South Cotabato's Self-Employed Assistance - Kaunlaran (SEA-K) program reported a total of Php 1, 469, 017.00 rollback collection from January until July of this year, this according to SEA-K Provincial Coordinator Earl Madres. Since 2014 when the program started anew, South Cotabato released a total of Php 15, 840, 000.00 to over 57 associations enrolled. As of press time, South Cotabato recorded a total of Php 6, 205, 292.36 or 39.17% rollback collection since 2014 and is expecting a total of Php 9, 634, 707.64 or 60.83% collectibles until 2019. Beneficiaries are given two years to pay the seed fund provided under the SEA-K program which was used to jump start their businesses. Out of the 57 enrolled SEA-K associations in the province, 7 associations were able to pay fully their borrowed fund, 34 are active, 16 are inactive and 16 associations successfully reached Level II of the program after they were able to successfully given back the seed fund and their businesses showed positive results.
South Cotabato formally turns-over 199 parabolic tents or parachute tents to all its barangay earlier today, July 25, during the Provincial Government employees' Flag ceremony. Barangay Affairs Unit (BAU) spearheaded the turn-over and provided each barangay with one parabolic tent. Barangay officials were present to receive the said tents. The tents with a diameter of 42 feet costs Php 19, 900.00 each summing up to Php 3, 980, 000 in total, BAU reported. BAU provided the tents to lessen the worries of barangay officials who often borrow and rent tents during their activities.
South Cotabato joined the country as it celebrates this year's 39th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week at Polomolok last July 21 with the theme "Karapatan at Pribilehiyo ng May Kapansanan: Isakatuparan at Ipaglaban!". More than 250 members of the PWD community in the province gathered for the celebration and competed in various larong pinoy games facilitated by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office. PWD Federation President Czar Balayon took the celebration as an opportunity to request the local chief executives for support and help enhance the access of PWDs to education and training, provide equal access to employment and access to livelihood capital to start there income generating projects. Balayon also hopes that a Provincial Council for Disability Affairs will be established soon that will solely focus on the welfare of the PWDs, he said. Meanwhile, Provincial Vice Governor Vic De Jesus vowed to help strengthen the organization of PWDs and will lobby request for improvements for PWD welfare in the Legislative Body. "Do not be discouraged... We have to have a role in our society... to have access and participation in the government," De Jesus said.
A total of 86 applicants were hired on the spot (HOTS) during the Mega Job Fair conducted by South Cotabato at KCC Mall of Marbel Convention Center last July 17. A total of 475 job seekers registered, the Provincial Public Employment Service Office (PESO) said. At least 35 local and 10 overseas employers and recruitment agencies joined the job fair with over 3, 000 job vacancies available. DOLE XII Regional Director Sisinio Cano said more than 2, 000 of these were local vacancies while the remaining 1, 000 were overseas vacancies. The job fair was included among the activities for this year’s 18th T’nalak Festival and 51st Foundation Anniversary to focus not just on the cultural and sports activities but on activities that could help other people, said Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member Chairman on Labor and Employment Ma. Ester Marin Catorce. “Job fairs greatly help job seekers find jobs, especially the fresh graduates, she said. A pre-employment orientation was conducted by the Provincial Government of South Cotabato in partnership with DOLE and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) last July 14.
Contenders from Surallah town dominated this year's 5th Musical Pop Solo Voice Competition at South Cotabato Gymnasium and Cultural Center last July 15. Leila Abigail Dida, 11, and Nicole Apusaga,17, won in their respective categories in the said categories besting seven other contenders from various towns and city in the province. This year's Pop Solo competed for two categories - Category A for ages seven to 14 years old and Category B for ages 15 until 18 years old. Winners were judged bases on voice quality which includes harmony, timber, intonation, timing and depth (40%), song rendition which includes originality and interpretation, diction and appropriateness (30%), star quality which includes personality and bearing (25%), and overall audience impact (5%). Michelle Joy Rendon, still from Surallah town. placed first runner-up under the Category A. Sophia Calibayan of Banga placed third runner-up. Meanwhile, Clint Christopher Robles of Tantangan and Oscar Panaguiton Jr won first and second runners-up under Category B. Dida and Apusaga received Php 20, 000 each as cash prizes. First and second runners-up of both categories received Php 15, 000 and Php 10, 000, respectively. The 5th Musical Pop Solo Voice Competition is a part of the activities of the 18th T'nalak Festival and 51st Foundation Anniversary of South Cotabato which started last July 12 and will end this July 18.
The South Cotabato Rehabilitation and Detention Center (SCRDC) or Provincial Jail are expecting at least 1, 800 inmates by the end of the year. Provincial Warden Juan Lanzaderas Jr. reported a total number of 1, 451 inmates this June compared to the 1, 318 inmates reported during the first quarter. This resulted to an increase of 2.9% per month for the first semester. Among the 1, 451 reported inmates, 1, 343 are men while 109 are women, SCRDC reports. Congestion rate in SCRDC also increased from 185% during the first quarter to 212% this second quarter with a reported variance of 27%. The facility can only accommodate a maximum of 1,500 inmates, Lanzaderas said. He said the increase was brought by the series of operations conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). Because of this, SCRDC proposed for a better lighting system, additional personnel, and a regular infirmary in the SCRDC to check on the inmates’ health condition. Moreover, Governor Daisy P. Avance Fuentes said that the Provincial Government will request the justice system to fast track the disposal of cases to lessen the number of inmates in SCRDC. Meanwhile, Lanzaderas reported that drug related cases remain on the top list of the most committed crimes by inmates followed by murder and rape.
South Cotabato joined the country in the celebration of the first National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM) this July. With the theme "4Ks:Kamalayan sa Kahandaan, Katumbas ay Kaligtasan", South Cotabato opened this month-long celebration with a motorcade participated by municipal, city and provincial disaster risk reduction and management councils, search and rescue teams, members of the Philippine Red Cross, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine National Police, Philippine Army and Marine reservists. This is the first time the country will be celebrating NDRM after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed Executive Order No. 29 last June 28 that changes the National Disaster Consciousness Month (NDCM) to NDRM. NDCM was created last 1999 when former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada signed Executive Order No 137 to "provide national government agencies and LGUs ample time to provide their disaster awareness campaigns". The change was to direct the focus and government efforts from disaster awareness building to disaster resilience and to increase the public's awareness on the importance of disaster risk reduction and management, said OCD XII Assistant Regional Director Jerome Barranco. "Currently there is a need to promote the significance of disaster resilience which pertains to the ability of individuals, communities and organizations to adapt to and recover from the effects of hazards and disasters through effective risk management. The issuance also stated that the NDRM shall be collectively observed by all Filipinos by conducting activities relative to disaster resilience covering the 4 thematic areas of disaster," Barranco said. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council will lead the preparation, coordination, organization and implementation of the programs and activities while the P/M/C/BDRRMCs will implement the programs and activities for DRRM in their respective areas, this according to the new order,Barranco [...]
At least 40 barangay nutrition scholars (BNS) and child development workers from South Cotabato underwent through an orientation on early signs and detection of psychosocial and mental disorders among children at Villa Princessita last July 30. This orientation was conducted to teach BNS and development workers in daycare centers to determine the “red flags” in child's development and identify the early signs of disorders among children. Psychiatrist Dr. Rosemina Laud-Quirapas said among the mental disorders in children are anxiety disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, eating disorders, mood disorders and schizophrenia. Quirapas said these mental disorders may be brought by both the child’s lifestyle and environment or is genetically acquired. Among the most common signs of mental disorders among children are speech delay, social anxiety, irritability and hyper activity. She added that early signs of detection of mental disorders among children will be a big help to provide immediate help and medication. Meanwhile, she clears out that there is no shame in asking help from psychiatrist or psychologist to cure ones anxieties or mental disorders. People should also be educated and be informed that not all who come and seek help from psychologists or psychiatrist are lunatics, Quirapas said.
South Cotabato once again joined in this year’s second National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED), January 29. This second quarter, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) conducted the earthquake drill in one of the province’s biggest banana plantation, SUMIFRU Incorporated, located in T’boli town. Members of the PDRRMC served as evaluators during the drill. “Although it’s their (SUMIFRU) first time to participate in the drill, they did well. When they went out of the building, there’s a fire as a result of the earthquake. What they did was they put out the fire while waiting for the BFP,” said PDRRM Officer Milagros Rivera-Lorca. However, Lorca said SUMIFRU was not able to account its employees after getting out the building, rather they prioritized their property. Accounting of people is part of the safety procedure after evacuating the building to identify whether all employees was able to get out or not. Among the notable observation is SUMIFRU ‘s weak siren and lack of Building Evacuation Plan that provides the procedure of evacuation and identifies the person in charge. SUMIFRU will nor work on their BEP and familiarization of the said plan. Meanwhile, Lorca reiterated that disaster drills are not a laughing matter and should be taken seriously.
The province’s Search and Rescue Team (SAR) along with other SAR teams from other towns joined forces and answered the Department of Social Welfare and Development Office’s (DSWD XII) request to help them pack relief good for Marawi victims. SAR members volunteered to help DWSD XII to pack the relief goods intended for the displaced families from Marawi City who are now temporarily seeking refuge at evacuation centers in nearby provinces. “We volunteered for the repacking activity of DSWD XII because they solicited for volunteers to help them repack items for Marawi. So, we coordinated with MDRRMOs, their search and rescue teams and the PNP,” PDRRM Officer Milagros Rivera –Lorca said. Members of the Bureau of Fire Protection from Alabel, Malapatan, Glan of Sarangani were also there to help, she said. Lorca said all food and non-food packed are from DSWD. Meanwhile, South Cotabato’s Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) are coordinating with the local government unit of Marawi and confirmed that the relief “is overwhelming”. She also confirmed that a few families from Marawi have evacuated to Sto. Niño, Tupi and Koronadal City. They are now being documented by the LGU. Initial assistance were provided which includes enrolling children to school by the towns were they seek refuge.