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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: r9_pia@yahoo.com mimibern17@yahoo.com Blogspot: www.piazampen.blogspot.com Facebook: PIA Region-IX

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

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

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 …...

Southern Mindanao (Davao Region)

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 CL Molde, PIA Caraga 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

Layout Artists ……………... Gerie Mae G. Coco, PIA Caraga Region Richard D. Atillo, PIA Caraga Region Editorial Advisers ……….... ATTY. JOSE A. FABIA Director-General Philippine Information Agency

Central Mindanao (SOCCSKSARGEN) 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

SEC. HERMINIO “Sonny” B. COLOMA

Presidential Communications Operations Office

OUR COVER

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

features the

Beauty of Carmen,

Agusan del Norte.


National

In This Issue...

Thursday,

Vol. 1 No. 102

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PAL re-assures flight safety with return to normal flights

21

Sultan Kudarat elderly named 2011 Ganda Lola of Region 12

Region XI

Carina L. Cayon,

DOT-XI welcomes PAL’s normalization Region XI

RG Alama,

Aida Agad,

Unregistered drugs considered counterfeit – DOH .......................................

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Cover Story Carmen: Agusan del Norte’s Underrated Beauty Brian Jay Ceballos

22 25

3rd Inter-Agency Advocacy on Maternal & Child Health & Family Planning Program set in Butuan

30 31 33 35

12

Region XII

Napolcom to complete inspection of PNP units soon

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Qatari Ambassador pays farewell call on President Aquino ................................

Dani Doguiles,

Jennifer P. Gaitano,

CFO promotes 1343 action line against Human Trafficking Hotline Program Maria Rebecca C. Ayaton

SOUTHERN MINDANAO

Region XII

Caraga Region

Caraga Region

page 18

CENTRAL MINDANAO page 19

IDP’s in Al-Barka gets cash assistance through cash-for-work

CARAGA REGION

Region IX

page 24

City to implement cadastral road project; to demolish urban poor houses Jocelyn P. Alvarez,

Region IX

Task Force to fight human trafficking in NorMin launched Apipa Bagumbaran,

WESTERN MINDANAO page 28

Region X

BIR NorMin expects to hit 2011 collection target of P6.2 billion Ruby Leonora R. Balistoy,

page 4

Region X

NORTHERN MINDANAO page 32


Cover Story

Carmen: Agusan del Norte’s Underrated Beauty by Brian Jay Ceballos

T

Photo Credits: Troy Mayne. LGU-Carmen

he municipality of Carmen is the first town of Agusan del Norte strategically located in the Western Agusan Corridor which is bounded on the north by Butuan Bay and on the South by the municipality of Buenavista. 4

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Carmen’s Dive Sites:

Access to this town is certainly made easy with points of entry such as the Nasipit Sea Port and the Butuan Bancasi Airport which are few minutes drive from the municipality. The Philippines, with one of the most productive marine ecosystem is considered the leading dive destinations in the world. With over 7,000 islands, you will never run out of choices to choose from. The shoreline of Carmen’s Barangays such as Vinapor, Gosoon, San Agustin, Cahayagan and Tagcatong are equally matted with different kinds of corals which are ideal for diving so you will have a variety of dive sites to choose from.

This municipality breaks the notion that to go diving you will need a plane or boat ride especially when you are in Northern Mindanao. With a total land area of 21,142 hectares, it features six very accessible dive sites which have an excellent 80 feet of visibility with generally sandy floors. Tourists and Divers will surely enjoy and be amazed as they explore the marvelous underwater scenery rich with corals and various marine life creatures like sea turtles and a variety of fishes. Poblacion dive sites, Punta Diwata Reefs and Balite Wall are some of the dive sites to choose from. Thursday, November 24, 2011

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tuary in Cahayagan; and in Tagcatong Fish Sanctuary in Tagcatong, Carmen.

Another dive site is located in Vinapor Beach which is hailed as one of the best dive site in Agusan del Norte. It maybe underrated but it has every right to be made a certified tourist destination for divers - along with the circle of dive sites in the Philippines. A mecca for sea activities, you will also enjoy snorkeling and water skiing, not to mention very good beaches bask under the sun with world-class sceneries sprawling the town with its blue waters. Snorkeling/Skin Diving activities can be done at Gosoon Fish Sanctuary in Gosoon; Cahayagan Fish Sanc6

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Other Interests: Aside from the dive, Punta Diwata Cave, located in Brgy. Vinapor is another popular destination in Carmen which consists of a number of caves and has a spectacular view of the sea where you can see the panoramic view of the nearby Camiguin Island. Tourists can also take a family hike to Mt. Carmel View Park known as the “Marcos Park� and see the view of the town upon reaching the top. And as the twilight nears, you can see the magnificent sun-


town is famous for. Its rolling hills are planted with different kinds of orchard, where some 500 hectares are devoted solely to mango plantations. About half of these are fully developed and are already producing sweet mango fruits which are being sold in volume in Cebu and Manila and to neighborset from Looc and be capti- ing places like Butuan City. vated by its view. For these reasons, tour- Where to stay: ists and guests alike are cap- With regards to accomtivated by the municipality’s modation, people need not beauty, which is keeping them worry because there are a from coming back. handful of resorts to accom Like its wonders of na- modate guests. These places ture, the town folks are also are mostly beach front with very warm and hospitable, picturesque view of the blue as sweet as the mangoes the waters. The Plaza Beach Resort is covered with white sands in its coast located at Sitio Bulihon, Barangay Tagcatong. The Balite Beach Resort located in BaThursday, November 24, 2011

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rangay Vinapor invites people from all walks of life to have a swim in a blue crystal clear water that can mesmerize anyone. Vinapor Blue Waters -

known as Jurassic Park. Veranda I and II Resorts

- A beach resort, hotel and convention venue with a pool which is located at Barangay Tagcatong and Barangay Rojales. Located near the Cliffs of Ba So what are you waiting

rangay Vinapor, with carved for? Come to Carmen, Agustones formed into dinosaurs san del Norte and experience that’s why it is commonly her underrated beauty!

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Coloma assures families of victims of Ampatuan Massacre of justice

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Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” B. Coloma Jr. led in unveiling the National Press Club’s commemorative marker dedicated to the 34 victims of the Ampatuan Massacre in Mindanao two years ago. Coloma assured the Aquino government’s efforts to serve justice to the victims’ families and the strengthening of the criminal justice system to end the culture of impunity in the country. (NIB photo / Bert Canilang)

residential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” B. Coloma Jr. assured the families of the victims in the Ampatuan Massacre that the Aquino government has been exerting unyielding efforts to serve justice and to realize reforms in the criminal justice system as part of President Benigno S. Aquino III’s social contract with the Filipino people. Thursday, November 24, 2011

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In his message during the commemoration of the second year anniversary of the Ampatuan Massacre at the National Press Club in Manila on Wednesday, Coloma expressed sincere sympathy to the victims as he cited the government’s determination in improving the justice system in the country. “Sa ngalan po ng ating mahal na Pangulo, Benigno Noynoy

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Aquino III, pinararating ko po ang ating patuloy na pakikiisa sa mga pamilya at naulila ng ating mga bayaning mamamahayag at peryodista na nagbuwis ng buhay dalawang taon na ang nakararaan sa lalawigan ng Maguindanao. Isa po sa mga haligi ng social contract ng ating Pangulo with the Filipino people ay iyon pong paglutas sa krimen, iyong pagpapalakas sa ating criminal justice system,” Coloma said. “Tayo po ay determinado na usigin ang mga akusado at dalhin

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sila sa proseso ng katarungan, habang nililitis po ang kasong ito patuloy po ang pagpupursigi ng ating pamahalaan na ipatupad ang mga reporma sa ating criminal justice system. Talaga pong malakas ang determinasyon ng ating Pangulo na pabilisin iyong pag-ikot ng mga gulong ng hustisya sapagkat napakahalaga po ito sa pagtupad ng ating social contract with the Filipino people,” he added. Coloma said that part of these reforms is the synchronization of elections in the Auton-


omous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with the national and local elections to end the culture of impunity and political dynasty in the region. “Kasama na rin po within the context of the Maguindanao massacre iyon pong pagtatama ng pamamahala doon sa bahaging iyon ng ating bansa, kaya nga po nagkaroon ng inisyatiba ang ating Pangulo doon sa synchronization of ARMM elections with the national and local elections para po di na maulit yung kaganapan

na merong isang pamilya o grupo ng iilan na kayang kontrolin ang resulta ng halalan at dahil doon ay maghasik sila ng lagim at pamamahala na walang paggalang sa batas ng tao at batas ng Diyos,” Coloma noted. “Hindi po tayo natitinag sa ating pagnanais na makamtan ang katarungan… hindi po tayo nawawalan ng loob… kaya po tayo nagtitipon ngayon upang wakasan ang culture of impunity. Sa ngalan ng ating Pangulo nakikiisa po tayo sa obserbasyong ito ng Maguindanao massacre,” he said. A holy mass celebrated by Father Asis Bajao, OSA was held for the victims followed by the unveiling of the commemorative marker dedicated to the fallen journalists and a candle-lighting ceremony. Yellow balloons were also released symbolizing the search for justice. The Maguindanao massacre, also known

as the Ampatuan massacre after the town where the mass graves were found, occurred on the morning of November 23, 2009. Mass graves were found in the town of Ampatuan in Maguindanao province. The victims were on their way to file a certificate of candidacy for Esmael Mangudadatu, vice mayor of Buluan town. The group, including Mangudadatu’s wife, his two sisters, journalists, lawyers, aides, and motorists who were witnesses or were mistakenly identified as part of the convoy, were kidnapped and brutally killed. (JCL)

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Qatari Ambassador pays farewell call on President Aquino

Q

atari Ambassador Abdulla Ahmed Yousif Ahmed Al-Mutawaa paid his farewell call on President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday by thanking the government for its support during his stint in the Philippines.

During the launch of the Qatar Embassy website Ambassador Al-Mutawaa described his first impression of the Philippines saying: “the warmth of the Filipino

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people was the first thing that captured my senses.” “I have visited several fascinating places that have truly enticed my passion for nature, but furthermore, I was astonished by this country’s cultural diversity,” he said in his

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message referring to his first visit to the country in 2005. Among the achievements of Ambassador Al-Mutawaa in the Philippines include the signing of Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation (Doha 2008), signing of


President Benigno Simeon Aquino III converses with outgoing State of Qatar Ambassador to the Philippines His Excellency Abdulla Ahmed Yousif Al-mutawaa during a farewell call at the Music Room of the Malaca単an Palace on Wednesday (November 23). In photo are DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario and DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo. (Photo by: Benhur Arcayan / Malaca単ang Photo Bureau).

Agreement on Additional Protocol to the 1997 Philippines-Qatar Agreement on the Regulation of Filipino Manpower Employment (Doha 2008). Al-Mutawaa assisted the PhilippinesQatar bilateral agreements on trade and investments, agriculture and fisheries, education, cultural cooperation and health. He also spearheaded the cooperation between the Philippines and Qatar to combat transnational organized

crime; and the waiving of visa requirements for diplomatic and special passports. The outgoing ambassador also initiated Qatar-Philippines Business Council in 2008. Al-Mutawaa, who is also the vice dean of the diplomatic corps, was designated Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Qatar to the Republic of the Philippines in January 2006. Prior to his posting in the Philippines, he represented the Qa-

tar government in Libya, Japan, Syria, Palestine and Cuba. The diplomatic relations between Qatar and the Philippines was established in 1981. The Arab country hosts more than 246,000 overseas Filipino workers. (AS)

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Unregistered drugs considered counterfeit – DOH by Phres A. Evardone

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ealth Secretary Enrique Ona during today’s edition of Communications and Exchange (CNEX) forum said that under Philippine law, drugs that are not registered in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are considered counterfeit.

“Many of the drugs being brought to the country by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) particularly in the rich countries in the

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Middle East, where drugs or medicines are given for free and are considered legal for distribution in their respective country, when

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brought here in the Philippines are already considered counterfeit.” Ona added. Ona stressed that it is very impor-


tant for the public to know the danger of using drugs which are not registered and are manufactured surreptitiously to our health especially for those who are suffering critical illness like heart disease and diabetes. Ona emphasized the importance of knowing the difference between drugs considered counterfeit because it is not registered in

FDA and those that were not registered because the manufacturers are not licensed by the FDA. Moreover, the Health Secretary said that the department is conscious of the fact that there are a lot of reported counterfeit medicines that are in circulation in the country and also admitted that the agency is still yet

to further strengthen its monitoring of these counterfeit drugs. Another major difficulty that was observed by the health department is the fact that since we have now a global source of drugs it has become difficult for FDA to pursue, control and follow up the counterfeit drugs or medicines in the country.

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Bayanihan Dancers set for Davao performance

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he world-renowned Bayanihan Dance Troupe or the Philippine National Folk Dance Company will be performing at the brand-new RSM Events Center in Philippine Womens College of Davao this December 13. Bayanihan which recently won the grand prize at the Cheonan World Dance Festival in South Korea just last October of this year will be performing in two shows this December 13, they will be joined by the Cho Nam Gyu Song Jong-Eun Dance Company

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of Korea in their shows. The Korean dance company won the gold medal in the International Dance Festival held in Brazil last year. According to Brenda Barba, chair of the PWC Fine Arts program the two dance companies’ performance is touted to be the must-see dance event in Davao City this year. The last time the Bayanihan performed in Davao was in 2006. Barba also said that it will be the first performance that would be held in the Rosa Santos Munda Events Center, a 2,000 seater convention facility located in the PWC campus in Matina. The RSM Events Center is said to be at par if not better with other modern facilities of its kind in the country. According to Dr. Macario Tiu Director for Research and Community Extension of PWC Davao, the Bayanihan performance will feature well-researched folkloric dances in the country, in their repertoire he cited the newly discovered Spanish-era dances


in Intramuros and the dances of the Japanese community in Manila during the 1600s. “Their performances will give us a tour about the history of the Philippines.” Tiu said, he describes the folkloric dances of the Bayanihan as not

just for entertainment but also an educational experience as well. The two shows on December 13 will be the Matinee show which starts at 4 p.m. and the gala at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are sold at the PWC campus (PIA/RG Alama)

PAL re-assures flight safety with return to normal flights by Carina Cayon DAVAO CITY– The Philippine Airlines reassured the riding public of flight safety as it resumed normal operations today after a month that the airline embarked on its outsourcing program. PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna told the media here in a press briefing that safety remains to be the cornerstone of PAL operations, debunking “misinformation from disgruntled people.” Villaluna said that one of the airline’s safety policy is the regular safety assessment checks on all PAL aircrafts that its service-provider Lufthansa Technik Philippines has been conducting since 2000. She assured that all PAL’s 500 pilots and 1,600 cabin crew or flight attendants nationwide are highly-trained safety professionals who undergo regular training programs. Villaluna also took pride that PAL has always been complying with internationally-accepted safety standards

such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). She said that PAL is the only IOSAcertified Philippine carrier. The spokesperson also said that part of PAL’s future plans is the intention to help the government remove the country from European Union blacklist. PAL has earlier explained that the banning of the European Commission on all Philippine carriers including PAL from operating in its EU member-states was “a direct consequence of the downgrade of the Philippine government’s aviation safety rating.” But despite this, Villaluna stated that PAL wanted to always assure its passengers of their safety and comfort with the airline. She further said that the airline would also want to help the government reinstate the country’s aviation system to category 1 status as part of PAL’s goal in its brand recovery. Another plan is to rejuvenate the Thursday, November 24, 2011

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brand through intensified marketing & promotional efforts; to expand or modernize PAL’s fleet; and to regain the trust and confidence of the flying public. The brand recovery goal was an offshoot of PAL’s spin-off or outsourcing program that aimed at reducing the airline’s fixed costs and overhead expenses. The outsourcing that started on October 1 this year, also wanted to trim labor costs of nearly 20% of month-

ly operating expenses, and to ensure PAL’s long-term viability. The outsourcing program involved the closure of three non-core units such as the airport services, catering and call center reservations that affected 2,359 workers in Manila and Cebu only. PAL has tapped third-party service providers to provide for the said services for the airline. (PIA-11/ Carina L. Cayon)

DOT-XI welcomes PAL’s normalization

DAVAO CITY- The Department of Tourism (DOT) in Region XI has welcomed the normalization of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) operations particularly in the resumption of flights in Davao City.

The airline strike in September 28 affected 30% of PAL’s domestic flights. From four to five flights daily, Davao flights were reduced to only two. “It affected Davao as it reduced the number of airline seats.” says DOT regional director Art Boncato. The impact was felt to passengers

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who were booked with the airline he added. However the regional tourism honcho said that the impact was not so great as to affect tourism arrivals in the region. “Those who really wanted to travel to Davao found other means.” Boncato said. He was referring to other domestic airlines servicing Davao International Airport which connects to other parts of the country. Boncato said they are happy that PAL is back to normal again, which could complement their drive to attract more visitors particularly during Christmas season where family members and other balikbayans would fly in from abroad or from other parts of the country. He also bared that the region registered a 10% increase of tourist arrivals compared to last year. Most of these tourists and visitors are from the domestic market. (PIA/RG Alama)


DILG: Justice for Maguindanao massacre victims a government commitment

by Perlitra Changco

Photos by Cocoy Sexcion/Sarangani PIO

COTABATO CITY - Justice for the victims of the infamous Maguindanao Massacre remains a commitment of the national government, Secretary Jesse Robredo of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) assured victims’ relatives, friends and media colleagues.

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Secretary Robredo and Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangundadatu led hundreds who visited the gravesite at barangay Salman, Ampatuan, Maguindanao and offered prayers and flowers in observance of the 2nd year anniversary of the massacre. After two years, the view of the Ampatuan massacre area has relatively improved with the construction of a memorial shrine, multipurpose building, on-

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going 1-km road concreting and fenced-off gravesites. Commemoration activities included an interfaith prayer, floral offering and the release of white pigeons and hundreds of white balloons symbolizing peace and unity. In his message, Robredo noted the positive attitude of the victims’ kins craving for justice two years after the incident. “I am here to convey to everyone the com-

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mitment of the national government in giving priority to achieving justice for all the victims,” Robredo said. He urged the public to remain united and strong amid challenges confronting government’s initiative of Instituting reforms. “Let us join hands in facing all the challenges, first in achieving justice and second in ensuring that an incident like this will never happen again,” Robredo said.


Sultan Kudarat elderly named 2011 Ganda Lola of Region 12 by Aida Agad KORONADAL CITY - Even in her grey days, 63 year old Sarah Salvacion still beams with beauty as she display her wares and talents at the ramp of the South Cotabato Gymnasium and Cultural Center on Tuesday. Her gracefulness in dancing and wit in answering questions on her experiences no doubt has lifted her up from among her contemporaries in different parts of the region. She emerged as the 2011 Ganda Lola of Region XII’s Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines (FSCAP), now known as the “Samahan ng mga Nakatatanda sa Rehiyon Dose.” Salvacion said, she started joining beauty tilts even in her younger days but because of her height she always almost made them. She is thankful she made it now. With her title and feat, Sultan Kudarat governor Suharto “Teng” Mangudadatu has all the praises for Thursday, November 24, 2011

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what Mrs. Salvacion and the whole delegation achieved at the regional congregation of elderly persons held at Koronadal City on November 22, 2011. Mangudadatu said he is happy that his

administration’s support to the elderly sector has gone a long way in their effort to make their life still meaningful and for the younger generations to imitate. Region 12’s FSCAP

President Mr. Isabelo Isla hails from Sultan Kudarat province. For two (2) consecutive years, the elderly group’s yearly gathering is held at the home turf of governor Mangudadatu.

Napolcom to complete inspection of PNP units soon by Dani Doguiles KORONADAL CITY-- A technical team of the regional office of the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM 12) expects to complete inspection of Philippine National Police (PNP) units in Soccsksargen Region in the coming week.

Brian Bingil, information officer of NAPOLCOM 12, said the technical personnel directed to conduct the inspections could wind-up the survey next week with the remaining four municipalities of South Cotabato that should undergo the process. South Cotabato is also the last province in Region 12 to undergo the visit this year. Inspection of police units in South Cotabato as per directive from NAPOLCOM 12 Regional Director Atty. 22

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Edilberto Fermil began in November 16 and 17 at the police provincial office and Koronadal City Police Office on Nov 18. The inspection is aimed at determining “the degree of compliance of PNP to the different policies and standards set by NAPOLCOM to ensure continuing professionalism of the PNP personnel,” Bingil said. During the visits, inspection team was concerned with “accounting of all uniformed per-

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sonnel, inventory of all service firearms issued to PNP members, and observation on their bearing and decorum as provided by ‘Oplan Tamang Bihis’.” They also disseminated important information to police ranks such as qualification requirements for promotion, welfare and benefits, a discipline and other policies. Police procedures and manners in conducting different police operations were also emphasized dur-


ing these visits. In several occasions Atty. Fermil reminded police personnel that “a police officer is bound to respect rights of civilians during operation like Oplan Kapkap Bakal and other searches. He or she must be courteous and prudent especially when carrying a service firearm while accosting civilians.” This week, the inspection team composed of law enforcement evaluation officer (LEEO 3) Cristina Arevalo as team leader, LEEO 2 Gemma Panes, LEEO 2 Paul Sarino, and LEEO 2 Jerry Galanto

went to the municipalities of Norala, Sto. Niño, Surallah, Banga, Lake Sebu, and T’boli. Anytime next week they will visit the remaining municipalities of Polomolok, Tupi, Tantangan, and Tampakan. Inspection activities started in the first quarter for the Regional Police Office 12 based in General Santos City and General Santos City Police Office. Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City were inspected in second quarter and North Cotabato in the third. Inspection of police units in Saran-

gani was completed in October. After the team has completed the inspection, they are expected to submit a consolidated report, which will be made basis of recommendations that the NAPOLCOM regional chief will submit to the chiefs of police, police provincial director or the police regional director, wherever these are actionable. Using the inspection report, RD Fermil may also submit inputs to NAPOLCOM commissioners for formulation of new policies and standards.

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Peace advocates converge in Surigao City to open Mindanao Week of Peace celebration in Caraga by Fryan E. Abkilan

P

eace advocates in the region converged in Surigao City today for the opening celebration of this year’s Mindanao Week of Peace.

www.piacaraga.blogspot.com

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

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


The theme of this years’ celebration is “Common Word Between Us and You: Love of God and Love of Neighbor” with the Caraga Conference for Peace and Development (CCPD) spearheading the event. The said observance is in line with the Presidential Proclamation No. 127 dated Nov. 26, 2001 which assigns the last Thursday of November up to the first Wednesday of December every year as the Mindanao Week of Peace aimed to provide a venue for expression of peace aspirations in various forms and for

convergence of peace. This year’s celebration will commence with a ‘Walk for Peace’ early in the morning in Surigao City which will start in three different venues namely, near the junction of Iglesia ni Cristo, Barangay Hall of San Juan and TT and Company near Borromeo Street and will end at the city luneta. A press conference will then follow after the short program. Other activities during the weeklong celebration include an Hour of Silence for Peace on Nov. 24; GADCC Walk for Peace in Butuan City spearheaded by the

Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Caraga Regional Office on Nov. 25; Trees for Peace, a tree planting activity at Mt. Mayapay in Buenavista area and in Government Center in Brgy. Tiniwisan, Butuan City in support of the National Greening Program of the present administration on Nov. 25; Panaw sa Kalinaw (Walk for Peace) still on Nov. 25. On Saturday, Nov. 26, a Bike for Peace will be conducted in Butuan City sponsored by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine National Police and CCPD.

3rd Inter-Agency Advocacy on Maternal & Child Health & Family Planning Program set in Butuan by Jennifer P. Gaitano BUTUAN CITY – The Center for Health Development (CHD) Caraga is set to conduct its 3rd Inter-Agency Advocacy on Maternal and Child Health and Family Planning (MCHFP) Program on December 6, 2011 at the Luciana Convention Center, this city. Thursday, November 24, 2011

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According to Department of Health (DOH) Caraga Regional Director Leonita Gorgolon, this advocacy will focus on the orientation of partners in the Aquino Health Agenda – Kalusugan Pangkalahatan (Universal Health Care) and its strategic thrusts. Another equally important discussions

would be on the reporting mechanism/s and critiquing of forms that will be used in the identification of Maternal and Child Health and Family Planning needs of the agencies’ personnel (if any). “The Aquino Health Agenda – Kalusugan Pangkalahatan is aimed at identifying areas where govern-

ment agencies together with our development partners can provide technical assistance in MCH-FP program and further strengthen our partnership,” stressed Gorgolon. Gorgolon appealed to all stakeholders to participate and take part on this program.

CFO promotes 1343 action line against Human Trafficking Hotline Program by Maria Rebecca C. Ayaton

BUTUAN CITY – In line with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO)’s Community Education Program on Migration, CFO also tackled the issue on human trafficking during their visit in the city recently. 26

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Ariel Cruz of the CFO’s Migrant Integration and Education Division said “some foreigners do human trafficking in a guise of marriage.” “We do not prevent the Filipino women to marry a foreigner. It is their right to marry. Nevertheless, we warn them to know very well their future husband”, Cruz said. However, the CFO has a program called 1343 Actionline Against Human Trafficking. This program aims to provide assistance to the victims

of human trafficking. People may report to CFO through the hotline numbers (02) 1343, if calling from the Philippines and (632) 1343, if calling from abroad. Moreover, the CFO has tapped other government agencies and NGOs as its partners in monitoring and solving human trafficking cases that were reported to their office. Paul Vincent U. Avencilla said the CFO has solved 54 cases of human trafficking since March 15, 2011.

“1343 hotline is a 24/7 hour action hotline”, said Avencilla. He added that aside from the CFO’s hotline program, they have also conducted a symposium in Butuan, during their visit recently to give the Butuan City Police information on how to deal with human trafficking cases and educating the public about the Republic Act No. 9208 otherwise known as “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.”

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ARMM requires recruitment agencies’ accreditation ncumbent officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has urged all recruitment agencies serving ARMM areas to apply for an accreditation from regional authorities to legalize their operation in the region. The Bureau of Public Information said ARMM’s Labor Secretary Myra M. Alih told concerned recruitment agencies that while they may have been accredited by the DOLE national office, they still need to get regional accreditation for their smooth activities in the autonomous region. Alih said there are 60 recruitment agencies operating in the area of auton28

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omy, but not one of them has applied yet for accreditation from the DOLE-ARMM. “We have been tolerating their operations in the region without accreditation from us for twentytwo long years before we have decided to give directives to them,” Alih stressed. Alih reported that last November 17, eighteen recruitment agencies conducted a jobs fair in Cotabato, receiving doz-

Thursday, November 24, 2011

ens of instant applications in their slots for registered nurses, midwives, civil engineers, welders and household workers alongside aerobics instructors and machine operators. The jobs fair formed part of the highlights of the recent celebration of the 22nd ARMM foundation anniversary that started Nov. 14 and ended on Nov. 19. The event of


fered limited slots for nurses, midwives and welders, while the slots for household works were unlimited. At the a forum, ARMM Executive Secretary Naguib Sinarimbo also urged recruitment firms to work together with the ARMM government in order to protect the interest of the recruits. Sinarimbo said the current admin-

istration of Acting ARMM Governor Ansaruddin Alonto-Adiong has initially been established commercial and employment link with Malaysian authorities, who had assured to give preference to ARMM residents in the imminent hiring of 40,000 highly-paid plantation workers. The potentials of ARMM’s jobseekers in the oil palm plantations exclude stand-

ing offer by the Malaysian government to accommodate unlimited number of household workers. Sinarimbo said that such offers are a great opportunity for the ARMM constituents, citing it as a reason for the required close coordination between local recruiters and DOLE authorities in the autonomous region. (JPA/BPI-ARMM/ RVC-PIA9 ZBST)

ARMM executive secretary Naguib Sinarimbo (left) together with ARMM’s labor and employment secretary Myra Alih (center) and assistant cabinet secretary Saripada Pacasum (right) urging recruitment agencies operating in the region to register and apply for an accreditation from the DOLE-ARMM during the ARMM Recruitment Agencies Forum on Overseas Employment held at the ORG Conference Hall on Tuesday, November 15. Thursday, November 24, 2011

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IDP’s in Al-Barka gets cash assistance through cash-for-work

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he Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office IX will start to pay within the week some 1,891 internally displaced persons from Al-Barka, Basilan who have undertaken cash-for-work activities. Each beneficiary will receive P222.00 per day based on prevailing wage rate in the area for five days of work and training. It can be recalled that during her visit to Al-Barka on October 28, 2011, DSWD Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman turned over a check worth two million pesos to the local government for the implementation of cashfor-work program for families affected by law enforcement operations in the area. The activities undertaken by the beneficiaries were environmental and coastal management, organic farming, family disaster preparedness, coastal clean-up, 30

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food production, and mangrove and tree planting. “We implemented the CFW so that we can help the affected families cope up after losing their sources of livelihood as a result of the law enforcement operations in Al-Barka,” Secretary Soliman said. The cash-forwork is a temporary intervention that provides cash assistance to beneficiaries in exchange for undertaking community projects. Meanwhile, in Zamboanga Sibugay, DSWD-Region IX reported that all

Thursday, November 24, 2011

evacuation centers are already closed. The evacuees have either returned to their respective homes or opted to stay in relatives’ houses and friends but they continue to be provided with relief assistance. In her visit to the province on the same date, Sec. Soliman also turned over to the local government units of Payao and Alicia – (2 million each), Talusan, Mabuhay and Olutanga at one million each for the cashfor-work of affected families. (JPA/ DSWD/PIA9/ CAL/ZamboSur)


City to implement cadastral road project; to demolish urban poor houses by Jocelyn P. Alvarez

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he city government is set to implement its cadastral road project starting at the Tumaga bridge down the stretch of Cabato Road, affecting several urban poor houses situated near the Tumaga river bank.

Demolition order signed November 9 by City Engineer Luis Despalo ordered affected families to vacate the area as demolition of houses will be done on December 9, reason for the Pascua Gangoso , President, Aurora Village River Bank Urban Poor Association to appeal for extension as December is supposed to be a time for merry making due to Christmas

celebration. The “pleas” of affected families were expressed when they peacefully trooped down the Office of Barangay Affairs Officer Mario Roca for assistance on what can be done on their request. “Blue Christmas gayot kame ara Desyembre,” (it’s blue Christmas for us this December) Gangoso said. Families affected in this demolition will not be left wandering as they will be resettled in government resettlement site Meanwhile, Roca

said the city government has ordered the demolition of several houses in many other barangays specifically those living near the river banks as it is not safe to settle near the river banks noting that several houses and even lives were lost in the past during continuous, heavy downpour when water level rise and washed away shanties. (JPA/ PIA-ZBST)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

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News media, PHO join hands in fight against STI, HIV and AIDS

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by Ruby Leonora R. Balistoy

n an effort to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infection (STI), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), more than twenty (20) news media participated the oneday orientation course recently, facilitated by the Provincial Health Office (PHO), here. Dr. Ronaldo Raymund Reyes, Director, STI, HIV and AIDS Link (SHAS.Link) in Malaybalay City, emphasized the journalists significant role to play in the HIV and AIDS epidemic, by informing the public on how can this dreaded disease be prevented. “As Journalists we have an opportunity and a responsibility to provide the public with clear, accurate and respectful reporting,” Reyes said. Recent reports showed that there are four (3) HIV infected persons in Bukidnon—two (2) in Malaybalay and 32

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

one (1) in Valencia City. Reyes stressed that AIDS is the most dangerous sexually transmitted disease that primarily affects people during their ‘sexually active years’. “AIDS has no cure and no vaccine developed yet,” he added. He, likewise, explained that the ABCDE of prevention are Abstinence, Be mutually faithful/monogamous,


Correct and consistent use of condom and safer sex practices, Do not inject drugs, and Education. Reyes acknowledged that though the Department of Health (DOH) had the overall responsibility in ensuring that the policies were implemented, he announced that Pinoy Plus, Babae Plus, Cavite Support Group, Cebu Plus, PAFPI, Crossbreed, United Western Inc., Davao Advocates, Malaybalay SHASLink and Alliance Against AIDS in Mindanao (ALAGAD Mindanao) are groups that are actively helping the government in fighting HIV/AIDS. Health experts describe AIDS as a condition caused by a virus called HIV. The virus attacks the immune system, which is the body’s security force that fights off infections. When the immune system breaks down, you lose the protection and can develop many serious and deadly infections. The World Health Organization (WHO) experts further described HIV as a slow virus that does not produce

symptoms until sometime after infection. The disease spreads through blood transfusion, semen, vaginal fluid, and breast milk. The four major routes of transmission are unsafe sex, contaminated needles, breast milk, and transmission from an infected mother to her baby at birth. Data from WHO, meanwhile, showed more than 38 million people are living with HIV/AIDS around the world, and UNAIDS estimates that without more preventive measures, 45 million new cases could occur next year. “As the number of HIV/AIDS in the Philippines accelerates to an alarming 6 to 7 reported cases per day, we must all get involved to be able to convincingly impart the knowledge and to send a strong message that HIV/AIDS steals, kills, and destroys,” Reyes said.

Task Force to fight human trafficking in NorMin launched by Apipa Bagumbaran

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental - A task force aimed at combating human trafficking in Northern Mindanao has been officially launched, here, Monday morning. The Regional Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (RIACAT) which is composed of government agencies and non-government organizations concerned in the protection of women and children

saw the need to campaign against and stop human trafficking because of the increasing incidence of human trafficking here, said Atty. Eldred D. Cole, Assistant Regional Prosecutor and Presiding Officer of Thursday, November 24, 2011

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the RIACAT. She said the source of trafficked persons in most of the areas of the country and even in other countries comes from the region with Cagayan de Oro City becoming a transhipment point. Thus, the task force will go out to the communities to communicate and campaign vigorously on what the law is, how ugly human trafficking is, and how to prevent victimization, she further said. Further, she said the objectives of the task force include prevention, protection, prosecution, and reintegration. The prevention component, she said, is where the advocacy comes in and where they will need the assistance of the media. We need the help of the media in disseminating how bad the effects of trafficking to the persons involved, the family and 34

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

the community as a whole, she explained. She said if they have trainings for the law enforcement, they will also have training for the members of the media especially in handling trafficking in persons and reporting cases. Such training, she added, is crucial because the law provides some guidelines to follow in reporting due to the delicateness of the cases such as the confidentiality nature of reporting trafficking victims. Meanwhile, the task force urges the public to report cases to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office for assistance or to the hotline number 72-73-44 or to 0928-386-5232. Other partner government agencies in the region include the Department of Justice, Philippine National Police, Philippine Overseas Employment Office, Maritime Industry Authority, Bureau of Immigration, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Port Authority, Department of Education, Department of Labor and Employment, and the Philippine Information Agency.


BIR NorMin expects to hit 2011 collection target of P6.2 billion MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon – The Bureau of Internal Revenue, Revenue Region 16 (BIR-RR16) in Northern Mindanao (NorMin) expects to hit its annual collection target because of the traditional holiday spending this Christmas.

Atty. Alberto Olasiman, Regional Director, BIR NorMin, said the agency is on track to meeting its 2011 collection goal with the increasing economic activities this holiday season. “We are hopeful we can make it since we already collected a total of P5.1 billion for the early part of November this year. This figure is 82 percent achievement of the 6.2 annual target, hence, it’s still possible we can meet

the goal,” Atty. Olasiman said in a media interview, during his recent supervisory visit in Malaybalay revenue district office. The agency still needs to collect P1.1 billion to meet the 6.2 billion goal for 2011. From January to October this year, BIR RR 16 collected P4.9 billion, higher by 12.24 percent over its collection of P4.3 billion in the same period, last year. Olasiman, meanwhile, said that aside from the ‘Oplan Kandado’ and ‘Run After Tax Evaders (RATE)’ projects, the BIR is now going after government agencies that do not pay their taxes. Thus, as government’s main revenue earner, he appealed to the taxpayers to keep up the level of tax compliance in order to assist the BIR in achieving its annual tax collection goal which has been anchored on the theme ‘Buwis Mo Para sa Bagong Pilipinas’.( Ruby Leonora R. Balistoy) Thursday, November 24, 2011

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One Mindanao - November 24, 2011  

An Electronic News Magazine of PIA Mindanao

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