Thursday, November 30, 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 Taekwondo for their pre-school and grade school students. However, he has been practicing Taekwondo albeit informally and playfully since he was five years old.

“Ay di ko nga sana payagan yan na pasalihin sa tournament kasi natatakot ako (I would not have allowed him to join the tournament as I was scared),” his mom Joy Ancheta said. However, when they decided to join the tournament, his mom Joy and Tita Flor were very supportive of him, and were always with him during practice which sometimes ended late at around eight in the evening.

I have always thought of him as a sumo wrestler since his father was Japanese. But joking aside, he became interested in Taekwondo, a hard martial art which originated in Korea. But I was not wrong at all since Taekwondo is in fact a combination of Japanese, Chinese and Korean styles of fighting. The word “Tae” to strike with the foot” while “kwon” means to strike with the hand. Thus, a Taejwondo jin should have fast hands and feet as well.

This tournament may be James Paolo’s first, and his gold medal, his very first. But definitely, it will never be his last tournament and gold medal.(lovely a. carillo)

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 has not really taken off because of the lack of direct flights between Davao and Korea.

The launch of the Philippine Airlines flight between Seoul, Korea and Manila with connecting flights to Davao City on December 16 this year will bring in the Korean tourists to the city’s golf clubs.

The Seoul-Manila (connecting Davao) flights is on its trial run and will be serviced by PAL’s Airbus 320.

A charter flight courtesy of Air Macau will also service the Macau-Seoul-Davao destination. The charter flight will start on January 3, 2007.(lovely a. carillo)

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 thousand dollars.

Ubial said she is not aware of kidney business transactions in the city because what they are able to monitor are the linked donations or kidney donations that were recruited by the patient himself or his relatives.

Unlinked kidney donation means the donor was not recruited but the kidney came from cadavers of people who have been in vehicular accidents.

“We have monitored a total of thirty nine kidney transplant operations done at the Davao Regional Hospital,” she said. However, she said, they do not have control over the donations because it is between the patient and the donor.

Ubial said paid kidney “donation” is unsafe for so many reasons. She said paid kidney “donations” focuses more on the commercial value of the donation instead of focusing on the value of saving lives.(lovely a. carillo)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

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 be scheduled for hearing.

“It is now up to the Board to rule on the fare reduction petition; it is out of our hands,” he said.

Bautista already made a pronouncement on the possibility of a fare reduction before she was promoted but the change in the leadership of the Board has resulted to a delay on the decision to approve the fare reduction.

Dabawenyos have been clamoring for a fare reduction due to the successive reduction in oil prices. The price of oil has been reduced at least five times in the last three months.(lovely a. carillo)

Monday, November 27, 2006

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 the LTO law enforcers to look into the permits of the insurance agencies concerned.

He said they are still verifying if the insurance agencies have the certificate of accreditation issued by the Insurance Commission. They are also inspecting the business permits of the insurance agencies and will double check the records with the Business Bureau.

Dy said there is no connection between LTO XI and the insurance agencies outside their office and the vehicle owners can choose their own insurance agencies.

“Ang palaging nabibiktima ng mga bogus na insurance agencies yung mga from out of the city who want to register their vehicles pero wala pang insurance,” he said. What they do, he added, is to get insurance from any of the agents outside since they are more accessible.(lovely a. carillo)

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 Baker won a Bronze this time. Baker, 8 years old and with only one year training, was earlier bested by a 9-year old opponent who had four years training in Taekwondo.

The other bronze medalists are Eman Dignadice, Prince Muñez and Diane Nepomuceno.(lovely a. carillo)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

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.

However, he said, the joint venture contract will provide that the farmers could not sell the tuba-tuba seeds to other buyers except the multinational companies who financed the venture.

Sangutan, who has patented a way to process crude oil from tuba-tuba into diesel, said “ngano magsugot man ta nga dal’on sa gawas ang tuba-tuba seeds na pwede himoon ug diesel samantalang pwede man nato na pakinabangan diri (why should we allow foreigners to bring our tuba-tuba seeds outside when we can process it here and create our very own diesel).”

A kilo of tuba-tuba seeds, which generally sells for P6.50, can produce 350 milliliter of crude oil. He said three kilos of tuba-tuba can produce one liter of oil. The costs can go down when it is processed on a large-scale basis, he added.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has earlier ordered the military and local government units to convert idle lands into tuba-tuba plantations. The Department of Energy said the country needs to have 100 to 200 hectares planted to tuba-tuba to start the production of jatropha diesel.(lovely a. carillo)

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 reloading their farms now in preparation for a projected demand during the Christmas season,” he said. Barring all disasters, he added, the region can look at a steady supply of chicken during the holidays.

Christmas 2005 was very good for the consumers, he said, because the price of chicken was very low at P80 per kilo. The expected price of chicken last December was supposed to reach P100 to P105 per kilo but the stable supply pushed the prices down.(lovely a. carillo)

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 economic abuse were reported to be around 49.37% from July 1 to August 31 this year.

The other reported abuses against women and children include abandonment, child abuse, marital infidelity, physical abuse, rape, sexual abuse, bigamy, concubinage, sexual harassment and threat.(lovely a. carillo)

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 million.

“A single fish cage is capital intensive with a 20 meter by 20 meter fish cage amounting to almost a million peso worth of investments,” Gales said. However, an investor can have a return of his investment after two harvests with a single harvest possible after three to four months.

Gales said the fish cages at the Mariculture Park is quite different from the common fishpond because fishponds are dug beside shorelines to allow partly salty water to come in and mix with fresh water to create brackish water.

The fish cages in the Park, he said, are cages that are floating in the sea. It is also different from Laguna de Bay’s fish pens since they cage the water there from surface to the bottom.

“The fish cages in Samal’s Mariculture Park are environmentally friendly because it is floating,” he said. The excess feeds that are not eaten by the fish inside the cages are eaten by other fishes like Talakitok, thereby encouraging small and large fish to congregate in the area, Gales added.

A single 20 meter by 20 meter fish cage yields twenty seven tons of fish per season or roughly 27 thousand kilos of fish every harvest.(lovely a. carillo)

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 Region and in Manila for the Luzon area.

The closure of all private blood centers in the country is one of the provisions of a 1997 law establishing the National Blood Supply System in the Philippines. The legality of the said was questioned in court and its implementation postponed due to a Temporary Restraining Order. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that the said law is valid.

“The provision on the closure of private blood center seeks to ensure the safety of the country’s blood supply,” Rosell-Ubial said. It also seeks to promote risk pooling whereby the government can balance the demand and supply of blood in the whole country.

“Some areas in the region have more blood supply than demand; an example is Davao del Norte which has more blood supply but a minimal need compared to the demand in Davao City,” she said.

Three private blood centers in Southern Mindanao will be affected by the closure. Two of them are in Davao City while the other one is in Davao del Norte.

She said the people should not worry because the Philippine National Red Cross can assure them of a regular and cheaper blood supply. “We don’t have to fear exorbitant prices if the blood supply is handled by the government unlike the private sector which operates for a profit,” she added.(lovely a. carillo)

Friday, November 24, 2006

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 is not yet available commercially, he said but PCA is trying to market it to encourage children and adults as well to patronize the drink. Orillaneda said they are not putting down the soda companies but SAPdrink is really a better alternative because it is very nutritious.

He said carbonated drinks have been known for causing increased blood sugar and UTI infection among children and adults. By patronizing this drink, he added, we are encouraging our people to be healthy at a cheaper price.

The tuba used for the processing of SAPdrink comes from hybrid coconut and not the ordinary coconut. Orillaneda said they have been distributing hybrid coconut seeds to farmers so they can replace their old coconut trees.

“Almost 100 percent of the new coconut plants in Southern Mindanao are already hybrid coconuts,” he said. However, he admitted that there are old folks who do not want to change the coconut variety they are planting.

Almost 16 thousand hectares all over Southern Mindanao are already planted to hybrid coconut and we expect the number of hectares planted to hybrid coconut to grow more, he said. (lovely a. carillo)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

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 exempted from this fault!

But come to think of it, I told him. It is easy to say it's a bad ad because it does portray a bad side of the Filipinos. But what if we take it positively and say that it is really good to be jealous of the success of our neighbors--sometimes. Especially if this jealousy pushes us to do more and to achieve more to be at par with the neighbor. Of course, uncontrolled yearning for material things without the cpaability of earning more can be disastrous because it can only lead one to DEBTS!!! But what if you use all your talent to find more work to earn more and to make life better for the family?

Some people become so content and complacent with what they have that they remain poor forever. Is it bad to yearn for things that can make your life better?

Well, that Meralco ad is not so bad after all.

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 done through teleconferencing,” she said.

About 45 percent of those pre-screened passed the final interview and were given job offers in Davao and Manila call centers while the rest were placed in the manpower pool for future accounts.

Bian said their partner call centers in Manila and Davao were very much impressed with the level of communication skills of the JIB e-Academy graduates. “Our Gen San graduates are hard working, committed and possess positive work values, which is one of the more important metrics that the BPO industry is requiring from their workers,” she said.

The employment statistics of the first batch of graduates from the GSC branch is already a good bench mark for a start. With this performance, she added, there is no doubt that Gen San is already prepared to accept investors in the Call Center Sector.

JIB e-Academy is the first in Mindanao to offer seminars and customized programs in English proficiency and training in the contact center industry. It is equipped with the most modern facilities and state of the art technology for effective learning.

Bian said it is also the only school in Mindanao that has for its partner, its own sister company, the Six Eleven Global Services, a 100% Filipino owned international call center operating in Davao City. Through Six Eleven Global Services, graduates are given access to employment provided they pass the standards.(lovely a. carillo)

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 is expected to generate more excitement with the commencement of Air Macau’s charter flight from Seoul to Davao but flying in to Macau first on January 3, 2007.(lovely a. carillo)

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 Philippine Ad Congress is known for gathering a great number of participants. There were at least six thousand participants during the 2001 Ad Congress in Cebu and the number is growing every year.(lovely a. carillo)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

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 there he was, handcuffed to the grills and looking like he was ready to pass out while the "AMO" he so loyally served for years was humanly treated by the CIDG.

Moral of the story: If you are rich then go ahead commit any crime you want; anyway, you will still be treated humanely even if you get caught. But if you are poor, BEWARE! Justice is not for you!

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 it is coming from should undergo laboratory testing to make sure these are safe for human consumption,” he said.

He said the agencies involved should be more proactive in making sure that the various stores selling shellfish in the city bought their supplies from the accredited supplier only.

While the ordinance is considered strong, he said, he admitted that there is as yet no mechanism to make sure that all the entry and exit points in the city are monitored for shellfish supplies that are coming in.

“This is the job of the agencies involved so they should be more proactive in implementing the ordinance and making sure that only shellfish that have undergone laboratory testing are sold in the city,” he said.

Laviña said shellfish traders who are caught selling shellfish sourced from non-accredited suppliers can be penalized by paying a fine of from one to three thousand pesos. This is not to mention the possible criminal case that would be filed against them by the possible victims, he added.

He also urged consumers to be more vigilant and to ask the stores where the shellfish they are selling came from. The consumers can even ask the sellers to show them the purchase receipt to make sure the shellfish came from the accredited source.

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,” Pasawa said.

If plans pushes through, he said, Sutherland Global Services is looking at the possibility of establishing an office with an initial 500 seats. More than 70 percent of Sutherland’s clients belong to the Fortune 500 companies in the areas of retail, financial services and information technology.

The city is becoming a favorite location for top BPO companies. GCom is already operating 250 seats with a view to increasing this to 450 seats later on. Another company, Link to Support, will start operating next month. It will start with 200 seats but with a projection of 2000 seats later on.
Big BPO companies are those with capitals of over P150 million. Pasawa said there is still a great demand for BPO workers in the city not just in the areas of call center operations but also in support services.

Friday, November 17, 2006

“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 Mindanao officers are ready to work to unite a fragmented Mindanao business group.

Cariaga however said Tamano’s group has not made any attempt to talk to them or contact them before or even after they had the press conference in the city last Wednesday.

“It’s good that they want us to affiliate with them again but I was just wondering why they did not call on us while they were in Davao if they really wanted to reconcile,” he said.

Cariaga said it is still too soon to call a Board Meeting and discuss the reconciliation offer made by PCCI considering what happened between the two chambers.

It seems that no deal has yet been resolved between the two chambers as the DCCCII still claims that PCCI failed to conduct a consultation while the latter still claims they have done everything possible to conduct a consultation.

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 everyone is really working hard to make the grade, she added.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

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," he said.

He said the garbage bins are also reasonably priced at P6,000 each compared to a local company selling garbage bins at a higher price and without warranty.

Dabawenyos can also expect an increase in the number of the city's garbage bins with the council approval of Supplemental Budget 3 which includes the P120 million budget for the city's solid waste management and collection system.

"Kani pang mga taga Davao nga gusto taga atbang sa ilang balay naa'y basurahan," Duterte said. The new garbage bins which will still be up for bidding will consist of 6,084 pieces of 240-liter garbage bins, 2,240 pieces of 360-liter garbage bins and 1,260 pieces of 660-liter garbage bins.(lovely a. carillo)

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 all at one time because if that happens then the company would no longer have assets to rehabilitate itself,” he said.

A company which is under rehabilitation and which is ordered to pay all its creditors all at one time will no longer have the capability to rehabilitate itself but will face liquidation already, he added.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

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 motorbikes. The almost 23 foreign riders would have spent an estimated more than P8 thousand for the shipment of their motorbikes from Sandakan, Malaysia to Zamboanga which is their entry point.

“Each rider will spend at least P10,000 for the whole three-day travel from Davao to Zamboanga,” said Eduardo Tombo, event chair. He said the group had minimal sponsorship which helped them with some miscellaneous expenses, he added.

The bikers are expected to travel 1,700 kilometers of land from Davao to Zamboanga, with overnight stays in Cotabato City, Dapitan and Iligan before proceeding to Zamboanga City. The Philippine bikers will then travel the whole 1,700 kilometers back to Davao after they send off their foreign counterparts in the Zamboanga port.

The bikers will be passing by Datu Paglas, Camp Abubakar, Malabang, Ipil, Pagadian and some other areas that no Mindanaoan would brave traveling even by car during the early days of Mindanao as a war-torn area.

Tombo said the Philippine bikers will return the favor by joining the foreign riders in Pontianak during the Big bike Festival in Borneo in May next year.
The BIMP-Mindanao Ride for Peace will be highlighted by the donation of a multi-purpose building at Camp Abubakar in Maguindanao.

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 present in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and China.

“We started the year with our chicken costing P84 per kilo and now we are selling chicken at P89 to P90 per kilo,” she said. A ten percent increase in the price of chicken will mean Dabawenyos will have to pay P10 more or equivalent to P100 for the price of a kilo of chicken.

Makro has three main chicken suppliers including Bounty, Purefoods and San Miguel Corporation.

“Makro Davao will never run out of chicken supply,” she said, despite predictions of high demand for that food commodity during Christmas season. She added theya re safekeeping 60 tons of chicken for December but is confident that their supply can reach as much as a hundred tons by next month.

Sending money through rural banks now cheaper with blockchain

Sending money anywhere in the Philippines is now a lot easier thanks to the various money remittance centers like Palawan Express, Cebuana ...