caraga region

Surigao Sur execs declare NPA persona non grata

April 1, 2019

TANDAG City--Provincial government officials of Surigao del Sur has declared the communist armed group New People’s Army (NPA) operating in the entire province as persona non grata.      The move to declare the NPAs as undesirable communist armed struggle was agreed in a resolution by the members of the Provincial Peace and Order Council and the Provincial Development Council during a joint meeting here on Thursday, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the NPA.      Earlier, five conflict-affected villages in the province have declared the NPA as persona non grata including Barangay Mampi and Pakwan in Lanuza town, Barangay San Roque in Madrid town, Barangay Cabangahan in Cantilan town and Barangay Pantukan in Carrascal town.      PPOC and PDC members cited the bravery of the officials and residents of the five villages who made a united stand to declare the NPAs as unwelcomed guerillas in their communities      The motion to declare the NPAs as persona non grata was unanimously seconded by all the members of both councils and was approved by Governor Manuel O Alameda Sr., the presiding officer.      Provincial officials have joined the bandwagon in the persona non grata effect which already took place days earlier in Davao Oriental, Davao City and other parts of the country.      Brigadier General Andres C Centino, Commander of 401st Brigade who is present during the meeting, commends the PPOC and PDC members for making a united stand to pass a resolution declaring the NPA as persona non grata or no longer welcome in the province.       “Surigao del Sur has the highest number of communist guerillas in Caraga Region, conducting extortion activities and attacking civilians. It is also where the NPA celebrate its anniversary in the past particularly in Andap Valley complex, thus this declaration only shows that the people of Surigao del Sur are already feed-up with the 50 years of lies and atrocities of these bandits against the people”, said Centino.       He appealed to other local government units in Caraga to follow the example of Surigao del Sur to show their sincerity and support to the call of President Rodrigao Duterte end the communist insurgency in the country.

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DAR Surigao del Sur hands titles, equipment during farmer’s summit

March 13, 2019

Tandag City -- A total of 238 farmers are expecting a more secure farming experience after the Department of Agrarian Reform-Surigao del Sur distributed 377 hectares of agricultural land in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur last March 7, 2019.      Nestor Lureman, 47 years old from Carpenito Tagbina, Surigao del Sur was one of the farmer-recipients. “I was working in this land assisting my parents who were tenants since I was 13 years old”, said Lumeran.       “Now I will work as the owner”, he added. Lumeran received 3 hectares.      Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Karlo S. Bello of the Field Operations Office encouraged the beneficiaries to make the land productive.       Undersecretary Atty. Emily O. Padilla of the Support Services Office led the distribution of Certificate of Turnover of the 2.9 million farm equipment to 12 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries’ Organizations (ARBOs) in the province.      The farm machineries handed include 1 unit 35HP Tractor, 7 units Hand tractor (kuliglig/with steel trailer and implements), 4 units’ grass cutter, 4 units Rice reaper, 1 unit water pump with complete accessories, 1 unit cultivator/tiller (gasoline engine 8HP with implements/ accessories) and 1 unit corn sheller and husker.       These equipment were given to 12 ARBOs namely: Kilusang Pagbabago Lingig Farmers Assoc., San Isidro Palay Assoc., Limot Banacod Patong Irrigators Assoc., Bayabas ARBs Assoc., Esperanza Farmers Marketing Coop., Bunga Samahang Nayon Multi-purpose Cooperative, Barangay San Jose Water Users Assoc., Pocto Coconut Farmers Association, Binati Lateral-H Irrigators Assoc., Tigao Farmers Development Coop., Maticdum Farmers Multipurpose Coop., San Roque Producers Coop., and San Isidro Labrador Palay Assoc.      Undersecretary Padilla assured the farmers that DAR, under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte will continue to consider the welfare of the farmers. “We will implement projects that will you improve farming and increase your income”, she said addressing the farmers.      DAR Caraga Regional Director Leomides Villareal thanked the presence of Governor Manuel Alameda and Tandag City Mayor Alexander Pimentel and heads of the partner agencies.      More than 1,000 farmer beneficiaries provincewide participated the event. (With report from Myra Yu)

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Successful Conduct of the Orientation on Barangay at Pulisya Laban sa Krimen (BPLK)

December 20, 2018

The same was composed of eighty-six (86) barangays from Butuan City as pioneering barangays duly represented by their Punong Barangay, Committee Chair on Peace and Order, Chief Tanod and SK Chairman or Civil Society Organization (CSO) Representatives. All in all, a total of Three Hundred Eighty-Three (383) participants are actively present. Due to the continued incidence of criminality as induced/influenced by illegal drugs and the rampant transactions of the same, and act of terrorism as in the case of the “Marawi Siege” propelled the drive of the current administration to strengthen the bond between the Barangay and the Philippine National Police through the program, “Barangay at Pulisya Laban sa Krimen (BPLK)” purposely to mobilized barangay tanods as force multipliers to combat criminalities and promote peace and order in communities. Furthermore, the activity gained its objective to provide the participants with the necessary information for the creation of a community-based approach in preventing crimes and the formation of Neighborhood Watch as the topics about Understanding Criminality, Crime Prevention, Role of the Police and the Community in Crime Prevention, Barangay at Pulisya Laban sa Krimen (BPLK) Program and Action Planning for the Implementation of the BPLK Program were comprehensively discussed by PSI Ferdinand C Dagondong, Deputy Chief of RIU 13 and PO2 Julius Avila. DILG XIII Regional Director Lilibeth A. FAmacion, CESO III and Participants

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PH nickel industry plants 4.2M trees

July 4, 2018

The Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA), through its seven (7) member-companies, has upped its greening efforts in recent years as part of ongoing progressive rehabilitation and reforestation in their respective mining areas. “Our member-companies have planted more than we have mined. In fact, our ‘green’ footprint is larger than our mining footprint in terms of area. Our aggregate reforestation effort comes up to a total of about 2,000 hectares planted to date,” said Charmaine Olea-Capili, PNIA Executive Director, citing a forest density of about 2,100 trees per hectare – which is much higher than the country’s National Greening Program. A variety of indigenous and endemic tree and grass species have been successfully planted since the start of rehabilitation efforts. These include Agoho, Mahogany, giant bamboo, Tiger Kamagong, Tiga, Ipil, Narra, and Ironwood, as well as fruit-bearing trees like Calamansi, Rambutan, Cashew, Jackfruit, and Cacao, among others. Cash crops such as rubber, coffee, vegetables, and herbal plants are also grown in the mine sites’ respective nurseries.   Apart from providing employment to residents and to the indigenous community, the program also allows the companies to help their respective host communities as seedlings can be donated to the community in support of various greening initiatives.  This has given birth to an emerging downstream industry, agro-forestry, which also focuses on the community’s livelihood beyond mining.   The intensified reforestation program demonstrates PNIA members’ commitment and contributions to the government’s “National Greening Program” or the NGP, which aims to revegetate some 1.2 million hectares of “unproductive, denuded, and degraded” forest land nationwide from 2017-2022. “Much effort has been poured into rehabilitation because what has been planted will outlast the mine itself. This is for the community and for the generations to come, long after the mines have concluded their operations,” said Ms. Capili. Meanwhile, PNIA is also set to undertake a unified effort to implement a  Bamboo Plantation and Livelihood Project. The unique properties of bamboo complements on-going rehabilitation and reforestation efforts, provides livelihood opportunities and helps improve community disaster preparedness. In addition, the PNIA focuses on other environmental preservation initiatives such as wildlife conservation, marine protection, rubber plantations, tilapia production, and other activities that improve the environment. Organized in 2012 as non-stock non-profit organization, the PNIA is composed of Platinum Group Metals Corporation, CTP Construction and Mining Corporation, Citinickel Mines and Development Corporation, Carascal Nickel Corporation, DMCI Mining Corporation, Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation, and TVIRD’s Agata Mining Ventures Incorporated.  

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Tension grips palm oil land reform areas in Agusan

December 5, 2017

SAN Francisco, Agusan del Sur— Tension gripped the palm oil lands in Rosario town already up for final distribution as land reform areas on Dec. 6 after the killing of an agrarian reform beneficiary (ARB) of a splinter group which has camped out in their claimed area since Nov. 11. The killing of Rolando Moreno Sr. on Nov. 28 was believed to have stemmed from animosities between three groups of ARBs who are awaiting installation of their lands as part of the close to 4,000 hectares of palm oil plantation areas of multinational NDC-Guthrie Plantation Inc. (NGPI) which was converted into land reform areas in 1998. Police report said Moreno who confronted a group of ARB members from the rival group led by Nestor Alcular was shot to death at gunpoint. A recorded mobile phone video on the incident will be used by the Municipal Police Office of Rosario town in the filing of formal charges against the perpetrators. Alcular’s faction, which is the original group of NGPI ARB Multi-Purpose Cooperative, protested the final resolution of the Provincial Office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) of which the writ of reinstallation on the distributed land reform lands will be released this week. Occupied Ahead of the turn-over event, the victim’s group led by Emmanuel Sustino has already occupied their designated areas to start developing the farm and apparently secure their parcel of lands from intruders in the wake of growing hostilities among the infighting ARB factions. Sustino has singled out leaders of Alcular’s group for enriching themselves with the cooperative’s profits while distributing measly amount of dividends to lowly members during yearly assemblies. He particularly cited an instance in the past when cooperative’s board of directors and staff received P20,000 each while the members were only given P1,500 each. Sustino also questioned the unfair policy carried out by Alcular group where the size of an area for every agrarian reform beneficiary will depend on the amount of capital build up it shared which he said runs counter to agrarian reform law of equal distribution of at least three hectares each for ARBs. He also questioned accountability of the hundreds of millions of pesos the cooperative earned in the last three years which members of the splinter groups have been deprived of dividends. Point of interest The third faction led by a certain Abalaya remains mum on the incident although it has been the focus of envy of Alcular’s group after DAR assigned some 307 hectares of replanted palm oil lands already bearing fruits and produced at least P2 million a month. But Alcular’s group which also set up tents near the main entrance of the palm oil plantation has claimed the productive area as theirs being the mother cooperative and has been getting the monthly P2 million earnings since 2014 while there was still no resolution in the subdivision of the palm oil lands. Ouster call In statement written in vernacular, Alcular’s group has called for the ouster of Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Leoncio Bautista as they accused him of favoring the smaller factions with the more productive lands while assigning to them the rest of the less productive over matured 35-year-old pam oil tree areas. “We call on Bautista to divide the land equally in the more productive and less productive areas which is acceptable to the three parties and if you could not resolve this, you better resign,” the statement said. Alcular also wrote a letter to Bautista to issue a Cease and Desist Order to Abalaya and Sustino pending new resolution of the case. Based on their previous agreements, DAR has allocated 444 hectares to Sustino group which has 147 members , Abalaya group with the same 444 hectares for its 146 members while the remaining more than 2,000 hectares goes to Alcular’s group which has more than 800 members. Fair and square Bautista retorted the final resolution in the subdivision of lands was reached in a fair and justifiable manner for the parties to peacefully co-exist to equal rights and access to farm roads leading to the national highway and mountainous areas. DAR officials in a meeting with the three ARB factions and other stakeholders on Oct. 17, handed down the final decision on the distribution of lands because as what DAR Caraga Regional Director Julita Carandang pointed out, “ we could no longer wait for another time because the case has been dragging for such a long time.” Bautista said Alcular only sent a representative during the crucial meeting which could not decide on the final agreement but later the group protested the decision in the meeting with stakeholders on Nov. 9. He said Alcular who was present during the meeting to air their protest has even warned he could no longer control some members to be unruly if their new proposal would not be heeded by the body. But the provincial DAR chief said the new proposal submitted by Alcular’s faction was grossly unfair since they wanted the splinter factions’ areas near the boundaries of converted land reform lands where it is already abandoned in the development of palm oil trees and near influenced areas of the New Peoples Army.

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Local officials told to adopt five endangered tree species

November 28, 2017

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur--Five kinds of endemic trees which are still seen in different parts of the province will be taken care of by local officials to save their diminishing species. This was realized after the provincial government implemented the Community Awareness on Resources and Environment (CARE) project enjoining municipal and barangay officials to adopt the endangered trees found in their respective areas. The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office-Local Government Unit (PENRO-LGU) has identified the endemic trees as White Lauan, two kinds of Philippine Iron Wood or Magcono, Dao, Toog and Narra. Officials at the PENRO-LGU said these rare kinds of trees underwent tedious process in the identification and nomination of possible flora and fauna and inculcating the importance of endemic species conservation before they were submitted for adoption to the host villages where they are still sighted. Among the towns and villages which adopted the endemic trees are Barangay Bitahon in Esperanza town, Barangay Mabuhay in Prosperidad town and Barangay Santiago in San Luis town for White Lauan, Dao and the two Magcono species in Barangay Alegria in San Francisco town and Narra in the poblacions of Sta. Josefa and Veruela towns. Studies showed that the White Lauan (Shorea contorta) which belongs to dipterocarp family is considered endemic and classified as critically endangered based on the Red List 2007 of the International Union for Conservation of the Nature (IUCN). The Philippine Magcono (Xanthostemon verdugonianus), specie of plant which belong to Myrtaceae family is endemic to the Philippines and classified as Vulnerable based on IUCN Red List 2007. The Dao (Dracontomelon dao) although endemic to the Philippines can be also seen in the forests of Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Thailand. The Toog (Combretodendron quadrialatum) which is also known as the Philippine Rosewood belongs the Lecythidaceae family. There are only two species of Toog: One occurs in tropical West Africa and the other is found in the Philippines. The Narra (Pterocarpus indicus) which belongs to the Fabaceae family is the Philippine national tree is also classified as vulnerable based on IUCN Red List 2007. These tree species can most likely be seen in Mt. Magdiwata range and other mountainous parts of Agusan del Sur, but illegal logging and timber poaching continues to pose threat in its proliferation. The practice of slash and burn agriculture is also one of the causes of its depleting population. The implementation of the CARE project is considered as a distinct effort to raise the level of environmental awareness of the local government units and their constituents in response to the urgent need to conserve and protect the endangered tree species. On July 15, 1988, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Education, Culture, and Sports (DECS), and Department of Local Government (DLG) have entered into Memorandum of Agreement which gave birth to CARE. DENR Administrative Order No. 30 series of 1992 Section 3.2.C, cites that local governments are encouraged to choose, adopt, protect, and conserve flora and fauna species that are unique to the locality.

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