ALABEL, Sarangani (October 7, 2008) – Trade and Industry Provincial Director Nenita Barroso, (2nd from right), representatives from the Bureau of Food and Drugs and the provincial agriculture office, make an inventory of food products in an Alabel store Monday, October 6, in connection with the milk scare and in celebration of the consumer welfare month. (Photo by Bobby Saya-ang/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)
In the municipalities of Munai, Tangkal, and Kolambugan, over 470 children and 165 mothers were able to enjoy different health foods such as champorado, sotanghon, arrozcaldo, and corned beef as meal supplements. According to Sheryl Nacario, DSWD Nutritionist, these viands contain nutrients such as protein, iron, carbohydrates, and calcium that boost their immune system. “They need foods like these to sustain them while they are still staying in evacuation centers.”
To alleviate this epidemic, DSWD has been conducting supplemental feeding for children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers who are more prone to sicknesses. DSWD will regularly conduct the feeding method until the evacuees receive advice from the militia that they are now safe to return home.
(CHARMAINE P. TADLAS, DSWD-X Information Officer)
MAASIM, Sarangani (August 24, 2008) – Volunteers of World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization, unload three truckloads of relief goods Sunday, August 24, for at least 1,363 families in evacuation centers as an offshoot of the attack by rogue Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) forces that attacked Maasim poblacion. The packed goods with a pack containing a mat, blanket, half dozen canned goods, biscuits, and 10 kilos rice that would last for three days.
(Photo by Cocoy Sexcion/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)
A Voice from the Voiceless and Unheard
by Ben Serrano – August 11, 2008
Last August 9, 2008, exactly culmination day for our three-day 4th Mindanao Media Summit, I attended held at Waterfront Insular Hotel in Sasa, Davao City sponsored by Asia Foundation and Canada International Development Agency or (CIDA), I immediately rushed to Bob’s place registered in my mobile phone as No. 4 Ruby St., Marfori Heights Subdivision.
Aboard a taxi so that I can arrived on time as I don’t want an impression from American Bob now Mindanao Bob that Filipinos don’t value time even if I knew my money fare is only exact enough for my bus fares backed home here in Butuan City.
Arriving at Ruby Street (somewhat hilly) from Waterfront, me and the taxi driver had to ask every Dabawenyos at Ruby Street where is house number 4 and finally I personally saw House Number 4. I disembarked and soon enough I knocked the red gate.
A woman, an American I presumed, appeared after making, “Ayo! Ayo!” a lot since there was no gate door bell I saw. And when the Caucasian Woman appears I greet her good afternoon and asked if it was Mindanao Bob’s house as it was marked number 4.
The woman told me it was not and two Filipinas appeared and pointed to me the house of Mr. Bob Martin saying the gate was also colored red. I thanked them and proceeded.
Finally after a hilly walk, I reached Mindanao Bob’s house and to make the long story short, I was able to reach the place in time and attended finally the Business Seminar originally scheduled to be held at K1 Coffee Shop but Bob explained it later to participants why the change of venue.
Bob introduced the participants and I was amazed on the memory recall of Mr. Bob as he was able to call their names one by one. Normally a seminar like that must have name plates paste on every participant visible for others to read.
There were two Caucasian participants in the seminar, I understand they are Bob’s friends. Well, welcome to the Philippines guys and I hope you can visit Caraga Region one of these days.
I find the two foreigners friendly to say the least as of the moment as we don’t have a chance to talk longer and very active in their participation during the seminar.
The seminar was simply amazing as it teaches us how to earn legitimately (while learning and yearning as Bob and two Caucasian friends added).
I have learned that there are many ways to earn in the internet. Oh! You guys better attend on Mindanao Bob’s Seminar if he schedule next time to yearn and learn while earning.
The seminar fee one will pay will 100% compensate as it is not only educational and informative but interesting too especially to business minded individuals.
Why go abroad that will lead you to dangerous social cost of leaving your family here in the Philippines with drug addicts around crawling like cockroaches ready to invade your homes and influence your kids?
And leaving abroad to earn a living especially to mothers is a great loss to one’s family because mothers as supposed to be the shinning light of the home!
So the next time, you want to earn while yearning to learn, who you wanna call? Mindanao Bob!
Thanks Bob and to lovely and very accommodating Filipina wife, Feyma and kids! Thank you!
With finality I salute! Mindanao Bob, American in looks but very Filipino by heart, I pray that impression stays!
GENERAL SANTOS CITY (July 31, 2008) – Tourism Undersecretary Oscar Palabyab (2nd from right) drops by for breakfast at Sarangani Highlands in General Santos City Wednesday, July 30. With Palabyab are Sarangani Tourism Industry Association (SARTIA) head Michelle Solon (extreme right), resort owner Dr. Jose Tranquilino Ruiz (standing), and tourism regional director Sohura Dimaampao. Palabyab is in town to deliver a keynote speech at the Sarangani provincial business conference at Isla Parilla Resort in Alabel.
(Photo by Cocoy Sexcion/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)
BUTUAN CITY- Misunderstanding over food and the hardship of life amidst government officials continuing denial that there is no food crisis in Caraga Region, a 44 year old step father using a sharp bolo slashes ear of his eight year old step son in Barangay Pagbahanan, Marihatag, Surigao del Sur yesterday.
Marihatag, Surigao del Sur police identified the suspect as Alejandro Rivas, 44 and resident of said barangay while the victim who is out of school was son of Rivas’ common-law wife. Dominga Olayon Sarte.
Police said Rivas using sharp bolo locally known as “sundang” slashed the ear of the minor victim after it failed to cook food for his lunch. The victim who used to be errand boy of the family even at minor tender age claimed reasoned there is no rice to cook.
This flared up the suspect who had just engaged heated argument with his common law wife over hardship of life.
Without a word, the suspect grabbed the victim and with the used of sharp bolo cut the ear of the boy then fled.
Like any other cases, in the same lines repeated over and over again but still unsolved police said they are still investigating the incident.
BUTUANCITY-Results of the round table discussions as an aftermath of the recently concluded Caraga Food Crises Summit among sponsoring members of the Butuan Press Club showed government is not doing enough to solve rice crisis in Caraga Region in particular and the country in general.
The observation was made following admissions of officials and representatives of the different concerned government agencies who participated in the Summit Friday held at a local hotel and convention center here that Caraga Region in past years is officially deficit by 2-M cavans of rice per year to feed its growing population.
Participants see the main culprits; Idle lands that are supposedly to be tilled for food production were left unattended for years because of slow resolution of courts in civil cases, slow in resolving land disputes, greediness of some owners including value problem of land tillers/ workers, high cost of rice farming inputs, lack of investment capital, high fertilizer cost and inadequate irrigation water supply caused by dilapidated irrigation facilities.
And the most saddening cause of low farm production according to summit participants were the weaning or worsening lack interest of sons and daughters of aging farmers in continuing to till or cultivate their rice lands.
“Young adults mostly children of farmers migrate to urban areas hoping to land jobs and left their aging farmer-parents to till their lands thus rice production is affected”, participants in unison chorused.
Butuan Press Club officials and members said that when Caraga Region was created in 1995 by law passed in Congress most government agencies then shared same vision and mission that is for Caraga Region who has rich, fertile soil and vast agricultural lands to become not only food sufficient but also the food basket of Mindanao if not in the whole country.
In the 1998 Caraga Development Master Plan, concerned government agencies claimed the region has its most distinct advantage compared to others in agricultural production that is, it is typhoon-free all year round.
But press club members asserted the vision and mission were never achieved and attained and worst as its population grows in the thirteen years span, the rice deficit has been growing each year.
“Truly government agencies in Caraga Region have not done enough over the years in solving the food deficiencies it experienced over and over again” Butuan Press Club President Felix Villacastin said.
The forum results also took noticed of idled upland areas under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Integrated Social Forestry (ISF) Program allegedly abused by some unscrupulous DENR personnel who distributed the lands among themselves but named it to their relatives and close friends some to their children to avoid detection that may lead to legal problems in the future.
Under the ISF program, huge public forest lands are divided and distributed to upland farmers or individuals with a condition that beneficiaries who received three to five hectares each of ISF lands will develop it into a productive agriculture or agri-forestry endeavor.
DENR issues Certificate of Stewardship to Integrated Social Forestry beneficiary subject for renewal every 25 years.
“Under present arrangement of the ISF program renewal will now be applied before the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) because ISF lands are now being claimed by indigenous people as part of their ancestral lands”, the forum participants complained,
“Growing thousands of hectares of idled ancestral lands left unproductive for years have also been a present perennial problem, an added liability instead of an asset to the government”, participants echoed their sentiments.
Out of 1,884,697 hectares of total land area of Caraga Region, the region has 1,342,108 hectares of forest lands with only 542, 949 hectares of alienable and disposable lands.
The region has 452,616 hectares of agricultural lands of which 42.8 percent of it were developed or tilled while others left were classified as open spaces. And out of 102,098 hectares of rice lands Caraga Region has, only 52,002 hectares are irrigated or barely 50.19%.
The rest of the region’s rice lands only produced or harvest rice once a year.
Agro-Industrial lands is only composed of 58, 396 hectares or barely 3.1% of the total land area, grassland is composed of 193, 301 hectares, fishponds and swamps 13, 785 hectares, tree plantations only composed of 19,221 hectares and shrub lands 100,180 hectares.
Mangroves are composed of 13,891 hectares, sand/quarry 593 hectares, industrial lands 5,750 hectares and military/naval reservation areas 330 hectares.
Disputes due to problem of land titling like double or triple land titling has also been a perennial problem in Caraga region left unsolved through the years.