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Issue No. 173, Volume III •

Market Indicators

As of 5:59 pm mar. 6, 2013 (Wednesday)

FOREX

PHISIX

US$1 = P40.69

6,835.21 points

X X Briefly 2 cents

123.49 points

Terminal fee

THE Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Area Center 9 today conducted a public hearing on the proposed terminal fee for Laguindingan Airport which will open soon in Misamis Oriental. The proposed terminal fee or passenger service charge for the new airport is P200 for domestic travels and P700 for international travels. Engineer Raul G. Glorioso, CAAP vice chair, said one basis of the terminal fee is for cost recovery. In Republic Act (RA) 9497 or the Civil Aviation Authority Act of 2008, CAAP is given fiscal autonomy. All revenues earned by CAAP will be used solely by the authority in its operations, maintenance and development of airports nationwide.

Ecotourism summit

ZAMBOANGA City -- “It’s high time that we know of the natural wonder that is Zamboanga City,” Councilor Rogelio “Jerky” Valesco said to over 200 participants of the 1st Zamboanga City Ecotourism Awareness Summit held last week in the newly inaugurated P30-million Centro Latino Multi-Purpose Center, this city. The summit, which was held in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT)-9 and the Department of Environment Natural Resources (DENR)-9 aimed to inform and update the different sector representatives of the potential ecotourism areas in the city and the efforts being undertaken by concerned agencies to promote, and at the same time, protect the areas for a balanced and sustainable tourism in the city. Councilor Valesco, chair for Tourism, said efforts to develop the city as one of the premier ecotourism destinations in the country started with the development of Sta. Cruz Islands, known for its “pink” sands.

Cagayan de Oro City

Friday-Saturday

Now every Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays

P15.00

March 8-9, 2013

Gov’t urged to upgrade M’danao hydro plants By BONG FABE, Correspondent

R

EITER ATING his vehement opposition to the privatization of Mindanao’s hydro-power plants, Senator Chiz Escudero urged the Aquino administration Wednesday to instead upgrade the island’s “comparative advantage” to balance the power mix and pull down electricity rates to entice more investors for the development of the southern Philippines.

ERA’S MAGIC. Former Pres. Joseph Estrada and son Rep. JV Ejercito Estrada wave to supporters as the UNA motorcade rolled through the streets of Iligan City. advertorial

“Again, I am against the privatization of these hydro-power plants. The government should instead upgrade these so as to improve their capacities to provide cheap electricity,” he told the BusinessWeek Mindanao. Escudero, a member of the Joint plants/PAGE 7

Power generation boosts PDIC takes over Agusan Norte bank Aboitiz income to P23.9B

ABOITIZ Equity Ventures Inc (AEV) said its profit rebounded last year amid the recovery of its power business. In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the conglomerate said its consolidated net income rose 13 percent to P23.9 billion in 2012, bouncing back from the three percent decline to P21.2 billion in 2011. AEV’s core earnings -which exclude income gained from non-operations - grew 12 percent year-on-year to P23.4 billion. In the fourth quarter alone, the holding firm’s con-

solidated net profit climbed 15 percent year-on-year to P5.9 billion. Excluding nonoperating income or losses, AEV closed the quarter with a core net income of P5.3 billion, up 8 percent yearon-year. Its power business under Aboitiz Power Corp accounted for 78 percent of the conglomerate’s net profit last year, followed by the banking and food units, which contributed 16 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Several other investee companies, including the newly acquired Aboitiz Land Inc, power/PAGE 7

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

THE Monetary Board (MB) placed the Rural Bank of Buenav ista (Ag usan del Norte), Inc. under the receivership of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) by virtue of MB Resolution No. 377 dated March 4, 2013. As Receiver, PDIC took over the bank on March 4, 2013. Rural Bank of Buenavista

is a two-unit bank with Head Office located in Buenavista, Agusan del Norte. Its lone branch is located in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur. Latest available records show that as of December 31, 2012, Rural Bank of Buenavista had 2,883 accounts with total deposit liabilities of P44.97 million. According to the latest Bank Information Sheet

(BIS) as of June 30, 2012 filed by the Rural Bank of Buenavista with the PDIC, the bank is majority-owned by Alfredo T. Bonpin (37.21 percent), Leonardo G. Yu (12.02%), Francisco Y. Chan, Jr. (11.61%) and Shelita L. Yu (8.94 percent). Its Chairman and President is Leonardo G. Yu. PDIC said that upon takePDIC/PAGE 7 Fo rme r Las Pinas Rep. Cynthia Vill a r, h e a d o f t h e Villar Foundation, receives anot he r recognition for her t i rel ess ef fo r t s i n creating livelihood opportunities, empowering women, and promoting entrepreneurship as a way out of poverty by Go Negosyo among the ‘The Women Ent repreneur Icons and Filipina Entrepreneurs of 2013’ during the 5th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit at the World Trade Center. advertorial

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Zambo traders anxious over effects of Sabah crisis on business

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ZAMBOANGA City -- Members of the Canelar Barter Trade Association are apprehensive their business will be greatly affected by the Sabah crisis. The products they sell here ranging from dry goods, canned goods, toiletries and other food items come from the city of Sandakan in Sabah, Malaysia. The products are being shipped directly through a passenger-cargo ferry that plies twice a week the Zamboanga-Sandakan route and vice-versa or by woodenhulled ferries via the province of Tawi-Tawi.

A trader who sells canned goods and garment products said he foresees the prices to shoot up by 30 to 50 percent next week. He also said they are worried about buying stocks since traders who go to Sandakan are not allowed to enter the city anymore since the crisis began. Another trader who sells assorted candies and chocolates as well as pants and slippers, said he might lose customers from nearby provinces once the prices increase. Other members of the Canelar Barter Trade Association, who do not want

to be identified, appealed to the government as well as the Kiram family to peacefully end the Sabah crisis. The standoff started when some 180 members of the Royal Army of the Sultanate of Sulu led by Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, brother of the Sultan of Sulu, sailed from Mindanao on February 12 to Lahad Datu to stake a claim to Sabah. Hostilities broke out the past few days as the Malaysian government launched assault since Kiram’s group which stood pat despite stern warning for them to peacefully leave Lahad Datu. (PNA)

Davao all set for MICE Conference By RUDOLF IAN G. ALAMA, Contributor

AMENITIES : ZORBIT * ATV * TREE TOP ADVENTURE BUGGY * BUNGEE * PICNIC GROUNDS PLAYGROUND * CAFE * LUGE * MINI GOLF ROOM ACCOMODATIONS

DAVAO City -- Davao City is all set for MICE Con 2013 which will be held on March 6-9 at the SMX Convention Center in SM Lanang, one of the newest shopping and convention complex in the city. The conference which focuses on the MICE (Meetings Incentives Conventions and Exhibitions) will be the biggest convention the city will host after the 2006 Asean Tourism Forum. Lisette Marquez, spokesperson of Duaw Dabaw one of the city’s partners in the hosting of the event said that around 500 participants are expected to attend the conference. These include delegations from 12 countries and 30 provinces, cities and towns across the country. The delegates will include 100 tourism buyers who

will tour the different sites around the City and the nearby localities including the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS). Among the foreign buyers include Australian, American, Thai and New Zealanders. Marquez during an interview at Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao held last Monday, March 4 said that she is confident that the event will run smoothly considering the preparations made by the local government and its partners. The event is a culmination of extensive preparations led by the City Government under City Mayor Sara Duterte which created the Davao City Host Organizing Committee composed of local government representatives and private sector partners. The committee is responsible in

covering all areas related to the City’s hosting of the conference. The highlights of the conference are talks touching different topics involving MICE. Among these include: Imagining the Future of Travel, The Future of Meetings in Asia Pacific, What MICE planners Want, Preparation for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015, Leaders’ Forecast and Rise of Asian Brands. The theme of this year’s MICE Conference “iMICE2013. iGNITE. iNNOVATE. iNSPIRE. iNFUSE,” will also feature other activities such as MICE Marketplace, an industry showcase of various products and services and MICE Mart, a business-to-business event for local sellers and international buyers.

Oro Council okays 3 housing projects THE City Council on Tuesday approved applications of three realty firms to develop housing subdivisions in Cagayan de Oro City involving a total land area of 106,474 square meters. City Councilor Jose Pepe Abbu, head of the city’s committee on estate development and subdivisions, said the city council approved the application of Permo Borres for the development of the 236 sq. m. containing five lots located at Barangay Camaman-an.

Abbu said the other two approved were the application of the National Housing Authority represented by Engr. Judy A. Fernandez, officer-in-charge regional manager of NHA-Mambuaya Village 1 housing project in an area of 76,583 square meter in Barangay Mambuaya and Bayanga, both in this city, and the NHA-Calupo Housing project with an area of 29,655 square meter in Taguanao in Barangay Indahag. He said the Fernandez’s

applications were both for preliminary approval and location clearance (PALC) of said housing projects. “Most of the approved subdivision plans were located in upper Cagayan de Oro City considered safe from floods and landslides,” he said. Abbu said the development of housing subdivisions in the city was in response to the growing population in the city. The proposed ordinances with numbers 2013 – 49, 2013 – 50 and 2013 – 51 were also approved by the committee on Laws and Rules chaired by Councilor Monching Tabor.

CAGAYAN DE ORO Main Branch P & J Lim Bldg., Tiano Brothers – Kalambagohan Sts., Tel. # (08822) 727-829 * Telefax # (088) 856-1947 CAMIGUIN Branch B. Aranas St., Poblacion, Mambajao, Camiguin Tel. # (088) 387-0491 CORRALES Branch Corrales Ave., Cagayan de Oro City DIVISORIA Branch Atty. Erasmo B. Damasing Bldg., #61 Don A. Velez St., Cagayan de Oro City Tel. # (088) 857-3631 LAPASAN Branch Lapasan Hi-way, Cagayan de Oro City Tel. # (088) 231-6739a


Toyota makes first profit in Europe JAPANESE auto giant Toyota’s European business is set to turn a profit in the 2012-2013 financial year after a five-year hiatus, a senior official said on Monday at the Geneva International Motor Show. “It will be the first time since 2007 that Toyota will be profitable in Europe,” Didier Leroy, head of the group’s European operations, told reporters. Over the first nine months of Toyota’s financial year — which runs from April to the end of March — the group said it had earned 209 million euros ($272 million). “We will return to profit in our automotive business in Europe,” Leroy forecast. “And there is no question, we will be profitable in 2013,” he added. Europe’s auto sector has been stuck in the doldrums owing to the continent’s economic crisis, with overall sales expected to fall by three percent this year to 11.5 million vehicles, including the key Russian market. Toyota is counting on the launch of new models — notably hybrid cars — to underpin its deliveries. Leroy said Toyota’s goal was to sell a million vehicles in Europe in 2015.

Which one will be the 2013 Car of the Year? FOR motoring pundits, the Car of the Year Philippines (Coty-P) is one of t he most respected and highly anticipated car-awarding events in the country. Every year, the event’s orga nizer, Ca r Awa rds Group Inc. (Cagi)—a nonstock, non-profit organization composed of more than 50 motoring journalists from print, broadcast and online media, searches for the most outstanding vehicles in the car market with the best value for money for consumers. All vehicles undergo a series of qualitative and quantitative (technical) tests. In the qualitative tests, the process for judging requires the participating vehicles to be driven around by experienced motoring journalists on main city roads in a manner that closely replicates the way they are driven by owners in the real world. The test drive, t hough relatively short (usually between 10 and 12 km),

provides the drivers with a quick first impression of t he veh icle’s accessibility, comfort, ease of operat ion i n a norma l stop-and-go setting, maneuverability in traffic, and user-friendliness of its controls and options, among other parameters that form part of a customer’s list of reasons for purchasing a particular vehicle. During technical testing, vehicles are judged according to their performance in acceleration, braking, lane-changing stabi lit y a nd ot her aspec ts at a n accred ited venue away from public roads, which ensures the sa fet y of bot h car a nd test driver. The technical

team is composed of both media members with some motorsport or track experience, as well as retired motorsports personalities. According to the newly elected president of Cagi, Ferman Lao, “This year was a difficult year for Cagi testers in the sense that there were so many good cars and while there were differences between the vehicles, they were small. It all boils down to what the prospective car owners are looking for in their next choice of vehicle.” Lao also said, “ We just recently concluded our qualitative test at Eton Centris Walk in Quezon City. The cars still have to undergo the technical test

later this month at Clark International Speedway and our testers’ ratings w i l l be compi led a f ter which we will come one step closer to k nowing which will be the next Car of the Year.” Lao added, “Pricing is the last component on how we determine which car will be Coty-P worthy. Once we have a l l t hat data, we’ll send it off to our auditor, M.G. Madrid & Co. to ensure that we avoid any tabulation errors. The result will be announced in the Coty-P awards night on the first eveni ng of t he Ma ni la International Auto Show.” Meanwhi le, Cagi elected a new set of officers and board members

i n Ja nua r y. T he newly appointed officers were president Ferman Lao of Kotse.com and Top Gear Philippines; vice president for internal Bam Olivares of Daily Tribune; treasurer Bess Zamora of AQ Magazine; corporate secretary Christopher Kho of Kotse. com; and vice president for external Mikko David of Top Gear Philippines, who is a newcomer to the group. Some of t he ca rs to watch out for are the allnew Ford Ranger, Chevrolet Trailblazer and Colorado, Mitsubishi Mirage, Chevrolet Sonic, Peugeot 3008, Peugeot 5008, Peugeot 508, Peugeot RCZ, the all-new Hyundai Genesis Coupe and the Toyota 86.


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Cebu Pacific to fly Camiguin, Masbate routes • Flights from Cebu to be launched in April, June THE Philippines’ largest national flag carrier, Cebu Pacific unveils its two newest island destinations, Camiguin in Northern Mindanao and Masbate in the Bicol Region, with a PHP1 seat sale. The airline will launch direct flights from Cebu to Camiguin on April 15, 2013, and from Cebu to Masbate on June 1, 2013, using CEB’s ATR 72-500 aircraft fleet.

Ford sales up in February CAR SALES of Ford Philippines surged in February posting its strongest performance yet as demand for its models grows, the firm said in a statement Wednesday. Ford Philippines saw a 108% growth in February to 865 units from 415 units in the same period last year. The Ford Ranger led sales for the month selling 251 units. The Everest was able to sell 191 units, while the Explorer had sold 64 units. The Focus, on the other hand, sold 87 vehicles. Ford’s Mustang sold 13 units in February. “We’re off to a very strong start to the year, as customers continue to respond positively to our full lineup of Ford vehicles,” said Randy Krieger, president of Ford Philippines, in the statement. “So many new-to-Ford customers are appreciating our focus on the fuel efficiency, smart technology, quality and safety of our vehicles, which we’re supporting with an ongo-

ing commitment to providing the very best Ford customer experience,” he added. On a month-to-month basis, Ford’s sales went up 5.48% over January’s record of 820 units. The company said it hopes its sales will continue to grow since it will launch the Ford Ranger Wildtrak next month at the Manila International Auto Show. “By offering customers the widest range of Ford vehicles ever in the Philippines -- which now covers a full lineup of segment-leading cars, sport utility vehicles and trucks -our brand is connecting with, and appealing to, a much wider variety of lives and lifestyles,” said Mr. Krieger. Ford Philippines said it is on track to expand its retail network to 35 outlets by the middle of the year. The company will be opening new dealerships in Bohol, General Santos, Laoag, Zamboanga, Manila Bay and Baguio.

CEB will operate flights from Cebu to Camiguin every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The flight will depart Cebu at 6:45am and arrive in Camiguin at 7:25am. The

return f light will depart Camiguin at 7:45am and arrive in Cebu at 8:25am. With CEB’s pioneering direct flight to the island of Camiguin, travelers can now easily reach the 2nd smallest island in the Philippines. It is known for its volcanoes, hot and cold springs, Lanzones Festival every October, and Sunken Cemetery. Camiguin

was previously accessible only by bus, fast craft or ferry from Cagayan de Oro. Meanwhile, CEB will operate f lights from Cebu to Masbate every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. It will depart Cebu at 6:15am and arrive in Masbate at 7:10am. The return flight will depart Masbate at fly/PAGE 7

GenSan’s biggest hotel nears completion GENERAL Santos City -- A consortium of Chinese-Filipino businessman is eyeing to open a P250-million six-story, 111-room high-end hotel in this city within the year. Domingo Teng, a local tuna businessman, said that Greenleaf Hotel GenSan is now 85 percent complete. “This would be the biggest business hotel in the city that will cater to businessmen and high-end tourists,” he told reporters. Teng said they expect to open the hotel “four months from now at the most” or in July that would charge its guests “reasonable rates.” Local and Manila-based investors decided to put up

the hotel owing to positive growth indicators in the city, including the increase in incoming air passenger traffic by 14 percent from 2011 to 2012, he said. There are daily flights to Manila as well as alternating routes to the cities of Cebu and Iloilo served by Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Philippine Express. The city’s economy continues to grow as shown by the entry of big shopping malls like Robinsons and SM Mall, and the continued local construction boom, Teng said. Greenleaf is located just across SM Mall along San Miguel Street at the heart of the city.

Known as the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines,” this city hosts six of the country’s seven tuna canneries with their executives among the target clienteles of the hotel, he added. Teng said the city’s economy is also expected to grow further due to the high migration in the locality that is Region 12’s major economic hub. Also known as Soccsksargen Region, it covers the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato. Avelmar Manansala, city

hall’s media affairs officer, said the city has around 1,200 rooms both by big hotels and small lodging houses. For really big conventions, the city is not yet fully capable in terms of accommodation since the existing capacity is not enough, he said, adding they expect the number of rooms to reach 1,500 likely in two years. Ma na nsa la said t hat Greenleaf invested at least P250 million that entitled it to enjoy local tax breaks for seven years. Greenleaf will be the second hotel to open this year after the 66-room Microtel, which opened last month. (PNA)

THE SM Group is set to bring the global luxury brand Conrad Hotels & Resorts in the Philippines by mid-2015. In a statement, SM Hotels and Conventions Corp (SMHCC) said it signed a management agreement with Hilton Worldwide for the latter to manage Conrad Manila, a 350-room luxury hotel rising at the 42-hectare SM Bay City development. The eight-storey Conrad Manila will have two levels of retail and entertainment facilities on ground level. The luxury property will house an all-day dining restaurant, two specialty restaurants, a bar and lobby lounge. It will also have a business center, a fitness club, a swimming pool, a spa, a 1,446 square meter ballroom, function and meeting spaces, and car park facilities. “We are very happy to formalize our partnership with Hilton Worldwide as it combines their expertise of a global, award-winning hospitality company with SM’s strong local market expertise. Given Conrad Manila’s excellent accessibility to and from all areas of Manila, we are confident that it will deliver best-in-class service to capitalize on strong demand from both domestic and international business and leisure travellers,” said

Elizabeth T. Sy, president of Hotels and Conventions Corp. Located at the Mall of Asia Complex, Conrad Manila is three kilometers from Ninoy Aquino International Airport and six kilometers from the Makati Central Business District. It is also near the government’s upcoming Entertainment City project, envisioned to give gambling hubs Macau and Las Vegas a run for their money. “We are extremely pleased

to be introducing the Conrad brand’s uniquely intuitive service and personalized experiences to the Philippines which has such a well-deserved reputation for hospitality,” said John T.A. Vanderslice, global head of luxury and lifestyle brands for Hilton Worldwide. “In keeping with the spirit of the more than 20 Conrad Hotels & Resorts operating around the globe, Conrad Manila will represent a destination for a new

generation of smart luxury travelers for whom life, business and pleasure seamlessly intersect – people who know that the greatest luxury is the luxury of being yourself,” said Vanderslice. Conrad Manila is the fifth hotel that SMHCC is introducing in the Philippines, expanding its portfolio that includes Radisson Blu in Cebu, Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay, and Pico Sands at Hamilo’s Pico de Loro Resort hilton/PAGE 7

SM, Hilton sign deal to bring Conrad Hotels to Manila

Memorandum of agreement signing (From left to right) Henry T. Sy, Jr., Vice Chairman of SM Investments Corporation (SMIC); Elizabeth T. Sy, President of SMHCC; and Martin Rinck, President of Hilton Worldwide for Asia Pacific. (Second row, left to right) Arthur Sy, SMIC Vice President for Corporate Legal; Marissa Helena Nubla, SMIC Senior Vice President for Special Projects; Christina Bautista, Vice President for Business Development for SMHCC, and Guy Phillips, Vice President for Development of Hilton Worldwide for Asia Pacific.


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Metrobank profit climbs 40-percent last year METROPOLITAN Bank and Trust Co announced on Thursday that its net income last year jumped by almost 40 percent on the back of higher fees and income from investments. In its unaudited financial statement, the country’s second largest lender said its net income attributable to equity holders jumped 39.6 percent to P15.40 billion last year from P11.03 billion in 2011. Metrobank said the improvement in its financial performance can be traced to the 4.8 percent increase in net income interest to P30.81 billion in 2012 from

P29.41 billion the prior year. Net interest income makes up 55.14 percent of the Metrobank Group’s operating profit. The lender ended 2012 with total assets of P1.04 trillion, up from P958.38 billion the year before. Liabilities also went up to P913.56 billion from P841.88 billion in 2011. Its non-performing loans ratio improved to 1.83 percent from 2.22 percent in 2011. Market share price in end-December 2012 jumped to P102 each from P67.95 the previous year, resulting to a market capitalization of P215.36 billion.

Depositors join court battle, oppose Banco Filipino’s liquidation A GROUP of Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank depositors on Monday asked the Court of Appeals to stop the liquidation of the bank and the sale of its assets. In their petition, the depositors asked the CA if they could intervene in a case involving the Monetary Board’s resolutions ordering the closure of Banco Filipino and its placing under the receivership. The Monetar y Board on March 17, 2011 issued Resolution 372-A ordering the immediate closure of Banco Filipino and placing the bank under the control of the Philippine Deposit and Insurance Corporation. On October 27, 2011, the Monetary Board issued another order, Resolution 1635, that gave the go signal to liquidate Banco Filipino. On January 27, 2012, the CA Special Fourteenth Division, acting on a petition for certiorari filed by several the bank’s stockholders opposing the bank’s closure, nullified Resolution 372-A and ordered Banco Filipino be reopened. However, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, MB, PDIC asked the CA to reconsider its ruling as well as for the 14th Division to inhibit itself. Their request for inhibition was granted, and the case was re-raffled to the CA Seventh Division. The said division in November

2012 overturned the 14th Division’s earlier ruling. The depositors, in their petition, said the Seventh Division’s ruling was “not lawfully clothed with authority to take over the case” claiming that the BSP, MB, and PDIC failed to show “valid or just reason” for the inhibition. “The issuance of Resolution 1635 did not comply with the provisions of Section 30 of Republic Act No. 7653 otherwise known as the New Central Bank Act of 1993,” said the depositors, referring to the section of the law requiring a receiver to notify in writing the board of directors whether it find that a bank should be rehabilitated or not. The petitioners claimed the board of directors of Banco Filipino were not notified of the receiver’s findings. “Resolution No. 1635 is bereft of any factual and/ or legal basis because it is the fruit of a poisonous tree i.e. Resolution Mo. 372-A, which itself is without any factual and/or legal basis,” the petitioners added. They also said the government should not have declared the bank insolvent, saying the bank’s closure has divested its depositors of their “hard-earned savings and permanent means of livelihood... which is a serious deprivation of their life and liberty.”

The Bank of the Philippine Island (BPI) is expected to attain a conservative 14% loan growth this year.

BPI exec eyes strong bank lending growth this year AN executive of the Bank of the Philippine Island (BPI) expects bank lending to register another robust growth this year given the combination of high consumer confidence and low interest rate environment. BPI Family Bank President Teodoro Limcaoco said he projects a conservative 12-14 percent loan growth for the BPI thrift bank this year, lower than the 16 percent growth in 2012. “We’re really bullish this year because consumer confidence is really high...and a lot of this growth will be driven by real estate mortgage as a lot of the projects are coming to completion,” he told reporters Thursday after the launch of the Bank’s first online auto madness program in Makati City. Limcaoco said real estate has been the major driver of the bank’s loan portfolio and stressed that “I don’t see that changing” because the amount and the terms of home loans are larger compared to car loans.

BPI Pres. Limcaoco

For auto loans, the BPI executive expects more applications after the bank pushed for the online application since more people are now tech savvy and the processing on loan decision is faster at about 3-8 hours. He said overseas Filipinos can apply for a loan and can be approved if they are able to provide the necessary documents with the help of their relatives in the Philippines. “We would also like to take advantage of the positive

performance of our economy and ensure that our clients get more out of the optimism of the banking sector,” he said. Limcaoco said Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) account for about 20 percent of BPI Family Bank’s total loan portfolio. He said this level is “stable” as it is “reflective of their presence in the economy as well.” He discounts loan payment default among OFWs vis-vis the strengthening of the peso, which lowers the value of the dollar. “We haven’t seen an exceptional rise in default from overseas Filipinos mainly because when we process the loans we work with them very closely,” he said. Similarly, BPI SVP and auto loans division head Dave Sarmiento, during the same event, said they target auto loans to grow between 12-15 percent this year after last year’s expansion stood at 12 percent. He said demand for the types of vehicles are now

changing with sports utility vehicles (SUV) and action utility vehicles (AUVs) rising because of the “changing road networks”. Most of the applicants for BPI auto loans opt form shorter terms like three years while about 20 percent pay in cash, he said. Sarmiento said online auto loan applications are “encouraging” and it’s share on total loan approval accounts for about 30 percent. He is optimistic that online auto loan applications will further rise as more people go online and because of faster handling and approval of the loans. Meanwhile, Limcauco expects banks’ deposit taking business to remain robust this year. “I think there’s a lot of liquidity in the market so deposit will continue to remain strong. As to whether that grows 15 percent, 20 percent it all depends on how much the BSP will allow money supply to grow,” he added. (PNA)

SLF Asia executive: Mindanao can be like Malaysia DAVAO City-- An investment officer for Asia, noting the island’s economic growth, believes “Mindanao can be like Malaysia.” Managing Director for Asia Investments Michael Oliver G. Manuel of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada said we see the potential of the island plus its growing economy. He also said the task of working on the peace process is a good margin saying investors are looking at it and would want themselves to position in Mindanao. “The island can be like Malaysia, it almost has the same feel,” he said. Manuel was in Davao City recently for the company’s

continuing financial literacy program. Sun Life Financial (SLF) has pioneered “It’s Time”, a campaign program where it aims to empower every Filipino to act on his financial needs. Meanwhile, Manuel in his talk stressed that the “Philippines will shine brighter this year.” He attributed this among others to inspiring political leadership and the brewing confidence vis-a-vis business confidence and consumer outlook. “Both business and consumer confidence remains at all-time high,” he said. He said the overall business confidence index had a mark of 49.5 percent in

2012 while overall consumer outlook index was pegged at 6 percent of the same year. There are other reasons why the Philippines will continue to shine Manuel enumerated some factors such as the robust U.S. dollar inflows brought about by the overseas Filipino workers and the business process outsourcing. He said inflation has been softening with year-to-date average of only 3.2 percent, interest rates dropped to historic low, stellar economic growth to GDP of 6.6 percent due to construction and consumption. He also said that the Philippines is no longer as indebted as before with the

lowest debt-to-GDP ratio. The Philippines he said has more money now in its wallet than the amount it owes, the peso also has strengthened over the years, due to huge US dollar reserves. He said the country’s investment grade is within reach and the Philippines is the best performing index in Asia for two consecutive years. He said “the road for now is clear but we do not know what comes next after 2015.” “We do not know the outcome after the national election,” he said. He said if there is a change in government, there will always be changes. (PNA)


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THINK a minute… A man from the city was taking a drive out in the country and got lost. He stopped to ask a farmer for directions: “Where’s the main highway to the city?” The farmer answered: “I don’t know.” So the driver asked: “Well where does this road go?” Again the farmer answered: “I don’t know.” Frustrated, the driver said to the farmer: “You don’t know much, do you?” The farmer answered: “No, but I ain’t the one who’s lost!” It reminds me of the true story about the famous scientist, Albert Einstein.

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Missing the point and recovering it THIS is a common enough phenomenon. In any transaction, in any communication, there are many elements that get lost. Speakers can speak badly, and listeners can also listen badly, for example. Between one and the other, many things escape our attention. Besides, there are nontangible items and considerations and other imponderables that just cannot be articulated in the instruments like contracts and other forms of agreement we use to define the relations among ourselves. Very often, our responses and reactions to events can be impertinent. We can miss the point in many instances. Remember that episode when Christ announced to his disciples that he was going to be arrested, tried and crucified, and then rise on the third day? (cfr Mt 20,17-28) His followers did not understand what he was saying, and they were afraid or ashamed to ask questions. Instead, a mother of two of the apostles made a silly request-that her sons would sit beside him in the glory of heaven. Yet, in spite of this lamentable predicament, Christ salvaged the many small good items that came up along the way to adapt his message to his listeners’ needs and conditions. When the two apostles gamely answered, “We can,” to his query if they were also

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ARCH. OSCAR V. CRUZ (Ret)

In 1996, the good and kind Blessed Pope John Paul II formally issued a document called the “Constitution of the Universal f lock of the Lord” specifically meant to lay down the normative provisions for the election of a new Pope – upon either the resignation or death of the previous one. These are substantially t he same of f icia l norms that will be observed by the College of Cardinals during the election for the

Einstein was taking a trip on a train. When the clerk came through asking for everybody’s ticket, Einstein couldn’t find his. Wor r ied , he qu ick ly searched through his pockets and suitcase. Recognizing the famous scientist, the clerk kindly said: “It’s OK, Mr. Einstein, I know who you are.” A few minutes later the ticket clerk saw Einstein still looking for his ticket. Again he said: “It’s OK, Mr Einstein, I know who you are!” Einstein replied: “Young man, I know who I am! I have to find my

ticket because I don’t know where I’m going!” The well-known preacher, Billy Graham, recently spoke at an important ceremony. He told the audience that he had bought a brand new suit and tie just for that special occasion. Since he is now old and frail, he told the audience he didn’t think he would be attending any more public ceremonies like this so he probably wouldn’t wear his new suit again, not until he dies and is buried in it. “However,” Billy Graham went on to say, “unlike Albert

Think a minute

JHAN TIAFAU HURST

Einstein, I not only know who I am, but I also know where I’m going.” Just think a minute…

Papal Election Successor of the resigned Pope Benedict XVI. These are all the electors just as every one of them is eligible for election to the Papacy. In essence, following are the more signal steps observed in the process: The Cardinals from all over the world, below 80 years old, gather in Rome upon receiving their individual summons. They all take their residence at the St. Martha’s building within the Vatican walls, some 350 meters from the Sistine Chapel where the Cardinals then go – when everything is ready – for the holding of the Conclave for the actual election of the new Pope. After some general meetings on the particulars of the election process and other necessary information, the said gatherings are ended with a Solemn Oath of observing the strict confidentiality of the acts of the Conclave. The Cardinals thereafter silently

go to the Sistine Chapel which is then locked. Balloting is then held, twice in the morning, twice in the afternoon. Every Cardinal writes on his ballot the name of another Cardinal he is voting for as Pope, goes before t he a ltar of t he Chapel, places the ballot on large metal plate for dropping in a big metal chalice. After every balloting, all the votes are one by one separately checked and written down by two “Scrutineers”, and eventually read aloud by a third “Scrutineer”. To be elected Pope, a Cardinal needs 2/3 plus 1 vote of ½ plus 1 votes after some 12 or more days have passed and the said absolute majority vote is not obtained. Eventually, the Dean of the College of Cardinals faces Cardinal getting the required number of votes, and asks him two question: If he accepts the Election. If so, what name does he want to be called.

A f ter e ver y elec t ion where no Ca rd ina l is elected, all the ballots are burned. By mixing therewith a certain chemical, the smoke emitted is black. When someone gets elected, accepts the election and gives the name he wants to be called as Pope, all the ballots are also burned without the chemical. Thus it is that white smoke comes out from a little chimney of a Vatican apartment. Eventually, the newly elected Pope appea rs at the Balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica – after the Dean of Cardinals says loud and clear “Habemus Papam!” or “We have a Pope!” The Pope then greets the Catholics all over the globe and imparts upon them and their families his Apostolic Blessing. And the day af ter, Pope begins his work as Supreme Pontif f of the Universa l Church and as Head of State of the Vatican – with but free board and lodging but absolutely no salary.

THIS is disgusting! FR. ROY CIMAGALA willing to drink the cup that he was about to drink, that is to say, to suffer the way he would suffer, he was happy, and proceeded to tell what they needed to do instead. And that was none other than just to serve. Let’s go through that beautiful part again. “You know that among the pagans the rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt,” he said. “This is not to happen among you. No, anyone who wants to be great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mt 20,26-28) It seems Christ wants to tell us that while we can miss many things that he wants to tell us, we can somehow make up and recover his precious messages and their Cimagala/PAGE 7

The broadsheets headlines are “search and destroy”, “we’ll fight to death” and “Filipino’s survive attack ” are all we have to identify who the real enemy is – the Filipino of course! Have any army or militar y shoot an American citizen and see if you can get away with it? The whole of America USA will come down on you on an instant, that’s for sure. Plus you will get a ground swell of sympat hy f rom t he A mer ic a n people outraged all together fighting for the deceased brother. We just read of the 30 some Filipino’s in Sabah regardless of the infamous claims they make and instead of rallying towards an injustice and terrorist acts of violence against the Filipino people, our very own President threatens the same whose presence he disdains. “Fool ha rdy ” wa s t he description given by Malacanang and the President to those laying their lives

for an honor they perceive to be fighting for. The issues no matter how confusing with conf licting claims as to who the true Sultan is, plus the formal letters communicated to Malacanang were lost either by an inefficient bureaucracy as promoted, were neglected to compel the Filipinos to go and live on t hei r a ncest ra l la nd foreigners curiously are paying rent for. Interest i ng ly enoug h let ter w riting a nd communications in this country are taken for granted with bad practices to boot coupled with no replies and no action. Go ahead try writing any government depar tment or agency and see if you w ill receive even an acknowledgement? Customer ser v ice i n t h is cou nt r y means “wait”. And “wait” is like our courts, it takes an eternity. “ Ta ken- out ” a s t he y were to lose t heir lives, a description a l lured to espionage and the James

Bond underworld, people murdered or gunned down as is the case is how we read this tragic turn of events. This is not a case where murder has ta ken place but a militia of a foreign state gunning down people who to begin with have no fighting chance to defend themselves. The Sultan’s Royal Army is not a terrorist group or a death squad but men and women who believe their plight to regain what they perceive, land to be theirs. How many more need to die in the next week and when will we Filipino’s consider this an act of injustice? Dav id slew Goliat h goi ng i nto bat t le where the odds where obviously a g a i n s t h i m . C ou r a ge , honor and determination were his causes and because he persisted and with his values, won the battle that couldn’t be won. Should he have not tried, we wouldn’t have known of this story. But how many examples are there where the weak triumphed against

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its enemies? The Vietnam War is an example where the powerful lost to the determination of the weak. The enemy is the Malaysia n a r my a s fa r t he Su lt a n’s Roy a l A r my is concerned who are the unjust intruders or invaders of the sultan’s given land. And should they win by some stroke of luck only we will benefit from the same land providing the precious oil we are all in need of. This is disgusting!


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Plants... from page 1

Congressional Power Commission, said that building more coal-fired power plants in Mindanao will not help the island’s development as it will push power rates higher to the detriment of Mindanawons. He explained that the Energy department is pushing for coal because government does not want to spend for the upgrading of the hydropower plants. “They are prioritizing coal because they do want to privatize hydro power and they do not want to spend for their upgrading. I am very much in favour of government spending for the upgrading of these plants so that it will remain under government control to help maintain cheap electricity here in Mindanao,” he said. Mindanao has at present the Agus-Pulangi hydropower complexes in the provinces of Lanao del Sur and Bukidnon, which supplies more than 50 percent of the island’s total power requirements. Mindanao has a total potential of 2,519.29 MW of hydro sources as against the 1,163.30 from coal, according to the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) 2003-2012, with Region X (Northern Mindanao) leading with 958.40 MW of potential hydropower, followed by Region XII with 719.69 MW. Other regions’ hydro potentials are as follows: Caraga, 288.09 MW; Region XI, 259.64 MW; ARMM, 232.654 MW; and Region IX, 60.82 MW. Escudero said government should not force Mindanawons to choose between cheap but unreliable electricity and expensive but steady power. “The choice should be affordable and reliable power supply,” he said. He said it is the duty of the government to help in Mindanao’s development by taking full advantage of its cheap electricity rates. “If this comparative advantage of Mindanao is no longer there, what then will entice investors to invest here?” he asked. Mindanao’s power rates is lower by 30-40 percent than the mixed generation costs of Luzon and the Visayas because of the island’s hydro-power. The Energy department’s PEP 2003-2012 said that power development projections for coal is only 30 terrawatt-hours (TWH) at the most, peaking in 2009. But for hydro, the power development projection if 50 TWH, also peaking in 2009, or a difference of 20 TWH in favour of hydro. But in the new PEP 20092030, the DOE’s priority is to “accelerate the exploration and development of oil, gas and coal resources.” Instead of prioritizing coal-based power plants to solve Mindanao’s power crisis, the DOE should focus on what is abundance in

Mindanao — hydro sources, said Cerael Donggay, former National Power Corporation vice president for Mindanao. “Mindanao is blessed with a bounty of hydro resources with over 1,143 MW potential capacity, such as the 132 MW Bulanog-Batang Project, whose feasibility study was conducted by ELC Electroconsult of Italy in 1993; the 300 MW Pulangi 5 Project, the feasibility study of which was conducted by SNC Lavalin of Canada in 1996; the 225 MW Agus 3, the only undeveloped hydro project along Agus River in the Lanao provinces,” Donggay said. “There is also a 186 MW total aggregate capacity for 11 small hydro projects with feasibility studies done by NEWJEC of Japan in 1992; adding the 300 MW total aggregate capacities for the undeveloped Pulangi 1, 2, 3 and 6 hydro projects. All these hydro potentials can generate 5 billion kilowatthours of energy annually, enough to avoid energ y imports of 8.3 million barrels of oil, save P35 billion of foreign exchange, avoid emission of 3.5 million tons of carbon dioxide which only aggravates global warming,” he added.

PDIC... from page 1

over, all bank records shall be gathered, verified and validated. The state deposit insurer assured depositors that all valid deposits shall be paid up to the maximum deposit insurance coverage of P500,000. PDIC also announced that it will conduct a DepositorsBorrowers Forum on March 11, 2013 to inform depositors of the requirements and procedures for filing deposit insurance claims. Claim forms will be distributed during the Depositors Forum. The schedule and venue of the Depositors Forum will be posted in the bank premises and in the PDIC website, www.pdic.gov.ph. Depositors may update their addresses with PDIC representatives at the bank premises or during the Depositors Forum using the Mailing Address Update Forms to be furnished by PDIC representatives. Duly accomplished Mailing Address Update Forms should be submitted to PDIC representatives accompanied by a photo-bearing ID of the depositor with signature. Depositors may update their addresses until March 12, 2013. Depositors with valid deposit accounts with balances of P15,000 and below, who have no outstanding obligations with the Rural Bank of Buenavista and have complete and updated addresses with the bank, need not file deposit insurance claims. PDIC targets to start mailing payments to these depositors to their addresses recorded in the bank by third week of March. Depositors whose accounts have balances of more than P15,000 and all those

who have outstanding obligations with Rural Bank of Buenavista should file their deposit insurance claims. The PDIC targets to start claims settlement operations for these accounts by fourth week of March. The schedule of the claims settlement operations will be announced through notices to be posted in the bank premises and other public places as well as through the PDIC website, www.pdic.gov.ph . (PNA)

Power... from page 1

accounted for the remaining one percent. Earnings share of Aboitiz Power grew 14 percent to P18.8 billion from P16.5 billion in 2011 due to a three percent increase in average selling prices and 13 percent hike in net generation. When adjusted for non-recurring items, the power unit recorded a 13 percent increase in profit contribution to P18.2 billion from P16.1 billion in 2011. AboitizPower subsidiaries Therma South and Hedcor are set to add 313 MW of power next year and 2015. Hedcor’s Tudaya 1 and 2 run-of-river hydro projects are set for completion in 2014, while the 24 / 7 baseload coal power plant of Therma South should be completed by 2015. The two facilities will contribute to the long-term resolution of the Mindanao power crisis. The power generation business accounted for 89% of earnings contributions from AboitizPower’s business segments, recording an income share of P22.8 billion for the year on an 11-percent growth compared to 2011. The banking group raised its income contribution by 12 percent to P3.9 billion last year from P3.4 billion the year before, buoyed by listed Union Bank of the Philippines. The lender’s earnings contribution rose 14 percent to P3.3 billion on the back of higher net interest income and hefty trading gains. AEV’s non-listed thrift bank, City Savings Bank Inc, suffered a two percent decline in earnings to P520 million, dragged by the 28 percent increase in operating expenses because of its ongoing expansion program. Pilmico Foods Corp recorded a 5 percent growth in its income contribution to P1.3 billion from P1.2 billion in 2011, driven by a six percent increase in overall sales, with the flour, feeds, and farm divisions enjoying higher sales volumes.

Cimagala... from page 6

nuances if we just trust and love him, showing this in deeds by serving, for loving and serving are two words that describe one reality. Loving by serving puts us into a loop that goes beyond what our senses can perceive and what our mind can discern. We may not be able to feel anything, nor understand things, but by loving through

serving others, we would already be effectively not only getting the point but also living the message God wants us to know and live. This is a point that we need to chew on well. While we always want to understand and even to feel what we ought to know and do, we should try not to be too dependent on our understanding and feelings and just proceed to loving God through serving others. This is precisely the very heart of loving. It is an act done in pure gratuity and goodness, without expecting any reward or privilege or recompense. We do it because we just want to do it, no ifs nor buts, no other reason than that we just want to do it. If we can only convince ourselves of the wisdom of this message that Christ is telling us, then we would truly simplify our life, fill ourselves with joy and peace irrespective of whether the conditions and circumstances are favorable or not, advantageous or not. With this mindset, we would extricate ourselves from the constricting grip of our intelligence and feelings. Of course, our intelligence is oriented toward the infinite. Let’s just make sure that we don’t allow it to be dominated and led precisely by feelings and other earthly and temporal values. We need to engage our intelligence, our mind and heart with the source of infinite goodness and love that is God himself who tells us what to do through Christ. We need to see this very important connection. Besides, we need to see how Christ continues to act on us through the Church which he founded, endowing it with the proper powers so that it can truly and integrally continue Christ’s work on us throughout time. If we see this picture well and try to conform ourselves to it, then we would be on the way to recover what may be lost because of our human frailties.

planting, fertilization and harvest. The agency launched the first phase of the scheme in Batangas last year.

Prospects...

Appeal...

interest in importing 12,500 MT of raw sugar a month with a trial shipment of trial 3,000 MT to 5,000 MT. “PITC is presently coordinating with its Buyers from the Middle East and Indonesia for their specific requirements,” the statement said. The Philippines expects to produce 2.356 million MT of sugar for crop year 2012-2013. SRA is set to launch the second phase of its block farming scheme in Bacolod, with 29 block farms to be established in the Visayas region with a budget of P600,000 per site. The system groups farmers’ production areas into an integrated 30- to 50-hectare block to improve cost efficiency and profitability of the sugarcane production process, which includes land preparation,

and international foreign Muslim leaders and lawmakers extend full support to help the administration of President Benigno Aquino III ease the standoff in Sabah,” the resolution states. It said that the administration of President Aquino should continue its effort to for dialogue with Sultan Jamalul Kiram III and his followers and with the Malaysian authorities under an appropriate auspice aimed at establishing a just

from page 8

Hilton... from page 4

in Nasugbu, Batangas. It will soon open Park Inn Hotel in Lanang, Davao. Hilton Worldwide is a leading global hospitality company, spanning 93 years of experience in the lodging sector from luxurious fullservice hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and mid-priced hotels. It s br a nd s compr ise more than 3,900 hotels and timeshare properties, with 650,000 rooms in 90 countries and territories which include Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations.

Rejects... from page 10

“The Secretary-General expresses concern about the impact this situation may have on the civilian population, including migrants in the region. He urges all parties to facilitate delivery of humanitarian assistance and act in full respect of international human rights norms and standards.” The sultan’s sister Dayang Dayang Siti Krishna said, “Nagpapasalamat kami sa Diyos dahil pinakinggan kami sa aming hiling na matapos na ang putukan [We thank God for heeding our call that the hostilities be stopped],” as she called on the Malaysian government to reciprocate. Pressed on their reaction about the reported exhumation of the dead, Idjirani said, “we would want to show the world that what Malaysia did, to dig up bodies of dead Moslems is the highest form of terrorism.” from page 10

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and durable peace on Sabah dispute. “We, the Sixteen Royal Houses of Lanao sincerely declare and express our support for the vision of the Aquino Administration in order to achieve true and meaningful and lasting peace in our country and maintaining our mutual relationship with the Malaysian government as co-partners for peace and development,” the resolution read. Copies of the resolution were furnished President Benigno Aquino III, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, the House Speaker, the Senate President, Interior and Local Government Secretary AFP and PNP heads, among others. All the 16 Sultans of the Royal Houses of Lanao signed the resolution.

Fly...

from page 4

7:30am and arrive in Cebu at 8:25am. The island of Masbate is known for its scuba diving spots, including the Manta Ray Bowl at the Ticao Pass, as well as the “Rodeo Masbateno,” a rodeo festival which takes place every April. “With these new flights, Cebu Pacific continues to drive tourism and trade to new regions in the Philippines. We now operate flights to 34 Philippine destinations, on 62 city-pairings or routes. This gives our local and foreign tourists the opportunity to visit more destinations in one trip,” said CEB VP for Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog. To introduce its newest routes, CEB holds a seat sale from March 7 to 8, 2013 or until seats last. P1 seats are available from Cebu to Camiguin and Masbate, for travel from November 1 to December 12, 2013 and from January 13 to March 31, 2014. Those traveling from launch date until August 31, 2013 may book P99 seats. After the seat sale period, the lowest year round fares start at PHP588 for the CebuCamiguin route, and PHP688 for the Cebu-Masbate route. Aside from Camiguin and Masbate, CEB is scheduled to start its Manila-Bali service on March 16 and its ManilaDubai service on October 7, 2013. CEB currently operates 10 Airbus A319, 24 Airbus A320 and 8 ATR-72 500 aircraft. Its fleet of 42 aircraft is one of the most modern aircraft fleets in the world. Between 2013 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of 18 more Airbus A320 and 30 Airbus A321neo aircraft orders. It is slated to begin long-haul services in the 3rd quarter of 2013.


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Sluggish growth in Davao region’s agri production continues DAVAO City -- The Davao region is basically agriculture inputs could also an agricultural region but its performance be a contributory factor, she added. continues to slow down. In the executive summary for the 2012 Davao Region economic performance presented by National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)-Region 11 regional director Maria Lourdes Lim recently, services and industry emerged as major economic drivers that made 2012’s economic performance stronger. Lim, in an interview, confirmed agriculture has continued to slow down. Aside from other factors, she said the impact of typhoon

Pablo in December 2012 also contributed to the seeming snail-paced growth of the agriculture sector. She, however, said this is just temporary in the light of the all-out assistance provided by the national government to recover from the impact of the typhoon. Lim cited the other factors to include inappropriate technology that farmers might have applied, that also resulted in poor production and quality. The high costs of

Lim also cited the lack of farm-to-market roads that would help farmers expedite the transportation of their products to the markets. Another factor is the private sector’s giving of more focus on services and industry sectors. “We have not realized the potentials of agriculture,” she said. Most investors prioritize the services and industry and not so much the agriculture. Hence, it’s solely the government that is focusing on

New export prospects for sugar identified – SRA NEW opportunities to export raw and refined sugar to India, South Korea, Indonesia and the Middle East have been identified by the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC), the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) said on its website. However, it added, only

the Indian and Korean buyers have as yet provided specifications of what they want to procure. According to the SRA, potential buyers from India want to procure an initial 100 to 200 metric tons (MT) of S-30 grade and M-30 grade refined sugar. The order may increase to 500 to 800 MT

and eventually to between 1,000 to 1,500 MT by the second half of 2013. Buyers from South Korea may procure 1,500 MT of refined white sugar per month, with a sugar content per shipment of 90 percent with a brightness of 19 to 20. They have also expressed prospects/PAGE 7

Organic fertilizer marketing forum COTABATO City -- A round table discussion organized by the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 12 or Central Mindanao resulted in a common understanding and belief that holding an organic fertilizer marketing forum will be the answer to the pressing concern on the marketing capacity of the organic vermi-cast fertilizers, agriculture officials today said. The round table discussion was held in Koronadal City and attended by DA-12 officials and representatives from vaious organic agriculture stakeholders. Enriqueto Natividad, DA-12 regional technical director for research and regulations and Organic Agriculture Program (OAP) focal person, said that during the round-table discussion, the group determined the extent and scope of the production of the vermicast in Region-12 with the aid of various facilities funded by the OAP. Other funding agencies are the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) and Community Fund for Agricultural Development (CFAD) component of the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP). He said the group has

suggested for the master listing of organic fertilizer producers in the region and brainstorming of measures on how DA-12 can assist these stakeholders solve their perceived marketing problem. Natividad underscored that the right advocacy on organic fertilizer produced by farmers is to apply these on their farm lands instead of selling it. Natividad believed that farmers are normally careful in choosing farm inputs to ensure they will not end up empty handed at the end of the day. He stressed that when farmers see in their own eyes the benefits of organic fertilizers to the agricultural products and the health of those taking it, they will surely subscribe to organic farming. To be held in Koronadal City come April 10, 2013, the forum is expected to gather more or less 200 farmers. Meanwhile, Natividad discussed the guidelines of DA’S Organic Agriculture Local Government Unit Awards. The said awards are given to top three performing provinces which will receive three million pesos each, top 16 cities and municipalities with

one million pesos each. Besides LGUs, top 16 municipalities/city OAP focal persons and top 16 agricu ltura l ex tension workers will also receive 30,000 pesos each. A sum of P26,050,000 million was allocated for the said award to be spearheaded by the Bureau of Agriculture and fisheries Products Standards (BAFPS), which is the Secretariat of the Organic Agriculture Program (OAP). Natividad explained that awards was aimed at persuading all LGUs and agri-technologists in the goal of converting 5 percent of the agricultural land of the Philippine to organic. Engr. Nadia Gayanandang, Chief-Regulatory Division, on the other hand, said organic fertilizer producers in the region were able to produce 117,592 kilograms equivalent to 23,519 bags worth P5.9 million. Aleta Bornea, Fertilizers and Pesticides Authority (FPA-12) Coordinator, explained that the nitrogen content of total organic fertilizer reaches the maximum of 7 percent. She said if the nitrogen content falls below 5 percent, the fertilizer is considered raw organic matters. (PNA)

Farm production in the Davao region slows down after the devastating typhoon.

agriculture, Lim pointed out. Lim however is optimistic of a fast recovery from the “Pablo” impact with the assistance being provided particularly by the Depart-

ments of Agriculture and Trade and Industry. In terms of prices, Lim said, growers can have a better command of prices if they grow specialty products like

organic produce which has a high demand in the market. Lim, however, said the issue on prices practically depends on the interplay of demand and supply. (PNA)

Govt urged to improve Mindanao roads, ports for produce exporters THE Philippine Exporters’ Confederation (Philexport) is urging the government to improve roads and ports in Mindanao to lessen the amount of fresh farm produce lost in transport “due to the poor state of the transport and logistics structure.” In a statement issued over the weekend, Philexport cited a December 2012 “Policy Notes” analysis by Philippine Institute for Development Studies research fellow Gilberto M. Llanto, which referred to an earlier study’s findings that as much as 20 percent to 50 percent of fresh produce can be lost on the

way from the farm to the end consumers due to “inefficiency in the road networks and port and shipping services.” “[B]ad 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,” said PhilExport. It added that the traders surveyed “complained about the high cost of transport rental, absence of goodquality road network from

source to market, lack of links between farm roads and main roads, and the high cost of fuel.” The analysis made several recommendations, including that the government invest in road and port infrastructure connecting producing areas to markets; improve RORO (roll-on, roll-off) services; provide “timely and accurate market information through various means of communication” to help small growers get the best prices for their produce; and “rationalize its road investment program and improve road construction and maintenance.”

Mining company, baptist’s group to teach sustainable farming methods DAVAO City -- The King-king Copper-Gold Project (KCGP) based in Pantukan town in Compostela Valley is partnering with the Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center (MBRLC) to teach sustainable farming practices to local communities. Members of the KCGP environmental team trained participants on Rubber Production and Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT) at the MMRLC at Bansalan, Davao del Sur on February 14-16. Representatives from five Pantukan barangays, tribal chieftains, vice chieftains, KCGP staff and representatives from Municipal Agricultural Office (MAO) attended the training. St. Augustine Gold & Copper Ltd (SAGCL), the Toronto–listed mining firm, is developing the King-king Copper-Gold Project

(KCGP) in Pantukan, Compostela Valley province. “The training project is part of our effort to partner with the National Greening Program,” said Debbie Ruth Liao-Yasay, Manager for Environment and Permitting of KCGP, adding that “the three-day training will help build capacity in the local community and continue to strengthen our relationship with our neighbors.” St. Augustine actively supports the objective of the National Greening Program (NGP), which is to harmonize the greening efforts of government, the community and the private sector. “By participating in the NGP, KCGP is not only fulfilling our obligation to the Philippines, but helping to mitigate climate change, promote resource protection & conservation and boost

productivity,” Yasay said. The MBRLC said the training partnership with KCGP benefits everyone. “Our mission is to provide practical ways of helping develop the countryside through the training courses on simple yet practical farming technologies,” said MBRLC Training Director Ms. Elsa Narciso Ablayon. Ablayon sa id “ here in MBRLC, we provide Sustainable Farming Systems, Crop Production and Livestock Fish and Poultry. We value the expertise the KCGP environmental team brings to our work.” In addition to the Rubber Production and SALT Training, KCGP also sponsored Coffee Production and Technology at Nestle Philippines Inc. for eight IPs from Pantukan, Compostela Valley. (PNA)


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Malaysia rejects ceasefire in Sabah MALAYSIA on Thursday rejected a “unilateral ceasefire” declared by Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, even as the Philippines dismissed suggestions from Kuala Lumpur that Manila eventually extradite Kiram. Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, in a post on Twitter, said “the unilateral ceasefire (as declared by Kiram) is rejected by Malaysia, unless the militants surrender unconditionally,” the minister tweeted. “Do not trust the ceasefire offer by Jamalul Kiram. In the interests of the people of Sabah and Malaysia, destroy all the militants,” he added. In a subsequent press conference at Felda Sahabat Residence Thursday afternoon, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said that, “Philippines President Benigno Aquino (III) has asked me what is Malaysia’s response to the offer for ceasefire. Our stance is

Malaysian soldiers move into Kampung Tanduo where troops stormed the alleged camp of an armed Filipino group in Lahad Datu, Sabah on Tuesday, March 5. Malaysian security forces found 13 bodies of suspected followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III as they expanded their hunt for the elusive armed group on Wednesday. reuters

they must lay down their arms unconditionally and surrender them to us.” Najib was in Sabah for a briefing on the operation to flush out the sultan’s followers. Najib said Ops Daulat, the joint police-military

operation “will continue for as long as it takes until we eliminate them or they surrender.” He also responded to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon’s call for the conflict to be resolved through dialogue, saying: “That was

Lt. Gen. Samie A. Tagalog (2nd from left), head of the Bangsamoro armed forces in Northern Mindanao and Eastern Mindanao, is joined by his top brass in calling for a peaceful solution to the Sabah crisis. With him at a press conference Wednesday in Cagayan de Oro City are Maj. Gen. Ruel H. Binatlao, Brig. Gen. Cesar N. Leona Sr. and Col. Sammy G. Dagumo. photo by :gerry lee gorit

Bangsamoro general calls for peaceful end to Sabah crisis By GERRY L. GORIT

THE chief of the Bangsamoro armed forces for Northern Mindanao and Eastern Mindanao has reiterated the call of Moro National Liberation Front chairman Nur Misuari for a peaceful solution to the Sabah crisis. Lt. Gen. Samie A. Tagalog said that they sympathize with their Tausug brothers in their current standoff in Sabah, adding that the Sultanate of Sulu has legal claim to Sabah as part of their territory. Tagalog, however, said that Misuari has no order for them to go to Sabah and that the problem in Sabah is not a Mindanao problem. Despite this, he said the MNLF held a summit in

Davao City last March 3 and that Chairman Misuari has ordered the Bangsamoro armed forces in southern Philippines to be on alert in their respective areas of responsibility. Tagalog said Misuari called on the Filipinos to unite in this issue. “It’s time for the people to know that Sabah is part of the Sultanate of Sulu,” he said. Tagalog added that the five commands of the MNLF support the Philippine government in its peace initiatives particularly in Mindanao. He cited that it was the MNLF that recently cleared Jolo of the lawless Abu Sayyaf Group. The five MNLF com-

mands cover Palawan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi, Central Mindanao, Northern and Eastern Mindanao, and the Ranao Unified Command. Tagalog said his command counts some 5,000 members in two divisions. He said that they have two camps in Cagayan de Oro, the Camp Datu Tagailog in barangay Gusa and Camp Datu Macapanton in barangay Tablon. Tagalog and his top brass held a press conference on Wednesday at their camp in barangay Gusa, Cagayan de Oro, to inform the public of their position regarding the Sabah issue. “The problem can only be solved on the table by peace talks,” he said.

exactly why we did not launch the assault for three weeks with four rounds of extensions (for negotiations to have the group to return to Philippines peacefully).” “It was only after eight of our police men were killed that we began to launch the attack,” he said. The sultan declared a unilateral ceasefire on Thursday afternoon and urged Malaysia to reciprocate, according to a statement read out by his spokesperson in Manila. “They will not take any action. They will remain in the place where they are now. They will not expand operations,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying, referring to the militants, believed to number between 100 and 300, in Lahad Datu, Sabah. On the Philippine side, meanwhile, President Benigno Aquino III rejected suggestions for the Sulu sultan’s eventual extradition, saying Kiram will first have

to face criminal charges in the Philippines. “From my perspective, let them face the issues. Let our citizens here in the country face the charges that we will be proffering first, then we will talk about other developments after they have satisfied the requirements of our laws,” Aquino said in an interview aired over state-run Radyo ng Bayan. Sultanate defiant The Sulu sultanate has so far counted 10 of its people dead and four injured from the assault by a combined Ma lay sia n p ol ic e-m i l itary force on Tuesday and Wednesday, with 10 others being held by the Malaysian security forces, said spokesman Abraham Idjirani. Idjirani said despite the Sultan’s unilateral ceasefire declaration issued Thursday, their fighters will continue to maintain a defensive stance, and urged Malaysia to declare a ceasefire.

The call for a ceasefire came as Malaysia launched another assault in the area on Thursday morning. The sultanate indicated, however, that its announcement of a unilateral ceasefire, effective 12:30 p.m. Thursday, did not mean it was surrendering its cause to reclaim what it considers part of its homeland. Sultan Kiram III said, “Wala sa bokabularyo namin ang susuko [Surrendering is not in our vocabulary],” as he proceeded to make the afternoon prayer or du’a. He read to supporters the statement the UN statement attributed to Secretary General Ban-Ki-Moon and issued in New York on March 6: “The Secretary-General is closely following the situation in Sabah, Malaysia. He urges an end to the violence and encourages dialogue among all parties for a peaceful resolution of the situation. rejects/PAGE 7

By CHENG ORDOÑEZ Associate Editor

Resolution No. 01813, on March 3, 2013, during an emergency meeting held at Tamparana, Lanao del Sur, urgently appealing for a ceasefire on Sabah dispute. “The issuance of Executive Order No. 602 that created the Lanao Advisory Council enlightened policy and recognition of the significant role that traditional institutions such as the Royal Sultanates of Lanao could play in bringing about genuine and lasting peace and sustainable development,” Sultan Disomimba, who is also the municipal mayor of Tamparan, Lanao del Sur, said. The 16 Su lta nates of

Lanao recognizes the role of the Malaysian government I brokering the peace talks between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which resulted in the signing of the Framework Agreement. They further state that they feel a need to ensure a “paramount better relationship and understanding” with the Malaysian and Philippine governments for their noble participation in the peace negotiations. “We (16 Sultanates of Lanao), supported by multisectoral groups in Mindanao joined with the national, local appeal/PAGE 7

16 Sultanate Houses of Lanao appeal for ceasefire in Sabah

AT LEAST 16 Royal Sultanates of Lanao joined hands and manifested all-out support for peaceful resolution of the Sabah stand-off, calling upon the parties involved to prevent further bloodshed by terminating all military activities thereat, placing the safety of some 800 Filipinos in Sabah, Malaysia, into paramount concern. Sultan Hadji Abdullah Topaan Ditual Disomimba, chairman of the 16 Royal Sultanates of Lanao, during a press conference Tuesday, at Philtown Hotel in Cagayan de Oro, said the 16 Royal Houses of Lanao has adopted

JV Ejercito: Amendments to Juvenile Justice Act to be approved soon DAGUPAN City -- San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito announced here on Thursday that the amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act which he co-authored in Congress is set to become a law soon. “Mukhang papasa na ngayon (It looks like these (amendments of Juvenile Justice Act) will be passed by us soon,” Ejercito told newsmen during a lull of his solo-campaign sortie in Dagupan and Pangasinan. He said the amendments are needed because the law was abused in the past by criminal and drug syndicates who employed minors in their illegal activities. Under the present law, an offender who is minor when arrested by the police would be turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and then will be

jv estrada

released. Theamendmentsintroduced by legislators provides that minor offender must not only be turned over to the DSWD and be released but must also undergo reformation to be brought back to normal life. He said, however, that he is not in favor that the minor offender be mixed with hardened criminals. Thus, Ejercito is seeking the establishment of juvenile

reformation centers in various regions or provinces of the country to guide minor offenders in their return to normal life. The former mayor of San Juan City spelled out the amendments to the Act when he came over to Pangasinan ahead of his teammates in the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). He said this is because he gives too much importance to the province, being one of the biggest in the country not only in size, population and number of voters. At the same time, he is hoping that some two million kasambahays (housemaids) throughout the country will support him in his fight for a seat in the Senate, as he was among those who pushed the Kasambahay bill in the House of Representatives. (PNA)


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Biyahe kiraw ta sa Iloilo P Christine H. Cabiasa

lunged as the country’s City of Love, Iloilo has never fail its constituents in enticing local and foreign tourists through bursting out to the world what this 4,663 sq. km province can offer. Iloilo has been endowed with majestic tourist destinations and has been gifted with tender and loving people, as they say, “the best of Iloilo is their people”. From hops to folks to delicacies, Iloilo got it all. What was best with our jaunt was that it was the first time for the Liceo de Cagayan University, 4th year Mass Communication students to come anew to a place together. Well, what would you expect? Of course sky high fun, all out laughter, and jump shot moods, entirely suited for the group to enjoy and cherish. We had prepared everything two weeks before February 24, from plane ticket booking to hotel accommodation reservation; all were heads off for the trip. Amidst our planned spree to Iloilo, I was diagnosed with appendicitis and was hospitalized for a week. I lost a lot and thought that it was the end yet it was not. First thing that came to my mind was my academic bearings and second was the Iloilo trip. That Iloilo convention for Mass Communication students was once in a lifetime opportunity; and as a student journalist, it is everybody’s desire to attend a conference keynoted by top caliber broadcast journalists in the country. Come February 22, a day before our flight, everything fell short and the question “Makauban kaha ko?” always popped out my mind. With my best friends Alden and Lenin’s encouragement, my mother then allowed me to go. Thanks to the Father Almighty for the fast recovery. Although, I’m still not that okay that time, I was assisted by my beloved classmates. Oh, here comes Mr. 23 and Ms. 9:40AM, all set, hurray for Iloilo! Everyone was excited, oh terribly excited indeed. When we stepped the portals of Iloilo, this feeling of difference bounded me. “What will Iloilo proffer? What do they got? For sure it is largely different from the City of Golden Friendship” These turns bubbled out through my mind. The first day was a blast. Great bonding with the Maskomistas. We went to SM City, toured around; as assumed it is bigger than SM City Cagayan de

Ate Chiara with Guimaras’ best

,

Rizal Wharf t a s ta is m Masko Island. Guimaras Oro. I was keenly observing the way the Ilonggos talk. Well, their dialect greatly differs; anyway, it is not that hard to understand. Yet we tried to converse in Tagalog instead. We visited churches also, as it is Iloilo’s thrust on showing that Ilonggos are religious and on displaying how they preserve their cultural heritages at their utmost. The leap that everybody won’t forget was the Guimaras Island excursion. Oh, who won’t defy for Guimaras? It houses white sand beaches, beautiful places, and of course the “sweetest mangoes in the Philippines”. We went to Raymen Beach Resort, one of the grandiose resorts in Guimaras. We met foreign tourists also; there were Koreans and Japanese day-trippers.

I saw in their eyes that for them Guimaras is truly a paradise; it was for us, how much for them, right? Shots from cameras were everywhere, everybody were busy for photo ops. After that beach escapade, we went to Brgy. San Miguel to buy delicacies as “pasalubong”. It was my first time to see mango ketchup and mango piyaya. So tempting. Looks delicious. Mouth watering. Splendid. And, who will forget mangoes from Guimaras? Of course, as we headed our way back to Rizal wharf, we dropped by mango fruit stands; and seeing those mangoes, touching them, they were really different from the usual. Guimaras mangoes were creamy and taste very sweet. “Pinakalami ug pinakatam-is nga mangga nga akong natilawan”, I uttered. Off the record, Iloilo trip was the best

The high five at the Plazuela

ever bonding the Maskomistas got. We had the best laughter, the best smiles, the best conversations, the best jokes, in short, all was the best ever. I almost ran out of words for that trip; it does not mean I cannot think of something but this feature could not grip the happiness I felt up to this writing. To end, with that 691 words aforementioned before this turn, no words could deeply express my gratitude and thanks for the graciousness of the Lord God during our February 23-26 Iloilo adventure. *********** “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival” ~ C.S. Lewis


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