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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

Tourism Week opened, anchors in community development

By Jasper Marie Oblina-Rucat (JMOR/PIA10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, September 23 (PIA) – The Department of Tourism (DOT) region 10 opened the National Tourism Week on September 22 in SM City Atrium, Cagayan de Oro City focusing on community development through the tourism industry.

DOT regional director Catalino E. Chan III welcomed guests and participants from the business sector, academe and government agencies who witnessed the opening. He explained that the theme “Tourism and Community Development” is an international theme for World Tourism Day on September 27, focusing on the ability of tourism to empower people and provide them with skills to achieve change in their local communities.

As partner in tourism, senior superintendent Graciano Mijares, Cagayan de Oro city police office (COCPO) chief also expressed message of peace to the community.

Guest speaker Engr. Elpidio M. Paras, owner of Dahilayan Adventure Park, a famous tourist destination in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon emphasized the importance of tourism to elevate the local economy of the community.

He said that in Dahilayan, he has hired Indigenous People (IP) and even residents in nearby barangays.

He believed that the Adventure Park also contributed in making Manolo Fortich mark its post in the National Competitiveness in the municipal category.

He stressed that if we could make tourists stay one more day in Cagayan de Oro or region 10 then that would make a big difference in boosting the local economy.

DOT will be celebrating the entire week from September 22 to 27 as National Tourism Week and will provide various activities.

There will be an exhibit of local products and services in the entire Northern Mindanao throughout weeklong celebration at SM Atrium. Everyone is invited to see and choose products that they want.

Also, DOT will have exhibits at Vineyard Polytechnic College, Southern Philippines College and Lourdes College on September 23, 24 and 26 respectively. They have also scheduled film showing and craft demo at Vineyard.

Finally, they will have a search for 2014 DOT-10 Singing Ambassadors on September 26 at SM Atrium and closing program with the Kagay-an Performing Arts on the 27th.

P5-B Oro megadike ‘safer if built far from riverbank’

By Jigger J. Jerusalem

THE farther from the Cagayan de Oro riverbank the proposed megadike is built, the safer it is for the city’s residents, said Mayor Oscar Moreno, who sees the project as a necessity despite the opposition from would-be affected residents.

Moreno said this is one of the observations noted by engineers commissioned by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) who made the indicative plan of the proposed 12-kilometer megadike.

Estimated to cost more than P8 billion, the megadike, seen to prevent another Sendong-like tragedy in the city, will be built on the river bank at both sides stretching from Barangay Taguanao down to Macabalan.

Working hand in hand with Jica in the construction of the embankment is the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The actual project will cost some P5 billion, while the P3 billion will be for the resettlement of the residents who will be affected by its construction, which is set to start in 2016.

Moreno said the engineers have concluded that based on the amount to be spent for the project, the dike should be built farther from the riverbank since this has its advantages.

He said the experts had considered the contour of the river in designing the megadike.

The Jica engineering team had noted that aside from being built a few meters away from the river, a short embankment will pose lesser risks since the taller the dike the more prone it is to cause massive damage, or the “broken dam effect,” if it breaks.

Moreno said the engineers prefer shorter dike considering the amount of the project since taller embankments will be more dangerous to communities living near the river.

He also explained that the Japanese technical team had not included in the construction two areas—the Rodelsa Circle where a commercial complex owned by the Pelaez family is undergoing construction in Barangay Nazareth and Sitio Puntabon in Barangay Bonbon—since these act as natural “retarding basin.”

A detention or retarding basin, as defined in Wikipedia, is an excavated area installed on, or adjacent to, tributaries of rivers, streams, lakes or bays to protect against flooding and, in some cases, downstream erosion by storing water for a limited period of time.

“I understand that Rodelsa and Puntabon as retarding basins. Concerns have been raised. In fact, I felt that this plan may have unduly caused some problems for the Pelaez family, particularly on the completion of the project,” Moreno said.

The Puntabon, he added, was excluded from the design by the Japanese engineers since their mandate is only to draw up a plan for areas along the river.

Aside from that, entire neighborhoods, particularly portions of Burgos Street, will possibly be wiped off the map if the design is to be followed.

Series of deliberations

But he said the whole design is still an indicative plan, and there will be series of discussions and deliberations before the project is going to be implemented.

“It’s not as if the plan made by the Jica engineers mao nay i-implementar, indicative pa man to siya, storyahan pa,” Moreno said.

“I told them (Japanese engineers), ‘you may have the best plan, but if you cannot implement it, if we cannot implement it, what use is that best plan of yours?” he added.

“They understand that there are reservations and I have expressed those reservations. I just didn’t dramatize it because I don’t want people to say that Jica is not welcome. They are still welcome,” he furthered.

Moreno said: “We have to show that we welcome this (project) because we need this. This is a project that will benefit the entire city. [But] there will be sacrifices.”

He said the city government cannot afford to spend for the social cost alone although it is obligated to provide for the relocation site of those who will be affected by the project.

Before its planned implementation in 2016, some residents and village officials from 15 barangay that are most likely affected have already expressed their opposition to the project.

Even Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, the head of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, said in a previous interview that the megadike is “not the ultimate solution” to an impending tragedy the city went through when Typhoon Sendong struck in 2011.

Ledesma also questioned the amount of the project which he said is “very costly” adding the government should think of other less expensive alternatives.

Songbird returns to CDO

Isah V. Red

Out of Regine Velasquez-Alcasid’s 10 Kapuso shows in the regions this year, seven of these were welcomed with rain showers—perhaps a testament to the power of her voice, which jolts the good heavens once in a while.

The multi-awarded singer, aptly titled “Asia’s Songbird,” poured tons of entertainment upon her adoring fans, who all braved the rain to see her, in a recent mall show held in Cagayan de Oro in celebration of the city’s annual Kagay-an Festival.

“They’ve always been warm and welcoming,” shared Regine referring to the Kagay-anons.

It wasn’t the first time for the singer to perform in CdeO but her last was a long time ago—in 2008 to be exact—when she did a concert there with several other OPM artists.

“I remember I had a very good time performing for everybody. I haven’t been back after that,” she recalled.

It seems the Kagay-anons have indeed long anticipated Regine’s return as spectators filled the activity center of the Centrio Mall where she held her Kapuso fans’ day on the night of Aug. 22.

“It’s not every day that Regine’s fans in the regions see her perform on stage, much less for free. And so, as a token of appreciation to the millions of Kapuso followers in the regions who have made GMA their preferred TV network, we bring the star whom they very much admire to wherever they are not only to provide entertainment but more importantly, to make them feel the warmth and love of their Kapuso Network,” said Oliver Amoroso, AVP for Regional TV and Head for Integrated Marketing Services Division of GMA.

Meanwhile, heavy showers failed to dampen the festive spirits of the Kagay-anons who came to see the Bet ng Bayan provincial finals back-to-back with a Kapuso Fiesta at the Las Ramblas of SM City CdeO on Aug. 28.

Bet ng Bayan host Alden Richards, singer Jonalyn Viray, and actress Bettina Carlos shared the stage with numerous hopefuls who battled against one another in a live showdown. Hip Hop World Champion and Philippine All Stars choreographer Kenjohns Serrano was also present in the said event where he not only served as one of the judges but he also showed his dance moves.

“The competition gets tighter and more exciting now that we are having our provincial showdown. From here, Bet ng Bayan moves on to the regional finals. At sa mga nakita namin sa Cagayan de Oro, mukhang talagang mahihirapan ang judges natin to choose. I think the Kagay-an Festival mood, in a way, boost the spirits of the contestants. Ako nga ginanahan din e, seeing our Kapusong Kagay-anons,” told Alden.

Primetime King Dingdong Dantes then bannered the Kapuso Fiesta together with Alden and songstress Maricris Garcia who treated the audience to a night filled with pure fun, entertainment, and laughter.

Dingdong, a strong advocate of education, also mounted an outreach program prior to the mall show at the Consolacion Elementary School wherein school bags were distributed to the students. The fulfillment of said CSR project, he said, wouldn’t have been possible without the help of GMA Regional TV and YesPinoy Foundation.

Afterwards, he joined DepEd’s launching of the national program called Abot-Alam which aims for a “zero out-of-school youth” (OSY) in the Philippines by providing these OSYs jobs and encouraging them to go back to school via the Alternative Learning System.

As commissioner-at-large for the National Youth Commission, that recognizes the importance of exercising one’s right to vote, Dingdong also graced COMELEC’s one-day registration of youth voters at SM City CdeO.

“It always excites me to be here. For one, my dad graduated high school here at Xavier’s Academy. Kaya nga growing up, Cagayan de Oro for me is an important landmark in our family. I’ve been coming here always, and every time bumabalik ako, there’s always a fresh feeling and that is something I would never forget,” he shared.

Kapuso stars who also graced the Kagay-an Festival were Miguel Tanfelix, Bianca Umali, Renz Valerio, and Julian Trono from GMA primetime series Niño. They staged a promo tour at the Pelaez Sports Complex to witness the PE Rhythmic Dance Festival last Aug. 25. GMA Artist Center talent Enzo Pineda, on the other hand, hosted the Miss Cagayan de Oro 2014 Coronation Night on Aug. 23 at the Atrium of the Limketkai Center with My Destiny’s Ruru Madrid who, in turn, serenaded the contestants. Winners of the said beauty pageant boarded the Kapuso float last Aug. 27 with StarStruck alumnus Steven Silva during the Higalas Parade of Float & Icons.

Advocacy campaign against prostitution set

(NYC10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, September 20 -- In celebration of the International Day of No Prostitution (IDNP), the People Working Against Prostitution (PWAP), a network of academicians, government offices, non-government offices, religious groups, and people organizations, will be holding a Walk-and-Zumba Dance Against Prostitution Advocacy Campaign on October 5, 2014 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Rotonda, Limketkai Mall, Cagayan de Oro City.

The program will start with a registration at 3:00 p.m. at the Kiosko Kagawasan, Divisoria. The parade shall start at 4:00 p.m. and the route will be from Kisoko Kagawasan to Corrales Avenue to Luna Street to Osmena Street and lastly, to Rotonda, Limketkai Mall, Limketkai Drive. A 30-minute advocacy program of the PWAP shall be held at the Rotonda at 5:00 p.m. and this shall be followed by a Zumba dance at 5:30 p.nm.

The (IDNP) is an awareness day that was first observed back in 2002 at California, USA and Melbourne, Australia. It is then celebrated yearly, on October 5, so as to help oppose prostitution.

In Cagayan de Oro City, bars, nightclubs and such establishments are encouraged to stop their operations and local sex workers are advised to sacrifice their earnings on that specific day. A proclamation order on this has been issued by the city hall during the time of mayor Tinnex Jaraula.

City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) warns quarriers anew

By Jigger J. Jerusalem

THE City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) has warned anew those who are engaging in sand and gravel quarrying to extract only on government-designated areas or face hefty penalties for violation.

Although the effects of quarrying in the city’s rivers are not that alarming as compared to the illegal mining in the upland villages, Clenro chief Edwin Dael said his office still has to monitor quarrying activities since this is one of the concerns raised by the Cagayan de Oro Riverbasin Management Council (CDORMC) during its recent meeting.

Dael said Clenro, as CDORMC member, has been tasked by the council to monitor the extraction of sand and gravel on the riverbed, especially in Barangays Balulang and Iponan along the Cagayan de Oro river.

He said a group of students from Xavier University, who were doing their thesis, reported to the CDORMC that some of the quarrying permit holders have been seen extracting outside their designated spots, specifically in the middle of the river.

“Their (Xavier University students) observation is valid. We will check on this, although there are times that the contour of the river tends to change due to flashfloods,” Dael said.

He said all the permittees were given the areas where to quarry upon instruction from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

“If you extract anywhere, soil erosion at riverbanks will worsen. Since the technical people at MGB are geologists and mining engineers, they know where the exact areas are for quarrying,” he said, adding that MGB knows the structure and texture of the soil and therefore has the authority to pinpoint the areas allowed for extraction.

He said the offender’s penalty ranges from P5,000 to P50,000 and suspension or revocation of permit, depending on the gravity of the violation.

Chapter VIII, Section 43 of Republic 7942 or the Mining Act of 1995 states that: “Any qualified person may apply to the provincial/city mining regulatory board for a quarry permit on privately-owned lands and/or public lands for building and construction materials such as marble, basalt, andesite, conglomerate, tuff, adobe, granite, gabbro, serpentine, inset filling materials, clay for ceramic tiles and building bricks, pumice, perlite and other similar materials that are extracted by quarrying from the ground.”

For his part, Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, head of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro and CDORMC co-chair, said the council’s challenge is to work out the implementation of what the group called as the “green infrastructure” that focuses on reforesting activities like tree planting, and “gray infrastructure,” which pertains to the construction of flood-control structures like the river dike.

Aside from that, Ledesma said other areas of concern that CDORMC is considering are solid waste management and geo-hazards like soil erosion, of which the sand and gravel quarrying falls into.

He said local government units in Libona, Talakag and Baungon towns in Bukidnon have created ordinances and resolutions that would have an impact on the protection of the city’s river basin.

With this, Ledesma said he is urging the people to protect and preserve the Cagayan de Oro river basin, as “we had seen the disastrous effect of Typhoon Sendong to thousands of people.”

BIR, Customs lauded for double-digit growth

By Lenesse Marie Libres


THE efforts to remind the public regularly and initiate stress fee collection processes of the Bureau of Internal Revenue-Northern Mindanao (BIR 10) seems to be paying off, according to the 2nd quarter data released by the Regional Development Council–10.

“It has been 14 consecutive quarters of double digits for the BIR-10 under the new administration,” says Engr. Cecilio Clarete, chief economic development specialist of National Economic and Development Authority-10.

Data gathered by NEDA-10 shows that BIR collected P2.6 billion in tax revenues for the second quarter of this year, P336.4 million more or 15 percent than the second quarter of 2013 with an increase from first quarter’s revenue of P2.07 billion, this year.

CdeO posted the highest income tax revenues

Improving figures is contributed by revenues from income tax, accounting to two – thirds of total tax takes or 13 percent annual growth while other types of taxes – percentage tax with 92 percent amounting to P173.49 million, value added tax amounting to P515.65 million and excise tax and other taxes totaling to P186.43 million – posted improvement in collections.

Cagayan de Oro city posted the highest growth of revenue among districts, with 24 percent or P1.55 billion. The increase is driven by notable receipts from percentage tax and other tax sources. The city has also remained as the top district collector with 60 percent share of total tax receipts.

Also, Ozamiz City has shown signs of improvement with regard to collection, acquiring 16 percent annual growth.

The performance for the second quarter marked 14 quarters of repeated double – digit growth for the tax bureau, retaining its collection momentum.

Customs collection

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) 10 collections as well, posted double digit growth of 26 percent or P1.989 billion for this quarter, from 1.5777 billion of last year’s second quarter.

Ozamiz port’s collection vastly increased by 730 percent due to the trans-shipment of motor vehicles from United Arab Emirates (UAE), although the port shared only 0.05 percent of the region’s collection as a whole.

MCT owns the biggest share in port revenue collections at 85.6 percent followed by Cagayan de Oro Port at 10.69 percent and Iligan by 3.62 percent.

Unfortunately, the overall Bureau of Customs-10 second quarter collection performance was marginally short by 1.29 percent versus its target.

NEDA commends the efforts of both bureaus for the second quarter and hopes the growth will continue to further development in the region.

House panel seeks Misuari, Kato counsel on Bangsamoro bill

By Recto L. Mercene & Jovee Marie N. dela Cruz


THE chairman of the House of Representative’s ad hoc committee on the Bangsamoro basic law (BBL) on Monday said the panel would request the Department of National Defense (DND) to issue safe conduct passes for Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuari and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) leader Ameril Umbra Kato so the duo could air their views before the committee on the recently submitted Bangsamoro basic bill.

Misuari and Kato are opposing the implementation of the peace deal between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“The bill is for all Bangsamoro. It’s not only for the MILF or the BIFF, it is for all Bangsamoro, all provinces and sectors, and all Muslim groups,” Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City said during the Kapihan sa Diamond media forum.

Once enacted, the BBL would end 17 years of peace negotiations between the government and the MILF.

Rodriguez also said he would ask Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to suspend the arrest warrants against Misuari, who is facing criminal charges for allegedly leading the MILF assault on Zamboaga City on September 9, 2013, taking over villages and burning thousands of homes and using hostages as human shield.

The MILF broke off from the MNLF owing to shifting allegiances in leadership, while the BIFF split from the MILF in 2008 because the separatist group opposed the peace pact the MILF has been dealing with the government.

The government entered into a peace agreement with the MNLF in 1996.

Rodriguez said the suspension of the arrest warrants on Misuari and Kato would last only for three days.

He said the hearing would be held in Manila and not in Jolo, as allegedly requested by the MNLF leader, “so that the other members of the committee could also be present in the hearing.”

Rodriguez said the Bangsamoro bill would have to hurdle three criterions before it becomes a law. The first is that it must abide by all the provisions of the Constitution.

This is the reason Rodriguez’s committee had invited former Supreme Court justices, former secretaries of justice and the deans of various law schools.

“The presence of these experts on the Constitution would make sure that the BBL is constitutional,” Rodriguez said.

He added that the remaining hurdle is to find out whether what had been signed by the government reflects the desires of the MILF, “meaning what had been signed in the Framework Agreement of the Bangsamoro [FAB],” Rodriguez added.

The last hurdle is whether the FAB is acceptable to all the Muslim sectors, or in Rodriguez’s words, “beneficiality and general welfare of the Muslim.”

Although he expects a lengthy discussion during the hearing, Rodriguez said the sentiment of his fellow congressmen is to have lasting peace in Mindanao.

Rodriguez said the committee would meet next week to talk about the committee membership and calendar of hearings. The bill is targeted to hurdle the committee level by end of November, and to be approved on third reading by the House by December 17.

Meanwhile, the plebiscite, which aims to ratify the bill for the creation of a Bangsamoro political entity to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, is targeted in March 2015. Rodriguez said the law will also call for a P700-million budget to fund the plebiscite.

Rodriguez also said that to fast-track deliberations on the measure, the committee will hold hearings during the two scheduled recess periods from September 27 to October 19, and from November 1 to 16, from on Tuesday to Thursday.

The lawmaker said that among the resource persons who will be invited to attend the hearing are representatives from the government peace panel, the MILF and the Bangsamoro Transition Commission that drafted the bill.

He said that the panel will also visit areas in the envisioned Bangsamoro core territory such as Basilan, Lanao del Norte, Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Cagayan de Oro City, Zamboanga City and General Santos City, to gather inputs from the different stakeholders.

The ad hoc committee was created under House Resolution 1462 filed by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, said the committee will meet on Tuesday to tackle its rules and schedule of hearings.

Two Visayan lawmakers have said the passage of the BBL will not be a walk in park but, with the full endorsement and support of President Aquino, Congress is expected to pass the measure and submit it to the people for referendum by 2015.

Liberal Party (LP) Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento of Samar admitted that it would not be easy for Congress to pass the BBL and there would be lenghthy and contentious debates especially on the issue of its constitutionality.

On the other hand, LP Rep. Jerry Treñas of Iloilo admitted that one of the issues that may be raised during the deliberation of the proposed BBL is the wealth-sharing aspect of the peace agreement as this could be seen as prejudicial to other local governments and is giving undue special treatment to the proposed Bangsamoro entity.

“We already expect that other local governments, especially the rich ones, would demand the same kind of wealth-sharing deal but I’m very optimistic that they will eventually understand the need to do this in the name of peace in Mindanao,” he said.

Oro village chiefs okay with 6-year term

By Jigger J. Jerusalem

SOME of Cagayan de Oro City's village chiefs have welcomed with much eagerness the proposed legislation extending the term of barangay officials from three to six years.

Senate Bill 2390, also known as an Act Extending the Term of Barangay Officials to Six Years, was recently filed by Senator Teofisto “TG” Guingona III.

In a statement sent to Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro through email, Guingona said the proposed measure is intended to improve the local stability and maximize training programs given to barangay officials, particularly on the disaster risk reduction and management.

“Our local officials, particularly barangay officials, are closest to the people and they deliver the most basic services to their specific neighborhoods. The proposed measure will allow our barangay officials to focus on their long-term service goals. The government can also save the money that is being spent on barangay elections every three years and funnel it to other important projects,” Guingona said.

Under the bill, Guingona said, no barangay official shall serve for more than two consecutive terms in the same position if the six-year term becomes a law.

Empowering barangay officials

“Let us lay the groundwork for empowering our local officials to focus on long-term programs and projects that would benefit the people directly. Our barangay officials are not just called to serve but to lead. Like all government officials, we all should not only do our job competently but with integrity,” he said.

Yan Lam Lim, Barangay 40 chairman and Cagayan de Oro’s Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) president who’s sitting as an ex-officio member of the city council, said he has no objection to Guingona’s bill.

“Wala koy supak ana. Kaayohan man sad na (I have no problem with that. It’s for the welfare). Kay kung sige ta’g election, the government is spending a lot of money. What’s important is we can help our people,” Lim said, adding that frequent holding of elections could become a breeding ground for corruption.

Consolacion chairman Dante Roa said he is amenable to the proposed legislation although six years is too long.

“Dapat gani five years per term, for two consecutive terms,” Roa said.

He added that there should also be a provision that would require the continuity of the program of a village chairman by the successor.

“Pirme maputol pag lain na ang capitan. Sometime, naay program nga naa sa Barangay Development Plan pero di gasundon sa [next] Kapitan,” he said.

Jocelyn Rodriguez, Barangay Nazareth chair, said she is okay with the bill since she has plenty of programs in her barangay that needed to be finished.

“I need to finish the projects and programs that I have started,” Rodriguez said.

Among the priority programs in her village are the strengthening of Nazareth as a child-friendly barangay, education, sports and health for the children and youth.

But for his part, Gusa chairman Marlon Tabak said the extension of term would depend on the performance of the village chiefs.

“Three years is too short for a working barangay captain and too long for a non-working [one],” Tabak told this paper Monday.

He said the barangay is the frontline of the basic services.

“Ang tawo gadagan didto sa iya pirme. Dapat effective ang decision niya sa pag-respond sa iyang katawhan,” he said.

Mechanism

Tabak said he is agreeable to the proposed bill but urged Guingona to put in place a mechanism on holding of recall election for barangay officials who fail to fulfill his mandate.

But, he said the recall election of barangay officials should be different from other local government officials holding higher positions (mayors and governors).

“Built-in tingali ang provision on how to conduct the recall election. It should be speedy para dali ra siya mapulihan. Kay ang kapitan kung dili mo-trabahao luoy ang katawhan,” he added.

He said, “If these basic institutions nga gimando sa balaod nga dili mapatuman sa kapitan, grounds ‘ni siya for recall election. Kay if these base institutions are properly implemented, maayo ang pagdumala sa kapitan. Kay taas ang six years if ang kapitan dili mo-trabaho.”

A recall election is held when the electorates have primarily lost their confidence on their elected official.

When the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has decided to hold a recall election, an election position will be vacated and an election will be held to fill that position.

CdeO Rugby Football Club shares first year with 'Boys Town kids'

By Lenesse Marie Libres

THE kids at Boys Town Orphanage had an extraordinary day on Saturday, September 13, with members of the Cagayan de Oro Rugby Football Club (CDORFC) as the latter held a party at Primavera Residences to celebrate its anniversary this month.

Boys Town Orphanage, a main orphanage institute center for the less fortunate and helpless children located at Barangay Lumbia, has been a recipient community of the CDORFC outreach program that started last year called "Help Change the Life of a Child."

In line with their advocacy, the team provides sports therapy and feeding programs to the children at Boys Town.

“We plan to hold series of activities for our anniversary month. We will do bloodletting and touch base with our other advocacies. For now, we are holding a party for the boys and we will be giving them gifts later,” says Noel Villa, founder and coach of CDORFC.

With party games, mascot, dancing and party food, the boys were overwhelmed by the experience since attending parties is rare.

“We are glad to be part of this celebration, to receive these gifts, hygiene kits and art supplies because as you know, we cannot give the children much. We are very grateful to have you as our partners,” said Rey Pepito of the Child Protection Brigade Volunteers.

Partnering with Primavera Residences in their many projects, the company believes that CDORFC promotes sustainability and environmental activities. Italpinas Euroasian Design and Eco – Development Corporation (ITPI Corp.), the company of Primavera Residences, consistently endorse energy saving and eco-friendly activities.

“The story of the team is very inspiring,” said Jane Duterte of Primavera Residences in a statement.

“From one man who wanted to introduce rugby sport here, the team has grown with many members and is now attracting men and women not only to the sport but also in the many advocacies the team promotes,” she added.

The CDORFC is the first rugby football club in the city. It started in September 2013, and rugby football has become one of the fastest growing sport not only in the city but in the Philippines as well.

Anti-mining Lumad leader in Cagayan de Oro killed

By Froilan Gallardo (MindaNews)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/14 Sept) — A leader of the Higaonon tribe who is a staunch anti-mining activist was gunned down by unidentified assailants while riding home on a motorcycle in the hinterland village of Tuburan, this city Saturday afternoon, police said.

Senior Inspector Allan Engracia Curato , commander of the Lumbia police station said the 64-year old Fausto Orasan, also known as “Datu Sandigan,” succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds at the back of his body.

“It resulted to his instantaneous death. We found him and his motorcycle lying on the right side of the road,” Curato said in a report.

Curato said empty shells of the 30-caliber M1 Garand rifle and 12-gauge shotgun were found at the scene, indicating that the victim was shot four times by two or more assailants.

City Environment officer Edwin Dael said the death of Orasan, a staunch anti-mining and anti-illegal logging advocate, was a great loss to their campaign to preserve the remaining forests in the city’s hinterlands.

“Datu Sandigan was the moral force why the Higaonons did not join the illegal miners and loggers in the hinterland. He was the soul of our forests,” Dael said.

Dael said Orasan was going to attend a meeting in the city and as usual , rode on his red motorcycle when he was waylaid.

He said a team of Army soldiers from the 43rd Civil Military Operations Company responded to the scene in Sitio Olangon, Barangay Tuburan and reported the crime to the police.

Dael said this is the second time that an attempt was made on Orasan’s life. He said Orasan was also ambushed last year but survived.

Orasan earlier gave up the chance to serve as representative of the IPs in the Cagayan de Oro City Council in favor of another Datu, explaining this would unite the Higaonons in the city instead of divide them into two factions.

Dragonoids: Cagayan de Oro’s first dragon boat paddles on

By Erwin M. Mascarinas

TWENTY–NINE students from Liceo de Cagayan University ended their week-long training and introduction into the world of dragon boat racing which started on September 7, and formally becoming the city and Misamis Oriental’s first dragon boat team.

Owen Jaen, organizer of the Liceo de Cagayan University dragon boat team pointed out that the training has commenced with the full support of the university.

“We have started our training last Sunday with the initial recruit of 29 and coached by a certified dragon boat team instructor. So far the student’s have been very well adopting the sport even though it has been their first time with it. We are still pushing on with our recruitment drive in the hopes to create a bigger and much larger male and female team,” said Jaen, who is also the program coordinator of the Office of Cultural Affairs, Liceo de Cagayan University.

Priscilla “Pinky” Castillo, an International Dragon Boat Federation level 2 coach, trained the newly formed team and has seen the potential for the paddlers to be a formidable collegiate team.

“I have seen the interest and enthusiasm from those that have undergone the training in the selection process and I can see a big potential for this team if they remain with the eagerness to learn and train harder. What they just need now is more time to train and practice and hopefully get a chance to compete,” said Castillo.

The team has officially been named Liceo Dragonoids, from a mythical creature which suggests a being of both human and dragon in form.

On September 22, the Liceo Dragonoids will be formally presented during the school’s university games and hopefully will play in the Cagayan de Oro river with Butuan’s Father Saturnino Urios University’s Blue Dragon’s and Iligan’s team Bakunawa.

Suspect in Oro jewelry heist shot dead in Ozamiz

By Mario C. Manlupig Jr.

ONE of the suspected perpetrators in the jewelry heist inside a mall in Cagayan de Oro died after being shot by a group of unidentified suspects in Ozamiz City in Misamis Occidental Wednesday morning.

Chief Inspector Michael Bayawan, Ozamiz City police station commander, confirmed to Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro via text message Thursday evening that Joliven "Benjo" Boniao, 32, died after four to six men fired at him several times while he was sleeping in a dark alley at Purok Bagong Silang in Barangay Tinago, Ozamiz City around 10:20 a.m. Wednesday.

Bayawan said Boniao was declared dead on arrival at the hospital by Dr. Al Villa, the attending physician there.urgents.

He added, however, that they couldn't identify the motives of the killing yet.

Boniao, a resident of Molave town in Zamboanga del Sur, is one of the two identified suspects of the jewelry shop heist last July 22 inside a mall in Cagayan de Oro. The suspects carted away a total of P12 million worth of jewelry and cash of P12,000.

One of the closed-circuit TV cameras at the mall showed Boniao holding a gun.

Another suspect was identified by police as a certain Jerry Raganas of Ozamiz.

Recovered from the crime scene where Boniao was shot were 23 used cartridge casings of M16 rifle, four fired cartridge casings and two deformed fired bullets of a .45 caliber pistol.

Bayawan furthered that based on witnesses' accounts the suspects fled on foot.

Aside from Boniao and Raganas, the police are still on the lookout for 13 other unidentified suspects of the jewelry heist.

Police identified as new suspect

Cagayan de Oro City police director Senior Superintendent Graciano Mijares said his office has found a lead to another suspect.

Mijares did not reveal further information of the suspect yet aside from the latter being a police officer in Misamis Occidental.

Youth group cries foul over ‘military espionage’

By Mario C. Manlupig Jr.


WITH previous cases of red-tagging that led to untimely deaths of student activists, the League of Filipino Students in northern Mindanao (LFS-10) is worried that members of its group may be victims of surveillance by the military who they suspected of “spying” on them.

Vennel Francis Chenfoo, LFS-10 spokesperson, said the group condemns the continuous surveillance and harassment that have been happening to some of their members and alleged the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to be behind these activities.

"We condemn the espionage and infiltration the AFP is desperately doing against our organization, the tailing of our members and monitoring of our headquarters and even the homes of our leaders," said LFS in an emailed statement sent to Sun*Star Cagayan de Oro.

Chenfoo stressed spying poses a threat which curtailed both their civil and political rights due to the Philippine Army's "blatant disregard" of the Constitution.

Although relying on a few pieces of evidence, the youth group has called leaders of the AFP to put a stop to these activities.

The group's statement, however, was released following an official from the military's 4th Infantry Division (4ID) who said in a radio interview that the "NPA raid of a guard post in Bukidnon last August 30 can be attributed to the resurgence of the youth and student movement in the universities of northern Mindanao."

"We are particularly alarmed of the army's statement that even our parents were warned by them to prohibit us from joining activist organization," the statement read.

Chenfoo has called this red-tagging, an accusation of being a front of the New People's Army (NPA).

Major Christian Uy, 4ID spokesperson, told Sun*Star Cagayan de Oro that there is no truth to this claim of the LFS adding that he had called for the youth to stay away from groups that cannot contribute to the development of the nation.

"We don't have a perfect government and society to live with. But as young as they are, they have to look into the problems of this society. In joining organizations, join those which are helping solve the problems in our country and not those that carry arms and go against us," Uy said.

"[We] students do not have any choice but to organize our ranks and assert our right to an accessible, scientific, nationalist and a mass-oriented education. We have to link our movement to a broader people's movement seeking for an end to the current social and political crisis," Chenfoo said of their choice to radical idealism because they are robbed of rights to a decent future following the budget cuts in state colleges and universities.

"[The military] wanted to mold us as a passive and non-thinking dimwit incapable of speaking up. We will not be cowed. We are operating in the broad daylight. We are not members of the NPA," he added.

Rommel Limjoco, an active official of LFS in the region, claimed he was spied on by people who he believed are members of the military because of their built.

Around March this year, a man in his mid-30s inquired at a “sari-sari” store near his boarding house in Iligan City asking the vendor of Limjoco's demographic information.

Without the knowledge of the man who inquired, Limjoco was just right behind him when he asked the vendor.

"Since I know the vendor, I non-verbally told her not to say that it was me who the man was looking for. I was surprised because he asked of my whereabouts, where I live, what time I go home, etc.," Limjoco told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.

Around April, another man in his mid-30s introduced himself as an LFS coordinator for Davao while he was visiting a barber shop in Iligan.

According to the statement, the man asked the owner of the shop the current officers of the formation in MSU-IIT. The owner was a faculty member of the History department at a state university in this city.

"Judging from his well-built physique, the man appeared to be too old to be a student-coordinator and was more of a military officer.

Organization-wise, the LFS formations in Davao have all the means to communicate may it be in email or phone with the formations in Lanao to answer such queries," it added.

On June 20, 2014, the computer set and many organizational documents and flash drives were carted away by unidentified suspects at the LFS office in Bagong Silang, Iligan City.

Chenfoo also was a victim of spying when two unidentified men once asked his neighbors of his whereabouts last August 19.

In 2001, Reimon Guran, a political science student and a spokesperson of LFS-Southern Luzon, was shot dead after he was about to board a bus.

In 2006, Cris Hugo, a journalism student and LFS national council member, was shot dead in Legazpi City, Albay.

Both deaths of LFS officers linked them being mistaken as NPA insurgents.

Delay in testing of imported goods affecting economy

By Jigger J. Jerusalem


THE long process in testing the quality of imported materials before they are released to the market for local consumption may affect the economic activities of the country, said a Bureau of Customs-10 (BOC-10) official.

At present, importers are annoyed at the long queues of goods coming in from other countries, especially from China, that are undergoing verification at the facility operated by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Laguna.

This delay in the testing process could create an artificial shortage of vital products such as plywood and steel bars in the local market, said lawyer Roswald Joseph Pague, BOC-10 administrative officer.

The testing center in Laguna, Pague said, which handles the checking of materials entering the country, could not handle the volume of imports that arrives at the ports and this may be the reason of a backlog in the release of these products.

He said the BOC-10 doesn't have any problem approving the entry of imported goods in Philippine ports as long as these are legal and the consignees have paid the import taxes and other duties, but DTI has the final say on releasing these items to the market or not.

He said numerous container vans containing products from other countries arrive at local ports everyday and the testing center in Laguna could not accommodate them all in one sitting since these products have to pass through stringent examination before importers are given the Import Commodity Clearance (ICC).

For instance, products would have to be checked if these pass the Philippine product standards like the thickness of a plywood or the strength of a steel bar.

But, Pague said, the problem with this is that the DTI testing center is swamped by the sheer number of imported goods coming in, and examiners don’t have the time to check all of them in one day.

Since the DTI import testing examiners are very strict in going over the samples, it would take some time for them to issue the ICC.

Pague said this long process of examination of imported products also contribute to the congestion of seaports, while distressing the consumers.

He cited an instance where a wood importer from Cagayan de Oro waited for three months before the items he ordered overseas were released.

The length of the waiting period cost the businessman thousands of pesos and losses in potential sales.

“This has been the concern of our importers. They could not sell right away the products they have imported because of the delay in the inspection of goods,” he added.

Surpass collection target

Meanwhile, Pague said the BOC-10 has once again surpassed its collection target for the month of August with actual earnings at P666.812 million against the target of P645.215 million, or an increase of P21.597 million.

In the same period last year (August 2013), BOC-10 collected P616.1 million.

From January to August this year, the BOC-10 was able to collect a total of P5.215 billion, or P1.297 billion difference from its P5.214 billion target.

With the upward trend in import collection, Pague said BOC-10 is sure it can still achieve the P8 billion target for this year.

Cagayan de Oro holds cleanup drive vs. dengue threat

By Joel Locsin/KG, GMA News


Health officials in Cagayan de Oro City led a cleanup drive over the weekend to combat the threat of the potentially deadly disease dengue.

Residents took part in a barangay-to-barangay cleanup of areas where dengue-carrying mosquitoes are likely to breed, GMA Northern Mindanao's Joane Tabique reported.

One group even gave away mosquito nets to residents in barangays where there had been a high incidence of dengue cases, the report said.

Last Thursday, a resident died from the disease—a two-year-old child whose kidney developed problems due to dengue.

The city health office urged residents to make sure their surroundings are clean and dry so dengue-carrying mosquitoes will have little chance of breeding.

Also, it warned residents that they should be wary of recurring fever as this could be a symptom of dengue.

In Cagayan de Oro City, the health office said there had been more than 1,600 cases of dengue in the first eight months of 2014, compared to 1,359 in the same period last year.

Manila, Cagayan de Oro take steps to eliminate dengue fever

By Robert Herriman


Although dengue fever cases in the Philippines have dropped this year compared to 2014, the mosquito borne virus remains a big public health problem on the archipelago. As of July 19, 2014, the cumulative number of reported cases stands at 35,264, including 134 deaths.

At least two major cities in the Philippines are making serious, even legal moves to help stamp out “break-bone fever”. In the capital of the country, Manila, the City Council just recently passed an ordinance that would make it punishable by fine for residents to not eliminate mosquito breeding sites inside or outside of their homes. The Anti-Dengue Ordinance of Manila, authored by Councilor Cristina Isip states: “Households, schools and other establishments are prohibited to have any of the following breed sites or habitat [for] Aedes mosquitoes in their own premises and surroundings: uncovered water containers, uncovered garbage cans, earthen or clay jars, discarded cans, bottles, plastic cups or any containers potentially collecting rainwater, old tires that accumulate water, clogged roof gutters, pits, diggings and excavations.”

Fines for repeat violators can range from up to P4,000 (roughly $92 US) or jail time. South of Manila on the island of Mindanao, the city of Cagayan de Oro is also taking steps in the battle against dengue. In a report by the Department of Health, Cagayan de Oro tops among the cities in Northern Mindanao with the most number of dengue-stricken patients this year. In response, the city government launched the “Dak-Pa (Lamok Dakpa Patya)” anti-dengue campaign in barangays with high incidence of the disease in an effort to get the community to participate. According to a Sun-Star report, as part of the Operation “Dak-Pa,” affected villages will conduct barangay-wide information dissemination at 6 in the morning urging the residents to get rid of their trash, especially those which may become the breeding ground of mosquitoes, such as used tires, cans, bottles, so these could be picked up by the garbage collectors. After that, the Barangay Dengue Task Force members will make the rounds in the neighborhoods to personally inform the households on how to stop dengue from spreading and infecting the residents, most especially the children.






Chingkeetea: Passion and opportunity

By Grace Cantal-Albasin


KNOWING what one wants when doing business coupled with passion and opportunity would surely be a hit!

For budding young artist entrepreneur Sharee Mae “Chingkee” Uy Te, the meteoric rise of her milk tea shop is a proof.

Doing business was what she told her Mom when the latter asked her of the gift she wanted after graduation.

“When my Mom asked me what I wanted for a gift after graduation, I told her I want to start a business. I didn’t ask for a car or gadgets which have been the usual fare, and my mom was glad to hear about it, but what business would that be?” recalled the light-hearted Chingkee in a conversation with Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro last week of August.

She only waited for her father’s word and when he threw his support – that was her sign.

Chingkee owns “Chingkeetea,” the city’s famous milk tea drink which taste has become Kagay-anons favorite particularly the teens and the yuppies. Not only that, its place has become oasis for those who would want a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Autonomy

For someone who is laidback and carefree, Chingkee thought doing business would be just her fit.

After her falling out with Accountancy at Dela Salle University, she took up Marketing Management which she completed in 2011.

“I could never imagine myself become an employee. And when my parents gave their full support for me to start a business, I started to think of putting up something which my art could be a great of part. I thought of a café, but they have mushroomed in the city already.”

Chingkee is never a coffee drinker. She enjoys more her fix of tea in her college days.

“I don’t drink coffee and milk tea drink has been mushrooming in Manila, so I decided to go with milk tea which at that time wasn’t served in Cagayan de Oro.”

She wanted to be the first to bring milk tea in the city. But, by the time she was almost there, two milk tea shops opened. She was a bit discouraged, but it didn’t get in the way.

For months, she researched everything about milk tea until she found a supplier from Taiwan and as she learned more about milk tea going to Taiwan for a one-week course became a must especially that she has the desire to bring an authentic Taiwan milk tea in the city. Albeit pricey, she attended it.

She wanted her milk tea business to start in December 2011, but Sendong struck. Thus, she moved the opening considering the expanse of its devastation.

Not only that, the initial capital she calculated had already doubled by the time Chingkeetea neared its opening in March 2012.

It wasn’t quite a good start and things were getting difficult, however, she was unyielding.

“When we first started, I was nervous of the possible outcome. As the renovation of the house we rented began, people noticed and got curious with what was brewing up with this small place painted with white enclosed by fences. It was like a playhouse.”

Brewing like forever

On March 1, 2012, Chingkeetea opened. Her dainty milk tea shop spread by word of mouth through social media after her patrons posted their experiences at Chingkeetea on their sites and in the following months until today, its kitchen has been brewing like forever.

“I am so amazed it has clicked. I just can’t believe it.”

Staying at Chingkeetea isn’t only taste bud satisfying and thirst quenching, it helps ease tension-filled days as one hangs around and sees creativity in the work of art plastered inside the shop.

That homey ambience provides relief from any negative vibes one may be experiencing as he or she enters this little cottage filled only with radiating positivity.

Her patrons can also share their thoughts through doodling and scribbling notes pasted on the tables or in its walls.

As you get inside this dainty tea house, one could sense the presence of its owner and the passion she has been putting into it through her creative art.

The place is filled with stuff owned by the family especially collections of Chingkee’s mom, Chingkees’s drawings, sketches and paintings, and some that were bought in specialty shops.

“My aunt is my creative mentor. We renovate together and I have also improved my skills as we change the interior of the shop periodically.”

Transformation

When asked of transformation as a person as she attends to her business, Chingkee said she finds herself accountable on the lives of her staff and her patrons.

“I have to make sure that my staff are getting the best experience at work and be proud of what they do. With regard to my customers, giving them satisfaction in every drink they take and somehow touching their lives by bringing out that creativity and business potentials that they can see whenever inside the shop.”

With Chingkeetea’s success, milk teas have become ubiquitous in the city creating their own strategies to woo customers. And best, most of them are local tea shops except for a few which are franchised.

She used to be so reactive, but now she’s been more proactive and as another milk tea shop opens that fear of getting edged around has long been gone.

“I would remember getting hysterical when one time I ran out of stocks. I learned a lot from it. And I was also edgy whenever a milk tea shop opened. Now, everything is working as it should be and there is nothing to worry as I keep on improving and modifying to bring joys to our customers.”

Experiences from brewing the tea to experimenting with her milk tea flavors have been very rewarding, as she and her staff have truly employed teamwork.

“We mix and match what we have, and usually we hit it right.”

They have created myriad of milk tea flavors including hot teas. Wintermelon is the best seller, but all the other flavors are just equally great. But, Chingkee’s favorite among her milk teas would be the original or classic milk tea. However, she loves hot teas the most.

Coolest spot in Mindanao

With Chingkee’s hard work came the bonus. Last month, she won Globe’s most voted #WonderfulMindaNOW spot or the coolest spot in Mindanao. #WonderfulMindaNOW is a campaign to highlight tourist spots, cultural heritage, food, products and even people in Mindanao, Globe’s #WonderfulMindaNOW is the telephone company’s latest social media campaign to vote for Mindanao’s coolest spots.

At Chingkeetea, there is no wifi. She believes that Chingkeetea is a place where people should talk and not just keeping tabs on the statuses of their social media pages.

If you have come to the city and missed Chingkeetea, then you haven’t truly come here.

And by the way, another Chingkeetea is going to open soon, but it will have a different character though.

Her passion and the opportunity to start milk tea perhaps happened at the right time and with her relentless creativity she has charted her path to business like a pro.

It won’t be a surprise if she’d become the authority of milk tea in the city soon as she aspires for it.

(CHINGKEETEA has been chosen as SUN.STAR'S BEST OF CDEO 2014 under the food and drinks category. Its meteoric success as a small, medium enterprise, for bringing the best tasting milk tea in the city, and for gathering people around its place getting that homey comfort and relaxing ambience have been the bases of the paper for it to be its BEST OF CDEO 2014.)

CSWDO watchful on kids used to commit crimes

By Jigger J. Jerusalem

THE Cagayan de Oro City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) is on the lookout for adults who are allegedly using minors to commit wrongdoings.

After an eight-year-old male child was caught shoplifting in one of the grocery stores in the city on Thursday, the CSWDO said Friday that it is looking into the report that a group of individuals is now resorting to employing children to do the criminal act on their behalf.

The case of “Enzo” (not his real name) has caught the attention of the CSWDO. When asked why Enzo did it, the boy told the social workers that his parents ordered him to steal some grocery items from a store.

Social worker Rowena Palarca said this is the first time they had documented this kind of case, but she thinks that there may be a larger group, not just the parents, operating with this modus operandi.

“We have learned that this group is not just into petty thefts and robberies, but they are also dealing illegal drugs,” Palarca told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro on Friday.

She said Enzo’s family had lived in Manila before settling down in Cagayan de Oro.

Palarca said both Enzo’s parents used to work with a criminal group, but decided to strike it out on their own.

From what Enzo had confessed, Palarca found out that the kid's parents accompanied him to the grocery story to pick out the items to be shoplifted.

Enzo’s father would then go out first and leave him to bring the stolen goods placed inside a bag out from the store.

Palarca said Enzo’s parents were confident the guards would not check Enzo’s bag since he is just a child, but he was caught since the guards are trained to detect suspicious movements from customers exiting the store.

“These guards obviously know the drill. When they caught Enzo, they brought him to Cogon police station before escorting him to our office,” she added.

At present, Enzo’s father has been considered at-large, and believed to have fled when he saw his son apprehended by the guards.

Palarca said their next move is to rescue Enzo’s six-year-old brother, who’s now staying at his grandmother, but they are just waiting for the right time.

“We need a legal basis to rescue him (Enzo’s younger brother),” she said, as they could not just demand from the children’s parents or grandmother to handover the minors to the care of the CSWDO.

Palarca said Enzo’s father will eventually come back and would use his younger kid to commit the same act as Enzo did.

Because of what happened, Enzo said he doesn’t want to go back home.

“He (Enzo) is aware that he was being used by his father to do it (shoplifting). ‘Si Papa ginagamit ako,’ he told me,” Palarca said.

Palarca said at the moment, Enzo is staying in one of the centers of the CSWD where he is fed, clothed and sheltered.

“Aside from providing for his basic needs, he is also participating in various activities and in counseling,” she added.

Comelec suspends Emano camp's recall petition

By Jigger J. Jerusalem

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has ruled that all petitions for recall in the country, including the one filed recently by the camp of former Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Vicente Emano aimed at unseating incumbent Mayor Oscar Moreno, will not be acted upon by the poll body in the meantime.

In its Minute Resolution No. 14-0522, dated July 22, 2014, the Comelec central office ordered all regional election directors (REDs) to comply with the recommendations of Comelec deputy executive director for operations Bartolome Sinocruz Jr., among them the suspension of recall petition within their jurisdictions.

Citing the order of the election commissioners, Sinocruz, in his September 2, 2014 memorandum to the REDs, has directed the latter to carry out the Comelec resolution.

The resolution was signed by Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., and commissioners Lucenito Tagle, Elias Yusoph, Christian Robert Lim, Maria Gracia Cielo Padaca, Al Parreño, and Luie Tito Guia.

“The Commission resolved, as it hereby resolves, to approve the foregoing recommendations of [Sinocruz] as follows: 1. To suspend action on the Petition for Recall of Mayor Oscar S. Moreno of Cagayan de Oro, in view of Comelec Resolution No. 9882; and 2. To return to the Office of the Election Office (OEO) of Cagayan de Oro City all documents submitted to the Office of the Deputy Executive Director for Operations (ODEDO) in relation to the petition for the recall of [Moreno], including the Manager’s Check in the amount of Php50,000.00, for safekeeping until further orders of the Commission,” the resolution read.

It added that “the policy for safekeeping of documents relative to petition for recall shall be applicable to all subsequent similar petitions for recall.”

Wait for the order

Lawyer Aleli Ramirez, the city election officer, said she will just wait for the order from the Comelec main office in Manila whether to push through with the recall election or not.

Once the Comelec has approved the petition for recall, the Commission will then order the local government unit chief, such as the mayor or governor, to vacate his/her position, and a recall election will be conducted to fill the vacant position. Ramirez said that after the Emano camp’s petition for recall was filed the Comelec had ruled it will not act on it since budget constraint issues have not yet been resolved.

“If naay mag-file, it’s for safekeeping lang sa. Dili siya i-dismiss (It will not be dismissed), but it won’t be acted upon either. It will be considered as ‘deemed filed,’” Ramirez told Sun.Star Thursday afternoon.

Ramirez did not comment when asked by this paper what are the chances the Comelec will approve the holding of recall election before the national and local elections in 2016.

No budget

On July 3, 2014, the recall petition and its supporting documents were submitted to Ramirez’s office by city councilor Leon Gan Jr., who also acted as the legal counsel for the petitioners.

On July 18, 2014, Ramirez submitted the documents to the office of Sinocruz, the following: 10 copies of the recall petition; 10 boxes of petitioners of about 71,500-plus registered voters; certification from the city election officer that the petitioners paid the prescribed filing fee; certification of sufficiency of petition and that all the requirements set by the Comelec Resolution No. 7505 have been complied with; and soft copies of the petition.

In its Resolution No. 9882, entitled “In the Matter of the Budgetary Requirements for the Process of Recall,” the Comelec had resolved “not to continue with any proceedings relative to recall as it does not have a line item budget or legal authority to commit public funds for the purpose.”

The Commission added that until a law is passed by Congress appropriating fund for recall elections – either by approving the Commission’s budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2015 or through a supplemental (special) appropriations for FY 2014 – any proceeding relative to the instant petition for recall should be suspended further.

“In view of the afore-quoted Resolution, the ODEDO will suspend action on the petition for the recall of [Moreno], City Mayor of Cagayan de Oro City,” the resolution added.

Already aware

For her part, city information officer Maricel Casiño-Rivera said the petitioners were already aware of the Comelec decision, but they kept on pushing with the filing of the recall petition as a form of political show-of-force.

“Long before they filed it, they (petitioners) already knew the Comelec will not entertain the petition for recall due to budget constraints, and yet they still filed the petition. Their only intention was to show the people that they are still there,” Rivera said.

“Para lang mahisgutan sila ug mabuhi lang gihapon ang paglaum sa ilang mga tawo (This is just to talk about them and to keep the hopes of their supporters). They should just wait for 2016,” she added.

Responsible parenthood, natural family planning pushed

By Alyssa C. Clenuar


THE Catholic Church and the Cagayan de Oro City Government see Responsible Parenthood and Natural Family Planning (RP-NFP) program to improve family relations apart from slowing the steep growth of the population in the country.

“With RP-NFP, couples will realize that building a family is difficult. If dili kaya, dili lang sa ipugos,” city social and welfare development officer Teddy Sabuga-a Sr. said.

The RP-NFP is a compromised collaboration between the City Government that aggressively promotes the government’s use of family planning methods that the Catholic Church disagrees with.

The city government and the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro provide couples advices on building families in natural way, and be trained to encourage or even persuade other couples to join.

It also deals with gender, reproductive health and family planning concerns where couples are given the desired timing, spacing, and number of children.

“What is the greatest thing about RP-NFP is that it would not be successful if it would not be for the couples’ participation because they have to personally attend to it,” Sabuga-a said.

“Other methods than it would not require both couples to attend, okay lang isa. But with RP-NFP, both attend to; whatever problems they do have, they can reconcile. In this way, the couple’s bond will be strengthened, which it is not really all about reducing [the] population but also fixing the root of the problems at home,” he added.

In the Philippine Population Management Program, the method is said to be a major component in slowing the country’s population growth.

According to the Commission on Population in Northern Mindanao (Popcom-10), poverty is one recurring problem in the Philippines.

“Poverty is one of the challenges that Filipino families face and its magnitude is increasing over the years. Studies show that families with too many children have lesser income, savings and expenditures which lead to difficulty in getting out of poverty,” a Popcom-10 statement issued on August 30 read.

Teenage pregnancy worsens the problem of poverty which has doubled for over 11 years. Statistics of the Young Adults Fertility and Sexuality Survey shows a rise from 6.3 percent in 2002 to 13.6 percent in 2013.

In raising its awareness on the dangers of teenage pregnancies associated with the use of drugs, tobacco and alcohol, Popcom-10 regional director Lydio Español said they have integrated the reproductive health as one of the subjects in 3rd year and 4th year high school classes.

Popcom-10 has reached out to 114,189 couples out from the 4,491 family development sessions.

The agency has also encouraged the local government units to support the implementation of the Local Population Management Program.

In line with it, Sabuga-a said they have currently penetrated the barangay level in giving information about the RP-NFP, and trainings and sessions are ongoing.

ICTO launches field operations office in Cagayan de Oro

By Apipa P. Bagumbaran


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Sept. 3 (PIA) --- The Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has launched its Field Operations Office (FFO) in Mindanao Cluster 2 to link inclusive growth to the countryside.

The launching was held on Friday, August 29, at Limketkai Luxe Hotel, this city.

ICTO Deputy Executive Director Assistant Secretary Nicolas Ojeda Jr. said the FFO is the lead implementing entity of the ICTO to ensure that ICT programs and projects are applied at the countryside.

“The FFO will also make sure that local ICT concerns are address immediately,” he said.

The Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) was transferred to DOST in 2011 through Executive Order (EO) 47 and was renamed ICTO.

Ojeda said ICTO is the lead implementing office of the government in all ICT efforts focused on job creations and improvement of public access to government services through the aid of ICT by 2016.

“Our end goal is use ICT for inclusive growth in the countryside. As we try to create opportunities for ICT, we are making sure that no one is left behind,” he added.

The ICTO has four priority areas inclined towards achieving inclusive growth at the country side. These are e-Society, e-Government, e-Business and CyberSecurity.

The main goal of the e-Society is to bring ICT benefits to the society through programs focused on ICT services for the different sectors.

The e-Government ensures the best use of ICT in expanding and improving government services.

Meanwhile, the e-Business guarantees the growth of ICT-enabled industries through public-private partnerships with the industry, academe and civil society, and through close collaboration with the partners in government.

CyberSecurity, on the other hand, makes sure that cyberspace is safe and secured for Filipinos, businesses and the government. (APB/PIA-10)

Faulty drainage blamed on Oro flooding

By Mario C. Manlupig Jr.


A CAGAYAN de Oro City official blamed the city’s faulty drainage for causing the massive urban flooding Sunday evening that sent motorists and commuters stranded for more than an hour along the main roads in barangays Carmen, Kauswagan, Bulua and Lapasan.

Teddy Sabuga-a, city social welfare and development chief, underscored the importance of the drainage which could have averted the flash floods that resulted to displacement of residents in affected areas.

“Even before, the comprehensive land use planning should have been established which will identify geographical areas of danger in residential and commercial spots. We are a third-class city, and yet we don’t have a comprehensive drainage,” he told this paper Monday morning.

Sabuga-a noted there are culverts in the drainage that were filled in to give way to business establishments.

This drainage problem has remained one of the reasons why it always floods during heavy rains as the drains are also clogged with garbage that stops the flow of the water.

Despite this situation, more buildings have mushroomed in these areas.

With the inundation in the major roads in the city, numerous vehicles broke down while the drivers tried to negotiate with the flooded areas.

More families displaced

As intermittent rains persisted over the last three days beginning Friday last week, more families have been recorded displaced that almost doubled the number of families affected from last Saturday’s 303 to 571 as of 4 p.m. Monday.

Landslides, flash floods and destruction of houses have drastically increased the number of families affected in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental as two low pressure areas (LPA) positioned in the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) over the weekend.

However, only one LPA has remained and it has been moving 700 km East of Northern Samar toward the Philippine area of responsibility Monday evening.

The total displaced families comprised around 1,835 individuals.

The City Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) in the city has recorded a total of 283 displaced families composed of 1,453 individuals who were sheltered in different evacuation centers in the affected villages of Cugman, Gusa, Carmen, Canitoan, Pagatpat, Bulao and Bulua in Cagayan de Oro at the height of the flooding.

This figure adds to the 210 families previously affected in Cugman and Gusa Saturday evening.

Misamis Oriental

The Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) also recorded a total of 78 displaced families composed of 323 individuals from the towns of Opol, El Salvador and Lagonglong in Misamis Oriental.

Meanwhile, infrastructures such as the Calongonan steel bridge in Alubijid town and RCDC bridge in Manticao town had also been reported damaged.

Edmundo Pacamalan Jr., provincial administrator of Misamis Oriental, has placed all the damages in houses and infrastructures amounting to P96,000.

Maryciel Lariosa, camp manager of the evacuation center at West City Central School covered court, said most of the victims are living near the creek which swelled up Sunday evening, while others were from areas hit by landslides that damaged their houses.

Last Sunday, Cugman chair Marlon Tabak prevented 15 households from going back to their destroyed houses at Bigaan riverside due to the imminent danger whenever downpour persists.

Based on the city’s shelter plan, these areas affected have been identified as part of the surveyed dangerous spots in Cagayan de Oro.

Sabuga-a cited their difficulty in convincing informal settlers to relocate in safer places the local government has prepared for them.

“These rains will continue until December, so we need a long-term solution for this not just to have these victims sheltered in evacuation centers, but to place them in a safer place,” he said.

He furthered there has been an ongoing construction of housing projects in Barangay Balubal for the informal settlers.

“We understand that when these people are relocated there could be changes in their lifestyle. But, they have to accept that because safety has to come first,” Sabuga-a added.

NYC launches Abot-Alam, spearheads voter’s registration in CDO

By pia.gov.ph

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, September 1 (PIA) – The National Youth Commission (NYC) launched Abot – Alam and spearheaded voter’s registration on August 28, in time for the city fiesta in Cagayan de Oro City. Abot- Alam is a national program for out-of-school (OSY) youth who are between 15-30 years of age. This is to effectively address the needs of the fast growing number of Filipino youth who are not attending formal schooling such as those dropped out or never had schooling at all. Further, the program seeks to undertake the following activities: Data Banking, to enable the government to know the total percentage of OSYs in the country and locate these OSYs through the barangay targeting system; Unified National Framework, to unify the initiatives and resources of government agencies, NGOs and institutions, volunteer groups and other sectors; and Reintegration ( Equal Opportunity), to ensure that all OSYs will be given equal access to programs and services of partner agencies and institutions. A ceremonial turnover of the resolution of Abot-Alam and press briefing were held consecutively at the Misamis Oriental Provincial Capitol and the City Hall Compound on the same day. Meanwhile, a Book Donation of YES Pinoy Foundation was conducted at Consolacion Elementary School and Voter’s Registration and Education Campaign at SM City led by Assistant Secretary Jose Sixto “Dingdong” Dantes III, Commissioner-at-Large, NYC. (NYC/PIA10)


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