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Sweeper flight transports 69 stranded foreign tourists

May 2, 2020

LAGUINDINGAN, Misamis Oriental – Sixty nine (69) foreign tourists coming from different regions of Mindanao were transported to Manila and onward to their home countries through a sweeper flight that was spearheaded by the Australian Embassy and Philippine Airlines (PAL) and coordinated by the Department of Tourism (DOT)-Region 10.      The foreign tourists came from Regions 9, 10, and 13 and were composed of 46 Australians, 8 Americans, 8 New Zealanders, 2 Koreans, 2 Japanese, 1 British national, 1 Polish, and 1 Singaporean.     As per instruction by the Australian Embassy, the sweeper flight prioritized stranded Australian nationals in Mindanao. After all the Australians have booked, the booking was also opened by PAL to foreigners of nationalities who had onward tickets to their home country.     The PAL Bombardier Dash 8 plane carrying the tourists left Laguindingan airport at 4:10 pm.     Consistent to its travel safety protocols, the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and PAL strictly imposed their requirements before allowing the passengers to purchase a ticket.      These requirements were: 1. A foreign passport; 2. A Health Certificate stating that they do not bear symptoms related to COVID-19 and are fit to travel signed by the City or Municipal Health Officer; 3. Confirmed onward flight ticket to their home country; and 4. A hotel booking in Manila if their international flight is not on the same day as the sweeper flight.     The tourists were transported to Laguindingan airport with the close coordination between the DOT Mindanao Regional offices under the leadership of Assistant Secretary Myra Paz V. Abubakar, the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the concerned local government units of Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Butuan, Iligan, and Laguindingan. The sweeper flight was also made possible with the assistance of the Department of Health (DOH)-10, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)-10, the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and members of the private sector such as PAL, New Dawn Hotel and Red Planet Hotel.   Twenty three-year-old Korean missionary Kang Yongchan who was serving in a community in Valencia City, Bukidnon said he is down-trodden to be leaving the Philippines under such circumstances. He shared that he has indeed made many friends here and is very positive that he will come back when the situation permits him in the future.   “I had such a good time here in [the] Philippines. I am sad to be going as I had such a good life here. I will definitely come back in the future, back to Valencia” he said. Department of Tourism-Region 10 Director Marie Elaine Unchuan is very happy for all the support that the DOT-10 has been receiving for the sweeper flights since it started last March. “We’re doing the sweeper flights because we really want to bring all these stranded tourists home, this is the main goal. The DOT is giving our full support for our stranded tourists to make sure that there’s a seamless transition to their travel home,” she said. As of April 29, DOT-10 has coordinated seven sweeper flight operations and has repatriated a total of 477 tourists. (DOT10/PIA10)

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Lanao del Sur opens Market Convergence

May 2, 2020

MARAWI City -- The provincial government of Lanao del Sur has opened its Market Convergence to link the business sector in the province to suppliers from the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro.     Mohammad Rajiv Naga Radia, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg) head, said the market convergence aims to address the business sector's limited access to procure food products that they can sell in their stores because of some travel restrictions due to the ongoing enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). "Isa sa naging problema natin sa probinsiya ay yung pagbaba ng mga taga Lanao del Sur sa Iligan at Cagayan de Oro para kumuha ng mga produkto. Kaya naisip ng provincial government na dalhin nalang dito ang mga produkto para hindi na bababa ang mga taga Lanao del Sur," he said. Radia said the Lanao del Sur Market Convergence goes beyond manufactured products.  "We divided the market into two, the grocery section located at the Provincial Capitol Gym and the agricultural section at the Provincial Capitol Tennis Court," he added. For the agricultural products, the OPAg head said they are bringing basic farm and fishery commodities at 'reasonable' prices. "Nakita natin na kahit anong gawin nating implementasyon ng suggested retail price, mahirap talagang pakiusapan yung mga sellers. Kaya pumasok tayo sa market at nag-introduce ng mas mura para yung mga sellers ay susunod sa ating pricing," said Radia. This move, he said, is a way to ensure affordable and stable prices of agricultural products in the province during the COVID-19 crisis. Agricultural products sold at the Market Convergence include various vegetables, fruits, dried fish, fresh fish, and poultry. (APB/PIA ICIC)  

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COVID-19 isolation facility, itukod sa MisOr

May 2, 2020

NAGLARAW karon ang pangagamhanan ni Gov. Bambi Emano nga magtukod og isolation facility dinhi sa Misamis Oriental alang sa mga pasyente nga gituhoang persons under monitoring (PUM) ug persons under investigation (PUI) sa coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).     Sa ilang panagtapok sa Provincial Task Force for COVID-19, kauban ang mga ulo sa departamento sa kapitolyo ning bag-o ug si Gov. Emano, sila nakahukom nga magtukod sa isolation building sa lungsod sa Alubijid, kung hain nahimutang ang isa sa mga Provincial Hospitals sa lalawigan.     Si Arch. Joseph Arao-Arao ang gisangunan sa pag desinyo sa nasangpit nga 50-bed 50-room capacity building. Ang pundo niini gikan sa amelioration fund sa Bayanihan Act Heal as One grant sa kaulohan nga P69 milyones. Pasado matud pa sa Department of Health – Region 10 ang nasangpit nga plano, hilabina paghuman sa general community quarantine kung diin gilaumang modagsang dinhi sa Misamis Oriental ang overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) ug stranded sa nagkadaiyang lugar sa Pilipinas sa ilang pagpauli pohon.  

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MinDA seeks wage hike, perks for businesses

April 30, 2020

    The measures would ensure the success of the "Balik Probinsya" initiative being advocated by Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, said MinDA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.     “Seriously, I cannot understand why rural workers should receive lower salaries than those who work in the cities. Personally, I see this discriminatory wage rates (whose constitutionality could be challenged) as one of the reasons why many job seekers flock to the urban centers,” Piñol said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.     Go said the government should learn from the experiences being encountered in the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis, and provide long-term solutions to recurring problems in urban areas, especially Metro Manila.     The senator said these recurring problems accelerate the spread of diseases due to densely-populated communities in urban growth centers. If the government increases wage rates and incentives for companies to establish processing facilities in the provinces, Go said there will be massive reverse migration to the rural areas. Piñol agreed, saying workers will be earning more because they could do some food production activities on the side while processing companies would realize more profit because they no longer have to haul raw materials from the rural production areas to their factories. MinDA also proposed an action plan supported by legislation to ensure the sustainability of the "Balik Probinsya" program. Pending the passage of legislative action, Piñol said an executive order directing the preparation of a national framework for the Balik Probinsya program and direct the cooperation of all agencies and sectors involved to jumpstart the initiative. He added that MinDA may be tapped for the implementation of this directive for Mindanao as provided for under Republic Act 9996. (PNA)  

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DSWD-10 warns gov't cash aid abusers

April 30, 2020

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development in Region 10 (DSWD-10) has appealed to the beneficiaries of the government's various cash aid programs to spend the money only for essential needs.     Oliver Inodeo, DSWD-10 information officer, said the agency has received reports that beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and Listahanan--the basis for the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) recipients affected by quarantine--were caught buying liquors or illegal drugs.     Inodeo said that 4Ps beneficiaries can be reported to their office if found to have misused their cash assistance as part of their "grievance system."     "Anyone can file a report to our office, and anyone who misuses their money will undergo a due process of investigation," he said.     He said 4Ps beneficiaries who violate the arrangements set under the program will be given fair warnings, and be subjected to a case management protocol by a social worker. "The final consequence if they found guilty will be delisting of their names," he said. As for the Listahanan-SAP beneficiaries, he said the budget for the program was given to the respective local government units for distribution during the quarantine. While no specific guidelines on how SAP beneficiaries should use the money, Inodeo said the agency has advised recipients to prioritize essential needs. Arrests Various police units in the region have recorded erring 4Ps and Listahan-SAP beneficiaries for violating quarantine protocols and certain laws. On April 28, the Cagayan de Oro Police Office (Cocpo) arrested Danilo Razalo, 44; and Criselo Baguinat, 40 for allegedly having shabu pot session. Police said Razalo is a 4Ps beneficiary while Baguinat was a recipient of SAP aid. Charges related to the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act will be filed against them. On April 24, police also apprehended Claver Lomongo, 39; and Archer Bacala, 40, for violation of the liquor ban. Both are SAP beneficiaries and will face charges. In Bukidnon province, the Talakag municipal police also arrested on April 27 two 4Ps beneficiaries for violating the liquor ban. SAP distribution Meanwhile, officials said the distribution of SAP funds to the beneficiaries continued on Wednesday in the Bukidnon town of Cabanglasan with the assistance of the police and military. Lt. Col. Edgardo V Talaroc Jr., commander of the Army's 8th Infantry Battalion, commended the constituents for the orderly distribution of SAP aid. “We are always ready to provide security and other necessary assistance to deliver the much-needed emergency cash assistance and other government services to the people," he said. (PNA)  

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392,000 bags of Vietnam rice arrive in Iligan port

April 30, 2020

ILIGAN City – Some 392,000 bags of Vietnam rice aboard two cargo vessels arrived at the port here almost simultaneously, first on Tuesday and then Wednesday.     Workers at the port in Iligan City unload rice from Vientam on Tuesday (28 April 2020). A total of 392,000 25-kilo bags arrived in Iligan Tuesday and Wednesday aboard two separate vessels. Although consigned to a private rice trader, Philippine Ports Authority officials said part of the cargo will go to local government units in Northern Mindanao who purchased bulk for distribution to residents who are forced to stay at home because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. MindaNews photo by RICHEL V. UMEL Medardo Sosobrado Jr., acting manager of the Philippine Ports Authority in Iligan, told MindaNews Wednesday the first vessel, MV Hai Ha 58, arrived 7:29 a.m. Tuesday and started unloading the rice cargo at 1 p.m., after a five-hour cargo compartment cooling, for Soda Enterprises as consignee. He said part of the cargo will go to local government units, through Soda, in Northern Mindanao who purchased bulk for distribution to residents who are forced to stay at home because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Dr. Andrew Marcella, of the Bureau of Quarantine, boarded the two vessels and checked the health conditions of the crew before they were allowed to dock, Sosobrado said. The MV Hai Ha 58 contained 152,000 bags of Princess Bea rice at 25 kilos per bag, or a total of 3,800 metric tons. The second vessel, MV Viethaisun, arrived at 7 a.m. Wednesday containing 240,000 25-kilo bags, or 6,000 metric tons. Both vessels are still unloading their cargo as of press time. (Richel V. Umel / MindaNews)  

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