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PIA REGIONAL OFFICES IN MINDANAO

An Electronic News Magazine of the Phliippine Information Agency Mindanao Clusters

Western Mindanao (Zamboanga Peninsula)

EDITORIAL BOARD

P. Urro Street, San Francisco District Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur 7016 Telephone no. (062) 215-1480 / 925-0038 Cellphone no. 0908-8843404 E-mail: r9_pia@yahoo.com mimibern17@yahoo.com Skype: hnb_r9pia

Northern Mindanao Graces’ Building, Antonio Luna Street Cagayan de Oro City 9000 Telefax No. (08822) 72-66-83 Telephone no. (088) 856-8178 / 729-594 Cellphone no. 0928-5204305 0917-3084969 E-mail: pia10_pd@yahoo.com r10_pia@yahoo.com rutchiecabahug@yahoo.com

ABNER M. CAGA Cluster Head, Northern and Northeastern Mindanao Regional Director, PIA Caraga Region

Associate Editors …….......

OLIVIA T. SUDARIA Regional Director, PIA Region XII

RUTCHIE C. AGUHOB Officer-in-charge, PIA Region X

NOEMI A. EDAGA Regional Director, PIA Region IX

Jocelyn P. Alvarez, PIA Region IX Elaine O. Ratunil, PIA Region X Rudolph Ian G. Alama, PIA Region XI Danny E. Doguiles, PIA Region XII Robert E. Roperos, PIA Caraga Region Nora CL Molde, PIA Caraga Region

Layout Artists ……………... Gerie Mae G. Coco, PIA Caraga Region Richard D. Atillo, PIA Caraga Region Editorial Advisers ……….... ATTY. JOSE A. FABIA Director-General Philippine Information Agency

Central Mindanao (SOCSKARGEN)

Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines Bldg., J. Rosales Avenue, Butuan City Telephone no. (085) 341-5285 / 360-1239 Telefax no. (085) 341-2370 Cellphone no. 0917-7188834 Email: piacaraga@gmail.com pia_caraga@yahoo.com,ph

Managing Editor …….........

Copy Editor ……………….. Robert E. Roperos, PIA Caraga Region

2/F Kanto Motors Bldg., Quimpo Blvd., New Matina Davao City 8000 Telephone no. (082) 297-0991 / 301-8580 Telefax no. (082) 297-0992 / 304-2044 Cellphone no. 0917-7053606 / 0918-9202950 E-mail: efelbanbuena@yahoo.com

Northeastern Mindanao (Caraga)

EFREN F. ELBANBUENA Cluster Head, Southern, Western and Central Mindanao Regional Director, PIA Region XI

Regional Desk Editors …...

Southern Mindanao (Davao Region)

Provincial Capitol Compound Bautista Bldg., Zulueta St. Koronadal City, South Cotabato 9506 Telephone no. (083) 520-0249 Telefax no. (083) 228-9736 / 228-9739 / 520-0100 Cellphone no. 0921-6873373 / 0928-5204307 E-mail: r12_pia@yahoo.com pia_xii@yahoo.com

Executive Editor …….........

SEC. HERMINIO “Sonny” B. COLOMA Presidential Communications Operations Office

OUR COVER

Tinuy-an Falls

A main tourist attraction located in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur, approximately 55 meters high touted as the Niagara Falls of the Philippines. Photo Credit: keepitsimplemerce.blogspot.com


Cover Story :

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Vol. 1, No. 66

contents

Tinuy-An Falls: Caraga’s jewel by Ramon Sarabosing

WESTERN Mindanao

NATI O NAL

7 7 9 10

Aquino declares Nov. 14 to 18 as ‘Civil Engineering Week’ Ochoa directs PNP to beef up visibility for Christmas season

Aquino declares October of every year as ‘People Management Month’

SOUTHERN Mindanao

25 26 28 29

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PAGRO to wage detection, prevention measures vs. Panama disease in bananas NEDA-XI forms RDC’s communication for development network Sta. Cruz town honors early settlers from the Bagobo tribe NCIP-XI wins Civil Service national photo contest

OCTOBER 19, 2011

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12 14 15

Gov’t Physicians get urinalysis knowledge updates Zambo. Norte to receive aid from US agri department

NMIS9 chief: “Meat inspectors our unsung heroes”

CENTRAL Mindanao

31 33 34 35 36

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Healthier diet may boost PHL mango demand abroad Koronadal City Senior Citizen Federation prepares for 18th Annual Citizen’s Week celebration

DOLE records 64 child laborers in mining projects in South Cotabato RBOI attracts more investor in last 3 quarters Children’s Congress pinaplano ng So. Cotabato Convergence caravan gagawin sa Columbio, Sultan Kudarat

NORTHERN Mindanao

17 18 20 21 23

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EAGA communicators push for the institutionalization of BEMCA

EAGA customs heads support moves to make trades easier Sabah to check on feasible bangus production sites Gov’t envisions digitallyempowered nation through improved access to information EAGA media cite 4-point action plan to boost info cooperation

CARAGA Region

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Captured croc in Agusan del Sur now a tourist attraction in the area Surigao del Sur delisted from 20 poorest provinces in Phl – NEDACaraga chief 10 barangays in Agusan del Sur recipients of Red Cross multimillion project Convergence planning, harmonization workshop to be held in Butuan DILG to LGUs: Revisit implementation of ARTA Law

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Cover Story

Tinuy-An Falls: Caraga’s jewel by Ramon Sarabosing

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t’s not gold although the region has tons of it. It’s more of a diamond though of the “nature’s kind. It’s Tinuyan Falls! During summer, make sure you have time to visit this majestic waterfalls in Bislig city.

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Make it earlier if you may, when the rains still here as the falls looks even more awesome. And then you realize you’re facing the country’s widest waterfalls, the little Niagara this side of the Pacific. Like Agusan Marsh, Tinuy-an Falls has all the right to make it to the national tourism destination tourism destination orbit. It’s one of kind. It’s even comparable to any Southeast Asian natural tourism destinations. If Vietnam has Halong Bay and Malaysia has Kota kinabalu, we have Tinuy-an Falls that dazzle the eyes and soothe the soul. It is worth the time and experience to see it. I have been there Five times in the span of 12 years. The road going to Bislig was not good and comfortable as now. Picop was still in operation and the elegant Paper Country Inn was an impressive place to stay overnight. But I was probably one of the lucky few who camp overnight at the base of waterfalls itself. Imagine camping in the middle of the forest, the sky pitch black with only the sound of the falls roaring around us. Then it rained in the middle of the night and we wondered if we will find ourselves

sweep away if a flash flood occurs. Well, we didn’t end in the morning, we swam in the pool the size of the football field. We sailed on a bamboo raft towards the edge of the falls. Who says heaven is up there in the sky? It’s right here, getting soaked in the cold, cold deluge. Today, Tinuy-an Falls is embellished with urban like facilities a cement pathway, row of cottages and a wide parking lot. All “dressed-up” to make the visit relatively easy and comfortable. I am told the barangay to which the falls belong is running the maintenance and this is good. Weekend tourist from Manila and Cebu are trooping in. They come via Davao and Butuan, Talking advantage of airlines promo fare and regular flight schedules.

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Years earlier. An international cruise ship from Hongkong once made a stopover and a hundred Chinese and Australian tourists descended to see Tinuy-an. They kept saying, “Splendid, splendid.” So what are you waiting for? This is the time to see our jewel.

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Bring family, guests, friends, or organize officemate. Commercial can rates is reasonably cheap for a group of 10 to 14 Leave early in the morning so you don’t have to stay overnight. (It’s only 3 hours away from Butuan.) Bring food and a lot of enthusiasm. You deserve a piece of heaven.


Aquino declares Nov. 14 to 18 as ‘Civil Engineering Week’

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resident Benigno S. Aquino III has declared the period of November 14 to 18, 2011 as “Civil Engineering Week” to underscore the need to focus national attention on the importance of the civil engineering profession and highlight its role in nation building. Wednesday, October 19, 2011

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In a regular press briefing in Malacanang on Wednesday, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Proclamation No. 272 which was signed on October 11, 2011 by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. on behalf of the President. “The Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers, Inc. (PICE) is composed of more than 68,495 registered civil engineermembers in 97 chapters and some 15,135 civil engineering student-members in 166 student chapters throughout the country,” the proclamation said. The PICE’s celebration of the “Civil Engineering Week” is 8

in conjunction with the 37th National Convention on November 17-19, 2011 at the Limketkai Atrium and Grand Caprice Restaurant and Convention Center, Cagayan de Oro City. The history of civil engineering as a profession dates back to 1920 when the Philippine Society of Civil Engineers (PSCE) was founded by a group of civil engineers mostly in government. In 1937, a group of civil engineers from the private sector organized the Philippine

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Association of Civil Engineers (PACE). Realizing that the two organizations shared the same objectives of raising the standards of the profession, encouraging research and engineering knowledge and technology, fostering fellowship among their members, and promoting interrelation with other technological and scientific societies, the PSCE and PACE merged in 1972 to form what is now known as the PICE. (JS)


Ochoa directs PNP to beef up visibility for Christmas season

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xecutive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on Wednesday directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to step up security and peacekeeping efforts to effectively deter crimes with the onset of the Christmas season. In a command conference held at the PNP Headquarters, Ochoa, who also heads the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC), said the administration is concerned with the reported frequency of

crime incidence and urged police officials to exert effort that is over-and-above their routine operations to curb criminality nationwide. “We should not just accept the usual notion that every Christmas season,

crime incidence is expected to go up. That should not be the case. If we already know that crime will rise during this time of the year then let us do something new, something out of the box, to prevent this,� Ochoa stressed in

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the meeting. The Executive Secretary said the PNP must increase police presence and conduct high-visibility patrols around the country to fight crimes. Ochoa said crimes could be prevented if more law enforcers are visible on the street and even encouraged police generals to “go out and be in the field” to have a better assessment of the situation on the ground. He underscored the importance of actual physical presence

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of police officers in the community, submission of periodical reports on the peace and order situation, as well as thorough and intelligent assessment of reports from the field in putting together a wellcrafted and coordinated security plan. “A real, actual and significant movement of the police force is an effective tool for us to make sure that crime is prevented,” Ochoa said. “We cannot afford to be lax.” Ochoa reminded the PNP leadership of its primary role in ensuring the full implementation of government programs and operations

in addressing criminality and maintaining peace and order in the country. The PAOCC’s function, on the other hand, is to provide guidance and policy directions to the police force when needed, according to Ochoa. Ochoa then assured the PNP that the administration is completely behind the police force to help them carry out its mission to serve and protect the public. “The President fully supports the PNP and we are committed to provide you the resources necessary for you to do your job,” Ochoa said.

Aquino declares October of every year as ‘People Management Month’ resident Benigno S. Aquino III has declared the month of October of every year as “People Management Month.”

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The Chief Executive issued Proclamation No. 271 on October 11, 2011, according to Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigal Valte during a regular press briefing in Malacanang on Wednesday. The President said the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) will hold its 48th Annual Conference on October 1214, 2011in Cagayan de Oro City with the theme, “Tao Muna,

Tayo Na! The Human Resources mandate in the new world.” The conference will bring together thousands of human resource and people managers, business executives, leaders from the academe, religious and government sectors to discuss trends and issues that impact on the management and development of the country’s human capital. The occasion will also feature the impli-

cations of the changing environment on managing business, people and their behavior, as well as effective practices in people management. (JS)

P-noy Photos President Benigno S. Aquino III, assisted by Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Commandant Admiral Ramon Liwag and DOTC Secretary Manuel Roxas II, inspects the Static Display of the PCG personnel and equipment after gracing the program for the 110th PCG Anniversary at its Headquarters in Port Area, Manila on Tuesday (October 18). PCG is a maritime law enforcement agency operating under the Department of Transportation and Communications of the Philippines (DOTC). (Photo by: Ryan Lim / Malacañang Photo Bureau).

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Gov’t Physicians get urinalysis knowledge updates by Jocelyn P. Alvarez tate physicians from all over the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) province get knowledge updates on urinalysis reading and interpretation as a way to prevent or detect renal disease. The knowledge updates packed in a two day seminar, Oct. 19-20 held in one of the local hotels here, was sort of a knowledge transfer from kidney specialists –nephrologists to physician-participants on maximizing the use of a basic tool (urinalysis) for diagnosis and prevention of kidney disease. “This is our way of sharing our expertise on renal disease pre-

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vention and control to our government physicians, specially our community doctors in the ARMM province because they are the front liners, who can

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immediately detect or diagnose a possible renal problem through urinalysis,” said Dr. Susan Jorge, Adult Nephrology Consultant.


J o r g e however clarified that the seminar does not imply that physicians in the ARMM lacked the needed knowledge on how to “interpret” results of urinalysis.

She said, this knowledge sharing is their way to reinforce and empower the physicians to be more courageous and confident to deal with renal problems and not just report a urinalysis result as merely a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) if there is “more” to it. “Our optimum goal for this seminar is to spread advocacy to prevent renal disease. To reduce morbidity and mortality of renal disease,” the lady

nephorologist said. “We have to admit, as physicians, we had our urinalysis lesson during our second year in medical school, many years have passed and we need upgrading a n d updates on how to better r e a d u r i n a l y s i s ,” Jorge humbly said.

Jorge said, by just merely looking at the urinalysis, a physician can detect early renal dysfunction, “so it is very important that the physician, in the absence of a nephrologists in the area, be confident enough to deal with

renal problems.” Jorge said, at the end of the seminar, the physician-participants should be able to explain

t h e significance of each component a n d parameter of the urinalysis; a p p l y general principles and ideas to clinical situations and be able to formulate therapeutic management for specific clinical conditions. Meanwhile, Dr. Michael Abutazil, Adult Nephrology and Chief of the Renal transplant

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Unit, Western Mindanao Medical Center (WMMC) said “We are here extending our hands to our government doctors to help us in the campaign to prevent kidney disease by maximizing the use of a basic tool, which is the urinalysis, for diagnosis and prevention of kidney diseases.��� “We feel that we are shorthand in spreading this advocacy that is why we are conducting seminars with our government physicians to maximize urinalysis,” Dr. Abutazil emphasized. “The measure of

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a good nephrologist is not as to how many patients he/she was able to diagnose for dialysis or transplantation, but as to how many patients he/she was able to help in the prevention and control. That to me is what defines a good nephrologist,” Abutazil said. The seminar on urinalysis was spearheaded by the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) under its Renal Disease Control Program (REDCOP). REDCOP is an advocacy campaign launched by the NKTI to promote

renal health which also include the reduction of morbidity and mortality of renal disease through education and information campaign. NKTI is a flagship hospital of the Department of Health. Official data from the NKTI reveals of 9,716 individuals nationwide with kidney disease as of 2010 record. For Region 9, record shows of 177 patients with kidney disease, this include patients from the ARMM province. (JPA/PIA9Zambo City)

Zambo. Norte to receive aid from US agri department by Franklin G. Gumapon fter reaping a national award for its Hi-Green Program, Zamboanga del Norte will soon receive a financial assistance from the US Department of Agriculture.

Provincial Agriculturist Maybel Bustaliño disclosed that the financial aid from the US government will be 14

used to further develop the Hi-Green Program of the provincial government. The Hi-Green pro-

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

gram, which is implemented by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), has earned the provincial


government the “Galing Pook Award” as it has successfully promoted vegetable and crop production in most barangays of the province through communal farming. President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III personally handed the award to Governor Rolando E. Yebes in Ma-

nila last April. Governor Yebes has also received recently another award as he emerged as the regional winner in the “Pamana ng Lahi Award” of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). The governor credited this award to the success of the Hi-

Green program implementation in the province. It was also from OPA that the USAIDGrowth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) has also signified to support the province’s HiGreen program. (JPA/ FPG/PIA-Zambo. Norte)

NMIS9 chief: “Meat inspectors our unsung heroes” by Gideon C. Corgue

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ou are our unsung heroes.” thus declared National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS9) regional technical director Dr. Arturo De Jesus, Jr. to the local meat inspectors in the region during the stakeholders and meat inspectors’ forum held on Tuesday at the NMIS regional office here. De Jesus in his message said he recognized the significant contributions of local meat inspectors (LMIs) in our society saying that they are the ones who safeguard our meat and assured the public that the meat prod

ucts displayed and sold in the market are healthy, clean and safe and are fit for human consumption. “You are the country’s unsung heroes who are at the forefront in food defense and unnoticed in the early morning

hours when everybody are still sleeping, you are carefully doing meat inspection works to ensure that only healthy, clean and safe meat are passed for food to consumers,” De Jesus proclaimed. De Jesus said the

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who do not observe holidays and who worked alone adding that there is no alternate person to replace him in times of unexpected sickness or emergencies. “They sacrificed much and even worked more than 8 hours just to make sure that we have clean and safe meat,” De Jesus added. Levid Torres, who worked as meat inspector at the City Veterinary Office for 7 years lauded De Jesus for calling them ‘unsung heroes’. “We appreciate Director De Jesus for calling us ‘unsung heroes,” Torres said adding that the NMIS chief noticed the devotion and sacrifices they rendered in the performance of their duties.

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Torres said on the first day of his duty , he did not appreciate the nature of his work saying that he has to render his duty in the slaughterhouse to perform ante-mortem and post-mortem examinations to slaughtered animals at 10:00 pm and has to leave at 6am to ensure that animals “Wala ko maanad nga magmata sa gabii ug kaadlawon apan sa kadugayon na sa akong trabaho, akong na natun-an nga himoon kini ( I am not used to wake up at night and early in the morning but because of the long years in service I learned to do it), Torres explained. Luciano Gaviola, meat inspector Margosatubig for 17 years said as civil servants it is their

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duty to safeguard the meat and ensure that the meat inspection code will be properly observed by meat vendors, etc. He cited the incident years ago that while at the slaughterhouse, upon his inspection he noticed the 38 kilos of carcass meat unfit for human consumption and he did not allow the owner of the food animal to display and sold it in the market saying that it causes harm to the health of the public. The forum was part of the of the 39th National Meat Inspection Service Week being celebrated on October 17-21 with the theme “Matatag na Batas, Ligtas na Karne ang Katumbas. (JPA/GCC/PIA9Pagadian)


EAGA communicators push for the institutionalization of BEMCA

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By Apipa Bagumbaran

ommunicators from across the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-MalaysiaPhilippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) have pushed for the institutionalization and expansion of the BIMP-EAGA Media and Communicators Association (BEMCA) in recognition of the need to forge greater collaboration in communicating the initiatives and gains of the sub-regional cooperation. In a media forum held yesterday at the Xavier Estates Sports and Country Club, here, state information officers and private media representatives from the EAGA member-countries have agreed to strengthen the BEMCA as an organization and endeavour to institutionalize its existence through appropriate process. Through this, the BEMCA can assume

legal identity and provide a sustainable mechanism for effective BIMP-EAGA state and private media collaboration and partnership. A volunteer association and network of journalists and government communicators in the focus areas comprising the EAGA, BEMCA was launched in 2004 to encourage Wednesday, October 19, 2011

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the active participation of the media community in achieving the economic and social development goals of the BIMPEAGA. It was one of the efforts to set the stage for greater collaboration among state and private media in the BIMP-EAGA, said Romeo M. Montenegro, spokesperson and head of Communications and Media Affairs of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA). He said BEMCA was aimed at providing platform for increased and enhanced information exchange with the end view of raising public awareness of the sub-regional

cooperation. Apart from affirming the importance of the BEMCA, the delegates and participants of the media forum also agreed to revisit the communication strategy that was developed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2007 with the end view of identifying some strategies specified in the study that will be carried-on given the changing landscape of information infrastructure. The BIMP-EAGA Media Forum is a side-event to the BIMP-EAGA 20th Senior Officials Meeting and 16th Ministerial Meeting which will run from October 18 to 21.

EAGA customs heads support moves to make trades easier By Kathy Mar S. Mateo CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental– Customs officials from the Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area, led by the new Philippine Commissioner of Customs Rozanno Rufino Biazon have expressed commitment to work on having a more efficient trade facilitation, during the 5th BIMP-EAGA Heads of Customs Meeting yesterday.

Commissioner Biazon, speaking before his counterparts in the four-country grouping, noted that they will institute and improve measures in order to come up with more reliable customs regulations and processes that will also ensure seamless transport and movement of goods across the BIMP-EAGA borders. “These efforts are geared towards the sub-region’s goal of 18

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increasing investments, trade, and tourism,” said Biazon who is also the current Chairperson of the BIMP-EAGA Customs Sector. The Customs sector agreed to have good system in place that is not only efficient, but will also help the businesses cut cost. According to Nguyen Ba Hung, Asian Development Bank’s Regional Cooperation Specialist, the trade sector of BIMP-EAGA


Development Bank’s Regional Cooperation Specialist, the trade sector of BIMP-EAGA which is ideally the main engine of growth remains weak in the subregion. “The (customs) practices are still

unfriendly to businesses, thus causing mistrust between traders and the regulatory agencies. The objective of trade facilitation is to make legitimate trade more efficient.” he said. ADB has been extending assistance to BIMP-EAGA, specifically providing technical expertise and funding support to a number of sub-regional initiatives. One of its current technical assistance projects supports trade facilitation in BIMP-EAGA. Meanwhile, Mohamed Khalid Bin Yusuf of Royal Malaysia Customs emphasized that the security and

control will not be compromised as they try to make trading in the subregion easier. One of their initial steps is supporting the Intelligent Clearance ID Tag (i-CLID), a cross-border solution for tagging of cargo and vehicles. Commissioner Biazon likewise considers this type of technology to significantly improve the trade processes in the subregion, as long as it promotes easy integration and constantly keeps up with the new technologies. “We should not be technologically stagnant, we should always be mindful of the latest technologies” he stressed. i-CLID has the main objective of providing hassle free and timely clearance border experience and making trade facilitation more efficient to meet international standards. The Borneo Island serves as the logistics region. The Heads of Customs meeting was conducted not only to update the body of the current status and initiatives, but also to determine ways and means to push to a forward direction. Wednesday, October 19, 2011

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Sabah to check on feasible bangus production sites by Jorie C. Valcorzaa CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental – The Director General of the Department of Fisheries in the State of Sabah shows interest on the region’s bangus production and schedules to inspect feasible production sites.

This was revealed by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) national office, Assistant Director for Administration and Finance, Atty. Benjamin S. Tabios, in time for the “Fish Conservation Week” opening, here in the city. Tabios said that the Sabah minister will be in the city, today, for the BrunieIndonesia-Malaysia-Philippine East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) meet and will take the opportunity to inspect some production sites and mariculture park. He noted for a long time, during their visits in the region they have buying such fish products. BFAR, meanwhile, launches its “48th Fish Con Week” celebration with a market day opening, turning the entire BFAR compound into a mini-market place where fisher folks together with some local 20

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government officials convened together to witness the ceremonial ribbon cutting. BFAR Regional Director for Northern Mindanao Visa Tan-Dimerin said another mid-string event is likewise prepared for Wednesday, October 19, at the Balingasag Mariculture Park where they will be distributing engines and freezers for free to select beneficiaries. BFAR 10 also sponsors national activities in observance to the Fish Con Week to include the Employees Union Nation al Conference Assembly and Credit Facilitation of Mariculture Parks. Other event highlights include the food safety evaluation of fishery products and mangrove planting.


Gov’t envisions digitally-empowered nation through improved access to information by Apipa Bagumbaran CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental - The Philippine government is determine to expand further the base of internet empowered individuals in the country that would enhance the its global competitiveness by providing more access to government information.

This was emphasized by Secretary Herminio B. Coloma, Jr., head of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), during the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-MalaysiaPhilippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Media Forum, held recently at the Xavier Estates Sports and Country Club, here. Coloma, who shared the country’s

experience in governance communication through the new media, said the Aquino administration through an extensive consultations and discussions has crafted the Philippine Digital Strategy with a vision of digitally empowered, innovative, globally competitive, and prosperous society where everyone has reliable, affordable and secured information access in the country.

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He said this vision could be achieved through transparent government and efficient services, internet opportunity and digital literacy for all. It means that the citizens will be able to transact business with the government in a fully transparent and accountable manner and the government is willing to give them access to the vital information that they need, Coloma stressed. The Secretary cited the practice of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) where all fund releases, including the amount, recipients and the purpose for which it was disbursed, are posted and published in their website, as one aspect of transparent governance. He also cited other mechanisms on how the Philippine Government is introducing technology in order to implement good governance. Among these mechanisms is the order of the President Aquino requiring all government agencies and local government units (LGUs) to use the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) in all their purchases which translate into savings of as much as Php6 billion annually, Coloma said. State offices have been directed to source all their common-use supplies directly from the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) or from its regional depots throughout the country, he further said. 22

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Another innovation, he said, is the country’s first digitized Traffic Information System where the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) gives up-to-the-minute updates on the traffic condition in Metro Manila. He disclosed that the government plans to expand this system to cover the other major metropolitan and urban centers in the country, including those in Mindanao. Coloma also cited the web-andmobile based system that addresses the data management needs of doctors, nurses, midwives and allied health professionals in the country. The Secured Health Information Network and Exchange (SHINE) Program, he said is a system that enables public and private health care providers and facilities to efficiently operate and communicate individual or aggregated referral and case records to the right people in a timely, accurate and interactive manner. If one is travelling in the country and for some unfortunate reasons he becomes ill and is to be treated in a hospital quite distant from his residence, the doctor that is attending him can access his medical records from his own personal doctor if he is enrolled in this system, he added. These are just some of the innovations in which the government practices accountability and excellence in providing responsive online citizencentered services, Coloma concluded.


EAGA media cite 4-point action plan to boost info cooperation CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental—Philippine and foreign media delegates to the BIMP-EAGA Media Forum 2011 here yesterday have agreed to the push for a 4-point action plan that sought to revitalize government and private media collaboration within the sub-region.

In a one page Joint Declaration signed at the conclusion of the four-country media gathering, state information officers and private media representatives from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, as well as Mindanao and Palawan for the Philippines have collective issued strong resolve to pursue greater collaboration. Among the signatories to the Joint Declaration include Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. of the Presidential

Communications Operations Office, who served as keynote speaker during the international media gathering. The Media Forum participants have also expressed support to the BIMP-EAGA’s overall goal of enhancing cooperation in the greater context of ASEAN regional integration, by engaging greater public interaction, “in cognizance of the freer flow and exchange of information as vital and integral to the sub-regional cooperation.” Wednesday, October 19, 2011

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The group has likewise affirmed the strategic role of BIMP-EAGA Media and Communicators Association (BEMCA) in providing the platform for greater state and private media partnership, and committed to push for its institutionalization and expansion.In its action plan, the group sought to strengthen BEMCA as an organization and endeavour to institutionalize its existence through appropriate process where it can assume legal identity and provide sustainable mechanism for effective BIMP-EAGA state and private media collaboration. The delegates have also agreed to undertake a review and assessment of the BIMP-EAGA Communication Strategy previously endorsed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2007, Strengthening Public Awareness of BIMP-EAGA through Strategic Communications, with the end view of implementing strategies that work under the current conditions with the advent of the new media. The action plan also includes adopting the ADB communication strategy of engaging the ASEAN by forging collaboration with the 24

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ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (COCI) Sub-Committee on Information. To help execute the plan, the group likewise sought technical and funding support from the BIMP-EAGA Governments, through their National Secretariats, and private sector organizations. A Technical Working Group composed of designated representatives from each EAGA-member country was formed to carry out the action plan and to submit an output to the EAGA National Secretariats before December 2011. Formed in 2004 by chief editors and government information officers from the EAGA focus areas, BEMCA has emerged to become the mechanism for establishing information and news exchange with the subregion. In 2007, BEMCA was cited in the ADB endorsed BIMP-EAGA Communication Strategy as crucial in achieving news and information exchange among media organizations and in raising public awareness and increasing participation in the sub-regional cooperation. (MinDA)


PAGRO to wage detection, prevention measures vs. Panama disease in bananas by Jean Duron Abangan

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he Provincial Agriculture Office (PAGRO) of Davao del Norte is preparing to wage a massive early detection and prevention campaign against the proliferation of Fusarium wilt known as Panama disease. In an interview, PAGRO chief Dominador Encarnacion yesterday revealed that his office is set to conduct an information and education campaign to let the public know more about the fungal infestation that is starting to spread in banana plantations of Davao del Norte. PAGRO will show the manifestations of Fusarium infestation so banana growers would be able to detect

it early, and for them to take proper course of action to prevent the further spread of such fungus. During the campaign, PAGRO will also be informing banana growers about the risk of allowing farm animals such as chicken and pigs among others, to roam around their plantations. “These animals can spread the fungus,� Encarnacion said. Encarnacion said that the Fusarium wilt is a soil borne-fungus which could have already been present in local banana plantations, and its spread was triggered by the frequent occurrences of flashfloods in the past months. Based on PAGRO field validation, Encarnacion said that about 50.4 hectares of banana plantations in Davao del Norte have been found infested with Fusarium wilt. The most affected areas are in New Corella where more than 30 hectares of cavendish banana plantations are found with Fusarium, while 17 hectares are in Sto. Tomas. Wednesday, October 19, 2011

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Encarnacion though could not determine yet the value of the damage caused by such fungus. The area could just be a very small portion out of the 17,000 hectares of banana plantations in the entire province, but he said that such case of fungus infestation should be given attention. “Appropriate ways should be done to curb it,” he said in the vernacular. Labelled as Tropical Race 4 Fusarium Oxysporum (Foc), the fungus has been known to have caused massive devastation to cavendish banana. Its infestation first became widespread in Panama in 1890, and then went on to further devastate the banana plantations in Central America and in Caribbean areas in 1950s and in 1960s. The provincial government of Davao del Norte through PAGRO early this month called the Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) members to a meeting to discuss measures of checking the spread of such fungus. As a result of such meeting, PAGRO has recommended to Governor Rodolfo P. Del Rosario a course of action to address the Fusarium infestation. Aside from the information drive, PAGRO is requesting the Department of Agriculture to purchase the disinfectant needed for foot-bath which is a quarantine measure that should be put in place in every banana plantation. “Before entering the plantation, anyone should step on the foot-bath,” 26

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Encarnacion said. PAGRO has also seen the need to organize a team to closely monitor the banana disease especially in plantations of small banana growers.

NEDA-XI forms RDC’s communication for development network by Carina L. Cayon DAVAO CITY – The different communication and information officers of national government agencies and local government units organized themselves into a regional formation in their bid to make a wider impact in communicating government development programs and services. Last week, they also elected their set of officers at the culmination of the two days training in basic journalism, photography and media relations at the training center of the National Development and Economic Authority (NEDA-XI). The NEDA also served as secretariat of the Regional Development Council’s Communication for Development Network, the new organization that they formed. About 50 government information officers (IOs) participated in the training workshop on communication for development (TW-C4D) on October 11-12, and thereafter elected from among themselves five members of the Board of Directors (BOD). The provincial information officers of Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Compostela Valley and Davao


Oriental as well as the IOs of Davao City and NEDA-XI were automatically part of the BOD. NEDA-XI regional director Ma. Lourdes D. Lim administered the oath taking of the following RDCXI C4D Network officers: president, Romulo Tagalo of Davao del Norte; vice-president, Irvin Brabat (Davao del Sur); secretary, Catherine Laguesma (NEDA-XI); treasurer, Rosa Ma. Cristina Manuel (10th ID, Armed Forces of the Philippines); and business managers, Fe Maestre (Compostela Valley) and Roldan Gorgonio (Davao City Information Office). The other BOD members who also took oath of office were Jenielito Atillo (Department of Education), Dr. Rita Fe S. Cordova (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), Peter Niel Arendain (Commis-

sion on Human Rights) and Mika Chan-Magtulis (Department of Interior and Local Government). Lim said the TW-C4D and the creation of the RDC-XI C4D Network would position the IOs in a regional undertaking to disseminate to a wider audience the beneficial impact of the projects under the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016. She said that the training workshop was intended to “capacitate our PIOs from partner NGAs/LGUs and the RDC XI Secretariat with knowledge and skills that will aid in the communication and advocacy work of the RDC XI”. The TW-C4D emphasized the working relationship with media partners “to bring government closer to the public”, and aimed at providing the participants the basic skills Wednesday, October 19, 2011

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on news and news-feature writing, photography, and techniques in the preparation of new articles for print and broadcast media. “It is said that good public relations, not only increases recognition, but more importantly, improves the credibility of an individual or organization,” Lim stated, adding that “It also projects an attribute of accessibility, not only to development partners, but to the general public.” With the formation of the C4D Network, Lim hopes to come up with a “doable” communication and advocacy work program for calendar year 2012. “I hope this activity will further strengthen our collaborative efforts in communicating the region’s development initiatives and gains to its stakeholders,” she said referring to the training workshop. Meanwhile, Regional Director Efren Elbanbuena, the assistant director general for South-Central and Western Mindanao Cluster of the Philippine Information Agency, commended Lim for introducing the concept of communication for development in the region. Elbanbuena who served as TWC4D course facilitator and who provided the input on C4D, said that Lim was the first NEDA official in the country to organize this kind of training workshop for the information officers. He said that the knowledge gained from the training would be a good start for the information officers to popularize the Philippine Development Plan. 28

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sta. Cruz town honors early settlers from the Bagobo tribe By Julius Paner/MIO-Sta. Cruz

STA. CRUZ, Davao del Sur – Sta. Cruz, the oldest municipality in the province celebrated its 127th founding anniversary this month honoring the early settlers from the Bagobo-Tagabawa tribe. The celebration paid tribute to the tribal group in a showcase of its culture and traditions during the Tribal Day event that the Municipal Tribal Council spearheaded. The Bagobo descendants from about nine upland barangays in Sta. Cruz demonstrated in song and dance performances their rituals and practices such as tribal wedding, farming, planting and harvest method. The most tribe members are found in Barangays Sibulan and Tibolo where culture and traditions are still preserved and upheld. The Department of Education also featured cultural presentation and cultural fashion show performed by elementary and secondary school


contingents and some guest performers from Davao City. The local government of Sta. Cruz offered tokens and financial assistance to the IP performers as gesture of tribute and gratitude. According to pioneers, Sta. Cruz originated its name way back in 1880 when Spaniards planted a cross under a shelter upon their failure to Christianize the settlers who continued to resist them. More than a century-old municipality, Sta. Cruz was legally created on October 5, 1884 and it is the third oldest town in Mindanao. This gulf was originally called labo, a Bagobo word which means marshland. Members of the Bagobo-Tagabawa tribe ruled by Datu Ali were the early settlers in the area. Today’s town leadership is headed by Mayor Atty. Joel Ray L. Lopez, Vice Mayor Alexis C. Almendras, Councilors Manolito R. Lagrada, Jr., Lolita Legaspi, Alvin Rey Almendras, Philip Rizada, Oliver Enot, Fernando Urdoracion, Alan Angub, Roel Orpilla, Mila Lim and Mark Lester Casas. The 127th Araw ng Sta. Cruz celebrated also gave focus on environment awareness being a natural calamity-prone municipality. The municipal employees and multi-sectoral stakeholders participated in the tree growing activity within the Sibulan River in Barangay Darong, simultaneously with a cleanup drive in all eighteen barangays of Sta. Cruz. The farmers and fisherfolks also took part in the celebration as they

converged in a cooking show and in the Agri-Industrial Trade Exhibit (STATE) that showcased agricultural and aquatic products. The folks later engaged in parlor games. A fun run event dubbed as The South Race gathered around a thousand runners from various areas of Davao Region to raise funds for ANAKK Foundation, an alternative learning institution responsible for catering the disadvantaged children of Sta. Cruz. The Association of Barangay Councils organized the Liga ng mga Barangay Day that presented several activities such as inter-barangay cheerdance competition, basketball tournament for barangay officials and volunteers, among others. Several other events were also conducted such as Medical and Dental Mission, basketball goodwill games, Social Welfare Day and Motocross Racing and the Fashion Da Yag, a showcase of performance and fashion show featuring the gay community of Sta. Cruz. Mychelle Sosmeña of Barangay Tagabuli, meanwhile, was adjudged Mutya ng Sta. Cruz 2011.

NCIP-XI wins Civil Service national photo contest by Alma N. Villareal/NCIP-XI

DAVAO CITY – A photo of a group of Ata tribal elders and leaders being interviewed for a documentation on Testimony of Elders emerged as first place winner to the national photo contest of the 2011 Philippine Civil Wednesday, October 19, 2011

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Service Anniversary (PCSA). The winning photo taken in Panubaran, Sitio Pamantawan in Barangay Malabog, Paquibato District, Davao City came from Lyn A. Balanza, a staff of the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) in the region In a simple ceremony held this

Panubaran, where the photo documentation was taken, is an Ata term used to describe and name a place where the tribe conducts their meetings, conflict resolutions and other similar activities. Rosell said it was the first time of the NCIP to join the photo contest as part of its participation to the commemoration of the 111th year of the PSCA. (NCIP-11/Alma Villareal)

REGIONAL GALLERY

week’s Monday convocation at the NCIP regional office, Civil Service Commission XI regional director Atty. Annabelle B. Rosell awarded a certificate and cash prize of P10,000 to NCIP-XI . NCIP-XI representative Engr. Elvie Jabines, who was featured in the winning photo as the interviewee, received the certificate and cash prize of the 2011 PCSA “Give It Your Best Shot” photography contest. The agency’s acting regional director Leonor O. Quintayo and its division chiefs and employees witnessed the awarding ceremony. The documentation on the Testimony of Elders is one of the mandatory activities of the Social Preparation Phase in the application for a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) as per NCIP Administrative Order No. 1, Series of 2008. 30

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Provincial information officer Romulo Tagalo of Davao del Norte is elected president of the newly formed Regional Development Council-XI Communication for Development (RDC-XI C4D) Network. (NEDA-XI)

soundbytes: “It is an industry killer and for Mindanao, an economy killer,” Alex Valoria, president of the Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA), said of the destructive Fusarium plant disease.


Healthier diet may boost PHL mango demand abroad by Beverly Paoyon Global demand for fresh fruits, including mangoes from the Philippines , may rise as consumers shift to healthier diets. This was the upbeat outlook shared by Ross Wherry, chief of party of the United States Agency for International Development - Growth with Equity in Mindanao Program (USAID-GEM), to the delegates of the 13th National Mango Congress during the 13th Mango Congress (Sept 29) held here. In positioning the Philippine mango to the global market, he said “strong partnership and efficient teamwork with various players in the value chain is extremely important.” The “favorable climatic and geographic advantages” in Mindanao Wednesday, October 19, 2011

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made it to be in the excellent position to take advantage of this market trend. Clearly, Wherry said, the continuing expansion of fruit industry specifically mangoes “is starting to boost the economic growth in Mindanao and is also helping to create a more conducive and vibrant (place) for peace and development.” According to Wherry, thousands of jobs are directly generated by this industry while thousands of farmers are also being able to access with the sector for their livelihood. USAID is currently helping fruit growers and processors “expand access into lucrative markets such as China, Japan , South Korea , the Middle East, United States and Europe ,” Wherry said. However, he encouraged accountability from the sector that “(We will) help

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but you have to sell.” USAID is providing wide-ranging technical assistance to thousands of producers in Mindanao like trainings on farming technologies, among others. Wherry said his agency was proud to see the assistance of the American government which has facilitated especially in terms of job, income and export for revenues. “We are proud to see Mindanao taking center stage in this year’s mango congress because

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Mindanao is emerging as a supplier of high quality fresh and processed mangoes into many parts of the world.” “Over the years,” Wherry said, “ Mindanao has made much progress in developing its agricultural and processing sectors, while forming strong producer associations. Over time, they developed into dynamic associations with national networks and set their sights on the export market.”(PIO Sarangani/PIA General Santos City/CTApelacio)


Koronadal City Senior Citizen Federation prepares for 18th Annual Citizen’s Week celebration by Aida C. Agad KORONADAL CITY – “This has been a busy week for us, as we get set for the 18th Annual Senior Citizen’s Week celebration here in our city,” Koronadal City Federation of Senior Citizen’s Association (CKOFSCA) president Engr. Joel Dumdum said. At the pre-celebration meeting held at the Office of Senior Citizen’s Affairs (OSCA), Engr. Dumdum wished that the group’s effort to manage their own affairs and showcase their abilities be all heard and seen as they go all-out for the one-day activity on October 22, 2011 at Barangay Zone III Gym, Koronadal City. Dumdum said: “Through this activity, we are showing an example that age cant stop us from showing what we can still contribute to society.” The one-day culmination for the weeklong celebration is capped with different activities including the Reading of the Journey of the Koronadal Senior Citizen’s Association, Show Time/ Talent Show from differ-

ent barangay delegations and the highlight of which is the coronation rites for the Golden Lady 2011. Mrs. Carolina Feria of Barangay General Paulino Santos, the Golden Lady of 2010 will relinquish her crown to CKOFESKA Golden Lady 2011, Mrs. Azucena Sumagaysay of Barangay Zone Four, in a colorful program which is expected to be graced by

city mayor Dr. Peter B. Miguel and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 12 regional director Bai Zorahayda T. Taha. Engr. Dumdum said these activities are the CKOFESCA’s contribution to the 18th annual Senior Citizen’s Week with theme “Nakatatanda: Gabay, Tulay, Kaagapay at Bantay Tungo sa Kaunlaran.” (ac agad PIA12)

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DOLE records 64 child laborers in mining projects in South Cotabato By Dani Doguiles KORONADAL CITY -- South Cotabato’s labor and employment officer recently confirmed that they have recorded 64 minors working in the small-scale mining projects in T’boli town. Ruby Carrasco of the DOLE – South Cotabato said these children are working as “abantero,” packers and haulers in in mining projects in Barangay Kematu, T’boli. Some minors have also been monitored in the illegal “banlas” (sluice) mining operations in the area. Carrasco said, they are now establishing the profile of these minors for appropriate assistance that may be extended to the child laborers as well as their parents. DOLE 12 Assistant Regional Director Joel Gonzales said one of interventions they are considering is to give educational assistance to the child laborers and livelihood to parents of these children. 34

DOLE 12 along with other stakeholders recently conducted advocacy campaigns and other activities to address the problem of minors being allowed or forced by their parents to work in the mining projects in the province. DOLE Regional Director Ma. Gloria Tango said besides mining projects, DOLE and its partner agencies are also looking into cases of child labor in the informal sector, particularly in agriculture. She said, they have not observed child labor in major industries in the region such as the fishing industry because they have been made aware of legal prohibitions on the use of children 15 years old and below as child

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laborers. Meanwhile, Joshephine Leysa, provincial head of the Department of the Interior and Local Government said, the Provincial Council for the Protection of Children (PCPC) in South Cotabato is pushing for a “zero child labor” in the mining projects. She said the barangay council of Kematu should also commit to the advocacy since these takes care of the welfare of their children. (PIA 12)


RBOI attracts more investor in last 3 quarters By Moner Dayaan COTABATO CITY – The ARMM Regional Board of Investments (RBOI) attracted more investors to register additional investments in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in the first three quarters of 2011, said RBOI Regional Secretary Atty. Ishak V. Mastura.

This quarter, Agumil Philippines, Inc., a palm oil mill located in Buluan, Maguindanao registered the expansion of their palm oil mill from its existing capacity of 30 metric tons to 45 metric tons with an investment cost worth P132.4 million. The approval of their registration is expected to be completed within the next two weeks. During second quarter of this year, RBOIARMM registered a P24 million expansion of the Matling Cassava Starch factory located in Malabang, Lanao del Sur through the installation of a bio-mass

power plant. In the same period, RBOI also registered P1.5 billion telecommunications project of EA Trilink, Inc. The investments in ARMM bolster the continuing confidence of the business sector in the business climate of the region, Mastura said. Mastura said he personally reached out and opened the doors to local, national and foreign investors because of his confidence that the current ARMM Acting Regional Governor Adiong’s administration is very friendly to investors. “We are very pro-

active in attending investment forums throughout the country and we are following investment leads even to the extent of going to the places where investors would want to meet,” he said Mastura added that for the first time the RBOI has participated every event sponsored by the Philippine Investment Promotion Plan (PPIP Technical Working Group based in BOI-Manila composed of the 12 different investment promotion agencies in the country. (Moner C. Dayaan-PIA Cotabato City)

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Children’s Congress pinaplano ng So. Cotabato KORONADAL CITY-- Sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon magsasagawa ang pamahalaang panlalawigan ng South Cotabato ng Children’s Congress. Ayon kay Josephine Leysa, pinuno ng Deparment of the Interior and Local Government ng South Cotabato tapos na ang paghahanda para sa isasagawang Children’s Congress; hinihintay na lang umano nila ang pag-apruba ni Gov. Arthur Y. Pingoy Jr. hinggil sa naturang gawain. Natapos na rin aniya ng Provincial Council for the Protection of Children ang plano at mga panuntunan hinggil sa naturang Congress. Aniya gawain ay magiging lubhang “interesting at educational” dahil titipunin sa iisang lugar ang mga opisyal ng pamahalaan at kabataang magmu-

mula sa iba’t ibang sektor at iba’t ibang lugar sa South Cotabato. Sa naturang pagtitipon bibigyan ng pagkakataon ang kabataan na ihayag ang kanilang mga problema at mga hinaing hinggil sa kanilang kapakanan at mga karapatan bilang mga bata. Balak nilang mag-imbita ng mahigit 300 lider ng kabataan. Bibigyan din ng pagkakataon ang mga opisyal ng bayan, lungsod at lalawigan na tugunan ang mga ilalahad ng mga kabataan. Dagdag pa ni Leysa, kung hindi nila maihahabol ang Children’s Congress ngayon buwan ng Oktubre na tinaguriang Children’s Month, target nilang gawin ang Children’s Congress sa unang linggo ng Disyembre. (DEDoguiles/PIA 12)

Convergence caravan gagawin sa Columbio, Sultan Kudarat KORONADAL CITY -- Dahil sa sunodsunod na tagumpay sa pagpapalaganap ng kanilang mga programa para sa mga mahihirap na mamamayan nagtakda ng ikatlong convergence caravan ang Department of Social Welfare and Development 12 (DSWD 12) sa Oktubre 21, Biyernes. Kasama ang Department Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Technical Education and Skills Developent Authority (TESDA), Department of Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), at Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 36

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tutungo ang DSWD 12 sa bayan ng Colombio, Sultan Kudarat. Sa araw na ito ay magkakaroon ng medikal at dental mission, seeds distribution, legal counseling, enrolment program saPhilhealth, trade fair, at marami pang iba. Base sa NHTS-PR database mayroong 32,123 na pinakamahihirap na pamilya sa Sultan Kudarat. Upang unti-unting makabangon sa kahirapan ang mga mamayan sa lugar na ito,tutulungan sila ng pamahalaan sa pamamagitan ng mga programang Pantawid Pamilyang , KALAHI-CIDSS, at Self Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K) na pinangungunahan ng DSWD 12. (KJNavecis /PIA 12)


Captured croc in Agusan del Sur now a tourist attraction in the area

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by Robert E. Roperos

he 21-foot crocodile “Lolong” that was captured in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur a month ago is now a tourist attraction in the area.

According to Bunawan Mayor Edwin Elorde, after the newly-constructed park has been opened to public, more and more local tourists from as far

www.piacaraga.blogspot.com

as Metro Manila are coming to see the captured crocodile touted as the biggest and longest captured croc in the country and perhaps in the world. Elorde said the P20

entrance fee collected by the municipal government to visitors earned for the town an P8,000 daily income. “This is an additional income of the municipality that is why we are doing some improvements in the area,” Elorde said. Elorde further said they have already fin-

http://www.facebook.com/pages/PIA-Caraga-Updates/165374590187484

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piacaraga@gmail.com pia_caraga@yahoo.com.ph

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ished constructing the second cage where, as per agreement with the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (PWRCC), the LGU will construct another cage before they will proceed with the operation of capturing the other crocodile. According to report, Lolong, together with another crocodile attacked a carabao early last month near a riverbank in Bunawan. This prompted the local government unit and the PWRCC to capture Lolong. As of press time, they are still eyeing to capture the other crocodile which is reported to

be smaller than Lolong. Furthermore, Mayor Elorde said the giant crocodile is already active and was able to eat two times already since he was captured. He added Lolong has already eaten 17 kilos of fresh chicken meat, enough for him to be active.

The official said at present, foods are again served so that anytime the crocodile wants to eat, he can take his food. Meanwhile, Elorde assured the public not to worry regarding Lolong’s health because he is properly taken cared by the authorities.

Surigao del Sur delisted from 20 poorest provinces in Phl – NEDA-Caraga chief by Nida Grace B. Tranquilan

TANDAG CITY-- The province of Surigao del Sur has been removed from the list of 20 poorest provinces in the Philippines. The announcement was made by National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Caraga Regional Director Carmencita Cochingco

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during the Regional Development Council (RDC) meeting held Tuesday in this city. Surigao del Sur Governor Johnny Pimen-

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tel attributed this development to the implementation of sustainable basic services and allocation of funds yearly to support priority programs. This


includes farm to market roads to all the barangays in the province. Further, he said that access to potable water system and improvement

of the hospital facilities were contributing factors. Hosted by the provincial government, the 69th RDC Meeting was presided by Chairperson

and Surigao del Norte Governor Sol Matugas and was attended by Regional Directors of government agencies in Caraga Region.

10 barangays in Agusan del Sur recipients of Red Cross multi-million project by David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR -- Ten barangays in two municipalities of Agusan del Sur will be recipients of a multi-million project of the Netherlands Red Cross and other Netherlands non-government organizations..

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The project will mostly focus on disaster risk reduction, eco-system management and restoration and climate change adaptation. Chosen barangay for the first two years of implementation are Barangays Hawilian, Guadalupe and Langag of Esperanza town and Barangays Mambalili, San Marcos and Nueva Era for the town of Bunawan. For the second twoyear implementation, Barangays Remedios and Sta. Fe of Esperanza town

and Barangays Poblacion and Libertad of Bunawan town will be the recipients. During their visit in Barangay Hawilian, Elike Van Sluis, Red Cross Country representative to the Philippines and Indonesia said the area really need the program because people in Hawilian are vulnerable to suffer floods and landslides. “When we saw the terrain, I thought that people in Hawilian should really be trained on how to get away from risks

during rainy season because water will be rushing towards the area when flooding occurs. And because of that, landslides are inevitable,” Van Sluis said. According to Christyll Basan, Philippine Red Cross Agusan del Sur Chapter Administrator, places like Hawilian were their chosen areas because of the area’s necessity and vulnerability to disaster. The project will end in 2015.

Convergence planning, harmonization workshop to be held in Butuan by Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY -- City Mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr. initiated the Convergence Planning and Harmonization Workshop for this city for Calendar Year 20112013 among partner agencies in the government.

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During the recently held Regional Development Council – Development Administration Committee (RDC-DAC) Meeting, Mayor Amante recalled that in 2007, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Finance (DoF), and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) have signed the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) providing Guidelines on the Harmonization of Local Planning, Investment Programming, Revenue Administration, Budgeting and Expenditure Management. The signing of JMC No. 1 series of 2007 proved to be the landmark policy in the synchronization and harmo-

nization of the core local government unit operations. “The city aims to be the pilot LGU in Caraga region to implement the JMC and apply the principles of convergence,” stressed Amante. Also, in line with the JMC, Mayor Amante, who at the same time the RDCDAC chairperson called a meeting on June 27, 2011 between the city government of Butuan and the regional line agencies catering frontline services to the LGU to plan out a harmonization workshop for the projects and programs for Butuan. The actual convergence planning and harmonization workshop was conducted on August 19, 2011 at the Balanghai Hotel here. It was also learned

that the objectives of said workshop are: 1) to match similar projects of the city and regional line agencies for possible expansion, prioritization and avoid overlapping of projects; 2) for regional line agencies to present to the city their planned interventions within the City’s jurisdiction for proper coordination and assistance; and 3) for the city to present the gaps where the regional line agencies can assist in funding or technical assistance. With this development, Mayor Amante is seeking commitment from the RDC-DAC members and other partner agencies, stakeholders to support the Harmonized Butuan City Convergence Plan.

DILG to LGUs: Revisit implementation of ARTA Law by Mary Christine Anthonette M. Salise

BUTUAN CITY -- The Department of the Interior and Local Government Region XIII called on the local government units of Region XIII (Caraga) to review implementation of the provisions of Republic Act 9485 also known as the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2008.

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The call was made during a forum dubbed “Governance Forum Towards Transparent and Efficient Frontline Services,” held recently in partnership with Agencia Espanola de Cooperacion Internacional Para el Desarrollo (AECID) through the latter’s Strengthening Local Governments in the Philippines (SLGP) Project. Participants to the forum included representatives from the six (6) cities and eight (8) selected municipalities 42

from the four provinces which exhibited high implementation of R.A.9485. The forum will tackle the implementation report on the ARTA Law. The survey on the ARTA law implementation was conducted by DILG XIII to assess the compliance of the abovementioned LGUs to the Anti-Red Tape Act as well as measure the level of satisfaction of their customers/clientele. DILG Assistant Regional Director Lilibeth A. Famacion

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said that before the passage of the ARTA Law, red tape was rampant and fixers transacted business for clients at the city/municipal halls. The Anti-Red Tape Act aims to eliminate red tape, graft and corruption through transparency, accountability and predictability by simplifying frontline procedures and formulating service standards to be observed in every transaction. The DILG in partnership with the Civil Service Commission and other agencies is responsible in monitoring implementation of the ARTA.



One Mindanao - October 19, 2011