Information to Empower Filipinos
Climate change advocacy campaign in full swing in region 9 Page 4
Franklin P. Gumapon WESTERN MINDANAO
FRIDAY, MAY 30, 2014 Vol. 3 No. 189
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NEDA board approves nine major projects
DA turns-over 6-km farm-to-market road in Titay town Emmanuel D. Taghoy Tungawan town acquires new bus terminal Emmanuel D. Taghoy
Sta. Cruz’s new public market expects to boost economic enterprise Joey Sem G. Dalumpines
Local gov’t enforces plastic less policy Jorie C. Valcorza
Correction of entries in voters’ records need legal documents, says Comelec Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob
SSS members with biometric UMID cards reach 4-M SSS DA info officers set communications direction for PRDP Jay M. Rosas
Climate change advocacy campaign in full swing in region 9
by Franklin P. Gumapon
limate change is certainly not new to many people, but most of them remain apathetic to it.
This was the gist of the presentation made by Director Noemi B. Edaga of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-9 during the regional orientation on climate change advocacy campaign for information officers on Wednesday at Four Queens Resort, Pagadian City. Director Edaga underscored the importance of intensifying a nononsense information campaign about climate change, as “it is the new normal.” “Climate change is not about protecting the environment; it is about protecting ourselves,” Edaga stressed. Attending the said gathering
were information officers of the different Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs), Provincial Environment Natural Resources Offices (PENROs) as well as Provincial Information C e n t e r Managers all over the region. T h e participants were also briefed about the climate change advocacy communication plan for the region, which aims to weaken peopleâ€™s apathy to climate change and other environmental issues. To ensure e f f e c t i v e implementation of the communication plan, the provincial information centers have been directed to identify vulnerable areas to flooding, storm surge and landslides based on the geo-hazard map and other published references and studies.
In a related development, the members of the Regional Task Force on Climate Change (RTFCC) also met last Wednesday to reactivate the said task force with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-9 as chair. Although Zamboanga Peninsula has not yet experienced the Yolanda-type typhoon, its low-lying areas are usually inundated during heavy rains and its coastal areas are susceptible to big waves.
Government working continuously to address concerns in education
s the new academic year opens next week, Malacanang has assured that it is doing everything to solve the various concerns in the education sector.
When the administration assumed office in 2010, it faced a backlog of 66,000 classrooms but the Department of Education (DepEd) has been able to construct 66,213 classrooms,
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. told reporters on Thursday. The DepEd also faced a shortage of 2.5 million chairs and tables but was able MAY| PAGE
to remedy the problem, he said, adding that the department lacked 61.7 million textbooks but was able to reduce the average price of textbooks from P55 to P35. Coloma however noted that although the DepEd was able to address these major problems, the country has suffered a setback due to the natural and manmade calamities last year, resulting in new problems for the education sector. Nonetheless, the department has continued to address the problems, he said, adding that about two weeks ago, it spearheaded the Brigada Eskuwela, which was participated in by millions of citizens. Brigada Eskwela is a nationwide voluntary effort, with teachers, parents and other members of the community offering their services
to help clean and repair public schools in time for school opening. “Siguro mas magandang pagyamanin natin dito ‘yung spirit of bayanihan at kilalanin din natin na kung tutunghayan ang empirical evidence, this administration has allocated more for the education budget than any other previous administration,” he said. He further said that President Aquino is leaving it to Education Secretary Armin Luistro to decide on the implementation of a three-day school week to ease the time and space constraints being experienced by the students. Education officials have proposed a three-day school week to address congestions in schools and make students more comfortable. PND
NEDA board approves nine major projects
he Aquino administration has approved nine major projects in infrastructure, transportation, water supply, and health care totalling P62.3 billion, during a marathon meeting in Malacanang on Thursday.
In a statement issued on Friday, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said the projects were
approved by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board on Thursday during their meeting that began at 1 p.m. and ended at almost MAY 2014 | PAGE
midnight. The NEDA Board is chaired by President Benigno S. Aquino III. Approved were the construction of the P18.7 billion Kaliwa Dam project and the P5.8 billion Angat Dam water transmission project that will address the water supply needs of Metro Manila, Coloma said. The Kaliwa Dam project involves the construction of a dam that will produce 600 million liters of water per day, and a water conveyance tunnel with a capacity of 2,400 million liters per day in anticipation of the future construction of the Laiban Dam. The project will cover portions of the municipalities of Tanay, Antipolo, and Teresa in Rizal province and the towns of General Nakar and Infanta in Quezon province. The project will be implemented through public-private partnership (PPP), under variants of the build-lease-and-transfer scheme. Meanwhile, the Angat Dam water transmission project, which will be financed through a $60 million Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan, aims to improve the reliability and security of the Angat raw water transmission system
through the rehabilitation of existing conveyances from the Ipo Dam to the La Mesa treatment plant, Coloma said. The NEDA Board also approved the development of local water districts through the approved implementation of the Local Water Utilities Administrationâ€™s (LWUA) initiative and a $60 million (P2.7 billion) Asian Development Bank loan facility. Three pilot projects will jumpstart the expected upgrading of facilities and services of some 60 local water districts nationwide. These will be implemented in Koronadal City and in the metropolitan San Fernando City-Pampanga area and 15 water districts in Bulacan. Another approved project is the National Irrigation Administration (NIAâ€™s) Malinao Dam Improvement Project in Bohol that will double the impounding capacity of the existing dam for irrigation needs of the undeserved areas of the Bohol Integrated Irrigation System. Estimated project cost is P653 million. Also P10.6-billion Cebu bus rapid transit project in Cebu was also approved for implementation, the MAY| PAGE
Palace official said. The project, which will be completed in 2017, will address Cebuâ€™s need for a mass transport facility in its bustling metropolis. It will be financed through loans from the Agence Francaise de Development and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development-World Bank through its clean technology fund. The government is also allocating P4.1 billion for the improvement of the Busuanga airport in Palawan. The project will enhance the existing runway and modernize terminal facilities. This is expected to boost tourism growth even further, given the 47 percent average annual growth in passenger traffic in Busuanga and Coron, Palawan, Coloma said. Also approved for implementation was the LRT 2 operations and maintenance project estimated at P16.5 billion in order to increase operating efficiency from the present level of 67 percent (or six out of 18 trainsets) operational daily to 95 percent availability of the total LRT 2 fleet. The NEDA Board also approved the P1.2 billion Laoag airport road link
project that will provide easier access to the Laoag international airport and the Currimao port, thereby boosting trade and tourism. The project will be funded from the general appropriations of the Department of Public Works and Highways. The government is also improving the Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, the largest maternity care and birthing facility in the country. The NEDA Board approved the project to enhance the existing 447-bed capacity to a modern 800 bed hospital. The P2-billion project will be borne by DOH from general appropriations. Also approved Thursday was the Clark Green City project that will cover the municipalities of Capas and Bamban in Tarlac province. Initially approved was the disposition of 1,300 hectares, constituting phase one of the project containing institutional, mixed-use and industrial development starting 2014. The recent groundbreaking of the proposed University of the Philippines campus in Clark is part of this initial implementation phase, Coloma said. PND MAY 2014 | PAGE
Mindanao state universities, colleges to offer DRMM, climate change courses
indanaoâ€™s state universities and colleges are stepping up efforts in making the island-region and its people more adaptable to climate change by integrating disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) as well as climate change adaptation and mitigation (CCAM) in their curriculum.
The curriculum integration includes the proposal to offer shortterm courses on DRRM and CCAM to students, employees of local MAY2014 | www.pia.gov.ph
government units (LGUs) and other interested individuals. Part of the initiative is the move to designate DRRM and CCAM as compulsory PAGE | 11
subjects for all courses or to include these in the existing subjects such as the National Service Training Program (NSTP), the Civic Welfare Training Service (CWTS), and the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC). Among the schools that have committed to integrate DRMM and CCAM in their curriculum include the University of Southeastern Philippines, the Compostela Valley State College, the Davao del Norte State College, the Sultan Kudarat State University, the Mindanao State University-General Santos City Campus, the University of Southern Mindanao, the Cotabato Foundation College of Science and Technology and the Cotabato City State Polytechnic College. Other schools such as the Southern Philippines Agri-business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology (SPAMAST), the Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology (DOSCST) and the Notre Dame of Dadiangas University have already incorporated DRMM and CCAM in their CWTS and NSTP subjects. “The country’s state universities and colleges play critical roles in integrating climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in the education sector,” said Dr. Irvin Generalao, SPAMAST president. Majority of the students enrolled in SPAMAST come from poor MAY2014 | www.pia.gov.ph
families “who are considered as among the most vulnerable sector to climate change,” he added. “By integrating and offering DRRM and CCAM in our programs, we intend to equip our students the appropriate skills, attitudes, and knowledge necessary for them and their families to adapt to climate change, and eventually cope with its impacts,” he said. Generalao said that students who recently completed the school’s NSTP underwent series of trainings on first aid and disaster preparedness. SPAMAST also implemented projects on climate change, including the Regional Disaster Science and Management (RDSM) funded by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development (PCIERD). The RDSM maps out the earthquake-prone areas in Davao del Sur and disseminates these information to concerned local government units and authorities. The school also manages two automated weather stations that are located in Digos City and Matanao, Davao del Sur. The weather stations collect timely information on meteorological conditions such temperature, amount of rainfall, and relative humidity, which are PAGE | 12
being forwarded to Ateneo de Davao University for consolidation. “We hope to contribute to President Benigno Aquino III’s programs on DRRM and CCAM in our own little way. SPAMAST sees to it that all of its academic programs, including agriculture, environmental science, and engineering must include awareness on climate change among its courses,” Generalao said. During roadshows with higher education institutions in Regions XI and XII conducted by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), SPAMAST and the other 10 state universities and colleges in Mindanao also pledged to undertake researches on climate change aimed to aid policy and decision-making bodies. “These studies are crucial and we would like to maximize the expertise of our home-grown academic institutions,” said Janet Lopoz, MinDA executive director. She added that MinDA regularly submits policy briefs to the members of Mindanao lawmakers’ bloc in Congress while adding “the agency lobbies for Mindanao-related policies that are supported by thorough research.” The Mindanao 2020 or the island-region’s 20-year peace and development roadmap for 20112030 stressed that Mindanao must position itself to adequately meet the challenges of climate change. MAY2014 | www.pia.gov.ph
“We are glad that our stakeholders from the education sector are now rallying for this cause. The government and private sectors must work together in implementing DRRM and CCAM initiatives,” she said. Lopoz encouraged all stakeholders in Mindanao, especially those from the private sector to collaborate under MinDA’s flagship program called the MindaNOW! Nurturing Our Waters Program which seeks to harmonize all DRRM and CCAM efforts in the island-region. Republic Act No. 10121, the law that institutionalized the country’s DRRM system and framework requires the integration of disaster risk reduction in the school curricula. It mandates the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to integrate disaster risk reduction and management education in their school curricula, which include the National Service Training Program (NSTP), formal and non-formal, technical-vocational, indigenous learning, and out-ofschool youth courses and programs. The education sector on the other hand is required by Republic Act No. 9729 or the law that created the Climate Change Commission, to incorporate climate change into their primary and secondary subjects that include science, biology, sibika, and history. PAGE | 13
DOST extends assistance to blacksmith, bakeshop
By Alfonso T. Ruda
DIPOLOG CITY - The Department of Science and Technology Small Enterprize Technology Upgrading Program (DOSTSETUP) has extended financial assistance to a blacksmith in Dipolog City and a bakeshop in Dapitan City.
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DOST-9 SETUP Manager Jennie A. Pidor together with DOST-9 Assistant Regional Director Mahmud L. Kingking handed two checks worth P822,500 to the beneficiaries in simple turnover ceremony held at the DOST provincial office in Turno this city. Edilberto C. Liong, owner of Damaso Bakeshop located at JF Saguin st., Dapitan City, received P583,500 for the upgrading of his bakeshop facility while Huberto B. Nazario received P239,048 to upgrade his metal craft fabrication shop, the Espina Metal Craft, situated in Turno, Dipolog City. The financial assistance is an interest-free loan payable in three years. “Before the assistance is granted, the applicant-beneficiary is required to submit financial report of its previous operation, duly signed by a Certified Public Accountant. Once granted, the program beneficiary is required to regularly report to the DOST on the progress of its operation,” said the
SETUP manager. The DOST, on the other hand, is also directed to make a regular follow-up and monitoring on the operations of the beneficiaries. The DOST-SETUP program is a nationwide strategy aimed at encouraging and assisting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to adopt technology innovations to improve their operations thereby boosting their productivity and competitiveness. The program enables firms to address their technical programs through technology transfer and technology interventions to improve productivity through enhanced product quality, upgraded manpower cost reduction effective waste management and operation tuneup. SET UP’s priority sectors, are food processing, furniture, gifts, decors, and handicrafts, marine and aquatic resources, horticulture (cut flowers, fruits, high value crops), and metals and engineering.
DA turns-over 6-km farm-to-market road in Titay town By Emmanuel D. Taghoy
TITAY, Zamboanga Sibugay – The Department of Agriculture (DA) here has recently turned-over a six kilometer farm-to-market road (FMR) connecting barangay Azusano and sitio Darusalam of this town. MAY2014 | www.pia.gov.ph
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The turnover ceremony was led by Mr. Arnel V. De Mesa, national deputy coordinator of the Philippine Rural Development Project of DA Central Office, Manila, together with Regional Director Constancio G. Alama of DA-9, Mayor Maria Esperanza Corazon D. Rillera and Vice Mayor Elizer A. Yamaro of Titay town. The FMR project, which was implemented in cooperation with the municipal government, aims to help the residents of Barangay Azusano improve their living through
“a comfortable and easy delivery of their products.” Municipal Engineer Louimille B. Espinoza told the media in an interview that the newly built road would reduce the hauling cost of the farmers in bringing their products to the public market. The Azusano–Sitio Darusalam FMR has the total project cost of P16 million, with 50 percent coming from the World Bank, 40 percent from the Mindanao Rural Development Project (MRDP) of DA, and a 10 percent counterpart from the municipality.
Tungawan town acquires new bus terminal By Emmanuel D. Taghoy
TUNGAWAN, Zamboanga Sibugay – “Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much,” said Mayor Randy A. Climaco during the inauguration and blessing of the newly constructed bus terminal here. Climaco attributed the realization of the project to the Tungaweños, the town officials and to all who had helped and supported him in erecting the project. “This occasion is the fruit of our labor. Despite the hardships and obstacles that hinder our way, especially on peace and order, the unity of the people and the government paved the way for this project,” he said. MAY2014 | www.pia.gov.ph
The Tungawan Bus Terminal is a joint undertaking of the municipal government and the Mindanao Basic Urban Services Sector Project of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) through the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP). The project, which included three building, amounted to P13,550,542.67 and is payable in 15 years. “This is only the beginning of our PAGE | 16
journey. Even with our differences, be it social or religious, we were able to work harmoniously and surpass all the trials that threaten to weaken us,” Climaco added. Mayor Climaco also expressed his gratitude to the Miss Philippines Earth 2013 beauties, who came for the project’s blessing and inauguration. “The presence of these beautiful ladies here is an assurance that Tungawan is no longer the same as it was before,” he said. Miss Philippines Earth 2013 Angelee Claudett delos Reyes, Miss Philippines Air 2013 Nancy Lee MAY2014 | www.pia.gov.ph
Leonard, Miss Philippines Water 2013 Alma Cecilia Cabasal, and Miss Philippines Eco-Tourism 2013 Bernadete Mae Aguirre graced the inauguration as special guests of the event. Mayor Climaco ended his speech with words quoted from US President Barrack Obama: “We will remember that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people we are one nation and together, we will begin the next chapter with three words that will ring from coast to coast, from sea to shining sea- Yes. We. Can.” PAGE | 17
Anti-Smoking Task Force of Davao City to strengthen info drive among youth DAVAO CITY- The chief of the AntiSmoking Task Force of Davao City has cited the need to intensify more the campaign on the impact of smoking to health particularly on the next generation.
Speaking in the I-Speak Forum, Dr. Domilyn Villareiz, head of the AntiSmoking Task Force of Davao City noted a rise in the number of smokers among the young whom she called replacement smokers. She said residents aging 50 and above could have either tempered or stopped indulging on the vice, but the young generation nowadays continue to patronize smoking. â€œWe still need to strengthen the education campaign on the young people. The number of replacement smokers particularly the young is increasing in Davao City,â€? Villareiz said. She warned that smoking at an early age can lead to nicotine addiction which brings more health risks. Villareiz hopes that with the intensified MAY2014 | www.pia.gov.ph
anti-smoking campaign in the city, those born from year 2000 will be totally smoke-free. The smoking ban on public places in Davao City turns 12 years May 30 with the city government recognizing the police commanders, police stations and units under the Davao City Police Office which made the most number of arrests in 2013 in the implementation of the policy. Villareiz said the top police stations and commanders with the most number of apprehensions in 2013 are the Mobile Patrol Group under Supt. William Corpuz with 1,644 violators arrested, Talomo Police Precinct under Supt. Julius Silagan with 577 arrests, San Pedro Police Precinct under Supt. Joel Consulta with 463 arrests, City Public Safety Company under Supt. Richard Badang with 345 arrests, and the Sta. Ana Police Precinct under Supt. Cesar Cabuhat with 234 arrests made. (PIA 11-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)
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Sta. Cruz’s new public market expects to boost economic enterprise
STA. CRUZ, Davao del Sur– A new public market worth P100 million will soon rise in this town, expecting to boost new opportunities for economic enterprise. “
This project will really benefit the people of Sta. Cruz as it will boost new opportunities for us in terms of economic enterprises,” said Mayor Joel Ray Lopez who led the groundbreaking ceremony for the public market held on Wednesday. Lopez said that with the population of the town increasing, there is a need to put up a new public market, adding “We’ve been longing for this project and finally it will be implemented now.” The project is one of the biggest investments of the local government in terms of infrastructure development, MAY2014 | www.pia.gov.ph
he said. Ninety percent of its funding is being loaned from the Development Bank of the Philippines. It will be situated in an LGUowned property in Barangay Zone 3 along the highway, just beside the present Integrated Transport Terminal. The project construction phase is expected to be completed within 18 months under the Design and Build scheme, said Engr. Remegio Salanatin, Jr., project contractor from the RG Salanatin Construction, Inc. Mayor Lopez was joined by ViceMayor Alexis Almendras, Sangguniang Bayan members and the contractor during the groundbreaking rites on May 28, 2014 at Barangay Zone 3. (CDIO-Sta. Cruz/Julius R. Paner) PAGE | 19
Religious leaders gather for interfaith confab on climate change by Climate Change Commission
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - Leaders and representatives of various faith-based and religious organizations of Mindanao gathered on May 29, in Cagayan de Oro to address the challenge of climate change in the 1st Regional Interfaith Dialogue on Climate Change.
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This was announced by Climate Change Commission (CCC) Commissioner Heherson T. Alvarez, co-convenor of the conference, who said that the focus will be on attaining energy, water and food security. With the theme “Earth in Peril,” the one-day conference will be held at the City Tourism Hall. According to Alvarez, the heads of different denominations have always express their concern about the unabated rise of carbon emissions that cause global warming and climate change which bring about strong storms and disastrous floods. Mindanao has been hit by two of the most destructive typhoons Sendong and Pablo in 2011 and 2012, respectively, that claimed more than 2,000 lives and combined damages of almost P40 billion. The religious leaders are alarmed of the impacts of climate change and they understand that as a manmade disaster, it needs our collective efforts to address and, being leaders of their flock it is their moral duty to MAY2014 | www.pia.gov.ph
prepare them and protect them from these disasters caused by climate change, he added. Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, conference coconvenor and a member of the Catholic Climate Change Congress of the Philippines (CCCP), stressed that the poor are the worst affected since they do not have the land, the means and resources to hurdle the impacts of climate change, of one typhoon after another. There should be intergenerational justice for all, decisively and immediately. Bishop Efraim Tendero of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC), conference director, said that as people of faith we have a distinct role in addressing climate change. We have to remind people of various faiths that the Earth is a gift given by the Creator to all mankind, and as stewards of God’s creations, of all living creatures and the natural environment, it is our right to protect them. Meanwhile, President Benigno S. Aquino in a written message addressed to the participants during the Second National Interfaith Dialogue held in Malacañang last March 14, 2014, said, “The Filipino spirit is unyielding for it is anchored in faith and solidarity. Even the most daunting of storms could not bring our countrymen to their knees and disrupt the promise of our resurgence. It has become imperative PAGE | 21
upon our country to raise awareness on sustainability and engage the greater community of nations in committing to intergenerational progress.” Resource speakers from the government, religious, and private sectors in the region will address the challenges of climate change, especially the significant cutting of greenhouse gas emissions - within the context of sustainable development, social justice, and religious teachings. “Climate change is the great moral challenge of the 21st Century. As religious leaders add their powerful
voices to protest the rising tide of carbon emissions, there is immense hope that mankind will prevail,” said Alvarez. The 1st Regional Interfaith Dialogue on Climate Change is sponsored by the City of Cagayan de Oro, Cagayan de Oro Basin Management Council, Xavier University, Canon Marketing Philippines, Inc., The Honorary Consulate of Georgia to the Philippines, Philippines Uncut, Integrated Laser and Complementary Medicine, Qatar Airways, Seda Centrio Hotel, and Mario D’Boro, Cardams.
Local gov’t enforces plastic less policy by Jorie C. Valcorza
MAMBAJAO, Camiguin - A local government unit here begins to enforce the plastic less policy following the review and amendment of its Solid Waste Management (SWM) ordinance, early this year. Mambajao municipal government now strictly prohibits use of plastics or cellophanes on dry goods while regulating its use on wet goods. An executive and deputation order was likewise released for the creation, organization and training of a task force dubbed as TF Kalikasan, to guard and ensure the enforcement of the ordinance in coordination with the local police. This was after holding a series of consultations with the store owners and vendors operating especially in the town’s public market. MAY2014 | www.pia.gov.ph
Thousands of improvised bags made of recycled sacks and papers were also distributed by the LGU prior the enforcement. According to the LGU, the campaign will serve as a springboard towards achieving its vision for a “Clean and Beautiful Mambajao.” Currently, the administration is bringing the campaign to the barangays, assisting them in crafting their own SWM ordinance, organizing the SWM board, and in the formulating the SWM plant.
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Correction of entries in votersâ€™ records need legal documents, says Comelec by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob
OROQUIETA CITY, Misamis Occidental - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said registered voters whose names have been changed by reason of marriage, court order or by order of the Civil Registrar or Consul General may file an application for change of name. In support of the application, the applicant shall submit any original or certified copy of the following legal documents: Certification by the solemnizing officer, marriage contract or court order with certificate of finality or order by the Civil Registrar or Consul General, as the case may be. Atty. Cirilo E. Nala, Jr., Provincial Election Supervisor (PES) of Misamis Occidental, said this may also be availed of in cases where the marriage of a female registered voter has been annuled or declared as void by a competent court, who may request to revert back to her maiden surname and change of signature, attaching a certified true copy of the Courtâ€™s final order/ decision, annuling the marriage or declaring the marriage a nullity. Meanwhile, registered voters whose registration records contain erroneous entries, including wrong or misspelled name, birth date, birth place or typographical errors, may request for its correction supported by a court order or order of the Civil Registrar, or any other evidence warranted under the circumstances. MAY2014 | www.pia.gov.ph
On the other hand, registered voters whose names have not been included or have been omitted in the precinct certified list of voters in the immediate preceding elections, may file an application for reinstatement. For all the above purposes, Nala said the applicants shall personally submit to the Election Officers (EO) in places where they want to vote, the accomplished three copies of the prescribed application forms for change/correction of entries/ and inclusion/reinstatement of record in the list of voters/book of voters. PAGE | 23
PIA Caraga inks cooperation agreement with Butuan Kidney Alliance, Inc. By Venus L. Garcia
BUTUAN CITY - The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga represented by its regional director Abner Caga has sealed an alliance with the Butuan Kidney Alliance, Inc. (BKA, Inc.) chaired by Dr. Rene Vargas for the commitment of working together to raise awareness about kidney failure and disease prevention here yesterday.
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The signing of the agreement was one of the highlights of the advocacy campaign in relation to the celebration of the National Kidney Month with the theme, “A Healthy Lifestyle Makes Your Kidneys Smile.” No less than the program manager of National Kidney and Transplant Institute-Renal Disease Control Program (NKTI-REDCOP) Dr. Antonio Paraiso and the president of Rapid Media Reaction Team Franklin Caliguid have witnessed the official pledge of partnership. As a lead advocacy group and a non-profit organization of volunteers duly organized to promote a public awareness on the early detection, prevention and treatment of diseases and conditions that can lead to chronic kidney failure or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), BKA, Inc. commits to provide information on the programs and projects and/or data that will be beneficial in certain communities in Caraga Region. BKA, Inc. will also work together MAY2014 | www.pia.gov.ph
with PIA Caraga in pursuit of attaining its objectives especially on significant advocacy undertakings. PIA Caraga also earmarked its support in providing assistance on the dissemination of information about Kidney Failure awareness campaign programs initiated by BKA, Inc. in the region; endeavor to help in achieving goals of BKA, Inc., that is, to promote familiarity about its programs on kidney failure control; extend earnest effort in the drive against kidney disease through distribution of accurate data and reliable information; and will work together with BKA, Inc. for the welfare of every member in the community. “This is one better way for our agency to lend a hand by advocating in significant undertakings related to health,” said director Caga. The members of the board of trustees of BKA, Inc. and the local media representatives as well were present during the signing of agreement. Meanwhile, Dr. Vargas expressed his gratitude and consequently discussed with director Caga the plans and programs for the upcoming activities that both parties have to carry out together.
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SSS members with biometric UMID cards reach 4-M by SSS
BUTUAN CITY -- The Social Security System (SSS) said it has issued the biometric-based Unified Multi-Purpose Identification System (UMID) card to over four million SSS members at present, with 1.3 million UMID cards issued in 2013. SSS started issuing UMID cards to members in July 2011. Mario Sibucao, SSS Vice President for Member Services, said the number of UMID applications, as reflected by the total number of UMID “data captures,” reached 1.2 million last year, up by 22 percent from about 975,000 in 2012. “Data capture involves members’ registration of demographic and biometric data into the UMID database. The biometric information, particularly the fingerprint scans, are used to protect the system from persons trying to obtain multiple UMID cards to support fraudulent identities,” Sibucao explained. UMID data capture services are available in SSS branches on regular working days, while 13 of these will remain open to UMID applicants every Saturday until June 28, 2014. The SSS branches with Saturday UMID schedules include Alabang, Diliman, Makati-Gil Puyat, MakatiAyala, Manila, Pasig-Shaw, San Francisco del Monte, Bacoor, Biñan, Dagupan, Bacolod, Cebu and Iloilo. “Mallgoers can also visit SSS MAY2014 | www.pia.gov.ph
Service Offices on Tuesdays until Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to apply for their UMID card at Ali Mall in Cubao, Star Mall in San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan, and SM City Cebu and Robinsons Fuente, which are both based in Cebu,” Sibucao said. For overseas members, UMID services are open from Mondays to Fridays at 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi, Brunei, London, Riyadh, Rome and Singapore; the Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong, Jeddah and Milan; and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Dubai, Kuwait and Taiwan. Sibucao clarified that cardholders of the previous SSS biometric ID can still use them for SSS transactions and are not required to apply for the UMID. Those who prefer to upgrade to the UMID card must surrender their old SSS ID and pay a replacement fee of P300. However, UMID cards of first-time SSS ID applicants are free of charge. Early this year, the SSS signed PAGE | 26
an agreement with AllCard Plastics Philippines, Inc. for the installation of nearly 300 self-service Information Terminals in SSS branches nationwide. Once installed, members can tap their UMID cards and scan their fingerprints in these terminals to get secure access to their contributions, loan and benefit records. “We also plan to enable these terminals to accept SSS transactions such as salary loan applications, maternity notifications, compliance with the Annual Confirmation of Pensioners and submission of technical retirement claims, among other services,” Sibucao said.
Also in the pipeline are the activation of UMID cards for withdrawing SSS loans and benefits at automated teller machines of accredited banks. SSS is in talks with a number of banks for this venture, and will make proper announcements once this new feature becomes available to members. The SSS processes UMID applications in 10 working days, and then forwards the packaged ID cards to the Philippine Postal Corporation for mailing within an average period of two weeks, depending on the member’s address. SSS members with at least one posted contribution can apply for the UMID.
DA info officers set communications direction for PRDP by Jay M. Rosas
TANDAG CITY- Information officers from various regions gathered to craft a communications plan that would help the new national rural development program. Tagged as the Information, Advocacy, Communication and Education (InfoACE) unit of the PRDP, the InfoACE is composed of information officers coming from the Department of Agriculture (DA) regional offices. The team agreed to come up with a communications plan that would set directions for various communication and advocacy initiatives under the MAY2014 | www.pia.gov.ph
PRDP. PRDP is a six-year program designed to establish the government platform for a modern, climate-smart and market-oriented agri-fishery sector. The Program is being implemented by the DA with funding assistance from the World Bank, national and local government units. The Program will partner with LGUs PAGE | 27
and the private sector in providing key infrastructure, facilities and technology to raise incomes, productivity and competitiveness in the countryside. “The role of information and communication is critical at the inception of PRDP,” said PRDP deputy program director Arnel De Mesa, citing the positive outcome of strategic InfoACE activities of the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) that helped in planning for the creation of PRDP. “We need to get the word out there about the Program to generate stakeholder support particularly with our target clients, the local government units and private sector,” he said. De Mesa added that one of the key information that LGUs need to know is the lower counterpart equity of 10 percent in various rural infrastructure projects like farm-to-market roads. Relevant information on policies and project specifications should also be communicated to adhere to quality standards as previously practiced in MRDP, he added. An important part of the workshop the communications audit, which allowed the participants to evaluate communication skills and expertise, programs and technology, which are crucial in the implementation of communication and advocacy activities.
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MRDP InfoACE unit head Noel Provido also presented the communication needs research for PRDP conducted by the unit in cooperation with the DA information officers. “The study presents media preferences and exposure of the program’s intended audience and should help the information officers in anticipating and responding to communication challenges that will arise during the course of the implementation of the Program,” he said. He cited that among the information needs that arose during the MRDP implementation was to come up with a unified checklist of requirements in easy-to-digest format that LGUs and people’s organization (PO) beneficiaries would understand. He also said that the unit is finalizing short video documentaries that highlight success stories and best practices of the Program implementation, which he said could serve as benchmark for implementing projects under PRDP. PRDP is a P27.5 billion program where the bulk of the program will go into infrastructure and enterprise development components. It will also adopt value chain analysis of priority commodities identified by the province or region and make use of business development plans as bases for investments.
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Dominga Mallonga DOST-Caraga Regional Director
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