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Showing posts from July, 2009

RP’s drug problem down by 75%, says Drugs Board Chair

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The country’s drug abuse problem has decreased by almost 75% from the 6 million level in 2004 to only 1.7 million level in 2009.

“We have been very successful in our fight against drug abuse in the last five years,” Dangerous Drugs Board chairperson Sec. Vicente Sotto III said today during the nationwide seminar-workshop on Republic Act 9165 being held in Davao City from July 28 to 30.

RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 aims to provide more teeth to the government’s fight against illegal drug traffic and addiction by providing stiffer penalties for illegal drug use and pushing.

Proof of this success, Sotto said, is the latest research conducted by the Philippine Normal University and the Department along with the Department of Interior and Local Government. The result of the 2009 study, which was compared to the 2004 study, showed a positive effect in the government’s program versus drug abuse.

“The research show that the number of drug abusers has decreased form 6 m…

MBC Chair gives PGMA an 8.5 rating

Mindanao’s business sector has given President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo a high passing rate if only for her contribution to the development of Mindanao’s infrastructure.

“If we are to rate her for her performance for the past nine years I would give her an 8 or an 8.5,” Mindanao Business Council chairperson Vicente Lao said yesterday even before the President could deliver her State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Lao said the President has been performing quite well in the areas of infrastructure, economy and human capital development.

“We never had a president who has very pronounced policies on human capital development and who has focused so much in solving the infrastructure problems of Mindanao,” he said.

Arroyo, he said, has given specific instructions that all infrastructure projects in Mindanao be completed before her term ends. Economy-wise, he added, Arroyo has also performed well considering that her administration has been unlucky with the global economic crisis.

Lao cited Arroyo…

Hiyas ng Kadayawan search requires cultural skills for candidates

The 2009 Search for Hiyas ng Kadayawan is expected to be more challenging for the candidates as they will need to exhibit more knowledge and skills about the culture they are representing.

“The Search for Hiyas ng Kadayawan 2009 will be more challenging because the candidates will be required to demonstrate a skill akin to the culture they are representing like playing the kulintang, agong and other musical instruments live on stage,” councillor Myrna Dalodo-Ortiz, chair of the Kadayawan Lumadnong Kasaulogan or Indigenous Peoples Festival.

She said the Kadayawan is no longer just a beauty search but it has become a more significant display of the culture of the ten tribes representing Davao City. Among the ten focus tribes during the Kadayawan celebration are the Ata, Diangan, Obo Manobo, Matigsalog and Tagabawa for the Lumads and then the Muslim, Maranaw, Kalagan, Sama, Tausug and Maguindanao for the Muslims.

“The Hiyas ng Kadayawan contestants are required to be 50% Lumad or Muslim, de…

Red Ribbon opens newest store at NCCC Mall Davao

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The Red Ribbon franchise of Wilson Bangayan opened up its newest branch at NCCC Mall davao yesterday.

It was Bangayan who simultaneously put up Red Ribbon stalls/booth at Victoria Plaza, Gaisano Mall and NCCC Davao a few years ago. This is however the first full Red Ribbon food store under the Jollibee Group which recently acquired the food company.

"You are assured that our products are always fresh from the Red Ribbon commissary here in Davao," Red Ribbon VisMin Operations Head Michelle Leslie Llanos said.

Red Ribbon also has a full food store at SM City Davao. The NCCC Davao Mall food store will be opened to the public starting today so go try their newest cake concoctions as well as meals.

Vice Mator Sara Duterte, who was present during yesterday's event, said this is a siginificant contribution to Davao City's economy which is private-sector led. She encouraged consumers to start tasting Red Ribbon's products.

Nullification of DCWD’s water permit can result to water rate increase

The nullification by the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) of the Davao City Water District (DCWD) water permit is seen as disadvantageous for Dabawenyos as it can result to water rate increases in the future.

NWRB has declared null and void the water permit it issued in 2007 to DCWD which surprised the water company’s officials when they received the decision last July 15, since it was not the issue of the protest they lodged with NWRB.

“We were surprised because we were protesting the use by Hedcor Corporation of the Tamugan River where DCWD has an existing permit,” DCWD manager Rodora Gamboa said. Instead, she added, we received NWRB’s decision not only dismissing our protest but also nullifying our water permit.

The 12-page decision of the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) dismissing its protest against the water permit application of Hedcor Corporation on the Tamugan River has placed in danger one of the sources of clean water for the Dabawenyos, Gamboa said.

“While we are ex…

SM workers get non-wage benefits

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Wage earners in Southern Mindanao are set to get non-wage benefits under the Department of Labor and Employment XI’s Presyo Diskwento: Basket of Goods Project for Wage Earners.

The project was launched in Region XI yesterday, July 20, with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board X and the 20 participating employers who have agreed to extend the non-profit initiative to their employees through a corporate selling scheme.

“The Basket of Goods Project will allow workers to avail of basic and prime commodities at discounted prices,” DOLE XI regional director and RTWPB XI Bard Chair Jalilo O. Dela Torre said. The discount will be on top of the existing and prevailing discounts being offered by the retail stores, he added.

And since the prices of the products are way below the standard retail prices or SRP of the retail stores, he said, the project will not only augment the family income but will also allow enterprising workers to …

Davao to become Paris of the Philippines

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Davao City may be a small part of a struggling third world country but it has all the ingredients of becoming Paris of the Philippines.

“We artists are faced with the challenge of making Davao City Paris of the Philippines,” painter Victor Secuya said during yesterday’s Kapihan sa Davao held at the Rysus Café, SM City.

Secuya said he has just come back from Tokyo, Japan “where everything is so urbanized and all roads are smooth as silk.” He said it is the same thing in Canada where every building has a sculpture and everything is clean.

When he came back to Davao, he said, what welcomed him were the wires all over the electric posts and everything chaotic unimaginable in a first world city. “Davao has a lot of potentials but not in the level of the first world,” he said.

However, he said, the burden of exploring Davao City’s potential and making it the center of art in the country lies in the shoulders of the local artists.

“It is our responsibility to move Davao’s art scene because if we …

“There will be elections in 2010”-GMA

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“There will be elections in 2010”. This was the statement reiterated twice by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on two different occasions during her visit to Davao City today.

Arroyo returned to the Philippines via Davao City yesterday straight from her attendance in the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) Leaders Summit in Egypt.

“In no uncertain terms, there will be elections in 2010 and those who question this is undermining our nation’s commitment to a vibrant democracy,’ Arroyo said during the Regional Media Interview held at the Insular Hotel.

The President uttered exactly the same statement when she addressed the almost 175 municipal mayors and other officials from Regions 11, 12 and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao attending the Interconnectivity Caravan at the same venue. The caravan aims to encourage the participation of the local government units in the government’s program to combat climate change.

Arroyo did not only emphasize that the election will push through as scheduled …

Organizers confident in raising P15M Kadayawan budget despite econ. crisis

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The organizers of this year’s Kadayawan sa Dabao are confident they can raise the P15 million budget a month before the celebration despite the economic crisis and other challenges.

The seven-day Kadayawan may be the grandest festival in the city but the city government allocates only P700,000 for the event. Majority of the expenses will be raised by the private sector.

“We have a lot of work to do but we are confident we can raise that much given the economic condition,” Kadayawan Festival private sector committee chair Jun Te said.

Te said a lot of big companies are interested to invest in the festival including the Lucio Tan Group of Companies.

He said they are set to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with big sponsors who have confirmed their participation in the event. Te added that the telecommunication companies want to invest in the Kadayawan but “they want it in kind so they can also promote their products at a lower cost even during the recession.”

City Mayor Chief of Staff Patricia…

Davao is most-prepared city to counter anti-terrorism

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Task Force Davao said Dabawenyos should remain calm even as they assured residents that Davao City is the most prepared city when it comes to countering terrorist attacks.

“Davao may be at a heightened alert but it is the most prepared city for countering terrorism attacks,” Task Force Davao commanding officer Oscar Lactao said yesterday. The city has been placed under security level 3 which means there is a heightened threat as opposed to level 1 for no threat, level 2 for moderate threat and level 4 for very high threat levels.

Lactao however said the city may be on a heightened alert status but “there is no specific and no imminent threat to the city.” There is thus no reason for Dabawenyos to worry despite the successive bombing incidents in Jolo, Iligan and Cotabato.

He said all the systems are in place to protect the security of the city and its residents. They have just completed “Oplan Laban sa Terorismo”, a document which lists down the roles of the various concerned agencies i…

SOCO confirms human remains in firing range; CHR probe hampered by lack of warrant

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The Commission on Human Rights-led Task Force probing the alleged dumping ground of bodies of summary killings in Davao City has found human skeletal remains but its probe has been hampered by the delay in the issuance of a search warrant from the local court.

This was revealed by CHR Chairperson Leila M. De Lima in a statement dated July 7, 2009.

The original search warrant being held by the Task Force has been issued by The Regional Trial Court Branch 34 of Manila. While the warrant authorized them to search a burial site within the Gold Cup Firing Range owned by retired policeman Bienvenido Laud, it did not however include a man-made pit in a creek where they found a human leg bone.

“The team immediately endeavoured to apply for a new search warrant at the RTC-Davao City; the application was however passed from one judge up to the fourth who appeared to reluctantly conduct the summary proceedings,” the statement said. It added that the presiding judge made a very discouraging comment …

Victims Of Davao Summary Killings Unearthed At Laud Shooting Range

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The Commission on Human Rights has unearthed dead bodies, said to be victims of summary executions right at the Laud Shooting Range in Maa, Davao City. Team member Atty. Eduardo Villena said a team under the CIDG is in charge of digging the area so they could not give any details yet as it is on-going.

Barangay Maa secretary Edgar Jose Balasa said he is not aware of anything going on in the area and all he knows it that it is a firing range owned by retired police Bienvenido Laud who is the younger brother of Maa Barangay Captain Loreto Laud, Jr.

In a letter addressed to the CHR authorities, landowner Bienvenido Laud, Jr. said he has authorized his lawyers Atty. Juan R. Zamora and Atty. Victorio Advincula to "negotiate and have a dialogue with the CHR" in connection with the search warrant issued against him.

"I never allowed nor consented to the implementation of the said search warrant," Laud said. Villena however said there is no need to get the consent of an indi…

P5M virtual library to boost Davao Region’s investment, tourism Opportunities

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The pearly white beaches in Mati, the unexplored islands in Kopiat, Davao del Norte and the exotic wonders held by the pristine clean waters of Samal Island will soon be within your fingers’ reach.

Investors and tourists looking for information about the Davao Region no longer have to go to the specific cities and provinces they want to know about to get that information. With the virtual library, they only need to access the Internet right at the privacy of their homes or offices.

The Davao Region Geographic Information Network or DR-GIN, is a P5 million project that aims to aims to strengthen the presence of the Davao Region online. The long name aside it is actually a virtual library that aims to promote local and regional development through information sharing.

“It is expected to facilitate the promotion of the region’s localities for trade, investment and tourism and cater to the needs of the private sector for business planning and research,” DR-GIN chairperson and National Econom…

FEATURES: Mindanao Trade Expo Bounces Back, Aims For Peace In Mindanao

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The war-stricken areas of Mindanao may be a long way from the air conditioned rooms of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas but the Mindanao Trade Expo has bounced back to continue its mission of encouraging peace in the island by making sure Mindanao’s tri-people are holding fibers to create works of arts instead of guns.

“Mas mabuti nang materyales and hawak nila kesa baril that’s why we are reaching out to Mindanao’s tri-people especially the Indigenous People by trying to give them livelihood projects,” Mindanao Trade Expo Foundation, Inc. (MTE) founder and president Ann T. Pamintuan said. “

MTE has been known for bringing to fore the various indigenous products made in Mindanao including Pamintuan’s gold clad wires and other materials from Gilded Expression, the exotic fibers produced by Katakus or the innovative hand-woven products of Crystal Seas.

However, there is more to MTE than what meets the eye of the demanding buyers and the connoisseur. Foremost is the Foundation’s vision of m…