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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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Gov. Emano, lig-ong mibarog sa depensa batok COVID-19

May 15, 2020

MAGPABILIN pa gihapon nga ubos sa general community quarantine (GCQ) ang Misamis Oriental subay sa desisyon sa interagency task force (National IATF) human niini gibakwi ang naunang desisyon nga ibalik na sa normal ang tibuok Rehiyon 10.     Kini, matud pa ni Mr. Carlo Dugaduga, ang Provincial Information Officer sa Misamis Oriental, dili na kinahanglan pa sa Provincial Task Force for COVID-19 nga mo-apela sa naunang desisyon sa IATF nga bunloton na ang GCQ sa amihanang Mindanao karong Mayo 15, 2020.     Sa wala pa matino nga rason, giusab sa IATF ang ilang desisyon kaganina, Mayo 13, nga ibalik na sa normal ang paglihok-lihok sa mga tawo dinhi sa Rehiyon 10 sugod Mayo 15, ang expiration sa GCQ sa Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Camiguin, Misamis Occidental ug Bukidnon lakip ang Cagayan de Oro.     “All the while wala na sayop si Gov. Kay gi-lift na sa National IATF ang GCQ into ‘low risk’ kung dili modified GCQ na ta. It means under quarantine gihapon. Sayo pa sab kaayo aron nga luagan ang atong pakigbatok sa COVID-19. Bisan pa man unsa ka hard atong fight against COVID-19, kung luagan na nato atong depensa, basin mapareha kita sa Germany, wala miabot og 24 hours nag-triple ilang kaso,” matud ni Mr. Dugaduga.     Dugang ni Mr. Dugaduga, tungod kay alang kang Gov. Bambi Emano ang IATF man ang mas nakahibalo, mosanong ang gobernador sa kasugoan sa kahitas-an.

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Limited passengers still imposed for PUVs: LTFRB

May 14, 2020

LAND Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 10 director Aminoden Guro reiterated on Thursday that public transport conveyances in the region shall remain plying in a limited capacity even as quarantine measures have been ordered lifted starting on May 16 in Northern Mindanao.     Guro said that public transport vehicles must continue to adhere to social distancing guidelines earlier imposed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).      This order covers all jeepneys, buses, taxicabs, multicabs and public vans, he said.     “Even as there will be no more GCQ in Region 10, social distancing must still be enforced because this is essential to our health,” he said.     Guro also pointed out that they are now undergoing a dry run of the public transport modernization program particularly discouraging the overlapping of routes.     “For instance, naa na man tay modern PUV sa syudad, mas ma-prioritize sila kay sa mga old jeepneys routes ilabina diha sa highway from Opol to Bugo. Mas maayo g’yud nga dili mag-overlap ang mga ruta so sila ang dapat i-prioritize na 100 percent na ang biyahe after GCQ kining mga modern coaster,” Guro said.     Guro added that LTFRB 10 will strictly enforce on May 16 for all jeepneys operators to install partitions on their units as precautionary measure for social distancing system.     “This will be a great help to our enforcers para dili na mano-mano ang pagkuwenta sa mga pasahero. It must be the operators’ initiative,” he said.  On the other hand, Guro is also calling on all taxi drivers especially those queuing at ports of entries like Laguindingan airport, Macabalan pier and westbound public terminal to strictly get the names, addresses and contact numbers of their respective passengers.     As Northern Mindanao eases into new normal, there is an expected influx of passengers coming from other places.

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Zubiri appeals for GCQ retention in Bukidnon

May 14, 2020

BUKIDNON Governor Jose Maria Zubiri Jr. has asked the national government Wednesday morning to retain the  general community quarantine measures in the province.     Zubiri’s plea came after the national Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) classified the entire Northern Mindanao as a "low-risk" area due to its low number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases.     Under the low-risk status, local governments are ordered to adopt minimum health standards and to loosen their community quarantine protocols.     As Zubiri made the plea to the IATF-EID, Department of the Interior and Local Government Sec. Eduardo Año directed that local and provincial governments categorized under "low risk" areas may impose a "modified" GCQ.     According to Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, GCQ areas may loosen restrictions on the movement of people and work may resume under “new normal” practices such as the wearing of mask, social distancing, and other health protocols .     Prior to Año's announcement, the Bukidnon Provincial Board passed a resolution appealing to President Rodrigo Duterte and the IATF “to retain and extend under the [GCQ] status and be authorized to observe and maintain the GCQ protocols in its quarantine control points in the boundaries of the province of Bukidnon”.     Zuburi said lifting the GCQ would put the people of the province in danger of the coronavirus contagion since many of its municipalities shared a boundary with several provinces.     To date, Bukidnon has only one confirmed Covid-19 case -- a barangay official from Valencia City who attended a cockfighting derby in Davao City.     “We followed every order that you gave us, to the police, and we are proud to say that we are successful. Please listen to the people of Bukidnon,” Zubiri said in his letter of appeal. (PNA)

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MinDA forms special team to help poor access gov’t funds

May 14, 2020

DAVAO City – The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has created a special team to help people access available financing or grants from the government.     In a Facebook post Wednesday, Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the initiative is part of MinDA's preparation for the post coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) Recovery Program and a support program for the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program (BPBPP) pushed  by Senator Christopher Lawrence Go.     He said the program will be known as "Assistance in Loan Access for Livelihood and Agriculture Industries (ALALAI)", which will provide free facilitation services to farmers, fisherfolk, and women who would like to start a small business.     The MinDA ALALAI Special Team will determine and identify the various government loans, emergency assistance, and grants program per agency. It will also undertake an information drive both through the mainstream media and social media and face-to-face interaction to inform the public of the loan and assistance programs.     “It will also assist prospective applicants in the preparation of the feasibility and financial studies and other loan documents and link up prospective loans and grants beneficiaries with the banks or agencies with lending or financial assistance programs,” he said.     Piñol added that a separate team will later be formed to closely monitor and supervise the implementation of the projects funded under the ALALAI Program.     He noted that billions of pesos in government assistance and loan funds for livelihood and other economic activities are virtually gathering molds in bank vaults due to lack of borrowers.     Among the government assistance which, he said, were not fully utilized are the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) of the Department of Labor (DOLE) livelihood assistance.     He pointed out that ACEF which is collected by the government from the importation of agricultural products offers a PHP1 million loan to individuals and PHP5 million to cooperatives and associations involved in agriculture and fisheries at a very low interest rate of two percent.     The OWWA, on the other hand, offers livelihood assistance for returning OFWs so they could start a business and settle down in the country for good.     He added that the Department of Agriculture (DA) and its attached agencies, like the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and even the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) have funds, both for individual farmers and fishermen, and local government units with very low access rates.     “There are two main reasons why these funds are not fully utilized -- one is most people do not know about the programs. And even if they know there are such programs, the voluminous documentary requirements are so tough that the ordinary farmer and fisherman would rather go to the 5-6 lenders to borrow money,” Piñol added. (PNA)

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Schools to begin classes with psychosocial sessions: DepEd

May 14, 2020

PUBLIC schools will be holding psychosocial interventions at the start of the new school year on August 24, officials of the Department of Education in Region-10 (DepEd-10) said Wednesday.     Dr. Arturo B. Bayocot, DepEd-10 director, said the program is part of the different approaches or modalities in learning in this time of the Covid-19 pandemic.     "Even in the curriculum that has been put in place, when we open our classes on August 24, they (teachers) will not teach academics that instant. The first week of school will be spent on psychosocial interventions, mental health interventions," Bayocot said.     He also said that for the entire first week of the school year, discussions will be focused on safety, and psychosocial needs.     However, given the limited number of psychologists to handle all schools in the region, teachers and resident nurses and medical doctors were given training modules in handling psychosocial intervention.     Dr. Myra Yee, DepEd-10 Health and Nutrition Unit medical officer, said that the "new normal" in the education sector now includes both DepEd personnel and learners trained in health and psychosocial protocols.     These include, Yee said, the emphasis on "bio-safety," which seeks to identify "vulnerable" students so that proper interventions can be made.     "We are already training school health nurses, doctors, including guidance counselors through webinars. Aside from understanding bio-safety, are also forgetting the reality that there are mental health issues and psychological (problems) also involved," she said.     Myron Gil Talosig, DepEd-10 Education Support Services Division head, said teachers in Region 10 are in the best position to hold psychosocial interventions because a number of them were involved in previous training since the time of Marawi City siege in 2017. (PNA)

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