Press club in Gingoog Bay organized

Aimed primarily to uphold the freedom of the press and dignity of journalists’ profession, Gingoog city government in partnership with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Misamis Oriental spearheaded the organization of Gingoog Bay Press Club (BPC), composed of bloggers, broadcasters and journalists on December 8.

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Alvin Edmar C. Pabia, GBPC president, said organizing the press club also aimed at improving the practice of journalism in the city thereby contributing to the development of Gingoog and the province as well.

 

Further, he said the press club seeks to provide people who gather and disseminate news a venue for the advancement of their professional standard and skills, the promotion of free expression, mutual support and social fellowship.

 

However, the press club will take actions for abusive media practitioners and at the same time provides assistance to them especially those who are vulnerable to libel suits.

 

It shall also promote the strict adherence of journalists to a code of ethics.

 

Alvin Edmar C. Pabia was elected as president; Jonas Bustamante, executive vice president; John Dangga, vice president (print); Del Mark Valendez, vice president (broadcast); Emilio Nambatac, corporate secretary; Martin Alarcos, treasurer; and Ricardo Cañete as the auditor.

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Nikko Casal (Magsaysay) and Armando Mamba (Gingoog City) will serve as press relations/representative each representing towns along the Gingoog Bay Area. For Talisayan and Balingoan still to be appointed by the president.

 

The press club board is composed of Martin Gamotin, Raymond Bulanon, Ronson Gumapon, Kevin Anacaya and Erron Rañoa.

 

In its organizational meeting, the media group planned to conduct a logo making contest for the press club to be its official logo, courtesy calls, firm up its constitution and by laws among others. It also discussed on the accreditation of its members to the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), insurance of members and foundation day celebration every Dec. 8.

 

Meanwhile, Pabia shared about the National Press Club that it has fraternal relations with international organizations, and be active for he Confederation of ASEAN Journalists. (EOR/PIA)

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Promoting ASEAN—the LGU way

Cognizant of the local government units’ role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Mayor Marie Guingona of Gingoog City took the challenge of discussing with community leaders the aspects of ASEAN integration that local government units (LGUs) must do.

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Speaking in front of more than 200 youth leaders, farmers, fisher folks, barangay leaders, urban poor, senior citizens, media, and delegates from various groups during the recent ASEAN 2017 Multi-sectoral Forum in Gingoog City, she emphasized that people should help the government in promoting LGUs vital roles as part of ASEAN community.

Taking ASEAN challenges

Mayor Guingona argued that LGUs must play an active role—especially barangays—in attracting investors, developing the capacities and competitiveness of local economy, and promoting the ASEAN identity among their constituents.

“We need to fine-tune our policies in order to align these to ASEAN community-building process rules,” she said.

She stressed, however, that despite these efforts, ASEAN integration is a concept that not all local governments are aware of.

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“Thus, we need to help the government promote ASEAN’s precepts by responsibly sharing relevant information—whether as a source or as a recipient—especially in media platforms available in the locality,” Mayor Guingona said.

She affirmed that there is a need to increase people’s awareness, especially the local leaders, through information dissemination, hand in hand with capacity building measures and policy reforms.

The mayor also aims to discuss and exchange ideas on information issues and set directions in order to deepen people’s understanding, especially those in marginal communities where access to social media is limited. (RLRBalistoy/PIA10, Bukidnon)

Effective communication helps promote ASEAN integration—PIA Chief

“We believe that a well-informed Filipino is an empowered Filipino,” Undersecretary Harold E. Clavite, director general of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) imparted such tenet to convey the essentials of effective communication.

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Speaking in front of more than 200 youth leaders, farmers, fisher folks, barangay leaders, urban poor, senior citizens, media, and delegates from various groups during the ASEAN 2017 Multi-sectoral Forum recently held in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental, he clarified different issues on responsible sharing of information, be it on print, online, or word of mouth.

“The power to communicate nowadays is at the hands of the people—the reader, the listener, the viewer, the spectator. Their thoughts and reactions on the content they consume are so powerful, it could influence the narrative and shape the storyline of an idea,” he said.

Communicating in ASEAN setting

In his keynote speech, Clavite stressed that the whole of Southeast Asia has had its eye on the Philippines since the start of 2017 as the country hosts the 50th founding anniversary celebration of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) with the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.”

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There are ten countries in ASEAN: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

“If we add the population of each of these countries, we are talking about hundreds of millions of people. That is a lot of people. In media term, that is a lot of clients, a lot of readers, a lot of viewers. Hence, there is a need for every Filipino to be conveyors of good news that would raise awareness on things that will uplift people’s lives,” he said.

He therefore urged fellow Filipinos to be wary on the proliferation of deceptive information and refrain from becoming instruments in spreading fake news especially online and other social media platforms.

Determined to work with a new breed of influencers    

PIA has been taking necessary steps as an agency to realize its mission and vision by making sure that the information disseminated are relevant and factual.

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It has been conducting events such as ASEAN university forum with youths/students, multi-sector forum, and launching of information kiosks in various towns and cities across the country to work with new breed of influencers equipped with knowledge on ASEAN who will help government in grassroots communication and cross-border interactions that could deepen peoples understanding on the benefits of being part of the ASEAN community.

It can be recalled that during the Grand Launch of the Philippines’ Chairmanship of ASEAN early this year in Davao City, Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte called on all Filipinos to take an active and constructive part by spreading the good news in this year’s hosting of ASEAN. (RLRBalistoy/PIA10, Bukidnon)

PRDP provides ‘Peace Road’ project in Gingoog City

The implementation of almost P65-million farm-to-market road (FMR) of the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) in Gingoog City is one fulfillment of the city government’s Peace Road Program.

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The 5.56-kilometer (km) San Miguel-Kalagonoy FMR is funded under PRDP’s Intensified Building Up of Infrastructure and Logistics for Development (I-BUILD) component.

 

During the groundbreaking ceremony on August 10, 2017, Gingoog City Mayor Stella Marie L. Guingona said she formulated the Peace Road Program when she assumed City Mayor, after the tragic and painful incident that happened in the area where her mother, the former Mayor Ruthie L. Guingona was ambushed by the so-called discontented groups who thought the government has done nothing for them.

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“When I sit down as mayor of Gingoog City I formulated the Peace Road Program which is also the long-dream of the people in the rural barangays of Gingoog City,…and now this is happening, we are inaugurating the groundbreaking of five concrete FMRs” mayor Guingona said.

 

Along, with the FMR of PRDP, LGU Gingoog also implements two other road projects from DA worth P10.6M each, and two from Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) with a total cost of more than P60M.

 

Amidst obstacles in achieving their dreamed roads, the incessant Guingona promised to continue until all the roads in the City of Gingoog are concreted. “As long as we dream, and collectively strive to achieve it, nothing can stop us until we reach the time that all roads in Gingoog City will be concrete.”

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For his part, DA-RFO 10 OIC-Regional Director Carlene C. Collado urged the contractor to speed up implementation of the FMR considering the fund is already there and the 15% mobilization fund is now available at the Program Support Office, Davao City waiting for pick-up by the contractor.

 

“Having the money, we request the contractor to speed up implementation of the project, and I also ask the support from the LGU Gingoog and the barangay people to closely monitor the implementation process as we don’t allow this to be terminated if not properly implemented,” Collado emphasized.

 

He reminded them the policy in I-BUILD Operations Manual that more than 15% negative slippage is candidate for termination and if this happens, the total amount released from PRDP shall be fully refunded by the LGU.

 

Dir. Collado also implied that Gingoog City should perform well, considering they got almost 25% out of the P738M current I-BUILD portfolio for Misamis Oriental.

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As to the two FMRs in barangay Binakalan to San Miguel worth P10.6 million each from the DA’s regular fund, Collado said the 50% was already downloaded to the LGU Gingoog last year. He added that succeeding releases for these projects is 40%, 10%.

 

“Aside from FMRs, the DA has more programs to implement such as rice, corn, high value crops, livestock, and organic program which you can avail to increase your productivity and income,” Collado said.

 

Meanwhile, mayor Guingona said that along with the construction of FMRs, they are also giving farm inputs to the farmers to boost their production and harvest.

 

Guingona thanked the DA, DPWH, and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) for helping them in bringing the government more closer to the people in Gingoog City. (DA10)

DOLE, Gingoog foundation distribute school supplies to 796 Claveria students

Northern Mindanao Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), in partnership with the Zabdiel Foundation distributed school supplies under the Project Angel Tree to 796 Mat-i, Luna and Lanise elementary schools in Claveria town.

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DOLE-Eastern Misamis Oriental Provincial Field Office Chief Errol A. Natividad said that the department’s Angel Tree Project gives school supplies to elementary students as an aid to their basic needs per grade level. 

“This project is one of the activities by the DOLE-X and this provincial office as support to poor but deserving parents to ease the burden of equipping their children to be school-ready, since we in the department prioritizes education and at the same time prevent these children to become child laborers,” said Natividad.

 

Supporting the distribution were Mayor Redentor Salvaleon, Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Manager Ellaine Edio, and Zabdiel Foundation Benedict O. Moreno.

Aside from school supplies, the Project Angel Tree, a component of the DOLE Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program, provides an array of social services that range from food, clothing, educational assistance or school supplies, and even work and training opportunities made available by sponsors or benefactors through Zabdiel Foundation (as ‘angels’) to child laborers and their families. It aims to improve the economic and social conditions of child laborers and their families and increase the number of allies and advocates of child labor prevention and elimination. (Dundee Daing/DOLE-X EMO PFO)

Gingoog community rehab program: redemption, second chance at life

How do you bring back the lives that were once imprisoned by illegal drugs?

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The local government of Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental has created a community support system where drug surrenderees are given redemption and a second chance at life. This is dubbed Magpakabana Gingoognon Alang sa Kabag-ohan (MGK).

 

Everyday, these drug surrenderees participate in natural detoxification. The session starts at 7:00 a.m. where they gather in an open court or an open area in their barangay and do physical exercise, running, sit ups, activities to make them sweat. After that, they listen to the words of God through Bible reading with church and religious leaders.

 

They are taught on God’s love that He is a forgiving and loving God. They are also taught that they have a purpose in life. That is why they exist and they are alive today. Finally they are taught that they too have a responsibility in the community by showing their love to neighbors and the environment.

 

There are two sessions everyday, two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. Meanwhile, Saturday is intended for a clean up in the community and Sunday for rigorous religious activity. For those working and those who have classes, they do full blast in the weekend.

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Drixel Adran, 24 years old, participant of the MGK said he likes the program especially the exercise because it makes him sweat and he sleeps early at night because they have to wake up early the following morning.

 

His uncle whom he is living with right now and three other siblings is happy with MGK. He also said that he wants to help send his siblings to school after the three month program.

 

Joey Quinao, 33 years old said he has been a drug user for four years. It started with just trying out with friends on a fiesta and since then every problem he had he tried to answer it with drugs. In the long run, he got addicted. He looked for it. Each time he had money even just P100, he would go and get some drugs.

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He said he is very thankful of President Duterte because of his strong campaign against illegal drugs. If it weren’t for the President, he wouldn’t be trying to change right now. More so, there is a big change since the MGK program. He is now able to think straight and helping his parents with their livelihood. He realized he had been doing it all wrong in the past. Program such as the MGK is badly needed especially by drug surenderees like him because it will bring them closer to their families, he said.

 

Meanwhile Reygem Rabiana, 25 years old said he had used drugs for eight months. He worked in a mining area in Bukidnon where he first used them. Friends encouraged me to take drugs because of the nature of the job going in the tunnel. He said they can purchase shabu for only P500. They chip in for that. P100 each. The first time you take it you don’t feel tired, don’t feel hungry. He seldom sends money to his mother because of his vice. I regret getting in that vice because I only send little to my parents and more to my vices, he said.

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But he has stopped since June. He is very thankful to President Duterte because of this change. I only graduated high school, he said. My dream is to be a mechanic. Before I didn’t have a direction, always going out, no sleep. But now, I am happier because I can sleep and rest and eat well. We are eight siblings in the family.

 

He discourages young people to try illegal drugs because it will not do anything but ruin their lives.

 

There are about 2,612 drug surenderrees in Gingoog City as result of the intensified campaign against illegal drugs “Oplan Tokhang” of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

 

Gingoog City Mayor Marie Guingona said that because of the enormous problem of illegal drug trade throughout the country particularly in Gingoog City, an intervention from the local government and all stakeholders is badly needed.

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She said, we have to help especially if these surenderrees want to really change. But of course we cannot do it alone, said mayor Guingona. We need participation of other government agencies such as the police, army, health department, educators, non government organizations and even church leaders. This gave birth to the creation of Magpakabana Gingoognon Alang sa Kabag-ohan or MGK.

 

MGK program is a 90-day comprehensive community-based drug rehabilitation program for drug surenderees to undergo natural detoxification through physical exercise, community involvement such as clean up drive and spiritual journey with church leaders to build up self esteem.

 

Guingona said sometimes the young kids are urged by friends to try, have a little bit of the substance because of frustrations. Kids nowadays have a lot of pressures. It is different from way back. She said, this is where we need to come in with our support system. When difficult times come around, there has to be a place that they can run to, talk to that will not be judgmental of them. But will help them cross the Rubicons so to speak, said the Mayor.

 

We are hoping that after this program, we are also going to get help from national government for sustainability and our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) if they can contribute would be great, said Guingona.

 

According to Police Chief Inspector Esperidion R. Biado III, chief of police in Gingoog City, there are about 31 clusters operating a unified program of instruction for MGK. Each cluster is comprised of barangay health worker who checks the attendance, Barangay Anti Drug Council (BADAC), a pastor for the religious sector and the police or army for security and discipline.

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According to him, they conduct assessment after one week such as things they need to improve or what they need to have. Similarly, the community participates through monitoring of the participants. They can inform the police through a hotline if the participants go back to using or selling illegal drugs. Usually the police gives incentive for every positive information they receive.

 

He said they had the highest number of arrest in July this year for illegal drugs. Usually they just have one per week but in July alone, they had 15-20 including those who surrendered with pending warrant of arrest. Those with warrants were submitted to court.

 

Since the start of Tokhang, crimes declined 60% – 70%. There were 59 arrests in July. Because of this, families now begin to stroll in the park during night time unafraid of anyone bothering them. He said there is a sense of security among families this time.

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He said that what’s good about this program is that participants are not dislocated from their families. They can still do their daily activities and are being supported by the government in rebuilding their lives to become productive citizens in the community with self-worth and confidence.

 

Meanwhile, the entire religious group is involved. According to Fr. Jerry Padogdog of Cathedral of Christ the Redeemer, they are hoping that after three months, the lifestyle of these participants will become normal and they go back to normal thinking. He said, without the moral side, a person will have a hard time to sustain the changes he envisions for himself.

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He said, we don’t call them surrenderees anymore but participants. The module they crafted includes Who God Is. Who He is in our lives? Love of God and His enduring mercy. He said they have included the plan of God to His people, for each person. This will have a great effect in how they think and feel so that they will have a different perspective about God where before they thought God was far and does not care. Fr. Padogdog said they will be the hand of God extending love to these people.

 

Meanwhile, Dr. Agnes Centino of Gingoog city health office said they don’t have facility for rehabilitation that is why they call it community based rehabilitation/treatment. Also, she said they don’t have substance detoxification. We are not capacitated in that aspect but we make use of intervention through religious groups to give moral recovery program, she said.

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However she said if the participants show behavioural change after three months, then they can introduce them to education and training skills with Department of Education (DepEd), Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) or Public Employment Service Office (PESO) for job offer. Other agencies who can give them livelihood like Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

 

No local government unit is ready for this so that we have partnered with Non government organizations for funding. Meanwhile, the local government provides for food.

 

She said, Gingoog City health office does profiling as preparation of a big future facility. We have to develop a very good facility in the future, she said. There is a location in Sibulig, Lunotan in Gingoog City for a future rehab center and this was checked with Department of Health (DOH) assistant regional director Adriano Suba-an. It takes a while since we are also preparing who among the surenderres will be placed there.

 

Finally, Dr. Dr. Grace J. Jadol, City Health Officer of Gingoog City said that even with just one family member who is imprisoned or addicted with illegal drugs, becomes a problem of the entire family. She said, we have to go into the nuclear of the family.

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This is everybody’s business, she said. (JMOR/PIA10)

Gingoog launches drug rehabilitation program

Gingoog city government is embarking on a rehabilitation program for self-confessed drug personalities who have turned themselves in to local authorities.

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In support to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against illegal drug trade, ‘Oplan Tokhang,’ Mayor Marie Guingona led the launching of ‘Magpakabana Gingoognon Alang sa Kalinaw’ (MGK) in partnership with the Gingoog city police station led by Chief Inspector Esperidion R Biado III, chief of police, on August 1.

 

There are at least 2,612 drug users-pushers who volunteered for MGK and signed the covenant and signified willingness for a community-based intervention program.

 

In the absence of rehabilitation center, the local government has to initiate activities to ensure that these drug personalities will not return to their old habits.

 

This time, the city is focusing on the rehabilitation so they can be more productive and participate in its livelihood program, said Mayor Guingona.

 

She further said we need to have continuing activity for those who surrender,” the mayor said.

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Speaking to ‘participants’ who were presented to her by the police chief, Mayor Guingona said “Your government welcomes you for taking the first step towards a new and better life.  Your brave and ‘no shame’ decision go high for new beginnings. To all our stakeholders, all of us will stand to benefit and gain with the success of this barangay-based rehabilitation program.”

 

Assisting for MGK’s implementation, Police Inspector Ismael Virgil Gundaya has informed the city mayor that drug pushers-users will be named as ‘participants’ to avoid the social stigma will then undergo 90-day as the highlight of the community-based rehabilitation program in full support with Barangay Anti-Drug Council (BDAC), health personnel, social workers, nutrition scholars, faith-based groups, police, army, tanods and community in general.

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After taking their oath, administered by Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Giovanni Alfred Navarro and witnessed by Fiscal Rodolfo Alegado, Jr., ‘surrenderees’ were informed that mayor’s MGK has programmed daily’s physical fitness, community service, clean-up drives, spiritual enhancement sessions, values formation, moral recovery activities, and  capability buildings for all them with great hope for human transformation after the localized rehab.

 

“Together let’s face the challenge because this is our city, this is our home. This is our life.  This is our pride,” the re-elected exec said. (Gingoog media bureau)