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Cagayan de Oro City News April 2014

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Interactive Google Satellite Map of Cagayan de Oro City
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Cagayan de Oro City within Misamis Oriental
Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
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
Public market of cagayan de oro city misamis oriental.JPG
Cagayan de Oro City Public Market
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The river of cagayan de oro city
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St. Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral
Barangay anim 4500.gif
A Barangay Clearance is NEEDED in order to get a Business License.
So why is the barangay name not in most business addresses?
Ask your Barangay Captain/Chairman to create a Resolution to make it mandatory to put the barangay name in all Business addresses.
Limketkai Center Mall, Cagayan de Oro City.jpg
Flood Waters in the streets of Cagayan de Oro City
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Cagayan de Oro City Buildings
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Bus Terminal, Bulua, Cagayan de Oro City

Flush the recall petition down the toilet bowl

By Susan Palmes-Dennis

THE world is really getting smaller these days and evidence of that was the information I received about plans set afoot to recall or unseat the Cagayan de Oro City mayor which I got from an acquaintance here in Charlotte, North Carolina.

I met this acquaintance during the Nonoy Zuñiga concert last Saturday whose mother is from Cagayan de Oro. This acquaintance asked me if it was true that Moreno was recalled to which I answered, “I have really no idea.”

Actually I freaked out and went home immediately to read the local papers online but I couldn’t find any news except past columns that touched on the popular recall.

Could it be true? I might have missed something. My immediate reaction was if it was true then it is insane.

But the other part of my brain told me this story isn’t true, that it was made up by a few silly people out to discredit Moreno. But I’ve been reading about plans to recall Moreno through the local papers.

Then I started asking people about it and this I have gathered. There was a meeting held at the house of former mayor Vicente Emano where a self-appointed lieutenant proposed to those in attendance to file a recall against Moreno. A name of a businessman was mentioned as a financier to shoulder the recall petition expenses.

So this lieutenant is moving the sea to the mountains, so to speak, by initiating the signature campaign through house-to-house visitations. It was whispered in my ear that there are “barangay kapitanes” under Padayon Pilipino that while loyal to Dongkoy aren’t thrilled with the idea. These are the same “kapitanes” who are friendly to the Moreno camp who informed him about what’s happening.

So let’s talk about the recall process. What is it? As far as I can remember it’s a mechanism provided under the Local Government Code (Republic Act 7160 I guess) that would allow the public to unseat an incumbent official whom they’ve lost all trust and confidence in. The Visayan translation is “ang pagsalig wala na giod (The trust is gone).”

The same provision provides for the period within which to file the petition and also what the Commission on Elections (Comelec) would be doing in the meantime upon receipt of the petition. I fully agree with the rationale of the recall but I don’t agree when it is being used not by the people but by “politicos” or politicians who want to stay in power until their death in office.

These are the very same politicians who will manipulate everyone including their families to gain power. If the people of Cagayan de Oro don’t have confidence in Mayor Oscar Moreno then by all means they should start the campaign on their own and not be goaded by self-serving, manipulative, power-hungry politicians. Cagayan de Oro City residents shouldn’t give the time of day to this councilor who has nothing better to do than to demonize Moreno in order to prop himself up and his discredited patron back in the halls of power.

Let the people, the majority of the city residents, and not Dongkoy’s barangay captains and his cabal work for the recall if they so desire. Loss of confidence my foot, this early when Moreno is barely in his first year in office? That’s a big fat NO. I asked Maricel Casino-Rivera, City Information Officer, on what Moreno’s stand is on the recall petition and she said Mayor Moreno welcomes it.

There are too many recall petitions filed before the Comelec and the results are discouraging to say the least. Why, a recall petition against Emano didn’t prosper at all and it was only in last year’s elections that he was soundly and convincingly booted out by city residents, who cannot stomach his brazen neglect and corruption of aid given by international and national groups to the victims of the 2011 Sendong typhoon devastation.

In the annals of recall petitions, it is only the politicians and not their backers who benefit. It is the politicians like Emano, his deluded minions, and his ilk who had the gall to demand from others to spend money for them in a fruitless and futile recall petition venture intended only to slow down and humiliate Moreno’s administration.

I pity the businessman and others like him who are made to spend for Emano’s recall petition—yes it’s Emano’s recall petition—because the former mayor doesn’t want to spend his “own money” for his misadventure.

To that I say, yeah right. I think Moreno is confident enough to trust that people understand that he is still working on how to improve the city after a decade of decay under the Emano regime.

There may be a recall election and Dongkoy may run but I am 100 percent sure that Moreno will win again and the former mayor would have been defeated twice. But I don’t think the people of Cagayan de Oro would be stupid enough to fall for Dongkoy’s invitation to this downward, spiraling road to electoral perdition.

I answer no. The city residents have had enough of Dongkoy’s lung cancer-infected entrails and fecal, cigarette-stained governance. They want another man for the job, one they know won’t fail them at all.

If these allies of Dongkoy in the Cagayan de Oro City Council have any iota of intelligence, any sense of delicadeza and any shred of conscience and humanity in them, they would drop their allegiance to their Padayon Pilipino lord and master and instead throw their unequivocal, unfettered support behind Moreno.

I say give Moreno a chance. Here in the US, after the elections the Americans forget about their animosity and support the incumbent knowing full well that they are helping themselves and not the person in power. There are still two years left and businessmen spending money for a recall election in order to feed Dongkoy’s perverted sense of entertainment is like flushing boatloads of money down one of the public toilets in Divisoria.

What a criminal waste of one’s funds. Just let Moreno do his job and if he does commit corruption, then take that into account in the 2016 elections.

Otherwise, Cagayan de Oro City residents and the businessman/businessmen and other lowly political lieutenants who are being demanded by Dongkoy to waste their time, money, and votes to unseat Moreno so he could return and perpetuate himself and his minions to power in the City of Golden Friendship would only be royally screwing themselves in the ass.

WORM’S EYEVIEW: Service-oriented and Orderly Abroad; Sana Also at Home

By Manny Valdehuesa


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/26 April)—Remember Dr. Jose Rizal’s essay on “The Indolence of the Filipino?” It confronted the prejudice of Spanish colonials towards Filipinos (whom they called indios) as lazy, lacking in initiative, unreliable, fit only for menial labor and not worth full compensation.

Knowing the true character of Filipinos and their oppressed condition as subjects of an imperious regime, Rizal explained that the alleged laziness of Pinoys was in fact a reflection of their resentment against indignity and maltreatment.

Over three hundred years of indignity and abuse, he explained, created resentment in the hearts and minds of Filipinos—inducing in them an uncooperative attitude towards the colonial regime and a distaste for officious Spaniards who exploited the country’s resources for their own purposes.

Not only that, appearing to be “indolent” disguised their non-cooperation. It was a defense mechanism as well as an offensive reaction against insulting treatment.

Ultimately, it was a form of defiance, a protest against cruelty and oppression. Laziness wasn’t what made Pinoys unwilling to work or to serve the colonials. It was revulsion at the thought of working for basically nothing.


*****

The colonials actually thought they could just demand obedience, tribute, or pro bono service! It didn’t occur to them that no one in his right mind, native or alien, would work for free, earn nothing for livelihood, and let his family starve in the process!

It didn’t help that the government also adopted a policy of compulsory labor from the citizens. Everyone except the privileged classes was required to contribute their labor for the construction of public works projects—without compensation!

It was inevitable therefore that the Pinoys were reluctant to offer their services unless coerced. And when forced to serve, they did so in an improper way.

Intentional bad service was their way of expressing criticism and defiance at the way they were treated. In that context, poor workmanship was also a way of exacting revenge.

A doctor many times over and a keen student of human nature, Rizal knew the Pinoy condition as no one in his generation did. And that’s why his essay on “indolence” is a classic piece of revolutionary writing.

The Castilian overlords overworked and abused the trusting Filipino to the point of killing his will to work, to strive to progress, or even to live. Thus it is understandable that the Filipino would seem to them to be indolent and bereft of resourcefulness.

Ultimately, Rizal rectified the wrong characterization of his fellow countrymen, eloquently presenting their case in the context of colonialism and man’s struggle for dignity and justice.

He showed how Filipinos were second to none as honorable and dignified people, while also exposing the pretentious, elitist, and prejudiced attitudes of the colonial Spaniards.

The context of his other writings also reflected the condition of many colonial societies and made him an iconic figure in the annals of the Malay world—where he is admired to this day.

Thank goodness, we overcame that colonial episode and the cobwebs of prejudice. But the march of civilization never ends and we must ever strive to refine our ways as citizens of an honorable society.

One of the refinements needing our attention and action is civic consciousness. We must address the paradox of our split-level behavior: abroad, we are service-oriented, eager to please, and fastidious OFWs (overseas Filipino workers)—but not in our home country.

While abroad, we are great maintainers of foreigners’ homes, compounds, or communities. But back here, we behave differently.

We neglect the governance and upkeep of our own community/barangay. We leave arrangements to others and don’t even bother to supervise the public servants we elect.

Thus even where our public servants prove to be unruly, corrupt, or inept, no one takes them to task, no one bothers to have them disciplined, or removed and replaced as the law requires.

All this is true at barangay as well as at upper levels, municipal to national. It doesn’t strike anyone that a nation of neglectful citizens can never be truly progressive, or be truly great.

Yet, practically everywhere abroad we we’re used to take care of homes, households, compounds, even entire communities. We make them orderly, neat, and pleasant by giving proper attention to detail, a habit that endears our OFWs everywhere, one that is consistent with orderly, civilized living.

But look around, starting with the Barangay Hall. Hardly do they project a sense of orderly, civilized living.

Why is it so impossible to build and maintain the same standard and sense of elegance here at home as abroad?

In only a very few places do we find well-maintained barangays—and they’re likely to be the privately-owned portion of it. The rest is sloppy, neglected, uncivilized, with squatters practically everywhere.

This is very surprising to alien expatriates who visit or live with us—because it concerns the very spaces we occupy, where we live.

Rotating power outages in Oro to last until July 2014

By Erwin M. Mascarinas


THE city should brace for the dreaded rotating power outages that are expected to last for more than two months.

On Wednesday, parts of the city went dark for about three hours starting at 6:00 p.m. when the Cagayan de Oro Electric Power and Light Company, Inc. (Cepalco) has implemented the rotating power outage which the power utility's response to the power supply curtailment being carried out by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

The NGCP is a private corporation that maintains and operates the power transmission network of the country.

“The sudden implementation of the rotating brownouts in Cagayan de Oro City is unfortunately inevitable due to the increase in the demand and the decrease of supply. By noon time of April 23, we needed about 140 megawatts of electricity but unfortunately NGCP only allowed us to use about 70 megawatts,” said Marilyn Chavez, senior manager of Cepalco’s customer and community relations department.

Unlike most parts of Mindanao, Chavez explained the city was recently spared from the episodes of power outages due to the additional supply provided by independent power producers (IPP).

“Over the past few months, the city did not experience the rotating brownout scheme unlike other areas here in Mindanao due to the help of our IPP (Minergy). Unfortunately this time around with the increase of the industry’s demand and the lack of supply from NGCP we are forced to implement it. Right now our independent producers are only giving us around 42 megawatts of electrical supply; not enough to aid in our 70 MW deficit,” Chavez told this paper by phone Thursday afternoon.

She hopes that by July the insufficient power supply would be minimized with the help of IPPs.

“We got word that by July 4, one of the turbine engines of Steag will be operational, and hopefully this will bring around 100 MW of additional electricity to our consumers. We will also ask our large industries to help out by minimizing its electricity use. Last Wednesday the industries helped out in giving us about extra 8 megawatts,” she said.

Based on the Cepalco announcement and notice to its consumer, even with the planned brownout schedule, they are still not certain of its exact implementation.

“Cepalco however would like to caution customers that the actual switch off and switch on time may vary from the announced schedules depending on the actual load curtailment levels imposed by NGCP on Cepalco,” says part of the Cepalco notice.

In a second notice e-mailed by Cepalco to Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Thursday afternoon, it reiterated that NGCP has the full control on when to turn off the power switch.

“Again, actual brownouts may or may not happen, depending on instructions from NGCP,” it said.

The second notice laid out the power interruption schedule that affects major parts of the city, which are grouped in clusters, from April 24 to 30.

As of press time, the NGCP management in Northern Mindanao, has yet to issue a statement regarding the power outage.

4 airline passengers from northern Mindanao cleared of MERS

By Bobby Lagsa

Inquirer Mindanao

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines—Four of six persons from Northern Mindanao who returned to the country on an Etihad Airways plane that carried a Filipino nurse who had tested positive for the Corona virus that causes the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome have tested negative for the dreaded virus, health officials said. Dr. Adriano Subaan, assistant director of the Department of Health’s regional office in Northern Mindanao, said the four cleared residents were among five Etihad passengers the authorities had managed to “isolate” for MERS-CoV testing. Subaan said health authorities obtained specimens from the five passengers and had these tested at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Manila. He said the results came in on April 22 and four of those tested were negative for the virus behind the killer respiratory disease first discovered in Saudi Arabia in 2012. “They were discharged the following day,” Subaan said. Subaan said the result of the laboratory test on the fifth passenger has yet to be transmitted by the RITM to the regional DOH office. He said a sixth Etihad passenger from Northern Mindanao had not been taken into DOH custody for isolation because that person had left for Ilocos Norte. “We have made communication to the DOH in Ilocos to trace the sixth passenger,” Subaan said. Subaan declined to identify any of the passengers. The massive effort to locate returning Filipinos from the United Arab Emirates via Etihad Airways Flight No. EY 0424 was launched nationwide last week after it was learned that among the passengers was a male nurse who had tested positive for MERS-CoV. This passenger has since emerged negative for the virus after two tests conducted by the RITM. Subaan said there were also other residents of Northern Mindanao who recently returned from the Middle East and had voluntarily submitted themselves for testing. “They were not on the same flight, but said they wanted to be tested for fear of infection. So far all of them are negative,” Subaan said.

WORM’S EYEVIEW: The Pathetic State of Our Democracy

By Manny Valdehuesa

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/23 April) — It’s really too bad that we’ve passed up so many opportunities to entrench the democratic spirit and institutionalize democratic habits and practices in our society, especially at grassroots level, and more so in Mindanao.

Had our leaders and putative shakers taken this task seriously ever since the formal recognition of our independence in 1946, by now we would perhaps have become the exemplars of the democratic system in the developing world, perhaps even be a developed and more progressive nation.

We’ve had so many elections, inaugurated freedom and independence countless times, held numberless rituals extolling democracy; but for lack of vision, leadership, political will, and sustained affirmative action to institutionalize them we’re still stuck on trial-and-error mode.

Like the legend of Sisyphus, we’re ever trying to scale the heights, backslide to starting point, and back to dreaming.

The biggest opportunity we fumbled was EDSA ‘86 and the post-Martial Law period. It awakened such primal instincts in us to excel, individually and collectively, to become a beacon to peoples yearning for freedom and good governance. We even sponsored the first-ever Conference of Newly-Restored Democracies, with President Cory no less as keynote speaker.

Alas, it turned out to be ningas cogon, a pentecostal outpouring as fleeting as the weekend it took to hold it. It could have been the perfect opportunity to start over. Flush with the spectacular success of EDSA, we could have seized the day, refocused the beam of democracy, and marched resolutely to the Promised Land of a people-powered, democratic, and progressive polity.

But we naively left the task of harnessing the societal fervor to the Yellow Forces; we actually expected heroic performance from them, cleansing our system, banishing the excesses of the past from it. Trustingly, we relegated to them the task of building a righteous and just government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

But no such heroics took place; a pity, because, drunk with heady optimism then, even rabid ambition moved most everyone to gamble on a new dispensation to the extent of subordinating ego for the common good.

At the time, you could feel the fervor and the patriotism surge through the many triumphal gatherings and parties held among former street parliamentarians here and abroad. It was exemplified in the bonhomie that characterized post-EDSA camaraderie among far-left, far-right, and middle forces who congregated to celebrate. You would bump into the likes of Jose Ma. Sison, Bernabe Buscayno, Linggoy Alcuaz, Nelia Sancho, Charles Avila, Victor Corpus, Cesar Arellano, Steve Psinakis, among others; and even Norberto Gonzales, Nur Misuari, Nikki Coseteng, Parouk Hussin, Jun Magsaysay, Raul Manglapus, Joe Concepcion, even Doy and Celia Laurel, and so on.

But, I guess, “once-an-oligarch, always-an-oligarch” unless there is massive and determined vigilance by people with a keen sense of sovereignty.

No sooner did the celebrations cease than swarms of oligarchs and political entrepreneurs descended upon Malacañang and Congress and the rest of the bureaucracy. What we thought was the restoration of democracy and the rise of idealism and statesmanship morphed into what turned out to be a retaking of privilege: a reinstatement of the sense of entitlement among the already wealthy and privileged.

The reign of greed and dynasty and money reasserted itself and took advantage of the unguarded triumphal euphoria. What privilege or advantage Martial Law had snatched from the inheritors of the cacique system reverted to those that previously held the monopoly.

So it is not surprising that basically the same faces, the same dynasties, and the same spirit of acquisitiveness and cupidity in Marcos’s “New Society” would return, recover previous advantages, and ultimately dominate as they do today.

One need not look beyond the laughable party system to understand how bastardized politics has become. Except for the mountain-bound Communist claque, no group claiming to be a party exists today except in the minds and pockets of their putative leaders. The so-called United Nationalist Alliance, for example, is not really a political party, as are the Liberal and Nacionalista “parties”—which are basically the personal vehicles of their patrons and financiers.

It’s a pathetic political situation given the presence of so qualified, experienced people in academe, the professions, and countless civil society groups.

Actually it is they who failed to take the cue; it is they and their institutions that failed our society. Somehow they forgot that to be able to act effectively in a democracy, citizens must address social problems with social solutions, political problems with political solutions, and disorganization with organized approaches by organized individuals.

But they left the task of conceptualizing and mobilizing a new structure and system for post-EDSA society to the melee of a free-for-all laissez faire competition. This ensured that only the most aggressive and entrepreneurial of politicos would prevail and dominate, effectively turning politics and democracy into a transactional arena.

DPWH bares ongoing infra projects in CdeO

By pia.gov.ph

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, April 22 – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-10) submitted to the City Council committee on public works the list of projects being implemented in the city as of March 2014.

Based on the status report submitted by Officer In Charge-Assistant Regional Director Efren Berba, ongoing projects are: paved to paved access road leading to Dao Heritage Tree and Mapawa Nature Park in Cugman, gravel to paved construction of coastal road including road right-of-way, road opening construction of coastal road.

The list includes the construction of flood control works (flood wall) along Cagayan de Oro River (Cathedral Section), retrofitting/rehabilitation/strengthening J.R. Borja Bridge and widening of Sayre Highway, Puerto-Alae Section including road right-of-way.

Meanwhile, the gravel to paved road concreting and improvement of the drainage structure along Berjaya Resettlement Area Phase II in Camaman-an is already complete, according to the report.

According to the DPWH official, the submission of the report to the committee is in line with the agency’s policy of close collaboration and coordination with the city government. (JBD/CdeOSP/PIA) - See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=1461398136336#sthash.IiPaYufk.dpuf

PNP strengthens security preparation for Lent

By Kierra Rubillos

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, April 21 (PIA) — The Police Regional Office (PRO), region 10, heightened its security alerts for the long vacation during the Lenten season on April 17-20, this year.

All provincial and city directors were ordered to check and supervise their respective security preparations and plans, said Police Chief Superintendent Isagani F Genabe, Jr., PRO-10 Director.

In line with this, 176 motorist assistance desks and 217 police assistance centers across northern Mindanao were created in coordination with local government units (LGUs) and barangay security officials to ensure security of local and foreign motorists and commuters.

The different police units were also directed to team up with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for joint police and military checkpoints on all public places such as churches, bus terminals, sea and air ports, markets, malls and beaches.

According to PCSupt Genabe, this is pursuant to its vision for a safer region to live, invest, visit and work. (KMR/PIA) - See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=1461398051512#sthash.7PCSMasr.dpuf

Permit Monitoring

By Camcer Ordoñez Imam

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Joint Inspection Team (JIT) of this city will start monitoring the compliance of business permits and licensing requirements on April 22. The inspections will be conducted Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting with newly-registered businesses operating in the city’s urban villages. The JIT was created by City Mayor Oscar Moreno, in compliance with Joint Memorandum Circular No. 01, Series of 2010, issued by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Trade and Industry. “This is nothing new,” the mayor said, adding that the joint circular provides guidelines in the implementation of standards in processing business permits and licenses in all cities and municipalities. (Camcer Ordoñez Imam)

DTI-MisOr launches four shared service facility projects

By SHARMAINE CARIÑO

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, April 19 (PIA) -- Four Shared Service Facility (SSF) projects of the Department of Trade and Industry - Misamis Oriental (DTI-MOR) were launched recently to give Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) here and in the province access to better technology and more sophisticated equipment.

Through a signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), projects were granted to Talisay Romblon Products Producers Association on Technology Upgrading for Misamis Oriental Banig Weavers; Sannicolandia Weavers Association on Acquisition of Equipment for Bayong and Banig Production; Kimaya People’s Multi Purpose Cooperative (KIPEMCO) on SSF on Bottled Spanish Sardines, Differently-abled Women Network (DAWN) with Tailoring Livelihood Project for Women with Disabilities.

SSF is a livelihood assistance program that intends to give Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) access to better technology and more sophisticated equipment for marketable production and competitiveness acceleration.

“The SSF project is envisioned to assist most of the 81, 221 SMEs with high potential to expand and it will generate an additional 200,000 jobs in various locations of the country,” said Ma. Eliza A. Pabillore, Provincial Director of DTI-MOR.

The project was implemented with the cooperation of government line agencies, the academe, the local government units and private organizations. (SIC/PIA10)

Lawmakers seek regulation of gun replicas

By Dennis Carcamo


MANILA, Philippines - Two Mindanao-based legislators have filed a bill in Congress, seeking to regulate the importation, manufacture, sale, use and transport of airsoft rifles and pistols for public security and safety.

Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, principal of House Bill 3805 or the "Airsoft Imitation Firearm Law," said Letter of Instruction 1264 signed by former President Ferdinand Marcos in 1982 bans the import, sale and public display of gun replicas.

However, he said purchase of airsoft guns and the movements of airsoft players are largely untouched by the government, with only a few confiscated shipments marring that record.

"No direct regulations have been placed on the airsoft community and players of all ages and background are welcomed to play," Rodriguez said.

He said his proposal provides that it is the declared State policy to protect the public from harm due to the unregulated manufacture, sale, use and transport of any toy look-alike or imitation firearm.

Last March, Philippine National Police chief, Director General Alan Purisima said under Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act, toy guns and replica firearms are subject for confiscation by authorities.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 His warning came amid complaints that toy guns and replica firearms are sometimes being used by criminals, especially armed robbers, on their victims.

Purisima warned criminals and other persons who will use imitation firearms in committing crimes that they may be imprisoned for violation of RA 10591.

The PNP-Firearms and Explosives Office meanwhile stressed that even a homemade revolver called the "paltik" can be considered an imitation firearm along with toy guns and airsoft guns, hence they are covered by the rules on intellectual property rights.

Rodriguez said organized airsoft started in the country in 1985, and interest in the hobby had gone up and down several times over the past 20 years.

"The airsoft gaming community initially conducted their games in secrecy, but in recent years has reached the mainstream due to the tremendous surge of newbies, owing to the advent of cheap China-made airsoft guns," said Rodriguez.

House Bill 3805, co-authored by Abante Mindanao partylist Rep. Maximo Rodriguez, provides that an airsoft rifle or pistol includes battery operated, spring and gas type powered rifle or pistol which discharge plastic pellets only as bullets or ammunition.

It differs from replica as the latter does not fire plastic pellet with very low projectile velocity.

The bill also provides that an airsoft rifle or pistol, a special type of air gun, shall be used in sporting activities such as war games stimulation only.

All airsoft rifles or pistols shall not exceed 550 feet per second velocity using .20-gram pellets. An airsoft rifle or pistol exceeding the said limit shall not be eligible for registration.

It also provides that all natural and juridical persons who intend to manufacture, import or sell airsoft rifles or pistols shall apply for permit from the Department of Trade and Industry and shall be registered with the PNP.

There shall be a distinctive marking for airsoft rifle or pistol as an integral part, a permanently affixed blaze orange or red pulp in its barrel. Such mark shall be at the tip of the muzzle not less than 6.35 centimeters in length.

Upon the one-time registration with the PNP for those airsoft rifles or pistols with no serial numbers, a barcode sticker bearing a permanently assigned unique serial number shall be affixed on a conspicuous part of the airsoft rifles or pistols.

The barcode sticker shall remain valid for the lifetime of the gun. Those airsoft rifles or pistols with existing serial numbers shall be registered using their individually affixed serial numbers. Airsoft riles or pistols shall be painted with bright red or orange color on their tip, the bill provides.

Any person registering an airsoft rifle or pistol must not be below 18 years old and must be a bonafide member of a duly accredited airsoft club. Airsoft teams or clubs shall seek accreditation with the PNP.

Each airsoft club shall have a minimum of 10 registered owners of airsoft rifle or pistol, who shall be local residents, and shall abide by the Code of Conduct, Safety and Rules of Engagement for Games which shall be formulated by a National Airsoft Association for airsoft players and shall be applicable and binding upon all, during games.

Prior to the use of a particular area as airsoft game site, the operator or duly authorized person in charge of the proposed airsoft game site shall inform in writing the Chief of Police who has jurisdiction over the said area for the conduct of any game, simulation, shooting competition or exhibition of airsoft rifles or pistols. When located in populated areas the game site must be enclosed and secure from public view. Furthermore, no person below 18 years old shall be allowed inside the game site.

The bill also requires authorized dealers of airsoft rifles or pistols to secure the necessary permits prior to the conduct of a show or exhibition.

The DTI in coordination with the PNP and other concerned government agencies shall promulgate the necessary implementing rules and regulations within 90 days after the enactment of the proposed Act.

Any person or entity found to have violated provisions of the proposed Act shall be liable to a fine of not less than P100,000 or an imprisonment of not less than six months, or both at the discretion of the court, the bill provides.

City jail violates BJMP memo

By Jigger J. Jerusalem

A GOVERNMENT agency that was denied entry inside the jail in Cagayan de Oro City to verify the incident of a hunger strike staged by the inmates, accused the jail warden for defying a memorandum which allows the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to get access to the prisoners.

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro obtained a copy of the memo, dated September 16, 2009, addressed to all Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) regional directors and was signed by Rosendo Dial, then BJMP chief, who guaranteed that CHR personnel should have access to the prison complex.

“… the Commission on Human Rights has visitorial powers over jails, prisons, or detention facilities and their personnel, therefore, are authorized to visit our jails to look into the human rights conditions of our inmates and should not be barred from visiting our jails and interviewing inmates upon presentation of proper identification papers and a valid Mission Order from their superior,” the memo reads.

“Clearance from this Office or from the Regional Director of the Jail Provincial is not a requirement for allowing them to visit and they should be given immediate access inside our facilities subject to the usual security procedures during their visits,” it added.

The memo furthered that “barring the CHR staff from visiting our facilities is unconstitutional and could subject our personnel to administrative and/or possible criminal actions.”

More than a hundred of inmates of the Cagayan de Oro City jail staged a hunger strike Monday morning to demand response from city jail officials on their concerns. Read the related story here.

Victorio Aleria Jr., CHR-Northern Mindanao supervising investigator, said that when he and a co-worker visited the city jail at Barangay Lumbia on Monday, they were not permitted to enter the area where the members of the BM 29 group are confined.

In a previous interview, Jail Superintendent Erwin Kenny Ronquillo, city jail warden, said Alleria and his companion were not allowed access to the BM 29 block due to security reasons, owing to the brewing tension on Monday when the inmates held a hunger strike to air their demands.

Aleria said CHR should have been allowed to enter the prison complex where the BM 29 gang members are living so that they could see firsthand the real situation inside the facility.

Before they could make a followup visit to the city jail, Aleria said they received information that nine of the BM 29 leaders were transferred to the Gingoog city jail Monday night.

In a text message sent to Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Wednesday afternoon, Ronquillo has confirmed the transfer of the BM 29 leaders.

Ronquillo said the BM 29 group was complaining about the food, water and visitation privileges.

Except for the visitation arrangements where the BM 29 inmates demanded that their children could enter their section, Ronquillo said the prisoners’ issues were properly addressed.

Aleria said the warden could have ordered escorts for the CHR officials so they could interview the members of the BM 29 and discuss their grievances without danger of harm or violence from the inmates.

He said it was the BM 29 members who informed the CHR through text messages of their complaints.

This was also confirmed when the jail guards confiscated cellphone units from the BM 29 inmates.

Aleria said how a cellphone could be obtained by a prisoner was through a visitor, a jail keeper or a trustee, an inmate who’s given permission to go in and out of the prison compound.

He added there was really nothing to fear if the jail guards have conducted regular inspections then all forms of weapons would have been confiscated from the inmates.

The recent situation at the city jail paled in comparison in the past few years where violence inside the prison was rampant and where an inmate was even killed and buried inside the jail complex, Aleria said.

When asked if he would lodge a complaint before the BJMP regional office in Northern Mindanao against Ronquillo for disallowing them entry to the BM 29 compound, Aleria in a text message Wednesday said, “We are still looking at the implications and weighing things down.”

Aleria said there is really no need to inform or remind Ronquillo of the BJMP memo since jail keepers are expected to know about it.

CAAP corrects safety issues, gets upgrade from FAA

By Jasper Marie Oblina-Rucat


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, April 16 (PIA) – The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has taken a notch higher after receiving a Category 1 status of civil aviation safety by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Laguindingan Airport Area Manager, Jose Budiongan said in a phone interview that “Category 1 means that we are no longer restricted and additional routes to the United States are granted. When we were in Category 2, we were restricted because we had a lot of safety issues and concerns.”

He said that with Category 1 status, we are elevated and at par with developed countries in terms of compliance to the standard set by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

He added that this level up status is a result of collective efforts of the entire CAAP team in the country.

Meanwhile, Department of Tourism Region 10 Director Catalino Chan III said that this upgraded status gives the country a good chance of getting more tourists from American communities. He said that America is the second largest country including balikbayans who come to the Philippines.

He added that DOT may have to come up with more marketing directions like take home a friend, wherein when balikbayans can also invite a friend to come, when they plan to come home. This will benefit not only the Philippine Airlines, but also other airline companies since we are upgraded to be safe.

He said this could potentially surpass the requirement of the percentage increase for tourists who come to the Philippines and even Cagayan de Oro.

After seven years, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has finally upgraded the country’s civil aviation status from Category 2 to Category 1, enabling Philippine air carriers to open new direct flights to the US.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) of the UN officially lifted the significant safety concerns it had earlier cited as requiring urgent solutions from the government. The ICAO cited the Philippines’ “active commitment” and “positive response” in international efforts to upgrade standards in aviation safety.

The ICAO sent an audit team to the Philippines last month to conduct a validation mission of the corrective actions undertaken by CAAP that had been identified by the UN specialized agency as necessary in securing the nod of approval of the international aviation community.

Philippine air carriers can now fly to the United States with additional routes to the East Coast. (JMOR/PIA10)

PRO-10 heightens operations against criminalities

By Kierra M. Rubillos


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, April 15 (PIA)—The Police Regional Office (PRO)-10 directed anew all its city and provincial units to do operations against all forms of criminality.

According to Police Chief Superintendent Isagani F. Genabe, Jr., PRO-10 regional director, the movement is part of the thrust of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in serving and protection the society.

Further, he said this is at par with PNP’s strategic focus named Competence Organizational Discipline Excellence Development-Professionalism or “CODE-P: 2013 and Beyond.”

With this, from April 4 to 11, PRO-10 was able to conduct 10 operations on illegal drugs, confiscating 750.37 grams of Methamphetamine hydrochloride with an amount approximating to P5,254,644.00, so with two sticks and one stalk of Marijuana dried leaves.

Four operations on illegal gambling were done which resulted in the arrest of six persons, confiscating items worth P91,594.00.

For carnapping, two operations were conducted, arresting two persons.

Five operations were also conducted with eight persons arrested with loose firearms and five weapons confiscated.

For wanted persons, 27 operations were conducted by virtue of Warrant of Arrest, arresting 25 persons.

Also, PRO-10 honored four officers serving as members of the Regional Chaplain Service 10, initiating the Basic Bible Seminar on workers from Regional Headquarters, Provincial Police Office (PPOs)/City Police Office (CPOs), retirees and civilian parishioners at Saint Ignatius de Loyola Chapel on April 3 this year.

The four officers were: PSupt Joel B Barallas, SPO1 Luvimin A Bangis, PO1 Genis C Novo, and PO1 Jonathan E Adaza. (KMR/PIA)


Hiring of nurses for Dubai, Saudi on-going at DOLE-10 office

By pia.gov.ph

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, April 14 – The Skills International Co. Inc. with POEA License Number 020-LB-013112-R is recruiting 100 to 200 staff nurses, senior nurses and charge nurses for Dubai and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with minimum salary of $2,200 per month.

Applicants should have at least three years minimum experience in tertiary hospitals.

Qualified applicants will be posted at Dubai Health Authority in UAE, King Fahd Armed Forces Hospital and Prince Sultan Military Medical City in Saudi Arabia.

Interested applicants are advised to personally submit, from April 14-16, their application letters resumes at Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Office 10, Monte Carlo Building, Phase 1, RER Drive Subdivision, Kauswagan Highway, this city. (DOLE-10)

Syndicate eyed behind illegal logging in Oro

By Jigger J. Jerusalem


A WELL-ENTRENCHED syndicate may be behind the rampant illegal logging activities in the city’s upland villages, said the head of the City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) in Cagayan de Oro City.

Edwin Dael, Clenro chief, said the logging syndicate involves a financier who bankrolls the operations, an insider at the environment office who can tamper a permit for the transportation of logs, and village residents who are paid a measly amount to do the cutting of trees.

‘Dansolihon-Talakag’ connection

In an intelligence report Dael received, the group behind this is known as the “Dansolihon-Talakag connection” that he suspects to be responsible for threatening him and his fellow Clenro workers for their anti-logging efforts.

“We are slowly piecing together the events so we can get to the bottom of this,” Dael told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro by phone Sunday afternoon.

Dael has a list of the persons behind these illegal logging operations but he could not yet release it to the media pending further investigation and verification.

He is certain that the transporting of illegally cut lumber using a “recycled” permit that can pass through the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) checkpoint in Barangay Lumbia without question is the handiwork of a syndicate.

But to further prove and eventually uncover the activities of this syndicate, Dael said he has to dig deeper and do more investigating.

Dael and city councilor Zaldy Ocon, chairman of the City Council’s environment and natural resources committee, are set to conduct an ocular inspection in the next few days to substantiate the report that cut logs equivalent to 30 truckloads lying by the roadside in Barangay Tignapoloan are ready to be transported.

Dael would present his findings to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Northern Mindanao (DENR-10) regional executive director Ruth Tawantawan, specifically on the allegation that a legitimate permit is being tampered and used again to transport illegally cut logs.

He said he is wondering why the loggers could get away with the transporting of the cut lumber using a tampered permit.

“We will prove that there are permits which are recycled,” he said.

A recycled permit is actually a legal piece of paper issued by the Cenro in Talakag, Bukidnon to people who cut trees in DENR-approved areas under the Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) scheme in Talakag, Dael said.

The permit only becomes illegal when it is used again to transport cut lumber that did not come from Talakag but from Cagayan de Oro.

Dael added that for a fee, a permit could be manipulated to make it look like nothing has been tampered with in the details.

But, he said, the discrepancy shows when the information contained on the permit does not coincide with the actual cargo. Dael said this (discrepancy) is the reason why they had been successful in confiscating illegally transported logs.

Aside from that, Dael will also ask DENR-10 to find out what happened to one of the confiscated two trucks filled with cut lumber that went missing which allegedly came from Pigsag-an.

To his knowledge, Dael said there are no more big trees in Pigsag-an. “Our suspicion is that those logs came from [Barangay] Tumpagon,” he said.

Dael also heard reports that some members of the Indigenous People (IP) communities in the city’s mountain villages are being hired by the syndicate to cut the forest trees.

He said these people are paid for every tree cut to haul them to pick-up areas.

These local residents are doing the hard labor and yet they are paid a measly fee.

“They (lumad) live on a ‘hand-to-mouth’ existence. The money they earned from illegal logging has not improved their lives,” he added.

Bill seeks to exempt foreign aid from VAT

By John Carlo Cahinhinan

A BILL has been filed in the House of Representatives, which seeks to exempt from value-added tax (VAT) all donated imported goods for medical and education, humanitarian relief and similar purposes.

Cagayan de Oro City Representative Rufus Rodriguez said that House Bill 4054 will exempt donated goods from VAT and the entry and distribution of donations for the benefit of the less fortunate will be facilitated.

"It is thus proposed that donated items or goods from foreign donors which are for the non-profit, charitable, medical, educational, humanitarian, relief purposes for the benefit of the poor and needy should be VAT-exempt," said Rodriguez.

He cited that Section 107 of the National International Revenue Code provides that there shall be levied, assessed and collected on every importation of goods a VAT equivalent to 10 percent based on the total value used by the Bureau of Customs in determining tariff and customs duties plus customs duties, excise taxes, if any, other charges, such tax to be paid by the importer prior to the release of such goods from customs custody.

Rodriguez said the NIRC further provides that where the customs duties are determined on the basis of the quantity or volume of the goods and the VAT shall be based on the landed cost plus excise taxes.

"Donated items or goods from donors abroad which are for non-profit, charitable, medical, educational, humanitarian and relief purposes shall be exempt from VAT under this provision," the bill stated.

The bill also stated those subject to exemption of import duties under the Tariff and Customs Code shall likewise be exempt from the VAT payment

“Those donations or food, medicine and equipment for use in the government relief and rehabilitation programs for calamity affected areas as mandated in Presidential Memorandum Order No. 36 Series of 1992, which have been approved for exemption from import duties, shall likewise be VAT-exempt," the bill stated. (Sunnex)


City equips journalists, broadcasters on calamity protocols

By Kierra Rubillos

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, April 11 (PIA) — In order to provide more accurate information in times of disasters, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) and City Information Office (CIO) of Cagayan de Oro city government conducted a media orientation on disaster strategies and protocols at the CDRRMC office on April 8.

This is to provide the press people an idea and common understanding on how the devices/facilities work at the CDRRMC operation center including pertinent information on weather coverage, said Maricel Casiño-Rivera, CIO chief.

Underscoring the importance on disaster preparedness, CDRRM Officer Col. Mario Verner Monsanto (ret) said it is our responsibility, as government, to educate our reporters especially on early warning system.

For his part, CDRRMC weather specialist Virgil Lago discussed the council’s methods and principles in preparation for any future disaster.

Lago also tackled about their sources (national/local) of weather information, as well as their communication and evacuation protocols.

The press people also observed how the CDRRMC checks on the weather conditions of the city through their monitoring systems, so with the Automatic Rainfall Warning System and Automated Weather Station.

“We don’t want to create panic, we just want the people to be prepared,” said Col. Monsanto, as he stressed on the value of preparedness towards any calamity. (Kierra Rubillos/PIA)

CDO Mayor Moreno welcomes recall proceedings

By Solar News with a report from Cheng Ordonez


Cagayan de Oro City – Mayor Oscar Moreno welcomes the recall proceedings initiated by the political opposition, which challenges the incumbent local chief executive to determine the real sentiment of the Kagayanons through recall election. Moreno issued the statement during the commemoration of the 72nd Araw ng Kagitingan held at the city’s plaza in Divisoria Wednesday morning. Moreno said he hopes that the recall proceedings would unify the local politics to allow the city to move forward toward a progressive trading center in Northern Mindanao. City Councilor Teodulo Lao, one of the five minority city councilors who belonged to Moreno’s political party, was the only City Councilor who joined the early morning wreath-laying ceremony at the city’s national heroes park. All the other 17 city councilors, most of them belonging to the opposition, did not attend the celebration participated in by the city’s department heads, rank and file workers, and invited heads of regional offices. Majority of the city’s 80 barangay chairmen are reportedly initiating a “recall proceeding” against Moreno for "loss of trust and confidence" in his administration. Under the Local Government Code of 1991, the majority members of the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) could initiate, one year after the elections, a recall proceeding by gathering the signature of a certain percentage of voters, depending on the population of the locality.

62 livelihood projects up for Region 10

By Camcer Ordonez Imam

Cagayan De Oro City – At least 62 projects have been approved for release by the Region 10 office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-10), covering the six provinces of Northern Mindanao.

The projects have been charged to the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) funds under the Workers Income Augmentation Program (WINAP), Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD), and Bottom-up-Budgeting (BUB) for the 1st quarter of this year.

The 46 projects under the WINAP, 15 for the BUB, and one for TUPAD, are expected to benefit some 8,718 people from the informal sector, like skilled workers, farmers, fisherfolk, women, and the youth.

Knowing that their proposal was approved for an enhancement project, the Panglingkawas Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PMPC), an accredited co-partner and proponent in their community store expansion project amounting to P800,000 in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, is more than thankful along with its 92 women beneficiaries.

Blenda M. Desierto, PMPC executive chief officer, disclosed how the DOLE changed the lives of the women members.

“We are so grateful to DOLE-10 for responding to the needs of our marginalized people in Kauswagan, and commend its personnel for their tireless efforts to serve them,” Desierto said.

City launches ‘Maternal Care Package’

By Jigger J. Jerusalem

THE Cagayan de Oro City Government has launched its latest health program aimed at upgrading the facilities of barangay health centers and their accreditation with the Philippines Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

At the unveiling of the "Maternal Care Package" in barangays Bugo, Tablon and Cugman on Tuesday morning, Mayor Oscar Moreno urged the village officials to set aside politics and instead help the City Government in implementing its various programs, especially health.

Moreno described the projects “public service that transcends political boundaries.”

“We may disagree in politics and in many areas, but we cannot disagree in bringing basic services to the people,” Moreno said.

He said he has no problem with the barangay leaders’ political affiliation as long as they will help him make sure that the people are served.

The City Government plans to upgrade the facilities of the 54 health centers in the city and to convert them into mini-hospitals with PhilHealth accreditation.

The health centers in Bugo, Tablon and Cugman are just the first three that had been converted into mini-hospitals.

All the three health centers are two-storied and housed a lying-in center, wards and other basic medical facilities.

One of the prerequisites for the upgrading, he added, is the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the City Government and the barangays.

With the MOA, Moreno said that regardless of who will the mayor be or the barangay chairman, the operations of the health centers will continue and ensure that the City Government will not renege on its responsibility.

“We have to commit and we have to respond to that commitment, we have to be guided by that,” Moreno said.

The MOA will allow the barangay to let the City Health Office operate to what will now be called as the city health center.

He said the pressure is on the City Government to make “the barangay happy and contented nga maalagaran ang katawhan. And that can only be done with the good management of the city health center.”

“Dili ‘ni sayon pero mangambisyon gud ta…no matter how easy the task at hand may be pero kung dili kita magtinabangay, isig babag, isig pugong, wala gyuy mahitabo sa ato,” he added.

“We cannot do it alone. We want to fulfill our duty, but we need you to help us,” Moreno said.

PhilHealth accreditation

Marlon Arrabaca, PhilHealth local health insurance officer, said the accreditation would mean that mothers will no longer find it financially difficult and go to the nearest hospital to deliver since the health center can take care of their needs.

Arrabaca under the Maternal Care Package, PhilHealth will reimburse the patients’ expenses if they give birth in PhilHealth-recognized city health centers or mini-hospitals.

He said, in the past, even if the delivering mothers are covered under PhilHealth, they still had to pay for the birthing expenses because the health centers are not accredited with PhilHealth.

Morenos noted that when he sat down as the city mayor last year, not one of the health centers was accredited with PhilHealth.

“We have been moving forward para ma-accredit sa PhilHealth. So far, naa nay almost 20 health centers nga accredited na sa Philhealth,” Moreno said.

During the launching, the City Government also gave various birthing equipment to the three city health centers.

Dr. Belen Ligo, City Health Office district 2 medical supervisor, vowed to take care of the items given to the health centers.

Jesus Morial, Barangay Bugo chairman, is glad that the health center in his barangay is now accredited with PhilHealth.

“I am encouraging everyone in my barangay to become members of PhilHealth since this will greatly help us,” Morial said.

Ricardo Pacheco, chairman of Barangay Cugman, said for a very long time they had been dreaming of the moment that their health center is upgraded.

“Makita nato nga once ipanamkon, ipanganak gyud,” Pacheco said, referring to the upgrading of Cugman’s health center.

Some bars in Oro found without biz permits

By Jigger J. Jerusalem

DOZENS of entertainment establishments in Cagayan de Oro are operating without business permits depriving the city of much-needed revenues and some of them are even violating the law, the Regulatory and Complaint Board (RCB) said.

The RCB made the discovery after conducting surprise inspections on more than 30 bars, massage parlor, strip clubs, and karaoke joints along Corrales Avenue and Capistrano Street Friday night.

Beda Joy Elot, the city accountant and chair of the RCB, said the inspection they conducted was aimed at checking these businesses for permits and if they are paying the required fees to the city.

The RCB also discovered that a few of these establishments are selling alcoholic drinks to minors and some of these nightspots’ employees do not have the city government-issued health cards.

The two RCB inspection teams were composed of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo), city council members, various city hall departments like the offices of the city treasurer, city accountant, city social welfare and development, city information office, city health department, office of the building official, and Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA).

Elot said that last Friday’s operation was to inform the operators of their violations and to comply with the RCB recommendations.

She said city hall gave these businesses the permit even before an inspection was conducted so the owners would not be inconvenienced by the long process.

But now, Elot said, the RCB is doing the round of inspection “and we are giving them the notice to comply with the sanctions if violations are committed.”

She said the owners are already aware of their responsibilities but some of them have not been complying since inspections to these nightspots were quite loose in the in the past.

“If you are a business owner [and you] see that there is no inspection, di pud ka maghugot sa imong mga responsibilidad. They know that we are here to regulate,” she added.

Elot said the RCB teams also discovered that some of these establishments have permits but they don’t match with the permit they had applied for.

“They have permit for retailing but are [actually] operating as a bar,” she said.

Sanitation issues

Many of these nightspots also have poorly maintained toilets, but Elot said the worst violation they have committed is the selling of liquor to minors.

She said RCB has been receiving complaints from parents of children who frequent these watering holes, especially the Corrales Avenue area.

“While we understand that this is a business for the operators, they should also know their responsibility to our children,” Elot said.

Elot noticed a lot of underage customers who were drinking tried to act like they are of legal age, “but you can see from the faces that they are really minors.”

She said they are also concerned of use of “shisha” which is unsanitary since smokers often use a single pipe when smoking.

A shisha or hookah is defined as a waterpipe with a single or multi-stemmed instrument for vaporizing or smoking flavored tobacco called shisha in which the vapor or smoke is passed through a water basin --often glass-based -- before inhalation.

In one of the bars, the RCB chanced upon a group of young people using the shisha.

Health cards

Rowena Yu, health education and promotion officer of the city health office, said that it is sad to note that out of the nightclubs and bars, only one establishment has health cards for their workers.

“Others got sanitary and business permits but not health cards,” Yu said.

Yu said that securing health cards, be it food or non-food businesses and especially where there are women working as entertainers, is a must because it’s for the protection of the public.

“Magpa-secure man gani ta’g health cards sa atong mga convenience stores, how much more sa mga entertainment business?” Yu added.

“We plan to do this regularly, because we feel that this is also our responsibility. After this, the board will meet and decide how often RCB will conduct the inspection, but there will be another round of inspection,” Elot said.

Owners’ cooperative

Elot said establishment owners were cooperative.

“At first, they were apprehensive, but we explained to them that this is just part of the inspectorate task of the RCB, and that is just part of our information dissemination,” she said.

But, she added that next time RCB would be enforcing the law.

“Those who have received their notice of violation will be checked if they have already complied with whatever requirements they need to accomplish for the violations committed. If they will refuse to comply, then we will recommend to the mayor their case for further action. The stiffest is closure of the establishment,” Elot said.

The police who accompanied the inspection team also made body searches to ensure that bar patrons do not carry firearms and other deadly weapons.

An employee in one of the nightspot the RCB visited said customers who carry firearms,especially law enforcers have to check in their weapons at the counter before they can enter the establishment’s premises.

Selling drinks to minors

Teddy Sabugaa, the city social welfare and development officer, said the inspection also served as warning to bars and nightclubs which are selling alcoholic drinks to underage people that is prohibited by law.

In one bar, Sabugaa said, it has a strict policy of checking the identification card of a customer before serving liquor.

“That’s fine. I hope nga ma-maintain kana. Pero there are some nga walay pagpangita sa ID. Makita man nimo ang hitsura sa bata,” he added.

“After this, we will invite all the establishments, para mahibal-an nila unsa ilang kulang para naay discussion,” Sabuga-a said.

Neol Collado, local treasury operations officer of the city finance office, the non-compliant of the inspected nightspots in securing the annual business permits and other regulatory fees is costing the city around P200,000.

British national stranded in Philippine hospital appeals for help

By Mindanao Examiner


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Apr. 6, 2014) – A 59-year old British national has desperately appealed for help after being stranded in hospital in northern Mindanao for nearly two months now, according to a report by the Daily Mail Online.

George Keiller said he cannot afford to pay his medical bills at the Polymedic General Hospital in Cagayan de Oro City where he was admitted after collapsing on the last leg of his journey on February 11.

Keiller, who is suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, said his bills have so far reached £4,000 and the hospital would not let him go. The report said that Keiller, from Clackmannanshire in Scotland, was put on a life-support machine within hours of touching down in the Philippines after his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - which causes a narrowing of the airways - struck him down.

Doctors at the hospital have said they will not discharge Keiller until they are paid at least half of his burgeoning invoice. “After more than six weeks I'm now just desperate for this nightmare to end,” Keiller said.

He said he has raised £1,300 but he still remains almost £1,000 short. “I'm now relying on donations and praying that they come soon,” Keiller told the Daily Mail. “Until I get enough money I remain virtually a prisoner in this hospital.”

“If I can be given a loan by someone I'd be so grateful and wouldn't let anyone down as far as repayment goes. I've been terrified here. There have been times where I've feared I'll never see outside of this hospital again. I'm now just desperate for this nightmare to end,” he said.

The newspaper said it interview a Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson who said: “We are aware of the hospitalisation of a British National in the Philippines. We are providing consular assistance.” (Mindanao Examiner)

Some bars in Oro found without biz permits

By Jigger J. Jerusalem


CDO revives lone city hospital

By Bobby Lagsa

'It is a shame that a city as big as Cagayan de Oro, the capital of Northern Mindanao, with a population of half a million, has only one hospital,' says Mayor Oscar Moreno

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – After almost two decades of neglect, the dying Justiniano R. Borja General Hospital (JRBGH) got a new breath of life after its 3rd floor annex ward was opened on Thursday, April 3.

The 100-bed hospital – practically abandoned by the city government in the last 15 years – was left to operate in such a dismal state that in 2009, its doctors resigned en masse after years of unheeded pleas to former local chief executives.

In June 2009, under the incumbency of former mayor Constantino Jaraula, 18 doctors resigned from the hospital citing the lack of facilities, medicine, and disinterest of the city government in uplifting JRBGH’s condition as reasons.

Mayor Oscar Moreno was undaunted by the task of restoring the hospital even with a hostile city council – 11 of them allied with former mayor Vicente Emano – that refused to release much-needed funds to rehabilitate the dying city hospital.

“It is a shame that a city as big as Cagayan de Oro, the capital of Northern Mindanao, with a population of half a million, has only one hospital,” Moreno said.

Upgrading services

Due to the hospital's worsening condition, the Department of Health (DOH) poured in P66.9 million from 2010 to 2014 to complete work on the annex building in 4 years.

JRBGH was also integrated with the city’s health department and will undergo an extensive revamp to make the hospital competitive. The CDO local health board, headed by Dr Ramon Neri, said it plans to upgrade the hospital’s standards and raise them to a level II category by 2016.

Neri said that with the revamp, the city’s 19 urban health centers will also be improved, modernized, and accredited by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) as maternal and child care facilities or birthing homes.

The upgrading of urban health centers will decongest the JRBGH and the DOH-owned Northern Mindanao Medical Center also located in the city.

Neri added that they have instituted information technology systems in JRBGH so that statistics and information given to the public are timely and accurate.

“All our decisions will be information-based. That is how we will deal with a hostile city council that refuses to give funds to the hospital,” Neri said.

Challenging task

Hospital chief Dr Fe Bongcas admitted that running JRBGH is a hard and challenging task but they will still serve to make a big difference and impact on people’s lives.

“Before we failed in performance reviews, as we were unable to meet the requirements of the DOH,” Bongcas said.

In 2009, out of his frustration, CDO 2nd district Representative Rufus Rodriguez filed a resolution in Congress to transfer the ownership of JRGBH from the city to the DOH to help resuscitate the hospital. The city government refused despite its failure to support the hospital.

Moreno said he will be delivering the social services needed to revive the hospital despite the fact that his proposed budget of P2.6 billion was cut by P300 million by the city council in February.

The P300-million cut was intended for the delivery of PhilHealth Insurance for the 50,000 residents in the city. Modernization program

Neri said that part of the modernization program is working with funding and donor agencies both here and abroad. JRBGH is currently enhancing its human resources system and streamlining performance-based incentives programs to attract more doctors and health professionals.

“But first, we must show them our confidence that we can do it, (that) we will do it,” Neri said.

The mayor is currently working with national government agencies to find funding for the modernization project. A new building that will house ancillary services, an operating theater, private and semi-private rooms, and X-ray and laboratory services is already being constructed.

The local health board’s modernization blueprint includes the construction of two additional 25-bed hospitals to help cater to the rural barangays in the western and mountainous parts of the city.

Neri admitted there are more challenges ahead for JRBGH but their vision of acquiring a level II category will be faced head on. – Rappler.com

Italpinas wins Asia Pacific property award

By Manila Standard Today


PHILIPPINE property developer Italpinas Euroasian Design and Eco-Development Corporation (ITPI Corp.) has been named among the winners in the prestigious International Property Awards in the 2014 Asia Pacific regional competition.

ITPI has been recognized for its landmark Primavera Residences in Cagayan de Oro City in the Mixed-use Development category of the awards.

Primavera Residences is the first condominium complex in Cagayan de Oro City and a pioneer of green and sustainable building in Mindanao, skilfully designed to reduce impact on the environment as well as construction and maintenance costs.

With its modern Italian minimalist design, Primavera Residences has made its mark in the industry, a testimony to ITPI as a trailblazing young company that has achieved phenomenal success.

“We are honored to be named as the Philippine winner for Mixed-use category of the Asia Pacific Property Awards,” said ITPI chief executive officer Architect Romolo V. Nati in a statementsent to MST.

“As a company, we believe in delivering better design and better ways of living, and our work in Primavera Residences embodies our company philosophy. We want to make a real change in the landscape of real estate development with high-performance properties that are beautiful, sustainable, and affordable.”Nati added,

The Asia Pacific Property Awards is part of the long established International Property Awards, and its seal is recognised as a symbol of excellence in the field of property development.

The Asia Pacific region has an enviable record of achievement at the international level, having scooped an unbeaten total of 18 World’s Best Awards in 2013.

The official announcement will be made at a high-profile gala and presentation dinner at the Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on May 9.

The question of business monopolies

By The BusinessMirror Editorial


THE question of whether the government should do more to ensure that business monopolies do not exist or work in favor of the consumer will soon become critical.

House Bill (HB) 1333, filed by House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., and HB 388, filed by Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City, seek to penalize monopolies and those engaging in unfair competition. These bills are expected to come to a vote in the current legislative session.

When the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. held the telephone-service monopoly, it took years to have a landline installed. Of course, the lack of competition in the telecommunications (telecom) industry was only part of the problem. But since this sector was deregularized, communication penetration, due to technological advances and more players in the industry, has dramatically improved.

Yet, consumers are complaining that the dominance of only two telecom companies may have increased cellular-phone usage, but that service has deteriorated, since the “duopoly” of Smart Communications and Globe Telecom controls the industry. The recent uproar over the electricity-rate increases in Metro Manila is also being blamed on the power-distribution monopoly being held by the Manila Electric Co.

There can be advantages to a sector being monopolized, such as economies of scale and efficiency. Metro Pacific Corp. is being criticized for buying hospitals around the country, as it could control a large number of medical providers. However, the buying power of a group of hospitals for drugs and supplies at a lower cost could result in savings for the consumer. Monopolies can provide products or services at lower costs, which subsequently could lower prices. If there were several electric-distribution companies in Metro Manila, each would have to have its own distribution infrastructure of poles, wires and transformers, and that would not be cost-effective or -efficient.

Studies have shown that, in most cases, monopolies do tend to create a higher pricing structure for consumers over time, as a lack of competition does not allow the normal balance of supply and demand to determine price. For a monopoly to be most beneficial to the consumer, the company must work to find ways to improve its service and reduce the price. This does not happen easily in a monopoly environment.

When the US government broke the telecom monopoly, consumers actually saw rates increase before increased competition brought prices lower. That is because the monopoly subsidized local telephone charges by having higher rates on international calls.

The debate on monopolies is never going to be fully settled. Monopolies need to be judged on a case-by-case basis when assessing the impact on economic welfare. However, anti-monopoly legislation could wind up creating a situation where the government picks the winners and the losers. That could be a bigger problem than the monopolies themselves.

41st Ship for Southeast Asian and Japan Youth Program now opens

By Salma Jayne Tamano


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, April 2 (PIA) - The National Youth Commission (NYC) announces the opening of applications to the 41st Ship for Southeast Asian and Japan Youth Program (SSEAJYP).

SSEAJYP is an annual cultural exchange program that started in 1974 as a joint statement between ASEAN member States and Japan. Participated by young people from these countries, the program’s objective is to promote friendship and mutual understanding among them and the local youth in their respective countries.


Now on its 41st year, SSEAJYP has been instrumental in forging stronger relations among the youth of Southeast Asia and Japan.

For this year, there will be a selection of the following: Two Participating Youth (PY) from each region (1 male and 1 female); One National Leader (NL).

Discussion Facilitators who shall provide support for PYs in the Discussion Program

Application forms for SSEAJYP are available at www.nyc.gov.ph. The application form with the requirements for PYs and NLs may be submitted through email to sseayp41@nyc.gov.ph on or before April 25, 2014. The application form with requirements for Discussion Facilitators may be submitted on or before April 30, 2014. (Salma Jayne Tamano, NYC/PIA-Caraga)

DOLE intensifies info drive on labor trends

By Aloha Balhon-Jaudian


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, April 1 (PIA) --- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Misamis Oriental Field Office intensified its information drive on Labor Market Information (LMI) to high school and college graduating students.

The information drive is aimed to help incoming college students choose appropriate Bachelor’s Degree Program, and new entrants to the labor force find suitable work.

The massive information drive was conducted to continuously improve the positive job placement rate in Western Misamis Oriental.

In a four-year comparative analysis conducted by DOLE regional office 10, it was found out that information dissemination on labor trends is effective in decreasing job mismatch.

It was observed that Western Misamis Oriental has constantly improved since 2010 in its job placement rate attaining 81.34 percent in 2013.

Meanwhile, in the first quarter of the year, 3,881 secondary graduating students from public and private schools have availed of the information on priority degree programs and vocational courses that will satisfy, fit, and match skills in demand for the next six years.

The Department of Education (DepED) Division of Misamis Oriental also issued Division Advisory No. 38 series of 2014 supporting the information drive and recommending LMI as pre-graduation seminar to all public secondary and tertiary education in Misamis Oriental.

Private schools have made it a mandatory requirement to their students too.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED), on the other hand, suggested courses on Computer and Information Technology, Accounting, Hotel and Restaurant, Engineering, and Agriculture related fields to meet the in demand skills in the Construction, Metals and Engineering, Agri-fishery, ICT, Tourism, Manufacturing, and the Banking and Finance Industries.

DOLE also carried out career coaching in Lourdes College, Golden Heritage Polytechnic College, Bulua National Highschool, Iligan Computer Institute, Carmen National Highschool, CDO National Highscool, East Gusa National Highscool, Alubijid National Highscool, El Salvador New Colleges, Lapasan National Highschool, Lapasan National Highschool, Agusan National highschool,Cabalantian National Highschool, Manticao National Highschool, Mambuaya National Highschool, St. Anthony Parish School, Manticao Mission Academy, PN Roa Sr. Highschool, Iponan National Highschool, Macabalan National Highschool, Puntod National Highschoo, Opol NSTS, Opol Community College, Gusa Regional Science Highschool, Bugo National Highschool, Puerto National Highschool, Bukidnon State University (Manticao Central School) with the help of the Public Employment Service Office (PESO), (Aloha Balhon-Jaudian/DOLE-10/APB/PIA-10)