Friday, January 30, 2015

Agrikultura, milambo sa 2014

Niani ug positibong resulta ang mga programang pang-agrikultura sa gobyerno. Basi sa kasayurang gikan sa Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS),  mitubo ug hapit duha ka porsyento ang sector sa agrikultura sa Pilipinas ug mikabat ug P1.6 trillion ang gross earnings sa tuig 2014, hapit mag dies porsyento ang labaw sa tuig 2013.

            Kapin sa 52 porsyento ang natampo sa sub-sector sa pananum ngadto sa maong agriculture performance sa niaging tuig.  Misaka ang produksyon sa palay ug duol sa tres porsyento ug ang produksyon sa mais, misaka ug kapin sa singko porsyento. Nakita usab ang maayong produksyon sa  tubo, mangga, tabako, balanghoy ug sibuyas.

Gibana-bana sa BAS nga mokabat ug kapin sa P933 milyones ang kantidad sa kinatibuk-ang produksyon sa sub-sector sa pananum sa niaging tuig. (PIA/OMG/jmda)

2015, gideklara isip Visit Philippine Year

Gideklara sa nasyonal nga panggamhanan ang tuig 2015 isip “Visit the Philippines Year” (VPY).
Kini, dili paghulip sa campaign slogan nga “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” kondili pagpadayon ug pagpalig-on sa kampanya nga maka-agni ug  daghan pang toristang mobisita sa Pilipinas, matod pa  ni Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr.

Gituhuang  moabot ug pito ka milyon ang ihap sa mga toristang nisuroy sa Pilipinas sa niaging tuig. Apan  matod ni Jimenez, ang  gidaghanon sa mga torista usa lamang ka aspeto sa  kalambuan sa sektor sa torismo.  Mas bug-at ang ekonomikanhong kita ug trabahong nahatag niini sa katawhang  Pilipino.
Sa pagpakayab sa “Visit the Philippines Year” karong tuiga, gitutukan sa Department of Tourism ang lima ka tema nga mao ang musunod:  1) business meetings, 2) history and culture, 3) lifestyle and entertainment, 4) music and arts, and 5) sports, adventure, and eco-tourism. (PIA/OMG/jmda)

Daghang Pilipino, gaantos sa sakit sa ngipon, lagos

            Daghan pa gihapong mga Pilipino  ang ga-antos sa lungag sa ngipon ug sakit sa lagos sumala sa gibutyag sa Department of  Health (DOH).  Base sa tuig 2011 nga datos gikan sa National Monitoring and Evaluation Dental (NMED) Survey, 87 porsyento sa mga Pilipino ang adunay lungag ug 48 porsyento ang nag-antos sa sakit sa lagos.
             Sumala pa sa DOH, makapaluya sa depensa sa lawas ang dautang epekto sa lungag ug sakit sa lagos.  Nagsilbi usab kini nga sinugdanan sa mas seryosong sakit ug impeksyon. Lakip na niini ang sakit sa kasingkasing nga maoy hinungdan unya sa kamatayon.

            Aron mahatagan ug dakong pagtagad ang pagsulbad sa sakit sa ngipon ug lagos, gideklara sa gobyerno ang buwan sa Pebrero isip “National Dental Health Month” pinaagi sa Proclamation No. 559.  (PIA/OMG/jmda)

Fresh U.S. Apples Not Linked To Illness: Only Caramel Apples from A Single Packing House Involved.

MANILA, January 30, 2015 — The recall of fresh Gala and Granny Smith apples by the Bidart Brothers packing house in California is voluntary, and no U.S. fresh apples have been linked to the outbreak of Listeria.  Apples from all sources other than the Bidart packing house are not included in the voluntary recall.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the harmful bacteria Listerai monocytogenese has thus far only been linked to commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples made from apples using Bidart Brothers Apples located in California.  The FDA has also stated that the growing season forthese types of apples has ended and the firm’s last shipping date was December 2, 2014.  Bidart Bros is no longer shipping apples. 
Fresh apples provide many health benefits which accounts for their popularity in the Philippines.  In 2014, U.S. exports of fresh apple to the Philippines through November reached $10 million, and 8,595 metric tons, which is up 72 percent in terms of volume compared to the same period in 2013.  US Embassy-Manila

Arvin Marabiles: An epitome of heroism and altruism

AFTER seeing death almost engulfing him when he was buried alive about 15 feet below the ground while at work, Arvin Marabiles has clung into his faith that the Almighty God has given him the chance to continue living for him to return the goodness that has been blessed to him.
“We do this so others may live,” is not just a simple motto after that, but has become his way of life when he founded a rescue group and has volunteered to any rescue efforts.
For he, who himself once faced death from a disaster almost two decades ago, Arvin has since embraced his second life upholding valour and selflessness in caring and saving others’ lives.

Fateful day

On that fateful moment in 1997 somewhere in Tugbok, Davao City, with constant rain around, drenched soil collapsed on Arvin as he was installing new main water transmission pipelines in an open canal culvert in a depth of 15 feet, instantly burying him to the ground

He was last heard shouting “Mama!”, and shortly fell silent as darkness seized his consciousness. The next thing he knew he was resting on a hospital bed.

Had it not for the hasty action of his co-workers who dug on soil that collapsed on him, using only their bare hands for about ten minutes, and without his welding mask that sustained his oxygen need from the trapped air in it, he could not have been retrieved alive.

Arvin was 25 years old at the time of the accident with everything in life – a stable job as a welder at the Davao City Water District since 1992, owning a house, and a girlfriend who would become an understanding wife amid marital challenges that stemmed from his passion for volunteerism.

Aspiration for volunteerism

Even before the tragedy, Arvin’s volunteerism actually started from his desire to serve the church and involve the youth using his initiative and spending his own resources. Once, he gathered more than 1,700 youth in a youth camp focused on recognizing their talents.
“The experience (from the accident) strengthened my faith in the Lord, realizing that I have a mission in life,” said Arvin, who was active parishioner at the St. Francis Xavier Parish in Barangay Tibungco as “Pangulo sa Batan-on,” a sacristan and a choir member.

“I enjoy volunteering work. This is where I am happy. I want to help those who need urgent help, especially in times of disaster,” he said.

The rise of SFX TRABMOC

Five years after the accident, Arvin brought into being the SFX TRABMOC or the St. Francis Xavier Trabungco Mountaineering Club, a search and rescue group that has become one of Davao City’s reliable and competent first responders to disasters. It is the only team covering the northern part of the city, extending even to some parts of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley especially during the onslaught of super typhoon Pablo.

The group, formally registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2004, started out merely as a mountaineering club with 40 members coming from various sectors such as students, out-of-school youth, professionals, non-professionals, working and non-working volunteers.

SFX TRAMBOC was originally a church-based club which Arvin organized mainly to encourage youth to be active in church and to care for the environment through mountain climbing and clean-up activities.

“We want the club to be more significant and useful in the community, so we expand and improve the group to respond to disasters,” Arvin intimated.

As a rescue group, SFX TRAMBOC has 60 trained volunteer members, although only 30 are currently active in the service, including four nurses and a midwife.

The group is headquartered at Arvin’s residential compound, which operates 24/7 with 3-4 standby volunteers and a six-bed and radio room amenities. 

Personal sacrifices endured

His passion to help others entails personal sacrifices, such as spending his own money to foregoing the opportunity to live in London with his wife and son, and with a job offering a monthly income of P140,000.

A year after he married Rachel, who works as a nurse in London, Arvin was able to take a job as a forklift operator for nine months in 2006, leaving behind his work at DCWD and the rescue team temporarily.

But his strong devotion to help others brought him back home and continued what he left behind. The decision almost broke his marriage, but without let-up, he wooed and cajoled his wife to understand, until the couple finally strengthened their relationship.

With his permanent residency status in London, Arvin and his son, Francis Raven, travel to London every two years to renew their visas which would also be the time to visit his wife. The father and son just came home August last year from a four-month vacation in the United Kingdom.

As humble and low-profile that he is, Arvin spends his own to keep his volunteerism work going, avoiding soliciting assistance from others, even from government.

“We work independently without asking financial assistance from our barangay,” he stated.

Out of his savings from the income as forklift operator abroad, Arvin was able to purchase one unit of multi-cab that serves as an ambulance with basic medical aid to transport patients regularly. SFX TRABMOC is one of five volunteer groups in Davao City that has its own ambulance.

The other rescue equipment and gadgets also include hydraulic jacks, ladders, life jackets, and wooden life boat which are estimated to cost more than P800,000.

Arvin uses part of his salary as a senior welder at DCWD for the first aid kits and medicines and for the food provision for his volunteers, and fuel for the ambulance.

Even the construction of the family’s dream house was deferred for a while because the priority was the purchase of rescue equipment.

Another longing for the group to enhance its capability is to acquire a fire truck and latest model of hydraulic jacks.

Activities and accomplishments

SFX TRABMOC volunteers have saved countless lives mostly during vehicular accidents, medical emergencies, and calamities like floods, landslide and fire.

The group is an accredited member of the Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council that authorizes the former to act as first responder in search and rescue operations, in assisting Central 911 in giving first aid to vehicular accident victims and in responding to floods, fire and landslide.

In a flash flood incident in February 2013 in Jade Valley, Davao City, SFX TRABMOC assisted and rescued 2,000 residents. The group was the first to arrive and the last to leave the area.

When super typhoon Pablo struck the region in December 2012, Arvin’s team rushed to New Bataan, Compostela Valley where they retrieved 30 bodies and carried on foot to the poblacion, some 15 kilometers on foot. They set up a headquarter with generator at hand, and stayed for several days helping families locate their relatives and assisting the government in the retrieval operations.

“It was really heart-wrenching seeing several dead people, and witnessing how the living grieved over their dead loved ones,” Arvin lamented.

Apart from the search and rescue capabilities, Arvin also provides training and workshops for safety and rescue at the barangay level, in institutions, schools, companies and government agencies as part of their advocacy efforts to empower people and prepare them from any disaster.

Challenges and aspirations

The challenge that still hovers around is how to inspire the youth to be on his league to volunteerism.
He said the young people today have so many diversions like shopping malls, computer games, internet and gadgets that could veer them away from engaging in more valuable and meaningful activities

Awards and recognition

Though he shies away from the limelight, his noble deeds of volunteerism to save others’ lives emerge huge and bright as his heart’s desire.

When in the middle of rescue operations, Arvin evades public attention especially from the media, which keeps him grounded and humble. A simple thank you would be enough gesture of appreciation from those they have helped.

Unexpectedly in 2013, Arvin was finally recognized and honored with an accolade that he truly deserved: he was placed in the ranks of outstanding volunteers by the Philippine National Volunteer Service Committee (PNSVA) in the Search for Outstanding Volunteers, for the best practices he has employed and the values he has instilled with his co-volunteers in their volunteering involvements,

With his passion and dedication to serve others in need, Arvin has lived up to his name which means ‘friend of the people’ because of the so many lives that he has saved and touched.

For all his deeds and noble desire done outside the spotlight and public attention, Arvin may yet be another epitome of heroism and altruism. (PIA-XI/Carina L. Cayon)

DOH- XI to pursue youth and children immunization on August 2015

DAVAO CITY, Jan 30 (PIA) Health authorities in Davao Region announced the holding of immunization activities for adolescents in August 2015 to ensure the protection of teeners from polio, measles, flu and Hepatitis-B.

Dr. Racquel Montejo, cluster head of the Family Health cluster of the Department of Health 11 said two vaccination activities will be conducted in August 2015 for all public national high schools for Grade VII students who will receive Measles, Rubella, and Tetanus vaccines.

She said that in Davao Oriental all Grade IV students will receive HPV vaccines that will protect especially female students against cervical cancer.

Montejo explained that at present, bringing down these diseases up to minimum level remains a work in progress, prompting the DOH to push its vaccination program. She said that when a measles strikes on the youth, consequently, the children are also affected.

“It brings the necessity to include the youth sector in the measles immunization,” Montejo said.

She said that as far as polio is concerned, not all children receive polio vaccine even if it is given orally.

Montejo said the government through the DOH remains advocating the anti-polio vaccination despite the World Health Organization affirmation that the Philippines is polio-free since 2000, because its
neighboring Asian countries remain to have polio cases.

“The Philippines remains at risk in the importation of polio due to the movement of people,” she said.
Montejo said only the small pox is totally eradicated through vaccination worldwide.  (PIA 11-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)

NAITAS to hold 2nd Tourism and Trade Bazaar

DAVAO DEL NORTE, January 30 (PIA) - - The National Association of Independent Travel Agencies (NAITAS – Davao) will hold the 2nd Tourism and Trade Bazaar in Abreeza Mall, Davao City from February 20 to 22.

Dizon Namuag, NAITAS Davao president, said that in line with the Visit the Philippines campaign of the Department of Tourism (DOT), this year’s bazaar will still focus on promoting Davao region as an island to highland destination, showcasing the best of eco, agri and farm tourism sites as well as its pristine beaches.

Namuag revealed that they have partnered with Department of Agriculture (DOT) as DOT Sec. Ramon Jimenez, Jr. encouraged them to intensify the promotion of agri and farm tourism, including the organic farm destination and products.

“This year, we not only coordinated with the DOT and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), but we also collaborated with the DA on the development of their farm not only as a production area but as a tourism destination as well,” he said.

Namuag also disclosed that as the ASEAN Integration commence this year, the NAITAS is lucky enough to get Tourism Malaysia as one of the bazaar’s partners.

“Our partnership with Tourism Malaysia will surely boost the bazaar’s success as we also promote halal tourism in the region,” he said.

He also emphasized that the around 50 tourism related establishments will participate in this year’s bazaar, which comprised of airline companies, travel agencies and operators, hotels and resorts, farm operators and souvenir shops.

He said that like last year, the bazaar will also be highlighted with the search of Miss NAITAS Davao, whose winner will compete in the national competition in Manila. (PIA 11, Michael Uy)

DOT-XI awaiting for feasibility study Samal-Davao bridge

DAVAO CITY, Jan 30 (PIA) Newly appointed director Robert Alabado III of the Department of Tourism XI believes that a bridge linking Davao City to Samal Island will improve the accessibility of tourist destinations in the area.

He said a bridge will ensure the influx of tourists to the sites in Samal.

Alabado said that a bridge will ensure a 24-hour access to both areas.

“We expect that with the bridge that will be constructed between the two areas, we will have more tourist attractions being developed in Samal Island,” he said.

Alabado said the National Economic and Development Authority in Davao Region has conducted a feasibility study on putting up a bridge through a public-private-partnership.

PPP is a government service or private business venture which is funded and operated through a partnership of government and one or more private sector companies.

He said the feasibility study is crucial in looking at the mode of constructing the bridge.

“We hope that the feasibility study will show that something can be earned out of the PPP, where the private sector will willingly construct the bridge for the government,” Alabado said.

He also cited need for the feasibility study on the bridge to expand not only to income but to its environmental impact.

Alabado stressed that Samal Island is a precious jewel of the Davao Gulf where the beaches and its natural features like the corrals will be properly preserved despite the expected industries and people who would visit once there is a bridge.

Lisette Marquez, tourism officer of Davao City cited the need for the local government unit of the Island Garden City of Samal to also have a plan on how to handle the implication of having a bridge between the mainland and Samal Island.

She cautioned that having a bridge will also expedite environmental degradation.

“We want that before the bridge is built the roads are also fine,” Marquez said.

She said that with the accessibility of Samal, tourists will only spend their time there by day, instead of converting them to nighttime visitors which is experienced today when people are served by two ferry services.

Marquez stressed that the carrying capacity of the island must be studied by the environmental planners.  (PIA 11-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)

DavSur provincial govt. continues agri-fishery program

DAVAO CITY, Jan. 30 (PIA) – The provincial government of Davao del Sur will continue this year to give focus on improving its agriculture and fishery program to upgrade the living of the farmers and fisherfolks in the province.

Marivic Hubac, executive assistant to Governor Claude Bautista, said the provincial government is set to specifically continue this year the coastal development program where fisherfolks are given the opportunity to own motorized banca (small fishing boats) through a special loan.

Hubac said the Banca Loan Program started implementation late 2013 with a total of 160 fisherfolks from Digos City, and municipalities of Sta. Cruz and Sta. Maria already benefiting from the project.

This year, she bared, the local government is preparing to distribute 100 bancas to the qualified beneficiaries in Malita and 150 fisherfolks in Don Marcelino, both of Davao Occidental province which is still under the administration of the governor of Davao del Sur.

The motorized banca loan amounting to P30,000 per unit is giving the beneficiaries the chance of paying at least PhP50 pesos a day, and to have it fully paid in less than two years.

Gov. Bautista has announced last year that not less than 2,500 fishing boats will be distributed to other coastal areas in the province until 2016.

For the farmers, Hubac said the provincial government is bent on pursuing projects centered on developing the rice production in the province.

She cited the irrigation system support through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist to Magsaysay and Bansalan areas.

The provision of farm inputs, livelihood assistance and trainings have also been lined up to be undertaken this year.

Hubac said Department of Agriculture will also provide trainings to help farmers assure yielding good quality farm products.

She said that they have started organizing farmers in the upland areas to avail of the Plant Now Pay Later Program which is focused on rubber production.

A rubber nursery will be put up in selected barangays for this project, she added.

Another financial assistance program will involve the wives of the fisherfolks and farmers as beneficiaries.

Hubac said an assistance of P5,000 will each be given to qualified fisherfolk wives who are fish vendors, and P3,000 each to farmers’ wives who are retailing vegetables.

“In this way, the wives are encouraged to become small entrepreneurs,” she stated.

She said the local government has been vigorously pouring in various livelihood projects for residents in the coastal and rural areas because “the governor wants to ensure that his constituents could meet their daily needs.” (PIA-11/Carina L. Cayon)

COMELEC defers suspension of registration, validation of voters

DAVAO DEL NORTE, Jan. 30 (PIA)---The Commission on Elections  (COMELEC) recently deferred the suspension of continuing registration, validation and updating of registration records in connection with the Feb. 21 Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections.

Davao del Norte COMELEC provincial officer, Atty. Gay Enumerables, revealed this late yesterday afternoon upon receipt of  the “Urgent Memorandum” dated Jan. 27 from the central office, directing field offices to continue the registration “until further notice”.

The COMELEC Urgent Memorandum was an offshoot of the Commission En Banc meeting held on January 26 during which it decided to “defer the suspension of the system of continuing registration, validating and updating of registration records.”

During the Kapihan sa Kapitolyo early yesterday afternoon, Atty. Enumerables announced  the suspension of the continuing registration of voters starting February 1 to February 28 based on the COMELEC Calendar of Activities for the February 21 SK Elections laid out in detail through COMELEC Resolution 9905 promulgated on October 21, 2014.

Atty. Enumerables, however, later informed PIA DavComval Information Center of the latest issued directive of COMELEC Central Office for its field offices to go on with the registration.

Meanwhile, COMELEC also issued on January 22 the Resolution No. 9928, moving the Election Period relative to the SK Elections to February 6 to March 2 from Jan. 22 to March 2 that it earlier set through Resolution No. 9905.

The amendment, also in effect, carries with it the change of Gun Ban period and other prohibitions related to the Election Period.  (PIA 11/ Jeanevive Duron-Abangan)