Philippines - ReliefWeb News
Marcelo B. Lihgawon
ALFONSO LISTA, Ifugao, Sept.11 (PIA) - - Damages in corn and fish production brought by the dry spell prompted the Sangguniang Bayan to place the municipality under the state of calamity in agriculture for the affected farmers to receive assistance.
The municipality incurred a total loss of P453,911,071.00 in corn production and P1,191,109.00 for fish production due to the dry spell that hit the municipality in June 2015.
According to the municipal agriculture office, 7,493.45 hectares were affected by the drought. Corn planted in 431.95 hectares still at the reproductive stage and corn plants in 21.20 hectares at the vegetative stage were totally damaged while 6,474.80 has. at the reproductive stage and 565.50 has. at that vegetative that were partially damaged with 20% and 50% chances of recovery.
With these damages, the municipality was declared under the state of calamity in agriculture and requested interventions from the national government.
Municipal Agriculturist Eugenio Culimay, Jr. hopes that the affected farmers will at least receive assistance to start the next cropping season. (JDP/MBL-PIA with report from Lorena Dulnuan/Alfonso Lista LGU)
SAN JOSE, Antique Sept. 11 (PIA) - - The Provincial Health Office (PHO) noted a 55.37 percent increase of dengue cases recorded at 477 from January to August 2015 as compared to 307 cases of the same period last year in the province of Antique.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Ric Noel Naciongayo said that the municipality of Tobias Fornier was identified to have the most number of dengue cases recorded at 119, followed by San Jose with 79 cases, Sibalom- 76 and Hamtic with 44.
One fatality was recorded in the month of June 2015 in the Municipality of Caluya.
Dr. Naciongayo said affected person must always seek early medical consultation.
“Don’t be complacent in the fight against dengue illness because the rainy season is not yet over and the water settles in tree-holes, gutters, cans, used tires, and many others where it serves as breeding ground for mosquitoes, therefore we should always keep the surroundings clean in order to eliminate breeding sites and prevent the dengue-carrying mosquitoes from breeding,” Naciongayo said in a PIA interview.
The disease is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito that is infected with a dengue virus. Dengue fever is fatal and mainly affects children.
According to Supervising Sanitary Inspector Tessie M. Vergara, age range affected by dengue cases were from 8 months to 69 years old, while the age group with the most number of cases ranged from 11 to 20 years old. (JCM/VWV-PIA Antique)
ILOILO CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) inked yesterday a memorandum of understanding that launches an independent fact-finding team to monitor the execution of and validate the concerns on the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) program for Typhoon Yolanda victims in Western Visayas.
“The fact-finding project is our Department’s response to the complaints that we have received including those that were raised through the media, regarding the implementation of ESA by the local government units,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said who witnessed the signing ceremony.
She added that the ultimate goal is “to ensure that the aid reaches the intended and rightful beneficiaries.”
DSWD-Field Office VI Director Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre and DILG-Field Office VI Director Atty. Anthony Nuyda signed the agreement that taps the Ugnayan ng Barangay at Simbahan (UBAS) to lead the independent fact-finding mission.
The forging of the MOU was also witnessed by Atty. Mariness Ledesma and Victoria Garchitorena who both represented UBAS. Atty. Ledesma is the executive director of the group.
The group will start their investigation immediately in the province of Iloilo.
UBAS is a strategic partnership between the DILG, faith-based organizations and Liga ng mga Barangay to promote good governance and sustainable development in the grassroots level.
Atty. Ledesma explained that UBAS does not intend to build up cases but to improve the performance [of the implementors].
For her part, Dir. Macapobre affirmed that the Department “remains true to its commitment to transparency and accountability” in the administration of social welfare and development programs.
“We want to demonstrate that unbiased and concrete actions are being taken to address the criticisms on ESA,” she emphasized.
World: Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action - Synthesis of the Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop Bangkok, Thailand, 18 to 20 June 2015
The “Regional Asia-Pacific Workshop on Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action” was held on 18 to 20 June 2015, in Bangkok, Thailand, with the aim of sharing knowledge and experience on implementing Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) among stakeholders from the Asia-Pacific region. A total of 61 participants attended the Workshop, of whom 27 were representatives from 21 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The Workshop resulted in the following conclusions and recommendations.
I. Enabling environment (policy, institutions, legal framework, finance, governance, etc.) for sustainable CSA
• Scientific knowledge to address climate change and opportunity to apply CSA
• Analysis, simulation and climate projections and trends (e.g. are we ready for sea level rise in the coastal zone? Specific trends for specific commodity)
• Policymaking: which options to choose under variable and unpredictable climate change?
II. Priority actions (implementation level) for mainstreaming and scaling up CSA
a) Present situation – Lack of awareness of CSA
Future challenges associated with the situation – Political commitment in terms of integration of different ministries, and financing and allocation
b) Present situation – Need for mapping CSA practices, including available technology, knowledge, resources and policies
Future challenges associated with the situation – Capacity building: i) Who is going to do what? ii) Changes in mindsets and breaking the barriers of lack of collaboration
III. Enhancing regional collaboration and networking
Current arrangements are not satisfactory. Therefore, there is a need for platforms both at national and at the regional levels to:
• share knowledge
• facilitate collaboration and cooperation
• set joint goals
• raise awareness, both for farmers and for policymakers
• facilitate exchange of information related to resource mobilization opportunities, both for knowledge creation as well as technical assistance and implementation
• have political support
• be non-prescriptive
• find common goals x a) At the national level, a platform that:
• has one focal point, from Ministry of Agriculture • has membership from a wide range of stakeholders: governmental, academic, civil society, private sector,etc.
b) At regional level:
• has rotating chair(s)
• has a facilitating body hosted by a country
• is composed of the focal points (country members) of the national platforms
• core functions to be supported by the country members
• maintains close links with existing networks, e.g. ASEAN, SAARC, SPC and NEARC groups
• Regional CSA Secretariat be financially supported by the contribution from hosting country, participating member countries, and/or partners
• can draw upon support from FAO/RAP for initial setting up of the Regional Secretariat including drafting the TOR and other support for networking
Recommendations: The following recommendations were made:
i. Through a collaborative mechanism, improve understanding of climate change in agriculture by mapping climate change effects and scenarios and incorporate them in seasonal climate outlooks.
ii. Through active community participation, increase awareness on the impacts of climate change at community level that is location specific.
iii. Enhance institutional capacity on climate-smart practices for end users, including development of common CSA tools.
iv. Develop a common SWOT analysis for countries to develop their own mechanisms that are based on their experiences, from consultation to implementation and monitoring and evaluation of CSA approaches.
v. Identify appropriate mechanisms for engaging the experiences of stakeholders, including the creation of appropriate regional platforms for listening to grassroots stakeholders.
vi. Include mainstreaming of CSA in all National Reports and communication documents.
vii. Set-up a national committee/steering committee under the auspices of the highest policy making body of the government, through development of concept notes and policy briefs and raising awareness within the government. viii. Allocate more funds for CSA activities from the national governments by inserting them into national action plan.
ix. Pilot CSA at national level through local administration, by including participants from farmers, governments, civil society and community-based organizations.
x. Forge partnerships with development partners, FAO amongst others, through projects on stocktaking, mapping, inventory of technology, knowledge (including traditional knowledge), expertise and practices.
xi. Countries to initiate the development of national CSA platforms.
xii. Viet Nam, with initial support from FAO/RAP, to host a regional CSA platform.
Conflict, instability and disasters continued to take an immense toll on development in 2014. However, as this report shows, UNDP continued to help countries prevent and respond to disasters, protect justice, uphold security and the rule of law, promote inclusive governance and build peace. Active in over 170 countries and territories, UNDP is there before and after a crisis.
UNDP is often the first to be called after a crisis to lead the transition to peace and stability, or support early recovery efforts following disasters. In many cases, UNDP is best placed to prevent crises from recurring.
In 2014, UNDP’s new Strategic Plan took effect, geared towards making the organization more efficient, and deepening its focus on helping countries build resilience. Resilience reduces the risks of conflict and disasters, and means that even if they do strike, people will have capacities to blunt the impacts and recover quickly. Better employment opportunities, equitable access to resources, transparent and accountable governments, and the systematic resolution of disputes are among the key ingredients to achieving resilient societies.
Throughout 2014, UNDP helped national authorities around the world to build peace and recover from disasters. In the wake of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, UNDP assisted communities to rebuild, including by restoring livelihoods for over 40,000 people. After the declaration of a humanitarian emergency in Gaza, UNDP supported the rebuilding of homes and provided thousands of people with emergency employment.
When violence exploded in the Central African Republic, rendering half the population in need of humanitarian assistance, UNDP launched an emergency programme of support to the transitional government to help reactivate core government systems and ensure essential services would function.
By the end of 2014 the country had achieved some key milestones, including a cessation of hostilities agreement between warring factions.
After the Ebola outbreak struck Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, UNDP immediately joined partner organizations to stop its spread, such as through supporting governments to ensure the timely payment of nearly 50,000 Ebola response workers, assisting communities to identify new cases, educating people on avoiding transmission, and making life-saving welfare payments to the most vulnerable people and communities.
Beyond efforts to respond to crises, UNDP continued its commitment to conflict prevention and risk reduction. Support and training was provided to Parliament as Fiji, after eight years of a military-led government, successfully transitioned to an elected government. Tunisia became the first ‘Arab Spring’ country to formally establish and consolidate a democratic political system, with a key actor being the Tunisian General Labour Union, consistently supported by UNDP.
In 2014, UNDP helped advance disaster preparedness in 20 countries in the Caribbean and Central America to rapidly assess and respond to post-disaster needs. Other assistance helped Honduras integrate gender provisions across local disaster risk management strategies for the disaster-prone Choluteca river basin, as well as across national disaster risk management policies and plans.
These examples highlight the range of needs that UNDP responds to through the Crisis Prevention and Recovery Thematic Trust Fund. This fast, flexible funding mechanism permits quick responses to disasters or conflicts as well as scope for seizing unique opportunities to reduce disaster risks or prevent conflicts. In 2014, the Fund mobilized US$ 88 million and disbursed funds to more than 90 countries.
The report chronicles results achieved with CPR TTF assistance in four broad categories, tied to the outcomes of the UNDP Strategic Plan:1) countries are able to reduce the likelihood of conflict and lower the risk of natural disasters, including from climate change, 2) early recovery and rapid return to sustainable development pathways are achieved in post-conflict and postdisaster settings’, 3) countries have strengthened institutions to progressively deliver universal access to basic services, and 4) faster progress is achieved in reducing gender inequality and promoting women’s empowerment. The report is structured to address the first three results areas, with the fourth (gender) being integrated throughout the document.
UNDP supports interventions across the full spectrum of development and crisis issues, recognizing the integral links among them. These interventions are predicated on the reality that development gaps leave people vulnerable to crisis, and that crisis in turn, can strip away development gains, particularly for those with limited resilience and marginal capacities to recover.
Jennifer C. Tilos
NEGROS ORIENTAL, Sept. 11 (PIA) – The province has created a Joint Task Force to beef up peace and security to maintain the well-being of Negrenses and ensure economic development.
The task force is expected to strengthen coordination and collaboration of efforts among the more than 20 national and local government agency-members in the conduct of joint security operations.
In a workshop, Governor Roel Degamo urged the participants to intensify peace and order efforts to minimize if not eliminate all forms of criminalities and illegal activities in the province.
Gov. Degamo, however, recognized the contributions made by government agencies in strengthening the province’ disaster risk reduction and management programs.
He noted that with the concerted efforts among stakeholders, the province has been declared as “conflict manageable and development ready” last year by Defense Ssecretary Voltaire Gazmin.
Nevertheless, both Army commander Col. Allan Martin of 302nd IB and P/SSupt Dionardo Carlos of the Philippine National Police said the joint task force needs the participation and support of the communities and local government units to make the duties and responsibilities well-organized.
The task force's scope of operations include maritime safety and security, criminality, illegal drugs, insurgency, smuggling, tourism, environmental protection, disaster response, and land transportation and traffic.
This initiative came to realize when some reports of kidnapping by ASG is coming to Dumaguete City from Dapitan and a ship loaded with smuggled rice was intercepted in Zamboanguita town, increasing apprehensions of illegal drugs, human trafficking, and fishing.
With this, JTF intends to prevent the illegal activities and lawless elements have been apprehended and prosecuted.
However, the governor cited that the province has recorded a low crime rate in Central Visayas, as he also asked the participants to maintain and sustain peace and order in the province. (rmn/jct/PIA7-Negros Oriental)
From the Mindanao Development Authority
Agusan River Basin (ARB) stakeholders recently concluded the 1st Agusan River Basin Summit held in Butuan, which led to the signing an agreement that ensures the coordinated and holistic management of the ARB in Mindanao.
An inter-provincial alliance was recently formed to ensure the coordinated and holistic management of the Agusan River Basin (ARB) , one of the largest river basins in the country that spans across six provinces, one city, and three regions in Mindanao.
ARB stakeholders composed of representatives from the local government, national government offices, peoples organizations, religious sector and river basin constituents signed a partnership for the effective and sustainable management of the ARB.
The partnership was signed during the recently-concluded 1st Agusan River Basin Summit held in Butuan City. The summit was also held in response to the prevailing issues and challenges facing the ARB including the non-convergence of efforts towards disaster risk reduction management, increasing population within the river basin, and the deteriorating quality and quantity of water resources.
“This summit showcases the emerging commitment of our stakeholders from various sectors to take on the key challenges facing the Agusan River Basin,” said Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, chair of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).
More than 200 stakeholders from the provinces of the Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Bukidnon, Surigao del Sur, and this city, gathered for the event aimed at formalizing the Agusan River Basin Organization (ARBO), the body responsible in implementing conservation and development strategies for the river basin.
Secretary Antonio added that protecting and ensuring the sustainable use of the river basin is not just the job of the national government agencies and the local government units, but mainly of the stakeholders, constituents, and the communities.
In the completed ARB Master Plan, which provides the guidelines and strategies for the basin’s sustainable management, the ARBO is crucial in bringing together upstream and downstream stakeholders to harmonize various plans and programs and to facilitate understanding, commitments, and the transfer of funds to mitigate threats within and around the basin.
MinDA through its MindaNOW! Nurturing Our Waters Program supports and facilitate the creation of river basin organizations in Mindanao. The Agusan River Basin Summit is the first to be organized among all of the RBOs in the country. It is expected to be the benchmark for best practices for the other 17 river basins in the Philippines.
 The ARB is one of the eight major river basins in Mindanao. It covers a total land area of 11,932 square kilometres and encompasses the portions of Claveria and Bukidnon in Region X, Compostella Valley and Davao Oriental in Region XI, and Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Sur in the Caraga Region.