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Mangrove forests are critical for the stability of coastal areas and the sustainability of fish and marine resources which provide food and livelihood to people in more than 800 coastal towns in the Philippines. 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.
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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.


52 Swat trainees complete course

By Jeepy P. Compio

THE Davao City Police Office (DCPO) is set to hold a graduation ceremony for 52 newly-trained members of the Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat) Unit.

A recognition ceremony was already held last July 27 for the newly-recruited Swat operatives who are set to complete their training soon.

DCPO spokesperson Senior Inspector Milgrace Driz, in an interview with Superbalita, said the new members of the DCPO's Swat Unit come from the 12 different police precincts in Davao City, and are currently undergoing 45 days of training.

"Ang ilang trainings sulod ni sa 45 days. After ana, mag set na sab mi og time para sa ilang graduation in September, (Their training is 45 days and after that, we will set a time for their graduation sometime in September.)" Driz said.

As part of the graduation ceremony, the new Swat members will showcase their sharpshooting as well as their skills in handling high-risk situations such as hostage-taking and bombing.

This has been the second year that DCPO Director Senior Superintendent Vicente Danao Jr. has organized Swat training seminars to bolster the city’s capability in handling high-profile operations.

Davao to host ICT event for BIMP-EAGA

(PIA/RG Alama)

DAVAO CITY- This sprawling southern Mindanao city will be the venue of Livelihood Exchange (LIVEX) 2015 this August 18-21.

According to Wit Holganza, organizer of the event, they are expecting about 5,000 people to attend the different activities of the event which tackles various Information Communication Technology issues and concerns in the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area).

One of the main activities is the CEO forum where about 300 CEOs Conference and Exhibit from across the BIMP EAGA region is slated to attend. It will be held on August 19 at the SMX Convention Center with Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV chairperson of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship will be the keynote speaker.

The topics in the CEO conference are titled “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” and “Electronic Commerce Platform for the Asean Economic Community and Beyond.”

Another major event in Livex 2015 is the BPO Fiesta which is a gathering of about 5,000 people working in the Business Process Outsourcing Industry. Eric Manalastas, president of the BPO Association of Davao said that the BPO fiesta serves as a fellowship for the growing BPO sector in Davao.

Other events in LIVEX include the BIMP-EAGA ICT Sub-Cluster Meeting on Aug. 20, the LIVEX Exhibition on August 19-20, th BPO Developers Forum on the 18th.

A showcase of the emerging game development industry in Davao is the launching of online browser game Erectus, of which 90% of the game was developed by Davao-based game developers as outsourced by the Dutch gaming company Maata Games.

Visitors will also have the chance to try out Virtual Reality gaming with a demo on prototype units of Occulus Rift, a VR headset which engages players on a new virtual reality gaming experience.

Davao Region topped other 14 regions in GRDP growth posting 9.4% in 2014

By Lilian C. Mellejor ((PNA), RMA/LILIAN C. MELLEJOR/LDP)

DAVAO CITY, July 30 (PNA) -- Davao region topped 14 other regions in the country in Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) at 9.4 percent in 2014, surpassing expectations and achieving growth targets for 2016. It is the highest growth in the country for last year’s performance.

This was announced during the 2014 Report on the Economic Performance of Davao Region held jointly by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) XI and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) on Thursday at the Ritz Hotel.

“Indeed, 2014 was a banner year for Davao Region, not only because it has sustained its high growth levels in the past three years,” said NEDA Director Ma. Lourdes Lim.

Lim said the region’s GRDP growth was higher than the national average with 6.1 percent. It is the third consecutive year that the region surpassed its growth targets.

Lim added that the region also contributed 3.9 percent to the Philippines Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The country’s GDP was valued at Php 7.2 trillion at constant 2000.

Lim disclosed that the region’s total production of goods and services was valued at Php 281.5 billion with services contributing the highest at 52.2 percent; followed by industry at 33.4 percent; agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing at 14.4 percent.

Lim said services grew by 8.3 percent, which was spurred by wholesale/retail, financial intermediation, real estate subsectors given the region’s strategic position as the financial and trading center of Southern Mindanao.

Lim said Davao’s advantage gave way to expansion of business enterprises that increased demand for property/real estate, condominiums and socialized housing, and demand for office and residential spaces.

According to Lim, the operation of S & R, expansion of malls and restaurants factored in to the robust wholesale and retail activities in the region.

Lim also mentioned ICT Business Process Outsourcing with Davao City now ranked first among 37 Philippine outsourcing destinations. Davao region now hosts 32 ICT companies with an estimated 21,000 fulltime employees and combined earnings of P2 billion per annum.

The industry sector, Lim said, also grew the fastest in 2014 at 14.6 percent propelled by the manufacturing, mining, quarrying, electricity, gas, water supply subsectors. Under the industry sector, Lim said manufacturing contributed the biggest share at 66 percent and grew by 18.8 percent as it sustained performance of processing industries such as cement, food and beverages, and steel billets.

Other sectors also continue to post positive growth such as the construction industry which remained vigorous.

Lim said the agriculture sector also rebounded from the devastation of typhoon Pablo. Agriculture posted 2.4 percent growth rate from a negative 8.1 percent, and was slightly short of the target of 4.0 percent.

Lim said the fishing sector contracted by 27.9 percent due to lesser harvest following the imposition of a temporary ban on fishing in the Davao Gulf.

According to Lim, the decline can also be attributed to the adverse effects of climate change such as increase in sea temperature.

For 2015, Lim said they were targeting GRDP growth at 7.5 percent. “By all indications, we are optimistic to be able to achieve that,” she added.

DOST conducts Lean Startup101 Boot Camp’s last leg in Davao

By Ma. Cristina C. Arayata [(PNA), LGI/MCCA/EDS]

MANILA, July 29 (PNA) -- The Department of Science and Technology – Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO), in partnership with Philippine Software Industry Association, recently conducted the last leg of Lean Startup 101 Boot Camp in Davao City.

Lean Startup 101 Bootcamp is a series of training for IT and Engineering professors, aiming to increase their capability to mentor their students how to build a successful start-up company.

The DOST values the vital role of academic institutions in enhancing science and technology ecosystems in the country. It believes that through having this kind of activity, more innovators will be encouraged to develop new products and services, particularly in the field of ICT.

Also, one of the agency’s priorities is to equip students to become major contributors in nation building, even at a young age.

The series was conducted in different areas in the country, starting in Cebu last June. Among the other places include Iloilo, Baguio, Cagayan De Oro, Quezon City, and finally, in Davao.

At the workshop, professors were taught the basic principles of “Lean Startup”, which was said to be the business method Facebook, Instagram and Dropbox have used in starting the business.

Moreover, attendees were taught how to prevent wasteful practices and increase value producing practices during the product development phase. This gives start-ups a better chance to succeed without spending much.

According to DOST-ICTO, this method helps start-up businessmen or technopreneurs to adapt their businesses quickly to the needs of their target market, basing it on the feedback generated from a small number of customers.

Emmy Lou Delfin, program manager for ICTO’s e-Innovation Group, said that they always encourage students to participate in creating more ICT innovative ideas and to have an entrepreneurial mindset early on. As such, their office considers professors to be their best partners to achieve this goal.

She is hopeful that by conducting this workshop, the country can produce more skilled professionals capable of building world-class tech companies.

Meanwhile, the workshop also serves as preparation for the 2015 Philippine Startup Challenge, a student startup competition promoting “technopreneurship among college students. This contest dares participants to create bolder, more creative software and internet-based innovations that will solve problems as well as improve lives.

PASWI-Davao to gather social workers on July 30


DAVAO CITY, July 28 (PNA) -- In its continuing effort of enhancing professional competence to be able to provide the needs of the disadvantaged populace, the Davao City Chapter of the Philippine Association of Social Workers, Inc. (PASWI) will hold its Annual General Assembly and Election of Officers on July 30 at the 8th Flr, Xavier Bldg., Ateneo de Davao University.

PASWI Davao president and DSWD chief for Policy and Plans Division Estrella D. Brigole said the assembly will bring together Davao City-based social workers from various sectors such as national government, non-government, local government unit, academe, medical, industry as well as private practitioners.

The theme for this year’s gathering is “Promoting the Dignity and Worth of People: Readiness, Opportunities and Challenges”, Brigole said.

PASWI is the only accredited professional organization of social workers in the whole Philippines. With over 100 members who are all registered professional social workers, PASWI-Davao will also co-host in September the Mindanao Regional Convention of Social Workers, Brigole added.

The organization is focused in promoting the cause of the poor, disadvantaged and marginalized sectors of society and enhancing the knowledge and skills of the social work professionals.

Past projects of PASWI-Davao include Fun Run For-A-Cause, skills enhancement seminars on Compassion Fatigue and Personality Enhancement, annual celebration of the World Social Work Day, annual conduct of General Assembly, and annual hosting of the Oath Taking Ceremony for the Passers of the Social Work Licensure Examination.

OFWs, families join Davao Food Revolution

By Ace June Rell S. Perez

THE Mindanao Migrants Center for Empowering Actions Inc. (MMCEAI) takes part in the implementation of the Davao Food Revolution, a program of Mindanao Commission on Women (MCWs) Mothers for Peace Social Enterprise, Inc in partnership with the City Government of Davao.

A total of 50 individuals had already expressed interest and participated in Davao Food revolution, 30 of whom are growers of organic fruits and vegetables and 20 product and food sellers.

Most of the groups are family members of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and migrant returnees.

"We want to promote healthy food business under the Davao Food Revolution. These are some of the measures of the MMCEAI towards healthy living by selling and producing healthy and safe foods and products for Davaoenos consumption, and provide economic enterprise and livelihood programs to our members," said Inorisa Sialana-Elento, executive director of MMCEAI, during the Kapehan sa Dabaw at the SM City Annex Ecoland.

Elento said the move is in partnership with the Mothers for Peace Social Enterprise Inc., Integrated Gender Development Division and Department of Education. MMCEAI participated in the campaign just this month.

The group gave P10,000 assistance to 50 individuals for the realization of Davao Food Revolution involvement.

Davao Food Revolution was launched in 2012. The program aims to revolutionize sourcing and preparation of food by teaching women how to grow organic fruits and vegetable in backyards and community gardens.

The campaign aims to improve the condition of school children who suffer from chronic malnutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and frequent illnesses, which lead to poor school performance and early school dropout.

"We realize this program through food carts which will be used by the women vendors, selling healthy food products, which are either fresh fruits or vegetables and other healthy foods and drinks. It is available at P10,000 inclusive with initial ingredients to start healthy food cart business," said Patmei Bello Ruivivar, program director of Davao Food Revolution, adding that they also offer lending payable for one year with only three percent interest.

At present, a total of ten food carts are operating in the city but Ruivivar said that "it is not visible in Davao."

She also said that in time with the Kadayawan Festival, they will deploy three food carts in different strategic areas in the city including Museo Dabawenyo, People's Park and somewhere in Matina for visibility.

"The real challenge in the program is the willing individuals to venture in this healthy business despite the success stories told by the individuals who ventured in this business," Ruivivar said.

Davao Food Revolution food cart investors reported an average of P1,000 net income per day, much higher than a laborer's minimum wage.

The food carts offer healthy food and drinks such as Suman with sikwate, Binangkal with Kalabasa, pink juice (camote tops juice with calamansi and honey), singers delight(ginger and honey mixed with pandan) P100 cost lang ang kita P500, malunggay flavored polvoron, squash hot cake, among others.

The Davao Food Revolution food carts were also placed in elementary and secondary schools: Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School, Palma Gil Elementary School, Davao City National High School, among others.

"This is a good move for the families and returned OFW because through this livelihood and social enterprise hindi na kami dependent sa remittance ng aming OFW family member," Ma. Salome Tabudlong, member of MMCEAI and seller of malunggay flavored polvoron said.

Trademark for Minda products

By Ace June Rell S. Perez

MINDANAO is set to take the lead in introducing to the global market the country's first export products with a collective mark as part of its branding, an official of the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) said.

Merly T. Cruz, consultant for Minda, said in her speech at the opening of the recently concluded Mindanao Exporters Congress at the SMX Convention Center, that the so-called "Mindanao Collective Mark" has been designed to provide a platform for a comprehensive program leading to a distinct good quality and increased competitiveness of the island's products.

"Mindanao will then be bringing to the world the Philippines’ first collective mark. It will be a symbol of Mindanao's unity and will showcase the history, culture, people and products that Mindanao can rightfully be proud of," she said.

She also said that Mindanao collective mark has been duly registered at the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines in February of this year.

Minda as the lead agency in establishing the Mindanao Collective Mark for products originating from Mindanao regions will form a Mindanao Collective Mark Core Group which will be composed of representatives from Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, local government units and the private sectors.

The collective mark will be technically assisted by the European Union-funded Trade Related Technical Assistance Project 3. It had already approved the mobilization of experts and workshops and trainings in four key cities of Mindanao: Davao, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos and Zamboanga. The workshops and trainings are set starting next month.

"Mindanao Collective Mark will offer concrete advantages for Mindanao’s agro-industrial clusters. We make these ambitious bid to start with champion industry leaders by the end of 2015," she added.

A collective mark is a sign that distinguishes the geographical origin, material, mode of manufacture or other common characteristics of goods and services. For each collective mark, accompanying regulations that govern its use are set and promulgated. The same regulations also see as protection of the collective marks.

"The mark, then, comes as a symbol that embodies four essential factors – scale, quality, delivery and traceability – and some more. It is a voluntary standard that is seen to strengthen the enterprises and industries of Mindanao by ensuring their compliance with the demands of the world market," Cruz said.

Undersecretary Janet M. Lopoz, executive director for Minda in a report said the European Union will help Minda "develop a protocol which will serve as a guideline on what entity can only use the collective mark."

In compliance with the demands and preferences of the markets with the standards that products should adhere to, the Mindanao Collective Mark is eyed to stand out as a common trademark to signify good quality and global competitiveness.

Three foreign business chambers bring 25 investors to southern Mindanao

By Manuel T. Cayon (Mindanao Bureau Chief)

DAVAO CITY—Three foreign business chambers that crafted last year a special “investment corridor” in southern Mindanao appeared to have struck gold as they announced that they are bringing on Friday some 25 foreign business executives to industrial and processing sites here and in two other adjacent towns.

Philip S. Dizon, president of the Davao chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (AmCham), said the 25 prospective investors include “many Japanese,” brought by its partner Japanese Chamber of Commerce.

The investors will visit the industrial sites developed by the Floirendo-owned holdings company, the Anflocor Group, in the northern suburb here and in Panabo, Davao del Norte, to the Hijo port development and industrial estate jointly developed by the Ayala family here and in the Industrial Container Terminal and Port Services of the Razon family.

The visitors will also be toured to Ciudades, the industrial and township project of the Lorenzo family north of downtown Davao City, and to the industrial estates in Davao del Sur that were developed by the Japanese construction company, Nakayama, and the Almendras family.

Some of these investors were into manufacturing, agribusiness and services, Dizon said.

The AmCham and the Japanese chamber were joined by the European Chamber of Commerce to form the loose Joint Foreign Chamber of Commerce that advocated for a wider promotion of Mindanao as investment and relocation site for foreign manufacturing and agriculture operations in the country.

AmCham President Ebb Hinch-liffe and Japanese chamber President Keisuke Nakao attended the briefing on Thursday and joined the tour on Friday. Julian H. Payne, president of the Canadian business chamber in the country, also attended.

Last year the three chambers met here to jointly ask the Board of Investments (BOI) to grant additional incentive packages to foreign businesses that would locate their ventures in the Davao region.

Dizon said that among those that it sought favor from the BOI are longer tax holidays and faster processing of their applications, even from corporations that would open new export-processing zones.

Hinchliffe said there are countries in Asia that extend longer tax holidays. Vietnam, for instance, has its 30-year tax holiday, he said.

The joint chambers closely coordinated with government agencies in its project, creating a Southern Mindanao Growth Corridor Investment to bring major investors to Southern Philippines.

In a talk last year in the joint foreign chambers meeting, Dizon said, “We want to spread out the businesses to the region, from General Santos City to the south to Mati City to the east.”

The entire area would cover a stretch of 300 kilometers of highway and big plantations of pineapple, banana, coconut, vegetables and other crops. There are still large tracts of open agricultural areas that could be tapped for industrial infrastructure in Mindanao.

The Davao region, he said, is largely agricultural, “but when we invite more industries, we would encourage investors to invest in the other areas of the region to avoid congestion in the city and the depletion of water resources,” he said.

Davao eyed as Philippines' cacao hub

(Sun.Star Davao)

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) in Davao Region will gather cacao stakeholders on the upcoming Regional Cacao Congress on July 31 in Davao City.

Focusing on the theme "Positioning Davao Region as the country's cacao capital," the congress will serve as an ideal forum for the DA to present its various programs and assistance to cacao farmers.

Topics to be covered include DA's production support, postharvest and processing, and marketing. It will also discuss the World-Bank funded Philippine Rural Development Project's (PRDP) assistance for the development of cacao value chain.

Secretary Proceso J. Alcala will grace the event together with Secretary Lualhati Antonino of the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda).

The two government agencies wanted the Davao Region and the rest of Mindanao to rise up to the Cacao 2020 challenge and take advantage of the huge global demand for cacao.

A memorandum of agreement for the Cacao Double-Up Program will be conducted during the event. The said program will combine DA and MinDA's expertise and resources to create more laudable impact to the industry.

For every investment that the DA will pour in for cacao industry, MinDA will also pour in the same amount. Hence, the double-up program scheme.

The program was conceptualized since last year in order to increase the production of cacao in Mindanao.

It also aims to help Mindanao attain its 100,000 metric tons of cacao production by 2020 that will be used to at least supply the 10 percent global deficiency of 1 million MT.

Data from DA-HVCDP (High Value Commercial Crops Development Program) shows 90 percent of the total cacao production in the country is mostly sourced from Mindanao and 80 percent of which is from Davao Region.

As of last year, about 6,000 hectares were planted in the region and 3,700 hectares of which is found in Compostela Valley Province.

"Aside from banana and durian, which Davao region is the leading producer, we are prioritizing support to cacao industry so that we can position the region as the country's cacao capital," Agriculture Director Remelyn Recoter said.

DENR to expand NGP area in Davao

By Ivy C. Tejano

THE Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) in Davao Region has targeted to expand the scope of areas to be rehabilitated under the government's National Greening Program (NGP) in 2015.

Forester Gloria Suboan, chief of the DENR-Production Forest Management Section and Conservation and Development Division, said the bureau is planning to rehabilitate 18,810 hectares from its original target of 16,090 hectares this year.

The DENR said it has already accomplished around 65 percent, in terms of total area planted, under the NGP this year, Suboan said.

So far, he said, about 5,229,250 forest and fruit seedlings were planted in 10,458.50 hectares in the region from January to June.

"We would like to achieve more this year by increasing our hectarage. Hopefully, we can reach the original target this October-November so before the December ends ma-meet natin yung 18,810 hectares," Suboan said.

In 2014, the regional office has planted around 8,916,700 seedlings in 16,223 hectares (has.) across the Davao Region.

Around 2.05 million seedlings were also planted in 3,796 has. in Davao Oriental; 1.21 million seeds in 2,127 has. in Davao del Norte; 2.09 million seeds in 4,000 has. in Compostela Valley; and 3.43 million seeds in 6,300 has. in Davao del Sur.

From 2011, since the NGP has started, up to 2014, DENR-Davao has developed 48,919 hectares with 25,711,426 million seedlings in Davao Region.

DSWD-11 opens Mindanao disaster hub


DAVAO CITY, July 22 (PNA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here opened on Wednesday the Mindanao Resource and Operations Center (MROC) located within the Regional Rehabilitation Complex which was constructed within an initial budget of P7.4 million in Bago Oshiro, this city.

DSWD-11 Director Priscilla Razon said, “We have requested for an additional Php 12.4 million from the Central Office to complete the structure and make it fully functional.”

The warehouse is intended for nationwide operations and set to respond to a bigger scale of disaster operations.

At the groundbreaking rites last year, DSWD Undersecretary Mateo G. Montaňo emphasized that the warehouse will serve not only the Mindanao area but all the other regions in the country requiring emergency assistance.

If at some point, the operations at the national warehouse is hampered due to flooding or earthquake or any other disaster, this warehouse can then supply the needs of the affected populace at NCR, he pointed out.

In the same manner that the warehouses in the Visayas and Luzon can also augment the needs of Mindanao regions when necessary, the Undersecretary added.

DSWD will also be constructing a warehouse in Cebu and Clark Air Base.

The Davao construction was implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways-Davao City District Engineering Office (DPWH-DCDEO).

Online transactions with E-Court system


KNOWING one's latest status in court, counsel, case number and other related transactions are just a click away with the newly-adopted system by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) and Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) offices in Davao City called the Electronic-Court (E-Court), an official said.

Lawyer Jocelyn Alibang-Salud, RTC Branch 16 Clerk of Court, said in an interview with Sun.Star Davao on Tuesday that Davao City is the first in Mindanao to adapt the system while other cities like Manila, Quezon City, Cebu, Angeles and others started it earlier.

Salud said that in this system, the processing of court data is made faster compared to the old way of handling cases, explaining further that the public will benefit from this because in cases where they want to get a copy of an order, it will immediately be printed.

They can also automatically get their case number in the assigned branch of their cases unlike before where searching of the case number is done manually at the Office of the Clerk of Court. Payments also can be done online.

Monthly reports of the courts will also be processed immediately since it is the computer that will do the processing. Also, if in case the computers will be destroyed in certain circumstances, the data stored are still accessible because there is a power bank where all the data that will be put in the computer is stored, Salud explained.

Last June 8 to 11, the court held a seminar on the E-Court system.

She said their office recently received the computers that will be used for the new system of court operation.

The RTC and MTCC began encoding the pending and active cases while the archives will not be included in it.

Salud added that encoding is being done on their free time without compromising their current tasks or transactions.

The Supreme Court might also schedule days without hearing for the encoding of the bulk of data in both pending and active cases, Salud said.

Davao is fifth most competitive city

By Ace June Rell S. Perez

DAVAO City is now ranked as the fifth most competitive highly urbanized city, one place lower than last year's record, based on the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) ranking on the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) 2015.

"For as long as we are in the top 10, there's nothing to worry. Anyway, it's just ratings," Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said during the groundbreaking of the Alson's Northtown Public Safety Complex in Cabantian last Friday.

Duterte said the fall of one place in national competitiveness ranking does not mean that the city is less business-friendly.

Davao City registered an overall score of 46.8. It also ranked ninth on economic dynamism compared to last year's 11th place, fifth in government efficiency compared to last year's 13th place, and seventh in infrastructure compared to last year's first place.

Davao is behind Manila City (first), Makati City (second), Cebu City (third), and Quezon City (fourth).

Cagayan de Oro City also dropped to sixth from last year's second place.

Based on the framework of the index, the local government units (LGUs) were ranked based on economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructure pillars.

The CMCI 2015 ranked 142 cities and 978 municipalities throughout the country. This is up from last year's 136 cities and 399 municipalities.

The regional Competitiveness Summit recorded 122 cities and 163 municipalities in its pilot run last 2013.

"This year's 142 cities and 978 municipalities out of a total of 1,634 localities is a 68 percent national coverage versus only 17 percent coverage in the first year of the program, and 33 percent in the second year," read the NCC statement in a report.

Meanwhile, the province of Davao del Sur was recognized as the most competitive province in the country, followed by Misamis Oriental (2), Cebu in Central Visayas (3), South Cotabato (4) and Zamboanga del Sur (5).

The Most Competitive Provinces is a new category where the ranking is based on population and income weighted average of the LGUs covered.

Gearing up for Kadayawan

By Nelson C. Bagaforo

IT'S Kadayawan season once again. What has been touted as the Festival of Festivals on Mindanao island is gearing up for another fun and exciting week-long festivities that will be highlighted by the much awaited Indak-Indak Sa Kadalanan (street dancing) and the Pamulak (the floral float parade) on August 22 and 23, respectively.

Kadayawan also showcases the indigenous peoples' rituals of celebration after a bountiful harvest. Bursts of colors and festivities are seen, felt and heard all across Davao City.

The festival is highlighted with floral float parades, street-dancing competition and exhibits that showcase the city's tourism products and services. An array of fruits is displayed along the sidewalks, including lanzones, mangosteen, rambutan, marang and the ever popular durian.

The city's big shopping malls are up again for big sale events and mall shows, featuring the country's top artists and showbiz personalities that are expected to attract both local and foreign tourists who are expected to flock the city to join the celebration.

Not to be outdone is the city's hotel industry that is gearing up for the celebration -- preparing their own promo packages, for room accommodation and dining -- that will surely delight the city's visitors.

For instance, one of the city's premier hotels, the Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao, this early, has launched its special room promo packages for Kadayawan.

"From July 15 to 31, 2015, guests can take advantage of the hotel's extravagantly low room rates for the entire month of August. Our own way of celebrating the Festival of Festivals," said Jennifer Romero, Waterfront Davao's sales and marketing manager.

"Guests can start this early to book online and theyhave until the end of the month to do that," she said.

She said guests can choose between three room categories: The Standard Room, Deluxe Room and the Deluxe Premium Room. Rates start from as low as P2,500 nett per room per night, inclusive of daily buffet breakfast, free use of the swimming pool, free shuttle transfers to nearby malls, free Wi-fi, and government tax and service charge.

"This is an awesome opportunity that should not be missed. It will be the most exciting way to enjoy the Kadayawan festival in August," Romero said.

For updates on events, promos and culinary offerings, contact the hotel at (082) 233 2881 to 87 or 300 8881 or visit its website at

Staying at Waterfront Davao during the festival is just as fitting as hotel is the beachfront gateway to the diverse, colorful and rich cultural heritage of Davao City.

It is one of the city's iconic tourist destinations, providing superior comfort and excellent customer service.

You can also marvel at its sprawling, well-manicured gardens and landscape while enjoying the scenic view of Davao Gulf right from the verandas of every well-appointed guestrooms and suites.

Pawikan rescued, released

(Sun.Star Davao)

THE Davao Light and Power Co. saved and released an Olive Ridley sea turtle at the Cleanergy Park in Punta Dumalag, Matina Aplaya, Davao City last July 10.

The pawikan was turned over by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the police authorities to Davao Light's community relations manager Fermin Edillon last July 4 after it was found weak and injured along the shore of Bucana.

The turtle was then brought to the Cleanergy Park for it to recuperate from its wounds.

The adult turtle, which measures 68 cm. in curve carapace length and 65 cm. in curve carapace width, sustained several wounds on its shell and on its flippers.

According to the physical examination undertaken by the DENR, the pawikan possibly got its wounds from boat propellers.

Pawikans usually are attracted to the sound of boat propellers causing them to go near it and eventually get hit by it.

Six days after it was rescued, the pawikan laid eggs while in the repository tub. It is believed that it was about to lay eggs but got injured on its way to the land. Hence, the release of the turtle was scheduled just in time as its wounds were already healing.

"This is the second time for the Cleanergy Park to house an Olive Ridley turtle which is an indication that the Davao Gulf is still rich in biodiversity. Now, the park is not only known as a nesting place for turtles but also as a place for saved pawikans. Caring for nature is truly rewarding. I am also happy to note that one of the visitors even offered to give voluntary service for his team to do clean-up or tree planting in the park," Edillon said.

Prior to the release, the mother pawikan was tagged with two labels, PH0133J & PH0134J, for it to be recognized once it comes back. Now, it can continue laying its eggs for a new generation of pawikans.

Davao’s cacao draws interest of multinational companies

By Digna D. Banzon [(PNA), CTB/LCM/DDB/LDP]

DAVAO CITY, July 17 (PNA) – At least five multinational companies engaged in chocolate industry are taking interest on Davao’s cacao products as they set to meet with cacao growers in time for the National Cacao Congress here in September.

They are the US-based Mars Chocolate, Cargill, Barry Collebaut, Dole Itochu, WL Foods, UK and Filipinas Oro de Cacao and RP.

The executive director of the Cacao Industrial Development Council (CIDAMI), Valente Turtur, said they are the companies that require big volume of cacao beans for production, export and distribution in the world market.

Turtur said the demand for cacao beans in the international market is so huge that at present only 0.2 percent is the contribution of the Philippines with a shortage of about 850,000 metric tons.

According to Turtur, majority of the country's produce comes from Davao Region and given the world market shortage for cacao beans Davao Region and Mindanao is aiming to supply the market of at least 10 percent more by 2020.

Right now, he said there is a private and government partnership for the propagation of cacao in the region where in 2017 at least 50 million seedlings has been planted and to start producing by 2020.

This partnership is spearheaded by the Mindanao Development Authority, Philippine Coconut Authority, Department of Agriculture and CIDAMI. Starting this year at least 17 million cacao seedlings will be planted for intercropping in coconut farmlands.

The campaign for intercropping cacao and coconut trees, he said, will be launched nationwide in order to maximize areas planted to coconut in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Meanwhile, Turtur said cacao industry stakeholders will push for the creation of the National Cacao Council in September including a proposed protocol on the production of cacao.

The propagation of the plant must follow certain protocol from ground preparation, planting, operation, maintenance, pest management, harvesting and post harvest procedures.

"This is important because doing the right steps in production would mean better yield and at the same time meet international requirements," he said.

He also said that cacao farms either small or big will be issued certification and accreditation of a certifying body that will be part of the steps to be taken in the development of a national council. A certified farm gets better market exposure thus fetching good market price, he said.

During the national congress, organizers have invited Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Representative Cynthia Villar, Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo and Presidential Adviser on Food Security/PCA Chairman Francis Pangilinan. Also invited to provide inputs during the congress are Philippine Coconut Authority Administrator Romulo Arancon, Jr., MinDA chairperson Lualhati Antonino. The USAID-ACDI/VOCA Chief of Party Theloneus Trimmel will talk on their program for Cacao under MinPACT.

The event will also highlight post harvest processing by MARS, chocolate making by Puratos, equipment showcase and demo by PhilMech/DOST and product design, packaging and labelling by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Investors confidence boosts city biz climate

By Ace June Rell S. Perez

INVESTORS have continued to look at Davao City as their next area for the expansion of their businesses.

According to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-Davao City Extension Office, the increase in total number of new registered companies and organizations in the city is due to the increasing confidence of investors in the economic potentials of Davao Region, an official said.

A total of 1,959 new companies have registered in 2014, the SEC reported.

Lawyer Javey D. Francisco, SEC-Davao director, said the increase number of registrants only proves investors interest to pour in investments in the city.

"With the rising business confidence that we can attribute to the increasing number of new registration, it is actually a sign of the improved business climate in the region," he said, adding that SEC-Davao also covers Region 12, some parts of Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (Armm) and provinces of Agusan and Surigao del Sur.

But SEC noted there was a decline in the number of companies that actually expanded in the region in 2014 with only 87 as compared to 1,872 in 2013.

Of the new companies and organizations registered in 2014, 964 are stock corporations, 157 are partnerships and 838 are non-stock corporations.

Stock corporation recorded a 44 percent increase with authorized capital stocks of P7.9 billion during the period as compared to 2013's P5.5 billion.

Partnerships, on the other hand posted a total of P104.8 million in capital stocks, while non-stock corporations contributed a total of P102.3 million.

1st Mindanao Halal Festival opens

(PIA/RG Alama)

DAVAO CITY- The first Mindanao Halal Festival opened today (July 15) at the activity center of Abreeza Mall in Davao City.

The two-day event spearheaded by Escider, a Halal business investment company will showcase different halal products which include food, apparels, cosmetics, personal hygiene products, fashion accessories, services and businesses which are halal certified.

According to Karla Singson event coordinator of the first MHF, one of the highlights of the event is the Halal Food Festival where the public will have the chance to taste and savor Halal food based on regional cuisines here in Mindanao. The first night will be held in Abreeza while the second night (July 16) will be held in Marco Polo Davao.

Aside from the food festival other activities include the Qur’an memorization competition and the launch of the amended Halal Ordinance in Davao City.

Davao City is the first local government to enact a halal ordinance enacted in 2010.

Councilors Maria Belen Acosta of the first district of Davao City and Indigenous Peoples Representative to Davao City’s Sannguniang Panglungsod Bai Halila Sudagar graced the event’s opening.

Syed Kamal Reza vice-president of Escidor said he hopes the MHF will gather stakeholders and industry players in the Halal industry. He hopes the city and the region will corner a foothold in the global halal industry which is estimated to be worth $500- billion.

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National cacao group planned

By Maya M. Padillo

DAVAO CITY -- Cacao stakeholders in Mindanao, which accounted for about 80% of the country’s total production in 2014, are setting up a National Cacao Council (NCC), with programs under way toward a 200,000-metric-ton (MT) yield by 2020.

The Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao, Inc. (CIDAMI) aims to have the NCC institutionalized by September, during KakaoKonek 2015 (National Cacao Congress), to be held in Davao City.

“We are planning to form a council that will oversee the industry from the production [and] planting to the export processing of the cacao products, since at present we do not have an institutionalized office to hold the industry,” said CIDAMI Executive Director Valente D. Turtur.

The NCC will be composed of cacao industry representatives and government officials from the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Philippine Coconut Authority, among others.

Cacao production in Mindanao is getting a boost with P1.2 billion allocated for the Double-Up Program of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

The program, to be formally launched during KakaoKonek 2015, aims to have 100 million seedlings planted, from which 200,000 MT will be harvested.

As of 2014, Mindanao has only 3.2 million cacao trees, with a yield of just above 4,900 MT. This is the bulk of the Philippines’ total 3.7 million trees that have yielded 5,428 MT, based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Mr. Turtur said cacao growers outside Mindanao are also increasing, particularly in the Abra, Cordillera Autonomous Region; and Quezon, Calabarazon.

Mimaropa was the second biggest cacao producer in the country last year with 82.5 MT, mainly from the provinces of Palawan and Oriental Mindoro. The Eastern, Central, and Western Visayas Regions also contributed a collective 214 MT.

Mr. Turtur said part of MinDA’s Double-up Program, aside from developing new farm areas, is intercropping cacao in existing coconut farms.

“This will help the farmers, because if cacao will be intercropped with the coconuts, the income will be doubled or even tripled,” he said.

Cacao has also been identified as a priority commodity under the Philippine Rural Development Program, funded by the World Bank with the DA as lead implementing agency.

RDRRMC line agencies plant trees along Davao River

By Joey Sem G. Dalumpines (PIA 11)

DAVAO CITY, July 13 (PIA) Line agencies under the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council 11 joined hands in planting Narra trees at the bank of the Davao River as part of the commemoration of July as National Disaster Consciousness Month.

Rebecca Lopez, acting regional director of the Office of Civil Defense 11 said tree growing gives the challenge to provide clean air and shades for the future generation.

She said trees provides the legacy of a clean and green environment for the young.

“Tree growing is a move to mitigate the impact of global warming,” Lopez said.

The planting of Narra trees was located one hundred meters away from the bank of the Davao River at Barangay Tigatto, Buhangin which is part of the flood plain.

Lopez said the barangay government of Tigatto will ensure that the Narra trees grow.

“We are planting the specie of the national tree, Narra to ensure that it will be protected by national laws,” she said.

Line agencies in Davao Region like the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Education, Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine National Police 11, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Navy, Philippine Air Force and the Task Force Davao.

Louel Quijano of the City Environment and Natural Resources said Narra is suitable for the river bank and might serve as a flood control mechanism like the species Malibago and bamboo.

He recalled that Tigatto, the haven for many subdivisions was once hit by a strong flood in 2013.

Quijano said the Narra trees will be of great help to control the flood.

City creates body for traffic complaints


A BODY solely created to provide mediation services for traffic complaints is to be created under the newly issued Implementing Rules and Regulations of the City Traffic Code.

The Public Utility Vehicle Adjudication Committee (Puvac) is to be created under the Rule No 2 Section 4 of the Executive Order 18 Series of 2015 or the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Comprehensive Transport and Traffic Code of Davao City or the Ordinance 0334-12, Series of 2012.

The body shall act on complaints, conduct hearings on matters referred to it by the concerned citizens, City Transport and Traffic Management Code and the City Transport and Traffic Management Board.

Puvac will provide advice, policy directions, review and approve plans and programs in the implementation and enforcement that may hereafter be drawn or prepared for the operations of public utility vehicles.

Puvac shall be composed of five members chaired by the city mayor and the remaining members shall be appointed by the city mayor from among the members of the CTTMB.

The secretariat of the CTTMB will be the CTTMO. The Executive Ordinance 18, Series of 2015 was issued by City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte last June 23, 2015.

Celebrating Canada Day

By Stella A. Estremera

CANADA turned 148 years old last July 1. In the past, Davao City wouldn’t know any better, nor would it have anything to mark such day. But not when Davao is brimming with economic prospects buoyed by the prospect of Mindanao finally putting an end to the decades-long Bangsamoro confict.

Thus, last July 2 Davao City welcomed Ambassador of Canada to the Philippines Neil Reader in a special dinner event held at Seda Abreeza in Bajada. True enough, the Ambassador Reader talked of the greater interest in Davao and Mindanao although admitting that this will all depend on how government can sustain the peace. Earlier, the Canadian Minster of Trade Ed Fast and Senator Tobias Enverga Sr. led a trade mission in Manila and Cebu, Mindanao obviously excluded. That is because of peace concerns.

"Our actions towards doing a trade mission here in Mindanao depends on the progress of the peace process in the island," Reeder said during the special dinner. But he is optimistic of Canada having greater trade exchanges with the Philippines with a free trade agreement between the two countries. He said a similar line when attending the opening of the 2015 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Expo last July 3 at the Abreeza Atrium participated by 30 exhibitors.

“We expect Canadian investments to increase with the passage of the BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law). We continue to support the Bangsamoro peace process and all efforts to implement a comprehensive agreement,” Reader said.

He also lauded the start of the decommissioning process, which was marked with a ceremonial surrender of 75 high-powered firearms by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) last June 16 at the old provincial capitol in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. The decommissioning program is part of the Annex on Normalization of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), which indicates that the group's arms and forces will be put beyond use and their members will be assisted to return to civilian lives.

“The start of the decommissioning process demonstrates the willingness of both sides to pave the way forward for lasting peace and stability, development and long-term economic prosperity for the people of southern Philippines and all Filipinos who have endured decades of conflict,” Reader said.

The Canadian government has been working closely with the GRP and MILF peace panels.

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