Friday, August 29, 2008

Ateneo-Anvil Book Fair To Generate Funds For Sick Children At DMC

The book fair which is being held at the Ateneo de Davao Grade School from August 26 to 29 not only highlights the celebration of the Buwan ng Wika but is also aimed at raising funds for sick children hospitalized at the Davao Medical Center.

"This is the first time we are holding a book fair as part of the Buwan ng Wika and also the first time that we have chosen Kythe Child Life Program as our beneficiary," Ateneo Filipino area head Flordeliza Deloria told Datelinedavao.

Deloria said a percentage of the proceeds of the Book Fair, which features the Lola Basyang Series of Anvil Publishing will go to the Foundation. Dubbed as "Aklat Ko, Buhay Mo", the fund-raising program seeks to help all child patients at the DMC and not just those who have cancer.

Aside from the Book Fair, Anvil has also conducted Story Telling Activities for the Ateneo Pre-schoolers and grade school students.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Gensan Sari-Sari Stores Face Closure Due To NCCC Gensan's Retail Activities

General Santos City welcomes the entry of NCCC, a large retail store from Davao City. NCCC opened a wholesale center in Leon Llido Subdivision in Gensan just last year. Even the small sari-sari store owners welcomed the entry of NCCC's Wholesale Center since they have another option aside from KCC. However, such investment is proving to be detrimental to the small sari-sari store owners in the subdivision whose incomes are important for their daily subsistence because NCCC Gensan which is supposed to be a Wholesale Center, has started to retail its goods.

Store owners in the area said this is unfair competition because since they also buy their goods wholesale from NCCC, they no longer have a competitive advantage since NCCC's retail is much lower than their prices. Sari-sari stores usually get a few cents to a peso profit from their items. With NCCC selling retail to everyone, how can these small sari-sari stores compete?

NCCC is a well-known department store in Davao not only because it is homegrown but because of its owners kindness when treating their employees. It is in fact one, if not the only store in Davao City which stops all operations during 12 noon just for the 12 o'clock prayers and this shows the owner's religiosity.

I am wondering if the owners of NCCC are aware that their Gensan Branch is already into retail and that it is already killing the several sari-sari stores in the area? Unfair competition is one thing but coming from a Davao-based establishment makes it more unacceptable. Will the Gensan local government allow their residents and small investors to suffer and close shop despite the fact that they have invested their lives in Gensan when these big investors where nowhere to be found?

I just hope the local government of Gensan will do something about this and check the operations of NCCC Wholesale if it is really what it is supposed to be.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Davao Movies: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Most Dabawenyos will be spending their holidays (August 22-Friday and August 25-Monday are non-working holidays) outdoors due to the Kadayawan Festival so it is understandable that there's nothing much to see in the theaters expect extended flicks like Wall-E (which is a very good environmental movie that simplifies the effects of waste mismanagement and global warming to both kids and adults) and A Very Special Love.

However, there is a new movie showing so tag along your children to Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It is really much like the Star Wars movie version and focuses on the Galactic Republic conflict. See the Jedi Knights along with their clone army fight it out with Chancellor Palpatine's separatist movers. Not sure though if this is a cartoon version since the posters seem to be more like cartoon images rather than humans.

Movie schedules

Star Wars: War of the Clones
NCCC Mall Cinema 3
SM City Davao Cinema 1

Dobol Trobol
NCCC Mall Cinema 4
SM City Davao Cinema 2

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

RP's Biggest Gold Ring On Display At Museo Dabawenyo

The P1.5 million Solidarity Ring, the biggest gold ring in the Philippines, is now on display at the Museo Dabawenyo in time for the Kadayawan Festival celebration.

The ring was created thanks to gold donations from local officials, businessmen and miners from Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte.

While not as big as Saudi Arabia's Star of Taiba which is considered the biggest gold ring in the world, the Solidarity Ring has an exterior diameter of 6 inches and an interior diameter of 5 inches. This is an 18-karat ring made of 306 kilograms of 99.99% pure silver of diamond finish as well as 1.18 kilograms of gold.

Get a closer glimpse of the Solidarity Ring at the Museo Dabawenyo only until August 24. If you miss that, you can still see the ring at its regular exhibition area at the lobby of the Provincial Capitol in Barangay Cabidlanan in Compostela Valley.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Davao City's Non-Smoking Law A Farce?

Davao City joined the ranks of several European countries when the city government imposed a non-smoking rule on public areas and strictly regulated establishments with smoking areas. However, the hype created by the city's non-smoking regulation may just be a farce, with more establishments now allowing smoking in public without following the law to the letter.

The recent PLDT MyDSL affair and Kadayawan expo in Market! Market! in Damosa is a ase in point. A lot of people were smoking inside the tents unmindful of the presence of children inside and well, the existence of the no-smoking law. This happened within the "seeing" distance of various Philippine National Police officers. I even told one policeman "manong di ba bawal and smoking sa public places bakit yang mga taong yan di mo hinuhuli?" Smokers even abound inside the Market!Market especially the side near the parking area where there are restaurant stalls.

Another example of an establishment with very liberal smoking rules is Belly's Grill in Quirino. This is the place where the Sunday Riders usually hold their meetings but they usually disallow other customers in the open-air area when the Sunday Riders meet there. Belly's Grill is divided into two areas: the air conditioned area and the open air area where kids usually gather because it has a playground.

I asked the waitress why they allow customers to smoke there in the open-air area (but still with a roof) when there are plenty of kids around and with the non-smoking law in existence. She replied " sabi ng may ari pwede man daw mam!" One customer even had the gall to sit in one of slides where the kids are playing and smoke there. We told him to back off since there were plenty of kids there. Later on, the waiters started telling the smokers to just smoke near the grilling area.

Davao City's tennis courts are also not shielded from smokers. One example is the tennis court in SIR Matina where smokers smoke wantonly even with kids present and even when inside the club house. I caught one smoker and called 911 immediately. That was 9AM. I waited until 3PM but no 911 came. Sayang naman and budget nyo!

This is absurd. And Davao City's non-smoking ordinance is not just absurd, It is also a FARCE!

GRP-Business Forum On MILF MOA Pushes Through Today

August 18 may be a holiday but the Mindanao Business Council considers it a regular working day by sponsoring a whole day Dialogue between the business sector and the government of the Republic of the Philippines . The Dialogue will focus on the Memorandum of Agreement that would have been signed between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front just this month had the Supreme Court not issued a TRO.

The MOA which was based on the Tripoli Agreement on Peace of 2001 between the MILF and the Philippine government has become controversial not only because of the Ancestral Domain Aspect but because it placed additional Mindanao territories under the MILF management sans consultation from the local government units concerned. The economic and political liberties that would have been given to the MILF as a result of the MOA has also stirred majority of the Filipinos since it would in effect create a separate republic.

Among those who will attended today's forum are Government of the Philippine Negotiating Panel-MILF(GPNP-MILF) chairman Secretary Rodolfo C. Garcia, National Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro, Undersecretary Nabil Tan, Office of the Presidential Assistant of the Peace Process or OPAPP lawyer Jose Lorena, Mindanao Economic Development Council Chair Virgilio Leyterana, North Cotabato Vice Governor Manny Pinol, Sultan Kudarat Vice Governor Donato Ligo as well as officials of other local governments in Mindanao.

The various business sector representatives from the Chambers of Iligan City, Cagayan de Oro City, Kidapawan City, Zamboanga Sibugay, Cotabato City and Midsayap will also be present during the Dialogue. Also expected to be present are Department of Agriculture Director Roger Chiu, Department of Agriculture Director Ricardo Calderon, Department of Trade and Industry Director Marizon Loreto, and Department of Justice's Atty. Antonio Arellano.

PLDT MyDSL Sponsors Drifting In Time For Kadayawan

PLDT MyDSL did it again! Conquer the hearts of Davao City's racing fans by sponsoring a Drifting exhibition at the Market!Market Complex in Damosa this City last Sunday, August 16, 2008 as part or the Kadayawan celebration.

The same drifting exhibition was held in the city at almost the same time last year and it also featured Nancy Castiliogne as celebrity guest. This year's drifting exhibit was however more exciting as it was attended by more people and it also caught the attention of celebrity writers from Manila like Dolly Ann Carvajal.

Racing events are a rarity in the city especially with the dismantling of the Speed City to pave the way for high rise condos. While the exhibition was sponsored by PLDT MyDSL, the event was not however exclusive to Smart since Globe and TM were also spotted selling and promoting their stuff just adjacent to the exhibition area.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

P70M Watts Call Center Opens At NCCC Mall Today

A 250-work station call center located at the 4th floor of NCCC Mall in Matina opens in Davao City today. This is the largest mall-based call center in the city with a capitalization of P60 to P70 million.

Derek Rice, Facility Director of Western Watts, said they will start its operations with only 250 seats but looks to open another 400 seats for the second phase of the project bringing the total to 650 seats by August next year. Western Watts is considered one of the largest data collection companies in the United States with expertise in market research.

Western Watts is one of the pioneering BPOs in Cebu but the company's operations there experienced some problems leading to a massive layoffs in December last year.

Unlike most call centers in the city which is experiencing a fast turn over of agents due to the work schedule and pressure of selling, Western Watts call center agents are expected to stay on because they only have one shift and that is from 4:30AM to 11:30 AM. No selling for these agents, only cold calling for market research.

Rice said they are eyeing an expansion by next year and when the facilities and the staff are ready then they might add additional shifts for calling UK and US companies.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Seamen's Hospital Opens in Davao City

The first hospital specifically geared towards seafaring clients opened in Davao City along R. Castillo Avenue, Agdao District yesterday. The GIG OCA ROBLES Seamen’s Hospital will cater to the medical and hospitalization requirements of seamen from Davao City and from Mindanao as well as their families.

"Davao and Mindanao seafarers as well as their families can avail of tooth extraction and major operations for from the hospital," councilor Pilar Braga told Datelinedavao. Braga said the hospital came to life through the efforts of Captain Gregorio S. Oca. It is being managed by Dr. Richard John Pecson.

Braga said "the Seamen’s Hospital could serve as an inspiration and as a model for other organizations and even government in mobilizing resources to achieve a noble project."

SC Issues TRO On Questionable MILF-GOP MOA

The signing today of the questionable Memorandum of Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front was stopped albeit temporarily after the Supreme Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order as petitioned by various Mindanao government officials like Governor Sacdalan of Cotabato.

An en banc session of the SC yesterday ordered the hearing of the oral arguments of the petitioners on August 15. It also ordered the Solicitor General to submit a copy of the MOA to the SC by August 8.

Aside from the inclusion of additional Mindanao areas in the autonomous region, the the MOA would have given the MILF immense power and control over the covered areas' banking, legal system, civil service and even the internal security force. The agreement may have been the government's way of solving the peace crisis in some parts of Mindanao but there are Mindanao officials who believe this is a sell-out.

MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu said this was a setback in the peace process but Malacanang press secretary Jesus Dureza said they submit to the court's discretion.

PGMA's SONA Bloopers

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's announcement that cell phone companies will lower SMS charges to P0.50 was a blooper after all. Apparently, the telecom firms had no plans of lowering their charges on a regualr basis but this was part fo their promotion which would last for three months.

Either PGMA was plainly stupid enough to think that Filipinos are stupid to take her words hook, line and sinker or she was given false information by her staff. In journalist lingo--nakuryente! Head should roll....

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 ...