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11 - 17 February 2017



President Duterte gives posthumous award to slain soldier




PRC local chapters extend assistance to Surigaonons Cusi: DOE overseeing earthquake power rehab efforts, fuel price freeze

Volume 1, No. 46




30 LGU officials participate in local competitiveness workshop in Surigao Norte


Iron deficiency among pregnant women and babies is preventable


16 17 18

COVER PRRD allocates P2-B for rehab of quake-affected Surigao


19 20 22

23 24

NFA Surigao Norte reminds grain retailers to renew business license 20th CRAM kicks off in Tandag City Army intensifies security for 20th CRAM in Tandag City


Angara leads distribution of relief goods in Butuan City Agusan del Norte partners with BDH for diagnostic services DTI conducts Diskwento Caravan in flood-affected areas in AgSur town






AgSur town receives BuB funds for green growth project

2 rebels surrender at the start of army offensive operation in Caraga

Mindanao scholars complete 14-day training on corridor dev’t in Korea


PhilHealth adopts Whistleblowing Policy

33 Pres. Duterte, labor meet on contractualization

News Briefs Pres. Rodrigo Duterte personally gave a posthumous Military Merit Medal for gallantry in action and condole with the family of late Sgt Marloun Balais on Sunday at Beata Virgine Del Santo Rosario Chapel, Division Advance Command Post (DACP), Bancasi in Butuan City. Sgt Balais is the casualty of the Feb. 11 encounter where NPA attacked a community in Sitio Sarog, Barangay San Isidro, Santiago town, Agusan del Norte which cause the instantaneous death of Sgt Balais, 2 civilians & seriously wounding 3 other civilians.

Surigao City mayor & CDRRMC chair Ernesto Matugas has declared the suspension of classes in all levels until all school buildings are inspected and safe for the students. DPWH Caraga reported an estimated cost of damage amounted to P103,450,000 of national roads & bridges due to the 6.7 magnitude quake that hit Surigao City Friday night.

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte during his visit to Surigao City promises to the Surigaonons a clean government - no corruption under his presidency and extends his condolences to the family of the casualties hit by the 6.7 quake Friday night. The City of Surigao has been declared under the state of calamity thru SP resolution No. 23,series of 2017 dated feb 11, 2017. As such, the prices of LPG and kerosene products shall be automatically frozen for a maximum period of 15 days. All concerned gasoline stations/establishments selling LPG and kerosene products are hereby enjoined to comply with this requirement and those who will be found violating the same shall be dealt administratively and criminally as per R.A. 7581 (Price Act) as amended by R.A. 10623. The consuming public is also enjoined to be vigilant and you are encouraged to report to DOE-Davao at tel no. (082) 221 0778 or at the DTI Office, Surigao City any untoward price increase/s on LPG and kerosene products for necessary/appropriate action. (DOE-Mindanao Field Office)

Cover Story

PRRD allocates P2-B for Surigao By: Venus L. Garcia


URIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte – Speaking before a crowd of devastated but hopeful earthquake victims during his personal visit in this city on Sunday, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (PRRD) disclosed that the national government has favorably allocated around P2 billion for the rehabilitation of Surigao del Norte province, which was hit by the 6.7-magnitude earthquake on Friday evening, Feb. 10. 4

Cover Story

rehab of quake-affected It may be recalled that the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod has declared the city under a state of calamity on Saturday after a power blackout, water scarcity, and major damages in buildings and lifelines were noted. Included in the immediate rescue and clearing operation is the collapsed Anao-aon bridge in the municipality of San Francisco, under the provincial road of Surigao del Norte which is totally closed to traffic. Hence, new construction of 165.0 linear meter bridge is recommended with an estimated amount of P115M. Based on the assessment of the Department of Public Works and Highways, the cost of damage of the Surigao State College of Technology has reached to P150M; provincial capitol buildings and other infrastructures - P63M; ports (Lipata Ferry Terminal and Surigao port) facilities damage- P161.5M; national roads damage -P208.2M. These total to P582.7M. Accordingly, the immediate needs are the full restoration of critical infrastructure and lifelines, construction materials for damaged housing and

relocation, emergency work for displaced workers, financial help to severely injured. Meanwhile, the President conveyed his words of encouragement to the Surigaonons. PRRD said that he only intended to deliver what is beneficial and best for his countrymen. “The different national line agencies


Cover Story

are our allies in pushing for good reforms in governance,” he said. He also assured that he would not allow any corrupt practices in doing public service. PRRD said how sorry he was for the unfavorable experiences they have undergone as a result of the strong tremor of the quake. However, he is thankful that nothing more fatal has happened as compared to the typhoon Yolanda incident. “Life has always its ups and downs. There is always a time for joy and at times mourning,” PRRD said. He also expressed his sincerest condolences to the bereaved families of those who died when the calamity has stricken.

and management council (PDRRM), there are 157 families affected in the municipality of Sison, six in Malimono, 36 in Mainit, 31 in San Francisco which totals to 230 families.

Meanwhile, the victims eagerly and patiently queued to avail their share of relief goods to help alleviate their daily needs. Around 3,500 relief packs containing six kilos rice, six liters of water, coffee and assorted canned goods Per record from the Surigao del were distributed by the Department Norte provincial disaster risk reduction of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga.


PRRD arrived at the city gymnasium at 1:17 p.m. He was accompanied by PCOO secretary Martin Andanar and welcomed by Surigao del Norte governor Sol Matugas, Surigao City mayor Ernesto Matugas, Surigao del Norte representatives Francisco Jose Matugas and Robert Ace Barbers and other local officials. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)

Photo Gallery 6.7-Magnitude Earthquake Damages 10 Feb. 2017 in Surigao City




President Duterte gives posthumous award to slain soldier By: 1Lt Karl Jan Devaras

BUTUAN CITY Immediately after his visit from Surigao City on Sunday for the relief goods distribution and to give a message of encouragement to the victims of the recent 6.7 magnitude earthquake that hit the city, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte flew all the way to Beata Virgine Del Santo Rosario Chapel, Division Advance Command Post (DACP), Bancasi in this city to personally give a posthumous Military Merit Medal for gallantry in action and condole with the family of late Sgt. Marloun Balais. It can be recalled that on February 11, some 15 armed New People’s Army (NPA) belonging to Sanga sa Platun Pampropaganda (SPP) 16-A, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMC) attacked a community in Sitio Sarog, Barangay San Isidro, Santiago town, Agusan del Norte which cause the instantaneous death of Sgt Balais, two civilians and seriously wounding three other civilians.   In his statement, Lt. Col Glenn

Joy Aynera, the commanding officer of 29th Infantry (MATATAG) Battalion based in Agusan del Norte condemned the NPA attack, which took the lives of two innocent civilians and wounding three others. Lt. Col. Aynera also said that they were deeply saddened for the lost of their comrade. However, it will not stop them from doing their mandate which is to ensure the safety and security of the people of Agusan del Norte. (4CMO Battalion, Phil. Army)


Regional News

PRC local chapters extend assistance to Surigaonons By: Nora C. Lanuza Molde

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte – Philippine Red Cross (PRC) chapters from Agusan del Norte-Butuan City, Agusan del Sur and Surigao del NorteSurigao City extended their assistance to the victims of the 6.7 magnitude quake in the city. As a precautionary measure, hundreds of Surigaonons living near the coastal areas have evacuated Saturday night at the provincial capitol grounds as series of aftershocks can still be felt.   “To help the evacuees on their overnight stay at the provincial capitol grounds, we have installed eight large tents which serve as their temporary shelter,” said John Rafael Daño of PRC Surigao del Norte chapter.


Daño also said that a welfare desk was installed at the capitol grounds to provide basic medical services and counseling to traumatize victims of the earthquake and aftershocks.   Both the two Agusan chapters have provided medical services and transportation assistance to the victims.   Daño further said that the PRC Tacloban City chapter also confirmed that they would provide affected

Regional News

localities with water and sanitation and services to the Surigaonons who services. welcomed the President. During the visit of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (PRRD) in the city Sunday afternoon, PRC has also prepositioned teams/volunteers at the city hall compound to help provide assistance

PRRD during his visit extended his condolences to the families of the six casualties hit by the 6.7 quake. (NCLM/ PIA-Caraga)

Cusi: DOE overseeing earthquake power rehab efforts, fuel price freeze SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte - In the light of the magnitude 6.7 earthquake that hit Surigao del Norte on Friday, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi today joined President Rodrigo Duterte and other cabinet members in extending the necessary assistance to all affected communities and individuals.

“We are looking into the extent of the damages caused by the earthquake. We are addressing the immediate needs and concerns of our people on energy,” said Secretary Cusi, who stressed “safety is the top priority.” “We have to ensure an adequate,

reliable and secure supply of energy and to execute fair pricing of petroleum products, such as gasoline, diesel, kerosene and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG),” added Cusi. Cusi said his department is closely monitoring the power restoration efforts being conducted by the Surigao


Regional News

del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SURNECO). According to a National Electrification Administration’s report, 95 percent of SURNECO’s franchise area has been restored by 11:00 p.m. last night.   The effort has so far energized the primary lines of Surigao City and all the municipalities of the province while the remaining five percent is still being addressed by the electric cooperative.   SURNECO also reported the damage on its main office building, necessitating the transfer to their old building and covered court.   Earlier, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines reported that there is no earthquake-related damage or sustained fault on transmission facilities.   For the petroleum and oil products, the DOE has reiterated the


implementation of Republic Act (RA) 10623 which imposes a “price freeze” on certain LPG and kerosene products being sold in the areas affected by the calamity. “With the declaration of a State of Calamity, government will impose a price freeze on basic energy commodities for 15 days, particularly for kerosene and household LPG,” said Cusi.   “In order to effectively ensure the supply of petroleum products, oil companies are obliged to update the DOE of the operational status of their depots and gasoline stations within the areas to stabilize the supply and reduce chances of individuals who are taking advantage of the oil situation,” he added.   “The DOE assures everyone that it will remain to be vigilant in protecting the interest of the public,” Sec. Cusi concluded. (DOE/PIA-Caraga)

Photo Gallery President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s visit to Surigao City 12 February 2017


30 LGU officials participate in local competitiveness workshop in Surigao Norte

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte – A total of 31 officials of local government units (LGUs) of the province attended the seminarworkshop on Local Competitiveness on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 held at Hotel Tavern, this city. The said activity was conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to provide a venue for the mainland LGUs in the province to discuss concerns on how to improve the overall territorial competitiveness.

and Mainit since they were not able to attend similar activity on December last year.

Participants are mostly composed of Municipal Planning and Development Coordinators, Local Economic and Investment Promotion Officers and Business Permit and The seminar, which was primarily Licensing Officers. intended for Siargao LGUs, was joined by the participants from the mainland Chairperson of the Sangguniang municipalities of Tubod, San Francisco Panlalawigan Committee on Economic


Provincial News

Affairs, Trade Commerce and Industry Board Member Melva P. Garcia, in her welcome message, explained that Siargao Island LGUs with their inherent natural advantage have a competitiveness edge in eco-tourism and related industries.

component in hastening economic development of the local communities. Provincial Economic Enterprise Development and Management Office (PEEDMO) Graciela E. Mante also shared other technical inputs like the ranking of the CMCI of the province and Engr. Ma. Theresa Z. Calang, head of the Industry Development Unit of DTI explained the establishment of Negosyo Centers as priority development projects of the national government.

During the said seminar, DTI provincial director Celestino Negapatan explained that the present economic environment calls for individuals firms, industry sectors and LGUs to improve their respective competitiveness level to face the challenge of globalization. DTI Institutional Development Unit head Rodrigo R. Matabaran Negapatan also stressed discussed the implications of LGUs the importance of the Cities and ranking and scores relative to their Municipalities Competitiveness Index present economic condition (CMC) that can be used as a planning and realities while advising LGUs tool that can help guide the LGUs in to carefully identify projects and setting their respective local economic adapt policies that will attract private development strategies and priorities. sector investments in their localities, encourage business startups and DILG Surigao del Norte Outcome boosts economic development. Manager Lydia S. Bajan, as one of the resource persons, explained the DILG- In preparation for the 2017 CMCI DTI-DICT Joint Memorandum Circular round, Trade and Industry Development purposely issued to further enhance Specialist Mardel Allen G. Delanto the ease of doing business by cutting talked on the new parameters and down procedural steps to reduce indications. processing time of business permit applications. During the workshop, the participants prepared their respective Bajan emphasized that that LGU action plans to further improve business permit licensing system competitiveness level by identifying implementation should not be done relevant projects and activities of their for compliance purposes only but respective municipalities. (DTI-Surigao has to be viewed as an essential del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Provincial News

NFA Surigao Norte reminds grain retailers to renew business license By: Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte – The National Food Authority (NFA) provincial office reminds all grains retailer to renew their NFA license to avoid penalty. Provincial Manager Gleen P. Echin announces that businessmen in the municipalities of Bacuag, Placer, Gigaquit and Claver should renew their license within the month of February to avoid surcharge and other penalties. For further queries businessmen are encouraged to visit the NFA located at


Km. 10, Barangay Quezon, Surigao City or at Tan Warehouse located at Bilang Bilang, Borromeo Street. Businessmen can also call the NFA Hotline No. 0932-8681554 and 09178258302. (NFA-Surigao del Norte/PIASurigao del Norte)


20th CRAM kicks off in Tandag City By: Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur – The 20th Caraga Regional Athletic Meet (CRAM) formally opened on Sunday here participated by more than 5,000 participants coming from the five provinces of Caraga Region. The activity started at 2:30 p.m. with a grand parade, followed by the ceremonial cutting of ribbon at the entrance of Surigao del Sur Sports Complex, and formal opening program.

competing from the different sports including special games.

The provincial government of Surigao del Sur headed by Governor Vicente Pimentel Jr, as the host province, allotted a total of P7 Million As one of the highlights of the worth of financial support to the event. activity, Rio Olympic 2016 silver medalist and currently Airwoman First Class of Surigao del Sur has successfully Philippine Air Force Hidilyn Diaz led hosted the CRAM for two consecutive the lighting of the friendship urn and years (2014 and 2015) under the athletes’ oath of amateurism. leadership of former governor now 1st district representative Johnny Pimentel. A total of 12 DepEd Divisions are (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Provincial News

Army intensifies security for 20th CRAM in Tandag City By: Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur – In line with the 20th Caraga Regional Athletic Meet (CRAM) here, the 36th Infantry Batallion (36IB), Philippine Army has intensified its security operations in the city. In a press statement, 36IB commanding officer Lt. Colonel Randolph Rojas said he is committed to support in terms of security concerns and other tasks for the duration of the CRAM 2017. “We are utilizing all our available resources from personnel, mobility, and other assets just to ensure the safety of the athletes, coaches, trainers, spectators and the general public, as well,” said Lt. Col. Rojas.

(CMET) including the field ambulance units were also deployed. According to 36IB Civil Military Operations officer Captain Al Anthony Pueblas, being one of the members of the Technical Working Committee on Securit, their troops are mobilized based on the approved security plan in close coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP), the chair of the committee.

Part of the plan according to Some K-9 units with the capability Pueblas is the conduct of the joint AFPPNP checkpoints in the identified entry to detect bombs and other IEDs, and exit points in the city. (PIA-Surigao casualty medical evacuation team del Sur)



Angara leads distribution of relief goods in Butuan City By: Jeffrey Tuazon

BUTUAN CITY – Providing much needed aid to the 454 affected families situated in Agusan National High School (ANHS) was the aim of visiting Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” M. Angara during the distribution of about 500 packs of relief goods, Friday, Feb. 3.

The 46 remaining goods were given to the ANHS non-teaching personnel and those evacuees who helped carry the goods. During an interview with Sen. Angara, he stated ways on helping the evacuees from short term solutions like “giving relief goods to those affected” to long term solutions like “infrastructure that would alleviate damages … from these typhoons.”   “As we know with climate change, we should always be prepared for the worst,” he said.   Angara along with Butuan City Mayor Ronnie Vic Lagnada and Vice Mayor Jose “Joboy” Aquino II, led the distribution of relief goods for the evacuees who have since vacated

their homes since Jan. 20. “We were thinking of going to Cagayan de Oro City but we were told that there were more people affected in Caraga region, that’s why we shifted our plans to Caraga,” the senator explained.   Moreover, Cagayan de Oro faced heavy rains that led to severe flooding in the said area, gaining the senator’s attention prior to Butuan.   “We heard that CDO [received] a lot of donations already … [We need] to make sure that at least everyone receives some help,” he added.   After Butuan, Angara visited other towns in Agusan del Sur, including Bayugan City and Prosperidad. (ANHSButuan City)


Provincial News

Agusan del Norte partners with BDH for diagnostic services

By: Aimee B. Sienes

BUTUAN CITY - The provincial government of Agusan del Norte recently inked an agreement with the Butuan Doctors’ Hospital (BDH) relative to the provision of diagnostic services by the said private hospital. In a resolution authored by Provincial Board Member Elizabeth Marie R. Calo, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan authorized Provincial Governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba to sign the Memorandum of Agreement by and between the province and the BDH with the aim of further improving its health services to the public with the use of the hospital’s facility.   Under the said MOA, in the event of unavailability of its diagnostic services, the Provincial Hospital can refer all laboratory examinations and computerized tomography scan to the BDH.   It also included granting of discounts to indigent patients of the province. (LGU-Agusan del Norte)


Photo Gallery Freedom of Information (FOI) Tarpaulins Butuan City Hall

Agusan del Norte Provincial Capitol



DTI conducts Diskwento Caravan in flood-affected areas in AgSur town PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur – Some 300 consumers/ households have availed of the discounted prices from the Diskwento Caravan conducted recently in the barangays of Osmena, Poblacion and Sagunto by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) provincial office here with its regional office, in coordination with the local government unit of La Paz. According to DTI Agusan del Sur Provincial Director Brenda Corvera, the Diskwento Caravan was conducted to give chance to the flood-affected families to buy basic commodities and other dry goods at low prices. Commodities offered include the following: sardines, beef loaf, corned beef, sausage, and other canned goods, noodles, coffee, milk, bread, laundry soap, detergent powder, bath soap, kitchen wares/utensils, mosquito nets, raincoats, shoes, umbrella, slippers, curtains, blankets, blouses and t-shirts.


Suppliers who joined the Caravan include Life Giving Products and Specialty Co., D’ Best Value Products Distribution Corporation, Sunpride Foods Incorporated, Happy Enterprises from Butuan City and some local producers of Agusan del Sur.   It was also learned that on February 10, 2017, another Diskwento Caravan will be conducted in Barangay Panagangan, La Paz, Agusan del Sur. With this, DTI is inviting more consumers to come on the scheduled date. (JPG/DTIAgusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Provincial News

AgSur town receives BuB funds for green growth project TRENTO, Agusan del Sur – The local government unit (LGU) of Trento here is poised to do yet another “green” project with the recent release of its 2016 Bottom up Budgeting (BuB) of P1-million funding. This is a follow through of their 2014 BuB Green Village and Distribution Center Project. Trento municipal mayor William Galvez recently received the check from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Agusan del Sur OICprovincial director Brenda Corvera. Mayor Galvez expressed strong commitment towards the project’s objectives for the green growth and the promotion of Green Economic Development. These are to utilize solar energy as alternative power source, to convert and process non-biodegradable wastes into

construction materials, and to capacitate rural micro-enterprise in the utilization of recyclable and useful residual wastes. In another development, Mayor Galvez declared his full support for the establishment of a Negosyo Center in Trento. The mayor offered a coworking space with the municipality’s soon to be established trading post – another BuB project. Launch date is agreed to be in July 2017. (DTI-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusn del Sur)


Provincial News

2 rebels surrender at the start of army offensive operation in Caraga

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur - Two regular members of the New Peoples Army (NPA) in this province have surrendered to the 3rd Special Forces Battalion based in Bayugan City on Monday, February 6, 2017. They brought with them one M16, two garand, one carbine, one Light Anti-Tank Weapon and two IEDs. The surenderees who were identified as Jerry Petelo alias ‘Wawie’ and Rany Ayawon alias ‘Dondon’ of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Party Committee (NEMRC) of the NPA operating in Agusan Norte and Agusan del Sur cited their frustration against the NPA leadership after their promised allowances were no longer given. The fear of the incoming army offensive was also among the reasons for their surrender. The two surrenderees further revealed that a lot of their NPA companions in their unit share the same sentiment after President Rodrigo Duterte lifted the unilateral ceasefire earlier declared. They said that many have already left their unit for good while others are planning to surrender.  


Lt. Col. Cristobal Zaragoza, Brigade Commander of the 401st Brigade, assured the duo that they will be treated well and will be assisted in their return to the mainstream society per instruction of MGen. Benjamin Madrigal, the 4th Infantry Division Commander. Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero of the Eastern Mindanao Command congratulated the 401st Brigade especially Capt. Jasper Bayrante  and CInsp. Rommel Villamor for ensuring the safety of the two NPAsurrenderees when they extricated from their main group.   Also, the duo will be given their benefits under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) of the government and incentives for the firearms they have returned to start a new life. (401st Brigade, Phil. Army/PIAAgusan del Sur)

Photo Gallery Department of Social Welfare and Development - Caraga 66th Anniversary Celebration Awarding Ceremony Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort, Butuan City 13 February 2017



Iron deficiency among pregnant women and babies is preventable By: Czarina Teresita S. Martinez

A baby born full-term has usually of iron. sufficient iron stores, according to the U. S. National Academy of Science Dr. Helen A. Guthrie, Professor (NAS). of Nutrition at the Pennsylvania State University, says that a woman who Mild maternal iron deficiency has been well-nourished prior to anemia (IDA) may not have significant conception enters pregnancy with a effect on the iron status of the reserve of several nutrients that can newborn but severe IDA has significant meet the needs of the growing fetus repercussions. without jeopardizing her health. The nine months of pregnancy is The Food and nutrition Research an exciting time for couples who are Institute of the Department of eagerly anticipating their bundle of joy. Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) recommends that pregnant women However, it may also be a period should eat a balanced diet. Lactating of stress for the expectant mother as women are further advised to drink the nutrient demand of the developing enough fluids preferably milk, soups, fruit fetus adds to the normal maintenance juice and water so that maternal stores


Health News

will not be depleted and lactation will for the first three to six months of life. be sufficient. The National Nutrition Survey During pregnancy, the body (NNS) by the Food and Nutrition conserves iron since menstruation Research Institute of the Department ceases and iron absorption increases of Science and Technology (FNRIthree folds. The blood protein DOST) found that 4 out of 10 pregnant responsible for iron absorption likewise women are suffering from IDA. increases. Based on the criteria set by the However, iron stores may World Health Organization (WHO), the decrease during pregnancy because prevalence of IDA among pregnant iron needs also increase. women in the Philippines is of significant public health problem. On the last trimester of pregnancy, much of the available iron Dr. Guthrie adds that the best and maternal iron stores are taken up method of combating iron deficiency by the fetus to create its own iron stores in pregnancy is to promote high


Health News

intakes of available iron by women of is advocating the consumption of reproductive age so that she enters foods with the Sangkap Pinoy Seal; that pregnancy with adequate iron stores. include iron fortified foods. The FNRIDOST develops fortified food products According to the FNRI-DOST, iron including iron fortified foods that will is present in both animal and plant help increase the consumption of iron. origins. Liver and glanular organs are the richest sources of iron while meat, For more information about fish and poultry are the other good food and nutrition, contact: Dr. Mario animal sources of iron. V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department Iron-rich plant foods are the of Sciecne and Technology, General legumes family, green leafy vegetables Santos Avenue, Bicutan Taguig such as gamet (seaweeds), kulitis City.. E-mail or (Spineless amaranth), dahon ng, Telefax: (02) malunggay (horse raddish leaves), 8372934 and (02) 8273164, or call (02) kangkong (swamp cabbage), dahon 837-2071 local 2296 or visit our website ng  gabi  (taro leaves), dahon ng at http// (FNRI-DOST kinchay (Chinese Celery leaves) , S&T Media Services/PIA-Caraga) dahon ng saluyot  (jute leaves), talbos ng kamote (sweet potato leaves), and some dried fruits like prunes. However, iron in plant foods is non-heme iron and is less bio-available than the heme iron in animal sources. IDA could also be avoided by consuming foods that may help in increase iron absorption and metabolism like vitamin A, Vitamin C, and riboflavin that are abundant in fruits and vegetables. In addition, IDA could also be avoided by consuming fortified iron foods. The Department of Health (DOH)



Mindanao scholars complete 14-day training on corridor dev’t in Korea

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A delegation of Mindanao scholars from government agencies and development organizations completed a 14-day course on corridor development on Friday in the city of Seongnam in South Korea.  The 24 participants from Mindanao underwent a series of training and lectures on Building Strategy for Economic Development through Corridor Approach from February 5 to 18 funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). 

One of the main objectives of the program is to enhance the capacity of the participants in preparing strategic policies that will contribute to the economic growth and development in Mindanao. KOICA is a development aid agency founded in 1991 to maximize the


Mindanao News

effectiveness of Korea’s grant aid Temple. It is also part of the continuing programs for developing countries. efforts to strengthen cooperation in trade between Philippines and Among the expected output Korea. from the training is an action plan on establishing sustainable economic “This was a great opportunity development policy in Mindanao, for us to see for ourselves Korea’s enhancing the capacity of public regional economic development officials, as well revitalizing the regional strategies and best practices, which or rural economic development in we can also apply in Mindanao,” the island-region. said Gerardo Reynaldo, MinDA’s chief of the Central Mindanao area “This training will enhance office and the head of the Mindanao further the skills of our scholars and delegation to Korea. employees who will play key roles in pushing our initiatives to establish Reynaldo added that the economic zones in Mindanao lectures and on-site education through the corridors program,” from the training provided sufficient said Secretary Datu Abul Khayr insights on how to better pursue Alonto, chairman of the Mindanao the Mindanao Development Development Authority (MinDA). Corridors Program, as well as the Mindanao Ecozones Development. He added that the region Also joining the MinDA participants is currently looking at a holistic are representatives from the local approach in which Mindanao’s government units, academe, nonagriculture and its component sectors government organizations, and such as fisheries and aquamarine ecozone agencies. culture are crucial to Mindanao’s development, following the thrust of The delegates also took part strengthening the corridors approach in the unveiling ceremony of the to development. Asia-Pacific & Africa Cooperation Academy (APACA) led by its Head The training included study visits Dr. Un-Seong Jeon and Director to some of Korea’s industry facilities Joanne E. Jeong. and historical sites including the Busan Port, Korea Expressway Corporation The APACA is an institution Traffic Center, Samsung Innovation at Kangwon National University Museum, and Cheongpyeong designed to specialize in various


Mindanao News

leadership training programs for individuals in Korea and abroad. Some of these programs are implemented in cooperation with KOICA, which has been actively promoting sustainable development, strengthening partnerships with developing partners, and enhancing the local ownership of beneficiaries among developing countries. “We are looking forward to applying the action plan we crafted here, with the help of our professional experts in Korea, to our respective offices once we get back home. There are still so many potentials to be tapped in Mindanao,� Reynaldo said. The 24 Mindanao scholars included Arvin Chua from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Leah Tarhata Mehila from the Regional Economic Zone AuthorityARMM, Sukarno Baraguir from the Regional Board of InvestmentsARMM, Gilbert Gordo from the University of Southeastern Philippines, Eileen San Juan from the City Government of Cagayan de

Oro, Marie Angelique Go from the City Government of Zamboanga, Norhayna Diamla from the Provincial Government of Lanao del Sur, Christopher Lawrence Arnuco from the Zamboanga Ecozone Authority, Lucio Jamero Jr. from the The Musikahan sa Tagum Foundation, Abdul Gaffur Madki Howard Alonto II from the Department of Justice (DOJ) Region X, Abner Caga from the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-CARAGA, Ameen Andrew Alonto from the Regional Legislative Assembly-ARMM, and Gerardo Reynaldo, Lordilie Enjambre, Makmod Pasawilan, Ana Marie Bless Labor, Yvette Valderia, Marjorie Apurado, Carlos Cerezo, Renato Buhat Jr., Iris Mae Ferraris, Ambrojoe Daud, and Heidi Villanueva from MinDA. The delegation were also joined by KOICA Philippines Program Manager Francis Afable.


Photo Gallery Opening Ceremony of 20th Caraga Regional Athletic Meet (CRAM) 12 February 2017



PhilHealth adopts Whistleblowing Policy

MANDALUYONG CITY -Â In a bid to protect the National Health Insurance fund from possible fraud, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) recently adopted a corporatewide Whistleblowing Policy and established a Whistleblowing Committee to ensure the effective and efficient implementation of the policy. In its February 2 meeting, the PhilHealth Board of Directors approved the policy and immediately directed Management to upload it on the official website in compliance with good

corporate governance practices. The policy can be downloaded from  http:// transparency/Whistleblowing_Policy. pdf.


National News

The Whistleblowing Policy will enable individuals to report, provide information, and even testify on matters involving the actions or omissions of the PhilHealth Board Directors, officers, and employees that are illegal or unethical, or those that violate good governance principles.  They can also report actions that are against public policy and morals, promote unsound and unhealthy business practices, and are grossly disadvantageous to PhilHealth or the government. The  informant  or whistleblower may report anonymously, is protected from the  retaliatory  action and can be incentivized under this policy.   Other conditions that the whistleblower may report are instances of abuse of authority, bribery, conflict of interest, destruction or manipulation of records, fixing, inefficiency, making false statements, malversation, misappropriation of assets, misconduct, money laundering, negligence of duty, nepotism, plunder, receiving a commission, solicitation of gifts, taking advantage of corporate opportunities, undue delay in rendition of service, undue influence and violation of procurement laws.   Whistleblowers are encouraged to utilize the online reporting channel that will be established by the Whistleblowing Committee. Reports


on any violation of law, rules, code of conduct or any wrongdoing covered by the  policy can also be addressed to  the  Whistleblowing Committee  at Room 1711, Citystate Centre, 709 Shaw Blvd., Pasig City.   The policy also provides that retaliatory acts against whistleblowers who submit reports in good faith shall not be tolerated. These acts include discrimination or harassment in the workplace, demotion, reduction in salary benefits, termination of the  contract, and evident bias in performance evaluation. All possible assistance under the law will be extended to the whistleblower.   Meanwhile, reported cases that refer to complaints against program implementors  will be referred to the Grieva (RC) that was also recently established by  the  PhilHealth Board. (PhilHealth)

national News

Pres. Duterte, labor meet on contractualization “That is what the department is aiming for,” he said.   Bello has urged labor and employers to keep an open mind and consider the possibility of finding a middle ground that would be mutually beneficial to all concerned.

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte will meet with labor groups before the end of the month to discuss their concerns on contractualization, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said. “The President will dialogue with labor groups on  February 27. The main agenda, of course, is contractualization,” Bello said.   Bello said he is optimistic that the meeting will result to the crafting of a compromise between workers and employers’ group  in ending illegal contractualization practices.

Meanwhile, some 35,855  contractual workers nationwide have been regularized by their employers as of end January.   Of the said number, 31,756 workers were regularized after the DOLE Regional Offices conducted consultations with 7,433 contractors and principals. About 4,099 workers were regularized after the assessment in 1,001 establishments.   Bello said, “We continue to encourage employers to voluntarily regularize workers, who are under labor-only contracting arrangements.” (DOLE)


Photo Gallery Butuan City Tourism Council Meeting City Tourism Office, Butuan City

Regional Peace & Oder Council 1st Quarter Meeting for CY 2017 DILG Regional Office, Butuan City 13 February 2017

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Caraga InFocus - February 11-17, 2017  

An Electronic News Magazine of PIA Caraga