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10 COVER STORY Support TreeVolution: Greening MindaNOW -- DENR 12 chief Page 4 Danilo E. Doguiles

SOCCSKSARGEN Region

NATIONAL

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President Aquino appoints U.P. Professor as Acting Solicitor General

CARAGA REGION

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Dinagat Islands employees coop conducts bloodletting activity by Ma. Jane Mayola

AgSur town receives P59M worth of MRDP projects by Emmylou T. Presilda

WESTERN MINDANAO 1st FAB beefs up delivery of govt programs, services

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by Claro A. Lanipa

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ERB-Ozamiz approves registration of 890 voters for 2016 elections, says Comelec

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TESDA-10 endorses Lugait town as nominee to 2014 Kabalikat Awards

by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob

by Honey Analou E. Doña

SOUTHERN MINDANAO Dancing traffic officers add color to Tagum’s streets

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by Louie Lapat

ARMM

DSWD awards Huwarang 4Ps Family 2014 by Jocelyn P. Alvarez

NORTHERN MINDANAO

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Religious scholars in Lanao unify to support peace process by Johaniah N. Yusoph

Maternal, child health care in ARMM improve

Information to Empower Filipinos


Support TreeVolution: Greening MindaNOW -- DENR 12 chief

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by Danilo E. Doguiles

egional Director Datu Tungko Saikol of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 12 has appealed for public participation in the TreeVolution: Greening MindaNOW. TreeVolution: Greening which attempts to plant MindaNOW is an activity of 4,636,000 trees simultaneously the DENR and the Mindanao in several areas across Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) in one hour on September 26. “If we succeed in this initiative we will be able to surpass the Guinness World Record set by India on most trees planted in multiple sites,� Director Saikol said in an interview over a local radio station.


On August 15, 2011, some 340,200 people in India planted 1,945,535 trees across 408 locations. During the Climate Change Advocacy campaign and tree planting activity of DENR 12 and Philippine Information Agency 12 in Malandag, Malungon, Sarangani on August 19, Saikol also appealed to the troops of the Philippine Army to participate. “We are encouraging our partners in the military,

specifically the troops of 1002nd Brigade to join the project,” he said, following a discourse on the importance of planting trees to mitigate the effects of climate change. He explained further that at least 9,200 hectares in Mindanao will be covered in the TreeVolution, which aims to encourage massive participation by various stakeholders and sectors in efforts to hit the Mindanao target for the National Greening Program (NGP). It is also part of the longterm campaign by DENR and MinDA’s MindaNOW! Program to instill among Mindanawons the consciousness of a sustainable management of environment and


natural resources as part of the larger efforts for climate change adaptation. DENR 12 and its field offices, he added, intends to plant trees in 1,000 hectares “which will be shared by the four provinces of SOCCSKSARGEN Region,” namely: South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sarangani and South Cotabato. “This target does not include the goals set by the local government units that would like to organize their own tree planting activities under the TreeVolution,” Saikol said. Interested individuals and organizations may inquire from the nearest provincial or

community environment and natural resources offices. Meanwhile, Janet Lopoz, MinDA’s executive director announced in a press statement that interested volunteer planters may participate as a group or individual planters, while others can register their area as a planting site. Those who would like to join as individual planter may visit http://goo.gl/St8w2k while those who would like to register their area as a planting site may visit http://goo.gl/eyXBQV for further information. Lopos added that MinDA and DENR are also urging Mindanawons to become a sponsor for the event, while others can become volunteer witnesses or stewards. Prospective volunteers or stewards may visit http://goo.gl/ HI4iHR, while those who wish to become sponsors may visithttp:// goo.gl/jANVUl for details. Registration will close on September 10. For more information and update on the event like the event’s Facebook account https://www.facebook.com/ MindanaoTreevolution.


Majority of Filipinos still supportive of President Aquino, says 3DODFHRIÀFLDO

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resident Benigno S. Aquino III still has the support of the majority of Filipinos and he remains determined to carry out reforms that would benefit the country, a Palace official said on Tuesday. “Kung ating tutunghayan ang mga public opinion surveys, talaga namang lumalabas doon na may suporta ang Pangulo mula sa mayorya ng ating mga mamamayan,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said a press briefing in Malacañang. He was asked if the failure to draw more rallyists to Monday’s anti-pork barrel rally means strong support for the Aquino administration. On the President’s reaction to Monday’s mass action, Secretary Coloma said what is important to the Chief Executive is the implementation of reforms.

“Ang mahalaga nga para sa Pangulo ay ang pagpapatuloy ng reporma at pagbabago. Hindi naman ito nakukuha lamang sa isang insidente o isang episode o isang rally,” he said. He noted that in more than four years President Aquino has been in office, many reforms have already taken root. “Marami na ring nakapapansin ng pagbabago sa iba’t ibang larangan ng ating lipunan at ‘yon nga ang panawagan ng Pangulo, na dapat ipagpatuloy ito dahil dumadami na rin naman tayo,” he said. AUGUST 2014 | PAGE

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President Aquino appoints U.P. Professor as Acting Solicitor General

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resident Benigno S. Aquino III has appointed Senior State Solicitor and University of the Philippines (UP) Associate Professor Florin T. Hilbay as Acting Solicitor General, Malaca単ang announced on Wednesday. Hilbay earned his degree in Economics from the University of Santo Tomas in 1995, his law degree from UP in 1999, and his Master of Laws from Yale Law School in 2005. As Senior State Solicitor, Hilbay argued and won the case for the Reproductive Health Law before the Supreme Court in 2013. He teaches Constitutional Law and Philosophy of Law at the UP College of Law and serves as editor of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Journal. He was editor-in-chief of the Philippine Law &

Society Review from 2010 to 2013. Before joining the Office of the Solicitor General, he was Director of the Institute of Government and Law Reform of the UP Law Center from 2011 to 2013, and was vice-chair of Bantay Katarungan, an organization led by former Senate President Jovito Salonga, from 2003 to 2012. He replaces former Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, who was appointed as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court early this month. PND AUGUST 2014 | PAGE

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President Aquino still reviewing draft Bangsamoro Law

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resident Benigno S. Aquino III is still reviewing the draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law that was submitted to him last week, a Palace official said Tuesday.

“Patuloy na pinag-aaralan ng Pangulo ang inihaing draft Bangsamoro Basic Law,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a press briefing in Malacañang. “Ang susunod na hakbang ay ang agarang paghain nito sa Kogreso bilang urgent legislative measure. Merong sense of urgency dito, dahil sa nailatag na timetable ng Bangsamoro peace process,” he added. According to Coloma, Presidential peace adviser Teresita Deles said both the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panels have

already agreed on significant issues, and that is why they decided to forward the draft to the President. The draft Bangsamoro Basic Law was submitted to President Aquino on Wednesday evening. Once the draft law is approved by Congress, a plebiscite will be held and a transition authority will be created in preparation for the conduct of an election in the Bangsamoro in 2016. President Aquino has vowed to push for the conduct of a fair and democratic poll in the region before he leaves office in 2016. AUGUST 2014 | PAGE

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Agusan del Sur eyes rabies free this year by Millisent Omen

Photo creadit: kitoonlus.wordpress.com

PATIN-AY, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur - The provincial government here is aiming to make the province a rabies free this year. The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), through its Rabies Control Program is targeting 17,500 dogs to

be vaccinated until the end of this year province wide. Seven municipalities namely Prosperidad, Loreto, Trento, San


Francisco, Rosario, Esperanza and Veruela and the lone city of Bayugan already participated during the scheduled massive vaccination with the full support of their respective municipal and city agriculturists and veterinarians. Aside from massive vaccination, distribution of information, education and communication materials containing how deadly rabies are, and the ways on how it can inflect human that are distributed to the public, rabies symposia and

orientation on responsible pet ownership are also conducted in different schools provincewide. The PVO will also conduct rabies disease surveillance to support in controlling and preventing zoonotic diseases in the province. Some 12,200 dogs were already vaccinated and this activity will go on until December of this year. The provincial government has set aside P30,000 budget for all the activities lined up for the rabies control program thru its anti-rabies trust fund.

Dinagat Islands employees coop conducts bloodletting activity by Ma. Jane Mayola

SAN JOSE, Dinagat Islands- The Dinagat Islands Capitol Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative (DICEMPC) in partnership with the Provincial Health Office conducted a bloodletting activity held recently at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall, this province. According to Cherilyn Benitez of the Provincial Health Office, there are four patients from Dinagat Islands now confined at the Caraga Regional Hospital who need around eight bags of blood every week. “So the activity is very helpful and timely in saving

lives of the Dinagatnons who are in need,� Benitez said. Around 50 individuals from different offices of the province donated blood. The activity served as the highlight of the 6th anniversary celebration of the DICEMPC. AUGUST 2014 | PAGE

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AgSur town receives P59M worth of MRDP projects by Emmylou T. Presilda

BUTUAN CITY - The municipality of San Luis in Agusan del Sur culminated the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) implementation through a celebration during the turnover of the remaining P5 Million worth of livelihood sub-projects completed under the 3rd round of MRDP’s Community Fund for Agricultural Development (CFAD) last August 8. In total, the municipality was able to avail P59Million worth of projects under the MRDP including the reinforced concrete deck girder (RCDG) Bridge amounting to P40M; P9M Farm to Market Road; and P10M worth of various livelihood projects such as expansion of potable water system (level 2), cattle production, pre and post harvest facilities, goat production, multi-purpose drying pavement (MPDP) with open storage, and MPDP with warehouse. “I am very thankful to the Department of Agriculture for this support. This indeed calls for a celebration,” Mayor Ronaldo Corvera said. During the event, 13 farmer associations and women’s organization received the key of responsibility and certificate of turnover from Mayor Corvera. This is in addition to the 21 associations who already received ownership of their projects in the previous rounds.

Congresswoman Ma. Valentina G. Plaza who graced the activity, urged the farmers to take care of their projects. “I ask you to love and nurture the projects for it is a great privilege to be one of the beneficiaries of this program. Hopefully, when we come back, we will be able to see a big difference in your lives,” she said. Beneficiaries of the subprojects also took pride on how the projects were able to help them in their needs. “My child was able to finish her college degree because of the cattle production project that we have availed of MRDP. I was able to sell one of its offspring to support my child’s college education,” said Gilda Bada of Brgy. Sta. Ines. “I am not the only one who benefitted the project. Other members of our association were able to buy farm lands and renovate their houses out from its offspring that is why we will continue to let the project grow,” she added. AUGUST 2014 | PAGE

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Tsunami survivor hails disaster preparedness trainings By Gideon C. Corgue

PAGADIAN CITY – A tsunami survivor thanked the government for conducting disaster preparedness training in the barangays here to lessen the adverse impacts of disasters on the populace. During the 38th commemoration of Moro Gulf Tsunami last Aug. 17, tsunami survivor Zacharias Espadilla said the disaster training would help the people prepare for any emergencies. “Nagpasalamat ko sa kagamhananan nga naghimo ug disaster preparedness training tungod kay pinaagi niini ang mga tawo makabalo kung unsay angay buhaton panahon nga ang

The Malengas Dance ensemble of Zamboanga del Sur National High School performs a reenactment of 1976 Moro Gulf Tsunami and Earthquake thru dance during the commemorative ceremony.


kalatagman moabot ug makabalo usab sila kung asa nga dapit sila moadto aron malikayan ang dakong kadaut,” Espadilla said. (I thanked the government for conducting disaster preparedness training because through this, people would know what to do when disaster strikes and they would also know where to go to protect themselves from great destruction.) Espadilla recounted that he lost his wife and four children to the earthquake-induced tsunami that occurred in the midnight of Aug. 17, 1976. “Kung nakabalo lang unta ang mga tawo kung asa modagan palayo sa higante nga balod, wala untay liboan ka mga tawo ang mamatay ug unta ang akong pamilya dili usab mamatay,” he said. (If the people know where to run and escape from the giant waves, my family and thousand others would be spared.) The tsunami had left 1,400 dead, 7,100 seriously injured and more than a thousand missing. Mayor Romeo Pulmones said “the great destruction of lives in the 1976 Moro Gulf earthquake and tsunami could have been avoided should the people know about disaster preparedness.” Pulmones said the city government has intensified its efforts at conducting disaster preparedness training to prepare the public for natural disasters. “The disaster can strike anywhere, to anyone and

anytime,” he added. “I have ordered the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) to conduct a series of earthquake and tsunami drills in barangays and public elementary and secondary schools especially during the National Disaster Consciousness month to equip the public with a better and improved knowledge on disaster preparedness,” Pulmones announced. The mayor also bared that earthquake and disaster drills were already conducted in Sta. Lucia National High School, San Pedro National High School and Zamboanga del Sur School of Arts and Trades, all situated along coastal barangays of the city. The city government has also passed an ordinance mandating the employees, barangay officials and residents to commemorate August 17 every year and thereafter as earthquake and tsunami day for the public to remember that fateful day in the history of Pagadian.

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1st FAB beefs up delivery of govt programs, services By Claro A. Lanipa

TINOTUNGAN, Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur – To help bridge the gap and act as catalyst between the government and the barangay folks through the delivery of government programs and services, the 1st Field Artillery Battalion (FAB), Army Artillery Regiment, Philippine Army has embarked on “adopt-a barangay” program. In keeping with this program, a medical and dental outreach program was held on Tuesday at Barangay Tinotungan by the officers and men of the 1st FAB led by Lt. Col. Sonny M. Sales in collaboration with the Zamboanga del Sur provincial government and this town. Civil Military Officer Capt. Zal L. Bagondol said “apart from the medical and dental services we also conducted first aid training to the members of the Barangay

Emergency Response Team (BERT), a tree planting activity in support of the National Greening Program (NGP), supplemental feeding for the malnourished children, free circumcision, and others. The battalion has identified five barangays for the implementation of the said program, namely, Tinotungan, Man-ilan, and Sto. Rosario of Tukuran town and San Isidro and Tawagan Norte of Labangan town all of Zamboanga AUGUST 2014 | PAGE

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del Sur. Last Aug. 5, the same activity was conducted in the barangay where 68 residents availed themselves of the medical consultation and were given free medicines, 24 children were circumcised, eight children were immunized, six pregnant women were given pre-natal services, and four others underwent sputum test. A tree planting is going to be held tomorrow, Aug. 28, in the same barangay to be participated in by the

officials and employees of Tukuran, Barangay officials and residents, and schools. Barangay Chairwoman Victoria G. Pintac expressed her deepest gratitude to the officers and men of the 1st FAB for choosing her barangay as one of the beneficiaries of the program. The same services will also be undertaken in the other four identified barangays. AUGUST 2014 | PAGE

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DSWD awards Huwarang 4Ps Family 2014 By Jocelyn P. Alvarez

ZAMBOANGA CITY - To give due recognition to familybeneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps who maintain strong family ties, demonstrate positive Filipino values and have a positive impact in the community where they reside, the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) recently awarded a family as Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya regional winner. Four family-beneficiaries of 4Ps from across Zamboanga Peninsula who are themselves provincial winners in their respective provinces vied for the regional title and the family of Mr. and Mrs. Renato Gituayan from Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur emerged as this year’s regional winner. The four contestants gathered in an awarding event held recently here in the city, where each family showed off their talents through sing and dance number. The winning family received P2,000 in cash, Certificate of Recognition and mixed goodies from DSWD. The Gituayan family will represent region 9 in the national level. It was learned that provincial and regional searches were

conducted in all DSWD field offices with family-contestants subjected to desk validation and panel interviews. In the desk validation, the judge is allowed to scrutinize and review the packaged documentations submitted based on their activities at home and participation in the community. The Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya is an annual search, which was launched in 2012 by National Program Management Office (NPMO) and the National Committee on the Filipino Families. Other family-finalist for the regional search were Mr. and Mrs. Dario Ponce from Rizal, Zamboanga del Norte; Mr. and Mrs. Ereneo Carumba from Zamboanga Sibugay and Mr. and Mrs.Ruben Abdurasid from District I-Recodo, Zamboanga City. AUGUST 2014 | PAGE

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P10M PCA grant increases coco production in Gingoog by Edmar C. Pabia

GINGOOG CITY - Coconut is a tree of life. Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) gives life to both our coco trees and farmers as it grants P10 million assistance. Thus said Gingoog mayor Marie de Lara Guingona as her administration joins the 28th National Coconut Week Celebration of PCA which is under the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization, and gratefully acknowledges such agency for releasing a grant assistance worth P10 million to the members of Gingoog Federation of Agricultural Multi-purpose Cooperative (GinFAMCO). The city mayor has been incessantly coordinating with PCA-Gingoog Field Office workers


led by Donato Jomen for the increase of coco production which translates to farmers’ economic progress and familial welfare in general. She extends her sincere congratulations to PCA for generously considering the long-awaited plan of the coop represented by its chairman of the Board of Directors Anacleto Mejares in availing such grant for Coconut Coir Decorticating Plant to be built at barangay Pangasihan from the Japanese government through JapanASEAN Integration Fund-Emergency Economic Assistance (JAIF-EEA) via a project entitled “Strengthening of the Small Holder Coconut-based Industries Project.” The mayor said this administration also gives life to farmers and to their coco farms. In offering economic acceleration to coco farmers, the city government’s counterpart to this promising investment is the donation of the parcel of land measuring to 10,000 square meters located in Pangasihan wherein the processing plant will be constructed. Furthermore, the chief executive has expressed her warm felicitations to all GinFAMCO members for a dream-come-true due to their arduous undertakings in making this Japanese grant into a reality. She has been encouraging all cooperators to work hard and offer their commitment for the success of this million-valued investment. Her regime is aware that Gingoog is popularly known as “coconut city” wherein numerous coco farmers

are depending their livelihood on coconuts, hence she has been doing ways to increase their production together with PCA’s services to them. While concentrating on cocos, the city government works closely with the KAANIB Enterprise Development Project (KEDP) by implementing coconut-coffee based intercropping project among the city’s nine sites covering 350 hectares, by realizing coconut timber utilization project, by sharing counterpart for coco sugar production at Brgy. Agay-ayan. Further, by having cacao and corn intercropping. In addition, she has been linking with the City Agriculturist Office head Eduardo Sanchez in facilitating the 25,000 bags for salt fertilization program with PCA. Besides, her personnel have been fielding out for the coconut seedling dispersal project aiming to cover city’s 150 hectares. Meanwhile, Jomen praises mayor Guingona’s full support for farmers’ betterment. He further gives thanks to the lady mayor in establishing an open communication between her administration and PCA’s field office for the dynamic implementations of various programs from the agency.

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ERB-Ozamiz approves registration of 890 voters for 2016 elections, says Comelec by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob

OZAMIZ CITY, Misamis Occidental - The Election Registration Board (ERB) of Ozamiz City has approved the application for registration of 890 voters for the 2016 elections, as of its last hearing on July 21, this year.

These voters applied for registration with the Commission on Elections (Comelec), after the system of continuing registration and validation of voters resumed last May 6, 2014. The system required the mandatory taking of photographs,

fingerprints and signature or biometrics, in the registration process of the voters, Atty. Sylvan Gerald L. Sabio, City Election Officer, said. The ERB is composed of the City Election Officer, as Chairperson, and Dr, Rebonfamil R. Baguio, Schools Division Superintendent, Department of Education and Letecia A. Tan, City Civil Registrar, as members. Meanwhile, the Comelec data show that 346 of the registrants were new voters while 187, transferred from other municipalities. About 159, changed or had their entries corrected, such as, in their civil status, from single to married or from married to widowed, etc. Likewise, 97 registrants transferred from voting centers within the city, 81, reactivated their registration and 20 were transferees with reactivation.

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TESDA-10 endorses Lugait town as nominee to 2014 Kabalikat Awards by Honey Analou E. Doña

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - Regional Director Edgar A. Sales of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Region 10 (TESDA-10) and the Regional Screening Committee headed by Arsenio L. Sebastian of the Regional Technical Education and Skills Development Committee have endorsed the municipality of Lugait under the Local Government Unit (LGU) Category – Municipality of the National Search for the 2014 TESDA Kabalikat Awards.

The Kabalikat Award is one of TESDA’s reward mechanisms in giving due recognition and honor to its outstanding partners in the promotion

and enhancement of technical education and skills development (TESD). The award is conferred to outstanding institutions, private firms/companies, LGUs, and legislative partner cognizant of their good practices and contribution in the promotion and development of the country’s technical and vocational workers in terms of qualification and/ or competencies gained. The Municipality of Lugait under the leadership of mayor Wellie G. Lim, CPA has been sustaining the promotion and implementation of TESD programs for the past 18 years using their TEF (Training, Employment, Financial) Cycle of governance which gives solution to unemployment. Meanwhile, the national winners will be declared on August 28, 2014 during the TESDA’s 20th Anniversary Celebration at TESDA Central Office, Taguig, Metro Manila. AUGUST 2014 | PAGE

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City monitors rivers during heavy rains

DAVAO CITY- The city government of Davao particularly its emergency services monitored rivers and creeks during heavy rains which hit the city yesterday (August 25).

The City Government conducted preventive evacuation in Matina Pangi with river water level starting to reach critical level during the heavy downpour. Last night (7 p.m.) Balusong River was clas In its local current sified as Orange (critical weather and flood moniwater level) while rivertoring status, moderate side areas in Bankeroto heavy rains prevailed han, Lipadas, Maa and in the downtown areas Barangay 19 were clasand also in the upland sified as yellow (increasareas of Calinan and ing water level but safe) Guianga. Factors feared However at around 9 which could trigger the p.m. water levels in the overflow of Balusong river were considered as River. safe. (PIA/RG Alama)


Dancing traffic officers add color to Tagum’s streets TAGUM CITY—Tagumenyos are advised not to get shocked if they see dancing men in green uniform in the middle of busy streets during rush hour.

This as the Traffic Management Office deployed some 20 “dancing” Traffic Management Officers (TMO) in an effort to ease the stress—both by the motorists and the traffic officers themselves—brought by street congestion during peak hours. Major streets in the city are now manned by dancing officers directing the flow of traffic, to the amusement of motorists and the riding public. This innovation was launched last August 22, 2014 after the selected 20 TMO underwent a professional training by a dance instructor commissioned by the City Government of Tagum, according to Traffic Management Office Head Insp. Cosme Masepequiña. Among the identified streets where the public can see the “performance” of these traffic officers are in the National Highway, Rizal Street and Pioneer Avenue, among others. Masepequiña assured the public that the flow of traffic is still the topmost concern of these officers, adding that their dance exhibitions are also in strict accordance with the

usual rules and styles in managing the flow of traffic. On his part, Mayor Allan L. Rellon strictly advised the dancing traffic officers not to accept money from motorists since they reported that there are some who seemed amused and entertained with their performance and felt the need to hand them money—a thing they politely declined. One amused pedestrian even recorded the dancing traffic officers and uploaded it to social networking site Facebook which has gone viral in the city. Meanwhile, the City Government already kicked off its conduct of traffic assessment leading to the formulation of a Traffic and Transport Technical Proposal, which aims to ease traffic congestion within the identified junctions and sustain orderliness in the transport system. The proposal will pave the way to the 25-million peso traffic signalization project that will be funded by the World Bank upon the recommendation of the League of Cities of the Philippines. Under the proposal, traffic lights worth five million pesos each will be installed in five major streets within downtown Tagum. (Louie Lapat of CIO Tagu) AUGUST 2014 | PAGE

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regional gallery

DANCING TRAFFIC MEN. Traffic Management Officers in Tagum City exhibit their all-out “performance” in dancing while directing the flow of traffic in the city’s major streets. Photos by Leo Timogan of CIO Tagum

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ARMM rolls out focal convergence strategy in Lanao del Sur

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egional and local officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and this province met here recently to roll out the focal convergence system approach in Lanao del Sur province. AUGUST 2014 | PAGE

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Laisa Masuhud Alamia, ARMM executive secretary, presided the meeting that was attended by the provincial heads of different ARMM agencies and the newly appointed ARMM convergence focal person for Lanao del Sur - Assistant Secretary Amenodin Cali. ARMM’s focal convergence system is designed to bring the ARMM government closer to people in the grassroots and optimize inter-agency collaboration in the implementation of government programs and projects in the region. Alamia said the meeting included discussions of the status of cluster approach strategy in the province and challenges that can be worked out with the introduction of the focal convergence system. She said the regional government wants to harmonize development interventions on the ground. “The focal convergence strategy allows us to focus on high impact projects that are doable.”

For his part, Amenodin Cali said the system has put together ARMM agencies and establishes a process for better delivery of services. “Under the bandwagon of reform, we duty bearers are bound to put things together, this is one big challenge for all of us,” he said. The focal convergence system clusters regional line agencies along the following development areas: good governance and anti-corruption, peace, justice and transition, economic, human development and anti-poverty, and the Humanitarian Emergency Action Response Team (ARMM-HEART). A focal person with a designation of regional assistant secretary has been assigned in each ARMM province, which includes Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi, to coordinate the implementation of ARMM programs and projects in the area. (Bureau of Public Information-ARMM)

Religious scholars in Lanao unify to support peace process by: Johaniah N. Yusoph

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur - Muslim scholars and members of the religious sector in the province gathered here on Sunday, August 24, to unify themselves in backing the peace initiatives for Mindanao. AUGUST 2014 | PAGE

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Alim Abdul Hannan M. Tago, one of the speakers during 2nd Ulama Summit Conference, said that “the religious scholars have to be united first before they can unify all the Muslims in the region.” Thus, the Muslim religious scholars who attended the summit unanimously agreed to reject disagreement, disunity and create appropriate solutions to any problem that may occur. They also e x p r e s s e d optimism that the Bangsamoro cause will effect a just and lasting peace not just in the region but in the whole country as well. “Once there is peace and order in the region, it will also give peace

not just to the adjoining regions but in the country as a whole because whether we like it or not, when there is no peace in Mindanao, there is no peace in the Philippines as well,” said Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan, chairman of the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) and 2nd Chief of Staff of the Office of the 2nd Vice-Chairman MILF Central Committee. Accordingly, the success of

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the peace process is not only the success of the MILF and the

national government but also Bangsamoro people in general. Alim Tago thus inspired everyone to be sincere in supporting the peace process in order to have a lasting peace in the country. He said the cooperation of the Bangsamoro people is highly significant in making the peace process a success. Meanwhile, Dr. Dipatuan emphasized that sustainable peace will spur economic development in the region as this will more attract investors.

Maternal, child health care in ARMM improve MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur The Department of Health in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DOH-ARMM) have gathered government and private health workers engaged in maternal and child health care in the region to evaluate two of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets of the ARMM government.

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MDGs are eight international development goals set by the United Nations to be attained in 2015 following a summit of UN member states in 2000. It includes the reduction of child mortality and improvement of maternal health. Dayang Jumaide, DOH-ARMM assistant secretary, said maternal and child health care have greatly improved in the ARMM with the reduction of the maternal and infant mortality rate. In 2008, maternal mortality rate (MMR) in the region was at 245 per 100,000 live births. This was brought down to 66 per 100,000 live births in 2013, far lower than the national rate of 152 per 100,000 live births. Further, the infant mortality rate (IMR) of 55 per 1,000 live births in 2008 in the region was reduced to 16 per 1,000 live births in 2013. ARMM Health Secretary Dr. Kadil Sinolinding Jr. attributed the improvement to the wide use techniques such as Active Management of Third Stage Labor (AMTFL) and

Essential Intra-partum Newborn Care (EINC) and on the deployment of additional health personnel, rehabilitation and construction of health infrastructures, delivery of equipment and enhancement of skills through training. “The ARMM pioneered techniques which greatly reduced the IMR and MMR without the use of very sophisticated machines.” Jumaide said the two-day workshop, held August 19-20, was meant to assess maternal and child health care in the region in preparation for the MDGs evaluation survey set in 2015. “We would like gauge how far have we gone in achieving our commitment to the attainment of MDGs for ARMM. We want to pool together stakeholders from the government and our partners in private institutions to strategize convergence efforts and set priority areas for mutual support and program implementation.” (Bureau of Public Information)

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One Mindanao - August 27, 2014  

An Electronic News Magazine of PIA Mindanao Cluster.

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