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USEP’s English camp benefits Korean students Carina L. Cayon Southern Mindanao

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Today’s news... Page 7 Page 10



President Aquino thanks Canada for helping the Philippines in the aftermath of Yolanda


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DSWD extends relief assistance to flood victims in Caraga Jennifer P. Gaitano

TD Agaton left 7 persons dead, 27 injured, thousands affected David M. Suyao


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ZSNHS contingent bags 2014 Pasalamat Festival street dancing tilt

Gideon C. Corgue

Zambo gov’t prioritizes education; builds 20 school buildings, rehabilitates 24 in 2013

Jocelyn P. Alvarez


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Coworking space for MSMEs to be opened

FRIDAY, JANUARY 24, 2014 Vol. 3 No. 106


USEP’s English camp benefits Korean students By Carina L. Cayon


N JUST three weeks, 40 Korean high school students improved well in their English communication skills after undergoing thorough training from the English Camp of the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) in Davao City. The graduating students from Pyonghae Technical High School of South Korea gained their learning through classroom set up, actual application, one on one tutorials and exposure inside and outside USEP’s university campus starting December 24 last year up to January 10 this year. Pyonghae schools’ staff, Song Dong Su, attested to the progress of the young students who learned fast,

saying “they really have improved well and have gained confidence in speaking English.” Su said the school has required their students to be trained on the English language to help them gain more knowledge, techniques and skills, especially those specializing in nuclear power. “Every Korean needs to learn English. Learning the language would broaden their chances to get jobs,” he added, adding that “The students can use English everywhere. It would be convenient and effective for them to communicate with other people.” The three-week English Camp training program is under the short term English Language Program of USEP, a national state university based in Davao City, which

is beginning to become a global university because of its short-term foreign languages. The USEP management is thankful for the positive response and for the trust given by the Pyonghae Technical High School to the capabilities of the state university in providing quality English education for the Koreans and other foreign students who want to learn the English language.

USEP president Dr. Perfecto Alibin believes that the success of the English camp would pave way to more opportunities in inviting more students from other countries to avail of the program. Alibin bared that they have been eyeing a school in Bangkok, Thailand for a possible agreement. He said a definite schedule of another English Camp will be this coming summer. Aside from teaching English, USEP’s English Language Program also includes in its package a short study of the Filipino culture, especially about Davao City and its tourism industry. Alibin said immersion of the foreign students into the Filipino culture intends to strengthen the relationship of the Philippines with other countries.


Pyonghae school student Kim Dong Ha shared how he was impressed on the kindness shown by the people in Davao City. He thanked his teachers and professors for the many experiences and learning he gained during the English Camp. Another student, Hwang Ji Hyun said he felt strange at first because everything for him was different, but he shared that after some time he felt comfortable saying that Davao was like his hometown because people were courteous. Apart from the regular activities they underwent throughout the English Camp, the Korean students also took time to hold a flee market where they

sold Korean souvenirs and products. The proceeds they collected, together with the personal donation from the faculty and staff of Pyonghae Technical High School, were donated to the victims of typhoon Yolanda. The total cash donation amounted to Php11,758 which was given through Philippine Information Agency regional director Efren Elbanbuena during the Kapihan sa PIA-11 on January 10, 2014. Dir. Elbanbuena turned over the assistance to assistant regional director Mila T. Segovia of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-11) on January 21.

Across the Nation

President Aquino appoints four new ambassadors to Republic of Korea, Argentine Republic, Canada and Singapore


resident Benigno S. Aquino III has appointed four new ambassadors to various countries.

In a transmittal letter to Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said the Chief Executive signed the appointment letters of the new ambassadors on January 20. The Chief Executive named Raul S. Hernandez as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary FRIDAY, JANUARY 24, 2014

to the Republic of Korea: Ma. Amelita C. Aquino as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Argentine Republic with concurrent jurisdiction over the Pluri-national State of Bolivia, the Republic of Paraguay and the Oriental Republic of Uruguay; Petronila P. Garcia as Ambassador Extraordinary


and Plenipotentiary to Canada and Antonio A. Morales as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Singapore. Hernandez served as Foreign Affairs Spokesperson since July 2011 until his appointment as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Korea. After joining the DFA in 1993, he held various positions in Philippine diplomatic and consular missions in China, Canada and the Hague, Netherlands. Prior to her appointment, Aquino served as Executive Director of the Office of American Affairs since January 2009. She held various positions in Philippine diplomatic

and consular missions in China, Mexico, Chile, among others. Garcia served as Assistant Secretary of the Office of Middle East and African Affairs since September 2011 until her appointment as Ambassador to Canada. She held various positions in Philippine diplomatic and consular missions in Tel Aviv, Israel; Cairo, Egypt; Seoul, Korea; Pretoria, South Africa; Sydney, Australia, and Singapore. Morales served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Peninsula Beijing as Deputy Chief of Mission and Consul General since March 2013 until his appointment as Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore.

President Aquino thanks Canada for helping the Philippines in the aftermath of Yolanda


resident Benigno S. Aquino III expressed his appreciation to Canada for standing in solidarity with the Philippines during the disaster relief operations in the aftermath of supertyphoon “Yolanda� (internationally known as Haiyan).



In his remarks during the courtesy call of the “Winter Escapade—It’s More Fun In The Philippines” Tour held at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall in Malacanang Palace on Friday, the Chief Executive assured the Canadian donors that resilience and strength underpin rehabilitation efforts to build back better. Thus far, official Canadian contribution to the emergency effort is estimated at USD 40 million, in addition to the private donations channelled through Canadian charities. “Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda was really bad and it came on top of several crises. You had the Zamboanga; you had the Bohol-Cebu earthquake; you had ‘Santi’ in between them before ‘Yolanda’ struck. And then now you have ‘Agaton,’” the President said. “The Philippines is visited by about 20 typhoons every year. We have gone a long way....Now, we have a weather bureau who can actually tell you precisely where it will fall, what the wind strength will be, what the rainfall will be but, more importantly, we have a Department of Science and


Technology that is able to translate all of this data (and) can make our citizens even more prepared than what they were,” he said. He thanked the Canadian and Filipinos for helping the communities recover from the devastation wrought by Yolanda. “And again, on their behalf, I thank all of you for this really tremendous effort that enabled us to overcome and continue to overcome the challenges besetting our country as we try to recover, reconstruct, rehabilitate, and build back better,” he said. Winter Escapade is a tour program launched by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Tourism aimed at attracting balikbayans to visit the Philippines during the cold season in the West. The program is also a big boost to the country’s tourism sector, particularly in the Western Visayas. On Friday, 24 Canadian visitors, many of them of Filipino heritage, paid a courtesy call on President Aquino. They toured Panay Island from January 18 to 23. PND


Solons propose creation of a railway corporation in Mindanao


wo lawmakers have proposed the creation of the Mindanao Railways Corporation (MRC) that will serve as the instrumentality of the government in providing a railroad and transportation system for the whole island of Mindanao. Reps. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd proposed MRC as embodied in District, Cagayan de Oro City) House Bill 3055 shall own or operate and Maximo Rodriguez Jr. (Party- railroads, tramways and other kinds list, Abante Mindanao) said the of land transportation, vessels FRIDAY, JANUARY 24, 2014


and pipelines, for the purpose of transporting for consideration, passengers, mails and property between any point in Mindanao. “The creation of the Mindanao Railways Corporation will hasten the development of the island,” Rodriguez said. Rodriguez cited the experience of Japan, Canada, the United States and most of Europe, which shows that their railroad networks have sped up the national development. Rodriguez said in these nations, railroads opened up vast land areas, making it possible for tremendous numbers of people to settle and huge volume of goods to be transported there at the lowest cost. “The influx of people into areas previously unsettled and the easy availability of goods needed for civilized life means higher productivity of the land,” Rodriguez stressed. Rodriguez underscored that a railroad network crisscrossing Mindanao will considerably shorten the distance between Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro or Davao and Cagayan de Oro. “This will, in turn, mean a shortening of the travel time of the people and of the goods whose end destination is the Visayas or Luzon or beyond our northern shores FRIDAY, JANUARY 24, 2014

or vice versa,” Rodriguez said. Rodriguez emphasized that the country must benefit from the experience of other lands whose railway systems up to today provide people and goods the cheapest and fastest way of moving in volume overland. Under the measure, the Corporation shall also have the powers to own and/or operate powerhouses, hotels, restaurants, terminals, warehouses, timber concessions, coal mines, iron and other mineral properties and manufacture rolling stocks, equipment, tools and other appliances and construct and operate in connection with its railroad lines, toll viaducts, toll tunnels and the like. The Corporation shall have an authorized capital of P1,000,000,000 for its initial operation divided into P10,000,000 shares at par value share of P100, which shall be fully subscribed by the government. It shall be exempted from payment of all taxes of every name and nature, municipal, city, provincial or national. A continuing annual appropriation of P200,000,000 shall be appropriated from any funds in the National Treasury. (PNA)


Naval Forces reinforce for rescue operations in Butuan City By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY -- The Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM) in Davao on Monday has ordered the navy personnel based in Naspit, Agusan del Norte to proceed to Butuan City to extend assistance in rescuing the flood-affected residents.



This was an outcome of the coordination initiated by Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga regional director Abner Caga, in cooperation with the Samahang Magdalo Balanghai Chapter represented by Michael Leo Torralba, with the Caraga Regional Diaster Risk Reduction Management Council chaired by Office of the Civil Defense Caraga regional director Liza Mazo. “In events like this when extreme weather creates a detrimental effect to lives and properties, we have to engage with our linkages in order to hasten the operation to help our affected fellowmen,” said Caga. In a quick response for reinforcement, Lt. Glen de Luna of naval intel group said that they have dispatched the responding team composed of 15 navy personnel led by commander Primitivo Novo upon urgent request for their


support in rescue operations. The navy team has geared up to respond utilizing their speed boat for an extensive rescue operation in barangay Buhangin, Butuan City, where many residents are still trapped in deep-flooded areas. They have initially rescued 27 persons and more will be transported to evacuation centers with the ongoing rescue operation. “The Samahang Magdalo Balanghai Chapter will be resorting to have direct coordination with the operations unit of NFEM Davao to ensure that the needing public are moved out from a dangerous situation to safe temporary shelters,” declared Torralba. PIA Caraga has been disseminating updates on the situation of the victims/evacuees and coordinating with other concerned government agencies for immediate response.


Butuan CDRRMC explains local flood warning system By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY - This city’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) chief Grace Espere bared the meaning of each alert level being raised especially during the sudden rise of water level in Agusan River. People should have this information so that they themselves will know ahead what to prepare for and be able to take action,” said Espere. The local color-coded or flood alert scheme also intends to help the public prepare for the possibility of massive flooding in Agusan River, the third largest river basin in the country. Espere explained that when water level in Agusan River is below 2 meters, it is still considered as normal and the council is in Code White. When water level reaches at 2 meters, it is already Code Blue or Alert Level 1, wherein the council prepares for possible evacuation of residents living near the riverbanks. In this alert level, a flood warning is FRIDAY, JANUARY 24, 2014

also issued. “It becomes Alert Level 2 or Code Yellow when the water reaches at 2.50 meters. In this level, selective evacuation is applied and the council will have to activate its evacuation center and evacuation unit. The task units will also be in full mobilization,” added Espere. Meanwhile, Alert Level 3 or Code Red is when the water level reaches at three meters. In this level, forced evacuation will be implemented, as well as the search and rescue of flood victims. Espere further reminded the public not to get panic but rather stay alert and vigilant in times of disasters and give their full cooperation to the orders of its local DRRMCs.


TD Agaton left 7 persons dead, 27 injured, thousands affected By David M. Suyao

PATIN-AY, Prosperidad -- Tropical depression (TD) Agaton left seven persons dead, 27 injured and thousands affected in the entire province. In a partial report submitted by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) to the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Council (RDRRMC), died by drowning were identified as Emerlinda Artajo, 48 years old; Liza Moreno, 29 years old, both from Campo 4, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur; Felix Aspa from Barangay Napo, Prosperidad and Ana Marie Noble Ocite, 2 years old from Barangay Caimpogan, San Francisco. Died due to landslide were Ceferino Garcia, 52 years old and Isagani Defello 32, both from Rosario town and Edong Pastor, 52 years old of Barangay Waloe, Loreto. Of the 27 injured, almost all suffer from punctured and lacerated wounds on the feet. Only five came from San Francisco while the rest came from Bunawan, Agusan del Sur. According to the same PDRRMC report, of the 13 municipalities and a lone City of Bayugan, only five municipalities have submitted their partial reports. On the partial reports of the affected families by TD Agaton submitted as of January 20, 2014, the municipality of Rosario reported that 401 families or 2,005 persons were affected in two barangays. Bunawan has also reported 5,589 families or 23,724 persons were affected while Loreto reported 933 families affected and San Francisco has recorded 4,011 families or 14,081 persons affected. FRIDAY, JANUARY 24, 2014

In an emergency meeting held at the PDRRMC Command Center on Monday, a resolution was filed requesting Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza thru the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to declare the entire province under State of Calamity. Another resolution by the PDRRMC was also passed requesting the governor to declare suspension of all classes in all level while no work in the provincial capitol be imposed except those whose services are needed in time of calamity. Since the start of the TD “Agaton� activities in the province, local government units (LGUs), the Search and Rescue Agusan del Sur (SARAS) from the provincial and municipal levels has been on 24 hour alert status and are ready to respond to any call of emergency. LGUs have also started distributing relief goods to the affected families.


Dominga Mallonga DOST-Caraga Regional Director

for more details visit us DOST National Website: DOST Caraga Website:

US Ambassador Goldberg hails Zambo’s resilience, reaffirms support to peace in Mindanao By Dominic I. Sanchez

ZAMBOANGA CITY - United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip S. Goldberg, during his visit here Thursday commended the spirit of the ZamboangueĂąos in overcoming the tragedies that had occurred in September last year and reaffirmed his support to peace and stability in Mindanao.



“The past few months have been extraordinarily difficult for all those affected by the tragic events here,” said Ambassador Goldberg. “But you’ve demonstrated your unwavering strength and your resilience.” “Today, we reaffirm our support to peace and stability in Mindanao,” he declared. Ambassador Goldberg was in the city to participate in the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with local government officials for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Enhancing Governance, Accountability and Engagement (ENGAGE) project. He explained that the ENGAGE FRIDAY, JANUARY 24, 2014

project, which partners with the local government units of Zamboanga City, Isabela City, Lamitan City, Jolo municipality and Sulu province, is anchored on three themes: the importance of consistent and reliable security, the importance of good governance and the importance of enhancing opportunities for people. “The MOUs symbolize our commitment to focus our efforts on the three themes. The ENGAGE project represents a partnership between the government of the Philippines and the United States; between local governments and civil society organizations, and between elected officials and those who work in their areas to foster good governance and strengthen civic


engagement,” said the ambassador. Before leaving for another engagement, the ambassador emphasized that the United States government has always been behind the Philippines in its goal to promote peace and development. “The people of the United States stood with you during these recent events; we stand with you now, to collaborate with you to create a peaceful and prosperous Mindanao that can and will stand as

a cornerstone for a vibrant, strong and resilient country,” he said. Ambassador Goldberg was appointed by President Barrack Obama last year, replacing Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr., who has been assigned here since 2010. Ambassador Goldberg has served as US Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research. He was sworn in in November, and this is his first visit to Mindanao, with Zamboanga as his first stop.

ZSNHS contingent bags 2014 Pasalamat Festival street dancing tilt By Gideon C. Corgue

PAGADIAN CITY – The Zamboanga del Sur National High School (ZSNHS) contingent emerged as the grand prize winner in the recently concluded street dancing competition (ritual category), one of the highlights of the 2014 Pasalamat Festival. The ZSHNS contingent, fantastic dancers of Melengas Dance which is composed of talented and Ensemble, belongs to cluster 2 FRIDAY, JANUARY 24, 2014


sponsored by barangays Sta. Maria, Balintawak, Kalasan Kahayagan and Bulatok. The sterling performance of ZSNHS contingent got the judges’ approval. It was also the crowd’s favorite. Second place went to Pagadian City National Comprehensive High School contingent of cluster 11 under the auspices of barangays Banale, Lourdes, Lumad and Lower Sibatang, and Sta. Lucia National High School (SLNHS) contingent of cluster 3 under the sponsorship of barangays Sta. Lucia, Lison Valley and White Beach got third. For street dancing category, cluster 15 represented mostly by out-of-school youth dancers from barangays Sto. Niño, Ditoray, Alegria, and Gatas won first place, while ZSNHS of cluster 2 and SLNHS of cluster 3 got second and third, respectively. Whopping cash prizes from Mayor Romeo Pulmones were given to the top three winners in ritual and FRIDAY, JANUARY 24, 2014

street dancing categories during the awarding ceremonies. Prizes for the ritual category were P200 thousand –first prize, P150 thousand-second prize and P100 thousand-third prize. For street dancing, P100 thousand for the first prize, P75 thousand for the second prize and P50 thousand for the third prize. Non-winning contingents were also given P50 thousand consolation prize each. This year’s Pasalamat festival was participated in by 15 contingents vying for the top prizes, as they performed before the judges and spectators in these stations: City Hall, Gaisano Mall and City Gym. All the city’s 54 barangays fully supported the said event in response to the Executive Order issued by Mayor Romeo Pulmones on January 2, 2014, enjoining them to take part in all activities and to appropriate counterpart funds for the success of the Pasalamat Festival.


Zambo gov’t prioritizes education; builds 20 school buildings, rehabilitates 24 in 2013 By Jocelyn P. Alvarez

ZAMBOANGA CITY - The city government here will continue to support the education sector as education is one of the priority thrusts of the Climaco Administration aside from security and health. Mayor Isabelle “Beng” Climaco during her recent State of the City Report said 20 new school buildings were constructed and 24 others were rehabilitated/improved in 2013. She acknowledged that the accomplishment started at the time of then Mayor Celso Lobregat, now congressman, and that her administration continued where Lobregat left off. “We continue the thrusts previously started knowing fully well that the realization of these projects will greatly benefit the children of Zamboanga,” the lady mayor said. Climaco said her vision to “make FRIDAY, JANUARY 24, 2014

the children’s future a reality today” remains to be her administration’s clarion call and that the local government will continue to take steps - big and small - to realize this vision for the young sector. She also bragged of the minigrandstand and a covered walk the local government had turned-over to the Zamboanga State College of Marine Science and Technology (ZSCMST) during her second day of office back in July 2013. She said the said projects were funded through the Congressional Priority Development Fund and the CDF of Councilor Ramos, respectively.


Army cites soldiers for the discovery of more improvised land mines

DAVAO CITY- The leadership of the 10th Infantry Division lauded members of the 1003rd Infantry Brigade after the discovery of more improvised land mines and other explosive-making 8:30 am Sunday in Sitio Mampait, Barangay Mansanitas, Loreto Agusan del Sur.

Major General Ariel Bernardo, commander of the 10th Infantry Division cited the soldiers and the timely report from the residents for the FRIDAY, JANUARY 24, 2014

unearthing of the war materiel. He said the persistent use of improvised land mines only highlights that the rebels are antipeace, anti-progress and antipeople as they continue to defy the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAHRILHL). “It is through cooperation like this that we will finally put a stop to this and win the peace for our people.� Bernardo said. Captain Ernesto Carolina, public affairs officer of the 10th ID said the soldiers were conducting a reconnaissance patrol when they found the 44 land mines, eight sacks of plastic pipes, batteries, detonating cords, improvised firing devices and other explosive components. Late last December 2013, the soldiers also recovered 163 landmines and the manufacturing facility in the same vicinity. (PIA 11-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)


Coworking space for MSMEs to be opened DAVAO CITY- The Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industries Inc. (DCCCII) office will soon host a co-working space for Micro, Small to Medium Scale Enterprises.

Antonio dela Cruz, newly elected president of the DCCCII said that the ongoing renovations of the office will create Mindanao’s first co-working office named The Cube. The space can accommodate 36 individual spaces for clients which can be used for offices. Other amenities include the use of conference rooms, 24/7 security and virtual secretary, high-speed printing and copier, mailbox, telephone and janitorial services. One of the come-ons is the presence of high-speed internet connection of about 50100 mbps one of the fastest in the city. Co-working is an efficient, cost-effective and the smartest way to operate your business. Raff Vlummens, project manager of the SBDC said. Coworking space can act as a permanent office location or a temporary office for the day. It also opens entrepreneurs to opportunities of


meeting new people, venturing new businesses and learning from each other. Dulce Lada of the Davao Start-up Community a group of I.T. entrepreneurs said the coworking space is ideal for MSMEs and start-ups since they can bypass the cost of building an office. With the coworking space they will just pay a walk-in fee of P250 per day or P3500 for a virtual office. The Cube will be the coworking space of the Small Business Development Center a business unit of the DCCCII and the executive arm of the Davao City SMED Council that offers coworking facilities, training, coaching, mentoring and handson support to small and mediumsized businesses. Vlummens said that aside from start-up companies The Cube will also cater to companies who doesn’t need physical offices and who don’t want to deal with the noisy crowd of a coffee shop to conduct their businesses. The tentative opening date of The Cube is on March 7. (PIA/ RG Alama)


One Mindanao - January 24,2014  

An Electronic News Magazine of PIA Mindanao