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Information to Empower Filipinos

Tara Na.. Suroy Sarangani

Page 4 THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2014 Vol. 3 No. 158

Catherine Apelacio CENTRAL MINDANAO

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13 NORTHERN MINDANAO

NATIONAL

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DSWD conveys unity with ASEAN member-countries

CARAGA REGION

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Caraga contingent readies for Palarong Pambansa Marivic M. Cuizon Listahanan to conduct special validation of DSWD Social Pension, MCCT-FNSP beneficiaries Maria Cecilia N. Sosas

WESTERN MINDANAO

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DOST chief bats for enhanced LGU preparedness for disaster Dominic I. Sanchez Disaster imagination serves as best motivation for disaster preparedness, says Phivolcs chief Michael Vincent D. Cajulao

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BIR requires importers to use national single window for release of goods PHILEXPORT SMEs need more nonbank financing options to expand, create jobs Romelda Ascutia

CENTRAL MINDANAO

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Full localization of Magna Carta on Women pushed Catherine T. Apelacio Full localization of Magna Carta on Women pushed Danilo E. Doguiles

SOUTHERN MINDANAO

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250 Sta. Cruz women to benefit from STAR Program Julius R. Paner PLDT-Smart turns over houses in Baganga


Tara Na.. Suroy Sarangani By Catherine Apelacio

Tara na. Suroy Sarangani! Catchy that is, this Cebuano phrase from Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon has captured the attention of the media including me to give in to the invitation of visiting wondrous sites in the province. The phrase is perfect to set the mood for a great stroll, which the word “suroy” implies. Suroy Sarangani, according to Regional Tourism Council chair and first lady Michelle Solon, who is herself, an awesome tourist guide, is made of two batches, the April 8 and April 9 batches. First lady Michelle explains that the concept is Gov. Steve’s way of showing his appreciation to the media’s efforts of helping promote Sarangani as one’s great “Adventure” to the world.

So this is really just a plain media appreciation tour, Michelle quips. The first batch is composed of 10, including me. I am happy to note that we all blended and enjoyed the fun while it lasted. So, this is where the journey takes us, the first batch…


We made our first stop at Sitio Lamlifew, Datal Tampal, Malungon, a hinterland village of Blaan community which boasts of rich culture and heritage. Upon arrival, there was an ensemble playing with kids dancing along with it to welcome us all. Michelle says Lamlifew means “inside the community, there’s plenty of yum.” A yum is a root crop and a food for the tribe.

This community houses the School of Living Tradition of which there sprawls also the Village Museum showcasing century old women’s accessories such as bangles, anklets, head dresses, brass belts, shoulder tussles to include pieces of traditional clothing, knives, and gongs. Helen Lacna Lumbos, president of the Lamlifew Tribal Women Association, says that she feels proud to be a fullblooded Blaan. According to her, the museum is an effective way to preserve the tribe’s heritage and culture and save it from becoming extinct. By merely looking at our hosts-seeing their wide smiles and feeling their warmth, we can sense that they also appreciated and enjoyed our presence. And before we finally go, we were feted to an early lunch of sumptuous food in addition to the aroma of “Kapeng Barako” which was just really so irresistible making our energy lasts a full day. But time flies by as we are heading to our next stop.. The Balungis Trading Center in barangay Tuyan, Malapatan. Here, we are amazed at how tedious and intricate weaving really is. We also learned in our suroy here that it takes a day to make a shoal because the process is long and being done manually. The center, funded by USAIDGEM, is not just intended for weaving but as the name suggests it also a space for displaying and selling finished woven fabrics like shoals and malongs, which are either made of silk or cotton. First Lady Michelle says that the center has helped women association in the area organize well their production and sales since it was inaugurated in 2012. 5


A shoal made of silk costs P750 while the malong is P1,800, which are both saleable among foreign tourists. Our next but most exciting destination is a food trip courtesy of Belmar Resort at barangay Kapatan, in Glan. Belmar Resort is not only a fresh place to unwind but also it offers tourists delectable meals. We tried its best seller refreshing and yummy halo-halo that we all cannot help but gorge all in. Aside from food, the resort also displays a mini zoo for the whole family to enjoy plus the room rates are very affordable ranging from P800 to P1,200. By midday, we are bound to our last stop----the beautiful beaches in Gumasa, Glan where we take time to stroll the wide stretch of fine white sands of Rosal and Isla Jardin. The Rosal Beach, which is poised toward becoming a high-end resort in the area offers complete amenities for its guests.

Room rates for the resort newlyconstructed rooms range from P3,000 to 3,800 while its family room costs about P7,500 that can accommodate 10 to 15 family members. We then had our full lunch at Isla Jardin resort, where we enjoyed the company of the first couple, Governor Steve and his wife. The food in this resort was delicious also just like the treat we had in Belmar. The resort which is situated at a secluded cove of Gumasa, is also a breathtaking site to see. The name, which means “Island Garden of the Sea,” is indeed a place of serenity and quiet. Room rates range from as low as P1,300 deluxe fan to as high as P10,000 presidential suite. “You see it really depends on the clients’ capability or convenience, if they are more on the comfort side maybe they can choose the expensive one or better yet go for the lower ones if they go the other way around,” says First Lady Michelle.


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Palace welcomes FAA decision to upgrade PHL’s aviation safety status

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alacanang welcomed on Thursday the United States Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) decision to upgrade the Philippines’ safety status to Category 1. Presidential Communications Earlier, the Department of Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Transportation and Communications Herminio Coloma Jr., in a Palace (DOTC) last month expressed hopes that media briefing, said that the decision the agency would pass the FAA audit. came after the country met the Coloma said that the upgrading standards set by the International comes on the heels of the favorable Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). action by the European Union on safety APRIL| PAGE 7


compliance of Philippine carriers. “The benefits of this development include greater access to U.S. routes, use of more fuel-efficient planes, and faster growth of the Philippine tourism and aviation sectors,” the PCOO chief said. “These upgrades in the country’s safety status demonstrate the capability of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to implement institutional reforms,” he added. He stressed that such reforms ensure that the country’s aviation industry is globally competitive and conforms with international safety standards. It can be recalled that the FAA lowered

the country’s safety rating to Category 2 in January 2008 upon the recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) which had found “significant concerns” over CAAP’s ability to meet international safety standards. A Category 2 rating means a country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards or that its civil aviation authority is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping or inspection procedures.

DSWD conveys unity with ASEAN member-countries

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epartment of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon J. Soliman led the Philippine delegation to the 11th Meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Council held on April 3-4.

According to Secretary Soliman, during the said event, she conveyed the country’s full and active participation in efforts to carry out aspirations to lift the quality of life of the people in the region. “With only less than two years to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), it is a great challenge for us in the ASEAN region to show

the world of what we have collectively and individually achieved as a region and as a member-state, respectively,” Soliman said in her message to the body. The two-day 2014 ASEAN ASCC meeting which carried the theme, “Moving Forward in Unity Towards a Peaceful and Prosperous Community,” discussed the current development gaps among ASEAN APRIL 2014 | PAGE 8


countries, issues on migrant workers, and climate change, among others. Soliman also took the opportunity to thank the member-states and the ASEAN Secretariat for the aid extended to the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). She added that the Philippines is committed to support the Declaration on Strengthening Social Protection in the ASEAN and the Declaration on Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) and Elimination of Violence Against

Children (EVAC). “We look forward to participate in the inter-sectoral workshops to be spearheaded by Cambodia and the dialogues to be organized by the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC),” she added. The DSWD chief also expressed hoped that the draft instrument on the implementation of the Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers would be finalized this year by the Drafting Committee. “It is high time that we put primordial importance to the rights and welfare of migrant workers and their families,” she said. (PNA)

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DepEd exec to youth: Help in the making of Bangsamoro govt

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A ranking education official of Maguindanao has urged fresh graduates to actively participate in the making of the Bangsamoro government.

Speaking Wednesday during the Maguindanao, Bae Meriam A. Kawit, graduation rites of Datu Paglas Maguindanao 1st division schools National High School in Datu Paglas, superintendent, told the Moro APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

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graduating students to make their presence felt in the long overdue dream of having a government they can call their own, that is the Bangsamoro government. The Bangsamoro government is expected to be realized by Moro people by 2016 when the new political entity will be fully implemented following the signing of Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro last March. “Be part of the making of Bangsamoro government because we believe you have big and huge roles to play,” Kawit told more than 200 students who will enroll in college next school year. She urged the young Moro men and women never to cease dreaming not only for themselves but for the whole Bangsamoro people. “Do not stop dreaming, pursue higher degree of education because you will be our future leaders and public servants,” she added. Stressing lack of education as among the leading cause of underdevelopment in the province, Kawit told the graduates that education is very vital in the development of the communities where the Bangsamoro reside. Addressing the teachers, Kawit lauded the mentors for bringing APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

the best among the students of Datu Paglas National High School. “Your role as teachers could not be set aside, you mold these students to where they are today, please continue helping Bangsamoro youth to become future leaders of the Bangsamoro government someday,” she stressed. Kawit also urged the students not to forget the labor of their parents in sending them to school and eventually to college. As a result of the government peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a new political entity will come in Muslim Mindanao replacing the current autonomous region which Malacanang described as a “failed experiment.” Currently, the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) is drafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law that will be the constitutional basis of the establishment of Bangsamoro government. With the signing of the CAB, hopes are high among the people of Maguindanao and other provinces in the region with their long dream of peace and development is already dawning on them. Kawit said the agreement will pave the way for the realization of the Bangsamoro long struggle and aspiration for self-governance. (PNA) PAGE | 11


PIA Caraga readies for ISO certification By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY - With a commitment to uphold a high level of quality management service delivery and to enhance its operational procedures, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga is now gearing up to join the list of ISO certified organizations.

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PIA Caraga regional director Abner Caga and senior officers have recently met up with Kevin Castillon, an ISO Auditor representing the Anglo Japanese American (AJA) Registrars, and they discussed the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certification process. “As a certifying body, we offer our extensive range of certification services that can help the agency in streamlining its operational procedures to international standards,” Castillon said. He added that striving to attain the ISO certification mainly distinguish the agency from being compliant to Executive Order No. 605 “Institutionalizing the structure, mechanisms and standards to implement the government quality management program.” He further emphasized that with ISO, efficiency and effectiveness will be upheld through a well-defined and regularly reviewed office procedures. Meanwhile, Director Caga bared that “PIA Caraga aspires to continue serving with excellence. We are open to practical solutions and recommendations to further enhance the good practices that we relentlessly championed.” “This seal of excellence and pursuit for perfection became our bases to seek and work for improvement, thereby, finding better approaches to inspire APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

progress. And as we welcome constructive change, we can be assured of consistency in our level of performance with increased productivity and decreased inefficiency. This reflects well our core values of integrity and credibility,” underscored Caga. Caga is positive that by initiating such action, PIA Caraga will be putting more substance to the call of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Sonny Coloma to conform with the requirement of standards and quality management system, the logical way.

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Caraga contingent readies for Palarong Pambansa By Marivic M. Cuizon BUTUAN CITY-- The students athletes of Caraga region for the 2014 Palarong Pambansa (National Games) scheduled on May 4 to 10 in Sta. Cruz, Laguna are now undergoing rigid practice. According to Education Program Supervisor and City Division Information Officer Dr. Israel Reveche, the weeklong event of the Palarong Pambansa will be participated in by almost 10,000 athletes from the 17 regions of the country. The student athletes will be billeted in public schools near the venue. In Caraga region, a total of 562 students athletes, coaches, chaperon APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

and delegation officials composed the contingents, Reveche said. Palarong Pambansa is an annual event showcasing and promoting sportsmanship of Filipino learners. In May 2013, President Benigno Aquino III signed Republic Act No. 10588 or Palarong Pambansa Law institutionalizing the said event. This year’s Palaro is the first Palarong Pambansa under RA 10588. PAGE | 14


Listahanan to conduct special validation of DSWD Social Pension, MCCT-FNSP beneficiaries By Maria Cecilia N. Sosas BUTUAN CITY-- The Listahanan of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga will conduct a special validation for Indigent Senior Citizens of the Social Pension program and Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Families in Need of Special Protection (MCCT-FNSP) beneficiaries on the month of May this year in Caraga region. The special validation will uphold Listahanan’s objective of ensuring that all potentially poor households are assessed and included in the database which serves as the basis for selecting recipients of the social protection programs of the national government. For Social Pension, the assessment will legitimize the resumption of the payment of monthly stipends to social pension beneficiaries. On the other hand, the inclusion of MCCT-FNSP beneficiaryfamilies in the Listahanan database as a result of this validation will guarantee their advancement to the regular Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Caraga will need a total of 98 Field workers composed of 14 Area Supervisors, 70 Enumerators, and 14 Encoders with only a short-term of engagement in the department. APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

The Family Assessment Form (FAF) with 52 variables will be utilized as the main tool in the assessment interview. The use of the FAF will ensure consistency in determining the poverty status of the targeted beneficiaries. It may be recalled that those currently being served by the Program have been identified using the List of Poor Households generated as a result of the 2009 assessment. Director Minda B. Brigoli calls support for the Local Government Units (LGUs) in informing their constituents specially the senior citizens to be available during the household assessment. The Listahanan is a project implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). It is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are in the country. PAGE | 15


Dominga Mallonga DOST-Caraga Regional Director

for more details visit us DOST National Website: http://www.dost.gov.ph DOST Caraga Website: http://caraga.dost.gov.ph


DOST holds “Iba na ang panahon” forum for Zampen LGUs, stakeholders By Jocelyn P. Alvarez

BUTUAN CITY - The Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-9 has conducted on Monday a forum dubbed “Iba na ang Panahon: Science for Safer Communities” for some 300 participants from all over the region at the Garden Orchid Hotel this city.

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Thelma Diego of DOS-9 said the participants were composed of city/ municipal mayors, city/municipal disaster risk reduction and management officers, information officers from the different line agencies, city/municipal local government operations officers and others. “Iba na ang panahon” is a nationwide information, education campaign (IEC) of the department aimed at arming the LGUs with knowledge and science-based

technologies for community preparedness against disasters especially in the face of climate change. Diego said DOST is set to conduct “Iba na ang Panahon” seminarworkshop in all the 17 regions of the country from March to May of this year and Zamboanga City is the 7th area to benefit from this project. “Iba na ang Panahon” is a joint project of DOST, DILG , LGUs and the Office of Civil Defense.

DOST chief bats for enhanced LGU preparedness for disaster By Dominic I. Sanchez

BUTUAN CITY - “Iba na talaga ang panahon,” declared Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario Montejo, in reference to the natural calamities that have recently devastated certain parts of the country.

In his speech read by Assistant Secretary Raymond Liboro during “Iba na ang Panahon: Science for Safer Communities” forum held here last April 7-8, Sec. Montejo emphasized the need for all stakeholders, especially the local government units (LGUs) to be more “disaster-imaginative,” meaning, to take into consideration the worstcase scenarios that may happen as a result of the disasters brought about by climate change in recent times. “With ‘disaster-imagination’, we can think and act two steps ahead APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

– early warning will trigger early actions,” Seccretary Montejo said. “We should now start a greater era of resiliency after the Yolanda episode.” Montejo emphasized that we have the tools to further our disaster preparedness, and that we should make full use of its potential. “Let’s make use of science,” he urged. “The LGUs are the first responders, and we need to develop your capacities and translate this to enhanced action,” the secretary told the more or less 300 representatives from Western Mindanao LGUs, PAGE | 21


including the mayors. Meanwhile, Liboro shared that the following four points are essential in disaster risk reduction: increase local risk knowledge, hazards monitoring, test warning and

communications protocols, build response capability in coordination with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and other stakeholders.

Disaster imagination serves as best motivation for disaster preparedness, says Phivolcs chief By Michael Vincent D. Cajulao

BUTUAN CITY - Imagining disaster hitting our area, picturing out what are the ill effects to properties and lives, will help us become motivated in coming up with proper response plan, Philippine Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) head Dr. Renato Solidum said during the “Iba Na Ang Panahon” information dissemination campaign held here last Monday.

“Use your imagination to picture out effects of disasters and imagine what to do to counter and recover right away,” Dr. Solidum said. Solidum also stressed to local government chiefs that they should also imagine the consequences that disasters may bring. “Imagine the consequence. We need to make sure we are prepared. There will still be damages. But we can plan ahead to respond to it. We also need to have a recovery time set for especially for important facilities,” Solidum pointed out. Dr. Solidum said there are four steps in imagining disaster: hazards and risks assessment, APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

monitor what is happening in your place, warning and disseminating the warning, and proper response phase. Solidum said there is an urgent need for all LGUs in the region to come up with disaster preparedness plans since almost all places in Mindanao are prone to earthquakes. The presence of two major fault lines, the Sulu and Cotabato trenches make Zamboanga Peninsula very vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis. Dr. Solidum, before ending his presentation, left a challenge to the over 300 participants today: “Are we ready in cases of eventualities?” he ended. PAGE | 22


Climate Change Commission enforces ClimbEx.db, espouses resiliency by Recthie T. Paculba

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - With an aim to help communities as well as local government units in planning land use and development while incorporating preventive measures to adapt to the effects of climate change in their areas, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) conducts an orientation and training in the use of the Climate and Disaster Exposure Database (ClimbEx.db) on April 3-4, here. APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

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According to Julie Amoroso, Project Technical Officer, ClimEx.db is “part of the Project Climate Twin Phoenix. It’s one of the components of the project and it’s primarily for the assessment of disaster and climate risks of Cagayan de Oro City. So that way we will be able to determine the population at risk in the flooded area, the characteristics of the population and households, the properties that are at risk of damage, and at the same, we will determine the socioeconomic activities in the community or area.” Amoroso also added that knowing the sources of income and skills of the people in the community will help determine the alternate livelihood that will be administered in the area if in case they will be affected by disasters. In terms of prioritization, CCC focused the implementation of APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

ClimEx.db in the flooded areas based on the climate adjusted flood hazard map developed by the Project Climate Twin Phoenix. With the versatility of the data obtained in the database, Amoroso said that “the data can actually be used by various relevant agencies like Department of Helath (DOH) because of the concern on illnesses, DPWH because we’re now looking at the structure or the building structure; of course it can be used by department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) because they will now know the exact people that they need to respond to in terms of disaster like Tropical Storm Sendong, National Statistics Office (NSO) can also benefit from database and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) because it can help a lot in the flood contingency plan.” Aside from Cagayan de Oro City, ClimbEx.db is also implemented in Iligan City. CCC, through the Project Climate Twin Phoenix, will conduct the final database project on the third week of April in Cagayan de Oro City. PAGE | 24


BIR requires importers to use national single window for release of goods by PHILEXPORT

CAGAYAN DE ORO - All applications for an Electronic Authority to Release Imported Goods (eATRIG) must be done by Philippine importers through the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) National Single Window (NSW) system. This is in line with Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Revenue Memorandum 14-2014 dated March 5, 2014 for the release of goods imported into the country’s ports to ensure proper payment of taxes and duties by companies. The order took effect immediately. The NSW was developed in order to provide all importers of goods a one-stop shop in online filing and processing of import entry declaration under which all concerned regulatory government offices issuing import clearances/permits like the BIR-issued ATRIG are issued. The BIR uses the e-ATRIG system in processing application for ATRIG and issuing the corresponding ATRIG for excise tax purposes, particularly for all importation of articles subject to excise tax purposes (whether except or taxable), including the raw materials in the production thereof, as well as the machineries, equipment, apparatus or any mechanical contrivances especially used for its assembly/production to be released through the Port of Manila and Manila International Container Port. APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

Under RMO 14-2014, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said every application for ATRIG will be done online through the NSW system. A hard copy of the duly notarized application form will still be submitted by the importer or authorized broker-representative to the BIR and no approved eATRIG shall be electronically transmitted to BOC until such submission has been complied with. Only applications of importerapplicant and broker-representative who are duly registered BIR taxpayers will be processed. An individual importer-applicant must present a photocopy of his/ her latest annual income tax return together with the audited financial statements duly stamped received by the BIR. These will be used in the valuation of the individual importerapplicant’s financial capacity to import. The eATRIG will be processed, approved and issued not later than the next working day after actual receipt of the application with complete documents/requirements, provided there is no legal issue on the taxability PAGE | 25


of the imported article. Prior ocular inspection of the imported goods would be conducted, if deemed necessary. Any application for eATRIG that has been pending for least a month due to failure of the importer-applicant and/or broker/representative to submit the required supporting documents would be tagged as rejected, Henares said. Importers are required to first secure accreditation from the BIR

before they can import goods through the Customs’ ports. Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said the accreditation system is an essential step in the government’s efforts to ensure importer accountability and compliance. “With the database of the BIR on registered taxpayers, we will be in a better position to determine whether an importer is doing legitimate business and when they are paying the right taxes,” he had said earlier.

SMEs need more nonbank financing options to expand, create jobs by Romelda Ascutia

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Asia, including the Philippines, need better access to finance to grow and generate badly needed new jobs for the region, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report. “Most of Asia’s smaller firms are faced with difficulties in obtaining finance,” said Noritaka Akamatsu, deputy head of ADB’s Office of Regional Economic Integration, which produced the inaugural edition of “Asia SME Finance Monitor.” “SMEs need to be able to tap a wider range of nonbank financing options in addition to bank loans, including capital markets if they are to realize their potential,” he added. In the Philippines, the SME

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Development Plan 2004-2010 noted that most SMEs had to rely mainly on owners’ savings and personal loans from family and friends for funding, said the report, released April 4. Only a small segment sought financing from established institutions; many were deterred by fear of loan exposure, lack of collateral, and lack of knowledge on credit sources and processes. SMEs-enterprises with a generally small workforce or low assets-make up 98 percent of all PAGE | 26


businesses and provide jobs for 66 percent of the labor force in Asia. But they represent only 38 percent of the region’s gross domestic product (GDP), indicating that governments can boost economic growth by developing SMEs. However, small firms have trouble getting the finance they need, often losing out to larger companies in getting bank loans. Although many governments have policies promoting SME growth, most measures usually focus on facilitating bank loans, such as public credit guarantee schemes in Indonesia and Thailand, secured transaction reforms in the Pacific region, refinancing schemes in Bangladesh and Malaysia, and mandatory lending in the Philippines. The report highlighted the need to incorporate nonbank financing options and other schemes into national policies, such as increased use of asset-based finance and capital market instruments. The report, which includes data on SMEs in 14 Asian countries, found that as the world economy becomes increasingly interlinked, SMEs will need access to further trade finance, supply chain finance, and innovative funding models to expand their business globally. The Philippines’ MSME Development Plan 2011-2016 addresses the challenges and constraints facing the micro, small, APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

and medium-sized enterprises. Two primary targets under the plan are to create two million jobs by 2016 and raise the economic contribution of MSMEs from 35.7 percent of total gross value added in 2006 to 40 percent by 2016. To remove the two major impediments in MSME lendinglack of collateral and lack of credit information-the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and policy makers are continuously developing the financial infrastructure for an enabling environment for MSMEs’ access to finance. In 2008, the Credit Information System Act under Republic Act No. 9510 mandated the creation of the Credit Information Corporation to provide a non-collateral-based credit system in the country. The act requires all types of banks, insurance companies, credit card issuers, cooperatives, microfinance institutions, and other credit institutions to share their credit data with the Credit Information Corporation. The credit information system is set for full implementation by 2016. In June 2013, the Department of Finance signed the movable collateral framework document, establishing a system that encourages financial institutions to accept non-real property assets as security for lending to MSMEs by 2015. PAGE | 27


181 SOCCSKSARGEN athletes graduate in special commencement exercises By: Danilo E. Doguiles

KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato -- Some 181 athletes of SOCCSKSARGEN Region received their diplomas as graduates in a ceremony at the Koronadal National Comprehensive High School organized for them by the Department of Education-12 Monday.

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The group was comprised of 116 candidates for graduation in elementary and 65 in high school. They were part of the over 400 athletes from the four provinces and five city currently undergoing 40-day training in preparation for the 2014 Palarong Pambansa in Laguna on May 4 – 10. DepEd 12 OIC Regional Director Allan Farnazo explained said the decision to hold a special commencement exercises for the athletes was in accordance with his earlier order for an intensive training of the students in a bid to improve the region’s standing in the national games. In 2013 Palaro, SOCCSKSARGEN Region ranked 7th among all the regional contingents. “Allowing athletes to return to their schools to attend graduation ceremonies would entail at least three days of delay on their training,” he said in an earlier interview. Those studying in remote barangays may be absent for much longer, he added. Farnazo said, the special graduation for the athletes here came with several perks. “It is very rare that division superintendents would attend graduations held in your school,” he said, “but for your graduation today all nine superintendents are present.” Dr. Farnazo himself declared the APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

candidates as graduates, handed their diplomas, and conferred their awards and recognition. Graduates with honors were also given medals and cash incentives of P3,000 for valedictorians, P2,000 for salutatorians, and P1,000 for those with honorable mention. Among the graduates were 8 valedictorians, 2 salutatorians, and 19 with honorable mention. Certificates, citations and recognitions such as Best in Math, Best in English, Most Loyal, Outstanding Boy Scout, Best Girl Scout and many others were also conferred to them at the activity. Each graduates was also accorded special award as Regional Athlete of the Year. After the ceremony, the graduates were treated to what the regional director described as a “sumptuous lunch” that they shared with their parents and visitors. DepEd 12 also provided for the toga they wore for the commencement exercises. In his message, Dr. Farnazo thanked the parents for their permission to allow their children to graduate here instead of insisting for DepEd to release them for a few days to attend graduation ceremonies with their classmates. “I know, our decision to hold a separate graduation for your children is difficult for you,” he said. “Today I take my hats off to PAGE | 29


the parents who never exempted their children. I salute all of you because I know you also desire that your children would graduate with their batch mates in the schools where they have been studying.” He also reminded the graduates to strive to succeed, which he said is possible if they have a definite goal; knowledge, patience and determination to achieve that goal; and trust on self and

God. In line with the agency’s efforts to focus on their training, graduating athletes were not allowed to leave training sessions with their respective coaches even to practice for the graduation ceremonies. Only public school teachers who served as ushers and marshals practiced for the activity. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12)

Full localization of Magna Carta on Women pushed By: Catherine T. Apelacio GENERAL SANTOS CITY--- The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW)AECID based in Sarangani is pushing for the full implementation of the localization of RA 9710 otherwise known as the Magna Carta on Women (MCW) in the province. Juvilyn Salazar, local area coordinator for Sarangani, PCW-AECID MCW Project said that they continue to advocate and push for the law to be mainstreamed in local government units (LGUs). She said lots of relentless works are still needed for the law to be completely localized. The law was signed in August 2009 by the then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. As the women’s month winds up, the PCW-AECID has conducted various orientations, and seminar-trainings in the different towns of Sarangani highlighting the MCW and the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 201301 issued by PCW, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

the Department of Budget and Management, and the National Economic and Development Authority. The memorandum mandates “all provincial governors, city/municipal mayors and punong barangays, members of the local Sanggunian, DILG Regional Directors (Local Government and Interior Sectors), ARMM governor, DILG-ARMM regional secretary and all others concerned” to implement the guidelines for the localization of MCW. Salazar admitted that despite the efforts of the PCW and other frontline agencies, organizations and advocates to mainstream the law, not all are adopting the mechanisms that are warranted to fully implement the PAGE | 30


law and attain its objectives. According to her, as a strategy to implement the law, LGUs shall pursue gender mainstreaming in their respective localities such as the creation, reconstitution and/or strengthening of the LGU GAD Focal Point System (GFPS). The GFPS is tasked “to ensure and sustain the LGU’s critical consciousness in supporting gender and development, women’s empowerment and responding to gender issues.” “GFPS shall take a lead role in direction-setting, advocacy, planning, monitoring and evaluation, and technical advisory in mainstreaming GAD perspectives in the LGU programs, projects, activities, and processes,” Salazar told PIA-General Santos City explaining the salient feature of the joint circular. As customary, the provincial government of Sarangani has in the long time let its municipalities to take the lead in the observance of women’s month; however they make sure to provide technical and financial assistance to LGUs in their respective celebrations. For the city government of here, they have earlier celebrated the International Women’s Day on March 8 recognizing women’s power with awards and commendations especially those outstanding women who are doing traditional men’s job. With GenSan’s first lady on the lead, Jane Gollon-Rivera, the city tourism council’s chair, has became herself the epitome of strength and power in that celebration. In her speech, she addressed the APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

various issues pertaining to women’s empowerment and their roles that they should take on as equal members of the society. She also condemned cases of women’s abuse, trafficking, and their stereotyping as weak and only second fiddle to men, encouraging them then to all the more take a strong stance against issues concerning women’s rights. “As a woman, we have to do more. And there is nothing wrong with it. It is natural for us to do these, because together, we can do it,” Rivera articulated. The one-day celebration was focused on “Inspiring Change” to bolster women’s advancement instilling positive change toward women’s equality and vigilance against domestic violence and abuses. Among the activities also included free haircut services, family counselling and free health services such as diabetes screening, pap smear, and ultrasound. As culmination activity on April 2, the city government thru the women’s federation members said that it has in store exciting games for women. It is also expecting the arrival of Sen. Sonny Angara, who is a stalwart supporter of the various advocacies on women’s rights and empowerment. The MCW “is a comprehensive women’s human rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination through the recognition, protection, fulfilment and promotion of the rights of Filipino women, especially those belonging in the marginalized sectors of the society.” PAGE | 31


It is a framework that conveys 12 General Santos City/ With reports and accentuates the rights of wom- from Ian John Lagare, GenSan Inforen based directly on international mation Office) law, said Salazar. (CT Apelacio, PIA-

LGU-Tacurong pushes for zero TB deaths By: Danilo E. Doguiles

TACURONG CITY, Sultan Kudarat -- In line with its efforts to achieve zero deaths due to tuberculosis, the local government of Tacurong City called on residents to help in advocating TB testing and treatment in the locality.

Through the Office for the City Health Services (OCHS), the city LGU held a World TB Day Forum on March 28 where the officials advised participants to encourage suspected TB-infected individuals to avail of the free sputum exam at the city health center. According to the World Health Organization TB is an infectious bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs. It is transmitted from person to person via droplets from the throat and lungs of people with the active respiratory disease. In healthy people, infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis often causes no symptoms, since the person’s immune system acts to “wall off” the bacteria. The symptoms of active TB of the lung are coughing, sometimes with sputum or blood, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

night sweats. Tuberculosis is treatable with a six-month course of antibiotics. Suspected patients in Tacurong City may go to the city’s TB-DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment Short Course) center which caters to child and adult patients with TB of all forms for free, whether they are PhilHealth members or not. Once detected, TB patients must undergo treatment for two weeks to eliminate the possibility of infecting other people around them. Right after detection, the patient will have to immediately proceed to the city’s TB-DOTS center for counseling and to get his/her medicines. From the second day to the sixth month, the patient must meet with the barangay health worker every day. However, the patient must again undergo a sputum exam at the city health center before the second month ends and before the fourth PAGE | 32


and fifth months end. In 2013, Tacurong OCHS detected 138 TB cases, and cured 89 patients. Most patients cannot complete the free 6-month TB counseling and treatment. “Most patients fail to meet with their rural health workers for their daily treatment, said OCSH nurse Lorelie Muyuela. “Some reasoned that they do not have money to pay for fare to go to the health centers, others said they are feeling the stigma of the diseases and still others said they do not have enough food.” TB patients constantly feel hungry especially if they are in high dosage medication.

APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

“We hope to increase our TB cure rate this year by involving sectors in the community. We hope to encourage TB patients to complete their treatment to be cured,” said city health officer Dr. Giovanni Deles. Tuberculosis remains the 6th cause of death and morbidity in the Philippines. Three out of ten Filipinos have tuberculosis. World TB Day was celebrated on March 24, 2014. This year’s celebration revolved around the theme: “A TB Test, Treatment, and Cure for All.” (DEDoguiles-PIA 12 with report from LGU-Tacurong City Information)

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New Corella women’s coop gets Vermi facility by Micheal Uy DAVAO DEL NORTE – A women’s cooperative in the municipality of New Corella obtained organic composting facilities amounting to P 200,000 from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). As part of the Shared Service Facility

program, Engr. Edwin Banquerigo, provincial director of DTI, recently turned over a Vermi composting and tea processing equipment to the Women’s Sunrise Multi-Purpose Cooperative of New Corella. The facilities awarded were mechanical sifter, 28 Vermi beds, four Vermi tea brewers, and two rice hull carbonizer. Rosalina Jabines, president of the cooperative, said that the equipment will augment the present individual production of Vermi cast of its 83 members.

APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

“Before this project was given by the DTI, we have our own individual Vermi culture in our farm,” Jabines added. Jabines said that with their concerted effort the project will harvest on July with five bags of Vermi casts per bed or a total of 140 bags per yield. She said that the cooperative advocated the use of organic fertilizer in the rice fields because it generated to higher production than the commercial inorganic fertilizer. “In my experience using organic and inorganic fertilizer, my 0.7 hectares of rice field yielded 71 71 sacks of 60 kilos rice using Vermi cast compared to only 52 sacks using commercial inorganic fertilizer,” she added. (PIA 11, Michael Uy)

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250 Sta. Cruz women to benefit from STAR Program

STA. CRUZ, Davao del Sur – Some 250 women recipients here will benefit from Sari-sari Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) program which was recently launched at the municipal gymnasium of Sta. Cruz town, this province. The STAR Iskolars were

oriented about the details of the program including their responsibilities during the launching program where the formal signing of Memorandum of Agreement and Induction Program were held. STAR Program is a Local

APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

Convergence Partnership on Empowering Women Retailers between the Coca-Cola Export Corporation, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the Municipal Government of Sta. Cruz thru Training and Placement Network Program (TPNP). It mainly focused on providing formal Basic Entrepreneurship training and facilitation of access to business resources such as product and merchandising support. (CDIO-Sta. Cruz/Julius R. Paner)

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PLDT-Smart turns over houses in Baganga BAGANGA, DAVAO ORIENTAL—As the massive construction of permanent shelters continues incessantly for typhoon survivors in Baganga town, the PLDT-Smart Foundation under the MVP Group of Companies turned over the first batch of housing units to its beneficiariesMonday, April 1, 2014. Ma. Ester O. Santos, President of the PLDT-Smart Foundation said that the completion of the first 29 housing units that consist the first block of the MVP homesis a huge breakthrough for them, as this would mark the beginning of a series of turnovers of permanent shelters in Brgy. Lambajon of this town. “The completion of the first phase of the construction is truly a milestone for us,” she said, referring to the housing project in Baganga as their ‘eldest child’ as it is has been touted as a model of future housing projects in other areas, including the ones recently hit by typhoon Yolanda in Visayas. Together with the full force of Tulong Kapatid, that consist all corporate organization under the MVP Group of Companies, the PLDTSmart ensures that the resettlement site is equipped with all necessary utilities, such as electricity to be provided by Meralco, water system by Maynilad, among other APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

amenities. During the turnover ceremony, Santos thanked all donors who helped realize this noble project. “We really thank other corporate donors who have entrusted their money to us so that we can help the Province of Davao Oriental,” she said. Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon, in an elated speech, thanked the MVP Group of Companies while extending her overwhelming gratitude to its chair Manny V. Pangilinan, CEO to one of the country’s corporate giants. “This is a living testament of the MVP Group’s benevolence, generosity, and concern for the typhoon victims and we really cannot thank you enough,” she told the MVP team during the turnover. Malanyaon said that the MVP group’s support to her province gave her hope amid the seemingly insurmountable odds after the arc of devastation caused by typhoon Pablo. “We never thought of MVP coming down and offering to build homes here.It’s really hard to believe that MVP really came to help us considering that we are too far from Metro Manila,” she said. While the MVP Group had committed to buildabout a thousand housing units in the three hard-hit PAGE | 36


towns in the east coast, Governor Malanyaon said that even at the minimum of P100,000 cost per unit, MVP would already spend at least P100 million. “For Davao Oriental to be a recipient of that, of course, that is indeed very overwhelming,” she said. During the turnover, Gov. Malanyaon applauded the efforts of the workforces under the MVP Group. “These people made a lot of sacrifices, which made them endeared to us. I can see Mr. Pangilinan through his people who have been working hard to assist us.” Considered a first class subdivision, with its well-built APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

concrete homes and paved subdivision roads, the realization of the housing project involves partnership between the PLDTSmart who shoulder costs for the construction, the National Housing Authority (NHA) for the land development, and the Provincial Government for the acquisition of the resettlement site.“This is going to be a landmark of Baganga as far as subdivisions are concerned,” she said. To ensure sturdy-built homes that can withstand strong typhoons, which now frequents the country, the PLDT-Smart Foundation tapped services of the David M. Consunji, Inc. (DMCI), which is considered one PAGE | 37


of the country’s finest construction firms together with the Philippine Contractors’ Association. “It [the construction] took some time because they really want to adhere to their standard—that is quality standard,” Gov. Malanyaon said. “We, here in the province, particularly in Brgy.Lambajon are indeed very fortunateto become the exclusive recipient to MVP’s generosity.” While beneficiaries of the housing units were already identified, their exodus to their new homes has been set in July this year, as they still have to undergo social preparation to help them organize their community and have them instilled with valuesto make them responsible homeowners. Menchie Silvestre, Executive Director of TV5 Alagang Kapatid Foundation encouraged the beneficiaries, who are members of the Home Owners Association of APRIL2014 | www.pia.gov.ph

Lambajon, of not only taking care of the houses but to help make their community a model of resilience and progress, not only here in the country but also in the international community. “You have the obligation to be a model to other areas devastated. Kailangan mapatuyan sa kanila na makakabangon pala pagkatapos ngi sang disaster. Patunayan ninyo na kaya n’yong bumangon at mapagkakatiwalaan sa tulong na ibininbigay ng iba. Yun po angi nyong obligasyon,” Silvestre said. Anselma Bausing, a housing beneficiary said she feels very fortunate to have become a recipient of this housing project equipped with all necessary utilities such as electricity and water. She said that this would definitely inspire them to rise up and work hard. “It could have been very difficult for us if we handled the construction ourselves. Everything was given free— from the lot to the house. What more could we ask for? We cannot thank them enough for their help. We know we can’t repay them and truly we can’t forget their generosity for the rest of our lives,” she said. (Karen Lou Deloso/Eden Jhan Licayan) PAGE | 38



One Mindanao - April 10, 2014