Koronadal City---South Cotabato is one of the two pilot areas in the region that USAID will be supporting through its Protect Wildlife Project. Mary Jane Manlisis, Forest and Inland Water Management Division Chief, said the stakeholders had already identified and agreed on a set of strategies and major activities for the year-long project implementation. "The project includes two major landscapes in the province as the Protect Wildlife's third site in the Philippines," Manlisis said. In South Cotabato USAID will focus on the Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape which sprawled in three towns of the province, traversing nearby town of Malungon, Sarangani Province. The project will also look into the biodiversity conservation in the Allah Valley Protected Landscape which encompasses all towns of the upper valley area of South Cotabato. Protect Wildlife Project is working on to decrease threats to South Cotabato's biodiversity and improve ecosystem goods and services. USAID, a foreign aid from the American people, aims to achieve results through five strategic approaches such as: improve attitudes and behavior toward biodiversity and its conservation in target areas, intensify private and public sector partnership in conserving and financing initiatives and improve biodiversity competencies of local government units and civil society organizations. The project also enhances capacities of universities to advance conservation education, research, monitoring and innovation and the LGU's enforcement policies. In its second phase of implementation, USAID is also implementing the project in Sarangani Province.
Koronadal City---Health authorities here gear up for a strong link with local media in South Cotabato in providing "up to date and accurate information while upholding the rights of the patients." Dr. Rogelio Aturdido, Provincial Health Officer, said a meeting with private media was held recently to draw policy that will provide both parties a good working relationship. "The policy aims to build respect between the government hospital's duties and responsibilities and the media's responsibility to inform the public based on the health department protocol," Aturdido explained with at least 10 local media from various entities in attendance. Aturdido, who is temporarily in-charge of the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital, stressed out that the policy hopes to gain respect from media. "As we do our duty we are also bound to safeguard our patient's confidentiality," Aturdido further said. Meanwhile, local media respond positively to this request, emphasizing their interest as responsible journalists. The Integrated Provincial Health Office will soon set parameters regarding this matter as the policy is applied in all government hospitals in the province.
Koronadal City---South Cotabatenos rejoiced as Senator JV Ejercito pushed for the conversion of Suralah Agricultural School to a state university and Upper Valley Community Hospital into a regional hospital during his recent visit to South Cotabato's Tnalak Festival. Ejercito, whose mother is an Ilongga, made this pronouncement as his gesture of gratitude to the people of South Cotabato for making him at the top five among the senators during the 2013 national election. "Ito pala ang feeling kapag nasa administrasyon ka, mas madali ang pagbibigay ng tulong," Ejercito admitted for he has been in the opposition in the last few administrations. He congratulated the province for its unity as a province and as the people of the Philippines. Ejercito, who is a reliable ally of South Cotabato, made a strong statement about the continuation of Martial Law in Mindanao. "May the Marawi siege becomes a wake-up call for our government to focus more its attention to Mindanao because Mindanao is still the land of promise due to its vast potential," Ejercito added. Before he went back to Manila, Ejercito visited the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital to see its current situation. Ejercito is the chairman of the senate committee on health.
Koronadal City--A 17-year old senior high school student of Tupi National High School was crowned as the most beautiful woman in South Cotabato during the coronation night held at the South Cotabato Gymnasium and Cultural Center Sunday night. Camille Folio, who wanted to be a police woman someday, for the first time in Mutya history, beat 14 other contestants as she bagged all the minor awards: Best in Casual Couture, Best in Swimsuit, Best in Interview and Best in Ball Gown. "I believe that the best government initiative that provides the best impact to the women of South Cotabato is to promote women empowerment. As future police woman, I will be breaking gender bias. Despite it is a male dominated career, I believe I can make a difference in this course," Folio confidently answered her final question that made her brought the prestigious crown in the province. Aside from her crown, Folio also accepted the P35, 000 cash prize. Other top finalists are Trixie Anne Maureen Manik (Banga), Nicy Quirab (DPWH), Jenny Rose Purisima (Suralah), and Jean Guitones (Tboli).
Koronadal City---Rain or shine, at least 1300 South Cotabatenos joined the Dreamweavers Fun Run, one of the events of the week-long celebration of the 18th Tnalak Festival. Dante Baay finished the five-kilometer run at 16 minutes and 07 seconds while his female counter part Mary Angelie Arano at 24 minutes and 12 seconds. The largest delegation trophy is handed over to the Knights Runners and the oldest runner is the 83-year old Cesar Agreda. Winners got cash prizes of P3000 for the first place, P2,000 for second place and P1000 for third place. "Tnalak is not only merry-making but an avenue to promote healthy living," Dr. Rogelio Aturdido, Provincial Health Officer, pointed out. Health report revealed lifestyle related diseases topped the most number of deaths and diseases in South Cotabato.
Koronadal City---Amidst the multiple security threats in the celebration of the founding anniversary and 18th Tnalak Festival of South Cotabato, Sen. Sonny Angara see to it to catch the first plane trip down south and attend the significant event of the Land of the Dreamweavers. "I have to go here to personally thank all you for making me a senator," Angara said during his speech at the South Cotabato Sports Complex earlier as a special guest to the opening ceremonies of the week-long Tnalak celebration. He commended the unique merry-making of South Cotabatenos who choose the Tnalak cloth as the emblem of celebration. "By choosing tnalak as the symbol of your province signifies world class," Angara said, stressing the "galing" magic of not only its people but its provincial leaders like two of its officials who became deputy speakers at the lower house. "Ang South Cotabato ay tahanan ng mga nananaginip like the dreamweavers of tnalak cloth. Kayo ang mga taong nagpupursigeng makamtan ang inyong mga panaginip into realities," the quality education advocate senator said. The Harvard graduate senator is all praises for the leadership of Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes whose local governance became a Jessie Robredo awardee. Angara signifies his interest to support a lower house bill that pushes for the establishment of a state university in South Cotabato. "Sinusuportahan ko ang pangarap ng inyong kongresista, Cong. Dinand Hernandez, na makapagpatayo ng isang state university sa dakung ito ng bansa," he said. Angara, who co-authored the no tuition fee in state universities and colleges, is the senate committee chairperson of the committee on local government.
Koronadal City---Health authorities in South Cotabato has already controlled the increasing diarrheal cases in some sitios of Barangay Ned II, Lake Sebu. In a Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit Bulletin released by the Integrated Provincial Health Office, the Rural Health Unit of Lake Sebu consulted the victims and released necessary medication to affected families. The Provincial Government, on the other hand, provided water disinfectant in the community to ensure the safety of water supply. PESU report revealed that there were 78 cases of diarrhea in sitios Lower Salban, Upper Salban, Uhay and Kasingan in Barangay Ned II as of July 1. Forty-eight of the reported cases were children below four years old. The record showed one death in the area, IPHO confirmed. The first diarrhea case was reported last June 5. Based on the health investigation, the outbreak is due to unsafe drinking water in three unimproved spring in the community. Health authorities also found out that majority of the household shares in pit privy toilet. Department of Health provided 30 pieces of jerry cans while the provincial government is set to continue their regular monitoring until zero case is recorded. However, LGU Lake Sebu is expected to provide safe drinking water in the are thru construction and improvement of water spring or ramp pump to serve safe water to the households.
Koronadal City--- The flavors of South Cotabato are ready at the Tnalak Food Garden during the week-long celebration of the 18th Tnalak Festival. A soft opening tonight will take place in front of the South Cotabato Sports Complex. At least 17 restaurants and cafes from different towns of South Cotabato will showcase their special menu for tourists and South Cotabatenos who love to discover the South Cotabato palate. Jovic Ferrer, South Cotabato Tourism Council President, said the food garden is a food court area where everyone could relax and enjoy. "This is a place during Tnalak Festival that is made for families, group of friends and individuals who love authentic and unique food and beverage distinct in every town of South Cotabato," Ferrer said. Led by the South Cotabato Tourism Council, the Tnalak Food Garden prepares nightly activities. According to their schedule, the elimination of the Amazing Show of the LGBT community is set tonight. (Photo credit: Niel Jan Raborar)
Koronadal City---The Provincial Government is adopting newest technology in banking it best practices through DILG's Innovative Solutions Bank. Ian Jon Clemente, LGISB Quality Assurance Officer, said the system will serve as a management tool and accessible in providing lessons learned thru sharing and replication to interested local government units. "The truth is the government has no hub for local government's best practices or innovative solutions," Clemente said, emphasizing the importance of investing in new technologies to document and for replication of other LGUs. The project aims to establish a Best Practice Bank that will hasten the collection, dissemination and or creation of practical but strategic solutions to specific governance challenges faced by local governments. Through a series of training through DILG's funding and an agreement with Local Government Academy and the particular LGU, the project team will train end users in documenting best practices and database training. The identification of best practices is based on compliance with national laws, achieved results that address national or local issues and challenges, demonstrated sustainability, proven and effective solutions to the problem encountered by LGUs, the potential for multiplier effect or replication, and innovativeness.
Koronadal City---No local government units of South Cotabato are included in the top 10 list of areas with a high number of stunting and underweight children in SOCCKSARGEN according to the report released by the Regional Nutrition Council recently. Arceli Latonio, Nutrition Program Coordinator, said all towns in the province attained a single-digit in the prevalence number of underweight and severely underweight children and children with the high incidence of stunting. Based on the latest report, Lake Sebu and Tboli in South Cotabato came in 11th and 12th in the ranking with the high percentage of malnourished children among the 50 local government units in the region. At least nine percent of children aged 0-77 months old are underweight and severely underweight in Lake Sebu while NNC noted that there is 9.14 percent in Tboli. Meanwhile, there are 9.14 and 9.17 percent of stunted children in the same mentioned towns according to the report. And in both categories, three towns like Tantangan, Banga and Tupi have brought down the percentage of malnourished children to at least five percent while the incidence of malnutrition in the four remaining towns is notably below five percent. First class municipalities like Suralah and Polomolok have less than two percent of malnourished children in their area. "The province is vying for its fourth year as Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition program and the efforts of South Cotabato is gaining positive results in the last five years," Latonio said. South Cotbato is preparing for the national evaluation to get the maintenance award.