Php 15.00 • 20 PAGES Yehey, we are
VOL.5 ISSUE 3 • MARCH 7, 2012
Serving a seamless society
Sabah’s icon Page 10
now a daily!
Globe, Smart to fix 911 glitch
Cop, 5 others die in Panabo Story down below
Great Barrier Reef Page 14
n Responding police officer, 2
suspects, 3 civilians killed in failed robbery attempt
by Gregorio G. Deligero
Boulder race Page 3
police officer and five civilians were killed during a shootout between law enforcers and suspected holdup men in Panabo City at high noon yesterday. Among those killed were two suspects riding in tandem who engaged city police officers in a shootout. The suspects robbers broke into a commercial establishment in Panabo City, Davao del Norte. Supt. Marvin Manuel Pepino, Panabo City chief of police, said that two motorcycle-riding suspects, armed with caliber .45 pistols, barged into Yidong Agri Supply, which sells bananas and agricultural supplies, along Park Avocado, Kilometer
Globe, SMART to fix 911’ glitch by Jade C. Zaldivar
AVAO City Vice Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte yesterday grilled representatives of the Globe and Smart telecommunications companies on why the telcos suddenly changed the system of the public accessing Central 911. The telcos officials appeared before members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod presided by the vice mayor to answer questions why their firms made the move without informing the public and the city
SUSPECT. A suspected snatcher was nabbed by the members of the Mobile Patrol Group of the Davao City Police Office after he allegedly stole a cellphone. The suspect sustained a cut in
the upper left eye after he was mauled by concerned citizens.
officials. “Okay lang sana if it were made clear from the very beginning, but that was not the case,” the vice mayor said, adding “it
had been going on for a long time and the people did not realize it.” During yesterday’s session, the city council converted itself into a committee
2 THE BIG NEWS Sara gives verbal order to implement gun ban by Jade C. Zaldivar
HILE the city awaits a formal response from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has issued a verbal order to local police to implement a six-day gun ban as an alternative to an earlier request in line with the celebration of the 75th Araw ng Dabaw. It may be recalled that the City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) met February 28 and passes a resolution requesting PNP Director General Nicanor Bartolome to declare a gun ban in Davao City for the whole month of March 20212. But Duterte-Carpio took it upon herself to verbally order the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) to prohibit the carrying of firearms from March 12 to 17. “Kabalo na man ka aning gobyerno, diyos ko Lord, 10,000 years bago mulihok. Katong sa CPOC niana mi nga one month para dili magku-
lang sa hinulatay sa approval,” Duterte-Carpio said Monday in a press conference. “Wala na namo gibutang didto sa CPOC resolution, pero inalternative amo na lang gi-verbal diri sa atoang local na kapulisan na nay gun-ban Monday sa opening, March 12 hanggang Saturday, March 17 sa pahalipay,” she said. The mayor on February 28 said she expected there will be a delay in the approval of the CPOC’s request thus she ordered for a month-long gun ban. “Rather than falling short, it’s better we lengthen the number of days,” the mayor said. With her expectation met, the mayor said the CPOC has agreed to an alternative which is to implement a gun-ban during the busiest days of the Araw celebrations when people will crowd the streets. The mayor, however, said they had received contact from the PNP informing
the local government that the approval is underway. “Gi-check namo the other day, naa na didto sa ilang operations. Nanawag na sila for clarification regarding the resolution,” she said. “We’ll just have to wait for action and/or final decision of the national headquarters regarding our request,” she added. Challenge to cops Meanwhile, the mayor said the DCPO cannot afford to be slack against criminality. “That is the reality of the workings of the city. Kinanglan mu-respond sila, mu-step up sa challenges. What is important is naga-trabaho ang atong kapulisan,” DuterteCarpio said. “The DCPO director, Colonel Ronald dela Rosa, has strengthened its overt and covert tactics. Gipakusog nila ilang patrolling, ilang police visibility. They do follow-ups, and call for communities and barangays to support the police,” she said.
to increase government revenues, bribe local governments with a larger piece of the pie and provide token prohibitions for environmentally critical areas. But this fails to address the more fundamental issues afflicting the industry,” he said. “We need a new law, not a rehashed EO,” said Casiño, citing the experience of the previous administration’s own mining EO (EO 270) which led to the proliferation of large-scale, environmentally destructive mining operations. Without a clear industrial strategy and the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, we will only be further depleting our mineral resources to the benefit of foreign mining corporations. What we need now is a more nationalist, people-oriented and ecologically-balanced mining law. The thrust should be to correct mining destruction and plunder, not to compromise the people’s interest with that of multinational corporations and profiteers,” Casiño said. The People’s Mining Bill authored by Casiño seeks to reorient the Philippine mining industry towards the “wise and sustainable development and judicious use” of the country’s mineral re-
sources. Among its key provisions are: ·The establishment of a centralized and strategic planning of the Philippine mining industry through the crafting and implementation of a National Industrialization Program and a National Mining Plan. ·The reorientation of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) as a scientific research institution under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with exclusive right to conduct exploration activities and identify strategic mineral resources needed for the country’s development. The creation of MultiSectoral Mineral Councils for designated mining areas, composed of representatives from the government, stakeholder groups, and affected communities, which will approve and monitor the conduct of mining activities in each respective area. · Upholding the rights and welfare of Philippine mining industry workers, indigenous peoples, and local communities. · The provision of appropriate support and protection to Filipino corporations and professional science and
Casino bats for new mining law
AYAN Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño is batting for new mining law after calling the government’s ‘fair mining policy’ a pipe dream under the existing Mining Act. Casiño, author of the People’s Mining Bill (HB 4315), has expressed doubt that President Benigno Aquino’s much awaited executive order (EO) on mining would be able to reform the mining industry. “The EO won’t be able to go beyond the defects of the Mining Act of 1995 in terms of lopsided benefits to foreign-owned and backed mining firms, its deficient environmental safeguards, its export orientation and lack of integration with the local economy, and the disempowerment of local communities,” he said. The EO is expected to, among others, introduce competitive bidding for mining rights, impose a wider ban on mining in some areas, as well as a new provision on increased economic valuations on projects before they are approved. “This EO will not change the bias for exports and its resulting unbridled extraction of our mineral wealth for other economies. It seems the thrust of the EO is merely
THE increase in net income of the Government Service Insurance System last year, P45.3 billion in 2010 to P57.6 billion as a result of the gains from the administration’s debt exchange during the first half of 2011 and the recall of the pension fund’s investments from international investment program.
THE MONEY private schools and colleges nationwide stand to lose with the implementation of Kindergarten to 12 program (K+12) of the Department of Education (DepEd) Over five years as the number of enrollees are expected to decline. The amount only covers the four-year undergraduate programs, not including fiveyear courses and graduate programs.
NUMBER of official development assistance (ODA) projects were release rates was below 50 percent. There were 18 projects whose disbursement rates were below 50 percent and three which did not disburse at funds at all last year.
VOL.5 ISSUE 3 • MARCH 7, 2012
PROTEST. Human rights activists stage a condemnation protest on Monday evening to criticize the snail-paced resolution of the brutal murder of NPA commander Leoncio “Ka Parago” Pitao’s daughter, Rebelyn, on 2009. The Davao City Council is currently
working for the passage of the Rebelyn Code as a protective mechanism for the victims of human rights violations. [Karlos Manlupig]
Rebelyn’s death: A mother’s lament by Lorie A. Cascaro T’S been three years since Rebelyn Pitao, a 20-year old teacher and daughter of revolutionary NPA chief, Leoncio Pitao, a.k.a. Ka Parago, was found dead on March 5, 2009. Her mother, Evangelyn Pitao, has been crying for justice ever since. In a phone interview during a press conference yesterday at Pia’s Café on Quimpo Boulevard, Davao City, Evangelyn expressed her dismay over the country’s slow-paced judicial system which she claims is playing deaf and dumb on the case. She pointed out that those who murdered her daughter remain free, referring to who she suspects are members of the military which has been hunting her husband, Evangelyn’s father. Mrs. Pitao, who did not arrive in the press conference for her security, said that she, together with her family and friends, is not giving up hope to achieve justice for Rebelyn.
Rebelyn code Inspired by the struggle for justice for Rebelyn’s death, Davao City councilor lawyer Karlo S. Bello filed the Rebelyn Code, an ordinance increasing the role of the city in observing and protecting the basic human rights of individuals in situations of armed conflict. Waiting for the third reading of the ordinance, Bello and co-author, lawyer Leah Librado, continue seeking the support of all councilors for the proposed ordinance, whose proponents want the local government unit to take an active role in the prosecution of human rights cases involving armed conflict. It will provide legal assistance and psychosocial interventions to the victims. Under the Rebelyn Code, a human rights legal assistance and resource office will be created and attached to the city mayors’ office. A multi-sectoral monitoring team will also be created composed of five members: representative of the city mayor, city legal offi-
cer in his capacity as the city human rights coordinator or his representative, chairman of the committee on civil, political, and human rights, and members from the private sectors appointed by the city mayor. CARHRIHL Framework Bello drafted this within the framework of the Comprehensive Agreement for the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) signed by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in 1998. It contains the fundamental human rights which will serve as guidelines and principles in the implementation of the provisions of Rebelyn Code. Rebelyn’s body was found 20 hours after she was killed bearing five stab wounds in a canal in Carmen town, Davao del Norte. Her death enraged human rights groups, especially women groups like Gabriela.
AVAO City-based One Network Bank is branching out to the Visayas with a merger with an Iloilo-based rural bank as the first of five branches within the year. ONB President Alex V. Buenaventura said that even if the merger with the rural bank does not push through ONB will still pursue the plan to set up branches in areas in Iloilo which are already identified. “It would be cheaper for the bank to set up new branches with about
P7 million of capital expense for each bank than to merge considering that this would mean the Mindanao-based bank has to buy out some owners of the rural bank it will merge with,” he said. He however admitted the advantage of merging with the local bank is that it will have “ready clientele” for ONB, currently considered as among the widest rural banks in the country. “Another advantage of merging with a local rural bank is that we can
use our five licenses to set up five more branches in Mindanao,” Buenaventura explained, pointing out that under the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas regulations, a bank can only apply for five branches at a time. The bank has been closely watching and studying the Visayas market, particularly Central Visayas since late 2010 when it started contemplating of expanding in the area, he said. Buenaventura said ONB plans to put up
ONB eyes branches in the Visayas area
VALUE of Philippine food exports in 2011, showing an increase of 21 percent over the $2.12-billion exports income the previous year. However, Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization, Inc. (Philfoodex) president Roberto C. Amores said much can still be done to enhance our export performance.
NUMBER of prospective runof-river hydropower projects whose contracts with the government are up for grabs. Energy Undersecretary Jose M. Layug, the government will use the bidding model in granting renewable energy service contracts as against the first-come, first-served scheme.
P800T BUDGET approved by Mayor Sara Z. Duterte delineate Davao City’s eight watershed areas as identified by the Davao Ctiy Watershed Code.
THE BIG NEWS
VOL.5 ISSUE 3 • MARCH 7, 2012
Travel expo proves vibrant eco-tourism
RENEWAL. Davaoenos flock the one-stop shop renewal center of the Land Transportation Office in SM City Davao to renew their driver’s license on Tuesday. The satellite
renewal center in the mall aims to provide to the public an easier way and venue to renew their licenses. [Karlos Manlupig]
MGB 11 to conduct mining census T
HE Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau (MGB) 11 will soon start conducting census on small scale miners, and in assessing the situation of smallscale mining (SSM) areas. Guesting in the recent Kapihan sa PIA, MGB 11 Regional Director Edilberto Arreza revealed the plans of MGB 11 to visit SSM sites in the Davao region to update the list of SSM groups, and to know the condition of SSM sites. “We would like to know the concentration of the mining areas and the conditions therein,” he said. He, however, made it
clear that MGB had no intention of recommending to stop SSM operations but is looking forward to helping them adopt safe ways of mining and eventually to “possibly recommend their areas as a Minahan ng Bayan.” “Nandyan na sila (They’re there) and we can’t stop them,” he said. Arreza cited Compostela Valley as the biggest area which the MGB targets to conduct its mining census starting this year. Nine of the 11 municipalities of Compostela Valley Province are rich in metallic mineral resources,
especially gold. These are Maragusan, Monkayo, New Bataan, Compostela, Nabunturan, Mawab, Maco, Mabini and Pantukan. Data from the office of Compostela Valley Provincial Gov. Arturo Uy revealed specific SSM areas located in Pamintaran and Tupaz in Maragusan; in sitios Balite and Buenas Tinago (Diwalwal) and in Pasian in Monkayo; Camanlangan, Andap and Manurigao in New Bataan; in Ngan in Compostela; in Inupoan, Saraban, Tagnocon and Mainit in Nabunturan; in Andapon and Andili in Mawab; New
Leyte, Panoraon, N. Barili, Teresa, Mainit and Masara in Maco; Golden Valley, De Oro, Anitapan and Mascareg in Mabini; and in Gumayan, Tiogdan, Araibo, Lumanggang, Panganason, Diat, Lit-ag, Biasong, Limatukan, Pulang Lupa and Boringot in Pantukan. However, the provincial government of Compostela Valley through the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB) has approved only seven people’s small mining areas or Minahan ng Bayan, covering 506 hectares.
HE high turnout of travel and tour operators who joined this year’s Mega Travel Sale organized by the Davao Association of Tour Operators (DTAA) confirmed the importance of the Davao market to the country’s eco-tourism industry. DTAA president Krizia Tan told the media that 60 tour operators participated in the travel expo held from March 2 to 4 at Abreeza Mall, 60 percent of whom came from companies operating outside Davao while the rest are local operators. “Last year’s participation was mostly companies based in Davao but we are glad that many from outside the city joined and we’re happy with the turnout of the expo,” said Tan. Apart from the different private tour operators that offered affordable rates for travel and tours, three tourism boards also took the chance to introduce their tourist destinations to Dabawenyos. Tourism boards of Sabah , Malaysia , and Indonesia were around to introduce money-value tour packages. It was also during the opening of the travel expo that Indonesian Consul General in Davao City Eko
Hartono announced the re-opening of the DavaoManado connection. Two flights per week will soon be availed of by local travelers going to Manado , the capital of North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Tan and the rest of the local tour operators took it as a welcome development that would further boost tourism in the City. The Sabah Tourism Board officials came to assess the viability of a direct flight from Davao to Kota Kinabalu. The entry of budget airlines like the newest AirAsia that flies DavaoClark has also contributed to the increasing appreciation of Dabawenyos to travel both domestic and international. Tan explained that local tourists still choose HongKong as the most preferred international destination while the most preferred domestic destinations are Bohol, Palawan, and Boracay. The DTAA targeted P10 million in gross sales from the travel expo. Tan expects to surpass this target given that participating tour operators were clearly satisfied with the turnout during the first two days of the event. [pia 11/Frances Mae gevera-Macapagat]
THE BIG NEWS
VOL.5 ISSUE 3 • MARCH 7, 2012
Sara to schools:
‘Be lenient with parents’ by Jade C. Zaldivar
N D E RSTA N D I N G that tuition fee hikes in schools are inevitable, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio appealed to educational institutions to ‘be lenient’ with parents. The mayor appealed to schools to provide leeway for parents to ease the burden of financing their children to school. “My message to schools is, if their petition for a tuition fee hike is approved by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), they should implement leniency on payments,” Duterte-Carpio said Monday during her regular press conference at the city hall conference room. “They should accept promissory notes from parents, or guarantee the payment schemes. So that
even if they implement an increase parents can still cope,” she added. CHED 11 disclosed last week that 41 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), or 44 percent of the 93 HEIs in the region, have petitioned for tuition hike which will be implemented in school year 2012-2013. The mayor also said that as a parent herself, she relates to why parents do not welcome tuition fee hikes. “Katungod na nila mureklamo. Even ang mga estudyante katungod na nila to demand asa man padulong ang ilang mga idungag nga bayad. Bisan ako kung ginikanan ko mu-oppose ko ug increase,” she said. However, she added that she understands why schools need to hike tuitions. “But siyempre nakasabot pud ta nga sa pagoperate ug skwelahan, ang
mga gastuson naga-taas. Sama pud na sa pag-operate ug local government, naga-taaas ang gatuson so kinahanglan sila muincrease sa tuition fees and miscellaneous fees,” the mayor added. City scholarship program Meanwhile, the city provides scholarship to high-performing but financially-challenged students. For school year 20112012 the city shouldered the education of some 130 students under the Scholarship for Tertiary Education Program-Financial Assistance (STEPFA). “The scholars are required to maintain high grades. If they step up their grades during the previous year then their financial grant will increase, but if they have failing grades then their grant will drop,” DuterteCarpio said.
cut will be pro-rated to all electric cooperatives in Mindanao so it means we’ll have extended rotating brownouts by then,” Tudio said. Socoteco I has been implementing hour-long rotating brownouts within its service area, which covers Koronadal City and the municipalities of Tampakan, Banga, Tantangan, Norala, Surallah, Banga, Sto. Nino, T’boli and Lake Sebu in South Cotabato; and, Lutayan town in Sultan Kudarat. This city, the entire Sarangani province and the municipalities of Tupi and Polomolok in South Cotabato is served by Socoteco II, which implemented periodic rotating brownouts lasting about an hour since January. Tudio said that they implemented the rotating brownouts due to the power supply cuts imposed by the NPC and NGCP as a result of Mindanao’s worsening power supply deficit. Based on the power situation outlook released
by NGCP Tuesday morning, the island’s power deficit is presently at 154 MW based on the total system capacity of 1,099 MW and the peak power demand of 1,253 MW. But Tudio said they received a separate notice from the NGCP and NPC that Mindanao’s power deficit for Tuesday has reached 240 MW and is expected to increase to 300 MW during the peak hours.
seeking P75 million in damages against Edwin G. Espejo, chair of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines in South Cotabato, Sarangani and General Santos City. Pacquiao’s complaint stemmed from the recent articles of Espejo, which appeared at online news outfits Asian Correspondent and MindaNews,
where he maintains the columns “Pacquiao Watch” and “Southern Comfort.” At the Asian Correspondent, the piece was titled “Stolen car dealer finds refuge in Pacman mansion,” while MindaNews titled it “Dealer of stolen cars last seen in Pacman mansion.” Citing reports, Es-
DEFY THE RAGING WATERS. White water tubing is just one of the four disciplines involved in the upcoming 2nd International Mt. Apo Boulder Face Challenge on April 28-29 in Sta. Cruz,
Davao del Sur. For more details, check out www.boulderface. com [Dot 11]
Power outages in Mindanao worse next month 1,500 women set
HE continuing daily rotating brownouts here and other areas in Mindanao are seen to worsen by next month reportedly due to another round of maintenance works set by the National Power Corporation (NPC) on the Pulangi hydro power plants in Bukidnon. Engr. Santiago Tudio, general manager of the South Cotabato I Electric Cooperative (Socoteco I), said Tuesday they received a notice from the NPC that it would shut down the combined 150-megawatt (MW) Pulangi plants by April to pave the way for their scheduled preventive maintenance and river desilting operations. He said they were still waiting for the final notice about the matter from the NPC and power transmission firm National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) but said they were informed in advance to allow them to prepare and properly inform their power consumers. “The 150-MW supply
Due to the power deficit, he said the NPC was only able to supply 25 MW to their service area out of their contracted supply of 31 MW. He said the situation was even worse in the Socoteco II area, which earlier lost 30 percent of its power requirements or around 30 MW. “But we’re not much affected yet in terms of the rotating brownouts when compared to the almost half-day outages in other areas because of the supply augmentation from Therma Marine,” Tudio said.
He was referring to the separate contracts forged last year by both Socoteco I and II with the Aboitiz-owned Therma Marine Inc. (TMI) for a standby supply of 4 MW and 18 MW, respectively. “But overall, our situation is very volatile because of the unstable condition of NPC’s hydro power plants so our group (Mindanao electric cooperatives) is continually working with the DOE (Department of Energy) to find other alternative power sources for us here,” he said. In a meeting in Manila last Feb. 24 to 25, Tudio said Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras informed them that the government will immediately send to Mindanao the two power barges presently stationed at the Navotas port in Manila to help offset the area’s power shortage. The power barges reportedly have a capacity of 40 to 50 MW each, he added. [allen v. estabillo/MinDanews]
Pacman files P75-M libel case vs GenSan reporter
OR writing a story about the reported presence of an alleged dealer of stolen cars in the mansion of boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” D. Pacquiao two weeks ago, a local reporter has been slapped with a multi-million peso libel complaint. Called the “Pacman,” the boxing champion is
pejo wrote that Mohammad ‘Bong’ Akia, former head of the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group in Region 12, was seen disembarking from a commercial plane from Manila two weeks ago, and immediately boarded the waiting vehicle of Pacquiao who flew in on the same flight. “Reports said Akia
to join protest rally by Lorie A. Cascaro Some 1,500 women are expected to march in Davao City in celebration of the International Women’s Day on March 8, as well as to protest President Aquino’s closeness to the US government which has resulted in inequities for the Filipino people, said GABRIELA Southern Mindanao Secretary General Mary Ann Sapar. The rallyists will be coming from the sectors of urban poor, peasant, workers, youth and nongovernment organizations on women and children, and barangay chapters of Gabriela Women’s Party. They will assemble at Freedom Park, Roxas Ave. and march to Rizal Park where a cultural program will be held featuring the women’s stand on socioeconomic and political issues under the Aquino administration. “The continuing oil price increases and privatization of public utilities are some of the manifestations of the US-Aquino regime’s conspiracy, Sa-
par told Edge Davao. Gabriela demands for the repeal of EPIRA, EVAT and the Oil Deregulation Law, which, according to the group, “gives power generation, transmission, distribution, and oil price control solely in the hands of private companies.” “It is us women who bear the brunt of rising prices of daily needs in the face of lower incomes and increasing number of unemployed.” Sapar said. Sapar is inviting all women in Davao City coming from different sectors to join the mobilization on March 8, saying that it is a significant way to show their protest against the continuing economic crisis. Meanwhile, the Gabriela Women’s Party sponsored House Bill 4704 to amend Section 4 of RA 9337, urging Congress to exempt oil and petroleum products, as well as prime commodities and basic necessities from the imposition of EVAT. Representatives Luzviminda Ilagan and Emmi De Jesus are also pushing for the repeal of the EPIRA law and the removal of the 12% VAT on electricity.
‘WE recognize that Tesda has an important role to play in the K+12 reform initiative and under the leadership of the DepEd, we affirm our commitment to make it work and succeed.’
--Director General Joel Villanueva of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda)
1. Gross National Income Growth Rate (At Constant 2000 Prices)
3.5% 4th Qtr 2011
2. Gross Domestic Product Growth Rate (At Constant 2000 Prices)
3.7% 4th Qtr 2011 USD 3,342 Million Nov 2011 USD 4,985 Million Nov 2011 USD -1,643 Million Nov 2011 USD -114 Million Dec 2011 P4,442,355 Million Nov 2011
3. Exports 1/ 4. Imports 1/ 5. Trade Balance 6. Balance of Payments 2/ 7. Broad Money Liabilities 8. Interest Rates 4/
4.71% Oct 2011 P128,745 Million Nov 2011 P 4,898 Billion Oct 2011
9. National Government Revenues 10. National government outstanding debt 11. Peso per US $ 5/
P 43.65 Dec 2011
12. Stocks Composite Index 6/
3,999.7 Sept 2011
13. Consumer Price Index 2006=100
128.1 Jan 2012
14. Headline Inflation Rate 2006=100
3.9 Jan 2012
15. Core Inflation Rate 2006=100
3.4 Dec 2011
16. Visitor Arrivals
284,040 Sept 2011
17. Underemployment Rate 7/
19.1% Oct 2011
18. Unemployment Rate 7/
6.4% Oct 2011
MONTHLY AVERAGE EXCHANGE RATE (January 2009 - January 2011) Month
Average December November October September August July June May April March
43.31 43.64 43.27 43.45 43.02 42.42 42.81 43.37 43.13 43.24 43.52
45.11 43.95 43.49 43.44 44.31 45.18 46.32 46.30 45.60 44.63 45.74
47.032 46.851 48.139
48.161 48.146 47.905 47.524 48.217
48.458 47.585 47.207
5 PBGEA not ready to accept oil for bananas THE ECONOMY
VOL.5 ISSUE 3 • MARCH 7, 2012
by Carlo P. Mallo
HILE it may seem a winwin solution, the banana exporting companies in the country are not yet counting on the proposed oil-forbananas barter trade agreement between the two countries. Not because the Philippines is allied with the United States, but simply be-
cause the banana exporters do not have the capacity to deal with oil. “If ever that will become a possibility, the government will have to step in and accept the oil for us and pay us in negotiable currency,” Stephen Antig, executive director of the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association, said in an interview.
Nearly two years ago, Senator Teofisto Guingona III arranged a meeting between the members of the PBGEA and Iranian officials to discuss trade agreements. Iran is facing multiple sanctions and boycotts from European countries and the United States for building its nuclear armory. Iran plays a crucial role in the country’s banana export industry
Under a good scenario, where the price of Brent averages this year at around 110 U.S. dollars per barrel, Asia, excluding Japan’ s total GDP growth, will be 6.6 percent. Under the bad scenario where oil price averages 125 dollars per barrel in each of the four quarters of this year, Nomura forecast total GDP growth to slow to 6.4 percent, and slow further to 6.1 percent in the ugly scenario, where the oil price averages 135 U.S. dollars per barrel for the year. Among the individual economies, Nomura predicted that the growth is hit hardest by falling about one percentage point in India, South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines, while China, Malaysia and Singapore are leastaffected if the ugly scenario takes place. According to Nomura, Asia, excluding Japan’s consumer price index, inflation will rise from 4.5 percent in the good scenario to 5.2 percent in the ugly scenario, led by big inflation surges of 1. 8 percentage point in the Philippines and Thailand. Asia excluding Japan’s 2012 total current account surplus will narrow from 1.4 percent of GDP in the good scenario to 0.6 percent in the ugly scenario, but with some big divergences across the region. In the ugly scenario, India’s current account deficit will increase to 4 percent of GDP, while Malaysia’s current account surplus will swell to 11.5 percent of its GDP. As for Asia excluding Japan’s aggregate fiscal deficit, it will widen from 2.1 percent of GDP
in the good scenario to 2.8 percent in the ugly scenario, led by increases of 0.9 percentage points in India, South Korea and the Philippines. Of these three, India would have the largest fiscal deficit at 5.9 percent of its GDP. The monetary policy outlook will be very different in the good and ugly scenarios. Nomura said nearly all Asian central banks will cut rates further this year in the good scenario, by 25 basis points to 100 basis points from current levels. By contrast, in the ugly scenario Nomura would expect policy rates to be kept on hold for the rest of this year in India and South Korea; and hiked by 25 basis points in Malaysia, by 50 basis points in Thailand, 75 basis points in the Philippines and 100 basis points in Indonesia, respectively. Only China will be expected to cut rates by 25 basis points in the ugly scenario.
as it accounts for the biggest market share in the Middle East. Based on the 2011 data of PBGEA, shipments to Iran by their members already reached an estimated P1.4 billion, or 84,731 tons with an exchange rate of $1:P42. While operations are still normal in Iran, Antig said that their members could only bleed for so long. “When the delays in
payments are already more than what we can bear, we will have to look at other markets,” Antig said. The banana industry is considering China and the United States as alternative markets once they lose Iran. “Most probably China, the United States is a little far, maybe in three more years,” Antig said.
Asia to suffer from oil price hikes IMF projects positive econ growth for PH A
SIAN economies, a major net importer of oil as a whole, will be much more adversely affected than most other regions if oil prices keep rising, Nomura Research warned in a latest report. The price of Brent crude was up nearly 15 percent last week from 108 U.S. dollars per barrel at the end of last year, hovering at about 124 U.S. dollars per barrel. While this pales in comparison to the 364 percent surge over the prior five years to the peak of 144 U.S. dollars per barrel in July 2008, Nomura said the recent run-up is not insignificant and the current level is already relatively high. Given that Asia, excluding Japan’s annual net imports of crude and refined petroleum, increased from 234 billion U.S. dollars in 2009 to 329 billion U.S. dollars in 2010, and to a record 447 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, Nomura estimated that a U.S. dollar per barrel rise in Brent crude could add 3.5 billion U.S. dollars to Asia’s monthly net oil import bill. Although Asia, excluding Japan, is not completely without oil reserves, but with its massive industrialization and growing consumer affluence, it only produces what is enough to cover onethird of its needs. The Japanese research house conducted “what if” exercise under three different scenarios to assess the impact on the gross domestic product growth, consumer price index inflation, current account balances, fiscal positions and policy interest rates for each Asian economies.
HE International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday said the overall macroeconomic condition of the Philippines is broadly favorable despite global uncertainties. “The outlook for the near term is broadly favorable, but subject to significant external risks,” the Wa s h i n g t o n - b a s e d global lender said in a report released after its consultation with Philippine authorities. “In this context, the key policy challenge is to safeguard macroeconomic stability while building the foundations for stronger and more inclusive growth over the medium term,” the report noted. The IMF lauded Philippine economic policies, saying pru-
TAX SEASON. BIR OIC Regional Director Atty. Glen Geraldino leads the 2012 tax campaign kick-off in Davao City on Tuesday. The “I love Philippines, I pay taxes” campaign aims to educate the public to be conscious
dent policies have underpinned a strong recovery and supported confidence. Philippine monetary policy is “appropriately supportive” of economic activity and inflation is “firmly in the middle of the target range,” the IMF said, adding that the fiscal policy is “appropriately focused” on supporting growth in the near term while aiming for consolidation over the medium term. The lender expressed support for the Philippine central bank’s policy of allowing orderly adjustments of the exchange rate to market pressures. The IMF expected the Philippine economy to expand by 4.2 percent this year, and 4.7 percent in 2013. (pna/Xinhua)
in fulfilling their tax obligations. The tax agency aims to collect P 10.2 billion pesos this year from the Davao region alone. [Karlos Manlupig]
as of august 2010
Cebu Pacific Daily Zest Air Daily Cebu Pacific Daily Philippine Airlines Daily Philippine Airlines Daily Cebu Pacific Daily Cebu Pacific Daily Cebu Pacific Daily Cebu Pacific Mon/Tue/Thu/Fri/Sun Philippine Airlines Daily Cebu Pacific Daily Silk Air Mon/Wed/Sat Cebu Pacific Thu Cebu Pacific Tue/Wed//Sat
5J961 / 5J962 Z2390 / Z2390 5J593 / 5J348 PR809 / PR810 PR819 / PR820 5J394 / 5J393 5J599 / 5J594 5J347 / 5J596 5J963 / 5J964 PR811 / PR812 5J595 / 5J966 MI588 / MI588 5J965 / 5J968 5J965 / 5J968
5:45 5:45 6:00 6:10 7:50 7:50 8:00 9:10 9:40 11:30 12:00 18:55 12:55 13:35
Manila-Davao-Manila Manila-Davao-Manila Cebu-Davao-Iloilo Manila-Davao-Manila Manila-Davao-Manila Zamboanga-Davao-Zamboanga Cebu-Davao-Cebu Iloilo-Davao-Cebu Manila-Davao-Manila Manila-Davao-Manila Cebu-Davao-Manila Davao-Cebu-Singapore Manila-Davao-Manila Manila-Davao-Manila
6:15 6:25 6:30 7:00 8:50 8:10 8:30 9:40 10:10 12:20 12:30 13:35 13:25 14:05
Silk Air Thu/Sun Cebu Pacific Mon/Tue/Wed/Fri Philippine Airlines August Zest Air Daily Cebu Pacific Daily Philippines Airlines Daily Cebu Pacific Mon/Tue/Thu/Sat Cebu Pacific Daily Cebu Pacific Tue/Sat/Sun Cebu Pacific Daily Airphil Express Daily Philippine Airlines Daily except Sunday Philippine Airlines Sunday
MI566 / MI566 5J507 / 5J598 15:55 Z2524 / Z2525 5J967 / 5J600 PR813 / PR814 5J215 / 5J216 5971 / 5J970 5J973 / 5J974 5J969 / 5J972 2P987 / 2P988 PR821 / PR822 PR821 / PR822
18:55 15:00 Mani2Mani 16:05 16:35 16:55 18:00 18:40 20:00 20:30 20:30 21:20 22:20
Davao-Singapore Cebu-Davao-Cebu 16:50 Cebu-Davao-Cebu Manila-Davao-Cebu Manila-Davao-Manila Cagayan de Oro-Davao-Cagayan de Oro Manila-Davao-Manila Manila-Davao-Manila Manila-Davao-Manila Manila-Davao-Manila Manila-Davao-Manila Manila-Davao-Manila
15:20 15:30 16:45 17:05 17:45 18:20 19:10 20:30 21:00 21:00 21:50 22:50
VOL.5 ISSUE 3 • MARCH 7, 2012
BSP approves consolidation of three rural banks in Mindanao T
HE Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Bangko Sentral), approved on 16 February 2012, the consolidation of the First Community Cooperative Bank of Misamis Occidental (FBMO), Cooperative Bank of Davao del Sur (CBDS) and Cooperative Bank of Surigao del Sur (CBSS) to form a new cooperative bank to be known as Consolidated Cooperative Bank (CCB). First Community Cooperative (FICCO),
a primary cooperative based in Cagayan de Oro City, which is the majority shareholder of FBMO, CBDS, CBSS, spearheaded the consolidation of the three banks. CCB, as the new consolidated entity, will assume all the assets and liabilities of the three constituent CBs. The plan of consolidation was a collective agreement of the common shareholders of FBMO, CBDS and CBSS in their desire to strengthen the financial position and operating efficiency of their respec-
tive cooperative banks with the intent to become a relevant player in the socio-economic development of Mindanao. The Bangko Sentral is actively promoting mergers, consolidations and acquisitions of cooperative banks as a means to promote larger and stronger institutions whose more solid capital position and wider branch network would enable them to deepen their reach in the countryside, spur lending activities in the unbanked and the
underserved areas, and eventually uplift the economic condition of the people residing in these communities. Among the incentives approved by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is that the consolidated bank, subject to compliance with certain requirements, will be allowed to establish branches/offices in major cities and towns of Mindanao. It will also be allowed to revalue existing properties necessary based on fair valuation.
LandBank goes global with Visa International
AND Bank clients may soon enjoy the benefits of convenient, cashless purchases worldwide through LANDBANK Visa International Debit Card. An agreement has been signed between Land Bank of the Philippines, the country’s official depository, and Visa Worldwide Pte., Limited to develop the said product. This card allows access to over 2 million ATMs and more than 31 million point-of-sale terminals connected to the Visa Worldwide network. With the International Visa Debit Card, Land Bank expects to not only expand service delivery reach to customers but also to reduce cash handling and overhead ATM costs once payments migrate to POS transactions. “This partnership with Visa likewise prepares us to respond to government requirements to institute reforms in payment and collection
systems by providing a secure, convenient, and reliable method of payment for our consumer, business, and even public sector clients,” said Land Bank President and CEO Gilda E. Pico. v“We are delighted that Land Bank has chosen Visa as its strategic partner for the implementation of its international debit card product. There are over 16,000 banks around the world that currently issue or acquire Visa cards, and Land Bank decision to strengthen its relationship with Visa ensures that the bank will be able to offer the latest in electronic card payment services and technology to its individual and corporate customers as well as the Philippine Government for years to come,” said Visa Worldwide Country Manager Iain Jamieson. Pico and Jamieson signed the agreement in a ceremony held at the Land Bank Plaza in Malate, Manila.
DA eyes new market for coco sugar, poultry, and meat
MALL SCHEDULES. Mall-goers in Davao City pass by a poster of the schedule of events for the month-long celebration of the 75th Araw ng Dabaw. The poster also features the brave
men and women of Davao who ensures the safety and security of the people of Davao round the clock allowing trade, commerce, and tourism to thrive. [Karlos Manlupig]
DOST 11 to launch incubation program
HE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will soon give a wider range of support to countryside entrepreneurs with the establishment of its Community Technology Business Incubation program this year, a statement said. According to Technology Resource Center (TRC) Director Dennis Cunanan, the program, which is an offshoot of the agency’s Open Technology Business Incubation (Open TBI), will be implemented through its regional offices. A technology business incubator, or TBI, is a program that helps entrepreneurial companies and start-up businesses
to take off and develop through its array of business support resources and services. Some of TBI services include business space for rent, marketing assistance, accounting/ financial management assistance, links to partners, help with regulatory compliance, and others. In addition to helping entrepreneurs start up their businesses, the agency also helps overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to start over through its free livelihood trainings to displaced OFWs. DOST, in partnership with Duty Free Philippines, likewise offers livelihood packages such as washing machines for
Laundromat business or car tools for automobile service business through its Kabuhayan Shopping Program. “The TRC has been the industry leader in terms of livelihood training and technology resource for nearly 35 years. In keeping up with its mandate of creating opportunities, TRC will continue improving and innovating its programs to be able to enhance the productivity of more sectors,” DOST Secretary Mario Montejo for his part said. “This year, TRC will focus on sectors like the youth, women, senior citizens and OFW’s... Expanding our services will enable us to serve more sec-
tors and, this way, people can identify themselves and find their place in the whole picture,” Cunanan said. “Creating opportunities is a continuous process. We will not stop from now and make sure that the workforce of the center will adapt to the changing times and we will be still relevant and effective as an institution. The people deserve nothing less,” he added. Aside from strengthening its public-private partnerships, TRC’s programs also includes commercialization of affordable baby food products developed by Food and Nutrition Research Institute. (Dost)
HE Department of Agriculture through the Philippine Coconut Authority (DA-PCA) will aggressively promote export of coconut sap sugar, popularly called ‘coco sugar,’and corner a big share of a billion-dollar alternative sweetener market. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala also added that they are eyeing new and emerging markets as possible destinations for the export market. “In tandem with the private sector, we are crafting a master plan to promote coconut sap sugar overseas and win a big share of the $1.1-billion global alternative sweetener market,” said Secretary Alcala. Further, he said the DA — in tandem with Philfoodex and other agrifishery food producers, processors and exporters — will tap new and emerging exports markets, and strengthen existing ones. He said the country
will reinvigorate and diversify traditional farm exports like coconut oil, tropical fruits (banana, pineapple and mangoes), tuna, sugar, and abaca, among others. For emerging markets, he said the country is eyeing at the following countries: South Korea for avocados, after we allowed the entry of Korean paprika into the Philippines; China for bangus or milkfish, as Alsons Aquaculture Corp based in Sarangani, sent an initial shipment of nine tons of bangus to Xiamen; Japan and Malaysia, for pork; and South Korea, for chicken. For livestock and poultry, Secretary Alcala said that the country will bank on its FMD- and bird flu-freedom to expand the market in Asia, Middle East and other parts of the world. “These are just some of our initiatives meant to support the continued growth and prosperity of the food, agribusiness and agriculture industry,” the DA chief said.
ICT HUB 7
VOL.5 ISSUE 3 • MARCH 7, 2012
Video game industry looks for new plan to reach players T
HE $64 billion global video games industry, shaken up by the likes of Zynga in recent years, may be on the verge of another identity crisis. Hardware and software sales for consoles keep dropping, marketleading Activision Blizzard, which makes the “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft” mega franchises laid off 8 percent of its staff in February, and a proliferation of games on app stores is making it costlier to stand. So, an estimated 20,000 video game industry types, executives and game designers will descend on this week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco looking for answers. The interactive entertainment industry has been trying to cope with the rapid growth of online and mobile gaming for a few years, but now even the companies making games in these burgeoning areas are finding it harder to turn a profit. Also, young companies that are not as big as Zynga or Electronic Arts are finding it difficult to stand out in increasingly crowded app stores on mobile devices without spending heavily on ads, executives say. “The number of apps is growing exponentially and with that, costs of user acquisition is going up. If you are not a company with a series of franchises like us, it becomes a lot tougher,” said Ben Liu, the chief operating officer of PocketGems, the makers of hit casual mobile games “Tap Zoo” and “Tap Pet Hotel”. The increasing marketing burden is driving some fledgling companies
into the arms of deeperpocketed partners. Philip Holt, CEO of Row Sham Bow, said it has 5,000 daily active users but it was getting expensive to attract players to its Facebook strategy game “Woodland Heroes”, where raccoons fight to make the forest safe from an evil bear. The Orlando-Fla.based company said last week it had signed a revenue-sharing agreement with Zynga, where the gaming giant promotes the animal game on Facebook and on its own new platform, Zynga.com. “Working with Zynga was better than going to spend money on Facebook ads to acquire users and spending per click. For an independent developer without a lot of cash, you end up with a significant marketing spend,” Holt said. NEW PLATFORMS Even Zynga, considered a success story after a billion dollar IPO in December, is trying to reinvent itself to keep its 240 million users coming back. This week, it will pitch its new games service, Zynga.com -- which analysts say is an attempt to whittle down its heavy reliance on Facebook for gamers -- when chief operating officer John Schappert gives the keynote speech at the conference. Other companies, like Pocket Gems, believe the future is mobile. The company’s games, where players run zoos and hotels, have been downloaded more than 60 million times on Apple and Android devices. But even then, the startup is hedging its bets, said Liu, the chief operat-
Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg speaks during the premiere of the video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” in Los Angeles, California
ing officer. The company is holding hackathons -marathon programming sessions -- to develop for HTML5 technology, which allows programs to run in mobile Web browsers that people do not need to download. ABI Research has said that 2.1 billion mobile devices are expected to use HTML5 browsers by 2016. Away from the development sphere, a battle is brewing between operating software players. Research in Motion is making its biggest gaming push to date at the conference, said Meggan Scavio, the director of the Game Developers Conference.
Investors roll the dice as the value of Apple booms
HE world’s most valuable company has turned into a bit of a casino stock. Since Apple Inc on February 29 became only the sixth company in U.S. history to top $500 billion in market capitalization, trading has become more volatile, indicating that more investors are tracking headlines and looking for quick gains. Apple has gained 32 percent since the beginning of the year, outstripping its gains for all of 2011. It accounts for more than 4 percent of the weight of the S&P 500 index, a kind of outsized standing that has caused its moves to dictate market direction on a daily basis. That’s a trend that is causing consternation
People walk past an Apple billboard advertising the iPad 2 in downtown Shanghai
among some players in the market. They note that other companies that had become members of the elite $500
billion club not only couldn’t sustain their standing, but weighed on the entire market as they fell.
The Blackberry maker is hosting sessions on how to make games and turn a profit using its system, all in the hopes of attracting developers to its ailing tablet, PlayBook. “They are trying to draw attention to their platform and their hope is to do what Google did with Android,” Scavio said, referring to how Google boosted the number of games on its system by appealing to developers at last year’s conference. Google itself will be pitching its new “native client” technology that video game makers can use to bring games to the
Internet. So far, 15 games on Google’s Chrome Web store use the technology, including one by Japan’s Square Enix. Google has also been trying to woo developers to its “Google +” social network with more attractive fees for companies than Facebook and Apple, which take a 30 percent cut of revenue of games on its system. While this week’s conference is all about predicting the next big thing in gaming, sometimes it just isn’t clear what is around the corner. Apple’s expected iPad 3 announcement on Wednesday, for example, being made just blocks away from the con-
ference center, could usher in a whole new way to play games. “Every two or three years, there’s a new trend, a new technology and a new way to make video games you never would have thought of,” said Colt McAnlis, a game developer advocate at Google whose job it is to bring game makers to the Internet giant’s platforms. After all the changes he has seen working for the past decade at former employers Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, he has learned that, “if you manage to last 10 years in the industry, you’re that old guy on he porch.”
whether the slightly different spelling was a typographical error. WIPO, whose Director General Francis Gurry reported on Monday that cases of Web piracy, commonly called cybersquatting, rose 2.5 percent last year involving a record 4,781 sites with nearly 90 percent resolved in favor of complainants. Many world-famous personalities, such as film star Tom Cruise and soccer player Wayne Rooney, and major corporations and brand names like Barclays Bank and Nestle, have in the past won cybersquatting cases in WIPO. But these have all been brought against owners of sites registered under wellknown and long-established domains such as dot-com, dot-int and dot-org, or the national suffixes identifying countries, including France’s
dot-fr. Cyberquatters often register at a nominal fee using commonly known names or brands with the aim of selling them at a profit to the real name-owners. But they also use misleading sites to attract Web surfers to their own products or services. Dot-triple x came into operation on December 6, 2011, after years of debate within the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), on how to control the spread of pornography on the Web and make it manageable. AID TO PARENTS Supporters of the idea of a special domain argued that it would enable parents and employers to control more easily the sites to which their children and employees had access by cutting off a single domain rather than separate sites.
Porn domain ignites alarm
ITHIN three months of the launch of the Internet “pornography” domain “.xxx,” 10 cases have been launched against Web pirates registering sites on it using the names of reputable companies and people, insiders said on Monday. Sources at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) reported that among complainants to its dispute resolution system over .xxx -- usually called dottriple x -- were banks, a jewelry business and an online shopping operation. One individual complaint, against a site called femjoy.xxx, was brought by someone named George Streit, according to WIPO’s dispute website. But the sources could not say if this was George Strait, the U.S. country music singer. WIPO officials could also not confirm
8 VANTAGE POINTS
VOL.5 ISSUE 3 • MARCH 7, 2012
Airport, a worsening problem
HE Davao International Airport is a problem that is worsening by the day and Dabawenyos seem helpless to do something about it. The DIA opened its doors to the traveling public in December 2003, after taking several years to finish at the bloated cost of more than P5 billion, approximately double its original cost of only P2.7 billion. From the outside, the brand new airport appeared sleek and posh but inside it had a lot of defects that prompted the House of Representatives to conduct an investigation shortly after its opening. Many of the multi-million navigational instruments whose cost was charged against the DIA’s construction, including luxury vehicles which were used by some higher government officials in Manila instead of being brought here for use of the airport management. Many of the defects and anomalous practices in the DIA were exposed by some concerned insiders but, save for the seemingly sham House investigation, nothing was done about the anomalies. Instead of being appreciated, one whistleblower was reassigned to Jolo, forcing the poor chap to leave the country and family and seek employment in an Arab country. Today, the airport continues to deteriorate with time without any solution in sight. The problems are exacerbated by bad practices of the local management. Consider the following: --only one of its three original firetrucks is still operational :
EDGEDAVAO Providing solutions to a seamless global village. Printed by Zion Accuprint Publishing Inc. Door 14 ALCREJ Building, Quirino Avenue, 8000, Davao City, Philippines Tel: (082) 301-6235 Telefax: (082) 221-3601 www.edgedavao.net email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
OLIVIA D. VELASCO General Manager
--only one of the original four baggage x-ray machines remain functional: -- the terminal’s roof leaks whenever it rains; --the restrooms reek with foul odor; -- during peak hours, many passengers have to squat on the floor or stand because the pre-departure area lacks space and benches; --the airport tower is infested with termites; --dogs are allowed to encroach into the runway; --cats are allowed to sneak into the terminal; --planting of corn is allowed in one space of the airport attracting birds that pose a risk to planes taking off or about to land. All these and more compromise the comfort and safety of airport clientele. Political and business leaders of the region who have lodged a formal complaint with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines have failed to goad the CAAP authorities to correct all that is wrong with the DIA. We suggest that our leaders through the Regional Development Council Region11 address their appeal to Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas. Surely he is in a position to do something about the problem with the airport. Incoming first time visitors to our city will have their first impression of the city upon their landing, and last impression upon leaving. Nakakahiya! ANTONIO M. AJERO Editor in Chief
ALBERTO DALILAN Managing
RAMON M. MAXEY Consultant
NEILWIN L. BRAVO Sports and Motoring
KENNETH IRVING K. ONG Creative Solutions
ARLENE D. PASAJE Cartoons
GREGORIO G. DELIGERO Associate
CARLO P. MALLO Features and Lifestyle
KARLOS MANLUPIG • JOSEPH LAWRENCE P. GARCIA Photography
LORIE ANN A. CASCARO • JADE C. ZALDIVAR Staff Writers
Columnists: MA. TERESA L. UNGSON • EDCER C. ESCUDERO • AURELIO A. PEñA • ZHAUN ORTEGA • BERNADETTE “ADDIE” B. BORBON • MARY ANN “ADI” C. QUISIDIO • LEANDRO B. DAVAL SR., • NIKKI GOTIANSE-TAN • NICASIO ANGELO AGUSTIN • EMILY ZEN CHUA • CARLOS MUNDA Economic Analyst: ENRICO “GICO” G. DAYANGIRANG
JOCELYN S. PANES Director of Sales
SOLANI D. MARATAS Finance
RICHARD C. EBONA IMELDA P. LEE Advertising Specialists
AGUSTIN V. MIAGAN JR Circulation
CAGAYAN DE ORO MARKETING OFFICE
LEIZEL A. DELOSO | Marketing Manager Unit 6, Southbank Plaza Velez-Yacapin Sts. Cagayan de Oro City Tel: (088) 852-4894
MANILA MARKETING OFFICE
ANGELICA R. GARCIA | Marketing Manager Blk. 1, Lot 10, La Mar Townhomes, Apitong St., Marikina Heights, Marikina City Tel: (02) 942-1503
By Edwin Espejo (Cunclusion)
ORMER Commission on Election chair Christian Monsod however said mining has become and is a social issue given the dismal track record of large mining companies in the Philippines. One major concern he raised is whether mining companies should be held perpetually responsible for the post mine closure maintenance of leftover structures and for any damage that will arise from the hazards left behind by these mines. He suggested that the mining companies set aside upfront fund to ensure that these issues will be covered in the future. Jasareno admitted that this concern is not covered under Mining Act of 1995 otherwise also known as Republic Act 7942. Clive Wicks, noted environmentalist and co-author of the book Mining or Food, c report on mining operations in the Philippines, warned that the biggest mining project in the country, the Tampakan Copper and Gold project poses a high-risk exposure to environmental disaster. The project is located in one of the active fault lines in South Cotabato and is less than 20 kilometers from the active volcano Mt. Matutum. He said the proposed two mine tailing dams with million gallons of hazardous mine leftovers could collapse in an event of a strong earthquake, both natural and induced, or when Sagittarius Mines Inc (SMI) begins blasting the area. A disaster of such magnitude could wreak unimaginable havoc to both lives and properties downstream. But SMI general manager Mark Williams said the Wicks scenario will not happen. Asked what guarantees these dams would not collapse, he said these will be designed to be virtually indestructible. The Catholic Church, three dioceses of them, in south central Mindanao is strongly opposed to the operation of SMI. The provincial government of South Cotabato has even passed an ordinance banning open pit mining operation in the province. This alleged ‘incongruence’ of local application and national policies on mining has been a major concern of the mining industry. The blame game Chamber of Mines of the Philippines president Benjamin Philip Romualdez also urged the government to look into the small scale mining operations throughout the country which he claimed are almost beyond the reach of government regulators. Romualdez said unregulated small scale mining operations have left a negative impact on the industry. Oddly enough, small scale miners were not represented in the mining conference Friday. Romualdez said the imposition of higher royalty fees in gold production among small scale miners coincided with the drop in gold purchase by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. He said small scale miners are now smuggling gold outside the country. Jasareno however said of the 30 tons of gold purchased by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas last year, 68 percent of them came from small scale miners. But the mines bureau chief acknowledged that two conflicting laws on small scale mining have contributed to the inability of MGB to enforce the laws aside from the perennial lack of personnel and government geologists. He said the government is now looking into the situation and may introduce amendments to Congress. Controversial EO Malacañang (Office of the President) is already poised to release an executive order that would address concerns of the industry after it was delayed last month. Included are the royalty fee provision and a possible hike in the excise tax. The proposed EO also calls for the review of all existing mineral development and mining contracts which raised uproar in the business community. Finance secretary Cesar Purisima later assured industry leaders that the government will honor all existing mining contracts. The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which most likely has seen the draft order, has cited lack of consultation in opposing the proposed executive order.
VOL.5 ISSUE 3 • MARCH 7, 2012
Outside the Impeachment Court ‘BUT I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgement. And if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council. And if you say, ‘You fool, you will be liable to the fires of hell.’ --Fr. Catalino Arevalo on Senator Miriam Santiago’s scolding the prosecution panel in the Impeachment Court
‘I can engage in a public debate with the priest and we can exchange quotation for quotation from the Bible. But that would be foolish, because the Bible can be interpreted in as many ways as there are Christian churches.’ --Sen. Miriam DefensorSantiago
A N D I D SHOTS – I think every journalist has heard more than once that “it must be a work worth rewarding.” And it is. Writing about everything under the sun – socio-economic, political, peace and order, and the environment for a living is a gift. For almost three decades of being a newsman, I don’t regret a moment I’ve spent at it. The reality of being a journalist is both as great as you think it is and perhaps more frustrating than others can imagine. Sadly of course, some people, notably those in government, would like to imagine media as a shadowy collective group that works in lockstep to undermine whatever beliefs the government holds. TOURISM – A “BIG, FAT” INDUSTRY – On a typical weekend in Toronto City, hordes of local residents and tourists alike flock to various leisure destinations. Tired and stressed probably due to their rigid work routine, the locals consider packing their bags and heading off to one of Canada’s well-known tourist destination – Niagara Falls, located in the Niagara Peninsula near the US-Canada border. Foreign tourists likewise have found that spring and summer season are the great times to travel and experience viewing the stunning and amazing work of nature releasing millions of gallons of water every minute. Actually, there is more that Toronto can offer. The city’s tourism industry has redefined competitiveness and economic advantage. As one of Canada’s oldest city, Toronto is brimming with historical landmarks, the most prominent being the old city hall and parliament building. These eye-catching tour-
Enhancing the dynamics of tourism
ism treasures were inspired by colonial archi- ism is a “big, fat” business venture, therefore tecture. And one of its world-renowned mod- its tourism dynamics are being enhanced by ern landmarks is the imposing CN Tower, still promoting and adding ecotourism and sports considered the world’s tallest tower standing tourism programs to their list. Either way, almost 600 meters high. The magnificent prospective tourists, frequent visitors and lostructure is famous for its 360 degree revolv- cal residents realize that the series of leisure ing restaurant, view deck and skywalk, and a attractions being offered are simply astoundfavorite recreation spot of people who have ing. lots of money to spare. Furthermore, Canada is known for its Well, there are lots of things the city lead- astonishing lakes, rivers, creeks and streams ership could do to make Toronto a tourism the biggest being Lake Ontario. However, of hub. Aside from historical landmarks, the city all the lakes, probably none is as famous as still has sections of famous and popular sites Lake Ontario, which is so vast that it stretchsuch as the various museums, 18th century es to adjacent provinces. Foreign tourists churches and other places of worship. Sure and local visitors consider nature’s bounty enough, visitors and tourists have a day or as a great ecotourism destination – famous two to bring it all into a perspective, like the ecological endpoint, each one covered in one in which they have to drive during sunny lush greenery, pristine plants, and flora and or crappy weather, either to an urban center fauna. Offered with ecological knowledge or rural community that is suitable for rest during their tours, visitors can really learn and recreation. about real ecotourism and environmental The tourism industry flourishes signifi- conservation. cantly not only in Toronto Another enticing , but also in other Cana- ‘The magnificent structure is famous for its tourism scheme is sports dian cities and regional 360 degree revolving restaurant, view deck tourism. Tourists and municipalities as well, and skywalk, and a favorite recreation spot of sports enthusiasts are with government lead- people who have lots of money to spare.’ able to watch NBA games ers and prominent busiat Rogers Centre. The ness entrepreneurs busy world-class and state-ofpouring concrete foundations and infusing the-art sports facility is home to the Toronto huge capital outlay to promote tourism. Lo- Raptors and equally popular Toronto Maple cal executives and tourism officials probably Leafs hockey team. The city is becoming foresaw a surge in visitors and tourist arrivals a great place to experience international not just to experience shopping comfort or sports events such as tennis, football, socindulge a hawker fare to fine dining in vari- cer and baseball. There are also a variety ous gastronomic havens, hence, offer more of extreme sports such as the formula Indy tourist-friendly programs and initiatives. 500 races, motor grand prix, motocross, The vibrant and robust tourism indus- go-kart races, skater and bicycle tricks, and try in Toronto and the rest of Canada proves ice hockey, arguably Canada’s most famous the business is in high spirits and ready to and successful homegrown sports event, take on the competition. Perhaps, the govern- and declared as a national sport. Well, that’s ment and its counterparts from the private primarily the reason why Toronto is such a and business sectors firmly believe that tour- distinctive tourist destination.
Battle of the brainy and the brainless
WITH the permission of this Honorable Tribunal”… “If Your Honor, please”… “Point of clarification, Your Honor”… “Your Honor, may I make a manifestation”… “The ruling of the Chair is”… “What is the pleasure of the defense?”… “Objection sustained”… “over ruled”… “Qualify your witness”… “Objection, the question is immaterial, irrelevant and impertinent”… “It is not in accordance with jurisprudence”… “Do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth…so help you God?”… “Any objection? There being none, the motion is approved.”… “So moved.” “So ordered.” Non-lawyers certainly find themselves wallowing in dizzyland listening to the above legal and courtroom verbal brouhaha. Indeed, these are way above the heads of ordinary mortals like you and me. So, let’s take a break from the impeachment drama, and get rid of the 3x-a-week dosage of legal gobbledygook. And let’s stop listening to all the lies that fly out of the mouths of politicians. We all know pretty well that the people’s welfare is not their main concern, but the power, the privileges and the honor that go with the position. The term “honorable” is music to their ears. What about service, you may ask? Well, I think politicians know more about service car, service pistol, home service, and lip service, which they pay to public service. Last week, the Senate cited in contempt lawyer Vitaliano Aguirre, who sits as private prosecutor in the prosecution panel in the impeachment trial of CJ Corona. Aguirre cupped his two ears with both hands while Sen. Miriam Santiago was castigating the prosecutors for their incompetence in presenting their case. When allowed to explain his action by Senator Enrile, he said that he did it on purpose. And he sounded defiant and self-righteous.
‘When allowed to explain his action by Senator Enrile, he said that he did it on purpose. And he sounded defiant and selfrighteous.’
I think Aguirre deserves the Senate sanction for undecorous, unprofessional and uncivilized demeanor in the halls of the Senate. Despite having practiced law for years, he still has not learned court decorum and selfdiscipline. And he had the nerve to preach about proper court behavior. He thinks that he knows more about decorum than anybody. Vitaliano is too proud for his own good. His is a misplaced and false pride. Somebody should tell him that pride is one of the seven cardinal sins. If he is a Christian, he should know what it means. oooOooo Choice quote: “Of all the causes which conspire to blind / Man’s erring judgment, and misguide the mind / What the weak head with strongest bias rules / Is pride, the neverfailing vice of fools.”- Alexander Pope
10 COMMUNITY SENSE
VOL.5 ISSUE 3 • MARCH 7, 2012
Premyo sa Resibo not a hoax, BIR 11 says T
HERE are already four millionaires from Davao after winning in the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)’s Premyo Sa Resibo program. BIR XI District Collector Bella Bentulan revealed this to Davao media telling them that the program is not a hoax and in fact has changed the lives of many Dabawenyos. Lucky entries from Davao Region were picked as grand prizewinners last August 2006, August 2007, January 2009, and
April 2009. Nineteen Davao entries also won P5,000 each, and two entries for P100,000. Bentulan urged Dabawenyos to again take the chance to be the next millionaire for tomorrow’s monthly draw which will be held at SM City Events Center in time for the Tax Campaign Kick-Off. Entries sent from February to 29 are valid for tomorrow’s draw. However, entries sent starting March 1 onwards will be drawn next month. The BIR official ad-
vised participants to record the control number sent to them after submitting the entry for this will be asked if their entry is picked during the draw. Bentulan said that BIR has no record as to how many Dabawenyos have been participating in this promo but given that many winners rose from Davao, she thinks that there are already plenty of Davao participants. To join, just text PSR(space) TIN No. of O.R.(asterisk) O.R. No.(asterisk) O.R. Amount (example: PSR
charged 16.5 and 7 Horsepower Mitsubishi engines. The contest draws active participation from fisherfolk coming from Davao City, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental and as far as General Santos City, Surigao, Sarangani, among others. Organized by One Radio 102.7 NewsFM, Ang Radyo ni Juan, the newest
FM station in town, together with SEACom Inc., (exclusive distributor of Mitsubishi engines) and the City Government of Davao, Bangkathon sa Davao Gulf 2012 is more than just a water-sports event; it also hopes to raise the awareness of the people in preserving the coastal and marine resources as well as protecting the welfare of the fisherfolks in the region.
Bangkathon sa Davao Gulf set on March 18
high-speed water race competition in time for the celebration of the 75th Araw ng Dabaw, awaits Davaoeños and its visitors at the waters of Davao gulf, Sta. Ana Wharf on March 18. The event dubbed as “Bangkathon sa Davao Gulf 2012”, is water –bustle adventure aimed at gathering Banca riders using fast-
BKI to DVO. Allen Chia, of the Sabah Tourism Board, displays a proboscis monkey stuffed toy, which is one of the icons of Sabah. Sabah is presently eyeing direct flights from Kota Kinabalu to
Davao City to boost tourism and trade between the two cities. [Karlos Manlupig]
Sun Life Financial to expand nationwide I N the recently concluded 17th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, a thousand bright yellow Sun Life kites flew across the Clark airfield skyline. Soaring high, it heralded the steady expansion of Sun Life Financial-Philippines (SLFP) into the country’s different regions, as befitting its first and longest-standing life insurer. Started two years ago, Sun Life’s regional expansion program boasts of 28 Inter-branch Sales Offices (ISOs) & four satellite offices covering all the major regions of the country. Indeed, this program bears witness to the company’s mission of bringing financial freedom to every Filipino -- wherever they may be. Reach is a critical component of a healthy insurance industry, and this is where the very heart of the regional expansion program lies. “We hope to do more not just for Sun Life but for the industry in general, since we believe that a healthy insurance indus-
try is a critical component in nation building,” affirmed SLFP Head of Business Development Deo G. Orpilla. Such a noble undertaking is viable, as the Philippines has one of the lowest insurance penetrations in Southeast Asia, hovering a little above 14%. According to Orpilla, the project would ensure that whenever a Filipino needs a financial solution, Sun Life would be readily available and accessible. “Aside from the diligence of our advisors and excellence in handling the finances of our clients, the whole Sun Life experience is such a rewarding journey, one that will make financial freedom easier to reach,” shared Orpilla. He noted that an integrated sales and marketing campaign, special tactical projects, and market alliances could further elevate the program to new heights. Expansion would also cover infrastructure such as ISOs and increasing its agency force. Since 2009, SLFP’s
regional expansion project tripled its sales from P185 Million to P516 Million. In 2011, Sun Life’s ISOs increased by four fold. It now has 28 offices to serve the financial planning needs of Filipinos. By reaching to other segments, Sun Life is bound to reap more success for 2012, anchored by a solid performance last year. Orpilla revealed that the regional expansion program achieved 168% of its 2011 revenue target. This also led to gainful employment, delivering 108% of the expected manpower target. All while managing expenses at the prescribed level, taking into consideration the volatility of global economy. “Despite the economic challenges we are facing, Sun Life is prepared and determined to secure a stable future for all Filipinos. Through the regional expansion program, we can help fulfill dreams and shape a generation where finances is part of our national identity,” mused Orpilla.
VOL.5 ISSUE 3 • MARCH 7, 2012
DAR allots P7.2M for repair of roads
n Rehab to increase
HE recently rehabilitated farm-to-market road (FMR), in Barangay Lower Bala of Magsaysay, Davao del Sur is seen to increase by 20 percent the income of rice farmers here. Previously, most parts of the 4.470-kilometer long road were impassable during rainy days interrupting the transportation of farmers’ produce to the market. Now, with the P7.2 million FMR rehabilitation project of the Department of Agrarian Reform, the road reduced travel time to travelers especially for the farmers who have also lowered the hauling cost of their farm products. DAR has completed and turned over the project, which was implemented under its Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project (DARARISP 3) to the local government units in Davao del Sur in February this year. Aside from Barangay Lower Bala, the FMR project also benefits other adjoining barangays namely New Ilocos, Simon, San Isidro, Tacul, Barayong, Upper Bala in the municipality of Magsaysay and some barangays of Colombio municipality, province of Sultan Kudarat. “I am committed to the maintenance of this road,” said Governor Douglas R. Cagas in his acceptance speech during the turnover ceremony. Together with Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO) Wilson S.
Antiga, District Engineer Zenaida Tan, and Barangay Captain Pastor Basinilio of Lower Bala, Cagas signed the turnover documents. “This is our continuing commitment in sustaining the gains of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), hand-in-hand we will make things happen,” Antiga said. The FMR rehabilitation project is under DARARISP 3’s Road 1 project, which represents 40% of the total project cost of P18 million. Road 1 project also includes the widening and gravelling of the road with two-line box culvert and two-line lateral and minorcross drainage. The 60% of the total project will go to Road 2 project worth P10.8 million for the rehabilitation and concreting of a 4.8-kilometer FMR connecting the Simon-Sambino-Kilolog roads. The project needs an equity share, which will be funded by the Provincial Government of Davao del Sur. Program of work for the Road 2 project is now wrapping-up and will be implemented within the year. DAR-ARISP 3 is a package to support the agricultural-productivity of the agrarian reform beneficiaries in the rural areas. The package is comprised of sub-projects namely a) irrigation component b) farm-to-market road c) post-harvest facility d) potable water system and e) agri-tenchnology transfer and institutional development. (Dar-Xi)
11k runners join Comval marathon
HE rain poured heavily yet the 11,859 runners wearing their green-colored singlet of the 2012 Bulawan Fun Run didn’t mind it at all as they all sprinted towards the finish line. The fun run held last March 2 was one of the province’s activities in the celebration of the 5th Bulawan Festival. It was also the 14th Founding Anniversary of Compostela Valley, which highlights support to the provincial greening program anchored on the theme, “ComVal shines at 14...going green!” Proceeds of the fun
run will be given to the school children through the “Kalinga sa Kabataan, Bayanihan sa Paaralan” program of Comval Governor Arturo T. Uy. The provincial government extended its gratitude to the sponsors: Phoenix Petroleum, Gawad Kalinga, provincial officials, House of Representatives, San Agustin Services, Inc., APEX Mining, Inc., PHILCO Mining Corporation, HEXAT Mining Corporation, JVF Commercial, Penong’s Barbecue Seafoods & Grill, Sumifru, Davao Metro Shuttle, Gaisano Grand- Tagum, and KarAsia, Inc. (pia Xi)
EARTHQUAKE RESCUE. Rescue teams from the Sarangani Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office simulate a rescue operation during an earthquake
drill during the earthquake drill of the Provincial Government of Sarangani and Department of Education. (SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)
SoCot irrigation dams set for repair in May
HE rehabilitation of the two dams of the Ala River Irrigation System (Ala RIS) will be carried out as planned in May, the province’s agriculture chief announced on Saturday. Provincial agriculturist Reynaldo Legaste said more than 9,000 hectares of irrigated rice fields in South Cotabato’s Upper Valley area and about 2,000 hectares in Sultan Kudarat province will lose water supply because Ala RIS’s dams in Colonggolo in Surallah, South Cotabato and Bai Sirafinang in Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat will be totally shut down. The shutdown is estimated to last until August this year. “Repair of the said irrigation system is deemed necessary; since its opening in 1972 the dams and
its line and distribution canals have not undergone any rehabilitative works,” he said. However, Legaste was quick to allay fears that agricultural production in the affected areas in South Cotabato -- the municipalities of Surallah, Sto. Niño, Banga, and Norala -- will be adversely reduced, thereby affecting grains supply in the province. He said, rice farmers here were able to plant a follow up cropping in at least 5,000 hectares in February; these will be ready for harvest in April and May. “In our meetings with irrigators’ associations we repeatedly encouraged farmers to resort to the traditional practice ‘tabungos’ or stocking of palay grains for the lean months,” he added, to make sure that farm families will
have enough food supply. “Also, of the 9,000 hectares that will lose irrigation services an estimated 2,000 hectares in the low-lying areas could still be planted with palay because these have other water sources such as natural springs.” Other mitigating measures such as growing of other crops in lieu of palay have also been laid out with affected irrigators’ associations. Since the situation could be considered a ca-
lamity, the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist has proposed to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council for a seed assistance amounting to P1.5 million (P750,000 each for palay and hi-bred corn) as well as purchase of P780,000 worth of tilapia brood stock from Muñoz, Nueva Ecija for future fingerlings dispersal. He is confident this proposal would get the approval of the PDRRMC.
‘They are using the same tactics and recuitment line of the 1980s during the time of President cory.’ --Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.
NAtION BRIEfS Police clearance
HE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reminds Filipinos transferring to Australia, Canada, Europe or the United States from Saudi Arabia to first obtain a Saudi police clearance before exiting the Middle Eastern country. This will save the Filipino traveler a lot of inconvenience and money since such police clearance would also serve as an entry/ residency document to the above-mentioned territories. It cannot be circumvented since the traveler’s passport would indicate that he or she had been to Saudi Arabia.
HE Civil Service Commission (CSC) cited on Monday a Filipino scientist for her business advocacy of nuclear science. CSC said Dr. Lucille V. Abad, Supervising Science Research Specialist at the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI), has devoted most of her career life to studying the practical uses of nuclear technology. In 2000, equipped with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering and Management, she started to develop a radiation-treated healing patch for wounds and burns.
VOL.5 ISSUE 3 • MARCH 7, 2012
Russian police arrest P hundreds of protesters
RINCE Harry has arrived in Jamaica’s capital Kingston for a four-day visit amid a push by the country’s new prime minister to sever ties with the British monarchy and turn the page on its colonial past. The 27-year-old prince arrived on Monday by private jet at Kingston’s international airport, receiving a 21-gun salute from members of the Jamaica Defence Force.
USSIAN police have arrested more than 500 people protesting Vladimir Putin’s crushing victory in elections that the opposition denounced as illegitimate and international monitors said were skewed. Western powers reacted warily to the prospect of Putin returning in a May inauguration to the Kremlin for a six-year term from his current job as premier, urging a full investigation into the reports of violations. Police said they arrested 250 people in Moscow and 300 in Saint Petersburg on Monday after moving in roughly to break up rallies claiming that the polls the previous day were rigged. Some 20,000 anti-Putin protesters turned out in Pushkin Square in central Moscow chanting “Russia Yes! Putin No!” Most of the rally broke up peacefully, but police moved in to disperse hundreds of people who refused to leave the square. Amid frantic scenes, they arrested dozens by
I Russian.jpeRussian riot police break up an opposition protest contesting Vladimir Putin’s election win.
dragging them to waiting police vans, an AFP correspondent said. Among those arrested were Russian anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, seen in some quarters as a possible future rival to Putin, and two other op-
position leaders, Sergei Udaltsov and Ilya Yashin. “People were calm, but at some point police started moving in, kicking people, tearing their clothes,” Yashin told independent Dozhd TV from the police van by phone. Moscow police also roughly arrested dozens of protesters at a separate unsanctioned event near the central election commission, including the leader of the Other Russia radical opposition group Eduard Limonov.
An AFP reporter saw similar police action at an unauthorized meeting in Putin’s native Saint Petersburg and a local police spokesman quoted by Russian news agencies said a total of 300 people had been detained. The protests came after official results showed Putin won just under 64 per cent of Sunday’s ballot to win back the Kremlin seat he held for the maximum two terms from 2000-2008 before his four-year stint as prime minister.
Comelec keeps on buying PCOS machines for 2013
HE Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday said it is seriously considering exercising its option to purchase the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCO machines used during the 2010 presidential elections for the upcoming May 2013 national and local polls. Appearing before the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said the decision was based on consensus among Comelec commissioners and for the practical reason that the poll body had already paid 67 percent of the contract price for the PCOS machines. Brillantes said the Comelec can purchase the PCOS machines for the 2013 and 2016 polls by paying the balance of 33 percent, or about P1.8 billion, under its contract with Smartmatic, a private company
which owns the PCOS machines. “Due to the time constraint, restricted budget and the lower cost entailed by buying the old PCOS than buying new machines, we are seriously thinking of employing our options to purchase the machines,” Brillantes said. His statement elicited several questions from the members of the committee headed by Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez said that the machines, if the purchase would push through, should not be under the custody of Comelec. “Putting the machines under the sole custody of the Comelec would raise the same issues on tampering with the election results,” Golez said as he stressed the need to shield and insulate the poll body from this concern to pre-
NDIA’S Congress party was trailing in fourth place as counting of votes got underway in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday, a stunning blow to Rahul Gandhi who had staked his political future on reviving his party’s fortunes in the populous northern state. “It’s baffling if this is true,” Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, as partial results showed his party was likely to fall far short of the 120 seats it predicted it would win in the state’s 403-seat legislative assembly.
NTERNATIONAL experts are fighting to prevent a fire in the Republic of Congo from reaching a second arms depot and exploding more munitions, a day after a blaze set off blasts so violent they flattened buildings, killing hundreds and trapping countless others under debris. Small detonations continued to shake Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo, on Monday. Sunday’s blasts buckled numerous buildings, including two churches and a hospital and exploded windows nearly 10 kilometres away across the Congo River in the heart of Kinshasa, capital of the neighbouring Central African nation of Congo.
HE White House has abruptly announced it has scuttled plans to hold the coming G8 economic summit in Chicago and would instead host world leaders at the presidential retreat at Camp David in Maryland’s mountains north of Washington. It was an unusually late location change for a large and highly scripted international summit and came with little explanation from the White House. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff who personally lobbied President Barack Obama to hold the summit in Chicago, was informed of the change only on Monday.
Globe... FfROM 1
FfROM 1 31, Cagangohan village at 12:15 p.m. and declared a robbery. The establishment is owned by Filipino-Chinese Leo Apalie Lai, 28. Senior Insp. Gretchin Cinco, deputy spokesperson of the Southern Mindanao regional police, initially identified those slain as Dexter Marcellones, one of the two suspects; Edgar Mocos, security guard; Allen Jones Polo, driver; and Irene Zamora, who was taken hostage by the suspects. Meanwhile, Darios Pilotos, a caretaker for Lai’s warehouse, was rushed
to Rivera Hospital after sustaining injuries. Pepino said that the robbers, who were eventually killed by policemen, took Zamora hostage after taking P900,000 from the establishment. They used Lai’s car as a getaway vehicle but were only able to drive 20 meters from the shop before they were killed by police. He said that Alampay died from a gunshot wound to the head and that they were still trying to determine who fired the bullet that killed Zamora.
FfROM 4 accompanied Pacquiao in the latter’s residence and has not been seen since,” Espejo reported. An earlier press statement from the Philippine National Police said the suspect (whose surname was spelled Aquia) has been charged with violation of Republic Act 6539 or the Anti-Carnapping Act. The case was filed against Aquia after the Highway Patrol Group arrested a village official here for possession of a stolen Hyundai Starex van. The village official identified Aquia as the source of the “hot car” that was carjacked from a businessman in Angeles City and replaced with a license plate registered to showbiz celebrity Luis Manzano, according to the PNP statement. Pacquiao’s lawyers filed the libel suit late Monday afternoon at the city prosecu-
tor’s office. Espejo, former editorin-chief of SunStar General Santos said he has yet to formally receive a copy of the complaint but that he was able to obtain a copy from a third party. “I’ll stand by my story,” he told MindaNews, noting that he is still trying to find a lawyer to help him and that he is still waiting for the official copy of the complaint before issuing any more comments. In the two articles that were the bases of Pacquiao’s complaint, Espejo wrote that Pacquiao could not be reached for comment at the time because he was in the United States promoting his upcoming fight with American Timothy Bradley. Pacquiao’s lawyer, Francisco ‘Bong’ Gacal said he was not aware Akia was in his client’s residence, the ar-
Republic of the Philippines Department of Transportation and Communications MARITIME INDUSTRY AUTHORITY Regional Office XI
Case NO. DMRO 12-013-A Application for Amendment of Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) NEREIdS INC.
VOL.5 ISSUE 3 • MARCH 7, 2012
Before us, is the Application for thew Amendment of Certificate of Public Convenience of above –named applicant, specially for the addition of the vessel MBca FLYING SQUID to its fleet and to operate the same in a passenger island tour service on a deregulated schedule, from 6;00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. daily in the route: From Sta. Ana Pier, Davao City to any point within the Island Garden City of Samal and vice versa. Notice is hereby given that the said Application will be heard by this Authority on March 19, 2012 at 10:00 A. M. at the Marina-RO XI Conference Room, 2nd Floor Tan Bldg. Monteverde Ave., Davao City The Applicant shall publish this Order once in a newspaper of general circulation, or shall post said Order in the MARINA website, at least ten (10) days prior to the above date. The Applicant shall likewise furnish a copy of its Application and this Order to the affected parties. Parties opposed to the grant of the Application must file their written opposition supported by documentary evidence on or before the above date, furnishing a copy of the same to the Applicant, and may, if they so desire, appear on said date and time. The Applicant shall submit a written Formal Offer of Evidence (FOE) during the hearing of five (5) days thereafter. WITNESS, the Honorable Administrator, EMERSON M. LORENZO, this 22nd day of February 2012 at Davao City, Philippines. (SGd) MARIANItO d. MENdOZA, CESO V Regional Director
of the whole to tackle the issue, with Councilor Pilar C. Braga, SP’s energy committee chair, presiding. This allowed the vice mayor to join the discussion and ask questions of the telcos representatives. Duterte minced no words in expressing his disappointment over the telcos’ failure to properly inform and communicate with local officials and that it was the height of irony as they are giant communications companies. The vice mayor reminded them of the assistance that the city had extended to the companies. He said he personally went up to the hills and appealed to the New
ticle said. Gacal, younger brother of long time Pacquiao lawyer Franklin ‘Jeng’ Gacal Jr, said he will have to confirm the reports with the eight-time world boxing champion, it added. “Knowing Congressman (Pacquiao) and Jinky, they do not allow Gensan (General Santos) guests to stay in their mansion,” Gacal said even as he said he will inform Pacquiao about the rumor that Akia is still holed up inside the residence of the congressman, according to the articles. In the MindaNews article, the piece continued by citing a report posted on www.journal.com.ph on February 26. The Journal report said that police personnel were ready to arrest Akia at the General Santos City airport morning of February 11 but when Akia noticed the presence of policemen, he hurriedly went to see Pacquiao, who had just arrived on board a commercial plane from Manila and was walking on his way to his Hummer vehicle with “Pacman” special plate. [bong sarMiento/MinDanews]
People’s Army rebels “not to touch your satellites because these are for everybody.” Duterte recalled that there was an agreement between him and the telecommunications companies in 2004 to allow subscribers to contact Central 911 by simply dialing 911 on their cellular phones. “Is it a matter of revenue? Tell me because everyone knows that you telecommunications companies have earned billions because everyone uses celphones,” the vice mayor asked Melvin Santos, Globe national carrier relations head. “No, your honor, it has nothing to do with revenue,” Santos said. Santos explained that since Central 911 subscribes to the local PLDT, the call made by a person from his Globe celphone is transferred from Globe top PLDT first before reaching Central 911. He said the
heavy traffic (volume of calls and text messages) could hinder the fast arrival of the message at Cental 911. Anthony Fernandez, SMART Communications regulatory head, later told the councilors that his company had conducted tests on the problem and have found the reason for it. He said that when the agreement was reached in 2004, the cellphones were simple, the ones that did not have cameras and other advanced accessories. He said that tests proved that it was easier for simple phones to access 911, but difficult for socalled smartphones. Fernandez said smartphones have assigned vanity numbers such as “000,” “112,” or “911.” He said these disturb the codes used in transferring messages from the telcos to PLDT and eventually to 911. Councilor Rene Lopez also berated the telcos
Comelec.. FfROM 12
FfROM 2 branches in Iznart in Iloilo City and the towns of Oton, Tigbauan, Miag-ao, Sta. Barbara and Oton. Nelson L. Billena, bank branching head, bared that the bank will continue to look for growth areas where it could set up a branch, including those areas that have not had any bank at all. “Our desire is to reach out to communities that are growing which need modern banking services,” he said. Late in January, the bank held the soft opening of a branch in Makati, the first ever outside Mindanao. The bank decided to put up a branch in the financial center of the country to serve the banking needs of its parent com-
for insensitivity to the welfare of the public by not informing about the matter. “ B e i n g telecommunication companies, you had all the time and opportunity to communicate with the people, through television and other forms of media, but you can not deny you did not inform the people,’ Dr. Lopez said. “ As I have emphasized again and again, this matter involves life and death. Sunog. Ambulansiya. You should let us know,” the vice mayor said. Duterte later apologized for the harsh words he had uttered against the telcos on the issue but that it could not be helped because the lives of poor people were involved, referring to the importance of Central 911 in saving lives. The telco officials vowed to fix the problem in two weeks so the public can contact Central 911 quickly.
pany, the Consunji Group. The bank also opened its branches in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat and Balingasag in Misamis Oriental. The Balingasag branch was supposed to be located in Baganga, Davao Oriental which the bank had to transfer to the area after it failed to find a good location in the municipality. Next month, the bank is also hoping to open branches in Sangali, a fishing port in Zamboanga City, and Butuan City. The bank is looking at renovating key branches, particularly those that have smaller offices, although he did not mention how much is the bank spending for this program.
serve its credibility. On the other hand, Valenzuela City Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo was interested on the source codes to be used, who is keeping them and who will design the source codes to be used in next year’s elections. “We also wanted to know if the PCOS machines are still technologically current,” he said noting the rapid advancement of technology and that the machines will have been three years old by 2013. According to Brillantes, the PCOS machines are not yet obsolete and will probably be kept in the Smartmatic warehouse where they are currently being maintained. To preserve the integrity of the machines once the election process starts, he suggested that all political parties be invited to have their respective representatives present in the warehouse until such time the machines will be transported to the poll precincts. For the source codes, Brillantes said that the machines would utilize the same ones used during the 2010 elections. “The source codes are currently safeguarded at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and will be enhanced according to the parameters of the 2013 elections,” he said. Brillantes said that Comelec has until March 14, 2012 to decide and enter into a contract with Smartmatic for the purchase of the PCOS. (pna)
VOL.5 ISSUE 3 • MARCH 7, 2012
Earth’s close encounter T of the asteroid kind
DENR pushes reforestation of 3,000-hectare watersheds
ARTH is set for a close encounter of the asteroid kind, with a space rock capable of causing damage equivalent to a nuclear explosion passing extremely close to the planet. But NASA scientists say we won’t need a Bruce Willis-style intervention, with the risk of an actual impact deemed very low, the Daily Mail reported. The asteroid, named 2012 DA14, is expected to pass within 27358km of Earth on February 15, 2013 - something which is closer than many manmade satellites orbiting the planet. This is believed to be the first asteroid spotted this close to Earth before it was actually passing. Asteroid 2012 DA passes the Earth around every six months, NASA scientists said. Scientists spotted 2012 DA14 in February, and calculated that it had a very similar trajectory to Earth’s. Early on, there was even fears that an impact could be possible, but a US astronomer has all but ruled it out. “Asteroid 2012 DA14 is
almost certainly not going to hit Earth next February. And by “almost certainly”, I mean it. The odds of an impact are so low they are essentially zero. This does not rule out an impact at some future date, but for now we’re safe,” Phil Plait wrote on his space blog, Bad Astronomy. “Seventeen thousand miles (27358km) is well
beneath many of our own orbiting satellites. To the best of my knowledge, this is the closest pass of a decent-sized asteroid ever seen before the actual pass itself. However, let’s again be very clear - it will miss. In astronomical terms, 17,000 miles is pretty close, but in real human terms it’s a clean miss,” he said. “After its visit next
gapore’s 540 minutes and Malaysia’s 360 minutes. He then compared this to the county’s ranking in the annual Global Competitiveness report that pegged the quality of science and education in the country at 112th out of 139 countries in 2010-2011 and 115th out of 142 countries in 20112012. “With the amount of time we spent learning science, shouldn’t we be performing better compared to our neighbors?” he asked. The minority leader pointed out that these results should urge DepEd to focus on improving the quality of education rather than only the quantity or the number of years a stu-
dent spends in school as a result of the K+12 program. He suggested that this be done through a careful review and improvement of the existing elementary science and math curricula. “Rather than asking students to spend more time in school, efforts should be focused on enhancing the quality of education they receive when they are in school,” he said. Cayetano also said that adding more years to basic education will only put unnecessary strain on teachers and the country’s already limited educational resources if this is not complemented with efforts to also improve the quality of education students will get from school.
will further reduce their respective emissions’ sulphur content which is among air pollutants and ingredients for dangerous acid deposition. “Requiring Euro 4 compliance is also in line with harmonization of standards within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to which the Philippines belongs,” said EMB Air Quality Section chief Jean Rosete. European emission
standards define the acceptable limits for exhaust emissions of new vehicles sold. EMB continues promoting concerted multisectoral action against air pollution as studies show this problem is environmentally degrading and a threat to human health. “Vehicles’ carbon dioxide emissions contribute to global warming which drive climate change,” Rosete also said.
Cayetano pushes for upgrading of quality of science education
ENATE minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to focus on improving the quality of education in the country especially in the area of science. The senator lamented that the Philippines, despite allotting the most time to science education in elementary in the Southeast Asia, continues to rank poorly in comparison to other countries in the region. He cited a study by the South East Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) that puts the Philippine time allotment to science at 1,100 minutes per week as compared to Brunei’s 810 minutes, Sin-
PHL to upgrade emission standards
OVERNMENT aims to better boost its campaign against air pollution by beginning to further raise by January 1, 2016 the exhaust emission standards for all new passenger and lightduty motor vehicles to be introduced in the local market. The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) believes requiring such vehicles to comply with Euro 4 standards
year, 2012 DA14 is not expected to make another pass at the Earth until 2020, but even then the likelihood of collision was just one in 100,000, “he added. Early reports of the asteroid’s 2013 visit had suggested it could hit the Earth, sending users on social microblogging site Twitter in a panic.
HE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here is recommending for at least 3,000 hectares of watershed areas in the Davao Region to be reforested to arrest degradation and ensure sustainable supply of water following the national greening program. Jaime O. Sampulna, DENR regional director, said as instructed by DENR Secretary Ramon Paje, the bid to rehabilitate watersheds will be participated in by students, non-government organizations and other sectors to mobilize tree-planting activities within the priority watersheds in the region. Sampulna said there are 54 identified watersheds in the region, including the watersheds of Tagum-Libuganon, Tuganay in Davao del Norte; Cateel, Manay, Upper Bitangan in Mati, in Davao Oriental; and Saug watershed in Compostela Valley. These areas are considered priorities of the rehabilitation program. Meanwhile, some 800 hectares will be allotted for
the nationwide expansion program of clonal nursery with the convergence of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and DENR. The planting sites will preferably be near the Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs) in different areas. “Part of the program is the production of quality planting materials of forest and fruit trees and the rehabilitation as well as expansion of clonal facilities and nurseries in the country,” said Sampulna. In Davao Region, he said the clonal nursery is located in Magdum, Tagum City. It produced a total of 21,956 seedlings and wildlings of narra, mahogany, tangile, and lauan last year. Out of these, 10,000 planting materials were distributed to various stakeholders. This year, the targeted seedling production is 1.5 million, and out of these, 150,000 seedlings of indigenous tree species will be produced by the clonal nursery, Sampulna said.
affect the Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage status. They want the government to suspend all new developments while a state and federal review of the health of the reef is carried out. Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s senior climate and energy campaigner John Hepburn said the mining industry was threatening the reef’s future. “The Great Barrier Reef is in danger from the coal industry and the fossil fuel boom that is happening, but it is a reckless expansion that will have direct impacts both in terms of the dredging as well as the increased shipping, as well as the impact of climate change
on the Great Barrier Reef,” he said. The BBC’s Phil Mercer says the exploitation of oil and gas is driving industrial expansion along much of Australia’s most famous wilderness area, including plans for the world’s biggest coal port near the town of Bowen. The Australian government has imposed strict guidelines to ensure water quality and protect marine life during development. But the reef presents a familiar conundrum for resource-rich Australia - the demands of a powerful and lucrative mining industry against the needs of the environment, our correspondent adds.
UN team examines mining threat to Great Barrier Reef A
UN team has arrived in Australia to investigate possible damage to the Great Barrier Reef by the mining industry. Fears that coal exports and oil and gas exploration would jeopardise the reef prompted the Unesco delegation’s visit. Environmentalists have urged the government to suspend mining development until a government review is completed. The reef is home to 400 types of coral and 1,500 species of fish. The Great Barrier Reef, which holds Unesco World Heritage status, lies off the coast of the state of Queensland, which is the largest producer of coal in the country. The Unesco team is scheduled to visit the reef for a week before making recommendations to the World Heritage committee. They will also meet members of the government. Environmentalists are concerned that an increase in coal production and the shipping traffic that would follow could
The Great Barrier Reef off the Queensland coast is home to a wealth of marine life.
VOL.5 ISSUE 3 • MARCH 7, 2012
UP AND ABOUT
Pofta Buna food festival kicks off on March 16
Discussing divorce W
E do not have divorce here in the Philippines but it is one of the most talked about issues right now. Has the absence of divorce actually helped in keeping marriages intact or has it become a hindrance for couples, especially women, to live their lives, as they should?
INdulge! Asked some of Davaoeños to share their thoughts on the issue.
YES. I favor divorce and see it not as an easy exit from marital troubles but an app r o p r i at e measure to reinstate the humanity of two persons who recognize their worthiness in a relationship. PROF. ADRIAN TAMAYO, economist and social scientist, University of Mindanao. YES. Broken families are now rampant. One result is financial trouble due to unsettled bu s i n e s s and property ownership issues. Many more problems arise from loss of love between couples. Day in and day out, husband and wife plot against each other instead of creating ways to nurture the marriage and benefit from the relationship. The innocent children become the collateral damage in the untenable situation. Divorce is a better option, an opportunity to move on in pursuit of happiness, which to me is one of the most important human rights. SAMUEL ABRENILLA, president, Davao Inventors Association
NO. With divorce, we can no longer take pride in the Philippines’ being the last bastion of a determined familial togetherness. I think Filipinos always have a way of solving domestic problems without having to break the sanctity of marriage. Let’s not suffer the children. We are known to be resilient, loving, forgiving and compromising under given circumstances. Divorce should not be the way out, even as a last recourse. ARIEL SEBELLINO, Philippine Press Institute. AS a Muslim, divorce is okay. But I don’t suggest it for Christians because it means going against the teachings of their Church, which disapproves of divorce. ZAMZAMIN AMPATUAN, former undersecretary of the Department of Energy and head of the Office of Muslim Affairs and Southern Philippines Development Administration. NOPE! Definitely not. As in mawala ang sanctity of marriage and treatment of marriage seriously as it should be. Ma-disregard pud ang bounden duty of married couples to strive hard to attain and maintain good conjugal relationship. Naay possibility na di mag-exert og effort ang couple to solve problems kay naa nay convenient escape called divorce. The moment dili na nila feel magkaayos, bulag dayon, unsa pay dugayan. Mora og ingon niana ang konsepto sa divorce. SYDNEY, a college scholar, Oikawa-Rotary Club of East Davao scholarship YES. Legal separation and annulment by the courts and annulment allowed under the Canon Law of the Catholic Church are similar to divorce, only divorce is better because the separated partners can legally remarry. It is a good idea and a practical and just way to give couples
a second chance to be happy and fulfilled. It will entail cost, yes, but which important thing in life does not involve cost? ARTHUR UY, president of Rotary Club of South Davao and chairman of the Council of Presidents (COP) of the Rotary Clubs of Davao. YES. Forcing couples to live together with irreconcilable differences will not only harm them psychologically and emotionally, worse it will adversely affect the children, who will become the innocent victims. TEK O C A M P O, television anchorman. NO. I believe in the sanctity of marriage. Legalizing divorce will only make failed marriages more prevalent in this country. YOLY CRISANTO, Globe executive. NO, it will just weaken marriage relationship and negatively affect the children. ALEX BUEN AV E N TURA, One Network Bank president.
YOU are wanted at the Araw ng Dabaw Food Festival. The food festival, organized by the Pofta Buna Events Organizing team, is a dining destination where you can experience a mouthwatering array of food from different restaurateurs, chefs, caterers, and food hobbyists. It is a haven of bestselling cuisines such as uniquely-grilled meat, tasty kebabs, pure lean beef burgers, scrumptious paella, spring rolls brimming with flavor, heavenly salad dressings you can bring home and irresistibly sweet and creamy cakes and pastries. All these and more from the following establishments you will find at the festival: Belito’s Vineyard, Café Aseya, Cubiyertos, Duo Commis, Gino’s All American Burgers, AJML Goat Farm and Cater-
ing Services, Go Nuts Donuts, Kitchen Pantry, Kuya Chito’s Kakanin, Margie’s Bakeshop, Ngoyong Haus, Penong’s, Pepper & Peppers, Sencha Fresh Tea Sensations and Zabadani Café. These are just some of the booths you can look forward to at the festival. On top of all the great-tasting food finds, you can also attend short cooking demonstrations and participate in fun-filled activities. What better way to celebrate Davao’s 75th anniversary than eating to your heart’s content and having fun at the same time? So come, celebrate a gastronomic feast at the Pofta Buna Araw ng Dabaw Food Festival on March 16 and 17, 2012 at the Pryce Business Park from 11a.m to 9p.m. Entrance is free.
YMCA Davao hosts college leaders forum
HE Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of Davao, Inc. invited college leaders to a College YMCA Club Leaders’ Forum held February 22 at the YMCA board room. The eight who attended were Keith Maceda and Kevin de Leon of Holy Cross of Davao College; Marck Angelo Paulin and Raymond Helicame of DMMA College of Southern Philippines; Richard Martinez, Ivan Christopher Papa and Shaquille Domingo of Philippine Women’s College of Davao; and Jennie Cel Adolfo of Davao Doctors’ College. YMCA general secretary Sylvia L. Piedad talked on YMCA’s History, Chal-
lenges and Ideals while program assistant Joefrech G. Luga led discussion on what is “College Y” the name given to a college YMCA club and other basic programs of the YMCA. In an open forum presided over by program committee chair William “Butch” I. Ramirez, the participants learned more about the YMCA movement from resource speakers Ramirez and lawyer Antonio B. Partoza, Jr., who replied the college leaders’ questions. “YMCA is a genuine organization. The community needs an organization of its kind, and you can help us bring it to them,” Ramirez said told the college leaders.
VOL.5 ISSUE 3 • MARCH 7, 2012
CEB adds even more domestic flights for summer THE Philippines’ largest national flag carrier, Cebu Pacific (PSE:CEB) announces it will mount additional domestic flights in anticipation of the summer peak period in the Philippines. This is also in time for the arrival of two more brand-new Airbus A320 aircraft from Toulouse, France this March 2012. The following CEB routes will become daily from February 8 to June 15, 2012: Cebu-Dipolog, Cebu-Legazpi and Cebu-Pagadian. Three more weekly flights will be added to the Cebu-Puerto Princesa route, making it 10 times weekly from March 17 to June 4, 2012. From March 24 to April 25, 2012, CEB is also adding flights to the following routes: Manila-Legazpi and Manila-Puerto Princesa (total of 4 daily flights each). “We know that these additional flights and connectivity will play a big part in enticing more local and foreign tourists to these destinations. Legazpi is the gateway to whale shark encounters in Donsol, Sorsogon. Meanwhile, CEB remains the largest airline operating to and from Puerto Princesa, which is world-renowned for its Underground River,” said CEB VP for Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog. The summer peak months of March and April will also see flight frequency increases for the following routes: Cebu-Bacolod (total of 17 weekly flights), Cebu-Caticlan (3 daily flights), Cebu-Davao (5 daily flights), Davao-Iloilo (2 daily flights) and Cebu-Siargao (4 weekly flights). CEB is the only airline flying direct to Siargao, an international surfing destination. Flight frequency additions will be extended from March 24 to June 4, 2012 for the following high-traffic routes: Manila-Cebu (total of 99 weekly flights), Manila-Bacolod (40 weekly flights) and Manila-Iloilo (7 daily flights). “Because of these additional flights, passengers have more travel and flight options. We encourage passengers to book in advance to get the best travel deals, and to do web check-in for added convenience before their flights,” Iyog added. CEB offers free web check-in service with free seat selection, from 48 hours up to 4 hours before all Airbus flights. Passengers automatically get assigned a seat for free during the web check-in process through the Manage Bookings section in the CEB website. For bookings and inquiries, guests can go to www.cebupacificair.com, or call the reservation hotlines (02) 7020-888 or (032) 230-8888. The latest seat sales and promos can also be found on CEB’s official Twitter and Facebook pages. CEB flew close to 12 million passengers from January to December 2011, an increase of 14% over 10.5 million passengers in 2010. It will launch the following flights in the 1st half of 2012: Manila-Hanoi (March 17), Manila-Xiamen and Kalibo-Hong Kong (March 23), and Manila-Siem Reap (April 19). CEB currently operates 10 Airbus A319, 20 Airbus A320 and 8 ATR-72 500 aircraft. Its fleet of 38 aircraft – with an average age of 3.6 years – is one of the most modern aircraft fleets in the world. Between 2012 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of 22 more Airbus A320 and 30 Airbus A321neo aircraft orders, and 2 Airbus A320 aircraft on operating lease agreements.
Because of these additional flights, passengers have more travel and flight options. We encourage passengers to book in advance to get the best travel deals, and to do web check-in for added convenience before their flights
Synchronized tree planting in Comval’s 5th Bulawan fest
Comval shines at 14…Going green!
ompostElA Valley marks the 2nd day of the 5th Bulawan festival and 14th founding anniversary with a synchronized tree planting activity with more or less 500,000 seedlings planted province wide on march 6. In fact, this year’s Bulawan festival is anchored on its theme: “Comval…shines at 14, Going Green!”
participated by almost all sectors from the provincial, municipal, down to barangay level, national line agencies and private sectors, the provincial government was able to organize about 50,000 planters with a target of 10 seedlings per individual. In line with the National Greening program, Comval formally launched its provincial Greening program on June 18, 2011. the target is 20,000,015 trees planted and grown by year 2015! thus, dubbed as “20million15 trees.”
Although the environmental protection program were already in place and has been one of the priorities under Gov. Arturo Uy’s administration, it continues to fast track the greening initiatives and has mobilized not only the lGUs but all sectors for the full support and ensure the success of the program. to date, Comval has already planted a total of 1.8million of assorted trees and industrial crops ranging from forest trees such as
mahogany, Falcata, Narra, Acacia mangium and all types of fruit trees and high value commercial crops like Rubber, Cacao and Coffee. It can be recalled that on February 24, 2011, president Benigno s Aquino III issued Executive order (Eo) 26, declaring the implementation of the National Greening program as a government priority program and led the launching of the NGp with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources ad lead a g e n c y. N G p seeks to plant 1.5 billion seedlings in 1.5 million hectares of public lands nationwide in six years, f r o m 2011 to
VOL.5 ISSUE 3 • MARCH 7, 2012
Marian Rivera, Dingdong Dantes at SM, March 17!
LAST month, GMA Network launched its high-calibre primetime offering drama series My Beloved.
My Beloved’s blockbuster cast is led by the country’s most popular loveteam and one of today’s hottest couples in the entertainment business, Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera. Dantes plays the role of Benjie/Arlan, an angel of death who takes on a human form to save the life of his beloved woman Sharina (played by Rivera), the beautiful mortal who falls in love with a fallen angel. Joining Dingdong and Marian are some of today’s most bankable names in drama- Paolo Contis, Katrina Halili and Chanda Romero. The primetime series also stars two of today’s most sought-after loveteams: Jennica Garcia- Carl Guevarra and Louise Delos Reyes-Alden Richards. Under the direction of Dominic Zapata with original concept by RJ Nuevas, My Beloved showcases a beautiful and timeless tale of undying love between two people of two different worlds. Catch the cast of My Beloved with no less than Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes on March 17 live at SM Davao Event Centre. Admission is
free. SM Davao celebrates Araw ng Dabaw with a weeklong mall-wide sale event beginning March 12. Mall hours are extended to 10PM on March 1216 and until midnight (12MN) on March 17
Celebrate Life in the City at SM City Davao, where we all come together! For inquiries, please call 297.6998 local 126. Like SM City Davao on Facebook or visit www.smcitydavao. blogspot.com for event and promo update.
Esquire Philippines’ March issue is all about style
THIS March, Esquire Philippines releases the Style Issue by training the spotlight on everything that’s stylish for every Esquire Man – from the best restaurants in the Philippines to the best hotels in the world and the ultimate guide on watches and bags for every occasion. The Style Issue also features an exclusive interview by Esquire’s web editor and Presidential nephew Jonty Cruz with everyone’s current obsession, Grace Lee. Grace candidly talks about her career, the Sound of Music, Korean Tourists, and her rumored relationship with incumbent President Noynoy Aquino. On the cover of Esquire Philippines’ Style Issue is one of the country’s Original Pilipino Music icons Ely Buendia. The former front man of the widely-known and nowdefunct band Eraserheads finally talks about the band, the songs he wrote, the
appreciating the present, not to be too identified with the past.” Esquire Philippines’ editorin-chief Erwin Romulo also takes the liberty of unraveling what goes on in the mind of Ely Buendia. The March issue of Esquire Philippines is available in newsstands and bookstores nationwide for P195. All iPad users also get a chance to have a copy of the Style Issue’s alternate cover of Ely Buendia. For more details, check out Esquire online via www. esquiremagazine.ph, become a fan of Esquire on Facebook via www.facebook. com/EsquirePH, and follow them on Twitter via Twitter.com/EsquirePH.
The former front man of the widely-known and nowdefunct band Eraserheads, Ely Buendia graces the cover of the latest issue of Esquire Philippines.
fallout, and where life is taking Ely now. “I wouldn’t trade places with the past and now,” says Ely. “That’s the kind of philosophy I’m trying to adopt now, like really
SAN MIGUEL BEER SUMMER BABAD
Pointblank band wins the first week of San Miguel Beer’s Summer Babad at Taboan, Matina Town Square.
A4 INdulge! HEALTH
VOL.5 ISSUE 3 • MARCH 7, 2012
Expecting the unexpected By Meghann Sta. Ines
A LEFT: OR Complex Hallway. ABOVE AND BELOW: The new state of the art OR Equipments.
Brokenshire Hospital opens state of the art OR complex
ROKENSHIRE Memorial Hospital is creating its own niche amongst top private hospitals in Mindanao when recently it opened its new Operating Room Complex, featuring state of the art equipment and 10 operating theaters. “It is the biggest operating room, so far, in Mindanao when it comes to private hospitals, “ said Santiago Ompang II, RN, OR unit manager. Among the newlyacquired equipment are the LED operating room lights that can be adjusted as desired by a sensor activated by placing a hand near it. Another is the latest model of cautery machine that is more accurate in cutting and coagulation. Considered top of the line in its category, a number of Hillrom - branded stretchers and beds were purchased. In addition, a new gas sterilizer is provided to efficiently maintain sterility of OR supplies and instruments. Moreover, already processed for acquisition
are new OR instruments, OR tables, state of the art cardiac monitor with gas analyzer, and an orthopaedic extension set with C-arm that features continuous xray during operation. The OR Complex is currently manned by well-trained workforce of 24 active surgeons, not to mention the active OBGyne consultants and visiting surgeons; 18 nurses and 6 OR technicians. Patient safety is of utmost concern of the hospital when it developed its OR Complex. According to Dr. Jean Lindo, active consultant: “There is a minimum standard of
patient care and safety set by the Philippine Society of Anesthesiologists, but [here in Brokenshire] we are trying to surpass it.” “It’s a milestone in the history of Brokenshire Hospital in having the renovation [of the OR]
and acquisition of new equipment. This will help the doctors to provide excellent surgical care at affordable cost to our patients,” declared Dr. Tomas Monteverde III, MD, chair of the Surgery Department.
CUTTING OF RIBBON ( From left to right: Engr. Edwin G. Juit (Hospital Administrator), Dr. Edgar B. Ramiterre (Medical Director) , Mr. Moises C. Arendain (BOT Chairperson), Rev. Dr. Tomas J. Monteverde III (standing) and CEO with Brokenshire Partners Ruben L. Dela Cruz, Ph.D. (Chief Executive Officer ).
OR Nurse Unit Manager Santiago Ompang and CEO (center) with active Nurses of Former Chairperson of the Board Mr. Jules Larry S. Estacion (center below) with BIHMI Board Operating Room Unit of Trustees and Officers
model-thin advertising mogul who lives out of a suitcase and boasts of a collection of shoes, bags, clothes, and accessories profuse enough to fit the closet of a fashion magazine. This is the movie in my mind. Or, should I say, was. I had a wish list of what I wanted to happen to my life in the next 7 years. I dreamed, prayed, and hoped. Despite the movie character I longed to become, I remained realistic. At the time, I was enjoying my new found career in public relations. I was always on the go as my mind went wild with creative ideas and colorful imaginations. I was (and, if the schedule permits, still am) a workaholic by day, social butterfly by night. I was, then, 22 years old. Fast forward to 7 years, my profile now reads: Film school graduate, public relations manager, advertising creative, word wizard, fashion fanatic, partyphile, photo hobbyist, occasional stylist cum art director, and SINGLE MOTHER. Fate came a-calling just days before my 23rd birthday. The two tell-tale lines on the pregnancy test led me to silent cries of disbelief as I went through the whole painful ordeal and discovery of such unexpected chaos. The truth didn’t quite sink in (or maybe I chose not to believe the sign) until I took my third test. I wanted to lash out on friends who comforted me by saying that my 7 week old baby was the greatest gift God could ever give me for my birthday. “YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! MY LIFE IS OVER!” I didn’t know what the future held for me, nor did I know what a baby would mean in my life. Tears and fears aside, having calmed my nerves down, I swallowed the truth and inhaled courage and strength. I tried to live and breathe the air of a fulfilled woman for the rest of the 32 weeks of my pregnancy. TRIED was the operative word as it was hard going through the difficult days alone. This mom-to-be was living on her own, with the future of the child depending on her profession and bank account. If you were an OB-Gyne, I’d say I wasn’t your usual case, with not much qualms, pregnancy woes, and discomfort… Everything was by choice. I didn’t go through the paglilihi phase because if I craved for any particular food at any given time of the day, I KNEW I WOULD HAVE TO GET IT ON MY OWN. I didn’t have dizzy spells and
morning sickness because if I fail to show up at work, I KNEW I WOULDN’T EARN ENOUGH TO SAVE FOR MY CHILD’S FUTURE. I wasn’t slow to move at work because I WAS DRIVEN TO FINISH ON TIME SO I COULD LEAVE AND DROP BY THE FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS WHERE I’D BUY MY DINNER. I endured 22 hours of labor without epidural, puffing through Lamaze breathing techniques and getting clockcrazy doing mental counting, BECAUSE I HAD NO ONE TO RELY ON BUT MYSELF AND THE LITTLE BUDGET I HAVE FOR CHILDBIRTH EXPENSES. From the point of childbirth to how my daughter is right now, I give credit to my friends as I have come to fully understand the blessing Tatiana brought to my life. In her first word and step, every milestone she made, I found more reasons to be embrace life. My daughter is my strength now as my mom had been before. She loved me like I was her sun and moon. It is through her that I learned the art of forgiving. I shed out whatever excess baggage I had (both emotionally and physically), and found more reasons to believe that there is so much good and beauty in this world. Little things don’t bother me anymore. I’ve been through childbirth, nothing can ever rain on my parade. I developed a knack for looking at the brighter side of life. I still have my shortcomings as a single parent (workaholic and unable to provide other luxuries, etc), but I try my hardest to give my daughter a better chance in living her life to the fullest. Motherhood for a single mom, like me, is a road to improvement. I continue to be a work in progress, and I commit to be the best for my daughter. I am her best frenemy to some sort, a fairy godmother and wicked witch in one form. I share my friendships, happiness, and troubles with her, just as she tells me of her innocent thoughts and takes on her daily life experiences. We bring the house down with bickers and squabbles, but make up for it with more love than I ever thought possible. It pains me to be at work when I know my daughter longs for my time and attention during the day. However, I not only need my career to provide for her, but also for her to be inspired by whatever success I can claim from using my talents and brain. What and how I am now will shape my child’s future. With her, I am living a purpose driven life.
VOL.5 ISSUE 3 • MARCH 7, 2012
Phoenix-San Sebastian, Pacific-UE banner Araw Invitational cagefest by NEIL bRAVO
AN Sebastian Golden Stags, the runner-up in the 87th NCAA Season, will head the cast in the 75th Araw ng Dabaw Basketball Invitational which reels off March 20 at the Davao City Recreation Center. The Stags will carry the Phoenix Petroleum colors in the four-team tournament sponsored by Mayor Inday Sara Duterte, Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in cooperation with Liga Dabaw and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas. In the last NCAA season, the Stags were led by forward Calvin Abueva, center Ian Sangalang and
wingman Jonathan Semira. Calling the shots for the Stags is former PBA guard Topex Robinson. Providing stiff challenge to the Stags are the University of the East Warriors who will suit up the colors of Pacific Palm Spa Resort. The Warriors will be bannered by Paul Christian Zamar, son of former UE Red Warriors coach, former UE Red Warrior David “Boycie” Zamar, and co-captain Lucas Tagarda. They will be mentored by another former PBA star Jerry Codinera. In the UE lineup as power forwards are Christopher Joyce Javier, John Michael Noble, Jairold
Flores, Erwin Duran and Adrian Santos. In the center post is Ronnie Rosetom De Leon. Playing as forwards are Ebrahim Enguio, Joseph Nicholas Montelibano, Jess Mar Sabangan and Jhon Rey Sumido. The team’s point guards are Von Arvie Chavez, Shej Roi Sumang and Benjamin James Zosa. Rounding out the UE squad is Lord Howier Casajeros as off guard. The local challenge will be provided by Goldstar Hardware and Montana Pawnshop. The tournament will also feature exhibition matches between the Mini Basketball U-13 National squad against a Davao Selection. (nJb)
SCORES P1 million cash, thexciting prizes
NBA RESULTS Utah Cleveland
Golden State Washington
Dallas Oklahoma City
LA Clippers Minnesota
New Orleans Portland
Rory McIlroy Tiger Woods Tom Gillis Lee Westwood Charl Schwartzel Justin Rose
-12 -10 -10 -8 -7 -7
268 $1,026,000 270 $501,600 270 $501,600 272 $273,600 273 $216,600 273 $216,600
WORLD FOOTBALL Premier League Manchester United Tottenham Sunderland Newcastle Italy Atlanta Udinese Cagliari Siena Genoa Lecce Catania Inter Milan Germany Bundes Liga Bayern Munich Bayer Leverkusen Werder Bremen Hertha Berlin VFB Stuttgart Hamburg SV Spanish League Real Betis Levante
up for grabs at 4 Phoenix Open
3 1 1 1 0 0 0 3 2 2 2 2 0 2 0 1 4 0
million pesos in cash and a brand new motorcycle await the winner of the hole-in-one at the Araw ng Dabaw 4th Phoenix Open this March 10 at the Rancho Palos Verdes Golf and Country Club. Pioneer Insurance is putting up the prize money at the golf tournament organized by Phoenix Petroleum Philippines. Format is 18-hole, Stableford for team, partner, and individual competitions. The tournament is open to male and female amateur golfers 21 years old and above. Registration has started at the following outlets: Rancho Palos Verdes, Apo Golf and Country Club, and Davao City Golf Club. Registration fee is P5,000. Players will receive a golf marker, two drifit golf shirts, a golf cap, and towel, to be distributed on the day of the tournament at the venue. Each golfer is entitled to one practice round on any day from March 7 to 10 at Rancho Palos Verdes upon presentation of tournament receipt at the club’s front office. Deadline of registration is on March 7, and is limited to 180 paid slots. Special prizes will also be given for the Longest Drive, Nearest to the Pin, and Most Accurate Drive winners. Awards rites will be held at the clubhouse of Rancho Palos Verdes at 6 pm on
March 10, with major and minor prizes to be raffled off. The Araw ng Dabaw 4th Phoenix Open will benefit schools hit hard by Typhoon Sendong in Iligan and Cagayan De Oro city, as well as other charities and projects of the Phoenix Philippines Foundation. Aside from the Phoenix Open, Phoenix Petroleum will also hold the Araw ng Dabaw Phoenix Marathon on March 11. On March 17, the on-going Trip Ko Phoenix Fuels Basketball Cup Season 3 which opened last January 29 will have its championship at the Davao City Recreation Center. Phoenix Petroleum also sponsors the Araw ng Dabaw Cyclomax Motocross race that will be held on March 25, 2012 at the Moto-X Davao Racetrack at Crocodile Park Complex, Ma-a, Davao City. These big sports events is organized by Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc., and presented by Pioneer Insurance. Major sponsors are Custom Grafix Advertising, EEI Corporation, Mechatrends Corporation, Kangqi International, Starpump, and Nissan. Bronze sponsors are Unifield, Locseal, Esbe, Yangking, and Measurement and Controls. Benefactors are Fluidynamics, and Apilado. Patrons are Sun Cruises/Magsaysay Transport, and MDH Customs Brokerage.
PHL shooters seen to break the golden spell in London
MMA Fighter Rankings
1. Anderson Silva (31-4) 2. Jon Jones (15-1) 3. Georges St-Pierre (22-2) 4. Jose Aldo (21-1) 5. Frankie Edgar (14-1-1) 6. Dominick Cruz (18-1) 7. Junior Dos Santos (14-1) 8. Gilbert Melendez (20-2) 8. Rashad Evans (22-1-1) 10. Dan Henderson (25-7)
219pts 191pts 175pts 144pts 140pts 110pts 75pts 41pts 41pts 36pts
ANILA, March 6 (PNA) -- Philippine National Shooting Association (PNSA) president Mikee Romero said the lone Filipino shooter who will vie in the London Olympics may just be the one to break the golden spell for the country. “You’ll never know. The first gold may even
come from us,” said the youthful shooting president, who graced Tuesday’s PSA Forum along UN Avenue. Romero was joined by three of the four shooters hoping to get the slot awarded to the Philippines by the International Olympic Committee and the International Sport Shooting Federation. (pna)
WARRIORS. Phoenix Petroleum marketing coordinator Neb Bulaclac (left) with members of the newly crowned NSBC High School champion Assumption College of Davao and Warriors coach Ice
Gravador after the team was presented at the DSA Forum at the Tower Inn. (nJb)
Cool as Ice
A coach’s secret to winning the national title
OACH Isaias “Ice” Gravador wasn’t taken seriously when he bared his ‘secret’ motivational words to his boys before tipoff of the National Students Basketball Championship (NSBC) high school finals. “I will kill you if you don’t win.” You believe that? No. Ice was just kidding. Ice is a cool cat. It was simply a statement to stress the urgency of the situation—in any championship, you either live or die. “Coach said let’s grab this opportunity,” said one of his boys in yesterday’s Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum at the Tower Inn. You got to believe that. In fact, that seemed to be the Warriors battlecry from the moment they
grabbed the opportunity to represent Davao in the NSBC Finals after Davao champion Holy Child and runner-up Agro Industrial Foundation College both passed up. “I just wanted them to have a killer instinct,” Gravador said. The Warriors responded to Gravador’s strategy at the bench to apply pressing defense to the ball carriers of the opposition. The ploy worked wonders for the Warriors who were benefited with explosive numbers in the offensive end. “We capitalized on defense to explode on offense.” The Agdao-based Warriors completed the tournament with a four-game sweep and a winning margin of 22 points in a devastating display of defensive discipline and offensive firepower.
The Assumption College of Davao were bannered by standouts from the ongoing Trip Ko Phoenix Fuels Basketball Cup Season 3 which included Alfred Joshua Capeding, John Vincent Cal, Patrick Quidato, Jvannesic Arcillas Tarranza, Bosh Tarranza, and John Bacong. “We are so proud that these boys stood out in the nationals. It shows that the exposure they are getting from the Phoenix tournament is working well for them,” said Neb Bulaclac, marketing coordinator of Phoenix Petroleum. Indeed, while Phoenix has fuelled the boys’ desire for excellence, coach Ice has etched in their minds that character defines one’s toughness—you either have the killer instinct or get killed (pun intended) in the finals.
AVAO CITY, March 6 (PNA) – The provincial government of Davao del Norte is boosting its present initiatives to attain its bid to become the sports tourism capital of Mindanao. Provincial sports officer Giovanni I. Gulanes said the provincial government allocates P1.6 million as annual budget for sports development initiatives. “We only have a limited annual budget of P1.6 million. However, this shall be augmented via supplemental budgets. Also, this is where private partners could dovetail with the local government unit’s programs,” he said. Among the sports activi-
ties which the province can offer are triathlon, duathlon, marathon/footraces, beach volleyball, scuba diving, spelunking and bankarera (a race event for small boats). “Actually, we still have stakeholders’ consultations for this, but offhand, we look at triathlon for Talicud (in the Island Garden City of Samal) and spelunking for Kapalong,” he said when asked which areas in the province they are looking for the identified sports activities. However, Gulanes said as a basic strategy, “we first center on the poorest barangays which have tourism potentials”. This is based on the recommendation of the
Provincial Social Welfare and Development (PSWD) office. “After due consultation with the stakeholders, we will figure out what sporting activity could be aptly staged in the area. Of course, this shall be based on the terrain, resources and willingness of the people to cooperate,” he said. Gulanes said local and provincial sports associations of a specific sports activity shall be tapped as the lead technical organizer. Meanwhile, assistant provincial administrator Romulo D. Tagalo said in developing this particular potential of the province, investments and livelihood opportunities are also expected to flourish.(pna)
DavNor eyes sports tourism market D (neil bravo)
VOL.5 ISSUE 3 • MARCH 7, 2012
The Business PAPER
You can now buy your favorite Business Paper from any of these establishments still at Php 15.
Davao Daria Shevchenko of Kazakhstan (left) in action against Seo In Choi of Korea.
Pinays wiped out in Asian jr tennis opener
Tulip Drive, Ecoland, Davao City
EVENTH ranked Ericka Mae Manduriao fell in ambush to unranked Nethmie Waduge of Sri Lanka while three other Filipina bets also bowed out right in the first round of the ITF Asia 14 & Under Development Championships–Division I tennis tournament at the Rizal Memorial tennis courts yesterday. Waduge held off Manduriao’s fightback in the second set to complete a 6-3, 7-5 victory to join the romp of the foreign bets in the five-day tournament put up by the International Tennis Federation Grand Slam Development Fund to create the firstever ranking system for junior players in the region.
No. 10 Tzu Hui Chen of Chinese-Taipei survived Ingrid Mariz Gonzales, scrambling with a 7-5, 6-4 victory, while sixth ranked Seon Young Um of Korea settled down after a shaky first set stint to sweep Maia Bernadette Balce, 7-5, 6-1. Hong Kong’s Jacinta Yuan Sze Chen, on the other hand, easily disposed of Ma. Dominique Ong, scoring a 6-0, 6-0 rout to roll into the second round of the girls division of the event sanctioned by the Philippine Tennis Association and backed by the Philippine Tennis Academy, Mariposa Foundation, Dunlop Fort Balls, Magnolia Purewater and Century Park Hotel. [pr]
The Business PAPER
Tagum F. Torres St., Davao City Tel No. 227-3773 - (72) Fax: 295-3485
HELPING YOU MAKE INFORMED BUSINESS DEcISIONS.
You can now buy your weekly paper fill of in-depth business news and features from any of these establishments still at Php 15.
Jose Abad Santos St., Corner Arellano St., Tagum City 8100 Philippines Tel. No.: (084) 216-3003 Cell No,: 0939-243-8539
HELPING YOU MAKE INFORMED BUSINESS DEcISIONS.
Maia Balce (right) prepares for a forehand return to Korean Seon Young Um.
Assumption Warriors are the new “Super Subs”
OW it can be told. Newly-crowned national high school students basketball champion Assumption College of Davao are only a second choice alternate to participate in this year’s national finals in Dagupan City. ACD head coach Ice Gravador revealed his team was just a last minute substitute for Regional champion Holy Child and runner-up Agro-Industrial Foundation Colleges which both begged off. The Holy Child Reds was first to nix the slot to the national finals because of a commitment to another basketball program. The slot was next offered to first runner-up AIFC which also turned down the right to play in the NSBC Finals because of financial woes. Then came third placer Assumption College of Davao Warriors. Under the NSBC rules, the regional champions shall shoulder their own expenses to the national championships. The spectre of financing a team’s trip to Dagupan City tolled heavily on the schools, but the Warriors were hell bent on competing in the nationals. “We scrambled for solicitations and asked for everyone’s help just so we can participate. We had little time left when we were told we are given the slot, but I guess it was the boys’ desire to elevate their status that fuelled our eventual trip to Dagupan,” said Coach Ice. Off went the substitute team to the nationals. They flew to Manila on their own and then took a 6-hour bus ride to Dagupan City. “On the way, I was hoping we will not draw the strong teams early because we were really tired and we had barely enough practice. We were more busy finding money,” Coach Ice bared. Once in the hardcourt in Dagupan, the boys were
like Warriors possessed. They were suffocating their opponents with their pressure defense who could not quite make quick adjustments, resulting to five or six quick turnovers in succession. Think about that, six turnovers coupled with a conversion on the other end is easily 12 points. That explains the huge 22-point average winning margin the Warriors set in the entire tournament. They swept the tournament with four wins, nailing down the championship with a blowout win against Malay National High School. So badly beaten were the boys from Boracay that they must owe the Warriors a sweet taste of summer in the island paradise. In the end, it was all hardwork and desire. Coach Ice was kind of emotional when he emphasized what they had to go through to reach the finals. The boys responded. You can call them now Super Subs. But if you ask me, would Holy Child or Agro also had won the title if they were the ones who played in Dagupan? I say no. It does not follow. Victory, you see, goes to those who try. Not to those who pass up opportunities. So chalk that record to 5-0, not 4-0. Four wins in Dagupan. One win for taking the challenge.