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VOL. 9 ISSUE 232 • THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2017 FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED. Senior Superintendent Samuel Gadingan leads the orientation of police officers at Camp Quitin Merecido in Buhangin, Davao City yesterday ahead of their deployment in preparation for the upcoming ASEAN summit launching slated to start on Sunday at SMX Convention Center. Lean Daval Jr.

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EDGEDAVAO Serving a seamless society



NRESOLVED roadright-of-way (RROW) problems topped the list of major hitches identified by the Department of Public Works and Highways in Davao region that continue to delay the completion of infrastructure projects in the area. In a letter addressed to Davao City councilor Danilo Dayanghirang on Tuesday, DPWH-11 regional director Allan Borromeo said RROW is considered the number one reason behind the delay in the completion of the P158.5-million Widening of Davao River Bridge and Approaches along the Davao City Diversion Road. Councilor Dayanghirang asked the DPWH on Tuesday to explain the status of the project as it has already caused difficulties to the commuters and travellers that pass through the city’s Diversion

Road. “I am asking they must look into the problem and account for the cause of the delay, details and the progress of the construction,” the councilor said. He also told reporters that residents are already complaining about the slow movement of the project, saying “the construction is causing inconvenience to the residents and motorists since both roads are being constructed.” Dayanghirang added that his directive to the DPWH is in line with the Freedom of Information (FOI) order and with the mandate of fast-tracking government infrastructure projects. “I believe everyone needs to know why the improvements of the project are taking too slow,” the councilor pointed out.

Aside from the RROW problems, DPWH said other situations in the area also contributed to the delay of the completion of the project. DPWH said that the presence of the DLPC (Davao Light and Power Company) appurtenances at the jobsite which took seven months to relocate and the presence of DCWD (Davao City Water District) main pipe which has not been removed until now continue to hamper the completion of the project. The agency added that they were also constrained to revise the plan of the project due to the collapse of the subsurface soil during the drilling operations. “Based on the contract, the project was started in April 15, 2015 and was supposed to have been completed on

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ON TARGET. Photo shows the on-going widening of the approaches of the Davao River Bridge in the Diversion Road, Davao City, which, the DPWH-11 said, has been delayed due to some problems to include the road-right-of-way and the revision of its plans. DPWH said the completion of the project is on target on April 2017. (DPWH-11 Photo)

DCWD: New water facility to serve Cabantian by Dec.



HE Davao City Water District appealed for more time to enable its crews to set up an integrated water treatment facility that

is expected to produce 8,000 cubic meters of water daily for Barangay Cabantian hopefully by year-end. Lawyer Bernard Delima,

DCWD spokesperson, yesterday said the water district has been able to drill two wells in nearby Indangan with a daily

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FOR CONSIDERATION. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte scans the document containing the proposal of Chinese businessman, Jose Kho, who has expressed his intent of funding a new rehabilitation center which is proposed to be constructed in Visayas or Mindanao during a meeting at the Music Room in Malacañan Palace on Tuesday evening. ACE MORANDANTE/ Presidential Photo

AFP: Additional troops to meet rising threats


ESPITE peace negotiations with various insurgent groups, the Armed Forces of the Philippines announced that 10,000 more troopers are needed to meet the rising threats to the country’s national security. This was stressed by AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo on what triggered the military to request an additional 10,000 soldiers from President Rodrigo Duterte Tuesday. He also clarified that the additional 10,000 troops have been long requested by the AFP but was only granted by

the incumbent Chief Executive. At present, the AFP numbers around 125,000 troops with an 85,000 allocated to the Army and remaining 45,000 split between the Air Force and Navy. “These additional troops are needed for our ongoing security engagements,” Arevalo said in Filipino. Besides this, new soldiers are needed to man the brandnew equipment and platforms now being acquired by the AFP. He added that recruitment of these new troopers is already accompanied by a budget allocation. (PNA)

DOH targets 42-M pupils, 0-18, for mass deworming


HE Department of Health (DOH) is targeting 42 million schoolchildren aged 1-18 years as beneficiaries of its nationwide deworming program under the school-based immunization program. During Tuesday’s press briefing at the DOH media relations unit in Tayuman, Sta. Cruz Manila, Health Secretary Dr. Paulyn Ubial said they are looking forward to carrying out “Oplan Goodbye Bulate” this month among 19 million children aged 5-18 years in public schools, as well as 23 million pre-school (1-4 years) and school-aged children who

are not in public schools. Another deworming will be conducted in July as part of the National School Deworming Month. A total of PHP106.3 million has been allocated in the DOH budget for this year’s deworming program. “This includes everything -- the health information, training, IEC materials and also the response for side effects and surveillance and for research,” said Ubial. Of the amount, PHP82 million will be spent on the tablets, which cost PHP2 each, she said, noting that the amount is

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Councilor backs free condom distribution By TIZIANA CELINE S. PIATOS


CITY councilor has expressed support to the nationwide distribution of condoms in all public high schools, saying that it is the responsibility of the Department of Health to ensure public health and safety. In a news conference, Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte said that while she is not for premarital sex and promiscuity, she is not against DOH’s plan as the health agency is doing whatever is necessary to contain the problem on the spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus in the country. “Half of those who engage in reckless sex behavior do not use condoms and there is low condom use in our country,”

Villafuerte said, adding that it may be one of the factors why HIV-AIDS numbers are rising. It can be recalled that Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said the nationwide distribution in schools is part of the measures to stop the spread of the virus among the Filipino youth. Villafuerte said she has already talked to the Regional Director for Health, Dr. Abdullah Dumama, and revealed that DOH will pilot the program on distribution of condoms in other regions and not in Davao. “While they intend to distribute condoms, I would make sure all stakeholders such as the Department of Education, Commission of Higher

Education, Parents-Teachers Association, and the church will be heard so the program will be properly implemented with their support,” Villafuerte said, adding that the health sector would explain why the spread of HIV is increasing. Asked why the condoms had to be distributed to high school students, Villafuerte explained that teenagers aged 17 to 24 is one of the key affected populations that could acquire HIV-AIDS. “We don’t want to think that our children are having sex, but it’s really happening, so we have to talk about it and work together to reduce the number of HIV-positive patients,” Villafuerte said.

With sexually active individuals getting younger compared to previous years, DOH is also working with the Department of Education in providing public high school students with sex education. “I admit that giving minors condoms is a dilemma, but that’s why it must be coupled with education,” he said. The DOH encouraged the public to practice the ABCs of HIV prevention. These are abstinence, being faithful, using contraceptives, do not abuse alcohol and education. “If we do not guide other people about what HIV is and how it is spread, then the problem would not stop,” Villafuerte said.

AVAO City Central 911 head Emmanuel Jaldon warned he would not hesitate to block database callers who continue to make prank calls. This came after the Central 911 here recorded a high incidence of prank calls last year with 63,644 calls, or at least 37.46 percent of the total 169,865 calls received. “We have measures to

control the phone numbers that are in our database. We will block these numbers if they continue making prank calls,” he warned. He said that many of the legitimate reports that they received last year were either repeat calls or inquiries on accidents but he discouraged these kinds of calls and instead urged them to report on emergency and life-threatening sit-

uations. “Prank calls clog Central 911’s network and make it difficult for its call center to actually receive legitimate emergency calls,” Jaldon said. He said that Central 911 call center will block the callers after making five prank calls, although line owners can be unblocked if they request in the future. Jaldon lamented that that

non-emergency calls may affect the operation of the Central 911 to respond efficiently to legitimate reports. He said, for instance, in terms of the dispatch of the agency’s limited resources like ambulances and manpower such as the responders to areas where they are mostly needed. The Central 911 chief clas-

Davao’s 911 warns to block prank callers D



Japanese PM Abe to visit Davao City H

IGHLIGHTING the close and deep relations between the Philippines and Japan, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, accompanied by Mme. Akie Abe, will undertake a two-day official visit to the Philippines from January 12 to 13, 2017, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday. President Duterte and Prime Minister Abe are expected to discuss a wide range of topics, including, but not limited to, counter terrorism cooperation, drug rehabilitation projects, infrastructure development, maritime cooperation, and development projects.

Prime Minister Abe is the very first head of government to officially visit the Philippines this year, and will be the highest ranking official to ever visit Davao, which is home to a large Japanese community. Previously, the President received Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in Davao. In 2016, the Philippines and Japan commemorated 60 years of the normalization of diplomatic relations. Japan remains one of the Philippines’ most steadfast economic partners, and people-to-people relations with Japan are among the most dynamic. (PNA)



RARE VISIT. Japanese and Philippine flags prominently wave at the center island of Davao City’s main thoroughfares to welcome Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe upon his arrival in the city tonight. It will be the first time that the city will be visited by a high-profile foreign dignitary. Lean Daval Jr.

PNP: Drug war P cuts crime rate

Police told: No selfies with Miss Universe contestants



RESIDENT Duterte’s crackdown on illegal drugs and criminality has pulled down crime rates nationwide, the Police Regional Office 11 revealed Wednesday. In a press conference, PRO 11 Regional Director PC/Supt. Manuel Gaerlan said index crimes in Davao Region went down by 42 percent – from 33,886 incidents in January to December 2015 to 25,409 incidents during the same period in 2016. Index crime, as defined by the Philippine National Police (PNP), are crimes against per-

sons such as rape, murder, and homicide, and crimes against property such as robbery, and theft. Gaerlan said theft cases saw the most significant decrease of 57.85 percent – from 4923 cases in 2015 to 2,075 in 2016. He added that the homicide incident dropped by 44.85 percent from 194 to 107 while physical injury injuries decreased by 44.17 percent from 2,640 to 1,474. Meanwhile, PRO 11 has recorded a 36.86 percent drop in robbery incidents from 1,690 to 1,067 and tallied a

FULFILLED YEAR. Police Regional Office 11 director Chief Superintendent Manuel Gaerlan (right) reports before members of local media PRO 11’s accomplishment last year and gives the details of the agency’s plans to sustain and to continue its successful operations. Gaerlan was joined by

12.01 percent decline in rape incident from 608 last 2015 to 535 in 2016. The campaign on illicit drugs, according to Gaerlan, turned out to have a significant effect on crime incidents. He added that the police officials are now more aggressive in the campaign against illicit drugs because they believe that the President is willing to finish the campaign until the end of the term. It can be recalled that President Duterte has declared a bloody war against drug lords and suspected criminals to achieve his campaign promise

of suppressing crime and illegal narcotics. “Personally, hindi ko ineexpect na ganito yung pagbaba ng crime rates, 44%, ngayon lang ako nakakita ng ganito na pagbaba,” Gaerlan said. He added that President Duterte needs the support of the public in the campaign. “Hindi pwede tumigil ang mga pulis sa campaign at baka bumalik sila [criminals] sa dating gawi,” Gaerlan said, adding that he ordered his police officers and personnel to sustain and level up the campaign on illegal drugs.

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Task Force HARIBON commander Brigadier General Gilbert Gapay (left) during yesterday’s AFP-PNP Press Corps media forum at Camp Quitin Merecido in Buhangin, Davao City. Lean Daval Jr.

OLICE officers assigned to the security detail of Miss Universe Pageant contestants are not allowed to take “selfies” with their subjects, an official said. “Security is a priority,” according to Police Regional Office 11 (PRO 11) Director C/ Supt. Manuel Gaerlan. Around 4,000 police personnel will be deployed in Davao City to provide security for pageant candidates, jurors, performers, organizers, and their relatives. Part of the police contingent will be coming from the Presidential Security Group , who will provide close-in security for candidates. “The safety personnel in Manila has already briefed the organizers in Miss Universe organization will be strict, and security arrangements will be better off as far as we are concerned,” Gaerlan said. Meanwhile, Davao City Police Office Chief Michael John Dubria added, no roads

will be closed during the pageant events as they were given specific instructions that the pageant should not inconvenience commuters and motorists. However, he added that they have identified “many obstructions” along the road, one of those is the unfinished projects of public works and highways at the water district. “But they have already placed temporary asphalt and steel plates para matugunan ‘yung concern,” Dubria noted. Gaerlan also noticed that another obstruction that police have seen is the signboard along the sidewalks. “We are calling the public to remove the obstacles along the sidewalks at yung mga nakabalagbag sa labas ng business establishments,” Gaerlan stated. Let us keep our backyard clean, he said, for the delegates’ experience in the city would be memorable. TIZIANA CELINE S. PIATOS

HE Department of Health (DOH) recorded one new Zika case as of Dec. 30, bringing to 53 the total number of Zika cases reported in 2016. Health Secretary Dr. Paulyn Ubial said Tuesday said that 65 percent of the cases occurred among females, three of whom are pregnant, and the patients’ ages ranged from 7 years to 59 years. All of them have recovered from the disease. Ubial said the department has been monitoring the pregnant women and their babies and will continue to do so until two years after childbirth, as part of a study to find out if abnormalities linked to the Zika virus could appear after the baby is born. She noted that ultrasound

tests conducted on the pregnant women indicate that their babies are normal. “There are no signs of microcephaly and mental disorder or neurological findings on the three fetuses,” she said. Microcephaly, a condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected because a baby’s brain has not developed properly during pregnancy or has stopped growing after birth, has been linked to the Zika virus. Last month, a 16-year-old woman from Las Piñas City who caught the virus when she was pregnant, gave birth to a baby boy who did not show any microcephaly or congenital effect. Mother and baby will be monitored in the next two years. (PNA)

Health dept records 53 Zika cases in 2016 T




GOOD QUALITY. Daniel Byron Pantuja, manager of Coffee for Peace Inc. and a newly licensed quality grader of coffee showed to the members of the media the ingredients he uses and BRIGHT PROSPECTS. Atty. Lucky Siegfred Balleque (center), provincial director of DTI in Davao region together with Thellonious Trimmel the processes he usually apply in preparing quality coffee. Pantuja graced the regular press (left) chief of party of ACDI/VOCA and Philip Marco Dizon (right), chief financial officer of Mt. Apo Coffee Inc., graced yesterdays Wednesdays conference at the Habi at Kape in Abreeza Mall yesterday. (Alexander D. Lopez) at Habi at Kape in Abreeza Mall to discuss the bright prospects of coffee industry in the country and in Davao region. (Alexander D. Lopez)

Rody to sign EO to launch RP coffee brand this 2017


RESIDENT Duterte will sign within this year an executive order that will establish the Philippine coffee brand due to a growing clamor by industry players and stakeholders. Atty. Lucky Seigfred Balleque, provincial director of the Department of Trade and Industry for Compostela Valley disclosed this on Wednesday during the Habi at Kape media forum at the Abreeza Mall. Also guesting in the forum, Chief of Party of Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA), Thelonious Trimmell said that Philippine coffee was one of the best in the world in terms of quality and one of the largest producers and exporters 1800s and even uplisted in 1950s. However, he said that in 1990’s to 2000, coffee production was reduced due to price depression in the global mar-

ket, forcing the local farmers to shift to other crops. One of the efforts to revitalize the industry is through the Mindanao Productivity in Agriculture Commerce and Trade (MinPACT) project, a project implemented by ACDI/ VOCA and funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. The project aims to increase the income of 10,600 smallholder coffee, cacao, and coconut farmers in Southern, Northern, and Western Mindanao through increased production, productivity, quality, and strengthening the capacity and services of associations, cooperatives and 600 other value chain players. The MinPact project also aims to transition the island region from a commercial grade coffee grower to a producer of fine Robusta and specialty Arabica coffees, and help Mindanaoan farmers tap into the global market by increasing

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Budget funds Centenarian Law, rice allowance for 4Ps


ENATOR Loren Legarda said that the 2017 national budget includes funding, for the first time, for the Centenarian Law and rice allowance for beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). Funding for the two programs, as well as other programs for indigent Filipinos, especially senior citizens and children, is part of the 2017 budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) worth P128 billion. “For the first time, we have provided funds for the implementation of the Centenarian Law, which was enacted last year. 4Ps beneficiaries will start receiving monthly rice allowance in the form of cash grants,” said Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance. “Other programs that target the most vulnerable

sectors of society—children, senior citizens, indigenous peoples (IPs), and citizens in conflict-affected areas—are prioritized in the DSWD budget,” she added. The DSWD budget for the implementation of Republic Act 10868 or the Centenarian Law is P100 million. Under the law, Filipino citizens here and abroad who are 100 years old and above will receive P100,000 centenarian gift from the government. Meanwhile, all 4.4 million beneficiaries of the 4Ps will now be entitled to monthly rice allowance in the form of cash grants. This is incorporated in the budget for 4Ps worth P78 billion. The DSWD will also conduct family development sessions for 4Ps beneficiaries. These sessions will include information on access to livelihood and scholarship pro-


Cavite tilt to determine RP’s best quality coffee By JERMAINE L. DELA CRUZ


HAT region produces the highest quality coffee in the Philippines will be finally known with the first national cupping competition for local coffee growers dubbed, “Kape Pilipino: First Annual Cup Quality Competition” to be held on March 1 to 4, 2017 at the Cavite State University. Thelonious Trimmell, chief of party of the Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA), announced on Wednesday the event will be hosted by Philippine Coffee Board, Inc., supported and sponsored by the Mindanao Productivity in Agriculture Commerce and Trade (MinPACT) project, implemented by ACDI/VOCA and funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. Guesting during the Habi at Kape media forum at Abreeza Mall Davao City, Trimmell said the event follows the

recently concluded series of trainings held in Davao and in Manila. According to PCBI, the competition is open to anyone engaged in the production of coffee in the Philippines, including but not limited to coffee cooperatives, farmers, processors and exporters. Also attending the forum, Atty. Lucky Seigfred Balleque of Department of Trade and Industry Compostela Valley said farmer associations and cooperatives as well as individual farmers are encouraged to collect five-kilo samples of their best lot of Arabica and or Robusta green beans with a moisture no higher than 11%. Trimmel added, the samples will be cupped in late February by a panel of experts selected by CQI. The entry forms that must accompany each of the samples submitted are available from PCBI. The entry form must be filled out and attached to the sample bag

or included in the bag. For the processing, the samples could be fully washed, pulped or dried natural. PCBI further encourages the participants to retain the quantity of the same coffee in the sample because if it wins, it may fetch a higher price after the competition. The competition will also feature a special category for Liberica and Excelsa coffee varieties which are also found in the Philippines. Samples will be received by specific State Universities and Colleges, namely Benguet State University, Cavite State University, Mindanao State University, Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology, Sultan Kudarat State University, and by ACDI/VOCA in Davao City. A receiving protocol has been provided to those designated as receivers of coffee samples. Meanwhile, farmers are encouraged to start selectively harvesting and appropriately

processing their best green coffee lots for the competition. According to Trimmell, international cuppers will be coming from February 27 to March 4 for the cupping exercise. Final results will be announced in early March. “The winning Arabica and Robusta coffees and a representative of the cooperative, association, or the individual farmer who produced them will be sent to the upcoming SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) convention in Seattle, Washington, USA on April 2017”, said Trimmell. The complete copy of the guidelines is available at Meanwhile, Balleque expressed his hopes that with the competition, more and more farmer organizations will grow specialty coffee that would score higher than 80 points on a 100-point scale in Q-grading. This means the higher the score, the better price it commands in the specialty market.

HE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is adopting a stricter policy in the issuance of environmental compliance certificates (ECCs) to ensure that future development projects will not cause significant negative impact on the environment. Secretary Gina Lopez said that from now on, the DENR will make sure that specific measures and conditions are first met by project proponents before ECCs are issued to them. It was a long-standing practice that the ECCs can already be issued even if certain conditions are yet to be complied with by project propo-

nents. “If any ECC is cancelled now, it has to be withdrawn in the legal parameters at that time. But for the future, we are saying that if any ECC is given, it should not be given unless all the conditions are first met,” Lopez said. The DENR cancelled a total of six ECCs, issued show cause orders against 12 development projects and denied one ECC application. According to Lopez, the DENR’s decision to cancel, deny or grant an ECC is “based on social justice.” “Social justice, in the context of the DENR, means that the use of the land benefits the greater majority, benefits

the common good. But, when the environment is destroyed, it is the poor people around the area who suffer,” the DENR chief said. ECC is a certificate issued by the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau following a positive review of the ECC application. This certifies that based on the application of the proponent, the proposed project or undertaking will not cause a significant negative impact on the environment. The certificate contains specific measures and conditions that must be met by the proponent before and during the operation of the project. In some cases, conditions are

listed to be performed during the project’s abandonment phase to lessen identified potential environmental impacts. One of those cancelled was the ECC issued to Century Communities Corporation for its Nova housing project, which is located on the La Mesa Watershed. Lopez said the development could affect the reservoir that serves 12 million people in Metro Manila. “As a matter of principle, that’s the watershed of 12 million people, and I cannot see the possibility where a business interest is more important than the water that

DENR adopts stricter policy for ECC issuance T

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DA asked to help firm up coco production in Davao I


DTI withdraws ICC; set to file case against erring importer



N inventor who exports processed coconut products to South Korea has called on the Department of Agriculture to divert more attention in strengthening coconut production to improve the livelihood of farmers in the Davao region. Virgilio Sugatan said the DA should channel more resources into encouraging farmers to grow more high-yielding and fast-growing coconut trees. “I have nothing against palm production but coconut production is already showing us the limitless opportunities that await producers

and entrepreneurs,” he said. He said this is because coconut and its by-products are shaping up as prime export commodities for such countries like South Korea and Europe. He cited the case of coconut virgin oil, a by-product of coconut, that has in fact earned a niche in the South Korean market as a base for its cosmetics industry. “Activated carbon is also one by-product that is in demand abroad,” he said. He said the baking industry and the soap-making industry rely heavily on coconuts as major component for their products.

Sagutan and a South Korean company have recently forged a joint venture agreement for the operation of a plant in Carmen, Davao del Norte that would supply 20 tons of virgin coconut oil to Seoul. He said that for this reason alone, coconut-producing areas should be encouraged to plant more coconut trees. “But in addition to coconuts, farmers should be shown the way in practicing integrated farming by intercropping their coconuts with vegetables, roots crops (especially yellow ginger), and fruit trees like coffee and

cacao as well as bananas,” he said. He said the vegetables and roots crops will bring instant income to farmers while the bananas and fruit trees will bring in additional income in between. He said a sure-fire intercrop is the planting of calamansi as well as Malunggay (a source of morenda powder) that are also in demand in the export market. “Farmers should not be left clue-less on the opportunities and benefits that await them by increasing their coconut hectarage and practicing inter-cropping as well,” he said.

N order to ensure public safety while establishing the quality of steel imports, the DTI has withdrawn the Import Clearance Certificate (ICC) for a 20,000 MT shipment of steel bars, the largest ever shipped into the country that arrived at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) from China. The inspection report by DTI Region 3 (Central Luzon) dated 23 November 2016, as attested by the importer’s own representative and evidenced by photographs, shows that more than 50% of the steel bundles of the said shipment have missing tags, making it difficult to identify the steel bars from the declared manufacturer in China and to trace these bars with a specific production lot/ batch. Shortly after the letter on the withdrawal was issued, the DTI requested for a joint re-inspection to the importer, Mannage Resources Trade Corporation (MRTC). The inspection team was tasked with determining that the shipment remains intact and no steel bars have been distributed to the market; and, conducting a technical assessment of the issue on the missing tags and to the manufacturer in China and its traceability to the said Mill’s production batches. However, MRTC disallowed the team’s entry for a joint re-inspection. This is a clear vio-

lation of Section 5 of Department Administrative Order (DAO) 05, Series 2008, on the authority of the DTI to ensure that the shipment is intact pending the approval/ denial of the ICC. With non-cooperation from the importer, along with reports that the importer has taken-out several truckloads of the steel bars from the Subic storage area without an appropriate ICC, DTI will be filing administrative charges for violation of DTI rules and regulations, as well as, criminal and civil charges for violation of the Republic Act 4109 or Standards Law and the R. A. 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines, against the importer. More importantly, the DTI is tracking these steel bars and has been coordinating with consumer groups in order to raise awareness on the possibility that these have leaked to the market. The BOC and SBMA have also alerted their personnel to prevent the release of any imported steel bars without DTI’s clearance. DTI officials commit to ensure that only steel products that comply with Philippine National Standards, Product Certification Scheme, and, the provisions of the Standards Law and Consumer Act of the Philippines, are sold in the market. Any importer that does not comply with said provisions will be held fully liable. (PR)

Strong domestic demand drives trade growth in November 2016

UPDATES. Romeo Montenegro, Deputy Executive Director of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa) discusses the preparations and significance of the upcoming visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on January

13 and the launching of the ASEAN Summit on January 15, both in Davao City. Both events are expected to put Davao City into the world map anew. Rene B. Lumawag

Gov’t losing P145-B revenues from non-adjustment of fuel taxes


ITH global oil prices down and expected by experts to remain low in the few years ahead, the government is losing an estimated P145 billion in potential annual revenues or about 1 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) because gasoline excise taxes have remained the same in the last two decades and diesel products have been tax-free for the past 12 years. Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua said the government is now proposing to correct these flaws in the country’s tax system by adjusting fuel excise taxes and later indexing them to inflation, along with the proposals to lower personal income tax (PIT) rates and provide direct cash transfers to vulnerable sectors to offset the impact of the higher tax rates. At the same time, Chua said the Department of Finance (DOF) is now vigorously

pursuing tax administration reforms at the Bureaus of Internal Revenue (BIR) and of Customs (BOC) to help raise sufficient funds primarily for the unmatched infrastructure buildup under the Duterte administration. “But tax administration reforms are not enough to raise adequate funds to bankroll the Duterte administration’s agenda of high and inclusive growth, given the inherent flaws in the country’s tax system that require urgent correction, such as the non-indexation of tax rates to inflation,” Chua said. He noted, for instance, that the current gasoline excise tax rates have not changed for the last 20 years while diesel has been tax exempt for the last 12 years. “These rates, which have not been corrected to account for inflation, has led to a massive foregone revenue loss of about P145 billion (in 2016

prices), which represents over one percent of the GDP,” Chua said. “Our proposal to adjust the fuel excise tax to around P6 per liter merely updates the rates to current levels as this represents the cumulative inflation since 1997. Even with the adjustments, the retail prices of gasoline and diesel will still be much lower than the rates during the oil price shocks of 2011 and 2012,” Chua said. “Taxpayers will also get a relief from the impact of the fuel excise adjustments because of the lower PIT rates that the DOF is proposing under its CTRP (Comprehensive Tax Reform Program), which will more than offset the slightly higher transport, food and commuting costs,” he added. For vulnerable sectors and low-income groups, Chua said the DOF is proposing too under the CTRP a targeted cash transfer program for the poorest 50 percent of households,

which includes cash transfer, the reintroduction of the Pantawid Pasada program that will provide fuel price discounts to public utility vehicles, and a jeep modernization program to improve the engine efficiency of these vehicles. “These proposed initiatives will cushion the impact of higher fuel excises on transportation, commuting, and food costs for the poorest 50 percent,” Chua said. “With higher revenues from the oil excise tax reform, we can fund the massive public infrastructure program that is needed to reduce traffic congestion, improve connectivity, and raise the economic productivity of Filipinos, especially those living in the countryside,” Chua said. “Without the CTRP, all these improvements would never be possible.” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III stressed that tax reform is essential to fund-

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ACKED by strong growth in imports, the total merchandise trade grew by 7.3 percent in November 2016, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). Based on a report by the Philippine Statistics Authority, total trade grew to US$12.0 billion in November 2016, with imports growing by 19.7 percent and mitigating the 7.5 percent drop in exports. “The surge in trade transactions with East Asia and the ASEAN boosted the performance of imports, which also signals an increase in the purchasing power of Filipinos. We expect that this further increased in December 2016,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia. Import payments grew to US$7.3 billion due to the swell in demand for capital goods (29.7%), consumer goods (32.6%), raw materials and intermediate goods (11.1%), and mineral fuels and lubricants (1.3%). Conversely, export earnings dropped to US$4.7 billion due to the 10.6 percent

decrease in the value of manufactured goods, mostly electronics that declined by 7.9 percent. “While we are expanding our trade relations with potential markets, we need to further harness our existing free trade agreements and continue to push for reforms. This will improve our business environment and increase our attractiveness to foreign investors,” the Cabinet official said. Moreover, the performance of agro-industry products are seen to further increase with the renewed and improving relations with China and Russia. Pernia also said that the positive global growth outlook paired with the upcoming ASEAN integration is the perfect opportunity to expand the Philippines’ exports portfolio. “We must continue to develop our infrastructure and encourage product differentiation and quality upgrading to prepare our micro, small, and medium enterprises, for the upcoming increase in demand from our new trading partners,” he added. (PR)




Dads strengthen housing in Cagayan De Oro City


SLAIN PEACE WARRIOR HONORED. Highly respected Mandaya tribal chieftain, Cupertino Banugan, who was brutally killed by rebels in December last year was laid to rest on January 9, 2017, Monday, in his home village in Sangab, Barangay Pichon, Caraga, Davao Oriental.

Hundreds of villagers paid their last respect to the fallen tribal leader and joined the family in their grief in his untimely passing. Buried alongside the chieftain are his brother Ramon and relative Benny who were also killed in the attack. (Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan)

HE city council had enacted an ordinance to amend an existing local law to strengthen the housing program here. City Vice Mayor Rainier Uy, the council’s presiding officer, said Tuesday that Ordinance No. 13178-2016 was enacted to amend a 2005 and 2006 Ordinances, also known as the Comprehensive Socialized Housing Program. He said that the newly approved Ordinance provided an additional guidelines for the housing program for the underprivileged and the homeless in the city. Uy said that the previous housing programs of the city government were a dismal failure because it failed to accomplish its mandate to provide the housing needs of the target beneficiaries. The housing beneficia-

ries in the past also failed to pay the required amortization and ultimately sold the awarded house and lot and transfer to other areas to join the squatters in blighted communities, Uy said. Uy said that the cycle continues because of the failure to address the housing problem in the city and elsewhere where there were displaced settlers. The newly approved housing ordinance cites the city government’s responsibility to promote social justice and make available decent housing and basic services in urban and resettlement sites, he said. Uy said that ordinance also disclosed that the city’s population, which is growing at the rate of 2.69 percent annually would need 79,073 housing units in 2022. (PNA)

Kasambahay Day slated in Davao Region, Jan. 29 Panabo City launches L

INE government agencies and the academe will partner once more to honor the house helpers on the Kasambahay Day on January 29. Atty. Joffrey Suyao, director of the Department of Labor and Employment in Davao Region said the Kasambahay Day is also in line with the commemoration of the enactment of the Republic Act 10361 otherwise known as the Kasambahay Law. He said all agencies are

urged to join in the celebration by hanging tarpaulins in their respective offices relative to the activity. The Batas Kasambahay strongly affirms that the state recognizes labor as a primary social force and is committed to respect, promote, protect and realize the fundamental principles and rights at work including, but not limited to, abolition of child labor, elimination of all forms of forced labor, discrimination in employment and occupation,

and trafficking in persons, especially women and children. It also stressed compliance to internationally accepted working conditions for workers in general, and establishes labor standards for domestic workers in particular, towards decent employment and income, enhanced coverage of social protection, respect for human rights and strengthened social dialogue. The law also recognizes the need to protect the rights

of domestic workers against abuse, harassment, violence, economic exploitation and performance of work that is hazardous to their physical and mental health; and in protecting domestic workers and recognizing their special needs to ensure safe and healthful working conditions, promotes gender-sensitive measures in the formulation and implementation of policies and programs affecting the local domestic work. (PIA 11-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)

OLICE Regional Office (PRO) 13 disclosed that the crime rate in Caraga dipped 30 percent from January 1 to December 31, 2016 compared with the same period in 2015. PRO 13 regional director CSupt Rolando Felix said that a total of 10,029 crimes were reported in 2016, lower than

the 14,331 crime volume listed in 2015. Citing the record from the Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division (RIDMD), 63 percent of crimes were solved in 2016 compared with only 44 percent solved cases in 2015. Data also showed that crimes related to murder, ho-

micide, rape, robbery and theft posted a significant slide to 50 percent with only 2,594 totaled crimes in 2016 compared with 5,194 crimes in 2015. Crime against person like physical injury with the highest number of cases in 2015 reaching 1,029 declined to 27 percent with 749 in 2016. However, the case on Mur-

der slightly increased from 395 in 2015 to 405 in 2016. The dramatic surged can be attributed to the number of killings implicated to the campaign against illegal drugs. Felix noted that the downtrend of crimes was the result of combined efforts of the PNP, other law enforcement agen-

2016 crime rate in Caraga down by 30% P Treatment of coal plant ash in MisOr meets int’l standard


HE Steag State Power, Inc., a 232 megawatt coal-fired power plant in Misamis Oriental, adopts an internationally accepted treatment of bottom ash residue, an official said Tuesday. Jerome Soldevilla, the Steag communication officer, issued the statement to allay fears that the Steag Power Plant was not dumping the bottom ash of the coal-fired power plant indiscriminately. He said that the Steag power plant is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies to reduce or eliminate pollution in accordance with environmental regulations. “The plant has put in place a bag filter that collects dust. For more than ten years since the start of the Steag operations

in 2006, the coal-plant has sustained a safe and fully compliant with the local and international standard ash disposal mechanism,” he said. Soldevilla said the coalplant’s ash byproducts were also used as a substitute material for construction and cement production. Steag coal-fired power plant in Villanueva town, Misamis Oriental, was among the suppliers of the Mindanao electricity grid. The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has recommended that the coalplant’s bottom ash should be mixed with soil to make it less corrosive before it is buried on a dump site certified and approved by the EMB. (PNA)

F 2016, 10

FREE WIFI. City Mayor Ronnel Rivera and Melvin Lacuna, Gensan-Cotabato Zone Head for PLDT, proudly show the speed test for the newly-installed free public WiFi at the Plaza Heneral Santos Tuesday, January 10. This is the

business one stop shop


HE City Government of Panabo has launched its simplified business registration process with the Business One Stop Shop (BOSS) located at the Ground Floor Lobby of the City Hall last January 3, 2017. According to Business Permits and Licensing Officer, Juliet S. Nacario, the old 5-step procedure has been reduced to three (3) easy steps in order for business renewal applicants to acquire their permits within the day. New applicants, she added can acquire their permits within two (2) working days, based on the Joint Memorandum Circular 2016 issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). “Dati, 5 steps ni atong BOSS pero karun 3 steps nalang. Pero ang pag release sa permit, de-

pende pud sa client. One (1) day for business renewal, and two (2) days for new business permits,” Nacario said. With the new BOSS procedure, applicants will only have to file their application at the Licensing Section, pay corresponding fees at the Treasury Office, and claim the permit at the Licensing Office. She added that during weekdays, they extend services until 7pm and on Saturdays from 8am to 5pm until January 20, 2017. Moreover, Nacario encouraged the public to process their permits on or before the deadline to avoid corresponding penalties. For inquiries, the Business and Licensing Office can be reached at (084) 628-8227. (Vikki J. Amorio – CIO Panabo)

first government park in the country to have free public WiFi from PLDTSmart, according to Lacuna. (Russell Delvo/ Gensan CPIO)



Tuberculosis: Deadly as ever

(Second of Two Parts)


“A vaccine that prevented tuberculosis would merit a Nobel Prize, but it’s just very difficult to develop.”


– Tom Frieden

INCE time immemorial, tuberculosis (TB) has been a public health threat. As early as 460 BC, Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician, identified TB as a widespread and highly fatal disease. At that time, no one knew what caused TB and how to treat it. TB spread uncontrollably killing most of its victims. During the 19th century, TB was regarded “a romantic disease.” The reason: some of its famous victims include fiction writer Edward Bellamy, poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, novelist Franz Kafka, composer Frederic Chopin, inventor Alexander Graham Bell, entertainer W.C. Fields, and nurse Florence Nightingale. Brazilian poet Manuel Brandeira contracted TB in 1904 and expressed the effects of the disease in his life in many of his poems. American author Dashiell Hammet got the disease during World War II. American country composer Jimmie Rodgers sang about the woes of TB and ultimately died of the disease days after a New York City recording session. World leaders were not spared from TB: Charles IX of France, Edward VI of England, American presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Andrew Jackson, Louis XII of France, Napoleon II of France, Pedro I of Brazil, and our very own Manuel L. Quezon. In those days, TB was considered as the deadliest disease. “The ‘cure’ until the late 1940s was basically rest,” Andrea Barrett

once wrote. “It was fresh, cold air, lots of food - five meals a day, lots of sleep, not very much talking, and for some people, complete stillness.” Then, in 1944, 21-yearold “Patricia” with progressive, far-advanced pulmonary TB received the first injection of streptomycin. She improved dramatically during the ensuing five months and was discharged in 1947. She was evaluated in 1954 and found to be healthy and the happy mother of three children. “This injection began the age of modern anti-TB treatment and led - until recently - to dramatic reductions in TB in industrialized countries,” says the Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO). Other anti-TB drugs were introduced in subsequent years: thioacetazone (first released in 1946), isoniazid and pyrazinamide (both first tried in 1952), and ethambutol (used for the first time in 1961). The most recent one, rifampicin, was released in 1966. With all those drugs now available, TB can already be cured. “The usual treatment course for TB is between six and nine months of continuous medicines,” wrote Dr. Willie T. Ong in his column, “Mind Your Body.” “Once active TB is treated with the appropriate drugs, the person is no longer contagious after three weeks. That is why those who are being treated for TB are advised to rest during the

first month.” Because TB bacteria are very slow-growing, the antibiotics must be taken for the whole duration of the treatment. “Treatment must be continued long after the person feels completely well, otherwise, the disease tends to relapse because it was not fully eliminated,” warns Dr. Dominic Garcia, an infectious disease specialist. Government health officials also admitted that many of those who are suffering from TB refuse to consult a doctor because of the stigma attached to the disease. “The problem is that most Filipinos ignore their symptoms, continue to roam around, and spread the infection,” says an official of the health department. “Oftentimes, they consult only when there is blood coming out when they cough.” According to the United Nations health agency, TB prevalence in the Philippines is high among the

elderly, urban poor, smokers, and those with compromised immune systems such as people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), malnutrition and diabetes. “Treatment of TB may not change a person’s chest x-ray results back to normal,” says Dr. Ong. Studies show that once treatment for TB is completed, a repeat chest x-ray may show the following results: 30 percent of chest x-rays will revert to normal (good news), 30 percent of chest x-rays will improve but will still show a scar (still can’t pass job test), 30 percent of chest x-rays will remain the same. In the Philippines, TB treatment is coordinated through the National TB Program of the health department. Medications are said to be available at government health services and public hospitals around the country. Disease of poverty “Unfortunately, adhering to and completing treatment can sometimes be difficult, especially when the ones who are most vulnerable have little access to health care and no funds to support treatments,” writes Dr. Maya Santos in her column which appeared in Vital Signs. Sixty-year-old Tina is very sick and her disease had been complicated by TB. Being poor, she was brought to a government hospital. Although TB

medicines are free, she must pay for other antibiotics and vitamins prescribed. A few weeks ago, her only son received from a nurse a new list of medicines to buy. The son said that he had to file leave of absence to take care of his mother. And if he doesn’t work, he won’t be able to buy the medicines which the doctor prescribed. “The impact on our finances is really big,” he lamented. Resistant strains Another challenge in combatting TB is the emergence of multidrug resistant TB (MDR-TB). “This new superbug probably arose because TB patients did not adhere to their drug regimen, which means that they didn’t take their medicines religiously for the usual six months,” laments Dr. Ong. “Because of this, the TB bacteria developed a resistance to the first-line drugs.” MDR-TB is difficult and expensive to treat. “The world needs to a c -

knowledge the serious threat of drug-resistant tuberculosis before it overwhelms health systems,” said Dr. Alimuddin Zumla, director of the Centre for Infectious Diseases and International Health at University College London Medical School. If MDR-TB is bad enough, scientists have discovered a third more terrible strain of TB. These nasty bacteria are called “extensively drug-resistant TB” or XDR-TB. “This means that XDR-TB is resistant even to the special drugs developed for MDR-TB,” Dr. Ong says. Be forewarned: The WHO has reported that XDR-TB cases have been confirmed in 58 countries, including the Philippines. Even today, TB is still considered as a disease of poverty. “The poor are not another race of creatures bound on other journeys,” Charles Dickens wrote. “They are fellow passengers to the grave.” (Photos taken from t h e net)






‘Super Mario’ is coming to town

APANESE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be in the country beginning today for a two-day visit.

Dabawenyos are excited to play host to the Japanese

premier as can be gleaned from the display of Philip-

Interestingly, the Japanese leader who imperson- pines and Japanese flags adorning the city’s streets. It

ated Super Mario in the closing ceremonies of the 2016 must also be a positive vibe for the business sector as Rio Olympics and drum up the next Olympiad in Tokyo, this could further boost Japanese interest in Davao City

will take a side trip to Davao City and visit President as a possible expansion for ventures in business and Duterte’s home.

The visit to Davao City is seen to deepen the relation-


Out here, ‘Super Mario’ is bound to discover that the

ship of the two leaders who have since met in two occa- President’s humble beginnings have a lot of investment

sions—in Japan which the President visited in October blocks to hit where fortunes abound and where one and in Laos in September on the sidelines of the Associ- could grow big—just like the game’s main character. ation of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit.


Providing solutions to a seamless global village. Printed by Zion Accuprint Publishing Inc. Door 14 ALCREJ Building, Quirino Avenue, 8000, Davao City, Philippines Tel: (082) 224-1413 301-6235 Telefax: (082) 221-3601

ANTONIO M. AJERO Editor in Chief




the national association of newspapers

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

Only thing is that this city is real.



LEIZEL A. DELOSO | Marketing Manager EDMUND D. RENDON Unit 6, SouthbankMarketing Plaza Velez-Yacapin Sts. Specialist General Santos City Cagayan de Oro City Mobile: (Smart) 0948-823-3685 Tel: (088) 852-4894


ANGELICA R. GARCIA | Marketing Manager 97-1 Bayanbayanan Ave., Marikina Heights, Marikina City Tel: (02) 654-3509




Cooperative economy

S of April 2016, TEN Million Filipinos are both unemployed and underemployed. This huge unemployment rate in our country should not only be a bothering statistic but a stark reality. Amid this gloomy circumstance, there is a great need for the Duterte administration to develop the so-called “cooperative economy” to complement the government’s intensified program against illegal drugs, crime and criminality and of course, corruption. “Cooperative economy” is the term to denote a program or concept for the government to spur and develop economic activity all over the archipelago by the creation and establishment of a Department of Cooperatives. HB 4174 was principally sponsored by Agusan Sur Rep. Maria Valentina Plaza that will amend the Cooperative Development Authority Act, and hopes to solve the unemployment problem by encouraging the formation, organization and registration of multi-purpose cooperatives in the regions, provinces, towns, barangays and villages. There are more than 25,000 registered cooperatives in the country today. Cooperatives provide opportunities for income, livelihood and employment generation and admittedly are engines of

growth that SPECKS OF LIFE will help ease poverty. Of the 10M, 2.6% are unemployed and 7.4% are Fred C. Lumba u n d e re m ployed nationally. Metro Manila has the highest unemployment rate at 7.7% followed closely by Regs. I & IV-A at 7.5% and Reg. III at 7.1%. In the underemployed sector, Reg. V has the highest at 33.6% (806,000 persons) while Caraga has 32.1% (340,000). This deadline beater agrees with the observation of many that focus has been principally centered on the government’s intensified campaign against the illegal drug menace, crime and corruption in keeping with a presidential promise made during the 2016 presidential vote. Developing a “cooperative economy” will directly complement, in a most parallel manner, the current thrusts of the Duterte government in balancing the delivery of social services to the people. Just to glance back slightly at the past, I am encouraged by the growth and de-

velopment of the San Dionisio Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SDMPC) in Paranaque City. I visited it in 1971 (as I trained to establish a credit union cooperative in our bus company) and studied its operations, starting only as a credit cooperative (if my memory serves me right) in 1967. Converted as a multi-purpose coop, today it owns and operates its own school, runs a travel agency and other business concerns with assets of more than P7B. The SDMPC leadership was among the united voices that registered their approval for the creation of a Department of Cooperatives (Dep-Co) during a national cooperatives consultative meeting in Malacanang on Nov. 21, 2016 attended by Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco. The “cooperative economy” is what propelled the little nation of Israel to become and develop into what it is today – strong and self-reliant - arising from the commune called kibbutz as a farming community originally. With a persevering, patient, industrious and positive-thinking people, I strongly believe that the institution of a Department of Cooperatives will leave no Filipino idle and hungry. Onward with the “Cooperative Economy!” (Email your feedback to fredlumba@ God bless the Philippines!

The 2016 MY TWO CENTS’ elections are a case in point. The stronger the perceived bias was against then candidate DuterJohn Tria te, the more fired up his supporters became, and smothered whatever unfair headlines and biased angles were deployed and bashed them no end. The shriller his opponents voices were to criticize and lambast him for the cussing and the ‘rape joke,” it seemed that he gained more adherents. Little wonder, since the SWS and Pulse Asia surveys made after the rape joke revealed that these attacks did nothing to cut his lead against his opponents. If anything it built a bigger base of more committed supporters, who, hav-

ing done their bit in campaigning and defending the candidate, were therefore forged in the crucible of that commitment. It helped that he successfully shown himself to be the most genuine candidate, authentic, with a straight talking personality and a simple lifestyle, voters were drawn to and endeared by him in a way that no presidential candidate (who is not an actor) ever did. It was almost as though every attack against him was felt and responded to by supporters on a personal level, almost as though they themselves were hit. As content, Duterte is attractive and good copy, enthralling people with his personality and speech. Thus, the harder his opponents hit him, the bigger the crowds Duterte won over, leading up to that runaway election victory many thought would not happen. The case for social media as a legitimate media tool was made. For comments and reactions:

Why social media matters in today’s politics (Part 1)



F the recent elections Miriam Defensor Santiago famously predicted that its outcome will be determined by social media. These social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and instagram all comprise social media. True enough, 44 million Filipinos are estimated to be active facebook users. Many friends tell me that they get their news not from online newspapers, but from the social media feeds, mirroring the statistics and numerical estimates. Every morning these millions check their facebook pages for news from friends. Thus whatever exposure they get from journalists and mainstream media sites will depend on which among these is shared to them. The threat posed by this is that since this information is shared in a closed loop between friends, that these loops will share the same news of the same interest, or the same persuasions. Very little of what others may seem important wil ever find its way into these loops



To Cesar, for Cesar

HERE’S a new batch of PDu30’s appointees who took their oath of office January 9. That was Monday. Then I remember Tagum cause-oriented businessman Cesar Cuntapay. This note is for him. To Kuya Cesar: NEA board I think has still vacancy and you are most qualified sir. When Daneco, Inc. Tipaz office was closed down amid rival group’s dominance, it was only you who provided the refuge (of all Tagum businessmen), at a time when Daneco NEA was on the retreat. You bravely provided the office space in one of your buildings for Daneco NEA to continue operations. You’re PRRD most ardent campaigner in DavNor contributing biggest bulk of personal resources for PDP-Laban in DavNor and in areas where your group had reached during the last campaign. You’ve been a staunch federalism advocate for over two decades now or since the 90s, working together with first Mindanaoan proponents of federalism like Senator Nene Pimentel, Chito Gavino et al. But sadly you won’t apply, lobby and peddle your influence. That’s the greatest of you sir since then. You just commit yourself for good causes for the country.

****** Online, I was moved by American actress Meryl Streep’s talk. She’s trending these days. If you have seen the video, you surely might have been moved and dumbfounded. It was a breathtaking sniping at US President Donald Trump. In Pinoy context, I’m moved by her tribute to principled press that her country’s founders enshrined in their Constitution to defend truth. She, too, never mentioned Trump’s tweets or social media, today’s precursor in the onslaughts of truth that Bongbong Marcos or the Marcoses heavily use to twist history, perfume their odors or glisten their macabre acts and use to continue BBM ascend to the Presidency by always demolishing VP Leni, inventing this #Lenileaks through their army of trolls that they are funding. TAGS & HASHES: Beware and be wary netizens. My take on this SCRA (Supreme Court Reports Annotated) on Facebook as non-lawyer: There’s slight techie error in this first (?) SCRA on FB on the quote: “The user’s own Facebook friend can share said content or tag his or her own Facebook friend thereto, regardless of whether the user tagged by the latter is Facebook friends or not with the former.”.... No, you can’t tagged one if he is not your FB friend, though this note lumps it to share, which maybe physical, say one have one see his android cp having FB.... But we are guided here to be careful in posting insults to private persons like Vicki Belo. It’s different to posting a criticism on FB to hit/criticize public persons like elected and appointed public officials... Ciao!


March 29, 2016. But due to these major plan revisions, the target date of completion has been moved to April 2017.” DPWH also announced that it has already set aside funds for the second phase of the widening of said bridge that will commence this year. “This time, with due consideration to the DCWD, we have included an anchorage to carry the weight of their main

pipe,” the DPWH said. The second phase of the project will also complete their objective of accommodating the 6-lane traffic at the Davao River Bridge. “Rest assured that we are doing everything humanly possible to complete this project vital not only to the efficient flow of traffic but most importantly to the economic well-being of our city,” the DPWH said.

production of 4,000 cubic meters each. “We are working on a design that will integrate a water treatment system because unlike the water of Tamugan (that only needs chlorination), the water that we are drawing from both wells is yellowish.” He said the quality of the water is fit for human consumption but would still need treatment because of its color. “Once commissioned by year-end or by the first quarter of 2018, the two wells will augment the three existing production wells for a total 15,000 cubic meters daily production,” he said. He said the total output will be more than enough to meet the water requirements of Cabantian that stood at 10,000 cubic meters daily. Delima said that by 2019, the Tamugan bulk water project would be more than enough to address deficits in water requirements else-

where in the city. He said that regarding the septage treatment system, the DWCD will heed the suggestion of the city council’s committee on environment headed by Councilor Diosdado Mahipus to consider the development of sewerage system instead. The other day, the City Council indicated it would conduct an inquiry on what it termed as ‘lingering water crisis in Barangay Cabantian,’despite the promise of the Davao City Water District to address the problem. Mahipus in his privilege speech said that inquiry will determine why the DCWD has failed to provide enough water for the barangay for nearly a decade now. “The inquiry will ferret out the truth about the severe water shortage in Cabantian and other areas in Davao having the same experience,” Mahipus pointed out.

However, critics have charged that the police are mainly killing poor people in the slums while wealthy and influential suspects have been spared. Gaerlan stated that his officers were prepared to defend themselves against the poor, wealthy, and influential people, as they wage President Duterte’s war on illegal drugs. “Hindi naman namin pinipili kung sino ang ‘papatayin,’ hindi ganoon ang operations namin,” he explained. He added that they have also investigated several police officers who were allegedly found positive in using ille-

gal narcotics. “Hindi mo naman pwedeng sabihinng mahirap ang mga pulis – may regular na sweldo nga sila,” Gaerlan said, adding that the police officials found guilty of using illegal drugs are treated as criminals. Gaerlan insisted that police only kill suspects in self-defense, and have said others were murdered by crime gangs trying to silence them. “Remember, we have given all the necessary warnings, kulang na lang lumuhod na kaming mga pulis na nagmamakaawa na tigilan na ang bisyo nila,” Gaerlan added.

grams and topics on the protection of the environment, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and mitigation, including the preservation of the indigenous culture in their locality. It will also conduct capacity building programs to prepare its beneficiaries for the onset of natural hazards. Indigent senior citizens will also continue to receive P500 monthly stipend under the DSWD’s Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens;

while undernourished children are the target beneficiaries of the Department’s Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) for 2-4 year old children in supervised neighborhood play and in Day Care Centers. The 2017 budget also funds the Comprehensive Project for Street Children, Street Families and IPs, as well as the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) Program for conflict-affected areas.

cies, local government units and the community. “I am calling on the people in Caraga to continue working with the PNP and our partner

agencies to sustain these substantial gains in bringing down crime incidents in the region,” Felix added. (PNP PRO 13/ PIA-Caraga)



Budget... FROM 4

2016... FROM 6



FOR THE RECORD. National Bureau of Investigation 11 director lawyer Arnold Rosales discusses the number of cases filed by the agency last year including one involving self-confessed hit man Edgar Matobato. Rosales graced yesterday’s AFP-PNP Press Corps media forum at Camp Quitin Merecido in Buhangin, Davao City. Lean Daval Jr.

Davao... FROM 2

sified non-emergency calls as inquiries about the locations of emergencies and accidents, traffic jams, test calls and drills done by offices, and complaints on noisy neighborhood. “The priority of Central 911 as the responders are people’s lives,” Jaldon said. He said that he will no longer propose to the City Council to come up with an ordinance punishing prank callers here but will leave it to Congress

to create a measure to control the number of prank calls after 911 hotline became available nationwide in August 2016. He said callers must be prompt, clear, and direct when reporting to Central 911. When calling the Central 911, Jaldon advised the public to be immediately aware of the nature of the emergency and the location, although the Central 911 call center agents may ask for additional information. (MindaNews)

their exposure and knowledge to international coffee standards. Trimmell added, the Coffee Quality Institute and the Philippine Coffee Board Inc. (PCBI), ACDI/VOCA, through the MinPact project, sponsors beneficiary farmers and value chain partners to study the Q Coffee System, a renowned and internationally–accepted coffee indentification and scoring system that engages the industry at the producer level to identify lots for specialty, at the export/import level by certifying individuals to grade coffees, and at the buyer level to offer a consumer-facing product with the Q mark. He explains, the system has resulted in greater opportunity for producers to access the premium price in the market and improve their economic viability. Trimmell said that with their advocacy on educating farmers, buyers and consumers, farmer organizations on specialty coffee, not only the quality of the coffee will improve but also the farmers will have knowledge on proper pricing of their produce to avoid being deceived by buyers who take their lack of in-

formation as advantage to buy coffee for a lower price. Also attending the forum were the four newly-licensed Q graders who underwent the Q Grader Program of MinPact, a comprehensive and rigorous six-day training and exam consist of 20 different intensive courses that test their olfactory and sensory skills and knowledge in coffee cupping and other skills necessary. According to Trimmell, they were the only passers out the 15 participants. Daniel Byron Pantoja, one of the Q graders said that with the growing awareness of the public to specialty coffee, he sees people getting inspired with the Filipino farmers who now begin to grow quality coffee that could compete to international brands. “It’s a domino effect,” he stressed as he said other farmers are now encouraged to grow specialty coffee. Trimmell also said that coffee shops in the country begin to look for specialty coffee in the local market instead of buying coffee beans from foreign counties, a sign that efforts of the industry players are producing good results. JERMAINE L. DELA CRUZ

ing the Duterte administration’saccelerated spending on infrastructure, which would not only fill the massive backlog left behind by the previous administrations, but would also create more jobs that are needed to help free some six

million Filipinos from poverty over the next five years. Investing heavily in infrastructure is likewise indispensable to the government’s goal of sustaining high growth and making its benefits felt by all Filipinos, he said. (PR)

Rody... FROM 4

Gov’t... FROM 5


higher than the PHP59.8 million budget allocated last year. The DOH will collaborate with the Department of Education in the deworming in public schools, while private schools may receive the deworming pills from the health centers, rural health units, and barangay health stations. Mass deworming is done to help prevent the discharge of “ova” or eggs of parasitic worms to the environment to decrease re-infestation rates among children. “If we can reduce the volume of ova/eggs, we can reduce the infestation,” Ubial said, adding that deworming should be coupled with proper hygiene and sanitation. In July last year, the national deworming campaign covered 15.8 million of the target 19.2 million school-aged children, and 7.8 million of the target 10.6 million pre-schoolaged children. World Health Organization (WHO) country representative, Dr. Gundo Weiler, said the Philippines has surpassed the 75 percent target recommended by the organization. “It is excellent to see you (DOH) ahead and your coverage is exceeding the global rate and also the regional average rates for the coverage rate in

school children of more than 80 percent and pre-school children of more than 70 percent. It is a testament to the strong commitment by the government. We want to congratulate the Philippines for that,” Weiler said. “The challenge is for us to be able to go beyond the 82 percent accomplishment rate achieved last July,” Ubial said. The deworming program, which will administer the Albendazole chewable tablets (400 mg), will be on a voluntary basis and will only be implemented with consent forms filled up by the parents or guardian of the child. “Let us not deprive our children of the protection against serious illnesses. Ask and verify facts on deworming from your nearest health facility,” Ubial said, assuring that the drug is safe and has been certified by the WHO and the Food and Drug Administration. She said the tablet’s side effects are “minimal” -- dizziness, nausea, headache and vomiting -- and are transient, self-limiting and manageable. She further clarified that the abdominal pain reported in Zamboanga in the past deworming program has been proven to be unrelated to the deworming pill. (PNA)

our people drink,” Lopez said. The DENR also cancelled the ECCs given to Palawan-based mining firms Ipilan Nickel Corp. and Lebach Mining Corp., as well as Davao-based Core Mining Corp. and Austral-Asia Link Mining Corp., and Donggwang Clark Corporation in Pampanga. Lawyer Maria Paz Luna, the designated DENR undersecretary for legal affairs, said that contrary to its claim, Austral-Asia’s mining site is only five kilometers away from a habitat of the endangered Philippine eagle. “This is a signal that the DENR is no longer to keep on waiting for conditions to be fulfilled until we issue adverse findings,” Luna said.

Meanwhile, the DENR has directed Benguet Corp. to explain why its ECC should not be cancelled for its Antamok open-pit mine in Itogon, Benguet in its “failure to rehabilitate the open pit site for 25 years” and “negligence leading to a toxic spill to 1.8-km river in Cordillera.” The agency also issued show cause orders to Sinophil Mining and Trading Corp., LaFarge Mindanao (formerly Mindanao Portland Cement Corp.), Philippine Sinter Corp., Century Peak Corp. (on two projects), Filipinas Systems Inc., Ore Asia Mining and Development Corp., Wan Chiong Steel Corp., Wellex Mining Corp., PhiGold Metallic Ore Inc., and Hantex Manufacturing Corp. (PNA)






Unpretentious Filipino dishes Ensalada Espesyal.

Enjoying Kuya J’s many delectable dishes with my cousin, Nikko, my since-birth nanny, Ping, and my beautiful Mama.

Baked Scallops.

THERE IS NO “WE” IN FOOD...ONLY “I” -- said the hungry you. Or should I say, the hungry me. Filipinos as we are, food is but a collective event that involves mouths, dishes and recipes of the past, present and future. Yes, food is a plurality that, in the Philippines, signifies a celebration -- on a daily basis. With Davao’s booming economy -- not to mention, increase in traffic volume -- it’s no wonder that many food establishments are popping like mushrooms from every nook and corner of the city. From home grown local restaurants to international food destinations, Davao is slowly becoming a foodie paradise for everyone to enjoy. One delicious resto is Kuya J Restaurant. It’s bright, clean, homey and very relaxing interiors allows you to enjoy the experience holistically. Setting the tone, you’d find the place to be comfortable. More so, when they start cooking your dishes and laying them on your table. Now the fun begins. Kuya J specialises in native, local dishes cooked according to

Crunchy Prawns.

how your palate craves for them. Their menu boasts of Filipino favourites that highlights the many fresh, local produce we have. From crunchy greens to fresh meat and gifts of the sea, you’d love that all elements are wellrepresented. Take for instance their Ensalada Espesyal. Textured and packed with flavours, this dish is a real palate teaser. Served aesthetically in a leaf turned into a boat (or is it a box?

I don’t know!), the combination of vegetables create an amazing depth of taste that’s very inviting. The addition of itlog na maalat (salted egg) on top is the ultimate cherry on top. Something old yet new to the palate? Try their Lumpia Fresko – fresh, crunchy and green. Yes, slices of crunchy fresh veggies wrapped in their signature malunggay infused lumpia wrapper, is a real showstopper. Taste wise, you’d find that the filling is kind of sweet and salty – just enough to

wake your senses. Add the peanut sauce and you are sure to smile as you take a bite. This is truly a fresh take on a classic favourite. Since Kuya J Restaurant originated in Cebu, it’s no surprise that they have a plateful of Baked Scallops on their menu. Packed with oozing cheesy goodness, their baked scallops are rustically appetising and instantly sets you on a craving frenzy. Each scallop is soft yet tender to the bite. Seasoned enough to highlight the rich flavour of the sea, it’s not nakakaumay – the melted

cheese complements verily with the taste of scallop and flavour of the sea. Mainit na sabaw ba ang hanap? Then better order a bowl of their Pochero Bulalo Tagalog. That’s pochero and bulalo merged into one. This clear broth soup is very rich and flavourful. The taste of beef is prevalent as a result of long hours of boiling. Meat wise, chunks of beef with marrow will surely have you asking for another cup of rice in an instant. On a beef frenzy? Then better give their Beef Kare-Kare a go. Rich pea-

nut sauce, fork tender ox tail and salty bagoong is the ultimate Pinoy dish any time of any day. The sauce is already slightly salty but with the addition of bagoong, the pairing becomes inevitably delicious. Best thing about this dish? Every ingredient used contributes to the taste of the dish. What’s one dish that can never be absent in any dining experience? Chicken. Fried chicken to be exact. Hence, Kuya J’s Fried Chicken is a true bestseller. Crunchy on the outside yet delicately tender on the inside, the chicken is not dry and not stiff. With or without any condiments, their fried chicken is a hit. Kuya J Restaurant (Davao) is located at the SM Ecoland Annex and SM Lanang Premier Ground Floor (in front of the water fountain). Want to know my latest food finds? Follow me on Instagram @iamleebai and I’ll make you hungry in a snap. For missed features, you can read them on my blog


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DA B AW E N Y O S SHOWED THE COUNTRY ONCE AGAIN that celebrating the New Year need not be bloody and prone to firework related injuries after the Local Government Unit of Davao and Smart Communications successfully led the 4th Torotot Festival. This year’s Torotot Festival is the biggest and grandest celebration yet, with people coming in droves from different parts of the city to join the unique party. Arnold Dellosa, Smart Communication’s Regional Development Head for Mindanao said that the Torotot Festival is one way of supporting LGU-Davao’s advocacy of zero-casualty and zero firework related injuries during the celebration of New Year. Firecrackers and fireworks are banned in Davao City since 2002, a rule that is strictly enforced by local law enforcement units. “We want to show people in the country that we can celebrate New Year’s Eve in a fun way with no pollution and injury-free,” Dellosa added. With all eyes on Davao City right now, after being declared as the new, unofficial national capital of the country following the election of its longtime Mayor and now Philippine President Rody Duterte, it seems that people are taking positive notice of the Torotot Festival. Even the Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa who came-by and checked on the Torotot Festival was amazed at how the revelry was being celebrated. “I hope the country would follow what we are doing here in Davao,”

said Gen. Bato, referring to the Torotot Festival as the crowd cheered him on like a rock star. “We should be very proud of the example that we are setting and the discipline that we are showing, not only in our country but throughout the whole world,” added Dela Rosa. And the whole world seemed to be watching and celebrating with Dabawenyos during the New Year’s Eve partying as scores of foreigners can be observed celebrating and mingling with the crowd. Edward Lee, a Korean tourist along with his friends and cousins had a blast celebrating with the Davaoeños during the Torotot Festival. “It is unique and very different. My friends and I were jumping around with strangers blowing horns and having fun. This is our first New Year in the Philippines,” according to Lee. Pattira Duangsing, a foreign exchange student from Thailand said,

that although this is her first time in the Philippines, she felt safe and secured in Davao despite spending the wee hours of the morning on the street while celebrating the Torotot Festival. “I feel safe and secure and enjoyed a lot. I love the colorful cosplays and costumes,” Duangsing said. Duangsing enjoyed the Torotot Festival with friends and church mates, and even won Talk N’ Text tumblers in one of the many games held during the festival. LTE Phones, pocket Wi-Fi devices, loads, shirts and other Smart goodies were also given away all throughout the night. Balloons with surprise gifts and rewards were also distributed to the delight of the partying crowd. For this year’s Torotot Festival, Smart Communications brought the heat when it came to the competition and the prizes. Festival staples like the best torotot com-




petition, best in torotot inspired costume, best torotot cosplay and hiphop dance contest all had their prizes double from P25,000 to a whooping P50,000. With the Zumba dancing contest now had P15,000 up for grabs. These huge prizes


along with the amazing crowd turnout, media coverage and attention that it generated, this year’s Torotot Festival is officially the grandest of all versions of the said celebration and is now set to go nationwide next year thanks to President

Duterte’s tough stance on firecrackers. With the Torotot Festival now ingrained as part of Davao culture, we hope the one day the country would also adapt this fun version of a safe, injury and casualty-free style of welcoming the New Year.

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New DCWD directors T

DepEd to position educational equipment near disaster areas


AVAO City Mayor Inday Sara Z. Duterte reappointed Eduardo A. Bangayan as member of the Board of Directors of the Davao City Water District for another six-year term from January 2017 to December 2022. Appointed as the new DCWD director was Helen D. Paguican who will be representing the education sector. She replaced Serafin C. Ledesma Jr. who finished his term in December 2016. Chairperson Bangayan is a well-respected businessman in the country who is a known visionary not just in Davao City’s business community but as well as in the national water district associations having served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Local Water Utilities Administration, Chairman of the Board of the Philippine Association of Water Districts, President of the Philippine Water Works Association, and Governor of

the Mindanao Association of Water Districts. As head of the DCWD Board of Directors representing the business sector, Chairperson Bangayan together with fellow directors has efficiently worked hand in hand to advance the water utility’s operation. Among their recent major accomplishments are the initiative to push through the Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project which will ensure increased water supply for the people in Davao City and the construction of the new DCWD building which will help improve the water utility’s customer service. The new board member, Dir. Paguican, is a retired public servant who served as the School Division Superintendent and Assistant Schools Division Superintendent at the Department of Education, Division of Davao City. Before working at DepEd, she was a professor

at the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP). She has a Masters Degree in Public Administration Major in Organization Studies and Doctorate Degree in Development Research and Administration. Both she earned from USeP and the former as a recipient of the Civil Service Commission’s Local Scholarship Program. She earned her undergraduate degree in BS Pharmacy at the Immaculate Conception College. Aside from being a licensed pharmacist, she also passed the Schools’ Superintendent Licensure Examination and is a Career Service Executive Eligible and Career Executive Service Officer V. Dir. Paguican was formally introduced to the DCWD family during the monthly employees convocation on January 9, 2017. She expressed her gratitude to the Mayor for trusting her to be part of the DCWD Board and excitement to be part of the

water utility as it is a new chapter in her role as a public servant. She also said that although she left education which is one of the indicators of the Human Development Index (HDI), she is quite happy because she will be dealing with access to safe water which is also another HDI indicator. “I want to delve more on an institution that makes an impact to people’s lives,” she noted. Chairperson Bangayan and Dir. Paguican took their oath of office before Mayor Duterte at the Office of the City Mayor last December 29, 2016. Serving with them as DCWD directors this year include Atty. Abdul M. Dataya, as vice-chairperson representing the professional sector; Ma. Luisa L. Jacinto, representing the women sector; and, Atty. Charmalou D. Aldevera, representing the civic sector. (JOHN WINSTON ANTHONY C. AJERO II)

NEW DIRECTORS. DCWD board members Chairperson Eduardo A. Bangayan (right) and Helen D. Paguican (middle) recently took their oath before Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Z. Duterte (L).

PEZA to scout for investment deals in ME T

HE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) sets investment roadshows in the Middle East next month to attract investors to explore the Philippine market. PEZA Director General Charito Plaza told reporters that the agency will have investment seminars in Riyadh on Feb.11 and 12, in Dubai on Feb. 13 and 14, and in Qatar on Feb. 15 and 16. This will be in preparation for President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to visit the Middle East on Feb.26 to Mar.3, according to Plaza. “Because President Duterte is tentatively eyeing a state visit in the Middle East on February 26 onwards up to March 3 for these three countries -Riyadh, Dubai, and Qatar,” she

said. “These are still plans, that’s why the dates are still tentative, but PEZA will already be doing the investment seminars for these investors of these different countries, and then hopefully we can already find a match to our local investors, Filipino investors, especially our new economic zones created in provinces and cities in Mindanao,” she added. The PEZA chief mentioned that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), local government officials, and economic zone developers will join the investment promotion agency in its roadshow in the Middle East. “Because it was PEZA who

initially talk with some sheiks and businessmen in these countries, DFA is asking us to be in the frontline in formalizing the possible investments to the Philippines prior to the state visit of the President Duterte,” Plaza noted. In a previous interview, the PEZA chief mentioned that royal families from Qatar and Dubai are looking into establishing economic zones in Philippine islands, developing cities within islands, as well as putting up their own oil deposit facilities and refineries in these islands. “So when the President comes, there will be signing of MOUs (Memoranda of Understanding) whatever investments we’ve finalized during our investment seminars in these countries,” she said.

Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman are also in the plans of the government to visit next month. Moreover, Plaza said Middle East investors were eyeing to explore tourism sector and halal industry in the country. These investors are interested to establish businesses in Mindanao, the PEZA executive added. On Monday, PEZA held a seminar on sukuk bonds or Islamic bonds that complies with the Sharia law to help local companies to understand doing business with Middle East-based firms. Plaza noted that the government aimed to expand the presence of Islamic banks in the country to facilitate investments from Middle East businessmen. (PNA)

HE Department of Education has proposed to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to allow it to enter into supply contracts for educational equipment with firms located near disaster areas. Education Secretary Leonor Briones said in a press conference Tuesday that the department has “proposed to preposition school supplies along the regions” that are near typhoon and disaster areas for the quick rehabilitation of schools. This will include textbooks, computers and other equipment. She further said the department will set an “allow-

ance” for potential losses from natural disasters. Briones stressed that the department has to address the potential hazards of typhoons with creativity. The program will be covered by its quick disaster response fund, if approved for transfer by the DBM, and will cost PHP650 million. However, Briones noted that the budget may increase as it also includes the allocation for new school buildings. She also pointed out that all the schools, which are currently under construction, are designed to withstand a storm of 285 km. per hour. (PNA)

PDP 2017-2022 draft chapters now online for public comment


HE National Economic and Development Authority released through its website the draft chapters of Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 to give the public an opportunity to comment and give inputs. The chapters and respective feedback forms can be accessed through Inputs and suggestions on the draft will be accepted until 12:00 p.m. of January 12, 2017. These will be considered in the finalization of the chapter write-up prior to its presentation in the 3rd Plan Steering Committee meeting scheduled on January 17, 2017. The draft is the product of series of intensive consultations started last November 2016 and conducted by NEDA in the 17 regions of the country. Representatives from the legislature, executive agencies, local government units, business sector, academe, civil society, and other stakeholders were involved. “We invite the public once again to contribute to this very important conversation, which is about translating our collective vision into concrete actions,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia. The PDP will translate AmBisyon Natin 2040 and the administration’s 0+10-point Socioeconomic Agenda into strategies, policies, programs, and activities. “The three pillars of the next Philippine development plan are Malasakit, Pagbabago, at Kaunlaran. These will be supported by a strong foundation in national peace and security, strategic and accelerated infrastructure development, resiliency, and ecological integrity,” the Cabinet official said. The plan has seven parts, divided into 22 chapters, which include: Introduction (with Overview and Framework), Enhancing the Social Fabric (Malasakit), Reducing Inequality in Economic Development Opportunities (Pagbabago), Increasing Potential Growth (Kaunlaran), Enabling and Supportive Economic Environment, Foundations for Inclusive and Sustainable Development, and Moving Forward. As of January 9, 2017, nine out 22 chapters are already uploaded. Other chapters will be posted shortly: Chapter 3: An overlay of economic growth, demographic trends and physical characteristics index. php/philippine-developmentplan-2017-2022/ chapter-3-an- overlay-of-economic-growthdemographic-trends-and- physical-characteristics/ Chapter 5: Citizen-Centered, Clean and Efficient Delivery of Public Goods and Services: index. php/philippine-developmentplan-2017-2022/ chapter-5citizen-centered-clean-and- efficient-delivery-of-public- goods-and-services/ Chapter 6: Swift and Fair Administration of Justice index. php/philippine-development- plan-2017-2022/chapter-6- swift-and-fair-administration- of-justice/ Chapter 7: Promoting Philippine Culture and Values index. php/philippine-development- plan-2017-2022/chapter-7- promoting-philippine-culture- and-value/ Chapter 8: Expanding Economic Opportunities in Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries index. php/philippine-development- plan-2017-2022/chapter-8- expanding-economic- opportunities-in-agriculture- forestry-and-fisheries-aff/ Chapter 9: Expanding Economic Opportunities in Industry and Chapter 10: Expanding Economic Opportunities in Services index. php/philippine-development- plan-2017-2022/chapter-9- expanding-economic- opportunities-in-industry/ Chapter 14: Promote Technology and Innovation index. php/philippine-developmentplan-2017-2022/ chapter-14- promote-technology-and- innovation/ Chapter 16: National Competition Policy index. php/philippine-developmentplan-2017-2022/ chapter-16- national-competition-policy/ Chapter 20: Ensure Ecological Integrity, Clean and Healthy Environment index. php/philippine-development- plan-2017-2022/chapter-20- ensure-ecological-integrity- clean-and-healthy-environment/ (PR)




DOST RDs told: Make science O and technology accessible

PSBank starts LTNCTD offering


PEAKING during the Awarding Ceremony for the most outstanding provincial director, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato T. Dela Peña reiterated the agency’s goal to expand programs and research and development in the regions. “Probably all of my predecessors will agree with me that one of the most rewarding tasks of the secretary is to visit the regions,” said Dela Peña. “There, you see the dedication of the regional work-

ers, the impact that their work has made on the lives of our constituents as well as the enterprises that we have assisted,” he added. Dela Peña also noted the plans he has for the regions. Recognizing the impact on the lives of the people and enterprises, he mentioned the expansion of the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program or SETUP. The program provides assistance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to improve their operations and boost productivity. “I’m referring to an ex-

panded SETUP not only in the financial aspect, but also in terms of the coverage, sectors that we are serving, and also in the nature of assistance that we are giving,” he said. He also wanted to strengthen every region’s capabilities through the Balik Scientist Program. The program seeks to encourage overseas Filipino scientists and experts to return and share their expertise here in the Philippines instead. “As much as possible, gusto ko yung kukunin nasa program ay mai-aasign sa regions particularly doon sa

mga areas na meron silang magandang potential, tulungan na mag set-up ng facilities, ng research programs, and train people at the same time,” Dela Peña said. More SUCs are also expected to become partners of the Science Education Institute. Research Centers are also planned to be improved and developed according to the strengths of every region. Apart from that, he also reminded the provincial directors to think of more innovative ways in helping the communities through the CEST Program. (PR)

FFERING of Philippine Savings Bank’s (PSBank) 5-year and three-month Long-Term Negotiable Certificates of Time Deposit (LTNCTD) started Tuesday. In a disclosure with the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) Tuesday, the thrift banking arm of the Ty-led Metrobank Group said it would issue up to P3 billion worth of LTNCTD with an annual inter-

Globe eyes faster broadband Internet to 2-M households in next 3 years


LOBE Telecom will rollout 400,000 broadband lines by the end of this year to further improve the fixed Internet connection in the country. Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu said it aims to deploy two million home broadband with speed of at least 10 megabits per second (Mbps) by 2020. “We are catching up on the deployment of infrastructure for home broadband, after focusing on mobile for many years. Progressive rollouts will be done within the next 3 years until 2020 to serve at least 2 million homes,” he said. Cu urged the government to facilitate the process of granting permits and right of way for telecommunication

Cebu Pacific ramps up collection efforts to reach 4 million malnourished children


HE Philippines’ leading airline, Cebu Pacific (PSE:CEB), strengthens its partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to reach millions of undernourished children in the country. The endeavor is part of the global organization’s Change for Good program which accepts contributions from passengers on board flights of partner airlines. Proceeds contribute to the UN children’s agency’s First 1,000 Days campaign which provides optimal nutrition, from a mother’s pregnancy to a child’s second year of life. Since July 1, 2016, CEB began accepting contributions of all currencies from passengers. The contributions are being used to fund nutritional supplements distributed to poor households

with pregnant mothers or malnourished children. A portion of the funds also support barangay-level information drives on nutrition in UNICEF’s focus areas in Northern Samar, Zamboanga, and Maguindanao. “We are very pleased with how warmly our passengers are receiving the Change for Good Program. Thank you for sharing in our vision of a better future for our children and in UNICEF’s advocacy of uplifting lives through the First 1,000 Days campaign,” says Lance Gokongwei, Cebu Pacific President and CEO. “Children have the right to survive and thrive. It is important for all of us to pitch in and lift each other up, so that every Filipino child grows up happy and healthy. Your continued support to UNICEF

will help make this happen,” says Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Philippines Representative. Sylwander explains the transformative impact of these small acts of generosity. “The nutrition received by children from the womb to their second birthday is crucial for their physical and intellectual development. If these children are able to grow to their full extent, they perform better in school and eventually get better jobs as adults.” A healthy and productive workforce, Sylwander says, is key to nation-building.

Battling poverty with proper nutrition In the Philippines, around four million Filipino children are “stunted.” These children are undernourished, causing irreversible damage to their

health, physical growth and brain development. The global program Change for Good targets these children by cashing in donations for life-saving materials and services for vulnerable children in more than 150 countries. Its partner, CEB, has piloted the program in the East Asia and the Pacific region and focuses its collection efforts exclusively to UNICEF Philippines’ First 1000 Days program. You can do your share in helping fight malnutrition among Filipino infants and children. Donate to UNICEF’s Change for Good First 1,000 Days program on your Cebu Pacific flights. For more information on how to help the cause, visit and (PR)

est rate of 3.5 percent payable quarterly. Issue date of the LTNCTD will be on Jan. 30, 2017. Investors may place at least P50,000 and increments of P50,000 for additional investments. PSBank tapped ING as sole arranger for this issuance and it is joined by First Metro Investment Corporation (FMIC), Metrobank, and PSBank as selling agents. (PNA)


companies to set up cell sites in the country. “With our recent campaigns, our local government are beginning to hear us, and to some extent, some are more responsive than others. As we move forward, we have every reason to be optimistic that we can improve the quality of home broadband in as many areas as possible,” according to him. To date, the company has already deployed over 260,000 home broadband lines across the country. Globe broadband lines were initially rolled out in select areas in Quezon City, Cebu, Davao, Binondo, Manila, and soon, in Cauayan City, Isabela, delivering faster Internet speed




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Govt eyes 70% contraceptive prevalence rate nationwide


ITH the signing of Executive Order No. 12 by President Rodrigo Duterte, the government is hoping to reach 70 percent contraceptive prevalence rate in the Philippines by year 2022. Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) director general Ernesto Pernia said the Philippines has only 40 to 45 percent contraceptive prevalence rate while Thailand and Bangladesh reach up 75% each. “So we really need to wrap up our contraceptive prevalence rate to around 70%, 65 at least, better 70% in order to achieve zero unmeet need for family planning,” Pernia said in a Palace press briefing. On the other hand, Commission on Population Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III predicted that population growth rate might go down from 1.6 million to 1.4 million per year if the EO No. 12 on “Zero Unmeet Need for Family Planning” will be fully imple-

mented in the next six years. “If this program is fully implemented by up to 2022, we predict that the population growth rate might go down around 1.4,” Perez said. The joint efforts of the NEDA and the Department of Health (DOH) to push further the implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act (RPRH Law) has been realized with the signing of EO NO. 12 last January 9. This order aims to intensify and accelerate the implementation of critical actions necessary to attain and sustain “zero unmet need for modern family planning” for all poor households by 2018, and all of Filipinos thereafter. In 2012, Congress has approved RPRH Law but temporary restraining order (TRO) filed at the Supreme Court (SC) has prevented the government from implementing it for the last four years. Pernia said if the RPRH law will be fully implemented, the

government will not be able to meet the poverty reduction from 22 percent to at least 13 percent by the end of the Duterte administration. “The government cannot continue to tolerate this delay in judgment because time is of the essence as far as the implementation of the RPRH law is concerned. Everyday about 11 women die from complications of pregnancy and delivery,” Pernia said. “As you know, teenage pregnancies have been rising. In other countries, teenage pregnancies are diminishing but in the Philippines, it’s rising,” he added. For his part, Perez said the TRO affects 7.3 million Filipino women, “most of which belong to the lowest wealth quintile with high unmet need for Family Planning.”President Duterte has been vocal about the need for Family Planning program in the country and even stressed the full implementation of the RPRH Law in his first State of the Nation Address. (PNA)

with low monthly charges. “All these were made possible by the cooperation of our partner LGUs who share our advocacy to deliver first world Internet to the Filipino family,” Cu said. He reiterated that Globe in-

tends to be the preferred brand for households just as it has increased its presence on mobile Internet. “The quality difference and improvements on fixed internet will really be felt. We will

transform every home using a Globe broadband into an ultimate entertainment hub as our customers enjoy high speed connection plus an unbeatable portfolio of exclusive content,” Cu added. (PNA)

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Carbuyers turning to online tools: study I

Isuzu PH posts highest monthly, annual sales


EOPLE in the market for new and preowned vehicles used to go the old-fashioned route of visiting showrooms, meeting with sellers, and traveling distances just to see a car. Not anymore. Over the course of two years, established online vehicle marketplace Carmudi commissioned a study to ascertain consumer preferences. Results of the survey revealed that more people are opting to do their search online over traditional methods such as personal calls to dealers or printed classifieds. This phenomenon has only heightened with the widespread economic growth in Asia. E-commerce in general bloomed an incredible tenfold in tandem with steadily increasing GDP. In the first month of 2016 alone, 29-percent of the 47.1 million active internet users in the Philippines purchased a product or service online. And with many industries prospering throughout Asia due to this online shift, automotive manufacturers and dealers in the region have realized that online searching is now a significant, if not the most significant stage of the car buying process,” reports Carmudi. With a population boasting US$2,700 per capita income, the Philippine automotive industry has continued to reap the benefits of a vibrant economy. An estimated 350,000 cars will be sold by the end of 2016—a full 10-percent increase from last year.

The study sought to reveal trends and habits more readily gleaned in the electronic arena. Focused on a two-year period spanning 2014 to 2016, Carmudi additionally surveyed its dealers to gain more insight about certain trends in the country. “Our research focuses on the popularity of car body styles, car brands, and price ranges among others, to demonstrate the changing trends in automotive search behavior in the Philippines and to share our projections for the coming years.”

A significant finding in the report is that the search for used cars online increased by almost 100-percent from 2015 to 2016. All told, 82-percent of total searches were for pre-owned vehicles. Still, 63-percent of used car dealers surveyed in the study revealed to have seen “a slight decrease in second-hand car sales over the past two years. Every dealer that stated this indicated that low downpayment offers from new car dealers was the main reason for this.” Find out this and more

on Leveraging on its international presence expertise, the Carmudi business model redounds in gains for both buyer and seller. With a dedicated Philippine content, it facilitates quicker and more convenient transactions between verified, reputable sellers and prospective buyers of new and old vehicles. Carmudi users have unparalleled and swift access to tens of thousands of certified listings and, perhaps, most importantly, get an unmatched guarantee of the lowest price.

and the New City. The All-New BR-V is Honda’s latest addition to its affordable Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) lineup. Since its Philippine debut last September 2016, it garnered more than 2,000 reservations and sold 717 vehicles upon its availability in December 2016. The All-New Civic on the other hand, marks 2,500 vehicle sales. The New City remains as the best-selling model among HCPI’s 15 vehicle line-up with a remarkable 8,913 units sold.

Honda’s participation in significant industry exhibitions such as the 6th Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) helped increase demand for the brand and further expanded its market reach. This also allowed the brand to showcase its complete line-up to the Philippine market. “On behalf of Honda Cars Philippines, Inc., we would like to extend our sincerest appreciation to our customers for continuously making the brand their preferred choice. We

are pleased by the unwavering support as seen in the 2016 sales milestone.

Honda PH sets record sales H

ONDA Cars Philippines, Inc. proudly announces a record breaking sales performance in 2016 with a total of 23,199 vehicle sales or 20 percent growth, compared to the same period in 2015 with 19,315 vehicles sold. The December 2016 sales also set a highest monthly record of 2,805 units. The reported sales increase is attributed to the brand’s main contributors, particularly the introduction of the All-New BR-V, the All-New Civic

SUZU Philippines Corporation (IPC) is starting the year on an optimistic note as the company posted record sales milestones in 2016. IPC ended 2016 by recording its highest monthly result in December, or a total of 2,965 units sold for the month. The company also logged its best annual performance in 2016 with deliveries of 27,361 vehicles, fresh data reported by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) shows. Sales of Isuzu vehicles in December last year are 25.4 percent higher than the 2,365-unit tally recorded for the same month in 2015, while IPC’s total output for the entire 2016 is a 21.2-percent spike over the 22,581 units the company had sold during the 12 months of 2015. “Isuzu Philippines Corporation’s record sales performance in 2016 is clearly a benefit coming from a strong domestic economy that inspired consumer confidence and spending. It also mirrors the continued uptick of the entire local automotive industry, which is also enjoying unprecedented results,” said IPC President Hajime Koso. While the company re-

This would not be possible without them.”, said Toshio Kuwahara, Presi-

corded increases across all its vehicle models, lifting IPC sales last year were those posted by Isuzu trucks and buses, which at 1,716 units registered a significant 219-percent leap over the segment’s 2015 tally. Matching this result were deliveries of the Isuzu D-Max pickup. Benefiting from substantial equipment and styling updates in the latter part of 2016, the pickup saw its sales increase 27.3 percent over the previous year, or a total of 3,966 units sold. “The introduction of changes to models and the sustained promotional and marketing campaigns have all helped in driving customer interest toward the Isuzu brand last year. A strong network of dealerships, as well as excellent after-sales services, also contributed in ensuring that Isuzu was able to maintain its upward trajectory,” Koso said. IPC’s best-selling model in 2016 remained to be the Isuzu mu-X with deliveries of 12,657 units, topping the vehicle’s 2015 result by 16.1 percent. Supporting IPC’s flagship model are sales of the Isuzu Crosswind, which at 4,659 units are 13.7 percent higher than that achieved in the previous year, and those of the N-Series light-duty commercial trucks, which rose 11 percent to 4,363 units.

dent and General Manager of Honda Cars Philippines, Inc.



Philippine Ladies Open underway


ENTAL toughness and course management will be key factors in waging fairway battle by elite field of local and foreign parbusters in their quest for top honors in the Philippine Ladies Open Championship 2017, which gets going on Wednesday at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club’s West Course in Mandaluyong. Filipino ace shotmakers Yuka Saso and Pauline del Rosario will lead the local team in the annual 54hole championship

TOP PH BETS. Yuka Saso (right) and Pauline del Rosario will banner the local team.

Rose gets fine, back with Knicks


EW York Knicks star Derrick Rose has been fined an unspecified amount and is back with the team following his mysterious no-show, the NBA franchise said on Tuesday. Rose baffled team officials and fans after failing to appear for the Knicks’ 110-96 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans at Madison Square Garden on Monday. “Derrick Rose has rejoined the team and has been fined. He is expected to be in uniform tomorrow in Philadelphia,” the Knicks public relations department said on Twitter Tuesday. In brief remarks to reporters during a practice session on Tuesday, Rose said he had returned to Chicago to be with his family but did n o t

elaborate. “It was a family issue,” Rose said. “For one, it had nothing to do with the team or basketball. “That’s the first time I ever felt like that emotionally and I had to be with my family.” Asked why he had not responded to calls from the Knicks management, Rose replied that he needed his “space.” The 28-year-old Rose, the 2011 NBA Most Valuable Player with the Chicago Bulls, has been effective in his first season with the Knicks. He’s averaging 17.3 points in 33 games, missing a few earlier this season with back spasms.

MYSTERIOUS ABSENCE. Derrick Rose was slapped with a fine for his mysterious absence.

organized and conducted by Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines (WGAP), which has drawn the participation of top players from Thailand, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore and the US. Saso will boost the local campaign with her scintillating triumph in the Philippine Amateur Golf Championship last Sunday where she beat

Korean Hee Ji Kim. The national skipper and Queen Sirikit Cup veteran also captured the third World Junior Girls championship and led the Philippines to the team crown in Canada last September, reached the semifinals of the 2016 US Women’s Amateur and won a pro tournament on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, also last year.

Other locals seeing action in the stroke-play format competition are reigning national champion Harmie Constantino, Abby Arevalo, Bernice Ilas, Mikha Fortuna and Sofia Chabon of TCC, World Junior team member Sofia Legaspi, Mikaela Arroyo, Sam Bruce, Annyka Cayabyab, Bianca Pagdanganan, Diana Araneta and Felicia Medalla. (PNA)

Diaz to skip 2017 SEA Games S

OUTHEAST Asian Games (SEAG) Task Force has started screening athletes bound for the biennial meet to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this August. Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz will not be part of the Philippine delegation as Malaysia has scrapped the women’s category in weightlifting. Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) chairman Tom Carrasco, head of the task force, said his group will also evaluate the budget requirements of the various National Sports Associations (NSA) and training equipments to be used by their athletes. Aimed at improving the country’s standing in the sports conclave and acknowledging the seriousness of the government through the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to give full support to our ath-


letes in all fronts that include training and international exposure, Carrasco emphasized that his group will strictly implement the criteria set by the task force. The following criteria set for selection are: previous SEA Games performance, 2015 SEAG result, Competitiveness, active and deserving athletes.

According to the Malaysian Organizing Committee, among the 38 sports disciplines (405 events) up for grab for top honors include: athletics, aquatics, archery, badminton, basketball, billiard & snooker, boxing, cricket, cycling, equestrian, fencing, football, golf, gymnastic, hockey, ice hockey, ice skating, judo, karate, rugby

football, sailing, sepak takraw, shooting, squash, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, tenpin bowling, triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting, lawn balls, water ski and wushu. To promote the region’s indigenous sports, Malaysia has revived the following games — Muay Thai, Netball, Pencak Silat and Petaque. In boxing, where Philippines is predicted to figure well, however, lightweight and welterweight events in men’s boxing as well as three weight categories in women’s boxing were scrapped, and also the individual time trial in the women’s cycling. In 2005, Philippines as a host, won the overall championship, but in span of 11 years it has yet to duplicate the feat. In the 2015 edition of this friendship games that begun 28 years ago, the country placed sixth.

into 16 groups of three. Top two teams from each group will advance to a 32-team knockout stage. The 48-team competition format has been drawn up in such a way that there is no reduction in the overall number of rest days and a guaranteed maximum of seven matches for the teams reaching the final, while the current 32-day tournament

duration is kept, so as not to increase the length of time for which clubs have to release their players. The decision was taken following a thorough analysis, based on a report that included four different format options. The study took into account such factors as sporting balance, competition quality, impact on football development, infrastructure

and so on. Over the course of its next meetings, the FIFA Council is set to discuss further details regarding the competition, including the slot allocation per confederation. FIFA noted that for countries to bid for the right to host the 2026 edition, a process is currently scheduled to culminate in May 2020. (PNA/Xinhua)

NO SEAG ACTION. Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz will skip the 2017 SEA Games.

FIFA to expand World Cup to 48 teams

HE FIFA Council on Tuesday has unanimously decided in favor of expanding the FIFA World Cup to a 48team competition as of the 2026 edition. The world football’s supervisory and strategic body held its third meeting in Zurich on January 9 and 10, and decided on a new tournament format with the 48 national teams split




Edge Davao 9 Issue 232  

Edge Davao 9 Issue 232, January 12, 2017

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