Bukidnon, CDO priests asked to “go green”

MALAYBALAY CITY –  “Go green,” Malaybalay bishop Jose Cabantan urged priests in Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro to heed the call to go green in their work with their flock during the Bucag (Bukidnon – Cagayan) priests’ joint Vianney Day celebration at the Diocesan Formation Center.

“To attain wholeness, peace, we must also look at the sickly environment, not just the people,” he added in his homily Monday, the first day of the two-day gathering of priests named after St. John Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests.

The theme of the celebration focused on “The Church’s option for total human and ecological liberation.”

Cabantan encouraged the priests to be instruments of reconciliation not only among conflicts between man and God, between man and man, between man and woman, but also between man and the rest of God’s creations.

He cited the presentation of Fr. Rey Raluto earlier in the afternoon that “everything is interconnected.”

Raluto told Bukidnon News as example of how the Church could go green was when it helped bring down the logging concessionaires in San Fernando town in the late 1980s.

“It was a good local example but it was not continued,” he said. Raluto presented a video presentation of Bukidnon’s renowned martyr priest Neri Lito Satur.

On Oct. 14, 1991, Fr. Satur and his female aide were ambushed on their way back to Valencia City, then a municipality, after celebrating a mass in Barangay Guinoyoran.

He was shot pointblank with a shotgun after falling from his motorcycle. His head was smashed with a rifle butt. He was 29.

Satur, a forest protection officer deputized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resouces, was killed a few years after the imposition of a logging moratorium in Bukidnon.
In 1988, then environment secretary Fulgencio Factoran Jr. declared a logging moratorium in Bukidnon in the wake of anti-logging protests initiated by the people of San Fernando town which culminated in a hunger strike in Manila.

Raluto said to “go green” what the Church did with the people of San Fernando should be continued.

Raluto, who recently finished theology in Leuven University in Belgium, presented excerpts of his dissertation to his colleagues as the keynote presentation of the gathering.

He has proposed that the Catholic Church in the Philippines will not only build church and human communities, “but also impels us to form ecological communities grounded in the principle of interdependence and inter-relationship of all creatures.”

He identified three types of poverty confronting Filipinos, the socio-economically poor, the socio-culturally poor, and the ecologically poor.

He cited that poverty incidence in the Philippines is estimated at 26.5 percent in 2009, mostly from the rural areas, where “even after some years of implementing the agrarian reform, landlessness and poverty continue to dominate.”

Raluto cited the socio-culturally poor, too, as among the oppressed sectors to include the indigenous peoples and the women.  He said the IPs are suffering economically and racially. He cited that the women, worse in indigenous tribes, were treated as second class citizens
lacking opportunities for education.

But Raluto said often excluded is the poverty brought by the environmental destruction.

He cited Forest Management Bureau data that the Philippines remaining forest cover is only 24 percent. He said colonization did not only change the people, but also the landscape through the colonization’s deforestation, which the Philippine government continued.

“Let us not only listen to the cry of the human beings but also of the groaning of the Earth,” he added.

He said, arguably, the problems of poverty and the ecological crisis are inseparable.

“The bad effects of the ecological crisis have immediate harmful social consequences,” he said.

Raluto, who served as station director of the church-run DXDB radio station prior to his study abroad, has proposed change in three levels; in the academe, in the Basic Ecclesial Communities, and in the bishops’ pastoral letters.

He added that the church’s notion of the “preferential option for the poor” has to be expanded to include not only the socio-economically poor and the socio-culturally poor but also the ecologically poor. (Walter I. Balane)

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[PHOTOS] CCT Program

Recipients from Capinonan, Cabanglasan, Bukidnon of the national government's conditional cash transfer (CCT) program dubbed as 4Ps or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program fall in line to secure their ATM (automated teller machine) cards in the Malaybalay branch of the Land Bank of the Philippines.

Recipients from Capinonan, Cabanglasan, Bukidnon of the national government's conditional cash transfer (CCT) program dubbed as 4Ps or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program fall in line to secure their ATM (automated teller machine) cards in the Malaybalay branch of the Land Bank of the Philippines.

Conditional Cash Transfer recipient Manang Nida from Capinonan, Cabanglasan, Bukidnon waits for her turn to try her card at the automated teller machine in the Malaybalay branch of the Land Bank of the Philippines

A Department of Social Welfare and Development staff assists a recipient of the government's conditional cash transfer program as she tries to transact through an automated teller machine (ATM) for the first time in the Malaybalay branch of the Land Bank of the Philippines

Photos by Walter I. Balane / Bukidnon News

Bukidnon top source of trafficked children in NorthMin

(Photo: Bukidnon Gov. Alex Calingasan signs a memorandum of agreement to boost Bukidnon's capacity against trafficking in persons.Also in photo: Ma. Salome Ujano, Philippines Against Child Trafficking national coordinator; Dr. Bernadette Madrid, CPU Net executive director; PSWDO Arsenio Alagenio, and Supt. Canilo Fuentes, Bukidnon Provincial Police Office deputy director for operations.) WALTER BALANE

MALAYBALAY CITY – Bukidnon was the top source of trafficked children in Northern Mindanao, Ma. Salome Ujano, national coordinator of the Philippines Against Child Trafficking (PACT) said Monday.

Ujano cited the status during the local signing ceremony Monday morning of the Memorandum of Agreement on the joint effort between PACT, the Child Protection Unit Network, the provincial government of Bukidnon and funding agency, the European Union for the better implementation of international and local laws on anti-child trafficking and other forms of child abuse.

Bukidnon Gov. Alex Calingasan said the situation has worried him and vowed to create a task force to focus on “minimizing” child trafficking in the province.  He admitted that it is so difficult to eliminate the cases of child abuse, citing among reasons that Bukidnon is agriculture-based.

President Benigno Aquino III cited in his second state of the nation address Monday that 31 human traffickers were convicted under his administration. From 2003, when the anti-child trafficking law was passed up to June 2010, there were 29 convictions in the previous administration. Aquino said the Philippines is out of the Tier 2 watch list of the United States, which endangered the country of losing funds intended for the campaign against trafficking.

Arsenio Alagenio, provincial social welfare and development office, admitted the report and added that Bukidnon topped the list not only in child trafficking but also in child abuse in general.

But he clarified that the rate has gone down over the years with the intervention of the United Nations Children’s  Fund (Unicef).  He said the province was able to reduce the volume by 10 percent every year, but he did not provide figures.

Alagenio added that the high volume of reported trafficked children from Bukidnon maybe is because of its big population, too.

Dominador Libayao, head of the provincial secretariat of the Provincial Inter-agency Council Against Trafficking (PIACAT), said the Department of Social Welfare and Development 10 cited 16 children reported trafficked from Bukidnon in 2010, 15 of them female.

Libayao, from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, said the children were from the ages 13 to 17 years old. Eight of the victims were from Valencia City, four from San Fernando town , three from Quezon, and one from Manolo Fortich.

Most of the victims, he added, are from the indigenous peoples in upland and remote areas of the province.

But the PSWDO could not provide regional statistics to show how many victims also come from the other provinces and cities in the region.

Supt. Canilo Fuentes said during the signing ceremony the Bukidnon Provincial Police Office has completed institutionalizing the women and children protection desks all over the province.

The MOA signed Monday will help the local agencies implement the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Pornography, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 (Republic Act 9208) and other relevant laws in the Philippines.

The project aims to create awareness on issues of child trafficking, prostitution, and pornography; conduct of educators’ training and seminars on the Philippine Guidelines for the protection of trafficked children, and the setting up of Bukidnon Child Protection Unit at the Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center.

Alagenio said even if Bukidnon topped the provinces in the region for source of traffic children, it doesn’t mean the recruiters have been punished.

“Not any of the recruiters have been convicted,” he said.

He said no cases were filed against the suspects.

Dr. Bernadette Madrid, executive director of CPU Net, cited the dearth of complainants against traffickers.

The investigation is different, she added, because the filing of cases should be voluntary.

“It is difficult,” she said.

Ujano said another facet of the problem is the victims’ access to support services such as transportation assistance.

Last year, 12 children from San Fernando town were rescued from a trafficking syndicate in Marawi City. None of the 12 filed complaints against their local recruiters, Alagenio said.

But the agencies against child trafficking have another problem.

Ujano said there is no database to refer to cases of child trafficking, what has happened to victims, whether they were able to file cases, and if they did, what has happened to their cases.

Madrid added that other agencies have databases but there is no centralized database to coordinate the figures.

At the local scene, the Bukidnon Provincial Police Office, reported no cases of child trafficking for 2011.

But Libayao of the PSWDO doubted it. But the PSWDO itself could not provide figures.

“It is still at the local social welfare and development offices,” he added. He admitted they get the figures only when the local SWDOs report to them.

A Department of Justice source said among the many reasons of non-filing of complaints is the lack of resources of the victims such as payment for filing fees in court and appearances fees for lawyers.

The source said the victims should be enrolled to the DOJ’s Welfare Protection Program. But he said he does not but the idea that population is the factor that put Bukidnon at the top as source of trafficked children.

“If you notice the victims are mostly from indigenous communities in remote areas. That’s because in those areas, people have no livelihood, they are vulnerable,” he added.

He said one of the victims from San Fernando town told him that recruiters left only P1,500 to their parents, when they were duped. (Walter I. Balane)

 

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[PHOTOS] PRIME in Malaybalay City

Bae Inatlawan Adelina Tarino of the Bukidnon Daraghuyan tribe officiates in an opening ritual for the launching of the Department of Education's Philippine Response to Indigenous Peoples and Muslim Education (PRIME) in Malaybalay City on July 22.

 

 

The Bukidnon State University chorale performs a series of songs on the indigenous peoples in the launching of the Department of Education's Philippine Response to Indigenous Peoples and Muslim Education (PRIME) in Malaybalay City on July 22.

 

Photos by Walter Balane/Bukidnon News

NPAs tagged to burning of P9 million equipment of NGCP sub-contractor in Malaybalay

MALAYBALAY CITY – A group of at least 10 armed men believed to be members of the New People’s Army barged into a stockyard of a construction firm here, installed improvised explosive devices and detonated it destroying a crane and a mini-dump truck, Police Supt. Canilo A. Fuentes, Bukidnon deputy police director for operations said in a report.

The armed detonated the IEDs after ordering about 21 employees to vacate the stockyard of the S.L. Development Construction Corporation (SLDCC) in Purok 3, Dalwangan, a highway barangay about 10 kilometers outside of downtown Malaybalay City.

Fuentes told Bukidnon News the perpetrators, armed with AK 47, baby armalite, and .45 pistols, attacked around 12:45 a.m. (early Monday morning).

After 30 minutes, Fuentes said, the armed men fled using the company’s Elf vehicle. Fuentes said the police found the vehicle torched, too, in Sitio Kibuwa in nearby Impalutao, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon.

He added no one was harmed but a security guard, identified in the police initial report as Felipe Salomon was disarmed of his .38 gun service firearms.

According to its webpage, SLDCC is one of the leading contractors of National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) for transmission line and substation projects.

In the police report, the armed men were reported to have shouted after the burning that they did so because Kalpataru, an Indian contractor of NGCP, which allegedly did not pay revolutionary taxes for the last six months.

NGCP is building transmission lines across Bukidnon. (Walter I. Balane)

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Malaybalay City puts up P29.8 million risk reduction, mgt. fund

MALAYBALAY CITY – The City Government of Malaybalay has allotted a total of P29.8 million fund for the city’s disaster risk reduction and management fund, a portion of which would be used to fund training and operation of a 24-member volunteer rescue team, City Administrator Herculano Ronolo said.

About 44 percent or P13 million of the budget will go to capital outlay, according to a copy of the plan to use the fund Ronolo gave to Bukidnon News.

“Climate change has exposed the city to more risks to disasters, we have to prepare for it,” he said.

Close to half of the capital outlay budget will be used to buy additional fire trucks at P5.5 million. The city also intends to buy rescue vehicles (P3 million), ambulance (P2 million), and mini-backhoe (P2.5 million).

The other part of the P29.8 million budget will go to maintenance and other operating expenses, which compose P16.819 million of the budget.

About P9 million goes to “disaster quick response.” But the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council did not specify the details in its 2011 plan. The other half of the operating expenses, P7.873 million, is allotted for disaster-preparedness. The budget covers prevention, response, mitigation, rehabilitation, and other expenses including those for training and seminars.

Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri announced during the City Government’s Convocation Program Monday part of the budget will be used to train the city’s volunteer rescue team to work with the city’s existing emergency response unit.

Zubiri told city government officials and employees the city’s present exposure to disaster instances is a result of the clearing of the city’s forests in search for livelihood.

He cited about 25 big and small landslides in the city’s Upper Pulangi district.

Zubiri said he asked the City Environment and Natural Resources Office to come up with a plan how farmers in the area can keep the trees and plant new trees in their upland farms.

As part of the 2011 disaster risk reduction and management fund of P29.8 million, the city government is funding the formation of the 24-member volunteer response team. It will be composed of volunteer members of Kabalitkat and Karancho civic organizations. Training of the unit will start this month on water safety and rescue, mountain rescue, structure collapse, and landslides.

Ronolo said crucial at the moment is the creation of the rescue team’s office. He said some sectors suggested that the city government will just designate an official and three-member staff from existing personnel. But he said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Law mandates a separate office with its own personnel. (Walter I. Balane)

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Bukidnon LGU illegally operating training school – TESDA

MALAYBALAY CITY –  The Municipal Government of Maramag, Bukidnon had been operating a technical vocational training school since 2007 without government permit, according to Dr. Catherine M.R. Galapon, provincial director, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA-Bukidnon).

Galapon informed the Bukidnon provincial board about this during the regular session on June 8, where she was asked to shed light on the state of technical education in the province.

Galapon said the Maramag Polytechnic College, owned and ran by the municipal government did not secure Certificate of Program Registration (CPR) for all its skills training courses, at least nine of them.

Among the courses offered by the school included automotive, electronic services, welding, food trade and commercial cooking, computer hardware services, and health care services.

She told Bukidnon News the school’s brochure also made it appear they were registered with TESDA because they used qualification titles (QTs) TESDA uses for courses registered with them.

In the brochure, the school indicated that after the short term courses, the students will get an NC2 credit or National Certificate Level 2.

Galapon said another violation of the school is that they charged tuition of P2,500 when it is supposed to deliver free training as a “community training” center.

Maramag mayor Alicia Resus told Vice Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr via telephone during the session that they just patterned their operations after the Lugait Technical Vocational School in Misamis Oriental.

But Galapon, who was previously assigned to Misamis Oriental until April 2011, told Bukidnon News the school, also ran by the municipal government is a TESDA-accredited school.

She said past TESDA directors failed to close the school because the municipal government kept on indicating they will initiate registration.

“But they never pushed through,” she added.

She said she will give the school a chance to comply with the requirements to obtain a CPR for each course they offer.

She said they could also shut down the school if they refuse to register their programs.

Galapon said the Bukidnon Technical Institutes Association (BukTIA) has complained against the local government owned school’s illegal operation.

She said it is important that the public should know about the illegal operations of such schools because their graduates will not be allowed to take the TESDA skills assessment tests, required in obtaining special orders and other certificates required for local and foreign employment.

Bukidnon has 23 accredited technical vocation schools, 21 of which are privately owned. (Walter I. Balane)

 

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Bukidnon family wins ‘Gawad Saka’ outstanding farm family

MALAYBALAY CITY – A family from Bukidnon who ventured on multi-crop farming in their five-hectare property has won the Gawad Saka Most Outstanding Farm Family of the Philippines in 2010, an award presented by the Department of Agriculture National Agriculture and Fisheries Council.

The Rosalitas of Lurogan, Valencia City who advocates against farmers leasing their lands to corporation running plantations is among five from Mindanao of the 13 individuals and nine groups who won the award in 2010.

Maygrale Rosalita, spokesperson of the family, said they started a multi-crop farm because it is sustainable amidst the fluctuating prices of agriculture products.

He said they survived on farming and they thought that diversifying their products would protect them from business failure.

He said the family went through several occasions of crop failure, especially for corn in the past.

The Rosalitas have learned farming several crops at the same time and has shared it to friends and neighbors.

He said they, too, have become advocates of multi-crop farming in forums and they have also opened their farm to private and public groups who want to know their farming technologies.

Rosalita is among the 18 Filipino scholars who joined the Young Filipino Farmers Training Program in Japan in 2005.

But he said it was his parents who had started their farming tradition since they arrived in Valencia City in the 1960s.

The award was presented to the winners by President Benigno S. Aquino III and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala during awarding rites on May 23, 2011, at the Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace.

The family farms a hectare each of cassava, sugarcane, and corn. The remaining two hectares is used for the family orchard where they grow 15 fruit varieties including pomelo, papaya, durian, guyabano, and jackfruit.

The family also runs a cut flower cottage industry and grows vegetable such as eggplant, pechay, and mushrooms. They are a major supplier of the vegetarian canteen ran by the Mountain View College.

Three of the Rosalitas’ five children have graduated from MVC from sales of vegetables they supplied the school.

The Rosalitas also raise goats and native chicken, according the Provincial Agriculture Office, which facilitated the family’s nomination documents to the award.

Maygrale Rosalita, 30, one of two sons of Abias Rosalita, 71, the family patriarch, said they run their farm with family members serving most of its labor needs.

He said they only hire during harvest time but they operate basically depending on their family members farming time.

Both Abias and his wife Mercedes, 66, still work in the farm.

Estelita Madjos, deputy provincial agriculture officer, said the family’s experience is a good example in Bukidnon where most farmers prefer to lease their land.

She said some farmers who leased their prime agricultural lands stay farming but in agriforest areas, pushed to the uplands.

The Rosalitos example,  she added, could help convince Bukidnon farmers that it is still viable to run their farms amidst the increasing conversion of farms to plantations. (Walter I. Balane)

Mom turned away by Bukidnon hospital gives birth to triplets in ambulance; one baby dead

MALAYBALAY CITY (05 June) —  The municipal health officer of Pangantucan has asked the Sangguniang Panglalawigan (provincial board) to look into the provincial hospital in Maramag’s alleged refusal to admit a woman expected to give birth to triplets – a girl and two boys, one of whom died hours after delivery in an ambulance en route to Malaybalay City, some 50 kilometers away.

In his May 23 letter to the Sanggunian, health officer Roston Garces asked why the Bukidnon Provincial Hospital in Maramag on May 18 allegedly refused to admit a patient from their town who was expected
to deliver triplets.

Garces coursed his letter through board member Marivic Montesclaros, who chairs the SP’s committee on health so the SP can “formulate policies and guidelines on this matter. The provincial government of Bukidnon boasts of its health system as among the best in the country. The Bukidnon Provincial Hospital in Maramag is considered a secondary hospital expected to cater to the needs of the province’s third district.

“Effective governance according to the provincial governor is not only to provide for the basic needs of the province’s constituents but also to ensure that health services are available, affordable, efficient and more importantly accessible to those who needed it,” according to the provincial government’s policy on health care services which is posted on in its website.

Garces considered the refusal an “unfortunate event.” “We pledged our support to the attainment of the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) by 2015. So many resources were committed by foreign donors and the government for this endeavor but this unfortunate event is still happening right within government facilities,” he said in his letter, copies of which were furnished to Dr. Teresita Damasco, provincial health officer and Gilda Ajoc, provincial mother child health coordinator.

At a little past noon on May 18, Everlita Circulado, 37, sought admission at the town’s Maternity Care Center, where she was observed have a  multi-fetal pregnancy. Attendants noticed vaginal discharge after the patient complaint of stomach pain that extended to the back. By 12:50 p.m. Ponce and her team decided to refer the patient to BPH Maramag due to her condition.  Pangantucan to Maramag is 24 kilometers away.

At the Bukidnon Provincial Hospital’s emergency room in Maramag town, Circulado and a team of medical personnel from Pangantucan, was refused admission in Maramag. They were instead referred to the Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center in Malaybalay City, at least 50 kilometers away.

“The staff instructed us to wait with the ambulance on standby because the facility does not have the incubator for premature babies,” Pangantucan’s Rural Health midwife Merlita Ponce said in her report, a copy of which was obtained by Bukidnon News.

She said she was the one who administered the delivery in the ambulance in between Maramag and Malaybalay City. By 3:11p.m, a baby girl was delivered as the ambulance carrying the patient reached Aglayan, about 10 kilometers from downtown Malaybalay. Five minutes later, a baby boy also came out. The third, another boy came out by 3:20 p.m. but it eventually died. Ponce said this was not the first time the BPH Maramag allegedly refused to admit a patient.

“Almost all the time, they would not allow the ambulance to leave upon sending patients to them because they would refer them to other hospitals especially when the patients are not Philhealth members,” she added in her two-page incident report to Garces, who was in Cagayan de Oro at that time attending a training in disaster risk reduction and management.

Garces said “risk taking behavior” and “sheer apathy” among personnel is a problem that must be solved “if we envisioned improving health services delivery.”

“With the distance, ongoing road improvement, and the condition of the patient, there was too much risk for the mother and the babies,” he added.

Montesclaros vowed to call the authorities concerned to the next session of the provincial board on June 8.

The provincial board has summoned the BPH Maramag medical director to the session to shed light on the issue.

Improving maternal health is one of eight MDGs.

The Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation Inc, has reported that the maternal mortality ratio continues to worsen with 162 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births.

The same report said 11 Filipino women die every 24 hours from pregnancy and childbirth complications. According to the National Demographic and Health Survey, the infant mortality rate in 2008 was 25 per 1,000 live births. The country’s goal is to reduce infant deaths to 19 by 2015. The Philippines infant mortality figure was estimated at 34 per 1,000 live births in 2008. (Walter I. Balane)
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Alert up for Bukidnon local disaster risk reduction, management

MALAYBALAY CITY – It’s already approaching the middle of the year, but Bukidnon’s Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plan for 2011 is yet to be approved.

The Bukidnon provincial board has asked the Provincial Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (LDRRMO) to prepare and submit to the provincial board the province’s annual Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plan for 2011.

In a unanimously approved resolution sponsored by board member Jay Albarece, the provincial board cited Section 12 (7) of Republic Act No. 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.

They said the act mandated, among others, for the Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (LDRRMO) to prepare and submit to the local sanggunian through the Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (LDRRMC) and the local development council (LDC) the annual Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (LDRRMO) Plan and budget.

Albarece said the law also required submission of the proposed programming of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Fund (LDRRMF) of the province. The law, he cited, also required submission of programming for the other dedicated disaster risk reduction and management resources, and other regular funding sources and budgetary support of the LDRRMO and the Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Committee (BDRRMC).

But the provincial board wanted the risk reduction and management office to include “a specialized plan to address the possible recurrence of dengue outbreak in the province.”

The provincial board was about to declare a state of calamity in 2009 to “implement mitigating and response measures” against the dengue outbreak in the province then.

But “inconsistencies in data as to the true extent of the outbreak,” Albarece cited, came in the way.

“It was reported that there were as many as 1,670 dengue cases resulting in 19 deaths in the province from January to Sept. 21 in 2010 due to the outbreak of dengue, which figures are way above the 299 cases and three deaths in 2009 and 108 cases and zero death in 2008.

He also blamed the problem to lack of a “disaster preparedness plan” specifically dealing with dengue. (Walter I. Balane)

Malaybalay City holds jobs fair for local, overseas employment

MALAYBALAY CITY – At least 19 firms are joining a local and overseas job fair initiated by the City Government of Malaybalay here on May 12 at the City Covered Court in the run up to the annual fiesta celebration of the San Isidro Labrador Parish.

The eleven companies who are joining the jobs fair for employment in Bukidnon and neighboring cities include Concentrix, Racquel Pawnshop, Asian Hybrid Seeds Inc., Rebisco, Nature Fresh, DavCo, Crystal Sugar Milling Company, BusCo Sugar Milling Company, FibeCo, Mt. Kitanglad Agri-ventures Inc., and Del Monte Philippines Inc.

Allan Ronolo, Public Employment Service Office manager, said in an announcement coursed through the City Information Office, that eight overseas employment agencies are also offering job opportunities.

The manpower agencies include; Worldquest Manpower Agency, Zontar Manpower Agency, Non-stop Agency, PMI Agency, Michaelangelo Agency, Safe Future Manpower Agency, Hopewell Agency and Gammon Manpower Agency.

The city government coordinated the fair with the Department of Labor and Employment.

The parochial fiesta will be celebrated on May 14 to 15 here. (Walter I. Balane)

Bukidnon mulls relocating Alae quarantine station

MALAYBALAY CITY – The Provincial Veterinary Office have been asked to study the relocation of its animal quarantine station in Alae, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon amid talks it falls within the territorial boundary of Cagayan de Oro, not Bukidnon.

Provincial board majority floor leader Nemesio Beltran filed a resolution recommending to Gov. Alex Calingasan to order the relocation of the present health quarantine.

“It is now time for the provincial government of Bukidnon to commission a task force that would study and recommend in what site within the territorial boundary of Bukidnon  the present Alae Health Quarantine be relocated,” the board member said in his resolution unanimously approved by his colleagues.

He added that the relocation of the quarantine would pave the way to a modern quarantine complex. The province’s animal health quarantine in Lorega, Kitaotao, Bukidnon for vehicles coming from Davao City have been renovated. He added that the relocation would also cause improvement of the highway portion that would be vacated by the Alae station.

Dr. Nancy Diez, provincial veterinarian, in her appearance at the provincial board on April 27, told the provincial board that personnel at the quarantines are tasked to monitor incoming and outgoing livestock and poultry movement and to inspect vehicles carrying meat and meat products. She said the quarantines should also check the veterinary health certificate of the animals passing through the station.

The quarantine staff should stop vehicles and request passengers of all public utility vehicles to step down and step on foot baths to protect Bukidnon from foot and mouth diseases.

But a major concern in the Alae station, based on previous appearances of PVO officials at the provincial board is that many drivers evade the health check, some of them citing the station sets on a site where Bukidnon has no jurisdiction. (Walter I. Balane)

NPA raids Bukidnon police station; PNP probes personnel

MALAYBALAY CITY – About 50 armed men who identified themselves to be members of the communist New People’s Army raided the Malitbog police station afternoon of  May 3  and carted a total of 12 firearms in Bukidnon’s northeastern boundary with Misamis Oriental, P/Supt. Canilo Agua Fuentes, Bukidnon Provincial Police Office deputy, said.

Fuentes told Bukidnon News via telephone most of the attackers, who were dressed like army personnel, stood in the front side of the station while about 10 to 15 persons guarded the rear portion.

The attack, Fuentes told reporters earlier, which lasted for about 15 to 20 minutes starting 4:15p.m. was done with no shots fired.

The attackers carted eight M16 rifles, three 9mm pistols, a .357 pistol and three computer sets, Fuentes told RMN DXMB Wednesday morning.

The four police personnel on duty were tied and dragged by the attackers on their way out of the town proper, he told Bukidnon News. But they were later released unhurt in a remote site less than an hour after they withdrew, Fuentes added.

Residents, who witnessed the incident, Fuentes added, thought there was just an on-going drill because the attackers wore army uniform until they shouted “Long live the NPA.”

Fuentes told Bukidnon News as it is standard operating procedure, the Bukidnon Provincial Police Office and the Regional Provincial Police Office has placed the 19-member police force in Malitbog, including police chief Police Senior Inspector Alexander Eugenio under investigation.

Six officers were on-duty on the time of the attack. The two others were reported to have gone on patrol, Fuentes said.

He said the local police station received reports of sightings days before the attack. He said local residents have remained afraid after the incident. He assured that a joint pursuit operations between the policy and the 8th Infantry Battalion is on-going.

He said the police hierarchy will check if there was possible remission of duty that led to the attack.

“This will help us in policy-making and in learning from lessons of the incidents,” he added.

He said Sr. Supt. Rey Crestito Gonzalodo, Bukidnon police director, is assigning an officer-in-charge to take over the station while the probe is on-going.

There was no need to raise the alert level among Bukidnon’s 21 other police stations because it has already been on “full alert” even before the attack, Fuentes said.

Just hours before the attack, Fuentes said, Malitbog Mayor Aida dela Rosa just convened the Municipal Peace and Order Council (MPOC) to address concerns including the sightings of armed men.

Dela Rosa asked the municipal employees to return to work and stay calm in her conversations with them Wednesday morning, a staff of her office who asked not to be named told Bukidnon News via telephone Wednesday afternoon.

The source said by 4:40p.m. Tuesday minutes after the attack the town hall was ordered closed as it may be the next target.

“People panicked but there were no commotions,” he added.

He said despite the checkpoints and roving forces in the poblacion, the town hall has resumed work and the town people seem to have returned to normal life.

He said the mayor is unable to respond to Bukidnon News request for interview as she is holding a meeting with army and police officials.

Provincial board member Jay Albarece, who chairs the peace and order committee, said the incident caught provincial officials by surprise.

“We are saddened by the attack,” he added. He said Vice Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. just convened a peace consultation last week with both panels of the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. (Walter I. Balane)

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