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TESDA encourages public to make washable face masks

April 13, 2020

Taguig City – Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Isidro Lapeña has called on the public to learn how to make DIY washable face masks especially at this time of need and while the majority of the population is under the enhanced community quarantine. The TESDA chief said that while employees of the TESDA regional and provincial offices and trainees of TESDA training institutes are continuously producing washable face masks for donation to the frontliners, there is still a big demand for face masks nationwide given the threat of spread of COVID-19 in the community.  Lapeña said, “It will be beneficial if our kababayan, now that most are staying at home, to learn how to sew face masks for their use and of their families.  We all need face masks now that we are required to wear them outside when doing essentials for our households.” Face mask production can also be turned into a livelihood especially during this time when workers or employees have been temporarily suspended from reporting for work due to the quarantine. With the reported shortage in the supply of face masks, enterprising Filipinos can benefit from selling cloth face masks. TESDA has posted the instructional video on how to make cloth face masks at www.e-tesda.gov.ph. It shows step-by-step procedures in sewing a face mask, starting with pattern making up to the finishing touches. Interested sewers may also skip the “Drafting” step shown in the video and instead directly proceed with pattern cutting as TESDA has provided patterns downloadable from https://bit.ly/2UGSmOD.  The patterns have to be printed on A4 sheet of paper to be used as layout on the fabric, preferably cotton, as being used in TESDA face mask production. As of April 4, 2020, TESDA has produced and donated almost 91, 000 face masks to frontliners of various hospitals and local government units, the uniformed personnel at checkpoints, barangay tanod, and health workers, other government agencies, including members of the media. 

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NGCP distributes goods as part of PhP1Billion COVID-19 relief assistance

April 12, 2020

On Saturday, April 11, NGCP commenced the distribution of PhP 500 million-worth of grocery items, in line with its PhP1 Billion assistance to the national government’s COVID-19 relief and response efforts. “We are very pleased to turnover these relief packs as we hope these will help sustain our partner communities given the extension of the Enhanced Community Quarantine. Distribution in select locations in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao will be made over the next weeks,” stated the company. Last March 30, NGCP wrote Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte pledging PhP 1 billion to help the national government in its efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. “NGCP’s pledge of medical equipment is also in the process of procurement. The much needed equipment will be distributed to identified hospitals as soon as they arrive,” added the company. The donation is over and above earlier NGCP donations of personal protective equipment (PPE), meals, and other equipment for medical frontliners, as well as the Meals on Wheels program where hot meals are distributed to indigent members of the community. NGCP plans to continue helping various host communities, even beyond its previous efforts, and P1B pledge of assistance. “We understand the importance of a collective, unified effort to combat this pandemic. NGCP assures its stakeholders that the company will continue to support the government in battling this global health emergency,” stated the company. NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid, led by majority shareholders Henry Sy, Jr. and Robert Coyiuto, Jr.###

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Biliran agrarian reform organizations extend assistance amid covid-19 pandemic

April 11, 2020

BILIRAN PROVINCE—In the midst of the covid-19 pandemic that's been sweeping the country, three (3) agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) in this province felt the pressing need to provide basic goods and meals to its members and to farming households in their respective areas. Some 1,700 relief goods and meals were donated by these ARBOs in the towns of Naval, Almeria and Cabucgayan. DAR Regional Director Stephen Leonidas commended the three ARBOs in their efforts to ease the suffering of people due to the pandemic. "As everyone is directed to stay at home for quarantine purposes, these ARBOs chose to exert time and effort to address the needs of their members, especially the elderly and the daily wage earners," said Leonidas. The Almeria Seafarers Multi-purpose Cooperative (Asemco) in the municipality of Almeria distributed food packs to 790 households in Almeria Poblacion and another 400 food packs outside of Almeria. Asemco Manager Anita Corto said they also provided 40 packed meals to the health workers of the provincial hospital and 80 packed meals to the barangay frontliners of the local government. The Looc Cabucgayan Agrarian Reform Cooperative (Careco) in Cabucgayan town, through its Chairman Zacarias Leong, distributed 2 kilos of rice to each of their 117 members. For the Lico Agrarian Reform Cooperative (Larcoop) in the capital town of Naval, food packs containing 3-kilo rice, coffee, sugar, milk and 2-kilo raw pork were distributed to their 250 members and 31 ARBO staff. Larcoop Chairman Rebecca Payos said they also provided snacks and coffee to frontliners manning the provincial checkpoints, as well as the barangay checkpoints in Lico and PS Eamiguel villages. Larcoop Manager Anamie Ibano added that the members' interest on Capital and Patronage Refund were released early so the members can use them during this crisis. DAR Secretary John Castriciones appreciated the acts of generosity by these ARBOs to their fellow farmers and to the people in the community. In his Facebook page, he commented: "Agrarian reform farmers are silent frontliners against covid-19. Ito po ang kailangan nating gawin sa panahong ito. Mabuhay po kayo at God bless."

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Farmers’ produce earns P488K in sales through Kadiwa

April 10, 2020

CdeO, April 9 – Making its rounds within the city, the Department of Agriculture – Northern Mindanao’s (DA-10) Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita On Wheels and Express displaying farmers’ produce, has generated about P488,613.00 in sales. Its operations for the Kadiwa On-Wheels has already served the following barangays: Upper Carmen, Iponan, Kauswagan, Patag, Lumbia and Agusan. In April 7, the Kadiwa Express alone, staged at the agency grounds in Antonio Luna Street, garnered the highest sales at P171,688.00. The Kadiwa is being facilitated by the department’s Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD), where they sought supplies of agri-fishery commodities, mostly from farmer-groups across Region 10, and directly link them with the market. Exhibitors included the Miarayon Highland Farmer’s Association, Farm Grown Association of Claveria, Canitoan Farmer’s Association Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Agusan Barangay Food Terminal, and the National Dairy Authority-assisted Northern Mindanao Federation of Dairy Cooperatives. Private companies such as True Chef’s Choice, Inc. and Bounty Fresh Chicken, including the local government of Claveria also took part. As response to the COVID-19 crisis, the said initiative has opened marketing opportunities for the city dwellers and farmers alike. “We can provide the consuming public healthier and nutritious food options at affordable prices, at the same time allow our farmers a fair return of their respective products,“ Carlota S. Madriaga, regional technical director of DA-10 said. Faced with a public health threat, she added, that DA-10 has emphasized for everyone involved to follow community quarantine protocols. “Through our agribiz personnel, both the sellers and buyers are reminded to observe physical distancing, proper hand sanitation, and wearing of masks while marketing,” Madriaga detailed. Kadiwa, which stands for Katuwang sa Diwa at Gawa para sa Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita, is a marketing scheme used by DA which directs farmers to the consumers, removing trading layers; thereby reducing the cost of products. “As we do not know when this [COVID-19 crisis] will be over, the agency will continue in rolling out our Kadiwa stores to benefit more urban families,” the director relayed. On the third week of April, the Kadiwa On Wheels will head out to more areas: Macabalan and Cala-anan, Canitoan (April 13); Villa Candida, Bulua and RER Phase I, Kauswagan (April 14); Gusa (April 15); and Indahag and Macasandig (April 16). # (JLO)

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Globe launches eLibrary to provide free downloadable ebooks, interactive videos for K-to-12 students nationwide

April 9, 2020

Globe launches its eLibrary to give K-to-12 students, educators, and parents nationwide free and quick access to hundreds of ebooks and videos provided by the Department of Education (DepEd) and other sources.  This will allow for continuous learning during the enhanced community quarantine which prompted many schools in Luzon and other parts of the country to suspend classes. The Globe eLibrary is a web platform that features age-appropriate and engaging e-books and e-learning videos which can be accessed through mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.   It is, likewise, available on DepEd Commons (commons.deped.gov.ph), DepEd’s pilot program on learning continuity which also contains online quizzes and exercises for K-12 learners and content for Alternative Learning System (ALS). “We want to give the children an opportunity to continue learning even when they are at home. Through eLibrary, we hope that teachers and their students or parents and their children could make full use of the wide selection of content to create a fun and engaging education experience,” said Yoly Crisanto, Chief Sustainability Officer and SVP for Corporate Communications. For its part, DepEd welcomed this collaboration with Globe. “The launch of the Globe eLibrary could not be more timely given the situation we are facing now,” said DepEd Undersecretary Alain Pascua. “As we are building the content of DepEd Commons, this influx of eBooks from Globe will help provide our learners and teachers with more content they can work with.” With Globe eLibrary, anyone may read all ebooks and watch all videos that they want.   Downloaded ebooks may be opened using any ebook reader that supports ePUB and PDF formats while downloaded videos may be viewed through any .mp4 player.  Copies of these materials may also be sent out to other people. The books include storybooks for children and young adults as well as textbooks on core subjects such as Math, Science, English, Filipino, Music, Arts, among others.  They were curated from various sources that allow free public use and sharing such as Gutenberg.org and Storyweaver.org.in.  Local titles were provided by DepEd’s Bureau of Learning Resources while more Globe content partners are expected to contribute in the coming months. On the other hand, the eLearning videos, some of which were developed by teachers themselves, introduce important concepts in English, Math, and Science, incorporating sights and sounds that are familiar to the students.  It originated from Text2Teach, a 10-year program launched by the Ayala Foundation, Globe, DepEd, and various organizations in 2003.  Text2Teach was designed to supply public schools with high-quality video content and teacher training on utilizing mobile technology for learning. Globe eLibrary provides a new home for Text2Teach content as it promotes digital learning among students and teachers nationwide, particularly in schools where access to quality books is limited, and usage of technology for learning is not maximized. To learn more about eLibrary, please visit http://globeelibrary.ph/

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Camiguin receives veggie seeds from DA-10

April 9, 2020

Mambajao, Camiguin – The agriculture department in Northern Mindanao (DA-10) continues its distribution of vegetable seeds to push Camiguin residents to grow their own food amid the island-province being under community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Valued at about Php65,000.00, the agency has turned over 500 packets of assorted vegetable seeds, which was received by Camiguin Governor Jurdin Jesus M. Romualdo and the agriculture office of the provincial government. “Growing one’s own food is the most productive pastime that one can do, especially now that most of us are in our homes,” said DA-NorMin OIC-Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado said. Said undertaking is aligned with DA’s pending request for its Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat Kontra sa COVID-19 (ALPAS COVID-19) initiative, otherwise known as the Plant, Plant, Plant program, which eyes to get an additional Php31-billion to speed up the provision of assistance that would ensure food productivity and availability, food accessibility and mobility, and food prices stability. To date, it awaits for the approval of the president after it has been approved and endorsed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. Of the total approved amount, Php1 billion will also be dispensed for a revitalized gulayan project and Php500 million for its urban agriculture project nationwide. #

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