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Cagayan de Oro City News

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Cagayan de Oro - Archived News

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Patient in Oro tests negative of Mers-Cov

By Alwen Saliring

THE Department of Health in Northern Mindanao said the patient confined at Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) in Cagayan de Oro City has tested negative of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (Mers-Cov).

Dr. David Mendoza, head of the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance and Disaster Response Unit (RESDRU) of the DOH Northern Mindanao, confirmed Sunday that all laboratory tests taken from the patient and brought to Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), DOH’s national reference laboratory, for the verification of the samples were all found negative of Mers-Cov.

“Dili kinahanglang maguol ang katawhan kay negatibo ang pasyente sa Mers-Cov. (There is no need to worry because the patient is negative of Mers-Cov),” Mendoza said.

Mendoza said the patient is suffering from a lung problem and the hospital is continually giving medication for her possible pulmonary Tuberculosis (TB).

The 36-year-old female patient is a caregiver from Singapore for more than two years and arrived home last month due to overstaying. She has already been complaining of her health condition since December last year.

Mendoza said in an earlier interview that NMMC specialists have been working out on the diagnosis associated with pulmonary tuberculosis.

“I-isolate lang gihapon basin infectious disease sa baga pwede TB, Bronchitis or Pneumonia. (She will still be in isolation as she might have infectious disease in her lungs such as Tuberculosis, Bronchitis, or Pneumonia),” Mendoza said.

Mendoza added these diseases could be transmitted through close and direct contact with people.

“Dili siya airborne, direct contact siya pareha sa TB dapat dili ta magpaduol kung molabay ka sa tawo nga naay TB ok lang pero gawas kung mahangab nimo iyang ginhawa or inubhan. (It is not airborne, it's direct contact like Tuberculosis, we should be careful in getting near people who have Tuberculosis),” Mendoza said.

Mendoza said common symptom of advance TB is coughing out blood which the patient is currently experiencing. Mendoza said the residents may now eliminate fear and worries that the city has Mers-Cov case, as he warns irresponsible individual to stop spreading hoax messages to avoid panic.

Oro’s 1st Chinese New Year Festival

By Riain Alfonso

AS THE whole world celebrates and welcomes the year of the red monkey, Cagayan de Oro City stages the very first Chinese New Year Festival from January 30 to February 20, 2016.

The festival opened officially last January 30 with a launching ceremony at the Tourism Assistance Center in Divisoria. Also unveiled on that day is the ongoing photo exhibit located at the back of the Tourism Assistance Center.

“This is a good start para ang tao ma learn ang culture sa Chinese,” said Greg Marten Lao, the president of Misamis Oriental Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. and president of Cagayan de Oro Bell Church Foundation, Inc.

Lao added that the relationship is very tight between the Filipino-Chinese community of Cagayan de Oro and the rest of the city but he also shared that with this first ever Chinese New Year Festival, the Filipino-Chinese community hopes that the tie becomes even more bonded and strong through a better understanding of the Filipino-Chinese culture.

Other activities for the said festival include Chinese New Year Cosplay last January 31st; a Chinese Movie Festival from January 30 to February 8 at the City Hall Complex; a Chinese Food Bazaar in Limketkai Center and SM City, and a Chinese Food Exhibit at Centrio Mall from February 5 to 8; Search for Campus Models on February 5th; Lion and Dragon Dance on February 6 and Community Performances on February 7 atSM City; also on February 7, the World of Fantasy Fashion Show, Dim Sum Sampling, Calligraphy Show, and Chinese Handicrafts in Limketkai, and Chinese Cultural Show by Kong Hua School at Centrio Mall.

A Fireworks Show at the Bell Church was also staged on February 7 which is the eve of the official New Year.

Today, February 8, the Filipino-Chinese community will also be distributing 2,000 boxes of Lucky Tikoy which is said to bring prosperity to those who receive them.

“Mas sweeter ang taste sa tikoy, mas magdikit ang mga tao,” said Lao, “Dili na mag away ang mga tao, peaceful ang relationships. Mao na ang prayer nato this year, peaceful life. Ga ask pod ta sa blessing sa Ginoo, na maghatag swerte sa tao. Ato pod prayer for next year is mas ma kwartahan, mas ma prosperous.”

Other activities on the 8th include the Lantern Parade with Lion Dancers; a lion Dance at Centrio; and a second staging, this time in Limketkai Rotunda, of the Chinese Cultural Show by Kong Hua School. There is also a Feng Shui consultation at SM Mall on the 9th of February.

The Filipino-Chinese community appreciates that the city government recognizes their contributions to the city. Some of their contributions to the city include shouldering the maintenance, gas, and other expenses for the Filipino-Chinese Volunteer Fire Brigade and their seven fire trucks, their immediate assistance to the victims of Sendong and the funding for the 300 houses built in the Filipino Chinese Friendship Village in Canito-an.

“Maybe next year, we can do this event again and make it even better,” added Lao. He also noted that there are a lot of citywide activities during the latter half of year but not so much during the start. He shared that the Chinese New Year Festival can be a big event for the city at the start of the year.

US to build facilities in old CDO airport in 2016

By Bobby Lagsa (

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin says once the required documents are processed in the coming months, US troops can 'move in' to begin construction of their facilities

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The US military will build facilities in the old Lumbia airport in this city under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin confirmed.

Gazmin, who was in the city earlier this week to attend the 46th Founding Anniversary of the army’s 4th Infantry Division, said that construction to upgrade the city airport will start within the year.

The defense chief said as soon as the required documents are processed in the coming months, US troops can "move in" to begin the construction of their facilities.

The Lumbia airport, the city’s old commercial airport, is now under the control of the 10th Tactical Operations Group of the Philippine Air Force, though the land belongs to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines-Department of Transportation and Communication.

Gazmin said that the Lumbia airport is one of the selected sites agreed upon by the Philippine government.

Under the EDCA, US forces are allowed to set up storage facilities and station forward personnel to maintain such facilities. These facilities must be being use by the Armed Forces of the Philippines. (READ: SC rules: PH-US deal constitutional)

The US military calls these facilities pre-positioning areas wherein supplies, equipments ordnance and vehicles can be pre-positioned in storage in preparation for possible conflict.


Cesar Renario, spokesperson of the National Democratic Front-Northern Mindanao warned that the presence of US forces in Lumbia town would be disastrous for the city.

“Under the EDCA...US forces are allowed all forms of operations and activities in the agreed areas,” Renario claimed.

He said that EDCA allows the US military to station an unlimited number of troops, US military contractors, warships, fighter planes, arms including nuclear arms, without payment to the host government.

Renario also noted that Philippine authorities cannot even access these US facilities, just like the Joint Special Operation Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) compound inside Camp General Basilio Navarro, headquarters of the Western Mindanao Command in Zamboanga City where 700 American forces are stationed.

He added that US forces have used the Philippines as it staging area for its Asian pivot, which puts the Philippines as the next conflict area. “The US is protecting its Asian interest, not the interest of the Philippines,” Renario said.

The New People’s Army had earlier released a statement that US soldiers and facilities are legitimate targets of communist rebels.

DSWD spearheads 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women

By Mitzie S. Santiago (PIA10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, February 4 -- With this year’s theme, “End VAW Now! It’s Our Duty! Gains and Ways Forward,” the Department of Social Welfare and Development recently spearheaded the 18th Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women and their Children and International Day Against Trafficking.

Some of the activities conducted in line with the celebration included a motorcade, TV guestings, advocacy forums on various Laws related to anti-violence against women and children.

Highlights of the week long celebration were the active participation of members of the Men Opposed to Violence Everywhere and other government member-Agencies of the Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and their Children.

The event was aimed to promote public awareness in the observance of the event and give emphasis on how far the government agencies and other stakeholders have gone in terms of programs and projects that address violence against women and children.

Protecting and upholding the rights of women and children has been one of the major initiatives of the DSWD.

DENR 10 set to release coffee table book

(With report from the Planning and Management Division/rpao_xyte-RPAO-DENR 10/PIA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, February 1 (PIA) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources 10 (DENR 10) is set to release soon a coffee table book of Region 10 Protected Areas (PAs).

The Coffee Table Book is a compilation of nature photography, natural landscapes and objects in natural landscapes. It presents the conservation and preservation efforts of DENR underlining the PAs potentials in ecotourism.

Regional Director Ruth M. Tawantawan said, the DENR enforces the protection and management of the protected areas because of their recognized natural, ecological and/or cultural values.

She added that these areas are essential for biodiversity conservation, often providing habitat and protection from hunting for threatened and endangered species.

Region 10 has 10 protected areas under four categories - resource reserve, protected landscape, natural monument/landmark and natural park.

The resource reserve category includes the protected landscape and seascape areas of Initao-Libertad, Baliangao and Bacolod-Kauswagan.

The Mimbilisan Protected Landscape falls under the protected landscape category, while Mt. Timpoong-HibokHibok is under natural monument/landmark category.

Most of the Region’s PAs are categorized as natural parks including ranges of Mt. Kitanglad, Mt. Kalatungan, Mt. Balatukan, Mt. Malindang and Mt. Inayawan.

Each PA is managed by its Protected Area Management Board (PAMB). All 10 PAMBs of Region 10 were able to pass a total of 170 resolutions in compliance to its mandate of strengthening and operationalization of the protected areas in the Region - 167 of which were approved.

The PAMBs also took steps in administering the Habitat Protection by designing restrictive, directional and interpretive signages based on standard design and specification of signs, buildings, facilities and other infrastructures that may be installed or constructed within the protected area. These signages are installed along the protected areas’strategic entry and exit points.

The objective in setting up these signages/billboards is to increase the level of awareness of the local communities living in the park and that of visitors/tourists. The billboards likewise convey the prohibited acts inside the Protected Areas as provided under RA 9304, RA 9147 and RA 7586.

Northern Mindanao joins worldwide Asian bird census


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Feb. 2 (PNA) -- Environment officials in Northern Mindanao joined the annual Asian Waterfowl Census this year, as part of the conservation of bird species and the environment.

Lina Galvez, spokesperson of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the region, said on Tuesday that the bird count started January 13 until January 22, this year.

She said the annual activity is the largest bird count for migratory birds conducted simultaneously in 51 countries worldwide, including the Philippines.

Ruth Tawantawan, DENR regional director, said the annual bird count has a very significant role in the conservation and preservation of bird species in our ecosystem since record showed that migratory birds visit to the country's wetland areas have increased.

In 2015, a total of around 4,084 different migratory bird species were monitored mostly comprising of birds such as Egrets, Wild Ducks, Sand Pipers and Chinese Pond herons, she said.

The result of the annual Waterfowl Census would also be transformed into a database that would be made available for future studies, she added.

She said the bird count would likely boost local tourism since both foreign and domestic tourists would want to participate in a “bird watching” activity on known migratory bird places in the region.

Tawatawan said the DENR has identified various wetlands and coastal areas in Northern Mindanao where large presence of migratory birds have been observed.

She identified the presence of wetlands in the cities of El Salvador and Gingoog (all component cities of Misamis Oriental); Alubijid, Opol, Magsaysay, all towns of Misamis Oriental; and NAPOCOR dam in Maramag, Bukidnon.

The towns of Kolambogan and Lala in Lanao Del Norte and the wetland areas in the towns of Sinacaban and Bonifacio, all of Misamis Occidental are also famous for migratory birds.

Tawantawan said the identified wetlands and coastal areas in Northern Mindanao are the places where the bird count was conducted in January this year.

Northern Mindanao attains 94.2% employment rate


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Feb. 1 (PNA) -- The employment rate in Northern Mindanao was pegged at 94.2 percent, while the unemployment rate was steady at 5.8 percent the last two years from 2014 to 2015, a labor official said Monday.

Albert E. Gutib, assistant regional director of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Northern Mindanao, said that the underemployment rate also dropped from 31 percent to 22.6 percent during the two-year period.

Gutib said that the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) released the figures, citing the youth sector to have the biggest chunk of unemployment in the region.

He said that the DOLE is now addressing the unemployment rate among the youth through boosting the implementation of the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES).

The SPES is targeting the poor, but deserving students and the out-of-school-youths (OSYs) who intend to pursue their education through the student employment program during summer, Christmas season, or any time of the year, Gutib said.

Under the program a qualified student may work for a minimum of 15 days and a maximum of 52 days where the employer pays 60 percent of the monthly pay and the remaining 40 percent by the DOLE, he said.

In addition, the DOLE is advancing another program tagged as 'Jobstart' through the Public Employment Service Office (PESO), which the city of Cagayan de Oro is the only one implementing city in Northern Mindanao, Gutib said.The beneficiaries of the programs are the youth, in partnership with the city government, Asian Development Bank, and Government of Canada.

After undergoing the three month training under the 'Jobstart' program, the youths would be deployed in any offices and agencies for another three-month internship, Gutib said.

Oro HIV advocates meets Miss Universe

By Riain Alfonso

IT WAS a mere twenty minutes conversation, more or less, but it was worth it.

This is what Grey and Au said after their Manila trip to meet fellow Kagay-anon, Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach.

Both are Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) advocates and were invited by United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) Philippines to the HIV Forum held at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center (V. Luna General Hospital) last January 27, 2016.

Grounded, beautiful, and simple. This is how both described the reigning Miss Universe.

“Pag-abot niya, paglingkod niya, nawala ang akong kakulba. Mura bitaw dili nimo ma feel na Miss Universe ang imong ka-atubang. Ingon ana siya ka down to earth,” observed Au who said that Pia went out of her way to make them feel comfortable.

“I want to help spread awareness about HIV,” said Au, not her real name.

“Taas man gud ang rate sa discrimination and stigma. Tungod sa discrimination, ang uban people mahadlok na nuon ug pa test, mahadlok sila kung unsay hunahunaon sa lain tao. Mas maayo man gyud na ma-aware ang mga tao about HIV, at least ma-alter ilang negative na perception about the illness.”

The advocacy is very close to her heart as the illness has touched her on a very personal level and she herself experienced the discrimination.

“Hindi na man ako positive pero being involved with people na may HIV, tingin nila sa akin positive din. Maski yung mga anak ko, diniscriminate din.” Au’s husband succumbed to AIDS related complications. Luckily, she and her children are all negative. Her experience with the disease was the reason why she was asked to participate in the forum.

Au and Grey, a person living with HIV or PLHIV, were asked to be a part of the forum just days before the said event.

“At first, I was hesitant because there was going to be media,” said Grey. “Pero eventually na realize nako na there is a purpose ngano ako ang gipili. Naa koy daku na role, for me to inform and bring to her unsa gyud ang naa sa Cagayan de Oro, unsay gakahitabo. It’s a big opportunity, bahalag ingon adto lang ka-mubo ang time, to use my voice kay ingon ana man gyud ang advocacy.”

Grey said the invitation was for young HIV advocates. They were invited by Unicef Philippines to meet Pia and to talk about their stories and advocacies. Grey disclosed that there were five people who were invited to talk to Pia.

Each of them was asked to talk about certain topics related to the cause. Grey was asked to discuss the challenges of HIV advocacy in the local context while Au talked about discrimination and stigma.

The other panelists included Devine from Quezon City who talked about peer education, Nancy who discussed about injecting drug use, sex work, and mother to child transmission, and Jerson See who talked about MSM or men who have sex with men.

Nancy and Jerson are both from Cebu City and were representing Cebu Plus, an NGO that provides HIV and community support. Jerson is its executive director.

“The goal really was for Pia to know na young people gyud ang gaka-involved sa advocacy and para mahibaw-an niya unsa gyud ang current situation sa Philippines when it comes to HIV and AIDS,” said Grey adding, “Dili pa ingon ana ka deep iyang knowledge, dili pa ingon ana ka lawon ang iyang na hibal-an about HIV. She needs to know more pa and she has to kay mao baya iyang platform in winning the crown.”

Grey admits that they were not able to discuss the advocacy in depth because of time constraints with Pia’s visit.

“Siya gyud ang nag request na makigkita para makabalo siya unsa gyud. Makit-an nimo sa iyang interest sa pagpaminaw,” commented Au, who noticed that Pia, because of her schedule, was a bit tired and sleepy.

“Paglingkod niya para mustorya sa amo, siya gyud mismo ang miduol sa amo.”

She described how Pia would lean forward to get closer to the panelists and would reach out her hand to pat a knee and give comfort at times when the stories shared became too intense. She also noted that Pia asked questions whenever she was confused which only showed her innate interest to the advocacy.

Grey also felt Pia’s sincerity and that her willingness to help was genuine, “Makita nimo during the discussion. She’s really listening, makita nimo na naay eye contact. Mafeel nimo.”

hey were especially touched when, after one of Pia’s aides announced that their time with her was already up, Pia dragged her chair closer to them and asked them urgently, “Anong gagawin natin? What can I do? Anong pwede natin gawin?”

They explained to her the importance of educating not only the young people who are the most at risk but to educate everyone because everyone is vulnerable.

Both Grey and Au hope that she becomes the gateway toward educating other celebrities who can also be strong voices of the advocacy. The stress was really on Jerson’s call to action which is for everyone to get tested, “Nga dili ka hugaw kung mag pa test ka, it just means na responsible ka.”

Grey recalled that he almost cried when he heard Pia’s answer during the Miss Universe.

“Coming from someone who’s into pageants, artista, wala ko nag expect na sa tanan, mao iyang pili-on na advocacy. Kabalo gyud baya ta unsa na stigma ang attached sa HIV,” said Grey, who understands the pros and cons about choosing this cause for someone in the pageant industry.

He said that Pia will be able to understand the advocacy more if she gets more personal encounters with PLHIVs and hopes that if and when she visits the city, she will be able to spend time with the local HIV and AIDS advocacy groups.

He added that as Miss Universe and as someone coming from Cagayan de Oro, Pia’s impact in the fight against discrimination and in the promotion of education about HIV and AIDS should be felt greatly in the local scene.

SMC-GK Village becomes recipient of water system project


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, January 28 – A water system project will be turned over to San Miguel Corporation-Gawad Kalinga (SMC-GK) Village Barangay Balubal in February.

This, according to estate management division officer-in-charge Floresa Sabuga-a in Cagayan de Oro.

She also added that the turn-over ceremony will be done either on the second or third week of February.

Around 500 residents in the said village will benefit from the water system project that will amount to P2.3 million.

It is the aim of the project to address the problem on the water supply in the relocation site.

Heminia Carbonell, one of the residents in the village, extends her gratitude to the local government with the latter’s immediate response to their basic need.

DOLE releases Php52.3 million for BUB projects


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Jan. 29 (PNA) -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Northern Mindanao has released Php52.3 million for Bottoms Ups Budgeting (BUB) projects in the region, a labor official said Friday.

Raymundo Agravante, DOLE regional director in Northern Mindanao, said the funds were distributed to 49 local government units (LGUs) in the region.

He said the goal of the DOLE is to develop and capacitate all LGUs and civil service organizations in the implementation of BUB projects in order to respond to the different needs in the communities.

"We expect that the participation of DOLE in the BUB program would generate employment as the department’s primary mandate,” he added.

Agravante said the DOLE BUB projects have financially assisted 14,464 beneficiaries in Northern Mindanao in 2015, which translate to 49 livelihood programs in the various provinces, cities and municipalities in the region.

The local government units have identified the BUB livelihood projects in their areas through a participatory planning and budgeting exercise, he said.

Agravante added the BUB approach is the first in the world where the participatory budgeting is implemented at the national level.

He said the BUB is recognized for its outstanding efforts to deepen citizen engagement in the budget process in the identification of urgent programs that the community needs.

UN launches agricultural programs at par with the ASEAN economy


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PNA) -- The United Nations launched an agricultural program aimed at leveling the 11 agrarian communities in Mindanao into the standards set by the integrated Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economy here five days ago, an official said Tuesday.

Country Representative Benoit Thierry of the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), said that the project is known as Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment (CONVERGE).

He said that the CONVERGE is a US$ 34.59 million project, which is expected to benefit a total of 300,512 farmers in Mindanao or around 54,628 households.

The project covers Region 9, which comprises the Zamboanga Peninsula, Region 10 comprising five provinces, and the Caraga Region with four provinces.

IFAD will assist the 11 communities through investment plan preparation, capacity building for the farmers, technology upgrading and diffusion, and cluster farming organization.

Thierry said that a business sector matching, extension services, quality control of the end products, credit/microfinance facilitation and post-harvest facilities and equipment are also part of the project.

“We will teach them certain cropping techniques to meet production targets, so they can be at par with the Asean standards,” Thierry said.

The Philippines had entered the integrated Asean economy just last year, he said.

The UN-IFAD has made its presence in the Philippines since 1978, bringing a total of US$ 244.4 million in 14 projects as an anti-poverty interventions. The project Thursday last week was the 15th, Thierry said.

DOLE 10 announces employment programs for 2016

By Nelia Quijano (JMOR/PIA10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, January 27 (PIA) -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) region 10 through the media forum, Talakayan sa PIA on 26 January 2016 announces various programs slated for this year to boost employment in the region.

According to Albert E. Gutib, Assistant Regional Director of DOLE region 10, there are various programs of the department to help curb the unemployment rate in Northern Mindanao not only in the formal sector but also the informal sector.

Based from the data of Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), in 2014 and 2015, the unemployment rate in Northern Mindanao remained steady at 5.8% while the underemployment dropped from 31% to 22.6%. Meanwhile, the employment rate is at 94.2%.

Gutib underscored that the sector seen to have the biggest chunk of unemployment is the youth sector.

One of the programs the department is continuously advocating is the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) wherein poor but deserving students and out-of-school youths (OSYs) intending to pursue their education by encouraging employment during summer, Christmas vacation or any time of the year for students in the tertiary, technical or vocational level may work with pay.

Qualified students may work for a minimum of 15 days and a maximum of 52 days. He also noted that employers will pay 60% of the total salary of the student and the other 40% will be subsidized by DOLE.

Another program that DOLE is advocating is the Jobstart program through applying at the Public Employment Service Office (PESO). Right now, Cagayan de Oro City is the only one implementing in the region.

The beneficiaries of this programs are the youth, in partnership with Local Government Unit (LGU) of Cagayan de Oro City, Asian Development Bank, and Government of Canada. Furthermore, the beneficiaries will be trained three months and will be deployed at any offices and agencies for internship for another three months.

Gutib also invited those who wanted to avail the livelihood program through the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP) in the five provinces of region 10 particularly Malaybalay Bukidnoon, Villanueva, Kauswagan High-way in Cagayan de Oro, Iligan City, Oroqueta City and Mambajao, Camiguin. He noted that the allocation budget for this program is P35 million.

For the enforcement of labor standards, Gutib said that the joint assessment is still on going where 22 labor laws compliance officer are in charge of the evaluation. He also said that the approach of DOLE this time is developmental and any deficiency of the establishment, the department will give enough time to correct and assist the employers and workers.

Meanwhile, Atheneus Vasallo, chief of the Technical Support and Services Division said that DOLE is also supporting community based livelihood. This is the Emergency Employment or Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD). This is a packaged assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and unemployed poor.

Interested individuals or groups who want to avail of DOLE's programs may visit their regional office at Monte Carlo Building, RER Phase 1, Kauswagan National Highway, Cagayan de Oro City or call them at (08822) 727682.

DENR strengthens watershed rehabilitation in Northern Mindanao


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PNA) -– The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Northern Mindanao is embarking on a program to strengthen the rehabilitation of watershed areas in the region, a senior official said Tuesday.

Ruth Tawantawan, DENR regional director, said that the seven-year program known as IntegratedNatural Resources and Environmental Management Project (INREMP) would focus on the rehabilitation of various river basins in the region.

Tawantawan cited the Upper River Basins in Bukidnon consisting of six rivers, which watersheds need to be rehabilitated and be made sustainable.

The program aims to reduce and reverse watershed degradation and associated environmental services caused by forest denudation and unsustainable farming practices, she said.

She said that the project is particularly focused on the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) and resource-poor communities within the identified watershed areas in Northern Mindanao.

Tawantawan said the project also aims to provide incentives to the local communities and local government units.

The INREMP was the product of the DENR watershed characterization and vulnerability assessment, which was completed in 2015.

She said the INREMP incorporated the Watershed Management Investment Plan of the six watersheds comprising the Upper Bukidnon River.

PNP focuses on tourism during 25th founding anniversary


CAMP ALAGAR, Cagayan De Oro City, Jan. 25 (PNA) -– The regional police command here focused on tourism during the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Monday.

Police Supt. Gervacio Balmaceda, the police regional spokesperson, said that the officials from the tourism agencies were the invited guest of honors during the annual celebration.

Balmaceda said that the police have shifted to tourism and security as the major focus this year in line with the thrust of the national government in the promotion of the tourism industry in the region.

Catalino Chan III, regional director of the Department of Tourism (DOT) in Northern Mindanao, said that the DOT would continue to train the police on Tourism Oriented Police for Community Order and Protection (TOP-COP).

He said that TOP-COP is a nationwide program of the DOT in collaboration with the PNP aimed at providing a safe and secure environment for domestic and foreign tourists.

The government would establish a 24-hour tourist office in places where there is “high movement of tourists” that need an enhanced police visibility that would provide security contingencies, Chan said.

Balmaceda said that the day-long founding day celebration was capped with the wreath-laying at the entrance gate of the regional police command here in honor of 1Lt. Vicente Alagar after whom the police regional camp was named.

Alagar died in a display of impeccable courage and gallantry in defense of the then makeshift military camp while fighting the insurgents in 1932, Balmaceda said.

He said that Alagar was represented by daughter Henrietta Alagar Pascual and granddaughter Anna Felicia Alagar during the wreath-laying ceremony.

Oro mounts photo exhibit for Pia Wurtzbach

By Pamela Jay F. Orias

TO GIVE Kagay-anons an idea of the Queen’s journey to the world’s grandest crown, the City Government mounts a weeklong photo exhibit in honor of Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach featuring the work of a world-renowned photographer Jory Seriña Rivera.

The exhibit, which kicked off at Limketkai mall Saturday afternoon, was put up as a tribute to Wurtzbach’s triumph in the Miss Universe Pageant in 2015.

In an interview with Rivera, he said the photo exhibit would showcase Wurtzbach’s road to the crown, from her screening as candidate for Bb. Pilipinas way back in 2013 up to her first day as Miss Universe in New York City.

Rivera said he was amazed with Wurtzbach’s one-of-a-kind determination and perseverance to achieve the crown.

“In my interview with Pia after she won, I asked her what people can learn from her journey, she said to never give up so that’s the reason for this exhibit. Aside from celebrating her victory, I want the people to see her journey on how she worked hard to fulfill her dream through my photos,” Rivera said.

He said he wants to give the people more depth of Wurtzbach’s story than that they see in televisions, read in the newspapers, and hear over the radio.

“By now, everyone is familiar with her story that she joined Bb. Pilipinas three years in a row, tried her luck again in 2014 but went home empty-handed then gave herself a last crack and finally winning it,” he added.

Rivera is a photographer of the OPMB Worldwide, a pageant website known dedicate in covering international beauty pageants.

Rivera narrated how he got excited when Wurtzbach, during the Bb. Pilipinas pageant, introduced herself as a native of Cagayan de Oro City, where Rivera also came from.

They then immediately ‘clicked’ and even found out that they were from the same school in elementary – Corpus Christi School.

Rivera was born in the city and was raise in Opol town, Misamis Oriental and studied his grade school and high school in Corpus Christi School in Macasandig and earned his degree in Economics at the Ateneo de Manila University.

“Pia joined three years in Binibini and I too was present in all the Binibini events to take photos, I got to know more about Pia along the way,” he said.

A pageant enthusiast himself, Rivera shared how he’s fond of covering international pageants and taking photographs of the most beautiful ladies in their respective countries.

To name a few, Rivera has covered Miss Universe 2010 in Las Vegas, Miss World 2011 in London, Miss Universe 2012 Las Vegas, Miss World 2013 in Bali, Indonesia, Miss Universe 2013 in Moscow, Russia, Miss Universe 2014 at Miami, Florida and the latest, Miss Universe 2015 where Wurtzbach reigned, ending the country’s 42 years drought.

Rivera is working full time for Hewlett Packard as an IT professional and also a photographer for Broadway World covering musical theater shows in Manila.

Rivera hopes that Wurtzbach’s triumph will inspire Kagay-anons, ‘not only the beauty queens to join the pageants but everyone of us who dreams,’ he said.

“As Pia told me, let us be firm with our goals but flexible with our methods, we all have our own goals and we just have to be determined and focused.”

The photo exhibit is placed at Limketkai Mall’s 2nd floor, Activity Center, near Marks and Spencer and will run from January 23-30.

University opens 8th Cinemagis film fest: ‘Lucid,’ ‘Senyas’ lead nominations

By Stephen Pedroza (XUComm)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - Among the official entries from all over Northern Mindanao, “Lucid” by Cloyd Winstanley in the senior category and “Senyas” by Kenneth Sabijon in the student set have secured nine nominations each in the 8th Cinemagis Digital Short Film Festival.

The nominees were unveiled during the opening ceremony at the XU Little Theater held Wednesday night.

“Lucid” follows the story of the protagonist named Phillip who grapples between the realms of reality and fantasy, while “Senyas” tells the story of Kagay-anons ravaged by the wrath of TS Sendong in December 2011.

After the presentation of nominees, this year’s film feature “Ang Nerseri” (The Nursery) by Victor Acedillo of Camiguin was shown to the audience, composed of professional and budding filmmakers, Cinemagis judges, XU faculty members, students and guests.

With screenings running until Jan 23 at the XU Little Theater and SM Cagayan de Oro Cinema 3, the eighth installment of Cinemagis presents three professional entries, ten student films, five Pi-length entries and the past films of Joe Bacus and Clark Cabantan.

Under the banner of Xavier Center for Culture and the Arts (XCCA), Cinemagis serves as a platform for local filmmakers to showcase their talents, skills and stories, contributing to the development of the filmmaking industry in Northern Mindanao. Since its inception in 2009, a number of films have already gone on to national independent film festivals and even to the international stage.

The members of the judging panel are Cinemalaya 2009 Best Screenplay Awardee and “Ang Nerseri” director Victor Acedillo of Camiguin; theater actor and director from Pagadian City Felimon Blanco; and Davaoeño filmmaker, musician and production sound mixer Arbi Barbarona, who will determine this year’s winners in their deliberation on Saturday morning.

The awards night will be held at SM City Event Center on Jan 23.

Online registration for senior citizens' ID still ongoing


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- The Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) is inviting all senior citizens in Cagayan de Oro to use the current online registration for the processing of their identification cards or IDs.

Applicants will just have to log on through the internet and access the site:

The requirements of the said registration include scanned copy of birth certificate/valid ID/baptismal/marriage certificate, barangay certificate, 1x1 latest colored picture and signature specimen.

Within three working days upon approval, the ID will be available for release.

At present, the City Social Welfare and Development Office had already released almost 30,000 PVC- type senior citizens’ ID cards.

For more information, interested applicants will just have to call the OSCA landline number 857-3143 and mobile no. 09462812066.

Asian delegates study PHL cooperative practices


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Jan. 21 (PNA) – Delegates of various agricultural cooperatives in the Asia Pacific tackle the “management best practices” as its major concern during the annual executive meeting here.

Orlando Ravanera, of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) in Northern Mindanao, said that 11 delegates from six countries in the Asia Pacific region,were all officials of the Regional Network for the Development of Agricultural Cooperatives in Asia and Pacific (NEDAC), had expressed interest in the success of cooperatives in the country.

W.I Khan, NEDAC program director, told the Philippines News Agency that most cooperatives in developing countries, Bangladesh, were run by “inefficient managers who lack the training capacity.”

Khan, however, said that the peculiar situation was not just limited to Bangladesh but even in more emerging economies such as Sri Lanka and even China.

“Sadly, this is the true state of “cooperatives” in other countries that we have visited. That’s why we need to address the problem,” Khan said.

MASS SPECC, the oldest and the biggest cooperative federation outside Metro Manila, makes Cagayan de Oro City the capital of the cooperative movement in the country.

The Cagayan De Oro-based First Community Cooperative is the biggest cooperative credit union in the country. And Coop Life Insurance & Mutual Benefit Services (CLIMBS), which is also from here, is the largest of its kind in the Philippines.

It is for these facts that NEDAC decided to hold its annual executive meeting Cagayan De Oro, Ravanera said.“We are interested to learn about the best practices of cooperatives here,” Khan said.

He said that the executive meeting was not only on sessions, but also with tours around agricultural cooperatives in Northern Mindanao.

NEDAC has over 300,000 cooperatives under its fold with a total of 30 million members. They are located in Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal, Thailand and the Philippines.

Miss Universe 2015 Wurtzbach to receive Congressional Medal of Honor


MANILA, Jan. 20 (PNA) -- Newly crowned Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach will be awarded with Congressional Medal of Honor next week after the House of Representatives adopted House Resolution 2583 on third and final reading.

The native of Cagayan de Oro City is expected to visit the House of Represntatives to receive the rare honor which is given to an individual who received international recognition.

The resolution, authored by Cagayan de Oro City Rep.Rufus Rodriguez and his younger brother, Abante Mindanao Party-list Rep. Maximo Rodriguez, congratulates Kagay-anon (native of Cagayan de Oro) Ms. Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach for winning the 2015 Ms Universe pageant and designating her as Ambassador of Goodwill of CDO.

Wurtzbach is expected to visit the House of Representatives on January 26 and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. will present her with the Congressional Medal of Honor together with the authors of the consolidated resolution.

The new Miss Universe is scheduled to visit her hometown, Cagayan de Oro on January 29, 2016 and she will be warmly received by the Rodriguez brothers and other officials who will roll out the red carpet for her.

The half German beauty is the third Miss Universe of the Philippines. She followed the footsteps of Gloria Diaz (Miss Universe 1969) and Margie Moran (Miss Universe 1973).

Oro gov't ensures to boost disaster monitoring

By Pamela Jay F. Orias, Jigger J. Jerusalem

THE City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) in Cagayan de Oro City has taken its mission to a new level as it joined on Tuesday in a forum to learn the operational ways of its new forecasting and warning system.

Through the Northern Mindanao Project (NMP), an undertaking hatched by National Disaster Management Institute (NDMI) in partnership with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services (Pagasa) and the CDRRMO, a number of apparatuses programmed to warn the city’s communities of any impending flashfloods had been installed in various areas.

The Korean Government has helped the city fend off floods since 2014 when it donated Intelligence Closed Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) with a remote controlled boat, rain gauge and alarm monitoring system.

“This [project] strengthens our relationship with South Korea, a relationship that has grown stronger, not only at the national level but also at the local level,” Moreno said in an interview at the sidelines of the commencement of operationalization of two weather-monitoring systems held in the city on Tuesday.

The third phase of the NMP, Moreno said, will integrate all of the city’s weather-related surveillance of flood, water, rainfall levels that would warn residents living near the river to move to safer ground.

“Before we had so many projects happening at the same time concurrently, and now this program, this project gives us a good opportunity to consolidate all of them so that we can make use all of them and put them in appropriate locations. In other words, maximization of resources is allowed and resource allocation is also made possible,” Moreno added.

In 2013, FFAS and ARWS were put up, respectively, at the Pagasa weather station in Barangay Molugan, El Salvador City, and at strategic areas along the river and at the city hall.

This year, another set of flashflood alert system (FFAS) and automatic rainfall warning system (ARWS) were installed in Cagayan de Oro and Iponan river basins.

Doctor Chichun Lee, NDMI principal researcher, said the flashflood alert system is a 24/7 monitoring system designed to forecast the flashflood through the use of real-time data and hydraulic-hydrological analysis in target areas.

The FFAS is a 24-hour monitoring mechanism that forecasts flash flood and disseminates warning based on hydraulic-hydrological analysis in target areas, while the ARWS is a real-time set of devices that aids in facilitating the evacuation of residents giving them enough time to move out before a flash flood could occur, according to the NDMI.

The ARWS, on the other hand, is also a real-time based system which includes rain gauge, water level gauge, and warning post to secure evacuation time before a flashflood would occur.

"With these new systems, the city can now issue warning of flashflood, expected to help the public evacuate efficiently," Lee said.

Last year, the FFAS went through its advancement stage as ARWS for the Cagayan de Oro and Iponan rivers were integrated.

CDRRMO weather monitoring chief Vergil Lago said Cagayan de Oro is the only city in Mindanao chosen by the NDMI to boost its disaster monitoring capabilities.

"Because of typhoon Sendong gayud ni, nakita nila kung unsa ang damage na nabuhat niatong bagyo sa dakbayan, so we are very blessed," Lago said.

Immediately after Sendong in 2011, the NDMI sent a group of experts to the affected areas to join an international joint damage investigation group.

Dr. Vicente Malano, Pagasa acting administrator, said water level gauging station and other facilities are also being put in place in Bukidnon so that any rise of water in the upstream area would immediately be relayed to the CDRRMO for appropriate action.

Anianita Fortich, Pagasa-Mindanao weather specialist, said the role of the state’s weather bureau is to issue a warning while the CDRRMO is charged with disaster response and rescue.

Dr. Keumho Oh, division head of NDMI’s Disaster Prevention Research Division, said he hopes the instruments donated to the city would last a long time so they could be used to reduce the risks and casualties during disasters.

Since 2005, South Korea has played an active role in disaster mitigation sitting as one of the countries involved in the Typhoon Committee’s disaster prevention subcommittee.

4ID features ‘Lantad’ experience as peace through ‘Bayanihan’

By Jasper Marie Oblina-Rucat (JMOR/PIA10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, January 18 (PIA) – The 4th Infantry Division (4ID) Philippine Army (PA) through its meeting with key stakeholders in Northern Mindanao on 14 January 2016 in Cagayan de Oro City showed that working together to achieve peace is possible such as the success in Lantad, Balingasag Misamis Oriental.

Major General (MGen) Oscar T. Lactao, 4ID commander PA said that the Internal Peace Security Plan (IPSP) of the army is a collaboration with various stakeholders to work together to attain peace. He said, there can be no development without security and to attain security and development, we must adhere to human rights and rule of law.

In a presentation from the 4ID, it was showed that in the 70s, the place of Lantad in Balingasag Misamis Oriental was the regional headquarters of the New People’s Army (NPA). However, through government intervention such as delivery of basic services, people were able to get livelihood opportunities, earn their income and even children were able to go to school and pass the National Achievement Test.

Patterned to Bayanihan, 4ID’s mission is to conduct support operations in collaboration with the Civil Authorities to assist the stakeholders create and environment conducive to sustainable development and a just and lasting peace.

Bayanihan activities in 2015 included second peace caravan with a theme, “Nagkahiusang Nasud alang sa Kalinaw” (One Nation for Peace), in Lianga and Marihatag, Surigao del Sur. Energization project in Lantad, Balingasag Misamis Oriental dubbed Light for Peace which signalled the entry of electricity in the area which can enhance the productivity, information and education infrastructure for its residents.

Meanwhile, 4ID also supported the Customary Judicial Procedure by Tribal Leaders and Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR) in Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte. Further they also supported the peace walk and gathering in the observance of International Day of Peace in Cagayan de Oro City.

LTC Romualdo Raymundo B. Landingin GSC (INF) PA said that the IPSP Bayanihan is a community level effort wherein the activities are focused to facilitate local government units (LGUs) to win peace, know community concerns and serve as ambassadors. This would also foster understanding and generate ideas and sustain convergence of stakeholders.

In terms of Lumad killings, the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) should make the call, said Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno and chair of RPOC. Government civilian should be in the front line since the Lumads or Indigenous Peoples are the easiest candidate for recruitment. He encouraged the various stakeholders to win the hearts of the people in far flung areas. He said agencies of the national government must combine in the delivery of services to these areas.

Finally, he said we need to reach out, military will follow.

CDO IPs hold 2nd General Assembly


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- Almost 200 Indigenous People (IP) from 16 barangays of Cagayan de Oro participated in the second General Assembly held on January 15 at Balay Mindanaw Training Center at Patpat, barangay Lumbia.

One of the resolutions passed by the group is asking a request for the establishment of an IP Office at the City Hall.

On the other hand, City Social Welfare and Development officer Teddy Sabuga-a is optimistic that the mayor will grant their request the soonest possible time.

City Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) director Jane Docallos and former vice governor Norris Babiera attended the said event.

The theme centers on, "Pakiglambigitay, Pagtimbayayongay ug Pagtinabangay (Involvement, Cooperation, Mutual Help).”

CDO makes business permit processing easier


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- To ensure fast, prompt and efficient processing of new applications and renewal of business permits at the Business One-Stop Shop at the Cagayan de Oro City Hall, the City Treasurer’s Office has come up with easy steps and procedures on how to secure a new business permit or renewal.

Taxpayers can also take a look on how to use the touch screen, user-friendly kiosks, the first-of-its-kind in the country, when getting queuing number for tax payments, billing and assessment, securing a cedula, traffic citation payment, among other features.

For convenience, technology-savvy clients can simply access the city’s official website: to get online billing on real property tax, business tax and business tax assessment. Downloadable business permit application forms are also available.

The city likewise introduced new innovations on tax payments by applying the mobile money payment system wherein Globe/TM subscribers can use their GCash account to pay their taxes and other fees, with just a click of their fingers on their mobile phones.

University lauds new associate ASEAN Industrial Engineers


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, January 13 - Xavier University garnered a 100% passing rate in the 7th Industrial Engineering Certification Examination with eight new Certified Industrial Engineers (CIEs).

The eight new CIEs are also designated as Associate ASEAN Engineers (AAEs). They are Benjamin M. Chan III, Louis Allan O. Cuarteros, Alyssa Iris V. Jariol, Dariel S. Palasan, Rupert Marionne S. Nellas, Deme Rose A. Santos, Bonn Kleiford D. Seranilla, and Bryan J. Timaan.

The Philippine Institute of Industrial Engineers (PIIE) through the Industrial Engineering Certification Board administered the said exam on 6 December 2015.

“Congratulations to our new XU CIEs and AAEs! We thank Engineering Dean Hercules R. Cascon, Industrial Engineering Department Chair Glenn B. Paclijan and the Engineering faculty and staff for the guidance and support they have provided our students,” XU president Fr. Roberto C. Yap SJ said in his message to the academic community.

Out of the 452 takers from different schools all over the country, only 336 successfully passed the exam. The national passing rate is 74.33%.

According to PIIE, the certification “helps promote a clearer public awareness and understanding of the role of the industrial engineers in society, to aid in ensuring that fellow IEs perform their services in a manner which recognizes as paramount public health and safety … and polishes one’s reputation as a qualified industrial engineer,” responding to the needs of the ASEAN Economic Community.

This achievement came on the heels of the recent Nursing Licensure Examination results where XU ranked among the top performing nursing schools in the country with a 100% passing percentage and the declaration from the Commission on Higher Education, recognizing XU’s Agriculture program as a Center of Excellence, and the Chemical Engineering, Literature, and Biology programs as Centers of Development.

Visit of Ms. Universe to boost the local tourism industry


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Jan. 14 (PNA) – The visit of Miss Universe 2016 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach would boost the tourism industry in this seaport capital of Northern Mindanao, a lawmaker said Thursday.

Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, of Cagayan De Oro City, made the statement after the Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc., (BPCI) has approved the trip of Ms. Wurtzbach to visit here on Jan. 29.

He said that about 300 journalists from around the world would be accompanying Pia Wurtzbach, the third Filipino to win the coveted Miss Universe Crown since its inception in 1952.

Rodriguez said that the BPCI management has generously scheduled the visit as “CDO Homecoming” so Pia could feel the love and pride of her fellow Kagay-anons.

The lawmaker appealed to set aside politics during the visit and suggested that the local government officials (LGUs) meet Wurtzbach at the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental.

From the airport, the hosting officials would bring Wurtzbach to the San Agustin Cathedral for “Te Deum Mass” prior to a motorcade around the city, Rodriguez said.

He said that the LGUs would prepare a program for her at the sprawling Pelaez Sports Center to be witnessed by thousands of Kagay-anons.

Rodriguez said that the LGUs would then tender a sumptuous lunch to honor Wurtzbach and finally, give her a memorable send-off at the airport.

The visit of Wurtzbach would be timely to also showcase the Kagay-anon hospitality and show the whole world that Cagayan de Oro is a peaceful, friendly, clean and a highly developed urban center.

Rodriguez said that the city is a host to a remarkable tourism destinations such as the white water rafting, the Mapawa Nature Park, Malasag Eco-Village, Gaston Park and the historical water tank, the San Agustin Cathedral, the City Hall and the historic Plaza Divisoria.

He said that the excitement over Ms. Wurtzbach scheduled visit here is now building up.

DENR - 10 conducts Trainor’s Training on El Niño


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Jan. 13 (PNA) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Northern Mindanao conducted a Trainor’s Training on “Mitigating Measures in Response to El Niño Phenomenon in the province.

Lina Galvez, the DENR spokesperson in Northern Mindanao, said that the training also aimed to equip the NGP Extension Officers, Bantay Gubat and other DENR employees in the Provincial/Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs/CENROs) in responding effectively during the occurrence of the forest fire, which is one of the effects of the El Niño phenomenon.

One of the measures, which the DENR is adopting, is the vigorous implementation of the National Greening Program (NGP) and protection of the forests in the provinces of Lanao Del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental and Camiguin, all parts of the Northern Mindanao region.

Topics discussed included vulnerabilities of NGP Plantation and its importance to inclusive growth, People’s Organization Mobilization/Organization of firefighting brigade, firefighting techniques, and reporting and documentation of NGP.

Galvez said that the participants discussed the action plan for the strategies, schedule, responsible persons, fund and activities to be conducted.The effects of the El Niño phenomenon include reduced rainfall, which may lead to drought, stronger typhoons, and higher risk of forest, bush, and grass fires, Galvez said.

USD800,000 grant to upgrade Cagayan De Oro water services


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Jan. 13 (PNA) -– The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is assisting the main local water utility here to recoup from its gargantuan losses due to perennial leakages of its pipes.

In a memorandum of agreement signed Wednesday in partnership with the Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, the local Cagayan De Oro Water District (COWD) would get a USD800,000 grant for the water district to carry out hydraulic modeling and repair its leaked pipes.

Leaked water pipes drained the COWD of about 80,000 cubic meters of water daily or 49.5 percent of what the water district produces.

“The daily water losses is unacceptable,” Ladele A. Sagrado, the COWD spokesperson, said, citing that the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) allows only, at least, a 20 percent non-revenue water.

In the agreement, the grant also covers technical assistance for waste water reduction strategy and implementation, mapping an updated geographic information system database and as well as an updated district metered area design.

Sagrado said that a survey of all facilities and customers within the focus areas will first be conducted to update existing records in order to update the COWD’s database.

The survey includes tagging of watering meters and ultimately leading to the laying of new pipes. Engineering works would be undertaken by Miya, a global leader in optimizing urban water efficiency.

The fund would be taken from the “USAID’s Be Secure Project,” a Philippines-specific program aimed at strengthening the water sector regulatory reform in the country.

Part of the fund or PHP458 million would be also be loaned from the government-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

Sagrado said that the role of the Coca-Cola Foundation is to use the total volume of water saved to offset its own commercial water consumption and reduce its water footprint.

She said that the COWD expects to reduce the non-revenue water by 30 percent once the project is completed in 2017.

The signing of the agreement Wednesday was witnessed by USAID Philippines director on environment Jeremy Gustafson, USAID’s Be Secure Project chief of party Mona Greiser, Coca-cola Foundation Philippines president Cecilia Alcantara and the Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Catalina Cabral.

Misamis Oriental promotes booming tourism spots

By Nelia Quijano / JMOR (PIA10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO (PIA) – The Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental continues in its campaign “Explore MisOr” by welcoming the New Year with Kuyamis Festival, an annual event which highlights the core product of the province which is coconut.

During a live interview in Lambo Dyes, a radio program of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) region 10 at DXIM Radyo Ng Bayan on 8 January 2016, Misamis Oriental Information Officer Allyn Auxtero Peñalosa said that this year, the province is celebrating its 86th Foundation Anniversary and 3rd Kuyamis Festival at the Capitol Grounds.

Peñalosa said that the province has two hot springs, two white islands and 70 waterfalls. She added that Governor Yevgeny Vicnente “Bambi” Emano discovered that Misamis Oriental has potential tourism spots that will definitely make it boom in tourism.

She said that once the tourism industry be developed and become stable, even with local officials replaced, the industry will continue and make progress for the province and everybody.

Two of those Misamis Oriental aspiring tourism spots are the Agutayan White Island and Sagpulon Falls which is currently being developed.

Agutayan White Island which is located in Jasaan has its Watch tower where Giant Clamps can be seen. With the help of STEAG State Power Inc., a power producing company in the province, the Watch Tower adds more attraction to tourists.

Another is the Sagpulon falls which is also located in Jasaan. It is already in its 82% completion with its function rooms and cottages for the visitors.

Misamis Oriental received a National award, where it sits fifth among the top 10 coconut producing industry in the Philippines. Also, in year 2017 Kuyamis Festival will be accredited as National Festival not only here in Misamis Oriental but also internationally.

Kuyamis Festival with Ordinance Number 133-14 is the official Festival of Misamis Oriental every first week of January

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