ADVISORY: AFP-Smart activates Text Hotline 7444-1678

The Armed Forces of the Philippines [AFP] in partnership with Smart Communications, Inc. [Smart] has activated a text hotline: 7444-1678, where the public can directly interact with the AFP.

According to Maj. Alwin Maneja: “The service is initially available for Smart, Sun & Talk N’ Text subscribers in Central Mindanao, the strategy is to eventually have a text hotline for all mobile phone users all over the country.  We prioritized Mindanao due to the ongoing conflict in Marawi City.  Still, we are extremely grateful to PLDT & Smart for acting very quickly to provide the AFP with this capability.  We are continually working and consulting with PLDT & Smart as we further enhance this capability.”

The AFP is encouraging Filipinos in Central Mindanao to provide the text hotline with actionable information and at the same time sign-up for the service so that they may be updated of the events and activities of the AFP.

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The AFP assured the public that they will reply promptly, and act appropriately particularly on reports that pertain to national peace and security.

To use the service, Smart, Sun & Talk N’ Text subscribers in:
-Misamis Oriental
-Agusan Provinces
-Surigao Provinces
-Davao Provinces
-North Cotabato
need to type: EMC (ang inyong lugar/address at impormasyon) and send to: 7444-1678.

For subscribers in:
-Misamis Occidental
-Zamboanga Provinces
-Lanao Provinces
-Sultan Kudarat except Columbia
Type: WMC (ang inyong lugar/address at impormasyon) and send to 7444-1678.

Maj. Maneja added: “The value of using the keywords EMC & WMC will guarantee that the messages are sent directly to the AFP’s Eastern or Western Regional Commands for quicker response and action”. (Smart Inc. COmm)


NNC urges shift to healthy lifestyle to avoid non-communicable diseases

The National Nutrition Council (NNC) region 10 through Talakayan sa PIA on 12 July 2017 urged the young ones and even adults to change from fast food habits to healthy home-cooked meals diet.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a healthy diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, root crops, fat-free or low fat milk, lean meats, poultry, fish, egg, beans and nuts. It is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars.

Based on the national nutrition survey of FNRI-DOST, there has been a shift in the dietary pattern of Filipinos in terms of quality and quantity over the years. The typical diet consists mainly of cereals which are sources of carbohydrates. The consumption of meats, vegetables, milk and milk products and eggs has increased. However, there has been a decline in the consumption of starchy roots and tubers and fruits. Further, WHO recommends consumption of 400 grams of of fruits and vegetables per day. However, Filipinos only consume maximum of 249 grams of fruits and vegetables a day.


Meanwhile, in schools, Department of Education has issued Department Order No. 13 series of 2017 Policy and Guidelines on Healthy Food and Beverage Choices in schools and DepEd offices. This policy aims to make available healthier food and beverage choices among the learners and DepEd personnel and their stakeholders; provide guidance in evaluating and categorizing foods and drinks and provide guidance in the selling and marketing of foods and beverages in schools.


Sheila Rose Balbanida, nutrition dietitian of Department of Education (DepEd) region 10 said that they are currently holding trainings for health officers, canteen managers and public school personnel to identify which food or food groups to be sold in school cafeterias. Right now, they have identified foods that are categorized as healthy and unhealthy for consumption.

According to Marissa Navales, regional nutrition coordinator that they are campaigning to increase awareness on the importance of healthy diets which protect against both under and over nutrition and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as hypertension, diabetes, cardio-vascular diseases and certain types of cancer.


Unhealthy diet is composed of foods that are energy-dense yet nutrient poor and are high in saturated fats, trans-fats, refined carbohydrates or sodium. A diet low in fruits and vegetables or fiber is also characteristic of unhealthy diet. Meanwhile, this leads to poor nutrition and is one of the major risk factors for a range of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, diabetes and other conditions linked to obesity.

NNC also encourages everyone to check the National Guidelines for Filipinos (NGF), Pinggang Pinoy and Nutritional Guide Pyramid to get a list of what to eat to become healthy through their website

The theme this year for national nutrition month is “Healthy diet, gawing habit – FOR LIFE!” (JMOR/PIA10)

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.

Sec Briones

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.

Sec Briones 2

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)

Navy offloads military vehicles, supplies in Iligan City

Philippine Navy offloads at Iligan City port military vehicles and other supplies, which will be distributed to the different Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) units in Mindanao to cater to the transport and logistical requirements of the ongoing military operations against terrorists.


According to BRP Tarlac (LD-601) Commander Ramilo B Trinidad, for this mission, LD 601 accommodated 30 military vehicles and supplies weighing 253 tons. The ship sailed from Subic Bay, Zambales last May 29.


Trinidad said the ship, with its capability to accommodate more than 4000 tons of cargo and 500 personnel onboard, is utilized not only to support military operations, and also for mass evacuation and international humanitarian assistance during disasters and crisis as well.


LD 601), is the first of the two Philippine Navy’s Amphibious Landing Dock formerly known as Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV). The ship design is modeled after the Makassar-class LPD of the Indonesian Navy. BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602 is the second and last ship of her class of Navy’s landing platform docks. (PIA10)

DSWD distributes food packs to IDPs in 3 barangays

Some 1,907 internally displaced persons (IDPs) or about 371 families from three barangays, who have sought refuge in this city received food packs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) yesterday.

No less than DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo led the distribution of food packs which consist of 5 kilos rice, assorted canned goods and coffee held at Bagong Silang Evacuation Center.


The home-based IDPs from Barangay Santiago (30 families/190 individuals), Bagong Silang (172 families/887 individuals) and Tibanga (166 families/830 individuals) took shelter in the homes of their families and relatives in Iligan City following the clashes between government troops and Maute terror group in Marawi City.


In a brief program before the distribution, Councilor Ryan Ong welcomed the IDPs in behalf of City Mayor Celso G. Regencia and promised to extend all possible means, including resources to help ease their plight.


“We always pray to Allah that Marawi will be peaceful again so we could return to our normal life,” Faisalia Dinapinggun, a 48-year old entrepreneur from West Marinaut, Marawi said teary-eyed. She has 15 children aged between 8-25, and one is still left in Marawi.

Meanwhile, Secretary Taguiwalo said DSWD continues to monitor the growing number of IDPs in different areas and neighboring places.


“Nakikiisa kami sa mga taga Marawi na may naiwang mga mahal sa buhay doon. Pareho tayong nagnanais ng kapayapaan at sana matapos na ang kaguluhan para makabalik na kayong lahat sa Marawi,” the secretary emphatized.


She asked the IDPs what they want from the president and they said all they want is peace. “Gusto namin ng kapayapaan at tahimik na pamumuhay. Itigil na ang digmaan at bumalik sa normal ang sitwasyon sa Marawi.”


The relief distribution was witnessed by local officials and DSWD personnel.

Taguiwalo later attended a media briefing with local media at the regional command and coordination center for ARMM and Region 10.  (ALT-PIA9/Zamboanga Sibugay)

City port tightens security due to martial law declaration in Mindanao

The Philippine Ports Authority-Port Management Office (PPA-PMO) in northern Mindanao tightened the security of the Cagayan de Oro city port due to President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law in the entire Mindanao.


During the Ang Rehiyon Karon episode at Radyo ng Bayan on May 26, Engr. Claro Samuel P. Fontanilla, chairperson of Bids and Awards Committee (BAC)-Civil Works, announced that city port raised the security measures to level two which is one higher than the normal security state of the area. This means that security checks every vehicle and passenger upon entering the port.


Due to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) directive, the lead agency for security of all ports is now the coast guards partnered with maritime police. They now have all the manpower and security compliments.


There are also presence of the K-9 units all over the place and additional personnel to the city port which ensure passengers that security of the area is under control.


“Kami makapasalig nga aduna kita’y enough nga security nga mu-handle sa mga security requirements diha sulod sa atong pantalan (We assure that we have enough security to handle the security requirements inside our port),” Fontanilla said.


Moreover, for the safety and security of the riding public, the PPA-PMO Misamis Oriental/Cagayan de Oro put up two more x-ray machines–one at the pre-departure area at the passengers’ terminal and the other is at the pedestrian entrance. There is also one x-ray machine at the port workers gate at the access control center.


On the other hand, Lemuel Ian T. Moralda, Port Security Bids and Awards Committee (PSBAC) secretariat, requested the passengers’ patience due to the security tension.


“Muhangyo mi ug gamay na pagsabot sa atong publiko nga medyo tight ang inspections sa atong mga sakyanan ug sa mga tao so medyo malangan gayud no, (We ask for a little understanding from the public that we have tight inspections to the vehicles and passengers so we really have delays)” he said.


Also, Moralda asked the riding public to avoid bringing of the prohibited loads such as the alcoholic liquids and combustible materials like the lighter to avoid more delays during inspections.(Cherryl Juranes/PIA10)

Mindanao’s local hydro firm is PH first ISO 55001 certified

Hedcor Sibulan, Inc. and Hedcor Tudaya, Inc. are the first companies in the Philippines to be at par with the new international Asset Management standard.


TUV-SUD, an internationally accredited certification body audits the compliance of an organization with international standards, recommended the ISO 55001:2014 certification for both Hedcor Sibulan and Hedcor Tudaya after the 56.1-MW cascading plants in Sta Cruz, Davao del Sur – namely Sibulan Hydro A, Tudaya Hydro 1, Sibulan Hydro B, and Tudaya Hydro 2 – passed the two stages of the audit.


Hedcor Sibulan and Hedcor Tudaya passed the two stages with zero non-conformances on the operation and maintenance activities. This means Hedcor has an integrated and effective management system for assets that enables the company to achieve objectives and assure these are attained consistently and sustainably over time.


Assessors also remarked the commitment and involvement of the top management and the professionalism and competency of the staff interviewed during the assessment and cited some areas for improvement that will further better Hedcor’s asset management.


This achievement is a testament to Hedcor’s pursuit for a better world through renewable energy.


“One way to fulfill our renewed purpose is by advancing our business so we can also advance communities. Through obtaining this Asset Management System certification, we can assure our stakeholders of a more efficient and reliable generation of clean and renewable energy”, said Rolando Pacquiao, vice president for Mindanao Operations, Hedcor.


Hedcor also acquired certifications for ISO 9001 (Quality Management System), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System), OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety), and ISO 27001 (Information Security Management System).


Hedcor is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AboitizPower which specializes in generating renewable energy from run-of-river hydropower systems. It currently operates 22 hydropower plants and supplies the country with 185-MW of clean and renewable energy. Soon, its Manolo Fortich Hydro project in the province of Bukidnon will add 68.8-MW of power to the Mindanao grid.