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PIA REGIONAL OFFICES IN MINDANAO

An Electronic News Magazine of the Phliippine Information Agency Mindanao Clusters

Western Mindanao (Zamboanga Peninsula) P. Urro Street, San Francisco District Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur 7016 Telephone no. (062) 215-1480 / 925-0038 Cellphone no. 0908-8843404 E-mail: ro9_pia@yahoo.com mimibern17@yahoo.com Blogspot: www.piazampen.blogspot.com Facebook: PIA WeMin Info Blitz

EDITORIAL BOARD Executive Editor ……......... EFREN F. ELBANBUENA Cluster Head, Southern, Western and Central Mindanao Regional Director, PIA Region XI Managing Editor …….........

Northern Mindanao Graces’ Building, Antonio Luna Street Cagayan de Oro City 9000 Telefax No. (08822) 72-66-83 Telephone no. (088) 856-8178 / 729-594 Cellphone no. 0928-5204305 0917-3084969 E-mail: pia10_pd@yahoo.com r10_pia@yahoo.com rutchiecabahug@yahoo.com Blogspot: www.pia-10.blogspot.com

Jocelyn P. Alvarez, PIA Region IX Elaine O. Ratunil, PIA Region X Rudolph Ian G. Alama, PIA Region XI Danny E. Doguiles, PIA Region XII Robert E. Roperos, PIA Caraga Region

Copy Editors ……………….. Robert E. Roperos, PIA Caraga Region Nora C. Lanuza Molde, PIA Caraga Region Layout Artists ……………... Gerie Mae G. Coco, PIA Caraga Region Richard D. Atillo, PIA Caraga Region Editorial Advisers ……….... ATTY. JOSE A. FABIA Director-General Philippine Information Agency

Central Mindanao (SOCCSKSARGEN)

Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines Bldg., J. Rosales Avenue, Butuan City Telephone no. (085) 341-5285 / 360-1239 Telefax no. (085) 341-2370 Cellphone no. 0917-7188834 Email: piacaraga@gmail.com , pia_caraga@yahoo.com,ph Blogspot: www.piacaraga.blogspot.com Facebook: PIA Caraga Updates, PIA Agusan del Norte, Pia Agusan del Sur, Pia Surigao del Norte, Pia Surigao del Sur

OLIVIA T. SUDARIA Regional Director, PIA Region XII

Regional Desk Editors …...

2/F Kanto Motors Bldg., Quimpo Blvd., New Matina Davao City 8000 Telephone no. (082) 297-0991 / 301-8580 Telefax no. (082) 297-0992 / 304-2044 Cellphone no. 0917-7053606 / 0918-9202950 E-mail: efelbanbuena@yahoo.com

Northeastern Mindanao (Caraga)

Cluster Head, Northern and Northeastern Mindanao Regional Director, PIA Caraga Region Officer-in-charge, PIA Region X

Associate Editors ……....... NOEMI B. EDAGA Regional Director, PIA Region IX

Southern Mindanao (Davao Region)

Provincial Capitol Compound Bautista Bldg., Zulueta St. Koronadal City, South Cotabato 9506 Telephone no. (083) 520-0249 Telefax no. (083) 228-9736 / 228-9739 / 520-0100 Cellphone no. 0921-6873373 / 0928-5204307 E-mail: r12_pia@yahoo.com, pia_xii@yahoo.com

ABNER M. CAGA

SEC. HERMINIO “Sonny” B. COLOMA

Presidential Communications Operations Office

Cover Story

DavSur coco syrup makes waves in the export market

Carina L. Cayon, Southern Mindanao


Today’s issue...

Friday, Dec. 16, 2011

Vol. 1 No. 124

22

Across the Nation:

15 17

13

18

Aquino signs General Appropriations Act for 2012 into law Fires caused by firecrackers rising – BFP

Regional News:

20 21 23

DILG-10 holds KM audit for LGRC in NorMin Elaine O. Ratunil, Northern Mindanao

DOE conducts Energy Industry Consumers Empowerment confab

Lorry V. Gabule, Northern Mindanao

Three outstanding R-XI coops to be feted

Mai Gevera Macapagat, Southern Mindanao

25

29

27

Cotabato City to receive P25-M from DILG’s LGU Support Fund

31

Surigao Norte DRRMC braces for Tropical Storm “Sendong”

pbchangco, Central Mindanao FEAbkilan, Caraga Region

33

TS Sendong strands passengers in Nasipit port

36

DOLE-9, LGU-Isabela distribute Kabuhayan starter kits

37

15 sentenced to life imprisonment for illegal drug violation

Nora CL Molde, Caraga Region

Rene V. Carbayas, Western Mindanao

Michael Vincent A. Cajulao, Western Mindanao

34


Cover Story

DavSur coco syrup makes waves in the export market

by Carina L. Cayon

M

ANY AMERICANS may not be aware of it that their favorite pancakes and waffles in restaurants are topped with a healthy syrup made from tuba, or fresh coconut saps, extracted from coconut trees grown in the Philippines. 4

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And that the latest products in the US to adapt to the Philippine coco syrup product, a healthy alternative to cane sugar, are the chocolate bars. The syrup topping is organically processed in a small plant located in the middle of a oncebarren five-hectare farm, nine kilometers from poblacion Bansalan, Davao del Sur. In 2009, the Donnabelle coco syrup was the first coconut sweetener in the world to be exported to the US, with ten drums containing 2000 liters of the honey-like product as the first shipment, according to its owner Benjamin Lao. Aside from the US, the coco syrup is being sold to Australia. The popularity of the coco syrup is phenomenal in the US, Lao told the Philippine Information Agency, citing increasing demand for it. Shipment now averages 56 drums every 60 days. Lao earns an average gross of P2.5 million every shipment. Less the overhead cost, the profit from the coco syrup contributes much to the earning of his small-scale business firm, the Lao Integrated Farms, Inc. which presently keeps P10 million worth of asset. Apart from pancakes, waffles and chocolates, the Donna-

belle coco syrup is being used as sweetener for other food products in restaurant and for industrial and pharmaceutical purposes, both locally and internationally. Aside from the coco syrup, the Lao Integrated Farms also manufactures the Donnabelle coco sugar which is being patronized locally Friday, December 16, 2011

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fice in Manila to facilitate marketing, promotion and to handle orders here locally and abroad.

by the Dragon Recipe Choice and Prangels Snack Inn, both in Digos City, Davao del Sur. The Donnabelle brand is taken from names of Lao’s daughters Donna Rosalyn, a nursing graduate and Belle Janine, a BS Psychology student. Both coco sugar and syrup products are also being consigned at the stores of the New City Commercial Corporation (NCCC) and Bios Dynamis Foundation in Davao City; and in the major malls in Bohol and Samar in the Visayas. Two hospitals in Cebu, the Mt. Blessings and Bio Integrated Health, are supporting and patronizing the products. These are also displayed at the airports. Lao currently maintains an of6

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Health benefits Organically-processed and with low glycemic index of 35, Lao claimed that coco syrup and sugar are safe for persons with diabetes, hypertension and goes well for the health conscious individuals. The index is a measure of the effect of carbohydrates in the person’s sugar level and the tolerable level is below 100. Lao personally attests to the efficacy of the coco sugar, saying that constant use has lowered hypertension incidence. His neighbors and other regular users of the coco sugar from the other barangays in Bansalan have also expressed similar accounts.


“My blood pressure has become stable, and I’m not taking medicines anymore,” he said. Lao also discloses that Southern Philippines Adventist College in Matanao, Davao del Sur is conducting a study on the therapeutic benefits of coco sugar and syrup among diabetics and hypertensive persons.

concept in the production of coconut sap-based products like coconut sugar and coconut syrup, Lao also began producing cacao with coconut sugar, ginger brew (salabat), and sweet and spicy seasoning.

Value-adding and organic farming

Ten years ago, Lao started improving the five-hectare unproductive land in Barangay Eman, Bansalan, an inheritance from his parents. Starting with goat-raising under coconut trees, the farm soon planted with fruit trees, and using organic inputs, including the manure from goats and other farm animals. To this date, the farm is into inter-cropping of various fruit trees, such as rambutan, mangosteen and durian, aside from the coconut trees. Production of coco sugar and syrup products just came in three years ago. It started with a capital of P2,800 and tedious capabilitybuilding and transfer training from Mt. Carmel Rural Life Center in Bansalan, North Cotabato. Inspired by the value-adding Friday, December 16, 2011

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The Lao Integrated Farms has produced other commercial products using coco sugar such as moringa tea, mangosteen tea, lemon grass tea, turmeric tea, ginger tea and tawa-tawa tea. The coconut syrup is used in the firm’s guyabano product. The business has ventured into ice cream-making with chocolate and durian flavors, and the latest with malunggay, all with coco syrup sweetener. In all these activities, Lao said the health benefit and sustainability of his products are several times enhanced by organic farming practice, proudly stated that he uses indigenous and biological inputs and control. Apart from saving a lot in terms of inputs, Lao said attractiveness of his products is multiplied in export market if the products are organically produced. “This is why our products are accepted in the US,” he said, saying that the US Department of Agriculture has, in fact, certified his products as organically produced. Beyond money matters, the farmer-entrepreneur emphasized that organic farming greatly helps in protecting and preserving the environment, and ensuring the sustainability of his production. The farm’s processing plant 8

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technology is also considered environment-friendly, with the VerusUSA issuing the certification that the plant is carbon-neutral. “The trees surrounding the plant have also helped lessen the carbon emission,” he stated. Further, the farm’s seasoning product made of coco sugar and syrup with vinegar is Halal-certified, Lao said.

Gawad-Saka Awards

For his steadfast practice and advocacy on organic farming, Lao just received his second national Gawad Saka Award from President Benigno Aquino III in Malacanang on December 13 this year. This year’s annual Gawad Saka Award given by the Department of Agriculture to outstanding farmers in the country cited Lao


the Outstanding Organic Farmer. He also received Presidential trophy and citation with a cash prize of P100,000. Lao bagged his first national Gawad Saka award as the Outstanding Coconut Farmer that earned him a P120,000 cash prize. He invested it construction of a mini-processing plant for the coco sugar and coco syrup products.

Job generation

The increasing demand of coco syrup in the US, and coco sugar in the local and international markets subsequently called for additional manpower in the farm. When he began producing the coconut sap-based products in the last quarter of 2008, Lao had only a handful of workers, with one cook and two coconut harvesters. With a full blast operation in

2009, the number of personnel rose to 15 - five regular staff and ten harvesters. Since 2010, the farm has 35 employees and 86 coconut harvesters. Lao said that his coconut harvesters or toddies are earning between P6,000 to P20,000 a month depending on their harvest. He said the harvester earns per liter of the syrup output from the tuba harvest. “The farm has changed the lives of the coconut toddies here,” he stated, citing the boost of moral and improvement of income that enables the lowly farmers to send their children to school. He added that most of his employees have acquired their own motorcycles. Lao’s additional workforce come from three neighboring farms which the Lao Integrated Farms have leased to augment coconut sap supplies. Lao is now getting the coconut sap supplies from a total of 30 hectares including from his own farm. The present workforce is producing an average of 600 liters of syrup per day. Aside from the salaries of the regular employees and income for indirect toddies, all the farm’s workers enjoy an equal share from the a 10% net income that Lao disFriday, December 16, 2011

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tributes from time to time.

Role model in rural development

Aside from the Gawad Saka Award and a citation as a farmer-scientist, Lao recently gained recognition from the Department of Science and Technology. DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo has tossed up Lao Integrated Farms to be one of the country’s role models to DOST’s flagship program in countryside small-scale enterprise for bringdevelopment. During a site visit in October ing in improvements at the rural this year, Montejo commended the areas in this part of the province, 10

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Friday, December 16, 2011


using appropriate technology innovations. Montejo said that the farm epitomizes DOST’s countryside development program as an effective and equitable strategy in realizing President Benigno Aquino’s goal for an inclusive economic growth. He explained that the countryside development covers the program of developing appropriate technology, improving existing products to be world-class products and generating jobs around the area. He said that the enterprise “clearly exemplifies” this, citing the present employment that the firm

has provided for the rural folks in its surroundings. “The Lao Integrated Farms is a very, very good example,” he stated, adding “It is a perfect model in the middle of the countryside helping people and creating worldclass products.” “We hope that the company would permit to become a model of the program,” Montejo said during his visit to see the impact of the DOST-assisted projects under the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP). The DOST-SETUP provided the Lao Integrated Farms a financial assistance of P660,000 with

Friday, December 16, 2011

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no interest and payable for three years. The amount was used to purchase double jacketed steel pasteurizer and rotary dryer project which improved production process and quality of coconut syrup to comply with the export market standards. “Living in the rural area is not

12

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Friday, December 16, 2011

a hindrance to dream big and strive hard to bring farm products in the export market, and compete globally,� Lao expressed. Lao said he would expand his export market to Germany and other European countries by February next year. He said that negotiations with Japan buyers are going on.


Ceasefire declaration shows government’s sincerity in attaining peace, Palace says

M Yuletide season.

alacañang expects the communist New People’s Army (NPA) to respond to the government’s declaration of an 18-day holiday ceasefire in the spirit of the Friday, December 16, 2011

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In a press briefing at Malacanang on Friday, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Thursday’s declaration of the ceasefire with the communists shows the Aquino administration’s sincerity in pursuing peace in the country. “It shows our sincerity for the pursuit of peace that however doesn’t stop us from defending ourselves,” Lacierda told reporters. “If the soldiers are attacked they will defend themselves. This is a declaration of ceasefire and we would expect in the spirit of the season 14

for the other side to also declare a ceasefire to allow the rebels to be with their families at this time,” he said. President Benigno S. Aquino III declared the ceasefire that will take effect Friday, December 16 and ends on January 2 next year. The Chief Executive made the announcement during an interview after the ceremonial signing of the 2012 Budget at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room in Malacanang on Thursday. “There will be suspension of military operations starting Friday until January

Friday, December 16, 2011

2, on the advice of both the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and the Department of National Defense,” the President said. The President directed the military to suspend their offensive operations for the period covered by the ceasefire and be on the defensive mode and just respond if provoked. The government panel was instructed by the President to remain focused in pursuing the path to peace towards a just and honorable settlement of the decadesold conflict. (AS)


Aquino signs General Appropriations Act for 2012 into law

P

resident Benigno S. Aquino signed into law the P1.8-trillion General Appropriations Act for 2012 in ceremonies held on Thursday in Malacañang.

In the presence of legislators from both Houses led by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Speaker Feliciano Bel-

monte by his side and government officials, employees and media, the President signed what he calls the “Results-Focused Budget

of 2012” that aims to allow his administration to fulfill its Social Contract with the Filipino people. To achieve this,

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the President said that the Social Services sector, will receive 31.3 percent or P568.6-billion of the total budget. “Patuloy po nating binibigyangprayoridad ang mga serbisyong makapagaahon sa mga kababayan natin sa kahirapan. Nakalaan ang mahigit tatlumpung porsiyento ng pangkalahatang Budget natin sa Social Services Sector, na nagkakahalaga ng 568.6 billion pesos,” the President said. “Bahagi nito ang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, na pinaglaanan natin ng 39.5 billion pesos upang maabutan natin ng conditional cash transfer ang tatlong milyon sa pinakama16

hihirap na pamilyang kababayan natin. Katuwang nito, patuloy tayong nagpupundar sa kakayahan at kinabukasan ng ating mga kababayan,” he added. The President also said that the Education sector would receive the largest appropriation of P238.8billion to allow the agency to hire 13,000 teachers and build some 43,000 more classrooms; while the Health sector would receive P44.4-billion to fund the Health Insurance Subsidy for 5.2 million beneficiaries and hire 13,000 more medical personnel. The Infrastructure and Agricultural sector, the President

Friday, December 16, 2011

said, would each be allocated P255.2-billion and P53.3-billion, respectively, for the construction of roads, bridges, airports, ports and irrigation systems; and to ensure the country’s goal to be ricesufficient by 2013. The President assured the Filipino people that every peso of the National Budget spent would be used wisely. “Ang bawat pisong ating gugugulin sa susunod na taon ay sisiguruhin nating magdudulot ng kongkreto at masusukat na resulta na mapapakinabangan ng mahihirap nating mga kababayan,” the President said. (RCK)


F

Fires caused by firecrackers rising –-- BFP by Phres A. Evardone ires caused by pyrotechnics are on the rise based on data from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), according to Superintendent Joselito Cortez, OIC of the Directorate for Operations of the BFP.

Cortez said that in 2009, there were 44 reported pyrotechnic-related fire incidents. This went up slightly to 50 reported cases in 2010. As of October 2011, however, there were already 34 pyrotechnic-related fire incidents reported to the fire bureau. With preparations for the New Year’s Eve celebration coming at

full throttle, Cortez said this year’s pyrotechnicrelated fires may exceed the 2010 level. To stem this upward trend, the BFP spearheaded the campaign dubbed “Oplan Paalala,” a fire safety awareness and prevention information drive nationwide. The said campaign will have BFP personnel

going around communities to explain safety tips, using a public address system. Cortez was the guest at the program “Talking Points” aired over People’s Television (PTV-4) and Radyo ng Bayan, and sponsored by the Presidential Communications Operations Office and the Philippine Information Agency.

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Recognition of partner-agencies highlights Pag-IBIG Fund Coordinators Conference

A

by Apipa Bagumbaran

gencies who were supportive to the programs and projects of the Home Development Mutual Fund, otherwise known as the Pag-IBIG Fund, were given plaques of recognition by the Pag-IBIG Fund - Cagayan de Oro Branch.

The awarding highlighted the Fund Coordinator’s (FC) Club Conference on December 15, 2011 at Pearlmont Inn in Limketkai Drive, this city. Awarded are the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration 18

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(POEA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) for their assistance in the registration of the Filipino Overseas Contract Workers, and the Landbank of the Philippines, Velez branch, for helping improve the Fund’s services thru its Cash Card system. The Philippine Information Agency, region 10, also received an award for its communication support during the


conduct of Pabahay Caravan last September 26-27, 2011 at Dynasty Court Hotel, here. The caravan was the 10th of the series of housing events organized by the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and its attached agencies, including the Pag-IBIG Fund, aimed at reorienting local government units on the various government housing programs available. Other awardees are the regional offices of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National

Economic Research and Assistance Center (NERBAC) and the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), as well as, the city government of Valencia and the municipal government of Gitagum. Meanwhile, Pag-IBIG Fund Cagayan de Oro Branch Department Manager III Juliano Banghal, said updates on the latest programs implemented by the Fund was also be tackled during the FC club conference. These include the online registration for employers and members, LandBank cash card and e-collection, among other programs and services. The FC Club conference is part of the many activities lined-up during the month-long celebration of Pag-IBIG Fund 31st anniversary.

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DILG-10 holds KM audit for LGRC in NorMin by Elaine O. Ratunil

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental – Identifying valid interventions to strengthen the Local Governance Resource Center (LGRC), baseline information on how knowledge management (KM) is important. Meanwhile, Assistant Regional Director Nilo P. Castañares, DILG-10 said the results of the audit based on the workshop output will provide the current state of LGRC’s operation and will direct the kind of interventions that would strengthen the operation of the Center. LGRC basically has a reservoir of books, manuals, documents and an Thus said Euly Q. Enrique of Local interactive library on local governance, Government Academy (LGA) during administration, national programs the conduct of an Orientation Workshop and best practices of various local on KM Audit for Local Governance government units for reference and Resource Center (LGRC)-10, Multi- perusal by students, academe, local Stakeholders Advisory Committee officials and the civil society. (MSAC) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-10. Pablio L. Benitez, DILGLGSD, Northern Mindanao said the LGRC is a dynamic, interactive and virtual program that contributes to building DILG as a knowledge centric organization or KCO and builds learning communities that pursue local governance excellence through knowledge sharing and innovation. Benitez further said the LGRC is based on the belief that there is no monopoly of knowledge and that information should be shared and used to promote efficiency, effectiveness, learning and innovation in local governance. 20

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Friday, December 16, 2011


DOE conducts Energy Industry Consumers Empowerment confab by Lorry V. Gabule

ILIGAN CITY, Lanao del Norte — The Department of Energy (DOE)Mindanao Field Office (MFO) has organized and sponsored the Energy Industry Consumers Empowerment Seminar in selected cities in Mindanao, including Iligan City, December 12. The activity was in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Lanao del Norte Provincial Office. We conceptualized the activity based on the key policy area of the national government which underscores “Energy Access for More” as the guiding vision to mainstream access of the greater majority to reliable and affordable energy services, said Edmar A. Derla, assistant chief, Energy Inspection and Monitoring Division, DOE-MFO, who represented Director Manuel M. Llaneza, DOE-MFO, based in Davao City. In celebration of the National Energy Consciousness Month in December, DOE has attuned and harmonized the (topic) presentations with the chosen theme, “Bright Now! Do Bright, Do Right,” which is aimed at empowering and enhancing the level of awareness and consciousness of the consumers on the different energy services. Speakers presented and discussed the household energy conservation and efficiency tips; fuel safety and ‘tipid’ tips; salient rules and regulations of DOE and DTI; Basic Consumer Rights and Responsibilities; updates on Mindanao power situation, including pertinent issues and concerns that are currently confronting the energy industry.

We would like to challenge the industry players, being one of the prime movers of the economy to adhere to government rules and regulations and maintain good business practices that ensures the safety and welfare of your customers/consumers, said Derla. He expressed we wish to have this year’s celebration to become instrumental in increasing the consciousness and vigilance of the consumers as well as the industry stakeholders on the different energy services, and likewise helps the government in its drive towards its efforts of attaining energy security and self sufficiency that will ensure a stable and dynamic economy. Further, he said “We also hope that through this seminar, we would be leading you towards a more bright future by adopting “Energy Conservation and Efficiency, A Way of Life.” We really appreciate the response from the non-government organizations, plant industries, gasoline station owners, professionals group, government line agencies, and the local government units, this city and from the province, by way of sending their representatives for this purpose, Derla said. “Let us join our hands and support in establishing a brighter and flourishing energy industry,” Derla concluded. Friday, December 16, 2011

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Tagum City distributes school furniture in IGACOS

C

ity of Tagum Mayor Rey T. Uy spent the whole day of December 13, 2011 touring different public elementary and secondary schools here to distribute 952 pieces of school furniture, the biggest ever number so far to be distributed in just one day. Aside from being the biggest, this is also considered to be the most dramatic distribution yet judging by the quality of the school armchairs used by students in an annex school in Kaputian District. In Diosdado Alorro, Sr. High 22

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School, twin sister of Kaputian National High School , students lament over the poor condition of their armchairs which their parents made from materials such as used plywood, coconut lumber or big branches of trees - and it comes in different sizes. Leslie Ann G. Ecarma, the school’s student council president, could only sigh. “We have no other choice but to make use of our armchairs. We are very thankful to Mayor Uy and to all of those who helped in delivering these armchairs to our school. At last, we really can concentrate on our studies,” she said in vernacular, smiling. Ecarma further stressed that the yellow color painted on the school furniture impressed her. “It’s cool to the eye.” From color blue, Mayor Uy ordered that new armchairs should be painted yellow to add brightness inside the


classroom, especially in dark classrooms in the provinces. The local chief executive has been advocating that DepEd should change the color of its desks armchairs from brown to yellow, a thing he hopes Sec. Armin Luistro could consider. Before proceeding to the different schools, Mayor Uy briefly met with Mayor Ananio P. Antalan at IGACOS City Hall where the latter expressed gratitude for Tagum’s “borderless public service.” Mayor Uy’s team which includes Vice Mayor Al David Uy, IGACOS Federation Association of Barangay

Captain President Vincent Floriendo and City Administrator Cleto B. Gales, Jr. and the Tagum City Assesor’s Chief Alfredo H. Silawan, also went to Adecor Elementary School , Tagbintan-ag Elementary School , Aundanao Elementary School and Samal National High School . As of this writing, more than 12,000 pieces of school furniture fabricated by LGU Tagum from confiscated hot logs were already distributed to the schools in Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley , Davao del Sur and Davao City . (by Louie Lapat/Edwin of CIO – Tagum)

Three outstanding R-XI coops to be feted by Mai Gevera Macapagat

DAVAO CITY – Three cooperatives in the Davao Region are set to be given the FOCCUS Gold Achievement Award as they elevated one notch higher from silver to gold status. Obtaining higher level of indicators set by FOCCUS or the Finance Organizations achieving Certified Credit Union Standards, the Samal Island Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Tagum Cooperative, and Panabo Multi-Purpose Cooperative are the three that have passed the stringent standards set by the FOCCUS trademark. “ These cooperatives have achieved more strict quantitative and qualitative international Prudential Standards in its operations. This is a guarantee that these cooperatives are safe, sound, and sus-

tainable.”, said FOCCUS executive director Rhoda Pillerin. Several cooperatives will also be receiving a renewed brand recognition namely: USPD Savings and Credit Cooperative, Pantukan Chess Club Cooperative, Nabunturan Integrated Cooperative, Mediatrix Multi-Purpose, Kapalong Cooperative, First Community Cooperative, Bansalan Cooperative Society, and Agdao Multi-Purpose. This recognition signifies that these cooperatives have maintained the International Predential Standards for 2010-2011. FOCCUS is a brand awarded by the Model Cooperative Network (MCN) to cooperatives attesting to the financial organization’s accomplishment of the Model Cooperative Building (MCB) guidelines and Friday, December 16, 2011

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International Prudential Standards. Achieving these standards indicate that a FOCCUS cooperative is financially stable, able to safeguard its member’s money and will be sustainable in the years to come. FOCCUS has accredited a total of 14 cooperatives that bring this trademark. FOCCUS started as a project of the USAID and is now being sustained by the member FOCCUS cooperatives. Unique in Davao and in Mindanao, some cooperative leaders in Manila and Cebu are eyeing to replicate this trademark or branding system in their areas seeing the progress exhibited by the member cooperatives. Antonio Apique of the Samal Island Multi-Purpose Cooperative narrated that the cooperative’s as-

set was just below P10 million before it became a FOCCUS-accredited. In less than seven year, the cooperative became and awarded as century cooperative in Davao del Norte. “ Right now, we are operating on a P250 million asset. Having complied and followed the standards set by FOCCUS has really contributed to the growth of the cooperative.”, Apique said. The cooperative has invested in two gasoline stations in Samal and has intensified and strengthened its lending mechanism to help its members. Apique enjoins other cooperatives in the region to affiliate themselves to FOCCUS so as to experience a similar growth that these member cooperatives have undergone and achieved this far. (Mai Gevera-Macapagat)

regional gallery

An abaca farmer in Sta. Cruz Davao del Sur (photo from Hedcor pr) 24

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Authorities stop transport of 75 sacks of gold ore by Dani Doguiles

KORONADAL CITY -- Personnel of the Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO) of South Cotabato have seized 75 sacks of gold ore illegally transported from mineral-rich Barangay Kematu in T’boli town on Tuesday. Friday, December 16, 2011

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Engr. Siegfred Flaviano, acting provincial environment management officer said, the ore were sequestered at the PEMO checkpoint in Kematu around 6:00 p.m. on December 13 after those who transported the materials failed to present ore transport permit and delivery receipts. He said they have already identified the name of the suspected owner of the confiscated ore but refused to disclose the identity of the suspect pending investigation. “Aside from these we have also confiscated a total of 10 sacks of gold ore transported via motorcycles in the re26

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cent weeks,” Flaviano added. PEMO has intensified monitoring of illegal transport of ore from the mining areas in T’boli some tunnels there were re-opened following issuance of permit by the provincial government. On October 27, the provincial government padlocked about 300 tunnels in the Minahan ng Bayan in T’boli after they failed to secure permits to operate from the provincial government. On November 15, at least 50 tunnels were allowed to operate again after they have complied with the requirements. Along with the re-

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opening of the mining tunnels, South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Y. Pingoy Jr. has also ordered strict monitoring of the mining activities in the area. “We have installed two checkpoints, one at the Poblacion and another at the mining village’s xit point,” he said. “Gov. Pingoy has even promised to install CCTV camera in the area to further ensure that illegal transport of ore from the area is curtailed.” Flaviano said, the 85 sacks of ore confiscated from T’boli, along with 92 sacks of gold ore recently confiscated from Tampakan town, are stored in PEMO’s stock room. “We are coordinating with the provincial legal officer and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the possibility of processing the confiscated ore and selling them in favor of the provincial government,” he said. He explained South Cotabato’s provincial


board has yet to pass a resolution regarding disposition of seized ore. According to estimates, Flaviano said, the provincial government could earn around P3 million from the 92 sacks of gold ore from Tampakan if these are processed

and sold. Flaviano added, since their issuance of permits to operate in November and implementation of stricter monitoring of the area, their office has been “flooded” with applications for permits to operate. The number of ap-

plications to run ball mills has also increased after Gov. Pingoy ordered dismantling of illegal gold ore processors in the area. Pingoy has given ball mill operators in mining areas until January 15 to secure permits from the provincial government, Flaviano said.

Cotabato City to receive P25-M from DILG’s LGU Support Fund COTABATO CITY - The city government is expecting the release this month of the P25-million allocation under the LGU Support Fund (LSF) of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), according to Cotabato City Administrator Cynthia Sayadi. Friday, December 16, 2011

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Sayadi said, the amount forms part of DILG’s LGU Support Fund to all local government units throughout the country for the implementation of projects and programs to boost development initiatives of LGUs. The P25 million support fund, Sayadi said is a big help for the implementation of various projects cit-

ing the reduction of the city’s Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) by more than P23 million starting 2012 due to the creation of 16 new cities and towns in various parts of the country. She, however, said that so as not to hamper the implementation of various projects and programs, the city government

is geared towards intensified tax collection campaign and explore other possible sources of revenue. The fund will be used to fund projects including evacuation center, rehabilitation of the city plaza, disaster equipment, housing, slaughter house among others, Sayadi said. (pbchangco)

Gov. Pingoy hiniling ang suporta ng opisyal ng barangay, SK laban sa iligal na droga KORONADAL CITY -- Hiniling ni South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Y. Pingoy Jr. sa mga opisyal ng barangay at Sangguniang Kabataan sa buong lalawigan ang kanilang aktibong pakikilahok sa laban ng pamahalaang panlalawigan sa iligal na droga. Partikular na hiningi ni Gov. Pingoy sa mga opisyal na tulungan silang tustusan ang pagsasanay ng mga Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) officers. Ginawa ng gubernador ang panawagan sa year-end evaluation ng Provincial Anti- Drug Abuse Council (PADAC) kahapon. Paliwanag ni Gov. Pingoy, mayroon lamang tatlong aktibong DARE 28

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officers ang South Cotabato na nagsasagawa ng anti-illegal drugs education sa mga mag-aaral sa Grade 5 at Grade 6, tig-iisa sa mga bayan ng Tupi at Tantangan at sa lungsod ng Koronadal. Limitado na rin ang bilang ng mga magaaral na pinalalahok sa education sessions dahil kulang na rin ang mga workbooks na maaring magamit sa programa. Binigyang-diin ni

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Gov. Pingoy na kung magbibigay ng tig-P1,000 ang bawat isa sa 199 na barangay sa SK sa buong lalawigan, malaki ang maitutulong na magkakaroon ng DARE officers sa labing-isang LGU South Cotabato. Kung mangyayari ito, mas maraming kabataan ang maliliwanagan hinggil sa usapin ng iligal na droga, ayon kay Gov. Pingoy. (DEDoguiles)


Caraga Region is ready for tropical storm “Sendong” – DRRMC by Robert E. Roperos

T

he region’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) is ready for typhoon “Sendong” which is expected to make landfall this afternoon.”

www.piacaraga.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/pages/PIA-Caraga-Updates/165374590187484

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piacaraga@gmail.com pia_caraga@yahoo.com.ph

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This was the assurance made by Office of Civil Defense (OCD)-Caraga Operations Chief Amado Posas in a radio interview this morning. He said public stakeholders are aware of their responsibilities in times of calamities and disasters. “With the series of trainings and disaster preparedness seminars they have attended, I am sure that they already know their responsibilities when calamities and disasters happen,” Posas said in 30

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Cebuano dialect. Posas also said the local chief executives in all the provinces in the region have been coordinating with their office to give the latest updates of typhoon Sendong. Water level in all rivers and other water systems, as well as landslide-prone areas have been also monitored. “Kadtong mga taong nagpuyo labi na duol sa water systems, magbantay sa kanunay. Kung adunay ilang mamatikdan nga pagtubo

Friday, December 16, 2011

sa tubig, mubalhin na dayon sa labing safetly nga lugar,” Posas said. (Those who are living near water systems must be watchful at all times. If water level is rising, they must leave the area and secure to a safer place.) The official also advised fishermen to temporarily cancel fishing activities while the typhoon is approaching the coastal areas in Caraga Region this afternoon. Travelers are also advised further to postpone the trip. In a related development, morning flight of Cebu Pacific bound for Metro Manila has been cancelled as of 10 am. Since last night, most parts of the region have been experiencing continuous light to moderate rains.


Surigao Norte DRRMC braces for Tropical Storm “Sendong” by FEAbkilan

SURIGAO CITY – The provincial disaster risk reduction and management council (PDRRMC) in the province convened today to prepare for Tropical Storm “Sendong” which is expected to make a landfall early this afternoon over Davao Oriental.

Gov. Sol Matugas, the council chair, called on all Surigaonons to be on alert and urged them to make pre-emptive evacuations when necessary particularly those areas vulnerable to flooding and land-

slides. She also called on the municipal and barangay officials to take precautionary measures on the possible effects of the typhoon in their respective localities. The entire province in-

cluding Siargao Island is now placed under signal number 2. PDDRMC Action Officer Engr. Marilyn Pono said that as of press time, they have not yet received any report on flooding and landslide in

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the municipalities. “But we have already alerted the local DRRMCs since yesterday to give us updates in their respective AORs.” Latest report from the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) revealed that at least 21 areas in Visayas and Mindanao were placed under Storm Signal No. 2 Friday as tropical storm “Sendong” (Washi) has slightly in32

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tensified as it moves toward Davao Oriental. PAGASA said “Sendong” was estimated at 180 km east-southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur as of 10 a.m. In its 11 a.m. advisory, PAGASA said “Sendong” packed maximum winds of 75 kph near the center and gustiness up to 90 kph. Areas under Storm Signal No. 2 include: Southern Leyte, Bohol, Southern Cebu, Southern Negros and Siquijor Island, Su-

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rigao Del Norte including Siargao Island, Surigao Del Sur, Dinagat Province, Agusan Provinces, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Samal Island, Lanao Provinces, Misamis Provinces, Zamboanga Provinces, North Cotabato, Compostela Valley, Bukidnon, Camiguin and Maguindanao. Meanwhile, 16 areas were also placed under Storm Signal No. 1. They include: Palawan including Cuyo Island, Eastern Samar, Western Samar, Northern Leyte, Northern Cebu, Northern Negros, Iloilo, Capiz, Antique, Aklan, and Guimaras Province, Davao Del Sur, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, Sarangani Province, and Basilan Province. PAGASA reminded those living in coastal areas to be alert against big waves or storm surges generated by “Sendong.”


TS Sendong strands passengers in Nasipit port by Nora CL Molde

BUTUAN CITY – As public storm signal no. 2 is raised in Agusan Del Norte, around 100 passengers are stranded at the Nasipit port in Agusan del Norte due tropical storm Sendong. Under Storm Signal No. 2, no vessel will be allowed to travel. Stranded passengers are being accommodated at the passengers’ port terminal, according to Armando Balbutin, clearing officer of the Nasipit Port, in a radio interview this morning. Meanwhile, PAGASA also warns Agusanons to take precautionary measures as ‘Sendong’ is expected to landfall this afternoon.

Likewise, residents in low lying and mountainous areas under public storm warning signals are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides. Likewise, those living in coastal areas are alerted against big waves or storm surges generated by this tropical cyclone. Areas having public storm warning signal no. 2 include: Leyte Provinces, Camotes Island, Bohol, Surigao del Norte, Siargao Island, Surigao del Sur,

Dinagat Province, Agusan Provinces, Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, Bukidnon, Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley, Samal Island, and Davao Oriental. While the areas of Sorsogon, Ticao Island, Masbate, Samar Provinces, Biliran Island, Panay Island, Guimaras, Negros Provinces, Cebu, Siquijor Island, North Cotabato, Northern Davao del Sur, Lanao Provinces, Misamis Occ., Zamboanga Provinces are under signal no. 1.

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After 5 mos. ordeal, kidnapped American free at last by Michael Vincent Cajulao

K

evin Eric Lunsmann, the 14-year old FilipinoAmerican, is free at last after 5 months of captivity in the jungles Basilan.

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ro9_pia@yahoo.com Friday, December 16, 2011

piazampen.blogspot.com


Kevin, was kidnapped with her mother, Gerfa Yeatts-Lunsman, and his cousin Romnick Jakaria last July 12, by armed men hours before their scheduled flight to Manila, back to the U.S. Gerfa, accordingly escaped last October 2, while Romnick also escaped just last month. According to Lunsmann, he escaped from his captors last Thursday after sensing that his kidnappers were not around. He narrated that he ran following a river as his guide, which fortunately led him to the sea. After two days of wandering, some barangay officials of Bulingan, in Lamitan City, Basilan spotted him. But Kevin ran for fear that those people are also

kidnappers. The barangay officials chased him and explained to him that they are going to help him. Kevin was then fetched by local police and was turned over to the 32nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army before he was brought to the 104th Brigade in Tabiawan, Isabela City. Lamitan City Mayor Roderick Furigay and Zamboanga City Police Chief Col. Edwin De Ocampo immediately went to fetch Kevin. As a protocol, Kevin underwent a medical check-up before he was airlifted to Zamboanga City, and was again checked up upon arrival at Western Mindanao Command Headquarters. Attending Physician Supt. Dexter

Bubuli of the Philippine National Police IX found Kevin in good health with a few bruises on his elbows and legs. It was not clear whether the Lunsmanns paid ransom, but local authorities earlier said that no ransom was paid to the kidnappers. Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas extended his gratitude to the Philippine government for the tireless efforts in recovering Lunsmann to safety. He, however, stressed that the escape of Lunsmann is not the end of the case. He said the U.S. government is looking for the speedy investigation of the case and prosecution of all involved. (JPA/MVC/ PIA9-ZBST)

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DOLE-9, LGU-Isabela distribute Kabuhayan by Rene V. Carbayas starter kits ISABELA CITY – The Department of Labor and Employment in Region-IX and the local government unit of Isabela City recently distributed Kabuhayan starter kits to some 78 beneficiaries in the city.

Turned over to the beneficiaries were equipment, tools, utensils, and paraphernalia needed by the latter to start a livelihood activity. Isabela City mayor Cherrylyn Santos-Akbar reminded beneficiaries to value and to take good care of the things and livelihood that was given to them. “I wish that we value what was given to us,

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especially the support that we acquired from DOLE to start a livelihood for ourselves, given the limited resources of the city,” Mayor Akbar said, addressing the beneficiaries as she thanked DOLE-9 for the assistance. Wesley Tan, head of DOLE Isabela City said there are 78 beneficiaries in the city where 60 individuals are from the

Friday, December 16, 2011

regular program of the Kabuhayan starter kit and 18 are people with disabilities (PWD). The number was intended to commemorate the 78th founding anniversary of DOLE this year. He told beneficiaries that “it is in their hands” and all now depends on them and their passion to grow their business and the livelihood assistance given to them by DOLE.


Moreover, Tan said that a turnever of cheque in the amount of P201,750,00 was also released to the Kasambuhan Association of fisher folks with Alternative Center for Organizational Reforms and Development (ACORD), Inc. as its conduit and or accredited co-partner. DOLE-IX Regional Director Ponciano M. Ligutom said that the unemployment problems of Basilan and Isabela City in particular is spurned out of the challenges of the peace and order condition, saying that without peace there will be no investments, and therefore, no jobs. Thus, he said “the option

is self-employment.” The assistance given to fisher folks is part of DOLE’s commitment to provide employment and livelihood assistance to be funded under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP)— Integrated Services for Livelihood Advancement of the Fisher Folk (ISLA) designed to assist the fisher folks in making their existing livelihood undertakings grow into viable and sustainable business, thus improving their income to a level at par with that of the minimum wage earners. Speaking on behalf of beneficiaries, Gemma Paculio for People with

Disabilities (PWDs), Jaujan Emlan for Kasambuhan association of fisher folks, and Jenny Cruz for regular starter kit program—all thanked the DOLE for the assistance acquired. Paculio challenged her fellow PWDs to prove to= DOLE that “we are worthy to receive the livelihood assistance given to us” and hope that the next help that DOLE can provide is already employment for the handicapped persons, whom she believes has the skills worthy of a job at par with the rest of “normal” individuals. (JPA/ RVC/PIA9-ZBST)

15 sentenced to life imprisonment for illegal drug violation by Michael Vincent D. Cajulao

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Fifteen persons were sentenced to life imprisonment for violation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency IX Regional Director Adzhar Albani said. Friday, December 16, 2011

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This was the result

of the 19 convictions scored by the agency as it intensifies its campaign against illegal drug, as ordered by President Benigno Aquino III. According to Albani, most of the suspects violated Section 5 of RA 9165, stating that “the sale, trading, administration, dispensation,

delivery, distribution, and transportation of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors, and essential chemicals” is punishable with life imprisonment. The suspects are also liable for violating Section 11, or illegal drug possession, also punishable with life imprisonment, Albani added. Dir. Albani proudly said that his office has the highest number of cases filed nationwide, resulting to convictions. “Dito, may convictions tayo, at hindi ito gaya ng dati”, pointing to the 15 sentenced violators.

Albani lauded their partnership with the court for this success. “The office attained several convictions because of compliance with the procedure. Before the court hearing, we meet with the fiscals to further strengthen our case. We comply with the requirements of the law”, Albani stressed. To ensure continuous success against illegal drugs, Albani also said that his office will file charges against law enforcers who neglect drug-related cases handled by them. (JPA/ MVC/PIA-ZBST)

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One Mindanao - December 16, 2011  

An Electronic News Magazine of PIA Mindanao

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