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EDGEDAVAO Serving a seamless society


NO SHOW FOR PRESSCON. President Benigno S. Aquino III adjusting his glasses while delivering his speech during the second day of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Local Government Unit Summit on Governance and Development at the Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao yesterday, was a no-show in the scheduled press conference, leaving members of the media waiting for him. The President left without his aides announcing the presscon was called off. Lean Daval Jr.

CTO blames database for P1.1-B real property tax delinquency By ARMANDO B. FENEQUITO JR.

The Davao City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) admitted yesterday the P1.1 billion delinquency in real property taxes but blamed the problem on database assessment, not tax collection.

PNoy asks ARMM to support Bangsamoro By CHENEEN R. CAPON


RESIDENT Benigno Aquino yesterday promised officials of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao of a “real” bright future ahead for Mindanao with the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law. Speaking before the 2nd ARMM LGU Summit at the Waterfront Insular

yesterday, President Aquino called on officials of the ARMM to support the ongoing drafting of the Bangsangmoro Basic Law (BBL) to attain total peace and development in the region that has been into Moro rebellion for four decades. “Hinihimok ko po kayong tumaya rin sa pagasang makakamit natin ang

malawakan at ganap na pagbabago sa ARMM. Tiyakin po nating hindi na tayo babalik pa sa dilim ng nakaraan—totoong maliwanag na kinabukasan po ang inyong matatanglawan,” Aquino said. “Nananawagan po ako sa sambayanang Pilipino, lalo na sa mga kapatid nating nandito:


Victor Ranada, acting head of CTO’s real property tax division, told EDGE DAVAO that the database glitch hindered them from collecting taxes due to errors on the assessment. According to Ranada, there were duplications on the assessment which he cited as the main reason they could not effectively cause collection. “Kasi sa database natin ngayon merong mga duplications, meron mga errors sa assessment na hindi dapat nandun,” said Ranada. Ranada, however, said that the CTO is making remedies on uncollected taxes by sending Notices of Delinquency (NOD) to ‘delinquent taxpayers.’ “We will get in touch with them… pag nakau-

sap naming yang mga taxpayers, dalaw lang ang pwedeng mangyari either delinquent siya or meron talagang problema sa assessment,” Ranada said. He added that there are problems in the assessment just like the example that he cited that there are instances in which the property, although already sold to a third party, former owner’s name still appears in the assessment. “So, yung declaration na yun hindi niya yun babayaran kasi na benta naman niya,” stressed Ranada, adding the taxpayer may contest the tax imposed. Ranada said that because of deficient data they are having a hard time locating the delin-

quent taxpayers. He said that there are names in the database that must be exempted from paying real property taxes but still are included in the list of taxpayers under the P1.1 billion tax delinquency report. Ranada showed an example in which the road in Toril which is owned by the city government was assessed and taxed around P200,000 when in fact it is exempted from doing so. The CTO met with district collectors to decide how they will serve notices of delinquency in their respective districts. During the regular session of the 17th city council last Tuesday Vice Mayor Paolo Z. Duterte





VOL. 6 ISSUE 235 • THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2014 INNOCENT. A young boy walks by a huge tarpaulin of the Davao Region Athletic Association (DAVRAA) meet 2014 during the closing ceremony yesterday at the Davao del Norte Cultural and Sports Complex. Lean Daval Jr.

No. 3 most wanted falls Accepting power plants IGACOS



OLICE yesterday arrested the number 3 most wanted person in Davao City who is accused of raping a teenager in 2012. P/Senior Inspector Achilles Caminade Bargio, station commander of the Marilog police, said that Elgen Sulotan, 27, of Sitio

Balite, Barangay Marilog was arrested by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Lope Calio of the Davao City regional trial court branch 33. Sulotan allegedly raped a 16-year-old girl. Police said they conducted several operations for his arrest, but that he

proved elusive until an informant revealed his whereabouts. He is detained at the city jail in Maa. Meanwhile, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Region 11 (CIDG) arrested on Friday a fugitive from the law, one Briskie Cabalisa,

42, number 9 most wanted person in Davao del Sur, who has a pending rape case before the regional trial court branch 10, Davao City. Cabalisa of Purok Orchids, Latasa Village, barangay Tiguman, Digos City was arrested by virtue of a warrant of arrest.

O avail of the big market posed by Asean integration, establishing sea and air connectivity among the BIMP-EAGA members is vital to achieve harmonization of products, thus becoming the food basket of the region, an official said. Romeo Montenegro, director for investment promotion, international relations

and public affairs of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), told Edge Davao that among the priority projects is the establishment of the Davao-Manado- Indonesia direct air route and the roll-on roll- off services between Davao-GenSanBitung, Indonesia. He said that direct routes will help in mobilization and exchange of products among

nations and integrate it into a high-value product. For instance, BIMP-EAGA members Indonesia and Philippines can harmonize by maximizing their own respective advantages. Indonesia can produce corn that can be fed to poultries raised in Mindanao. “Mindanao is suited for poultry raising because we have no avira virus, and In-

donesia is well-known for producing halal products and can certify our poultry products, thus giving us a bigger chance to cater to the halal market,” Montenegro said. Montenegro added that to achieve that viability, the route should first be established, adding that there’s a difference between economic activity of Davao and Indo-


Sea and air connectivity vital to Asean products T WEATHER FORECAST


to foster development By CHENEEN R. CAPON


ESPITE the lack of an economic zone in the Island Garden City of Samal where power plants can be built, the city government is accepting power investment proposals because of the looming power crisis. “The crisis makes us desperate enough to accept power investments,” IGACOS city administrator Cleto Bravo Gales, Jr. said, adding that the submarine cable which serves as transmission utility of the power can shut down anytime. It has a capacity of 5 megawatts and operating for the last 30 years. He said that there were prospective power investors who came to the city last year.

Gales said that a Korean group is eyeing to construct a solar energy power plant with a capacity of 5 megawatts (MW). Another from the Garcia group of companies from Luzon is planning to establish a hybrid coal facility in Pangubatan, IGACOS with a starting capacity of 5MW which can eventually graduate to 10 MW. He said that the group identified the area, but it is still under evaluation by the city council. “Pangubatan is in the southern part of Samal, they want to be there because of accessibility by the sea.” However, according to the city’s amended Land


CONGESTION. An unusual build-up of traffic in Davao City’s major thoroughfares was experienced by motorists yesterday as a large number of visitors arrived to attend various events in the city. Lean Daval Jr.




Lady councilor resigns from all committees D

AVAO City Vice Mayor Paolo Z. Duterte is still clueless on why Councilor Joanne Bonguyan-Quilos resigned from the committees she handled in the 17th city council. Duterte told reporters last Tuesday that he had no idea why Bonguyan dropped her responsibilities in the five committees. “Wa gyud ko kabalo nganong ni resign siya sa iyang mga committees. Wa pud mi nagkastorya,” said Duterte. He added that he only learned about the resignation a text message sent to him by Councilor Tomas Monteverde IV. Reporters tried to get the statement of Bonguyan but she remained mum on the matter. Last month, Bonguyan sent a letter addressed to the vice mayor informing him of her decision to resign as

chairman of the information technology committee, as vice chair of social services committee, and as member of the committees on women, children and family relations, sports and publication. Quilos’ letter was initially read in part by floor leader Tomas Monteverde IV. However, when he was about to continue reading, councilor Bonifacio Militar stopped the former as the letter was not addressed to him (Monteverde). Monteverde said after the recess, that the vice mayor’s office endorsed the letter to him yet he opted not to read on, and the city council accepted the resignation of Bonguyan-Quilos. The city council then proceeded to fill the positions left by her. Councilor Nilo Abellera Jr. was elected chair of the

SEASON. Majority of restaurants and hotels in Davao City offer various Valentine’s Day packages and promos for couples and lovers this love month. Lean Daval Jr.

DSWD urges private Calinan police station has new commander firms to practice CSR FLADY, 10



AVAO City police director Vicente Danao Jr. has designated a new station commander of the Calinan police station after he axed the predecessor last year. Danao said Chief Inspector Randy Paye Sambalon is the new station commander. He was formerly deputy officer of the technical support platoon of the Davao City Police Office. Sambalon replaced Chief Inspector Aldrin Juaneza after he was relieved for being a “slow performer” in solving cases and for

not reporting factual crime statistics during the performance evaluation last November. Meanwhile, the deputy officer of the Calinan police station, Senior Inspector Acquilles Barguio, is the new station commander of the Marilog police station after Chief Inspector Roberto Espina retired from service. Danao said that he is hoping that the new replacements will perform at their best and show outstanding performance in solving crimes and protecting the people.



OVERTY ends when partnership begins. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 11 has urged private companies to practice corporate social responsibility (CSR) to help communities that are really in need. Merlinda A. Paragamac, regional convergence coordinator, told reporters in yesterday’s DSWD ‘partner’s forum’ that they are calling to the business sectors academe and cooperatives to help them distribute social services to the poor. “The DSWD cannot do

it alone in terms of uplifting the poverty situation of our poor families in the region and all over the Philippines,” said Paragamac. Paragamac said that as of this time they already have P50,000 from Davao Bay Coconut Oil Mills, Inc. for the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). She said that the money will go to skills training in carpentry and welding. “So, lahat ng mga gamit n gating mga trainees are provided worth P50,000,” she said. She also said that the Endonela institute of Tech-

nology Foundation has also given scholarships to the 4Ps beneficiaries. Paragamac said that they also hope that the academe sector will give scholarships to the 4Ps beneficiaries as the program only covers high school. “Namroblema tayo in terms of college education. If they can offer full scholarships in their school, that’s better,” she said. In their presentation during the forum, there are new classrooms constructed and rehabilitated by theDepartment of Education, however, supplies regarding chairs and ta-

Rody cracks down on illegal gambling S

BRIEFED. A member of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) receives information detailed by Davao City police operatives prior to the arrival of President Benigno S. Aquino III at the Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao yesterday. Lean Daval Jr.

bles are limited. Comfort rooms are included in the rehabilitation of classrooms but excluded from the new construction. There are insufficient health professionals and medical facilities in upland/rural barangays opf the Davao region and in upland areas, the accessibility of bringing the services is difficult due to the distance and type of roads during heavy and consecutive rainfall, high vulnerability for landslides and floods that would result to postponement of classes and absences of children/ teachers.

IXTY illegal gambling cases were filed before the city prosecution office in a span of just five weeks after the police began intensifying their operations against the vice upon orders of Davao City police director Vicente Danao Jr. It was in response to Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte’s decision to eliminate illegal gambling in the city once and for all. The total number of cases surpassed the total number in November and December last year of 50, based on the record. Those caught in the act will be charged for

violation of Presidential Decree 1602 (illegal gambling), and R.A 9267, an act increasing the penalties for illegal numbers games, such as Swetres, Last Two, Pick Three, and Pronton. The winning combinations are based on the draw results of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO)-administered lottery. According to the record keeper, who asked to withhold his name, the police stations in Sta Ana, Talomo, Toril, Tugbok and Buhangin topped the filing of illegal gambling cases. [EPC]




DepEd starts rationalization


HE Department of Education (DepEd) in Region 12 has been downgraded into a small-sized regional office due to the implementation of the agency’s rationalization plan. Dr. Allan Farnazo, DepEd Region 12 director, said Wednesday a total of 44 personnel positions at the regional office had been so far abolished, scaling down their operations from medium to the smallsized category. He said the regional office’s total work force was specifically reduced from 147 to 103 as a result of the rationalization initiative. “I think that number is fairly enough in terms of the proper management and supervision of our 26,000 teachers in the entire region,” he said. Region 12, which is also known as the Soccsksargen Region, comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato. Farnazo said the reduction of their work force had underwent a series of studies and consultations with agency stakeholders and other concerned sectors. “As part of the rational-


ization plan, our manpower component was assessed to establish whether it complements with the office’s programmed tasks and outputs,” he said. Aside from the reduction of personnel positions, the official explained that the rationalization program provided for the upgrading of some positions that were already considered as outdated. For instance, he said the abolished radio operator positions at the regional office has been replaced by technology information officer plantillas. From the previous salary grade 1 with a monthly salary of P6,000, he said the lowest plantilla position at their office is now at salary grade 6 that has a monthly pay of P8,029. Farnazo said the implementation of the rationalization plan, which was set in DepEd Order No. 53 issued in December last year, has not displaced any personnel or employee at the regional office. “Only the positions were abolished and no employee was laid off or lost their job as a result of the program,’ he said. The official said employees who were affected by the rationalization

PEAK SEASON. Marang, those sweet seedy fruits that abound in parts of Mindanao, are being sold at P30-50 each along the national highway in barangay Kawit Oriental in Kauswagan , Lanao del Norte, on Feb. 10. Its peak seasons are from February to May and from October to December. [MindaNews] were given the option to retire, seek a higher position and apply for a Co-Terminus with the Incumbent (CTI) status if they choose to remain in government service. Employees under the CTI status may retain their

jobs and receive the same salaries and benefits until they decide to resign or retire from DepEd, he said. Under the rationalization program, which was based on Executive Order 366 issued in 2004, employees who would opt to

retire from government service will get more benefits than regular retirement or separation. They will receive additional incentives on top of that from the Government Service Insurance System. The minimum amount an


LGU wants more stringent T measures to preserve lakes

employee can receive is P50,000. “A number of our affected employees opted for promotion while some decided to just retire due to the attractive retirement package,” Farnazo added.[PNA]

ARMM spends P1.9M in aid to Maguindanao evacuees


NVIRONMENT personnel in South Cotabato province are pushing for the amendment of the fisheries ordinance of Lake Sebu town in a bid to ensure the proper management of its three critical lakes. Siegfred Flaviano, Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO) chief, said Wednesday they have formulated a new version of the ordinance that sets more stringent regulatory measures for the utilization of various resources at the town’s lakes – Sebu, Seloton and Lahit. Dubbed the Lake Sebu Fisheries Code, he said the proposed ordinance includes rehabilitation, protection, conservation and sustainability mechanisms for the three lakes. “The proposed code mainly provides for the proper identification of fishery

zones and areas for other purposes or activities within the lakes,” he said in a media forum. Flaviano said they submitted the proposed code early last month to the Sangguniang Bayan of Lake Sebu that immediately classified the measure as urgent. He said among the key amendments that they proposed was the reduction of the fishery or aquaculture area at the lakes to 10 percent. The existing ordinance allows 35 percent of the lakes’ area for aquaculture purposes, contrary to the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code that only allows the utilization of 10 percent of a lake’s surface area for such purpose, he said. The three lakes – Sebu (354 hectares), Seloton (48 hectares) and Lahit (24 hect-

ares) – are known for their high quality tilapia. Based on their assessment, Flaviano said the fish cages in Lake Sebu presently cover 19 percent of its waters. Lake Sebu, which hosts a total of 4,800 fish cages or around 1,800 more than its carrying capacity, has 371 registered fish cage operators while Seloton has 52, he said. In Lake Sebu, the official said the fish cages already cover 70.99 hectares of the lake or 35.99 hectares more than the allowable area as provided for in RA 8550. Last week, the municipal government of Lake Sebu reported that a total of 68.219 metric tons of tilapia worth around P5.2 million had been devastated due to the fish kill in the last three weeks. Lake warden Rudy Muyco said some 54 fish cage operators were already affected by the fish kill, which occurred in

eastern and western sections of the lake. Muyco said the latest fish kill, which is the first this year, was caused anew by kamahong, a phenomenon that is mainly caused by the sudden rise in the water’s temperature. Kamahong, which usually occurs during the rainy season, triggers the rise of sulfuric acid in the lake’s waters that eventually cause the fish kill. Under the proposed code, he said a supervisor for the three lakes will be designated by the municipal government to ensure the proper implementation of its regulatory mechanisms. He said the lake supervisor will mainly see to it that the 10 percent allowable fishery area is maintained and all regulatory measures are properly enforced. [MindaNews]

HE Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) spent a total of P1.9 million in relief supplies to the 6,627 families affected by recent hostilities between government troops and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) forces in Maguindanao. A series of validation and assessment of affected individuals was carried out by the ARMM-Humanitarian Emergency Action and Response Team (ARMM-HEART) before conducting relief operations to determine the exact number of evacuees, said Ramil Masukat, ARMM’s disaster risk reduction management officer. Masukat said the assessment revealed that 31 barangays are affected by the conflict; with the most number of evacuees at 1,394 families or 6,970 individuals coming from the town of Shariff Saidona Mustapha. The two other Magu-

indanao towns affected were Sultan sa Barongis and Datu Piang. ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman has directed the ARMM HEART to provide immediate aid to the affected families following the validation. To date, ARMM HEART has served all the 6,627 families or 28,875 persons, including the 758 families who have sought refuge in the village of Macasendeg, Midsayap, North Cotabato. Masukat said the families who fled to Midsayap are from the village of Dasawao in Shariff Saidona Mustapha. Masukat said each displaced family was given 5 kilos of rice, 5 cans of sardines, 5 packs of noodles, coffee and sugar. The relief operation also included free medical services provided by the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, Maguindanao provincial health office and the Center for Health and Development 12. [PNA]





Camella Northpoint features ‘disaster-resilient’ buildings By GREGORIO G. DELIGERO


SIDE from its strategic location and upscale amenities, Camella Northpoint—a landmark codo development of Camella Davao—features disaster-resilient buildings designed to help ensure the safety and welfare of homeowners in the event of typhoon, earthquake and other major calamities. “We are using advanced engineering method particularly the structural analysis method by using the latest software in designing the buildings,” said Ronaldo S. Ison, a prominent structural engineer in the country who is a consultant in various development projects of companies affiliated with Villar-owned Vista Land including Camella. Ison, who specializes on designing vertical and highrise structures, said all buildings in the Camella Northpoint condo complex are designed to resist the impact of an earthquake in a magnitude of as high as 8 and an intensity of more than 8. “These buildings can withstand 7.2 magnitude Bohol

earthquake,” he said. Ison, who once served as president of the Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines (Asep), said the walls of all buildings in Camella Northpoint can also endure a maximum wind speed of 200 kph. “We use high strength concrete which all passed quality standards testing in accordance with the National Structural Code of the Philippines (NSCP),” said the consultant who was part of the group that formulated and drafted the NSCP, a referral code of the National Building Code. He said that in the first three buildings of Camella Northpoint, they used hallow blocks in building the walls in accordance to international standards. Still observing the same standards, Ison said they are now using precast wall panels in Liverpool, Camella Northpoint’s fourth and tallest tower at 15 storeys high. “These precast wall panels are controlled, better quality. In terms of smoothness,

it’s superior,” he said. Arch. Arthuro Secuya, Camella’s head of planning, said the turn-over of Liverpool units to homeowners is tentatively set from the end of 2015 to the early part of 2016. “We are working on a twoyear schedule,” he said. Camella Northpoint is the first condo community in Mindanao that is a pine estate

in the making with hundreds of imported Caribbean pine trees currently growing all over its grounds. It is a British colonial-themed condo development whose living proposition is unmatched anywhere in Mindanao. While it is nestled within the emerging growth area of Davao, Camella Northpoint has a tranquil

and refreshing ambiance that makes it a haven within the city’s hustle and bustle. Situated on elevated land at the junction of Buhangin Road and JP Laurel Avenue in Bajada, it is tastefully tucked within the natural contours of the land it stands on. The growing pine trees provide fresh oxygen, cooling shade, and a natural barrier from the

city noise. Its well-appointed facilities and amenities include a fitness gym, playground, park, pocket gardens, cabanas, grill pits, a salinated wellness pool, shuttle service, and 24/7 security system with CCTV. A majestic clubhouse, called Wakefield Manor, provides a place for social functions and special occasions.

6 THE ECONOMY Stat Watch Indicator


1. Gross National Income 1. GrossRate National Income Growth Growth Rate2000 Prices) (At Constant

7.1 1st Qtr 2013 6.8

2.2.Gross GrossDomestic DomesticProduct Growth Rate Product (AtGrowth Constant 2000 Prices) Rate

7.8 1st Qtr 2013 7.5

(At Constant 2000 Prices)

(At Constant 2000 Prices)

3. Exports 1/ 3. Exports

4. Imports 1/ 4. Imports

5. Trade Balance Trade Balance 6.5.Balance of Payments 2/

7.6.Broad Money Liabilities Balance of Payments

2nd Qtr 2013

2nd Qtr 2013

USD 3,741 million 5,045 FebUSD 2013 million USD 4,708 Sep 2013 million FebUSD 2013 5,711 USD -967 million million Sep 2013 Feb 2013 USD -665 USD -640 million million Sep 2013 Dec 2012 P 4,964,560 USD 692 million million Feb Jun2013 2013 P2.45,980,938 % million Mar 2013 Aug 2013

8. Interest Rates 4/

7. Broad Money Liabilities

P113,609 2.0 % million Sep2013 2013 Mar P P5,281 127,336 billion million Mar Sep2013 2013

9. National Government 8. Revenues Interest Rate 9. National Government

10.Revenues National government outstanding debt outstanding debt

P 5,609 P 41.14 billion Apr 2013

11.Stocks Peso per US $ 12. Composite                                      Index 6/

6,847.5 P 43.83 Mar Sep2013 2013

12. Stocks Composite

6,191.8 132.8 Sep2013 2013 Apr

13. Consumer Price Index

135.2 Oct2.62013

10.Peso National government 11. per US $ 5/

Sep 2013

13. Consumer Index Price Index 2006=100

     2006=100 14. Headline Inflation Rate 14. 2006=100 Headline Inflation

Apr 2013

2.9 Oct3.12013

Rate 15. Core Inflation Rate      2006=100

Apr 2013


15. Core Inflation Rate       2006=100 16. Visitor Arrivals

382,022 Aug 2013 20.9%

Jan 2013 19.2%

18. 18.Unemployment UnemploymentRate Rate7/

7.1% Jan 2013 7.3%


Jul 2013 Jul 2013

MONTHLY AVERAGE EXCHANGE RATE (January 2011-September 2013) Average December November October September August July June May April March February January


HERE’S business in peace, and mining and banana firms are cashing in on the positive investment climate as the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) transitions into the Bangsamoro, the new autonomous political entity that will replace the 24year old ARMM by June 30, 2016. Records of the Regional Board of Investments show that investments in the ARMM rose from P569 million in 2012 to P1.463 billion in 2013 and officials expect more in the run-up to the Bangsamoro. Before the ARMM bows out in favor of the Bangsamoro, regional officials hope that the poverty incidence, recorded at 48.7 in 2012 is lowered to 40; that the labor force participation increases from 55.5% in 2011 to 70%. In her presentation on “ARMM’s Development Direction and Major Programs and Projects” at the 2nd ARMM LGU Summit at the Waterfront Insular Hotel on Tuesday, (February


16. Visitor Arrivals


More investments as ARMM transitions to Bangsamoro

418,108 Oct 2013 Feb 2013

17. Underemployment 7/ 17. Rate Underemploymen




43.83 43.86 43.35 42.91 41.30 41.14 40.71 40.67 40.73

42.23 41.01 41.12 41.45 41.75 42.04 41.91 42.78 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



11), Executive Secretary Laisa Alamia reported on the increased confidence by investors in the ARMM, locally and internationally. She said new air and shipping routes are being opened such as direct flights from Manila, Davao and General Santos cities to Tawi-tawi without connecting through Zamboanga City, as is the case at present, as well as flights connecting Bongao in Tawi-tawi with Sandakan in Malaysia; and a shipping route connecting Parang in Maguindanao with Isabela City in Basilan, and Lamitan to Jolo in Sulu and Bongao in Tawi-tawi. Alamia told the gathering of the ARMM’s five governors, 116 town mayors and two city mayors, legislators and other regional officials, that many are investing in banana plantations, trading with Sabah in Malaysia, mining and real estate. The infusion of a billion pesos in investments registered with the RBOI in 2013, came from four firms with a mining firm

topping the list: the Al Tawitawi Nickel Corporation which posted P707 million worth of investments for its nickel mining in Tawi-tawi. This year, according to a press release from the RBOI last month, they expect two more nickel firms that will invest in Tawi-tawi. It also quoted RBOI chief Ishak Mastura as saying that he foresees at least eight or more firms registering in 2014 to avail of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. Mastura explained that while the rate of registration in the RBOI is low compared with what the BOI in Manila experiences at any given year, for ARMM “it is already a veritable rush of registration of investments now that the region is set on a trajectory of high growth brought about by the stability engendered by the Mindanao peace process.” The RBOI press release said ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman “has

set a strict policy that mining firms being an extractive industry, cannot avail of fiscal incentives from RBOI as their taxes are needed by the region for its development.” Alamia acknowledged six major development challenges facing the ARMM: recurring peace and security issues, high incidence of poverty, weak revenue generating measures and low investments, poor access to basic social services, inadequate infra support facilities, and environmental degradation and vulnerability to climate change. But Alamia noted there are three major development initiatives being undertaken in the transition from the ARMM to the Bangsamoro: the reforms in the ARMM which have “overwhelming support from national governance” particularly on governance, peace and security and socio-economic development; the

ongoing peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the review on the implementation of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF); and the growing economy and investment prospects. The theme of the two-day Summit that started February 11 is “Strengthening Regional Stakeholders’ Partnership towards Revitalized ARMM in Transition to Bangsamoro.” The ARMM will be deemed abolished as soon as the Bangsamoro Basic Law drafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission is passed by Congress and ratified by residents in the proposed core areas. The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) will then take over the functions of the ARMM and govern the area through a ministerial form of governance. [Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews]

ing brought about by changing lifestyles and the influx of smartphones. It is only safe to assume that a consumer’s data use will increase as they start enjoying the various platforms on digital and social media. This is the reason why we invested millions of dollars to modernize our network, built international submarine cable systems, and created customizable product offers to give our customers a superior data experience,” adds Castelo. Globe first implemented its fair use policy in 2010 covering prepaid calls, texts and data promos. The company enforced the policy for postpaid data plans only last month. Even in the past until today, fair use only affects a small number of subscribers. This

is necessary to protect the network against abuse, examples of which come in the form of unli promos meant for consumers but are used for business, text spamming using prepaid unli promos. Globe enforced the policy for postpaid data plans to protect the data experience of the majority of subscribers who regularly use the network for work or leisure. “The fair use policy is an industry issue that is being implemented by all telco players in the country, even globally in the most advanced economies,” clarifies Castelo. Amid burgeoning consumer use of smartphones and other mobile data devices, network data traffic reports showed a surge of over 300% during peak hours over the last 2

years. Data usage reached 47 gigabits per second (Gbps) in 2013 from only 12 Gbps in 2011. Data user reports also indicate that heavy users only account for less than 3% of total data subscribers, yet consume a disproportionate amount of network capacity. This has led to a degradation of network performance during peak periods of the day and clearly affecting the majority of subscribers who use data prudently. “We want our customers to understand that the ultimate goal of the policy is to protect them because we want the regular data users who use the internet for work or leisure to have a consistently great data experience. Heavy users will affect their experience and this is what we are guarding against,” adds

Castelo. Compared to global leading carriers in the US (2GB/month), United Kingdom (500MB/daily), Thailand (2GB/month) or even locally, the 3GB per month is a sizeable amount of data which allows subscribers to do the following daily: 60 minutes of video streaming, download 4 songs, make 10 Instagram posts, send FB posts, tweets or emails, and browse your favorite webpages. On the other hand, 1GB of data will allow a subscriber to do: 60 tweets and 474 emails and 20 mins of youtube and 60 FB posts and 28 Instagram posts and browse 20 webpages, more than the adequate amount of data to use daily. Illegal torrents and pirating of videos is a practice that will be curbed by the policy.

Globe Telecom to work closely with NTC in ‘fair use’implementation

N reaction to the recent letter of the NTC about alleged data capping, Globe gave its commitment to both the regulator and its data plan customers to step up its education drive towards data usage and the possible impact of its fair use policy to data subscribers. Globe underwent a massive network modernization program two years ago in order to increase capacity and improve network performance. “We now have the most improved network in the country designed for the modern digital lifestyle of Filipinos,“ says Atty. Froilan Castelo, General Legal Counsel of Globe Telecom. “We recognize that our customers have varying needs of data usage. Consumer demand for data is steadily grow-

as of May 2013 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

5J961 / 5J962 Z2390 / Z2390 5J593 / 5J348 PR809 / PR810 PR819 / PR820 5J394 / 5J393 5J599 / 5J594 5J347 / 5J596 5J963 / 5J964 PR811 / PR812 5J595 / 5J966 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

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

6:15 6:25 6:30 7:00 8:50 8:10 8:30 9:40 10:10 12:20 12:30 13:25

Cebu Pacific Tue/Wed//Sat 5J965 / 5J968 13:35 Silk Air Mon/Sat MI588 / MI588 13:35 Silk Air Wed/Sun MI566 / MI566 15:20 Silk Air Thurs MI551 / MI551 12:05 Cebu Pacific Mon/Tue/Wed/Fri 5J507 / 5J598 15:00 Philippine Airlines August 15:55 Mani2Mani 16:50 Zest Air Daily Z2524 / Z2525 16:05

Manila-Davao-Manila Davao-Singapore Davao-Singapore Davao-Singapore Cebu-Davao-Cebu

14:05 18:55 18:55 15:45 15:30





Tapping power from down under

By GERRY T. ESTRERA Contributor


MID the threat of a global energy crisis attributed to rapid depletion of non-renewable energy resources such as coal, oil, and natural gas, geothermalenergy is considered a highly potential solution. Aside from geothermal power, the Philippines is also moving to tap other renewable energy sources such as biomass, hydropower, solar power, wind power and ocean energy in order to supply up to 40 percent of its ever-growing power needs in the coming years. The Philippines has been using geothermal energy to sustain its energy needs for over 40 years. Next to the United States, the Philippines has the second highest geothermal power capacity in the world today. It has geothermal power on its islands to more than double its current capacity. According to some records, the country’s current existing capacity of geothermal energy is 2,027 megawatts (MW). An additional 1,070 MW has been targeted by the energy department. By 2030, the country will be using 3,097 MW of energy from geothermal power alone. Electric power is mea-

sured in units called watt. A watt is equal to one joule (the quantity of energy that can be generated from a fuel such as oil or gas) per second. The total generating capacity of a power plant is measured in kilowatt (KW) for 1,000 watts, and megawatt (MW) for one million watts. Geothermal energy is considered a renewable energy source since its supply is considered inexhaustible. The word “geothermal” comes from the Greek roots geo, meaning “earth,” and thermos, meaning “heat.” The inner core of the earth consists of a molten mass that acts as the source of geothermal energy. In some areas of the Philippines and throughout the world, the intense heat within the earth occurs near the earth’s surface and heats underground water, forming hot water or steam. If these reservoirs are close enough to the surface, wells can be drilled to tap the steam and hot water. The steam and hot water is used to produce electricity with generators. (Geysers occur where these reservoirs of steam and hot water naturally break through the surface.) History records showed that the world’s oldest geo-

thermal district heating system is in Chaudes-Aigues, France, which has been operating since the 14th century. But the earliest industrial exploitation began in 1827 with the use of geyser steam to extract boric acid from volcanic mud in Larderello, Italy. A Wikipedia report said a deep geothermal well was used to heat greenhouses in Boise, Idaho in the United States in 1926, and geysers were used to heat greenhouses in Iceland at about the same time. Since 1943, Steam and hot water from geysers were used to heat homes in Iceland. The 20th century saw the rise of electricity, and geothermal power was immediately seen as a possible generating source. Prince Piero Ginori Conti tested the first geothermal power generator on July 4, 1904, at the same Larderello dry steam field where geothermal acid extraction began. It was a small generator that lit four light bulbs. Later, in 1911, the world’s first geothermal power plant was built there. It was the world’s only industrial producer ofgeothermal electricity until 1958, when New Zealand built a plant of its own. The first commer-

cial geothermal heat pump was designed by J.D. Krocker to heat the Commonwealth Building in Portland, Oregon in 1946. Two years later, Professor Carl Nielsen of Ohio State University built the first residential heat pump two years later. The technology became popular in Sweden as a result of the 1973 oil crisis, and has been growing slowly in worldwide acceptance since then. In 1967, Dr. Arturo P. Alcaraz and his team lit a light bulb using steam-powered electricity coming from a volcano near the town of Tiwi in Albay. This was the first geothermal power generated in the Philippines. Through the hard work of Dr. Alcaraz – who touted to be the Father of Geothermal in the country – the first geothermal power generating plant with a three megawatt capacity was opened in Leyte in 1977. By 1980, the geothermal plants in Tiwi and Mt. Makiling-Mt. Banahao (called Mac-Ban) were each capable of producing 220 megawatts, and in the first half of 1982, when another 110 megawatts were added at Tiwi, the Philippines attained the second highest geothermal generating capacity in the world.

(In 1982, Dr. Alcaraz was bestowed the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service “for scientific perspicacity and selfless perseverance in development of Philippine geothermal energy”.) Today, geothermal electricity is generated in 24 countries around the world including the United States, Iceland, Italy, Germany, Turkey, France, the Netherlands, Lithuania, New Zealand, Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Russia, Indonesia, China, and Japan. Geothermal power is environment-friendly. It requires no fuel, and is therefore immune to fluctuations in fuel cost. In fact, the production of the electricity by geothermal plants is cheaper than the electricity produced in plants by using natural gas and coal. It is even cheaper than electricity produced by hydro power stations. Geothermal has minimal land use requirements; existing geothermal plants use 1-10 hectares per megawatt versus 5-12 hectares per megawatt for nuclear operations and 25 hectares per megawatt for coal power plants. On the negative side, geothermal power

still creates some environmental problems. Studies have shown that geothermal fluids drawn from the deep earth may carry a mixture of gases with them, notably carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. When released to the environment, these pollutants contribute to climate change, acid rain, and noxious smells in the vicinity of the plant. According to studies, existing geothermal electric plants emit an average of 90-120 kilograms of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour of electricity. But this is just a small fraction of the emission intensity of conventional fossil fuel plants. In some parts of the world, some geothermal power plants are equipped with emissions-controlling systems that reduces the exhaust of acids and volatiles. In addition to dissolved gases, hot water from geothermal sources may contain trace amounts of dangerous elements such as mercury, arsenic, and antimony which, if disposed of into rivers, can render their water unsafe to drink. Geothermal plants can theoretically inject these substances, along with the gases, back into the earth, in a form of carbon sequestration.







What P1.1billion can buy

AVAO City, despite its huge revenues reported in the past three years, has a huge outstanding real property tax collectibles in the city’s seven districts from previous years. The amount due goes up to a whopping P1.1 billion. That’s a lot of money. So what can one do with P1.1 billion? By rough estimate, that money could be enough to build a highway from Lasang to Toril. It could buy rescue boats, mobile hospital, and high-end ambulance units for 911. It could construct thousands of houses for the city’s homeless and informal settlers. It could construct a hundred or more school buildings. In short, P1.1 billion is a lot of money to waste. The P1.1 billion tax due from the city’s districts on all piled up and became stats under the column “tax collectible” on the ledger. Why did we do all these years for that to pile up? Ask the City Treasurer’s Office which is again mired in another imbroglio after six of its personnel were dismissed for misappropriation of public funds. The deficit was the content of a report submit-


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ted by the Finance Committee of the Sanguniang Panlungsod which will again seek measures to improve tax collection. Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, who was fuming mad when he got the report, immediately called for the CTO to act on the tax collectibles while the august body contemplates on how to improve the system. Vice Mayor Duterte has set a deadline for the collection on March 31 and unless the men and women of CTO collects the tax due, expect heads to roll. Meantime, it would be good for the CTO to learn the unsympathetic stance of BIR Commissioner Kim Henares if they are to seriously collect that P1.1 billion tax collectible. After going after boxing champ Rep. Manny Pacquiao, Henares practically ‘hunted’ everyone in the newspaper headlines— from Cedric Lee to Vhong Navarro to figure skater Michael Christian Martinez’s parents. These CTO men should go out and collect energetically like the ‘arawan’-lending Indian residents in the city.

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Sharing the same vision


OLITICAL LEADERS’ COMMON AGENDA – This topic refuses to go away. It keeps on coming back and finds its place in the front pages of newspapers and prime time on radio and TV. It’s about the issue on Charter Change which senior leaders of both houses of Congress are planning to revive. Despite the entwining socio-economic and political problems confronting the nation a move to amend the charter is part of the agenda of the present leadership of the legislative bodies. The dominant question now is: Is it really necessary to amend the charter? Looking back more than a decade ago, political leaders of different parties assert it is necessary to introduce major changes to the present Charter in a manner that is open, transparent and broadly participatory. Administration and opposition stalwarts then conducted a political summit and its declaration calling for Charter change or Cha-cha. Because of the nature of the revisions required and the conflicts of interest that are certain to arise, there is a strong sentiment in support of electing a constitutional assembly (Con-ass) delegates to propose the changes. However, some well-known political figures insist that for constitutional change, what is needed is a constitutional commission (Concom), not a con-ass. And this crucial point deserves an intelligent debate and requires the advices of constitutional experts. Some may not share the same understanding in pushing Charter change, either through Con-ass or Concom, but they share the same vision of introducing major changes of the fundamental laws of the land. Hence, they agreed to rewrite the Constitution by tapping the best minds, the most credible, the most knowledgeable, and the most perceptive of our citizens,


regardless of party labels. Then let them pour into the revision of the Charter the noblest thoughts or the courageous Filipino qualities so we can move together forward to a brighter, newer world. Here’s a refresher to the minds of the forgettable public. The summit’s group at that time who was in-charge of analyzing and discussing the 1897 Constitution enumerated nine proposed changes to the Charter. First: a redefinition of Philippine territory; second: a change in the form of government – presidential vs. parliamentary, federal vs. unitary, and unicameral vs. bicameral. Third: reshaping the economic restrictions; fourth: a review of the term and term limits of elective officials; fifth: a review in the role of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as protector of the people and State. As for the other proposed changes – sixth: define a separation of church and State and further take into consideration the Muslim perspective, seventh: a review of the features of the electoral system (e.g. composition of the board of canvassers, representation of women, return of the two-party system and others); eight: revert the supervision of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to the local government units (LGUs); ninth: provide for a mechanism in the plebiscite where individual changes may be presented to the electorate on a proposition

by proposition basis so that debates and arguments can be focused upon. After more than a decade, it is now the common belief of political and business leaders to fully modernize the country’s politics and bring it closer to the democratic ideal a process of building broad consensus on constitutional reforms that must now be started. The common agenda is a united call for Charter change – a political reform to make democracy works, structural reforms to get the economy grow faster, law and order to make civil society possibly safe and comfortable, and national security to preserve and protect the Filipino homeland. The clamor for Charter change remains strong despite President Benigno Aquino III’s reluctance to support the awareness and intention of reviving the Cha-cha issue. But his averseness can be talked about, discussed and debated. That is why the amendment process ensures that the proposed changes are not a foregone conclusion. Although it’s still on the planning board the most likely scenario is for Congress to convene either into a Con-ass or Concom, and has to receive more than half the votes of those present in a quorum of both the houses of Congress. Furthermore, three-quarter of the vote from the entire assembly is then required for the amendments to be passed. The final step is a nationwide plebiscite in which the proposals must obtain over 50% of the votes cast. Political leaders, business groups and different sectors in society are hoping of putting a stop to the instability in government by uniting the parties towards the goal of nation building, instead of constantly being focused on self-serving politicking. Whether this unity can be achieved with Charter change, however, remains to be seen.

Is the China-Japan relationship ‘at its worst’?

T the Munich Security Conference last month, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying said the China-Japan relationship is “at its worst.” But that’s not the most colorful statement explaining, and contributing to, China-Japan tensions of late. At Davos, a member of the Chinese delegation referred to Shinzo Abe and Kim Jong Un as “troublemakers,” lumping the Japanese prime minister together with the volatile young leader of a regime shunned by the international community. Abe, in turn, painted China as militaristic and overly aggressive, explaining how — like Germany and Britain on the cusp of World War One — China and Japan are economically integrated, but strategically divorced. Even J.K. Rowling has played her part in recent weeks, with China’s and Japan’s ambassadors to Britain each referring to the other country as a villain from Harry Potter. Of course, actions speak louder than words — and there’s been no shortage of provocative moves on either side. In November, Beijing declared an East Asian Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) — which requires all aircraft to follow instructions issued by Chinese authorities, even over contested territory, which pushed tensions to new highs. The following month, Abe visited Yasukuni Shrine — a site associated with Japanese World War militarism that makes it an automatic lightning rod for anti-Japanese sentiment among Japan’s neighbors. But despite the clashes and growing conflict, it remains exceedingly unlikely that China-Japan fallout will escalate into military engagement. China won’t completely undermine economic relations with Japan; at the provincial level, Chinese officials are much more interested in attracting Japanese investment. And Japan still sees the success of its businesses in the vast Chinese market as an essential part of efforts to revive its own domestic economy, even if its companies are actively hedging

COMMENTARY BY IAN BREMMER their bets by shifting investment away from China. The relationship is unlikely to reach a boiling point. Rather, we are more likely to see sustained cycles of tension. So if both sides intend to limit the potential for conflict, how concerned should we be? Even if military engagement is highly unlikely, China-Japan is still the world’s most geopolitically dangerous bilateral relationship and that will remain the case. There are a number of reasons why. First and foremost, there’s always the chance, even if it’s remote, for miscalculation with major consequences. When fighter jets are routinely being scrambled to deal with Chinese “incursions” into what the Japanese consider to be their territory, the potential for a mistake looms large. And given the frigid relations between these two countries, if there is a mistake, China and Japan are going to assume the worst of the other side’s intentions. On top of this, the sheer size and integration of the economies — China and Japan are the world’s second and third-largest economies, respectively — makes the relationship hard to ignore. Japan has 23,000 companies operating in China, with 10 million Chinese workers on their payrolls. But Japanese companies are actively diversifying away from China now, with foreign direct investment waning and Japan shifting to Southeast Asia in particular. China-South Korea trade is fast approaching the levels of China-Japan trade as a result of fallout from tensions between Tokyo and Beijing. If the Chinese and Japanese start thinking their economic relationship is deteriorating, the potential for confrontation grows. Furthermore, the size and duration of the conflict makes it a crucial global risk: the ten-

sions are rooted in historical animosity with no viable solution. There’s no diplomatic outreach going on between China and Japan — and neither the United States nor any other foreign power is doing enough to help facilitate that relationship. There is no one in China trying to see the world from Japan’s perspective, and vice versa. According to a recent Pew Research poll, just 6 percent of Chinese had a favorable view of Japan, and only 5 percent of Japanese view China favorably. Both sides may be well aware that a full-fledged conflict is not in the other’s best interest — but that only gives them more reason to push the envelope. As a senior Chinese official recently explained to me, the Chinese aren’t worried about pushing Japan (they “don’t want war” and the Japanese “don’t dare”). And although it’s in both China’s and Japan’s interest to stop short of military conflict, both countries have motives for drawing out the tensions. They can benefit back home from the perception of an unyielding stance to a historical enemy. Beijing continues to use Tokyo as a release valve for nationalistic pressures as it softens foreign policy on other fronts — particularly with U.S. relations, where the charm offensive is motivated, in part, by an effort to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Japan. In Japan, Shinzo Abe views China’s rise as a longer-term threat to Japan’s standing in the region, and he’s intent on pushing back. So what can we expect this year? Rather than military conflict, the overall result will likely be an aggravation of already inflamed public opinion and a deterioration of the business climate in both countries. Abe will push to reinterpret — and even rewrite — constitutional prohibitions on Japan’s right to use force in international disputes, and he will likely visit Yasukuni again. But perhaps more worrisome than the near-term risks — there is no solution in sight.



Euroscepticism may have silver lining ANALYSIS BY HUGO DIXON


Part 1 of 2

ANY eurosceptic treatises, such as the recent report saying the Netherlands would be better off quitting the European Union, are exaggerated and unconvincing. But mounting euroscepticism could still have a silver lining if it helps those wishing to reform the EU advance their agenda. Few people think the Netherlands is close to quitting the EU. In this way, it is different from the UK, where exit is a genuine possibility. That said, euroscepticism is on the rise following years of economic stagnation. The right-wing Freedom Party, led by Geert Wilders, is leading in the opinion polls and is likely to be the largest party in May’s European Parliament elections. Other eurosceptic and nationalist parties such as France’s National Front and Britain’s UK Independence Party are also likely to perform well. To see what is wrong with the eurosceptics’ arguments, look no further than the study on “Nexit” – the Netherlands’ potential exit from the EU – commissioned by Wilders and written by Capital Economics, a London-based consultancy. Although the case for Nexit has been dressed up about as well as it is possible to do so, it is still full of holes. A Nexit would have two elements: quitting the EU and quitting the euro. It would, therefore, be a combination of Brexit (Britain’s exit from the EU) and Grexit (Greece leaving the single currency). According to Capital Economics, exiting both the euro and the EU would be beneficial for the Dutch. Look first at leaving the single currency. Capital Economics thinks this could be achieved relatively painlessly. The advantages would be that the Netherlands would not be exposed to the risk of bailing out other euro countries and that it would be free to run much looser monetary and fiscal policies to boost its economy. There are several things wrong with this argument. First, there is the implausible assumption that the core euro countries such as Holland will pick up the tab to write down government debt in all peripheral economies, including Italy, to 90 percent of GDP. Then there’s the view that the solution to the Netherlands’ economic problems is loose monetary and fiscal policy. Its stagnation is mostly the result of home-grown problems – such as high household debt following a credit-fuelled housing bubble and the high tax burden needed to fund its generous welfare state – rather than its membership of the euro. If Capital Economics’ proposals had been followed, the Netherlands would have had lower interest rates during the upswing, fuelling an even bigger bubble. Meanwhile, its independent central bank would now be running a super-loose monetary policy. One chart in the consultants’ report fancifully suggests it would be setting interest rates at minus 13 percent – which is probably impossible.




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UNUSUAL. This high school student spends her break time picking of lice from a friend’s hair at Rizal Park along San Pedro Street in Davao City yesterday. Lean Daval Jr.


Focus on big graft cases T

O decongest the clogged dockets of Sandiganbayan, Senate President Franklin Drilon on Wednesday urged the anti-graft court to focus on the most significant graft cases and transfer minor cases to the Regional Trial


Courts (RTCs). “The list of pending cases at the country’s anti-graft court is not getting any shorter, given the strong resolve of the administration to purge the government of corrupt individuals and finally halt the culture of cor-

ruption in the bureaucracy,” said Drilon. He said that about 50 percent of the pending cases in the Sandiganbayan are considered minor cases “which can actually be heard faster by the regional trial courts.”

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The Senate chief pointed to some provisions of the law that “only contribute to the backlog” even if the men and women of the Sandiganbayan are trying their best to fast-track the judicial process. Drilon was referring to the existing law vesting in the Sandiganbayan the jurisdiction over all graft cases involving public officials occupying Salary Grade 27 and above regardless of the “nature and gravity” of the offense. “As a consequence, the country’s anti-graft court has to deal with even the most minor of cases, thus further aggravating its workload,” said Drilon. He added that it takes five years or even more for the Sandiganbayan to try and decide an average case. The Senate chief thus said he will propose another amendment in the Sandiganbayan’s charter to allow the transfer of minor cases to the RTCs. ”Minor cases are those where the information does not allege any damages or bribes, alleges damages or bribes that are either unquantifiable or not quantified, or alleges quantified damages or bribes amounting to P1 million only or less,” he said. He said the expertise and competence of a trial court judge is “more than sufficient to hear such kind of cases.” Drilon has previously filed a bill which seeks to amend the proceedings of the Sandiganbayan, which will authorize a justice-designate to hear and receive evidence on behalf of a division. [PNA]

nawa’y bigyang-daan po ninyo ang mga hakbang nating ito.” The 2nd ARMM LGU Summit was attended by 116 municipal mayors, two city mayors, and five provincial governors. Aquino stressed that the government and ARMM is taking the route that will lead to sustainable peace and development. “Iyan po ang bagong mukha ng inyong gobyerno; at iyan din ang nakikita nating magiging bagong mukha ng Bangsamoro sa mga darating na panahon.” The President said that it is time to end the culture of greed and injustice in Mindanao, adding that it’s been the reason why the region is left behind for many years. “Tila naging kultura na ang kasakiman—ang serbisyong panlipunan, nagiging serbisyong pang-iilan.” The President cited that in the past, the region experienced several failure of

elections, election-related crimes, and electoral sabotage. For instance, failure of election was declared to 17 municipalities in 2007, and decreased to six in 2010 while only one municipality declared failure in 2013 election while PNP reports bared that from 33 incidents of election-related crime in 2010, it bugged down to six in 2013. According to him, this is because of the intensified effort of DILG- ARMM in securing smooth and successful barangay election last October, 2013. To assure that this will continue, he said that the Bangsamoro government will elect its first set of officials in 2016 along with the local and national election as first part of the transition period. This will only happen once the the geographic coverage of Bangsamoro is identified through pleibicite and Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is implemented by December 31, 2014.

warned that if the CTO does not work seriously regarding tax collection, the council will act according to law for the imposition of applicable penalties for dereliction of duty. The P1.1 billion uncollected tax was attributed to Poblacion district which

topped the list of delinquent collections with P483.6 million followed by Buhangin district with P359.8 million, Agdao district with P99.6 million, Bunawan district with P94.1 million, Calinan with P52.6 million, Baguio with P15.1 million, and Paquibato with P10 million.

Use Plan, the southern part of Samal is identified as an agri-tourism area while the northern part is for agriculture. The 118 km shoreline is identified as area for coastal tourism.

He said that there’s still a need to update the city’s LUP whose amendments were approved in 2009. Meanwhile, he said that all of these are indicative and not yet applied.

nesia 10 years ago when the direct air flight from Davao to Manado, Indonesia was first launched but suspended because of low load factor. “We must make sure that both nations are prepared,” he said, adding that to be viable, the load factor should reach 50 to 60 percent to recover the investment of the private sector. He said that Department of Tourism in the region is talking with Indonesian and local airline companies to establish regular direct

flights Meanwhile, during the two-day strategic meeting which began yesterday at The Marco Polo Davao, over 200 technical officials and private sector representatives from within BIMP-EAGA convened to revisit and reassess the 2012-2016 implementation blue print. He said that during the project visitation, participants will be identifying projects that will be prioritized and will be implemented starting this year up to 2014. [CRC]

information technology committee, councilor Leonardo R. Avila was voted vice chairman of the committee on social services, and councilor Maria Belen Sunga-Acosta was added as member of the women, children and family relations commitee, councilor Edgar Ibuyan Sr. was voted member of the committee on sports, and councilor Jimmy G. Dureza was voted to the publication committee. In an interview after the session last month, Mon-

teverde was mum as to the contents of the letter. He said the council accepted the resignation there is a need to fill the vacanted positions. Reporters also tried to get a copy of the letter from the office of the council secretary but according to a source, there was no letter forwarded to them. The media also tried to get a copy form the office of Bonguyan-Quilos but was advised to ask the vice mayor or the councilor herself. [ABF]

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Golden rice to the rescue

By GERRY T. ESTRERA Contributor


ICE helps feed almost half the people on the planet. As such, rice is not only the most important food staple in Asia, but also in the world today. In the Philippines, rice is the leading staple food. As the late food epicure Doreen Fernandez wrote: “If we did not have rice, our deepest comfort food, we would probably feel less Filipino.” According to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, Filipinos spend more on rice than any other food. A survey conducted by the line agency of the Department of Agriculture showed that Filipinos, especially those from low-income households, are depending solely on rice more than ever for their daily dietary energy supply and dietary protein because it remains the most affordable food in the country. Nutritionists claim rice contains carbohydrates, protein, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Rice does not only help solve hunger but also “hidden hunger,” the colloquial term for micronutrient deficiency. It happens when people get enough macronutrients (such as carbohydrates, protein, and fat), but not enough micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) for optimum health. The 2013 State of Food and Agriculture report of the Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) states that two billion people suffer from one or more micronutrient deficiencies. “The impact of hidden hunger on people’s health is very real,” the Interna-

tional Rice Research Institute (IRRI) said in a statement. “It can result in more frequent and severe illness and complications during pregnancy, childbirth, infancy, and childhood.” Enter the controversial golden rice. It is called so because it contains beta carotene, which is converted to vitamin A when eaten. “Because rice is so popular in the Philippines,” says IRRI, “providing rice that is more nutritious and that contains beta carotene could help boost people’s vitamin A status. In turn, this could reduce the extent and impact of vitamin A deficiency among Filipinos.” Consuming adequate amounts of vitamin A reduces overall child mortality by 23-34%. A research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2009 showed that daily consumption of a cup of rice, about 150 grams uncooked weight, could supply half of the Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin A for an adult. Vitamin A is found naturally in many foods, including liver of chicken, beef, pork, and fish. Most of them, however, can be found in root crops (carrot and sweet potato) vegetables (broccoli and tomato), and milk products (cheese and butter), and fruits (papaya, mango, melon). Most of these sources, however, are beyond the reach of poor people, particularly those living in shanty places, upland areas, and rural communities. So, some scientists came up of an unthinkable idea: that of putting vitamin A in rice, as 89% of

Filipinos consume rice on a daily basis. Normally, rice plants produce beta-carotene in their green parts, but not the grain that people eat. Golden rice is genetically engineered to produce beta-carotene in the edible part of the plant. Using genetic modification techniques, respected scientists developed golden rice using genes from corn and a common soil microorganism that together produce beta carotene in the rice grain. According to IRRI, conventional breeding programs could not be used to develop golden rice because rice varieties do not contain significant amounts of beta carotene. Credited for discovering the golden rice were Ingo Potrykus, who was 65 at that time and was about to retire as a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, and Peter Beyer of

the University of Freiburg. “My team targeted vitamin A deficiency because this is one of the largest health problems worldwide,” Prof. Potrykus was quoted as saying. In 2005, scientists develop the current version of golden rice. In the Philippines, the first generation golden rice was first tested in advanced field trials in IRRI in 2008. The second generation of selected varieties was field tested in the wet season of 2010. At the state-owned Philippine Rice Research (PhilRice), confined field trials of advanced lines were conducted in February to June 2011. “The field trials are an important step in evaluating the performance of golden rice and to determine if it can be planted, grown, and harvested just like other popular rice varieties,” PhilRice said in a statement. “These trials are also part of the safety

assessment of golden rice.” But despite the good things that golden rice brings, there are those who are against its commercialization. “The statement that golden rice would solve world hunger is ludicrous,” wrote Leonard Pollara of Organic Sage Consulting. “The proposal that any agricultural activity that relies upon a concentrated vertically-integrated food supply to end world hunger flies in the face of history and reality.” One of the key arguments is that golden rice, once sold, will serve only the interest of multinational companies, an issue that is well-anchored on intellectual property rights. Others claim that the golden rice was just a ploy of agrochemical companies. To quote the words of Father Shay Cullen in an article he wrote recently: “They own and supply the specific fertilizer that makes the seed grow

and upon which it is dependent. In this way, the corporations control the food supply through their genetically-modified seed and food products.” International group Greenpeace, which has made a concerted effort to block golden rice’s introduction since it was announced in 2000, claims that vitamin A-fortified rice may not be effective in delivering vitamin A to children. “The real reason Greenpeace is opposed to golden rice is because it is genetically modified and it can’t seem to imagine that even one beneficial crop might result from this technique,” writes Dr. Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace who helped lead the organization for 15 years but is now an independent ecologist and environmentalist. “It is willing to put its zero-tolerance ideology ahead of a critical humanitarian mission.”

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DOLE, Smart provide livelihood package to Yolanda survivors S

OME 100 residents from three barangays in Tacloban City that were hardhit by Super Typhoon Yolanda became the first

set of beneficiaries of a livelihood project of the Department of Labor and Employment in partnership with Smart Communications, Inc.

General Santos Drive, Koronadal City, South Cotabato 9506

Tel. No. 083-228-2511 ; Fax No. 083-228-2654

General Santos Drive, Koronadal City, South Cotabato 9506 Tel. No. 083-228-2511 ; Fax No. 083-228-2654





Qualifications: Qualifications:

1. Male, 28 – 40 years old 1. least Male, high 28 – school 40 years old 2. At graduate 2. At least high school graduate 3. With 5 years driving experience (bus, trucks) 3. With 5 years driving experience (bus, trucks)

Requirements: Requirements: 1. Driver’s License with Official Receipt 1. License (2 with Official Receipt 2. 2 x Driver’s 2 I.D. picture pcs.) 2. 2 x 2 I.D. (2 pcs.) or clearance from 3. Certificate of picture Employment 3. Certificate of Employment or clearance from

May previous apply in employment person at Human Resource Department, YBLI in Office, General Santos Resource Drive, May apply person at Human Koronadal City. YBLI Office, General Santos Drive, Department, Koronadal City.

(Smart). The beneficiaries each got a mobile phone from Smart, and airtime load plus P8,000 worth of groceries from DOLE to help them start-up a sari-sari store with Smart reloading business. They are residents of Barangays 50, 69 and 72 where DOLE had earlier organized livelihood development associations. The project, dubbed DOLE Starter Kit Project, was launched at the

DOLE regional office on January 21, 2014, with the presence of DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz. The affair was highlighted with the signing of a partnership agreement between DOLE and Smart. Signing on behalf of DOLE were Secretary Baldoz and DOLE-8 Regional Director Exequiel R. Sarcauga, and Rex Ryan Quisumbing of Sales Distribution-Tacloban for Smart. Also witnessing the event

was DOLE-8 Assistant Regional Director Cyril Ticao. In her message, Secretary Baldoz recalled that it was Ramon “Mon” Isberto, head of Smart Public Affairs, who suggested a livelihood project for Yolanda survivors, who lost their sources of income after Yolanda. “Mon called me up regarding the project. He said Smart wants to help (through a livelihood project),” Baldoz said. “If the project turns out to be successful, it can be sustained and replicated in other disaster areas.” She also disclosed that when she had a talk with Leyte Gov. Leopoldo Dominic L. Petilla earlier that day, the governor told him that what his people need now are jobs. Baldoz said that Yolanda survivors should take every avail-

Realty FOR SALE:

1) 1-hectare commercial lot at P10,000/sq m, along National Highway, facing east, beside NCCC Panacan, Davao City. 2) 17,940sq m commercial lot at P2,500/sq m, along Matina Diversion Road. 3) 3,831 sq m lot along Matina Diversion Road. 4) 41,408 sq m commercial/ industrial lot at P800/sq m along the National Highway, Bunawan. 5) 7,056 sq m at P1,200/sq m commercial/residential lot along Indangan Road, Buhangin District. 6) 27,411 sq m commercial/ industrial lot along the National Highway in Bincungan, Tagum City. 7) 116.15 to 245.92 sq meters , at P5.5M to P12.3M commercial/ office condo units in Bajada, Davao City. 8) 699 to 1,117 sq m at P4,100/sq m commercial lots at Josefina Town Center, along the National Highway, Dumoy, Toril. 9) Ready-for-Occupancy Residential Properties: 4BR/3T&B in a 240 sq m lot with 177.31sqm floor area (2-storey) at P4.8M in an exclusive beachfront community in Dumoy, Toril.; 3BR 2-storey in a 71.25 sq m 2-storey in a 143sq m lot in an exclusive flower village in Maa, Davao City; 180 sq m lots with 71.25sqm to 126.42 sq m floor areas, priced at P3.751M to P5.773M in an exclusive mountain resort community along Matina, Diversion Road. 10) 1BR/2BR residential condo units located in Bolton, Maa, Obrero, Davao City. 11) FOR ASSUME (RUSH): 1BR res’l condo unit in Palmetto, Maa. P600K negotiable. Note: Items 1-9 can be paid in cash, in-house or bank financing. If interested, please call Jay (PRC REB Lic. 8237) at 0922-851-5337 (Sun), 0908-883-8832 (Smart) or send email to

able opportunity given them to hasten their recovery. “We at Smart look at every available opportunity to assist Yolanda survivors get back on their feet. Most of them have lost everything to the typhoon and every little help will go a long way. This partnership with DOLE is part of the group’s post-disaster recovery efforts in Central Philippines. Our load retailer business has proven to be a lucrative model, made more viable because of its sachet-sized price offerings,” said Isberto. Smart sales agents will be monitoring and checking on regularly with the beneficiaries for their load requirements, while DOLE has assigned personnel to monitor the project. Smart’s business partners, regional distributor Cellcom and provincial distributor Bunkang Marketing assisted in preparing the phone kits that were given to the beneficiaries. “This is the pilot run of the livelihood partnership with DOLE targeting other segments of the community, including OFW families. To support this initiative, we are now holding planning with ambulant retailers, or those who don’t have stores,” said Smart Group Head Edgardo Razon. The project rollout was finalized in a meeting between Razon, Senior Manager Alfredo Callet and Area Manager Roy Nebrija from Smart and DOLE representatives late last year. Aleo Montallana, one of the beneficiaries, said the loading business would tide him over financially as he rebuilds his shop. He earns his living as a beautician, but all his tools and equipment along with his small parlor, were destroyed by the typhoon. Speaking for all the other beneficiaries, Josefina Alvarez thanked both the DOLE and Smart for coming up with the livelihood project which, she said, could help the typhoon survivors recover while they look for longer-term employment opportunities.




U-21 Azkals has new manager, coach A

CHINESE Filipino businessman who is reportedly part of a group taking over a professional club in Australia has been appointed manager of the Philippine national Under-21 men’s football team. Jefferson Cheng, who has also supported the Under-16 and Under-19 national teams in the past, will back the Under-21 Azkals targeting to compete in the Southeast Asian Games in 2017. In one of his first moves, Cheng brought in Jim Fraser, a former Australian goalkeeper who helped the Socceroos to their first FIFA World Cup appearance in 1974, as the coach of the U-21 Azkals. “I was asked to come

over and (contribute my coaching to the football) development here,” Fraser told online news website Cheng is part of the management board of the International Goalkeepers Academy, a school for young keepers in Australia run by Fraser. Fraser, a member of the football Hall of Fame in Australia, said that he will stay in the Philippines this month to identify possible players for the Under-21 Azkals. Eligible members are likely to come from different universities and colleges in the country. “We need a trial. I’m not sure yet how competitive that would be. I haven’t seen the players but we’ll take a good look at them

for the next three weeks, let’s see,” he said. Fraser believes the news of the possible sale of the Western Sydney Wanderers FC to a group of businessmen that includes Cheng will be a big boost to the development of Philippine football. “If Jeff is to buy into the club, it is a good path for Filipinos and it’s also a good situation where I’m sure the coaches like myself would be coming to the Philippines from the clubs,” Fraser said. “It is a good thing for Philippine football if that happens.” The U-21 Azkals will compete in an invitational tournament among Southeast Asian nations called the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy in September.

WIFTNESS and boldness were Davao Oriental Sunrisers’ Christian Paul Anor’s advantage as he outswam the field in the boys 400-meter freestyle and 200-meter backstroke events to fish out two gold medals in the Davao Regional Athletic Association (Davraa) meet at the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex. Anor swam the 400-meter freestyle event with an easy pace from the start before pouring it all in the last 50-meters clocking an impressive time of 4:32:40. Anor later came back

to the pool to grab another gold in the 200-meter backstroke, blasting away like a torpedo in the last 50-meters to finish at 2:24:55. (Christian Val Agustin – grade 8 student of Sto. Tomas National High School) Davao Durians roast Mati Eagles, 109-60 Meantime, the Davao City Durians tamed Mati City Eagles, 109-60, and to advance to the semi-final round in secondary boys basketball at the Rotary Park Gym, Tagum City. The Durians displayed total domination of not let-

ting the Eagles taste a lead all through the match with quarter scores of: 30-16, 59-32, 89-50 and 109-60. ‘’Our secret for winning is discipline and teamwork dahil pare-pareho lang ang mga abilidad ng bawat koponan,’’ Davao City coach Nestor Sorrosa humbly said when interviewed after the game. Davao City-based squad is eyeing for the championship against either Digos Trekkers or Davao del Sur Cobras. (Khim Joseph T. Malicse – 4th year student of Capungagan High School)

Davao Or tanker swims to 2 golds S

Hello, Tanaka-san N

EW YORK (AP) -- The latest highpriced addition to

the New York Yankees stood at the dais in front of a large news conference,

put on his pinstriped jersey with No. 19 and smiled. ‘’Hello. My name is Masahiro Tanaka,’’ he said slowly in English. ‘’I’m very happy to be a Yankee.’’ After chartering a Boeing 787 Dreamliner for his trip from Tokyo to New York, the 25-year-old righthander with the $155 million, seven-year contract was introduced Tuesday not in the news conference room downstairs at Yankee Stadium, but in the Legends Suite Club, where the high rollers congregate on game days. Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo concluded the team’s latest Pacific overture drew New York’s most-attended news conference since Hideki Matsui arrived in January 2003. Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner said obtaining Tanaka was worth the economic pain of exceeding the $189 million luxury tax threshold New NEW YANKEE HOPE. New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, of Japan, York had hoped to stay unspeaks during a news conference at Yankee Stadium. der this season.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. Louie Brodeth practices from the fringe in preparation for the 67th PAL Seniors Interclub in Bacolod City. Brodeth will be captaining the Rancho Palos Verdes squad. Boy Lim

James scores 37 to lead Heat past Phoenix 103-97 P

HOENIX (AP) -- LeBron James rebounded from one of his worst games of the season to score 37 points and the Miami Heat beat the Phoenix Suns 103-97 on Tuesday night. James, who had matched his season low with 13 points in Saturday’s loss at Utah, scored 25 in the second half, 14 in the fourth quarter. He also had five steals. Chris Bosh added 21 points and Mario Chalmers 13 for the Heat, who

were without Dwyane Wade because of a migraine. Gerald Green scored 21 of his 26 points in the second half for Phoenix. Goran Dragic and Channing Frye had 15 apiece. The Suns lost to Miami for the eighth time in a row. Miami took its biggest lead with an 11-0 run, capped by a roundhouse breakaway dunk by James, that made it 62-55 with 6:40 left in the third quarter. But Green scored all of Phoenix’s points in an 8-1

spurt, including two 3s, and it was tied at 63-63 with 4:42 left in the period. Tucker’s behind-theback pass to Markieff Morris for a dunk just before the buzzer put the Suns up 74-71 entering the fourth. Miami took the lead for good on Norris Cole’s 3-pointer that made it 8380 with 7:21 to play and it as 92-87 when James made one of two free throws with 3:27 left. Four consecutive free throws, the last two by Green, cut Miami’s lead to 92-89 with 2:48 left.

‘’Those were tough free throws, man,’’ Noah said. Not much else seemed difficult for Noah and the Bulls. Noah added 16 rebounds and 11 assists, and Taj Gibson had 24 points and 12 rebounds, and Jimmy Butler had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Bulls, who had six players score in double figures. Chicago won its fourth straight against the Hawks

and sixth in a row at home versus Atlanta. Noah had his fourth career triple-double and first since Feb. 28, 2013, against Philadelphia. He completed this one with an assist on Gibson’s basket with 9:59 left. The performance capped a strong stretch for Noah, who has had at least 10 rebounds in four straight games and at least 14 points in three of his last four contests.

Noah lifts Bulls over Hawks C

HICAGO (AP) -Joakim Noah led the Chicago Bulls past the Atlanta Hawks and gave the fans an added bonus in the process. Noah scored 19 points as part of his first triple-double of the season in the Bulls’ 100-85 win over the Hawks on Tuesday night. His two late free throws provided the Bulls with their final points and secured free Big Macs for the fans.





Finding Japanese style comfort food

THE WEATHER has been erratic the past few days with cool mornings, scorching hot afternoons and brisk windy evenings and oftentimes it is the cool evenings that prod one to look for for that comforts both the soul and the tummy. I remember back in my childhood days where I used to open a pack of instant ramen noodles just for such occasions. The piping hot msg-laden broth paired with the chewy noodles never fails to fill my belly and stave my craving. Fast forward to today and I still do this, albeit, less often. The reason why though is thanks to the proliferation of many new Japanese places in Durianburg that now specialise in ramen and one such place is Chiyo. Located at the ground floor of the West JBT Plaza at Lanang, Chiyo is

actually a Yakiniku house that serves a wide array of of Yakiniku such as Angus Beef Top Blade, US Beef Tongue, Beef Liver, Fillet Chicken, Pork Belly, Shrimps, Mackarel, Tuna and Salmon all grilled to perfection using smoke-

Dining is comfortable and cozy at Chiyo.

Chicken Yakiniku.

less grillers. I love Yakiniku, but I am here at Chiyo for their ramen. Featuring three kinds of broth bases and homemade ramen noodles, Chiyo’s ramen is an excellent companion for the times when one craves comfort food. I especially love the “Sho” or salt based soup broth for its clear and crisp flavour that enhances the taste of the accompanying pork char-sui and bamboo shoot slices. For the ones who demand more robust flavours, I would suggest the Miso soup base to go with the ramen. I just wish that Chiyo could master the art of the custard egg which should have elevated the bowl of ramen even more. But of course I am just merely nitpicking. Chiyo is open daily from 10am to 10pm Mondays to Saturdays and from 5pm to 10pm on Sundays. Follow me on Instagram or on Twitter @ kennethkingong for more travel and foodie finds as well as happenings in, around, and beyond Durianburg.

US Angus Top Blade Yakiniku.

Miso soup based Ramen.

Chiyo’s clear Sho Ramen.



Happiness starts with self at Dermstrata, SM Davao A good personal outlook produces confidence. Confidence helps one to face the everyday challenges of life. Beauty, physical and internal, produces a confidence that enables one to explore one’s potential to the fullest. Ultimately, confidence in one’s own skin is the source and the promise of beauty. A testament to its outstanding service, Dermstrata Skin Clinic & Spa has now grown to 30 branches from its humble beginnings of a single branch. Started by the vivacious Dermatologist, Dr. Winnie Rodriguez on December of 1999, she envisioned Dermstrata Skin Clinic & Spa to be an institution that caters to the physical needs as well as address the emotional and social well-being of the person; an institution that allows an ordinary person to afford treatment and pampering. It’s a vision carried out through professionalism, impeccable service, unmatched personal attention and tender, loving care by the charismatic doctor and her group of doctors and crew of highly skilled nurses and therapists. With a wide array of treatments available for every skin care need like facials, botox, cell replacement therapy (CRT), derma roller, cosmetic surgery and more, Dermstrata Skin Clinic & Spa ensures the highest quality products, most modern techniques and skin care management. The clinics’ reputation for cleanliness is comparable to any hospital worth its name coupled by complete diagnoses by the doctor herself assures patients that beauty is just a few treatments away. Visit Dermstrata at the Level 2 of SM City Davao.

Valentine’s Day, the Marco Polo Davao way SET the date for the most romantic night of the year at any of Marco Polo Davao’s exceptional restaurants and get a special gift to complete your night! Go for international tastes at Cafe Marco’s International Buffer with Roasted U.S. Prime Rib with Procini Jus, Herb and Garlic Studded Australian Leg of Lab, Coulibiac of Norweigian Salmon and Gen San Tuna and Whole Roasted Lechon for Php900 net per person for lunch and Php 1,300 net per person for Dinner. Want to go Chinese? Head over to Lotus Court for their Cantonese Buffet with assorted cold cuts, Roast Peking Duck, Lechon, Assorted Dim Sum and Premium Seafood for only Php 1,300 net per person. Head over to Polo Bistro for the Special Valentine’s Day set menu. For Php1,500 net per person, choose from Noisette of Lamb Rack with Feijoda Sauce and Fig Chutney or Pan Fried Scallop of Salmon with Croccoli in Riesling Sauce or Fillet Mignon of Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Ragout, William Potato and Bouquetiere of Vegetables and a choice from three indulgent desserts: Tiramissu, Raspberry Mousse, and Pear Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream. For reservations and inquiries, please call (82) 221-0888 locals 7222 (Café Marco), 7233 (Lotus Court) and 7955 for (Polo Bistro).



GMA Network shows win 1st Paragala Central Luzon Media Awards THE STUDENTS in Central Luzon have spoken, and their voices determined the best of the best in the broadcasting industry through the 1st Paragala Central Luzon Media Awards. GMA Network earned a total of 11 recognitions during the awarding rites held recently at the Holy Angel University in Angeles, Pampanga. Primetime news program 24 ORAS was named as Best News Program and its anchor Mike Enriquez was cited as Best Male News Presenter. GMA VP for News Programs Jessica Soho, was awarded as Best Female News Presenter for GMA News TV’s flagship newscast State of the Nation with Jessica Soho and Best Magazine Show Host for  Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho, which also won as Best Magazine Show. Public affairs program Imbestigador took home the Best Investigative Program award; while internationally acclaimed I-Witness was recognized as Best Documentary Program. Unang Hirit and its host Arnold Clavio were named as Best Morning Show and Best Morning Show Host, respectively. Bubble Gang, the country’s longest running gag

Bubble Gang Paragala.

Mike Enriquez and the Imbestigador staff. show, won as Best Gag Show; while multi-awarded comedienne/actress Eugene Domingo was named as Best Game Show Host for the top-rating comedy game show Celebrity Bluff. Initiated by the Communicators’ League of

Holy Angel University in Pampanga, the awards brought together different schools in Pampanga such as Angeles University Foundation, University of the Assumption, Systems Plus Computer College, Francis Nepomuceno

Jay Taruc, Mike Enriquez & Arnold Clavio.

Mike Enriquez. High School, Mary the Queen College, and the Pampanga Agricultural State University. These were also joined by Bataan Peninsula State University, Central Luzon State University in Nueva Ecija, and Tarlac State University. An estimated 20,000 respondents from these schools, colleges, and universities voted on who made a big difference in the broadcasting industry and what programs they think made a huge social impact in the Philippines.

ETV Celebrity Bluff.

Arnold Clavio.

I-Witness Jay Taruc Team.

Jay Taruc.

Mike Enriquez and 24Oras Program Manager John Ray Arrabe. Arnold & Ivan.

The Unang Hirit team.


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June bride Boots Anson-Roa and fiancé recall courtship and wedding proposal in TNT SIXTY NINE-YEAR-OLD Boots Anson-Roa surprised the public in December when she and her 74-yearold boyfriend Atty. Francisco “King” Rodrigo Jr. announced their engagement. Both widows for several years, the two reminisce about how they found love again in “Tapatan ni Tunying” this Thursday (Feb 13). “I told her, ‘Boots, I will give you something. Just don’t ask me to kneel down because I might not able to stand anymore.’ So, I pulled out the ring, and then asked her, ‘Will you marry me?’ She fit it in her finger, but she did not answer yes,” King shares. Boots, on the other hand, explains, “Don’t actions speak louder than words?” The two share that their blossoming romance started when they were ‘set up’ by friends and family on a date. After the passionate courtship, Boots and King are set to marry this June. “Others believe it just

happened accidentally, some say it’s serendipity, but I always believe that it is God’s will,” Boots says. While Boots and King’s marriage is all set this year, younger celebrity couple John Prats and Isabel Oli have made hints about tying the knot this year or in 2015. “Wedding may come anytime soon. I’m so excited and I’m very positive in 2014 or in 2015,” John announces. John believes that he and Isabel are ready to settle

down, after they have accomplished their individual priorities. “Finally, I found ‘the one.’ I finally met someone who will support me, one who’s willing to sacrifice her career and personal interests to take care of me,” he says. Don’t miss “Tapatan ni Tunying” (TNT) this Thursday, 4:45 PM on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold. For updates, follow @TNTunying on Twitter or like its Facebook page www.facebook. com/TNTunying.

Xian and Bangs team up for MMK Valentine special XIAN LIM and Bangs Garcia will star in the Valentine special of ABS-CBN’s “Maalaala Mo Kaya” this Saturday (February 15). Xian will play the role of Maynard, the playboy who captures the heart of Zandrae (Bangs), a girl who grew up with a lot of insecurities due to her dark skin tone and unsupportive family. Feeling loved and valued by Maynard, Zandrae will let her world around him. What will Zandrae do when she discovers that the guy she loves is just playing with her?

Also part of the upcoming “MMK” episode are Nadia Montenegro, Joyce So, David Chua, Louella de Cordova, Justin Gonzales, Ben Isaac, Denisse Aguilar, Hannah Flores, Helga Krapf and Kazel Kinouchi. The Garry

Fernando-directed episode is written by Benson Logronio and Arah Jell Badayos, and researched by Akeem del Rosario. “MMK” is led by business unit head Malou Santos, production manager Roda Dela Cerna, and executive producer Lindsay Anne Dizon. Don’t miss the Valentine special of “MMK” this Saturday after “Wansapanataym” on ABS-CBN. For more updates, log on to, follow @MMKOfficial on Twitter, and “like”

STARTING OVER AGAIN 2D Piolo Pascual, Toni Gonzaga PG 13

LAZARO TAKES DOWN STELLA IN “ANNALIZA.” Stella’s (Kaye Abad) secret of being the mastermind in abducting Annaliza (Andrea Brillantes) was finally revealed to Lazaro (Patrick Garcia), and he is determined to take her down this week in the top-rating primetime family drama “Annaliza.” Lazaro, along with Isabel (Denise Laurel) and Guido (Zanjoe Marudo), coordinates with authorities for an entrapment operation to arrest Stella. Stella easily takes the bait, but Makoy (Carlo Aquino) will get a tip-off about the operation and will come to her rescue. An intense encounter ensues and one life will be sacrified before justice is finally served for the Benedictos. Who will bid goodbye? Is this the end of Stella and Makoy’s evilness? Will Annaliza and her family finally live in peace? Don’t miss “Annaliza” weeknights before “TV Patrol” in ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

12:00 | 2:30 | 5:00 | 7:30 | 10:00 LFS

WINTER'S TALE 2D Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe PG 13

12:40 | 3:00 | 5:20 | 7:40 | 10:00 LFS

VAMPIRE ACADEMY 2D Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Danila Kozlovsky R 13


12:00 | 2:00 | 4:00 | 6:00 | 8:00 | 10:00 LFS

ROBOCOP 2D / * ENDLESS LOVE 2D Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton / *Alex Pettyfer, Gabriella Wilde PG 13 / *R 13

1:00 | 3:30 LFS / *6:00 | 8:80 | 10:00 LFS

A4 INdulge!




Marco Polo Davao celebrates the Year of the Wooden Horse

JANUARY 31, 2014 marked the start of the New Year for our Chinese brothers and sisters. With the year of the wood horse kicking in, it will be a fiery party for the next 15 days. Yes, it is not an overnight affair; it takes on for days – just enough time to lure in the good fortune. With the entire metro awaiting the festivities, food and merrymaking to become ‘official’, Marco Polo Davao, premier hotel in the city, celebrated on the eve of the new year with a spectacular dragon dance that made everyone smile with glee. From kids to adults to kids at heart, everyone met at the lobby for a thumb-thumping dragon dance that featured the colors of fortune. As the wind gushed, the collective crowd witnessed the dragon playfully trying to grab the hong bao positioned above. Indeed, it was a fun way to kick off a festivity like this! The dancing continued in the main lobby as guests began taking photos and videos of these fortune bearer dragons dancing inches from them. The best part?

Golden coins for good luck were thrown to the delight of the spectators. Grabbing one, they say, will bring forth good luck, happiness and serenity in one’s life for the coming days. Lotus Court soon was filled and as expected, a divine serving of the best foods in town lined the tables. The aroma of traditional Chinese cuisine filled everyone’s senses that soon ignited the urge to give in to temptation

and enjoy the feast. From their mouthwatering Peking Duck wraps to sweet buchi balls, it was a feast that ascended from the heaven’s and back! As the night and merrymaking begun, students and parents from one of the most prestigious Chi-

nese schools in Davao, Colegio de san Ignacio , performed to the delight of everyone. The entire court was filled with laughter, songs and accolades as the performers gave it their all to the every beat. Let these pictures transport you to that night of

pure ecstasy. Long live and

Happy New YEAR!

EDGEDavao Davao Partners




SCREECH. Austria’s Elisabeth Goergl skis during the downhill run of the women’s alpine skiing super combined event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center February 10, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar



ONE Filipino Winter Olympian Michael Christian Martinez will try to do today what many other Filipino athletes could not do on fair weather—win an Olympic gold medal. The 17-year old Martinez, reportedly snubbed by the Philippine government of financial support and now a subject of tax inquiry, will have to shrug off all the distractions at home and make a run for the elusive gold in figure skating. He will have to do it on ice where his country could only boast of a mall’s skating rink as a poor version of winter. Martinez is eager to plunge into action in Sochi, Russia under freezing conditions. Note that no Filipino has won an Olympic gold medal even on good weather at the summer version of the quadrennial games. The closest of late was boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco who took a silver medal in the 1998 Olympics in Atlanta. Despite the talks at home that he did not receive government help, which was contradicted by the Philippine Olympic Committee. “I don’t even think anyone at the President’s office knows there’s a Filipino skating in the Olympics,” his mother Maria Theresa Martinez was quoted as saying, referring to the absence of support from the government to fund Michael’s participation. In the social media, Martinez’s journey has gathered as much sympathy as the snow in Sochi. One blogger wrote:

“I want to make one thing very clear. Michael Christian Martinez is an amazing story. My hat is off to him. The reason why I feel that way is this nation did him no favors. Not the man on the street not the government that this nation elected. This is truly all his. He is not on a level playing field with the other athletes who were given better support by their governments. If the Winter Olympics is not a priority for our taxpayer pesos fine. I am quite happy that our taxpayer pesos goes to things like 50 million peso incentives for Senator judges to alter outcomes of impeachment trials.” The blogger ended his post, saying: “Now you fund raise, now you chest beat. In the words of Stevie Wonder “where were you when I needed you last winter?” However, GMA News Online reported that “contrary to reports circulating online that the Philippines’ lone Winter Olympian Michael Martinez had to pay his own way to Sochi, Russia, the teenaged figure skater has actually received ample financial support from the private sector. The Philippine Olympic Committee has revealed that it had teamed up with the International Olympic Committee and the Philippines Sports Commission in order to give financial aid to Martinez and his family. Martinez and his mother personally signed vouchers releasing $6,000 from the IOC last November, said one POC official. The Philippine government and even President Aquino have been

EYES ON THE ICE Pinoy ice-skater chases Olympic medal dream today the butt of online criticism for purportedly neglecting the country’s first athlete at the winter games since 1992. GMA News Online also reported that the IOC provided $1000 a month for Martinez from July to October of 2013, plus an additional $500 monthly to pay for his coach. Another $6000 is said to be awaiting Martinez at the POC office upon his return from Sochi, Russia. “November 19 pirma niya dito e. Pati si Christian Martinez nakapirma sa voucher,” Emil Pastor of the POC’s finance department, explained. “Nandito naman yan sa POC,” Pastor added. “Nandun pa kasi sila [sa Sochi]. Wala namang magrereceive dito. May marereceive pa siya na six thousand [dollars] ulit. Alam naman ni Mrs. Martinez yan.” The GMA News Online report added that while the POC could not come up with funds on its own, the organization tried to make up for this by processing Martinez’s papers, in order to get that money from the IOC. “Nung November, $6,000 nabigay. Sa IOC yun galing. Pinadaan lang sa POC,” added Pastor. “Pero ang naglalakad naman ng ganyan, POC. Tinutulungan mo nga yung bata na makakuha ng scholarship at allowance.” The POC has provided Martinez with pocket money worth $50 a day for his stay in Sochi, through the Philippine Sports Commission. Meanwhile, his food and accommodations are all shouldered by the Olympics’ organizers in Russia.

CHASING A DREAM. Michael Crhsitian Martinez guns for the elusive Olympic gold.



GRACE. A gymnast performas her routine in girls gymnastics competition of the 2014 DAVRAA meet in Tagum, City.

HAIL THE CHAMPIONS Davao City athletes dominate DAVRAA 2015 By NOEL BAGUIO


AVAO del Norte – As expected, reigning champion Davao City Durians pulled off a dominating show in both elementary and secondary divisions to virtually retain the over-all championship in the fourday Davao Region Athletic Association (DAVRAA) Meet yesrterday. The perennial champions managed an initial medal haul of 65, with 28 gold, 24 silver and 13 bronze as of 10:00 am Wednesday, at the fourth day of the regional games staged mainly at the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex (DNSTC) in

Mankilam, Tagum City. The Durians lashed out second-running archrival Davao del Sur Cobras, which only have 14 golds, 10 silvers and 13 bronzes in all the 19 sporting events. With over 30 percent remaining in the medal trove, Davao City is sure to clinch the title for the nth time. As in the past, Davao City dominated the medal-rich swimming by grabbing about 80 percent of the events at the impressive 10-lane Olympic-size swimming pool. Davao del Norte Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario is

happy with the province’s second hosting of the biggest sports conclave in the region, which heralded Davao del Norte’s evolution into a sports tourism capital. “The great success of the DAVRAA 2014 is indeed fulfilling to all of us,” he said, expressing his satisfaction to have given the young athletes the opportunity to show their athletic prowess. Department of Education (DepEd)-XI Regional Director Gloria Benigno hoped the new breed of young sports heroes will give the region the needed boost to improve its stand-

ing in the Palarong Pambansa. The region ranked number 10 during the national games held in Dumaguete City last year. “Let us do our best to make the DAVRAA team a team to beat in the next Palaro,” she enjoined the delegation of the regional games, which was co-hosted by the City Government of Tagum City. She directed the athletes and coaches who will be chosen to represent the region in the Palaro to mainly focus on their training in order to bring home the bacon in the national games.

CHAMPS. Members of the Davao City girls basketball team pose after winning the gold medal in the 2014 Davao Regional Athletic Association (Davraa) meet at the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex in Tagum City. DavNor PIO

Edge Davao 6 Issue 235  
Edge Davao 6 Issue 235  

Edge Davao 6 Issue 235, February 13, 2014