81 villages in NorMin drug-free

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has declared 81 drug-free barangays in Northern Mindanao region as a result of their intensified anti-drug operation and drug clearing program as of June 29.

 

Agent Joerick S. Tacal cited during the monthly meeting of the Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (RLECC) region 10 that the province of Misamis Occidental has the most number of drug-free barangays with 43; Misamis Oriental, 18; Camiguin, 12; and Bukidnon, 8. Lanao del Norte, however, has not declared a single barangay yet.

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Based on the Dangerous Drug Board, before a certain barangay will be declared as drug-free, they must undergo assessment and validation with the chief of police and certified by the mayor, PDEA, the Department of Health and Department of the Interior Local Government (DILG) before the issuance of certificate for drug-free.

 

These parameters include non-availability of drug supply; absence of drug transit/transshipment activity; absence of clandestine drug laboratory; absence of clandestine drug warehouse; absence of clandestine chemical warehouse; absence of marijuana cultivation site; absence of drug den, dive or resort; and compulsory drug treatment and rehabilitation processing desk.

 

Also, absence of drug pusher; absence of drug user/dependent; absence of protector/coddler/financier; active involvement of barangay officials in anti-drug activities; active involvement of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) to help maintain the drug liberated status of the barangay; and existence of drug awareness, preventive education and information and other related programs.

 

The PDEA, Tacal said that among the general guidelines provided in the drug-clearing program are the mandatory creation of Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs); the conduct of barangay drug-clearing operations which is divided into three phases, namely the Pre-Operation Phase, Operation Phase and Post-Operation Phase; the classification of barangays in determining the priority areas for clearing operations; the duties of local chief executives in the barangay drug-clearing program; and the penalty for non-compliance.

 

The BADACs were deputized and empowered to plan and implement strategic policies; and evaluate programs and projects on drug prevention and control, given the political and police powers of the barangay to administer the affairs of the community.

 

The conduct of sustaining clearing operations against drug-affected barangays in the initial phase include the activation of BADACs, capability enhancement of all stakeholders through seminars, preventive education and trainings, organization of house clusters to determine all essential facts of illegal drug activities happening in the neighborhood, submission of report containing watch-list of drug personalities, establishment of a rehabilitation referral desk in every barangay, among others.

 

The Operation Phase is the actual implementation of drug supply and demand reduction strategies in drug-affected areas. This is where PDEA and other support agencies come into play.

 

The Post-Operation Phase is aimed to maintain the ‘drug-cleared’ status of the barangays after drug-clearing operations through sustainable support projects such as sports, religious and social activities, implement sustainable livelihood projects as a reintegration program to former users and pushers, and continuing anti-drug awareness programs.

 

Tacal noted that the local chief executives are duty bound to ensure the organization of BADAC in all barangays within their territorial jurisdiction, allocation of substantial portion in the barangay budget and ensure compliance with the duties and responsibilities of the BADAC in the anti-drug campaign.

 

Meanwhile, PDEA in coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and other operating units made a total of 364 anti-drug operations from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 which resulted to the seizure of drugs with an estimated value P18,875,111.91. (EOR/PIA10)

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Camiguin cites vast ASEAN opportunities, reaps initial gains

Increase in tourism by 11 percent, coming in of a fast craft by November and boost of flights from Cebu to Camiguin by December are among the major developments that the provincial government identified as the positive effects of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the province.

 

Mambajao Municipal Mayor Jurdin Jesus Romualdo shared during the ASEAN Multi-Sectoral Forum on August 25 that the province, being able to earn the 10th spot in the most competitive province throughout the country, has remarkably shown economic dynamism.

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“Economic dynamism means that we are ready in ASEAN and all the country to receive investors in our LGU (local government unit),” the mayor stressed.

 

He further said that if the country wants to be competitive with ASEAN, it should consider an open economy since such will open doors for boundless opportunities especially on generating jobs.

 

Provincial developments

 

When it comes to economic opportunities, the mayor shared that they are now expecting a lot of investors coming in to the province including two hotels, supermarket, a drug store and more.

 

They are also repairing the airport’s runway to accommodate the flocking of local and foreign tourists in the area.

 

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Provincial Manager Napoleon Bael said that they are currently accommodating an average of 78 passengers per flight and such number has not decreased even if it’s past the peak season already.

 

Aside from improving the airport and seaports in the area, the provincial government also plans to work on wireless local area networking that will hasten up all sorts of communication in the province.

 

Program for the children

 

As to the language proficiency, Romualdo said that they will be opening a speech laboratory in September “to give exact pronunciation and diction; to prepare for ASEAN.”

 

Such laboratories will commence in central schools and by next year, the provincial government is targeting to put up the facility in all schools in Camiguin as well as in the barangays.

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There will also be health programs to be implemented to further decrease the four percent malnutrition of children in the province to at least one percent.

 

“We have plenty of things to do in Camiguin, so many things to do that every life of the Camiguingnon will be worth for,” Romualdo stressed.(RTP/PIA10)

DA 10 intensifies quarantine points against Bird Flu

The Department of Agriculture region 10 has conducted several proactive measures to prevent spread of Bird Flu in the region.

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During a press conference in Cagayan de Oro City, OIC Regional Director Carlene Collado, CPA explained the kind of virus that has broken out in Pampanga was an Avian influenza (Bird Flu), type A Sub-Type H5 which has caused deaths of about 37,000 poultry chickens in San Luis, Pampanga.

Although the virus is said to be non-transferrable from chicken to humans, Collado said to be vigilant.

Northern Mindanao ranks 3rd for the National Ranking with a total of 11% or 19,596,441 heads contribution to the National Inventory. Meanwhile, the region also ranks No. 8 for the Duck Inventory with a total of 4% or 444,064 heads contribution.

Collado assured that DA region 10 is doing all it can to prevent spread of this virus. Particularly, they have intensified quarantine points in the region, identified areas of concern, strengthened regional task force, distributed drugs, consulted with poultry stakeholders and local government units and disseminated Information and Education Communication materials.

However, Collado also shared Do’s and Dont’s to avoid Bird Flu. One is to cook poultry and meat thoroughly. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after exposure to or contact with birds. Among the dont’s include not eating raw poultry meat or egg. Don’t buy or eat smuggled poultry meat. Don’t come in contact with resident, wild or migratory birds. More importantly, report any unusual deaths or sickness of birds to the nearest agriculture or veterinary office.

The department is urging the public to help report any Bird Flu suspicions in the region or ask questions about it. For Quarantine Concern, you may call Dr. Dale Franco Llentic 09174815193, for Mass Media Concern, Grace Sta. Elena 09278276840 and for Disease Reporting, Dr. Oryza Kristy Baylo 09363155226. (JMOR/PIA10)

Exclusive breastfeeding campaign continues in CDO

In an episode of Talakayan sa PIA on 15 August 2017, Department of Health (DOH) region 10 explained the importance of mothers giving exclusive breastfeeding to their newborn up to six months.

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This is a crucial stage wherein a mother’s milk is what the baby needs and nothing else. Apart from that, this is where the baby gets all the nutrients and immunity to survive the world outside the womb.

Gilda Ajoc, Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Program Coordinator of DOH region 10 shared that some mothers might think that they don’t have the milk or that the baby doesn’t like the mother’s milk but in fact all mothers are capable of providing for their baby just fine without the prejudice of taste whatsoever.

She explained that breastfeeding is like supply and demand. Because the mother knows she has to feed an infant, automatically the milk will flow. With the right positioning and mindset, the mother can produce milk.

Meanwhile, Jacqueline Roa, nutrition dietitian of Provincial Health Office Misamis Oriental said that based on their observation, most of the young mothers today are not exclusively breastfeeding their infants from zero to six months. That is why this campaign is crucial to involve every mother and would-be mother in the country.

Statistics shows that exclusive breastfeeding from zero to six months old is decreasing in region 10 for the past years. In 2016, only 70.78 percent mothers have breastfed their child from zero to six months. According to Telesfora Madelo, nutritionist-dietitian of DO- 10 that this is because the women now are working. Although, women should work but they should also continue to breastfeed their children.

In fact, working mothers are given time off by companies to pump milk in a designated area in the office and have a storage facility to keep safe for the baby upon arriving home. DOH is also leading an Infant and Young Child Feeding Task Force wherein they monitor breastfeeding areas in malls, offices and public areas.

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Further, Madelo also reiterated about Overview of the Philippine Milk Code (EO51) and its revised Rules and Regulations wherein breastmilk substitutes are not allowed to be marketed for replacement of breastmilk and will not be tolerated for donation. For those violating the code, anyone can report to DOH.

DOH reiterated the breastmilk is the only milk that is complete with all the nutrients a child needs, poor or rich, the content of breastmilk is still the same. Further, no company has yet produced anything close to breastmilk, DOH stressed. (JMOR/PIA10)

‘Kausaban’ confab addresses challenges in teaching creative writing in Mindanao

Seventy-five creative writing teachers from various corners of Mindanao and four professors from the Ateneo de Manila University came together at Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan for the Kausaban Forum on Teaching Creative Writing.

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First of its kind in Cagayan de Oro City, the forum was organized in response to the challenges in teaching creative writing, a subject included in the newly-implemented K-12 program by the Department of Education.

Many educators expressed the need to strengthen their understanding of the four genres covered on this subject, namely, poetry, fiction, essay, and drama as creative writing goes far beyond the conventional language and literature subjects in the previous educational model. 

Creative writing requires an approach that is different from conventional teaching practices.

“Tingnan natin ang larawan ni Mona Lisa at ni Lisa Simpson,” said Allan Derain, a professor from Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) – Kagawaran ng Filipino.

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“Tama bang sabihin natin sa painters na ‘dapat tayong lahat, mag-paint tayo tulad ni Da Vinci?’ Is that valid? Para ito ang ginagawa natin sa mga estudyante na sinasabihang kailangan nating magsulat at dapat katulad ito ni Shakespeare… Pero sa totoo lang, si Lisa Simpson at si Mona Lisa ay parehong valid na representasyon ng tao.

Besides fictionist Derain, other speakers during the forum were poet Allan Popa (director of Ateneo Institute for Literary Arts and Practices), fictionist Allan Derain, essayist Martin Villanueva (chairperson of ADMU’s Department of Fine Arts), and Glenn Sevilla Mas (ADMU theater program coordinator).

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During the open forum, the speakers also shared their years of experience in teaching and practicing creative writing in the hopes that local teachers and writers will find these useful in the Mindanaon setting.

“The past is like a song. You can take an old record, put it on and listen to it. But that’s not the job of an essayist. An essayist is like a DJ who takes different records, remixes them and puts them together in a way that is meaningful,” said Villanueva on writing narrative nonfiction.

Playwright Mas told the participants that in writing a drama, the audio comes secondary to the visual. “Try to make sure na nakukuha ng audience, but not spoon-feeding. At the same time, giving information, but also holding back. You get better as you watch more plays, write more plays and read more plays,” he continued.

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On writing poetry, Popa shared that is it important to be sensitive and emphathetic: “Huwag ninyong tanungin na ‘anong ibig sabihin nito?’ Matatakot [ang mga estudyante] kung ganoon ang tanong mo. Ang tanungin mo, una, ‘anong nakita mo?’… Ang unang response minsan sa estudyante ay i-try nilang iinterpret kasi akala nila ‘yun ang expected sa kanila. Pero kung tinanong mo kung anong nakita nila, ang ibig sabihin n’un, pinapahalagahan mo ang experience nila kaysa ‘yung expected mo na answers.”

Popa added, “Ikalawa, tanungin mo ‘anong nararamdaman mo?’… Let them participate in the meaning-making process.”

Following the workshop, the four ADMU creative writing teachers also served as panelists during the Kausaban Creative Writing Workshop, an activity which aimed to refine the skills of seven emerging Northern Mindanao writers. 

One play, two essays, two stories, and two poems were dissected and refined during the workshop.

Fellows of the workshop were Dennis Flores, Maria Karlene Shawn Cababaran, Hazel Aspera, Abigail James, Raymond Ybañez, Adeva Jane Esparrago, and Mark Acero.

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Both the Kausaban Creative Writing Forum and Workshop were organized in partnership with the AILAP and Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro (NAGMAC), with support from the Xavier Center for Culture and the Arts (XCCA) and the National Center for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). (Hazel Aspera/XU Comm)

Anti-trafficking council intensifies TIP awareness in hotels, inns

With the theme, “Let’s act now to protect and assist trafficking victims,” the Regional Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking- Violence Against Women and Their Children (RIACAT-VAWC) in northern Mindanao observed the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on July 28 by distributing information, education and communication (IEC) materials to hotels and inns in the city.

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Aileen Nor Carlos of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office 10 said that there were three inns which confirmed their support for the campaign namely, R Suites, Mardale Pension and Golden Pension.

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Members of the RIACAT-VAWC were then able to hang tarpaulins and distribute IEC materials to the said inns. Owners and managers of the three inns were also oriented on how they can help in stopping human trafficking in their establishment.

Representatives from Balaod Mindanaw stressed that it is important for these establishments to check on the identity of minors who will be brought inside the facility. The inns were also reminded to always look for an identification card or birth certificate of the minor.

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This year’s theme highlights one of the most pressing issues of today—the large mixed migration movements of refugees and migrants. It also puts the spotlight on the significant impact of conflict and natural disasters, as well as the resultant, multiple risks of human trafficking that many people face.

The RIACAT-VAWC also said that the theme aims to address the key issue concerning trafficking responses that most people are never identified as trafficking victims and therefore cannot access most of the assistance or protection provided.(RTP/PIA10)

DOST S&T undergrad scholarships now open

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) region 10 opens its 2018 scholarships for undergraduate in the fields of basic sciences, engineering, other applied sciences and science mathematics teaching.

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Republic Act (RA) No. 7687, also known as the “Science and Technology Scholarship Act of 1994” provides scholarships to talented and deserving students whose families’ socio-economic status do not exceed the set cut-off values of certain indicators.  

Qualifiers must pursue priority fields of study in the basic sciences, engineering, other applied sciences, and science and mathematics teaching. Deadline for filing is on 25 August 2017 while date of examination is on 15 October 2017.

Further, DOST also offers scholarships to third year college students who are enrolled in Science and Technology (S&T) priority courses at any State Universities and Colleges (SUC), private universities or colleges that are compliant with Commission on Higher Education (CHED) programs, CHED identified Centers of Excellence (COE) or Centers of Development (COD) for the priority S&T courses and Institutions with FAAP Level III Accreditation. Deadline for filing is on 22 September 2017 while date of examination is on 19 November 2017.

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Accomplished form can be filed at the DOST 10- Scholarship Unit, Technical Services Division, DOST Regional Office with official address at J.V Serina St., Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City (near Borja Hospital) or DOST Provincial Science and Technology Centers (PSTCs): PSTC Bukidnon: Prov. Director: Virgilio Fuertes at  (088) 813-5463; Camiguin: Ms. Miriam Dela Plaza (088) 387-0039; Lanao del Norte: Ferdinand A. Soliven (063) 222-2980; Misamis Occidental: Eufresnie Ann D. Simbajon Contact No: Roge (0926-522-3889) or Grace (0905-151-7813) and Misamis Oriental: Junelyn B. Ruiz with contact No: (088) 880-3627. (JMOR/PIA10)