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Cebu Capitol to release P15,000 bonus for workers


CEBU CITY, Aug. 21 (PNA) -- The Cebu Provincial Government is set to release on Friday (Aug. 22), the P15,000 anniversary bonus for each of its 1,553 employees.

Cebu Provincial Budget Officer Danilo Rodas said the incentives will be released by the Cebu Provincial Treasurer’s Office through the respective automated teller machine accounts of the employees.

A total of P23 million was set aside for the purpose, he said.

The Cebu Provincial Board has approved the province’s first supplemental budget for the year, which includes the P15,000 bonus.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III announced the bonus during the province’s 445th founding anniversary celebration early this month.

Davide said the cash incentives are for accomplishing the performance targets at “lesser cost” and for attaining “more efficient and valuable operations” through cost-cutting measures and systems improvement.

Last year, the Capitol introduced changes in its internal operations with the aim to minimize processing time.

These changes include the Expense Management System, an application that integrates all departments, taxpayers, and vendors to fast-track payment processes; the Legislative Record Tracking System, an extensive detailed tracking system for all types of ordinances and resolutions; and the Document Tracking System.

Carcar and Sibonga receive SSFs Local growers reap more from value-added goods

By Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Adding value to agricultural products has allowed local producers in the province of Cebu to reap higher revenues as they take advantage of the current demand of their goods.

With the help of shared service facilities, Elias Tecson of the regional Department of Trade and Industry said agricultural growers in the province are not only able to supply raw materials, but they are also capable to process value-added goods now.

“Kaniadto man gud, tig-supply ra sila sa raw materials, karon sila na mobuhat sa semi-process with the help of the equipment,” Tecson said. “And that is added value sa ilang income.”

Value-added agriculture is converting of raw materials into finished or semi-finished products through packaging, processing, drying, extracting, cooling or any other process that changes a product’s raw form.

In an interview yesterday, Business Development Chief Tecson of DTI-7 noted value adding gives local producers opportunities for new markets and expanded marketing period.

He said the current demand of product niches both locally and globally is one reason for producers of agricultural goods to really boost production.

Giving them shared facilities is one good means to help them in their livelihood and business, he added.

Value-added agriculture normally serves domestic and international niche markets which allow small producers to create product value and improve their business. A niche market is part of a larger market where a specific product is focused.

The Trade Department in Cebu on Monday gave Carcar City and the town of Sibonga SSFs on technology upgrading of agri-based products.

Gabay sa Bagong Pag-asa of Carcar and Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa Balaas of Sibonga now have the capacity to manufacture semi-finished products that are supplied to Southern Partners and Fair Trade Center and the mainstream market.

The facilities include desiccated dryer machine (P220, 000 per unit), deshelling machine (P40, 000 per unit), grinding machines (P80, 000 per unit), carbonizing drum (P12, 500 per unit) and briquetting machine (P115, 500 per unit). Each association received P498, 000 worth of production equipment.

GBP is an association established in 2004 with 114 members whose main source of income is farming of coconuts and mangoes. It currently owns 60 coconut trees in Carcar City and produces an estimated 2,400 coconuts every year.

On the other hand, the 4-year-old association Namaba of Sibonga town has 264 members who are living out of farming coconut, banana, corn and vegetables.

The chief shared value-added agricultural goods such as desiccated coconut, virgin coconut oil and charcoal briquettes have a huge demand in USA, Canada, Japan, Korea and other nations. The two farmers associations produce the said products.

Currently, the agency’s SSF program is serving the agricultural production of local farmers.

The next shared facilities, Tecson said, would also support the dairy sector in Cebu, and the fishing industry in Bantayan Island specifically the dried fish production, among other emerging sectors.

Mactan airport eyes bus shuttle service next year, exec says


CEBU CITY, Aug. 19 (PNA) -- The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) will change its transport service system from private cars to bus shuttle by next year, an official said.

MCIA General Manager Nigel Paul Villarete said they are studying the options for the “bus service” institutional arrangements together with the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC).

“Our partner and terminal operator, GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) is likewise studying the off-terminal check-in parallel. Probably in 2015, we can already offer these services,” Villarete said.

Earlier, GMCAC President Louie Ferrer said his company, which has a contract with the Philippine Government to manage, operate and convert the airport into a world class facility, will take full control of the terminal in October.

The DOTC and MCIA Authority signed a contract with GMCAC last April after the consortium won the bidding in the P17.5-billion public-private partnership (PPP) project.

The company posted the highest bid of P14.4 billion, which has been paid to the government.

In the contract, GMCAC will transform the airport into a world class facility, including the renovation of an existing terminal that will be completed by 2016 and the construction of a new terminal building that will be operational by 2017.

GMR Deputy chief Executive Officer Andrew Harrison said GMCAC will start the renovation of the existing terminal once they take full control of the airport.

Harrison said MCIA has a current capacity of 4.5 million passengers, and that the new terminal that they are going to build will have a capacity of eight million.

Harrison said they are not only concerned about the convenience and safety of passengers inside the airport but also about efficient transport access from and to the airport.

Japanese shipbuilder to boost production, jobs in Cebu

By Jon Carlos Rodriguez (

MANILA, Philippines – Leading shipbuilder Tsuneishi Heavy Industries Cebu Inc. is looking to increase its production in its shipyard in Balamban, Cebu in the next three years.

Its president, Hitoshi Kono, said that from its current production of about 21 ships per year, the firm wants to increase production to 25 to 30 ships by 2017.

“Productivity-wise, we must increase our capacity by building more ships in the future to 25 to 30 ships per year,” he said in a press briefing on Monday.

However, Kono said that while the firm plans to boost productivity, it has no immediate plans to expand its facility in Balamban.

Tsuneishi’s shipyard in the once sleepy town of Balamban covers approximately 1.5 million square meters, where more than 13,000 employees are working.

Kenji Kawano, Tsuneishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. overseas operations director, said an additional 2,000 employees may be hired in the next three to years as it increases production.

Kawano noted that when Tsuneishi entered the Philippines in 1994, it started with only 18 employees.

“In 1994, we weren’t sure that we will succeed here, that’s why we started small. But after several years, we are confident that there are good workers and highly educated people here, so definitely we will succeed. That’s why we continue to expand,” he said in the same briefing.

Tsuneishi has also focused on implementing training programs, having sent over 1,400 Filipino employees to Japan since 1994 to acquire additional technical skills.

According to Kono, the company will continue both its in-house training program and deployment to Japan for technical training.

“To strengthen the shipping industry of the Philippines, we must develop more human resources education and equip them with necessary tools and skills of shipbuilding,” he said.

Kono said Tsuneishi continues to have a positive outlook on the country’s shipbuilding industry, which has grown to be the fourth largest in the world behind China, Korea, and Japan.

“The Philippines has great potential to further grow its shipping industry with its experience and capacity. Tsuneishi want to capitalize on the country’s growth and become the mother shipyard in Southeast Asia,” he said.

Tsuneishi is projecting to generate P36 billion in revenues for 2014, after seeing a decline in 2013 due to a lower demand in new ships and other global factors.

“In 2014 the market has slowly recovered and we are projecting revenues of P36 billion this year,” said Kono.

Tsuneishi, a joint venture between the Tsuneishi Group and the Aboitiz Group, made record revenues of more than P41 billion in 2012. The firm expects to reach this mark again by 2017 to 2018.

Tsuneishi has delivered 193 ships with revenues of about P250 billion in last the 20 years through its shipyard in Cebu.

Philippine Economic Zone Authority director general Lilia de Lima said more than 300,000 Filipino lives have been positively affected by the presence of the global shipbuilding and ship repair company in the country.

“Everybody who was against Tsuneishi going there now have their own businesses and their children have jobs,” de Lima said.

“This is the perfect example of countryside development and how lucky is West Balamban because Tsuneishi went there,” she added.

DOT 7 backs Cebu town’s ‘Queseo Festival’


CEBU CITY, Aug. 17 (PNA) -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 has supported the northern cebu town of Compostela's queseo production as a means of livelihood for farmers and its Queseo Festival as a way of promoting the town's tourism.

DOT 7 Director Rowena Montecillo said she has turned over an initial amount of P 425,000 to the town, through Compostela Mayor Joel Quino, in order to boost the town's tourism efforts.

Montecillo said the agency has approved a total of P850,000 aid for the town for this purpose.

The municipal government in turn has allocated P150,000 as counterpart share for the program.

Compostela, a prime agricultural town whose inhabitants' means of livelihood is mainly farming, was the first to receive the financial support from DOT after it complied with all the necessary requirements of the department.

Christopher Paradiang, Compostela tourism officer, said one of the products of the town is queseo, processed from the fresh milk of either a carabao or cow.

Mayor Quino said they decided to adopt queseo as Compostela's product under the One Town, One Product program of the provincial government in order to help the farmers augment their daily income through the production of native cheese.

Quino said the town will provide support to the farmers engaged in queseo making, citing that it will boost farmer's income and make the municipality a prime producer of native cheese.

Town officials said they will use the financial assistance from the DOT to boost marketing strategies through the holding of annual Queseo Festival as an attraction during the town fiesta.

Phl’s first helium balloon flies in Cebu

By Christell Fatima M. Tudtud (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Another activity envisioned to become a tourist attraction has been launched to the media in Lapu-Lapu City.

The Cebu Helium Balloon, which is located in Hadsan Beach Complex, is owned by Jack Song, chief executive officer of Aura, Inc. Song's company has been operating it since early this year.

With a balloon diameter of 22.80 meters and a height of 34 meters, the recreational ride has a capacity of 30 passengers. The ascension height goes up to 150 meters and the ride lasts for about 15 minutes.

A 360-degree panoramic view of the neighboring islands, resorts and popular spots of the Historic Resort City of Lapu-Lapu allows the passengers to move around while being soared up to the sky, according to company officials.

The Cebu Helium Balloon situated in a wide-spaced area and has durable control cables enough for the operators to maneuver the recreational ride.

A tension cable is also connected from the ground to control the balloon's up and down movement with an electrical switch.

The company has a total of seven "pilots," enough for them to guide and assist the public in riding the helium balloon. Aura pilots were trained in Korea.

According to Helena Hwang, chief secretary of Aura, Inc., this is the first recreational ride of its kind in the Philippines.

However, there are spots in the Philippines where the company will soon set up such attraction, such as the province of Bohol and Boracay Island.

Asked why they chose Lapu-Lapu City, Hwang said it is the company's closest choice because of its beautiful scenery of coastal beaches surrounding the island.

The ride costs 1,000 for adults and P700 for children aged 2 to 12 years are charged 700. Foreign adults are charged $50 and children, $30.

Mayor Paz Radaza said precautionary measures are observed by the company and that they got credible permit more than a month after they were monitored.

She said the tourist police will be around and will coordinate with the operational staff for their security of the area.

Radaza also said the company has secured an airport clearance permit even if the area is not part of the air-traffic zone.

Acting police director Senior Superintendent Armando Radoc of Lapu-Lapu City Police Office said to keep the area more secured, lightings are mounted within the perimeter of the beach complex.

Helium balloons are known to have flown through the skies in different countries such as Germany, United States of America, Korea, Singapore, France, Spain, Italy and Canada.

Cebu lady farmer believes in 'knowledge is power'


MANILA, Aug. 15 (PNA) -- For Lilia Caburnay, farming is more than just knowing how to till the farm. One must also equip himself/herself with the latest farming know-how to truly enjoy a bountiful harvest.

Nang Lilia, as her peers fondly call her, took this to heart as she found herself spending her idle moments attending farming seminars and/or workshops to enrich her knowledge about the latest technology that she could apply in her two-hectare farm in Barangay Canlumanpao, Toledo, Cebu.

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) awarded the said farmlot to her in 1997 under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

Whatever she is lacking in physical strength, Nang Lilia makes up for it with farming know-how, believing that, to borrow the famous line of the late media practitioner Ernie Baron, “knowledge is power.”

Among the government-sponsored training programs that she had attended included the “Long Season Farmers’ Field School in Banana Production,” the “Integrated Rice Technology Demonstration” and the “Trainers on Extension Delivery System for Agricultural Extension Workers and Barangay Agricultural Workers.”

These trainings and seminars helped double her harvests from her farm where various kinds of cash crops are growing, like mango, banana, eggplant, calamansi and camote root crops.

From her 600 fruit-bearing calamansi and 32 mango trees, she is earning around PHP24,000 annually, while gaining just as much from her other cash crops.

Her husband, Ricardo, has been attending their ricefield, from which they earned average income of PHP31,500 a year.

She said it was made possible with the help of their cooperative, the Bulahan Canlumampao Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Bucampuco) through its farm implements that it rents out to farmer-members. Nang Lilia is the chairperson of the said cooperative.

The lady farmer, however, is not contented with what she had learned. She even took one step further when she made her own innovations, combining newfound farming techniques with personal experiences she gained from her father, a farmer himself.

“Farming is really my passion. It runs through our family. That is why I always attend seminars to enhance my farming knowledge by combining new techniques with past experiences,” she confides.

Her feat caught the attention of the government, with the Department of Agriculture citing her as an “outstanding rice farmer in Cebu in May 2010.

Already a full-pledged farmer-entrepreneur, the mother of eight couldn’t ask for more as she is happy to see her children grow through the “fruits of her labor.” Four of her children have already finished their studies, the eldest is a graduate of Hotel and Restaurant Management, the second a teacher, the third an agriculturist and the fourth a police aspirant.

Everything, she says, was made possible through hard work and perseverance.

Startup brings 3D printing to Cebu

By Jeandie O. Galolo

THREE-dimensional or 3D printing is now in Cebu. 3D printing produces solid objects out of computer designs.

3DFIED, a product development service provider, brings to life any computer-aided design into solid objects. The company was founded in August last year by four young Cebuano engineers: Hyzele Awit, Jonathan Paul Damalerio, Wayne Denoyo and Seth Ephraim Miano.

Like any other startup, 3DFIED is a product of a need personally experienced by the founders when they were still in college several years back and working on their final projects, Awit told Sun.Star Cebu in a recent interview.

Tasked to create a prototype of their theses, the would-be engineers made use of various resources to complete the school requirement.

“Before, maglisod jud mi og materialize sa among prototype,” she said.

Now, that they have established themselves with careers in product development, mechanical hardware design and service engineering, the four decided to invest on a 3D printer from the United States worth more than P150,000 and venture into a 3D printing business.

Awit said their services can primarily help students, especially those who are taking engineering courses, produce better prototypes.

“With 3D printing, everything you want to create can become possible,” Awit said.

A 3D printer is a type of an industrial robot that can make “a 3D object of almost any shape from a 3D model or other electronic data source primarily through additive processes in which successive layers of material are laid down under computer control,” according to the Wikipedia definition.

As one of the pioneers of 3D printing in Cebu, Awit said they want to foster an R&D (research and development) culture in the local scene, especially among students.

3DFIED has already served students from University of San Carlos and Don Bosco on their projects.

They assisted students in making cases for projects like heartbeat tracker and Bluetooth finder. They have also printed prototypes of a jet engine, rollers, and gears, among others made out of PLA (polylactic acid) plastics.

“We aim to empower creativity by serving as a partner in materializing product design ideas. It is our passion to help people discover their creative potentials using 3D printing technology,” Awit said.

In their creative lab inside the Cebu Business Incubator for Information Technology (CeBuinIT) in the University of the Philippines Cebu, students are welcome to learn about 3D printing, Awit said.

She said they are reaching out to different schools to let students know of 3DFIED’s presence and how they can help in their projects.

Awit, however, clarified that they don’t design the product for the students, instead they help them improve their designs. Lead time of the prototype development is three days.

She said they also cater to the needs of entrepreneurs, saying industries like tourism, real estate, and food can take advantage of 3D printing technology.

For tourism, she said souvenir items like keychains can be 3D-printed. Food chains can print their molders in 3D. Real estate developers, on the other hand, can choose to print their miniature houses instead of cutting and concatenating small pieces of vinyls.

While 3D printing brings various opportunities, Awit said the technology has not been embraced by the Filipinos yet, with a big number of them unaware of what it is.

The team is coordinating with schools and businesses to grow its popularity.

The team is also envisioning to get more support from the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Trade and Industry. At present, the team is currently applying for a loan from both agencies. They are hoping to get around P300,000 to purchase more 3D printers.

DSWD-7 allots P8.3M for aid to homeless street families in Metro Cebu


CEBU CITY, Aug. 13 (PNA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 7 has allotted P8,349,252 to provide assistance to some 550 homeless street families (HSF) in Metro Cebu.

Mercedita Jabagat, DSWD-7 director, said the program is being implemented through a one-year partnership with Bidlisiw Foundation Inc.

Jabagat said the program is under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT).

Every family beneficiary of the program is expected to receive P500 health assistance monthly while school children shall also get P300 for elementary and P500 for high school.

Like the regular Pantawid Pamilya implementation, a maximum of three children will be covered by the MCCT.

Pantawid Pamilya started to target the homeless families and street dwellers through the MCCT with the aim of providing them safety and protection along with other development opportunities.

The MCCT is designed to reach out to HSF and indigenous people (IP) who are definitely poor, more vulnerable and disadvantaged but were left out in the implementation of the Pantawid Pamilya because of their being excluded in the enumeration of the National Housing Targeting System for having no family homes and for being geographically isolated and inaccessible.

The modified program wants to enable the HSF and IP to overcome the barriers of enjoying the government's social protection assistance.

"The goal here is to move these families out of the street or help them find a decent home so that they become part of the regular Pantawid Pamilya," Jabagat said.

Mandaue marks Phl-Japan friendship

By Flor Z. Perolina (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines- The Philippine-Japan Friendship Month was celebrated in Mandaue City in a two-day event last Friday and Saturday at the Aboitiz Field in Barangay Subangdaku.

The celebration will continue until this weekend at the J Centre Mall in Barangay Bakilid.

Kengo Tanaka, spokesman of the Cebu-Mandaue-Based Committee has thanked Mayor Jonas Cortes for the success of the big event due to its big turnout.

"We did not expect the big turn which means that Filipinos are interested to know the Japanese culture," Tanaka said.

According to Tanaka they expected to gather 5,000 crowd but the number doubled. Many of those who attended were local and Japanese students who are on study tour.

Several booths were set up in the venue which displayed and sold Japanese items including food items others offering services while the rest were offering real estate projects.

Cultural presentations highlighted the nightly event performed by "Panagtagbo" dancers of the city and Japanese cultural group.

"Today we celebrate in Cebu the Philippines-Japan Friendship month. This is very significant and historical because for the first time it is held in Mandaue and secondly, the biggest so far," said Mayor Jonas Cortes in his opening remarks.

"We expect exchange of cultural presentations by both countries and more cooperation," added the mayor.

During the event, Aisaku, a Japanese OPM artist also rendered some of his Pinoy songs in his album.

Fishermen receive bancas

By Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/NSA (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - In line with the rehabilitation efforts for the victims of typhoon Yolanda, private sectors turned over 20 motorized bancas to fisherfolks in northern Cebu on Saturday.

Jose Bimbo Pelayo, 43, of Maravilla in the town of Tabuelan was very happy to receive one of the bancas donated by The FREEMAN through San Miguel Corporation.

"Mapasalamaton kaayo ko sa mga tao nga nitabang nako kay pwerteng lisura sa among kinabuhi," a teary-eyed Pelayo said, adding that he will take good care of the banca.

He said his non-motorized banca was destroyed during the onslaught of typhoon Yolanda last November 8.

"Pagkahuman sa bagyo, sige na lang ko’g panghuwam sa akong mga kauban og banca para naa mi'y makaon sa akong pamilya," he said.

With his new boat, Pelayo said it would be now easy for him to make a living for his family. Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:

The 20 motorized bancas were donated by different private sectors that responded to the advocacy of couple Clayton Tugunon and Georgina Tugunon, who own a furniture maker company in Cebu.

The couple, who are from San Remigio town, started their advocacy after realizing that many fisherfolks became helpless after the supertyphoon hit the towns in the northern part of Cebu.

"We saw the need of the fishermen nga nawad-an gyod og paglaum sa ilang panginabuhi after Yolanda," Georgina said.

"Nagsugod mi sa usa ka banca nga among nahimo, then gi-post sa akong husband ang situation sa northern Cebu and we're glad many companies have responded para makatabang sa mga fishermen," she added.

Georgina said she carefully screened all the possible beneficiaries.

"Amo gyud tan-awon ang ilang status sa kinabuhi, kun pila ang anak, unsay trabaho, and others para makaila pud ko nila," she said.

According to her, the beneficiaries were made to sign a contract upon receiving the bancas.

"Naa pud ta'y conditions like, motabang na sila sa Bantay Dagat pagpanakop sa mga mogamit og dinamita, ug every month makalabay sila og stones nga parehas kadako sa ilang head as artificial reefs under water," she said.

"Ato ning gibuhat para naa pud sila'y participation sa pag-protect sa atong dagat while nanginabuhi sila," she added.

The companies behind the donations last Saturday were The Freeman, San Miguel Corporation, Hope and Love from Japan, Loumari Mediatrix, and Bright Man Business Solutions, among others.

Georgina said her family has been able to produce a total of 328 bancas donated by different companies and individuals, which have already been distributed to other northern towns devastated by the typhoon.

Clayton said there are still a lot of fisherfolks who are in dire need of bancas and his family will not stop helping, as long as there are still private companies willing to help them in their advocacy.

Cebu Province Archived News

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