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FINALISTS. After days of waiting and anticipation, the five Mutya ng Dabaw 2013 finalists were finally chosen during the selection night at the activity center of Abreeza Mall in J.P. Laurel Avenue, Davao City Wednesday night. The lucky ladies are (from left) Fila


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DSWD rallyists:

Guia Hidalgo, Czarina Riza Marante, Kristine Angelie Estoque, Lery Stephanie Bautista and Angeline Nicole Morales. Grand coronation night will be on March 2 at the Davao City Recreation Center along Quezon Blvd., Davao City. Lean Daval Jr.

Victorious or shortchanged? Ano ba talaga kuya?

By Greg G. Deligero


FTER three days of tense encampment in front of the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) Regional Office 11, the typhoon Pablo survivors claimed as victory the granting of their demands through a memorandum of agreement they signed with the DSWD officials,” declared the press release issued yesterday by Bayan Southern Mindanao. “This for them is the prize of the violent lashing and beating they had to earn from the composite forces of the Davao City PNP and the AFPTask Force Davao under the direct orders of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte,” the group said. However, in a news advisoON FIRE. Firefighters try to put out a fire that hit the fourth floor of the ry dispatched Dimdi Center building along San Pedro Street late yesterday afternoon. Cause of the fire was still being determined as of press time. [City Information Office]



P24.47-billion budget allotted for Region 11



By EJ Dominic Fernandez


HE General Appropriation Acts (GAA) for 2013 has set aside P24.47 billion for programs, activities and projects in Region 11, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). With Region 11 being viewed as “the rising global frontier,” NEDA 11 director. Maria Lourdes D. Lim told members of the Rotary Club of East Davao at Marco Polo Davao last Tuesday the approved budget is for the region’s social, infrastructure, economic and good governance sectors. According to Lim, the top five major projects of the region are: 1) Road Improvement of Digos-Cotabato Road, and Digos-Kidapawan Section, Davao del Sur with a P623.6 million budget coming from the Official Development Assistance

(ODA)- World Bank (WB); 2) Road Improvement of Malalag-Malita-Jose Abad Santos Road, Malita-Don Marcelino Section, Davao del Sur, P549.6 million budget from ODA-WB; 3) Landslide Risk Mitigation, Digos- Gen. Santos Road and Calinan- Buda Road, Davao del Sur and Davao City, P512.2 budget from ODA-WB; 4) Integrated Coastal Resources Management (Mati, Tarragona, Manay, Caraga, Baganga, Cateel and Boston), Davao Oriental, P127.2 million from ODA-Asian Development Bank (ADB); 5) Construction of Sports Complex, Mankilam, Tagum City, Davao del Norte, P247.8 million from LGUTagum City. Included in Lim’s report are the opportunities that the region can take advantage of to ensure high-

FP24.47B BUDGET, 13

MINCODE backs DSWD 100 percent Manny Villar:

Che Palicte


HE Mindanao Coalition of Development Non-government organization (NGO) Networks (MINCODE), which represents almost 500 NGOs and people’s organizations in Mindanao, is deeply concerned with the current situation at the regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) region 11 as well as DSWD Secretary Corazon ‘Dinky’ Soliman. Mary Lou Birondo Kaharian, representative of Pilipina Davao, said at the weekly Club 888 at

The Marco Polo Davao last Wednesday, have expressed strong support for the government and Secretary Soliman who they claim embodies genuine leadership and care for the people, especially in the relief and rehabilitation efforts in Pablo-affected communities. She said Secretary Soliman has been consistent with her genuine engagement and dialogue with civil society. They condemn the manner by which some of groups express their sentiments against the government.

HE number of visitor arrivals in Region 11 has reached the one-million mark. This according to Department of Tourism Region 11 officer-in-charge Eden Larano-David basing the number on hotel bookings. David said visitor arrivals have grown 20% from the previous years, a large percentage of tourists being business travelers, particularly those in MICE (Meetings Incentives Conventions Exhibitions) related events, David estimates that 40% of the visitors were on MICE-related travel. The DOT and the region’s tourism industry are gearing up to promote

Davao City as a MICE destination, with the opening of new convention facilities like the SMX Convention Center in Davao City making the southern metropolis capable of hosting large conventions and gatherings. One of these conventions is the MICE Conference 2013 (MICECON) which will be held on March 6 to 9 at the new SMX. Aside from the MICECON, Davao City has been chosen to host the Ad Congress later this year and is being eyed to host one of the events of the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) Summit in 2015. Meanwhile, Gene Bangayan, president of the


UNDISCIPLINED. These undisciplined pedestrians use a slot of a road barrier intended for differently-able persons to cross a busy street unmindful of being possibly hit

by traversing vehicles, along J.P. Laurel Avenue, Davao City yesterday. Whatever happened to the Anti-Jaywalking Ordinance? Lean Daval Jr.

Davao’s prosperity pulls Mindanao up S

ENATOR Manny Villar, who will be back as a plain private citizen after his term, said Davao City’s prosperity will mean the prosperity of the whole of Mindanao, and he believes that someone should push for employment generation in the Senate. In a press forum held

at the North Point clubhouse in Bajada yesterday, Villar pointed to Davao’s very strong potential for more economic growth, saying, “Davao is the leader in Mindanao in terms of development, which is why I believe that its prosperity will pull the entire island of Mindanao up to greater heights in

terms of development as well.” He also added that the major problems of the country are the high unemployment rate and low salaries. For the Philippines to continue to prosper, these problems should be addressed, the senator said, adding, “Which is why there

should be someone in the senate who will push for employment and that is exactly what Cynthia Villar will be focusing on.” Villar said that although statistics show that the economy of the country is flourishing, there are still people who believe otherwise as they

Davao Tourism Association (DATA), said the one-million visitors do not fully reflect the true number of people who visited Davao. She said the figures do not include visitors who stayed in private homes and other accommodations not recorded in the data. “It could be be more than one-million,” Bangayan said, referring to the gaps in reporting the number of tourist or visitor arrivals in Davao. According to Eden Larano David, the list of hotels and inns which submitted their arrival data comprise only 70% of the total number of hotels and accommodation facilities in the region. [PIA 11/RG Alama]

HE Musikahan Festival held in Tagum City from February 19 to 24 managed to raise P110,000 based on the initial assessment by the organizers. “The Festival was able to get up to P100 thousand in pledges alone during the festivity,” Tagum City information officer Cromwell Bonghanoy said. He added that the donation boxes alone, which were placed in strategic locations during the nightly concerts, raised P10 thousand in cash. Bonghanoy said this year’s Musikahan sa Tagum Festival remained steadfast in its goal of

promoting the cultire of music not only in the city but also in the whole country since the competitions were open to contestants from other regions. However, he said, the 2013 Musikahan had been reinvented, with the goal of sharing with, and helping, people whose homes and lives were destroyed by Typhoon Pablo. Musicians from all over the country shared their talents and performed for free, for the benefit of the victims, Bonghanoy added. But more than the fundraising aspect, he said, this year’s Musikahan raised the conscious-

ness of people about climate change and about the need to help other people during these times. The amount he mentioned is, however, only an initial amount since they still have to make a complete report on the fund-raising project that also featured an art exhibit where paintings of 13 artists from Tagum were displayed at 13 different venues in the city. The proceeds from the sale of the paintings will be part of the funds that will be turned over to the Pablo victims, according to Tagum City Tourism chief Alma Uy. [RGA/LAC/PIA 11]


Festival raises Tourist arrivals in R-11 Musikahan P110,000 for typhoon victims reach one-million mark T T


MEDICAL MISSION. Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte visited Cateel last Wednesday bringing with him personnel of the Davao City Health Office who conducted a Medical Mission in the said area for residents affected by the recent typhoon and flood-



ing. Duterte also brought Max Surban and Norman Mitchell for a free concert. Cateel Town Mayor Camilo Nuñez was present during the said activity. [VMO]

Appointment of IPs in Transcom lauded


N indigenous member of the House of Representatives Tuesday lauded the inclusion and eventual appointment of two members of indigenous peoples (IPs) in the Transition Commission (Transcom) which will draft the basic law for the new autonomous political entity in southern Philippines. Rep. Nancy Catamco of North Cotabato’s sec-

ond congressional district said she personally thanked President Aquino for the appointment of Froilyn Mendoza and Temuay Melanio Ulama to the Transcom. She said with that the voice of the indigenous peoples will be heard as far as the creation of a new political entity in areas where the IPs live. Catamco said the two IP representatives in the Transcom, Mendoza,

a Teduday native from Upi, Maguindanao and former contingent member of the International Monitoring Team and Temuay Ulama, a lumad member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) negotiating panel board of consultants, has made the Transcom as truly represented by all sectors. President Aquino also named other members from various sec-

tors who are directly affected by the creation of a new political entity in Mindanao. Catamco said Mendoza was an IP women endorsed by women’s groups. In House Resolution No. 3008, authored by Catamco, she asked President Aquino to name an IP woman representative to the Transcom and she was elated the President did.

Relatives of massacre suspect storm CIDG, demand for release


ELATIVES and supporters of Maguindanao massacre suspect Talembo Tammy Masukat trooped yesterday to the office of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Cotabato City and demanded for his immediate release. Relatives of Masukat claimed he was a victim of mistaken identity and that his real name is Talembo Abdulrahman, a former town councilor of Mamasapano town in Maguindanao. Masukat is currently detained at the CIDG detention cell at PC Hill, Cotabato City. The CIDG in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao maintained Masukat was included in the arrest warrant issued by

Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes who handles the massacre case. Elements of the 45th Infantry Battalion arrested Masukat following a brief encounter with an armed group in Mamasapano, Maguindanao a week ago. He was not among the armed men but he was seen near the encounter site. When the soldiers were tipped off about his presence in the area and found his name was listed in the list of massacre suspects with arrest warrant, the soldiers arrested him. Relatives of Masukat said they managed to secure a release order from a local court and the CIDG could not transfer him to Taguig detention facility where other massacre

suspects are currently detained. The police, however, remained steadfast and they did not release Masukat. Masukat was the 103rd suspect to be arrested by lawmen. On November 23, armed men led by Mayor Andal “Unsay” Ampatuan Jr, flagged down a convoy of about 10 vehicles along a national highway in Ampatuan town. Ampatuan Jr. and his followers ordered the victims, numbering 58 persons including 30 journalists and the wife of then gubernatorial candidate Esmael Toto Mangudadatu, to proceed to a hilly Sitio Masalay, Barangay Salman where they were massacred.

Mangudadatu, now governor of Maguindanao, told the court his wife, Genalyn, was leading a group of women escorted by journalists to file his candidacy in Shariff Aguak town. Masukat was allegedly one of the militiamen formed by then Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. to serve as peacekeepers. But his relatives denied he was a militiaman and that he was a duly elected town councilor of Mamasapano until 2010 when his reelection bid failed. Masukat will be turned over to the court’s jurisdiction in Taguig detention facility where other massacre suspects have been detained. [PNA]

Mendoza has been very active in advancing women’s issues, according to Caramco. Ulama, on the other hand, was an active member of Timuay Justice and Governance. With two women representatives in the Transcom, Catamco said the IP women will have strong representation in the body that will create a Basic Law for the new autonomous region.

Both Mendoza and Ulama were recommended by the government. Catamco said the two IP members will push for the issues that directly affect the indigenous peoples, especially the ancestral domain issue, integration and respect of the cultural heritage of IPs and their participation in local governance. (PNA)

Free trainings ready for Bukidnon entrepreneurs


HE Bukidnon Kaamulan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. and the Department of Trade and Industry-Bukidnon have jointly organized free trainings for entrepreneurs in time for the celebration of Kaamulan 2013. Fam Villanueva, DTI information and planning officer, said six trainings will be held from March 4 to 9 “as part of our continuing efforts to develop more micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the province.” She said the series of trainings is open to existing, new, and would-be entrepreneurs. In a press statement, Villanueva listed the trainings as follows: “Introduction to Entrepreneurs” on March 4 and 8; “Briefing on Consumer Rights and Responsibili-

ties” on March 4; “Visual Merchandising” on March 5; “Frontline Quality Service “ on March 5 and 6; “Costing and Pricing” on March 7; and “Negotiation Skills” on March 9. The chamber is using the booth put up by Mindanao Grains Processing Inc. in the Kaamulan grounds as venue for the training and other activities. Roberto Tinsay, BKCCII vice chair for membership said the training series with DTI aims toimprove the skills of the MSMEs in Bukidnon. Training contact person Junar Merla, DTI-Bukidnon senior trade and industry development specialist can be reached through telephone 0888132101 or email , at dti. r10.bukidnon@gmail. com. [Walter I. Balane/ MindaNews]






Stronger in faith


OPE Benedict XVI is now officially resigned. He bade farewell to his eight-year pontificate in a way that’s historic and Church-shaking. The wait for the new Pope begins today and in three days the earliest, the chosen one should be named. What is in store for the Roman Catholic Church now that Pope Benedict, a known conservative pontiff, has left the papacy with some questions left hanging in the minds of the 1.2 billion Catholics around the world. Once more, the hallowed walls of the Vatican has kept the real horrors under the lid. But unlike before, even the closed chambers have leaks and what came out were not necessarily encouraging. Even the word coined for the rumored Vatican scandal has earned a notorious name Vatileaks. That is utterly disrespectful for such a holy institution as the Vatican and for a representative of the Church considered as the living Apostle and fisher

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of men. Yesterday in his outgoing address in front of 150,000 people in St Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict XVI admitted there had been times when “it seemed like the Lord was sleeping” during his crisis-hit papacy. There had been moments of joy during his tenure and at the same time “stormy waters and headwinds” that had left the church in difficulty. Despite the troubles, Benedict XVI felt God would not let the church “sink.” That is the message that the resigned Pope left the Catholic world. The significance of Benedict’s message is what matters for the future of the Church—faith in God. Strong faith, that is. It is not important now what the smoke of the socalled Vatileaks will bring. We know for a fact that a secret, like smoke, cannot be kept forever. But for now, let us wait for the white smoke of hope that will come out of the chimney of the Sistine Chapel in the next few days. ANTONIO M. AJERO Editor in Chief


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H E music is all around us. All you have to do is listen.” These were the sage words that ended August Rush, a movie about a young musical prodigy in search of his parents. The film highlighted how sensitivity to the beat and rhythm of life leads to wholeness, an answer to one’s soul’s cry. However, this article is not a commentary on the movie. The movie just calls to mind a very glaring lack in our government officials who are too full of themselves; government officials who do not listen. Last month, I travelled to a province hard-hit by Typhoon Pablo as part of a foreign-funded development project. But before the trip, we had to wrangle an appointment with the regional director of the relevant government agency as this was a bilateral agreement with the funder. Initial phone contact was a delightful experience of being passed around six personstowhom we each exhaustingly explained our objective despite an official memo from the head office. When we finally got the meeting, a sullen receptionist faced us and made a big show of reading the memo while replying to us in clipped tones. Later on, I learned that she used to be a division chief. When we arrived at the capitol of the province, we had the good fortune of immediately being met by the governor. Family connections and friendships afforded us the audience with the busy official. She was dressed in a nice burgundy lace blouse, black slacks, and black pumps. She looked and smelled nice when she greeted us. She went on and on and on about her rift with the relevant government agency. We just listened. Grapevine has it that the provincial head of this government agency had to leave because she did not comply when the governor asked her to sign a certification that there indeed was no illegal logging in the province. I do not know how true. We just listened. When it was our turn to speak and give input, we were cut off, talked down, or talked over. I was impressed at how our lead consultant maintained her cool, eloquence, and wit despite being barraged by nonstop talking. As I was spectator to the exchange that was not really an exchange, I was amused and appalled at the same time. The constant flow of words was not even matched by eye contact. The governor ranted on as she picked out something from her classy designer bag and checked one of her mobile gadgets. In the meantime, the province continues to languish in hardship. An ousted president and his son each gives a half million pesos to the province. The coterie of advisers talks about infrastructure, infrastructure, and infrastructure as part of the disaster risk reduction. Never mind that there are no trees to speak of or relevant environmental programs in place or that trash greets visitors upon arrival in the capital. If only we stop and listen with our ears, eyes, and heart, then we will be sensitive to what truly needs to be addressed. When we listen, a certain healing takes place. When we truly listen, life becomes music to be enjoyed and celebrated. It does not become talk.



A concept of livelihood

T’S TIME TO ARTICULATE A CLEAR POLICY ON AGRICULTURE – This is a recurring problem of the agriculture sector and the present dispensation supposedly was the turning point of agricultural reforms. The government must be cognizant of agriculture as a key sector. Some years back, the sector that has been leading the economy is agriculture. Since three out of four poor families belong to the rural sector, agricultural reform is the key to defeating poverty. While earning praises from government economic planners and financial managers, Mindanao’s agricultural sector including Davao City is running into trouble. Immediate right after a new leader assumes the lever of power, analysts firmly believe the incoming dispensation stood a good chance of engineering a project that embodies a concept of livelihood – its goal is stimulate the small farmers to strive for the improvement of their living conditions with minimal help from the government. But to fully realize the vast potential of agriculture and small and medium enterprise (SME) in Mindanao – considered the country’s super region food basket, it should be financially accessible to government loans. Unfortunately, the bad news keeps coming. Part of the problem is the cyclical concerns such as the lack of access to financing, and small farmers and fisher folks have been resigned to the fact that stringent rules and voluminous requirements of government-controlled banks limit them from accessing loans. They decried that bureaucratic red tape and strict government procedures to obtain a loan are too difficult to comply. The coconut industry, the most direct beneficiary of government agricultural

loans, as a matter of fact, cannot attain its full potential also due to unavailable funds intended to coconut farmers. The Department of Agriculture (DA) did try in some occasion to clarify the matter stating the government has available funds for the purpose and even a ranking official assures that the department has millions worth of guaranteed fund at the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and accessible to farmers who wish to borrow. Aside from that, another P2 million Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund was released the other year. Yet, even with such assurance from the DA to have easy access in acquiring loans from government banks and other financial institutions still may not guarantee its realization. Owing largely to a relatively lack of access to government loans, Mindanao’s agriculture sector’s position remains hanging on the balance. In the past private banks and lending institutions were allowed to undertake government lending. But it’s no longer certified this time and non-government credit facilities have likewise been prohibited from handling them. Different groups from the agriculture segment therefore suggest that funds for agriculture and SME instead be release the way the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) is being done.

Furthermore, the DA says it has no capability to handle financing, thus encouraged the private sector to elevate their concerns to LBP where government funds are lodged. On the other hand, government suggested that the funds had to be distributed using the Conditional Transfer Method but with a replacement system. The question, however, is this: “How long will it take to fully realize the potential of the agriculture sector and SME in Mindanao when availing of government loans is like passing through the hole of a needle?” The toughest problem is the very nature of government procedures related in extending loans to small farmer beneficiaries and fisher folks, hence there still remains a degree of doubt considering that bureaucratic red tape is very much alive in government departments and line agencies. Make no mistake at all. If anyone cannot fast track the full realization of the potentials of farmers and SME in Mindanao, it is government’s quick action that is needed. Top government officials and concerned agencies notably the DA should implement a package of banking procedures and tight-money measures to stabilize Mindanao’s agricultural development and of the entire country as well. If fully implemented, this package would provide a strong basis for the agriculture sector to recover from its current difficulties and expect more rapid rates of growth. For all its effort, unless lost-cause development programs are allowed to fail the country’s agriculture sector, may be merely postponing a reckoning that will be made all the more painful by short-sighted and self-interested solutions.

Italy elects the impossible


UT between a quarter and a third of Italians were prepared to indulge him. And they did so because they believed him and his disgust over a long political betrayal. Italian politicians at every level are not universally venal, but enough of them are. They produce sufficiently frequent scandals of an outrageous kind for the honest, taxpaying citizen to feel regular nausea. It is on the tide of that nausea that Grillo rode, which made his movement the biggest single “party” the center-left and center-right blocs, which narrowly beat him, were coalitions and which handed him a large power to do … something. The something Italy needs – no secret here – is reform: reform of the political and electoral systems, of the labor market, of state spending, of tax collection, of subsidies to the South. It needs to take on organized crime, political and corporate corruption and burgeoning drug traffic. It needs a strong, more or less respected, government with the base and the will to stay the course through unpopular measures. Mario

( Conclusion)

ANALYSIS BY JOHN LLOYD Monti, unelected prime minister for a little over a year, tried to give himself a democratic mandate and failed. His was a mixed record: He reassured other European states and the global financial markets and institutions, but his reforms were often blocked. Those that succeeded hurt, inevitably, the lower-income, the honest and the young. Ten percent of voters voted for him. They were the elite, I would guess, and they voted more in hope than in faith. The left, which at a little over 30 percent has “won,” scraped a victory in the lower house but not in the senate: The two houses have roughly equal powers. No coherent government is possible. The 60 percenters, led by two of the greatest populists of our time, Berlusconi and Grillo both in one country! Italy is uniquely cursed now have to make their moves. Will one or other or both renege on every one of their pre-elec-

toral statements and find common cause with the center-left to support a government that would carry on some sort of reform program that Monti has sketched and that the rest of Europe demands? Or will one or other or both continue to play to their own galleries, blame Monti, the left and the European Union for past and present woes and seek to widen their appeal for a future election, now seen as likely soon? It’s worth stressing the extraordinary nature of the Italian result. Two impossibilists taken most of the vote; the man most approved by the rest of Europe, the United States and the world institutions been humiliated; the vote, as Tim Parks writes, blithely ignored realities one would think are pressing upon the state and upon its people. The future of both the Italian state and Italian democracy is in serious question. The populists have it in their power to weaken both further, perhaps fatally. For all their farcical posturings, the issues they have set before their country, and the world, are serious.



Ushering peace in the ‘land of bakwits’ ( Conclusion )



T is in line with the government’s goal to put a permanent and just closure to internal conflicts of the country. Under the program, Pamalian and the other 41 barangays of Pikit will receive P300,000 as grant to finance the community projects that will provide better access to basic social services, while at the same time supporting peace -building efforts and helping addressing conflict. “Ang proyektong ito ay isang bukang-liwayway lalo na sa mga taong sa matagal na panahon hindi naabot o nakatikim ng serbisyo mula sa gobyerno (This project feels like dawn for us, especially to those who have never experienced receiving government services),” Pamalian Barangay Captain Mama Kongkong explained. Kongkong said he believes that one of the many reasons of conflict in their community is because there are some who felt excluded by the government services. The armed conflicts have resulted in the villagers redefining the word “gathering”. Many associated the word to evacuation centers, conflict, and hostilities. During times of conflict, the people gathered in one place, not to conduct villagers’ their traditional and religious practices, but to flee from the violence. Since the PAMANA Project employed the community-driven development (CDD) strategy, where peace and development priorities are addressed in a participatory, collective and inclusive decision-making process, villagers gathered not in evacuation centers, but in their community gyms and other assembly areas in their respective barangays. Instead of fleeing together to escape from violent situations, they instead gathered to attend activities such as barangay assemblies, orientations, participatory conflict analysis, identification of community projects and many others. Villagers, Muslims, Christians and Indigenous Peoples become united in discussing root causes and drivers that fuel the prevalence of conflict in their community. Together, they determine their needs and priorities, as well as their proposed mechanism to address their identified concerns. As one, they map their visions of becoming a peaceful and developed community. “Higit sa proyektong aming ipapatupad, hindi matatawaran ang masayang pakiramdam na makikita mo ang mga tao, na dati hindi nagkakaintindihan, ngayon ay nagtutulungan at nagkakaisa upang pag-usapan ang problema at solusyon nito para sa payapa at maunlad na pamayanan (More than the community project that we will be implementing, what is more rewarding is seeing our co-villagers, who had misunderstandings before, now helping each other, becoming united in discussing our problems and their corresponding solutions so we can have a peaceful and developed community),” Dagandal said. Like several other villagers, Dagandal is one of the volunteers of PAMANA under the DSWD. The initiative is being implemented under the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), one of the three core social protection programs of the Department. Dagandal hopes that, when he looks at the skies above, he will no longer see images of war, but instead visions of his community enjoying peace and development, a Pamalian and Pikit that is a better place to live and not a land of war “bakwits.” The project made him realize that truly, peace is not a destination but rather a journey. A journey that one must take.[PNA]



DENR hails Congress move to declare waling-waling as PHL national flower

HE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has welcomed a move in Congress to declare the Waling-waling as the Philippine National Flower alongside Sampaguita. “The Waling-waling can best represent the splendor and uniqueness of Philippine biodiversity because it is considered the finest and most beautiful among all species of orchids in the country,” DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje said. The law was authored by Davao City second district Rep. Mylene Garcia-Albano. Paje said that naming the Waling-waling (Euanthe sanderiana) as national

flower would “raise public consciousness on its rarity and boost efforts to protect and conserve the flower.” Dubbed as the “Queen of Philippine Orchids,” the Waling-waling is flower endemic to the island in Mindanao, where the indigenous Bagobo tribes worship it as deity. On the other hand, Sampaguita (Jasminum sambac), which was adopted as the country’s national flower as early as 1934, is not endemic to the country because it can also be found across South Asia, Hawaii and even the Middle East, where it is known as the Arabian Jasmine. Sampaguita is also one of Indonesia’s national flowers. The Waling-waling is considered critically endangered under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora or CITES, an international treaty among governments to ensure that the survival of wild plants and animals are not threatened by their trade.

UNEP Goodwill Ambassador backs green energy campaign T


NITED Nations Environment Programme Goodwill Ambassador Gisele Bündchen has joined former United States Vice President Al Gore to urge support for the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s initiative to achieve universal access to modern energy services by 2030. In video messages that started airing this week, Ms. Bündchen and Mr. Gore stand with the head of the United Na-

Cash-for-work program of DENR to employ thousands in Pablo areas

Supermodel and activist joins Nobel Peace Prize Winner Al Gore and UNIDO Director General to record message of support.

tions Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Kandeh K. Yumkella, to advocate for the Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. “Energy can transform economies, lives, continents, our planets. We have a historic chance to eliminate energy pover-

ty,” say Mr. Gore, Mr. Yumkella and Ms. Bündchen. “Let’s bring energy to all - for power, women, progress, growth, our future, energy for all.” Worldwide, almost 3 billion people rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating, and about 1.5 billion have no access to electricity, ac-

cording to UNEP. The Sustainable Energy for All Initiative aims to achieve three inter-linked global targets by 2030: universal access to modern energy services; the doubling of energy efficiency; and the doubling of the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix. [UNEP]

ing. In a press release Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said the ECC for the $5.9-billion Tampakan project is “subject to certain conditions,” and failure to comply may result in the cancellation of the ECC. The granting of ECC met opposition from different sectors, including the provincial government. Besides the ECC, an endorsement from the provincial government is among the other requirements needed by the firm before it can proceed to commercial production. Acosta said the ECC is only one of the steps before the SMI can operate.

If the indigenous peoples will stand their ground, he stressed, then the project might not push through. “Social acceptability is still the paramount value,” Acosta said, vowing to say more on the issue in a separate occasion. Sources at BSU said it was supposedly a youth forum where Acosta was the resource speaker. But Acosta accommodated senatorial candidates of the Liberal Party who had a campaign sortie in neighboring Cagayan de Oro City Tuesday. Former senator Jamby Madrigal, the President’s cousin Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, and former Rep. Cynthia

Villar attended the forum. Acosta apologized for the changes made in the forum because of the presence of the candidates at the end of the event. But BSU officials and students stayed towards the end with BSU president Victor Barroso even giving a citation to Villar for her contribution in upgrading the former Bukidnon State College to university status during her time in the House of Representatives. The activity was dubbed “Youth forum on educational, social and environmental issues.” [Walter I. Balane / MindaNews]

Acosta on Tampakan mining project: ECC just one of the many steps



HE Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) obtained by the foreign-backed Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) for the Tampakan copper-gold project is only from the side of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and still has a long way to go, according to Secretary Neric Acosta, Presidential Adviser on Climate Change, during a forum at the Bukidnon State University in Malaybalay City last Wednesday. The DENR granted SMI an ECC after rejecting it twice last year on the ground that the province of South Cotabato prohibits open-pit min-

YPHOON Pablo, the most powerful disaster to pummel Mindanao in decades in terms of damage to property and casualty, could provide a silver lining for thousands of unemployed residents of hardest hit provinces of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has earmarked P229.8 million to hire some 4,206 affected residents to help in the government’s reforestation effort in the typhoon-ravaged areas, where close to 2,000 people died, over 1.2 million others displaced and more than 90 percent of the infrastructure destroyed. DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said the undertaking will be implemented through the National Greening Program (NGP) in partnership with the local governments of the two provinces and people’s organizations. Paje described the “cash-for-work” project as a “twin approach to help affected residents rebuild their lives while taking direct participation in the government’s greening program.” “Rather looking at it as a setback, we should take this as a challenge to bolster the gains of NGP with greater optimism as we overcome little battles such as those in Compostela Valley and Davao Ori-

ental,” he added. Paje said around 15,321 hectares of denuded and open forestlands in the two provinces will be rehabilitated with some 7.6 million seedlings to be planted and maintained by cashfor-work beneficiaries as part of the DENR’s resolve to recoup NGP’s losses in the Pablo aftermath. Of the total amount, Compostela Valley will receive P132 million to cover the cost of rehabilitating 9,198 hectares to be planted with 4.6 million seedlings, while Davao Oriental will get some P97.8 million for the planting and growing of 3 million seedlings covering 6,123 hectares. According to DENR-Region 11 Executive Director Joselin Marcus Fragada, the DENR lost some P90 million in forestry and coastal managements projects alone due to the typhoon. The agency also lost P28 million worth of seedlings planted under the NGP in 2011 and 2012 due to Pablo, consisting of indigenous and fruit trees, including high-value agro- industrial crops like coffee, cacao and rubber trees. Fragada also explained that to enable the typhoon victims to participate in the program, they will be hired on a rotational period of two months per batch, for a total of three batches each province.








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DTI, other agencies sign MOA for further dev’t of industries


ARIOUS government agencies have signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on Thursday in a bid to further bring about development in the region’s priority industry clusters. Headed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 11, the MOA-signing at its office was also joined by the regional offices of Department of Agriculture (DA), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology (SPAMAST). The MOA is for the upgrading of the Davao Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project (DICCEP) which is now being adopted nationwide as a development strate-

MOA-SIGNING. (L-R) DTI 11 RD Marizon S. Loreto, SPAMAST president Irvin C. Generalao, DOST 11 RD Anthony C. Sales, and DA 11 RED Remelyn R. Recoter sign a memorandum of agreement for further development of the region’s eight priority industry clusters. DTI 11/JenMendoza

gy and carries the name NICCEP (National ICCEP). DICCEP was started in Davao Region in 2007, with technical cooperation assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Under the said MOA, the concerned agencies

have vowed to collaboratively work together in implementing more relevant initiatives that will result to greater development in the eight priority industries of the region which include banana, mango, coconut, seaweeds, mining, tourism, wood, infor-

mation and communications technology (ICT). DTI 11 Regional Director Marizon S. Loreto said the MOA-signing is a “meaningful and significant” document for all the involved agencies, as collaborators for industry clusters.

“This will practically seal and concretize our commitment for industry clusters,” she said. Loreto is also the project director of the NICCEP Satellite Program Management Office in Davao. With the MOA signed, Loreto is optimistic about

generating and implementing more high impact activities and initiatives this time. “We don’t only put our resources and time but also our hearts and minds into the program,” she said. [ DTI 11/ Jen Mendoza]



Stat Watch

1. Gross National Income Growth Rate (At Constant 2000 Prices)

5.8% 1st Qtr 2012

2. Gross Domestic Product Growth Rate (At Constant 2000 Prices)

6.4 % 1st Qtr 2012

3. Exports 1/ 4. Imports 1/ 5. Trade Balance 6. Balance of Payments 2/ 7. Broad Money Liabilities

USD 4,931 million May 2012 USD 4,770 million Apr 2012 USD -135 million Apr 2012 USD -209 million Mar 2012 P 4,580,674 million Apr 2012

8. Interest Rates 4/

4.1 % May 2012 P131,403 million May 2012 P 5,075 billion Apr 2012

9. National Government Revenues 10. National government outstanding debt 11. Peso per US $ 5/

P 42.78 Jun 2012

12. Stocks Composite Index 6/

5,091.2 May 2012

13. Consumer Price Index 2006=100

130.1 Jun 2012

14. Headline Inflation Rate 2006=100

2.8 Jun 2012

15. Core Inflation Rate 2006=100

3.7 Jun 2012

16. Visitor Arrivals

349,779 Apr 2012

17. Underemployment Rate 7/

18.8 % Jan 2012

18. Unemployment Rate 7/

7.2 % Jan 2012


PHL’s first OTOP store in Davao City to transfer to bigger space in Abreeza T HE first One Town-One Product (OTOP) store in the country is set to be transferred to a new and bigger location this year. Department of Trade and Industry-Region 11 (DTI-11) director Marizon Loretosaid the OTOP store will move from Aldevinco Shopping Center to Abreeza Ayala Mall either in March or in the first week of April. Loreto said the new shop in Abreeza will be much bigger, with floor area measuring about 200 square meters, as compared to the Aldevinco shop which measures 78 sq.m., and can accommodate only 16 small and medium enterprises (SMEs). OTOP was established as a result of the administration’s flagship program, Public-Private Partnership, which was piloted in Davao City under the Davao Ecocrafts Association. “The products you see in OTOP are high-end,” Loreto

said, adding that the new outlet will cater to mall goers of Abreeza. She said the new OTOP store will not only feature handicrafts and furniture but also locally produced food items sourced from producers in the entire Davao region. The OTOP store will also have a coffee shop, aside from the high quality items it will feature there. In November 2012, OTOP generated more than P1 million in revenues. Loreto added they are expecting more SMEs to display their products at the new outlet, provided they meet the quality standards of Davao Ecocrafts Association. “Davao Ecocrafts is very strict in terms of quality,” she said. Loreto also said they are now working on showcasing not only products from the Davao region but also those from other regions. [PNA]


nounced on Wednesday. The Safeway Inc., wanted to take advantage of the booming BPO industry and looked at BPO activities that can add significant value to their global operations. Top executives of Safeway visited the country last week

MEXICO and DAVAO-MINDANAO revives Cultural, Trade and Commerce Ties MEXICO AMBASSADOR His Excellency Tomas Calvillo Unna and Ms. Flora Belinda Bacosa, Chief of the Dept. of Foreign Affairs Consular Office Davao during the inauguration last February 22, 2013 at the Marco Polo Hotel of the 1st Honorary

Consulate Office of Mexico for Mindanao in Davao and the official appointment of Dr. Maria Lourdes Garcia-Monteverde, as Honorary Consul of Mexico. Consul Malou Monteverde is the Immediate Past President of Davao City Chamber of Commerce & Industries Inc.

to conduct due diligence relative to its plan of expanding its business operations in the country, DTI Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC) assistant secretary Josephine Romero said. “I personally met the team and urged them to expand their operations in the country and

join the rosters of foreign companies that are reaping benefits of a vibrant Philippine economy,” Romero added. Listed in the Fortune 100 company, Safeway Inc’s operating strategy is to provide outstanding value to customers by offering a unique shopping experience with a wide selection of high quality products at low prices. In support of its stores, Safeway maintains an extensive network of distribution, manufacturing, and food processing facilities. It also has business interests in the online internet grocer, prepaid gift cards, and financial services. The company has been in the Philippine market in 2003 through its affiliate, the Safeway Philtech Inc., that serves as its captive technology center, providing services such as application support and maintenance, application development and enhancements, technology and infrastructure support. The local affiliate partnered with the Board of Investments and BPO industry in organizing the visit program for the company executives to showcase the benefits of doing business in the Philippines. [PNA]

Safeway plans to expand operations, invest in BPO NE of the largest food and drug retailers in North America expressed interest in expanding its operations in the Philippines, and keen on investing in the business process outsourcing industry (BPO), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) an-

MONTHLY AVERAGE EXCHANGE RATE (January 2009 - December 2011) Month Average December November October September August July June May April March February January




42.85 42.70 42.86 42.66 43.62

43.31 43.64 43.27 43.45 43.02 42.42 42.81 43.37 43.13 43.24 43.52 43.70 44.17

45.11 43.95 43.49 43.44 44.31 45.18 46.32 46.30 45.60 44.63 45.74 46.31 46.03


PAYMENT. A mother carefully counts the money which she uses as payment for the ‘bananaque’ she bought from a sidewalk store along Quezon Boulevard, Davao City yesterday. Lean Daval Jr.

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 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 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 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 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 13:25 14:05

Silk Air Mon/Sat Silk Air Wed/Sun Silk Air Thurs 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

MI588 / MI588 MI566 / MI566 MI551 / MI551 5J507 / 5J598 15:55 Z2524 / Z2525 5J967 / 5J600 PR813 / PR814 5J215 / 5J216 5971 / 5J970 5J973 / 5J974 5J969 / 5J972 2P987 / 2P988 PR821 / PR822 PR821 / PR822

13:35 15:20 12:05 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 Davao-Singapore 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

18:55 18:55 15:45 15:30 16:45 17:05 17:45 18:20 19:10 20:30 21:00 21:00 21:50 22:50




by MindaNews, Barug leaders described the agreement they signed with DSWD as ‘”unfair and broad.’” Like an afterthought, Barug spokesperson Karlos Trianga said they feel shortchanged by the agreement they signed with DSWD Wednesday night. The DSWD and the Barug Katawhan representing the victims of typhoon “Pablo” agreed to conduct a validation into the “inadequacy and insufficiency” in the distribution of relief goods. Negotiations between the DSWD, the Barug Katawhan, Balsa Mindanao, the provincial local government unit, and the municipal government unit ended peacefully with all parties agreeing to determine “the total number of families who did not receive enough goods as basis for the distribution of relief goods.” “The Barug Katauhan, DSWD Region 11,

Balsa Mindanao, the provincial local government unit, the provincial social welfare and development office, the municipal government unit and the municipal social welfare and development office, the barangay local government unit and Balsa Mindanao have agreed to fast track the validation of the number of families who did not receive enough goods, the sitios and puroks in the barangays that did not receive or failed to receive sufficient relief goods; and Barug Katau-han will provide the list if there are indeed areas that did not receive or which obtained inadequate relief goods,” said DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman in a separate statement. Aside from this, Soliman said that the DSWD has committed to conduct relief operations until June 2013 or “to even go beyond June if necessary” “Part ng aming stratehiya ay i-normalize ang

P24.47-B budget...

buhay ng ating mga kababayan the soonest possible time. Hindi nila inaasahan na magfu-food pack palagi ng matagal. So gusto po nila talaga ng trabaho at doon kami naka-tutok,” Soliman said. Meanwhile, another commotion transpired yesterday morning when anti-riot policemen blocked the way of some typhoon survivors who marched to Sta. Ana Police Station to demand the release of their two companions detained since yesterday so that they could all together leave for home. After a series of negotiations, their two companions were released and turned over to lawyer Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna and Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao. Soon after, the typhoon survivors kept their promise and left for home on-board the buses that they hired for themselves. [With MindaNews and PNA reports]


er economic growth for this region, which includes nine items. First are the Board of Investments registered projects with a a total of P2.8 billion investments, including the Modern Container Terminal in Panabo City, Manufacturing of Steel Billets, and Coal production in Davao Oriental. Next are the retail shopping malls, including SM in the cities of Tagum and Digos, NCCC Hypermarket in Buhangin, and Electronics and Steel manufacturing in the proposed Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) zones in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. Then there are the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) centers which expect a stronger growth this year with the entry of one of the biggest call center companies in the Philippines which will be hiring 1000 agents.


Another opportunity is the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Program where the region “successfully” facilitated the Tagum Water District Joint Venture for Bulk Water Supply. Worthy of mention were the success of the 40th founding anniversary of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines held at the SMX Convention Center SM Lanang last January 14 to 18; the upcoming international conference on meetings, incentive, conventions and exhibition (MICE) also at SMX on March 6-9; and the Advertising Congress and the APEC leader summit, Davao City is fast becoming a favorite convention site, one of the opportunities that Lim reported. Another opportunity for the region are the expected reforms in the mining sector with the issuance of the Executive Order No. 79 which provides

policies and guidelines for mining companies to ensure environmental protection and responsible mining in the utilization of mineral resources. There is also an opportunity in good governance where Davao City and Tagum City are the leaders recognized for their excellence in governance which opens more opportunities for investments, according to Lim. Lim also cited the revisions in the comprehensive land use plan of Davao City which is being finalized for ratification by the Housing and Land use Regulatory Board (HLRB) to address concern for indiscriminate conversion of lands in the city. Finally, there is a favorable business outlook in 2013 due to the increased inflow of investments and strong confidence of investors in the region’s good governance record.

hampering the delivery of public service. She added that the militants are also asking for the removal of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) troops from the on-going relief and rehabilitation operations in Pablo-hit areas. “Why are they asking for the elimination of the AFP? These soldiers are helping the best they

can the Pablo victims and they don’t even sleep in order to assist them. This should be commended! ” Kaharian explained. She said that being the largest coalition of Mindanao-based civil society organizations (CSO), they will be vigilant in order to maintain the good relationship that they have established with the government.


“I am so sad that this happened, I have friends from the groups who initiated the barricade and I am not in favor of what they have done,” Kaharian added. She said MINCODE calls for respect in legal processes and non-disruption of public service and there is no need to go to the extent of blocking a government office and

Comelec issues notices to Team Pnoy candidates T HE 12 senatorial candidates of Team Pnoy have been ordered by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to take down their illegal posters. In his Twitter, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said that Juan Edgardo Angara, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Maria Ana Consuelo Madrigal, Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes IV, Cynthia Villar, Ana Theresia Hontiveros, Aquilino Martin Pimentel III, Lorna Legarda, Francis Joseph Escudero, and Mary Grace Llamanzares, have been individually informed about their illegal campaign poster on an electric post along West Service Road in Paranaque City. “Notices re Team PNoy’s illegal posters will

have to be sent to the individual candidates appearing on the ad,” said Brillantes (@ChairBrillantes). He explained each was given notices since the Team Pnoy is not registered as a coalition. “We treat it as a tandem/joint ad. Note that Team PNoy is NOT an accredited coalition but an ‘informal’ banding of candidates coming from different parties,” he added. Candidates that were given notices are ordered to remove the posters within three days after the receipt of the notifications or face election charges. “I urge candidates and political parties to stop complaining or whining, Just comply! We are just doing our job,” Brillantes added. Comelec Resolution 9615 states that parties and candidates may

post any lawful campaign material only in authorized common poster areas in public places and in private places provided it has the consent of the owner. Violation of the said resolution entails an election offense, which carries a penalty of one to six years imprisonment, removal of right to vote, and prohibition to occupy public office. Earlier, the Comelec have sent notices to Hontiveros; Rep. Teddy Casino; Angara; Trillanes; Mayor Edward Hagedorn; Rep. Juan Ponce Enrile Jr; Juan Miguel Zubiri; Nancy Binay; Pimentel; Escudero; Madrigal; Aquino; Cayetano; Villar; Magsaysay; and Llamanzares in connection with campaign poster violations in other areas. [PNA]

liberal attitude in favour of the employees in deciding claims for compensability, especially where there is some basis in the facts for inferring a work-connection to the accident or illness. This is what the Constitution dictates,” the SC, through Associate Justice Arturo D. Brion said. Alcaraz has been working with the MMDA for almost 29 years. He was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis and community acquired pneumonia in 2004. He was also confined at the Ospital ng Makati. He was found dead at the basement of the MMDA building on Jan. 15, 2005. Autopsy showed he died of myocardial infarction. His widow, Marilou filed a claim for death benefits

with the GSIS who denied the claim saying the cause of death was not work-related but is related to diabetes. She then took her case to the ECC who affirmed the GSIS’ findings prompting her to appeal before the CA. The CA reversed GSIS and ECC saying there is enough proof of work connection to the death of Alcaraz. It believed that his work as laborer and metro aide have substantially contributed to his illness. GSIS then took the case to the SC alleging that the CA committed grave abuse of discretion. However, the SC affirmed the CA in saying that the hazardous working environment of Alcaraz aggravated his illness. [PNA]

most jobs. He said, “The manufacturing industry should be revived because the production cost of manufacturing in China is increasing, which means the Philippines will have a shot at competing with China now.” The educational system should also be changed toward a direction where the youth would be guided on which course to take in college so that they could easily land a job as soon as they graduate and companies will find it easier to hire fresh graduates in the right courses

vis-a-vis their companies, according to the senator. He added that companies that are offering the most jobs should get incentives from the Board of Investments so that more jobs can be easily generated. The senator takes pride in his senate performance of having the most number of bills passed in the senate, citing as examples the Price Control Law, Food Safety Act, “Botya” or double dead pigs and cows, and the law on testing toys for safety before being sold.

SC reminds GSIS, SSS, ECC be considerate to employees’ claims


HE Supreme Court has reminded the Government Service Insurance System, Social Security System and Employees Compensation Commission to be considerate in dealing with employees’ claims. In an eight-page ruling by the SC’s Second Division released Thursday, it upheld the Court of Appeals’ ruling to grant the death benefits to the survivors of Bernardo Alcaraz, a laborer and Metro Aide I at the Metro Manila Development Authority. “We take this occasion to reiterate that as an agency charged by law with implementation of social justice guaranteed and secured by the Constitution— the ECC (as well as the GSIS and SSS)—should adopt a

Manny Villar...


still haven’t experienced prosperity. “Just because the economy is flourishing for about two to three years, doesn’t mean everyone will immediately feel it, we need to give this economic prosperity some more time for everyone to experience it,” he said. Senator Villar gave suggestions on how to keep the country’s economy thriving, pointing out the revival of the manufacturing industry, reform in the educational system and that the Board of Investments (BOI) should give incentives to companies that are offering the





Durians virtual DAVRAA champion DAVRAA 2013 Team Standing (Medal Tally) As of February 28, 2013 (4:30PM) – Day 3 Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Team Davao City Davao Sur Digos City Tagum City Davao del Norte Panabo City Davao Oriental Igacos Compostela Valley Mati City

Gold 37 15 15 7 6 5 4 3 2 0

Source: DAVRAA 2013 Secretariat

Silver 32 9 7 6 7 13 2 6 7 10

Bronze TOTAL 83 14 43 19 32 10 27 14 28 15 25 7 12 6 16 7 31 22 21 11


AVAO City is on its way to another championship run after a swashbuckling performance in Day 3 of the 201 Davao Region Athletic Association (DAVRAA) Meet in Davao del Norte. The Durians showed their might with an avalanche of 28 gold medals, 21 silvers and 7 bronzes to virtually settle the issue on who the athletic superpower of the region is. As of 4:30 pm yesterday, the Durians have amassed 37

golds, 32 silvers and 14 bronze medals for a three-day harvest of 83 medals in 18 events. Davao del Sur Cobras added only 7 golds to its medal basket which stands at 15 golds, 9 silvers and 19 bronzes. The Cobras are in a close tussle with provincemate Digos City which finished the day locked at second place with 15 golds apiece although the Trekkers have fewer silver medals at (15-7-10). But the biggest jump of the day was made by Tagum City

which vaulted to fourth after starting the day at the bottom 10th. Tagum City bagged 7 golds for the day to hike their medal harvest to 7-614 and overtook host Davao del Norte which got 3 golds for the day for a 6-7-15 output and 5th in the standings. Panabo City also improved to 6th with 5-13-7, Davao Oriental dropped to 7th (4-2-6), Igacos (3-6-7) Rounding up the standings are IGACOS (2-3-4), Davao Oriental ((2-12), Compostela Valley (2-7-22) and Mati City (0-10-11).

P1.5M for Araw sports events


HE city government will be spending P1.5 million for the staging of the Mayor Sara and Vice Mayor Rody Duterte 76th Araw ng Dabaw Sports this year. Cholo Elegino, Sports Development Division of the City Mayor’s Office (SDD-CMO) officer-in-charge, said in yesterday’s Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum at the NCCC Mall Davao Food Cove that the said budget will cover the officiating fees, prizes and venue rentals for the 20 events. Elegino said the 2013 Araw sportsfest budget was higher by P100,000 than last year with in-

creased allocation for officiating fees and new events added. He said the ongoing duckpin bowling tournament opened on Feb. 25 at the Mega Dover Lanes and will end on Wednesday. The age-group chessfest will get underway at the NCCC Mall Food Cove on Saturday and Sunday while the open chess meet will be held on March 9 and 10 at the same venue. The NCCC Mall activity center will host the karatedo event on the same dates while the cycling race will unreel on March 9 in an out-and-back course from Brgy. Langub while.

HB1 Run targets 1,500


HE first-ever HB1 Fun Run gets going on Sunday with some 1,500 runners taking part. Gunstart is at 5 o’clock a.m. and the race will be snaking through an outand-back course starting and ending at NCCC Mall Davao parking lot. HB1 marketing supervisor Delsea Rain Sanchez, accompanied by BJ Pedres, bared this during the Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum held at NCCC Mall Food Cove yesterday. “We have signed up 1,100 runners as of today. We hope to hit our target as registration closes before 5 a.m. on Sunday. We are upbeat about this run because this is HB1’s biggest event thus far in promoting health and wellness in the community,” Sanchez said. The event features the individual 10K, 3K and 5K, couples 3K run, 500m

kiddie race, individual with dog 3K and 30K bike race. Cash prizes await first three finishers. Breakdown of prizes are P3,000, P2,000 and P1,000 for couples 3K, individual with dog 3k and individual 3K; P2,000, P1,000, P500 for 500m kiddie; P5,000, P3,000, P2,000 for individual 5K; P7,500, P4,000, P2,000 for individual 10K; and P5,000, P3,000, P1,500 for 30K bike race. “We will be giving away prizes to the largest delegation and most cheerful team. We will also raffle off three mountain bikes, 10 P500 worth of gift certificates and 20 other consolation prizes during the awarding rites. All finishers will also claim finisher’s loot bag,”Sanchez said. Pedres, for his part, urged Dabawenyos to join the fun run with families and friends assuring a funfilled activity.





Being eco-friendly has never looked so chic!

APPLE & BEE, one of Australia’s premiere sustainable fashion brands, is now available in the Philippines! With Apple & Bee bags, accessories and skincare products, one can look great while helping THE PLANET and environment at the same time. From functional shopping totes to perfectly sized overnighters, Apple & Bee is committed to providing highquality products made from organic and sustainable FECO-FRIENDLY, A4



Roxy announces ‘Dare Yourself” global social media contest AFTER creating the tremendously successful and innovative “Let The Sea Set You Free” contest in 2012, Roxy is delighted to announce the launch of their all-new 2013 program titled “Dare Yourself,” where Roxy is inviting young women ages 18-28 from all over the world to share how they challenge themselves and inspire others by entering this exciting new contest.

Launching globally on January 24th, the “Dare Yourself” contest has Roxy looking for five inspirational young women that exemplify and live the life of a Roxy girl, one from each of five regions; North America, Latin America, North Asia, South Asia, and Europe/Africa/Middle East. Entry will be simple and easy for everyone on http:// with eleven language options available. The ideal candidates will be daring, courageous, unique, inspiring, naturally beautiful, fit, fun, alive, confident, have a contagious smile and an excitingly adventurous story to share, and will submit either a 150 word story together with three photos or a one-minute video clip of themselves. A compilation of the best entry’s from last year’s “Let The Sea Set You Free” contest will be on the Roxy Facebook site to encourage this year’s “Dare Yourself” candidates to be even more creative and unique with their submissions. The five young women that are ultimately chosen as the “Dare Yourself” winners for 2013 will embark on the adventure of a lifetime, which includes an epic trip together with Roxy’s top pro female athletes, up to $5,000 USD in cash, and a Roxy clothing package. And exclusively for the SEA region, the top 5 Roxy girl candidates will enjoy a 3-day Roxy Experience to Bali, where they will have the opportunity to surf, skate, and extreme sport adventure around the island as well as sightsee and enjoy the culture on the Island of the Gods. To learn more about this contest, you can check www. for more information. You can also visit Roxy booth in SM City of Davao on March 1, 2, 3, 2013. Entry submission ends on March 28, 2013. All entries will go through online consumer voting and panel review. Winners shall be announced on June 25, 2013.

Seafood Festival at Café Marco

FOR ALL YOU Seafood aficionados out there, Cafe Marco is the place to dine. We’re taking you on an island culinary tour with our premium seafood items such as Crabs, Prawns, Tuna, Scallops and Squid taking center stage. Special limited offer available for dinner from February 27 to March 9, 2013. For reservations and inquiries, please call (82) 221-0888 local 7222.



Imperial Palace welcomes Year of the Water Snake

“I believe that the best traditions are the ones that involve family. In the Chinese context of wishing good luck and prosperity, what could be luckier and more prosperous than a family that is together and well?”

That, in essence, sums up the innermost feelings of excitement and anticipation of president Justin Uy as the country’s only five-star water park resort, Imperial Palace Waterpark Resort & Spa, embraced the Year of the Water Snake in a grand Lunar New Year celebration on February 9, 2013. “Coming from a Chinese family, I have been celebrating the Chinese New Year every year of my life. I have seen it so many times: the ampao, red chiong sam, the dragon & lion dance, the fireworks. Through those many times, I have always known this to be the best thing about the Chinese New Year: the chúxī, or annual family reunion dinner,” the amiable IP president narrated in his speech. “Jīnyùmntáng, “May your wealth come to fill a hall,” and Jíqìngyuyú, “May your happiness be without limit.” We hope you enjoyed this chúxī, and we wish you good luck and prosperity. Kung hei fat choi!,” president Uy greeted the guests that graced the red carpet occasion. The event began with two well-practiced traditions, the Hoi Gong or eye dotting and the Yee Sang Toss. The lion dance drives away the Nian or evil spirit and makes way for good luck in the incoming year but, before the lions can

Tossing for everyone’s prosperity and enjoying every second of it (L-R): Corrine & Dondi Joseph, DOT Reg. Dir. Rowena Montecillo, Consul John Domingo of the US Consulate in Cebu, Consul General Zhang Weiguo of the Chinese Consulate in Cebu.

dance, they are awakened by the ceremonial eye dotting. Palace Chairman Yong Jun Park, President Justin Uy, Chief Executive Officer Jason Uy and Gen-

eral Manager Edward Cho did just that. To toss the Yee Sang Salad higher and higher for greater prosperity, all four gentlemen came to-

gether with Consul General Zhang Weigou of the Chinese Consulate in Cebu and wife Chen Lianning, Consul Robert Lee of the Canadian Consulate in Cebu, Consul John Domingo of the US Embassy in Cebu, Cebu Business Club President Gordon Alan “Dondi” Joseph and wife Corinne, and Department of Tourism 7 Director Rowena Montecillo who delivered the welcome address. Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Sec. Ronald Llamas joined the festivity in bright red, so did Consul Anton Perdices of the Spanish Embassy in Cebu and his beautiful wife Maripaz with their three children in tow. More notable personalities were spotted: Parkmall President Carlos Co and wife Susan; Jesus Escaño Development Corporation CEO Jimmy Escano with Casa Escaño General Manager Aneth Galoy; Lapu-Lapu City Administrator Teddy Ybañez and Lapu-Lapu City Tourism Officer Hembler Mendoza. And what would a Lunar New Year celebration be without the traditional dragon & lion dance and grand fireworks display? In addition were Chinese numbers performed by host and singer Natasha Cang and the Palace’s dancers, the Amigos, and a delectable spread of worldclass Chinese fare by Palace Sous Chef and Chinese Chef Kenny Yong. IP’s Natalia Baum, Patrick Uytiepo, Rudney Alforque, Sonya Min Ceres Gosney, Joy Ablanida with Aiza Ymbong and F&B associates.




American Idol recap: 5 ladies survive sudden death, Nicki Minaj cries It was another round of sudden death! (Cue the fire show behind Ryan Seacrest.)

The American Idol judges and contestants were back at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas to watch 10 of the female semifinalists perform, before five were sent home packing. So let’s get straight into it. Melinda Ademi, 19, came back for a second shot after not making the cut in 2010. The New Yorker sang Jessie J’s “Nobody’s Perfect,” and got mixed reviews from the judges. “What a great way to start the show,” Keith Urban told her. “I just think you have so much raw talent and so much potential.” However, Nicki Minaj, along with Randy Jackson and Mariah Carey believed nerves got the best of her. “It didn’t have enough moments to make you sail through with me,” Randy said. Another returning competitor, Candice Glover, was sent home last year during the Vegas rounds, but she was determined to make a change this time around, and she did. After showing off her powerhouse vocals to Aretha Franklin’s “Natural Woman,” Keith told her, “Baby that was beautiful,” and sang to her, “You’re a natural singer...” See what he did there? Nicki admitted that it “boggles my brain” why she got cut, but Randy thought this was a more seasoned singer this time through. Fifteen-year-old Juliana Chahayed used her unique and jewel-like voice to Demi Lovato’s “Skyscraper.” Urban felt that she struggled with pitch a lot of the time and understood that her nervousness could be to blame, but added, “There’s a purity about the tone in your voice that I love.” Randy loved the honesty in her voice and her delivery, while Mariah noted that Juliana had “angelic quality.” Meanwhile, Jett Hermano went to the piano and sang a ballad version of Rihanna’s “Only Girl,” which Keith thought “brought out the sexiness in the song.” Nicki

liked what she did, “but I thought it was going to climax to something, but I never felt that.” Cristabel Clack continued to wow the judges, this time with her rendition of Alicia Keys’ “No One,” and her “soul, croaky, cool” voice, as Keith put it, was loved by all of the panel, however Nicki thought that her rasp got a little out of control tonight. Make way for Aubrey Cleland. The stunning 19-year-old was

able, you had your swag on giving me sexy on a stick right now,” Nicki added, and Randy felt that the “song was perfect for you.” Country girl Janelle Arthur sang “Just a Kiss” by Lady Antebellum, and unfortunately fell flat with the judges. They weren’t happy with her song choice because of the “limiting melody” which they felt didn’t give Janelle a chance to “soar.” Nicki told her, “Don’t do that again, you don’t have

brave enough to take on Beyoncé’s hit “Sweet Dreams,” but slowed it down. “I am obsessed with you,” Nicki told her. “For the first time somebody came out here looking like a current artist, sounding like one, feeling like one. You’re gorgeous, you’re beautiful…I was blown away.” Randy felt the same way, and mentioned that during Hollywood week, he told someone, “I would sign her right now.” Mariah added, “I think you’re limitless” Rachel Hale gave a spunky performance to “Nothing but the Water” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Afterward, Nicki had to ask, “Where did this burst of crazy confidence come from?” Rachel’s answer? “I’ve been praying a lot.” That seemed to work in her favor, because the judges enjoyed what she did. Breanna Steer, who lost her home to Hurricane Isaac, brought out her inner diva to “Bust Your Windows” by Jazmine Sullivan. “I love that song, despite it’s violent nature,” Keith, who had never heard the tune before, told her. “You were believ-

to try hard.” Mariah added, “I am definitely a fan… maybe it wasn’t the best song choice, but I’m rooting for you.” And then suddenly you felt like you were at a Broadway show. Zoanette Johnson took a risk singing The Lion King’s “Circle of Life,” and it was a great move. She received a standing ovation from the crowd and the judges.”I love that I have no clue what you’re gonna do, and sometimes I think you do too…Kudos to the queen of the jungle,” Keith told her. “Who gon’ check you boo? You just served it,” Nicki stated, and began tearing up when mentioning how proud she was of the Liberian native for overcoming the obstacles she’s faced and getting to where she’s at now. Randy and Mariah both noted her “spirit,” with Carey saying, “It’s almost like your spirit is too big to be contained.” After deliberation, the judges announced the five that would move forward with the competition. Congratulations to Zoanette, Aubrey, Janelle, Candice and Breanna.

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Apple & Bee was started by Brett Pattinson, founder of the successful natural skincare company Bod and designer Claire Morris, the former Art Director of Marie Claire Australia. Both share a passion for the best in contemporary environmental design and a belief that it can and should be applied to practical everyday objects. Both Claire and Brett are equally committed to developing a company that has the lowest possible impact on the environment, that is why Apple & Bee products are carbon neutral. The company is proud to be achieving this through our association with the internationally recognised organisation Climate Friendly. “Buzzing a path north to Asia, Apple & Bee’s range of products is now widely distributed by the highly successful Primer Group of Companies and can be found in boutiques and department stores in Japan, Singapore, The Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Apple & Bee  are set to expand

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Up and down they go By Neil Bravo


Palos Verdes rallies, Apo skids RPV’s Yamyamin fires day’s best score

EBU CITY—After a horrific round in Mactan, most of the field walked off the winding Cebu Country Club yesterday with a rejuvenated swagger. With better scores on a more forgiving day at the par-72 CCC, the battle for the Founders Division of the 66th Philippine Airlines Men’s Interclub is all of a sudden a wide open race. Overnight third placer Apo Golf and Country Club of Davao City skidded down to a tie for 7th to 8th despite scoring a little better at the CCC but the biggest move of the day was made by another Davao team Rancho Palos Verdes which jumped from 13th to 9th. Negros went from a tie with Apo in third after the first 18 holes to the top of the standings with a scorching 130 aggregate behind the pair of 33s by Tonchy de Leon and Chris Infante and the identical 32s of Francis Gaston and ChepeDulay. Negros now has 233 after an earlier 103 in Mactan. Joel Yamyamin fired the day’s best Division individual score to lead Rancho Palos Verdes which scored 116 for the day. The small but sweet-swinging Yamyamin matched par for 36 points in the 6,677 yard layout by the heart of this Queen City of the South. “I played well today in this course. Di akonaglarokahaponsaMac-

tankasiitoang strategy ng team,” said Yamyamin. RPV’s other scorers were Ronald Galicia who fired a five-over par round good for 31 points, Paul Garcia who had a 28 and Christopher Tan with 21. Monchit Mackay’s 18 did not count in the fiveto-play-four-to-count format. RPV has 208 in two days after a measly 92 in the dreaded Mactan. Apo Golf and Country Club actually improved by three points—a 106-in their scorecard today but they dropped in the standings as the rest of the field fared much better. Apo’s two-day output is 209 (103-106) in a tie with Alta Vista (100-109). Long-hitting Denden De Castro towed Apo with 31 points, Pete Jun Batu added 28, Leo Fusilero 26 and Jorge Martinez 21. First round leader Orchard now trails Negros by one with a 232 followed by Southwoods with 228, Valley 220, Wack-Wack 214, and Forest Hills 211. 2nd day scores FOUNDERS: 233-Negros 103-130; 232-Orchard 114-118; 228-Southwoods 105123; 220-Valley Golf 100120; 208-Palos Verdes 92-116; 214-Wack Wack 99-115; 211-Forest Hills 100-111; 201- Tagaytay Highlands 90-111; 2 0 9 A l t a Vista

100-109, Apo Golf 109106; 207-Villamor 102105; 200-Manila Golf 93-107; 195-Eagle Ridge 703-92; 186-Riviera 9393; 182 Iligan 84-98 FRIENDSHIP: 172-Filam Hawaii 87-85;141-Pittsburg 6873; 138-Northgate 7167; 135-Mabuhay SFO 80-55; 132-Cotabato 6765; 130-Figme 70-60; 117-Green Tee 56-61, Mt. Malindang 53-64, SFO Crystal Springs 5661; 98-Skywest 54-44; 85-Moffet Field 44-41 CHAMPIONSHIP: 250-Cebu 120130;247-Del Monte 119128; 245-Championship 117-128; 199-Sta. Elena 97-102; 148-Pearl kai Hawaii 70-78; 146-Leyte 5096; 140-Greenhills West 68-72; 124-Vancouver Golf 58-66; 114-Brotherhood 57-57, SFO Heritage 46-68; 110-Fil-Oz Sydney 50-60; 103-Van City 55-48; 90- 40Love Darwin 33-57; 84-Greater YVR 29-55; 83-South

Bay 42-41; 74-Yokohama Eagles 28-46; 65-Baguio 29-36; 50-Kuwait 19-31 SPORTSWRITERS: 199-Club Filipino 99-100; 191-Zamboanga 108-83; 190-Sarangani 103-87; 186-Mactan 102-84; 179-Bay Area 94-85; 178-Camp John Hay 95-83; 169-Lumbia 85-84; 168-Sherwood 85-83; 166-Maharlika 84-82; 165-Red Hawk 101-64; 164-PGA BC 8975; 163-Iloilo 81-82; 162Phil Navy 85-77, Evangelista 90-72; 157-Pueblo De Oro 83-74; 154 – Standford 86-68, FilAm Fairfield 83-71; 152-San Juanico 86-66, Guinhalaran 78-74; 150-FGA1 Riyadh 86-64; 149-Bacolod 78-71; 148-Davao 81-67; 147-Lanang 7671, UP Tee Jots 82-65; 146-South Cotabato 7769; 139-Austral Asian 7366; 127-Victorias 68-59; 120-Melbourne Pinoy 53-67; 112-Seattle 51-61; 110-Pinoy YVR 63-47; 62-Riyadh 30-32

BOYS OF DAVAO. Joel Yamyamin of Rancho Palos Verdes studies his line of putt with his caddie in Day 2 action in the 66th PAL Interclub Regular Men’s play. Yamyamin fired the day’s best score for the Founders Division with an even par 72. Pittjun Batu of Apo reacts after his shot and Denden De Castro, also of Apo, motions for his ball to stop. (Lean Daval)




Cebu hikes lead to 3 C

EBU – Defending champion Cebu Country Club pooled 130 second round points yesterday to pad its lead over Del Monte to three points halfway through the 66th playing of the Philippine Airlines Interclub’s Men’s championship division. Marko Sarmiento fired a two-over-par 74 worth 34 points and lawyer Jovi Neri and former club champion Eric Deen shot 33s to anchor the Cebuanos’ steady output over their well-manicured homecourse here for a two-day 250. Andre Borromeo’s 30 was the final score for Cebu CC as eight-time club champion and playing skipper Ramontito Garcia struggled off the tees to have his 29 thrown away. Lawrence Cubillo and Reymon Jaraulla assembled 33s and Magnao Arancon returned a 32 to make up Del Monte’s 128 and 247 overall. Jets Sajulga’s 30 counted as the fourth score for the Bukidnon-based bets, the 2011 champions who discarded the 28 of Julius Bautista. “A lead is still a lead,”

Garcia told scribes after the round, expressing satisfaction that they are still in the driver’s seat – though barely – heading into the final two rounds of the country’s unofficial team golf championship. “We’re still very happy,” he continued. “Tomorrow, if we increase our lead, the better. Our strongest lineup will still be on the final day, hopefully our experience (over Cebu Country Club) counts.” Keanu Jahns, a 6-foot-2 half-German, returned the tournament’s first subpar card in the division’s final flight, a 69 worth 39 points to usher Alabang to a second day 125 that kept it in third spot, now five points behind the pace. Gabriel Manotoc shot 31 points, Jama Reyes added a 30 and Miguel Shah a 28 to complete scoring for Alabang. Santi Lorenzo failed to count with a 23. Jahns had five birdies against two bogeys in the lowest round of the tournament thus far, missing the chance to go lower by muffing a putter-length putt for par on the ninth hole – his last – to settle for a 69. “It could have been

better had it not been for my putting and short game woes,” said Jahns, who admitted expecting to play in the final day again because Mactan Islang Golf Club, the site of third round action today, “doesn’t fit my eye very well.”

Palos Verdes rallies, Apo skids in Day 2 Story on page 15

BLAST FROM THE TRAP. Monchit Mackay of Rancho Palos Verdes blasts out of the bunker at the Cebu Country Club in Day 2 action of the 66th Philippine Airlines Interclub. RPV rallied to move up to 9th in the standings of the Founders Division. (Lean Daval)

Edge Davao 5 Issue 257  

Edge Davao 5 Issue 257, March 1-2, 2013