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Cagayan de Oro City News August 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

Contents

James Reid makes Mindanao women swoon in CDO birthday party

By Maurice Arcache

My friend, businesswoman Mags Cue, travels around the world to personally source the accessories and other fashion items for her 22 Mags stores nationwide. She recently celebrated her birthday by holding a party dubbed “Glitz and Glamour” at the Emerald Ballroom of Limketkai Luxe Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City. Prominent personalities from CDO and nearby cities of Northern Mindanao went to the party, as did fashion designer Renee Salud and Mutya ng Pilipinas execs Lynette Padolina and Mayenne Vijandre.

Young and handsome Filipino-Australian actor-singer James Reid, star of the hit romantic-comedies “Diary ng Panget” and “Talk Back and You’re Dead,” surprised the guests with a song number from his self-titled album. He serenaded the birthday celebrator with his enchanting voice that made many women-guests swoon. Some of the celebrities who have worked with Mags and whom she personally knew as well as her famille also extended their greetings through a video presentation. Personal messages were given by gorgeous actress Angel Aquino, Philippine Tatler’s Iloilo correspondent Nonoi Ybiernas, and moi, naturellement, palangga. It was very touching watching Mags. She shed tears of happiness while delivering her “thank you” message. Marks & Spencer During my school days in London, I’d go shopping at England’s iconic Marks & Spencer department store. And even in Manila, I still do, dahlings. So I’m very glad that Marks & Spencer opened a flagship store at Central Square in Bonifacio High Street, Taguig City. The store carries the familiar M&S sections such as women’s wear, men’s wear, lingerie and beauty essentials, and a stand-alone food store. (I remember that in London, I’d buy sandwiches from M&S.) The Marks & Spencer opening was in collaboration with the SoFa Design Institute, which hosted a style competition at the Central Square Atrium. Eight students from the school were asked to create key looks from the Marks & Spencer collections based on three themes: Stylish Work Wear, Laid-back Casual Weekend and Stylish Night Out.

The winner received P50,000 in cash and M&S gift vouchers. Runners-up received P10,000 worth of M&S gift vouchers each. “The newest store aims to improve the customer journey through improved navigation of personal style preferences,” said Marks & Spencer international visual merchandising head Lee-Oliver Morley. “[The store provides] a better layout and more inspiring in-store customer experience.” Marks & Spencer is at Central Square, 5th Ave. and 30th St., Bonifacio High Street Central, Taguig City. Store hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday -Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Bespoke bazaar Caravan II: Bespoke, the second installment of the popular lifestyle market, brought in an awesome assortment of brands with a très unique twist. Guests were able to make their lifestyle finds completely their own by having them personalized by artisans. Now that’s what I call real service, dahlings. For one weekend, the Kirov Model Unit at Rockwell became the mecca for stylish people. Available were monogrammed leather folios from Coco and Tres; clever plates by The Wareshop Total; stamps and embossers by The Best Impressions; delicate Morse code accessories from Adorno Handmade; choose-your-own charms from Stockton Row.

Michelline Syjuco’s latest collection and Lovlos were a hit with buyers. Attendees were also able to witness “art in action” with Robby Singh’s on-the-spot pet murals and digital paintings by Mawee Borromeo. Designer Nicole Whisenhunt, tastemaker Blue Carreon and Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, with his wife Marga, couldn’t stop from milling around the booths, while enjoying tasty yummies from participating eateries, Your Local and Scarsdale. Also spotted were Ria Prieto, head of Inquirer Red magazine; Hannah Cruz; and mother-and-daughter beauty duo, Dr. Vicki Belo and Cristalle Belo Henares of Belo Essentials. The latter brought her dog Maki and had his portrait done by artist Robby Singh. The second coming of Caravan proved what I’ve always said—that “everything looks exquisitely better with that personal touch.”

Higalaay 2014 parties: The ‘Live All Out’ experience

By Lenesse Marie Libres

HYPING up the city’s night life, Lifestyle District brought us their pre- and post-Higalaay Festival parties -- Prohibition and Republiqs Elektro Mundo -- two of the biggest parties for the fiesta season and Smart with Hot Nights 2.

‘Prohibition Party’

On August 23, all roads led to the night life center of Cagayan de Oro city, Lifestyle District, for its Prohibition’s Wet and Dry Dance Festival.

Youngest RnB Hip hop and "feisty" Ice Queen DJ Issa Ramos of Imperial Ice Bar, Philippine’s pop girl group Kitty Girls member Khai Lim, fastest rising female DJ Cammy V of Time, the gorgeous MC Marga; Manila’s the only female MC, prolific producer and DJ Clyde Harris of 6AM Group Asia, DJ Sam & Slippy of Arkitekno with a special performance from R Funk Ylaya, air swimmers, dancers, beer pong tournaments, and brand ambassadors while models strutted their swag in the catwalk wearing outfits from MAGS boutique and Gil Macaibay III Fashion Studio.

Prohibition is the first part of Lifestyle District’s double weekend parties. Republiq Elektro Mundo is set to end the fiesta month with a bang.

'Hot Nights 2'

From Hot Nights: Get Wild and Get Wet, Wear What You Dare in April, is Hot Nights 2 held on August 27, 2014.

On the eve of the city fiesta, Live Loud: Hot Nights 2 rocked the Lim Ket Kai Parking Lot with top DJs featuring Solo Club DJ of the year DJ Ace Ramos, DJ Nina Saputil, DJ Ron Poe and the Ultimate MIXtresses: DJ Ornussa and DJ Sanya.

Kagay-anons had one heck of a hot, wild and sexy party, fueled by Petrol and in partnership with Smart Communications.

Also, last April 30, 2014, party lovers danced till dawn with DJ Cocoy, DJ Kylie and DJ RB with the top bikini bachelorettes and Hunk Lifeguards of Cebu at the Hot Nights considered as the sexiest summer party this year.

‘Republiq Elektro Mundo Party’

What is it like? From Masskara Festival, Dinagyang, Panagbenga and Sinulog comes Republiq Elektro Mundo on August 30, the last leg of Lifestyle District’s Double Weekend Party.

Tonight, party Elektro Mundo style with Republiq, superclub of Resorts World Manila, the clubbing legends of the Philippines with a superb experience in hosting the concerts of Avicil, Afrojack, Bruno Mars, Chainsmokers Benni Benassi, R3hab, LMFAO, Kaskade and Calvin Harris, to name only a few.

Jive crew member and beats producer MC Aoh, superstar Djs X-Factor, the Metro’s hottest female DJ Nina Saputil and Marc Naval along with CdeO’s best MC R Funk, DJs John "Sam" Samonte and RB Banaag will be on stage during the Elektro Mundo party.

Jason Uy, Lito Muñoz, John Samonte, Roselle Reyes, Jude Uy and Michael Valerio, the team behind the awesome double weekend party of Lifestyle District, are excited to end the festivities with a bang at the Elektro Mundo Party tonight.

“We at Lifestyle District are proud to bring this concept to Cagayan de Oro tonight. A party hosted by the best party scene in the country with the best venue in CdeO. For the partyphiles in the city, you are welcome to experience a feast of the senses and enjoy what Republiq and Elektro Mundo is all about!” Samonte said.

The Elektro Mundo Party is set to end the month with the swankiest post fiesta party ever, inviting everyone to have fun, dance and party, wet or dry, from dusk till dawn.

Cops abducted Mulawan: Oro mayor

By Alyssa C. Clenuar

AFTER a Cavite trial court judge dismissed the rape case filed against Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) senior draftsman and whistleblower Emmanual Mulawan Sr., Mayor Oscar Moreno said the arresting officers, who identified themselves as members of the Gitagum town police and apprehended Mulawan, have a lot of explaining to do.

“The police who arrested Mr. Mulawan and brought him to Manila have a lot of explaining to do. I believe the police abducted him,” Moreno said.

Mulawan was arrested in his office inside COWD on June 11, 2014 and immediately brought to Imus, Cavite the following day by four arresting officers from Gitagum police station.

Mulawan told reporters during the press conference at the city hall Thursday morning that he remembers the policemen’s answer when he asked who was behind his arrest – “ordered from the higher-ups.”

“I asked one of the policemen about the expenses of the tickets. When he replied, I butted in and asked him who sponsored the tickets. He didn’t elaborate, but constantly said, ‘from the higher ups’ which I did not question further,” he said.

When they arrived in Manila, he expected to be brought to Camp Crame keeping in mind the “higher-ups” would mean high-ranking police officials, but he was brought instead to Dasmariñas city jail before he was detained in Imus, Cavite, until his release on August 27.

Mulawan, however, denied that he was framed up because of his advocacy in exposing alleged anomalies inside COWD, particularly the board of directors and the general manager.

“I could not point to the COWD board of directors and the general manager as the culprit behind my arrest, but all I could say is – justice will soon prevail,” Mulawan said.

Moreno assured Mulawan and his family that the city government will do everything so that justice will be served, however, it will not delve into Mulawan’s involvement in exposing the alleged wrongdoings in COWD.

“There will be an investigation and I will think about it thoroughly yet. But I should not comment on issues where Manny is involved in because I might come out as biased. Rest assured, we, from the city government, will do everything we can to render justice to him,” Moreno said.

Mulawan believes that his experience inside the jail, although harrowing, was worth it and that he is at peace with himself.

“I believe my fight was not for myself but for the concessionaires of water district,” he said.

After the press conference Mulawan has been brought to a hospital for physical check-up as he loses weight and limps.

Oro biz group to host M’nao Food Congress 2014 in Sept

By sunstar.com.ph


THE Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. (Oro Chamber) will host the Mindanao Food Congress 2014, the largest gathering of agriculture and food industry players, government policy makers, exhibitors, businessmen and consumers in Mindanao. This year's Food Congress with the ultimate goal of aligning Mindanao Food Security in the Asean Market hopes to re-affirm the position of the island as the country's food basket by showcasing its agricultural products toward finding new markets and establishing industry networks. More importantly, this conference will be an opportune time for private-public stakeholders to discuss policy issues as they prepare Mindanao for the challenges of the One ASEAN Economic Community in 2015. Set on September 25-26, at the Luxe Hotel, the Mindanao Food Congress is also co-hosted by the city government of Cagayan de Oro, Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), Mindanao Business Council (MinBC), and the Chamber of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Industries (CAFFINORMIN). Meanwhile, Secretary Mar Roxas of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) supports this congress as he is one of the invited keynote speakers on the said event. The secretary has also issued Memorandum Circular No. 2014-88 encouraging all local chief executives in Mindanao Regions to send representatives on the said congress, particularly from their respective Local Agricultural Office to participate on official business. All DILG Regional Directors of Mindanao and the ARMM Regional Governor are also directed to disseminate the memorandum circular within their respective jurisdiction. (Oro Chamber)

Police: Crime dips as feast nears

By Mario C. Manlupig Jr.

AT THE height of the Higalaay Kagay-an Festival 2014, the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) has noticed a decline in criminal activities on the streets following the high-level alert and tighter security measures implemented by law enforcers.

As the feast of St. Augustine comes to its grandest day Thursday, Chief Inspector Lemuel Gonda, chief of operations and plans division, said authorities are still in control of the city's peace and order.

"Since January, nag-drop ang crime rate because we have intensive campaigns. In August, as the fiesta approaches, the number of street crimes has slowed down by and by," Gonda told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Tuesday morning.

At the beginning of 2014, the city police have conducted the intensified campaign against terrorism, criminality, and other hostilities movement (“Icatchm”) and the intensified peace and order drive (“Ipod”) that include regular check points, roving operations, manpower augmentation and police outposts.

As the month of August opened, police security map Oplan Senior San Agustin 2014 has been placed to maintain the highest alert status of the city.

The Philippine Army is also working jointly with the authorities.

Major Christian Uy, chief of the Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division's (4ID) public affairs office, told this paper previously they have deployed personnel in monitoring suspicious persons entering the city.

City councilor Ramon Tabor, chair of the committee on police, fire and public safety, cited the role of the public has helped in maintaining a safe and peaceful place.

"[The primary reason of the decreasing crime rate is the] joint effort among concerned agencies helping us and, of course, the support and cooperation of the people. Let us continue to enjoy the different activities lined up and pray for the safety of our city and the people," Tabor said Tuesday morning.

Northern Mindanao's Police Regional Office (PRO-10) added 150 police officers coming from the Regional Public Safety Battalion last August 13.

The Special Training Unit of PRO also had augmented 100 police trainees distributed around the city since the second week of the month.

Police records from the City Investigation and Detection Management Bureau (CIDMB), however, showed most crime suspects are still at large.

In its Unit Crime Periodic Report (ICPR) from January to May this year, suspects who remained scot-free have reached 52 out of the 82 alleged perpetrators in murder and rape-related cases alone.

Superintendent Adonis Mutya, CIDMB chief, said the shortcoming of the data is also possible as it only documented the police blotters of every station.

Gonda furthered crime incidents related to the month-long fiesta celebration have not transpired as its campaigns continue.

Last Monday August 18, a 10 year-old girl was allegedly raped in Cogon area by still unidentified tricycle driver. The victim was taken into custody of the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD).

Based on police records, robbery that involves ransacking of private vehicles has surged in August alone.

"We cannot stop this kind of street crime. What we can do about it is to conduct preventive measures on the part of car owners. We must see to it we park our vehicles at safe places," Gonda said.

In June and July, both index and non-index crimes like summary killings, robbery and drug peddling have peaked at an alarming level.

Test run of new Oro traffic lights in chaos

By Alyssa C. Clenuar

TO EASE up the road congestion in Cagayan de Oro City, the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) conducted the test run of the new traffic lights last week, but it received complaints from motorists and passengers who claimed the trial run brought chaos instead.

On Friday morning, August 22, vehicles from Macanhan, Upper Balulang, and those passing by Vamenta Boulevard in Barangay Carmen and at the circumferential road, Rodelsa Circle, in Barangay Macasandig were in long queues.

Drivers became hotheaded while shouting and beeping were heard as the new traffic lights went online at Carmen junction near West City Central School.

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“Grabe, makasapot. I missed my flight because of this. Nobody told us that they were opening the new traffic lights here. To think I woke up early because I know my flight is early, still, I am stuck in traffic because of it (test run),” Marni Yap, a traveler, ranted when asked by Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro while her vehicle got stuck in the traffic.

“They should have informed the public about this. Dili baya sila ang ma-hassle (They are not the ones inconvenienced here),” Yap said.

In Barangay Nazareth, along 15th Street headed toward Cogon market, vehicles and “tri-sikads” were also snarled. Motorcycles were the only ones capable of maneuvering in tiny spaces between trucks, cars, jeeps and “motorelas.”

Motorist Raul Blanco had been stuck for almost two hours before an RTA officer took control and straightened out the traffic congestion. He believes the traffic lights are not ideal for the area.

“It is a small area that does not need traffic lights. I have been passing through here for my whole stay in the city since I only live along the street. There was no traffic at all. Maybe on some occasions, but not this time. Kalas gas, kalas oras gyud. Wala’y ayo (It was a waste of gas and a waste of time. It was useless),” Blanco said.

RTA consultant Jose Edgardo Uy said in a previous interview that they are continually installing traffic lights together with the installation of closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs) while holding a dry run during the fiesta season.

Uy welcomed suggestions and comments about the trial run since they can be helpful to the betterment of their services.

“The traffic lights have been activated for testing purposes. We thank all those who sent comments and suggestions. In the afternoon of Friday, August 22, we discussed the comments and suggestions sent to us and asked the contractor in coordination with the RTA to make adjustments to the time settings,” he said.

“I also had my own observations when I passed by several of the newly energized traffic lanterns and there were motorists who did not know where to stop at intersections with new traffic lights. Motorists initially ignored the stopping lines that are parallel to the pedestrian lanes,” he added.

However, the full activation of the city’s new traffic light system has no date yet.

THE WORM’S EYEVIEW: Replacing unreliable or incompetent officials

By Manny Valdehuesa

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/25 August) — Any barangay, municipality, or city that made a mistake in its choice of officials during the last elections can do something about it even now to weed out the unresponsive, the incompetent, or the unreliable.

It’s a widespread problem that any citizen can do something about, doing our society a great favor. It just needs a recall initiative by a group of citizens. Recall of course is the legal process of having an undesirable official relieved and replaced by the constituents for loss of confidence.

In a democracy loss of confidence is a very serious matter, for it concerns the credibility, reliability, or competence of an official. Public confidence is essential for good governance. It is the most important aspect of public office, the basis for wielding power and authority.

Any official who loses the people’s confidence cannot govern properly or effectively; it will be big problem for him to decide or act on official matters. If he stays on without the people’s confidence or backing, or if he forces the issue, he will be stymied by legal challenges and outright non-cooperation, making his administration virtually inutile.

It is why in advanced democracies resignation or relief from the position usually follows a vote declaring loss of confidence in the leader or his party. Without public support, there is no point in holding on to the office.

To ignore the issue or let it pass on the chance that it will go away will only worsen conditions in the community. It will encourage officials to think the people don’t really care, that there’s no penalty for being neglectful or even corrupt. They will take the community for granted.

Before long, people will wake up to find that from simple neglect or inattention, the issue has grown into outright corruption that will be difficult to undo. That’s why the issue of trust must be confronted decisively and resolutely—and why constituents must be vigilant, attentive to community affairs, with special focus on its governing processes. Otherwise abuse will creep in, incubate corruption, and become virtually unmanageable.

Preventing abuse and eradicating local corruption are best done by citizens of the community. They are the sovereign power, the ultimate authority—the Boss, as P-Noy prefers to call them.

Members of the community have every right to remove bad or unreliable officials. It’s why the law allows them to recall and replace officials without awaiting regular elections. It’s how they can rectify an error of judgment committed by the voters during the previous election.

The law tells us that elected officials have no business staying in office if they fail to live up to promises or assurances they make during their candidacy—and that removing and replacing them without awaiting regular elections is the way to secure the wellbeing of our community.

Unfortunately, although this power is well enunciated in the law, we citizens seem reluctant or afraid to invoke it—perhaps out of fear of failure or, worse, fear of reprisals from powerful trapos or traditional politicians.

That may be so but it is unbecoming for powerful sovereign citizens to be intimidated by their own public servants. Servants are supposed to serve in a manner satisfactory to their masters—a duty or obligation intoned in their oath of office and job description.

If the officials are just inept or incompetent, all the more reason to remove them. The community shouldn’t be burdened with their salaries and benefits, letting them enjoy the perks of office, if they’re unreliable and undeserving of trust. Mere loss of confidence is a ground for recall.

To rid a barangay, town, or city of an unwanted or undesirable executive, a simple procedure is provided by the Local Government Code (R.A. 7160), Sections 69-75. It will enable the people to make up for the mistake of enthroning unsuitable officials, replacing them with better leaders.

But it needs resolute citizens to launch the initiative; it won’t succeed if only a few support it because majority vote is needed. Otherwise even ordinary folks can take the lead if they have the will or determination to improve conditions in the community. They have but to assert their right to have officials they can rely upon.

“Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them” (Article II, Section 1, Constitution). This provision needs to be internalized by every Filipino, to invoke if the community’s welfare and its members’ right to good governance are an issue. It’s there to underscore the power of ordinary citizens.

Remember Dagohoy and Gabriela Silang? They were ordinary barrio folks. Even Andres Bonifacio was an ordinary fellow from a neighborhood of Tondo in Manila. None of them had exalted titles—no rank, no shiny buttons on their shoulder or chest.

They simply made bold to assert their sovereign right and power to demand good governance and justice. In the process, they sparked a great revolution.

The question is, where today are the Filipinos who can spark reform and revolution?

‘Kahimunan’ NorMin food and lifestyle show opens

By Lenesse Marie Libres

THE Kahimunan Northern Mindanao Food and Lifestyle Show, one of Higalaay fiesta’s core events, is now underway at SM City Cagayan de Oro.

Launched on Saturday morning, August 23, the Kahimunan Show has been an annual event that has been modified from last year’s Kahimunan Northern Mindanao Trade Fair.

Unlike the usual five–day affair, Northern Mindanao's top delicacy and native goods suppliers are allowed to display until the end of the month, offering great food and unique handmade products such as native delicacies, abaca made bags, furniture, room decors and more at low prices.

According to Liza Alcantar, division chief of Business Development Division, Department of Trade and Industry–Northern Mindanao, this year’s products have undergone development making them definitely better.

“Over the years, our exhibitors have made their products more world class. They have been around since 1990s when we started the fair. They participated in activities to upgrade their products and this is very timely because the Go Negosyo Bill has been signed into law already, and now, we can level up or MSMEs. We can say that we are getting there, our products are finally getting a spot in the global arena,” Alcantar said.

“Kahimunan means celebration and gathering. Today, we celebrate the hard work, passion, creativity and dream of Northern Mindanao to find a place in the global market,” she added.

Exhibitors for this year are 2N Handicrafts, SLERS Industries Inc., Alubijid Weavers, Pan E Dolci Co., Cherry Michelle’s Cake and Pastries, Rustic Woodworks, Bukidnon’s Bounty, Poona’s Finest, FOPANORMIN, Greenminds Inc., Misamis Oriental ARC Abundance, Greenpastures Corporation, Alwana Wood Products Inc., Buhat sa Misamis Occidental, Chino’s Deli, Chris Gomez Creative Design, Highland Fresh, Hinam-is, Kinilaw Mix, Dessert Strip, LANORPA – Made in Iligan, Southern Yui Farms Inc., Tinabuan Arts and Crafts, and Dayawan Handmade Paper.

Dayawan Handmade Paper Project

"Suga" or lamp shades are the latest product innovation of the women in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental who are part of the livelihood project of the San Roque Handmade Paper Products Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

It is a non-stock, non-profit organization in the municipality of Villanueva, Misamis Oriental and popularly known by its trade name which is "Dayawan Handmade Paper."

Supported by the STEAG State Power Inc. (SPI), Dayawan Handmade Paper is exhibiting its products at the Kahimunan NorMin Food and Lifestyle Show 2014 selling handmade paper from abaca fiber turned into greeting cards, storage boxes, pen holders, lamp shades and other innovative novelty items.

Prices of the lamp shades range from P430 to P2,500, according to Elena Sayre, in charge of the Dayawan Handmade Paper stall.

Kahimunan Special Awards

“This year, we will be awarding our exhibitors some special awards.This is the first time we are doing this ever since Kahimunan started,” Maria Eliza Pabillore, DTI Misamis Oriental provincial director, announced during the launching ceremonies of Kahimunan.

Out of all the 24 exhibitors, winners will be chosen for the three categories, which is the Best Product Design for Houseware and Furnishing, Best Product Design for Fashion and Most innovative Food Product.

The "Best Product" awards will be given to the exhibitors. This combines creativity of form, function, quality, workmanship and innovations as well as the materials used and local value, while the "Most Innovative Food Product" will be judged through product innovation, packaging innovation, certifications, export potentials, and hundred percent made of local ingredients.

The winners of the three categories will be given special privileges for the whole year and for Kahimunan 2015.

Mayor Oscar Moreno, who headed the launching and ribbon cutting ceremony, said that Kahimunan is another opportunity to create inclusive growth.

“These activities for MSMEs is very helpful in pushing growth in the region. As the region grows, CdeO will also benefit. As we celebrate the coming feast, we have to be grateful for these blessings,” Mayor Moreno said in his keynote speech.

Kahimunan stalls will be available until August 31.

Oro puts up Investment Promotion Center

By Butch D. Enerio

IN STRENGTHENING good governance and enhancing the economic prosperity of the people, the local government unit (LGU) and the private sector have collaborated to spur investment in Cagayan de Oro City.

A memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed recently by the City Government of Cagayan de Oro, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Misamis Oriental and the Promote CdO Foundation, a non-stock, non-profit private organization, would seek to implement effective promotional strategies to attract investors into the city.

The MOA underscored the respective indispensable roles of the LGU, DTI and Promote CdO, as key players in the growth and development of the city, particularly in stimulating the economy through investments in tourism, trade and industry, the services sector that contribute to inclusive growth and employment generation.

The establishment of the CdeO Trade and Investment Promotion Center (Oro-IPC) was mutually agreed by the parties, which will provide business promotion and facilitation services, especially for start-up businesses, coordinate events such as inbound and outbound missions to advance the city’s competitiveness.

The signing the MOA was done by Mayor Oscar Moreno, Ma. Elisa Pabillore of DTI Misamis Oriental, and Jaime Rafael Paguio of the Promote CdO, and witnessed by USAid visiting personalities.

Moreno said the establishment of the Oro-IPC is one of the processes and mechanisms on good governance that are essential in improving efficiency in the delivery of public services and curbing graft and corruption.

“This is something to show to our people that indeed we can simplify procedures of our frontline services that will definitely cut short the processing time of transactions, hence, making our service to the transacting public fast, efficient, convenient and reliable, notwithstanding reducing bureaucratic red tape,” Moreno said.

Cagayan de Oro is one of the pilot cities in the country of the project Invest (Investment Enabling Environment), initiated by the United States Assistance for International Development (USAid) to encourage would-be investors to locate in the city.

The Invest project was designed to make transacting business with city hall fast and less cumbersome specially when applying for licenses as a result of good governance thus cutting red-tape which has remained a bane for investors.

Among reforms identified in the Invest study are the automation of the business permit and licensing system (BPLS) and linking it with Philippine Business Registry; establishment of one-stop-shops; and streamlining of inspection systems.

Aside from Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo and Batangas are among the urban centers in the country handpicked as pilot cities chosen by USAid because of their demonstrated economic potential.

Adventure and food in Cagayan de Oro: A ‘Biyahe ni Drew’ itinerary

By Cristina Tantengco/KG, GMA News

With its whitewater rafting, adventure parks, and loads of fresh seafood, it’s no wonder Cagayan de Oro is one of the Philippines’ top destinations for adrenaline junkies!

Here’s the itinerary used by Drew Arellano and the crew of “Biyahe ni Drew.”

Fast facts

Cagayan De Oro is also known as the “City of Golden Friendship.” While we were here, we noticed that the locals were friendly and could help travelers because they could speak English and Tagalog in addition to their native tongue. Here’s a tip: When traveling to Cagayan de Oro (or “CDO” as some call it), go in a group of at least five people. Most tours and activities require a minimum of five participants. The law against jaywalking is strictly enforced in Cagayan de Oro. The fine is P1,500 and travelers are not excused.

How to get there

By air. Cagayan de Oro is just two hours from Manila by plane. If you’re coming from the Visayan islands, the flight is even shorter!

What to do

•Whitewater rafting The jump-off point for Cagayan de Oro’s famous whitewater rafting is a one-hour drive away from the city proper. Package tours include the use of a life vest and helmets, and a safety briefing — be sure to pay attention!

There are two options for rafting tours. The “short course” features 14 rapids and goes for P900 per person, while the “long course” passes 21 rapids and costs P1,000 per person. There’s a minimum of five people per group.

•Mapawa Nature Park Located 30 minutes from the city proper, Mapawa offers a 20-minute trail hike that takes you to a 350-year-old heritage tree. From here, it’s another 15-minute hike to the jump-off point for the river trek. There’s a waterfall that’s around two storeys high and acts as a natural slide, a six-storey-high waterfall that you have to rappel down, and a 25-foot-high cliff jump. This river trek costs P1,200 per person, with a minimum of five people per group. Lunch is included.

You can also try the forest zip line for P325 or go horseback riding for P200 an hour. There’s also a bed and breakfast where you can stay for P650 per head, minimum of five people in a group.

What to see

•Malasag Eco Tourism Village The Malasag Eco Tourism Village is near Mapawa but focuses on a more cultural experience. Here, you can see and even experience the traditions of Mindanao’s indigenous tribes. If you’re looking for accommodations, they’ve also got you covered. For P1,850 you can already get a room for two with breakfast.

•Macahambus Cave You’ll pass by Macahambus Cave on the way to the whitewater rafting jump-off point. If you have a lull in your schedule, set aside some time to explore this historic cave. In 1900, this cave was the hideout of the Kagay-anon soldiers during the Battle of Macahambus Hill — the first victory of Filipinos during the Filipino-American War.

The cave itself is short, and when you get out, you’ll see the Cagayan River.

•Tsada Kagay-an City Tour This tour is organized by the local government and has been up and running daily since 2012. “I found the tour very informative. The guides are professional,” says Drew. “They knew what they were talking about, and maraming sights kaming napuntahan that stem from their local flavor...from the market, to showing us some of the ancient buildings, to the cathedral, and this house owned by a prominent family that showed relics of the distant past.” The four-hour tour costs P599 per person.

Where and what to eat

•Divisoria Plaza Every Friday and Saturday night, the streets around the plaza are closed to make way for food stalls and tables where locals and travelers alike can enjoy street food and a cold drink.

•Nanol’s Cafe The Cogon Market is open from 1 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is a great place to buy pasalubong or have a snack. For breakfast and teatime, look for Nanol’s Cafe. This small shop sells sikwati (hot chocolate) and the kakanin called putomaya for a winning combination.

•Humba ni Aling Violy Humba is a pork stew popular in the southern part of the Philippines, and Aling Violy makes the best one in Cagayan. For just P35, you can try a serving of humba with rice. Add P10 to P15 for drinks and you’re all set!

•Sinuglaw Pork, ginger, eggs, and — Drew’s favorite ingredient — coconut milk? No wonder this dish was a hit with the “Biyahe ni Drew” crew.

•Richie’s Baby Back Ribs “Pork fat is good!” says Drew. At Richie’s, there’s the half-slab (P250) and full slab (P599) that both come with a side of veggies. The meat just falls off the bone, and is meltingly tender. There’s also buffalo chicken with fried garlic, an unexpected combo that works really well.

•Poldo’s Lechon Restaurant For our nighttime food trip, we went to Poldo’s and gorged on juicy meat and crispy skin! “Solid, ito talaga favorite ko,” says Drew.

•Isla Bonita Cagayan de Oro doesn’t just have adventures outdoors. They’ve also got exotic dishes for the adventurous foodie. Give them a try at Isla Bunita.

•Missy Bonbon Breadshop This bakeshop and cafe has great pastel, or soft bread stuffed with rich yema. Apart from the original recipe, they also make pastel stuffed with hazelnut and chocolate. If you want something a bit heavier, Missy Bonbon also has pancakes and pasta.

Kahimunan 2014 to showcase best products of Northern Mindanao

By pia.gov.ph

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Aug. 21 - More than 30 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) from different provinces of Northern Mindanao will showcase the region’s best products in the Kahimunan Northern Mindanao Food and Lifestyle Show 2014 on August 23 to 30, at SM City, Masterson Avenue, Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City.

The Kahimunan 2014 is a core event of the Higalaay Kagay-an Festival 2014, an annual city fiesta celebration of the city.

It is hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) which features products of Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental – from processed food beverages, gifts and hardwares, fashion accessories, home style and living and health and organic products.

Oneof the features of this event is the recognition of Best Product Design for Housewares/Furnishing and Fashion Categories as well as recognition of the Most Innovative Food Product.

The Kahimunan 2014 is a marketing event to enable MSMEs to promote and access new markets for their products. Further, trade trainings and product development activities were conducted as part of the preparatory activities for the event. (DTI-MOR/PIA10)





Oro lawmaker blames NGO for listing names under his PDAF

By Mario C. Manlupig Jr.


CAGAYAN DE ORO first district Representative Rolando Uy remains unfazed amid the imminent charges that he will face and instead put the blame on the bogus non-government organization (NGO) which allegedly faked the more than 800 signatures of former and incumbent barangay officials and residents.

Uy said the Commission on Audit (COA) has to conduct an investigation on reports linking him to Kabuhayan at Kalusugang Alay sa Masa Foundation Inc. (KKAMFI), an NGO which implemented Uy's Livelihood Technology Kit project.

Uy sees KKAMFI and the people behind the foundation liable in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel controversy because they are the ones who "faked" the signatures of incumbent and former barangay officials in the distribution list of the kit's beneficiaries.

Forged signature

"The foundation itself wronged the list. Why would I include these people in the list when in the first place I know them? It's like I'm putting myself in danger," said Uy, adding that even his signature was also forged.

Listed as supposed beneficiaries are government officials here who have denied the signatures were theirs. They even said their signatures were faked.

Some of them were former Barangay Puntod chair and incumbent city councilor Alexander Dacer, Barangay Puntod chair Marvin Beja (who used to be a barangay kagawad), former Barangay Puerto chair Milagros Lao, Sun*Star Cagayan de Oro's copy editor and former Puerto village council secretary Jigger Jerusalem and many others.

Dacer, Beja, Lao, and Jerusalem and many others are listed as beneficiaries from Barangay Mambuaya. But they confirmed they are not residents of the said village. All of them belong to the city’s second congressional district under Rep. Rufus Rodriguez.

Uy said he has not known anyone from KKAMFI which he believed the foundation might have gotten the names from the records of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

'Perjury case'

On the brewing perjury case of the village captains enlisted as beneficiaries, he said: "That's their prerogative. But just to clarify it, it was not me who let them signed the documents. They have no evidence to show that I was there when they signed that. However, all these allegations will be answered in the court at the proper time."

For now, Uy maintained, he is gathering witnesses to file his affidavit to the Office of the Ombudsman which can attest he distributed thousands of seedlings and the kit.

Contrary to reports, Uy admitted receipt of around P10 million from the PDAF, not P34 million or P39 million.

In a special report of the COA published on gmanetwork.com website, Uy received over P14.5 million.

Meanwhile, allies of Uy in the Liberal Party are convinced that this controversy boils down either to political agenda of the opposition or the will of the NGO to liquidate the fund.

"I don't believe Klarex did it. Just look at the beneficiaries, everyone of them are from his rival's political camp. It's possible one of them is behind this bogus foundation. Aside from it being politically motivated, the foundation fabricated all their documents just so they could liquidate the funds," city councilor Enrico Salcedo said.

Beja, however, told this paper the village chairs enlisted as beneficiaries of Uy's program have yet to meet whether or not they will file the case. He added they all want to clear their names.

Jollibee to open 100th Mindanao store in Oro

By Lenesse Marie Libres


JOLLIBEE Food Corporation will open another branch—its 100th for Mindanao—in the city this August, in time for Cagayan de Oro’s fiesta week.

The newest Jollibee store under construction is located beside Polymedic Hospital at A. Velez St which is one of the busiest streets in the city. Schools, hospitals, offices and businesses are located near the area, making the newest branch a strategic location.

“We will open the 100th Mindanao store here, during the fiesta week. That way, our opening will be blessed with the city’s festival,” said DJ Santos, JFC Trade Marketing Officer for Mindanao.

It will also be the 17th Jollibee branch in the city, living up to its promise to provide Filipinos more places to bond and share ‘langhap sarap’ food while creating happy memories.

In 1991, Jollibee opened its first store outside Luzon in this city. In that same year, pancakes and jolly meals were launched with JFC hitting an enormous P2.65 billion in sales. Their 100th Philippine branch opened in Davao City as well.

Twenty-three years later, as Mindanao’s economy grows, its confidence in the region strengthens too.

In an interview with a major daily, JFC chief financial officer Ysmael V. Baysa said that Jollibee Foods Corporation aim to be the largest homegrown quick service restaurant chain in Asia by 2020.

However, customers have been complaining because of the long queues and slow service at Jollibee food chains particularly during rush hours.

Santos assures that they are working on solutions to address that, and they are more than overwhelmed at how Cagayan de Oro is being touted as a "Jollibee City."

“That is why we are opening more branches, some even close or beside another branch. This is to answer to the Kagay-anons demand for our food,” Santos added.

The Jollibee Velez branch will open its doors anytime this week.

3rd Mindanao Fashion Summit: Local designers aim for global impact

By Lenesse Marie Libres


WHILE everyone thinks that the country’s second largest island has already maximized its abilities, the 3rd Mindanao Fashion Summit (MFS) focused the spotlight on the richness of Mindanao when it comes to its past, present and future.

In all kinds of art, creative influences come from its culture, even fashion. The MFS aimed to bring cultures and regions into one through designs and skills of tailoring and embroidery.

Designers from Ozamiz, Davao, Butuan, Iligan and Cagayan de Oro City gathered in one venue to pull off another fabulous event full of patterns, textures, fabric and style.

The 3rd MFS successfully ended with its Holiday Collection on August 10, 2014 at the Rotunda of the Lim Ket Kai Mall.

Highlights of the fashion show were the top creations by 27 local designers, namely, Alma Mae Roa, Dionesio Joao Tarepe, Alquin Cap-atan, Jinky Petalcorin, Fuji Jimenez, Angela Soriano, Emi Englis, Ann Semblante, Erwin Tan, Frida Cabilis, Benjie S. Manuel, Boogie Musni Rivera, Felison Canete, Anthony Blan Emboy, Gil Macaibay III, John Mark Magallanes, Joey Sendico, Jermaine Nabong, Jonnie Navarro, Adonis Maquidato, Joshua Guibone, Juniel Doring, Mark Christopher Yaranon, Mavy Cooper De Leon, Victor Tusing and Ruvil Neri.

Unlike the past summits, this 3rd Mindanao Fashion Summit is the first attempt to showcase an all Mindanaoan talents and designs.

Models graced the catwalk wearing modern and stylish camouflage prints, sequined patterns, work style fashion incorporated to gowns and modern men’s wear.

‘Higalaay’

During the activity, the Cagayan de Oro City’s Higalaay 2014 t-shirt was also worn by prominent people of the city.

“The purpose of celebrating fiesta aside from eating good food and exciting activities is actually to promote Cagayan De Oro City to attract investors, tourist and foreigners to boost our economy. And having launched the name ‘Higalaay’ for Kagayaan Festival, it is the best way to describe Cagayan De Oro,” Sean Oliver Moreno, son of Mayor Oscar Moreno, said.

Moreno is one of the main endorsers of the Higalaay shirt. Sold at P250, the proceeds of the shirts will be used for funding of the fiesta feeding program for street children.

The event is hosted by Oro Fashion Designers guild and Designers Assembly together with FHGG event matters, The Cagayan de Oro city government and the Department of Tourism – 10.

Headed by summit chairman Glenn Cabaral and Designer’s Assembly President John Mark Magallanes, the summit is geared toward the promotion of the pride of the local fashion industry and the Mindanaoan designer as global designers.

Cagayan de Oro as prime city of the south was agreed the appropriate host of the summit being the number one emerging economy of the country.

The Sendongkoy bloc (cult's) deadly political Ebola virus

By Susan Palmes-Dennis


WHAT do you call someone or some group who got infected by the virus of politics? And how do you cure them?

This is the only thought that crossed my simple mind after reading a news report on this paper concerning Nazareth barangay chairperson Bebot Rodriquez along with other barangay officials who raised concerns over delays in approving road projects in the city to be funded by Reps. Rolando Uy and Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City's 1st and 2nd districts respectively.

That same story also showed barangay chairperson Rodriguez wondering why the projects remain unfinished saying “they should have been implemented long time ago.”

I wonder why the Cagayan de Oro City Council comprised of loyalists of the unlamented previous administration is taking too long to approve the projects.

The reason is so clear. Those objecting and blocking the implementation of the projects are fearful that if the projects are implemented the public would give credit to the administration of Mayor Oscar Moreno. The Padayon Pilipino majority blocs don’t want that. I don't believe they're stupid or ignorant. Their brazen disregard to the needs and welfare of the taxpayers is simply staggering.

They don’t care about their constituents enough to work for their welfare that is my opinion. Why should they allow these projects to be implemented and risk the loss of public trust on them and their lord?

That's the only reason any objective person can think of for their continued refusal. If there are funds and the projects already passed muster from auditors and budget officials alike, what's keeping the council from approving them?

As expected the political minions of former mayor Vicente “Sendongkoy” Emano are infected by the political virus that makes them blind, deaf and dumb to anyone but their lord and master.

Their rabid loyalty to their chain-smoking patron borders disturbingly enough and is similar to the fanaticism seen among cults (it had been rumored that Sendongkoy's Padayon Pilipino is a cult masquerading as a political party).

But such is the sad reality of Philippine politics even if the elections are less than two years away.

Then senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. released funds for the improvement of JR Borja Hospital but Sendongkoy would have none of it so most of the funds went back to the national coffers.

Anyone would describe it as stupidity. It was the highest form of political insanity to deprive Cagayan de Oro City residents of services from an improved city hospital just because Sendongkoy feared they will be grateful to Pimentel.

Back then, the JR Borja hospital functioned more like a funeral parlor than an actual hospital. By refusing to accept funds allocated by their political rivals, Sendongkoy and his Padayon Pilipino bloc (cult?) are robbing their constituents of services owed to them all for political glory.

But they don’t care. And now they are still doing it. Trust me they would give Rodriquez and company a million and one reasons why the projects could not be implemented. By the way infrastructure is so important to progress; I don’t have to elaborate on that. Even kindergarten pupils can answer that question.

Bebot Rodriquez noted that the 2012 and 2013 road projects were approved by the City Council, but this year’s road projects for the city's two districts remained pending.

And when the people complain about bad roads or no roads at all, then of course Sendongkoy's bloc (cult) would gleefully point their accusing fingers on the present administration.

Like I said—the Sendongkoy political virus has eaten up their system, rendering them blind, deaf and dumb to anyone but the chain-smoking lord and master of their lives.

They have no real allegiance whatsoever to their constituents, who pay their salaries, obscene allowances and meals and continue to employ their relatives and allowed them to reap material profits from their overstaying tenure in public office.

Their version of public service is defined by their rabid, fanatical loyalty to their master. Their contempt for Mayor Moreno is only overcome by the greater contempt Cagayan de Oro City residents have towards them for their brazen arrogance, collective ignorance and blind obeisance to their lord.

Last week it was reported that Councilor Alexander Dacer fell from a chair during a City Council session because one leg of his chair collapsed. A listener during the session also fell, supposedly because of the same reason.

Vice Mayor Ian Caesar Acenas, whose first election as SangguniangKabataan (SK) Federation chairman in 1996 was fraught with controversy as an SK candidate questioned the legitimacy of the election returns, had the gall to blame Moreno for the faulty furniture.

If they themselves cannot fix the faulty furniture in their own backyard with funds they approved for themselves, how would their constituents realistically expect them to fix the problems of the city which they continually blame the mayor for?

In the meantime, the Sendongkoy council bloc (cult) should shut up their motormouth ways and approve the projects immediately. As to the answer in my opening question, there's only one way to deal with a life-threatening cancer/virus. And that's to cut it out, amputate it if necessary lest it pollute the whole system.

Pamatong accused of forced MNLF recruitment

By Maricel Butardo


CAGAYAN DE ORO -- Residents of a barangay in Cagayan de Oro City were allegedly harassed by Ely Pamatong, who claims to be the lawyer of fugitive Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founder Nur Misuari.

Pamatong, who rose to infamy in 2004 after his supporters scattered steel spikes on EDSA following his derailed presidential bid, allegedly harassed residents to force them to join the MNLF.

Those who do not want to join were forced to leave the area, villagers said.

They added that Pamatong was claiming that the 10,000 square-meter land is owned by a certain "Kumander Lahi."

Many of the residents, like Marino Rivera, said they have land titles to prove their ownership.

A dialogue was held between Pamatong and the residents of the compound on Thursday.

Pamatong denied the villagers' allegations and said the residents are welcome to stay in the compound. -- report from Maricel Butardo, ABS-CBN News Northern Mindanao

2 caught selling shabu in Cagayan de Oro

By Joel Locsin /LBG, GMA News


Police on Wednesday evening arrested two men who they caught selling illegal drugs in Barangay 31 in Cagayan de Oro City.

But Rommy Lascaman and Hanzel Babaylan denied the allegations against them, GMA Northern Mindanao's Jeik Compo reported.

Seized from Babaylan was a pack of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu), along with a lighter. Babaylan insisted the shabu was not his.

He said he and Lascaman were waiting to ride a passenger jeep at the time police accosted them.

Lascaman, when asked by a GMA News team if he knew Babaylan, declined to answer.

The two face charges for violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act. — Joel Locsin /LBG, GMA News

Lawmaker seeks council’s nod on road projects

By Alyssa C. Clenuar


AFTER the Cagayan de Oro City Council promised to give the green light on the farm-to-market road (FMR) projects in six weeks’ time, this time 2nd district Representative Rufus Rodriguez is appealing to the local legislators to fast-track its approval.

“We appeal to the city council, especially to the majority bloc, to approve the FMR already because there are many people waiting to benefit from this project,” Rodriguez said Wednesday.

Two weeks ago, in a committee hearing chaired by councilor President Elipe, guests who participated in the talk with the councilor were invited like the Oro Youth Development Council, Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry and media practitioners.

During that meeting, Elipe gave them his word the project will be approved.

Rodriguez is concerned on the project delay especially that the budget from Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) might be diverted to another city in need of it or be returned to the national fund.

“Sayang kaayo if the money will be given elsewhere when it prioritizes Cagayan de Oro for that matter. We fought hard for that in the Congress for approval and it will only amount to nothing?” he said.

Being a congressman who used to rely on his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), which is now abolished, for funding various undertakings, Rodriguez said he depends on the city government in projects to be pursued.

“I allocated P40 million to my district for 2014. This could be used in the road projects in Balubal, Tablon, Upper Gusa, Indahag, Upper Agusan and many more,” he added.

“They should not delay the project because this is for the welfare of the people. The farmers in the hinterlands need those roads promised to them. If they will not approve the project, it is of course their prerogative. It is in their conscience though,” Rodriguez furthered.

No further legal action

Earlier, city councilors from the minority bloc had been opting to file legal action on the “constant blocking” of projects under Mayor Oscar Moreno’s administration by the majority members.

This has been, however, concluded by the mayor himself during the City Development Council meeting on Wednesday that he will not think about it yet as of the moment.

“Ayaw lang sa na. I do not think that is appropriate as of this time,” Moreno said.

“The Executive has refused to take legal action on the City Council’s doings because I do not think it would be the answer. Maulaw ko sa DA and DPWH that we are like this in the city. I am waiting for the positive, affirmative action by the city council on the matter,” he said.

Woman dies from 20 stab wounds in Cagayan de Oro

By Joel Locsin /LBG, GMA News


Police in Cagayan de Oro City are investigating the brutal death of a woman who was stabbed 20 times in her house in Barangay Lumbia on Monday.

The body of the victim, identified as Rizza Saguindan, 27, was found in the second floor of her house with 20 stab wounds in the back, GMA Northern Mindanao's Joe Legaspina reported.

Saguindan's relatives called for justice, even as police are still determining the motive for the crime.

While investigators noted the victim's mobile phone and tablet computer were missing, they also theorized the assailant may have had a grudge against her.

Chief Inspector Allan Curato, head of the Lumbia police, said they will coordinate with the Scene of the Crime Operations police to check for additional evidence.

Police are also investigating the possible role of a schoolmate of the victim, with whom she was last seen alive.

Dr. West Edquila of the SOCO team said they gathered biological evidence, including smears from the victim's remains.

"At the crime scene, there are signs of struggle. According sa mother of the victim, magulo yung kwarto nung dinatnan niya," Edquila added.

Oro bullish on most competitive cities index

By Lenesse Marie Libres

DESPITE the city dropping down from last year’s top rank and now only second to Makati City in this year’s cities and municipalities competitiveness index (CMCI), the Cagayan de Oro City Government remains bullish on competing to propel the city’s growth.

“We do not mind competing side by side Makati City,” Mayor Oscar Moreno said during Monday’s convocation program at the city hall.

Moreno sees it as a pride to compete with the top cities in the Philippines.

According to him, the top 10 consists of Metro Manila cities mostly from Luzon.

Also, being ranked higher than the booming cities of Davao and Cebu is already a pride in itself.

“Actually, that is what competitiveness is about, competing with the top and most successful cities. We should be grateful that we are competing with the great ones rather than ‘so-so.’ Second place is not so bad. But we always want to push further for future recognitions like this,” he furthered.

The city made it to the top list of the Philippine’s most competitive cities in 2014 with a score of 49.36 percent after Makati’s 53.24 percent.

“We were nervous because the NCC [National Competitiveness Council] called and told us ‘you will be happy’ but refused to tell us what the results were,” said Moreno.

Last week, Moreno and other City Government officials made an appearance during the Regional Competitiveness Summit 2014 held at the Philippine Convention Center in Manila.

Cagayan de Oro also ranked 9th in economic dynamism, 2nd in infrastructure and 5th in government efficiency.

The study was conducted by the 15 Regional Competitiveness Committees (RCC) all over the country.

The RCC was tasked to collate data from local government units (LGUs) to generate a city and municipality competitiveness index.

In 2013, 285 LGUs were ranked. To strengthen the index, 530 were ranked for the CMCI this year.

According to Local Economic and Investment Promotions officer Eileen San Juan, Cagayan de Oro city’s lapses that caused it to drop second in this year’s CMCI are yet to be distinguished.

“NCC did not disclose the reasons. But one of these days, we will be sitting down with the head of the local sectors such as DTI and DOT, to determine what are CdeO’s strengths and weaknesses. So that we can also do something about it,” San Juan said.

“Reasons for being ranked higher than Cebu and Davao were not disclosed by NCC too, but the two cities are doing well given their own performances in their own sectors. This does not always mean that we are better. Competitive pa rin,” she added.

Moreno said the drop is due to bad roads. “It could also be that the search for this year consists of many cities more than last year. Given the bombing incident last year, the city is still lucky to be in the top.

“There is nothing to be ashamed of in this award. We are very grateful and proud. Ipaubaya muna natin ang top 1 sa Makati,” he said.

The NCC’s official website listed down the basis for the ranking.

For economic dynamism, scores were based on data of the size and growth of the local economy through business registrations, capital, revenues and occupancy permits, cost of living, cost of putting up businesses, financial deepening, productivity, capacity to generate employment, and presence of business and professional organizations.

Ranking for government efficiency was based on transparency, economic governance, local taxes and revenues, local competition related awards, efficiency of business registration, investment promotion, compliance to orders from the national government, health and education.

The Infrastructure ranking was based on data of existing road networks, distance from cities and municipalities to major ports, DOT accredited accommodations, hospitals and health centers, classroom and school buildings, basic utilities, infrastructure investments, ICT connection, ATM’s and public transportation.

Sons of former Mindanao congressmen nabbed for drugs possession

By Bobby Lagsa |Inquirer Mindanao

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The sons of two former Northern Mindanao congressmen were arrested in separate buy-bust operations by anti-narcotics agents here on Saturday night, the local office of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency here said. First to be arrested was Nikko Pancrudo, son of former Bukidnon Representative Candido Pancrudo. PDEA regional director Emerson Magarte said the young Pancrudo was arrested in a buy-bust operation in the village of Kauswagan here. Taken from him were 16 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride, commonly known as shabu. Following leads provided by Pancrudo, the PDEA arrested Eric Dominic Badilles, son of former Lanao del Norte Rep. Alipio Badilles. Magarte said the young Badilles yielded 20 grams of shabu when arrested on Corrales Avenue.

Magarte said that based on the Pancrudo’s mobile phone, the two suspects knew each other.






DepEd: DoTA will never become a sport

By Alyssa C. Clenuar

TURNING Defense of the Ancients (DoTA) virtual game into a sport as advocated by those youth who are fanatics of this game, the Department of Education in northern Mindanao (DepEd 10) opposes it to become one.

“DepEd has even prohibited the use of mobile phones inside the classroom because they can only distract the students, how much more for violent games such as DoTA? It will never become a sport,” DepEd-10 regional director Ingrid Racoma told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro in an interview on August 5.

DoTA is a multiplayer online battle arena; a modern version of the video game Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos; and the most commonly known expansion of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne; currently it is on its sequel, DoTA 2 [by Valve Corporation].

The game is developed by Blizzard Entertainment.

Young boys are the prime gamers of DoTA contributing to the 27 million players every day, and 67 million players per month worldwide, according to Blizzard.

Patrick Santos (not his real name), a third year high school player of the game who studies in a prestigious school in the city suggested the virtual game should become a sport instead of discouraging and prohibiting the youth to play it.

“Korea, Japan, America and other countries have been holding tournaments for DoTA and its sequel. The game is engaging and could make the players’ minds actively racing. When we play, we get to think on the strategies that we are to use, especially in tournaments where we are tasked to show teamwork virtually through the characters,” Uy explained.

The gameplay starts with two teams that pit against each other: the Sentinel and the Scourge. From the opposing corners of the map, the two teams are expected to annihilate the enemies including the “Ancient” which is found at the center of the setting. It is a building that must be destroyed to win the game.

Players become engaged as desired heroes have to chosen to run throughout the game. Usually, DoTA allows five-versus-five format and additional two slots for the referees or observers (typically in tournaments).

In the name of gambling

Former DoTA players, Kristof Casiño and Leo Galisa, both college students shared that gambling in the game is prevalent.

“Although we never came to a point where we had to sell our rare items in our inventory in the game to other players who were seeking for it, but we had seen other players getting addicted to it because of the money they get,” Galisa said.

Casiño agreed there were few times that he saw players in remittance centers where “a player from Manila would purchase their weapons, costumes, anything that could upgrade the character for a higher chance in winning. We immediately disdained the game when we saw that kind of ‘culture.’”

Uy added that he could no longer save money or buy “decent meals” a day from his P150 – P200 allowance because there were times when he needed to spend hours in the internet cafe to improve his "character."

“Sometimes I could not eat, sometimes I could, but DoTA was necessary also,” Uy said giggling.

Moreover, he admitted that gambling in DoTA is “pretty much frequent.”

“If you could just imagine, in tournaments, players win lots of cash. We were targeting that also, so we needed to hone our DoTA skills,” he added.

DepEd condemns the game and the internet cafes that cater to these ‘violent’ games which are operating about 100 meters away from schools.

“We discourage them because it may push the children to go out during class hours. Anything that can affect their grades is not beneficial and unhealthful anymore,” Racoma said.

She insisted that parents have to take responsibility in securing their children also.

The city government has implemented measures against entering internet cafes during school hours. Internet owners have been informed of the ordinance and the penalties that come with every violation.

Oro to hold street dancing, invites groups to join

By Lenesse Marie Libres

THE City Tourism Council is inviting barangays, schools, civic organizations or companies to participate in this year’s new street dancing concept called the Cagayan Carnival. The carnival is one of the core events of this year’s Higalaay Festival.

The friendships built by the Kagay-anons all over the globe signify “Higalaay.” The carnival, according to the council, will showcase a wide variety of culture through merry making, costumes and props of vibrant colors with synchronized singing and dancing.

With the approaching Asean integration, the concept is indeed fit for the celebration.

“When you go to other places, they showcase street dancing with an ethnic concept. This year, we want to promote a global kind of street dancing so that we can level up and be more global,” Imma Rae Gatuslao, of the City Tourism Council, said.

Since Cagayan de Oro is emerging as a global intermediate city, the carnival is expected to dance to the beat of international carnival music and steps merged together and presented, still, in Kagay-anon style.

“Almost ten groups registered for the contest, but we are encouraging more groups to join the carnival,” Gatuslao added.

Each group should have forty to a hundred participants consisting of dancers, musicians, props men and crew with no member under 14 years old.

Also, the members must be physically fit to endure the long walk. The Cagayan Carnival is a street dancing and costume competition. The best carnival queen will also be chosen among the groups.

Last year, the street dancing was not pushed through due to the constricted preparation time for the fiesta. Its absence lessened, although did not diminish, the feeling of festivity for the Kagay-anons.

On the afternoon of August 24, 2014, Sunday, the street dancers will once again grace the main streets of the city starting from the Rodelsa Circle to Don Apolinar Velez St. and will finish at Gaston Park.

Info drive on Oro’s environment fee law pushed

By pia.gov.ph

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Aug. 8 – The city government is already collecting environment fees for use of plastic bags in big malls, said city treasurer Glenn Banez during the meeting of the City Council committee on finance and ways and means, August 5.

This is in line with the implementation of Ordinance No. 12440-2012, which regulates the distribution of single-use plastic carryout bags and requires retail establishments to collect a pass-through charge from customers requesting single-use plastic carryout bags.

The city treasurer said in a few months or next year the ordinance will also be implemented in other establishments.

The committee, chaired by councilor President Elipe, invited the city treasurer to attend the meeting in response to the letter of a proprietor regarding the alleged “urgent demand” by employees of the City Treasurer’s Office to collect the fine imposed for violation of the ordinance.

The city treasurer said no such instruction was given as it has been agreed that an information drive will first be conducted, as requested by councilor Elipe weeks ago.

The councilor proposed that 2014 be allotted for the campaign before its full implementation in 2015.

“Tell us what we can do in the City Council,” said councilor Elipe.

It was recommended that common posters and signages be placed in establishments for the information of the public.

PROCEEDS

The ordinance provides that the proceeds of the pass-through charge or plastic carryout bag fee shall be held in trust by the retail store and remitted to the executive board created by the city mayor.

Councilor Elipe stressed that the ordinance is meant to discourage the use of plastic bags, which are environmentally hazardous. He said if there is no collection from environment fees since no plastic bag was used, it would mean that the campaign is a success.

He said establishments should not shoulder the pass-through charge intended for customers as it will defeat the purpose of the ordinance.

The ordinance aims to reduce the millions of single-use carryout bags currently used in the shopping malls and stores in the city and to maintain and enhance natural resources by reducing the negative environmental impact of single-use carryout bags.

AMENDMENT

In view of concerns that the use of paper bags for bread products could have chemical reactions, the committee endorsed to the committee on environment and natural resources chaired by Councilor Zaldy Ocon, the proposal to amend the ordinance.

Councilor Elipe said a public hearing on this should be held.

He said the effects of plastic to cooked food products should also be studied. (CdeOSP)

THE WORM’S EYEVIEW: How not to make a state-of-whatever report

By Manny Valdehuesa


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/07 August) — There’s been a spate of local executives delivering a State-of-the-Province- City- Municipality (-even Barangay) addresses a la PNoy’s SONA.

It would be so admirable if these so-called status-of-affairs accounts were really bona fide reports to the people, delivered in the proper spirit and perspective.

But they’re not really reports. They’re vanity monologues detailing the failings of the previous administration while highlighting the virtues and achievements of the incumbent one.

Bragging, boasting, crowing about how great the report-giver is and how much greater are his achievements, what’s bad for solidarity in the community is the overdose of condemnatory blaming of the previous officeholder, ascribing every imaginable wrong to him or her, just like PNoy did in the case of Gloria during his first SONA . But in the case of our local government executives, their report sounds like an out-of-season campaign speech. At least PNoy can no longer run for re-election.

In any case, such was the “State of the Province Address” the other day of Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny “Bambi” Emano, son of defeated Cagayan de Oro Mayor Vicente “Dongkoy” Emano—who’s jobless now but, in a bid to stay at center stage, got his son to appoint him consultant at the capitol.

Conjuring up the pomposity of Dongkoy (no mean demagogue and theatrical speaker himself), Bambi delivered a “report” consisting mostly of his claims of “achievement” including the petty, the insubstantial, and the downright partisan.

Such “State-of-Whatever” reports reveal more about the speechmaker’s mental condition and character than about the jurisdiction’s social, political, or economic state of affairs.

Like a typical trapo’s campaign speech, Bambi’s “report” nitpicked the record of the previous administration, poured venom on its achievements, and belittled its programs.

Expressed in language calculated to project him well in advance of the 2016 re-election campaign, the report insulted the intelligence of the people of the province in its presumption that they’re stupid enough to fall for his unseemly out-of-season bragging.

Poor fellow, Bambi didn’t realize how it projected him as a mean, petty, and inveterate fault-finder, exposing him and his team as power-greedy trapos.

What is inexplicable is the fawning sycophancy of vice governor Joey Pelaez who lends his illustrious family name to the Emano Mafia family. Is he so desperate for recognition?

In any case, there they were, looking like a ragtag bunch of insurgents desperate to social recognition. It’s pathetic how trapos can strike a self-righteous pose and wallow in the illusion of unsurpassed achievement without being self-conscious about it as they grandstand before an audience of sycophants who readily applaud on cue. Like father, like son!

And so a bystander can only grin and bear it as he listens to a litany of “achievements.” With all the millions at the disposal of these trapos, of course there are bound to be some achievement! No big deal there.

Perhaps someone should produce a manual on how to prepare a State-of-Whatever-Report: what to highlight so it’s informative and instructive; what to avoid or omit so it’s not off-putting or boring; and, not least, what to say about the future so it will be a guide or road map as well as a message to inspire and move people to unite behind government and work in solidarity.

Status reports should not make people feel they are being treated to the usual self-serving campaign speech of a power-greedy trapo! It should be inspirational, unifying, and uplifting; not obnoxious, petty, or condemnatory.

Bambi’s report, like his father’s croaking monologues on radio, made as if he’s God’s gift to the people of Misamis Oriental, the greatest, and not likely to be surpassed in achievement—not especially by someone who looks like an Oscar Moreno!

How many such self-glorifying reports have you heard or soon will hear in the many government units of our dysfunctional republic?

Kin, friends of slain darts man seek justice

By Mario C. Manlupig Jr.


SUSPECTING that Godwin Vergara’s shooter is a police, his wife, relatives and friends are now planning to seek help from the regional office of the Commission on Human Rights to get justice.

Relanie, wife of 37-year-old Godwin Vergara who was shot dead in the head twice on Thursday dawn, July 31, is firm that her family will ask for investigation from the CHR in northern Mindanao despite fears and apprehensions.

"Until now, I do not know what to do yet. I do not know where to run to. What I am sure is to stay strong to seek for investigation and justice," Relanie said.

Vergara's close friend in darts club Duel Bacarro, former president of Cagayan de Oro Darts Association (Coda), is assisting the family's endeavor.

"For now, we are still looking for other witnesses who can come forward and testify to the investigators what really happened," Bacarro told Sun*Star Cagayan de Oro Tuesday afternoon.

Aside from the CHR-10, the family also will request for investigation from independent agencies like the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

Meanwhile, Chief Inspector Ariel Phillip Pontillas, Macasandig police station commander, told this paper Tuesday that they are already gathering testimonies from witnesses near the area of the incident.

"We are still asking the family to cooperate with us since the wife herself saw the incident. But, she has not responded yet perhaps because she still is grieving. We'll just wait for the right time and whenever they are ready," he said.

Pontillas said his team obtained already the closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera from a house in Tomas Saco-15th streets where the shooting happened around 2:30 a.m. Thursday.

However, the video clip could barely identify the suspect and the descriptions of his motorcycle.

Last Friday, Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) chief Senior Superintendent Graciano Mijares ordered the City Investigation Detective and Management Branch (CIDMB) chief Superintendent Adonis Mutia to immediately begin the probe to clear a police officer from accusation in the public's eye.

However, Mutia said they are still in the process of gathering pieces of evidences, while winning the cooperation of the victim's family.

Other than the investigations of the CIDMB and Macasandig police, Pontillas said it is better for the family to tap other government law enforcement so that whatever results the probe will produce the family will be satisfied.

The police in the city, however, have been heavily criticized following the spate of killings of individuals that were dumped or burned in isolated areas.

Oro awarded for disaster preparedness

By Alyssa C. Clenuar


FOR stepping up its capabilities in responding to disasters, the Office of the Civil Defense in Northern Mindanao (OCD-10) has awarded the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) recently.

CDRRMO won in the disaster preparedness in the highly urbanized city category.

Previously landing the second place, the CDRRMO received a notable achievement following the four thematic schemes: prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response, rehabilitation and recovery.

Vergil Lago, CDRRMO’s operation and warning weather section chief, told this paper that the award bestowed implied the city could overcome whatever disaster situation that may come its way.

“It would mean that we are prepared of whatever calamity there is and ready to give an immediate response,” Lago said Monday.

Equipment, staff skills, trainings taken, which are ideal for disaster preparedness are needed in the CDRRMO preparation.

Recently, the 10 nurses of the disaster office were trained by the US Civil Affairs Philippines last July 30-31, 2014 for proper response in disaster situations.

Arbin Ray Orbina, a nurse of the CDRRMO, said that one of the topics tackled during the two-day training was the intravenous training following the proper protocol that must be observed.

Rescuers were also trained last June 16 to 21 in swift waters situations like the Cagayan de Oro River which was conducted following the whitewater rafting accident last June 13 that killed a tourist from Bohol.

Lago added with the unfortunate experience, “trainings are done to achieve the right delivery of services to the people in the city.”

He said the CDRRMO is now practicing prevention as a culture. “Now, we are not focusing on the rescue alone but more on a good foundation on prevention. Prevention is better than rescuing people where in worst cases, casualties could possibly happen,” he said.

Currently, the city is nominated to the national level for its disaster preparedness.

Mayor not replacing Oro cop chief

By Jigger J. Jerusalem


PUTTING the blame on and replacing the city police chief for the robbery that took place in a jewelry shop inside a mall and other criminal activities happening in the city may not be a good idea and may even be “counterproductive,” said Mayor Oscar Moreno recently.

Some quarters in the city including councilors called for the replacement of city police chief senior superintendent Graciano Mijares for allegedly failing to curb the crime rate in the city which contributed to 55 percent of the total crime rate in the region.

Moreno’s statement came in response to the move of some councilors to change the leadership of the Cagayan de Oro Police Office (Cocpo) under Mijares due to the surge of criminalities that put the police in a bad light.

He said if replacing or removing Mijares from his office could ever happen it will set a bad precedent for the next Cocpo leader.

“Dili ko gusto pulihan dayon tungod kay naay nahitabo (I don’t want him replaced immediately because of what happened). In fact, that is counterproductive because [it might become the trend], and the next chief of police might think that he too might get booted out if something happens,” Moreno said.

“If that (replacement) is the case, no chief of police will last in his job,” he said.

“You do not remove the chief of police simply because of that incident. He’s doing his job. We’ll have to find ways to prevent the same criminality from happening,” he said.

“Of course, we are not happy with what happened (jewelry shop heist). We will solve it. But we can’t solve it by changing the city police chief. What’s important is that we measured up, [despite the] many limitations,” he said. Although under the principle of command responsibility, Mijares is answerable for the incident, Moreno said he still trusts the Cocpo leadership.

“I have confidence in Mijares. You have to respect the system,” Moreno said.

In previous interviews, Mijares has promised to step up his efforts in going after groups and individuals who commit criminal activities in the city.

No to ‘salvaging’

Moreno has also reiterated his stand on the series of “summary executions” in the city that has already claimed the lives of more than a dozen persons in the past few weeks.

Most of the victims were killed either through shooting, strangulation, or stabbing and dumped in isolated areas. A few of them were even burned beyond recognition.

Some of the victims were identified as members of the Batang Mindanao 29 (BM 29) based on the tattoos on their body.

“I do not tolerate, I do not condone, I do not approve of summary [executions]. Those are activities not allowed [here],” he said. Moreno said these incidents should be carefully looked into to find out the identity of the perpetrators.

“[These] should be investigated. Others tend to have the propensity to point fingers to some individuals, which should not be the case, to be fair,” he said.

“Are you sure that it’s salvaging? Summary killings? We also have to be very careful. I would wish that reporting of incidents should take into account the elements of fair play,” Moreno said.

In a May 7, 2013 interview with this paper, Mijares denied the existence of death squads as the ones responsible for the spate of killings in the city.

“There are no death squads in Cagayan de Oro City,” he said in the interview.

Bevy of beauties bares skin in Ms CDO 2014

By Lenesse Marie Libres

TWENTY two days before reigning Miss CdeO Amadea Piatti turns over the crown to one of this year’s candidates, the twelve ladies brought back summer in one of Lim Ket Kai Luxe ballrooms on August 1, 2014.

The annual beauty pageant is one of the city fiesta highlights. As many beauties from different walks of life have come and gone, many dreams to become part of this prestigious pageant that could be a stepping stone for those who aspire more to greater heights in beauty pageants.

Clad in their swimwear attire by Coco Cabaña and Sunnies, the audience attention were all in to the candidates.

“Miss CdO this year is very competitive because all our candidates are title holders in their own barangays or from other beauty contests. Plus, the prizes that will be given out this year are by far the most in value and relevance for their reign.” Tourism board member and pageant head Ms. Gean T. Cesar, said.

Asked about society’s controversial issue on “weight,” the future beauty queens gave their two cents.

“Being truly beautiful does not necessarily mean having the perfect body or the prettiest face. For me, the best definition of beauty is being confident in whatever body, skin and personality you have,” Althea Bernales, candidate # 3, said.

Individuality, according to Sherra Vacalares, makes each one unique and beautiful.

“Beauty for me is not just having a voluptuous and curved body that can attract, but it is how you carry yourself no matter what situation because our bodies are God given gifts. Therefore, we should be proud of it,” Candidate # 11, Vacalares, said.

Candidate # 4 Rachel Tagapulot believes sexy does not necessarily equate to beautiful.

“Being sexy is just an affirmation on how you worked hard to reach your goals of having a sexy body and how well you carry yourself,” Tagapulot said.

Janey of Duterte of ITALPINAS, one of the invited guests during the swimwear competition bets on Candidate # 1, Princess Go, for the Best in Swimsuit award.

“I liked how candidate # 1 carried herself. She was a stand – out and her confidence is amazing. She looked fit and toned. One can tell that she takes good care of her body and health,” Duterte said.

Other standout beauties for the swimsuit competition are candidates no. 9, 10, 4, and 6.

CDO village officials urged to conduct checkpoints, saturation patrol

by : (PNA) JBP/CD/CD/JSD

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Aug. 2 (PNA) -- The city council here has passed a resolution urging village officials to conduct saturation patrols in coordination with the proper authorities, Vice Mayor Caesar Ian Acenas on Saturday said. He said Resolution No. 11739-2014 urged the “Liga Ng Mga Barangay” to also install “sobriety” checkpoints in order to preempt the occurrence of criminal activities in their areas. Acenas said that the adoption of the resolution was also in line with the thrust of the city government to strengthen the city’s peace and order drive. Lately, the occurrence of criminal activities in this trading hub like shooting, robbery, and cases of summary execution has become alarming. City Councilor Ramon Tabor, chair of the city council committee on police, fire, and public safety, has been meeting with local law enforcers to get an updated appraisal of the peace and order situation here. Tabor said the city council should be updated of the peace and order situation here since the annual fiesta celebration of Cagayan De Oro City in August is now highly anticipated. Acenas said City Councilor Rogelio Abaday has sponsored the passage of the resolution urging the local village leaders to conduct regular saturation patrol and mobile checkpoints here. (PNA) JBP/CD/CD/JSD

CDO to implement new system in acquiring building permits soon

by : Michael Ray


The Cagayan de Oro City Building Office will soon implement a new system in acquiring building permits.

Mayor Oscar Moreno and Dr. Ricardo E. Rotoras, the president of Mindanao University of Science and Technology (MUST) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) this morning for the implementation of “Building Permit Management System (BPMS).” The BPMS will ensure faster processing in acquiring permits from the City Building Office through the adaptation of a computerized system developed by experts from MUST.

Mayor Moreno has expressed his gratitude to MUST for helping the city government in modernizing the provision of basic services. “I really thank the MUST for partnering with us. Indeed, this is a breakthrough and milestone in the city’s history. If you have a good OBO (Office of the City Building Official) then you have a good democracy,” said Moreno.

The mayor has also added that MUST’s technical expertise would help eradicate the presence of fixers. He further stressed that this is a significant step towards reforming OBO’s operations that would make it easier for investors, businessmen, and the general public to do business with the office.