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Volume III, No. 282

Market Indicators As of 6:10 pm AUG. 23, 2013 (Friday)

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Briefly Coffee GENERAL Santos City -Local officials and members of the business sector are looking into the possibility of turning Gen. Santos City as the next coffee capital of the South. In a re c e nt meet ing with Cit y Mayor Ronnel Rivera , representatives of Corporate Holdings Management, Inc. (CHMI) a n d N e s t l e Ph i l i p p i n e s proposed to establish a 50-hectare demo farm in the city to test and assess the capability of the land. Jonathan Villaverde of Nestle Philippines also said Nestle is going to develop agricultural lands in the city for the coffee industry. Consumer body BUTUAN City -- A consumer body will be formed here in the region which will reach out to the sector of the youths, officials said Friday. The Regional Federation of Consumer s here will initiate the formation of a consumer body which will reac h out to the young people. The organization and other youth consumer organizations in other places of the region may form themselves into a regional federation eventually, Caraga Regional C o n s u m e r s Fe d e r a t i o n Pres. Egmedio Tidalgo said. “It is but timely to teach, train and equip the youth on consumerism and its welfare in order to prepare them to become mature and responsible consumers in the future,” Tidalgo said.

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Nationwide protests vs pork barrel swell

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By IRENE DAYO, Reporter with Wire Reports

ESPITE pronouncement made by President Benigno S. Aquino III on Friday calling for the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), there’s no stopping for the scheduled simultaneous protest rally today dubbed “Million People March” against the blatant misuse of the so-called pork barrel fund.

In Cagayan de Oro, a protest rally will be held at Gaston Park, while millions are expected to do similar protest actions in other parts of the country. The simultaneous protest action was called upon by netizens over social media after the scandalous misuse of lawmakers’ PDAF, otherwise known as “pork barrel fund,”

broke out linking several senators and a number of congressmen. Established in 1990, the PDAF was intended to bring development to every part of the country by making sure that every congressman will have an assured allocation for his district even if he is a member of the silent swell/PAGE 11

‘NO MORE PORK.’ Wearing masks of porcine replica, activists join calls for the abolition of the graft-laden pork barrel during a protest rally in Manila Friday. photo courtesy of richard a . reyes

…FOI bill’s passage Dubious NGOs got P45-M will prevent another from Surigao solons’ PDAF pork barrel scandal By ROEL CATOTO, MindaNews

By BONG D. FABE, Associate Editor

VOWING to join today’s nationwide People’s March Against Pork, Freedom of Information (FOI) advocates urged for the immediate passage of the bill to prevent future pork scandals from happening again. “Yung issue ng pork ang lalong nagbibigay ng hudyat ng maagang pagpasa ng FOI Bill,” Rep. Arlene “Kaka”

Bag-ao of the lone district of Dinagat Island told the Business Daily. She sa id t hat FOI prevent/PAGE 11

SURIGAO City -- Dubious non-government organizations (NGOs) allegedly got close to P45 million from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel allocations of politicians from Surigao del Norte, the 452-page report released by the Commission on Audit (COA) showed. First District Rep. Francisco Matugas allotted around P20 million to questionable NGOs, according to the COA special audit report covering the period 2007 to 2009. Former 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers also allocated some P25 million PDAF/PAGE 11

COA ch a i r m a n G ra ce Ta n s h ows re p o r t confirming that some legislators downloaded their pork barrel fund to dubious NGOs.

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Economy

Typhoon to have minimal impact on economy RECENT calamities will not have much impact to economic growth for the third quarter, the Finance department’s newly appointed chief economist said at the weekend. “It will only have minimal impact,” Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran said. The Philippine economy grew 7.8 percent in the first

quarter, beating market expectations to become Asia’s fastest growing economy. Second quarter growth will be reported next week. According to the Department of Agriculture, combined da mage to

ag ricu lture by t y phoon “Labuyo” and the southwest monsoon— as enhanced by tropical storm “Maring” – amounted to P2.6 billion, equivalent to 0.09 percent of projected third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP).

The agriculture sector accounts for a tent h of economic output. “Losses from the two major typhoons that hit the country in the third quarter can be recovered,” Beltran said.

In addition, Beltran said damage could also have been limited since the Agriculture depa r t ment lau nched a replanting program for the adversely affected farms. This, he said, would allow typhoon/PAGE 11

Construction industry players MRB flood to hold PhilConstruct in Davao control proj gets funding commitment DAVAO CITY—All roads lead to Davao City on September 5 to 7 for all players in the construction industry for the holding of the PhilConstruct Mindanao 2013 at the SMX Convention Center in SM Lanang Premier. Engr. Ramon Allado, event chair and past president of the Davao Constructors Association said more than 180 exhibiting compa nies are at tending t he fair to showcase the latest products in building and construction industry. He said the Philconstruct Mindanao 2013 will comprise of suppliers, manufacturers,

distributors and providers of top brands in heavy equipment, hardware products, paints, cements, air-conditioning, power tools, safety and security systems, water treatment facilities and more. Allado said contractors, architects, engineers, interior designers, property developers, specifiers, consultants and consumers are also invited to witness the world-class construction exhibit. “This show is about supporting the local industry. It is taking us a step closer hold/PAGE 11

DAVAO CITY—Incidence of flooding in Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Cotabato City and Sultan Kudarat are seen to subside in the i m med iate ter m a s t he Department of Public Works a nd Highways (DPW H) committed to fund the multibillion flood control projects in the Mindanao River Basin (MRB). With an area of 21,502 square kilometers, the MRB is the second largest river basin in the Philippines that is beset by perennial flooding especially during rainy season. DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson said that efforts to implement dredging, construction of dikes, and widening of cut-off channels funding/PAGE 11

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Manufacturers assure no hike in prices of sardines, noodles M A N U FAC T U R E R S of sardines and noodles – the staple for relief goods – will hold off any price increase u nt i l ye a rend , e ven a s retailers proposed a partial lifting of the truck ban to replenish their shelves. Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said retailers have asked for the suspension of t he t r uck ba n k u nt i l Saturday to allow them to receive deliveries. “We were assured na steady lang ang presyo,”

Domingo said, referring to manufacturers of basic goods and their retailers. Li kew ise, ba kers a re h o l d i n g o f f a ny p r i c e increase, which was supposed to ta ke ef fec t today. “Wala pong paggalaw. Walang karapatan ang mga baker na magtaas kapag ganitong may kalamidad,” said Philippine Federation of Ba kers Associat ion executive v ice president Chito Chavez. This was on the back

of a com m it ment f rom f lour millers to prov ide a subsidy, trimming the price of each bag to P750 from the prevailing P880, for the production of Pinoy Tasty and Pinoy Pandesal. “There is no precondition. We commit to provide flour for Pinoy Tasty and Pinoy pandesal,” said Philippine Association of Flour Millers executive director Ric Pinca. Jun Umali, president of Gardenia, said the subsidy prices/PAGE 10


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GMO debate rages on

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala (in checkered polo shirt) and Mayor Rommel Arnado lead the ceremonial stocking of milkfish (bangus) fingerlings for the 10 fish cages at the mariculture park in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte on Friday, August 23. The DA-funded livelihood project will benefit fisherfolk displaced by the August 2008 war between the AFP and the MILF as a result of the botched signing of the MOA-AD. mindanews photo

BFAR rolls out fishermen registry in North M’nao By BUTCH D. ENERIO

FISHERMEN in Northern Mindanao will soon be able to get the assistance they need from the government after the regional office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) launched on Wednesday the municipal Fisherfolk Registration (FishR) here. The Northern Mindanao FishR was attended by more than 500 participants from cities and municipalities and provinces in Region 10.

“For more than 50 years the fishery sector has never been given the attention it deser ves, particularly the people behind one of

t he cou nt r y’s economic contributors. Now we can give them a name and a face to properly attend to their welfare,” BFAR Director Asis Perez said. The BFAR, an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA), said there are about 1.7 million fishermen in the country who need to be identified. Currently, only 85,000 have

been registered. With FishR, Perez said the government could come up with a complete database of fishermen in the Philippines by 2014. He noted that despite the high productivity of the fisheries subsector, many f ishermen or around 51 percent have remained poor. “This has to be corrected BFAR/PAGE 10

DAVAO CITY—Amid the opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), a government scientist has assured that field trials of golden rice “are safe to human health and the environment,” and that calls for banning or labeling GMO products in the country are “unfounded.” Golden rice is a new type of rice that contains betacarotine, a source of Vitamin A, under experiment in the country. “What they say about GMOs being unsafe, I don’t get that. We have studied GMOs for many, many years and regulators have even assured us that GMOs are as safe as any other product in the market,” Dr. Eufemio Rasco Jr., Philippine Rice Institute executive director, said in a phone interview. Rasco was reacting to comments made at a recent forum here led by Go Organic Mindanao and the Sustainable Integrated Area Development Initiatives in Mindanao-Convergence for Asset Reform and Regional Development (SIMCARRD) about banning GMOs and golden rice. In 2010, Rasco was among the leaders of the field trial of Bt eggplant at the University of the PhilippinesMindanao, which was stopped by former Mayor Sara Duterte apparently due to lack of public consultation and the protests mounted by anti-GMO advocates. Lee Aruello, a lawyer from Third World Network, said that the call to ban GMOs “is parallel with the provision of an existing ordinance that promotes organic agriculture” in the city. Aruello said that scientific experiments on genetically engineered crops should be contained in a laboratory. “If I say I am against laboratory tests, people would say that I am anti-science. The bottom line is GMO/PAGE 10

MinDA to develop M’nao P80-M for agri projs in SoCot Farmers brave storm as PHL’s palm-oil capital to demand G E N E R A L S A N T O S C I T Y—T h e development of Mindanao as the palm oil capital of the Philippines has become the current focus of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA). MinDA Chairman Luwalhati Antonino said the agency has initially identified close to 200,000 hectares of farmlands as suitable for oil-palm plantation. Negotiation for developing these areas is already under way. Antonino disclosed that several private Minda/PAGE 10

GENER AL SANTOS CITY—The Department of Agriculture (DA) has allotted around P80 million worth of agricultural projects to South Cotabato province under t he World Ba n ksupported Philippine Rural D e ve l opm e nt P r o g r a m (PRDP). Engr. Reynold Binas, PRDP focal person, said that preparations are ongoing for the implementation of the program in the province that is targeted to begin during the last quarter of the year. He said t hey are present ly conduc t i ng orientations to local chief executives and prospective beneficiaries, specifically farmers’ organizations and cooperatives. Binas said the six-year program’s implementation will mainly focus on its top five priority commodities comprising cassava, palm oil, coffee, rubber and corn. “The funding and i mplement at ion of t he projects will be based on proposals from the target beneficiaries,” he said in a statement. The national government has allotted a total of P27.5 bi l l ion for t he PR DP ’s implementation, with around 75 percent coming from a loan with the World Bank.

Dr. Consolacion Satorre, component head of t he PRDP’s program support unit, said around P25.4 billion or 92 percent of the program’s budget will directly benefit farmer-beneficiaries from all over the country during its implementation cycle, a briefer said. She sa id t he rest of the funds will cover for the cost of the program’s implementation and other pre-implementation initiatives. About 67.4 percent of the funds or a total of P18.5 billion was set aside for the I-BU ILD component or the Intensified BuildingUp of Infrastructure and Logistics for Development, which will mainly focus on t he i mprovement of road networks connecting produc t ion a reas a nd markets, she said. The component will also fund projects that are aimed at increasing productivity from irrigation and water supply systems, she said. Satorre said about 2 5. 2 0 p e rc e nt or P 6 .9 bi l lion was a l lot ted for the I-REAP component or the Investments in Rural Enterprises and Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity. Such component focuses projs/PAGE 10

coco funds

AT LEAST 500 coconut fa r mers, brav i ng heav y rains, camped out at the Agriculture and Agrarian Reform depa r t ments in Quezon City at the height of the habagat and Maring to prot e s t t he Aqu i no administration’s prescribed use of the coco levy funds w it hout t he consent of the real owners, the small coconut farmers. The farmers were members of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and the coconut levy claimants’ groups under the umbrella of Coco Levy Funds Ibalik sa Amin (CLAIM). Bert Autor, Bicol Coconut Planters Association Inc. chairman, said the farmers protested t he Aqu i no government’s insistence to use the multi-billion coco levy funds for the benefit of local and foreign businesses and landlords. Jos e Ma rc el la na Jr., spokesman of Pinag-isang Lakas ng mga Magsasaka sa Quezon (Piglas-Quezon) said the President must hear demand/PAGE 10


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Sorry folks, but PNoy did not abolish pork barrel

Correcting mistakes THINK

hink a minute…What do you usually do when you A Minute make a mistake? By Jhan Tiafau Hurst If you’re doing a math problem in school and your answer is wrong, what do you do? Don’t you just go back, find your mistake and fix it? Or when you realize you’re on the wrong road to the market, don’t you just turn around and take the right road? In fact, the person who turns around the soonest is the smartest, because he doesn’t waste anymore of his time and energy going the wrong way. There is nothing smart about being too proud and stubborn to admit we’ve made a mistake. Since God created life, He is the only One Who knows the right way through it. That’s why God the Son came to show us the right road. Jesus came to show us how to live the correct way that works, so we could be happy and successful. He showed us how to have healthy, happy relationships; how to teach and love our children; how to enjoy a satisfying marriage for a lifetime; and how to use our special abilities to reach our full potential in our job and career. Jesus shows us the honest, loving heart and character He created us all to have. He showed that if our heart is ruled by His strong and loving character, then we will genuinely love others and not use them or hurt them. It makes no sense to ask 2 plus 2 to equal 5. Just like it makes no sense to ask God to change the facts of right and wrong, only so you and I can live our own wrong way. Think: what if just this one time God let me do the wrong thing I want to do? Then how would I feel if God let someone else do that same wrong thing to me or my family? Jesus shows us His right ways for our own happiness, not to be strict and take all the fun out of life. Jesus came to forgive us and show us the successful, satisfying life He created us for. hurst/PAGE 10

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IFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… You who practice deceit, your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor. You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth…” (Proverbs 52:2-3, the Holy Bible). -ooo SORRY, BUT PNOY DID NOT ABOLISH PDAF: I am sorry to douse water---icy at that---on the jubilation of many over the reported “abolition” of PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund, or better known as “pork barrel” allocation for lawmakers and the executive department) by President Aquino last Friday, 23 August 2013. I read his full statement published by a major Manila newspaper in its on line version on the same day, which is actually a translation of his speech in Filipino. What is clear from that speech is that, PDAF is retained, although under a different name, and now under different rules. But it is PDAF just the same, and it is our countrymen’s money just the same. It cannot be denied therefore that nothing has really changed with what the President announced. Who was it who said, a dog by any other name is still a dog?

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Understanding the basics of Nosocomial Infections

osocomial Infections is synonymous to hospital acquired infections. In simple terms, an infection that one acquires during one’s stay in the hospital. First, it is important to know, that, the patient must be admitted to the hospital or any treatment healthcare facility for an illness other than the infection acquired from his/her stay in the facility. Meaning, a patient who is advised admission for say, cardiovascular problems or , patient is for surgical operation, but, sometime along the course of his or her hospital stay, develops an infection, may likely be experiencing a nosocomial infection. Second, the infection is noted to occur 48 hours or more, after the admission and if discharged already, within 30 days from the last day of stay in the hospital. Thus, it is not uncommon to hear relatives or watchers complaining that their patient developed fever or worsen during his/her admission. Nosocomial infections is not just a concern of third world countries, but also of even the most developed and highly industrialized nations. This is a major cause of death and increased morbidity among hospitalized patients. Thus, it is something that is the burden not only of the patients but is a major public health issue that need to be addressed. Once a patient is victim to a nosocomial infection, his/her

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-oooakampi PNOY SPEECH Mo A ng Batas CON FI R MS PDA F NOT By Atty. Batas Mauricio ABOLISHED: And so everyone can see that PDAF has not been abolished, but will still be around, we will quote the portions of Aquino’s speech where he explains that funds--obviously no longer called PDAF but by another name--will still be given to legislators for their districts and sector projects, under the condition that they will be spent solely in their districts or by the sectors they represent. President Aquino: “Now, we will create a new mechanism to address the needs of your constituents and sectors, in a manner that is transparent, methodical and rational, and not susceptible to abuse or corruption… Your legislators can identify and suggest projects for your districts… Furthermore, batas/PAGE 10

hospital stay gets prolonged, adding 4-5 days , which in turn increases the economic I n Focus burden on the family. By Dr. Mary Jean Loreche We have to understand the predisposing factors of why a hospital or health care facility stay would expose patients from developing hospita l acquired infection. When one is sick and is admitted, his/her immune system is in the weakened state, making him/her more suscept ible to develop a secondary infection. Add to this, is the exposure of the patient to more advanced medical devices like the insertion of tracheostomies, intubation, predispose further the patient to pathogenic microorganisms. Those in the extremes of ages, the very young and the very old, those undergoing chemotherapeutic management, and are already on very strong antimicrobials, add up to one’s risk. And considering that hospitals house a large number of population of sick people, it is not difficult for their personnel and medical staff, to attend to these patients,

HEALTH

Loreche/PAGE 10

The state of our soul

e need to take care of our soul. We have to learn how to do that in a day-to-day manner, even momentto-moment. We have to remember that it is the soul, more than the body by itself, that gives and sustains us in life. But how do we take care of our soul? What criteria can we use to determine whether our soul is healthy or not, in good state or not? And how can we distinguish between the soul and the body? Many of us ask those questions, if not explicitly, then implicitly. That’s why we need to know more about this most basic and crucial aspect of our life. We have not much problem with respect to our body or our physical and biological organism, since a lot of sciences are dedicated to that. But dealing and caring for our soul is another story. It’s a very tricky affair indeed. Our soul is spiritual. We can say so because we are capable of spiritual operations, like thinking, knowing, learning, wanting, choosing, loving, etc. We consider these operations as spiritual because even if they make use of some organs and senses and other material things, in the end these operations make use of ideas, judgments, reasoning that are immaterial or spiritual. In short, we take care of our soul by taking care of our thoughts, desires, preferences, choices, loves, etc. The quality of our thoughts, ideas, judgments, conclusions, etc., determines the quality of our soul. The questions to ask are: where do our thoughts, judgments and reasonings, etc., begin and end? Where are they founded or grounded? What motivates and moves them? Where are they oriented? Our problem is that we are not quite aware of our duty to engage and focus these spiritual operations properly. We

just allow them to be moved by what we consider as “what and Traces comes naturally,” that often By Fr. Roy Cimagala is nothing other than the impulses of the flesh, world trends, and other material and external things that hardly capture the essence of things. Worse, we have come to a point where many of us are influenced by schools of thought, philosophies and ideologies that are inspired by these impulses of the flesh, world trends and other material and external values. Among these questionable ideologies are some, not all, brands of liberalism, capitalism, communism, modernism, traditionalism, liberation theology, socialism, naturalism, etc. It might be good to know these isms and acquire the skills of discerning their different manifestations and expressions, many of them subtle and very deceiving. These ideologies certainly contain many good things. They cannot stand and prosper if they don’t have good, beautiful and true things. But we just have to be wary of the subtle distortions, errors, confusing elements and the rotten spirit that may inspire them. Our thoughts, desires, judgments, reasonings, etc., should be fundamentally based and ultimately oriented toward faith, hope and charity, the theological virtues that are divine gifts meant to connect us with God as we cimagala/PAGE 11

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The largest and focused Biennial Event for metal working is back, bigger & better!

New perks for Solane Loyalista Plus members Did you know that every time you use up and buy cooking gas, you could get free health consultation, shopping discounts or even a chance for you and three of your friends to spend three days in the scenic Boracay? Yes, enjoy all of these amazing perks by joining Solane’s Loyalista Plus Program. Simply make a purchase of an 11-kilo Solane cylinder or refill through the Solane Hatid Bahay hotline (09227354878), its website (www. solane.com.ph/online-ordering) or exclusive Solane showrooms. Starting this month, customers can register to Solane Loyalista Plus Program by texting at 2948. Present your Solane Loyalista Plus card and get up to 5% discount on regular items at appliance stores Automatic Center, Sogo Home and Office Center, Saver´s Appliance Depot and EMCOR, which offers you 3% discount on furniture and electronics. Solane Loyalista Plus Program also puts value in your family’s wellness, inside and out. That is why it also partnered with My Health Clinic to provide free specialist consultation and 10 % discount on all services in their clinics. Mommies hard at work could also avail of 10% discount on all hair services in David’s Salon.

Being family-centric, Solane joined forces with Microtel Inn and Center for Pop Music Philippines to offer discounted services. On top of these perks, Solane Loyalista Plus Program also entitles members to a refill discount of P20 for every sixth, eighth, and tenth purchase and P100 off on your Solane LPG refill on your 12th purchase. Every time a Solane Loyalista Plus member purchases an 11-kilo cylinder or refill, she gets an e-raffle coupon. This will qualify her to a raffle draw on August 8, 2014 for a chance to win a Boracay trip for four with roundtrip airfare. This includes room accommodations at the Crown Regency Resort and Convention Center, dining in Lobby Lounge and Wang Shang Lo Chinese Restaurant; roundtrip land and boat transfers; and parasailing and banana boat. To r e c e i ve y o u r S o l a n e Loyalista Plus perks coupon, always remember that you need to include the membership card number when texting the perks code indicated on the official receipt and official receipt number. For detailed mechanics, visit www.solane.com.ph. Call our Solane Hatid Bahay hotline at 09227354878 for your LPG orders!

PDMEX is a biennial event, and known as the only largest professionally organized industrial machiner y, equipment, accessory and subcontracting exhibition in the country and recognized worldwide for its being the only focused industry. The country’s Philippines’ Only Largest & Focused Metal Working Show entitled The 6th Philippine Die & Mould, Machineries and Equipment Exhibition will be held from August 28-31, 2013 at Hall A, B & C of World Trade Center Metro Manila, Philippines.

PDMEX is back with much better and bigger scope that would cater to the metal working and its allied industries. PDMEX, over six (6) years of serving the industry continuously holds its title as the Philippines’ Largest Metalworking Show and Best Platform to meet new and existing clients by maintaining the international level and by continuously delivering buyers and sellers or key industry players in one venue. The event is organized by one of the leading association in the industry, the Philippine Die & Mold

Association, Inc. and managed by one of the country’s professional event organizer / management company, MAI Management Philippines. Presently, the 6th PDMEX will be participated by over 350 reputable local and foreign companies from different industry sectors namely; Automation, Controls, Robotics, Machine Tools, Metal Finishing, Measuring Tools, Testing and Laboratory Equipment, Outsourcing, Process Engineering, Plastics, Welding, Sheet Metal and other allied industries, with over 500booths

on display and over 8,000 visitors are expected to visit the show. Be one of them to experience and learn the new, sophisticated and highly advanced technologies coming from different countries. Be educated by at tending our FREE technical presentations, product demonstrations and seminars. For more information, please contact MAI (Market Access & Innovations) Management Philippines at (63-2) 899-2642 or e-mail mai_mgt@compass. com.ph.

Richard S. de Quina, MyPhone VP - Marketing and Business Development with Zhonne Cabuenos - Marketing Manager for Aldrtz Corp. the producer of Pau Liniment during a MyPhone marketing event at Limketkai Center, over the weekend. BWM PHOTO


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Eat, Pray, Love monday - august 26, 2013

by Louis Dumas

T

aken from the movie of this title, the words greet the customers of Chingkee Tea as they enter the cozy sanctuary free of the heavy rains pouring on the rest of Cagayan de Oro City. Customers would find it hard to resist the invitation to leave a world’s worth of problems outside with the pink porcelain roses and small pillow hearts scattered around the charming tea shop. “Drinking tea is a lifestyle,” said Sharee Mae U. Te, the very young entrepreneur who owns the tea shop which is now a year and five months in business. And although several businesses have worn out the changing lifestyles selling line, only few have backed it with sincerity as Chingkee Tea does. “We have notions that it is for old people,” Ms. Te said. “I wanted to introduce it to young people. That it’s not just medicinal. Drinking it involves our different senses.” “Milk tea is very likeable but I want to share the different kinds of tea that suit different kinds of moods. My staff before didn’t drink tea. So we have tea tasting. I am glad that they now would ask me for the price of the tea I bring in from other countries because they would like to try them.” Laila G. Soliven, who visited Cagayan

de Oro for a weekend vacation, agrees that Chingkee Tea has made a distinction for itself. “I am not much of a foodie but I’m a sucker for quaint restaurants and cafes where you go for the experience besides the food.” Already a tea drinker since she could not drink coffee for medical reasons, Chingkee Tea was a new experience altogether. “The tea they offer are different from those that we have in Manila,” she said. “Especially the yakult series – I have never seen these in Manila. I did not know you can do much more with tea in terms of mixes. Maybe if I were a resident of CdO, Chingkee Tea would be one of the places I would frequent.” Having worked hard at starting the shop, even going to Taiwan to study how to make authentic Taiwanese milk tea, MsTe continues to do hands-on management. She goes the rounds in making sure the customers are satisfied with their drinks. Ms. Te also shares that at the start, they would taste all of the drinks before serving them to make sure it was the perfect mix. “As a result, we had a hard time sleeping for days because of the caffeine overdose,” she laughs. “But now, we have become confident in the mixtures and just imagine if we still test it now. It would be hard to keep up with the orders.”

All these have paid off, their shop having expanded over twice its size in October last year. In addition to the expansion, they were also able to open another branch near two large schools in Barangay Macasandig. Although the shop admittedly targets the young, their first customers had been older – those who were already working and had already cultivated the habit of drinking tea. When the young started to pour in and eventually filled the place, Ms. Te said they felt somewhat out of place. “They asked me to open another branch in the residential areas near SM. I would want that for expansion maybe in the future.” “I really wish they would open a branch near our subdivision as well,” said Camille B. Cruz, a frequent customer of Chingkee Tea who comes from Terry Hills to Divisoria just to hang out at the shop. “I started to like milk tea when it was introduced for the first time here in Cagayan de Oro by a different tea shop. But I have never had tea as good as the one in Chingkee Tea. Their art in their shops also make it nice to spend time in with friends.” There had already been individuals interested in franchising the brand but Ms. Te says they are not yet ready for it. She also said that the tea shops that would banner the name ‘Chingkee Tea’ will have to have the same ambiance and artsy chic look her current two shops have. “Because that is me,” she said. “It is very personalized.”

With tea becoming part of her life, Ms. Te admits it had not been always that way. “My dad gave me tea when I was younger but I didn’t like it then,” she recounts. “One time in college I was very sick and had some mint tea in Starbucks. It helped a lot in improving my condition so from then on I started drinking tea.” There was another motivation behind the opening of ChingkeeTea. “I wanted to display my love for art,” said Ms. Te. “I thought of starting a café, but the market was already saturated for coffee. Besides I don’t drink coffee. The milk tea industry was then growing in Manila.” What became of this passion are the collages found on chairs and tables, personally designed plastic cups, and a lot more knick knacks displayed around the shop. A mural at its bordered outdoor space was also done by local artists all of whom Ms. Te first met as customers of her shop. Chingkee Tea has managed to make its interior designing an interaction with its customers, accomplishing its goals of making the place a hub for art. With her life threaded through with tea, Ms. Te does not want to be boxed in the trending milk tea shop business. “I want to be the tea authority here,” she said. “I want to be able to make my own tea someday, combining leaves and herbs knowing their health benefits and what effect they could have on the mood of a person.”

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Prices... from page 3

is “just for Pinoy Tasty and Pinoy Pandesal.” A lso tod ay, t he DT I warned wet market retailers in areas under a state of ca la m it y t hat t he pr ice freeze holds for fresh meat, fish and vegetables, after the agency received reports that prices for these items have gone up. Victor Dimagiba, director of the DTI Bu reau of Trade Ret a i l and Consumer Protection, said any movement within a reasonable range – whether up or down – from the prevailing price is acceptable. “Kung ang bangus P120 pero high ng P130, okay yun. Pero pag P135-140 na, sobra na yun,” he said. “Pa g- a b ove SR P k a , makakatanggap ka ng love letter, ganito rin gagawin ng [Department of Agriculture]. Ang palengke kasama sa patakaran,” Dimagiba said.

BFAR... from page 4

and [we need to] teach our fishermen, in particular those fishing in municipal waters, how to utilize the resources of the sea and in the process improve their living conditions,” Perez said. The BFAR said the fishery subsector accounts for about 4 percent to 5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Through FishR, Perez said the government hopes to be able to provide the support badly needed by fishermen all over the country. The BFAR said fishermen 18 years old and above who will register will qualify for benefits from Philippine Hea lt h Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth). They will a lso be automatically insured by the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. which will provide them coverage for injuries or death caused by accidents while they are fishing. Pere z s a id coa st a l a nd i n la nd loc a l ch ief executives and chairmen of the municipal/city aquatic resources management will be oriented on the implementing guidelines of the Fisheries Registration System (FRS). The Provincial Fishery Of f icers, Municipa l Agricultural Officers and technicians will be trained on FRS data management system to faci litate t he registration process as project implementers, and will be oriented on the mechanics of reg ist rat ion a nd t he information education and communications strategies that they can adapt in their locality. Data collected under the program would be used in designing programs to aid t he loca l municipa lities for managing, regulating, conserving and protecting f i s h e r y r e s o u rc e s a n d establishing a comprehensive fishery information system. T he BFA R s a id t he

registration of fishermen is required by the Fisheries Code of 1998.

GMO... from page 4

want a GMO ban in relation to the organic agriculture ordinance. Anything that causes contamination, that causes coexistence, ayaw natin nun (We are against that),” Aruello said. “GMOs cannot coexist with organic agriculture,” she added. Chito Medina, national coordinator of Magsasaka at Siyentipiko Para sa Pagunlad ng Agrikultura, called for precautionary measures against genetically altered crops. The Philippines has no law that bans the cultivation of GMOs. Davao City Councilor Leonardo Avila III said that there has been no proposal banning GMOs filed before the current city council. “There was a proposal before. Right now, no,” Avila said. Medina said that “because the United States is among the major producers of GMO products, imported crops from that country should be presumed to have been genetically engineered.” Rasco branded the claim as inaccurate, saying, “There are many corn and soya products coming from the US that are not GMOs.” Medina said the problem with GMOs “is that the effect on humans and other organisms, because of the genetic manipulation, would take years.” Vouching that GMOs are safe, Rasco claimed “that majority of the population in the country has favorable v iews on genetica lly engineered crops.” Questioning the calls for the labeling of genetically modified products, Rasco pointed out that “studies have proven that they have no adverse effects to human health and the environment.” Labeling will also be costly, especially for small farmers or growers, Rasco said. He stressed that regulators, such as the Bureau of Plant Industry, require proponents of transgenic crops to prove that they are safe. “That’s precisely what we’re tr y ing to do, and these [anti-GMO] groups are stopping us from doing so,” Rasco said, noting that golden rice is not under field testing in Mindanao but in Pili, Camarines Sur. E a rl ie r t h i s mont h , militant groups uprooted golden rice plants under field trial at the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit No. 5 in Pili town. Rasco said that PhilRice was saddened by the incident, citing the experiment was contained in a 500-square meter area. (MindaNews)

MinDA... from page 4

companies have decided to

venture into planting oilpalm in the region. She noted that Univanich Carmen Palm Oil Corp. recently broke ground for its P500-million oil-palm crushing mill in Carmen, North Cotabato. Also, the MinDA official said more investments are ex pec ted to be pou red into the palm-oil industry in sout hern Philippines f o l l ow i n g a b u s i n e s s matching session held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, early this year. “Given the huge interest in Mindanao’s farmlands for oil-palm plantations, there should be an increase in the participation of the countr y’s private sector and the implementation of policies that will facilitate these investments,” said Antonino. She said actual investments in the region’s palm-oil industry may materialize within two years after various business-matching sessions are conducted in partnership with the Board of Investments and the Department of Trade and Industry. A ntoni no sa id t he development of the palm-oil industry will provide local farmers a “more secured l ivel i hood ” not i ng t hat despite low palm-oil prices since late last year, the income of palm-oil farmers is still above the poverty threshold level. “Transforming Mindanao into the palm-oil hub of the country will alleviate pover t y a nd upl i f t t he socioeconomic condition of southern Philippines,” she said. Rome o Montene g ro, M i n DA’s d i r e c t o r f o r Investment Promotion and Public Affairs, said that aside from helping solve the poverty problem in the region, the local development of palm-oil industry could resolve the power shortage a f fect ing most pa r ts of Mindanao. “Palm oil is a perfect and viable feedstock for biomass generation to help augment power capacity in the region. “It can help increase the viability of biomass as a major potential source of renewable energy for Mindanao,” said Montenegro. He added that palm oil is more combustible than sugar cane, corn cobs and bagasse. Montenegro said t he Land Bank of the Philippines provides assistance for the development of palm-oil industry and the necessary financing for the construction of power-generation facilities. (BM)

Projs... from page 4

on increasing the number of viable local enterprises as well as enhancing productivity and increasing resiliency to climate change of producers, sma l l holder a nd f isher groups, she said. Satorre said that under the I-REAP component, they have allotted P80 million worth of project for South

Cotabato province as a pilot area for the program. Out of the P80 million allotment for the province, the provincial government will have a counterpart of around P16 million or 20 percent of the total budget. S out h C ot abato wa s ea rlier chosen by t he Department of Agriculture (DA) as among the country’s pilot areas for the PRDP, wh ich is t he ex pa nded version of the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP). The province was chosen as lead area for the program due to the local government’s “excellent performance” in the implementation last year of various projects under the MRDP–Adaptable Program Loan Phase 2 (MRDP-2). South Cotabato province emerged as the top performer among the 26 provinces in Mindanao that were covered by MRDP-2 last year as it posted an accomplishment rating of 129 percent in terms of project implementation and fund disbursement. A m o n g M i n d a n a o’s six regions, Region 12 or the Socssksargen region posted the highest combined accomplishment rating for MRDP-2 in 2012. The other pilot areas in Mindanao are Maguindanao for the Autonomous Region i n Mu s l i m M i n d a n a o ; Za mboanga Sibugay for Z a mb o a nga Pen i n su l a ; Misa mis Occidenta l for Northern Mindanao; Davao del Norte for Davao region; and Agusan del Norte for Caraga region. (MindaNews)

Demand...

from page 4 the coco farmers’ demand for the return of the coco levy funds. The KMP and CLAIM bot h dema nded for t he immediate cash distribution of the recovered funds in the form of basic social services that will directly benefit small coconut farmers. Their protest marked the 40th year of Presidential Decree 276, or the Coconut Consumers Stabilization Fund, issued on August 20, 1973, by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Willy Marbella, KMP secretary-general, said that 40 years after the government started to forcibly collect the funds from small coconut farmers, justice remains elusive. He said that even today, t he recovered coconutlev y fund that was used by businessman Eduardo Danding Cojuangco to buy shares of stocks and wrest control of the food-andbeverage giant, San Miguel Corp. and now in the hands of the Aquino administration, is in danger of being lost forever. “With the magnitude of agriculture funds involved in the present scandals faced by the Aquino administration, the more than P70 billion of small coconut farmers’ money held by Aquino is in grave danger,” Marbella

said. “Aquino already included the coco-levy funds in the 2014 budget without the consent and approval of the real owners, and against the interest of small coconut farmers themselves,” he added. Marbella was referring to t he prop os e d P 2 . 3 billion budget of the PCA for nex t ye a r, wherei n P305 million was allocated for the establishment of “Ag ro-Indust ria l Hubs” in f ive regions, na mely Calabarzon, Bicol, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas and Zamboanga peninsula, or P61 million for each region. He said that last March, Agricu lture Secreta r y Proceso Alcala said that each “agri-industrial estate” would have at its core a coconut-processing center, at least five of which would be established in major coconut-producing areas. The coconut-processing center would cost P50 million, with financing to come from the coco-levy fund. “The main source of funding for this project will be the coco-levy fund, but we still have to wait for it to be released,” Alcala said in March. The government, accord i ng to Ma rbel la , is “only a trustee” of the multibillion coco-levy funds and has no right to use it against the will of its real owners. (MST/BM)

Hurst... from page 6

So if you’ve not been living for Jesus Christ, you can do the smart thing today: just admit that your way of living is wrong, and ask Jesus to take full charge of your life. It’s only when we start living our Maker’s way that we can start enjoying His good life—the way it’s made to work. Just Think a Minute …

Batas... from page 6

Furthermore, every project, as well as their corresponding budgetar y releases, w ill have… safeguards against corruption… “I have tasked Secretary Abad of the Department of Budget and Management to consult with Speaker Bel monte a nd Senate President Drilon to craft this mechanism, and to submit it for my approval as soon as possible. We are all committed to putting this in place so that, moving forward, allocations per district will be included in the National Budget, starting with the proposed budget of 2014…” -ooo W H Y IS PNOY CON TI N U I NG W ITH PORK BARREL? These words leave no doubt at all that PDAF is not really abolished, as some would like to believe or have already announced. It is still there, and will in fact continue to be under the control of lawmakers who, Aquino clarified, are still

given the right to “identify and suggest projects” for their districts or sectors. Which leads our people to ask the ever-important question: why did President Aquino not abolish pork barrel, even if in his speech, he emphatically declared “It is time to abolish the PDAF”? Why is he continuing with pork barrel, and is even trying to justify it now by saying that safeguards are being put in place against its abuse anyway? Do reports saying that he has an annual pork barrel himself, to the tune of P1 trillion, have anything to do with this refusal to abolish the PDAF despite a clear clamor from those whom he calls his bosses, the Filipino people? Or, the speech he made last Friday was meant merely to confuse the people to stop them from joining the indignation march and rally of about one million people at the Luneta Grandstand on Monday, August 26, 2013, to prevent it from going awry? -ooo REACTIONS? Please call me at 0917 984 24 68, 0918 574 0193, 0922 833 43 96. Email: batasmauricio@yahoo.com, mmauriciojr111@gmail.com.

Loreche... from page 6

making them carriers of bacteria, as they attend to patients! How then can we prevent making our patients more sick than they already are? Hospitals, through their infection control committee, have policies implemented to ensure that key areas like the ICU, Operating rooms and other vital areas are re g u l a rly c he c k e d a nd undergo disinfection and sterilization. I know for a fact that every so often, these vital areas are likewise checked for microorganisms using c u lt u re a nd e ven d r u g sensitivity, which is very usef u l in monitoring purposes. But , more t h a n t he disinfection, is a very simple and yet most efficient way of controlling the spread of infections in the hospital setting: hand washing. This is a practice that, not only hospital personnel and staff should do, but, the watchers, family members and visitors can do, in order to prevent bacterial spread! And, if one’s patient is placed on isolation, with limitation of guests, we each should respect that, for the better good of our patients! We , e a c h c a n b e instruments in transmitting bacteria, either in the health care facility or in our homes. It is but a simple , easy to do, but proper way fo washing our hands that may at times spell the difference between life and death....


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Swell... from page 1

committee in Congress. Under the 2013 General Appropriations Act, about P25.2 billion is allocated for the Priority Development Assistance Fund of both members of the Senate and House of Representatives. Each senator has P200 million in PDAF every year, while each congressman – either district and party-list representative – has P70 million each. These amounts are spread across a number of agencies, to which NGOs request for funds, backed by endorsements from the lawmakers. The Commission on Audit special report, which took two years to complete, has found 12 senators and 180 representatives channelling their PDAF or pork barrel to nongovernment organizations (NGOs), which misused the funds, if not totally left them unaccounted for. The COA report shows that P101.6 billion was released for “Various Infrastructures including Local Projects” (VILP), P12 billion for pork barrel, and P2.36 billion for financial assistance to LGUs. COA’s audit covered P32.6 billion of the VILP and P8 billion of the PDAF released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). At least P6.156 billion were released to questionable NGOs. A total of 82 NGOs were found to have questionable backrgrounds and operations to begin with and eventually misused or failed to account for the funds. Ten of these dubious NGOs, the COA noted, are “presently linked” to Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged pork barrel scam mastermind who is now the subject of an arrest warrant for illegally detaining an employee who has since turned against her. During a press conference last Friday, President Aquino called for the abolition of PDAF amid allegations of misuse of some P10 billion public funds. He then directed Budget Secretar y Florencio Abad to consult with Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. regarding the removal of the PDAF and the crafting of a new system. He said a new mechanism should be crafted allocating funds for projects in each district that would be included in the national budget in 2014. “There is nothing wrong in this policy,” the President said in Filipino. He said what is wrong, and what people are against, is a president who conspires with legislators with the help of the bureaucracy to remain in power through PDAF. But Bayan Muna representatives Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate said that Aquino’s statement abolishing the PDAF as misleading. “Looking at Pres. Aquino’s statement, he still stubbornly refuses to ab olish p or k by merely changing the name PDAF and putting in regulations like congressmen will have to choose from a list of projects and limiting it to the district of the congressman concerned, practically transforming it into an itemized pork barrel system,” Colmenares said. “Pres. Aquino hopes that by changing its name as itemized pork, people will be misled into thinking that there is no need for the August 26 rally. Firstly, the pork barrel system was called Countrywide Development Fund (CDF) then renamed to PDAF but the corruption and patronage politics it spawns remained, no matter how much it is regulated,” Colmenares added.

Prevent... from page 1

advocates, like the rest of the nation who are against the pork barrel system—as a trough of legalized corruption—“are called to rally

behind the clamor for change.” Bag-ao, along with Rep. Teddy Baguilat of Ifugao, and Akbayan partylist Rep. Walden Bello led the filing of the FOI Bill or the People’s Freedom of Information Act of 2013 on the first day of the 16th Congress (July 1). It was filed under the indirect initiative provision of Republic Act 6735 or The Initiative and Referendum Act to give it enough traction and ensure that it is tackled the earliest possible time in plenary since RA 6735 provides that bills filed through indirect initiative “shall have precedence over the pending legislative measures on the committee.” Right to Know Right Now! (R2KRN) coalition, the umbrella movement of all FOI advocates, said that the wideranging pork barrel scandal all the more push the urgency of the passage of the FOI Bill. “Now more than ever, we are convinced of the urgency to pass the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. While the COA special audit covered expenditures made prior to 2010, we are deluding ourselves if we think that similar schemes would just magically disappear with the change of administration. Limited proactive transparency in the release of aggregate allocations and spending is not enough to allow citizens to get to the bottom of scams. While it provides leads, we need request-based access to information to be able to dig deeper. The People’s FOI Bill seeks to address this, but it is also the reason why it has been facing determined resistance across government administrations,” the R2KRN Coalition said in a statement. R2KRN said that it will marshall its members to join today’s (Monday’s) indignation protest march against the pork barrel system scandal wherever they are in the country. The Coalition described the breakdown in government check and accountability mechanisms, as evidenced by the pork barrel scandal, as “repugnant.” “Equally repugnant is the breakdown in government check and accountability mechanisms, with the plunder prospering under the very noses of the Department of Budget and Management and the various implementing line agencies of the Executive, the legislators in their PDAF allocations, the Commission on Audit, and the Ombudsman,” it said. R2KRN Coalition also calls for the prosecution of the culpable in the pork barrel scam. “Stop the budget scams! Deepen, expand and promptly complete the investigation, and prosecute those found to be culpable!” On Friday, President Aquino pronounced in his address to the nation that “it is time to abolish the PDAF” or the Priority Development Assistance Fund. Aquino’s pronouncement was welcomed by Bag-ao. But more than its abolition, Bag-ao, former executive director of the Cagayan de Oro City-based Balay Alternative Legal Advocates for Development in Mindanaw, Inc. (BALAOD Mindanaw), said that “It’s time to break down the system of patronage and dynastic politics. Through this, let us intensify the creation of transparent mechanisms for services to truly reach the people.” And this can only happen with an FOI Act, she stressed. She also said that the pork barrel scandal “cannot be solved by the abolition of the pork barrel alone.” Bag-ao said there is also a need to “reform of the budget system in a way that will guarantee the equitable distribution of resources, especially for the poorest provinces. No one must be left behind.” She also reiterated calls for a shift to a parliamentary form of government—where the Executive

and Legislative branches “are one in implementing programs for the people that go hand in hand with crafting laws that will uplift the marginalized.”

PDAF... from page 1

to dubious NGOS, the COA report released on August 14 showed. But Barbers immediately disputed the report, noting he was no longer a congressman from June 2007 to 2010 after he was elected as provincial governor. Barbers, who ran but lost in the 2013 gubernatorial race, said he had “never downloaded his PDAF to NGOs, preferring instead to allocate them for roads and other infrastructure projects.” “That is why during my term, almost all roads in Surigao [del Norte] got cemented. I made sure that my PDAF will not go into the hands of bogus NGOs,” he told MindaNews in a phone interview. Barbers served as congressman from 1998 to 2007. In 2010, he failed to win the gubernatorial race. For his part, Matugas did not return this reporter’s calls and text messages for comments on the COA findings. The COA report showed that Matugas’s pork barrel allocation from 2007 to 2010 amounted to P101.910 million, of which P79.9 million was intended for Various Infrastructure including Local Projects (VILP or hard projects under the category of public works); P8.5 million for “soft,” which refers to projects involving livelihood, education, health and social services; and another P13.5 million for “soft” from other sources. During the period, Matugas allocated P22 million for “soft projects,” of which at least P19.8 million went to NGO implemented projects that COA found questionable. One of these NGOs— Dr. Rodolfo A. Ignacio, Sr. Foundation (DRAISFI)—received P13.5 million from Matugas’s PDAF. He and 15 other legislators gave the shadowy foundation a total of P164.6 million from their pork barrel, the COA said. It said that DRAISFI was not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) but was issued permits by the local government of Quezon City. The NGO listed two addresses that turned out to be nonexistent upon COA’s verification. According to state auditors, DRAISFI was involved in livelihood trainings and in the distribution of “financial assistance.” H owever, COA s ai d t he recipients listed under the “financial assistance” component were found to be anomalous because of the following: • The amount of financial assistance received by each participant was not indicated in the list; • Many supposed recipients did not sign in the list of participants, and in at least two such projects, no list of participant was submitted at all; • A n d, m any all e g e d beneficiaries have no specific addresses and a good number were found to be not registered voters within their reported districts or towns. There were 255 such alleged beneficiaries in Surigao del Norte, but COA said none of all the listed recipients were voters of the district or town where they supposedly come from. Matugas also endorsed some P3.395 million to the Kabuhayan at Kalusugang Alay sa Masa Foundation, Inc. (KKAMFI), which received a total of P526.6 million from 2007 to 2009 from 23 other congressmen. The NGO used the money for livelihood trainings and the procurement of technology kits. The COA audit report said “KKAMFI projects were attended by anomalies, and the NGO did not bother to respond when asked to

verify its suspicious transactions.” Matugas also allocated pork amounting to P2.7 million to the Philippine Environment and Economic Development Association (PEEDA), COA said, noting it could not find the two listed addresses of the group. A n o t h e r P 3 0 0,0 0 0 fr o m M atu g a s’s p or k bar re l t hat went to PEEDA was also listed as “unliquidated.” The group’s expertise was on distributing “livelihood kits.” According to COA, PEEDA had listed suppliers that were either nonexistent or had denied transacting with the NGO. It was also unable to submit pertinent documents when asked by COA. In Surigao del Norte, the towns of Pilar and Socorro in Siargao Island had 39 and 74 PEEDA beneficiaries, respectively. However, when COA verified the names through the Commission on Elections records, 36 of the 39 recipients in Pilar turned out as registered voters, and only 12 in Socorro. In all these findings, COA said that Matugas did not reply to the auditors’ request for confirmation of the transactions. For Barbers, COA said he allocated P23.4 million pork money to the Asia World Sanctuary and Development, Inc. (AWSDI), which were unliquidated. The amount was earmarked for “trainings” and released in 2007. COA s ai d t hat AWSDI ’s existence was suspect, having changed its name twice and the address it listed was found to be a residential unit owned by its president—a certain Rosemarie Palacio— and was up for rent when state auditors conducted an ocular inspection. Barbers’s name was listed along with Cong. Arturo B. Robes of San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan province as having endorsed a total of P48.8 million to AWSDI. “AWSDI submitted certain d o c u m e nt s to bac k u p t he projects under Barbers’s name but disclosed that all these contained “deficiencies,” COA said. The NGO also claimed that documents relating to Barbers’s SARO “have been damaged by flood.” State auditors also found that three of AWSDI’s suppliers “cannot be located at their given addresses and have no existing permits based on the issued official receipts since 2007 to 2009.” “The items distributed and received by the beneficiaries were not indicated in the submitted list of beneficiaries and some beneficiaries included in the list did not affix their signatures,” the report said. Barbers denied having handled these projects, pointing out that he was already serving as governor of Surigao del Norte beginning 2007, the year the controversial pork barrel fund under audit was released. He noted that between 2007 and 2009, incumbent Rep. Guillermo A. Romarate, Jr. (2nd district) had already started his first term in office. During this period, the COA report showed that Romarate had a PDAF totaling P95 million, all of which went to hard projects or VILP and none for NGO-implemented “soft projects.” Barbers also argued that “he could have never received PDAF allocations while he was on his way out of Congress in 2007 because then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had stripped him of his pork barrel.” He pointed out that he had a falling out with the Arroyo administration during his last term in Congress after he voted to impeach the former president.

Typhoon... from page 2

some farmers to har vest by November, instead of the usual September. Many of the farms, particularly

in Region III (Central Luzon) are covered by crop insurance as well, he added. As for other sectors such as manufacturing, Beltran said losses are still being estimated “but supposed earnings from two-day work suspension can be recovered in the next few weeks.” “Manufacturers can schedule additional work time to fill orders,” Beltran pointed out. As for damage to infrastructure, the official said “ample fiscal space” will enable the National G ove r n m e n t — t h r o u g h t h e Department of Public Works and Highways— to do repairs “without bloating the budget deficit.” The Aquino administration incurred a deficit of P51.29 billion as of the first semester, much below the P84.656-billion cap for the period, latest DoF figures showed. “Replanting, rebuilding and reconstruction can make up for the expected losses in GDP,” Beltran said. “The economy has surplus savings from which to draw to make up for the damage,” he added. (PNA)

Hold... from page 2

to truly making the regions construction industry globally competitive,” he said. Teolulo Pasawa, city director of the Department of Trade and Industry welcomed the holding of the exhibition citing that indeed Davao City is a construction market. He said Davao City offers a lot of opportunities for the construction industry with many factors ranging from being one of the competitive cities in the country; No. 1 for two consecutive years as cited in the study by the Asia Institute of Management, very large land area which is seven times larger than Cebu and three times larger than Manila, reliable power supply, reliable water supply, internet connection and highly skilled manpower. “I congratulate the Philconstruct for organizing and holding the exhibition,” Pasawa said. (PIA)

Funding... from page 2

in identified areas of MRB are being fast-tracked. “The projects must be implemented the soonest to mitigate recurring flooding that has been displacing thousands of resid ents and d amag ing livelihood and properties in the area especially during torrential rains,” said Singson. In a meeting with President B e n i g n o Aq ui n o, Se c ret ar y Luwalhati Antonino, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chair, and Governors Emmy Lou Taliño-Mendoza of North Cotabato, Esmael Mangudadatu of Maguindanao, Daisy AvanceFuentes of South Cotabato, and Suharto Mangudadatu of Sultan Kudarat, held at the sidelines of the 22nd Mindanao Business conference held here recently, Singson said that these projects “are not merely band-aid solutions to the perennial flooding in MRB.” MinDA endorsed to DPWH the flood control projects with an estimated cost of P6.9 billion that include the dredging and widening of the 7.7-kilometer cut-off channel to divert flood water from AmbalSimuay River directly to Illana Bay without passing through the Rio Grande de Mindanao to protect the populated areas of Cotabato City and the municipality of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. “The dredging of Rio Grande de Mindanao and construction of dike along the Tunggol cut-off channel in Pulangui River will also protect the Tunggol Bridge that connects the Davao-Cotabato National Highway and adjacent communities,” said Secretary Antonino. She added that a riverbank

11

protection project in Ala River will also be constructed to avoid flooding in the Municipality of Lambayong. MinDA is also pursuing nonstructural solutions to complement with DPWH’s infrastructure projects in MRB. “Although we see the flood control projects as an immediate step to curb flooding around the MRB, MinDA, through its MindaNOW Nurturing Our Waters (MindaNOW) program in partnership with key government agencies and local government units, is also adopting bio-engineering measures for erosion control and slope stabilization,” explained Antonino. She said that the MRB technical working group has identified the upper and lower por tions of Pulangi River and the rivers of Ala, Ambal-Simuay, and Rio Grande de Mindanao, where kakawate, commonly known as Madre de Cacao, bamboo and vetiver grass are to be planted. By virtue of Executive Order 50 signed by President Aquino in 2011, MinDA is tasked to coordinate the formulation, implementation, and finalization of the MRB relief, rehabilitation, and long-term development plan of MRB together with the River Basin Control Office (RBCO) of DENR and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD). Antonino added that MinDA sees to it that the MRB master plan, which outlines the rehabilitation and development of the river basin, is moving forward. “Aside from convening the MRB technical working group regularly, MinDA is also doing resource mobilization activities for identified MRB projects,” she said, adding that aside from DPWH, the MinDA is also tapping the Official Development Assistance (ODA) to fund the rest of MRB projects. (PNA)

Cimagala... from page 6

through the different stages and situations in our life. God is everything to us. He is much more than the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water the drink. He is everywhere and governs all aspects of reality, since he is the creator of all. Obviously, we as creatures, even if we have been created in his image and likeness, cannot expect to know everything about him. But we have to realize that we need to be with him all the time. We have to train our thoughts and desires, our loving and all the other spiritual operations we do to spring from faith, hope and love of God and to orient everything to him. We have to be wary of our tendency to get entangled with simply human and natural aspects of our life. These human and natural aspects, if not vitally linked with God, would have no other way but to go haywire sooner or later. And that’s what we are seeing these days. In fact, that’s what we are seeing since the fall of our first parents in Paradise. We need to do something about this, starting with our own selves. One thing we can do is to make a daily examination of conscience just before going to bed. Let’s see to it that we end the day reconciled with God in our mind and heart, irrespective of how the day went. Then let’s train ourselves to refer everything to God, whether they be good or bad, humanly speaking.

CAGAYAN DE ORO MAIN BRANCH P & J Lim Bldg., Tiano Brothers Kalambagohan Sts., Tel. # (08822) 727-829 * Telefax # (088) 856-1947 CAMIGUIN BRANCH B. Aranas St., Poblacion, Mambajao, Camiguin Tel. # (088) 387-0491 CORRALES BRANCH Corrales Ave., Cagayan de Oro City

DIVISORIA BRANCH Atty. Erasmo B. Damasing Bldg., #61 Don A. Velez St., Cagayan de Oro City Tel. # (088) 857-3631 LAPASAN BRANCH Lapasan Hi-way, Cagayan de Oro City Tel. # (088) 231-6739 CARMEN BRANCH Vamenta Blvd., Cagayan de Oro City Tel. # (088) 231-2011

CDO MAIN BRANCH P & J Lim Bldg., Tiano Brothers Kalambagohan Sts., Tel. # (08822) 727-829 * Telefax # (088) 856-1947

DIVISORIA BRANCH Atty. Erasmo B. Damasing Bldg., #61 Don A. Velez St., Cagayan de Oro City Tel. # (088) 857-3631

CAMIGUIN BRANCH B. Aranas St., Poblacion, Mambajao, Camiguin Tel. # (088) 387-0491

LAPASAN BRANCH Lapasan Hi-way, Cagayan de Oro City Tel. # (088) 231-6739

CORRALES BRANCH Corrales Ave., Cagayan de Oro City

CARMEN BRANCH Vamenta Blvd.,Cagayan de Oro City Tel. # (088) 231-2011


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