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Information to Empower Filipinos

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26, 2014 Vol. 3 No. 148

‘Celebrating 2014 Lanao Month of Peace’ Lorry V. Gabule NORTHERN MINDANAO

7 Palace says government focused on achieving inclusive growth

NORTHERN MINDANAO

12 14

Taxes are the lifeblood of the nation - BIR Lorry V. Gabule

New PhilHealth ACR more responsive to members PhilHealth Iligan

SOUTHERN MINDANAO

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CARAGA REGION

NATIONAL

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Continuation of the peace negotiation with the communist rebels, urged Joey Sem G. Dalumpines

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PopCom launches youth hub addressing life, sexuality concerns Mylene Quiray City dad pushes for BADAC support Diana Generalao

WESTERN MINDANAO

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Free surgical services cap Sulu Guv’s birthday bash Rene V. Carbayas

ARMM

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MNLF’s ‘Top 90’ joins Jabidah commemoration rites in Corregidor


‘Celebrating 2014 Lanao Month of Peace’ By Lorry V. Gabule

V

arious activities are outlined in different areas here as March is assigned the Month of Peace for the Province of Lanao del Norte pursuant to the Provincial Ordinance No. 01-2008 Section 4 of the ordinance further mandates the civil society organization represented by PAKIGDAIT Incorporated to spearhead the celebration and preparation of the program of activities for the celebration of the Month of Peace. Musa Mohamad Sanguila, director

of PAKIGDAIT Inc., and chairperson-Civil Society Organizations Lanao del Norte Partnership for Peace and Development (CSOLN-PPD), has partnered with stakeholders from Iligan City and the province of Lanao del Norte for this celebration. The activities started with a Bantay Bayanihan -Lanao Cluster Study Circle on Policy Reform Agenda for Peace and Security on March 17 at the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Ma. Cristina, Iligan City. Host Col. Demy T. Tejares (GSC) of the Philippine Army, the brigade commander of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, welcomed the participants in its kick-off activity. Bantay Kalilintad, an aggrupation


of civil society organizations based in the Lanao Provinces, the local counterpart of the Bantay Bayanihan—a civil society led initiative that aims to create an oversight body over the armed forces, including defense and security policies (strategic, tactical, operational levels) conducted a Study Circle entitled, “Bantay Bayanihan Lanao Cluster Study Circle on Policy Reform Agenda for Peace and Security.” This study circle intends to discuss priority peace and security issues and recommend priority policy reform agenda that are relevant and responsive to the local context. Moreover, in the context of developments in the peace process, the Study Circle also hopes to take cognizance of other possible security concerns that may have arisen or may arise in the future and hopes to draw inputs from other stakeholders for a more inclusive discussion and eventual policy recommendation. Kathline Anne S. Tolosa, coconvenor Working Group on SSR, Ateneo de Manila University, Lead Convenor, Bantay Bayanihan, made a presentation on the Security Policy Environment, followed by a workshop and presentation of outputs from the participants. While Gen. FelicitoVirgilioM. Trinidad, Jr., commander, 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division, has responded in line with the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ security issues and policy recommendations. Dr. Moctar Matuan, executive director of MSU-Institute for Peace and Development has shared

also their role in the academe side during the workshop. Another event that highlighted the week is the conduct of a Forum on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and current updates of the GPH MILF Peace Negotiation for Local Government Officials and other peace constituency on March 19 at the Mindanao Civic Center, Tubod, Lanao Del Norte. Prof. Miriam Colonel Ferrer, chairperson, GPH-MILF Peace Panel, was the keynote speaker. Ways forward and commitment statement from the stakeholders were

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aired

during theopen forum. On its culmination is the momentous activity entitled, “PANAGTAGBO SA KALINAW” (Convergence for Peace). It is an annual celebration showcasing the multi-stakeholders participation and cooperation for the preservation of peace in the Province of Lanao del Norte. The activity on March 21was held at the municipal grounds of Bacolod, Lanao Del Norte with Mayor Joselito E. Miquiabas. Responses were heard from Provincial Gov. Mohamad Khalid Q, Dimaporo, Rep. Imelda Q. Dimaporo of the 1st Congressional District of Lanao del Norte, Edna B. Yorong, executive director, PASAKA Inc., representing CSOLN-PPD. A response also was heard from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) represented by Commander Abedin Sanguila, MNLF Border Commander, Camp DatuTomanong, in Pagayawan, Bacolod, this province. P/SSuptMadid M. Paitao, provincial director, Philippine National Police, Lanao del Norte had his response, followed by

Col. Demy T. Tejares of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Highlighting the day was the ceremonial Turn-over of PAMANA Projects in Bacolod, officiated by the Department of Agriculture (DA) with Region 10 Director Lealyn Ramos, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) and PAMANALANAW Core Group. Beneficiaries are the MNLF returnees/communities in the area. PAMANA or PAyapa at MAsaganangPamayaNAn is the national government’s framework and program for peace and development in conflict-affected areas (CAAs), as well as communities covered by existing Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI CIDSS) Region X. Projectsworth26millionincludefarmto-market-road, farm equipmentsand livelihood program are then directly turned-over to the local government unit, said DA-PAMANA focal person Ulyses Ortega, Region X. OPAPP was represented by Technical Assistant on Operations for Bangsamoro Ian Ragragio, who takes charge of the monitoring and project visitation. He said, we encourage those lawless elements going back to the folds of the law, and in the context of this project, developing them into a project manager from a commander, and from a MNLF camp to a farm.


Across

the

Nation

President Aquino tells Philippine Science High School graduates: We need scientists!

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resident Benigno S. Aquino III called on the graduates of the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) to dedicate a part of their lives into working towards bettering the lives their fellow Filipino brothers and sisters.

In his speech keynoting the 46th commencement exercises and 50th founding anniversary of the PSHS in Quezon City, the President said the Philippines needs more people like them – experts in the science field – to help make the country a better place for everyone. “Ang tanong ko nga po: Sino kaya sa inyo ang gagamit ng talento upang tugunan ang mga problema ng ating bansa? Sino kaya sa inyong mga guma-graduate

ngayon ang makahahanap ng solusyon sa mga problemang kinakaharap, hindi lamang ng Pilipinas, kundi ng buong sangkatauhan—mga hamon sa sakit, sa kalikasan, sa nagbabagong anyo ng pamumuhay sa mundo? Ilan kaya sa inyo ang magkakamit ng mga award, ng mga scholarship sa ibang bansa at sa ating sariling bansa; ilan kaya ang yayaman at aasenso dahil sa kaalamang natutuhan dito sa ‘Pisay’ (PSHS) At ilan kaya sa MARCH 2014 | PAGE 7


inyo ang pipiliing tumanaw ng utang ng loob sa ating mga Boss—sino kaya ang magiging susunod na Secretary Jun Abaya o Propesora Iye Ferrer? Ilan kaya ang maglilingkod, ilan kaya ang magbubuhos ng oras, pawis, at talino upang iangat ang antas ng pamumuhay ng ating mga kababayan?,” the President said. “Magsilbi sanang paalala ang araw na ito: Kailangan kayo ng ating bayan. Umaasa nga po ako: Sa mga susunod na panahon, bilang mga alumni na magtatagumpay sa larangan ng agham, ay maninindigan kayo para sa interes ng nakakarami. At ang pagbabagong tinatamasa natin ngayon—itong pagbabalik ng integridad sa gobyerno, itong patuloy na pag-arangkada ng ekonomiya, itong lumalawak na pagkakataon para sa ating mga kababayan—ay simula pa lang ng katuparan ng matatayog na

pangarap natin para sa bansa,” he added. He said that with everyone doing their share and pitching in, the Philippines can become great again and recognized for its talent. “Sa ngayon, kinikilala na tayo ng mundo bilang modelo ng mabuting pamamahala; kung magpapatuloy tayo, sa inyong pakikiambag, ay kikilalanin tayo bilang ehemplo ng malawakang kaunlaran. Alam naman po natin: Ang tagumpay ng isang lahi ay nagbubukal sa kakayahan nitong tumuklas ng bagong kaalaman. Ang pag-angat ay nakakaayon, hindi sa pagpapatangay sa agos ng panahon, kundi sa pagiging pugad ng inobasyon. Gamit ang siyensya—at sa tulong ng bawat scholar ng ‘Pisay’ (PSHS) —mangunguna ang Pilipino,” the President said. PND

Palace says government focused on achieving inclusive growth

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he Aquino administration remains focused in attaining inclusive growth in accordance with the development priorities of the government, a Malacanang official said Wednesday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. issued the statement in response to the recent survey conducted by research group Ibon Foundation, showing that many Filipinos struggle to pay for basic goods, such as food and

medicine. “The government remains focused in achieving inclusive growth by reducing poverty and increasing social protection in accordance with the Philippine Development Plan,” Secretary Coloma MARCH 2014 | PAGE 8


said in a statement. “Concerned government agencies are continuously monitoring the movement of prices of basic commodities, and is taking decisive steps to protect the citizens’ purchasing power, especially the most vulnerable sectors of society,” he added. Secretary Coloma said that the Aquino administration takes cognizance of the results of Ibon’s survey from January 16 to 24 with 1,500 respondents. During the survey period, 54.8 percent of the respondents said they had difficulty in buying enough food in the past three months, while 53 percent had difficulty in buying medicine or paying for medical treatment. Coloma, however, noted that in the 2014 national budget, the government allotted P87.1 billion for Universal Health Care, specifically preventive healthcare services and for the health insurance coverage of 14.7 million poor and nearpoor families. In addition, he said, P79 billion was also earmarked to ensure delivery of meaningful social protection services particularly under the expanded P62.6billion Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program. Secretary Coloma also pointed out that the Ibon survey was conducted during the period when inflation had gone up to 4.2 percent, caused mainly by pressures exerted by global developments

especially the tapering policies of the US Federal Reserve that affected the pesodollar exchange rate. “Our economic managers remain confident that inflation will be kept within the Development Budget Coordination Committee target ranging from three to five percent,” he said. According to Ibon’s latest survey, many Filipinos have difficulty in spending for basic goods, such as food and medicine. The survey also showed that 43 percent respondents said that they had difficulty paying for transportation expenses.

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AFP expresses full support to Bangsamoro peace agreement

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he Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) expressed Wednesday its full support to the signing of the Bangsamoro peace agreement scheduled in Malacanang on Thursday.

“The AFP is in full support of this peace initiative by our government to finally end the more than four decades of conflict in Mindanao,” AFP public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said. “We are very optimistic (that) this signing will be very beneficial not only to the Bangsamoro but the security forces who had long fought with them finally we will have peace,” he added. Zagala also clarified that the entire AFP has not been placed on alert in anticipation of possible attacks by “spoilers”. However, he added that both the Western and Eastern Command has MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

been placed in “blue alert” while the 6th Infantry Division, which is based on Central Mindanao, has been placed in “red alert” to pre-empt possible attempts. “This is the prerogative of commanders (in raising of alert levels), it’s the appreciation of situation that dictates that the ‘red alert’ is a way for the troops to alert troops against spoilers and ensure no untoward incident will happen,” Zagala pointed out. He said they are are still to detect possible threats for Thursday’s peace signing. (PNA) PAGE | 10


DepEd reiterates ‘no contribution policy’ during 2014 graduation exercises by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob

TANGUB CITY, Misamis Occidental - The Department of Education, Division of Tangub City (DepEd-Tangub), reiterated that “No DepEd personnel is allowed to collect any graduation fees or any kind of contribution,” relative to the conduct of 2014 graduation exercises.

http://webnews.textalk.com/young-diplomats/articles-resources/philippines-olongapo-city-national-high-schoolsnapshot-of-the-school-life MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

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In her memorandum to the Cluster Heads, Elementary and Secondary School Principals, Head Teachers and Teachers-in-Charge (TIC), early this month, Dr. Victotia V. Gazo, Schools Division Superintendent said the no contribution policy during graduation exercises is in line with the government’s austerity program. She said graduation rites should be simple but meaningful affairs, which encourages civic rites, sense of community and personal responsibilities. But while these rites mark a milestone in life of the graduate, these should be conducted without excessive spending, expensive attire, or extraordinary venue. Meanwhile, she said nonacademic projects, such as, attendance to field trips, film showing,

Junior-Senior Promenade, and other school events, should not be imposed as requirements for graduation and that expenses relative to the activity should be charged to the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) under the 2014 Budget. However, Parents and Teachers Associations (PTA) may give donations in cash or in kind, and contribution for the annual yearbook, if any, should be on a voluntary basis. On the other hand, Gazo said the 2014 graduation rites should focus on the theme: “Hindi Natitinag ang Pusong Pilipino,” to highlight the resilience of Filipinos amidst the recent calamities faced during the SY and celebrates the ability of the Filipinos to triumph over these challenges.

Taxes are the lifeblood of the nation - BIR by Lorry V. Gabule

ILIGAN CITY, Lanao del Norte - The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Iligan City, during the kick-off for this year’s District Tax Campaign, encouraged taxpayers to pay correctly saying that taxes are the lifeblood of the nation. BIR Revenue District Officer Lordel T. Monteclaro of Revenue District 101 said that paying of taxes will return back in terms of infrastructure program of the government, on education as well as welfare program that would benefit the people. The Revenue Commissioner MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

obliged us to generate more revenues especially for those earthquake and typhoon-affected areas like Tacloban and Bohol which are on the process of initiating reforms, to enhance collection effort so as to recover its losses, said Monteclaro. “For 2014, Iligan is tasked to PAGE | 12


collect P1.6 billion, a 22% increase from the target in 2013, a very challenging figure which we hopefully able to meet through this campaign and the months to come,” said Monteclaro. For the first two months of the year 2014, we experienced shortfall of almost P60 million for District 101, and hopefully we can recover this March and April, he said. Based on their data and during the renewal and filing of business permits and licenses in January this year, many have filed closure of business. However, they are anticipating for the creation of new business establishments with that of properties bought by Robinsons in the city. “As regards to improving the services in our office, with the implementation of ARTA (Anti Red Tape Act) initiated by the Civil Service Commission of which we are part, my priority as I assumed office here just five months ago is to improve our service by promptly attending the needs of our taxpayers and clients,” Monteclaro said. With the new building, express lane for the citizens above sixty and those differentlyabled persons is at the front line service. Gracing the event’s kickoff is Atty. Alberto S. Olasiman, regional director of BIR Northern Mindanao Revenue District Office (RDO) 16, who concluded in his message that with this campaign drive we do every year, MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

information dissemination is a tool to let the taxpayers aware of their responsibility to register, file and pay. We usually do it in a mall, a space where people converge and be able to witness and hear the Bureaus’ call. The day’s activity was highlighted with the signing of Pledge of Support of the Bureaus’ Public Awareness Campaign-the RFP (Register, File, Pay) thrust with ultimate goal of increasing consciousness and ensuring compliance with taxpayers’ obligations. Commitment support coming from its stakeholders like the business sector particularly Iligan Chamber of Commerce, FilipinoChinese Chamber, Hotel Association in Iligan, the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Iligan, the city government and other groups.

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New PhilHealth ACR more responsive to members by PhilHealth Iligan

ILIGAN CITY, Lanao del Norte - The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) new All Case Rates (ACR) through Circular No. 35 series of 2013, with amendments under Circular No. 9 series of 2014, make the new case based payment system more responsive to the needs of its members. This is PhilHealth’s commitment to ensure continuous expansion of benefits and immediate access to health care services, said Christine Mae Garcia-Magno, branch head of Local Health Insurance Office, PHilHealth Iligan. The ACR, which took effect last January 1 this year, promotes simpler presentation and therefore, easier and better understanding of how and how much of health insurance benefits may be availed once a member or his/her qualified dependent/s utilizes these upon confinement, said Magno. All compensable illnesses are given a fixed rate for easier reference when availing of benefits. By knowing how much hospital cost may be covered by PhilHealth, a member can easily determine the balance to be prepared if ever the PhilHealth benefit ceiling could not cover the total hospital bill, she said. In case of a caesarian section (CS) operation which covers up to P19,000 only, if the hospital bill declares a total value of P40,000 worth of services provided, then the member can immediately discern that upon subtracting P19,000 PhilHealth CS benefit, they should prepare MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

to pay the balance of P21,000. The ACR is inclusive of the hospital and professional fee benefits, said Magno. Further, the new ACR now pays for two case illnesses. This means that confinements with multiple conditions may already avail benefits for at least two of the identified conditions with the illness with the most resources used to be considered at first case rate and to avail one hundred percent (100%) of the case package while the second case rate to avail fifty percent (50%) of its case package, that would now total to one hundred fifty percent (150%) PhilHealth benefits maximized by the members. Other features of the ACR include identification of certain illnesses which are now exempted from the 90-day Single Period of Confinement rule (SPC); payment of referral package from one hospital to another; and determination of illnesses compensable in specific level of health care institutions. PhilHealth has also enhanced its Claim Forms to effectively capture feedback from its members how benefits are utilized during admission. PAGE | 14


ComVal aims to be one of Davao Region’s cacao top producers by Grace Almedilla

COMPOSTELA VALLEY PROVINCEThe province is includes cacao production in its farming priorities not just to recover from the mess done by typhoon Pablo but to boost up also its agriculture industry. MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

Comval Governor Arturo T. Uy is grateful for the assistance provided by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and other industry program partners. Recently, a ceremonial turn

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over of 33,000 hills of cacao from Cacao Industry Development Association in Mindanao, Inc. through its Managing Director, Val Turtur was done at the Capitol Lobby on March 24, 2014. It was happily received by the provincial government lead by Governor Arturo T. Uy, Provincial Administrator Virgilia S. Allones, Committee on Agriculture Chairman & SP Member Macario T. Humol, and Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Rolando S. Simene. According to Mr. Turtur, the cacao seedlings are intended for the Barangays of Nabunturan, Montevista, Monkayo, Compostela, and New Bataan. There will be designated training sites with community-based Nursery. The program which aims for a sustainable production is packaged with a training component for the farmers and a guarantee that their produce would certainly has a market to go to. Governor Uy happily shared

that the province has been encouraging the farmers to deal on cacao production because the demand is increasing since it is a growing industry. Also, big chocolate producers who visited ComVal find the lands of the province very much potential of raising quality cacao which would be very competitive in the market. Hopefully, the province in the next few years will be one of the top cacao producers in Region XI. Other municipalities also received cacao seedlings earlier from the PLGU, DA, and other program partners like Department of National Defese (DND) through the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) under the program “Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan� or PAMANA. (Grace Almedilla, IDSComval)

facts and figures

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megawatts combined capacities of hydropower plants operated by Hedcor in the town of Sta. Cruz Davao del Sur

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Continuation of the peace negotiation with the communist rebels, urged DAVAO CITY- The former chair of the government peace panel negotiating with the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front-New People’s Army urged the government to pursue the negotiations with the communist movement now that the its top leaders are already in its custody.

Atty. Silvestre Bello III, former justice secretary and chair of the government of the Republic of the Philippines peace panel during the Arroyo Administration said the government can now pursue the negotiations on the position of strength and it can now use the arrest of the Tiamzons as bargaining chip for the rebels to listen. He said the government can take the advantage of the situation for having the upper hand. “It is always good to negotiate from the position of strength than on a weak position. Now that the Tiamzons are arrested, the government can use this as part of their negotiating chips,” Bello said. He said the arrest of the Tiamzons was legal since the arresting officers were armed with warrants. Benito Tiamzon and his wife Wilma were arrested by the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police in MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

Barangay Zaragoza in Aloguinsan, Cebu Saturday afternoon. Authorities identified them as allegedly, the chair and secretary general of the Communist Party of the Philippines, respectively. However, Bello said that if the Tiamzons can issue safe-conductpasses given to them by government, it would mean, they are covered by the Joint Agreement on the Security and Immunity Guarantees given to the consultants of the communist peace panel and must be released. “They simply present documents for identification or safe-conductpasses and they can be released even they were charges filed against them in court,” he said. Bello said the only problem with Benito Tiamzon was that the name given on the safe-conduct-pass was not his real name but an assumed alias so there is no more avenue of knowing whether he is covered by the JASIG or not. He stressed that the peace process with the communist rebels must continue despite the ups and downs and issues causing stalemates. “Both parties should resolve that they move the peace process moves forward to its logical conclusion and that is a lasting peace for the country,” Bello said. (PIA 11-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines) PAGE | 17


BIR 13 meets press for ‘tax awareness’ campaign By Noel B. Najarro

BUTUAN CITY - Bureau of Internal Revenue Regional Office 13 in line with its tax awareness campaign activity meet the local press at the BIR 13 Regional Training Center, this city on Tuesday.

MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

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BIR 13 Regional officials led by Caraga Regional Director Norberto D. Vitug met the local press together with Revenue District Officer Bagro S. Saransamun, No. 103 of Butuan City, BIR Examiner Shiela B. Balingan and Asst. Chief Luzmindo U. Bacol, division chiefs and RDOs. BIR’s Tax Awareness Campaign Activity this year revolves on the theme: “I Love the Philippines, I Pay My Taxes Right. It Is Easy As RFP (Register, File and Pay).” In his welcome statement Butuan City RDO Bagro S. Saransuman said that every individual or entity is required to file the tax due corresponding to his income as taxes is the nation’s lifeblood and the fuel to its progress and development. BIR Caraga Regional Director Norberto D. Vitug for his part, recognizes the vital role of the mass media on promoting the various program of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

“Media is our partner in the information dissemination among our taxpayers,” Vitug said. He went on to discuss their accomplishments and their targets for the current year. Butuan City Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Joseph Omar Andaya and some local businessmen were also invited to listen and to express their views or reactions on the said forum. Revenue Officer Sheila B. Balingan briefed the participants on the new and detailed income tax reform (ITR) forms. According to her that the taxpayers are now required to use the appropriate forms when they submit their income tax returns on or before April 15. RD Vitug reminded the taxpayers to be mindful of the deadline of the submission of the ITR set this April 15 as “there will be no extension,” he said. (PNA)

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PopCom launches youth hub addressing life, sexuality concerns By Mylene Quiray

BUTUAN CITY -- The Commission on Population (PopCom) and the Center for Health Solutions and innovations Philippines, Inc. (CHSI), with funding support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) launched on Wednesday its Teen Project for the youth, dubbed as You-for-You (U4U) Youth Hub Initiative in Agusan National High School (ANHS). One hundred fifty youths attended the session on self-image, body image, changes in the body, teen health, and life skills on sexuality, sessions on family and friendship, and leaving a legacy, managed by 20 in-school youth facilitators. The U4U is aimed to prepare the youth for life skills on sexuality such as critical thinking, sound decision making, ability to manage stress, and the like. The U4U has four platforms: teen trail - an educational MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

and entertaining teen caravan with an interactive exhibit, fun workshops, songs and dances that will be set up in schools and communities and managed by teens themselves; online portal (www.u4u.ph), an interactive website that allows teen users to learn about self-identity, friendship, life skills and teen health advocacy; social media (Facebook, Twitter and Youtube accounts); and interactive voice response system, an automated mobile service that gives recorded PAGE | 20


information to teens who send a “U4U” text message to dedicated mobile phone numbers. The U4U is timely, as the internet is the second most popular source of information about sex for the youth at 16.2 percent, as reported by the 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFS 4). For CARAGA, television is the most popular source of information for the youth. Furthermore, the U4U, which will be managed by teens themselves, addresses what the data reveals that

friends (59.4 percent) are the top choice of the youth with whom they are most likely to consult for questions about sex. Friends are also the preferred choice to learn about sex and reproduction. PopCom r e g i o n a l director Alex Makinano said that this initiative will contribute to addressing the fact that CARAGA has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the country (15 percent). PopCom recognizes the fact that the youth need to be prepared for life and sexuality, that is why the adolescent health and youth development (AHYD) program is one of the major components of the Philippine Population Management Program.

City dad pushes for BADAC support

By Diana Generalao

BUTUAN CITY -- City Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. met recently with PCSupt Dominador E. Aquino, Jr., regional director of the Police Regional Office 13, to discuss on the existing security issues in a brief dialogue at the City Mayor’s Office.

Throughout the dialogue, Amante including motorcycle theft and the was keen on establishing a cooperative seemingly-unending rampant illegal effort with the Philippine National drug trade. Police to address a number of concerns “We need to work in this together,” MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

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Amante said to PCSupt. Aquino. Amante urged the PNP Caraga chief to strengthen the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC), “because we have to stop illegal drugs from its roots. There should be an internal effort involved especially on those identified barangays with illegal drug trade going on.” BADAC was created in accordance to Sec. 16 of the Local Government Code of 1991 to effectively address the problem on illegal drugs and ensure community peace and harmony “If BADAC hasn’t been functioning, it’s high time that it should be activated. Our city DILG will look into this,” Mayor Amante strongly suggested. In addition, the mayor announced that a P2.5 Million budget has been allocated for Civilian Volunteer Organization (CVO) trainings this year and that the Moral Recovery Program of the city will be incorporated into the barangay level, as well, which will be helpful strategies in the elimination of MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

illegal drug trade. “Also, if there is a need to mount more closedcircuit televisions (CCTVs) in the city, then we will do it the soonest time possible,” Mayor Amante assured everyone at the meeting. “Since these CCTVs have so far been helpful, we will do what we can to improve this system. But let’s not only focus on crimes committed on the barangay level. Let us also look into the scenarios inside banks and other private establishments. Let’s coordinate with them regarding security concerns and see what we can do. I believe there is already a City Ordinance which requires them to mount CCTVs, but let’s look into how we can improve the existing measures,” he added. Amante said that with the motorcycle thefts, “first and foremost, it is the responsibility of the owner to secure his property. However, we should aid them also. Let’s release a list of safety measures for all the motorcycle owners out there.” “We can advise them where and where not to park, advise them to always secure their motorcycles with chains and padlocks, all those stuff. We should come up with the public advisory the soonest time possible,” he said. Also in the meeting was Col. Romeo Palgue, City Deputy for Administration of the Butuan City Police Office, and some personnel of the PRO 13. PAGE | 22


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


DOLE chief orders full support to OFWs By Michael Vincent D. Cajulao

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz has asked all regional directors of umbrella agency, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), to give full support to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), both active and inactive.

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In her statement during the launching of the regional programs and projects last week, Secretary Baldoz said, “OWWA regional offices should have a profile of all active and inactive members for livelihood assistance and cash for work and it should be available if the members need it.” Baldoz said there are funds that are intended for OFW support both from the national government and the employers’ contribution that go to the OWWA Trust fund. Aside from the OWWA trust fund, the national government is also setting aside P50 million for our OFWs under the National Reintegration Fund. This is for the victims of maltreatment abroad who have come home and decided to work here permanently. “They should be given alternative employment and livelihood here,” the secretary emphasized.

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Baldoz added that the program also includes scholarships for the children of OFWs. She, however, said that active OFWs can also avail themselves of work-related insurance. “Active and non-active OFWs can avail of all our programs except that only active members can avail of insurance since insurance is connected with their being active workers,” she explained. Baldoz has also asked OWWA-9 Regional Director Hassan Gabra Jumdain to submit a separate report if there are OWWA members that are victims of the September 2013 MNLF-Misuari Group attack in the city. “I want a separate report if there are members who are victims of the recent crisis in Zamboanga City and what are the assistance extended to them,” she stressed.

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Free surgical services cap Sulu Guv’s birthday bash By Rene V. Carbayas

ISABELA CITY, Basilan – Sulu Gov. Abdusakur “Totoh” A. Tan II sponsored free surgical services for patients in Sulu to celebrate his birthday, his first as public servant. In a press release, Sonny Y. Abing III, acting chief of the Provincial Information Office (PIO), said that Gov. Toto Tan led provincial officials on March 17 to welcome and recognize the invaluable service of a team of specialist from the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) to the people of Sulu. The province welcomed the medical team in simple ceremonies at IPHO-Sulu who arrived last March 16 from Manila via C130 military transport plane, carrying with them surgical equipment , medicines and MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

medical supplies. “Though my wife and children are not here, it gives me complete happiness in spending this day with the people, and knowing that we are able to do something to help ease those Tausugs who have medical ailments that need surgery without any financial burden. I consider this service as the greatest gift that I ever received,” Gov. Totoh emphasized in his speech. He also expressed gratitude to the AFP, IPHO-SULU and all those who made this service possible. “I see a lot of improvements PAGE | 29


in Sulu, since the last time I came,� Dr. Mike Alvarez, a member of the UP-PGH told the participants as he received the token of appreciation from the provincial government on behalf of his colleagues. Meanwhile, Sulu Vice Governor Abdusakur M. Tan commended the members of the surgical team for their selfless service to the people. Abing said it was in 2008 that UP-PGH team first came to Sulu and provided free surgical services to the people. Based on the report of IPHOSulu Chief, Dr. Fahra Tan-Omar, the free surgical services resulted to 10 patients who underwent Thyroidectomy, one patient on Parathyroidectomy, nine patients for cleft lip and palate, and 5 cases for gyne-surgical procedures. Additional surgical procedures performed were herniorrhaphy, parotidectomy and

MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

cysts removal procedures. Dr. Tan-Omar also revealed that they are now augmenting services and resources of the surgical team to render a more comprehensive service and better treatment of surgical patients. She also said that the surgical team had no hesitations in coming to Sulu. “They are not worried on matters that pertain to security. The team is confident on this issue; its focus is to render the medical services needed by the people,� TanOmar explained. The free surgical mission for the People of Sulu started March 16 and lasted until March 21, 2014 at the Sulu Provincial Hospital. Medicines, supplies and other expenditures were taken care of by the Sulu provincial government.

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ARMM prepares to welcome signing of Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro

T

he Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is preparing to welcome the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) come March 27 with meaningful activities across the region.

ARMM Executive Secretary Laisa Alamia said there will be “a celebration of peace in the Bangsamoro.” Large screens will be set up inside the ARMM compound in Cotabato City so that people can witness the signing as it happens. The region’s officials and MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

employees will also offer prayers in support to the peace agreement. On the night of March 27, a music and cultural fest will be held at the open grounds of the ARMM governor’s office. Alamia said similar activities will be simultaneously held in each of the five component provinces and two cities of the region. The ARMM has been, at the outset, supportive of the present peace process with ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman consistently pronouncing readiness to step aside to make way for provisions of the comprehensive peace agreement. (Bureau of Public Information-ARMM) PAGE | 31


MNLF’s ‘Top 90’ joins Jabidah commemoration rites in Corregidor

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur - Surviving members of the Moro National Liberation Front’s (MNLF’s) ‘Top 90’ set foot in the island of Corregidor on Tuesday, March 18, to join the commemoration this year of the incident that prompted them to mount a revolution against the government in the early 1970s - the Jabidah Massacre. The ‘Top 90’ is MNLF’s first batch of 90 fighters that trained in guerilla warfare in Jampiras Island in Malaysia. Its group of surviving members joined at least 200 others from various sectors in the 46th commemoration of the Jabidah Massacre in Corregidor, jointly organized by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the office of Anak-Mindanao Partylist Representative Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman. During the commemoration rites, Congresswoman Hataman said MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

they “want to give more emphasis to the historical significance of the Jabidah Massacre” especially in the context of the ongoing Mindanao peace process. She said the massacre of young Moro recruits in March 18, 1968 was a tragedy that united the Moro people, regardless of background and affiliation, in a fight against injustice and oppression. The lady solon said in the same manner today, the final peace pact, set to be signed this month by the government and the Moro Islamic PAGE | 32


Liberation Front (MILF), serves as inspiration that must rally together the Bangsamoro as one. “This is now the Bangsamoro struggle,� she said. The group also visited the site where the actual massacre happened which has been inaugurated last year as the Mindanao Garden of Peace. The commemoration rites in the island marked the culmination of the observance of the Bangsamoro Week of Peace, espoused by ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman. H a t a m a n said the weeklong observance was meant to highlight the significance of the Jabidah Massacre MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

and the whole struggle of the Moro people for self-determination. He urged his fellow Moro leaders of today to carry forward the genuine of the Bangsamoro by upholding their commitment to durable peace and sustainable development in Mindanao. (Bureau of Public Information-ARMM)

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One Mindanao - March 26, 2014  

An Electronic News Magazine of PIA Mindanao Cluster