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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.


Nat'l football coaching course opens in Davao


DAVAO CITY, March 26 (PNA) – The Davao Football Association (DFA) is hosting a National Coaching Certificate Course from March 25 to 29 at the Ateneo de Davao University Matina campus, this city.

The instructors include coaches Albert Ryan "Abing" Lim and Melchor Anzures, both A Licensed by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

"This is a pre-requisite course if they want to take Asian Football Confederation (AFC) C License Certificate Course," said coordinator Ching delos Reyes.

The course focuses on the Basic Technique of football and approaches.

The participants from DFA are Erell D. Gonzales of Mintal FC, Harold Amatong of Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai, Jefferson Basalo of San Pedro College Ulas Campus, Edwin Giganto Jr. of Columbia & Central FC, Reynante Bangi and Joseph Mayola of Hyenas FC; Charles John Butlig of Davao City NHS, Michelle lfeche-Javellana of St Paul/D'DS FC; Eric Salumbides of Davao Crocodile FC,

Joel Vidal of Indangan Strippling Warriors, Noriel Violon of Anakk Sta Cruz, Annalou Arrogante, Jeryll Mae Aludria, Maremadel Bancil, Yubert Bandibas, Johnry Desoyo, Jenerose Mullot, Ester Tangpos and Bonna Vanguardia of Tambayan FC; Gil Mark Candido of Sultan Kudarat FA, Rodante Mindo of North Cotabato FA, Ivan Caina of Cagayan-Misamis Oraiental FA, Angelo Mabayao, Jesmer Tampog, Ian Jay Delos Reyes and Juvilyn Beranaa of Compostela Valley FA.

DFA president Edward "Chaya" Lam and his fellow officials are expected to grace the closing rites.

NYC, MinDA team up for roll out of Mindanao youth programs


DAVAO CITY, March 25 (PNA) -- Signalling the roll out of upcoming programs and projects for Mindanao’s youth, the National Youth Commission (NYC) officially turned over the first edition of the Mindanao Youth Agenda (MYA) to the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) in a ceremony held on Monday at the Grand Regal Hotel here in this city.

The MYA is the youth component in the Mindanao 2020 Peace and Development Framework, considered as the island-region’s peace and development roadmap covering 2011 to 2030.

“Our role here is to continually push for the best interest of the youth sector and guide them to a direction that will let them discover their potentials and determine their roles in social transformation,” said Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, during the turnover ceremonies of NYC’s Regional Youth Advisory Council Convention.

In May 2012, NYC sealed a partnership with MinDA to take the lead in crafting youth development programs for Mindanao, leading to the creation of the MYA.

Antonino said the Mindanao 2020, calls for the participation of the youth, in their transition towards leadership roles by encouraging their involvement in socioeconomic activities that push for change within and among communities.

"We need our youth to be advocates of Mindanao's tourism, too. They can travel, explore, and immerse themselves in initiatives that promote beautiful Mindanao,” she said.

NYC Commissioner for Mindanao Earl Saavedra said the turning over of the MYA to MinDA will ensure that all identified programs in the document will be institutionalized and implemented gradually.

He added “the MYA will serve as an all-in-one reference document for the youth development initiatives in Mindanao.”

According to Saavedra, incorporating MYA in the overall Mindanao 2020 Framework is an assurance that the young people of Mindanao are involved in the socioeconomic development process, not just as recipients, but as frontrunners for development, and prime movers in nation building.

MinDA and NYC are set to identify priority programs and projects from the MYA document to be implemented, which are all geared towards unleashing the full potentials of the Mindanao youth.

“I commend the LGUs and agencies for the respective youth development programs that you have implemented within your own capacity. With the anticipated roll-out of MYA, we can now harmonize our efforts and initiatives for our youth,” Antonino said.

She also urged the members of the Regional Youth Advisory Council composed of representatives from Mindanao LGUs and regional line agencies to empower the most vulnerable youth sub-sectors and champion their aspirations in attempts to usher inclusive participation towards growth and development.

Carrying the discussions and recommendations from this year’s convention, NYC is set to release the second edition of MYA by the end of the year.

DTI to hold stakeholders’ consultation on March 25


DAVAO CITY, Mar. 24 – The Regional Office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) here will be convening various stakeholders to get their insights on its planned programs and projects for 2015.

Set on March 25, the half-day consultation will serve as an avenue for DTI-Davao Region and representatives from civil society organizations (CSOs) and private sector partners to discuss on how to implement, or even improve the implementation, of DTI’s identified programs and projects.

DTI-Davao Region Officer-in-Charge Maria Belenda Q. Ambi said the participating stakeholders may also share their opinions on what other interventions DTI can do for both the business sector and consumers.

“We really conduct the CSO and Stakeholders’ Consultation annually so that we’ll know what they think of our plans for a particular year. By doing it, we can have more inputs on how to improve our interventions for MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) and consumers,” she said.

Pursuant to the National Budget Memorandum No. 123 dated January 28, 2015, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has provided procedures to strengthen the conduct of agency consultations at the central and regional levels to secure feedback on programs and projects of departments and corporations.

This is also in accordance with the current administration’s thrust of inclusive growth, transparency, and financial accountability.

“We are optimistic about getting valuable inputs from our partners from the government and the private sector,” she said.

Among DTI-Davao Region’s plans for this year are the setting-up of six Negosyo Centers, establishment of 49 Shared Service Facility (SSF) projects, implementation of 21 Bottom-Up Budgeting (BuB) projects, distribution of 130 Timbangan ng Bayan to 65 public markets (each public market will be given at least two weighing scales), conduct of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Roving Academy and Presyo Diskwento Caravans, and strengthening of priority industry clusters.

Malaysian firm to develop 1,000-hectare for oil palm

By Antonio L. Colina IV

A DAVAO City official said Monday that a Malaysian company is set to develop a 1,000-hectare property for oil palm in Marilog District.

During the Oil Palm Investment Forum at the Park Inn By Radisson Davao on Monday, Davao City Investment Promotions Center (DCIPC) officer-in-charge Ivan Cortez said the investor, who is a major player in Malaysia's oil palm industry, had discussed the matter with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). He refused to disclose the name of the firm.

If this will push through, members of the Ovu-Manuvo tribe will be tapped for the planting of the seedlings.

The official also said that this partnership will empower economically small farmers, especially the ones who own five hectares of land.

The investors who previously set an eye on Paquibato's idle lands have backed out as the terrain is not very suitable for logistics, most especially in setting up the facilities and the access to and from the site.

"They (investors) prefer the type of land in Maguindanao," he added.

In his presentation, Dr. Pablito P. Pamplona, board of director and secretary of the Philippine Palm Oil Development Council Inc. (PPODCI), said oil palm seedlings as compared to other crops have higher survival rates.

Crops like cacao and coffee can thrive well with oil palm trees in rolling terrains and prevent soil erosion.

"Oil palm has massive root systems which reduce soil erosion in the sloping uplands," he said. "A new technique of crop-livestock integration, when applied, shall promote crop diversity and added income in the upland."

In 2013, he lamented that the Philippines was the last in terms of hectarage planted with oil palm at 72,000 hectares. Indonesia was the biggest at 10.5 million seedlings, followed by Malaysia (6 million) and Thailand (850,000).

He also said oil palm will take lesser use of fertilizers as compared to other crops that produce oil and will serve as carbon sink.

In a recent forum, environmental group Panalipdan Southern Mindanao urged the City Government to study before accommodating proposed investment on oil palm expansions in Marilog.

According to Panalipdan, the environmental impact must also be considered not only the economic gains should the city give a green light to investors to plant these areas with oil palm.

"Paquibato is supposedly one of the important water resource base areas of the city while palm oil is not grown organically but dependent on chemical inputs which might pollute the local water resources in the uplands and affect the water supplies in the lowlands, a concern that we both shared," it said.

Earlier, City Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang said crops that can be planted in those areas are coffee, cacao, corn, rubber, and oil palm.

He cited the need to develop the upland areas because relying on "urbanization of center" is simply not enough to sustain economic growth.

Mangosteen Ice cream to flavor city’s partnership with Magnolia

By Arianne Caryl N. Casas

THE city government of Davao will renew its partnership with Magnolia Inc. with the introduction of mangosteen as one of Magnolia’s new ice cream flavors.

Magnolia will showcase mangosteen-flavor ice cream in 1.5L tubs, 425ml pints, and 60ml ICOS, according to its draft memorandum of agreement.

The ice cream company will use the slogan "Life is here", "Our king can fly", the seal of the city government and selected tourist spots in the metropolis. The partnership started in 2012 when the city government allowed Magnolia to promote mangosteen as one of its "Best of Philippines" flavors. It was signed by former Mayor Sara Duterte.

The city council’s committee on rules, privileges and ordinances has recommended an ordinance granting Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte to sign the agreement with Magnolia.

The item is pending approval on second reading.

$430-M in export value noted in Q4 last year

By Reuel John F. Lumawag

THE Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)-Davao reported that Davao region posted an export value of $430.13 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Based on the preliminary data of PSA-Davao, agricultural products remain to be the main export commodity of the region.

Fresh and dried bananas, including plantains, continue to be the number one exported product of the region with a value of $158.87 million.

China is the top export market of the commodity at $62.53 million, followed by Japan ($33.99 million), Iran ($18.34 million), South Korea ($14.64 million), and Saudi Arabia ($6.31 million).

Coconut crude oil is the second most exported product of the region at $76.92 million with the Netherlands being the number export destination at $34.91 million.

Other top export destinations for the commodity include Indonesia ($11.39 million), Malaysia ($11.12 million), United States of America (USA) ($9.05 million), and Italy ($5.53 million).

The third most exported product of the region is fresh and dried pineapples at $24.56 million with Japan being the top export destination at $5.99 million. Other top export markets are Singapore ($4.79 million), United Arab Emirates (UAE) ($4.25 million), China ($3.92 million), and South Korea ($2.17 million).

Prepared or preserved fruits -- lychees, longans, jackfruit, and mango, among others -- containing added sugar and sweetening ingredients is the fourth most exported commodity of the region at $20 million.

The top export destination for the commodity is still China at $3.73 million, followed by Germany ($2.35 million), Taiwan ($2.06 million), South Korea ($1.41 million), and USA ($1.4 million).

Rounding up the top five exported commodities of the region are coconut oil and its fractions at $19.79 million with USA being the top export destination for the commodity at $11.17 million. Other major destinations include Malaysia ($4.56 million), Canada ($1.94 million), United Kingdom ($609,379), and South Africa ($406,903).

Also among the top 10 exports of the region are natural rubber in other forms ($17.16 million); activated carbon of coconut-shell based ($16.81 million); soya bean oil ($9.75 million); desiccated coconut ($9.12 million); and oil cake and other solid residues extracted from coconut or copra ($6.88 million).

The agency also reported that China is the top market for Davao Region exports for the fourth quarter of 2014 at $96.02 million worth of exports.

Japan came in second at $50.61 million while Netherlands placed third at $42.83 million. Rounding up the top five export destinations are USA ($42.64 million) and Malaysia ($27.77 million).

Davao City to embark on sports tourism promotion


DAVAO CITY, March 20 (PNA) -– The City Tourism Office is embarking on sports tourism events after noting an increase in the number of sports enthusiasts coming to Davao City.

City tourism head Lisette Marquez said sports tourism was one vehicle that would encourage visitors to participate in sports activities and at the same time see for themselves the rest of Davao City.

During the launching of Durianman Triathlon at NCCC Mall city on Thursday, Marquez said the city government had become regular partner of major sports events. She said the partnership was an opportunity for the city to campaign as destination in the south.

Under such partnership, the city provides support to sports activities or any event. In the triahlon, for example, the city identifies the routes ensuring that the roads are paved for easy access to the visitor-participants.

Department of Tourism (DoT) regional director Roberto Alabado III, on the other hand, said they welcomed events like this as it would attract more sports oriented individuals to come here.

"We want the avid sports athletes to have a complete experience about Davao," he said.

Alabado said they also encouraged tour operators and other tourism industry players to come up with packages for visitors not only focusing on one event but also make use of their stay by touring other sites within Davao.

"Participating in an activity like the triathlon is one aspect and providing them with interesting packages to bring them to other interesting destinations and make their stay longer in Davao," he said.

The Durianman Triathlon, which will be held here on May 2, 2015, is one of the major events for Visit Davao Fun Sale 2015. It is a sporting event involving the completion of three continuous and sequential endurance discipline of swimming, biking and running.

The organizers are expecting 200 athletes half of them are from Davao and the others from nearby cities and provinces of Mindanao.

Meanwhile, Alabado added that elite triathlon athletes and some foreign athletes are expected to participate in the sports event.

Torre Lorenzo partners with Dusit Int'l for Davao project

By Nelson C. Bagaforo (

MANILA, Philippines - Developer Torre Lorenzo Development Corporation is building four luxury developments in the next five years.

In a statement, Tomas P. Lorenzo, president of Torre Lorenzo, said the company's first master-planned luxury residential community, Siam 8000, will rise in Davao City.

"A number of ongoing luxury residential projects will become integral in Torre Lorenzo’s growing portfolio," he said.

Torre Lorenzo is partnering with Asian hospitality brand Dusit International for the P2 billion Siam 8000 project, which will feature the Dusit Thani Residences and Dusit d2 Hotel.

Lorenzo said the company is now directing its real estate development efforts to putting up communities that cater to specific market segments.

Torre Lorenzo first made a name in the real estate market through its successful student-targeted university housing project in Manila’s school district, as well as its first township venture in Davao, Ciudades.

Lorenzo noted that Siam 8000, situated along Maryknoll Drive in Lanang, Davao City, is a vote of confidence in Davao as an emerging high-end tourism and property destination.

"Fuelled by a robust local economy and a growing number of unique attractions, Davao is evolving tremendously as a destination and this growth is ultimately reflected in the real estate and tourism sectors... With ambitious development goals, Torre Lorenzo is strategically building its portfolio of premier properties to keep up with the increasing demand by leveraging on the company’s competitive advantages and meaningful partnerships," Lorenzo said.

Torre Lorenzo’s real estate project pipeline will also include other luxurious property ventures such as another Dusit D2 Hotel and the exclusive Lubi Plantation Membership Club, both in Kopiat Island, Davao.

International school to open in Davao

By Nelson C. Bagaforo

THE first international school in Mindanao will open in Davao City.

The Stockbridge American International will start accepting students this school year, according to Davao business leader Joji Ilagan Bian.

Bian’s family owns JIB Schools, which has signed a partnership agreement with the world's largest system of international schools, the US-based Nacel International Schools Systems.

"Our contract with Tumble Tots (a UK-based school that offers pre-kindergarten program) expires this year and I decided to go for the K-12 program. I need to bring something different, so my first quest was to look for an international one that can bring us the technology," Bian told reporters at the sidelines of the Parents Forum announcing the opening of Stockbridge.

She said Stockbridge will follow an international curriculum that correlates with the host country's curriculum, adding that she chose Nacel "because it’s the only international system" that has the capacity to do this.

"No other system that has the most number of schools all over the world. Nacel runs a network of 16 international schools in different parts of the worldwide," Bian said.

Nacel runs an international school in Clark, its first in the Philippines.

Stockbridge will open Grade 1, aside from kindergarten and the pre-kindergarten programs, at the old Tumble Tots campus on Mabini St.

"We will take it one step at a time. Next year, we will be opening Grade 2," she said.

Bian said that by 2018, they are looking at moving to a new campus with the first batch of students who will be completing their primary school (Grade 1-Grade 4). The new campus, which will rise in 3.7-hectare property in Ma-a, will be at par with all other schools run by Nacel, she said.

She said the new campus will have four four-storey buildings, a gymnasium, a dormitory and a soccer field.

"One building costs around P150 million, and we are talking here of four buildings. But it's a very long term investments and very huge," Bian said, adding that they are targetting to complete the project in 10 to 12 years.

Bian said the construction of the first building will start in 2017 or late 2016 and is set for completion by 2018, before the school opening that year.

More than Duterte: Little known facts about Davao City

By Karl Aguilar (

'More than just a city led by a strong-willed mayor, Davao City offers some surprises of its own which contributed to the city’s unique character'

DAVAO, Philippines – So much has been said about Davao City, especially about its colorful mayor and his policies that have made the city safe and admired. But, wonderful as those achievements may be, there are other facets of Davao that tend to be overlooked.

More than just a city led by a strong-willed mayor, Davao City offers some surprises of its own which contributed to the city’s unique character.

As someone who had the opportunity to visit this wonderful city recently, allow me to share some of the little–known aspects of Davao City that I discovered during my trip.

Consider it a humble tribute to this city on the occasion of its 79th founding anniversary.

Commuting culture

If there’s a primary lesson I came to learn about Davao City, it would be how to commute around the city, especially in the downtown area. That is because many of the thoroughfares there are one-way streets.

Especially for those who are used to knowing that jeepneys ply the same thoroughfare to and fro, this may come as a bit of a culture shock and an annoyance. But on the plus side, you get to be more familiar with the urban geography of Davao City.

While we are in the subject of commuting, it is also important to note the taxi culture in the city. A recent viral story made people become aware of the honesty of the taxi drivers there. But how honest are they? They are so honest, they would take the trouble of giving you exact change, down to the last centavo.

It also helps that the taxis in the city have a colorful character…literally. You won’t see much of the usual white and yellow taxis; rather, you see taxis in pastel shades of blue, orange, and lime green to name a few.

There are also the black taxis, the premium ones that allow you to pay your fare through credit card.

Davao's artist

There are a few artists whose works have helped define the city, and Davao City has such an artist in the person of Kublai Millan. You can never miss his art the moment you land at the airport or whether you stroll around the People’s Park, which by itself is a must-see destination in the city.

If you can’t get enough of Kublai Millan’s art, then check out Ponce Suites to see more of his artwork. Even if you are not staying in this hotel, the wide array of artwork is worth the visit, especially for art-lovers who wish to check out the art scene Davao has to offer.

A UP Campus in Davao

Davao City is a center of education in Mindanao with the presence of some notable educational institutions, a reputation boosted years ago when University of the Philippines Mindanao was established in the city in 1995.

However, you won’t get to find its campus in the city proper. UP Mindanao’s campus is located up in the city’s Mintal district, which is about an hour’s drive up from the city proper.

Being a fairly new campus, don’t expect to see much in the campus apart from its main building, the students center, a mini-mosque, and of course the Oblation.

But the wide green space leaves room for future growth, so it will be interesting to see what UP Mindanao would be like in the future as it seeks to become a center of learning and research in the region as other UP campuses have become.

The biggest Chinatown

If you think the only Chinatown in the Philippines is the one in Binondo in Manila, there is actually a Chinatown in Davao too. But don’t expect to see rows of Chinese restaurants, lucky charms, and drug stores here as Davao’s Chinatown is more “industrial” in character. What you’ll see here are rows of retail space and warehouses of various goods, which makes sense considering the inclination for trade among the Filipino-Chinese community. It is no coincidence that this area is considered to be a center of commerce in the city.

Davao City Chinatown also claims to be the largest Chinatown in the world as it occupies almost 44 hectares in land area. Somewhat fitting considering that Davao City itself is the largest city in terms of land area.

Davao's shopping street and zumba nights

Given that Filipinos have grown to be quite fond of shopping malls, Davao City has developed quite a shopping environment even if it has only been introduced recently.

Davao's shopping landscape can be seen along one of its main thoroughfares, JP Laurel Avenue, which became the main shopping street, thanks to the city's 4 biggest malls: Gaisano’s GMall, Victoria Plaza (the city's first shopping mall), Ayala’s Abreeza Mall, and SM Lanang (not to be confused with SM City Davao, located in the city’s Matina district in the south).

What do Davao’s denizens do after work? Apparently, many of them attend one of those zumba parties being held almost nightly. If there would be a title at stake for being “the zumba capital of the Philippines," Davao City is a strong contender.

There are more things to discover about Davao City, but I’m leaving it to others in discovering what they are. Hopefully, what I’ve shared would help in appreciating such a good city even better and why Davao City is proud to say that “life is here.”

It's final: Today is non-working day

By Arianne Caryl N. Casas

IT'S official. Today, March 17, is Special (Non-Working) Day in Davao City.

As authorized by President Benigno Aquino III, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. signed on Monday the Proclamation 984, declaring March 17 as a Special (Non-Working) Day in the City of Davao in celebration of Araw ng Davao (Araw ng Pasasalamat).

"It is but fitting and proper that the people of City of Davao be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies," the Proclamation read.

The City Information Office announced the good news through the official Facebook page of the City Government of Davao.

As expected, Davao City netizens rejoiced over the declaration.

Davao Fun Sale involves all tourism stakeholders

By Reuel John F. Lumawag

THE Visit Davao Fun Sale (VDFS) this year will involve all stakeholders providing Dabawenyos tourists alike a wide array of products and services they can avail at special promos.

Davao City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) officer-in-charge Lisette Marques, who guested on Thursday's edition of I-speak at the Davao City Hall, said that as compared to the Big Davao Fun Sale (BDFS) in 2014, where only the city malls had a large participation and was focused mainly on shopping, the VDFS 2015 now involves the active participation of other tourism players like the travel and tour agencies, hotels and resorts, restaurants, health and wellness establishments, and the Mice (meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions) sector.

The VDFS is the country's first city-wide and month long sale slated on April 3 to March 17.

Marques said the VDFS Tours Consortium, which is comprised of tour operators in Davao City, will be running the Fun Tours and Fun Packages, which can be booked through the

The Fun Tours are available for as low as P600 per head while the Fun Packages are available for for as low as P2,613. The tour packages involves city and adventure tours.

She said participating restaurants will also be offering promos and discounts like a 20 percent discount on one product per day.

A total of 106 restaurants are participating in this year's VDFS, wherein they are grouped into 12 clusters are Matina Town Square, Damosa Gateway, Phoenix Mega Station, The Peak of GMall of Davao, Lanang Business Park, Bricklane and Obrero, Victoria Plaza Carpark, Rizal Street, Torres Street, Roxas Street (with Aldevinco Souvenir Center), Eden Nature Park area, and Calinan area (Malagos Mountain Resort and Philippine Eagle Center).

Member spa and massage centers of the Davao Wellness Association will be offering discounts and promos to tourists and Dabawenyos during the VDFs.

Shoppers and tourists can avail themselves of the discounts or promos from restaurants and spa and massage centers by presenting their VDFS passport, which is given for free at the airport, partner hotels, and designated booths in participating malls. A smart and android phone application of the passport can also be downloaded.

For the shopping aspect of the VDFS, 11 shopping malls or centers based in the city will be participating in the fun sale, including SM Malls, Abreeza Ayala Mall, Gaisano Mall of Davao, Gaisano Mall of Toril, NCCC Mall, S & R, Robinsons Abreeza, SM City Davao, SM Lanang Premiere, and Victoria Plaza Mall.

Earlier, VDFS execom president Tjader P. Regis said each mall and center will be having their own promos and discounts but shoppers can expect a discount of 40 percent to 70 percent off on selected items.

The month-long VDFS is seen to give the tourism sector in the city a boost as Department of Tourism (DOT) regional director Roberto Alabado III expressed optimism that they will be able to increase the tourism arrivals in the city with the staging of the event.

He said based on their hotel occupancy report, tourist arrivals from March to April in 2014, when the BDFS was staged, increased to 195,713 as compared to the 190,334 during the same period in 2013. They are hoping to double the 5,000 who came last year with the VDFS this year.

VDFS is a collaborative effort between the City Government of Davao Tourism Office, Office of Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre, Department of Tourism, and the tourism sector stakeholders, which are the travel and tour agencies, hotels and resorts, restaurants and entertainment groups, malls and shopping centers, Mice (meeting, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions) Organizers Ventures (Move) Davao, and the Davao Wellness Association (DavWell).

Araw ng Dabaw rugby fest kicks off

By Karlo Paolo R. Pates (KRP)

THE Buhangin Falcons-1 and Buhangin Falcons-2 soared to its second straight victories while Royal Valley Pirates nabbed its first win in the Under-16 division at the start of the Davao Durians Rugby Football Club (DDRFC)-hosted 78th ArawngDabaw Get into Rugby Festival II held at the Davao City National High School (DCNHS) football field.

The Buhangin Falcons-1, which defeated Redemptorist Flaming Fox in their opening game, 3-1, also bested SOS Children's Village (CV)-1 in the second game, 2-0.

Buhangin Falcons-2, for its part, overwhelmed SOS Children's Village-2 in the first game, 2-0, before dismantling the Redemptorist Flaming Fox in the second game, 1-0.

Royal Valley Pirates, on the other hand, eked out a 1-0 win over the DCNHS squad.

Meanwhile, the Buhangin Baby Falcons, Redemptorist Baby Flaming Fox and Royal Valley Baby Pirates also drew their first bloods over their respective rivals in the Under-12 division.

Buhangin Baby Falcons toppled Matina Elementary School, 2-0, while the Redemptorist Baby Flaming Fox stamped Baby SOS Children's Village, 2-0. Roval Valley Baby Pirates thrashed Don Juan de la Cruz Central Elementary School-Black, 2-0.

Games were still being played, as of presstime.

Philippine Rugby Football Union-Davao Region Rugby Development Officer Blessie Kate Delos Reyes, in an interview with Sun.Star Davao at the sidelines of the competition, said that a total of 19 teams are entered in this second edition of ruby football tournament.

She added that the the 19 teams will be competing in a single round-robin format tournament.

The rugby football festival is organized as part of 78th Arawng Davao Sports Festival.

It is supported by the city government of Davao through the Sports Development Division of the City Mayor's Office (SDD-CMO) and Philippine Rugby Football Union and also backed-up by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), City Anti-Drug Abuse Council, Department of Education (DepEd)-Davao City, DCNHS, Good Source Business Services, Inc., Potbellied Pigs RFC Hong Kong, VisMin Rugby Football Union, Maharlika Sports Development Institute, Inc. (MSDII), DHL, Davao Sportswriters Association and Scoop Davao.

Workshop on chemicals management slated

By Arianne Caryl N. Casas

A NON-GOVERNMENT organization will hold a consultation workshop to identify the issues and challenges in mainstreaming chemicals management in Davao City.

Ban Toxics will conduct orientation and consultation workshop on Chemicals Management on March 20 (Friday) at the Interface Development Interventions (Idis) office in Catalunan Pequeño, Davao City.

Ban Toxics deals with “Chemicals Management and National Development, which aims to highlight the importance of developing an environmentally sound framework for chemicals management as a tool for economic and social development in both the local and national contexts.”

The workshop aims to: gather representatives from different non-government organizations and relevant stakeholders in the discussion on chemicals management; identify the issues and challenges in mainstreaming chemicals management in Davao city; and identify actions and interventions that can be done to address these issues and challenges.

Less developed towns soon to have free-wifi

By Jeanevive Duron-Abangan (PIA XI)

DAVAO CITY, March 12 (PIA)--- Internet connection will soon be available in public places such town plazas and transport terminals in towns classified as 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th class municipalities.

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario Montejo revealed in a press conference during the first leg of the Science Nation Tour in Davao City that DOST targeted to roll out such internet connection in those towns by the second half of the year to promote connectivity and consequently boost economic activity .

DOST Information Communication Technology Office (ICT) website revealed that the Free-Wifi Internet Access in Public Places project of DOST was originally designed “to cover only town plazas of 748 class 4, 5 and 6 municipalities, with a budget of 334 million pesos”.

But with the P3 billion boost in budget that DOST got after the recent Senate deliberation, the project has been modified to cover “transport terminals (train, sea and air), school yards, hospital lobbies, national government agencies, public parks and local government unit offices”.

In a separate interview with the media, Montejo revealed the benefits of such project saying a research has found out that “increasing internet connectivity results in 1.3 percent increase in economic growth.”

During the press conference, Montejo explained that DOST will make use of “TV White Space Technology” which he described as “unused broadcast frequency already tested in Bohol”.

Information posted on DOST ICTO website says that the TV White Space Technology was “used to provide last mile connectivity in areas affected by the Bohol earthquake and Typhoon Yolanda” and such white space located between broadcast TV channels can be used “to provide wireless data connectivity to remote communities in the country”.

Montejo cited such project as one of the major initiatives that DOST undertook to make science and technology more relevant to the daily lives of the Filipinos especially that S&T department recently was given 400 percent increase in budget.

With such increase in budget, DOST targets to accommodate 5,000 S&T scholars by the end of 2015. DOST sets to increase the number of Philippine Science High School campuses from nine to 16 campuses by end of 2016.

DOST used to monitor only five major river systems but it took stride to cover 18 major river systems. Montejo even revealed plans of DOST to cover the country’s 285 river systems in its disaster mitigation program.

Other societal needs that DOST sets its direction to be of help are on increasing production yield, transport and even on e-healthcare services.

“We would like to directly benefit the people,” Montejo said.

DOST bids to boost agriculture production through coming up with technology on peanut de-shelling, mechanization of farm tractor, efficiently raising bangus and tilapia, and that it is also into bio-technology, Mentejo said.

Davao Horse Club to stage horse racing in “Araw ng Dabaw” celebration


DAVAO CITY, March 11 (PNA) -- The Davao Horse Club (DHC), now on its 18th year, is staging the Araw ng Davao Cup horse racing on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Riverfront Stables of the Riverfront Corporate City in Ma-a, this city.

Kobi Troy Tan of DHC said this event is also aimed to promote horseback riding and tourism in Davao City. It will feature the Barrel Race, Obstacle Race and the Parlor Games.

He said the Barrel Race is a rodeo event in which a horse and rider attempt to complete a clover-leaf pattern around preset barrels in the fastest time.

It combines the horse's athletic ability and the horsemanship skills of a rider in order to safely and successfully maneuver a horse through a clover leaf pattern around three barrels (typically three fifty-five gallon metal or plastic drums) placed in a triangle in the center of an arena, he added.

The Obstacle Race is a Philippine innovated type of race composed of obstacles such as barrels, poles, jumping poles, table tops, and mud pits. The horse and rider should pass thru all these obstacles, maneuver around to have a safe and clean run. Fastest time wins.

“The Parlor games are just for the horsemen to have fun and relax on horseback,” Tan said.

It is usually a relay kind of contest, a team sport composed of three to five members per team. But there are also individual parlor game events such as musical chairs on horseback, sack race with horse, and etc.

Trophies will be given to winners followed by the fellowship. The event is open to the public.

“We’re inviting everybody to chill and relax with friends and family members while watching cowboys and cowgirls compete against each other. This is a fast paced, action packed horse event,” he further said.

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