northern mindanao

Manobo ‘bakwits’ return home

December 12, 2019

KITAOTAO, Bukidnon — Manobo evacuees or “bakwits” returned to their homes in the hinterland part of Barangay Sta. Felomina, Quezon, Bukidnon on December 9. Two weeks after they left homes and stayed in makeshift tents inside the church compound of Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) in nearby Kitaotao town, the natives went home at 2:20 p.m last Monday right after Bukidnon Governor Jose Maria R. Zubiri spoke to them and gave them 150 sacks of rice and 300 boxes of assorted canned goods. In an interview, Kitaotao vice-mayor Edwin P. Abucayan said these bakwits are indigenous peoples (IPs) comprising 20 families of 109 individuals and 35 children. Abucayan said that before the governor’s dialogue with the evacuees, Kitaotao mayor Lorenzo Gawilan has ordered a team composed of Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives, Barangay Captain, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer (MSWDO), Rural Health Unit (RHU), and other concerned agencies to facilitate the return of said families to their respective homes at Sitio Dumasilag in barangay Sta. Felomina. “Unfortunately, the tasked team’s efforts to negotiate were wasted because their presence was ignored and all that they’ve said fell on deaf ears. Our intervention is to ensure the protection and welfare of the evacuees, especially the children. Although the bakwits are from our neighbor town, they are still on our watch because they sought refuge here in Kitaotao,” Abucayan said. Heal the sick children After a few attempts, the RHU doctors and social workers were allowed by the bakwits’ spokesperson to check the health status of the kids. The doctors reported that five of the 35 children were diagnosed with a severe fever, chest pains, and dehydration. The LGU team explained to the parents and informed them about the consequences of defying to bring their ailing kids to the hospital, but the bakwits’ insisted that their children were all fine. Another report suggested that the parents should allow their children to be rushed to the hospital. Violation of children’s rights Brig. General Edgardo De Leon, the commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade in Bukidnon said the bakwits’ defiance to bring sick children to the hospital is a clear violation of children’s rights. “This case involves children that the state has a special responsibility to protect. Republic Act 7610 makes it clear that children must not be put at risk. This is what the law says. So we must act according to our mandate. Otherwise, the parents will be charged with a criminal case in violation of R.A 7610,” he said. Guided by Republic Act 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Act, a team from local government units of Kitaotao and Quezon along with the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and Philippine National Police (PNP) exerted efforts on December 7 to rescue the said kids. Due to the bakwits’ resistance, the rescue team failed to get the five sick children. Some rescue team members, however, suggested pursuing the operation but considering hundreds of people and children in the neighborhood who will be affected in case of chaos, especially that it is already past 10:00 at night, PNP Provincial Director Roel L. Lami-ing suggested deferring the operation. Hence, cooler heads prevailed. Unconfirmed media reports later said that the bakwits’ spokesperson has warned that some armed Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) or “Sparrow (NPA’s hit squad)” are with the bakwits inside their lair at the IFI compound. Hopes for a better and peaceful life Prior to the negotiation with the governor, bakwits’ leader Datu Wilboy Lay-um went live on air over DXMV radio saying they will only emerge in the presence of Gov. Zubiri. Asked why they left homes, Datu Wilboy said they were scared to stay because a report has reached him that the military will bomb Sitio Dumasilag anytime soon. But military reports showed that the area in Quezon where the bakwits left was not affected in the operation. Online views, thus, implied that the incident bolsters public suggestions that these bakwits must have been deceived by the alleged NPA organizers who carried out this exodus just to further the NPA’s cause. In an interview, Quezon town mayor Pablo M. Lorenzo III said the local government distributed relief goods on several occasions since the bakwits started arriving at IFI in Kitaotao. “We gave them food packs and other relief goods, especially medicines because these things were most needed as our RHU reported that there were sick children inside the campsite,” the mayor said. After weeks of staying away from their village, the natives rode home towards Barangay Sta. Felomina aboard dump trucks, accompanied by Quezon and Kitaotao MDRRMO personnel and local officials with the Army’s 88th Infantry Battalion. “I’m grateful to those who helped us in this crisis and in seeking a peaceful way to end this conflict. I hope that these bakwits from Sitio Dumasilag in Sta. Felomina—now that they’re home—would cross their fingers that the possibility of leaving home without apparent reason would never happen again,” mayor Lorenzo said. (RLRBalistoy/PIA Bukidnon)   

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DTI-10 gears to complete region's Negosyo Centers by 2020

December 5, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Northern Mindanao is preparing to complete the establishment of all Negosyo Centers in the region by 2020. This was announced during the first Regional Negosyo Center Conference held on November 26 in Mallberry Suites Business Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City. Negosyo Center is DTI's program responsible for promoting ease of doing business and facilitating access to services for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). DTI is keen on achieving its target of opening 94 Negosyo Centers with 85 already established across the region: 5 in Camiguin, 21 in Bukidnon, 20 in Lanao del Norte, 13 in Misamis Occidental and 26 in Misamis Oriental. National Negosyo Center Program Director Emma Asusano, on behalf of Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona, congratulated the Negosyo Center Cagayan de Oro City for being the first Negosyo Center to open in the region and in the nation. The Negosyo Center Cagayan de Oro City was opened on November 13, 2014. "Negosyo Center is a living organization because we deal with our Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises - the catalyst for the economy of the nation," Director Asusano said. Assistant Director for DTI-Export Marketing Bureau Agnes Perpetua-Legaspi highlighted DTI's support in creating businesses especially Philippine start-ups during her afternoon talk on Building Negosyo Center Plus Ecosystems: Developing Innovative Entrepreneurs for the Global Market. "For you to get that mindset, it has to be...looking and thinking of new things, doing new things and creating value in the marketplace," she said. The regional conference also featured best practices that are distinct of each provincial office. DTI Bukidnon presented how the use of technology made Business Registration and Licensing easier, particularly in Negosyo Center Valencia City. DTI Misamis Oriental shared the comprehensive program for MSMEs as it highlighted the importance of business development through capability building of MSMEs, the heart of the Negosyo Center services. With the strong tourism industry in Camiguin, the province's DTI found it fitting to discuss how its Negosyo Centers, particularly the Mambajao Negosyo Center strengthened and sustained the tourism-supported businesses in their locality. On the other hand, DTI Misamis Occidental took pride in its strong network collaboration of Negosyo Center partners through the commitment of its partner stakeholders from the local government units, local chambers, the private sector and other key stakeholders, which resulted to building a network for local support in helping the MSMEs. Finally, DTI Lanao del Norte emphasized creativity, innovation and technology as Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) housed the FAB LAB Mindanao, the first digital fabrication laboratory in Mindanao that "can aid the region's researches and businesses in creating physical prototypes of their design. Through FAB Lab Mindanao, DTI is cultivating a start-up economy where ideas are physically transformed. With the theme, "Building Sustainable Negosyo Centers in Northern Mindanao," the conference was attended by 153 delegates, including business counselors from DTI Northern Mindanao Negosyo Center provincial offices, and representatives from local government units and private sectors. (DTI-10)  

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DILG Camiguin readies for next round road clearing validation

December 5, 2019

CAMIGUIN —In furtherance to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte‘s directive and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular 2019-121, the DILG Camiguin Provincial Office conducted the Provincial Meeting with national line agencies and local utility service providers to come-up with corrective and sustaining actions in preparation for the next round of road clearing validation.   The meeting focused on the discussion of the results on onsite validation on road clearing accomplishment validated by the Provincial Validation Team, October 2, 2019 and the actions to be undertaken by concerned local government units (LGUs) after knowing the findings.   The said meeting was participated by the respective municipal mayors, municipal and provincial engineers,  and Municipal Local Government Operations Officers (MLGOOs).    Also, concerned agencies like the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Camiguin Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CAMELCO) and Camiguin Telephone Cooperative (CAMTECO) were present.       Further, the meeting became an avenue for the LGUs to air out their sentiments and concerns in order to achieve a common understanding on the policy. (DILG10/PIA10)  

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Whole-of-nation approach in Bukidnon inspires more NPA members to surrender

December 2, 2019

IMPASUGONG, Bukidnon - The “Magbuliga Kuy” program of the local government unit of Impasugong encouraged at least seven Militia ng Bayan members to surrender and 68 supporters of the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army - National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) to withdraw support to the terrorist group. They belong to and supporting the Sub-Regional Committee 2 of the North Central Mindanao Regional Command. “Magbuliga Kuy” aims to bring government basic services closer to the people. Almost 680 locals benefited in the program including the medical and dental services of the Philippine Army. Moreover, queries and concerns of individuals and barangay residents were also answered by local government office representatives during the conduct of the program at Barangay Dumalaguing, Impasugong on November 26. Before the Magbuliga Kuy came on the scene, the Community Support Program Team of the Philippine Army was immersed in the community to gather issues exploited by the NPA to recruit members and supporters. The issues gathered were conveyed to the local government for possible solutions. Addressing the NPA members and supporters who yielded, Mayor Anthony Uy said, “Thank you to all of you for realizing that you have been deceived, I swear to bring more services to our community and assure you that you will benefit from it.” He also reiterated his support to Executive Order 70 of the National Government which institutionalizes the Whole of Nation Approach and creates a Task Force to end the local communist armed conflict. He said the municipality of Impasugong will create its own Task Force to oversee and ensure that the basic services of the government will be delivered to the people. In four days, the 8th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army based in Impasugong has recorded 26 NPA members surrenderers and 68 supporters pulling out support to the CPP-NPA-NDF. Lt.Col. Ronald Illana, commander of 8th Infantry Battalion said, "This trend of many NPA surrenders signifies the disintegration of the CPP-NPA-NDF and the lack of NPA leadership in our area of responsibility in Bukidnon. We expect more surrenders in the coming weeks and it is a positive scenario whereby a great Yuletide celebration is coming for these former NPA combatants who opted to be reunited with their loved ones. He also emphasized that the whole-of-nation approach of the government is toppling the local communist terrorist group." Meanwhile, the latest surrenders were oriented of their benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government and are now undertaking a series of interviews before their enrolment to E-CLIP. (8th IB/PA)

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NFA tackles ‘Palay procurement’ as ATI launches RCEF info caravan in Bukidnon

November 30, 2019

VALENCIA CITY, Bukidnon, Nov. 12 — The National Food Authority (NFA) tackled various issues on Palay (unhusked rice) procurement as the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) launched the Information Caravan on Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) program at Jocel’s Garden in Valencia City. NFA Bukidnon Manager Beverly M. Navarro said NFA is now buying clean and dry palay at P19.00 per kilo, which is higher than the grain traders’ prevailing buying price of only P14.00 to P16.00 a kilo. In the open forum with media partners, Navarro was asked on NFA’s alleged lack of warehouses or storage facilities as local farmers now flock to NFA for palay deliveries as the agency hikes its buying price. Explaining the agency’s policies and procedures on palay procurement, she said that in the acceptance of rice deliveries, each warehouse supervisor and procurement team leader maintains a logbook to record palay arrivals and the “first-come, first-served” priority is strictly observed. “To make the intake process in the procurement system fair to the farmers, the main office has not accommodated any special request even by personalities in government or other sectors. I’m certain that our procurement teams are doing the best they can to accommodate palay deliveries and at the same time observing quality standard management of stocks as these will be stored as buffer stocks,” Navarro said. She urged the general public to report to NFA any irregularities noticed or detected in the procurement operations. “We already anticipated complaints from local farmers because everybody wants to be prioritized. The present volume of palay deliveries is unimaginable. In October last year, we only procured 7,000 bags—for the entire month. But now, just this month of October, we procured 143,000 bags. There was a day that we procured 10,000 bags,” she said. On the warehouse space issue, Navarro said some stocks from Aglayan and Valencia will be sent for milling in order to accommodate more palay deliveries. Navarro also stressed that NFA’s palay buying price of P19.00 per kilo is still good for this harvest season. She said this shall be reviewed based on the results of the NFA Council which is commissioned to study the agency’s buffer stocking. (Hazel B. Belacho/NFA-R10)  

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Philippine Army and GMA Kapuso conduct relief operation in Bukidnon

November 26, 2019

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – In response to the needs of earthquake victims, the 4th Infantry “Diamond” Philippine Army in partnership with Asia Brewery and GMA Kapuso Foundation distributed relief goods to the affected families in the three municipalities of Bukidnon on Thursday, November 21, 2019. A total of 698 households from the 13 barangays under the municipalities of Kadingilan, Maramag and Don Carlos benefited the 1,000 packs of relief goods which contains two kilos of rice, four canned goods and five instant noodles. Likewise, 100 boxes of bottled mineral water and 300 boxes of juice were also distributed. Meanwhile, troops of 4ID together with the civilian volunteers in Cagayan de Oro City and the personnel of GMA Kapuso Foundation headed by Ms. Ma Rose Ann L Cordero, project staff-social worker facilitated the hauling and repacking of relief goods a day prior the distribution. It can be recalled that the province of Bukidnon was hit by a 5.9 magnitude earthquake last November 18, 2019 around 9:22 o’clock in the evening which resulted to the damage of properties and injured few barangay folks. MGen Franco Nemesio Gacal, the Commander of the 4ID said, “I commend the troops, GMA Kapuso Foundation and the Local Government Unit of Bukidnon for initiating this relief operations, the affected families are in dire need of our help. This noble undertaking shows our genuine concern to the affected constituents in the province.” “I call on everyone to remain vigilant and be prepared to respond to any emergencies for we cannot predict when an earthquake will hit us. Your Diamond troopers in partnership with the Local Government Unit, Non-Government Organization and other concern stakeholders are always ready to extend necessary support, you can assure our full commitment on these noble undertakings,” Gacal ended.  

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