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EDGEDAVAO Serving a seamless society

PIPE UPGRADE. A welder works on the new and bigger water pipelines that will replace the old ones as part of the Davao City Water District’s rehabilitation and improvement project to resolve the water shortage in Barangay Sasa and Barangay Panacan. Lean Daval Jr.

GINA CONDEMNS KILLING OF 2 ENVI ADVOCATES By FUNNY PEARL A. GAJUNERA EPARTMENT of province. “This is criminal,” Lopez Environment said. “This is not law and and Natural Reorder, whoever did this! He sources (DENR) Secwas killed because he [did retary Gina Lopez has not want] mining, because condemned the recent he wanted better environkillings of two staunch environmental advo- ment for his community.” The environment seccates in the Davao reretary said the killings of gion.


Lopez was convinced the killings of Joselito Pasaporte and Jimmy Saypan were related to their advocacy to stop mining activities in their respective areas. Pasaporte was killed on Oct. 13 in Compostela Valley, while Saypan was shot dead on Oct. 10 in the same

pro-environment progressive leaders like Saypan and Pasaporte have no room in the Duterte administration. “This is not allowed under the Duterte administration,” she said. According to Lopez, she cannot believe the assertion of mining compa-

nies in Mindanao that they are practicing responsible mining based on recent developments which may indicate otherwise. “In responsible mining there is no suffering. If the people are not happy like Jimmy (Saypan) then they are doing something wrong,” she said. Lopez said mining companies must learn how to operate efficiently without provoking members of the community. In the meantime, the 10th Infantry Division has denied allegations that they were behind the killings of Saypan and Pasaporte.

Davao workers seek wage increase anew



HE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region 11 on Tuesday afternoon conducted a region-wide public hearing in a bid to balance the interests of wage earners and employers. According to DOLE Region 11 Director and Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) Chairperson Joffrey Suyao, the hearing provided an opportunity for the agency to air the position of various stake-

holders regarding all wage rates petitions, verbal or written, that have been filed in the region. To recall, a petition to increase the minimum wage of workers in Davao Region was filed by the Associated Labor Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALUTUCP) last April 2016. ALU-TUCP sought to add P163 to the current minimum wage of workers in Region 11. Minimum wage earners in the Davao Region’s non-ag-

ricultural sector are paid P317, while workers in agricultural sector receive P307. According to Southern Philippines Federation Labor representative Tony Tovilla, current wages are not enough since the prices of basic commodities are increasing. For his part, Association Trade Unit (ATU) representative Joseph Samaritus pointed out the issue on wage hikes has been a recurring concern and the subject of endless




STRONGER RELATIONS. President Duterte and Brunei Darussalam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’zzaddin Waddaulah shake hands after both leaders reaffirm their commitment to further strengthen the ties between Brunei and the Philippines during the State Banquet at the Istana Nurul Iman on Monday night. RICHARD MADELO/Presidential Photo

Barangay officials tapped in programs for children


SOCIAL welfare official said Davao City will live to its name as one of the country’s most child-friendly cities by strengthening its programs that aim to give more protection to children’s rights. Maria Luisa Bermudo, chief of the City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO), said Davao City still has wide room for improvement when it comes to the protection of children. The city recently received the Most Child-Friendly City Award from President Duterte, an award that it won in 1998, 1999, 2013, and 2014. But Bermudo said the campaign to keep the children of Davao City protected must be sustained. She said her office intends to intensify the implementation of its programs at the barangay level. Village officials, she said, must be hands-on in the imple-

mentation of the programs and projects on children in their respective communities. “They are the frontline structures within the barangay that would oversee the programs and interventions that would benefit the children, including children in conflict with the law,” she said. “This is what we would like to further strengthen.” Bermudo said the local government of Davao will continue providing programs and services that are effective and beneficial to children, which include early childhood care and development programs, maternal and health services for children and education, among others. “Our programs are comprehensive and are responsive to the needs of the children,” Bermudo said. “The challenge is how we will be able to sustain and strengthen them. That is what we are doing now.” (CIO)

SC extends status quo ante on Marcos burial By ALEXANDER D. LOPEZ


OR the second time, the Supreme Court on Tuesday announced the extension of its status quo ante order that temporarily halted the preparations for the interment of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani or LNMB. “The Court has extended the status quo ante order first issued on August 23 and first extended on September 7, 2016 to November 8, 2016,” Theodore Te, the SC’s chief information officer on Tuesday told reporters in a press


handed over a painting at the Davao International Airport’s passenger’s lounge Sunday afternoon. “He has not changed a bit,” Bongabong said in the local dialect hours after his second personal encounter with the President. “We received a warm welcome from the President himself.” F PRES, 10

briefing. Te, however, declined to elaborate on the reasons behind the second extension that the highest tribunal had announced. The SC is now ruling on seven petitions filed by various groups opposing the burial of Marcos at the LNMB, arguing that the planned burial is illegal and in violation to the provisions of Republic Act 289 or the law that provides for the construction of a national pantheon for presidents of the country, national heroes and

patriots. The petitioning groups argue that burying Marcos in the LNMB will violate the provisions of Republic Act 10368 or the law on human rights victims’ reparation and recognition. The petitioners include former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and former Commission on Human Rights Chair Etta Rosales. Several groups also filed their petitions with the SC which include students from

the University of the Philippines; a group led by former senator Heherson Alvarez; another group led by Algamar Latiph and Senator Leila De Lima. Since Monday, two groups had already assembled in various parts of Metro Manila and waited for the final verdict of the SC on the matter. A group from Ilocos Norte composed of Marcos supporters had camped outside of SC building in Padre Faura, Manila, while another

said, now costs P585, which is P235 higher than the previous rate. Gonzaga said the implementation of the extended license validity was initially launched in October throughout all LTO branches in Metro Manila. He said the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Central Office would like to ensure the new system will be free from glitches. Gonzaga said the other LTO branches in the country

will adapt the new licensing scheme in November once the initial implementation in all LTO branches in Metro Manila is done. Meanwhile, the LTO has offered a solution to its current problem of out-of-stock license plates. “In case replacement cards are still unavailable upon renewal, the old card may still be used provided that the Official Receipt of renewal is in possession of the owner,” Gonzaga said.

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LTO to implement 5-year license validity

President gets paintings from Dabawenyo artists S ABAWENYO painter Macky Bongabong, 31, could still remember the first time he asked then Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte for a group photo in a local mall here three years ago. Little did he know he will get another chance for another photo opportunity with the President after he personally

By TIZIANA CELINE S. PIATOS TARTING November this year, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) Regional Office 11 will be extending the validity of driver’s licenses and conductor’s licenses from three years to five years. In a chance interview, LTO Region 11 Assistant Director Macario Gonzaga said the move aims to reduce queues at the LTO, which is in compliance with President Duterte’s order during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25.

Professional and non-professional driver’s licenses are valid for three years. Gonzaga explained that existing licenses will retain their current expiration dates, but will adapt the new five-year license validity once renewed. She added the requirements for the renewal for licenses remain the same “However, there will be an increase to the license fees for both new and renewal applications,” Gonzaga said. The new license fee, he




Nationwide summit champions grassroots ideas on peace, security


N a gathering of around 500 peace advocates and practitioners here in the city over the weekend, various government agencies including the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) spearheaded a nationwide dialogue on local governments’ and civil society’s pivotal role in achieving a just and sustainable peace across the country. “I’d like to convert this now from conversations into actions. I’d like to challenge you to continue doing; seeing to it that there is action in your inputs,” said OPAPP Secretary Jesus G. Dureza during the culmination of the first Peace and Development Agenda Summit, with the goal of building a multi-sectoral constituency of active peace actors. The two-day event, held at the Royal Mandaya Hotel, is part of the Duterte administration’s commitment to transparency and inclusivity in the peace process.

Dubbed as National Peacebuilding Conversations, the event is a spin-off of the Social Development Initiatives Summit: Malasakit at Pagbabago led by the Office of the Cabinet Secretary months prior to help operationalize President Rodrigo Duterte’s goal of a people-centered security program. Emphasizing the significance of the government’s Six-Point Peace and Development Agenda, the conference provided an avenue for brainstorming and securing support from the hundreds of participants coming from various local government units in conflict-affected areas, national government agencies, civil society organizations and official development assistance partners. OPAPP Undersecretary for Peace Accords Nabil A. Tan shared that the cornerstone of the peace roadmap is the fundamental dialogue between the government and the Filipino people. “We call on everyone to get on board and


CHEERDANCE. Students of Fil-Asian Mission Academy perform dance routines during a cheerdance competition in time for the school’s 9th founding anniversary yesterday. Lean Daval Jr.

Huge drug rehab center to open in November: DOH C

Congress steps in to help address city’s traffic woes By RIA VALDEZ



HE Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday announced the soft opening of the drug rehabilitation center inside the military camp in Forst Magsaysay in Laur, Nueve Ecija. In a press briefing in Malacanang on Tuesday afternoon, DOH secretary Paulyn jean Rosell-Ubial said the facility was already partially completed last Monday, Oct.17, and around 1,000 personnel were already hired by the agency to run the rehab center. Personnel were already in the facility since Tuesday, Ubial said, for them to carry out a dry run on how to manage patients that will be referred to the center. The facility will start to receive patients and referrals by November of this year. The construction of the facility dubbed as the “Mega Drug Treatment and Reha-

bilitation Center” began after the secretary’s trip to Beijing, China in September this year. “We signed a deed of donation with our very generous donor, a businessman from China, Mr. Wang Ro Lun,” Ubial said. Wang donated a 10,000-patient capacity rehab center with a land area of 100,000 square meters, the secretary added. The businessman also turned over on Monday 2,500 beds for the facility, while the remaining 7,500 beds will be delivered this coming Nov. 16. Ubial said that Wang is has been included in China’s Hurun philanthropist list for the past 13 consecutive years. Ubial said almost 50 percent of the building is complete, which is just six weeks after construction commenced. She said the right wing of

the building can now accommodate almost 1,000 patients. A separate donor from the local business sector also pledged to donate furniture and fixtures for the office of the center, she added. The construction of the left wing of the building and the female dormitory are already underway, Ubial said. Based on her estimate, around two percent of the total personalities who surrendered to authorities when the war on illegal drugs was intensified need residential drug rehabilitation or in-patient care, while the rest will be referred either to a community-based program or out-patient rehabilitation program. The DOH, she added, is now working with the local government units (LGUs) to train frontline doctors and health professionals for com-

munity-based and out-patient programs designed for the rehabilitation of drug dependents. Over 95 to 98 percent of drug users and dependents who surrendered will undergo the community-based and out-patient programs, the secretary said. The said programs will also be carried out in collaboration with non-government organizations (NGOs), inter-faith groups and volunteers. “Our goal right now is to establish one more mega treatment and rehabilitation center in Luzon, another in Visayas and one in Mindanao,” Ubial pointed out. The budgets for the human resources of the proposed additional rehab centers are already included in the 2017 budget proposal of the DOH, she said.

VICE GOVERNORS’ GAB. Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Austere Panadero discusses the agency’s plans and programs before the delegates of the 66th National Assembly of the League of Vice Governors in the Philippines (LVGP) held at Park Inn by Radisson Davao on Monday evening. Lean Daval Jr.

ATANDUANES Rep. Cesar Sarmiento and house committee chair on transportation has sought the assistance of various sectors in Davao in order to effectively address the traffic situation in Davao, particularly in the creation of alternative routes. Sarmiento made the call during the public hearing conducted by the Congressional Committee on Transportation yesterday at the Grand Men Seng Hotel. “It takes two hours to go to places that are only 15-20 minutes away,” he noted, comparing Davao’s traffic situation now with that of Manila before President Duterte assumed office. “We want all sectors to participate,” Sarmiento stressed, saying the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is open to accepting proposals from the public in order to find solutions to the city’s traffic woes. He pointed out that cargo trucks should bear much of the blame for the traffic problem in the city.

For instance, Sarmiento noted that container trucks proceeding to the city’s Sasa pier must only occupy one lane of the road. However, these trucks occupy four lanes of the road, which has resulted to massive gridlocks. Sarmiento also raised the possibility of private subdivisions providing motorists access to their roads in order to help decongest choke points in the city. He said that subdivisions, especially along the Diversion Road and in Cabantian, can allow private vehicles to pass through. Sarmiento also stressed the importance of educating drivers, adding that discipline must be enforced among motorists. In the meantime, Sarmiento reported during the hearing the construction of the 44-kilometer Davao City bypass road which, upon its completion, can help ease traffic flow in the city as huge vehicles such car-

HE Mindanaoan documentary film “The Crescent Rising” bagged the 2016 Busan International Film Festival Mecenat Award last Oct. 15. The documentary helmed by Zamboangeno filmmaker Sheron Dayoc bested other documentary entries from Asia to win the award given to the most exemplary documentary. It is the only Filipino awardee in the 21st staging of the film festival. The Busan International Film Festival is one of the largest and prestigious film festivals in Asia held in the South Korean city of Busan. “The Crescent Rising” revolves around three Mind-

anaoan stories; a man who claims that the Jabidah Massacre is a lie, Moro rebels who believe that Jihad as a way of life and Women caught in the wrath of war. It premiered in the 2015 QCinema International Film Festival and winning the festival’s best documentary award. It also was the Gawad Urian winner for Best Documentary. Dayoc is one of the prolific Mindanaoan filmmakers whose works include the Cinemalaya 2010 Best Film “Halaw”, 2015 Cinema One Originals finalist “Bukod Kang Pinagpala” and the QCinema 2016 entry “Women of the Weeping River.” (PIA/RG Alama)


Mindanao docu-film wins in Busan festival T



Tagum opens honeybee production facility

T WATER TUBING DRAWS TOURISTS. River tubing guide Maxon Solbavillo (center) demonstrates the proper way to ride the tube at the NLU White Water Tubing Eco Park. A tube ride costs P200 per person, plus a P10 entrance fee. River swimming with a guide costs P500 per group for three

hours. For 500, a group of 10 persons can avail of a tour of the eco park, including a trek to nearby Tabilang Falls. (Serafin Ramos Jr./SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)

SoCot gets P2.58M for farm equipment


HE Department of Agriculture (DA) has released around P2.58 million worth of farm machinery and equipment to South Cotabato as part of its farm mechanization program. Justina Navarrete, chief of the South Cotabato Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, said Tuesday the fresh grant is in line with the ongoing implementation in the province of a P39.3-million cassava granules production and marketing project under the Philippine Rural Development Program. She said her office received a four-wheel drive farm tractor worth P2.55 million and a unit collapsible dryer case worth P25,000.

The official said these were earlier committed by DA Region 12 to the province following the rollout of the cassava, which is spearheaded by the Polo Samahang Nayon Multipurpose Cooperative based in Polomolok town. “The provision aims to boost the commercial production (of cassava), provide higher post-harvest processing efficiency and improve product quality,” she said. The release came after the provincial government, through South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes, forged a memorandum of agreement with DA-12. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan or provincial board of South Cotabato earlier

granted authority to the governor to enter into an agreement with DA-12 for funding assistance and availment of the farm mechanization program. Navarrete said the farm tractor was granted by DA through a counterparting scheme, wherein 90 percent was shouldered by the agency and 10 percent by the recipient. She said the tractor in equipped with a of 96-110 horsepower engine, turbo charged with intercooler, a brake system, and standard accessories. As part of the agreement, the recipient will provide a 30 square meter permanent shed for the farm tractor, she said.

Navarrete said the collapsible dryer case was given as a full grant to the province. The farm tractor was among the 19 units worth P48.545 million allotted by the DA central office for Region 12. It purchased 66 units of collapsible dryer cases worth P1.65 million for farmers and irrigators associations, farmbased cooperatives, and other non-government and people’s organizations in the region. For the cassava project, Navarrete added that DA has also approved the granting of additional farm machinery and equipment for the province. These include a floating tiller, vacuum pack sealer, cassava digger and cassava granulator/shredder. (PNA)

The newly crowned Hiyas ng Binulig said she will use her title and leadership skills in advocating the needs and rights of the indigenous community in the city. Ranain bested seven (7) other contestants who repre-

sented Mandaya, Ati, Manobo, Manobo-obo, Bagobo, Dibabawon, and Sama tribes. Following Ranain, Grace Gimena from the Manobo tribe was crowned Hiyas ng Kaunlaran or 1st runner up, followed by Flora May Briones

from the Sama tribe as Hiyas ng Pagkakaisa or 2nd runner up. Gimena also bagged two (2) minor awards such as Ms. Photogenic and Best in Tribal Attire, while judy Ann Sablas from the Dibabawon tribe was awarded Best in Festival Attire. The Hiyas ng Binulig is one of the major events of the Binulig festivities and is in line with the Indigenous Peoples’ Month celebration this October, showcasing the beauty, talent, and wit of different tribal women in the city. The coronation was followed by LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) Night, an appreciation activity for the LGBTQ community in the city and as part of the closing activities of the festival. Vikki J. Amorio; Photos by Erick Etis and Renel Balsabas

Another Kalagan beauty wins Hiyas ng Binulig


OR the third time this year, another beauty from the Kalagan tribe, Nurjalyn Ranain from Brgy. Datu Abdul was hailed as the 4th Hiyas ng Binulig during finals night on October 14 held at ARF Gym in this city.

AGUM City is turning into a monarchy, having recently purchased 21 queens, thousands of royal knights, nurses, drones, and colony workers: all of which have the capability of flying. This, as the City Government of Tagum under the administration of Mayor Allan L. Rellon opened to the public the city’s first Apiary and Training Facility last Oct. 17. This million-worth bee farm is an addition to the roster of attractions in the city, located at Brgy. San Agustin, just a few walks away from the Botanical Park. Currently, the bee facility has 21 colonies, each with Queenbees imported from Australia. These cultured bees are scientifically known as Apis Mellifera and are known to produce honey in generous amounts. “This apiculture project is part of the LGU’s vision of making Tagum a place for agricultural tourism,” said agriculturist Rejean Zulueta from City Agriculture Office (CAGRO).

The two-hectare facility is under the management of CAGRO and will serve as a training venue for those who want to venture in bee farming. Aside from boosting Tagum’s claim as the “City of Parks,” the bee farm-cum-facility also aims to contribute to the city’s fast-growing economy. When the farm’s honey production reaches stable levels, the local government will manufacture bottled honey, which currently sells at P150 to P200 per bottle. The facility will also produce other honey-based products such as soaps, sweeteners, and beeswax candles. The city intends to expand the farm to 35 colonies so that it will be able to keep up with the increasing demand for its products. Apart from its income and livelihood generation potential, the bee farm also contributes to the preservation of nature with the bees’ crucial role in pollination. Roy Banias/CIO Tagum

TAGUM’S BEE FARM. Mayor Allan Rellon, together with some officers from the City Agriculture Office and the Department of Agriculture Region XI represented by its livestock coordinator Mary Ann Constantino, leads the inauguration of the city’s first Apiary and Training Facility in Barangay San Agustin. This million-worth bee farm-cum- facility is an addition to Tagum’s various tourist attractions, and it expected to contribute to the city’s booming economy. (Kelvin Palermo/CIO Tagum)

Sarangani town gets P109M from DPWH T HE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has approved an additional funding of around P109 million for the implementation of various priority infrastructure projects in the municipality of Malungon, Sarangani Province. Malungon Mayor Theresa Constantino said Tuesday the allocation would be utilized to fund the installation of additional water systems and expansion of pipelines within the town’s 31 barangays. She said it will connect remote communities that do not

have stable water supplies to available sources. The local government, she said, secured the infrastructure funding during the first three months of her current first term as mayor of Malungon. “This is a positive development for our municipality since infrastructure development is currently among flagship programs,” the mayor said. Constantino said the approved allocation is on top of the completed and ongoing infrastructure projects in the area that are supported by the




Globe to build infra, seeks support of LGUs By JERMAINE L. DELA CRUZ


N line with President Duterte’s vision transforming the country into a digital nation by 2020, Globe Telecom is seeking the support of local government units (LGUs) across the country to build much-needed telecommunication infrastructure that would improve data connectivity, while significantly reducing internet rates. At the 66th National Assembly of the League of Vice Governors in the Philippines (LVGP), Globe urged delegates to sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to signify their support for the project’s implementation in their respective areas. Globe aims to rationalize the permitting process to mit-

igate red tape and other political constraints in deploying telco infrastructures such as cell sites and fiber optic cables. In a press statement, Globe Telecom CEO Ernest Cu emphasized that data connectivity is a key driver of economic growth in the Philippines. Cu explained that his company’s collaboration with the government in enhancing the country’s digital capabilities would enable local industries and communities to access services and improve their productivity. He pointed out that either the existence or the lack of telco infrastructure in the community is oftentimes a direct result of the LGU permitting environment.

Cu added that securing different permits at the LGU level could be very challenging such as an eight-month duration in completing the processing of 25 permits. “We would like to reiterate our call for a closer collaboration with the government as we set out in building a telco infrastructure that would provide world-class data connectivity even in areas outside our major cities,” he said. Due to technical difficulties, the MOA signing was cancelled. However, Michelle Ora, Globe Telecom director for Business Development Site Acquisition Management Network Technical Group,


City earmarks P2.2 M for local coops By FUNNY PEARL A. GAJUNERA


HE City Cooperative Development Office is set to lend P2.2 million to nine micro and small cooperatives in the city before the year ends. This is part of CCDO’s loan program that aims to help newly-established cooperatives which have demonstrated the capacity to pay off their loans. “The City provides financial assistance to micro and small cooperatives in the city

after we have established their capacity to pay and their financial stability,” CCDO Chief Julius Oxales said. Annually, the CCDO gives financial assistance to an average of 10 to 12 cooperatives per year who can lend P50,000 to P300,000 to their members without interest. Oxales said his office is planning to provide more financial resources to the city’s micro and small cooperatives

to enable them to assist members who are in need. He said the CCDO will propose a bigger budget for next year so that it will be able to accommodate the requests for financial assistance of more local cooperatives. “We want to propose a P4.5 million budget for the loan program to help more cooperatives,” Oxales said. The CCDO has earmarked

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PRIVATE-PUBLIC SYNERGY. Michelle Ora, Globe Telecom Director for Business Development Site Acquisition Management Network Technical Group, says the company is seeking the support of local government units (LGUs) across the country to build telecommunication infrastructure that would improve

data connectivity, while significantly reducing connectivity rates. Ora faced the media during the 66th National Assembly of the League of Vice Governors in the Philippines (LVGP) held at Park Inn by Radisson Davao on Monday evening. Lean Daval Jr.




Banana industry seeks Rody’s intervention in review of AVAs


ANANA growers are seeking President Duterte’s intervention on agri ventures agreements (AVAs) being reviewed by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), which may hamper the expansion of banana plantations. AVAs are agreements between private investors in banana plantations and Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs). Stakeholders say that government policy and consistency also play a very vital role in the stability of supply of banana and strategic direction of investors who are contemplating to invest in large-scale banana farming. DAR is reviewing existing AVAs, also known as leasebacks agreements. They are worried government interference with live contract provides disincentives to local and foreign investors, let alone unconstitutional. This interference has changed the strategic direction of local corporate farms in relations to their expansion plans. Other Asian countries, eyeing the markets of Philippine exporters are competing with Mindanao’s banana plantations offering more attractive returns on investment, tariff cuts, income tax holidays and other incentives. Big corporate farms are currently scoping for plantations in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and as far as Latin America where investment policies are oftentimes friendlier than the Philippines. Banana plantations in Mindanao cover about 85,000 hectares and estimated to employ more than 330,000 workers supporting approximately a total of two million people.

COMMUNISTS Stakeholders noted that ARBs among these workers are being courted and encouraged by the communists to complain about their AVAs. They claim the communists are employing a two-pronged approach geared towards the companies operating the plantations (revolutionary taxes and extortions) and playing on the inefficiencies of cooperatives composed of the ARBs. Poor farm practices of the ARBs helped escalate the spread of fungal diseases like the dreaded Panama disease. Expectedly, the result is low farm productivity. From an average industry productivity of 3,600 boxes of 13.5 kilos each per hectare, the individual farming system resulted in dismal productivity of 2,800 boxes of 13.5 kilos or even lower, also because of dissipated economies of scale. The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) was formed to help beneficiaries band together to form a cooperative so that these small landholdings may be consolidated to form a critical mass. However, organizational problems ensued such that the original cooperative spawned into several cooperatives. It is also high time to revisit the law creating the CDA because some of the provisions may already be outdated. FAILURE The 2014 Fabella report titled Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP): Time to Let Go of the UP School of


DTI intensifies monitoring vs uncertified products


HE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has stepped its monitoring and enforcement activities here and in Sarangani Province against business establishments that are selling uncertified and substandard products. Nenita Barroso, DTI provincial director, said Tuesday they have assigned a team to regularly monitor local retail outlets and ensure they only sell certified products or those that have passed the government standards. She specifically cited Christmas lights and other related products that are selling briskly due to the coming Christmas season. Since last year, she said DTI has already penalized six business establishments for selling products that have no Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) stickers and for violation of various trade laws. Barroso said some of the erring retailers claimed the products did not have ICC stickers when they purchased them from their suppliers. “We still have to penalize them. Ignorance of the law excuses no one. They should not purchase imported items that have no ICC marks,” she said. The official explained the ICC stickers protect consumers from substandard and uncertified import shipments.

It ensures the products conform to the Philippine National Standards or international standards for performance and safety, she said. Barroso advised consumers to be vigilant with their purchases and not patronize imported products that have no ICC marks. She warned that with the Christmas season now fast approaching, the sale of uncertified Christmas lights has started to pick up. “We should only buy standard Christmas lights to ensure the safety of our homes,” she said, noting a number of fire incidents in the past that were caused by substandard items. DTI personnel in Region 12 are currently conducting a series of enforcement as well as information and education activities on consumer rights and other related concerns in line with the ongoing Consumer Welfare Month celebration. Barroso said it is important for local consumers to be aware of their rights. “We should be strong as consumers because we are protected by laws. It’s the policy of the state to protect the interest of the consumers, promote general welfare and establish standards for business and industry,” she added. (PNA)

PLEDGE TRADE FAIR. An exhibitor picks out a lady crab during the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) and Program for Local Economic Development through Enlightened Governance and Grassroots Empowerment (PLEDGE) community-based trade fair and expo at the Annex of SM City Davao. Lean Daval Jr.

DENR adopts Bhutan’s model of ‘happiness’ By JERMAINE L. DELA CRUZ


COUNTRY’S Gross Domestic Product (GNP) should not be the sole benchmark of its success. This is according to Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez who helped introduce a concept called “Gross National Happiness” (GNH) that can be used as a benchmark in determining the national government’s success in providing for the needs of its people. Sec. Lopez shared the GNH concept with LGU representatives, environmental groups, members of the academe and media practitioners who attended the Lecture Series on Sustainable Area Development and Management held

yesterday at the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU). The event’s keynote speaker Dr. Saamdu Chetri, executive director of GNH Bhutan identified the nine the domains of happiness which include psychological wellbeing, standard of living, good governance, health, education, community vitality, cultural diversity and resilience, time use, and ecological diversity and resilience. “Happiness is subjective. It is a state of mind,” explained Chetri, saying happiness cannot be achieved through money alone, but by the way one lives his or her life and the way one behaves towards other people. Chetri stressed that GNH

has a higher objective than the GDP. He noted that material well-being is important, but it is also vital for people to enjoy other equally important things such as community, culture, governance, knowledge and wisdom, health, spirituality and psychological welfare, a balanced use of time, and harmony with the environment. The DENR lecture series also featured presentations on marine life, social entrepreneurship, area development and management, Bantay Kalikasan and bamboo. These were among the key issues and concerns the environment secretary wanted to highlights among the ten provincial governors who

were invited to participate in the program. The lectures were followed by an action planning session wherein the officials were asked to use GNH as a paradigm to design programs that would create a sense of “happiness” among their respective constituents. During an interview at the sidelines of the event, Lopez said that although the GNH domains are based on a foreign concept, the areas of concern are “purely Filipino.” The environment secretary said the DENR decided to adopt Bhutan’s GNH model because she had seen the success that resulted from the innovative mindset.

30’s earning P21,000 a month with four dependents, who may be currently paying P9,209 in income tax will only have to pay around P1,567 per annum because of the proposed restructuring of the tax brackets. “This represents an 83 percent decrease in their tax due, which translates into annual savings of P7,642,” said Chua, who is the DOF’s chief economist. “The proposed income tax reform would also give an incentive to minimum wage earners, who are currently exempt from income tax, to aspire for a higher pay and improved work status without losing their tax privilege. Right now, some MWEs admit not wanting to move beyond the minimum wage for fear of losing their income tax exemption so they would rather remain in the low income bracket and enjoy the exemption. But

as you can see, even non-MWEs in our proposal may become tax exempt,” said Chua at last week’s Tax Reform Forum of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) at the Marriot Hotel in Pasay City. Breaking down the figures, Chua explained that entry-level workers such as government clerks under Salary Grade 6 with a monthly income of P13,378 get an additional P36,756 a year in the form of non-taxable 13th month pay and other benefits, along with de minimis benefits such as the Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (PERA) and other non-taxable income totaling P34,000. This brings their annual gross income to P231,292. If they deduct their non-taxable benefits, mandatory contributions of P19,669 and personal exemption of P50,000, their NTI is only P90,867 under the cur-

rent system. However, they still have to pay P12,673 in taxes. But under a simplified gross income tax table proposed by the DOF, their NTI would be P177,623, but the tax due is zero, Chua said. Chua also said that 4.7 million Filipinos earning P250,000 or less per year, which represent 83 percent of the current tax base for individual taxpayers, would be exempted from paying income taxes under the DOF tax reform plan. In the government, this would include utility workers, messengers, clerks, drivers, carpenters, electricians, teachers, among others. This figure already includes some 1.7 million minimum wage earners who are currently exempted from paying taxes, which means the remaining 3

F DENR, 10

Workers to get bigger take-home pay


NTRY-LEVEL workers above the minimum wage would effectively enjoy significant increases in their take-home pay because they will only pay lower taxes under the proposed tax reform package that the Department of Finance (DOF) recently submitted to the Congress for its approval. In the sample computations that the DOF made, Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua said “entry-level employees, such as office clerks who are most probably in their early 20’s and single with no dependents, earning a monthly salary of P13,378 would see an increase in their take-home pay by around P12,673 per year.” This is because their personal income tax (PIT) would be reduced to zero under the DOF-proposed tax plan. On the other hand, a call center agent in his or her mid-



DOLE Davao wins Best PESO awards F

OR three consecutive years, the Davao region continues its culture of excellence as it won three National Best Public Employment Service Offices (PESO) Awards during the recently concluded 16th National PESO Congress held in Cebu City. Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) National Best PESO awardees include the University of Mindanao (UM) – Tagum Campus for Educational Institution Category; Panabo City for Component City Category; and the Municipality of Magsaysay for 3rd-4th class Municipality Category. UM Tagum Campus PESO also advanced to the National Hall of Fame for its third con-

secutive win. Best PESO finalists from Davao Region also include Davao del Norte for the 1st-2nd Class Provincial Category and Municipality of Sta. Cruz for the 1st- 2nd Class Municipality Category. The awarding ceremony was graced by Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III. DOLE XI Regional Director Joffrey M. Suyao lauded the PESOs and acknowledged their dedication in employment facilitation in their respected areas. “We are proud and very happy that efforts of our PESOs here in the region are acknowledged in the National level. Truly, our PESOs, through their hard work, con-

HALL OF FAME. UM Tagum PESO manager Alicia Sulayon recieves their Hall of Fame Award for winning the Best PESO in Educational Institution Category for the third consecutive year. The giving of the award was headed by DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III with Undersecretaries Joel Maglungsod, Alex

tinues to deliver the service of excellence in employment facilitation,” Director Suyao said. According to Region XI Employment Focal, Lariele P. Arce the region’s PESOs observed and strengthened their core services which include text blasting for referral and placement, Labor Market Information (LMI), enhancement of Career Guidance, and skills training. UM Tagum PESO has continued to surpass its targets through its outreach programs which include career guidance trainings and livelihood assistance to adopted communities. UM Tagum is also the third PESO from Davao Region that made it to the National Hall of Fame. Davao City and Tagum

City were elevated to the National Hall of Fame for Highly Urbanized City Category back in 2014 and Component City Category in 2015, respectively. PESO Manager Cherelle Espinosa attribute Panabo City PESO’s win to the “cooperation of the non-government organizations and private businesses, along with the vitality of the PESO staff and support of the officials and residents of the city.” For the municipality of Magsaysay, PESOs strengthened their Special Program for the employment of students, assistance to informal sectors which included PWDS and tricycle drivers, and career guidance for both public and private schools.

Avila and PBA Representative Jericho Nograles. Also in the photo are DOLE XI Regional Director Joffrey M. Suyao and DOLE XI Regional Employment Focal Lariele P. Arce and Davao Region PESO representatives. (Photo from Facebook)

SOARING HIGH. DOLE XI participants and PESO awardees led by Regional Director Joffrey M. Suyao and DOLE XI Regional Employment Focal Lariele P. Arce with DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod the Davao PESO delegates during the 16th National PESO Congress in Cebu. (Photo from Facebook)

PRRD fully committed to‘inclusive growth’: DOF F INANCE Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has assured foreign credit rating institutions that President Duterte remains “fully engaged” in implementing his 10-point socioeconomic agenda focused on inclusive growth, while vigorously carrying out his other priority goals of eliminating crime and corruption and forging lasting peace within the country and with its neighbors. Meeting with officials from international credit rater Moody’s Investor Service, Dominguez urged them not to be distracted by the political noise generated by the President’s non-traditional type of governance, as Mr. Duterte remains fully committed to keeping the economy on its upward trajectory and making growth inclusive for all Filipinos. “If you talk about the political noise, yes, there is. It’s inevitable for someone who’s shaking up the tree. It’s inevitable because of the personality of the President and people not used to this type of governance. But he’s fully engaged in [the administration’s] economic

agenda,” Dominguez told Moody’s officials. Moody’s was represented in the meeting by Christian de Guzman, vice president and senior credit officer; Atsi Sheth, managing director; and Matthew Circosta, associate analyst, all of the Sovereign Risk Group. Dominguez told Moody’s executives that the Duterte administration would carry out its inclusive growth agenda while building on the economic gains of the past administrations and exercising fiscal responsibility. Moody’s currently rates the Philippines as Baa2, an investment grade rating with a stable outlook. This credit rating is higher than what Moody’s has given Vietnam and India. Dominguez informed them that President Duterte has been meeting with congressional leaders to push a key component of his 10-point socioeconomic agenda, which is the overhaul of the tax system by introducing sweeping reforms in tax policy and administration.



The tax reform plan being proposed by the Department of Finance (DOF), the first component of which was already submitted to the Congress last Sept. 26 also aims to ease the tax burden on wage earners and the middle class as well as protect the country’s vulnerable sectors, while raising enough revenues to accelerate spending on infrastructure, human capital, social protection and agricultural modernization. He pointed out that the first package of the proposed tax reform program was completed and submitted to the Congress less than 90 days into the Duterte administration. Dominguez said that even before he was sworn into office, Mr. Duterte and his economic team already buckled down to work by holding extensive consultations with the business community and civil society organizations to help come up with the administration’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda. He said that the next thing that President Duterte plans to do is to hold consultations with

mayors, governors and other local chief executives “to basically hear what they want, and to tell them what we want; and what we want is no corruption and no crime.” Dominguez informed Moody’s officials that President Duterte’s paramount goal is to bring down the poverty rate, which has been stuck at 26 percent, to 17 percent by the time he steps aside in 2022. He pointed out, though, that reducing the poverty rate cannot be accomplished unless the President also focuses on his two other priority goals, which is to transform the country into a law-abiding society by eliminating crime and corruption, and ensuring lasting peace within the country and with its neighbors. Poverty reduction requires massive investments in infrastructure, human capital and social protection, and “doing something that no other government has done, which is to implement the Reproductive Health Law,” regardless of the expected opposition from some sectors, Dominguez said. (DOF)

V20 countries need $100 B more to fight climate change: Dominguez


INANCE Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has lauded the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Ministerial Dialogue for having spotlighted the plight of all countries most vulnerable to climate change, but said a lot more must be done collectively by its members to get the rest of the world to assist in the additional $100 billion in financing package by 2020 for the global response against this environmental scourge. Global warming has started to take its toll on vulnerable countries, and for V20 members, “an effective international response has become a matter of survival,” Dominguez said in his speech during the V-20 High Level Ministerial Meeting held on the sidelines of the recent Annual Fall Meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington DC, USA. V20 was formed a year ago by the world’s 20 countries most vulnerable to climate change, with the Philippines’ finance secretary elected as the first chairperson. This bloc’s membership has since then increased to 43 countries, and with the Ethiopian finance minister taking over as chairperson in that V20 meeting in Washington. “There is much more this forum has to accomplish,” the finance secretary said. “We need to put in more effort in getting the rest of the world involved in shaping the roadmap toward assisting us with the $100 billion in additional financing flows we direly need by 2020.” “We are asking for a clear roadmap towards the mobilization of $100 billion in additional financing flows to help the most vulnerable countries protect themselves from the ill effects of global warming,” said Dominguez, the outgoing chairperson of this forum for the 20 countries most vulnerable to climate change. “These adverse effects include droughts, rising sea levels, desertification and extreme weather events,” he said. Dominguez said in his speech that, for its part, the Philippines has invested an equivalent of $20 million of its own resources in a People’s Survival Fund to help build the country’s resilience in fighting climate change. “The Philippines invested over $20 million of our own resources in my government’s People’s Survival Fund,” he said. Our colleagues in the V20 have been taking similar action.” Added Dominguez: “Our plans to build resilience and develop while protecting the climate and our people are also among the most ambitious of any countries in the world—this despite the tremendous limits of our capacities. International cooperation will therefore provide our domestic economies with vital support and confidence we need to excel in fighting climate change.” Dominguez said that unless the commitment to mobilize additional funding to assist the V20 members is realized, “these countries will themselves in peril.” “This financing package will have to be promoted as the crux of the global response to climate change,” he added. In becoming an effective forum for tackling fiscal responses and individual actions, the dia-

logue has opened lines of economic cooperation, he said, and sounded a clear challenge to the existing financial system on how to confront the climate crisis by way of the member-countries’ ambitious proposals for managing their shared risks. But there is much more to be accomplished in advancing the common advocacy and—because the challenge facing V20 members is “large and complex”—in crafting an action agenda that must be comprehensive enough to deal with this environmental crisis, Dominguez said. “We will have to work harder to put this roadmap at the top of the agenda of international financial cooperation,” he said. “Our demand is just and our plight is an urgent one. Our collective voice deserves to be heard.” “It is ironic that the countries least responsible for causing climate change find themselves most vulnerable to its ill effects. The most vulnerable economies are also, in the main, the poorest— therefore most constrained in applying solutions to save lives and ensure the safety of our communities,” he said. With the Philippines as chair of this ministerial dialogue, he said the V20 group has managed to do the following over the past year: • Called global attention to the specific plight of the most vulnerable countries. “This ministerial dialogue became an effective forum for exchanging notes on fiscal responses and individual actions,” he said. “Through this forum, we have opened lines of economic and financial cooperation;” • Sounded a clear challenge to the existing financial system with the V20 members’ ambitious proposals for managing the looming climate crisis; • Jointly explored interesting new and innovative ideas for addressing climate risk. “These ideas served to stimulate global discussion on this urgent concern,” he said; and • Established practical channels for fellow finance ministers to continuously collaborate in advancing our common advocacy, in establishing a common climate-related accounting work and in managing our shared risks. • Dominguez recalled that this Ministerial Dialogue was organized just last year to promote a stronger international response to climate change. He said it was put up to serve as a forum to exchange ideas on effective countermeasures to protect the most vulnerable countries from climate change, and to collectively deal with the members’ bilateral and multilateral partners. During the event, Dominguez turned over the chairmanship of the V20 forum to Abdulaziz Mohamed, who is Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation. Dominguez said that, “Global warming is not something we anticipate long into the future. Its destructive effects already take their toll on the most vulnerable countries. For many of our communities, an effective international response has become a matter of survival.”





Strengthening BIMP EAGA

IRST things first. Before we tackle the bigger stakes on the foreign policy issue with China affecting our sovereignty over the disputed South China Sea territory, there are foreign policy issues that bind us in a way that involves our very lives especially in Mindanao. Take the BIMP-EAGA relations for instance. This Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area concerns the economy of the smaller corners of the country like Mindanao. By strengthening our relations with neighbor economies like Brunei Darussalam under the BIMP EAGA framework we put forward the potentials for trade in Mindanao and the pushing forward of the planned Mindanao railway system that will provide for the inroads to transport of goods from region to region in Mindanao and eventually to the neighboring BIMP EAGA economies. The state visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Brunei Darussalam should boost trade in this sub-region. The President has strongly emphasized the need for connec-


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OLIVIA D. VELASCO D.D. MARATAS RICHARD C. EBONA OLIVIA D. VELASCO JOCELYN S. PANES SOLANI SOLANI MARATAS General Manager Finance Advertising Specialist General Manager Director of Sales Finance RICHARD C. EBONA Marketing Supervisor

tivity in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asia Economic Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). This include greater connectivity among BIMP-EAGA countries through air and sea transport that will improve flow of goods and services as well as movement of people. It is also worthy to note the strengthening of the Halal industry in the country to attract more tourists from other BIMP-EAGA nations which majority are Muslims. Towards that end, there is a need for cooperation in strengthening Halal certification that will improve marketability of our Halal products, especially in agri-business manufactures and tourism sectors with plenty of MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises). With the president himself assuring investors in Brunei of stable policies and attractive incentives for businesses eyeing to set up in the Philippines, there is no doubt this “small” stakes in foreign economic relations will have a big impact to our country especially in Mindanao.



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Literature’s 2016 Nobel Laureate

’VE only written four songs in my whole life, but I’ve written those four songs a million times.” But Bob Dylan, the songwriter who said those words, has been acclaimed for the songs he had written. He already received 11 Grammy awards. In addition, he won a Golden Globe (from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association) and an Oscar (from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) for his song “Things Have Changed,” which was featured in the movie, “Wonder Boys”. In 2001, the Pulitzer Prize jury gave him a special citation for “his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical composition of extraordinary poetic power.” “Wikipedia,” in a biography of the American singing icon, wrote: “Dylan’s lyrics have incorporated various political, social, philosophical and literary influences. They defied existing pop music conventions and appealed to the burgeoning counterculture…. His accomplishments as a recording artist and performer have been central to his career, but songwriting is considered his greatest contribution.” So, it was not surprising at all – although a lot of critics wondered – that the Swedish Academy named Dylan as the recipient of the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature this year. “This is easily the most controversial award since they gave it to the guy who wrote ‘Lord of the Flies,’ which was controversial only because it came next after the immense-




ly popular 1982 THINK ON THESE! prize for Gabriel Garcia Marquez,” wrote Rob Sheffield of “Rolling Stone.” The Swedish Academy, which give the prize every year, said in Henrylito D. Tacio a press statement that the 75-year-old rock legend won “for having created new poetic expressions with the great American song tradition.” Thus, Dylan – best known for songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “The Times They Are a-Changin’” and “Like a Rolling Stone” – becomes the first songwriter ever to win the prestigious award. In 112 years, no songwriter has ever won before. Also, he is the first American to win since novelist Toni Morrison got in 1993. The reason why I am writing this piece is not because I have written some fictions (which I have not but hope so in the near future) but because I had been to the place where he grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota. In fact, I had seen the house he used to live when he was little boy. Actually, Dylan was born in Duluth (also in Minnesota) where my plane always lands when I visit my sister and her family, who

now live in Grand Rapids (no, not the one in Michigan but the city in Minnesota, where Judy Garland was born). He was still a little boy when his family moved to Hibbing. At the age of 10, he already started doing piano lessons. He also listened to the country, blues, and (a little later) the rock ‘n’ roll on radio. But as a singer, it all started when his father bought him an electric guitar. Sewell Chan, writing for “The New York Times,” reported: “He played in bands as a teenager, influenced by the folk musician Woody Guthrie, the authors of the Beat Generation and modernist poets.” In his book, “Chronicles,” Dylan indicated that the reason he started writing songs was due to the influence not only by the works of Guthrie but also with mysterious blues great Robert Johnson “saying he evoked the “dark night of the soul”) and certain songs by Bertolt Brench and Kurt Weill (due to their “tough language” and their “resilience and outrageous power”). Actually, he was born Robert Zimmerman. In his book, he wrote that Zimmerman wouldn’t be catchy enough as a stage name. He took the name Dylan from one his favorite poets, Dylan Thomas, as his new surname and used Bob, his nickname, as his first name. Thus, Bob Dylan was born. He attended the University of Minnesota briefly after graduating from Hibbing High School. He flunked out by non-participation (“refusin’ to see a rabbit die” in a science class,

and reading Immanuel Kant instead of a required textbook) and cutting classes to frequent the local Dinkytown coffeehouses. In 1961, Dylan hitchhiked from Minnesota to New York after leaving college. Then, he started performing in clubs and cafés in Greenwich Village. His debut album, simply titled “Bob Dylan” was released the following year. Other albums that have “tremendous impact on popular music,” to quote the words of Swedish Academy include “Bringing It All Back Home” and “Highway 61 Revisited” (1965), “Blonde on Blonde” (1966), “Blood on Tracks” (1975), “Oh Mercy” (1989), “Time Out of Mind” (1997) and “Modern Times” (2006). Aside from all the awards he received through the years, Dylan has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2000, he was awarded the Polar Music Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Music Award. In December 1997, he was given the Kennedy Center Award for artistic excellence. On February 25, 2010, he was awarded the American National Medal of Arts for his services and contributions to the arts. Two years later, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the highest civilian award in the United States) from President Barack Obama. In one of the interviews, Dylan was quoted as saying: “I’ve never written a political song. Songs can’t save the world. I’ve gone through all that.” Only Dylan can say those words, indeed.

Suddenly, the rider grabbed something from his side. Alice made a quick guess: “it must be a “tabako.” No, the rider drew a pistol and shot the wind. The scene jolted Alice. “Du30! Du30! Du30!” the audience roared inside the Theater Presidency. With such nerve-wracking performance, the rider’s avid followers turned into frenzy. They idolized him more. They have not seen such an exhilarating show before. Alice realized she was clapping her hands. “I thought he would puff a “tabako.” As Theater’s curtain was about to roll down, she heard quite unsure: “boom, boom.” She thought it was another shooting. “It’s broom, broom,” a cat reminded her. “Oh! Dinah, I am glad you are here. Where have you been?” As Dinah was about to meow, Alice saw the juggler smiling at her. Then he pierced his forefinger into his eyeglasses and wiggled it. It was just a frame indeed! “Why is Mr. Juggler wearing eyeglasses – without glasses?” Alice asked herself. It is an “eye-frame,” Dodo chuckled. “Forget it,” Alice answered, “I want to know why the juggler wears an eyeglasses – without glasses.” “Oh! Alice, my lovely Alice,” the harried

Rabbit said while hurrying to go out. “Remember we are inside a theater.” When Alice was about to stand up, she saw whirling smoke hovered above her. “It must be a smoke from the juggler’s ‘tabako’,” Alice tried to ascertain herself. “Ehem. Ehem. Ehem. Excuse me.” It was a caterpillar clearing his throat. “Oh, you are also here Mr. Caterpillar,” Alice happily recognized him. “The smoke is certainly not from the ‘tabako’,” said the Caterpillar smoking his hookah. Inhaling heavily and talking hoarsely, “he is…” the caterpillar puffed out a big smoke that formed into various letters and magically read: MR. TABAKO. Before she could clarify more from the caterpillar, Alice saw the big bike rider bow his head before the impassioned audience. The juggler bowed too. (This is a series exploring the imaginary mix of facts and fiction the understanding of which requires our “creative imagination” of current politics interlaced with some imaginary thoughts from a famous children-story book, “Alice in Wonderland.” MindaViews is opinion section of MindaNews. Julkipli Wadi is Professor of Islamic Studies, University of the Philippines.)

CRUCIBLE: Alice Imagining – Theater Presidency (1)  

HERE is undeniably an “Alice” in every person. Our child-like imagining is powerful. It is also magical. It can simplify our need to understand serious subjects or complex issues. It can lighten us up and enliven us as well. It also allows us to learn more creatively. It makes our wit and humor alive and keeps the “Alice” in us in perpetual wonder as we meander into our own “Wonderland.” If I were Alice I wish for caricatures of a juggler and a rider performing their arts. The Juggler and The Weightlifter The juggler tossed his balls while riding on a sleek bicycle; the other tossed on a robust motorcycle. They performed on similar but historically separate iron rods with around six-minute distance to the finish line. The one on a bicycle rode quite moderately; yet he tossed more balls. He puffed his favorite “tabako” once in a while. He also glanced instantaneously to the audience with his frequent grin and winks. Alice was excited seeing the juggler’s eyes. She saw them through his eyeglasses – with out glasses. “How’s that?” Alice thought. Then, she took her glance to the other rod.

MINDAVIEWS BY JULKIPLI WADI It was partly attached and partly detached to the rod used by the juggler. Broom! Broom! The robust bike appeared. The big bike rider while tossing a few balls carried a heavy load on his nape. It had a long iron bar that parallels his shoulders while attached with several kilos of weight. “So, he is a weightlifter too,” Alice quipped. “It’s a barbell.” A rabbit said and swooped away. “Oh! Mr. Rabbit, you are here, please stay. Explain to me what I am seeing here.” Alice pleaded. “Dodo, the Caterpillar, the Mouse and the rest of the guys in Wonderland are here. Ask them.” The Rabbit briefly answered. “Oops. I am late now. I have to go.” The big bike rider appeared quite meek with a shy smile. But he looked grand in his bike. “Wow, I like him,” Alice whispered. The rider rode very fast with his big bike screeching in the iron rod. He intermittently tossed three and later two balls. The repetition made the audience a little bored.

10 NEWS Davao... FROM 1

public debates. Samaritus explained that DOLE should grant the workers’ wage hike petition as “not every company is affected by the El Niño phenomenon.” On the other hand, representatives from the management sector who attended the DOLE public hearing opposed the P163 wage increase, as they argued the current minimum wage must be retained. Philippine Banana Growers Experts Association (PBGEA) President Alexander Anthony Valoria noted that unemployment rates in the city would rise once the minimum wage is increased. Valoria cited Davao Region’s unemployment rate of 4.3 percent, which he said “is highly commendable.” He pointed out that the Davao Region’s economy is largely agriculture-based, and was in fact one of the most affected sectors when the El Niño phenomenon occurred. Valoria reasoned that as managers and capitalists, they need money to sustain their businesses especially that their companies are still recovering from the adverse effects of the drought. “President Duterte wants Davao Region’s agriculture to bloom,” he said, adding this goal cannot be achieved if local companies retrench a lot of

workers as a result of the proposed wage increase. In the meantime, Valoria said that PBGEA’s recent partnership with Japan and China would help create more employment opportunities for his organization. “This is more efficient than asking for a higher wage for some,” he said. Bonifacio Tan, president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce (DCCCI), agreed with Valoria saying “We need to recover from El Nino.” Tan said the government should focus on addressing the challenges confronting the agribusiness sector than increasing wages. According to the Davao businessman, it would not only be banana companies who would have to let go of their employees, but also other ancillary sectors. According to Tan, more jobs equal increased development opportunities. “We need an economy that will not only survive but prevail,” he said. Tan said the government should also focus on enhancing the productivity of the agricultural sector by building much needed infrastructure facilities. The RTWPB has 30 days to come up with a decision on the wage increase issue.

group, composed of human rights victims during the Marcos years also converged at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation in Quezon City. The administration of President Duterte approved the burial of Marcos last Sept. 18 which prompted various groups to question the move with the SC. President Duterte himself had already ordered preparations for the burial of Marcos at the LNMB. Meanwhile, former Senator Bongbong Marcos said they will wait for the final verdict of the SC on the matter. “The Supreme Court, if

they have already decided, then we will have to wait. They have their regulations wala tayong magagawa kung yan ang ginawa nilang schedule,” the young Marcos told reporters in a interview after the SC announcement was made. The former senator also expressed optimism the SC will rule in favor for the burial of his father at the LNMB. “Ako’y nakatitiyak na habang tumatagal ang pagaaral tungkol sa issue na ito ay makikita ang karapatan ng isang pangulo at isang sundalo na mailibing sa libingan ng mga bayani,” he added.

Economics and NAST provides an independent and a comprehensive analysis of the Agrarian Reform Law. The paper concluded that CARP is a failure because of the 5-hectare ownership limit, which effectively “chased away private capital.” The five-hectare limit defeats economies of scale farming. The paper also cited that CARP has effectively “sent the agricultural credit market underground.” It has presumed that farmer (beneficiaries) can automatically morph into entrepreneur-businessmen with access to land.” It further concluded that CARP created a new class of people, the landed poor. Costa Rica has overtaken the Philippines as the number two largest banana exporting country next to Ecuador. Actually, the Philippines is currently ranked number five, according to a report by UNCTAD’s Special Unit on Commodities which was released this year. Typhoon Pablo that decimated a number of banana plantations in Mindanao in December of 2012 was the turning point of

the Philippine Banana industry. It was reported that about ten thousand hectares of banana trees fell, which is equivalent to about 513,000 tons of exportable bananas. Most of the farms hit by the super typhoon never recovered because of the high cost of development, which is estimated at $25,000 per hectare. Most corporate farms shunned from resuscitating affected areas as the government offered no incentives or financial help, like soft loans, and dictated lease terms with agrarian reform beneficiaries that made it impossible to recoup investments in a shorter period of time. As a result, local and foreign investors turned their eyes and interest to other countries, which offer better incentives, like Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. The President, during the recent 2016 Banana Congress in Davao City, said he is “open to all other issues that the banana stakeholders would want government to intervene,” because “Mindanao will propel the local agriculture industry.”

SC... FROM 2

Banana... FROM 6



IMPERVIOUS. A hawker ignores the scorching heat of the mid-day sun, as he peddles car accessories at the junction of E. Quirino Avenue and E. Jacinto Extension in Davao City yesterday. Lean Daval Jr.

Pres... FROM 2

The former Davao City mayor moved his office address from City Hall to Malacañang but the change in address did not change his personality, according to Bongabong. “His position as a public servant has shifted upward, but he remained humble. He talked to us like he knew us. Murag inato,” Bongabong said. Bongabong, together with his 19-year old apprentice, Keren Hannah Golea and sister Krystle Ann Golea, presented their paintings to the country’s chief executive as a gift before the President headed to Brunei Darussalam for Brunei and China. Using acrylic on a linen canvas, Bongabong’s painting depicts a smiling Mr. Duterte kissing the Philippine flag— which has become an iconic

image of his election campaign -- and the President’s seal. Bongabong’s 30x40”sized masterpiece aced the photo where it was copied after playing with shadows and palette of colors to create depth. “I’ve made some adjustment to create the painting more alive,” he said, adding that his two months of hard work paid off when he saw the smile of the President upon seeing his present. Working as a full time commissioned-based artist in his own fine art shop in Abreeza for years, Bongabong had worked for several projects, but Mr. Duterte’s was different from the rest. “He’s been the city’s mayor for as long as I can remember. He’s been a father to me, to us...a very good one I sup-

posed,” he said. Keren, another self-confessed supporter of the 71-year-old President, gave a charcoal painting of Mr. Duterte asking the blessing of his mother his Nanay Soling. “It was my favorite because it shows the soft side of our tough President,” Keren said. “It depicts respect and humility.” Keren used a picture by renowned master photographer Rene Lumawag which was showcased during the monthlong exhibit in Abreeza Mall. “It was a love at first sight. I instantly fell in love with the photo. Immediately after I got the permission to use it as reference, I started with my painting last month and finished it after two weeks,” she said. Keren, a graduating col-

lege student from the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP), said she was overwhelmed to meet the President and was thrilled that he appreciated her gift. “The President liked it because it’s his first charcoal painting,” she added. Krystle Ann, Keren’s older sister, earlier gave a pop art painting of the President that is now hanging on the walls of Bahay Pagbabago in Malacañang. “I chose him to become my subject because he is iconic,” Krystle added. The three Dabawenyo painters might have given different interpretations of the President but they all agreed on one thing: Mr. Duterte is more than the nation’s leader. He is now the nation’s father. (MARO Davao)

go trucks can use this route. He said half of the project’s total cost is funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), while the other half by the Philippine Government. Sarmiento said the road

project has a total cost of P39 billion, P2 billion of which will come from the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DWPH). The start of the project’s construction has yet to be announced.

participate in their own small but meaningful way. We want to initiate public conversations with different stakeholders. We may not all obtain the opportunity to sit at

the negotiating tables, but we can be in the sidelines: pitching our ideas, sharing our concerns in the best constructive and democratic tradition.” (OPAPP)

P2.5 million for its loan facility. Before a cooperative can obtain a loan, it must first demonstrate its financial stability to the bank, and should be audited by a third party Cer-

tified Public Accountant. Moreover, the cooperative must also be duly accredited by the city two to three years from the date of its establishment.

assured the event will push through in December. “The MOA with LVGP will help drive cooperation among LGUs to fast track permits not more than 10 days, facilitate right of way, rationalize the fees charged to us, uniform ordinance across LGUs and reduce approvals to only three signatures, exempt ICT infrastructure from zoning clearances, co-location of Globe facilities in LGU-owned or controlled properties,” Ora explained. Ora added that LGUs can also build their own telecommunications infrastructure if they so desire and and lease them to service providers.

“In exchange [for] the cooperation,” he said, “Globe can provide either free broadband, wifi or CCTVs—whichever is relevant”. Ora said Globe can also provide LGUs with technical advice to help them determine the services needed by their respective cities or municipalities. Aside from the LVGP, Globe will also seek the support of other local government organizations such as City/ Municipal Mayors League and Councilors League of the Philippines as part of its efforts to help improve the country’s telecommunications infrastructure.

“Bhutan is the only country in the world that is carbon negative, with zero percent crime rate, with a very low poverty rate, offering free health and education services and producing a GDP of $2 billion every year,” explained Lopez. The environment secretary added that despite Bhutan’s strong economy, its people continue to live frugal lives, while actively promoting the virtues of peace and happiness. Lopez emphasized the objective of GNH “was to provide a sustainable world for the future generations.” She, however, pointed out that there is no need to change the country’s system of governance, but only the people’s way of life. In the meantime, Lopez laid down DENR’s timetable for the implementation of the GNH program. “On November, they (provincial leaders) will go back to their areas and plan with the stakeholders, work with their

community. By December, the DENR will download the money to finance their proposals,” she said. Lopez disclosed the DENR has allocated P80 million for the GNH program, and is collaborating with other government agencies such as Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Education (DepED), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Department of Agriculture (DA). Gross National Happiness (GNH) is a measurement of the collective happiness of a nation. The term was coined in 1972 by Bhutan’s fourth Dragon King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck. Originally, the phrase represented a commitment to building an economy that would serve Bhutan’s culture based on the Buddhist spiritual values instead of Western material development gauged by gross domestic product.

Congress... FROM 3

City... FROM 5

Globe... FROM 5

Nationwide... FROM 3 DENR... FROM 6





Hija de Davao horses r e fused to enter.

EXTR AOR DINARY WOMAN, Pat Montemayor, is a gem who continues to shine with elegance and wisdom. As dame of one of Davao’s most respected families, she passes on her love and dedication to community among her brood. Knowing tradition is not just what we inherit from the past, but also what we create and pass on to the future, she believes in the relevance in recognizing timeless traditions as we move in concentric circles.

Nothing about Pat Montemayor reveals she’s 88 --not her looks, movement nor memory --- as she painted a very clear picture of Davao’s history through her eyes and words. To hear her stories about Davao in the past was mesmerizing. Not many get the chance to hear a first hand account of local history from one of the most respected figures in the city, who is an epitome of class, grace and style. Her accounts also unveiled how the character of this strong-willed and kindhearted woman was shaped to what it is today. It was the public school during her elementary years, when she had to walk because she wasn’t allowed to ride any of the family-owned kalesas picking up fare, before heading to Manila for higher education. Her younger years has exposed her to the family life of business and politics, and the different social strata, which may have molded her to the well-rounded person she is now. Personally she believes education is key. This was why extending education also became the essence of Hijos de Davao, the organization

established in 1964 and renamed from the 1948-formed Club Dabawenyo, where she is a founding member of both clubs. “It was a social group until we felt there was a need to help. We tried to do what we can. Hijos de Davao became a foundation when my husband became president, but even before that, the club raised funds to support people in need, mostly for education. I remember the first scholar, he went to the Mindanao Agri-

cultural School in Eden.” “We also want to let people know that San Pedro, our Patron Saint, has really protected Davao. Back then the people were losing interest in celebrating the June 29 feast. We made Hijos de Davao the annual gathering to honor him.” She related how the church was spared during the great fire, and when the Japanese, during the war, planned to use the Church as a stable, but for some unknown reasons the

Many of the locals still perceive Hijos de Davao as an exclusive group with an annual formal soiree. Not all know of its purpose, but the club still does the civic duty it was formed for. The list of Hijos scholars is long and a handful stayed in touch—a successful career woman who sends a letter of gratitude years after, one who steadily rises in the corporate ranks, an engineer, and father


CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: A true hija of Davao. At 88 Patria Montemayor has seen Davao grow through the years & she can still remember everything clearly. On her: M&S Collection ivory ruffle satin top & front zip formal trousers. “I attend the Hijos de Davao Ball every year because someone has to be there to inspire, to encourage everybody to participate. “M&S Collection Lace slash black top & front zip formal trousers; beige envelope tote bag. Looking back. Hijos de Davao, even before it became a foundation, was already helping people in need, mostly for education. On her: M&S Collection black mix Ditsy scarf tunic top with black core leggings.

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EDGEDAVAO Serving a seamless society




Fun in Fas Forever 21 launches Disney Pixar capsul

AMERICAN RETAIL BRAND FOREVER est and most-recognized retailers, once aga it launches globally a limited-edition Disn including women’s, men’s and kid’s clothin Heather knit hoodie has Finding Dory’s Hank the Octopus design.

Pixar Alien knit graphic sweatshirt. Toy Story denim jacket.

The 29-piece collection brings that Pixar magic from the screen to the racks as it celebrates classic characters from DisneyPixar animated films including Finding Dory, Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story. The latest iconic characters like Buzz Lightyear, Dory, Nemo, Woody and Mike Wazowski are featured in trendy bodysuits, bomber and denim jackets, cropped t-shirts, sweaters, and sweatpants, as well as beanies and tote bags. In the spirit of fun, there are also items with wordplays on the characters and their beloved stories including “Buzz Worthy,” “Go With the Flow” and “Monster Crew.” The Forever 21 Disney Pixar collection is highlighted in an episode of Destination: Disney Style; the five-part original series that takes viewers on a trip around the globe to explore the unique ways Disney characters are interpreted through fashion. The video follows Lauren Riihi-

maki of into eve the desi lection f an exclu and how Disney and the up for v Tube ch In th the fore since it mall las with the made it affordab the coun Forev available mier.

ER 19, 2016


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shion: le collection

EDGEDAVAO Serving a seamless society

R 21, one of the world’s largain brings fun to fashion as ney Pixar capsule collection ng and accessories.

f YouTube’s LaurDIY as she delves erything about the collection from ign process and inspiration, to colfavorites and more, giving viewers usive look into the capsule collection w it came together. The Destination: Style episode featuring LaurDIY e DisneyPixar capsule collection is viewing on the Disney Style Youhannel. he Philippines, Forever21 has been emost choice of the stylish bunch opened its first store at SM Megast 2010. Through its partnership e SM Retail Group, Forever 21 has easier to have access to trendy yet ble fashion with branches around ntry. ver 21’s Disney Pixar Collection is e in Forever 21 at SM Lanang Pre-

Hank the octopus canvas tote.

Be “Buzz Worthy” with a graphic tee from the Forever 21 x Disney Pixar Collection.

Pixar Pair: Toy Story graphic tank and shorts combo


Serving a seamless society


A4 INdulge! WOMEN


“We help not because we are with Hijos, but because we are from Davao.” On her: M&S Collection striped top & Riva-riva drops necklace, Porop black pants.

who has seen his kids become professionals, and those who insist they want to help in any way they can. Montemayor only wishes the rest of the scholars are on the same path. “This is our city and we should instill pride for place. I believe the only way for any city to develop is to help, and we help not because we are with Hijos, but because we are from Davao.” Then Hijos de Davao turned 50 in 2014. “I never thought it’s going to last this long,” she confessed. “It was the aim, of course. Then now I realized what is important— that you must never leave your club until you’re sure someone will take over, somebody who is really interested.” This is why she and her peers attend yearly. “Somebody has to be there all the time to inspire. Rose (Cabaguio) and the rest are always present to encourage everybody to participate. We don’t want it to die a natural death.” And it looks like the club has found the next generation who will see the foundation to next 50 years. Even with this assurance, do expect to see Hija de Davao Pat Montemayor at the annual ball, in her usual elegant demeanor, perhaps applauding the Rigodon de Honor participated by the once scholars of Hijos de Davao.


“This is our city and we should instill pride for place. I believe the only way for any city to develop is to help.” On her: M&S Collection blush satin ruffle top & black mix formal trousers; beige envelope tote bag & Lhoutter print scarf.

11 COMPETITIVE EDGE That king of the world Racal apologizes to Yamaha firm feels on top of Mount Apo EDGEDAVAO



EXT to food, nothing speaks about the wonder and uniqueness of a place better than its natural environment. The City of Davao is blessed with a wealth of nature, from the wildest river rides you can find in Mindanao, to man-made escapes imbued with natural sceneries. Any eco-lover visiting the “Durian Capital of the Philippines” should never forget to include the city’s nature destinations to the itinerary. Here are some of Davao’s must-visit locations that will surely satisfy your craving for wildlife and greenery. Eden Nature Park & Resort A mountain resort in Davao, Eden Nature Park is a man-made paradise offering rest and relaxation amidst lush pine forests, flower gardens, and the song of birds. Overlooking Davao City and Davao Gulf from 3,000 feet above sea level, the nature park is the perfect escape for anyone looking for friendly hiking spots or a quiet place to

go tilapia fishing.

Philippine Eagle Center Apart from the country’s national bird, the Philippine Eagle Center is a haven to four species of mammal, two species of reptile, and 10 other species of bird. Currently, the Center houses 36 Philippine eagles, 18 of which were bred in captivity. Tours and lectures are available if you want to learn more about the Center’s conservation efforts.

Davao Crocodile Park Not too scared of large carnivorous reptiles? Take a detour to Davao Crocodile Park for a glimpse of crocodiles basking in the sun, with mouths agape. The park also showcases other exotic wildlife including pythons, iguanas, bearcats, tigers, orangutans, different bird species, and small reptiles like turtles and sailfin lizards.

People’s Park If you don’t want to stray too far from the city, you can always visit People’s Park for

265,000 members benefit from SSS loan restructuring


ORE than 265,000 borrowers of Social Security System (SSS) short-term loans have benefited from affordable payment terms and conditional condonation of loan penalties under the ongoing SSS Loan Restructuring Program (LRP) within just five months since its launch. SSS Assistant Vice President for Member Loans Department Boobie Angela A. Ocay said the LRP, which opened its one-year availment period last April 28, has helped 265,705 member-borrowers settle their overdue loan obligations of P4.28 billion based on figures as of end-September 2016. “We encourage other delinquent borrowers to apply for LRP now to avoid the stress of filing last-minute applications. While their penalties may be condoned, if they don’t avail of the LRP right away, the loan interest which they’ll have to pay will continue to accrue with every month of delay,” Ocay said. The LRP offers delinquent SSS borrowers the rare opportunity to settle their overdue loans by only paying their loan principal and interest, and incur significant savings from the conditional condonation of loan penalties once their obligation has been paid in full. The deadline for availment falls on April 27, 2017. Members with unpaid SSS loans will also incur deductions in their final benefit claims for retirement, total dis-

ability and death. For example, a retiring member who failed to settle his SSS loan will have his loan principal, continuing interest and accumulated penalties deducted from his retirement benefit. Ocay said the total availments include borrowers who took advantage of the special weekend schedule offered by SSS last month as part of the 59th SSS anniversary celebration, which enabled a total of 10,021 members to conveniently file their LRP applications in any of the four Saturdays of September. “From an initial 1,300 applications on September 3, the LRP transaction volume grew to over 2,000 in the next two Saturdays of that month. SSS recorded the highest number of applications under the special Saturday schedule on Sept. 24, with over 4,000 members filing for the LRP that day,” she said. During the four Saturdays of September, thousands of borrowers applied for the LRP at participating SSS branches and foreign representative offices to settle a total of P168.64 million in overdue short-term loans. The LRP aims to provide financial relief to borrowers affected by any of the covered calamities and disasters who struggle to pay their SSS loans. To qualify, the borrower should be residing or employed in any of the calamity areas declared by the National Disaster Risk

F 265,000, 14

an urban garden boasting more than 1,000 species of plants from Southeast Asia, South America, Africa, and Australia. The Park also features sculptures by Mindanao artist Kublai Millan depicting indigenous peoples, as well as a dancing fountain that bursts in color at night.

Mount Apo Mount Apo offers an experience the truly adventurous will enjoy. Home to diverse ecosystems, the Philippine’s highest peak lets you trek across farmlands, river trails, boulders, and thick jungles where you can witness an abundance of rare flora and fauna. If you are ready to conquer the mountain, be ready for a three to four-day hike to the summit and back.

A phone to capture it all No matter which escapade you choose, you’ll definitely need a camera phone that can snap highlights of your adventure. The OPPO F1s is a great pick for the intrepid backpacker, thanks to

its 16-megapixel front camera that captures vivid pictures even in low-light conditions— perfect for adventure selfies even under forest shade. The phone also has an anti-shake feature to prevent unwanted blurry shots, while the selfie panorama option allows you to capture as much of Davao’s breathtaking landscapes. If you want to make selfies easier for you during a hike, the F1s lets you set up the phone so you can activate the shutter either by waving your hand in front of the camera, or simply using your voice. “Travel has become a way for many people to create lasting memories,” OPPO Marketing Brand Manager Stephen Cheng said. “With the F1s, travelers can now capture selfies that give life to moments they would like to return to and share with the people they love.” The F1s is available in concept and dealer stores nationwide. For more information, log on to http://www.


AMAHA has received an issued public apology from Racal Motor Sales Corporation and Racal Motor Assembly for creating its MD110 and JR125 that incorporate the design elements of Yamaha’s own SNIPER and MIO SOUL motorcycles. The Philippine Industrial Design Registrations No. 3-2005-000512 and No. 3-2006-000587 protect the whole designs of the Sniper and Mio Soul in which Yamaha exclusively owns the rights to. These rights have been violated under the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, as amended, and other applicable laws, rules, and regulations. Racal Motor Sales Corporation admits selling and distribution of the MD110 and JR125 that bear the designs of the SNIPER AND MIO SOUL respectively. Racal stated that they procured parts from suppliers/manufacturers from China to assemble the said motorcycles. Racal has announced

and confirmed that it has ceased in the selling and distribution of their motorcycles. The company apologizes for having sold and distributed aforementioned products and will refrain from doing the same in the future. Yamaha advised the public to pay attention to the details of their purchased motorcycles to ensure that it is a Yamaha original. All Yamaha brand motorcycles are designed and manufactured according to strict safety standards and quality. Parts and components of each product are sourced from Yamaha business partners and subsidiaries that follow Yamaha’s original and strict standards. To protect products from any and all infringement, the company applies for intellectual property related rights and takes actions on multiple fronts to counter companies that manufacture, sell or distribute counterfeits of the company’s products.

TSI opens energy center to public


HE Energy Education Center (EEC) of the Therma South Inc. (TSI), a subsidiary of the AboitizPower (AP), has opened its doors to the public in a bid to make energy information more accessible to the masses. “The energy sector is not something that is easily understandable and would usually take time to explain or discuss. However, through the EEC, we intend to help the public understand the energy sector better through interactive and visual displays,” said Sebastian R. Lacson, President and COO of TSI. The EEC had its soft launch last May 20, 2016 and catered to the community and stakeholders who have been visiting the plant. “Right now, we are ready to accept more curious minds who want to learn and understand the energy sector better,” Lacson said. Aside from various displays related to the energy sector, the EEC also features exhibits on AboitizPower and

Therma South. “One of the main displays we have is the one on the circulating fluidized bed technology, which is being used by the power plant,” said Lacson, adding that coupled with the visual display is an interactive scale model of the power plant’s boiler for guests to better understand the technology. The EEC is located at the plant site of the 300-MW

Davao Baseload Power Plant of TSI in Binugao, Toril, Davao City. It is open to the public every Tuesdays and Thursdays (except holidays) from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Visits to the center are made by appointment and should be made five working days prior to the visit. There are four time slots guests can choose from: 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM; 10:30 AM to 11:30

AM; 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM; 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM. As it is still in its early stages, the center can cater to two tours per day, with each visit accommodating a maximum of 30 persons. For queries, bookings and reservations, please contact the EEC through this numbers, 244-6516 or 244-6500. The center can be emailed at energyeducationcenter@


three minors and the arrest of five suspects for child sex tourism. The operation, which took place over the weekend, was part of Operation Cross Country (OCC), a coordinated U.S. and international effort to arrest child sex pedophiles and recover victims of this offense.

The FBI has expanded OCC this year to include international partners, in both simultaneous operations and public awareness of the threat. The FBI now works with NBI and PNP to conduct operations against child sex tourism targets, recover child victims engaged in commercial

sex trafficking in-country, and identify new child sex tourism investigations. To date, OCC has initiated 74 Child Exploitation Task Forces, rescued over 6000 children worldwide, opened more than 540 investigations, and brought 19 traffickers to face federal life sentences.

US, Phl enforcers jointly curb child sex tourism

HE U.S. Embassy in the Philippines commends the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for a successful NBI-led operation in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City that led to the rescue of



Fish shortage looming Text and Photos by HENRYLITO D. TACIO


F Filipinos don’t watch out, they may no longer have fish to be served in their tables in the coming years.

“We are fishing our waters to the limit,” says Roy C. Alimoane, the director of the Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center Foundation, Inc., as the country celebrates Fish Conservation Week this month. “Like the other vital recourses we have, our fisheries are soon to collapse – a victim of the almost unabated plunder of the commons,” Alimoane adds. A s defined, t h e “commons” encompasses unoccupied land and all waters which a r e considered God-given set of resources for the people to consume as much as needed. But these resources appear to have been abused to the point of exhaustion. An archipelagic country, the Philippines has about 7,100 islands; it has more water than it has land. The country’s total territorial water is 2,200,000 square kilometers while it only has 299,735 square kilometers of land area (about 34% or 102,984 square kilometers is considered agricultural). “The thousands of islands endow the Philippines with a total coastline of 17,460 kilometers,” notes the Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). “With-

in its landmasses are freshwater and brackishwater swamplands, lakes, rivers and reservoirs.” It is not surprising therefore why fish, touted to be the “poor man’s source of protein,” is a staple food of Filipinos. “Fish and seafood represent an important source of protein for the average Filipino, at around 41%of animal protein intake,” reports the Kuala Lumpur-based World Fish Center. But the sad news is that fish catch in the open seas are getting smaller and scarce. In the past, Filipino fishermen used to catch 20 kilograms of fish each

day. But today, they could manage to catch only around 4.76 kilograms a day – “barely a fourth of the amount during the good old days,” said a Rappler report. Bago Aplaya, part of the Davao Gulf which is described as “one of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the world,” used to be a haven of fish in Davao City. “When I was still younger,” 53-year-old Ronnie Estrera recalled, “we used to catch a lot of fish. But it’s the case anymore today.” As he was talking, his son Dondon came home with one ice box full

of fish. The 19-year-old lad, however, lamented that the fish were getting smaller and fewer. In some instances, they were forced to fish farther south into the waters of Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur. “Fishers are already scarce in Bago Aplaya,” he said. During his time, French novelist Jules Verne (the m a n behind “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”) suggested that when the world reached the limits of food production on the land, man could turn to the oceans. That was what most countries had been doing over the past several decades. “Between 1950 and 1989, the fish catch expanded more than four-fold, climbing from 22 million tons to 100 million tons,” Lester R. Brown reported in his feature, “Facing Food Scarcity.” “During the six years since then, the

catch has leveled off. Contrary to the prognosis of Jules Verne, we reached the limits of the oceans first.” This is true in the Philippines. “A major fishing ground, Lingayen Gulf, reached its maximum sustainable yield more than 20 years ago,” claims a FAO report. “The fishery now has four times the optimum effort for the available fish stocks. Catch rates in the gulf are only one-fifth of what they were 15 years ago, compelling fishers to invest more time and money in dwindling catches.” In some areas, not only has the volume of catch been reduced, but also quality. The FAO report cites Central Visayas as a case in point. “There has been an overall shift in catch composition, away from coastal pelagic to oceanic pelagic species and away from demersal to pelagic species,” it says. In the Davao Gulf, the volume and quality of the fish have been found to be in constant decline since 2000, according to a decade-study conducted by the




Aeon Towers rises to 25th level By NEILWIN JOSEPH L. BRAVO


WENTY FOUR levels down and counting. Aeon Towers, Davao’s soon-to-rise architectural masterpiece, is nearing its peak. Construction of the state-of-the-art residential and commercial skyscraper has now reached 24 levels according to its construction team in its latest advisory as of October 12. Construction has risen to the 25th floor which is expected to complete its concrete pouring by the end of this week. According to developer FTC Group of Companies, the building is set for topping off this December with the turnover expected by next year. Aeon Towers has been reputed to be the next iconic oasis in Davao City which is an embodiment of the economic boom the city is experiencing and the investment interest it has gained in recent times. Work at the construction site of the initial ven-

ture of homegrown FTC Group of Companies continues to move round the clock. The company hopes to fast track the turnover of the project. Most of the residential units have been sold out with just a few left in the inventory. “We are excited about the developments happening in our first project and we cannot wait to the time we will turn over the units to the owners,” said Ian Cruz, president and CEO of the FTC Group of Companies. The top floors of the futuristic building are the premium residential units and the skydeck infinity pool and offices. Details of the building tenants for the commercial spaces and luxury hotel have been kept under wraps and will be announced formally at the appropriate time. “We have a lot in store for the homebuyers of Aeon Towers. It’s really more than worth the investment,” Cruz said.

14 NEWS DSWD continues relief ops for ‘Karen’, prepares for ‘Lawin’ “W E can safely survive and overcome disasters and calamities if we work together and coordinate our efforts. Preventing loss of human life and ensuring the safety of the most vulnerable members of our communities are at the top of our priorities during this season of natural calamities. We want our communities to stand strong and united against calamities and for all of us to work together.” This was the statement of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo as the department continues to strengthen its relief operations in areas affected by Typhoon ‘Karen’ in Regions I, II, III, IV-A, V and CAR. At present, DSWD- Field Offices (FOs) maintain their coordination with affected local government units (LGUs) and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) for distribution of relief packs and augmentation support. A total of ₱1,487,375 worth of relief assistance from the combined resources of DSWD and LGUs has been provided to the affected families, especially those coming from Regions II and V. Although there are no reported flooding incidents affecting residential areas in the National Capital Region (NCR), disaster team members of the

DSWD-FO NCR, LGUs and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) conducted ocular monitoring in the cities of Quezon, Mandaluyong, Manila, and San Juan. A rapid assessment was also conducted by the Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) of Cavite to check on the status of four low-lying areas, namely Cavite City, Rosario, Noveleta, and Kawit. In Quezon Province, additional 5,000 family food packs will be delivered for distribution to families affected by the typhoon. To date, a total 17,052 families or 75,461 persons from 489 barangays in Regions I, II, III, CALABARZON, V, and CAR have been affected. Of the affected persons, 1,379 were strandees at ports in Albay, Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Masbate, and Sorsogon. Some 5,077 families or 22,013 persons are taking shelter in 254 evacuation centers set up by LGUs. Likewise, 943 houses were damaged in Regions I, II, V, and CAR; of which, 905 were partially damaged and 38 were totally damaged. Sec. Taguiwalo has already directed all concerned field offices to maintain their close coordination with LGUs since Typhoon ‘Lawin’ is fast approaching the country. (DSWD)

World Fish Center. The study looked at the volume and quality of the harvests of 10 commonly fished species in the gulf: “matambaka,” “tamban,” “moro-moro,” “caraballas,” “bilong-bilong,” lapu-lapu, “danggit,” “molmol,” “talakitok” and “maya-maya.” Except for “maya-maya,” the harvest numbers for the species have been falling. At the current rate of decline, the “caraballas,” “bilong-bilong,” “molmol” and “danggit” may all disappear completely from Davao Gulf within a decade. As early as 1993, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through one of its councils reported that fish production in the country had been on deficit with a shortage of more than 200,000 tons annually. In 2004, the country imported 128,299 tons of fish to fill up some of the demand, the DOST report said. “As a consequence, fish prices have soared up and fish consumption by Filipinos has decreased,” it added. To think, the Philippines is among the largest fish producers in the world, according to the World Bank. In 2008, the Philippines ranked sixth in global fish and aquaculture production. Twenty-three years earlier, in 1985, the country was listed number four. In 2013, the Philippines

ranked seventh worldwide in terms of fish production, according to BFAR. In 2014, the country produced 4.69 million metric tons of fish valued at P237.71 billion. “Our fishery resources are beset with problems,” deplores the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), a line agency of the Department of Agriculture. Fishing to the limit has been cited as one of the primary problems. Although fish stocks are a renewable resource, many of them are strained to the limit. “Over the years, (Filipino fishers) have suffered from a widespread notion that the seas are inexhaustible and economic pressures that have encourage over-exploitation,” an official of BFAR says. Peter Weber, a researcher with the Worldwatch Institute, has the same observation. “Overfishing is the primary cause of dwindling fish population,” he writes in his report, “Net Loss: Fish, Jobs and the Marine Environment.” Because of lesser harvests, some fishers resort to destructive fishing methods.



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national government. These include two three-classroom buildings; four day care centers; 400 meters of flood control grouted riprap; concreting of the Barangay Banate-Balakayo-Poblacion road; communal toilet, health station and breast feeding center at the public terminal; repair of six units span cable footbridges; and, a road graveling stretching about a kilometer. The mayor said the municipal government is currently focusing its efforts on the opening of more farm-tomarket roads, especially in the remote areas. She said the move is aimed to ease the delivery of products from the area’s prime agricultural produc-

tion areas to the markets. The municipality is a recipient of farm-to-market roads and various agricultural infrastructure projects funded by the Department of Agriculture (DA). The town’s agriculture sector has thrived over past years after being identified as a top priority of the former three-term mayor Reynaldo Constantino. The mayor said they are also working for the release of additional funding for the opening and concreting of roads leading to tourist destinations in the area. She specifically cited several alternative adventure sites and natural attractions like water falls and other related resources within the municipality. (PNA)

Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) or the national government. The SSS loan must also be overdue for at least six months as of April 28, 2016 to qualify for the LRP. Members can pay their delinquent loan in full within 30 days with no additional interest, or apply for an installment payment term of up to five years with a minimal three percent annual interest. “Members who benefited from the LRP are already excluded from future restructuring or condonation programs

“Fishers, getting little or no catch, and believing they have little choice left, use illegal and destructive fishing gear to improve their catch,” the FAO report points out. “In the Philippines, illegal and destructive fishing practices include compressor fishing, spear fishing and blast fishing.” The destruction of the country’s coastal ecosystem has also taken its toll on the country’s marine resources. Take the case of mangroves, those communities of trees in the tidal flats in coastal waters. The current rate of mangrove deforestation ranges from 2,000 to 3,000 hectares per year. “Despite legislation and programs to protect mangroves, the country has lost 75 percent of its mangroves due largely to fishpond development, charcoal production, industrial conversion, recla-


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as part of our terms and conditions. The good news is that they can apply for another SSS loan six months after they have fully paid their obligation under the LRP,” Ocay said. For their convenience, members are advised to open a My.SSS account at the SSS website ( so that they can view their loan statement of account and other SSS data through the Internet. LRP application forms are also downloadable from the SSS website. (SSS)

million taxpayers earning above the minimum wage but not over P250,000 per year would automatically increase their take home pay by paying less taxes. Another half-million plus taxpayers earning between P250,000 and P400,000 will pay taxes equivalent to only 20 percent of their incomes in excess of P250,000, under the same DOF-proposed tax plan. Some public school teachers, cashiers, geologists and public attorneys will enjoy this lower rate. The tax plan’s Package One covers cuts in PIT payments under a simplified, modified gross income system, plus revenue measures to offset losses from such income tax reductions. The DOF submitted to the Congress its proposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act last month in keeping with the Duterte administration’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda. Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the DOF tax bill was completed after the Department consulted with members of the Cabinet, legislators, former Secretaries of Finance, prominent economists, stakeholder and business groups, and with various foreign embassies, global financial institutions and joint foreign chambers signifying their support for the tax reform proposal. “Without reforming our tax system so that it becomes fairer, simpler and more efficient, gov-

ernment cannot undertake the volume of spending required in achieving our goals” of reducing poverty from 26 percent to 17 percent in six years and elevating the Philippines to the status of a high-income country in one generation,” Dominguez said. Reducing the personal income tax rate from 32 percent to 25 percent would be done over a two-year period benefiting most taxpayers except the “ultra-rich,” who are defined as individuals earning P10 million or more annually, Dominguez said. Dominguez said the general rule behind the Duterte administration’s income tax reform plan is that the rich will have to pay more while poor and low-income Filipinos will pay less or none at all. The reformed personal income tax system of the DOF proposes six brackets in which those earning zero to P250,000 would pay zero tax beginning 2018, the planned first year of its implementation. Of the total tax base for individuals numbering 5,612,777 taxpayers, 1,752,009 or 31.2 percent of them are minimum wage earners, 2013 data from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) show. In the second bracket of the DOF-proposed income tax system are another half-million taxpayers earning P250,000 to P400,000 per year, who will pay only 20 percent of their annual gross income in excess of P250,000.

mation, and pollution,” says Dr. Miguel Fortes, a professor of Marine Science Institute at the College of Science of University of the Philippines in Diliman. In Davao Gulf, for instance, the conversion of mangrove areas to recreational resorts has likewise affected the fish catch. “Fish use the spaces under the mass of prop roots of mangrove trees as ‘delivery rooms,’ and the offspring of many marine species spend their growing period in the mangrove swamps before moving on to the open sea,” explains Dr. Rafael Guerrero III, former head of the Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development. Coral reefs, considered one of the planet’s essential life-support systems, are not spared from destruction. An estimated 10% of the world’s 600,00 square kilometers

of reefs has been destroyed during the past 50 years by myriad causes, including industrial pollution. In recent years, cyanide fishing has contributed to the fast dwindling of reefs. This is particularly true in the Philippines, where thousands of kilograms of sodium cyanide are sprayed into its waters every year. The degradation of our coral reefs has been cited as one of the culprits of the low production of fisheries in the country. “Coral reefs are the food basket for the fish,” said Senator Loren Legarda in a press statement. “A square kilometer of healthy coral reef may yield about 30 tons of seafood every year. But 94% of our corals are in fair or poor condition, they will not be able to produce fish enough for our needs.”

Another problem that most likely hit the fisheries of the country soon: climate change. Some studies have shown that global warming will cause changes in ocean temperatures, sea ice extent, salinity, and oxygen levels, among other impacts. A new study published in the journal “Scientific Reports” notes how it affects the amount and composition of fish that may lead to decreased catches. “Warmer temperatures may also lead to decreases in maximum body sizes of marine fishes,” write the authors of the study, a team of scientists from the University of British Columbia (UBC). They add that “these changes have large implications for people who depend on fish for food and income, and thus the contribution of fisheries to the global economy.”

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7th UMAGA Open on Nov. 19-20 T

HE University of Mindanao Alumni Golf Association (UMAGA) tees off its seventh edition set on November 19 and 20 at the Davao City Golf Club in Matina. A field of 200 golfers are expected to join the two-day tournament which

UMAGA GOLF. University of Mindanao Alumni Golf Association president Boy Arriba will lead the ceremonial tee off.

C day.

SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios announced the return of Reyes to national team duty in a meeting with the current Gilas 5.0 lineup in a meeting at the SBP office in Pasig. In effect, Reyes, who is currently the president of TV5, deferred his 2014 retirement and will make his first coaching stint after steering Gilas’ Asian Games campaign in the said year. Present among the Gilas players were Matt Wright, Carl Cruz, Ed Daquioag, Kevin Ferrer, Russel Escoto, Arnold Van Opstal, Almond Vosotros, Mike Tolomia, Von Pessumal, Mac Belo, RR Pogoy, and Jio Jalalon. In his first speech in his third stint as national team coach, Reyes said that he will


ESSIE Magdaleno has dyed his hair blonde to express his confidence and boost his training in preparation for his title shot at five division world champion and current super bantamweight king Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire when they clash at the Thomas & Mack Center on November 6, Manila Time. Gilbert Manzano of the Las Vegas Review Journal reports that Magdaleno has been oozing with confidence since his fight with WBO junior featherweight titlist Nonito Donaire was

make sure the Gilas players will join the PBA Draft on Oct. 30. “The first part of my program of preparing for FIBA competition is to make sure that the players are in the PBA,” Reyes said. A draft separate from the regular rookie draft is currently being planned exclusively for Gilas players. So far, only Cruz and Daquioag have signified their intent of joining the draft, while Jalalon has yet to make his decision on whether he joins the draft or spend one more year with Arellano in the NCAA. On the other hand, Tab Baldwin will stay at the Gilas coaching staff as he will serve as consultant to Reyes, the same coaching setup the national team had during its historic 2013 FIBA Asia Championship and 2014 FIBA World Cup runs. (PNA)

Celtics rout Nets 120-99


SAIAH Thomas scored 19 points, going 6 for 6 from the field, as the Celtics clobbered the Brooklyn Nets, 120-99, on Monday in Boston (Tuesday, Manila time). Thomas also made 6 of 7 shots from the stripe in a little over 15 minutes of action as the Celtics scored their fifth straight win after starting the

15 hdcp), C (16-21 hdcp), D (22-27 hdcp/men and 22-31 hdcp/ladies) and Senior (ages 66 years-old and above) Divisions requires a registration fee pegged at P1,500 (1st game excluding mulligan) and P1,000 (2nd game excluding mulligan). Registration is now ongoing at the Davao City Golf Club until November 18, 2016. Interested may also inquire calling Arriba

(0933-3676439), Ms. Edith Cabreros (299-0711) and Frank Buno (0917-7042580). Trophies and merchandise will be given to the winners during the awarding rites to be held on November 20, 6:30 p.m. at the Davao City Golf Club clubhouse. Motorcycles and flat television sets are at stake as hole-in-one prizes on designated Par 3 fairways.

Donaire foe sports new look

Chot returns as Gilas coach HOT Reyes was named as the new coach of Gilas Pilipinas on Tues-

will follow the Modified Stableford, 18-hole individual competition format. It will be open to male and female golfers ages 18 years-old and above who are bona fide members of a golf club. Boy Arriba, UMAGA President will welcome the participants on golf day in simple rites prior to tee off times at 5:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. The tournament which will have the Class A (0-9 hdcp), B (10-

preseason with a loss to the Philadelphia 76rs . Jaylen Brown came up with 12 points and Jae Crowder added 11 for Boston. Sean Kilpatrick scored 15 for the Nets, who have lost four consecutive games after opening the preseason with a victory over the Detroit Pistons.

made official and said he decided to dye his hair blonde last week to express that confidence, and give him a boost during sparring. Most fighters tend to tone down the sparring sessions with less than three weeks to go before a big fight, but Magdaleno is just getting started. He spars three times a week and doesn’t plan on changing that schedule until fight week. Magdaleno said “for this fight, we don’t tone it down. We’re going to continue to work hard and give it everything we have until fight day comes, and when that day comes, we’ll go another level. It’s a big fight and we’re not taking it lightly.” Magdaleno said he has faced

up to six sparring partners during this training camp. The list includes Jonatan Romero, the former IBF junior featherweight champion from Colombia, and Manny Robles Jr., the son of Manny Sr. who trains Magdaleno. He told boxing

writer Manzano “I don’t know if it’s common to spar that often, but Manny puts me in there, and man, it’s a blast. Every single one of them makes me work and makes me think in there.”

TITLE DEENSE. Nonito “ The Filipino Flash” Donaire will defend his title against Jessie Magdaleno on Nov. 6 in Las Vegas.

Ceres zeroes in on AFC Cup spot


LOBAL may be the newly-crowned United Football League (UFL) cham-

pion. But on Sunday night, it was erstwhile winner Ceres that showed its championship pedigree. Ceres inched closer to a return to the AFC Cup after surprising Global, 5-0, in a pivotal match for the former champ at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Adrian Gallardo drew first blood for Ceres in the 38th minute, while Jeffrey Christaens doubled the lead five minutes later.


Global, which was already without captain Misagh Bahadoran because of his father’s death on Thursday, then suffered a huge blow as Arthur Kouassi incurred a red card off two accumulated yellows after a hard foul just before halftime. Orman Okunaiya quickly took advantage of Ceres’ power play as he made it 3-0 in the 47th minute. Bienve Marañon made it 4-0 for Ceres in the 80th minute before Gallardo capped the demolition job one minute from fulltime.

Ceres moved back to second place with 41 points, a point clear of Loyola entering the final weekend of the season. Ceres can secure the silver medal finish with a win against Voltes next Sunday night or a Loyola loss to Stallion, a 3-1 winner over GAU in the curtain-raiser, on Saturday night at the said venue. If Loyola draws with Stallion, Ceres can take second with a draw or if Voltes fails to beat Ceres by a humongous 30-goal lead. Loyola, on the other hand,

must beat Stallion on Saturday and hope that Voltes holds Ceres to at most a draw the night later to steal the AFC Cup spot. Meanwhile, Global, which has already secured the championship and a spot in an AFC tournament, which is either the AFC Cup or the AFC Champions League depending on the agreement of the AFC and the UFL, two weeks ago, failed to end its season on a high note with its most lopsided defeat in recent history. Global will be formally handed with the championship trophy next Sunday. (PNA)

Hornets stop Bulls’win streak

RANK Kaminsky and Marco Belinelli showed the way as the Charlotte Hornets ended the Bulls’ three-game win streak with a 108-104 victory on Monday in Chicago (Tuesday, Manila time). Kaminsky and Belinelli each had 14 points off the bench while three starters also scored in double figures as Charlotte scored its second straight win after dropping its first three games in

the preseason. Roy Hibbert and Kemba Walker had 11 points apiece, while Nicolas Batum chipped in with 10. Jimmy Butler had 15 points on 5 of 11 shooting, while Doug McDermott came off the bench to score 14 for Chicago, which absorbed its third loss in six games. Taj Gibson, Isaiah Canaan and Jerian Grant had 12 points apiece, while Dwyane Wade and Robin Lopez each scored 11.

BIG GAME. Frank Kaminsky plays over 32 minutes, scoring 14 points on 4 of 14 shooting. AP

16 EDGEDAVAO Sports DENDEN DE CASTRO. Frustrated after cancellation of first round due to bad weather.


ROUND 1 OFF Storm reduces HK Open to 54 holes By NEILWIN JOSEPH L. BRAVO


ENDEN De Castro’s first round stint at the scenic Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club course was called off on Tuesday on account of storm Sarika. Organizers of the 2016 Hong Kong Open Amateur and Mid-Amateur Golf Championship in Hong Kong decided to call off the first round after storm signal no. 3 was raised. According to reports, storm Sarika was moving across the South China Sea and expected it to bring windy weather and squally showers to the city over the next few days when combined with the effect of a northeast monsoon. The 41 year old Dabawenyo standout playing out of Rancho Palos Verdes practiced on Monday and already noticed the strong winds. “It was really tough playing with the strong winds here. It’s a good thing they cancelled today’s first round but at the same time I feel frustrated that we have to wait for the weather to be better,” De Castro told Edge Davao in an online interview. De Castro will be among 90

amateur parbusters from all over the world taking part in the tournament which is now reduced to 54 holes with the scrapping of the first round. After topping the recent Sta. Lucia Golf Tour’s Class A division, De Castro earned the ticket to represent the country in the Mid-Amateur Division in the annual tournament organized by the Hong Kong Golf Association. The sweet-swinging De Castro earlier vowed he will play the course conservatively in the first round today. “You have to play it safe because the conditions are very unpredictable especially how the winds will blow and what time of the day you will play,” he said. De Castro has set his sights to at least a Top 5 finish. It will be De Castro’s first international tournament in 21 years dating back to his junior golf campaign in the United States when he was 19 years old. Clearwater Bay’s championship course has been compared to other world-renowned favourites, like California’s Pebble Beach.

Its picturesque hole no. 3 has been selected as one of the “500 Best Holes in the World”. Clearwater Bay has hosted the Men’s and Women’s Open Amateur Golf Championships of Hong Kong, Omega PGA Championships, The Southeast Asian Amateur Golf Championship (51st Putra Cup) and the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship 2015 (AAC). The Hong Kong Open Amateur and Mid Amateur Championships 2016 is a stroke play tournament over four rounds. Competitors will play one round on Tuesday to Thursday. The 40 lowest scores over these 54 holes and any tying for the 40th place will qualify for the final 18 holes on the final round on Friday. Tournament format calls for any player scoring more than 86 or more than 11 shots over the leading score, whichever is the higher, will be eliminated from the championships. De Castro’s stint is sponsored by Sta. Lucia Amateur Golf program and the National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP).

Edge Davao 9 Issue 169