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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.

Contents

Treevolution unofficial count stands at 3.5 Million

By Joey Sem G. Dalumpines (PIA 11-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)

DAVAO CITY, Sept 30 (PIA) -- Despite unofficially breaking the world record of simultaneous planting of trees in one hour in Mindanao in September 26, the Mindanao Development Authority still awaits the final result of the tree planting activity in many parts of the island even in Region 11 which planted most of the trees.

Yvette Villar, development manager officer of the MINDA said they still wait for the final results from Impasugong, Bukidnon, Mati City, Davao Oriental and even in Barangays Katipunan and Magsaysay in Davao City.

She said the total number of trees per area must be submitted to the community, provincial and regional offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources before turning them over to the MINDA which will officially report the outcome to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Villar said the unofficial count of the Treevoluttion as of today stands at 3,517,489 trees planted with 1,403,312 coming from Davao Region.

Earlier, an official of the Mindanao Development Authority expressed confidence that the Treevolution simultaneous planting of trees in six regions in Mindanao will reach its target of planting the most number of trees.

Secretary Lualhati Antonino, chair of the MINDA said the enthusiasm of participants had been observed in most planting areas not only in Davao Region but also in other areas in Mindanao where the number of participants exceeded than expected.

She said there were MINDA representatives deployed in all planting sites to monitor the situation.

“In Barangay Magsaysay, we accomplished the actual planting of trees within thirty minutes because of the number of volunteers who participated,” Antonino said after conducting the tree planting activity in the area.

She revealed that the government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development will tap the services of the indigenous peoples through the food for work program to serve as stewards of the trees.

Antonino said the government will use this approach to ensure that the trees will eventually grow since the planting sites are situated in the mountains.


ICT firms urged to take care of workers' health

By Reuel John F. Lumawag

INFORMATION communications technology-Business Process Outsourcing (ICT-BPO) companies are encouraged to initiate activities that will promote a healthy lifestyle for their employees, an executive said.

"From an employee engagement perspective it is a responsibility of the organization, BPO, or employer to make sure they have fitness programs [for] health and wellness [that is] sustainable for their employees," said Catherine S. Ileto, Sutherland Global Services marketing and communications director, in yesterday's Kapehan sa Davao at SM City Davao.

She said it is important for employers to take care of their employees since they are part of a successful business.

"If you take care of your people, your people will take care of your business. For the simple reason that our people is our biggest asset [and] we should take care of them by coming up with employee engagement activies on health and wellness," Ileto said.

She said the health of a company's employees is important because they will become more productive in their work if they are healthy.

For instance, Ileto said one of Sutherland's initiatives to promote health and wellness among their employees is their Sutherland Fitness Challenge. In other Sutherland branches, this is set to conclude by the end of October but for Davao branch, it is yet to start next month.

"[Through the program] we are trying to integrate fitness into the daily life of [our employees]," she said.

Ileto encourages other ICT-BPO companies to also follow their lead in coming up with employee engagement activities for the wellness of their employees.

"We [at the private sector] should help erase the negative perception that [being in our industry] is stressful. It is important for the companies to launch programs that they feel would be beneficial for their employees," she said.

Ileto also said that companies should not only focus in coming up with programs for the health aspect of their employees but they should also launch other programs that will positively impact the wellness of the employees as a whole like programs on financial wellness.

She said initiating such activities will have a positive impact on their employees.

"In our recent focus group discussion with our employees, we learned from them that they are saying that 'Yes, Sutherland cares for me', 'they care for my well-being', and we encourage a culture of bayanihan," Ileto said.

Army, DA partners to benefit IPs

By Ivy C. Tejano (with PR)

THE Philippine Army's 10th Infantry Division seeks closer ties with the Department of Agriculture for the benefit of the Indigenous People (IP) sector and for the speedy process of winning peace in a conflict area.

10th Infantry Division commander Major General Eduardo Ano earlier invited DA Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat to discuss areas for closer coordination between the two government agencies.

Romulo-Puyat visited the DA regional office in Davao City on Wednesday.

Captain Ernest Carolina, spokesperson of the Army's 10th Infantry Division, said in a statement that the division presented to DA how the IP is the most exploited sector in the armed hostilities, with some 70 percent of armed surrenderees to the division since 2006 coming from the particular sector.

Lt. Col. Norman Zuniega, 10th ID's assistant chief of staff for Civil Military Operations, in a presentation, said the department's current thrust and programs are relevant with the IP sector's needs, especially to livelihood, better utilization of farmlands, and improvement of the farm to market roads.

Zuniega pointed out how the DA programs could be directed toward identified conflict areas, and the possible role of the social entrepreneurs for the speedy process of winning the peace in the countryside, which is the army's current thrust.

"The division commander explained how an inclusive growth, which has been elusive through the years, is really the key to achieve a lasting peace and justice in Mindanao, which according to him is something that the Filipinos have so long worked for and so long deserved," Carolina said.

Carolina said the meeting ended with Romulo-Puyat expressing her appreciation and her enthusiasm in working closer with the Philippine Army in achieving peace through a more inclusive growth.

5 outstanding teachers feted

By Kriztja Marae G. Labrador

THE Bato Balani Foundation Inc. with the support of the Diwa Learning Systems Inc. recognized five teachers as "The Many Faces of the Teacher" 2014 honorees during the Tribute to Teachers celebration at SMX Convention Center Davao Saturday.

The celebration, said Diwa vice president Armel M. Espiritu, is a yearly event in line with the celebration of the National Teacher's Month from September 5 to October 5.

For "The Many Faces of the Teacher," Espiritu said that it's an advocacy campaign that began in 2002 geared at inspiring teachers through the inspiring stories of the chosen honorees.

"Kasi kami sa Bato Balani we believe that educators represent the many facets of what it is to become a teacher here in the Philippines and we want to highlight them so that other educators would make them as an example para dumami din yung mga katulad nila," he said.

"So every year we choose between three to four lang actually but this year is unique because we chose five," he said.

The Many Faces of the Teachers honorees: Lou Sabrina S. Ongkiko from Quezon City, Elsie C. Padernal from Panay Bukidnon, Darwin T. Tadifa from Tubungan, Iloilo, Genevieve G. Kulong from Zamboanga and Jinglebert P. Collado from Kapalong, Davao del Norte.

Ongkiko, labeled as the "Spirited Enabler", is an advocate of sharing teachers'’ stories and empowering them, she is also the head teacher of Teachables Inc., a group committed to support and empower teachers all over the country.

Padernal, labeled as the "Cultural Curator", is a member of the Cabellero Clan of the Panay Bukidnon tribe and incorporates preserving their culture and tradition through her teaching and spearheaded a project that will integrate the Indigenous People (IP) curriculum to the regular curriculum in the education of her fellow lumads.

Tadifa, labeled as the "Creative Leader", organized activities that helped the parents of his students through teaching them skills in cooking and gardening to help them earn extra income and appreciate education.

Kulong, labeled as the "Innovation Crusader", who used social networking sites to communicate and help her students during the war in Zamboanga last year and made a disaster plan for her school using Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Collado, labeled as the "Limitless Lecturer", who did not mind the distance and difficulty in reaching his IP students, adjusts education with their culture and also helps the livelihood of the IP community he is in.

All of the five honorees, said Espiritu, were chosen out of the 100 nominees that went through deliberation.

He said that they will not only focus on the difficulties of the honorees but also highlight their success.

"Gusto kasi naming ma-affirm yung kanilang choice to become a teacher yung choice nila to do teaching as a profession. Kasi we feel na kulang ang teachers and kulang yun gustong maging teachers," Espiritu said.

More agencies included in city’s convergence team

By Arianne Caryl N. Casas

DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte included some local agencies and private sectors that are involved in agri-fishery development to the City Convergence Initiative-Technical Working Group (CCI-TWG).

By virtue of Executive Order 42 signed on September 23, Duterte amended Executive Order 6, series of 2012.

Among the offices and agencies that are now members of the CCI-TWG are the City Cooperative Development Office, City Council Committee in Agriculture, City DILG, City DTI, City DOST, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, and four representatives from different private sectors -- one from agri-fishery, another from agrarian reform, one from environment and natural resources, and one from the business sector.

Duterte also considered the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Davao Region and the City Agri-Fishery Council as ex-officio members.

The CCI-TWG is a committee that formulates projects and programs related to National Convergence Initiative (NCI).

The group also identifies interventions for institutional development in the implementation of the NCI plans and programs.

The NCI, as earlier defined, aims to rationalize land use policies and strengthen the system of land property rights; promote sustainable agriculture and preserve the land resource base; enhance the investment and opportunity climate for agribusiness; promote sustainable upland development and forest management; and initiate climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

Davao region residents urged to participate in TreeVolution

By Joey Sem G. Dalumpines (PIA 11)

DAVAO CITY, Sept 25 (PIA) A top official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Davao Region has urged residents to participate in the simultaneous tree planting today dubbed as the “TreeVolution: greening MindaNow an initiative of the agency and the Mindanao Development Authority.

Joselin Marcus Fragada, director of the DENR 11 said the activity is slated from 8:30 to 9:30 in the morning and aims to target 2.5 Million seedlings covering 4,906 hectares of land in Region 11 alone.

In Davao City, the tree planting activity is slated in Marilog District.

He said the attempt also aims to achieve the National Greening Program (NGP) target of Mindanao for 2014.

“We urge the residents of the five provinces and five cities in the region to participate in this tree growing activity,” Fragada said.

National Greening Program is one of the priority programs of the government that aims to plant 1.5 billion trees within 1.5 million hectares from 2011 to 2016.

The NGP in 2014 for Davao Region a target to plant 8.8 million trees covering a total of 16,223 hectares.

Fragada said the true aim of the Treevolution is to create awareness and entice people to join in this tree planting activity for this is also showing to everybody that this is what Mindanao is doing to increase its forest cover and to mitigate the effects of Climate Change.

He said that attempting to break the Guinness Book of World Records is just an added motivation.

India is the current record holder where a total number of 1,945,535 trees were planted by 340,200 participants in 408 locations.

The Treevolution aims to plant 4.6 million trees covering 9,200 hectares from 8:30 to 9:30 in the morning from Region 9 to Caraga Region including the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Coco farmers in Davao region want community-based processing hub

(MindaNews)

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/24 September) — Coconut farmers in the region are asking for the establishment of a community-based coconut processing hub so that profits from the sales of coconut products and by-products would reach them, an official of an advocacy group said.

In an interview Monday at the sidelines of the weekly Kapehan sa SM, Kilos Magniniyog national coordinator Socrates Banzuela said it was not the farmers who benefited from the sale of the coconut products, but the millers and landowners.

He said the processing hub would handle an average of 5,000 coconuts every day, with a cluster of barangays running it together.

The hub would integrate the processing of the coconuts for juice, oil, milk, cheese, and catsup, among other products.

“We want to explore and develop the industries on a pilot basis,” he said. “Sayang ang market.”

He said coconut farmers were getting no immediate incentive from the government despite claims by agencies like the Philippine Coconut Authority and the Department of Agriculture that coconut has a high demand abroad.

He said the coconut industry has a huge demand from countries importing coconut wine, sugar, soy sauce, and lambanog.

“There is no determined action from the government ever since to push for the alternative products,” he said.

Banzuela said the average income of coconut farmers was P12,000 to P18,000. “But that’s only when it is the farmer who owns the land.”

He said tenant-farmers only got one-fourth to one-third of the profit.

In a statement, Kilos Magniniyog said a “copra culture” had prevented the farmers from engaging in other business ventures.

Banzuela said farmers have not maximized the potential for the coconut water market since they did not have direct access to the supply-chain of their harvest.

He added tenants could not even intercrop with crops such as cacao nor raise hogs because the landowners fear the nuts would be fed to the animals.

“On average, there are 100 trees per hectare for each farmer,” he said, referring to farmers whose average area was was one hectare.

Banzuela spoke at the Kapehan sa SM on behalf of farmers who planned to march to Malacanang for 71 days to demand the release of the P71-billion coco levy fund.

Sta. Lucia Land Inc. makes waves in Davao City

By Janica Monick Riego

DAVAO City, the third most populous city in the Philippines, is not only the largest in the world in terms of land area—it is also one of the world’s finest cities with the fastest-growing economies.

In fact, it was cited by the City Mayors Foundation as the 87th fastest-growing city in the world in 2011 with a projected average annual growth of 2.53 percent over a 15-year period. Moreover, Davao is an investor- friendly city, offering the lowest local tax rates for new investments.

It is, therefore, no wonder that the city is currently under the spotlight of local and foreign investors across industries. One of the big names that have made its mark—and one of the bigger forces to reckon with in the real-estate industry—in Davao City is property developer Sta. Lucia Land Inc. (SLI), which currently has nine developments in the city, including residential and recreational properties.

SLI has developed over 10,000 hectares of land with over 200 horizontal and vertical development projects throughout the country. Since its inception in 1972 by members of the Robles-Santos family, the company focused on building planned residential subdivisions communities that cater to the emerging middle class.

Likewise, it has developed the 10.5-hectare Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall in Cainta, Rizal, as well as a leading developer of golf courses in the Philippines, having developed the largest number of golf courses in the country.

Believing in the potential of Davao

“DAVAO City is the growth center in the south,” said SLI president and chief executive officer Exequiel Robles. “It is also an ideal investment as the city is generally peaceful, making it inviting for investors.” With nine developments under the company across the city, SLI proves to be a driving force when it comes to subdivision developments. Robles cites the stiff competition in the city as there are both Davao-based and the bigger Manila-based developers, but SLI is the biggest, especially in terms of land area.

Davao developments

AS SLI boasts its status as one of the leading developers of golf courses in the country, two of its developments in Davao have golf courses—Rancho Palos Verdes, a 164-hectare master-planned estate located in Mandug, Indangan, complete with a golf course, a golf club, and residential homes with a Spanish-Mediterranean theme; and South Pacific Golf and Leisure Estates, the first exclusive leisure estate in Catalunan Pequeño that will give members unlimited access to both golf and country club and beach.

Rancho Palos Verdes has a 77-hectate, 18-hole all-weather championship golf course that uses Tifton and Tifdwarf grass imported from Atlanta, Georgia. Its golf club has a fine-dining restaurant, locker rooms, multipurpose function hall and massage room. Members can also enjoy lifetime use of the club’s fitness gym with Jacuzzi and sauna rooms and beach-type swimming pool. It also offers other sports amenities like lawn tennis court, indoor badminton and basketball courts, bowling, table tennis and billiards.

South Pacific Golf and Leisure Estates, on the other hand, takes pride in its Arnold Palmer Golf Course, an exquisitely designed 18-hole full-length open course. Aside from the usual amenities that SLI provides its communities such as a swimming pool, basketball court, wide concrete network, underground storm drainage system, and centralized interrelated water system—residents of South Pacific Golf and Leisure Estates get to have the chance of waking up to the sight of the sea’s endless expanse as they are also entitled membership to the Bali Hai Beach Club on Talikud Island.

Meanwhile, Davao Riverfront Corporate City is a 60-hectare community that is master planned to be a self-sufficient city within a city. Corporate offices in a well-secured 45-hectare business park, a 10-hectare residential subdivision, and a five-hectare tourism center are all seamlessly constructed to be Davao’s business center point.

Other residential offerings of SLI in Davao that are ready for occupancy include Alta Monte Residential Estates in Barangay Tigatto, Buhangin; Ciudad Verde in Tugonon; Valle Verde Residential Estates in Panacan; and the 17-hectare South Grove in Matina—all are first-class communities with amenities that are sure to provide security and comfort to its residents.

Lastly is Ponte Verde, a 28-hectare high-end subdivision located along the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway in Panacan. A stone’s throw away from the Davao International Airport, this well-developed community is strategically accessible to all forms of public transportation and a variety of commercial and recreational establishments.

With the first half of the income target already met, there is no stopping SLI from moving further. “SLI is very active in developments, and we have started venturing into condotels and condominiums,” said Robles. He reports that the company has embarked on a new multibillion-peso condotel project at the top of Punta Engaño in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, and has an ongoing 7.7-hectare property development project in Dagupan City.

He also says that SLI is looking into doing a project in General Santos City and Palawan.

“Our marketing arm, Orchard Property Marketing Corp., is very active as well, with international offices in the United Kingdom, Dubai, Singapore and the US, aside from the local offices nationwide,” he continued.

It is apparent that SLI has a lot in store for the market in the coming years, including a second mall in two years, but Robles says the company is more focused on subdivision development, a segment in the realty industry it has a firm grip on.

Local malls expand branch networks in Mindanao

By Maya M. Padillo and Carmelito Q. Francisco

DAVAO CITY -- Two mall and supermarket operators, one homegrown and another Cebu-based, are opening more branches in Region 10 before the end of the year and are looking at expansion opportunities in other parts of Mindanao.

Gaisano Capital of the Gaisano family from Cebu is opening a Gaisano Grand mall in Nabunturan town in Compostela Valley province by November, according to Mary Grace Castillon-Agusto, the company’s mall leasing manager for Mindanao.

In an interview with BusinessWorld, Ms. Agusto also said the company is considering opening another branch in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur by December and in Calinan, Buhangin, Bayugan, Zamboanga, and Mati by next year.

Recently, Gaisano opened its 25th branch in Tibungco, Davao City.

Aside from its branches in the Visayas, the Gaisano chain has two other branches in Davao City and Tagum City.

The Gaisanos also own the Grand Regal Hotel in the cities of Davao and Bacolod.

Meanwhile, LTS Pinnacle Holdings, Inc., known for its NCCC chain in the Davao Region and Puerto Princesa in Palawan, is opening three more retail outlets in Davao City within the year in addition to its existing 20.

The company is also scouting for more store locations within the four provinces in the region, namely: Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley.

“(We) have been evaluating the prospects of the areas that have been identified,” Jojo N. Canda, LTS Pinnacle director of operations, told BusinessWorld on the sidelines of the company’s annual three-day Kanegosyo Congress for more than 200,000 customers, majority of whom are owners of small neighborhood retail stores.

Tjader P. Regis, assistant vice-president for marketing, added that the Lim family-owned company is also “looking at all possible options (for expansion),” with population and the presence of other stores the main factors in location decisions.

Aside from the NCCC Supermarket brand, LTS Pinnacle also operates the smaller Choice retail outlets, HB1 stores which includes a pharmacy, Bread Factory, Hardwaremaxx, and City Foods and Munchies for ready-to-eat items.

Phl promotes Davao at China-Asean expo

By Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star)

NANNING – The Davao region took center stage as the country’s representative to the “City of Charms” pavilion at the 11th China-Association of Southeast Asian Nations Expo (CAEXPO) here this week.

“We are featuring Davao’s products and culture,” said Rosario Tañada-Liwanag, project officer for the CAEXPO 2014.

“The ultimate objective of coming here is to promote, and to encourage investors to come to the Philippines,” she added.

Doris Gacho, project manager of CAEXPO, said Davao – considered a key player in the economic and trade association Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area – offers a lot of business and investment opportunities to foreign investors.

She said among the priority investment areas in the region are agri-business, tourism and recreational facilities.

Other priority investment areas in the Davao region include environment protection, information and communications technology, generation of new sources of energy, transportation and infrastructure and public-private partnerships.

According to the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export marketing arm of the Department of Trade and Industry, investing in Davao has advantages as it is strategically located in Mindanao and offers culturally-diverse and cosmopolitan locations.

It also boasted Davao as one of the three places in the world, aside from the US and Canada, to have incorporated the Integrated Emergency Response System, as well as established health and environment-oriented and crime prevention laws.

“On top of its nature’s wealth, Davao is a culturally-diverse city where 11 indigenous tribes dwell. The cosmopolitan city also accommodates migrants from local and foreign cities,” added CITEM.

Gacho said the response of CAEXPO visitors to the Davao pavilion is very positive, attributing it to the “crowd favorite” performances of members of an ethnic group from the region who were invited to perform during the event.

She said they are eyeing Zamboanga to be the country’s representative to the CAEXPO’s City of Charms next year.

Davao City Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.

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