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Cebu Province News May 2012

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Province of Cebu - Archived News

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Aerial View of Metro Cebu

Contents

Cebuano leaders, LGUs pledge to take part on disaster preparedness

By Amorganda A. Saludar (rmn/AS/PIA-7, CEBU)

CEBU CITY, May 31 (PIA) -- Cebuano leaders and local government units (LGUs) in Cebu committed to help ensure the safety and readiness of their respective areas during natural calamities, through implementing disaster preparedness and climate change adaptation programs.

Government officials and LGUs expressed their commitment during the recent “Tapatan Roadshow on Disaster Preparedness and Climate Change Adaptation: A Call to Action" conducted at the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City, organized by the Department of Interior and Local Government.

Board Member Peter John Calderon of the 2nd district of Cebu said that it is the aim of every LGU and national government agency to be prepared for every calamity and ensure that such preparations are made to lessen its risks, threats, and negative effects to lives and properties of the people.

“It is the government’s primary objective to be ready in the occurrence of any calamities,” Calderon said.

He also urged the public to take part in order to lessen the loss of lives and property due to calamities.

Meanwhile, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes expressed his desire for each LGU to become the foundation of disaster preparedness measures to be conducted before and after the occurrence of calamities.

“To protect the lives and secure the properties of the people is our primary concern and obligation in case of calamities and we are bound to perform this obligation to our constituents. Safety and preparation is the key in dealing disaster preparedness,” Cortes said.

Cortes further added that climate change mitigation is also part of each LGU’s obligations in serving the public amidst the present threat of climate change and extreme changes in the weather condition of the country.

He then called for unity among LGUs as well as the public and stakeholders in coping with the threat of disaster and climate change.

“We should learn from each other as LGU, the battle to ensure safety is now an uphill battle and the only way to achieve and win is to be united as every obstacle represents a challenge,” the mayor concluded.

Carmen town gets P43.6M as bulk water project starts

By Peter L. Romanillos (Cebu Daily News)

WORK on the P700 million Cebu Bulk Water Project started yesterday in barangay Cantumog of Carmen town, northern Cebu.

The joint venture between the Cebu provincial government and the Manila Water Consortium is expected to produce 35,000 cubic meters of water per day and supply water in northern and central Cebu.

Carmen town through Mayor Martin Gerard Villamor received P43.65 million from the developers.

Of this amount, P35 million is an advance royalty fee for tapping Carmen’s Luyang River.

Another P6 million is for Luyang watershed protection and P2.65 million for park development and a birthing center in the town.

The joint venture between the Manila Water Consortium and Capitol which is officially called Cebu Manila Water Development, Inc. Capitol will have 41 percent shares in the venture while Manila Water will have 59 percent shares.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Manila Water Consortium chairman Gerardo Ablaza Jr. , Villamor and Provincial Board Member Jude Durano Sybico buried a time capsule to to mark the start of the project after the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement.

“There will be a cooperative foundation between Carmen and certain nominees from the provincial government to Cebu and some representatives from the Consortium that will make sure that the watershed will not be destroyed. We must make sure that water from Carmen is of good quality,” Ablaza said.

Ablaza added they will work with the local government to create the Carmen Development Fund to be funded by a percentage of water tariffs.

As host town, Carmen, a 3rd-class municipality with a population of about 45,000, will be given free 200 cubic meters of water per day.

DENR-7 celebrates Environment Month

By Hazel F. Gloria (mbcn/hfg-PIA 7/DENR-7)

CEBU CITY, May 29 (PIA) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-7) in Central Visayas leads the month-long celebration of the Philippine environment month this June with a series of campaign programs and activities geared toward raising the level of awareness on environmental issues and concerns.

DENR-7 regional executive director Maximo Dichoso said in his press statement that he encourages everyone to take part in ensuring the protection and conservation of the environment and natural resources mindful of the present threats of climate change.

The celebration will kick off with a foot parade on June 4 to be led by Dichoso and other officials of DENR-7 including line bureaus and stakeholders.

It will then be followed by the opening of Sportsfest, Pinoy Games, and presentation of 12 “Mutya ng Kalikasan” candidates.

As part of the features of the environment celebration, a river or creek clean up and tree planting are scheduled on June 2 while simultaneous soil potting in various nurseries on June 8 and DENR Open House and Market Week will run from June 11 to 15.

Mangrove planting and coastal cleanup will be on June 20 while a facilitated mine tour and responsible mining symposium will be held on June 22 at Carmen Copper Corporation in Toledo City.

Meanwhile, a benchmarking tour will be conducted in the provinces of Negros Oriental and Bohol on June 13-15 and a five-day ENR exhibit or exposition will be from June 18 to 22.

Butuanon watershed tree planting will be on June 23 and the Mutya ng Kalikasan Coronation Night is happening on June 27.

The environment month culmination will be on June 29 where awarding and recognition of partners and collaborators will take place.

The United Nations (UN) Environment Programme defines the green economy as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.

This year’s theme is, “Green Economy: Does it include you.”

Tuburan, DILG ink P5m water project

By Carmel Loise Matus (Correspondent)

TUBURAN town which had a typhoid outbreak early this year signed an agreement with Department of Interior and Local Government for a project under the Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig sa Lahat Program.

Tuburan town Mayor Democrito “Aljun” Diamante and Dept. of Interior and Local Government 7 (DILG-7) Dir. Ananias Villacorta signed the agreement last Friday with DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo as witness.

The Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig sa Lahat (Salintubig) program aims to increase water services for the waterless population, reduce incidence of water-borne and sanitation-related diseases, and improve access of the poor to sanitation services.

The program which runs until 2016 aims to increased water service for the waterless population by 50 percent, reduce incidence of water-borne and sanitation related diseases by 20 percent and improve access of the poor to sanitation services by 10 percent.

An amount of P5 million was allocated by the program for Tuburan.

Four people have died from typhoid fever while over a thousand cases have been reported in an outbreak in the town last March.

Almost all of the 54 villages of Tuburan, 96.7 kilometers northwest of Cebu City, were affected by the typhoid outbreak.

The municipal council declared a state of calamity so it could use its calamity fund to provide medical attention to the stricken residents.

Robredo, who was in Cebu last March, pledged to give P10 million for the rehabilitation of the water system.

Aside from Tuburan, the towns of Pinamungajan, Sibonga and Sogod also entered into an agreement for the water program.

Gabii sa Kabilin: 22 sites show best of Cebu’s heritage

By Fayette C. Riñen (Cebu Daily News)

From dusk to midnight, Cebu’s museums and rich cultural heritage were enjoyed by Cebuanos and tourists for the sixth run of the Gabii sa Kabilin (Night of Heritage).

A Mass and opening program was held in the recently proclaimed Archdiocesan Shrine of Sacred Heart parish which celebrated its 60th founding anniversary.

The event also launched the Sugbu Chinese Heritage Museum project, which will be the premier museum of Chinese culture in the Philippines to rise in the downtown Gotiaoco building built in 1914 by Don Pedro Gotiaoco.

A new twist this year was the offering of child-friendly activities such as storytelling, arts and crafts making, decorating a carroza with flowers, and traditional Filipino games in eight participating sites.

Among these were Ayala Center Cebu, Casa Gorordo Museum, Cathedral Museum, Cebu City Museum, Cebu Normal University, Fo Guang Shan Chu Un Temple, Fort San Pedro, and Sacred Heart Parish Church.

A QR code hunt introduced by mycebu.ph and Smart Communications had over 100 technology and history buffs using their smartphones to scan codes in heritage sites for information and performing tasks like singing “Matud Nila” and stringing beads.

Also launched last Friday evening was the Bantayan Parish Exhibit at the Cathedral Museum with an opening performance by the Mandaue Children’s Choir.

A total of 22 participating museum and heritage sites were open for public viewing this year, including new participants like the Buddhist Fo Guang Shan Chu Un Temple in V. Rama Avenue and the temple of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints in Gorordo Avenue.

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) which initiated the Gabii Sa Kabilin in 2007, drew its inspiration from Germany and Europe’s Long Night of Museums, a tradition which is geared towards promoting cultural and heritage awareness. Correspondent Jessa Chrisna Marie J. Agua

GSIS 7 offers educational assistance loan for its members

By Fayette C. Riñen (FCR/Maila L. Paguntalan/CNU Communication Intern/PIA 7, Cebu)

CEBU CITY, May 26 (PIA) -- With school opening due to begin in less than two weeks time, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) opens its doors to its 1.3M active members nationwide its Educational Assistance Loan Program.

Under the GSIS Educational Assistance (EA) Program, its members can avail of a one-time loan of P4,000 until December 28, this year.

GSIS 7 Regional Manager Ma. Fatima Alvarez said the program is a promise made by President Aquino during his Labor Day message.

“The mode of application is over the counter and the member can easily get the amount in one to two weeks’ time if all the data in the application form is in order,” said Alvarez.

There are over 67,000 active members in both the provinces of Cebu and Bohol which are the areas of coverage of the GSIS 7.

“At present, there are already 16, 464 applications filed by individuals, or through the liaison officers and 2, 727 were approved while some of those are yet to be evaluated,” bared Alvarez.

Alvarez said the EA loan is payable in five years with an interest of six percent per annum while the borrower is entitled to only pay the monthly interest for the amount of P20 while the loaned amount would be paid in bulk on the 60th month after the availment.

Since this is a special loan, Alvarez added that all applicants are required to fill-up a form and the application shall be made over-the-counter, to be filed either by the member or through the Liaison Officer. “But at present, we will only entertain those applications from the authorized liaison officer to avoid overcrowding in our office,” disclosed Alvarez.

Alvarez said disapproved applications are due to the following reasons: no UMID e-card, inactive status (separated from service), unmatched data (advised to go to the Agency Authorized Officer (AAO) to request data updating), no cell phone number, and no signature indicated in the application form.

The application form is available in the official website of GSIS and is downloadable.

3 Cebu LGUs to benefit from education project

By Jessa Chrisna Marie J. Agua (Correspondent, Cebu Daily News)

THREE Cebu local government units (LGUs) will benefit from a program that aims to improve the quality of education in the province through participatory activities.

Asturias, Carcar City and Liloan are the recipients of Educational Quality Improvement through Community Empowerment and Capacity Building (EQUIP-CEBU) project.

The project was launched yesterday along with the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA).

As stated in the MOA, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) will provide technical and financial assistance, while the LGUs will create and maintain a project management team. DepEd will ensure institutional support and project implementation in participating schools.

Present during the MOA signing were RAFI president Roberto Aboitiz, Department of Education (DepEd) Assistant Secretary Rey Laguda, Cebu Province Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Arden Monisit, Carcar City Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Cyrus Elejorde, Synergeia Foundation Inc. trustee Washington Sycip and Sarangani Gov. Miguel Rene Dominguez.

In his keynote speech, Dominguez shared their province’s strategies in alleviating the quality of education.

To maximize Sarangani’s meager funds, they mobilized stakeholders in assessing the state of education, organized volunteers to conduct reading mentor program for schoolchildren to prepare them for the coming school year, achieved 1:1 ratio of books per pupil through solicitations, and built dormitories within the school where students from far-flung barangays can stay.

“Investing on software” is what summarized the governor’s point, and by “software” he meant “people.”

Local officials who also attended the MOA signing include Provincial Board Member Willie Caminero, Asturias Mayor Allan Adlawan, Carcar Vice Mayor Patrick Barcenas representing Mayor Nicepuro Apura, Liloan Mayor Duke Frasco and Borbon Mayor Butch Sepulveda.

EQUIP-CEBU is a brainchild of RAFI with its major partners Synergeia Foundation Inc., Coalition for Better Education, LGUs and DepEd.

It’s more fun in Binaliw Festival

By Fe Marmaboc, Norman Mendoza (Cebu Daily News)

The bizarre and the religious mixed it up during high tide in Olango Island off Mactan, Cebu yesterday.

Organizers said at least 5,000 people participated in this year’s Binaliw Festival which honors the island’s patron saint, Vicente Ferrer.

Baliw in Cebuano means crazy.

The celebration started with a fluvial procession of about a hundred motorized and paddle boats carrying the image of Saint Vicente Ferrer from barangay Sta. Rosa.

Many of the passengers were cross-dressing men who wore cotton dusters and makeup. They shared the boat ride with little girls in white angel costumes and wings as part of the traditional Flores de Mayo homage to the Virgin Mary.

Some merrymakers were content to frolic in the shore.

Erwin Eyas, event coordinator, said the festival has been celebrated since the 18th century, evolving over time from pagan rites to a local fluvial procession to honor a Catholic saint.

Eyas said festival parti- cipants act out their collective and personal tragedies in strang ways.

But as outlandish as their acts may be, the point is to offer sacrifice and seek the intercession of San Vicente, he said.

Ferlisa Aying, an 87-year-old resident of barangay San Vicente, said she’s witnessed the festival ever since she was a child, every third week of May, depending on the day with the highest tide.

According to Aying’s parents, it was a celebration passed down by their forefathers.

It began as a ritual offering to the gods to prevent plagues and diseases as well as to seek blessings for good weather for a bountiful fish catch.

Bad things are believed to happen if the gods are not appeased by the celebration, according to island elders.

One tradition involves the staging of cat fights where cats are pitted against other kinds of animals like frogs or fighting cocks.

Some men held aloft wooden phallic symbols, an echo of the fertility rites once celebrated on the island.

Other residents said this was a ritual of thanksgiving for the successfully healing of an island dweller’s prostate cancer.

Eyas said that throughout the years there have been attempts to change the festival in accordance with Catholic teaching while maintain island traditions.

“But it’s hard to stop people who have made it their devotion to do these weird things,” Eyas said.

He said Catholic Church authorities tried to discourage the festival but San Vicente residents persisted even if the clergy refused to give their blessing.

Residents Redjel Saton and Dionesia Lanoy said they enjoyed the Binaliw Festival but didn’t forget their religious obligation.

They attended Mass in church in the afternoon and prayed to their patron saint.

4 Cebu graduates top CPA exams

(LPM/The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - University of San Carlos graduate Kenneth Jefferson Un Uy did not expect to pass the recent Certified Public Accountant Licensure Examination.

But more than passing the May 13 exam, the result released yesterday revealed he landed seventh place with a 92.00 score.

Uy, two other USC graduates and a graduate from University of San Jose-Recoletos are among the exam passers in the top 10.

USC also emerged as the top performing school with 60 out of the 71 board takers passing the exam, garnering an 83.33 passing percentage.

“For me, the exam was very difficult. I did not even feel comfortable to pass. It was generally okay, but I’m not confident with other subjects to reach 65 percent,” Uy, who just graduated last March, told The FREEMAN.

Based on Sec. 16 of Philippine Accountancy Act of 2004, in order to pass the examination, an examinee must obtain a general average of 75 percent, with no grades lower than 65 percent in any given subject.

Uy learned of the result while he was at a dental clinic before lunchtime yesterday. He was very surprised and was thankful for even being among the topnotchers.

“I attribute my success to my faith in God, hard work, and the discipline brought by my parents,” he said. Days before the exam, the 21-year-old visited churches and lighted candles.

For his plans, Uy said he would sit down with his parents who are thinking of leaving the family’s general merchandise business to him.

The two other Carolinians who made it to the top 10 were Gianna Tan Chua (fourth place) with a score of 92.57 and Shearilynn Lim Go (10th place) with a score of 91.57.

Chua shared the third spot with Monique Kris Florante Villaflor of the Technological Institute of the Philippines-Manila while Go also shared the 10th spot with Raymund Tinamisan of the Manuel S. Enverga Univ. Foundation-Lucena City.

Go, for her part, was also surprised of the result of the exams, which she considered very stressful.

“For now I will just relax a bit because of my stressful experience. Thanks God I will no longer need to find work because as early as today, there are already offers,” Go said.

Last Monday night, she fell asleep while waiting for the result, which was released at 11 p.m. She was awakened at 12:30 a.m., discovering 21 missed calls and several text messages from her relatives and friends congratulating her.

Like Uy, Go went to the church and prayed hard for the exams.

Edmond Emperio of the USJ-R also grabbed the ninth spot along with Sherald Winchel Pintacasi Ang of the University of the Immaculate Conception-Davao, both garnering a 91.71 score.

USJ-R got a 67.53 passing percentage with 52 out of 77 passed the exams.

Manuel Pillora Buensuceso of San Beda College topped the exam with the score of 94.86.

Second was Kathrine Rose Co Catindig of the University of Santo Tomas (94.43); Grace Menor Albunian of TIP-Manila (93.00), 3rd; and Richard Lei Paciencia Cañete of Eastern Visayas State University-Tacloban and Bonvin Go Nuqui of De La Salle University-Manila (92.43), 5th.

Benson Pabiona Kotah of Chiang Kai Shek College and Rowell Canda Marasigan, (92.14), placed 6th; Jessica Jean Galoso Gandeza of the University of the Philippines-Diliman (91.86), 8th; and Go and Tinamisan, 10th.

According to the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), 1,995 out of 5,315 passed the Examination given by the Board of Accountancy in the cities of Manila, Baguio, Cagayan De Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo and Legazpi this May.

Parents, teachers beautify schools under Brigada Eskwela in Cebu

By Fayette C. Riñen (FCR-PIA 7, Cebu)

CEBU CITY, May 22 (PIA) -- Volunteer parents and teachers of the biggest public high school in Mandaue City trooped to the school to devote their free services in painting classrooms and helping in the minor repairs in time for the opening of classes on June 4 as the Brigada Eskwela 2012 kicked off yesterday.

“We provided the manpower and the materials needed, we hope to finish everything in one week’s time,” said Vic Suliva, president of the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) of Mandaue City Comprehensive National High School (MCCNHS)

The school’s PTA members divided the work - parents took turns in painting the walls while fathers helped hired carpenters in the repair of windows.

“This is my simple way of helping provide quality education to our children,” said Paz Byker, a mother of an incoming first year and 3rd year students who painted the walls of the classrooms.

Also on hand to help the parents and teachers were acting Mandaue City Mayor Glenn Bercede and acting Vice Mayor Jimmy Lumapas.

Education Assistant Secretary Elena Ruiz who was in Cebu yesterday to launch the Brigada Eskwela 2012 dropped by some public schools including the MCCNHS to personally see the implementation of the program.

DepEd 7 Acting Director Carmelita Dulangon also expressed satisfaction on the participation and involvement of volunteers including parents and other stakeholders in the program.

“Brigada Eskwela” is a school maintenance program of the Department of Education (DepEd) involving teachers, parents, students, and other stakeholders that undertakes beautification works every third week of May to prepare for school year opening.

46th World Communication Day message: Palma: ‘thanks to media’

By Jessa J. Agua (Correspondent, Cebu Daily News)

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma yesterday pointed out the importance of silence and listening during the celebration of 46th World Communications Day.

Easy access to all forms of communication, he said “makes it important for people to be introspective, and reflective.”

The Cebu prelate acknowledged the role of media in communication as a “very important sector in society.”

“We recognize the blessing of mass media, of social communications. So I repeat, we take this occasion to thank all the practitioners, all those involved in social communications,” said Palma.

However, he “cautioned” that along with this blessing is a responsibility.

“Mass media and social communication should be used truly to bring about friendship, brotherhood, understanding as sisters and brothers, as children of God,“ Palma further explained.

“In the 46th World Communications Day, the Pope is underlining the importance of silence. According to the Pope, if we do not know how to be silent, we could not appreciate the impact and importance of communication,” said Palma.

“If we have the attitude of listening, then we realize that others have also something to say in that sense we develop brotherhood, we develop goodwill, we develop that idea of all of us are important,” he added.

Apart from celebrating 46th World Communications Day, yesterday was also the feast day of St. Joseph the Patriach parish in Mabolo, Cebu City, whose fiesta Mass was celebrated by Palma.

Cebu as world center of fine furniture

By Jaime Picornell (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Cebu is in the world map as an important center of finely made furniture. One of its innovative exponents is Heritage Muebles Mirabile Export at Soong I in Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City.

This is a five-hectare realm where Charles U. Lim and Sunshine Barcelo Lim have their home, a school, a factory and an extensive display area. To celebrate the firm’s 18th anniversary they held the unveiling of their latest collection.

Guests of honor to cut the ribbon were Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and lifestyle icon Rosebud Sala. They complimented the Lim couple for the furniture’s elegant lines, functionality and light material, good for indoors as well as outdoors.

It is not just tables, chairs, and all manner of seats, but also a whole gama of accessories. Among the admiring crowd were Gavin Bagares and Honey Loop who had helped organize the event; Joe Recio who won one of the chairs raffled off; and Cebu fashion czar Philip Rodriguez who had posed with the furniture for the glossy catalogue.

Also present were architect Jose Mari Cañizares, with wife Marilou and interior designer Christabelle Muertegui; Diana Franco Ledesma, who found something for her new town house; Maybelline Te, who came from North Carolina; Len Len Jarque and Ana Climaco; Malou Hayden; and Loretta Dytian, complimented for the great buffet spread by Creative Cuisine.

50 years of married life

Rolando “Sonny” Espina and his wife of 49 years, Mila Castillo Espina, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary a full year ahead. There was a solemn mass at the St. Exekiel chapel in the Basak, Pardo, campus of the University of San Jose-Recoletos.

“They prepared everything,” said Mila, who joined the university as its dean of Arts and Sciences in 1964. Guests received a leaflet wherein she recounted, with quite a dose of good humor, her and Sonny’s love story.

They met in March 1960 in Manila in, of all places, a wake for Sonny’s uncle. Elvis Presley was Mila’s idol at the time. Sonny looked, sang and played the guitar just like Elvis. By July they were “steadies.”

The love story evolved through the next three years. Mila taught at various schools in Manila. Sonny had a good job and studied in the evenings. When he graduated in March 1963 he was offered a job in a finance/marketing firm in Cebu. They needed him as soon as possible.

Their world seemed to shatter. Someone told Mila she’d lose Sonny as “Cebu has many pretty girls.” On the other hand, a well-meaning mentor advised,” Have a secret wedding.”

On April 22, 1963 they hied off to Bulacan for a civil wedding. Next day, April 23 at 5 p.m., hours before Sonny’s flight to Cebu, they were married secretly at the Lourdes Parish in Quezon City. Best friends Proceso and Linda Jacobo were witnesses.

They parted ways, and just as the song goes, absence made their hearts grow fonder. Definitely not “out of sight, out of mind.” By Christmas 1963 they were together again, in Manila, and told their families.

They settled in Cebu in June 1964 and made their home in Tisa, Labangon, Cebu City. “It has been smooth and rough sailing,” Mila says, recalling laughter and tears, according to what life inevitably brings about.

Through it all, they love the same food, songs, movies, and TV programs. They have travelled together, and bonded with their respective sets of friends and relatives. “We even share the same vitamins,” Mila says with a beaming smile.

Golden memories

Speaking of golden wedding anniversaries, Silvestre and Raddie (nèe Goopio) Calomarde recalled that morning in 1962 when they walked the aisle of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral for a very important date. They chose the same venue last April 14 for a solemn mass of thanksgiving and renewal of vows.

Fr. Dave Villaceran officiated. Sponsors were Honorary Consul of Belgium Enrique Benedicto with Aida Uy, Victor and Leny Dumon, lawyer Manuel Go and Milagros Ecarma, Alberto and Herminia Herrera, Manuel Lebumfacil and Ma. Nimfa Escario, lawyer Adelino Sitoy and Bella Caloza, Mr. and Ms Cornelio Amazona.

Sil and Raddie’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren figured prominently in the entourage. Maids of honor were daughters Jen Elizabeth C. Siarot and Joy C. Formento, while sons Jed and Jef Calomarde were best men.

The bridesmaids were granddaughters Christine Arra, Sydnie Jane, Bianca Marie, Therese Claire, Kathreen Claire, Leah Eloisa, Louise Anne, Catherine Marie and Kirsten Dawn.

Groomsmen were grandsons Francis Anthony, James Michael, Jon Dominic, Dan Christian, Melvin Belli, John Vincent and Adam Shawneil. Philip Anthony, Joshua Matthew and Kelvin Silvestre bore the bible, coins and rings, respectively.

More family members attended the couple during the rites: candle sponsors Moises Cañete and Didith Calomarde; veil sponsors Arden Siarot and Loryve Calomarde; cord sponsors Francis Anthony and Melanie Calomarde.

The reception and brunch followed at the ballroom of Holiday Plaza Hotel. This was an occasion to reminisce about sundry anecdotes and experiences. For one thing, Sil’s father, the late journalist Pedro Calomarde was a legend in his own time.

His paper, The Morning Times, was founded at the height of World War II, printed clandestinely in the mountains of Barili (southern Cebu) with news derived from a radio. The Japanese never discovered it. Later, as a daily, it counted with subscribers from abroad, including Queen Elizabeth II.

ESL school also aims to push Phl as tourism hub

By Grace Melanie I. Lacamiento (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Aside from teaching foreign students to learn the English language, the country, particularly Cebu, is hitting two birds with one stone by promoting tourism and generating employment through English as a Second Language (ESL) schools.

As it opens a brand new and expanded learning center at Skyrise 4 in Cebu IT Park, Quick and Quality English spends P160 million or around US$ 4 million as an investment for the expansion and transfer from its 700-square meter office at TGU Tower.

QQ English President and Chief Executive Officer Raiko Fujioka said that such amount is worth to accommodate 3000 international enrollees, 20-30 of which are offline students, who are eager to learn the universal language.

Boasting of its 120 classrooms for offline students and another 200 rooms for online classes, he added that 90% of the enrollees are Japanese students while the rest are from Korea, Iran and China.

With its rooms labeled in accordance to a specific tourist attraction of the country and soon to have experiential trainings in tourist destinations, he also noted that QQ English not only aims to teach English but to promote the Philippines as a tourism hub.

Fujioka further described the Philippines as the most successful country in developing English outside the native English-speaking countries.

“Filipinos are the best English speakers. That’s why other countries like Japan, North Korea, and China visit Philippines. Compared to native English speakers who are slang, Filipinos know how difficult it is to study English,” he stated.

Identifying the great opportunity to teach students from other countries, he added that the country has a greater chance to improve in such field by having licensed Filipino teachers certified in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, a global association for English language teaching professionals aimed to develop and maintain professional expertise in English language teaching and learning.

Recognizing the significance of learning English as a way to connect and communicate, Fujioka said that most of QQ English students show much eagerness in studying as they get more comfortable with their Filipino teachers.

Prioritizing quality over quantity, he noted that the school is expanding step-by-step, expecting bigger market to cater from Japan, Korea, Russia and Brazil in the near future.

Meanwhile, ALC Corporation President Terumako Hiramoto acknowledged the growth and progress of QQ English as the company has been the latter’s major partner in English education.

Known to largely contribute to the language development in Japan, he then predicted the school to become top English school all over Asia in the future with its strong progression.

Catering to all ages, QQ English is both an online and offline ESL tutorial center utilizing the communicative learning approach as its teaching methodology in which students learn communication based in daily practical situations and given scenarios in English.

Using Skype for their online lessons, the school provides various curricula that can make a flexible lesson plan to match with each student’s level and goal.

All QQ teachers, who are 100% Filipinos numbering over 150, are trained by a Cambridge RCEAL (Research Centre for English and Applied Linguistics) instructor – Lorraine Warne, whose masterful and disciplined training assures QQ’s teaching quality.

Over 100 LCEs to attend DILG reg’l summit on disaster preparedness

By Fayette C. Riñen (PIA7, Cebu)

CEBU CITY, May 18 (PIA) -- Over 100 local chief executives from the different municipalities, cities, and provinces in Central Visayas are expected to attend the "Tapatan on Disaster Preparedness and Climate Change Adaptation: A Call To Action" summit in Cebu on May 25, spearheaded by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

DILG 7 Regional Director Ananias M. Villacorta bared the activity, which serves as their agency’s response to the clamor from different sectors of society to strengthen the disaster preparedness efforts of local government units (LGUs) following the occurrence of various calamities in many parts of the country.

Villacorta added the activity is also in line with RA 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 and RA 9729, otherwise known as the Climate Change Adaptation Act of 2009.

Apart from the local chief executives of the 136 provinces, cities and municipalities in Central Visayas to include the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officers, targeted participants included representatives from the DRRM-CCA partner regional line agencies, civil society organizations, private companies engaged in disaster-related corporate social responsibility projects, leaders of communities at risks, media, and the agencies under the DILG 7.

The summit is the second of a series of summits to be conducted in the Central Visayas Region on May 25, with the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City as the venue.

The Tapatan on Disaster Preparedness is an offshoot of the success of the series of Tapatan activities last year focusing on the Full Disclosure Policy requiring LGUs to make public pertinent financial information.

DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo said the “Tapatan Roadshow” aims to increase the level of public awareness on potential and actual dangers and risks; understanding or knowledge about the dangers or risks that people face; public acceptance of the facts and realities about real threats and empower people to confront disaster when it happens; and, public involvement, thereby moving people from inaction to action, from callousness to sensitivity, from being passive to being active and from being mere witness to active participant.

“We want to develop a culture of preparedness among LGUs and the public so that the country would be able to respond more effectively and mitigate the adverse impacts of every disaster that hits the country,” Robredo further said.

Highlight of the upcoming summit would be the signing of the Pledge of Commitment by the participants for disaster preparedness to manifest their firm resolve to put in place their local disaster risk reduction and management and climate change adaptation plans.

The DILG will be holding a series of regional summits aimed to promote advocacy on the institutionalization of disaster preparedness and climate change adaptation and mitigation among LGUs nationwide.

The Philippines has been ranked as the third among countries worldwide that are most at risk to disasters in 2011, according to the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security study.

"More fun in Cebu" advocacy gets boost in CBM 2012

By Grace Melanie I. Lacamiento (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - With tourism as one of its major advocacies, Tourism Congress in this year’s Cebu Business Month will tackle the current progress and issues of the Cebu’s tourism, to be attended by major players and stakeholders of the industry.

In order to strongly promote “More Fun in Cebu”, CBM Tourism 2012 Chair Maria Teresa Chan said that participants of the congress will discuss further on the status of services such as security, safety, sanitation, creative tour packages, facilities and infrastructure offered by establishments including airports, hotels, restaurants, resorts, travel and tour agencies.

Involving various sectors of the community such as the government and the academe, she added that the Tourism Congress will also tackle new perspectives and concerns that will sustain the tourism programs of the country.

She noted that this time, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has invited more travelers and tourists, particularly from the socio-economic sector, to balance the insight of the industry and local government.

“It has always been the hope of CCCI to complement our efforts with the local and national government in taking Cebu to another notch in quality and standard,” she stated.

With the theme “Tourism: Sustaining Growth and Global Presence”, the congress, to be held on June 28, aims to create and support tourism programs, sustain promotion and growth of tourism and expand Cebu’s global presence in the market.

CCCI President Prudencio Gesta, on the other hand, said that the continuous efforts of all partners from the government and the private sector will strengthen the value of tourism in Cebu.

With the conceptualization of the “Suroy-Suroy Sugbo” as the institution of tourism activity in Cebu and “Turismo sa Sugbo”, he added that such partnership advocates a brand of tourism and culture in Cebu.

With further collaboration in long-term activities, he said that working together with the government and the academe in the promotion of the best things in Cebu shall contribute to the province’s growth and progress.

“Nobody will have better Cebu than Cebuano themselves and Cebuanos by choice,” Gesta stated.

Meanwhile, one of the projects in CBM includes a month-long poster contest from May 15 – June 15 in line with the national tourism slogan “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”.

CCCI Tourism Chair Moderator Milagros Espina said that the competition focuses on distinctive tourism landmarks, products and events of Cebu that are yet to be explored.

Serving as a creative awareness and networking, she added entries of the photo contest must be in accordance with the theme “More Fun in Cebu”.

With a total rating coming from the delegates and the panel of judges for the best three entries, she then encouraged the public to expose their artistry and promote Cebu tourism at the same time.

More fun in Cebu web portal up

By Aileen Garcia-Yap (Cebu Daily News)

A home-grown business process outsourcing company has launched a web portal aimed at being a “fun” master directory of many of Cebu’s tourism products to the world.

The web portal www.morefunincebu.com in Cebu also aims to complement the efforts of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry to further strengthen Cebu’s tourism industry, said Lilu Aliño, business development manager of Konsum Technologies during yesterday’s forum at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel.

The web portal is now running on beta mode and is ready to partner with the different establishments in Cebu, including restaurants, hotels, resorts, food manufacturers, schools, spas and wellness establishments and more, said Aliño.

“It is envisioned to become Cebu’s attractive address in the web and soon to become a robust and compelling presence in the Internet. It aimed to further boost Cebu’s tourism industry by becoming a major source of content and information about Cebu,” said Aliño.

Aliño encouraged all establishments to contact them so that they can give them a page linked to the web portal which each establishment can maintain themselves by posting their pictures and update events for free.

The portal features next month’s Cebu Business Month in its More Fun Events calendar—a click on the featured event will link the portal’s visitor to the Cebu business month site— www.cebubizmonth.org.

“This year’s Cebu Business Month (CBM) includes a Tourism Congress event on June 28- at the Cebu International Convention Center. One of the projects under the event will carry the same ‘More Fun in Cebu’ line through a poster contest that will run from May 15 to June 15,” said Tess Chan, CBM Tourism Congress chairperson.

Chan said CCCI planned to bring stakeholders together to discuss issues relating to Cebu’s tourism including its strengths and weaknesses.

“Stakeholders will look further into the status of our basic services, like infrastructure, power, hotel, restaurant, and airport facilities, safety and security and human resources, sanitation, beautification and creative tour packages and more knowledgeable tour guides and staff so we can promote ‘More Fun in Cebu!’” said Chan.

house Bills

Meanwhile, Rep. Pablo John Garcia (Cebu 3rd district) told reporters about two pending House bills he sponsored, which would impact on Cebu’s tourism.

“These two bills primarily tackle the improvement of the charter of our port authorities like the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) and Cebu Ports Authority (CPA). It will make them more feasible in making decisions for the improvement of our airport and seaport,” said Garcia.

On the China conflict, tourism stakeholders present during the forum said that the conflict would have an impact on the tourism industry with China contributing from 17 percent to 20 percent of our total foreign visitors every year.

The industry would now need more marketing people to further promote tourism in the country to other markets, said Bobby Joseph, National Association of Independent Travel Agencies (Naitas) in the Philippines chairman emeritus.

Joseph called for sobriety and for the government to discuss the issue with China.

“China is our neighbor, let’s solve this among ourselves,” said Joseph.

Prudencio Gesta, CCCI president, agreed with Joseph but said that it would be best to just let the national government deal with the issue.

Senator: Oslob town model in nature, culture preservation

(Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

MANILA – Towns and cities in the country should build their own museums, Senator Loren Legarda said, as she credited the municipality of Oslob in Cebu for preserving tangible cultural properties and showcasing the same to the world.

Legarda, who recently attended the culmination program of the Oslob Heritage Week held at the town's Cuartel Park, also praised the unveiling of heritage markers for Calle Aragones, the Immaculate Concepcion Parish Church, and the Church Walls and Gates.

"The people of this town have given due importance to their history as they immortalized it through the museum and heritage markers that were unveiled. They have also given proper recognition to individuals who have shaped their history, like Fr. Joaquin Bermejo, known for being a faithful servant of God and a remarkable military commander," she said.

Aside from historical sites, Oslob rose into national prominence for its whale sharks, which are found in very few coastal sites in the country such as Donsol in Sorsogon.

An awareness caravan will soon be conducted by the Department of Tourism so that local officials and fishermen learn about best practices in handling whale shark interaction and community organization.

Cebu’s elected officials stay in millionaire’s list: Gwen is richest; Mayor Rama doubles assets

by Ador Vincent Mayol (Reporter, Cebu Daily News)

The economic slowdown didn’t stop Cebu’s top elected officials from improving their financial assets.

They increased or maintained their wealth during their last eight years in public service based on a review of their Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) filed with the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia maintained her top spot in the list of millionaires in power with a net worth of P104.1 million as of December 31, 2011.

Her wealth increased by P11.7 million since she was elected the first woman governor of Cebu in 2004.

She is followed Cebu City Councilor Rodrigo Abellanosa whose net worth amounted to P75.6 million.

Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, a scion of the Durano clan, came in third with a net worth of P54.9 million.

Net worth or actual wealth is computed based on the value of one’s total assets minus total liabilities.

Cebu City Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young, who was elected in 2010, maintained his net worth of P9.3 million in the past two years.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama wasn’t a millionaire when he was elected vice mayor eight years ago.

Rama’s increased his wealth from P941,000 in 2004 to close to P4 million last year over a period of seven years.

Rama almost doubled his net worth last year from P1.8 million in 2010 to P3,955,217.92 in 2011.

In an interview, the mayor said there was nothing irregular in this. He explained that the sharp increase was due to the value of his recent inheritance of land as his share in the two-hectare Rama compound in Basak, San Nicolas in Cebu City.

The compound used to be in the name of his grandfather Vicente Rama Sr. and and was recently subdivided among clan members, he told Cebu Daily News.

Rama said his property value will increase even more in the next few months when his share of inherited land in Danao City is transferred in his name.

The mayor does not own a car based on his SALN but he has a Honda motorcycle worth P500,000.

His listed assets include a residential lot in barangay Basak San Nicolas, Cebu City worth P2.3 million; cash on bank of P1.2 million; jewelry (P85,000); investment (P300,000); furniture (P250,000); stocks (P641,300).

His liability solely comes from personal loans worth P1.1 million.

Rama, who is a lawyer by profession, has been “on leave” in the Rama and Associates Law Office since July 1, 2010, according to his SALN.

The mayor has an annual income of P584,774.

He named four relatives in government service: his nephew, Cebu City Councilor Eduardo Rama Jr.; and his cousins barangay captain George Rama of Basak San Nicolas, barangay captain Domingo Lopez of Tinago, and barangay councilor Ramon Rama of Sambag I.

Public officials and employees are required to submit their SALN every year under Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

They have to declare under oath their assets and liabilities, net worth and financial and business interests including those of their spouses and of unmarried children under 18 years of age living in their households.

The SALN is part of the governent policy to uphold transparency and accountability of public officials.

It also allows the anti-graft office to monitor the financial holdings of public officials in case of circumstances of ill-gotten wealth.

Deputy Ombudsman Virginia Palanca-Santiago said government officials and employees who fail to submit their annual SALN or stated false items in the document are liable for violation of the law.

GOVERNOR’S WEALTH

Based on her 2011 SALN, Governor Garcia declared a net worth of P104.1 million, an increase of P2 million from P102.1 million in 2010.

Her liabilities amounted to P59.7 million, listed as bank loans (P33,223,466), accounts payable (P20,184,770), and loans from the Government Service and Insurance System (GSIS) and Pag-Ibig (P6,335,913).

Garcia’s assets reached P163.9 million, which include P371,124 in bank accounts and cash on hand; P5.9 million in furniture and antiques; and P8.6 million in pieces of jewelry.

Before she was elected governor in 2004, Garcia purchased two residential lots, one in Cebu City and another in Ormoc City; and a Chevrolet vehicle amounting to P88.9 million.

Garcia listed herself as a shareholder of the GGC (Gwen Garcia Codilla) Group Inc. and the GGC Services, Inc. in Ormoc City, Leyte; and is the proprietor of GGC Enterprises in Ormoc City, Leyte.

She has a 50 percent share in total assets of GGC Enterprises valued at P16.6 million and a 67 percent share in total assets of the GGC Group at P43.6 million.

Garcia said she has 15 relatives in government service including her father Deputy House Speaker Pablo Garcia of Cebu’s second district; brothers Rep. Pablo John Garcia of Cebu’s 3rd district, Dumanjug Mayor Nelson Garcia, and Barili Vice Mayor Marlon Garcia.

The governor’s annual gross income was recorded at P970,685.

MAGPALE

Vice Governor Magpale increased her wealth slightly from P53.7 million in 2010 to P54.9 million in 2011.

When she was a Provincial Board member, Magpale usually topped the list as the wealthiest legislator in the Capitol.

Magpale said she had no liabilities.

Her real properties include a beach resort in Danao City, a beach lot in Tuburan town, Cebu, two condominium units in Las Piñas and Ayala, as well as agricultural, residential, and commercial lots amounting to P23.9 million.

Magpale’s personal properties include cash in hand at P18 million; furnitures, antiques, paintiings, jewelries, books and appliances (P2 million); school investment (P6 million); a share in the Cebu Country Club (P3 million); RAV 4 vehicle (P1.1 million); and Montero (P1 million).

She is connected with the JD Alendras Agro-Industrial Development Corp in Danao City and she is the president of Northeastern Cebu Colleges in Danao City.

Magpale has four relatives in government service which include her cousin Danao City Vice Mayor Ramonito Durano III, her brother, Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, her daughter, Energy Undersecretary Josefina Patricia Asirit, and her son, Danao City Councilor Miguel Antonio Magpale.

She has an annual income of P945,408.92

YOUNG

The SALN of Cebu City Vice Mayor Young shows he has real properties worth P6.5 million.

Young, who was elected vice mayor in 2010, registered four vehicles valued at P3 million: a Toyota Hilux, Isuzu Elf, Toyota Land Cruiser, and a Starex Van.

CEBU CITY COUNCILORS

In the Cebu City Council, the richest is school owner Rodrigo Abellanosa with a net worth of P75.6 million.

Abellanosa is president of the Asian College of Technology and the chief executive officer/owner of CyberTower Development Corp., Quickshoppe Supermart Inc., and the American International Culinary and Hospitality Institute.

He was followed by Councilors Raul Alcoseba with a net worth of P37.8 million; Edgardo Labella (P12.8 million); Sisinio Andales (P8.26 million); Nida Cabrera (P5.9 million); Lea Japson (P5.3 million); Margot Osmeña (P5.1 million); Alvin Arcilla (3.9 million); Noel Wenceslao (P2.1 million); Augustus Pe (P1.7 million); Jose Daluz III (P1.7 million); Ronald Cuenco (P1.3 million); and Alvin Dizon (P635,000).

BOARD MEMBERS

In Cebu province, the 2011 SALN of 10 board members were released by the anti-graft office.

Board Member Sun Shimura is the richest board member with a net worth of P23.4 million; followed by Board Member Thadeo Ouano with P13.6 million.

The other board members whose SALNs were released are as follows: Peter John Calderon (P12.9 million); Alex Binghay (P7.6 million); Julian Daan (P7.6 million); Caesar Ian Zambo (P1.9 million); Jude Thaddeus Sybico (P1.9 million); Sergio Restauro (P1.8 million); and Joven Mondigo Jr. (P929,000).

Sangguniang Kabataan Cebu Federation president Aladin Caminero has registered a net worth of P144,000.

All SALN filed with the Ombudsman are available to the public for examination and inspection. Those who wanted to request for copies of the SALN can fill in a request form before the anti-graft office.

4.16M people live in Cebu

(EOB/Sun.Star Cebu)

CEBU CITY –- Central Visayas registered 6.8 million persons in the latest census.

Cebu continues to have the biggest population among the four provinces, at 4.16 million based on the 2010 census results released by the National Statistics Office (NSO)-Central Visayas.

The regional population, as of May 1, 2010, increased by 1,093,227 from the previous census results in 2000.

But “the annual population growth rate (PGR) in the region for 2000 to 2010 was recorded at 1.77 percent, while in the period 1990 to 2000, the annual growth rate was higher at 2.19 percent,” said Engr. Ariel Florendo, NSO-Central Visayas officer-in-charge, in a press statement.

President Benigno Aquino III signed Proclamation 362 last March 30, 2012, declaring as official the results of the 2010 Census of Population and Housing.

That survey showed Negros Oriental with the second largest population in the region at 1,286,666; Bohol Province, 1,255,128; and Siquijor, 91,066. Only three cities in Cebu host about 37 percent of the island’s total population. These are Cebu City, with 866,171; Mandaue City, 331,320; and Lapu-Lapu, 350,467.

Together with these three highly urbanized cities’ population, Cebu would have the most number of people among the country’s provinces.

The NSO conducts the census every 10 years.

NSO-Central Visayas Information Officer Noel Rafols said the 2010 census was the 13th in a series that began in 2013.

Among the component cities, the City of Naga recorded a population growth rate 2.7 percent from May 1990 (60,425) to May 2000 (80,189), and 2.39 percent May 2000 (80,189) to May 2010 (101,571).

Bogo City registered a population growth of 2.26 percent from May 1990 (51,083) to 2000 (63,869), and 0.91 percent from May 2000 (63,869) to May 2010 (69,911).

Carcar had a population growth of 2.33 percent from May 1990 (70,841) to May 2000 (89,199). Its population then grew by 1.87 percent from May 2000 (89,199) to May 2010 (107,323).

Talisay City reported the fastest population growth at 4.22 percent from May 1990 (97,955) to May 2000 (148,110), then at 3.09 percent from May 2000 (148,110) to May 2010 (200,772).

Honor students in Talisay receive cash incentives

By Liv G. Campo (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - At least 126 honor students from Talisay City’s public elementary and high schools received their cash incentives yesterday afternoon at the People’s Hall.

The distribution was led by Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas, Talisay City Sports Commissioner, Vice Mayor Alan Bucao, and Councilors Choy Aznar, Edward Alesna, Semy Cabuenas, and Rodi Cabigas.

The recipients were the top three of the graduating batches from the elementary and high schools.

Councilor Dennis Basillote, chairman on council committee on Education, said he hopes to double the incentives next year.

In last week’s session, Basillote filed his proposal that seeks a cash incentive of P3,000 for the valedictorian, P2,000 for the salutatorian, and P1,000 for the first honorable mention.

The proposal was referred to the committee on laws.

Tourism Congress to promote Phl as a "must experience" destination

By Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Aside from promising the Department of Tourism (DOT) to help achieve its target to achieve the 10 million tourist arrivals in the next four years, the Tourism Congress has also announced its move to help the Philippine tourism to be a “must experience” destination in Asia.

Tourism Congress is one of the strongest private sector voices for tourism industry in the Philippines.

The organization’s president Marceline Clemente said that the Philippine tourism has a strong potential to out-do the established tourism destinations in Asia like Thailand, if the government and private sector will join their hands in making the country as the top travel destination for foreign tourists all over the world.

Expressing belief on the magic effect of the newly introduced Philippine branding for tourism—“It’s More Fun in The Philippines,” Clemente said the “Tourism Congress” will jointly work with the DOT on implementing programs that would fast track the growth and maximize the country’s potential in raking double revenue generation in the tourism industry.

Part of the plan is to help the government develop tourism programs that would emphasize the development on environmentally and socially responsible tourism sector, at the same time deliver employment opportunities.

Together, Clemente said the Philippines would be able to lead in terms of growth in the tourism industry in Asia, in making sure that every tourist visiting the country, should say that the Philippines is a “must experience destination.”

Based on estimate, the Philippines is up to rake a total tourism expenditure receipts of US$9.2 billion by 2016 if 10 million tourists will be visiting the country. This is calculated based on the average expenditure per tourist of US$100 per day.

The domestic travelers on the other hand, could contribute at least an estimate of P1.8 trillion tourism receipts, if 35 million Filipinos will be traveling in the different tourism destination around the country, in a average stay of four nights.

A Filipino traveler, taking a vacation for four days, can spend about P11,166 per trip. If the new DOT arrival target by 2016, to hit the 10 million foreign visitors, and 35 million domestic arrivals, the Philippines is seen to make tourism as its strong economic back-bone, said DOT undersecretary for tourism planning and promotions Daniel G. Corpuz.

Corpuz expressed confidence that the Philippines will be able to achieve the arrival targets in the next four years, not only because of the active participation of the private sector, but also for the new branding campaign of the Philippines, which also attracted participation from ordinary Filipino citizens, including those that are based in other countries.

NGCP continues to upgrade Cebu's power transmission network

(mbcn/hfg/PIA-RO7 & NGCP)

CEBU CITY, May 10 (PIA) ---The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) continues to develop and strengthen the power transmission network with its expansion projects in Cebu.

According to a press release from NGCP that in the last quarter of 2010, it has launched the Compostela Substation Expansion Project, that aimed to increase the substation capacity by installing an additional 150MVA transformer and its related accessories.

Another similar project in the island is the expansion of the Talavera substation in Toledo City, which involves the installation of an additional 50MVA transformer. Both transformers are estimated to be energized before the end of this year, the release said.

Late last year, the Colon-Cebu (formerly New Naga-Banilad) 138-kV Transmission Project was launched.

It involved the construction of approximately 26 kilometers of 138kV double circuit transmission line from Naga to Banilad, and the associated expansion works at Colon and Cebu substations .

This project is expected to be completed in 2013. Several electric cooperatives and directly connected industries with a combined load of approximately 400 MW will benefit from the project, according to NCGP and most of them play a crucial role in the economic development of Cebu.

NGCP information officer Elmer Cruz said these major customers include the Visayan Electric Company (VECO), Mactan Electric Company (MECO), Mactan Enerzone Corp. (Aboitiz Land, Inc.), General Milling Corporation-Cebu, and Water Front Hotel and Casino.

Two major projects are in their pre-construction stage. These are: Calung-calung-Toledo-Colon 138kV Transmission line project; and Cebu-Mandaue-Lapu-Lapu 138kV Transmission Line, Cruz added.

These projects are expected to accommodate the load growth, enhance system reliability, and maintain power quality delivered to electricity users.

NGCP is a privately owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid and electricity superhighways.

DSWD 7 links with private sector to generate jobs for beneficiaries

By Fayette C. Riñen (PIA 7, Cebu)

CEBU CITY, May 9 (PIA) -- Coordinators of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) are exerting more efforts in linking with other government agencies and the private sector in order to provide jobs and other income opportunities for 4Ps beneficiaries.

Marhadzda Tudtud, DSWD coordinator, said they have successfully linked with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for employment and income opportunities for the poor recipients of the Pantawid Program.

“Last year, the DSWD and the DPWH have inked a Memorandum of Agreement for the latter to provide 20 percent of their total workforce in road maintenance and repair projects to be given to the Pantawid beneficiaries in a program titled, ‘Trabahong Lansangan,’” bared Tudtud.

Tudtud said 112 program beneficiaries in Central Visayas were hired by the DPWH in roadside projects and “we expect around 129 employment slots to be given by the DPWH in this year.”

Tudtud, however, said the hiring prioritizes Pantawid beneficiaries living within the areas where there are roadside projects.

Pantawid beneficiaries hired by the DPWH get to earn P250 per day good only for three months but can be rehired for another three months, disclosed Tudtud.

Likewise, “we have just recently partnered with the DOST to provide hydroponics training especially to Pantawid beneficiaries living in urban areas,” added Tudtud.

Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water without soil.

“In the absence of land to plant vegetables, hydroponics encourages the use of foams where plants can grow even with no soil,” said Tudtud.

The DSWD 7 Pantawid Program coordinator said seedlings like pechay, tomatoes, and ampalaya are given to Pantawid recipients undergoing the hydroponics training so they can start planting these vegetables. These vegetables can later be sold for added income.

“As a start, the DOST has provided training to 25 Pantawid beneficiaries in Cebu City. They, in turn, can teach other recipients on hydroponics as a means to earn sustainable income,” declared Tudtud.

Brigieda Goron, DSWD provincial link officer for Cebu province of the Pantawid Program on the other hand, said they are still trying to scout for private companies which could provide assistance to Pantawid recipients.

“We are continuously looking for private firms that could either hire Pantawid recipients do menial jobs in their companies or try to see what these companies need which the Pantawid recipients could provide such as supplying rugs,” Goron said.

CSC 7 to hold 2-day capability enhancement program

By Fayette C. Riñen (FCR/Ma. Mitchi Ablay, CNU communication intern/PIA-7 Cebu)

CEBU CITY, May 8 (PIA) -- The Civil Service Commission (CSC) 7 is set to hold a two-day training on "Capability Enhancement Program on Personnel Selection" (CEPPSPP) on May 15 and 16 at their multi-purpose building in Sudlon, Lahug, Cebu City.

Target participants are top officials such as executives, department managers, division chiefs, administrative officers and SB members while regular employees especially those performing personnel management functions can also benefit from the training.

The CSC 7 is organizing the training program to equip the participants with better understanding of the basic personnel selection policies and to be aware of their roles, functions and responsibilities either as members of the personnel selection board (PSB) or as employees in charge of personnel management.

The 16-hour training will tackle about knowledge in the positions in the civil service, publication of vacant positions, qualification standards, policies on merit promotion plan system of ranking, personnel selection board and also the proceedings of PSB.

Cebu deemed ideal venue for world-class trade shows

By Grace Melanie I. Lacamiento (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - As an emerging market for trade and industry, the Queen City of the South once again houses the grandest expositions in the Philippines with the finest exhibitors and suppliers showcasing the best of building and construction, motoring, and food and beverage. WorldBex Services International Marketing Director Jon Richmond Ang said that Cebu, with its budding potential for economic growth, is an ideal avenue to experience world-class trade shows.

“Our goal here is to promote trade. Cebu offers a lot of opportunities, plus it has a huge potential for businesses. That’s why we keep on coming back,” he said during an exclusive interview with The Freeman.

With its theme “Construct, Calibrate, Crave”, he added that the three shows in one event aims to give the Visayas and Mindanao market more opportunities for business matching, new products to explore, and fellow suppliers to meet.

With more exhibitors, better seminars, competitions and designs for the event, Ang further said that this year’s event is more festive as they bring the best of Manila in the Queen City of the South with a Cebuano twist.

Describing Cebuanos as fond of building and construction, he said that Philippine Building and Construction Exposition goes beyond on its ninth year as it focuses on the green advocacies and innovations for the construction industry.

With more than 15 international car brands showcasing their latest 2012 line-ups, Ang revealed that brand new cars would be sold at cheaper prices as an additional excitement of the 6th Cebu Auto Show.

Famous with its lechon baboy (roasted pig), Ang noted that the 4th Cebu Foods and Beverage Exposition is set to draw Cebuanos and foodies in its impressive lineup of cooking demos, free seminars, and competitions.

Presenting Cebu’s Trio - PHILBEX, Cebu Auto Show, and CEFBEX at the Cebu International Convention Center, Ang invited everyone to attend as they welcome the public from May 24-27, from 10 AM to 7 PM, free of charge.

Founded in 1996, WorldBex Services International established the trend in the Philippines’ exposition industry, bringing to fore the latest innovations in the world of expositions.

TESDA intensifies programs, reaches rural areas

By Amorganda A. Saludar (MBCN/AAS-PIA 7, Cebu)

CEBU CITY, May 6 (PIA) -- The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is intensifying its goal to provide Filipinos with sufficient skills needed to become competitive skilled workers; it is now reaching out to rural areas in doing so.

In Metro Cebu and neighboring Negros Oriental, TESDA widened its services by launching the "TESDA Park and Train Mobile Vans" intended to cater to the skills training needs of the people at the grassroots and in rural areas who cannot reach TESDA training centers in urban areas.

TESDA director general Joel Villanueva and key officials from Cebu City and province launched eight TESDA Park and Train Mobile Vans at the University of Cebu – Mambaling Cebu Campus in time for its celebration of TESDA’s Trainees Day.

In his message, DG Joel Villanueva said that reaching the grassroots to uplift their status in life, specifically in the aspect of economy, is one of the visions of TESDA.

“One of the greatest visions of TESDA is to provide skills certificate to every Filipino including those belonging to the grassroots. We will reach out to those in the rural areas and provide them skills needed to develop their status in life,” Villanueva said.

The Park and Train Mobile Van aims to provide accessibility to trainees in the area where there is no TESDA training accessibility. The PTMV will be there to bring TESDA and the training skills needed in that certain area and place.

TESDA accredited and tie-up educational and technical institutions will provide skills training under the Park and Train Mobile Vans. These institutions include University of Cebu, Cebu Science of Welding Skills and Technology Incorporated (CSWTI), Center for Healthcare Professions (CHP), MGB Skills Development and Assessment Center, St. James Academy of Skills Technology, Incorporated and Benedicto College, Incorporated.

Training skills offered include commercial cooking, housekeeping services, bartending, food and beverage services, front office services, food processing, bread and pastry production, 2D animation, computer programming and welding arts.

CCCI launches Cebu Business Month 2012

By Fayette C. Riñen (PIA-Cebu)

CEBU CITY, May 5 (PIA) –- To help sustain Cebu’s vibrant economy, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) recently launched the Cebu Business Month (CBM) 2012 under the theme ‘Soar Higher Cebu.”

The CBM held every June is a month-long celebration that aims to provide a venue to help small and medium enterprises boost their businesses as well as focus on Cebu’s strong points to further propel economic growth in partnership with government agencies and local government units.

“Over 100 years of existence, the CCCI has helped government leaders towards fueling Cebu’s economic growth and we continue to do our share as lead advocate in the business development of Cebu and will continue to do so in many years to come,” bared Prudencio Gesta, president of CCCI.

Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale who delivered a message told the Cebu businessmen that the “province will continue to be your partner in sustaining the economic momentum we have gain” as we continue to invite the holding of international forums to increase tourist arrivals here and ensure that the province is a friendly investment haven conducive to do business.

Cebu City Michael Rama, on the other hand, stated that “only in working together we can make things happen” as he reiterated his administration’s support to the local business community

Meanwhile, CBM 2012 overall chairman Mario Panganiban said there are four major thrusts of the celebration namely ICT and BPO, entrepreneurship, emerging and growing industries and tourism.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Cebu chairs the area on entrepreneurship as provincial director Nelia Navarro said it is the agency’s mandate to assist micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) grow and be competitive.

“The micro, small and medium enterprises are the building block of the industry,” as over 90 percent of businesses in the country are SMEs, said Navarro.

Navarro said the DTI is working closely with the CCCI and is at the forefront in the conduct of the SMEs Conference slated on June 8 where a number of businessmen not only from Cebu but also from other provinces are expected to attend.

“The conference will feature on strategies in enhancing competitiveness and improve access to market and finances. There will also be sharing of best practices,” Navarro revealed.

Navarro further said the conference will provide the venue to hear the needs of the SMEs sector and provide the necessary support from the government to promote an enabling environment suitable for business.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) 7 is also involved in the celebration as the CBM 2012 will promote locally-made technology that have a strong potential in the global market.

Likewise, since tourism is an economic driver of Cebu and the rest of Central Visayas, the CCCI is also partnering with the Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 on how to promote the best of Cebu.

Lapu-Lapu to improve Olango bird sanctuary

By Jose P. Sollano (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Expect more tourists to flock to Olango Island in Lapu-Lapu City.

Mayor Paz Radaza, during a visit there the other day, promised to pour resources into the island for the welfare of residents and for the improvement of the bird sanctuary in barangay Sabang as well.

Radaza and other city officials visited Olango Island to know the status of the projects her administration is implementing and projects funded by the Priority Assistance Development Fund of her husband Congressman Arturo Radaza.

The bird sanctuary is being maintained by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office.

Olango and its six small satellite islands are also proud of the Talima Marine Sanctuary in Olango island.

Over 7000 slots for DSWD-7 summer jobs open

By Hazel F. Gloria (mbcn/hfg/PIA-7 & DSWD-7)

CEBU CITY, May 3 (PIA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development Region 7 (DSWD-7), Field Office opens over 7,551 slots for summer jobs in Central Visayas this year.

In a DSWD press release, interns that are working this summer will receive a minimum regional wage rate at P275 per day for 52 days.

The department is calling on interested students, college graduates and graduates of vocational courses who are unemployed, to apply for available summer jobs this year.

As school opening is forthcoming, the DSWD in Central Visayas now accepts job applications for its Expanded Government Internship Program (GIP).

GIP is part of the Aquino Administration’s efforts to strengthen youth participation in nation building, expose them to government service, train them on life skills, and contribute to their economic well-being.

Interested applicants from the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor, aged 18 to 30 years old, can submit their application letter and resume to the DSWD, Field Office-7 in Cebu City.

Qualified applicants will be assigned in the DSWD Field Office, centers and institutions, and communities covered by this welfare agency all over the region.

They will be asked to perform not just office works but also assist in the implementation of the numerous programs and projects of the agency.

Some of them will be assigned to do direct service through field work in communities where the DSWD projects, as well as programs are being implemented in partnership with the local government units.

DSWD 7 prepares financial independence of 4Ps grads

(PIA-Cebu)

CEBU CITY, May 2 (PIA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 is strengthening its Sustainable Livelihood Development Program (SLDP) for graduating household-recipients of the Pantawid Pamilayang Pilipino Program (4Ps). The program aims to make 4Ps beneficiaries financially independent.

The 4Ps conditional cash grant ends after five years.

Over 20,000 program beneficiaries in Central Visayas are set to graduate next year after availing of the financial assistance since 2009.

“Majority of the 22,003 graduating household-beneficiaries in Central Visayas come from Negros Oriental with 19, 503 recipients and the rest of the 2,500 are from Cebu City,” disclosed Brigieda Goron, DSWD 7 provincial link officer for Cebu Province of the Pantawid Program.

Pantawid recipients receive at the most P1,400 monthly financial aid where P500 goes for health needs and the P900 is for the educational needs of children below 14 years old at a maximum of three at P300 a month each.

Goron said the program started in 2009 where initially only over 20,000 households benefited from the conditional cash transfer.

“Today, the total number of household-beneficiaries of Pantawid in Central Visayas has risen to 206,367,” said Goron.

Goron said one priority goal of the program is to assist beneficiaries especially those graduating ones to have sustainable means of livelihood for them to continue prioritizing the education and health needs of their family. This even after being no longer eligible for the government’s monthly financial assistance, she added.

Under the SLDP are three major components namely the Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K), Guaranteed Employment and the Production Unit.

Jimmy Crusio, DSWD 7 project development officer of the Pantawid Program for Cebu City said that around 250 recipients have availed of the SEA-K where financial assistance ranging from P1,000 to P10,000 are given without any interest.

“We have already provided a total of P1.3M in financial assistance for various livelihood projects of 250 beneficiaries in Cebu City alone,” bared Crusio.

But before availing of the self-employment assistance, Crusio said the beneficiaries must form into an association and in turn submit a simple brief on their livelihood project they intend to undertake.

“Pantawid beneficiaries availing of the SEA-K are given a three-day training to learn how they could sustain their livelihood and be able to pay back the loan without any interest,” Crusio said.

According to Crusio, not all Pantawid recipients can avail of the loan because we have to assess them on their capability to undertake a business and how to sustain it.

Livelihood projects ranged from sari-sari stores and vegetable planting for upland areas among others, said Crusio.

Dionesia Burdas, who availed of P10,000 from the SEA-K expressed gratitude to the government for such a program. “Nagpasalamt jud ko og dako sa gobyerno nga gitagaan ko og higayon para maka negosyo. Dako na kayo ni para makatabang sa panginahanglan sa akong pamilya.” (I am very thankful to the government for giving me the chance to start my own business. This is already a very big help for the needs of my family)

Burdas, president of the Sudlon 4Ps SEA-K Association, said she availed of the loan last year and will end her last payment on May 24, this year.

Burdas went into vegetable planting and making “budbud” and selling these delicacy three times a week which earns P800 at one time or a total of P2,400/week and P9,600 a month.

The earnings for her vegetables however, are not fixed as costs depend on the prices of the particular vegetable for that particular time, she claimed.

“Per naa jud koy kita sab sa aking mga gipang tanom taga bulan (But I do have earnings from my own vegetable plants every month),” revealed Burdas.

Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu to mark Labor Day with "run"

By Flor Z. Perolina (Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The Mandaue City government, in coordination with Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City, various companies will celebrate Labor Day today with a "Solidarity run."

Vice Mayor Glenn Bercede, alternate chair of the Tripartite Industrial and Peace Council (TIPC-Mandaue) said city hall and TIPC Officials led by Mayor Jonas Cortes will receive the TIPC banner at UCLM area, at the foot of the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge from the runners TIPC-of Lapu-Lapu.

From here, Bercede Said, will Run Towards historical group corner AC Cortes WHERE a group of workers from Sunpride Foods, Inc.., Giardini del Sole, Cenapro Chemicals, and Mastercraft will receive the banner and run to turn in Days Hotel.

There, a group of workers from PTMC, Visayan Enamel, Shemberg, and Greencoil-Philcoil will receive the banner and run to the Coca-Cola plant Where workers from Coca-Cola, San Miguel Brewery, Inc.., And SMYPC will proceed to Land Bank area in barangay Tipolo.

Again workers from Mandaue Foam and Treasure Island, Bringing the banner, Will Their Way to make Subangdaku Elementary School to turn over to the banner of workers and GSMI AD Gothong.

Will this group make the final run up to Innodata where their counterpart from Cebu City will Receive the banner in turn and proceed with their caravan to the USC-South Campus Cultural Center for the final activity.

"This is one way of showing our solidarity. For us, labor, management, and the government are partners of Sector development and Canon always solve problem any Labor-through open dialogue, "Bercede said.

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