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Clashes continue in South COTABATO CITY – Security forces continue its operations against proISIS group called Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters or BIFF and its allies in several areas in the restive Muslim provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur. Civilians were forced to flee their homes following weeks of sporadic clashes between soldiers

Founded 2006

and militants, whose separatist group has been largely blamed for terror attacks in Mindanao region. Despite the fighting, provincial and regional government officials did not say if they have taken immediate steps in securing civilians or protecting them from the violence that gripped the province for many years now.

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Just recently, a government soldier was wounded in fighting with BIFF in Dasawa village in Shariff Saydona Mustapha town, also in Maguindanao where 9 militants were reported killed by the military campaign. The 6th Infantry Division said the soldier was the second casualties in the battle which started Continue on page 3

Philippines is deadliest country for defenders of environment Inspecting illegally cut wood on Palawan island in the Philippines. Photograph: Karl Malakunas/AFP/Getty

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‘We Won’t Fire The First Shot,’ China Comment Rekindles Scarborough Bullying Memories In Philippines calling the June 9 sinking an accident but has recently taken a firmer stance requesting the United States to send in its entire Seventh Fleet to defend the

archipelago against Chinese aggression and offering the U.S. sites to store military supplies and vehicles. Obviously, the Philippines’ long-time re-

lationship with the U.S. and the progress of the U.S.-China trade war will determine future alliances. (By James Patterson – International Business Times)

Duterte urged to end ‘doormat’ foreign policy on China

China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier with accompanying fleet conducts a drill in an area of South China Sea, in this photo taken in December 2016. (Reuters) DEFENSE SECRETARY Delfin Lorenzana said he is concerned about China’s veracity, based on statements from Chinese President Xi Jinping promoting peace in the contested areas of the South China Sea. Lorenzana said China does not “walk the talk” in the South China Sea dispute and that Xi’s statements do “not match what they are doing on the ground.” Lorenzana was responding to the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, Zhao Jianhua, who said in a speech that Beijing “will not take the first shot” over disputes. Comparing China’s behavior to a playground aggressor, Lorenzana told reporters, “Well, the way that they took over Scarborough Shoal, to me that is, that was bullying.” The reference to Scarborough Shoal and Chinese bul-

lying dates to a 2012 standoff between the countries. China blocked Filipino fishermen from the shoal and Manila then appealed to the international community to arbitrate. The ruling in 2016 resulted in a landmark victory for the Philippines that China soon rejected. The Scarborough Shoal is nothing more than a triangle-shaped chain of reefs and rocks with a perimeter of about 46 km, but its location is strategically important. It lies about 120 nautical miles (222 kms) from the Philippine shore. The Philippines claim the waters as an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) while China claims it is within the ambiguous Nine Dash Line that includes most of the South China Sea. Other countries in the area with their own EEZ have

had skirmishes with China. Philippines’ trust in China has never been very high but it dropped even more after a June 9 incident when a Filipino boat was rammed and sunk by a Chinese vessel. The sinking occurred near the Spratly Islands, about 650 km southeast of the Scarborough Shoal. Zhao’s speech seemed to refute Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s claims that China would wage warif the Philippines attempted to take over areas that are “owned” by the Philippines but controlled by the Chinese. Zhao said that China wants peaceful settlements and would abide by international laws like the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea. Duterte has been criticized for being soft on China,

SENATOR RISA HONTIVEROS urged the Duterte government to end its “doormat” foreign policy on China and to strongly protest the latest incursion of Chinese warships in Philippine waters. Hontiveros made the call after Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana recently decried Chinese “bullying” in Philippine waters, as he admitted that several Chinese warships have sailed through the Sibutu Strait in Tawi-tawi province this year without notice to the Philippine government. Among the ships that reportedly passed through the area was China’s first aircraft carrier, Liaoning. “How long will the Duterte government play doormat to China and its interests?,” Hontiveros asked. However, Jay Batongbacal, a maritime law expert, showed an image from a Japanese analyst showing Liaoning passing through Sibutu Strait from Japan on June 20. “While the Sibutu Strait is considered an international waterway where the commercial vessels’ right of innocent passage is upheld, the unannounced entry of

Chinese armed warships into our territory is unacceptable, especially if China requires foreign warships to inform it of their presence before passing through its waters,” Hontiveros said. “We must not allow China to get away with its double standards. The Duterte government must put its foot down and officially bring this matter before the Chinese government,” she added. Hontiveros noted that Lorenzana, who is a member of President Duterte’s Cabinet, said that Chinese ships should have activated their Automatic Identification System while passing through Philippine waters, so that authorities will be aware of their presence. It was unknown why the Western Mindanao Command and the Philippine Navy and Coast Guard failed to detect the passage of the Chinese aircraft carrier. Security officials in the southern Philippines were also silent on the issue. Hontiveros said the incursions are proof that President Rodrigo Duterte’s policy of appeasement of China’s actions in the West Philippine Sea and other parts of the na-

tion’s territory is dysfunctional, defeatist, and a threat to national interest. “While the President tried to explain why he has failed to uphold our sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea during his latest State of the Nation Address, it is clear that his approach is not working well. His words and actions seem to have emboldened, rather than mitigated Chinese aggression and bullying in our seas,” Hontiveros said. Hontiveros challenged Duterte to take more steps towards peacefully enforcing its rights over its territorial waters - which was upheld by the historic Hague ruling in 2016 - in a manner consistent with international laws. She said Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio’s proposals on how to manage China’s activities in the West Philippine Sea should be seriously considered. “Huwag sana tayong pumayag na gawin tayong doormat at yurakan ang ating soberanya ng kahit sinong bansa, lalo na ng mga bansang tinuturing nila na kaibigan,” Hontiveros said. (With a report from Mindanao Examiner)


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Duterte thumbs down PCSO games, but allows Jueteng

W

HILE PRESIDENT DUTERTE suspended the Small-Town Lottery and Peryahan ng Bayan of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), he virtually allowed the operations of the illegal number game called Jueteng. Just recently, Duterte may now resume with their benefit tens of thousands of lifted the ban on govern- operations. The lifting of the poor families. ment lottery following a suspension of lotto operaMany poor residents public outcry and criticisms tions takes effect immedi- criticized Duterte for closing from mostly poor Filipinos, ately,” said Salvador Panelo, down the lotteries and other who dream to becoming a Duterte’s spokesman. number games, saying, their millionaire from the PCSO Duterte cited wide- dreams to become milliongame. spread corruption for his aires were also “killed” by “As per the advice of Ex- July 26 decision to shut the fierce leader. ecutive Secretary Salvador C. down the lotto operations “Buang talaga! Pati ba Medialdea, the suspension and Small Town Lottery naman Lotto eh ipinatigil, of lotto operations has been and Peryahan ng Bayan. paano na kami? Lotto lang ordered lifted by the Presi- Proceeds from these PCSO ang pag-asa namin makaadent. Franchise holders and games go to charity and oth- hon sa kahirapan. Si Duterte operators of lotto outlets er government projects and maraming pera, mayaman

Clashes continue in South Continued from page 1 last month when militants killed an army sniper, Sergeant Ahmad Mahmood, on July 25. Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, chief of the Western Mindanao Command, said the armed campaign against the militants, whose leaders have pledged allegiance to ISIS, will not stop until the Islamic extremist group is neutralized. “Deliberate offensives against terrorists continue, inflicting more casualties and impeding any hostile plans of terrorists as military troops attempt to penetrate enemy strongholds in Maguindanao. Troops from the Joint Task Force Central Mindanao have beefed up their campaign to pound terrorist groups and neutralize their leaders in Central Mindanao,” he said. Maguindanao and La-

nao del Sur are under the Muslim autonomous region, but Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim did not release any statement or reports on the exodus of civilians in areas where fighting broke out. It was unknown whether Ebrahim has ordered a humanitarian mission to aid those displaced by the war or had visited evacuation centers. Other pro-ISIS groups and communist insurgents were also fighting soldiers in Lanao del Sur. Two were also wounded in recent fighting between security forces and the communist rebel group New People’s Army in the town of Lumba Bayabao. Troops were trying to flush out some 180 rebels in Lanao del Sur who fled military campaign in nearby Bukidnon province. Brig. Gen. Romeo Brawner, commander of the 103rd Infantry Brigade, has

urged rebels to surrender peacefully. “Instead of continuing a futile armed struggle where thousands of innocent citizens are being abused and caught in the crossfire, the NPA members should consider surrendering and avail the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Livelihood and Integration Program so they could enjoy living normal lives and spend quality time with their loved ones,” he said. The NPA has been fighting for many decades now for the establishment of a separate communist state in the country. Peace talks with the government in the past and the current Duterte administration had collapsed after rebel leaders demanded the release of hundreds of jailed members before signing a cease-fire deal. (Mindanao Examiner)

yan at walang problema,” one upholsterer, Arnold, said in reaction to Duterte’s order to stop the lottery games. Another Lottery player, Marie Angeles, said Duterte should have not stopped the PCSO games because proceeds from it go to charity and give hope to many poor people to become millionaire. “Dapat hindi ipinatigil ni Duterte dahil sa charity naman napupunta ang mga kinikita ng PCSO tulad ng Lotto, at nakakatulong pa ito sa mga mahihirap, yun mga gastusin sa gamot, yan mga ambulansya galing ang pondo sa PCSO games,” Angeles said. “Ang dapat na ginawa ni Duterte ay mag-imbestiga at kasuhan ang mga involved sa corruption sa PCSO kung totoo man. Marami ng tinanggal si Duterte na mga tao niya at opisyal sa ibatibang ahensya, pero ni isa ay walang nakulong, ngunit marami ang nailipat lang sa

ibang departamento,” she added. While Duterte suspended other PCSO games, he has allowed the operations of Jueteng. Duterte said although he is not a fan of illegal gambling, he admitted that Jueteng is unlawful and he would allow its operations because the government cannot provide alternative livelihood to those behind it. “It is not legal. It cannot be allowed. If I stop it, I must be prepared to give another livelihood scheme to the people because if you can’t find an alternative, drugs will replace the operations. That would be more deadly,” he said in a recent public speech. “Ako, sabihin ko sa inyo ha, kayo ‘yung mga sugal ng sugal diyan, hindi ko na pakialaman, huwag lang kayong pumasok -hindi mo talaga ma-control eh. Kaya nga kayo mag-ano, papalusutin ko kayo ‘yung mga —

huwag lang ‘yang extortion at saka droga. Kung sabihin mo ‘yang mga Jueteng, Jueteng diyan sa kuwan, huwag ‘yung malaki o ‘yung mga hantak-hantak diyan, bahala na kayo. I’m not trying to encourage you, but I cannot stop it anyway at alam ko kulang talaga,” he added. Duterte’s decision to allow Jueteng was a far cry from his June 2018 public statement in that he will not allow its proliferation. “Now if I don’t have a replacement for Jueteng, what can I do? It is easy, if there is another form of gambling that takes over. I will say – you get out of there and arrest them all – then what is the activity? Economic activity none, now if there is Jueteng, at least money goes around. Some people will get hungry, others will be able to eat, but there is commercial activity,” he said during his visit in Maasin City in Leyte province. (Mindanao Examiner and Zamboanga Post)

Philippines is deadliest country for defenders of environment

From page 1 Nation replaces Brazil for first time in annual list of murders compiled by Global Witness The Philippines has replaced Brazil as the most murderous country in the world for people defending their land and environment, according to research that puts a spotlight on the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. More than three defenders were killed across the world every week in 2018, according to the annual toll by the independent watchdog Global Witness, highlighting the continued dangers facing those who stand up to miners, loggers, farmers, poachers and other extractive industries. The latest global total of 164 deaths was down from 2017’s peak of 201, a decrease that campaigners partly put down to growing focus on the subject by indigenous groups, NGOs, the United Nations and the media. But Global Witness said companies and governments were increasingly using non-lethal tactics to quash dissent, including criminalisation and threats, while killings remain at an alarmingly high level. For the first time since the annual toll began in 2012, Brazil did not top the list. The number of defenders murdered in South America’s biggest nation fell in 2018 by almost two-thirds, from 57 to 20. This was partly due to an overall decline in homicide rates across the country, but also came ahead of a transition of power and rising international attention. Last year the UN environment programme put more pressure on governments to protect defenders and organised a conference in Rio de Ja-

neiro to push for international recognition of the human right to a healthy environment. There was also more media attention on the problem, including from the Guardian, which ran a series about land and environment defenders in conjunction with Global Witness. Indigenous groups said they had contributed to the decline thanks to a better reporting mechanism for alerting the outside world to murders that might otherwise have gone unreported. “We should be the ones recognised for this change because we are the ones who are drawing attention to what is happening,” said Sônia Guajajara, an indigenous activist. It is also possible that land-grabbers now have more power to get what they want without resorting to violence, because the agricultural lobby has an increasingly dominant position in politics. Campaigners fear last year’s decline in Brazil could be short-lived if a new phase of conflict erupts as a result of President Jair Bolsonaro’s efforts to weaken indigenous territorial rights and protections for nature reserves. Underlining these concerns last week, Emyra Waiãpi, an indigenous leader, was murdered in the Waiãpi indigenous reserve in the state of Amapá ahead of an invasion by dozens of illegal miners. In the Philippines, 30 defenders were killed last year, following 48 in 2017, which was the highest ever recorded in an Asian country. A third of the deaths were on the island of Mindanao, which is at the centre of the Duterte administration’s plans to allocate 1.6m hectares of land to industrial plantations. Half of the deaths in the Philippines were related

to agribusiness. Globally, mining was the sector responsible for the most killings – 43. But the sharpest rise was in murders of people trying to protect water sources, which increased from four to 17. This included conflicts over hydropower in Guatemala, the country that witnessed the sharpest spike in killings, from three to 16, making it the deadliest country per capita, according to Global Witness. The London-based group cautioned that its tally of confirmed killings was likely to be an underestimate of the global total because killings still go unreported in many parts of the world. This year it also focused on the increasing use of courts to quash opposition to lucrative projects. “Overall, there is no sign that the underlying causes of violence are improving. In fact, they look to be worsening. Governments in some of the worst-affected countries, from Brazil to Mexico to India, are prioritising business opportunities for extractives and agricultural companies over the protection of the environment and human rights, setting the stage for more conflict over land. “This is being matched with a global crackdown on protest and freedom of expression, from recognised authoritarian regimes like China and Russia to longstanding democracies like the US,” said Alice Harrison, a senior campaigner at Global Witness. “Likewise, the use of courts to criminalise defenders is another weapon of oppression that’s being used in both the global south and north against people who threaten the power and profits of government and big business.”(Jonathan Watts - The Guardian)


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Timbog si Teacher! NORTH COTABATO – Isang 38-anyos na guro na nahaharap sa kasong pananakit sa isang Grade 1 pupil ang dinakip ng pulisya sa bayan ng M’lang sa lalawigan ng North Cotabato matapos na maglabas ng arrest warrant ang korte. Kinilala ang naaresto na si Gerlie Lumbay Villagonzalo at guro sa New Consolacion Elementary School sa naturang bayan. Nahaharap ito sa kasong slight physical injury at pagla-

bag sa Republic Act 7610 o ang “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act”matapos nitong pagbuhatan ng kamay ang bata. Mismong si Judge Jose Tabaosares ng RTC 12, Branch 16, sa Kabacan, North Cotabato ang naglabas ng arrest warrant matapos na magsampa ng kaso ang pamilya ng bata laban sa guro. Hindi naman naglabas

ng pahayag ang New Consolacion Elementary School at ang Department of Education, ngunit kung mapapatunayang nagkasala ito ay maari itong matanggal sa kanyang trabaho. Walang pahayag ang pamilya ni Villagonzalo sa kasong kinakaharap nito. Mahigpit na ipinagbabawal sa batas ang pananakit ng mga estudyante, gayun rin ang pagmamalabis at pagmamalupit sa kanila. (Rhoderick Beñez)

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Sulu governor has hands full SULU – Governor Sakur Tan has his hands full following week-long meetings and inspection of various infrastructure projects and new government programs for the benefit of the people and progress of Sulu province. The past week, Tan met with many people and held meetings with representatives of various government agencies at the Provincial Capitol in Patikul town. He also talked with the Regional Ports Management Authority – Jolo

Port Manager Jude Jaafar and his staff and discussed many concerns relayed to him by the business community and travellers regarding the handling of cargo and the inconveniences of passengers. Traders and boat passengers have complained to Tan regarding many issues, including fixers at the Port of Jolo who buy tickets and sell them to travellers at a much higher prices, and the operation of receiving, conveying, and loading or unloading merchandise on the pier.

Tan, a known “workaholic,” also had a meeting with the representatives of the Local Water Utilities Administration and Jolo Mainland Water District headed by Joselito Jilhano and discussed the state of water supply. Residents have complained about the lack of potable water supply in their barangays in Jolo town. Also in the meeting were Provincial Engineer Abdurasad Baih and Sulu Provincial Planning and Development Officer, Engineer Bertrand Chiu.

Gov. Sakur Tan with the Local Health Board. Engineer Ajan Ajijul, of the Department of Public Works and Highways of the 1st District of Sulu, also met with Tan and briefed him on the on-going infrastructure projects in the province. The Local Health Board and the staff of the Hadji Butu School of Arts and Trades led by Super-

intendent Shvetlana Kiram also had a separate meeting with Tan. Kiram relayed some of their school needs and concerns and sought Tan’s assistance. Members of the Balay Mindanaw Foundation headed by Halima Sali also met with the Governor and briefed him of

the group’s project proposal and other plans of activities. Tan assured all those who met with him and their concerns shall be acted upon immediately and told officials to work hard and help the government in its peace and development efforts. (Zamboanga Post)

Gov. Sakur Tan with representatives of the the Local Water Utilities Administration and Jolo Mainland Water District headed by Joselito Jilhano. Also in the meeting were Provincial Engineer Abdurasad Baih and Sulu Provincial Planning and Development Officer, Engineer Bertrand Chiu, among others. Gov. Sakur Tan with the Regional Ports Management Authority – Jolo Port Manager Jude Jaafar and his staff. (All photos from the Office of the Provincial Governor)

Teachers from the Hadji Butu School of Arts and Trades in Jolo town led by Superintendent Shvetlana Kiram meet with Gov. Sakur Tan and relayed some of their school needs and concerns.

4 suspek sa pagpatay sa brodkaster, kinasuhan na! NORTH COTABATO – “Case cleared” na kung ituring ng Special Investigation Task Group ng PNP ang kaso ng pagpatay sa radio broadcaster na si Eduardo ‘Ed’ Dizon. “Case cleared na ang nasabing kaso dahil apat na mga suspek ang tukoy na nila sa ngayon kung saan tatlo dito ay nasampahan na ng kaso sa

piskalya habang patuloy namang iniimbestigahan ang isa pa,” ani PNP spokesperson Lt. Col Bernard Tayong. Ang mga suspek ay natukoy base na rin sa nakalap na ebidensya ng PNP mula sa mga kuha ng CCTV at mga witness sa naturang kaso. Ngunit at-large pa rin ang mga ito at kasalukuyang

pinaghahanap ng batas, ayon kay Tayong. May mga tinututukang anggulo pa rin ang PNP upang mabatid ang dahilan sa pagkakapaslang kay Dizon na tinambangan noong Hulyo 10 habang papauwi ito mula sa kanilang radio station na Brigada News FM. (Rhoderick Beñez)


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Across : 1. Get by 4. Petticoat 8. Mimicker 12. Dad’s partner 13. Singer ___ Turner 14. Citi Field predecessor 15. Globe 16. Opposing 18. Tantalize 20. A Great Lake 21. Sincere 23. Walk heavily 27. Appraises 28. Fight 29. Pass, as time 31. Dishonor 34. Had been 35. Peeler 36. Snaky shapes 39. Gathered 42. Wail 44. Transparent 45. Instantaneous 49. Memorable period 50. ___ -do-well 51. Mix 52. Border 53. Is unable 54. Roosters’ mates 55. Briny deep

Answer to last week’s crossword:

Down : 1. Ham it up 2. Seoul’s country 3. Humiliate 4. Roads 5. Stretch the truth 6. Map parts 7. Poker holding 8. Daisylike flower 9. ___ Beta Kappa 10. Poetic dusk 11. Cleaning cloth 17. Occupy a chair 19. Finger sound 22. Comprehend 24. Superintendents 25. Soccer’s ___ Hamm 26. Fountain ___

29. Lamb’s mom 30. “Leaving ___ Vegas” 31. Beaver’s creation 32. Blackboard wipers 33. Interlock 35. Roof of the mouth 37. ___ & Roeper 38. Downhearted 40. Mysterious 41. stage offering 43. Aspiration 45. Business abbr. 46. “Cry ___ River” (2 wds.) 47. Guys 48. Can metal

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‘Big challenges for a big (Davao) city’

Dear Mindanao Examiner Editor, I am writing to express my concern towards a very important health problem that maybe hasn’t been addressed yet with the necessary intensity. I am referring to the noise levels that we have to endure daily, especially those who live in certain areas of the city. The World Health Organization continually warn of the dangers created by this problem, which aggravates

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diseases and produces a high number of deaths, especially when noise exceeds 60 decibels. I am a neighbor of Palmetto Place who has the misfortune that his windows are oriented towards a hardware and a gas station recently opened and that generate excessive noise too often. On July 10, 2019 was the first anniversary of the opening of the

gas station. To celebrate, its owners had the idea of ”entertain” everyone all day (from eight in the morning) with a session of “music” or repetitive noise that undoubtedly exceeded 100 decibels if not more. I was trying to work at home, and after a couple of hours of the “free concert” my head was about to explode, so I went to ask the manager of the gas station if the activity was authorized. He answered that they had

a verbal authorization from the barangay and that the neighbors “only” have to endure this activity once a year (as if the anniversaries could not be celebrated in another way, without bothering anyone). I wondered as well if the Departments of Labor and Health have something to say about the damage to which the very young workers of the gas station were subjected for the whole day, working just a couple of meters from the loudspeakers. Davao is proud of having tackled with excellent results and very little or no disapproval at all other public health problems such as tobacco and alcohol. Davao has its own and clear anti nuisance ordinances. My proposal and my plea to the current municipal authorities is that Davao not only should implement these ordinances, but might champion the fight against excessive noise in the Philippines by initiating a campaign against excessive and unnecessary (often “ornamental” or “baroque”, I would say) use of horn on the part of drivers in general and those of motorcycles, taxis and jeepneys in particular. Undoubtedly, a reduction in noise pollution would not only make the city much healthier and livable for its residents, but also much more attractive to the tourists who visit it.

I’d like to use this message as well to mention another foreseeable public problem if construction works are not stopped on Ma-a road, just in front of our subdivision. A contractor has the delirious purpose of building two huge residential blocks on a slope of high ecological, functional and aesthetic value and that has presented problems of erosion during the last years. It seems that some people

have not learned from the lessons of the landslides of the hillsides of Shrine Hills, so I trust that our municipal authorities, DENR and other authorities make it clear that public interests will prevail over particular interests, and that the health of the citizens is infinitely more important than the economic benefit of a few. Thank you very much for your attention. Jose R. Macias


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Mactan airport’s Terminal 2 refreshment bar wins international award

C

EBU CITY - The Mactan Cebu International Airport continues to gain global fame after its “The Cabin Bar” has been recognized as “Asia Pacific Airport Bar of the Year”. Avigael Ratcliffe, head of Texas last month. President Rodrigo R. Duterthe Corporate Affairs and Ratcliffe said The Cab- te in June last year. Branding Department in Bar, operated by LonThe Cabin Bar is the of GMR Megawide Cebu don-based travel food and first full bar operating inAirport Corporation (GM- beverage operator SSP, has side a Philippine airport. CAC), said The Cabin Bar been serving refreshments “The Cabin Bar exudes won the award during the for international passen- a resort feel with its open, Airport Food and Bever- gers at the MCIA Terminal flowing concept and wide, age Awards held in Dallas, 2 which was inaugurated by spacious countertops. The open bar allows customers to see the creativity and technique of the staff while preparing the drinks,” Ratcliffe said, adding, the bar is situated in a central and visible location in the airport, and stands out with its bright, blue chairs and towering canopy. She said that the FAB Award recognizes the best in travel food and beverage The Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2. worldwide. Mactan airport was (Photo from the GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp.)

Foreigners flock to Philippines to study English CEBU CITY – The Department of Tourism said the Philippines is gaining ground in education tourism and becoming a “Study English” destination of foreign nationals being the third-largest English-speaking country in Asia. In opening up a new tourism brand anchored on education, Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. underscored the competitive edge of the country with about 93.5 percent of its population speak and understand English. “It was until 2010 when we actually formalize the inclusion of education tourism, and obviously included ESL (English as second language) as among the priority products of the Philippine tourism industry,” Bengzon said. He identified Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, Russia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Europe as emerging source markets of the country’s education tourism. He said that in the test of English for international communication, the Philippines placed 10th worldwide and the highest among Asian countries. “Being its official lan-

ARMM

The Cabin Bar at the Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport. This refreshment bar recently won the Asia Pacific Airport Bar of the Year Award during the Airport Food and Beverage Awards held in Dallas, Texas last month. (Photo courtesy of Avigael Ratcliffe) also named as “Asia Pacific Airport of the Year 2018” and won the International Architecture Awards for Airports and Transportation Centers category for 2019 because of the airport Terminal 2’s unique tropical

design. International designer and Cebuano Kenneth Cobonpue - the current chairman of the Regional Development Council in Central Visayas - was commended as the key to the design of

MCIA’s Terminal 2, along with other local designers Royal Pineda, Budji Layug, and the Hong Kongbased architectural firm, Integrated Design Associates. (John Rey Saavedra)

Cebuano Deputy Speaker vows to be 'Visayan voice' in Congress Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. (center) gestures as he answers questions during a press briefing on the sidelines of the 1st Philippine Education Tourism Conference at Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu recently. With Bengzon are DOT-7 Regional Director Shahlimar Hofer Tamano and Eurenia Geralla, president of English Philippines. (John Rey Saavedra) guage in school and for business, Filipinos have gained proficiency to understand, write, speak and teach the language. English spoken by Filipinos has a neutral accent and is easily understood,” he said. He said the Philippines is one of the few countries offering one-on-one English education which is being preferred by foreign students as teaching strategy employed by the “Filipino teachers who are naturally nurturing, patient and understanding.” Bengzon emphasized the multi-faceted destinations in the country and the abundance of natural and man-made resources as added value in projecting the country as top destination of foreigners who wish to study English here.

He recognized as a challenge the native English-speaking countries like United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia as rising competitor in teaching ESL. Since 2018, the Bureau of Immigration issued 59,428 special study permits (SSP) to foreigners who wished to engage in short term study in the country. The figure almost tripled over the last five years. Cebu alone has 882 registered foreign students who are taking up varied courses in different higher education institutions (HEI). There are 165 HEIs in Central Visayas, 15 of which are declared as having maintained “Center of Excellence and Center of Development.” (John Rey Saavedra)

Eastern Mindanao

CEBU CITY – Cebu 3rd District Congressman Pablo John Garcia has vowed to advance the interest of Cebu and the Visayas in the House of Representatives after he has been chosen as Deputy Speaker of the 18th Congress. Garcia is the lone Cebuano congressman from among the 18 Deputy Speakers. He thanked the “full support” of his fellow Visayans for choosing him to assist Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano in the Lower House It is because of Cebu and the Visayas. We will be the voice of the Visayans in the 18th Congress. I will use this platform to advance the interest not only of my own district but also for my Cebu and the Visayas,” he said, adding, he will push for more infrastructure projects for Cebu and other regions in the Visayas for the benefit of the people. Other Deputy Speakers are Pangasinan 3rd District Rep. Rosemarie Arenas, Sagip Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta, Misamis Oc-

Western Mindanao

Deputy Speaker Pablo John Garcia. (John Rey Saavedra) cidental 2nd District Rep. Henry Oaminal, Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte, South Cotabato 2nd District Rep. Dinand Ledesma Hernandez, Sorsogon 1st District Rep. Evelina Escudero, Antique Rep. Loren Legarda, Surigao del Sur 2njd District Rep. Johnny T. Pimentel, Abono Party-list Rep. Conrado Estrella III, and Surigao del Sur 1st District Prospero Arreza Pichay Jr.

Cebu

Also elected as Deputy Speakers were Antipolo City 1st District Roberto Puno, Cibac Party-list Rep. Brother Eddie Villanueva, Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr., Camarines Sur 2nd District Lray Villafuerte, Batangas 2nd District Rep. Raneo Abu, Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali Gonzales II, and Laguna 1st District Rep. Dan Fernandez. (John Rey Saavedra)

Manila

Profile for Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper

Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper (August 5-11, 2019)  

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Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper (August 5-11, 2019)  

Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper 344 Mindanao Examiner Productions (062) 992-5480, (0995) 5202358 Unit 15 Fairland Bldg., Nuñez Ext., Z...

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