caraga region

Army Geared up Backyard Gardening Expertise for Food Sufficiency as COVID19 Crisis Continues

April 7, 2020

Bancasi, Butuan City – The troops of the 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade led by Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine taking cognizance of the COVID19 pandemic crisis utilized their expertise on Backyard Vegetable Gardening this morning, April 6, 2020 at its Headquarters Brgy Bancasi, Butuan City to sustain food sufficiency as the pandemic continues.  Equipped with boots and gloves and armed with bolos, rakes and shovels, the Stingers troopers initiated a backyard vegetable gardening utilizing more than one (1) hectare of the unused portion of the camp to anticipate and combat the scarcity of food amidst the COVID19 crisis.  In partnership with generous individuals and the Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga, the 402nd Brigade was provided with vegetable seedlings and started the land preparation for its backyard gardening as one of the efforts to ensure food security of soldiers who are part of the frontliners in support to the DOH and PNP to address the COVID19 Pandemic.  Sergeant Eduardo C Cenabre, one of the Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Brigade stressed his enthusiasm about planting vegetables as part of the individual soldier’s contribution to ease the problem and taking the situation positively.   “While naa kami sa SOMO karon because of the ceasefire og kining atung gisagubang nga COVID19, amo kining gihimo nga magtanum og gulay arun usa ka lakang alang sa pag-antisipar nga anaa tay makuhaan og pagkaon kun mudugay pa kining krisis. Kini pud usa ka pamaagi sa among padayon nga ehersisyo arun andam kami pirmi sa pagresponde kun kami kinahanglanon arun suportahan ang mga ahensya nga gimandoan nga manguna alang sa pagpugong sa pagkuyanap sa COVID19”. Sgt Cenabre said in the vernacular.  Likewise, the 402nd Brigade had already directed the four (4) Battalions under its operational control covering the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte, and Dinagat Islands to include parts of Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur to include tenant units inside Bancasi Military Reservation (BMR) to conduct backyard vegetable gardening and initiate other contingencies to ensure food security of all troops as part of their operational readiness if called upon to even intensify support to combat the COVID19 Pandemic.  In his statement, Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine, Commander of the 402nd Brigade said, "Our troops shall be ready when we are called upon. We must anticipate the worst-case scenario and prepare for whatever possibilities that may arise. Our mindset is to become ready physically and mentally. This endeavor, the vegetable gardening, is part of our contingencies to promote preparedness and intensify situational awareness to our troops”.  “Traditionally armed with rifles and deadly weapons, now we fortified ourselves with gardening equipment to combat not the CPP-NPA-NDF but ensure food sustainability and security. Though we have deployed a number of our troops, most of us are still on standby alert. We are taking this opportunity and time to prepare and plan. We become experts not only on warfighting as our core purpose but also in ensuring food security thus this vegetable gardening initiative", Brigadier General Licudine added.

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Army Commander in Caraga Inspects IATF-MEID Control Points; Distributes PPE to AFP-PNP Frontliners

April 5, 2020

Bancasi, Butuan City – Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine, Commander of 402nd Infantry Brigade based in Bancasi, Butuan City inspected the government troops supporting the PNP and DOH at the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease Quarantine Control Points in Butuan City on 30 – 31 March 2020.  The 402nd Brigade whose area of responsibility covers the provinces of Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Islands, Agusan del Norte, 1st District of Surigao del Sur and Sibagat, Agusan del Sur and Magsaysay and some barangays of Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental deployed  over five hundred (500) troops in more than fifty (50) Control Points to be one of the frontliners supporting the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Department of Health (DOH) personnel while other troops are on standby and ready for deployment in case of any eventualities that may arise in line with the implementation of IATF-MEID guidelines and protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 Pandemic in Caraga region.  BGen Licudine’s visit and inspection aims to ensure the proper and strict implementation of the protocols and guidelines at the Quarantine Control Points in the region as dictated by the Regional Task Force for COVID 19 “One Caraga Shield”. Likewise, 402nd Infantry Brigade Commander distributed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as face shield and face masks and surgical gloves to the AFP and PNP personnel to guarantee the protection of the frontliners.  He said, “We cannot afford that our frontliners particularly the AFP-PNP personnel to be infected because we in the security sector could be the last line of defense to contain the outbreak if this persists much longer.”  It can be recalled that the JTF-CV Caraga Shield composed of AFP-PNP-PCG-BFP was formally activated last March 18, 2020, to address the interoperability mechanism of the four agencies in the implementation of the IATF-MEID guidelines and protocols. Hence, the role of the AFP and PNP is equally vital to contain the spread of the COVID-19.  “All frontliners must ensure that they strictly implement the protocols and, as leaders, we must supervise our personnel and monitor them so that they too will be protected. Hence, we laud the Caraga leaders in its prompt action to harmonize the guidelines among the provinces in the Caraga region activating the Regional Task Force for COVID-10 “One Caraga Shield” to address the COVID-19 threat. Rest assured that your Army will not waver on its commitment to ensure the safety and security of all Caraganons amidst this COVID-19 crisis.

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Army assists in the distribution of PPEs and food packs in Surigao Sur

April 5, 2020

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur-Camp Jaime N Ferrer Sr., Brgy Maharlika, Bislig City (Stn) – The Alpha "Adeptus" Company of 75th Infantry "Marauder" Battalion assisted the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Barobo and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the distribution of Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) and food packs to the frontliners of quarantine control points in Barangay Wakat and Brgy Cambagang of Barobo, Surigao del Sur on April 02, 2020.             The support of the LGU and TESDA by distributing PPEs and food packs to the frontliners of the different quarantine control points in the municipality of Barobo ensured the frontliners' well-being and protection from further transmission of the infectious disease caused by the Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19).             The LGU of Barobo and Sangguniang Bayan members of the municipality of Barobo headed by Honorable Joey S. Pama, Municipal Mayor, together with TESDA, SDS led by Mr. Rey M. Cueva, Provincial Director, distributed one hundred twenty (120) pieces (pcs) of face mask, 120 pcs of face shield, and forty (40) boxes of food packs to the frontliners with the assistance of Alpha "Adeptus" Company, 75IB led by Second Lieutenant Lawrence Candia, Company Commander, under the supervision of Lieutenant Colonel Warren C Munda, Commanding Officer of 75IB.             Moreover, the collaboration of the LGU and other government agency bespeak with their unity against COVID-19, and in providing our frontliners with foods and PPEs they need.             Lt. Col. Munda, uttered his appreciation to TESDA and LGU for they have provided and supported the frontliners with foods, particularly the PPEs they needed every day to keep them protected.             It is always a reminder to everyone to follow the protective measures to prevent the spread and not to be infected with the virus. Stay home and do your part as our frontliners do their part to protect the people and the community as well.  

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Caraga remains COVID-free after dead PUI tested negative

April 2, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur—The entire Caraga region remains free from the dreaded Corona Virus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) after the lone person under investigation (PUI) who died at the Caraga Regional Hospital in Surigao City on March 26 was tested negative of the virus. Dr. Jose R. Llacuna, Caraga Regional Director of the Department of Health, said confirmatory laboratory result released by the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City showed that the 24-year-old lone PUI mortality in the region was found to be negative of the virus. He said the patient’s demise was primarily correlated to a pre-existing medical condition which was Chronic Kidney Disease although a travel history outside the region was noted. “Again, we extend our sympathy to the bereaved family for their loss. However, we are also relieved of the latest test result,” Llacuna, said. As of April 1, there are two currently admitted PUIs in one of the DOH hospitals in the region. The regional office is still waiting for its pending lab results. The Caraga Regional Hospital has recorded 11 PUI patients of which eight were tested negative in the laboratory results from SPMC. There are a total of 7,713 persons under monitoring (PUM) in the region of which 7023 were cleared and have completed their 14-day isolation while 690 are still being monitored. In related development, Agusan del Sur Gov. Santigao Cane Jr has recalled yesterday the declaration of the entire province under enhanced community quarantine after he was overruled in a virtual meeting among governors and city mayors of Caraga on April 1. The Regional Task Force for COVID-19 released Resolution No. 7 Series of 2020 or the “One Caraga Shield”, that aims to harmonize the guidelines for the regional community quarantine in response to the viral threat. The “One Caraga Shield” had put back the status of Agusan del Sur into community quarantine and lifted the banning in the entry of motorist even those residents coming home from other areas in all the roads at the borders of the province. The regional task force agreed to declare a “lockout”  or the banning of entry of motorists in all the borders of Caraga.

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Army delivers donated PPE to Northern Mindanao and Caraga hospitals

April 1, 2020

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – Amidst the depletion of medical supplies due to the Corona Virus Disease (COVID) 19 pandemic, the 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division through its 4th Civil-Military Operations “Kasaligan” Battalion and Infantry Brigades delivered boxes of donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the different hospitals in Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions this March 27-28, 2020.      The said PPE were donated by The Outstanding Women in Nation's Service (TOWNS) Foundations, Inc. Each box contains 100pcs surgical masks, 100pcs N95 masks, 200pcs disposable gloves, 100pcs goggles, 100pcs face shields, 100pcs raincoats, and 2pcs alcogel. Two boxes of PPE were delivered to Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center (BPMC) in Bukidnon Province, two boxes to Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC), one box to Capitol University Medical Center (CUMC), one box to CDO Medical Center (CDOMC), one box to Xavier University Maria Reyna Hospital, one box to Polymedic Medical Plaza all in Cagayan de Oro City, while two boxes of PPE to D.O. Plaza Memorial Hospital in Agusan del Sur, and two boxes to Caraga Regional Hospital and another two boxes to San Isidro Rural Health Unit all in Surigao del Norte. Dr. Stephanie Hacutin, Chief Hospital of CDOMC expressed her gratitude to TOWNS Foundation and 4ID. Dr. Renato Alagadan, Head, CUMC Task Force COVID happily said, “We really appreciate the donations of TOWNS Foundation because the front liners really need these items. These supplies are valuable in keeping my troops healthy to fight another day.” Maj. Gen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, the Commander of 4th ID said, “In this time of crisis we are glad that our “Bayanihan” spirit is alive and burning. 4ID is always ready and eager to give assistance in delivering the much needed PPE for the medical front liners against COVID-19.” “We also urge our community to follow the health advisories of our medical experts and the Department of Health. Be a hero, stay at home,” Gacal ended.

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2 NPA Fighters in AgNor Surrender During their Anniversary

April 1, 2020

CABADBARAN CITY, Agusan del Norte- Two regular fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA) finally decided to surrender to Lt. Col. Isagani O. Criste, the Commanding officer of the 29th Infantry “Matatag” Battalion on March 29, 2020, at Barangay del Pilar, Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte. Their surrender coincided with the date of the NPA's Anniversary. The said NPA fighters were identified as alias Rocky, 35 years old and a resident of Kicharao, Agusan del Norte. Alias Rocky is a former member of Platoon “BANAKON”, Sentro de Grabedad (SDG) 16, of the Guerilla Front Committee (GFC) 16 of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Command (NEMRC). The other was alias Bibong, 40 years old and a resident of Santiago, Agusan del Norte. Alias Bibong is a former member of Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP) 16A, Guerilla Front (GF) 16A of North Eastern Mindanao Regional Command (NEMRC). The surrenderees brought with them one KG-9 pistol, one magazine with 15 rounds ammunition, one homemade shotgun and subversive documents with high intelligence value. Alias Rocky emotionally said in his message, “Life with the NPA was never easy but still I was enticed to join them. I was deceived in joining them, having been told that they would provide for my family in exchange for my allegiance. After three years of being with them, I realized that what they told me were lies. They never cared for my family nor did they care for their troops. Many times I’ve experienced a high fever and became severely ill, but they never gave me any medicine nor allowed me to take a rest. One time, I found out that my mother who was already in her senior  By 2028, a world-class Army that is a source of national pride “Honor. Patriotism. Duty” years got sick too, but I could not do anything to help her nor could my siblings. I feel like I failed as a son and as a brother in supporting my family since our father has died already. These experiences and misgivings pierced my heart, and so I decided to surrender already so I can still take care of my old ill mother and help my siblings before it was too late.” According to alias Bibong, "As a father to my children, all I want is to be able to protect and provide for my family. And that’s how they enticed me. They told me that if I join them, I would have a firearm to use to protect myself and my family. They also said that they would provide help for us. After three years of being with and trusting them, I realized that I wasn’t protecting my family but I was putting them in danger. As a father, I should guide my children to what is right especially now that they are very young. I should also have taken care of my wife more so now that she is pregnant. I should have been there to assist her. But it seems that I've given much of my time to the NPA and slowly neglected my priority which is my family. And so I decided to surrender so I could still guide my children to light and be able to take care of their mother. They are all very young to lose a father if I continued with the NPA. I still want to spend time with them and make up for having failed them when I was with the NPA” Lt. Col. Isagani O. Criste said in his statement, “As a man just like the two who surrendered, I feel your deep distress and regret for the wasted years which you spent serving the NPA in exchange for the moments you could have spent with your family. I know your intentions were good and that you only desire that which is best for your family. I’m happy now that you have found your way back before it was too late.” “And to all the NPAs who are still in the mountains, I know most of your plans have already been frustrated, even your anniversary celebration. And I know also that most of you are tired already, fighting for an ideology which may be vague and unclear to you. Please listen to us. The promises made to you were pure lies and will do no good to you or your family. Abandon it. Your fellow fighters have surrendered already, evidence that there is truly a way out of there. So, leave that evil organization, and surrender now. The government is waiting for you to come back and is extending its arms to support you in your desire for a better life with your family,” Criste added.

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