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Contents Volume II, No. 60

26 may - 01 june, 2018

PCOO chief keynotes 1st International Dragon Boat Summer Festival in Surigao City

ASEAN NEWS Norway ready to deepen 7 ASEAN, and broaden cooperation


CSC confers DTI-Caraga with PRIME-HRM Bronze Award


PSA Caraga chief urges public to cooperate in nat’l migration survey

10 11

MINDANAO NEWS solon explains BBL 21 Zambo vote abstention



Caraga Catholic schools vow to teach population, development DOT Caraga warns tourists against bogus travel agents




Sarangani Bay fest still Mindanao’s top beach event Marawi IDPs receive Ramadan food packs



Balik-Eskwela Diskwento Caravan showcases low-priced school supplies, basic commodities


AgNor PHO, BRH partnership established


NC-San Francisco trains more SLP beneficiaries on financial literacy


AgSur joins 3rd Philippine Coffee Conference


MARINA 13 to conduct formulation of 10-year MIDP


Army foils NPA attack in SurSur

23 NATIONAL NEWS Duterte committed to

24 enforce Data Privacy Act:



Bong Go


DOT welcomes RomuloPuyat’s confirmation


News Briefs This year’s Brigada Eskwela is anchored on the theme “Pagkakaisa Para sa Handa, Ligtas at Matatag na Paaralan Tungo sa Magandang Kinabukasan.” It aims to bring together all education stakeholders to participate and contribute their time, effort and resources to prepare public school facilities for the opening of the school year.

In celebration of the Environment Month this June, the THPAL Nickel Corp. is calling all composers, lyricist and musicians in CARAGA Region to participate in the 1st THPAL Musikalikasan “Song - Writing” Competition. Prizes at stake: 1st Place Winner: P20,000 plus trophy; 2nd Place Winner: P15,000 plus trophy; 3rd Place Winner: P10,000 and a trophy, and 4th and 5th Place Winner: P5,000 each plus trophy. All winning entries will also have a One Year song broadcast at DXPJ 89.7 Real Radio FM Taganito. For inquiries, you may contact: Mobile: 09265523325 or 09381130869 and Email: or See simplified mechanics below on the poster. Deadline for submission of entries is on June 18, 2018. SP Member Hazel Del Rosario, Execom Chairperson of Naliyagan Festival 2018, invites you to witness and enjoy this years breathtaking celebration of Naliyagan Festival! Ali na! Naliyagan Na! The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Office of Surigao del Sur is holding a 2-day Local DRRM Officers Quarterly Conference held at Villa Maria Luisa Hotel in Tandag City. Among the agenda lined up are: Plan of activities (DRRM Plan, ICS, RDANA, Contingency Plan); Updated inventory of Evacuation Center, SERTSS Profile, EO re LDRRMO/LDRRC; Disaster Reporting Template; DRRMOs Regl Congress; Natl Alliance of LDRRMOs Conference set on Jul 2018; & Rescuers Summit 2018. The local government unit of Del Carmen, Literacy Coordinating Council of the Philippines and DepEd Siargao Division collaborated to educate 500 informal learners under a separate Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program of the municipality. This program covers comprehension for high school equivalency and skills development running for almost 6 months and is funded by DepEd LCC. On their completion day, we see a brighter future for these Del Carmenons, said Del Carmen mayor Alfredo Coro II.



PCOO chief keynotes 1st Interna Festival in Surigao City By: Susil Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, (PIA) -- Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Jose Ruperto Martin Andanar inspired paddlers who attended the opening ceremony of the 1st Surigao International Dragon Boat Summer Festival on May 25, 2018 at the city gymnasium here. Andanar led the ceremonial opening together with City Mayor Ernesto Matugas, and Surigao del Norte Vice Governor Arturo Carlos Egay, Jr. representing Governor Sol Matugas. In his message, Secretary Andanar cited that the 1st Surigao International Dragon Boat Summer Festival displays not only the participants’ skills and endurance in paddling but the teamwork, cooperation and the


character of every participant joining the race. He wished that the festival be a continuing event “where people converge for the joys of celebrating the best of skills and endurance, and the best of character and leadership.” Andanar  has also extended the welcome greetings of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte  for the festival. “In a similar manner, the ship of state is MAY 26 - JUNE 1, 2018

ational Dragon Boat Summer navigated by the Commander-inChief, towards a vision he has set for the nation. We are the synchronized rowers, or the riders of the tides, over the currents and through calm and turbulent weathers, until the dock is reached, and the voyage is done,“ Andanar said.

He said that the dragon boat sport reflects, in a way, the manner by which the rigor and the intensity of nation building are individually and collectively, the responsibility of everyone on board. “We cannot afford to renege, or be recalcitrant. The effort of one should be the effort of all,” Andanar added. (Susil D. Ragas/PIA-Surigao del Norte).

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Photo Courtesy of Surigao City Tourism Office




ASEAN, Norway ready to deepen and broaden cooperation JAKARTA, – ASEAN and Norway reaffirmed their resolve to further strengthen their partnership by exploring practical cooperation in a number of mutually beneficial areas.

At the 3rd Meeting of the ASEAN-Norway Joint Sectoral Cooperation Committee (ANJSCC) held at the ASEAN Secretariat on 28 May 2018, both sides suggested a number of possible areas for future collaboration including marine environment and blue economy, climate change, renewable energy, biodiversity and the narrowing of the development gap in ASEAN. ASEAN and Norway also noted with satisfaction the progress in existing cooperation following the inception of the partnership three years ago. The meeting discussed extensively the completed, ongoing, and planned projects in implementing the Priority Plan for ASEAN-Norway Sectoral

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Dialogue Partnership. ASEAN Member States welcomed the support of Norway for activities of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation and ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights as well as the development of the ASEAN Judiciaries Portal. The meeting was co-chaired by Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Political-Security Community Department Hoang Anh Tuan and Ambassador of Norway to ASEAN Morten Høglund and was attended by the members of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway Marianne Hagen also participated in the meeting.


REGIONAL NEWS CSC confers DTI-Caraga with PRIME-HRM By: Venus L. Garcia Bronze Award BUTUAN CITY (PIA) -- The Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management (PRIME-HRM) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Caraga has been conferred with a Bronze Award by the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

On April 30, 2018, during DTI’s Monday  convocation, Atty. Winston L. Plaza, assistant regional director of CSC Caraga handed over CSC Resolution No. 1701673 conferring the PRIME-HRM Bronze Award- Maturity Level II Accreditation after going through a series of assessment and evaluation in 2017.   This award confirms that DTI - Caraga’s PRIME-HRM is compliant with the Level 2Maturity Indicators in the System, Practices, and Competencies of the HRM core systems: Recruitment, Selection and Placement; Performance Management; Learning and Development; and Rewards and Recognition.   PRIME-HRM is a banner program of the CSC that aims to successfully transform the agencies’ HRM system, competencies, and practices to elevate public sector HR to a level of excellence for good governance and for efficient and effective public service delivery.   “Out of 165 government agencies, including LGUs in the region, to date, only DTI is conferred with this award”, Atty. Plaza said in a press statement. He also added that this award grants DTI- Caraga an authority to approve appointments, subject to post audit of CSC.   Meanwhile, DTI-Caraga regional director Brielgo O. Pagaran, expressed his


commitment for the agency to continuously comply with the Civil Service Law and rules. He also emphasized the importance of employees’ continual improvement to deliver efficient and effective services to the public. “This award should inspire and encourage all of us in DTI to continue to do more and work hard towards our vision - Prosperity for All,” he added.   Formal awarding will be in July 2018 in Davao City. (VLG/DTI-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

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REGIONAL NEWS PSA Caraga chief urges public to cooperate in nat’l migration survey By: Nora C. Lanuza Molde BUTUAN CITY (PIA) -- The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Caraga will conduct the National Migration Survey (NMS) starting this month of May up to August this year. In a statement, PSA Caraga regional director Dr. Rosalinda C. Apura encouraged the public, especially the sample households, as well as local officials, to support and cooperate in the conduct of the NMS.   Apura assured that all the data and information collected by the hired field interviewers shall be kept strictly confidential and shall not be used for purposes of taxation, investigation or regulation as provided under Article 55 of Republic Act 10625.   The conduct of the NMS is in collaboration with the University of the Philippines (UP), particularly, the UP Population Institute (UPPI), that aims to provide information on the mobility of Philippine population in order to assist policymakers and program managers in evaluating and designing strategies for improving services and assistance to people going abroad or moving within the country, Apura said.   Also, the PSA official said that around 45,000 randomly selected sample housing units in the entire country will be visited.   The households within those housing

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units will be interviewed using the Household Questionnaire (NMS Form 1) to collect demographic and socio-economic information on all usual members of the household (de jure). The respondent for this questionnaire is the head of the household. In case the household head is absent, any responsible adult member of the household who is knowledgeable of information pertaining to the household members will be interviewed. Apura further said that the NMS Form 1 permits the interviewer to identify household members eligible to be interviewed with Individual Questionnaire (NMS Form 2). All the household members 15 years old and over with migration experience, and one nonmigrant household member are eligible to be interviewed using NMS Form 2.   This form collects information that directly concerns the individual respondent’s migration experience. (NCLM/PSA/PIA-Caraga)


REGIONAL NEWS Caraga Catholic schools vow to teach population, development

BUTUAN CITY   -- Member-schools of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) in Caraga Region committed to integrate in their curriculum the Population and Development Module in any possible approaches.    As reflected into their plan during the recent training conducted by the Commission on Population (POPCOM)Caraga, teachers and some administrators also planned to orient the parents on Responsible Parenthood – Family Planning and convene the School Administrators, Guidance Counselors and Social Studies teacher, for an echo on the use of the module.   Participants also indicated into their plan the implementation of the Adolescent Health and Development initiatives of POPCOM-Caraga such as U4U Teen Trail, Parent-Child Encounter, Seminar on Responsible Sexuality and many more.    Some of the schools that joined the


three-day training were: Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU), Father Saturnino Urios College of Sibagat and Trento, De La Salle John Bosco College, Saint Vincent De Paul Diocesan College, Agusan National High School, Father Urios Institute of Technology of Ampayon, Holy Child Academy of Marihatag Inc,   St Paul University, Butuan City School of Arts and Trades, St James High School, and Candelaria Institute of Technology.   The PopDev Education Module has two sets covering three educational levels – elementary, high school and college.    The module is intended to help the educators in planning classes that cover two broad issues: 1) population and development, and 2) human sexuality and responsible parenthood.   It is aimed at giving teachers access to a coherent and well-thought out guide and appropriate reference materials on the two topics which are also age appropriate and values laden.   Belinda Ato-Candelario of FSUU, was among the module writers who was present during the said training, and she expressed her profound appreciation to POPCOM in popularizing the said modules.   It can be recalled that the modules were developed in 2009 at the University of San Carlos, Cebu City, together with some other writers from various catholic schools.   The PopDev Education teaching module for Catholic schools was a product of a series of symposia on population and development by group of experts including priests and module writers from member-schools of CEAP. (POPCOM-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

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REGIONAL NEWS DOT Caraga warns tourists against bogus travel agents BUTUAN CITY  (PIA) -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) here in Caraga region advised visiting tourists and travelers to be more aware of the business nature and legitimacy of travel and tour agencies operating in the localities.   In Caraga region alone, there are 11 accredited travel agencies as of March 2018, which offer variety of tours that people can avail at reasonable prices. These agencies include Butuan Travel and Tours, Golden Tara Travels and Tours, Island Vacation Travel and Tours, JL Express Travel and Services, JVP Int’l Travel and Tours, EDRO Travel and Tours Booking Outlet, One Corporate Grand Tours, Inc., Travel Essentials, Michaelinian Travel and Tours, Rex Travel Agency, and Sky Horizon Tours and Events.   DOT encouraged all foreign and local travelers alike to be cautious of “colorum” travel agencies to avoid problems that might ruin their escapade by following these WISE steps: W – Work out your travel plans; I – Identify travel agencies; S – See tourism quality seal; and E – Engage accredited service providers only.   The Internet has given people the convenience of checking great deals on travel and tours. However, it also opens the risk of bogus travel agencies which offer “too-good-to-betrue” tour packages on social media.   The best way to be secured when traveling is to choose DOT-Accredited Tour Operators that offer a wide range of inbound and outbound tour packages.

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Accredited tour operators have complied with the standards catering to the convenience of the travelers availing the packages. DOT accredited tour operators have undergone comprehensive human resource development seminars, tour guiding, and other technical skill trainings which DOT offers.   The accreditation also links the establishments to other government agencies, assuring their clients of standard rating, proper travel assistance, and safety.   Based on DOT statistics, at least seven million Filipinos travel around the country between April and May. Most people take a break by traveling and taking a vacation away from the usual hustle and bustle of their day-to-day lives.(DOT-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)



Oplan Balik Eskwela and Brigada Eskwela 2018 Press Conference 31 May 2018 Butuan City


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PROVINCIAL NEWS Balik-Eskwela Diskwento Caravan showcases low-priced school supplies, basic commodities By: Nora C. Lanuza Molde

BUTUAN CITY -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Agusan del Norte, in partnership with the local government of Butuan City, will hold a two-day Diskwento Caravan – Balik-Eskwela Edition on May 30 to 31 here. DTI-Agusan del Norte provincial director Brenda Corvera encouraged the public to visit and buy at the caravan and avail of the opportunity to save in buying grocery items, school supplies, school bags, school uniforms and other related products.   Corvera also said the caravan is part of the government’s efforts to help

consumers cope with the rising cost of living particularly in time for the opening of classes for school year 2018-2019. “The caravan is one of the programs of the department to ease the financial burden of consumers by bringing to them low-priced basic necessities and prime commodities,” Corvera said.   The caravan will be opened from 9:00 in the morning up to 5 o’clock in the afternoon on the said dates at the city hall lobby,” Corvera added. (NCLM/DTI/PIA-Agusan del Norte)

Agusan del Norte

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PROVINCIAL NEWS AgNor PHO, BRH partnership established

Agusan del Norte

By: Jessica O. Mellejor

BUTUAN CITY  -- The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Norte recently approved the “Partnership and Referral System” between the Agusan del Norte Provincial Hospital and the Buenavista Rural Health Unit in the Municipality of Buenavista, Agusan del Norte.   This system will be developed to improve health care services for municipal patients, the rural health unit of the Buenavista and the Provincial Hospital where the hospital will become a referral hospital for diagnostic services of these patients such as chest x-ray, CBC with platelet, lipid profile and FBS.   The partnership is aimed to ensure


the welfare of the people, by providing good health services for their well-being. The costs of the services shall be charged under the Per Family Payment Rate (PFPR) of Philhealth.   For effective implementation, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Norte authorized Provincial Governor Maria Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba to sign the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the PHO and BRHU through Sanggunian Resolution No. 046-2018 through the efforts of Provincial Board Member Elizabeth Marie R. Calo. (LGUAgusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)

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PROVINCIAL NEWS NC-San Francisco trains more SLP beneficiaries on financial literacy SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur, -- 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.

the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Agusan del Sur

Resource person Rene Villagantol, coordinator of Small Business Corporation (SBC) in Caraga assigned in Agusan del Sur, shared ways in managing cash flows, understanding the consequences when there is About 18 Sustainable Livelihood failure in managing cash and some Program (SLP) beneficiaries joined in tips on cash flow management. the said seminar held at the Negosyo Center (NC) San Francisco. It helped Within this year, they will start their them understand the basic processes businesses: a) rice trading - Alegria and in handling and managing business. Hubang, b) agricultural farm inputs and agrivet supply retailing – Lapinigan, The SLP of the DSWD is one of and c) general merchandise - Ormaca. the agency’s initiatives to increase (DTI-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur) the economic opportunities of

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PROVINCIAL NEWS AgSur joins 3rd Philippine Coffee Conference

It should be noted that coffee beans produced from the Province of Agusan del Sur is of Robusta variety. The other variety – Arabica – which is more famous and commands higher price can be grown only in elevation above 1,000 masl. One of the two entries from the province which came from Brgy. Calabuan, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur obtained an average score of 82.08. Though not able to penetrate the winning circle, it got the highest score from among the six entries from Caraga Region.

Agusan del Sur

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, -- Three coffee growers from this province recently attended the 3rd Coffee Conference held at Supreme Hotel, Magsaysay Avenue, Baguio City. The participation was made possible through the assistance provided by the Regional Field Office of the Department of Agriculture (DA RFO-XIII). The highlight of the two-day activity was the proclamation of the top six winning entries of coffee beans from the Robusta Category and the top six winners from the Arabica Category. The 12 top winning entries from the two categories had undergone series of cupping tests by experts from the industry, with two of them coming from Malaysia and Japan as expert observers.

Coffee beans with cupping score of 80 and above are already considered “Fine Robusta”. These are traded in the market at Ᵽ200.00/kg. For coffee beans not categorized as “fine robusta” the usual buying price is from Ᵽ120.00-150.00/kg. For DTI-Agusan del Sur, which is working on the value chain of the coffee industry, it (coffee production) is a big challenge and that more interventions on improving the quality of coffee beans must be provided to the coffee growers – starting from selective picking of ripened beans to provision of appropriate facilities or equipment leading to the production of good quality coffee beans. Coffee growers from the province are in for a bright prospect coming from the industry. (DTI-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

The Top Entry and declared Champion – from Robusta Category, garnered the highest average score of 85.96. It is grown by Rodolfo Aciong, a coffee grower from Brgy. Urzadan, Cayus, Ilocos Sur Province. He will represent the country in the international contest in the United States of America.


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PROVINCIAL NEWS MARINA 13 to conduct formulation of 10-year MIDP issues that the MIDP may address for the fishing sector and to address cross-cutting maritime-related issues which various government organizations are performing. The MIDP hopes to produce a single platform for all activities relating to the development, promotion and regulation of the Philippine maritime industry.

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, (PIA) -- The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Regional Office XIII is set to conduct a workshop on the formulation of the 10-year Maritime Industry Development Program (MIDP) The workshop aims to discuss relevant

The MIDP likewise aims to implement applicable provisions of Executive Order No. 5 (2016) which adopted the Duterte Government’s socio-economic program dubbed as “Ambisyon Natin 2040” in the MIDP maritime related commitments of the Philippines under various international instruments, conventions, codes and protocols. (MARINA-13/PIA-Surigao del Norte) Photo Courtesy of

Surigao del Norte

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PROVINCIAL NEWS Army foils NPA attack in SurSur

Surigao del Sur

TAGO, Surigao del Sur, (PIA) -- The 36th Infantry Battalion (36IB) located at the upper Mambag, Barangay Dayoan in Tago town under the command of Lt. Col. Xerxes Trinidad has managed to repel an attempted attack by the New People’s Army   (NPA) terrorists, around 8:50 p.m. In a press statement, 36IB Civil Military Operations Officer Captain Francisco Garello said that the Valorian troopers were surprised after the NPA terrorist fired one rifle grenade and delivered intermittent fires for about 15 seconds from a distance of around 400 meters away northwest of the Valorian’s camp. According to Garello, more or less three Communist-NPA Terrorists believed to be members of the Guerilla Front 30, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) under a.k.a. Nicko fired towards the Headquarters’ of the 36IB. The Valorian troopers instantly repulsed the fire, prompting the enemy scampering away towards the direction of Barangay Sisdro, Tandag City using habalhabal motorcycle as their get-away vehicle.


Colonel Trinidad has immediately deployed troops for counter offensive and clearing operations in the area. “The bravado of CNTs intends to show their true nature of insincerity to the resumption of peace talks,” said Col. Trinidad. Trinidad further said, “the NPA had continuously instigated atrocities not only against military targets but also to innocent civilians. But let this be an assurance to the Surigaonons, our resolve to bring peace to the community has further strengthened and that 36IB will take this incident seriously. We will pursue the CNTs and bring them in a situation where their only choice is to surrender.” During the clearing operations, the troops recovered from the position of the NPA Terrorists empty shells and unexploded ordnance (UXO) of M14, AK47 and M16 rifles, one (1) safety pin, and shrapnel’s of one (1) rifle grenade (RG). No records of casualty on the government side, while undetermined on the enemy side. Hot pursuit operations still on-going accordingly. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)

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DOE NEWS DOE vows faster processing of key energy projects By: Ma. Cristina Arayata

MANILA – The Department of Energy (DOE) the economic development in the country on Tuesday vowed to expedite the processing because thay are hampered to a large of papers related to major energy projects. extent by the rigid regulatory processes. The DOE announced that the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of EO 30 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in June 2017 was published in major newspapers last May 4, and will take effect immediately.

“Before the IRR, processing of documents takes a year, and agencies also tend to pinpoint or blame one another,” DOE spokesperson told the Philippine News Agency.

Examples of projects of national The EO created the Energy Investment significance, according to Fuentebella Coordinating Council (EICC) to streamline include “building a connection in transit the regulatory procedures affecting line from Visayas to Mindanao; a 600 energy projects of national importance. megawatt plant to address the immediate Under the IRR, the processing of permits and need of Luzon grid, for instance.” licenses for projects declared as “Energy Projects of National Significance (EPNS)” Meanwhile, the DOE noted that shall only take 30 days. The 30-day period the IRR also highlights the application starts from the submission of the complete of the principle of presumption of prior documentary requirements to the relevant approvals. “This means that a holder of agencies involved in the permitting process. the EPNS Certificate is presumed to have already complied with the requirements Cusi said the IRR marks the end of slow- and permits from other government moving energy projects that are impeding permitting agencies,” it said. (PNA)


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Social Security System


SSS NEWS SSS wants to invest in gov’t projects for longer financial viability By: Pamela Mariz Geminiano We can invest better, offer condonation, and we can cover more OFWs,” she said. Ciriaco said the proposed amendments to the SSS charter would allow the agency to maximize use of its funds for bigger income. “We need leeway to invest funds in worthwhile endeavors so it can generate more resources,” she said. In an earlier visit to the city, former SSS Chairman Amado Valdez said the agency wants to invest by funding government projects, such as roads, but it is limited as to where it can put its funds.

BAGUIO CITY -- The Social Security System is seeking to change its charter to give it more leeway to invest member contributions in more productive ventures like government projects, so the state-run pension fund for private workers stays financially viable. Ciriaco is in Baguio City for the two-day “Sulit” campaign of SSS to inform the locals Social Security System (SSS) Senior on the benefits of being members of SSS. Vice President for Administration Catherine Ciriaco said in a forum here on Tuesday Ciriaco said the current actuarial life of the that the proposed amendments to the SSS, if its situation is not improved is only until 2036. 21-year-old SSS charter would ensure the continued expansion of benefits for SSS “Assuming that they will not be members, such as the additional PHP1,000 increasing the amount of contributions, increase in retirement pensions and the the total assets for half a trillion will only coverage for more overseas Filipino workers. last until 2036,” the SSS official said. Ciriaco related that last May 22, Senator Richard Gordon delivered his sponsorship speech at the Senate on Senate Bill 1753, which seeks to revise Republic Act 8282 or the Social Security Law of 1997. “Tapos na kami sa  Lower House,  ngayon  nasa  Senate  na,  in fact interpellation na, after that approval na lang. We are very hopeful [na maaprove]  para matapos na ang problema  (We’re done at the Lower House. Now it’s at the Senate. In fact, it’s now in the interpellation process. After that is the approval. We’re very hopeful our predicament will soon be over.


She added that if nothing is done now to save the fund, the government would have to subsidize it, meaning it would burden the taxpayers more. “Eighteen years from now, mauubos na resources ng SSS to pay benefits (SSS’ resources would run out), so the government will guarantee it and it will be the taxpayers that will be shouldering the payment of SSS,” she explained. (PNA)

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MINDANAO NEWS Zambo solon explains BBL vote abstention By: Alejandro Saludo

ZAMBOANGA CITY--First district Rep. Celso Lobregat on Thursday shrugged off public criticisms following his “abstention” in the voting that saw the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) at the Lower House.

Third, he pointed out that any barangay that petitions to join Bangsamoro through the 10 percent provision and obtains a majority vote in the barangay will be part of Bangsamoro, based on the original version of HB 6475.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved the passage of House Bill 6475 (substitute BBL) with 22711 votes with two abstentions. Lobregat and Lanao del Norte second district Rep. Abdullah Dimaporo abstained from voting.

Lobregat said a barangay cannot join without the expressed approval of the entire city as stipulated in the substitute HB 6475.

Lobregat said that many other issues have already been addressed but issues like the Southern Philippines Development “The people who are bashing me Authority (SPDA) properties and Areas of (on social media) on my ‘abstention Joint-Cooperation will still have to be settled vote’ in the HB 6475 (substitute BBL) in the Bi-Cameral Conference Committee. are ignorant of the provisions of the BBL that was passed,” Lobregat said. “Had I not abstained, I would not be a member of the Bi-Cam. I am now Lobregat explained the amended appointed as a member of the Bi-Cam version of HB 6475, which was approved and I can guard and protect the provisions by Congress, already addressed already amended and I can continue most of the issues and concerns of to push and propose amendments on this city and the rest of Mindanao. provisions such as SPDA properties and Areas of Joint-Cooperation,” Lobregat said. These included the following, he said: “First, no more ‘creeping expansion,’ noting “So please, do not embarrass that in the original HB 6475, there will be six yourselves by pretending to know what plebiscites -- the first is upon ratification and you do not know. Do not pretend to every five years for a period of 25 years.” be knowledgeable,” Lobregat added. In the Substitute HB 6475, the T he lawmaker said that he will address lawmaker said there will be only one the entire city of Zamboanga soon to explain plebiscite to be held upon ratification. the provisions of the BBL that was passed by the House of Representatives. (PNA) The second issue, Lobregat said, pertains to “all properties of ARMM to be automatically transferred to Bangsamoro upon ratification based on the original HB 6475.” In the substitute HB 6475, he said all properties of ARMM will be transferred to Bangsamoro “except those that are located outside the area of ARMM (e.g. Cabatangan property in this city).” MAY 26 - JUNE 1, 2018


MINDANAO NEWS Sarangani Bay fest still Mindanao’s top beach event GENERAL SANTOS CITY-The famed Sarangani Bay (SarBay) Festival retained its standing as among the biggest festivities of its kind in Mindanao after surpassing anew the 100,000-mark for visitors in its 2018 edition. Thousands of domestic and foreign tourists crowded various events and activities Photo Courtesy of: at festival venues in the white sand beaches of Glan town during the three-day festival, which ended on Saturday night.

Sarangani Gov. Steve Chiongbian Solon earlier said they drew inspiration from what happened to Marawi in making the 2018 SarBay a grander and bigger festival.

“This is officially the number one beach event in the entire Mindanao,” The provincial government cancelled said Department of Tourism (DOT) assistant last year’s festivity a day before its scheduled secretary Daniel Angelo Mercado. opening due to the escalation of conflict in Marawi and the declaration of martial law Mercado, who hails from Zamboanga by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in the entire del Sur, said SarBay fest is so far the biggest Mindanao. among the beach festivals he has attended in Mindanao. He specifically cited the more than Rica Bueno, DOT Region 12 director, 100,000 crowd in attendance he “personally credited the local government for lining up witnessed” during the grand culmination events and activities that became consistent night. hits for festival-goers. The SarBay crowd peaked at around Despite the arrival of thousands of 150,000 in 2016 after reaching 126,000 during visitors, she said organizers were able to its 10th year in 2015. maintain the cleanliness of the festival venues, especially the beaches of Gumasa. Mercado lauded organizers for making the 2018 SarBay as a platform to generate Because of this, Bueno said the awareness and support for the rehabilitation “fine white powdery beaches” of Gumasa of conflict-torn Marawi City. deserves to be the next top destination after the temporary closure of Boracay. The festivities started with a run-for-acause dubbed “I Run coz I Care” and followed The provincial government launched by a “party for a cause,” with proceeds going SarBay in 2006 to promote awareness on the to the rebuilding efforts in Marawi. protection and preservation of Sarangani Bay, which was declared a protected seascape in


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1996 through Presidential Decree 756.

of the Sarangani Bay.

As in the previous festivities, festival goers gathered Sunday morning hours after the culmination night for a massive cleanup activity of the beaches of Gumasa and portions

tThe “eco-party clean-up drive” was led by the so-called “scubasureros,” who made sure that no trashes would be left behind in the seas off Gumasa. (PNA)

Marawi IDPs receive Ramadan food packs By: Irma Boza MARAWI CITY--More than 7,000 Internally Displaced Person’s (IDP’s) that were affected by the five-month siege last year received Ramadan food aid packs Wednesday from an international humanitarian organization. The recipients consisted of IDPs in Buadi Itowa, Sarimanok and Barangay Boganga evacuation centers, said the Islamic Relief Philippines (IRP), an international humanitarian and development organization. “The organization aims to provide Ramadan food packs to most vulnerable families for them to concentrate on their prayers and worry less for food during Suhoor (meal before sunrise) and Iftar (meal after sunset),” said IRP coordinator Leah Bugtay. they could give this much to us,” she said. Each family of five received a set of food packs consisting of 15 kilos of rice, 500 grams of halal-certified salt, 500 grams of halal-certified mongo beans, two liters of oil and three cans of halal-certified sardines and three cans of halal-certified corned beef, Bugtay said.

Zamora said the group was amazed at how Muslim and non-Muslim volunteers came together to assist in the distribution of the food packs, especially the volunteers from Cagayan de Oro - who gave their time without anything in return.

Two sets of food packs were given She said IRP has been providing food for a family that has up to 10 members. aid to vulnerable families, particularly those who have a family member with disability, “The Ramadan food aid is estimated to elderly, pregnant and lactating woman, last for seven days,” said IRP communications and orphan child or children under five and advocacy officer Mary Ann Zamora. years old, in select areas in Mindanao. A 63-year-old IDP woman was In this year’s Ramadan, the organization emotional as she showed her gratitude to aims to reach out to 15,000 people in Marawi City the organization. “I was not expecting that and Maguindanao province. (Irma Boza/PNA)

MAY 26 - JUNE 1, 2018


NATIONAL NEWS Duterte committed to enforce Data Privacy Act: Bong Go By:Aerol John Pateña

MANILA -- The Duterte administration is committed in implementing the Data Privacy Act to ensure the security and privacy of personal information of Filipinos as the law aims to ensure that the data privacy rights of the citizens are protected, a Malacañang official said Tuesday.


against cybercriminals who hack personal information for unlawful purposes.

“We cannot risk being complacent about data privacy because there are cybercriminals who will violate privacy laws to profit from our stolen mobile number information, email addresses and credit “The Duterte administration has card numbers, among others,” he said. committed to the enforcement of the Data Privacy Act of 2012 which aims to protect “The scarier part is these criminals the fundamental human right to privacy of are transnational in nature and cannot be personal data. We will assist in ensuring that the hampered by national borders that makes them right to privacy is respected and protected,” difficult to track and apprehend,” he added. said Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go in his speech during the Go said data privacy has started to first National Data Privacy Conference at the gain attention following the news of Philippine International Convention Center. the data breach of Facebook which gained local and international headlines. Go, who was the event’s guest of honor, urged the public to guard “Data privacy has become a MAY 26 - JUNE 1, 2018

buzzword that has attracted more attention than ever especially after social media website Facebook came under fire with its recent data privacy crisis which might have compromised the personal data of its more than 2.2 billion users,” he said.


representatives tasked to collaborate with the NPC towards the creation of privacy codes that are calibrated to the unique needs and conditions of each sector.

Privacy compliance sweeps or random checking of websites of companies To ensure data security and create public will be conducted to determine if these awareness on data privacy rights, the National are secured from any data breaches. Privacy Commission (NPC) has launched a Its results will be used as basis for further year-long advocacy campaign called the probes and full-scale compliance checks. Privacy, Safety, Security and Trust (PSST!) Online. The NPC has organized the two-day The campaign seeks to equip Filipinos with data privacy conference from May 28 to May information and self-help tools that they can 29 which gathered more than 2,000 DPOs, data use to protect themselves from the risk of data protection experts and privacy advocates breaches when using online applications and nationwide. The delegates represented services on their mobile and desktop devices. various government agencies, major sectors of the economy, mass media and civil society. The Privacy Commission also seeks to train data protection officers (DPOs) The event was part of the celebration that will monitor the compliance of various of the Privacy Awareness Week which organizations that are handling and processing is an annual international event that personal information with data privacy laws. seeks to draw public attention towards privacy issues and the importance of A Data Privacy Council was protecting personal information. (PNA) launched which will consist of multi-sectoral

DOT welcomes Romulo-Puyat’s confirmation

By: Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

MANILA -The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Tuesday welcomed the Commission on Appointment’s (CA) approval on the nomination of Bernadette Romulo-Puyat as the agency’s chief.

In her opening speech before the CA panel, Romulo-Puyat vowed she will bring to the agency her experience as economist, educator, and government executive.

In less than 10 minutes, the CA Committee Prior to her appointment, on Tourism and Economic Development, Romulo-Puyat was an undersecretary without objection from any panel members, of the Department of Agriculture. endorsed the approval to the plenary. “We will faithfully pursue the mandate Last May 11, Romulo-Puyat was of RA 9593 or Tourism Act of 2009 that is a appointed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte national policy for tourism as an engine to replace then Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo for investments, employment, growth who resigned following the controversial and national development,” she said. PHP60-million advertisement deal between state-run television network PTV-4 and DOT. “We will prioritize improving MAY 26 - JUNE 1, 2018



policies on access, connectivity, and of 2016 that will ultimately preserve our farms, security as well as enhance programs increase revenue streams to the countryside, on tourism infrastructure,” she added. create new markets, and increase arrivals.” Meanwhile, she affirmed that DOT, under her leadership, will continue its regular consultations with industry groups such as the Tourism Congress of the Philippines and partners in the legislature and executive branches of government.

Romulo-Puyat will face the CA in plenary on Wednesday. Malacañang, meanwhile, welcomed Romulo-Puyat’s confirmation noting that the tourism industry is an important sector for economic development.

On Boracay’s rehabilitation, she said the agency will continue to work with the task force, business sector, and local communities to transform the island into a “champion of sustainable and responsible tourism.” She likewise reiterated her strong view on promoting farm tourism.

“We thus welcome the confirmation of the appointment of Ms. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat as the new Secretary of the Department of Tourism,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement. T “We are confident that Secretary Puyat’s confirmation would give “My advocacy on food, farmers, and further impetus to the reforms she has farming will play a major part in my full entry spearheaded in the DOT,” he added. (With into tourism. We will pursue the rollout of RA reports from Azer N. Parrocha/PNA) 10816 or the Farm Tourism Development Act


MAY 26 - JUNE 1, 2018


For more info. contact: Tel. No.: (085) 225-9219 / 300-0722 Cell Nos. 0908-875-9185 / 0917-580-2609 / 0925-556-2417 MAY 26 - JUNE Email: 1, MAY 26 - JUNE 1, 2018




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Caraga infocus May 26 June 1, 2018  

An Electronic News Magazine of PIA Caraga

Caraga infocus May 26 June 1, 2018  

An Electronic News Magazine of PIA Caraga