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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 WesMin Info Blitz

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 Blogspot: www.pia-10.blogspot.com

Southern Mindanao (Davao Region) 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

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

Northeastern Mindanao (Caraga) 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

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

OLIVIA T. SUDARIA Regional Director, PIA Region XII

Regional Desk Editors …...

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

Central Mindanao (SOCCSKSARGEN) 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

Director-General Philippine Information Agency

SEC. HERMINIO “Sonny” B. COLOMA Presidential Communications Operations Office

Cover Story

Victoria Adventure Park First in

Zamboanga City

Jocelyn P. Alvarez

Western Mindanao

page 5


Today’s issue...

Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012

Vol. 1 No. 146

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Across the Nation:

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Palace appeals for orderly and peaceful celebration of the feast of the Black Nazarene on Monday

Regional News:

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SP urges Co to reactivate CDRRMC Gideon C. Corgue, Western Mindanao

ARMM Gov intensifies crackdown on “ghost employees, entities”

Western Mindanao

DOH urges TS ‘Sendong” victims to avail of medical services vs. leptospirosis

Jean Marie C. Mendoza, Northern Mindanao

Agro industrial firm gives Sendong survivors a fresh start

Northern Mindanao

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Davao to improve tourist arrival data

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Carina Cayon, Southern Mindanao

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PDRRMO removes obstruction in rivernear Lake Maughan

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Mga troso nakumpiska sa North Cotabato

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Central Mindanao

Central Mindanao

Socorro Community eCenter upgrades Internet connection

Melody Cocon , Caraga Region

P156-M support fund to LGUs released by DILG, DBM Mary Christine Anthonette Salise , Caraga Region

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Message What is so important in a new year? It is just the changing of a number. From 2011, it is now 2012. The coming of a new year is celebrated in all cultures and religions. It is the coming of a new age. It is also a reason to hope. Our countrymen, by overwhelming number look at 2012 with hope for a better life and a better Philippines, and rightly they expect so much from our leaders especially our President. 2010 and 2011 were the foundations of this great expectation. From a campaign promise of daang matuwid, the one year and a half of the Aquino Presidency has laid out the plans and programs of good governance. We saw the development and articulation of the Philippine Development Plan. We saw the systematic prosecution and bringing to justice of those who have violated the law. We saw the start of rebuilding and strengthening of the foundations of democracy and our institutions. We saw that public money was prudently spent and policies were cleverly crafted. We saw that this government is truthworthy and its President can be trusted. People saw that and they believe that they can deliver on the change that he promised. These are the reasons for the high hopes and expectations for 2012. As they say, new year is an opportunity for renewal. As we meet 2012 and embrace its promise of a new and better life for all Filipinos, let us look at 2011 and the years before that as foundations into the future. Let us take a stock of the good and trail-blazing projects that we had undertaken. Let us continue to innovate and improve on them and with hard work and with the grace of God Almighty, we will be able to do more. To all the officials and personnel of PIA and our partners, thank you for a fruitful 2011. Your work in improving and saving the lives of others through timely, accurate information has affected the lives of countless Filipinos. To those to whom much was given, much is expected. God has been so kind to us. Let us do more. We pray for wisdom. We pray for strength. We pray for guidance and protection as we perform our daily task with honor, dedication and joy. God bless our country and its people. God bless PIA and the Philippines.

ATTY. JOSE A. FABIA Director-General


Cover Story

Victoria Adventure Park First in Zamboanga City

by Jocelyn P. Alvarez

How it came to be

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hinking of Adventure Tourism as a vehicle for development, Lacuachero, a group of professionals who has passion for adrenaline-rushing adventure tourism activities fell in love with Barangay Victoria and since then envisioned Victoria as a model barangay for adventure tourism development. Saturday, January 7, 2012

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“Barangay Victoria is a complete package, they have caves, river, waterfalls and a lot more of nature’s wonders, perfect for adventure tourism activities,” Manny Paster of Lacuachero said. Putting into actions the group’s dream for Victoria, Lacuachero in partnership with the Zamboanga Adventure Tourism and Eco recreation Society

(ZATERS)–a multi-sectoral group promoting adventure tourism, started in 2011 to slowly introduce the barangay’s adventure tourism potentials to local tourists. More people started to visit Victoria for spelunking (caving), water tubing and the self-fulfilling conquer of the Siete Andanas (seven-stage) waterfalls.

The Proposed Adventure Park Lacuachero moved their actions to a higher level by proposing to construct and develop the first ever adventure park in Zamboanga City. The proposal was presented to Victoria barangay council and concerned proponents. “Lacuachero presented the 6

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

proposal to the barangay council, June last year.” Paster said. “We sought permission to use and develop the proposed area,” Paster recalled. “Then we started cleaning and clearing the proposed area after we got the council’s nod,” he said.


Noble cause

“We saw the eco-tourism potentials of Victoria and how these potentials can help the community, so we decided to do something to help Victoria and its people,” the adventure enthusiast-Paster said. The young Paster said the group aims to promote Barangay Victoria through Eco-Tourism; develop and conserve the eco-tourism sites of the barangay; provide alternative income to the community during conduct of adventure tourism activities in Victoria; provide opportunities to empower constituents of the barangay socially, politically and economically and make Barangay Victoria as MODEL Barangay for Eco-Tourism. Paster said Lacuachero and ZATERS shared the same selfless goal and that is to work hand in hand for the promotion of eco-

adventure tourism. “We share the same purpose of all these we are doing. We want to contribute towards preservation of adventure tourism sites through environment friendly practices and minimum impact adventure tourism activities,” he said. “We want also to create a positive impression about the city through eco-tourism activities and promote her as a mustsee destination,” Paster shared. “The conduct of adventure tourism activities is one strategy of increasing public awareness and appreciation on tourism. It is also an alternative sports and exercise to promote the participants’ well being,” he said. Paster assured that the group also puts weight on cooperating with other organizations with similar aims. Saturday, January 7, 2012

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The Victoria Adventure Park Construction and LGU support

Lacuachero started minor development and construction of the Victoria Adventure Park, June of last year and is still under construction up to this time. “While it is still under construction, it is already operational and many have already tried our adventure activities in the park,” Paster explained. Original Plan for its opening was August 2011 but was rescheduled for this year until it is completed. “Mayor Lobregat sent his engineers the other day to assess the area and I received a text message Thursday, inform8

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

ing me that the mayor has allocated funds for its development,” Paster excitedly said. “Councillor Gerky Valesco, who is the chairman of the Committee on Tourism visited the area this week and pledged Php100,000 from his funds,” he said with a wide smile on his face. “With concerted efforts and partnership of private groups and our local government, we are with high hopes of a beautiful Victoria Adventure Park that will surely serve its purpose,” he said.”


Activities in the Adventure Park

Tree top free fall

Rock climbing

Rappelling

Rope Courses The adventure park will offer its “guests” adrenaline-rushing adventure activities like rappelling, rock climbing, tree top free fall, rope courses and a lot more. Present Eco-sites of the Barangay include: Pader Cave – where adventure enthusiast can do

caving/spelunking ; Water Falls (Siete Andanas) for water activities; Manicahan River – for the conduct of water tubing and other water activities; Mangrove for Mangrove tours, Firefly watching and the latest is the Victoria Adventure Park. Saturday, January 7, 2012

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Barangay Victoria, Zamboanga City

Victoria is located in the main east coast highway, about 24 kilometers from the main city hall. Records from the city government tells, Victoria was once called Sitio “Kuwangan” a name coined due to abundance of sea shells in the area. 10

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Kuwangan was renamed to Victoria after the victory of the “Nacionalista Party” in the election way back February 1955. Victoria used to be a sitio under Barangay Manicahan but a resolution separating Victoria from Manicahan pave the way for the creation of a new barangay. Victoria was created into a barangay on October 25, 1992. At present, Victoria has Feliciano G. Revillas as it’s “Punong barangay’ (barangay chairman). “Since the introduction of adventure tourism in Victoria, the community members developed a sense of responsibility in them to protect their natural resources like caves and falls,” Paster proudly ended.


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Palace pushing for sanctions of Compostela Valley officials over deadly landslide ocal Compostela Valley officials who were negligent in ensuring the safety of their constituents in mining areas will be held accountable for the this week’s deadly tragedy to avoid the repeat of similar incidents, Malacanang said on Saturday. During a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan Saturday, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said local officials should be punished for allowing the landslide victims to stay in the danger zones. “Kailangan ho talaga dahil hindi pwedeng paulit-ulit na nangyayari ang mga ganitong bagay. Hindi biro ang mga ganitong

landslide at nakita naman natin na hanggang ngayon patuloy ang search and rescue operations,” Valte said referring to the accountability of local officials. The law must be strictly implemented this time so that no residents will stay in danger areas, she said, adding that allowing the people to go back to their dangerous

dwelling places would be unacceptable. “Kailangan naman talaga ay higpitan na natin, hindi na pwede yung… ‘kasi balik ho sila nang balik’ hindi na pwede yung ganoon,” she said. “Kailangan na lang talagang hanapan ng relocation at hindi pupuwedeng isang beses sasabihan na ‘Bawal kayo dito.’ Kailangan yan baban-

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tayan. Hindi puwedeng ngayon sasabihan n’yo silang ‘hindi ho kayo puwede dito’ tapos bukas kakalimutan na.” Valte also said she’s sure that Interior and Local Government Secretary Jessie Robredo has made his initial report to the President after doing an assessment in the area this week, as instructed

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by the President. She added that Robredo already ordered forced evacuation of the residents in danger spots mandating local officials to strictly guard the place so that no residents will go back to their houses. Also this week, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said that the Department of Interior and

Local Government (DILG) is looking into the lapses that resulted to the deadly incident which killed scores of people. Military officials said some 100 individuals are still missing due to the landslide, which happened Thursday at around 3 a.m. following incessant rains. (AS)

Palace appeals for orderly and peaceful celebration of the feast of the Black Nazarene on Monday alacañang reiterated an appeal by local and police officials to the devotees of the Black Nazarene to take necessary precautions and refrain from bringing along with them their children and valuables to ensure an orderly and peaceful celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene on January 9, a Palace official said on Saturday.

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During an interview aired over government-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte reiterated an earlier appeal by the Manila City officials, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Philippine National Police (PNP) to the public against bringing children and valuables. “Doon po sa ating mga debotong medyo may edad na, let’s take the necessary precautions dahil alam naman po natin ‘yong mga nagiging pangyayari tuwing nagkakaroon ng Pista ng Poong Nazareno. Maraming tao diyan, baka mainit, baka umulan, please let us take the necessary precautions para hindi naman magkaroon ng mga masasaktan. Minsan kasi diyan talagang tulakan,” Valte said. Valte also warned the public against criminal elements such as pickpockets and snatchers. “Let us not put ourselves in a less secure situation. At maging alerto po tayo,”

she said. Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim said the procession’s route has been cleared of obstructions, potholes, hanging wires and even broken bottles and the like to ensure the safety of the devotees who will be joining the procession barefooted. For so many years, thousands of devotees flock to the Feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila. Oftentimes, many were injured and some died from the stampede during the procession. The Black Nazarene is the patron saint of Quiapo. The life size image of the Black Nazarene shows

a “black” Jesus Christ carrying a cross. The statue has been housed at the Saint John de Baptist Church in Quiapo, Manila also known as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene since 1787. The image of the Black Nazarene is brought out in procession on its feast day and on Good Friday. The statue was brought to Manila by a Spanish priest in 1607. It was aboard a ship that caught fire, the image was burned, and it came to be known as the “Black Nazarene” which the people has since decided to preserve and honor. (JS)

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Zambo’s “Merloquet Falls” gets city’s attention for promotion by Jocelyn P. Alvarez fter long years of “nesting” unnoticed and “untouched,” Merloquet Falls finally caught the city’s attention to include her in the eco-tourism development.

Want to publish your photo, news and feature release just email http://www.facebook.com/pages/PIAWesMin-Info-Blitz/204864762911310

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ro9_pia@yahoo.com

Saturday, January 7, 2012

piazampen.blogspot.com


City Information Officer (IO) Sheila Covarrubias said “Merloquet Falls is one of the city’s natural attractions that is included in the eco tourism program of the local government.” “This hidden and unspoiled natural falls is one of those attractions included in the city’s promotional materials,” Covarrubias shared. The Mayor, on Wednesday, along with some members of the city council and other city officials including Archbishop Romulo

Valles trek the rugged and steep terrain leading to the breathtaking Merloquet Falls. According to Covarrubias, the team’s visit to the falls is a show that the city wants to help promote the scenic falls as one of the city’s famous attractions. The mayor himself took a wade into the cold and clear water that falls into a natural pool. Covarrubias said the visit to the falls was a sidelight to the inauguration of 9 infrastructure projects

in Mangusu and Sibulao amounting to P16.1million lead by Mayor Lobregat. The lady IO said, after the exhausting inauguration, the team took a trek to the interiors of barangay Sibulao, Sitio Merloquet, some 78 kilometers east of city where the falls’ majestic beauty lies. “The dip was a welcome respite after the series of inauguration and long walk,” she said. (JPA /S.Covarrubias/CIO/ PIA ZBST)

SP urges Co to reactivate CDRRMC by Gideon C. Corgue

PAGADIAN CITY – In its desire to protect its people from calamities that are now happening in the country especially in Mindanao, the Sangguniang Panlungsod thru the committee on public saftey vicechairperson Bienvenido Culve on Tuesday has passed a resolution urging Mayor Samuel Co to reactivate the city disaster risk reduction and management council (CDRRMC). Saturday, January 7, 2012

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In its regular session at the Sangguniang Panlungsod session hall, the resolution said with the recent tragic flooding in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan which caused loss of lives and properties, there is an urgent need for us to prepare for any eventuality should natural disaster strikes. Culve said if Co will reactivate the CDRRMC, the barangay risk reduction and management council (BDRRMC) will be activated also in their respective barangays. Culve said the city government has initiated the move saying that with the fortuitous event that took place the cities of CDO and Iligan, there were some people who blamed on the local government unit (LGU) for not protecting the environment. “We don’t want that people will

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blame us for not making a comprehensive disaster preparedness measures,” Culve explained. According to the study of geologists, Culve said this year 2012, there are disasters to come in the Philippines saying that the country is lying within the “Pacific Ring of Fire” . “It is expected that there are about 200 dormant volcanoes ready to erupt anytime, thus we need to be ready,” Culve reported. Culve said the SP has sent also letters to office of civil defense (OCD9) regional director Adriano Fuego and Philippine red cross (PRC) provincial administrator Hildaliza Muñoz to appear in the next regular session on January 13 to explain on what training programs with regard to disaster prevention and disaster preparedness

Saturday, January 7, 2012


they have implemented adding that offices have primary roles in the disaster-management training programmes. “There will be question and answer session where Fuego and Muñoz will be asked on the disaster preparedness and management measures,” Culve added.

It can be recalled that on February 8, 2007, OCD 9 in coordination with the city government conducted an earthquake drill to mitigate the impact of disaster where teachers, students in public elementary and secondary schools, government employees, and the public have joined the activity.

Pagadian was once a victim natural disaster in on August 16, 1976 where huge tsunami waves battered the shorelines and killed thousands of lives and swept away houses in the Moro Gulf earthquake and tsunami. (JPA/GCCPIA9, ZamboSur)

ARMM Gov intensifies crackdown on “ghost employees, entities” ISABELA CITY – Manifesting its commitment to reform the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman has intensified its crackdown on “ghost employees” in the different departments under its jurisdiction.

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The Bureau of Public Information disclosed that the crackdown commenced with a memorandum ordering the release of salaries to teachers be made exclusively via ATM accounts staring next month. The report said that teachers in the ARMM and other employees in its education department will only be receiving salaries thru valid automated teller machines (ATM) bank accounts effective this February as the region’s present caretaker government intensifies its crackdown on ghosts. Hataman said the move is intended to purge the Department of Education (DepEd) in the region of ghost teachers and employees. He promised that the same measure will be imposed in other agencies in the ARMM, saying that “a valid bank account is one way of ensuring the existence of an employee.” According to Hataman, the unavailability of ATMs in remote areas of the region is not a compelling reason to make exemptions. He indicated that he is not convinced that 18

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teachers in far-flung areas won’t make a visit to a more developed town near them at least once a month. The OIC governor is determined to impose the measure and appears to be unfazed by possible opposition from some employees. Hataman has summoned regional and provincial officials of DepEdARMM to a meeting this week at the region’s seat in Cotabato City to discuss his marching order and other policies meant to address perennial issues in the department. Alleged corruption issues have hounded DepEd-ARMM for years with controversies ranging from the non-remittance of the GSIS contributions of its employees to the uncovering of ghost teachers, employees and even ghost schools. The appointed ARMM chief said he wants to personally deal with the issue of corruption in the department in the first 100 days of his administration. “Gusto namin after 100 days tapos na ang problema namin sa ‘ghost’ [entities],” (We hope to end the problem

Saturday, January 7, 2012

on ‘ghosts entities’ after 100 days.) he said. He shared his disappointment at a list that was presented to him during the course of their inventory of DepEdARMM’s personnel that apparently it does not contain enough information to verify the existence of teachers in the region. Hataman said the list does not provide clear information on the teacher’s address and school assignment which make it useless in tracking them down. Further, the former Anak Mindanao partylist representative has asked the region’s education officials to identify the schools covered by the approved P1-billion school building program for this year. Hataman said there are schools in the region that have more than enough school buildings in relation to the total number of enrollees and teachers while other schools are in dire need of infrastructures. “School buildings should be put up where it is needed most,” he said. (JPA/BPIARMM/ RVC-PIA9 ZBST)


WFP assists Phl reach remote areas affected by tropical storm ‘Washi’

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he United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Philippine Government are extending the emergency response to Tropical Storm Washi to focus on remote, cut-off areas around Iligan City. Working closely with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and with airlift support from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, WFP has already supplied emergency food assistance to almost 3,300 people stranded in Mungulong, outside Iligan City. Plans are now underway to airlift food rations to other isolated communities around Iligan City such as Panoroganan where almost a thousand people are in need, and

Mainit, where another 1,350 people require

assistance. “WFP continues to support the Philippine government’s relief efforts, and we are grateful to the Armed Forces of the Philippines for providing the necessary logistical support that enables us to reach people in these remote areas,” said WFP Country Director and Representative Stephen Anderson. “These are vital supplies which will help them get through this difficult time.” Saturday, January 7, 2012

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WFP is also dispatching rice and vegetable oil in trucks provided by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to the areas of Santiago, Hinaplanon, Mahayahay and Tipanoy within Iligan City, and beyond to Rogongan, Digkilaan, Bonbonen and Kalilangan. In response to a request from the Department of Education, and in coordination with UNICEF and Save the Children, WFP will also provide short-term emergency school meals to 40,000 displaced children returning to school. As part of recovery efforts, WFP is stepping up its support to initiatives such as debris clearing and school repair activities through food-forwork projects. WFP, in partnership with DSWD,

is currently conducting relief and early recovery operations in Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and parts of Lanao del Sur. A total of 207,500 people affected by Tropical Storm Washi have been reached by WFP emergency food assistance since relief operations began on December 19. (WFP)

DOH urges TS ‘Sendong” victims to avail of medical services vs. leptospirosis by Jean Marie C. Mendoza

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - The Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) advised tropical storm ‘Sendong’ victims, especially those who waded in flood waters, to avail of medical services to avoid being a victim of a silent, deadly disease—leptospirosis. The DOH-CHD also reminded individuals with suspected leptospirosis to religiously take the medicines given to them. Leptospirosis can damage internal organs and possibly fatal, warned DOH. The illness lasts from a few days to three weeks or longer. Without treatment, recovery may take several 20

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months. A person may become infected with leptospirosis when a person’s open wound comes into contact with water contaminated by urine of infected animals, especially mice. ‘Sendong’ victims are also advised to maintain proper personal hygiene and to always maintain clean surroundings.


All the hospitals in the city are now on a “Code Red” status and DOH officials are doing their best in preventing this disease and are giving out medicines antibiotic prophylaxis and other medical treatment, inside and out the evacuation center. Among the signs and symptoms are fever, chills, bone and body pains then later a few days they will developed red eyes and rashes, said Dr. Dave Mendoza, Head of the Regional Epidemiology, Surveillance and Disaster Response Unit of DOHCHD here during a recent meeting

of the Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC), region 10. Mendoza added that once it comes into contact with cuts and open wounds in the skin, a person may develop high-grade fever, muscle pain and nausea. If complications may arise, it can lead to renal failure, respiratory distress and eventually death. Meanwhile, Mendoza said the high increase in the number of cases of suspected individuals could probably be associated to indifference of the people to take the prophylactic dose of Doxycycline. He said that although the people received their ration of the said medicine, many did not take the medication. Many people, especially, those living outside of evacuation centers (EC’s) came only for the food rations and relief goods but not for the medical consultations, Mendoza further said.

Agro industrial firm gives Sendong survivors a fresh start BUGO, Cagayan de Oro - As a city comes to terms with its loss, an agroindustrial pioneer in this city help survivors get a fresh start. Several days after Typhoon Sendong unleashed its fury on a city sound-asleep, food manufacturer and exporter Del Monte Philippines sent one of its backhoe/loaders to help

clear debris on affected residential areas. College student John Sumintang, 20, who grew up along Carmen’s riverdike, said he’s glad Del Monte is Saturday, January 7, 2012

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clearing away debris where houses of friends once stood in sitio Acacia. John said: “This backhoe does not only clear away dirt; it sweeps away grim reminders of death and destruction – so we can move on.” Since then, the clean-up team has grown to three backhoes and two dump trucks for hauling debris to landfill sites and two water trucks for washdown of cleared areas. As the team hauled away fallen trees and torn houses that litter muddy streets, communities slowly get back on their feet. Students are back in school; business is slowly perking up. Cagayan de Oro City Councilor Atty. Alvin Calingin earlier requested Del Monte for assistance to shore up rehabilitation work in key areas. Kag. Calingin has also asked the assistance of other generous benefactors who have willingly loaned a payloader and two dumptrucks to complement the clean-up effort. Even with three backhoes and two dumptrucks working full-time, the task is simply too big for one group to do. The task calls for an entire community to come together and share in whatever way it can. The idea of a bigger cleanup drive was sparked by a simple bayanihan spirit initiated by volunteers from Del Monte’s residential areas or camps. Mostly members of Plantation’s “eco-brigades” who undertake treeplanting and cave clean-ups in Bukidnon, they came down in jeepney loads to the city to help several dozens of cannery employees clean their homes so these can be ready 22

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for reoccupancy by New Year’s Eve. Bringing their own showels, pails, brooms and brushes, these eco-volunteers took turns to scrub clean muddy floors and walls and dig away dirt. Their presence brought the sunshine back into the life of grieving families and a desolate landscape. A doctor who lives near a cannery worker’s family, and was herself a beneficiary of the cleanup, said she’s happy that Del Monte has fanned out is efforts to clean up homes of neighbors of its employees. She said, “These kind people from Del Monte started the work for us, and gave us back hope. Now, we’re ready to finish the job ourselves.” But bringing out debris stacked inside homes only kept litter piling up on the streets. Del Monte sent in its mechanized clean-up team to augment the bayanihan effort of its eco-brigades. This second phase of Sendong emergency efforts is actually a challenge to the company’s logistical requirements as equipment for the planting season are now on city streets. But reaching out to the community in both good times and in emergencies has deep roots in Del Monte’s 85-year history. From a tradition started by its pioneers, the company values the support of communities from which it draws strength to grow its business. Then as now, Del Monte believes in “Helping communities help themselves.” Del Monte employee Sonny


Buenvenida, whose house was completely washed away in Acacia Street, Carmen, welcomes the efforts of Cannery colleagues who volunteered to distribute relief goods (food, vitamin-rich juice, clothes, beddings) across 10 barangays of the city since the floods. Goods and services valued at over P10 million were distributed here as well as in Iligan City. Relief operations continue as some 20,000 liters of water are delivered every day to various points in the city. During the early days of the calamity, Del Monte Foundation provided up to 5,000 free cooked meals as volunteers make a daily round of the city’s evacuation centers. Mobile medical teams hold

free clinics twice a week, which also give free medicines for the deadly leptospirosis disease following an outbreak in the city, and for other diseases. Nurses are dispatched to bring medicines to households of company employees and refer other patients to the company’s mobile medical teams. The company is also exploring partnerships with agencies to help survivors rebuild their homes. Del Monte Philippines, founded in 1926, provides jobs to over 10,000 workers at its cannery in this city and farms in Bukidnon and MIsamis Oriental; and generates livelihood opportunities to another 50,000 families in the region. (Del Monte)

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Rescuers race against time for survivors of Compostela Valley landslide SING only shovels while waiting for the arrival of heavy equipment, rescuers were racing against time in searching for survivors in the aftermath of the landslide that struck a mining community in Pantukan, Compostela Valley before dawn on Thursday, authorities said.

Lt. Col. Camilo Ligayo, commander of the 71st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, whose troops are assisting in the rescue operation,

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said at least 25 have been killed in the landslide that struck Sitio Diat, Barangay Napnapan, Pantukan town at 3 a.m. rousing residents from their sleep. But of the 25 reported dead, only 17 so far have been retrieved as of 12:40 p.m. Thursday, according to Dr. Arnulfo Lantaya, spokesman of the Pantukan municipality. He did not discount the possibility that the number of deaths could rise as search and rescue operation is now in full blast. Lantaya also said 16 have been rescued, six of them needing hospitalization. Like in the flood disasters in Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City, Army soldiers were the first ones to respond following the landslide in Pantukan. Maj. Harold Cabunoc, Army spokesman, said elements from 71st and 72nd Infantry Battalions of the 101st Army Brigade under the command of Col. Roberto Domines were among the first to arrive at the disaster scene.


The Philippine Air Force (PAF) dispatched two UH-1H “Huey” helicopters to Pantukan to assist in the rescue operation. Without waiting for the arrival of heavy equipment from Pantukan local government, Army soldiers and other government units started digging up heaps of soil strewn all over the place in a bid to rescue some residents who were covered under tons of earth. It was again a pathetic sight as relatives were crying while looking for their loved ones. The landslide was the second to strike Pantukan, a mining area, in a year. Last year, 23 people were killed in a landslide in the area. Lantaya said that as early as 2008 and again in 2011, local authorities had urged the residents in the mining com-

munity to leave the area because it is prone to landslide but they ignored the warnings. He said the local municipal council has declared Pantukan a disaster area. The landslide was the second disaster to strike southern Philippines in 20 days. Last December 16, rampaging flood waters killed 1,257 people in Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City and Dumaguete City, and caused 4,662 injured and 101 missing. It was the most destructive flood to hit Mindanao in living memory. Indiscriminate logging has been blamed for the twin disasters. In the flash floods last month, cut logs rolled down from the mountains to the urban centers, killing people and destroying houses along the way.

Davao to improve tourist arrival data

by Carina Cayon

DAVAO CITY– The Davao City Investment and Promotion Center (DCIPC) intended to develop this year the establishment of an efficient tourist arrival records in the city.

DCIPC chief Jason Magnaye said his office will “try to improve” a database of tourist arrivals for 2012, urging the cooperation of the private sector. Magnaye said that capturing the actual data on the number of tourist arrivals and the visitors’ profiles in Davao City continued to be a challenge for the tourism

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industry. He raised the difficulty of gathering the accurate data on tourist arrivals based on hotel occupancy, noting that only 50 percent of the hotel establishments in the city submit reports to the tourism agencies. Establishing a data system would help determine the ideal number of hotels and rooms to accommodate foreign and local visitors, Magnaye told the local media here during the Kapehan sa Dabaw on Monday. He said that an established record on tourist arrivals would also help ascertain the state and the actual performance of the tourism industry, he said. Tourist arrivals were estimated to reach around 700,000 in 2011, Magnaye reported, admitting though that data were still being consolidated. He reported that about 375,000 tourists were recorded as of middle last year. He said that based on hotel ar-

rivals, about 10% of the tourists were foreigners, while 90% represented the domestic visitors. The DCIPC official reported a robust performance of the tourism industry last year, and is expected to be more aggressive in 2012. He said that the aim of improving the tourist arrival data system would be part of DCIPC’s program in calibrating its investment and promotion activities for Davao City. Also in the line-up of DCIPC’s activities for this year is its tourism and marketing campaign in other Asian countries. Magnaye said that part of the plan is to bring the campaign in Singapore. Said marketing strategy has been started in China last year. He said promotion and marketing materials and reference documents which would have different language translations have also been improved for foreign investors, he added.

did you know that That the Southern Philippine Medical Center, a government tertiary hospital was founded in 1917 as a result of an enactment by the Philippine legislature. the hospital was then known as the Davao Public Hospital. In 1946 it was renamed as the Davao General Hospital. In 1957 it was again renamed as the Davao Regional Medical and Training Center. 26

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Saturday, January 7, 2012


Hinugyaw Festival opens with tribute to first settlers by Dani Doguiles

KORONADAL CITY -- Koronadal City’s Hinugyaw Festival 2012 opened with a homage to the first settlers who came to the city before the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. Saturday, January 7, 2012

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At 9:00 in the morning yesterday, activities for the five-day festivities took off with a wreath laying at the martyrs’ shrine inside Koronadal Central Elementary School 1. Seventeen martyrs – residents massacred by Japanese soldiers for allegedly hiding Filipino guerrillas – were buried in the site. The opening day was capped with a theatrical presentation Handurawan by the Hinugyaw Dance Troupe inside South Cotabato Gymnasium and Cultural Center. Handurawan recounted the arrival of the first Christian settlers, their struggles against the Japanese invaders, and their heroism. “The work that these heroes have done gave us the reason to celebrate what we have achieved at present,” Mayor Peter B. Miguel said. The show had already been shown but only to select audiences. “This has to be seen by students, the youth and the general 28

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public,” he said, “dahil sabi nga, ang mga taong hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggagalingan ay hindi makararating sa paroroonan.” The show should

tain biking, and golf), Search for Lakambini ng Koronadal, farmers’ festival, foam party and disco sa kalye, and drumline competition. This year, the city

give the audience “a deeper understanding of our heritage, a deeper meaning of what we are and where we’re heading to,” he added. On January 10, 2012, Koronadal City turns 72. It was created by virtue of Municipal Council Resolution No. 32 series of 1948. Other important activities lined-up for the five-day celebration include: sports competitions (motocross, practical shooting, moun-

LGU reinvents its traditional streetdancing competition with Piyesta Korona (Festival of Crowns), which Mayor Miguel described as a mix between traditional streetdancing and mardi gras that feature different designs of crowns. As in the previous years, the festival will end with a grand fireworks display at 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


PDRRMO removes obstruction in river near Lake Maughan KORONADAL CITY -- South Cotabato’s Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) has began operations to remove an obstruction that has caused damming of a river near the outlet of Lake Maughan in Mt. Parker, T’boli town.

John Lorca, a staff of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, said at least 15 persons in-

cluding technical experts from Department of Public Works and Highways, Mines and Geosciences Bureau,

Provincial Environment Management Office, and the local government unit of T’boli were sent the location on

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to clear away at least 10 feet of stone debris that have blocked part of Luhan River, about six kilometers from the lake’s outlet. Lorca said the damming started on December 26 following a landslide in the area. The resulting artificial dam “has an area of 15 by 25 feet and depth of 15 feet.” Lorca added some cliffs in the area have some cracks that could collapse and aggravate the situation if the obstruction is not immediately removed. On December 29, Gov. Arthur Y. Pingoy Jr. called an emergency meeting of the PDRRMC to discuss so-

lutions to the problem and prevent its escalation that could mean disaster to areas downstream. The council ordered immediate removal of the obstruction. Since the area cannot be accessed by machineries, the stone debris that have formed the embankment are being removed manually. Meanwhile, Provincial Administrator and PDRRMO head Isidro Janita assured the situation in Lake Maughan “is not alarming, ” but added that flashflood could still occur during continuous and heavy rains and if it’s outlet is blocked.

Since the weather has become very unpredictable, Janita added, they have hired four persons whose jobs is to regularly monitor the conditions of the lake. Lately, these workers removed a mass of floating vegetation to prevent it from blocking Maughan’s outlet. Lake Maughan empties into Luhan River, which is a tributary of Allah River. In September , 1995 a wall of Lake Maughan collapsed , resulting in flashfloods that killed about 100 people and damaged millions worth of crops and properties.

Mga troso nakumpiska sa North Cotabato KORONADAL CITY -- Aabot sa lima hanggang anim na libong board feet ng iligal na troso ang nakumpiska sa isinagawang raid ng mga otoridad sa Sitio Lumayong, Barangay Lumayong, sa Kabacan, North Cotabato kahapon ng umaga. Isinagawa ang raid ng pinag-isang grupo ng Cotabato Police Public Safety Company, Kabacan PNP at ng Municipal Environ30

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ment and Natural Resources Office ng naturanag bayan. Ayon kay P/Supt. Alexander Tagum, hepe ng CPPCSC, Kabilang

Saturday, January 7, 2012

sa kanilang nakumpiska ang mga buong troso ng iba’t ibang klase ng hardwood tulad ng Apitong, Lawaan, Molave, Falcata


at iba pa Di pa kasama rito ang mga finished lumber. Nakuha din sa lugar ang dalawang circular sawmill na ginagamit

non at mga bukiring bahagi ng North Cotabato at pinaanod lang sa Rio Grande de Mindanao. Nakaimbak ang mga ito sa gilid lang ng ilog na siyang pinakamalaki sa Mindanao. Sa ngayon inaalam pa ang mga otoridad ang pagkkakilanlan ng may-ari ng mga iligal na troso. Pansamantalang nakalagak ngayon ang mga nakumpiskang sa paggawa ng mga mga kahoy sa provinlumber mula sa mga cial capitol sa Amas, naputol na kahoy. Kidapawan. Pinaniniwalaang galing pa ang mga troso sa bahagi ng Bukid-

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Issuance of permit to single motorcycles for public transport, LGU’s discretion – DOTC by Robert E. Roperos

D

epartment of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Caraga Assistant Regional Dir. Roman Jumawan recently said it is the discretion of the local government units whether or not to issue permit to single motorcycles that are used for transporting the riding public.

www.piacaraga.blogspot.com 32

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

Saturday, January 7, 2012

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


Jumawan said that as of press time, DOTCCaraga does not issue yellow plate numbers to single motorcycles that are used for passenger’s transportation, specifically the “skylab” and “habal-habal” that are used for public transportation in the hinterlands and far-flung barangays and barrios. “Wala pa ta magisyu dinhi sa DOTC-Caraga og permit ngadto sa mga tag-iya sa mga single motorcycles nga pagagamiton sa pagtransport sa mga pasahero, gawas sa mga tri-

cycles,” Jumawan said. (We were not able to issue here in DOTC-Caraga permit to owners of single motorcycles to be used for transporting passengers, except for tricycles.) Jumawan added there is no legal basis yet for the single motorcycles to be issued with yellow plate numbers, which is intended for vehicles for public transportation or “for hire”. “Sa pagkakaron, wala pa’y legal basis para i-yellow plate kana sila,” Jumawan said. (Presently, there is no legal basis to issue yellow plate for single motorcycles.) H o w e v e r, the DOTC official of the region said the local government units have the discretion to is-

sue permits to owners of this transport vehicle and it’s up to them if they will grant permit to make the transporting of passengers legal. “Tinuod kana nga adunay lugar dinhi sa Caraga Region kung diin ang LGU naga-isyu og permit sa mga ‘habalhabal’ for hire… Discretion na kana sa matag LGU,” the official said. (It is true that there are areas here in Caraga Region where the LGU has issued permit to ‘habal-habal’ for hire… That is the discretion of every LGU.) Jumawan added that DOTC-Caraga does not issue yellow plate numbers to these type of transport vehicle.

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Socorro Community eCenter upgrades Internet connection by Melody Cocon

BUTUAN CITY – The Community eCenter of Socorro, Surigao del Norte has recently upgraded its Internet connection from satellite to wireless.

The geographical location of the islandmunicipality did not hinder the possibility of the 31-kilometer Wi-Fi link across the sea. The ICT-recipient populace expressed gratitude for this development as this will increase the connection speed of 512 kilobytes 34

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per second (kbps) to 2 megabytes per second (mbps). Also, the prohibitive monthly payment of P15,000 before is now down to P999. Servicing before was done exclusively by the Internet Service Provider personnel while the present setup can now

Saturday, January 7, 2012

be managed, hence lowering the cost of maintenance. Also, the phonein and online support is available and an additional bandwidth means additional households to be connected, thus increasing local revenues. This has opened new opportunities of


the eCenter to expand its vision to a wider and ambitious scope to help the community in an attainable and cost-saving measure. Following the installation, Socorro CeC manager Zenith Rivas spearheaded a staff meeting involving municipal of-

ficials and heads of offices to gain their support. Their support will pave the way for the establishment of wireless internet connection with VOIP attached in each of the 14 barangays of the municipality. It will also address the need for a Disaster

Preparedness component and tax concerns -the eBPLS and eRPTS will be linked to all 14 barangays which will result to a maximum local income. The installation of a PPCTV camera in all LGU offices will likewise ensure transparency in LGU operations. This development is the result of Socorro CeC’s participation to the 7th Knowledge Exchange Conference in Baguio City last November 2011 and other knowledge sharing activities, partnership with the General Luna CeC (feeder for SMART broadband) and Wency Barrientos, CeC manager of Araceli Palawan.

P156-M support fund to LGUs released by DILG, DBM by Mary Christine Anthonette Salise

BUTUAN CITY – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) have released a total of P156 million to selected LGUs in Caraga Region under the Local Government Support Fund (LGSF). Saturday, January 7, 2012

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Funds were released to some LGUs that have been awarded the Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH). The DILG awards the SGH to promote good governance among local governments. In Caraga Region, four provinces, six cities and 66 municipalities have been awarded the SGH. Three newly converted cities, however, are not entitled to the LGSF since they will receive a bigger Internal 36

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Revenue Allotment for 2012. The funds shall be utilized as capital expenditure and only for the following types of projects: a) rural electrification; b) local roads connection national roads; c) arterial farm-to-market roads and bridges; d) local economic enterprises; e) flood control and drainage; and f) priority projects of the National Government such as Millenium Development

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Goals, Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 and Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. Topping the list of LGUs in Caraga Region is Butuan City which received P60 million.



One Mindanao - January 7, 2012