national news

MisOcc seaman tests positive in COVID-19 rapid test

May 1, 2020

ILIGAN CITY ----- A seaman who arrived in Ozamiz City on April 28 has tested positive in a COVID 19 rapid test. One of five sailors who arrived onboard the St. Michael the Archangel of 2GO Shipping at Ozamiz City port past 9:00 PM on Tuesday, the group was part of the over 300 seafarers repatriated to the country when the COVID-19 pandemic was declared. The sailor who tested positive in the rapid test done at the pier was immediately whisked by his local government unit to an isolation area.  Misamis Occidental Governor Philip Tan announced in a social media post the result past 9:00 AM on Wednesday, April 29, saying male sailor would still have to undergo a swab test “as recommended by our doctors to confirm the result of the rapid test”.  “He is now in one of our holding centers alone in one room but he is okay. We hope in the swab test, it will be negative,” Tan said. On Monday, Tan was criticized online for social media post announcing that the provincial government of Misamis Occidental and the local government of Ozamiz agreed not to let the seafarers disembark because their arrival was not cleared with the province of Misamis Occidental and the local governments (LGU) of Ozamiz City, Sinacaban, Jimenez and Plaridel where the seafarers were headed to from Ozamiz pier. Tan said Misamis Occidental would provide funds to the five seamen through their relatives to help them through their quarantine and have them repatriated after passing through the process for the safety of Misamisnons. In the guidelines of Tan’s executive order that placed the entire province of Misamis Oriental, including Ozamiz City, under general community quarantine, overseas workers and or residents of the province who are stranded in places outside the province must secure “written clearances from the governor of his authorized representative” before they are cleared to enter upon presenting a certification of completion of the 14-day quarantine period from the municipal health office or city health office where they come from. Thereupon the LGU where the person is going home to will meet his at the border and bring him directly to the isolation facility for 14-day quarantine. However, Tan changed his decision on Tuesday afternoon saying the provincial government is allowing the seafarers to disembark following their compliance with the health protocols. The decision was reached following consultations with the provincial health office and the Mayor Hilarion A. Ramiro Sr. General Medical Center (MHARSG MC), the Department of Health (DOH)-accredited hospital where COVID suspect cases are admitted. “We will send a medical officer who will conduct a health check and rapid test to all five passengers, check their documents and after clearance we will send them directly to their LGU holding facilities,” Tan said.

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Due to Social Distancing: Iligan Transport Group asks for interim fare increase

May 1, 2020

ILIGAN CITY ----- After the Iligan City Government allowed the resumption of public transport subject to social distancing, an Iligan based transport group is asking for a “temporary” increase in the minimum fare for the duration of the ‘Modified Community Quarantine” (MCQ). Instead of seven pesos, the Coalition of Lanao del Norte Utility Transport for Change (CLUTCH) is requesting the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Committee on Transportation in Congress to allow them to temporarily increase the minimum fares in Iligan City to 15 pesos  for as long as social distancing is mandated under the MCQ. LUTCH is an Iligan-based association of around 2,000 jeepney operators and drivers covering 24 routes in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte and Misamis Oriental.  “Temporary lang mani, bisan karon lang nga limitado ang isakay namo nga pasahero tungod kay mag-observe man sa social distancing. Para makabawi ug maka-renta mi sa jeep,” said CLUTCH Chairman Raul Permites. (This is only temporary because of the limited number of passengers we are allowed under social distancing. We requested this so that we are able to pay the rental of the jeepney.)  Mayor Celso Regencia announced Thursday that Iligan City would be downgraded to an “MCQ from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) starting May 1st. “This order shall take effect on May 1, 2020 until recalled, set aside, or revoked by the undersigned,” Regencia said in an announcement live over the Facebook page of the Philippine Information Agency – Iligan City, Lanao del Norte.  Under Executive Order number 40 declaring the MCQ, public utility jeepneys, taxis, calesa, trisikads and other public transports are allowed to operate within the city provided they observe social/physical distancing and with allowable number of passengers (including the driver/cuchero): Jeepneys: (half maximum capacity);taxis: maximum of three (3) persons; Calesa: maximum of three (3) persons; trisikads: maximum of two (2) persons.   “Gusto nami magsugod ugma (May 1) sa pagpamasahero pero basin dili mi makabayad sa renta kay gamay raman pud ang manggawas kay limitado paman pud ang lihok sa tawo. Hulaton pa pud namo ang among request nga ma-approve,” Permites said.(We want to start tomorrow (May 1) but we may not be able to pay the rental because there are only a few passengers going out since their movements are still very limited. We also want to wait for our request to be approved.)

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Tribal leaders dare solon to help build IP schools

March 23, 2020

BUTUAN City – Tribal leaders in the Surigao del Sur town of Lianga challenged on Thursday Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Eufemia Cullamat to help build schools for the indigenous peoples’ (IP) communities.        “This is our challenge to Congresswoman Cullamat as a member of the House Representatives,” Hawudon Jumar Bucales, the Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR) of Lianga, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in a phone interview.      Bucales issued the call on Cullamat amid the effort of the government to start the construction of government-run IP schools in the area.      In a separate statement released early this week, Datu Constancio Duhac, the Manobo tribal chieftain of Lianga, pointed out that Cullamat, also of the Manobo tribe, continues to oppose the establishment of government-run IP schools in their villages.      Duhac said he is perplexed that Cullamat "favors the continuing operations" of the controversial schools with alleged links to the communist New People's Army (NPA), referring to the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural Development (ALCADEV) and the Tribal Filipino Program in Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS).      The military has long suspected both schools as part of a network run by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the NPA.      “Congresswoman Cullamat has not yet sponsored project for the Manobo tribe in Lianga, not even a school or farm-market road that will connect Manobo communities in Andap Valley to the market centers in the province of Surigao del Sur,” Bucales said.      The IP leaders in the area are urging Cullamat to engage with the legitimate tribal organization in Lianga, and not with the leaders of the leftist IP group Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod MAPASU, whose members are known to have direct links with the CPP-NPA.      They also pointed out that most of the members of the MAPASU council are either siblings or relatives of the lawmaker.      “You must listen to us and adhere to our legitimate IP leadership and should not be biased,” Bucales said.      The two tribal leaders also called on Cullamat to support the government's "whole-of-nation" approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC).      “Join the government in delivering the basic and social services to the conflict-affected communities and file a House resolution to condemn the CPP-NPA for the recent attack they made on civilians in Diatagon,” Bucales said.      Bucales, however, said they are disappointed with Cullamat, alleging that the lawmaker has been lambasting the military and even joined other left-leaning groups to call for a military pullout in IP communities.      “The military protects the tribe from the infiltration of the CPP-NPA, especially the far-flung sitios of Andap Valley in Surigao del Sur,” the tribal leader said. (PNA)

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BARMM education exec orders early release of teachers' salaries

March 23, 2020

COTABATO City  – The Ministry of Basic Higher and Technical Education–Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MBHTE-BARMM) has issued an order to fast-track the early release of salaries for all teaching personnel in the region for this month.      The MBHTE-BARMM directive came after President Rodrigo Duterte’s issuance of Presidential Proclamation 922 placing the entire country under a state of public health emergency amid threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).      "We made this move to ensure that our employees can act accordingly and finance their necessities in this time of pandemic condition," MBHTE Minister Mohagher Iqbal said in an interview Thursday.      The MBHTE is the largest ministry in the BARMM, covering 60 percent of the workforce in the entire region. It has over 20,000 teaching personnel under its supervision.      "Therefore, it is our responsibility to aid them as much as we could extend in this kind of situation," Iqbal said.      The salary release will also cover the contract of service and casual employees of the ministry.      On top of this, the ministry has also requested the salary differentials for their employees to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) through the region’s Ministry of Finance and Budget Management.      “The focus of the Bangsamoro government now is to keep our employees and constituents safe while helping them in the best manner that we can," he said.      Iqbal urged the employees to do wise and prudent spending of money, especially in this time of crisis. (PNA)

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4ID celebrates Rizal Day with LGU, stakeholders in Cagayan de Oro City

January 7, 2020

The 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division Philippine Army joins the whole nation in the commemoration of  123rd Rizal Day with the theme, “Jose Rizal: Huwaran ng Pilipino sa Ikadalawampu’t Isang Siglo."      Around 120 diamond troopers composed of honor guards, firing party, marching band, security elements, general and special staffs led by Colonel Noel Z Plaza, 4ID Assistant Division Commander for Reservist and Retirees Affairs,  assembled in the Heroes Monument, Plaza Divisoria, this city as early as 5:00 a.m.      The activity started with the sounding of sirens followed by a formal program highlighting the raising of the Philippine flag with full military honors and mass wreath-laying participated by various agencies and sectors headed by City Mayor Oscar S. Moreno and Colonel Plaza as the military host.       In his message, Mayor Moreno reminded everyone of the sacrifices of Dr. Jose Rizal and that freedom is earned. “Let the memories of our heroes inspired us to do our task and fulfill our mandate to deliver a better community, a better Mindanao. Let us continue our teamwork, unity despite the diversity and to strive more for the next generation,: he said.      MGen Franco Nemesio Gacal, 4ID Commander said, “On the commemoration of 123rd Rizal Day celebration, let us be reminded of the courage, commitment, and patriotism of Dr. Jose Rizal who fought for our freedom through peaceful means."      Let this be a fitting reminder to everyone to preserve our freedom against CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNTs) and other unscrupulous organizations that wants to destroy democracy and deterrent to peaceful and develop communities. I urge everyone to do your share for us to attain lasting peace and sustainable development in Regions 10 and Caraga," Gacal further said.      The Rizal Day is celebrated every December 30 as the anniversary of Rizal's 1896 execution at Bagumbayan, at present the Rizal Park in Manila. It is declared a national holiday in commemorating the life and works of Dr. Jose Rizal as the national hero of our country. (4ID, PA)

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DILG Camiguin urges CSOs to apply for accreditation

August 30, 2019

CAMIGUIN--To enhance the awareness of CSOs on the importance of civil society participation and increase their capacity to effectively engage in local governance, and, at the same time, the requirements for accreditation, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Camiguin in partnership with the Provincial Government of Camiguin conducted a CSO Conference, August 7, 2019 at Sanggunian Panlalawigan Session Hall, Mambajao, here.      Led by DILG Provincial Director Rhona G. Pedraza-Abadilla, the activity was participated by 22 Civil Society Organization (CSO) representatives in the province.       The objective of the activity was to enhance the current local development by incorporating the participation of the CSOs in local government structure.      Abadilla urged the CSOs to take part in the LGUs’ program planning, implementation and monitoring at the local level, cited their significance in local development councils, and encouraged the organizations to extensively advocate transparency in governance.      “Para mamaayo ang pang-gobyerno, aduna'y tulo ka pundasyon: Hayag na Pangagamhanan, Accountability ug ang Citizen Inclusion. Wala'y bili ang mga pagpaningkamot sa mga lideres sa panggamhanan, kung ang mga tao mismo magdumili sa pagbuhat sa ilang obligasyon sa pang-gobyerno,” the provincial director added.      (To improve governance, there are three foundations: Transparent Governance, Accountability, and Citizen Inclusion. The government will be ineffective if the people themselves will not do their obligations in governance)      Abadilla also discussed the Critical Importance of Participatory Governance, Codal Avenues for CSO Participation and relevance of Local CSO Network during the activity.      Moreover, Engr. Leonides Oclarit, Provincial Planning and Development coordinator, said the activity aims to ensure that every citizen should participate in the decision-making processes because, in one way or another, they will be influenced by the policies implemented by the government.      Meanwhile, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member, Rony N. Sagocsoc presented and detailed the Guidelines on LGU Accreditation of CSOs and Reconstitution of the Local Special Bodies.      He encouraged the CSOs to apply for accreditation at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) Office of Camiguin to be eligible for representation in the Local Special Bodies (LSB).      Submission of requirements for accreditation of new applications and renewal based on Memorandum Circular No. 2016-97 to Sangguniang Panlalawigan Camiguin Office will end August 31 this year.      Once granted with accreditation, representatives to the LSB will be selected from among the organizations with the issuance of executive orders for them to officially function in the LSB such as the Local Development Council, Local Health Board, Local School Board, and Local Peace and Order Council scheduled within the 1stand 2nd week of September. (DILG10/PIA10)

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