Monday, April 21, 2014

Panabo LGU extends assistance to Katualan fire victims

Panabo City, Davao del Norte, April 16 (PIA) - - - The city government here gave relief goods and shelter assistance to the fire victims of Barangay Katualan.

Mayor Jose Silvosa, Sr. said that the city released shelter aid worth P 5,000 each to the 46 families, whose houses were ablazed during the fire incident in Purok 5, Brgy. Katualan last April 3.

Mayor Silvosa said that the city officials and employees, and civil society groups already extended relief goods to the victims.

According to investigations, Arson Investigator Fire Officer 2 Winston Ferrando said that the conflagration was ignited from unattended cooking using firewood in the house of Jimner Aguilar.

Reports stated that there were no casualties and injuries; however, the damage was estimated to reach to P 400,000.

Following the reports that the houses were burned down when the fire truck of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) arrived in the area, Mayor Silvosa said that there was no way that the truck could reach the Katualan in time when houses are still burning, “considering the distance of the barangay from the station and that the houses are made of light materials only.”

Reports revealed that the truck arrived in the area an hour after the alarm due to the rough terrain toward the area and since Katualan, the farthest barangay in the city, is 36 kilometers away from the nearest fire station.

Mayor Silvosa said that as part of the human development program of the city, Brgy. Katualan will be trained in fire fighting and other disaster management exercise to reduce the risk of any untoward incident. (PIA 11, Michael Uy)

Panabo pushes hygiene drive for male through circumcision this summer

Davao del Norte, April 16 (PIA) – Panabo City Health Office conducted a hygiene campaign for male residents through circumcision this summer season.

In an interview, Dr. Emelda Bendijo, city health officer here, encouraged the male residents aging six years old and above to subject themselves in circumcision this summer.

Dr. Bendijo said that the health office circumcised more than 400 boys from five barangays starting last April 3. She said their office will be visiting the remaining 35 barangays of the city up to the month May and targeted around 1,500 male residents to undergo circumcision.

Bendijo said that aside from the free services, the patients were given free antibiotics from the city and a non-government organization good for three days. She added that the patients will provide antibiotics for the next four days.

“Some medical supplies and medicines were supplied by the Antonio O. Floirendo Foundation,” Bendijo said.
Bendijo revealed that they will only circumcise children who voluntarily submit themselves and not forced by their guardians and parents.

 “Some children will be traumatized by their experience if forced by their parents or guardians,” Bendijo said.                                                                               

She said that every boy should undergo circumcision to avoid infections related to bladder such as urinary tract infection. (PIA 11, Michael Uy)

DavSur Guv hopes positive yields from Dubai biz meet

DIGOS CITY, Davao del Sur, Apr. 21 – Davao del Sur Governor Claude Bautista has hoped that his recent attendance to an investment meeting in Dubai would create positive impact to the economy of the country, particularly in the Province of Davao del Sur.

Bautista was the first Philippine public official delegate to participate in the 4th Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) organized by the Ministry of Economy in Dubai of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on April 9 this year.

The Governor received great appreciation from the organizer for responding to the special invitation called by the Minister of Economy, His Excellency Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri.

Bautista participated in the Country Presentation showcasing Davao del Sur as one of the best investment sites in Asia.

His Excellency Engineer Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy, also expressed gratitude to the Governor.

AIM is one of the biggest events in Dubai, hosted by the Ministry of Economy, where investors, chief executive officers , diplomats, government leaders and high ranking officials all over the world gather together to establish possible networking and stimulate business and investment.

This year is the 4th Annual AIM and so far, the first time that a Local Chief Executive of a province from the Philippines has participated.

Among the important points discussed by Bautista with His Excellency Engineer Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, were the potential areas for investments in Davao del Sur which include renewable energy projects, Water Treatment Project and Bulkwater Distribution System, and the establishment of Industrial Park in the province.

For the Agribusiness projects, investment prospects include the Tunnel Ventilated Poultry Farm Project to export halal dressed chickens in the Middle East Countries, and the promising agricultural products grown in the province which are currently gaining high profile in the export market.

Other identified probable business ventures are those which will essentially create demands like the organic rice, coco sugar, and the Civet Coffee which His Excellency Engineer Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi found interesting, and has in fact expressed desire to be able to taste it in the next visit of Gov. Bautista in Dubai. 
His Excellency Engineer Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi has also hoped that the output of this year's AIM will create a remarkable impact for Davao del Sur, as it starts to open new investment opportunities for the province thru the Governor’s participation.

The Undersecretary looked forward to meeting more public leaders from the Philippines in the next AIMs.

The special meeting with His Excellency Engineer Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi also made the Philippine Ambassador felt proud when the Undersecretary praised the Filipino workers in UAE for being hardworking, kind and reliable, and most preferred by companies in Dubai.

The Undersecretary further expressed gratitude to the Filipino workers for being part of the remarkable growth of Economy of UAE as well.
Philippine Ambassador to Dubai, Ambassador Grace Princesa conveyed to His Excellency that it is built within the culture of the Filipinos to be hospitable by treating visitors with a smile.
She explained that the Philippine Government continues to provide trainings to enhance the educational capabilities and technical of the Filipinos so that they become highly competent employees.
Along with Philippine Consulate General Frank Cimafranca, Ambassador Princesa was more than grateful and happy to welcome the delegation from the Davao del Sur Province. (LGU-Davao del Sur)

DSWD Davao Region rated outstanding

DAVAO CITY, Apr. 21 – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the region obtained an outstanding rating of 6.29 per cent following the recent Office Performance Commitment and Review (OPCR) conducted by the national DSWD office.

DSWD Davao Region was among the 17 regional offices of DSWD which were assessed based on variables or key result areas (KRA) such as improved well-being of families; case management of poor households; and expanding number of poor households identified in Listahanan availing SWD (social welfare and development) programs.

The other KRAs are utilization of Listahanan by other social protection service providers; increased number of fully functioning LGU Social Welfare and Development Office; capacitating LGUs to implement devolved social services; and values-based and strategy-based allocation and utilization of resources.

Further, the KRAs also include expanding partnership in support to SWD programs; application of critical competencies; building a culture of innovation and convergence; process excellence; and leadership and competency, among others. DSWD Davao Region garnered the highest score among the 17 regional offices.

The OPCR was administered by DSWD’s Strategy Management, Policy Development and Plans Bureau, Finance Service and Office of the Secretary.

DSWD-11 was also cited outstanding in the 2013 Report Card Survey of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) which measures agency compliance with the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA).

Along with DSWD, the other three outstanding agencies in Region XI are NFA Tagum City, National Prosecution Service -Mati City and PAO-Malita of Davao Del Sur.

Outstanding agencies received a score of 90 to 100. The survey was administered nationwide in 2013 to 929 national government agencies, government corporations, and state universities and colleges. (DSWD-11/Carmela Cadigal-Duron)

Mati to build water system for Dahican Beach

MATI CITY, DAVAO ORIENTAL-The City Government of Mati is putting up a water system in Barangay Dahican.

Mati City Mayor Carlo Rabat says the project will be a partnership with the Mati  Water District and the Local Government who will putting up a counterpart fund.

“They have began drilling, we expect the water system to be in place this year.” the Mayor said.

Dahican, a coastal barangay which is home to the famed 8-kilometer beach is not connected to water system.

Rabat says some investments particularly in tourism are put on hold because of the lack of water system in the area.

The water coming from the water system will be potable drinking water, the Mayor said.

The city government is planning to put up comfort rooms in the area to serve a growing number of tourists.

Rabat said they have identified an area for where people can set up their tents, they will be putting in facilities such as toilets and bathrooms.

Dahican Beach is one of the top tourism attractions in Mati City. With a growing number of visitors coming from Davao and other parts of the region.

Apart from the famed white-sand beach and the waves which has made it perfect for skimboarding and surfing the area is known for its rich coral reefs and marine waters which hosts dugongs, dolphins and whale sharks.

According to the Mayor, two months ago the City has convened Task Force Dahican to make a study the eco-tourism potentials of the place, the plan is to develop Dahican without destroying the natural environment. (PIA/RG Alama)

DavNor Guv pushes for Samal Bridge

Davao City, April 21, 2014 (PIA) – Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario strongly endorsed to the Regional Development Council (RDC) –XI the inclusion of the proposed P6-billion Samal Bridge in the regional development priorities for 2015.

During the 1st regular meeting of the Advisory Committee (AdCom) of the RDC-XI, the governor moved for a full blown feasibility study (FS) and detailed engineering as first phase in the implementation of the 1.2-kilometer bridge that will connect Davao City and the Island Garden City of Samal (IGCS).

The members of the council unanimously approved the project, which will be implemented under the public- private-partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects.

The AdCom readily added the mega project’s FS into the P69.43 billion budgetary requirement for the priority projects in the Davao region next year.

The regional priorities include urgent reconstruction of Typhoon Pablo affected rural economies, development of potential renewable energy sources, and farm mechanization, among others. 

With the constant influx of investments and tourism development coming into the island, del Rosario stressed it is high time to continue the big ticket project that was first proposed 12 years ago.

The governor recalled that a pre-feasibility analysis on the project was done in 2002 within the framework of the Davao Integrated Development Program (DIDP) Master Plan.

He underscored the bridge will link up and bring tremendous trade returns and tourism prospects to the island, which is included in the country’s master plan for tourism development.

As he puts it, the bridge will boost tourism and investment, as well as, hasten the socio-economic development in the island, by lowering the cost and speeding up transport of people, goods and resources.

He also clarified that the PPP initiative will ensure government resources earmarked for basic services will not be sacrificed in accomplishing the project.

The RDC-XI’s Tourism Industry Cluster also endorsed the project during its meeting on April 15, 2014. (Noel Baguio-PIO Davao del Norte )

Foreign chambers of commerce and industry ink agreement for econ growth in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY, April 21 (PIA) The heads of foreign chambers of commerce and industry in Davao Region formally signed an agreement early today to host the Southern Mindanao Growth Corridor Investors’ Forum on September 19 to explore more investment opportunities in the island following the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro last month.

Heads of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, Davao Chapter, Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Mindanao and the European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines agreed to draw around 200 investors to look at the possible investment sites and discuss opportunities in the areas stretching from Davao Oriental to South Cotabato and new chances with the integration to the larger market of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations by 2015.

Sonny Dizon, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines-Davao Chapter said the September 19 activity envisions an annual assemble of businessmen, and policy makers with a common interest in exploiting the potential of the Southern Mindanao Region.

He said companies with interests in the fields of finance, infrastructure, property development, power and utilities, agriculture and business process outsourcing are invited to come.

“One of the major foci of the forum will involve the business matching where potential investors are introduced to resources and partners required to bring investments to realization,” Dizon said.

Keisuke Nakao, president of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry said Mindanao has vast potentials in agricultural production given its good irrigation system.

He said the good irrigation system can lead to production of variety of agricultural products.

Martial Beck, vice president of the European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines said Cacao industry in the Philippines is growing with many countries in Europe sourcing their chocolates in the country.

He said cacao, coffee and coconut are agricultural products are sought after products from Mindanao.
Gil Dureza, regional head of the Board of Investment in Davao Region welcomed the forged agreement among the chambers and looked forward that the merger will lead to tangible results like more investors that will tap the improving peace and order in Mindanao following the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

He revealed that currently, foreign investors from Malaysia and Indonesia are focused on palm oil production and manufacturing.

“These companies need big tracts of land,” Dureza said.
He said companies from Europe are inquiring about business process outsourcing in Davao Region while companies from China are inquiring about manufacturing.

Dureza said member countries of the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines East Asian Growth Area will also hold a conference in September.

“Hopefully, these activities will spur more the development in Mindanao in alleviating poverty and integration of combatants after the signing of the peace deal and the impact of calamities brought about by typhoons,” he said. (PIA 11-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)

Friday, April 4, 2014

DavNor LGU assists displaced families in Talaingod clash

DAVAO DEL NORTE – The Provincial Government of Davao del Norte has released family food packs to Ata-Manobo families who were displaced by the ongoing military operation in Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod town.

Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Arlene Semblante reported that some 557 families or 2,395 individuals were affected by the encounter.

The Lumads (Indigenous Peoples) come from the sitios of Bagang, Nalubas, Basakan, Saso, Laslakan, Sambulongan, and Bayabas in Barangay Palma Gil, as well as, Sitio Pongpong in Barangay Dagohoy.

Semblante said evacuation areas were set up in the sitios of Nasilaban and Banlaway  still in Palma Gil and in Barangay Sto. Niño.

Media reports also said some 1,353 affected Lumads have already sought refuge in Davao City.

The municipal government of Talaingod has declared the affected areas under state of calamity, while the province continues to coordinate with the relief committee of the town. (PIO by Noel Baguio)

IGaCoS Water District has new GM

ISLAND GARDEN CITY OF SAMAL, April 2 (PIA) - IGaCoS Water District General Manager Antonio Gerardo C. Orlanes took oath of office officiated  by City Mayor Aniano P. Antalan at Igacos Water District Main Office, Penaplata, Samal District, Island Garden City of Samal on April 1.

The Board of Directors and employees of  IGaCoS Water District  expressed relief that finally a new general manager was selected and took oath  of office after more than two years of waiting and existing under a temporary officer in charge manning them. 

City Mayor Antalan commended the new general manager Antonio Gerardo Orlanes for his accomplishments in convincing some barangays to turn-over their water project to  Igacos water district in spite serving the organization as temporary officer in charged.

Antalan also praised the unified effort of his co-workers who stood behind him in his struggles in attaining the position that gave him an edge over other applicants to the position.

“I am happy that finally the long wait is over, and the price is worth waiting for” New General Manager Antonio Gerardo Orlanes said.

In his delivered speech, Orlanes expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the people who trusted and believed in his capacity and competence.  He willingly accepted the challenge to better the services of the institution with the support of his co-employees and the city government.

On the same occasion, new IGaCoS Water District Board of Director Chairman Noel Torres Uy and BOD Secretary Madeline Ortiz took oath of office administered by City Vice Mayor Al David Uy. (Melrose samal cio)

These SCAAs are deployed in the Island Garden City of Samal.

The Special CAFGU Active Auxiliary (SCAA) training is being conducted by the 72nd IB under Commander Ltc. Leonardo F. Solomon and Task Force Samal under the 1003rd Brigade Deputy Commander Col. Ricardo A. Nepomuceno.

To be qualified to the training, the trainee must be physically fit, no barangay and police record of criminal offense and must be a resident of Island Garden City of Samal.

“This is our second batch of Special CAFGU Active Auxiliary (SCAA) training intended to augment existing military forces in the island city and in order to counteract acts of terrorism  thereby ensure public safety and security and  other forms of threats”, City Mayor Aniano P. Antalan said.

Antalan emphasized his priority concern to peace and order and the need to organized the SCAA or Task Group Samal to assist the Philippine National Police in ensuring safety and security of lives and property in the island especially now that more domestic and foreign tourists come to the island known as one of the major tourist destinations in the Philippines, Asia and even in the world.

The surviving SCAA trainee and graduates will be deployed in the three (3) Task Force Samal detachment in Kaputian Poblacion of Kaputian District, Barangay Kinawitnon and Barangay Balet of Babak District.

The SCAA Development Program was initiated by city government of IGaCoS through City Mayor Aniano P. Antalan   purposely to secure and maintain peace and order and public safety of the constituents and  tourists coming in the island.  The city government invests in maintaining stable peace and order which is of big help in attracting investors and eventually facilitate socio-economic development in the island. (Samal Info)

Ugmad Komunidad empowers lowly barrio folks

DAVAO DEL NORTE, April 3 (PIA) – The livelihood projects coming from the Ugmad Komunidad (UK) program of the Provincial Government of Davao del Norte have given poor citizens, especially mothers, the opportunity to increase the income of their families.

Oliva Matro, Chair of the Kaugmaran sa Kababainhan sa Sta. Cruz (KAKASA) in Sta. Cruz, Talicud Island, Island Garden City of Samal, said beneficiaries were all praises to the UK program for turning their life around.

She said that members, who are mainly composed of mothers, now make use of their idle time to produce spicy dilis (anchovy), which they now peddle to residents and visitors of the resort island.

She disclosed a number of livelihood projects in the past have flopped and failed to improve their lot because of lack of sense of ownership, capacity building and management expertise, among other factors.

She said that with the UK program, the recipients were encouraged to get involve and identify their own viable projects.

The program guided the beneficiaries through the intensive community processing, from problem identification, to skills training, product development, business management and marketing.

“Gitabangan mi dili lang sa pag-ugmad sa produkto, apan usab sa pag-ugmad sa among creativity, talento ug apil na ang maayong pamatasan (aside from the products, the program also nurtured our creativity, talent and character),” Matro said.

Over 2,000 individuals have already benefited from the UK initiative, which was launched by Governor Rodolfo del Rosario two years ago to help constituents generate more revenues through livelihood and sports tourism activities.   

KAKASA is among the 12 UK communities spread around the province that were organized and trained to produce their own local products and handicrafts utilizing available resources abundant in their respective areas.

In his recent State of the Province Address (SOPA), the governor cited the achievement of another UK recipient, the Linosutan Association of Community Achievers Development (LACAD), also from Talicud, which is now engaged in successful jewelry-making business. 

The association got the attention of Samsung Corporation, which awarded them a parcel of land for their souvenir shop. 

Local products and handicrafts being produced and marketed by the other UK communities include fruit juice and concentrate, romblon handicraft, bamboo handicrafts, chocolate bars and durian candies, coco-coir twines, fish lamayo, banana paper, souvenir T-shirts and banana key holders, as well as, kurobata and amek (Muslim delicacies).

The UK products are now prominently displayed at the DavNor Pasalubong Shop at the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex, together with the One-Town, One-Product (OTOP) products from the different local government units.

Aside from the UK communities, the province is also helping develop, produce, and market the products and handicrafts of the beneficiaries of the Alternative Learning System for Indigenous People (ALS-IP) program. 

The province recently conducted a business-matching-cum-project proposal-making forum for the UK and ALS-IP programs beneficiaries to improve the quality and marketability of their home-made merchandises.

Assistant Provincial Administrator Romulo Tagalo revealed the local products are being primed so the province can offer a wide variety of local products to the ever increasing number of tourists visiting the province each year.(noel baguio/davnor pio )

ISLAND GARDEN CITY OF SAMAL, April 3 (PIA) - Twenty-five new recruits of Special CAFGU Active Auxiliary (SCAA) are undergoing basic military techniques and Explosive Ordinance Reconnaissance Agent (EORA) Training for forty five (45) days in 72nd Infantry Battalion headquarter in  Camp Manuel T. Yan Sr., Mawab, Comval Province from March 25 to May 10, 2014.

Pablo sizzles anew in DavOr

DAVAO ORIENTIAL, April 3 (PIA)---After the chilling gust of Typhoon Pablo in the three east-coast towns of Davao Oriental, Hot Pablo emerges. It ignites a sizzling spirit to pursue a much better livelihood, bringing a spicy hope for a much better future for typhoon victims.

Both the local and the national governments were in quandary to determine what livelihood to provide residents in Davao Oriental towns of Boston, Cateel and Baganga after vast agricultural lands mostly planted with coconut trees were whacked by Typhoon Pablo on December 4, 2012. 

However, in the midst of that devastation,  the chilli plant was found resilient. Such plant never came to mind to provide the much-needed livelihood for typhoon victims. One day the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Davao Oriental Provincial Office found the hot chilli products hitting brisk sales during the International Food Exhibition in May 2013, five months after Typhoon Pablo. The IFEX trade exposure of that single Davao Oriental  producer of powdered chilli clinched hefty orders from domestic  and international institutional buyers among whom were from Brunei Darussalam and Singapore. That stirred the idea of chilli production as a potent source of livelihood among Davao Oriental typhoon victims who used to depend mostly on coconuts.

Even President Benigno S. Aquino III got hot over promoting chilli products which he was first heard labelling them as “Hot Pablo” during the Mindanao Business Conference (Minbizcon) in August 2013.  He revealed in the Minbizcon media briefing that DTI made a P2.4 million exports to Singapore and Brunei Darrussalam of chilli products from typhoon Pablo-hit areas.

During that time, the President made the public understand that the “Hot Pablo” he was talking about was “paminta” or black pepper. Upon inquiry with DTI, the Hot Pablo turned out to be  the hot chilli known in Filipino as “siling labuyo”.

Siling Labuyo is popular in  the east-coast towns of Davao Oriental as “Katumbaw” which when dried and powdered, is called “Dumang”.  Jose Indona, DTI senior trade industry development specialist  (STIDS) in-charge of chilli projects, describes Dumang as  the favorite food ingredient among Dawenyos in the east-coast of Davao Oriental.  For Dabawenyos, Dumang can even go well with salt mixed in rice.

“The Dabawenyos have been planting chilli; they really love Dumang,” he said.

They may have lost their coconut trees, but they have started to  bring back the productivity of their lands through planting chilli.  Maricel Perando, processor of Ayana’s Siling Kinamayo   says that  the typhoon victims are indeed making a living out of chilli plants, enabling them to provide the immediate needs of their families. Perando now has 25 chilli growers from  whom she buys fresh ripe chilli at P80 per kilo.

“They can really have something for their daily needs,” she said in Cebuano referring to her chilli growers.

Aside from Ayana’s Siling Kinamayo, two other new chilli product processors emerge in the market through the assistance of DTI.  These are the MAMA’s Chilli which mainly produces chilli paste and the Food Processors Association of Taytayan (in Cateel) which concentrates on powdered chilli. DTI still continues to assist the Subangon Dumang Makers in marketing its chilli powder, tying it up with institutional buyers here and abroad.

DTI 11 has already acquired the trade mark “Hot Pablo” to label all the chilli products of Davao Oriental but it is yet to put that mark on each chilli items as processors have yet to fully comply with the Food and

 Drugs Administration (FDA) requirements, Indona explained. In spite this, the chilli products of Davao Oriental are already making it big in the local and international markets. The February 2014 Hot Pablo Chilli Project Status of DTI 11 showed that domestic sales of such chilli products ran more than P1.6 million; exports heaped $52,291 sales while P2 million additional investments were generated.

President Aquino had seen  the initial successes of Hot Pablo, prompting him to personally see the chilli plantation in an  aerial viewing he made during his recent visit in Cateel, Davao Oriental.  He encouraged  Dabawenyos to  produce more as he noted the expanding market for Hot Pablo Chilli products.

“Kumbaga yong oportunidad ay nandiyan ho. Samantalahin natin para naman talagang lubusan ang pag-angat natin. (As said, the opportunity is there. Let’s take advantage of it, so we  really will prosper.),”  President Aquino said in his speech at  the Municipal Plaza in Cateel Davao Oriental on February 24.

Typhoon Pablo may have swept the coconut farms on which the Dabawenyos in the east-coast towns of Davao Oriental have long been banking on for a living.  However, the lowly hot chilli plant is spicing up their lives giving them hope for a much bigger income.  (Jeanevive Duron-Abangan, PIA 11)

Productivity-based incentive scheme to benefit workers, mgt. in banana industry

DAVAO CITY- Banana industry workers and management will stand to benefit from the productivity-based incentive scheme adapted bythe Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB).

The Voluntary Productivity-based Incentive Scheme otherwise known as Second-Tier Pay aims to provide the banana enterprise on a range of productivity incentives which is over and above the mandatory minimum wage (first tier) which the banana workers is receiving.

The productivity incentive scheme aims to guide enterprises on a range of productivity incentives, which may be the basis for employer initiatives and enterprise negotiations.

Advisory No. RB XI-01 recommends that enterprises may start with a 1% increase in productivity-based incentives considering that there has been a 0.80% average increase in demand for Cavendish bananas for the past five years, plus prospects of new markets for banana exports based upon data from the Department of Agriculture.

“It would mean additional benefits and income aside from the minimum wage the worker is receiving.” Joffrey Suyao, Department of Labor and Employment- XI Regional Director said.

Suyao said the advisory is voluntary and on the enterprise level noting that many large banana
companies already have existing productivity schemes.

Virginia Camus, labor representative in the RTWPB-XI said that the productivity-based incentive scheme will not just benefit banana workers receiving minimum wage but also would positively impact workers receiving over the minimum wage and also those receiving below minimum wages.

She also said that the scheme will encourage workers to participate in company productivity programs, the scheme will also benefit enterprises as it will be a performance based incentive which will push the productivity of the workers.

“It will also be advantageous to the management because it will enhance productivity, it will give workers the incentive to work more.” Rulfo Asis, management representative said.

“It is an eloquent proof that your board is working hard. We studied carefull the guidelines and it was immediately approved in Manila.” Atty. Bienvenido Cariaga, management representative said.

The National Wages and Productivity Council commended the advisory of RTWPB-XI for it being compliant to NWPC guidelines on having a specific pilot industry for the scheme.

Suyao said there were two or three regions that have submitted earlier than RTWPB but they were for generic industries when under the NWPC guidelines it must be tested in a specific industry and with its success can be replicated. (PIA/RG ALAMA)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tagum City's roads undergo improvement

TAGUM CITY- Tagumeños will fully enjoy a smooth ride in the city’s major thoroughfares as the local government is embarking on road improvement projects through asphalt overlaying of major roads.

Recently, Tagum City Mayor Allan L. Rellon joined the personnel of the City Engineer’s Office and ABC President Prospero Estabillo, Jr. during the inspection and blessing of the city’s road improvement projects in Dominggo Village, Senangote Village and Osmeña, Quezon and Quirante II Streets, respectively, which carries a budget of 2,500,000 pesos.

The asphalt overlaying of roads was done by administration since the LGU has its own asphalt mixing plant located inside the motorpool in Barangay Magugpo East. The asphalt overlaying was delayed for a year since the asphalt paver was not operational, said Engr. Edgar Ruyeras, head of the asphalt-industrial plant of CEO Tagum.

He said that his team is currently working on the asphalt overlaying in 42 roads, conducted primarily through his office’s initiative and through the requests of barangay captains.

The City Engineer’s Office also installed streetlights along Roxas Extension adjacent to Rizal Elementary School.

Aside from road improvement, the City Engineering Office is also working on the rehabilitation and culvert lining of drainage.

This is still part of the comprehensive agenda on infrastructure of the local chief executive stipulated under his EAGLE WINGS Program. (Gleiza Delgado of CIO Tagum)

DavNor gears up for ASEAN Integration

DAVAO DEL NORTE, April 3 (PIA) – The Province of Davao del Norte is preparing for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) to be able to take full advantage of the opportunities of the regional integration in 2015.

Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, in his recent State of the Province Address (SOPA), said the province has started laying down the vital preparations to ensure the competitive position of the province when the ten-member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) engage in free trade next year.

The Governor bared that in preparation for the ASEAN integration, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan has enacted the Provincial Investment Incentives Code, Provincial Tourism Code, and the Provincial Housing Code.

The Provincial Board is also set to ratify sooner the proposed Provincial Public-Private Partnership Code.

Del Rosario noted the EAC will allow for the free movements of goods, services, capital and skilled labor within the ASEAN region, which include Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Burma (Myanmar),Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam

He said the immense business and economic potential that the integration brings also entail more preparation amid greater competition among the large market of 609 million people.

He warned Filipinos shall find themselves in the middle of stiff competition in areas such as food processing, agriculture, tourism and business services, among others.

The new global trade configuration has prompted the Governor to implement policies and programs that aim to increase the competitiveness, both in skills and products, of the Dabaonons.

This is in conjunction with the thrust of the provincial leadership to make the communities adaptive to climate change and resilient to disaster risks.

“We are fortifying our thrust and programs so our province will be able to meet up with the challenges of disaster risk and climate change, including the integration of the ASEAN economy next year,” he said.(noel baguio/davnor pio)

Private sector urged to train workers on disaster prep

DAVAO DEL NORTE, April 3 (PIA) – The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) here encouraged owners of the private establishments to have their employees undergo training on disaster preparedness.

In an interview, Redentor Cardinal, Training Officer and Operations Chief of PDRRMO, said that they will schedule trainings on disaster preparedness for the businesses in the province soon.                                                                              
Cardinal said that the trainings will strengthen their network on disaster response to reduce the effects of any catastrophic incidents.

Meanwhile, the PDRRMO posted a Satisfactory rating to the offices within the provincial capitol compound for the Earthquake Drill – Level I conducted earlier today.

Cardinal said that some of the employees evacuated their offices as soon as the siren was alarmed; however, others, who barely heard the alarm, never responded to the drill.

Cardinal said that their office is preparing a report on the said drill to the governor stating that the alarm system within the capitol area should be improved.

Pursuant to the memorandum of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the drill was set on March 19 as part of the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED); however, with occurrence of Tropical Depression Caloy, the provincial government opted to hold it today.

Cardinal said that the PDRRMO will conduct an unannounced Level II drill on the third quarter of this year to assess the capacity on disaster response. (PIA 11, Michael Uy)

Local mining company pours P 30-M projects in Pantukan

PANTUKAN, Compostela Valley, April 3 (PIA) – A local mining company distributed P 30-million worth of projects to nine barangays of Pantunkan.

More than 2,000 families availed of the Community Livelihood Initiative Projects (CLIP) conducted by the King King Copper Gold Project.

One of the projects is the Vegetable Garden and Fishpond in Purok Sta. Teresa, which is in partnership with the Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP) and the community.

Brienlyn Baño, GSP troop leader in the purok, said that the project started only as a beautification activity of a purok center and eventually grew into a garden and fishpond due to the community’s request and eager participation.

Bonifacio Abalayan, purok leader of Sta. Teresa, said that before the project was made, the residents were purchasing their vegetables in the marketplace; but now, the businessmen in the market are the ones buying their goods from the purok’s produce.

Abalayan added that one of the best features of their garden was the use of organic fertilizer from their Vermiculture project.

Aside from this, other programs of the mining project focused on the livelihood of Mansaka tribe. These include the provision of sewing machine and dress-making training to the tribal women’s group.

Iluminada Padilla, president of the Mansaka Women’s Group, said that they are grateful to the mining project for giving them an opportunity to help their families through making tribal dresses, other clothing and bags.

The projects also included establishment of water system, distribution of farm implements and development of other important infrastructure. (PIA 11, Michael Uy)

DavNor's rehab center for at risk children opened

DAVAO DEL NORTE, April 3 (PIA) – The provincial government here will open a rehabilitation center for children at risk and in conflict with the law as a highlight of the 47th anniversary celebration of the charter day in the province on July 1.

Located in New Corella, PAG-ASA Home was built by the provincial government with additional funding of P 3.5-million from Department of Social Welfare and Development and the office of Congressman Anthony del Rosario.

Arlene Semblante, provincial social welfare and development officer, said that the center was conceptualize during the meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council, in which it was reported that adults were using children in committing crimes within the province.

Semblante added that the main cause of children being used in criminal activities was rooted in the family upbringing of the children.

Aside from the rehabilitation process of the children, the local social welfare office will also prepare the parents through inculcating to them their responsibilities to the child’s socio-economic lifestyle in the community.

A series of seminar and consultations will be done with the parents before their children will be transferred back to them, Semblante said.

Semblante revealed that as of now, the province has already 15 children in conflict with the law being lodged at the Regional Rehabilitation Center in Mintal, Davao City and will be transferred to the facility in New Corella as soon as it will operate.

“With the on-going procurement of furniture and fixtures, we are working on the guidelines for the operation of the center, which will be enacted through an ordinance,” Semblante said.

She said that to sustain the operation of the center, there will be a cost sharing between the local government units with children lodged in the facility.

Meanwhile, Semblante also bared that the center having a capacity of 25 beds will only accommodate boys; the girls will be housed in the Women Development Center in Tagum.

Arlene Semblante, provincial social welfare and development officer, said that there was a need to separate the gender group because they have different needs and wants. (PIA 11, Michael Uy)

Study bares high mercury vapor in dental schools

DAVAO CITY- A study released by environment justice group BAN TOXICS bared high contents of mercury vapors in dental schools.

According to  Myline Macabuhay, Chemicals Management Assistant of BAN TOXICS the study was conducted last year in five dentals schools across the country. One of these schools is located in Davao Region.

Amalgam is a commonly used as dental fillings. It is an alloy of mercury and is the past considered as a main source of dental fillings due to its low cost, durability and easy application.

Using a R195 Plus Mercury Vapor Analyzer the study determined that most of the schools exceeded  acceptable mercury levels set by the United State’s Department of Health’s ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry).

In the test conducted at the dental school located in Davao Region high mercury vapor levels were measured at the cuspidor and trays, which had 1,069 nanograms per cubic meter and 1,018 ng/m3 respectively.

ASTDR set acceptable levels for mercury vapor is pegged at 1,000 ng/m3. If there is a breach in the mark, the source is immediately isolated. If a location is measured to breach 10,000 ng/cu. meters, evacuation is immediately recommended.

Macabuhay said that wasted bins, sinks and drainage areas have higher levels of mercury vapor. The old drainage tube in the region-XI located dental school registered 40,813 ng/cubic meters.

She said that dental schools have taken immediate interventions such as providing exhaust fans, opening windows and providing exit points.  However these are only location specific interventions.

Macabuhay said that the country is a signatory of the Minamata Convention last year, which regulates the use of mercury among signatory countries.  As part of the treaty the country has pledged to have mercury-free healthcare facilities by 2016.

She said dental students commonly used amalgams for their studies and required cases for dental licensure examinations thus the high amount of mercury vapor found in their schools.

Their group is demanding for the immediate banning of amalgams in the dental profession and for a change in the dental curriculum before the deadline in 2016, citing the study which validates that dentists, dental students, patients and persons working in supply rooms are exposed to dangerous levels of mercury vapors. (PIA/RG Alama)

Bugkos Media invites Davaoeños to a bloodletting activity

Members of Bugkos Media Action Group, an alliance of media organizations, is inviting Davaoeños to join them and their families and friends in donating much needed blood. Dubbed ‘Beating the deadline,’ the bloodletting activity will be held on April, 4 2014, a Friday, from 10 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon at the Kadayawan Hall of the NCCC Mall of Davao in Maa.

The Philippine Red Cross Davao, which is Bugkos Media’s partner for the event, stressed the importance of giving blood as a way of helping save lives. The group shared that according to global statistics, 1 person needs a blood transfusion every 2 seconds including 1 out of 7 people checking into the hospital.

The bloodletting activity is not the first humanitarian activity spearheaded by Bugkos Media. Late last year, the alliance made a radio plug and led in gathering donations for victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda from the different media outfits in the city.

Bugkos Media coordinator Trisha Ann Samantha Aligato said the bloodletting activity is more than being practical for practitioners whose lives can sometimes be at peril in the line of duty.

“We are trying to change the image of the media as mere entertainers and sources of information. We want the people to see that we as a group are members of the community and are willing to do our share for the benefit of everybody.”

For reference:

Trisha Ann Samantha Aligato
Bugkos Media Action Group

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Kalahi-CIDSS: Program guidelines and transparency vital

MONKAYO, COMPOSTELLA VALLEY – Kalahi-CIDSS [also known as National Community-Driven Development Program] underscored the importance of partnership, guidelines and transparency in program implementation as it launched its 3rd cycle here with a Municipal Orientation.

The goal of Kalahi-CIDSS was tackled during the orientation.

Local government officials were re-informed about the main goal of the program, which is to train and mold different barangays to have access and control of key development decisions and resources through a guided process of community mobilization.

Per DSWD experience, social preparation and community mobilization inspire people to become more responsive and most likely develop a sense of accountability to their sub-projects.

Further, active involvement of stakeholders would help in maintaining completed community projects later as it instills a sense of ownership toward the projects.

Joel Quiño, Kalahi-CIDSS Area Coordinator of Monkayo eagerly discussed program guidelines to barangay officials and beneficiaries.

He stressed that monitoring of the guidelines requires keen supervision, focused intervention, structured learning and flexibility to be able to meet the timeline of the sub-project.

“If program guidelines will be keenly observed through the cooperation of local government officials and beneficiaries, results of impact assessment in the future would be favorable thus satisfying the program objective,” Quiño added.

The municipal orientation was attended by Mayor Joselito B. Brillantes, barangay officials, DSWD program beneficiaries, Indigenous People representatives, Kalahi-CIDSS municipal coordinating team and DSWD officials.

 “I am enormously thankful of the project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), because through their partnership and communication with us, we are now slowly eradicating the poverty in the community,” Mayor Brillantes said in an interview.

He assured that the local government will maintain transparency in the implementation of sub-projects to ensure completion on time and functionality.

Following the orientation, municipal, barangay and DSWD officials signed the Manifesto of Support to signify their commitment to work together for peace and development. 
 Presently, the different barangays in Monkayo are already at 90%-status in implementing the Kalahi-CIDSS 2nd cycle. This is a manifestation that Kalahi-CIDSS continues to soar high in its goal in poverty reduction. (DSWD/jabfr/ccd)