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OPINION It’s no ‘apple-to-apple’ comparison BY VIC N. SUMALINOG

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PERSONNEL of Police Regional Office XI showcase their talent during the send-off ceremony of 720 troops who are assigned to the Revitalized Pulis sa Barangay in 215 geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas in the region. The Kadayawan-like atmosphere is held at Camp Quintin Merecido on Jan 28. BING GONZALES

Notable project

• P145-M set aside for the construction of bike lanes DAVAO CITY (MindaNews) – At least P145 million will be allocated for the construction of dedicated bicycle lanes in Davao City this year. Department of Pub- that the construction of the The bike lanes will lic Works and Highways bicycle lanes is a conver- have a total length of (DPWH)-Davao spokes- gence project of the DPWH 22.786 kilometers, coverperson Dean Ortiz told re- with the Department of ing the major thoroughporters in a teleconference Transportation (DOTr). fares of the city, he said.

w w w. m i n d a n a o t i m e s . c o m . p h

Ortiz said the government will construct separate infrastructure for the cyclists, unlike the existing bicycle lanes which are just painted demarcation lines along the roads.

Mindanao Times

But Ortiz added that the DPWH-Davao has yet to finalize the details of this project, including the design. He said the initial routes where the bicycle


lanes may be put up include Davao-Cotabato Road, Quimpo Boulevard, Sandawa Road, Daang Maharlika Highway, Roxas Avenue, and Quezon (

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MERLINDA Paragamac, assistant regional director of DSWD XI, says the agency has already disbursed P8.2 billion in cash assistance under the Social Amelioration Program. Paragamac is one of the guests of the AFP-PNP media forum on Wednesday. At left is Ltc. Nolan Raquid, chief of the Traffic Group. BING GONZALES

81-82% recovery rate for DC DOH XI assures storage facilities for incoming COVID-19 vaccines DAVAO CITY (PIA) – The Department of Health Davao Center for Health and Development (DOH DCHD) has announced in a recent virtual press conference that there are currently local government units and partners from the private sector who are offering cold storage facilities for storing COVID-19 vaccines. The Vaccination Team

Leader for the COVID-19 Vaccination Program for the Davao Region Dr. Janis Olavides guaranteed that local health authorities are preparing the necessary logistical preparations for the distribution of the said vaccines. “Our [Davao Region] capacity po sa most of our LGUs are the two to eight degrees centigrade [cold storage facilities]

Lanao Sur allocates P100-M for COVID vaccine purchase ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews) – The province of Lanao del Sur has allocated P100 million for the acquisition of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines. Jennie Alonto Tamano, provincial information officer, said the said amount was approved by the Sanggunian Panlalawigan in coordination with the Local Inter-Agency Task Force. Sheila Divnani-Ganda, local IATF focal person on Sub-Task Force on the

Management of Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) and Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs), said Gov. Mamintal Adiong already has a vaccine in mind that has a 95-percent efficacy to target 50 to 70 percent of the province’s population as announced during ceremonies as Lanao del Sur joined the second founding anniversary of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (

/ LANAO / 10)

… naa pud ta ubang na mga partners nga naa’y cold room storage nga -25 degree centigrade (Our capacity as of now is that most of our LGUs have cold storage facilities capable of temperatures of negative two to eight degrees centigrade … we also have other partners who have cold room storage capable of reaching (

/ DOH / 10)


DAVAO City recorded an 81-82 percent recovery rate as of 6 p.m. of Jan. 19 amid the second week of the post-holiday surge of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. Dr. Ashley Lopez, City COVID-19 focal person, bared this durig the COVID-19 Alert program aired on the Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) on Wednesday. "It's good news that we currently have 8,568 recoveries with new 105 recoveries on Jan. 19,” he said. “We reduced the active cases due to the 105 new recoveries in one day." Davao City, according to the city epidemiologic surveillance, also posted a

total of 10,521 confirmed COVID-19 positive cases with 1,465 current active cases and 488 deaths. Lopez said that based on the epidemic curve, the first week covering Jan. 3 to 10 was the first morbidity week. "Nakit-an nato ang pag-peak o pagsaka sa mga kaso atong January 4. Sa January 7 almost dunay 150 cases. Nagsugod jud ang post-holiday surge sa January 4 to present. Hangtod karon ga-suffer

gihapon ta tungod sa surge (We saw the spike of cases since Jan. 4. We had almost 150 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The post-holiday surge began on Jan. 7 to the present. We are still suffering from the post-holiday surge)." In the first week of January alone, there were 55 deaths, which according to him, was the most unfortunate news in relation to the city's COVID-19 situation. The majority of (

/ RECOVERY / 10)

Culling continues in ASF areas DAVAO CITY – Depopulation of pigs infected by the African swine fever (ASF) has continued in the neighboring provinces of Davao Oriental and Davao de Oro, the Department of Agriculture in Region 11 (DA-11) said in a statement Wednesday. DA-11 said it will continue to monitor other ASF cases in the region after the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Region 12

(RADDL-12) confirmed last week that the submitted samples from Mati City in Davao Oriental were ASF-positive. The Mati City government said it immediately implemented preventive measures such as the establishment of quarantine checkpoints in three affected villages. It has also allotted PHP2,000 for each culled animal to compensate the affected hog raisers.

DA-11 said local authorities have so far culled 126 pigs in three affected barangays. In Banay-Banay town, also in Davao Oriental, the agency said 68 pigs were depopulated after RADDL-12 confirmed that a hog raiser had ASF-positive pigs. In Tarragona town, 52 pigs were also depopulated based on the RADDL-12’s confirmatory results. DA-11 said depopula-

tion was also launched in Boston town after disease and sample collection conducted by the Provincial Veterinary Office discovered several ASF cases. Meanwhile, in neighboring Davao de Oro, authorities also conducted depopulation in Barangay Kingking, Pantukan town, involving 31 pigs from hog raisers. In Montevista town, DA-11 said disease in(

/ CULLING / 10)





PH economy to recover to 6.5% this year: HSBC

MANILA – Philippine economy is expected to recover to around 6.5 percent this year which largely depends on the re-opening of the domestic economy and containment of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections, an official of HSBC said on Wednesday. This growth forecast is pine economy to be in tune the lower end of the govern- with the expected cyclical rement’s 6.5-7.5 percent target covery in the region, although for this year. lagging compared to other In a virtual briefing, Asian countries because of the HSBC managing director pandemic’s impact. and chief market strategist “Recovery of the Philipfor Asia Cheuk Wan Fan said pine economy will largely the recovery is expected after hinge on the containment a projected 9.7 percent con- strategy in the fight against the traction, as measured by gross COVID pandemic,” she said. domestic product (GDP), for With the expected eco2020. nomic recovery, Fan discounts She forecasts the Philip- any cut in the Bangko Sentral

ng Pilipinas’ key policy rates this year after the 200 basis points reduction last year. She, however, forecasts as much as 200 basis points slash in banks’ reserve requirement ratio, similar to what monetary authorities implemented last year, in the second half of this year. Business sentiments last year, she said, were dampened by the pandemic but this is expected to improve this year, along with consumer confidence, on continued reopening of the economy, the Brexit, and the improvement of the employment situation.

“This being said the focus will be more on fiscal stimulus,” she said, citing the importance of government spending to lift domestic output. She also predicts the peso to continue to strengthen against the US dollar and close this year at 46-level from the current 48-level. She attributed this forecast to the continued improvement of the country’s current account surplus, the depreciation of the US dollar, and the continued inflows of overseas Filipino workers’ remittances. (PNA)

Agency gears for ‘One-DA’ approach CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA) -- The Regional Management Committee (RMC) of the Department of Agriculture (DA)-10 works in carrying out its efforts in pursuing ‘One-DA’– a holistic approach to agriculture and fisheries transformation. During its first RMC meeting, Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado of DA-Regional Field Office and RMC chair, laid out the

key strategies of DA Secretary William D. Dar in pursuing major programs and activities for year 2021. Dar issued a memorandum, January 4, to all DA executives, attached agencies and corporations, programs and regional offices to pursue an inclusive approach on the key strategies to accelerate the transformation towards a modern and industrialized Philippine agriculture.

Collado said DA-RMC in Region 10 will adopt a community in Barangay Minalwang, Claveria, Misamis Oriental in coordination with the 58th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army through its Commanding Officer LtCol. Ricky L. Canatoy. Canatoy said Sitio Kalahaan possesses a great potential in the farming industry with its rich agricultural land. DA-RMC’s agri-fishery

interventions are part of EO 70 or institutionalizing the whole-of-nation approach. Dar emphasized that DA supports President Duterte’s priority programs and firm up the ‘One DA’ approach. The 12 key strategies to ‘Grow’ Agriculture in 2021 and beyond include: farm clustering/Bayanihan Agri Clusters (BACs); provinceled agriculture and fisheries


/ AGENCY / 11)

Filinvest Land votes to establish REIT company MANILA – Filinvest Land, Inc.’s (FLI) board of directors has approved the transition of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Cyberzone Properties, Inc. (CPI), into a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) company. “We are looking forward to listing CPI as a REIT company because we believe that this will unlock the value of our office leasing business. Filinvest has a growing portfolio of recurring income projects and significant prime office properties in Alabang, Cebu, and Clark to continue to grow this business. A REIT listing will enable acceleration of the growth of this business line,” FLI president and chief executive officer Josephine Gotianun-Yap said in a statement Thursday. The CPI is intended to be listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange in compliance with the minimum public ownership requirements under Philippine securities

THE REGIONAL Management Committee of the Department of Agriculture XI holds the first meeting to lay down the strategies for the year 2021. PR

regulations and the Real Estate Investment Trust Act of 2009 and its implementing rules and regulations, and under the terms and conditions as FLI’s board of directors may approve. A certain number of operating office buildings, including buildings leased out to traditional and multinational business process outsourcing (BPO) companies, will comprise the property portfolio of the REIT company. These office buildings are located in Northgate Cyberzone in Filinvest City, Alabang and Filinvest Cyberzone Cebu in Cebu City. The Northgate Cyberzone in Filinvest City is an 18.7-hectare business park that is registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and was designed to cater to BPO companies. It is home to the Philippines’ largest district cooling system that helps




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PH gets vaccines from COVAX in Q1; rollout preps underway

MANILA – The Philippines on Wednesday received confirmation of participation in the Covid-19 vaccine financing instrument, COVAX Facility - Advance Market Commitment (AMC). The COVAX Facility is Facility, the country is set to a global procurement mecha- receive vaccines in the first nism which invests in a broad quarter of this year,” a joint portfolio of promising vaccine statement said. candidates to support their As part of the prepararesearch, development, and tions for the Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing. deployment, Health Secretary “With the country’s par- Francisco Duque III and Vacticipation in the COVAX cine Czar Secretary Carlito

Galvez Jr. visited three cold storage facilities that can potentially be used in the first wave of Covid-19 vaccine roll-out. The inspection was carried out to ensure that the cold chain facilities will meet the storage requirement of vaccines prior to its distribution to identified vaccination sites. The cold chain facilities visited were the First Pioneer

Distribution Center of UNILAB located in Biñan City, Laguna, the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City, and the Zuellig Pharma Corporation in Parañaque City. According to UNILAB, their cold storage facility has a temperature range of +2 to +8 °C and can store a maximum of 5 million doses of vaccines.


/ PH / 11)


DND-UP accord violates Constitution MANILA – The Department of National Defense-University of the Philippines (DNDUP) accord was a violation of the equal protection clause under the 1987 Constitution, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief-of-staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay said Wednesday. In a statement, Gapay said it was only UP that enjoyed privileges under the recently terminated agreement. "There is no substantial distinction between UP and other schools, state colleges, and universities. To give to

UP such entitlement places it an unfairly advantaged status over the academic institutions and defies that Constitutional guarantee of equality of rights and protection under our laws," Gapay said. Gapay expressed support to DND's move to terminate the 1989 accord, saying it was "unfair to the Filipino people and runs contrary to the public interest". "Thus, the termination of the said accord does not violate the Constitution or any substantive laws of the land.

On the contrary, the termination rectifies what we believe was in fact infringement of our Constitution," he said. "It’s high time that we put an end to a deal which has been taken advantage of by the CPP- NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) in perpetuating their deceptive recruitment," he added, saying that the school is one of the rich sources of NPA recruits. Several critics of the accord's termination said the move was an infringement

of academic freedom, but Gapay clarified that the military would not interfere in the state university's "liberty to choose who may teach, what can be taught, the manner with which it will be taught or who may study in UP". "That academic freedom is guaranteed by the Constitution, it does not require enabling laws or any other agreements — certainly not from the voided agreement," Gapay said. The AFP records show


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Sinas OKs relief of 4 cops in Dacera case

MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Debold Sinas on Wednesday approved the recommendation of the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) for the relief of four Makati City policemen, including the chief of police, due to the possible liability on the investigation of the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera. The DIDM has recommended for relief Makati police chief Col. Harold Depositar, two investigators of the case, and a medico-legal officer and SOCO personnel from the Southern Police District, pending the investigation on their possible lapses and negligence. Sinas earlier directed the DIDM to conduct a separate inquiry and recommend their findings on any liabilities of Makati police officers involved in the ongoing investigation of the Dacera case.

He, however, said National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. will decide if the recommendation will be implemented immediately. “All of them will be momentarily relieved from their posts due to ongoing internal investigation ongoing,” Sinas told reporters at the sidelines of opening of Civil Security Group (CSG) Satellite Office (SATO) at 2nd Floor, North Park Bldg., SM MOA Complex, Pasay City. Meanwhile, Danao said he will implement the relief depending on the result of the preliminary investigation of the Dacera case. “Titignan ko muna pero be as it may kung ano man nakikita natin lapses (I will see it first but be as it may whatever lapses we may find) after the result of the preliminary investigation then we


/ SINAS / 11)





Side A reunites for benefit concert

MANILA, PHILIPPINES -- Side A, one of the country’s premier pop bands, is reuniting for a special online benefit show titled “Calesa Side A Redux” on January 30, 2021. The show will feature the and have remained loyal to line-up of Side A that recorded us,” observed Rodel Gonzatheir self-titled debut album lez who now lives in Florida, in 1989 under Ivory Records. USA. “For example Ateneo That line-up features broth- Batch ‘88. These were college ers Rodel (lead vocals and students back in the day when saxophone) and Naldy Gon- they were watching us. Now zalez (keyboards), Mar Dizon they paved the way for us, and (drums), Joey Benin (bass), sponsored us for our first-ever Pido Lalimarmo (guitar), and virtual concert coming JanuKelly Badon (guitar). ary 30, 2021.” “It’s amazing how there’s “We want to bring back a lot of people that used to the old songs that we used watch us at the Hyatt Calesa to play at Calesa plus more. Bar that are now professionals We’re excited for this virtual

concert since it’s also a reunion for us. And for a good cause as well.” The proceeds of Calesa Side A Redux will go to several charitable institutions that are sponsored by Ateneo de Manila University college Batch ’88. Side A was formed in 1985 when various members of Filipino bands performing in Singapore returned to Manila found themselves jamming together. By 1987, they were mainstays in the old Hyatt Manila’s popular Calesa Bar and

Lounge where they performed seven days a week. It was during one packed show at the Hyatt where the band was spotted by Bert de Leon, the director of Eat Bulaga, Sharon Cuneta Show, and Bubble Gang to name a few, and became a big fan. He offered to help the band secure a recording contract and that turned out to be Ivory Records. Included in that first album were songs like “Di Pa Huli,” “Windows of our Souls,” and “Eva Marie.”


/ SIDE-A / 11)


Organizing to create workers organizations MALITA, Davao Occidental – The Department of Labor and Employment Davao Region conducted a workshop on Managing People’s Organization for police officers in Barangay Kidapalong yesterday.

In coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP) Regional Office XI – Davao Occidental Provincial Office, personnel from DOLE Davao Occidental discussed community organizing and

Registration of Workers Association (RWA) requirements to 45 police officers who will be assigned in different barangays within Davao Occidental. The said activity forms part of PNP’s Pulis sa Barangay mission and intervention to ensure that government services will reach geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas. DOLE XI regional director Ofelia B. Domingo said, “This is one good strategy for us to reach our geographically disadvantaged workers in the region. We are grateful for our partner agencies like the PNP

for including RWA in their community intervention.” DOLE Davao Occidental Provincial Head Arce D. Sinajon also expressed his appreciation for the PNP’s efforts to assist the far flung areas in organizing or reactivating existing associations. In his message, Davao Occidental Police Lt. Col. Resty O. Valmores emphasized the importance of community organizing as part of their intervention. He also extended his gratitude to DOLE for responding to their request and looks forward to more future collaborations with DOLE.

Proper ventilation in workplaces key to arresting COVID infections DAVAO CITY (PIA) -- The city focal person on COVID-19 warned employers to be wary of proper ventilation in workplaces as a COVIDpositive person needs only fifteen minutes to infect other individuals especially in air-

conditioned rooms and secluded areas. Dr. Ashley Lopez, COVID-19 focal person in Davao City announced that 50 percent of the COVID-19 cases in the city are due to community


/ PROPER / 11)





Welcome to the farm INDEED, the feeling of flying up like a bird or a rocket, to eventually move out from where one is rooted to or presently stuck in (as in mud), is freedom lived. In the same way, any similar movement, skyward or not, from a stagnant location, to feel the rush of air in one’s face like a fresh expectation of things to come, be it hard concrete or a view of the clouds and the heavens, is like the perfect combination of a hammock, your favorite song and a lazy afternoon. Whatever rocks your boat. While there may be others who regard feelings such as these as merely transitory and fleetingly-normal with living, the appreciation of sensations such as these with one’s almost-total concentration, is always a special moment; with that sleeping artist living inside all of us awakened and wide-eyed like a babe. In common terms, this might as well be what the saying, “stop and smell the flowers” could be all about. I have always held my utmost admiration for those people who have a positive disposition despite what life throws at them. I have known only quite a few


P ublished by M indanao T imes Corporation, with Editorial and B usiness O ffices at P onciano R e y e s c o r . P a l m a G i l S t ., Davao City. Telephone numbers (082)227-3252 or 227-9535 local 24 and 300-0854, Fax - (082)2250309. Publisher:

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in this lifetime, those animated but game individuals who, despite their struggles at times, always appeared as though they were just playing. Now, there is a purpose in calling them “individuals.” It is to honor and highlight their singularity and uniqueness, their own person, amid the drab uniformity frolicking around us disguising as butterflies. In a

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way, this had been what I have always envied in these beautiful people, their child-like qualities which often shown through, even through tearful eyes. In a relative sense, I once read that in old Japan, monks at wintertime would take a heated stone (or was it a piece of ember?), covering it carefully in layers of sash then wrapping it around their waist as a way to keep warm. Up till now, I have always wondered, if the burning ember did not burn through the fabric at all. Is a childlike disposition comparable therefore to a burning ember as a weapon against life’s hard winters? In a way that is difficult for me to explain, I believe so. Alas, these flower-smelling people and these faceless monks, my special heroes, my kind of people. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my grandchild by my brother’s only son got married yesterday. Totally in a quarantine bubble that was meant to strictly impose this new normal’s protocol. While everyone may have adhered to all the rules of the time, the question remains: had the COVID atmosphere spoil the happy occasion at all? No way. Love is a virus. It can beat anything. So, as everyone in the family group chat virtually moved in, with our social-distanced embraces and “besos” to the new couple and our addition to the clan, I likewise say, welcome to the farm. For all of us inside our own individual bubbles, looking out and wishing to be flying off somewhere, I say welcome to the farm. Despite Covid, let us keep things funny.

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It’s no ‘apple-to-apple’ comparison DAVAO City was at it again last Monday. That is, it topped once more among the five leading producers of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID 19) infections in the country. What is happening to the city? Why are some other cities and provinces less developed and wanting in medical facilities and professionals gaining against the dreaded virus and Davao City is stocked up there at the top? The various health protocols are well-laid and the leaders of our city, the mayor specifically, are not wanting in memorandum orders and enabling ordinances to strengthen the restrictions provided in the protocols. Yet, we are still suffering from what could be a stigmacreating “unlofty” position that the city has maintained for quite a long period now. Are we Davaoenos instead are the rightful people worthy of the unpleasant description President Rodrigo R. Duterte once heaped on the Cebuanos as “suberbiyos” when the COVID cases spiked in that city once? In fact, the other day when television reports had it that there was a new upward trend in new cases in Cebu City, we were anticipating the Central Visayas metropolis will land among the top five list. But it did not. Instead, our Davao City retained the unpleasant distinction. Now, we are starting to believe that there is something wrong in the implementation aspect of the restrictions provided in the protocols, or that the people in the city are just simply wanting in discipline and respect to authorities. The only time that many of us realize our indiscretions is when we or someone in the family gets infected by the virus and suffer the fangs of isolation and uncertainty if we or our family member will survive the illness. Should we be surprised that of the total 42,443 COVID cases in Mindanao as of last Monday, the 10,228 are in Davao City? It is also morbid-generating thought that amidst the growing sophistication of the city’s health facilities and services Davao has the most number of deaths at 876 as of the same day. That is one thing that we should not get amazed at. Rather, it is worth serious soul-searching to find what is wrong and how this could be righted.

***************************** The President in his speech during the formal opening of the elevated highway connecting the South and North Luzon expressways said “the Presidency is not a woman’s job. It was his way of dousing cold water to the glowing fire in the call of many for his daughter Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio to run for President in 2022. His statement has generated a firestorm of negative comments insinuating that the President has very low regard for the capacity of women. In fact, some have called him “misogynist” and wanting in respect to the opposite sex. There were even television commentators who compared the President’s performance in dealing with the on-going pandemic with the achievement of women leaders of such countries as Germany, Sweden, Holland, and New Zealand who these broadcast personalities claimed to have a more impressive record in having the protocols followed. We believe that these supposed all-knowing broadcast personalities are missing the President’s point. That is, that he was merely implying that governance in the Philippines is not just dealing in one particular issue such as responding to a pandemic; that it has to deal with corruption in government which since time immemorial has become some kind of a norm in the country; that fighting against

the status quo is the most difficult fight in the country’s governance; that the Presidency in the Philippines is one not only most physically-devastating but also emotionally draining responsibility. And if the comparison of the President’s performance is only to be centered on how the women leaders are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, these television personalities appear to have forgotten many aspects of the equation. Why should they not look at the present COVID situation in Germany now? How could they have missed knowing that the cases have more than doubled in the new spike? The woman chancellor Angela Merkel, has even put her country under another general lockdown. And what about Sweden, Holland and New Zealand? Why do these personalities not look into the said countries’ population size and areas? Why do they not look into the history and norms of its people; their being born to pay homage to their kings and royalties? For certain, they will know that their people are raised to be obedient to the authority since a long time ago and that their obeisance is part of their tradition. That very much unlike the countries mentioned, in the Philippines people are raised conscious of their rights to express their opinion and belief; of their freedom from interventions, whether these are coming from the outside world or from among their fellow Filipinos. That all these freedoms are guaranteed by the Constitution and all its enabling laws. And these are the same freedoms that the Presidency has to contend with all the way up to the realization of any goal it intends to achieve for the Filipinos. In all its roads towards what it sees as good for the people, every Filipino can invoke his right to put thorns on the way oftentimes converting them into roads to perdition. The President, in saying that the presidency is “not a woman’s job,” might have thought based on his personal experience, surviving the journey on such thorny roads could be extremely difficult for a woman. Again, this is our personal take on the President’s statement. All our readers have the freedom to disagree with us. After all, this is our personal opinion to another personal view on the issue.

Opening Statement of SSS PCEO Aurora C. Ignacio Hearing of the Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization HONORABLE members of the House of Representatives: fellow workers in government; and distinguished guests:


Mabuting araw po sa ating lahat! We thank Chairperson Eric Olivarez for giving us this opportunity to share our thoughts and position on several HOR Bills proposing to defer and/or altogether stop the implementation of the increase in member-contribution to the Social Security System authorized under Republic Act No. 11199 otherwise known as the Social Security Act of 2018. We are respectfully submitting to the Committee our institutional comments to these bills, in writing, together with the most relevant data and information that support them. At the outset, however, we would like to state that the provisions of the bills tend to weaken, rather than strengthen the SSS, especially in these difficult times. The SSS, therefore, respectfully expresses its opposition to the proposals because of their expected adverse financial impact to the financial health of the SSS, and eventually, on the benefits of pensioners, members and their beneficiaries. As the Honorable Committee may know, the SSS has implemented various Bayanihan measures as its institutional response to the Covid-19 emergency. These included the extension on contribution payment deadline, advance pension, Covid-19 calamity loan, unemployment insurance benefit and moratorium on loan payments. These have posed considerable strain on our liquidity, with the financial outflows outpacing the inflows. Postponing or stopping the implementation of the increase in member contribution will further exacerbate our already dire financial position. Our studies show these actions will lead to the following:

A projected loss of P41.37-B in Y2021 contributions, increasing annually, in the event of suspension of implementation of contribution increase; a projected deficit of P14.90-B in Y2021 (inflow vs. outflow); and increasing unfunded liability that is already running in trillions of pesos. We submit that the additional peso contributions are relatively small, ranging from P15 to P100 for employed members, from P30 to P200 for self-employed and voluntary members and from P80 to P200 for OFW members. Predetermined contribution schedule is a longoverdue reform, which will serve to offset the financial impact of improved and expanded benefits that the SSS has provided since 2017. Apart from the emergency Covid pandemic responses, these are the additionalP1,000 monthly benefit allowance, expanded maternity benefit, and unemployment insurance benefit, with no corresponding additional funding. We earnestly request Your Honors’ support for our continuing effort to vitalize and shore up the capacities of the SSS and set aside the proposals to defer or stop the increase in our members’ contribution. Conclusion When put together, the small scheduled increase in contributions would be equivalent to around 41 billion pesos of benefits and loans to 3.3 million beneficiaries. This amount should continue to enable the SSS to grant even more benefits and loans for the greater good of the SSS membership, both present and future.

At this time of the CoViD-19 pandemic, when members and pensioners have clamored for heightened benefits, including allowable loans, we would expect that proposed measures should clearly strengthen the SSS, not weaken it financially. Stopping the collection of this considerable amount would clearly weaken our institution established to provide social protection. As administrators of the SSS Fund, we take very seriously the obligations reposed upon us by the SSS Charter. We, therefore, urge everyone to join us as we continue to take a long hard look at our fiduciary duty to shore up the capacities of the SSS and continue to effectively secure our members in times of unwanted shock situations and contingencies in their lives, through a responsive lifeline they themselves created and maintain through their hardearned contributions. Maraming Salamat at magandang umaga/hapon.


All pawned items items that expired during the month All pawned that expired during theof NOVEMBER 2020, if not renewed or redeemed on month of MAY, 2015 if not renewed or reor before JAN. 15, 2021 will be sold to the public on deemed on or before JULY 14, 2015 will be JAN. 16, 2021 at 9:00a.m. at our pawnshop premises.

sold to the public on JULY 16, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. at our pawnshop premises. Gipahibalo ang tanan na ang FIRST COLOR

PAWNSHOP magasubasta sa tanan nga nag-expired Gipahibalo ang tanan ang FIRST sa bulan sa NOBYEMBRE 2020.naAng tanan prenda COLOR PAWNSHOP magasubasta sa ibaligya sa publiko karong ENERO 16, 2021 tanan sa alas nga sanag-expired sa bulan sa MAYO 2015. 9:00 buntag.

Ang tanan prenda ibaligya sa publiko karong HULYO 16 sa alas 9:00 sa buntag.


#47 Lao St., Toril, Davao City Tel. No. 295-2460

9GEMS Pawnshop Inc. Egger Bldg., Matina Crossing Davao City Tel. No. (082) 285-7069


All pawned items that expired during the month of NOVEMBER 2020, must renewed or redeemed two (2) days prior the Auction Schedule stated below. If not renewed or redeemed it will sold to the public on its respective auction schedule and premises @ 9:00am. Gipahibalo ang tanan nga ang GOLDVALUE PAWNSHOP, INC., maga-subasta sa tanan nga nag-expired sa bulan sa NOBYEMBRE 2020. Ang tanang prenda ibaligya sa publiko sa mga petsa nga nakabutang sa ubos, sa oras nga 9:00 sa buntag.

BRANCHES AUCTION DATE TEL. NOS. BAJADA JANUARY 05, 2021 321-8705 (Beside NBI Office) BABAK SAMAL JANUARY 02, 2021 301-4019 SAN PEDRO JANUARY 12, 2021 227-6772 CABAGUIO JANUARY 27, 2021 321-6223 TIBUNGCO JANUARY 29, 2021 222-2494



All pawned items that expired during the month of NOVEMBER 2020, must renewed or redeemed two (2) days prior to the Auction Schedule stated below. If not renewed or redeemed, it will be sold to the public on its respective auction schedule and premises @ 9:00 a.m. Gipahibalo ang tanan nga ang NARDING PAWNSHOP, INC., maga-subasta sa tanan nga nag-expired sa bulan sa NOBYEMBRE 2020. Ang tanan prenda ibaligya sa publiko sa mga petsa nga nakabutang sa ubos, sa oras nga 9:00 sa buntag. BRANCHES Lapu-lapu, Agdao Matina Crossing Tibungco

AUCTION DATE JAN. 08, 2021 JAN. 20, 2021 JAN. 15, 2021

TEL. NOS. (082) 327-2104 (082) 297-5786 (082) 296-4130

PANABO’S PAWNSHOP, INC. Panabo (Main) JAN. 21, 2021 (084) 628-8418 Panabo (Branch) JAN. 21, 2021 (084) 628-842

ROSEGOLD PAWNSHOP & JEWELLER Main – San Pedro Cor. Anda Street Davao City Tel. Nos. (082) 221-1477; (082) 221-0355; (082)222-5039 Email us @ rosegoldpawnshop@gmail.com Accepts: Jewelry, Appliances, Watches, CellPhones and Any Valuable Items Highest Appraisal and Low Interest Rates at 3% Wholesaler and Retailers on all kinds of jewelry Rosegold Pawnshop Lapu-lapu Street, Agdao Davao City Tel. No. (082) 225-3637

Rosegold Pawnshop Ilustre St., Davao City (Fronting Limso Hospital) Tel. No. (082) 222-2104

Rosegold Pawnshop Ilustre Street, Davao City (Beside NCCC Hardwaremaxx) Tel. No. (082) 295-6199

Rosegold Pawnshop KM6 Crossing Buhangin, Div. Road, Davao City Tel. No. (082) 241-2355

NOTICE OF AUCTION SALE All Jewelry and other articles pawned at Rosegold Pawnshop San Pedro-Main, Rosegold Pawnshop Ilustre, Rosegold Pawnshop Bolton, Rosegold Pawnshop, Agdao and Rosegold Pawnshop Buhangin from JULY 16, 2020 to AUGUST 15, 2020. If not redeemed or renewed on or before JANUARY 15, 2021 will be sold to the Public Auction on JANUARY 18, 2021 at Rosegold Pawnshop San Pedro-Main from 9:00am to 6:00pm.

Toy Bldg., Lapu-lapu St., Agdao, Davao City

NOTICE OF AUCTION SALE All pawned items that expired during the month of JUNE and JULY 2020 must be renewed or redeemed two (2) days before the Auction Schedule stated below. If not renewed or redeemed, it will be sold to public on its respective auction schedule and premises @ 9:00 A.M.

All pawned items that expired during the month of SEPTEMBER 2020, if not renewed or redeemed on or before NOVEMBER 15, 2020 will be sold to the public on NOVEMBER 16, 2020 at 9:00a.m. at our pawnshop premises. Gipahibalo ang tanan na ang AL-JOS PAWNSHOP magasubasta sa tanan nga nag-expired sa bulan sa SETYEMBRE 2020. Ang tanan prenda ibaligya sa publiko karong NOBYEMBRE 16, 2020 sa alas 9:00 sa buntag.

Gipahibalo ang tanan na ang DIAGOLD PAWNSHOP INC., magasubasta sa tanan nga nag-expired sa bulan HUNYO ug HULYO 2020. Ang tanang prenda ibaligya sa publiko sa mga petsa na nakabutang sa ubos, sa oras nga 9:00 sa buntag. EXPIRY DATES


JUNE 2020

FEBRUARY 11, 2021

JULY 2020

FEBRUARY 11, 2021


San Pedro street, Davao City (Fronting Queen Bank) Tel. No. (082) 222-1561 ; (082) 321-0128 Email: goldstandardpawnshopofdavao@gmail.com

Accepts: Jewelry, Appliances, Watches, Cellphones and any valuable items Highest Appraisal and Low Interest Rates at 3% Wholesaler and Retailers on all Kinds of Jewelry


All jewelry and other articles pawned at Goldstandard Pawnshop San Pedro, Goldstandard Pawnshop Ilustre from JULY 16, 2020 TO AUGUST 15, 2020 if not redeemed or renewed on JANUARY 15, 2021 will be sold to the Public Auction on JANUARY 18, 2021 at our Pawnshop premises from 9:00am to 6:00pm.

NOTICE OF AUCTION SALE All pawned items that expired during the Months of November 2020 (Regular Items) and December 2020 (Gadgets) must be redeemed or renewed two (2) days prior to the Auction date schedule as stated below. If not redeemed or renewed will be sold to the public on its respectively auction date schedule at its premises at 9:00 AM. BRANCHES: San Pedro (Main) Agdao Toril Bolton Digos City

AUTION DATE JANUARY 15, 2021 JANUARY 15, 2021 JANUARY 15, 2021 JANUARY 15, 2021 JANUARY 15, 2021

Tel. No. 327-8832 327-6275 327-8503 392-3022 333-9945



All pawned items at METRO GOLDBRILL PAWNSHOP that expired during the months of NOVEMBER 2020, if not renewed or redeemed on or before the scheduled dates of auction below will be sold to the public on the following dates as stated below. Ginapahibalo ang tanan na ang METRO GOLDBRILL PAWNSHOP magasubasta sa tanan nga nag-expired sa bulan sa NOBYEMBRE 2020, kung dili malukat, ibaligya sa publiko niining mga musunod na mga adlaw. EXPIRY DATES NOVEMBER 2020






Roque Bldg., Matina Crossing, Davao City Tel. # 234-6367


All pawned items of GOLDVISION PAWNSHOP, INC. that expired during the month of NOVEMBER 2020, if not renewed or redeemed it will be sold to the public on its respective auction schedule and premises at 9:00 a.m. Gipahibalo ang tanan na ang GOLDVISION PAWNSHOP, INC. magasubasta sa tanan nga nag-expire sa bulan sa NOBYEMBRE 2020. Ang tanan prenda ibaligya sa publiko sa mga petsa nga nakabutang sa ubos, sa oras nga 9:00 sa buntag. BRANCHES


General Lao, Toril


Agton. Toril Buhangin Magallanes Tagum Saavedra, Toril Agdao

2nd Level, Gaisano Mall of Davao, J.P. Laurel Ave., Davao City Tel. No.: (082) 221-3355 • (082) 305-9496 2nd Level, SM Lanang Premier, J.P. Laurel Ave., Davao City Tel. No.: (082) 295-1505 • (082) 321-0525 email: jrosejewels@yahoo.com • www.jrosejewels.ph

15, 2021 15, 2021 13, 2021 05, 2021 28, 2021 15, 2021 19, 2021


291-2406 291-2952 241-0223 224-3138 216-3425 291-1349 327-2348

NOTICE OF AUCTION SALE All pawned items that expired during the Months of November 2020 (Regular Items) and December 2020 (Gadgets) must be redeemed or renewed two (2) days prior to the Auction date schedule as stated below. If not redeemed or renewed will be sold to the public on its respectively auction date schedule at its premises at 9:00 AM. BRANCHES:


Tel. No.

C.M. Recto (Main)

January 15, 2021



January 15, 2021



All pawned items that expire during the month of OCTOBER 2020 must be renewed or redeemed two (2) days prior the Auction Schedule stated below. If not renewed or redeemed it will be sold to public on its respective auction schedule and premises @9:00a.m. Gipahibalo ang tanan nga ang GABBY’S INFINITE PAWNSHOP INC. magasubasta sa tanan nga nag expire sa bulan sa OKTUBRE 2020. Ang tanang prenda ibaligya sa publiko sa mga petsa nga nakabutang sa ubos, sa oras nga 9:00 sa buntag. BRANCHES




JANUARY 16, 2021



JANUARY 04, 2021


FEBRUARY 19, 2021

All pawned items expired on DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021 Will be displayed in a public Auction On February 19, 2021 at 10:30 a.m.




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(from page 2)

confirmed COVID-19 positive patients, he said, were asymptomatic to mild cases and were contact-traced. Meanwhile, he said that 95 percent of the recorded COVID-19-related deaths were `hospital deaths'. "Walay nangamatay sa dalan o kay naduday og kuha. Majority naa ra sa ospital. Mostly mga tigulang (Nobody died while on the road or because of delay in pick up from their homes. the Majority died in the hospital. Most of them are elderly). The affected age group is 60


and above, especially with co-morbidities," he added. He noted that most of the deaths have complications such as heart and cardiovascular diseases, those with chronic kidney diseases and mostly undergoing dialysis treatments, seniors with diabetes, and cancer. Lopez also noted that these fatalities all had weak resistance and were immunocompromised. He also said that about 50 percent of the city's confirmed COVID-19 positive cases came from community transmission,

(from page 2)

-25 degrees centigrade),” Olavides said. The Vaccination Team Leader for the COVID-19 Vaccination Program for the Davao Region Dr. Janis Olavides remarked on this development and how local health authorities are sustaining efforts in the possible expansion of storage


facilities to accommodate a wider range of vaccines with specific storage requirements. “We are looking for ways also kung pwede pa ba ta nga naa’y capacity to accommodate low-freezing temperatures to accommodate other vaccines as well (We are looking for

(from page 2)

vestigation and sample collection in a commercial hog farm in Barangay New Visayas also turned out positive cases. “DA-11 personnel went to the area to monitor the de-

population of the 1,989 hogs, which were conducted by farm personnel. After depopulation in the affected areas, cleaning and disinfection activities were conducted, and quarantine checkpoint

particularly in households. Cases in workplaces, such as in BPOs and banks, are also rising. Lopez also said that proper ventilation is important, especially in workplaces that are usually enclosed. Air has no way of exiting enclosed offices or establishments, which are using airconditioning units. "If there is one confirmed case that is not known, in a matter of 15 minutes, others are exposed. That's the case in an enclosed place," he said.

Boulevard. The routes, however, are still subject to review, Ortiz noted. He said the agency will coordinate with city government to finalize these routes to see if some roads are fit for bicycle lanes, particularly the routes where the High Priority Bus System (HPBS) will be initially implemented. The City Transportation and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) demarcated 72 kilometers for bicycle lanes last year. Two-way bicycle lanes were marked along Ma-a Road, MacArthur Highway, Quimpo Boulevard, Quezon Boulevard, Quirino Avenue, F. Torres St.,


Cabaguio Avenue, Leon Garcia, JP Laurel Avenue, Quinones Road and R. Castillo St. One-way lanes were marked along San Pedro St., Pichon St. and Claro M. Recto Avenue. Ortiz said incorporating bicycle lanes is the new direction of DPWH for its future road projects for a “greener Davao” in hopes to reduce the number of vehicles on the road. “If people will opt to use bicycles, that’s more economical and environment-friendly,” he said. Lemuel Manalo, environmental research specialist at Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability, Inc. (IDIS), said the group would continue

to lobby for the improved safety and expansion of bicycle mobility in the city. Citing a study conducted by IDIS using travel movement analysis, Manalo said that there is a growing number of people riding bicycles going to the central business district for work and other errands via national highways. Manalo hopes for a bigger budget not just for the construction of bicycle routes but also for retrofitting of old roads to provide more protected bicycle lanes such as bicycle skyways or corridors, and improvement of sidewalks or pedestrian walkways. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

Guerra, the Public Works minister, led the turnover of the facility to Dr. Alinader Minalang, Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) chief, and Marantao Mayor Akira Alonto on Tuesday. “This is a 100-bed capacity. It’s now complete, ready for use, including the funding for operation and hiring of emergency personnel as well as its maintenance,” said Guerra. He underscored the uniqueness of BARMM’s isolation centers compared to other COVID-19 facilities. “We designed it in such a way that those who will be confined here are isolated but won’t get homesick because of the nice atmosphere,” Guerra said. He said the facility has a permanent structure so that it can be used for other medical purposes once the pandemic is over. Minalang expressed gratitude to the BARMM

government for supporting the COVID-19 response efforts of Lanao del Sur. He said the isolation facility will help them control the spread of COVID-19, noting that Lanao del Sur has a relatively high number of cases compared to other provinces in the BARMM. “We are more than grateful for getting an additional facility for our constituents in Lanao del Sur. This is very timely as we are still in the period of adjusting our interventions because as of today we have 1,200 confirmed cases and 32 active cases all over the province,” Minalang said. He added that the facility in Marantao will augment the existing 100-bed facility in Brgy. Sagonsongan in Marawi and the recently inaugurated 40-bed facility also in the same village. (Richel V. Umel / MindaNews)

(from page 2)

(BARMM)on Tuesday. “Aside from this allocation, we expect support from the national IATF and BARMM,” she said. Ganda said Adiong has tasked the local IATF to draft an official letter to Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chair of the National Inter Agency Task Force who was also appointed vaccine czar, on the official intent of the provincial government to acquire the COVID-19 vaccines. She said the local IATF has just temporarily suspended the “No movement ways to to increase our),” on Sunday” policy to improve economic activities Olavides said. As of writing, Dr. Ola- in the province and Marawi City. vides reported that there Meanwhile, the Philipare currently 800,000 inpine Information Agency dividuals who are listed reported that the BARMM under Priority Group A government inaugurated a who will be given top COVID-19 isolation center priority to undergo vac- in Lanao del Sur to encination. (PIA XI/Kevin hance the province’s capaPaolo Caro) bility to fight the virus and ease pressure on the Ligtas COVID-19 isolation facilities in Marawi. The new isolation centand disease monitoring acer, located in the municipaltivities in other barangays ity of Marantao, was comand key areas such as wet pleted through BARMM’s markets, slaughterhouse, and livestock markets were Ministry of Public Works also continued,” the agency (MPW). Architect Eduard Uy said. (PNA)



DAVAO 3 SURE PAWNSHOP, INC. NOTICE OF AUCTION SALE All pawned items that expire during the month of NOVEMBER -DECEMBER 2020 must be renewed or redeemed two (2) days prior the Auction Schedule stated below. If not renewed or redeemed it will be sold to public on its respective auction schedule and premises @ 9:00 a.m.


Davao Ros-Ver Pawnshop, Incorporated Ilustre St., Davao City Tel # 224-1204; 222-6086

AUCTION SALE! The DAVAO ROS-VER PAWNSHOP, INC. and NEW PAG-ASA PAWNSHOP will be having its JOINT AUCTION on all unredeemed pawned items left during the month of November 2020. The said items will be sold to the public at the following VENUE AND DATE. Gipahibalo ang publiko na ang DAVAO ROS-VER PAWNSHOP, INC. og ang NEW PAGASA PAWNSHOP; magsubasta sa tanang prenda nga naremata atong Nobyembre 2020. Ang tanang prenda dungan nga ibaligya sa publiko sa mga sumusunod nga dapit og petsa:

Gipahibalo ang tanan nga ang DAVAO 3 SURE PAWNSHOP, INC., maga-subasta sa tanan nga nag expire sa bulan sa NOBYEMBRE - DISYEMBRE 2020. Ang tanang prenda ibaligya sa publiko sa mga petsa nga nakabutang sa ubos, sa oras nga 9:00 sa buntag.





JAN. 19, 2021 JAN. 19, 2021

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(from page 4)

will implement pero (but) the meantime since then investigation is still ongoing and siyempre sila ang first responder doon sa areas they will remain as is pero kung ano man ang magiging outcome lalo na if is not in favor sa pag-file ng (of course they are the first responders in the areas, they will remain as is but whatever the outcome especially if it is not favor for those who filed the) case definitely heads will roll,” Danao said. Danao said it will be very unfair to immediately relieve the Makati policemen without waiting for the outcome of


the case. “So kung hindi magiging maganda ang outcome ng case, definitely may lapses na nangyare, (So if the outcome of the case is not favorable, definitely there are lapses) that cause the dismissal,” Danao said. The Makati City Prosecutor's Office set a second hearing on Jan. 27 as the PNP is still awaiting the results of forensics tests on Dacera's body such as DNA analysis, toxicology/chemical analysis, histopathology examination, and laboratory results from the Makati Medical Center. Seven of the 11 respond-

ents attended the initial preliminary investigation on Jan. 13 with five of them already having submitted counteraffidavits. Dacera was found dead in her hotel room in Makati City around noon on Jan. 1 after a private New Year’s Eve party with her friends. The initial autopsy conducted by the Southern Police District’s Crime Laboratory Office on Dacera showed that the cause of her death was “ruptured aortic aneurysm". Dacera was laid to rest in her hometown in General Santos City on Jan. 10. (PNA)

nie Severino (drums), Leevon Cailao (guitar), Ned Esguerra (bass), and Yubs Esperat (lead vocals and guitar).” “Why a Side A reunion online concert,” asked Ateneo Batch ’88 representative JP Cariño? “Because many of us frequented the Calesa Bar to listen to Side A that has since gone on to become one of the premier bands in the Philippines. We are sure that even younger audiences who watch

this online benefit will enjoy the show.” Since the pandemic hit in early 2020, Ateneo Batch ‘88 has raised over $60,000 (P3M) for Alpabasa, PJPS, Tanging Yaman Foundation, Inc., JesuitAid, and the Jesuit Volunteers Philippines. Tickets to the “Calesa Side A Redux” online concert may (slated for 9:30PM) cost P1,000.00 or US $20. Tickets may be purchased at carlopacific.com or ktx.ph.

airconditioning system. Lopez reiterated the implementation of the basic health protocols and other basic health standards in the workplaces to prevent the illness. “We organize a team headed by Lorna Mandin of the Integrated Gender Development Division and Councilor Danilo Dayang-

hirang who are responsible for creating guidelines and process flow in following the mitigating measures inside the workplaces,” he said. Lopez said that these teams monitor the compliance of health protocols inside the workplaces to ensure compliance and eventually rid the impact of the COVID-19 infection.

(from page 5)

When Rodel Gonzalez and Mar Dizon left in 1990, Joey Generoso and Benjie Mendez to joined the band and wrote hits like “Hold On” to “Forevermore” that brought the group to a higher level and became a household name in the country. “Side A is already an institution,” reflected Rodel. “It’s a family from the first to the second generation to its current line-up that is composed of Naldy Gonzalez, Er-


(from page 5)

transmission in the household with cases also rising particularly in the workplaces particularly in the call centers and banks. He also noted the spike in COVID-19 cases in big companies in agriculture and government offices, but more in banks and business process outsourcing among the workplaces because of the use of an


(from page 3)

reduce energy consumption, provides greater efficiency, lowers the initial capital investment, reduces carbon dioxide emissions, and enhances real estate value by freeing up building space for other uses.


Further, it will focus on digital agriculture; climate change adaptation and mitigation measures; mobilization and empowerment of partners to attain scale; strategic com-

munication support; ease of doing business and transparent procurement; global trade and export development and promotion; and food safety regulations. (DA10/PIA10)

the prior consent of the school administrators," Gapay said. The military, he said, cannot remain bound by an agreement that dictates they have to seek permission before they can enter UP campuses. "As a way forward, we will pursue a more collaborative relationship between UP —and other universities for that matter— to usher the

rebirth of schools and state universities that are bastions of genuine patriotism and not of misguided activism," Gapay said. The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)

rations to receive vaccines,” Galvez said. RITM Director, Dr. Celia Carlos, said RITM currently has four cold rooms with a +2 to +8 °C temperature range, one -20 °C walk-in freezer, and two borrowed ultra-low temperature freezers with a -70 to -80 °C temperature range. Presently, RITM commits its ultra-low temperature storage facility. Galvez recommended the constitution of another team at the RITM exclusively handling the Covid-19 vaccine deployment, and that a separate team for EPI (Expanded Program of Immunization) vaccines is ideal for an uninterrupted focus and roll-out of both immunization programs. Duque, on the other hand, said apart from cold chain facilities, the vaccine cluster

is also in talks with thirdparty logistics providers to ensure efficiency of the entire supply chain management of Covid-19 vaccines, from the receipt of vaccines from the COVAX Facility to its deployment. “All of these preparations that we are undertaking are aimed at ensuring that the country is ready to receive, store, and mobilize the Covid-19 vaccines that will come from the COVAX Facility. We extend our thanks to our partners for their continued support to improve our cold storage capacity. We cannot make this endeavor a success if the government and the private sector work in silos. Our response has always been a whole-ofgovernment, whole-of-society, whole-of-system approach,” Duque said. (PNA)

(from page 4)

that at least 18 UP students who were recruited by the NPA have perished in skirmishes with government security forces. "And this deadly recruitment has to stop. The CTGs (Communist Terrorist Groups) can no longer lurk in the university as they did before knowing that the AFP cannot enter the campuses without


One of the pioneer providers of office space to the BPO industry in the country, Filinvest has 43 operating and under construction office buildings covering more than 824,000 square meters of gross leasable area. (PR)

(from page 3)

extension system (PAFES); agri-industrial business corridors (ABCs); infrastructure investment; post-harvest, processing logistics, and marketing support.


Filinvest’s BPO buildings have continued to be fully operational during the pandemic and CPI’s office rental revenues increased by 16 percent year on year in the first nine months of 2020 to PHP2.46 billion.

(from page 4)

Meanwhile, Zuellig Pharma reported that its facilities can accommodate pharmaceutical products with temperature requirements ranging between -80°C to +25 °C. Zuellig added that its +2 to +8 °C cold rooms can store up to 629 million doses in various warehouses, its -15 to -25 °C walk-in freezers can hold up to 40 million doses, and its 14 ultra-cold freezers with -80 to -70 °C temperature range has the capacity to store up to 6.5 million doses. “The vaccine cluster, on behalf of the government, is grateful to UNILAB and Zuellig Pharma for partnering with the government in further strengthening the country’s capacity to curb the pandemic. We also express our commitment to ensure continued support for RITM in its prepa-

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Mindanao Times, January 22, 2021  

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