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City prepares for festive Araw ng Dabaw and Kadayawan Festival in 2015

(PIA 11-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)

DAVAO CITY, Jan 27 (PIA) Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre, chair of the tourism committee of the Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Davao bared the plan to expand more the Araw ng Dabaw celebration given the large number of visitors who witness the event.

He said even the space of the current stage at the Rizal Park will be enlarged four times its current size to accommodate more people.

Alejandre said part of the future modifications will be the transfer of the venue of the Mutya ng Dabaw search from the Davao City Sports and Recreation Center or Almendras Gym to the SMX Convention Center in Lanang.

He said more participants are also encourage to join in the Mutya ng Dabaw competition to highlight more the young and beautiful residents of the city.

Alejandre bared the mechanics of the Mutya ng Dabaw search like an age-limit from 18 to 26 years-old, one-year residency, and 15 finalists to compete in all events up to the selection of five finalists.

“We expect more politicians coming to the city given the election fever,” he said.

Alejandre urged for support especially that the executive committee of the Araw ng Dabaw and Kadayawan to promote these activities nationwide.

He also revealed that the executive committee in the process of choosing the private sector partner in the forthcoming festivities.

Fun sale to further boost Davao tourism

By Reuel John F. Lumawag

THE Department of Tourism (DOT) in Davao Region has expressed optimism it can double the number of tourists coming to the region during the summer months with the staging of the Visit Davao Fun Sale (VDFS) from April 3 to May 17.

Newly appointed DOT-Davao Director Roberto Alabado III, who guested in Monday's edition of Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao, said that based on hotel occupancy report, tourist arrivals from March to April in 2014, when a similar event was staged, increased to 195,713 as compared to the 190,334 during the same period in 2013.

"They came over here because there was a reason for them to come and we look at the Fun Sale as a major factor," he said.

Alabado said more than 5,000 tourists arrived in the city during the staging of the fun sale in 2014, and they are expecting this to double this year.

The six-week VDFS is a collaborative effort between the City Government of Davao Tourism Office, Office of Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre, Department of Tourism, and the tourism sector stakeholders, which are the travel and tour agencies, hotels and resorts, restaurants and entertainment groups, malls and shopping centers, Mice (meeting, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions) Organizers Ventures (Move) Davao, and the Davao Wellness Association (DavWell).

Dondi Alentajan, vice president of the Retailers Association of Davao City who represented VDFS executive committee chair Tjader Rejis, said the VDFS will promote Davao City as a major tourism destination.

He said as compared to 2013, this year's VDFS is much bigger with the participation of more restaurants, spas, tour and travel agents, and hotels and resorts.

The tourism stakeholders will be offering discounts on various products and services. DOT will soon launch the VDFS Passport and a VDFS smart phone application, which will be presented to avail of the discounts.

The VDFS Tours Consortium was also organized to offer Fun Tours and Packages, including packaged adventure and city tours and discount packages on accommodation facilities. Interested tourists may book through

Lisette Marques, City Tourism Operations Officer (CTOO) officer-in-charge, said the VDFS is not only open for tourists but also for locals. She said the VDFS will allow locals to experience Davao more.

Alabado said participation of tourism establishments in the VDFS is not only concentrated in Davao City but also from Tagum City and Igacos.

The VDFS is also the official entry of Davao Region to the Visit Philippines Year 2015 along with Mt. Apo Boulder Face Challenge and Visit Samal Island.

Davao's rice production to increase 6.4% in 2014

By Reuel John F. Lumawag

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) in Davao Region said the volume of rice production of the region for 2014 is projected to be at 448,797 metric tons (MT).

DA-Davao Assistant Regional Director Maria Febe T. Orbe, in an interview with Sun.Star Davao, said this is according to the forecasted estimates of the Philippine Statistics Authority-Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (PSA-BAS) based on standing crop, wheat that are yet to be harvested.

Based on projections, the rice production would grow by 6.42 percent to 448,797 MT in 2014 from 421,692 in 2013.

A total of 403,520 MT will be coming from irrigated plantations, 42,372 MT from rainfed plantations, and 2,905 MT from upland areas.

She said the region is producing an average of 4.32 metric tons (MT) per hectare (ha.), much higher than the national yield performance of 3.9 MT/ha.

"The region ranked 13th in the overall rice production in the counttry and is contributing around 3 percent to the national production," Orbe said.

She said the increase in the rice production can be attributed to the agency's intervention after Typhoon Pablo affected some rice plantations in the region in 2012.

"Naay ubang mga seeds, nga gikan sa Quick Response Funds (QRF), nga nahatag namo during the second cropping na so daghan farmers nakatanom [human sa typhoon] (There were seeds, which were sourced from the QRF, that were given by the second cropping so a number of farmers were able to plant rice after the typhoon)," she said, adding they have also issued high yielding varieties to rice farmers.

Orbe also said they have provided biocontrol agents in the prevention and fight againts pest and diseases affecting rice.

She also said some beneficiaries of rice industry-related facilities, like post harvest facilities, have reaped their gains already.

In 2014, a total of 103,822 has. were harvested, 89,243 has. are irrigated lands, 12,524 has. are rainfed plantaions, and 2,055 has. are upland plantations.

"Target production for Davao region in 2015 is 490,767 MT. we have a target increment production of 41,970," Orbe said.

This year, the region will have a production area of 57,000 has. during the dry season, September to March, and 53,754 has. during the wet season, March to September.

Poblacion B, Talomo keep unbeaten slates

By Karlo R. Pates

POBLACION B and Talomo Districts kept their winning streaks by hacking out contrasting wins as the 2015 Duterte Basketball League (DBL) Inter-Political Basketball Championships resumed Friday at the Almendras Gym Davao City Recreation Center.

Poblacion-B crushed Baguio District, 92-76, behind Brgy. Capt. Erlan Guevarra who poured in 21 points while fellow Brgy. Capt. Rolando Bantayan and Brgy. Councilor Bitoy Cabantug chipped in 19 and 18, respectively.

Poblacion-B, thus, toted six wins and zero loss while Baguio District absorbed its fourth consecutive loss.

Talomo District, meanwhile, cruised through an easy win via default over Paquibato District. Talomo retained its unbeaten record, improving to 4-0, while Paquibato dropped to 1-4.

The cagefest is presented by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte through the Sports Development Division of the City Mayor's Office (SDD-CMO).

Davies Paints sponsored the jerseys of players in the league that aims to foster camaraderie among barangay officials in 12 districts of the city.

The tournament offers cash prizes of P40,000, P30,000, P20,000 and P10,000 to the top four squads with individual awardees also set to claim prizes.

BFAR-Davao program to benefit 2,000 fishers

By Reuel John F. Lumawag

THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Davao Region listed a total of 2,170 fishermen from 46 local government units (LGU) who will benefit from Targeted Actions to Reduce Poverty and Generate Economic Transformation (Target) in the Fishery Sector program of the agency.

This program is the government's poverty alleviation and inclusive growth program for the fishery sector where a high poverty incidence has been noted.

BFAR-Davao Director Dr. Fatma M. Idris, in an interview with Sun.Star Davao on Friday, said they were able to identify the 2,170 beneficiaries through the National Program for Municipal Fisherfolk Registration (FishR), which is cross matched with the list of the poorest of the poor of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Based on the data furnished to Sun.Star Davao, most of the beneficiaries are coming from Davao del Sur with 913. The top three LGUs in Davao del Sur with the most beneficiaries are Santa Maria (274), Santa Cruz (165), and Sarangani (140).

Davao Oriental has the second most number of beneficiaries at 660, of which Mati City has the most number at 203, followed by Lupon (120), and Banaybanay (78) and San Isidro (78).

Compostela Valley has a total of 313 beneficiaries, Davao del Norte has 187, and Davao City has 97.

Idris said they have set aside some P10 million for the beneficiaries and the Target program in the region. She said they will be budgeting at least P10,000 worth of livelihood assistance for each beneficiary.

She said they will also be mobilizing 43 field livelihood development technicians to assist the beneficiaries.

Davao cities, towns urged to level up in child-friendly governance

By Arianne Caryl N. Casas (PIA -11/ RSCWC/ Jeanevive Duron-Abangan, Ed: CLC)

DAVAO CITY, Jan. 22 (PIA) – Cities and municipalities in Davao Region are faced with the challenge to improve their performance in promoting child welfare, especially now that Davao City has emerged at the top five among the child-friendly highly urbanized cities.

DSWD XI Regional Director Priscilla N. Razon looked at Davao City’s bid to grab the Presidential Award for Child-Friendly City 2015 as a challenge for local government units to “to level up” their ranking in Child-Friendly Local Governance Audit.

Razon revealed on Tuesday that Davao City emerged at the national level among the top five in ranking of child-friendly local governance, getting the rightful place to be among those qualified to vie for the Presidential Award for Child-friendly Cities and Municipalities.

Davao City is contending for the award with the highly urbanized cities of Bacolod, Puerto Princesa, Cagayan de Oro and Pasig.

The ranking of LGUs in terms of child-friendly governance came following the conduct of Child-Friendly Local Governance Audit (CFLGA) conducted by the Council for the Welfare of Children at the national level.

The Regional Council for the Welfare of Children (RSCWC) XI last year endorsed 24 LGUs for the Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance conferred to those which passed the CFLGA but the CWC recently conferred the seal only to 15 LGUs in the Davao Region.

DSWD bared the LGU-recipients of the Seal as the following: cities of Davao, Mati, Panabo, Tagum, Samal and the municipalities of Maco, Maragusan, Laak, Boston, San Isidro (Davao Oriental), Lupon, Hagonoy, Kiblawan, Malalag and Sulop.

Meanwhile, a national validating team of the Presidential Award for Child Friendly Cities last January 20, started conducting validation of Davao City’s bid for the award last after a program held at Grand Menseng Hotel.

Aside from checking piles of document on Planning and Policy Formulation, Service Delivery, Institution Building and Child Participation, the team also witnessed the picking up of barangays to be visited during the field validation.

Director Razon together with Davao City administrator, Atty. Melchor Quitain picked up in a random choice the barangays of Tagorano (upland barangay), Binugao (coastline barangay), Tamayong (rural barangay) and 33-D (urban) barangays to be visited by the team.

Davao schools produce Dentistry topnotchers

By Arianne Caryl N. Casas

TWO graduates of Davao Medical School Foundation (DMSF) here topped the Dentist Licensure Examination (Practical Phase) administered by the Board of Dentistry in Manila this month.

Jan Michael Silvosa Antes and Shahzaadee Bello Imlan ranked second and sixth, respectively.

Antes got 83.77 percent, while Imlan got 83.07 percent.

A total of 268 out of 725 passed the December 2014 Dentist Licensure Examination (Written Phase) and 257 out of 271 passed the Dentist Licensure Examination (Practical Phase), according to the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

Ben Jay Abayato Maxino of Mindanao Medical Foundation College topped the exam with 85.43 percent.

Faye Jennifer Secuya Cabrera of Southwestern University placed third with 83.67 percent.

Elgimaine Louise MontañezBarroso and Denica Jena Estive Espares, both from University of the Philippines-Manila, also made it to the top, placing fourth and fifth, respectively.

Barroso got 83.30 percent, while Espares got 83.10 percent. Cebu Doctor’s University’s Cristy Allysa Torres Almonte and Rose Elaine Sia Li placed seventh and 10th, respectively, with ratings 83.06 percent and 82.40.

Lea Christine Paulite Bucad and Donah Laine Yap Baldosano, both from Centro Escolar Universtiy-Makati, placed eighth and ninth, respectively. Bucad got 82.77 percent, while Baldosano got 82.43 percent.

Mario Antonio Reyes Carpio placed 10th with 82.40 percent.

According to the PRC, the results were released in four working days after the last day of examination.

Registration for the issuance of Professional Identification Card (ID) and Certificate of Registration will start on January 26, 2015 but not later than January 28, 2015. Those who will register are required to bring the following: duly accomplished Oath Form or Panunumpang Propesyonal, current Community Tax Certificate (cedula), 1 piece passport size picture (colored with white background and complete name tag), 2 sets of metered documentary stamps and 1 short brown envelope with name and profession and to pay the Initial Registration Fee of P600 and Annual Registration Fee of P450 for 2015-2018. Successful examinees should personally register and sign in the Roster of Registered Professionals.

The date and venue for the oath taking ceremony of the new successful examinees in the said examination will be announced later.

Dabawenyo siblings hailed for winning UN poster tilt

By Arianne Caryl N. Casas

DAVAO - The 17th City Council lauded Tuesday Dabawenyo siblings who won in the national poster-making contest of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

Councilor Maria Belen Sunga Acosta, in her privilege speech, recognized Darryl Doie and Belle Angeline Aurelio who emerged champion in the 9-12 years old category.

Acosta said Darryl's work entitled "The Role of the Family" bested other 20 entries. Belle Angeline, meanwhile, placed second for her "My Vision".

She said Virgel Aurelio, father of the two, introduced art to them. At a young age, Darryl and Angeline won in several national and international contests.

"Darryl and Belle Angeline have made our city and our country proud by creating beautiful works of art and sharing their talent to the international community. The hard work and skill of these young artists deserve to be commended and further encouraged," Acosta said.

Acosta also urged Dabawenyos to help young artists with full potentials pursue their dreams.

"Prized talents such as theirs are worthy to be reinforced by programs and activities, sponsored by private and public institutions alike," she said.

"Let us give our young artists avenues to improve themselves and develop their gifts. Let us continue giving pride to our city and showing the world our exceptional Davao talents," she added.

AAK-Davao wins 8 golds, 4 silvers, 7 bronzes

By Karlo R. Pates

THE 13-member karatekas of the Association for the Advancement of Karatedo (AAK)-Davao cornered a total of eight gold medals, four silvers and seven bronze medals at the close of the 3rd Adidas Karate Championships held at the Music Hall of SM Mall of Asia in Pasig City over the weekend.

AAK-Davao chief Rommel Tan bared this in a text message to Sun.Star Davao Monday.

The 2014 So Kim Cheng male athlete of the year Gabriel Quiñones copped two golds in boys juniors 16 to 17 kata and kumite, respectively, while teammate Seth Michael Navarro also annexed two golds in boys 6 to 7 kata and kumite events, respectively.

Other gold medalists were John Paul Ponce (boys 10 to 11 kumite), Sophia Agullo (12 to 13 girls kata), Julian Ramirez (cadet boys kata) and Darlene Maramara (cadet girls kata).

The rest of the AAK-Davao medalists Maramara (silver-girls cadets kumite), Mitsuki Kawano (silver-12 to 13 girls kumite), Marcus Arellano (silver-6 to 7 boys kata), Atsuko Kaiyel D. Tan (silver-6 to 7 girls kata), Ramirez (bronze-cadet boys kumite), Agullo (bronze-12 to 13 girls kumite), Kyzzhia Navarro (double bronze-8 to 9 girls kata and kumite), Emmanuel Bayugo (double bronze-cadet boys kata and kumite) and Kawano (bronze-12 to 13 girls kata).

Quiñones, in a Facebook chat with Sun.Star Davao, said that he felt pressure heading into the tournament being the defending champion in last year's Adidas Cup, saying:"I didn't want to let my sponsors, family, friends, teammates and friends down. I must defend my title."

He added:"I'm proud of myself and also to my team. Even though I suffered so much pain during the fights, I still managed to fight back and win."

Quiñones, meanwhile, said that he dedicates his two gold medals to those who have supported him, adding:"I dedicate all these medals to my family, teammates, sponsors, friends and God because without them I wouldn't have the courage and will power to fight for the gold."

Tan, in a text message to Sun.Star Davao, said that he is extremely happy and proud of the team's performance, adding:"I'm very happy that my beginners and veterans performed well."

Tan, meanwhile, thanked AAK-Davao parents Jay and Joanne Ramirez, Edgar and Maethel Ponce, Mike and Ceth Navarro, Narciso and Josephine Bayugo, Ruth and Josephine Agullo, Rachelle and Doods Maramara, Charlie and Gloria Estarija and Izrafel Nakan for supporting the team's stint. AAK-Davao also attended a kumite seminar spearheaded by the former coach of the Philippine national team in karate and current director of the World Karate Academy in Japan sensei Shin Tsukii.

All karatekas received medals and certificates from organizers Adidas and Budomart Philippines.

Davao exports up 12%

By Reuel John F. Lumawag

THE Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in Davao Region reported that exports in the region posted a 12-percent increase in freight on board (FOB) value to $595.05 million, as of the third quarter of 2014 as compared to $531.39 million in the same period in 2013.

Agricultural products remain as the top export commodity in the region, including banana, coconut, pineapple, rubber, among others.

Fresh or dried bananas, including plantains, have remained as the top export commodity of the region despite having a five percent decrease.

Total banana export as of the third quarter of 2014 is at $242.91 million as compared to $255.67 million in the same period in 2013.

Japan us the top export destination for banana at $93.65 million, followed by China ($62.76 million), South Korea ($23.51 million), United Arab Emirates (UAE) ($11.3 million), and Iran ($9.49 million).

Placing second is crude coconut oil with $112.18 million. Netherlands is the top export destination for coconut oil at $47.87 million, followed by United States ($42.02 million), Italy ($5.57 million), Indonesia ($5.42 million), and China ($4.07 million).

Rounding up the top three most exported products from the region is desiccated coconut at $35.72 million. The United States is the top export destination of the commodity with a FOB value of $6.53 million, followed by United Kingdom ($4.19 million), China ($3.52 million), Netherlands ($3.46 million), and Russia ($2.29 million).

The fourth most exported commodity are fresh and dried pineapples at $26.78 million, with Japan ($10.51 million), South Korea ($3.62 million), UAE ($3.12 million), Singapore ($2.77 million), and China ($2.72 million) as the top export destinations.

Other fruits -- like lychees, longans, jackfruit, mangoes, among others -- including mixtures, prepared or preserved, containing added sugar or other sweetening ingredients are the fifth most exported commodity with $21.1 million. China ($4.09 million), Vietnam ($2.52 million), United States ($2.16 million), Germany ($1.73 million), and Japan ($1.58 million) as the top export destinations.

Also part of the top ten most exported commodities from Davao Region are: other food preparations not elsewhere specified or included ($17.79 million); coconut oil and its fractions ($17.27 million); activated carbon of coconut shell based ($15.89 million); natural rubber in other forms ($12.41 million); and raw sugar cane ($7.71 million).

Davao mayor launches nationwide consultation on federalism

By Ben O. Tesiorna

DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte embarked on Saturday on a month-long, nationwide consultation on federalism.

The series of consultations kicked off in Davao City with a forum on political leadership with the students of Ateneo de Davao University who are members of Aiesec.

Duterte will also attend forums Butuan City on January 22, Zamboanga City on January 25 and Pagadian City on January 26.

The mayor then flies to Cebu on January 29, the home province of his father, former Davao governor Don Vicente Duterte, to join in celebrating the Sinulog Festival. He will be guest of the Southwestern University in Cebu City.

On January 31, Duterte and his group will be in Malolos City, Bulacan, in the morning and in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, in the afternoon.

In February, there will be forums in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan hosted by Governor Pepito Alvarez, Antipolo City, Dumaguete City, Dipolog City, Dagupan City, Baguio City, Tuguegarao City, Mati City and Iloilo City.

Former North Cotabato governor Emmanuel Pinol, who is strongly urging Duterte to run for president in 2016, said that while the consultations aim to gather support for federalism, it would also be a venue for the "unwilling presidential prospect" to gauge the growing clamor of the people for him to seek the presidency.

Maribojoc, Bohol, Mayor Jun Evasco, Duterte's long-time political strategist, said Duterte is expected to share with the forum participants Davao City's experience in combatting government corruption, drugs and criminality which made it the fourth Safest City in the World.

"We hope that after the tour, Mayor Duterte will have a clearer appreciation of the sentiments of the Filipino people," Evasco said.

Basecamp sets dragon boat clinic in Davao City


DAVAO CITY, Jan. 16 (PNA) -- The BaseCamp Dragon Boat Club will be conducting a dragon boat clinic on January 17 to February 13 in Davao City.

An orientation will be conducted on January 17 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Basecamp inside the Madrazo compound according to team captain Igi Sitier.

The orientation is only free while the clinic has a registration fee of P1,500 excluding other fees.

Basecamp Dragon Boat Club is the one of the dragon boat clubs in Davao City.

Indian bizman sees Davao as haven for Indian students

(PIA/RG Alama)

DAVAO CITY- An Indian businessman is seeing the potential of the City as a haven for Indians wanting to study higher education.

David Pillai, chief executive officer of Transworld Educational Academy says that Davao City has the facilities and is a very safe place for Indian students wanting to study medical education.

Transworld Educational Academy is the exclusive and principal associate of the Davao Medical School Foundation. Responsible in bringing Indian students to study in the City.

Pillai said he attributes the safe and conducive environment of the city to the leadership of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

He said there are close to 1000 Indian students studying medical-related courses in different Davao City schools.

Pillai said there is strong market potential for Indians wanting to study abroad particularly here in Davao.

The top attraction for Indian students is the Davao Medical School Foundation which offers a four-year programme, that allows the degree holder to sit for a screening test conducted by Medical Council of India (MCI).

Pillai is bullish about Davao City and is bringing investors to put up IT centers and modern dormitories for Indian students.

However Pillai’s Transworld Educational Academy is currently in hot water over accusations of Indian students over very strict dorm rules their company is operating.

The aggrieved Indian students have asked the City Government for help where it has set up a meeting with the students and the company.

Pillai guesting over Club 888 Media Forum at Marco Polo Hotel denies the allegations of strict and hefty penalties for dorm violations citing the need for discipline to safeguard the students.

He said the controversy has been fanned by another Indian, a business competitor who wants a slice of the market.

Despite the controversy, Pillai said they are planning to continue with future projects.

Cacao industry seen to grow by 30% this year


THE Regional Agriculture and Fishery Council (RAFC) 11 sees a massive growth in cacao industry this year as some areas planted with the crops in the past years have started bearing trees.

RAFC 11 chair Armando C. Angsinco told Sun.Star Davao that they are projecting a conservative growth of 10 percent per quarter for the cacao industry in 2015, attributing the increase to the efforts done in the past one or two years.

"For the whole year, more or less the growth would be around 25 percent to 30 percent," Angsinco said.

He also said an increase in the domestic and international demand for cacao will also spur the expansion of cacao plantations in the region which in turn would translate to the growth of the industry.

Angsinco said they are targeting some 15,000 hectares (has.) production areas for cacao for 2015, but added they are ready to crank it up should the market demand call for it.

He said RAFC will also be intensifying their campaign on the intercropping of cacao with coconut.

Earlier, during the Mindanao Cacao Summit and Inter-Agency Convergence at the Waterfront Insular Hotel in December 2014, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) secretary Luwalhati R. Antonino said that Mindanao has 1.9 million hectares of coconut plantations that can be intercropped with cacao.

She said now is a good time to invest in cacao with the increasing demand for the commodity brought about by the looming shortage in the world market, most especially after ebola hit most parts of West Africa, one of the world's leading cacao producers.

Antonino also said the commodity could be the next dollar earner of the country.

Aside from cacao, Angsinco said they are also seeing tropical fruts and root crops as emerging commodities for 2015. Coconut and banana will remain as the region's champion products.

City to vie for child-friendly city plum anew


DAVAO City will again compete for the 2014 Presidential Award for Child-Friendly Cities Municipalities under the Highly Urbanized Category.

In a phone interview, Davao City Social Services and Development Office assistant head Liwayway Caligdong said the city is preparing their records for the validation by the National Award Committee on January 20 to 23.

The city won the award in 2013 and in 1998 to 1999.

The Presidential Award for the Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities pursuant to Executive Order 184 entitled "Establishing the Presidential Award for the Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities" is initiated by the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) issued on December 13, 1999.

It is given to deserving local government units in recognition of their vital role in promotion of children's rights to survival, development, protection and participation as well as in ensuring child-friendly governance.

CWC recently lauded the city's commitment in promoting children's rights to survival, development, protection and participation.

The Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance was awarded to the city through Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Director Priscilla Razon.

Investments in the city up by 3.94 percent in 2014

(PIA 11-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)

DAVAO CITY, Jan 12 (PIA) Investments in Davao City increased at 3.94 percent from P203-Billion in 2013 to P211-Billion in 2014 according to Ivan Cortez, investments promotion chief of Davao City.

He said the growth of the city is attributed to its location as the hub of business, trade, commerce, education and governance in the region.

Cortez said given that the city has its market, there follows a strong demand for services.

He said a total of 33,906 businesses were established initially in the city in 2014, closing at 36,461 total businesses last year.

“Davao City is now considered as an ideal place for business process outsourcing operation given its good weather condition,” Cortes said.

He observed that even if typhoon occurs in Metro Manila and Cebu, business goes as usual in Davao City.

Cortes underscored that every investment transforms into increasing more the purchasing power of the residents.

“When people have money, they certainly can buy food. Most of the businesses we promote are those that can create jobs and cater to employees. These are our investment promotion priorities,” he said.

Cortes also observed that many businesses in the city sustain their operation and 85 percent survived compared to the norm at 60 to 65 percent survival in other local government units.

He projected a rated survival of business at 86 percent in 2015.

Dost's SME program gets P40M this year

By Reuel John F. Lumawag

THE Department of Science and Technology (Dost) in Davao Region has allocated some P40 million for the implementation of the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (Setup) in the region this year.

DOST-Davao Director Dr. Anthony Sales told Sun.Star Davao that they are targeting to accomplish 30 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for the Setup this year.

Last year, there were 30 SMEs who benefitted from the Setup wherein in the funding ranged from P500,000 to P3.5 million per project.

According to DOST, Setup is "a nationwide strategy encouraging and assisting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to adopt technological innovations to improve their products, services, operations and increase their productivity and competitiveness."

Priority sectors for the program are food processing, furniture, marine and aquatic resources, horticulture and agriculture, metals and engineering, health products and services or pharmaceuticals, information communication technology and electronics, and gifts, housewares and decors.

Sales said some of the services they are offering through Setup are the Innovation System Support (ISS), laboratory testing, and training and consultancy.

"The ISS is a a financial assistance given to qualified MSMEs that want to implement innovations through mechanization," he said, adding that this will allow MSMEs to improve their productivity and quality of their products.

However, Sales said the MSMEs will have to "refund" the amount given to them within a three to five year period at a zero percent interest.

He said the intention for this is the money refunded will be used again to finance other MSMEs and to develop a sense of ownership among the beneficiaries.

Sales said laboratory testing is an important part of Setup especially for MSMEs who are into food.

"The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) require that they undergo regular product testing to ensure that their products are compliant with food safety standards and quality standards as set by the government," he said.

Their training and consultancy services, on the other hand, provide training on technology, food safety, energy management, and cleaner production, among others.

"All of these are intended to equip our MSMEs with technologies and knowledge that will enable them to produce higher quality products that can compete in the global market," Sales said.

Meanwhile, Sales said DOST-Davao has an approved budget of P80 million this year, which will cover the Setup, Grants in Aid, research and development, science and technology promotion and education, the maintenance of the regional office's ISO certification, and the regional office's personnel services and operational expenses.

Davao City Archived News

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