EDGEDAVAO P 15.00 • 20 PAGES
VOL.5 ISSUE 189 • FRIDAY - SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23-24, 2012
Serving a seamless society
Luwasa intawon sila
Rains bring floods
Rescue ops mounted in 3 Davao provinces By Anthony S. Allada
Page 10 16 The Economy Page
ESCUE operations are underway to evacuate thousands of residents who were affected by floodwaters brought about by heavy rains since Tuesday morning in three provinces of the Davao region.
2 persons drown, another missing The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Center (NDRRMC), which said the floods were spawned in the intertropical
gence zone, also recorded two deaths due to drowning while one person was reported missing.
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TALLEST. Political and religious leaders of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley lead the ceremonial lighting of Tagum City’s Holiday Tree at the Freedom Park, Arellano St., Tagum City. Standing at 110.50 feet, the unique Christmas tree is reportedly the tallest in Mindanao so far. From left: Tagum City
Councilor De Carlo “Oyo” Uy, Davao del Norte Vice Gov. Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio, Tagum Bishop Msgr. Wilfredo D. Manlapaz, Compostela Valley Province Gov. Arthur T. Uy and Davao del Norte Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario. LEAN DAVAL JR.
The continuing reign of impunity
hREE years ago today, we were confronted with a horrendous atrocity. It shocked even those among us already inured to violence. It grabbed the world by the head, forcing it to take a long, hard look at the depravity we are capable of doing. The Ampatuan Massacre, in which 58 people were butchered, exposed everything that is wrong with Philippine politics. The initial impulse by many had been to label the massacre as an aberration, as something that only a sick mind could per-
petrate. But as we’ve witnessed since then, it is certainly not. If anything, the Ampatuan Massacre is grim proof not only of the violent nature of Philippine politics but of how impunity can harm us. And since Nov. 23, 2009, we have been regularly confronted with more atrocities that, while probably not as horrifying as what had transpired in the hills of Maguindanao that day, serve to remind us constantly that impunity still reigns. Extrajudicial killings remain rampant, ironically under an adFTHE, 6
2 THE BIG NEWS
Int’l film expo opens today L
EADINg players of the local and international film industry have converged in Davao City for the International Film Expo (IFX) which will run from November 23 to 24 at the brand new SMX Convention Center in SM Lanang Premiere. The IFX is spearheaded by the Film Development Council of the Philippines in partnership with the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industries. The Expo will feature exhibitors particularly film equipment suppliers, production and post-production companies, independent production groups, broadcast outfits and top film academic institutions. They will be joined by local government units like the Province of Davao del
Norte and the City Tourism Office of Davao which will be promoting some sites in their localities as film locations. Teddy granados, FDCP executive director said that the latest film technologies and equipment will be featured in the expo. Aside from the expo there will be symposiums and lectures relevant to today’s film industry to be conducted by respected speakers from around the world. Among the topics include “Maximizing the Philippine Potentials for international Filmmaking to be conducted by Lope Juban president of the Philippine Film Studios; Juban bought hollywood productions like Apocalypse Now and the recently produced Bourne Legacy here to the country.
Lady cops to be deployed in city
AvAO City’s top cop has bared a plan to deploy more policewomen on the streets for the holidays. Police Senior Superintendent Ronald de la Rosa, director of the Davao City Police Office said this move is part of the security preparations for the Pasko Fiesta celebration where more people are expected to come to the city for vacation, shopping and revelry. he told the AFP-PNP Press Corps that 50 new cops, half of them women, will augment the ex-
isting number of city police to ensure the safety of the public for the duration of the Christmas and New Year celebrations. “Lady cops will be deployed at points of convergence in highly-urbanized areas during the holidays. They will patrol the malls and other places where people come together,” De la Rosa said. The policewomen are currently undergoing marksmanship and basic weapons training should they have to engage criminal elements They will be issued weapons and deployed when ready.
VOL.5 ISSUE 189 • FRIDAY - SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23-24, 2012
SHIP-TO-SHORE CRANES. Two gigantic ship-to-shore cranes as tall as three-story building are being installed by a team led by Japanese technical experts at the Davao International Container Terminal, Mindanao’s most modern container terminal, in Barangay San Vicente, Panabo City. The P2.7-billion facility is a project of San
Vicente Terminal and Brokerage Services, Inc. and Dole-Stanfilco. The cranes arrived on November 20, which fell on the 96th building of the late Don Antonio O. Floirendo, patriarch of the Anflocor business empire and brains of the project. LEAN DAVAL JR.
More media groups, students in Davao Media Freedom Day F
ROM the initial group of seven in 2010 to mark the first anniversary of the Maguindanao Massacre with November 23 declared as the Davao Media Freedom Day, the participating groups this year number 15 after more schools and media establishments signified their participation. Again to be hosted by the Ateneo de Davao Uni-
versity Mass Communications Program, Davao Media Freedom Day and 2nd International Day to End Impunity activities will be held at Room F213 of the ADDU Jacinto Campus on Friday, November 23. This year’s theme is “gag us not, kill us not” to unite the voices of journalists, students and bloggers against media repression, and the tem-
porarily restrained Cybercrime Protection Law while pushing for the passage of a Freedom of Information Law. A photo exhibit featuring photos by students and journalists will be set up at the lobby of F213 by the College Editors guild of the Philippines-Southern Mindanao Region (CEgP-SMR). The participating groups will also be setting up their booths at
erpool.” There are currently very limited home rental opportunities within north Davao’s growth area, especially one with the class and reputation of Camella Northpoint. Rental rates can go as high as P30,000 to P50,000, the same going rates for a two-bedroom to three-bedroom condo unit in Northpoint, which is more than enough to cover mortgage costs. “With Camella Northpoint’s excellent living proposition, we understand the keen interest of investors to buy into this premier address. Now is a great time for them to secure their Liverpool condo unit,” said dela Pena, adding that they
are further sweetening the deal by extending the down payment terms to 35 months. A British colonial-themed condo community located at the junction of Buhangin Road and JP Laurel Avenue in Bajada, Camella Northpoint has a lot going for it. It tops the number one criterion for property investment that wise investors follow like a cardinal rule – location. Northpoint is proximate to all daily essentials and public utilities, being less than five to ten kilometres away from the city’s best and biggest malls and department stores, supermarkets, cinemas, boutiques,
the lobby. A students’ forum is scheduled in the morning where officers of Communication Majors’ Association of Davao (CMAD) from the University of Immaculate Conception, ADDU, UP-Mindanao, and holy Cross of Davao College will deliver their views on Cybercrime Law, FOI, Militarization of Communities and
Camella Northpoint’s November Fever Healing through Magic coming soon to Davao featuring big discounts at Liverpool Vicky Berdina M. de Guzman
EFORE November wraps up, take advantage of the perks laid out for those eyeing a coveted unit at Liverpool, the fourth tower of Camella Northpoint, the landmark condo development of Camella Davao. The masterplan developer makes acquisition of a Liverpool unit easier for those wishing to make Camella Northpoint their residential address. But the deal is even more attractive to investors looking to invest in a condo unit for rental purposes. “For this month, we are giving an outright discount of P130,000 to buyers of Liverpool, our 15-storey condo tow-
er,” said Anna Mae dela Pena, marketing head of Camella Davao, adding that this amount is one of the biggest discounts for a condo purchase in the market recently. For buyers looking for a new home, the discount translates to big savings with the six figures being slashed off the price of their condo home. Astute investors see it as compounding their returns on a Liverpool rental unit. Dela Pena added that it’s not only the huge discount that awaits homebuyers and investors. “We have reduced the reservation fee to only P20,000, making it easier and faster to secure their choice units at Liv-
hE healing through Magic is a project of the International Brotherhood of Magicians based in the United States that aims to help people with disabilities to find relief through the craft of magic. This is said to be a powerful tool to exhilarate their condition by simply making them feel happy and loved. According to James g. Infiesto, the director of the 9th Asian Magic Association (AMA) convention, it started long ago in various hospitals. When people feel that their self-worth is low due to their physical condition,
they are uplifted and made to smile by seeing magic tricks. The program has not reached Davao City yet, but Infiesto says this long time goal of his will be made possible through the formation of Inner Magic Club (IMC) Davao. he added that AMA convention conducted last September paved the way to the group’s formation. “When we had our convention here, I discovered there a number of local magicians and I told them that we have one aim, that is to promote magic.” That’s how
EDGEDAVAO VOL.5 ISSUE 189 • FRIDAY - SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23-24, 2012 34 days before Christmas
Tagum lights up giant Holiday Tree T
hE bustling Tagum City formally lights up on a moonlit Wednesday night its 110.50-feet tall giant holiday Tree, continuing its decades-long tradition of lighting the city’s official Christmas icon that gathered more than 5,000 people who witnessed the much-awaited event. Please see front page picture People gathered in excitement at the Freedom Park on November 21, 2012 to witness the lighting ceremony of the city’s holiday tree with local officials claiming it as the “tallest Christmas Tree” in the country this year. Senior City Councilor De Carlo “Oyo” Uy, who chairs the city council’s committee on tourism, highlighted the unique aspect of Tagum’s celebration of the holiday season as represented by the glimmering holiday tree. “Only in Tagum City that in spite of individual differences bilang tao, be it kultura, race or relihiyon, Christiano, Lumads og Muslims, kita tanan nagkahi-usa og malipayon na saulog ang Pasko,” said the
27 year-old solon. Bishop Wilfredo Manlapaz blessed the holiday tree prior to the formal lighting ceremony, after a solemn invocation of the different dominions of faith in the city. This year’s holiday tree, which is taller compared to 2011’s 108.60 feet, is illuminated by 88,600 rice bulbs, 1000 meters of mixed red, green, yellow and blue flexy lights, respectively, and 266 pieces of raindrops cool white. Adding hype to the intricate design of the holiday tree are decorative abstract frames with different symbolisms which are as follows: doves (peace), angels (peace on earth, goodwill to men) and lanterns/ butterflies (ethnic symbol) plus a Christmas village behind the Christmas Tree of which you can see the decorative abstract frames depicting different animals such as Camel, Elephant, Flamingo, hippopotamus, horse and Pelican. Lanterns hanged in posts and arcs across major streets in the city were also lighted simultaneously during that night. Wednesday’s event
FLOODED. A young child swims in an unfinished culvert after heavy rains triggered by an intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) caused most of the streets in Butuan City to be flooded on Tuesday, November 20. [MindaNews/Erwin Mascarinas]
honored the outstanding contribution of Barangay Nutrition Scholars and Barangay health Workers who were given early Christmas gifts by the local government. The Tagum City Youth Orchestra and Mindanao
Soprano Artist Marife villacorta gave soulful renditions of various Christmas medleys during the event. The city’s giant holiday tree will be lighted from six in the evening up to three in the morning until the celebration of “Three
Kings” on January 2013. Meanwhile, the 3rd Tagum City Food Festival, as organized by the City of Tagum Tourism Council and the United Restaurant, hotel Owners, Managers and Executives (UR hOME TC), was also
launched prior to the lighting ceremony which features different delicacies and specialties that are uniquely Tagum in time for the Tagum City grand Fiesta Celebration. [Louie Lapat/CIO Tagum]
hE Commission on Elections (Comelec) in general Santos City has adopted a stringent verification process on voters’ registration applications to ensure that no multiple registrants and “flying voters” would be included in the city’s voter’s list. Lawyer Jose villanueva, city election officer, said the verification system set by the Comelec central office provides that all voters’ application and approved registration will have to undergo various processes that will run through election day. he said they started last Monday the verification of the area’s voters’ registration applications through the hearings conducted by the city’s election registration board (ERB), composed of the Comelec and representatives from the Department of Education and the Office of the City Civil Registrar. The ERB hearings, which set the approval or disapproval of voters’ applications, will be conducted until Friday, he said. Aside from the ERB hearings, villanueva said they do their verification using the biometric system and the posting of the voter’s photos prior to the issuance of official ballots
during the election day. The official said the city Comelec office has not received any petition so far for the exclusion of voters’ registration applicants as of its deadline last November 12. “But any party can still seek for the exclusion or inclusion of any voter by filing a court petition seven days from now,” he said. In the case of possible multi-registrants, villanueva admitted that they will have to rely on the verified list from the Comelec central office to identify them. he said they cannot specifically establish whether a locally registered voter has an existing record in another area. “We don’t have a way to determine this unless we get a confirmation from Manila (Comelec central office),” villanueva said. The official earlier admitted that his office had received reports on the alleged voters’ registration in the city of residents coming from nearby Sarangani province but no formal complaints or petitions have been so far filed regarding the matter. “We cannot just act based on mere verbal complaints or speculations,” he said.
Illegal mining crackdown hikes revenue in SoCot T T hE clampdown on illegal smallscale mining and quarry activities has led to record-breaking revenue collections in South Cotabato, an official said on Wednesday. Siegfred M. Flaviano, Provincial Environment Management Office chief, said the province is expected to reach its
target collection of at least P15 million this year for the mining industry. “As of September, we have already collected almost P13 million from mining and quarry fees…. The higher collection was because of the ‘strong political will’ imposed by the province against illegal small-scale miners,” he
said. Last year, the province collected some P9 million from mining and quarry fees, which was the record, he added. Among the factors cited by Flaviano in the higher revenue collection this year was the series of closure orders issued by gov. Arthur Y. Pingoy Jr. against
small-scale miners and ball mill operators in T’boli, a gold-rich town in the upper valley portion of South Cotabato. The closure order against these illegal mining players forced them to seek permits and pay the necessary fees, Flaviano said.
INDANAO is “not yet ripe” for the Interim Mindanao Electricity Market (IMEM) or the electricity spot market because at the moment there is “obviously a power shortage situation,” a business leader in Bukidnon said on Wednesday. “It is premature, not conducive at this time. The spot market will be fair only if there are both premiums and discounts,”
said Roderico Bioco, president of the Bukidnon Kaamulan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., noting that the plan to start the IMEM in March 2013 “will not work.” “Tradable volume is really small yet,” he stressed during the business group’s general membership meeting, which also focused on the power situation in the island.
Bioco urged the government to start formulating the policy for the Mindanao electricity spot market through more stakeholder consultations. The prospect of a spot market in two to three years will help usher in investments today, he said. The spot market, Bioco added, could boost the efforts to attract investors in the power indus-
try in the island, noting that prospective power producers can look at the spot market as an alternative market aside from forging power purchase agreements with distribution utilities. The IMEM, according to the Department of Energy (DOE), could provide an additional capacity of 360 megawatts (MW) in Mindanao. The set up will tap power from em-
Mindanao ‘not yet ripe’ for electric spot market M
Comelec-General Santos scrutinizing voters’ list
EDGEDAVAO VOL.5 ISSUE 189 • FRIDAY - SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23-24, 2012
Good governance to end rice imports P
RESIDENT Benigno S. Aquino III said the country will be rice self-sufficient in 2013 with the efficient and honest administration of government agencies and cooperation of the Filipinos. In a speech delivered by Department of Agriculture (DA) Sec. Proceso J. Alcala during the recent 27th anniversary of Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in Nueva Ecija, Aquino said the country would not only achieve enough rice but would also export the staple next year. “Before, million tons of rice were left to rot in warehouses owing to mismanagement. Now, through honest and efficient administration and favorable weather… we will also be exporting rice in 2013,” the President said. Aquino also said ministers of agriculture from the international community recognized Filipinos from International Rice Research Institute, PhilRice, University of Philippines
in Los Baños, and Central Luzon State University as experts in teaching agriculture. “We are praised as experts, but we import rice from the countries we have taught. This is troubling. But in a straight and righteous path (tuwid na daan), this scenario will end soon,” he said. Aquino said the country would be rice self-sufficient as PhilRice had steadfastly lived up to its mandate of producing quality and adequate seeds to the farmers. he also said that DA’s dedication in finding solutions and Filipinos’ diligence and perseverance had led to better status in the rice sector. With improved performance in agriculture, Aquino announced that the department’s budget will be increased to more than 20 percent or P74.1 billion next year. “It’s only just to give performing agencies the opportunities to contin-
ue delivering appropriate services to the people. But those agencies with staff who only sit and do nothing the whole day must start thinking. If you can’t provide the people with
good quality service, you have no place in government service,” he said. To further show government’s commitment in boosting the rice sector, 2013 was publicly pro-
Philippine Information Agency (PIA) XI in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture-Biotechnology Program Implementing Unit. highlighting the summit is the keynote address of Dr. Candida B. Adalla, Department of Agriculture director for Biotechnology Program Implementing Unit, that tackled the importance of biotechnology to agriculture production. One of the topics to be discussed would include the Functional Reg-
ulatory System to Ensure Safety of Biotechnology Intended for Commercialization by Thelma Soriano, senior agriculturist and head of Biotechnology Core Team Secretariat of the Bureau of Plant Industry, Department of Agriculture. Other topics up for discussion are on Enhancing Natural Ingredients through Biotechnology by Dr. Rainier villanueva of the Chamber of herbal Industries of the Philippines, Inc.; Empowering Farmers through
Modern Agriculture Technologies by Edwin Paraluman, chairperson of the Philippine Farmers’ Advisory Board of the National Food Authority. godfrey Ramon of the Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines and Joel Paredes of the Biotechnology for Life Media and Advocacy Center will be explaining the milestones that their respective organizations have achieved in advancing public understanding and adoption of biotechnology. [PIA 11/jmda]
ongoing in Mindanao. he said the project would specifically entail the provision of post-harvest facilities to farmers growing cacao, coconut and rice. “If approved by USDA, the four-year project which is eyed to start by later part of 2013 will benefit about 15,000 farmers particularly in Mindanao, Regions 9 and 11. Richards said the post harvest facilities which ACDI/vOCA is eyeing to provide to the farmer/ beneficiaries must be socially acceptable, efficient and must produce quality products to boost production thereby uplift the lives of the farmers. ACDI/vOCA thru USDA has granted $ 5.4 million to fund the CocoPal Farming System, a
project being implemented by Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao Inc. (CIDAMI) that started in 2008 and will be finished by July or August next year. The project has targeted to help 25,000 small farmers in Mindanao. Richards said as of this time, the project has reached about 20,000 farmers. Richards said ACDI/ vOCA is bent on continuing its intervention to small farmers in Mindanao in view of the island’s growing demand for its diversified crops specifically cacao, coconut and rice. Philip Shull, foreign agriculture services counselor of USDA, said the Philippines particularly Mindanao is considered one of the priority countries of
USDA thru ACDI/vOCA in relation to agriculture interventions in 2013. he, however, said USDA has yet to decide in the next few months on the amount of investments and projects it will implement for Mindanao next year. Richards and Shull were in the city primarily to grace the first Kakao Konek two-day conference that started on Wednesday at the Apo view hotel here. CIDAMI president Charita Puentespina said because of the growing number of farmers exploring cacao production, CIDMAI is now working hard for its cacao nursery campaign program. “We feel this industry has a big impact in the economic life of the farmers,” she said. [PNA]
Biotech Summit in Davao City
A R M E R S from settlers, indigenous peoples and Muslim communities along with students will join agriculture scientists, farming technicians and farmer leaders in yesterday’s Farmers’ Summit on Biotechnology held in Davao City. Bearing the theme, “harnessing the Power of Life”, the summit is organized by Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines, Biotechnology for Life Media and Advocacy Resource Center and the
International group proposes over $ 6M to aid Mindanao small farmers
N international organization currently implementing the CocoPal Farming System project in Mindanao has proposed to its supporter, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) the provision of over $ 6 million to fund a new project to help small cacao, coconut and rice farmers in the island next year. Nicholas Richards, Agricultural Cooperative Development International/ volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/vOCA) chief of party at a press conference Wednesday here said USDA has yet to act on ACDI/vOCA’s proposal, though he clarified that it will be a new and different project from that of the existing CocoPal Farming Sytem which is
claimed as National Year of Rice during the 27th PhilRice anniversary. “We have declared 2013 as National Year of Rice to speed up rice self-sufficiency. however,
this declaration would just be a piece of paper without the support of the Filipinos. This initiative would only succeed if each of us would contribute to the goal,” Aquino stressed.
CFARBEMPCO: From banana farm workers to entrepreneurs
EOPLE would easily dismiss the country’s Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) as a failure but despite the flaws and the many sad stories, there are beneficiaries who have realized their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs due to CARP. Take the case of the beneficiaries belonging to the Checkered Farm Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative or CFARBEMPCO in Panabo City, Davao del Norte. “We were already CARP beneficiaries since the 1980s but the company (Checkered Farm) filed a 10-year deferment up to 1996,” CFARBEMPCO Board of Director Elenita Man-ao said. When the company voluntarily offered to sell the farm in 1995 she added, we applied as beneficiaries. Man-ao, and the 87 farmer-workers who formed the cooperative in 1996, used to be workers of the banana plantation. When the company got dissolved, they applied as beneficiaries and took the reign of the company’s management. “The farm was already established and since we were former employees, we just continued the standard operating procedures followed by the company,” she said. Checkered Farm used to buy the banana produce of the cooperative but later on turned it into a growership scheme which was bad for the cooperative as they had lots of losses, she
said. They lost the contract but managed to get another contract with the same company, selling the bananas on an FOB or Freight on Board basis. “We took care of all the farm operations from office work, plant care and fruit care,” she said. The venture proved successful as they continued to export their products to the Middle East, South Korea, Japan and even China. Today, she said, they are still selling their banana produce to large companies but this time, the buyers take care of the trucking which led to an almost 10 to 15 percent profit for the cooperative. “Pero dili gyud mi mangadatu ani (but this won’t make us rich,” she said, because out of the P500,000 gross revenue of the cooperative, only 15 percent or P90,000 is retained. Manao blames the high cost of inputs necessary to operate the banana plantation including the fertilizers, plastics and twines. The cooperative manages a 113-hectare banana plantation which they say, should ideally produce a certain number of boxes per hectare per year in order to for them to break even or even earn a profit. CEFARBEMPCO is a member of the Davao del Norte Credit Surety Fund but while it plans to get a loan and expand its production, it is not qualified for now as “they have to meet 25 percent of the liquidity of their assets,” according to DNCSF chair Celso Cubio.