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Cagayan de Oro City News

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Cagayan de Oro - Archived News

Cagayan de oro city river.jpg
Aerial View of Cagayan de Oro City

Contents

Permit Monitoring

By Camcer Ordoñez Imam


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Joint Inspection Team (JIT) of this city will start monitoring the compliance of business permits and licensing requirements on April 22. The inspections will be conducted Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting with newly-registered businesses operating in the city’s urban villages. The JIT was created by City Mayor Oscar Moreno, in compliance with Joint Memorandum Circular No. 01, Series of 2010, issued by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Trade and Industry. “This is nothing new,” the mayor said, adding that the joint circular provides guidelines in the implementation of standards in processing business permits and licenses in all cities and municipalities. (Camcer Ordoñez Imam)






DTI-MisOr launches four shared service facility projects

By SHARMAINE CARIÑO


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, April 19 (PIA) -- Four Shared Service Facility (SSF) projects of the Department of Trade and Industry - Misamis Oriental (DTI-MOR) were launched recently to give Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) here and in the province access to better technology and more sophisticated equipment.

Through a signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), projects were granted to Talisay Romblon Products Producers Association on Technology Upgrading for Misamis Oriental Banig Weavers; Sannicolandia Weavers Association on Acquisition of Equipment for Bayong and Banig Production; Kimaya People’s Multi Purpose Cooperative (KIPEMCO) on SSF on Bottled Spanish Sardines, Differently-abled Women Network (DAWN) with Tailoring Livelihood Project for Women with Disabilities.

SSF is a livelihood assistance program that intends to give Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) access to better technology and more sophisticated equipment for marketable production and competitiveness acceleration.

“The SSF project is envisioned to assist most of the 81, 221 SMEs with high potential to expand and it will generate an additional 200,000 jobs in various locations of the country,” said Ma. Eliza A. Pabillore, Provincial Director of DTI-MOR.

The project was implemented with the cooperation of government line agencies, the academe, the local government units and private organizations. (SIC/PIA10)

Lawmakers seek regulation of gun replicas

By Dennis Carcamo


MANILA, Philippines - Two Mindanao-based legislators have filed a bill in Congress, seeking to regulate the importation, manufacture, sale, use and transport of airsoft rifles and pistols for public security and safety.

Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, principal of House Bill 3805 or the "Airsoft Imitation Firearm Law," said Letter of Instruction 1264 signed by former President Ferdinand Marcos in 1982 bans the import, sale and public display of gun replicas.

However, he said purchase of airsoft guns and the movements of airsoft players are largely untouched by the government, with only a few confiscated shipments marring that record.

"No direct regulations have been placed on the airsoft community and players of all ages and background are welcomed to play," Rodriguez said.

He said his proposal provides that it is the declared State policy to protect the public from harm due to the unregulated manufacture, sale, use and transport of any toy look-alike or imitation firearm.

Last March, Philippine National Police chief, Director General Alan Purisima said under Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act, toy guns and replica firearms are subject for confiscation by authorities.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 His warning came amid complaints that toy guns and replica firearms are sometimes being used by criminals, especially armed robbers, on their victims.

Purisima warned criminals and other persons who will use imitation firearms in committing crimes that they may be imprisoned for violation of RA 10591.

The PNP-Firearms and Explosives Office meanwhile stressed that even a homemade revolver called the "paltik" can be considered an imitation firearm along with toy guns and airsoft guns, hence they are covered by the rules on intellectual property rights.

Rodriguez said organized airsoft started in the country in 1985, and interest in the hobby had gone up and down several times over the past 20 years.

"The airsoft gaming community initially conducted their games in secrecy, but in recent years has reached the mainstream due to the tremendous surge of newbies, owing to the advent of cheap China-made airsoft guns," said Rodriguez.

House Bill 3805, co-authored by Abante Mindanao partylist Rep. Maximo Rodriguez, provides that an airsoft rifle or pistol includes battery operated, spring and gas type powered rifle or pistol which discharge plastic pellets only as bullets or ammunition.

It differs from replica as the latter does not fire plastic pellet with very low projectile velocity.

The bill also provides that an airsoft rifle or pistol, a special type of air gun, shall be used in sporting activities such as war games stimulation only.

All airsoft rifles or pistols shall not exceed 550 feet per second velocity using .20-gram pellets. An airsoft rifle or pistol exceeding the said limit shall not be eligible for registration.

It also provides that all natural and juridical persons who intend to manufacture, import or sell airsoft rifles or pistols shall apply for permit from the Department of Trade and Industry and shall be registered with the PNP.

There shall be a distinctive marking for airsoft rifle or pistol as an integral part, a permanently affixed blaze orange or red pulp in its barrel. Such mark shall be at the tip of the muzzle not less than 6.35 centimeters in length.

Upon the one-time registration with the PNP for those airsoft rifles or pistols with no serial numbers, a barcode sticker bearing a permanently assigned unique serial number shall be affixed on a conspicuous part of the airsoft rifles or pistols.

The barcode sticker shall remain valid for the lifetime of the gun. Those airsoft rifles or pistols with existing serial numbers shall be registered using their individually affixed serial numbers. Airsoft riles or pistols shall be painted with bright red or orange color on their tip, the bill provides.

Any person registering an airsoft rifle or pistol must not be below 18 years old and must be a bonafide member of a duly accredited airsoft club. Airsoft teams or clubs shall seek accreditation with the PNP.

Each airsoft club shall have a minimum of 10 registered owners of airsoft rifle or pistol, who shall be local residents, and shall abide by the Code of Conduct, Safety and Rules of Engagement for Games which shall be formulated by a National Airsoft Association for airsoft players and shall be applicable and binding upon all, during games.

Prior to the use of a particular area as airsoft game site, the operator or duly authorized person in charge of the proposed airsoft game site shall inform in writing the Chief of Police who has jurisdiction over the said area for the conduct of any game, simulation, shooting competition or exhibition of airsoft rifles or pistols. When located in populated areas the game site must be enclosed and secure from public view. Furthermore, no person below 18 years old shall be allowed inside the game site.

The bill also requires authorized dealers of airsoft rifles or pistols to secure the necessary permits prior to the conduct of a show or exhibition.

The DTI in coordination with the PNP and other concerned government agencies shall promulgate the necessary implementing rules and regulations within 90 days after the enactment of the proposed Act.

Any person or entity found to have violated provisions of the proposed Act shall be liable to a fine of not less than P100,000 or an imprisonment of not less than six months, or both at the discretion of the court, the bill provides.






City jail violates BJMP memo

By Jigger J. Jerusalem


A GOVERNMENT agency that was denied entry inside the jail in Cagayan de Oro City to verify the incident of a hunger strike staged by the inmates, accused the jail warden for defying a memorandum which allows the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to get access to the prisoners.

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro obtained a copy of the memo, dated September 16, 2009, addressed to all Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) regional directors and was signed by Rosendo Dial, then BJMP chief, who guaranteed that CHR personnel should have access to the prison complex.

“… the Commission on Human Rights has visitorial powers over jails, prisons, or detention facilities and their personnel, therefore, are authorized to visit our jails to look into the human rights conditions of our inmates and should not be barred from visiting our jails and interviewing inmates upon presentation of proper identification papers and a valid Mission Order from their superior,” the memo reads.

“Clearance from this Office or from the Regional Director of the Jail Provincial is not a requirement for allowing them to visit and they should be given immediate access inside our facilities subject to the usual security procedures during their visits,” it added.

The memo furthered that “barring the CHR staff from visiting our facilities is unconstitutional and could subject our personnel to administrative and/or possible criminal actions.”

More than a hundred of inmates of the Cagayan de Oro City jail staged a hunger strike Monday morning to demand response from city jail officials on their concerns. Read the related story here.

Victorio Aleria Jr., CHR-Northern Mindanao supervising investigator, said that when he and a co-worker visited the city jail at Barangay Lumbia on Monday, they were not permitted to enter the area where the members of the BM 29 group are confined.

In a previous interview, Jail Superintendent Erwin Kenny Ronquillo, city jail warden, said Alleria and his companion were not allowed access to the BM 29 block due to security reasons, owing to the brewing tension on Monday when the inmates held a hunger strike to air their demands.

Aleria said CHR should have been allowed to enter the prison complex where the BM 29 gang members are living so that they could see firsthand the real situation inside the facility.

Before they could make a followup visit to the city jail, Aleria said they received information that nine of the BM 29 leaders were transferred to the Gingoog city jail Monday night.

In a text message sent to Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Wednesday afternoon, Ronquillo has confirmed the transfer of the BM 29 leaders.

Ronquillo said the BM 29 group was complaining about the food, water and visitation privileges.

Except for the visitation arrangements where the BM 29 inmates demanded that their children could enter their section, Ronquillo said the prisoners’ issues were properly addressed.

Aleria said the warden could have ordered escorts for the CHR officials so they could interview the members of the BM 29 and discuss their grievances without danger of harm or violence from the inmates.

He said it was the BM 29 members who informed the CHR through text messages of their complaints.

This was also confirmed when the jail guards confiscated cellphone units from the BM 29 inmates.

Aleria said how a cellphone could be obtained by a prisoner was through a visitor, a jail keeper or a trustee, an inmate who’s given permission to go in and out of the prison compound.

He added there was really nothing to fear if the jail guards have conducted regular inspections then all forms of weapons would have been confiscated from the inmates.

The recent situation at the city jail paled in comparison in the past few years where violence inside the prison was rampant and where an inmate was even killed and buried inside the jail complex, Aleria said.

When asked if he would lodge a complaint before the BJMP regional office in Northern Mindanao against Ronquillo for disallowing them entry to the BM 29 compound, Aleria in a text message Wednesday said, “We are still looking at the implications and weighing things down.”

Aleria said there is really no need to inform or remind Ronquillo of the BJMP memo since jail keepers are expected to know about it.







CAAP corrects safety issues, gets upgrade from FAA

By Jasper Marie Oblina-Rucat


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, April 16 (PIA) – The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has taken a notch higher after receiving a Category 1 status of civil aviation safety by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Laguindingan Airport Area Manager, Jose Budiongan said in a phone interview that “Category 1 means that we are no longer restricted and additional routes to the United States are granted. When we were in Category 2, we were restricted because we had a lot of safety issues and concerns.”

He said that with Category 1 status, we are elevated and at par with developed countries in terms of compliance to the standard set by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

He added that this level up status is a result of collective efforts of the entire CAAP team in the country.

Meanwhile, Department of Tourism Region 10 Director Catalino Chan III said that this upgraded status gives the country a good chance of getting more tourists from American communities. He said that America is the second largest country including balikbayans who come to the Philippines.

He added that DOT may have to come up with more marketing directions like take home a friend, wherein when balikbayans can also invite a friend to come, when they plan to come home. This will benefit not only the Philippine Airlines, but also other airline companies since we are upgraded to be safe.

He said this could potentially surpass the requirement of the percentage increase for tourists who come to the Philippines and even Cagayan de Oro.

After seven years, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has finally upgraded the country’s civil aviation status from Category 2 to Category 1, enabling Philippine air carriers to open new direct flights to the US.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) of the UN officially lifted the significant safety concerns it had earlier cited as requiring urgent solutions from the government. The ICAO cited the Philippines’ “active commitment” and “positive response” in international efforts to upgrade standards in aviation safety.

The ICAO sent an audit team to the Philippines last month to conduct a validation mission of the corrective actions undertaken by CAAP that had been identified by the UN specialized agency as necessary in securing the nod of approval of the international aviation community.

Philippine air carriers can now fly to the United States with additional routes to the East Coast. (JMOR/PIA10)







PRO-10 heightens operations against criminalities

By Kierra M. Rubillos


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, April 15 (PIA)—The Police Regional Office (PRO)-10 directed anew all its city and provincial units to do operations against all forms of criminality.

According to Police Chief Superintendent Isagani F. Genabe, Jr., PRO-10 regional director, the movement is part of the thrust of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in serving and protection the society.

Further, he said this is at par with PNP’s strategic focus named Competence Organizational Discipline Excellence Development-Professionalism or “CODE-P: 2013 and Beyond.”

With this, from April 4 to 11, PRO-10 was able to conduct 10 operations on illegal drugs, confiscating 750.37 grams of Methamphetamine hydrochloride with an amount approximating to P5,254,644.00, so with two sticks and one stalk of Marijuana dried leaves.

Four operations on illegal gambling were done which resulted in the arrest of six persons, confiscating items worth P91,594.00.

For carnapping, two operations were conducted, arresting two persons.

Five operations were also conducted with eight persons arrested with loose firearms and five weapons confiscated.

For wanted persons, 27 operations were conducted by virtue of Warrant of Arrest, arresting 25 persons.

Also, PRO-10 honored four officers serving as members of the Regional Chaplain Service 10, initiating the Basic Bible Seminar on workers from Regional Headquarters, Provincial Police Office (PPOs)/City Police Office (CPOs), retirees and civilian parishioners at Saint Ignatius de Loyola Chapel on April 3 this year.

The four officers were: PSupt Joel B Barallas, SPO1 Luvimin A Bangis, PO1 Genis C Novo, and PO1 Jonathan E Adaza. (KMR/PIA)






Hiring of nurses for Dubai, Saudi on-going at DOLE-10 office

By pia.gov.ph


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, April 14 – The Skills International Co. Inc. with POEA License Number 020-LB-013112-R is recruiting 100 to 200 staff nurses, senior nurses and charge nurses for Dubai and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with minimum salary of $2,200 per month.

Applicants should have at least three years minimum experience in tertiary hospitals.

Qualified applicants will be posted at Dubai Health Authority in UAE, King Fahd Armed Forces Hospital and Prince Sultan Military Medical City in Saudi Arabia.

Interested applicants are advised to personally submit, from April 14-16, their application letters resumes at Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Office 10, Monte Carlo Building, Phase 1, RER Drive Subdivision, Kauswagan Highway, this city. (DOLE-10)






Syndicate eyed behind illegal logging in Oro

By Jigger J. Jerusalem


A WELL-ENTRENCHED syndicate may be behind the rampant illegal logging activities in the city’s upland villages, said the head of the City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) in Cagayan de Oro City.

Edwin Dael, Clenro chief, said the logging syndicate involves a financier who bankrolls the operations, an insider at the environment office who can tamper a permit for the transportation of logs, and village residents who are paid a measly amount to do the cutting of trees.

‘Dansolihon-Talakag’ connection

In an intelligence report Dael received, the group behind this is known as the “Dansolihon-Talakag connection” that he suspects to be responsible for threatening him and his fellow Clenro workers for their anti-logging efforts.

“We are slowly piecing together the events so we can get to the bottom of this,” Dael told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro by phone Sunday afternoon.

Dael has a list of the persons behind these illegal logging operations but he could not yet release it to the media pending further investigation and verification.

He is certain that the transporting of illegally cut lumber using a “recycled” permit that can pass through the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) checkpoint in Barangay Lumbia without question is the handiwork of a syndicate.

But to further prove and eventually uncover the activities of this syndicate, Dael said he has to dig deeper and do more investigating.

Dael and city councilor Zaldy Ocon, chairman of the City Council’s environment and natural resources committee, are set to conduct an ocular inspection in the next few days to substantiate the report that cut logs equivalent to 30 truckloads lying by the roadside in Barangay Tignapoloan are ready to be transported.

Dael would present his findings to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Northern Mindanao (DENR-10) regional executive director Ruth Tawantawan, specifically on the allegation that a legitimate permit is being tampered and used again to transport illegally cut logs.

He said he is wondering why the loggers could get away with the transporting of the cut lumber using a tampered permit.

“We will prove that there are permits which are recycled,” he said.

A recycled permit is actually a legal piece of paper issued by the Cenro in Talakag, Bukidnon to people who cut trees in DENR-approved areas under the Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) scheme in Talakag, Dael said.

The permit only becomes illegal when it is used again to transport cut lumber that did not come from Talakag but from Cagayan de Oro.

Dael added that for a fee, a permit could be manipulated to make it look like nothing has been tampered with in the details.

But, he said, the discrepancy shows when the information contained on the permit does not coincide with the actual cargo. Dael said this (discrepancy) is the reason why they had been successful in confiscating illegally transported logs.

Aside from that, Dael will also ask DENR-10 to find out what happened to one of the confiscated two trucks filled with cut lumber that went missing which allegedly came from Pigsag-an.

To his knowledge, Dael said there are no more big trees in Pigsag-an. “Our suspicion is that those logs came from [Barangay] Tumpagon,” he said.

Dael also heard reports that some members of the Indigenous People (IP) communities in the city’s mountain villages are being hired by the syndicate to cut the forest trees.

He said these people are paid for every tree cut to haul them to pick-up areas.

These local residents are doing the hard labor and yet they are paid a measly fee.

“They (lumad) live on a ‘hand-to-mouth’ existence. The money they earned from illegal logging has not improved their lives,” he added.






Bill seeks to exempt foreign aid from VAT

By John Carlo Cahinhinan


A BILL has been filed in the House of Representatives, which seeks to exempt from value-added tax (VAT) all donated imported goods for medical and education, humanitarian relief and similar purposes.

Cagayan de Oro City Representative Rufus Rodriguez said that House Bill 4054 will exempt donated goods from VAT and the entry and distribution of donations for the benefit of the less fortunate will be facilitated.

"It is thus proposed that donated items or goods from foreign donors which are for the non-profit, charitable, medical, educational, humanitarian, relief purposes for the benefit of the poor and needy should be VAT-exempt," said Rodriguez.

He cited that Section 107 of the National International Revenue Code provides that there shall be levied, assessed and collected on every importation of goods a VAT equivalent to 10 percent based on the total value used by the Bureau of Customs in determining tariff and customs duties plus customs duties, excise taxes, if any, other charges, such tax to be paid by the importer prior to the release of such goods from customs custody.

Rodriguez said the NIRC further provides that where the customs duties are determined on the basis of the quantity or volume of the goods and the VAT shall be based on the landed cost plus excise taxes.

"Donated items or goods from donors abroad which are for non-profit, charitable, medical, educational, humanitarian and relief purposes shall be exempt from VAT under this provision," the bill stated.

The bill also stated those subject to exemption of import duties under the Tariff and Customs Code shall likewise be exempt from the VAT payment

“Those donations or food, medicine and equipment for use in the government relief and rehabilitation programs for calamity affected areas as mandated in Presidential Memorandum Order No. 36 Series of 1992, which have been approved for exemption from import duties, shall likewise be VAT-exempt," the bill stated. (Sunnex)





City equips journalists, broadcasters on calamity protocols

By Kierra Rubillos


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, April 11 (PIA) — In order to provide more accurate information in times of disasters, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) and City Information Office (CIO) of Cagayan de Oro city government conducted a media orientation on disaster strategies and protocols at the CDRRMC office on April 8.

This is to provide the press people an idea and common understanding on how the devices/facilities work at the CDRRMC operation center including pertinent information on weather coverage, said Maricel Casiño-Rivera, CIO chief.

Underscoring the importance on disaster preparedness, CDRRM Officer Col. Mario Verner Monsanto (ret) said it is our responsibility, as government, to educate our reporters especially on early warning system.

For his part, CDRRMC weather specialist Virgil Lago discussed the council’s methods and principles in preparation for any future disaster.

Lago also tackled about their sources (national/local) of weather information, as well as their communication and evacuation protocols.

The press people also observed how the CDRRMC checks on the weather conditions of the city through their monitoring systems, so with the Automatic Rainfall Warning System and Automated Weather Station.

“We don’t want to create panic, we just want the people to be prepared,” said Col. Monsanto, as he stressed on the value of preparedness towards any calamity. (Kierra Rubillos/PIA) - See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=1461397206826#sthash.L0LX5Y20.dpuf






CDO Mayor Moreno welcomes recall proceedings

By Solar News with a report from Cheng Ordonez


Cagayan de Oro City – Mayor Oscar Moreno welcomes the recall proceedings initiated by the political opposition, which challenges the incumbent local chief executive to determine the real sentiment of the Kagayanons through recall election. Moreno issued the statement during the commemoration of the 72nd Araw ng Kagitingan held at the city’s plaza in Divisoria Wednesday morning. Moreno said he hopes that the recall proceedings would unify the local politics to allow the city to move forward toward a progressive trading center in Northern Mindanao. City Councilor Teodulo Lao, one of the five minority city councilors who belonged to Moreno’s political party, was the only City Councilor who joined the early morning wreath-laying ceremony at the city’s national heroes park. All the other 17 city councilors, most of them belonging to the opposition, did not attend the celebration participated in by the city’s department heads, rank and file workers, and invited heads of regional offices. Majority of the city’s 80 barangay chairmen are reportedly initiating a “recall proceeding” against Moreno for "loss of trust and confidence" in his administration. Under the Local Government Code of 1991, the majority members of the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) could initiate, one year after the elections, a recall proceeding by gathering the signature of a certain percentage of voters, depending on the population of the locality.






62 livelihood projects up for Region 10

By Camcer Ordonez Imam


Cagayan De Oro City – At least 62 projects have been approved for release by the Region 10 office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-10), covering the six provinces of Northern Mindanao.

The projects have been charged to the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) funds under the Workers Income Augmentation Program (WINAP), Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD), and Bottom-up-Budgeting (BUB) for the 1st quarter of this year.

The 46 projects under the WINAP, 15 for the BUB, and one for TUPAD, are expected to benefit some 8,718 people from the informal sector, like skilled workers, farmers, fisherfolk, women, and the youth.

Knowing that their proposal was approved for an enhancement project, the Panglingkawas Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PMPC), an accredited co-partner and proponent in their community store expansion project amounting to P800,000 in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, is more than thankful along with its 92 women beneficiaries.

Blenda M. Desierto, PMPC executive chief officer, disclosed how the DOLE changed the lives of the women members.

“We are so grateful to DOLE-10 for responding to the needs of our marginalized people in Kauswagan, and commend its personnel for their tireless efforts to serve them,” Desierto said.






City launches ‘Maternal Care Package’

By Jigger J. Jerusalem


THE Cagayan de Oro City Government has launched its latest health program aimed at upgrading the facilities of barangay health centers and their accreditation with the Philippines Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

At the unveiling of the "Maternal Care Package" in barangays Bugo, Tablon and Cugman on Tuesday morning, Mayor Oscar Moreno urged the village officials to set aside politics and instead help the City Government in implementing its various programs, especially health.

Moreno described the projects “public service that transcends political boundaries.”

“We may disagree in politics and in many areas, but we cannot disagree in bringing basic services to the people,” Moreno said.

He said he has no problem with the barangay leaders’ political affiliation as long as they will help him make sure that the people are served.

The City Government plans to upgrade the facilities of the 54 health centers in the city and to convert them into mini-hospitals with PhilHealth accreditation.

The health centers in Bugo, Tablon and Cugman are just the first three that had been converted into mini-hospitals.

All the three health centers are two-storied and housed a lying-in center, wards and other basic medical facilities.

One of the prerequisites for the upgrading, he added, is the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the City Government and the barangays.

With the MOA, Moreno said that regardless of who will the mayor be or the barangay chairman, the operations of the health centers will continue and ensure that the City Government will not renege on its responsibility.

“We have to commit and we have to respond to that commitment, we have to be guided by that,” Moreno said.

The MOA will allow the barangay to let the City Health Office operate to what will now be called as the city health center.

He said the pressure is on the City Government to make “the barangay happy and contented nga maalagaran ang katawhan. And that can only be done with the good management of the city health center.”

“Dili ‘ni sayon pero mangambisyon gud ta…no matter how easy the task at hand may be pero kung dili kita magtinabangay, isig babag, isig pugong, wala gyuy mahitabo sa ato,” he added.

“We cannot do it alone. We want to fulfill our duty, but we need you to help us,” Moreno said.

PhilHealth accreditation

Marlon Arrabaca, PhilHealth local health insurance officer, said the accreditation would mean that mothers will no longer find it financially difficult and go to the nearest hospital to deliver since the health center can take care of their needs.

Arrabaca under the Maternal Care Package, PhilHealth will reimburse the patients’ expenses if they give birth in PhilHealth-recognized city health centers or mini-hospitals.

He said, in the past, even if the delivering mothers are covered under PhilHealth, they still had to pay for the birthing expenses because the health centers are not accredited with PhilHealth.

Morenos noted that when he sat down as the city mayor last year, not one of the health centers was accredited with PhilHealth.

“We have been moving forward para ma-accredit sa PhilHealth. So far, naa nay almost 20 health centers nga accredited na sa Philhealth,” Moreno said.

During the launching, the City Government also gave various birthing equipment to the three city health centers.

Dr. Belen Ligo, City Health Office district 2 medical supervisor, vowed to take care of the items given to the health centers.

Jesus Morial, Barangay Bugo chairman, is glad that the health center in his barangay is now accredited with PhilHealth.

“I am encouraging everyone in my barangay to become members of PhilHealth since this will greatly help us,” Morial said.

Ricardo Pacheco, chairman of Barangay Cugman, said for a very long time they had been dreaming of the moment that their health center is upgraded.

“Makita nato nga once ipanamkon, ipanganak gyud,” Pacheco said, referring to the upgrading of Cugman’s health center.






Some bars in Oro found without biz permits

By Jigger J. Jerusalem


DOZENS of entertainment establishments in Cagayan de Oro are operating without business permits depriving the city of much-needed revenues and some of them are even violating the law, the Regulatory and Complaint Board (RCB) said.

The RCB made the discovery after conducting surprise inspections on more than 30 bars, massage parlor, strip clubs, and karaoke joints along Corrales Avenue and Capistrano Street Friday night.

Beda Joy Elot, the city accountant and chair of the RCB, said the inspection they conducted was aimed at checking these businesses for permits and if they are paying the required fees to the city.

The RCB also discovered that a few of these establishments are selling alcoholic drinks to minors and some of these nightspots’ employees do not have the city government-issued health cards.

The two RCB inspection teams were composed of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo), city council members, various city hall departments like the offices of the city treasurer, city accountant, city social welfare and development, city information office, city health department, office of the building official, and Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA).

Elot said that last Friday’s operation was to inform the operators of their violations and to comply with the RCB recommendations.

She said city hall gave these businesses the permit even before an inspection was conducted so the owners would not be inconvenienced by the long process.

But now, Elot said, the RCB is doing the round of inspection “and we are giving them the notice to comply with the sanctions if violations are committed.”

She said the owners are already aware of their responsibilities but some of them have not been complying since inspections to these nightspots were quite loose in the in the past.

“If you are a business owner [and you] see that there is no inspection, di pud ka maghugot sa imong mga responsibilidad. They know that we are here to regulate,” she added.

Elot said the RCB teams also discovered that some of these establishments have permits but they don’t match with the permit they had applied for.

“They have permit for retailing but are [actually] operating as a bar,” she said.

Sanitation issues

Many of these nightspots also have poorly maintained toilets, but Elot said the worst violation they have committed is the selling of liquor to minors.

She said RCB has been receiving complaints from parents of children who frequent these watering holes, especially the Corrales Avenue area.

“While we understand that this is a business for the operators, they should also know their responsibility to our children,” Elot said.

Elot noticed a lot of underage customers who were drinking tried to act like they are of legal age, “but you can see from the faces that they are really minors.”

She said they are also concerned of use of “shisha” which is unsanitary since smokers often use a single pipe when smoking.

A shisha or hookah is defined as a waterpipe with a single or multi-stemmed instrument for vaporizing or smoking flavored tobacco called shisha in which the vapor or smoke is passed through a water basin --often glass-based -- before inhalation.

In one of the bars, the RCB chanced upon a group of young people using the shisha.

Health cards

Rowena Yu, health education and promotion officer of the city health office, said that it is sad to note that out of the nightclubs and bars, only one establishment has health cards for their workers.

“Others got sanitary and business permits but not health cards,” Yu said.

Yu said that securing health cards, be it food or non-food businesses and especially where there are women working as entertainers, is a must because it’s for the protection of the public.

“Magpa-secure man gani ta’g health cards sa atong mga convenience stores, how much more sa mga entertainment business?” Yu added.

“We plan to do this regularly, because we feel that this is also our responsibility. After this, the board will meet and decide how often RCB will conduct the inspection, but there will be another round of inspection,” Elot said.

Owners’ cooperative

Elot said establishment owners were cooperative.

“At first, they were apprehensive, but we explained to them that this is just part of the inspectorate task of the RCB, and that is just part of our information dissemination,” she said.

But, she added that next time RCB would be enforcing the law.

“Those who have received their notice of violation will be checked if they have already complied with whatever requirements they need to accomplish for the violations committed. If they will refuse to comply, then we will recommend to the mayor their case for further action. The stiffest is closure of the establishment,” Elot said.

The police who accompanied the inspection team also made body searches to ensure that bar patrons do not carry firearms and other deadly weapons.

An employee in one of the nightspot the RCB visited said customers who carry firearms,especially law enforcers have to check in their weapons at the counter before they can enter the establishment’s premises.

Selling drinks to minors

Teddy Sabugaa, the city social welfare and development officer, said the inspection also served as warning to bars and nightclubs which are selling alcoholic drinks to underage people that is prohibited by law.

In one bar, Sabugaa said, it has a strict policy of checking the identification card of a customer before serving liquor.

“That’s fine. I hope nga ma-maintain kana. Pero there are some nga walay pagpangita sa ID. Makita man nimo ang hitsura sa bata,” he added.

“After this, we will invite all the establishments, para mahibal-an nila unsa ilang kulang para naay discussion,” Sabuga-a said.

Neol Collado, local treasury operations officer of the city finance office, the non-compliant of the inspected nightspots in securing the annual business permits and other regulatory fees is costing the city around P200,000.





British national stranded in Philippine hospital appeals for help

By Mindanao Examiner


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Apr. 6, 2014) – A 59-year old British national has desperately appealed for help after being stranded in hospital in northern Mindanao for nearly two months now, according to a report by the Daily Mail Online.

George Keiller said he cannot afford to pay his medical bills at the Polymedic General Hospital in Cagayan de Oro City where he was admitted after collapsing on the last leg of his journey on February 11.

Keiller, who is suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, said his bills have so far reached £4,000 and the hospital would not let him go. The report said that Keiller, from Clackmannanshire in Scotland, was put on a life-support machine within hours of touching down in the Philippines after his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - which causes a narrowing of the airways - struck him down.

Doctors at the hospital have said they will not discharge Keiller until they are paid at least half of his burgeoning invoice. “After more than six weeks I'm now just desperate for this nightmare to end,” Keiller said.

He said he has raised £1,300 but he still remains almost £1,000 short. “I'm now relying on donations and praying that they come soon,” Keiller told the Daily Mail. “Until I get enough money I remain virtually a prisoner in this hospital.”

“If I can be given a loan by someone I'd be so grateful and wouldn't let anyone down as far as repayment goes. I've been terrified here. There have been times where I've feared I'll never see outside of this hospital again. I'm now just desperate for this nightmare to end,” he said.

The newspaper said it interview a Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson who said: “We are aware of the hospitalisation of a British National in the Philippines. We are providing consular assistance.” (Mindanao Examiner)







Some bars in Oro found without biz permits

By Jigger J. Jerusalem







CDO revives lone city hospital

By Bobby Lagsa


'It is a shame that a city as big as Cagayan de Oro, the capital of Northern Mindanao, with a population of half a million, has only one hospital,' says Mayor Oscar Moreno

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – After almost two decades of neglect, the dying Justiniano R. Borja General Hospital (JRBGH) got a new breath of life after its 3rd floor annex ward was opened on Thursday, April 3.

The 100-bed hospital – practically abandoned by the city government in the last 15 years – was left to operate in such a dismal state that in 2009, its doctors resigned en masse after years of unheeded pleas to former local chief executives.

In June 2009, under the incumbency of former mayor Constantino Jaraula, 18 doctors resigned from the hospital citing the lack of facilities, medicine, and disinterest of the city government in uplifting JRBGH’s condition as reasons.

Mayor Oscar Moreno was undaunted by the task of restoring the hospital even with a hostile city council – 11 of them allied with former mayor Vicente Emano – that refused to release much-needed funds to rehabilitate the dying city hospital.

“It is a shame that a city as big as Cagayan de Oro, the capital of Northern Mindanao, with a population of half a million, has only one hospital,” Moreno said.

Upgrading services

Due to the hospital's worsening condition, the Department of Health (DOH) poured in P66.9 million from 2010 to 2014 to complete work on the annex building in 4 years.

JRBGH was also integrated with the city’s health department and will undergo an extensive revamp to make the hospital competitive. The CDO local health board, headed by Dr Ramon Neri, said it plans to upgrade the hospital’s standards and raise them to a level II category by 2016.

Neri said that with the revamp, the city’s 19 urban health centers will also be improved, modernized, and accredited by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) as maternal and child care facilities or birthing homes.

The upgrading of urban health centers will decongest the JRBGH and the DOH-owned Northern Mindanao Medical Center also located in the city.

Neri added that they have instituted information technology systems in JRBGH so that statistics and information given to the public are timely and accurate.

“All our decisions will be information-based. That is how we will deal with a hostile city council that refuses to give funds to the hospital,” Neri said.

Challenging task

Hospital chief Dr Fe Bongcas admitted that running JRBGH is a hard and challenging task but they will still serve to make a big difference and impact on people’s lives.

“Before we failed in performance reviews, as we were unable to meet the requirements of the DOH,” Bongcas said.

In 2009, out of his frustration, CDO 2nd district Representative Rufus Rodriguez filed a resolution in Congress to transfer the ownership of JRGBH from the city to the DOH to help resuscitate the hospital. The city government refused despite its failure to support the hospital.

Moreno said he will be delivering the social services needed to revive the hospital despite the fact that his proposed budget of P2.6 billion was cut by P300 million by the city council in February.

The P300-million cut was intended for the delivery of PhilHealth Insurance for the 50,000 residents in the city. Modernization program

Neri said that part of the modernization program is working with funding and donor agencies both here and abroad. JRBGH is currently enhancing its human resources system and streamlining performance-based incentives programs to attract more doctors and health professionals.

“But first, we must show them our confidence that we can do it, (that) we will do it,” Neri said.

The mayor is currently working with national government agencies to find funding for the modernization project. A new building that will house ancillary services, an operating theater, private and semi-private rooms, and X-ray and laboratory services is already being constructed.

The local health board’s modernization blueprint includes the construction of two additional 25-bed hospitals to help cater to the rural barangays in the western and mountainous parts of the city.

Neri admitted there are more challenges ahead for JRBGH but their vision of acquiring a level II category will be faced head on. – Rappler.com

Italpinas wins Asia Pacific property award

By Manila Standard Today


PHILIPPINE property developer Italpinas Euroasian Design and Eco-Development Corporation (ITPI Corp.) has been named among the winners in the prestigious International Property Awards in the 2014 Asia Pacific regional competition.

ITPI has been recognized for its landmark Primavera Residences in Cagayan de Oro City in the Mixed-use Development category of the awards.

Primavera Residences is the first condominium complex in Cagayan de Oro City and a pioneer of green and sustainable building in Mindanao, skilfully designed to reduce impact on the environment as well as construction and maintenance costs.

With its modern Italian minimalist design, Primavera Residences has made its mark in the industry, a testimony to ITPI as a trailblazing young company that has achieved phenomenal success.

“We are honored to be named as the Philippine winner for Mixed-use category of the Asia Pacific Property Awards,” said ITPI chief executive officer Architect Romolo V. Nati in a statementsent to MST.

“As a company, we believe in delivering better design and better ways of living, and our work in Primavera Residences embodies our company philosophy. We want to make a real change in the landscape of real estate development with high-performance properties that are beautiful, sustainable, and affordable.”Nati added,

The Asia Pacific Property Awards is part of the long established International Property Awards, and its seal is recognised as a symbol of excellence in the field of property development.

The Asia Pacific region has an enviable record of achievement at the international level, having scooped an unbeaten total of 18 World’s Best Awards in 2013.

The official announcement will be made at a high-profile gala and presentation dinner at the Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on May 9.

The question of business monopolies

By The BusinessMirror Editorial


THE question of whether the government should do more to ensure that business monopolies do not exist or work in favor of the consumer will soon become critical.

House Bill (HB) 1333, filed by House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., and HB 388, filed by Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City, seek to penalize monopolies and those engaging in unfair competition. These bills are expected to come to a vote in the current legislative session.

When the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. held the telephone-service monopoly, it took years to have a landline installed. Of course, the lack of competition in the telecommunications (telecom) industry was only part of the problem. But since this sector was deregularized, communication penetration, due to technological advances and more players in the industry, has dramatically improved.

Yet, consumers are complaining that the dominance of only two telecom companies may have increased cellular-phone usage, but that service has deteriorated, since the “duopoly” of Smart Communications and Globe Telecom controls the industry. The recent uproar over the electricity-rate increases in Metro Manila is also being blamed on the power-distribution monopoly being held by the Manila Electric Co.

There can be advantages to a sector being monopolized, such as economies of scale and efficiency. Metro Pacific Corp. is being criticized for buying hospitals around the country, as it could control a large number of medical providers. However, the buying power of a group of hospitals for drugs and supplies at a lower cost could result in savings for the consumer. Monopolies can provide products or services at lower costs, which subsequently could lower prices. If there were several electric-distribution companies in Metro Manila, each would have to have its own distribution infrastructure of poles, wires and transformers, and that would not be cost-effective or -efficient.

Studies have shown that, in most cases, monopolies do tend to create a higher pricing structure for consumers over time, as a lack of competition does not allow the normal balance of supply and demand to determine price. For a monopoly to be most beneficial to the consumer, the company must work to find ways to improve its service and reduce the price. This does not happen easily in a monopoly environment.

When the US government broke the telecom monopoly, consumers actually saw rates increase before increased competition brought prices lower. That is because the monopoly subsidized local telephone charges by having higher rates on international calls.

The debate on monopolies is never going to be fully settled. Monopolies need to be judged on a case-by-case basis when assessing the impact on economic welfare. However, anti-monopoly legislation could wind up creating a situation where the government picks the winners and the losers. That could be a bigger problem than the monopolies themselves.






41st Ship for Southeast Asian and Japan Youth Program now opens

By Salma Jayne Tamano


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, April 2 (PIA) - The National Youth Commission (NYC) announces the opening of applications to the 41st Ship for Southeast Asian and Japan Youth Program (SSEAJYP).

SSEAJYP is an annual cultural exchange program that started in 1974 as a joint statement between ASEAN member States and Japan. Participated by young people from these countries, the program’s objective is to promote friendship and mutual understanding among them and the local youth in their respective countries.


Now on its 41st year, SSEAJYP has been instrumental in forging stronger relations among the youth of Southeast Asia and Japan.

For this year, there will be a selection of the following: Two Participating Youth (PY) from each region (1 male and 1 female); One National Leader (NL).

Discussion Facilitators who shall provide support for PYs in the Discussion Program

Application forms for SSEAJYP are available at www.nyc.gov.ph. The application form with the requirements for PYs and NLs may be submitted through email to sseayp41@nyc.gov.ph on or before April 25, 2014. The application form with requirements for Discussion Facilitators may be submitted on or before April 30, 2014. (Salma Jayne Tamano, NYC/PIA-Caraga)






DOLE intensifies info drive on labor trends

By Aloha Balhon-Jaudian


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, April 1 (PIA) --- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Misamis Oriental Field Office intensified its information drive on Labor Market Information (LMI) to high school and college graduating students.

The information drive is aimed to help incoming college students choose appropriate Bachelor’s Degree Program, and new entrants to the labor force find suitable work.

The massive information drive was conducted to continuously improve the positive job placement rate in Western Misamis Oriental.

In a four-year comparative analysis conducted by DOLE regional office 10, it was found out that information dissemination on labor trends is effective in decreasing job mismatch.

It was observed that Western Misamis Oriental has constantly improved since 2010 in its job placement rate attaining 81.34 percent in 2013.

Meanwhile, in the first quarter of the year, 3,881 secondary graduating students from public and private schools have availed of the information on priority degree programs and vocational courses that will satisfy, fit, and match skills in demand for the next six years.

The Department of Education (DepED) Division of Misamis Oriental also issued Division Advisory No. 38 series of 2014 supporting the information drive and recommending LMI as pre-graduation seminar to all public secondary and tertiary education in Misamis Oriental.

Private schools have made it a mandatory requirement to their students too.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED), on the other hand, suggested courses on Computer and Information Technology, Accounting, Hotel and Restaurant, Engineering, and Agriculture related fields to meet the in demand skills in the Construction, Metals and Engineering, Agri-fishery, ICT, Tourism, Manufacturing, and the Banking and Finance Industries.

DOLE also carried out career coaching in Lourdes College, Golden Heritage Polytechnic College, Bulua National Highschool, Iligan Computer Institute, Carmen National Highschool, CDO National Highscool, East Gusa National Highscool, Alubijid National Highscool, El Salvador New Colleges, Lapasan National Highschool, Lapasan National Highschool, Agusan National highschool,Cabalantian National Highschool, Manticao National Highschool, Mambuaya National Highschool, St. Anthony Parish School, Manticao Mission Academy, PN Roa Sr. Highschool, Iponan National Highschool, Macabalan National Highschool, Puntod National Highschoo, Opol NSTS, Opol Community College, Gusa Regional Science Highschool, Bugo National Highschool, Puerto National Highschool, Bukidnon State University (Manticao Central School) with the help of the Public Employment Service Office (PESO), (Aloha Balhon-Jaudian/DOLE-10/APB/PIA-10)






‘Crowdfunding' highlights this year's Earth Hour

By Jigger J. Jerusalem


‘CROWDFUNDING,’ a new concept in financing a project or other endeavors, took center stage in last Saturday’s observance of the annual Earth Hour.

Aside from minimizing the use of electricity for an hour, this year’s Earth Hour introduced the idea of crowdfunding to the Filipinos.

The Cagayan de Oro City Government, in an e-mailed statement, said that what made this year’s Earth Hour different is the launch of ‘Earth Hour Blue,’ considered the first crowdfunding platform for the planet.

The country is one of the 16 beneficiaries of the Earth Hour Blue.

This action would allow individuals to fund environmental and social projects of their choice through an online donation.

Crowdfunding, as defined in a Wikipedia article, is the collection of finance to sustain an initiative from a large pool of backers—the “crowd”—usually made online by means of a web platform.

This initiative could be a nonprofit campaign (for example, to raise funds for a school or social service organization), a political campaign (to support a candidate or political party), a philanthropic campaign (for example, for emergency funds for an ill person or to produce an emerging artist), a commercial campaign (for example, to create and sell a new product) or a financing campaign for a start-up company.

According to the Department of the Interior and Local Government, “this crowdfunding initiative of the World Wide Fund (WWF)-Philippines is encouraging the world to support the project ‘Bancas for the Philippines.’”

Earnings from the crowdfunding project will be used to share and introduce a climate-smart fiberglass boat technology to local fishermen who lost their boats and source of livelihood to super typhoon Yolanda.

Crowdfunding, the article added, has its origins in the concept of crowdsourcing, which is the broader concept of an individual reaching a goal by receiving and leveraging small contributions from many parties.

Meanwhile, Cagayan de Oro observed the Earth Hour by turning off the park lights and streetlights at Plaza Divisoria, the city’s main business hub, last Saturday from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The provincial capitol building also turned its lights off including De Lara Park.

Some of the major malls in the city also took part in the Earth Hour.

In his message, City Mayor Oscar Moreno said the turning off or dimming of lights was aimed at taking action on the global warming that continues to threaten the world.

“With the city’s central business district plunged in darkness, the city government is sending a message to the whole city to join this annual global campaign that urges homes, business establishments, public spaces and entire communities to voluntarily turn off electricity for one,” Moreno said.

Earth Hour served as a wake-up call to the threat of climate change as well as a platform to highlight what is being done and what can still be done to address it.

Ridge of High Pressure Area brings partly cloudy skies over Luzon

By Rie Takumi


Tuguegarao, Laoag, Tagaytay, and other cities in Luzon will experience partly cloudy skies due to the ridge of a High Pressure Area, weather bureau PAGASA said in its 5 p.m. report.

According to Met Office, the national weather service of the United Kingdom, HPAs or anticyclones are caused by descending air spiraling in a clockwise direction in the northern hemisphere.

Because the air is descending, cloud formations are reduced, clearing the sky, and producing light winds.

Meanwhile, Tacloban City, Cagayan de Oro City, Metro Davao, and Zamboanga City can expect light rainshowers to accompany their cloudy skies for the next few days.

Northern and Central Luzon will have light to moderate winds from the east to southeast, while the rest of the country will have winds coming from the east to northeast.

Calm winds will result in slight to moderate coastal waters throughout the rest of the country. — Rie Takumi/JDS, GMA News

LG brings latest mobile technology experience in Oro

By Alyssa C. Clenuar


“Technology is the strength of LG,” says Ronald Chan, the Visayas Mindanao Sales Manager of LG during the opening of LG’s second concept store in the city.

For the past few years, LG never fails to service customers with its high-end technology, innovative products and unique designs. Through the years, the Korean company has developed newer technology to meet with the consumers’ demands.

The Life’s Good (LG) Mobile Concept Store at the 3rd floor of Ayala Centrio Mall opened on March 28, 2014. This is the second branch of the brand that opened here in the city next to Limketkai’s.

“The LG Mobile Concept Store has so much more coming in for the next few months […] Mobile phones lang talaga ang andito pero the customers can enjoy evaluating and choosing their choice of phone. May promo din,” says Chan.

What’s new?

The store highlights its LG G2 unit which runs on a KitKat Android 4.4, the upgraded ‘KnockON’ on the L Series II and their 50% off on selected phones like the LG G Pad 8.3, LG Optimus L9, LG Optimus L3 Dual, LG Optimus L5 Dual and A275 (until supply lasts).

The KnockON in the L Series II is a feature where the user can conveniently turn on the smartphone on and off by simply ‘knocking’ or tapping twice on the display.

Home buttons of the Series come in different colors for incoming calls, e-mails and messages. The Series has an Advanced QuickMemo, the Safety Care and the Cheese Shutter.

“It’s our business to care […] because people are now well-informed; LG provides,” says Marites Baldado, Operational Manager of the Oro Graphic.

With 12 array of live units found at the store, customers can now have a greater experience with the mobiles they want to purchase. LG plans to add more units in the next few months for wider variety that customers can choose from.

On the Store’s opening, Rick, first buyer, purchases a G Pad because “sulit siya when it comes to its price and high definition din.”

“We’re trying to evaluate a potential mall before we locate because LG sells premium and mid-range phones,” says Chan on the expansion of LG Mobile.

“Ketkai is doing good. Although during its first year, it was struggling since LG is still new to the people but now, we’re doing great,” he adds.

Cagayan de Oro has been considered to be the ‘melting pot’ of Mindanao and ranked first in the 2013 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index as the most competitive city in several fronts. With this, many investors and the like ventured into the business hub in the city.

“The demand here is so great and we really see the potentials in this city,” says Angelie Bartolome, the Mobile Key Account Officer for Mindanao.

The Store’s purpose is give the customers time to go through their choice of smartphones.

“Concept stores are different because you can have ample time to choose and take your time as the customers go through the features of the mobile they’re eyeing at.”

World’s #3

LG currently ranks 3rd in the global technology market. Many tech companies uphold the cliché, “number one,” while LG is adamant to what is the real deal. “It’s difficult to hold onto something you are not,” he says.

LG continues to maintain its name Life’s Good in their products: mobile devices, TV/audio/visual, home appliances and computer accessories as of today.

Not many consumers know LG but Bartolome is positive about its future development. “On coverage-wise, we have not yet expanded. But marketing activities nationwide and in the local will definitely help,” she ends.

The LG Mobile Concept Store is owned by Roger Chiu who owns various businesses in the city including All Graphic Store and the Mallberry Suites.








DOH aims at TB-free community, nation

By Jasper Marie Oblina-Rucat


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 28 (PIA) – In support and to fulfill the government’s goal to eliminate Tuberculosis (TB) nationwide, the Department of Health (DOH) is making its message clear that anyone with TB can be cured and this is provided for free.

National TB Program Coordinator (NTP) for Region 10 Dr. Evelyn Magsayo during a press conference here said that DOH specifically NTP has achieved many things since the 70’s when it was first created.

She said, “We are now in the controlling mode of TB.”

In 1990, the prevalence of TB was 1,000 in every 100, 000 population while death rate was 60 of 100,000 population. The target for 2015 would be to reduce mortality and morbidity rate by half. In 2012, prevalence was already 461 out of 100,000 and death rate was 24 per 100,000 population.

The challenge she said was not curing the patient, because now we have partners and we are funded by TB Control Program Global Fund through Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) but the challenge is how to detect those with TB and get over the stigma that people should be ashamed of the illness.

PBSP Regional Field Officer Jhun Ronald Gilbolingo said that we should not be ashamed if we have TB. Instead, we must find time to go to the doctor and get diagnosed. Check-up and medicines are free.

He said that we have the Directly-Observed Treatment Shortcourse (DOTS) centers in the city where these cases are treated and cured.

A TB patient may go directly to their provincial, city or barangay health centers for screening and tests. But for those that have Multi-Drug Resistant TB (MDR-TB), the German Doctors Hospital in Cagayan de Oro is the one specializing for these cases.

He said that there is also a DOTS Center in Polymedic Medical Plaza in Kauswagan, this city for those that don’t want to go to a government hospital. A DOTS center is a specialized treatment center specifically for TB. All staff is trained by DOH.

MDR-TB on the other hand according to Dr. Magsayo is harder to cure. The drug-resistant TB is a result from non compliance of the first TB treatment. Usually, they find that the patient did not follow the schedule of taking antibiotics or have stopped taking them after they feel they have been cured.

She said that the treatment for an ordinary TB is from six to eight months with four kinds of drugs daily and injection for two months.

But, with MDR-TB the process is longer from 18 months to two years. A patient will also take 30 tablets everyday and gets injection for six months.

She said that the cost would reach P200, 000 or more but in the DOTS center, medication is free.

Right now, there are 70 MDR patients in Cagayan de Oro and 56 in Iligan. These patients also come from neighboring towns.

Dr. Magsayo explained that the medicine for MDR-TB is not available in the drugstore here but is imported from another country. So a patient must admit to the DOTS center to avail of these medicines for free.

She said that we also must have good immune system to not easily acquire the bacteria. She explained that this bacteria cannot be taken from spoons or glass or clothes of those with TB because this is air-borne, meaning we get this through inhaling the same air with the patient.

Although there are other different types of TB like TB of the bones, extra pulmonary TB or meningitis (TB of the brain), TB of the lymph nodes, the most common is TB of the lungs which is the contagious of all.

She said that usually a cough that doesn’t get well in two weeks is a sign you may have TB. (JMOR/PIA10)







Search for Tourism Star Philippines now on

By Jasper Marie Oblina-Rucat


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 27 (PIA) – The Department of Tourism (DOT) region 10 opens Tourism Star Philippines to recognize tourism frontlines and local chief executive (LCE) who have created positive impacts to the tourism industry.

DOT Regional Director Catalino Chan III during their launching and press conference said that this awarding serves as recognition to those that go an extra mile in giving tourists a delightful experience and exemplifying true Filipino hospitality; and LCE (Mayor or Governor) whose projects created positive impact to the tourism industry.

Categories include travel agencies, tour operators, tour guides, tourist transport, accommodations, individuals and LCEs.

He said that this aims to instill a culture of tourism in every Filipino; help raise the competitiveness of the Philippines as a tourist destination; encourage LCEs to take part in the country’s tourism efforts; and engage the participation of Filipinos and tourists in the ‘It’s More Fun’ campaign.

The award is open to all Filipinos who have contact with tourists in a tourist destination and provide service to visitors. They may be hotel workers, policemen, tour guides, local transport drivers (taxi, kalesa, tricycle), porters, waiters, among others.

The nominee must depict Filipino Quality Values such as hospitality, flexibility, adaptability, creativity, honesty, professionalism and promptness.

The Tourism Star award for the LCEs will be given to a mayor or governor who has taken part in the country’s tourism development efforts by leading and engaging his or her local community in boosting a tourist destination.

A potential Tourism Star should be nominated online through www.tourismstar.ph. Submission of nominations is until May 31, this year.

DOT restricts nominees who have a relative/s working with them, including any of its attached agencies and program partners; this applies up to the 3rd degree of consanguinity and affinity, self-nominations and nominations from the DOT staff. (JMOR/PIA10)







Trucks owner clamored for ‘illegal holding’

By Grace Cantal-Albasin


TWO truckloads of logs were flagged down by the City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) at the City Environment and Natural Resources Office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and (Cenro-DENR) checkpoint in Barangay Lumbia Monday night.

Edwin Dael, Clenro chief, told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro that he got a report of two truckloads of logs being transported, prompting him to gather his team and respond to the alert.

Dael said his team left the two truckloads of logs to the checkpoint in-charge to verify the papers of the hauled logs first thing on Tuesday morning.

“We doubt the document presented to us. There are two truckloads but we saw only one document which doesn’t even contain a plate number. Aldrich Resma, Cenro chief, is in South Korea. We want to make sure that this is not something being ‘maneuvered,” Dael said.

When Dael and team his returned to the checkpoint in Lumbia Tuesday morning, one of the trucks left, which fueled the more Clenro’s doubt.

“The Cenro checkpoint just simply told us, the truck left. We told them not to let go of the trucks until we have verified the papers,” Dael said.

30,000 cut logs

Dael recalled that three weeks ago, his group apprehended a truckload of logs cut from Cagayan de Oro but the permit was issued in Talakag.

“We reported it to DENR. How can that process be possible? They cut trees in Cagayan de Oro and then get the permit in Talakag. Thus, Cenro conducted an inventory and found out 30 truckloads of logs have been cut which are now in barangays Tignapoloan particularly in sitios Man-ay and Dungguan, another in Barangay Besigan and a few in Barangay Tignapoloan,” he said.

The said incident alerted Clenro to ensure that not a single truck could get out of the city.

“This is why we are very cautious with any documents. We need to verify them so that none of those logs could get out from the city’s jurisdiction,” Dael said.

Jone Nacalaban, owner of at least 248 pieces of falcata logs worth P80,000, clamored against the holding of the logs at Lumbia checkpoint until Tuesday despite showing his permit.

Nacalaban said his permit was issued March 24 by DENR-Northern Mindanao and the 10-wheeler truck is owned by his brother in-law.

Nacalaban said the logs are due for delivery to Tagoloan town in Misamis Oriental for lumber use. He showed a document dated December 23, 2013 that bears the signature of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Northern Mindanao Director Ruth Tawantawan, granting a permit to cut, harvest and utilize "planted trees within the private land/area of (the late) Mr. Francisco Bugsahan at Barangay Pigsag-an,” a remote village in Cagayan de Oro.

Bugsahan is the father-in-law of Nacalaban.

Nacalaban said the logging business is commonly owned by the heirs of Bugsahan.

Illegal

He maintained that what Clenro operatives did was illegal and that it usurped the Environment department. "Kung kasuhan ko nila, walay problema tungod kay naa man ko sa insakto. Dili baya ta gusto maulawan ug madaut ang atong pangalan... kumpleto baya ko sa papeles."

Nacalaban heard that Clenro received reports that "we would be transporting lawaan, a hard wood that loggers are prevented from cutting."

"Pero lantawa ra gud na ninyo, wala kaha sila mabuta ana?" Nacalaban said.

He said he has been in the logging business for years, "pero karon pa gyud mi nadakpan tungod kay nagsunod man gyud mi sa balaud, magkuha man gayud kami sa tanan dokumento."

Dael’s team also confiscated five more water pumps in Barangay Pigsag-an Tuesday morning. “Despite the illegal logging interference, we continued our anti-illegal mining campaign and confiscated more water pumps.” (With Loui S. Maliza)

WORM’S EYEVIEW: People Power: The Barangay Assembly

By Manny Valdehuesa


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/25 March) — Ideally, beginning Saturday, March 29, when the Barangay Assembly convenes nationwide, People Power should awaken in every community. It is the surest way to energize the development of the immediate community, which is the locus of our republic’s primary government.

Since 1992, when barangays first became full-fledged governments as well as public corporations and an economy in their own right, the law has hardly been observed with respect to the role of the people in their own community.

Local officials and the higher-ups have distorted the letter and spirit of the law that ennobled the people’s role, function, and essentiality in the barangay’s operations, especially in the Barangay Assembly. Result: there is power failure at the primary level of our republic.

Barangaynons do not have an effective voice in their own community, not even its knowledgeable citizens–they do not influence the direction of politics or the behavior of democracy in their immediate surroundings. And the irony is, they make the loudest noises at upper levels and on national media. But at grassroots level, which is their neighborhood, they leave things to the devices of the servants of the people, sidelining the people themselves.

Mandate

The essence of democracy is People Power. It thrives on the people’s participation. It is sustained by the popular will. The popular will is manifested not only by votes during elections but by consent of the governed. Their consent to official acts or decisions embodies their sovereignty and authority.

Unfortunately, what the Constitution says about the people’s role is not made clear. “The Philippines is a democratic and republican state,” it states. “Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them” (Article II, Section 1).

The term “democratic” means rule of the people, while “republican” means it is the people who choose who shall rule and decide what decisions are acceptable.

The second part (on sovereignty and authority) simply means that People Power or the popular will is paramount. But the tricky part is how or whether people do manifest or define People Power and assert it.

Manifesting the substance of People Power or expressing the popular will requires discussion, sharing, or exchange of views and sentiments. The result is consensus, then harmony, which produces solidarity. Thus it is important for the community to engage in free or open exchange.

And this is where the Barangay Assembly comes in—as the venue and process for issues to be taken up and exchanged, then for resolutions that manifest the popular will to be passed.

In other words, in order to summon the genie of people power, it is imperative for everyone to convene as a community and engage in what advanced democracies term as “deliberative conversations.” Only if they do can they define or determine the popular will, which is a collective decision or agreement usually made through a motion and expressed in a resolution.

It is the formal, open exchange of views and positions that enable the people as a community to reach consensus. Popular will emerges through this participatory process. Unless this process takes place, democracy is frustrated and people power cannot energize the engine of government and the economy.

What happens then is the take-over of the community by an oligarchy—in which political power is held by only a handful, trapos usually. So democracy suffers a setback and People Power is dimmed.

The Barangay Assembly as both process and venue of governance exemplifies direct democracy—which is unique to our basic communities. It is this direct democracy that distinguishes grassroots governance from the representative democracy of the upper governments (municipal to national).

And because the Barangay Assembly comprises the entire local polity, it is literally a Constituent Assembly with all that this term implies. It is the home of sovereignty in our community, the seat of government authority.

As such, it is the authentic voice of the people. No other body or unit can claim to speak for the entire community. It is the literal embodiment of “a government of the people” and “a government by the people”—all of the people collectively governing!

Congressmen and Senators (who can transform themselves into a “constituent assembly” on occasion) are mere proxies of the people. It is the people who comprise the Barangay Assembly who are the real, actual constituents.

Let us not belittle our Constituent Assembly on Saturday, March 29. To be there is to raise the voice of People Power and let it be heard and felt. It is to assert the will of the sovereign citizens from whom every vote for every official at every level comes. It is to exercise one’s authority over all officials and bureaucrats.

4ID needs more male applicants as candidate soldiers

By pia.gov.ph


CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City, Mar. 24 (PIA) -- The 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division (4ID) is now accepting and processing more male applicants for Candidate Soldier Course (CSC) starting on 24 – 28 March 2014. The division requires additional quota of 150 candidates for this quarter.

Qualified applicants must be natural born Filipino, at least 5 feet in height with ages from 18 to 26 years old on the start of training and must not be 27 years old on or before the date of appointment as candidate soldier, no more age waiver shall be issued by Higher Headquarters. They must have at least 72 units in college (if High School Graduate only, he must possess a special skill needed in the military service and certified by TESDA). Interested applicants must take the Philippine Army Aptitude Test Battery (PAATB) with the score of at least 80 percent. Applicants must be unmarried and without child with good moral character. They must also be physically and mentally fit and has no pending case in any court and they must comply with all documentary requirements.

The procedure of acceptance for Philippine Army Candidate Soldier applicants shall depend upon their qualification and evaluation by the 4ID Screening and Selection Board.

Interested applicants are advised to bring along with them their basic qualification supporting documents with proper tabbing during the registration on March 24, 2014. Supporting documents includes the following:

A. Whole body picture (colored) B. Bio-data with 2X2 ID picture C. Original copy of National Statistics Office Birth Certificate with official receipt D. Original copy of National Statistics Office Marriage Contract of Parents with official receipt E. Certificate of Legal Beneficiaries (Notarized) F. Original Transcript of Records (College/Vocational) of Form 137 and 138 (High School) with visible School Dry Seal G. Diploma (with School Dry Seal) H. Philippine Army Aptitude Test Battery (PAATB) Result (Official Result Authenticated by the examiner) I. Physical and Medical Examination (PME) Results (Authenticated and signed by the Commanding Officer of Medical Service Unit Station Hospital) J. Physical Fitness Test (PFT) Result (Authenticated and signed by the PFT Officer) K. Drug Test Result (To be taken at the accredited testing center) L. Hepatitis B Test Result(To be taken at the accredited testing center) M. Local Clearances from the place of residence for at least ten years 1. Barangay 2. Police 3. Mayor 4. Regional Trial Court (RTC) 5. National Bureau of Investigation 6. Residence Certificate N. Affidavit of Being Single (Notarized) O. Original Copy of Certificate of Non-Marriage (CENOMAR) with Official Receipt

Furthermore, qualified applicants are advised to proceed at Camp Evangelista, Cagayan de Oro City to undergo the stages of processing for applicants.

Qualified applicants who will be selected among the pool of applicants will undergo Candidate Soldier Course to be handled by the 4th Division Training School (4DTS) at Battalion Retraining Facility, Kibaritan, Brgy Malinao, Kalilangan, Bukidnon.

Candidate Soldiers while on training will receive Pay and Allowances with the gross amount of 14,205.00 pesos each month. Once enlisted into the regular force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines with a rank of Private, they will receive a monthly salary of 20,404.00 pesos with insurance and healthcare benefits, billeting and housing privileges, job security, leadership and other skills trainings, opportunity for career advancement based on performance, opportunities for Post graduate studies both within the country and abroad, and will enjoy the opportunity and privilege of serving in the Army for our country.

Disqualification for Candidate Soldier Applicants

Those who have tattoo on their body and/or those whose bodies have been pierced/ punctured identifying their affiliation with unlawful organizations that is inimical to the government and the AFP. Applicants must in good appearance not crossed-eyed; hare-lipped; flat footed; improper bearing (obese or lanky). Those who have missing appendages or fingers have false teeth, and those who are suffering sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Applicants with fake documents will mean his outright disqualification/ denial of his CS application. His name will be blacklisted to all Philippine Army recruitment center thru fastest means of communication.

Captain Crishtian C Uy, 4ID Spokesperson encouraged everybody who are interested and able to become a member of the regular force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

"I assure you that you will be given decent salary and benefits. I also urge you to make use of this opportunity for you to have a stable job. Aside from that, you will also enjoy the privilege of serving our fellow Filipino and our native land,” Cpt Uy added. (4ID AFP/PIA-Caraga)

Dads OK budgets of 6 barangays

Sunday, March 23, 2014

By Dennis Carcamo


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 23 – Six barangays can now implement their respective infrastructure projects funded under their respective 20% barangay development funds.

This after the City Council during its regular session Monday presided over by City Vice Mayor Caesar Ian E. Acenas passed separate resolutions returning the barangay ordinances covering 2014 annual budgets of Barangays No. 26, 27, 38, Pigsag-an, Tagpangi and Tumpagon noting among others that the ordinances are in order and may be given force and effect.

Barangay Tumpagon allocated P273,750 of its P2,039,150 for the construction and fabrication of bleachers at the barangay covered court while Barangay Tagpangi allotted so much amount from its P2.2 million budget for the rehabilitation of its barangay swimming pool and construction of a public comfort room.

Pigsag-an, on the other hand, budgeted P193,840 for the perimeter fence of its barangay covered court and rehabilitation of its barangay water system.

For urban Barangays 26, 27 and 38, all appropriated so much amount for the rehabilitation of the drainage systems within their areas of jurisdiction.

The committees on barangay affairs and on laws and rules chaired by Councilor Yan Lam Lim and Councilor Ramon Tabor reviewed all the barangay annual budgets. (ELB/CdeOSP/PIA)

Investors swamp DoubleDragon’s IPO

By Jenniffer B. Austria


DoubleDragon Properties Corp., a property firm owned by Jolllibee Foods Corp. chairman Tony Tan Caktiong and businessman Edgar Sia II, set the final price of the planned initial public offering at the top end of its indicative price of P2 per share amid strong demand.

BDO Capital & Investment Corp. president Eduardo Francisco said in a text message the issue was 14 times oversubscribed, signifying strong interest from local investors for the country’s first IPO in 2014.

BDO Capital is one of the underwriters of DoubleDragon’s public offering.

DoubleDragon, based on the final offer price, is expected to raise as much as P1.16 billion in proceeds from the sale of 579.73 million primary shares.

The offering period will start from March 25 to April 1, while the listing date is tentatively set on April 7.

The company plans to use proceeds from the IPO to roll out and develop the first five branded community malls called CityMall and acquire new properties that can be developed for future residential and commercial projects.

The company recently completed the acquisition of 12,645 square meters of commercial land along Arnaldo Boulevard in Roxas City, which will be the site of the first CityMall.

DoubleDragon plans to build 100 community malls costing over P24 billion over the next five years.

DoubleDragon said it has undertaken preliminary activities and targeted areas in Manila, Iloilo, Zamboanga, Quezon City and Roxas City for initial acquisitions.

It said other places such as Davao, Pampanga, Baguio, Kalibo, Cebu, Boracay, Las Piñas, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan and Mindoro were also being evaluated as prospective sites of future projects.

Aside from CityMall community mall chain, DoubleDragon also intends to complete three office towers in the next six years in different central business districts in Metro Manila which will be leased out to corporate and BPO tenants.

These expansion plans are in line with the company’s objective to become one of the leading property developers by 2020, with one million total leasable space, including 700,000 square meters of CityMall projects and 300,000 square meters of office buildings.

DoubleDragon is the second joint venture between Sia and Tan Caktiong.






Creation of rubber research center proposed

By Dennis Carcamo


MANILA, Philippines - Two legislators have filed a bill in Congress, seeking to create a research center for the rubber industry to help the small rubber producers and processors in the country.

Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and Abamin partylist Rep. Maximo Rodriguez Jr. filed House Bill 3940, which seeks to create the Philippine Rubber Research Institute that will administer research and development programs that will improve the quality and increase productivity of rubber in the country.

Rodriguez cited a report of the Department of Agriculture stating that the country’s rubber industry accounted for only 1.05 percent of the world consumption of rubber in 2004.

Rodriguez said the world production of natural rubber is projected to increase at three to five percent per year up to 2020, that is from 6.6 million tons in 2006 to 17.4 million tons in 2010 to 28.1 million in 2020.

"The slow progress of the rubber industry can be attributed to the low quality of rubber products, lack of planting materials for expansion and lack of investments for the establishment of bud wood garden and nurseries," Rodriguez said.

Under the bill, the PRRI shall be headed by an executive director, appointed by the President of the Philippines for a term of three years, upon recommendation of the DA, who shall be responsible for the planning, implementation and supervision of the program and activities of the Institute.

An Advisory Board shall be created to formulate policies and initiate programs for the development of the Philippine rubber industry; review and recommend the annual budget of the Institute; evaluate the implementation, efficiency and effectiveness of the programs and projects of the Institute; and recommend the establishment or abolition of satellite units or branches.

The PRRI Advisory Board shall be composed of the Secretary of the DA or his representative as chairman; Undersecretary of DA, as vice-chairman; Executive Director of the Bureau of Agricultural Research; Executive Director of the Bureau of Plant Industry; Executive Director of the Philippine Rubber Research Institute; a representative from the rubber producers, and a representative from rubber processors, as members, to be appointed by the President, upon recommendation of the DA, for a term of three years.

The board shall monitor and evaluate the rubber research programs and identify the immediate needs and essential concerns of the rubber industry.

CHED 10 opens scholarship grants, loan programs

By Jasper Marie Oblina-Rucat


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 20 (PIA) – The Commission on Higher Education (CHED), region 10, announces various scholarship and loan programs available for academic school year 2014 to 2015.

Education Supervisor Karen Joie Cuenca said that P15, 000 per semester is allocated for a full scholarship where applicant has General Weighted Average (GWA) of 90%; Partial scholarship allocates P7, 500 per semester with at least 85% GWA.

Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA) scholarship is also open. It requires at least 85% GWA and allocation of P7, 500 per semester.

Meanwhile, Grant-in-Aid program particularly Tulong-Dunong is intended for: 1) high school graduates whose GWA is at least a passing grade in the third year and in the first three grading periods in the fourth year. They shall enroll in priority courses in public or private Higher Education Institutions (HEIs); 2) on-going college students whose GWA is at least passing grade for the last two semesters and are enrolled in priority courses in public or private (HEIs), and 3) students who passed the Alternative Learning System (ALS) and the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT).

To qualify, Cuenca said that applicants must be Filipino citizen of good moral character, high school graduate, and candidate for graduation, with earned units in college or passer of ALS/PEPT.

Also, combined annual gross income of parents or guardian must not exceed P300, 000. He or she must not be a graduate of any degree program and has not availed of any government scholarship or grant.

For student borrowers, they must enter into a loan agreement with CHED regional office and must have a co-borrower who is a member of SSS or GSIS in good standing (at least paying contribution for six months for the last 12 months).

Student applicants should submit accomplished STUFAPs application with supporting documents to CHED regional office. Meanwhile, applicants who intend to enroll in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) shall directly submit their application to concerned SUCs.

Priority courses include Information Technology, Agriculture and Related Fields, Teacher Education, Science and Math, Engineering, Health Science, Arts and Humanities, Business Administration, Maritime, Communication, Architecture, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Deadline of submission of requirements is on April 15. For more information, CHED may be reached at (08822) 711231. (JMOR/PIA10)

NYC opens 10th National Youth Parliament

By Jasper Marie Oblina-Rucat


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 19 (PIA) – The National Youth Commission (NYC) invites all interested student leaders in the 10th National Youth Parliament (NYP) on May 15 to 18 in Manila.

During its first quarter meeting with the Regional Youth Advisory Council on March 18, NYC Cluster Head for Northeastern Mindanao Salma Jayne Tamano urges student leaders to apply for the NYP.

It is a three-day convention of youth leaders every two years wherein policy reccomendations are formulated to address youth issues. It also serves as the government's guide in policy formulation and program development since 1996.

Tamano said that Republic Act 8044 mandates the Commission to convene the National Youth Parliament every two years. The Parliament shall have a regular session from two to three days every time it is convened.

Applicants must be a Filipino Citizen, 15 to 30 years old on the day of the Parliament, must not have been a youth parliament delegate and should shoulder his or her travelling expenses.

Applications must be lodged online at www.nyc.gov.ph or you may visit the facebook page of NYP10 where application forms may be downlaoded.

Deadline of submission of requirements is in March 21. (JMOR/PIA10)






Ranking police in Oro nabbed for ‘extortion’

By Grace Cantal-Albasin


CAGAYAN de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno urged the Philippine National Police in Northern Mindanao to uphold the law without favor after one of its ranking police officials was nabbed at a hotel here Monday afternoon for his involvement in alleged extortion activities.

Police Superintendent John Michael Deloso, chief of the traffic division of the Cagayan de Oro Police Office, and PO3 Ernesto Galito were nabbed by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation in Northern Mindanao (NBI-10).

This after lawyer Ernie Palanan, outgoing president of Xavier Heights Jeepney Drivers and Operators Association, sought help to entrap Deloso for allegedly extorting from the drivers who are members of the said transport group.

Palanan handed Galito an envelope containing P2,000 and Deloso who came later got the envelope with P4,000. The said monthly fee is allegedly for the protection of drivers from apprehensions on traffic violations.

Moreno is expecting the police would conduct thorough investigation on Deloso’s case and other possible irregularities he could have committed.

“Nobody is above the law. The law is supreme and it has to be upheld. This case is disturbing and disconcerting since he is one of the top police officials in the region. But at the end of the day, the law must be enforced,” Moreno said.

Deloso relieved

When asked if he received reports on Deloso’s alleged irregularities, Moreno said he did and even brought it to the attention of Deloso’s superiors for possible actions two months ago.

“I told PSSupt. Graciano Mijares, the city police chief, about it and he also brought the matter to his superiors. And last week, I was informed by him (Mijares) that Deloso beginning today, Monday (March 17) would be relieved from his post,” he said by phone Monday evening.

Mijares confirmed that Deloso was relieved from his post as traffic chief.

“Pending the investigation being conducted against him by NBI-10 he is reassigned to our admin and holding section. We are waiting for the criminal charges to be filed by NBI-10. We will initiate administrative charges if the situation warrants. Rest assured of our cooperation while we also pray that he will be accorded with due process,” Mijares wrote in a text message sent to this paper.

Insult to the core

For his part, councilor Ramon Tabor, chair of the committee on police, fire and public safety, said the incident is an insult to the core considering it involved a ranking police officer of Cocpo.

“He has to answer for what he has done and I hope there isn’t a foul play and it was a regular entrapment. This is a message for all to take care of our names and our positions. Sayang... sayang ang kahago nya to get to his position only to be tarnished if ever that incident is valid,” Tabor said.

Redress

In a radio interview on Zona Libre of Bombo Radyo Monday evening, Palanan said he had nothing personal against the police involved but he just wanted to seek redress on behalf of the drivers affected.

“Mga gagmay’ng tawo kini sa kadalanan naningkamot sa ilang singot ug dugo arun mabuhi. I could have opted to ignore this since I am an operator, but seeing their woes, I decided to fight for them. It wasn't an easy decision considering the people involved but justice must be served,” Palanan said.

The NBI refused to comment on the case at presstime since they are still preparing the documents for the inquest of Deloso at the City Fiscal Office today, March 18.

Warned

Last month, Chief Inspector Lemuel Gonda, Cocpo’s chief of operations and plans branch, warned police officers engaged in possible irregularities especially illegal gambling to face the consequence of administrative charges once caught.

Gonda urged the public to secure video footages or pictures that would support their claims, and assured that the Cocpo leadership would not hesitate to sanction erring police officers.

In January also this year, Police Superintendent Michael Pareja, PNP regional spokesman, said getting rid of illegal gambling activities is one of the top priorities of Chief Superintendent Isagani Genabe Jr., the newly installed police regional director for Northern Mindanao.

In his speech, Genabe did not promise anything, but said his main task is to curb down criminality.

This paper called Deloso's mobile telephone to hear his side, but he didn't pick up.







CDO’s Guibone Xprez, Davao’s JMC champs in Malaybalay volley tourney

By H. Marcos C. Mordeno


MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 17 March) – Guibone Xprez proved too strong for the University of Mindanao (UM) in their championship showdown Sunday at the invitational volleyball tournament sponsored by the city government.

Reinforced by veterans from Manila and Cebu, Guibone Xprez unleashed a merciless offense to win the match in three successive sets, 25-17, 25-13, and 25-22.

The men’s team from Cagayan de Oro City fielded its reserves in the early part of the third set, but put its starters back into the game after UM zoomed to a 10-2 lead.

Guibone Xprez made it 8-10 before both teams took turns in point production.

UM tasted its last lead in the third set at 21-20 before Guibone Xprez took the helm at 23-22 and never looked back after that.


In the battle for third place, Davao Optima outlasted Panlibatohan-Valencia in the match that went the distance.

Davao Optima took the first and third sets and Panlibatohan the second and fourth sets to force a fifth and deciding set.

It was mainly unforced errors that cost Panlibatohan the game.

In the women’s division, it was an all-Davao show between Jose Maria College (JMC) and RCube.

RCube grabbed the first set, but JMC took the next three sets to grab the championship.

The tournament is part of this year’s charter day celebration of Malaybalay.






10 Oro villages get P1.3-M DSWD livelihood fund

By Erwin M. Mascarinas


THE Department of Social Welfare (DSWD) regional office together with the City Social Service office here distributed a total of 1.325 million worth of livelihood assistance to 10 barangay associations.

“These beneficiaries or barangay associations are all part of the Self Employment Assistance – Kaunlaran Association or SKA. Each association has 25 members in which each will receive a minimum of 5,000 to 10,000 pesos per individual, varying on the type livelihood project in which they applied,” said Rhandy Ladoruz, sustainable livelihood program focal person DSWD Northern Mindanao.

Ladoruz explained that the project was in coordination with different local government offices.

“The office of Congressman Rodriguez initiated the request for support in terms of a livelihood project to our Social Welfare secretary Soliman, and this was referred to our regional office and then to the city social welfare office. We assessed and then validated all the identified beneficiary groups in the barangays and then organized them into 10 associations,” said Ladoruz.

Congressman Rufus Rodriguez, 2nd district representative of Cagayan de Oro City, is optimistic the project will help the beneficiaries to start their small businesses.

“This is not actually free give away; the livelihood assistance is in a way borrowing funds to help kick start small businesses within the different barangay associations. If this association would be able to return the money then they would be qualified for a much bigger grant and assistance,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said that through this kind of livelihood support the people would learn to work hard and stand out for themselves and hopefully several more barangays would benefit from the project in the future.

Alta Gracia Arroyo, president of the Tabang sa Kalambuan SKA of barangay 12, one of the 10 barangay beneficiaries is happy from the livelihood assistance she would receive.

“I’m so thankful for the chance to kick start our own livelihood project that would help our families. The help has a very big impact to all the members; it has given us hope to work hard and gain more in the future. With this support we all understood that we won’t just sit down and wait but work for it in order to earn,” said Gracia.

Gracia who has three children and 6 months pregnant explained the livelihood project their association has planned.

“We all agreed to put up a longganiza and baked goods such as cupcakes type of a livelihood business. We’ve already trained ourselves and scouted some prospective clients such as bank employees since our barangay is situated near business establishments,” said Gracia.

Gracia is confident that their plan would work since most of the association’s member work as vendors and food deliverers.

The DSWD enumerated the ten barangays that will receive the assistance as Balubal, Tablon, Gusa, Camaman-an, FS Catanico, Indahaag, Consolacion, Barangays 34, 35 and 12.






Armed men rob courier firm in Cagayan de Oro

By LBG, GMA News


Armed men held up a branch of a courier firm in Cagayan de Oro City Friday night.

The men fled aboard a motorcycle after staging the holdup at the LBC branch in Barangay Carmen, Bombo Radyo reported Saturday.

The men fled with P7,000 in sales collections, the report said.

Carmen police head Senior Inspector Alfredo Ortiz said they are now following leads on the suspects.

It was the third recent robbery of a courier firm in the city, the report added.

Lawmaker wants foreign aid agreements published in papers

By Philippine News Agency


MANILA, Philippines -- A lawmaker is seeking the publication in newspapers of recently signed foreign aid agreements to show government’s transparency in the utilization of the fund.

“Considering the present allegations of misuse or non-use of foreign aid, it is high time that the government shows transparency in the utilization of foreign aid. Requiring publication of the foreign loan agreement upon its signing is a step in this direction,” Cagayan de Oro City Representative Rufus Rodriguez said of House Bill 3931.

The measure would require the publication of all agreements on foreign aid, whether loans or grants.

Rodriguez said the lack of disclosure on foreign aid to the Philippines and the supposed beneficiaries is perceived as one of the main causes for wastage.

He cited a study by the National Economic Development Authority that showed the country’s capacity to meet commitments based on the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness by 2010 as “disturbing.”

“Of the nine indicators mentioned in the Paris Declaration, the Philippines has so far achieved the 2010 target for only one indicator, that of coordinated capacity development,” he said.

The Paris Declaration commits signatories to increasing efforts in harmonization, alignment and management of foreign aid, including official development assistance, using a set of actions and indications that can be monitored.

Although a perennial recipient of foreign aid, the Philippines’ development still lags behind many other nations in Southeast Asia, Rodriguez noted.

“This simply reflects the unrealized supposed benefits of foreign aid. Among the reasons for the dismal result including poor institutional development, corruption, inefficiencies and bureaucratic failures in the developing countries,” said Rodriguez.

House Bill 3931, co-authored by Rodriguez’s brother Maximo, who represents the Abante Mindanao party-list, requires any foreign aid agreement to be published within one month after signing in two national newspapers of general circulation.

The publication should include the agreement itself, the country or organization that is the source of the aid, the amount, the beneficiaries, the project or program covered, and the conditions attached to the assistance.

Any aid agreement that fails to comply with the provisions of the measure shall void the pact and free the government of any obligations, the measure says.






PhilHealth honors heroes

By Jorie C. Valcorza


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 13 (PIA) – Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) region 10 recognizes once again deserving individuals who pursued genuine service and made positive impact in the society, as well as, accredited health care institutions who displayed outstanding practices or innovations worthy of emulation.

The PhilHealth Heroes Award has four categories, namely, the Young Wonder, Children’s Advocate, Health Warrior and Community Champion, which for the year 2013 were awarded to Gracelle Joy G. Cabeguin, Catalina P. Rubin, Dr. Melquisedes L. Po, and Orlando R. Ravanera, respectively.

While Baroy Rural Health Unit, Tudela Rural Health Unit, Initao Rural Health Unit, Barangay North Poblacion Lying-in Clinic, Sultan Naga Dimaporo Provincial Hospital and Malaybalay Polymedic General Hospital were among the recognized outstanding health care institutions in the region for year 2013.

Meanwhile, PhilHealth paid a total of P3.4B in terms of hospitalization and outpatient benefits for its members in region 10 alone, as to membership, it also attained a total coverage of 4.2M members and dependents encompassing all of Northern Mindanao.

Pegged against a population of 4.3 million constituents, PhilHealth regional office 10 has delivered a membership accomplishment of 97 percent or translated otherwise as ‘universal coverage,’ a feat they maintained since 2003 up to present, being first region in the country to attain universal PhilHealth coverage.

PhilHealth regional membership and marketing head, Ian Alfredo T. Magno underscored that it is by this drive for excellence that they are also honoring these ordinary men and women who simply believed in change.

“They are our PhilHealth Heroes, and they do not stop improving their craft in the field of health, environment, art and advocacy of children’s rights; they are our partners in the delivery of quality health care for our members - faithfully living by PhilHealth’s corporate mission, that is “Sulit na Benepisyo sa Bawat Miyembro, Dekalidad na Serbisyo Para sa Lahat,” Magno added. (JCV/PIA)

Corn farmers enroll in School-on-the-Air program

By Vanessa Mae S. Siano


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 12 (PIA) - The Department of Agriculture-10 through the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Division will conduct a three-month long School-on-the Air (SOA) Program on Corn Processing and Value-adding this month.

Corn farmers from the municipalities of Misamis Oriental and first district of Bukidnon have joined the orientation for the said program conducted in their respective municipalities.

The SOA program is in line with the agency’s effort in its continuous dissemination of relevant information to the grassroots level which is vital in agricultural development and poverty alleviation. It will showcase technologies on corn by-products and its viability.

These are essential in generating additional income opportunities among farmers and in encouraging them to venture into agri-business by ensuring the sustainable use of agricultural resources.

It will be a thirty-minute radio program which will air modular discussions and instructions in corn processing and value-adding.

It will be aired on a radio station based in Cagayan de Oro City duringMonday and Friday at 5:30-6:00 p.m.

Quizzes will also be administered on the air and a post evaluation examination will be conducted towards the end of the program in the respective municipalities to measure the level of learning and the knowledge gained by the participants from the program.

Those interested farmers who are not yet enrolled in the SOA program are encouraged to visit the office of the municipal agriculturist in their respective towns on or before March 17, 2014 to signify their interest. (Vanessa Mae S. Siano, DA-RAFID 10)

Pressuring the Lower House

By Nef Luczon


THE Senate has finally passed the Freedom of Information (FOI) for the third and final reading, almost 21 years after it has been pending in Congress due to its potent power for government transparency and corruption exposes.

We'd like to believe that the Congress is made up of deserving and noble legislators, but there are always those bad eggs and their agenda-setting 'sponsors' from the outside that have dark powers to let it stall for more than two decades.

Because once FOI, in its truest and untainted sense and purpose, becomes a law, issues on corruption will be curbed and people will always have the right to demand their government what did it do to the people's money, obliging government agencies and officials to perform its duty and channel the funds without "kickbacks" and "commissions" directly sent to their pockets.

If FOI was passed 21 years ago, we won't have experienced pork barrel scams, NBN-ZTE anomalous deals and the like if it was implemented right. But even if it's already passed in the Senate, we still have to wait the FOI version that comes from the House of Representatives.

As of this writing, the House version of FOI is still under the Technical Working Group, according to reports and it may have take a little longer to deliberate and have a consolidated version in May after session will resume after the Holy Week in April.

Representatives in the Lower House only have two options: either they will pass their FOI version the soonest as possible, or find lame excuses to delay it until next year.

And once FOI versions in the Senate and Lower House will be passed and consolidated, then our attention will now focus on President Benigno S. Aquino III, will he sign it or veto it? Until then, we need not take our eyes off from him and to the legislators.

It is interesting and amusing at the same time looking at how the majority bloc of Cagayan de Oro City Council automatically cry foul over the Moreno administration's potential "anomalies" from budget issues and now add the satellite office in Makati City.

Interesting, because finally the City Council has become autonomous and it can speak for its own. This means that Mayor Oscar Moreno is bound to do his duty as honest as possible otherwise it may have a negative interpretation if his actions and decisions are not justified.

Meanwhile, it is amusing, because of the fact that they are only doing it now, and perhaps they are very much familiar the possibilities of potential "anomalies," and because they are now seeing themselves in the mirror during the time of their previous master.

Moreno may not be the ideal mayor or perfect public servant Cagayan de Oro may ever have, but simply put, the majority of the new-opposition bloc of the City Council unwittingly and subconsciously scrutinizes potentially "anomalous" moves by Moreno administration, because they themselves know the potential "anomalies" would be like. It's basic psychology.

More NorMin solons support Panguil Bay Bridge Project

By Rosalyn R. Yparraguirre & Peleta B. Abejo


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 10 (PIA) --- Congressional Representatives from Region X expressed their full support to facilitate funding and early implementation of the Panguil Bay Bridge (PBB) Project during a short meeting held at the Mallberry Suite Thursday, March 6.

Affixing their signatures on the PBB Advocacy Tarpaulin were: Ma. Lourdes O. Acosta of the 1st district of Bukidnon; Jorge T. Almonte (1st District of Misamis Occidental); Peter M. Unabia (1st District of Misamis Oriental); Rolando A. Uy (1st District of Cagayan de Oro City); Rufus B. Rodriguez (2nd District of Cagayan de Oro City); Vicente F. Belmonte (Lone District of Iligan City); and Maximo B. Rodriguez, Jr. of Abante Mindanao.

It can be recalled that officials of the Regional Development Council of Northern Mindanao (RDC-X) and major stakeholders of the PBB Project met with Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio L. Singson last January 30, 2014 to facilitate funding and early implementation of the PBB Project.

Costing P5.193 billion, the 3.6 kilometer two-lane Panguil Bay Bridge is one of the priority projects in Northern Mindanao considered as one of the major strategic interventions particularly in providing access, logistics and infrastructure services toward the attainment of inclusive growth.

It will connect the municipality of Tubod in Lanao del Norte and Tangub City in Misamis Occidental and reduce travel time between the two places from two hours to only about seven minutes.

Once completed, it will provide uninterrupted access from the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan to Tangub, Oroquieta and Ozamiz as well as the rest of Zamboanga Peninsula.

It will also enhance agricultural development and industrialization along the Cagayan-Iligan Corridor and the Tubod-Tangub-Ozamiz-Oroquieta growth areas. (Rosalyn R. Yparraguirre & Peleta B. Abejo/NEDA-X/PIA-10)







House Commitee to DOE: stop electricity spot market in Mindanao

By Froilan Gallardo


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/09 March) — The House Committee on Energy expects the Department of Energy to carry out their resolution stopping the electricity spot market in Mindanao “as soon as possible,” Representative Rufus Rodriguez (2nd district, Cagayan de Oro) said Saturday.

“We expect Energy Secretary Petilla to carry out our resolution immediately as soon as he receives a copy from us,” Rodriguez said.

“It was very clear that all of those who attended the public hearing were against the Interim Mindanao Electricity Market,” he added.

He said Petilla met with several members of the energy committee before Thursday’s public hearing and told them he has no objection if the IMEM will be suspended.

Petilla, who was invited to the public hearing, was not able to attend.


The House Committee on Energy chaired by Rep. Reynaldo Umali (2nd District, Oriental Mindoro) recommended the suspension of the Interim Mindanao Electricity Market (IMEM) after consumers and utility distributors voiced their objections to the power spot trading scheme during a public hearing in Cagayan de Oro last Thursday.

“It was very clear at the public hearing that the IMEM will not serve the best interests of the Mindanao power consumers,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez added that presentations by the academic sector and industry executives “clearly showed” that the electricity market is susceptible to price manipulation.

“Instead of cheap electricity, Mindanao consumers will have to pay an exorbitant rate of P32 per kilowatt hour,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez, a member of the energy committee said Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla should order a stop to the trading and place all available supply of electricity in the Mindanao grid to stave off rotational brownouts that have been plaguing the island.

A Mindanao-wide blackout occurred on February 27 but until now (see separate story), investigations as to the cause of the power outage have yet to be completed. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)







Pimentel wants PNR to manage Mindanao Railway Project

By Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex


SENATOR Aquilino Pimentel III on Friday asked President Benigno Aquino III to transfer supervision of the Mindanao Railway Project Office (MRPO) from the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to the Philippine National Railways (PNR).

Pimentel, representing various Mindanao leaders, said PNR has the technical know how to implement the project, a network of lines linking Cagayan de Oro to the cities of Iligan and Zamboanga, the provinces of Agusan and Surigao and the cities of Davao and General Santos.

He said the masterplan was already completed in 2010 and the feasibility study for the first phase of the project is also finished, linking the Cagayan de Oro industrial corridor from Jasaan, Misamis Oriental to Linamon, Lanao del Norte.

Pimentel said the opening segment of the proposed Mindanao Railway System will link two vital Mindanao gateways, the Languindingan International Airport and the Mindanao Container Port.

He said business in these areas, including the transfer of goods, trade and commerce, will enjoy an expected boon once the project is in full operation.

The project was started in the late 90s during the term of former President Fidel Ramos, but it was only in 2006 when the MRPO was created under the supervision of the LTFRB.

The state-run Saudi Fund for Development was reported to be interested in providing as much as $1.3 billion in cheap financing to fund the 124-kilomter railway systems.

Government is also keen on tapping official development assistance (ODA) funds in partnership with China to build the railway which is vital to the economy.

Pimentel expressed hope that with MRPO under PNR, the agency mandated to establish a national railway system, the long-delayed project will finally take off the drawing boards.






WORM’S EYEVIEW: Who’s Minding the Defenses of Peace?

By Manny Valdehuesa


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/07 March) — “Since wars begin in the minds of men,” states the charter of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), “it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.”

One wonders what precautions have been made, what defenses installed, to ensure that there will be durable peace in Mindanao.

Peace in parts of our region is so fragile and so readily shattered by barbaric malcontents that its defenses need to be shored up on both physical and psychological levels.

Even now peace is under attack on many fronts.

Insurgents


If it’s not by some out-of-line MILF operative, it’s a breakaway group like the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) that’s breaking up the peace. If not the BIFF, it’s the disaffected Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) or some faction of it.

There are the Abu Sayyaf, the New People’s Army, and disgruntled followers of some warlord, sultan, datu, or what have you.

If it’s none of these, others still unknown or unnamed manage to roil and scuttle the peace of some community or other. So it’s a matter of urgency that firm defenses be constructed, a task that is by no means easy.

We don’t even know how many such groups there are. Those who think they know don’t know what armaments the groups possess or how many and where these are stored.

It’s ridiculous that the police and military don’t know, considering how large their intelligence funds and personnel are!

Violent Minds

Not only must we contend with overt threats from these groups, we must also deal with not-so-obvious threats including the mental-psychological variety. For there are hotheads in our midst, swashbucklers and adventurers—even elected officials who ought to know better than substitute macho posturing and violence for good governance.

There are others who employ “Dirty Harry tricks” to supplant the rule of law. More on this later on.

But such is the weakness of the defenses of peace in our society, so enduring the urge to barbarism, so compelling the resort to violence, and so ironic that it should suffuse the mindset of even those charged with securing public order or mental health.

Thus, many people are confused… many are so addled that they cannot distinguish between the righteous and the barbaric… or so corrupted that the need to uphold peace makes no sense to them. It is such people that cause unrest and insurgency to thrive.

Building Defenses

Insecurity is the ultimate threat to peace. Lack of education or ignorance keeps people unstable and unable to cope with reality.

It ought to have been very obvious to our policy-makers, decision-makers, and peace negotiators that to secure the peace, more educational facilities, teachers, and books are needed; that the whole array of developmental activities be furnished or made readily available to Mindanao and its afflicted communities.

But as matters stand, there is a dearth of livelihood opportunities; economic viability is very low, and health services poor. And so, lacking the basic defenses of peace, any gains from the long processes of negotiations may be jeopardized by continuing insecurity.

Moreover, with poor educational facilities and inadequate supply of educators, narrow minds cannot be opened and discrimination, distrust, or prejudice cannot be addressed.

The defenses of peace require breaking down of barriers to understanding. The cobwebs of the past into which people have been ensnared need to be cleared. Through all the time and processes it took for the peace talks to progress who has been minding the build up and institutionalization of the defenses of peace?

And what peace-promotion programs can desirous communities or groups avail of if they wish to help the process along?






Fetus found on Cagayan de Oro shore

By Camcer Imam


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - A fetus was found on the shore along Macapagal Road in Upper Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City Thursday morning.

The fetus was wrapped in white cloth and was put inside a shoe box before it was placed inside a paper bag.

The female fetus is estimated to be about five or six months old.

It was discovered by three men who checked the box, thinking that they will find a pair of shoes inside. They immediately went to the police when they noticed that the box was filled with blood.

The area is known as a dumping site for dead bodies.

Vox Populi and the City Council

By Giano M. Libot


AS a legislative body, my understanding is that your primary consultation for laws has to be your constituents. The balance of power as they call it, because not everyone can quit their day job and represent themselves in city council, a councilor takes on this mantle and does this for you, bearing full understanding of your needs, your agenda, and of course the greater public good.

To me something is amiss when a city council whose task was to legislate starts employing consultants. Of course, there are exceptions outside the realm of technical expertise. But in theory the city council is supposed to be well representative that the consultations need not be outsourced, but can be done within the council itself, which Cagayan de Oro is fortunate enough to have. It is filled with sufficient diversity, we have lawyers, we have media men, we have experienced lawmakers, so it is bothersome, and piques ones curiosity when you still have to hire a former city mayor for consultation services.

WHY? Is Vicente Emano’s wisdom beyond any realm that our city council cannot handle? But if we presume that he is, without a doubt, the source of all good that can come out from the city council, doesn’t this fundamentally violate the “nature” and purpose of our councillors? Why did you vote them in the first place? I thought they were there to represent the people, not to be represented by someone else.

Let’s entertain this thought for a second, if the consultation services of the former city mayor is indeed rewarding, then don’t you think it’s best we downsize the existing city council in place of him? Perhaps we don’t need as many heads. But if his services are barely significant, why waste resources?

Ah because he’s only going to be hired for 1 peso a year, right. But the resource here isn’t just monetary, it’s the entire structure you have to put in place to accommodate his wisdom, there is always an opportunity cost when you use him, and I am certain it comes at the cost of no longer adhering to the pulse of the people, but the thoughts of one man.

We can start discussing the ills of the Moreno administration of hiring consultants in another page, but even if we presume his actions were also wrong, it doesn’t make majority of the city council any smarter by doing the same mistake. Much less because their position of duty already presupposes they only have one “consultant.” And that is the people.

Vox Populi is a famous practice in journalism to get feedback from the people, the man on the street is empowered to share his views, our dear city councilors have a mandate to reach out to the public, they are channels of our own rights, the current actions of the city council make me think twice that this “public” they serve seems to be just one man.






P2.4M allotted for CDO’s anti-rabies drive

By Camcer Imam


The City of Cagayan de Oro has allotted P2.4 million for its Anti-Rabies Program this year.

According to the Program of Works approved by the 17th City Council during the recent regular session, the amount will be used to purchase 1,212 anti-rabies vaccines.

This year, the City Health Office also aims to provide post exposure treatment to all victims, ensure the proper handling of vaccines in maintaining its potency, keep records and reports on number of cases and vaccine utilization as it targets 4,800 beneficiaries.

NAPOCOR belies Petilla’s report on power outage cause

By Camcer Ordonez Imam


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY– National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) officials belied Energy Sec. Jericho Petilla’s report that a power plant in Lanao del Norte conked out and was the cause of the Mindanao-wide blackout last Thursday, Feb. 27.

Earlier, Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla told the press that one of the power plants maintained by the NAPOCOR, particularly the Agus 1 in Lanao del Norte, which provides power to one of the major power grids in Mindanao, stopped operations and caused the power outage.

But NAPOCOR Spokesman Romero Pacilan said the transmission of the power from NAPOCOR was normal at that time. However, the NGCP grid could not take in the energy at that time because of low voltage.

Pacilan said they could not determine the reason why there was “low voltage” on the transmission of the electricity.

This was reinforced by NAPOCOR officials in Iligan City who said that the origin of the power failure that caused a blackout in Mindanao about 3:30 am on Feb. 27, 2014 could not be positively traced.

The STEAG State Power Inc. (SPI) situated inside the PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate in Villanueva town, Misamis Oriental said “initial reports indicated that the Mindanao grid systems disturbance was caused by the tripping of several power plants in Mindanao which started from the state-owned Agus 1 in Marawi City.”

Jerome R. Soldevilla, communications officer of SPI, said “Units 1 and 2 of SPI’s Mindanao Coal-Fired Power Plant remain offline after sustaining partial damage to its turbine generating sets brought about by the reported Mindanao grid systems disturbance on Thursday 27 February 2014. Each unit has a net generating capacity of 105 MW.”

Soldevilla said SPI is currently fast tracking the completion of an on-going comprehensive inspection and assessment of the turbine-generators.

The inspection takes time as it covers all the essential parts of the turbine generating sets and other major power plant equipment, he said.

Earlier, SPI president and CEO Dr. Bodo Goerlich said the company is doubling its efforts to bring the units back to the Mindanao grid.

SPI’s power plant is currently Mindanao’s biggest in terms of unit capacity. Since start of its commercial operations in November 2006, it has delivered more than 10B kWh of electricity to the Mindanao grid, representing about a fifth of the island’s total electricity supply. SPI is principally owned by Steag GmbH, which is one the largest electricity producers in Germany.

It took the NGCP five hours to restore service in Cagayan de Oro City, Davao City, General Santos City, Zamboanga City, Pagadian City and some municipal towns in Mindanao.

Lawmakers want deadweight GOCCs abolished

By Kristine Angeli Sabillo


MANILA, Philippines – Lawmakers are pushing for the abolition of 19 government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) and government financial institutions (GFIs) deemed “unnecessary, underperforming and losing.”


“Consistent with the Aquino administration’s austerity measures, it is high time that the government removes the excess fat and spends only for things that are truly vital to the country,” Cagayan de Oro City Representative Rufus Rodriguez and Abante Mindanao Representative Maximo Rodriguez said in a statement. The two solons have filed House Bill (HB) 3807, which aims to abolish the following GOCCs and GFIs: 1) Banaue Hotel and Youth Hostel 2) Batangas Land Company, Incorporated 3) BCDA Management and Holdings, Incorporated 4) Cottage Industry Technology Center 5) Freeport Service Corporation 6) GY Real Estate, Incorporated 7) Human Settlements Development Corporation 8) Kamayan Realty Corporation 9) Marawi Resort Hotel, Incorporated 10) Masaganang Sakahan, Incorporated 11) National Agribusiness Corporation 12) Natural Resources Development Corporation 13) NDC-Infrastructure Corporation 14) Northern Foods Corporation 15) Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation 16) Philippine Convention and Visitors Corporation 17) Pinagkaisa Realty Corporation 18) Trade and Investment Development Corporation of the Philippines 19) ZNAC Rubber Estate Corporation (ZREC) The authors said many of the government’s 120 GOCCs and GFIs are unnecessary and underperforming but are still being supported by the government through taxpayer’s money. They said the public still pays for their expenses and their employees’ salaries. “This is aside from the P7.28 billion that the government extends to these state-owned subsidiaries as subsidies from January to May, or P2.25 billion more than the P5.03 billion recorded in the same period in 2013,” they said. Under HB 3807, officers and employees of the abolished GOCCs and GFIs will receive separation pay equivalent to two and a half months salary for each year of service. The amount will be included in the general appropriations act. ZREC, among the GOCCs tagged in the pork barrel scam, was already abolished last month because of “financial viability and relevance to national development plans.”

The scrooge of Cagayan de Oro

By Giano M. Libot


WE DON'T espouse conformity for the sake of unity; unity for unity’s sake is a virtue I often dismiss as blind and irrational. However there does come a point where being just a critique is as unreasonable as well, this is reflected best on the reception of some of the public to the Oro Traffic Management, and the changes being slowly implemented in our city.

But let’s be clear here, this isn’t their entire fault. Part of this has something to do with conditioning, of how things have been so far, and how many have been led along that hopeful road only to be frustrated and disappointed. I

It is true, the Hapsay road most of us all once welcomed with joyous salvation has encountered rough patches, and dare I say when I say rough patches, these are rough potholed roads reminiscent of some of the city streets in Cagayan de Oro.

But such attitude turns its ugly head when honest efforts are all put down with excessive negativity, we all need to understand that programs have an effect not just to the material, but even to its advocacy, so when you spread negativity you invite negativity, and you don’t allow honest dialogue or even an opportunity to open up to potential contribution. How can you help out? How can you improve it? Can you share in the advocacy to make it a traffic free zone?

We like the critic, contrary to popular belief it is not easy to be in a critics shoe, there is so much emotional investment in breaking down how a system is flawed, but when the critic turns into a scrooge, we get problems not because we can’t move on and be productive, but because we have to leave some stones unmoved. When you say change, all they ever say is “not.”

It’s beginning to grow a culture of faddish behaviors, ningas-cogon rapud na (short term). It takes a little bit more confidence to entrust that things can go right, and yes this is the kind of trust that has to be earned, but when all we ever welcome are hopes of futility, then the exercise to change becomes hopeless.

They say these critics are part of the building blocks of society, that if the optimist is the builder, the critics push them to move, but when all we ever get out of advocacies isn’t an urge for movement, but a retaining of the current situation, what point is there to critique?

Can we ever achieve a traffic free zone? A lot seems to be undertaken to make this happen. But the bottom line is that it’s not impossible, it is definitely a difficult challenge.

But the answer to this question is YES WE CAN.

Cagayan de Oro Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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