By Oliver Ross V. Rivera
KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, June 18 (PIA) -- The Regional Human Rights Commission (RHRC) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao led the celebration of World Refugee Day yesterday at the ORG compound in Cotabato City. In her message, RHRC chairperson Atty. Laisa Masuhud-Alamia stressed the importance of addressing the main cause of the problem.
“There is a need to address the root cause of the displacement, that is, conflict, in order to avoid more families from being torn apart,” Alamia said. The week-long commemoration of the World Refugee Day is anchored on the theme: “One family torn apart by conflict is too many.”. Alamia said that the campaign highlights the need for families to be protected against conflict arising from war, rido (clan feud) among others.
“Around 2,465,052 women, men, girls and boys have been forcibly displaced due to armed conflict, family feuds, and violence and natural disasters since January 2012,” the human rights lawyer said. ARMM Exec. Sec. Anwar Malang also graced the event and expressed optimism that the campaign will help raise awareness on the situation of displaced public in the region. The RHRC has prepared week-long activities, starting from June 17-22, 2013, aimed at introducing the mandate of the newly-established office to local communities.
RHRC is the sole regional human rights state-agency in ARMM. The World Refugee Day Commemoration is supported by ARMM government, the Bangsamoro Human Rights Network (BHRN), the region’s Department of Social Welfare and Department, Protection Cluster, Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). (ORVRivera-PIA12/ARMMCommGroup)
KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, June 18 (PIA)--The local government unit (LGU) of Tupi, South Cotabato continues to promote biodiversity conservation in Mt. Matutum. Another group from SWIRE Pacific offshore environmental team arrived yesterday to continue its wildlife conservation activities in Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape (MMPL). According to Jon Reiner Veluya, head of the SWIRE Pacific offshore environmental team, included in the activities that they are going to conduct are tree growing and monitoring as well as several clean up drives in rivers and streams found in the said mountain.
Veluya’s group will also visit biodiversity corridor sites and riparian parks in the barangays of Poblacion, Acmonan and Kablon; tarsier habitat in Barangay Linan, riparian zone in Barangay Cebuano and other MMPLs in Tupi area. Also included in their itinerary are field visits to watershed areas in the nearby town of Polomolok and to the General Santos City Water District in the barangays of Kinilis and Maligo in the said town. The group which is composed of five members will be immersing in different MMPL sites until Friday, June 21.
Meanwhile, Tupi Mayor Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr. expressed his full support on the initiative of SWIRE for strengthening wildlife conservation. He also thanked the organization for choosing Tupi in conducting conservation activities. Tamayo emphasized that the conservation of the natural resources in Mt. Matutum will now be a continuous effort in which different teams from SWIRE will visit the area every month not only for wildlife conservation but also for the rehabilitation of forests and other bodies of water. It can be noted that the organization has sent a team last month to conduct conservation activities in the same area. SWIRE is an offshore company which is based in Singapore. It works hand in hand with Endangered Species International (ESI), an international non-government organization with the social responsibility of intensifying biodiversity conservation.
KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, June 13 (PIA) – Over 2,000 poor but deserving students have been granted educational assistance under the Maguindanao Program on Educational Assistance and Community Empowerment (MagPEACE). According to Maguindanao provincial budget officer Lynette Estandarte, coordinator of MagPEACE, an additional 2,061 students have been added in this year’s list of scholars. This brings the total number of MagPEACE scholars to 3,546 which are currently enrolled in various schools in ARMM and region 12.
Beneficiaries are granted P6,000 financial support every semester. MagPEACE is Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu’s flagship program to help reduce poverty in the province by educating the youth and giving them more opportunities. Aside from the education benefits, the program also aims to educate grantees on the importance of Muslim-Christian solidarity and ecumenism as vital factors needed in accelerating the attainment of peace and sustainable development in the province. The Mangudadatu administration is aware that one way of building lasting peace in Maguindanao and surrounding provinces is to have educated people in the local communities.
By Danilo E. Doguiles
KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, June 14 (PIA) -- Almost half of those who registered for the Kalayaan jobs fair here Wednesday got hired, an official of the Department of Labor and Employement (DOLE) confirmed. Dominica Millan, head of DOLE- South Cotabato Field Office told Philippine Information Agency 12 that 512 of the 1,265 applicants were hired on the spot (HOTS) during the Kalayaan Jobs Fair at Gaisano Grand Mall as part of the 115th Independence Day celebration. “Being hired on the spot means that the applicants have been ordered to report to their respective workplaces after the jobs fair,” Millan explained.
Of the 1,269 applicants, 242 applied for foreign employment. At around 5 p.m., 65 among the applicants are assured of the job, and may soon be deployed to their country of destination. Some 447 others are now hired in local companies where at least 1,027 applied for at least 1,689 available jobs. DOLE 12’s briefer on the said event indicated that a total of 5,196 jobs, composed of 3,498 for overseas employment and 1,689 for local employment, were available to applicants.
Needed personnel included engineers, electricians, construction workers, accountants, drivers, lady drivers, nurses, laboratory technicians, dentists, bakers, cooks, beauticians, reflexologists, domestic helpers and many others for deployment to countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Dubai, Brunei, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong. Local companies, including malls, fishing, health and wellness, and construction firms, offered jobs for engineers, construction workers, heavy equipment operators, accountants and accounting clerks, sales personnel, warehouse staff, computer technicians, massage therapist, and others.
DOLE 12 Regional Director Ofelia Domingo in an earlier interview noted that job fairs in Koronadal City have been one of the most productive in the Region. During the April 26 pre-Labor Day Jobs Fair in the same venue, 411 or 38.48 percent of the 1,068 applicants were immediately hired. The hired-on-the-spot to applicants rate during the Independence Day fair was 40.47 percent. Millan believes the actual number of applicants hired during the fair could increase in the coming weeks because more applicants are currently undergoing additional interviews, examinations and other tests from prospective employers. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12)
By Danilo E. Doguiles
KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, June 13 (PIA) -- A school in Cotabato City has been ordered to discontinue its Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, an official of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)-12 confirmed today. Geraldine Arendain, education supervisor II and nursing coordinator of CHED 12, identified the school as Dr. P. Ocampo Colleges along De Mazzenod Road in Cotabato City. Eight other schools in Soccsksargen Region have also been given gradual phase-out order for their BSN programs, Arendain said. Seven of these schools have filed motion for consideration with the CHED Central office.
Soccsksargen Region, which covers South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Sarangani as well as the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan, and Cotabato has only 17 schools offering nursing education. Dr. P. Ocampo Colleges, she explained, was ordered to close its nursing program because it failed to achieve at least 30 percent passing rate in the nursing licensure examinations in 2008, 2009, and 2010 as mandated by CHED Memorandum Order No. 14 s. 2009 and CMO No. 18 s. 2011.
“With the closure order, Dr. P. Ocampo Colleges is prohibited to accept new enrolees in its BS Nursing program,” the official elaborated. “Students in the higher years are advised to transfer to other schools.” Schools that were ordered for phase-out of their BSN programs are Dr. Domingo B. Tamondong Memorial School in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat; General Santos Doctors Medical School Foundation Inc. in General Santos City, Notre Dame University in Cotabato City as well as University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, Cotabato Medical School Foundation in Midsayap, Notre Dame of Midsayap College, Colegio de Kidapawan and North Valley College Foundation in Kidapawan City in North Cotabato.
Arendain said these schools have failed in at least one of the five indicators and standards for BS Nursing course in CMO No. 14. Indicators include qualified college dean, faculty profile specifying that 100 percent of faculty members possess master's degree in nursing, library and resources including at least seven international journals and two local journals, complete nursing laboratory as well as base hospital with at least 100-bed capacity and 80 percent occupancy rate. Of the eight schools, only Dr. Domingo B. Tamondong Memorial School, did not file a motion for reconsideration to CHED Central Office.
Lately, she said, the regional evaluation team has re-validated these schools, found them to have complied with the required standards, and submitted the reports to CHED for further assessment of the committee en banc. "NDU, for example, had to fire more than 30 members of it faculty to be able comply with the requirement that all its teachers in the nursing program should be master’s degree holder," she added. During the assessment, NDU had 57 members of its faculty teaching nursing courses. “We are still waiting for the final decision on this matter from CHED Central Office,” she said.
If the motion for reconsideration is denied, she further explained, these schools are not allowed to enrol new students and continue to operate only until the second year students have completed the course. Assessment and evaluation of nursing programs in schools in Soccsksargen Region and other parts of the country began in March 2012. CHED regional office personnel and the Regional Quality Assessment Team (RQAT, which is composed of expert nurses tapped by the CHED, conducted the evaluation based on CMOs 14 and 18.
Of the 17 schools offering BSN course in the region one school, Brokenshire College of General Santos City, was excluded from the evaluation since it only started operations in 2008. Seven schools were found compliant with the policies and standards for BSN programs. These are: Notre Dame of Dadiangas University in General Santos City, Notre Dame of Marbel University and St. Alexius College in Koronadal City, Sultan Kudarat Educational Institute and Sultan Kudarat State University in Tacurong City, as well as Notre Dame of Kidapawan College in Kidapawan City. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12)