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PCG probes oil spill at CDO port

May 18, 2020

THE Philippine Coast Guard in Northern Mindanao (PCG-NM) on Friday began investigating the oil spill that occurred on the seaport of Barangay Macabalan, this city.     The oil spill was first reported to authorities by crews of the ships docked at the Macabalan port Thursday morning, said Ensign Jerich Ybañez, PCG-NM spokesperson.     “As soon as we got the information, we then referred it to our MEPU (Marine Environmental Protection Unit) which responded right away,” Ybañez said.     He said the MEPU contained the spill by retrieving the oil through absorbent pads and cordoning the area with “spill boom,” a floating barrier used to contain an oil spill.     As of Friday, the oil spill has already been contained as the PCG is now determining who was responsible for dumping the substance into the sea, he said.     “We have collected samples from the oil spill. As of the moment, we have yet to pinpoint (the culprit) but we are conducting an investigation,” Ybañez said.     He said they are now tracing the source of the spill through the samples they have gathered from the sea and from the shipping lines docked at the port.     Since Thursday, the PCG-NM has collected about 210 liters of concentrated and diluted oil from the spill, he said.     At the Macabalan port where a team from the PCG-NM was conducting the clean-up, ships coming mostly from Vietnam can be seen unloading tons of imported rice onto waiting cargo trucks.     “There is a ‘footprint’ and we are going to take the ‘footprint’ of what we have collected. From there, we will know where the oil came from,” he said, adding that once they have traced the oil spill to a particular ship, they will then prepare a complaint with the imposition of sanctions and penalties to follow.     He also said that it was good that his team was able to contain the spill immediately, as they have also coordinated with the Philippine Ports Authority and other agencies so they can prepare for any eventualities.     Commander Jonie Belarmino, head of the PCG’s MEPU in Northern Mindanao, said the oil spill could have an adverse effect on the marine life such as fish, corals, and mangroves if it was not contained.     He also said that the spill has reached a stretch one nautical mile or 1.852 kilometers when it was first reported.     “There was a possibility that it could escalate. So far, we have contained it through the use of the spill boom to prevent it from further spreading,” he said.     Belarmino appealed to shipping line operators to be mindful of their actions that could impact the environment such as discharging wastes in bodies of water.     “Ship operator and seafarers are all aware that disposing of oil into the sea is strictly prohibited. It is our responsibility to take care of our oceans,” he said. (PNA)

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Adidas reopens 3 Mindanao stores

May 18, 2020

HARD hit, like many businesses are, by the COVID-19 pandemic, Adidas Philippines is slowly, steadily getting back into action.     This developed following the reopening of the company’s three stores:  Ayala Centrio Cagayan de Oro, Gaisano Mall of Digos, and SM Cagayan de Oro Uptown.     The shoe and apparel brand stressed that these reopening are “in line with local government guidance and in collaboration with our retail partners”.     Cagayan de Oro and Digos are among the areas that transitioned to general  community quarantine on May 1, as they are classified as moderate-risk locales, according to Mindanao Daily.     Majoirty of the physical retail arm of Adidas remains closed in the country. However, “our .com is now able to resume operations to fulfill and deliver your orders,” the statement continued.     The company also announced that their online store is now running with a “skeletal team”. However, this team is working within regulated hours and under proper health guidelines.     Earlier, in March 18, the brand had announced that deliveries and fulfillment of their online store would be indefinitely suspended until clearance for normal operations would be given.     This month, it was able to hold a successful online drop of the Yeezy Boost 380 Mist. Tomorrow, May 9, 11 a.m., the Yeezy 700 V3 will go on sale.     “We appreciate your patience with us during these times and we thank you for continuing to look out for each other, our families, and the teams around us,” finished Adidas' statement.

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Mindanao’s food production capacity, an advantage under the ‘New Normal’

May 18, 2020

DAVAO City – For many years, Mindanao contributes a huge percentage of food production for the whole country. This trait of the said region is seen as an advantage under the ‘New Normal’ since Mindanao is known for being more than capable of sustaining its own agricultural needs and at the same time develop its own food surplus.     The President of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Incorporated (DCCCII) Gian Carlo Borja-Tria is positive that Mindanao is going to have huge potential at re-building its economy under the ‘New Normal’.     “…the consensus of many business observers is that the food production capability of Mindanao will be the premium advantage of the island…,” Tria said.     It is because of this that the DCCCII discussed the capabilities of Mindanao in food production as an indicator of how agriculture is going to play a vital role in re-building the losses brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.     “…the fact the we (Mindanao) can produce food - and we actually have the capacity to produce surpluses – will be our advantage and I think that is where a lot of businesses will have to examine…”, Tria added.     The current trend of food production is currently low due to complications in logistics or movement brought about by the imposed public health safety measures. That is why it is important for the agricultural sector to ensure a dependable and stable system in ensuring the delivery of farm-to-market goods.     “Yung logistics kasi ng pag padala ng food sa ibang area ng Pilipinas ay medyo mahirap. Kung malakas ang logistics at mababa ang price nito, our products can easily be competitive and find their way to other markets like the Visayas and parts of Luzon (The logistics involved for sending food to different areas of the Philippines is a bit difficult. If logistics will become more dependable and affordable, our products can easily be competitive and find their way to other markets like in the Visayas and parts of Luzon),” Tria discussed. (PIA XI/KPLCaro)

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DSWD disburses P96-B for SAP, R10 at 97% completion

May 18, 2020

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—About 96 billion has already been disbursed to 16.9 million families nationwide through the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Social Amelioration Package and in Region 10, 611,688 families have already been served comprising the 97.34 percent disbursement.     During the daily Network Briefing with Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar, May 15, DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said about 1,131 out of 1,634 local government units (LGUs) in the country have accomplished 100 percent in the SAP distribution.     The secretary added that about 140 LGUs have already submitted their liquidation report, “Siyempre i-vavalidate ito ng ating mga field offices (Of course, these will be validated by our field offices).”     As for the social pension, P2.5 billion has already been disbursed to 835,937 beneficiaries while the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) already helped 51,056 beneficiaries who have COVID-19 related problems.     This includes 6,478 stranded individuals who were also assisted by the DSWD.     In region 10, about P3.6 billion has already been disbursed for the SAP. There are only 16,555 families left unserved which would require about P100 million. (RTP/PIA10)

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Over 10K beneficiaries paid under DOLE program in Caraga

May 17, 2020

BUTUAN City – A total of 10,131 beneficiaries in the whole Caraga Region were already paid by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through its Barangay Ko, Bahay Ko (BKBK) program as of May 14, 2020.     DOLE-13 director Chona M. Mantilla said Friday that over P32.5 million have been paid to the beneficiaries whose sources of living were affected by the lockdowns imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).     The BKBK is a community-based safety net program aimed to provide temporary employment to workers from the informal sectors who are either underemployed, self-employed, or displaced marginalized workers who are directly affected by the lockdowns.     Data provided by DOLE-13 to the Philippine News Agency Friday showed that in Agusan del Norte, 561 beneficiaries were paid with a total amount of P1,795,780, while 2,487 beneficiaries received P7,995,640 in Agusan del Sur.     A total of 4,117 beneficiaries also received payments in the total amount of P13,244,240 in Surigao del Norte; 1,563 beneficiaries with a total payment of P5.017,720 in Surigao del Sur; and P3,999,420 to 1,244 beneficiaries in the province of Dinagat Islands.     DOLE-13 said an additional 159 beneficiaries of the BKBK program received their payments amounting to P511,980.     “We are still waiting for the release of additional funding to pay more beneficiaries under the program here in Caraga,” Mantilla said.     DOLE-13 data said a total of 3,406 beneficiaries have yet to receive their payments with a total amount of P11,123,700.     Mantilla assured the agency is regularly making follow-ups for the release of the remaining amount. (PNA)

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Fishery resource sufficiency rate in Caraga at 80%: BFAR

May 15, 2020

BUTUAN CITY – The sufficiency level of the fishery resources in the Caraga Region is now placed at 80 percent rate, based on this year’s study made through the National Stock Assessment Program (NSAP) of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in the Caraga Region (BFAR-13).     “This study is conducted during the early part of every year. This is a yearly program of BFAR,” BFAR-13 Director Visa Tan-Dimerin told the Philippine News Agency Tuesday (May 12).     Dimerin said the survey focused only on fish landings of captured fisheries or catches of fishermen and does not include the aquaculture sector.     The latest assessments, done by NSAP enumerators in 57 landing centers, covered the major fishing grounds in Caraga Region that include the Surigao Strait, Dinagat Sound, Hinatuan Passage, part of the Philippine Sea, Bohol Sea, East Siargao Waters, Surigao Sea, Lanuza Bay, Hinatuan Bay, Bislig Bay, and the Butuan Bay. Decreased sufficiency     “Over the last two to three years, the sufficiency level in Caraga Region is registered within 77, 78 to 80 percent. Increases are recorded at one to two percentages only,” Dimerin said.     She explained that any deficiency in fishery resources in Caraga Region is somehow undetected by residents because of the presence of food substitutes such as pork, beef, and chicken.     “One cannot say that we have insufficient supplies of fish. When you go to the market we can see displays of fishes,” Dimerin said, adding that fish products from other regions are also sold in Caraga markets.     “Our sufficiency level is going down. Almost all fishing grounds in the Philippines are already on its critical stage," she warned.     "With the steady growth in the number of population in the country coupled with the upsurge of the fishing efforts or activities, we already face the dwindling of stocks of fishes in our seas, particularly in near-shore fishing grounds or traditional fishing grounds, except those migratory fishes that are found in deep-sea areas,” she added. Climate change, pandemic     Dimerin said the NSAP assessment results are submitted to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and will serve as basis for policies and guidelines to be issued by the Department of Agriculture (DA) on the fishery sector.     Dimerin said climate change is also affecting the volume of fish captures and landings of fishermen in the Caraga Region and in the entire Philippines.     “The pandemic that threatens us, the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19), also affected the supplies of fish in markets due to the reduced operations of fishing vessels,” she added.     Dimerin said all forms of illegal fishing are also considered as factors that contribute to the decrease of sufficiency level of fish resources in the country and the region.     She also took note of the efforts of local government units (LGUs) in Caraga in fighting illegal fishing activities.     Dimerin said among the recommendations BFAR-13 has made to DA based on this year’s NSAP is to strengthen the aquaculture sector in the region.     The recommendation also considers the support to fishpond and fish cage developments in the area, she added. (PNA)

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