacher in a group is not easy to take, however he said, that he should remain strong and would just have to console himself that he has a DepEd family who are ready to back him up and who believe that he is not alone. Everyone would have a share in facing challenges in life.

Teachers are present in the community not merely to teach the school children but also to serve as living catalysts to uphold values, integrity and rights of every individual. As they teach their students, teachers were able to develop in the mind of the children the importance of having

No one can escape reality. But the question is, when problem occurs, will you panic? Or will you see it as challenge? Sometimes, the whole world seems like a problem. Basically, if problem occurs, how will you see you it? Is it a threat? Or is it a challenge? (PIA-Surigao del Sur)

14 - 20 April, 2018



Documents found show NPA in distress By: Greg Tataro, Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur - Faced with pressing concerns on various fronts exacerbated by the series of surrenders, the New People’s Army (NPA) in Caraga region had been observed to be in deep trouble. Col. Andres Centino, brigade commander of the 401st Infantry (Unity) Brigade of the Philippine Army (PA) based in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, said to have “recovered documents” outlining one of the rebels’ utmost concerns. This was tagged along with the issue on how the NPA could address their comrades who had already turned themselves in to authorities.

way on how to “plug the hole in order to stop the bleeding out.” All of these triumphs in Caraga region were attributed to the intensified security operations together with the Community Support Program (CSP) conducted hand in hand with the 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade under BGen. Franco Nemesio Gacal.

With this, the army official disclosed Meanwhile, Col. Centino, whose that rebels here had been looking for a area of operation covers the southern


14 - 20 April, 2018

PROVINCIAL NEWS part of Surigao del Sur on top of Agusan del Sur, noted that there were no such thing as “NPA recruitment” in his area of responsibility (AOR). Instead, personnel of Community Support Teams (CSTs) deployed in the hinterland villages, particularly insurgency-affected areas, had noticed “swelling on possible surrenders” based on reports gathered.

of rebel fighters owing to a number of factors including lack of sustainment of logistical support from ammunitions and even food supplies apart from mounting number of casualties during clashes with the military.

With the current situation that more seemed to be trying to find a way out or “lie low,” Centino bared that The brigade commander said the armed wing had been avoiding that there was already a great deal encounters recently. (NGBT/Radyo of dismay being felt among the ranks Pilipinas-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

DOH-run hospital in SurSur gets a booster pump for water supply

By: Greg Tataro, Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur - At last, the management of Adela Serra-Ty Memorial Medical Center (ASTMMC) has found a way to get a “24/7” water supply with enough pressure after 57 long years of trying to figure out how. 14 - 20 April, 2018



On April 6, 2018, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by and between ASTMMC Chief of Hospital (COH) Dr. Janice Pagaran-Alcordo and Tandag City Water District (TCWD) General Manager (GM) Annie Ty for the turn-over of the P2M Booster Pump Station (sump tank) project. The water facility was constructed by the TCWD in the compound of Bureau of Equipment (BOE) under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Caraga Regional Office XIII located at the back right side portion of its district office in Tandag City.

was initiated by Surigao del Sur 1st District Cong. Prospero “Butch” Pichay, Jr. In a brief interview, the good solon pointed out that this project was not only his support for ASTMMC but more facilities and hospital equipment would be coming soon. He added that he wanted the medical center here to eventually become an apex hospital.

Recently, Pichay’s proposal for ASTMMC to become a 500-bed from 200-bed capacity had been approved at the lower house. The solon had been A MOA for the use of the lot was instrumental to the success of the said likewise signed by and between the health facility for its modernization. concerned officials of ASTMMC and the DPWH Regional Office a couple of Meanwhile, GM Ty assured that weeks earlier, according to Dr. Alcordo. ASTMMC would always have the support of her management. (Radyo The said booster pump project Pilipinas-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)


14 - 20 April, 2018

Agusan del Norte


AgNor supports move for P800B IRA back pay to LGUs

By: Aimee B. Sienes

BUTUAN CITY – The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Norte supported the move of Governor Hermilando I. Mandanas, et. al of Batangas province for the release of the local government units’Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) back pay from the P800 billion total estimated unreleased portion of the just hare of LGUs from the National Internal Revenue Taxes since 1992 up to present. Mandanas filed a petition before the Supreme Court for the national government to release the said LGUs’ IRA back pay collected by the Bureau of Customs due to the province, cities, municipalities and barangays from 1992 up to the present, but still awaited for the final resolution. Provincial officials of Agusan del Norte believed that under Sections 284 and 286 of Republic Act 7160 and other existing rules and regulations, the national government should automatically release the just shares of the IRA for the LGUs from the national taxes to enable the LGUS to hasten the delivery of much needed services to 14 - 20 April, 2018

their constituents. In its Sanggunian Resolution No. 050-2018, authored by Vice Governor Ramon AG. Bungabong, it strongly supported the said petition asserting that the LGUs have a rightful share from the Bureau of Customs, beinga collecting arm of the Bureau of Internal Revenue for the LGUs to provide better governance to their constituents and promote local autonomy which, in the long run, would fast track the implementation of the LGUs’ development projects and simulate the economy in the countryside. (LGUAgusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)



Agusan del Sur

DTI Agusan Sur equips SLP beneficiaries, former OFWs on entrepreneurship

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur - The Department of Trade and Industry here conducted recently a seminar on Entrepreneurship to the 17 Sustainable Livelihood Porgram (SLP) beneficiaries and former Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the town of San Francisco. “I am so thankful that I was invited to this seminar as I know now what to do to make the business good,� Teresita Colarte, a participant, gave this impression during the seminar.

successful entrepreneur, the concept of entrepreneurship and the distinction between livelihood and enterprise.

In the following month, Abapo will start to monitor their project and check Aldrin Abapo, counselor of what is needed to further improve their Negosyo Center (NC) San Francisco operation.(DTI-Agusan del Sur/PIAand facilitator of the seminar presented Agusan del Sur) to the group the characteristics of a


14 - 20 April, 2018


DTI to focus intervention on coconut farmers of Anolingan to increase producers of geonet

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur - Twenty eight (28) coconut farmers of Barangay Anolingan of Esperanza, this province, are encouraged to regularly produce geonets and virgin coconut oil to earn additional income aside from whole nut and copra.

They are also advised to display strategies to increase the number of these products at the Negosyo Centers processors in a form of commission (NC) in the province. based on the output of the members so they will be continually motivated. These farmers are members Aside from geonet, the group of Anolingan Coconut Farmers also tried to produce virgin coconut Organization (ACFO), a recipient oil (VCO) but needs further training to of weaving and twining equipment ensure quality output. The Department facilities of the Philippine Coconut of Trade and Industry (DTI) Agusan Authority (PCA). del Sur will sit with the PCA to identify interventions for the group. Just recently, an orientation on Entrepreneurship and Gender Beryl Calderon of the PCA commits Sensitivity was conducted. It was to support the group to strengthen its learned that the group has supplied operation. geonets made of coconut fiber to Kaagap Development Multi-Purpose Jamaica Arenal, Marianne Cooperative (KaagapMuCO). AC Corazon Togonon of DTI Agusan del FO produced geonet but they lack Sur and Charles Palen, NC counselor of weavers and twiners to increase their Esperanza in partnership with PCA and production. barangay captain Rolando Maestrado facilitated the activity. (DTI-Agusan del They are advised to make Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur) 14 - 20 April, 2018



Surigao del Norte

Surigao del Norte stakeholders support DTI’s CMCI roadshow

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte - The Department of Trade and Industry’s Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) Roadshow got 99 percent attendance of Local Government Units (LGUs) in Surigao del Norte. Of the 20 municipalities and one understand the strategic significance component city, 99 percent of LGUs of the CMCI data as a whole. attended the Roadshow on CMCI held recently at Parkway Hotel, this city. The roadshow also aimed to provide insights to the participants that The roadshow aimed to assist a globally competitive LGU has a big the LGUs in complying with the data niche to consistently attract regional requirements of CMCI, as well as and foreign investors. Being global


14 - 20 April, 2018

PROVINCIAL NEWS means putting in place enabling to undertake measures to improve the conditions to improve the global competitiveness of the province. competitiveness of the LGUs’ territory (city/municipality). Meanwhile, DTI Surigao del Norte Senior Trade and Industry Specialist The CMCI is one of the global (STIDS) Rodrigo R. Matabaran presented tools in monitoring the LGU’s global the 2017 CMCI results, while Marson Jan competitiveness edge over other Dolendo, STIDS of DTI Regional Office territories. The index provides a holistic presented the 2018 CMCI criteria. and coherent picture of how local government units are performing A total of 90 participants attended in terms of economic dynamism, the CMCI Roadshow composed of government efficiency, infrastructure LGU frontline personnel namely, the and resiliency. provincial/city/municipal planning officers, Business Permits and Licensing The data can serve as tools for Officers (BPLOs), and CMCI Focal the LGU to assess the competitiveness Persons. level of its territory and make informed decisions and take steps to Also in attendance were SDN Board improve performance and territorial Member Melba P. Garcia, LGU Sison attractiveness for private investors. Municipal Mayor Karissa R. FetalveroParonia, Regional Competitiveness In her welcome message during Council Co-Chair and SCCI President the said activity, Surigao del Norte Board Concepcion R. Paqueo, Line Agencies, Member Melva P. Garcia informed Non-government Organizations and the participants that she endorsed a DTI Negosyo Center (NC) Counselors. resolution creating the Surigao del Norte (DTI-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del CMCI Committee that will be tasked Norte)

14 - 20 April, 2018


Mindanao News

MinDA, World Bank to launch Mindanao jobs study

The Mindanao Development Authority and the World Bank are set to launch the Philippines Mindanao Jobs Report on Friday. The report lays down the strategies for Mindanao Regional Development with the end goal of generating more jobs in the island-region. This culminates the series of consultation and validation rounds conducted by World Bank and MinDA, in partnership with the Philippine Business for Social Progress since 2015 among different sectors including government, business, labor, academe, civil society groups, and farmer associations.

on a path of inclusive growth and address the jobs challenge.

“This tells a new Mindanao story through the lens of jobs generation, which makes it as a living document of the ways forward to unlock the Mindanao’s potentials through raising farm productivity, improving logistics The report outlines a number and connectivity, and developing key of recommendations which reform ports and other gateways,�said MinDA coalitions can consider to put Mindanao Undersecretary Janet Lopoz.


14 - 20 April, 2018

MINDANAO NEWS Majority of the strategies identified in the report are also being carried out by MinDA through its flagship programs including the Mindanao Development Corridors, and the establishment of Mindanao Agri-Economic Ecozones and the Tawi-tawi Freeport Zone.

strengthened partnership for pursuing inclusive business in Mindanao.

“We believe that the MJR findings could strongly boost our argument and proposition why Mindanao needs to be given a higher and equitable budget that it rightfully deserves,” added Lopoz.

“As part of inclusive business strategy, we proposed a partnership with World Bank for the conduct of the MJR Study that will assess jobgeneration factors in the island-region and recommend strategic actions to create more and better jobs for Mindanawons,” Lopoz said.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno is slated to cap the launching with updates on national government’s programs for financing Mindanao’s growth and development. It will likewise include a signing of Memorandum of Understanding between MinDA and PBSP signifying its renewed and

According to Lopoz, the MJR was first conceptualized after MinDA forged a partnership with the PBSP for the Mindanao Inclusive Agribusiness Framework.

MinDA, PBSP, Mindanao Coalition of Development NGO Networks (MinCODE), and the Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan Bank – Knowledge for Development Community (XU-KDC) served as the project team for the report.

Mindanao to get bulk of electrification projects this year By: Albert-Anthony Abando

MANILA -The National Electrification Administration (NEA) said the bigger share of electrification projects slated for 2018 will go to unenergized communities of Mindanao to bolster development in the island.

Administrator Edgardo Masongsong said a P1.817-billion budget has been allotted to provide electricity to 1,817 sitios across the country this year. Majority of these areas are located in Mindanao with 705 sitios, 14 - 20 April, 2018

followed by Luzon with 560 sitios, and Visayas with 552 sitios. “The government’s electrification policy is always cognizant of, and responsive to, the situation on the


MINDANAO NEWS The NEA chief also cited key challenges in the implementation of the Rural Electrification Program, such as isolated areas, difficult terrain, right-ofway issues, peace and order problems, natural calamities, and administrative constraints. To address the gap in electricity access, the NEA proposed some measures including the issuance of an executive order aimed at accelerating the energization of unserved, underserved and unviable areas; and amendments to the existing department circular on Qualified Third ground. Despite the best efforts of Party (QTP) policy. government, in partnership with electric cooperatives, a large chunk of The agency also proposed Mindanao remains un-electrified. This is the continued subsidy for Sitio precisely the reason Mindanao gets the Electrification Program (SEP), Barangay lion’s share of the government’s funds Line Enhancement Program (BLEP) aimed at extending electricity services and Household Electrification Program, to the un-served areas,� Masongsong and streamlining and simplifying said. the administrative requirements and processes, such as permits and During the Senate hearing on clearances. Monday (April 16) into the status of electrification in the country called by Under SEP Phase 2, the NEA and the Senate Committee on Energy, the the electric cooperatives (ECs) have NEA said there are 19,740 sitios that completed the energization of some remain without electricity. Majority of 1,474 sitios while 409 more are nearing these un-energized sitios are found in completion. About 563 sitios were Mindanao (8,535), then Luzon (6,541), given electricity in Mindanao, 439 sitios and Visayas (4,664). in Luzon and 472 sitios in Visayas. Masongsong said about P25.3 billion would be needed to fully energize the remaining sitios within the term of President Rodrigo Duterte, adding that the average cost to energize a sitio is P1.4 million.


Since its inception, the Rural Electrification Program through the NEA and partner ECs successfully energized 78 provinces, 90 cities, 1,385 municipalities, 36,051 barangays, and 121,324. (NEA PR) 14 - 20 April, 2018

National News

NFA sets new bidding for rice imports By: Catherine Teves

MANILA - The National Food Authority (NFA) will conduct another bidding for the 250,000 metric tons of rice that it intends to import this year through the government-to-government (G2G) mode. The NFA reached the decision, as it noted that the price offers of Thailand and Vietnam had exceeded the reference prices that it used in its earlier bidding.

Operations Judy Carol Dansal said in a press briefing on Friday.

The new bidding would still be open to public scrutiny, Dansal said, as the NFA would soon announce its date “The bidding was a failure due and venue. to non-compliance with our reference prices, so we’ll hold a new bidding,” The NFA official said the rice NFA Deputy Administrator for Marketing agency would send invitations to 14 - 20 April, 2018


NATIONAL NEWS embassies, so governments interested broken grains. in making offers could prepare In its first bidding, the NFA set a accordingly. reference price of USD474.18 per metric ton of rice with 25 percent broken grains NFA would also determine the and USD483.63 per metric ton for rice reference prices for the new bidding, with 15 percent broken grains. she said. The agency said Thailand had bid Reference prices change, to supply 120,000 metric tons with 25 depending on the foreign exchange percent broken grains, while Vietnam rate and other factors, she noted. offered to supply 100,000 metric tons with 25 percent broken grains at USD532 Dansal said the NFA must conduct per metric ton and 50,000 metric tons another bidding as soon as possible, with 15 percent broken grains at USD540 since the agency is sticking to its target per ton. of having the rice imports in the country not later than June 30 this year. Both countries’ offers exceeded the NFA’s reference prices, so the “With the forthcoming bidding, agency conducted another round of we’re positive about finally getting the bidding also on Friday. stocks we’re trying to purchase,” she said. The NFA noted Thailand’s second bid was USD520 per metric ton, while Earlier, the NFA proposed to Vietnam’s was USD521 per metric ton use the G2G mode in importing rice. for rice with 25 percent broken grains It said such mode is faster than the and USD530 per ton for rice with 15 government to private (G2P) mode, percent broken grains. since governments are directly negotiating with each other. The bids still exceeded NFA’s reference prices, forcing the agency to Created in 1972 as the National conduct a new bidding. Grains Authority, the NFA is the government-owned and -controlled The NFA rice with 25 percent corporation tasked with providing the broken grains is sold in the local market country with an adequate supply of as regular-milled rice at PHP27 per affordable rice and corn while ensuring kilogram. reasonable returns for Filipino farmers. The NFA rice with 15 percent The NFA plans to import in the broken grains is sold nationwide as wellmiddle of this year 200,000 metric tons milled rice at PHP32 per kilogram. of well-milled, long-grain rice, with 25 percent broken grains, and 50,000 These prices are lower than those metric tons of rice with 15 percent of commercial rice. (PNA)


14 - 20 April, 2018


DOST eyes 235 more Balik Scientists ‘til 2022 By: Ma. Cristina Arayata

Since the Balik Scientist Program’s establishment in 1975 up to December 2017, the Philippines has had a total of 567 Balik Scientists. The DOST targets 41 Balik Scientists in 2018, and increase this number by three each year until 2022. “We project around 60 (Balik Scientists) per year after the BSP (Balik Scientists Program) becomes a law. So even if we just got 35 for this year, and if we’ll have 50 per year for the next four years, that would still total to 235 by 2022,” Dela Peña said. Dela Peña earlier expressed his desire to encourage more Filipino scientists to return to the country, as he believes they would be very helpful in providing translational research.

MANILA - The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) eyes to tap 235 more “Balik Scientists” from 2018-2022, DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Friday.

The Secretary admitted it is not easy to encourage scientists living abroad to come back, especially those who are already earning well in other countries.

To address this and the other challenges that make the potential Balik Scientists think twice about coming Balik Scientists are science and back, the DOST provides several technology experts residing abroad incentives to Balik Scientists. and who are contracted to return to the Philippines to work and use their The Philippine government, expertise in the country. through the DOST, has established 14 - 20 April, 2018


NATIONAL NEWS the Balik Scientists Program in 1975 to Dela Peña added that the law address the lack of researchers here must also provide remuneration for the and also to help improve the country’s Balik Scientists. science programs. In a previous interview with Those who will avail of the program the PNA, Reynaldo Ebora, acting can choose to stay for 30-90 days to get executive director of the DOSTshort-term incentives, or for two to three attached agency Philippine Council years to get the long-term incentives. for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development For the program’s short-term (PCAARRD), explained that once the incentives, the DOST will shoulder the Balik Scientist Program becomes a law, Balik Scientists’ roundtrip airfare, and the Balik Scientists’ entitlements would will also provide them with a daily increase. So would their current USD150 allowance of USD150. daily allowance. For the long-term incentives, on the other hand, the DOST will shoulder the one-way airfare of the scientist, his or her spouse, and two minor dependents. A prepaid return airfare will also be provided upon serving the scientist’s contract. Scientists may also receive research funding (upon request), and an honorarium from the host institution, which could be a local or private institution seeking technical assistance.

Meanwhile, some of the DOST’s priority areas with identified gaps are forestry Research and Development (R&D), crops R&D, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, aquatic R&D, natural resources and environment R&D, livestock R&D, socioeconomics and policy research, and technology transfer. The DOST targets Balik Scientists who will work on these areas. (PNA)

Dela Pena earlier cited that institutionalizing the Balik Scientist Program would be a huge help to encourage more Balik Scientists. Institutionalizing the program would make it easier for the scientists to process their entry requirements, since the law will allow them to process their visa and immigration requirements faster. This is essential, especially for those who were already granted foreign citizenship, he explained.


14 - 20 April, 2018

For more info. contact: Tel. No.: (085) 225-9219 / 300-0722 Cell Nos. 0908-875-9185 / 0917-580-2609 / 0925-556-2417 Email:


EDITORIAL BOARD Executive Editor

ABNER M. CAGA Associate Editor

FRYAN E. ABKILAN Managing Editor







Surigao del Norte/Dinagat Islands




Regional Office Jose Rosales Avenue, Butuan City E-mail:; Telephone no. (085) 341-5285; Telefax No.: (085) 341-2370 Facebook: Philippine Information Agency Caraga Twitter: @PIACaraga

Information Centers AGUSAN DEL NORTE Jose Rosales Avenue, Butuan City Telephone no. (085) 815-1991 E-mail: Facebook: PIA Agusan del Norte Twitter: @PIAAgusanNorte

AGUSAN DEL SUR Provincial Government Center, Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur Cellphone no. 0917-723-3455 E-mail: Facebook: PIA Agusan del Sur Twitter: @AgSurPIA

SURIGAO DEL NORTE/DINAGAT ISLANDS Parrucho corner Magallanes St., Surigao City Telephone no. (086) 826-9450 E-mail: Facebook: PIA Surigao del Norte; PIA Dinagat Islands Twitter: @PIASurigaoNorte

SURIGAO DEL SUR Old DPWH Bldg., Telaje, Tandag City Telephone no. (086) 211-3353 E-mail:; Facebook: PIA Surigao del Sur Twitter: @piasurigaosur

Caraga InFocus –April 14-20, 2018  

An Electronic News Magazine of PIA Caraga

Caraga InFocus –April 14-20, 2018  

An Electronic News Magazine of PIA Caraga