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House adds P20M to DA-7 budget

  • Source:
  • Friday, October 31, 2014 12:00 am
By Gregg M. Rubio / NSA (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The House of Representatives has added P20 million to the proposed P1.33 billion National Expenditures Program of the Department of Agriculture-7 that was approved Wednesday evening.

This was reported by Cebu second district Representative Wilfredo Caminero, vice chairperson of the House Committee on Agriculture, during the DA-7’s Regional Gawad Saka awarding ceremony yesterday.

Caminero said the additional P20 million is for the operational expenses of DA-7 after the committee found the agency’s shortfall.

Aside from the approved NEP for DA-7, another P1.3 billion fund was set aside under the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Food Security and Farm Mechanization headed by Secretary Francisco Pangilinan.

The amount has to be divided by the Philippine Coconut Authority, National Irrigation Administration, and National Food Authority.

Caminero urged the local government units to access the funds and help uplift the lives of the farmers.

The lower House has approved a total amount of P88.8 billion for DA under the P2.606 trillion proposed budget of the Aquino administration.

Caminero congratulated DA-7 and other line agencies for honoring his fellow farmers.

“Og dili ako mag-uuma, wala ako’y igong ascendancy pagsulti kaninyo nga pahingusgan nato ang atoang papel kay nia sa mga mag-uuma, nia kanato ang pundasyon sa kinabuhi sa atong nasud,” he said in his speech.

Caminero proudly reported that he currently has around 100 tons of corn in his farm.

DA-7 director Angel Enriquez also thanked the farmers as she congratulated them for the support which inspired them to implement the programs of the government.

“Kung wala mo, wala’y pagkaon sa ato mga kusina,” Enriquez said.

Of the 20 awardees, nine were from Negros Oriental, seven from Bohol, three from Siquijor and one from Cebu.

Individual winners received P30,000 each; P50,000 for group or association and P15,000 each for the assisting technicians. Enriquez is hoping to produce national winners.

Talisay council OKs energy project

By Garry B. Lao (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines – The City Council of Talisay approved the proposed memorandum of agreement between the city government and a firm for the waste-energy project in the city.

In a resolution sponsored by City Councilor Antonio Bacaltos, the city council authorizes Mayor Johnny De los Reyes to enter into a MOA with E3 Integrated Solutions for a partnership on a waste to energy facility located at Barangay Tapul.

Bacaltos, Chairman on the Committee of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Management, said the company had already submitted project details for the building of a sustainable environmentally friendly waste to energy recovery plant generating electrical power from the city's waste.

"The City of Talisay has been burdened with effective waste management and related costs, both tangible and non-tangible, including disposal and landfill management," Bacaltos said in his resolution.

Bacaltos said the analysis on waste to energy and an opinion rendered by Michael Espina Nuñez, the city's consultant on the Generation of Investment, firmly concludes that "waste to energy using Refuse-Derived Fuel is an acceptable technology and is considered as renewable and sustainable energy.

Under the MOA, the company will conduct feasibility study for recycling waste into energy in order to achieve the objectives like cleaner environment, electricity production, employment creation, provision and generation of community income, eliminate the need for land filling and earning carbon credits for the city.

"The proposal of E3 Integrated Solutions, Inc. to establish a waste to energy facility in our city will bring three long term benefits for our environment and income generation for the city, respectively - it eradicates the reservation of waste, clean energy production will happen while abolishing greenhouse gas emissions, and provide local employment and add up to the income of the city by the monetary share from the biogas being produced and sold," Bacaltos added.

DA to launch P27B development project

By Gregg M. Rubio /LPM (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture is set to launch its P27 billion Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) in Cebu on November 21 with President Benigno Aquino III and officials of the World Bank.

All governors of the country’s 81 provinces are expected to attend the event.

The PRDP is aimed at improving infrastructure and providing livelihood to farmers, said Gerry Avila, chief of the Agri-Business and Marketing Division of DA-7, during the 888 News Forum at Marco Polo Plaza yesterday.

Avila said the P27 billion loan from the World Bank will be distributed throughout the country up to 2021.

PRDP is patterned after the Mindanao Rural Development Program, which is said to be successfully implemented.

Avila said the program is expanded to Visayas and Luzon though Mindanao is still covered by PRDP.

“It envisions inclusive growth. It is the thrust of our government in terms of market access,” he said.

Of the total amount, 67 percent will be allocated to i-Build Project for infrastructure, 25 percent for enterprise development and the remaining is for planning and supporting infrastructure.

Avila explained that the entry point is the provinces which will prepare the Provincial Commodity Investment Plan (PCIP) in which priority projects are identified.

In Central Visayas, Avila said they are initially focusing on Bohol and northern Cebu, which were hit by major calamities last year, in terms of infrastructure and livelihood projects.

Initially, Cebu province identified the development of cassava plantation, dairy production, coconut, seaweeds, cacao, mango, livestock and poultry.

“Ang budgeting, it depends on how the provincial or municipal government will be able to prepare. Kung enterprise, it is on business plan; if infrastructure, it is on feasibility study,” Avila said.

The World Bank has also set some requirements especially on social and environmental safeguards.

Avila reported that the loan package was already approved and the agreement between the Philippine government and World Bank has been signed.

Daanbantayan economy is up and running again

By Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The local economy of Daanbantayan town has significantly picked up months after super typhoon Yolanda hit the town and other parts of Northern Cebu last year.

In an interview yesterday, Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto Corro noted the businesses in the town have been able to revive normal operations faster.

Days before the affected provinces including Daanbantayan will mark one year of the Yolanda disaster on November 8, the town official expressed confidence the town is on its way to full recovery.

"Nabalik na gyod ang mga negosyo, naka-open up man gyod dayon sila bisan hinay-hinay lang," Corro said.

The town mayor claimed that business establishments here were faster to move ahead amid the effects of the calamity compared to the pace of the government's action.

He, however, said the intervention of the private sector, non-government organizations, government agencies have helped the condition of the town and its people get back on their feet.

The fishery and farming sectors in the locality have gradually shown positive indications of continued revival as local residents have aggressively want their livelihood alive again.

"Dako ang contribution ani sa nahitabo sa atong ekonomiya," he said. "Dako ang na-in ject ani sa atong mga negosyo (ug sa livelihood sa atong mga tawo)."

Corro also cited that Malapascua Island which is part of the town has slowly regained the presence of both local and foreign tourists; thus, the tourism sector is booming again.

Aside from the help the town received from government agencies, he also recognized the private sector that donated classrooms to the locality.


The prospective investments in the municipality could surely boost again Daanbantayan's economic performance.

The official reported the municipal government recently signed a memorandum of understanding with a Korean company for the construction of a solar power plant in the town's Barangay Tominjao.

The local government is also in talks with another power generation firm for the possibility of coal-fired power plant project in Barangay Batirya, he said.

He added the Gaisano company is also eyeing to build a mall which, he hoped, to be started during the third quarter of next year.

Soco pushes holding of Coffee Congress in Cebu to perk up local production

By Katlene O. Cacho

ENTREPRENEUR Glenn Soco is pushing for Cebu to be the next venue of the Coffee Congress. Soco said he will pitch the project to the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), where he sits as one of the board of trustees.

“I want the coffee community in the province to convene and talk about the opportunities coffee production can bring to further grow Cebu’s economy,” said Soco, who owns the Coffee Dream chain.

Soco earlier identified the towns of Tuburan and Asturias as potential areas for growing coffee.

Among the topics he wants discussed during the Coffee Congress are coffee farming techniques, financial assistance to coffee farmers and the retail and marketing aspects of the coffee business.

“The challenge we need to address is that there are more coffee retailers than coffee growers,” he said.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has been actively promoting the development of the country’s coffee industry. It partnered with private sector, farmers groups and academe for the creation of a national roadmap.

The master plan aims to reverse the current status of the Philippine coffee from being a net importer to exporter. The roadmap, the DA said, also highlights the difference between typical and modern coffee growing, gaps in the value chain that need to be addressed, good farming and management practices, and support services which include financing, logistics, and research and development.

The Philippines imports 100,000 metric tons (MT) of coffee beans worth P10 billion annually, mainly from Vietnam.

Soco said the brisk coffee consumption growth is prompting the industry to encourage local production.

“Although we are behind Indonesia and Vietnam in terms of production, we are still one of the biggest consumers of coffee. In fact, it has been noted that 70 percent of our country’s population are coffee drinkers,” said Soco, adding that this growth in consumption is also the reason sales of instant coffees have been steadily growing.

DA said the Philippines is among the few countries in the world that can grow coffee and cacao with its geographical position around the equator.

The Philippines produces 25,000 MT of coffee yearly. Philippine Coffee Board chairman Nicholas Matti said in a statement the organization is looking into multi-sectoral support to establish an agriculture model in the country similar to that of Vietnam.

IEC “Icon” launched, to visit 20 Cebu churches

By Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon /JMO (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The Pilgrim Icon or Symbol for the International Eucharistic Congress in 2016 was launched yesterday and is set to visit 20 different parishes in Cebu for the Cebu leg promotional tour of the 2016 event.

From the Mariner’s Court at Pier I, the venue of yesterday’s Archdiocesan Eucharistic Congress, the “Icon” was brought through a motorcade to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

Starting October 29 until January 10, 2015, the “Icon” will visit to the parishes of San Fernando Rey Parish in Liloan, Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish in Danao City, Immaculate Conception in Camotes, San Guillermo in Catmon, San Vicente Ferrer in Bogo City, St. Rose de Lima in Daan Bantayan, Saints Peter and Paul in Bantayan, San Antonio de Padua in Tuburan, St. Francis de Assisi in Balamban, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. John de Suhagun in Toledo City, St. Anne in Barili, Our Lady of Sorrows in Ronda, St. Gregory of Ginatilan, Patrocinio de Maria in Boljoon, San Guillermo in Dalaguete, St. Michael de Archangel in Argao, St. Catherine de Alexandria in Carcar, Immaculate Heart of Mary in Minglanilla and back to Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma who celebrated yesterday’s mass said the visit of the “Icon” would mean that one is not forgotten and is being cared for.

“It means, the visit of God himself,” Palma said to over 500 delegates in the congress.

The “Icon’s” visit to other places aims to drumbeat the upcoming event where every Christian is encouraged to join in a journey of faith, formation and transformation.

The 51st 2016 IEC will culminate on January 24 to 31, 2016 with the theme “Christ in You, the Hope of Glory. The Eucharist, Source and Goal of the Mission.”

Msgr. Dennis Villarojo, secretary-general of IEC 2016, said the congress was attended by Diocesan/Archdiocesan coordinators all over the Philippines, representatives of various parishes in Cebu and volunteers.

“The 51st IEC is envisioned to provide the participants opportunities for experiencing and understanding the Eucharist as a transforming encounter with the Lord in his word and in his life-giving sacrifice of himself—that we may have life and have it to the full,” the IEC website reads.

The IEC is an international gathering of people, which aims to promote an awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Catholic Church, help improve our understanding and celebration of the liturgy and draw attention to the social dimension of the Eucharist.

After 77 years, Cebu Provincial Capitol Building gets elevator

By Joel Locsin/JDS (GMA News)

Finally, Cebu's provincial capitol has its own elevator.

The provincial government said the elevator was installed at the capitol's east wing 77 years after the building was constructed.

“That is for the persons with disabilities and senior citizens who have difficulty using the staircase,” said Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III, who inaugurated the facility last October 20.

Construction of the elevator started in November 2013, in compliance with the Accessibility Law for PWDs and Senior Citizens.

As early as 2011, the provincial board enacted Ordinance 2011-09 or the “Barrier-Free Tourism Ordinance of the Province of Cebu.”

The ordinance encouraged the installation of PWD-friendly features in private and public buildings.

Talisay OKs measure about blood donation

By Garry B. Lao (Freeman, The Philippine Star)

CEBU, Philippines - The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Talisay City approved an ordinance that institutionalizes a voluntary blood donation program.

The Committee on Laws and Ordinances of the City Council chaired by Councilor Socrates Fernandez has already rendered its report and sees no legal impediment in the proposal.

In fact, the report said the move actually "harmonizes" with Republic Act 7719 or the National Blood Services Act of 1994.

"The Committee finds out that the ordinance is not contrary to the approved ordinance if read in its entirety. The Committee finds out that the ordinance is not an ultra vires act," the report read.

City Councilor Richard Francis "Choy" Aznar, who authored the ordinance, said the program involves the conduct of massive bloodletting and blood typing, and seeks to provide a local mechanism by which Republic Act 7719 will be implemented in the city to promote public health.

Under the ordinance, the 22 barangays will identify at least one percent of its population who are 18 years old and above to undergo bloodletting every six months.

Their names will be entered into a databank of the barangay and shared with the City Health Office that will manage it.

Each barangay will also have its list of walking blood donors according to blood types and with their contact numbers.

"The capabilities of local government units, especially the municipalities and barangays, shall be enhanced by providing them with opportunities to participate actively in the implementation of national programs and projects," Fernandez said in the report.

Aznar, chairman of the Committee on Health, also said the ordinance will promote and encourage voluntary blood donation by the constituency and will install and heighten public awareness of the principle that blood donation is a humanitarian act and a community responsibility.

Under the ordinance, the blood donor program in the barangays will be made a regular but voluntary activity in the barangay. This will be conducted every July, which will be considered Barangay Blood Donors' Month.

There will also be a separate list for people with rare blood types or those with type AB or RH negative, with their addresses and contact numbers, to facilitate coordination in case of emergencies.

Aznar said the walking blood donors are individuals included in the list of qualified donors who are ready to donate blood whenever needed by the community.

The city government will be setting aside funds as seed money for the operation of the Barangay Blood Donors' program in the first year of its implementation.

The funds shall be used to purchase blood bags, reagents and other materials used for bloodletting.

Aznar said the barangay is authorized to set aside one percent annually to be taken from the 20-percent Barangay Development Fund to finance the annual bloodletting activity, in the second and succeeding years of implementation.

BJMP-7 urges pharmaceutical companies to donate HPN drugs to inmates

By Fayette C. Riñen (rmn/fcr/PIA-7)

CEBU CITY, October 23 (PIA) -- Twenty inmates died mostly from cardio-pulmonary arrest in September alone in various jail facilities in Central Visayas, making the region the highest in case fatality rate among detainees nationwide.

From January to September this year, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP-7) registered 60 deaths in the region mostly from heart diseases.

There are 34 jail facilities in Central Visayas under the auspices of the BJMP-7, of which 17 are based in Cebu.

“We are appealing to pharmaceutical companies and drug stores to donate hypertensive drugs and even those for diabetes for our inmates,” urged Ma. Roselle Escaño, senior jail officer II of the BJMP-7 as the country celebrates the 20th National Correction Consciousness Week from October 23-30.

Escaño said the allocation for medicines per inmate is only at P5 per day.

“The amount only covers medicines for common ailments such as flu, colds and headache and does not include drugs for hypertension and diabetes,” said the senior jail officer.

Most of the detainees are poor and cannot afford to buy maintenance medicines for hypertension and diabetes, said Escaño.

Escaño said the health condition of inmates is further aggravated by over congestion of detention cells. The most congested jail facilities in the region are the Mandaue City Jail and the Cebu City Jail.

Though Escaño did not specify which province in Central Visayas recorded the most number of deaths, the senior jail officer surmised the bulk of the fatalities come from Cebu which had the highest number of inmate population at 7,001 out of the 9,000 inmate populace in the entire region.

Escaño said most of those who died were aged 30 years and above.

“For inmates who need maintenance medication, this will already be the lookout of the immediate family,” said Escaño.

The BJMP-7 custodian of the detainee who is rushed to the hospital for urgent medical care is even responsible for the processing of document for the indigent detainee through the Department of Social Welfare and Development so hospital fee could be waived, bared Escaño.

“They (inmates) are still human beings and need proper care and attention,” as we appeal to kind-hearted people and organizations including pharmaceutical companies and drug stores to donate medicines for hypertension and diabetes to the prisoners, said Escaño.

Group turns over school facilities

By Flornisa M. Gitgano

A NON-GOVERNMENT organization (NGOs) turned over yesterday more than 200 classrooms and day care centers in four towns in northern Cebu that were hit by typhoon Yolanda last year.

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (Rafi) repaired and built 229 classrooms and day care centers in Daanbantayan, Sta. Fe, Madridejos and Bantayan.

The classroom rebuilding and construction project was implemented in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and local and foreign groups.

The project cost P218.95 million. Of the amount, P27.5 million came from local and international NGOs that are partners of Rafi.

Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (PARR) Chief Panfilo Lacson and Rafi president Roberto Aboitiz led the turnover ceremony held at the Bantayan Central School.

The project repaired 95 classrooms and eight day care centers in Daanbantayan; 67 classrooms and four day care centers in Bantayan; 42 classrooms and three day care centers in Madridejos; and five classrooms and five day care centers in Sta. Fe.

Anthony Dignadice, Rafi education development unit executive director, said the classrooms and day care centers will benefit a total of 11,300 children.

The structures were designed to withstand disasters, he said.

The rehabilitated classrooms and day care centers have stronger columns and beams, improved roofing and elevated flooring.


The League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Cebu chapter and the International Labor Organization (ILO) helped in the repair and construction of classrooms in Sta. Fe, which cost P4.5 million. The league provided skilled workers and equipment, while the ILO paid for the wages of the workers.

Dignadice said the contractors had to transport materials through motorized banca to two islets in Bantayan.

Aboitiz said the project was implemented using the “coalition model,” which involved the local governments, private sector and DepEd.

Rafi’s partners include the International Rescue Committee, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, She Entrepreneurs Organization, Let's Help Philippines, Christ Leather Foundation, Pesch Family, Calligaro-Mueller Family, Sacred Heart School-Alumni 85, Portraits Artists Society of the Philippines, Art Association of the Philippines, St. Clare's Foundation and St. Clare's Hospital.

The turnover ceremony was witnessed by Gov. Hilario Davide III, DepEd Undersecretary for External Linkages Mario Deriquito, PARR Communications Director Karen Gimeno, town mayors and some Provincial Board members.

In his speech, Lacson thanked Rafi for helping the National Government. “Without them I cannot imagine where we would be right now,” he said.

He said that he was tempted to resign from PARR when confronted with the problem of lack of funds.

“(I was like) Superman without powers,” he said.

Engineers' group pushes biogas technology

By Jose P. Sollano (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines – The Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers in Mandaue City has urged local officials in Metro Cebu to adopt biogas technology in addressing the problem of garbage.

The PSME-Mandaue City Chapter headed by its president Pedro Ronulf Diongzon is now working with Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes to implement biogas technology at the 6.5-hectare relocation site in Barangay Paknaan.

Mandaue City government and PSME-Mandaue signed a memorandum of agreement for the implementation of the project.

PSME-Mandaue has been tasked to conduct the design of the project while the city government will look for available funds to finance the project.

While PSME-Mandaue is working for the project implementation, they have also urged local officials in Metro Cebu to adopt the same project.

Their project is called Biogas Technology, the Solid Concrete Fermentation Digested Chamber.

Biogas, which is mainly methane, is a gas produced from the digestion of organic materials in an oxygen-free environment or anaerobic fermentation.

PSME officials said that proper disposal of organic household waste, especially from backyard piggeries and poultries, is usually done in open-dug pits which are messy, odorous and often breeding grounds for mosquitoes, flies, rats and pathogenic bacteria.

This system of waste disposal threatens the ground water through the infiltration of pollutants.

This scenario creates health hazards as well as potentials of conflict with neighbors, PSME officials said.

Having a biogas digester, Diongzon said, can help solve this issue.

Senica Engineering & Construction represented by Engr. Fableo Senica Jr., a contractor based in Carmen town, is the one who designed the biogas technology.

At present, Senica Engineering & Construction already constructed a biogas plant in Mindanao and is also working on another plant in Leyte.

Cebu Province Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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