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Northeastern Mindanao (Caraga)

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

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Copy Editors

Robert E. Roperos, PIA Caraga Region Nora C. Lanuza Molde, PIA Caraga Region

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Editorial Advisers : Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines Bldg., J. Rosales Avenue, Butuan City Telephone no. (085) 341-5285 / 360-1239 ATTY. JOSE A. FABIA Telefax no. (085) 341-2370 Cellphone no. 0917-7188834 Director-General Email: piacaraga@gmail.com , pia_caraga@yahoo. Philippine Information Agency 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 SEC. HERMINIO “Sonny” B. COLOMA Presidential Communications Operations Office


Today’s issue...

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Friday, March 23, 2012

11 14 16 18 19 23 26 27 30 31

MalacaĂąang says wider US military presence intended to build up Philippine defense capabilities Dumalinao acquires fire truck Allan June A. Molde, Western Mindanao

800 women undergo livelihood training Michael Vincent D. Cajulao, Western Mindanao

Tax collections in NorMin up by 14% in 2011 Apipa P. Bagumbaran, Northern Mindanao

4ID campaigns on elimination of elephantiasis Northern Mindanao

Davao Light may conduct rotating brownouts Southern Mindanao

LGU-Gensan to conduct newsletter layout training for local media practitioners Pops Gumana-Fruylan, Central Mindanao

Kauna-unahang vermicomposting congress sa ARMM, isinagawa Central Mindanao

DPWH-Siargao proposes P804.1M budget for 2013 infra projects Myra Quizada Yu, Caraga Region

12,874 households benefit electrification program in Mindanao Greg Tataro, Jr., Caraga Region

28 Cover Story Gravel road brings change in Misamis Oriental

Vol. 1 No. 222

page 4

Oibone C. Enobio Northern Mindanao


Cover Story

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Gravel road brings change in Misamis Oriental by Oibone C. Enobio

t was Wednesday morning in Barangay Patag and Habal-habal driver Victorino Barangot had just unloaded his two passengers from the town. A few minutes after a break, he gets a cue from a group of municipal social workers who just finished their meeting at the barangay center. It’s time for his next trip back to the town. “Sa una matapulan kag pamasahero ug balik balik tungod sa kalisud sa dalan. Karun, ok na ang dalan, bahalag magbalik balik kada minuto,(Before, it felt so unenergetic and tiring to transport passengers because of the bad road. Now that the road is good, I don’t mind making several trips back and forth” says Victorino, a resident of Barangay

Patag, town of Opol, the site of the 9.10 kilometer Opol-Basak-Tingalan provincial road rehabilitated by the Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental with support from Australia through the Philippine Provincial Road Management Facility. Victorino, a habal-habal driver for ten years, has seen his life change since the gravel road was rehabilitated. His trips that took hours during the rainy season have been cut to 30 minutes. The new road replaced a dirt pathway traders and farmers used to haul produce such as copra, banana and corn from their farm to Friday, March 23, 2012

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the market Until April last year, small traders and commuters from Patag and neighboring barangays of Basak and Tingalan had to cancel their trips to the town during heavy rains to avoid accidents that come with muddy and slippery roads. It was also difficult to transport bulky goods as the habal-habal, a single motorcycle, was the only available public utility vehicle. Today, vehicle and commuter traffic has dramatically increased. The improved road condition has lowered vehicle maintenance cost for single motorcycles, bringing a growth in the number of Patag motor operators from 3 0

to 100. From just five trips a day, habal-habal drivers are now maintaining an average of 20 trips daily. The village now has additional means of public transport such as jeepney, bus, and motorized pedicab locally known as “bunlot.” “Sa una, normal ra nang mabara sa lapok panahon sa ting-ulan. Pero sa una ra na. (Before, it was normal for us to get stuck in the mud during rainy season but that is now a thing of the past)”, says Victorino. “Sukad bag-o na ang kalsada, mu-income nako ug 300 hundred kada adlaw unya tama ra ni para sa among panginahanglan (Since the road was rehabilitated, I’m now earning P300 a day which is enough for my family’s basic needs).” With the sustained earnings from driving, he said he and his wife are happy as they can now keep their children in school.

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A boon to Agribusiness As the road rehabilitation was bound to boost movement of people, goods and services, several new agribusinesses have started to pop up in Patag according to Punong Barangay Hermito Laid, Jr. Eighty percent of Patag’s total land area is devoted to agriculture and the rehabilitation of the village’s main street has encouraged farmers to boost their income from farming through vegetable gardening. Cottage industries such as piggery, poultry, asphalt plant, banana chips processing, mat weaving and bag manufacturing have also sprouted in the village. “Ngalan kay agricultural land, mahimo gyud nga babag sa ilang panginabuhian, ilabi na sa pagdeliver sa mga produkto kung maot ang kalsada so maayo gani nga naay Australian aid para magwapo ang kalsada. Ug sigun pa sa atong mga katawhan, murag ug ang ilang damgo nga dugay nang gidamgo karun pa intawn natuman (Since it is an agricultural area, having poor roads can really

hamper livelihood activities. It’s good that there’s an Australian project that has helped improve the roads. According to them, it was like a dream come true),” says Hermito, adding that more than 100 residents in Patag were employed as labourers during the road construction. Forty four year old food vendor Dionisia Gloria has gotten a boost in earnings since the road was repaired. She said more and more customers, mostly commuters, school children and habal-habal drivers drop by her stall located along the road for food take-out. “Sa una, daut kaayo ang kalsada. Karun chada na. Daghan na customer nga mga bata ug habal habal drayber (Before, the road was really bad. Now it’s good. I get more customers, mostly school children and motorcycle drivers), ”said Dionisia, adding t h a t

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her daily routine of buying food ingredients from the central market in Opol has also been made easy with the new road. Comfort for mothers, teachers, school children For road users in Patag and its neighboring barangays, the road is a vital piece of infrastructure that has not only brought huge economic benefits and opportunities to the community but also helped ease emergency situations in the village. “Sa una kadtong nanganak akong binadye, balibaran ka ug taxi ug motor uy pero karun sayun na lang makasakay kay maayo na man ang dalan busa pasamalat gyud mi. Maong kami sa womens, nitabang gyud mig amping sa dalan (Before, when my daughter in law was about to give birth, taxi and motorcycle drivers refuse to bring her to the hospital due to the bad road. Now that the road has improved, it has become easy for us to get public vehicles especially during emergencies and that is why we in our Women’s group are really doing our share to maintain the road,” s a y s

Silorma Jabunan, president of Patag Women’s Association. Patag Rural health midwife Marivic Anora said the village had seen a few cases of maternal deaths due to complications and other pregnancy-related causes. She said these deaths, which occurred during emergency childbirth at home, could have been avoided if the road was in better condition. “Sa una naa gyuy kaso namo nga mortality sa pagpanganak kay walay makatabang. Karun, amo nang gina-brainwash ang mga mama nga wala nay manganak sa balay kay accessible na man ang dalan (In the past, there were cases of deaths from emergency childbirth. Now we are educating the mothers not to give birth at home since the road is already accessible,” says Marivic, adding that the road has helped encourage women to give birth in the hospital. She also noted that more residents from

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the far flung communities have been able to access the barangay’s prenatal, immunization, consultation and family planning services. For public school teachers in Patag, the new road helps motivate children to go to school even during rainy season. “Sa una, maka-absent sila kung ting-ulan. Karun, maski magulan, makasulod ra sila unya dili na ma-late. Naa na sila diri as early as 7:30 before the flag ceremony. Una pa sila sa mga teacher (Before, some students are absent in class during rainy days. Now, even with the rains, they are able to attend classes and avoid tardiness. Kids are in school as early as 7:30 before the morning flag ceremony. They arrive ahead of the teachers.) says Teacher Risty Cabaling of Patag Elementary School. Risty, also a resident of Patag, said it has become easy for him to reach the school by commuting on the road, giving him more lead time to prepare for class exercises and activities. Caring for the Road

organized a Bantay Kalsada, the village’s road maintenance and monitoring group tasked to enforce a barangay ordinance regulating activities that create damage to the roads. Barangay police Bartolome Jaudian said Bantay Kalsada was organized immediately after the road was completed in April last year and has since been conducting regular road monitoring and cleanup of the road canals. Patag is composed of nine zones, each of which has a Bantay Kalsada member that monitors compliance with the road maintenance ordinance. “Tinguha namo nga hapsay gyud ang dagan sa karsada unya pugngan pud namo ang mga tao nga maghimo ug kadautan sa kalsada. Ampingan gyud nato ni kay mao ni atong agianan unya hangtud hangtud na gyud ni, di na gyud ni siya mawala (It is our role to ensure the

To sustain the benefits of the road, men and women in Patag have

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roads are safe and well maintained by stopping erring road users. We really should take care of our roads so that the benefits last a lifetime,” says Bartolome. Zone 2 leader Annie Jabunan also noticed that since the road was rehabilitated, the value of land in Patag has appreciated from P100 to P1000 per square meter. “Dagko na kaayog presyo ang yuta diri dili pariha sa una walay mupalit kay daut ang kalsada (Value of land has really increased unlike before when nobody would want to buy a land here because of the bad road),” says Annie. “Busa magbantay gyud ko nga dili maabusohan ang kalsada. Amo gyud paga-ampingan ni kay gigastuan gud ni sa Australia (That is why we are committed to ensure no abuses on the road. We will take care of it because Australia has invested so much in it).” Annie said they have recorded a number of road violations since the group was organized. The local ordinance prohibits heavy trucks and loading of bamboo poles and steel bars that extend to the surface of the road as these will leave pot holes and ripples during heavy rains. She explains t h a t

repetitive passage of heavy vehicles causes the road to break down. “Amo silang i-seminar unya karun magbantay na gyud sila. Ila na alsahon ilang kawayan o puthaw usa muagi sa kalsada (We educate them so that they will learn. Now, whenever they transport their goods, they lift their bamboo poles and steel bars to make sure that they do not touch the surface of the road),” says Annie. She said the road has made their lives a lot better now. PRMF helps provincial governments upgrade and then maintain their core road network in provinces in Mindanao and the Visayas. A P60 million grant from the Australian government was used to rehabilitate the Opol-Basak-Tingalan road. The program started in seven partner provinces: Bohol, Guimaras, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental and Misamis Occidental. Recently it expanded to Aklan, Davao del Norte and Lanao del Norte. While a large portion of the program’s funds will be spent on road rehabilitation and maintenance in the provinces, the key focus of the program is supporting local governance reforms to improve the quality and efficiency of public service delivery to communities. Friday, March 23, 2012

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ACROSS THE NATION Aquino still has people’s trust -Malacañang says

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alacañang cited on Thursday the latest Pulse Asia Survey showing 70 percent of Filipinos still trusting President Benigno S. Aquino III, “as an indication of support for the President’s fight against corruption and poverty.”

In a statement read during the regular press briefing in Malacañang, P r e s i d e n t i a l Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the survey clearly shows that the benefits of the reforms implemented by the

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Aquino administration are being felt by the people. “As we have always maintained, public office is a public trust. There is no greater proof that the public is feeling the effects of

Friday, March 23, 2012

our reforms than the President’s sustained trust and satisfaction ratings,” Lacierda said. He pointed out that the President remains committed to achieving the advocacies laid out during his Presidential


campaign: to improve the lives of all Filipinos. “We take these results as reinforcement to push for economic and institutional

reforms which will lead to inclusive and equitable growth,” Lacierda said. The survey, which was conducted from February 26 to March 9, 2012 and based on a sample of 1,200 representative adults

18 years old and above, showed the work done by President Benigno S. Aquino III (70%), Vice-President Binay (84%) and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile (71%) is appreciated by most Filipinos. (RCK)

Malacañang says wider US military presence intended to build up Philippine defense capabilities

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alacañang reiterated that the decision of President Benigno S. Aquino III to accept more American soldiers, increase ship visits and expand military exercises between the Philippines and the United States is intended to strengthen the Philippines’s defense capability to protect its borders and has nothing to do with external threats. Friday, March 23, 2012

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“ W e have to update our military training and capability. As we have always maintained, we first acquired the Hamilton Class Cutter for the purpose of maritime protection and also environmental protection,” Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing in Malacanang on Thursday. The President’s Spokesman was responding to questions profounded by Malacanang reporters whether the decision of President Aquino is related to the disputed West Philippine Sea issue. “Our military hardware is quite not up to date with our neighbors. So it’s imperative for us to update our military hardware and that’s for purposes of our protection for our country. This is primarily to improve our military training and capacity,” he added. Lacierda stressed that the decision of

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the President wasn’t prompted by the external threats but is intended to ensure the Philippine military’s capability to protect the country’s borders adding that some Asean-member countries have manifested for a peaceful solution to the disputed West Philippine Sea. He explained that the arrangement has legal basis and that a new agreement isn’t necessary. “The parameters would be based on the Visiting Forces Agreement, the Mutual Defense Treaty and also the 1987 Constitution. There are mechanisms involved there. So I think that would be the basis for (the number of) troops (that) will be rotated here in the Philippines for exercises and other related matters,” Lacierda said. In an interview with foreign media this week, the President said the Philippines would welcome the entry of more US troops in the

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country on a rotational basis but ruled out putting up permanent military bases. The Philippines was also asking the United States to build up its defense capabilities, the President said as he emphasized that among the country’s request are the F-16 fighter jets, patrol vessels, transport aircraft and radar systems. According to the Chief Executive, getting modern fighter jets from the US is a top priority for the Philippines considering that the Philippines is one of the most poorly-equipped in Southeast Asia. The US has announced recently that it is expanding its military presence in the Asia Pacific as a counterweight to the rising presence of China in the region. Last year, it brokered a deal with Australia to place more troops there. It is also expanding its maritime presence in Singapore and in stepping up deployments in Thailand. (AS)


Dipolog Mayor adjudged ‘PNP Best Supportive Local Chief Executive’ By Franklin P. Gumapon

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ipolog city mayor Evelyn T. Uy recently received the “PNP Best Supportive Local Chief Executive” award in recognition of her exemplary performance. Police Director George Q. Piano, director for logistics of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) national headquarters, personally handed the plaques to Uy in a simple awarding ceremony at the city police station here. The PNP leadership has expressed gratitude to Uy for the support extended by the city government to the police. Police Provincial Director Ulpiano C. Lopez said that aside from logistics, operational and training supports to the police, the city government under the auspices of Uy has also

caused the rehabilitation and renovation of the 100 square meter quarters at the Zamboanga del Norte Police Provincial Office (ZNPPO) and the construction of the two-story

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city police station. The city government also shelled out P8 million as its counterpart fund for the construction of the P16 million two-storey city police station which was built on a lot also donated by the city. Police Director Piano, on the other hand, said in his speech that the police personnel in the city “are prouder and more inspired to render quality police service” with their new, decent and spacious police station

adding that the “appearance of the facility already commands respect from anyone who enters it.” Piano also stressed that one indispensable factor in ensuring efficient and effective delivery of police service is the availability of a decent and orderly police station. In a related development, Uy reported that the city has the lowest crime rate and the highest crime solution efficiency in the country. (JPA/FPG/PIA-ZamboNorte)

Dumalinao acquires fire truck

by Allan June A. Molde

DUMALINAO, Zamboanga del Sur - To address the need and growing demand of the people of Dumalinao and in keeping with the government’s modernization scheme, the local government of Dumalinao through the initiative of Mayor Ace William E. Cerilles recently acquired its own fire truck.

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Rev. Fr. Lucas Hadi Siswo Sasmiti o, SCJ, Parish Priest of Dumalinao officiated the blessing ceremony held yesterday, March 20 which was attended by municipal and barangay officials, employees and a number of Dumalinaoans joined Cerilles in the historic event. In an interview with the Cerilles, he disclosed that it was his dream to have a fire truck to serve the needs of his constituents. It was also a long cherished dream of the people in Dumalinao. The town, which has no fire station, is dependent on the capabilities of Pagadian City and Dinas fire stations. He added that

the people of Dumalinao are alarmed that when fire occurs in their town, everything would be reduced to ashes before a fire truck arrives since it will take time for a truck to arrive here. Cerilles recalled that in a Municipal Risk Reduction and Management Council (MRRMC) Meeting held on May 31, 2011, the council recognized that due to the fast growth and development of the municipality where migration and influx of people has intensified, business also boomed wherein bigger and better stores and commercial establishments have flourished alongside with banks and other financial institutions. The MRRMC noted that with these developments, the local government should also take part in bringing the much needed security as well as better response team when tragedies and calamities occur. Putting everything into a motion, the Council unanimously approved Resolution No. 1, Series of 2011 converting one functional dump truck of the municipality into a fire truck. In response, the Sangguniang Bayan adopted and approved Resolution No. 050-2011 which is, “A Resolution Adopting MDC Resolution allocating funds from the 5% Calamity Fund for the Utilization of Pre-Disaster Activities of the Municipality in the Amount of Php 1,000,000.00.� At present, the local government has already trained willing and physically fit volunteers in some Friday, March 23, 2012

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urban barangays which compose the Dumalinao Fire Brigade and who are now ready to respond anytime. This will enable the municipality to have its own quick–response team whenever such calamities as fire occurs. Perfectly timed with observance

of Fire Prevention Month this March, all barangay captains have lauded the efforts of the young local chief executive. It was through his vision and hard-work that his dream for his constituents was realized. (JPA/ AJM-MIO/ALT/PIA9-Zambo Sur)

800 women undergo livelihood training By Michael Vincent D. Cajulao

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Eight hundred (800) women from the city underwent a two-day free simultaneous livelihood training as part of the Women’s Month Celebration initiated by 1st District Representative Ma. Isabelle Climaco. “We have made women a priority in this livelihood caravan of our office especially because of the Women’s Month Celebration”, Climaco said. The lady solon stressed that community-based training remains one of her priorities to empower women. Proof is her allocation of P10 M for livelihood projects alone this year. “We equip them with skills so they can in turn help their families through additional income”, she said in a press statement. The livelihood caravan was conducted in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to ensure proper training and

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accreditation. The women were trained on basic cosmetology like manicure and pedicure, jewelry-making, makeup and hair dressing, perfume and candle making, silk screen printing and fish processing. After the training, participants were given certificates and start-up kits to begin with their businesses. Climaco stressed the importance of vocational education and vowed to further implement it thru her partnership with TESDA and other organizations. The trainings were simultaneously conducted in four separate venues to properly serve the beneficiaries. (JPA/MVC/ PIA9-ZBST)


March is a celebration of the productivity of women according to Ozamiz mayor

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By Rutchie C. Aguhob

arch is actually a celebration of the productivity of women in the community, said Mayor Nova Princess E. Parojinog-Echavez, the first woman chief executive of the city, to the more than 3,000 women who attended the activity relative to the Women’s Month of March at the Congressman Hilarion J. Ramiro Gym, this city. Mostly beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P’s), the women came from the city’s 51 barangays, with the Muslim Women’s Association of Barangay Tinago as the 52nd group. “This is something that responds to this year’s theme of the Women’s Month Celebration: Women weathering climate change: governance and accountability, everyone’s responsibility,” the mayor said. She said the activity was indeed

an acknowledgement of the many contributions of women in our society and encouraged all women to continue to participate, not only in the activities of the family, but also in the activities of the barangays where they live. Meanwhile, Association of Barangay Councils President, Reynaldo O. Paarojinog, Sr. of Ozamiz City stressed the significant role that women play in community development. Friday, March 23, 2012

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“While the men do their work outside the homes, it is always the women who are left to take care of the children and the household. If not for the women, there will be no communities. So we must all take care of our women and be responsive to their needs,” he said. Organized by the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) Office, headed by Ludie Salud A. Raras, CSWD Officer, in cooperation

with the Local Council of Women Activities, the day was highlighted by the presentation of a mixture of folk, ethnic and modern dances by the various women’s groups. It also included the selection of the 2012 Queen of the Women’s Month. Raras also thanked the mayor for extending a P1,000 financial assistance to each barangay for the celebration.

Tax collections in NorMin up by 14% in 2011 by Apipa P. Bagumbaran

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - Tax collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in Northern Mindanao last year was recorded at P5.8 billion, higher by 14 percent from the P5.1 billion collections in the year 2010. This was disclosed by Engr. Cecilio Clarete, chief economic development specialist of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in Region 10, during the media forum on the regional economic situationer held at the NEDA Conference Room. He said the improvement in collections was reportedly due to the BIR’s intensive implementation of its programs such as the Oplan Kandado and the Run After Tax Evaders. Based on the data furnished by the BIR Revenue District Region 16, income taxes accounted for the largest share of its tax collections with P3.7 billion followed by collections from Value Added Taxes with P1.4 billion, he further said. He added that percentage taxes and excise taxes were recorded at P306

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million and P1.8 million, respectively, while collections from other taxes amounted to P394 million. Clarete said Cagayan de Oro City remains the top collection district of the region which posted P3.3 billion collections, sharing 42 percent of the total collections. Iligan City District Office ranked second with P911 million collections followed by Bukidnon with P818 million, Ozamiz City with P560 million, and Gingoog City with P229 million. In terms of increases in collections, Iligan City recorded the highest increase of 21 percent followed by Ozamiz and Bukidnon both by 19 percent, Gingoog City by 15 percent, and Cagayan de Oro City by 10 percent.


4ID campaigns on elimination of elephantiasis CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City - The 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division conducted elephantiasis elimination campaign at the Division’s Gymnasium, March 14. A total of 895 personnel of the division, their dependents and other residents inside the camp received medicines such as prophylaxis for lymphatic filariasis to eliminate permanent disfigurement and longterm disability. Lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis, is a disease that is characterized by the thickening of the skin and underlying tissues, especially in the legs and male genitals. In some cases, the disease can cause certain body parts, such as the scrotum, to swell to the size of a softball or basketball. The disease is caused by the thread-like parasitic worms such as Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and B. timori, all of which are transmitted by mosquitoes. One hundred twenty million people in the world are infected with this disease while 40 million of them were

incapacitated by it. In the Philippines, 30 out of 80 provinces in the country are endemic to lymphatic filariasis, which has been the reason for this campaign to eliminate the disease. “We had done so many medical missions, but let us not forget to care for the health of our personnel and those who are close to our hearts. There is no vaccine for this disease that is why it is better to prevent its occurrence as early as possible,” MGen. Victor A. Felix AFP, Commander, 4ID, said. (4ID)

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Modest financing boosts rice farming in Davao Sur

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armers here have adequate irrigation and postharvest facilities but lack of financing is a major productivity setback. “Although necessary infrastructure where already in place, we cannot go full blast in rice production as it would require

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us financial capital for labor and farm inputs,” said Gamiel Portarcos. Portarcos who is the president of the Sitio New Talisay – New Clarin Irrigators Association said they have no option but to turn to nonformal lenders to overcome financial constraints. While he recognized that non-formal lenders helped them addressed their needs for the whole cropping season oftentimes small farmers are in the losing end. “Non-formal lenders collect high interest rates usually from 10 to 15 percent,” Portarcos said adding: “Most of the non-formal lenders


are also traders and require farmers to sell their produce only to them. This practice usually shortchanged our farmers as they can no longer dictate the buying price.” Portarcos said bulk of their income from rice farming goes to the repayment of their loans from traders with only meager amount left usually not enough to fund the production for the next cropping season. “So we have no option but to again borrow money from nonformal lenders. Murag wala na’y katapusan (It becomes a vicious cycle),” he said. He stressed insufficient financing limits some farmers to expand production for fear of having to pay higher interest rates. The prospect of earning better in rice farming came when their municipal agriculture office endorsed their irrigators’ association as one of the beneficiaries of the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP). MRDP is a long term poverty alleviation initiative of the Department of Agriculture (DA) with a funding assistance from the World Bank. Through the Community Fund for Agricultural Development (CFAD), the program’s livelihood component, their association was able to access a funding assistance of at least P250, 000.00. The funds they have availed themselves of were used to develop an

interest-free package of assistance amounting to P25, 000. The said package is a combination of cash and farm inputs. Since members observe synchronous farming (planting rice simultaneously) the release of assistance was based on the farming activities within the production cycle. “Our ultimate goal was to enable our members to break-free from their continuing dependence on trader-lenders in financing their farming activities. With this, the association does not only provide inputs but also cash assistance as there are activities like land preparation that requires money instead of inputs. If money is not available at this time, they would still resort to borrowing from nonformal lenders to catch-up with the planting season,” he said. “Members can avail of cash assistance only during land preparation and transplanting. Seeds can be withdrawn from the PO during seed preparation while fertilizers and insecticides will be released as the need arises,” Portarcos explained. “For other farming activities, inputs will be made available instead of cash to ensure that the assistance will go to its intended purpose such as fertilizer and insecticides,” he added. At the end of every cropping season, each member are required to return the total amount of the package of assistance he has availed himself of plus the P2,000.00 capital share which is a meager repayment Friday, March 23, 2012

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compared to the interest imposed by non-formal lenders. They were made to realize that the sustainability of their livelihood project relies on their repayment. “Since we have availed ourselves of the CFAD assistance in Nov ember 2009, we have at least collected a savings mobilization of P57, 332.00. We have also increased our revolving fund from P250, 000.00 to P282, 332.00. Our farmers have also increased their average yield from barely 60 sacks [at 60 kg/sack] to 120 sacks,” Portorcas said. “Our income now allows us to support schooling of our children while some expanded their rice production including livestock raising for added income,” said Rizalde Palermo, the association’s vice president. “The assistance we received from MRDP enabled us to recover from huge debts incurred from non-formal lenders. We are glad that MRDP as well as our local government provided us the window of opportunity to break-free from the vicious cycle of unfair financial arrangements from trader-lenders,” Portarcos said. The association also agreed that for the next cropping season they will apply for a crop insurance to ensure they collect capital share even if the farms is affected by calamities or damaged by pest. MRDP program director Lealyn Ramos for her part said she is glad that out of the modest financial assistance provided by the program rice farmers in New Clarin are making headway in improving their

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income. “Given the increasing demand to secure the supply of our staple food, the challenge now is how to make rice production more profitable so that we can entice more farmers to sustain rice farming,” Ramos said. Aside from providing infrastructure and livelihood support to our small farmers, MRDP she said is also building the capacities of farmers to maximize their productivity. “Rice farmers in New Clarin exemplify how the program’s community-driven development approach would not only address the beneficiaries felt need but also enabled them to be self-reliant as they are no longer dependent on traders to finance their farming expenses,” she added. Portarcos said their association seeks to further improve their rice farming activities with several plans that would enhance their productivity. He is optimistic that that sooner they will not just sell their palay but will eventually produce and sell rice for better profit. As they continue with their rice farming activities he urged their association officers and members to keep their financial resources wellguarded as they are not sure if the same livelihood opportunity will come by. “Now that we have liberated ourselves from burden of paying high interest credit, we have to sustain our project not only increase our income but to reach out to other small farmers,’ he said. (MRDPPR)


Davao Light may conduct rotating brownouts 30-minute rotating outages due to the reserve power supply that it has contracted from Independent Power Producers (IPPs) as part of its contingency plans to address power shortages. The electricutility has contracted energy power supply from Hedcor Inc.’s Sibulan and Talomo Hydroelectric power plants. It also has power supply agreement with Therma Marine

DAVAO CITY- After being able to avoid the rotating power outages for the past two months, Davao Light and Power Company may now be forced to implement rotating brownouts within its franchise as the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has announced an increase in the Mindanao-wide power curtailment at a level of 320 MW.

Inc. (TMI). Davao Light also maintains on hot standby a Bunker C-fired standby power plant in Bajada. Without the contracted power supply, customers would have been experiencing 2 to 3 hours of daily interruptions. However, these power supply contracts can only support up to 280 MW of Mindanao-wide curtailment. While other areas in Mindanao Beyond this, Davao Light will be have reportedly been experiencing implementing the 30-minute rotating long duration of brownouts, Davao power interruptions.(pr) Light customers may only experience Friday, March 23, 2012

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So. Cotabato retains title as CRAA champion by Dani Doguiles KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato —For the second year in a row, South Cotabato’s athletic delegation clinched the championship title of the Cotabato Regional Athletic Association (CRAA) Meet held here from March 18 to 21.

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Summary of results released by CRAA 2012 chief recorder Christopher Frusa showed that South Cotabato garnered a total of 621 points besting 2010 champion General Santos City, which earned 507 points. Cotabato Province and Koronadal City were second runner up and third runner up, respectively. The host province’s lead came from boys’ and girls’ athletics in elementary and high school where it got 120 points. It also showed supremacy in softball, swimming, and volleyball in elementary girls as well as baseball, basketball, and volleyball in elementary boys. Its high school contingent reigned in boxing (boys) and tennis (girls). First runner up General Santos City won first place in elementary girls’ women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, Taekwondo; secondary boys’ chess, men’s artistic gymnastics,

taekwondo; and, secondary girls’ basketball, chess, rhythmic gymnastic, women’s artistic g y m n a s t i c s , and taekwondo. South Cotabato schools district physical education supervisor Pedro Dajay attributed their victory to the discipline that the athletes have shown. The provincial government earlier alloted P350,000 for the incentives of winning athletes but because South Cotabato players performed better than expected , the budget was insufficient to cover for the prizes for the winners originally promised them. “Instead of P3,000, gold medalists were

only given P1,000,” Dajay said. Silver medal winners received P700 instead of P1,000 while those who won bronze received P500. However, Dajay said they have already asked for additional allocation for this purpose from the provincial government. “We will give additional incentive to winning athletes once the provincial government approves our request for extra funds,” he promised. On his part, Gov. Arthur Y. Pingoy said he has already considered allocating more funds to pay for the incentives of the athletes and added that he has already talked with Vice Gov.

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Elmo Tolosa regarding sources of funds for this. He also congratulated the officials, coaches and athletes for retaining the championship title but also challenged them achieve the same feat next year; he also implied willingness to

host the regional sports meet for the third year. More than 100 athletes from South Cotabato have qualified to represent Soccsksargen region in the Palarong Pambansa in Lingayen, Pangasinan in May. Although the actual

number of athletes that will compose the region’s delegation has yet to be ascertained, Dajay assured that the largest bulk of athletes will come from the host province. (DEDoguiles/PIA 12)

LGU-Gensan to conduct newsletter layout training for local media practitioners by Pops Gumana-Fruylan GENERAL SANTOS CITY—The City Government here has scheduled a one day training on “Basic Newsletter Layouting” for local media practitioners. City Media Affairs Officer, Avel Manansala said the free training which is scheduled on April 13 is open to all TV, broadcast, and print journalists who are willing to be trained by personnel of the SHEEPComputer Literacy Program (CLP). “SHEEP-CLP is currently intensifying its technology trainings to cater all sectors of the society to be globally-competitive, from students, to professionals, senior citizens, out-of-school youths, and now they are

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going to train our local journalists,” he said. Manansala disclosed that media participants will also be taught on how to use “Photoshop” to enhance their knowledge in photoediting and realize their creative capability in the visual graphics realm. “Through this training media practitioners in the city will be wellrounded. Aside from their knowledge in writing and broadcasting they will also learn to appreciate the work of a layout artist and explore the potential of

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IT-related businesses,” he explained. SHEEP-CLP head, Percival Pasuelo revealed that they have allocated an initial ten slots for the said training on a first come first serve basis, and interested participants may contact the City Media Affairs Office for possible reservation. However, Pasuelo clarified that there will be a series of level-up trainings in the coming days to accommodate more interested media participants. Meanwhile, KBP-


SarGen President, James Catalan expressed elation over the conduct of the said training as he thanked Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio for what he described as a “great move of the city government to support

the welfare of local journalists.” Catalan said the training will really open doors for media practitioners as this will not only increase their marketability but they can possibly earn a livable income through

it.

“This is a big help especially to those who are still planning to putup and already starting with their own newspaper and online businesses,” he said. (PGFruylan/ PIA-Gensan)

Kauna-unahang vermicomposting congress sa ARMM, isinagawa COTABATO CITY --Matagumpay na naisagawa ng Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Soils and Water Management (DA-BSWM)Central Office ang kauna-unahang Regional Vermicomposting Congress na ginanap dito sa lungsod ng Cotabato noong Marso 19 hanggang 20. Ayon kay DAFARMM Focal Person Haji Datungan Radzak 189 ang lumahok sa naturang congress mula sa limang probinsiya ng rehiyon na kabalikat sa pagsulong ng organic farming. Ito ay kinabibilangan ng mga magsasaka na tumanggap ng Shredder machine at vermitea facility, Local Government Unit officials, Municipal Agricultural Officers (MAO) sa pangunguna ng kani-kanilang Provincial Agricultural Officers (PAO). Ayon kay DAF-ARMM information division

chief Dhigs Abdullah hinikayat ni DAF-ARMM Regional Secretary Sangkula A. Tindick ang mga lumahok na itaguyod ang organic farming sa pamamagitan ng paggamit ng mga pasilidad ng bigay mula sa BSWM dahil makakatulong ito upang lumaki ang ani at kita sa pagsasaka maliban sa dulot nitong pangangalaga sa kalikasan. Sa kanyang mensahe, hinikayat ni Director Silveno J. Tejada ng BSWM-Central Offie ang lahat, lalo na ang 105 na mga magsasaka na tumanggap ng shedder mula sa ARMM, na

paigtingin pa lalo ang pagpapatupad ng organic farming sa pamamagitan ng pasilidad na vermi composting at vermitea dahil makakatulong ito na mabawasan ang gastosin sa pagsasaka, makatulong pa sa pagbalik taba ng lupa at kabilang din sa mitigation ng climate change. Nguni’t nagbigay pabala rin si Dir. Tejada sa dahil maaring ilipat sa ibang benepisyaryo kung hindi ito gagamitin upang mas mapakinabangan ng iba pang mga magsasaka. (RAFID-ARMM/ JAMaureal-PIA Cotabato )

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P14.9M worth of illegal logs seized on joint gov’t operations by Noel B. Najarro

J

oint forces of national armed and environmental authorities confiscated an estimated 1.1 million board feet of logs and fletches, worth about P14.9 million here in Caraga region.

www.piacaraga.blogspot.com

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

Friday, March 23, 2012

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


These operations to bust illegal logging activities and environmental laws violations were done together by the Philippine National Police, Department of Natural Resources and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. They were also assisted by the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission. The seized forest products were then turned over in a ceremony presided by Department of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary for Peace and Order Rico E. Puno. It was held this morning at

Camp Rafael C. Rodriguez, this city. The ceremonial turnover of the confiscated forest products was presided over by DILG Undersecretary Rico E. Puno, which was held this morning at Camp Rafael C. Rodriguez, this city. Puno said that even if the recent disaster brought by tropical storm Sendong was of natural occurrence, it “was aggravated and made worse by human interference to nature.” According to him, the move was part of the reform measures on environmental protection and law enforcement by the national leadership.

He also said government regulations on the utilization of our natural resources are the first line of defense against “people who raped our forests.” As part of the same measure, the authorities initiated the forfeiture proceedings of the said confiscated forest products by its anti-illegal logging teams during 159 separate operations in a span of 15-months here in the region. A total of 85 suspected illegal logging violators were apprehended in these operations, according to Caraga PNP Director CSupt. Reynaldo S. Rafal, while DENR regional officials estimated the confiscated wood products to need some 110 truckloads to haul. Puno said the wood products that have been forfeited in favor of the government, which will be made into school desks for public schools in Caraga region. It will be used also to build shelters and outposts for the PNP maneuver units in the region.

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DPWH-Siargao proposes P804.1M budget for 2013 infra projects by Myra Quizada Yu

DAPA, Surigao del Norte -- The Department of Public Works and Highways – Siargao District Engineering Office endorsed a P804.1 million budget for the 2013 DPWH Infrastructure Program for Siargao Island. The program will develop the road system of the country’s surfing and gamefishing capital. This move was done through Surigao del Norte 1st District Rep. Francisco T. Matugas with the full support of local executives. Projects included in the program are the construction of Osmeña-Pilar viaduct and concreting of unpaved road sections along Junction OsmeñaPilar Road, Junction Cancohoy-Pilar Road,

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Junction Del CarmenSta. Monica-San Isidro Road, Dapa-UnionGeneral Luna Road, and at the Siargao Circumferential Road sections in Brgy. Union, Dapa and Catangnan, General Luna. Meanwhile, District Engr. Salvador E. Montil, Jr. said the proposed projects are part of the government’s plan to completely pave national roads, which lead to various tourist destinations in the island. Of the total

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153.036 kilometers (km) national roads, 66.85 km ere already concrete paved during the past years. This past year, an additional 3.675 km were paved by end of December. Also under the 2011 DPWH Stimulus Funds/ Additional Priority Projects, another 8.014 km will be concrete paved during this year. For the 2012 infrastructure allocation, a total road length of 18.66 km is targeted to be paved.


12,874 households benefit electrification program in Mindanao by Greg Tataro, Jr. BUTUAN CITY -To date, the Sitio Electrification Program (SEP) project has already energized 545 far-flung and remotest sitios in Mindanao.

The SEP is a rural electrification program of the government aimed to energize far-flung areas throughout the country. Late last year, the NEA, in partnership with 96 electric cooperatives nationwide had already energized 1, 520 sitios, benefiting some 33, 189 households. For the Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative (ANECO) alone, 35 sitios were already energize, benefiting 2, 086 households. This year, ANECO is targeting more than 2, 156 households. The seven electric cooperatives in Northeastern Mindanao

(Caraga region) have already energized more than 102 far-flung sitios and puroks. “We are committed to energize more far-flung sitios and puroks in the coming months as part of our commitment to help the Aquino Administration’s SEP program,” ANECO general manager (GM) and president of the association of Caraga region electric cooperatives Architect Horacio T. Santos said. There are 32,403 sitios all over the country without power. The bulk of the fund amounting to P116.9 million will go to Northern Mindanao to electrify 184 sitios. Bicol

Region is allotted P84.8 million to energize 136 sitios while P74.4 million will go to the Caraga region to power up 103 sitios. Meanwhile, in an effort to have uninterrupted power supply in the future, the ANECO on Saturday inked a 25-year Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for a 10 megawatt power supply from the Sarangani Energy Corporation, starting 2015. The ceremonial signing of agreement was presented by Santos, ANECO board president Dioscoro P. Boco, Sarangani Vice President- Business department Joseph C. Nocos and Sarangani Head for Marketing Edgardo C. Calabio.

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One Mindanao - March 23, 2012