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Cebu Province News November 2013

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Province of Cebu - Archived News

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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.
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Aerial View of Metro Cebu
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


Int’l business firms in CV partners with DSWD for relief OPNs

(mbcn/PIA7 with reports from Alariba/DSWD7)

CEBU, November 30, (PIA) --The devastation and multiple deaths brought by Super Typhoon Yolanda left hundreds of thousands of people in Northern Cebu homeless, mourning, hungry and cold.

Fifteen municipalities and the City of Bogo had an estimated 539,719 or some 82% of these town’s population were displaced persons.

These figure did not escape the attention of the international business partners in Central Visayas.

Various business sectors such as Hardwares Consolidated Inc. headed by its President Anthony Lim waived their company’s Christmas Party in favour of Yolanda victims.

It donated 50 sacks of rice and 30 boxes of assorted canned goods which can already feed a thousand people for the day.

Fifty years in partnership with the business sector, this non-stock, non-profit association consisting of 60 bonafide members representing various business establishments in Cebu have been true to their mission of educational, social and economic advancement.

Another donor, Yamashin Cebu Manufacturing Corp. in MEPZA II, Lapulapu City headed through its chairman Atsuhiko Yamazaki did its share in saving a life for the day with 50 sacks of rice donation for Northern Cebu affected families. Its donation can suffice a day’s meal for another thousand.

Yamashin Inc. is into hydraulic filter business which promotes programs and improves lives. The company lives up to its purpose as they help improve the lives of the victims.

Companies such as Yamashin and Hardwares Consolidated Inc. are just a few of the international business that makes Cebu progressive.

The people in the Province are the recipients of its economic benefits but Yolanda brought these tycoons closer as they stepped down from their air-conditioned offices and be one with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in bringing relief even for a day to a thousand and more.

Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu cities cancel Christmas parties for 'Yolanda' victims


CEBU CITY, Nov. 29 (PNA) -- The city governments of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu will not hold a Christmas party for their employees so the funds intended for the activity may be used to help typhoon-ravaged areas.

But Mayor Paz Radaza said the city will still organize a Christmas party for 3,000 children on Sunday.

She and other officials will meet next week to discuss the cancellation of City Hall’s Christmas party and their plans to send more aid to areas affected by super typhoon Yolanda.

“We will not have a Christmas party. We will just hold a mass,” Radaza said.

Earlier, the Lapu-Lapu City government sent P1.5 million in cash aid to the northern town of Daanbantayan, whose mayor is a brother of Radaza.

The city also did not hold a Christmas party last year to send aid to victims of typhoon Pablo.

This year, the city will still organize a party for persons with disabilities and senior citizens, but no schedule has been set yet.

For the third time in a row, the Mandaue City government will not hold a Christmas party for its more than 3,000 employees in light of the recent calamities.

“This is part of the city’s austerity measure,” said City Information Officer Roger Paller, adding that the city has set aside P8 million as cash aid for typhoon-ravaged towns and cities in northern Cebu and Leyte.

“The city is sensitive to the plight of the typhoon victims,” said Paller.

Last year, the city celebrated Christmas by helping build houses in a 6.5-hectare relocation site in Barangay Paknaan, for victims of typhoon Pablo.

In 2011, the city turned the P3 million it allocated for the Christmas party into cash aid for survivors of typhoon Sendong in Cagayan de Oro and Negros Oriental.

Last week, the City Council approved Mayor Jonas Cortes’s recommendation to send monetary aid to 15 local government units in northern Cebu and four in Leyte devastated by super typhoon Yolanda.

The cash aid ranges from P300,000 to P600,000.

PESO to hold local job fair on Dec. 1

(The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Job opportunities are once again offered to those who are seeking for employment or looking to change the nature or the kind of work they have.

On Dec. 1, the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) will hold a Local Job Fair at the Capitol social hall.

PESO is expecting 35 establishments including recruitment agencies to participate in the activity.

Some of the companies who are expected to show support to the job recruitment this Sunday are Cebu Mitsumi, Inc., International Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Norkis Group of Companies, Asianwide Refreshments Corp. (RC COLA PHILS.), Cebu Progress Commercial, Call Center 101 and P.J. Lhuillier Group of Companies, and Duty Free Philippines among others.

Interested parties are encouraged to register at the PESO Provincial Capitol located at the ground floor so they can have their priority numbers for their convenience on the day of the job fair.

During the job fair, personnel from the SSS, NSO, PhilHealth and NBI will entertain inquiries about their respective agencies.

Dr. Mathea M. Baguia, PESO head, said that her office has also a Help Desk section which could assist displaced workers. It has a licensed special recruitment staff from Manila who is here to conduct job recruitment for abroad.

For the UK market tour operators assure tourism capabilities of Cebu, Bohol

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

CEBU, Philippines - Tourism industry players in the United Kingdom remain bullish that the Philippines will take a brighter spotlight as an ideal tourist destination for the European market despite the recent calamities that successively hit the country, particularly the Visayas region.

Funway product administration manager Malcolm Davies said that even with the series of calamities that recently struck the country, the Philippines remains as a suitable destination for UK tourists given its infrastructure, international airport, accessibility, quality of accommodation, fluency in the English language of the Filipinos, hospitality, entertainment and food.

Davies's company was one of the UK tour operators and travel agents which had a familiarization tour in Cebu and Bohol last week.

"We personally noticed the change. The effect of the tragedies has brought about high publicity for the Philippines with the tremendous goodwill from foreign countries," he said.

He shared that they received a lot of inquiries from Europeans who wish to come around after the tragedies in the Philippines.

Davies said that they themselves could reassure interested UK travelers that the Philippines is already good and safe to visit. He said that they expressed concern on the supply of electricity and water especially in the calamity-stricken areas.

"Our trip is completely fantastic. We can speak for ourselves that everything is fine here," he said.

Davies cited that 10 travel operators and most of the 3,000 travel agencies in UK are currently endorsing and will further recommend the Philippines as a tourist destination.

He shared that Cebu and Bohol, which he dubbed as "twincentral," are interconnected but are unique in features. He said that Cebu mostly caters to the high-end and modern market while Bohol boasts of its eco-tourism and beaches.

Department of Tourism Central Visayas Director Rowena Montecillo said that the visit made by UK travel operators is a good sign of encouraging more Europeans to come and visit the country that is already on its way to recovery.

She said that they will be working on the assessment of several dive sites and sanctuaries especially in Bantayan and Malapascua islands. They are also closely coordinating with the Department of Energy to fast track the restoration of power in quake-hit areas in Bohol.

She also urged shipping companies which have been doing humanitarian trips recently to start servicing more regular tourists from Cebu to Tagbilaran starting this week.

"Destinations might suffer if they won't immediately respond," she said.

Montecillo said that European tourists usually prefer culture, history, shopping and eco-tourism when visiting a travel destination and added that Bohol and Cebu would be one of the top choices in the country for such market.

She added that other tourism organizations across the world continue to show support to the Philippines by promoting it in the global market.

She further expressed hope that the tourist arrivals from Europe will further increase as the flag carrier Philippine Airlines resumed its commercial direct flights to Europe for the first time in 15 years in London last November 4.

It now flies five times a week from Manila to London via the Heathrow airport. PAL also plans to fly to Amsterdam, Paris and Rome next year. Frankfurt in Germany will also be included in PAL's European destination list.

Peacock Travel and Tours UK manager Keith Lloyd said that Filipinos need to think the right perspective and rebuild the country as an ideal tourist destination amid the recent calamities.

"The tragedies should not affect the tourism industry of the country. The Philippines has a lot to offer," he said.

Lloyd said that UK tourists are considered to be long-staying and high-spending tourist. A typical tourist stays at an average of 10 to 12 days for vacation and spends about 1,500 to 2,000 British pounds a week.

UK freelance journalist Gary Noakes noted that the recent tragedies have put the Philippines on the high profile despite the negative publicity portrayed in the last few months.

"The calamities, especially the typhoon, have put the Philippines in the map of UK. It turned out to be positive as more people across the globe come to help the country," he said.

Noakes has been in the field of journalism for almost 20 years and he said that it is his first time to visit the Philippines. He shared that he plans to write about the familiarization tour in the tropical country, citing how UK tourists can get there easily and what possible tourist spots they could visit.

"Aid is good, business is better," said Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. key account manager Keith Harrison, adding that the airline company also caters flights from London via Hongkong to Manila.

Meanwhile, Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu General Manager Knuth Kiefer said that even with the long haul flight, tourists who arrive in Cebu always get impressed with the unique features of the province as a beach get away and city life destination.

He admitted that the hotel industry experienced cancellations after the recent calamities but said that this is expected as a natural response since people may get uncomfortable at first until proven that the place is already safe.

DOE: Power restored in northern Cebu towns

By Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon /FPL (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Major power lines in Northern Cebu have been restored two weeks after these were heavily damaged by super typhoon Yolanda.

Department of Energy-7 director Antonio Labios yesterday said that all Northern Cebu towns including the cities of Danao and Bogo have been energized. Although power supply is already available in all towns and cities in the north, Labios explained that some barangays may not have power yet because of the ongoing restoration of the lateral lines.

"Siga na ang tanan nga lugar sa northern part of Cebu but restoration is still ongoing for the lateral lines and mountain barangays," Labios said.

Based on the DOE presentation of the power situation in the Visayas, the backbone lines of Cebu Electric Cooperative II serving the towns of Compostela, Borbon, Tabogon, Tabuelan, Tuburan, and Carmen as well as the cities of Bogo and Danao were already restored.

These backbone lines are also partially servicing the towns of Catmon, Sogod and San Remigio.

Labios said that as of yesterday the town of Medellin is 18 percent energized while Daanbantayan is 11 percent energized. He added that all service areas of Cebeco I and III were already restored.

The Bantayan Electric Cooperative, which serves the three towns in Bantayan Island (Bantayan, Sta. Fe and Madridejos), has already restored 50-percent of its backbone lines and has energized some areas near the BIPCOR diesel power plant.

The Visayan Electric Company on the other hand is still implementing a rotational brownout just like the Mactan Electric Cooperative due to limited supply of power from the grid.

The Camotes Electric Cooperative reported that it has energized the town centers of Poro and San Francisco in Camotes Island using the 250kw supply from the Poro National Power Corporation-Small Power Utilities Group power plant. The SPUG power plant in Pilar, Camotes Island was heavily damaged by the typhoon.

Meanwhile, despite Cebu's power shortage, the province shared its limited supply to Bohol via the Ormoc-Maasin submarine cable to augment the power requirement for yesterday's special barangay elections.

"This is what we called sharing system. Bisan kuwang ang supply of power sa Cebu, still Cebu shared," Labios said.

Labios said that the 23-megawatts that we shared came from the submarine cable that connects from Daanbantayan to Tabango, Leyte. The supply was diverted using the interconnection from Daanbantayan to Ormoc then to Maasin and Bohol.

The Province of Bohol also lost its power after the infrastructure was damaged by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the province last October 15.

The situation was aggravated by the super typhoon Yolanda which wreaked havoc in Eastern Visayas destroying transmission lines of the National Grid Corporation where Bohol get part of its power supply.

Japanese tsunami survivors help Cebu

By Jose P. Sollano / RHM (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - A Japanese couple who experienced the devastation of the March 2011 tsunami in Japan visited Cebu last week and led the distribution of relief goods to super typhoon Yolanda in northern Cebu.

Matsumoto Osashi and his wife, with the help of the Cebu Lions Club, handed relief goods to super typhoon victims in barangays Bateria, Malbago and Tinubdan in Daanbantayan town.

They also came to Bantayan Island to also distribute relief assistance.

“I know the difficulty and trauma of those who are affected by the typhoon because I myself and my family also felt the same experience when a tsunami hit Japan in 2011,” Osashi told The FREEMAN.

Osashi said that when Yolanda hit the Visayas, he called up Fr. Eduardo Ventic, Lions Club International 301-B2 district governor, and other friends in Cebu and informed on his intention to help by giving relief goods.

He said he was told that thousands of Cebuanos in northern Cebu badly need aid his offer was very much welcomed.

He selected northern Cebu after learning that Tacloban City and neighboring areas in Leyte and in Samar were already attended to by the Philippine government and by foreign countries.

He was assisted by Fr. Ventic, Lions Club International vice governor Frederick Lim, second vice governor Manuel Piamonte, district liaison officer Jimmy Go, district secretary Stephen Yap, and district legal officer Jose Ma. Gastardo in distributing his relief goods.

Former Cebu provincial board member Gastardo, a resident of Daanbantayan, was the one who coordinated with barangay officials in the identifying recipients of Osashi’s aid in his town.

Gastardo said their group visited Bantayan Island five days after the super typhoon and gave food to more than 4,000 families in the towns of Sta. Fe, Bantayan and Madridejos.

In all, Osashi’s group gave 500 relief packs in Bateria, close to 1,000 in Malbago, and around 500 in Tinubdan.

The group also went to barangay Maya and in Malapascua Island to continue its distribution of relief packs.

UN official: Set example, Cebu

By Elias O. Baquero and Rebelander S. Basilan (With IDA)

CEBU CITY -- An official of the disaster risk reduction of the United Nations (UN) has challenged Cebu to be a model for how well the public and private sectors can work together in responding calamities and making the community more resilient.

Margareta Wahlstrom, assistant secretary-general for disaster risk reduction of the UN, made the statement after an aerial survey of northern Cebu’s typhoon-ravaged towns and meetings with local government officials. Wahlstrom was in a forum with some private sector leaders in Cebu.

“Could there be an alliance of mayors and the private sector in Cebu to ensure that it has resilience? We cannot wait four months to do this, because it would be forgotten by then,” Wahlstrom said.

German Velasquez of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) said a practical start would be to sign an agreement that would spell out each sector’s role immediately after a disaster.

“Who will provide transport? Who will clear roads? Who will provide storage? With this agreement in place, in times of disaster, you already know who,” said Velasquez, who heads the UNISDR advocacy and outreach section.

A representative of the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) said their operation may continue for six months and it may include implementing livelihood programs to help survivors get back on their feet.

“We will be here depending on the needs of the survivors. At the moment, we’re still assessing the situation,” Frances Kennedy, public information officer of the WFP, said in a press briefing Saturday.

The WFP has dispatched food supplies for more than 2.5 million people, and more may be sent to affected areas if the need arises, said Kennedy.

The British government has also pledged long-term support.

A C17 aircraft from the United Kingdom arrived Saturday at the Mactan Benito Ebuen Air Base, carrying relief goods, construction materials, and heavy equipment.


Typhoon Yolanda (International name: Haiyan), which struck Visayas on November 8, killed more than 5,000, mostly in Leyte, displaced 4.29 million people and destroyed more than 552,000 houses. Another half a million houses were damaged.

On Saturday, Wahlstrom and her UNISDR colleagues surveyed the damage in northern Cebu and had separate meetings with Govenor Hilario Davide III, mayors of the Bantayan Island towns and the private sector.

Wahlstrom raised the Cebu-as-model challenge during a forum organized by Genvi Development Corp. and attended by representatives of the different business chambers, universities and the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board.

“This typhoon is going to change things…maybe even the next president will be different because of this typhoon,” Velasquez said in the same forum. “How will this typhoon change Cebu?”

He said that the Bantayan Island mayors, in a brief dialogue with UNISDR, now believe that all schools, which double as evacuation centers, should be built safer; that houses should be built farther from the coast; and that people should be more aware of how they can protect themselves against disasters.

Wahlstrom said she understood the feedback on the need for “someone to take the lead” so that responses from both the government and private sector can be coordinated.

Get ready

Wahlstrom also urged owners of small and medium enterprises to make sure they are ready to deal with supply disruptions and other problems caused by disasters.

“First look at your own organizations. How prepared are you? How prepared is your staff? What is your business continuity planning?” Wahlstrom said.

Lito Maderazo, president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that in the short run, “Cebu can shine in the showing others how to collaborate.”

But he also emphasized the need for the National Government to give local disaster councils the equipment, resources and capability to prepare for and respond to calamities.

“What really needs to be done is to capacitate these groups that are assigned to do these tasks. In the planning and allocation of government resources, there is very little attention paid to this,” he said.

Wahlstrom assured that the UNISDR is keen to work with the private sector and pledged to visit again in six months to check on the progress made.

The mayors who met separately with the UNISDR officials— Mayors Democrito Diamante of Tuburan, Raymond Calderon of Samboan, Ronie Sesante of Dalaguete, Erwin Yu of Tudela and Nick delos Santos of Alcoy—raised the need to update relevant laws on disaster risk reduction.


San Francisco, Camotes Vice Mayor Al Arquillano, who sits in the UN Advisory Panel for Global Environment, said there must be a massive awareness campaign so the people will participate in making Cebu resilient.

“Gathering accurate data is also important because with that, we can formulate solutions,” delos Santos said.

In Mactan, more aid arrived as the international response to Yolanda showed no letup.

On board the aircraft from the United Kingdom yesterday was International Development Secretary Justine Greening, who will meet with Philippine officials and oversee UK’s operations in hard-hit areas.

British Ambassador Asif Ahmad said the British Government will not only help provide relief to typhoon survivors, but also ensure they recover from the catastrophe.

“Now that the picture’s a little bit more settled, we can think through the longer term: reconstruction and restoration of the livelihood of the people of the Philippines,” he told reporters yesterday.

“We are here not just for weeks, we are here for months, if not years. That’s the commitment from the United Kingdom,” he said.

Ahmad said that aircraft from UK will arrive next week carrying seven heavy-lift helicopters that the Philippine Government and international donors can use to transport goods and materials.

Build better

The British Government will grant £5 million for up to four cities to invest in flood protection measures and drainage systems to prevent another catastrophe caused by extreme weather events.

From the £30 million it pledged to the UN and Red Cross, it will allocate £3 million provide services needed by women and girls affected by the typhoon; £2 million to allow the Unicef to increase nutrition provision and the capacity of primary health care system; and £1 million to help 3,000 people to receive materials needed to rebuild their houses.

“In the coming months, the UK will be working hard to help build a better future for all the people of the Philippines, including girls and women who are often the ones who suffer disproportionately in the wake of crises like this,” Greening said in a press release.

Support from European countries will continue during the reconstruction phase, said Jan Dirk Burlens, civil protection team leader of the European Union (EU). Member-states of the EU have so far provided 50 million euros for relief operations.

Josef Reiterer of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said their team was able to prepare ahead of the typhoon as they were invited early on by the Philippine Government.

He said the UN’s response in the Philippines in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda has been its biggest in a single country for two decades.

CFI Coop sends 8,000 relief packs to Northern Cebu

By Gregg M. Rubio /JMO (Cebu Daily News)

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu CFI community cooperative has extended relief assistance to typhoon hit areas in northern Cebu and in Leyte province.

CFI Director Atty. Lito Astillero said they coursed the relief goods through the mayors of Tabogon, Daanbantayan, Medellin, San Remigio, Santa Fe, Madridejos, and Bantayan towns and the Bogo City, regardless of political affiliations.

Each LGU received 1,000 packs of goods – each pack containing two kilos of rice, three cans of sardines, and three packs of instant noodles. Coop officials were the ones who distributed the goods.

Each of the cities of Ormoc and Tacloban also received 5,000 packs of relief goods, Astillero said. The cooperative hired a small boat to ferry the goods to Ormoc and Tacloban.

CFI founding chairperson, retired judge Esperanza Garcia, emphasized that the relief operation is part of the cooperative’s corporate social responsibility. The cooperative also sent assistance to Bohol for those affected by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake last October 15.

Report of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office shows that there are 160,521 displaced families due to typhoon in the entire Province of Cebu.

Bantayan has the most number of displaced families with 22,687 followed by Daanbantayan with 20,426 as November 21, 2013.

Bogo City has the most number of damaged houses with 18,297 followed by Daanbantayan with 18,297.

No more free food

By Peter L. Romanillos with a report from Correspondent Michelle Joy L. Padayhag (Cebu Daily News)

It’s time to roll up our sleeves and start rebuilding.

The Cebu provincial government will no longer distribute relief goods to northern towns affected by supertyphoon Yolanda beginning today. It will instead encourage residents to participate in the “food for work” scheme to clean up storm debris in their communities.

“We’re entering the rehabilitation phase now. That’s why we’ve stopped sending relief goods,” Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale told reporters yesterday.

The Capitol will start distributing today nails, galvanized iron roofing sheets and wood.

She said this move was based on feedback from municipal mayors who said they do not want the people to depend on the distribution of free food anymore.

She said San Remigio Mayor Mariano Martinez told her yesterday that residents were already starting to depend on the food relief packs given out by the government and private organizations.

A municipal employee involved in relief efforts in one northern Cebu town confirmed this trend.

“They just stand there waiting for relief goods to be handed out. When we called on the men to help our engineering team clear the roads, they just stare at us. Some walk away, murmuring that they’ll just wait for Good Samaritans to come,” said the employee, who requested anonymity.

The halt in the delivery of relief aid came a few days after Gov. Hilario Davide III admitted that some areas in northern Cebu have yet to receive food aid from the Capitol.

According to Evelyn Senajon, head of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), they have distributed about 240,000 relief packs to residents of 13 towns and one city. She said the last wave of relief goods was sent yesterday to the beneficiary towns.

The Capitol started delivering food packs to affected towns a day after supertyphoon Yolanda made landfall in Daanbantayan on Nov. 8. Each food pack contains three kilos of rice, five tins of canned food, two packs of noodles and two 500ml bottles of water. A pack is estimated to feed a family of five for two days.

PSWDO’s Senajon said barangay leaders who will go to the Capitol to ask for food aid will be directed to their municipal authorities beginning today.

“We will discourage them from coming here because we will not give anymore. Instead, they should go directly to the mayor so that they’ll be given work and provided financial assistance,” she said.

Aside from the growing complacency of some residents, Magpale said there were enough relief goods distributed to the different towns, especially with the outpouring of aid from foreign as well as local donors.

“The municipalities are well stocked with relief goods now. The total of what we gave plus the aid from organizations and private individuals — it’s too much already,” she told reporters.

“Now, the mayors want to clean up and they want to do it through a ‘Food for Work’ program. As long as we start doling out more aid, it will not be successful.”

The vice governor said a number of towns already started a ‘Food for Work’ program to provide a temporary source of income for residents who lost their livelihood.

Participants who help clean up typhoon debris left by Yolanda will receive a daily wage.

“Somebody has to help cleaning up because the work cannot be done only by local government employees,” she said.

The ‘Food for Work’ program scheme was originally used by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to help calamity victims cope with their losses.

The Capitol’s move dovetails with the national government’s plan to shift to rehabilitation and recovery.

Nemia Antipala, assistant regional director of the DSWD, said the national government will start focusing on providing shelter to people affected by the calamity after two weeks of making sure they have food to eat.

“We are now planning how to respond to the shelter needs of the people,” she said.

She said social workers and debriefers who fanned out to areas affected by the storm reported that people now desire to rebuild their houses.

“They’re expressing their desire to recover,” Antipala said.

The provincial government already purchased construction materials for distribution to people who lost their homes.

Vice Governor Magpale said they will start distributing nails, galvanized iron roofing sheets and wood today.

She earlier called on the private sector to donate construction materials for the typhoon victims. Over 700,000 houses were destroyed or heavily damaged by the supertyphoon.

PSWDO’s Senajon said the provincial government is willing to pick up donations of construction materials and deliver them to towns chosen by donors.

She said municipal authorities were tasked to assess who among the affected residents will be given priority in the distribution of construction materials.

“Here in the level of the province, we are dependent on reports of the LGUs down the line and they will be the ones to assess,” she said.

“We will verify that so assistance will be given to the deserving recipients. We will be working closely with the local government unit,” she added.

The municipalities, she said, can also choose to use the P2 million financial assistance from the Cebu provincial government for the purchase of construction materials.

DOT to tap int’l groups to help plan Cebu, Bohol recovery

By Aileen Garcia-Yap (Cebu Daily News)

USAid asked to do resurvey; others to promote PH destinations

The tourism department is seeking the help of international organizations to help Cebu and Bohol recover from the aftermath of the 7.2-magnitude earthquake in October and supertyphoon Yolanda in November.

These are challenging times and we will need the help of international tourism communities to make people aware that there is still tourism in the region, said Tourism regional director Rowena Montecillo yesterday.

Montecillo said she is expecting a slight drop in the tourism turnout in Central Visayas in the fourth quarter compared to the same period last year because of the two recent major calamities that hit these areas.

Traditionally, the fourth quarter is a peak season for the tourism industry in the region, however, the two recent major calamities have created a “cloud of apprehension” from the global tourism market, she said.


“Since the earthquake in October, some foreign tourist markets or even domestic travellers were already thinking twice about coming here. We did our part to revive tourism especially in Bohol by quickly coming out with alternative routes for tourists. Traffic seemed to revive until Yolanda came and we had to start over again,” said Montecillo.

The tourism department has already asked the US Agency for International Development (USAid) to conduct a resurvey in Cebu and Bohol after Yolanda brought in new issues of concern in the industry.

“We have asked them (USAid) to help map out a plan of recovery for Cebu and Bohol. They are re-surveying now because of Yolanda. In Bohol, the problem on power is critical and in Cebu, Malapascua and Bantayan were badly hit by Yolanda,” she said.

Other international organizations that have already committed to help the Philippine tourism industry include the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Pacific Asia Travel Association (Pata) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

Montecillo said that these organizations have committed to help encourage the different tourism players around the world to still come to the country especially to Cebu and Bohol.

“They’re going to help us promote our destinations. They are calling on all their member organizations to visit the Philippines now more than ever because this is the time we need them most.”

Montecillo said that most of the international tourists think that the entire country has been devastated by Yolanda because of the news and videos they see over the internet and from international news broadcasts.

“It is important that they will know it’s not the entire Cebu, Bohol or the country that was devastated. I’m glad that these organizations gave their support.”

UNWTO, the leading international organization in the field of tourism which is the United Nations’ agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism, wrote in their website that they are ready to support the Philippines in any tourism-related recovery program for the affected areas.

“Pata on the other hand has been in contact with local and national tourism officials in the Philippines to offer moral support and practical help. It has set up an online appeal to raise funds for the Philippines and earmarked US$10,000 (subject to normal approval) for the Philippine disaster relief fund,” said a DOT statement.

Pata has also briefed the Asian Wall Street Journal on the need to maintain business confidence in the Philippine tourism sector and its essential role in economic development.

Convoy brings relief to northern towns

By Liv G. Campo (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - At least 30 vehicles from 12 local government units travelling in convoy went to the north of Cebu to distribute P5 million worth of relief goods to residents in typhoon-damaged areas.

Naga City Mayor Val Chiong said they sent food packs containing rice, canned goods, water, and noodles to each of the 15 local government units including those in the islands of Bantayan and Camotes.

Naga, which sent five of its dump trucks, allocated P100,000 per LGU for this project, or a total of P1.2 million which was taken from its calamity funds.

“We’ve always helped other LGUs even those outside of Cebu during calamities. That was why when we had a talk with the other mayors after the typhoon we came up with the plan to go there as one para mausa ra og tagak ang mga goods,” he said.

Dalaguete Mayor Ronaldo Sesante said their town was spared and this was their way of thanking God by reaching out to the affected towns.

Dalaguete brought around 1,700 relief packs.

Meanwhile, Chiong said there is nothing illegal in sending help to other LGUs as long as it is within the limit of their calamity funds.

He said that even in the past they helped Manila which was affected by typhoon Ondoy and the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan which were ravaged by typhoon Sendong, and recently Bohol, after suffering from a magnitude 7.2 quake.

Last Nov. 8 super typhoon Yolanda brought the Visayas on its knees, destroying thousands of houses in the different regions, including those in northern Cebu.

Apart from Naga and Dalaguete, Oslob, Sibonga, Carcar, Guinatilan, Malabuyoc, Aloguinsan, Alcoy, Moalboal, and others also joined in the convoy.

Mayors personally turned over the donations.

The convoy, which passed by Cebu City at 6 a.m., moved from Sogod to Tabuelan, up to the last town in the north to deliver the supplies to the local governments there.

Cebu province to increase agri budget to P34.6M

By Aileen Garcia-Yap (Cebu Daily News)

Priority areas include farmers’ trainings, seed storage facility, in-land fishery

THE Cebu provincial government will double its budget for the agriculture sector next year.

This developed after supertyphoon Yolanda destroyed agricultural lands in at least 14 municipalities in northern Cebu.

Gov. Hilario Davide III has already approved the increased budget from only P19.8 million this year to P34.6 million next year, said Dr. Roldan Sarajena, Provincial Agriculture Office officer-in-charge, during the opening of the 5th Agri-Aqua Expo at SM City Cebu Trade Hall last Friday.

The allocation will be divided among six priority areas which are: training for farmers, a seed storage facility, in-land fishery, farm mechanization program, agricultural inputs, and agri-fishery insurance.

“The Farmer Scientist Training Program (FSTP) will include training and establishment of technology trials on the field for farmers to really see and experience the new technologies. We are also looking at a seed storage facility in Tinaan, Naga because right now we are very dependent on seeds we source from Mindanao,” said Sarajena.

The provincial agriculture office will also train seed producers in Cebu to produce seeds of staple crops like corn and rice to support the local demand.

In-land fisheries will be established in mountain barangays in the province that will produce tilapia.

“For our Farm Mechanization Program, we will be purchasing equipment like corn mill, planters, seeders and multipurpose drying pavement. Agricultural inputs like fertilizers will also be purchased and to really ensure that our farmers can recover from any devastation like what happened recently with Yolanda, we will continue our Agri-fishery insurance for the farmers,” he said.

The insurance will cover agricultural lands, crops, support equipment like motor boats for the fishermen as well as accidental dismemberment security scheme for farmers.


They are still assessing the total damage of typhoon Yolanda on the agricultural sector in the province, said Sarajena.

“Initially we have eight LGUs (local government units) partially damaged and about 14 badly hit. We have already made proposals to the governor (Hilario Davide III) for rehabilitation programs in these areas,” said Sarajena.

Rehabilitation programs include purchasing of seeds for fast yielding crops like upland kangkong, okra and string beans so that farmers can grow them fast and sell them to earn right away.

They will also be purchasing sweet potato cuttings, squash seeds, peanut and fruit tree inputs including mango, guyabano, jackfruit and banana suckers.

Environmentalists set 5-day fast vs. climate change

By Kristine B. Quintas /RHM (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Environmental and civic groups will have a symbolic five-day "fasting for the climate" to send the message that all calamities that occurred were due to climate change.

About 15 people from the Movement for Livable Cebu (MLC), Permaculture, Sanlakas Sugbo, National Youth Commission (NYC), Psychology Volunteer on Bikes, Philippine Earth Justice Council (PEJC), University College of Law and Homonhon Environment Rescuers Organization (HERO) and the office of Cebu Ctiy Councilor Nida Cabrera have committed to participate.

Cabrera heads the city council committee on environment.

The fasting would last on Friday, when the 19th United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) climate summit in Warsaw Poland will also end.

The Philippines delegation to the summit is led by Climate Change Commissioner Naderev Sano.

"We join him (Sano) and the Philippine delegation as we collectively fast for meaningful outcomes and urgent action from the climate talks. We call on every well-meaning Filipino and youth to forego some of their meals, fast at least until the completion of the talks and donate these foregone meals to the displaced survivors of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)," said Undersecretary Leon Flores III, NYC chairman.

"We are fasting in solidarity with the Philippine delegation. Nothing religious and nothing spiritual, this is somewhat like a hunger strike of souls. We want to deliver the message, we are willing to sacrifice until the meaningful agreement is reach and action is undertaken by the conference of parties," he added.

Flores is encouraging everyone to fast by just drinking liquids or eating only one meal a day within five days.

PEJC executive director Gloria Ramos, however, said they are not expecting a big number of people to do join the fasting, saying "it is a personal decision and a commitment to do our share to fight climate change and to be part of the solution".

In a statement, Flores said they fast to "commiserate with our affected and displaced brothers and sisters and feel their hunger as well".

"We heard and read nothing about climate change, which is basically the core of all these calamities and disasters. This is an issue on climate change," Flores said during a press briefing with various organizations yesterday.

Ramos said everyone has the power to help mitigate the effects of climate change with best practices on solid waste management, complying with clean air act and sustainability council, the policy making body.

Flores also said that everyone has the capacity to fight climate change by "adjusting our lifestyle, going green, buying local, preparing for disaster and engaging in sustainability behaviors".

"We support the delegation's call for increased funding for adaptation projects, mobilization of a green climate fund, and the setting up of a damage and loss compensation mechanism," he added.

In line with this, environmental organizations are asking carbon emitters and developing countries like the Philippines to make significant actions to help save mother earth for future generations.

Further, Teody Navea of SanLakas Sugbo-Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) proposed that schools must also incorporate climate change subjects starting in grade school, considering that not all are knowledgeable about it.

Edna Lee of the University of Philippines' "Volunteers on Bike" agreed, saying "ignorante ang mga tawo about climate change so dapat there is information dissemination".

PMCJ would hold a funeral caravan today to "dramatize our message to the rich nations led by the United States for them to cut on greenhouse gases, the main contributing factor for climate change" said Navea.

Prior to the caravan, which would start at 8 a.m. on V. Rama St. to the US Consular Office at the Waterfront Hotel in Lahug, a symbolic offering of candles and flowers for the victims of super typhoon Yolanda would be held.

Lapu-Lapu’s first museum opens

By Jose P. Sollano (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The first museum in Lapu-Lapu City formally opened to the public last November 14, to coincide with the 81st birthday of the late Police General Eleno V. Amores.

Mayor Paz Radaza led the formal inauguration of the building that houses the first museum.

She was assisted by Mrs. Naty Amores, wife of Police General Amores.

City officials and relatives of Amores attended the affair.

The family of the late General Amores, led by the general’s wife Donatilla “Naty” H. Amores, assisted in putting up old pictures and other memorabilia, artifacts, documents, and other related things.

Damian Gomez Jr., former city councilor and chairman of the City Tourism Commission, said the museum is located beside the city fire department in barangay Gun-ob.

Gomez said the Amores family paid for the construction of the building.

DENR allots P25.5M for river flood control in Cebu

By Phoebe Jen Indino

CARMEN, Cebu- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 under the Integrated Coastal Resources Management Project (ICRMP) has earmarked P25.5-million for the establishment of the Cantumog-Luyang River Flood Control Structure in this town.

DENR 7 Regional Executive Director Dr. Isabelo R. Montejo and Carmen Mayor Gerard Villamor signed the contract late last month which was witnessed by DENR 7 Regional Technical Director for Protected Areas, Wildlife Coastal Zone and Management Services (PAWCZMS) Al O. Orolfo and some town officials.

The river flood control facility is expected to mitigate the risks of flooding and erosion and to protect existing homes and businesses against natural hazards.

DENR 7 Regional Executive Director Dr. Isabelo R. Montejo said the project is part of the commitment of the ICRM Project which is to provide social and environmental services and facilities to address the basic social services needs of disadvantage coastal communities, and support local governments’ efforts to mitigate coastal pollution and degradation of resources.

“The groundbreaking ceremony is set this November 18, 2013 and will be completed in a six-month period,” Montejo said.

The ICRMP is a six-year DENR-led project that started in July 2007. The DENR leads the implementation of ICRMP with funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) supported by other national agencies like Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Department of the Interior and Local Government, National Economic Development Authority, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Budget and Management.

The project’s overall objective is to enhance coastal resources management and reduce poverty among municipal fisherfolk through the introduction and promotion of sustainable economic livelihood activities, micro-enterprises and resource management practices.

Cebu on track of ‘wellness hub’ goal

By Ehda M. Dagooc /JMD (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Trade and Industry-Cebu Provincial Office (DTI-CPO) is encouraging other players in the health and wellness sector to join the Cebu Health and Wellness Council (CHWC) to make an effective promotional strategy, making Cebu the total health and wellness hub in the Philippines.

DTI-CPO Director Nelia F. Navarro said that this is the time that players should unite and give their respective contributions to the industry, while the Philippines is suffering from effects of devastating calamities.

According to Navarro, industry sectors, such as the emerging health and wellness, among others, should not stop their efforts in reinforcing developmental actions to rebuild and sustain the economy.

Navarro noted not only the wide extension of health and wellness services in Cebu, which is not limited to spas and massage centers, but also the strong popularity of holistic fitness and wellness like the increasing number of Yoga studios and meditation centers.

She urged operators of Yoga studios and meditation centers to be part of the unified health and wellness group in Cebu through CHWC for them to be included in the creation of promotional programs that will be used for international selling missions and sales calls.

Navarro said this generation's health consciousness has evolved, and people are not just availing of traditional wellness services like massage, relaxing spa, among others, but are also getting themselves a more holistic wellness discipline which Yoga and meditation are known for.

Navarro added these kinds of services should be included in the total wellness package through the CHWC, noting the increasing demand from local customers and foreign visitors as well.

Moreover, Navarro said that this kind of holistic stress-unloading practice should also be given as incentives to the highly stressed business process outsourcing (BPO) employees, as it will not only provide clarity of mind, but will also boost energy and over health.

"BPO workers need this kind of exercise and discipline [because] most of them have acquired bad habits of smoking, alcohol drinking as stress reliever," Navarro.

Navarro highly recommended special packages for BPO workers for fitness, Yoga, meditation, and other forms of exercise.

Cebu ready to accommodate Yolanda survivors

By Bea Cupin with a report from Carmela Fonbuena (

MANILA, Philippines – The province of Cebu and its capital, Cebu City, are preparing for the influx of evacuees from surrounding areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda (international codename: Haiyan).

Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council officer Neil Sanchez told Rappler on Thursday, November 14, that the city and provincial governments have discussed possible areas where they can set up tents to accommodate those displaced by the super typhoon not just from other parts of the province but from other provinces as well.

"We have our own problems here but we can't ignore the pleas of our neighbors," said Sanchez. (READ: Where will survivors go?)

Survivors in the Leyte capital of Tacloban have been "jostling and begging" for space on flights that leave the demolished city, as tensions rise with the lack of aid and relief.

According to Lt Jim Alagao, spokesperson of the Armed Forces Central Command, around 6,000 persons from the cities of Tacloban and Ormoc in Leyte, and from the town of Guiuan in Eastern Samar, have gone to Cebu on their C-130 and ships.

The United Nations, like the provincial government, estimates over 10,000 died in the province alone, mostly in the capital city of Tacloban, where 16-foot-high storm surges engulfed the city and neighboring towns.

President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday, however, said the estimate was too high and pegged the death toll at around 2,500, a figure supported by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Towns in the northern part of Cebu were also destroyed by the storm. Sta Fe, Madridejos, and Bantayan in Bantayan Island, and the towns of Bogo, Medellin, and Daanbantayan were cut off in the aftermath of the storm.

Relief was initially unable to reach Bantayan Island because of strong waves, but Sanchez said relief goods, generator sets, and clearing teams have since reached the island. Cellphone signal has also been restored in the island, but remains unstable.

About 90% of Bantayan was destroyed by Yolanda, said Sanchez. As of posting, the provincial government tallied 18 deaths in Bantayan town, 4 in Madridejos, and 5 in Sta Fe, said Sanchez.

All local government units are functioning, said Sanchez.

Once the situation in the province's towns have stabilized, Cebu will be sending a team to assist relief and rehabilitation efforts in the provinces of Samar and Leyte, he added.

Tourism rehab plan in the works

By Ehda M. Dagooc /JOB (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu’s tourism prime movers and the local government units are soon to implement a master plan to rebuild the province’s tourism spots affected by typhoon Yolanda, deemed as the strongest typhoon in the world this year.

The Hotel, Resort, and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) will be working with Cebu Association of Tour Operators (CATO), National Association of Independent Travel Agencies (Naitas), airline operators, will be working closely with the Department of tourism (DOT), Cebu Provincial government, and tourism players in the islands of Bantayan, Malapascua, and Camotes, in planning an immediate masterplan for rehabilitation of these tourism hotspots.

In a press conference, HRRAC president Cenelyn Manguilimotan announced that an immediate rebuilding program will implemented in Cebu, to sustain the province’s strength in the tourism sector in the country.

Prior to the "Yolanda" disaster, HRRAC and other tourism players already had initial plans holding a special event to encourage domestic travel in Cebu-Bohol destinations.

Now that the tourism destination frontliners in Cebu are badly affected by the disaster, a more concerted rebuilding effort will be done simultaneously with giving relief goods to the affected areas in Cebu.

"We need to show the world that we are still 'standing,' and the typhoon may have wiped out most of the resorts and tourism facilities on the islands, it does not mean we stop there," she said.

Realistically, people on these islands whose livelihood largely depend on tourism should be given hope that tourism is still on, despite the ruined infrastructure.

Even before the resorts on these islands can rebuild their facilities, tourism business should go on, capitalizing on other strategies such as sports tourism, overnight camping on the beach, and wellness attraction, among others.

A concrete program will be introduced shortly, she said as soon as stakeholders will be able to convene on the final re-packing, rebuilding and rehabilitation of these areas.

On the other hand, a Mega Tourism event will be held by the end of this month or early December, wherein players will be offering attractive rates and packages to reignite interest in visiting the Cebu-Bohol attractions.

Immediate action should be done, she added in order for Cebu and Bohol to sustain its prestige as the top island destinations in the world.

Malapascua is the haven of international divers, Bantayan island on the other hand is known as Cebu's version of Boracay but with its "rural" touch intact, while the island of Camotes had been regarded as an "iconic" island of the province.

DOST 7 exec urges firms to plan for disasters


CEBU CITY, Nov. 12 (PNA) -- An official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) 7 has urged companies, big and small, to include disaster recovery plans during their regular strategic planning sessions.

DOST 7 officer-in-charge Edilberto Paradela made this statement after a series of calamities hit the country, from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that shook Cebu and Bohol and the super typhoon Yolanda which hit central Philippines.

Paradela said that while large enterprises and information technology (IT)-based companies value disaster recovery planning to ensure business continuity, he noted that other industries and smaller firms seem to take this for granted.

Paradela said each company operates differently.

As such, Paradela said disaster recovery plans are unique for each company and should take into consideration all forms of disasters, whether natural or man-made.

He said although disasters are unavoidable, having a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place can lessen the effects of a disaster.

He said a company planning on setting up a factory should also take into consideration that the location of their facility is not prone to floods or too close to a densely-populated community should it catch fire.

Paradela said companies that rely heavily on data should set up a redundancy system, storing back-up data away from the company’s location so that it can be recovered at any time when operations return to normal.

Cloud-based services, he said, are also ideal because the data can be accessed anywhere and a company no longer has to worry about server maintenance.

Paradela said the IT and business process outsourcing companies operating in the country all know the importance of this and have incorporated measures to ensure the continuity of their operations.

Towns call on agencies to hasten relief operations; Cebu is ‘center of logistics’

By Davinci S. Maru, Elias O. Baquero and Flornisa M. Gitgano

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 needs volunteers to pack relief goods not only for Cebu and Bohol, but also for Tacloban City, which was badly hit by super-typhoon Yolanda, which left hundreds of people dead.

To fast-track assistance to typhoon victims, DSWD 7 sent relief goods to the municipalities of Bantayan and Madridejos, but deferred sending food packs to Sta. Fe because Mayor Jose Esgana could not be located.

Esgana reportedly left for Manila last Wednesday after Pagasa announced the coming of super-typhoon Yolanda, which battered Bantayan Island for five hours last Nov. 8, which devastated all the three towns of Bantayan, Madridejos and Sta. Fe.

Aileen Lariba, DSWD 7 information officer, said they are sending 4,209 food packs to Bantayan town and another 6,000 food packs to Madridejos, representing 95 percent of the population of the two municipalities.

Each pack is good for three days for a family of five.

Lariba said the DSWD relief operation is just an augmentation to the relief efforts of the local government units (LGUs), which prepositioned food assistance to their constituents.

If the food assistance is not enough, the LGUs must request for additional aid from the Cebu Provincial Government and DSWD 7.


Bantayan Mayor Christopher Ian Escario and Madridejos Mayor Salvador dela Fuente had asked for additional food packs from DSWD.

To volunteer, individuals or groups may contact DSWD Emergency Hotline at (032) 232-9507 or visit DSWD Regional Office 7 at corners MJ Cuenco and Gen. Maxilom Aves., Barangay Carreta, Cebu City.

DSWD 7 dispatched 5,000 family packs to Tacloban City yesterday via the Philippine Air Force’s C-130 aircraft.

“The agency (DSWD) is targeting twenty thousand family packs to be readily available the soonest possible time for distribution to the affected areas in Eastern Visayas,” Jabagat said.

Meanwhile, Medellin and San Remigio towns were also declared under state of calamity yesterday.

About 90 percent of its properties and crops were damaged.


Medellin Mayor Ricky Ramirez said his town did not receive any relief assistance from the Capitol.

He alleged that the Capitol, under the administration of Davide who is a Liberal party ally, is just choosing his partymates who will be given with assistance.

Ramirez is a One Cebu party member headed by former governor and now Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia (3rd district, Cebu).

“Unsa diay si Yolanda nagpili diay og mayor nga Liberal? Kalamidad man ta ni walay (Did typhoon Yolanda hit only the towns of the Liberal Party? This is a calamity.

There should be no) color coding,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez said they only received assistance from the private sector.

Rep. Garcia and former congressman Pablo John Garcia also extended in-kind assistance.

Provincial Information Officer Ethel Natera denied the allegations of Ramirez.

Natera said a group of provincial and volunteer doctors went to Medellin yesterday and brought medical supplies.

Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale also brought them relief goods, she said.

More than 90 percent of families have been rendered homeless and almost P100 million worth of crops were wiped out by Yolanda in Medellin.

As of yesterday, Lim said the upland villages of Dalingding Sur, Caputatan Norte and Maharuhay are still isolated and the roads have yet to be cleared.

San Remegio

In San Remegio town, Mayor Mariano Martinez said their first action is relief operations before rebuilding the damaged or destroyed houses, schools, establishments, among others.

He said the typhoon lashed out at all 27 barangays, affecting more than 60,000 residents.

He wants the five water systems to be operational by renting generator sets as power source have not been restored.

Many families have been relying on wells for water supply, which is susceptible to water-borne diseases.


Meanwhile, the Daanbantayan Government is monitoring the prices of commodities as supply of food is becoming low.

Daanbantayan Vice Mayor Gilber Arrabis Jr. said they are checking several establishments that might be taking advantage of the situation.

“Di gyud ni pwede kay tanan gud naapektuhan (It can’t be because all of us are affected),” he said.

Arrabis said they also received reports of looting, where some people are stealing galvanized iron sheets and other things that can be sold to a junk shop.

He estimated the damage of properties to more than P100 million. They are also in need of 12,000 relief packs.

About 75 sacks of relief goods were distributed there by the Daanbantayan Government.


The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) yesterday warned businessmen that raising prices of commodities at this time that Cebu and Bohol are under the state of calamity since the earthquake hit Central Visayas last Oct. 15 will be dealt with as an administrative and criminal offense.

DTI 7 Director Asteria Caberte pointed out that Cebu and Bohol remain under state of calamity for Bohol because of the earthquake and it is still in force until now after typhoon Yolanda.

“We have a price list, and we are deploying DTI teams to monitor the prices of commodities. If a businessman or a business firm is caught selling products beyond what is recommended in the price list, they can be charged administratively and criminally,” Caberte said.

Crops survey

Department of Agriculture (DA) 7 reported a total devastation of crops and plants in Northern Cebu, which include Borbon, Tabogon, Bogo City, Medellin, San Remigio, Daanbantayan and the entire Bantayan Island.

She said 85 percent of all the fruit-bearing mango trees were uprooted and have no chance of recovery.

Department of Energy (DOE) Visayas Director Antonio Labios said they will check reports that prices of fuel increased after the typhoon.

On the other hand, Operations Officer Arnie Santiago of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) said owners of vessels that sank at the height of typhoon Yolanda must file a marine protest.

He said that any order from Marina as a result of the marine protest can be used in filing insurance claims.

Classes suspended in 13 northern Cebu towns

By Michelle Joy L. Padayhag (Cebu Daily News)

Classes in all levels in 13 towns in northern Cebu that bore the full brunt of supertyphoon Yolanda’s fury will be suspended from Nov. 11 to 15.

Among the towns hardest hit were: Sogod, Borbon, Tabogon, Medellin, San Remigio, Daanbantayan, Poro, Pilar, Tudela and San Francisco in the Camotes group of islands and Madridejos, Bantayan and Sta. Fe in Bantayan Island.

“This is to give them enough time to repair their classrooms damaged by Yolanda,” said Dr. Arden Monisit, Department of Education (DepEd) provincial superintendent.

He said schools in other towns will resume classes tomorrow.

However, repairs of classrooms in schools located at these typhoon-struck towns may take longer than expected.

In Medellin town, Mayor Ricardo Ramirez said the roof of all public elementary and secondary schools were blown away.

The roof of the Cebu Normal University’s Medellin Branch and a private school in Poblacion were also severely damaged.

“I don’t think classes in all levels can resume in a month’s time,” Ramirez said.

Monisit also said if classrooms were still being used as evacuation centers, then “we will resort to using tents for temporary classroom.”

He has not been apprised of the full extent of damage in schools because most school supervisors in northern Cebu could not be contacted.

“I will immediately forward information on the extent of damage to our Central Office so they can release funds for repairs,” the mayor said.

The Cebu provincial government will also help repair the classrooms, Ramirez said.

“The suspension of classes due to the Oct. 15 earthquake will have to be extended because of typhoon Yolanda. This will result in graduation rites being held at a later date,” Dr. Monisit said.

Saturday makeup classes will also be held to complete the required 205 school days.

Nongovernment organizations and the DepEd central office will give learning kits to affected students, Monisit told Cebu Daily News.

Cebu relief teams head for northern towns of the province


CEBU CITY, Nov. 9 (PNA) -- The Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CPDRRMC) sent relief teams on Saturday to northern towns and cities that were badly affected by super typhoon "Yolanda."

However, CPDRRMC chief Neil Sanchez said their relief teams could not cross to Bantayan Island because of big waves.

"I cannot also risk the safety of our responders," said Sanchez.

Communications to the three towns in Bantayan Island, namely, Sta. Fe, Madridejos and Bantayan, were cut off at the height of the super typhoon after strong winds downed cell cites and power lines.

On Saturday, Bantayan Mayor Cris Escario said at least seven persons were confirmed killed in the town.

Sanchez said his relief teams are helping local government units and other agencies in clearing operations to make roads heading to the towns passable.

Cebu Provincial Police Office Director Senior Supt. Noel Gillamac said national roads in Barangays Poblacion and Taguikan in Borbon town are impassable as well as in Barangays Quimakot and Kabongan in Danao City, Poblacion and Tabunok in Tabuelan, Cotcot in Liloan, Camotes and the roads of San Francisco and Danlag in Consolacion.

Sanchez said the provincial government may have failed to achieve their "zero casualty" aim for the typhoon, but he hopes to have it remain in the smallest number possible.

One person was killed and two people are still considered missing shortly after the typhoon made landfall in the Visayas region Friday morning.

An elderly woman died after a coconut tree fell on her in Barangay Mahawak, Medellin town, at past 8 a.m.

In Balamban town, a tugboat captain is still missing after he fell into the sea off Barangay Buanoy at past 7 a.m. while he was about to disembark from the boat.

Rescuers are still searching for Capt. Celito Baluntang, of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, captain of the Cebu Dreams Tugboat of Cebu Asiatic Shipping and Port Inc.

SPO1 Jose Villarino said that Baluntang was about to disembark from the tugboat after he docked in Pier 3 inside the Tsuneishi Heavy Industries when strong winds and big waves hit the boat, causing him to fall into the water.

In Talisay City, a man who was believed to be drunk, fell into the Mananga River in Barangay Tabunok at past noon.

Manolito Casipong, 30, of Barangay San Isidro, was reportedly seen drunk by residents before he went missing at the river.

DOLE: More job fairs set for CV before yearend

By John M. Destacamento (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz recently urged employers to continue playing their cooperative stance in providing more productive opportunities to jobseekers as she announced there are still more than a hundred job fairs scheduled from November to December this year.

In making the announcement, Baldoz reiterated her observation that job fairs are more viable and more economical venues both to search for workers and to search for jobs.

"The year 2013 is almost over, but we in the DOLE are keen to really open up more opportunities to job seekers, hence our job fairs will continue to be conducted until the close of the year," she said.

According to DOLE’s website, the job fairs slated in Cebu for the remaining months of the year include: November 9—Abellana National School, Cebu City Sports Center hosted by Public Employment Service Office (PESO)-Cebu City and Department of Manpower Development and Placement (DMDP).

On the same day, a similar job fair will be held at Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex hosted by PESO-Mandaue City.

On November 10, a job fair will be held at Asturias Sports Complex hosted by PESO-Asturias, Cebu while on November 16, 23, and 30, a barangay area level job fair in Cebu City will be hosted by PESO-Cebu City and DMDP.

On December 1, PESO-Cebu Province will host a job fair at the Cebu Provincial Capitol. Further, on December 8 and 16, another barangay area level job fair will be conducted in Cebu City and at DMDP Office on F. Ramos Street, Cebu City, hosted by PESO-Cebu City and DMDP.

In Bohol, a job fair will be held at Bohol Cultural Center in Tagbilaran City on November 23.

In a report, Baldoz took the opportunity to thank employers for their tireless participation in year-round job fairs which are one of DOLE's strategies in the pursuit of the overarching goal stated by President Benigno S. Aquino III, in his 22-point labor and employment agenda, to “invest in our country’s top resource, our human resource, to make us more competitive and employable” by addressing job mismatch.

According to Baldoz, the country’s network of local government units and Public Employment Service Offices under the supervision of the Bureau of Local Employment, including DOLE’s regional offices, will host the DOLE's job fairs for the remaining days of 2013.

"We are constantly promoting better coordination between employers, the academe, and the government to strengthen cooperation so that the opportunities in the job fairs will be accessible to jobseekers in major cities, municipalities, and even in the barangays," said Baldoz.

Based on a preliminary report of the BLE, some 17,390 establishments and employers actively participated in 916 job fairs in the first nine months of the year.

These fairs assisted 539,633 jobseekers, of whom some 15.7 percent, or 84,650, have been hired-on-the-spot (HOTS), while others were assisted in completing their requirements for eventual job hiring, including referral to not just one, but several, job vacancies.

She also said the onsite presence in the job fairs of DOLE and other government agencies, such as the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, ensured that workers received related assistance, including skills training, retooling and upgrading to enhance their employability.

DENR-7 meets target this year for issuance of residential patents

By Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - Isabelo Montejo, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-7 (DENR-7) regional executive director, said of the 2,600 residential patents targeted for this year, the DENR-7 granted 2,584 patents as of October 31, 2013 based on the consolidated reports from various field offices in the four provinces in Central Visayas.

Based on the report released, Cebu province approved 708 residential patents, Bohol 588, Negros Oriental 1,274, and Siquijor province 14.

For the agricultural patent issuance, DENR-7 information officer Eddie Llamedo said the agency issued 17, 750 patents or 89 percent accomplishment against its target of distributing 19,950 patents for 2013.

Montejo in a statement said the agency will fast track patent issuance to fully complete all its deliverables by the end of this month.

Montejo attributed the accomplishment to the efforts made by provincial officials.

Issuance of patents is in line with the implementation of Republic Act 10023, or the New Free Patent Act, which provides that DENR will process a free patent title application to any Filipino citizen who is an actual applicant of a residential land.

Lapu-Lapu’s annual fluvial parade to be held Nov. 12

By Jose P. Sollano (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The annual fluvial procession in Lapu-Lapu City, held in honor of patron the Virgin of the Rule, will be held on November 12.

City Tourism Commission chairman Damian Gomez Jr. said preparations are being made for the affair next week.

The procession will start at 7:00 a.m. from the Pacific Cebu Resort wharf at Suba-Basbas and will culminate at Muelle Osmeña at around 9:00 after covering a distance of almost three fourths of the coastal line of Mactan Island.

Initiated by the Lapu-Lapu City Tourism Commission, the fluvial procession has since gained cooperation from the Philippine Coast Guard, Philippne Coast Guard Auxilliary, Philippine Air Force, Philippine Navy, Pacific Cebu Resort, Inc.Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation, City Health Office, LARSEN, NERVE Center, Lapu-Lapu City Police Office, City Traffic Management System, PumpBoat operators, Jet Ski’s Operators, Catholic Religious Groups, the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart(MSC) and the Metro Ferry Corporation.

Lapu-Lapu City Tourism Commissioner Donatilla “Naty” H. Amores leads the fluvial committee.

Following the 5:30 a.m. mass that will be held at the Marigondon Parish Church, the icon will be brought by motorcade to the Pacific Cebu Resort where it will be boarded on a yacht offered by Lee Joseph Gonzales.

Flowers will be donated by an anonymous Marian devotee.

While the procession is in progress, a Philippine Air Force chopper will drop petals.

The chopper will make two more drops while the yacht carrying the icon is in the vicinity of Marcelo Fernan Bridge and at the Muelle Osmeña.

The best decorated and most symbolic pump boats (outrigger vessels) will win prizes.

The tourism commission will announce the composition of this year’s board of judges for the contest at a later date.

The M/B Birhen sa Regla, the city-owned sea ambulance, will be available to medical groups while the Boyla pump boat will accommodate members of the media who wish to cover the event.

Boarding passes can be procured at the Lapu-Lapu City Tourism Office.

PB asks towns to retrofit old structures

By Victor Anthony V. Silvat (Correspondent, Cebu Daily News)

THE Cebu Provincial Board (PB) passed a resolution requesting all local government units in the province to require retrofitting of structures that have been standing for 10 years or more.

The legislation was approved by the Board in its regular session yesterday.

Board Member Thadeo Ouano sponsored the resolution in response to the effects of the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the provinces of Cebu and Bohol.

“With public safety as first priority, there is a need to reconstruct all old structures to qualify to the National Building Code standards which must be done immediately before another disaster happens,” Ouano stated in his resolution.

Aside from asking LGUs to require the retrofitting of old structures, it also said buildings may be converted into “green buildings” if possible to make them environment-friendly and resource-efficient.

All mayors of cities and municipalities were sent copies of the resolution for their appropriate action.

DOTC offers more 'treats' for winning bidder of Mactan airport project

By Darwin G. Amojelar (

MANILA - Trick or treat ain't over yet, as far as the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is concerned.

The agency just made the contract for the P17.5 billion Mactan Cebu International Airport New Passenger Terminal Project sweeter.

In a special bid bulletin, the DOTC said the agency added provisions to the concession agreement after a series of consultations with the seven bidders. Hereunder are the new provisions to the contract:

- Warranty on the existing Mactan Cebu Airport structures and buildings for one year, under which DOTC will ensure the existing assets are structurally sound for purposes of their current use and operation;

- In case this proves to be incorrect based on a performance-based appraisal conducted by a reputable structural engineering firm (mutually acceptable by the grantors and the concessionaire), the reasonable costs of the inclusion of additional works, provision of services or responsibilities for the purpose of ensuring the structural soundness of the structures and buildings comprising the existing assets shall be for the account of the grantors;

- The Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) will undertake a timely amendment of the provisions of Administrative Order No.2, Series of 2011 to enable the concessionaire to charge other apron fees. The winning concessionaire however will undertake public consultation, prior to and in the course of determining the rates for other apron charges;

Prior to the above, DOTC earlier made the following changes to the concession agreement:

- The grantors or any government agency are prohibited from constructing and operating any new international or domestic airport for handling scheduled commercial passenger traffic in Mactan and Cebu islands "at any time before the end of the 25th contract year" (up from 20 years) or when the passenger traffic reaches 20 million passengers for three years, whichever is later;

- The government is prohibited from upgrading any existing domestic airport within the Mactan and Cebu islands to international status;

- The government however is not restricted from developing other means of transportation, any new and existing airports catering to chartered flights only, and airports that may be established in the islands of Bantayan and Camotes – both in the province of Cebu;

- The grantors or any government agency are prohibited at any time to construct or cause to be constructed any competing commercial car parking facility or any competing hotel facilities on the land under the control of MCIAA within a radius of 500 meters from the perimeter of the project land; and

- The grantor or any government authority however may construct or cause to be constructed car parking facilities for the exclusive use of officials and employees of the MCIAA or any government authority rendering services at the existing airport.

Should the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) approve the changes to the contract, then the DOTC Bids and Awards Committee would inform the bidders of the new terms before submission of offers.

DOTC set the deadline for submission of bids on November 15.

DOTC said the seven prequalified bidders are MPIC-JGS Airport Consortium, AAA Airport Partners, Filinvest-CAI Consortium, SMC-Incheon Airport Consortium, First Philippine Airports Consortium, Premier Airport Group and GMR Infrastructure-Megawide Consortium.

These groups have tapped airport operators from South Korea, Singapore, the US, France, New Zealand, Switzerland and India.

One of the Aquino administration's public-private partnership (PPP) ventures, the project involves the construction of a new world-class international passenger terminal building in MCIA, with a capacity of about eight million passengers per year; renovation and expansion of the existing terminal; installation of all the required equipment; and the operation of both new and existing facilities.

When this new international terminal building is completed, the existing terminal, which caters to both domestic and international passengers, will then be converted into an exclusively domestic passenger terminal.

Cebu-based foundation presents counterparting scheme to repair, rebuild Bohol schools

By Eddie Barrita [(PNA), CTB/EB]

CEBU CITY, Nov. 3 (PNA) -- A Cebu-based foundation has presented to Bohol local government officials a counterparting scheme to help repair and rebuild schools damaged by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last Oct. 15.

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (Rafi) has implemented the same counterparting scheme with LGUs in Cebu.

Anthony Dignadice, Rafi education development unit executive director, said that under the scheme, Rafi provides the materials while the LGUs provide the manpower in building schools.

He said the education cluster of Bohol’s Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) has relayed to Rafi that out of 7,169 classrooms in Bohol, at least 852 were totally destroyed and 1,912 classrooms were damaged.

In a statement, Rafi said it sent a team to Bohol last week to assess the quake’s damage, especially to schools.

The team learned from the Bohol PDRRMC that 230 school buildings were destroyed, while 409 school buildings were damaged.

Of the 639 school buildings affected by the quake, 273 or 43 percent have been assessed by a joint team of Bohol and Manila engineers.

“Classrooms and school facilities that were declared unsafe have been cordoned off, alternative learning sites have been determined for schools that have damage, (and) resources for purchase of tents have been mobilized,” stated the report provided to Rafi by the PDRRMC.

The report brought up the need for “psycho-social first aid” for Bohol’s 280,524 students and 8,519 teachers.

More people expected in cemeteries today: Cops: Peaceful All Saints’ Day

By Niña G. Sumacot & Kristine B. Quintas with Ria Mae Y. Booc and Flor Z.Perolina /QSB (The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines - The observance of All Saints’ Day in Cebu City, as well as in neighboring cities and towns yesterday was peaceful according to police and local government officials.

People already started visiting their departed loved ones in the various cemeteries yesterday but authorities expect a bigger crowd today, All Souls’ Day.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama checked some of the cemeteries in the city and was satisfied with the intensified police visibility in all areas.

“I am really satisfied with the police visibility kay ang moduaw sa cemetery will not be scared. Nalipay kaayo ko kay all public assistance centers have been established and the spirit of barangay bayanihan is greatly present,” Rama said.

Cebu City has a total of 22 cemeteries. The bigger and older ones are the Calamba, Carreta and Queen City Gardens.

Among the cemeteries that Rama visited were the ones in Pardo, Labangon, Calamba, Old San Miguel Lorega, Queen City Gardens, and Cebu Memorial Park. The mayor offered prayers and lit candles in all the cemeteries he visited.

He also visited the graves of his grandfather, Vicente Rama, relatives and friends at Cempark, as well as the graves of the 47 unidentified victims of the ill-fated MV St. Thomas Aquinas.

Police Station 3 Commander Wildemar Tiu and Police Station 6 Senior Inspector Chuc Barandog said there were no untoward incidents reported yesterday, except for minor incidents like the stealing of flowers and candles.

Barandog said that an estimated 30,000 people visited the Calamba cemetery yesterday while Tiu said that an estimated 7,000 people visited the Carreta cemetery.

Both police officials said that the crowd in all cemeteries in the city is expected to increase today.

To ensure the safety and security of the people visiting cemeteries, especially Carreta and Calamba, Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras were installed.

Due to the intensified police visibility, Rama commended Cebu City Police Chief Noli Romana for ensuring a peaceful and orderly observance of All Saints’ and All Souls’ days in the city.

In Mandaue City, police chief Sr./Supt Petronelli Baldebrin said more than 400 policemen were deployed yesterday at the police assistance centers in each of the eight cemeteries, North Bus Terminal and the six wharfs in the city.

He said there were also policemen tasked to conduct checkpoints in major city streets.

The Mandaue City Government also set up outposts for paramedics in the city’s major cemeteries.

Jamaal James Calipayan, executive secretary of Mayor Jonas Cortes, said more than 20 paramedics from the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation and the Accident Control and Emergency Response Team are assigned at the outpost.

Meanwhile, Police Regional Office 7 director Danilo Constantino also inspected large cemeteries outside Cebu City particularly in Tangke, Talisay City and San Fernando town.

Apart from the lack of Public Assistance Centers at the Tangke Cemetery, Constantino said the security measures in the cemeteries were in place and not a single untoward incident was reported.

Police personnel who were deployed a day before All Saints’ Day will continually man their posts until tomorrow, said Constantino.

The PRO 7 chief reminded the public anew to be extra vigilant especially that more people are sure to flock the cemeteries today.

All Saints’, All Souls’ days: Police security in place

By Niña G. Sumacot, Jessa J. Agua & Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon /LPM (The Philippine Star)

CEBU, Philippines - Following inspection yesterday, Police Regional Office-7 director Danilo Constantino said everything is in place for security at ce-meteries in Cebu City during observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

Constantino also inspected the south and north bus terminals as well as the seaports after inspecting Calamba and Carreta cemeteries.

“Nakita natin lahat ng security measures pinapatupad naman,” said Constantino.

The PRO-7 director first inspected South Bus Terminal where he handed out leaflets on security tips to passengers.

A sufficient number of policemen from Cebu City and Cebu Provincial Police Office were already deployed to anticipate the influx of passengers.

Over 500 police personnel were also deployed in 22 cemeteries in the city to assist barangay tanods.

Cebu City Police Office director Noli Romana said security cameras were also installed in Carreta and Calamba cemeteries.

Response teams

The public may still call police hotline 166 for medical emergencies today and tomorrow.

“We will have the same setup as what we had during the election. We will continue to link with PNP hotline 166 and the police will be the one to inform us of an alarm where nearby mobile Emergency Medical Services team will immediately be deployed to respond,” Councilor Dave Tumulak said.

Basak Pardo Emergency Rescue (BPER) will deploy three ambulance units while one unit each from Inayawan Rescue Unit, Ang Labangon Emergency Team (ALERT), and Pit-os Rescue Unit will be on standby.

The Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation (ERUF) will send five teams while Philippine Red Cross will deploy two.

“You see, despite what happened to CCMC (Cebu City Medical Center) being affected by the earthquake, we are responding to medical needs of our constituents. Apart from mobile emergency response teams, we also have our health centers,” Tumulak said.

City Traffic Operations Management (CITOM) executive director Atty. Rafael Yap said more personnel are deployed in cemeteries around the city with Cempark having the most number.

“Just came from Cempark, Queen City, Carreta, and Calamba cemeteries. So far so good, orderly ra,” Yap said after conducting an inspection yesterday afternoon.

Mayor Michael Rama also conducted ocular inspection in all major cemeteries.

A traffic rerouting plan was earlier announced to divert vehicles in areas near major cemeteries in the city.

Prevention Restoration Order Beautification Enhancement (PROBE) chief Raquel Arce said they would regulate vendors inside the cemeteries.

“We divided the team into three. Team south for Pardo, Calamba and A. Lopez cemetery, north team covers Talamban, Cempark Queen City, Carreta, Barrio Luz, Osmeña cemetery. The central team operates in Carbon Market complex for Operation Buwak,” Arce told The Freeman.

Meanwhile, the city government’s “Piso Mo, Hospital Ko for CCMC” campaign will also hit the cemeteries.

“We will play our five minute audio visual presentation that we presented during the launch of the campaign and will have personnel speaking over megaphones. This is part of our information dissemination drive and also a chance for those who would want to contribute but could not personally go to designated areas for donations,” city information officer Carlo Dugaduga told The Freeman.

DILG memo

The Department of Interior and Local Government directed all regional directors and mayors to deploy law enforcers and barangay tanods in cemeteries.

DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, in a memorandum, also directed local chief executives to convene their Local Peace and Order Councils to formulate contingency plan on peace and order and public safety.

As part of the contingency plan, Roxas specifically cited the need to deploy law enforcers, barangay tanods and medical personnel in public and private cemeteries and memorial parks all over the country.

In a separate statement, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-7 urged the public to keep cemeteries garbage-free during the All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

“We strongly advise everyone to use materials that are reusable or recyclable so that we produce less solid waste,” DENR-7 Regional Executive Director Dr. Isabelo R. Montejo said.

Montejo reminded that local government units have the “primary task” of enforcing the provisions of Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

Meanwhile, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-7 issued special permits for buses travelling outside their regular routes.

LTFRB-7 regional director Ahmed Cuizon said that as of yesterday, 16 special permits were issued for the North Bus Terminal and 19 for the South Bus Terminal.

Cuizon said the Land Transportation Office-7 and LTFRB-7 have established help desks for special permit issuance, passenger assistance and vehicle inspections.

Cebu Port Authority security chief Oscar Lopez said they have put up help desks in terminals since October 25 until November 4.

Coast Guard commander for Central Visayas, Commodore William Melad, said there’s an increase in passenger volume at the ports in the afternoon yesterday.