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Contents

City Hall's IT develops online payment system

By Karina V. Canedo

THE system being installed in Davao City to allow online payment transaction in different districts for local government offices such as City Treasurer's Office and other offices that require collection of payment will be completed soon, Davao City Information and Technology Center (CITC) head

But operating it might take some time since the proposal has not been approved yet.

CITC Office-in-charge Ricarte D. Franco Jr. in an interview with Sun.Star Davao on Wednesday said that their office is almost done with the point of payment system that allows city treasurer's office other agencies to have real time access on different district collection centers in real time.

"It is a software solution for collection. We want different districts different collection centers are connected para real time siya ma-access sa atong point of collection sa office especially the city treasurer," Engr.Franco said.

The CITC developed the system.

He said that they also want to add the access of data for business bureau collection to be up next year.

Franco added that once they are finished with the software they will repair and upgrade the old antennas for every collection point for every district.

"We want it connected soon. For example we have connection with the different districts and here at the center, automatically at real time we can immediately see the collection data. So that is what we want to aspire for us to have online payment. But before we can do that we need to set up our infrastructure," Franco said.

Once the hardware, like the antenna, are all set, then they can upload the program.

He said that the system would benefit the taxpayers because they no longer have to flock to the City Treasurer's Office at the City Hall.

Franco said that this project would cost a lot and that they still do not have the budget for it since the proposal has not yet been approved.

Davao architects use NCCA fund aid for educational toy project

(PNA), LAP/BNB/LCM/DIGNA D. BANZON/LDP

DAVAO CITY, Sept. 1 (PNA) -- Young architects in the city initiated a toy project which shows the distinct cultural heritage of the numerous ethnic groups in the Philippines.

Dubbed “BALAY-BALAY 3D Architecture Puzzles", the toy project features Filipino culture and tradition through designs of Filipino traditional houses.

Project head Architect Gloryrose Dy said the NCCA provided PhP500,000 worth of funds for research, design and building of prototype with the objective that they could provide tools for Filipino children to discover the distinct cultural heritage of the various Filipino ethnic groups.

She clarified that "the assistance of NCCA is only on the concept and design".

The first and current model is the Torogan, the traditional house of the Maranaos which was chosen not only for its grand architecture but also for its disaster resilient features and its communal significance.

Dy said the torogan house is an example of 'green architecture' as it was built based on functionality and good ventilation.

The puzzle project is based on the thesis of architecture student, Henna Dazo, who is also the team's researcher. Her study focuses on the "Historical Evolution of Maranao Architecture Across Key Geographical Areas in Mindanao".

Dazo said the authentic Torogan Maranao house can be found in an interior village in Marawi district where the house was built out of trunks of trees and without using nails and other concrete materials.

Right now, only three of the original Torogan houses can be found there as some houses are already built with concrete materials although following the same traditional design.

In their project, Dy said they partner with artisan woodworkers in Mintal, Davao City as “we aim for the commercialization of this toy project by the first quarter of 2016”.

"We would rather see the children play toys that will also educate them on our culture and heritage as well as play with stuff that are non-toxic," she said, adding that constant playing with the toy puzzle the children will know the different parts because of its corresponding functions.

Dy said that most of the toys that people see in the market are plastic whereas the Balay Balay toy puzzle is educational and at the same time allow the children know about history.

She said the team will be using raw materials that are organic, eco-friendly and cycled materials sourced locally.

A BALAY-BALAY TA (Let’s Play houses)! Interactive Exhibit is still ongoing at the Abreeza Ayala Mall until September 5. The opening last August 28 was graced by the NCCA Grants Officer Bernadette David, National Commission for Muslim Filipinos Davao Region Head for Settlement Sammy Buat and Head Cultural Affairs Yusof Calil, Council Mabel Sunga-Acosta of Davao City, the Director of the United Architects of the Philippines Ericson Europa, and other officials.

Commercial fishing for pelagic fishes in Davao Gulf begins

(PNA), LAP/LCM/LOVELY A. CARILLO/LDP

DAVAO CITY, Aug. 31 (PNA) -- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) National Director and Undersecretary Asis Perez on Monday declared September 1, this year to May 31, 2016 as the open season for commercial fishing in Davao Gulf.

"We are happy to declare the Open Season considering that after giving the pelagic fishes a time to spawn then we can now expect our fisherfolk to have a larger and better fish catch," Asis said during the ceremony at People's Park on Monday.

Before the Closed Season, BFAR noted 50 percent of fish catch but it increased to 78 percent after the Closed Season was implemented last year.

“We only have one violator for this year's Closed Season and the case is already in court,” BFAR II Director Fatma Idris said.

The Closed Fishing Season was based on Joint Administrative Order No. 02 of the Department of Agriculture and Department of Interior and Local Government which prohibited the catching of pelagic fishes in the Davao Gulf from June to August every year.

This is the second year of implementation of the Closed Season for Fishing in the Davao Gulf and it has reportedly already increased the fish catch in the region by 26 percent based on the first year of the Closed Season alone.

"The fish catch has increased by 26 percent from September to December in 2014 compared to the same period this year," said Jose Villanueva, officer-in-charge of BFAR II’s Fisheries Regulatory and Law Enforcement Division.

BFAR data shows that the fish catch of the municipal fisherfolk versus the commercial fishers has increased from 25-75 percent prior to the implementation of the Closed Fishing Season to 34-66 percent after the Closed Season.

Under the terms of the Closed Season, fishermen or fishing companies will not be allowed to catch pelagic fishes using ringnet and bagnet. The ban also applies to small-scale to large scale commercial fishing with vessels from 3.1 gross tons (GT) to more than 150 GT.

BFAR has consulted with various groups prior to the implementation of the Closed Fishing Season this year including the Municipal and City Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Councils, the Davao Gulf Management Council and the Academe.

The 338,000-hectare Davao Gulf is a major fishing ground considered as a critical source of livelihood for five coastal cities and 18 coastal municipalities and has one of the most diverse marine ecosystems not only in the country but in the whole world.

The World Wildlife Foundation reported that the Davao Gulf is home to a variety of reef and mangrove species as well as endangered species such as sea cows or dugong and leatherback turtle which are listed in the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES).

Idris said the Closed Season was implemented since the Davao Gulf has already reached and exceeded the maximum sustainable yield.

Department of Science and Technology-11 Director Anthony Sales earlier confirmed the depletion of fishery resources in 10 locations along the Davao Gulf based on a 10-year study conducted from 2000 to 2010.

The BFAR and DOST study entitled "Strengthening Governance and Sustainability of Small-scale Fisheries Management in the Philippines: An Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management Approach in Davao Region", attributed the depleting fish catch in the Davao Gulf to various factors including water pollution, poor fishing practices, diminishing sea grass, destruction of fishing habitats and the conversion of mangrove areas to recreational resorts.

Villanueva said the study shows that except for maya-maya, the volume and quality of the harvests of 10 commonly fished species in the Davao Gulf namely pelagic fishes like tamban, matambaka, moro-moro, bilong-bilong, caraballas, lapu-lapu, danggit, molmol and talakitok were on a decline which could mean the disappearance of these species in the next decade if these factors are not addressed.

Davao City ordinance No. 093-08, also known as the Fisheries Code of Davao City, already prohibits the “Catching or selling of Juvenile Fishery Species or Gravid Spawners” even without the Closed Season. However, it does not exactly specify the size of the prohibited juvenile. An amendment to this ordinance is up for second reading and will specify the actual sizes of the fish that will be prohibited.

Aside from its main goal of protecting the pelagic fishes in the Davao Gulf during their spawning season, the Closed Season is also being implemented to strengthen the country’s campaign against Illegal, Unreported and Uncontrolled Fishing (IUUF) and to make sure that the country gets rid of the Yellow Card Tag given by the European Union (EU).

The yellow card issued by the European Union to the Philippines in June last year served as warning to the country in fulfilling its commitment in preventing IUUF. It has been lifted after the EU recognized the country’s serious efforts in preventing and eliminating all forms of abuse in its fisheries resources.

Durian coffee for complete Davao experience

By Ace June Rell S. Perez

TO PROVIDE a complete Davao experience for local and foreign tourists and even Dabawenyos themselves, Apo ni Lola, a homegrown candy maker, launched its newest product, the durian coffee.

As an addition to its wide array of durian products, Apo ni Lola will be the pioneering local food processor to introduce durian coffee, giving a new shape in the local durian processing industry.

"We do not settle for what we already have, we innovate. For our durian coffee, we will be using real processed durian meat as an add-on to our very own coffee," said Imee Anabesa, Apo ni Lola operations supervisor.

The durian coffee is now served at the store's main branch in Matina.

Durian and non-durian lovers alike can also enjoy the coffee with the durian pastries.

Apo ni Lola products range from the durian candy to durian tarts and bars to durian ice cream to durian yema, durian candy with jam, durian delight, durian sandwich spread, and durian pie, among others.

Aside from its Durian-based treats, it has also products made from other local fruits such as mangosteen and langka.

"We in Apo ni Lola are really fueled to take part in every one's 'whole Davao experience' with the products that we offer," she said.

Durian coffee is also offered by Blugre, a Davao-based coffee shop.

Apo ni Lola was also one of the six regional winners of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole)-Davao Productivity Olympics for this year.

Meanwhile, the store is gearing up for expansion through franchising in the next two years.

"There are a lot of people who already showed their interest in franchising our store. We are taking a lot of considerations before opening our doors in franchising but definitely we have plans to do it," Anabesa said in a recent interview with Sun.Star Davao.

At present, the store is improving production of its durian candy products and other fruit delicacies to further boost its supply, commissary and the shell life of its products.

Anabesa said that part of their expansion is the opening of five more outlets in hotels and a mall in the city.

Apo ni Lola already opened outlets at Royal Mandaya Hotel, Apo View Hotel, Waterfront Hotel, Pinnacle Hotel and Abreeza mall of Davao.

The store is producing a monthly average of three tons of their candy products.

Davao Chamber revives Investment Conference

By Antonio L. Colina IV (MindaNews)

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 29 Aug) – The Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCII) will revive the Davao Investment Conference (iCon) after a two-year hiatus since 2012, the Chamber’s president said Friday.

DCCCII president Antonio Dela Cruz told reporters that the re-staging of Davao iCon on November 4 to 6, 2015 will attract 300 to 500 participants from all over the country.

The chamber will tie up with the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA) for the holding of this year’s three-day conference, which will highlight the booming real estate industry focusing on housing developments and infrastructure for Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

The Davao iCon was held in 2011and 2012.

He said they are highlighting the housing industry since it covers all other players engaged in the construction business. There will also be a business matching to link the local players with the potential investors.

The DCCCII is also holding the 17th Davao Trade Expo on September 25 to 27, 2015 at the SMX Convention Center Davao.

Dubbed as “Building Global Products for the Local Community,” organizers are expecting to attract some 10,000 visitors for the three-day expo, highlighting the livestock industry.

There will be 170 booths that will display different products and technology in Davao Region, of which 80 percent has been filled up, he said.

All booths will be mounted in three separate pavilions. International delegates will also join the expo, the biggest agribusiness event in Mindanao.

The DCCCII is hoping to surpass the P233 million revenues earned during the 15th DATE in 2013 which also highlighted the livestock industry.

On Friday, six new companies pledged as new members of DCCCII: real estate firm Damosa Land Inc., Caresystem Technology Solution, V. Mitra Realty and Development Corporation, Dumalag and Associates, Asian Naturenergy Corporation, and Mohammed Abdullah Sharbatly Company Ltd.

More CD4 machines to hasten HIV detection

By Karina V. Canedo

THE Department of Health (DOH) is set to acquire more CD4 machines to hasten HIV detection.

DOH regional director Abdullah B. Dumama said that the additional CD4s will augment the machines currently available in the region.

"SPMC (Southern Philippines Medical Center) only caters to Davao and other provinces. We saw the need of other areas. In Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) in Tagum, kulang ang machines so ang balak po ng department of health is to expand yun."

Dumama said they found out that DRMC lacks CD4 machines that will determine the viral load of patients.

"Mukhang doon sa SPMC nag-iinit na dahil sa rami ng pasyenteng nangangailangan," Dumama said.

Dumama said that they will have to buy two CD4s within the year to augment the need of the patients pending on the go signal from the central office.

"Sa RHWC Reproductive Healh and wellness center pagbigyan po tayo ng tulong diyan especially ang augmentation ng kanilang manpower and matugunan ang pangangailangan," Dumama said.

Noel S. Palaypayon of Epidemiology Bureau HIV Unit Deputy Manager of the Department of Health, for his part, also described the importance of the CD4s.

"Para maging aware, measurement immune system tao, person positive for HIV meron tayong kinukuhang baseline. Ang baseline natin ay tiningnan natin kung eligible ba siya for the treatment so we need the CD4," Palaypayon said.

He added that a person may need to avail of an anti-retroviral drugs without the CD4.

Anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs are not the exact cure of HIV but it can slow down the symptoms, DOH undersecretary Vicente Y. Belizario said.

"Hindi po siya cure it will just keep you well, make you look normal and look functional. It will control the disease from being a full blown acquired immune disease syndrome (Aids)," Belizario said.

"HIV alone is not synonumous to death sentence, wala pang ARV noong araw e talagang almost death sentence eventually you will progress to Aids then die pero ngayon hindi napo totoo yun. Tulungan niyo po kami i-dispel ang consciousness na yun na may gamot na libre hindi pangmayaman lang. Importante po sa treatment hubs ang serbisyo namin hindi lang po gamutan kasama po ang package that includes counseling," he added.

The said ARV drugs are free and are available because it is funded by the national government and the budget from the global fund.

"Dalawang pinanggagalingang budget - taxpayers money and nakakatanggap po tayo ng tulong sa Global Fund of up to $8 million worth of support for HIV, drugs distribution and other services," Belizario said.

IDs for city workers promote transparency

(KVC)

THE nameplates and identification cards (IDs) of Davao City Government employees are intended to promote more transparency, an officer said.

Davao City Human Resource and Management Office (HRMO) chief Erwin Alparaque bared this in Thursday's I-Speak media forum at the City Hall conference room.

"The IDs and nameplates were given so that public can easily identify the person and the office especially for the request of the issuance of license permits and other documents from concerned departments of the office of the city government," Alparaque said.

He said that the wearing of IDs was a policy of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and it is also aligned with the Anti-Red Tape Act that condones fixers inside the government offices.

"It has long been the policy of the city government not only because it's required by CSC but it's also mandated under the Arta law. We are implementing this policy because of some complaints coming from the public, claiming that some employees solicit money from their clients to expedite processing of their documents and permits," Alparaque said.

He said that government employees who must wear IDs are those who provide frontline services to customers.

"They are required to wear nameplates and IDs. We had a team that constantly monitor different department officers who might do fixing," Alparaque said.

He said that fixing is prohibited.

"No fixing is allowed. If anybody is caught accepting fees, corresponding punishment will be given to the erring employee. There are already four employees dismissed for malfeasance in the past two years," Alparaque said.

Neda to work closely with City Council on port, airport projects

By Karina V. Canedo

NATIONAL Economic and Development Authority (Neda)-Davao Director Maria Lourdes Lim said they would closely coordinate with the Davao City Council on the implementation the Davao International Airport and the SASA port projects in last Tuesday’s 32nd session of the City Council.

"We respect the Council, we need to abide the process. It is provided for the Local Government code. We are taking opportunity to comply with the requirements," Lim said in a media interview last Tuesday.

This is after Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang called for the invitation of the officials from Neda and the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) to present the project proposals as the city was never consulted about these, amid allegations that these are overpriced.

Dayanghirang also said that not all council members have attended the hearing of the Sasa Port Modernization Project and the briefing conducted by DOTC of two weeks ago.

Lim presented before the body the project proposals for both, and promised that they will coordinate with the City Council on the matter of its implementation.

In the session, Councilor Dayanghirang said that it is provided in the local government code that the approval of the council is needed for any project to be implemented.

Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang said in an interview with Sun.Star Davao said that the director aside from the close coordination on the projects she also promised to coordinate with the private sector.

“We just agreed that there will be a close coordination with the city when they start implementing the project since these projects may cause big problems on traffic and displacement of people. We want to make sure that it doesn’t go against the city development plan which was confirmed by City Planning and Development Office (CPDO)-Head Marcelino Escalada. There will also be close coordination not only on the city government but also the private sector, kulang kasi ang consultation, the director promised na gagawin naman niya yun,” Dayanghirang said in a separate interview with Sun.Star Davao Wednesday.

Meanwhile Lim in the session confirmed that there are already five bidders P40-billion Davao International Airport rehabilitation.

More exciting, colorful event for Hunat Dabaw Fun Color Run on Sept. 6

(PNA), RMA/LCM/LOLITO T. DELOS REYES/LDP

DAVAO CITY, Aug. 25 (PNA) -- This year’s annual Hunat Dabaw Fun Run is more exciting with a more colorful event slated on Sept. 6 at 4:30 a.m. in an out-and-back course at The Royal Mandaya Hotel.

“We’re going back to what fun run is really all about which is real fun,” said Benjamen Banzon, general manager of TRMH. Participants can still enjoy the sumptuous buffet breakfast after the race.

“We’re the only fun run event that offers buffet breakfast for all the runners” Banzon said.

Race chair Megzyl Rose Jolejole said, “This time we will also have that Hindu colors for more fun during the race.”

Prizes worth Php 200,000 will be given away including fabulous raffle prizes. Registration fees are Php 350 for 3K, Php 400 for 5K and Php 450 for 10K inclusive of buffet breakfast, singlet, race bid, certificate and raffle coupon.

The 10K runners starts from the TRMH along Palma Gil St. going to Elpidio Quirino St. and J.P. Laurel Avenue and turn back at Carmelite Monastery in Lanang.

The 3K runners turn only at Imperial Plaza in Bajada while the 5K at the Durian Hotel.

The event dubbed also as “Dagan Para sa Kinaiyahan” is held in celebration of the hotel’s anniversary.

“All the proceeds will be used for our community project with feeding and medical mission in Baracatan on Sept. 12,” said Banzon.

Used clothing will also be distributed to at least 400 indigents in Baracatan. TRMH will also have a tree planting activity on Sept. 12 at the watershed of Davao in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. For inquiries and reservations, call tel. (082) 225-8888 or visitwww.theroyalmandayahotel.com orinfo@theroyalmandayahotel.com.

Visit Davao Fun Sale promo up

By Lilian C. Mellejor [(PNA), RMA/LILIA]

DAVAO CITY, Aug. 24 (PNA) -- Tourism stakeholders in Davao region geared for early sales promotion of Visit Davao Fun Sale (VDFS) 2016 to draw more participation and tourists with last year’s positive results in tourist arrivals.

An early campaign is also an answer to the clamor from tourism players and visitors that participated in the VDFS exit survey to give them time to plan ahead for the next holiday.

During Monday’s Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City, Department of Tourism (DoT) chief of operations Eden David noted the positive gains in terms of tourist arrivals during the VDFS period last year.

David said there was an increase of 38 percent in hotel occupancy, indicating a big leap from previous VDFS.

She said tourism receipts was estimated at Php 1.6 billion computed based n Php 4,000 per day expenses for three days that included expenses on tickets, hotels, food and airline tickets.

In the VDFS exit report, DOT said that in April 2015, the guest arrivals totaled to 145,607 with an average hotel occupancy rate of 55.26 percent based on 171 licensed accommodations that submitted their hotel occupancy report.

Last year for the same period, guest arrivals totaled to 63,976 or an average occupancy rate of 51.22 percent. The data was based on 60 licenses accommodation establishments that submitted their hotel occupancy report.

In May 2015, the guest arrivals reached 152,395 with an average occupancy rate of 62.8 percent based on 188 licensed accommodation establishments that submitted hotel occupancy report.

For the same month last year, arrivals reached 145,607, with the average occupancy rate of 52.26 percent based from 171 licensed accommodation establishments that submitted hotel occupancy report.

Benjie Lizada, VDFS executive committee chair, said they had to go for early campaign to draw more participation from other players like restaurants, tour agents, wellness centers, hotels in Davao region.

Lizada said he saw the need for them to contribute to the general sale in Davao.

Davao Tour Consortium Edmund Mayormita also noted increased bookings for tour packages and they intend to expand this year by coming with more tour tours to help sell Davao.

Mayormita said the cost of tour packages during the VDFS last year was really cut by almost 50 percent

Fides Castañeda, VDFS vice executive committee chair, said they would also be inviting more spa owners to participate the event. In fact, Castañeda, who is a spa operator, said they were also working to have Davao massage oil as part of a campaign to make Davao a wellness destination.

David also hinted to strengthen promo of Davao’s island to highlands campaign.

According to David, respondents in the VDFS exit survey showed both island/beach destinations and country-side attractions topped the most common answers with Samal Island most liked attraction visited.

The VDFS exit survey, the top 10 most common attractions visited were Samal Island.

Of the 301 respondents, or 23 percent, visited Samal Island; 195 respondents, or 15 percent, visited the malls; Eden Nature Park with 174 respondents, or 13 percent; Peoples Park with 151 respondents, or 11 percent; Crocodile Park with 108 respondents, or 8 percent; Philippine Eagle with 69 respondents, or 5 percent; Pearl Farm with 52 respondents, or four percent followed by Paradise Island, Malagos Garden and Blue Jazz.

In view of the survey result, Generose Tecson, chair of the Samal Island Tourism Council, said they were working hard to promote tours.

She said they were experimenting on Samal Island as a relaxation and adventure destination.

The private sector in Samal Island is also getting help from the local government. Davao del Norte provincial tourism officer Noel Daquiaog said they were pushing for a revisit of Samal Island campaign.N C. MELLEJOR/LDP

Locals, tourists witness culminating events of Kadayawan Festival

By Lilian C. Mellejor [(PNA), BR>CTB/LCM/LDP]

DAVAO CITY, Aug. 23 (PNA) -- Major city routes were closed to traffic as thousands, including local and foreign tourists, gathered to witness the two-day culminating events of the week-long Kadayawan Festival, the Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan and Pamulak which are the major highlight of the festival.

On Saturday, under the scorching heat, street dancers showed precision and grace in their well- choreographed presentations that illustrated their respective tribe’s history, thanksgiving for plentiful harvest, and care for the environment.

Of the fifteen entries, Cabantian National High School bagged half a million pesos after being adjudged Grand Champion for its choreography and creativity.

The first runner up went to Sto. Niño National High School Kalingawan Dance Troup from South Cotabato with P400,000 cash prize; second runner up with P300,000 went to Dawan National High School, Mati City; while Polomolok Performance Arts Guild and the Municipality of Baganga, Davao Oriental went home with P100,000 and P50,000 cash prize as third and fourth runners up, respectively.

All competing teams were judged according to street dancing performance at the San Pedro Street showdown area, which is 70 percent of the total score, and 30 percent for their performance at Marco Polo and Apo View Hotel judging points.

A special prize – Best in Musicality, was given to Polomolok Performance Arts Guild with P50,000 cash prize.

Delegates of the 15 entries coming from different schools in Davao City; Baganga, Mati City, Caraga and Gov. Generoso of Davao Oriental; Malabong, Lanao del Sur; Sto. Niño and Polomolok of South Cotabato; and, Maragusan, Compostela Valley vie for the big prizes.

Many people lined up the major routes of the Pamulak or Floral Float Parade Sunday. The Pamulak is a parade of florally dressed floats of various shapes and sizes showcasing the abundant vegetation of Davao region. The competing floral floats are required to use at least 80 percent fresh flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables.

Of the 13 competing floats under the traditional category, Kisan Lu Lands Inc. entry won first prize with P500,000 cash prize; IPI was second prize with P300,000 cash prize; and, NCCC Mall grabbed the third prize with P150,000 cash prize.

A total of 14 entries competed under the alternative category. The Kapitan Tomas Barangay float was named first place with P150,000 cash prize; Club V Davao took home P100,000 for the second place; and, the Philippine daily Inquirer was in third place with P75,000 cash prize.

Big winners

Hotel operators and restaurant owners were early big winners in terms of sales and bookings.

Department of Tourism (DOT)-XI regional director Roberto Alabado said Davao City is teeming with tourists even restaurant operators confided to him they have more customers during the week. Even malls, Alabado said have their own gimmicks to attract customers.

Alabado disclosed that hotel operators have initially informed him they started turning down bookings or refer customers to other hotels since two days ago. Marco Polo Hotel, for instance, reported to DOT that most of their guests are Japanese while Seda Hotel has the most number of guests from China, Taiwan and Hongkong.

“We have no statistics yet but these are good indicators,” he said. According to him, it is not only big hotels experiencing increase in the number of guests but also small hotels and inns.

He also noted that event organizers have timed their conferences or meetings during Kadayawan and stayed for the weekend to witness the street dancing and the floral parade.

Alabado said Indak-indak participants are also a big source of tourism receipts. Each team from other provinces or cities is required to have 100 participants. Some of them may have also brought their parents. “That’s more tourism activities for us,” he said.

People’s festival

DOT Assistant Secretary Art Boncato said the Kadayawan has created a huge impact to the city as indicated in the number of participants from other provinces. “This is not only Davao. Kadayawan brings the real message that this is a festival of the people – the indigenous people,” he said.

For 30 years, Boncato said, Davao City has successfully put the IPs into the mainstream of the celebration. “We have so much pride in our indigenous people that is the biggest achievement of Kadayawan,” he pointed out.

He stressed that for 30 years Davao has projected an image of a developed city in Mindanao.

“We have seen how popular it is. We are celebrating with great substance – we are the success story of Mindanao,” Boncato said. He added that the total engagement of the people would even pass different administrations.

Despite the success, Boncato is hoping that the government will continue to reach out to other countries and target both domestic and international tourists through heightened exposure of Davao as a destination.

(Feature) Manila flower growers continue to patronize Davao orchids

By Digna D. Banzon [(PNA), RMA/LCM/DIGNA D. BANZON/LDP]

DAVAO CITY, Aug. 22 (PNA) -- The Floriculture Industry of Davao, Inc. (FIDI) has encouraged Dabawenyos to grow at least one Waling-waling orchid plant and propagate in their homes in view of the increasing demand and the number of Manila flower growers and sellers sourcing their products here for exhibits.

FIDI past president and Agro Trade Fair 2015 exhibit in charge Vicky Jimenez, in an interview, said they had been advocating that fellow Dabawenyos grow Waling-waling, scientifically known as Vanda sanderiana.

The orchid is endemic to Davao and in other places in Mindanao like Cotabato and Zamboanga with Mt. Apo as its home.

Jimenez said the yearly Agro Trade Fair was frequented by plant and orchid lovers not only in Mindanao but also from Manila and Cebu, Bohol, Bacolod and Iloilo in Visayas.

She said they continued to have buyers from Manila especially during Kadayawan Festival when prices were low.

She said Manila orchid growers and sellers bought orchid plants and materials in bulk for display during the Manila exhibition in the fourth quarter of the year.

“They buy the plants/orchids here at affordable price and fetch a good price or much higher later as they exhibit the stuff in Manila,” she said.

Jimenez also noted the growing number of exhibitors in Davao’s Agro Trade Fair as hobbyists become entrepreneurs after they started propagating plants. Jimenez said they welcome everyone in the industry as the demand was huge.

She said there were about 150 exhibitors in this year's fair which opened Aug. 1 and would run until the end of the month at SM City grounds.

The fair is spearheaded by Mindanao Floriculture and Ecological Development Inc. (Minfed) and FIDI in partnership with the Davao City government.

Mexico eyes Davao’s agribusiness sector

By Christine Joice C. Cudis

MEXICO is interested in agribusiness opportunities in Davao, seeing the city as one of the most important in the Philippines.

In partnership with Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mexican ambassador Julio Camarena Villaseñor of the Consulado de Estados Unidos Mexicanos said they are seeking opportunity to import products and open businesses in the Philippines.

Villaseñor pointed out the huge number of agricultural goods which both Mexico and Philippines produces and exports in the international market, i.e. mango ad pineapple.

However, he said Mexico grows plants which are not cultivated in our country such as citrus fruits, berries and tangerines. Hence, there is a big opportunity for the two countries to benefit in this transaction since there would be no overlapping of products from the local and foreign market.

“We know all the opportunities that exist in Mexico, we know all the opportunities that exists in the Philippines. What we are trying to do is to match what is needed,” he said.

At present, they are still in the business matching stage and initial negotiations through DCCCII.

Sebastian "Angie" Angliongto of the DCCCII said this project will open for more investments and create more employment in the city.

“Davao is indeed very blessed with this partnership,” he said.

The city was held as the fastest growing region of 2014, hence “it is one of the most important cities in the country”, Villaseñor said.

Apart from agribusiness, they are also eyeing to invest on BPO, port building, power, and infrastructure projects in the city.

PCSO to hold sweepstakes draw for Kids of Hope in Davao City

(PNA), CTB/LCM/LOLITO T. DELOS REYES/LDP

DAVAO CITY, Aug. 20 (PNA) – The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office in partnership with the Davao Children’s Cancer Fund Inc. (DCCFI) will be having a special sweepstakes draw for the benefit of the Kids of Hope on August 29.

”The Kids of Hope are the children who stay at the House of Hope and the Children’s Cancer and Blood Diseases Unit at Southern Philippines Medical Center,” said Kimberly Viovicente of Kids of Hope.

“Kalahating milyon mapapasa ‘yo! Batang may kanser matutulungan mo (Half million will be yours! You can help kids with cancer),” said Santiago.

The first prize is P500,000, while the second and third prize are P40,000 and P28,181.82, respectively.

Each share of a ticket only cost P5 each while one number has five shares. Each booklet is only P250 each.

“The 55 percent of the proceeds go to the prizes, 30 percent for the medical assistance, health programs and charities of national character while 15 percent for the operating expenses,” said Santiago.

The Kids of Hope are the beneficiaries of all initiatives by Davao Children’s Cancer Fund Inc. (DCCFI). Kids of Hope represent a coming together of people- families, advocates, communities, government and child cancer networks working to provide the best possible chances of providing holistic, multidisciplinary care for children with cancer particularly from marginalized families.

“The proceeds also go to the diagnostics and continuing treatment of children with cancer at Southern Philippines Medical Center,” Santiago said.

For tickets reservation or order, you may contact +63.82.305-939 or 09236593378.

DCCFI is a SEC registered non-stock, non-profit charity organization established in May 2004 to respond to the needs of children with cancer in Davao City and Mindanao Island, Philippines.

Dr. Mae Dolendo, a pediatric oncologist, is the founding president with Charter Members Pelagio Iriarte MD, Michael Manalaysay MD, Renie Maguinsay MD, Grace Pecson MD, Jeannie Ong MD, Lily Yu MD, Jennifer Banluta MD, Odette Valderrama MD, Ana Basilio RN and Fr. Domingo Barawid.

DCCFI’s mission and vision is “to bring hope, promote better survival rates and achieve excellent, holistic care for children with cancer through advocacy, research and environmental protection.”

Its objectives are for the Childhood Cancer Advocacy; Promote public awareness and education through tri-media approach; Establish linkages with government and nongovernment organizations; Holistic Cancer Care for Children, Better access to treatment through adequate preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic facilities; Environmental protection; Training and Research Promote training for medical and paramedical staff; Create a pediatric cancer registry; and to establish adequate facilities for childhood cancer research.

Davao LGU welcomes big rave parties for Kadayawan

(PIA/RG Alama)

DAVAO CITY- The City Government of Davao is welcoming big rave parties which will be held this August in time for Kadayawan Festivities.

Lisette Marques, OIC City Tourism Office said that they are encouraging the private sector to mount these events as to give variation to the Festival.

There are two major electronic dance music (EDM) events which will be held in the city, Arcadia Electronic Music Festival (AEMF) will be held this August 22 at the 26 –hectare D’ Leonor Resort in Barangay Communal.

The massive party will have three thematic stages is touted to be the largest EDM party to be held in the city.

On August 21, major party organizer Spectrum is partnering with Mati City-based party organizer Frolicfox to bring Kadayawan Invasion 2015 at the Crocodile Park Grounds, this is a follow-up to the successful Invasion party held also in Kadayawan last year.

The event will feature international DJs from Australia and Norway along top local DJs.

Marques bared that another EDM or rave party is being organized which will be held at the Matina I.T. park and is sponsored by a telecom giant, it will be a carnival themed affair.

She said that these parties are bringing in tourists and visitors to the city, currently Davao City has about 6,000 hotel rooms ready for visitors coming in for Kadayawan and these events.

Rave or EDM parties are being recently organized in Davao City and are known to draw in thousands of partygoers.

Marques said that the City Government is making sure that these parties are compliant with City ordinances particularly the anti-smoking ordinance and the 1 am liquor ban.

BIMP-Eaga execs in Davao for Livex

By Ace June Rell S. Perez

LIVEX (Livelihood Exchange) 2015-Information and Communications Technology (ICT ) chief executive officers' (CEO) conference and exhibit is slated today at the SMX convention center, SM Lanang, Davao City.

Livex 2015, which opened yesterday, gathered around 300 business leaders from the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-Eaga) and will run until August 21.

The four-day event is spearheaded by the ICT-Davao Inc. in partnership with the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC), Mindanao Development Authority (Minda), among others. During the ICT-CEO conference and exhibit, four plenary topics will take center stage.

Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV, chair of Senate committee on trade, commerce and entrepreneurship will grace the event as the keynote speaker. Facility developers officers in Davao City will also take an oath taking during the event.

Plenary topics will be Steering Asean for 2015 integration: ICT Development Initiatives in the BIMP-EAGA

Subregion, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Toward Building a Business Startups Ecosystem in Mindanao and BIMP-EAGA Development Corridors, Women in ICT development stride and the Electronic Commerce (e-Commerce) Platform for the ASEAN Economic Community and Beyond.

"ICT is one of the sectors for cooperation and collaboration among the member countries in the Asean and in the BIMP-Eaga. ICT is a key enabler for socio-economic development and integration in the region and beyond. ICT is fundamental in promoting trade, enlarging markets, facilitating investments and improving the quality of life in the region,” Samuel Matunog, president of the ICT-Davao Inc. said.

Meanwhile, discussions on BIMP-Eaga Submarine Terrestrial (Best) Cable System project will also take place during the conference and exhibit.

"Other issues like the Best cable system will also be discussed during the meeting as it's groundbreaking in Parang, Maguindanao is targeted on the first quarter of 2016," Edgardo R. Celorico, country head of the BIMP-Eaga ICT division earlier said.

The Best Cable System, initiated by Best Cable Corp. Pte. Ltd. (BCC), "is a regional 5,092 kilometer high bandwidth fiber optics cable system that allows telecommunication connectivity in the BIMP-Eaga region with the rest of the Asean and Asian countries, particularly Singapore, Hong Kong, and US."

The project aims to make internet speed on the island faster and lower down the cost by at least 30 percent. It will break ground in Maguindanao early next year and is targeted to be completed in 2017.

City to adopt new agriculture technology

By Ace June Rell S. Perez

THE Davao City Government will adapt a new technology developed by Israel in a bid to boost the agriculture sector in terms of production.

This after the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ICCP) and the City Government of Davao entered into an agreement Sunday for the utilization of the new technology dubbed as Israeli Greenhouse Technology.

The new technology was presented by Gur Lavi, an Israel-based agriculture company, to Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Eyal Ben Ari, ICCP president and Gur Lavi chair, said in Monday's edition of Kapehan Sa Dabaw that they are willing to contribute to the Philippine agriculture progress through the introduction of a “greenhouse technology.”

"We met with Mayor Duterte and the result is positive, Duterte is very determined to adopt the technology in Davao," he said.

The greenhouse technology facility will be constructed in Mintal or Calinan, the site is still up for confirmation. Once realized, it will be the first in Mindanao. At present it is already applied in San Pablo City and Tagaytay.

"The first unit here in Davao will be constructed in two or three months from now, maybe in Calinan or Mintal. It will initially be planted with cucumber," former North Cotabato governor and city consultant Manny Piñol said.

He also said that the facility is a 272 square meter (sqm.) in area. The facility costs $70 per sqm.

Gur Lavi agronomist Beatriz Cortes explained the specifications of the new technology.

"The advanced greenhouse construction currently used in Israel includes galvanized steel, shade nets made of aluminum that reflects the unwanted heat and automatically in reaction to sunlight, curtains, skylights, and quality insects net. Modern greenhouses are higher, being five meters higher at their lowest point and the span width reaching 9.6 meters," she said.

She added that the new technology and facility has an innovative system on ventilation, circulation, light, humidity and temperature which are essential in climate control for better production.

The greenhouse structure has three different types, these are single, double and triple arch.

In a comparative analysis conducted by Gur Lavi, data showed that only 4,000 kilograms per year can be produced by the Philippine traditional agriculture in every 1,000 hectares (has). While with the Israeli Greenhouse technology intervention it will reach up to 45,000 kilograms with the same land area of 1,000 has.

The art of bonsai growing

By Ace June Rell S. Perez

"GROWING bonsai is an art and expression. It is not easy but if you love doing it, it will be injected within your system," said Ilora L. Chua, owner of the Lorymar Garden.

Lorymar Garden, one of the leading gardens selling bonsai located in Catalunan Pequeno, Davao City, joins anew in the Kadayawan Farm and Garden Agro Trade Fair's 5th Davao Bonsai Shohin competition at the SM City Grounds.

The event is organized by Mindanao Floriculture and Ecological Development Inc. and Floriculture Industry of Davao Inc. in cooperation with the City Government of Davao and the Davao Bonsai Society.

"It is not easy to grow bonsai, it demands so much attention, care, and time, you just have to have the heart of doing it and learn to enjoy how to grow it, then it will eventually become easy," Chua said, adding that planting and making bonsai need so much patience and perseverance since it would take an average of five to 10 years before bonsai can be realized.

Bonsai means growing a dwarf tree in a container. It is originally from Chinese but was made known by the Japanese. It can be achieved through special methods to control its growth by pruning and wiring for desired artistic shape, may it be cascade, upright or anything depending on the artist's choice.

"It mainly depends on your idea, it's more like making something out of nothing, and that's the most challenging and best part of it," Chua said.

The trees and/or plants like bougainvillea, bantigui, molave, bushida, tugas, granada or granaditos, dwarf guava, and caimito, among others, can be grown as bonsai.

"There is really a good market for bonsai but mostly individuals with higher economic status are interested in buying bonsai because it is really expensive," Chua said.

Bonsai in Davao is available at P500 to P150,000, depending on sizes and features.

Aside from bonsai, Lorymar Garden offers ornamentals, cacti, succulents and landscaping services.

"Propagation is the name of the game, through propagating you will be generating more sales, that's what I am always saying to the interested individuals and tourists who are interested in doing same thing, to propagate means more income," she said.

300 more metric tons of durian expected to be exported to new Asian market

By Antonio L. Colina IV (MindaNews)

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/15 August) — Durian growers in Davao City may soon export an additional 300 metric tons (MT) of the fruit to a new market in Asia, Larry Miculob, president of the Durian Industry Council of Davao said at the opening of the 3rd Kadayawan Durian Festival at SM Lanang Premier on Friday.

Miculob, however, declined to say where that new market is, explaining they are still at the early stages of discussion with the importers there.

In a recent media forum, he said they have been exporting 30 MT to Singapore for two years and 18 MT to Hong Kong since last year. Another market that is now also being eyed is Japan where they sent 50 samples of seedless and vacuum-packed fresh durian last week.

Miculob advised durian growers to plant more and heed the best practices to jack up production up to eight to 10 MT per hectare from the current 4.6 MT per hectare to fill in the looming supply gap in two years.

“Whoever plants durian, don’t abandon it. Our goal is to increase the productivity,” he said in Cebuano.

If the farmers plant today, they should not worry about oversupply because there will be new export markets where they can ship out their fresh produce by the time the trees start bearing fruits, he said.

He added that trainings have been provided by the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Trade and Industry, and Department of Science and Technology.

Councilor Marissa Salvador Abella added said the region produced 67 MT of durian in 2014, 90 percent of which came from Davao City.

But DA regional director Remelyn Recoter said production could be higher had it not been for super typhoon Pablo which struck the region in December 2012.

She explained that El Niño, which is expected to persist until August 2016, has delayed the fruiting of some durian trees.

The Durian Industry Council is also expecting a 25 percent drop in the production of durian grown on lowlands this year due to El Niño. But the productivity of durian trees in Calinan, Baguio, and Toril districts has remained stable.

“Early next year, El Niño will intensify. But compared to other regions, the impact on our region will be minimal,” she said.

Abella added that they want to encourage the farmers to go beyond just growing durian, adding that she desires durian growers develop the sense of entrepreneurship.

“After we have organized the farmers, we want to strengthen and capacitate them to become business-minded,” she said.

The councilor will participate in the food trade expo in Nanning, China next month to see what opportunities await the durian growers and other farmers in the city.

New call center opens in Davao

(PIA/RG Alama)

DAVAO CITY- A new Business Process Outsourcing company has opened its doors in Davao City.

Benjamin Davidowitz, chief executive office of Open Access BPO said the decision to locate to Davao City was because of it being a Next Wave City, a location which offers a wide-base skilled professionals and reliable infrastructure.

“Davao provides educated and skilled English-speaking agents at 30% cost reduction this gives us the opportunity to save more money for those companies looking to cut costs while maintaining the same standards. “ Davidowitz said during the blessing of their new office last August 11.

The new call center office located at Filandia IT Center in Quirino Avenue of this city can accommodate approximately 180 employees.

The Open Access CEO said they are planning in the future a campus in Davao which is capable of hosting 500 agents.

Founded in 2006 in San Carlos Californa by Davidowitz and Henry Chang, the BPO firm specializes in multilingual content moderation and customer support for businesses world wide cutting across many industries including technology and internet-based sectors.

The company’s operations are located in Makati City and in Taipei Taiwan, the office in Davao City is their third location.

Davidowitz said that their operations in Davao City is proof that Davao City is one of the best outsourcing destinations in the country as recognized by the International Business Process Administration of the Philippines (IBPAP) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

“Investors will benefit through lower business costs and a progressive business environment, these factors together with Davao’s economy and business boost makes it (Davao City) the frontrunner among all emerging offshoring sites in the country. “ Davidowitz said.

P10.8M set for Kadayawan promotion

By Christine Joice C. Cudis

A TOTAL of P10.8-million budget has been allocated by the City Government of Davao solely for the media promotion of the 30th Kadayawan sa Dabaw Festival.

"The benefit of this expenditure will not only be for this month. The people will remember our city until next year and the years after that," said Ruben Bangayan, chair of the committee on finance, ways, and means,

Bangayan admitted they have been working on beefing up tourist arrivals in the city with TV, print, and radio advertisements being circulated in Bacolod, Iloilo, Manila, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, and General Santos.

He also said that everyone can take part in attracting visitors to the city through social media sites.

People can help via tweeting or tagging someone from outside the city on posts pertaining Kadayawan festival.

Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre said, "Photographs are vital roles in enticing people to visit our city."

It can be recalled that local photographers and hobbyists cried foul over the "unpleasant" treatment given to them by security forces.

City Information Officer assistant head Joseph Lawrence Garcia said that they provided at least 500 identification cards, 300 for hobbyists and 200 for the media. These access passes are for free but are subject to application.

City Tourism Office officer-in-charge Lisette Marques said, "If they have access pass, they can take photos on the streets, there will be a lot of opportunities for them to take good pictures."

The designated areas for photographers are at the Apo View Hotel, Marco Polo Davao and Rizal Park.

Pecha Kucha Night slated August 15

(ICT)

THE Dakila Philippines Davao Collective is set to launch its Pecha Kucha Night at Java Jive on Quirino Avenue, Davao City on August 15.

With a theme "Minute Movies: Telling Big Stories Through Short Films", Dakila social media manager Jessica Madrazo said Pecha Kucha will serve as a venue for those artists and aspiring artists to showcase their work - movies and films.

"It aims to revitalize the city's film industry and to encourage more creatives to explore using short films as a way to tell larger life stories," Madrazo said during the Club 888 at Marco Polo Hotel on Wednesday.

Pecha Kucha is a Japanese word means chika-chika (conversation), Madrazo said, adding that the event is the first of its kind in Davao City.

The Pecha Kucha is an international networking, showcase and meet-up event for designers and creatives. It started out in Tokyo, Japan in 2003 as a way for designers to get together and share their work in public.

The movement has expanded to over 800 countries all over the world. It also provides their host cities a global stage to showcase their local arts communities and venues to use art as a way to create social change.

"We are inviting all those filmmakers and artists who work on film and movies to be part of the event, para makita ng Davao City that we do have film industry and we have a lot of talented creatives and artists," Madrazo said.

The only thing about the Pecha Kucha, it has to observe strictly 20 by 20 roll (20 images and 20 seconds per images). The presentor has to prepare 20 images only.

The Pecha Kucha Night will have a panel featuring renowned local filmmakers and creatives, such as Bagana Fiola, the award-winning filmmaker (Sonata Maria); and Maki Serapio, a sound designer and award-winning indie filmmaker.

Gian Enrique, a multimedia artist, whose team recently won the DCPlinado: A Documentary Film Competition hosted by the City Government of Davao; and Jad Montenegro-Amor, an awarded musician, will also join the panel.

"Pecha Kucha has no entrance fee and is open to those interested in filmmaking. This is the first of the series Pech Kuch night in the country," Madrazo said.

Dakila, a collective for modern heroism, mobilizing people to push for social change, organized such event to inform, inspire, and incite civil society into action.

In line with this event, Dakila campaigner for international rights Julia Jasmine Sta. Romana said they will hold a filmmaking competition on stories on modern heroism.

Romana said the competition dubbed as CineMinuto is open for entries from amateur filmmakers from all over the country.

"It is a one-minute film featuring stories about modern heroes. The winners will win a trip to Ilocos, P5,000 worth of gift certificates from different stores and free tickets to the premier night of Heneral Luna," Madrazo said.

Heneral Luna is the latest film by award winning director Jerrold Tarog.

"Our purpose here is to showcase modern heroism and encourage people to realize that there are different forms of heroism hindi na yung mamatay ng dahil sayo anymore. This will be a chance for those who are interested," Madrazo said.

Canadian insurance firm pours in more capital in Mindanao

(PNA), LAP/LCM/DIGNA D. BANZON/LDP

DAVAO CITY, Aug. 11 (PNA) -- A Canadian insurance company is partnering with a local investor for several infrastructure projects in Mindanao with over USD 25 million investments under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme.

This was disclosed by Michael Manuel, chief business development officer of Sun Life Financial in the Philippines, who said that there are lots of opportunities for PPP in the Philippines especially in the power sector. He said partnership with insurance companies like Sun Life will go for long term borrowings of about 20 to 25 years.

“Ours is long term compared to other financial institutions like banks that only offer 12 years,” he said. He said investors would prefer long term scheme with the huge amount of money that they would need for the project.

He said there are several big projects in Davao City, citing the modernization of both the Davao International Airport (DIA) and the Sasa Port.

Meanwhile, Manuel disclosed the company has the highest assets under management (AUM) in Davao City cornering more than P1 billion as of June 2015 in the Philippines for Sun Life Asset Management Co. Inc. (Slamci). AUM is the market value assets that an investment company manages on behalf of investors.

Manuel said Davao City investment is in the right direction with new markets getting into the scene. In economics, he said about 70 percent are on consumption because of the people’s capacity to spend.

Davao City Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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