Items filtered by date: February 2023

ALABEL, Sarangani (February 6, 2023) – “When we go to the field, the poor has a lot to teach us about life, survival, and resilience.”


Inside a small, dilapidated hut in a distant sitio in Barangay Spring in Alabel lives a child of 3 who is below his requisite weight. He is Denver.


Denver, who is supposed to be at least 14 kilograms for a three-year-old, weighs only 8.5kgs and is considered Severely Underweight (SUW) or Severely Stunting (SST).


As the World Health Organization defines stunting as “low height-for-age. It is the result of chronic or recurrent undernutrition, usually associated with poverty, poor maternal health and nutrition, frequent illness, and/or inappropriate feeding and care in early life. Stunting prevents children from reaching their physical and cognitive potential.”


However, Denver is not the only undernourished one in the family; so are his four elder siblings, and even their mother.


Denver and his family’s case is only one of the many cases of malnutrition in the country and in the entire world. His is one in more than 3,000 cases in Sarangani province.


Cases like Denver’s are what pushed the Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF) to partner with local government units (LGUs), especially with Sarangani LGU, to create ideas and take actions that could help address health and nutrition challenges in the community.


This is where the concept of ZFF’s “deep dive” comes in. Deep dive, as defined by ZFF Consultant Professor Hadji Balajadia, is an “adult-learning journey where the participant directly experiences the challenges of a system from the perspective of other stakeholders. It is seeing the reality of a situation from the field and seeing it with fresh eyes.”


The objective of a deep dive is to “move us into a different sense and see it from a vantage point as a program implementer, where could I contribute?”


The deep dive done by the ZFF and Governor Rogelio Pacquiao’s core team to Denver’s family on February 3 spoke a lot about the health and nutrition challenges of some of the poor families in the province.


ZFF disclosed that Denver’s mother is a housewife, while his father is a farmer and a laborer with no regular income and only earns at least P1,500-P2,000 a month.


Factors that could have affected the child’s nutrition include the family regularly consuming “cassava, banana, and other root crops from their backyard, while only at times corn grits or rice and fish are served when they get to have extra money.”


Even their water source is only from a shared faucet which is 3 to 4 kilometers away from their home.


During the intimate encounter with Denver and his mother, the ZFF and the core team also learned that Denver’s health condition has affected some parts of the child’s brain. “We see the face of malnutrition in Denver’s social awkwardness and delayed speech,” Balajadia said.


Emotional, the mother expressed her gratitude to ZFF and the governor’s core team for visiting their family and for checking up on them, providing them with food packs and health kits, and for giving her hope for her children.


“Nakaabot mo diri gud bisag layo mi ba,” the mother cried when the immersion team was about to wrap-up the visit.


Balajadia hoped that with this immersion, the governor’s core team “will see the reality on the ground from a different perspective, and that is on a personal way. Not just as a program implementer but also as a person.”


“Through listening and close encounter with stories and families, this will help us arrive at creative and innovative ways for sustainable interventions,” he added.


The ZFF designed this activity for the governor and his core team in order to help the governor and his administration achieve his vision for nutrition of “No New Stunting by 2025 in Sarangani.”


Through this design, Balajadia trusts that “the core team of the governor will help him scaffold and support him in terms of running out and investing in the health and nutrition programs of the province.”


The governor’s core team who participated in the deep dive included the Chief of Staff of the Governor, Atty. Stephany Velasco-Datig; Ronda Probinsya Program Coordinator Paul Allen Villamora; Provincial Health Officer Dr. Arvin Alejandro; Provincial Nutrition Coordinator Charise Jabines-Posadas; Board Member Joseph Calanao; Buenaventura Solarte of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office; and Agnes Du of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist. (Jori Mae R. Samillano/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)


Photos by Jake Narte

Published in News Photos

ALABEL, Sarangani (February 5, 2023) – Thirty-five teams from all over Mindanao kicked off the Little League Philippine Series Mindanao Leg covering seven different age divisions for baseball and softball today (February 5).

Day 1 Little League Baseball games are Davao City vs Zamboanga, Aleosan vs Maitum, and Misamis Oriental vs Zamboanga.

The Minor League (MLB) is between Misamis Oriental and Davao City; Senior League (SLB-A) are SLB-Maragusan vs Tacurong and SLB-North Cotabato vs SLB-Valencia. In Diamond 3 the games are SLB-Misamis Oriental vs SLB-Davao City, SLB-Maitum vs SLB-Maguindanao, JLB-Kidapawan vs JLB-Misamis Oriental, and SLB-Valencia vs SLB-Maragusan.

For Little Leagus Softball, Day 1 games are between Davao and Maragusan, Misamis Oriental and Aleosan, and Maragusan and Misamis Oriental. Junior League Softball (JLS)  games are Misamis Oriental vs Sarangani; while Senior League Softball (JLS) games are Aleosan vs Davao, Sarangani vs Misamis Oriental, Maragusan vs North Cotabato, and Aleosan vs Misamis Oriental.

A total of 14 delegations are now playing at former Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao’s Sarangani Sports Training Center until February 10.

The delegations are from Valencia, Bukidnon; Gingoog City; Kidapawan City; Maguindanao Del Sur; Municipality of Malita, Davao Occidental; Maitum, Sarangani Province; Sarangani Province; Tacurong City; North Cotabato Province; Zamboanga Sibugay; Municipality of Aleosan, North Cotabato; Davao City; Maragusan, Davao De Oro; and Municipality of Medina, Misamis Oriental. (Jun Ramos/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE) 

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ALABEL, Sarangani (February 5, 2023) – Maitum team and Sarangani team have beaten their respective opponents to rule Day 1 of the  Mindanao Qualifying tournament being held at the Sarangani Capitol Compound.


In Little League Baseball Game number 1, Zamboanga defeated Davao, 7-5.


In Senior League Baseball Game number 1, Davao City beat Misamis Oriental, 6-4; while in Game number 2 Maitum thrashed Maguindanao, 19-0.


In Little League Softball Game 1, Davao had a no-sweat win over the teamless Maragusan. In Game 2 Aleosan ate dust against Misamis Oriental, 22-12. In Game 4 Misamis Oriental was declared winner over teamless Maragusan.


However, Misamis Oriental suffered the same fate of Aleosan with Sarangani’s victory in Junior League Softball, 5-1.


Games on February 6 in Little League Baseball are 7am Aleosan vs Davao City, 1pm Maitum vs Davao City, and 3pm Zamboanga vs Aleosan.


There is only one game in Minor League Baseball, Misamis Oriental vs Davao City at 9am.


For Senior League, SLB-North Cotabato vs SLB-Tacurong at 7am, SLB-Tacurong vs SLB-Valencia at 1pm, and SLB-Davao City vs SLB-Maitum at 3pm.


In Junior League will be Misamis Oriental vs Maitum at 7am, Valencia vs Kidapawan at 9am and Misamis Oriental vs Valencia at 3pm.


In Little League Softball 7am Davao vs Aleosan; 1pm Aleosan vs Maragusan. Junior League Softball 9am Maragusan vs Misamis Oriental and 3pm Sarangani vs Maragusan. For Senior League Softball are 7am Sarangani vs Maragusan, 9am Davao vs North Cotabato, 1pm Misamis Oriental vs Maragusan and 3pm Davao vs Sarangani. (Jun Ramos/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)


Photos by Jun Ramos

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KIAMBA, Sarangani (February 4, 2023) – The Provincial Health Office (PHO) led the distribution of supplementary medicines and hygiene kits to the flood-affected areas in Kiamba and Maitum on February 2.


PHO was joined by some municipal health office staff of the affected towns in the distribution and assessment.


Based on the report of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office in a meeting held on February 1, a total of 355 families were displaced in five barangays in Maitum including New La Union, Pangi, Old Poblacion, Zion, and Wali, while 158 families in eight barangays in Kiamba.


In Maitum, one death was reported.


According to Ronilyne Grace Moneva, Kiamba municipal nutrition action officer, items distributed include buntis kit, anti-tetanus vaccines, emergency medicines, vitamins, and food supplies.


Moneva said, “we ensured to supply meds, especially doon sa mga lactating mothers and kids five years old and below because they are the most vulnerable sa mga sakit lalo na at nasa evacuation center sila.”


Common sicknesses reported are coughs and colds.


The nutritionist also said that the concerned local government offices have secured temporary comfort rooms and supplied potable water to “avoid contamination.”


On behalf of the municipal government of Kiamba headed by Mayor George Falgui, Moneva expressed her thanks to Governor Rogelio D. Pacquiao and his Ronda Probinsya flagship program for the assistance in the distribution of the medicines, Congressman Steve Chiongbian Solon, Vice Governor Elmer De Peralta, and all the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members. (Joshua John S. Pantonial/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)


Photos by Jake T. Narte

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ALABEL, Sarangani (February 3, 2023) – Municipal and provincial Anti-Illegal Drug Abuse Council (ADAC) focal persons and members convened on February 1 at the Horizon Suites, General Santos, to discuss matters related to the implementation of the council’s programs and targets for 2023.


The discussion includes compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Policy; Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan (BIDA) Program; adoption of the Anti-Drug Abuse System; Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBRP) Program reporting system; performance audit on ADAC; and updates in screening, brief intervention, and referral treatment (SBIRT).


Based on the report by the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Sarangani Provincial Police Office, "only two out of the 141 barangays in Sarangani remain uncleared."


The report does not include the newly created Barangay New Canaan in Alabel.


Provincial ADAC focal person Lizette Lopez said, "we are trying to have a round of conversations with other agencies concerned para ma-meet natin yung drug-cleared province."


"We are really aiming for a drug-cleared province, and we are really hoping that all these projects, proposals, and activities (PPAs) we have discussed will really help para ma-declare tayo as a totally drug-cleared province," she added.


Lopez also emphasized the contribution of the PNP and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to the implementation of the goals of the council.


"We are also looking forward na ang lahat ng mga LGU, and the PLGU will be highly functional this year, kasi for five years we were considered one of the provinces na highly functional," Lopez said.


On November 2022, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 12 awarded PLGU Sarangani as the most outstanding peace and order and anti-drug abuse council in the Region. (Joshua John S. Pantonial/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)


 Photos by Mosler Paul Lapore

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ALABEL, Sarangani (February 3, 2023) – To help improve the province’s water resources, Sarangani is set to craft a Reforestation Development Plan (RDP) by the first quarter of this year.


According to Bien Dolom, Water Resource Management Specialist of USAID Safe Water, the RDP “is very crucial as it targets to increase forest cover in order to sustain the water resources ng probinsya, since it is primarily focused on improving the water security of Sarangani.”


The RDP is anchored on the Provincial Integrated Water Security Management Plan and the One Million Trees Project of Governor Rogelio Pacquiao.


“The 1-million trees is the essence of the RDP because trees will improve the environment, the soil condition, and the infiltration of rainwater underground,” Dolom said.


In the process, trees will capture the rainwater and prevent it from flowing to the rivers, and flooding and damaging, especially during high rainfall days.


“Through reforestation, we will be capturing the rainwater so that these are restored underground and will be released slowly through springs and streams,” Dolom explained.


Dolom highlighted that water security is the main objective of the plan, while “the improvement of biodiversity, land cover, and forest cover” are just the “other benefits” of it.


On January 30 to February 1, a Sarangani RDP Formulation Workshop was held at General Santos City where the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Provincial, Municipal, and city ENROs, and other partner stakeholders participated in for the crafting of the RDP.


During the workshop, MENROs presented their work and financial plans, including their reforestation activities, commodities, target or priority watershed areas/sites, and estimated budget. The mechanisms, as well as the challenges of the plan, were also discussed.


Among these challenges, Dolom said, include “how to integrate the already existing programs and initiatives from different sectors in order to maximize the effort of the stakeholders.”


Another challenge anticipated will be the sustainability of the plan, including the monitoring strategies of each LGU.


With this, Globe Telecom partnered with USAID and distributed mobile phones to all local government units involved to help support the environmental law enforcement system of the LGUs.


A total of 36 mobile phones were given to be used for planning, recording observations, patrolling, monitoring, and security of threats through the Lawin Forest Protection System.


Lawin is an innovative system that combines forest condition monitoring using mobile phones, environmental law enforcement, water security strengthening, and local community participation in forest protection.


“The RDP is an urgent call for the rehabilitation and restoration of our ecosystem in the province,” PENRO Rolando “Bong” Tuballes said.


Dolom backed him up saying that “we really have to do interventions as early as now because the forest cover in Sarangani is declining and this problem will be intensified because of climate change.”


The RDP, according to Tuballes, is anticipated to be a 9-year plan as mandated by Governor Pacquiao. “The governor had a marching order to PENRO to have this flagship program on reforestation, conservation, and rehabilitation,” he said.


“The best time to plant a tree was 40 years ago, but the right time to plant a tree is now.” This was the battle cry of Tuballes as he urged LGUs and partner stakeholders to “contribute significantly” in this cause. (Jori Mae R. Samillano/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)


Photos by Jake Narte and Mosler Paul Lapore

Published in News Photos

ALABEL, Sarangani (February 3, 2023) – Provincial Administrator Atty. Ryan Jay Ramos convened on Wednesday (February 1) a core group meeting for the damage needs assessment analysis of the flash flood that hit Maitum and Kiamba towns on January 30.


Initially, the provincial government already dispatched 300 boxes of food supplies and medicines, while a heavy equipment has been deployed for the clearing operation and rerouting of waterway in Barangay Zion, Maitum.


Prolonged heavy rainfall caused rivers and creeks to overflow their banks, leaving massive destruction in vulnerable areas.


In the report presented by Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer (PDRRMO) Rene Punzalan, a total of 355 families were displaced in five barangays in Maitum and 158 families in eight barangays in Kiamba.


Barangay Kablacan in Maasim also suffered from the flash flood resulting to six children trapped, rescued, and returned home safely.


In Maitum, one death was reported.


The core group, according to Atty. Ramos, was convened to facilitate “immediate response sa mga disasters, calamities sa province. But, anyway, the province is always ready naman.”


The group is composed of the Provincial Governor’s Office, Provincial Administrator’s Office, PDRRMO, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, Provincial Engineering Office, Provincial Agriculture Office, and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office.


Atty. Ramos said the core group “will be institutionalized para kung may ibang problem na related to calamities sa ibang municipyo, at least may team na kaagad.”


Atty. Ramos also anticipated the services of the fleets of heavy equipment that the provincial government would procure soon through a loan with the LandBank of the Philippines.


“We believe na hindi lang ito for the maintenance of the road, road opening, but even magiging support for the clearing operations and evacuation in times of calamities,” he said.


Relative also to the provincial government’s disaster response, Atty. Ramos said the PDRRMO is preparing for the implementation of the Sarangani Integrated Disaster Emergency Quick Response Team (SIDEQTR). “Gusto kasi ni Gov. na kapag may calamities, hindi lang reactive ang probinsya, but proactive.”


Punzalan said, the establishment of the SIDEQRT is “in response to the thrust and direction under Governor Ruel Pacquiao in building Sarangani na maging resilient, dynamic, and progressive.”


The SIDEQRT, which is expected to be launched in March, will be established in three areas particularly in Malungon, MAKIMA (Maitum-Kiamba-Maasim), and GMAM (Glan-Malungon-Alabel-Malapatan) areas.


Disaster response by then, according to Punzalan, will be “integrated in approach” in partnership with trained volunteers, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine National Police, and health workers.


Punzalan said, the SIDEQRT, which is already incorporated in the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Investment Plan for 2023, will be operational 24/7 with logistics and administrative support from the provincial government. (Beverly C. Paoyon/ SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)


 Rey Gatcho

Published in News Photos
Tuesday, 14 February 2023 10:18

LANDBANK, PLGU Sarangani ink deal for P1B loan

ALABEL, Sarangani (February 3, 2023) – After the signing of the term sheet on January 19, the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) and the provincial local government unit (PLGU) of Sarangani officially sealed the deal for the P1-billion loan agreement on February 2.


The P1-billion will be utilized for funding the province’s developmental projects, particularly the allocation of P500-million for the acquisition of several heavy equipment, P200-million for the hospital/medical equipment, and P300 million for the establishment of the Provincial Agri-Fisheries Complex.


This will capacitate the provincial government and the current administration to provide and deliver more public services and expand the government’s efforts, especially to the Sarangans who live in the margins.


The ceremonial signing between LANDBANK and PLGU was held at the lobby of the JLC Building, Capitol Compound where principal signatories include Charlotte Conde, Senior Vice President and Mindanao Lending Group Head; Eden Japitana, Vice President and General Santos City Lending Center Head; Governor Rogelio D. Pacquiao, and Provincial Administrator Atty. Ryan Jay Ramos.


Conde said, the LANDBANK is “so proud and happy” that this P1B loan for Sarangani is “so far the shortest approval that we ever got for the provincial government of Sarangani. Imagine, one-week lang naipa-approve agad namin ‘yung loan up to the board.”


“This agreement is a milestone in LANDBANK’s continuous assistance to Sarangani province and it is my pleasure to formalize this renewed partnership that will help address the major constraints concerning basic and social-economic infrastructure,” Conde said.


Through this agreement, Conde hopes the P500-million for heavy equipment acquisition “will pave the way for reliable road connections and disaster-resilient structures.”


The P200-million for the hospital equipment “will scale up the capacity of the Sarangani Provincial Hospital to operate as a medical center,” while the P300-million agri-fisheries complex “will help in expanding small and medium scale fisherfolks and consumer markets.”


Governor Pacquiao, on behalf of his constituents in Sarangani, thanked LANDBANK “for the resounding hope of confidence” LANDBANK has given to the province. “This will inspire us to keep serving in excellence knowing that we have reliable partners in our local endeavors,” he added.


Governor Pacquiao believes through this loan agreement, “our collective dream of having our own fish port facility will soon come to completion, and this will promote the agri-fishery industry, especially in our coastal towns. It will also fast-track our infrastructure projects in order to deliver reliable and modern health services to those in need.”


The contract signing was also witnessed by other representatives from LANDBANK, the members of the 11th Sangguniang Panlalawigan headed by Vice Governor Elmer de Peralta, the Capitol department heads, and Capitol employees.


Governor Pacquiao urged his co-elected and appointed officials to “roll up our sleeves and get more things done” as he assured the benefactors that “the PLGU will seek the most efficient and prudent use of the fund.”


“This is not just a loan contract; this is an investment for the future of our people. This agreement signals the dawn of a modern and progressive Sarangani province,” Governor Pacquiao stressed. (Jori Mae R. Samillano/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)


Photos by Martin Fernando Bernad Jr.

Published in News Photos


ALABEL, Sarangani (February 2, 2023) – If you build it, they will come.


Indeed, a total of 14 delegations are coming to former Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao’s Sarangani Sports Training Center that will be hosting for the first time the 2023 Little League Philippine Series, Mindanao Baseball and Softball Qualifying tournament.


On February 4-10, 35 competing teams from cities and provinces all over Mindanao will battle, rather bat, for the seven different age divisions for baseball and softball.


The delegations are coming from Valencia, Bukidnon; Gingoog City; Kidapawan City; Maguindanao Del Sur; Municipality of Malita, Davao Occidental; Maitum, Sarangani Province; Sarangani Province; Tacurong City; North Cotabato Province; Zamboanga Sibugay; Municipality of Aleosan, North Cotabato; Davao City; Maragusan, Davao De Oro; and Municipality of Medina, Misamis Oriental.


Alma Corazon Gabuat, Sarangani Provincial Sports Coordinator, said preparation for the event is “all set.”


Five diamond fields are ready for use and billeting quarters are already prepared for these Little Leaguers ages 11 to 16.


Little League Baseball is one of the popular youth-based programs in the world with over a million participants from 100 countries.


The Mindanao leg is a qualifying tournament for the Philippine series in Isabela City, which is an elimination event to select the country’s representative for the 2023 Asia-Pacific Tournament.


Previous champions during the Philippine Series Mindanao Leg held in Davao City on May 15, 2022 were:


  • Baseball: Senior League Division – Davao City; Junior League – Tupi, South Cotabato; Intermediate 50/70 Division – Tupi, South Cotabato.
  • Softball: Senior League – Kiamba, Sarangani Province; Junior League – Kiamba, Sarangani Province.


Gabuat hoped Sarangani batters this time will break their previous records and will again represent the Philippines to the Little League Intermediate Baseball Asia-Pacific Series like in 2016.


One of the agenda of the administration of Governor Rogelio D. Pacquiao is to create a culture of sports “that is leading edge promoting total human development.”


The Sarangani Sports Training Center is a state-of-the-art facility which serves as a training ground for student-athletes of the Sarangani National Sports Academy or SaNSA. (Beverly C. Paoyon and Jun Ramos/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)

Published in News Photos
Tuesday, 14 February 2023 10:15

Sarangani celebrates National Bible Day

ALABEL, Sarangani (February 1, 2023) - Provincial Capitol employees on Monday (January 30) gathered in celebration of the National Bible Day pursuant to Republic Act 11163.


RA 11163 or the “National Bible Day Act,” declares the last Monday of January every year as a special working holiday in observance of the celebration.


RA 11163 underscored the “policy of the State that the government shall aid and encourage development of the moral character and spiritual foundation of the Filipino people.”


Former Senator Manny Pacquiao who authored and sponsored its Senate Bill No. 1270, encouraged Capitol employees and officials through a video message to “take time to meditate on God’s words day and night.”


At the Congress, then Sarangani Lone District Representative and now Governor Rogelio D. Pacquiao sponsored its House Bill No. 7544.


Governor Pacquiao said, the Philippines being the largest Christian nation in Asia Pacific and the fifth largest in the world prompted him and his brother to legislate the National Bible Day.


The governor also emphasized during the celebration the “importance of reading the Holy Bible every day” as he appealed to continue “pray for our beloved province for protection, tungod kay kabalo ta ang Pilipinas usa ka third world country and ang atong province one of the poorest in the country.”


“But” he said, “we continue to work, to strive para mai-angat ang matag pamilya sa kalisod.”


The celebration, held at the Capitol’s gymnasium, was attended by the provincial board members led by Vice Governor Elmer De Peralta who shared his personal testimony.


It was also graced by Haggai pastors and representatives from Gideons International, an association of Christian business and professional men dedicated to telling people about Jesus through associating together for service, sharing personal testimony, and providing Bibles and New Testaments.


Distribution of Bibles from Gideons also served as among the highlights of the celebration. (Beverly C. Paoyon/ SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)


 Jake T. Narte

Published in News Photos
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