Showing posts from November, 2006

6-year old jin wins Taekwondo gold

“Huwag ka umalis kasi di mo makita ang gold ko (Do not go because you might not see my gold medal),” six-year old James Paolo Ancheta told me when I was about to leave lunchtime during the 2006 Regional Taekwondo championships held at the Entertainment Center of SM City Davao last Sunday.

He was right. James did win his first gold medal during last Sunday’s Taekwondo championship. While I did not see him win the championship, I saw him win the first round of the game and was he fast! He was considered too small for his age but apparently his speed and leg reach made up for his skinny physique.

I was able to interview Alan de Francia, his coach, a week before the championships and he said he was betting on the members of his Values Team particularly Ancheta to win the gold. “Mabilis yang batang yan, maliit pero maliksi,” de Francia said.

Ancheta, who is an incoming Kinder at Values, started his official training with de Francia as coach only last July when Values School Matina offered …

Seoul-Manila-Davao flights to promote Davao as golf haven

Davao City’s tourism sector is cashing in on the emerging Korean and Chinese markets by promoting the city as a golf destination.

“We have been promoting the city as a honeymoon destination especially for Koreans but our golf facilities is one thing that the city can be proud of,” Davao Tourism Association president Art Boncato said.

He said Davao is one of the preferred golf destinations in the Philippines because of the general peacefulness of the area and the lack of traffic compared to Manila and Cebu.

Japanese and Korean golfers who find Japanese courses very expensive trek to the city because of its golf courses.

Davao has six golf facilities including the Andrew’s Driving Range in Shrine Hills, the 18-hole Apo Golf and Country Club in Dumoy and Lanang Country Club in Lanang, the Davao City Golf Club in Matina, Ranchos Palos Verdes in Buhangin and Golf Masters Sports Club in Maa.

Boncato said golf is one of the major attractions of Davao City especially for the Korean market but it h…

DOH XI has no way of monitoring kidney business transactions

Kidneys may be a big “buy and sell” business in some parts of the country but the Department of Health has no way of monitoring the different business transactions involving the selling of kidneys.

“We have no way to determine whether a kidney donation has been paid or if it was given voluntarily,” DOH XI Paulyn Jean Ubial said. However, she reiterated that what they are promoting is kidney donation in the real sense of the word.

A paper presented by Francis Aguilar and Lalaine Siruno (both from the University of the Philippines in Diliman) in the 5th Asian Bioethics Conference at the University of Tsukuba in Japan two years ago cited that the sale of kidneys is thriving in the world market with the kidney of a Filipino fetching a price of $1,300 or roughly P65 thousand.

Data from their paper show that cheapest kidney in the world market is the kidney of an Indian which costs a thousand dollars or P50,000 while the highest is that of a Peruvian which ha a market price of up to thirty tho…

Fare reduction not in the offing

There is very little chance for the realization of the Filipino commuters’ wish to get a fare reduction before the end of the year.

This after the new chief of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board failed to issue a clear pronouncement on the fare reduction earlier promised by former LTFRB chair Elena Bautista.

“There is still no clear cut pronouncement on the fare reduction so the commuters will have to pay the old rate,” LTFRB XI Regional Administrative Officer Edgar Violan said.

Violan just came from Manila for the national planning workshop and a briefing on the first 100 days of new LTFRB chair Thompson C. Lancion.

It was hoped two weeks ago that the different LTFRB regions were called to Manila for an announcement on the fare reduction. However, Violan said that the fare reduction issue was not even discussed during the planning.

Violan said they were however informed that a consumers’ group already petitioned LTFRB for a fare reduction and such petition will still…

LTO XI investigates 22 insurance firms

The Land Transportation Office XI is in the process of conducting an investigation of the twenty two insurance firms located near its premises a day after Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte ordered them to look into fly-by-night insurance firms.

“We are making an inventory of the insurance firms located just outside our office in compliance with the Mayor’s order,” LTO XI director Atty. Gomer Dy said.

Duterte earlier asked LTO XI to look into complaints that some insurance agencies have not complied with their obligations particularly in paying the insurance claims to insured vehicle owners.

He also urged LTO to blacklist insurance firms that have been remiss with their obligations.

Dy said that when they receive complaints against insurance firms, they report it to the assistant secretary who will in turn write the insurance companies concerned.

“With the Mayor’s order I can now address the problem from my end,” he said. After receiving notice of Duterte’s order, Dy immediately instructed…

MP-Values Taekwondo Team wins 9 gold

Nine of the thirty team members of the Marco Polo-Values Team coached by Alan de Francia won gold medals during the 2006 Regional Taekwondo Championships held at the Entertainment Center of the SM City Davao yesterday.

The gold medalists are James Paolo Ancheta and Mikee Selga (both 6 years old) from Values School; Jana Bihr, Karl and Cassandta Villaruz, Prince Sta. Maria, Cyndi Amahan, Nigel Deriza and Carol Estacio from Marco Polo.

Both Ancheta and Selga are first timers in the said tournament and only had at least three months training compared to their opponents who have been into Taekwondo for more than a year already.

Selga bested her opponent who is already an advance bluebelt from Butuan and had four years training.

The Team also won 7 silver medals and four bronze medals. The silver medalists are Angelito Blataria, Kristine Miranda, Esman Abdul and Nicole Manawan from Values School and Angeli Longted, Monica Jordan and Merell Herrera from Marco Polo.

Former gold medalist Patrick B…

Multinational firms to invest in Mindanao’s tuba2

European, Korean and Indian firms are looking into the possibility of investing millions in Mindanao through the establishment of tuba-tuba or jetropha plantations.

However, scientists and some sectors in Mindanao see the forthcoming multinational investments as something that would place not only Mindanao but the whole country at a disadvantage,

“The tuba-tuba or jetropha is the best alternative fuel source that we can get right in our backyards and we should not allow other countries to ex0plore such resources,” Davao Inventors Association president Virgilio Sangutan said.

Sangutan, who is also the chairperson of the Mindanao Inventors Federation, said several companies from Europe, Korea and India are already exploring the possibility of entering into joint venture agreements with Mindanao farmers for the planting of tuba-tuba.

“The joint venture will be welcome by Mindanao farmers because the multinational companies will finance the planting of the tuba-tuba or jetropha,” he said.


SM Poultry growers gears up for Xmas season

The poultry supply of Southern Mindanao may be stable but poultry growers in the region are prepping up for a foreseen demand for the commodity during the holiday seasons.

“An inventory conducted last July shows a chicken supply of 4.7 million,” Department of Agriculture XI-Livestock Division chief Dr. Rafael Mercado said.

The 4.7 million data comprises the native and broiler supply of both commercial and backyard poultry growers. Majority of the region’s poultry population or roughly 7- percent comes from the backyard growers.

Mercado said backyard poultry growers are those who grow 50 to 100 heads of broiler or native chickens in an area usually adjacent to their homes.

He said the survey revealed that some areas in the region were not able to reload their poultry farms with chicks. About ten percent of the growers failed to reload their poultry farms for one reason or another, he said, but some of them already reloaded even before the end of the survey.

“The poultry growers are reloa…

Reported women’s abuse cases in Davao City up by 100% in 2006

The number of Dabawenyas being subjected to violence has increased by a hundred percent from January to August this year compared to the number of reported cases during the whole period of 2005.

Data from the City Mayor’s Integrated Gender and Development Division show that a total of 260 cases of violence against women have been reported in the said office from January to March and from July to August this year.

This is more than a hundred percent increase compared to the 120 Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) cases reported in the same office for the whole 2005 considering that figures for September to December this year are still unavailable.

Women’s groups however said that the increasing trend in the number of reported VAWC cases can be attributed to a rising awareness on the rights of women.

Physical and economic abuse had the highest percentage of reported VAWC cases reported from January to March this year, with a percentage of 29.63 cases for each type of abuse. Cases of …

Samal’s Mariculture Park attracts P200 million worth of investments

No less than P200 million worth of investments have been poured into the 244-hectare Mariculture Park located in the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte.

The Mariculture Park, which is a joint venture of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources XI and the local government unit of Samal, was implemented to offer locators a chance to invest in the fish caging venture as well as provide an alternative source of livelihood for Samal fishermen.

“This is the first Triple A Mariculture Park in Asia and it is being replicated in others parts of the country particularly in Calbayog, Samar, Zambales and in Datu Paglas,” IGACOS city administrator Cleto Gales said.

A total of 10 large scale investors and an estimated 100 small and medium investors have already located their fish cage businesses at the Mariculture Park. Large scale investors are those with investments of over P10 million, medium scale with investments of one to P10 million and small scale with investments below one mi…

P1B BLOOD Center to rise in Davao City

Dabawenyos can expect good economic and health prospects beginning the end of the year with the finalization of a plan to build a P1 billion sub-national blood center in the city.

“We hope to finalize plans for the construction of a sub-national blood center in the city by end of the year,” Department of Health XI director Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial said. The center is a grant from the Japanese government.

The establishment of a blood facility in Davao, which will serve the whole Mindanao area, is expected to result to more employment opportunities for the construction, health and other allied sectors. The center will take care of all blood-related procedures like blood separation and blood testing.

Rosell-Ubial said the establishment of a sub-national blood center in the city is a result of the government’s decision to close down all commercial blood centers in the city and in the whole country effective September 29. Similar centers will also be established in Cebu for the Visayas Regio…

Bright future for coco farmers seen with discovery of SAPdrink

The recent discovery of a drink that is touted to be a better alternative to soft drinks may just make the country’s coconut farmers more in demand and financially richer.

“SAPdrink was actually discovered through the research project of one of the staff of the PCA Research Center,” Philippine Coconut Authority XI regional manager Lornito Orillaneda said in an interview. Millicent Secretaria, a PCA researcher, recently won as researcher of the year during the National Scientists Awards.

SAPdrink actually comes from “tuba” which is really the sap taken from the flower of the coconut, thus explaining its name. “Tuba” is more popularly known as a cheap alcoholic beverage. However, the discovery of the SAPdrink may just elevate the lowly tuba to the status of a healthier drink option.

“Tuba contains alcohol but if processed without passing fermentation then it becomes a non-alcoholic and healthy drink,” he said. The SAPdrink can also last for a month provided it is refrigerated.

SAPdrink …

That Meralco ad

That Christmas advertisement from Meralco has got me and the not-so-bitter-half into some kind of an argument. I never really gave a serious thought to that advertisement which looked simple enough. The scenario: two neighbors, one neighbor lighting up his Christmas lights in tiem for the Holiday Season to the chagrin of his neighbor who, it appeared, was already prepared to give his neighbor a run for his money---errr---Christmas lights! Neighbor No. 1 looked pitiful when his minimal lights were dwarfed by his neighbor's lights which almost engulfed the whole house! Talk about lighting extragavance!

So what's the point here?

The not-so-bitter-half said it is a bad ad because it shows the Pinoys' crab mentality. Well, yes I said it indeed reflected a bad attitude among Pinoys. Despite our lovable characteristics, we Pinoys are faulted for pulling down our neighbors whenever we see their success overshadowing our own success. I said me because I believe that no one is…

70% of JIB call center grads now employed

The JIB e-Academy has achieved a 70 percent employment batting average for those who graduated from the 100 hours Call Center Finishing Course offered by the e-Academy in Davao and in General Santos City.

JIB e-Academy’s, which is accredited by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, opened in the city last May 2006 and in General Santos City last October 2006.

“The 100 hours Call Center Finishing Course develops the necessary skills, confidence and abilities needed by an individual to work in a call center,” JIB e-Academy President Joji Ilagan Bian said.

Bian said they have produced a total of 485 graduates, 70 percent of whom have been absorbed and now gainfully employed by call centers in Davao City and in Manila. “We have successfully placed our latest graduates in good paying jobs with international call centers based in Manila,” she added.

“The General Santos Branch has produced 70 graduates and 73% of them or 53 graduates passed the first series of interviews don…

PAL to start Seoul-Davao-Manila route Dec. 16

Philippine Airline’s decision to service the Korea-Manila route with connecting flights to Davao City may just make the city the top destination for Koreans by next year.

“PAL’s trial route from Seoul, Korea to Manila with connecting flights to Davao will start on December 16 this year using the Airbus 320,” Davao Tourism Association president and Marco Polo Hotel Sales Director Art Boncato said yesterday.

Boncato, who just arrived from a sales trip to Korea and China, was able to join the PAL-Department of Tourism road show participated in by 23 hotel and resorts. Only two Davao tourism establishments were invited including Marco Polo and Pearl Farm.

He said almost 200 tour operators were present during a business meeting where Davao City was introduced as a destination since the city is not yet known to the Korean market.

The Davao segment turned out very good, he said, and DOT secretary Joseph Durano even declared Davao as the next destination for Koreans.

The Korea-Manila-Davao route…

Davao’s bid for 2007 ad congress foiled

Davao’s dream to host the well-attended bi-annual Philippine Advertising Congress may just remain an unreachable star unless the city invests in bigger facilities.

“We have been bidding for the Ad Congress for eight years now and we made it to the top this time,” Davao Tourism Association president Art Boncato said during the Club 888 Forum held at the Marco Polo Hotel yesterday.

Boncato said it was a toss up between Subic and Davao but the former won because “we do not have enough facilities to accommodate at least four thousand participants.”

Davao’s tourism sector has been bugging the local government and the private sector to capitalize on bigger facilities for future big conventions like the Ad Congress.

However, no one has yet taken on the challenge to build a bigger venue in the city so the honor of hosting the 2007 Philippine Ad Congress went to Subic.

“We hope an investor can invest in a facility that can fit at least five thousand people at any given time,” he said.

The Philippin…

Justice for the rich; just-tiis for the poor

The capture of renegade soldier and former senator Gringo Honasan has opened my eyes to the stark reality of the country's justice system. Well, it's not so much the justice system of the country that should be blamed but rather the people running the justice system. And I mean not just the judiciary but the whole three branches of the government---executive and legislative included.

If you were glued on your television sets last week when Gringo was cornered inside the house of his lady-friend, the authorities immediately brought him and his driver to the CIDG headquarters. Honasan was slightly injured so he was immediately brought for medical check up and possibel surgery. Sad to say, this was a luxury for his driver-bodyguard who was almost half awake when interviewed by reporters.

Honasan's driver was apparently suffering from high blood pressure as a result of the commotion during the arrest. However, he was small fry and not rich and famous enough like Honasan so t…

Davao shellfish traders urged to get accreditation

Traders selling all types of shellfish bound for Davao City should get accreditation first before selling their products here or pay from one to three thousand pesos as penalty.

“The ordinance on mandatory testing of shellfish is now being implemented in the city by the different agencies involved and we are urging market vendors and malls to buy shellfish only from accredited suppliers,” councilor Peter Laviña told Mirror yesterday.

Among the agencies in charge of making sure that all shellfish being sold in the city come from accredited sources and are safe from red tide includes the City Agriculturist Office, the City Veterinarian (because they have an aquaculturist) and the City Health Office.

Laviña said there is only one group of supplier that has an accreditation to sell shellfish in the city and that is the Certified Shellfish International or CSI owned by Alex P. Beronio. Another group is applying for accreditation, he added.

“All shellfish bound for Davao City no matter where i…

Global BPO firm eyes Davao as its new location

A New York-headquartered Business Process Outsourcing firm is eyeing Davao City as its third and newest location in the Philippines. The other two offices are located in Manila and in Clark, Pampanga.

“The company is looking at the possibility of establishing an office here in Davao and they have met with us already to inquire about the investments opportunities here in the city,” DTI XI National Economic Research and Business Assistance Center director Teolulo Pasawa told Mirror. Another prospect for its new location is Iloilo City.

Sutherland Global Services provides contact center and back-office outsourcing to its clients worldwide. It has a total of 12,500 employees distributed in various locations including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, Canada, India and the Philippines.

“We have briefed them on the advantages of locating their business here in the city such as the good peace and order condition and the availability of qualified potential workforce,” Pasa…

“Deal or no Deal?” DCCCII not keen on deciding PCCI issue yet

The Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Incorporated is not yet enthusiastic about reconsidering their decision to disaffiliate with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“I have not yet met the Board of Trustees of the Davao Chamber after I met with PCCI officials headed by president Donald Dee,” DCCCII president lawyer Bienvenido Cariaga told Mirror yesterday.

Dee, along with other PCCI officials met with Cariaga after Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte brokered a talk between the two parties. Duterte was hoping that they can patch things up after DCCCII declared its disaffiliation from PCCI last month.

PCCI Mindanao officials headed by newly installed Area Vice President Estrellita Juliano-Tamano earlier said they are inviting the DCCCII again to join and recognize the latter as the biggest chamber in Mindanao.

“We will welcome them with open arms; past is past and we have to move on and act for the betterment of Mindanao,” Tamano said. She also said the new PCCI Mind…

BIR Davao Region ups 3Q collection by P1B

The Bureau of Internal Revenue Region 19 has exceeded last year’s third quarter tax collection by 25.72 percent or roughly P1 billion.

“The Davao Region has collected a total of P5,074,024,665.28 billion from January to October this year,” BIR Collection Division Chief Norma Remorin told Mirror yesterday.

BIR Region 19 consists of Tagum, Davao City, Mati and Digos. However, Remorin said that Davao City accounts for 73 percent of the region’s total collection.

“This is a 25.72 percent or roughly P1 billion increase from the P4,025,812,295.31 billion collection during the same period last year,” she said.

Remorin said the regional office has exceeded their tax collection goal for the said period by P47 million. However, she added, we have a very high collection goal that the amount collected has only exceeded the goal by only 0.94 percent.

She said this is the result of a converted effort from the whole BIR Region. It is really the District Collection Office that’s in the battlefront but …
Davao got best deal with Schaefer-Duterte

The purchase of garbage bins by the city government of Davao may have raised a howl among councilors who found the price tag a bit too steep but Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said the city got the best deal from the seller.

"They are the expert in garbage equipment all over the world," Duterte said referring to SSI Schaefer Philippines, the company from which the 20 thousand garbage bins were earlier purchased.

SSI Schaefer is a German company which boasts of subsidiaries in twenty two countries. It has completed at least 800 projects all over the world and is ISO 9001 certified.

Duterte said Davao got a very good deal from Schaefer because their garbage bins have a lifespan of 15 years. The amount borrowed by the city to purchase the bins is payable for 8 years, he said, and Schaefer matched this with an eight0year warranty.

"This means that if the garbage bins are damaged or destroyed within that period then they will replace the bins,&q…

CAP gets respite after court approves rehabilitation

The College Assurance Plan can now focus on making the company stronger without fear of being dissolved after the Makati Regional Trial Court approve its application for rehabilitation.

CAP applied for rehabilitation September last year after it was flooded with claims from plan holders for the payment of its obligations as they fall due.

“At least the plan holders are assured of a court declaration that CAP has to pay its obligations although payment could not be expected to be made all at one time,” Securities and Exchange Commission Davao officer in charge Atty. Javey Paul Francisco told Mirror yesterday.

Francisco said he has not seen a copy of the decision of the rehabilitation court. However, he said that rehabilitation cases usually involve suspension of payments although it is suspended in the sense that the payment will be made at a specific schedule.

“I have not yet seen the court’s decision but if CAP will be ordered to pay its plan holders then the payment would not be made…

At least P1.5 million will be shelled out by the 150 participants of the three-day BIMP-Mindanao Ride for Peace which starts today.

At least P1.5 million will be shelled out by the 150 participants of the three-day BIMP-Mindanao Ride for Peace which starts today, November 16, 2006.

“We are going to ride through places in Mindanao that are not often visited by locals and tourists alike,” said biker Jimmy Gomez during a press conference with the bikers yesterday at the Marco Polo Hotel.

The event, which is now on its third year, aims to promote peace, tourism and investment in Mindanao by bringing riders from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines to travel around key points in Mindanao using their motorbikes.

“We are riding to promote peace in Mindanao but this is not to say that there is no peace in Mindanao,” Gomez said. Rather, he added, we are telling Asia that there is peace here and that it is one of the best places in Asia to travel by motorcycle.

Riders all the way from Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia have shelled out $8,000 or roughly P40 thousand for the shipment of one container containing ten motorb…

price of dressed chicken to go up by 10% this December

Dressed chicken to cost P100 by Xmas-Makro

No less than the wholesale store selling tons of chicken per month has fearlessly predicted that the price of dressed chicken will rise by at least ten percent during the Christmas season.

“Chicken price will shot up by December to about 10 percent,” Makro Davao store manager Girlie Valenzuela said yesterday during the Club 888 Forum held at the Marco Polo Hotel.

However, she promised that Makro Davao will never hit the three digits meaning the price of a kilo chicken of chicken from their store will definitely be below P100.

Valenzuela said Makro Davao is a runaway winner among all the other Makro stores in terms of the volume of sales of dressed chicken. Makro Davao bested all the estimated 74 Makro stores in Asia with a sales volume of 50 tons of dressed chicken every month or an annual volume of 600 tons.

Makro is present in five Asian countries, employs more than 7,500 people and boasts of an annual turnover of more than US$2 billion. It is p…