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Cagayan de Oro City News March 2015

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Cagayan de Oro City within Misamis Oriental
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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
Saint Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral cagayan de oro 01.jpg
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
Cagayan de Oro City buildings.jpg
Cagayan de Oro City Buildings
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Bus Terminal, Bulua, Cagayan de Oro City

Contents

Secretary Petilla talks need of renewable energy in power mix

By Jasper Marie Oblina-Rucat (JMOR/PIA10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 31 (PIA) -- The need to provide stable power supply has prompted the government to allow coal power plants to rise and operate, however, the mix should include renewable energy for health and environment reasons.

This was stressed by Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla through a forum on Renewable Energy held in Xavier University on March 30, 2015.

On his talk, he explained that right now the competition on coal power generation is very high, therefore price is very cheap. In fact, in Luzon the private players are already doing the aggregation of demand resulting to cheaper electricity rates at P 3.70 per kilowatt hour (kwh). He said that if this will be done in Mindanao, for sure rates for electricity will also become cheaper and more transparent.

But where does the renewable energy come in? Petilla said that certainly renewable energy will lose in terms of price because it is expensive and intermittent. For instance if there is no sun, there is no power, no wind means also no power and so on.

The Department of Energy (DOE) through the Renewable Energy Act imposes mix of renewable energy through Feed-In Tariff (FIT) Rates.

Republic Act 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 mandates the establishment of (FIT) system for electricity produced from renewable energy such as solar, wind, biomass, ocean and run-of-river hydropower.

According to its Implementing Rules and Regulations, electric power industry participants are obliged to source electricity from FIT eligible renewable energy generation at a guaranteed fixed price for a given period of time to be determined by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

Right now, FIT rates per kwh for Wind is P8.53, Biomass at P6.63 per kwh, solar P9.68 per kwh, run of river hydropower at P5.90 per kwh.

The Energy chief said that the mix aimed for renewable is 30% and to achieve it, something should be done.

The Philippines is still the cleanest among all ASEAN countries. Other countries are 80% coal, Petilla said.

In 2013, coal is at 42% of the energy mix; however, it is rapidly increasing. Right now there are 23 coal plants being built.

Processing for renewable energy contracts is two years. Now, it has come down to 45 days given that everything is being complied.

As of December 31, 2014, there are already 12 renewable energy projects with certificate of endorsement to ERC with total capacity of 302.416 megawatts (MW).

Further, there are 79 renewable energy projects with certificate of confirmation of commerciality with a total of 1,569MW capacity. And, 10 projects for nomination or conversion with capacity of 197.77MW.

Petilla emphasized that energy is always long term and that we look at the power situation five years from now and more. The estimated time to build a plant is from four to five years that would give an outlook of what is ahead.

Kalibo airport wing opens; night flights for CDO

By Chrisee Jalyssa V. Dela Paz (Reporter)

UPGRADES to the airports in Kalibo and Northern Mindanao have been declared ready for use in time for the high season of domestic travel, while construction will start on the new airport in Bohol during the dry months, officials said.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) said in a statement that the new P44.3-million wing of Kalibo International Airport in Aklan is partially operational, with the arrivals section opened on Thursday last week. Departures are expected to open today.

“We’re happy to open Kalibo airport’s new wing right as we enter the summer season. As always, we expect a high volume of visitors to Boracay in the next couple of months, so the new section will help meet this peak period demand,” Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio A. Abaya said in the statement.

The new wing adds 10 check-in counters to the airport, the department said.

The expansion, amounting to about 4,000 square meters, enables the airport to accommodate an additional 800 passengers at any given time, the DoTC said.

“All domestic flights will be transferred to the new wing of the terminal, while international flights will remain in the original portion of the passenger terminal building,” the department said.

Meanwhile, Laguindingan International Airport in Misamis Oriental started regular night flight operations on Sunday, the Transportation department said.

“Another piece of good news is that regular evening flights to and from Laguindingan Airport started on March 29. This boosts accessibility for the residents of Cagayan de Oro (CDO) and neighboring areas, as well as for visitors to the region,” Mr. Abaya said.

After being fully equipped for night landing last October, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said it gave the airlines the go-ahead to schedule night flights at Laguindingan, which services Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City.

Prior to the formal declaration of readiness for scheduled night flights, budget carrier Cebu Pacific Air operated as early as March 12 a nighttime round-trip service between CDO and Davao.

An enhanced operations and maintenance contract under the public-private partnership program -- which will require the winning bidder to construct a terminal expansion as well as operate and maintain the airport -- is currently being bid out by the DoTC along with those for the Davao, Bacolod, Iloilo, and Bohol Airports.

Finally, the department said, construction on the P3.36-billion New Bohol (Panglao) Airport -- the first greenfield airport deal of the Aquino administration -- will begin before the close of the dry season.

The construction contract was awarded to the joint venture of Chiyoda Corp. and Mitsubishi Corp.

“Another world-class airport will soon rise on the island of Panglao, to cater to the steadily-increasing number of tourists in Bohol. It will be developed as an ‘eco-airport’ or one that features environmentally-sustainable technologies, in line with the province’s eco-tourism branding,” Mr. Abaya said.

He added that the project is scheduled to be completed in 2017. It is designed to accommodate one million passengers annually.

“In a country filled with tourist hot spots on islands separated by seas, it is vital to develop and modernize our airports not only to better service our passengers, but to also enable economic growth for our people,” Mr. Abaya said.

5 Activities to Try in Cagayan de Oro

By Mathew Chan

From whitewater rafting to shopping at night, CDO is a metropolitan hub worth your time.

Cagayan de Oro, or simply CDO, is best known as a place to go for extreme sports. Beyond that, though, they also have great food, sites, and shopping options any traveler would enjoy. If you are heading to the City of Golden Friendship, here are 5 activities you must try while you are there:

1. Go whitewater rafting. CDO is the best place to head to if you are an extreme sports enthusiast. Places like Kagay Whitewater Rafting offer great deals and a range of courses ready to challenge any expert, as well as basic courses for anyone wanting to try it for the first time. For something unique, you can also try night whitewater rafting.

2. Go night shopping. If you are a bargain hunter, try CDO’s Night Cafe and Night Market. Open from 6PM to 3AM, this shopping mecca is dubbed as their own version of Divisoria. Make sure you visit it if you like good music, food, and sale items.

5 Activities to Try in Cagayan de Oro 3. Eat sinuglaw. Are you a foodie? If you are, then you should try eating sinuglaw, which is a cross between grilled pork meat (sinugba) and shredded raw fish marinated in spices (kinilaw). You can get sinuglaw almost anywhere in the area.

4. Explore nature. You can go trekking all around Cagayan de Oro. From the Macahambus Hill to Mimbalut Falls, CDO is full of natural wonders just waiting to be explored.

5. Fire some guns. CDO is also for gun enthusiasts. There are several shooting ranges in the area where you can practice target shooting. If you want something a bit more fast-paced, you can try airsoft. It is very similar to paintball but uses replicas of real guns that shoot non-metallic pellets.

Solon, mayor hold medical mission in Jasaan

(GG)

CAGAYAN de Oro City––Second district Rep. Juliette Uy with the strong support of her husband, Villanueva town Mayor Julio Uy, conducted the 17th medical mission in Jasaan town in Misamis Oriental recently.

Thousands of residents from lower and upper barangays of Jasaan town availed of the various free services offered during the medical mission held at the Jasaan National High School and in purok Putol in Barangay Lower Jasaan.

Aside from the local government of Villanueva, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) through the 58th Infantry Battalion sent a team to conduct the free hair cut and other services.

Balingasag town Mayor Alex Quina and the Filinvest Development Corp. also joined the medical mission.

Other services provided include eye care, surgi-care, medical consultation, dental care services, feeding program, legal consultation, and operation “tuli.”

In her speech, Rep. Uy said that she and her husband and all the Team Unity will continue to provide free health care services, scholarship grants, infrastructure projects, job generation. This, she said, despite of the criticism hurled by her detractors.

She admitted that she did not win Jasaan town in 2014 elections. She, however, said that this does not mean that the residents of Jasaan town will be deprived of the needed basic services because of political inclinations.

“Tanan mabahinan regardless of political colors,” said Rep. Uy adding, that “public service is not about political color or greed or jealousy.” Rep. Uy added that she will neveer get tired of bringing the needed basic services closer to the people. “Ang buhis nga gikan sa Mindanao nga gidala sa Manila ug gihatag sa kongreso isip budget allocation kinahanglan nga ibalik ko sa segundo distrito,” said Rep. Uy.

Japan lends P7.36 B for Phl infra projects

By Zinnia B. dela Peña (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines - The Japanese government is extending ¥19.5-billion loan or about P7.36 billion to support critical road infrastructure development as well as flood risk management projects in Cagayan De Oro.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) chief representative Noriaki Niwa yesterday signed the loan agreements covering the construction of four-grade interchanges in Metro Manila and flood risk protection projects for Cagayan De Oro River.

Nearly P3 billion of the total financial grant would go to the interchange construction project which would ease traffic congestion as well as enhance transportation capacity and efficiency around Metro Manila.

The project is part of the JICA-supported and NEDA-approved transport roadmap for Metro Manila and surrounding areas.

The interchanges would be built at EDSA-North Avenue-West Avenue-Mindanao Avenue interchange; Circumferential Road 5 (C5)-Greenmeadows-Calle Industria-Eastwood interchange; and EDSA-Roosevelt Avenue-Congressional Avenue interchange.

The Metro Manila interchange construction project would alleviate serious traffic congestion, as well as enhance transportation capacity and efficiency around Metro Manila. It is part of the JICA-supported and National Economic Development Authority-approved transport roadmap for Metro Manila and surrounding areas.

A bigger portion of the financial aid or P4.37 billion would be used to fund the construction of new dike/retaining wall and drainage outlets and the improvement of Kagayan Bridge as well as the preparation of a flood forecasting and warning system in the areas around Cagayan de Oro River.

The project would strengthen the resilience of communities along the Cagayan de Oro River stretch, from the Macajalar Bay to the Pelaez Bridge, to climate change and other hydrometeorological hazards by mitigating flood risk in the area.

During the signing ceremony, Purisima said, “This invaluable support addresses all the right needs as we seek to build an economy well-guarded against disasters and strongly invested in the mobility and connectivity of its people. We expect these projects to bring about a multiplier effect to our macroeconomic successes and to improve the quality of life in the Philippines.”

He emphasized that infrastructure improvement and flood risk mitigation are critical components of development. “These projects strengthen our ability to adapt to emerging challenges: traffic congestion and flooding are pressing concerns in urban areas. These projects reflect the serious commitment we share with our allies to unlock the limits of our growth frontiers,” Purisima said.

Japan remains to be the Philippines’ top bilateral source of ODA loans. JICA currently supports the loan financing of 18 projects amounting to $2.54 billion in the sectors of agriculture and agrarian reform, infrastructure, flood control, environment, climate change, and disaster rehabilitation.

Japan has been the top donor country to the Philippines for the past 23 years. Despite its current economic difficulties, Japan continues to support the Philippines.

For the past 10 years, more than half of the total foreign assistance to the Philippines has been extended by Japan.

Japanese assistance to the Philippines has also been funneled through multilateral donors such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and various UN agencies.

Northern Mindanao gender advocates encourage women to be decision-makers

(RTP/PIA10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 26 (PIA) -- With the theme, “Juana, ang Desisyon Mo ay Mahalaga sa Kinabukasan ng Bawat Isa, Ikaw Na!” the Gender Advocates in region 10 (GA-10) celebrates the Women's Month by recognizing the empowered women who take the lead in the society be it in the office or home.

During a media forum, Talakayan sa PIA, on March 25, GA-10 president and Parole and Probation Administration-Department of Justice (PPA-DOJ) regional director Rosa H. Lacanglacang said that only few women hold key positions in the decision-making body thus, she encourages women to run for public office to have equality in representation.

Moreover, she stressed that a woman should be given due recognition as to what she really wants in her life. Having a voice in the council is one of the ways for a woman to express her needs such as a separation of comfort rooms for men and women which some establishments do not consider.

As the regional director of PPA-DOJ, Lacanglacang says that their office has shown progress when it comes to recognizing the abilities of women in decision-making having 12 women as heads in their 16 offices. She also added that gender and development has been integrated in all of their programs and services to manifest the efforts in upholding balance between men and women.

Despite the efforts in breaking the conservative mindset, Lacanglacang expressed that there is still disparity because the society thinks that women are not fit enough to preside; that leadership is not for women. However, she stressed that having women, even if they come short in number in the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government, is already a good start to encourage women’s participation in nation-building.

Use of complementary food technologies gets nod from RDC-X

(APB/PIA-10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 25 (PIA) --- The use of complementary foods and adoption of the technologies used in the production of such foods were endorsed by the Regional Development Council of Northern Mindanao (RDC-X) during its 104th full council meeting.

The endorsement was requested by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through the RDC-X Economic Development Committee to address malnutrition in the region.

Emma Nieva, co-chair of the Economic Development Committee, said the use of complementary foods in feeding programs of local government units (LGUs) region-wide is expected to reduce the prevalence of underweight children in the region from 5.77 percent in 2012 to 3.5 percent in 2016.

She said the use of complementary foods is reported to have shown positive results in contributing to the reduction of underweight children and the improvement of knowledge on health and nutrition of mothers.

The DOST and the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) has implemented the PINOY program, a package of intervention which uses local technology of complementary foods, to lessen the impact of malnutrition among children aged 6 to 35 months.

PINOY stands for Package for the Improvement of Nutrition of Young children. It involves a 120 feeding days of complementary foods and nutrition education using the DOST PINOY modules.

Among the complementary foods formulated under the PINOY program are BigMo curls, rice mongo instant blend, and rice mongo curls.

Complementary foods are being used in select barangays in Cagayan de Oro City and Talisayan in Misamis Oriental province.

The RDC-X is also enjoining private investors in the region to adopt the complementary food technologies for production and commercialization.

Currently, only Mindanao University of Science and Technology (MUST) and Xavier University are producing complementary foods in the region.

Police ensure security of tourists, visitors during summer, Holy Week

(PNA), LAP/CD

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 24 (PNA) –- The local police have assured local officials that appropriate measures have been adopted to ensure the security of tourists and visitors during the summer break and Holy Week.

Police Supt. Adonis L. Mutya, deputy city director for police operations, said on Tuesday that more people are expected to come to the city during the Holy Week and the summer break, prompting the police to secure malls, resorts, and places of convergence here.

Mutya said that more police officers would be deployed in the city’s strategic areas to deter and preempt possible occurrence of criminal activities.

The police, however, are soliciting the cooperation of the public by reporting to the nearest police outpost or police officers any suspicious activities and personalities around, he said.

The more than 3,000-strong Cagayan De Oro City Police Office (COCPO) has been on its toes as local officials urged the local law enforcers to adopt “any means” that would assure the safety of the people and the community.

City Councilor Ramon Tabor, chair of the city council committee on police, fire, and public safety, issued the challenge during the weekly meeting among local law enforcers in preparation for the summer break and the Holy Week.

“Do whatever it takes, (to secure the people and the city) despite the limitation,” Tabor told the members of the city’s peace and order council as the city expects more visitors to visit this seaport capital during the summer break and the observance of the Holy Week this year.

New urban hub planned for Cagayan

By Butch D. Enerio

THE Cagayan de Oro City Government is planning to transform the former site of the city airport into its new urban hub.

Eileen San Juan, city investment and promotion officer, said Barangay Lumbia has great potential as an extension city because it is built on high ground, making it flood-free, and has a small population.

The United Nations Habitat, through its Achieving Sustainable Urban Development (Asud) program, has chosen Cagayan de Oro as one of four cities in the country for planned city extension (PCE) development.

Christopher Rollo of Asud, who is also country programme manager for the UN Human Settlements, said the other cities are Silay, Iloilo, and Zamboanga.

Rollo said that if the expansion of the city is left unchecked and unplanned, its development is likely to be driven by the real estate market that favors gated communities.

He said that Asud will work with the City Government to come up with comprehensive plans for the more than 800 hectares in Lumbia.

"In Lumbia, it is where everything can be put in place like public spaces can remain public, road network to connect to other districts without being blocked by private ownerships of lands. And it is where the transacting public would do business with government offices in a one-stop-shop since all government agencies would be resettled in the city extension area," Rollo said.

Asud noted that Cagayan de Oro is already a highly urbanized city in Northern Mindanao and much of its development has been along the east-west corridor of the Iligan-Cagayan de Oro-Butuan national highway.

Over time, barangays along this highway have evolved into vibrant commercial and residential areas. Rising population and economic growth in the last 15 years was accompanied by changes in the city's land use where forests and agricultural lands made way for residential and commercial projects.

CMA seeing robust growth through franchising

(PNA), CTB/PR/SSC

MANILA, March 22 (PNA) -- ABACUS-BASED mental arithmetic learning center CMA Philippines targets to add at least 10 new branches this year on account of increased interest on the center’s teaching methods.

CMA Philippines CEO Anthony Esguerra said the addition of at least 10 new branches will bring the total number of their facilities to 25 by year-end.

CMA Philippines currently has 15 branches, most of which are in Metro Manila. It also has two branches outside Luzon—Iloilo City and Cagayan de Oro City.

“Our vision for CMA Philippines is to equip future leaders of our nation, one child at a time. I believe CMA is the best educational foundation our Filipino students need,” Esguerra said.

CMA focuses on the teaching of mental math by first learning mathematical operations using the abacus.

Children, as young as three years old, who can count one to nine, can already be admitted into the program. Adults aged up to over 80 years old can also enroll.

CMA offers a money-back guarantee if after 10 sessions—1.5 hours each—a student is unable to learn the two-hand four-finger abacus method. A 10-session module in CMA costs P4,500.

Esguerra said this is because the center guarantees that on the first two sessions, students already know the CMA method.

“CMA adopts a two-hand abacus mental arithmetic method in teaching its students. This distinct method puts the spotlight on total brain development—the perfect synergy of the right and left sides of the brain. And this what makes CMA one of a kind,” Esguerra said.

The CMA method was developed by CMA founder Master Tai Chiang Ching, who was honored as the World’s Best Mental Arithmetic Trainer in 1991.

Master Tai spent a great deal of time studying the abacus and mental arithmetic, initially focusing on the single-hand abacus arithmetic calculation.

His research and experiments led him to develop and perfect the two-hand four-finger abacus method that is being used in CMA branches all over the world.

Currently, CMA branches are in China, Australia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Egypt, Taiwan, India, Sudan, Malaysia, the US, New Zealand, Singapore and Indonesia.

CMA Philippines recently held its Third CMA Mental Arithmetic National Competition- the Philippines’s biggest mental arithmetic competition—held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, more than tripling the number of participants last year, with 11-year-old Mariel Elysse A. de Leon winning the gold in her level’s Abacus Arithmetic Category.

Over 300 future business leaders competed and showed their skills in abacus and mental calculation. The CMA kids are from the country’s top schools and universities that include Ateneo de Manila, De la Salle University, De la Salle Zobel, Xavier School, Chiang Kai Shek College, San Beda College, Southridge School, Miriam College, International School and Grace Christian, among others.

CMA Philippines President and CEO Anthony Esguerra said this is an indication of the growing acceptance of CMA’s method of teaching mental arithmetic in the country.

CMA Philippines will bring the top 10 students in the competition to the CMA Mental Arithmetic International Olympiad in Singapore on June 7 this year.

Corpus Christi bags 12U, 14U plums in 2015 Loyola Cup Hoopfest

By Lynde Salgados (With reports from Jaime A. Frias II)

NOT quite successful in the junior level, Corpus Christi School held its ground instead in the lower age categories of the just-concluded 2015 Loyola Cup inter-school basketball at the Xavier University gym here.

Barely missing the finals in 17-under division, the Corpus Christi Knights of coach Carlo Dagalea and team manager Dr. Alfonso del Fierro went on to dominate the equally-exciting rivalries in 12-under and 14-under divisions of the city’s premier developmental league for young in-school basketeers.

This, as the XU toddlers of coach Mariano Velez went on to pocket the 10-under plum, making host Xavier University as the winningest school in this year’s Loyola Cup hoopfest as its 25-under and 17-under counterparts made earlier a twin title-finish.

“We had a good fight in the 17-under and 10-under categories pero grasya na kaayo ang duha ka titulo nga among nakuha sa Loyola Cup,” a beaming coach Dagalea told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.

Joem Sabandal, Corpus Christi’s prize recruit from Balingasag, Misamis Oriental, poured in 21 points, while `Baby Shaq’ Angelo Calonia added 10 as the CCS Knights neutralized the Sacred Heart’s late rally to prevail, 70-67 in the 14-under championship.

Xavier University Grade School, however, gave the CCS Knights some tough times on the floor in the 12-under finals before the determined wards of Dagalea pulled out a hard-earned 55-52 win.

The siblings of basketball standouts Shantao Moreno and Marco Sabal starred in XU Grade School’s breathtaking conquest of the Little Knights for the 10-under title.

As Justin Sabal thrived in the lowpost to produce 8 points, John Paulo Moreno made up for his costly turnover in the waning seconds when he grabbed a crucial rebound off a CCS miss and completed a coast-to-coast layup to give XUGS a hairline edge, 78-77 with still 12 seconds to go.

The Little Knights failed to convert in their last ball possession, allowing coach Mariano’s charges to celebrate a one-point victory.

DENR to release MRF assistance to LGUs

(JCV/PIA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 20 (PIA) -– The Department of Environment and Natural Resources 10 (DENR 10) is reminding all qualified local government units to avail of the material recovery facility (MRF) assistance worth P500,000.00 on or before March 27.

Chief of the Pollution Control Division of the DENR Environment Management Bureau (EMB) region 10, Engr. Florencio Dominguez said that only LGUs with existing MRFs are qualified to apply for the fund assistance, as it is intended only for the operation and maintenance of the MRF, and not the construction of the facility.

Dominguez also noted that they are now loosening the requirements to accommodate more LGUs to the program, while stressing on the need to avail the soonest as the money will automatically be returned to the treasury if not used at the end of this month.

He bared this in the recent Regional Interagency Committee on Environmental Health (RIACEH) meeting held in the city on March 17.

The MRF holds all recyclable materials collected from the households, sorted by types using a mixture of manual and automated methods.

Agri-biotechnology answer to food security

By Butch D. Enerio (Correspondent)

PARTICIPANTS from the media were briefed on the developments in agricultural biotechnology in the country in a multisectoral forum held in Cagayan de Oro City Wednesday.

The forum was organized by Asfarnet (Asian Farmers Regional Network) – Philippines.

Asfarnet which promotes responsible farming and policies to improve the quality of farmers’ lives and the environment, underscored the importance of biotechnology in closing the gap between increasing population and the ability of countries to produce food in spite of the dwindling arable land.

Reynaldo Cabanao, Asfarnet-Philippines president, said the forum hopes to share the information on biotechnology with the participants.

Asfarnet was conceived by farmers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam who participated in the workshop, “Farmer to Farmer: Sharing Experiences Related to Biotechnology,” held in Manila and Cagayan de Oro City in 2003.

The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Application (ISAAA) said biotech crops are the fastest adopted crop technology in the world.

Dr. Rhodora Aldemita, ISAAA senior program officer, said the development in agri-biotechnology in the world has the new and rigorous 2014 comprehensive global meta-analysis of 147 published biotech crop studies over the last 20 years.

She said the meta-analysis, which was conducted by Klumper and Qaim concluded that on the average genetic modification technology adopted has reduced chemical pesticide use by 37 percent, increased crop yields by 22 percent and increased farmer profits by 68 percent.

“With biotechnology our agriculture would use less and less chemicals to fight insect infestation, chemicals that are harmful to humans,”Aldemita said.

ISAAA said the United Nations Population Council predicts that by 2050 the global population would reach 9 billion and feeding them would be a daunting challenge.

“The fact that the majority of the world’s population is not even aware of the magnitude of the challenge makes the task even more difficult,” ISAAA said.

Aldemita said the Philippines' population of more than 100 million is expected to reach 157 million by 2050, making the country the world's 10th most populous.

Yet the country only has 5.4 million hectares of arable land and the arable land per capita is only at 0.06.

“So without agri-biotechnology the country’s food production would be jeopardized, thus we will rely solely on importation for our food requirements. But this scenario can be mitigated with the use of biotech to increase yields in our remaining arable lands, thus ensuring food supply,” Aldemita said.

ISAAA said that provisional data for 1996 to 2013 showed that biotech crops contributed to food security, sustainability and climate change mitigation by increasing crop production.

Reducing the use of pesticides in 2013 cut CO2 emissions by 28 billion kg – equivalent to taking more than 12 million cars off the road in a year.

Biotech crops can contribute to a "sustainable intensification," a strategy favored by many science academies worldwide, since it allows productivity to be increased only on the current 1.5 billion hectares of global crop land.

BIR urges taxpayers to pay income tax before April 15

By Apipa Bagumbaran (APB/PIA-10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 18 (PIA) --- The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has reiterated its call to taxpayers to file their income tax returns before the deadline.

In his message during the regional kick-off of the 2015 tax campaign, BIR Deputy Commissioner Nelson Aspe reminded the taxpayers in the region of the April 15 deadline for filing of income tax stressing the inconveniences on the last day of filing.

Aspe, whose message was read by BIR Revenue Region 16 director Alberto Olasiman, emphasized that the April 15 deadline will not be extended.

He said the anticipated brownouts during summer are not valid grounds for the extension of the deadline.

Aspe also encouraged taxpayers to file their returns electronically.

He urged them to support the tax campaign of the Bureau and help in the attainment of its goal by paying the correct taxes in order to sustain the country’s economic growth.

The 2015 tax campaign with the theme “Angat pa, Pinas!” calls for greater cooperation among Filipinos to pay their taxes as their contribution to nation-building.

The campaign logo for the year takes cues from the colors of the Philippine Flag, using arrows that show an upward movement to denote greater progress and positive change for the country. The campaign TV commercial, on the other hand, shows how taxes work to the benefit of the community.

The tax campaign was launched in the region on March 13 with the unveiling of the theme and presentation of the logo and TV commercial. It was attended by revenue officials and personnel, local government officials, tax practitioners, professionals, media partners, business, professional and academic organizations, and students.

Pledges of support to the campaign in the interest of nation building were also presented during the launching. Among those who voiced support were Cerael C. Donggay, President of the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce & Industry Foundation, Inc.; Pershing Y. Tan Queto, Jr., President of the Ozamiz Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Inc.; VY Beng Hong, Vice-President of the Lanao Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Inc., Iligan City; and Edwin M. De Los Santos, Jr., President of the PICPA CDO-Misamis Oriental Chapter.

Local exporters can now expect tariff free trading in EU

By Jasper Marie Oblina-Rucat (JMOR/PIA10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO, March 17 (PIA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through its multi-stakeholder briefing here on ASEAN Economic Community and European Union’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (EU-GSP+) urges more export activities to Europe and ASEAN countries to maximize its zero tariff of over 6,000 products.

According to DTI Assistant Secretary Ceferino Rodolfo, that on December 25, 2014, the Philippines became eligible to EU-GSP+ where from about 9,000+ tariff lines in the European Union (EU) two thirds of it have zero percent duties for the Philippines. This is a big advantage for the regional exporters.

EU-GSP+ is a special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance in the form of zero duties.

For current exporters, it is easier because they already know the standard of clients in Europe. For those exporting to other ASEAN countries, which have less standards then DTI, can help to improve, bring up the standards for European market. However, for those first time exporters, there is a need for cooperation.

He said that in the international arena, the fastest growing region is Asia, while within Asia, the fastest growing region is the South East or ASEAN and within ASEAN, the fastest growing economy is the Philippines.

There are three factors to consider particularly the price, jobs and income. Presently, inflation rate is stable at 2.5%. However, jobs sector is the one with the big challenge. He said that we should make growth as inclusive as possible. We have a big population which is an advantage if we are able to utilize our population then we can surmount to the challenge.

According to Rodolfo, we import more than we export. Among the big imports are oil, rice and petrochemicals. However, he said it is ok to import as long as these products are critical to you such as rice, oil and petroleum products.

Further, the Philippines from 2010-2013 has had 10.6% investments. Meanwhile, in 2013 it increased to 11.7%. This is mainly because of the confidence of business community with economic performance.

One of the sectors invested heavily particularly on capital and equipment is the sugar milling.

Rodolfo said that in ASEAN, a top import is also top export. Trade with ASEAN is largely complimentary.

Part of the visit of ASEC Rodolfo in Cagayan de Oro is a tour with the national and local media to different industries in the region including the Mindanao Container Terminal at PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate, Villanueva Misamis Oriental; Del Monte Inc. in Valencia, Bukidnon; Hineleban Coffee at Manolo Fortich Bukidnon.

In Cagayan de Oro, the team visited the Stoneware Pottery Inc., Cagayan de Oro Handmade Paper Crafts, Inc. and Coco Twine and Geonets Production in Tubod, Lanao del Norte.

DTI Regional Director Linda O. Boniao said that we must continue to maximize strengths for the region in collaboration of private sector and the government.

Maritime industry stakeholders act on shipping service woes

(EOR/PIA10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 16 (PIA) -- The Maritime Industry stakeholders in northern Mindanao are addressing concerns on ships quality service standards.

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Regional Office X spearheaded on March 4 a meeting to discuss the numerous complains its office has been receiving in relation to the existing level of shipping service in the route of region 10 in maintaining the cleanliness of rest rooms and general sanitation on-board the vessels such as those plying Balingoan to Camiguin and vice-versa.

Engr. Emmanuel B. Carpio, regional director, MARINA RO X, reiterated MARINA Memorandum Circular (MC) 65/65-A sets minimum service standards for Philippine-registered interisland passenger vessels. Compliance with this set of standards will ensure acceptability quality of shipping service for passenger comfort and convenience.

Under these circulars are the six areas of concern: passenger accommodation, public spaces, serving spaces, embarkation/disembarkation, conditions for the service standards and compliance with Batas Pambansa Blg. 344 or the Accessibility Law.

However, any violation of, or failure of the operators to comply with the policies/guidelines constitute a sufficient ground for the disapproval of the application for Certificate of Public Convenience/Provisional Authority and/or suspension/revocation/cancellation of the vessel's Authority, as the case maybe, in addition to the penalties provided under the Public Service Act, said Engr. Carpio.

A Joint Sanitation Inspection Team (JSIT) will be pursued to intensify the implementation of guidelines concerning ships quality service standards in the region.

Meanwhile, concerns on the carriage of livestock in container trucks; and provisions for persons with disabilities and preparations for the forthcoming Oplan Cuaresma.

The Bureau of Quarantine, being the health authority, is mandated to ensure security against the introduction and spread of infectious diseases to include the emerging diseases and public health emergencies of international concern.

This include a pro-active response to public health concerns on matters pertaining to food safety, sanitation and vector control in airports and seaports of entry on conveyances, people, goods and cargoes.

Cagayan de Oro Port Management Isidro V. Butaslac Jr said there will be comfort rooms for PWDs in Balingoan port.

“Ligtas Oplan Cuaresma 2015” will again be implemented in this region to assist the travelling men, women and children.

Related MARINA regional directives/advisories were also presented.

MC issued on February 10, 2015 was addressed to all Domestic Shipping Companies / operators and other maritime entities on the throwing of coins during port docking / undocking operations of passenger ships.

This is line with the International Safety Management (ISM) Code and International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code implementation, and in order to protect and safeguard the interest of all concerned.

All shipping companies/owners whose ships are operating and calling in Northern Mindanao waters and ports respectively, are hereby directed immediately to formulate and issue a policy concerning the throwing of coins through posting of notice and public address system, informing all passenger/crew onboard ships that throwing of coins to sea gypsies during port docking/undocking operations shall be totally prohibited and will be penalized if caught.

For MC dated February 23, 2015 stipulates that in order to protect the interests of all concerned, notice is hereby given for all passenger-carrying shipping companies/operators to post visibly in all conspicuous places on-board the vessel, all ticketing offices and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) Passenger Terminals, a certified true copy of the MARINA Authorized schedule for the information and guidance of the riding public.

Further, failure to observe the MARINA approved schedule of trips subjects the shipping company/operator to sanctions ranging from P10,000 to P50,000 plus cancellation of its Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) under MARINA Memorandum Circular No. 120.

In the pipeline is the procurement of aluminum-hulled boats, according to Butaslac.

For his part, Teodro D. Buenavista Jr, regional director, National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), region 10, said its office is set to launch its Consumer Welfare and Protection project dubbed “Consumer Welfare Desk Sails because Government Cares,” intended to intensify its thrust for information dissemination campaign and uphold the interest of the general public. It will provide free assistance or services to the consumers on any complaints with the agencies authority by bringing always the services closer to the public.

Children with special needs join digital storytelling workshop

(Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro)

INTERNATIONALLY recognized social enterprise, Switotwins Inc., holds its first digital storytelling workshop for children with special needs at City Central School in Cagayan de Oro last March 2 and 3.

Hearing impaired, visually impaired, down-syndrome, intellectual disable transition class and children with autism classes participated in the activities and were assisted by their advisers. The workshop promoted digital access for special children through creative processes and storytelling. It is the first digital storytelling workshop of its kind in the Philippines.

“It is very fulfilling to facilitate a workshop were the participants are excited to tell their stories using accessible digital technology,” Marben Jan Picar, Switowins Digital Storytelling Head said. “I also feel humbled that the teachers are receptive to new digital tools even if they have been teaching using traditional methods for so long.”

The two-day workshop was a back-to-back training for both teachers and students.

During the first day, teachers went through a series of activities to create their own digital stories using the Mother Tongue. Before the day ended, they were consulted as to their suggestions on how to improve the module on teaching digital storytelling to children from the special education classes. During the second day, the special education students were able to have fun learning digital storytelling with the assistance of their teachers.

Romeo “Bambi” Balandra, teacher for children with autism, said that having a workshop like this is very timely. He adds” We are able to tap into contemporary technology and use it for the benefit of our students and for the improvement of our teaching methods.”

The workshop was capped by a Digital Storytelling Festival were the facilitators, teachers and students watched their finished products on a large screen, simulating how it’s done in a cinema.

The facilitators, Switotwins Digital Storytelling, is a winner of British Council I Am a Changemaker, Google Business Group Stories and Universities and Council Network for Innovation for Inclusive Development in SouthEast Asia.

Switotwins will be holding another digital storytelling workshop that will be open to all this coming May 4 to 8 in City Central Cagayan de Oro City.

For more details and reservations, contact 09156074540 or email switotwinsinc@gmail.com.

Tourism Council led tree-planting

(PR)

A TREE-PLANTING activity at Duaw Kagay-an park Wednesday morning, March 11, launched the activities for the redevelopment of this riverside public park.

The planting of 19 lambago was led by Dorothy Jean B. Pabayo, chairperson of the City Tourism Council, Elmer Wabe, City Tourism Officer, Ricardo Carlson, City Public Services Officer, and attended by staff from the City Local Environment and Natural Resources.

“This signals the start of our work for the redevelopment of Duaw Kagay-an Park,” Pabayo announced during the tree-planting activity.

She added that the redevelopment of the park has three phases: clearing and greening, to be followed by the mounting of the Birhen sa Kota and the welcome arc, and then the construction of a garden theater.

“Work is done by phase in as much as funds for this redevelopment work come from the privates sector – specifically the Kagay-anons overseas,” Pabayo explained.

Timetable for the unveiling of the first phase and second phase of the redevelopment work will be in August this year, in time for the city’s celebration of the fiesta and Higalaay Festival.

The redevelopment of Duaw Kagay-an Park is being pursued by the City Tourism Council, specifically its Kagaya-an Overseas Committee. The committee, led by Roy Gaane of Los Angeles, USA, has endorsed the conceptual design for the Birhen sa Kota and the welcome arc and has committed to sponsor the costs for the construction and installation of these two structures.

In its recent meeting, the City Tourism Council unanimously agreed to pursue the project.

Smart empowers partner community in Oro

(Sun.Star Cagayan De Oro)

WIRELESS leader Smart Communications Inc. recently organized a team-building workshop for the Xavier Ecoville Sewing Enterprise, in partnership with Xavier Ecoville Multi-Purpose Cooperative and Xavier University.

The workshop was designed to beef up the capacity of the community venture, comprised mainly of women, and strengthen the core of the sewing enterprise: its people. Having been through numerous challenges in life, these women know how to survive, but teamwork and collaboration may not come easy for them.

“At Smart, our engagements with communities go beyond dole-outs. We make sure that we help empower our partner-communities so they are able to improve their lot in life,” said Ramon R. Isberto, head of Public Affairs at Smart.

The workshop, held last February 16-17 at the Xavier Ecoville Multi-Purpose Hall, was facilitated by Happy Ballesteros-Raagas, a consultant and believer in women empowerment.

“The tools from the workshop will improve how they face the future together. With a better understanding of what makes effective teams, I think they are on their way to performing better as a social enterprise,” Raagas said.

More than developing their skills, an enterprise needs to identify with the community, to realize how each individual matters to the team. “The team building workshop was meant to help the women understand the basics of what a team is, and show them what they can do to address the challenges that they face,” added Raagas.

Inspired by the women, Raagas has shared that she will come back for more workshops to continue to strengthen the team, as part of her personal advocacy.

Another advocate for empowering women, Kyna Chan has also been helping the community for some time, from bag design to production, and she has seen the struggles and successes.

“The Sewing Enterprise is a very promising community. I was inspired by how they bounced-back from the rough experiences they’ve had. I am honored to be part of this community because it teaches me to be a woman for others,” said Chan.

Martha Rodriguez, an international bag designer from Cagayan de Oro, also wants to help the women.

“A social enterprise is a smart business created around a social issue. For me, it’s more than just a personal advocacy and providing livelihood. It’s about vision, integrity, honesty, courage and humanity,” Rodriguez shared.

Along with Chan, Rodriguez has shared her expertise by coaching the women and providing technical training and drills to improve their skills.

Last year, Smart also provided support to the sewing enterprise, as they launched their latest product line, including bags made from used tarpaulin materials donated by Smart.

Smart has embraced community building as one of the key pillars under its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program. It has designed livelihood solutions that are appropriate to the needs of partner-communities.

BIR in Northern Mindanao to launch 2015 tax campaign

By Apipa P. Bagumbaran(APB/PIA-10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 12 (PIA) – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Revenue Region (RR) 16 is set to launch the 2015 tax campaign here tomorrow, March 13.

The launching will be highlighted by the unveiling of this year’s tax campaign logo and theme “Angat Pa, Pinas!”

The theme calls for greater cooperation among Filipinos to pay their taxes as their contribution to nation-building.

According to BIR-RR16, the 2015 tax campaign logo takes cues from the colors of the Philippine flag using arrows that show an upward movement to denote greater progress and positive change for the country.

Representatives from professional and civic organizations, public and private entities, and taxpayers are expected to grace the event to pledge their support and commitment to the campaign.

DA, TESDA conducts rubber prod’n competency training

By Vanessa Mae S. Siano (DA-RAFIS 10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 11 (PIA) -- Committed to harness the potentials of rubber for the local and international market, the Department of Agriculture-High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) has jointly initiated a rubber production competency training with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority-10 (TESDA-10) to train rubber producers and rubber plantation workers to develop their expertise on rubber production and post harvest technologies and come up with competent trainers on rubber tapping.

The activity was made possible in coordination with the United Rubber Producers and Processors Association (URPPA), the International Center for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), University of Southern Mindanao (USM), Central Mindanao University (CMU), and Farm Child, a non-government organization.

Around 30 participants from the different parts of Mindanao, consisting of rubber producers and rubber plantation workers who are members of URPPA and the academe joined the Trainers’ Training on Rubber Production NCII, held at the Misamis Oriental State College of Agriculture and Technology (MOSCAT) and at the Conservation Agriculture with Trees Learning Center in Claveria, Misamis Oriental.

The training provided an opportunity for the participants to develop their mastery in rubber budwood and seedling nursery establishment, budding operation, planting rubber trees/rubber seedlings, tapping operations and latex harvesting which will help them earn a certificate of competency.

In line with this, the participants will go through an assessment process to be conducted by TESDA to determine their competency level for a particular skill set. The certification will also serve as proof of qualification for the participants for a 45-day Training for Work Scholarship Program of TESDA in order to gain a National Certification (NC II). The said undertaking is also in line with the DA’s thrust to improve the quality of rubber products in the country.

DPWH completes 3 major projects in CDO

(DPWH)

Three additional infrastructure projects have been completed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) – Region 10 for Cagayan de Oro City costing P111 million.

In a report to Secretary of Public Works and Highways Rogelio L. Singson, DPWH Region 10 Director Evelyn T. Barroso cited the inauguration of recently completed flood control project (flood wall) along CDO River, Cathedral Section; access road leading to famous Dao Heritage Tree and Mapawa Nature Park; and road concreting and drainage project at Berjaya Resettlement Area.

The biggest among the three projects in terms of project cost, is the 1.9-kilometer tourism road with drainage and slope protection, leading to Dao Heritage Tree and Mapawa Nature Park. Costing P49 million, the road is now providing more efficient accessibility in mentioned tourist destinations, contributing to the boost of tourism industry in the city.

Another project is the five meters tall and 146 lineal meters long flood wall along CDO River, Cathedral section, in the amount of P48 million. The flood control project was accomplished in eight months, and is now protecting structures and residents within the vicinity from flood and overflow of CDO river.

Also part of the three completed infrastructure is the concreting of 541-lineal meter circumferential road of Berjaya Resettlement Area in Barangay Camaman-an. This project is envisioned to provide all weather road and drainage system within the resettlement area for easy access of people, goods and services for the residents living in the vicinity.

DTI Misamis Oriental conducts capability building trainings for Bamboo Processing

By Dete Lusica Acosta (DTI-MOR)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 9 - In line with the thrust to address industry gaps and support the quest of enterprising Misamisnons to produce Engineered Bamboo Products, the Department of Trade and Industry Misamis Oriental (DTI-MOR) Provincial Office is capacitating the cooperators of its Shared Service Facility to make the eight Bamboo Node facilities in the province fully operational.

Two trainings were already conducted in the month of February and the rest are scheduled in March and April, this year. The first training was intended for Lapad Agrarian Reform Farmers’ Cooperative (LARFACO), in Lapad, Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental. The other one was attended by the members of Sipaca Resources and Management Services, Inc. as well as bamboo growers and processors of Talisayan, Misamis Oriental. These were conducted last February 2 to 6 and February 23 to 27 respectively.

The next training will be conducted on March 9 to 13, in sitio Iba, Dansolohon, Cagayan de Oro City and this is intended for Kapunungan sa Bato – Upland Tribal Tillers (KAB-UTT), Inc. , an association of farmers making a living in a Community-Based Forest Mangement (CBFM) area.

A full course on Capability Building for bamboo Node Operation takes five days. This comprises of lectures, demonstrations and workshops on topics like Understanding the Bamboo Industry Value Chain, Harvesting and Material Selection, Bamboo Processing and Preservation Techniques and most of all the proper way to operate and maintain the machines and equipment provided by DTI through its Shared Service Facility Program. Quality Control and Safety Measures and Standards are very important topics too.

The trainer, Robert L. Palomares, is an entrepreneur who produces quality E-Bamboo products through its company, the HOMEBIZ Crafts in Iligan City. Palomares is also the present chairman of the Board of BALUMCO, a cooperative producing desks, tables and chairs for DepEd. He also serves as executive director of PhilEXPORT 10B.

Northern Mindanao products to reach tariff free Europe

By Butch D. Enerio

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Northern Mindanao and the European Union (EU)–Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA) appraised business leaders, media and other stakeholders of the trade and investment potentials of the region in a roundtable discussion in Cagayan de Oro City on Thursday.

The EU-TRTA Project 3, which focused on the updates on the International Trade and Industry: Doing business in Free Trade Areas, underscored the opportunities of Northern Mindanao (Region 10) on agri-industrial developments, shared service facility (SSF) projects, exporters and other SME projects.

DTI Assistant Secretary Ceferino Rodolfo updated the attendees of the forum on issues and developments of the Asean integration where he outlined the limitations as well as the shared advantages among the 10-member countries.

Rodolfo said the Philippines has already created open market access for industries and small and medium enterprises (SME) through tariff-free trading across the borders of the Asean, while the country is poised to export more than 6,000 products to Europe and where northern Mindanao has the advantage of a breakthrough in reaping the benefits of international trade.

Linda O. Boniao, DTI officer in-charge regional director, said that Northern Mindanao is the largest regional economy in the island where it is ensuring the efficiency of the region’s logistics network for increase international trade.

“Access to technology and more sophisticated equipment will help SMEs in increasing their competitiveness and marketability,” Boniao said.

The visit of DTI and the EU-TRTA in the region included an ocular inspection of the Mindanao International Container Terminal Services Inc. (MICT) in Cagayan de Oro City which has a current capacity of 270,000 20-foot container vans. A planned expansion of the facility both of its berth length and container yard is in the pipeline to help ease port congestion in Metro Manila (MM).

Rodolfo said that other major ports outside MM will be the gateway of our local SMEs and industries for their exports, while the initiatives to ease port congestion in MM will improve the country’s productivity and allow home grown businesses and industries to adapt to dynamic global market needs.

“Advancing logistics is one of the key factors to maximize the benefits of international trade. A secure and predictable logistics network will help us realize the gains from regional economic integration,” Rodolfo said.

The focus of the roundtable discussion and project visits will be the preparations of the Philippines to be able to immediately avail of the benefits of the EU-Generalized System of Preferences Plus (EU-GSP+), which was recently granted to the Philippines last December.

Under this preferential tariff scheme, the Philippines can now export more than 6,000 products to any of the EU's 28 member countries at zero tariffs. This includes coco and coco-based products, fruits, and other agri-based products as well as garments, among others.

NorMin biz leaders tackle doing business in free trade areas

(EOR/PIA)

TO ADDRESS the economic situation in northern Mindanao and prepare for its participation in the upcoming integration through the Asean Economic Community (AEC), the Department of Trade and Industry in Northern Mindanao together with the region’s business leaders met and discussed the updates of the country’s strategy in doing business in free trade areas (DBFTA) here last Thursday.

With the coming of AEC, multi-stakeholders like small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and local industries in the region are expected to participate in the international market.

According to DTI Assistant Secretary Ceferino Rodolfo, it is necessary to embark on unified trade and industry following these three-folds: public consultation; government coordination; and policy research.

Rodolfo also met SMEs and local industries in the region to discuss mechanisms for assistance and development.

He told business leaders in the region that opportunities abound for growth and investment in fields such as agriculture, food processing, service-related industries and trade infrastructure services.

“Moving forward, we need to entice more investors to come in and work closely with them so our local industries can provide the demand of our target markets abroad,” he said.

He explained that ASEAN has great potential since it is the fastest growing regions in the world and Philippines is one of the fastest growing country with an average GDP growth rate of 5.0 percent in 2014 and 5.4 percent this year.

He mentioned that the inflation rate in terms of prices has been stable especially that this year it falls on 2.4 percent.

However, Rodolfo disclosed that the sugar industry would be impacted considering the drop in tariff.

Rodolfo said the country has its deficit in terms of its trade with ASEAN partners.

“We import more than we export,” he said.

“Kung saan may challenges, doon din may opportunities,” Rodolfo added.

He mentioned that the ASEAN is based on three communities which are socio-cultural, political-security and economic which commitments need implementation to comply with integrating in AEC.

These illustrative commitments are: free flow of – goods, services, investments, capital and skilled labor.

Rodolfo said that AEC provides several opportunities in the Philippines which are investing in other ASEAN countries, attract investments from other ASEAN firms, direct export to other ASEAN countries, indirect export by being part of the regional chain, and tap the growing domestic market and leverage economies.

“Whether we like it or not, ASEAN products will come here,” Rodolfo said.

But with regard to investing in other ASEAN countries, Rodolfo said that that only happens if your company is as big as Jollibee, Ayala, and other multi and transnational companies.

And in order to effectively and efficiently compete with other ASEAN countries, “our prices should be cheaper but maintain excellent quality [because] if not [they] will topple us down,” Rodolfo added.

He also encouraged everyone to support Philippine industries and products like that of Racini which is produced here in the city.

Rodolfo emphasized on the competitiveness of the city because “there is ease in doing business in the region since Cagayan de Oro has been cited the 2nd most competitive city next to Makati.”

With that, Linda Boniao, Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Regional Director of DTI 10 cited the need to communicate on what can be done together to have meaningful collaboration with the stakeholders.

“The ultimate goal of DTI is to increase the production capacity of SMEs because supplying the volume required by the domestic market alone has been a challenge,” Boniao said.

Roberto Ansaldo of Oro Chamber and president of Rocky Mountain Coffee and Agri & Fisheries Coffee and Cacao sectors, cited the challenges the country has been facing which are conflicting land claims, collateral of lands and capacity building.

"Philippines in general is very good in the science of agriculture but very weak in doing the business of agricuture," Ansaldo said.

MisOr execs back DTI’s Timbangan ng Bayan

(EOR/PIA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 6 (PIA) -- League of the Mayors of Misamis Oriental expressed its commitment to uphold the proper implementation of the Timbangang ng Bayan (community weighing scale) project in the province as part of DTI’s Consumer Welfare program.

The Department of Trade and Industry-Misamis Oriental (DT MOR) spearheaded the conduct of signing of memorandum of agreement on Timbangan ng Bayan cum Price Act and related laws briefing with 26 local government units (LGUs) of the province, Feb. 26.

In its commitment response, Misamis Oriental League of the Mayor president and Balingasag municipal mayor Alexis S. Quina said with this project they are reminded of their commitment to protect the interest and welfare of the consumer. Hence, we commit to maintain the installed Timbangan ng Bayan in a manner that it should be and required, said the mayor.

Under the agreement, LGUs are expected to provide staff to operate and maintain the weighing scales to ensure that the calibration is always accurate.

DTI awarded units of the Timbangan ng Bayan to the 26 LGUs of the province, as part of the agency’s continuing effort to promote consumer welfare and a healthy business environment.

The P40,000 worth of top of the line “15kg x 50g” Stainless Mechanical Scale come along with customized and high quality Housings; sets of “11.5kg” Test Weights (1pc 5kg, 2 pcs 2kg, 1pc 1kg and 1pc 500g); and sets of “10kg” Test Weights.

According to DTI provincial director Ma. Eliza A. Pabillore, through the Timbangan ng Bayan, consumers are provided with an effective means of checking the accuracy of the weights and the quantity of the goods they buy. Hence, this ensures protecting the interest of the buying public.

Meanwhile, Atty. Fel Lester Brillantes, Consumer Welfare Desk (CWD) chief, DTI-X, discussed salient features of Republic Act 7581, also known as the Price Act of the Philippines.

RA 7581 provides protection to consumers by stabilizing the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities and by prescribing measures against undue price increases during emergency situations and like occasions.

Under the law, the government is mandated to ensure the availability of basic necessities and prime commodities at reasonable prices at all times without denying legitimate business a fair return on investment.

It is also declared by policy of the State to provide effective and sufficient protection to consumers against hoarding, profiteering and cartels with respect to the supply, distribution, marketing and pricing of said goods, especially during periods of calamity, emergency, widespread illegal price manipulation and other similar situations.

Without prejudice to the provisions of existing laws on goods not covered by this Act, the law pointed out that it shall be unlawful for any person habitually engaged in the production, manufacture, importation, storage, transport, distribution, sale or other methods of disposition of goods to engage in the acts of price manipulation of the price of any basic necessity or prime commodity like hoarding, profiteering, and cartel.

Under the profiteering provision, there shall be prima facie evidence of profiteering whenever a basic necessity or prime commodity being sold such as: (a) has no price tag; (b) is misrepresented as to its weight or measurement; (c) is adulterated or diluted; or (d) whenever a person raises the price of any basic necessity or prime commodity he sells or offers for sale to the general public by more than 10 percent of its price in the immediately preceding month.

However, the law stipulated that in the case of agricultural crops, fresh fish, fresh marine products, and other seasonal products covered by this Act and as determined by the implementing agency, the prima facie provisions shall not apply.

Declaration of Cagayan de Oro’s coastal areas as marine protected areas sought

(PNA), LAP/CD/AR/CD/EDS

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 5 (PNA) -- Marine and fisheries officials here are lobbying to declare the entire coastal areas in this seaport capital as “marine protected areas.”

City Councilor Annie Daba, chair of the city council committee on agriculture, on Thursday said that the City Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Management Council (CFARMC) has passed Resolution No. 0017-2015 requesting the City Council to declare the coastal villages of Puerto, Tablon, Cugman, Gusa and Bayabas as marine fish sanctuaries.

Aside from declaring the five villages as marine fish sanctuaries, the CFARMC also wants a City Ordinance that would declare all coastal villages from Bulua to Bugo as marine protected areas, Daba said.

She said that the City Council and the CFARMC will first meet with officials of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) before the local august body could enact the ordinance.

“Besides, the city council will also inquire from the BFAR on why only five barangays were recommended as marine protected areas and why the others were excluded,” Daba said.

The MARINA and the city government are studying the memorandum of agreement on the implementation of the Executive Order No. 503 on the conduct of surveillance operations of all motorize boats within the 15 kilometers municipal waters in the Macajalar Bay area.

Daba said that her committee is still considering all other proposals and other amendments of the MOA with MARINA before it could act on CFARMC request.

Kagay-anon lads top Globe Labs, Google Hackathon tilt

By April Argen Pat B. Marzon

Raven Duran explains 3DU to the panel of judges during the Globe Labs/Google Hackathon competition. (Contributed photo)

HAVE you ever wondered when you were a small kid and you imagined a certain place where you wanted to go, just in a snap?

Or maybe, you wished that you could go back to the past or move forward in the future?

Well, you better read on because you’ll be amazed of what I stumbled upon.

Last month, three awesome proud-to-be Kagay-anons nailed the first Google Cardboard Hackathon organized by Globe Labs in Manila.

These three lads – Raven Duran, Geoff Diaz and Edmund Salcedo Jr. who won the grand prize of 50,000 are actually Information Technology (IT) graduating students of Mindanao University of Science and Technology (MUST) this city.

Raven, Geoff and Edmund are classmates, as well as thesis [mate], if there’s such a word.

Fortunately, Raven, the team’s leader, heeded my request for an interview.

Raven is not the typical nerd you encountered in school. In fact, he’s quite the opposite.

He was actually bubbly but mind you, he’s really smart.

Raven was very keen to tell the details and told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro that while he was browsing and checking some updates on his Facebook, an ad appeared. And that ad was a call to register and participate to the first Google Hackathon organized by Globe Labs.

Curious, Raven clicked the link. After reading it, he decided to fill out the online form and informed his team to join the said event.

Multi-player online

Duran and his team made the application 3DU or 3D University for Google cardboard platform.

“3DU is actually a massive multi-player online virtual reality university,” Duran said.

He said that the app allows users to talk to each other [real time], learn, explore and challenge themselves in a virtual university that knows no bounds.

“One of the problems at schools is that a teacher cannot demonstrate or show a specific topic because of unavailability of materials. For instance, [if] teachers want(ed) to teach about dinosaurs, of course, dinosaurs are [already] extinct and [they] need to go to museums to see such thing. So we want to provide access for them to teach topics like that,” Raven explained.

He said that in order for users to be in 3DU, all they have to do is put on the Google cardboard, “then put on the virtual reality player, you would actually be in the world.”

He furthered that aside from dinosaurs, it’s actually online so even if your teacher is in other parts of the country, or [world] and the students are in different places – if they are connected on the internet then they can meet in 3DU. They can actually meet there, talk and even stroll around.

3DU has three destinations: Jurassic World, Safari Desert, and World of Zoo.

What is even more amazing is when you look for a specific animal in the destination - a (somewhat) info box will pop out and explain what the particular animal is.

Raven added that they are planning to develop 3DU to become more realistic - to the extent that you can actually touch what's in there.

“People call it magic, but we call it technology,” Raven said.

Hack

As for the word hack, he explained that other people actually have misconception about it.

“But in terms of [the] technical world, hacking is putting on something or additional function of a specific thing which one wouldn’t expect it to be there. [It]s like tinkering at some point,” he said.

For 24 hours, the Globe Labs Google Hackathon is a hacking marathon.

“What we make for the Google cardboard platform is the 3DU. We hacked the Google cardboard platform,” Raven said.

“[Y]ou have to create something, you have to hack something, you have to make something out of that in 24 hours then you have to present it to the judges,” Raven added.

Raven also said that 3DU is actually like an online game but focuses more on [the] education.

Teamwork

He said that it was really teamwork and that they possessed different expertise which was also well-collaborated, and the task was well-divided in order for them to focus.

“I am the one who made all the conceptualization, for the architecture to see all the flow, project management. Then Geoff focused on [the] technical parts – the logic of the game while Edmund, focused on making the virtual world – created the model, the environment – trees, grass,” Raven shared.

“Geoff is more on the logical part; Edmund is on the creative part. As for me, I am in the middle. I help them coordinate with each other. I check everything. Oversee,” he said.

“Actually before pa man ning sa Globe, Google hackathon, kay it was my research man about augmented reality and virtual reality,” he added.

He said that all the algorithms, libraries, were already in place which was considered the main advantage they had. Duran has a strong background on virtual and augmented reality.

“So our competitors could not implement some algorithms and functionalities that we implemented because it was a fruit of 2-year research,” Duran boasted.

Aside from the Globe, Google Hackathon, they also joined the same competition which was dubbed IDEASPACE Mindanao 2013 and Philippine Web Development Hackathon held at Microsoft Ph held last summer of 2014.

Empower the youth

“Back then, we already competed. You see, they have this notion that when they say youth, they tagged it as inexperienced, or [somewhat] lack in capabilities because [they] are young. That’s the thing we want to prove them wrong. We want to empower the youth especially those who are passionate in the field of technology,” he said.

“We want to tell them that we can compete. And what experienced people do, we can also do,” he added.

He animatedly explained that when they went there to compete was very intimidating in a competitive way.

According to Duran, they were the youngest and the only students to compete.

“Actually, most of them are professionals – web developers, programmers. But I really like that kind of atmosphere. When you are the underdog, it’s nice. And we’re the only ones from Mindanao. Most of the competitors were from NCR and the Visayas,” he said.

He said that the process was not stringent. If [you] wanted to join, you just have to register online.

Meanwhile, Duran also told Sun.Star CdeO in an interview that back in his high school, he did a freelancing job as a web developer and creative director thru Webnified which he founded.

Webnified

Now, Webnified has made its way to become one of the most successful cloud systems and innovations development agency that solves problems and creates learned based solutions for businesses and communities.

“They glorify things about having a company but they don’t see the hard work behind the scenes, you have to pay the bills, you have to manage, you have to market, everything especially if it’s a start up,” Raven said.

But he considers himself as a professional web developer, though he is not into technical stuff because he is more on the managerial – management, strategic goals, planning.

Duran is also active in the technology and community scene, being one of Google Developers Group CdeO Organizers, CdeO ITG Speaker, MakerSpace CdeO In the Making Founder, Kagay-an Information Technology Students Co-founder (KITS), Former Supreme Student Council President, Information and Communication Technology Society President, and a Philippine AYALA Young Leader.

Start-up company owner

He had worked with several US based clients in the past from his freelance experience and had also worked locally in cloud technology development companies like Social Universe Inc. (as Web Developer) and Innovuze Solutions Inc. (as Web and Backend Systems Developer).

He won several interschool and university programming competitions in the past, had also been the leader of the winning team of Makati. He had been invited to several tech conventions and events as a speaker (Google DevFest, ICT Days, QITC, CDOITG and DevCon) and has been the youngest to do so.

Currently, he is the guiding president of IT student body, A Google Student Ambassador and the CEO / Founder of his former one-man startup Webnified that has grown into a full blown Incorporated company with eight Staff and office located at Velez Cagayan De Oro, Webnified.

Raven is hoping that through the support of Globe Labs, the creation of virtual and even augmented reality would help educators in teaching history, science, and everything that there is to learn about.

Now, I would not just close my eyes and imagine having my sweet escape because all I have to do is put on the gear and immersed in the 3DU. Truly, amazing!

BFP strives for a fire-free, safe nation

(RTP/PIA10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 3 (PIA) – With the theme, “Kaligtasan sa Sunog: Alamin, Gawin at Isabuhay Natin," the Bureau of Fire Protection-10 (BFP-10) conducts various activities to uphold a fire-free and safe nation as well as to observe the Fire Prevention Month 2015 that include the house to house safety information campaign, fire truck visibility, placement to heighten alert status and intensive monitoring in fire prone areas, Berong Bombero sa Paaralan, among others.

During the Talakayan sa PIA held on March 2, here, fire superintendent Alan Aladano, BFP-10 assistant regional director for operations, shared that during the fire safety awareness campaign, they will distribute information materials, handle lectures, inspect establishments, test fire hydrants, make a fire disaster emergency evacuation plan, monitor hazard operations and identify prone areas in the Region.

He also added that they will hold a drawing contest open for elementary students, poster making contest for high school students, an open for all photography contests, and singing and dance contests for the BFP personnel.

Working on fire safety in the community

With the sudden increase of informal settlers in the region, Aladano said that it is important that people should have drums of water especially the informal settlers, whose houses are usually made of light materials and are situated in very tiny roads that hinder the fire fighters to reach the affected area or property the soonest time possible.

Furthermore, he said that the local government units (LGUs) are also helping the Bureau on the campaign for the fire preventive measures. They are also working hand in hand with the latter to enhance the organization of fire brigades in the grassroots level.

With educated and concerned members of the community, Aladano expressed confidence that fires can be easily put down, saving more lives and properties.

Causes of fire and their prevention

Fire superintendent Shirley Teleron, district fire marshall, BFP-Cagayan de Oro, shared some of the major causes of fire in the households and these include short circuits that root from the connection relays in the house wiring with the use of extension wires.

Aladano added that these usually cause an electrical overheating and eventually leads to the melting of insulators. Once the insulation of the unit melts, the two separated wires come together that causes the circuits to fall short.

Because of this, BFP strongly discourages the use of extension wires in a permanent basis.

Another cause of fire as highlighted by supt. Teleron is the fondness of people in multi-tasking such as cooking meals and at the same time, washing the clothes. Fires frequently happen in this scenario just as when a household member become so engrossed in handling a different task aside from cooking.

The use of candles especially during brownouts, liquefied petroleum gases (LPGs), incomplete cigarette and mosquito coil fires, unsafe playing of matches and slash-and-burn farming or grassfires are also among the major causes of fire which can be prevented by being cautious all the time.

Teleron also said that leaks in LPGs can be prevented by checking the hose from possible rat bites and smelling the unit for possible disconnections of the hose to the tank. Children should also be forbidden to play with matches and candles should be turned off prior to going to bed.

In addition, Aladano said that BFP also prohibits the use of sky lanterns in various events or activities as these are considered “open flames” that could become the cause of fire in certain areas.

At the end of the program, Aladano said that being aware and informed about fire safety and hazard is not enough to guarantee a safe nation, these should be applied and put it into action until these become a way of life.

CDO officials want more benefits for retirees

By Cris Diaz [(PNA), CTB/CD/EBP]

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 2 (PNA) -- City officials in this port capital are working to grant more benefits to retirees of the city government, City Councilor Prexy Elipe said Monday.

Elipe said that the City Council has recently approved an ordinance granting one grade salary increase from Grade 24 to Grade 25 to a health official who would retire in May this year.

City Councilor Ramon Tabor said that the granting of the “one step salary grade higher,” is in compliance with Section 2 of Republic Act 7305, also known as the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers.

Tabor, chair of the city council committee on police, fire, and public safety, said that City Councilor Dante Pajo, chair of the city’s health and sanitation, has recommended the one grade salary increase for the retiring health workers.

He said that the city council has approved an increase in the budget for retirement benefits of city workers from P 8 million in 2014 to P 10 million under the General Appropriation Ordinance for 2015.

Elipe, chair of the city council’s committee on finance, ways and means, said that the city council also increased from P 17. 1 million in 2014 to P 37.7 million in 2015 the terminal leave benefits to make sure that the retiring city workers could receive the benefits due them.

Oro’s Salgados rules Luzon chess challenge

(JJF)

CAGAYAN de Oro’s chess talents are making a rampage in Manila and Luzon chess circuits.

After Alfredo Rapanot won the national amateur chess championships in Manila, long-time Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws teammate Lennon Hart Salgados held his own in the Open Non-Master chess tournament in Luzon province.

The former Corpus Christi standout Salgados bested a tough field of 100 non masters, pitting wits at the Ayala Mall in Olongapo City, scoring 6.5 points in seven rounds to emerge as solo champion.

Now with the Philippine Air Force, the 22-year-old Salgados -- who helped the FEU’s senior men’s team won the UAAP chess war last year -- bagged the P7,000 champion’s purse plus medal.

Officiated by FIDE National Arbiter Alexander E. Dinoy, the two-day event dubbed as “Hon. Rolen C. Paulino 1st Year Anniversary Chess Tournament” drew the participation of leading non-titled players in the country today.

Sharing second to fourth places with 6 points each were Adrian Perez, Roberto Halili and Sherwin Tiu.

Rounding up the top-8 with identical 5.5 points were Kevin Arquero, Darry Bernardo, Louie Salvador and Dale Pradas.