caraga region

Butuan remains bird flu-free

August 25, 2017

BUTUAN CITY – This city’s veterinarian, Dr. Danilo Alegado has denied reports of possible bird flu outbreak here as results of initial investigation by the Department of Agriculture’s Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic laboratory was released on the reported August 19 and 21, 2017 incidents. According to the veterinary office, 15 ducks reportedly died on August 19 in Barangay Holy Redeemer. Alegado said the fowls’ deaths were caused by asphyxia or suffocation due to overcrowding. absence of ventilation and lack of water. The city veterinarian also noted that 20 chickens died in Barangay Villakananga due to New Castle disease or “Pukdaw” as locally called. He said the chickens had low resistance to climate change and had no history of vaccination. The cause of the poultry animals’ deaths could not be traced to Avian flu according to Alegado but Mayor Ronnie Vicente Lagnada ordered concerned agencies and stakeholders to implement strict preventive measures and quarantine to prevent the disease’s incursion into the city, The city chief executive urged the public to remain vigilant and be in constant contact with the city information office at 085-3422696 for any bird flu report or incident.

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DAR-Caraga hosts training of farm business school mentors

August 25, 2017

BUTUAN CITY – The Regional Office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Caraga conducted here a Training for Trainers of the Farm Business School (FBS) last August 14-18, 2017. The five-day course was attended by 24 selected field personnel from the four provinces in the region. In his message, DAR Regional Director Engr. Felix Aguhob said the activity aims to orient field implementers on the concepts and mechanics of the implementation of the FBS. “This is to ensure that the project will be managed smoothly and in a manner that our beneficiaries will get the best benefits possible,” he added. In Caraga region, four FBS sites were already established as of press time. “We are targeting six more, two of which will be implemented this year and four more next year,” Aguhob informed. The training was facilitated by Delia Gabales and Agnes Rojas of the Bureau of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development of the DAR Central Office. Gabales explained that the five-day activity was only part of Phase 1 of the training. “There are 11 sessions in Phase 1, while sessions 12-15 will focus on practical applications,” she further said.

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DILG 13 pump primed LGUs into becoming Better Investments Haven

August 25, 2017

DILG 13 has successfully concluded the Regional Roll-out activities on Developing Sustainable Local Economic Development (LED) Strategies and the Formulation of Local Investments and Incentives Code (LIIC) that was held from August 15 -17, 2017 at The Watergate Hotel, Butuan City. Participants were the Provincial Planning and Development Coordinators (PPDCs), Local Economic and Investments Promotions Officers (LEIPOs) and the Local Sanggunian for Economic Affairs. In a nutshell, the main goal of the activities is to ensure that the strategies and the policies for local economic development particularly on generating investments and employment as well as retaining businesses is aligned with the current national development priorities and ensure that our local governments can be at par with our ASEAN counterparparts. Subscribing to the 10-Point Socioeconomic Agenda of the Duterte administration, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has scaled up the requirements of the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG), particularly in the area of Business Friendliness and Competitiveness. Categorized as one of the essential areas to be achieved by the LGUs, the current focus is evaluating the LGU support to local economic and investment promotion such as the presence of an Office as well as a Designated Officer for local economic and investments promotion. Passing the Seal of Business Friendliness and Competitiveness has become a necessity because it is being tied up as a qualifying requirement for the LGU officials and employees to receive their Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) starting this year. With this, the LGUs in the region are provided with capacity-building intervention to prepare their LED Strategy and to formulate an updated Local Investments and Incentive Code (LIIC) that will articulate the policies, programs and activities that are conducive to business and enjoins the participation of all stakeholders for local economic development. Building LGU assets through economic-boosting infrastructures such as roads and economic zones is the most common LED strategy identified by participants to strengthen the economic development and competitiveness of all provinces, cities and municipalities.

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Stakeholders hold Caraga congress for sustainable organic agriculture

August 22, 2017

BUTUAN CITY – Farmers, agricultural extension workers, local government representatives, researchers, exhibitors and members of the academe recently convened here for the 3rd Regional Organic Congress (ROAC) carrying the theme “Go Organic: Sa Organikong Pamamaraan, Ligtas ang Mamamayan!” The congress aims to mainstream organic agriculture regionwide and encourage practitioners to obtain the Third-Party Certification in order to gain better access to domestic and foreign markets. According to National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB) member Jimmy Geronimo, the Department of Agriculture (DA) together with organic agriculture stakeholders should envision not just the five percent conversion to organic farming but also that every household should practice and be an advocate of organic agriculture. DA-Caraga reported that as of December 2016, the region already achieved six percent of agricultural land devoted to organic farming way beyond its five percent target. This accounted to 42,000 hectares regionwide contributed to almost nine percent of the country’s goal of 477,000 hectares converted to organic agriculture. “I believe that the National Organic Agriculture Program (NOAP) through the regional counterparts has been effective in implementing its objectives to the farmers. Up to now, I still hear appreciation from farmers who experienced the difference of the organically-grown produce,” Geronimo said. Geronimo said that despite the strict process for organic certification, some farmers associations and cooperatives gradually work out to comply with the necessary requirements. He also shared the alternative of adapting the standards set by Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS). PGS are locally focused quality assurance systems which certify producers based on active participation of stakeholders and are built on trust, social network and knowledge exchange. “PGS is designed to encourage more farmers to engage in organic agriculture,” Geronimo added citing that PGS is much cheaper compared to the Third-Party Certification which is assisted by DA and the Bureau of Agriculture Fisheries Standard (BAFS) and eventually certified by a third-party governing body. DA-Caraga’s Alternate BAFS Focal Person Helen Fortun said that the region has one farmer and one LGU-controlled association that complies with PGS: one is the identified integrated organic farmer Edgar Opalia and the City Organic Agriculture Fisheries complex (COAFAC) of Bislig City. DA urged representatives of local government present to provide optimum support to the Organic Agriculture Program as it will further the production of safe good and make the agriculture more sustainable.

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Gina Lopez’s rejection a ‘great loss’, bishops say

May 8, 2017

Bishop Antonieto Cabajog of Surigao believes that Lopez is the right person for the job if only to protect the environment and take care of the country’s remaining resources. “She is a great loss! The law should serve the common good. It’s the spirit of the law we should pursue not the law itself for its own sake,” Cabajog told Radio Veritas on Thursday. Retired Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa said the Commission on Appointments’ decision to reject Lopez as environment secretary “unmasks the kind of leaders we have”. “They betray God and our people because of self interest. And because of the interest of the abusive few, God’s creation and the environment meant for the common good is further exposed to degradation,” he said. Several diocesan social action directors also rallied behind Lopez and scored how the supposed interests of a few won over the common good. “It’s clear that selfish interest won over the interest of the people to be protected. That is how politics run our country,” said Fr. Augustus Calubaquib of the Tuguegarao Archdiocesan Social Action Center. For Fr. Guillermo Alorro of the Calbayog diocesan Social Action Center, the CA’s decision only proves that “doing good for the people and protecting their basic rights to live a descent life is a misnomer nowadays”. “It’s unfair for the people especially for the poor who are always victims of mining companies, their lives and livelihood,” said Infanta Prelature Social Action Director Fr. Israel Gabriel. Powerful lobby For his part, Caritas Philippines’ executive secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez said it was expected since some members of the CA have ties to mining firms. “The decision is expected, given the powerful lobby of the Chamber of Mines and the vested interest of many politicians who wantonly opted to sacrifice the interest of the environment and the poor over their own agenda,” Gariguez said. The powerful CA on Wednesday rejected the appointment of Lopez as Environment Secretary, who cracked down on mining firms that don’t comply with environmental safety standards. Lopez earlier ordered the closure of at least 23 mining operations, mostly located in functional watersheds. The priest earlier said that vested corporate interests would play a big factor in Lopez’s confirmation. “We need to judge now the CA members and campaign not to reelect those who voted no to environmental reform agenda being pushed by Gina Lopez,” Gariguez said. CBCPNews

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