Items filtered by date: March 2023
NGAYONG MARCH AY RABIES AWARENESS MONTH
Gov. Pacquiao’s Kapehan sa Barangay continues its leg in Maasim
MAASIM, Sarangani (March 17, 2023) – Governor Rogelio D. Pacquiao has held conversations and consultations with the barangay councils of Lumasal, Lumatil, and Daliao in Maasim on March 16, to allow the councils to personally air their concerns and recommendations regarding the needs of their communities.
Dubbed as Kapehan sa Barangay, this initiative of the governor aims to seek the suggestions of the councils on how the provincial government can provide assistance to barangay development and delivery of services to their constituents.
These consultations were part of the series of consultations to be conducted in all the 142 barangays of Sarangani.
The governor committed to the barangay councils the fast-tracking of the province’s purchase of heavy equipment in support to barangay road opening and rehabilitation projects, and the increase of the augmentation fund in the conduct of barangay anniversaries from P30,000 to P40,000.
Ronda Probinsya Program Director Paul Allen Villamora said the kapehan is a “micro-program of the governor under the Sarangani Barangay Affairs Unit (SBAU) of the Ronda Probinsya flagship program,” which aims to bring government services even closer to the Sarangans.
In the same event, the governor also distributed free maintenance medicines and vitamins to senior citizens and food packs to identified indigent families of the barangays as among his commitment to improve the health system in the province.
The governor also attended the commencement ceremony of a Madrassah in Barangay Lumatil and gave his message to the graduates of Maahad Lumatil Al Arabie Al Islamie.
The governor recognized how important it is in the Muslim community “na maipalaganap at maipaunawa pa sa lahat ang tunay na mensahe at katuruan ng Islam, ‘yun ay ang pagmamahalan, pagkakaisa, at kapayapaan.”
He commended the efforts of the Madaris facilitators in educating the youth of the true teachings of Islam to prevent communist and extremist ideologies to foster.
Also part of his agenda in Maasim was to release the honoraria of the tribal chieftains of the municipalities of Maasim, Kiamba, and Maitum (MaKiMa) held at the IP Center, Municipal Compound.
During his dialogue or Kasfala with the tribal councils of MaKiMa, the governor sought the needs of the chieftains for their communities that the provincial government could address.
He also recognized the significant contributions of the chieftains in maintaining peace and order in Sarangani and in making the province insurgency-free. (Jori Mae R. Samillano/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)
Photos by Jake Narte
Sarangani holds public hearing, consultation on draft CDRA-enhanced PDPFP
ALABEL, Sarangani (March 16, 2023) – Various government agencies, the business sector, civil society, and sectoral groups manifested on March 13 their collective commitment to support Sarangani’s development thrusts and priorities.
This happened during the public hearing and consultation on the province’s draft Climate and Disaster Risk Assessment (CDRA)-enhanced Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plan (PDPFP) 2023-2034 held as mandated by Memorandum Circular 2021-009 of the Department of Housing, Settlements and Urban Development.
The plan, as Governor Rogelio D. Pacquiao cited, is consistent with his administration’s thrust towards “a more transparent, accountable, and people-centered governance.”
He said this will “strengthen the climate and disaster risk readiness” of the province while the land use framework and sectoral development plan is expected to “accelerate the growth of our local economy, as means to combat poverty and promote human development.”
The proposed CDRA-enhanced PDPFP, according to Board Member Evelyn Alegario, is the primary input in the preparation of public investment programs, budgeting, and policy development to ensure a “resilient, dynamic, and progressive Sarangani.” Alegario chairs the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Committee on Zoning, Land Use, and Housing.
In the spatial framework, Sarangani is positioned as the front door of the Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area, or BIMP-EAGA.
With this significant location and with the natural resources, Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator Engr. Alain Alcala believed, these “will make the province as an important economic player in the years to come.”
In the public hearing, Board Member Joseph Calanao recognized the acceptance of the stakeholders on the draft PDPFP which, he deemed important in directing the provincial government on efforts to remove Sarangani from the list of poorest provinces in the country. Calanao chairs the SP Committee on Disaster and Climate Change Adaptation.
In terms of jurisdiction, Board Member Ephraim Galzote said that since the provincial government does not have a specific land area of jurisdiction as it is owned by the municipalities, “the Province of Sarangani is then trying to craft a comprehensive plan para sa pito ka municipyo aron ang probinsya adunay basehan kung unsa man ang iyang angay nga suportahan alang sa paghatag og pondo alang sa mga programa sa gobyerno.”
Meanwhile, the Chief of Staff of Congressman Steve Chiongbian Solon, Engr. Gerald Faciol, conveyed the full support of the congressman and expressed hopes for the plan to be finally approved during the administration of Governor Pacquiao.
“Mao g’yud ni ang atong bibliya alang sa atong mga pangandoy sa kalamboan and to address the issue on poverty,” Faciol said.
Alcala explained, they began crafting the plan way back in Solon’s term as governor. However, Covid restrictions deferred the process as they could not conduct workshops and public hearings which are requirements for the approval of the CDRA-enhanced PDPFP.
Alcala said the plan will soon be subjected to another consultation in the Regional Land Use Committee then “finally to the National Land Use Committee.”
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), represented by Officer-in-Charge Assistant Regional Director Romel Patrick Tanghal, committed to facilitate the process for the approval of the CDRA-enhanced PDPFP.
NEDA is the oversight agency which also provides direction of the spatial framework of the plan. (Beverly C. Paoyon/ SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)
Sarangani receives award for excellent anti-drug abuse council
KORONADAL, South Cotabato (March 11`, 2023) - The Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) of Sarangani was awarded as one of the PLGUs in Region 12 for its excellent performance in the fight against illegal drugs during the regional awarding of the best-performing LGUs and drug-free workplace seal certification program awarding ceremonies on March 9.
The province garnered 95 functionality points during the conduct of the 2021 ADAC performance audit, which aims to assess the functionality and effectiveness of local ADACs based on existing issuances and policies, determine ADAC-initiated or endorsed innovations and best practices at all levels, create a platform for evaluation and assessment, and recognize the best, most effective, and most performing ADACs.
"Maraming salamat sa lahat ng ating mga partner offices and agencies for their unparalleled dedication to help eradicate illegal drugs in our communities and provide community-based treatment and rehabilitation for the victims," Provincial ADAC focal person Lizette Lopez expressed.
She also thanked the efforts and leadership of Governor Rogelio D. Pacquiao, together with the support of Congressman Steve Chiongbian Solon and all the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members headed by Vice Governor Elmer T. De Peralta, for their strong support, which she considered "one of the key reasons" for the achievement of the said award.
During the awarding ceremonies, the municipalities of Alabel, headed by Mayor Vic Paul Salarda, and Maasim, led by Mayor Zyrex Pacquiao, were also recognized as 2022 National ADAC awardees.
They were among the municipalities that received P100,000.
Mayor Salarda said that they will use the funds in the ongoing programs to intensify the campaign against illegal drugs in accordance with the mandate of the national government.
The municipalities of Glan, Kiamba, Maitum, Malapatan, and Malungon were recognized as regional ADAC awardees.
The program was organized by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) XII, headed by Regional Director Josephine Cabrido-Leysa.
This is to prove that the programs of the LGUs are sincere and effective through collaboration with other government agencies to combat the spread of illegal drugs.
ADAC was done in collaboration with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) XII, Philippine National Police (PNP) XII, and local civil society organizations (CSO).
DILG Undersecretary for Local Government Marlo L. Iringan was the guest of honor and speaker during the awarding ceremony. He recognized the good and effective leadership of the local government units in Region 12, especially in the campaign against illegal drugs. (Joshua John S. Pantonial/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)
Photos by Jake Narte
Sarangani PLHB tackles implementation of UHC's konsulta + SDG in 2023
GENERAL SANTOS CITY (March 10, 2023) - The Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) of Sarangani held its Local Health Board (LHB) meeting for the 1st quarter of 2023 on March 8.
The meeting was spearheaded by Governor Rogelio D. Pacquiao and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Arvin Alejandro.
The discussion focused on crafting the policies and guidelines for the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC's) mandate, Konsulta + Sustainable Development Goals, or Konsulta + SDG.
The project is an implementation mechanism to achieve the objective of UHC, which seeks to provide comprehensive outpatient benefits and primary healthcare to its members.
Dr. Alejandro explained, "noong naipasa kasi itong UHC, naiwan ang mga LGUs, which resulted in the delay of the implementation caused by lack of appropriate funding."
Through the Konsulta + SDG, Alejandro added that "PhilHealth will give us (PLGU) an advance payment kahit wala pa tayong naibibigay na serbisyo amounting to 40% of the P1,730."
According to Alejandro, the P1,730 is PhilHealth’s "payment" to the LGUs for providing healthcare to their constituents.
"If we are talking about some 300,000 individuals here sa Sarangani as our beneficiaries, we are front-loading more than P200 million," Alejandro said.
This will be utilized for the annual requirements of the constituents who have baseline examinations, provide medical assistance such as maintenance, and can help in the augmentation of additional doctors and nurses.
Alejandro clarified that the province and its LGUs "will have no counterpart" except that the province, by virtue of the UHC law, will manage the funds from PhilHealth.
The health officer disclosed that Konsulta + SDG is eyed to be implemented before the second half of the year.
Follow-up meetings are also set to be conducted for the crafting of the project’s pilot policies, as Konsulta + SDG is a new system to be implemented.
A series of meetings with the municipal health officers and partner agencies will also be conducted for the crafting of the memorandum of agreement to be signed by the LGUs, PhilHealth, and USAID.
The PLHB also included a discussion on the province-wide health system under the UHC regime, primary care providers network as the foundation for ensuring the population’s equitable access to essential health services, and simulation of PhilHealth payments and expenditures.
Present during the meeting were Malungon Mayor Maria Theresa Constantino, Malapatan Mayor Salway Sumbo Jr., Alabel Mayor Vic Paul Salarda, Maasim Mayor Zyrex Pacquiao, Kiamba Mayor George Falgui, Board Members Irish Louie Arnado and Joseph Calanao, DOH Regional Director Dr. Aristides Tan, DOH Provincial Director Dr. Shahrir Dulduco, staff from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), municipal health officers, and stakeholders.
In his message, Governor Pacquiao thanked all the members of the PLHB for doing their best to provide healthcare services to the community.
He also added that all the efforts of the PLHB members and partner agencies are greatly appreciated, and he hoped that everyone would continue to be actively engaged so that the community could take advantage of the health services offered by PhilHealth and other national agencies. (Joshua John S. Pantonial/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)
Photos by Nico Aguilar
Sarangani reforestation plan on way to completion
ALABEL, Sarangani (March 10, 2023) – Sarangani Province’s Reforestation Development Plan (RDP) is “almost 90% finished,” said Rolando Tuballes, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO).
The RDP is a 9-year plan that is primarily focused on improving the water security of Sarangani, and targets to increase the province’s forest cover in order to sustain the water resources of the province.
It is anchored on the Provincial Integrated Water Security Management Plan and the One Million Trees Project of Governor Rogelio D. Pacquiao.
Tuballes recognized and thanked the efforts of everyone involved in the crafting of the plan, including the partner stakeholders, especially the Municipal ENROs of the seven municipalities, and the assistance of the USAID Safe Water Project.
On March 8, the PENRO and the USAID presented to the technical working group, the draft of the plan to further consolidate all the contributions of partner agencies and make other necessary adjustments.
It was on January 30 to February 1 when the Sarangani RDP Formulation Workshop was held at General Santos City where the DENR, Provincial, Municipal, and City ENROs, and other partner stakeholders participated in the crafting of the RDP.
Now nearing its completion, the accomplished RDP is targeted to be presented before the Provincial Development Council (PDC) for its approval, and for the council to adopt and endorse the plan to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for funding.
Tuballes also recalled how Regional Executive Director Atty. Felix Alicer of DENR 12 commended Sarangani’s RDP as “the only Local Government Unit-led RDP in the region. This is also the first time in the making that an LGU formulated an intensive RDP,” he said.
In the plan, Tuballes said that in 10 years, the province aims to plant and grow 1.9 million trees, which is 2,800 hectares of forest cover.
He disclosed that as of now, the province has already 100,000 coffee seedlings set for those interested agencies who want to be involved in this endeavor.
“Through this, we will continue to increase the level of awareness of the people of Sarangani in terms of environmental management, especially itong mga endeavors na ginagawa natin,” he added.
“The RDP is an urgent call for the rehabilitation and restoration of our ecosystem in the province,” Tuballes said. (Jori Mae R. Samillano/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)
Mosler Paul Lapore
Gov. Ruel reaches out to Sarangans thru Kapehan sa Barangay
MALAPATAN, Sarangani (March 11, 2023) – Governor Rogelio D. Pacquiao has sought the suggestions of the barangay councils of Lun Padidu and Lun Masla in Malapatan on how could the provincial government address their needs to fast track development and delivery of services.
The consultations on March 9, done in separate venues, were part of the series of consultations to be conducted to the 142 barangays in Sarangani dubbed as Kapehan sa Barangay ni Governor Rogelio Pacquiao.
Ronda Probinsya Program Director Paul Allen Villamora said, the Kapehan is the governor’s strategy to personally know directly from the barangays their concerns for the provincial government to immediately act on them.
The governor committed to the barangay councils of Lun Padidu and Lun Masla to equip their health worker with a motorcycle, provide them fuel in support to barangay road opening and improvement projects, salary of their community accredited volunteers, healthcare plan for barangay captain, healthcare insurance for barangay councils, and P40,000 augmentation fund in the conduct of their barangay anniversary.
In the same event, Governor Pacquiao distributed rice pack to 100 identified indigent families and maintenance medicines and multi-vitamins to senior citizens as among his commitment “sa panahon sa eleksyon,” he said, as he cited his plans to improve the health system in the province.
He also conveyed his intention “nga matabangan ang tanan sa simpleng ayuda ug kongkretong plano para mai-angat sa kalisod ang atong mga kaigsoonan.”
However, he emphasized the cooperation of Sarangans and motivated them “na maging positibo sa panglantaw sa kinabuhi ug maningkamot ta, kay ang gobyerno naningkamot para mai-angat ang mga pamilya sa kalisod.
With the series of consultations, the governor is confident that soon “maramdaman ninyo ang atong kongkretong plano tungod sa pagtinabangay sa mga barangay, municipyo, ug ang atong Probinsya sa Sarangani aron ma-address nato ang poverty.”
Part of the governor’s agenda in Lun Padidu was to turn over computers, printers, projector, portable speakers, and monobloc chairs to Lun Padidu Central Elementary School as part of his commitment to help the school where 11 of its classrooms caught fire last year.
He lamented over the incident as he pointed out the concerns of public school teachers on the lack of classrooms and stressed “dapat tigaan nato og pagtagad ang pagtukod og mga classrooms” through his Ronda Probinsya Imprastraktura and Ronda Probinsya Edukasyon programs.
Meanwhile, the governor released the honoraria of the tribal chieftains in Lun Masla. (Beverly C. Paoyon/ SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)
Martin Fernando E. Bernad Jr.
Wildlife is Here boasts of Sarangani's unique flora and fauna
ALABEL, Sarangani (March 11, 2023) - The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), for the first time ever, brought Wildlife is Here (WIH) outside Davao Region to Sarangani Province, to further raise public awareness on the protection and conservation of Sarangani’s biodiversity.
WIH is a conservation education and public awareness (CEPA) campaign brand that highlights the unique wildlife and habitats of Mindanao.
For the last five years, each WIH celebration was focused on the wildlife of the Davao Region. This year, it featured the rich biodiversity of Sarangani Province and the partnerships to conserve and restore its green and blue habitats.
With this year’s theme “Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation,” WIH provided the opportunity to highlight various partnerships that are making significant contributions to the sustainability of biodiversity and wildlife.
PEF’s Director for Research and Conservation Jayson Ibañez said the goal of WIH “is basically to tell all residents of Sarangani that the province is precious because it has a wealth of biodiversity that every resident of the province should be proud of.”
During the week-long celebration of WIH which ran on March 3-9, various displays of animal and plant species found in Mt. Busa and Sarangani Bay were exhibited at SM City Gensan. Several presentations, expert talks, and community immersions were also done during the duration of the celebration.
Ibañez hopes that these efforts “will inspire people to think of Sarangani not only as a home for their families but also for their non-human neighbors.”
The Philippine Eagle, known for being the icon in conserving Sarangani’s terrestrial fauna; the Dugong also known as the “Gentle Giant” of Sarangani Bay; and the Pawikan or marine turtle that helps maintain the health of seagrass beds and coral reefs, are just some of the many unique animal species found in Sarangani.
The province is also home to rich flora species including several special orchid species, the endemic red lauan, and various families of ferns.
“We are in an age where we really should take care of nature because if we do that, nature will also take care of us,” Ibañez said.
He commended the partnerships established with the Local Government Unit of Sarangani headed by Governor Rogelio D. Pacquiao, the academe, the stakeholders, and the private sector.
“With LGU Sarangani, we have been working with them for the past two decades. We have rescued and released Philippine Eagles together, we did joint expeditions together, and they have funded community-based projects and education campaigns,” Ibañez said.
Presently, a total of three Philippine Eagles have already been rescued and released together by the PEF, the PLGU-Sarangani, the MLGUs, and other partner stakeholders. They were named Sarangani Pride, Sarangani Eagle (previously named Salagbanog), and Maasim Pride.
For the private sector partners, Ibañez lauded Sarangani Energy Corporation, Siguil Hydro Power Corporation, and Alsons Power Group for setting an example that “the corporate sector also has a heart for conservation as it is not only part of their social responsibility but of their operations as well.”
“As an energy-generating company, having healthy watersheds, having healthy forests, also means that their business is sustainable. They also demonstrated that by investing in conservation, they are helping people by providing them livelihoods especially in the uplands among the IPs, while also benefitting our non-human counterparts in the mountains,” Ibañez said.
Meanwhile, in the academe, Mindanao State University-General Santos City was considered the “strong ally” of the government in “building awareness to the students on how resources will be used in the near future,” he added.
After a series of lectures by wildlife experts and workshops conducted, Provincial Information Officer Joana Grace Lapore now posed a challenge to the students and the rest of the members of the community.
"With the lots of data and information that we are loaded with, what should we do on what we know? Because the manifestation of the power of information is to act on what we know," Lapore said.
Ibañez calls for the general public “to become better persons of the planet through extending sympathy and empathy to the surrounding biodiversity.”
“Animals are innocent, plants are innocent. They don’t know the harm that people can bring them, and so it’s our moral responsibility to take care of them because it’s also for our own betterment,” he said.
“We should not forget that the fundamental principle why we are alive is because there’s an environment, there’s a biodiversity which provides the resources that we need,” Ibañez concluded.
“Wildlife is Here. It is here to stay. It is here to thrive.” (Jori Mae R. Samillano/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)
Photos by Jake Narte and Mosler Paul Lapore
Sarangani kicks off 2023 Women’s Month celebration
ALABEL, Sarangani (March 7, 2023) – Capitol employees and officials kicked off on Monday, March 6, the celebration of the women’s month with the popping of purple balloons and pinning of purple ribbons.
The launching activity was incorporated during the flag raising ceremony at the provincial gymnasium.
In his message, Governor Rogelio D. Pacquiao posed a challenge among men to be “effective partners in creating a safer, more inclusive, and empowering society for all women."
The celebration, he said, signified the provincial government’s “commitment to continue moving towards a more egalitarian world.”
This year’s theme, “WE Make Change Work for Women,” according to the governor is “a powerful reminder for us to ensure an inclusive growth that benefits those which have historically been marginalized including women.”
Governor Pacquiao dedicated the celebration to the “hardworking women” in the Capitol whose devotion to public service “is simply unparalleled.”
He also recognized his wife, Jobelle, who serves as the province’s tourism council president, as well as the women board members, women department heads, and the rest of the women Capitol employees who contributed immensely “toward a resilient, dynamic, and progressive Sarangani.”
The provincial government, he said, has taken “significant strides to ensure that women are included in positions of power and decision-making.”
He pointed out that his administration “continue to cultivate an environment that actively encourages and supports women to reach their full potential and to become leaders in their communities.”
On this premise, the governor reported that the Revised Gender and Development Code, which localizes the Magna Carta of Women, was passed while the Provincial Women Council has become “a crucial avenue where women can discuss and decide on issues that primarily impact their lives.”
Also, he said, disadvantaged womenfolk in the province were provided with livelihood assistance and underwent various skills and vocational trainings of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority which enabled them to “participate in the economy with autonomy and dignity.”
As compliance to the Magna Carta for Women, the provincial government has been conducting Gender Sensitivity Training as well parallel trainings on Anti-Sexual Harassment Law, the new Safe Spaces Act, and other protection laws.
“Sa Kapitolyo at sa buong Sarangani,” Governor Pacquiao said, "pantay ang kalalakihan at kababaihan,” as he emphasized “zero tolerance for abuse and sexism, be it in the workplace, offices, schools, homes, or everywhere else.” (Beverly C. Paoyon/ SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE
Capitol officials, employees undergo surprise drug test
ALABEL, Sarangani (March 7, 2023) – The Provincial Local Government Unit of Sarangani conducted on March 6 an unannounced mandatory drug test to its officials and employees in a bid to achieve a “drug-free workplace” within the Capitol.
The drug testing was incorporated during the flag-raising ceremony and the National Women’s Month celebration at the Capitol gymnasium.
“As your governor, bound gyud ta nga ipatuman ang balaod to implement this through my Executive Order No. 5. This is pursuant to Section 2 of RA 9165 stating that it is the policy of the state to safeguard the well-being of its citizenry from harmful effects of dangerous drugs,” said Governor Pacquiao.
The governor issued EO No. 5, a directive establishing a “drug-free workplace within the provincial government of Sarangani,” as among the ongoing efforts in addressing the drug problem in the country.
On March 6, the Provincial Health Office, in partnership with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, led the drug test among Capitol employees and officials regardless of employment status.
Governor Pacquiao was among the first group of officials who submitted themselves to drug testing. Vice Governor Elmer de Peralta, the rest of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members, and several heads of offices have also undergone the test.
“Starting today, March 6, 2023, all employees of the PLGU Sarangani, from Job Orders/Contract of Service to Plantilla personnel, will be required to undergo drug testing. The testing will be conducted and administered by trained professionals from a Department of Health accredited facility to ensure accuracy and confidentiality,” the governor announced on Monday.
He urged his co-public servants to participate in the activity “ug maging active sa atuang pag promote sa drug-free workplace labi na diri sa kapitolyo, ug atuang suportahan ang mga lakang para mas ma-improve pa ang atong public service, public safety, and health.”
The governor also addressed the concerns of other employees who were startled with the initiative “that if magpositive sa drug test, aduna pay confirmatory test nga pagahimuon so dili kita magkabalaka. You will also be given the opportunity to seek treatment and support.”
He assured the employees that the confidentiality of test results and the accuracy of the testing methods will be guaranteed.
The surprise drug test is also pursuant to the Guidelines in Mandatory Random Drug Test for Public Officials and Employees embodied in the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Memorandum Circular No. 13, series of 2017. The drug test aims to ensure that the delivery of public service by the PLGU will not be compromised by the hazards of illegal drug use.
Employees who failed to submit to drug testing on Monday were directed to undergo the test for the second batch today, March 7. As stated in EO 5, any personnel who refuse to submit for drug testing, who tamper drug test results, and who are caught using or peddling drugs shall be charged of penalties or sanctions based on RA 9165, CSC MC No.13, series of 2017, and Dangerous Drugs Board Resolution No.2, series of 2004. (Jori Mae R. Samillano/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)
Photos by Jake T. Narte