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Cagayan de Oro City News

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Contents

PhilHealth 10 recognizes NorMin health care providers

By Butch D. Enerio

The awardees with PhilHealth officials from left Dr. Esther Ricardo of PhilHealth, Dr. Jose Chan of NMMC, Datu Masiding Alonto Jr. of PhilHealth, Maybelle Honcada of RHU Pangantucan, Dr. Marilou Po of Malaybalay Polymedic General Hospital, and Diosdado Ofngol of RHU Pangantucan.

THE Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) on February 27 recognized exemplary health care providers in northern Mindanao which demonstrate outstanding performance in the delivery of quality service by upholding health and financial risk protection to PhilHealth members in line with the Universal Health Care.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, PhilHealth 10 awarded three health care institutions namely: Pangantucan Rural Health Unit of Pangantucan, Bukidnon; Malaybalay Polymedic General Hospital, Malaybalay City; and Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro.

The three awardees were chosen from the seven nominees that include Andot Medical Hospital in Bacolod, Lanao del Norte (LDN), Baroy Rural Health Unit in Baroy, LDN, Barangay Poblacion Lying-In Clinic in Maramag, Bukidnon.

Datu Masiding M. Alonto Jr. PhilHealth 10 regional vice president and concurrent officer in-charge vice president for Mindanao, recalled that since PhilHealth started in 1998, there were only 10,000 to 20,000 claims a year that they have to work on, and 17 years after, the country’s health insurance provider in Region 10 is serving more than 300,000 claims each year from the more than 300 accredited health providers, both public and private, in the five provinces and eight cities of northern Mindanao.

Alonto said that despite the limitations of PhilHealth to meet the demands of their services they are working hard to cope and uphold the standard of quality and sustainable health care for every Filipino.

He said that the awarding of exemplary health care institutions was to acknowledge their cooperation in pursuing universal health care beyond accreditation - consistently demonstrated their willingness to provide care without financial burden; physical facilities and equipment; and quality assurance program for continuing improvements.

PhilHealth 10 said that they are working on national awards be accorded to the nominees in the coming years, especially those already in the hall of fame or have been repeatedly awarded in the 10 years that PhilHealth 10 started recognizing exemplary health institutions in the region.

Misamis Oriental, DTI sign pact for price control body

By April Argen Pat B. Marzon

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Northern Mindanao and 26 local government units (LGUs) in Misamis Oriental have signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to protect consumers in the region.

The MOA, signed in Cagayan de Oro City last Thursday, aims to create the Local Price Coordinating Council (LPCC) in the region.

Fel Lester Brillantes, Consumer Welfare Desk (CWD) chief of DTI-Northern Mindanao, said the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) required them to set up the LPCC to keep prices of prime commodities from rising beyond 10 percent of the suggested retail price (SRP).

"We let the establishments justify the reason why they opt for a price increase that is beyond the SRP," Brillantes said.

Ma. Eliza Pabillore, provincial director of DTI Misamis Oriental, said stores that do not follow the price limit will be issued a show-cause order.

"And if again they would not explain, then that would be the time we will issue a notice of violation," Pabillore added.

The DTI has not detected any deviation from the SRP so far, she said.

Brillantes said the LPCC was formed to enforce price controls during calamities.

"Take for instance during (Typhoon) Sendong. The price of the bottled mineral water tripled. But DTI already included bottled water and container under the basic necessities list," Brillantes said.

He said other government agencies that regulate prices are Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Energy (DOE).

The MOA also sets up a Timbangan ng Bayan, an accurate weighing scale in public markets.

Consumers can have the goods they bought weighed on the Timbangan to check if the scale used by vendors are accurate.

Peter Abejuela Jr., manager of the City Economic Enterprise Department (CEED), assured that the Timbangan is always accessible to consumers especially in public markets.

"At Cogon public market, we assigned a person to man the TnB and [locked] it to prevent it from being stolen," Abejuela said.

"But if there is a complaint on the [weighing scale], consumers should approach us... We will then verify [it] to the vendor using the latter's scale and then with the TnB to check if there is fraud," he said.

Review of CDO Traffic Code sought

(PNA), RMA/CD/CD/EDS

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Feb. 26 (PNA) -- The City Council here is pushing for the review of the city’s traffic code to determine whether some of its provisions are in consonance with the existing national traffic code or not.

City councilor Ramon Tabor, chair of the city council committee on police, fire, and public safety, said on Thursday that one of the issues raised was the fine for traffic violation on the “seat belt law.”

The local traffic code imposes a fine of Php 1,500 for violators of the “seat belt law” while the national traffic code imposes only Php 100, he said.

Tabor said that the operators and drivers have complained that the fines under the existing traffic code of the Cagayan De Oro City were exorbitant and in conflict with the national traffic code.

According to Tabor, a local law should not supersede the national law. “Obviously, the local traffic code appeared to have superseded the national traffic law,” he said.

Tabor also disclosed that there was also the need to review some provisions of the City Ordinance No. 10051-2007, otherwise known as the Traffic Code of Cagayan de Oro, in the imposition of other fines and the sharing scheme.

He said that the city’s traffic imposes a penalty of Php 1,500, Php 3,000 and Php 5,000 for driving with a delinquent, invalid, suspended, ineffectual or revoked license while the Land Transportation Office (LT0) imposes only Php 1,000.

Tabor said the city council will also review the “sharing” provision where the local traffic enforcer gets a share of the fine collected. “This provision could be subjected to abuse because the traffic enforcer would arbitrarily flagged down the drivers even if there is not a violation at all,” Tabor said.

CBCP proposes ‘obligatory’ prayer for peace

By Jigger J. Jerusalem and Ryan D. Rosauro (Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro/Sunnex)

CAGAYAN DE ORO -- The leadership of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has proposed that “Oratio Imperata for Peace” be said in churches throughout the country to help “calm the anxieties” of the people and arrest the continued stirring for war after the tragic January 25 incident in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

“The situation of the country and the world right now calls on all of us to turn to the Lord in humble supplication and gather our people to pray,” Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop and CBCP president Socrates B. Villegas wrote in a February 23 letter to the country’s bishops.

“As the nation continues to grieve over the tragedy in Mamasapano and the family of nations is threatened by war and terror from extremist groups, our best contribution to the nation and to the world is to encourage people to pray,” Villegas added.

In Catholic Church tradition, an Oratio Imperata is an obligatory prayer said in times of natural calamity, war or any grave danger to the community. This prayer is recited kneeling. This can also be prayed individually.

In the Middle Ages, various saints (e.g. Saint Isidore the Farmer) were invoked for the assistance of granting rain, while Saint Roch was invoked for dire calamities and the Black Plague.

The bishops in every ecclesiastical territory have the authority to declare that such prayer be made obligatory.

Oro priests

In a text message to Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Tuesday, Monsigñor Elmer Abacahin, the pastoral head of the Holy Cross parish in Alubijid, Misamis Oriental, said that given the present circumstances and atmosphere following the Mamasapano tragedy, the Oratio Imperata must be said in churches.

“It is imperative especially today in our country to pray for peace when our country is in need in connection with the Fallen 44 and the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL),” Abacahin said, referring to the 44 police Special Action Force (SAF) commandos who were killed last January 25 when they engaged in a firefight with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Also killed were at least 18 MILF combatants, five BIFF guerrillas, several civilians and international terrorist figure Zulkifli Abdhir, also known as Marwan, the target of the SAF operation that went amiss.

The Mamasapano fighting is slowly ripping the country apart, as some lawmakers have expressed their withdrawal of support to BBL, which many believe may be the key to a lasting peace in Mindanao.

The BBL, once passed into a law, will pave the way for the Bangsamoro to achieve autonomy much like the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) but with some added elements.

Abacahin said: “Our God is God of peace and order, let’s ask God to grant us lasting peace. It is imperative to really seek the God of Peace.”

For his part, Fr. Raul Ricacho, who heads the Holy Rosary parish in Barangay Agusan, said the Oratio Imperata for Peace should be recited in churches for the Almighty to hear the prayer of the faithful.

“Prayer is the best weapon that a person can use to express his intentions to God. Although God is the only one who decides everything, a person can only hope that his intentions will be heard by God through his prayers,” Ricacho told this paper by phone Tuesday.

Awareness of the massive forces of violence

Villegas’ letter to his colleagues included a draft eight-paragraph text of the obligatory prayer. He proposed that this be said before the post-communion prayer in every Holy Mass from March 1 to 28.

The prayer written by Villegas implored that the people develop an “awareness of the massive forces of violence and terrorism that threaten our world today.”

“Grant us a sense of urgency to activate the forces of goodness, of justice, of love and of peace in our communities,” the prayer partly reads.

“... I humbly request that you issue a circular to the clergy and Catholic faithful in your jurisdiction to make this prayer for peace mandatory,” Villegas asked the country’s bishops.

“Hopefully, this prayer can calm the anxieties of our long suffering people and touch the hearts of the enemies of peace,” Villegas added.

DTI holds confab on ASEAN economic community, EU’s generalised scheme of preference

(JMOR/PIA10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, February 24 (PIA) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) region 10 will hold a multi-stakeholder briefing on ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and European Union’s Generalised Scheme of Preference (EU-GSP+) on March 5, 2015 at Limketkai Luxe Hotel, here.

The activity is in line with DTI’s aim in capacitating the regional exporters and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to gain awareness and updates on international trade, market standards and certification requirements.

According to Linda O. Boniao, DTI regional director, we are the only country among the ASEAN countries that has a concession in the European market, concession in terms of tariff. She said that most of the tariff lines in Europe are reduced to zero for 10 years for the Philippines.

Our exporters will simply deliver the products and pay the transport costs and container vans, but tariff reduced to zero.

This is the opportune time to catch that opportunity, she said.

Products in region 10 are mostly coconut products such as coco oil, refined, crude and copra mill which are exported to Europe like Amsterdam and Hamburg among others.

We have the competitive edge because of the zero tariffs, so our products are cheaper, Boniao said.

For this mutli-stakeholders briefing, target participants are manufacturers, suppliers and exporters in the region. The multi-sectoral briefing covers the sectors of coco-based, fresh and processed fruits, marine products, rubber, banana, coffee, cacao, tourism-retail sector, and GDH / home style.

It will provide region 10 stakeholders with current information on Philippine’s international trade strategy on the ASEAN Economic Community and the overview, benefits of EU-GSP+ and available trade-related technical assistance program for exporters and MSMEs.

Further, it also aims to guide exporters and MSMEs on how to access the EU and ASEAN markets and maximize international trade engagements of the country.

For more information, you may contact DTI region 10 through telephone numbers (08822) 722276/721369 or email irwinjasonjamaca@dti.gov.ph.

Mindanao ‘TreeVolution’ bags 2014 Guinness World Record

By April Argen Pat B. Marzon

“WE COINED the word TreeVolution because we want the revolution to be positive instead of destruction, chaos, negative things, [we] want to make it positive through trees –let’s plant trees, not fear and anger,” said Lordilie Enjambre, Development Management Officer of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and the Northern Mindanao coordinator of TreeVolution.

The need of reforestation should be intensified as the phenomenal climate change poses a huge problem in our planet.

To achieve greener Philippines, Northern Mindanao along with other regions in island joined the Guinness World Record of the most trees planted simultaneously on September 26 last year.

For one hour, 122,168 volunteers had a synchronized planting of trees at 29 locations across Mindanao.

Fortunately, TreeVolution: Greening MindaNow is now the title holder of the most trees planted in the world.

Enjambre said that they did not know about [it] that Mindanao has won the World Guinness Book of Record for most tress planted simultaneously.

“It just came out. We saw it earlier today [the] online post. It took Guinness five months to review and gladly we have won,” Enjambre said.

She also said that they had checked the website (Guinness) since and, “it was India [then] which was listed.”

She added that there was overwhelming support from the local government units (LGUs) in the city, as well as in Iligan City and Misamis Occidental.

“The LGU in the city committed five hectares while LGU Iligan gave more than 30 hectares with more than 50,000 mangrove trees planted. Misamis Occidental committed 15 hectares,” she said.

She added that they had mobilized schools and universities in Northern Mindanao like Mindanao University of Science and Technology, Capitol University, Liceo de Cagayan University in Cagayan de Oro and Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology and Lyceum College in Iligan City, among others.

As shown in the Guinness World Record website, it said the record-breaking event saw the planting of rubber, cacao, coffee, timber and mahogany trees, as well as a range of fruit trees and other species indigenous to the Philippines.

Enjambre mentioned that fruit-bearing trees were planted in agricultural areas to help the locals in their livelihood and that the trees planted in various locations in Mindanao depended on the availability of the trees.

Support the advocacy

Enjambre said the TreeVolution aimed to support the National Greening Program (NGP) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) whose goal is to reach 1.5 billion trees covering 1.5 billion hectares for a period of six years from 2011 to 2016.

“Treevolution aimed to capture all Mindanaons – everybody has to help the reforestation effort. Everybody needs to cooperate, to enhance the forest,” Enjambre said.

She said there were, 16,185 planters in the region with a target of 20 trees to plant per person.

“But it really depends... [because] there were individuals who exceeded the target. There were those who planted 50 trees,” she said.

She also said that they did series of orientation to ensure that all volunteers are at the same level with regard to effectively planting the trees.

“We saw the need to support it – the goal of DENR in reforestation,” she said.

In its official statement, MinDa thanked all those who participated in the event, citing that their involvement has made this historic event even more meaningful.

Due to the stringent verification process of the Guinness committee, only 2,294,629 out of the 4 million trees planted were officially tallied, exceeding the previous record of India by more than 300,000 trees. More importantly, this official number from Guinness does not in any way reduce the long-term impacts of the actual four million trees planted in over 7,800 hectares of land all over Mindanao. The four million seedlings planted add one percent to Mindanao’s target forest cover by 2016.

Taking it to the next level

Enjambre told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro that they will include the two islands -- Visayas and Luzon -- this year to make it a nationwide stint; thus will be spearheaded by the DENR central office.

She added that they have already designated schools to look after the planted trees to ensure the maintenance and “that those [trees] will grow.”

“We are counting more support to pour this year especially with the involvement of the two islands, making it a nationwide event,” she said.

“We are looking forward, and still planning that the next TreeVolution will fall on the Environment Month (June),” Embaje added.

Truly, the TreeVolution has showed one overwhelming reaffirmation -- the Mindanawons can unite for a common good, and that, we, Mindanawons, can truly become one for the environment, she added.

XU-RSO holds ‘Festival of Ideas’ in Oro

By April Argen Pat B. Marzon

AIMING at innovating intellectual discourse, the Xavier University Research and Social Outreach (XU-RSO) unit held the first “Festival of Ideas” in the city.

Festival of Ideas, according to Hilly Ann R. Quiaoit, PhD, vice president of XU-RSO, was a three-part series of talks which gave a platform to local and universal ideas that kicked-off last February 7 and culminated last February 21.

She said that Festival of Ideas established discussions on RSO’s thematic areas–environment, health, food security, governance, and peace.

Quiaoit said the event was a new innovation which provided platform of different ideas from/to the audience.

She furthered that the event was an interactive venue through which the speakers and participants shared [mix] ideas and should think outside the box.

Robert dela Serna, Festival of Ideas consultant, said that there were different issues in the past talks.

Dela Serna said that it was the first of its kind to hold Festival of Ideas in a Philippine university setting.

“As we are talking about peace, the Mamasapano tragedy is a burning issue to address – the accounts, accountability and culpability from local and national perspective – and so, we had come up to have a discussion on this,” dela Serna said.

“The irony is that, [people] simply react to the issue... but have they been [here] in Mindanao,” dela Serna said.

He also said that concept of Mindanao is distorted and as the main source of information (media), there is a need to have clarification.

“We want to hear opinions, positions from different people... we want them to be critical thinkers,” he said.

He added that we need to ask the question ourselves since we are from Mindanao.

Speakers were John Nery, editor in chief of Inquirer.net; Benigno Tutor, opinion columnist of Bohol Tribune; and Froilan Gallardo, photojournalist of MindaNews.

Gallardo talked about the accounts from a field journalist perspective on Mamasapano tragedy.

He said that the tragedy was only a small fraction in Mindanao's issues but it has been magnified.

He left the audience with a question – “is Marwan worth it – peace for a restless Mindanao island or the life of a Malaysian bomb maker?”

In the national lens, Nery talked about the accountability and the culpability of the incident.

“We need to raise all questions about failure and demand answers,” Nery said.

He discussed the timeline of the Mamasapano tragedy and the elements of Journalism.

Meanwhile, musician Rhyan Casiño of Dire Husi serenaded the audience in his organic and relaxing music.

How do we heal the strain in peace? Casiño said, “Music transcends boundaries...”

He hoped that with the discussion on music, it would be reflective and be able to touch the hearts of the audience.

RSO aims to create awareness on social-relevant issues and hopes that the university will institutionalized the said event.

“Hopefully, we’ll make it every year... depends on the [desired] topic,” Quiaoit said.

Leaders gather at 1st 'Find X Project' in Oro

By April Argen Pat B. Marzon (Date Published)

AT LEAST 200 young leaders, professionals and social entrepreneurs across the country will gather for the inaugural "Find X Project" leadership congress at the Lourdes College Auditorium on Saturday, February 21.

Find X Project is a one-day Mindanao-wide event with moderated talks and breakout sessions that will give youth leaders a venue for convergence, mentorship, and inspiration to create or scale initiatives in their communities.

“We have invited influential leaders in the country to come to Cagayan de Oro and share their experiences in nation building,” said Romcy Madronio, project chairman and president of Acquire Social Ventures Initiatives.

“FXP is designed to inspire other leaders for creative and collaborative solutions to a set of focused social issues,” he said.

Powerhouse speakers

The congress will feature plenary discussions on five thematic areas: social media, disaster risk reduction, social entrepreneurship, youth empowerment and education.

According to Madronio, the panel of speakers is top-billed by multi-awarded journalist and social media expert Howie Severino and Climate Change Commissioner Naderev Sano.

Severino will speak on “Social Media as a Tool for Youth Activism” while Sano will discuss “The Youth in Resiliency, Reconstruction and Recovery Process.”

Other top notch speakers are public school teacher Sabrina Ongkiko (Role of Young Leaders on Advancing Public Education), social entrepreneur Marita Ann Enriquez (Enabling Communities through Social Entrepreneurship) and youth champion Meryl Grace Agudelo of ICAN Make a Difference Inc., (Meaningful Engagement of Youth Leaders in Nation Building).

Madronio said that FXP also features breakout workshops on the five thematic areas to encourage participants to brainstorm and collaborate on projects. Workshop facilitators are Ernesto Neri of Oro Youth Development Council, Princess Ubay-ubay, of start-up Knots and Woods, Commissioner Yeb Sano, Dr. Edralin Manla and Ryan Madrid of Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan.

“What makes FXP different from other leadership conventions are the separate workshops that will serve as creative laboratories for participants to come up with concrete solutions,” Madronio said.

For a cause

Madronio said that apart from gathering leaders to inspire proactive solutions, FXP doubles as a fund raising activity to build fishing boats and reconstruct pathways in a depressed community off the coast of Cagayan de Oro.

Puntabon is a sand bar surrounded by the Macajalar Bay and is home to more than 80 families whose houses are on stilts.

“With only six boats and a dilapidated walkway, children struggle everyday to go to school – sometimes even swimming through the water with their school supplies wrapped in cellophanes,” Madronio said.

With the registration fees earned from FXP, organizers are eyeing to donate at least 11 fishing boats and to reconstruct the walkway in Puntabon.

“The initiative will help address two community issues: access to education and livelihood for the family beneficiaries,” he added.

With its promising framework, FXP has gained the support of Cebu Pacific, Smart and other organizations.

Oro Chamber gears up for Asean Integration

By April Argen Pat B. Marzon

THE Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce (Oro Chamber) is gearing up for the challenges in the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) integration through Asean Economic Community (AEC) this year.

With AEC on, Oro Chamber expects new investors arriving in the city to take advantage of the market.

The Asean integration is aimed at improving the standard of living and quality of life of the people in the region.

Cerael Donggay, president of Oro Chamber, said that they are expecting much from this integration.

“Our role, with the upcoming Asean Regional Integration, is to help our members – industries, sectors, commercial establishments, trade and commerce, services, etc. survive the [upcoming integration] competition… so we should find ways for them to survive,” Donggay said.

Donggay added that they are now in the “planning stage” on how to make local businesses and entrepreneurs compete and collaborate with foreign investors.

He said that one example in helping local businesses is for Oro Chamber to promote more industries to come in and put up their business here and generate employment through vertical integration – upstream and downstream.

He added that as part of the AEC, inclusive growth should be achieved in which there is a reduction of poverty along with increase of employment – if this happens, there is peace and order.

“A country with a low economic development will create disorder – militant movement, rebellion – subversive element… we can eliminate this by ensuring that there is an inclusive growth where more people are employed and businesses improve,” Donggay said.

He also said that if foreign investors put up their investments in the city, there will be more job opportunities and that there is no barrier if they are given free tariff; thus smuggling will be lessen.

“No one will be left-out,” Donggay said.

But Wildon Barros, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Northern Mindanao spokesperson, said otherwise.

Countering integration in BRICS

“Asean Integration is part of US consolidation to their economic alliances in Asia Pacific to counter the consolidation of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS). The US is again facing another economic crisis… so they need to gather support from its colonies and semi-colonies (countries),” Barros said.

He said that under the Philippine Development Program, there are substantial incentives to lure foreign investors like free tariffs; tax holidays and others.

“Yes, there is employment but there is no security of tenure. What is happening is the perpetuation of the contractualization of workers – it’s just a matter of everyday survival,” Barros added.

Oro Chinese distribute free ‘tikoy’ on lunar New Year revelry

By April Argen Pat B. Marzon

AS THE Filipino-Chinese community in Macasandig, Cagayan de Oro City, celebrated the Chinese New Year on Thursday, the temple, also known as Bell Church, was adorned with beautiful Chinese lanterns and ornaments and a neat arrangement of different fruits in the altar.

Some Filipino-Chinese families started the celebration on Chinese New Year’s eve where they held a program and showcased the much-anticipated fireworks display at Bell Church.

Among the highlights of the Chinese New Year celebration is the distribution of the famous Chinese cake known as “tikoy.”

Greg Marten Lao, chairman of Bell Church Cagayan de Oro Chapter and president of Misamis Oriental Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., said that Chinese New Year is an important Chinese festival celebrated at the turn of the Chinese calendar.

Chinese cake or ‘tikoy’

Lao said it is the first time they distributed “tikoy” during the Chinese New Year revelry. One thousand coupons were given to the barangay through its chairman.

“In the previous years, we gave gift packs like canned goods and rice… but this time, we decided to give tikoy,” Lao said.

Adelfa Sia, wife of former city councilor Juan Sia and a member of Bell Church lady circle also said that this sticky sweet food brings harmony in the family – symbol of unity.

“But originally, in Chinese term, tikoy is nian gao, which is equivalent to "higher year… eating this (tikoy) signifies good luck and symbolizes improvement – of raising oneself higher in each coming year," clarified Lao.

Meanwhile, people who received the coupon eagerly queued to get their tikoys.

“It’s not every day that we (family) can taste or eat tikoy. Gladly, I have a coupon – they are distributing it for free,” a resident in Macasandig who claimed her free tikoy said.

But Lao added that they are looking for a system in the distribution of tikoy.

“We do not know the feedback (public) yet and so we are going to evaluate what will be best – free distribution of tikoy with or without coupon… because we can’t tell if what we aimed at – per family in a household should get one box of tikoy – has been observed or not for others may have not received a coupon at all,” Lao said.

Moreover, Sia said they had been preparing for the distribution two days ahead the lunar new year.

They also served “misua,” a very thin variety of Chinese noodle and red painted boiled eggs to temple visitors.

“I helped in cooking… we serve misua and boiled egg for long life. Anything round means harmony – for good luck,” Sia said in an interview on Thursday.

“Our church (temple) is open to everybody – may it be Chinese or non-Chinese,” she said.

Lao and Sia hoped that through this event, the younger generation, especially Chinese youth, would actively observe and bear awareness on their tradition.

“Hopefully, next year, we are looking for the other associations to collaborate with us in order to have a unified celebration of Chinese New Year in the city,” Lao said.

CDO dad tackles honorarium of day care teachers

[(PNA), LAP/CD/EDS]

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Feb. 18 (PNA) -- The City Council favorably endorsed the increase of the monthly honorarium of day care teachers here, City Councilor Prexy Elipe said Wednesday.

Elipe, chair of the city council committee on finance, ways and means, said that the City Council now works to increase the monthly honorarium to P5,000 from its current monthly honorarium of P2,400.

“Actually, the day care teachers have already received a monthly increase of P2,600 from the month of June to December 2014,” Elipe said.

However, the Commission On Audit (COA) has disallowed the payment since the budget for the increase was taken from the Special Education Fund (SEF), Elipe said.

According to Elipe, his committee would first invite the city accountant and the budget officer to determine the possible source of the funds so that an Ordinance for the appropriation of the fund could be approved.

Php 2-B disaster mitigation project for CDO bared

(PNA), FPV/CD/ERCEL MAANDIG/CD/EDS

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Feb. 17 (PNA) -- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has allocated Php 2 billion for disaster mitigation project in this regional trading hub in 2015, DPWH officials said Tuesday.

Sandra Flores, the DPWH spokesperson for Northern Mindanao, said that DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson made the disclosure during a visit last week.

Flores said the amount would be used for the construction of the Slope Protection/River Control in Iponan River and Cagayan De Oro River after its multi-million river control wall was damaged by typhoon Sendong (Washi) in 2011.

"The project is part of the national government's thrust and program for Disaster and Risk Reduction after Northern Mindanao experienced several big calamities in the past," Flores said.

She said in order to protect the community along the Cagayan De Oro river banks, the DPWH has initiated such project worth billions of pesos, on top of the multi-billion "Mega Dike" Project of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is now the subject of intense public consultations involving 13 coastal villages here.

MisOr buys P5.2-M prime mover for disaster response

By Jigger J. Jerusalem

TO BE efficient in responding to disasters, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) recently acquired a prime mover truck with flatbed trailer that will be used in transporting heavy equipment from one point of Misamis Oriental to another.

Dr. Josefino Bascug, acting PDRRM officer, said the truck will be essential in ensuring earth movers such as graders and backhoes to be dispatched right away in the event of landslides and other calamities.

The prime mover costs P5.2 million and can carry only one heavy equipment at a time, but Bascug added its acquisition is cost-efficient since renting it from private contractors is costlier.

If the Provincial Government will rent this type of carrier, it will pay about P50,000 for a one-way delivery of a backhoe, for instance which would drain the province’s resources in the long run as disasters happen all year round.

But with the purchase of the heavy-duty truck, the provincial Capitol will save on rental expenses since Misamis Oriental is usually affected whenever a weather disturbance passes by northern Mindanao.

In anticipation of flashfloods and landslides, he said the capitol has apportioned its heavy equipment catering to the eastern and western areas of the province.

But he said there could be instances that graders or backhoes could break down and the other heavy equipment from the other side of Misamis Oriental could be dispatched immediately.

Bascug said this is where the prime mover truck will serve its purpose as it could transport these machineries in no time.

Although the prime mover will be assigned to the Provincial Engineering Office, he said the PDRRMO will be given priority in its use if ever the province is hit by a disaster.

This is the reason, he said, that Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano has really pushed for the procurement of the prime mover truck.

The truck was bought at Tiger Motor Sales based in Cebu City.

Bascug said the budget in the purchase of the trailer truck was sourced from the 2013 and 2014 savings of the PDRRMO funds.

Last year, about P54 million was allocated to the PDRRMO, taken from the 5 percent of the total provincial budget.

For 2015, Bascug said the PDRRMO budget has slightly increased at P57 million.

For this year, the priorities of the PDRRMO include preparedness, quick response, disaster mitigation, and rehabilitation.

Bascug is temporarily sitting in for Edmundo Pacamalan Jr. as the head of the PDRRMO, who is on leave, as he flew to the Dubai, United Arab Emirates to assist a domestic worker from northern Mindanao who is reportedly abused there.

XU gym to host Subokin opening

By Lynde Salgados

SUBOKIN’S taste in basketball is quite classy.

And so for the club’s season-opening conference in 2015, the ceremonial rites and kick-off matches will be held at the Xavier University gym here on February 22.

“All of the 2015 Subokin Expendable Teams will see action during the opening day which is set to start at 8:30 am,” the club’s spokesperson Boboy Sabal told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.

First to take the floor will be Team Willis against Team Gibson.

After the opening program, Sabal said the drawing of lots will continue to determine the pairings for the next matches.

“The following elimination games will be played at the backcourt of Xavier University pero mobalik ta sa XU gym sa kampeyonato nga dula,” added Sabal.

Inspired by the basketball legacy of the late Misamis Oriental board member Roldan Lagbas, the Subokin Club’s revival is also supported by the Barangay Council of Macasandig that allows the group to use the Macasandig covered court for its regular quorum everySaturday afternoon.

Here’s the 2015 Subokin Expendables Teams: Team ROURKE [Consultant -Raagas, Bodo] PG - Pagute, Jerome SG - Dahilan, Eph SF - Demecillo, Jawo

PF – Torres, Bentoy C - Timonera, James Alfonso, Vicente Lagbas, Tata Valduheusa, Rito Lazaro, Bert Buot, Jay Madjos, Popoy Uy, Mandy Pajaron, Junex Yana, Mark Team STATHAM [Consultant - Ostrea, Mills] PG - Neri, Marvin SG - Biongcog, Boning SF – Moreno, Shantao PF - Aunzo, Jong C - Palomar, Vovan Manabilang, James Chan, Gary Bora, Mark Escara, Pinggoy Ostrea, Paolo Velez, Dundee Buot, Vince Manila, Alton Reyes, Richie Team SCHWARZENEGGER [Consultant - Puertas, Intot] PG - Yacapin, Chippy

SG – Martinez, Arvin SF - Labuntog, Wawang PF - Limocon, Bardy C - Sabal, Marco Lagbas, Taras Lagbas, Balong Martinez, Elden Dy, Sotsot San Jose, Noc Gaccion, Alfred Martinez, Brande Mercado, Jong Galarion, Chris Ubay-ubay, Ferdinand Team VAN DAMME [Consultant - Marte, Charome] PG - Pabillore, Anton

SG - Cabanes, Raffy SF - Sanchez, PJ PF - Tagarda, Erning C - Contreras, DR Andales, Dimver Nacalaban, Natoy Ortega, Richard Jamaca, Aran Adeva, Mac Cabanes, Ken Echalico, Bobax Yaranon, Jing Jacutin, Bobby Gaudiongco, Vito Team STALLONE [Consultant - Dollente, Angel] PG - Alfante, Wiwing SG - Montenegro, Albert SF - Biongcog, Butchok PF - Dawal, Arnel C - Casino, Chinglai Padilla, Bing Bong Velez, Leif Fernandez, Joey Yana, Marvin Pong, Jun Madraga, Macky Reyes, Jingle Abucejo, James Salgados, Lynde Team WILLIS [Consultant - Cui, Thirdy] PG - Yaranon, Jett SG - Hengania, John SF - Datinguinoo, Bee

PF - Alinas, Jun C - Mahistrado, Jojo Cortes, Jay Hebia, Estong Molok, Fahad Dimaporo, Jamal Encarnacion, Ceasar Pongtud, Kevin Quiblat, Kokong Olango, Edward Zapanta, Ian Neri, Wilbourne Team GIBSON [Consultant - Sabal, Gerry III]

PG - Diango, Cyrus SG - Lagbas, Dudz SF - Ubay-ubay, Owen PF - Rondina, Dave C - Armojillas, Rex Calingin, Rocky Valduhuesa, Yummy Chaves, Jimboy Villareal, Joseph Awa, Jun Acoon, Nino Lagrosas, Brian McVicker, Waldo Villamor, Dennis Team LUNDGREN [Consultant - Navales, Khass] PG - Lim, Intsik SG - Ostrea, Ranz SF - Go, Stephen PF - Uy, Samboy C - Simon, James Babiera, Jan Poblete, Rumar Daba, Jing Javier, Markie Tongco, Bating Daba, Winnie Bautista, Ian Gue, Chris Beja, Benjie.

Dredging at Oro river beneficial to env't, quarriers

By Jigger J. Jerusalem

AS ONE of its flood-mitigation measures, the City Government will soon allow those who are engaging in small-time quarrying to extract sand and gravel in the Cagayan de Oro river, a City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) official said Thursday.

Found along some areas on the river are sand bars, or formations composed of sand deposits that can be dredged by quarriers, said Clenro chief Edwin Dael.

Dael said allowing the removal of these sand bars will have advantageous effects, as the City Government will spend nothing for dredging the river, and at the same time, it would give many residents a source of livelihood.

Allowing the people, especially those living along the riverbank, to quarry sand and gravel is one of the recommendations of the technical working group (TWG) created by City Councilor Zaldy Ocon, he added.

The TWG is composed of representatives from the regional offices of the Department Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Clenro, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro River Basin Council, and barangays where the sandbars are located.

Hydrographic survey

Early this week, the TWG conducted a hydrographic survey on the riverbank to determine the effects of extracting the materials that made up the sand bars.

Hydrographic survey is defined as “the science of measurement and description of features which affect maritime navigation, marine construction, dredging, offshore oil exploration/drilling and related activities.”

Dael said the DPWH was called in as a TWG member so it can check if the dredging could not affect the structural integrity of the bridges, the Marcos bridge and the Macabalan-Kauswagan bridge, located near these sand bars.

In recent years, these small-time quarriers have been given special permit to dig the river bed by former mayor Vicente Emano.

During the administration of incumbent Mayor Oscar Moreno, Dael said the City Mining Regulatory Board (CMRB) was organized to review the sand and gravel extraction applications of these quarriers based on Republic Act 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act.

Among the CMRB’s roles, he said, is to monitor the dredging activities in the city and issue the quarriers the necessary permit.

Dael said the quarriers have complied with all the requirements set by the CMRB except for clearance from the DPWH-Northern Mindanao.

He said the DPWH-Northern Mindanao's concern is that dredging the river beds might have an adverse effect on the bridges’ structural strength.

But with the result of the hydrographic survey, Dael said he is optimistic that DPWH will now grant the dredgers the clearance so the CMRB could issue them the permit.

He said the TWG, based on the study of the technical experts from the MGB-Northern Mindanao, has found out the extraction of sand and gravel in sand bars will have no adverse effect on the bridges.

In fact, Dael said, the removal of the sand bars would help prevent flooding as the water can now flow freely.

For his part, Barangay Consolacion chair Dante Roa agreed that allowing the quarriers to dredge the sand bars would help some residents in their livelihood.

SSS opens another branch in Cagayan de Oro

(APB/PIA-10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Feb. 12 (PIA) -- The Social Security System (SSS) has expanded its presence in northern Mindanao as it opened another branch in the city.

The new branch located at the ground floor of Agora Market City Building in barangay Lapasan was inaugurated today by top SSS officials led by its President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio De Quiros, Jr.

De Quiros said SSS has been very aggressive in opening branches and service offices to bring its services closer to members.

He said SSS has many good programs that need to be communicated to the public and opening branches is one of the solutions to better serve the needs of its members.

“Rest assured, we will continuously improve our services so that our members can say “buti na lang at may SSS!” he added.

Valentine Viajar-Aunzo, head of the newly-opened branch, said the Lapasan Branch is strategically located because its proximity to the Agora Public Transport Terminal makes it accessible to members in ten municipalities in the eastern part of Misamis Oriental and some parts of Bukidnon province.

“We are spreading our coverage throughout the province and we hope to reach more vulnerable sectors as well as job order and contractual workers of local government units with the best service they deserve,” she further said.

The SSS Lapasan Branch is the second SSS branch office in Cagayan de Oro.

The inauguration ceremony was also graced Cagayan de Oro City mayor Oscar Moreno and other local chief executives of the municipalities that will be served by the newly-opened branch.

Event group out to prove that Mindanao is peaceful

By Ercel Maandig [(PNA), CTB/CD/EM/SSC]

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Feb. 11 (PNA) -– A local event group on Wednesday announced it would embark various projects here to prove that Northern Mindanao is peaceful.

Robert Dy, producer of Buffalo Entertainment and Events Proponent Incorporated (Beep,Inc), a private entertainment event company, said that the company has lined up major entertainment projects here this year to send a strong message to Manila that Mindanao, especially Cagayan De Oro City, is peaceful.

In mid-February this year, the entertainment company will bring to this seaport capital the thrill of one of the series of provincial Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) tournaments here, Dy said.

He said that the company has already sponsored various successful events in the past, notably the Angeline Quinto concert, “Timeless” that recently featured Nonoy Zuniga, Rey Valera and Willy Nepumoceno.

Dy also lamented the decision of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) management to cancel the scheduled “International Inter-Club Golf” tourney here in March.

He said that the PAL backtracks due to the incident in Maguindanao where 44 members of the PNP’s Special Action Force (SAF) were killed in the Mamapasano firefight.

“The PAL made the incident of the fallen 44 SAF in Maguindanao as the basis for cancelling the scheduled annual international inter-club golf competition here,” Dy said.

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