Davao City News

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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.


Davao City celebrates Nutrition Month


THE City Government of Davao issued a proclamation to declare the month of July as Nutrition Month in Davao City.

Pursuant to Presidential Decree 491 (Nutrition Act of the Philippines) that mandates nationwide celebration of the Nutrition Month every July this year, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation 2, Series of 2015, declaring July 1-21 and every July of every month of every year thereafter as Nutrition Month in Davao City.

Signed on July 1, 2015, the proclamation order mandates the celebration of July as Nutrition Month in Davao City to be spearheaded by the City Health Office.

This year's theme is "Timbang Iwasto sa Tamang Nutrisyon At Ehersisyo," which aims to campaign the importance of proper nutrition and physical activity in the prevention of overweight and obesity among general public.

Meanwhile, to assure participation of city employees, a Memorandum Circular encouraged employees to promote the 10 Kumainments to be downloaded from the National Nutrition Council (NNC) website.

Based on the Circular, the employees are also encouraged to disseminate the Nutrition Month's theme through the conduct of seminars, hanging of streamers or other advocacy materials.

They are also encouraged to conduct similar "Belly Gud for Health" activity of the Department of Health where employees are encouraged to reduce their waist circumference by having a contest of the person with highest reduction in waist circumference from July to December.

As an alternative for the "Belly Gud for Health" is the measurement of the body mass index of employees to determine the prevalence of obesity.

The circular also encouraged to assure the availability of food options in office canteens.

All DILG Regional Directors are also directed to cause the widest dissemination of the circular in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

8990 Holdings to invest PhP4.3-B to build fifth housing project in Davao

By Leslie D. Venzon [(PNA), SCS/LDV]

DAVAO CITY, July 5 (PNA) -- Listed mass housing developer 8990 Holdings Inc. is investing PhP4.3 billion to develop a 100-hectare property into its fifth residential project here, in its bid to help the country address the housing backlog in the next few years.

8990 Holdings president and chief executive officer Januario Jesus Atencio announced the new housing project located in Puan, south of the city, after the company’s investors’ roadshow to drum up support for its PhP9-billion bond issue.

“Davao has a continuing strong market for housing. Davao is a major regional center in Mindanao. What is the vision of 8990 Holdings is for our brand Deca Homes to be present in all the regions,” he said in an interview.

Atencio said its residential project is expected to deliver around 6,500 units worth PhP6.5 billion.

He said they target to start construction of the five-year project in 2017.

8990 Holdings has housing projects located in barangays Indangan, Mintal, Esperanza and Cabantian here.

Atencio said the company has also acquired another three properties in Zamboanga, Bacolod and Marilao, Bulacan with cumulative area of 102 hectares which will be developed into new residential projects.

He said it will use internally generated funds to complete the projects.

8990 Holdings already launched seven of the nine projects pipelined for this year situated in Muntinlupa City, Cavite, Cebu, Iloilo and Davao. These would deliver 4,486 housing units with value of PhP4 billion this year.

He added the company will launch the remaining two projects located in Cebu and another one here by the third quarter of 2015. Its Cebu project will deliver 1,000 housing units while the Davao project will provide 800 units.

In addition to the new projects, the 10 ongoing projects will provide a total of 19 projects equivalent to 11,083 housing units with an estimated value of PhP10 billion this year.

Atencio expressed hope that the company’s housing projects will help address the housing backlog in the country.

“If the housing backlog is growing at five percent, that’s 250,000 units. We are supplying 11,000 (units), so we are like 20 percent solving the housing backlog. That’s really so many unserved demand… So they (big companies) should come, and they should help us,” he said.

Meanwhile, Atencio said the company’s corporate bond offering was oversubscribed.

“I see the market accepting the bonds very well. On the level of the institutional buyers, it is already all taken up,” he said.

The developer intends to use the proceeds from the issuance to refinance its existing debt obligations as well as that of its subsidiaries.

Clearing of city canals continue

By Kriztja Marae G. Labrador

ON THE onset of the rainy season, clearing operations of the Davao City's canals with silts and garbage deposits will continue daily, an official of the Davao City Demolition Unit (CDU) said.

CDU chief retired Col. Yusof Jimlani said through this effort, they have already collected about 483.50 cubic meters of wastes in June alone or an average of 18 cubic meters a day.

He said they are doing this operations as "almost all" drainage canals especially the open ones have garbage and silt deposits.

"Our natural waterways marami ring basura at debris from the uplands while some manholes have been covered with illegal structures," Jimlani said.

According to him, they had already noticed the reduction in silt deposits in the city's canals through this initiative.

Negosyo Centers to make biz processing easier

  • Source: h
  • Friday, July 3, 2015
By Ace June Rell S. Perez

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Davao is set to open five Negosyo Centers this year that will make business processing easier for the budding small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Davao Region.

These centers will provide assistance and facilitation to SMEs in terms of business registration, trainings, consultations and information packages.

DTI-Davao Director Maria Belinda Ambi, in a phone interview, said the agency will have a simultaneous opening of two Negosyo Centers in the cities of Davao and Digos on July 9.

The center here will be housed at the Davao City Investment and Promotions Center (DCIPC) at Magsaysay Park Complex. It costs P800,000 and has a total area of 110-square-meter floor area.

"The two Negosyo Centers will simultaneously open on the same day this coming Thursday in Davao and Digos," she said.

The launch was previously set last July 1 but it was moved next week, as the schedules of the officials of DTI-Davao and local government units (LGUs) were in conflict in preparation for Davao provinces anniversary celebration.

The launching will be graced by Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, author of the Republic Act (RA) 10644, also known as Go Negosyo Act.

"The budget for our Negosyo Center in the city is lesser since we are assisted with the city's Local Government Unit (LGU). They provided us with the building and staff for the operations," she added.

The agency allocated some P4.7 million this year for the establishment of the five and the planned Negosyo Center to be put up in Malita, Davao del Sur.

The opening of the Negosyo Center in Mati City will be on July 6, Tagum City on July 30, and Nabunturan sometime in August. The agency is eyeing to construct six to 12 more Negosyo Centers in the region next year.

Meanwhile, DTI-Davao forged a partnership with the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. and Micro-Small, Medium Enterprises Development Council in the staging of the 2015 MSME Trade Expo, which will run from July 3 to 9 at the Abreeza Mall Atrium with some 30 exhibitors.

Davao City to host Mindanao Halal Festival

By RG Alama (PIA)

DAVAO CITY- The first Mindanao Halal Festival will be held in Abreeza Mall in Davao City this July 15 to 16.

This event will be showcasing Halal food, apparel, fashion accessories, investment techniques, talents and other products and services that are Halal certified.

Spearheading the event is Escider Incorporated, a halal business investment company. Syed Kamal Reza, company vice-president said they hope the event would help promote the halal industry in Davao.

Reza said they hope to capture a foothold in the $500-billion global industry. He said Mindanao has great potentials to become a main source of halal products which could spur the regional economy.

Reza said their company is planning to put up a P10-million slaughterhouse in Toril next year. The planned 5,000 square meter abbattoir is expected to process 1,000 kilos of Halal meat (beef, chicken and goat) per week.

The first MHF aims to attract more investors and partners to put up potential halal investments in the region like the ones being established by Escidor.

Among the highlights of the event is the the launch of Davao City's Halal Ordinance, which is the first in the country and the Mindanao-wide Qur’an mermorization competition.

And for each night of the two-day event, the public will be able to taste various Halal foods thru a nightly food festival, the dishes will be based on Mindanaoan regional cuisine.

Halal means lawful or permitted in Arabic it pertains to those acts or objects permissible for Muslims to use and engage. Generally it refers to food which are allowed under Islamic dietary guidelines.

7,000 visitors in Wofex

By Ace June Rell S. Perez

SOME 7,000 visitors were recorded during the three-day World Food Expo (Wofex) Mindanao 2015 held on June 25 to 27, 2015 at the SMX Convention Center Davao, SM Lanang Premier.

Joel Pascual, president of Premier Events Plus Group Inc. (PEPGroup), in an email sent to Sun.Star Davao Monday, said the number of visitors increased by 40 percent as compared to last year with 5,000.

The staging of Wofex Mindanao, the largest export-oriented food show, was considered by far the most successful Wofex regional up to date.

"The response of our exhibitors was overwhelming, mostly are saying this has been our best Wofex Mindanao ever. In fact, 100 percent of our exhibitors said they are willing to return which is the best indicator that the show was indeed a success," he said, adding that partnering with Mindanao Culinary Festival(MCF) was a big factor for the expo's positive outcome.

The three-day event, organized by PEPGroup, gathered some 150 exhibitors, 95 percent of them were non-local exhibitors and only five percent came from Davao Region.

Organizers said they will come up with a bigger Wofex Mindanao next year, bringing in more exhibitors who will offer new products and services to the prospective customers.

He added that there will be more speakers who will share their expertise on topics relevant to the growing needs of the local market.

Organizers will continue the staging of culinary competitions, a venue where kitchen students and professionals can further hone their craft.

"With the mushrooming of property developments, restaurants, established both by chains and homegrown restaurants of Davao make the foodservice scene in Davao more exciting and we feel that makes Wofex even more relevant in the coming years," Pascual said.

The silver winners of the 12th MCF for Filipino Cuisine Category; Remelina S. Cuenca, Janice Faith C. Ibanez and Esther Abigail D. Rofriguez of Gourmet Bites. For Young Chef Category, they are Twitchelle Fretz L.Zolina and Cielmare A. Batisalaong of ICHEF will represent the Mindano for the 2015 Philippine Culinary Cup Competition slated on August 5-8 at the SMX Convention Center, Manila.

DOST beefs up weather monitoring measures

By Ivy C. Tejano

THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) beefed up its safety measures to monitor the weather condition in Davao Region due to the onset of the rainy season.

Speaking in Monday's Kapehan sa PIA at The Annex events center of SM City Davao, DOST Davao science research specialist Eric Colmenares said they will install an early warning sensor device in Davao del Norte and Davao Oriental provinces.

"Last year, ang concentration namo is nasa (We concentrated last year in) water river basin-Davao River, Tagum-Libuganon and Agusan River. This year, didto na pud ta sa minor river basins, mostly, naa kini sa (We will focus on minor river basins in) Davao del Norte and Davao Oriental," Colmenares said.

"After that is the identification of the flood-prone barangays or communities kay didto ta magbutang ug kining alarm system (we will put alarm system there). We'll also have emergency communication para maka-communicate agad ang munisipyo sa atin," he added.

Colmenares said the equipment comprises automated rain gauges and automated weather stations that will be used to warn residents of impending floods due to moderate to heavy rains.

DOST earlier signed a memorandum of agreement with local government units in Davao Region regarding its 56 automated weather systems that would monitor the weather condition.

Colmenares said the bureau aims to install 1,000 hydromet sensors in the country and 100 in Davao Region this year, adding that the next batch of sensors will have alarms and lights that will alarm the residents.

Social welfare officer Erna Sampiano, of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, said their office has stored 30,000 family food packs to be distributed in case of a disaster.

"We also have our social welfare assistance and development officers nga naa sa satellite offices in various areas here in the region to address the concerns of the victims in case needed," Sampiano said.

Since July is a National Disaster Consciousness Month, Office of the Civil Defense Davao Region director Rebecca Lopez said they will conduct various activities, seminars, and trainings to prepare the region in case of any disaster.

Davao Bureau of Fire Protection Chief of Operation Fire Inspector Nestor Jimenez said they will conduct massive inspection here to ensure that all establishments have adequate fire exits and safety measures.

SME trade expo opens July 3

By Ace June Rell S. Perez

THE Davao City Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council (MSMEC), in partnership with Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industries Inc. (DCCCII), will stage the 2015 MSME Trade Expo.

The expo, slated on July 3-9 at the Atrium of Abreeza Mall, will open at least 50 booths. As of Monday afternoon, some 30 exhibitors have confirmed participation in the event.

With this year's theme, "Promoting Job Generation and Inclusive Growth through the Development of MSME," the expo features different forums on virtual assistance as a profession, demonetization, franchising and telecommunications.

"This year, we want to maximize the event and give opportunities to our MSMEs by adding more activities during the run of the expo," DCCCII executive director Mary Antonette Doromal said in an interview with Sun.Star Davao.

Some of the exhibitors during the expo are Cacao de Davao, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Malagos Agriventure Corporation, Aromacology Sensi, Asia's Emergency Medical Services Institute Inc., Globe, Bayan Telecommunications, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Aghriculture, Department od Science and Technology, among others.

The expo is a mixed of MSMEs from different industries.

"The venue will be a venue for them (MSMEs) to showcase their products to the public and be able to test the market and gain feedback from the customers," she added.

Japan-based BPO firm to expand in Davao

By Ace June Rell S. Perez

A JAPANESE-owned business process outsourcing (BPO) firm has expressed interest to expand its operation in Davao City and is now looking at possible partnership with local colleges and universities.

ISFnet, Japan's leading IT services and IT staff supply company, is bent on putting up a subsidiary office in the city, according to Ivan C. Cortez, officer in charge of the Davao City Investment Promotion Center (DCIPC), told Sun.Star Davao in a recent interview.

"But ISFnet is still in the exploratory stage," he said, adding the company showed interest in the city after they observed that most its qualified applicants in Manila are from Davao City.

ISFnet opened its Manila branch in December 2013.

At present, ISFnet is now meeting with the city's tertiary educational institutions as possible partners for their expansion in the city, Cortez said.

"ISFnet is presently talking with Philippine Nikkie-Jin Kai School of Davao, Inc. to talk with partnership to incorporate their program like the teaching of Nihongo language to the school's curriculum," said Cortez.

He said the company will be employing graduates of Information Technology courses with knowledge on Nihongo.

He said company representatives have also vowed to give chance to applicants who are mostly not hired by other related companies that resulted to what Cortez described as as "tambays."

"The investor said that in Japan they have this 'stigma' that if you are not employed right away after graduating you will be considered as outcast in the society," he said.

ISFnet was founded in January 2000 in Tokyo, Japan by Yukiyoshi Watanabe and initially offered Internet-related consulting services. At present, it has offices in 22 cities in Japan, and subsidiaries in China, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, India, Myanmar and the Philippines.

A world of colors

By Stella A. Estremera

SPECIAL children who have shown a flair for the arts have taken over the halls of Museo Dabawenyo as they stage an exhibit of arts and crafts starting June 23.

The Deanna Sipaco Foundation for the Differently-Abled Inc. gathered the works of 18 special artists, which are now on display in the exhibit entitled “A Spectacular World of Colors”.

They are: Noben Montederamos, Roxanne Dado, Barbie Hong, Moses Ibanez, Ken Viduya, Noreen Espina, Michael Redulosa, EJ Gecale, Alvin Redulosa, Deo Malimban, Ric Robin Cagnaan, Raphael Gumban, Joko Jose Angelo Patal, Cresten Costan, Ronace Coprada, Jonell Cartagena, Jennylyn Tadle, and Nino. While getting regular mentorship from an art instructor, the special artists also had some guidance from renowned Davao City artist Rey Mudjahid “Kublai” P. Millan.

The DS Foundation is a non-profit, humanitarian organization established on January 29, 2001. It aims to assist Persons with Disabilities or PWDs to develop their potentials in the field of visual art, music, sports and dance. It is named after Deanna Sipaco, a DS artist, who has passed on a few years back while in her 30s.

The exhibit not just showcases the creations of these special individuals, it also delivers their good wishes to promote the development of people with special needs through arts.

There to welcome the guests and facilitate the program was Dayenne Sipaco, sister of Deanna, and the new generation pushing for the foundation’s programs as stalwart support to the work of their parents -- foundation president Atty. Alberto B. Sipaco Jr., and Diana C. Sipaco, the foundation’s executive director.

Understanding DS

Down syndrome, detectable even as a newborn, occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21 of the 23 pairs of chromosomes a human nucleus normally has.

The extra copy, thus alters the development of the person and causes the characteristics that are identifiable as Down Syndrome.

A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm. Although, as humans are, each person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may have these characteristics in different degrees, sometimes, not at all.

In the US, at least one in every 691 babies are born with Down. Meaning, it’s not that unsual and yet requires special understanding and care of not just the family but the community at large as many persons with Down are very sociable.

While it is commonly believed that Down Syndrome is caused by women giving birth at a late age, this theory is not really supported by science. While there is an increase frequency as a woman ages, the higher birth rates of younger women as compared to elder women bring about more children with DS being born to women under 35 years of age.

Until now, there is no scientific research that provides strong links to environment factors nor parents activities before or during pregnancy while the copy of the 21st chromosome can come from either father or mother.


Cutting the ribbon to officially signify the two-week exhibit run were Lawyer Gil Dalumpines, representative of the Office of the City Mayor, and Department of Social Welfare and Development 11 Regional Director Priscilla Razon.

Formally welcoming the guess was Daisy Sipaco-Castro, the foundation secretary.

Lawyer Dalumpines and Director Razon both gave an overview of their offices’ programs for the differently-abled while Kublai discussed how art is a very important factor in the success of a person, especially one who sees the world through a different spectrum.

The foundation extends its gratitude to their supporters Priscilla Rico of the City Social Services and Development Office, Febe Lybai Matthews, Arman Amancio, and Teogenes Comiling, art instructor Dominic Torno, Julie Manila, Weng Obo, Aisa Sevilla, Nene de Leon, Mr. and Mrs. Boy Montederamas, and Alex Alagon..

The Museo Dabawenyo under Orly Escarilla will be hosting the exhibit until July 8.

We can say whatever we want, and we are free to practice any religion we want. But, once what we say destroys that dignity of another, we overstep our right. Once we start harming others for religion, we are now abusing our right.

Disability prevention activities in July

By Karina V. Canedo

JULY is the national disability prevention and rehabilitation month and several activities are scheduled to make people more aware.

Bong Comiling, president of the Persons With Disability (PWD) Federation of Davao, said the one-week celebration will start out by hosting the flag-raising ceremony at the City Hall on July 14.

Outstanding PWDs in Mindanao will be awarded in a program at SM Davao on July 17, while they will be gathering for a thanksgiving mass on July 19 at St. Paul's Parish at 9 a.m.

On July 20, they will have a Comelec registration, cultural show, and Sayawitan at SM while a product and services exhibit will be held at the lobby of the City Council.

A forum on responsible parenting for parents of children with disabilities will also be held for barangay captains aside from health and wellness education, free massage, diabetes and hypertension screening, issuance of PWD certificate of disability for the PWD discount card, special Olympics free sports for children and music language training at SM.

The culmination program will be on July 23, which will also have a simple bookkeeping and business proposal workshop for federation members sponsored by the Department of Labor and Employment.

Food industry players eye expansion in Davao

By Ace June Rell S. Perez

THE World Food Expo (Wofex) Mindanao-10th Food Processing and Packaging Technology Expo has driven national players in food service to open branches in Davao City as the event brings them closer to the island.

"Some 150 companies who are participating in this year's edition of Wofex join the expo to see if there's market in the city. Once they see the potential of the city, they will surely open a branch or office in the city because of their experience during the show," Wofex president Joel Pascual said, adding that several companies have invaded and invested in Davao.

Handyware Philippines Inc., one of the regular participating companies in the exposition, is eyeing to open a branch in the city to accommodate its growing customers from the island.

"We are now in the process of securing permits, but definitely, we are targeting to operate this year," said Edward H. Tomboc, Handyware area manager for Mindanao.

Handyware is a national marketing and distribution company of equipment and machineries catering to various industries such as food processing and packaging, printing and publishing, telecommunications, construction, pharmaceutical and other growth-oriented businesses.

"Big part of our Davao expansion is Wofex. Since we joined the exposition, we have seen a big market opportunity here in Davao, now we decided to be nearer to the market," said Tomboc, adding that Davao is the fastest growing city in southern part of the country.

Established in 1968, the firm has seven branches nationwide, including the Davao branch and one branch each in China and Vietnam.

Tomboc said that after the Davao branch, the company is also eyeing to expand in the cities of General Santos and Cagayan de Oro.

P5B more for PRDP projects


THE Department of Agriculture is set to allocate an additional P5 billion to fund infrastructure projects proposed under the agency's anti-poverty program, the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP).

Arnel de Mesa, PRDP national deputy director, said in a press briefing Wednesday at the Royal Mandaya Hotel that with a budget shortfall of some P11 billion for PRDP projects, they have decided to review all project proposals that are to be delivered this year.

"At present, ee have an ongoing national review of the projects on infrastructure and we are targeting to deliver additional P5 billion more, which is up for approval by Congress and President Aquino by the end of this month. The additional budget will be intended for projects that are to be implemented this year," de Mesa said, adding that starting July, they are up for processing the budget for 2016.

He also said that for the proposed 415 infrastructure projects, PRDP allocated P18 billion but the estimated cost of all the approved infrastructure projects under PRDP is pegged at P29.3 billion.

"Overall cost for the proposed 415 infrastructure projects is P29.3 billion but we only have allocated P18 billion for the infrastructure projects so we need an additional P11 billion for it," he added.

PRDP's infrastructure portfolio in Mindanao has 161 subprojects worth of P8.7 billion, with farm-to-market roads eating the bulk of the budget.

Meanwhile, with PRDP's increase on infrastructure project proposals in Mindanao, the program's national project coordination office earlier trained provincial engineers on Infrastructure Quality Monitoring and Durability System in the city.

"The IQMDS would aid PRDP in ensuring that infrastructure projects are implemented with top-notch quality in mind and that it serves the needs of the rural population," de Mesa said.

150 companies to join world food expo at SMX


THE World Food Expo (Wofex) Mindanao-10th Food Processing and Packaging Technology Expo, the largest export-oriented food show in the country, opens in Davao City on June 25.

Some 150 companies will showcase their latest food and beverage products and services.

The three-day event is slated at SMX Convention Center at SM Lanang Premier.

Over 6,000 visitors are expected to attend the exposition, a 20 percent increase as compared to last year's turnout.

"We registered about 5,000 visitors last year and we are targeting to exceed this by 20 to 25 percent given the addition of the Mindanao Culinary Festival into the show," Joel Pascual, Wofex president, told Sun.Star Davao, adding that one of the major features of this year's expo is the relaunching of the culinary festival.

The expo showcases 95 percent non-local exhibitors and only five percent came from Davao Region.

"About 95 percent of the exhibitors come from outside of Mindanao. The strength of Wofex is that it allows the establishments to have more supplier options as we bring in suppliers closer to them," Pascual said.

The expo aims to help build networks of buyers and sellers, of providing supply solutions to those in the food industry.

"If Wofex will be able to help upgrade the facilities of one restaurant, or uplift the knowledge of a food service professional, or help create a new food entrepreneur, then it would have succeeded in accomplishing its objectives," he said.

Wofex will also continue to stage its Wofex University to Davao to serve as learning opportunities to food service professionals.

Pascual also said Wofex chose Davao because of its effectiveness in attracting visitors from across the island.

"To cater to the acknowledged food basket of the Philippines, Wofex has chosen Davao as the host. Being the major economic hub in the southern part of the country, Davao is the perfect venue for reaching the show's target market," he said.

Electronic IDs for senior citizens in Davao

By Carmencita A. Carillo

DAVAO CITY -- An electronic identification system or e-ID for the city’s senior citizens has been launched with the local government spending about P700,000 for the project.

Some 21,791 electronic IDs have been released after employees have gone around the city to replace seniors’ old cards with new ones, Azucena T. Bajao, head of the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA). The modern e-ID is part of the city government’s continuing program for the implementation of Republic Act (RA) 9994, the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

Ms. Bajao also called on senior citizens to pay a visit to the OSCA office to avail of the e-ID as some barangays do not have offices with air-conditioning, which is needed by the ID machine.

As of the 2010 survey, there were 71,000 recorded senior citizens, defined as those 60 years old and above, in the city and the number is estimated to reach 100,000.

Ms. Bajao added that there are 485 senior citizen chapters in 14 districts but only about 55,000 are active members.

At the same time, Ms. Bajao stressed that aside from the e-ID, any valid government-issued ID should be honored by establishments and service providers such as public transportation as provided by RA 9994.

“We have received complaints that some establishments do not give the discounts if they don’t have the OSCA ID but according to the law any valid government ID will do,” she said.

The city government has established an OSCA complaint board to address grievances and has designated a lawyer to assist senior citizens.

Violators of the Senior Citizens Law shall be penalized with an imprisonment of up to six years and a fine of up to P100,000 for the first violation, and imprisonment of up to six years and a fine of up to P200,000 for subsequent violations.

On the other hand, seniors who are proven to have abused the privileges granted by the law will be punished with imprisonment of not less than six months and a fine of up to P100,000.

Among the senior citizen benefits under the law is a 20% discount on food, basic commodities, services and a free movie pass during a designated schedule.

Lumad schools to open soon

By Karina V. Canedo

THE Department of Education (DepEd) will soon release permits for the lumad schools to operate after the education department received documents for the renewal of 25 Salugpungan ta TanuIgkanugon Community Learning Center (STTILC).

Jenilito Atillo, DepEd-Davao information officer, in a media conference last Friday at the Department of Education Regional office, said they received papers from the Department of Education Central Office Indigenous Peoples Education Office (IPSEO) and that they will issue the permits as soon as possible for the 25 SSTIC schools.

“Last June 18, 2015, we have received a voluminous document coming from the central office, specifically gikan sa DepEd (IPSEO). Nakadawat sila aning mga dokumento niadtong April 13, 2015. Pero nadawat sa DepEd IPSEO niatong June 3, 2015. Gibaba nila diri sa amoa kagabii nadawat namo 6:01 pm June 18, 2015 (This was received on April 13, 2015 but DepEd IPSEO only marked it received it on June 3, 2015. We got it on June 18 at 6:01 p.m.),” Atillo said.

Atillo said that this is the document they are waiting for to issue permits and other allegations are not true.

“Kini man lang among ginahulat nga dokumento wala man ta nakig connive ni bisan kinsa para i-brand sila or i-tag sila as red schools, wala man ta nag-ingon nga gipasara sila or eskwelahan sila sa komunista, ang atong issue lang gayud sa ila kay wala sila ka-renew sa ilang permit (This is what we were waiting for, we did connive with anybody to brand or tag them as red schools, we did not say to close them or that they are school of communists our issue about them is that they did not renew their permit),” Atillo said.

He also said that they would pursue the issuance of permits as soon as possible and they have to bend some rules.

“Now that we have received the documents, we are bending a little in our regulation since DepEd Order No. 21 Series of 2014 says applications filed outside said period may not be included for consideration the regional office for the same year,” he said.

Atillo also said that the two months delay of the passing the document from the central office to the IPSEO is just too little compared to their seven months delay of the SSTILC schools to pass the documents.

He added that their reconsideration of the application should already send the message that the school administration should follow the regulations to get a permit.

Atillo also said that the main good reasons for the acceptance of these applications are centered on the children who are rallying outside their office and who knocked at the hearts of the department to open their schools.

“We want the children out there to return to school. We want them to continue schooling that is why we are saying to the Salugpungan, Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation, and the SILDAP, those who were issued nonrenewal of permits, we are seriously considering now that we will be providing them with their needed permit to operate in the current year school year 2015-2016,” he said.

Atillo said that DepEd will send teachers to the area and they will be tasked to handle multi-grade systems, combination systems, and integrated class systems. The first batch of the 22 teachers to be deployed is expected to be in the area on June 29.

Davao City Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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