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Information to Empower Filipinos

MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014 Vol. 3 No. 151

DavNor tourist arrivals increase by 11.7% Noel Baguio SOUTHERN MINDANAO

6 NATIONAL

7 12

President Aquino leads PNPA graduation ceremony; tells graduates to serve with utmost dedication

SOUTHERN MINDANAO

Public Assistance and Corruption Prevention Office in Davao City opened PSTC-DOST

CARAGA REGION

16 17

601 pupils complete drug resistance training program Tessiel R. Moleta

Farmers, fisherfolks to get full subsidies for SSS contributions from DA SSS

WESTERN MINDANAO

26

BFAR lifts shellfish ban in Sibuguey Bay area Alma L. Tingcang

Page 4

9 26

11 Zambo conducts training for parents of “special children” Jocelyn P. Alvarez

NORTHERN MINDANAO

28 30

DOH aims at TB-free community, nation Jasper Marie Oblina-Rucat DILG-10 calls on LGUs to support Earth Hour 2014 Ana Celeste W. Felisilda

CENTRAL MINDANAO

33 34

NorthCot prov’l employees donate 30 bags of blood Shahana Joy E. Duerme Maguindanao OFWs attend free cosmetology training from OWWA Oliver Ross V. Rivera


DavNor tourist arrivals increase by 11.7% By Noel Baguio

T

he number of tourism arrivals in the province rose to 11.7 percent in 2013, according to the latest data released by the Provincial Tourism Office (PTO).

The province registered 604,644 foreign and domestic visitors last year, compared to 541,086 influx of tourists in 2012. The PTO also bared the visitors contributed over P5-billion to the

local economy. Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario attributed the significant increase to the flourishing festivals and budding sports tourism activities in the province. The banner festivals in the province include the weeklong Kadagayaan Festival held in celebration of the founding anniversary of the province; the Musikahan Festival of Tagum City; the Visit Samal Island Festival of the Island Garden City of Samal; and, the month-long Kahayag Festival of the Municipality of Carmen, among


others. The province was long known as the Agriculture, Culture and Ecology (ACE) tourism destination in the Davao region. However, it latterly gained prominence as the sports tourism capital of the region with the completion of its world-class Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex in 2012. The spanking facility has become an icon in sports in Region XI, making Davao del Norte the favorite sports tourism destination. The province hosted last year the Davao Regional Athletic Association (DAVRAA) Meet, Batang Pinoy Mindanao-leg and the Philippine Football FederationSMART Regional Qualifiers, which gathered over 10,000 athletes, coaches, parents, and other sports enthusiasts at the sports complex. Del Rosario sees unprecedented growth for the tourism industry in the province now that Capitol has passed the Provincial Tourism Code. Provincial Tourism Officer Noel Daquioag is confident the tourism sector in the province will sustain its growth this year, courtesy

of the exciting festivals, as well as, the hosting of the DAVRAA meet last February, the regional Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA) Meet earlier this month, including the hosting of the National PRISAA Games next month. “We are also expecting the growth of repeat visits from our satisfied patrons,� he said.


Across

the

Nation

Government expanding programs to aid fresh graduates, unemployed--Palace

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he government continues to expand its employment programs to provide jobs for thousands expected to graduate this year and those who remain unemployed, Malacañang said on Sunday.

In an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary (PCOO) Herminio Coloma said 95,935 positions in different private and public corporations and agencies are currently up for grabs. This is according to the Department

of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) www.phil-job.net, an internet-based job and applicant matching system, which aims to fast track the jobseeker’s search for employment and the employer’s search for manpower. Coloma added the government is also MARCH 2014 | PAGE 6


providing financial aid to self-employed individuals, landless farmers, non-wage domestic workers, young workers with dependents, low-income earners, and those who do not have permanent employment due to calamities through the Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program. He said this program also covers those who are listed in the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s national household targeting system. The Communications Secretary further mentioned that the DOLE, in cooperation

with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), would conduct application caravan and e-services to bring their services closer to the fresh graduates of nursing and education courses in preparation for their licensure exams. In a press briefing held in Malacañang last March 13, DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said there is an estimated 600,000 to 700,000 new entrants to the labor force this year, although they have not yet studied as to how many among those would immediately be looking for jobs. PND (hdc)

President Aquino leads PNPA graduation ceremony; tells graduates to serve with utmost dedication

P

resident Benigno S. Aquino III said he expects the new graduates of Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) “Mandilaab” 2014 will serve the people with justice, integrity and dedication when they go outside the academy. In his message during the graduation rites in Camp Castaneda in Silang, Cavite, the President said he hopes the new police, jail, and fire officials will shun corruption and will serve their “bosses” with utmost dedication. “Ang tinitiyak ko naman: kung handa kayong tumalikod sa tukso; kung handa kayong tugisin ang tumatakas sa batas, at walang takot kayong susuong sa peligro para protektahan ang inyong kapwa, magiging katambal ng inyong serbisyo ang tiwala ng bawat isang Pilipino,” the President told the graduates during the graduation rites. “Tandaan din ninyo: Anumang pinalusot ninyong katiwalian sa inyong hanay ay pihadong

magdadala ng perhuwisyo sa ating kababayan. Kapag pinili ninyong magbulag-bulagan sa pang-aapi sa karapatan ng mamamayan, asahan ninyong bukas-makalawa, karapatan naman ninyo ang mismong yuyurakan.” The President also challenged the PNPA Class Mandilaab to always stick to their principle and not be tempted by material things. “Saan man kayong lugar madestino, anumang luho o tukso ang sumubok sa tibay ng inyong prinsipyo; lagi kayong pumanig sa tama, at sa kung ano ang mas makabubuti sa inyong kapwa,” he said. “Nawa’y isabuhay at panindigan ninyo ang panata ng bawat kadeteng Mandilaab: ang MARCH 2014 | PAGE 7


saysay ng buhay ninyong mga mandirigma, ay nasa pag-aalay nito sa kapwa,” he added. The chief executive also mentioned the ongoing reforms being in carried out in the Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and the Bureau of Fire Protection. Policemen can now serve the public with ease after the government purchased 74,879 Glock 17 pistols. Most of the firearms have been distributed to the PNP personnel and additional pistols will also be distributed once ballistic tests are completed, the President said. With the release of the new pistols to policemen, the PNP will soon achieved the 1:1 police-to-pistol ratio. PNPA Class Mandilaab will also be issued with new Glock pistols, the President said. The government has so far allotted more than P2 billion for PNP’s mobility, firearms, investigation, communication, and rehabilitation components under its Operational Transformation Plan. The procurement of 882 units of patrol jeeps, 17,680 units of assault rifle, and more than 200,000 magazines for basic assault rifle and around 5,000 units of mobile radio is also ongoing, the President said. The government will also soon approve the domestic manufacturing of small arms ammunition to address the needs of the AFP, PNP, and other law enforcement agencies, the President reported. Jail personnel will also be issued with 4,888 units of 9mm pistols to address the 41 percent deficit on firearms among jail guards. The Bureau of Fire Protection will also get new equipment, the President noted. Last year, the government purchased 76 Rosenbauer fire trucks with high quality engines and improved water pump discharge capacity. The government also allocated P3.6 billion

to buy 300 fire trucks and build 300 fire stations nationwide, he added. These reforms became possible through clean and efficient management of the present government, the chief executive said. “Abot-tanaw na po ang permanenteng transpormasyon sa ating lipunan. Binubuksan na natin ang bagong kabanata sa kasaysayan ng ating bansa kung saan ang kumakayod nang husto ay ginagantimpalaan ng pagasenso,” he said. “Nawa’y maging alagad kayo ng positibong pagbabago upang magpatuloy ang kaunlarang tinatamasa. Sa gabay at tulong ng Panginoon, at sa pakikibalikat ng sambayanan, lalo pa nating palakasin ang hanay nating tumatahak sa tuwid na daan, diretso sa kinabukasang tunay na mapayapa, patas, at maunlad,” the President added. PND (as)

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Drilon asks critics to give peace deal with MILF a chance

S

enate President Franklin Drilon on Sunday asked critics to give the comprehensive agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) a chance. ”My appeal to different sectors, let’s response to reports about petition filed give peace a chance,” Drilon said in to question the CAB constitutionally. MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

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Drilon, however, clarified that the government cannot prevent other sectors from questioning the peace pact before the Supreme Court (SC). ”I cannot control what the other sectors will do because they are free to question in the court. It is an agreement that will never come again. It is extremely difficult to get this agreement happen,” Drilon explained. Drilon said the Senate will make sure the CAB will be consistent with the Constitution. ”There is no need to change the Constitution because the parameters of President Noy is clear that any basic law must be within the parameters of the Constitution,” he said. Drilon is expecting the Transition Committee to submit to the Office of the President the draft of the Bangsamoro basic law next week and to the Senate before the end of next month. The Senate leader admitted that

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the hardest part of the peace process is its implementation on the ground. ”It’s not easy and there will be those who will continue to oppose but for our country, we should help each other to achieve peace because it is the solution to poverty and unemployment for our people in Mindanao,” Drilon explained. He agreed with the observation of Cardinal Orlando Quevedo that there’s a lot of mistrust not only on both the government and the MILF, but to the Christians and Muslims in many part of Mindanao. ”A lot of convincing must be done, there’s a lot of mistrust. Confidence building is critical in the implementation of this agreement,” Drilon said. The Senate president is expecting the draft of the Bangsamoro basic law to reach the Senate and the House of Representatives before the resumption of regular session on May 5. (PNA)

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Sta Cruz LGU hosts PH toughest extreme race anew by Rudolph Alama

DAVAO CITY- The Municipality of Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur will again be hosting the country’s toughest extreme race- The Mt. Apo Boulder Face Challenge. Now on its 4th year the Mt. Apo Boulder Face Challenge is a 24hour extreme adventure race which traverses from the lowland town of MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

Sta Cruz to the summit of Mt. Apo involving the disciplines of mountain biking, trail running, water tubing and road running. The race will be held on April 26-27, 2014 and is the highlight of the town’s Pista sa Kinaiyahan (Feast of the Environment). The event also aims to highlight the need to protect and conserve Mt. Apo. According to race director Engineer Albert Gabriel the race is further stretched into 120 kilometers. The road running and water tubing segments were further stretched. The 2013 Mt. Apo Boulder Face Challenge had a total distance of 115.30 kilometers. PAGE | 11


Gabriel said they are introducing the all-male and allfemale relay category into the race. The relay category is limited to 20 teams (10 for all male and 10 for all-female relay). The open elite category is limited to 30 teams. As of this writing there are 22 teams registered in the race. The Boulder Face challenge is also backed by sponsors who are also investors in the municipality. Among these include San Miguel

Beer which has a brewery in Darong, HedCor which operates hydropower plants in Sibulan and Franklin Baker Company one of the earliest investors in the town with a coconut dessicated plant established in 1968. The Department of TourismXI is supporting the event as part of the eco-adventure tourism program of the region. Retail brand Mountain Hardwear is the official event outfitter. (PIA/RG Alama)

Public Assistance and Corruption Prevention Office in Davao City opened DAVAO CITY- The Office of the Ombudsman in Mindanao formally inaugurated and opened its new Public Assistance and Corruption Prevention Office at the H & C Building along Alvarez Street to bring its services closer to the people.

Ombudsman Conchita CarpioMorales, Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Atty. Rodolfo Elman and Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Atty. Gerard Mosquera graced the occasion. Morales said the new PACPO though temporary will ensure accessibility of the Ombudsman to the people in Mindanao. She said that in the coming years, the Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Office will be relocated at its new site in the GSIS Subdivision in Matina. MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

Morales said that under the law the Ombudsman may require public officials and employees to render assistance to the people. She said that the requests for the Ombudsman to act on graft complaints increased tremendously at 18,370 since 2013. “If we find that they are below par, we need swift action. We have to make meaningful assistance and we can also follow up offices by which we are referring our requests for assistance to take action, or by mediation or meeting the concerned agency with the complainants,� Morales said. She welcomed the presence of barangay officials in the inauguration to ensure fast dissemination of information to the grassroots, the presence of the PACPO in Davao City. Morales urged them to echo the presence of an action center which the PAGE | 12


people can refer any problem that the office of the Ombudsman can attend to. She said assistance may come in the form of legal advice or to require government officials or employees to act immediately on the compliance of permits. Morales stressed that despite the completion of requirements, there are government employees who do not issue the permits in the absence of grease money. “You come over to us. We will

direct this public official to explain within a given time why despite the completion of requirements for the issuance of permits or license, he has failed to issue the corresponding permit,” she said. The strengthening of its public assistance function is in line with the Ombudsman’s Eight Point Priority Agenda which adopts a three-pronged approach in the war against corruption, enforcement, prevention and anticorruption promotion. (PIA11-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)

did you know... that King Charles XII of Sweden is generally credited with initiating the office of the ombudsman. An official with the title of Hogsta Ombudsman (Supreme Royal Ombudsman) was appointed in 1713. He was assigned to “keep an eye on royal officials” and supervise observance of the laws

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Caraga GAD committee launches 1st GADCC open photo competition By Venus L. Garcia

MANILA - Regional Development Council (RDC) – Gender and Development Coordinating Committee (GADCC) in Caraga region unveiled on Friday its first ever Open Photo Competition.

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The contest is open to all photographers – hobbiest, novices and professionals in the entire region. According to Caraga GADCC chair and Commission on Human Rights (CHR) regional director Marylin Pintor, competing participants shall focus on the theme, “Juana, ang Tatag Mo ay Tatag Natin sa Pagbangon at Pagsulong.” “Entries will be pre-judged and all chosen entries will be exhibited at Robinson’s Place,” she said. As specified in the mechanics, interested individuals may use any digital camera with at least eight megapixels capability and be submitted in soft copy saved in compact disk and must be printed out in 10-R or 8 x 10 size, colored, no border. Registration for elementary, secondary and tertiary students is P100 while all other registrants may pay P200. “Photos must be taken from the time of launching, March 28, 2014 to May 2, 2014, the scheduled deadline. Single entry is allowed per person,” said Caraga GADCC co-chair Edna Hontiveros. She added that the entries must capture the story of “One day in a life of a woman in Caraga.” The photos will be judged according to the criteria MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

comprising the following: relevance to the theme - 40%, visual impact - 20%, technical (exposure and focus) - 20%, creativity and composition - 20%. First, second and third prize winners will receive a cash worth P5,000, P3,500, 2,500, respectively plus a trophy. Most liked photo in Facebook page (Facebook.com/gadcccaraga) will also be awarded with P2,000 and a trophy. In addition, an amount of P1,000 each will be given away to five consolation prize winners. For queries, you may contact Anna Loraine Mendoza, GADCC secretariat at 085-3425774.

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601 pupils complete drug resistance training program By Tessiel R. Moleta

SURIGAO CITY -- A total of 601 pupils from Surigao West Central Elementary School (SWECES) in Barangay San Juan received their certificate of completion for successfully completed the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Program of the Surigao City Police Station (SCPS) during the culmination program held recently at the SWECES ground, this city.

“The program was aimed to educate the pupils of the harmful effect of drugs, tobacco and alcohol so that they do not get hooked to this vices and other forms of illegal drugs,” PCI Rudy L. Elandag, SCPS chief said. Eladag said the DARE program of the Philippine National Police was adopted from a similar endeavour by the Los Angeles Police (LAPD) of California, USA. “DARE program was conducted by DARE special team from the Philippine National Police and MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

PDEA from January 13 to March 21 this year to educate the grade 5 and 6 pupils of SWECES the harmful effect of drugs, tobacco and alcohol,” Elandag said. Elandag led the distribution of certificate together with SWECES School Principal Gregoria Cabajes, City Schools District Supervisor Marian C. Pepito, Program I Education Specialist Luzviminda Edillor, and Philippine Councilors League-Secretary General for Mindanao Marie Jane Comandante. PAGE | 16


Farmers, fisherfolks to get full subsidies for SSS contributions from DA By SSS

MANILA-- In its continuing campaign to extend social protection to informal sector workers, the Social Security System (SSS) has formalized a key partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) for the latter to fully subsidize farmers’ monthly SSS contributions as self-employed members.

The agreement is expected to benefit up to 200,000 agricultural workers nationwide who may qualify for the subsidy as members of Rural Based Organizations (RBOs) or Community Extension Workers (CEWs) in good standing, with 100 farmers already selected as the first batch of beneficiaries. Despite their invaluable role in our nation’s food security, farmers often struggle with MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

seasonal incomes and their livelihood’s vulnerability against typhoons, floods and other whims of nature. SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. and Agricultural Secretary Proseso Alcala signed the agreement during ceremonies at the DA Main Office in Diliman, Quezon City on March 14, with SSS Senior Vice President Judy Frances See and DA-Agricultural PAGE | 17


Training Institute (ATI) Director Asterio Saliot in attendance as witnesses. Apart from farmers, fisherfolk will also be added to the list of beneficiaries for the subsidized SSS contributions. At present, over 450,000 farmers and fisherfolk are covered by SSS as self-employed members. The DA-ATI, with RBOs and CEWs as its partners, implements extension and training activities to promote state-initiated food sufficiency programs and other priority thrusts of the DA. The subsidy for SSS contributions forms part of DA-ATI’s compensation for the qualified members of RBOs and designated CEWs. Included in the list of RBOs are Rural Improvement Clubs (RIC); the youth-based 4H Clubs; Pambansang Mananalon, Maguuma, Magbabaul, Magsasaka (P4MP); M a g s a s a k a Siyentista (MS); and Indigenous People (IP). The subsidies will be based on P3,000 monthly salary MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

credit, which is equivalent to a contribution of P330 per month. DA-ATI Regional Offices will remit the contributions to SSS quarterly via bank deposits as well as submit a regular payment list showing the beneficiaries of the monthly subsidies. The chosen beneficiaries have the option to increase their monthly contribution, on top of the subisidized amount, to become entitled to higher SSS benefits and loans in the future. Many farmers and fisherfolk lack social security coverage and face difficulties in remitting regular contributions. This is something that SSS aims to address through initiatives such as its new partnership with DA.

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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


Women who hope in the face of poverty By Dominic I. Sanchez

Evelyn Atis, a yema (a local variety of candy) peddler remembers the time when she and her husband were collecting spare lumber from the outskirts of a small community in Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur, to start building a new home.

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“We used to live in a nipa hut, but the landowner drove us away,” Evelyn recalls. “We desperately needed a roof over our heads, especially the children, especially when it rains.” Evelyn’s husband used to earn a little in farming. But not even completing their humble shelter, he developed an eye disease. She did everything she could. It was just too much. But Evelyn never stopped hoping. A Waray from Leyte Young and innocent-looking Enever Verino is a Waray from Leyte, in the Visayas. At age 21, she met Albert in Caloocan City where she was then working. They fell in love and had two children. “Life was very difficult in Manila, that is why we opted to return to the province,” Enever shared. But little did they know of the trials that loomed ahead. Albert’s hometown in Carupay, Katipunan, Zamboanga del Norte is a hard-to-reach community, which is to say the least. Enever was never used to this kind of isolation, being a girl from the city. But given

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that, money was utterly scarce – the income from Albert’s driving a habalhabal was too little to respond to the family’s needs. She remembered the time when even table salt was way out of reach. Enever had cried a lot. She had felt so helpless. But she never fails to hope. Johanna’s story About two years ago, Johanna Lerona of Salug, Zamboanga del Norte was a college student. She was 36 years old then – old enough to be her classmates’ mother. She herself is a mother to three grown-ups. Johanna has a very simple dream. In spite of poverty and despite her age, she still wanted to become a teacher. But as bad luck would have it, the school closed down. She still needed two more years. She let it go, but she never stops dreaming. Johanna got back to her usual early morning routing, chanting “kruuuk! Kruuuuk!,” beckoning for her chickens to feed. Her sacrifices have successfully sent her children through school. This poultry business, although reaping very minimal income before, had grown immensely through a P10,000 loan grant from one of the programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). She now also raises hogs. “Every time my son needs money for a school project and for the tuition, new eggs would hatch, as if the hens know whenever I’m in a tight situation,” Johanna beams. Her eldest son, Jerome has PAGE | 24


recently graduated from a criminology degree, all set for a training to join the Philippine Army. An additional consolation is, through her pushing, a senior citizen has just finished high school in his 70s – Tatay Eduardo, her father. Johanna still has two more children to put through college, but she is highly optimistic. After the two would graduate, her turn will finally come. Enever’s cries were soon replaced with a determination to leave the past behind. Soon, through an aid from the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilya which now supported their children’s education needs, their minimal earnings could already be allocated to small investments and other necessities. Eventually, they were able to start a small business in that remote community. Enever would buy red pepper from a local, and peddle these at the Poblacion market and buy a wide assortment of commodities that she would sell at their store back in Carupay. They saved up, and now they own a motorcycle, which doubles as Albert’s habal-habal and as goods delivery service. Enever has grown out of crying, self-pitying and looking back with MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

regrets. Salt is not a scarce commodity anymore, because now, she is a trader of it. When all hope seem to have lost, Evelyn chose not to falter. When the family, being recipients of Pantawid Pamilya started receiving the cash grants, Evelyn wasted no time in saving up for additional investments. Soon they were able to buy a plow which helped in efficiently producing more farm produce. Not long after, she establish a small sari-sari store adjacent to their home, a work still in progress. Soon after receiving a loan through the Sustainable Livelihood Program, Evelyn worked her way into establishing a small canteen inside the local school. “From then on, I didn’t have to carry a table with me every day for the yema,” she quipped. A refrigerator was soon purchased, hence she also now sells ice candy. She now makes more than enough to feed her family, get medicines for her husband, and send her children to school. Evelyn, Johanna and Enever are women of strength. In spite of difficulties they experience every single day, they find hope to get back on their feet when situation demands it. Mothers, wives, and providers are just some of the roles that they take on. No time is wasted to take their families closer to a better way of life, to move away from the clutches of poverty. The three women, whose stories are featured in Pagbangon, the DSWD’s anthology of success stories from their beneficiaries, represent the lives that millions of Filipino women live. But in spite of their challenges, one thing is true. They represent hope. PAGE | 25


BFAR lifts shellfish ban in Sibuguey Bay area By Alma L. Tingcang

IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay - Here’s good news for Zamboanga Sibugay! The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has lifted the shellfish ban in Sibuguey Bay area in the latest shellfish bulletin issued on March 19, 2014. Based on the latest laboratory results of BFAR and local government units, shellfishes collected at Dumanquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur; Bataan coastal waters including Mariveles, Limay, Pilar, Balanga, Orani, Abucay and Samal as well as the coastal waters of Bolinao and Anda in Pangasinan remain positive for

paralytic shellfish poison that is beyond the regulatory limit. According to the bulletin which was signed by Atty. Benjamin F. S. Tabios Jr., BFAR Assistant Director, all types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang gathered from the abovementioned areas are not safe for human consumption. Fish, squid, shrimps and crabs are safe to eat provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking.

Zambo conducts training for parents of “special children” By Jocelyn P. Alvarez ZAMBOANA CITY - Recognizing the “special needs” of “special children”, the city government’s Gender and Development (GAD) focal point recently conducted a training for members of the Zamboanga City Federation of Parents of Children with Special Needs (ZCFPCSN) at the Centro Pastoral, Paseo del Mar, this city. Public Information Officer Sheila Covarrubias said the activity was aimed at ensuring protection, rights and privileges of children with special needs. “Children with special needs, like any other children, have the right to live freely through quality education with the support and guidance of their parents and relatives.” During the training, topics discussed include Republic Act 9442 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons and LTO provisions for PWDs specifically the allocation of a special reservation

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space for PWDs in every public utility vehicle in the city and throughout Zamboanga Peninsula. Speakers were Commission on Human Rights (CHR) -9 PWD focal person Atty. Cristina Jimenez and Abdelshan Amilassan, acting chief of the Operations Division, Land Transportation Office (LTO)-9. The training was successfully carried out in collaboration with the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) through the Persons with Disabilities Affairs Unit (PDAU). PAGE | 26


DOT accredits hotels, restaurants for safety by Jasper Marie Oblina Rucat

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - In contrast to the notion that accredited hotels and restaurants are expensive, the Department of Tourism (DOT) region 10 assures accreditation of tourism establishments are done to make sure tourists are safe and secure.

DOT Regional Director Catalino here said, “Dili mabayran ang safety Chan III during a press conference sa tourist.� (No money can pay MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

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tourist’s safety.) Through DOT’s accreditation be it five star or one star, the tourist can feel safe and assured of comfort and services. Chan said that to be accredited, the facility should meet the minimum requirements of the department. Hotels should have a wheelchair ramp and a number of rooms friendly to Persons with Disability (PWDs), he said. There should be a fire exit, sprinklers in case of fire, among others. Chan said that if a tourism establishment has better facilities, then it also has higher standards. He said that other than accreditation, DOT also conduct trainings to tour guides, taxi drivers,

and tour operators among others. Meanwhile, the Cagayan de Oro Hotel and Restaurant Association (COHARA) trains and handles Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) students during their summer On-theJob training (OJT) required by their schools. Compared to other members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Philippines is more complete with accreditations, he said. In terms of negative comments from foreign tourists, DOT is open to critics and addressing this negative aspect. There are 104 accredited tourism establishments in Northern Mindanao.

DOH aims at TB-free community, nation by Jasper Marie Oblina-Rucat

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - In support and to fulfill the government’s goal to eliminate Tuberculosis (TB) nationwide, the Department of Health (DOH) is making its message clear that anyone with TB can be cured and this is provided for free. National TB Program Coordinator (NTP) for Region 10 Dr. Evelyn Magsayo during a press conference here said that DOH specifically NTP has achieved many things since the 70’s when it was first created. She said, “We are now in the controlling mode of TB.”

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In 1990, the prevalence of TB was 1,000 in every 100, 000 population while death rate was 60 of 100,000 population. The target for 2015 would be to reduce mortality and morbidity rate by half. In 2012, prevalence was already 461 out of 100,000 and death rate was 24 per 100,000 population.

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The challenge she said was not curing the patient, because now we have partners and we are funded by TB Control Program Global Fund through Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) but the challenge is how to detect those with TB and get over the stigma that people should be ashamed of the illness. PBSP Regional Field Officer Jhun Ronald Gilbolingo said that we should not be ashamed if we have TB. Instead, we must find time to go to the doctor and get diagnosed. Checkup and medicines are free. He said that we have the DirectlyObserved Treatment Shortcourse (DOTS) centers in the city where these cases are treated and cured. A TB patient may go directly to their provincial, city or barangay health centers for screening and tests. But for those that have Multi-Drug Resistant TB (MDR-TB), the German Doctors Hospital in Cagayan de Oro is the one specializing for these cases. He said that there is also a DOTS Center in Polymedic Medical Plaza in Kauswagan, this city for those that don’t want to go to a government hospital. A DOTS center is a specialized treatment center specifically for TB. All staff is trained by DOH. MDR-TB on the other hand according to Dr. Magsayo is harder to cure. The drug-resistant TB is a result from non compliance of the first TB treatment. Usually, they find that the patient did not follow the schedule of taking antibiotics or have stopped taking them after they feel they have MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

been cured. She said that the treatment for an ordinary TB is from six to eight months with four kinds of drugs daily and injection for two months. But, with MDR-TB the process is longer from 18 months to two years. A patient will also take 30 tablets everyday and gets injection for six months. She said that the cost would reach P200, 000 or more but in the DOTS center, medication is free. Right now, there are 70 MDR patients in Cagayan de Oro and 56 in Iligan. These patients also come from neighboring towns. Dr. Magsayo explained that the medicine for MDR-TB is not available in the drugstore here but is imported from another country. So a patient must admit to the DOTS center to avail of these medicines for free. She said that we also must have good immune system to not easily acquire the bacteria. She explained that this bacteria cannot be taken from spoons or glass or clothes of those with TB because this is air-borne, meaning we get this through inhaling the same air with the patient. Although there are other different types of TB like TB of the bones, extra pulmonary TB or meningitis (TB of the brain), TB of the lymph nodes, the most common is TB of the lungs which is the contagious of all. She said that usually a cough that doesn’t get well in two weeks is a sign you may have TB.

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DILG-10 calls on LGUs to support Earth Hour 2014 by Ana Celeste W. Felisilda

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-10 urges local government units (LGUs) to participate and support 2014 Earth Hour and Earth Hour Blue Day on March 29 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Provincial Governors, City and Municipal Mayors and Punong Barangays in northern Mindanao are encouraged to enjoin their respective constituents to observe Earth Hour 2014 by switching-off or dimming their non-essential lights in their homes, offices, facilities, including street lights and other signage within their respective areas. This year, aside from the usual switch-off event, the Earth Hour global community launches Earth Hour Blue (EHB), the first crowdfunding platform for the planet. This would allow the MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

collective effort of individuals around the world to fund environmental and social projects of their choice through an online donation. For this crowdfunding i ni t i at i ve, World Wide Fund (WWF)Philippines is urging the world to support Bancas for the Philippines, which will share and introduce a climate-smart fiberglass boat technology to local fishermen who lost their boats and source of livelihood to Typhoon Yolanda. The Earth Hour is an annual global campaign to showcase what can and is being done all over the world to combat climate change. This event is a worldwide initiative showing how individuals, communities, businesses and governments can address the threat of global warming if we resolve to work on it together. PAGE | 30


EARTH HOUR KORONADAL CITY -- Koronadal City’s main street, Gensan Drive, was engulfed in darkness from 8:30 to 9:30 Saturday evening as the city and its residents joined the world in celebrating the Earth Hour. Lighting of candle around the General Paulino Santos monument at the cross section of Alunan Avenue and Gensan Drive highligted the the event (DEDoguiles-PIA 12) MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

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NorthCot LGU reaches out to IDPs in remote villages of Midsayap By: Shahana Joy E. Duerme

MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato ---The provincial government of North Cotabato through its ‘Serbisyong Totoo’ team conducted recently, a relief operation in the remote villages of Midsayap town.

The activity catered 584 families from Barangay Kudarangan and its nearby villages of Lumopog and Sambulawan. Cynthia Ortega, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operations Center (PDRRMOC) said that the beneficiaries are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Maguindanao who were dislocated during the height of encounters between the government troops and the elements of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in January and February 2014. She noted that out of the said number, 132 families now temporarily reside in Kudarangan while 452 are in temporary shelters in Lumopong and Sambulawan. Aside from the relief packs distributed by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), the medical-dental team from the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) and counterpart from the Dr. Amado Diaz Provincial Foundation Hospital in Midsayap provided free medical check-ups to 389 individuals, tooth extraction to MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

55 persons and circumcision to 31 young boys through the assistance of the medical team from the 40th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army. “The doctors also gave pre-natal check ups and pregnancy tips to around 28 pregnant women who were also given information on right birth spacing and family planning,” Ortega stated. She also revealed that personnel from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg) along with personnel from the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian (OPVet) have held orientation to the farmers in the three villages and performed veterinary services as well. “58 farmers were oriented with the programs and projects of the OPAg which they could possibly avail. They were also oriented with crop evaluation which helps to identify what plants suit best for the area. “On the other hand, a total of 72 farm animals mostly carabaos and cows were provided with vitamins and de-worming medicines from the OPVet,” she added. PAGE | 32


Meanwhile, Hadi Asrap Tayuan, chairman of Barangay Kudarangan thanked the provincial government for its initiative of helping the IDPs. “The children and the elders were usually the ones suffering the

most due to sickness or illness, and it is a blessing that the provincial government of North Cotabato has conducted a relief mission,” Tayuan said. (SJDuerme-PIA12/ JSta.Cruz&VBacarat-N. Cotabato Provincial Government)

NorthCot prov’l employees donate 30 bags of blood

By: Shahana Joy E. Duerme KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato—A total of 30 bags of blood were donated by the employees of the provincial government in a bloodletting activity conducted recently.

Emmanuel Paclibar, president of the Cotabato Government Employees Association (CotGEM) said that the activity was not only supported by their members but by other concerned individuals as well. “The collected bags of blood were deposited at the Kidapawan City Blood Bank and will soon be distributed to hospitals with patients needing these,” Paclibar noted. Further, the official disclosed that blood donors are employees from the Provincial Treasurer’s Office (PTO), Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO), Provincial Assessor’s Office (PASSO), Provincial Engineer’s Office (PEO) and the Provincial General Services Office (PGSO). Moreover, personnel from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

Provincial Budget Office (PBO), Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP), Civil Security Unit and Security personnel of the Provincial Governor’s Office took part in the said event. Paclibar emphasized that the bloodletting activity was among the many initiatives their association is undertaking to extend help to the people of the province. Meanwhile, Governor Emmylou Mendoza lauded the efforts of the CotGEM and encouraged other employees of the provincial government to support the programs and projects of the said association. “We should always help in doing activities that benefit people in our community,” Mendoza stated. (SJDuerme-PIA12/JSta. Cruz&RASotto-N. Cotabato Provincial Government) PAGE | 33


Maguindanao OFWs attend free cosmetology training from OWWA By: Oliver Ross V. Rivera

COTABATO CITY– A total of 30 Overseas Filipino Workers from the province of Maguindanao completed a three-day basic cosmetology training courtesy of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration-ARMM at El Manuel Convention Center on March 25-27. The training dubbed as “Ganda mo, kinabukasan ko!” was participated by members of OFW family circles from the province. According to OWWA-ARMM OIC Habib Malik, the training aims to give OFWs more skills which they can use to earn extra income when they are deployed abroad. “Through this activity, OWWA is able to equip OFWs in the region with much needed trainings to improve their skills and competencies and in a simple way help them in enhancing their livelihoods or add to their income, “ Malik said. “Education should be a never-ending journey, our OFWs should continually upgrade and hone their skills to further improve their lives,” Malik added. During the threeday course, the participants are taught on use of beauty tools, basic techniques on hair cutting styles for men and women, hair coloring, make-up, hot oil treatment, manicure/ MARCH 2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

pedicure, hair perming and foot spa. After their graduation, the participants were awarded with free beauty and cosmetology kits, so that they can use their newly acquired skills to start their small business right away. These activities are also in relation to the Gender and Development (GAD) advocacies of the office and also part of the women’s month celebration. (ORVRivera-PIA12)

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One Mindanao - March 31, 2014