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PIA REGIONAL OFFICES IN MINDANAO

An Electronic News Magazine of the Phliippine Information Agency Mindanao Clusters

Western Mindanao (Zamboanga Peninsula)

EDITORIAL BOARD

P. Urro Street, San Francisco District Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur 7016 Telephone no. (062) 215-1480 / 925-0038 Cellphone no. 0908-8843404 E-mail: r9_pia@yahoo.com mimibern17@yahoo.com Skype: hnb_r9pia

Northern Mindanao Graces’ Building, Antonio Luna Street Cagayan de Oro City 9000 Telefax No. (08822) 72-66-83 Telephone no. (088) 856-8178 / 729-594 Cellphone no. 0928-5204305 0917-3084969 E-mail: pia10_pd@yahoo.com r10_pia@yahoo.com rutchiecabahug@yahoo.com

ABNER M. CAGA Cluster Head, Northern and Northeastern Mindanao Regional Director, PIA Caraga Region

Associate Editors …….......

OLIVIA T. SUDARIA Regional Director, PIA Region XII

RUTCHIE C. AGUHOB Officer-in-charge, PIA Region X

NOEMI A. EDAGA Regional Director, PIA Region IX

Jocelyn P. Alvarez, PIA Region IX Elaine O. Ratunil, PIA Region X Rudolph Ian G. Alama, PIA Region XI Danny E. Doguiles, PIA Region XII Robert E. Roperos, PIA Caraga Region Nora CL Molde, PIA Caraga Region

Layout Artists ……………... Gerie Mae G. Coco, PIA Caraga Region Richard D. Atillo, PIA Caraga Region Editorial Advisers ……….... ATTY. JOSE A. FABIA Director-General Philippine Information Agency

Central Mindanao (SOCSKARGEN)

Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines Bldg., J. Rosales Avenue, Butuan City Telephone no. (085) 341-5285 / 360-1239 Telefax no. (085) 341-2370 Cellphone no. 0917-7188834 Email: piacaraga@gmail.com pia_caraga@yahoo.com,ph

Managing Editor …….........

Copy Editor ……………….. Robert E. Roperos, PIA Caraga Region

2/F Kanto Motors Bldg., Quimpo Blvd., New Matina Davao City 8000 Telephone no. (082) 297-0991 / 301-8580 Telefax no. (082) 297-0992 / 304-2044 Cellphone no. 0917-7053606 / 0918-9202950 E-mail: efelbanbuena@yahoo.com

Northeastern Mindanao (Caraga)

EFREN F. ELBANBUENA Cluster Head, Southern, Western and Central Mindanao Regional Director, PIA Region XI

Regional Desk Editors …...

Southern Mindanao (Davao Region)

Provincial Capitol Compound Bautista Bldg., Zulueta St. Koronadal City, South Cotabato 9506 Telephone no. (083) 520-0249 Telefax no. (083) 228-9736 / 228-9739 / 520-0100 Cellphone no. 0921-6873373 / 0928-5204307 E-mail: r12_pia@yahoo.com pia_xii@yahoo.com

Executive Editor …….........

SEC. HERMINIO “Sonny” B. COLOMA Presidential Communications Operations Office

OUR COVER

“Sambuokan” Mati’s celebration of unity and victory


Cover Story :

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Vol. 1, No. 853

“Sambuokan”, Mati’s celebration of unity and victory by Mai Gevera-Macapagat

NATI O NAL

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DOH on the lookout for ‘dengue mosquito in septic tank’

So Cotabato gov’t focuses nutrition program on 1,416 poor households

Dagdag honorarium inilaan ng S Cotabato sa day care workers 23,000 MT ani inaasahan sa South Cotabato P24 M inilaan ng Japan sa peace projects sa Pikit, N. Cotabato

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Trafficked girl rescued in Panabo City

Aquino to keynote 8th National Organic Agriculture Conference

South Cotabato sustains nutrition award with multi-sectoral participation

CARAGA Region

2 DavNor towns receives school furnitures from Tagum City

Aquino congratulates Ruais for winning first runner up in 2011 Miss World beauty pageant

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Aquino government joins Muslim Filipinos in observance of Eidul Adha

CENTRAL Mindanao

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contents

SOUTHERN Mindanao

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NOVEMBER 7, 2011

WESTERN Mindanao

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CFO to conduct info drive on migration Surigao del Sur board member shot dead 2 trucks torched in Agusan del Sur

NORTHERN Mindanao

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Public officials, employees urged to uphold highest integrity in civil service Anti-Epal Bill ni Senador Santiago, gikalipay sa Malakanyang Tabang sa MILF paggukod sa KFR malipayong gidawat sa Palasyo

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4,000 Lanao Norte residents receive 2 kg. of beef during the Eid Al-Adha festival in Tubod

Mindanao ICT players firm-up moves to craft island-wide ICT investment plan PDEA-10 uproots marijuana plants in Valencia City Pryce Corp. puts up shopping mall inside XU campus Join the WFTO and go global, SHPII tells SME’s


Cover Story “Sambuokan”, Mati’s celebration of unity and victory By Mai Gevera-Macapagat

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ne day, Matinians woke up learning that their town is among the municipalities recently declared cities by law. The next time they woke up, they just learned it was taken back like a candy from a kid. Indeed, these past years had become a rough ride for them as they prayed and fought for cityhood. 4

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Prayers, indeed, make wonders as the Supreme Court recently declared finality favoring the cityhood status of Mati and 15 other municipalities. This makes this year’s celebration of Sambuokan Festival, an annual get-together of Matinians welcoming foreign and local tourists, the grandest and the sweetest. This festival is Matinians’ way of celebrating victory. Held every last week of October, Sambuokan has become a crowd-drawer as this is one of the festivals that offer almost all activities that visitors look for. Youngsters enrobed in bright-

colored garb chant and danced to the beat with energy and happiness illuminating from their faces. All eyes are on one goal and that is to bring home championship. This annual street dancing competition popularly known as Indak Indak sa Dalan has become a highlight in this festival. Students from different parts of Mati and other towns of Davao Oriental prepared the entire year to make an outstanding performance. The spacious Mati Park and Baywalk exhibiting the panoramic Pujada Bay was filled with spectators, both locals and visitors. Professional

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photogr a phers a n d hobbyists didn’t miss a shot of the the weeklong Sambuokan. The festival was intentionally packaged to best suit the wants of the locals and tourists. Visitors frequent Mati for its beaches and sea animals like dolphins, seacows, eagles, and marine turtles. This city proudly owns the seven-kilometer stretch of the Dahican white beach claimed by most as having a powdery white sand and gracefully clashing waves best for surfing and skimboarding. Dahican beach becomes a home for the Amihan Boys, a group of out-of-school teens who tried out the skimboard sport and through mastery gathered awards by joining 6

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competitions in many parts of the country. The boys opted to master this skill and spend most of their time in a portion of the Dahican stretch known as Amihan. Tourists then visit the beach to watch them practice and perform. Surfers, too, find the clashing waves perfect for skimboard and surfing. As part of the Sambuokan Festival, the city government organized series of beach activities to bring the people to this white beach. The seashore turned out a party place as hundreds of locals and visitors trouped to Dahican for the Pasa Plato, a frisbee champi-


onship and the Skimboard Contest participated by enthusiasts from all over the country. Dahican is also home of dolphins and seacows, often sighted by fishermen and beach-goers. This signals a rich and promising marine life that Matinians truly can be proud of. The city is also engulfed with scenic islands potential as tourist destinations. For one, there is Wani- 20 ban Island which covers an area of 4 hectares in Barangay Tamisan, approximately 20 kms from Mati minPoblacion, and is only a 30-minute boat ride from Mati Wharf, or 15 to utes banca ride from the equally mystical Cinco Masao Beach Resort. Another breathtaking site that tourists never miss is the Pujada Island, comparable to Boracay’s fine white sand and deep blue waters. Pujada boasts tranquility and a paradise-like ambiance perfect for sunbathing, a day swim, and nature trip. Mati is also known for it’s Dinosaur Island which greets visitors on their entry to the city. A picturesque island formed like a dinosaur often captures the attention of travelers. The city government set up a view deck for the people to get a perfect view of Mati’s “sleeping dinosaur”. Even with these captivating Monday, November 7, 2011

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and promising sites, this former town tend to have slept for so long. Political squabbles prevented full-blast development for this town. Mati Mayor Michelle Rabat divulged that conflict among politicos in the previous years resulted to a slow-paced progress for Mati. The town may have all the potential tourist destinations that it can offer but very few investors were willing to pour in money and do business. Mati, the next “big thing” Realizing the need to give attention to the town’s tourism potential, Rabat decided to finally package Mati not just as an agricultural city but as a tourist destination as well. 8

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She’s seen the need to keep up with the growth of neighboring cities. Thus, as it gets a bigger share of the Internal Revenue Allotment starting next year, the City g o ve r n m e n t is committed to make bolder steps to entice big investors to do business here. “ I am excited with all the possibilities the way you are thrilled with our new status. I am visual-


izing that we will be at the forefront of a new economic zone in the south and the frontdoor to a new tourism market.”, Rabat promised Matinians. “ We will be as bullish as our Amihan Waves, as surefooted and steady as our Skimboarders. We will soar high like the eagles in our sanctuary. We can do so much. It is all there for the asking.” City Tourism Officer Dashiel Indelible shared some of the projects now in the pipeline for next year. Banking on its rich aquatic resources, the city government is positioned to offer various packages for diving and other marine activities. One of the most awaited package is the Dahican Cruise where

tourists can go dolphin watching and observation of seacow and marine turtles. The Tourism Office is also preparing to offer the Philippine Eagle Sanctuary Tour. This allows tourists to treck and have a personal encounter with Philippine Eagles. Rabat invited business leaders from Davao City to a business and investment forum dubbed Asenso at Negosyo sa Turismo held recently as a highlight to its annual Sambuokan Festival and its 108th Foundation Anniversary. “We are targeting Davaobased business to expand or look into the business potentials here in our city. We know our strengths and weaknesses so for now we focus on

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businesses from Davao,� she said. Some of the resource persons who tackled about tourism, investment prospects and opportunities are Department of Tourism regional director Arturo Boncato, Davao Crocodile Park president Philipp Dizon, and Quezon Province 4th District representative Lorenzo Tanada III. The tourism and investment forum was aimed at getting a share of the Davao business market by showing the tourism and business potentials of the city and how supportive the city government in wel-

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coming and accommodating investors. Rabat announced the plans of the Shangrila Group and the Lhuilliers to develop a portion of the white sand Dahican Beach. Local investors have started resort development. However, the city government eyes a huge investment to be poured in for this tourist site. Visitors frequent Dahican for its huge blue waves, dolphins, turtles, and its relaxing ambiance. Major banks like RCBC, Bank of Philippine Islands, and Metrobank are set to open their branch in the


city. Rabat takes this development as a big start for other investors to consider this city as a next big thing in the region. With the recent Supreme Court declaration of it being a city, Rabat hopes to boost infrastructure projects next year as it starts to receive a bigger share of the internal revenue allotment. The city will have a total of P800 million spending capacity next year, with a P550 million IRA and the rest from grants and loans. The city will be prioritizing the construction of a new Philippine National Police building, school buildings, a juvenile center, and streetlights.

The tourism office also prepares priority investment for next year which includes the following: completion of the Mati Park and Baywalk, establishment of the Menzi Beach Park and Campsite, Davao Oriental Museum, Buso Hotspring redevelopment, and the rehabilitation of the FGR Centennial Sports Complex. The office is also set to implement tourism programs next year like making the city as a MICE destination or a site for meetings and events in the region. The Mati Dive, the Dahican Cruises, and the Philippine Eagle Sanctuary Tours are also part of the lead tourism programs.

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Aquino government joins Muslim Filipinos in observance of Eidul Adha

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he Aquino government joins all Muslim Filipinos in the observance of Eidul Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), one of the most revered festivals of the Islamic community.

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In his message, President Benigno S. Aquino III said the solemn dedication of the Muslim Filipinos to strengthen their faith further reinforces Islam’s ideals of peace, solidarity, and modesty. “Your earnest conviction for your beliefs and steadfast fulfillment of your religious obligations in an increasingly changing world serve as an inspiration to your countrymen,” he stressed. “As a reflection of a tale about unconditional trust, Eidul Adha reminds Muslim Filipinos that sacrifice is a test of one’s principles amid the challenges and complexities of life. This occasion also imparts the lesson of courage, motivating a believer to be more accepting of the trials along the way of his enlightenment,” President Aquino said. The Chief Executive expressed high hopes that the celebration of Eidul Adha brings forth serenity among Muslim Filpinos and their respective communities, and further unite a na-

tion that is now treading the straight path toward lasting amity and equitable progress. “I am hopeful that you will remain committed in helping us create an environment of stability through harmonious relations among all Filipinos,” he said. The Chief Executive has declared November 7 as a regular holiday throughout the country in observance of Eidul Adha. He issued Proclamation No. 276 on October 20, 2011 based on Republic Act. No.9849. The said republic act provides “that Eidul Adha shall be celebrated as a regular holiday” The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) recom-

mended that the observance of Eidul Adha be on November 7 and the Eidul Adha prayer be held on November 6. The Feast of Sacrifice or Day of Sacrifice is observed after the Hajj -- the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. A duty of each Muslim, as described in the Five Pillars of Islam, is to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once during their lifetime, unless they are prevented by finances or ill health. It is the second of the two major Muslim holy days. The other is Eid-ul-Fitr which follows Ramadan. (JS)

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Aquino congratulates Ruais for winning first runner up in 2011 Miss World beauty pageant

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resident Benigno S. Aquino III congratulates on Monday to Miss Philippines candidate Gwendoline Ruais who was crowned first runner up in the just concluded 2011 Miss World beauty pageant held at Earls Court Two in London, United Kingdom. In his official Twitter account (@PresidentNoy), President Benigno S. Aquino III expressed his congratulations to the 21-year old FilipinoFrench, Ruais, who was chosen among 14

the other Filipinas that vied to represent the country in this year’s annual Miss World competition. “Congratulations to Ms. Gwendoline Ruais! First runner-up in the

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2011 Miss World beauty pageant held at Earls Court, London on Sunday,” tweeted the President. Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda, in a statement sent to Pal-


ace reporters, also greeted Ruais along with Filipino math whiz kids who placed second in a mathematics competition was held in Beijing, China. “Miss Philippines-World Gwendoline Ruais placed first-runner up at the 2011 Miss World Pageant held in Lon-

don, United Kingdom. We extend our congratulations to our Pinoy math whiz kids and Miss Philippines for once again proving that we Filipinos are capable of competing against the best and the brightest on the world stage,” Lacierda said.

Venez uel a’s Ivian Sarcos was crowned as the 61st Miss World while Puerto Rico’s Amanda Perez placed second runner up behind Ruais in the said beauty pageant where some 113 candidates from different countries participated. (HDC)

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Aquino to keynote 8th National Organic Agriculture Conference

resident Benigno S. Aquino III will keynote the 8th National Organic Agriculture Conference that will be held at the Aquino Center of Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac on Tuesday (November 8).

Joining the President for the event will be Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Tarlac Governor Victor Yap, Tarlac 2nd District Representative Susan Yap-Sulit and Tarlac City Mayor Gelacio Manalang. The conference, which was first convened through the collaboration of the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standards (BAFPS) with the Organic Producers and Traders As16

sociation (OPTA), provides a venue for stakeholders to promote and trade their products and services to potential clients. It also hopes to banner the accomplishments and give updates on organic agriculture in the country, specifically in Region 3 and serve as platform for the different key players to discuss current and emerging issues confronting the sector. The President will also bestow the

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Gawad Saka Outstanding Organic Farmer Award to Benjamin Lao, president of Lao Integrated Farms, Inc. who has been involved in organic farming, particularly in coconut farming since 1998. Lao has more than 30 hectares of coconut plantation under his care and he manages close to 100 coconut harvesters and 35 regular farm and production staff during peak season. (RCK)


DOH on the lookout for ‘dengue mosquito in septic tank’ by Jerome Carlo R. Paunan

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"Sinasabi systemic yung corruption; systemic din yung approach ng solution." he Department of Health (DOH) is on the alert for a newly reported variety of dengue mosquito (Aedes aegypti) that can breed in polluted or untreated water, a senior health official said Thursday. Monday, November 7, 2011

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During the program Talking Points held at the Philippine Information Agency, DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Eric Tayag said the Aquino administration is beefing up its dengue prevention and control efforts after receiving a report that an evolved breed of Aedes aegypti mosquito in Peru in South America, “has adapted to its environment” by laying its eggs in heavily polluted water. “We were (initially) bothered (by the report) of an Aedes aegypti in Peru breeding in a septic tank,” Tayag said, explaining that the Aedes aegypti is the prin18

cipal mosquito vector of dengue viruses. The health official said the DOH is also not ruling out the possibility of local dengue mosquitoes evolving and adapting to places where there is an absence of clean, stagnant water. Despite all these, Tayag said the government will remain vigilant and continue its education and awareness drive among Filipinos in the grassroots level by involving the barangay, business and communities in its anti-dengue campaign. “We will be on the lookout for the babaeng lamok

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sa sceptic tank,” he even jokingly said. Tayag, meanwhile, reported a significant 37-percent drop in dengue cases across the country in 2011 compared to last year, which he attributed to the Aquino agenda of universal health care and active participation among various government agencies. He said that based on their most recent data dated Oct. 22, there were around 97,158 dengue cases recorded this year compared to 153,906 cases in 2010.


2 DavNor towns receives school furnitures from Tagum City

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cipal of Palma Gil Elementary School agum City Mayor Rey T. Uy expressed his gratitude to Mayor was joined by no less than Uy for personally delivering the new Provincial Governor Rodolfo P. del furniture to their school which he tagged could be of big help for them Rosario in the latest wave of distribution of school furniture in two to achieve quality education. Last November 4, 2011, Mayor elementary schools in this mounUy also led in the distribution of new tainous municipality. school furniture to two secondary The two leaders led in the disschools in the Municipality of Kapatribution of brand-new school furnilong in the province of Davao del ture to Palma Gil Elementary School Norte. Capungagan National High which received 20 kiddie chairs, 60 School and Kapalong National High armchairs and 30 desks while Sto. School received 200 and 80 armNiño Elementary School received 40 chairs, respectively. kiddie chairs, 100 armchairs and 54 Because of the intensified “sodesks. cial responsibility” of Tagum, Mayor This adds to the record-high 4, Uy once again called on the public to 826 school furniture distributed by the local government of Tagum as of help in the bayanihan at the fabricaNovember 3, 2011, a shy away from tion section of the city’s motorpool to fast-track the fabrication of school the 20,000-target to be fabricated chairs. from the first batch of confiscated Last November 4, the 74-man hot logs from Loreto, Agusan del Sur. Association of Barangay Captains of This is still part of the intensithe Municipality of Kapalong led by fied “Social Responsibility” pursued through the initiative of Mayor Uy, in its president, Councilor Ma. Teresa compliance with Executive Order No. Timbol took time in painting school furniture at the site. 74 participants 23 issued by President Benigno S. joined Councilor Timbol composed Aquino III. Jose L. Figuracion, School Prin- mainly of barangay captains, kaMonday, November 7, 2011

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13 barangays of Kapalong. Meanwhile, Mayor Rey T. Uy and Governor Rodolfo del Rosario will join Compostela Valley Governor Arturo T. Uy on November 7, 2011 @ 9 o’clock in the morning in a press conference at the Tagum City Motorpool which will highlight the achievement of their respective administrations in achieving the goals of EO 23 Kapalong National High School happily since its issuance last February this receive 80 armchairs from the City Government of Tagum led by Mayor Rey T. Uy year. By: Louie Lapat/Edwin of City Information Office - Tagum

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Trafficked girl rescued in Panabo City The latest inter-agency effort team from the Regional against TIP (Trafficking in Persons) is part of the government’s sustained Inter-Agency Council response to combat illegal human Against Trafficking (RIACAT) rescued a 13-year old girl working in trafficking. Early this year the Regional Ina videoke bar in Panabo City last ter-Agency Council Against TraffickSaturday evening (November 5.) ing Integrated Action Network (RI The rescue was conducted by ACTION-XI) was launched in Davao. the elements of the Police Regional RIACTION XI is an integrated Office, the Department of Social Wel- effort involving various NGAs and fare and Development and prosecuNGOs headed by the regional prostors from the Office of the Regional ecutor. Prosecutor. The RIACTION-XI establishes About six women were rescued a regional database center with which included the 13-year old who strengthened operations through worked as a Guest Relations Officer surveillance, investigation, and eviin a bar. the operation came from dence-gathering. a tip given by the girl’s aunt to the The recent Panabo rescue is an RIACAT integrated action network or example of the inter-agency success RIACTION-XI. in the campaign against TIP.(PIA/RG The girl is now under the care Alama) of the DSWD, while charges are be ing mulled against the bar manager for violation of RA 9208 or Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2008. 20

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CFO to conduct info drive on migration

T 16, 2011.

he Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) will conduct a community education program on migration in Surigao del Norte province on Nov. 14-

On Nov. 15, a “Pulong-Pulong” by the CFO will be held at the Surigao City Auditorium Expected to attend are Sangguniang Kabataan, Barangay Officials, local civil registrar’s officers,

www.piacaraga.blogspot.com

Marriage counselors, Police Officers, Public Employment Service Officers, Municipal hall employees, local government and non-government organization representatives, and potential migrants. The activity forms

part of the community education program on migration which seeks to assist prospective migrants in making decisions regarding settling abroad, as well as generate community involvement on migration concerns.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/PIA-Caraga-Updates/165374590187484

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piacaraga@gmail.com pia_caraga@yahoo.com.ph

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It also aims to raise public awareness about various issues concerning migration,

inter-marriages and gal recruitment and existing government trafficking. (BS/PIApolicies and programs Caraga) directed against ille-

Surigao del Sur board member shot dead BUTUAN CITY-- A provincial board member of Surigao del Sur was shot dead Sunday morning by two unidentified gunmen moments after coming out from a mass at St. Joseph the Worker Parish Church at Forest Drive Village in Barangay San Roque, Bislig City.

Bislig City is about 170 kilometers from Butuan City, Caraga region’s capital. In a mobile phone interview, Chief Supt. Reynaldo S. Rafal, Caraga Police regional director, identified the victim as Rafael M. Viduya, 58, married and provincial board member from Surigao del Sur’s second district. Viduya was also a resi22

dent of Forest Drive Village, a former Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines (PICOP) area in Barangay San Roque, Bislig City. Rafal said Viduya’s assassins used .45 caliber pistols in the shooting. Initial investigation conducted by Bislig City Police Office disclosed that as Viduya came out from the church after the

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Mass, the armed suspects approached him and shot him pointblank several times. The gunmen immediately fled toward the southern part of Bislig City on board two motorcycles. The victim was rushed to the Andres Soriano Memorial Cooperative Hospital in Barangay Cumawas, Bislig City but he was pronounced dead


on arrival by the attending physicians. According to Rafal, Viduya sustained five gunshot wounds in different parts of his body. Recovered from the

crime scene were seven fired cartridges from caliber .45 pistol. Scene of the Crime Office (SOCO) operatives of Surigao del Sur Provincial Police Office

are now assisting the personnel of the Bislig City Police Station in conducting thorough investigation, Rafal said. (BS/PIA-Caraga)

2 trucks torched in Agusan del Sur

CAMP RAFAEL C. RODRIGUEZ, Butuan city-– Two log trucks loaded with lumber were burned Saturday evening allegedly by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Barangay Libertad, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur province, a report reaching the Police Regional The report from the Agusan del Sur Provincial Police Office (PPO) said that about 80 heavily-armed men swooped down at Barangay Libertad and burned the two logging trucks loaded with sawn lumber reportedly owned by a certain “Dodoy” Ginon and Edgar Maglangit, both residents at Barangay

Poblacion of Prosperidad town. The Agusan del Sur PPO said the raiders were reportedly led by a certain “Aka Eman.” “Based on Agusan del Sur PPO report, the owners failed to give the amount of money allegedly demanded by the NPA rebels in the area,” PRO 13 regional spokes-

man Supt. Martin M. Gamba said. On Thursday, unidentified heavily armed men believed to be NPA members also burned one Saddam truck at Purok Mam-on, Barangay Tubo-Tubo, in Cagwait town, Surigao del Norte. (MUC/PIA-Caraga)

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South Cotabato sustains nutrition award with multi-sectoral participation By Dani Doguiles

Active participation of nongovernment and civic organizations, local government officials, communities, and other stakeholders has helped South Cotabato in its fight against malnutrition, an official of the provincial government said.

Provincial Nutrition Officer Ma. Anna Uy said, South Cotabato recently received the Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition (CROWN)

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First Year Maintenance Award for sustaining a downward trend in prevalence of underweight children in the province. Dr. Ervin Luntao,

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chairman of the committee on health of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, in behalf of Gov. Arthur Y. Pingoy Jr. and the province of South Cotabato received the award on October 25 from Health Secretary Enrique Ona, chairman of the governing board of the National Nutrition Council (NNC) in a ceremony at the Philippine International Convention Center. Uy announced prev


alence rate among children below 6 years old in South Cotabato this year has gone down to 8.16 percent as compared to 9.66 percent in 2010 when it got its CROWN award. But Uy pointed out, the province’s supplemental feeding program could not have achieved such success without the help of partners in the private sector. “Among the most active of these private partners are Dole Philippines, Mahintana Foundation, Rotary Clubs of Polomolok and Koronadal, cooperatives under the umbrella of Dolefil, the Philippine Association of Technologist and many other civic organizations,” she said. With these private organizations, the provincial government is able to showcase supplemental feeding program such as the Kapitbisig Para sa Kabataan, which they implemented in cooperation with the Mahintana Foundation, for

the local government units to replicate, she explained. “Much help also came from the municipal and city government as well as the communities, because if they have not joined in the implementation of this concerted effort, we could have sustained our accomplishments,” she said. She cioted that almost all barangays in the province have already allocated funds for their own nutrition programs. CROWN Award is given by the NNC to local government units who have good performance in managing nutrition plans for three consecutive years.

An LGU like South Cotabato should receive three consecutive CROWN maintenance awards – proof that it has shown exemplary performance in managing its nutrition plans -- before it can be accorded the Nutrition Honor Award, the highest nutrition award in the country. The NNC, in its programme for this year’s awarding ceremonies, cited South Cotabato for its partnership with many sectors in its fight for malnutrition. The programme quoted Gov. Pingoy who said: “Each sector can help solve the problem of malnutrition. The key is to be able to weave each sector’s contribution

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into a cohesive whole through shared decisions on priorities and targets.” Uy said; “With the support of Gov. Pingoy’s administration and with the active participation of the other stakeholders, we can achieve the highest honor.” Data from the Regional Nutrition Council showed that South Cotabato has exhibited a downtrend in the prevalence of underweight children 0 to 71 months old (below 6 years), the measure being used as basis of malnutrition rate. In 2004 South Cotabato had a prevalence rate of 18.04

percent which gradually decreased over the past five years. This year, only 7,882 (8.16%) of the 81,591 children below 6 years old are malnourished. These consist of 6,466 underweight children and 1,416 severely underweight children. The 6,466 underweight children are now being assisted by the provincial government’s supplemental feeding program in cooperation with its private sector partners. As per directive of the governor, Uy and her team are preparing a supplemental feeding program to specifically address the

nutritional needs of the 1,416 severely underweight children includi their families. The provincial government fully funds this program for the “poorest of the poor.” Food packs containing rice, mungo, sugar, iodized salt, high-calcium whole milk, iron supplement for mothers, and multivitamins for the children, will be distributed to the beneficiary families each week. Mothers are also required to undergo nutrition education through the “Pabasa sa Nutrisyon” of the Infant Young Child Feeding (IYCF) program. (PIA 12)

So Cotabato gov’t focuses nutrition program on 1,416 poor households By Dani Doguiles

KORONADAL CITY -- The provincial government of South Cotabato is specifically targeting 1,416 “poorest of the poor” households in its program to address severe malnutrition.

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Considering that these families “need immediate intervention,” Gov. Arthur Y. Pingoy Jr. immediately directed Uy and her team to determine the specific locations of these families and prepare a supplemental feeding program for them. Unlike the other nutrition proProvincial Nutrition Officer Ma. Anna Uy told grams of the provincial LGU, such as the Kapitmembers of the press that these families were bisig Para sa Kabataan project, which has identified based on the support from non govnumber of pre-school childeen found severely ernment and civic orunderweight in a survey ganizations, the suppleconducted at the begin- mental feeding program ning of the school year. for the poorest of the poor is solely funded by “Once a child is selocal government. verely underweight, Uy said the provincial most likely the entire government has allofamily is experiencing cated approximately P4 malnutrition,” Uy said.

million for this project. She added they have already prepared the food packages and are now awaiting order from Gov. Pingoy to begin the distribution. Each food pack which will be distributed to the families each week contains rice, mungo, iodized salt, and highcalcium whole milk. The contents are enough to supply a third of each household’s weekly nutritional requirement, she explained. “Each pack also contains iron supplementation for mothers and multi-vitamins for the children.” To assure sustainability of this supppementation program, mothers of these households will be educated in nutrition through the Pabasa sa Nutrisyon under the Infant Youth Child Feeding (IYCF) program, which is alsi being intensified by the provincial government. (PIA 12)

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Dagdag honorarium inilaan ng S Cotabato sa day care workers KORONADAL CITY-- ibinalita ni Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Nelida Pereira na makatatanggap na karagdagang P150 bawat buwan ang lahat na day care teachers sa buong lalawigan para sa taong kasalukuyan. Umaasa rin si Pereira na tuluyan ng maaaprubahan ni Gov. Arthur Y. Pingoy Jr ang kanilang panukalang karagdagan pang P150 na monthly honorarium sa day care teachers na balak namang ipatupad sa Enero 2012. Paliwanag ni Pereira maliban pa ito sa kasalukuyang tinatanggap ng mga day care teachers na honirarium mula aa kanilang mga barangay at munisipyo. Ibinalita din ni Pereira na iilang munisipyo na rin sa buong South Cotabato ang naglagay na ng plantilla position para sa day care teachers. Umaasa siyang susunod na rin ang

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iba pang munusipyo at mga barangay. Sa ngayon mayroong 556 na day care centers ang buong lalawigan. Pinagsisilbihan ng mga ito ang 19,802 na mga batang may edad limang taon pababa. (DEDoguiles/ PIA12)

23,000 MT ani inaasahan sa South Cotabato KORONADAL CITY – Sa taya ng South Cotabato Provincial Agriculture Office aabot sa 26 na libong tonelada malilikom na surplus sa aning palay sa lalawigan sa huling tatlong buwan ng taon. Ayon kay Provincial Agriculture Officer Reynaldo Legaste sa loob ng nakalipas na limang taon ngayon lang umano nangyari na walang matatawag na lean months ang South Cotabato. Noong Oktobre 2,000 ektarya ng palay ang naani sa lalawigan. Karagdagang 2,000 rin ang kasalukuyang inaani. Sa Disyembre, aabot umano sa mahigit 12,000 ektarya ng palay ang nakatakdang aanihin. Ang mas magandang balita, ayon kay Legaste, base sa kanilang isinagawang monitoring, maganda ang tayo ng palay ngayon sa lalawigan dala ng magandang panahon at at malalaki ang mga butil ng palay na nangangahulugan ng mas mabigat at ani at


mas malaking kita para sa mga magsasaka. Inaasahan din niya ang mas matatag na presyo ng palay hanggang sa katapusan ng taon. Ito aniya ay dahil sa patuloy at malawakang pamimili ng palay ng National Food Authority (NFA) na bumibili ng palay sa halagang P17.40 bawat kilo. Target ng NFA na makabili ng 168,000 na sako ng palay hanggang katapusan ng Disyembre. Sa huling tala ng Provincial Agriculture Office, nasa P16 bawat kilo ang kuha ng mga commercial traders sa palay ng mga magsasaka. Kung sakaling bababa ang kuha ng mga commercial trader, may nakahanda namang plano ang South Cotabato provincial government sa tulong ng organisasyon ng mga magsasaka na bumili palay sa mas malaking halaga kung saan ang mabibiling palay ay gagawing bigas para sa supplemental feeding program ng LGU. (DEDoguiles/PIA 12)

P24 M inilaan ng Japan sa peace projects sa Pikit, N. Cotabato KORONADAL CITY, Nob 7 -Naglaan ng P24 milyon ang pamahalaan ng Japan para sa mga proyektong pangkapayapaan at pangkaunlaran partikular sa bayan ng Pikit, North Cotabato.

Inihayag ng isang kalatas mula sa Japanese Embassy na pinirmahan na nina Ambassador Tushinao Urabe at country director ng Intercommunication Center for Asia and Nippin Philippines (ICAN) Yukiko Nomura ang kontrata para sa isang grant para sa “Peace Building Project Through Education in Conflict Affected Areas in Pikit, Mindanao Phase 1.� Ang proyekto na nagkakahalaga ng US$561,795 o humigit kumulang P24 milyon ay pinondohan sa pamamagitan ng Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO project. Simula noong 1990s ilang giyera sa pagitan ng pamahalaan at Moro Islamic Liberation Front ang naranasan ng mga residente ng Pikit, dahilan para paulit-ulit na lumilikas ang mga pamilyang apektado at dahilan rin ng pagkaantala ng edukasyon ng maraming kabataan. Ngayong gumaganda na ang sitwasyon sa naturang bayan, hindi naman naibibigay ng pamahalaang lokal ang lahat na kailangan para sa maayos sa edukasyon. Sa ilalim ng naturang proyekto isang bagong six-classroom building ang itatayo sa Sultan Kudarat Memorial High School sa Pikit; aayusin din ang isang two-classroom building ng naturang paaralan. Maliban dito, magsasagawa din ng “School Peace Training ang ICAN para sa mga guro at mag-aaral. Sasanayin ang mga mag-aartal sa mga pamamaraan sa mapayapang pagtugon sa mga away at sigalot samantalang ang mga guro ay tuturuan kung paano matulungan ang mga batang nakararanas ng trauma at stress. (DEDoguiles/PIA 12)

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Public officials, employees urged to uphold highest integrity in civil service

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by Franklyn P. Gumapon

overnment officials and employees are reminded to keep up the highest level of integrity in public service.

This was the gist of the statement of Atty. Jerry Mayormita, provincial director of the Civil Service Commission (CSC)Field Office in Zamboanga del Norte, in a “Kapihan” radio program over RMNdxDR held at the Camila Hotel in this city this morning. When asked by program host and past president of the Zamboanga del Norte Press Club (ZNPC) Editha Pagente-Tomong about the benchmark for government officials and employees, Atty. Mayormita curtly replied: highest integrity. Public officials and employees are encouraged to lead a modest life and not to abuse their

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positions, as they are paid by the taxpayers. As to the rumors about “items for sale” in the Department of Education (DepED) and other government agencies, Atty. Mayormita urged the victims to file formal complaint with the CSC. “We will even entertain anonymous letters so long as these are backed up by evidence,” he added. Talks about items for sale at the provincial schools division are rife, prompting Zamboanga del Norte board member Fernando Cabigon to call for an investigation on the issue. However, Dr. Elsa Refugio-Cruz, officer in-charge of the pro-

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vincial schools division vehemently denied that such a thing is happening under her watch. Mayormita has appealed to the public to report to the CSC any wrongdoing committed by any public servant. (JPA/FPG/PIA-Zamboanga del Norte)


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Anti-Epal Bill ni Senador Santiago, gikalipay sa Malakanyang by Alfonso T. Ruda ikalipay ug dako sa Malakanyang ang balaodnong giduso ni Senador Meriam Defensor-Santiago sa senado nga gitawag ug Anti-Epal Bill nga nagtumong nga did-an ang mga public officials pag-angkon ug kredito sa mga proyektong gipondohan sa buhis sa katawhan. Sa usa ka pakighinabi sa radyo, gipahayag ni Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, nga malipayong gidawat sa palasyo ang balaodnon ni Santiago sanglit nahatukma man kini sa polisiya ni Presidente Benigno Aquino III batok sa naandang gihimo sa kadaghanan sa mga politiko nga pagbutang sa ilang larawan sa mga proyekto nga ila konong nahuman. Mahinumdoman, nga polisiya ni Presidente Aquino, ang dili pagbutang sa iyang ngalan o larawan sa mga proyekto sa gobyerno. Matod pa ni Valte, kanunay gyong gibasura sa Presidente ang ideya nga pagbutang sa iyang ngalan ug larawan sa mga billboards ug tarpaulin sa mga proyek-

tong gipondohan sa gobyerno, sukwahi sa gihimo sa daghang mga politiko nga bisan ang ilang mga ngalan gipamutang pa sa mga sakyanan nga gipanag-iya sa gobyerno. “Kaniadto pa, giklaro na sa Pamuno nasod nga dili siya gusto kining maong praktis. Busa kon inyong namatikdan, wala gyuy makitang billboard sa proyekto nga dunay hulagway sa Pangulo ug nag-ingong proyekto kini sa Presidente,” matod pa ni Valte. Sayo niini, giduso ni Senador Santiago ang Anti-Epal Bill pinaagi sa Senate Bill No. 1967 nga giulohan ug “An Act Prohibiting Public Officers from Claiming Credit through Signage Announcing a Public Works Project.”

Ang nasangpit nga balaodnon, nga kasamtangang gituki karon sa komiti gitugot lamang nga ang mahimo lang ibutang sa billboard ang ngalan, imahen o logo sa lokal o nasudnong ahensiya nga nagimplementar sa proyekto. Sa pagpatin-aw sa iyang balaodnon, gipahayag sa senadora nga ang pagbutang sa ngalan ug larawan sa politiko ug public officials nahimo nang batasan sa mga politiko nga wala na kinahanglana, gawas nga unethical pa, sanglit nagpromote lang kini ug political patronage ug korupsyon. Ilalom sa Senate Bill 1967, ang opisyal kang kansang ngalan ug larawan gibutang

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sa unsa mang giplano ug nagpadayong public works project ug kasamtangang mga proyekto sa gobyerno

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nga gipailalom sa maintenance o rehabilitasyon mahimong mabilanggo sulod sa unom(6) ka bulan ngadto sa usa (1) ka

tuig sa higayong mahimo na una kining hingpit nga balaod, matod pa ni Valte. (JPA/ATR/ PIA9-Zambo Norte)

Tabang sa MILF paggukod sa KFR malipayong by Alfonso T. Ruda gidawat sa Palasyo alipayong gidawat sa Malakanyang ang pahayag sa Moro Islamic Liberation Front nga motabang kini sa gobyerno paggukod sa mga kidnapping-for-ransom groups ingon man mga lost commands. Ang hepe sa mga negosyador sa gobyerno nga si Marvic Leonen, sa iyang gipagawas nga pahayag nagkanayon, nga subling gipabati sa MILF ang ilang pasalig nga motabang paglutos sa mga elementong kriminal ug MILF Lost Command pinasikad sa kasamtangang kasabutan. “Among gibasa ang pahayag ni Leonen nga usa ka positibong kalambuan.” Nga bisan pa man sa mga nagpanghitabo, naningkamot lang gihapon ang MILF nga makab-ot ang kalinaw sa rehiyon, ug gikalipay namo kana,” matod pa ni Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda. Naglaum lang si Lacierda nga magtinud-anon ang liderato sa MILF sa ilang pasalig nga motabang paggukod sa grupong 32

kriminal ug sa lost command. “Matinud-anon ug prangka kami sa among pagpakigsabot ug manghinaut lang kami nga matinud-anon usab sila,” matod pa ni Lacierda. Sa samang higayon, naglaum usab ang gobyerno nga matuki ang mga mahungdanong isyo sa umaabot nga sinultihay sa kalinaw didto sa Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Sa maong gipahahayag, si Leonen nagkanayon nga ang prsangka ug matinud-anon ang nahimong pagbinayloay sa gobyerno ug MILF sa ilang mga hunahuna sa mainit nga isyo sa pagkakaron, diin ilang giila ang ilang baruganan ug di-pagsinabtanay. May kalabutan sa madugong panghitabo

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didto sa Al Barka, Basilan, diin daghang mga sundalo ang namatay, gikauyonan sa duha ka partido nga pa-imbestigahan ang insidente pinaagi sa kasamtanngang ceasefire mechanism. Ang International Monitoring Team, uban ang pakig-koordinasyon sa Joint Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities ug Ad Hoc Joint Action Group magpahigayon usab ug ilang kaugalingong imbestigasyon sa insidente. “Amo na lang gipaabot ang rekomendasyon may kalabutan sa pagrepaso sa ceasefire mechanism nga resulta gikan sa gihimong imbestigasyon,” matod pa ni Leonen.(JPA/ATR/ PIA9-Zambo Norte)


4,000 Lanao Norte residents receive 2 kg. of beef during the Eid Al-Adha festival in Tubod

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t least 4,000 residents from the different towns of this province received at least two (2) kilograms of beef, in today’s Korban ‘beef sharing’ festival held at the Agora Public Market in Sagadan, near the Mindanao Civic Center (MCC), here.

“We are celebrating Eid Al-Adha now, which we originally thought was a feast only for the Muslims. But we stand corrected. This is a celebration for everybody, both Muslims and Christians. That’s why, we will be distributing beef to everyone,” Gov. Khalid Q. Dimaporo said. He said he, particularly, invited the Christians to partake of Eid Al-Adha which is the equivalent of Christmas for the Christians. The Governor cited the sacrifice of Abraham who offered his only son Isaac, as an act of obedience to God,

“who upon seeing Abraham’s faith intervened and instead provided a lamb to be sacrificed.” About 220 cows were prepared the Halal way for the festival, 100 of which were donated by the Integrated Center for Alternative Developments (ICAD) Foundation from Turkey, represented by its President ,Ferhat Kazkondu, and 120, by the provincial government. In the state of the merry-making, 20 of the cows were roasted for the lunch of everybody. Thus, the Governor thanked the ICAD Foundation and the Turkish Monday, November 7, 2011

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People for their donation, and hoped the event will be repeated with many more donations, next year. Meanwhile, Secretary Luwalhati R. Antonino of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has congratulated the people of Lanao del Norte, particularly the Dimaporo family, for coming up with the Beef Sharing Festival as a showcase of unity and friendship. “Events like this should find its way to tell the world that our people, here, do live in harmony and that in this situation, development can easily find its way around to improve the lives of the citizens,� she said.

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She also mentioned the good roots that produced the caliber of the Governor and paid special mention of the accomplishments of his father, Former Congressman Abdullah Dimaporo of the 2ne District of the province, who was around to witness the festivities. Present during the occasion were Regional Directors Lealyn A. Ramos of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Linda Boniao of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Alfonso Alamban of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Raymund Ondiano of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), region 10. Also present were Virginia Cardona representing Regional Director Araceli F. Solamillo of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Decius Esmedalla, Resident of the Regional Association of Government Communicators (RAGCOM), representing Regional Director Catalino Chan III of the Department of Trouris (DOT), region 10. (PIA-10)


Mindanao ICT players firm-up moves to craft island-wide ICT investment plan

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental - Representatives of the various Information and Communications Technology (ICT) councils in Mindanao have agreed to strongly collaborate for the formulation of the Mindanao-wide ICT Investment Plan, a major initiative which they hope to complete in the next few years. In a joint statement signed by the Mindanao ICT councils and the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) at the opening of 4th National ICT Summit here Friday, industry players affirmed the importance of ICT in fast-tracking the socio-economic transformation of Mindanao, and committed to collaborate in addressing the challenges facing the country’s ICT sector. The joint statement highlighted the formulation of a Mindanao-wide ICT Investment Plan that would include detailed roadmap of how the island can accelerate investments and strengthen mechanisms that will enable Mindanao attract digital opportunities to facilitate economic growth. The Mindanao ICT Councils also committed to align their plans and projects with the strategies identified under MinDA’s Mindanao 2020 Peace and Development Framework, particularly the broader aim for the establishment of a coherent Mindanao ICT plan that seeks to realize the island’s ICT potentials and address digital divide. “Our 20 year vision for Mindanao includes the attainment of state-of-

the-art ICT infrastructure that provides reliable, affordable and high speed connectivity, and one that provides the means to achieve integrated economic growth,” said MinDA chair Secretary Luwalhati Antonino. The ICT councils urged the rest of the ICT stakeholders in Mindanao to take part in the formulation and subsequent implementation of the investment plan. They also called on the private sector to collectively push for advocacies to improve the business environment and identify development programs and projects that can be jointly pursued. It was reported during the summit that the Philippines remains as the number one call center destinations in the world since 2010, overtaking India by a significant margin. This status was attributed by several ICTexperts to the world-class quality customer service that only Filipinos can provide. However, alongside the opportunities that ICT can bring to speed up growth an development in certain areas, also emerged the imperative for greater access to ICT by a larger section of the society. “As the digital divide grows, so Monday, November 7, 2011

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does the economic gap,” stressed Taguig City Rep. Sigfrido Tińga, Chairperson of the Committee on ICT at the House of Representatives and one of the ICT summit speakers. To address these imperatives, the summit cited that more initiatives

for ICT development in Mindanao shall be pursued especially in the so-called ‘next wave cities’ in ICT, such as, Davao, General Santos, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, and Zamboanga. (MinDA/ PIA-10)

PDEA-10 uproots marijuana plants in Valencia City By Juliet Cagaanan

VALENCIA CITY, Bukidnon – Some 23,000 pieces of fully grown marijuana plants with fruiting tops were uprooted in Sitio Cambangon, Barangay Lilingayon, this city, last Nov. 4. Regional Director Roberto S. Opeňa of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), region 10, said these plantations were discovered in three (3) different sites that involved an estimated land area of 3,400 sq.m. Opeña identified the suspected cultivators as Nilo Baclaye Abarquez, 38 years old, male, married, vegetable farmer and Jaypee Paradero Batlag, 18 years old, single, farm laborer, who were both residents of Cambangon. Led by the Bukidnon Provincial Special Enforcement Team Leader Investigation Officer 1 (IO-1) Randy T. Pulmano, the uprooting was done

in the first site with 10,000, in second site with 8,000, while the third site yielded 5,000 pieces of fully grown marijuana plants. Meanwhile, Opeňa said the suspects are now temporarily detained at PDEA RO 10 Detention cell for booking and documentation. Representative samples of the uprooted marijuana plants were brought to THE PNP Crime Laboratory Bukidnon for qualitative and quantitative examination while the rest of the uprooted marijuana plants were burned on sight. (PDEA/ PIA-10)

Pryce Corp. puts up shopping mall inside XU campus by Vanessa M. Gorra

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental - Xavier University (XU) and Pryce Corporation unveiled the construction of a student mall inside the XU main campus in the city. 36

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Called the XU–Pryce Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE), groundbreaking for the project at the lot between the Science Center and Agriculture Buildings was held recently. Expected to be completed in this year, the facility will serve as a laboratory for emerging entrepreneurs. “It will support the XU’s Student Entrepreneurship Program (SEP) intended to initiate and nurture student-led and operated enterprises,” XU official said. He stressed the importance of having a facility where students can have actual hands-on experience in starting and running a business. “What you learn from your books is very much different from what is out there,” the official said. The XU–PCE will operate like a student business incubator and students are eligible to apply to the SEP. Business ideas that will be accepted for incubation in the XUPCE will be provided with seed capital alongside consultancy and advisory services, marketing assistance, technology development and business linkages. The student business owners will also be taught entrepreneurial values, business ethics, environmental

stewardship and corporate social responsibility. Meanwhile, XU-PCE will have around 13 shopping stalls where the students can display and market their products, who will also be equipped with a training room for developing entrepreneurship modules and a business center complete with computer units, a telephone line and an internet connection. Students not just from Business courses but also from other fields like Engineering and Education have already started submitting proposals for business incubation. “What we are sowing here, the ten talents that we have planted with your generosity will grow ten times more,” an official said on the partnership with Pryce Corporation. Pryce Corp. Chairperson and XU alumnus Salvador Escaño encouraged the students and the management of the center to come up with good business ideas. “A small town is a good breeding ground for entrepreneurs,” he shared. He lauded the contributions of entrepreneurs in generating employment for the community. Through the XU–PCE, “the chances of producing real life entrepreneurs will be much greater,” Escaño said. Monday, November 7, 2011

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Join the WFTO and go global, SHPII tells SME’s by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, MISAMIS ORIENTAL - Small and medium enterprises (SME’s) in Northern Mindanao have been urged to join the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) and hit the global market. This was the advocacy of Loreta Capistrano Rafisura, President of the Salay Handmade Paper Industries, Inc. (SHPII) based in Salay, this province, during a forum, at SM Cagayan de Oro, as part of the activities to celebrate the World Fair Trade Day. Rafisura said joining the WFTO had been SHPII’s most significant blessing as it helped them improve their livelihood in the community through sustainable trading, worldwide, by delivering market access through policy, advocacy, campaigning, marketing and monitoring. “It was actually WFTO which helped us find global market of our

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hand-made products in 15 countries, mostly from Europe, the United States of America and Canada, to name a few,” she said. Rafisura also said that during the global financial crisis, it was also the WFTO that made representations with their world market and advised them to make adjustments in their designs for their markets to pay them at lower prices. Producers of handcrafted sheets of paper which are created one by one by artisans from natural fibers of abaca (Musa textiles), and salago bark (Wikstroemia lancelota), SHAPII started with only 10 people as a civic organization in 1987. Having no background in hand paper-making, it then networked with government and non-government organizations for the technical skills development towards achieving its missions through the “Yes, the Filipino Can,” battlecry. From a production of one (1) bond-paper size hand-made sheet per worker per day, their workers, after the skills trainings, have increased their production, little by little. And after 23 years in the business, they now produce as much as 200 sheets per worker per day. With a starting capital of Php9,000, of which P6,000 was won


from a community raffle, SHAPII has ventured into the multi-million peso business that it is now and has given mployment and livelihood to about 400 rural folks, 60% of whom are women. Aimed at helping in the growth and development of its people through rural entrepreneurship in the art of handmade papermaking, pressed flower designs and crafting, SHPII has also made accolades in the education of their young. In fact, it has already produced two (2) doctors of medicine (M.D) and currently sends to school almost 50 young, poor but deserving students. Rafisura said their products are derived mostly from leaves and barks of trees, which are waste products. Such that most of their visitors from other countries, who came to see their production sites have looked into their water waste

treatment facilities. “After their visit, they would send us some equipment through the WFTO on grant, which we are using now,� she added. Monday, November 7, 2011

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OneMindanao - November 7, 2011