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Information to Empower Filipinos Non-IDPs asked to leave evacuation centers in Zamboanga Page 4


WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23, 2014 Vol. 3 No. 165




Palace asks for greater public vigilance to fend off spread of MERS-CoV


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Disaster, unpreventable but can be mitigated – DOST Sec. Montejo Michael Vincent D. Cajulao Fiscal, administrative reforms are Dir. Sunggod’s legacies in NCIP-9 Claro A. Lanipa


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DPWH bares ongoing infra projects in CdeO CdeOSP COWD assures water supply remains potable COWD

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DSWD to validate social pension beneficiaries


DavNor DILG to Talaingod leaders: bring back evacuees, resolve internal crisis Michael Uy


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Agusanons to strengthen protection of Mt. Magdiwata David M. Suyao Senior Citizens’ mortuary assistance increases Diana Generalao

Non-IDPs asked to leave evacuation centers in Zamboanga By Dominic I. Sanchez


he evacuation centers and transitory sites in the city still hold thousands of internally-displaced persons (IDPs) from the siege last year, all needing limited services from both government and non-government humanitarian workers. However, it was discovered that many of those sheltering with the displaced persons are not legitimate IDPs.

“Many persons, in fact around 400 families who are not IDPs are currently also sheltering at the shoreline and Grandstand evacuation centers, and even in Tulungatung,” shared Assistant City Administrator Elmeir Apolinario in a recent press conference. “We have verified this with the DSWD,” he added. This incident presents an immediate concern to the government, since there are already limited and depleting resources for

the genuine IDPs. “These non-IDPs are taking advantage of the situation,” said Apolinario. Mayor Maria Isabelle G.

Climaco-Salazar has already appealed to these non-IDPs to already leave the evacuation centers. “Please, go back to your provinces, and stop being a burden to the IDPs,” appealed Mayor Climaco-Salazar. “If you take advantage of the situation, it is as if you are robbing the IDPs of their rights to the services given to them.” The IDPs have been facing a variety of problems, including health issues wrought by overcrowding at the evacuation center especially at the Grandstand and the shoreline, which already resulted in 104 deaths including children. Before the Holy Week, several hundred IDPs, particularly those temporarily sheltered at the shoreline in R.T. Lim Boulevard were already transferred at the Mampang Elementary

School. Meanwhile, government and humanitarian agencies are constantly making dialogue through information caravans with the IDPs at the evacuation centers and transitory sites to assess their immediate needs to include livelihood and other opportunities, and devise ways to urgently address them. The last caravan was conducted with over 2,000 home-based IDPs at the City Coliseum last April 15. The caravan is a joint project of the Office of the City Mayor, City Information Office, Philippine Information Agency, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other humanitarian stakeholders.





Malacanang ‘looking forward’ to upcoming visit of U.S. President Barack Obama


he Philippines is looking forward to the upcoming visit of US President Barack Obama on April 28 to 29, the eighth by an American president, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said on Wednesday. Coloma said the visit would provide the expanding trade and investments, two leaders “an opportunity to exchange tourism and development cooperation, views and their strategic vision for the 21st and deepening people-to-people ties.” century and discuss new avenues to further He further said that the meeting strengthen the longstanding relations will allow the two leaders to “discuss between the two countries by intensifying continued cooperation on the political and security cooperation, rehabilitation of ‘Yolanda’-affected areas.” APRIL 2014 | PAGE 6

Coloma noted that President Obama’s visit is the peak of a series of recent highlevel exchanges between the two countries. Last year, US Secretary of State John F. Kerry and US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel visited the Philippines. Early this year, US Senator and member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Marco Rubio, and US Congressman Ed Royce, who also chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives, visited Manila. “The treaty alliance between the Philippines and the US has been a cornerstone of peace and stability in the region. The United States is the only defense treaty ally of the Philippines,” Coloma said. “This wide-ranging security partnership includes joint military exercises, such as Balikatan and humanitarian assistance and disaster response activities, to defense and security assistance that supports Philippine efforts toward achieving enhanced defense capabilities,” he added. Coloma also noted that the US continues to be the major trading partner

of the country, with total trade amounting to US$14.5 billion in 2013. Last year, the US was the second largest export destination of the Philippines after Japan, with exports reaching US$7.8 billion. “The US is one of the Philippines’ top sources of assistance. From 2011 up to 2013, US assistance to the Philippines has amounted to over a billion dollars. The development and military assistance covers a broad range of programs, from enhancing defense capabilities to supporting the good governance reform agenda, poverty reduction, and improving public infrastructure,” Coloma said. He said that people-to-people ties are strong with an estimated 2.27 million Filipinos living in the United States, while thousands of US tourists visit the Philippines every year. In 2013, more than 670,000 American tourists visited the Philippines. “The visit of President Obama affirms the vigor of our strategic partnership and alliance, and the strength of our people-to-people ties,” Coloma said. PND

Palace asks for greater public vigilance to fend off spread of MERS-CoV


he Department of Health (DOH) continues to track the passengers of the Etihad Airways Flight EY0424 that landed in Manila last April 15, after one passenger tested positive for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), the Palace said on Wednesday. APRIL| PAGE 7

In a press briefing in Malacanang, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said the DOH has contacted 325 of the flight’s 414 passengers and still trying to contact 43 passengers. Of the 325 passengers, 252 have undergone nose and throat swabbing, and 221 of them have tested negative for MERS-CoV, he said, adding that the DOH is still awaiting the swab results of the other 31 passengers. Despite these highly encouraging results, Coloma asked for greater public vigilance, advising the people to heed preventive measures and quarantine procedures issued by health authorities. “Travelers returning from the Middle East are advised to fill out the quarantine forms providing detailed contact information to facilitate subsequent tracing if needed,” Coloma said. Health authorities said those who become ill within two weeks upon arrival are strongly advised to seek immediate medical attention from all public hospitals or any DOH-accredited medical facilities. They are also asked to delay visits to crowded places. Last April 16, the DOH confirmed that

an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who arrived in Manila on April 15 had MERS-CoV. Health Secretary Enrique Ona confirmed that the nurse came into contact with the Filipino paramedic who died of MERS-CoV in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While the unnamed nurse did not show symptoms of the illness, Ona said he still has the virus and may infect other people. The DOH said last week that the health worker underwent quarantine procedures. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the MERS Coronavirus is a viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Most people who have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness, the CDC said. Those who were infected had fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About half of these people died. The virus has spread from ill people to others through close contact. The CDC also said that so far, all the cases have been linked to six countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula. PND (as)

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ARMM uses geo-tagging to monitor agridevelopment projects


he Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is utilizing geo-tagging technology and an online data base management to closely monitor the implementation of agriculture projects funded through the bottom-up budgeting scheme, ARMM officials on Wednesday said. Spearheading the monitoring is the Department of Agriculture and Fishery (DAF-ARMM), according to the ARMM Bureau of Public Information (BPI), the region’s information office. APRIL2014 |

On Tuesday, DAF-ARMM distributed agri-development funds for the towns of Upi and Pagalungan, both in Maguindanao. During the program, DAF-ARMM Regional Secretary Macmod Mending Jr. said DAFPAGE | 9

ARMM will soon be launching “e-farm, an online web based database management system to monitor geo-tagged farmto-market roads and other projects.” DAF-ARMM has earmarked a budget of more than a billion to support projects intended to boost the agricultural productivity of the region. Mending said projects funded through the BUB scheme are based on the proposals submitted by local farming communities. Mending also said a monitoring team in each province will use geo-tagging technology to ensure that projects are being implemented accordingly. The agency is also hoping to promote organic farming and food sustainability in the region with the provision of farm equipment, implements and vegetable seeds to farmers in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur. DAF-ARMM handed a total of P7.6 million to the municipalities of Pagalungan and Upi in Maguindanao to support organic agriculture, the production of high-value crops and agricultural products such as rubber and the improvement of farm-to-market roads.

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Several towns in other ARMM provinces also have similar BUB-funded projects. ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said the bottom-up budgeting scheme is meant to help boost the region’s economy and reduce poverty incidence. Hataman was with Mending to lead the distribution of BUB funds, farm equipment, implements, seeds and fertilizers. Marawi City was awarded with a P1.5 worth, high-end farm tractor to improve corn production in the area. Starting this month, at least 20 villages in Maguindanao will start the ‘Gulayan sa Barangay’ program. Close to 1,200 farmers will be provided with a support package composed of vegetable seedlings, farm tools, knapsack sprayer, plastic drums, fertilizers and bags of rice. The program is being undertaken by DAF-ARMM in partnership with the United Nations World Food Program (UN-WFP). ARMM is composed of the provinces of Maguinanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. (PNA)

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Disaster response requires partnership, says DOST-ARMM chief By Rene V. Carbayas

ISABELA CITY, Basilan – “Disaster response requires partnership.”

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This was the statement of science and technology chief for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Myra M. Alih in today’s opening ceremony of Iba na ang Panahaon Science for Safer Communities (BaSulTa-ARMM leg) in Zamboanga City. Secretary Alih told participants that the concept of the activity is partnership. “Remember, during disaster the DOST does not have the sole mandate but everybody, particularly the local government unit (LGUs), is also responsible,” Alih said. She said the forum would provide the local government unit with valuable information like disaster maps that will help concerned government agencies and LGUs prepare the communities and save lives. She encouraged participants to fully participate in the forum with the

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other technologies that the DOST could offer to the LGUs and other government agencies. “The ARMM areas, particularly the island provinces are becoming highly vulnerable to strong winds and waves as the area has already been frequented recently by typhoons,” Alih said as she recounted some incidents happening in these places that were never experienced before. She recalled that Sulu had recently experienced unusual strong waves and flooding, destroying houses of some coastal and urban communities. In Basilan and TawiTawi, frequency in the cancellation of boat trips to and from nearby Zamboanga City has increased, affecting mobility and economic activity of the island province. “We are not safe anymore in travelling and [unfortunately] we have to cross the sea to travel to

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Zamboanga City. And because of Climate Change, our mobility has become limited,” she said. “The ARMM is no longer typhoon-free,” she declared. Alih said that with the impact of the changing climate has reached alarming level, the DOST has developed technologies and early warning devices that could help mitigate the impact of disasters to

vulnerable communities. “We cannot stop Climate Change. The only way is to prepare,” she noted. Some 55 local chief executives, government line agencies, members of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, and the media gathered for the two-day forum (April 23-24) at Garden Orchid Hotel in Zamboanga City.

Disaster, unpreventable but can be mitigated – DOST Sec. Montejo By Michael Vincent D. Cajulao

ZAMBOANGA CITY – “While we cannot prevent the occurrence of natural hazards, we can definitely mitigate potential disaster risks in our communities”, Department of Science and Technology Secretary Mario G. Montejo said in his video message to the participants of the Iba Na Ang Panahon – ARMM Leg. APRIL2014 |

Sec. Montejo stressed that with the use of science; communities will better understand and improve disaster planning and preparation from the national down to the local level. “Applying science,

we can draw up scenariobased strategies and protocols in dealing with calamities”, he said pointing out that “the emphasis of this strategies is the early warning and early action to achieve minimum loss that can PAGE | 13

then lead to quick recovery”. Montejo said the onslaught of typhoon Yolanda that decimated the province of Leyte and other neighbouring provinces served as a big lesson for everybody that they came up with a 4-point agenda to support the call for early warning and action. “Our 4-point agenda for early warning and early action starts with the increasing local risk knowledge; enabling communities to monitor hazards; test warning and communications protocol; and building community response capability. The 4-point agenda will be the core of our program and solutionseeking workshops during this two-day event (Iba Na Ang Panahon)”, Montejo said. Sec. Montejo said to engage community leaders and all residents and

give their full cooperation, stakeholders should use disaster imagination. “By using disaster imagination, our local chief executives and disaster managers can think and act two steps forward by anticipating, using scientific data, the potential of a hazard to wreak havoc in communities”, he said. Ending his message, Sec. Montejo posted a challenge to all leaders present. “As rural chief executives and disaster managers, I post this question to everybody in this hall. Are we ready to commit and do our best to perform this task? Our commitment to a better disaster planning in our committees is our accountability and responsibility in our communities. Thru this event, let us build better alliances to better serve our constituents”, Montejo concluded.

Fiscal, administrative reforms are Dir. Sunggod’s legacies in NCIP-9 By Claro A. Lanipa

PAGADIAN CITY – After serving region 9 for two years and nine months, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)-9 Regional Director Salong Sunggod is now assigned in region 3. He is replaced by Director Woy Lim P. Wong from region 12. APRIL2014 |

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In a recent regional staff conference and turnover ceremony held at the NCIP-9 regional office here, Director Sunggod officially handed over the office to Director Wong in the presence of Ethnographic Commissioner Datu Cosme M. Lambayon, representatives and leaders of indigenous peoples (IP) in the region as well as NCIP regional and provincial personnel. In an interview with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Director Sunggod disclosed that he was able to institute fiscal and administrative reforms resulting in the dismissal of nine key personnel who were charged with administrative cases. “We have now our own financial management in accordance with the existing accounting rules and regulations following the ‘Tuwid na Daan’ of President Aquino,” Sunggod emphasized. “Another accomplishment we have is the increased cooperation and collaboration of NCIP with the different sectors of the society, the nongovernment organizations (NGOs), civil society and other government agencies,” Sunggod added. APRIL2014 |

He further said that the problem of polarization or divisions among IP leaders and the IP communities was successfully addressed by the agency. Sunggod also encouraged the IPs in the region including the personnel and staff of NCIP-9 to work hard to sustain the reforms undertaken by the agency. “There are things that we have accomplished but, more issues, problems and concerns have to be addressed,” stressed the outgoing director. “These cannot be addressed alone by the NCIP, We need the support particularly of our IP leaders and other government agencies,” Sunggod pointed out adding that “we do believe that we cannot attain peace and development in our region without the support of all sectors of our society.” Sunggod hopes that all other government agencies including the local government units will give their all-out support to the cause of the IPs most particularly those living in the hinterlands “that they may enjoy their living in their own ancestral domain freely and securely.” PAGE | 15

Thousands of Catholic faithfuls troop to Ozamiz Cotta for Station of the Cross by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob

OZAMIZ CITY, Misamis Occidental - Thousands of Catholic faithfuls and observers have trooped to Fuerte de Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion y del Triunfo (Fort of Our Lady of Conception and Triumph) or “Cotta” for the Station of the Cross, from April 14-19, this year. APRIL2014 |

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Higlighted by the re-staging of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the activity drew a huge crowd since it was held in an open area located just along the seacoast of the city, that opened to Panguil Bay, Mayor Reynaldo O. Parojinog, Sr., said. A project of the local government unit of Ozamiz, in coordination with the Immaculate Conception Cathedral Parish, in observance of the Lenten Season, the Station of the Cross was held in the premises of the Cotta in barangay Baybay Triunfo, on whose wall, the “Birhen sa Cotta,” has been enshrined. A historical, cultural and pilgrimage destination of northern Mindanao, Birhen sa Cotta was declared by the National Historical Institute (NHI), as one of the National

Landmark of the Philippines naming it as “ Fuerte dela Concepcion y del Triunfo” per en banc resolution dated March 13, 2002. From the historical accounts, the Spaniards conquered Ozamiz, formerly Misamis, in the 17th century, “not by force but by faith,” as they introduced Christianity to the early settlers, the Subanens, and built “Cotta” in 1756. Since then, a brisk sale of the candles have been observed in Cotta, as people took their sick to the Shrine and lighted candles at the foot of the image and their sick miraculously healed upon returning home. For 258 years now, the image has become a homage/pilgrimage destination, not only for devotees, but also for other domestic and foreign tourists, Parojinog added.

DPWH bares ongoing infra projects in CdeO by CdeOSP

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-10) submitted to the City Council committee on public works the list of projects being implemented in the city as of March 2014. Based on the status report submitted by Officer In ChargeAssistant Regional Director Efren Berba, ongoing projects are: paved to paved access road leading to Dao Heritage Tree and Mapawa Nature

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Park in Cugman, gravel to paved construction of coastal road including road right-of-way, road opening construction of coastal road. The list includes the construction of flood control works (flood wall)

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along Cagayan de Oro River (Cathedral Section), retrofitting/rehabilitation/ strengthening J.R. Borja Bridge and widening of Sayre Highway, PuertoAlae Section including road right-ofway. Meanwhile, the gravel to paved road concreting and improvement of the drainage structure along

Berjaya Resettlement Area Phase II in Camaman-an is already complete, according to the report. According to the DPWH official, the submission of the report to the committee is in line with the agency’s policy of close collaboration and coordination with the city government.

COWD assures water supply remains potable by COWD

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - The Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) assures its concessionaires that the water flowing from their faucets is clean, potable, and safe for drinking. Results of the latest physical and chemical exam conducted on COWD water samples, including supply coming from Rio Verde Water Consortium, Inc (RVWCI) have shown that the water supplied by COWD to its customers has adhered to the standards set by the Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water (PNSDW). COWD bared this to dispel fears of any possible water contamination. The physico-chemical analysis is part of COWD’s water quality monitoring procedures to ascertain water potability. This is on top of the bacteriological

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examination that the COWD laboratory personnel conducts regularly on water samples taken from different parts of COWD’s service area. Flushing of mainline pipes is initiated as part of the preventive maintenance activity. This is carried out to remove sediments from the lines and also to keep the entire distribution system refreshed. Ensuring that water it provides to its customers is potable and safe for drinking has always been COWD’s primary concern.

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SarBay happens here on May 16-17 GLAN, Sarangani -- This beachfront in Gumasa comes alive with parties, sports and environmental drive on May 16-17 as SarBay Fest becomes the biggest beach party in Southern Philippines once again. Glan is 53 kilometers from General Santos City and 8 kilometers from Glan poblacion is Gumasa cove. (Tres Besana/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)

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Tupi pre-tests speed limit ordinance By: Danilo E. Doguiles TUPI, South Cotabato -- The local government unit of Tupi in South Cotabato has started the trial run of the newly approved ordinance that has set peed limits in portions of the Pan-Philippine Highway in the municipality.

Mayor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. said they are trying out the implementation of Municipal Ordinance No. 688, Series of 2014 prior to its final implementation in about one month. The ordinance has set speed limits to all types of motorized vehicles passing through the national highway, particularly from Crossing Polonuling to Crossing Cebuano. Based on the said ordinance, all vehicles should not exceed speed of 80 kilometers per hour (kph) when traveling from Crossing Polonuling to Crossing Acmonan and 40 kph from Crossing Acmonan to Crossing Cebuano. “The stretch of the national highway where the 40kph speed limit was set has been identified as the area where about 90 percent of the fatal road accidents occurred last year, ” Tamayo said in an interview. These accidents were attributed mostly to overspeeding and reckless driving. APRIL2014 |

“The 40kph limit has been set by the Department of Public Works and Highways since the construction of the national highway, but this has not been properly implemented by local government units,” he explained. “This is why we are strengthening its implementation by passing a local ordinance.” For the implementation of the ordinance the municipal government has purchased four speed guns that will be used by the implementers that include traffic enforcers, members of the Philippine National Police and troops of the Philippine Army based in the area. The same ordinance has set penalties for violators: P1,000 for the first offense, P1,500 for the second; and P2,000 or 30 day imprisonment or revocation of driver’s license or both fine and imprisonment for the third and succeeding offenses. (DEDoguilesPIA 12 with report from Tupi LGU)

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DSWD to validate social pension beneficiaries KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development is set to validate the social pension beneficiaries until June this year. In a press statement, DSWD 12 reasoned that the validation of the pension beneficiaries is in accordance with the provision of the General Appropriations ACT (GAA) for CY 2014 that states only the indigent senior citizens registered in the Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTSPR) database should be paid for their social pension or benefits for the year. For this reason, the National Household Targeting Office (NHTO) of the agency has been mandated to conduct an immediate validation of senior citizens who have been receiving social pension benefits in previous year but are apparently not identified poor by DSWD. Using the data from the Listahanan, the said special validation aims to verify the poverty status of the current recipients of the program and ensure that only the qualified poor will continue receiving benefits from it. Social pension is being implemented in accordance with the Expanded Senior Citizen’s Act of 2010. It grants qualified beneficiaries

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P500 monthly stipend each to augment their daily subsistence and medical needs. Accordingly, the priority beneficiaries of the Social Pension are senior citizens 77 years old and above who are frail, sickly and disabled, without a regular source of income and/or support from any member of the family, and not receiving other pension benefits from government and private agencies. To assess the socio-economic status of the beneficiaries, DSWD will utilize the Family Assessment Form (FAF). Data gathered from the validation will be subject to Proxy Means Testing (PMT) to determine whether the household assessed is poor or not. Beneficiaries who will be found not qualified for the program may lose their monthly pension. For the special validation, the DSWD 12 through the National Household Targeting Unit (NHTU) will be deploying 29 field staff, comprised of 24 enumerators and 5 area supervisors. (DSWD 12/DED-PIA 12)

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Duterte assures the resettlement of Badjaos in Isla Verde

DAVAO CITY- Mayor Rodrigo Duterte assured that Badjao dwellers of Isla Verde razed in a fire incident in April 4, can return to the area and rebuild houses on a temporary basis. He told reporters that bringing them to a relocation site in Barangay Los Amigos is no longer an option since majority of the affected dwellers belongs to the Badjao tribe which needs to live near the sea. “Going to Los Amigos is unrealistic since no one will transfer there,” APRIL2014 |

Duterte said. He told the Task Force Isla Verde rehabilitation to share a portion of the razed area for the Badjaos. Duterte said the affected area must be fenced for security reasons. “Let me stressed that it is temporary, as in temporary, not permanent, they can stay there,” he said. Duterte said he will confer with the Sangguniang Panglungsod on either material or financial assistance that the city government can give more to the affected families. He ascertained that the affected families need help. The five-hour fire incident dubbed as one of the biggest fire that hit the city razed more or less one thousand houses and displaced 3,700 families. No one was killed in the incident. (PIA 11-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines) PAGE | 22

DavNor DILG to Talaingod leaders: bring back evacuees, resolve internal crisis DAVAO DEL NORTE – “To bring back the indigenous people is not the solution of the problem, but it is the start of it.”

Provincial Director Alex Roldan of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) made the statement during the Tribal Forum organized yesterday by the municipal government of Talaingod to further explore solutions to the exodus of Ata-Manobo residents to Davao City. Roldan said this as he urged tribal leaders and the local government officials to reflect on the root causes of the departure of the indigenous peoples (IPs) from the hinterlands of Talaingod. He pointed out that bringing back the IPs who evacuated to Davao City could be the immediate action to take, but he viewed this as not the ultimate solution saying there could be deeper problems in the tribal council. “Dapat mahibal-an ninyo nganong kaning inyong mga miyembro moto-o man sa lain ug dili sa inyoha nga lider (You should be able to discover why your tribe members believe in an outsider and not in you as their leaders,” Roldan said. Noting that municipal officials and tribal leaders were not being listened to, Roldan agreed with the resolution passed by the municipal government and the tribal council to solicit help from influential people respected by APRIL2014 |

the tribal council in Talaingod and the evacuees, and ask them to arbitrate the return of the evacuees. Mayor Basilio Libayao of Talaingod said that the LGU had submitted a request on April 16 to Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario and to Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City to mediate the return of the AtaManobos housed in a church in Davao City after leaving their homes because of alleged abuses of the military in the area. However, Roldan said, the mediator should be able to tell them how they will be treated safely in their own homes. Roldan said that the evacuees may be afraid of going back home because they do not know what the tribal leaders will do them when they come home. Libayao assured that the evacuees will be treated fairly and they will be provided food supply by the municipal government. Mayor Libayao said that the indigenous people should go back to their houses and till their lands “because it is the season for planting”. Libayao said that the local government prepared seedlings for rice, corn and coconut for distribution to the affected families. (PIA 11, Michael Uy/jmda) PAGE | 23

PIA Caraga orients Dinagat IOs on the guidelines in news writing By Venus L. Garcia

SAN JOSE, Dinagat Islands- “As government’s professional communicators, stories written shoud be positive, developmental and empowering.” This statement was reiterated by Philippine Information Agency Caraga information officer III Nora Molde in her lecture on ‘what stories to cover and not to cover’ during the Day-2 of the Three-Day Seminar-Workshop on Basic News Writing, Script Writing, Photography and Video Production spearheaded by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga held on Tuesday at the San Jose Pension House, Justiniana, San Jose, this province.

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She said that news articles shall feature stories of beneficiaries and stakeholders of government programs and projects. Among the priority projects that should be covered by the government information officers (IOs) include reaction to presidential pronouncements, jobs generation and emergency employment, education, health, infrastructure projects, food security/agriculture, peace and order, environment, promotion of the Philippines as a prime tourist destination, investments, foreign relations, heritage, gender and development, sports, good deeds or heroism, community and development initiatives. Moreover, news about housing projects for the homeless and low-income families and programs for sufficient and safe water and electricity sources will create interest to the public. “Stories on good governance like streamlining of business procedures and putting up of one-stop shop and convenient information APRIL2014 |

centers, gains in the fight against graft and corruption and open access to public information on the status of projects are also appropriate to write and relay to the public,” bared Molde. For the municipal and provincial IO participants, they were encouraged to release articles that cover disaster preparedness and safety measures. On prudent fiscal management, writers may tell how the national government funds are utilized in the regions and provinces, the increase in revenues by government unit or agency and the charges against tax evaders. “On the other hand, government IOs should veer away from baseless criticisms against national and local governments, political bickerings and petty crimes in the local community,” added Molde. She stressed that news articles should provide readers accurate and complete information. Keep it simple and vivid, letting the facts speak for themselves.

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Agusanons to strengthen protection of Mt. Magdiwata By David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR-- Truckloads of people while others were riding in their own vehicles and motorcycles started to move towards the foot of the Mt. Magdiwata in San Francisco town, this province at around 6:00 a.m., Tuesday to take part in the tree planting/parenting of the denuded portion of the mountain. Mt. Magdiwata is the main source of fresh and clean water of San Francisco and was declared as protected forest and watershed area by then President Fidel V. Ramos. The participants, numbering around a thousand, have to walk almost two kilometers up the mountain where the local government of San Francisco thru its Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO-LGU) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources- Provincial office (DENR-PENRO) stored the prescribed seedlings of Toog trees to be used during the tree planting/parenting activity. Toog tree is a rare specie found only in Agusan del Sur, part of Agusan del APRIL2014 |

Norte, also part of Compostela Valley and Surigao del Sur. After a short briefing of the objective of the tree planting/ parenting by Dr. Rex Linao and the procedure of planting by Forester Danilo Sarong, seedlings were distributed and the participants have to walk again about a kilometer up hill to the planting site in order to plant the seedlings. “Because of heavy rains that hit Agusan del Sur these past few months including some illegal cutting of trees and illegal mining in Mt. Magdiwata that threatens its condition, the Agusan del Sur Environment and Sustainable Development Council (ASESDC) designed this tree parenting activity in order to start the never ending PAGE | 26

protection and care of the main source of fresh and clean water that supply San Francisco and the neighboring areas. Aside from that, we are now conducting research as to who really is the authorized government agency that will manage Mt. Magdiwata,” said Linao. “While climbing Mt. Magdiwata until here where we conduct this short program and to the planting area is sacrifice, we all know that priceless reward will be reaped by our children and our children’s children after we decide today to become part of the forces that will sincerely protect and

take care of Mt. Magdiwata. We all know that even in our wildest dreams we can never restore Mt. Magdiwata if this will be totally destroyed and only in dreams our children can enjoy the fresh and clean waters that Mt. Magdiwata give us. Gov. Plaza therefore pledged his full support to this endeavor and promised he will always be with us for causes like this,” Provincial Administrator Jesusimo Ronquillo said. The tree planting/ parenting lasted more than two hours because of the distance and the terrain in going to the planting area while saving Mt. Magdiwata.

Senior Citizens’ mortuary assistance increases By Diana Generalao BUTUAN CITY-- From the previous annual allocation of P226,000 which can only accommodate 113 registered senior citizens at P2,000 each in the year 2010 to 2012, this year’s budget for mortuary assistance to deceased senior citizens has significantly increased and almost doubled up to P450,000. This recent development, after much effort from city councilor and chairman of the Committee on Social Services and Senior Citizens Ferdinand Nalcot, has finally pushed through and is now seen to be able to cater to almost twice the previous number of senior citizens whose families were able to claim mortuary assistance in the recent years. An important reminder though, APRIL2014 |

Nalcot emphasized during the interview, that the surviving family of the deceased senior citizen should be able to submit the pertaining documents within 3 months after the death of the member. It is also essential, Nalcot added, that the deceased senior citizen is an identified member of the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs and a resident of Butuan City. PAGE | 27

Dominga Mallonga DOST-Caraga Regional Director

for more details visit us DOST National Website: DOST Caraga Website:

One Mindanao - April 23, 2014  

An Electronic News Magazine of PIA Mindanao Cluster.

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