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USAID, through the Philippine Environmental Governance Project, assisted the local government (Davao City) in establishing, through a local ordinance, the mangrove area as a marine protected area. A crucial part in effective coastal resources management is law enforcement with Bantay Dagat teams playing a crucial role by safeguarding local waters. In Davao City Philippines, Bantay Dagat members protect mangrove areas from illegal cutting, thus conserving areas for fisheries and marine biodiversity habitats.


Asia CEO Forum in Davao on Tuesday

By Ace June Rell S. Perez

SOME 60 company owners, top government officials and executives from various business organizations in Mindanao. are set to convene in Davao City for the Asia CEO Forum slated at the Marco Polo Hotel Tuesday, December 1.

The city will be hosting the event for the first time.

Touted as the largest gathering of business executives in the country and a vital business-related event in the Asia Pacific region, the forum is aimed at promoting Philippines, Davao City in particular, "as a premier business destination to global decision makers."

The forum is organized by Asia CEO in partnership with Marco Polo Hotel-Davao.

"The event will essentially bring Mindanao’s key business leaders in one forum and allow them to hear the insights of the guest speakers as to how we can progressively move forward as a city,” Marco Polo Davao marketing and communications manager Josef T. Ledesma said in an interview with Sun.Star Davao.

Asia CEO website bared that the forum “functions as an activist to promote the activities of local and multinational organizations across Southeast Asia."

The event will bring in presenters, who are leaders in their industries and engaged in pursuits of significance to the entire region.

Resi Cayabyab, site director of Ibex Global, one of the largest Business Processing Management (BPM) locators in Davao, will discuss the industry’s opportunity for growth and employment in the region.

Real Estate industry will also take center-stage as head of research, consulting and valuation of JLL Philippines, Claro Cordero will also do his share as he tackles the growth of the key real estate sector in Davao and south of the Philippines.

Jun Palafox, principal architect and urban planner Palafox Associates, will share about nation’s best known architecture and urban planning firm.

Jesus Melchor Quitain, city administrator, will also be presenting Davao City as a viable investment hub in Mindanao.

Asia CEO Forum is staged annually in the country, this year, for the first time Davao City will be hosting the event furthering its bid of being as a premier business destination in the country.

Career fair set in Davao


IN a bid to further provide better jobs in the country, Jollibee Foods Corp. is set to stage a career fair in Davao City, dubbed as "#BeelongInJollibee Career Fair" slated on December 9 at the NCCC Mall of Davao Activity Center.

With over 50 managerial and crew job vacancies in the city, the company intends to level up the career paths of jobseekers and potential professionals of any age in thuis part of the country.

"This is actually the first time Jollibee is mounting its own career fair to introduce what we can offer as a potential employer and, at the same time, attract prospective candidates for our various vacancies. It also gives us an opportunity to better understand the needs and preferences of jobseekers in different parts of the country," human resource manager for talent management M'Lai Villagracia said in an online interview.

She added that the company plans to run the event in key cities in Visayas and Mindanao first, and eventually bring it to Metro Manila and other key areas in Luzon next year.

"We hope to find candidates that can address the over 50 vacant positions that we have in Davao," she said.

The fair is open to all jobseekers willing to be part of the leading Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) in Asia.

Organizers are expecting some 200 applicants to participate in the event.

"We provide continuous career development programs and competitive compensation and benefits," Villagracia said.

She also assured that Jollibee employees would enjoy working for the company and feel a strong sense of belongingness by providing a work environment that enables them to discover their full potential not merely as career professionals, but as people.

More than just a mere career fair, #BeelongInJollibee will also feature the company's programs and contribution in the food service industry. Jollibee is an iconic Filipino brand with presence in other countries.

"We invite everyone to visit our Career Fair on December 9 at NCCC Mall of Davao, whether you are interested in working for Jollibee or even just curious to learn about our company and the food service industry," Villagracia said.

After the #BeelongInJollibee in Davao, the company will also stage the same event in Cebu City (December 18) and Cagayan De Oro City (December 21).

City urged to sign IRR of Children's Code

By Christine Joice C. Cudis

DAVAO-based non-government organizations have called for the signing of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Children's Welfare Code which was submitted to the city council in 2006.

"Davao is vying for a grand slam as the Most Child-Friendly City in the country and yet the IRR of the children's code has not been signed by the City Legal Office," Joeffel Carreon of the ACT for Children Alliance said during the I-Speak Forum on Thursday,

The Davao City Children's Welfare Code is a landmark legislation that institutionalizes policy and program responses to many child rights challenges.

A review of the code was proposed in 2006 which resulted to a change of its name. It is now the "Comprehensive Children and Family Support System in Davao City".

According to Talikala executive director Jeanette Ampog, the signing of its IRR will allow more children to access health services.

"This will strengthen the mark Davao City has been striving to mold an image of a platform that is pro-children," she said.

ACT for Children has continued the call for the support of the city government to ensure that the IRR is signed as early as possible.

"The Children's Month is commemorated every November. Thus, it will be a timely yet significant gesture of respect to finally sign the IRR of the code," Carreon said.

DTI training held to understand halal


THE regional office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) initiated a training and seminar under the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Roving Academy (Smera) in Davao City in a bid to help SMEs have a deeper understanding about the halal industry and its bright prospects.

Dubbed as “Understanding the Different Aspects of Halal” slated on Friday at the Grand Men Seng Hotel, Magallanes St., Davao City, some 70 SMEs industry players in the food processing sector with the DTI’s trade promotion officers and processed fruits and nuts point persons actively participates in the event.

“Actually, the food processors themselves requested this kind of training. It only proves how they really wanted to tap and seize the opportunities in the Halal industry,” said DTI Davao director Ma. Belenda Q. Ambi.

The seminar focused on the Halal’s global market opportunities and challenges, value chain, business opportunities, Halal’s historical perspectives, Halal in the Asean economic community and the steps on how to secure Halal certification.

“This is a positive indicator because the SMEs wanted to involve themselves with the prospects and opportunities of the Halal industry, they are interested on how to make their businesses a Halal certified establishment,” Ambi said.

Ambi also said that the Halal industry is very lucrative and has a big market which the country needs to take advantage especially with the Asean integration.

Meanwhile, stakeholders working for the promotion and development of halal industry are pushing for every Halal certifier in the country to be accredited abroad to expand the industry's global reach.

Romeo Montenegro, Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) director for Investment Promotions, Foreign Relations and Public Affairs said in an earlier report that accrediting the country's Halal certifiers with the international market is one of the major actions pushed by stakeholders.

“We only have a few who are accredited from abroad. The more certifiers being accredited abroad is better for us, because if one is accredited abroad it can penetrate the market where bigger demand for Halal is,” he said.

He cited Islamic Da'Wah Council of the Philippines (IDCP) as a perfect example. IDCP is accredited and recognized in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and all other Arab countries.

Montenegro also said that coordination of the various agencies that are working for Halal development must continue to improve with more effective mechanism and policy for Halal promotion and development.

Asean countries with established Halal industry are Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, among others.

Mindanao social work students gather on social protection forum


DAVAO CITY, Nov. 26 (PNA) -- Social work students from 18 schools in Mindanao participated in the forum on social protection programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) held at the Ateneo De Davao University on Thursday, November 26.

The one-day forum is organized by the National Association of Social Workers Incorporated (NASWEI) in partnership with the regional office of DSWD.

DSWD-11 Regional Director Priscilla N. Razon said the main topics are Pantawid Pamilya, Kalahi-CIDSS and Sustainable Livelihood programs. Other DSWD initiatives for discussion include the Listahanan National Assessment, Convergence Strategy, and the Social Welfare and Development Indicators.

Further, best practices on social protection as implemented by DSWD program beneficiaries and partners shared by Romelyn Barrios-Magallanes, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer of Sta. Maria, Davao Occidental; Vanessa Ilustre-Diez, Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer-turned KALAHI-CIDSS Community Empowerment Facilitator of Baganga, Davao Oriental; and Gee Phannie Coscos, Pantawid Pamilya Scholar of Malita, Davao Occidental.

Razon said social protection is defined as policies and programs that seek to reduce poverty and vulnerability to risks and enhance the social status and rights of the marginalized by promoting and protecting livelihood and employment, protecting against hazards and sudden loss of income, and improving people’s capacity to manage risks. It has four components – social welfare, social safety nets, labor market interventions and social insurance, she said.

Moreover, social protection operational framework includes: 1) protect and prevent people from falling from their current income/consumption level due to various risk factors; 2) build capacity and adaptability to ensure that better quality of life is maintained and sustained; 3) expand opportunities for income expansion and improve human capital investments in the long term; and 4) sustain standard of living in spite of exposure to risks of different types, Razon added.

DA XI outlines support to Davao irrigators


DAVAO CITY, Nov. 25 (PNA) - The Department of Agriculture (DA) here is intensifying its support to Irrigators Association (IA) in Davao Region in achieving rice sufficiency for the coming years by providing production support and other appropriate assistance.

Speaking during the IA Congress on Monday, regional director Remelyn R. Recoter assured the members of the Irrigators Association (IA) its continuing programs that can boost and help the rice farming community.

She said that the agriculture sector strengthened its support to rice farming by responding to the challenges on climate change.

With the threat of El Niño phenomenon, Recoter said, “environment and soil stresses are the main concern of our farmers. With that, the agri sector will support you by providing drought and saline tolerant varieties for the fields affected by El Niño.”

Recoter also added that DA XI would continue its support on mechanization through farm providers program.

“DA will also support the expansion of planting areas of farmer-cooperators, in coordination with their respective provincial or municipal agriculturists,” she said.Meanwhile, Recoter also urged youth to consider a career in agriculture to reverse the country’s aging farmer population and ensure the sustained growth of this critical sector.

“We are hopeful our younger generation to pursue on the agriculture sector. They are not only becoming a producer but they could also be a best entrepreneur in the farming industry,” she said.

She added that the country had the problem of an aging farmer sector population in which the average age is 57.

“Let us encourage our youth to join the DA programs like capability enhancement trainings for them to understand and somehow get encouraged in embracing the farming world,” she said.

PH shipping firm eyed to serve Davao-Gensan-Bitung sea route

By Ace June Rell S. Perez

A PHILIPPINE-based shipping company has already secured a special permit to operate within the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-Eaga) sub-economic region, an official of the Mindanao Development Authority said.

Romeo Montenegro, Minda director of investment promotions and public affairs, told reporters Monday at the sidelines of Energy Conservation Program (Enercon) at the Pinnacle Hotel and Suites that they are looking into the possibility if Platinum Shipping Lines' BIMP-Eaga special permit can be utilized for the shipping company to serve the Davao-General Santos-Bitung sea route.

"We just learned that Platinum Shipping, which applied for the Davao-Gensan-Bitung service route, was previously issued a BIMP-Eaga special permit in Zamboanga, so we are checking now if whether that special permit can already be used also for the route," he said.

But he expressed optimism the company can serve the route as the permit covers the BIMP-Eaga.

Once determined that the permit which was previously issued is viable for Davao-Gensan-Bitung sea route, the Philippine-based vessel can start its operations.

Platinum Shipping is a Cagayan de Oro City-based shipping company.

The idea of a Philippine-based vessel to serve the sea route was pushed after delays in the operations is noted when regulatory framework problem was faced by the originally-planned Indonesian vessel.

It was also said that the Philippine vessel will best served the route because they see no problem in acquiring regulatory requirements with the Philippines, than in Indonesia.

In a report, some problems in acquiring regulatory requirements is the International Maritime Organization certificate along with the other safety permits that will allow it for international voyage.

The trade sea route was established through an agreement sealed in April of last year by PT Kanaka, North Minahasa Chamber of Commerce of Indonesia, Philippine-based cargo company ARREE Freight Express, and the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII).

The sea route was supposed to begin last June 13 with the departure of MV Beverly of Indonesian-based shipping line PT Kanaka from Bitung. It was supposed to dock in General Santos City on June 14, en-route to Davao City on June 16.

However, some changes of plan were noted late last year, as PT Kanaka Lines’ MV Beverly, a shipping vessel with a capacity of 120 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) were planned to be replaced by a roll-on, roll-off (roro)vessel, a chassis roro (Charo) in particular, by a new Indonesian vessel company.

The trade sea route is part of the Philippine and Indonesian government and private sectors’ efforts especially with the Asean integration.

Montenegro also pointed out that when the operations of the sea route will start, it will be initially served by cargo vessels and eventually be served by vessel with a passenger service.

DTI-Davao City holds free marketing seminar


DAVAO CITY, Nov. 23 – Entrepreneurs who are new in the business can take advantage of the free seminar that the Department of Trade and Industry-Davao City Field Office (DTI-DCFO) will conduct on November 27, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

The one-day seminar, which will be held at DTI Conference Room, 2/F Mintrade Building, Monteverde-Sales Streets, Davao City, will focus on “Determining Your Market”

DTI-DCFO Director Engr. Edwin O. Banquerigo said that in business, one of the first things that entrepreneurs should understand and plan is to decide which segment of the population they should target.

“It is wrong to think that the product is for everyone or assume that people in the local market will want it,” he pointed out.

“This training aims to help business owners understand about the target market and see the relationship between knowing the target market and designing a marketing strategy.”

He added that topics that provide the framework for analyzing the product, customers, competitors, marketing tools will be discussed.

“DTI’s trainings are conducted through the Department’s Small and Medium Enterprise Roving Academy (SMERA) Program, which a continuous learning program to equip MSMEs with knowledge, skills and capabilities to become competitive in the domestic and global markets,” he further narrated.

Aspiring entrepreneurs and students are targeted as beneficiaries/participants SMERA to encourage more citizens to embrace entrepreneurship and help in nation-building.

“This is DTI’s contribution in addressing the call of the administration for inclusive growth and poverty by providing opportunities for learning to various sectors like women, farmers, youth, indigenous people, Muslims, PWDs, among others,” he said.

As of November this year, DTI-DCFO has conducted 56 trainings which benefitted 1,483 participants from Davao City.

Interested participants may call up Ivy M. Uy at (082) 224-0511 local 205.

Ayala Business Club focuses on soldiers' children


CHRISTMAS season is on, time to find again the truest meaning for this holiday seasons!

In light for making this yuletide season even more thoughtful and meaningful, the Ayala Business Club of Davao (ABCD) with the Hero Foundation Inc. launched its "Adopt-an-Angel" project, which intends to give hope to the little angels of the country's soldiers.

ABCD is a Davao-based family of companies under the Ayala Group. This project came to life for the benefit of the Hero foundation which provides educational assistance in the form of stipends to children and dependents of Filipino soldiers who risked their lives in the line of their duty.

"The project aims to help these children obtain a college degree, or a certificate in a vocational course, in order to give them a competitive chance in finding good and decent jobs or profession," Kennedy Kapulong, ABCD new president, said last Friday during club's induction ceremony of its new set of officers at the Seda Abreeza Hotel.

The "little angels of hope" lanterns can be purchased at P1,850 per piece from November to January of next year.

For queries and reservations, you may bcal (082) 322 8888 or email

"Purchase these little angels of hope and make a brighter future for our soldiers' children. This will in return provide them better opportunity to help their families and become productive members of our society," Kapulong said.

Meanwhile, another set of new officers were inducted last Friday to continue the mission and vision of the group for its partners and the community. The club elected Kapulong as new president, Rodante Rodriguez of Makati Development Corporation (MDC) as internal vice-president, Janice Parreno of Abreeza Mall as external vice-president, Koche Ang of Globe Telecom as secretary, Mirasol Tan of BPI-Abreeza as treasurer, Sheryl Mae Gutierrez of Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Lanang as auditor and Arnold Mendiola (BPI MS Insurance) and Mabel Enriquez (BPI Family Savings Bank) as Public information officers (PIOs).

ABCD former president, Luigi C. Escano, in his speech, presented the group's accomplishments during his term. These are, Davao Gulf SOS project, ABCD Employees Fun Games and Lifestyle, participation in the Treevolution: Greening Mindanow, and Adopt an Estero project, among others.

Among the companies under the ABCD includes the Abreeza Mall, Ayala Land, Avida Land, Alveo Land, BPI, BPI Family Savings Bank, BPI MS Insurance, BPI-Philam Life Insurance, ., Globe Telecom, MDC and Seda Abreeza Hotel.

This year, Ayala Corporation celebrates its 181st year in the business.

The first Christmas tree lights up

By Jinggoy I. Salvador

DECKED in holiday classic tones of green, gold and red, Park Inn by Radisson Davao’s Christmas tree was the first to light to welcome the Holiday Season in its annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, a tradition celebrated by all Davao City hotels.

Neil Rumbaoa, Vice President for Marketing and the children from the House of Hope, a shelter for children with Cancer, were the guests of honor with the clients and guests of the hotel, friends in the industry and affiliates within the SM group of companies graced the ceremony. The Himig Singers serenaded the affair with Christmas carols.

General Manager Pavan Kakar was grateful for all those who came and celebrated the hotel’s joyous tradition of welcoming the holiday season, “We share with you our heartfelt gratitude for your support. This is also a chance for us to get together and welcome the brightest and most celebrated time of the year. We’re delighted to have you all with us tonight.”

While the Christmas Tree will be the hotel’s main attraction for the entire Season of Giving, a special exhibition in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), unveiled earlier in the day, will be seen at Park Inn’s lobby.

DTI to set up more negosyo centers in Davao Region

By Ace June Rell S. Perez

IN SUPPORT of budding micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Davao Region is set to establish around 10 to 12 more negosyo centers by next year, an official said.

The establishment of negosyo centers is one of the landmark programs of DTI providing assistance and facilitation to SMEs in terms of business registration, trainings, consultations, and information packages, Maria Belenda Q. Ambi, DTI regional director, said.

Ambi said that they are still in the process of identifying potential locations for the centers in the region.

“We are still identifying the locations of these planned 10 to 12 centers because we want to make sure that it is strategically located. The location should be viable and most probably we will choose those places where there are more numbers of MSMEs,” she said adding that they are working closely with the agency’s provincial officers as they know more about the location.

Davao Region has a total of six centers established this year, two for Davao Oriental (Mati and Cateel) and one each for Davao City, Davao del Sur (Digos), Davao del Norte (Tagum), and Compostela Valley (Nabunturan).

On top of the planned 10 to 12 centers to be put up, two centers are already in the pipeline and will be established within the year or early next year – one each in Samal and Malita, Davao Occidental.

DTI has allocated some P12-million budget for the negosyo centers.

“The budget will be poured in the operations for the existing six and for the establishment of the additional ten to twelve centers,” Ambi said.

She added that only some P1.5 million will be allocated for the capital outlay or funding for fixed assets, equipment needed, hardware which are mostly required.

“Our challenge is only small amount is allocated for the capital outlay, most of the budget are devoted to the maintenance, operations and wage for the center’s staffs,” said Ambi.

For Davao City, the first negosyo center was launched last July in Davao City Investment and Promotions Center (DCIPC) office in Magsaysay Park Complex.

It costs P800,000 and has a total area of 110-square-meter floor area.

The agency allocated some P4.7 million this year for the establishment and operations of centers.

The establishment of the negosyo center is pursuant to Executive Order 12, series of 2015, or An Order on the Establishment and Management of a Negosyo Center in Davao City signed by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on May 3.

This is in support also to Republic Act 10644, or An Act Promoting Job Generation and Inclusive Growth through the Development of the MSMEs or the Go Negosyo Act, authored by Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV.

"It is vital to support our MSMEs because these are the best contributor to job generation and inclusive growth," Senator Bam Aquino said earlier adding that estimated 99 percent of the country's business sector is composed of MSMEs. The program aims to establish a total of 1,600 centers nationwide within four to six years.

Startup weekend opens in Davao

By Ace June Rell S. Perez

IN A bid to empower local startup business scene, a technology group stages anew the the three-day Startup Weekend Davao (SWD) 2015, which opens today and runs until November 22 at the PLDT-Smart Business Center in Davao City.

Angel Abella, vice president of Startup Davao, told Sun.Star Davao in an interview that in its fourth year, the 54-hour event will gather some 100 local technopreneurs, developers, designers and business professionals to tackle local problems through the use of technology.

"The SWD 2015 is aimed at creating ideas, execute it and be a game changer startup. It will highlight the role of startups in boosting the Philippine economy,” she said.

“Startups can help solve problems such as social inequality, financial literacy and healthcare provisions. The Philippine startup ecosystem is still in its infancy," she added.

The Philippine Roadmap for Digital Startups said that by 2020, the objective is to achieve at least 500 Philippine startups with a cumulative valuation of $2 billion.

In a primer released by Startup Davao, as of 2015, the industry estimated "around 100 startups with $40 million in funding, 250 founders and 1,700 highly-skilled jobs created."

Dulce Rose Lada, SWD global facilitator and COO, for her part, said that for the past Startup Weekends, it had given participants' inputs and industry overview, both local and global especially insights Filipino businesses need to compete in the global scale.

"Most especially, the event encouraged participants to build their own startups and, from there, build a synergetic community of startup movers and shakers," Lada said.

The winning ideas from local SW events will then be joining the Global Startup Battle (GSB). The top three teams in each city will compete in two regional rounds. Two regional winners from six regions will then face off against other teams to become the GSB Champ.

Winning teams move into an online video pitch competition for a chance to win prizes designed to help their startup idea succeed.

“Also for this year, government offices had an involvement of the three-day event, it is a sign of the strong private-public partnership,” Abella said.

The panel of judges are Joey Limjap, Vice President & Head of ICT Research and Development of PLDT, Ernie Tomas Jr., Chief of the Investment Promotions Division of the Mindanao Development Authority, Eric Clark Su, CEO and Co-founder at Lifebit, John Naranjo, CEO & Founder at Ingenuity, Rica Villanueva-Gadi, Managing Director at New Options Worldwide Outsourcing Services.

Mentors for the event are: Timmy de Jesus, Country Manager for the Philippines at JFDI. Asia-Joyful Frog Digital Incubator, Eddie Ybañez, CEO and Co-Founder at MiCab, Gilmar Padua, CEO at, Eliza Kirsten, President, Creative Director & Owner of Illumedia; GlorypearlDy, CEO & Founder at SwitoTwins, Inc., Marvin Te, Creative Director at Plainly Simple Studios, Franch Maverick Arellano Lorilla, COO and Co-Founder, Heat Stress Analyzer by CloudFarmm, and Jan Rey Altivo, CEO and Co-Founder, Heat Stress Analyzer by CloudFarm.

In its website, it was posted that Startup Weekend is a “global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs and considered as the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.”

DSWD 11 all-out support to Serbisyo Caravan nets P68-M

By Carmela C. Duron [(PNA), CTB/LCM/CCD/LDP]

DAVAO CITY, Nov. 18 (PNA) --The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here has reported a net amount of Php 68 million-worth of services and programs as its gesture of full support to the Association of Regional Executives of National Agencies (ARENA) Region 11 Serbisyo Caravan for the past six years.

Among the Department’s programs are Sustainable Livelihood, Pantawid Pamilya, Kalahi-CIDSS, Social Pension and Supplementary Feeding, DSWD Regional Director Prisclla Razon said.

Being one of the prime movers of ARENA XI, DSWD has extensively provided vital programs and services to the various communities where Serbisyo Caravan has been.

Organized and spearheaded by ARENA XI or Association of Regional Executives of National Agencies in Region XI, the Serbisyo Caravan delivers frontline government services in depressed communities in South Eastern Mindanao.

Composed of heads and assistant heads of over 50 regional offices of national government agencies based in Davao City, ARENA XI likewise spearheads the inter-agency quarterly flag raising ceremony at People’s Park, conduct of quarterly lecture series, and annual sports festival.

”During the two-day caravan, we always ensured that children enrolled in day care centers in the community are provided with nutritious hot meals. Together with barangay health workers, DSWD workers facilitate the on-site feeding and nutrition-education to both children and parents,” Razon said.

Also, groundbreaking rites for Kalahi-CIDSS sub-projects were conducted as well as payout of Cash For Work and subsidy to grantees of Pantawid Pamilya both for regular and MCCT-IP, she added.

In the latest two caravans in Talaingod, Davao Del Norte and Compostela town, Compostela Valley, implemented sub-projects under Kalahi-CIDSS include corn sheller, solar dryer, drainage line canal, low-cost solar LED home lighting system, tire path, community activity center, double-barrel box culvert, 3-classroom high school building, 2-classroom elementary school building, potable water system, and a multi-purpose building.

Meanwhile, Razon said livelihood trainings on Cultural Bead-Accessory Production, Indigenous Basket Production, Native Goat Dispersal, Organic Ginger Production, Cultural Management on Sustainable Vegetable Production, and Organic-Based Lowland/Upland Vegetable Production were launched during the caravan in Talaingod, Davao Del Norte.

Further, DSWD workers set up several stations for the most awaited distribution of family food packs to disadvantaged families. To date, DSWD has allotted 21,000 family food packs.

DSWD also handed over assorted educational supplies, raincoats and school bags, and more than 100 assistive devices such as wheelchairs, crutches, quad canes and walkers to persons with disability.

In a span of six years, Razon said Serbisyo Caravan has reached out to as far as the municipalities of Boston, Cateel, Governor Generoso and Mati City in Davao Oriental; Don Marcelino and Sarangani in Davao Occidental; Digos City and Sta. Cruz in Davao Del Sur; Kapalong and Talaingod in Davao del Norte; Paquibato District in Davao City; and Maco, Nabunturan and Compostela in Compostela Valley province.

On its 16th leg, she said the Serbisyo Caravan has leveled up and became a whole nation initiative dubbed National Serbisyo Caravan with participation of the Cabinet Cluster for Peace Security and Justice led by Undersecretary Emmanuel Bautista. And no less than DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano Soliman headed the turnover of programs and services in Barangay Sto. Niňo, Talaingod, Davao Del Norte last June.

Member agencies of ARENA XI will continue to converge, convoy and convey their premium services for as long as there are people who are determined on improving their lives by rigorously participating in government initiatives.

Davao's position as smart city gets boost

By Ace June Rell S. Perez

IBM Philippines has urged the Davao City Government to venture to a new system that is cognitive to further boost its position as a smart city and to be ahead from among other big cities globally.

"I am hopeful that local government units, such as Davao City, will also show interest in the transformative value of cognitive system. This new system will continue Davao as the lead established smart city," IBM Philippines president and country general manager Luisito "Luis" Pineda told reporters in a recent press briefing.

Pineda and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte met last Thursday night at the SMX Convention Center to discuss the matter.

Cognitive system represents an entirely new model of technology, which underscores "unstructured data through sensing and interaction."

Unstructured data are information that remains out of reach for traditional computer systems.

He explained in a statement that the company saw the need to shift cognitive system as years passed, the Information Technology (IT) has been reordering driven by simultaneous developments in data, analytics, cloud, mobile, social media, and the "Internet of Things."

"These things are coming together so fast that industries, individuals in business need to be relevant and they need to address those concerns. The shifts are causing us to rethink what we need to do in the future because inevitably data with these convergences of shifts are fundamentally transforming industries, profession and global society," Pineda said.

Davao became a smart city in 2013 as it implemented IBM's Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) solution, enhancing the city's Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) by integrating and analyzing relevant information collected from multiple agencies in real time, significantly improving their response time to emergencies.

The city invested some P120 million for the project. The IOC will help coordinate the city's emergency services such as police, fire, anti-terrorism task force, and the K9 urban search and rescue services.

At present, IBM new cognitive system through “Watson” has been gaining momentum as it is now used by new clients in a global scale. Some of the countries using IBM Watson’s cognitive systems are Australia’s ANZ Global Wealth (financing) and Deakin University, South Africa’s Metropolitan Health (healthcare), Spain's CaixaBank (banking), among the firsts in the Asean countries are Singapore’s DBS bank and Thailand’s Bumrungrad International Hospital. DBS bank is the first in Asia to use IBM Watson.

RPAB approves PHP432.8-M road projects in Davao Region


DAVAO CITY, Nov. 16 (PNA) -- The Regional Project Advisory Board (RPAB) of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) has approved a total of PHP432.8 million in farm-to-market road (FMR) projects for Region 11.

The four approved FMR projects were:

1. Rehab of 10.23 km Sonlon-Camansa FMR in Asuncion, Davao del Norte amounting to PHP143.5 million;

2. Concreting of 11.47 km Barayong-Mabini-Bala FMR in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur (PHP136.75 million);

3. Rehab of 11.47 km Poblacion-Naboc FMR in Monkayo, Compostela Valley (PHP117.05 million); and;

4. Rehab and construction of 3.2 km FMR Purok 4-6 and 8 in Brgy. Subasta, Calinan, Davao City (PHP35.5 million).

The RPAB evaluates and approves project proposals for PRDP funding in the region and it is chaired by the Department of Agriculture regional director with members from the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Interior and Local Government and Department of Trade and Industry.

PRDP is a special project of the DA which aims to promote an inclusive, value-chain oriented agriculture and fisheries development.

Davao del Norte planning chief Josie Jean Rabanos said the proposed Sonlon-Camansa FMR will reduce half of the travel time for transport of high-value crops such as cacao and cardaba banana.

"It will also reduce transport and hauling cost from PHP300 to PHP200-250. We are also expecting expansion of farm production areas from 1,634 to 2,947 hectares as road access encourages farmers to produce more crops," she said.

Meanwhile, Magsaysay Mayor Arthur Davin said the concreting of the Barayong-Mabini-Bala FMR in his town would facilitate development of commodity value chain from input provision, farming, processing and marketing of products such as cacao, rubber, mango, coconut, and banana.

"The FMR project in Barangay Subasta on the other hand will further boost the cacao production in the area and will link beneficiaries of DA-funded drying facility and cacao center to the buying centers in Calinan proper," DA regional director Remelyn Recoter said.

Recoter, who also chairs the RPAB, said that the approved subprojects will be endorsed to the Mindanao and national project offices for review and issuance of No Objection Letter.

City gearing up for Pasko Fiesta

By Ivy C. Tejano

THE Davao City Government is once again gearing up for the lighting of colorful lights and other adornments on San Pedro street, particularly in front of the City Hall, as the city prepares for the Yuletide celebration.

The lighting up is slated on December 4 when the city kicks off this year's staging of Pasko Fiesta.

City Administrator Melchor Quitain said the city has been celebrating Christmas by lighting the trees and putting decorations at the City Hall, Rizal Park and Osmeña Park.

He said they have encouraged businessmen on San Pedro Street, Magallanes, and City Hall Drive to lighten up their establishments with Christmas lights and decors for the city to look brighter and bubbly.

"We had a meeting with the businessmen in these areas, and we requested them to cooperate with us. We’re not forcing them. We hope they will cooperate. Everybody will put on the lights on December 4," Quitain said.

Quitain said they are now finalizing their preparation for the upcoming Pasko Fiesta celebration.

Davao City government allots huge land for agriculture use


DAVAO CITY (PNA) -- The city government has allotted the biggest portion for land usage to agriculture with 45.68 percent of the total land area or 111,465 hectares.

This was disclosed by Davao City Investment and Promotion Center (DCIPC) head Ivan Cortez. Cortez said this was detailed in the proposed land use plan for 2013 to 2022. This is for the reason that the city is aiming for food security in the future.

After agriculture, Cortez said the city has 24.65 percent or 60,135 hectares as conservation area; environment management comes next with 8.14 percent or 19,853; and, residential at 6.31 percent or 15,387 hectares. Tourism development comprises 2.39 percent or 5,834 hectares. The city's forest covers 13,996 hectares or 5.74 percent.

He said the city also allocated for rural settlement with 5,464 hectares or 2.24 percent of the land area of the city.

Other classifications that consisted of over 1 percent of the city's land area are for industrial of 3,707 hectares or 1.52 percent; commercial purposes at 2,624 hectares (1.08 percent); agro-industrial, 1,719 hectares (.70 percent); and, institutional at 1,280 hectares (.53 percent).

The rest are for planned unit development, parks and recreation, easement buffer, open space, special use, waste management, treatment, utilization and disposal, and inland water.

Meanwhile, Cortez said that under the Zoning Ordinance the City has 38 zone classifications.

He said the city has guides on specified zones, citing for instance that the watershed map indicates areas needing protection and preservation while the soil map is used mainly for agriculture concern. It also indicates landslide and erosion susceptibility and those areas that are prone to liquefaction.

Cortez also enumerated the structure plan of Davao City where the poblacion area as Central Business District and Toril, the secondary growth area. The urban growth centers are Bunawan, Mintal-Tugbok, Calinan, Baguio and Eden-Catigan-Tagurano.

Mindanao stakeholders gather to strengthen management of river basins


DAVAO CITY, Nov. 13 (PNA) -- Over 200 members of the River Basin Organizations (RBO) gathered here to strengthen management of Mindanao's river basins in the next three years.

The RBO aims to address the different problems among the eight identified river basins in Mindanao that includes Agusan, Tagoloan, Ranao-Agus, Tagum-Libuganon, Buayan, Malongon, Mindanao and Davao River basin.

Each organization is composed of multi sectoral groups, including the local government units, religious and academe, among others.

According to Yvette Valderia, Development Manager Officer IV of the Policy Planning and Project Development Office, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) each organization identified the problem of their assigned river basin.

The organizations were also the one that creates a master plan for the protection of the river.

“The conference conducted is the RBOs kickstart to strengthen the organization, because they can’t really implement projects if they are not strong enough. In terms of institutionalizing them, it is the phase of our engagement with the RBOs,” Valderia said.

Valeria added that the next phase that the RBOs will undergo is the implementation of the project based on their master plan that they have created.

The Mindanao River Basin has a total PHP2.21 billion worth of projects implemented in October such the flood control system and reforestation.

MinDA chair, Luwalhati Antonino said they are “expecting the full implementation of the projects recommended under the Mindanao River Basin (MRB) Master Plan of which detailed engineering design is ongoing by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Central Office”.

Among the identified issues of the eight river basin, flooding is the most common one, she said.

Joan Barrera, Project Development Division Chief, said most of the rivers have heavy siltation, reason for the floods in Mindanao.

Barrera also mentioned the weakening of the river banks due to its overuse and lack of vegetation.

She said that based on the master plan submitted by the RBOs, two approaches are expected to solve the problem.

“Based on the master plan there were two approach to solve the problem, one is non-structural and structural,” she said.

“The non-structural is the vegetative covers in a way of rehabilitating the river thru planting trees while the structural is in a form of putting dykes and the flood control projects,” Barrera explained.

While there are no rivers considered dead, Valeria said there are still things that should be done to save the rivers.

Meanwhile, Development Manager Officer III, Rolando Pinsoy said that big companies surrounding the river basins already committed to support the project.

“We’ve already talked with the big companies and we got positive response. Through their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) they will cooperate with the project they just need to align their projects,” he said.

“By next year, maybe we will conduct a matching of the private companies and river basins,” Pinsoy added.

DA 11 strengthens Agri-Fishery Mechanization

By Cherry Mae D. Palicte [(PNA), CTB/LCM/CMDP/LDP]

DAVAO CITY, Nov. 12 (PNA) – The Department of Agriculture (DA) regional office held a Mindanao-wide consultation and drafting of Regional Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization Plan (RAFMechP) to enhance farm productivity and fast track the adoption of farm mechanization in the country.

Composed of implementers, academe, farmers’ organizations, and local manufacturers, the consultation aims to provide recommendations, voice out suggestions and concerns regarding agri-mechanization for the benefit of the agricultural sector especially the farmers and fisherfolk.

DA Regional Director Remelyn Recoter said RAFMechP is under the National Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization Program (NAFMP) associated with the Agricultural and Fishery Mechanization (AFMech) Law, otherwise known as Republic Act (RA) 10601 which was passed to address the agri-mechanization concerns of the country.

In the drafting and review of the RAFMP per region, five components of the NAFMP must be considered which include the Support Services, Provisions of Quality and Safe Machines, Local Manufacturing to lower down the cost of agri-machineries, Research Development and Extension, and Human Resource Development.

The NAFMP is an ongoing project which will cover FY 2016-2022 with a proposed national budget of 8 billion pesos for the year 2017 which is expected to increase after the NAFMP is fully furnished.

Based on a data from the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) (2011), the Philippines ranked as one of those Asian countries with a low level of farm mechanization. Mechanization is the use of machines necessary for the production, harvest, handling, and processing of agri-fisheries products.

Philippines is an agricultural-based country of which 32% or 9.7 million hectares of its land area is devoted to intensive cultivation.

Director Recoter said the crafting of plans is a significant step to enhance farm productivity in the agriculture areas which will further create jobs and improve farm productivity.

She added that farm mechanization enable farmers to overcome the challenges of ASEAN economic integration.

“If the country wants to compete with the ASEAN economic integration trend, the Philippine agriculture needs to fully implement farm mechanization,” Recoter stressed.

3-day national gab on education, tourism here

By Ace June Rell S. Perez

IN A bid to strengthen tourism and business sectors' competitiveness in the country specifically in Mindanao, some 100 local and international education and tourism experts, policy makers and researchers will convene for the 1st International Conference and 19th National Conference on Economics of Education and Tourism on November 19-21 at Grand Menseng Hotel, Davao City.

Organized by the Council of Economics Educators, Inc. (Cecon), with its student arm, the Council of Economics Students (Cecon-Ces) and Holy Cross of Davao College, Inc. , the three-day conference will highlight the education and tourism experts, policy makers and researchers’ presentation theoretical and empirical papers on all aspects of economics education, economics tourism and related economic issues.

This year’s conference focuses on the theme: "Economics of Education and Tourism: Towards a Global and Local Collaborations."

"The conference will provide an opportunity to assess the reasons why in spite of our country's diverse natural and man-made attractions, we are still lagged way below our Asean neighbors. In addition, the conference will discuss successes; lessons learned and identify remaining gaps, challenges and emerging issues on the topic," Teresa P. Fabiana, president of Cecon said.

She also said that the event will encompass in-depth presentation of established academic researchers from the different private and public colleges and universities.

“The conference presents a great value and an excellent opportunity to meet Economics Educators and share knowledge,” Fabiana added.

The Conference is open to interested tertiary and secondary faculty members and students, and likewise staff from the public and private sectors engage in tourism and education.

Davao City Archived News

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