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Briefly Tax cuts for K-12 DAVAO City -- A lawmaker here has filed a bill seeking additional income tax exemptions for K to 12 parents to ease their financial burden. Compostela Valley First District Representative Maria Carmen Zamora sought to augment additional income tax exemptions for each tax payer’s qualified dependent from P25,000 to P50,000. Zamora said the bill will be of help to single parents who have sole custody of the dependent. She added that there is the need for the government to help ease the financial burden brought about by the extended school curriculum.

Brownouts back GENERAL Santos City -- Daily rotating brownouts lasting up to six hours are once again back in South Cotabato and Sarangani provinces and the cities of General Santos and Koronadal due to the lack of power supply in the Mindanao grid. S a n t i a g o Tu d i o , South Cotabato I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Socoteco-I) general manager, said in an advisory Monday that its service area has a deficit of 12.3 megawatts (MW), or equivalent to three to six hours rotational load curtailment. “ We appeal for your understanding as we again face power generation deficiency. Some of our power plants are undergoing maintenance repairs that resulted in the reduction of the Mindanao generation capacity,” he said.

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September 3, 2013

By MYRNA VELASCO, Contributor

ESPITE government interventions in place, Mindanao businessmen have reiterated their call for President Aquino to double his effort bringing about quick solution to the island’s power problem.

BEARING THE BRUNT. A worker of a barbershop starts up a generator in Kidapawan City in this file photo. The lack of power supply continues to cripple businesses in Mindanao. mindanews file photo by froilan gallardo

P40-B construction industry to propel Mindanao’s economy

Wit h t he anticipated integration of the ASEAN markets in 2015, the group said this issue has become more relevant and that what they need is reliable supply and overall energy security for the region. By 2015, Mindanao’s long-snarled power supply

will finally ease with the scheduled entry of additional 500 megawatts capacity from greenfield coal plants. The concerns of various business chambers and groups in Mindanao were presented to the President as “ninepoint policy agenda designed to enhance the island-region’s

competitiveness and prepare for the anticipated ASEAN integration in 2015.” At a recently-concluded Mindanao Business Conference, John Gaisano who was the designated conference director noted that their policy issues delve with agriculture, energy, information and technology, tourism, small and medium enterprises, logistics and infrastructure, sk ills development and natural resource management. The business groups so power/PAGE 11

By LOVELY A. CARILLO, Contributor

DAVAO City -- The main pl aye r s i n M i nd a n a o’s construction industry have identified P40-billion worth of opportunities for the industry that can provide a big boost to Mindanao’s economy. “The construction industry provides money for t he lo c a l e c onomy with 15 times minimum multiplier effect in terms of suppliers, workers, lodging establishments and other support facilities,” said Engr. Ramon F. Allado, president of A l lado Const r uct ion Company. Allado has identif ied ongoing, still to be completed and soon-tostart construction projects in the areas of tourism, public construction and power plant construction that can spell “at least P40-billion for Mindanao alone.” “ There is a boom in

Minda nao const r uct ion industry today, especially in Davao,” he said. T here a re t wo 3 0 0 MW coal-powered plants in full construction in the region today, he said, with Therma Sout h ’s project 40 percent completed and SMC Global Power Holdings Corporation’s project in Malita just starting out. Two more coal-powered plants in Misamis and South Cotabato will start construction soon, he added. “That’s only the power sector aside from the mining sector,” he said. Allado said the Department of Education (DepEd) has completed the public-private partnership (PPP) bidding for 20,000 classrooms in Mindanao. Sector 1, which comprises almost the other half of Mindanao, requires 10,000 economy/PAGE 11

‘BER’ MONTH. As the first “ber” month is on, colorful lanterns and other decors for sale begin to dot roadside stores in Buhangin district in Davao City, signifying that the Christmas season, though still four months away in December, is already up in the air. mindanews photo by gigi bueno

Lanao power coop cuts off power of 29 municipalities LANAO del Sur Electric Cooperat ive (L asu reco) has cut off the supply of 29 municipalities affecting 20,620 customers due to their arrears of roughly P350 million. In a letter to Energ y

Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla, Lasureco general manager Ashary P. Maongco noted that the cooperative emba rke d on “ma s sive disconnection of delinquent member-consumers because of non-payment of

outstanding obligations.” In the August 23, 2013 correspondence to the energy chief, Maongco indicated the supply cut-off to 27 municipalities, but as of August 28, this has already Lanao/PAGE 11

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Infra, key to sustaining above 7% growth ADDRESSING the “huge backlog” in infrastructure will put the country in the position to sustain a growth of above 7 percent in the next few years, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). In a news conference on the National Income Accounts, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan told reporters that the government is aware inadequate

infrastructure has often been cited as the biggest drag in the country’s economic growth and development. Balisacan expressed confidence that

these infrastructure constraints can be financed locally, at least in the medium term, because the country is “awash with cash.” Foreign funds, however, can be used to address infrastructure constraints in the long term, he said. “Yes [it will be a major growth driver], in the next several years. As I said, backlogs are

huge in all major infrastructure, including housing for low-income groups. You may be seeing a lot of those housing in the upper end now, upper and middle class, but there are huge backlogs in the low-income housing groups,” Balisacan said. The NEDA chief said the country has available funds of up to P600 billion annually INFRA/PAGE 10

LASURECO pushes reform agenda Mid-year PHL eco MARAWI CITY—After a month-long lull at the cooperative in deference to the Holy Month of Ramadhan, LASURECO is again on the campaign trail to improve collections and delivery of services. GM Sultan Ashary P. Maongco has implemented an unpopular decision to disconnect delinquent member-consumers numbering twenty-seven municipalities and more than twenty thousand individual member-consumers to save the cooperative and to continue its rehabilitation program. It should be remembered that a week before the start of the Holy Month of Ramadhan, LASURECO has a gentleman’s agreement with local government units to pay their current and outstanding power bills based on the so-called “pakyaw system” on condition that after the Month of Ramadhan, LASURECO will have to adopt a powerrationing method for those who will opt for the “pakyaw system”. The amount they will pay will be prorated on the number of hours they will have to have power supply. However, those who will opt to pay the entire consumption of their municipalities based on transformer metering, they will have round-the-clock power supply. LASUR ECO’s present management is aware of the sad experience of Albay

Electric Cooperative (ALECO) when it was disconnected for its failure to settle its accounts with its power suppliers. BASELCO and SUELCO have also been disconnected. There is no sacred cow in the electricity industry. The debt problem cannot be resolved without the cooperation of the individual member-consumers. LASUR ECO has installed individual meters, whether clustered or not, and transformer metering for those who agreed with the arrangement. It is ironic that member-consumers now resist paying their power consumptions when they have been properly billed. LASURECO has the lowest rates in the entire Mindanao area, and yet memberconsumers still refuse to pay their bills. The cooperative has the mandate and authority to disconnect delinquent member-consumers. This is not being deliberately done. It is for the survival of the cooperative. In spite of the resistance of memberconsumers, LASUR ECO continues to implement the rehabilitation program. There is no stopping the management and staff of the cooperative from doing what is best for the people of Lanao. LASURECO’s management is able to PUSHES/PAGE 7

briefing to tackle ways to boost infra spending

BOOSTING infrastructure spend ing a nd foreig n investment will take center stage as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor and Economic Managers convene at the Mid-Year Philippine Economic Briefing on September 17 at t he Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). Members of the business com mu n it y, d iplomat ic corps, and the press have been invited to join the discussion on how to sustain a nd ma ke inclusive t he robust performance that has seen the Philippines emerge as Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing economy and achieve investment-grade status. The Briefing will feature TACKLE/PAGE 10


Advertising and Editorial E-mail : businessweekmindanao@gmail.com Contact nos. : 0917-7121424 • 0947-8935776 Editor : Neslon Constantino

SM Group mulls venture in power generation business H E N R Y S y ’s h o l d i n g compa ny is keen on venturing into the power generation business. “ T h e r e [i s ] p o w e r generation, distribution and transmission. What we are interested in is power generation,” SM Investments Corp chief financial officer Jose T. Sio said during a forum last week. “I f t here i s t h at a n investment, we will see if it is appropriate, if it is legally feasible,” Sio said, adding that the group plans to come up with a decision on their planned entry in the power generation sector “this year or next year.” Sio said any investment in power generation would have to w a it u nt i l t he company resolves the legal hurdle posed by Sy’s son and namesake, who is part owner of the National Grid Corp of t he Philippines (NGCP), holder of the longterm contract to operate the country’s power grid operator. Under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, owners of NGCP are not allowed to have investments in power plants since the former is the one tasked with dispatching the output of these facilities. mulls/PAGE 7

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Philex shutting down coal mine PHILEX Petroleum Corp has announced its subsidiary will close a coal mine in Zamboanga Sibugay that has turned in losses. In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Philex Petroleum said Brixton Energy and Mining Corp will shut down the mine in Diplahan town that is covered by Coal Operating Contract No. 130. The listed company earlier informed the Department of Energy (DOE) of the planned closure. Philex Petroleum said operations at the mine have

been suspended since the start of the year “due to negative margins resulting from the high operating costs and the substantial drop in regional coal prices in 2012.” As a resu lt of t he suspension, Philex Petroleum had to write-down P578 million of its assets in the company. Energy Undersecretary Philex/PAGE 7

PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia taps Bayan for data service across Asia BAYAN Telecommunications Inc has partnered with an Indonesian telecom company to provide its customers’ data requirements in the Philippines and elsewhere in Asia. Und e r t he i r m a s t e r services agreement, Bayan will provide the data services of P T Te le komu n i k a si Indonesia International’s (Telin) customers not only in the Philippines, but also in Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Timor Lesta and Australia. W hi le Baya n has no infrastructure outside the Ph i l ippi ne s , Tel i n w i l l

tap the Philippine telco’s partners in those areas when providing data services to the Indonesian firm’s customers. “ We a r e t a r g e t i n g customers that run mission critical applications and are dependent on low latency,” Patrick Gatchalian, Bayan business head said. “O t h e r p a r t n e r s h i p opportunities include the establishment of bilateral capacit y bet ween Tel i n and Bayan. Benef its include network efficiency a nd s c a l a bi l it y, f a s t e r provisioning of data services, availability of capacity, and f lexibility in pricing,” he

said. Gatchalian said Bayan expects new revenue streams out of its partnership with Telin, which is a subsidiary of P T Te le k omu n i k a s i Indonesia, the largest in Indonesia. “This will be realized in terms of endorsed oppor t u n it ie s by Tel i n from Indonesian companies present in the Philippines,” he added. Last year, Bayan posted data service revenues of P3.56 billion, up 11 percent from P3.30 billion in 2011, driven by the increasing demand Bayan/PAGE 9

Fortinet reports 2Q 2013 financial results

FORTINET, a leader in high-performance network security and unified threat management (UTM) solutions, announced recently its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2013. Total revenue was $147.4 million for the second quarter of 2013, or an increase of 14 percent compared to $129.0 million in the same quarter of 2012. Within total revenue, product revenue was $66.5 million, or an increase of 8 percent compared to the same quarter of 2012. Services revenue was $79.7 million, or up by22 percent compared to the same quarter of 2012. Meanwhile, total billings were $160.7 million for the second quarter of 2013, or an increase of 10 percent compared to $145.8 million in the same quarter of 2012.Deferred revenue, on the other hand,stood at$389.7 million as of June 30, 2013, or an increase of 18 percent compared to that of $331.4 million as of June 30, 2012, and an increase of $13.3 million from $376.4 million as of March 31, 2013. Fortinet/PAGE 9


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ASEAN as a grouping is a failure – expert ASSOCIATION of Southeast Asian Nations as a community has been a failure so far, as the notion of national sovereignty continues to undermine its integration while the identity of the grouping has yet to crystallise, according to Eduardo C. Tadem, an associate professor of Asian Studies at the University of the Philippines Diliman. Though many Thais are waiting for the ushering in of the ASEAN Economic C o m mu n i t y (A E C) i n 2015, Tadem reckons the regional grouping needs to come up with a new model of integration. The professor made his presentation at the twoday Third Internationa l Conference on International Relations and Development at Chulalongkorn University, w h ic h w r app e d up on Fr id ay. T he con ference was held by about half a dozen organizations from four universities, including Chulalongkorn’s faculty of political science. Tadem said countries like Singapore and Thailand considered ASEAN a conduit to boost their own exports, leading to clashes between national strategies and the grouping’s own goals. He said 20 percent of the AEC’s trade protocols were far too tough and might not be agreed upon by 2015.

He a l s o c i t e d 2 010 statistics showing intraASEAN trade at just 25 per cent of the entire trade in the 10 member- states, compared with 67.3 percent of intratrading among European Union (EU) members. Tadem also argued that competition among ASEAN manufacturers was fierce and thus undermined the goal of regional integration. Plus, three countries—Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand— dom i nate i nt ra-ASE A N trade, accounting for about 70 percent. Then there’s the free-trade agreements some ASEAN member-states have with countries outside the regional bloc, such as Thailand’s pacts with New Zealand, Australia and China, which reduces the efficacy of trade agreements within the grouping. The ASEAN Secretariat, too, is weak and understaffed compa red w it h t he EU, Tadem said. failure/PAGE 9

Obama to visit PHL in October More bank UNITED States President Barack Obama will visit the Southeast Asian region soon, possibly including the Philippines, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said. Hagel made the announcement after his meeting with President Benigno Aquino III in Malacañang. “I spoke with the President and he is

very much looking forward to his trip to Southeast Asia, and I know that the White House is preparing for that and his meetings,” Hagel said. “There is a lot to discuss…As much as I know, President Obama is looking forward to his upcoming visit.” obama/PAGE 9

SMEs urged to dabble in niche industries

SMALL and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Asean region can start with their niche industries to gauge where they can cross borders. Reginald Alberto Nolido, partner at Corporate Counsels Philippines, and one of the panelists at the Fifth ASEANChina Young Entrepreneurs Forum, said that because most of the businesses in the region are made up of SMEs, they tend to fall into niche industries. “Being an SME, you don’t really have the width or flexibility to get into different kinds of activities. Being the case, you have to concentrate on what you are an expert in,” he said. He said this does not mean that SMEs should limit themselves to just that. He added that once companies expand their businesses, they will realize that there are other opportunities out there. One example that Nolido gave was with a company based in the Philippines, which started a cleaning company. They offered their services to different companies, but realized that there is a lot of competition in just cleaning, so they narrowed down their services to be industrial cleaners, targeting corporations and offices. dabble/PAGE 10

ASEAN integration to boost call centers THE contact center industry, which grew 18 percent yearon-year in 2012, is expected to benefit from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations economic integration by 2015,

a senior economist said. University of Asia and the Pacific economics professor Bernardo Villegas said the Philippines’ contact center industry had developed a niche in the global market and should extend it by further developing its huge and young pool of potential workers. Villegas, speaking during the International Contact C enter Conference a nd Expo 2013 in Cebu, said it was crucial to develop the country’s educated, Englishspeaking workforce, noting that it was one of the key factors for its recent highgrowth rate. The expo is the flagship event of Contact Center Association of the Philippines, the umbrella group of the Philippine contact center industry composed of more than 90 global and local contact center members operating in the Philippines. Villegas said ASEAN, led

by Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, would be “strong enough” to challenge the economies of China and India in 20 years. He sa id t he ASE A N economic integration would result in the “regionalization of business,” where local ventures would be replicated or extended elsewhere. Other factors include s t rong m ac ro e c onom ic performance, labor peace and strategic location, all of which contributed to the business process outsourcing sector’s continued growth, he said. Villegas cited the need to continue investments in education and infrastructure to seize the opportunity from global markets. He said BPO operations based in the Philippines would continue to grow because of the country’s strategic location and young population. boost/PAGE 9

mergers seen by 2015

MOR E mergers and consolidations among local banks are expected to take place a head of t he 2015 Association of Southeast Asian Nations economic integration, a bank executive said. “ T here w i l l be more consolidations and mergers to sustain the Philippines i n t he long r u n… It [integration] will affect not only the banking industry but ot her businesses as well,” China Banking Corp. director and SM Investments Corp. chief finance officer Jose Sio said. Sio sa id loc a l ba n k s needed to become stronger in order to compete with other banks from ASEAN that might decide to expand in the country. “I’m sure they [ASEAN banks] will expand here. Many discussions are going on around [on mergers]… There will be more,” Sio said, although he did not identify the banks that were involved in merger talks. Sio also with the ASEAN integration, the competition in the bank ing industr y would be stiffer, as banks in ASEAN countries were bigger. “What would be the picture of that?.. We have no clear idea,” Sio said. He s a id w h i le BD O Unibank was considered t he countr y’s largest, it was smaller than the other ASEAN banks. “BDO has P1.3-trillion total resources, the biggest in the Philippines. But we are down there, in the 16th place [in the region].. The bigger banks are in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, When that [integration] thing comes, we don’t know what will happen,” Sio said. mergers/PAGE 9


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Ex-anti-GMO advocate chastises Greenpeace

GENETICALLY-modified (GM) crops, like the Philippinedeveloped Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) eggplant, will play major role preserving biodiversity and millions of hectares of forestland all over the world, a pro-environment and former anti-GM advocate said. Mark Lynas, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies, said that GM crops like the Bt eggplant would have far-reaching benefit on biodiversity, and prevent people’s exposure to health risks from chemicals. “Scary stories against GM are being spread by supposed environmentalists. But GM crops has really been the answer to preserving biodiversity,” he said. Having been an environmentalist, he has initially supported the anti-GM campaign as most environmentalists oppose biotech crops. He had also been involved in vandalizing activities against GM crops. Lynas confessed that his search to promote biodiversity has been a top reason that prompted his “conversion,” so to speak, to GM crops from having been just an environmentalist. “Biodiversity is enhanced by planting GM crops. Less land will be required to be cultivated if yield is high. As crop yield can be raised by at least 20 percent, habitat for biodiversity is enhanced through GM,” Lynas said, citing a Jesse Ausubel-led Rockefeller University research. From 1961 to 2010, the environmentalist said that GM has saved over three billion hectares of land due to its 300-percent production increase. This even if there are three billion more people to feed between 1961 and 2010. “Three billion hectares is equivalent to two South Americas. There would have been no Amazon rainforest left today without this improvement in yield. Nor would there be any tigers in India or orangutans in Indonesia,” he said. Lynas acknowledged that there is prevailing negative perception on GM’s safety due to intensive campaign against it by groups like Greenpeace. He himself was a former pro-environment and anti-GM advocate who just admitted to realizing his fault. He said that for almost two decades, GM crops have proven to be safe. “I was surprised to find out GM’s environmental impact is good. So why are environmentalists campaigning against it? Bt eggplant is a pesticide-free crop. It can reduce use of insecticides which are obviously an environmental and health problem. Greenpeace is insisting farmers must continue using toxic chemicals,” said Lynas. He also belied claims that genetically modified organism can cause cancer, noting that hundreds of scientific studies found no substantial health impact in eating GMOs. “GMO should stand for genetically modified and organic. It can make organic farming successful because you don’t need chemicals,” he added. Freedom of choice: Lynas said that it is unfortunate that the organic movement lobbies to block that freedom of choice. He stressed that farmers should be given the choice to plant GM crops if their welfare will be looked after, adding that anti-GMO groups do not really support the welfare of Filipino farmers. “Campaigners claim to represent the Filipino perspective. But it’s really European perspective, which is pro-organic and traditional agriculture. They raise a lot of money in Europe,” he added. Lynas intended to write an anti-GM position in his book God Species, but he found no scientific references for this position. It was in stark contrast to the hundreds of references he had supporting his position on climate change. He then finished God Species supporting GM, albeit in a brief chapter. “I wanted to be consistent with science across the board. I wanted to have the strongest scientific basis to my claims. Rather than believe what was on the Internet of campaign groups, I had to really look at what people in science are saying about biotechnology but which is the opposite of what environmentalists are saying,” Lynas said. chastises/PAGE 10

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PRESIDENTIAL Adviser on Environmental Protection, Sec. Nereus Acosta, is advocating a paradigm shift in investments, infrastructure, insurance, institutional arrangements and information dissemination. Acosta noted such action is essential in helping the country adapt to and survive the changing climate. ”Climate change forces us to rethink and redo things,” he said. He raised urgency for action, warning studies show archipelagic Philippines is among countries most at risk for climate changedriven onslaught of weather extremes as well as sea level and temperature rise. ”Preparedness comes with realization of such new normal,” he said. Luzon recently reeled f rom f looding as t he sout hwe st monsoon or habagat enhanced by tropical storm Maring (international name Trami) dumped heavy rainfall in various areas of the island. Government weat her agency Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services

Administration (PAGASA) reported data from its station in Sangley show the enhanced habagat dumped on Aug. 21 a record 475.4 mm of rainfall in Cavite province. PAG A S A s a i d s u c h downpour exceeded t he 354.2 mm rainfall its Sangley station registered for Cavite from onslaught of ‘habagat’ there on Aug. 7 last year. The downpour in Cavite also surpassed the Sangley station’s 457.2 mm normal Au g u s t r a i n f a l l v a lue , PAGASA continued. Weather data generated i n t he S a ng le y st at ion represents conditions in Cavite, PAGASA noted. PAG A S A c o n t i n u e s promoting public vigilance and action on expected we a t h e r d e v e l o pm e nt s nationwide, earlier projecting climate change to drive wetter rainy seasons and drier summers in the future. Acosta a lso noted

environmental degradation elevates need for preparedness and adaptation measures. He p oi nt e d out t he country already has less forest cover so the uplands can no longer retain as much water and soil as before, causing these to cascade to lowlands and water bodies there. Experts noted pollution already reduced several of those water bodies’ carrying capacity so inflow of such

‘Bodyong’ being considered to mitigate disaster impacts BORONGAN CITY, Eastern Samar— ”Bodyong”, a local wind instrument made from animal’s horn is being considered as another tool in alerting local communities of an impending calamity. This suggestion surfaced during the workshop made by the Preparedness Group in the three-day planning formulation workshop, aimed at creating disasterresilient communities in the province. “We cannot compromise the safety and well-being of our people, thus it is important that we make do with any available source if only to give our people with a very vital information that could save their lives,” said Dr. Gaudencio Aljibe of Department of Education. He suggested, that while it could be hard to procure and modernize the alarm systems of local disaster risk reduction and mitigation councils, barangay leaders can use a “Bodyong” in sounding up an looming calamity.

water and soil increases the possibility of overflows there, flooding communities. Onslaught of wetter rainy seasons will exacerbate the situation, they warned. ”We’re becoming more vulnerable,” Acosta said. The presidential adviser is optimistic the landmark climate-smart headquarters of Laguna Lake Development Authority he heads will help paradigm/PAGE 10

Green movement, climate change highlight summit

Aside from the “Bodyong”, Aljibe reminded the group that most barangays have chapels with bells, which can also be used in alerting people of a looming danger in the community. It was also agreed by the local planners to consider “Bandillo” as a means of informing barangay folks of important happenings affective of their lives, particularly disasters. Bandillo is simple, loud, oral reading, by Bodyong/PAGE 9

SUSTA I NA BI L I T Y a nd bu si ne s s opp or t u n it ie s will serve as key part of the programs prepared by organizers of the upcoming World Engineers Summit to be held this September in Singapore. The conference principally aims to focus on important concerns surrou nd ing climate change and green technology movement in the region. Du r i ng t he event, discussions on the critical roles of business practices, Science and technology in driv ing sustainable and economically viable solutions to the problems brought about by climate change summit/PAGE 10

perennial flooding” in the river basin. MinDA said the projects, which were recommended t o t h e P u b l i c Wo r k s department, would include the dredging and widening of a 7.7-km cutoff channel for f loodwaters from the Ambal-Simuay River to be diverted 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 in Maguindanao. “The dredging of Rio Grande de Mindanao and

construction of [a] dike along the Tunggol cutoff channel on Pulangui River will also protect the Tunggol Bridge that connects the Davao-Cotabato national highway and the adjacent communities,” Antonino said. Also to be constructed, she added, was a riverbank protection system for the Allah River so that flooding i n L a m b ay on g , Su lt a n Kuda rat, mig ht a lso be prevented. In 2011, Mr. Aquino issued E xecut ive Order control/PAGE 10

P6.9-B M’nao flood control project gets nod THE national government is set to build P6.9 billion worth of flood control projects in the Mindanao River Basin to counter f loods that, in recent years, have submerged many parts of Central and Northern Mindanao Regions. The Mindanao Development Aut horit y (MinDA) said that Public Works Secretary Rogelio L. Singson committed to fund the projects within the 21,502-square-kilometer river basin, covering a rea s i n t he prov i nces of Mag uindanao, Sout h Cotabato, North Cotabato,

and Sultan Kudarat, as well as Cotabato City. Singson was quoted as say ing that the projects would include dredging, d i ke const r uc t ion, a nd cutoff channel widening in identified areas. “The projects must be implemented the soonest to mitigate recurring flooding that has displaced thousands of residents and damaging livelihood and properties in the area, especially during torrential rains,” he said. Singson added that the projects “are not merely band-aid solutions to the


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“Cripple RP for one day”, OFWs urged

Parrots and eagles

hink a minute…Did you ever dream as a kid about A Minute flying like a bird? By Jhan Tiafau Hurst Which would you be more like: a parrot or an eagle? The two are very different kinds of birds. Even though it can fly, a parrot prefers to stay in the same comfortable cage, eat the same dry seeds, and listen to the same words over and over again until it can say them easily. A parrot’s satisfied just to do the same thing everyday. In fact, you almost never see a parrot actually fly. Not eagles. Eagles have an inner drive to explore and experience everything out there. They have the courage to change and take risks. And they’re not afraid to leave their familiar, comfortable nest of tradition to search for more. An eagle’s passion for life pushes it to soar high and explore new territory, looking for fresh, satisfying food instead of the same boring, dry seeds. So which bird are you most like? If you like being a parrot kind of person, then you’ll probably just stay the same. But you’ll never have or experience anything more in life. And you’ll never know if what you believe is really true. Remember, “If you agree with someone on everything, then one of you is doing all the thinking.” The smart, successful person is not only open to new ideas, he goes looking for them. So if you want a full, exciting life like an eagle as God created you to live, then what are you waiting for? Do you realize how out of place you are living in that cage of the same thinking and routine every day of your life? Imagine how silly an eagle would look sitting in a cage, picking over a tasteless pile of dried seeds. So why don’t you ask Jesus Christ to take full charge of your life every day? Jesus clearly proved He is the true and only way to a fully satisfying life—by His teaching, miracles, death and resurrection. And He wants to lead you into all the truth, success, and full living He’s planned for you to enjoy. Just Think a Minute…

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IFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… The wicked accept bribes in secret to pervert the course of justice…” (Proverbs 17:23, the Holy Bible). -ooo “MILLION MARCH TO LUNETA” INSPIRES OTHERS: The highly successful “Million March to Luneta” on August 26, 2013 is inspiring other groups to act against graft and corruption, particularly against pork barrel abuse, in the country today. In a spate of Facebook posts, there are groups which are calling for suspension of any tax payment unless the pork barrel allocations of lawmakers are abolished. Our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), on the other hand, are now calling, likewise through the Internet, for a one-day suspension of dollar remittances to the country on September 19, 2013, while the Philippine Council for Evangelical Churches (PCEC), the nationwide organization of Born Again Christians in the Philippines, is calling for the immediate abolition of pork barrel. Here is a Facebook posting from a group which calls itself “OFW Family” (translated in English): “Our country’s economy remains strong because of the remittances which we, as OFWs, are regularly sending. The GDP (gross domestic product) of the Philippines soared to 20%, only because of OFW remittances. They are so thick-faced!!! -ooo “CRIPPLE RP FOR ONE DAY TO STOP GRAFT”: “This is a call for all OFWs. Let us remember the day, September 19 (2013). According to some, OFWs are not involved in the pork barrel issue, allegedly because we are not paying taxes (that’s according to them). On September 19, let us make the Philippines feel the value and importance of OFWs, with our `September 19 Zero Remittances Day for Zero Pork’. “Let us not remit anything for one day, and surely, that would cripple the country for one day. This is not compulsory, but only for those who are against pork barrel. It is time for OFWs to make their perceptions known. Even for just one day. We can remit on September 18 or 20.” For the PCEC, it published a long letter to President Aquino in its Facebook group called “Pinoy Pastors

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Theological Forum”, expressing akampi its disgust over the pork barrel Mo A ng Batas issue. Read on: “AN APPEAL By Atty. Batas Mauricio TO ABOLISH THE PORK BARREL SYSTEM. We appeal to our President to take the lead in abolishing the lump sum appropriation of more than P25 billion for PDAF or any semblance of pork barrel in our national budget. -ooo PNOY MUST GIVE UP HIS PORK, TOO: “We also appeal to our senators and the congress representatives to focus on their intended job—which is to create laws. Hence, • we appeal to His Excellency for the abolition of P200 million annual allocation for each senator; • we appeal to His Excellency for the abolition of the P70 million annual allocation for each congress representative that are supposedly used for various projects, but have been abused… “And we appeal to His Excellency for the ‘special purpose funds’ (SPF) of nearly P450 billion be abolished as well… AN APPEAL TO LEAD US IN DISMANTLING PATRONAGE POLITICS. We appeal to our President to lead in the abolition of an unjust system of patronage politics. We strongly say,`Enough with a few families controlling not just the politics but the very soul of towns, cities, provinces and to some degree our country!’ “AN APPEAL TO LEAD IN THE PASSING OF THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION BILL. Finally, we appeal to our dear President to lead in passing the Freedom of Information Bill and to certify to the necessity of its immediate enactment… We are convinced that this bill is crucial in our fight against corruption…” -ooo REACTIONS? Please call me at 0917 984 24 68, 0918 574 0193, 0922 833 43 96. Email: batasmauricio@yahoo. com, mmauriciojr111@gmail.com.

Wheat and weeds

he parable of the wheat and the weeds in the gospel of St. Matthew (13,24-30) offers us very precious lessons on vigilance, discernment, discretion as well as fortitude and charity. It’s a reflection of how our life in this world is-full of confusion, the exercise of freedom producing all sorts of things that mix good and evil, truth and falsehoods, etc. We have to be ready to go through this unavoidable predicament, adequately equipping ourselves to do battle with it which, in the Christian sense, will always be a battle of love, joy and peace. There will always be the usual skirmishes and combats, but if we manage to be truly identified with Christ, this warfare will end with the victory of love. We should never be naïve as to think that everything will just be fine in the world, because some kind of “invisible hand” will take care of fixing whatever problems we will have. There’s obviously the abiding and omnipotent providence of God, but we have to remember that that providence counts on our cooperation too. We have to be actively involved in the affairs of the world. Truth is there is a real enemy of God, and of ourselves as well, who is orchestrating everything to spoil whatever good we can in this world. He is referred to in the gospel as the prince of this world, the prince of darkness, the prince of devils, etc. He is powerful allies, first, in our wounded selves, and the formidable structures he has put up since time immemorial. We should not dismiss this reality as some kind of over-pious fantasy. While we have to learn how to be calm and discreet about this, neither should we take this unfortunate aspect of our human condition for granted. What we have to do is to truly take care of our spiritual life, seeing to it that we are vitally and continually linked and identified with Christ, for only then can we handle this predicament properly. We need to pray, study the doctrine of Christ and now of the Church thoroughly, have recourse to the sacraments, grow in the virtues, mature in our sense of commitment to spread the gospel, etc. We need to see to it that we can truly echo what St. Paul once said: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Only in him can we have the answer to all questions, the solution to all problems, the relief to all our burdents. Let’s banish the thought that there are things in our life where God has nothing to say. Today, there are even those who say that there is no God, or that God has absolutely nothing to say on anything, and that therefore he is just a mere myth, a superstition, etc. Let’s learn how to discuss and argue our points with

faith, hope and charity. Yes, we need all the resources of and Traces reason and its products of the By Fr. Roy Cimagala sciences and the arts, but let’s never forget that everything has to start and end with faith, hope and charity. Especially these days when a lot of persuasive sophistry is employed by those who don’t believe and, much less, love God, we need to know how to tackle their arguments, patiently showing the truth in its fullness in season and out of season. This can always be done if the proper preparation and means are used. Let’s remember that the wisdom of the world can look like true wisdom, just like the weeds or the tares can look like the genuine wheat. Sophistry and the world’s wisdom cannot progress and cannot be attractive if it has nothing of the good and the true in it. So while we need to wait for the harvest, as the parable indicated, we can start discerning which is which and putting the proper measures to at least the mitigate the very terrible effects of the confusion. We need to remember that what is of primary importance to us is to uphold the truth in charity that will always give a certain priority to the person over the position he may take. We should be more interested in saving souls rather than in simply being correct and victorious in a discussion. And so, we need to polish well our skills at engaging in dialogue and discussion with others. We have to avoid at all costs what is known as the bitter zeal. We should prefer to suffer rather than to be found lacking in charity.

HINTS

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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

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Philex... from page 3

Ramon V. Oca earlier told InterAksyon.com that the suspension of Bri x ton’s operations was largely due to “technical issues” after its mine encountered “pinch and swell issues, which would make it expensive to extract

coal.” Manuel V. Pangilinan cha i rs T V5 a nd Ph i lex Petroleum. InterAksyon. com is the online news portal of the former.

Mulls... from page 3

In 2010, One Ta ipa n Holdings Inc, a company

controlled by Henry Sy Jr., acquired a 30 percent stake in NGCP after buying out Enrique Razon from Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp. Monte Oro’s partners in NG CP a re C oy iuto -le d Calaca High Power Corp and State Grid Corp of China, which own the other 30 percent and 40 percent of the

grid operator, respectively. The plan, however, means the SM Group would have to play catch up with the rest of the country’s major conglomerates – Lopez, Aboitiz, San Mig uel, M e t r o b a n k , C o n s u nj i , Phinma and Ayala – all of whice have already set a foothold in the power sector.

The SM Group controls 60 percent of Philippine Geothermal Production Co Inc, a joint venture with US multinational oil firm Chevron Corp. Philippine Geothermal supplies steam to the 747-megawatt TiwiMakBan geothermal power fac i l it ie s i n A lbay a nd Laguna.

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Pushes... from page 2

turn-around the cooperative except the collections. Now they are moving to educate the member-consumers to become good customers of LASUR ECO t hrough social marketing and social mobilization. (PNA)

DA B riefing Congressman Rufus B. Rodriguez (left photo) gestures as he discusses matters during the briefing by the Department of Agriculture and its attached agencies on their projects in the 2nd District of Cagayan de Oro City held at De Luxe Hotel last August 16. The briefing was attended by officials coming from NIA, NFA, BFAR, PCA, City Veterinary Office and NDA. Right photo shows Congressman Rodriguez joined by Department of Agriculture Regional Director Lealyn A. Ramos , Philippine Coconut Authority Director Luis Cruz, National Dairy Authority - Jesus B. So, BFAR Regional Director Visa Demerin, Agricultural Training Institute RTC-10 Director Angelito Y. Quirog.

They comfort the forlorn. They soothe out to the weary. They sing for the hopeless. They work for the needy. They love the unloved. All this they do without an ounce of regret.

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Now they need you. Reach out to the Philippine Jesuits in need by reserving a copy of the

“Jesuits in Mindanao The Mission”

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Over a Cup of Coffee Agri story:

by Louise Dumas

The early morning serenity of Pigtauranan is punctuated by lazy carabao-drawn carts of farmers going to their fields; this scenario had not been possible when the village was considered a hot spot for rebels and bandits

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carabao-pulled cart lumbers slowly down the muddy lane at the break of dawn. A horse stops in the middle of its tracks, distracted by a patch of grass below a dilapidated fence. The idle start of the day in this remote village of Pigtauranan in Pangantucan, Bukidnon is far from the terror the community was subjected to in the 1980s. “There was a time when we could not go to our farms any time we wanted to,” said Jaime Y. Dagohoy, one of the directors of the Bayanihan Millennium Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Pigtauranan. “The military had gathered all of us to the center of the barangay to isolate the NPA [New People’s Army] and stop the people from providing them with resources. It was difficult for us to be caught between the two groups. We could not avoid the rebels because we lived and farmed in the area.” In addition to the danger of being caught in the cross-fire between the government forces and the NPA, there was also the presence of bandits in the area who attacked farmers working alone. Today, they can now look back at these horror stories without worry.

“Instead of succumbing to the fear of these armed groups, we formed a group to do bayanihan. This is where our cooperative took its name,” said Mr. Dagohoy. Their group bought a piece of land which they communally tilled. Their bayanihan was not the usual community farming, however. “Some of us would guard the area while some are working on the land. The military had also issued arms to those of us who have reached college level so we could serve as the frontline during the attacks.” From a communal lot where they cultivated corn, their bayanihan efforts have now expanded to include cash crops, the most successful of them their coffee plantations. Previously only promoted as a diversification crop, it is slowly replacing the community’s sugarcane plantations which the farmers have scaled down due to its high labor input and fluctuating price. With an income ranging from P60,000-P80,000 for a hectare of coffee trees, Mr. Dagohoy had been able to send all his children to good universities all over Mindanao. His eldest child has recently graduated from Management Accounting, another

child already working as automotive mechanic in Cebu, one reviewing to take the board as an electrical engineer later this year. “I only have one child left in school who is taking up computer engineering,” he proudly said. The produce of the community primarily goes to Nestle Philippines, Inc. which has a buying station in Valencia and a coffee and milk factory in Cagayan de Oro City. The community, through the BMMPC, usually consolidates their harvest and sells in bulk to be able to get more incentives from the buyer and at the same time cut on the expenses of transporting individually. Grade 1 beans can range from P92.50 to P94.50, P10 higher if they sell it to middle men. In the first quarter of the year, they were able to sell 26 tons to Nestle. The company is now aiding the community to set up a nursery and provide them with technical expertise. Another coffee-growing community in Bukidnon which primarily sells to Nestle is Barangay Bagong Silang in the municipality of Maramag. “The income from coffee and sugarcane is more or less the same,” said Ceriaco C. Luminarias, a coffee-

grower from Barangay Bagong Silang. “You need to replace sugarcane every after harvest. The coffee tree, on the other hand, is forever. As long as you maintain it so that it bears fruit and doesn’t die, you will earn from it periodically.” Luminarias has been a coffee grower since 1974. One hectare of his trees could yield up to 2,500 kilos. Once, the coffee peaked at the price of P115 per kilo. “I immediately bought a multicab that would be able to help me with the transportation of the coffee,” he said, adding that a big chunk of the family income relies on coffee trading. As a support to the growing coffee industry in Maramag, a local collaboration among the municipal cooperatives, the Catholic Relief Services, and the Kaanib Foundation, Inc. and the local government unit was initiated to provide a more accessible market for the coffee farmers. Called Kape Maramag, a kiosk which doubles as a café and a roasting station was strategically set up at the bus terminal of the municipality. The kiosk is managed by members of the Rural Improvement Club of the municipality. A kilo of mixed blend goes for P300 while 50g P25.

“Sometimes we could reach an income of P3,000 in a day,” said Nancy B. Ngujo, assistant manager of the café. “The lowest income we have is around P500. We earn a lot when we are contracted to serve during meetings of the LGU and other government units.” Although accepting from independent coffee sellers, Kape Maramag gets their regular supply from the barangays of La Roja, Bagong Silang, Panadtalan and Buya in Maramag. “The main reason for setting up this collaboration was to offer the coffee growers high buying prices comparable to the big companies such as Nestle,” Ms. Ngujo said. “The usual problem of the farmers is that come harvest season, they have a lot of debts and their income could not make up for it since the buying price of the middle men is so low. It is also not economically viable for some of them to still go to Valencia or Cagayan de Oro to sell coffee because of the transportation expenses.” Kape Maramag has already sent coffee to Denmark, Canada, Australia and Singapore through personal connections and links established by the local government unit of Maramag.

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A coffee grower delivering his harvest at Kape Maramag located at the Maramag bus station 50

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Hand-picking ripe coffee beans; even if it is not yet the season for harvest, coffee growers need to remove the beans that have already ripened and check these for pests

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Bayan... from page 3

for data connectivity and Internet connection. The demand for connectivity was brought about by the uptake for its wide array of connectivity s er v ic e s a nd s olut ion s such as Internet services (Internet Access Service and DSL), data services (Metro Ethernet, IPVPN, Frame Relay and Leased Line), and managed services such as Cloud Computing, Managed CPE, Co-Location, Network Monitoring, Hosted Contact Center and Disaster Recovery Services. Globe Telecom Inc is in talks with the Lopezes for

the takeover of Bayan after the Ayala-led telco acquired the latter’s debts. Both telcos had ba g ge d re g u l ator y approval for the joint use of frequencies. Globe and the Lopezes also forged a partnership that would allow the latter’s ABS-CBN to tap the former’s platform for the distribution of media content.

Fortinet... from page 3

“Our ability to meet or exceed billings, revenue, and profitability expectations during the second quarter against challenging conditions in some markets and geographies highlights the breadth and diversity

of For t i net ’s busi ness,” s a id Ken X ie, For t i net founder, president and chief executive officer. “While we will continue to move forward cautiously due to the ongoing macro uncertainty, we feel confident that the combination of our strong competitive advantages and product superiority positions us well for continued growth and market share gains.” Also, as of June 30, 2013, cash, cash equivalents, and investments were $814.4 million, compared to $782.5 million as of March 31, 2013. In the second quarter of 2013, cash flow from operations was $37.2 million and free cash flow was $35.2 million. “We have a very broad

product portfolio that stands for small business, major business, large enterprise to service providers,” says Je f f C a s t i l lo, For t i ne t Philippines country manager. “Functionalities are highly uniform across our product portfolios, which means that whatever functionality the telcos can enjoy can also be enjoyed by small businesses.”

Failure... from page 4

In addition to ASEAN leaders’ failure to make any significant joint efforts to tackle the 1997 financial crisis, “in November 2012, A S E A N l e a d e r s [s t i l l] couldn’t agree to set up a crisis hotline”, he said.

The ASEAN sceptic went on to cite the failures of the ASEAN Charter, which he said brought the regional human-rights standards lower than those stipulated in the United Nations Charter. “ASEAN has been silent on the issue of the Muslim Rohingya,” Tadem pointed out, adding that he believes China is also dividing the grouping into mainland and maritime ASEAN states— much to the detriment of the regional bloc itself. (BM)

Boost... from page 4

Villegas said the ASEAN’s anticipated resurgence was different from the growth of Asian tigers Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea in the 1990s, a s t hese cou nt r ies had small populations, little natural resources and strong dependence on expor ts. (MST)

Mergers... from page 4

Sio, however, questioned the relevance of the present Constitution in attracting more foreign investments i n t h e c o u n t r y. T h e C on s t it ut ion d i s a l low s foreigners to own more than 40 percent of local businesses in the country. (MST)

Obama...

from page 4 Hagel said he would leave it to the White House to announce the details of the visit. So far, Obama’s confirmed t r ips to t he re g ion i n October are as follows: to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Bali, to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meetings

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in Brunei, and to the 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Aqu i no w i l l a lso be attending the APEC and ASEAN meetings. Last year, after his reelection, Obama visited Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar. (MST)

Bodyong... from page 5

an authorized person of the barangay local government unit, of a brief information about things and situations which can affect directly or i nd i re c t ly t he lo c a l community and people. The information contained in the Bandillo is being read from one street to the other, around the barangay for the people to decide pronto, to evacuate from their houses and look for a safer ground if need be. These suggestions were deemed important to be included in the Preparedness Pla n of t he P rov i nc ia l Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC). For his part, Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Regional Director Rey Gozon informed the body that while the Council is preparing for an evacuation center, the provincial LGU he said has a pending request already for its construction cost and the design made by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) should be adapted, he said. It is also important, he added, that the Evacuation Center be constructed in a safe or not disaster prone area with the people who will man the center trained for certain specific tasks. (PIA)


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Infra... from page 2

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to f u nd i n f r a st r uc t u re pr oj e c t s b a s e d on t he estimated savings accounts at 3 percent to 5 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). If the country’s GDP is around P12 trillion, this could translate to savings of around P360 billion to P600 billion a year. Ba l isaca n sa id t hese funds can be found in special deposit accounts and other portfolio investments that are sitting idly in banks. He said an improved investment climate can help push these funds out of their comfort zones and into physica l investments. He said attracting foreign capital is no longer a problem for the Philippines, especially now that it has been able to sustain its economic growth at above 7 percent for four consecutive quarters. “The immediate constraint is that investors, whether they are domestic or foreign, did not see the economy as a worthwhile place to sink their money in. That was the problem in the past. But what we are seeing [is] that sentiment has changed for the better. If we continue that kind of momentum, of course, eventually, domestic savings will not be enough, you have to bring in foreign savings and that is what foreign investment is all about,” he said. The socioeconomic planning secretary said these funds can be used to finance all kinds of infrastructure projects, such as roads, airports, seaports, f lood protection and irrigation, as well as low-cost housing projects. Howe ve r, t o e n s u re economic growth is kept above 7 percent for the long term, Balisacan said the country can look to foreign investments to finance bigger and better infrastructure projects. “I f you lo ok at t he economy right now, the financial sector, we are really awash with cash. I think our savings are much more than aggregate investment, which means that even within the available resources here, we are not simply investing much,” Balisacan said. “In t he longer term, medium term, we need, of course, to sustain investment. We also need foreign capital. But for now, and the past two quarters, we have so much liquidity in the domestic market,” he said. R e c e nt l y, A m e r ic a n businesses in the Philippines said they are now more optimistic about business prospects in the country and that many are on expansion mode, according to t he latest survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham Philippines) and the United States Chamber of Commerce. In a statement, AmCham Philippines said the rise

in optimism a mong US businesses in the country was driven by a 50-percent increase in sat isfac t ion with the stability of the government and political system in the 2008-to-2013 period. But survey respondents said corruption, tax structure, poor infrastructure, laws and regulations, and ease of moving products through Customs remain key concerns that affect business prospects in the Philippines in the past five years. Data showed around 64 percent of respondents expect their profits to increase in 2013 and 84 percent of them expect profits to increase in 2014. The survey results also showed that 67 percent of respondents expect their work force to increase in the Philippines in 2013. Further, a majority, or 79 percent, of respondents are not facing significant financing constraints this year, while 82 percent are not facing higher costs of borrowing in 2013. (BM)

Tackle... from page 2

remarks by BSP Governor Amando Tetangco, Jr. and Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad along with panel discussions on foreign investments and infrastructure with senior representatives from the econom ic agencies a nd private sector. There will also be a press conference after the briefing. The Mid-Year Philippine Econom ic Br ief i ng was previously scheduled for September 3. (PNA)

Dabble... from page 4

Nolido said they realized that they could do more because the company also serviced restaurants, so they expanded their operations to train waiters, maitre d’s and butlers. “Now they are getting into that business, all because their outlook grew from their business, so yes, you start as a niche but that doesn’t mean you have to stay there,” he said. Nolido added t hat although ASEAN is moving towards t he ASEAN E c on om i c C om mu n it y (AEC) in 2015, and t he forum aims to encourage business between China and the region, SMEs still remain in their domestic market. “There is a fear that if you go out, you’re just going to be eaten up because there is a larger challenge, and that challenge is that they are going into an area where they don’t know anyone, or how business is done,” he said, stating that this is still the unfortunate situation that many countries in the ASEAN region are in. “The rules are dictated not so much by laws, but who you know and how things are done, and how to go around things, which can be a problem that is holding some entrepreneurs back,” he said.

One solution that Nolido said is for SMEs to identify “good partners” in other countries because it will help guide them within the foreign business environment. He added that in his profession as a law yer, he has dealt with local companies in the Philippines partnering with other companies in the region and getting into joint ventures. He said foreign pa r t ners have a be t ter understanding of business in their own country, and by partnering, both SMEs are able to grow together. “I think it is crucial for the success of SMEs under this new regime of the AEC to be more open to partnering with entrepreneurs from other countries, the reason being that if you want to be a success somewhere you have to know how things are done there,” he said. Asked about how niche SMEs can conduct business in China, without having move out of their own domestic market, Nolido said one opportunity could be to open up their business to being subcontractors. In the services sector made up of professionals, Nolido gave the example where companies could offer services abroad and do the business locally to cut client’s operation costs. “The same with China, China is a booming economy, and it is so big now that one of the problems is their cost of labor is going up,” he said, adding that SMEs can take advantage of the situation to offer services at a lower cost. (BM)

Paradigm... from page 5

raise public awareness and action on climate change adaptation. E a rl ier, Ac os t a s a id LLDA targets soft launching around October this year its headquarters in Quezon Cit y’s Nationa l Ecolog y Center. He noted environmentf r iend ly me a su re s l i ke natural lighting, ventilation a nd cool i ng a s wel l a s rainwater harvesting are among features of LLDA’s headquarters. Experts continue pushing for environment-friendly bu i ld i ngs , not i ng such structures are among top emitters of greenhouse gases. GHGs trap heat in the atmosphere, resulting in higher global temperature that drives climate change. (PNA)

Chastises... from page 5

On Greenpeace’s nature of oper at ion a nd a nt imultinational corporation campaign, Lynas said that the so-called environmental group is “behaving like a religious institution, not as a scientific institution.” “They have an ideology on GMOs. They won’t consider facts and evidence,” he said, adding that, “Greenpeace is pro-science in climate change, but anti-science in biotechnology.”

Lynas also hit Greenpeace’s funding, saying that the groups has “a kind of agenda that will not develop and is harmful to the interest of developing countries.” “You should f ind out about Greenpeace’s funding . . . they’re all funded from Europe. The NGO people have the best cars. They don’t think of the farmers,” he said. Ly n a s a dd e d t h at Greenpeace should be forced to be transparent about their funding, by publishing their donors. “Greenpeace has a lot of money. They can pay court fines without a problem. It has a budget of $350 million per year. It spends more on PR [public relations] than any other,” he said. (TMT)

Summit...

from page 5 and other environmental hazards will highlight the global event of engineers and business groups. More than 30 distinguished speakers will expound on these pressing issues. One of t he ke y note speakers, Mr Edwin Khew, Chairman of the Sustainable E ner g y A s s o c i at ion of Singapore and Managing Director of Anaergia Pte Ltd will shed light on trends in Asia that support clean technologies, such as feedin tariffs, energy efficiency policies a nd nat iona l commitments in reducing carbon emissions. He w i l l a lso prov ide examples of how Singapore and the region have managed to integrate clean tech in different areas with attractive ROIs both in the short and medium terms. The World Engineers Summit (WES) 2013 brings together engineers from different disciplines and from around the world to discuss, explore and share ideas on “Innovative and Sustainable Solutions to Climate Change”. The inaugural Summit will be held from 9th to 15t h S e ptemb er at t he Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore, in conjunction with the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO) General Assembly and committee meetings, and alongside industry events, Build Eco Xpo (BEX) Asia 2013, International Green Building Conference (IGBC) 2013 and the new World Engineering Expo 2013. (MST)

Control... from page 5

50, mandating MinDA to formulate programs and c o ord i n at e w it h ot he r agencies in the rehabilitation and eventual development of a program for the basin. (PNA)


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Power... from page 1

far commended “President Aquino’s resolve in finding rea l ist ic solut ions to Mindanao’s recurring power problem.” However, without stealing someone’s t hu nder, t he Aqu i no ad m i n ist rat ion was actually not of much help when t he dif f icu lt power supply solut ions for Mindanao were being peddled to the stakeholders in Mindanao. The policy of letting coal-fired facilities set the solution path for Mindanao was started by the previous administration, while the sweat a nd blood equit y of convincing consumers in the area to accept the presented viable technology options leaned much on the persistence and forbearance of t he private sector developers. In fact, when the Chief Executive attended a Power Summit in Davao City last year, he left people in the room with much disappointment because he has not lent an ear so he could have appreciated their issues deeper. According to Gaisano, power supply is not the only major concern of the region, it is similarly on a catchup mode when it comes to financing improvements for its micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as well as its agricultural small holders. Another impeding factor for the region would be infrastructure development – which admittedly is not on par with the region’s more developed tourism facilities, roads or even airports. “We ident i f ied v it a l sectors which can propel Mindanao’s economy and help the island-region reap the benefits of a greater economic integration come 2015,” Gaisano stressed.

Economy... from page 1

classrooms to be built in one and a half years. He said the tourism sector is another big user of the

construction industry with various tourism construction projects going on and many that are yet to be developed. Revitalizing the country’s construction industry is one of the strategies of the Aquino administration to promote countryside growth as conf irmed by Davao Constructors Association Center, Inc. president, Dino Mae Suelto. “ T he d ist r ibut ion of wealth is not trickling down, he (President Aquino) said, so it is pooling its resources to the construction industry since it has a bigger multiplier effect,” Suelto said. (PNA)

Lanao... from page 1

been increased to 29. The municipalities with disconnected electricit y services covered eight in Basak Area; six in Unayan Area; five in Coastal Area; three in BSP 3; and five in Guilopa area. The latest two additions have been Balo-i, which is a host community to one of the Agus plants; and Pantar. For t he ind iv idua l c u s tomer s w h ic h were disconnected, these included big loads in Marawi City; as well as end-users in the municipalities of Marantao, Balindong, Tugaya, Saguiran, Ramain, Ba lo-i, Pantar, Malabang and Balabagan. If those consumers without electricity supply would want to secure a temporary service, the option offered by Lasureco is “pakyaw system” or “power supply rationing” which may be availed of on a 5-hour duration or longer at specified rates. Maongco noted that the individual consumers owed the utility firm P308.431 million; with the biggest arrears of P163.920 million traced to a specified big-ticket customer in Marawi City. “We have taken the risk because we believe this is the only way to compel delinquent member-consumers to pay their power bills – both current and arrears,” the Lasureco official stressed. Maongco qualified though that this was not the “worst

DepEd to allow use of public school buildings for election purposes By Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob

OROQUIETA CITY, Misamis Occidental, A u g . 3 0 ( P I A) - The Depa r t ment of E duc at ion (DepE d) will allow the use of public school buildings relative to the October 28, 2013 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE). It will not also hold, during t he elect ion period, from September 28, 2013 to November 12, 2013, conferences, seminars or any school activity, which might interfere, restrict, or prevent the performance of election duties of the DepEd personnel, e x c e p t u p on pr ior written authority of t he Commission on Elections (Comelec). T hus ex pla i ned Jonat ha n S. Dela Pe?a, Schools Division Superintendent (SDS) of the Misamis Occidental Schools Div ision, who said that DepEd will comply with and enforce all orders and i nst r uc t ions of t he Comelec relative to the duties and functions case of disconnection” it carried out, emphasizing that it previously cut-off the supply of 37 municipalities,” but local government officials reportedly demanded service reconnection. “We agreed on condition that they would pay their bills based on the ‘pakyaw system’ on or before July 4, 2013, but sad to say, they did not honor their promise,” he added. Given that, Maongco

of its personnel in the October 28 BSKE. Pursuant to Comelec Resolution 9734, promulgated last July 3, DepEd is also expected to perform such other duties and functions which the Comelec may prescribe from time to time. Together with DepEd, Comelec Resolution 9734 a lso deputizes ot her gover n ment a gencies u nder t he executive branch and law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the government in connection with the October 2013 BSKE. This, as the Constitution, t he Omnibus Elect ion Code, Republic Act 9164, and other election laws, provides that the Comelec may deputize certain departments under the Executive Branch, GovernmentOwned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC) and Financial Institutions in connection with the elections. stressed that “we have no choice now but to disconnect them again”; albeit saying that such decision “has an inherent risk, given recent and past experiences when u nscr upu lous persons w it h ma l iciou s i ntent s toppled dow n power lines or sabotaged vita l infrastructure either owned by the cooperative or the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.”(Myrna Velasco)

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