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Issue No. 171, Volume III •

Market Indicators

As of 1:54 pm feb. 23, 2013 (Saturday)

FOREX

PHISIX

US$1 = P40.69

6,642.27 points

X

79.19 points

Briefly

X

3 cents

P1B tax collection

MALAYBALAY City -The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Revenue District 99 (RD99) here has collected P1.027 billion in tax revenues in 2012. Revenue District Officer Myrna Bernardo said this is the first time that BIR RD99 in Bukidnon collected more than a billion pesos in revenues. It registered a P69.7 million surplus or 7.28 percent excess over the assigned collection target. Revenue collection for 2012 also grew by P209.5 million or 25.62 percent compared to the 2011 collection.

P10M MRDP project

KORONADAL City -Transit of farm and other products from remote village in nearby Tupi town is expected to improve with the recent opening of a farm-to-market road in the area. The FMR project, according to a report from the Department of Agriculture (DA) 12, is located in Barangay Polonuling and involved rehabilitation and concreting of portion of a road that has been a concern among local residents and farmers because it has been causing delay in delivery of produce, especially during inclement weather. The project was implemented under the Rural Infrastructure component of DA’s Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP).

Cagayan de Oro City

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P70.5B power projects in store for Mindanao By MYRNA VELASCO, Contributor

T

HE capital outlay for power projects in Mindanao over the medium-term as approved by the Department of Energy (DOE) will amount to P70.5 billion.

In a presentation here, DOE chief investment specialist Lisa Go noted that the planned electricity generation facilities comprise both of indicative and committed projects and their commercial operations have been spread through the years. Based on the department’s latest data, she emphasized that P42 billion have been categorized as “committed projects;” while P27 billion are “indicative” or those that are still in various stages of development but no firm commitments yet on datecertain commercial commissioning. The firmed up projects, she said, will include the coal-fired power projects being developed by the Aboitiz and Alcantara groups which will bring in additional capacity of 500 megawatts come 2015 to 2016. These project developments would cover the 300-MW coal-fired plants of Therma South Inc. of the Aboitiz conglomerate; and projects/PAGE 8

BIRD WATCH. Bird watching is now fast becoming a tourist attraction in the Zamboanga Peninsula, particularly along the Zamboanga Ecozone and sta. Cruz Island. photo provided

Robinsons Mall to Davao biggest economy in M’danao rise in Butuan City BUTUAN, the center of the Caraga Region, will soon have a Robinsons Mall that will offer a new level of shopping experience in that part of Mindanao. Arlene G. Magtibay, Robinsons Land Corporation General Manager for

Commercial Centers Division, noted that the arrival of Robinsons Mall would “surely change the shopping landscape” in the Caraga Region. It will be the first time that a national player in the malls industry will robinsons/PAGE 9

DAVAO City -- The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) 11 has described 2012 as a banner year for the Davao region for having showed stronger growth primarily driven by services and industry sectors. In her presentation of Davao region’s economic performance for 2012 in

Friday morning’s “Kapihan sa PIA,” NEDA regional director Maria Lourdes Lim said investments from private building construction surged to P14 billion, up by 44 percent. Lim said export earnings also hit the US-billion mark after banana exports, the region’s top export market,

French carmaker Peugeot boasts of twin-economical power system By CHENG ORDONEZ Associate Editor

J.P. RIZAL - CRUZ TAAL STS., (NEAR SHANGHAI BAKERY) DIVISORIA, CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY

rebounded and grew at 46%. She said the volume of tourist arrivals peaked at one million with P12.9-billion receipts, first time for the region, and stable inflation rate of 2.5 percent, lower than the national coverage. The employment rate in Davao region maintained economy/PAGE 9

PEUGEOT, Europe’s secondlargest automotive marque, has officially opened its doors to Mindanao market through the inauguration of first Mindanao dealership, Thursday, February 28, here in Cagayan de Oro City, boasting of its

twin-economical power system. PSA Peugeot Citroen is a major French automaker and the world’s leading producer of diesel engines. Peugot is now under the distributorship of Eurobrands Distributor Inc. peugeot/PAGE 9

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Gov’t urged to improve roads, ports to minimize losses to food producers

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IMPROVING the roads, ports, and shipping services in Mindanao can prevent the significant losses regularly incurred during the transport of fresh produce from the region to other areas in the country, resulting in lower consumer prices and higher profit for supply chain players. This was the recommendation of a recent study on the importance of transport and logistics infrastructure to interregional trade in the country. Surveyed for the study were papaya, lettuce and tomato farmers, traders, transporters, and wholesaler-retailers in Mindanao, who all decried the high cost of transporting agricultural products from the region to Metro Manila and Visayas due to the poor state of the transport and logistics structure in the south. Gilberto M. Llanto, one of the study authors, in his article “How Critical Is Transport and Logistics Infrastructure

to Interregional Trade? The Case of High-Value Fruits and Vegetables in Mindanao” noted that as much as 20 percent to 50 percent of fresh produce from the region can be lost as it moves along the supply chain from farm to end consumers. Mindanao is the largest producer of food and live animals, with 90 percent of its produce going to the major urban markets of Luzon and Visayas, Llanto said. Based on the survey, bad roads and inefficient port and shipping facilities prevent small farmers and growers from fully accessing the demand centers, leading to higher costs in transporting produce, greater risk of spoilage, lower quality of the produce, and higher risk of road accidents. Sur veyed t raders complained about the high cost of transport rental, absence of good-quality road network from source to market, lack of links between farm roads and

main roads, and the high cost of fuel. Truckers and shippers polled decried the poorly constructed farm-to-market roads that increase the incidence of truck breakdowns, leading to high maintenance costs and greater number of road accidents. Wholesalers and retailers said their profitability was affected by spoilage and wastage that could affect about 11% to 12% of the total volume of produce they transport. Spoilage arises from poor handling, wrong loading practices at farms, poor storage facilities, and delays in transport of perishable agricultural products because of poor road conditions. The transport and shipping infrastructure in the country, on the other hand, is relatively accessible because several domestic shipping lines serve major shipping routes from Mindanao to Metro Manila and the urban centers of the

DAVAO City -- The Commission on Higher Education here announced that 29 of the 80 schools in the region sought permission to increase tuition fee this coming school year. However, CHED-Davao director Raul Alvarez said the number of private colleges and universities asking for school fee hike is way below compared to last year’s 45. He said many schools might have decided not to increase tuition due to the impact of typhoon Pablo to many families like displacement and loss of economic livelihood. Alvarez said that as of March 1, a total of 29 private academic institutions applied for a raise in tuition and other fees -- 20 of which come from Davao City,

four from Davao del Sur, four from Davao del Norte, and one from Compostela Valley. “The rest of the institutions which did not submit any proposal are presumed not to increase their fees,” he said. He said schools that submitted requests for tuition hike have until April 1 to conduct consultations with the students and parents and they must agree on the specific amount of increase. “The students and school administrations must meet and agree on the specific value of the tuition fee increase. Then, they present the result to the CHED, which will either approve or disapprove the proposal,” Alvarez said. He underscored the importance of consultation between

school authorities on one hand and students, alumni, faculty and the non-teaching personnel on the other hand. Alvarez noted that private institutions more often than not are the ones that seek tuition fee hike since they merely rely on collection of payment from students. He said it is also important that private schools pay good salaries to its faculty members who have above-average qualifications like masteral and doctorate degrees. Alvarez said 70 percent of any tuition fee increase must go to the salaries and benefits of teachers, 20 percent goes to the upgrading of school facilities, and only 10 percent goes to the owner. (PNA)

By APIPA P. BAGUMBARAN Contributor

rector Stella Zipagan-Banawis. The ECP provides a compensation package to public and private employees or their dependents in the event of work-related sickness, injury or death. It covers government sector employees who are members of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and private sector workers who are compulsory members of the SSS. She said they are eyeing to give EC coverage to voluntary

and self-employed members of the Social Security System (SSS) under the phase one of the program coverage expansion. “Eventually, we would also like the other informal sector to be included in the coverage but we are still studying the mechanisms on how it will be implemented,” she added. Aside from the coverage and benefits, Banawis said ECC is also making improvements in the system to fast-track the processing of EC claims in GSIS and SSS. She said all the innovations that they are doing are part of the instructions of President Benigno S. Aquino III to improve the social protection of the citizenry, adding further that ECP is a social protection program that needs to be enhanced to serve the citizenry better.

urged/PAGE 8

29 Davao schools file petition for tuition hike

ECC makes improvements to compensation program THE Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC), an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), is planning to make some innovations to the employees’ compensation program (ECP). The agency is working towards expanding the coverage of the program and increasing its benefits and services, according to ECC Executive Di-


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Davao hotel bullish on midscale market By RUDOLF IAN G. ALAMA, Contributor

DAVAO City -- Park Inn Davao is bullish in the growth of the mid-scale travelers market in the region. “You need more hotels of this kind here,” says Geir Sikko, General Manager of Park Inn Davao. The hotel owned by SM Hotels and Conventions is the first Park Inn by Radisson hotel in the Asia Pacific region. Sikko describes the mid scale market as somewhat a notch above backpacker tourists and below five-star travelers. He estimates that 60% of the world traveler market is of the mid-scale segment and is consistently growing particularly in the Asia Pacific Region. “There are less five-star hotels being built today and more mid-scale hotels being built,” Sikko said describing the trend. The hotel is described as vibrant and trendy known for international standard accommodations and very friendly service. Park Inn’s close proximity to SM Lanang Premiere allows guests to enjoy within easy reach the various

culinary, entertainment and shopping attractions inside the mall. Park Inn Davao by Radisson is a 204 room hotel of which 198 rooms are de luxe types with six junior suites. Located inside the SM Lanang complex its proximity to the SMX Convention Center, one of the largest convention centers in Mindanao the hotel hopes to attract business travelers particularly those coming in for MICE (Meetings Incentives Conventions and Exhibits) related activity. According to estimates by Department of Tourism Region XI about 40% of visitors coming to Davao Region are MICE/business travelers. The government along with tourism stakeholders are positioning the region and the city to become a top MICE destination with the availability of new hotels like Park Inn and convention facilities such as the SMX. Park Inn Davao is currently on soft-opening and will be formally opened to the public this March 22.

NGCP expands capacity of substation in Cebu TO keep up with the rapidly growing power demand in Visayas, the National Grid Corp of the Philippines (NGCP) has begun expanding the Compostela substation in Cebu. In a statement, NGCP said the project involves the installation of a 150-megavolt ampere transformer, power circuit breakers and accessories at the said substation. Costing P221.15 million, the project is scheduled for completion by the end of May. The bulk of power coming from the Leyte geothermal plants passes through this substation before it is distrib-

uted to the Cebu, Negros and Panay sub-grids. “This increase in substation capacity is expected to strengthen the Leyte-Cebu 230-kiloVolt Interconnection System linked to the Visayas transmission backbone,” NGCP said. NGCP is a privately owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid. It transmits high-voltage electricity through “power superhighways” that include the interconnected system of transmission lines and towers, substations and related assets.

Construction is ongoing for AboitizPower’s coal-fired power plant in Davao City.

AboitizPower projects on track for 2015 completion targets ABOITIZPOWER on Friday reported that construction is ongoing for several projects committed by the company to deliver additional power by 2015 to hard-up Mindanao grid. The company has committed P35 billion in new investments to add more capacity to Mindanao, which is experiencing an acute power shortage on a daily basis. The shortage is expected to worsen with the coming summer months and the ensuing low water levels in Lake Lanao. Subsidiary Therma South Inc., which is building a 300MW, 24/7 baseload coal power plant in southern Davao City, has deployed close to one thousand workers on its construction site and is

2 small oil players enforce rollback

AT least two oil companies implemented a price cut for the second straight weekend. Small player, Seaoil Philippines on Friday night bared t hat it shed P1.10 per liter off its prices of premium gasoline, unleaded gasoline and diesel, effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday. Another small oil player Flying V also reduced its premium, unleaded and diesel prices by P1.10 and regular gasoline price by P0.60 per liter at the same time. It can be recalled that Seaoil and Flying V also decreased fuel prices the prev ious weekend, w it h prem iu m a nd u n leaded going down by P0.40 per liter and diesel by P0.50 per liter. Meanwhi le, ot her oi l companies, most of which had just enforced price cuts on their respective products last Monday have yet to respond to the small players’ rollback announcement.

expecting to escalate the manpower requirements in the next few months. “Thanks to the support of our host barangys and local government units as well as various government agencies, we are on our way in meeting our committed completion target in 2015,” Therma South president and COO Benjamin A. Cariaso Jr., said. “This power plant will hopefully bring a long-term solution to ongoing power crisis, by providing 300-MW of reliable baseload power

to Mindanao power users thru the electric cooperatives which have and will sign up with us.” Another subsidiary, Hedcor Inc., is moving full-swing on the construction of its Tudaya 1 and 2 run-of-river hydro power plants, with more than 300 workers on the two sites in barangays Astorga and Sibulan, both in Sta. Cruz Davao del Sur. The two facilities will combine for 13 megawatts of reliable and renewable power. The two facilities will be completed by 2014. “Aside from our goal of supplying renewable power to our customers, we have given livelihood opportunities and development projects to our

far-flung host communities, which make us extra proud of our project,” Hedcor COO Rene B. Ronquillo said. He said Hedcor is also in the planning stages of several other projects that will add more renewable capacity to the grid in the medium term. Therma South is using the latest circulating fluidizedbed combustion technology to ensure the clean coal power plant will meet stringent government health and environment standards. Hedcor, on the other hand has 30 years of leadership and expertise on the run-of-river hydro power technology. It currently supplies 155 MW of renewable hydro power to Luzon and Mindanao.

NEW CLASSROOM: STEAG State Power Inc (SPI) Plant Manager Dr. Carsten Evers (right) led the ceremonial turn-over of a new classroom building at the Sta. Cruz Elementary School in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental. Tagoloan Mayor Paulino Emano (3rd from left) said the new facility is a timely intervention to address the shortage of classrooms in public schools especially in the light of the K2+12 program of the Department of Education. The new facility will be expanded this year into a two-story building with an aggregate cost of P1.5 million. The project is part of Steag’s continuing commitment to support efforts in providing quality public education for its host communities in Misamis Oriental.

Monday’s adjustments on pump consisted of price cuts worth P0.35 per liter on premium and unleaded,

P0.45 per liter, P0.70 per liter on kerosene and P0.85 per liter on regular. Oil firms had imposed

four consecutive price hikes before the weekend rollback gave consumers some sort of a reprieve.


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Viral infections and self care measures TWO days ago, I had the great privilege of being drawn into a discussion by a group of future and promising Doctors. They were to do community work, where they have to immerse themselves and help out the barangay health workers in giving lectures and information to the residents of a given community. I suggested that on top of giving out information on the basics of common illnesses, and prevention, that they also teach them self- care measures. These are easy to do, effective, inexpensive, doable things that can impact one’s day to day living . A viral infection can affect anyone. It is no respecter of persons, which means it can affect the very young and the very old, male and female, rich or poor, educated or not. But, a viral infection has more pronounced effects on the extremes of ages (infants and the elderly), those who are immune-compromised (like those with the Big C, Diabetics), and those who live in very closed communities dormitories, jails, orphanages, home for the aged). In far flung communities where parents live with their children and grandchildren and a lot more of relatives (considering that Filipinos are a close knit family), it is very easy for a viral infection affecting one, to spread out and infect the rest of the family members or those

Health in Focus

The End of the World THINK a minute… Recently the biggest-selling book in America was about the end of the world. Sometimes watching the world’s news is like watching a horror movie, isn’t it? You know that the 20th century had more people killed in wars than all the other centuries of history combined! Besides all the wars, we’re seeing an increase in many kinds of natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes; plus totally new weather patterns that never existed before such as El Nino and La Nina. Then, there are the terrible diseases, plagues, and new mystery viruses. AIDS, the worst disease in history, is killing millions of people worldwide with still no cure

so it will be sudden and here before we know it. But Jesus explained it’s because He loves us so much that He’s waited as long as He can for more of us to choose to receive His gift of forgiveness and eternal life, before it’s too late! But if you know the world’s Judge personally as your friend, then His return is good news because you’re going home with Him to live forever in paradise, just as He promised. That morning of September 11, those people who went to work at the World Trade Center in New York had no idea they would never see their family again. And neither do we know if we’ll live to see tomorrow. Jesus made it clear that we all live forever—either in heaven or

Think a minute

JHAN TIAFAU HURST

hell. The choice is ours. So why not ask Jesus to forgive you and take charge of your life every day? Then you’ll have absolutely nothing to fear—neither your sudden death, nor even the end of the world. Just think a minute…

A fair warning to wayward bankers

DURA lex sed lex. A former president of a closed rural bank learned this well-known legal adage the hard way after the Supreme Court declared his earlier conviction for estafa through falsification “final and executory.” Hilario P. Soriano, former Chairman/President of the closed Rural Bank of San Miguel (Bulacan), had been convicted of estafa through falsification— in a case filed by his own brother Antonio— before the Manila Regional Trial Court. Instead of applying for probation, Soriano appealed his conviction before the CA, which affirmed the conviction. When said conviction was appealed before the Supreme Court, the conviction was again reaffirmed. The SC decision became final and executory on September 17, 2012. Soriano is now imprisoned at the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City, where he is serving a term of four months to four years. He was

DR. MARY JEAN LORECHE

within the living quarters. Since transmission can be through droplets, close contacts, or ingestion of contaminated water and food, teaching them the basics of prevention, self –care remedies, and when to seek immediate consultation plays a central role. These simple guidelines are as applicable to the barangays and to us living in the highly urbanized areas. Antibiotics has no place in viral infections, unless there is a secondary bacterial infection. It is self- limiting, meaning, it should resolve on its own after 3-5 days. Where there is difficulty taking in f luids or food, weakness, persistent vomiting or nausea, changes in behaviour, or signs of dehydration (for intestinal flu), or, when the fever persists after 2 days, or, when the patient affected has other illnesses like a maligloreche/PAGE 7

in sight! In Africa, entire towns have no adults because they’ve all died from AIDS, so just babies and children are left to survive alone. According to a new United Nations report, we now have the worst world hunger and famine in history. Hundreds of millions are starving with countless thousands dying every day. You know that Jesus Christ told us that all these things would happen and that they’re like labor pains just before a mother gives birth. These terrible things are the sign that He’s getting ready to come back. Only this time, He’s coming to judge all this world’s evil and wrong. Jesus said we can’t know the exact day of His return,

OK, let’s take it easy. What I mean is that in spite of our best efforts, we continue to be haunted by our tendency to say one thing yet do another. It’s a predicament we all are subject to. Hypocrisy and deception can become very attractive to us because they offer us some instant if false relief or convenience or advantage. Sometimes there are good reasons for playing a game similar to hypocrisy. That’s when we need to be discreet, tactful and prudent. This would not be hypocrisy. In other cases, it is simply malice and pure deception that we are playing. The latter is what we should try to avoid. Christ’s injunction to his disciples to do and observe all things the scribes and Pharisees were saying, but not to follow their example, because they preach but they do not practice what they preach (cfr Mt 23,1-2),

also ordered to pay a fine of P5,000. But his woes wont end there. Soriano is actually facing a slew of estafa cases filed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. The criminal cases stemmed from his “fraudulent misappropriation” of the proceeds of the Rural Bank of San Miguel’s emergency loans from the BSP—prior to the bank’s declaration of a bank holiday. Investigation conducted by the BSP’s Office of Special Investigation, headed by Atty. Gene Penaco, revealed that part of the emergency loan proceeds eventually ended up in Soriano’s Valle Verde residence. In a decision dated April 3, 2007, the Malolos Regional Trial Court Branch 11 convicted Soriano on all four counts of estafa filed by the BSP. He was sentenced to suffer imprisonment of 10 to 14 years for each count, and to pay the BSP and co-complainant Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation an approximate

amount of P33.6 million. The following year, another Malolos RTC branch convicted Soriano of one count of estafa. The Malolos RTC Branch 15 sentenced the former rural bank president to imprisonment of 10 to 12 years. He was also ordered to pay the BSP the amount of P360,000. Soriano then appealed both convictions before the Court of Appeals (CA). However the appellate court affirmed both convictions. The CA also modified the judgment of the earlier conviction: Soriano was sentenced to suffer imprisonment of four to 20 years—instead of 10 to 14 years—for each count. Soriano has elevated both convictions before the Supreme Court, which has yet to resolve both appeals. In the meantime, the BSP had filed six more criminal cases of the same nature against Soriano. The estafa cases, filed in 2000, are now pending before the RTC-Malolos Branches 17 and 83. This should serve as fair

We are all hypocrites

continues to be effective up to now. We need to exert continuing effort to avoid falling into this predicament. But, of course, given our weakened and wounded human condition, we cannot deny that sometimes, and even many times, we can fall into the ways of the scribes and Pharisees. Just the same, we can still get God’s good graces by doing the first part of the injunction, that is, to continue teaching and preaching the good news even if our behavior is not yet at par to what we are preaching. As long as we striving to close the gap between our words and our deeds, I suppose things would just be all right. After all, no matter how much we try, things can always be better. There’s no such state of perfection in this life, in our thoughts, words and deeds that cannot be improved further. So, let’s

just be game. Otherwise, we would all be saints here in this life, since there would be no more sin if we say things cannot be improved anymore. But the immediate, very obvious reality tells us otherwise. What is important is that we just try our best to conform our actions to our words and intentions, and our intentions conformed to God’s will. This is what is called consistency or integrity or unity of life, a goal that we have pursue everyday, making the relevant plans that consider our usual problems and difficulties in this regard and the means we need to precisely reach that goal. We need to remember that for us to be able to do this, we need to be with God, to have a certain intimacy with him where we can truly have a heart-to-heart conversation with him. That’s when we can manage to be sincere

Speaking out

IGNACIO BUNYE

warning to wayward bank officers who violate their fiduciary responsibility that requires high standards of integrity and performance. *** Note: My book, Central Banking for Every Juan and Maria, is now available at the following outlets: Fully Booked – Bonifacio Global City, Powerplant Mall (Rockwell), Katipunan. Power Books – Alabang Town Center, Greenbelt 4, Serendra. National Book Store – Greenbelt 1, Powerplant Mall (Rockwell), Cash and Carry, Market Market, SM Mega Mall.

Hints and traces

FR. ROY CIMAGALA

and authentic. Let’s remember that truthfulness is always a matter of having a relation with God, because God in the first place is the Truth himself, the creator of the universe and therefore of reality itself. We can never be truthful just by ourselves, that is, without God, no matter how much we profess to be honest. Especially in some difficult situations, when we are strongly tempted to twists cimagala/PAGE 7


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Congress•Watch

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Candidates asked: What will you do to end hunger of 16.5 million Filipinos? A COALITION of nongovernment and people’s organizations and individuals advocating right to adequate food on Thursday challenged national and local candidates in the May 13 elections to aim for hunger-free Philippines. Aurea Miclat-Teves, convenor of the National Food Coalition said her group would like to know what the candidates have to say about food security and how they, as leaders and legislators, once elected, can make this a reality in the Philippines “in this lifetime.” “Is there hope that the 16th Congress will improve the situation?” asked Teves, also president of FIAN Philippines, adding that hunger had been haunting the country under the various administrations since the ouster of Ferdinand Marcos. “As the current administration winds up its reform

BRILLANTES: Who commissioned the survey?

Comelec orders SWS to submit details on latest senatorial survey COMMISSION on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., on Tuesday asked Social Weather Stations, Inc. (SWS) to furnish the Comelec with more details on the latest survey on senatorial candidates it conducted. In a press conference, Brillantes said Comelec, as part of its mandate, has the power to obtain details and other information for clarification on published surveys conducted during the election period. “We have rules on campaign propaganda using survey. When you make a private survey for your own self, there’s no problem there; if it was not published, you just use it for your own, there’s no problem there,” Brillantes said. “Comelec can require survey companies to submit information on whether the poll they conducted was commissioned or not; and if it was published, to require them to furnish Comelec with certain information. “When you publish it, then the one who conducted the survey is supposed to give some report. And SWS, generally comes out in their website with details of the

any platform to improve the lives of Filipinos is assuring food security for the nation – or providing adequate food that is accessible to all, especially to the poor in the rural and urban areas,” she

added. The challenge of ensuring food security is especially for those who will win as senators and representatives as they will be the ones who will legislate a national food

INSTEAD of the original, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will use the replica of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine source code of Smartmatic Corporation for review by political parties and interested groups before the May 13, 2013 mid-term elections. Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., revealed this on Friday after reporting that negotiations with Dominion Voting System Inc., which owns the software used by Smartmatic, are still ongoing. The two foreign companies have been locked in a court dispute for a long time. Brillantes said he will announce on Monday whether or not the company agreed to give the source code. Smartmatic, said Brillantes, is offering a replica of the source code copied from of the original source code owned by Dominion, for review by political parties and interested groups as mandated by the Omnibus Election Code.

However, Brillantes said that until now, Dominion has refused to give the original source which was given to SLI Global Solution, an independent international certifier, for certification; thus, Smartmatic offered its own copy for review. The cha irma n sa id “Smartmatic has a copy of the source code that is with SLI, but it’s not the one that is under negotiation; rather, it’s the (original) source code reviewed and certified by SLI.” Poll watchdog groups and political parties have been prodding Comelec on the source code as an essential safeguard against fraud. The Comelec has insisted there was no fraud in the use of the PCOS---also with Smartmatic as its supplier--in the 2010 elections, but a comprehensive report by a congressional panel on the country’s first-ever national automated polls said otherwise, and drew attention to alarming gaps in the system.

This time around, Comelec will ask political parties and interested groups to review the source code replica offered by Smartmatic, while negotiations are ongoing with Dominion for the original copy. The source code in Smartmatic’s possession can be reviewed by political parties and interest groups because it is a human-readable code. But as I’ve been saying, even without the source code for review, it’s okay.” Brillantes addressed political parties: “Now, Smartmatic has a source code but if you [political parties] don’t want to believe that copy, there’s nothing we can do. We’re giving you the chance to review it, but if you reject it, it’s still okay with us.” The source code is a human-readable code in alphanumeric codes while the binary source code pertains to machine-readable codes to be used in the automated elections, and embedded in PCOS machine.

“I don’t know the technical term, but they say there is a hash numbering that is codal. When the Smartmatic copy is seen, it’s the same as the one with SLI,” Brillantes explained. Brillantes said he still wanted the original source code reviewed by SLI even if the copy with Smartmatic is the same alphanumeric codes of the Dominion copy. “So, Smartmatic effectively is telling us to check it out, the same thing will reflect.” Brillantes said if Dominion gives the original source code, the poll body will initiate an escrow agreement on the $10-million remaining receivables of Smartmatic from Comelec, and let them (Dominion, Smartmatic) fight it out in court. If Dominion accedes, he said, “we are going into the drafting of an escrow agreement. We are offering the money in escrow, we will give it, it’s up to them to fight over who should get it.”

Projects...

economic planning set out by the National Economic and Development Authority. The energy officials both emphasized that the capacity needs of Mindanao will stretch to as much as 1,600 megawatts until the 2030 planning horizon for the Philippine Energy Plan. Nevertheless, the pipelined power project developments for Mindanao grid will not be solely confined to fossil fuel-fired facilities but will be correspondingly supplemented by renewable energy projects, primarily for resources wherein Mindanao has been endowed with such as hydro and biomass technologies. Based on the assessments of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), the share of targeted renewables will be 37 percent; while the 63-percent will be cornered by coal plants.

Urged...

network in Mindanao. “Better and more reliable road and transport infrastructure will help to expand production, increase valueadded of those commodities, generate employment, and contribute to poverty reduction in Mindanao,” Llanto said. The study urged the government to invest in road and port infrastructure that will connect producing areas to markets, improve RORO services for greater connectivity of markets and mobility of people, and properly implement regulations covering the supply chain, such as those on permits and licensing and on safety standards. It also recommended greater accountability from local governments units in ensuring that farm-to-market roads in their areas are properly constructed and maintained.

How to end hunger is the issue, group tells candidates.

program, there is a need to make the administration aware and see the urgency of crafting a national food policy before it bows out of office,” Teves said. “The crucial element in

survey conducted,” Brillantes said. “Aside from that, we can ask from them some details,” Brillantes said. Specifically, SWS should provide the poll body with information on the percentage of people survey, what exactly did they ask the respondents, the manner or mode of questioning, among other things. Who commissioned the survey is also crucial, poll experts said. “If we need some clarificatory details, we have rules to require them to submit details on percentage, [such as how many people di you ask],” Brillantes said. The should “provide us with that. [We will write them and tell them to give us this and that information. We’ve seen your site, but have questions for you],” he explained. The SWS-BusinessWorld survey was conducted from February 15 to 17, just days after the start of the campaign period on February 12. Reelectionist Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan and Cagayan Rep. Juan Ponce “Jack” Enrile Jr. dropped out of the so-

She said that in 2012 the incidence of hunger in the National Capital Region more than doubled to 22.9 percent from only 8.1 percent in 1998. “In the rest of Luzon, the incidence increased from 9.9 percent to 17.8 percent; in the Visayas, it rose from 11.3 percent to14.6 percent; in Mindanao it was 14.5 percent, increasing to 26.3 percent. Over this period, moderate to severe hunger almost doubled to 19.9 percent in 2012 from 11 percent in 1998,” Teves said. “During these years, the official Philippine population figure rose from 60.7 million in 1990 to 76.51 million in 2000 and 92.34 million in 2010. So as our population steadily expanded, so did the number of hungry Filipinos rise while undernourishment declined only slowly,” she added.

policy, according to Teves. “We must, therefore, determine which candidates have made themselves informed of the issues involved in regard to food security and are going to take the correct steps to address this problem and approach it from the right perspective,” she said. Three times Singapore’s population Citing the latest survey by the Social Weather Stations on hunger, Teves said that there are 3.3 million Filipinos or 16.5 million individuals who have experienced involuntary hunger or having had nothing to eat at least once in the past three months. “That is roughly the size of Holland and about three times the population of Singapore,” she said. Moreover, Teves said hunger incidence had steadily risen nationwide from 1998 to 2012.

Comelec to use PCOS source code replica for review

from page 1 and the instalments of 200MW of Alcantara’s Sarangani Energy Corporation; and the proposed 105-MW coal-fired facility in Zamboanga. Beyond that period though, DOE director Mylene Capongcol stressed that the grid will be in need again of greenfield capacity of 200MW by 2018 given annual economic growth forecasts of 4.7 percent set for Mindanao. Go added that other projects which are considerably advancing into implementation phases such as the proposed 200-MW coal plant of San Miguel Energy group had not been factored in yet. Capongcol emphasized that the department has also been updating its power planning to align it with the medium-term

from page 2 Visayas, Llanto said. But most shippers ship their farm produce under less-t ha n-conta i ner load (LCL) arrangements, which are more costly, tedious and time-consuming than fullcontainer-load shipping because of the added process of consolidating various types of products. An alternative for small producers is to use roll-onroll-off (RORO) ships, which is more affordable and convenient. “However, small farmers or growers who do not have transport equipment and are not properly organized will not be able to take advantage of RORO shipping,” said Llanto. The study authors said that the best solution to the problem is to improve the road, transport, and shipping


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will operate in the region. Butuan is the center of commerce and trade at the Caraga Region, which comprises Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and the Dinagat Islands. Butuan has the most number of banks, and educational institutions in the region, with Fr. Saturnino Urios University as one of the biggest. Robinsons Place Butuan is a mixed-use development that is set to accommodate a mall and a hotel. It will rise on a 78,900 sqm lot located along ButuanCagayan de Oro-Iligan Road. The development will have a three-story commercial complex with approximately 40,800 sqm of gross floor area; a 100-room gohotel.ph; and a parking area with some 450 parking slots. The mall will house more than 200 tenants including Robinsons Supermarket, Robinsons Department Store, Robinsons Appliance, Handyman, a food court, four digital cinemas, and an amusement center. “Aside from the big food chains, we look forward to providing the locals with a pleasurable shopping experience that will include showcasing brands that are not yet available in Butuan and which the locals visit whenever they go to big cities like Manila, Cebu and Davao,” Magtibay noted. Soon to rise as well is the first GoHotel in the province which, upon completion, will have over 100 rooms that will feature the same brand of service and comfort that other GoHotels in the country are known for. Robinsons Place Butuan will also have a DFA Consular Office which will accept applications for new passports as well as renewals.

high at 95.2 percent with underemployment reduced to 16.1 percent. Investments also showed impressive growth with total public investments on major infrastructure projects at P4.6 billion. Meanwhile, Lim confirmed that the agriculture sector suffered a setback as major crops such as banana and coffee productions were reduced by 1.8% and 7.4%, respectively due to the initial impact of typhoon “Pablo” and also due to crop shifting. But, she said growth improvement was achieved in staple crops such as rice and corn at 7.7 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively. NEDA 11 however has yet to come up with a report on the total growth of Davao region for 2012 in terms of growth domestic product (GDP). The region’s GDP in 2011 grew at 4.1 percent lower than the 5 percent in 2010. Lim said services and industry sector remained as the major contributors of the 2011 growth performance reaching the P116.1-billion mark. (PNA)

from page 1

from page 1

Peugeot... from page 1

(EDI), a member of the Columbian Group of Companies, under the helm of its chairman emeritus, Jose Ch. Alvarez, who is known being into high-end European brands, with BMW and Korean’s Kia under his stable. The program started off after the ribbon-cutting of its newly-built and first dealership stable here in Mindanao, along Mastersons Avenue, Pueblo de Oro Business Park. Eurobrands President Felix Mabilog Jr. led Peugeot officials

to a gathering of foreign and local dignitaries, motoring enthusiasts, businessmen and media personalities. Mabilog said there are two factors that Peugeot has advantage in the automobile market here in the Philippines: All, except for one, are diesel-ran and their engines have been engineered w it h auto-stop system that cuts down on fuel consumption. “It (Peugeot) comes with an auto start-stop system that shuts down the engine when the car is on a halt, for instance at traffic intersections; and, when the driver taps on the accelerator or f licks the gear lever, it will just move ahead normally. It cuts fuel consumption by up to 15 percent,” Mabilog explained. Peugeot’s comeback was first announced in February, and yesterday the new distributor made true its promise eyeing an initial target to sell 2,500 Peugeot cars per year in the next three years, and then 10,000 units by the fifth year. “Our goal is to capture five percent of the Philippine car market in five years,” Mabilog announced earlier. Part of the strategy is to put up 12 dealerships nationwide this year -- five in Metro Manila and seven in major provincial cities -- the first of which is the one opened here in Cagayan de Oro. On Wednesday, EDI opened one in Manila. Among the models Peugeot introduced to the market were: the 508 large sedan, the RCZ sports coupe, the 3008 compact crossover and the 5008 compact MPV. The 508, the 3008 and the 5008 have a price range of P1.5 million to P2 million, while the RCZ costs more than P2 million. Mabilog, also EDI COO, said the prices are way below other European and American-made cars and slightly higher than

Asian-made models. Eurobrands’ Peugeot lineup, Mabilog announced, consisted of diesel models, except for one in the stable: the RCZ sporty coupe. The 508, the 3008 and the 5008 are all be powered by diesel engines, making them economically viable here in the Philippines due to the high cost of gasoline. Both the 3008 and the 5008 have the same two diesel engine options: the 112hp 1.6-liter eHDi Active unit and the 163hp 2.0-liter HDi Allure powerplant. The 508 also has the 163hp 2.0-liter HDi Allure and the 1.6-liter eHDi Active. The 508 is said to have an output of 115hp. The lone petrol model in the lineup, the RCZ, is equipped with a 156hp 1.6-liter Turbo High Pressure engine. Mabilog said the lion-badge will make a difference in motoring through the twin brand’s advantages on diesel fuel consumption and auto-stop power technology,” said Mabilog. Also present during the event were Peugeot Automobiles ASEAN officials led by Gregoire Olivier, PSA chief executive officer for Asia and member of the managing board, Lionel Faugeres, general director for Asean, Vincent Comyn, area director for ASEAN countries, Jean Yves Dossal, sales director for Asian Operations, Ronnie Mercado, ASEAN regional sales manager for Automobiles Peugeot, Johnny T. Hernandez, chairman, Eurobrands Distributor Inc., Bienvenido S. Santos, vice chairman, Eurobrands Distributor Inc., Ricardo “Dong” Magsajo, marketing director, Eurobrands Distributor Inc., Demosthenes Rosales, chief finance officer, Alvarez Group of Companies, and Columbian Motors Group Regional Dealers Alex Rolida (Bacolod/Dumaguete); Ed and Toby Ang (Davao/ General Santos); Martin Goho

(Cebu); Jun Osin (Butuan); Tony dela Fuente and Bebot Pungtod (Cagayan de Oro/ Ozamiz/Pagadian/Zamboanga)

Loreche...

from page 6 nancy or diabetes, then, it is to the patient’s benefit to seek consultation immediately. Medicat ions t hat may be prescr ibed is u su a l ly symptomatic: meaning the medicines given is directed at a particular symptom like antipyrectics for fever, oral rehydration for signs of dehydration. Preventing one’s self from getting the disease means one must keep one’s immune system healthy, by eating healthy, exercise, rest and abstaining from smoking or alcoholic beverages. Frequent hand washing is very basic, that we often miss out on doing it. If it were you who happened to have the illness, it is your responsibility to cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough in order to contain the particles and stop it from infecting others. Simplif y ing one’s diet when the infection affects the stomach, and keeping one from certain food and beverages will help settle the stomach like avoidance of too spicy foods, caffeinated drinks are a few examples that can be done during the period of the illness. If it were respiratory, taking in plenty of fluids, eating a balanced nutritious diet and rest will go a long way. It is said that in one’s lifetime, one cannot evade the possibility of having that virus affect you: but, you and I can do something about it and come out better and healthy persons.

9

Cimagala... from page 2

facts and tell lies, it is important to be firmly convinced that it is better to abandon ourselves in the hands of God and tell the truth, no matter what it costs. Obviously, this abandoning ourselves in the hands of God to tell the truth should also go hand in hand with the requirements of tact and discretion, integral parts of charity. But we also have to make sure that our sense of tact and discretion is not actually a cover for cowardice and infidelity. It always pays to trust in God even as we do everything we can to be truthful. One anecdote that highlights this doctrine is about a father whose child was born with a heart condition. The doctors told him his son would not survive within the year if the baby would not be operated on. And even the operation could only give a 50-50 chance of survival. The father was in crisis. Poor and the bill would run to almost half a million pesos, he tried his best to look for the amount, but in the end, could not raise it. He just told the doctor he was abandoning the baby in the hands of God. He instead prayed and prayed. I “Father, my son is now 21 years old. He is not quite healthy, but he manages to study and do some work. He has never been a burden to us.”


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Cynthia Villar bats for massive info campaign on new anti-trafficking law NP-Team P-Noy senatorial candidate Cynthia Villar urged the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) to mount a massive information campaign on the recently signed RA No. 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking Act of 2012 to warn syndicates that the government means business in the fight against human trafficking. V i l l a r, o n e o f t h e congressional authors of the Anti-Human Trafficking Act of 2003, said that the new law has more teeth and provides greater resources to the fight against trafficking. She also lauded President Aquino for signing the landmark law and signifying his support to its thorough implementation. “Under R A 10364, any attempt to recruit and deploy Filipinos for human trafficking is recognized as a criminal offense. The law also removes the cloak of confidentiality for the perpetrators of human trafficking, so they could no longer hide from the public by citing their right to privacy,” she explained. The former congresswoman from Las Pinas City expressed concern that illegal recruitment

and trafficking of women to countries such as Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Malaysia, and South Korea continues despite repeated warnings from the government. “The fight against human trafficking and illegal recruitment requires the cooperation of all sectors. We need to intensify access to livelihood programs at the barangay levels to give our unemployed and underemployed citizens more alternatives than to just leave the country unprotected,” Villar stressed. As managing director of the Villar Foundation, Mrs. Cynthia Villar pointed out that most of the women repatriated from abroad were forced to leave the country to provide for the basic needs of their families. “They are seduced by all these sweet promises because they could no longer stand seeing their children go hungry. They feel so helpless due to poverty and lack of income sources,” Villar noted. She said that the Technic al Educ ation and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is on the right track in taking a more pro-active stance

in promoting vocational skills training at the grassroots levels. “Alongside the awareness campaign on the Expanded Anti-Trafficking Act of 2012, we should also push skills training and micro-finance programs as alternatives for indigent families to consider. The best

protection that our workers can get here and abroad is the acquisition of skills and experience so they can move up to less vulnerable occupations,” Villar added. Villar, also known as “Misis Hanepbuhay”, said she will push for legislation to complement

the Anti-Trafficking Act that would focus on providing victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment with concrete reintegration services. “ While we run af ter the traffickers, we also need to care for the victims in a more sustained, cohesive way.”

DOT-R9 welcomes the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines to Zamboanga City By Jacquiline Kriselle Carrasco

The Department of Tourism (DOT) – Region IX welcomed President Michael Lu, Vice-President Gina Mapua, Secretary Maia Tanedo and Jops Josef of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP) to Zamboanga City last February 15, 2013. The visitors, who stayed in the city for three (3) days, conducted an ocular inspection to assess whether Zamboanga City is suitable to be the venue for the 9th Philippine Bird Festival. The Wild Bird Club of the Philippines was established in July 2003 to promote bird

watching as a hobby and the responsible enjoyment of nature. It works with the Depart-

ment of Tourism to promote the country as a bird watching destination. WBCP was also a recipient of a World Bank Environmental Champion award in 2005. The Philippines is one of the four countries that hosts annual bird festivals. The other countries are Taiwan, Malaysia and Thailand. The usual activities undertaken during the bird festivals include lectures, bird call contests, film showings and a bird watching trip for the delegates. To date, the

Off to Sta. Cruz Island with RD Mary June Bugante

Philippine Bird Festival has taken place in Manila (2005, 2006), Cebu (2007), Palawan (2008), Bataan (2009), Davao (2010) Dumaguete (2011) and Manila (2012). Bird Clubs from the Asian region that have participated regularly include countries like Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, China, Malaysia and Singapore. Furthermore, the club officers’ three-day ocular inspection began at the Pasonanca Natural Park which was featured in Volume 2 of the book entitled “Birdwatching in the Philippines.” The natural park showcases Mindanao-endemic species such as the Zamboanga Bulbul (Ixos rufigularis), White-eared Tailorbird and the Mindanao race of the Wattled Broadbill. Classified as an important Bird Area (IBA), it has three possible bird watching stations: Intake, Cabonegro and Baluno Research Station. It covers an area of 17,414 hectares which serves as a breeding ground for endemic bird species and various forest animals. The natural park has 43 species including the Steere’s Pitta (pitta steerii), Rusty Crowned Babbler (stachyris capitalis) and Rufous-tailed Jungle-flycatcher (rhinomyias ruficauda), to name some.

The other bird watching sites that the club officers visited were Bog Lake, Zamboanga Ecozone, NJB Farm, Zamboanga City State College of Marine Science and Technology, Plaza del Pilar, Paseo del Mar, Baluno and Sta. Cruz Island. At the end of their trip, they reported that 78 species were sighted in the city. Zamboanga City will most likely be the venue of the upcoming 9th Philippine Bird Festival. Guests from all over the world and the Philippines will be gathered in the city for

three days of bird watching adventures and discussions. The festival will give the city an opportunity to promote its natural assets, wild bird conservation efforts, eco-adventure activities and cultural heritage. It will also encourage collaboration among conservation organizations and the local government, and foster birding as an ecotourism activity. Through this endeavor, DOT and the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines hopes to inspire more Filipinos to become bird watchers and enthusiasts.


BusinessWeek Mindanao (March 4, 2013 Issue)  

BusinessWeek Mindanao (March 4, 2013 Issue)

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