Cagayan de Oro City News

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How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm

Contents

Oro cited as Outstanding City Council for NorMin

By PJ ORIAS

CAGAYAN de Oro's City Council has been recognized by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) as the Outstanding Sangguniang Panglungsod (City Council) Award in Northern Mindanao.

According to DILG-Northern Mindanao director Arnel Agabe, they already endorsed Oro's City Council to the Local Legislative Award (LLA) and will try its luck in the national level.

The city council is the official nominee of Northern Mindanao to the LLA national assessment.

“I hope that this award will inspire you more, and perhaps motivate other Sanggunians to produce significant legislation that will bring positive impact in the lives of their constituents,” said Agabe, and Philippine Councilors League (PCL-Northern Mindanao) president lawyer Oliver Owen L. Garcia, in their congratulatory message to the vice mayor.

LLA aims to give recognition to councils that has exemplary performance in building the foundation of meaningful local administration and development.

Provinces, highly urbanized cities, component cities and municipalities are the participants.

Participating councils submitted ordinances or resolutions highlighting innovation or excellence thereby attaining a desirable socio-economic and environmental outcome to the community.

Kagay-anon football goalie sets eyes on UAAP slot

By Jack Biantan (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- After a good year in her budding football career, young Eunice Roxanne Eduave is hoping to get a slot in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) this year.

A graduate of Xavier University in high school, she is now enrolled at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman’s College of Human Kinetics taking up Physical Education. Her latest feat was an impressive performance in the recently concluded 4th Pinay in Action (PIA) Football Cup held in Davao City last January 11-13.

The Davao trip is part of the UP Women's Football Team (UPWFT) of coach Anto Gonzales' preparation for the UAAP Women’s Football tournament that will start soon.

“I have always dreamed of playing in the UAAP. I did not try out for any team nor take any entrance test for any school in Manila. Yet I am here now in UP,” the 18-year-old said.

Eduave was the starting goalkeeper of the UP Women’s Football Team Y during the three-day competition organized by Taguig City representative and former senator Pia Cayetano.

The tournament was supported by the Davao City government, Ulticon Builders, Inc., the South Davao Regional Football Association, University of Southeastern Philippines, Frog Kaffee, Magic 89.1, and SunStar Davao.

With Eduave between the posts, UPWFT Y was impressive during the elimination round at the Tionko field in Davao City. They recorded two wins and one draw. The UP-Y girls beat the Red Corals of Zamboanga City 4-1, Tiago FC, 3-0, and Alab FC, 6-0.

They then drew with University of Santo Thomas Team A to advance to the quarterfinals, where they whipped local team Philippine College of Technology Medvil FC, 5-0 and make it to the semis. They met their sister team UP X in the semis but unluckily lost 2-4 via penalty shootout.

Their unlucky streak did not end there as they lost to a very strong UST Team A, 1-0, in the battle for third. Their sister team UP X team captured the title after beating UST Team B in the championship.

So far, Eduave is thankful for getting into UP when she was recruited after the Palarong Pambansa in Vigan last year. She was the starting goalkeeper of the Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) Girls Futsal team of coach Dhon Lazo. The Region 10 girls managed to advance to the quarterfinals but unluckily fell to the eventual champions Region 7 (Central Visayas).

“So far, I am okay in UP. I have new friends, new environment and most especially, I am having a higher level of training. College football is way far from high school,” she said.

She added that her student-athlete life now is much more intense compared to when she was still in high school at Xavier University. As a rookie, UP has given her free tuition but her parents Van Roger and Rowena Lyn Eduave have to pay for her board and lodging and matriculation and allowances.

As a lass from the province, the economic pressure in the Big City is strong for the 18 year old. That is why she tries to earn some money through her involvement in multi-level marketing company, Frontrow, where she sells beauty and wellness products.

It is still a long way for Eunice. She is just a rookie. There are four goalkeepers in the UPWFT right now and making the 22-women team for the UAAP is a steep ladder to climb for this Cagayan de Oro native.

Her priority right now is to make the UAAP line-up. With her hard work and dedication, Kagay-anons hope to cheer for her in the coming UAAP Women’s Football tournament.

Results

Champion -- UPWFT X; 1st Runner-Up -- UST B; 2nd Runner-Up -- UST A; 3rd Runner-Up -- UPWFT Y; Special Awards Best Defender -- Cassandra Alleje (UPWFT X); Best Midfielder --Charisa Lemoran (UST); Best Goal Keeper -- Nicole Adlawan (UPWFT X); Fair Play -- UPWFT; Top Goal Scorer -- Shelah Cadag 13 goals (UST B ); Most Valuable Players -- Cassandra Alleje (UPWFT X), Charisa Lemoran (UST B).

Oro council approves tattoo ordinance

By PJ ORIAS

THE Cagayan de Oro City Government has set standards for the operation of tattoo studios in the city.

This after the City Council passed on Monday, January 14, the ordinance regulating tattooing and body piercing and the operation of tattoo studios in an aim "to protect and promote the right to health of the people".

“This is to ensure the safety of the people against health risks and all possible complication that may arise in receiving a tattoo,” the ordinance stated.

Every tattoo parlor shall get all the necessary licenses including a permit from the City Health Office (CHO) which can only be obtained if CHO personnel conduct an inspection of the tattoo parlor.

Under the ordinance, the work surface of a tattoo parlor shall be cleaned with a hospital-grade disinfectant, and shall maintain adequate ventilation and hand-cleaning facilities.

The tattooer shall wear clean outer garments, maintain a high degree of personal cleanliness, and conform to hygienic practices while on duty.

Tattooers shall also use standard precautions while tattooing, for instance, if a tattooer is diagnosed with a communicable disease, he shall provide a letter to the City Health Office that his condition no longer poses a threat to public health.

Each tattooer is required to have the education, training and experience to practice techniques and prevent the transmission of blood-borne pathogens.

The ordinance also prohibits any person to perform tattoo work whose age is below 15 years old, those who are under the influence of drugs and alcohol, pregnant women, among others.

Violations of this provision can face imprisonment of not less than 1 month or a fine of at least P5,000.

The CHO will also conduct periodic inspections of every tattoo parlor in the city to check their compliance of the ordinance.

John Nangkil, a tattoo artist, lauded the city for the new regulation saying this will educate aspiring tattoo artists about the risks of the job.

"I understand that they only want to protect the public. For me, I always see to it that I can attend seminars sponsored by the Department of Health on blood borne and cross contamination because it will be more expensive if one of our client dies," he said.

He, However, also called on the city not to be hard on the tattoo artists and instead help them be educated before starting their tattoo business.

Jasaan wins Kuyamis Festival Booth Competition

By JO ANN SABLAD

THE municipality of Jasaan was declared as the grand winner of the Kuyamis Festival 2019 Booth Competition during the awarding ceremony last Friday night, January 11, at Limketkai Luxe Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City.

Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Emano personally handed over the cash prize worth P200,000 and trophy to the winning municipality.

The second place went to the municipality of Sugbongcogon while the third place was awarded to the municipality of Initao.

The judging of the Kuyamis Festival 2019 Booth Competition started last January 7 wherein 15 municipalities and one city of Misamis Oriental competed and showcased their respective products in their booths located in the capitol grounds.

The winners for the Kuyamis Photo Competition were also announced during the awarding ceremony.

For the Mobile Category, Brian Lonzaga from Iponan was declared the grand winner, followed by Zandrielin Cantutay of Balingasag as the second placer.

For the Conventional Category, Emmanuel Paller Jr. from Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City won first prize, while Jon Vill Quirog from Camella Homes, Cagayan de Oro City won second place.

All winning photos were displayed in the second floor hallway of Limketkai Luxe Hotel, just outside the Emerald Room where the Governor’s Night and awarding ceremony took place last Friday night.

Allianz PNB to set up agency office in Oro

By JO ANN SABLAD

THE German-based insurance company, Allianz, in partnership with the Philippine National Bank (PNB) will establish its permanent office in Cagayan de Oro City this year.

According to Noel Ellorenco, the chief agency officer of Allianz PNB Life, they have already started the construction of the agency office at the 5th floor of SM CDO Downtown Premier.

The 200-300 square-meter branch of the Allianz PNB Life Insurance will serve as an outpost in Cagayan de Oro City for the agents of Allianz and its customers or clients who would like to avail their insurance packages.

"Actually we are giving Cagayan de Oro one of the most beautiful offices ng Allianz," Ellorenco said.

The chief agency officer added that the construction of the office will be finished by March this year.

Meanwhile, clients who are interested to avail of the insurance packages of Allianz PNB Life while the construction is still ongoing, Ellorenco said they can visit the PNB branches in Cagayan de Oro.

Ellorenco also shared that the construction of the Allianz PNB Life office in Butuan City, located near Hotel Oazis, is already finished, while they are already started building the office in Davao City.

The chief agency officer added that Allianz is also planning to put an office in Bukidnon.

Allianz PNB Life is among the major life insurers in the Philippines, which began its operations in 2001. It has been in Cagayan de Oro City for two years.

Eager applicants flock to Kuyamis festival job fair

By PJ ORIAS

SOME 1,633 residents of Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro participated in the province-initiated Kuyamis festival job fair on Wednesday, January 9, at the Provincial Capitol grounds.

Data from the Provincial Employment Service Office (PESO) shows that out of the 1,633 job seekers, 389 were applying for overseas jobs, while about 1,244 were looking for local employment.

PESO said 1,542 individuals were considered as qualified applicants, while 20 persons were hired on the spot.

The 2019 Kuyamis job fair offered about 3.946 jobs, 2,456 for local, and 1,490 overseas jobs.

Among the companies who offered jobs include UKC Builders, FDC Inc., RTMI, Watsons, the Mindanao International Container Terminal Services, Ford CDO, San Miguel Foods, Gaisano Balingasag, GAMA Foods, Virginia, Overseas PHR and Overseas Placewell.

CDO adopts measures to ensure smooth ‘Traslacion’

By JIGGER J. JERUSALEM (davaotoday.com)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — The city police will now adopt a measure that will ensure proper management in case of a terrorist attack and other crisis situation during the annual “traslacion” or the procession of the Black Nazarene here.

Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (COCPO) spokesperson Supt. Mardi Hortillosa said that starting authorities will practice the putting up of evacuation centers along the “traslacion” route.

Hortillosa it’s important to properly manage people in the event of a disaster, such as stampede or a terrorist attack.

“We are dividing the area into sectors, where the evacuation area is located. This is also where responders and quick response teams are on standby in case they are needed,” he said.

Hortillosa said an evacuation center is essential so responders will know where to bring people, and to give them medical attention if needed.

“Our medics will be there in case people will be brought to the hospital,” he added.

Supt. Robert delos Reyes, chief of the COCPO operations and plans branch, said they have identified four spots being utilized as evacuation centers.

The sites, delos Reyes said, are within the route of the procession and are located on wide spaces, namely, the Plaza Divisoria, City Central School, Vicente de Lara Park, and beside the Nazarene Church.

Fr. Julius Clavero, the Nazareno parish priest, said the parish has actually three Black Nazarene statues, one of which was the replica donated by the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene church in Quiapo, Manila City.

One of the statues, he said, is being lent to other parishes who wish to use the Black Nazarene for their own traslacion.

Meanwhile, about 250,000 people joined the traslacion here, Hortillosa said, adding that COCPO has also deployed more than 2,000 police officers and soldiers in addition to the force multipliers such as village watchmen and other volunteers.

He said the holding of the traslacion in the city was generally peaceful. Only two devotees suffered from hyperventilation.

Oro council approves P6.3-B 2019 budget

By PJ ORIAS

THE City Council has finally approved the P6.3 billion 2019 budget, but without the support of four councilors.

During its first session for this year, the City Council approved the budget slashing only about P200 million from Mayor Oscar Moreno's proposed P6.5 billion.

Majority of the councilors voted to pass the budget, except for opposition councilors Leon Gan, Nadya Emano-Elipe, and Lordan Suan.

In an interview, Gan said the approved budget is unreasonable as it exceeds the actual collection.

"Ang kita sa dakbayan nilabay na tuig wapa miabot sa target, labaw na siguro karon. Pipila lang ang malipay ana nga budget. Mag-antos gihapon ang katawhan," Gan said.

"Kung atong kita niabot ug P3 billion, ang ato pud untang gastuhon una ang ato lang nakita, pwede ra man dungagan pag abot sa tunga-tunga kung nidako ang income. Lisod man ang budget nga walay sakto ang basehan asa kuhaon ang pondo," Gan added.

Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya meanwhile said the approved budget is necessary for a growing city like Cagayan de Oro to operate and continue its momentum this year.

Nacaya said before its approval, the budget was carefully deliberated and scrutinized.

"Maybe it is now easier for the executive to achieve their target since we only approved the P6.3 billion," he added.

The bulk of the 2019 budget has been allocated for the economic services which will get P2.6 billion or 41.4 percent.

The city has also set aside its 20 percent Development Fund in the amount of P333 million, while about P1.2 billion has been proposed to fund various infrastructure projects.

Oro intensifies campaign vs plastic use

By PJ ORIAS

THE City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) is calling on the public to surrender their remaining plastic sando bags to its office to fully adopt the ecobag lifestyle.

Clenro chief Engineer Armen Cuenca said, residents can contact its office so the staff can come to the houses and personally collect or surrender the plastic cellophane to the Clenro themselves.

Cuenca advised the public to contact them to properly dispose the plastic bags.

Meanwhile, the environment office has started issuing temporary violation receipts to 5 malls in the city found violating the plastic use regulation.

Cuenca said they have monitored 20 violators: 11 stores are still issuing plastic bags in SM Uptown, 4 stores in SM Downtown, 2 stores each in Gaisano Mall and Ayala Centrio Mall, and 10 stores in Limketkai mall.

"In fairness, the supermarket stores in these malls have complied with the ecobag use, but their department stores are still issuing plastic cellophanes," he added.

Cuenca however said that biodegradable plastics are not prohibited, provided business owners can show a certification from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) proving their claim.

Cuenca also warned restaurants in the city to comply with the new regulation or face the P3,000 penalty for every plastic bag issued.

The Clenro chief also noted that some establishments circumvent the new regulation, by actually cutting out the handle of the plastic bag to get away with the penalty.

But despite this, Cuenca said they still have the support of the majority to continue the plastic-free campaign.

"We have the 95% support of the public," he said.

Nazarene devotees urged to be vigilant

By JO ANN SABLAD

TO ACHIEVE a peaceful observance of the Feast of the Black Nazarene, the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) has reminded the public to heed and follow the authorities, especially on what not to do during the Traslacion on January 9.

According to Police Superintendent Robert delos Reyes, those who are attending the procession are advised to wear comfortable clothing and bring something to eat and drink.

They should also bring their identification cards and make sure to have with them medical information and emergency contact numbers.

Devotees are also discouraged from bringing backpacks, umbrellas, ball caps, sharp objects, sunglasses, illegal drugs, jewelries, canned goods, and drinks.

They are also advised not to wear hooded jackets and slippers and use selfie sticks.

Vendors and flying unauthorized drones are also not allowed.

Persons with disabilities, elderlies and kids age 12 and below are also urged not to attend the procession.

Delos Reyes also urged the public to be vigilant and report for any suspicious personalities and movements during the procession via their hotline numbers: 0936-401-7888 or 858-3085 or via their Facebook page: PRCU_COCPO.

Cocpo expects an increase in the number of devotees and participants joining this year's celebration of the feast of the Black Nazarene, more than the recorded 200,000 in 2018.

Sufficient number of policemen, barangay tanods and civilian volunteers will be in the area affected by the celebration to guarantee the safety and security of the public.

Oro preps for ‘Traslacion of Black Nazarene’

By JO ANN SABLAD

THE Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) has finalized its security set-up for the upcoming Traslacion of the Black Nazarene on January 9.

In coordination with the Police Regional Office-Northern Mindanao, Roads and Transport Authority and the Nazareno Parish Church, the Cocpo will provide area security inside the church and its immediate vicinity, and route security coverage along the major streets of the city where the procession will pass through.

According to Police Superintendent Robert delos Reyes, 836 uniformed personnel will be deployed to secure the safety of the parishioners, participants and devotees.

The Cocpo also coordinated with the Barangay Tanod Development Committee and civilian volunteers for additional manpower, especially with the expected increase of devotees and participants this year, Delos Reyes added.

“Sana maging maayos ang ating pag celebrate ng Black Nazarene. Sana mas marami pa ang magpunta ngayon dahil makakabuti ito sa image ng Cagayan de Oro, We hope that the celebration of Black Nazarene will go well. We hope that a lot would come because this will be a good image for Cagayan de Oro),” Delos Reyes said.

This year's observance of the fiesta of the Black Nazarene will have four major activities: transfer of the Black Nazarene from Nazareno Parish Church to San Augustine Cathedral on January 8; overnight activity at San Augustine Cathedral (last Novena Mass at 8 p.m.; Pahalik; opening salvo and homage to Black Nazarene); Traslacion (procession of the Black Nazarene from San Augustine Cathedral to Nazareno Parish Church) on January 9; and Holy Mass.

Delos Reyes said the police, barangay tanods and civilian volunteers will provide the security for the areas affected by the activities slated during the celebration of the fiesta of the Black Nazarene.

Those who are attending the Traslacion are advised to refrain from using selfie sticks to avoid causing injury and to avoid bringing valuables such as jewelries, cellphones and large amount of money.

“At kung pwede yung mga may sakit, yung mga may edad at medyo bata, ayaw na lang pag apil sa prosisyon,” Delos Reyes said.

The Feast of the Black Nazarene is expected to draw more people and devotees not only from those in Cagayan de Oro but also outside the city.

“These are matters of faith sa mga tao. Makatabang ni sa ilahang pagtubo, sa ilahang ispirituanon nga mga kinabuhi. Kini magtudlo sa ato nga makakita gyud sila og daghang nga grasya sa pag debosyon sa mahal na Nazareno kay gawas nga magbalik-balik sila kada tuig, mas nidaghan pa gyud,” Father Julius Clavero, Nazareno Parish Priest, said.

Clavero added that they also tied up with the Department of Tourism-Northern Mindanao for promotion as the Nazareno Shrine is one of the local pilgrimages and religious sites in Cagayan de Oro City.

Oro gives financial aid to 82 Tesda graduates

By PJ ORIAS

SOME 82 beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) received financial assistance from the Cagayan de Oro City Government for their business start-up.

According to City Administrator Teddy Sabuga-a, the cash assistance is part of the package that the city promised to the beneficiaries who have passed the skills training conducted by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) from July to November last year. They were able to take short-term courses relating to cookery, housekeeping, and welding.

Sabuga-a said the P1,500 cash assistance for each of the 4Ps beneficiary should help the beneficiaries start their own business.

“This is a joint program of the city and DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) to really help the identified poor families to stand up on their own. The skills training is part of our after-care program and interventions for the 4Ps beneficiaries in the city,” he said.

This year, the DSWD and the city will choose another set of beneficiaries who are interested to change the direction of their lives, he added.

“We are looking for those beneficiaries that are willing and will not force others to join. We will prioritize those who are ready and prepared,” he added.

CDO cops to jam mobile signal during Black Nazarene procession

By Ercel Maandig (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- The Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (COCPO) said it will again employ signal jammers in the upcoming Black Nazarene procession to temporarily cut off mobile telecommunications.

Supt. Mardy Hortillosa, COCPO spokesperson, on Wednesday said temporary blocking the reception or transmission of cell phone signal remains the most effective method to prevent any bombing attempt by terrorist elements.

Last year's Black Nazarene procession here attracted over 200,000 devotees, and police said the number is expected to grow this year.

Hortillosa said tight security will be implemented during the January 9 religious activity, along with the deployment of more police personnel on the streets.

Meanwhile, the chief of the Army's 4th Infantry Division (4ID) said the military has already coordinated with the police to strengthen security during the procession.

Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva, 4ID commander, also assured the military's intelligence units are on top of the situation.

In a related development, Mayor Oscar Moreno said the jamming of cell phone signal may last up to four hours.

"The measure is very vital for the security of the thousand devotees who will attend the procession," Moreno said.

USTP-Claveria to host 12th Fasmin Student Congress

By JO ANN SABLAD

THE University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP)-Claveria will be hosting the 12th Federation of Agriculture Students in Mindanao (Fasmin) Congress and Skills Competition from January 28 to 31, 2019.

Fasmin is an annual gathering of students in the agriculture and allied fields from different Mindanao universities and colleges to keep abreast with local agricultural issues and development trends.

"It’s an annual olympics of skills sa agricultural students," Eric Randy Politud, who leads the organizing team for Fasmin of USTP-Claveria, said.

The event also promotes camaraderie among the agriculture students, he added.

According to Politud, around 700 to 1,000 delegates will be participating in this year's Fasmin, which is anchored in the theme: "Ensuring Quality Standards in Agri-prenuerial Innovations: A Game-changer to Sustain Global Market."

"We'll also be inviting mga high schools diri nga mo-observe sila, its one way to promote agriculture kung mo-eskwela sila sa college," Politud said, adding that they will be promoting not just the school but also the entire Claveria through its agricultural products.

The congress and skills competition is consist of six competitions: Crop-based competition; Livestock-based competition; Rodeo Skills (Cattle Events); Rodeo Skills (Non-Cattle Events); Literary Competition; and Musical Competition.

Each competition will have several activities. For Crop-based competition, it includes: Seed Identification; Weed Identification; Insect Identification (pests, predators, parasitoids); Fertilizer Identification; Cleft Grafting; Marcotting; Inverted T-budding; Dish Gardening; Flower Arrangement; Diversified Farming; Fertilizer Computation; and Plant Population Density Computation.

Livestock-based Competition includes: Forage and pasture crops identification; Feed Formulation; Liveweight Estimation of Ruminant (5 calves); and Feed Stuff Identification.

Rodeo Skills (Cattle Events) consists of: One-man Lassoing Throwing Down, Tying; Two-men Carambola; Four-men Carambola; One-woman Lassoing, tying to the nearest post; Two-women Carambola; Four-women Carambola; and Team Casting (Men-Women).

Rodeo Skills (Non-Cattle Events): Load Carrying (Men and Women); Tug-of-War; and Whip Cracking (Man-Woman).

Literary Competition: On-the-spot Essay Writing Contest; Poster Making; Extemporaneous Speech; Quiz Show; and Concept Paper/Research Proposal Making.

Musical Competition: Vocal Solo; Vocal Duet; Mr. and Ms. Fasmin; and Barn Dance.

Politud also established the general rules for participating in the competitions of this year's Fasmin.

According to Politud, all events will be participated by only one representative or delegate of the school except for the events with two or more participants.

Only bona fide agriculture students are allowed to participate during the competition, he added.

The Fasmin awarding ceremony is set to happen on the fourth day of the event, on January 31, 2019, at the university's auditorium.

"We'll showcase the best of Claveria," Politud said.

CDO's 'Hapsay Kable' trims 238-km dead wires, cables in 2018

By Nef Luczon (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- A total of 238 kilometers of dead wires and cables were untangled and cleaned up by the city's Task Force "Hapsay Kable (cables in order)" throughout the year of 2018 or an additional of 104 more kilometers since its last report in June.

According to Teodoro Buenavista Jr., vice chairperson of the Task Force and Regional Director of National Telecommunications Commission in Region 10 (NTC-10), there were also 69 poles that were "retired" and another 108 alley arms removed.

In an earlier interview, Buenavista said the project would have its different phases, and that the recovered dead wires and cables would be donated to organizations that would in turn process them into reusable materials like additional garbage bins.

The Task Force was formed by virtue of Executive Order No. 172-2017, then known as the “CDO ICT Task Force on Cables and Wires," signed by Mayor Oscar Moreno in November 2017.

The project has become a joint initiative of the city, NTC-10, telecommunication players, civil society organizations, and professional groups.

Police: NorMin, Oro Christmas revelry peaceful

By ALWEN SALIRING

POLICE officials on Thursday, December 27, said the zero Christmas revelry-related incidents can be attributed to the "maturity" and "discipline" of the people.

Superintendent Surki Serenas, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office-Northern Mindanao (PRO-10), said Christmas celebration across the region was generally peaceful as no untoward incidents were recorded during the Christmas eve.

Serenas said authorities noted the zero fire cracker-related cases, zero stray bullet and zero fire incident.

"We attribute the tranquil Christmas eve to the maturity of the people. Gone are the times where your neighbors fire their M16's indiscriminately to welcome Christmas," Serenas said.

"Filipinos in general are law-abiding people. We tend to follow the law when it is strictly enforced. In the present situation, the prevailing martial law in Mindanao is significant harbinger of the mindset," he added.

Serenas also said "the regulatory laws, which have been there for years, empowered the state law enforcers to strictly implement the law. Hence, the common offenses and infractions of local ordinances have been brought to nil."

However, in Cagayan de Oro City, police investigators are looking into an alleged victim of firecracker.

Superintendent Mardy Hortillosa II, spokesperson of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo), said a certain Aileen Anog, 34, resident of Zone 8 Bulua, this city, went to the JR Borja General Hospital to get treatment after she was allegedly blown off by a firecracker.

Investigation disclosed that the victim suddenly left the hospital when she was called for her turn for medical treatment.

Operatives also failed to locate the victim in the address written in the hospital record. Also, the victim did not report the incident to the police.

"We will investigate pero maglisod ta kung dili ma-locate ang victim," Hortillosa said.

BFP bans Sky Lanterns this yuletide season

By Jasper Marie O. Rucat

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) announces its total ban of selling or using Sky Lanterns as fireworks this yuletide season.

BFP Inspector Arnolfo Nabua of Cagayan de Oro City explained so many areas in our community have roofs that are prone to fire, not yet made up of concrete or corrugated metal sheet. If it happens, the drops from the Sky Lantern could cause fire.

In Talakayan sa PIA, media forum with the Task Force Oplan: Iwas Paputok in Cagayan de Oro City, Nabua said the goal of BFP is total eradication of fire incidents during yuletide season.

“If not totally eradicated, ma minimize man lang. – If not totally eradicated, at least up to a minimal,” he added.

We have Oplan Paalala Iwas Paputok, campaign about fire safety, Nabua said. These include lectures and conduct of recorrida of fire trucks, roving around the city to share the information.

“Busy ang Bureau of Fire mag conduct og inspection kung asa nato gidesignate nato nang magbaligya anang fireworks or firecrackers. – The Bureau of Fire is busy with inspection of fireworks and firecrackers at designated areas in the city,” Nabua said.

As of now, BFP clarified “no fire from firecrackers related incident.”

In the past two years, there was one casualty from firework fire related incident in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental.

This year, he said, there have been 376 fire incidents with damage of P83 million in the region.

"In Cagayan de Oro, from January up to December, based on our records," he said "there had been 64 fire incidents and aggregate damage of P16 million."

Most of these fires are caused by electrical faults, he said.

Last year, there were P26 million aggregate damage. He explained the trend has been decreasing since last year because of their strategy called “swarming.”

Wherever the fire is located, a nearby station would immediately respond. He added, they have fire volunteers from auxiliaries who can also respond. This would prevent the spread of fire.

He also urged the media to report any fire incident at their hotline numbers: (088) 727580 extension: 160 or through their mobile number: 09267520623 or with the City’s hotline 911.

This campaign is for public safety and to celebrate Christmas and New Year Peacefully, he explained.

Meanwhile the Philippine National Police (PNP) in region 10 is on full alert status.

Famous Belgian Waffles opens in SM City Cagayan de Oro

By JO ANN SABLAD

THE Famous Belgian Waffles, one of the most popular waffle brands in the Philippines, had its grand opening at SM City Cagayan de Oro last Tuesday, December 18, introducing a new look and added variety of waffles to Kagay-anons.

Located at the SM City Cagayan de Oro's ground floor, near Chowking and the mall's event center, Famous Belgian Waffles' eye-catching counter-type outlet measures 22 square meters and can accommodate at least 24 customers for their tables and chairs.

According to Alrey Regondola, the marketing officer of Famous Belgian Waffles, this is their first company-owned counter-type outlet in Cagayan de Oro City, as most of their stores are franchised kiosks or carts.

"Our customers, especially we offer drinks, they want na may sitting area so they can enjoy the coffee. Yung waffle kasi is a grab and go snack, but for the coffee you want to drink it with waffle and chit-chat with your friends," Regondola said.

Apart from their new look, they added new products such as Corned Beef with Egg and Cheddar waffle sandwich, Cookies and Cream, Smores and others.

Regondola also shared that they were pleasantly surprised by the high sales they were able to maintain until now since their soft opening on December 1, as he initially expected that it will only last for a week.

Apart from their grand opening in Cagayan de Oro, they also opened another company-owned outlet in Robinsons Place Iligan last Wednesday, December 19.

The year 2019 will also be a busy one for Famous Belgian Waffle as they will be launching several activities and events that the Kagay-anons will have to look forward to.

According to Regondola, early next year, Famous Belgian Waffles will be offering their party package for weddings, debuts, Christmas and thanksgiving parties, corporate events and others.

"We'll be having our warehouse here, near SM CDO uptown. So, we are tapping to create a party package for events here in CDO kasi malapit lang yung warehouse," Regondola said.

The party package, he said, starts at P8,900 for 100 pax, which includes the Famous Belgian Waffle collapsible cart, two crews, choices of Simply Perfect Menu and waffle cake for the celebrant.

They will also be introducing the Chicken Waffle Sandwich, an addition to their Savory menu, which will consist of chicken strips, lettuce and tomatoes.

"It’s healthy, cause there are customers that are asking at least healthy options. This is one of our healthy options," Regondola said.

Famous Belgian waffle will have its second National Waffle Day celebration on September 15, 2019, wherein customers or mall goers can choose any filling to create their own waffles for free.

"We already launched National Waffle Day last September 15 [this year]. We make it official that every September 15 is a National Waffle Day here in the Philippines," Regondola said.

He added that the selected venue for the National Waffle Day celebration is their counter-type outlet in SM City Cagayan de Oro.

A day after, on September 16, 2019, Famous Belgian Waffle will be celebrating its 7th anniversary and as part of the celebration, the first 100 customers in each of their outlets and franchise nationwide will each receive a free Chocolate waffle.

Famous Belgian Waffle will also be opening their second out of the country branch in Kuala Lumpur, the first being in Canada.

According to Regondola, they are also aiming to convert all kiosk and cart into counter-type next year and also launch their Wagon Waffle.

"Now we're ready for more outlets, more events for next year," Regondola said.

CDO dads approve P8-B annual investment plan

By Ercel Maandig (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- The City Council has approved the local government's PHP8-billion Annual Investment Plan (AIP) budget for 2019 on Thursday.

Approved unanimously, the AIP budget was endorsed by the committees on planning and development, and on laws and rules.

Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya, who chairs both committees, said the AIP allocation constitutes the third annual component of the updated City Development Investment Program (CDIP) for 2017 to 2019 consisting of programs, activities, and projects of the city.

Under the AIP, Nacaya said PHP3.3 billion will be utilized for economic development services, PHP2.8 billion for social development services, and PHP1.9 billion for general public services.

Vice Mayor Renier Uy said the bulk of the AIP budget consists of economic development services that will include programs for tourism and cultural affairs, agricultural productivity, community development, and environmental projects.

AIP will also fund the Oro Youth Development programs, City Sports and Cultural Development, and City Housing and Health programs as well as the services and programs for Indigenous Peoples (IP) and for emergency welfare and crisis intervention.

DOH starts campaign on OPLAN: Iwas Paputok

By Sheena Pabia (PIA10 intern)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--The Department of Health (DOH) Region 10 spearheaded its campaign on OPLAN: Iwas Paputok during Talakayan sa PIA on December 20 held at SM CDO Downtown Premier.

Together with the regional task force and local government of Cagayan de Oro, Dr. David Mendoza, chief, Local Health Support Division of DOH emphasized their role in the task force is on the surveillance side.

“We have now created fireworks related injury,” he said. With this surveillance system, Mendoza said, we will be monitoring the use of fireworks, type being used and injuries related to fireworks. This will transcend to policy and to be implemented later with our partner agencies, he added.

“Kung nabuthan, na samdan, adto ta sa among mga hospitals. Ang amo is more on human health. – If you are injured, go to our hospitals. We are on human health,” he said.

He also emphasized that their goal for next year is zero casualties. It is really possible, he said.

One, there should be cooperation of agencies involved. Two, based on the previous trends from the previous year’s up to last year, there had been a decrease of injuries. In 2017, we had 62% decrease in the number of cases of firework related injury, Mendoza said.

In 2016, we had 28 injuries and in 2017, only 10, he added.

“Ang atong tumong og tinguha is how can we sustain nga munaog na? – Our goal is how can we sustain that the numbers will still go down?” Mendoza reiterated.

He added, in terms of readiness of our hospitals, “Bahalag ma desgrasya basta dili mamatay. – No matter the person gets injured, as long as he or she will not die.” All our hospitals, government or private should be ready.

Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro has a special lane for fireworks related injury to ensure zero casualty. “Mag saba-saba ta using all kinds of saba except pabuto. – We will make all kinds of noise except firecrackers.”

Based on the law, there are only select kinds of fireworks allowed for use. Mendoza revealed, it is very small and it is an illegal firecracker but still the number one cause of injury during Yueltide season, Picolo. Next is Kwitis.

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) City Director Jane Docallos, also shared they have identified a specific area in the city allowed solely for the trade of fireworks and firecrackers in the city at Rodelsa/Rotunda area.

She reiterated, there are two types of illegal selling of fireworks either they don’t have a special permit or they are selling an illegal item.

The task force in Cagayan de Oro, she announced will have surprise raid. We are also requesting retailers to tell us if there are other retailers selling illegal firecrackers.

DILG has allowed brgy. Tanods with the help of the police to confiscate the items. Among the problems is that these illegal firecrackers have been included to sell in the sar-sari store, Docallos said.

Atty. Fel Brillantes, legal officer and chief of Consumer Welfare Division of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) region 10 said selling of firecrackers is regulated not prohibited.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has a list for what kind of firecrackers allowed to be sold. In terms of standard, he said, PNP will measure gun powder content. Measurement is one teaspoon or 1.3 grams more or less. If it exceeds the allowable or tolerable gun powder, then that can be declared illegal.

“Ang problema nato is as consumers, we will never know kung unsai sulod ana sa gun powder content. – The problem with us consumers is we will never know what is inside the gun powder content,” Atty Brillantes said.

So consumers will look into if the manufacturer is legal. If the firecracker is imported, that is an absolute no. “Bawal ang mga imported firecrackers. – Imported firecrackers is illegal,” he reiterated. But if locally manufactured, DTI comes in because DTI regulates the manufacturers.

In Cagayan de Oro, there are no firecrackers manufacturers here, he said. Most likely they are from Bucaue Bulacan, maybe also from Bohol, Ilio-ilo and some parts of Cebu. But we make sure that what are sold in the market should be from authorized or licensed manufacturers.

The role of the government is very important but equally important is the role of the consumers because if we patronize the buying of these products of illegal source, of course they will flourish, Brillantes said.

“So dako kaayo ang responsibility sa consumer. – The consumer has a big responsibility,” he added. Since 2013, DTI has already helped in this campaign, but with the release of Executive Order 28 of President Rodrigo Duterte providing for the regulation and control of the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices, he said, they were happy about it.

DICT facilitates local startup meet-up in CDO

By Sheena Pabia (PIA 10 intern)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) gathered some 20 technopreneurs for a Local StartUp mapping with Focused Group Discussion (FGD) and community meetup to evaluate and strengthen the startup ecosystem here.

“The main goal is to have this ecosystem included in the cities just like Cagayan de Oro so that IT-BPM industry will come back in,” said Engr. Eugene Raposala III of DICT.

The investors have a score card to determine if the city has this ecosystem, and if they see we are ready, they will put us back in the top 100 IT-BPMs ready cities in the world, he added.

During the mapping, successful tech startup entrepreneurs shared their journey on how they built their own businesses. They also gave advices and some words of wisdom to those aspiring tech startups.

One of the speakers, CEO and co-founder of Pinoy Travel, Aurora Soriano shared "you need to find a problem in your community. There are problems everywhere," she said, "and use technology to solve the problem."

In her experience, she had to find her startup business in the bus terminal.

With flocks of people going to their hometown especially during holidays, she thought, if these people only knew the schedule of these buses, they won’t have to wait for hours for availability and push themselves with everybody else to get a ride to their hometowns.

In 2012, she created a website called Pinoy Travel, where just like booking for air flights, now travellers can also book their bus trips.

She said, technology is a good way to resolve things because it is cheap.

She cited Grab, where with just a software, the problem in taxi transportation is fixed. Plus, they don’t have that many people to maintain that service.

Now, she is trying to deal with local bus companies in Cagayan de Oro to join her website so that they too can experience having to upgrade with technology as tourists do not only come from the Philippines but also other countries like China, Korea and others.

John Vincent Fiel, co-founder of Wela School Systems, a local tech startup in Cagayan de Oro City reiterated that an app or software should be something that can solve a problem of a person or community. “First, mangita gyud og problem sa tao – First, look for a problem,” he said.

His team came up with a software that helps schools with more efficient grading systems. Teachers specifically would no longer use manual calculations but through a software installed in their computers.

He said he will not force everyone to be entrepreneurs. “Each one of us is unique,” he said.

But these movements, startup meetup can spark those who don’t know that this can be done or those that have the potential but just need more influence.

“For employees, I’m not saying that they are apart because in the startup we need people also,” he said.

His advice: “Go to companies that are very innovative, active and would give you so much learning and experience.”

The mapping aimed to support DICT's seedPH program in building and establising a network to organize a startup ecosystem in local communities.

The event was partnered by IdeaSpace Foundation and Cagayan de Oro ICT Business Council.

300 Cugman households benefit from water supply project

By Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA) -- Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) and Local Government Unit (LGU) of Cagayan de Oro turned over the completed well rehabilitation project with supply, installation and commissioning of submersible pump to the Zone 6 and Zone 9 neighborhood association of Barangay Cugman, Cagayan de Oro City, benefitting about 300 households.

The event was graced by the presence of City Mayor Oscar S. Moreno, Councilors Suzette Magtajas-Daba and Alam Lim, the COWD Board and Management and Barangay Cugman Officials.

The project costs PhP 320,562.00, COWD said.

It was completed on July 20, 2018, a brief time after the City Mayor endorsed the project to COWD to be financed through the 6 Million Fund yearly allocation.

Pag-IBIG Fund CDO moves to new office

By Recthie T. Paculba (RTP/PIA10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)— A bigger, more convenient and comfortable office awaits the clients of Pag-IBIG Fund CDO Central Members Services Branch at Puregold Building, Lapasan, this city.

Pag-IBIG Fund Deputy Chief Executive Officer Alexander Hilario Aguilar said the transfer and expansion intend to “make Pag-IBIG services more accessible to all our members.”

Aside from heavy traffic congestion in their previous location at J.R. Borja Street, Aguilar said the new office is more spacious, modern, and accessible.

CDO Branch Manager Susan Cezar said the new office offers services on online registration for employers, employees and individual payers and releasing of loyalty cards, receiving and processing of applications for membership, short term loan (STL), provident claims and request for merging, refund of STL, overpayments and members savings information.

They also accept payments for membership monthly savings, STL amortizations/dues and housing related dues, attend to client's queries on membership, STL and housing, and receive and process applications for fund coordinators club, employer’s annual certificate, certificate of employer’s registration, and penalty condonation, per Pag-IBIG Fund Circular 404.

For his part, Mayor Oscar Moreno said Pag-IBIG Fund has been an instrument of the government to address housing and resettlement issues.

"Grabe ang demand sa housing (the demand for housing is high). If the government were to do nothing, the price of housing will be unreachable to many," Moreno said.

Together with Pag-IBIG Fund, Moreno said the city now works to attract developers so the socialized housing will be undertaken in the city and to make the price per housing unit more affordable to the beneficiaries.

The new office of Pag-IBIG Fund CDO Central Members Services Branch is open Mondays to Fridays, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m..

Oro urged to protect coastal areas

By PJ ORIAS

AS CAGAYAN de Oro continues to enjoy growing industries and developments, the Macajalar Bay Development Alliance (MBDA) said the city must also step up in implementing policies to protect the city's coastal areas.

During its appearance at the City Council on Monday, the MBDA pointed out that Cagayan de Oro needs to improve its coastal management.

Hilly Ann Roa-Quiaoit of the MBDA said, it is difficult to maintain healthy bay particularly in the city since this is where urban development is.

"It is difficult to balance economics and environmental protection especially in a city," Quiaoit said.

The environmental group was in the City Council to present the 10-year plan of the MBDA in their coastal management plan. The plan includes expanding marine protected areas in each of the 14-member municipalities and establishing zonation along the coastal areas.

Quiaoit said they need the approval of the City Council so the city will also adopt the 10-year plan.

"It is important to establish zoning, to identify which areas are okay with tourism and which areas are prohibited with any developments to preserve our seas," she said.

Christine Galarrita, also of the MBDA said, over the years, the local government units from Laguindingan to Kinoguitan are supportive of their plan, and some are really taking seriously the campaign by allocating budgets for coastal management.

Galarrita said they want all coastal areas of Misamis Oriental, along the Macajalar Bay, to be like Laguindingan cited for having the cleanest coastline in the country.

According to MBDA, the Macajalar Bay is a major fishing ground in Misamis Oriental of Region 10, Northern Mindanao. It is 50-km wide at the mouth and 30-km long, with an area approximately 1000 km2. It is considered the gateway to Northern Mindanao, with heavy, medium, to light industries, with rapid development and strong coastal migration, threatening the condition of the bay.

MBDA is composed of the provincial government of Misamis Oriental and 14 coastal local government units (LGUs), namely: Cagayan de Oro City (Chartered), El Salvador City (Component), Alubijid, Balingasag, Binuangan, Jasaan, Kinoguitan, Lagonglong, Laguindingan, Opol, Salay, Sugbongcogon, Tagoloan and Villanueva.

Cagayan de Oro to hold first design conference in February 2019

By Angelo Lorenzo (Rappler.com)

The Oro Design Conference provides a platform for the growing community of designers in Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao, says project head Karl Adrian Aguro

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – The City of Gold Friendship is looking forward to its first design conference in February 2019.

Dubbed as the Oro Design Conference, it will provide an avenue for local artists, particularly those who are pursuing graphic design and other related fields in the creative industry, to learn from experts of the craft and meet with fellow artists in the region for future collaborative projects.

“This is meant for the growing community of designers in Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao,” Karl Adrian Aguro, the project head, said in an interview.

Aguro, who earned his fine arts degree from the University of San Carlos, has become one of the prominent graphic designers in Cagayan de Oro after establishing a design studio that specializes in branding and identity, print and publishing, and packaging design.

This year, he teamed up with local artists to organize the conference.

“We have a diverse set of talents here,” said Aguro, pointing out that artists in the region will grow and improve when they find avenues to share their skills and meet people who share the same passion.

First design conference in CDO

Taking inspiration from several design conferences annually held in Manila, Cebu, and Davao, Aguro and his team envisioned for Cagayan de Oro to have its own design conference so that local artists will not have to go elsewhere. After months of planning, the conference will finally come to fruition.

However, the Oro Design Conference is not exclusive to Cagayan de Oro but spans Northern Mindanao.

The conference will feature speakers that have accomplished promising careers in their fields. They include artist and entrepreneur AJ Leon, illustrator Geraldine Sy, comic book artist Harvey Tolibao, motion designer Megan Palero, designer and illustrator Raxenne Maniquiz, and representatives from design studio Vigi.

Like design conferences all over the country, the Oro Design Conference is planned to be held annually. It is slated on February 9 and will take place at the Capitol University Mini Theater.

“It’s important to start a community of artists here that support each other and do honest work,” Aguro said.

Aguro and his team are promoting the event through the conference’s official social media handles. He hopes the conference will give encouragement to creatives in this city and Northern Mindanao.

The conference is open to both students and professionals.

Opportunity for local artists

For Nikko Tan, a motion and graphic designer in one of the growing design studios in this city, the conference will open many opportunities for local artists.

“I look forward to creatives gathering together,” said Tan, a member of Aguro’s creative team.

Tan, who has 7 years of experience in art direction and animation, among other crafts, said that artists can learn from one another.

“I hope this will nurture a sense of identity and visibility for designers here, and will also inspire younger individuals who have a calling for design or any creative venture,” he added.

Tan said perspectives and traits make Cagayan de Oro artists unique.

“Many artists and designers in CDO are driven and passionate,” he said. “Their works go beyond expectations.”

With diverse talents come opportunities where local artists, their works, and their skills can be showcased and honed. Oro Design Conference is set to provide this avenue in this city and Northern Mindanao next year.

Michael Bacol: Oro’s rising artist

By JO ANN SABLAD

CAGAYAN de Oro City is recently showing so much progress particularly in business. The same can be said for arts as the city is beginning to show growth of budding local artists and art enthusiasts.

Albeit there is still the need to further promote the city's local artists, encouraging art lovers to patronize local artworks.

Nonetheless, one cannot deny that Cagayan de Oro has talented artists. While some are still starting to create a name for themselves, there are some who have been doing exhibits and joining regional and national (and even international) art competitions.

Recently, a Kagay-anon artist won as one of the top five winners of the Philippine Art Awards (PAA) National Competition for 2018 last month.

The Philippine Art Awards is a national visual art competition which helps in the contemporary art development in the Philippines.

Last November 22, Michael Bacol from Barangay Concepcion, Cagayan de Oro City won the award for the Mindanao Regional Competition of PAA and the Award of Merit for the PAA National Competition.

“Of course, ma-shock gyud ka. Kasi at first, they will read what is the description of the work. And then suddenly they said man gud nga it’s about doors so [I said] ‘Oh my God, that's my work.’ And my friend also: ‘That's yours Mike, that's yours,’” Bacol said as described what he felt during the announcement of the top five winners for the PAA National Competition.

“And when I was at the stage, I nearly cried but ako lang gipugnan kay maulaw ko,” he added.

Bacol shared that receiving a national award, and an award from the Philippine Art Awards at that, has given his confidence a boost and made him feel proud and happy of what he achieved.

According to Bacol, his winning artwork, a painting of various kinds of doors, depicts the life of the family involved in the Tokhang campaign in the country.

“It talks about what is the life [of those families who were involved in Tokhang] and what is makita nimo sa ilahang situation,” Bacol said.

“And it’s not about anti but its neutral lang siya. It’s not [about me being] anti or pro, but it’s what I see around our nation, around me. So ako sya gi-express,” he added.

Bacol also mentioned how this is the first time he received an award for winning a national competition as he often got trophies and prizes for winning the regional level art competitions.

In fact, Bacol has won several awards such as the national recognition as a finalist and semifinalist in Metrobank's Made art competition in 2001. It was, according to Bacol, the first award he gained.

In 2003, he was selected to participate in Sungdu-an 3, a major travelling art exhibition organized by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts.

He also qualified as a finalist in the Philippine Art Awards-Philip Morris Art Competition in 2008 and 2010.

Bacol was also able to launch his first solo exhibition entitled “Into the World of Innocence” at the Father Francisco R. Demetrio SJ Gallery of Museo de Oro in Xavier University in August 2017.

Apart from being awarded and invited for art competitions and exhibitions, Bacol is also a grant recipient for a six-month residency program at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California, and International Studio and Curatorial Program in the Big Apple sponsored by the Asian Cultural Council in the Philippines and New York.

Being able to observe the works of the artists from the United States, Bacol was able to notice that the artists in US were not discouraged in their endeavor to make a place for aesthetic through murals.

He has been into arts for more than 40 years, starting in grade school when his drawings were filled with cartoon characters.

And even though he studied mechanical engineering during his college and worked for a few months in an engineering service in Lapasan after he graduated, his love and passion for art did not diminish.

After less than a year, he decided to quit his job and work full time as an artist.

“I feel nga dili ko happy kay naa ko sa office, during drafting sa mga gears. So I decided to quit and mag full time na ko sa art,” Bacol said.

“It’s my passion and I want to create more nga based on my experience and ideas, kay if I work in a company, I feel like crazy because restrictive sya kaayo. So I want it to be free kay I will not be happy siguro if I work in a company,” he added.

In 1999, he joined an art group, the Oro Arts Guild, which is now called the CDO Arts Guild.

“Didto ko nakatuon sa grupo nga art is something that you express what you experience, what you see around you,” Bacol said.

At present, Bacol is working with the Department of Tourism-Northern Mindanao, with the department's plan to launch Art Turismo, a tourism, art and culture campaign, in February 2019.

Oro gov’t, Monark ink partnership for skills training

By PJ ORIAS

The Cagayan de Oro City Government has inked a partnership with Monark Foundation Institute (MFI), the country's only dedicated heavy equipment technical institute, to train out-of-school youths at the Cagayan de Oro Technical Vocational Institute (CDO-TVI).

City Mayor Oscar Moreno called the agreement a significant milestone in addressing need for the younger people to be equipped in special skills and give them employment opportunities.

Under the agreement, the Monark Foundation will train the students for free while the foundation can also use the CDO-TVI's facilities free of charge.

“This partnership is to allow our beneficiaries to learn heavy equipment matters using the curriculum of Monark. We hope this partnership will produce desired results,” Moreno said.

Given the trend of expenditures on infrastructure projects in the country, Moreno said the demand for workforce will grow.

“We need our young people to be ready,” he added.

Monark Foundation president Jose Antonio Bason, said they are trying to be more relevant and be connected to the community with the partnership.

Bason said their foundation's goal is to give jobs.

“Our goal really is not to produce competent graduates I have to admit but our goal is to give jobs. We are proud that our graduates for the last 20 years, are all employed,” he said.

“We will strive to make them job-ready not just skills qualified

The city has just opened the CDO-TVI located at the former Agusan National High School.

CDO-TVI is a center-based and community-based skills and livelihood for students from low-income families, out-of-school youths and the marginalized sector.

It is adopting the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority's Unified Programs Registration and Accreditation Systems as well as the Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education's senior high school curriculum for its ladderized courses.

Pasko de Oro icons at Gaston Park

By JO ANN SABLAD

SEVERAL huge Christmas symbols lit up the Gaston Park in Cagayan de Oro City, filling the park with its Yuletide spirit as part of the City Government's Pasko de Oro Icons contest.

"It is a celebration of cooperation [and] unity among barangays. And we have challenged the barangays to come up with their versions of a Christmas icon," Patrick Gabutina, Pasko de Oro coordinator, said.

Thirty-five barangays from all over the city participated the competition, however, only 20 barangays were able to put up their Christmas icons at the Gaston Park during the first day of the judging last Monday, December 10.

According to Gabutina, there will be three judging days for the Pasko de Oro Icons. The first judging day started last Monday night; the second day on or before December 16; and the third day on or before December 29.

The Christmas icons will be displayed until January 5, 2019.

Gabutina said each of the barangays will receive a particular Christmas symbol to present through raffle.

"So they would make their own interpretation of the Christmas symbol. Aside from that, they would insert also their own identity as a barangay," Gabutina added.

The Pasko de Oro coordinator also mentioned that there will be two categories for the Pasko de Oro Icons contest. One is for the numbered barangays (Barangays 1 to 40) and the named barangays (Barangays Bayabas, Tablon, Gusa, and others).

The first prize winner for each of the categories will receive P250,000; the second placer will receive P150, 000; and the third will be given P100,000.

Gabutina added that all the participating barangays will receive P10,000 each.

A special award will also be given to the barangay using recycled materials for their Christmas icon.

"Not necessarily sya nga indigenous but recycled materials because we're promoting a cleaner Cagayan de Oro kay Solid Waste Management nato," Gabutina said.

Apart from the Christmas icons, a food bazaar will also be placed at the Gaston Park.

"We would also like the people of Cagayan de Oro and our visitors to support also our food carts. These are mga individuals that are being supported by the city," Gabutina said.

"This is not just a celebration of Christmas, this is a celebration of our humanity," he added.


CDO group launches renewable energy campaign drive

By Jack Biantan (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- Local futsal and football teams are heavily favored to defend their titles in the Northern Mindanao Regional Athletic Association (NMRAA) regional meet, which is set to kick off at the Tangub City Sports Complex, Misamis Occidental on December 15-20.

The Cagayan de Oro Athletic Association (COAA) teams are bolstered by players from top football playing schools in the city -- Xavier University, St. Mary’s School, Corpus School, and Rosevale School.

Girls Secondary Futsal coach Dhon Niño Lazo is bringing a powerhouse squad to protect its five-year unbeaten run in this annual competition to determine the region’s representative to the Palarong Pambansa. The Palaro next year will be in Davao City. Futsal is a football game done inside covered courts instead of an open field.

Six players in this squad played for the Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) Girls Futsal team in the Palarong Pambansa in Vigan. They are Xavier University High School standouts Jillian Nirelle S. Berrgado, Lourinne Jiuseppe C. Lazo, Nizza Jorj C. Lazo, Megan Faye L. Wong, Zippy Moss H. Medalla, and St. Mary’s School striker Maria Chantal P. Van Ommeren.

Completing the line-up are Monina Marcy F. Alcober, Feona Marie A. Anoos, Patricia Edma, Mikaella Anne C. Lazo, all from Xavier University High School and reinforcements Malika Ingrid A. Chaves of Rosevale School, and Chavonne Joelle T. Uy of St. Mary’s School.

Meanwhile, the father and son tandem of Corpus School coaches Wilbert and Marc Racines are confident they will defend their Elementary and Secondary titles against top teams from the region. Wilbert led the golden finish of the COAA Secondary team against perennial contender Valencia City last year.

This time he is coaching the COAA elementary team while his son Marc has taken over the secondary team.

Rosevale School represented the winning COAA elementary team last year with coach Mario Sumampong.

They are expected once again to face tough challenges from Valencia City, Malaybalay, Bukidnon province and Misamis Oriental province.

“We expect to face Valencia once again in the finals. We are ready for them,’’ said coach Wilbert Racines.

Valencia is the home of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) training center and football playing schools Central Mindanao University, Bukidnon Faith Christian School, and First Fruits Academy.

Although they have not won against CDO teams in the regional for a long time now, they remain dangerous and may pull out some surprises.

COAA Girls Futsal Team:

Monina Marcy Alcober, Feona Marie Anoos, Jillian Nirelle S. Bergado, Anna Patricia A. Edma, Lourinne Jiuseppe C. Lazo, Nizza Jorj Lazo, Megan Faye Wong, Mikaella Anne Lazo, Zippy Moss Medalla, Maria Chantal Van Ommeren, Malaika Ingrid Chaves, Chavonne Joelle Uy, Coach: Niño Lazo, Chaperon: Kristina Sancebutche, Trainor: Jerney John Miaco.

COAA Elementary Football Girls Team:

Kinsey Drew Yañez, Karstien Dane Yañez, Rawin Gementiza, Kenny Guion, Jrand Hortilano, Armand Noel Lugod, Donn Benedict Ebuña, Von Iriz Quinito, Francis Iverson Sanbaan, Aqeel Usman Amol, Rafael Antonio Yap, Ethan Jay Vistan, Blaine Stevon Paje, Lester Ian Datiles Coach: Wilfbert Racines

COAA Secondary Boys Football Team:

Geo Tacandong, Aeron Subesa, Mhel Tado, Emilio Rubio, Blake Carrera, Krislourd Yañez, Thomas Marfori, James Mocorro, Jesse Bajarla, MJ Hojas, Josh Go, James Averia, Eugene Arriola, Javier Estrella, Dale Anoya,Joshua Montesino, John Gementiza, Joie Gaid, Jr.Coach: Marc Racines.


Homeowners set up first uptown police precinct

By PJ ORIAS

UPTOWN residents set up on Monday, December 10, the first Uptown Police Precinct to reach police officers immediately in times of emergency and distress calls.

Arthur Aranas, president of the Morning Mist Village, said this initiative of some 15 homeowners associations, will allow police to respond to their calls immediately instead of going to Carmen Police Station, which is at least four kilometers away from the uptown area.

The homeowners have remodeled a container van and transformed this into an office for the police precinct.

Aranas said this was planned months ago, with the support of Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) and City Mayor Oscar Moreno.

Aranas said City Police director Senior Superintendent Nelson Aganon agreed to assign 10 police officers everyday in the police precinct.

"We are cooperating as a community kay kami raman pud maka-benefit, all of the uptown residents will benefit this police station," he said.

"We are really far from Carmen police, there was one incident when we caught a thief, but we still have to transport him to the police station because we have no available officers here," he added.

However, the long-term request of the uptown residents is the creation of a police station in the uptown part of the city.

"Mayor Moreno also wanted to build a police station there but we are still searching for a space. But that is really our wish," he said.

The container van police precinct is located just beside the Morning Mist Village and near a gasoline station.

Meanwhile, Cocpo spokesperson Superintendent Mardy Hortillosa welcomed this move and thanked the homeowners officers for the unique initiative.

"We hope they will continue to support the police substation, such as giving information and other needs so our police will be effective in their duty," Hortillosa said.

Hortillosa said he understands the need of the uptown area, which is eyed as the next commercial area of Cagayan de Oro.

He said the police too, is eyeing to establish a police station in the uptown, as this area remains a potential target of sensational cases or crimes.

Just last week, a shootout transpired in Mastersons Avenue, Upper Carmen, which left a police officer and the suspect dead and another policeman wounded.

2K join Mindanao's first 'Pride March' in CD

(Justine Gaabucayan (USTP-CdO intern, PNA/PNA Newsroom)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY --This city hosted the first Mindanao-wide "Pride March" in a bid to further diversify and uphold the rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer (LGBTQ) community, on Sunday (December 9).

Organized by Mindanao Pride, the pride march is named "Kadaiyahan Festival"--a Cebuano word for "diversity," attended by around 2,000 participants not only from the LGBTQ community but also from other sectors.

Other organizations that participated include Balaod Mindanao, Amnesty International, a representative from the Netherlands Embassy, Spark Philippines, Legal Rights and Resource Center, and the Commission on Human Rights.

Senator Riza Hontiveros, who was a guest of the event, commended the organizers.

”I am very proud in Mindanao pride and Cagayan de Oro city for hosting this for the first Mindanao pride festival. I am very grateful na maging bahagi nang (that this will be part of the) historic occasion na ito guessing for more hope for pushing the Anti-Discrimination Bill," she said.

During the event, the City Health Office provided free HIV testing.

Oro bags ‘Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance'

By PJ ORIAS

THE Cagayan de Oro City Government has been hailed as one of the recipients of the Seal of Child Friendly Local Governance Award for 2017.

The award, which was given last week, marked the city's third time to be recognized as a child-friendly city by the Council for the Welfare of Children.

City Administrator Teddy Sabuga-a said the rating for last year's performance was 44 percent, an increase from the 37 percent rating of the city in 2016.

Sabuga-a, however, noted that the city still has to strive more in reducing the child mortality rate.

But he noted that most of the children who died were not from the city, but from other provinces.

"We cannot prevent them from going here, what we will do is establish a system which will strengthen coordination among local government units so that they can monitor deaths among one of their children, but unfortunately died here in our city," he said.

He said the coordination will also allow a better prevention program to prevent mortality among children.

Despite having a low rating in the mortality category, Sabuga-a said the city thrived in its program for children in conflict with law and nutrition program.

Launched in 2014, the Seal is the advocacy and programming framework adopted by the CWC in response to both national (Child 21 and 2nd National Plan of Action for Children) and international commitments. It is consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC) and it requires the involvement of different stakeholders at various levels.

The Child-Friendly Philippines framework promotes child-friendly local governance wherein local government units give priority to children in their planning, budgeting, legislation and delivery of services and is able to assure that all children enjoy their rights classified as survival, development, protection and participation.

The LGUs shall be audited based on the following criteria: percentage reduction in the deaths among children below five years old or under-five mortality rate, percentage reduction in the number of children under-six with below normal weight, and percentage increase in the number of 3-4- year-old children attending center-based day care services.

The completion rate for elementary schooling, absence of child labor or percentage reduction in child labor cases, percentage reduction in the number of children victims of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation are also included in the criteria, among others.

Young boxing champ gets inspiration from Pacman

By Jack Biantan (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY —Jerwin "Pretty Boy" Ancajas, just like many boxers in the country today, is inspired to work hard by no other than living legend Senator Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao.

Ancajas, 27, was in the city last Friday (December 7) as a participant to the Mindanao-wide gathering of Christian Pastors.

The International Boxing Federation (IBF) Junior Bantamweight champion from Panabo City, Davao del Norte, said he owes Pacquiao a lot.

“He is my inspiration and he has embraced me as a member of his MP Promotions. He is a legend and I want to be like him,’’ he said during a press conference here.

Ancajas has very high respect for Pacquiao that he does not even want to be compared to the senator. “We are very different, sir Manny is special while I am just starting to make a name for myself in boxing,’’ he said.

He also asked Filipinos to pray for Manny Pacquiao for the latter's incoming fight against the younger and very aggressive Adrien “The Problem” Broner of the United States next month, in Las Vegas.

There are close similarities between Ancajas and Pacquiao.

Ancajas is also from Mindanao and is also a lefty. And the similarities do not end there. Both fighters are also knockout artists. Pacquaio is older and has fought 69 times, won 60 matches with 39 KO’s, 7 losses and 2 draws.

Ancajas, on the other hand, has fought 33 times won 30, with 20 of them by KO and suffered only one loss and drew once.

His spectacular performances this year on the ring has attracted very important "fans" like the big shot politicians of Cagayan de Oro City, Maxie Jr., and Rufus Rodriguez.

“I met Jerwin last year at a birthday party. He is very humble, very friendly and very talented on the ring. I have become a fan,’’ said former congressman Rufus Rodriguez.

His brother and current Cagayan de Oro 2nd district Rep. Maxie Rodriguez Jr. also admitted to be Ancajas' fan.

“We have been supporting him; in fact, we are planning with my brother to watch his next match in the US next year,’’ Maxie said.

Meanwhile, Ancajas is looking forward to his next fight sometime in February. He has been lined-up by his US promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank promotion to fight WBC champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in the US probably in February or March.

Although nothing has been signed yet, Ancajas said that he is being assured by Arum that the fight will happen in the US.

“I already met For Rungvisai in Thailand recently and I saw him fight. I am confident that with God’s help I can win against him, he said.

Ancajas successfully defended his IBF title three times abroad this year. He knocked out Israel Gonzales in February, at the Bank of America Center, Corpus Christi and won via unanimous decision over fellow Filipino Jonas Sultan in Save Mart Arena, Fresno, California last May.

He then escaped a controversial draw over Alejandro Santiago Barrios at the Oracle Arena also in Oakland, California.

Ancajas captured the IBF Super Flyweight title in 2016 over McJoe Arroyo here in Taguig City.

A pumping ride in the famed river awaits you chasing white waters in Cagayan de Oro

By Gelyka Ruth Dumaraos

If there is one thing Cagayan de Oro (CdO) has been known for when it comes to chasing the great outdoors, its white water rafting adventure definitely tops the list.

For years, the gateway to Northern Mindanao continues to welcome visitors, local and international alike, who are up to try the thrilling rapids of the Cagayan de Oro River.

Originally named as the Kalambaguasasahan River, Cagayan de Oro River’s headwaters come from Kalatungan Mountain Range and Kitanglad Mountain Range of Bukidnon and traverses down from the river’s 7,500-feet elevation. Passing through the municipalities of Bukidnon, it finally flows to Misamis Oriental’s Macajalar Bay. The river also serves as a natural boundary between Iligan and Bukidnon, as well as Bukidnon and CdO.

Back in the mid-90s, people of CdO were using bamboo and banana trunks, or inflated tire tubes as they raft through the river. While it’s a popular local practice, it evolved into CdO’s famed outdoor quest thanks to professional groups who unlocked the river’s tourism potential.

Today, CdO has a number of adventure groups whose local guides are trained by the Red Cross, Department of Tourism (DOT) and Coast Guards, and are ready to welcome thrill-seekers for their next exciting ride.

Though first-timers and nonswimmers are all welcome to join the fun, white water rafting is not for the faint-hearted. The activity requires a disciplined, ready-for-adventure attitude and the focused attention to follow instructions whatever it takes.

Beginners can start off with a three-hour river run, consisting of 14 rapids. The longest one is about four hours with 24 rapids to deal with, but this one is best for advanced takers.

As the raft tackles the rapids, the fear will likely be replaced with exhilaration. Each time the raft encounters white rapids, the water velocity increases and so this pushes every rafter to match it with unbounded energy to finish the pounding ride, and to paddle harder if needed.

Amid the pumping adventure also comes the opportunity to commune with nature. These white waters are separated with long and silent river flow with only the chirping of birds and occasional exciting screams of rafters as the only other sounds you can hear.

There’s also a timeout from every thrilling rapid ride that gives the rafters some moments to swim and enjoy its cool waters, or break for some rest before tackling another one.

The rafting adventure can also be complemented with side trips of cave exploration and river trekking.

Gateway to Northern Mindanao

Aside from well-known CdO activities such as rafting, paragliding caving and trekking, the Northern Mindanao is nothing sort of a regular tourist spot.

According to DOT Regional Director Marie Elaine Unchuan, local and international tourists are becoming more aware of Northern Mindanao and its nature adventures in Camiguin, Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental.

Unchuan added that the DOT regional office is hoping for more visitor arrivals to prove that Mindanao is not a dangerous place after all.

“Since the Marawi crisis, some say it’s dangerous to go to Mindanao but that impression is fading,” she says. “More and more people are coming and so myth on safety is being dispelled.”

Moreover, what was once considered as an underrated destination, Northern Mindanao is slowly taking on the dare of being a rising tourism destination, thanks to a development in travel options.

AirAsia recently launched its flights from Manila to Laguindingan International Airport, as well as routes from Cagayan de Oro to Clark and Cebu. The main airport now serves the cities in Northern Mindanao, such as Cagayan de Oro and Iligan and its provinces Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte and Bukidnon.

PCOO chief meets with CDO Press Club members

By Jelly Musico (PNA)

MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Friday met with members of the Cagayan de Oro (CDO) Press Club and donated equipment to boost their capability in delivering news and information to the public.

Andanar, a native of Cagayan de Oro, gave two television sets and two heavy-duty desktop computers during a “Christmas Breakfast” with CDO Press Club members led by their president Ruffy Magbanua in Cagayan de Oro City.

“I am here to donate a few goods, not as a Secretary of PCOO, but as a member of the Cagayan de Oro Press Club. It is a privilege for me to be a member of this organization because I’m from Cagayan de Oro,” he told the CDO journalists.

Aside from donating equipment, Andanar announced his proposal to bring the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) "passports-on-wheels" to the city.

“We are, of course, inviting the KBP (Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas) to join us in this project so we can provide passports to members of the press who have no passport yet,” he said.

In response, Magbanua thanked the PCOO chief for his donation, particularly computers, which will solve the queuing of reporters for breaking news.

“On behalf of the Cagayan de Oro media community, we would like to thank you personally for this donation. It is an added equipment for us to use as members of the press in this region,” Magbanua said.

“On top of that, these additional TV sets will also be useful for our monitoring every day,” he added.

Andanar said he is preparing more projects for the CDO Press Club and other media groups in the country next year.

Committee okays P62.7-M budget for agriculture

By PJ ORIAS

CAGAYAN de Oro City’s agricultural and fisheries development projects will get a P62.7-million budget in 2019.

The City Council committee of the whole approved on Thursday, December 6, the City's Agricultural Productivity Office (APO), which includes the upgrading and concreting of farm to market roads worth P200,000, the Integrated Coastal Management Program worth P3.4 million, and farm youth development program worth P315,000.

Also approved were the budgets for the Rural Women Management Entrepreneurial Development project worth P445,000 and the Livelihood Enhancement for Small Farmers worth P105,000.

Other APO projects include City Seedling Propagation Project with a budget worth P441,350, and establishment of an Agricultural Training Center in Barangay San Simon worth P3.2 million, among others.

City Councilor Edna Dahino said they are trying hard to finish the budget deliberations before the Christmas break or before the year ends so that the budget proposal will be elevated to the City Council and get approved by January 2019.

This week, the committee of the whole covered and approved the budgets of the Chief Executive Office and the city's program for peace and order.

City Council okays P127-M budget for peace and order

By PJ ORIAS

THE City Council's committee of the whole has approved the increase in the budget for the city's peace and order programs next year.

Classified under the Special Purpose of the General Fund, the peace and order program for 2019 has a budget of P127 million, a P67-million increase from this year's P60-million allocation.

The increase, according to information released by the City Council, was meant to finance the city's counter-insurgency efforts, terrorism program worth P37.5 million, rewards and awards system worth P10 million, and another P50 million was allocated in the "other programs" category.

Programs such as Capability Building Program and Enhance Lift and Communication Capability was given P10 million and P20 million, respectively.

City Budget Officer Percy Salazar told the councilors that the increase was proposed to enhance the peace and order efforts in the city.

By 2019, the city will also provide financial assistance to the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) worth P35.6 million.

CDO students bag DSWD short film award

By Jigger Jerusalem (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – A group of social work students from a religious school here won the first Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Committee-10 (RJJWC-10) film festival, as part of their advocacy opposing the proposal to lower the minimum age requirement of criminal liability.

The students from Lourdes College bested two other entrants in the short film competition under the student category, with their “Selda Pagbabago” story depicting a troubled teen who had several run-ins with the law. The awarding ceremony was held last Friday (November 30).

The story revolves around “Loloy,” whose life took a turn for the worst when he associated himself with friends who introduced him to crime and drugs. Loloy, however, managed to transform himself through the intervention of concerned individuals, including his mother, a psychologist, and their village leader.

Interviewed on Monday, the film’s director, 19-year old Sweet Diane Mabaylan, a third year Social Work student at Lourdes College, said “Selda Pagbabago” "shows that young people who made mistakes can still turn their lives around.

Mabaylan underscored the role of the society in helping troubled teens instead of putting them in jail.

“Jail is not the solution to transform an erring youth but through proper education,” Mabaylan said.

The film festival was in line with the 7th Juvenile Justice and Welfare Consciousness Week and Children’s Month celebration, spearheaded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with the coordination of the Department of Justice, local government units, and nongovernmental organizations.

The other winners are short films created by teams from Kalilangan National High School, and Clarin National High School.

For the professional category, the only entry was “Pagbabago,” produced by the Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY) in Gingoog City.

According to Shaun Alejandre Uy, DSWD-10 social marketing officer, the agency is planning on showing the films to various schools and institutions in support of the agency’s #JailNoChild advocacy, and to oppose the proposal of top government officials to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility.

Oro City Hall lights up for Christmas

By JO ANN SABLAD

THE Cagayan de Oro City Hall lit up with hundreds of colorful lights as it launched its annual lights and sound show "Symphony of Lights" last Monday, December 3, as part of its Pasko de Oro event.

The Symphony of Lights, the City Government's million peso project for the holiday season, will run from December 3 until the Chinese New Year next year, according to City Councilor Jay Roa Pascual, the tourism committee chairman.

Hundreds of Kagay-anons gathered at the city hall grounds to witness the ceremonial switching on of the lights.

According to City Investments and Promotions officer Eileen San Juan, the city spent less this year compared to last year's launching of Symphony of Lights as they reuse the same set of lights.

"Last year, we spent more kay mao man tong pagkuha gyud sa mga lights. Karon, gigamit lang gyapon tong the same lights," San Juan said.

City Mayor Oscar Moreno, for his part, said that even though the lights are all the same, "its how you play with the lights that make it different.”

"The message here is that Christmas is always a season of merriment and joy and happiness and it is expressed via lights," Moreno said.

The city mayor also mentioned his plan for the Ysalina bridge to be lighted not just for Christmas but for the whole year.

"So its a different concept all together, its not for Christmas, its for the whole year. And so, precisely, that's why we're calibrating it, we're lighting the Ysalina bridge after the Christmas is over," Moreno said.

Prior to the launching of this year's Symphony of Lights, the City Government also awarded the winners for the Paskorela and Pasko de Oro Parade competition.

For the Paskorela or Dress Up Your Own Motorela contest, motorela operator Michael Tee (motorela #1299) won the first prize, receiving a cash prize of P40,000.

He was followed by motorela operators Wendell Mercado (motorela #1874) and Arlyn Jun Mercado (motorela #2174) as second and third prize winners, respectively.

Pasko de Oro Parade, on the other hand, the Pedro Oloy N. Roa Elementary School won the Best in Christmas Accent, Most Disciplined and Best Band Majorette awards.

Camp Evangelista Elementary School also won the Best Musicality and Best Band Master awards.

Pedro Oloy N. Roa Elementary School also performed for the crowd gathered in the city hall grounds before the Symphony of Lights was launched.

This is not the end of the city's Christmas celebration for it still has the Christmas Bazaar of the beneficiaries of the livelihood projects of the Bottom-Up-Budgeting (BUB) on December 10 at the Gaston Park and the display of Christmas Icons, a contest participated by different barangays of the city on the same day.

There is also the Bangga sa Daygon, a choral competition participated by elementary school students from all over the city, to be held on December 5 in SM City Cagayan de Oro.

A garden show at Magsaysay Park in Divisoria will also open on December 6.

"We're institutionalizing ang atong events sa Cagayan de Oro and Pasko de Oro is one for our Christmas celebration," San Juan said.

"So we'd like to invite everyone here sa City Hall sa atong lights every night unya dayon ang atong upcoming bazaar also at Gaston Park and display of Christmas icons and ang atong Bangga sa Daygon, to be participated by different schools on December 5. And opening of our garden show didto sa Magsaysay Park on December 6," she added.

Oro Kasanag awards child-friendly barangay, police station

By JO ANN SABLAD

BARANGAY Kauswagan has been hailed as the Most Child-Friendly Sub-Urban Barangay in Cagayan de Oro City again this year during the Oro Kasanag Awards Pasundayag Gabi ng Parangal Thursday, November 29, at the event center of Centrio Ayala Mall.

Barangay Kauswagan won P150, 000 and a trophy as the Most Child-Friendly Sub-Urban Barangay for having the best practices, projects, and programs that uphold the rights of children.

Councilor Peter Jason Balite of Barangay Kauswagan, upon receiving the award, expressed happiness and gratitude, especially since it’s the second time the barangay was awarded the most child-friendly.

He also shared that hard work, unity, and cooperation of the barangay, the community, and the school have been significant factors as to why they were able to sustain their title.

"Ang support sa among community, pagtinabangay namo, especially sa schools namo, nagtabang gyud pag disseminate unsa ang mga rights sa children, ang advocacy namo nga among protektahan gyud sila (The support of our community, especially in schools helped disseminate the rights of the children),” Balite said.

Barangay Canitoan came in second and bagged the cash prize worth P120, 000 and trophy, followed by Barangay Pagatpat which garnered an P80, 000 cash prize and trophy.

Barangays Tablon, Camaman-an, Gusa, Nazareth, Patag, Agusan, and Bulua were also recognized as the fourth to tenth child-friendly sub-urban barangays in the city and received P5,000 and a plaque each.

The top three urban barangays: Barangays 7, 14 and 21 were also awarded with P30, 000, P20, 000 and P15, 000 worth of cash prize, respectively, and a trophy each.

Meanwhile, Bulua Police Station (PS7) was hailed as the Most Child-Friendly Police Station in Cagayan de Oro City and received P100, 000 cash prize.

"I'm very happy, as a station commander, it means a lot to me. Because this is a team effort, it is not only the efforts of the WCPD, but all my personnel help one another to achieve this and I'm very happy," Police Senior Inspector Breccia Deloso Townend of Bulua Police Station said.

According to Townend, one of the reasons why they were able to bag the title is because they were able to sustain their projects.

One of which is a monitoring program that helps the children at risk, those who are victims and in conflict with the law.

"So that they will be given another chance that despite of their circumstances, the choices that they will make will show who they are," Townend said.

Following Bulua police are Lumbia Police Station (PS8), which came in second, Macasandig Police Station (PS9), Cugman Police Station (PS10), and Cogon Police Station (PS2).

According to Mary Kris Gebe, one of the evaluators for the Most Child-Friendly Police Station, noticed the improvement of all the police stations in the city.

"It’s more than just the physical beauty of their police station but yung mga programs nila (they’re programs) and how they connect with the barangay, and how they connect with the schools in implementing the activities for the children," Gebe said.

Oro Kasanag also awarded Agora Police Station (PS3) as a Hall of Famer after maintaining the title of the Most Child-Friendly Police Station for three consecutive years.

"Expected na rin naman namin yung Hall of Famer kay since 2015, 2016, and 2017 na ang Police Station Agora yung nag number 1 always. So this year, hindi na kami nasali sa top dahil nga hall of famer na daw (We expected the Hall of Famer because since 2015 2016, and 2017, Police Station Agora awarded number 1 always. So this year, we are not included in the top because we are hall of famer.)," Jason Sto Domingo, the station commander of Agora Police Station said.

Domingo added that they were able to maintain their title due to the efforts of their Woman and Children Protection Desk (WCPD) officer, Police Officer 3 Cherry Reyes.

"Yung WCPD officer ko dahil sobrang serious sya sa trabaho. Yung lahat ng kailangan i-comply, kino-comply nya. Pag may reklamo sa mga concerning women and children, nandyan siya, talagang tutok siya (The WCPD officer is serious in her job. Anything that needs to be complied, she complied. Whenever there are complaints concerning women and children, she is there)," Domingo said.

Oro Kasanag Award, the official award-giving body for the child-friendly search, aims to acknowledge the best practices of barangays and police stations for the children, who are the most vulnerable sector in the community, according to Oro Kasanag Awards chairman Al Rashide Galaura.

"Para ma push ang atoang mga barangays (So we can push the barangays) and police stations to create projects, services and program that would uphold the four rights of children: survival, developmental, protection and participation," Galaura said.

Galaura added that the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) and the WCPD are the two main factors that they have to evaluate as they are the primary people that will help in the initiatives and services for the right and protection of children.

DICT, Ideaspace hold ‘meetup’ for startups in Oro

By BUTCH D. ENERIO

THE Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in partnership with Ideaspace Philippines, recently organized a focus group discussion to advance the development of startups in Cagayan de Oro City.

The one day activity dubbed as “Startup Ecosystem Mapping and Community Meetup”, was held in one of the hotels in the city where 20 select participants were invited because they either are experienced or have existing programs and activities that supports startups, technology, design and entrepreneur communities.

The meetup or the focus group discussion (FGD) was designed to establish a collaborative atmosphere among the city’s technology startups and aspiring startups. A gathering of local leaders and community builders in the startup community, ICT council, academe, and the local government unit to evaluate and strengthen the local startup ecosystem.

Engr. Eugene Raposala of the Mindanao Cluster 2 of the DICT, said that the organization of the FGD was to appraise the participants of the current digital startup development program-workshops, trainings, and other activities- designed to promote and support startups and tech/startup communities in the country.

Rapasola said that a startup or tech enterprise typically has three major categories of talent needed in order to launch a startup: Tech-programmer, web developer, mobile developer, coder, software and ICT professional; Design- branding; and the non tech part that handles business, marketing, sales, finance, subject matter expert.

Oro senior citizens get social pension

By PJ ORIAS

MORE than 7,000 senior citizens in the city have claimed their social pension from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) this week.

The city has over 40,000 senior citizens in the city but only those who are registered at the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (Osca) received the pension.

The distribution was held in a mall here to make sure that the senior citizens are comfortable while waiting for their turn.

Senior citizens receive P1,500 social pension for the 4th quarter of this year.

The first batch of pensioners came from barangay Lapasan, Cugman, F.S. Catanico, Puerto Gusa, Agusan, Tablon and Bugo. The distribution started last week until last Wednesday.

Qualified senior citizens can still apply at the Osca, the CSWD, or at the DSWD Regional Office. Applicants or their representatives must bring an Osca ID, birth certificate and certificate of indigence upon the application of the program.

Under the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 or RA 9994, the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens is an additional government assistance which aims to improve the condition of indigent senior citizens by augmenting their daily subsistence and medical needs; reduce incidence of hunger; and protect them from neglect, abuse, deprivation and natural and man-made disasters.

Indigent senior citizens shall be entitled to a monthly stipend amounting to P500 to augment their daily subsistence and other medical needs.

Scientist promotes 'HIV-awareness' mobile game app

By Renee Barrio (USTP-CDO intern/PNA, PNA Newsroom)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — One of the scientists behind the creation of a mobile game application that helps raise awareness on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is promoting the use of the technology in the Philippines.

Dr. Emmanuel S. Baja, a Research Associate Professor & Balik Scientist Awardee, said the app was launched online on Dec. 1 last year during the World AIDS Day commemoration in Davao City.

Baja said the "Battle of the Blood" is a one-time download app, where the player can create his or her own avatar to their liking and will be asked for their geographic location at the very start. It has eight stories of people living with HIV.

Players are subject to an age limit, 12+ for the Google Play and 17+ for the Apple store, before playing the game.

The game starts with several questions, such as the demographics of the player, their knowledge, and attitude towards HIV/AIDS. Baja said the data collected by the app are secure and confidential.

He said the mobile game also assists players in finding testing centers in the Philippines, where they could be tested for HIV.

Baja said he believes the digital advocacy game could help find out the status of men having sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TGW) in the Philippines.

“This is to break the stigma about HIV, as a lot of people are careful of knowing their status,” Baja said, citing two sides of stigma, the self-stigma and the outside stigma, which discourages people from getting themselves tested for the dreaded virus.

He added HIV “is treatable” and free medication is available at the Department of Health (DOH).

“The game gives hope to everyone, saying that it’s really okay if you’re positive or reactive to the virus. Life goes on,” he said, pointing out the game can help people and encourage them to lead a healthy lifestyle and get early testing.

Baja said aside from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA) community, the mobile game app has obtained the support of schools, local government units, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and other institutions like hospitals.

To introduce the game to the public, the proponents of the game have started to advertise the app in Cagayan de Oro through the city's Social Hygiene Clinic, the scientist disclosed.

He said if the rollout for the game is approved next year, he plans to do a school campaign to introduce it even to grades 11 and 12 and also talk to the Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Education about it.

He said once the DOST approves the digital game, he and his co-proponents plan to drive for a widespread use of the app across the country.

He said many people in Davao and the National Capital Region have started to download the app.

SM Downtown unveils 'tallest' Christmas tree in Oro

By JO ANN SABLAD

IT’S a custom to set up a Christmas tree at home and in the workplace, be it a five-foot tree or a giant tree such as those we often see in malls.

The tradition of putting up Christmas trees, which Christians believe symbolize the everlasting life, and decorating them with Christmas balls, bells and stars dated back to the 16th century in Germany.

One such tree could be found at the ground floor of SM CDO Downtown Premier.

The 55-foot Christmas tree, which was unveiled on Sunday, November 11, is adorned with several sparkling Christmas balls and stars that add to its shimmering appearance in line with the mall's theme for this year, "A Sparkling Downtown Christmas".

"We wanted really to sort of like this tree adds sparkle and brightness to the Christmas celebration here in Cagayan de Oro, that's why our campaign theme is: 'A Sparkling Downtown Christmas,'" said Russel Alaba, SM assistant vice president for marketing in Mindanao.

"Of course, Christmas is the brightest season of all, so we wanted to really capture that with our theme. And as you can see, the mall is brightly lit, as you would say, as we celebrate the season," he added.

According to Alaba, the giant Christmas tree is the tallest indoor Christmas tree in Cagayan de Oro City.

The tree has also been tagged as the "Most Instagrammable Christmas Tree in Cagayan de Oro" by Alaba and several mall goers who attended the lighting ceremony on Sunday.

Apart from the tall shimmering tree, the centerpiece also includes the giant golden stars which, according to Alaba, is the mall's way of paying homage to the city of Cagayan de Oro, which is known as the City of Golden Friendship.

Regardless of how you decorate your Christmas tree or how big or small it is, the spirit of Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ will remain in our hearts.

CDO execs see 'Festival of Lights' drawing more tourists

By Ercel Maandig (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- Local government and regional tourism officials expressed hope that the recently launched 'Festival of Lights' here can draw tourists that would translate into a more robust economic activity.

The Festival of Lights was an initiative of the management of Centrio Mall, a subsidiary of Ayala Group of Companies, which is held annually ahead of Christmas season. It was launched last Friday (November 9).

City Mayor Oscar Moreno, who was invited along with Region 10 tourism director May Salvaña-Unchuan, said the mall has helped keep new tradition among Cagayan de Oro people, who are fond of witnessing lighting special effects.

Moreno during the past couple of years has allowed the city hall to be covered with Christmas lights. While lights were already installed in the building as of Saturday, it was not yet announced when the official switching-on ceremony is scheduled.

He expressed hope that residents from nearby towns and provinces will visit and patronize the businesses in the city. Unchuan, meanwhile, said the event can entice more local tourists expanding from different regions.

"I always support this kind of gesture from every private entity just to attract our tourists specially our local residence on this kind of endeavor," she said.

This year, Centrio Mall teams up with the Walt Disney Company here in the Philippines in bringing a magical holiday to remember, with the theme, "Reimage the Magic: A Festival of Lights".

The music will be provided by Disney from its playlist of popular songs, which has an orchestral rendition arranged by seasoned composer and former musical director of Hongkong Disneyland, Rony Fortich.

The medley is complemented by the spectacular lighting effects once again by Voltaire de Jesus. Ayala Land Top Management executive Meean B. Dy, who graced the event, said the whole country is always at its most festive in this time of season, and they will continue to find ways to elevate their customers' Christmas experience.

Social services get lion share in CDO P2.1-B budget

By Ercel Maandig (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- Social Services get the largest chunk in next year's PHP6.5 billion-budget enacted by the City Council on Wednesday.

Social services amounted to PHP2.1 billion, accounting for 33.1 percent of the total budget.

During Thursday's launch of the Paralympic Games, Mayor Oscar Moreno affirmed the city's focus on social services.

"We are seeing now a transformation of Social Welfare, towards the new direction, focused on social service," Moreno said, adding that social services are the primary reason why the government exists.

Expenditure items under social services are health, nutrition, and hospital services, with an allocation of PHP1.16 billion; and social security, social services and welfare, PHP989.5 million.

Vice Mayor Reinier Joaquin Uy said the social services allocation includes the PhilHealth Indigency Program, which has a budget of PHP180 million for 75,000 beneficiaries; and the Point of Care (POC) program for indigent hospital patients amounting to PHP30 million.

Under the POC, a program of the Department of Health, a patient simply needs to pass the medical social worker’s assessment to become a sponsored member, with the hospital shouldering the annual premium contribution of PHP2,400 to PhilHealth.

Oro Council approves supplemental budget

By PJ ORIAS

THE Cagayan de Oro City Council has approved the third supplemental budget for this year which will cover, among others, the request of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) for an allocation of P1.3 million for fuel and anti-illegal drug operations.

The supplemental budget, amounting to P58.85 million, will also fund road projects in hinterland barangays worth P5.4 million.

It will also cover the rehabilitation of old Agusan National High School with a budget of P11.3 million, construction of consolidated drainage outfall in barangay Lumbia worth P14.3 million, and construction of perimeter railings of Bugo Central School for P272,600.

The supplemental budget was reviewed and endorsed by the committees on finance, budget and appropriations and on laws and rules.

Last month, Cagayan de Oro City Police Director Nelson Aganon appeared during the city council's regular session and asked for a P1.3-million supplemental budget. The request was submitted in July.

Aganon presented before the city's legislative body the Cocpo's accomplishments and continuous efforts to reduce crime volume in the city.

He said the budget allocation from the city government has run low for the third quarter of this year due to the increasing number of anti-illegal drug operations and checkpoint operations, among others.

PWD office gets sports equipment

By JO ANN SABLAD

THE Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) turned over more than 90 sports equipment to the Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) on Thursday, November 8, at Seda Centrio Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City.

A total of 30 basketballs, 30 volleyballs, 30 soccer balls, two shot puts and two discuses were given to PDAO to be used for sports activities and training in the city.

"Actually, this is a part of our program to help them with the proper sports equipment na kanilang magagamit with their sports activities and trainings. Gusto namin na magkaron ng magandang equipment yung mga PWD (persons with disabilities)," Arnold Agustin, the PSC commissioner, said.

Apart from the turning over of equipment, Agustin said that providing lectures to the coaches in Cagayan de Oro is also a part of the PSC's program.

"Aside from that, hindi lang equipment eh, nag provide din kami ng lectures sa mga coaches ng proper way of training the athletes," Agustin said.

Maria Liza Corpuz, head of PDAO, for her part, expressed gratitude to PSC upon receiving the sports equipment.

"Maraming salamat sa lahat, malaking tulong para sa sector ang mga equipment na natanggap namin," Corpuz said.

She was also grateful for the support given by the City Government to PWDs, saying that they were helpful in empowering the PWDs of Cagayan de Oro.

"Ang City Government of Cagayan de Oro, grabe ang suporta nila sa mga persons with disabilities. And of course the persons with disabilities dili siguro magiging ganito ka empowered ang mga PWD ng Cagayan de Oro kung wala kaming suporta galing sa ating LGU (local government unit)," Corpuz said.

CDO pushes for creation of anti-scam body

(CdeOSP)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA) -- To protect investors from falling prey to unscrupulous cryptocurrency and other investment scams, Cagayan de Oro 18th City Council is pushing for the creation of an anti-scam body similar to what was created in Davao City.

“We want to come up with something to protect our investors in the city,” said Councilor George S. Goking, committee chair on trade and commerce, citing reports that scams are now proliferating.

During the committee meeting, City Price Coordinating Council (CPCC) head Atty. Edgardo "Egay" Uy cited the urgency of the matter and the need to find ways to protect the city’s constituents from scams.

“If we let it go unattended, people will suffer,” he stressed.

Atty. Uy said the city’s public information system must be strengthened as a preemptive and preventive measure.

He added that hotels must require companies to present their business permits before they allow their facilities to be used for launching programs. This is one way they can help prevent scams, he explained.

“Those who will book for launching events must present their business permits, whether special or permanent as a preventive measure,” he added.

Supporting the drive against cryptocurrency scams, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) counsel Atty. Frederick Enopia requested the City Treasurer’s Office for a list of corporations operating such kind of business in the city.

“This can be verified in the database whether they are registered with the SEC,” he said.

Aside from this, it was agreed that there is a need to create a body that will look into these scams.

Councilor Goking requested Atty. Uy to organize a task force and endorse this to the office of the city mayor for executive action.

PERA PADALA

The operation of easy money transfer businesses such as Pera Padala will also be looked into by the committee.

“The system is loose to the advantage of illegal activities,” councilor Goking cited in response to complaints that only a referral code is needed for a person to claim money in one Pera Padala center.

Councilor Edna M. Dahino, vice-chair of the committee, cited that stakeholders must be invited to get information and inputs on the matter.

Councilor Goking said his committee will invite Pera Padala owners, Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), bankers association, and other departments and agencies, among others, for a meeting two weeks from now.

Oro deploys 'trained' tanods on city streets

By PJ ORIAS

AFTER completing over a month of law enforcement training, about 1,129 barangay tanods (village watchmen) are deployed in the city streets to augment police and traffic force, boosting security measures in Cagayan de Oro.

Police Superintendent Nelson Aganon, chief of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office said the city's barangay tanods have been upgraded, pointing out that they are now capable to manage traffic, perform a citizen’s arrest and arresting techniques, among others.

Aganon said the tanods have a system of operation, where all chief tanods are required to report to their chief of operations, announce the order of the day during formation, check their appearance before being deployed to the their assigned areas.

"Bawal ang nakainom, bawal ang walang ID, bawal ang mahaba ang buhok, kailangan they are all wearing proper uniform. So, meron silang series of tasks, hindi yung basta lang andoon lang sila sa area, may activities silang kailangan iperform," he said.

"Malaking tulong sila, and all other volunteer groups, they are very useful when it comes to enforcing the laws," he added.

The tanods are also now capable in intelligence gathering, crime scene protection and preservation, gender sensitivity, among others.

Earlier, the City Council has passed an ordinance creating a Barangay Tanod Committee in a bid to strengthen the interplay between village officials and police in their effort to stop proliferation of crimes and illegal drugs in Cagayan de Oro villages.

Oro kicks off children’s month celebration

By PJ ORIAS

WITH the theme "Isulong: Tamang Pag-aaruga Para sa Lahat ng Bata," the City Council for the Protection of Children and the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) will kick off the Children's Month celebration with a motorcade on November 6, to be followed by a talk on children's rights November 17.

A children development caravan featuring a chamber theater will also be held November 22, while a Larong Lahi, which will involve Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL), will also be launched.

Children with disability will also be the highlight in the paragames in coordination with the Department of Education and Philippine Sports Commission.

The city will also unveil a hall of famer marker for the most child friendly station. The 2018 Oro Kasanag Awards Gabi ng Parangal is slated November 29. This event will announce this year's child-friendly station and child-friendly barangay.

“The city continues to strive to be a child-friendly by strengthening pro-child programs such as promoting responsible parenting through the Children's Welfare Code, and the nonstop inspection in inns and motels to prevent the reported child prostitution here,” said City Administrator Teddy Sabuga-a.

"This is about prevention, kung atong mga bata maamuma, pagdako nila dili sila mahimong problema sa katilingban (if our children are well taken care of, when they grow up, they will not be a problem to our society)," he added.

He said the city aims to follow all four children's rights set by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child that include survival rights, developmental rights, protection rights, and participation rights.

"In the survival aspect, we need to remember the importance of family planning so our children gets all the necessary things they need when they grow up. For the developmental rights, education should be a priority for the children. We also ensure that they are protected by intensifying our campaign against child abuse, and instead increase their participation in our community," he added.

Finance committee approves P3-B MisOr budget

By ALWEN SALIRING

THE finance and appropriations committee of the Misamis Oriental Provincial Board is set to endorse to the plenary the P3-billion proposed budget for 2019 which was already approved in the committee level.

Board member Gerardo Sabal, committee vice chair, said the legislative body is likely to approve the said budget in November, after it is finalized.

"Basin within this month ma-forward na sa plenary for the approval sa tibuok Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Maybe it will be forwarded to the plenary this month for the approval of the Provincial Council)," Sabal said.

Governor Yevgeny Emano proposed a P3-billion budget, about eight percent higher than the 2018 budget of nearly P2.8 billion.

"Mga 8-9 percent lang ang increase from the existing budget nga close to P2.8 billion (More or less eight to nine percent increase from the existing budget which is close to P2.8 billion)," he added.

Sabal said Emano's proposed budget for next year is fair and reasonable and will likely get a thumbs up from the rest of the board members.

He explained that the budget is also achievable after talking to the local finance committee and looking into the locally-sourced income of the province.

"Dili man kita magpataka hatag og budget unya ang income dili ma-meet ug among gitan-aw achievable gyud kaayo ug walay rason nga dili namo i-approve (We just don’t approve budget that won’t meet the income, but if it’s achievable then there’s no reason not to approve),"Sabal said.

Sabal said the budget is focused on social services, health through the Misamis Oriental Cares System (MisOr Cares), disaster preparedness and Emano's flagship program on tourism.

Newly appointed board member President Elipe, who keenly scrutinized budgets during his stint as councilor in Cagayan de Oro City, said he respects the board members who reviewed and studied the budget.

He said he will not scrutinize or oppose the budget as soon as it is brought to the plenary.

"No reasons for me to object unless otherwise naay mga programs ni Governor Bambi nga ilang i-cut out or undangon labi na mga major programs (.....there are programs of Governor Bambi which they will cut out or stop especially the major programs)," he said.

"I will not be scrutinizing it as if magsugod ko sa sinugdanan kay unfair sa members especially those nga nag-review sa budget (...start all over because it will be unfair to the members especially those who review the budget)," he added.

All Souls' Day peaceful, Oro police say

By ALWEN SALIRING

A CITY police official over the weekend said the observance of the All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day was generally peaceful.

Roughly 800,000 people visited the graves of their departed loved ones in the different cemeteries across the city.

Superintendent Mardy Hortillosa II, spokesperson of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo), said there were no untoward incidents related to the two days.

But Hortillosa said he will look into other incidents or crimes reported to the headquarters from the different police stations on November 1 and 2.

"Walay mga dagko nga incidents in relation sa undas (There were no major incidents during ‘Undas’),"Hortillosa said.

Hortillosa said they have made sure that peace and order was maintained in the 10 cemeteries in the first district and five in the second district.

The Cocpo spokesman said the effective security plan, police deployment and support of other partner agencies have contributed to the maintenance of peace and order.

Cocpo has deployed more than a thousand police personnel, excluding the military force, barangay police, traffic law enforcers and other force multipliers, to ensure public safety and security.

"Ma-attribute nato ang peaceful observance sa atong deployment ug support sa atong mga partners (We can attribute the peaceful observance on our deployment and support from our partners),"he said.

Hortillosa added the continuous information drive of the police has also compelled the public to cooperate with the authorities.

"Dili sad magmalampuson kung wala ang kooperasyon sa katawhan pinaagi sa pagpatuman sa kaugalingon nilang security measures (It cannot be successful without the cooperation of the public by doing their own security measures) ,"he added.

However, authorities still seized prohibited items such as cigarettes despite the police's warning.

"Pero kung ikompara sa nangagi mas less karon ang mga na-confiscate nga sigarilyo kay sauna wala man to gibawal karon kay ato man gipatuman ang smoke-free CDO nga campaign (If we would compare from last year, lesser cigarettes were confiscated this year because of the implementation of smoke-free CDO campaign) ,"he said.

City Hall grants additional 100-K cash gift for centenarians

By PJ ORIAS

THE City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) has awarded cash grants to six centenarians on top of the P100,000 cash reward of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Each centenarian received P100,000. They are Dipayongan Macasimbar, 105; Francisco Briones, 103; Damo-ao Acab, 103; Tolentina Tumapon, 102; Rizalina Saniel, 100; and Salome Panes, 100.

Macasimbar is recorded as the oldest living person in Cagayan de Oro.

Around 2,000 officers and members of different chapters of Senior Citizens of CDO gathered at Limketkai atrium last Tuesday, October 30, to celebrate the Elderly Month.

The cash grant is pursuant to Republic Act 10868 or the Centenarians Act of 2016 which aims to provide recognition to elderly who reach 100 years old through a letter of felicitation from the President and a centenarian gift of P100,000.

City Mayor Oscar Moreno thanked the elderly for their care and sacrifice to raise good generations.

Julius Pamisa of the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) said the Cagayan de Oro is the only city in the country which gives an additional P100,000 to each of the elderly who reach the age of 100 years old.

Duterte distributes land to 3,400 beneficiaries in NorMin

By Jigger Jerusalem (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte led the distribution of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) to at least 3,400 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), covering 5,808 hectares of land, in Northern Mindanao here on Wednesday evening.

Among the five provinces in the region, Lanao del Norte has the most number of ARBs with 1,807, 664 collective beneficiaries and 1,143 individual recipients.

Lanao del Norte has a total of 3,857 hectares covered under the agrarian reform program situated in the municipalities of Nunungan, Sapad, and Munai.

According to the Department of Agrarian Reform-10 (DAR-10), among the recipients of the CLOAs were members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) from Munai, who were given over 613 hectares.

Following Lanao del Norte is Bukidnon with a total of 1,218 beneficiaries receiving some 1,527 hectares; Misamis Oriental, 241 beneficiaries with 296 hectares; and Misamis Occidental, 134 beneficiaries with 127 hectares.

In Gingoog City, a component city of Misamis Oriental, about 283 hectares were given out to former members of the New People’s Army (NPA), who have organized themselves into the Tagpako Farmers’ Cooperative.

In his speech, Duterte said he has ordered Agrarian Reform Sec. John Castriciones to prioritize the distribution of lands covered under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in the countryside.

“I told him to give everything up for land reform there in Bacolod. For the beneficiaries who were unable to benefit from it, I ordered Secretary Castriciones to give it away. But don’t steal and kill people because if you do, my order to the police and the military is to have you evicted,” the President cautioned.

Duterte said he would give the lands to qualified beneficiaries but told them it can’t be done overnight, and that there was no need for forcible occupation of such properties.

“Just wait because I can’t speed things up,” he said.

The President also warned the NPA not to occupy government and private properties forcibly.

“Do not confiscate or seize or occupy the lands that are already owned. Don’t do that. Don’t steal lands that already have tenants,” he said.

He added: “Let’s talk. I’ll give you land. What will I do with those anyway? It’s not mine. I told Secretary [Castriciones] to distribute government-owned lands tomorrow…the lands that weren’t included as reservation for schools".

He also ordered the military and the police to arrest the communist groups and their front organizations if they violently resist lawful arrest orders.

Oro Golden Home breaks ground

By PJ ORIAS

MAYOR Oscar Moreno led the groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, October 30, for the P20-million facility that will house neglected elderly in Cagayan de Oro.

"Government is precisely meant to serve especially those who need the government the most," Moreno said as he called the project a "significant milestone" in the city.

The facility will be called the Oro Golden Home for the Elderly. It will rise within the compound of Mother Teresa Oro Care Center in Upper Puerto.

The P20-million project will temporarily shelter the abandoned and neglected elderly in society while undergoing rehabilitation and for possible family reintegration.

Currently, the city houses neglected elderly along with the mentally-challenged individuals at the Residential Care and Differently-Abled Center of the JR Borja General Hospital.

The facility will have its own clinic, chapel, and a mini-park. It can house about 40 elderly, men or women.

The lot where the facility will be built is part of the 10 hectares donated by the Rosales family to the City Government in the 1990s during the administration of the late mayor Pablo Magtajas.

CDO, dairy authority undertake 120-day milk feeding program

By Ercel Maandig (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- The local government here and the National Dairy Authority in Region 10 (NDA-10) have agreed to jointly undertake a milk feeding program amounting to PHP1.9 million.

Under the partnership deal signed between NDA-10 Manager Roy Antonio Hojas and Mayor Oscar Moreno on Monday (Oct. 29), the feeding would run for 120 days starting next month up to March next year.

Moreno said the program would provide chocolate-flavored fresh milk to about 1,230 children age three to five. The milk will be supplied by a cooperative-run dairy processing company based in El Salvador City, Misamis Oriental.

The supplier -- the Northern Mindanao Federation of Dairy Cooperative -- availed last year of a PHP20 million support from the Department of Agriculture (DA) for the improvement of its facilities.

Moreno said the program will initially start in at least 14 villages.

"The city government is committed to pursue this program with the support of the City Council (members) who appropriate the budget," Moreno said, adding he hopes the feeding initiative will eventually cover the city's 80 villages.

The mayor said the local government has won the Green Banner Award for Nutrition for two consecutive years because of its nutrition initiatives.

Meanwhile, Hojas underscored the importance of dairy-based nutrition program, pointing out the country's National Dairy Sufficiency rate stands at only 1 percent.

This means, he said, the country cannot cope with the demand of fresh milk for population --especially undernourished children.

Liceo wins ecopark design challenge

By PJ ORIAS

THE design of a group of students from Liceo de Cagayan University was chosen as the concept design for the rehabilitation of the old dumpsite in Zayas, barangay Carmen.

One of the designers, Liceo civil engineering student Larry Jade Bacalares, said the ecopark they envision represents the history of Cagayan de Oro. He said it will also feature and honor the tribes in the city.

Bacalares said the park would showcase a cultural village in a botanical garden setting.

It will serve as a learning center for ecotourism, ethnic arts, and flora and fauna that are endemic to Northern Mindanao.

It will have cozy guest cottages, a camp ground, recreational area, picnic shed, orchidarium, tropical zoo garden, restaurants, amphitheater, and a hall.

It will also have a bike trail and several fun rides such an extreme coaster ride.

It will also have a store where former scavengers can sell their products as their new means of livelihood.

The ecopark challenge was participated in by four universities, namely Liceo, Xavier University, University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines, and Cagayan de Oro College.

As the winner, Liceo will receive P60,000 cash, while the rest of the participating schools will get P10,000 each.

City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) head Armen Cuenca said all of the designs will be made as reference to the final design of the old landfill.

The final design will be drawn up by the City Engineering Office.

This initiative is part of the city government's efforts to transform the 17-hectare old dumpsite into an eco-park.

Cuenca said the old dumpsite will have a botanical and butterfly gardens, lagoon, basketball court, bike lane, jogging area, and an amphitheater.

The city government recently received a grant of P35 million from the Department of Budget Management (DBM) for the old dumpsite's initial phase of its rehabilitation. It will be used for land development.

The Zayas dumpsite was closed last year for various violations. The city opened an engineered landfill in Barangay Pagalungan, 16 kilometers away from the city proper.

Oro council to deliberate on P6.5-B proposed budget

By PJ ORIAS

THE Cagayan de Oro City Council is set to start its deliberation on the proposed P6.5-billion budget for 2019.

City Mayor Oscar Moreno estimates that the total resources will reach P6.5 billion, or P5.88 billion from the general fund and P619.459 million from the Special Account-Economic Enterprises.

Tax revenues from local sources are expected to contribute P3.207 billion, or 49.35 percent of the total budget, while non-tax revenues are expected to reach P1.022 billion, or 15.73 percent of the total proposed budget.

The city expects external resources to reach P1.761 billion, or 27.11 percent of the total budget.

Meanwhile, the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share is P1.665 billion, or 25.62 percent, an increase of about 10.13 percent from the 2018 level.

Moreno said his objective next year is to provide more responsive services in education, health, adequate shelter, employment opportunities, and agricultural and fishery extension services.

Creating more jobs will also be a priority, by strengthening the City Jobs Placement Bureau.

Already, Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin Uy expressed support for the proposed budget as long as it improves services to the people. He, however, assured that the deliberations will be thorough.

In 2018, Moreno proposed a P5.8-billion budget. He pointed out that when he creates a budget proposal, it is always ambitious.

Kumbira show pushed as tourism event for BIMP

By PJ ORIAS

MAKING Cagayan de Oro’s signature culinary show Kumbira be featured in the other cities that are part of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) is one of the proposals pushed during its joint tourism development cluster meeting here two weeks ago.

City Investments and Promotion Officer Eileen San Juan said it was Tourism Assistant Secretary Rica Bueno who recommended that Kumbira can also be made a signature event in other BIMP events in the different parts of the world.

Kumbira is an annual event of the city held every fiesta celebration which features the best culinary chefs and aspiring chefs all over the country

“We are trying to propose for next year [2019] that there will also be participation of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia delegations in the Kumbira activity as a culinary event. We will look into the certification requirements of tourism industry, so among the BIM countries, we will also look into their certification requirements,” she added.

Also discussed is strengthening Cagayan de Oro’s flight connectivity to other BIM areas, tourism access and support infrastructure, human resource development, ecotourism, and improving tourism in the East Asean growth areas.

The joint tourism development cluster meeting was the last of a series of meeting conducted in the different parts of the country in 2018.

YouthWorks PH launches in Oro

By JO ANN SABLAD

THE youth training and employment project, YouthWork PH, officially launched its program last Thursday, October 25, in Mallberry Suites Business Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City, bringing together partners from the local government, the private sector and the academe.

Co-implemented by the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) and the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd), the P1.7-billion five-year workforce development project seeks to improve access to quality training and employment opportunities by providing access to work-based training to 40,000 Filipino youth in education, employment or training (NEET) and training at least 1,000 youth NEET per year.

"What we really want to do is help the youth feel empowered, to feel that they can achieve things that they can be successful, that they have a lot of options," YouthWorks PH Chief of Party Karol Mark Yee said.

"We want to give everyone the opportunity to also choose training as a path way, that you can do training that is maybe 3 months, 6 months, one year. And that after you train, you can easily find employment. We have to understand the context of our youth. Hindi lahat ng kabataan kayang mag aral ng apat ng taon tapos walang gagawin," he added.

(Not all youth can afford to study for four years and will not be doing anything)

The project has chosen Cagayan de Oro City as its site for its first year of implementation due to the city's promising growth sectors in agriculture, banking and finance, construction, hospitality and tourism, and manufacturing, according to Yee.

At present, the project is on its mapping and designing stage, gathering the local government, private sectors and the academe together in a discussion to design a training suited to each of the five aforementioned sectors.

"And we're coordinating with the youth councils and youth organizations para they can bring us to the youth or introduce us to them," Yee said.

“We give them an opportunity to train and find employment,” he added.

Currently, the Cagayan de Oro Technical Institute has already offered 100 slots for trainees in the construction and hospitality sectors. The Skills Mastery Institute, a private trade school in the city, also committed 100 training slots in the construction and agriculture-fisheries sectors.

Yee said that after the mapping and designing, by January and February, the YouthWorks PH will be holding a career caravan in different communities or barangays to introduce the project to the youth.

"By January and February, we will go down na to the communities and talk to the youth to tell them about the project, to tell them about the opportunities and then give them the chance to already apply," Yee said.

"We are inviting companies to invest in the future of Cagayan de Oro City as we go out to engage the youth for our exciting training programs for our pioneering bath this March 2019," he added.

Apart from Cagayan de Oro, the project is also implemented in Cebu, Manila, Zamboanga, Davao, General Santos City and Iloilo in the coming months.

Power firm teaches host communities how to save lives

By Lloyd Revilla (/Hedcor, AboitizPower)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--Around 70 residents from Barangays Guilang-Guilang in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, as well as Jose Rizal and Sibulan in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, were equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to help save lives.

Much of a person’s survival during disasters depends on one’s ability to act with urgency and make important decisions under pressure as well as the swift provision of medical assistance.

When one is prepared for disasters, not only do they overcome fear and anxiety, but also avert great damage brought by calamities.

Recognizing the need to prepare its host communities for such events, AboitizPower subsidiary Hedcor organized a series of safety trainings for various villages in Mindanao early this year.

“I will make sure to practice everything I learned here so that in case of emergencies, I will be capable of helping others and teaching the same to members of my family,” Barangay Guilang-Guilang Councilor Joy Rosana Sugalang, one of the participants, said.

In partnership with local disaster risk reduction and management offices, Hedcor conducted a First Aid and Basic Community Disaster Preparedness training, which included Basic Water Safety training, to support its host communities’ respective Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils.

“I’m really thankful to Hedcor for giving us this opportunity to be trained in first aid and basic community disaster preparedness,” Sugalang added.

All of these are expected to help the community prepare, manage, and strategize in the event of calamities or emergencies, especially that these barangays are in far-flung areas of Bukidnon and Davao del Sur.

Hedcor also donated medical equipment, medical supplies, and a cabinet to the barangays while each participant was given their own first aid kit.

This firm, Hedcor, is the run-of-river hydropower arm of AboitizPower operating 21 power facilities in the country with a total rated capacity of 245 MW.

By advancing business and communities, Hedcor envisions ‘A Better Future’ through Cleanergy, AboitizPower’s brand for clean and renewable energy.

30 establishments in NorMin bag Bagwis Awards

By JO ANN SABLAD

A TOTAL of 30 business establishments in Northern Mindanao have received the Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI's) Bagwis Awards during its ceremony on Tuesday, October 23, in Mallberry Suites Business Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City.

Through the DTI Bagwis Awards, retail establishments that uphold the rights of consumers while practicing responsible business where consumers get the best value for money are given due recognition.

It also encourages the setting up of Consumer Welfare Desks in business establishments which will provide information to consumers and serve as a mechanism for the speedy resolution of consumer complaints, according to DTI-Northern Mindanao Regional Director Linda Boniao.

“For you to have a Bagwis award, ibig sabihin (it means), it’s a confirmation that you comply with government regulatory requirements,” Boniao said.

“It’s goodwill for the company and kung ako yung kliyente (if I’m the client), I know that kung mag complain ko, atimanun gyud ko (I would be accommodated),” she added.

On Tuesday, the DTI-Northern Mindanao awarded 17 retail establishments in the region with bronze, namely: S.B. Store, Jinfats Enterprises, Vedmore Inc., Vic Imperial Appliance Corporation, Lucky C.V.K. Hardware, and Desmark Corporation in Bukidnon; Des Markekting Inc. (Yamaha 3S) in Camiguin; Iligan 3D-Map Corporation/7-Eleven, YC Marketing, and Robinson's Supermarket Corporation in Lanao del Norte; Solidmark Inc., Robinson's Handyman, and Honda Des, Inc.-Oroquieta in Misamis Occidental; and Chams Convenience Store-Kong Hua Branch, Chams Convenience Store-Regatta Branch, Chams Convenience Store-Pueblo Branch, and Chams Convenience Store-Medical Branch in Misamis Oriental.

Further, silver awards went to 13 establishments, which includes: Fabulous Jeans & Shirts & General Merchandise, and Unipace Corporation-Gaisano Valencia in Bukidnon; W & M Premium Store in Camiguin; Lloyd Marketing & Car Service Center, J+ Hardware, Kim's Manufacturing Industries, and Robinson's Department Store in Lanao del Norte; Unitrust Electronis & Electrical, and Abacus Book & Card Corporation/National Bookstore in Misamis Occidental; and Abenson Ventures Inc.-Limketkai Branch, Philippine Seven Corporation-Lifestyle District Branch, Philippine Seven Corporation-Gusa Branch, and Philippine Seven Corporation-Tomas Saco Branch in Misamis Oriental.

At present, no establishment received the gold award.

According to Boniao, silver awardees cannot apply for the same award next year unless the award was pulled out from them due to a violation.

Bronze awardees can apply for the silver award next year.

The Bagwis Award ceremony is part of the DTI's set of activities in celebration of Consumer Welfare in the month of October, anchored on the theme: “Making Digital Market Places Fairer.”

This year, DTI focuses on the impacts of digital technology and how it helps in the attainment of product quality and safety conscious society.

However, for Boniao, E-Commerce still have “hitches that need to be ironed out,” especially the complaint policy.”

“They (consumers) should read the fine lines. Before they will order, they should really check the sizes, the quality, before they order. And then, they should read the fine lines like on 'no return, no exchange,'“ Boniao said.

The DTI-Northern Mindanao regional director advised online shoppers to complain also online if they have issues on their product and to seek for online facility that caters on online complaints.

21 Badjao kids get scholarship

By PJ Orias

THE lives of about 21 Badjao kids are changed forever after being chosen as beneficiaries of Oplan Sagip Mag-aaral project of the City Government and the Department of Education (DepEd).

These kids are formerly living in the streets and begging but are rescued by the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) through a series of operations.

Under the program, the city will shoulder the educational expenses of the children, which includes free school supplies and uniform. They are currently enrolled in St. John Puntod Elementary School.

Julius Pamisa, Division head for Community and Social Development of the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) said the city government is ready to shoulder the kids' education until college, if they are willing to continue and finish their studies.

Pamisa said the city can identify a city scholarship program that should suit them.

The city, through its Comprehensive Program for Street Children and Street Families, had since been providing intervention programs for Badjao families residing in the city.

In the past, the city has rescued and ferried over 100 Badjao families back to their respective provinces.

Over the years, Badjao families created a small community in Cagayan de Oro, particularly in coastal areas, such as in barangay Bayabas.

Pride March set to step in Oro

By ANGELO LORENZO

CAGAYAN de Oro City will soon witness an array of colors and diversity as Mindanao Pride, an emerging social movement that advocates for the rights and welfare of LGBTQ-identified individuals, will pave the way for the city’s anticipated pride march this December.

Following the tradition of LGBTQ communities across the globe, the pride march aims to empower, validate, and celebrate the existence and aspirations of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer individuals - most of whom had been marginalized and discriminated against in society for their uniqueness in sexuality and identity.

“The dream that started last 2017 is now becoming a reality,” stated Mindanao Pride co-founder and current president Hamilcar Chanjueco. This statement was echoed by the Mindanao Pride’s official Twitter handle.

The Dream Lives

Consonant to CDO’s identity as the city of golden friendship, the upcoming pride march will unify LGBTQ movements across Mindanao. These will be represented by their various members and allies.

The pride march is part of Kadaiyahan (diversity) Festival. Centered on LGBTQ empowerment, the festival aims to unite all LGBTQ movements across Mindanao. This is set to take place within this city from December 5 to 10.

With the support and partnership of the City Government of Cagayan de Oro, Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran (SPARK - a non-government organization that advances women’s rights and welfare), the Embassy of Netherlands, and the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), the festival will comprise a variety of activities centered on LGBTQ issues.

Albeit tentative, planned activities include a free film screening during the opening program at Ayala Centrio Mall, a series of lectures and discussions that will reflect the reality of LGBTQ situations across the region and the Philippines, and a training-seminar at the CDO City Hall for local youth leaders that aim to address issues concerning the LGBTQ community and to empower individuals with their identities.

The festival will conclude with the anticipated pride march which, according to Mindanao Pride, will “paint CDO with the colors of the rainbow.”

Organizers of the festival and the pride march also hope for the community within CDO to improve on their perceptions about LGBTQ individuals and to eliminate discrimination and prejudice. To pursue this aim, every step is necessary for the march and the movement to take place.

MisOr, CDO push for 'farm tourism'

By Ercel Maandig (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- The provincial government of Misamis Oriental and the city government here are eyeing for a new tourism scheme that could help farming industry as a way to improve lives of farmers and farm owners.

Edmundo Pacamalan, head of the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAGRO), said officials in the province see farm tourism as an avenue to attract guests to visit farm areas in the province for educational and recreational purposes, and at the same time encourage economic activities that can provide both farms and communities get additional income.

These activities include immersing tourists in feeding animals, collecting eggs, hiking, learning nature-based arts and crafts, harvesting vegetables and wine-tasting, among others.

He said the provincial government also envisions to establishing farm schools and welcomes interested individuals in the province to avail of the program and assist them earn better income.

Tourism development is seen to be more dynamic as the provincial government earmarked PHP159 million for infrastructure in 2019.

"This fund will be utilized for the road concreting leading to tourism sites," he said.

Governor Yevgeny Emano has emphasized the need to concretize roads for easy and convenient access for tourists when visiting tourism sites in the province.

"No matter how spectacular the scenery and tourist sites are, if road projects are limited, it is difficult for the tourists to visit sites," he said.

Meanwhile, the City Committee on Trade and Industry chaired by Councilor George Sio Goking, has collaborated with the Committee on Tourism of Councilor Jay Pascual and Committee on Agriculture of Councilor Annie Daba for the farm tourism program, after Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol declared the four towns of Bukidnon as "vegetable center" of the country.

The town of Talakag is among the four which is the nearest to Cagayan de Oro where farm products from the upland villages pass on their way to the loading areas, specifically to the airport, seaport and markets.

Goking said he already conducted a joint meeting with these committees to tackle the resolution of offloading problem of vegetables from Bukidnon and upland villages here.

Early this month, Goking said the Philippine Airlines (PAL) committed to an additional space for vegetable cargoes coming from Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro while the Philippine Air Force's C130 cargo plane also signified their support to DA and the LGU here and Bukidnon especially in times of calamities.

Goking, however, said he asked vegetable traders not to overprice goods.

CDO wins ICT award for PWD online enlistment system

By Ercel Maandig (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY--This city placed second in a national competition among local governments that have already integrated Information Communication Technology (ICT) in government services.

The "eGov Awards" recognized the city's innovative "Persons With Disabilities (PWD) Online ID Registration" system, said Jong Pamisa, PWD online ID registration head, who received the award on October 12 showcased during Monday's flag raising ceremony.

"This is the first online system throughout the country," Pamisa said. "The local Social Welfare and Development Office is very honored about it, headed by City Administrator Teddy Sabuga-a, the concurrent City Social Welfare and Development(CSWD) head."

Pamisa said aside from the online ID application, they also bring "door-to-door services" specially for PWDs whose mobility are limited.

Elmer Villamor, a former officer of the PWD group here, said he was elated that their sector has finally been given attention by the local government through innovative systems that take into account their physical disabilities.

Meanwhile, the local government became one of the only 10 LGUs to receive the Galing Pook Award last week.

Cagayan de Oro has won the award twice, given in recognition to LGUs espousing innovative means and initiatives of governance.

For this year, the city's entry was the "No Vote, Ibot" No More: Ending the Political Bondange in Resettlement Areas by Providing Security of Tenure campaign of the City Government."

The initiative is part of the city's resettlement program that grants irregular settlers with land titles.

BPOI opens new facility in Oro

By JO ANN SABLAD

THE Business Process Outsourcing International Inc. (BPOI) has opened a much bigger and better facility on Wednesday, October 17, located at the 5th floor of One Montecarlo Building, along Corrales-Hayes Street, Cagayan de Oro City.

BPOI is a domestic-owned company which has been part of the Finance and Accounting, and HR Capital Solutions outsourcing industry since the 80s.

The company has been operating for nearly 15 years and has earned the reputation as a leading provider of outsourced service.

According to Cristina Concepcion, the CEO and president of BPOI, Cagayan de Oro City is a good venue for the company, particularly in terms of talents and workforce as they find Kagay-anons competent and willing to grow with the company.

“One of the things that we like about being in Cagayan, the challenge of any outsourcing company is really finding talent. We love our experience in Cagayan de Oro. We were able to find talents that we need, they grow with the company and they really become part in fabric of who we are,” Concepcion said.

“And as we look at the next generation of BPOI, how we will manage our future clients and how we manage our current group of businesses, the decision was made that Cagayan de Oro fits our needs, so we expanded our footprint here. It's very natural for us to do,” she added.

The BPO industry in the city has started to boost as several BPOs made efforts in penetrating the city's business sector.

Although, unlike other BPOs that are part of a larger, multi-national organizations or larger firms, the BPOI, despite being a small firm, has been extending its services for several years and took pride of its track record in the business industry.

“Many of our clients have been with us for decades so we've got a track record for this business. We might be small but we are aggressive. We're doing things in changing the way they work in ways that quite frankly our competition is still unable to do,” Concepcion said.

“And I think a lot of that, in the field of robotics for example, are some of the things that we will introduce here so that will be interesting for a lot of people,” she added.

Another interesting thing is, as opposed to typical BPOs, BPOI has no night shift.

The company also takes into consideration the needs of its employees, as such, the location of their new facility is anchored on their employees concern on food and transportation.

“When we were looking for space, it took us about a year and a half to find this. In fact, there was another space that we looked at actively and we almost pulled the trigger for that space but it was our people who were the ones who said ‘Can we find another space where the food would be cheaper and easier to get to?’” Concepcion shared.

“And I think, perhaps, given the fact that this is like a university area, I think it’s easy for them to find food or transport. We kinda like the fact that just a few steps away, there’s access to public transportation but the moment you come inside, it’s almost like a compound of its own. That, actually for us, is part of the appeal,” she added.

At present, the BPOI is starting to come up with products that can cater to the business network of the city.

“We're beginning to build products that are more bite-size, that are smaller in chunks to be able to cater to the ecosystem that we have here,” Concepcion said.

SM opens CDO Downtown Tower

(SunStar Cagayan De Oro)

THE latest development of SM Prime Holdings Inc., the SM CDO Downtown Tower, is now open for leasing after it was officially launched last Wednesday, October 17.

Strategically located at the heart of Cagayan de Oro City, the Downtown Tower is a premier office building with state of the art facility which aims to provide economical, flexible and conveniently located prime office spaces.

It is the only business process outsourcing (BPO) building in the region with a helipad. It is also equipped with a 24/7 security and engineering support and an uninterrupted electric and water supply.

The tower is interconnected to the mall through the Sky Park at the 5th level access which is expedient for those who wish to dine in the mall's various restaurants, take a coffee break in their favorite coffee shop, do some grocery shopping, watch movies at the cinema, or go to the gym after office hours.

According to Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno, who was present during the launching of the Downtown Tower, it was heart-warming that the SM placed its vote of confidence and trust to the city by establishing the tower.

The mayor also expressed optimism in the tower's appeal to the investors who might be interested in investing in the city.

“As far as the BPO industry, we're one of those cities that is in the eye of the investors for them to come. And having this kind of facility is actually a blessing because it’s something that we can offer,” Eileen San Juan, Local Economic and Investment Promotions officer, said.

“Kami naman, in the local government, we will see to it that we work together with them, we make sure that they'll be able to place their business here,” she added.

SM Prime Holdings Inc. is one of the largest integrated property developers in Southeast Asia that offers innovative and sustainable lifestyle cities and the development of malls, residences, offices, hotels and convention centers.

It is also the largest, in terms of asset and income base in the Philippines.

SM City Cagayan de Oro awarded well-equipped breastfeeding station

(PR)

THE Department of Health (DOH), Center for Health Development-Northern Mindanao awarded SM City Cagayan de Oro the Well-equipped “Breastfeeding Room/Lactation Room” recognition during its Regional Harmonized Awarding at Pearlmont Hotel last October 11, 2018.

DOH commends SM City Cagayan de Oro for making breastfeeding work in a public place.

The mall is also compliant to Republic Act 10028, under the Infant and Young Child Feeding Program 2017.

The SM Cares’ Program on Women and Breastfeeding, on the other hand, highlights women’s fundamental importance to society as a whole through its various initiatives. One of the initiatives is advocating the importance of breastfeeding and promoting it in all SM malls all over the country.

“All SM malls have breastfeeding stations now to cater to the need of nursing mothers,” mall manager Bernadette Flores said.

“Mothers may breastfeed anywhere in the mall or choose to use the breastfeeding station which is fitted for their much needed privacy and extra comfort,” she added.

CDO hospital opens 'kangaroo' unit for premature births

By Ercel Maandig (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- The Justiniano R. Borja General Hospital (JRBGH) here on Friday opened its "Kangaroo Mother Care Unit" for premature newborns.

Dr. Ramon Nery, JRBGH chief, said the new unit is intended to give a "dedicated care" to premature newborn children without being admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), which usually are mixed with adult patients.

Nery said mothers are allowed to caress and breastfeed their premature newborns, just like a mother kangaroo would.

“A mother kangaroo keeps its baby in a pouch when it is born. The baby kangaroo is protected, fed and brought anywhere the mother goes in its pouch until it is ready to fend for itself,” Nery said.

With its construction partly funded by the Kagay-anons of Northern California, the new kangaroo mother care unit of the city government-operated hospital has beds made up and ready for occupancy.

Nery said the kangaroo mother care unit aims to prevent infant mortality and morbidity in Cagayan de Oro City among premature newborns.

He added that premature newborns in the city have a very low rate, with only nine out of 5,193 births from January to September this year.

The services of the kangaroo unit are free. Those who gave birth in the city hospital will be given priority.

Luzviminda Subanpan, 43, a mother who recently gave birth, said she is happy with this development.

Subanpan said she lost a prematurely-born baby boy nine years ago.

MisOr eyes 'whale watching' as new tourism attraction

By Ercel Maandig (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- The Misamis Oriental tourism office is planning to develop "whale watching" as a potential tourism attraction and a preservation effort for the species found in Macajalar Bay.

Jeffrey Saclot, head of the provincial tourism office, said they are now in coordination with the Department of Tourism Region 10 (DOT-10) for the preservation and promotion of whale watching in the province.

Saclot confirmed that the whale species spotted in the vicinity of Salay to Talisayan waters last week was a sperm whale and not whale shark as earlier reported.

"If there's no holding of the ATOP National Convention in the province last week when several whales spotted in the deep of Macajalar Bay, forces of action could be the focus of tourism players especially in the vicinity of the bay where the sperm whales were spotted," he said. On October 3-6, the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines (ATOP) held a national convention.

After the meeting with the Misamis Oriental Provincial Tourism Department and DOT-10 Regional Director May Salvana Uchuan, Saclot will invite mayors of towns in the province where sightings of sperm whales and whale sharks had been confirmed.

Saclot added that meetings and dialogues for an assessment, spot visit and workshop on how to promote the sperm whale appearances in the province will also be organized.

He is also promoting dive and aqua tourism in this part of Northern Mindanao.

In a separate interview, Talisayan town Mayor Rommel Maslog reported that his local tourism team would spearhead the tracing of the coordinates and patterns of the whales through global positioning system (GPS).

Maslog said there is an abundance of sperm whale and whale sharks in Misamis Oriental.

He said there are more sperm whales in the province, however, a number of these were found dead in the shorelines of Macajalar Bay, from Cagayan de Oro to the tip of the Bay in Talisayan and up across Camiguin Island.

In February 2018, a 37-foot sperm whale was found dead in the shoreline of Baloy Village here, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) laboratory analyst for Northern Mindanao, John Roy Obsioma, said.

The usual causes of death of these whales are poisoning as a result of swallowing plastic waste materials or a shark attack.

Negosyo Center soon to rise at MisOr Capitol

By Elaine O. Ratunil

MISAMIS ORIENTAL (PIA) – Capitol in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) spearheaded the groundbreaking and capsule-laying ceremony of a modern Misamis Oriental Negosyo project to spur economic activities in the province.

The Provincial Tourism Department would also be installed in the same two-storey building.

It would also feature a coffee shop and Pasalubong Center where various products of the province would be displayed.

According to Yevgeny Vincente B. Emano, an estimated P10-million fund is allocated for the project from the 20 percent development fund and general fund of the capitol while P3 milion comes from the cash prize earned from the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) award.

DTI also shelled out P500,000 for the building.

This is in line with the Go Negosyo Act or the Republic Act No. 10644 mandating the establishment of business centers in accessible locations in the cities and municipalities to be able to help entrepreneurs or would-be businessmen grow their businesses. (EOR/PIA)

‘Malasakit Center’ opens in Oro

By ALWEN SALIRING

MISAMIS Oriental Governor Yevgeny Emano on Wednesday, September 19, said the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP) headquarters in Cagayan de Oro City will begin accommodating concerns of the public through the Malasakit Center.

The Malasakit Center led by Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher "Bong" Go will have their office at the Hnp headquarters at the Don Gregorio Pelaez building at the Misamis Oriental Integrated Sports Complex, Velez street.

The HnP-Padayon Pilipino headquarters was opened last September 10 led by the Padayon Pilipino leaders.

Emano explained that the headquarters is not only for political purpose but will also serve as venue where public can raise their concerns through Go's Malasakit Center.

The center will cater clients from all over Northern Mindanao who needs medical or financial assistance, among others.

"It will serve basically sa political nga kalihukan. Pero mo-cater na ang Malasakit Center og mga concerns sa publiko," Emano said.

Emano was chosen as the regional chairman of the SAP Bong Go movement.

The governor said economic progress is within reach especially with the support of the HnP lead by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Nacionalista Party and other allied political personalities.

Suntingan Elementary School gets water project from COWD

By PJ ORIAS

THE Cagayan de Oro City Water District (COWD) on Wednesday, September 19, has turned over a water supply system project to Suntingon Elementary School in barangay Bugo which is set to benefit some 1,556 students of the said school.

Ladelle Sagrado, COWD spokesperson, said the project commenced last November 14, 2017 and was completed on August 7, 2018.

It includes distribution lines, PE pipe provisions for each building, an electromagnetic mother meter, a 25 cubic meter water tank and sump with electromechanical facilities.

She said the total project cost is PhP 2,999,815.93 and that the funding was taken from COWD’s P6 million budget allocated annually for water-related projects endorsed by the Local Chief Executive.

“This water supply system project is aimed to ensure that water is available for the health and sanitation needs of the school’s 1,556 students,” she said.

Mayor Oscar Moreno said access to clean water should all be available in schools.

Moreno and Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin Uy, Bugo Barangay Chairman Vic Talingting, Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Dela Peña along with COWD’s Board chairman Eduardo Antonio Montalvan and Acting general manager Bienvenido Batar, Jr. graced the simple ceremony.

City Hall inks MOA with Lourdes College

By PJ ORIAS

THE City Government is partnering with a university here to look after the city's street families and allow them to undergo a 6-month program for them to have a chance of getting a better life.

A memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed on Tuesday, September 18, between the city and Lourdes College executives on the Oro Alagang Pamilya Project for the homeless street families in Cagayan de Oro.

Norhidaya Dhada Hadji Sarip, focal person for Homeless Families of the City Social Welfare and Development said this is the third year now since the program has started, but the MOA makes the program bigger as it will involve social work students to cater to more families.

She said the identified families, mostly coming from Cogon and Carmen markets are transferred from the streets to a transient home where they will undergo the program under the guidance of the social workers.

Over the years, the former street families now have jobs while street children who used to ask alms are now studying after undergoing the program.

"We really just want them to have a better chance at life and introduce to them a lot of opportunities for their families. We will make them understand that living in the streets should not be an option for these families," City Administrator Teddy Sabuga-a said.

According to the CSWD, it has recorded a total of 30 street families in the city.

The program specifically engages parental session, aiming to reeducate the parents on their parenting skills.

"We have to answer the question ngano nga ang atong mga bata naa sa dalan, because certainly there is a problem on how parents are handling their kids, we need to change that by educating them," Sarip said, adding that because of intervention, the CSWD noted the decrease of street children in the city streets.

For his part, City Mayor Oscar Moreno said the program is part of the city government's campaign to give better lives to the constituents by giving them the best services.

"We appreciate this very much, this gives us chance to learn, gives us a chance to know where we are and where we should go, beneficiaries will be served hopefully the best way possible," Moreno said.

"Social work is the most encompassing work of all, everything is a part of social work, you cannot separate government work to social work. I look forward towards changing the lives of these families, you know I've always been a believer that one should be given a chance, we should never give up on them," he added.

DILG-10 steps up local gov't projects tracking, monitoring

(DILG10/PIA10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--To improve tracking and monitoring efforts of Local Government Support Fund (LGSF) projects and to facilitate project management in LGUs, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-10, in coordination with the Support to Local Government Program Oversight Project Monitoring Office (SLGP-OPMO) conducted a one-day training workshop on its most recent platform, DevLIVE, at the VIP Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City on September 4.

The workshop-training was conducted for SLGP Coordinating Teams, Regional and Provincial Project Development and Management Unit Engineers, and regional and provincial focal persons for the upcoming roll-out of DevLIVE.

“Development LIVE: Achieving SDGs in Infrastructure through Local Integrity, Innovation and Citizen Empowerment,” is a joint project with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which seeks to aid local governance by addressing current gaps in monitoring fund utilization and by providing a platform for citizens’ feedback and monitoring.

Through the online platform, local functionaries will be able to directly input reports from the release of funds up to the project’s completion.

DevLIVE also includes a free mobile application that allows locals and project beneficiaries to directly provide feedback on ongoing and completed projects.

For the full duration of the program implementation, DevLIVE seeks to cover monitoring of all projects under the Local Government Support Fund-Financial Assistance (LGSF-FA) to LGUs.

As of this writing, DevLIVE includes tracking of projects under the Assistance to Municipalities Program.

A brief orientation on user roles, site navigation, was facilitated by representatives from the OPMO.

This was followed by a simulation to determine all areas to be improved in the platform.

A roll-out for cities and municipalities is seen to take place in October, or upon the release of the Joint Memorandum Circular between DILG and the Department of Budget and Management.

Athletes' village next in CDO dev't plan

By Nef Luczon (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY--The local government is planning to establish an Atheletes' Village following the Bronze-medal win by Kagay-anon 20-year-old Carlo Paalam in the recent Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Mayor Oscar Moreno said the creation of a sports facility and center for athletes will likely happen after the completion of the second city hospital in Barangay Lumbia in 2019. A sports training center is also planned to be constructed in the same barangay.

"We hope we will start with the boxers," Moreno said, citing that his office has been in good relations with the Philippine boxing community since he was then the governor of the province of Misamis Oriental.

"There will be two-storey athletes' quarters... after the boxing ring, we will later put up ovals, followed by a swimming pool," he said.

Prior to joining the Asian games, Paalam won three gold medals in three international boxing matches this year, including a bronze medal at the World Boxing Championship in Uzbekistan.

SHDA holds 27th National Developers Convention in Cagayan de Oro

By JO ANN SABLAD

TO UPDATE its national members with the latest and relevant issues and laws in the housing industry, the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA) has conducted its 27th National Developers Convention anchored on the theme: "Roadmap to Balai."

Held in Xavier Sports and Country Club in Cagayan de Oro on September 13 and 14, the convention was organized to gather everyone involved in the housing industry to inform them of the latest laws, regulations, improvements and problems in the said industry.

"This is where we gather and present to them both the government side, because housing industry is highly regulate, and we always gather from the different chapters, the different regions, their concerns in terms of their business," said Christopher Narciso, national president of SHDA.

"SHDA, our mandate really is to be the representative of the housing developers to be able to lobby with government and other industries," he added.

Through its Philippine Housing Industry Roadmap, which was launched in 2012, SHDA envisions to eliminate the housing backlog by the year 2030; having a shared goal with the National Housing Program Balai (Building, Accessible, Livable, Affordable and Inclusive) 2018 campaign led by the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

"The housing roadmap actually identifies the housing demand and supply and base on that, we established the housing backlog present in the country. That roadmap more or less puts together all the relevant statistics and data," Narciso said.

"From there, we were able to synthesize the supply-demand, as well as the prevalent issues and hurdles that is preventing the industry from improving the quantity, affordability of housing production," he added.

The roadmap, according to the SHDA national president, was presented to the different government agencies and key shelter agencies, which include the National Economic and Development Authority, Board of Investments, and HUDCC.

It also has been the basis for the industry to formulate new initiatives and directives that guide them with how they can collaborate with their government counterparts.

"It's always been in the DNA of SHDA, ever since it's conception in 1970, and its actually part of our mandate, that SHDA works together without government counterparts to address the issues in terms of housing in the country," Narciso said.

He also mentioned that they have been continuously updating the roadmap, the latest update being in 2016.

"And this year, we're starting again a fresh round of updates so hopefully we should be able to put that together and present it by next year," Narciso said.

The 27th National Developers Convention desires that together, the private housing developers and the government entities, will find the most immediate and permanent solutions towards achieving their common dream of providing a house for every Filipino.

Consul General Lin Li visits Cagayan de Oro

By PJ ORIAS

CHINESE Consul General Lin Li visited Cagayan de Oro City on Monday, September 17, to strengthen the People's Republic of China's relationship with the City of Golden Friendship.

During his speech at the flag raising Monday, Lin Li praised the leadership of Mayor Oscar Moreno for bagging awards. He hailed the warmth of Cagayan de Oro people.

"I am deeply impressed with your beautiful city, and the openness, warmth hospitality of your friendly people. This only suggests that Cagayan de Oro is truly City of Golden Friendship under your strong leadership," Li said to Moreno.

Li said he hopes that the strong bond between the Filipino-Chinese community in the city will continue.

China has designated Li Lin as its consul general, a position that accords the designated officer the important functions in the embassy. He is based in Davao City, the first consulate to be established outside of the national capital region.

Cagayan de Oro holds coastal cleanup

By PJ ORIAS

THE City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) held over the weekend a massive cleanup in the coastal areas of Cagayan de Oro from Barangays Bulua to Bugo to mark the International Coastal Cleanup Day (ICC) on September 15.

Elvisa Mabelin, head of the Solid Waste Management Division, said tons of garbage were collected by various organizations during the cleanup activity, which started around 6 a.m.

The international simultaneous event was held in the mountains, watersheds, coastal areas, river systems, major thoroughfares, parks, drainage, river banks, beach areas, and offices.

Mabelin said the event was successful, but she urged the public that every day should be cleanup day and develop the habit to reduce, reuse and recycle any plastic materials they use.

She said when going to the beach, everyone should be responsible for their waste and should work hard to leave no trace.

Presidential Proclamation 470 declares the third Sunday of September of each year as the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day in observance of the Global Coastal Cleanup celebrations.

International Coastal Cleanup is the largest volunteer effort for ocean's health as people gather on beaches, coasts, rivers, waterways and underwater dive sites to remove trash and record information on the debris collected.

Results will aid in better waste management policies/plans, product packaging designs and in stirring environmental consciousness among the people.

Groups back bill strengthening IPs role in managing conservation areas

(NEDA-10/X)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA) - Recognizing the role of indigenous peoples (IPs) in managing key biodiversity and critical areas, various groups recently rallied behind House Bill (HB) 115 or the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Conserved Areas and Territories (ICCA) Act.

In a forum co-organized by the National Economic and Development Authority – Regional Office X (NEDA-X) and the Xavier Science Foundation (XSF), representatives from the national government agencies, local government units, civil society, RDC-X accredited private sector organizations, academe, and the IP groups and mandatory representatives moved to support the bill filed by Representative Teddy Brawner Baguilat of the Lone District of Ifugao Province.

“The bill aims to provide a system of recognition, registration, protection and promotion of the ICCAs in the country, strengthen land governance in ICCAs, and recognizes Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices (IKSP) as effective conservation mechanisms”, Baguilat said.

The ICCAs refer to ecosystems containing high biodiversity values, ecological services, and cultural values which are voluntarily managed by IP groups and local communities though customary laws or other effective means.

XSF Executive Director Roel R. Ravenera said that based on international studies, areas managed by local communities/IPs are better in terms of conservation and preservation.

Currently, about 10 million Filipinos are IPs and many of them live in protected areas which are also considered biodiversity hotspots and critical areas.

There were three panelists from the academe, government sector, and IP group who unanimously support the region’s objective to continually adopt sustainable resource utilization practices and activities, and respect for human rights, beliefs, traditions and culture of the IPs.

The workshop also generated inputs and recommendations to enhance the provisions of the bill.

Collection improves in Oro public markets

By PJ ORIAS

A CAGAYAN de Oro City Councilor said more market vendors are paying their dues religiously as the City Economic Enterprise Development (CEED) implements reforms at the city's public markets.

For the past years, City Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya said delinquent vendors have been a perennial problem of the City Government, pointing out that the markets' earnings are deficit- spending more than what it earns in a year.

But now, Nacaya said the markets can support its operations without asking an amount from the city.

"Ang collection, like for example sa markets, dili nata deficit, ang atong income mosobra pa sa atong expenses. Sa 30 years nga na organize ang CEED for the first time, tinuod nga greenlight, dili na magsubsidize, ang expenses ug capital outlay ug uban pa, atoa na sa merkado (The markets’ income exceed their expenses. For the first time in 30 years when CEED was organized, markets are no longer subsidized including expenses and capital outlay)," Nacay said, the chairman of the City Council committee on enterprise.

Vendors usually pay their business license renewal rate, as well as the 20 percent of the total amount of their delinquency and settle their overdue rates.

"Consistent nga collection, ug reminder sa vendors sa ilang obligasyon. Sa una, ang city kada tuig tapal para sa market spendings pero this year, it's different (Consistent collection and reminder to vendors of their obligation. Before, the city always pay for the market spending but this year, it’s different)," he added.

Meanwhile, the City Council last week approved a P22-million budget as part of the modernization of Cogon and Puerto public markets.

CEED will use the amount to build their own office at Cogon market, cover the cost of CEED computerization as well as the repair of Puerto market, kiosk or collectors’ booth, among others.

A CCTV system will also be installed in the markets.

XU Glee Club wins gold, silver prizes in Indonesian Choral Festival

(PR)

THE Xavier University Glee Club has brought home two significant accolades after representing Cagayan de Oro City in the first Soegijapranata Choral Festival.

Held in Semarang City, Java, Indonesia on September 6-9, the choral festival was the first international competition conducted by Soegijapranata Catholic University’s Gratia Choir.

Among 48 choirs, XUGC was the only choral group from the Philippines.

Although the festival was open to international participants, XUGC was the only choir outside of Indonesia selected to join in the said event.

With stunning performances that introduced authentic Filipino culture to an Indonesian audience, XUGC won gold in the Folklore Category and silver in the Mixed Choir Category.

The competition consisted of eight categories: Kindergarten, Children Choir, Teenage Choir, Mixed Youth Choir, Mixed Choir, Equal Voices, Sacred Music, and Folklore.

Their vocal prowess tugged the heartstrings of listeners and viewers with an exceptional playlist that resonated with Maguindanaoan, Ilocano, and T’boli music.

XUGC musical director Vic Angelo Atilano coached the members, composed mostly of students and alumni of Xavier Ateneo whose talents and skills in music have been honed to excel.

“With our minds on the prize, we have continued rehearsing as soon as we landed in Indonesia,” XUGC president Mc John Muring shared. Prior to the festival, XUGC conducted extensive rehearsals, as well as performing in two send-off concerts in August, and singing hymns in masses.

Muring added that the choir was driven to do their best as they were grounded on commitment and unity by representing the university, CDO, and the Philippines.

“Having this as an experience means a lot for us [as a group],” Muring went on. “This became a learning experience and a motivation to practice more for our future competitions.”

With full support from the Xavier Center for Culture and the Arts (XCCA), as it was XCCA director Hobart Savior who had encouraged XUGC to join earlier this year, the choir takes pride in showcasing Filipino music.

Back in 2008, XUGC achieved the same triumph during the Asian Choir Games where they got the silver prize.

Apart from this victory, XUGC was introduced to the objectives of the festival which entailed “the foundation of developing human potential.”

This is paralleled with Xavier Ateneo’s mission for the academic community to experience excellence in all spheres, including music.

HB 115 to empower IP communities, nurture biodiversity

By Recthie T. Paculba (RTP/PIA10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA) -- To empower and recognize the contributions of Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) in biodiversity conservation and protection, House Bill 115 is being pushed for implementation in the country and the world.

Authored by Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat, HB 115 or the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Conserved Areas and Territories (ICCA) Act of 2016 aims to pursue sustainable development, recognition of the rights of ICCs/IPs, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

"Kung sa iba ito (resources) ay trabaho lamang, sa kanila (IPs) ito ay buhay (For others, caring for the resources is just part of their job, but for the IPs, this is life)," Baguilat said.

In the forum on HB 115 spearheaded by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in Region 10 on September 12, Datu Johnny B. Guing, 53, of the Talaandig tribe, affirmed Baguilat's statement.

He said they rely mainly on the resources in the mountains of Bukidnon for their livelihood and cultural enrichment but they always see to it that everybody can benefit from their efforts in protecting the environment.

"Kung na-opaw na ang lugar, pasabot ana wala na pud ang tribu diha nagpuyo. Busa, kinahanglan usab sa tribu nga matabangan sa gobyerno ug mga grupo aron mapadayon ang pagbantay sa kinaiyahan (If the area becomes denuded, that means there are no more tribes living in it. Thus, the tribes need help from the government and groups so we can continue safeguarding the resources)," Guing said.

To pursue this goal, Baguilat said that with the government's and the world's involvement, the IPs will have the courage to spread stewardship of watersheds and forests.

The partnership will also strengthen the integrity of the ICCs.

With the IPs' traditional governance, Baguilat said an inclusive government is not just ensured as the country will also reap the gains of having a responsive sector which can aid in sustainable management and development.

"HB 115 is in line with the region's objective to continually adopt sustainable resource utilization practices and activities, and respect for human rights, beliefs, traditions and culture of the IPs," NEDA Regional Director Mae Esther Guiamadel said.

"The successful realization of which shall inch the region's way forward to the shared aspiration for Filipinos, including the IPs, to enjoy a 'matatag, maginhawa at panatag na buhay' (stable, convenient and assured life) by 2040," Guiamadel added.

The HB 115 forum is conducted across the country in regional clusters to inform the Filipinos on the salient points of the bill and generate inputs and recommendations to enhance the provisions of the bill.

MisOr to introduce greenhouse technologies

By JO ANN SABLAD

THE Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental is planning to introduce new agriculture technologies to small-scale farmers in a bid to boost the agriculture sector in terms of production.

According to Jose Apollo Pacamalan, Provincial Agriculturist's Office (Pagro) head, they are eyeing two greenhouse technologies: the drip irrigation and hydroponics.

Pacamalan said these technologies will provide solution to the issue on the lack of agricultural land in Misamis Oriental.

“Right now, because of the issue na lumiliit na ‘yung areas for farming, dumadami yung mga tao who want more food, nag increase ‘yung persons who can buy more food,” Pacamalan said.

“The idea is, producing more with less land. Less land, more production,” he added.

Drip irrigation is a technique in which water flows through a filter into special drip pipes, with emitters located at different spacing. Water is distributed through the emitters directly into the soil near the roots.

Hydroponics involves growing plants without using soil, feeding them on mineral nutrient salts dissolved in water.

These greenhouse technologies will be introduced not only to small scale farmers but also to the household level.

“The reason we are studying that is because later on, we need, the same reason, we don't have enough area in Misamis Oriental so we need to have advancements in terms of learning the technology and at the same time, developing a system na mas household-based para we don't need a large plot of land to produce food,” Pacamalan said.

The Pagro head said they already started the planning, designing and technical preparation for the technologies until December of this year.

They will be partnering with the Department of Agriculture, universities such as Xavier University and University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines, and private sectors.

In the first six months of 2019, January to June, Pacamalan said they will set up trials of the said technologies and the next six months, July to December of 2019, they will start putting up household to test the technologies in terms of capacity building and improving the system.

He also mentioned that they are looking at Opol, Gitagum, Libertad, Tagoloan, Magsaysay, and other areas where the land area is limited and where poverty incidence and malnutrition is prevalent.

Pacamalan said in 2010, the greenhouse technologies will be implemented in the province.

“That means by 2020, we'll have a number of farmers who will be implementing the system. Our next step is to link the farmers to the market, to make sure that they are connected with market, like supermarkets, and vegetables are being sold in the public market,” he said.

Oro to strengthen mental health program

By PJ ORIAS

A PARTNERSHIP between the Cagayan de Oro City Council and the Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA) is in the offing to strengthen the city's mental health program.

The memorandum of understanding (MOA), endorsed by the city council committee on health and sanitation, is still at the committee on laws and rules.

Under the MOA, the mental health association shall conduct training and seminars on mental health to the city barangay health workers.

The health workers will be trained to identify early signs and symptoms of mental disorders and how to deal with the problem.

City Mayor Oscar Moreno earlier disclosed that one of his administration's target is to put up a mental hospital in the city.

At present, the city has been transporting its mentally-challenged persons to Davao City for treatment because of the lack of facility here.

The City Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Southern Philippines Medical Center of Davao City in June two years ago for this set-up.

The MOU allows the city to transport mentally-challenged persons here to Davao City for treatment.

MisOr allocates P2M for tourism convention

By ALWEN SALIRING

THE Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental is spending some P2 million for the 19th national convention of the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) on October 3 to 5, as the province was picked to host the three-day activity here.

Lawyer Jeffrey Saclot, head of the provincial tourism department, said the three-day activity will be attended by over 1,000 delegates from all over the country, including public officials who chaired tourism committee in their respective localities.

"The capitol is spending P2 million as counterpart as the rest of the funding will be taken from the registration," Saclot said.

Saclot also said they already sent invitation to President Rodrigo Duterte to grace the opening night where Governor Yevgeny Emano is set to showcase his tourism programs for the province.

He also said they also asked Senator Nancy Binay, the senate committee chair on tourism and Senator Cynthia Villar, committee on agriculture chair, to also join the activity.

On the third day, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat is also expected to grace the convention.

Saclot said the preparation is being finalized especially the immersion tours of the participants to the different tourist attractions in the province.

He said through this activity, the world will get to know that Misamis Oriental is slowly becoming a major tourism destination.

Saclot also said among the impact of the ATOP convention in economic aspect is livelihood and employment opportunities.

He said the delegates will also be given the chance to visit the farmers market where top products are being displayed.

"This a big step forward for Misamis Oriental for the world to know that we are serious to make the province a major tourism destination,"Saclot said.

Saclot also said other provinces in the region would also be given the opportunity to showcase the beauty and the best of their province.

Saclot has expressed his gratitude to its partners such as the Cagayan de Oro Hotel and Restaurant Association for the delegates accommodation; the association of tourism officers in the province for the immersion tours; the Department of Tourism-Northern Mindanao and other private partners.

City wins prestigious best education program for constituents

By PJ ORIAS

FOR the second time, Cagayan de Oro was awarded the prestigious Seal of Good Education Governance, an award given to local government units for their outstanding education governance.

The award was received by City Mayor Oscar Moreno and members of the Local School Board during the 12th Washington Sycip National Education Summit Thursday, September 6 at the Philippine International Convention Center. The award was conferred by Synergia Foundation, a coalition of individuals, institutions, and organizations working to improve the quality of basic education.

In his Facebook post, Department of Education-Cagayan de Oro Schools Division Superintendent Jonathan dela Peña said this year, 4 domains were measured for the award.

"Based on incremental gains and improved performance outcomes such as decrease of non-readers and frustration readers, increase in education expenditures via the expanded Local School Board, empowerment of School Governing Councils to craft and implement change initiatives and increase in other key performance indicators in education," he said.

Since 2013, the Moreno administration has built over 600 classrooms and a total of 15 new campuses in the city, mostly in barangays where classroom shortage is a continuing problem.

To do this, Moreno created an expanded Local School Board composed of members of the academe, interfaith groups, the youth, business sector, non-teaching force, parents and teachers associations, Department of Education officials and the City Government's key officials.

Among the qualifications of the award are as follows: local government units must have a broadened membership and functions of their Local School Board, schools should have functional School Governing Councils, a significant improvement of the youth's reading performance, and at least 15 percent decrease of non-readers and frustrated readers in the schools.

Last year, the City also received the award along with other 24 local government units in the country.

BIR to collect P1.95T by end of year thru TRAIN

By Jasper Marie O. Rucat (JMOR/PIA10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA) --The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is expected to collect Php1.95 trillion by December this year through the implementation of the first package of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law by the Duterte administration.

Lawyer Sa’Aduddin L. Macarambon, CPA and supervisor of the assessment section of Revenue District Office No. 98 in Cagayan de Oro City during Talakayan sa PIA on August 30 at SM City Mall said they are tasked to collect Php2 trillion and Php60 billion for 2018 but for the first semester, but they fell short with only 46-47 percent from target collection.

“For December, we are assigned to collect Php1 trillion Php95 billion. We hope to collect that for the remaining months of the year,” he said. Included in package one of the CTRP is the lower income tax rates for employed individuals.

Macarambon said, employees earning 250,000 or below per annum are now exempted of income tax; whereas before TRAIN law, these employees have to pay at least Php 50,000 income tax.

He said, this is additional net income pay especially for employees. This translates to Php12 billion additional money in the pockets of employees.

Changes in the tax rates also include reform in the VAT system, simplification of transfer taxes, state and donors tax at 6 percent, increase in the excise tax on the petroleum products, automobiles and mineral products, excise tax on cosmetic surgeries and sweetened beverages.

There are also products exempt for excise tax under TRAIN.

Macarambon said this includes 100 percent natural juices, soluble coffee (pre-pack mix) 3-in-1 and all milk products.

Although prices have increased but Macarambon explained TRAIN is not solely the reason. There are also other factors that triggered these price increases.

He said, for example, there is spike of oil prices in the world market, rebound of dollar which resulted to lower peso and low agriculture production because of typhoons, among others.

The principle of taxation is not only to generate revenue. Macarambon said one of the non-revenue purposes of taxation is to discourage people from buying unhealthy products and unhealthy foods especially with sin products such alcohol and tobacco or cigarettes.

Macarambon shared we have remaining five more packages for TRAIN.

TRAIN two includes corporate income tax. Package 1+ is tax amnesty. Package two plus is reforms in taxation of sin taxes. Next is royalty on mining corporations. Package 4 is real property valuation and package five is capital income taxation reforms.

This is the golden age of infrastructure. Macarambon said the goal of the TRAIN law is to fund BUILD, BUILD, BUILD project of the government and increase budget on social services like health, education and other programs to alleviate poverty.

Expected under TRAIN law package one is the incremental revenue of Php100-Php130 billion.

If all packages of TRAIN is implemented, the government is expected to gain Php270billion annually.

BOI, DTI-10 link local suppliers with NorMin companies

(DTI10/PIA10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO (PIA)--The Board of Investments (BOI), in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry in Region 10, conducted a region-wide Procurement Matching to link local suppliers with companies.

Nine companies were present to accommodate pre-selected and walk-in suppliers in the business-to-business matching.

DTI-10 Assistant Regional Director Ermedio J. Abang said one of the intentions of the was to realize one of the major advocacies of President Rodrigo Duterte, that is, inclusive growth.

He also said, “Towards developing globally-competitive micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), three intervention areas are needed: business environment, business capacities, and business opportunities.

Meanwhile, BOI-CdeO Extension’s Chief Lourdes Ellen Kionisala shared the importance of patronizing local products.

“Mao ra gyud ang tumong dinhi: Dili na manguha sa laing nasud. Kay wa ta kabalo, ang ingredients sa paghimo ana, gikan ra gyapun dinhi, atong gi export sa laing nasud, unya kita ra gyapuy gapalit.. Mahal ra pa ba gyud ang atong pagpalit,” she said.

(The ultimate goal of this is for the country not to obtain products from other countries. Because we do not know the ingredients in making such products may come from here. We exported such to other countries and eventually we are also the ones who purchase them. We even purchased them in higher prices)

The participants have to follow three steps for the Procurement Matching.

Suppliers have to register, wait for the cue time to meet the buyers, and confirm by signing the agreements made during the buyer-supplier meeting.

“The delivery of products and the payment of delivered products will happen after the procurement matching.

We are just here to document all your agreements and the business-to-business agreements will be documented through the procurement matching,” BOI-CdeO’s Assistant Division Chief Irwin Jayson Jamaca said.

USTP, a hub for technopreneurship, digital technology

By Jasper Marie O. Rucat (JMOR/PIA10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA) -- The University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) Cagayan de Oro (CDO) campus has opened two hubs: technopreneurship and digital technology to kick start the development of innovation ecosystem in the region.

In celebration of their second anniversary on August 15, USTP CDO Chancellor Dr. Ruth G. Cabahug disclosed during Talakayan sa PIA, they had been granted Php12 million by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to put up techoprenuership center that provides capability building to faculty, among others.

Further, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has also granted them Php12 million to establish digital technology hub. This houses 20 incubates or potential startups in the city for their ideas to become full-fledged businesses.

Vanessa V. Ascaño, vice president of Finance Planning and Development, said USTP aims to become a nationally recognized science and technology university providing the vital link to education and economy.

Although there are perceived gaps such as jobs skills mismatch, innovation lagging behind ASEAN neighbors, Ascaño said, “We are trying to make a difference in this part of the country.”

She said, the change started when USTP was born two years ago.

There was an amalgamation of two universities namely the Misamis Oriental State College of Agriculture and Technology (MOSCAT) in Claveria Misamis Oriental and the Mindanao University of Science and Technology (MUST). MUST was composed of five campuses: CDO, Jasaan, Oroquieta and Panaon and the main campus will be in Alubijid soon to rise, she said.

Now, all of these is under one name: USTP.

In terms of infrastructure projects, Lawyer Jonathan S. Oche, vice president for Administration and Legal Affairs, said the biggest challenge is the laying of the foundation of the main campus, in the 292 hectares property in Alubijid, Misamis Oriental.

Also, he said two Science and Technology parks will be built. One in the main campus in Alubijid and one in Claveria, Misamis Oriental.

Meanwhile, ongoing infra projects in the CDO campus include a P 80 M three-storey technology building to be finished in September.

Also this year, he said, will be the start of bidding of two more projects: Faculty Learning Center worth Php320M and Sports Complex and Residences worth Php250million.

Oche also said they are going to award Flood Protection System in CDO campus worth almost Php90million. This year, a bidding will also be called for the construction of Design Engineering and Fabrication Laboratory worth Php33M.

USTP celebrated their founding anniversary on August 16-17 with the theme, “Strengthening the Role of USTP in Advancing Inclusive Economic Growth.”

MisOr mulls P159-M budget to boost tourism

By Jigger Jerusalem (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The local government of Misamis Oriental is planning to allocate around PHP159 million to develop new tourism sites and to upgrade existing ones.

Lawyer Jeffrey Saclot, the provincial tourism officer, said the drive to improve the province's tourism industry became a priority after Misamis Oriental was chosen to host the 36th annual Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (Atop)--a national convention that will take place next month.

Saclot said that the proposed budget is intended for the infrastructure projects of tourism destinations in Misamis Oriental, and possibly be included in next year’s annual budget.

This year, the provincial government has already released millions of pesos for the upkeep of existing tourist destinations, Saclot said, although he did not cite specific figures.

He said tourism remains a priority program of Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano, whose aim is not just to develop and promote the province’s tourist spots but also for the communities living within the sites to generate income.

Among the sites that will be further developed is the Sagpulon Falls in Jasaan town, which will need P10 million for construction of open and close cottages and for other amenities.

Aside from the local government funds, the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza) has also set aside P10 million for the trail going to Sagpulon Falls and will be releasing the amount soon once the paperwork is concluded, Saclot said.

Another P10 million for the jump-off point and boardwalk going to the Agutayan reef, also in Jasaan, was already earmarked.

The upgrading of the Alibuag Cold Spring in Medina town, he said, will be made possible with the PHP10 million funding, while the provincial government has pledged PHP3 million for the construction of additional cottages in Alibuag Beach Resort in the municipality of Sugbongcogon.

The Our Lady of Lourdes shrine in Binunangan town, he said, was included in the development initiatives, with the area being considered as one of the religious tourism sites in the province. The province will be building a swimming pool near the shrine worth PHP5 million.

Two mountain resorts in Naawan town, the Bolyok Spring and the Mahangob Falls, will be developed using the PHP10 million fund already allocated for these sites.

The famous “bibingka” (rice cake) of the municipality of Manticao, meanwhile, will be further promoted through packaging and marketing, he said.

“We’ve recommended the [Gov. Emano] to put up a "pasalubong center" in the province and he is very positive about this,” Saclot said, adding that Steag, a power-generating company, is set to donate P10 million for the project.

Saclot said the “pasalubong center” (souvenir shop) will be located either in Alubijid or Laguindingan and will serve as a final stop for local and foreign tourists before going to the airport in Laguindingan.

Saclot said they will also be helping the barangay and municipal governments of Laguindingan to expand the Tubajon Aquamarine Park, which recently won in a nationwide competition for the cleanest coastline.

“We want to preserve the ecotourism setup there (Tubajon), that means no concrete structures, just bamboo, and other native materials, and we are planning on expanding the mangrove plantation,” he said.

He said the park was chosen as one of the destinations of the delegates of the Atop convention, with participants coming from all over the country.

MinDA, SHFC partner for Do No Harm confab

(MinDA and TFBM)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY-- Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) with Do No Harm (DNH) trainers of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) organized a three-day Capacity Building on Conflict Sensitivity and DNH held in Cagayan de Oro City, August 8-10, 2018.

The capacity building is embedded on nurturing local capacities for peace “Towards Peaceful and Effective Rebuilding of Marawi City.”

The training is also part of the results chain for MinDA’s Do No Harm Mindanao Program wherein a series of CS-DNH Training was conducted for Task Force Bangon Marawi and all other key players in the rehabilitation of Marawi City and its environs.

MinDA currently has a pool of DNH trainers to tap in facilitating orientation seminars or awareness training on Conflict Sensitivity and DNH.

Having joined the DNH Orientation for TFBM last year, SHFC requested for an in-depth training for team members to ensure conflict-sensitive approach to all aspects of their shelter and livelihood project in Marawi City. The participants of the training were the officers and staff from UN-Habitat, local government unit (LGU)-Marawi City and SHFC.

Aside from DNH training, relevant topics on the ‘The Maranao Culture: History, Structure and Social Dynamics’ as well as Islamic Financing were emphasized in order to equip the participants with the effective tools in project implementation.

Joint Task Force Ranao deputy commander Col Romeo Brawner Jr., meanwhile discussed the Military Perspective on the Marawi rehabilitation and reconstruction and shared about the ongoing security, engineering and civil-military operations.

Highlights of the training include the coming up of strategies in overcoming conflict in resource transfers; identifying potential dividers and connectors in relation to their shelter program as well as mapping key stakeholders and potential partners.

Through the training, participants from SHFC, UN-Habitat, LGU-Marawi were able to formulate a way forward plan wherein a conflict-sensitive lens is integrated.

Household mapping pushed

By PJ ORIAS

A CITY official urged barangay officials to conduct household mapping as part of Cagayan de Oro's efforts to pursue a more concentrated urbanization path.

In the next years to come, City Administrator Teddy Sabuga-a hopes that every household in every barangay is profiled and identified through household mapping.

Sabuga-a said the city might not be able to control the pace of its fast-growing population, but it will work to at least monitor movement in the barangay level.

After training barangay tanods, Sabuga-a said they are now aiming at making efficient partnership with the barangays especially in terms of responding to calamities.

"Our problem now is when calamities strike, for example, if there's fire, and when our social workers respond to the area, the assessment of the total household affected is doubled. More people are coming in and are asking for assistance even if they are not affected with the fire, so this becomes a problem, we have no validation," he said.

"The household mapping also allows us to monitor the people coming in and out of your barangay," he added.

Sabuga-a said this effort might be small, but this is first step toward realizing the vision of President Rodrigo Duterte to make the city the country's fourth economic center.

"In the long-term plan, we want to have a system to make it easier for us plan the development of Cagayan de Oro," he said.

City Hall awards Oro's 3 best restaurants

By PJ ORIAS

THE City Health Office (CHO) named Monday, September 3, three restaurants as Cagayan de Oro's best, recognizing their adherence to food and sanitation standards.

Kagay-anon Restaurant, Cucina Higala, and Minindal Cuisine are among the three restaurants that were conferred with awards during the weekly flag raising at the City Hall.

Environmental Sanitation Chief Sergio Ramon Bautista of the CHO said over 1,000 restaurants in Cagayan de Oro were evaluated until it came up with three names.

"Prior to the contest, our sanitary inspectors evaluated these restaurants if they passed our food sanitation standards. They were evaluated several times, and these three restaurants got the rating of more than 90 percent," Bautista said.

He said it is one of the CHO's advocacies to ensure that all restaurants in the city comply with standards, such as cleanliness, safety, city health cards for each employee, and has a food safety officer, among others.

City Administrator Teddy Sabuga-a said this is part of the City Government's continuing efforts to be competitive and make Cagayan de Oro a destination for food tourism.

Australian Embassy officials visit Oca

By PJ ORIAS

HIGH-RANKING officials from the Australian Embassy in Manila on Thursday met with Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno to discuss the city's development programs and future possible partnerships.

In his radio program, Moreno said they shared a good discussion.

"Philippines and Australia enjoy a very long, warm, deep friendship. When I was governor of Misamis Oriental, daghan ilang natabang sa ato, we're one of those chosen for a project given by the Australian AID," he said.

Moreno said the province then was a recipient of the project called the Provincial Maintenance Road Facility, which aimed at concreting roads in remote areas of Misamis Oriental.

"The delegation also came here to build strong partnership and strengthen it, and also to indicate that they might come back," he added.

Mayor Moreno also briefed the delegation about the local government’s strategies in promoting peace and stability in the city and the region through participatory approach in governance.

The delegation is headed by Mat Kimberly, Deputy Head of Mission of the Australian Embassy; Rachel Cusack, Second Secretary; Luke Lyons, Security Services Manager and Kloe Carvajal, Research Officer.

CDO underground cable system in the works

By Nef Luczon (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY--The Task Force on Information Communication Technology (ICT) here has been given the green light to initiate the “Project Velez,” an initiative that aims to replace the current aerial cable system into an underground system.

The project will consist of three phases and will initially implement the underground cable system in the city's three main thoroughfares--Velez and Corrales streets, and CM Recto Avenue, a national road, said Engr. Teodoro Buenavita Jr., regional director of National Telecommunications Commission in Region 10 (NTC-10).

Buenavista, one of the task force’s convenor, said a conference on August 31 is expected to iron out the specific target dates and other preparations for the relocation of the current electric wires and network cables.

He said an existing underground cable system owned by Misortel, a telephony service provider owned by the provincial government of Misamis Oriental, will be tapped for the initial phase of the project.

He said the Misortel facility was constructed in the early as 2000 in partnership with South Korea investors, and has been underutilized since.

“Actually, there is an existing underground facility with a win-win solution for Misortel. Cable owners will now be renting the facilities. So (this will be) a potential source of revenue of Misortel,” he said. “We checked the manholes and it’s still in good condition,” the NTC-10 chief added.

With the Misortel facility, he said there was no longer a need to do extensive excavations for the meantime as it only requires the transfer of the existing wires hanging on the posts directly beneath Misortel facility.

Flood-prone areas such as in CM Rect can be resolved through an “engineering design,” he said.

Tesda-NorMin sets World Cafe of Opportunities in August

By JO ANN SABLAD

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) in Misamis Oriental will be launching a “one-stop-shop” of employment opportunities for technical vocational education and training (TVET) graduates and alumni on August 25 and 26 in Robinsons Cagayan de Oro.

The two-day regional World Cafe of Opportunities (WCO), as part of the 24th Anniversary of Tesda and celebration of National Technical-Vocational (Tech-Voc) Day, is one of the strategies of agency to link the TVET graduates and alumni to employment opportunities both in wage and self-employment.

“Kana sya nga programa, designed ka na sya para sa tanang TVET graduates or alumni nga wala pa makatrabaho. Especially kanang naa gyud sa construction sector, amo kamong gi-invite anang adlawa, dalha lang ninyo ang inyong mga credentials (This program is designed for all unemployed TVET graduates or alumni. Especially those who are in the construction sector, we invite you all to attend the activity on that day, just bring your credentials),” engineer Nazario Villamor Jr., officer-in-charge-provincial director of Tesda-Misamis Oriental, said.

National government agencies, private companies, technical-vocational institutions and financial institutions will all converge during the two-day activity to offer all possible employment, training and financing opportunities and facilitate higher job-skill matching.

According to Villamor, the agencies that will participate in WCO includes: the Department of Labor and Employment, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Cooperative Development Authority, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Public Works and Highways, Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines, among others.

“Unya kato pong gusto og training, kato pong duna pay available nga slots, atong gipang-invite ang (Those who wanted to register in the training, if there are still available slots, we invited some) technical and professional institutions para mahitabo na sya nga (so it can be a) national enrollment day on that day,” Villamor said.

“Kung gusto sa TVET graduate nga gusto sya mo-undergo og entrepreneurship, naa gi-invite nato ang DTI nga maoy makahatag sa ato og assistance og sa financing naa ang Land Bank of the Philippines og ang Development Bank of the Philippines (If the TVET graduate wanted to undergo entrepreneurship, we invited DTI to for assistance and for financing, we have the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines),” he added.

In connection with the National Tech-Voc Day, there will be simultaneous celebration of National TVET Enrolment Day and World Cafe of Opportunities in 17 regions nationwide.

On February 7, 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Republic Act 10970 which declares August 25 and every year thereafter the National Technical-Vocational Day nationwide.

Oro waste management summit set August 23

By PJ ORIAS

A SUMMIT on solid waste management is slated on August 23 to increase awareness on the importance of waste segregation in the barangay level.

City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) head Engineer Armen Cuenca said the summit aims to highlight the barangays' role in waste reduction.

"We want to instill in their minds that what the city should only collect is residual wastes, and that the barangay has to collect biodegradable wastes and recyclable," Cuenca said.

Based on a waste analysis study conducted in 2014, every person in Cagayan de Oro generates 0.76 kilo of waste per day. As the population grew, the volume of garbage generated daily has reached 1,000 tons.

According to Clenro, public markets remain the biggest source of waste, followed by general stores, institutions, and households.

Edgar Naguio, head of the Community-Based Solid Waste Management, said to date, only barangays Gusa, Tablon, and Canitoan are so far practicing proper waste management, by implementing "No Segregation, No Collection Policy".

Naguio said barangays Lapasan, Cugman, Bugo, and Puerto in the first district of Cagayan de Oro are among the barangays with poor waste management, while barangay Carmen is the number one waste generator in the second district.

Cuenca said he hopes that after the summit, all 80 barangays of Cagayan de Oro will be compliant to laws on proper waste management otherwise they will be forced to file cases against erring barangay officials.

Oro’s 2nd Lumba’ Bike Festival on Aug. 18-19

(LLS)

CYCLING enthusiasts in the locality will get to have some fun.

This, as the 1990 batch of Xavier University High School–Ateneo de Cagayan (XUHS) and the City Government of Cagayan de Oro will be hosting the 2nd Lumba’ Bike Festival at the back of SM Uptown grounds on Aug. 18-19.

Spicing up the two-day activity includes band concerts, bike exhibits, raffle draws and other related festive activities.

According to project director Mark Orlando “Jhovals” Vallecer II, the highlight of Lumbafest is the road bike and mountain bike race Elite series, which is the group’s signature event from SM Uptown grounds to Talakag, Bukidnon and back.

Vallecer said it will be followed by the Duathlon event the following day.

Participants of the festival are the ever growing bike enthusiasts and companies all over Mindanao and from Luzon and the Visayas where they will also showcase not just their biking skills --but also conduct bike clinics for adults and children-- and to showcase the latest bike products and models.

This city government-sanctioned activity is part of the “Higala-ay Festival 2018”, a month long celebration of the Cagayan de Oro Fiesta.

Vallecer further said that part of the pre-fiesta event’s net income will be spent for projects for the benefit of House of Hope, a non-profit Psychiatric Custodial care facility at Palalan, Lumbia, Cagayan de Oro City and Calabrian Children’s Foundation [CCF], a non-profit home for destitute and Abandoned Children in Zone 3, Bayabas, Cagayan de Oro City.

Capitol holds monthly clean up drive

By ALWEN SALIRING

EMPLOYEES of the Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental are ordered to participate in the year-round clean up drive around the premises of the Capitol compound.

The initiative started Friday, August 10 and will be done regularly every first Friday of the month.

Provincial administrator Jocelyn Lood-Mateo said that capitol workers must lead in maintaining the cleanliness and sanitation.

Capitol officials have seen the said move as an effective method to encourage the public to also clean their respective surroundings to ward off illnesses such as dengue and other health problems.

Mateo said all department heads and chiefs of offices are also joining the mass grooming of all trees stood within the vicinity of the capitol once every six months.

Governor Yevgeny Emano lauded the said effort to educate people the value of cleanliness to prevent diseases even as he urged the public to join the activity.

The activity falls under the capitol's health program which is among the eight pillars of the Emano administration.

Oro’s DRRMC nominated for Gawad Kalasag

(SunStar Cagayan De Oro)

AFTER bagging the Best Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) in the regional level, the Cagayan de Oro City's DRRMC is yet again nominated this time, for the Gawad Kalasag National Award.

Allan Porcadilla, CRDDMD officer-in-charge said the nomination was made after its office won the Best DRRMC for five consecutive years now.

He said the competition is going to be tough considering that their rivals are big cities that are also best in their respective regions.

Porcadilla admitted that the CDRRMD has still a long way to go in terms of equipment.

"But we are striving to be better every day, so far our teams are equipped with knowledge and can respond to emergencies really well," he said.

Cagayan de Oro's disaster risk reduction and management council (DRRMC) was named as the Best DRRMC in the highly urbanized city category. Oro Rescue was also hailed as the Best Government Emergency Management or GEM.

Gawad Kalasag an annual award recognizing groups who rendered outstanding contribution in disaster risk reduction and humanitarian assistance.

It also aims to appreciate individuals, groups or institutions which have shown extraordinary courage, heroism and sacrifice in times of emergencies, be it natural or human-induced.

MisOr tops fight against malnutrition

By ALWEN SALIRING

THE Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental has received recognition from the National Nutrition Council for besting other provinces in Northern Mindanao in the fight against malnutrition.

Through the efforts of the Nutrition division of the Provincial Health Office, the province topped in reducing the incidence of malnutrition of five years old kids and below in the region.

"Tungod sa panaghiusa sa tanang departamento, nagmalampuson ang atong kampanya batok sa malnutrisyon," the capitol said.

Malnutrition is among the problem faced by parents in the province especially those who are less capable to provide their children with good nutrition.

The capitol said the various programs of the provincial government such as supplemental feeding, distribution of vitamins and medicines, among others are the factors for the significant decrease of malnutrition cases in the province.

Misamis Oriental got the lowest percentage of malnutrition incidence with 3.8 percent or 3,023 children, followed by Misamis Occidental with 4.5 percent 1,365 kids; Bukidnon with 4.6 percent or 6,015 children and Lanao del Norte with 9 percent or 6,790 kids.

Governor Yevgeny Emano lauded the hard work of his employees in delivering the best service to the people, especially to the children.

This as he vowed to pour out more support and assistance in his health-related programs.

Tech-voc training for Oro’s marginalized youth

By PJ ORIAS

THE Cagayan de Oro City Council has passed an ordinance establishing the Cagayan de Oro Technical Vocational Institute (CDO-TVI) in an aim to level up the City Government's skills training program especially for the out-of-school youths.

The CDO-TVI will stand at the old site of the Agusan National High School in Zone 2, barangay Agusan, and in other areas of the city.

According to the ordinance authored by committee on education chairperson Councilor Zuzette Magtajas-Daba, there is a need to sustain the gains achieved by the local government unit by expanding its educational program through technical skills and vocational training to the residents.

Daba said this is also an answer to the demand of skilled workers locally and internationally.

CDO-TVI shall undertake center-based and community-based skills and livelihood for students from low-income families, out-of-school youths and the marginalized sector.

It will also offer school-based, Mobile Training Program, enterprise-based and Community-Based curricula.

The CDO-TVI will adopt Technical Education and Skills Development Authority's Unified Programs Registration and Accreditation Systems as well as the Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education's senior high school curriculum for its ladderized courses.

Group educates Oro moms on child feeding

By JO ANN SABLAD

AS PART of the International Breastfeeding Week celebration, the Modern Nanays of Mindanao (MNM) started the first day of Hakab Na, on Friday, August 3, teaching the mothers of Cagayan de Oro City on infant and young child feeding.

Hakab Na, the Philippines counterpart of the Global Big Latch On activity, is global synchronized breastfeeding event that aims to popularize breastfeeding.

"Ang (The) Modern Nanays, we promote optimal infant and young child feeding during the first 1000 days. So this is the golden window of opportunity to get that best foundation to start their life," Nadine Angelica Casiño, the founder of Modern Nanays of Mindanao, said.

The MNM started the afternoon event with Bump to Breast, an activity where moms were taught on how to prepare for breastfeeding while still pregnant.

According to Casiño, they invited the best neonatologist in the city to inform the mothers present during the activity on how to be mentally, psycho-socially and emotionally prepared while still pregnant.

"Gihatag namo nga (We gave this) chance for the pregnant mothers of CDO to come and learn about it and prepare. So they can start it right gyud. Kay sometimes ang birth is such an anxious moment for families because it’s like the unknown, especially for first time moms," Casiño said.

"But this is their chance to look into the lens of the experts, the lens of mga (the) moms who have been there also," she added.

The second part of the event was the Kids EAT Right, wherein moms were informed of what they should feed their children, especially the picky eaters, for them to achieve the nutrition they need.

"So we want our kids to eat right, it’s not enough that we feed them, it needs to be the right kind of food. Ang EAT actually means Educate, Ask, and Taste. So we're going to educate the moms about the proper food, unsay naa anang nga (what is in that) kind of food, when to feed your baby, how much food ang i-feed sa baby, ana," Casiño said.

"Tapos ask, it’s a time for you to ask on 'my child is a picky eater, what should I do?' or mag ask na like 'she only likes to eat eggs, what should I do?' So ma-answer sya dinhi. It’s practical advice by modern nanays nga giagi gyud ana nga problems (who underwent those kind of problems)," she added.

The MNM founder also stressed out how information on breastfeeding and proper care and feeding of infant and young child are important, especially in the society where misinformation or fake news is prevalent.

"This is to really bring families together to inform them. Because you don't get this kind of information anywhere. Kung i-google nimo (If you google it), overwhelming ang information there. And too much information, if it’s not confirmed to the right people is dangerous. Too little information is also dangerous," Casiño said.

Modern Nanays of Mindanao is a peer support organization that consists of mothers whose advocacy is to protect and promote natural infant and young child care to provide the best foundations for lifelong health.

Reclamation project eyed

By PJ ORIAS

EMBARKING on land reclamation projects is one of the proposed strategies for Cagayan de Oro City to belong to the list of metropolis areas in the country.

City Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya said Luzon, Cebu, and other neighboring cities are already undertaking reclamation projects to extend borders and walls, and in the long run, for urbanization.

“If we have reclaimed properties in Gusa, Lapasan, Bonbon, Bayabas, Bulua, and according to the city mayor, why not raise the earth in Punta Bonbon, that we can also gather no less than 60 hectares. The city should take the lead in working this out,” he said

Under Presidential Decree No. 1084, land, including foreshore and submerged areas, may be the subject of a reclamation project. Reclamation includes dredging, filling, or other means, and acquiring reclaimed land.

In Republic v. City of Parañaque, the Supreme Court held that reclaimed lands are reserved lands for public use. Ownership of reclaimed lands remains with the State unless withdrawn by law or presidential proclamation from public use.

However, while efforts are being exhausted by the city government to achieve this, the repeated urban flooding is not helping in working towards this goal, the councilor said.

“This has made the city a swamp due to outburst of drainage system, creeks, and riverbanks causing flooding,” Nacaya said.

“Solutions were proposed and discussed, and some are already in the process of working through it but in the meantime, we are still being flooded. We need to see beyond the concerns and problems besetting the city,” he added.

While this “seemed like a good plan,” Francisco Pagayaman, spokesperson of the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap–Northern Mindanao Region (Kadamay-NMR), cautioned the city that reclamation projects could mean displacement of residents.

Pagayaman said the city government should be ready for a plan, particularly preparing relocation sites for the residents who will be affected with reclamation projects.

“Dili lang unta plano para mas mo-tsada ang syudad ang atimanon nila, kundili apil pud ang mga panginabuhian, ang mga katawhan nga mga kabus na mao gyud ang una maapektuhan sa mga reklamasyon (The city should not only plan how to make the city attractive, but they should also include in their plan the livelihood, the poor people who will be affected in reclamation projects),” he added.

Early this year, President Rodrigo Duterte has created a development road map that will strengthen regional centers and see the rise of Cagayan de Oro City as the country’s fourth economic center.

Metro Cagayan de Oro will be established by 2025, joining Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao, according to a draft of the National Economic Development Authority’s Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022.

MetroPac breaks ground on the 9-km ‘East Pipeline’

By PJ ORIAS

Water supply at the city's east service area is seen to improve as the construction of the east pipeline is set to start.

A groundbreaking was held Friday, August 3, 2018 for the East Pipeline connecting the water plant in Baungon, Bukidnon to the Camaman-an reservoir, and is expected to improve supply to 50,000 households or around 30,000 people.

“We believe that this 600 millimeter pipe to be laid along the South Diversion Road in barangays Taguanao, Macasandig and Camaman-an Reservoir, will improve water pressure leading to improved water distribution and in an impactful way, lead to improvement of quality of life for Kagay-anons,” Mikkel Guetierrez said, the chief operation officer of the Metro Pacific Water Investments Corporation.

The pipeline will be turned over and operated by the Cagayan de Oro City Water District (COWD).

Contractors High Valley Multi-purpose Cooperative and JH Patawaran Construction Co. will jointly construct the 9 kilometer pipeline, while E.C. Structural Composites Inc. will undertake the Camaman-an Reservoir retrofitting and waterproofing.

The facility is expected to initially supply an additional 20 million liters per day of treated water to benefit the east service area from Lapasan to Tablon during its 1st year of operations.

The groundbreaking was attended by the COWD board of directors and employees, MetroPac executives, and City Mayor Oscar Moreno.

JCI to spread sustainable development awareness

By JO ANN SABLAD

THE Junior Chamber International (JCI) Kagayhaan Gold is set to spread awareness about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) to students from all over Northern Mindanao through a knowledge game set to be conducted on August 9 in Cagayan de Oro City.

The Knowledge Game 2018 is an initiative by JCI Kagayhaan Gold to advocate for the UNSDGs in the educational sector.

“It’s a multi-sensory at tsaka (and) multiple intelligence game yung gagawin. Acknowledged ngayon that we have multiple intelligence so each of the intelligence meron syang (there's) particular game that is intended for that particular type of intelligence,” Owen Jaen, president of JCI Kagayhaan Gold, said.

Jaen said that in the morning before the game, a session or an awareness workshop will be conducted to help the participating students and teachers understand what the UNSDGs are.

“So in the morning we have sessions on the UNSDG so that the participants will be able to understand what the UNSDGs are and what they can do as students in order to achieve those goals. Parang lecture type na quick lang (It’s a quick lecture type),” Jaen said.

“After the sessions, we will be asking them for possible solutions that they can offer as students. From the innovation, with the things that they can suggest, they can do in their own school to help UN,” he added.

There are 17 sustainable development goals, which includes: No poverty; Zero hunger; Good health and well-being; Quality Education; Gender Equality; Clean water and sanitation; Affordable and clean energy; Decent work and economic growth; Industry, innovation and infrastructure; Reduced inequalities; Sustainable cities and communities; Responsible consumption and production; Climate action; Life below water; Life on land; Peace, justice and strong institutions; and Partnerships for the goals.

JCI's Knowledge Game is to be conducted to address UN's sustainable goal on quality education.

“Yung pinaka (Our) main target namin: quality education. So for us to gauge quality education and for others also to strive for quality education we are coming up with this knowledge game,” Jaen said.

As of August 1, there are 11 schools from all over Northern Mindanao registered in the event:

- Merry Child School (Cagayan de Oro City)

- Paramount School of Arts, Languages, Management,and Sciences Inc. (Valencia City, Bukidnon)

- Hosanna Christian International School (Maramag, Bukidnon)

- Sumilao Bukidnon Tribal Academy (Sumilao, Bukidnon)

‘Hapsay Sapa’ wins international award

By PJ ORIAS

THE Cagayan de Oro City Government's Hapsay Sapa program is getting recognition internationally, winning the 2018 Asian Townscape Award from the Asia-Pacific regional office of the U.N. Habitat, a city official said.

Patrick Gabutina, Hapsay Sapa program coordinator said, the program involves transforming or rehabilitating major creeks in the city to linear parks.

The project is successful in urban barangays, particularly barangays 22, 26, and Lapasan, and they plan to take it to upstream areas, he added.

“I think what they liked in this project is how we involve the community. We do things differently, we don’t issue a notice of eviction or demolition to the illegal settlers beside the creeks, we talk to them instead, make them understand. Sure it's a longer process but at the end of the day they are the ones who volunteer to help. This process is more sustainable especially if we engage the community,” he said.

Established in 2010, the award aims to honor significant efforts made by Asian cities and organizations to improve, revitalize and create a beautiful and harmonious townscape that is safe, sustainable and respectful of history and local cultures. It is organized by the UN Habitat.

The award also highlights the people's efforts to create more beautiful, sustainable, resilient and environmentally friendly townscape at the city, district and community levels.

“We are still waiting for the details of the award and when can we get it. But we are just so overwhelmed that the project is being recognized internationally,” he added.

City hall to implement biometric attendance

By PJ ORIAS

THE Cagayan de Oro City Government is planning to implement a biometric system in all of its offices to efficiently monitor the working hours of the city hall employees.

City Administrator Teddy Sabuga-a said the system should ensure that the services rendered by the employee is accurate and the government is not cheated.

Government offices now use the biometric technology to track employee time and attendance instead of obsolete systems that rely on manually filling out a time-sheet or rely on time card punching.

Sabuga-a said by using biometric technology, the city is also streamlining its payroll processing and having more control on hours of overtime work.

“Ma-track ang status sa mga empleyado, kung nagleave automatic ug deduct (This will track the status of employees, if they are on leave, their salary will be deducted automatically). Hopefully this year we can put up the biometric system in all of the city offices,” he said.

“This is to ensure that the services required by law, particularly the 8 hour work hours are really delivered. It requires your physical presence, no more daily time record or logbook unless there are special arrangements between the employee and his or head,” Sabuga-a said.

The changes came after former City Councilor President Elipe and his sister who was employed in a “flexi-time” scheme, were convicted of graft charges for manipulating her daily time record (DTR).

Pristine Quizon's DTR made it appear that she reported for work during the dates October 25, 29, and 30, 2013 for the payroll period October 16 to 31 2013. But a travel record from the Bureau of Immigration showed that she has been out of the country during the said dates.

Elipe, according to the Ombudsman, that despite being fully aware of Quizon's absence, Elipe still approved and certified the DTR as true and correct, “making it appear that he verified the hours indicated therein.”

Sabuga-a meanwhile pointed out that the changes is not only implemented because of Elipe.

“This is more than him, this is about efficient governance at the City Hall,” Sabuga-a said.

CDO, Norfolk successfully complete first student exchange program

(CDO CIO)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental (PIA)--Sister cities Cagayan de Oro and Norfolk in Virginia, USA have successfully completed the maiden run of the high school student summer visitor exchange program with the six student delegates from Cagayan de Oro returning home with a rich experience from their 15-day stay in Norfolk.

The exchange program held on July 1-15, gave the students from Cagayan de Oro the opportunity to experience family life in another country’s setting, hone their interpersonal skills, cultivate life-long friendships, and deepen cultural awareness and intercultural understanding.

“The exchange program was a great exposure for the students as well as their host families,” Mayor Oscar S. Moreno said, as he welcomed the students and presented them to the media in a press conference on July 30.

The mayor added that the program’s impact is strategic for the residents of both cities citing that their rich 15-day experience will be told in the stories our students will tell their family, friends, and schoolmates, and the host families’ stories they will tell of their time with the students.

“The retelling will go a long way and will foster stronger relations between the people of Norfolk and Cagayan de Oro,” Moreno said. The six students are Shaddrach John Lloyd B. Daba, Grade 12, Lourdes College High School; Lance Nathaniel B. Elot, Grade 11, Xavier University High School; Earl Joy B. Lopina, Grade 12, Xavier University High School; Reine Julia S. Madriaga, Xavier University; Marielle L. Paguidopon, Grade 12, Lourdes College High School, and Elkanah L. Ricardo, Grade 12, Oro Christian Grace School.

Norfolk Sister City Association (NSCA) has prepared an itinerary which enabled the students to gain a wealth of opportunity to appreciate a new culture and our very own on a fresher and deeper level.

The delegates visited monuments, museums, parks, and sites unique to Norfolk like its naval base, botanical park and mermaid factory.

They met with officials of NSCA, as well as city councilors from Norfolk City.

They were also given the opportunity to visit the Philippine Embassy in the District of Columbia and tour the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, DC.

At the Young Global Citizens forum held for the faculty, staff, and students of Academy of International Studies in Norfolk, the students from the city received glowing commendations for their video and power point presentation on the Philippines and Filipino culture, and for ably handling their workshops on the Higaonon dance ritual “dugso”, Pinoy game, “takyan” and ancient writing system “baybayin."

Eileen E. San Juan, Local Economic and Investment Promotions officer of the city, and who is also the focal person of the sister cities program, said the officials of NSCA were impressed by the students’ presentation.

In interactions with their host families, students and various groups in Norfolk, the delegates projected everything very Filipino and Kagay-anon at the same time studied what they could of American and Norfolk history and culture.

Maria Dulce T. Potenciano, executive director of the Local School Board and chairperson of the Selection Team said the students are back as a new person, with their horizon widened. “From this rich yet brief exposure, they gained a wealth of experience,” she added. The student exchange program is a new initiative of the sister cities relations of Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines and Norfolk City, Virginia, USA.

It is aimed at bringing the youth from both cities closer together in a brief yet rich summer program that promotes cultural awareness, and intercultural understanding.

It may be recalled that Cagayan de Oro City and Norfolk City forged a sister city relationship on June 18, 2008.

In the resolution signed by then-Mayor Constantino G. Jaraula of Cagayan de Oro and Paul D. Fraim of Norfolk, both cities recognize their shared similarities as major port cities with maritime and tourism-related activities and businesses.

Both cities also share a treasured historic significance in that Norfolk is the seat of the General Douglas McArthur Memorial, and Cagayan de Oro has the largest replica of the general’s famous “scrambled egg cap”.

Since the twinning agreement has been signed, delegations from Norfolk have visited the city, and Cagayan de Oro has also reciprocated such visits.

CDO eyes establishment of tech-voc institute

(CdeOSP)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)-- The establishment of the Cagayan de Oro Technical Vocational Institute (CDO-TVI) is in the offing.

The City Council committee on laws and rules chaired by Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya is slated to act on the proposed ordinance creating and establishing the CDO-TVI, as approved by the committee on education chaired by Councilor Suzette Magtajas-Daba on Friday.

Mayor Oscar Moreno informed the legislative body that the CDO-TVI is a community-based technical vocational training school, which will operate in accordance with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) standards.

He said the CDO-TVI is intended to address the needs of the city’s constituents and other applicant-trainees for the desired competency and accreditation qualifications.

According to the city mayor, this will help them meet the market demands both locally and internationally, as well as equip them the necessary skills for their occupational, trade and livelihood needs.

The city mayor added that the CDO-TVI shall also offer school-based and technical, vocational education skills development curriculum.

It shall adopt the Unified TVET Programs Registration and Accreditation Systems (UTPRAS) of TESDA, the Senior High Curriculum of the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for its ladderized degree courses.

CDO-TVI shall also serve as an assessment center for acquired competencies in technical-vocational skills.

BOARD

Under the proposed legislation, the governing body of the CDO-TVI shall be a Board of Trustees (BOT), composed of the city mayor as the chair, the executive director of the CDO-TVI as the vice chair and the deputy executive director as the co-vice chairman.

Members are the chair of the City Council committees on education, on youth, on trade and commerce, a representative from the DepEd, representative of TESDA, Oro Chamber of Commerce and the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Cagayan de Oro City, among others.

The board shall enact rules and regulations to carry out the purposes and functions of the CDO-TVI.

The BOT shall, likewise, fix the tuition fees and other school charges, such as but not limited to matriculation fees, graduation fees and laboratory fees, as the board may deem proper to impose after due consultations with the involved sectors, among others.

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