Kapatagan town bags first in LanaoNorte Christmas Float Fest

Eight municipalities plus one from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) competed in the first ever Paskuhan sa Lanao del Norte Cristmas Float  Competition.

Three were adjudged top-most winners, with the municipality of Kapatagan as champion. Prizes at stake for the winners are checks amounting to P250,000, P200,000 and P150,000 for the first, second and third place, respectively.

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Spearheaded by the Office of the Governor, in collaboration with the Provincial Tourism Office, the activity is a friendly competition showcasing artistry from each municipality, expressing their unique identity depicting their town’s tourist attraction, said Governor Imelda ‘Angging’ Q. Dimaporo.

“Our ultimate goal is to feel the spirit of celebrating this yuletide season despite our response of attending to the needs or providing temporary shelter to families who are victims of the Marawi siege,” said the governor.

Except for the 5th Mechanized Infantry Battalion of the AFP as one entrée, the eight entrees are all from the coastal towns. Non-winning towns include Baroy, Tubod, Kolambugan, Maigo, Kauswagan and they all received P50,000 each.

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The month-long celebration started last December 8, in a Christmas Float Parade around the premise of the Mindanao Civic Center Sports Complex and displayed at the grounds for its first judging. The culmination was on January 5, 2018, with top three winners declared.

Local chief executives representing their respective towns were in attendance in the culmination. Mayor Benjie Y. Baguio received the award for Kapatagan known for their Kahumayan Festival, while Mayor Alan J. Lim of Lala town known for their Alimango Festival, and Linamon known for Hudyaka sa Lubi Festival was headed by Mayor Randy J. Macapil.

Officials and employees from the Provincial government and local as well, including the Congressional District Representative, and other spectators witnessed the program and the awarding ceremony. The awarding was held at the open field of MCC Sports Complex. (LVG/PIA-10 LDN/PIO LDN)

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President Duterte confers with local officials as TS Vinta hits LanaoNorte

The wrath of Tropical Storm Vinta has devastated the province of Lanao del Norte.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte took time to be with provincial officials and town mayors as well, in the aftermath of the severe landfall of TS Vinta affecting 12 out of 22 municipalities of Lanao del Norte.

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President Duterte in his opening statement expressed his condolences to those who died and to the families who suffered of losing their love ones due to ravaging Storm Vinta.

The President, along with some of the cabinet members, had a briefing  with members of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) in a presentation- the scenario of the disaster,  by the Office of the Civil Defence-Region X,  at the function room, Mindanao Civic Center Hotel, Tubod, Lanao del Norte, in the afternoon of 27th December.

As of December 26, 2017, an estimated 8,607 families were displaced with corresponding 36,998 individuals. A total of 95 persons were verified dead, 41 are missing and 14 are injured. As validated by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) of Lanao del Norte, a total of 1,478 houses were damaged, 796 of which are totally damaged.

Furthermore, Governor Imelda Q. Dimaporo, being the PDRRM Committee chairperson, has reported five of the 12 municipalities hardly hit, namely Salvador, Tubod, Munai, Sapad and Kapatagan.  

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An estimated P288.7 million of agricultural damages were validated mostly affecting rice, corn, high value crops, and livestock. This magnitude of damage translate to 11,812 farmers left without livelihood.

While damaged infrastructure is valued at P168.38 million, the governor added. Specifically, damage to the provincial roads is estimated at P93 million, damage to hanging and street bridges is valued at P85 million. Other destroyed infrastructure include farm-to-market roads, access roads, riprap protection, lined canals, barangay halls, post-harvest structures, and commercial buildings.

Knowing the impact of Typhoon Vinta in these areas, the President said it needs a huge appropriation of funds, for the retrieval of all the losses and damages done.

“The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), are the two-most sought government agencies that could provide immediate assistance in time like this,” said President Duterte. Other agencies include Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health, Department of Trade and Industry, and our men and women in uniform who take care of the safety especially in transporting those affected families to a safer area.

Affected municipalities with their mayors in attendance, including the governor herself, conveyed to the President their concerns like bridge has collapsed, houses were wiped out, farm-to-market roads being blocked due to  fallen rocks, and more assistance and rehabilitation measures to be in place.  

The President emphasized a defined task for a government agency to immediately (not delay) provide service/ assistance as mandated by their Office. (PIA-10 Lanao del Norte)

Sec Andanar cites resiliency, unity, hope in visit to Marawi City

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar cited messages of resiliency, unity and hope amidst war during his visit to Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) operation center in Iligan City on 13 October 2017.

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Secretary Andanar shared in an interview with the media that he came personally to get first hand updates of recovery and rehabilitation efforts in Marawi City and emphasized the message of resiliency, unity and hope among Filipinos in this time of crisis.

During his visit, Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary and chairman of TFBM Cesar Yano said that through the sub-committee on reconstruction, there had been site development on transitional shelters at barangay Sagongsongan in Marawi City. In fact, there is already an ongoing construction of initial 1,100 units of these shelters by four groups in three months which started on 8 September 2017.

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The local government of Marawi and Mindanao State University (MSU) also assisted in the identification of 14 hectares of land for temporary shelters and permanent housing. There is also an ongoing inventory on internally displaced persons (IDPs) relocation preference and prioritization of IDPs for relocation with local government unit (LGU).

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In terms of health and social welfare, there had been a total of 108,028 medical consultations in 54 municipalities such as Tamang Serbisyo para sa Kalusugan ng Pamilya (TsekAP) services by the Department of Health (DOH). Aside from that, 68,289 individuals already received psychosocial services in 38 municipalities; the government has also provided evacuation centers with potable water and construction/installation of toilets, washing and bathing facilities. Further, 438, 440 IDPs received nutrition services in 51 municipalities.

On the other hand, relief assistance had been distributed to 78, 466 displaced families or 359, 680 displaced individuals, distribution of tents to decongest evacuation centers and early rehabilitation and recovery program through sustainable projects such as communal gardening and food production.

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Yano admitted that although the Maranaos are not used to gardening because they are more of trading and selling, they have learned to appreciate communal gardening as this makes their time useful in temporary shelters and evacuation centers.

Meanwhile, in terms of sustaining peace, the TFBM has created the technical working group to manage the return of IDPs; meanwhile trained policewomen had been deployed to counter violent extremism; and PNP posts has been established in evacuation and transition areas. According to Usec Yano, there has also been a culture of peace orientation to the youth IDPs in Iligan City and focus group discussion of women, peace and security among others.

Online war against terrorism

Among the itinerary of Secretary Andanar was a meeting with the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division of the Philippine Army in Marawi City who leads the war against terrorists in Marawi City.

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Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera in a presentation shared efforts of the Tabak Division in countering massive online production and information dissemination of videos and other materials about violent extremism. He said that apart from the battle on the ground, they are also fighting another battle in the internet against violent extremism.

He said that through their training, they have successfully taken down numerous sites online that are detected to be that of the violent extremist group producing videos which would invite and ignite violent extremism especially to the youth.

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He said that social media is one of the means the terrorist group use to recruit new members. Among the targeted sectors include the youth and even professionals.

Lt. Col. Herrera revealed that since the start of the war, they have strengthened their online presence. They have produced materials to explain the war and their efforts to fight terrorists in the area. They have also posted various news and articles about bravery of soldiers in the battle field and also soldiers who are helping Maranao civilians, among others.

These stories have helped in shaping up the image of soldiers, he said.

Establishment of Salaam TV and Radio

One of the final areas that Secretary Andanar visited was the MSU in Marawi City. He had a chance to speak with President Dr. Habib Macaayong and the rest of the top management of the school to share some good news.

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He shared that as the head for the Strategic Communications and Information Management group of the TFBM, the budget for the creation of Salaam TV and radio has been approved.

The secretary said that this TV and radio station is dedicated for the Muslim community, to give them a voice and share their stories to the rest of the country and the world.

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The proposed location for the said TV and radio station is in MSU and is expected to commence before the year ends or in 2018. (JMOR/PIA10)

Farmers, residents benefit from new FMR in Lala town

Farmers and residents of Lala, Lanao del Norte are now enjoying multi-benefits of a new farm-to-market road (FMR) completed under DA’s Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP). 

The 4.1-kilometer concreted FMR has started to benefit rice farmers in the rice-dependent barangays of Pinuyak, Simpak, and Maranding.

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According to barangay kagawad Arturo Arceñas, farmers used to traverse a much longer route just to deliver their produce to the market. 

“Before this road (in Maranding) was concreted, it is not being used by farmers and residents due to its poor condition,” he said, adding that not only their barangay has benefited from the project but internal barangays of Pinuyak and Simpak as well. 

“This new road has brought convenience to the people here,” he said. 

Around 4,100 households along the road’s influence area will benefit from the P33-million project, which was completed last August 2016. 

“For now, there is a huge change because the buyers are the ones who get our products and we can command a higher price due to its accessibility,” farmer Diogenes Sapatos said, who used to deliver their products using horses or carabaos to reach the market. 

Before, farmers incur a hauling cost of P50 per sack. But it has been reduced significantly, according to farmer Nerissa Gantalao.

“Now, hauling only costs us P15 per sack, and when it is time to deliver our products during a rainy season, it does take us too much time because the road is easier to access unlike before,” she added.

Students have now a more convenient walk or ride to school with the new road, said Pinuyak barangay captain Myrna Pama.

“During rainy days, students would find it difficult to walk through the road without getting their uniforms soiled. But with the paved road, they can just ride motorcycles going to and from their schools,” she said. 

To maintain the good condition of the road, barangay officials like Pama said they have issued a local ordinance that will allocate a budget for maintenance and repairs. 

“This road has ushered in progress to our barangay and changed our lives for the better,” she said.

Region 10 has seven other completed FMR projects under PRDP with a total cost of P215 million. (DA10)

Opening of classes in Iligan, Lanao del Norte unhampered – DepEd-10 chief

Amid rumors to postpone the opening of classes in this city and Lanao del Norte due to the Marawi crisis, Regional Director Allan G. Farnazo of the Department of Education (DepEd)-10 has clarified that the classes of all public schools in the area officially began on June 5.

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Director Farnazo together with Schools Division Superintendent Randolph Tortola visited the different schools here yesterday to see for themselves the opening of classes and the condition of the internally displaced learners at the evacuation centers.

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“We went to the different schools in region 10. In fact, we reached as far as Pantar in Lanao del Norte, which is just eight kilometers away from Marawi City, and we saw they were holding classes there, Farnazo said.

“In Pantar they’re having an inventory of 156 Grade 11 students, and we found them already enrolled. One hundred thirty-one of them were present when visited there,” Farnazo added.

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Farnazo reiterated the commitment aired by Education Secretary Leonor Briones to provide transportation allowance for Marawi teachers who would come to Iligan to teach internally displaced learners.

“There should be no compromises for education. Whatever is happening somewhere or wherever, we cannot sacrifice education, otherwise we will complement the problem if we will not make the children better educated,” Farnazo concluded. (lvgabule/PIA Iligan & Lanao del Norte)

 

Education not compromised amid Marawi crisis, says DepEd

“Education will not be compromised even with the present Marawi crisis.”

This has been stressed by Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones during the Meeting of DepEd Officials of Mindanao on May 30 at Luxe Hotel, here saying that the department will augment the teaching force, learning materials and create learning spaces for those who are affected by the siege.

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Briones also said that they are going to waive the requirements like birth certificates and cards so as not to hinder any child in continuing his or her studies. However, for the schools in Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), opening of classes might be moved two weeks from the regular schedule on June 5.

“In times of war, you cannot be demanding all the usual bureaucratic requirements which we do under normal times but these are not normal times,” the secretary stressed.

As for the school preference of a learner, Briones said that any child who wants to go to school in a particular area be it in Marawi, Iligan or Cagayan de Oro City, will be accommodated.

“We will not sacrifice education,” Briones said as she explained that in order to do so, the department will augment the teaching force and for Maranao speaking learners, they have tapped the ARMM region to assist in recruiting those who can teach in Maranao language.

The budget for such will be obtained from the Alternative Learning System and Briones shared that the department is fully supported by President Rodrigo Duterte. Hence, they will be able to produce financing in times of crisis.

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In terms of security in schools, Briones said, “Schools are zones of peace. Walang giyera diyan, walang away, walang gulo (There is no war, fights and chaos in the areas of learning). We expect the combatants to respect that.”

This is also the reason why schools are not used as evacuation centers during crisis as the secretary emphasized.

As of press time, DepEd has tallied 1,005 learners in one evacuation center in Iligan alone. The regional directors and division superintendents are still doing an inventory as to the number of children and school facilities affected by the crisis in Marawi City so the department could eventually determine the intervention needed by the stakeholders.(RTP/PIA10)

Iligan evacuation centers cater to Marawi IDPs

Three evacuation centers in Iligan CIty, Lanao del Norte particularly  Buruun City National School of Fisheries, Ma. Christina Gymnasium and Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) who are catering to evacuees from Marawi city are being manned by the Iligan local government unit (LGU) and providing food to the different Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

In an interview with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-10 Regional Director Nestor B. Ramos yesterday, May 26, there were 296 families registered duly validated number of families of two evacuation centers in Iligan City. 

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But there are still families who opt to stay with their relatives in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro city but still for further verification, he said.

Meantime, until evacuees are still in these centers, national government and local government will continue to provide food to evacuees. DSWD is coordinating with the Department of Health (DOH) and other agencies especially on health issues, DOH is there ready to address this issue, said Ramos.

In the meantime, we are asking our workers to do stress debriefing but since we have a language barrier, we are requesting Maranao speaking DSWD workers to do the stress debriefing to the evacuees.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ma. Yvonne Estose of the Iligan City Health Office shared that the health office is offering physical check up for evacuees from children to adults especially to those who have complaints with physical health. In fact, she said they found an old day infant who has 39.1C temperature. They immediately referred both the mother and the child to the city hospital for treatment.

Further, they provide medicines for a cough and colds and antibiotics and for hypertension. On the other hand, Dr. Estose said that most common illnesses of the adults are hypertension perhaps because of the heat of the weather. She also explained the importance of hygiene and sanitation. DOH is checking water and toilet facilities. There must be clean water in the evacuation center to avoid gastroenteritis or diarrhea, cough and colds and skin diseases. Sanitation is also important such as proper garbage disposal.

Anilo Laurete, barangay captain of one of the evacuation centers in barangay Ma. Cristina says that they have opened their gymnasium for Marawi clash evacuees as requested by Iligan CIty Mayor Celso Regencia. He said they have provided water and toiled facilities and make sure that the center is conducive and safe for IDPs from Marawi. (JMOR/PIA10)