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TESDA opens 4 more training centers in Bukidnon

October 11, 2019

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon, October 9 — The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) launched on Monday, October 7, four more training centers in Bukidnon, bringing to 51 the number of Skills Training Centers (STCs) operating all over the province. TESDA provincial director Kotie R. Bax said the four newly constructed centers located in Cabanglasan, Impasugong, Lantapan, and Maramag towns were funded at P2.8 million each by the office of Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.  Bax said the establishment of these STCs is one of the key components of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70 (EO 70) that institutionalizes a “whole-of-nation approach” to end local communist insurgency. The executive order created the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) that leads all government’s move to address the root causes of rebellion at the local level. In one of the regional forums, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, President Duterte’s appointed CORDS (Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security) for Northern Mindanao, said “if we are going to battle for peace, we are going to battle for hunger, poverty, social inequality, and lack of insensitivity, among others and it requires collective action where good governance must be at its forefront.”  Hence, TESDA started implementing several interventions by launching skills trainings for the poor and other ‘special clients’ like rebel returnees, indigenous peoples (IPs), drug surrenderers, and others, Bax said. “These skills training centers funded by the office of Senator Migz Zubiri is TESDA’s concrete contribution in response to President Duterte’s EO 70. As a member of NTF-ELCAC and as Chair of the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood, and Employment cluster, TESDA spearheads the skills development programs and activities that directly address the plight of the needy, especially the Indigenous Peoples (IPs), to prevent unrest and recruitment of insurgents in the countryside,” she said. This effort also provides an avenue for people to become productive and active contributors to the economic development of the province, Bax said. Records show that a total of 20 skills training centers were funded by Sen. Zubiri. Ten of these have been completed, while the remaining 10 are in 80 percent completion status. Before these centers in four LGUs opened, TESDA already had 47 registered and accredited Technical Vocational Institutions (TVIs) and STCs—with 230 programs and courses—that reach out and serve communities, in partnership with local government units. TESDA lauded Sen. Zubiri’s support which is crucial to the peace and development efforts of the province and the entire nation. (AMMadum, PIO-TESDA/ RLRB, PIA Bukidnon)

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Driving between Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro: A Freak Accident

October 10, 2019

MALAYBALAY CITY - Accidents could happen anytime like the "final destination movies," and so motorcycle riders should be very careful when driving. This unexpected accident also happened to this motorcycle driver. Watch the shocking video how the impact of head on collision made the driver somersaulted on air before landing in the side of the road in Sayre Hi-way, Laguitas, Malaybalay City in Bukidnon. The identity of the victim was not known at press time. The dash cam video showed that a few minutes before the tragedy, the driver was driving normally at the outer lane of the highway. Unfortunately, it seems there was an unknown force that prompted the driver to intentionally bump the SUV but in a split of a second he realized the danger and tried to evade the SUV but its too late for him.

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The Sun Crew cleans up Siargao

October 10, 2019

SIARGAO , SURIGAO DEL NORTE– A community based group has been cited by Coca Cola Philippines for its efforts to keep the Surfing Capital of the Philippines free from The Plastic Scourge. Coca Cola Philippines recognized Coke Barkada Awardee, The Sun Crew, with a P30,000 grant personally awarded to The Sun Crew Co-founder and Manager Wemar Bonono by Coca-Cola PH Corporate & Regulatory Affairs Director Atty. Jorenz Tañada during the kick-off for the 25th Siargao International Surfing Cup last October 5.   The Sun Crew at Barangay Pacifico   According to its website, The Sun Crew are fighting poverty and plastic pollution on Siargao Island. “We use surfing and education to empower women and children to rise out of poverty and be the leaders in the fight to preserve their communities and protect the environment.” “Our aim is to ensure the children have the skills and opportunities to overcome poverty and play a key role in protecting their island and local communities.” (haranasurf.com) “We started this in 2017 as a means of keeping kids from idleness and roaming around looking for mischief,” Bonono said. “I was also like them when I was young and I don’t want them to end up like me who did not finish my education but instead think ahead about their future.” Bonano and his Australian girlfriend Hannah Boyer came up with the idea to organize Sun Crew to teach children how to surf in exchange for cleaning up the beaches. Those who excel would be given lessons and time to use surfboards brought by Hannah from Sydney. Most of the boards are donated by Australian surfers and Hannah brings them back from Sydney. Smart, Sustainable Surfers Dubbed “Smart, Sustainable Surfers”, the project uses the children’s love of surfing as the incentive for participating in education, sustainability and skills programs. The project aims to create a generation of well educated, environmentally conscious students who have the skills and opportunities necessary to alleviate poverty and protect the environment. Children earn ‘SSS Points’ by attending school and participating in project activities such as beach cleans, eco-bricking workshops, English classes and a variety of skills classes. The number of points earned at the end of each week determines which children can use the Sun Crew boards. Children must attend school for a minimum of 4 days to be eligible to surf and members with the most points get first dibs at board time. Surf instructors from the local community are employed to ensure the safety of the children while in the water.  The project is designed to teach children about the importance of education, believing in their own potential, and demanding more from themselves and their communities. Some 50 kids aged 8-16 years have so far benefitted from the project. However, older kids who just want to learn how to surf and help keep the environment clean have also been involved in the project. “We don’t allow kids to borrow the surfboards if they miss their classes,” Wemar said. “If they study, they can borrow the boards anytime during weekend. We get their attendance every Friday to verify if they indeed attended classes.” Core Values The Sun Crew have adopted Sustainability, Education and Empowerment as its Core Values. “The ocean provides rural island communities with food, income and ultimately life and preserving the ocean is at the heart of all of we do.”    “We believe the fight to overcome poverty and the fight to address plastic pollution are the same fight, and education is the key.”   “We believe that empowering women and children with skills, knowledge and opportunities is the best way to create effective, lasting change.”   Sun Crew Projects Besides Smart, Sustainable Surfers, the group are also undertaking other projects such as Plastic Forward as its local solution to address the plastic waste problem facing the Philippine seas and oceans worldwide. “Our SSS kids collect plastic wastes from households every end of the month and help us in our beach clean-up every weekend. On weekdays, they also help us cut up soft plastics like sachets and these form the material we use to make pillows that we use. In the future we hope to sell these also to raise funds for our projects,” Wemar said. Tours with Impact is designed to ensure local residents are the major benefactors of tourism in Surigao through their Charity Surf School that employs local people from rural villages with 100% of profits go towards creating fair-employment for local people and supporting our education, sustainability and skills programs in the local community. Not the least, Wahines on Waves aims to empower women to uplift communities from poverty by creating lasting change. This project enables young girls to surf and to be actively engaged in their education, encouraging them to pursue a future beyond the traditional role of women in rural communities. “We work with local women to educate them on sustainable practices and empower them to be the leaders in the fight to protect the environment. We employ local women to run our programs, providing stable income to multiple families in the community. We believe that supporting these women and their children is the key to the achieving the sustainable island communities we are working to create.”  Future Plans At present, The Sun Crew’s activities are confined to Siargao but they plan to extend to Baler, Aurora; Surigao del Sur, and other surfing destinations in the future. Now 23, Wemar started surfing when he was only 10 in his hometown of Barangay Pacifico in San Isidro Municipality. He taught himself surfing but was later coached by Manuel Melindo of Cloud 9 when he joined Team Siargao.  For the long term, The Sun Crew plan to acquire a plastic recycling machine and have submitted a proposal to Coca-Cola Philippines for consideration. The Sun Crew would also like to contribute their equity investment in the machine which costs from P100, 000-500,000 depending on the brand and quality. Besides donations from supportive institutions like Coca-Cola Philippines, The Sun Crew also raise funds through the sale of tee shirts in partnership with Kermit Gwapitos which donates 100% of the proceeds to the group for its projects. Should you find yourself someday in Siargao, you can clean and surf on Saturdays and Sundays with The Sun Crew at Pilar, Pacifico and Alegria towns. Proceeds from their tours, surf lessons and board rentals go towards educational programs aimed towards helping local women and children. fb.com/thesuncrew; IG: @thesuncrew

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PVB Traveling Exhibit kicks off the 75th Liberation Trail

October 10, 2019

“Fight for our Freedom” TACLOBAN CITY – The 75thCommemoration of the LeyteGulf  Landings is made more memorable as Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) mounts its award-winning World War II Traveling Exhibit in Leyte celebrating the historic event that served as a key turning point of the Japanese Occupation. PVB’s “The War of our Fathers” exhibit will be at Robinsons Mall Tacloban from October 18 to 25, as part of the national commemoration of the 75th Leyte Gulf Landings led by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP). The exhibit display  is in cooperation with the Provincial Government of Leyte, City Government of Tacloban, Robinsons Place Tacloban, Go Hotels and Summit Hotels. The exhibition will be open to the public, free of charge and will feature vintage WWII photos, memorabilia, and artifacts. This leg of the traveling exhibit’s journey marks the beginning of the “75th Liberation Trail” beginning with the 75th year of the Leyte Gulf Landings in October 20, 1944 and will end with the official surrender of Gen. Yamashita 10 months later on Sept. 3, 1945. Entitled “The Fight for our Freedom,” the 75th Liberation Trail shall help create awareness about the important role of Filipino WWII veterans and heroes who are often overshadowed by their American counterparts in liberating our country from tyranny and oppression. While US Gen. Douglas MacArthur took center stage at the landings, Filipinos should not downplay the roles of their own forefathers who provided key intelligence data to the Allied Forces and displayed brave acts that saved the lives of their countrymen. One such example is 20-year-old Boy Scout Valeriano Abelloin the town of Tolosa, who aided US troops by directing their offensive attacks right to the Japanese troops through his semaphore skills. According to historical accounts, amidst artillery shelling, Abello, along with his friends Vicente Tiston and Antero Zunia, navigated to the Allied naval ship nearest to them and with the use of white cloth diapers, locally known as lampin, Abello signaled “Don’t bomb beaches. There are civilians. If possible let me direct shelling”. A new feature of the exhibit is a diorama of the landing in Palo, Leyte with life size replicas of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, President Sergio Osmeña, Gen. Carlos P. Romulo, Gen. Richard K. Sutherland and CBS Correspondent William J. Dunn walking to shore from a landing craft with the Leyte Gulf as a backdrop. PVB officials said that the traveling exhibit serves as a tribute to the bravery, patriotism, and determination of Filipino men and women who fought and died for freedom, and for those who survived those dark years of our country’s history. It also hopes to educate the generations of today on the lessons of war and to uplift the legacy of our World War II veterans as well as the sacrifices they undertook for the price of freedom. PVB will officially launch the World War II exhibit in a simple program and ribbon-cutting ceremony. They will be joined during the program by officials and representatives  from the Provincial Government of Leyte, City Government of Tacloban, the Embassy of the United States of America, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) and Robinsons Place Tacloban.

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A Minor Local Terrorist Fighter, Two Others Surrender in Lanao

October 10, 2019

CAMP SANG-AN, Pulacan, ZDS - Three Local Terrorist fighter, including a minor surrendered to Army's 82nd Infantry Battalion at their headquarters in Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur, 4:30 p.m. Monday, October 7, 2019. “The surrendered minor Juhari Mangotara, 16 years old, was with Jamil Dimasangkay, 24 years old, during the clash in Piagapo in the year 2017, while Mail Tinga, 36 years old, was involved in the Butig clash in the year 2016”, said Lt. Col. Rafman Altre, 82nd Infantry Battalion Commander. The three yielded one M79 grenade launcher and two caliber .45 handguns. At 9:30 a.m. same day, a Dawlah Islamiyah Maute terrorist fighter who was involved in the Marawi siege and five of its supporters surrendered to 49th Infantry Battalion in Lumba Bayabao, Lanao del Sur. The group also surrendered one M16 rifle, one KG9 sub machine gun, magazines and ammunitions. According to Col. Jose Maria Cuerpo II, 103rd Infantry Brigade Acting Commander, who has operational jurisdiction of Lanao del Sur, “We are confident that the people and the local government of Lanao del Sur are now accustomed to peace and  time for vibrant economic  opportunities in the province". “We will continuously collaborate with local chief executives and other stakeholders to encourage other supporters or even the locals with loose firearms to surrender and submit themselves to the folds of the law in order to sustain the peace we have achieved thru our relentless military operation”, Cuerpo added. Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Roberto Ancan, the 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) commander, commended the efforts of the troops for the successful surrender of local terrorist member. “Your 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division, in collaboration with the LGUs and other stakeholders, remains steadfast in its commitment to attain just and lasting peace in our area of operation thru our campaign against local terrorist groups and other threats,” said Ancan. “Likewise, we thank the local government and other stakeholders for their continued trust and support to our troops in contributing peace and development in the whole province of Lanao del Sur,” Ancan added.

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Six Mindanao CORDS converge in CDO for summit

October 10, 2019

THE Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) in Northern Mindanao hosted a Mindanao-wide summit for all the six Cabinet Officers for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) today (Thursday, October 10).   The regions covered during the daylong summit which was held at Mallberry Business Suites and Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City covered Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (Barmm).   During the activity, the CORDS presented updates, accomplishments, issues and concerns in line with the implementation of various projects of ELCAC here in Mindanao.   It can be recalled that last December, President Duterte signed Executive Order No. 70 creating ELCAC instituting the whole of nation approach to combat the more than half century-long communist insurgency in the country.   The whole of nation approach constitutes the priority of government services, development packages and infra construction in conflict-affected areas.   CORDS present in the activity were Secretaries Karlo Nograles, Isidro Lapeña and Rolando Joselito Bautista, Undersecretaries Lorraine Badoy and Cesar Yano and Assistant Secretary Daniella Marie Culangen.   During the summit, the CORDS also assessed their respective current performances in each region for the past ten months since they were institutionalized.   Gaps and possible solutions were identified - all these concerns would be forwarded to Duterte himself during the upcoming National ELCAC Summit.

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