NHTS Survey sa DSWD miresulta sa bag-ong Listahanan sa mga posibleng 4Ps beneficiaries

Kinse (15) ka mga Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries dinhi sa dakbayan sa Baybay ang mi-graduate na sa programa tungod kay arang-arang na ang kahimtang sa ilang pamilya ug makabarog na sila sa ilang kaugalingon.

Niining maong gidaghanon, tulo (3) ang taga-Barangay Ampihanon, duha (2) ang taga-Barangay Mapgap, ug usa (1) ang taga-Barangay Patag, Barangay Biasong, Barangay Kilim, Barangay Poblacion Zone 21, Barangay Ambacan, Barangay Balao, Barangay Hilapnitan, Barangay Makinhas ug Barangay Mapgap.

Mao kini ang gibutyag ni City Link Virginia Pacurib sa Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 8 sa tulumanon “Nasayod ka ba, Bai?”  Programa kini sa Lokal nga Kagamhanan sa dakbayan sa Baybay nga mabati matag adlaw’ng Martes, Huwebes ug Sabado sa alas onse sa buntag hangtud sa alas dose sa udto.

Matud pa ni Pacurib nga regular ang ilang gipahigayon nga monitoring sa mga 4Ps beneficiaries aron pagseguro nga nagsunod sila sa mga kondisyon nga ilang gilagdaan isip 4Ps beneficiaries. Gilangkoban kini sa pagseguro nga nag-iskuwela ang ilang anak, nga gipatambalan kini kon masakit, nga gi-atiman ang ilang pagkaon ug nga dili gamiton sa bisyo ang kuwarta nga ilang gidawat gikan sa gobyerno sama sa pagsugal ug pag-inom og ilimnong makahubog, ug uban pa.

Gibutyag ni Pacurib nga segun sa ilang gihimo nga monitoring and evaluation sa nahisgotang kinse (15) ka mga 4Ps beneficiaries, may kaugalingon na sila nga negosyo o may trabaho na hinungdan nga kaya na nilang ihatag ang panginahanglanon sa ilang pamilya bisan kon wala sa sila niining maong programa sa gobyerno. Nunot niini, dako ang ilang pasalamat sa gihatag nga tabang sa gobyenro sa ilang pamilya sulod sa pipila ka mga katuigan.

Ayangang masayran nga aduna pay 4,515 ka mga 4Ps beneficiaries dinhi sa dakbayan sa Baybay apan 497 kanila ang gikatahong candidate for exit na. Kini tungod kay segun sa gihimo nga National Housing Tageting System (NHTS) Survey sa mga kawani sa DSWD Central Office, nahilakip na sila sa Non-poor Category.

Matud pa ni Pacurib nga ang resulta sa gihimo nga NHTS Survey sa mga tinugyanan sa DSWD Central Office ang ilang basehan sa paghimo sa NHTS Listahanan.  Kini nagpasabot nga dili mahimong mag-apply ang usa ka tawo aron mahimong 4Ps tungod kay base sa resulta sa ilang gihimo nga survey, mohatag sila og potential list of additional 4Ps beneficiaries sa matag lugar.

Angayang masayran nga adunay gihatag nga potential list of 4Ps beneficiaries nga 1,175 ang DSWD Central Office alang sa dakbayan sa Baybay ug nga ipahigayon karong buwana ang ilang registration and evaluation of documents.  (Marissa M. Cano, City Information Officer, Baybay City, Leyte)

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Katawhan gi-awhag sa pagseguro nga walay napundo nga tubig nga kaitlogan sa lamok sa ilang palibot

“Kon walay kitikiti, walay lamok ug kon walay lamok, walay dengue.” Mao kini ang kanunay nga pahinumdom nga giluwatan ni City Health Officer Dr. Norberto P. Oja sa City Health Office ‘ning dakbayan.

Nunot niini, walay puas ang pagpahinumdom sa mga kawani sa CHO ‘ning dakbayan sa mga molupyo ‘ning dakbayan nga sundon sa kanunay ang 4S in Dengue Prevention and Control aron kalikayan ang dengue. Gilangkoban kini sa Search and destroy mosquito breeding sites, Self-protection measures, Say no to indiscriminate fogging, ug Seek early consultation.

Kahibalo-an nga giluwatan sa Department of Health Eastern Visayas Center for Health and Development (DOH-EVCHD) ang Health Advisory No. 2023-002 (January 30, 2023) nga nagpahimangno sa malahutayon nga kampanya batok sa dengue gumikan sa padayon nga pagsaka sa mga kaso sa dengue dinhi sa Sidlakang Kabisay-an.

Angayang masayran na pinasikad sa 2022 Annual Surveillance Report sa Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) Eastern Visayas, mikabat sa 6,794 ang natala nga mga kaso sa dengue sa miaging tuig diin 20 ang gikatahong namatay. Segun pa sa maong report, mas taas kini og bali’g 77% kon itandi sa natala nga mga kaso sa dengue dinhi sa Rehiyon Otso sa tuig 2021 diin walay gikataho nga namatay.

Samtang, giluwatan sa DOH-EVCHD ang naghisgotang Health Advisory tungod kay atol sa 3rd morbidity week sa bulan sa Enero ‘ning tuiga, 210 na ka mga kaso sa dengue ang natala sa RESU Region 8 diin 190 o 90% sa mga pasyente ang na-ospital ug nga gikan sa lalawigan sa Leyte ang labing daghan nga mga kaso (84).

Segun sa maong Health Advisory, posibleng mosaka pa ang mga kaso sa dengue dinhi sa Rehiyon Otso sa unang tulo (3) ka bulan ‘ning tuiga gumikan sa padayon nga pag-ulan nga dala sa Hanging Amihan (Northeast Monsoon).  Busa, ilang gi-awhag ang mga katawhan, lakip na ang mga Lokal nga Kagamhanan, nga sundon gayud sa kanunay ang 4S in Dengue Prevention and Control.

Nunot niining maong kalambo-an, subling gipahinumdoman ni Baybay City Mayor Hon. Jose Carlos L. Cari ang mga Punong Barangay nga palihokon ang ilang mga Barangay Dengue Brigade aron kalikayan ang pagsaka sa kaso sa dengue dinhi sa dakbayan sa Baybay.

Angayang masayran nga segun pa ni CHO Surveillance In-Charge Nurse Kristine Shayne Abarquez Casto mikabat sa 573 ka mga kaso sa dengue ang nataa sa ilang buhatan sa miaging tuig (2022).

Samtang, labing daghan nga mga kaso sa dengue ang natala niining mosunod nga barangay: Gabas (44), Pangasugan (37), Poblacion Zone 23 (33), Poblacion Zone 1 (29), Candadam (25), Guadalupe (24), San Agustin (18), Marcos (17), Hibunawan (15), Hipusngo (13), Kilim (13), Pomponan (13), ug Sta. Cruz (13).

Segun pa sa 2022 Report on Dengue Cases nga gihimo ni Ms. Castos, upat (4) ka bulan ang pinakabata nga nasakit sa dengue sa miaging tuig dinhi sa dakbayan sa Baybay ug 88 anyos usab ang pinakatigulang. Samtang, 4-21 anyos ang kasagarang nasakit sa dengue dinhi sa dakbayan sa Baybay (20-29 cases).  (Marissa M. Cano, City Information Officer, Baybay City, Leyte)

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The only 7 GAP-certified farms in Region 8 are in the City of Baybay

Seven (7) farms in the City of Baybay received Philippine Good Agricultural Practices (PhilGAP) from the Bureau of Plant Industry Department of Agriculture (BPI-DA) in 2022 and these are only GAP certified farms in Region 8. This was revealed by the Vegetable Production Coordinator of the City Agriculture Office (CAO), Ms. Jane Llanera.

These include the Mazo’s Farm in Barangay Hibunawan owned and Managed by Mr. Romeo Mazo, Uy Integrated Farm in Barangay Imelda owned and managed by Mr. Marlon Uy, Lampag Farm in Barangay Gabas owned and managed by William Albero, Rebecca Farm in Barangay Gabas owned and managed by Ms. Helen Rebecca, Bucal’s Farm in Barangay San Isidro owned and managed by  Rodelina Bucal, Chandria Integrated Farm in Barangay Gacat owned and managed by Punong Barangay Leonila Cajes, Nayre’s Farm in Barangay Gabas owned and managed by Mr. Jovan Nayre, and Basti’s Farm in Barangay Gabas owned and managed by Mr. Albert Rosillo.

Ms. Llanera revealed that is was the Local Government Unit of Baybay, headed by City Mayor Hon. Jose Carlos L. Cari, who provided all the needed inputs to these farms way back 2020, together with the other farmer cooperators in the city.  These include land preparation using the tractor of the Local Government unit (LGU) for free, seeds, farm tools, fertilizer, warehouse, protective structures, trainings, and technical support from the High Value Commercial Development Program (HVCDP) Staff from the CAO.

During harvest, the HVCDP Staff only get the necessary data such as the volume of harvest per vegetable and where they sell their produce, for record keeping, and all the sales go to the farmer as seed capital for the next cropping. Thus, Mayor Cari was pleased that despite the pandemic the farmers of the city were able to display their produce at the Kadiwa Store located at the Bagsakan Center, New Reclamation Area, across the Baybay City Public Market.

Since then, these farmers are continuously selling their produce at the Bagsakan Center on Wednesday and Saturday, even after the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office VIII transferred the Kadiwa Store to Maasin City, after seeing the increasing number of produce by the farmers in the city.

While during the presentation of the 2022 Accomplishments of the CAO, Ms. Llanera revealed that at the end of 2022, the CAO has 109 farmer cooperators cultivating 228,000 square meters of vegetable farms. Thus, Mayor Cari said that these farms must be sustained, the total land area cultivated for vegetables must be increased, and the Upland Vegetable Production Project in Barangays Monterico and Kabungaan must be expanded to Barangays Amguhan and Ampihanon.

Ms. Llanera also revealed that the Mazo Farm and the Uy Integrated Farm were GAP-Certified in July 2022 while the Lampag Farm, Rebecca Farm, Bucal’s Farm, Chandria Integrated Farm, Nayre’s Farm, and Basti’s Farm were GAP-certified in October 2022. It was Mikko Facturan from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Central Office Regulatory Division who conducted the validation, together with the BPI Region VIII Personnel Randy G. Dante and Marilyn T. Ritaga and the HVCDP Staff of the CAO.

In relation to this, the City of Baybay is thankful to the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Good Agricultural Practices (ACIAR-GAP) Project of the Visayas State University (VSU) which conducted the Training for GAP Certification to the owners of these farms and facilitated the preparation of the documents needed for the GAP certification.

The Good Agricultural Practice Certification Program is being promoted and facilitated by the Regulatory Division of the BPI-DA in order to ensure food safety and assure quality of agricultural products while keeping high regard for environmental protection and that of workers health, safety and welfare.

It could be recalled that the first time that a farm in Region 8 got GAP-certification was in 2015 but according to the ACIAR-GAP Project Science Research Assistant Ana Leah Layola the said farm failed to sustain its GAP certification. (Marissa M. Cano, City Information Officer, Baybay City, Leyte)

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Rootcrop Farmers Organization reveals strategy to ensure market of their produce

The Baybay City Rootcrops Farmers Association agreed to contribute five hundred pesos (P500.00) each which will be used as capital in buying the produce of their members effective 2023. This was revealed by Rootcrops Production Coordinator Ms. Emylou Bengalan of the City Agriculture Office (CAO) to facilitate the immediate payment of the  farmers’ produce.

According to Bengalan, the organization has 56 members from Barangays San Juan, Maslug, Butigan, Ambacan, Bubon, Gacat, Sta. Cruz, Caridad, Hipusngo, and Guadalupe who are working on the total land area of 19 hectares but their actual production area ranges from 500 square meters to 1 1/2 hectares.

She added that the average production per hectare is 16.65 tons and that around 20% of their tubers are sold at the barangay, around 60% either at the organization’s stall or at Bagsakan Center (on Wednesdays and Saturdas), and the remaining 20% are sold at the Rootcrops Processing Center located at Barangay Cogon, Baybay City, Leyte.

At the Rootcrops Processing Center, tubers are processed into chips and rootcrops-blended ice cream. Just recently, the Baybay Delights Sweet Potato Baby Food and Milk Drink were launched in Barangay Caridad. According to the City Nutrition Action Officer Nurse Kristine Shayne Abarquez Castos, the said barangay needs the most assistance due to the number of under nourished children and pregnant women in their locality. These products are currently sold at the Pasalubong Center which is located near the processing center.

Ms. Bengalan added that the Baybay City Rootcrops Farmers Association, headed by its President Mr. Vicencio Vallente, meets every first Thursday of the month at the Rootcrops Processing Center to discuss matters related to their production and how the organization may help the City of Baybay, specially with regards to the provision of the needed raw materials now that the city have already launched the Baybay Delights Sweet Potato Baby Food and Milk Drink in support to its nutrition program.

On the other hand, Ms. Bengalan revealed that during their latest meeting, the City Agriculture Office (CAO) committed to pick up the tubers from their respective barangays, according the agreed schedule and volume of available tubers. This is to help the farmers bring their produce to the the Baybay City Rootcrops Processing Center. (Marissa M. Cano, City Information Officer, Baybay City, Leyte)

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SAG extractors needs to be provided with alternative livelihood

Currently, there are nineteen (19) sand and gravel extractors in Barangay Cogon, Baybay City, Leyte.  This was revealed by the Punong Barangay of Barangay Cogon, Hon. Teresita Saguinsin Pialago, during the meeting called by Committee on Environment, Natural Resources & Conservation and the Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) of the City of Baybay to discuss about the sand and gravel extraction at the Pagbanganan River.

She added that SAG extraction is their main source of income of the residents in Barangay Cogon and if the law against sand and gravel extraction will be strictly implemented, they need to have an alternative livelihood.

Punong Barangay Pialago revealed that way back 2016 the SAG extractors of Barangay Cogon and Zone 1 were organized by the city’s Civil Society Organization (CSO) Desk Marissa M. Cano to qualify for the Sustainable Livelihood Project (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under the Bottom’s up Budget (BUB) Program of the national government.

The CSO Desk even met the SAG extractors in Zone 1 in the evening just to encourage them to participate but most of them decided not to join the organization. Thus, the CSO Desk opened the membership to interested residents of Barangay Cogon which is now the Association of the Women and Men of Barangay Cogon for Sustainable Livelihood.

The organization availed of a HALF MILLION worth of SLP from DSWD where ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) was released to each of the 50 members of the organization, which they must pay back to the organization in one (1) year, without interest.  Sad to know, many of the SAG extractor members of the organization have not fully paid the amount to the organization until now.

The Association of the Women and Men of Barangay Cogon for Sustainable Livelihood is now lending the amount that they have collected to members and non-members in the barangay and this helped the residents a lot, especially during the time of the pandemic. The SAG extractors, on the other hand, continued to extract sand and gravel along the Pagbanganan River despite the constant reminder for them to stop from the Local Government Unit of Baybay and Punong Barangay Pialago.

After Typhoon Agaton, the Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau Regional Office 8 (MGB Region 8) personnel inspected the bridges in the city and caught them in the act extracting sand and gravel. Hon. Pialago said that the MGB geologists reminded them that what they are doing is illegal and must be stopped immediately. But this reminder seemed to fall on deaf ears until Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) Member, Hon. Carmen L. Cari herself was able to take a picture of the sacks of sand and gravel piled near the Duncaan Bridge. Thus, the call for the said meeting.

While in an interview with Forester John Jochiel M. Artajo, Law Enforcement In-Charge of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (City ENRO), he said that they may be getting only few sand and gravel compared to those with quarrying permits but theirs a continuous extraction thus may have extracted even more SAG than them.

In a meeting with the SAG extractors, Forester Artajo revealed that they even said that they are helping the government so that the water on the Pagbanganan River will not overflow, as what they are doing is like dredging the river, but Forester Artajo explained that there are proper authorities who are mandated to dredge the river.

During the meeting of the Association of the Women and Men of Barangay Cogon for Sustainable Livelihood  on January 22, 2023, Punong Barangay Pialago said that she submitted the names of the SAG extractors to the presiding officer, Vice Mayor Atty. Ernesto Butawan, for appropriate action.

The said meeting was attended by Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) Members Hon. Filemon Avila, Hon. Jorge Rebucas, Hon. Carmen Cari, Hon. Romulo Alcala, Hon. Dr. Fulton Ike Arradaza, Hon. Dominic Junie Murillo, Liga ng mga Barangay President Hon. Philip Siu, Barangay Cogon Punong Barangay Hon. Teresita Pialago, Zone 1 Punong Barangay Mario Cellona, Anna Judessa Alfante and Junsith Sabelino from the 5th Leyte Engineering District-Department of Public Works and Highways (5th LED-DPWH), and For. Emmanuel Tan and For. Joan Joyce Canoy of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Community Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-CENRO).  (Marissa M. Cano, City Information Officer, Baybay City, Leyte)

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City Agriculturist explains why farmers must insure their crops with PCIC

Sixty-three (63) farmers of the City of Baybay received indemnity checks from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) just lately. 2023).

These include farmers from Barangays Plaridel (3), Gabas (8), Marcos (5), Gaas (10), Kan-ipa (7), Kilim (7), Maganhan (1), Gacat (1), Sta. Cruz (7), Patag (3), Maybog (2), Caridad (1), Hilapnitan (1), Kansungka (2), Balao (1), Kabungaan (1), Butigan (2) and Kabalasan (1).

According to City Agriculturist Ms. Mora Capangpangan Abarquez, sixty-two (62) of them are rice farmers and only one (1) is a corn farmer. “They had their farms insured with the PCIC and when their farms were damaged by Typhoon Odette and Typhoon Agaton, they immediately reported the incident to the PCIC and the latter conducted validation of their farms thus they were given indemnity checks,“ explained Abarquez.

Ms. Abarquez added that indemnification is an agreement where your insurer helps cover loss, damage or liability incurred from a covered event. Indemnity is another way of saying your insurer pays for a loss, so you don’t have financial damages.

She added that, “The PCIC’s principal mandate is to provide insurance protection to farmers against losses arising from natural calamities, plant diseases, and pest infestations of their palay and corn crops as well as other crops.” Thus, she said that there is no reason why farmers would not insure their farms with PCIC because registration is free.

Ms. Abarquez also said that forms are available at the City Agriculture Office, Second Floor, New Baybay City Hall for those who are willing to have their crops and animals insured with PCIC.

It could be recalled that swine producers who had their pigs insured with PCIC also received indemnity checks because of the damages caused by African Swine Fever (ASF).

Crop insurance is a means of protecting the crops and animals against financial losses due to uncertainties that may arise from crop failures/losses arising from unforeseen threats and hazards that are beyond the control of the farmers.

Thus, according to Ms. Abarquez, “Risks in agriculture such as weather, biological, labor, and health are easily insurable. And because farmers face a lot of these risks, they may reduce the risk by insuring their crops and animals with the PCIC.” (Marissa M. Cano, City Information Officer, Baybay City, Leyte)

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Construction of transitional houses by the IOM continues

City Social Welfare and Development Officer Dr. Manuel Icon P. Donaire, Mr. Bezaleel A. Sombilon, and Mr. Jesse dela Cruz of the City Social Welfare and Development Office(CSWDO) of Baybay City and Engr. Christine F. Armenta, Field Assistant Engineer of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) conducted site visitation in Barangay Maganhan and Barangay Kambonggan on January 17, 2023.

This is to check the status of the construction of the IOM’s transitional shelters in the different barangays of the City of Baybay.

In an interview with CSWD Officer Donaire, it is revealed that 156 households from Barangay Kantagnos were rendered homeless by TS Agaton. The first 40 houses funded by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), which were completed by the joint efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Fire Protection, and the Philippine National Police in Barangay Maganhan, have been turned over to the first 40 households on July 15, 2022.

He added that the construction of the second batch of 32 houses, also funded by the OCD, is still on-going also in Barangay Maganhan. While the IOM has already completed 56 transitional shelters (Maganhan = 56, Bubon = 2, Gaas = 1, Sitio Sto. Niño, Zone 1 = 2, & Kan-ipa = 5) for the survivors of Barangay Kantagnos, eight (8) are still on-going and 3 have not yet started, also in Barangay Maganhan. “The remaining 17 households either did not pass the validation of the IOM because they either lived outside of the Evacuation Center or has the capacity to construct their own house,” explained Donaire.

The residents of Barangay Mailhi (268 households) were also displaced by TS Agaton after the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Region 8 declared the barangay as unsafe for habitation.  Thus, the Local Government Unit of Baybay constructed 40 permanent housing for the survivors in Barangay Higulo-an, while the IOM is currently constructing 155 transitional houses in Barangay Kambonggan for the residents of Barangay Mailhi.  The rest of the households (74) either lived outside of the Evacuation Center or has the capacity to construct their own house thus were not included in the beneficiaries of the transitional shelters being constructed by the IOM.

It could be recalled that the IOM also constructed 14 transitional shelters in Barangay Bunga and 29 in Barangay Maypatag and these shelters have already been turned over to the identified and qualified beneficiaries. Sixty-four transitional shelters in Barangay Villa Mag-aso have also been occupied by the TS Agaton survivors, while 30 units are still being constructed in the said barangay.

CSWD Officer Donaire lauded the IOM for their commitment to do the task on time, to the extent of not celebrating the Yuletide Season. The LGU of Baybay continuously renders support and assistance to these endeavors of OCD and IOM by providing whatever is needed, especially the purchase of lots where the shelters are constructed. “Baybayanons are truly indebted to the IOM for their unwavering support to the victims of Typhoon Agaton.” (Marissa M. Cano, City Information Officer, Baybay City, Leyte)

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Construction of the PLFU Building starts this year

“The City Government has always been in support towards the objective of providing peace and order to our people and to the city and our partnership with the Philippine National Police (PNP) is a solid manifestation towards that end,” says Baybay City Mayor Hon. Jose Carlos L. Cari during the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) and the Leyte Provincial Forensic Unit (LPFU) Buildings on June 24, 2022.

During the said activity, Mayor Cari revealed that the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Baybay had just inaugurated and turned-over the management of the PNP Sub-station in the Poblacion to the Baybay City Police Station, headed by PLTCOL JOEMEN P COLLADO. He added that another PNP Sub-station located at the Visayas State University (VSU) will soon be completed and turned over also to the PNP.

Mayor Cari also said that, “The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP), headed by Vice Mayor Atty. Ernesto M. Butawan, had already allocated funds for the construction of the HPG and the LPFU Buildings and I was also authorized by the SP to sign a Deed of Conveyance or usufruct of the land to the PNP where these buildings will be constructed.”

It could also be recalled that while waiting for the PLFU Building to be constructed, they were allowed to utilize one (1) of the buildings at the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) Complex as their temporary office starting July 1, 2022. To this, the Provincial Director of the Leyte Provincial Forensic Unit (LPFU) PMAJ DANTE N. JAVINAS JR. thanked the Baybay City LGU.

PMAJ JAVINAS also thanked Mayor Cari for the continuous support to the LPFU and because according to City Planning and Development Coordinator Engr. Patrick Postrero the construction of the PLFU Building will commence this year (2023).

However, PMAJ JAVINAS revealed that their manpower is currently depleted thus he humbly requested for the Mayor’s help so that even two (2) of the Detached Service (DS) Personnel from the Baybay City Police Station, who had been trained in forensic crime scene response, could be assigned back to the PLFU.

It could be recalled that during the shooting incident at Poblacion Zone 8 on December 18, 2022, only two (2) PLFU Personnel had responded and were augmented by the PNP personnel from the Baybay City Police Station and the City Traffic Management and Terminal Office (CTMTO) Personnel to preserve the crime scene. (Marissa M. Cano, City Information Officer, Baybay City, Leyte)

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First in Region 8: Baybay Delights’ SP Baby Food and Milk Drink

Baybay City Mayor Hon. Jose Carlos L. Cari encouraged the farmers to plant sweet potato as an alternative crop when the price of copra was very low way back 2019.  He said that a farmer will earn more from growing sweet potato compared to coconut farming or rice farming. “If a farmer has 100 square meter land planted with sweet potato, he will harvest 350 kilos of sweet potato tubers which the City of Baybay will buy at P25.00per kilo, regardless of the sizeof the tubers, and he will have a total sale of P8,750,” explained Mayor Cari.

Then, the Rootcrops Processing Center was established at Barangay Cogon of this city to serve as a readily available market for the produce of the sweet potato farmers in the city. The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) also gave the City of Baybay an Ice Cream Maker machine thus,  sweet potato-based ice cream are now sold at the Pasalubong Center.  They also produce sweet potato chips that are displayed at the Pasalubong Center and the VIP Lounge located inside the Baybay City Gym.

But since, despite the improved nutritional status of the children in the city, it cannot be denied that there are still a number of malnourished children in the city, Mayor Cari challenged the City Nutrition Action Officer Kristine Shayne Abarquez Castos and Rootcrops Processing Center Manager Dhebie M. Relente to make a baby food and a milk drink for lactating mothers using sweet potato and carabao’s milk as the main ingredients. “Our agricultural programs must be connected to our nutrition program to encourage our farmers to produce more,” added Mayor Cari.

Both took the challenge and on July 6, 2022, they facilitated the Sensory Testing of the baby food and the milk drink, during the launching of the Nutrition Month Celebration, and got positive response from the children who were fed with the sweet potato-based baby food, and positive comments from the lactating mothers who participated the Sensory Testing activity which was held at the Baybay City Gym.

Mayor Cari was pleased with the result of the Sensory Testing, of both the baby food and the milk drink, and ordered that these products will be used in the feeding program of the City stating 2023. In an interview with Mr. Relente she revealed that they are still processing the Rootcrops Processing Center’s Permit to Operate with the  Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but the Baybay Delights’ Sweet Potato Baby Food and Milk Drink was launched today (January 18, 2023) at Barangay Caridad of this city. Ms. Castos revealed that Barangay Caridad was chosen as the pilot barangay for this project because they have the most number of pregnant women.

This launching was attended by City Mayor Hon. Jose Carlos L. Cari, Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) Member Chair of the Committee on Health Dr. Fulton Ike Arradaza and SP Committee Chair on Agriculture Hon. Dr. Jose Bacusmo, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Leyte Provincial Director Dr. John Glenn D. Ocaña, National Nutrition Commission (NNC) VIII Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Dr. Catalino P. Dotollo Jr., SP Members Hon. Ramon Ronald Veloso and Hon. Dominic Junie Murillo, the members of the City Nutrition Committee, and the Barangay Cardidad Council headed by Hon. Teresita C. Casoy.

During the said activity, Ms. Castos presented the Nutritional Status of the City of Baybay in the last five (5) thus the City of Baybay was awarded the 2021 Green Banner Seal of Compliance during the 2022 Regional Nutrition Awarding Ceremony dubbed as “Gawad Nutrisyon” held at the Oriental, Leyte on December 28, 2022.  But Mayor Cari said, “We can do more. The SP had provided funds to sustain this program thus and we will be expecting for results, specifically its impact to the nutritional status of the children and the nutritionally at risk pregnant women.”

During the said activity, Visayas State University’s Retired Professor Dr. Julie Diamante Tan discussed about the health benefits of rootcrops as superfood.  She said that sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, high in antioxidants that protect the body from free radical damage and chronic disease, contain fiber and antioxidants, and are rich in beta carotene and anthocyanins, antioxidants that may help prevent vision loss and improve eye health. Thus, this will definitely boost the city’s nutrition program.

DOST Leyte Provincial Director Ocaña said that they are excited about this another very laudable project of the City of Baybay to eradicate malnutrition using a very cheap product (sweet potato) which is now introduced as a superfood.  Thus, he said that the DOST will provide the necessary technical assistance in the packaging and to extend the lifespan of the product so that mothers may keep them, even without refrigeration, and so that other Local Government Units (LGUs) may avail of this health service of the City of Baybay in the future.

NNC VIII Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Dr. Dotollo, on the other hand, extend his congratulations to the Baybay City LGU for garnering the Most Innovative Award by producing “Idol Ko Si Nanay” lectures in video, which facilitated the conduct of the Mother’s Class despite the pandemic. Encouraged also by the thoughts of Mayor Cari, Dr. Dotollo revealed that the NNC, through the Regional Nutrition Council, passed resolution No. 3, Series 2022 to use sweet potato as an alternative food for rice in Region 8. (Marissa M. Cano, City Information Officer, Baybay City, Leyte)

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Construction of additional housing units for TS Agaton Survivors from Barangay Mailhi

“There is a need for back-filing and additional personnel to fast track the construction of the temporary shelters for 155 survivor families of Barangay Mailhi.”  This was revealed by the National Coordination and Camp Manager (CCCM) Officer of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Ms. Maria Perpetua Bulawan, during her visit to the New Baybay City Hall to update Baybay City Mayor Hon. Jose Carlos L. Cari on the status of the project.

It could be recalled that 254 families in Barangay Mailhi were displaced by Typhoon Agaton after the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Geologists declared Barangay Mailhi as unsafe for habitation.  The City of Baybay, thru Mayor Cari and the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) headed by Vice Mayor Atty. Ernesto M. Butawan, approved TWENTY THREE MILLION PESOS (P23M) to construct 40 units of permanent housing for the said families. And because of the high cost of each housing unit, the Baybay City LGU, thru the leadership of Mayor Cari, is currently looking for funds or possible donors, for the construction of the additional permanent housing units.

This is where the International Organization for Migration (IOM) came into the picture.  They are now constructing 155 transitional shelter units for the TS Agaton survivors of Barangay Mailhi at Barangay Kambonggan of this city and according to Ms. Bulawan, they can fast track its construction given additional manpower. City Social Welfare and Development Officer Dr. Manuel Icon Donaire also revealed that there is a need for the back-filling of the said area.

CSWDO Donaire also explained that the IOM is only constructing 155 temporary shelters because the remaining 59 surviving families of Barangay Mailhi are now living outside of the Evacuation Center. He added that the City of Baybay leased the land where the said temporary shelters are being constructed, for two (2) years, with the hope that by that time, all the permanent housing units in Barangay Higulo-an will already be completed.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is part of the United Nations System as the leading inter-governmental organization promoting since 1951 humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all, with 174 member states and a presence in over 100 countries. IOM has a presence in the Philippines since 1975. Here in the City of Baybay, aside from the construction of transitional shelters, the IOM also implemented Cash-for-Work which benefited the survivors of TS Agaton. (Marissa M. Cano, City Information Officer, Baybay City, Leyte)

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