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Information to Empower Filipinos Early marriages still common in IP communities -- study says

Danilo Doguiles CENTRAL MINDANAO

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MONDAY, APRIL 7, 2014 Vol. 3 No. 156

10 7 NATIONAL

8 13 15

Defense finding ways to improve benefits for war veterans -- Palace

CARAGA REGION

200 Mindanao barangays eyed as reforestation sites Minda DOST-13 to conduct campaign on ‘Iba na ang Panahon: Science for Safer Communities’ Venus L. Garcia

WESTERN MINDANAO

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DXNO holds “nutrisyon at edukasyon sa Barangay” in Lamitan City Rene V. Carbayas ALS-Dipolog holds graduation exercises Alfonso T. Ruda

12 NORTHERN MINDANAO

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DOLE-X supports Regional Nutrition Council’s monitoring, evaluation Glenford C. Labial Lanao Norte conducts free anti-rabies vaccination to 1,600 dogs PIO-LDN

CENTRAL MINDANAO

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MinDA, DENR eye greening of 200 barangays in Mindanao Danilo E. Doguiles DPWH 12 steadfast on incorporating GAD in its projects Shahana Joy E. Duerme


Early marriages still common in IP communities -- study says

A

By Danilo Doguiles

t age 12, T’boli girl Eliza (not her real name) of Barangay Tasiman, Lake Sebu was betrothed by her parents to marry a 60-year old Datu. A year after, right on her first menstruation, she joined the household of the datu as the 13th of his 18 wives, two of whom are Eliza’s older sisters. Julian (also not his real name),a B’laan from Datu Tampal, Malungon, Sarangani recalled that at age 14 he was forced by his aunt to sleep with a 10-year old girl for a simple reason that he is an orphan and needs to take a wife who would take care of him. Eliza and Julian are only two of the many cases that the researchers involved in the study “The Impact of Early Marriage Practice: A Study of Two Indigenous Communities in South Central Mindanao (T’boli and Blaan) from Human and ChildRights Perspective” found. The study was commissioned by the children’s welfare and rights advocacy group Save the Children South Central Mindanao Program Office. “As of the time of the survey, [Eliza]

was already 16 years old, and had already given birth to four children, which meant she had her first child right after she stayed with [the datu],” said Prof. Rufa CagocoGuiam of the Mindanao State University – General Santos City Campus and leader of the research team. “Expectedly, [Eliza] doesn’t look like a


typical teen-ager who has not been married or has never given birth: she looks much older than her age,” she added. The study involved a survey of 240 individuals from Klubi and Tasiman in Lake Sebu; Lamhaku and Lambangan in T’boli in South Cotabato (for T’boli communities) as well as Barrio Blaan and Datal Tampal in Malungon, Sarangani (for Blaan communities). These individuals, whose ages at the time of the study ranged from 15 to 85, had experienced marrying before reaching

the age of maturity, 18. Important information were also gathered via focus group discussions and key informant interviews with 217 individuals who have either married as children or have directly knowledge of the cultural practice. On the average, Guiam said, T’boli and Blaan girls were married when they barely reached 15 years old to older husbands -- 21 years old. Boys were married at an average age of 16 to much younger wives with average of 14 years old. In Klubi, Lake Sebu, the team encountered respondents who confirmed T’boli parents arranged marriage of oneyear old baby girls as well as two-year old baby boys. She also emphasized that these marriages were mostly undocumented, namely: live-in marriages (33.6%) and tribal marriages without contract (17.9%), adding that “in these type of unions a husband could easily renege on his obligations to his wife and children.” As to the reasons for marrying early, four of every 10 respondents said the decision to marry early was their “personal choice” which the researchers explained could be due to the influence of the mass media, particularly television, and the exposure of the children to telecommunications. “However, despite the claim of “personal choice” as their main motivation, respondents also said they married early because it is part of their tradition, i.e. of marrying early. “In other words, what changed is only the choice of a partner or a spouse; the practice of getting married early, like in their teens is still prevalent among Blaan and T’boli communities,” Guiam said. Others 5


also marry to be able to escape poverty by marrying a much older, financially stable spouse, she added. The research also found that individuals who married before they reached the age of maturity “were poorly equipped to protect themselves and their children from violence and other vulnerabilities.” “Young IP parents, being children, are also not able to discipline their children,” Guiam said. T’boli and Blaan wives have also limited political and decision-making power. “By T’boli and Blaan traditional standards, it is the male who wield the major decision-making power,” she elaborate.” The fact that girl children were betrothed in a marriage arrangement with much older and polygamous husbands indicate little regard for girls’ and women’s participation involving their bodies and womanhood.” Moreover, opportunities for education and employments also very limited for the respondents. Among 240 respondents only 24 completed elementary, 12 finished high school and 15 had college degree. Meanwhile, of the 120 female respondents only 44 said they earned income by farming. “Having married early in their lives prevents both girls and boys from opportunities to develop a productive career later in their lives. Such a loss translates to their present marginalized status, where they have a few development options,” she added. Health issues are also highlighted in the research findings. Guiam explained, “Teenage mothers are not yet physically prepared to bear and nurture another life. Their bodies are still in the process of developing, and when they become mothers at this stage, such a condition can lead to serious physical problems, including the possibility of dying

at a very young age.” In the study, Guiam and fellow researchers recommended that Congress conduct a review on the Indigenous Peoples’ Right Act especially on the provision of early marriage, which might be inconsistent to the Family Code of the Philippines as well as the local governments in South Cotabato and Sarangani to craft ordinances that might regulate early marriage. They also suggested massive information, education and communication program on the deleterious implications of early marriage as well as capability building of IP youths who have married early to equip them for gainful employment. At the Child Protection Forum sponsored by the Save the Children South Central Mindanao Program Office held here recently where the research results were presented, leaders of groups in some parts of SOCCSKSARGEN Region vowed to address the concern on early marriages. “We thank the Save the Children for educating us and partnering with us for the benefit of our children,” Datu Lorencio Ignen, who spoke in behalf of the tribal leaders said in Tagalog. “Our ancestors believed they were right in arranging marriages their children even at very young age of two years old,” he said. “but as we (referring to tribal leaders in South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Sarangani) have evaluated, this tradition does not bring any good to our children because they themselves, even the boys, do not like to be married at early age. As a result, he said, “leaders of Tagakaulo, Ubu Manubo, T’boli, Blaan and other major tribes in this part of Mindanao are united in crafting a nine-point policy declaration.” The policy include among others working to change the tradition of marrying children at early age.


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President Aquino swears in ambassadors, new government officials

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he newly appointed ambassadors were former Foreign Affairs spokesperson Raul Hernandez as Philippine Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, Petronila Garcia as Philippine Ambassador to Canada, and Joseph Gerald Angeles as Philippine Ambassador to South Africa. The newly appointed ambassadors Canada, and Joseph Gerald Angeles as were former Foreign Affairs spokesperson Philippine Ambassador to South Africa. Raul Hernandez as Philippine Ambassador Under the Department of Foreign Affairs, to the Republic of Korea, Petronila Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Garcia as Philippine Ambassador to Jesus Yabes and Special Envoy of the APRIL| PAGE 7


President to the Gulf Cooperative Council Amable Aguiluz were also sworn into office. Former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Eduardo Oban and Marciano Paynor Jr. were both sworn in as Undersecretaries under the Office of the Executive Secretary. Other officials who took their oath of office were Jess Anthony Yu as Undersecretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office; Jose

Emmanuel Reverente as Undersecretary of the Department of Finance; Edwin Carillo as Assistant Government Corporate Counsel under the Department of Justice; Victorio Mario Dimagiba as Undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry; Rodolfo Isorena as Vice Admiral of the Philippine Coast Guard under the Department of Transportation and Communications; and Luie Tito Guia as Commissioner of the Commission on Elections. PND

Defense finding ways to improve benefits for war veterans -- Palace

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alaca単ang on Sunday said the Department of National Defense (DND) through the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) continues to find ways to improve the benefits being rendered by the government to Filipino war veterans and their families. APRIL 2014 | PAGE 8


Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. reported that one of the milestone achievements of PVAO in 2013 was the payment of total administrative disability (TAD) arrears amounting to P2.877-billions to 17,817 living World War II veterans covering the period of 1994 to 2002. The amount was charged against the pension gratuity fund of the 2013 General Appropriations Act, which materialized through the authority given by President Benigno S. Aquino III last year. “This has brought the total payment for TAD arrears to 6.93-billion pesos as of this date, which demonstrates the government’s resolve to deliver its commitment as mandated in Republic Act 7696,” Coloma told an interview over Radyo ng Bayan. Coloma added the PVAO also delivered pensions amounting to P10.225-billion benefiting 199,000 pensioners last year, many of whom have one or more pension accounts. Other forms of aid being extended by PVAO to war veterans and their families apart from TAD include old age disability, death pension, education, hospitalization, and burial assistance benefits. Coloma also mentioned that the Veterans Memorial Medical Center

(VMMC) was able to deliver medical services to 1,092 beneficiaries and their dependents whose hospitalization needs amounted to over P2-million last year. This was on top of the P15million the hospital had spent for specialized care for illnesses and other medical needs of war veterans. Reimbursements were also allowed for patients who underwent angioplasty, hemodialysis, cataract surgery, and purchased hearing aids and dentures. Coloma said some beneficiaries were also given medicines, wheelchairs, walkers, and canes through an outreach program. At the same time, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) was also checking with PVAO how it could deliver its services to the veterans. The Palace official disclosed these details in time for the upcoming celebration of Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) on Wednesday, April 9, that would be led by President Aquino in Bataan. “With this year’s theme “Balik Tanaw sa Sakripisyo ng Beterano: Gabay sa Landas ng Pagbabago”, the PVAO and DND aim to present our veterans as among the country’s national treasures and to revive the culture of heroism, which the Filipino race has been known for essentially because of our veterans’ valor and selfless sacrifices,” he said. PND APRIL| PAGE 9


TS ‘Domeng’ maintains strength but reduces speed

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ropical storm “Domeng” has maintained its strength but reduced its speed and continues to move west northwest, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Monday. In an interview, PAGASA weather forecaster Jun Galang said that as of 4 a.m., “Domeng” was spotted 880 km east of Davao City (6.9°N 134.3°E) with maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near center and gustiness of up to 80 kph. He added that Domeng has slowed down from 20 kph to 15 kph and continues to move west northwest. Galang said that due to extended cloudiness , some parts of Mindanao APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

and eastern Visayas will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and isolated thunderstorms. PAGASA said the estimated rainfall amount is from 5.0 – 15.0 mm per hour (Moderate - Heavy) within the 400 km diameter of the Tropical Storm He said the eastern portions of the Visayas and Mindanao would be the initial areas projected to feel its effect starting Wednesday. Due to the storm, he noted that PAGE | 10


areas located in the Eastern Visayas and Eastern Mindanao were expected to have moderate to heavy rains starting Tuesday afternoon or evening. And if “Domeng” will maintain its present direction and speed, Galang said it may make landfall over the Surigao provinces in Mindanao or in Samar-Leyte area in Eastern Visayas on Wednesday. Samar and Leyte were two of the areas devastated by super typhoon “Yolanda” last November. Galang advised residents in these areas to be prepared and to closely monitor the weather situation. However, Galang said they do not expect “Domeng” to further intensify into a typhoon in the coming days. He said numerical models were only showing that the cyclone may slow down, prolonging its stay inside the PAR. Galang further noted that some parts of Southern Luzon and Metro Manila may also feel the effect of the cyclone when it is already on its way towards the West Philippine Sea by Thursday or Friday. He said “Domeng” will likely exit the Philippine territory either Saturday or Sunday via Palawan or Mindoro then towards the West Philippine Sea. He added that the occurrence of tropical cyclone during this period is not unusual. He noted that every April, PAGASA expects “zero to one” cyclone to affect the country. He said the last time a storm inside the Philippine territory was experienced was during the same period in 2011 and was named “Amang.” However, Galang noted that it was only a tropical depression and did not make landfall. Meanwhile, in separate interview weather forecaster Jori Loiz said that Domeng will APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

not affect Luzon including Metro Manila as these areas continue to experience fair weather on Monday. He said except Cagayan Valley, the rest of the country including Metro Manila will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon or evening. Due to tail end of cold front ,Cagayan Valley will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and isolated thunderstorms. PAGASA said moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast will prevail over the northern and eastern section of the country and the coastal waters along these area will be moderate to rough. Elsewhere, winds will be light to moderate coming from the northeast to east with slight to moderate seas. Loiz said Sunday temperatures in Metro Manila rose to a high of 33.1 degrees Celsius at 11 a.m., and was coolest at 6 a.m. at 22.1 degrees. He also said that the hottest temperature that was recorded in Metro Manila so far this year was 35.7 degrees Celsius last March 28. On Sunday, the highest temperature was recorded at 36.4 degrees Celsius in Dagupan City in Pangasinan, followed by 36.2 in Subic, Zambales , then Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija with 34.5, Sangley Point in Cavite recorded at 34 and 31 in Tuguegarao, Cagayan. In the Visayas region, Catabalogan, Samar was recorded at 33 degrees Celsius followed by Dumaguete with 32.5 and Mactan in Cebu temperature at 31 degrees Celsius. In the Mindanao area, General Santos City with 36 degrees Celsius followed by Cotabato with 34.5 and Davao with 33.1 degrees Celsius. But so far, the hottest temperature in the country for this year was recorded in Tuguegarao at 37.9 degrees Celsius recorded last March 31. PAGE | 11


2014 Brigada Eskwela in Butuan City set By Marivic M. Cuizon

BUTUAN CITY - The Department of Education (DepEd) Butuan City Division is now preparing for year’s Brigada Eskwela here, said Education Program Supervisor and Division Information Officer Dr. Israel Reveche.

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Reveche said, concerned teachers of the different schools of the division after the commencement exercises and graduation ceremonies start coordinating with parents and informing their students of the scheduled weeklong activity. “The Brigada Eskwela is considered as the school preparation activity, it will gather teachers, parents, students, community members and other organizations work together to do minor repairs and clean-up their schools in preparation for the

coming school year,� Reveche said. The activity aims to spare school children from using their time and effort to clean the school surroundings once they report for classes, Reveche added. Brigada Eskwela, which started in 2003, is a nationwide voluntary effort among teachers, parents, students, community members and other organizations to do minor repairs and cleanups on their schools in preparation for the opening of classes.

200 Mindanao barangays eyed as reforestation sites By Minda

DAVAO CITY-- Two hundred barangays in Mindanao will soon engage in massive reforestation activities aimed to generate at least two million seedlings of forest trees to be planted among typhoon-prone and perennially flooded areas in the island-region. APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

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The initiative is a collaborative effort of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) through MinDA’s MindaNOW! Nurturing Our Waters Program and DENR’s Barangay Forest Program (BFP), a component of its National Greening Program (NGP). Called the Barangay StraTREEgic Forest Project (BSFP), the activity is designed to rehabilitate natural habitats and strengthen multisectoral commitment in the reforestation of Mindanao’s denuded areas. “We hope to contribute in achieving the Aquino Administration’s NGP targets through this project, while also securing resiliency in our vulnerable communities,” said MinDA chairperson Luwalhati Antonino. She added that for the first batch of implementation, MinDA committed 200 planting sites to jumpstart and fast-track the BSFP initiative within the island-region. “Among the prioritized barangays also include those that are located near critical coastal areas and rivers,” said Antonino while adding “the project also includes sustainable livelihood for the identified barangays to ensure that the barangay constituents can develop a steady source of income by protecting the

APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

environment.” The Barangay StraTREEgic Forest Project also encourages for the establishment of the Payment for Environment Services (PES), a mechanism designed to guarantee sustainability of industries that are dependent on natural resources and help restore areas with heavily degraded environment. The PES ensures that local governance are paralleled with efforts to protect and conserve the environment by creating an ordinance that allows it to collect fees from its constituents who subscribe to services that are dependent on natural resources. In the Municipality of Naawan in Misamis Oriental, the local government is successfully implementing its PES program by collecting P1.00 for every cubic meter of water that a household consumes. The pooled funds will be allocated for the reforestation of Lake Danao, the town’s water source to ensure sustainability of their local water system, which is dependent on the lake. “The role of LGUs in this undertaking is crucial as many of our efforts depend largely on the quality of leadership and governance that we have at the local level. Our goal is to sustain the reforestation efforts even beyond 2016,” Antonino said. She added that MinDA is also

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looking at tapping corporate partners as well as the private sector in coming up with an incentive scheme for the top performing barangays under the StraTREEgic program. The DENR committed to allocate

P100,000.00 to generate at least 10,000 seedlings per identified barangay and will facilitate the establishment of nurseries and tree growing activities in the barangaylevel.

DOST-13 to conduct campaign on ‘Iba na ang Panahon: Science for Safer Communities’ By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY-- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region-13, in collaboration with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of National Defense – Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), is spearheading the conduct of the nationwide campaign on Iba na ang Panahon: Science for Safer Communities set on April 29-30, 2014 at the Gateway Hotel, Surigao City.

“The information and education campaign aims to gather and disseminate all DOST knowledge products on disaster risk reduction and to assist local government units and other stakeholders on how to maximize the use of these knowledge products to prevent losses of lives and properties,” said Caraga Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) chairperson and OCD-13 regional director Liza Mazo. Around 350 participants are expected to join composed of local chief executives, DRRM officers, member-agencies of the RDRRMC and representatives from the academe and private sectors. Dr. Renato Solidum, director of the Department of Science and

APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

Technology’s Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOSTPHIVOLCS) will present an overview of the local geologic hazards and warning systems. Also, local hydrometeorological hazards and warning systems, disaster risk exposure assessment for mitigation, and DOST nationwide operational assessment of hazards are among the topics to be presented during the event. For queries, you may contact Meriam Bouquia or Paula Mae Creencia of DOST Caraga at telephone numbers (085) 342-9053 and 341-9551. Confirmation of attendance must be sent through telefax number (085) 342-5684 or email at dostcaraga@ yahoo.com.

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Dominga Mallonga DOST-Caraga Regional Director

for more details visit us DOST National Website: http://www.dost.gov.ph DOST Caraga Website: http://caraga.dost.gov.ph


Dominga Mallonga DOST-Caraga Regional Director

for more details visit us DOST National Website: http://www.dost.gov.ph DOST Caraga Website: http://caraga.dost.gov.ph


90 farmers finish season-long field school in Molave By Claro A. Lanipa

MOLAVE, Zamboanga del Sur – Some 90 farmers from barangays Rizal, Miligan and Culo Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs) of this municipality finished on Thursday the Season-Long Farmers’ Field School on System of Rice Intensification (SRI) on Organic Rice Production.

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The program was a joint undertaking of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Agrarian Reform Communities Programme 2 (ARCP2) Agri Enterprise Development Component (AED) and the local government unit of Molave through its Municipal Agricultural Office. Prior to the graduation ceremonies, a group of dignitaries and other guests led by SRI Pilipinas Coordinator Roberto Versola, DAR officials headed by Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer II Arturo Soria, municipal officials and the farmer-graduates visited the different SRI trial sites in the above-mentioned barangays. PARO II Soria said the activity showcased the results, observations and progress of the applied technology APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

that aims to provide Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) as well as the farmers of Molave and other ARC rice areas “the healthiest and most appropriate way of increasing farm household income.” Meanwhile, DA Regional Director Constancio Alama represented by Mr. Lito Larubis said the big challenge of the national government today is how to increase the produce and income of our farmers. “We in the DA is envisioning that by 2016 our country will have a very sufficient supply of staple food not only on rice but corn and other root crops as well,” Larubis said. Larubis is optimistic that through this new technology adopted by our farmers our vision would be attained. PAGE | 21


DXNO holds “nutrisyon at edukasyon sa Barangay” in Lamitan City

By Rene V. Carbayas

LAMITAN CITY, Basilan – The community radio station in Basilan conducted recently an advocacy on nutrition and health dubbed “Nutrisyon at Edukasyon sa Barangay” in Buahan, Lamitan City.

Richard G. Falcatan, station manager of DXNO-FM radio, said that the community advocacy is aimed at reaching out to remote communities in Basilan and promote awareness on nutrition and health. With the support of the US Forces Military Information Support APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

Team, DXNO was able to distribute 100 backpacks to pupils of Buahan Elementary School and some 200 solarand dynamo-powered portable AM/FM transistor radios to the parents and teachers as well. SSG Herman Kirk of the US Forces said that the backpacks are courtesy of POEA. PAGE | 22


School principal Rodrigo A. Bermejo was grateful for the presence of the group and for the goods distributed to the community. Some 200 pupils, teachers, and parents turned up to listen to some sharing from the health community workers from the Isabela City Health Office, USAID personnel, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), and the 53rd Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police (SAF-PNP). During the assembly Sigrid Yu-Tang of the Isabela City Health Office and an officer of Basilan Jaycees also discussed the Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos. She reminded the parents and the pupils to be always conscious of what food to eat, and to always bear in mind the food’s nutritional values. She stressed on the three groups of food—Go, Grow, and Glow food, which every parent must serve. “I asked the parents to prepare a variety of food every day in order for their children to acquire 100% nutrition, especially those foods filled with vitamins and minerals,” Yu said as she discourages parents to give children junk foods, especially at 11:00 a.m., as these contribute to kids’ loss of appetite. Yu was impressed with the pupils’ knowledge on nutrition and types of food. She lauded the teachers for teaching their pupils proper nutrition and health care. PSI Mariano Versoza of PNP-SAF, on the other hand, shared on the advocacy of the police force, giving emphasis against human trafficking. He told those who have plans to work abroad to apply at POEA-accredited agencies for their protection and welfare. “Always be meticulous on where you apply; you may end up illegally recruited. Illegal activities bring harm and endanger your life,” Versoza said in Filipino. He said that a number Filipinos have fallen victims to illegal drug trafficking who ended up in jail abroad and are even sentenced to death. Meanwhile, Rachel Resurection, Mindanao Health Project Officer of the USAID presented APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

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the different choices on family planning. She reminded the parents, especially the mothers on the values of managing their families well through family planning. She said that the end goal of family planning is for every family to be able to provide for the needs of the household and prepare for their children’s future.

Moreover, the PIA gave a briefer on Climate Change and Global Warming and called on the community to help protect the environment from further destruction and help save humanity. The men and women of the 53rd PNP-SAF also prepared nutritious noodles packed with malunggay and eggs for the pupils.

ALS-Dipolog holds graduation exercises By Alfonso T. Ruda DIPOLOG CITY – The Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS) of the Dipolog City Schools Division has recently conducted its 6th graduation exercises for learners who have undergone and completed the requirements set under the Alternative Learning System (ALS) as well as those who passed the Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) test given in November last year. Division ALS coordinator Catalina secondary level passer who came from Samson-Sulit disclosed that there were a broken family, thanked the Lord for 30 who graduated in the elementary giving her the courage to overcome all level and 233 in the secondary level. the obstacles in her life and for guiding Regional ALS chief Virginia C her to right decisions. She recalled that Amiruddin commended both the she had to stop her studies when her implementers and the parents for their parents parted ways in her younger collaborative effort and guidance to years. She said she got motivated to the ALS learners. She pointed out to continue her studies and enroll in ALS the graduates that everything learned after she had witnessed a graduation under the ALS is parallel to the education exercise for ALS learners. learned in school and she urged them Moreover, City Information Officer “to pursue their studies and not to put Robert Pinsoy who represented Mayor to waste what they have gained from Evelyn T. Uy, challenged the graduates ALS.” “not to put to waste what they have Serilyn Serino, elementary level gained and always follow the path of passer and a mother of three children righteousness in their day-to-day-life narrated how she survived tests in life and to preserve their success through to finish her 10-month studies under right attitude and character so as not the ALS program. She thanked God for to put to waste the effort of the ALS sustaining her life and expressed her implementers.” gratitude to the government for the According to Amiruddin, only ALS program that gives those who have more than 2,000 students out of the abandoned/stopped their schooling more than 12,000 learners in region 9 a chance to continue and, hopefully, passed the A & E test given in November finish a degree. 2013. An emotional Iris Sorabia, a PAGE | 24 APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph


NorMin keeps up rice sufficiency target by Jorie C. Valcorza

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - Pitched to attain rice sufficiency in 2015, the Department of Agriculture 10 (DA-10) is going full-scale with its AgriPinoy Rice Program.

From the 70 percent rice then took another leap to 94 percent sufficiency rate in 2011, it swelled up in 2013. to 90 percent the following year and DA-10 Regional Executive APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

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Director Lealyn A. Ramos attributed the success to the receptiveness of the local government units (LGUs) and farmers to agricultural modernization. Assistance in the procurement of hybrid seeds, machines, drying, storage and milling facilities were just some of the approach employed to help the farmers. “We are working to enhance and expand the rice production areas while strengthening production, extension,

and information support,” Ramos said. For the year, DA-10 has poured P245 million budget for the Agri-Pinoy rice program, getting the biggest chunk among other programs. To date, the annual per capita consumption for rice in region 10 is pegged at 108 kilograms, slightly lower than the nationwide consumption rate of 114kg.

DOLE-X supports Regional Nutrition Council’s monitoring, evaluation by Glenford C. Labial

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) together with the Department of Health (DOH) in region X has recently met for the implementation of the Monitoring and Evaluation of the Local Level Plan Implementation (MELLPI). The meeting was a result of the call of DOH for the active participation of the Regional Nutrition Council (RNC-X) members to identify ongoing nutrition efforts and actions to address prevailing nutrition problems among children and pregnant mothers. MELLPI is a system for monitoring and evaluating the local level plan implementation of the nutrition programs which was established by the National Nutrition Council in 1979.

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It assesses the efficiency of the local level plan implementation by determining the outreach of activities indicated in the local nutrition action plan. Northern Mindanao MELLPI is spearheaded by the RNC-X together with the focal persons from its member agencies coming from the DA, DepEd, DILG, DOLE, DSWD, PIA, PopCom, NSO and TESDA.

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Lanao Norte conducts free anti-rabies vaccination to 1,600 dogs by PIO-LDN

TUBOD, Lanaodel Norte - More than 1,600 dogs in Lanao del Norte received free anti-rabies vaccination as part of the Rabies Awareness Month. T h e activity was organized by the provincial g ove r n m e n t through its Provincial Ve t e r i n a r y Office (PVO). PVO also conducted symposia in various municipalities to further p r o m o t e r a b i e s awareness among local residents, this province. “Dog bites and incidents of rabies usually falls during summer time, so we need to educate people on how we can prevent rabies infection because once bitten by a rabid dog mortality is very high,� Provincial Veterinarian Usodan Samporna revealed. Samporna said they require dog owners to register their pets at the PVO and attend a brief seminar on how to raise pets. APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

Municipalities that availed free antirabies vaccination include Baroy, on March 19; Kapatagan, March 20; Maigo, March 24; Kolambugan, March 26; Kauswagan, March 27; Linamon, March 28; Lala, March 31; Salvador, April 1; Balo-i, April 2; and Bacolod, April 4. This annual activity of PVO is also supported by the QuibranzaDimaporo initiative. PAGE | 27


Mechanization , loan program could reduce rice production cost in PH – Sec Alcala By: Danilo E. Doguiles KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato -- Appropriate mechanization and postharvest facilities coupled with a non-restrictive loan program could help decrease the cost of production among rice farmers in the country.

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“Filipino rice farmers are not yet ready for the ASEAN Integration in 2015 because our production cost for palay is too high compared to those spent by farmers in other countries like Vietnam and Thailand spend,” Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala told members of media from SOCCSKSARGEN in a meeting at his office in Quezon City recently. Citing initial reports from a study that the Department of Agriculture commissioned through Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the secretary said, the massive expenses by Filipino farmers were largely influenced by the highly manual operations from land preparation to harvesting as well as the “cost of money being used by the farmers.” The cost of money, he elaborated, pertains to the excessive profits that traders add to the cost of farm inputs as well as the disproportionate interests that loan sources charge. Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) reported that while rice growers in the Philippines spend P10 to produce a kilogram of palay, their counterparts in Vietnam and Thailand only shell out P5 and P8, respectively to yield the same volume. “With right interventions on farm mechanization and postharvest facilities, we could lessen the production and labor cost,” said Secretary Alcala, adding that the APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

concern on exorbitant charges and interests on farm supplies and loans are being addressed partly by the Sikat Saka program. “If we could lower the cost of production to P5 per kilo, Filipino farmers can really be competitive,” he said. In a separate interview, DA 12 Regional Executive Director Amalia Jayag-Datukan explained further that with proper mechanization, farm activities such as planting and harvesting are shortened; the number of persons who should be hired to do farm works is also lessened. “For example, a rice combine harvester could easily harvest two hectares of rice production area in less than one day, which when done by manual labor could last up to four days,” Datukan said. “It is also not true that using a rice harvester could result in considerable wastage, in fact, manual labor results in more losses.” Losses are further lessened when postharvest facilities such as warehouses, multi-purpose drying pavements, mechanical dryers and the like are made accessible to the rice growers, she said. Sikat Saka is a credit assistance program being implemented by DA and the Land Bank of the Philippines and the other attached agencies of the Department in support to the Food Staples Sufficiency Program. It intends help small palay growers, particularly members of PAGE | 29


irrigators’ associations attain better yield with a loan program with attached support such as technical assistance, administrative services, assured market, insurance, and irrigation. Loan beneficiaries are also trained on credit and financial management. Rice farmers are allowed loan

of P41,000 per hectare if they raise inbred rice and P50,000 per hectare if they grow hybrid rice. In SOCCSKSARGEN Region, Sikat Saka was piloted in North Cotabato in 2012. Last year, the financial aid was opened to rice growers in Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato provinces. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12)

MinDA, DENR eye greening of 200 barangays in Mindanao By: Danilo E. Doguiles KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato -- At least 200 barangays in different parts of Mindanao will soon embark in a greening program aimed at planting over 2 million forest trees in typhoon-pone and perennially flooded areas. In a press statement sent to Philippine Information Agency, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said, the initiative is a collaboration between MinDA through its MindaNOW! Nurturing Our Waters Program, the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through its Barangay Forest Program (BFP). BFP is a component of the National Greening Program (NGP). Called the Barangay StraTREEgic Forest Project (BSFP), the activity is designed to rehabilitate natural habitats and strengthen multi-sectoral commitment in the reforestation of Mindanao’s denuded areas. APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

“We hope to contribute in achieving the Aquino Administration’s NGP targets through this project, while also securing resiliency in our vulnerable communities,” said MinDA Chairperson Luwalhati Antonino. Initially, MinDA has identified 200 planting sites to jumpstart and fast-track the BSFP initiative within the island-region. “Among the prioritized barangays also include those that are located near critical coastal areas and rivers,” Antonino said. “The project also includes sustainable livelihood for the identified barangays to ensure that the barangay constituents can develop a steady source of income by protecting the PAGE | 30


environment,” she added. The Barangay StraTREEgic Forest Project also encourages for the establishment of the Payment for Environment Services (PES), a mechanism designed to guarantee sustainability of industries that are dependent on natural resources and help restore areas with heavily degraded environment. The PES ensures that local governance are paralleled with efforts to protect and conserve the

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environment by creating an ordinance that allows it to collect fees from its constituents who subscribe to services that are dependent on natural resources. The MinDA report cited that the local government of Naawan Misamis Oriental has successfully implemented PES program by collecting P1.00 for every cubic meter of water that a household consumes. The pooled funds will be allocated for the reforestation of Lake Danao, the town’s water source to ensure sustainability of their local water system, which is dependent on the lake. “The role of LGUs in this undertaking is crucial as many of our efforts depend largely on the quality of leadership and governance that we have at the local level. Our goal is to sustain the reforestation efforts even beyond 2016,” Antonino said. She added that MinDA is also looking at tapping corporate partners as well as the private sector in coming up with an incentive scheme for the top performing barangays under the StraTREEgic program. The DENR committed to allocate P100,000.00 to generate at least 10,000 seedlings per identified barangay and will facilitate the establishment of nurseries and tree growing activities in the barangay-level. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12/MinDA)

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DPWH 12 steadfast on incorporating GAD in its projects By: Shahana Joy E. Duerme KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato -- In its aim to promote gender equality, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH 12) in Soccsksargen region is dedicated to ensuring that gender and development (GAD) is incorporated in all of the department’s endeavors.

“We are very active in implementing GAD as this program is always incorporated in all the DPWH’s projects,” DPWH 12 regional director Reynaldo S. Tamayo said in a GAD press conference held recently. He also revealed that they are mandated to allot a 5% budget for implementation of GAD-related programs or projects. Tamayo stated that they are using the said budget not only for trainings but for implementation of infrastructure projects as well. “DPWH is implementing genderfriendly facilities. One example of this is the construction of comfort rooms for males and females. “DPWH is centered on strengthening all gender development through infrastructure projects as these benefit both men and women,” the regional director explained. Meanwhile, Tamayo noted that aside from training DPWH APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

employees on GAD, one of their major accomplishments when it comes to compliance of the mentioned program is the presence of women employees scaling up to 50% who are also involved in different programs of the department. On the other hand, DPWH assistant regional director Allan S. Borromeo for the GAD press conference initiated by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA 12) as according to him, it will create awareness on what needs to be developed when it comes to gender development implementation. The said press conference was attended by media practitioners in South Cotabato and was graced by representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD 12), South Cotabato Provincial Population Office, Local Lady Legislators League and the MOVE Philippines. (SJDuerme-PIA12) PAGE | 32



One Mindanao - April 7, 2014