GENERAL SANTOS CITY, May 24 (PNA) -- The Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) of South Cotabato province is pushing for the release of livelihood support from the national government for 18 former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in the province.Lt. Col. Zhalimar Imperial, commander of the Army’s 27th Infantry Battalion, said Friday the former rebels have already undergone the required profiling process and are now only waiting for the delivery of the livelihood assistance that they availed under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP).He said they are currently working for the completion of the implementing rules for the program’s implementation in the area to facilitate the release of the assistance.
“We’ve requested the concerned agencies to hasten the crafting of the implementing rules,” he said during the PPOC meeting in Koronadal City.Under the CLIP, which is mainly implemented by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), former NPA rebels may avail of various assistance programs from the national and local governments.Imperial said that aside from the 18 former NPA rebels, several others have already signified to avail of the program’s livelihood assistance.
The provincial government of South Cotabato, through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, earlier conducted the profiling of the former rebels.“One reason that forced them (former rebels) to join the rebel movement was the lack of livelihood opportunities in their areas. We have to seriously address this problem to encourage other active rebels to return to the fold of the law,” he said.The official said that if such problem is not properly addressed, some of the former rebels might be forced to rejoin their comrades and remain as security threats in the area.
Meantime, Imperial said they are closely watching the movements of around 40 rebels under the NPA Far South Mindanao Region’s Front 73.He said the group remains a serious security threat in the province and noted that the volatile issue on mining was among the reasons for its resurgence in the past several months.Imperial was referring to the planned large-scale copper and gold mining project of foreign-backed Sagittarius Mines Inc. in Tampakan, South Cotabato that continues to be under threat from the NPA.He cited that based on their monitoring, the group has recently added new recruits came from the towns of Lake Sebu, T’boli and Surallah in South Cotabato; Maitum, Kiamba and Maasim in Sarangani; and, parts of Davao Del Sur.
By Danilo E. Doguiles
KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, May 24 (PIA) -- More registered voters cast their votes during the May 13 midterm elections compared to the national polls in 2010. Acting city election officer Ma. Dorothy Losa reported, that of the 82,808 registered voters , a total of 66,710 or 80.56 percent actually cast their votes during this year's elections. She said that according to their record, voter turnout during first automated elections in May 2010 was only 74.38 percent. The large turnout was achieved despite very long queues of residents looking for their voting precincts and casting of votes as well as problems of in the operations of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines in several clustered precincts.
Rain also hampered voting in the afternoon. “Also more women participated in the elections,” she added. Among those who voted, 34,125 are women as compared to only 32, 585 men. The large turnout of voters showed the desire of majority of the residents here to be involved in governance, Losa said. On May 16, after delays due to defected compact flash (CF) cards in two clustered precincts the City Board of Canvassers declared incumbent Mayor Peter Miguel winner in the mayoralty race with re-electionist Bebot Ogena as vice mayor. Elected members of the Sangguniang Panglungsod are: Rose Dideles, Edwin Abris, Mark Lapidez, Junette Hurtado, Rene Jumilla,
Gregorio Ogoy, Rebecca Bona, Oscar Pagunsan, Erlinda Araquil, and Ankol Cadellino. Moreover, Losa reminded candidates, winners and losers alike, to file their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SoCE). They have until 5:00 p.m. of June 13 to file Losa said. “We cannot issue certificates of compliance to winning candidates who fail to file their Statements of Contributions and Expenditures. Without a certificate of compliance, an elected official cannot assume position,” she explained. Non-winning candidates who won’t file their SoCE, on the other hand, could be fined P10,000 on first offense or P20,000 on second offense, she added. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12)
By Danilo E. Doguiles
KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, May 23 (PIA) -- The National Food Authority in South Cotabato needs to procure at least 186,680 bags of palay before the end of this year, an official of the agency confirmed today. Guialudin Usman, general manager of NFA – South Cotabato said, the adjusted procurement target is 86,000 bags higher than the original goal of 100,000 set early this year. The decision to raise the target volume of procurement, he explained, is line with the efforts of the national government to reduce importation of rice. Confident that they can achieve the upgraded objective, he said they only need to continue with their aggressive palay procurement operations.
“From January to the present, we have already purchased 21,083 bags, which is about 140.5 percent of the 15,000 bags set for the period based on our original target,” Usman said. Under the program, NFA buys palay at the current support price of P17.00 per kilo for clean and dry palay, which should have 14 percent moisture content and A level purity. Slight adjustments in the price is computed in accordance with current NFA equivalent net weight factor (ENW) table when the product falls short of the required specifications.
An additional incentive of 20 centavos per kilo is paid to farmers for drying the palay and another 20 centavos per kilo when they deliver the produce to NFA buying stations. When these are coursed through accredited cooperatives the cooperative will also receive 30 centavos per kilo as cooperative development incentive fee (CDIF). Farmer cooperatives may use the accumulated CDIF to purchase post-harvest facilities, buy farm inputs and pay for obligations. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12)
Danilo E. Doguiles
KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, May 23 (PIA) -- Despite decreasing production, Soccsksargen Region or Region 12 still leads the country in volume of coffee production, an officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA) 12 confirmed. Danilo Centillas, regional coordinator of the Agri-Pinoy High Value Crops Development Program said Region 12 produced a total of 27,869 metric tons (MT) of coffee in 2012 based on data released by the DA’s Bureau of Agricultural Statistics.
Region 12, which is comprised of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sarangani, and Sultan Kudarat contributed at least 31.33 percent of the national coffee production. Data from BAS in 2011 indicated that Region 12 had a total production of 28,502 MT. Other top coffee-producing regions in the country were the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) that produced 18,950 MT and Davao Region with 10,620 MT, contributing 21.31 percent and 11.95 percent, respectively to the national production. With production in other regions going down, Centillas added, Region 12 could take advantage by planting more coffee, considering the region’s suitable soil and weather conditions that support massive planting of said crop.
According to a report from BAS, in the last quarter of 2012, production in Iloilo and Negros Oriental dropped by 5.65 percent and 27.66 percent, respectively, due to strong winds and rains during flowering stage. Typhoon Pablo reduced coffee production of Compostela Valley by 15.11 percent while shifting to banana production brought Davao City’s production down by 7.87 percent. In an earlier report, DA 12 Regional Executive Director Amalia Jayag-Datukan said that the region has at least 23,000 hectares devoted to coffee and about the same area that could be planted to the said crop. Of the area devoted to coffee production, over 17,000 are in Sultan Kudarat province.
Urging farmers to plant more coffee, Datukan assured that the agency has ready support to assure better production, including technology support as well as technical and marketing assistance. She said they are promoting the propagation and planting of said crop not only as a source of income but also to mitigate effects of climate changes, improve forest cover and address soil erosion. Besides coffee, Region 12 is also among the leaders in the production of other high value crops, Centillas disclosed. It is second in the production of pineapple with 2012 production of 800,055 MT as well as rubber with a production of 165,745 MT and ranks third in banana production with 1,155,348 MT produced in 2012.(DEDoguiles-PIA 12 with HMOsoteo-DA 12)
Oliver Ross V. Rivera
KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, May 22 (PIA) -- Beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) in Pigcawayan, North Cotabato received yesterday the livelihood support from the government. Officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)12 distributed capital seed funds to CCT beneficiaries in the villages of Midpapan 1, Buricain, and Libungan-Torreta. A total amount of P1,050, 000 worth of livelihood assistance implemented under the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) was awarded to the beneficiaries.
The agency’s partner in implementing the program is the office of Rep. Jesus N. Sacdalan in line with the ‘Pangkabuhayan Para Sa Kapayapaan’ which is a livelihood support initiative in the first district of North Cotabato. According to Ibrahim Sangcupan, SLP project development officer, the beneficiaries were trained in community- driven and enterprise development to prepare them on their chosen business endeavors. Sangcupan also mentioned that the CCT beneficiaries will utilize their received funds to start their own convenience stores. The government’s CCT program is popularly known as ‘Pantawid Pamilya.’
Earlier, Midpapan I, a Christian dominated community, and the Bangsamoro communities of Buricain and Libungan-Torreta were covered under Set 3 barangays of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Progam in North Cotabato. (ORVRivera-PIA12/ RRBautista-N. Cot. 1st Congressional District Office)