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Cebu Province News August 2013

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Province of Cebu - Archived News

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


Bantay Dagat Sugbo seizes truckload of brown algae

By Kristine B. Quintas and Michael Braga /QSB (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - A truck load of brown algae, locally known as “lusay,” was seized in a checkpoint conducted by the Provincial Anti-illegal Fishing Task Force (Bantay Dagat Sugbo) in Sabang, Danao City Thursday evening.

Retired Navy Captain Romeo Tapayan of Bantay Dagat Sugbo said the Isuzu truck with plate numbers ZGP 182 was intercepted in Danao City at 11:30 pm. The truck and its cargo were seized in violation of the Provincial Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ordinance in Cebu, which was approved in April 30, 2012.

The ordinance bans the “extraction, gathering and harvesting of Samo/Kwapo (Sargasum Polycystum) and other seaweeds species before they are ready for harvest.”

It provides than an administrative fine of P3, 000 may be imposed on each violator, and an additional administrative fine of P1, 000.00 per kilo of Samo/Kwapo and other seaweeds species per violator.

“Naa daw silay permit, but the law in their land cannot supersede the law of the province,” Tapayan added stating the provision of the ordinance.

Tapayan explained that “lusay” is a type of seaweeds where small fishes live. It is used in making plastics and fertilizers.

Truck driver Samson Lopes initially refused to divulge the origin of the seaweeds. However, the truck owner, known only as Marilla, after he refused to divulge his full name, together with his father-in-law, Alfonso Alvarez, appeared before the office of the Anti-illegal Fishing Task Force yesterday and asked for the release of the truck, saying they have a mayor’s permit to buy-and-sell brown algae.

“Unsa may illegal nga among nahimo nga naa man mi permit gikan sa among mayor didto sa Cawayan (Masbate). Igo ra man mi nagtransport dinhi sa Cebu” Marilla stressed.

He also pointed out that the algae were not extracted.

“Violation ni siya if imong langkaton, unya nadagsa ra man pod ni,” Marilla said.

Marilla and Alvarez are both from the province of Masbate and have been trading brown algae for two years.

The truck is now under the custody of the anti-illegal fishing task force while the driver and three other helpers were immediately released.

“Depende na ni Governor Hilario Davide kun ibaligya sa probinsya sa processor aron makakwarta ang province,” Tapayan said.

The Formation of Provincial Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Adjudication Board (FARAB) has yet to send a recommendation to the governor on whether to drop the case or file charges in court.

PB eyes review of all NGOs

By Gregg M. Rubio/JPM (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Vice Governor Agnes Magpale is eyeing the review of all accredited people’s organizations (POs) and non-government organizations (NGOs) in the Province of Cebu following reports of bogus organizations who took huge amount of funds from the lawmakers.

However, Magpale said that the Province of Cebu has really been very careful in giving financial assistance to NGOs after the controversial Perdido Lex in 2002 which tagged former vice governor John Henry Gregory Osmeña for alleged misused of P5 million.

The Provincial Board of Cebu effected the infamous accreditation of the non-existent Perdido Lex via Resolution No. 3968-2002.

Magpale said that the review is aimed at having more safety nets in accrediting any organizations.

Accredited organizations have their accreditation renewed yearly and the PB asked the officials to appear before the plenary for further questioning before it gets renewal.

“Duna gyuy interview, tan-awon gyud ang track record,” Magpale said.

PB Member Joven Mondigo Jr. who previously chaired the committee on accreditation said that after the Perdido Lex controversy, application for accreditation passed through rigid screening of documentary requirements such as the registration of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Once accredited, Mondigo said that the organizations cannot just easily get financial assistance from the Capitol as it passes through another requirement of having a memorandum of agreement.

The PB has to authorize the Governor to enter and sign the agreement of a particular organization requesting the financial assistance.

Mondigo said that they have accredited a lot of NGOs not necessarily to access financial assistance.

“Hasol gyud hinoon, maong ang uban magpa-accredit para lang seguro nga accredited sila sa provincial government,” Mondigo told The Freeman.

Mondigo added it has also been the practice of the provincial government that financial assistance for NGOs is coursed through the local government.

Mandaue City to update drainage master plan


MANDAUE CITY, Aug. 29 (PNA) -- The Mandaue City Government intends to hire 17 engineers to review and update its drainage master plan.

Mandaue City Hall is prepared to spend P943,000 for the undertaking, an official said.

Mandaue City Planning Officer Florentino Nimor said the city’s existing master plan, created in the early 2000s, contains obsolete data.

“The hiring of engineers is now with the Bids and Awards Committee,” Nimor said.

Nimor is a member of the city’s drainage system and flood control management committee.

The existing master plan, he said, does not include a list of projects the city needs to implement.

It only maps out the city’s existing drainage lines and catchment areas, and lays down an organizational framework plan.

The new master plan will list down projects such as new drainage lines, Nimor said.

Funds for the projects will be taken from the City’s disaster risk reduction and management funds, and the budget under the local development investment plan.

Once hired, Nimor said the engineers will come up with a new master plan within five months.

Nimor said the amount needed for the new master plan will be taken from the unspent funds amounting to P2 million from the contract creating the first drainage master plan.

While the city has yet to come up with an updated drainage master plan, projects to alleviate flooding are ongoing.

These include the P25-million dredging project for the Tipolo Creek and drainage works on Plaridel St. and A.S. Fortuna St.

As ICCCE 2013 opens today Cebu takes the spotlight

By Joefel Ortega Banzon (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Now on its ninth run, the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) decided to bring the world’s largest contact center conference and expo to Cebu for the first time, Cebu being the next big thing for the industry after Manila.

Today, Cebu, which is a major hub for contact centers and ranked among the Top 10 in Tholon’s Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations Report, will play host to the 2013 International Contact Center Conference & Expo(ICCCE).

With the theme “Where the World Meets the Philippines,” 75 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and around 1,500 local and foreign contact center professionals will converge at the conference slated on August 28-30 at Shangri-La’s Mactan and Radisson Blu in Cebu City.

The international conference is produced by CCAP in partnership with the local government units of Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City, and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

To showcase Cebu

CCAP executive director Jojo Uligan said, in a briefing with Cebu journalists, that they decided to hold this year’s ICCCE in Cebu because they want to showcase Cebu stressing that “Cebu, being a matured location, we need to highlight what Cebu has to offer.”

“We decided to do it here to showcase the opportunities in Cebu, and with us are CEOs of our member companies and a good chunk of them don’t have operations here in Cebu,” Uligan said.

He added that this will be a good chance for these CEOs to be aware of how large the BPO operation is in Cebu.

“We also want to showcase the infrastructure and that aside from the talent, here in Cebu you can do both business and leisure,” he said, “we know that there are opportunities but what else can we do in Cebu? ”

Uligan further said that aside from talent, the services offered in the industry is growing so they need to be updated as clients’ requirements are also growing, citing the question “can we cope up with that demand?”

Aside from showcasing Cebu’s talents and opportunities, Uligan said that there is a need to identify the niche market of Cebu, identify where Cebu is doing good, something that can be honestly claimed as a niche that is uniquely Cebu.

Industry Growth

The conference also aims to present a data on how the industry is behaving in terms of growth rate as well as projections on how the industry will be like at the end of 2013.

Uligan said the association conducts a survey to its members twice a year, during the first six months of the year and at the end of the year.

“The twice a year survey is more to calibrate at the same time testing our projection. There’s a huge difference between what happened in 2012 to 2013. There are interesting figures as to how the industry is behaving in terms of our growth rate but our projection is still going up. I’m sure that it’s not going down but then again we need to re-study our data because a lot of people will be following and looking at our projection,” he said.

Uligan then gave a rough estimate of the industry’s growth of 15% to 20% on talent and 10% to 15% on revenue but made it clear that they maintain a modest projection compared to the actual growth of the industry.

Ripple Effect

The contact center industry, which has emerged as a powerful economic driver of the country has created a ripple effect in various aspects. The industry roughly spends around P2.5 billion on goods and services.

As of 2012, the contact center industry has employed over 500,000 Filipinos, which is a huge leap from the 2,500 BPO workers recorded in 2001.

Export growth likewise increased by 7.6%, amounting to $51.99 billion.

And despite the declining telephony spending in the global market due to recession in the world’s biggest economies, the telecom business in the Philippines still managed to post an $8 million growth last year.

Furthermore, because the contact center sector generates demand for office spaces and buildings, it translated to upbeat growth in the real estate sector.

And most importantly, the night economy generated by the industry paved way for the rise of small businesses. Fastfood outlets, 24/7 stores, restaurants and convenience stores started sprouting near BPO offices and buildings.

Uligan added that even the “Manong” and “Manang” selling packed food near contact center offices are reaping good profit from contact center employees.

Apart from the demand for food outlets, the rising employment population likewise generated a huge demand for transport services.


However, amid its upbeat growth, the contact center industry is still faced with the same challenge, the shortage of talent.

Uligan said although the industry considers the cost of doing business, foreign exchange, infrastructure, power rates, and internet connectivity as the challenges that the industry needs to address, their major concern now lies on talent shortage.

He said it is an issue that has been hounding the industry from way back 10 to 11 years ago until the present stressing that “it is a major concern as we cannot grow if we don’t have the necessary skills that the industry needs.”

To address this, he said CCAP has tapped the academe for the inclusion of course units in the Service Management program in the country’s key state universities. The program started early this year.

Last year, CCAP also launched a scholarship program, in partnership with the Office of the President through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), wherein with a grant of P224 million, the association was able to provide trainings to 44,209 scholars, of which 73% were employed after the program.

With the success of the scholarship program, CCAP now waits for fresh funding from the government to implement the same program. CCAP will also be launching new set of scholars at the conference today.

Mandaue City marks 44th Charter Day on Aug. 30 with a holiday


MANDAUE CITY, Cebu, Aug. 27 (PNA) -- Mandaue City will mark its 44th Charter Day on August 30 with a holiday after Malacanang has declared a non-working holiday in the locality.

Mandaue became a city on June 21, 1969 under Republic Act 5519, the city’s charter.

But Presidential Proclamation 586 designated Aug. 30, 1969 as the date of the formal organization of the Mandaue City Government.

The city’s Charter Day anniversary celebration this year has the theme: “Mandaue: Cradle of Love, Prosperity and Opportunity.”

The Mandaue City Government lined up several activities for the celebration, including the ceremonial switch on of the city’s P39-million modern traffic light system and the signing of a sisterhood agreement between city officials and their counterparts from Gwangju City, South Korea.

Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes and other officials will turn on the traffic lights at the Mandaue Integrated Response System Command Center beside the City Hall.

The traffic lights are equipped with security cameras to help decongest traffic and monitor accidents and crimes on the road.

The traffic lights, which will feature graphical illustration for deaf-mutes, are installed in nine road intersections.

Earlier, Cortes ordered utility companies to remove dangling wires blocking the closed circuit television cameras of the traffic lights.

Councilor Diosdado Suico, chair of the Charter Day executive committee, said the city will have a bigger celebration next year for its 45th cityhood anniversary.

Suico said the city set aside P5 million for this year’s Charter Day celebration.

CPDRC sets ‘iron fist policy’

By Flornisa M. Gitgano

THE Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) tightened its security against illegal drugs and prostitution.

Consultant on jail matters Marco Toral said they will use drug-sniffing dogs to detect drugs from persons who will get inside the jail facility starting Sept. 8. Toral said this will be done at random.

They will hire drug-sniffing dogs since it would cost much if the Province will purchase one.

“Anybody caught will be charged,” Toral said.

Earlier, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III told the new Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Danilo Constantino to focus on illegal drugs since this is the common problem in the towns and cities.

Toral said they will implement an “iron fist policy” on Sept. 1 and reduce illegal drugs inside the CPDRC by 90 percent.

The jail guards will also search female visitors.

They have been following the ID system for every visitor who pays a visit to an inmate.

The CPDRC has also been strictly monitoring for possible prostitution inside.


Inmates’ partners also need to submit a barangay certificate as proof that they have been living together while the spouses will have to submit a marriage certificate to secure a visitor’s ID.

In August last year, a woman was recruited in Mindanao to work in Cebu, but was allegedly brought to the CPDRC and sold as a prostitute.

However, the jail consultant is confident that there is no more prostitution inside the jail facility.

Security cameras

The CPDRC has 26 cameras, but only 10 are working. Two of the ten functional cameras are on slow motion when viewed.

Toral said it may cost more than P75,000 for the repair of the cameras.

Last July 15, the inmates surrendered the things that are not allowed inside the jail facility.

These include 17 cellphones, 71 wood paddlers, bladed weapons, metal pipes and improvised heater.

Toral said they asked the inmates to turn over those things or they would conduct a greyhound operation.

Officials eat seafood to assure wary consumers

By Jujemay G. Awit and Justin K. Vestil

JULIETA Labajo has been a fish vendor at the Pasil Fish Market in Cebu City for two decades.

She started by helping her mother, also a fish vendor, so she knows the ins and outs of the business.

Labajo said sea mishaps that involved casualties always brought down their sales. But the drop in their revenues after the sinking of M/V St. Thomas Aquinas is the lowest, so far.

“Dili man jud ingon ani ka-mingaw. Grabe jud ron (This is worse),” she said.

In Talisay City yesterday, local government officials—led by Mayor Johnny de los Reyes—also showed that it is safe to eat fish by having breakfast at the Tabunok Public Market.

Before the tragedy, Pasil fish vendors were able to sell an average of 50 tubs (banyera) a day.


Last Aug. 18, two days after the sinking of M/V St. Thomas Aquinas, people heard reports of the oil spill. Afraid that they would be eating oil-contaminated fish and shellfish, many people stopped buying products from the sea.

Labajo, president of the Pasil Toppers Association, said they would be happy to sell at least five tubs or banyeras a day.

Another fish vendor said they have been forced to sell one banyera of fish at half the price, or at P1,000 from P2,000.

Talisay fish vendors also complained of low sales due to the sinking of the vessel.

Apart from the oil spill, residents also feared that the fish in the waters off Talisay feasted on the bodies of M/V St. Thomas Aquinas passengers.


The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources 7 earlier issued an advisory telling the public to continue to eat fish despite the oil spill that affected the shores of Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova town.

Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgar Labella is concerned about the plight of fish vendors, many of whom do not have other means of livelihood.

To assure people that the fish at Pasil is safe, Labella together with Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Councilor Hans Abella, City Administrator Jose Marie Poblete, Market Administrator Raquel Arce and Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council operations officer Alvin Santillana ate breakfast at the market.

The city officials had fish in tomato stew, raw fish in vinegar (kinilaw), grilled fish and squid and shrimp.

During his talk with the fish vendors, Labella urged them to organize a cooperative so they will not be at the mercy of loan sharks.

He said he wants the chairperson of the committee on cooperatives in the City Council to help the fish vendors organize a cooperative and find ways to manage their finances.

P1.4 million set aside for mangrove rehab program

By Marigold P. Lebumfacil/MBG (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) allotted P1.4 million for the mangrove rehabilitation and assistance of the fisher folks in Cordova who were affected by the oil spill.

The oil slick which resulted from the sinking of passenger ship MV St. Thomas Aquinas after it collided with MV Sulpicio Express Siete off Lawis Ledge, Talisay City has affected over 500 hectares of mangrove plantation and sea grasses in Cordova.

BFAR 7 Regional Director Andres Bojos said they started giving mangrove propagules last Wednesday afternoon to the fisher folks who could not go fishing because of the oil spill.

Bojos said they instructed these fisher folks to plant the propagules in plastic pots provided by BFAR 7.

BFAR also gave cash incentives for those who could plant the propagules and the fisher folks could get P6 for every alive mangrove.

Bojos said the mangrove propagules came from Bohol, Badian, Medellin and the City of Naga.

These mangrove rehabilitation activities are covered by the budget along with the food assistance that BFAR gave to the housewives of the fisher folks.

Aside from that, BFAR is also thinking of giving those who have motorized bancas gasoline allowance so that they can go fishing in areas not affected by the oil spill.

LGU workers volunteer to clean oil slick

By Flornisa M. Gitgano and Rebelander S. Basilan (PNA), JBP/PFN

SOME employees of the Provincial Capitol, Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova spent the special non-working holiday cleaning the coastlines affected by the oil spill.

Around 150 employees from the different departments in the Capitol volunteered for the cleanup drive near a resort in Barangay Poblacion, Cordova yesterday.

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office officer-in-charge Czareem Joseph Estella said the Provincial General Services Office bought 50 sets of protective gear, including boots, masks and gloves for the volunteers.

The Capitol employees used foam, old clothes and nets to contain the oil spill. The nets were the ones used during the Governor's Volleyball Cup and airsoft competition.

Some employees of the Provincial Engineering Office swam around the oil slick to place the nets. Others got on a boat to lay down the improvised booms made by other volunteers.

But Philippine Coast Guard personnel advised the volunteers, who were not wearing protective gear, to get out because the fuel poses a health hazard.

Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy went to the cleanup site and sent town workers to help Capitol employees.

Cordova municipal health officer Christopher Calimbas said they will provide cleanup volunteers and residents of affected areas with masks.

The City Government in Lapu-Lapu City also cleaned up the coastlines of affected barangays.

Andy Berame of the City Coastal Law Enforcement Task Force said they continue to monitor the shores of Barangays Canjulao, Calawisan, Looc and Babag for oil slick, although only a few traces of oil were left yesterday.

City residents and resorts continue to lay improvised oil spill booms.


Berame said Lapu-Lapu City is willing to help its neighbor, Cordova, where most of the oil slick can be found.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza said oil spill booms made of recycled plastic materials have been placed along the boundary of Lapu-Lapu and Cordova to prevent the spread of oil.

“The City is not greatly affected but we’re doing some preventive measures. We are checking the shores from time to time,” she told reporters yesterday.

Radaza said the local office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development is identifying affected fisherfolk for the distribution of relief goods.

Sitoy, on the other hand, said the Municipality of Cordova allotted P1.5 million for the purchase of rice to be distributed to affected residents.


Radaza said hotels and resorts in Lapu-Lapu are not badly affected as they have taken measures to prevent the oil slick from reaching their shores.

Ian Ngujo, assistant banquet manager of Pacific Cebu Resort in Barangay Suba-Basbas, said they have not allowed their guests to swim in the sea since Friday night because of the oil slick.

“Some guests said they were disappointed because the beach is one of their reasons for taking a vacation,” he said in an interview with reporters.

But Ngujo said no bookings have been cancelled because of the oil spill.

Their dive shop also continues to operate because some diving spots have not been affected.

Kathy Rosas, recreation manager of Plantation Bay Resort and Spa, said they have closed their beach during the weekend as a precaution.


Resort workers made an improvised oil spill boom using old towels and mattresses to protect their beach from oil slicks.

Johann Tejada, a marine biologist from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources 7, said their team will continue to monitor the seawaters of Lapu-Lapu.

“The effect of the oil spill in Lapu-Lapu is only minimal,” he said.

Renan Cimafranca, regional epidemiologist of the Department of Health (DOH) 7, was also at the clean-up site in Cordova yesterday and warned the people not to compromise their health by eating fish or swimming.

In Mandaue City, Gov. Hilario Davide III inspected the coastal barangays on board a speed boat of the Maritime Police after he learned of reports that the city was already affected by the oil spill.

Davide said he did not see any oil slick except in Barangay Labogon, but this may have come from a nearby shipyard.

He instructed the PENRO to check on the possible oil spill.

130 AFP soldiers lend helping hands in Cebu oil spill cleanup


MANILA, Aug. 21 (PNA) -- The AFP Central Command on Wednesday announced that four platoons of military personnel were dispatched to coastal areas of Cordova, Cebu to help in the ongoing oil spill cleanup there.

Cmdr. Elmer Base, Central Command operations center head, said that these personnel came from the Headquarters Central Command, 2nd Air Division, Naval Forces Central and the 53rd Engineering Brigade.

He added that these four platoons is made up of 130 men.

Base said that these personnel will help the Coast Guard in its oil spill clean-up efforts.

Cordova's rich fishing waters became polluted in wake of the collision of the M/V St. Thomas Aquinas I and the Sulpicio Express 7 last Aug. 16.

The collision sank the M/V St. Thomas Aquinas 1, causing it to leak thousands of liters of fuel oil.

Base also said that the death toll for this sinking has climbed to 71 of which 67 are passengers of the ill-fated ship while the remaining four are crewmen.

Still missing are 49 people of which 43 are passengers and six are crewmen of the ill-fated ship.

Coastal villages urged to plant mangroves

By Garry B. Lao (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Two Talisay City councilors have urged coastal barangay officials to plant mangroves to protect the coastlines from erosion and to provide a breeding place for marine species.

Councilors Antonio D. Bacaltos Jr. and Charles Basillote said barangay captains of Pooc, Biasong, Dumlog, Poblacion, Cansojong, San Roque, and Tanke should plant and nurture mangrove propagules.

Bacaltos and Basillote noted the importance of mangroves to coastal communities - particularly, protecting the coastlines from erosion aside from providing a breeding place for marine species.

“Mangroves are truly beneficial in terms of the ecological system as a whole and also their conversion to other very important uses. The mangroves play a very significant role in coastal stabilization and promoting land buildup, fixation of mud banks, dissipation of winds, tidal and wave energy,” the councilors said, who is proposing a resolution in today’s council session.

Basillote also said the mangroves offer breeding grounds for fish, mollusks, and crustaceans.

Traders encouraged to help promote ‘inclusive growth’

By Ehda M. Dagoo /JMD (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Senator Benigno "Bam" Aquino has called the business sector to actively participate in promoting "inclusive growth" by providing opportunities and engaging them in their respective businesses, aside from generating jobs for the Filipinos.

Aquino, who was the keynote speaker during the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) Business Summit 2013, said that the country's bid to achieve full inclusive growth should need the involvement of businesses and encourage more Filipinos to enter as entrepreneurs.

Aquino admitted that the Philippines has to resolve the issue of poverty reduction, while its economy is known as the "bright star" in Asia in the next couple of years.

"Now is the exciting time to do business in our own shore," he told the over 500 delegates attending the summit at the Cebu International Convention Center.

However, Aquino admitted that despite the good economic shape of the Philippines as confirmed by the international economic experts and global rating agencies, still about a quarter of the population is considered poor.

Aquino, who is the Senate committee chairman for trade and commerce vowed to fast track the seven bills that will energize the "inclusive growth" bid, encourage entrepreneurship, further streamline red tape, strong development of social enterprise, among others.

Known as a social enterprise advocate before he entered politics, Aquino urged businesses to follow the model of social enterprises, wherein commitment to engaging communities like farmers and fishermen is vital to poverty alleviation and realization of inclusive growth thrust.

He said companies, even those that are not "social enterprise," can well participate to contribute the country's path to self-sustaining growth if they change some of their supply chain systems, such as getting their raw materials directly from the source and eradicating the traders or middlemen.

Part of his committee's plan is also to subsidize those companies that employ good inclusive supply chain approach. He mentioned what Jollibee is doing, for instance, wherein the fastfood chain is sourcing about eight percent of its onion requirement directly from farmers in the Philippines, instead of getting cheaper supply from overseas.

Likewise, Selecta is also practicing inclusive supply chain approach by buying their "ube" requirements from farmers for its ice cream flavoring.

"I urged you work with marginalized communities, provide them with the market, engage our countrymen in business, give them the opportunity," Aquino specifically addressed to successful entrepreneurs and the MCCI members.

SMB, Mandaue plant trees

By Flor Z. Perolina (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Officials of Mandaue City and some business establishments led by San Miguel Brewery and the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Indsutry (MCCI) planted seedlings of indigenous hardwood and fruit-bearing trees in barangay Tawason yesterday morning.

The tree planting was part of San Miguel’s month-long celebration of the company’s environmental flagship program “Buhayin ang Kalikasan.”

Seedlings were planted in the Vera Estates, a twenty-hectare property being developed as a subdivision.

Since the inception of its “Trees Brew Life” reforestation program, the beer company has planted 150,000 samplings of hardwood, mangrove and fruit-bearing trees in several areas in the country where the company’s facilities are located.

The beer company’s tree-planting programs are in support of the National Greening Program of President Benigno Aquino III and the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources.

City officials led by Councilor Diosdado Suico joined yesterday’s activity.

Participants included employees of SMB, Uratex Foam, RCBC, Busa Printers, Adnetwork, Metro Cebu Water District, students of Tipolo, and Tawason Elementary Schools, and local residents including those from adjacent barangays of Tabok and Casili.

“Where environment thrives, business thrives,” said Ricky Tablante, assistant vice president of Mandaue Brewery during the opening program.

Roberto Huang, president of San Miguel Brewery Inc., in his message vowed to double by 2015 the 150,000 trees they have planted.

Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes in his message read by councilor Diosdado Suico said trees help maintain the ecology, adding “we are doing this for the future generation.”

The eco park is part of the 20-hectare Vera Estates developed by Castille Resources Realty Development , Inc.

Edgar Castillo, owner of Vera Estates, said he will ensure that the trees are well taken care of.

Romelinda Garces, communication officer of San Miguel Brewery, said the next tree-planting activities of the company will be held in Cebu City and Liloan town since its goal is to plant 6,000 trees in Cebu this year.

Bastille day in Cebu

By Honey Jarque Loop (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The French national holiday known as the Bastille Day, celebrated each year in July, has such a strong significance for the French, as well as the rest of the freedom loving world.

To commemorate such a historical event, the well-respected and visionary Honorary Consul of France in Cebu, Michel Lhuillier, and his wife Amparito hosted an outdoor reception and dinner at the beautifully landscaped garden of the Aliance Francais with French Ambassador Gilles Garachon as guest of honor.

The entire setting carried the French tri-colors of blue, white and red. The ceiling was draped with vertical bands reminiscent of the national flag. The table centerpieces which were filled with beautiful clusters of blooms also carried the same color scheme.

Ambassador Garachon, in his brief speech, highlighted not just the celebration but also reminisced about the historic events which give French citizens the opportunity to unite around the motto of the French Republic proclaiming “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity”. The occasion has been etched in history and has become firmly established as an ultimate symbol of French nationhood.

Delectable French dishes were displayed at several stations where guests feasted on duck liver terrine in home made spicy bread with onions, beef bourguignon, sweet and salted tart with caramelized pears and grilled pork blood sausage, salted éclair caviar eggplant and provencale vegetables and pork cooked in duck fat served with beans and homemade smoked sausage.

The merriment marked a fitting Bastille Day celebration that truly epitomized the French joie de vivre.


The Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion alumni, headed by dedicated president Tina Jordana, recently hosted an intimate dinner at Gabriel’s Hotel for golden jubilarian Sanchez Dale Torrefranca Fernandez, a long time resident of Palm Springs, California, who came to Cebu to visit family and friends.

Sanchez, as she is fondly known, graduated with honors in college. She is best remembered for her numerous lead roles in CIC’s school plays such as Romeo and Juliet (where she portrayed Romeo), as Oedipus — the tragic king of Thebes, in Antigone; Puck, who served as Shakespeare’s voice in the play Midsummer Night’s Dream; as Joan of Arc, the folk heroine of France, and a lot more.

Sanchez until very recently was director of Human Resources for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for 16 years.

Port development to boost regional economic growth

By Grace Melanie I. Lacamiento /JMD (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The regional port development, if realized, can boost the robust economic performance of the region and fuel the growth of other economic drivers given the increase of port activities to and from Central Visayas.

This was pointed out by National Economic and Development Authority regional director Buenaventura Go-Soco, Jr. in his presentation on the outlook, opportunities and growth areas for regional port development during the 2nd Visayas Cargo-Handling Operations Excellence Forum last July 26.

He told industry stakeholders that the heightened economic activity and people movement result to the need to develop the ports in the region so as to address the growing number of port activities, cater to the influx of domestic and foreign tourists and avoid possible accidents.

“There is a need to facilitate the movement of passengers and cargo in our ports since with the present practice, accidents are bound to happen anytime,” he stated.

Go-Soco said that the Region 7 is considered to be a significant contributor to the country’s economic growth particularly in terms of construction, manufacturing, trade, real estate and other business activities.

The ports have paved the way for the job generation, attraction of more tourists coming in and increased passenger and cargo traffic in the region, he said.

He said that this is evident as the Cebu-based port is getting already congested since it caters to both domestic and international shipping lines while the Tubigon and Tagbilaran ports are fast becoming the gateway of tourists going to Bohol.

He particularly cited that the vibrant economic performance of Central Visayas is primarily attributed to the manufacturing industry, business process management and tourism sectors.

For instance, he said that the business process outsourcing - information technology (BPO-IT) industry has drawn migrants into the region.

Go-Soco then noted that such economic drivers will further exhibit robust growth given the implementation of the port development in the region.

He said that the manufacturing sector, for example, which has recently posted signs of recovery shall attract more shipcalls to the region.

He further said that those ports in the provinces which are managed by local government units could now facilitate the movements of goods to and fro.

However, he noted that there should be a policy on the establishment of LGU-managed ports since these may crowd each other out for services and may not be feasible over time.

He cited the ports of Loay and Alburquerque in Bohol as examples in which both towns are adjoining each other.

Go-Soco also said that the region has to look into other challenges on the port development which include the improvement of port facilities for the convenience of passengers and the coordination with other agencies whose projects may be affected or may affect the seaport.

“An example here is the proposed Cebu International Port which is to be located within the Consolacion-Liloan shoreline. The need for an access road and a bridge must be addressed by the Department of Public Works and Highways so that the port operations will be well-facilitated,” he said.

DPWH proposes P742M for Cebu projects

By Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon /JPM (Freeman, The Philippine Star)

CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) - 7 has allocated over P742 million for 272 infrastructure projects scattered all over the towns and cities in Cebu province.

The amount, however, still needs the approval of the House of Representatives, said DPWH-7 Director Ador Canlas.

“We allocated the amount but everything still depends on the approval of Congress,” Canlas told The Freeman yesterday.

The P742 million is part of the 2014 budget for the public works department that is still being deliberated on by the House of Representatives.

DPWH data shows that as of July 31, 2013, majority of the infrastructure projects are school buildings amounting to some P100 million. These school buildings are to be constructed in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Danao, Carcar, Lapu-Lapu, Talisay, Bogo, Toledo and Naga.

School buildings will also be constructed in the towns of Pilar, Carmen, San Fernando, Sibonga, Samboan, Dalaguete, Asturias, Argao, Barili, Moalboal, Malabuyoc, Alcoy, Dumanjug, Boljoon, Oslob and Alegria.

Of the 273 proposed projects, DPWH-7 proposed an allocation of P318,590,000 for concreting of the Cebu South Coastal Road.

Part of the amount or P74,438,000 will be for the Cebu North Hagnaya Wharf Road (CNHWR) which is divided into three sections. Another P21 million will be for the improvement of drainage structure of CNHWR in Mandaue City.

The Cebu north road is 109.45 kilometers long, traversing the main coastal highway along the northeastern part of Cebu and serving the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Danao and Bogo and the municipalities of Consolacion, Lilo-an, Compostela, Carmen, Catmon, Sogod, Borbon, Tabogon and San Remigio.

DPWH-7 also allocates P150 million for the road right of way and widening and concreting of Governor Cuenco Avenue (from Mahiga bridge to Cabancalan, Quezon St.) in Cebu City.

P50 million is also allocated for the improvement of drainage along the Mactan Circumferential Road in the town of Cordova.

The replacement or reconstruction of two bridges in the north - the Maraat Bridge in Victoria, San Remigio and the Dayhagon Bridge in Medellin have an allocation of P21.4 million and P23.6 million, respectively.

Cebuanas on the Web summit to empower women in business

By John M. Destacamento (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Providing Cebuanas with formal networks for their firms and giving them access to business-related technologies will be the focus of a meet that hopes to gather a host of 150 women at the Oakridge Pavilion in Banilad, Mandaue City on August 22.

Cebuanas on the Web (COTW) will be the first women and tech summit in Cebu spearheaded by independent community called Cebu Google Business Group (GBG) to further advance the cause of women empowerment particularly in the field of business.

Filipino women are said to be under-represented in various established corporations, owing to timeconstraints, family responsibilities and insufficient social services for them.

Backing these claims, organizers cited a report released back in February that had Philippines rank 74th in terms of women’s economic opportunity index.

The report said the problems women face in the Philippine business setting include under-representation in reputable businesses, lack of formal networks and less accessible access of women to business-related technologies.

Titled “Access to Trade and Growth of Women’s Small and Medium Enterprises in APEC Developing Economies,” the research involved countries in the Southeast Asian region like Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines, among others.

Fleire Castro of GBG Cebu said with the staging of COTW, they hope Cebuanas can finally be given the right network that can help them further their businesses and make them aware of the importance of business technologies for SME innovation and firm performance.

COTW will feature talks from women who trail-blazed in their respective companies, using the Internet as one of their advertising platforms. It is open to neophyte businesses and even those that have started but wish to know and learn more about how technology can upgrade their presence.

Rica Serenio of Offshore Consultancy, however, pointed out that online advertising or marketing is not necessarily confined to Facebook or Twitter. She said there are a lot of other online channels and tools that women can take advantage of that can potentially benefit their businesses.

Serenio said, for instance, that they can make use of Blogger, Google Analytics, the popular video-sharing website YouTube, as well as the multilingual social networking and identity service owned by Google, the Google+.

Unlike conventional platforms like TV, radio and print, the Internet is deemed the least costly means of publicity. In fact, Serenio said most of the online tools are actually free of charge.

Although organizers said using these tools will be an added boost, they also warned that this will not be a one-way ticket to success, adding that other traditional means of marketing the business should not be left out.

Still, women have to finally brace for these changes in order to cope with the competition, said MJ Yuvallos of She said women have to be introduced to the new techniques of selling their businesses, and that is using the Internet as a new medium.

Yuvallos also said Cebuanas must outgrow the notion that technology is only for the men. She said technopreneurs who are not yet keen on “going social” should outgrow their negative perceptions and instead have an open mind.

“If you raise a social media campaign, it will give you statistics that will be helpful in making economic decisions. With, for example, we are able to segment profiles of our website visitors and users so that advertising is better and more properly coursed through its intended audience,” Yuvallos said.

For Hannah Amora of HoneyComb Finance Consultancy, it’s essential to tell women that it (the process) is not actually difficult.

“We hope women can finally see the impact of embracing and incorporating technology into their business schemes,” said Amora who is a self-confessed fan of social marketing after having experienced its advantage first-hand.

From personal experience, Amora and her family in three months time were able to generate a fund needed for the medication of her son who had a heart ailment, using social networking sites as the only medium.

“You have to attract your intended audience. You have to tell them why they should care. The same with your business, you have to make people make that product switch. Sometimes, all it takes is a good online campaign,” Amora said.

Acting as mere volunteers, organizers said no registration fee will be collected from COTW participants. Interested parties are called to book their participation via GBG Cebu's website where limited slots are up for grabs.

Securities Course to help Cebu develop capital market experts

By Ehda M. Dagooc /JOB (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu is expected to develop a strong pool of capital market experts that could generate a demand, following the recent partnership between the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) and the University of San Carlos (USC) to offer a Certified Securities Specialist Course here in Cebu.

PSE president and chief executive officer (CEO) Hans Sicat said that with the increasing interest of Cebuanos in tapping the capital market as one of the high yielding investment channels, the development should be well complemented, in providing the right types of skills and comprehension as to what is happening in the market.

Sicat said PSE may consider partnering with other universities here in the future, but the expansion of course offering to other universities largely depends on the movement of demand.

He said despite the aggressive effort of PSE to intensify the promotion of stock market investment to the mainstream market, only about .5 percent of the Philippine population has participated in the capital market.

However, on the flipside, PSE has noted a tremendous increase of Filipino investors trading the market through different online portals provided for by the PSE and brokers.

Online accounts last year grew by 12 percent. Aside from its active partnerships with the academe to further develop the capital market in the Philippines, PSE is also tapping the different online channels such social networking, among others.

Off-the-cuff, Sicat said the exchange is hoping to hit five million investors to trade within the exchange in the next few years. Today, there are only 575 thousand investors actively trading the country's capital market.

About 50 percent of these traders are Filipinos, while the other half are foreign stock market investors.

Although the interest is very high among capital market savvy investors, Sicat hopes that ordinary Filipinos, or even the monthly earner individuals will be able to appreciate the stock market as a way of building up their savings.

Today, the country's capital market registered an average daily trading value of P11.5 billion, a significant jump from P5.4 billion it posted about 18 months ago.

Cebu gov to donate 800 Capitol-owned multicabs to barangays


CEBU CITY, Aug. 12 (PNA) -- Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III has said he will donate all 800 Capitol-owned multicabs to the barangays.

Davide said he has directed Provincial Legal Officer Orvi Ortega to study the memorandum of agreement (MOA) and prepare the deed of donation.

Barangays use multicabs in their projects and basic services.

The MOA between the governor and the barangays, towns or component city states that Capitol pays for the cab’s registration while the local government unit (LGU) will take charge of the vehicles’ maintenance.

Davide said the multicabs are intended for the barangays and there’s no point for the provincial government to retain its ownership.

Cebu Provincial General Services Office (PGSO) head Eva Encabo said the governor’s move will lessen their workload.

Encabo’s inventory records showed that Capitol has 800 units of multicabs it bought since 2006.

Some barangays have two multicabs, some have one while others have none.

The province has 1,091 barangays.

Encabo said once the vehicles are formally turned over to the LGUs, the PGSO will no longer take care of their yearly registration and upkeep.

Korean university students distribute school supplies

By Rebelander S. Basilan

CHILDREN lined up inside the covered court to receive school supplies, while adults sat on plastic chairs waiting to read the letters on an eye chart.

Dressed in bright Korean costumes, little boys and girls smiled before a photo-spewing camera. Others giggled as they learned to say “Good morning” in Korean.

Dozens of students from the Wongkwang Health Science University in South Korea visited the Cordova Elementary School in Cordova, Cebu yesterday morning for an outreach program.

Residents of a nearby urban poor village were also invited to the event, where they availed themselves of a free eye test and got free eyeglasses.

The university partnered with the Department of Science of Technology (DOST) 7 and the Department of Education (DepEd) 7 to distribute school supplies, learning materials, computer units and other donations.

Cultural exchange

“By supporting the local residents, we want to strengthen the friendship between Korea and the Philippines,” said Lee Hark Jun, an official of the Wongkwang Health Science University.

Lee said the activity enabled their students, who are studying English in Cebu, to learn more about the local culture. It was the university’s second outreach activity in Cebu this year.

Aside from school supplies, the university also donated dental kits and computer units. The DOST 7 gave two desktops, a laptop, an overhead projector, books and magnifying glasses.

The Cebu Korean Community donated five sacks of rice for the school’s feeding program.

The activity was also supported by the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation-Integrated Development Center Inc., the SIGN Asia Foundation and the Philippine KOICA Fellows Association. KOICA stands for the Korea International Cooperation Agency.

Some 50 students from the Korean university participated in the outreach activity. They taught children simple Korean phrases and helped distribute sunglasses to the residents.

Long-term project

“This outreach program is part of their curriculum,” said Jessica Eribal, human resource manager of the university who also volunteered as part of her duties as a runner-up of the Mrs. Philippines Globe 2013.

DOST 7 Director Rene Burt Llanto said they have identified Cordova as one of the areas in Cebu that need intervention in terms of technology.

“This is a long-term project. This is just the start of the assistance we will extend to Cordova,” he said.

Crescensia Sitoy, a Grade 4 teacher and president of the Cordova Central School Teachers’ Association, said the materials will help them teach their pupils more effectively.

“Our goal is to improve our academic performance,” she said.

Dr. Caridad Labe, assistant director of DepEd 7, described the outreach program as “a very holistic intervention.”

“This is a sustained assistance with a holistic approach. Aside from the learning materials, there is also a feeding program to keep the pupils healthy,” she said.

Labe lauded the efforts of the different organizations, saying collaboration among stakeholders is important to address the problems on education.

“If we depend only on the government, nothing will happen,” she said.

Tigerair eyes Cebu as next international hub

By Ehda M. Dagooc /JOB (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Low-cost airline Tiger Airways Philippines (Tigerair Philippines) is eyeing to make Cebu as its new hub, next to Clark.

This was announced yesterday by Tigerair Philippines president and chief executive officer Olive Ramos in a press conference held at Crown Regency Hotel.

Tigerair Philippines, which is 40 percent owned by Singaporean Tiger Air Holdings, entered the promising low budget air transport industry in the Philippines in July of last year. The 60 percent stake is owned by a consortium of Filipino investors.

At present, the airline flies to 14 destinations, four of these are out of Clark to different countries in Asia, like Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, and one direct flight from Kalibo to Singapore.

Cebu, known as one of the favorite destinations for business and leisure, has huge potential in hosting more domestic and international flights, she said.

Tigerair Philippines is currently working with the Civil Aviation Board (CAB) to get air entitlements to fly from Cebu to Japan, Korea, and China. She hopes to get the entitlements for these target destinations within this year.

To complement its aggressive expansion plan, Ramos also bared the company's plan to lease more aircrafts starting next year.

She added a Tiger Lounge will be opened at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in September this year, to efficiently service its growing customers.

Tigerair Philippines aims to be the leading airline and travel partner connecting Filipinos to the rest of the country and across Asia-Pacific. As a company, it believes that travelers should get the best value for money by offering excellent service standards of safety, security, and reliability.

"We strongly believe that travel experience begins at the airport—from the check-in process to leading you to your seat and flying you smoothly to your destination is what Tigerair is all about," Ramos concluded.

School-based immunization launched

By Zheila Kaye V. Asentista, USJ-R /MIT (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - In line with the National Immunization Month for Adolescents, the Department of Health (DOH) Region 7, in collaboration with the Department of Education (DepED), launched the first free school-based adolescent immunization held in Abellana National School Gym yesterday.

The prioritized school-based adolescent immunization is for all first year to fourth year (Grade seven to ten) high school students in public schools. Each student will be injected with two vaccines on each arm, particularly Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) and Tetanus-Diphteria (TD).

For the whole month of August, a total of 341,371 targeted number of students will be vaccinated by the DOH in selected areas specifically in Cebu City, Lapu-lapu, Mandaue, and the rest of the province of Cebu and Bohol.

Dr. Jeanette Pauline Arellano, DOH Medical Officer IV, said that immunization is important not only for infants but also for adolescents.

“Importante ang paghatag og adolescent immunization because it will protect from various infections and diseases,” she said. The MMR vaccine will protect people from contracting measles, mumps, or rubella throughout their lives according.

Letters of consent are sent to parents for their child to be immunized but it is not mandatory. MMR vaccines shall not be given to pregnant female eligible targets. The DOH and DepEd will conduct screening for all female students before immunization.

Remaining provinces in Central Visayas, namely Negros Oriental and Siquijor, were not included in the targeted population.

“Budget is intended based sa gi-prioritize nga province gikan sa central office. Naay cases nga measles sa Bohol ug Cebu, but after the successful vaccination for all the targeted population, we will proceed to other provinces,” said DOH – Expanded Program in Immunization Nurse Coordinator Ashtriedley Cabinatan.

The National Epidemiology Center (NEC) survey from 2010 to 2011 revealed that there are 1,157 to 1,562 confirmed cases of measles and 24 to 31 probable diphtheria cases among adolescents.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, who was guest speaker of the program, encouraged the students of ANS to be healthy. “It has been said that health is wealth. Eat and take care of your body so that you will have a healthy mind and body, and if you have healthy mind and body you will become a better citizen because you will be able to learn so much.”

Jane Anne Alcao, a grade seven student of ANS who availed the free vaccination said that she is happy when she was vaccinated. “Need kaayo ni namo aron layo mi sa mga sakit. Wala raman ko masakitan pag-inject, (We need this to stay healthy. The injection didn’t hurt.)” she said.

On the other hand, Edrian Pacatang, a fourth year high school student of ANS who did not yet avail the vaccination, said in an interview with The Freeman that he is going to avail the free immunization.

“Since opportunity ni namo nga magpa-immunize, mas ok kay sure man nga naay proteksyon ang among lawas. Unya kami ang giuna, kami ang gitan-aw nila nga pag-asa sa atong country, (It’s an opportunity to protect our bodies. They see us as the hope of our nation that’s why they immunized us first.)” he said.

LGUs urged to formulate land use plans integrating three critical components

By Juju Manubag-Empuerto (rmn/JSME/PIA-Cebu/DENR7).

CEBU CITY, Aug. 8 (PIA) -- Local government units in Central Visayas are urged to formulate their land use plans integrating three important components on disaster, coastal resources, and forest.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 Regional Executive Dir. Dr. Isabelo Montejo has encouraged the LGUs to craft their provincial or municipal land use plans that include disaster risk reduction and management, integrated coastal resources management, and forest land use.

A forest land use plan (FLUP) is a strategic framework for making land and resource use decisions for a given area.

The planning process strives for balance among all forest values: environmental, economic, and social.

The disaster risk reduction and management plan provides the legal basis for policies, plans and programs to deal with disasters and covers four thematic areas: the disaster prevention and mitigation, disaster preparedness, disaster response, disaster rehabilitation and recovery.

Montejo bared that they are willing to extend the necessary technical assistance and support to LGUs in the formulation and approval of said plan at the municipal, city or provincial levels.

“The plan should be reflective on the unique and existing characteristics or features of a particular LGU taking into account the need to protect and conserve the environment and natural resources of the area,” Montejo said.

The integrated coastal resource management plan provides information on the social and economic condition of upland and marine ecosystem and elaborates on the current status of the resources, integrating ridge to reef habitats, ecological linkages, and the issues on the sustainability of resources.

“Director Montejo also directed the provincial environment and natural resources officers (PENROs) in the four provinces of Central Visayas region to closely work with the local chief executives within their area of jurisdiction to help in crafting the said plan," said Dr. Eddie Llamedo, DENR-7 Information Officer.

Cebu Capitol’s 1,500 workers to get P15,000 CNA bonus each


CEBU CITY, Aug. 7 (PNA) -- Some 1,500 Cebu Provincial Capitol employees will receive a collective negotiation agreement (CNA) bonus of P15,000 each in celebration of Cebu’s 444th founding anniversary.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III, who announced the bonus, said another bonus will be given in line with the program on awards and incentives for service excellence, which was approved by the Civil Service Commission.

But he did not specify the amount.

Davide led other Cebu provincial officials and employees in a simpler celebration of the province’s founding day Tuesday.

Davide said employees who were hired until Dec. 31, 2012 will receive a CNA bonus of P15,000.

The bonus was supposed to be based on the modified performance evaluation system covering Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2012, but Davide decided that the incentive will be given across the board, since it was a special day of the province.

Lawyer Ramil Abing, Davide's chief of staff, said even the employees who are no longer connected with the Capitol but were hired until the cutoff date of Dec. 31 will receive the P15,000 bonus.

The CNA bonus does not include elected officials.

However, Capitol employees who were hired in the beginning of the year will still receive a bonus if they belong to the top five performing offices.

The incentives award was based on the evaluation system to identify the top performing offices from the executive, legislative and hospitals covering July 1, 2012 up to June 30, 2013.

For the executive department, the top five performing offices were the Provincial Planning and Development, Budget, Accounting, Environment and Natural Resources and the Governor's Office.

For the legislative department, the awardees were the offices of the Vice Governor, Provincial Board (PB) Member Thadeo Ouano, Provincial Secretary, PB Member Peter John Calderon and PB Member Alex Binghay.

‘P17.5B to be shouldered by MCIA private operator’

By Elias O. Baquero

THE rehabilitation and privatization of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) will cost P17.5 billion, which will be shouldered by the winning bidder of the project.

MCIA Authority General Manager Nigel Paul Villarete said the amount makes up the estimated investment of the private company over the 20 years it will operate the airport.

Villarete was reacting to the question raised by businessman Bobby Lim Joseph, also consul general of Latvia and chairman emeritus of the National Independent Travel and Tours Association Cebu Inc., on the cost of the airport project.

Joseph pointed out that the Korean International Cooperation Agency (Koica), which was hired to conduct the feasibility study of the airport expansion and rehabilitation project, came up with only P5 billion.

Villarete, however, said the final report of Koica, released in October 2011, estimated the total cost of the first phase of project at P9.405 billion.

He said that under the private-public partnership (PPP), the construction of the new passenger terminal at the MCIA will be financed by a private company, which will operate the airport for 20 years.

“After the concession period is up, the DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communications) will have the option of operating the terminal,” Villarete said.

Phase 2

“Koica has estimated phase two to cost P10.1 billion, slated to be done around 10 years from now. The transaction adviser procured by DOTC and the PPP Center, top consulting firms like the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt Ltd. (India) and its consortium partner Puyat Jacinto and Santos Law (Philippines) has actually scaled this down to P17.5 billion, and has a smaller unit cost than Bacolod and Iloilo airport terminals,” Villarete said.

“The project has passed the rigid evaluation and assessment of the Investment Coordinating Committee (ICC) and was approved by the Neda (National Economic and Development Authority) Board,” he added.

He said MCIA project is in the final stages of PPP procurement, which follows procedures set under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) law.

“We are into the second round of one-on-one meetings with the seven qualified bidders or consortia since the new BOT-IRR (implementing rules and regulations) allowed and mandated the bidders to submit queries and seek clarifications on the concession agreement,” Villarete said.


He said that once the agreement is finalized, it will be sent to all the bidders, who will then prepare their bids.

“We hope that we can award the concession by year-end or early next year,” he said.

“The financial clause and other requisite procedures will follow before the turnover and the effective date. We're doing this as fast as we can under the law. We needed this four years ago,” Villarete said.

Villarete said the PPP allows government to implement projects without spending public funds.

“With the private sector as partner, government has access to more than adequate funding resources, up-to-date technologies and skilled manpower to manage the project, freeing up valuable government (public) resources that can be used to prioritize the delivery of basic services,” he said.

Villarete said many international airports are privately run. He cited those in the United Kingdom, Australia and Thailand, and major airports in India.

“This (PPP) is already a well-founded development scheme. But if there are further questions as to its propriety and viability, maybe we could refer them to the Neda PPP Center,” he said.

Youth as heritage movers


There is more to a place than what meets the eye.

That is why a guide is necessary if someone is visiting a place if the

first time.

In Argao town, southern Cebu, learning its history and culture is made easier by the Argao Youth Heritage Society (AYHS), a group of heritage volunteers led by Rodel Campaner.

Campaner is a second year Industrial Engineering student of Cebu Technological University (CTU)-Argao campus. He is a scholar of the Cebu Tertiary Assistance Program.

For Campaner, 17, from the mountain barangay of Jampang, the youth should develop a passion for preserving heritage and its tangible artifacts, like the town plaza’s coral stone walls and the church’s intricately designed ceiling. Both were built during the Spanish period.

“I am always eager to learn more, especially about history and culture,” he said.

Argao town has emerged to become a heritage and eco-tourism destination in the province, and the AYHS was formed to guide foreign and local visitors.

Campaner was only 12 when he and 79 other schoolmates in high school joined the group in 2008. He said an Argao tourism office representative visited their school and recruited them as tour guide volunteers.

The volunteers underwent a series of workshops and trainings, which included the ethics of tour guiding, tour planning and tour packing. The group also holds regular meetings every Saturday to enhance their skills in handling tourists.

cultural preservation

As president of AYHS, Campaner is always looking for ways to inspire others to work towards cultural preservation.

So when the municipality of Argao launched the Integrated Children’s Development Program (ICDP) in 2012, the AYHS members joined the group. The ICDP is held on weekends in April.

ICDP focuses on the growth of Argao’s youth in arts, sports and personality development.

At present, the AYHS with only 20 members left holds outreach programs in schools to recruit

more members.

The new AYHS members undergo a mock tour and critical review to determine if they are ready.

Argao, with the help of AYHS, also has its own version of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.’s (RAFI) Gabii sa Kabilin held

every May.


Local and foreign visitors are treated to a tour of Cabecera de Argao, a Spanish-era pueblo which is home to the historical municipal hall known as the Casa Real, St. Michael the Archangel Parish Church, the Puerta Marina, the Hall of Justice that is also called Cuartel and the town’s delicacy industry. Argao is famous for its torta, a baked delicacy made with tuba.

An educational tour of 100 students from the University of San Jose Recoletos (USJR) was Rodel’s most memorable experience when he handled their Cabecera tour in 2009.

Rodel, the youngest pioneering member of the group, said he was uneasy at first and was mindful of his English, but eventually he regained his confidence and breezed through the tour.

Later that year, he was one of the facilitators of a cultural tour of 20 Dutch visitors. With the help of residents, they shared discussions with the guests, caught land crabs, and toured them in the town’s Romahan (a field of Roma plants).

Last May, Campaner participated in RAFI’s Kool Adventure Camp challenge ropes course, which he said honed his leadership and coordination skills.

“A leader should be a good example to his fellow youth. If they can see a good role model, perhaps they would follow in his steps,” he said.

Ironman 70.3 Phl security ready for triathlon

By Jessa J. Agua, Niña G. Sumacot /BRP (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - To assist motorists and triathletes participating at the Ironman 70.3 Philippines, City Traffic Operations Management will deploy 180 personnel along the bike route.

The swim-bike-run race route covers the three cities of Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and Cebu.

CITOM earlier announced that pier area going to the South Road Properties will be closed to traffic, being part of the 70.3 kilometer race route.

Organizers and involved local government units had a smooth final preparation a day before today’s race.

“For organizers, just last-minute checkup to make sure we close on time. For others, last-minute check to make sure that CPA is also go on the preparations. No more last-minute changes,” CITOM executive director Rafael Christopher Yap said.

Gates at the Cebu Port Authority area must be closed to prevent unauthorized exits, Yap added.

Motorists will not be allowed to access the SRP tunnel since triathletes will be using it.

Last year, a Cebuano Ironman participant met an accident and died during the bike leg at the SRP. His wife, part of the relay team, waited for him in vain in Lapu-Lapu City.

Regardless of zero monitored threats, police in Central Visayas particularly in Metro Cebu won’t slack off and will keep their guard to secure the triathlon today.

Superintendent Pablo Labra II, chief of the Regional Intelligence Division of Police Regional Office-7, said they have not received any threats.

“But dili ta magkumpiyansa bisan og wala ta’y mga threat nadawat,” he said.

Labra said aside from the deployment from different police offices, the PRO-7 will also deploy covert police personnel to assist uniformed personnel in securing the event.

The policemen, Labra added, will be deployed from early morning today until the event finishes or until all participants safely leave the venue.

Senior Supt. Marino Natu-el, Jr., the outgoing Cebu City Police Office director, has also ordered the deployment of close to 250 police personnel and 100 assisting members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team for the road security.

“We’ll be providing route and area security along the road na maagian. Ubay-ubay na pulis atong ipakatap,” said Natu-el.

Motorists have been advised to avoid seaport roads today due to the triathlon and to follow rerouting signals.

Lapu-Lapu City Police Office director Rey Lyndon Lawas has also assured to tighten the security not only in Lapu-Lapu City but including the three neighboring cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Talisay.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines and other agencies will also be assisting the police. Medical stations will also be designated in key areas.

Cebu guv wants new CV top cop to focus on drive vs. illegal drugs


CEBU CITY, July 3 (PNA) -- Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III has said he wants new Police Regional Office 7 Director Danilo Constantino to focus on illegal drugs in the province.

Constantino, who paid a courtesy call on Davide Friday, said he assured the governor the police will do its best.

“The governor is very concerned about the illegal problem in the province. I assured him it is one of our priority programs, the campaign against illegal drugs,” said Constantino.

He said police will strengthen its intelligence operation so they can easily identify suspects.

Constantino said the police has an intelligence report about suspected violators.

Constantino said he will also run after illegal gamblers.

“The campaign against all illegal activities is in our program,” said Constantino.

Constantino said Davide has assured him the Cebu Capitol will support the PRO 7 in its operations.

Cebu to launch SSF before end-2013

By Grace Melanie I. Lacamiento /JOB (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Following the recent launch of two shared service facilities (SSF) in Bohol and Siquijor, Cebu province will also have the same facility before yearend.

The SSF project was developed with the government’s thrust to augment the production volume and improve the quality of products manufactured by the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Central Visayas.

DTI Provincial Director Nelia Navarro said that the SSF project is aimed at improving the quality productivity of microenterprises by addressing the gaps and bottlenecks in the value chain of priority industry clusters through the provision of processing machines, equipment and tools for the common use of identified beneficiaries.

She added that it further enhances the competitiveness of these clusters through the use of quality-enhancing machinery and develops market-driven industries in support to the National Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project.

“The SSF project will help address the gap in production for these industries that require higher productivity levels but are actually deprived of the necessary equipment, technology and facility that they need,” she said.

The national government has approved a budget of P29.584 million for the SSF project that could benefit small-scale businesses and cooperatives and generate added employment opportunities in Region VII.

Navarro further revealed that the biggest chunk of this funding will be allocated for Cebu as it serves as the center for trade and commerce in Central Visayas given the various industries and markets present in the province.

At half the usual budget Cebu’s 444th Anniversary Celebration starts today

By Gregg M. Rubio/MBG (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Gov. Hilario Davide III only approved barely half of the total budget allotted for the weeklong activities to celebrate the 444th founding anniversary of the Province of Cebu which kicks off today.

Included in the 2013 annual budget of the Province of Cebu is the P3 million for the founding anniversary celebration.

Acting Budget Officer Danilo Rodas disclosed that only P1.7 million was approved by Davide to be spent in this year’s celebration.

The Province of Cebu last year, under then governor Gwendolyn Garcia , spent P2.5 million out of the same amount of P3 million appropriation in the annual budget.

Davide earlier declared Capitol will only hold a weeklong celebration instead of the usual month-long activities as practiced during the time of Garcia.

Among the activities no longer included in this year’s celebration are the holding of the Governor’s Ball, which Davide finds extravagant, and the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo even if it has an appropriation of P5 million, P15 million lower than last year’s.

The flag raising ceremony today to be attended by provincial, city and municipal officials will mark the opening of the celebration to be followed by the opening of a one-week Agro-Fair at the back of the Capitol Building.

The Our Cebu Program will be launched today in coordination with the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI).

The program is about capacitating each town and city of the Province of Cebu to make them attractive places to live, work, play, invest, and do business.

The program implements interventions and initiatives geared towards making Cebu a model province.

Tomorrow will be the health and wellness activities, free services of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority; and legal clinic of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines at the Capitol gounds.

There will be “bangga sa komedya” and “bangga sa kanta” on Monday while the anniversary mass will be held Tuesday morning and the anniversary program will be after lunchtime.

The Gabii sa Sugbo will be held on Wednesday to be attended by the guests of the governor.

The Agro-Fair continues even on Saturday and Sunday until Tuesday which is the founding day.

August 6 is a special non-working holiday in the entire Province of Cebu including the highly urbanized cities of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu.

Republic Act 8952 provides that the holiday for private and public offices is to be enjoyed all over Cebu, including Cebu City and other component cities.

In 1993, a resolution was approved by the Provincial Board stating that Spain’s King Philip II, in a royal cedula, appointed Miguel Lopez de Legazpi as Governor of Cebu on August 6, 1569.

Earlier, there was a dispute over whether Cebu City, as a highly urbanized city, is covered by RA 7698, which declares a special non-working public holiday in the province every August 6.

Former first district Rep. Eduardo Gullas introduced RA 8952 amending RA 7698 to include Cebu City in the declaration as well as other component cities which put to rest all arguments.