Mindanao newsbits for February 16, 2014
GENERAL SANTOS CITY (PNA) – The Region 12 office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region (DENR-12) will prioritize the planting of high-value agro-industrial crops this year to continue the implementation of the National Greening Program (NGP) here. Datu Tungko Saikol, DENR-12 director, said they have launched consultations for the development of a commodity roadmap for the NGP, and will focus on high-value crops like coffee, cacao, and rubber. Recently, a team from the Forest Management Bureau met with the regional personnel and NGP implementers to discuss the program. This is in line with the previous order issued by DENR Secretary Ramon Paje to the regional offices in Mindanao, directing them to promote high-value agro-industrial crops under the NGP.
TAGUM CITY – Region 11 has world-class sports facilities as the perfect venue for the 2015 Palarong Pambansa, said Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario. The peaceful and orderly province can provide adequate billeting accommodations, quality hotels, and reliable communication services, he said. The governor also said that construction of the sports facilities will be completed to bolster the province’s chance in hosting the event. The Department of Education (DepEd) said the hosting of the national sports event is done through bidding, and guided by the principle of rotation that follows the “Visayas-Luzon-Mindanao-Luzon” cycle. (Cherry Mae Palicte)
PAGADIAN CITY (PNA) – Continuous rainfall causing a river here to overflow pushed Mayor Alan Lim to alert its Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC). A river in Barangay Lanipao has already submerged 60 hectares of ricefield, and some of the residential areas, according to village chieftain Therisa Abucay. The roads between the villages of Lanipao, Cabasagan, and Tunaan were also rendered impassable. The river started to overflow around 10 p.m. Wednesday. “Yesterday afternoon, the water level was lower, but this morning, the water level was observed to be going up slowly due to heavy rain,” she said over the weekend.
DAVAO CITY (PNA) – Students were advised to enhance their grammar and mathematical skills to pass the government’s Scholarship on Tertiary Education Program (STEP). This was disclosed by Educational Benefit System technical assistant Emilio Domingo when asked on how to get a scholarship. With a budget of P34 million for 2014, the program provides free tuition fees and monthly allowances on school uniforms and textbooks. Courses covered by the program include Information Technology, Agriculture, Education, Science, and Mathematics, and all fields of Engineering, except Civil Engineering.
GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels ambushed patrol soldiers working on a government road project, leaving one soldier killed in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. Authorities said Private first class Jhoemer Ramos was killed in the firefight. Lt. Abel Porto, 27th Infantry Battalion commander, said some 30 NPA members fired at soldiers doing clearing operations on a road project at Sitio Colobong in Barangay Lamfugon. Authorities deployed additional troops to track down the rebels who had withdrawn toward T’boli town. He said the NPA rebels do not have an established camp but they mingle and stay with civilian residents and conceal their firearms so that the military could not easily detect their identities. (Joseph Jubelag)