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Cagayan News January 2012

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2 Tuguegarao City universities sponsor medical mission

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan- Alumni of two schools here have bonded together and have tapped the New Jersey, USA–based Filipinos for a two-day medical and dental mission for the indigents of this city on Jan. 30-31.

The batch of Former General Jefferson Soriano, President of High School Class 1971 of the former St. Louis College of Tuguegarao (now the University of Saint Louis) were joined by High School Classes 1971 and 1976 of the former Saint Paul College of Tuguegarao (now the St. Paul University-Philippines.)

Soriano identified the organization of the Filipinos as the Mano-A-Mano International Relief Organization which provided the necessary medicine requirements direct from US.

The organization was assisted by local medical health workers from at least three universities here who will provide at least eight medical services to the people. These include pediatrics, geriatrics, ophthalmology, dental, circumcision, minor surgery, OB-Gyne and dermatology aside from health lectures.

With the theme “Napafutu Nga Serbisyu Para Ta Mapia Nga Gawagawayyan (Service from the heart for good health),” the mission is non-partisan.

The patients, majority from this city, started to arrive as early as six o’clock to avail of the said services. Soriano said aside from medical check-up, the patients will likewise be provided with medicines.

The team reported that as of 3 o’clock this afternoon, close to a thousand patients have been provided with various services.

LGU-Solana offers cash incentives to college students

SOLANA, Cagayan- In order to augment daily expenses of college students who are pursuing degree courses, the Local Government Unit has adopted a mechanism of granting cash incentives to financially support college students.

Shery-Ann Garunay, secretary to the mayor, said Mayor Meynard Carag initiated the project to help poor but deserving college students.

The LGU has allotted funds for 400 slots, wherein each recipient will receive P1,000 per semester.

The recipients are required to submit certification of grades with a maintaining average not lower than 83, and a barangay clearance.

“The program aims to help bridge the education of the students financially and to lessen burden of their parents who are, mostly, farm laborers,” Garunay said.

Garunay said the financial assistance is not very strict with its requirements as long as they are really enrolled in tertiary schools, pursuing any course and are residents of the town.

This is merely to augment to the allowance of the students because majority of them commutes everyday in going to the adjacent city of Tuguegarao where the tertiary schools are located, Garunay clarified.

She further stated that the Mayor believes that the program is also a good investment for education.

Claveria has 20 hectares cacao plantation

CLAVERIA, Cagayan- The Local Government Unit (LGU) of Claveria has 20 hectares cacao plantation as its contribution to the government’s national greening program in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) region 2.

Mayor Celia Layus said thousands of cacao seedlings were already planted last year. The plants were also integrated with some fruit trees like citrus, mahogany and other species.

Layus also stated that the plantation is linked with community associations that were tapped to manage and ensure the sustainability of the plantation, instead of hiring staff to manage the plantation since the group will be benefited by the project.

“This is in collaboration with DENR and the community associations to maximize the convergence effort of all partner agencies to help in the national greening program, to boost our economy and provide livelihood to the people,” Layus said.

She further stated that for this year, they are planning to also establish plantation of other fruit trees such as Rambutan and Lanzones that can withstand the town’s climate condition.

Claveria has mountainous, hilly as well as coastal zones with fair weather condition conducive for the said fruit- bearing trees.

She also explained that the projects are good source of income to boost the economy of the town as well as to the community. She also assured that the partner associations that are managing the projects will be benefitted.

DOST joins Climate Change Summit

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan- At least three representatives from the Department of Science and Technology attended the first regionwide summit on climate change at the Isabela Provincial Capitol, January 13.

DOST Assistant Director Sancho Mabborang was joined by Patrocino Lechuga and Anthony Abella of the Technical Operation Services Division.

The summit which was organized and sponsored by the Provincial government of Isabela led by Governor Faustino G. Dy III was attended by a multi-sectoral group in the province where several speakers shared their expertise on climate change concerns.

Director Mabborang reported that the Governor expressed surprise at the disastrous effects of what seem to be a harmless downpour.

“The summit brought valuable insights on the issue of flood control and impact mitigation measures in the face of the climate change effects,” Mabborang said.

Engineer Leo Bunag of DOST-PAGASA Tuguegarao City presented directives on the Magat Release Protocol. He also presented the climate forecast until May 2012, including climate Trends Projection in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Engineer Florentino Banigued Jr., Dam and Reservoir Manager of the National Irrigation Administration in Mariis, Ramon, Isabela provided insights on the scope of management and operations of Magat Dam water release protocol, the early beginnings of the dam, and its role in the mitigation measures against floods in Isabela.

A designed paper on the Development of Flood Forecasting and Early Warning System for Cagayan Valley was likewise shared by DENR Regional Executive Director Benjamin Tumaliuan while Bert Perters, an expert from the Cabiokid Incorporated of Cabiao, Nueva Ecija talked on flood control and mitigation through permaculture.

At least 300 participants attended the summit from the academe, NGOs, NGAs, local government units and the media and they were grouped to prepare their respective flood control and mitigation plans.

BFAR, LGUs tie-up on SWIP fish cage project

TUGUEGARAO CITY- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) region 2 has tied-up with Local Government Units (LGUs) that have Small Water Impounding Projects (SWIPs) for the establishment of fish cages as an additional mechanism to boost fish production in the region.

Regional Director Jovita P. Ayson said some 135 fish cages will be installed in different parts of the region. The 45 fish cages were already established last year in Cagayan province and additional 50 cages will be put up this year-- 25 in Isabela, 10 in Nueva Vizcaya and 5 in Quirino province.

“This is to support the food sufficiency program of the present administration and our effort to boost fishery production in the region,” Ayson said.

She further said that the program will provide not only food to the people but also livelihood opportunities, especially to the fisherfolk sector.

Before the establishment of fish cages, Ayson said, trainings and orientations on how to manage, maintain and sustain the fish cages are conducted for irrigators association that were organized to manage the SWIP.

“Our [part] is the provision of technical assistance, the fingerlings and the fish cage equipment; the LGUs are responsible for other needs during the trainings, while the irrigators associations will provide raw materials for the establishment of the cages,” Ayson said.

Ayson said the project will help a lot in combating hunger and malnutrition in the households, as well as in maximizing the use of the SWIP projects that are originally designed to provide water supply to rice fields.

DILG 2 adopts new strategy as guidepost for CY 2012

TUGUEGARAO CITY- The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 2 has come up with another innovative strategy as its guidepost as it continues to employ its battlecry ‘Great teams led by great leaders bring in great results’ for calendar year 2012.

Regional Director Rolando L. Rafael said the new operational guideline dubbed as ‘CRYSTAL ELIXIR’or Collaborative and Revitalized efforts in Yielding Services for Transparent and Accountable LGUs that are Empowered to Lead,Innovate, eXcel, Initiate and Respond has been adopted in pursuit of the department’s vision as the primary catalyst for excellence in local governance.

“With our new guidepost, we are committed to leave no stones unturned to ensure that the gains in year 2011 are sustained and at the same time implement programs, projects and activities designed to strengthen capabilities of local government units in the region,” Rafael explained.

Rafael said DILG used CHALLENGE in 2010, GREAT CHALLENGE in 2011 and this year, the CRYSTAL ELIXIR.

Through CRYSTAL ELIXIR, Rafael said they will enhance the administrative and technical capabilities of the provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays of the region to help them achieve excellence in governance through participation, accountability, responsiveness and transparency.

“We will help transform our LGUs to become empowered, competitive, business-friendly, disaster-resilient, conflict-free and safe communities,” he added.

To achieve this, the regional director said, the agency will continue to implement major programs, projects and activities as well as interventions and strategies of the department this year.

These include the Full Disclosure Policy, Seal of Good Housekeeping, Local/Barangay Government Performance Measurement System, Community-Based Management System, Anti-Red Tape Act, Pamana ng Lahi Award, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, Climate Change Adaptation, Billion Trees Program and Business Permit and Licensing System, among others.

While building the capability of the LGUs, the agency will also strengthen its ‘internal governance’ through the implementation of VANTAGE (Visible,Accessible and Nurturing Technical-men Aimed at and Geared towards Excellence).

“Our fieldmen will be more visible and accessible in their respective LGU-assignments during office work hours or even beyond as the call of service may necessitate,” RD Rafael said while adding that “they will continue to carry and practice the core values of the Department which are integrity, sense of commitment, visionary, lead by example, responsive and team spirit,” Rafael added.

Rehab center conducts candle making training for CICL

ENRILE, Cagayan- The Cagayan Valley Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (CVRRCY) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development has conducted a 15 –day training, from January 2 to 16, in the production of candles for its 20 residents, all Children In Conflict In Conflict with the Law.

Social Worker Shirley Labuguen, center director said the activity is in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and is part of the residents’ skills development and rehabilitation.

She said the produced candles will be sold to interested buyers where 50 percent of the sales will be given to the trainees.

“The center’s visitors are our initial clients, most of them students from neighboring municipalities and so far, the trainees have already produced various colors, designs and sizes of candles which have been packed by the staff of the Center for possible distribution to identified market outlets.

Romell Cabauatan, Manpower development officer of the Center said the activity is just one of the many skills training provided by DSWD to the CICL.

A photography workshop was also conducted last year while trainings on landscaping and welding are scheduled this year.

In a related development, the Center reported it harvested 200 cavans of palay from its 3.5 hectare ricefields farmed by the CICIL during the last cropping season.

To support the farming activity, Labuguen said a drying pavement is under construction near the entrance of the center.

The Center was opened in 2010 to enhance the traditional residential care facilities and techniques in the rehabilitation of vulnerable youth and children in conflict with the law.

DSWD’s Supplemental Feeding program serves 19,438 pre-schoolers

TUGUEGARAO CITY- The supplementary feeding program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has served a total of 19,438 pre-schoolers enrolled in the different day care centers in the region for the year 2011.

Regional director Arnel Garcia said the feeding program was aimed at improving malnutrition problems in the region. Food and regular meals provisions are given to currently enrolled day care children ages 3-4 years old, and 5-year old pre-school enrolled in the day care centers not catered by the Department of Education (DepEd) for 120 days.

Of the 19, 438 children, 4,945 are Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries, 1,318 from Cagayan; 2,667 from Isabela; 856 in Nueva Vizcaya and 104 from Quirino.

"In this program, the parents manage the feeding program based on a prepared meal cycle using available indigenous and locally processed food materials. The children are weighed at the start of the feeding and a monthly weighing thereafter is being done to determine improvement in their nutritional status," Garcia explained.

The supplementary feeding complements the goal of Pantawid Pamilya to improve the nutritional status among children who belong to poor families.

The DSWD region 2 has started implementing the program in the region by the third quarter of 2011. This is spearheaded by the Operations Division in coordination with the Local Government Units thru the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO), Day Care Workers and Parent Groups.

Conservation Int’l to conduct training on mango production

TUGUEGARAO CITY- The Conservation International Philippines (CIP) is set to conduct a training on mango production to more than 100 upland farmers in the five barangays of southern Peñablanca, Cagayan.

Technical staff for agroforestry development Exiquiel Malanos said the project aims to provide feasible alternative livelihood opportunities for the upland farmers to alleviate poverty and reduce dependence to the natural forest resources.

He said the project also aims to facilitate mango production for agroforestry farmers under the Philippine Sustainable Reforestation Project (PSRP) in the pilot barangays of in Bugatay, Cabasan, Sisim, San Roque and Manga.

Malanos said the training is one way to engage farmers to become producers of mangoes of good quality which could be sold locally and abroad.

He said that although mango production is quite expensive considering the cost of farm inputs, CIP will train the beneficiaries on farm management practices to reduce the cost and to gain income.

The training include marketing and post harvest technology transfer to be able to facilitate skills on marketing and to impart to the beneficiaries the possible benefits they can get from the said project, Malanos added.

CIP is a non-government organization concerned on the protection and conservation of natural resources, especially the forest resources of the Philippines.

POEA announces suspension of student internship program abroad

TUGUEGARAO CITY- The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has announced that schools are no longer allowed to send their students as on-the-job trainees abroad, particularly in Singapore.

Interviewed over Radyo ng Bayan here, Atty. Romelson Abbang, POEA 2 chief said the Student Internship Abroad Program (SIAP) has been suspended by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) effective second semester of school year 2011-2012.

Abbang said POEA has noted that some students who went to Singapore as on-the-job trainees did no longer return to the country because they already found employment abroad.

“Because of this, the number of undocumented OFWs in Singapore had increased which made it difficult for the POEA and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to trace and identify who and where these OFWs are,” Abbang added.

Abbang also warned students against unscrupulous persons who will offer them schemes that arranges students to undergo practicum abroad, particularly Singapore, without the required documentary processing from the CHED and POEA.

He said there is a need for the POEA to document all OFWs so they will know the whereabouts of the said OFWs.

Abbang also expressed optimism that all schools in Region 2 have already stopped sending OJTs abroad as they were already properly informed of the suspension of the student internship program abroad which was issued last year.

Stakeholders form tourism group

SANTA ANA, Cagayan- Hotel, restaurant and resort owners of this emerging tourist destination have grouped to meet the expected influx of visitors this summer.

Joan Taguba, president of the newly formed Santa Ana Hotel, Restaurant and Resort Association (SAHARRA) and operator of the Costa Carina Beach Front said various tourism-related activities are on the drawing board.

According to Taguba, it is part of massive and aggressive promotions geared toward the tourist arrivals this year.

At least 17 operators and locators have signed up as members of the tourism front liner, which according to Taguba, is a welcome move not only for the stakeholders but the residents as well.

This early, SAHARRA has drawn two package tours both for local and foreign tourists, which will highlight the offerings of the entire area covered by the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority(CEZA).

Among the sights to be visited by would-be package tour participants include the Palaui Island, Anguib, Gotan, Pozo Rubio, Nangapawan and the various islets.

Earlier, Taguba expressed her appreciation to the assistance extended by other tourism players including the Department of Tourism, Department of Labor and Employment, Local Government Unit of Santa Ana, Technical Education and Skills Development Agency and the Department of Health.

“We have set common standards as far as our rates are concern and we assure our visitors they will have a good time in Santa Ana,” Taguba said.

This February, she revealed that the plans of the organization will be finalized as the local and foreign tourists are expected to come as early as mid-February of every year.

LGU Cagayan complies with full disclosure policy - DILG

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan— The provincial office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government here has declared a 100 percent compliance on the Full Disclosure Policy among the 28 municipalities and one city of Cagayan.

Provincial Director Cora Toribio said the 28 municipalities and one city also passed the standards of the Seal of Housekeeping (SGH) making Cagayan province a grand slam winner last year under the Regional Incentives for Productivity Enhancement (RIPE) program of DILG region 2.

FDP and SGH are two of the DILG’s program under the leadership of Sec. Jesse Robredo aimed at promoting effective governance in local government by minimizing corruption and fund misuse and through honest and orderly management of public funds.

Under the FDP program, all officials of provinces, municipalities and cities are required to fully disclose particular financial transactions of the LGU to keep their constituents informed of how the budget is managed, disbursed and used.

The Seal of Good Housekeeping, on the other hand, is a mechanism comprising a set of criteria aimed at recognizing Local government Units (LGUs) with good performance in internal housekeeping particularly in the areas of Planning, Sound Fiscal Management, Transparency and Accountability, and Valuing Performance Management.

Among the key components of the SGH criteria are compliance to the mandates of the Anti-Red Tape Act as well as to the Full Disclosure Policy of the DILG.

NTA Cagayan highlights 2011 accomplishments

TUGUEGARAO CITY- The National Tobacco Administration - Cagayan Branch said it successfully implemented four projects last 2011 such as registration of tobacco farmers, tobacco growing scheme, seed production, and farmer’s organization and development projects.

NTA branch manager, Dr. Corazon Riazonda, said they were able to register about 4,229 tobacco farmers and a total area of 2,218.41 hectares planted to three types of tobacco, namely, cigar filler, barley, and batek.

The registration of tobacco farmers is a yearly activity in order to keep the NTA abreast with the total number of the farmers for possible assistance from the Tobacco Growers Assistance Program as well as the provision of scholarship programs to the farmers’ qualified dependents.

Under the seed production and distribution project, the NTA produced true-to-type tobacco or those that are free from pests and diseases and this is very much welcomed by buyers and foreign buyers.

The NTA is the sole tobacco agency mandated to improve the economic and living conditions and raise the quality of life of tobacco farmers.

This also includes those who depend on the industry for their livelihood and promote balanced and integrated growth and development of the tobacco industry to help make agriculture a solid base of industrialization.

BFAR launches mangrove reforestation

TUGUEGARAO CITY- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) region 2 has launched mangrove reforestation in the coastal towns of Cagayan.

Regional director Jovita Ayson said the project is an aqua silvi mangrove plantation which will reforest the breeding ground of fishes and other marine resources in the bodies of water of the province of Cagayan, the main source of sea foods in the region.

Ayson said they tapped some fisherfolk in the coastal zones to produce marine propagules and to plant and maintain the mangroves with some monetary considerations.

“We need to tap them for this project because they are also the beneficiaries later on. The mangroves are the habitat of the fishes and other marine resources, which is their livelihood; however, we also need also to ensure that they will seriously join in the project so we allocated some funds as their incentive,” Ayson said.

Each fisherfolk who can produce a mangrove propagule will be given P2 incentive. When the propagule will be planted, another P2 will be given to them, and another P2 for the maintenance of the plant, she said.

Last year, the director said they were able to plant 300,000 mangroves under the aqua silvi project and they target to plant one million this year.

“This endeavor is not only towards boosting the production of marine resources, especially fishes, but it will also serve as livelihood for the people,” Ayson said.

She explained that mangroves have other uses such as a component of wine production, medicines and as buffer against flood and storm surge.

Ayson further said that the project is timely as climate change is now the major concern worldwide wherein mangroves contribute toward the attainment of the climate change adaptation.

DOLE 2 slates special recruitment activity for local and foreign employment

TUGUEGARAO CITY- The Department of Labor and Employment region 2 is inviting all interested female applicants to the Special Recruitment activity (SRA) for female production operators to be assigned to a factory based in Laguna.

Regional Director Grace Y. Ursua said the SRA will be conducted on January 19, 2012 at the DOLE Cagayan, Ground Floor, Turingan Building, Caritan Centro, Tuguegarao City.

The SRA will be open to female applicants, at least high school graduate, 4’11” in height, with good eye sight and willing to work in shifting schedule.

Ursua also announced that a duly POEA licensed recruitment agency was given a special recruitment activity for nurses and nurse assistants in various hospitals in Singapore.

Interview will be done as follows: January 16 & 17- Municipal Hall, Lasam; January 19 & 20 Municipal Hall, Allacapan; January 23 &24- Municipal Hall, Ballesteros and January 26 & 27 Municipal Hall, Abulug, all in Cagayan province.

All qualified applicants must bring with them pertinent documents to support their application.

For more details, interested applicants may call (078) 844-5516 (for Laguna factory applicants) and (078) 844-0133 (for nurse applicants for Singapore).

DOLE 2 announces schedules of jobs fairs for the first quarter

TUGUEGARAO CITY- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in region 2 has scheduled job fairs for the first quarter of 2012 which aims to fast-track the meeting of job seekers and employers.

Reginald B. Estioco, DOLE 2 acting labor communication officer, said that in February, job fairs are slated in Santiago City to be hosted by the University of La Salette and Cagayan Valley Information and Technological College (CVITC). It will be dubbed as “Handog Kabataan” and will focus on local employment.

The Quirino State College and Quirino Polytechnic College together with the Local Government Unit of Nagtipunan, all in the province of Quirino, will also host job fairs for local and overseas employment during the last week of February.

On the later part of the first quarter, St. Paul University of the Philippines (SPUP), University of Saint Louis Tuguegarao (USLT) and University of Cagayan Valley (UCV); all in Tuguegarao City, will host job fairs for local employment intended for their graduating students.

Finally on March, the same event will be conducted in Gattaran and Sta. Ana, Cagayan and will be sponsored by the concerned Local Government Units (LGUs). In Isabela, a job fair will be conducted in Angadanan to be hosted by its Local Government. The three LGUs will focus both on local and overseas employment.

Also, Estioco disclosed that the Northeastern College of Santiago, St. Ferdinand College of Ilagan, and Our Lady of the Pillar College of Cauayan will host the same event for their graduating students focused on local employment.

Local employers with good standing and overseas recruitment agencies duly registered with the Philippine Overseas and Employment Administration will be invited to partake in the aforementioned job fairs. It is anticipated that this event would be beneficial for those unemployed, skilled workers, fresh graduates and about to graduate this year.

Interested job seekers are advised to bring resume; 2”x2” identification pictures; photocopy of Diploma, Transcript of Records, Clearances, Certificates of seminars attended, Certification of Previous Employment and Eligibilities. For overseas job applicants, bring passport if available.

Feature: Tuguegarao City’s One Barangay, One Livelihood Program

TUGUEGARAO CITY- Cora (not her real name), now 45 years old, recalled a time in 2005 when she asked, with a heavy heart, her two children to temporarily quit from attending secondary school due to financial difficulties. The children protested but Cora’s decision prevailed.

Today, the two children hope to finish their tertiary education degree.

Carlos (not his real name), felt like he had lost all hopes of starting his own meat products business after his wife suffered a miscarriage on their second child in 2007. Frantic to make both ends meet, he went from one job to the next without thinking even of rest.

Today, Carlos manages his own meat products he distributes to various outlets. He plans to start his own meat stall by mid this year.

Cora and Carlos are but two of the more than 6,000 households who are reaping the success of Tuguegarao City’s One Barangay, One Livelihood (OBOL) program, a national awardee in the League of Cities’ Best Practices.

Before the program was conceptualized and finally implemented, the city faced the challenges of economic growth. Then City Mayor and now Congressman Randy Ting admitted that the city did not have a strong poverty reduction strategy for livelihood and employment.

“To make matters worse, Tuguegarao City attracted many poor migrants in search of a better life. Many ended up as tricycle drivers adding to the problem of unmanageable population and aggravated the city’s already congested traffic situation and air pollution. Ting said.

Like any growing city, Tuguegarao had its own share of poor families with malnourished children and debilitating elderlies who cannot send their children to school for lack of food and fare with various problems that come stumbling one after the other, if not at the same time.

Often then, and sometimes up to the present, members of such families are involved in crimes and vices to sustain the families’ need for food and clothing.

The program came up with a database of poor households and provided them with basic livelihood and entrepreneurial knowledge and skills, starting working capital and equipment through soft loans and community assistances.

In only three years, the program benefitted thousands of households and increased the income of the city’s poor households from 10,000 pesos to 60,000 pesos per annum, and reduced the number of poor households from 11,416 to 5,121.

The local government unit said that while the program was designed primarily to create employment opportunities, it also developed 21 local products that have become trademark souvenirs of Tuguegarao City.

“It increased the city’s economic activities and the amount of spending money in circulation, contributing to the city’s vibrancy, and converted the city’s poor households from socio-economic dependence into productive and active participants to the building of the city’s being the premier Ybanag City,” City planning Officer Maria Fe Villania said.

She added that the working partnership with TESDA, PLRC, DA, DTI, DOT, DSWD, DAR and various schools ensure a continuing funding, research and development.

Because the city government had no reliable source of user-friendly technology and was highly dependent on regional line agencies, Tuguegarao invested 960,000 pesos and worked with the Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC) to establish the Tuguegarao City Technology and Livelihood Development Center.

One of the problems faced by the program was the culture of dole-outs from the previous livelihood programs of the national government, where the beneficiaries expected to receive benefits without repayment.

But the LGU, community training and employment coordinators and other program managers were very firm about repayment.

After the initial program’s successes in terms of sales, profits and return orders, the dole-out mentality became a thing of the past.

“They now abide by policies and adhere to agreed schedules of repayment with sense of price that they now contribute to community development and employment generation,” LGU officials said.

The program was cited as a showcase of good governance and poverty reduction, principles and practices. It was noted that on the other hand, the beneficiaries have access to information, while the local officials ensured their livelihood security.

As of this writing, poor household income is a minimum of 7,000 pesos monthly from all sources. This is a dramatic increase from 30 pesos daily income.

In reciprocation, the urban and rural poor are now very active and have become committed partners of the city government for all programs available.

“This is our way of empowering marginalized people and for them to enjoy decent lives. We’re very sincere in this program,” Ting said.

As the program continues, the numerous Coras and Carloses always look forward to a more improved standard of living as they continuously embark on more productive activities provided by their city government.

Five years ago, then Governor Edgar Lara convinced of the program’s success, gave incentives to identify target municipalities wherein the concept of the program based on Tuguegarao’s experience can be made available at the provincial level.

Disaster council campaigns “storm surge awareness”

TUGUEGARAO CITY- The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) region 2 has campaigned on storm surge awareness to keep the public abreast of the things they should do when there is a storm surge in the coastal zones.

Council chair Norma Talosig said the national disaster council has issued a new campaign concept on disaster related events, wherein the most common and frequently experienced disasters are included as part of the massive education campaign for this year, except for the awareness campaign on storm surge.

She said, in the new directive, storm surge is added to the floods, landslide, typhoons and earthquake preparedness campaign seeing its importance for people living in the seashore and those who are fond of spending vacations in the beaches.

Storm surge is an effect of high winds due to the decrease of atmospheric pressure that pushes the sea water to the shore which results into the increase of water level in the sea shore and may create flashfloods .

Talosig said the public should be vigilant at all the times and observe the seas whenever they are near the beach or follow any instructions from the members of the local disaster councils if there are storm surge warnings.

She said storm surge is now enlisted as one of the killer natural disasters in other countries, that is why it is important to prepare the public considering that the region is also bound with seas in the east and north.

The council chair also urged the families living near the seas to transfer in a higher and safer grounds as early as possible.

She further advise the public to always listen to announcements of the council through radios, televisions and other means of disseminating the warnings to avoid loss of lives.

Tagalog news: ‘Daluyong ng bagyo’ isinama na sa mga dapat paghandaan ng publiko

TUGUEGARAO CITY– Inumpisahan na ng Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC)ng rehiyon dos ang pagbibigay edukasyon sa publiko hinggil sa daluyong ng bagyo o storm surge, lalo na sa mga nakatira sa gilid ng karagatan.

Ayon kay Norma Talosig, pinuno ng konseho, sa bagong konsepto ng pagbibigay alam sa publiko hinggil sa mga kalamidad na dapat paghandaan ng bawat isa ay idinagdag na rito ang daluyong ng bagyo na kasama sa mga naunang mga ikinakampanya nila sa pagahahanda tulad ng bagyo, baha at lindol.

Ang daluyong ng bagyo ay ang hindi pangkaraniwang pag-taas ng tubig sa karagatan. Ito ay epekto ng

hangin dahil sa pagbaba ng atmospheric pressure na nagtutulak sa tubig-dagat dahilan upang ito ay maipon at tumaas kaysa sa pangkaraniwang lebel ng dagat.

Ani Talosig, kailangang maging mapagmatyag palagi ang mga nakatira sa gilid ng karagatan at ang mga laging pumapsayal sa dagat dahil maaring magdudulot ito ng malawakang pagbaha na aabot sa ilang kilometro depende pa sa hugis at dalisdis ng baybaying dagat.

Ayon dito, ang daluyong ng dagat ay isa sa mga inilista nang nakakamatay na kalamidad matapos ang mga ulat na maraming namatay dahil sa nasabing kalamidad sa ibang bansa.

Ipinayo rin ng nasabing opisyal na sa ngayon pa lamang ay kailangan nang lumikas sa mas mataas at ligtas na lugar ang mga pamilyang nakatira sa gilid ng karagatan upang maiwasan ang mas matinding peligro kung halimbawa magkakaroon ng storm surge.

Idinagdag pa nito na kailangang parating makininig sa mga radyo, telebisyon at iba pang uri ng pamamaraan para mai-anunsyo ng konseho ang kanilang mga babala na dapat sundin para makaiwas sa peligro.

Cagayan PCSO operational by 1Q of 2012

Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Dir. Mabel Mamba has confirmed that the newly established provincial office of the PCSO in Brgy. Naruangan, Tuao, Cagayan will be fully operational this first quarter.

Mamba said they are just waiting for the final result of the PCSO rationalization plan.

“Once it will be fully enforced, we could already start hiring employees for our provincial

office,” Mamba assured.

When operational, residents of Cagayan, Kalinga and Apayao who are needing services and medical assistance of the PCSO need not travel to the regional office in Cauayan City to process

their requests or claims.

Mamba said the establishment of PCSO in the province is an augmentation to the existing offices in country to ensure that the needs of the people will be catered.

“The state-run charity office is bringing its services to the people so that everyone will have access to health services of the government. This is in support to the Universal Health Care

program of the Aquino administration,” she added.

Among the programs and services of PCSO include mandatory contribution, individual medical

assistance program, endowment fund program, medicine and medical equipment donation and

outreach projects.

The PCSO also allocates a five percent share to local government units from the total sales of online lottery (lotto) outlets operating within their jurisdictions, including a documentary stamp tax from the said donation.

Medical assistance is given to individual patients through the issuance of guarantee letters to hospitals where the patients are confined.

A guarantee letter is a certification issued to hospitals for a particular charity patient under the PCSO medical assistance program where the agency assumes the obligation of settling the cost of hospitalization, including the medicines, medical, surgical or blood supplies, and diagnostic procedures.

Disaster council conducts earthquake, fire drills

TUGUEGARAO CITY- The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) region 2 has conducted earthquake and fire drills at the University of Cagayan Valley (UCV).

Dr. Roderick Ramirez, chief of the emergency response team of the fire department, said the drill which was requested by the administrators of the university, aims to educate the students on the how to respond to fire and earthquake disasters.

The team involved not only the students but also the faculty members, janitors, canteen operators and even the visitors.

“I do hope that they learned from what we have demonstrated,” Ramirez said.

He urged the school administrators to include in their subjects some topics on disaster preparedness.

2 emergency hospitals to be constructed in Cagayan

TUGUEGARAO CITY– Two community emergency hospitals are now being constructed in two municipalities of the 3rd district of Cagayan, Congressman Randolph Sera Ting said in an interview over Radyo ng Bayan Tuguegarao.

The representative of the 3rd district said the project initially costs P8 million, wherein P6 million will be given for Amulung emergency hospital project for a 10-bed capacity, while the P2 million will also be given for Iguig town as initial funding for the same project.

“This is part of our priority agenda for health because we promised to the people to address their

health concerns. This would help much those in the far flung areas as it will bring health facilities more accessible to them,” Ting stated.

The congressman further stated that aside from the hospital projects, he had also invested in some hospital equipments and medicines to augment the facilities of the government-owned and controlled hospitals, which will eventually lessen the hospitalization expenses of every sick individual.

The said projects will serve the people not only from the two towns but as also nearby towns that are far from big hospitals in this city and the district hospital in other places.

Aside from this, Ting also said he allotted some funds as endowment to the social welfare department and at the Cagayan Valley Medical Center (CVMC) to help those who cannot afford to pay their hospital bills, especially those who undergo operations and rigid medical examinations.

Ting also assured his constituents in the 3rd district that he will further help address other concerns of the people towards government thrust of national development.

DPWH 2 to start rehab of main bridges in Cagayan

TUGUEGARAO CITY- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is set to start the rehabilitation of Lucban bridge in Abulug, Pamplona bridge in Pamplona and Magapit bridge in Lallo, all in Cagayan province.

In an interview over Radyo ng Bayan, Assistant Secretary Eugenio Pipo said the repair of the said bridges has been scheduled for 2012, stressing that there is an urgent need to renovate them for the comfort and safety of motorists.

Pipo said the Lucban and Pamplona bridges will be completely demolished and torn down to give way to the construction of new bridges, considering that these bridges are already irreparable and need to be replaced.

On the other hand, Pipo said the Magapit bridge need not be demolished to save commuters from taking boats to cross the river.

“There is a proposal from the DPWH-hired consultant that a carbon fiber-reinforced material may be applied to strengthen and extend the life of the bridge and so that it can be used by all kinds of vehicles while it is undergoing repair,” Pipo explained.

He added that these projects will be fast-tracked for the benefits of the residents of Cagayan province and Cagayan valley region as well.

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