Monday, December 10, 2012

Majority of Dabawenyos prepared for disaster-survey

DAVAO CITY Dec. 10 (PIA)- More than half of Davao City residents believe they can brace themselves against typhoons. This was the result of a survey conducted by the University of Mindanao’s Institute of Public Opinion which ran from  November 20-28.

Dr. Linda Arquiza, director of the IPO  said that the survey involved around 1,400 respondents from the city’s 162 barangays using a 3% margin of error. In the survey about 52 out of 100 Dabawenyos believe that they are ready for a storm, 19/100 would be frantic amidst the horrendous effect while 30/100 needed a little help as they consider themselves as somewhat ready.

Ironically, typhoon Pablo would hit Davao City along with nearby provinces a week after the completion of the survey.

However the residents reveal that the occurrence of earthquake is one disaster they feel they are least ready for. Only 44 out of 100 respondents believe they are prepared in case a strong quake would rock the city while 24/100 said they are not ready and 32/100 consider themselves as somewhat prepared.

According to Arquiza, it appeared from the survey that Davao City is readying itself for a typhoon and its accompanying strong winds and consequential floods and this could be impressed as a direct response to climate-change related disasters and not for earthquakes.

Another result of the survey is the people’s trust in the City Government towards it capability to respond quickly towards disaster of which 83% of the respondents are certain that the City could dispatch an immediate and effective first responders.

Also 82% believe that the Davao City have the vehicles ready for use during emergencies (82%) which could reduce if not zero out casualties during disaster of any kind. They also believe that the City has an emergency fund which could be utilized for relief operations and eventual rehabilitation and reconstruction of damage homes and communities.

Dabawenyos also have faith in their local leaders capacity to handle disasters.  Ratings were significantly high ranging from 72% to a high of 92.24%.  The Mayor has a high readiness rating of 92.24% followed by the Vice Mayor (91.15%), the barangay captain (83.87%), police (83.11%), fire department (82.12%) barangay councilman (72. 26%).

When disaster strikes, the survey revealed that Dabawenyos expect their barangay captain as their first responders with a rating of 37.18% followed by the Mayor (23.27%) and the 911 Emergency Response (18.51%).

According to Arquiza, the finding is an important information useful for disaster preparedness to post-disaster relief and rehabilitation efforts. To successfully conduct rescue, rehab and reconstruction efforts the barangay captain must be taken into the layers of communication and into the set-up of coordination.

On the whole about 50% of the people are self-assured about their personal preparedness for disasters and calamities however they have high trust in the City Government’s capacity for quick response and they see that the government is ready with the needed resources.

Arquiza said that based on the survey it can be gleamed that the Davao City with its Public Safety Unit, support of the local government and the resources for rehabilitation and reconstruction is perceived as a disaster-ready city. (PIA/RG Alama)

Logging aggravated flashfloods-DENR-XI

DAVAO CITY, Dec  10 (PIA) A top officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Davao Region cited the depletion of the forest cover which aggravated the occurrence of flash flood in New Bataan, Compostela Valley and the towns of Cateel, Baganga, and Boston, Davao Oriental amid the onslaught of typhoon Pablo Tuesday.

Josilyn Marcus Fragada, director of the DENR XI said the devastation created by the storm to many communities only indicates the long practice of illegal logging activities in the region, which the current administration tried to arrest in the past two years with the implementation of Executive Order 23 banning the logging activities in Mindanao.

He also observed that the typhoons nowadays are stronger compared to the storms in the past, an offshoot of the climate change, prompting their office to encourage residents to stop cutting and plant more trees.

“We have to plant more trees in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental areas,” Fragada pointed out. 

He also attributed to the strong wind and rainfall brought about by the storm to the uprooting of many trees which destroyed many bridges during the flashflood.
Fragada  said there were also cut logs before which were drifted during the flash flood.
“We coordinated with the local governments for the retrieval of previously cut logs.  It so happened that they were carried downstream during the typhoon,” he said.
Fragada said they are still waiting more reports from the field since many areas have not yet been reached by authorities.
Engr. Edilberto Arreza, director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau  XI welcomed the information citing negative casualty in the mining areas of the region.

He said even in small-scale mining areas, there were no casualties during and after the storm.

Arreza said six-shanties were reported to have been hit by a landslide in Pantukan, but there were no casualties because of the pre-emptive evacuation of miners.

“I am glad that all our warnings reached the miners who immediately conducted pre-emptive evacuation,” he said.

Arreza clarified that there agency is still investigating if  mining operation aggravated the occurrence of mudflow and flashflood .

He said that as far as their agency is concerned, Barangay Andap is a watershed area, where exploiting of natural resources like cutting of trees and mining activities are prohibited.

Arreza said they are also verifying the report that a natural catch basin in the highlands of Barangay Andap gave way causing massive destruction downstream.

“Andap still have plenty of trees which might have fallen and created a natural dam which gave way amid the storm.  We are still verifying it.  The area  has two active water tributaries,” he said.  (PIA XI-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)

U.S. to provide plastic sheets for 20-T homeless families in DavOr, ComVal

DAVAO CITY Dec. 10 (PIA)-The United States is set to provide plastic sheeting for the homeless victims of Typhoon Pablo in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley.

“This evening a 747 (plane will arrive) loaded with plastic sheeting to provide shelter to those who have lost their homes in the typhoon,” United States Charge’ d’Affaires Brian L. Goldbeck said during a press conference at the old Davao Airport in Lanang Monday.

Goldbeck said the plastic sheeting will provide “shelters for up to 20 thousand people” in the areas affected by the typhoon which made a landfall in Baganga, Davao Oriental on December 4.

As of Monday, the Office of Civil Defense XI (OCD) reported that the number of evacuees has now reached 43,112 families or 198,287 persons in the three cities and 27 towns in Region XI.

He said the US is working closely with the Philippine government “to tailor our assistance to what the Philippines needs.” He said the United States Agency for International Development Office of the U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) initially provided $100,000  to the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for the provision of emergency relief commodities and requirements for hygiene, water and sanitation.

“But when Washington recognized that the disaster is much more devastating than what was initially thought of, it sent an additional $3M  to address the humanitarian needs of the affected residents,” he said.

Goldbeck said they continue to monitor the impact of the disaster to the residents of the affected areas to facilitate the recovery process. He said the US military has coordinated with the Armed Forces of the Philippines to provide transportation support for the relief efforts. He mentioned two C130 flights last week, three more additional flights yesterday (Dec. 10), and more flights during the week.

He said the US Government has also provided more than $4.1 million for “disaster risk reduction activities in the Philippines” for 2012, on top of the amounts released for the humanitarian needs of the disaster victims in DavOr and COmVal.(LAC)

DSWD Sec raises human trafficking concern in Pablo-torn areas

DAVAO CITY, Dec. 10 (PIA):  Social Welfare Sec. Corazon "Dinky" Soliman Sunday raised concern over  abuse and trafficking that may  happen to women and children displaced due to Typhoon Pablo.

In her meeting yesterday  with representatives and officials of  international humanitarian agencies,  she cited such as part of gender-based concern to be taken account  to  prevent women and children from migrating and eventually ending up as victims of traffickers.

"We'll do information campaign on this, so they will not automatically migrate to some promise of a better life," she said.

"We  are having apprehension that trafficking will increase; we should make sure that people are informed. We assure them that there is going to be a better way," she added referring to vulnerable women and children who have been left alone having lost their family members due to Typhoon Pablo.
Other protection issues that came out during the meeting with Sec. Soliman was the need  for lighting at campsites and evacuation centers in towns which are still in the  dark due to still damaged power lines.

Meanwhile, Josephine L. Quianzon of the Davao Medical School Foundation (DMSF), in the same meeting pointed out that  water-sanitation-hygeine  assistance should also be given attention because evacuation centers   were found littered with plastic bottles.

Providing open spaces for children and women also came out among other protection concerns identified during Soliman’s meeting with humanitarian groups among which were the International Labor Organizations (ILO),  Handicap International,  World Food Programme,  Plan International,  Lutheran World Relief,  World Vision,  International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Save the Children, Action Against Hunger/ACF International, International Organizations for Migrants.

Present United Nations humanitarian organizations dealing on child protection were UNICEF, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

DSWD is the lead agency of the Child Protection Working Group that works in coordination with the Camp/IDP Management, Emergency Shelter, Protection Cluster  that DSWD  is also taking the lead “to address the impacts of emergencies (both human induced and natural disasters) in the Philippines on child protection.”  (PIA XI/Jeanevive Duron-Abangan)

DSWD setting up relief hubs to fast-track distribution

DAVAO  CITY.  Dec. 10 (PIA):  Relief hubs  will be established to fast-track distribution of relief goods to Typhoon Pablo displaced families and individuals, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said over the  weekend.

In a press interview Sunday, during her meeting with humanitarian agencies, Soliman said outside of Davao City, Nabunturan will serve the badly hit areas in Compostela Valley and Trento (Agusan del Sur) will cater the typhoon-struck areas in the provinces of Agusan del Sur and the isolated towns of Boston, Cateel and Baganga of Davao Oriental.

Service areas of  the Nabunturan hub are the typhoon-affected towns of New Bataan, Monkayo, Compostela, Montevista, Laak and Mabini. Aside from serving Davao Oriental areas,  the Trento hub will also be serving Agusan del Sur  towns of Veruela, Bunawan, Santa Josefa and Loreto.

Donor agencies can directly go to typhoon-affected areas but Soliman directed them to coordinate with  the relief hub manned by partners from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO)  and  social welfare and development (SWAD) team leader.

Soliman viewed such coordination as necessary so donor agencies will be directed to areas which are still  needing help, “so no one would be left out of food”, and to  ensure equitable access to relief assistance.

She assured that chosen relief hub are sites  where internet-based communication is open and that  lines of telecommunication companies  are working.

On the other hand,  Soliman welcomed suggestion to do barangay-based distribution of relief goods but “this has to be managed by the local government units.”  “We will only monitor it,”  she said.

Having received information that  some members of indigenous communities were still left out of food assistance,  she asked them to come down to  nearest distribution sites at the poblacion area.

 “What we are considering is the accessibility of the area,”  she said referring to far-flung communities  where IPs were still staying, after typhoon Pablo’s devastating visit.

As  of Monday, DSWD 11 extended P10,000 cash assistance to families of 193 casualties and released P11.708 million worth of assistance in kind, with P8.9 million counterparts from local government units and P1.9 from non-government organizations (NGOs). Individual donors reached a total of P48,292.

As of Saturday, DSWD XI monitored 144,506 displaced families with 601,022 individuals.

Relative to relief distribution,  DSWD will be issuing family access cards which displaced families can use in claiming or in asking relief assistance.

DSWD  last Sunday tasked partners Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices in typhoon-affected towns to start producing the access cards which will be distributed the soonest possible time.

Aside from   food, DSWD is also addressing non-food needs of  typhoon victims such as water-sanitation-hygiene, shelter,  protection, and livelihood. It is also looking into camp management while on the process of building bunk houses.

Acting Regional Director Priscilla N. Razon said P42 million had been downloaded to the regional office of DSWD to fund the construction of bunk houses in seven towns of Boston, Cateel and Baganga in Davao Oriental and in New Bataan, Monkayo, Compostela and Montevista in Compostela Valley.  (PIA XI/ Jeanevive Duron-Abangan)

Foreign aid arrives as gov't. race to save communities hit by Pablo

DAVAO CITY, Dec 10 (PIA) More relief assistance arrived from Indonesia and the United States of America as government raced time to continue the search, rescue and retrieval operation and in sending more help to areas affected by Typhoon Pablo.

The Indonesian National Defense Force handed the relief goods and cash assistance to the government 8:00 am Monday at the Davao International Airport.

The delegation was welcomed by Lt. General Jorge Segovia, commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command.

Brian Goldbeck, charge de affaires of the American Embassy also gave away 11:00 am Monday, an initial $100,000-worth of water, sanitation and hygiene support and provision of emergency relief at the tarmac of the Old Davao Airport where his delegation was welcomed by Secretary Lualhati Antonino, chair of the Mindanao Development Authority.

Goldbeck assured of more assistance to the affected areas as the US Agency for International Development continues to assess typhoon affected areas not only in Mindanao but also in Visayas.

He said the US Armed Forces has deployed two of its cargo planes from Okinawa, Japan to assist in the delivery of relief goods from Manila to Davao City.

As of 11:00 am Monday, Liza Mazo, director of the Office of Civil Defense XI reported that the death toll reached to 655 with 552 missing and 1,792 injured in the provinces of Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental and Davao del Norte.

In her report to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, she said that a total of 43,112 families or 198,287 remain in the evacuation centers.

Mazo said blackout still prevails in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, while service of telecommunication companies are gradually restored in ComVal but nil in many areas in Davao Oriental.

Earlier, the Malaysian Humanitarian Assistance Mission delivered ten tons of food and non-food items Friday night.

The first international assistance to the typhoon stricken areas in Davao Region arrived from Malaysia on-board a C-130 Hercules cargo plane 7:00 pm Friday at the Tactical Operations Group XI Headquarters at the Davao International Airport.

Lt. General Paklauan Razak, head of the Malaysian delegation handed over three six by six truckloads of goods to Undersecretary Benito Ramos, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council at the reception hall of the 3rd Philippine Air Force Division, witnessed by Lt. General Jorge Segovia, commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, Liza Mazo, director of the Office of Civil Defense XI, Mila Segovia, assistant regional director for administration of the Department of Social Welfare and Development XI, disaster and consular officers of the Malaysian government and officers of the 10th Infantry Division and Eastern Mindanao Command.

Lt. General Segovia thanked the Malaysian government for the assistance which came at the time when the affected populace needed.

He lauded the Malaysian contingent for initiating the first foreign mission to assist distressed areas in Mindanao since the storm hit the country.

“You came at the right time when we undergo difficult times when many people need help,” Segovia said.

He stressed that only in trying times; the Filipinos tend to know who their real friends are.

Usec Ramos said the gesture of the Malaysian government shows that they are not just our neighbors but our brothers.

He also thanked the Malaysian government for standing pat on international and bilateral agreements on helping a distressed member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, hit by a disaster.

Lt. General Razak said the goods comprise mainly of rice, biscuits, milk powder, blankets and towels.

He said the ten ton-cargo will just be the first shipment of assistance from Malaysia and more good are expected to be sent here until the situation normalizes.

Razak said Malaysia is always ready to help neighboring countries which in need.

Mila Segovia of the DSWD XI said the distribution of the Malaysian assistance will commence this Monday (December 10).

She assured that there is no longer a municipality isolated from government reach.

“Our social workers are already in place in every distress municipality to assist in the distribution of assistance,” Segovia said. (PIA XI- Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)

(Weather Update): PAGASA lifts storm warning signals as 'Pablo' weakens into LPA

Tropical depression "Pablo" further weakened into a low pressure area (LPA) on Sunday afternoon, the state weather bureau said.

Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) forecaster Bell Masallo said that with the presence of northeast monsoon "Pablo" continued to weaken into LPA.

Masallo said that as of 4 p.m., the LPA was located at 105 kilometers west of Laoag City (18.1°N, 119.4°E).

However, she said that the agency was still monitoring Pablo as it might intensify. But based on the agency's models, Pablo has slim chance of to regaining strength and expected to dissipate.

With this development , all public storm warning signal is lifted, Masallo said.

She added that northern Luzon, with the northeast monsoon, would experience light rains while Metro Manila and the rest of the country would have brief rain showers and thunderstorms. (PNA)

Alcala to ask LBP to give special allocation for Davao banana planters hardest hit by ‘Pablo’

Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala has said he will ask the Land Bank of the Philippines to give special allocation specifically to Davao banana planters hardest hit by typhoon "Pablo."

He admitted that the national government is currently facing an enormous problem on how to raise tens of billions of pesos to fund the damage caused by the typhoon in the significant sectors of agriculture/fisheries and infrastructure, particularly in the hardest hit areas of Compostela Valley province and Davao Oriental.

He said the total cost of damage brought about by "Pablo" in agriculture and fisheries in Davao Region alone was estimated at P7.938 billion. Of this amount, the banana sector suffered the most damage at about P5.6 billion.

Alcala was in Davao City on Friday together with 10 other Cabinet members for the briefing on the impact of typhoon "Pablo" and the corresponding rehabilitation before President Benigno S. Aquino III.

The 10 other Cabinet members were Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ricky Carandang, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, Health Secretary Enrique Ona, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje and Mindanao Development Authority Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, who helped the President assessed the extent of the damage in the area.

He said the government could allocate an initial quick response funding of less than P300 million to initially fund rehabilitation operations.

The intervention is necessary to prevent foreign buyers from turning on to other suppliers in view of the non-availability of supply of all crops.

Alcala expressed fears that if this happens, it would not be good for the industry.

At this point in time, however, the official is confident foreign buyers understand the predicament Davao Region is facing in view of the devastating effect of typhoon Pablo.

“Sa ngayon, I know foreign markets can still understand,” he said, adding that for now, no foreign buyers, among them Japan, China, Singapore and Hong Kong, have expressed decision to turn to other suppliers.

On the part of government, it would tap nurseries and tissue laboratories in unaffected areas like the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Region 12 and Region 10 for the propagation of planting materials.

Alcala said the government is now pre-positioning the provision of certified seed hybrid for rice and yellow corn. It will also provide planting materials for the banana sector.

For coconut, the major crop in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, will take two years to produce from the time of replanting.

“To give the farmers livelihood while waiting for the yields, government will help farmers engage to inter-cropping, The Philippine Coconut Authority board had already met to discuss the decision to give the board the authority to provide fertilizers for the coconut farmers,” he said.

At the briefing, Alcala reported that about 23,000 hectares of rice lands were destroyed by typhoon Pablo valued at about P133.404 million; 16,582 hectares for corn amounting to P28.825 million; and coconut plantations estimated at 14,879 hectares valued at about P763.509 million.

Alcala informed the President that the DA has readied rice and corn seeds for massive replanting at the devastated rice lands in Davao Region, particularly in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley.

For fish cages, seaweeds and mariculture, the cost of damage was estimated at P24 million. Infrastructure damage was placed at P938 billion Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson said at the briefing that the reported damage in infrastructure in hardest hit two Davao provinces was estimated at P938 billion.

He said the cost of damage incurred “is the biggest” in the region.

He attributed the huge cost of damage to the destroyed long bridge in Davao Oriental.

The biggest problem, he said, is the Palma Gil Bridge in Caraga which is half cut by typhoon Pablo. The other bridge is the Lumao Bridge which, he said, was temporarily passable as of Saturday.

Aside from the bridges, several roads were damaged by the typhoon both in the affected areas in the two provinces.

President Aquino, when asked by a member of the media how much the government would initially allocate, said the government will use the P4-billion calamity fund for rehabilitation.

He said he has also directed the Department of Budget and Management to look for funds in the amount of P8 billion to augment the calamity fund.

The President noted that seven spans of the Palma Gil Bridge in Caraga were totally damaged.

He said as per report of the DPWH, though it would be passable by Thursday next week, it will take more days to finish the entire seven spans.

Singson said DPWH has already deployed 66 units of heavy equipment in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley for the infra rehabilitation.

At least 766 personnel are also deployed to the affected areas and DPWH is currently using quick response fund in the rehabilitation operations, he added. (PNA)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mindanao communities to take legal action to stop construction of coal power plants

Davao City, 8 October 2012 – Mindanao community groups representing six provinces today declared their intention to explore legal options in their fight against dirty coal power projects in the region.  At a joint press conference with Greenpeace, the group also announced the founding of Anti-COALition, a national network of communities which aims to ensure the country’s has a future powered by clean, peaceful, renewable energy.

“The weekend seminar on Environmental Law made us more aware of our basic rights to demand that the state protect its citizens from environmental harm and degradation”, said Julad Suazo, a community leader from Davao.

 The declaration came at the conclusion of the network’s two-day seminar-workshop on Environmental Law, organized by Greenpeace in partnership with the Ateneo Public Interest Legal and Advocacy Center. Participants discussed laws protecting land and sea ecosystems, indigenous people, and biodiversity as well as civil legal procedures that can be used in environmental cases.

 “Everywhere around the world, coal power plants victimize communities. They create health problems for people living around the facility, and damage their environment and their livelihoods,” said Anna Abad, Climate and Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

“Taking legal action to end the coal regime in Mindanao is a clear message from communities that they are determined to stand up and defend their rights against the oppressive Goliath that is the coal industry. Clean, renewable energy sources are abundant in Mindanao. Green investments from renewable energy technologies are what the Department of Energy should instead be developing in a massive scale” she added.

There are currently ten coal plants in operation throughout the country, but the DOE is officially planning to add 12 more within the next four years. Unofficially the list could go up to 19. This will further lock the Philippines in to dirty and polluting fossil-fuel for the next four decades.

Mindanao is the “new frontier” for dirty coal power projects for a total output of 1,550 megawatts in Davao, Davao del Sur, Misamis Oriental, General Santos, Saranggani, and Zamboanga.

Emissions from coal plants are a primary source of air pollution: they contain a lethal mix of sulphur dioxide (SO2), which causes acid rain; the greenhouse gas nitrogen oxide (NOx); and heavy metals like mercury (a powerful neurotoxin), arsenic (a carcinogen), as well as lead and chromium. Coal is also a leading cause of global climate change - the extreme weather impacts of which have already cost the Philippines thousands of lives and billions of pesos in losses. 

In Davao, the construction of coal-fired power plants will displace thousands of families and will diminish the Dumoy aquifer’s capacity to supply water for drinking and other domestic needs to Davao’s 1.4 million inhabitants. In Saranggani, a coal plant currently being constructed right beside a marine sanctuary will damage the surrounding marine ecosystem and endanger the livelihoods of local fishermen.

 “We have tried all possible means to stop the coal-fired power project from pushing through but no one is listening. Now more than ever, we are more united and firm in our opposition to any energy development plan that prioritizes coal corporations, over the well-being of present and future generations of Filipinos,” Suazo declared. (pr)

RTU continues free delivery of chairs to DavNor schools

By: Tagum City Information Office

It’s actually months to go before he goes back as a private citizen from his successful leadership as a city mayor but this didn’t hinder this man from intensifying his public inside and outside his area of responsibility.

Tagum City Mayor Rey T. Uy personally delivered one truck load of new school chairs to the five schools in the Municipality of Asuncion, namely the Pamacaun, New Loon, Sagayen, Concepcion, and Napungas Elementary Schools last October 2 and 5, 2012, respectively.

The new school chairs were made from the confiscated logs and fabricated by the Local Government Unit of Tagum, dubbed as the Care for School Chairs (CFSC) Program which is brainchild program of Mayor Rey T. Uy.

A total of three hundred seventy eight (378) yellow school chairs were given to Pamacaun Elementary School and New Loon Elementary School last October 2, 2012.

Mayor Uy helped different schools even outside Tagum City by giving school furniture such as armchairs, kiddie tables, kiddie chairs, desk, computer sets, home economic tables, etc.

The CFSC has been known not just here in the Province but Nationwide because of its impressive and remarkable cause of augmenting the school fixture shortages in the region.

On October 5, 2012, three hundred eighty (380) school chairs were also sent to Sagayen Elementary School, Conception Elementary School and Napungas Elementary School. Mayor Uy initiated this program because he finds out and believed that Education should be the first priority.

Meanwhile, on October 4, 2012, former Negros Oriental Governor Rafael Coscolluela visited the city for the On-Site Validation of the CFSC which passed the third level screening of the 2012 Galing Pook Awards.

CFSC UPDATE - as of October 5, 2012 a total of 76,852 pieces of school furniture consisting of armchairs, desks, tables, kiddie chairs, computer tables, bookshelves, rostrums were already made and delivered by LGU Tagum through the CFSC since August 2011.( Jorjan Federiso of CIO Tagum)

In Tagum, military advocates for peace through music

By Tagum City Information Office

The Local Government of Tagum City through Mayor Rey T. Uy in partnership with 10th Infantry (AGILA) Division spearheaded a special gathering concert dubbed as “Music for Unity” geared towards promoting peace and development together with the soldiers in the neighboring areas of Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley Province and Agusan del Sur last October 4, 2012 held at the Atrium of the New City Hall of Tagum.

The concert paved way for the people in this part of Mindanao that uniformed men are not just trained to combat for peace but also to be an advocate through music for peace.

Tagum, being the Music Capital of the South, is an apt venue to hold the event which was participated nine (9) different bands in the Region namely, 1003rd (Raptor) Brigade Band from Municipality of Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte Province; The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Band from City of Tagum, Davao del Norte; 10th Infantry (Agila) Division Band from Municipality of Mawab, Compostela Valley Province; Tagum City Band from City of Tagum, Davao del Norte, 1001st (Pag-Asa) Brigade Band from Municipality of Maco, Compostela Valley Province; 3rd Special Forces Battalion Band from Municipality of Cabadbaran, Agusan del Sur; 25th Infantry Battalion Band from Municipality of Monkayo, Compostela Valley Province and 66th Infantry Battalion Band from Municipality of New Bataan, Compostela Valley Province.

The city mayor, who’s very vocal about his unwavering passion for music, even joined the soldiers in this jamming session and was also game in rendering his version of widely-known “Pusong Bato,” among others. (Louie Jay Losaria of CIO Tagum)

Mindanao’s urban poor hub to rise in Tagum

By Tagum City Information Office

 The City Government of Tagum boosted its image of being a champion of the urban poor as it will host within its soils the Urban Development Resource Center of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP).

This developed as Tagum City Mayor Rey T. Uy led in the signing of the deed of usufruct between the PCUP headed by its Chairperson, Mr. Hernani B. Panganiban last October 5, 2012 held at the DepEd Conference Hall in Apokon, this city.

The establishment of the said center was made possible through SP Resolution 911, s-2012 approved by the 5th City Council of Tagum which was also affirmed during the Mindanao Urban Poor Summit last September 6, 2012 in Davao City.

The said edifice which will be constructed in Energy Park in Apokon will be a one-stop facility that will serve as a hub for training, documentation, research, information, market-matching and micro-finance for 27 key cities and 12 urbanizing municipalities in Mindanao.

It will cater the needs of urban poor in relocation sites, direct negotiated sites, KALAHI-CIDSS recipients all over Mindanao, LGU housing and frontline officers assigned in urban management and non-government organizations.

Stressing that he runs Tagum as a father more than a mayor, the local chief executive said in his speech that his administration has prioritized a special place for the informal settlers for their unique contribution in keeping the local economy alive.

“They are rolling the economy and thus contributed to the city’s development,” Uy said in front of the officials of field operations division for PCUP Mindanao and the different urban poor leaders coming from the different parts of Mindanao.

PCUP’s Panganiban, on the other hand, is all praise for the leadership of Mayor who trail-blazed the sustainability of Tagum’s housing and relocation programs.
“The discipline and political embodied by Mayor Uy made all this possible,” Panganiban said.

Also present during the MOA signing were Councilors De Carlo “Oyo” L. Uy, Housing and Relocation Czars Councilors Nicandro Suaybaguio and Joedel Caasi, Councilor Alan D. Zulueta and Houbert Bryann Uy. (Louie Lapat of CIO Tagum)

LGU Panabo,DLPC and DepEd partners quality education

PANABO CITY- As part of the thrust and commitment to strengthen the quality of education in Panabo City, Mayor Jose L. Silvosa, Sr., the Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC) and the Panabo DepEd Division has strengthened its partnership with the donation of  five computer units to Panabo DepEd  during the turn over ceremony at San Vicente National High School, Barangay San Vicente, Panabo City.

The computer units will be used to students under the “Hello World Computer Project” of  DepEd where high school students with computer subjects shall have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and learn deeper about computers.

 “Blessed kami kay gi recommend mi ni Mayor Silvosa nga mahimong recipients sa 5 computer units. Gusto namo makompleto ang  “hello world computer project” kung diin ang mga estudyante maka hands-on  sa mga computers ug maton-an pa nila ug maayo ang gamit sa computers sama sa Microsoft  powerpoint, word ug excel.” (We are blessed because Mayor Silvosa recommended that we would be recipients of the five computer units, we would like to complete the hello world computer project, where the students can learn hands-on with the computers and they could learn more about using the computers particularly Microsoft powerpoint, word and excel programs) San Vicente National High School Principal Mrs. Angelita G. Suelto said during the turn over ceremony.

Meanwhile Mayor Jose L. Silvosa, Sr. is thankful to the DLPC for the distribution of the said computer units. He chose San Vicente National High School as one of the schools among the 40 barangays to be the beneficiaries because of the increasing number of students in the said school. He advised Panabo DepEd division office to conduct an inventory to the facilities and buildings in order to know the remaining needs of the school. Any request for additional facilities will be brought during the Local School Board meeting and ask for allocation of funds for improvements. These funds will be evenly distributed to the 40 barangays.

“Tibuok barangay, makadawat aning computer units, nay proposal gikan sa Davao Light Foundation regarding sa distribution sa computers, (All the barangays will receive these computer units, there is a proposal from the Davao Light Foundation) I suggested San Vicente National High School because there  is a growing population of students. We also instructed DepEd division to conduct an inventory of the school buildings and facilities all over the city so that the local school will allocate funds and it will be evenly distributed.” Mayor Silvosa said during an interview.

“Victor Sumalinog from the DLPC revealed some projects for the LGU Panabo as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). He mentioned the 1.2 million 2 room multi-purpose building will be established at the back of the new city hall. That will be used in seminars and workshop for the LGU employees and constituents. Some projects such as Financial Incentive Programs wherein students coming from the National High School will be shouldered by the DLPC in there educational expenses provided they will maintain high and good grades.

“We are also recruiting high school incentive grantees. there will be an examination in the coming last week of October for our financial incentive program. If the beneficiaries can maintain their grades until they graduate from high school they will be our  priority for Davao Light's college scholarshop” Somalinog said.

To date there were several schools in Panabo City which had benefited from the distribution of computer units as part of the Corporate Social Responsiblity of DLPC. (Mark Anthony Gellor/June Geraldo – Panabo City Information Office)

Envi Users Fee monitoring results bared

ISLAND GARDEN CITY OF SAMAL- The results of the Environmental User Fee (EUF) monitoring in the Island Garden City of Samal dubbed as G-Watch IGaCoS Bantay Kinaiyahan Project was released to public by the Local G-Watch in Brgy. Catagman, in the city' Samal District last September 26, 2012.

The public presentation was attended by resort owners, barangay officials, city government officials,   department heads, civil society organizations and some national agency representatives  stationed in the city.

Local G-Watch IGaCoS Bantay Kinaiyahan is a joint Citizen-Government Monitoring of the Environmental User Fee (EUF)organized and assisted by Government Watch (G-Watch) Program of the Ateneo School of Government (ASoG) ofAteneo de Manila University in partnership with the city government of IGaCoS and the Civil Society Organizations( CSOs) here to monitor the implementation of  EUF pursuant to City Ordinance 2009-156.

In June 2012, the Government Watch (G-Watch), a social accountability program of the Ateneo School of Government (ASoG) organized a monitoring project that was meant to localize the G-Watch Social Accountability Approach with the objective to train LGUs and local CSOs to monitor and improve service delivery.

Extensive consultations were made in deciding what service delivery program will be monitored. The proposed three service delivery programs in the city namely: Bridge Financing, Agricultural Services and the implementation of EUF, the latter was eventually identified and chosen as the service delivery program in IGaCoS to be covered under the G-Watch Monitoring.

After series of capacity building of the monitors, the local G-Watch IGaCoS Bantay Kinaiyahan conducted the monitoring  and evaluation of EUF, especially on  the releasing of EUF tickets from the LGU down to the marketing and collection of EUF Fees in the barangay/ beach level and  the recording of collection in the LGU and in the barangay level.

Ptr. Vitaliano Nuñez, Jr., G-Watch Core Group from Samal Evangelical Ministerial Fellowship, Inc.(SEMFEL),presented the accomplishments, results and recommendations in the conduct of EUF monitoring.

“Serioso kami sa among ginahimo ug dili kini alang ka namo apan alang sa atong isla.  Isa sa among nakita mao ang kakulangan sa guidelines  para sa honorarium alang sa mga EUF collector dinha sa barangay level ug kakulangan sa tamang pagsabot sa EUF”(We are serious in what we are doing, this is not for us  but for  our island.  In our findings, one of the discrepancies is the guidelines for the honorarium to EUF Collector and the lack of clear understanding of the EUF) Vitaliano said.

Abel Unla, G-Watch Core Group from Transport Federation, Inc. stressed the need to sustain the monitoring practices and suggested to the LGU to conduct intensive orientation to collectors of EUF and to set standards in designating collectors underscoring the skill in dealing tourists.

Problems on multi-collection of EUF and lack of comprehensive understanding on the objective of the collection floated as common problems encountered for the project.

City Mayor Aniano P. Antalan pointed out the uniqueness of Samal compared to other tourist destinations due to its several “point of entry”.  He challenged the concerned departments to look into the problem and to explore possibility of having one collection areafor EUF for those coming to Samal Island.

Teresita Briones , Ateneo School of Government , G-Watch  Program Manager thanked the LGU and the community and urged them to continue with the initiative.

Briones was grateful for the cooperation and participation of the LGU for accepting the project and participation of the ordinary citizens for giving their precious time and willingness to join in the constructive engagement with government for the joint monitoring of a project. 

She congratulated the LGU and the local partners for the successful implementation of the project.  The joint monitoring conducted by the LGU and CSOs proved that constructive engagement in IGaCoS is possible.

Briones hoped that the joint citizen-government engagement in IGaCoS will continue  and be an example to other LGUs.

A Symbolic launching of  2nd Round of IGaCoS Bantay Kinaiyahan and turn-over ceremony of the G-Watch Monitoring to the CSOs in the form of of tree seedlings by the city officials, ASoG and G-Watch Core Group to the CSOs was made.  It was followed by a Book Launching of the  G-Watch Manual on Monitoring the Environmental Users Fee based on the IGaCoS Experience which highlighted the event.

G-Watch is a program of the ASoG funded by the European Commission and implemented in six pilot sites in the Philippines, wherein the Island Garden City of Samal is one of the chosen sites.(melrose IGACOS cio)

Government-MILF peace framework draws broad support

Davao City, Oct. 8 (PIA)-Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio expressed support to the newly crafted peace-framework agreement in the talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front calling it a positive step forward to peace and stability in Mindanao.

Speaking to reporters Monday, she said the local government of Davao City will support to the aspirations of the people in the areas under the Bangsamoro as the government and MILF peace panels can now fast-track the negotiations by which the result will be voted by in a plebiscite.

“Hopefully, this agreement will bring genuine peace to the people in Central Mindanao and all other areas to be included in the Bangsamoro and eventually spur further the peace and development in Mindanao,” Duterte-Carpio said.

She stressed that she supports whatever formula the government and the MILF can reach just to bring a lasting peace, as long as the people have the final say to the new direction through a referendum. 

Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario said the signing of a peace framework between the government and the MILF reflects the commitment of every Filipino to build a harmonious, stable and progressive nation.

He said that for the agreement to move forward, all Filipinos must resolve to contribute to its success by setting aside animosity and mistrust and come together as nation of peace lovers.

“I join in the in the  optimism that the framework will become the model of Mindanao’s future,” Del Rosario said.

Peace advocates, members of the civil organizations and the military also dramatized their support to the newly-crafted peace-framework between the government and the MILF in a blitz rally at the Freedom Park in Roxas Avenue.

Atty. Mary Ann Arnado, convenor of the Mindanao People’s Caucus urged the residents to read and study the 2012 Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro Political Region.

She said Mindanaoan residents must know the implications of framework to their  lives as both panels continue to talks and eventually reach a final accord in the days to come.

“So that no one will no longer go to the Supreme Court to question the legality and acceptability of the peace agreement,” Arnado said.

She said it is good that the government and the MILF reach a mother agreement, that will pave the way for  a final peace settlement.

Arnado underscored the need for every Filipino to understand the peace framework in order for everyone to be united in working for a lasting peace in Mindanao. 

She expressed appreciation to the transparency shown by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III by immediately unveiling the result of the talks to the people and for his commitment to support the framework agreement.

MPC is  a grassroots network of indigenous peoples, Bangsamoro and Christian communities and leader who have common vision for peace in M
Colonel Leopoldo Galon, Jr., chief of the 5th Civil-Relations Group welcomed the latest breakthrough in the GRP-MILF peace-negotiation.
He saluted GPH chair Marvic Leonen for stirring the talks and for the consultations he initiated to various sectors including the military as the negotiations went on.

Galon also thanked the MILF for the holding on to the ceasefire agreement which brings reprieve to the residents in Central and Western Mindanao.
“We are hopeful that the peace negotiations will reach to the signing of the final peace agreement,” he said.  (PIA 11/ Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)