Monday, July 29, 2013

Innovators urged to join 2nd Startup Davao

Dabawenyos who have innovative ideas that can make life better are encouraged to join the 2nd Startup Weekend slated at Ingenuity, Centron Building, Quirino Avenue in Davao City on August 9 to 11, 2013.

“If you have innovative projects no matter how crazy they are and even if you do not have technical knowledge then you should join the Startup Weekend,” event head organizer Dulce Rose Lada said. People from all walks of life should join the Startup because even if they do not know how to make the web or mobile applications, they can team up with other IT professionals to push for their projects, she added.

Startup Weekend is a movement of entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of discovering startups and launching them into successful ventures.

Lada said the last time they had the Startup, a nurse who was fed up with the system of getting numbers  and waiting in line for such number to be called became part of a Startup Project which created an App which sent a message to the person next in line in the queue. So instead of that person lining up to wait for his or her number to be called, we now have the practical App, she added.

She said that subject to the payment of a minimal registration fee, everyone can join the Startup weekend including businessmen, web designers, software developers, product managers and all those interested to make a pitch for their ideas.

“The entrepreneur mentors will share their time and expertise to aspiring entrepreneurs to help their Startups success,” Lada said. The mentors, she added, will act as coaches who will help the teams design and carry out effective experiments, analyze the data they collect and guide them to come up with a solid startup.

Among the mentors of the 2nd Startup Weekend are Christopher John Cubos- founder and CEO of Philippine Global Outsourcing, June Millan- CTO of Ingenuity Technology Consulting,Eliza Magno-President of Illumedia, Tina Amper-World Startup Report Global Organizer, David founder, Pia Angeli Bernal-Social Enterprise Investment at Kickstart Ventures Manager and Ray Rubio-CubePixels CEO.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mixed reactions in Davao for Pnoy’s SONA

The State of the Nation Address (SoNA) of President Benigno S. Aquino III got mixed reactions from the Dabawenyos but these reactions were generally favorable to the President.

I like the SONA. Its straight forward and at least this time the President discussed the accomplishments of the administration,”  Al Qalam Institute of Ateneo de Davao University director Mussolini Sinsuat Lidasan said.

Lidasan said the whole speech talks about social transformation. “How we must mature as a nation,” he added.

Glan municipal councilor Atty. Cyril John Gido Yap said Aquino’s SoNA was just like all the other SoNAs. “Fair lang its always been rhetorics sa SoNA,” he said.

On the other hand, Davao city councilor Danilo Dayanghirang, who is chair of the council committee on Finance, Ways and Means and Appropriation, said the President’s speech was so far okay.

“So far the President’s has specific example on his campaign against corruption such as the syjuco and pagcor case,” he said.

The President slammed former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Augusto "Boboy" Syjuco Jr. for the disbursement irregularities during his stint at TESDA. Aquino specifically mentioned several overpriced items as cited by the Commission on Audit including a P14-incubator jar which was priced at P15,375 and a P120-dough cutter which was priced at P48,507.

Dayanghirang however said “what is lacking was the policy direction on how to curb the increase of prices on commodities., fuel, water etc and the salary adjustment for the labor sector.”

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pnoy's 4th State of the Nation Address: SONA or SANA?

The country will be at a standstill for most of the day as the people wait for the 4th State of the Nation Address (SoNA) of President Benigno S. Aquino III at around 3:30 today.

Pnoy's past SONAs have been well-applauded primarily for his choice of the Filipino language. However, the past SoNAs have been much criticized because he always found a way to blame the past administration for how the government worked.

With Pnoy halfway towards his Presidency, it is time he stands up for all the faults and successes of his administration. No more finger-pointing this time Mr. President!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Malu Barry back in Davao concert scene after 19 years

Homegrown talent Malu Barry is set to perform at the Nobi Alfresco Bar at Quimpo Boulevard in Davao City tonight, July 20, 2013. This will be the first time in 19 years for Barry. The lounge act "A Song for You" will be directed by Norie Sayo, with special guests "The Don".

Barry became popular in Manila's entertainment world in the early 1990s because of her husky voice which is reminiscent of the world-famous singer Karen Carpenter. She has also appeared in several films including The Untold Story: Bizconde Massacre, Anabelle Huggins Story and Laro sa Baga among others.

Davao to install 130 more CCTV’s worth P100M in time for Kadayawan

Davao City is set to install additional 130 close circuit television (CCTVs) worth P100 million in its bid to reach its goal of up to 300 CCTVs all over the city in the future.

“The cameras which will be designed by IBM will be installed for protection and traffic management,” Public Safety and Security Command Center Chief, Retired P/Chief Superintendent Francisco Villaroman said during the iSpeak Media Forum held at the Davao City Hall Thursday.

He said there are at present around 130 CCTV cameras all over the city. These and the additional ones will ensure that the urban centers and the main intersections are properly covered, he said.

“We really need the CCTVs to be up especially in time for the Kadayawan,” he said. The Kadayawan Festival will kick off on August 9 and will culminate on August 17 and 18.

However, he said, the new cameras will be installed on installment basis. The executives from IBM Manila were in the city Wednesday and met with the Abratique Group to coordinate the installation of the CCTVs, he added.

Villaroman said these are no ordinary CCTVs because these are sophisticated and multifunction cameras that can be used as evidences in court later on for traffic violation or even criminality. “The CCTVs are so sophisticated that if we are looking for a certain vehicle color, it will be easy to monitor all vehicles with that specific color and we can check their plate numbers,” he said.

The new CCTVs will make Davao a model around the world when it comes to these types of cameras, he said. This is also the first time that IBM will design such a camera and not even Makati has this type of camera, he added.

Once the additional CCTVs are fully installed, he said, we will request more IT and engineering personnel to man the center which is now operating on a 24-hour shift with 12 hours each shift. Villaroman said there is a plan to still operate 24 hours but on three shifts, with 8 hours per shift to make the people more efficient in monitoring the cameras.

Davao CCTVs fail to monitor fleeing kidnap gang due to wrong info

The remaining 10 members of the “Bye-Bye” kidnap-for-ransom-gang which evaded the authorities after a shoot-out in C.M. Rector Avenue Thursday may have already left the city, although no one knows for sure.

Two of the gang members were kicked on the spot outside Allied Bank while another one died on the way to the Southern Philippines Medical Center. The fourth member is now in the custody of the authorities but ten more are on the run and the authorities have no idea where they were headed after the shootout.

“Unfortunately the witness gave the people on the ground wrong information as to the description of the vehicles so our cameras were not able to monitor them,” Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) Chief, Retired P/Chief Superintendent Francisco Villaroman said during a press conference Thursday.

Villaroman said a CCTV was installed right in front of the area where the shootout happened. However, he said, “hindi pa nakakabit ang monitor when the incident happened so we cannot really see.”

He said the witness, who was still in shock after the incident, gave the wrong color and type of vehicle so the cameras nearby and along the way were not able to zero in on the appropriate getaway vehicle.

The authorities earlier asked the public to watch out for Montero vehicles with plate number FBU 1238. However, he said, the kidnappers are not stupid enough to use real plate numbers which the authorities can easily flag down during their trip from Manila to Davao.

“But Dabawenyos should not be scared because the kidnappers are actually based in Central Luzon and in Manila, not in Davao,” he said.

Villaroman said they have received a phone call asking for assistance but he did not elaborate on this, saying that giving away more information may warn the kidnappers. He also reiterated that the authorities are not allowed to conduct an illegal search so what they follow is the Plain View Doctrine.

The kidnap-for-ransom-gang was in Davao with their victim Sally Chua, to withdraw the P15-million ransom money from the bank but the authorities were able to intercept them.

Airlines not feeling the pinch of foreign travel advisories

Most of the airlines flying to and from Davao City are not affected by the different foreign travel advisories issued by their governments against the cities of Davao, Zamboanga and Cotabato.

Photo courtesy of Rudolph Alama
Among the countries that have issued the travel advisory separately are big tourism markets including Australia, Canada and the United States of America.

“We had informal discussions with the airlines but we are still gathering data for possible cancellations as a result of the travel advisories,” City Tourism Officer Lisette Marques said during Thursday’s iSpeak Forum at the Davao City Hall.

Marques said Silkair is a regional airline and these countries are their market so it is of course affected by the travel advisory. However, she said, most of the airlines in the city are focused on the domestic market so they are in no way affected by the advisories.

She said they have not also seen cancellations in relation to the Kadayawan as a result of the advisories. “The Ad Congress cancellation is another matter since it was a result of internal problems,” she added.

Marques said there are many indications that Davao City is growing as a destination. She said she has just received information that a medical association has already scheduled a convention in the city for May 2014 with a delegation of 3,000 people.

When asked about the preparedness of the city when it comes to accommodation, she said “this is a happy problem” because it is an indication that many people are visiting the city.

However, she said that this is also a problem for businesses who build more rooms which are fully booked only during peak seasons.  She said the city would be better prepared if the visitors reserve their rooms ahead.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

P2.5M Padre Pio Chapel to rise in Davao del Sur

Padre Pio devotees bent on raising chapel funds 

Devotees of the miraculous Padre Pio are set to build a P2.5 million green chapel in barangay Lago in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur to serve as a source of enlightenment for everyone and not just for Catholics.

Padre Pio, who has become popular worldwide for his many miracles, got the gift of stigmata while kneeling in front of as crucifix in 1918.

“This is not only a chapel but is set to become a religious landmark in Davao del Sur,” devotee and Padre Pio Movement in Davao member Edgar Canda said during ISpeak last Thursday at City Hall.

Canda’s family, who hails from Davao del Sur, has donated 2,000 square meters of land where the chapel will be built. An elevated portion of the land will be allocated for the Padre Pio Chapel while the lower level will be for the Bagobo Museum, he said.

“By building the Padre Pio Chapel here we want to promote culture and faith as one,” Canda said. But what sets the Chapel apart, he added, is that it will be based on green architecture as designed by Architect Daniel Plenos.

He said the Sta. Cruz Chapel, which will hold its groundbreaking on July 22 this year, will be patterned after the San Giovanni Rotondo Shrine of Padre Pio in Italy.

“Since the Chapel will be built in a hilly location that overlooks Davao del Sur, the architecture will blend in with the environment and not destroy it,” he said.  The location is a virgin forest, he said, so it is a priority to maintain the beauty of the terrain.

To help raise funds for Padre Pio Chapel, the devotees will sponsor a Piano Concert at the Grand Ballroom of the Marco Polo Hotel on July 21 at 7 PM. The devotees will bring in pianists from Thailand, Guam, California and HongKong to perform during the concert.

Philexport to look into closure of Iran banana market due to shipment problems

The Philippine Exporters Confederation is set to form a group that will look into the possible closure of the Iran banana market to Davao banana exporters due to the United States economic embargo on Iran.

“We are not aware that our banana exports are no longer being sent to Iran but we will surely look into this especially with the Mindanao Exporters Congress,” Philexport XI Chairperson Domingo Ang said during Club 888’s media forum held at the Marco Polo Davao Wednesday.

The Mindanao Development Authority reported that banana is the number two dollar earner of Mindanao next only to coconut, with a 14.94 percent share in the total Mindanao export. Mindanao’s banana exports increased by 33.85 percent, from $467.3 million in 2011 to $625.5 million in 2012.

Ang said the problem will definitely be discussed during the Mindanao Exporters Congress slated in the city on August 1 to 3, 2013. The Congress will focus on topics like Improving Exports to Increase Philippine Competitiveness as well as Strengthening the Enabling Environment for Mindanao’s Export Growth.

The Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) earlier expressed its concern about the possible P4 billion losses that will be incurred by the region’s banana industry as shipping companies stopped all shipments to Iran this year, including the shipment of exported bananas from Region XI.

PBGEA executive director Stephen Antig said Mercury Steamship Agencies, Inc., an agent of the Pacific International Lines which ships bananas to Iran, has advised them about the suspension of its operations. A letter sent to its valued clients indicated the last acceptance of cargoes bound for Iran was last June 15, 2013. The Mercury officials said that they have suspended the shipment of cargoes to Iran as of June 16 this year.

Antig said the suspension of shipments to Iran was part of the commitment of the shipping companies to foreign trade regulations in view of the economic sanctions imposed by the US against Iran which happens to account for 50 percent of the banana market in the Middle East.

“We have had difficulty in exporting bananas to Iran a long time ago but some exporters have found a way to export bananas through the long way although that is more expensive,” banana industry player and Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao (CIDAM) President Ireneo Dalayon said.

Another option, according to Antig, is the APL or the American Presidential Line which is willing to load bananas and ship them to Iran bound for Iran if the exporter has a license from the US Treasury.

Antig said he has already written the concerned government agencies including the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry and is waiting for their response.

Coconut still top priority over palm

The Mindanao Development Authority reiterated that coconut is still a top priority for the government despite the growing popularity of palm oil.

“The production of palm oil is only being encouraged and promoted in idle lands and in no way should palm compete with the existing coconut plantations,” Mindanao Development Authority’s Romeo Montenegro said at a press conference held at the Marco Polo Hotel.

He said coconut copra and palm kernel remains the top dollar earner of Mindanao with a 21.26 percent share in the total exports of Mindanao as of 2012. However, he said that coconut exports decreased by 19.48 percent, from $1.1055 billion in 2011 to $.89 billion in 2012.

The MINDA report shows that coconut or copra got the largest share of Mindanao’s exports to the United States amounting to $359 million or 43.2 percent of the total exports to the US. Coconut copra was also Mindanao largest export to the Netherlands amounting to $303.68 or a share of 61 percent of the total exports to the said country.

“Despite the challenges faced by the coconut industry demand continues to increase but there seems to be a reduction of supply,” he said. Montenegro said this is why the government is encouraging the planting and production of more coconut and its byproducts.

He mentioned the increasing demand of Franklin Baker which enjoys robust demand for its coconut water in the export market. Farmers are also encouraged to intercrop coconuts with cocoa and coffee as these are also in demand top commodities.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Daniel Padilla concert aims to raise P1M for seminary repairs, scholarship

The Association of Former Seminarians of the St. Francis Xavier College Seminary in Davao City are hoping to raise P1 million through the “Daniel Padilla Live!” Concert slated at the Holy Cross Gym on August 3.

“This is a fundraising concert that aims to raise funds to help rehabilitate the seminary,” former seminarian Dodong Ocon said yesterday. He said there are many dilapidated buildings in the seminary that needs repair and improvement.

Greg Calamba, Association Cluster Head, said they also need funding for the scholarship program of the seminary because there are many seminarians who cannot afford to pay for the studies as well as their bed and board. He said they need roofing for the dormitory and the refectory or dining area.

“There are around 150 seminarians studying at the College now,” he said. Each seminarian needs at least P20,000 for bed and board. While he does not have the exact amount, he said that each seminarian needs more or less P500,000 to complete four years of college.

Calamba said they chose Daniel Padilla as their featured artist for the concert because marketing value is very important to raise funds for a good cause and Padilla’s popularity will surely help them raise the needed funds. He said Padilla’s handler also agreed to lower his talent fee because the concert is after all for a good cause.

Tickets for the concert are priced at P500 for VIP, P300 for Lower Back and P150 for General Admission. The repertoire will be a mixture of songs considering that they expect the sons and daughters of former seminarians and priests to perform during the concert. The concert features the singing priests of the Archdiocese of Davao Father Al Botero, Father Jovil Bungay and Father Ed Labagala.

58 trafficking cases filed in court yields 6 convictions

A total of 58 trafficking cases in Region XI have been filed in court since Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking Law was enacted in 2003 and it has yielded only six convictions.

“A total of 13 trafficking cases have been dismissed because the victim has desisted and is no longer interested in pursuing the case,” Assistant Regional Prosecutor Barbara Mae Flores said during yesterday’s Club 888 held at Marco Polo Hotel.

She said trafficking means to exploit, transport, recruit, hire or harbor the victim using threat and force or take advantage of the victim’s vulnerability. The purpose of trafficking is for sexual exploitation, forced labor or sale of human organs, she added.

Said 12 of these cases have been archived which usually happens when the accused has not been arrested, while 26 are still active or pending in court. One suspect was acquitted from the trafficking case, she added, although convicted in a child prostitution case.

Department of Social Welfare and Development Social Welfare Officer Pedrita Dimakiling said they have served 129 trafficking cases at their office but not all of them prospered.  Most cases do not proceed to prosecution, she added, because the victim-survivor tends to prioritize the other needs of the family.

However, she said, DSWD provides for the victim’s rehabilitation and reintegration in case the local government could not provide for these requirements.

Flores said the victim or witness in a trafficking case can always seek for protection under the Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice (DOJ) if they are harassed or threatened. She said there are more or less six victims who are enjoying protection under the program.

Dimakiling said that while the anti-trafficking law has been enacted in 2003, it only became more defined in 2011 after the formation of the Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking or IACAT network which further resulted to the formation of three units.

Among these, she said, are the law enforcement unit chaired by the DOJ, the psycho-social unit chaired by DSWD and the Advocacy Council chaired by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Flores said IACAT has to rely on tips when it comes to trafficking cases. However, she added, they cannot go to the area where trafficking is being committed unless they receive a verified report about the crime.

“We hope we can intensify the law enforcement unit so we do not have to wait for the tips to act on trafficking violations,” she said.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Business good alternative to employment-Davao Chamber

The Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) is encouraging new graduates and job seekers to consider business as a good alternative to employment.

“Many Dabawenyos are not very much aware of the opportunities of small businesses and this is something which they should seriously consider,” DCCCII President Architect Daniel Lim said during the opening of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Week at Abreeza Mall Monday.

The MSME Week will be an ideal venue for small and medium entrepreneurs to showcase their products. More importantly, he said, it will also provide them with additional entrepreneurship knowledge in the areas of Business Management, Franchising and Marketing among others through the series of seminars that will be held in different venues throughout the week.

Lim said being and entrepreneur means being able to have full control of your time and your own future. He said food remains a good prospect for future entrepreneurs as there is always demand.

“Budding entrepreneurs can also look at the possibility of events organizing and franchising,” he said. With franchising, he said, everything is provided and already comes with the complete package, you only have to follow the procedures.

He said the Chamber has 300 to 400 members, many of which are members of associations. We have many members who are small and medium entrepreneurs, he added.

Since the Chamber is promoting franchising as the easiest way to get into business, they invited AFFI Mindanao Chapter Director Voltaire Magpayo to speak on “Franchising As a Business Venture: Success and Pitfalls” yesterday. They also had presentations from Pork’s Best President and CEO Alice del Mundo and King Siomai owner Billy Guevarra.

SEATCA cites Davao as model smoke-free city

The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) gave a plaque of appreciation to Davao City not only for its anti-smoking policy but also for the efficient implementation of such policy during the two-day Regional Workshop on Smoke-Free Laws which opened at the SM Convention Center in Lanang Monday.

SEATCA is an alliance of various sectors coming from ten Asian countries that aims to help the member-countries fast track and establish tobacco control policies.

“We have an eight-country (Asian) delegate to this Workshop hoping to learn from Davao City’s successful implementation of its smoke-free city campaign for many years,” SEATCA director Bungon Ritthiphakdee said in an interview. Other cities have good laws and policies on smoking control but the problem is the implementation, she added.

She said the different countries have different regulations when it comes to controlling smoking. Others follow the national law which they implement in the local or city level, she said, and this is where the problem starts in implementing it at the city level.

“What Davao can share to the other countries is its 100 percent implementation of smoke-free public places,” she said. Asian countries also implement the smoke-free policy in hospitals, schools and workplace, she said, but the challenge is how to implement it in the restaurants, nightclubs and outdoor public places.

The Asian countries can learn from Davao’s mechanisms, legislative measures, manpower, political will and how media supported the smoke-free policy.

“Even in Thailand we have a strong tobacco-control law but the problem is how to enforce it in restaurants and nightclubs,” she said. Even the policemen in charge of implementing the law do not have a good standard of practice, she said.

Ritthiphakdee said Davao will be a very good model and leader for the smoke-free cities campaign. The key issue here, she said, is that Davao started the smoke-free city campaign a long time ago but the compliance and enforcement are still there even up to now.

In other Asian cities, she added, the campaign is no longer enforced after two or three years. But in Davao, she said, it is being enforced year after year and we are amazed at the commitment of the business owners, public officers and the citizens.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Davao City to complete installation of 8 water monitoring equipment this July

Davao City is set to complete by this month the installation of eight water measurement equipment which was provided by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) as part of Project Noah.

Through Project Noah, DOST aims to make use of technology to improve the country’s disaster risk reduction activities and responses.

“We have received the warning devices last May but we are still waiting for financing for the construction of fences for the equipment,” Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office Chief Pepito Capili said during yesterday’s Kapihan held at Abreeza Mall.

Capili said DOST wants to ensure the safety of the equipment considering that monitoring equipment installed in Barangay Suawan last 2010 was stolen two months after its installation. Part of the agreement was for the local government to pay for the fencing.

Among the equipment awaiting installation are six water level monitoring equipment to be installed along the Suawan River, Tamugan, Davao River, Pangi Bridge, Mintal Bridge, Wangan Bridge and Wangan Bridge. Also included are two rain gauges to be installed in Biao which contributes to the Pangi Water System and Baguio Proper.

He said that each of the six areas require P20,000 for fencing. The local government support fund, he said, will provide the estimated P120,000 required to construct the fences which will secure the water measurement equipment.

“The water monitoring equipment are automated but we will still need manual monitoring which is being provided by field personnel and even people from the barangays,” he said. The city is still negotiating the provision of eight weather monitoring stations with DOST and some more equipment to be financed by the League of Cities of the Philippines.

Capili said they could not ascertain the total amount of the water monitoring equipment as these were provided by the DOST. However, he said, the local government support fund will contribute around P800,000 for the city’s disaster preparedness project.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Top 10 Dabawenyo bowlers get chance to join SM Bowling Cup

Up to 10 top bowlers from Davao City will be given a chance to fly to Manila sometime this year for the SM Bowling Cup Finals.

“Players with minimum scores of 190 up will be considered as qualifiers for the SM Bowling Cup,” SM Lanang Premier marketing officer Jose Marlou Young said.

He said the SM Bowling Cup is a yearly bowling tournament that gives away brand new cars and cash prizes to the winners.

Young said three Chevrolet cars are up for grabs during the SM Bowling Cup Finals. Those who qualify in the Davao leg, he added, will have to travel to Manila for the finals.

The SM Bowling Center in Lanang, which opened last May, is the first in Mindanao. Young said the bowling center is the sixth of seven branches all over the Philippines. The latest branch is in SM Southmall.

“We are promoting the SM Bowling Center as a hub that is perfect for families and friends,” he said. The Davao branch has 16 bowling lanes, four billiard tables, four KTV rooms and PS3 for gamers.

PNP Davao fired up by Mayor’s speech but needs more equipment to bolster Davao PNP’s efficiency

The Philippine National Police in Davao City got fired up with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration that he will intensify the campaign against drug pushers and perpetrators of heinous crimes in the city but the police force can improve its efficiency with additional firearms and equipment.

“The Mayor’s statement during his oath taking has given lots of encouragement to the police to perform our jobs well considering that the chief executive is very supportive,” Davao PNP Director PS Supt. Ronald dela Rosa said during Monday’s Kapihan held at SM Annex.

However, he said, PNP Davao’s operations would be more efficient and effective given more resources for moving, shooting and communication. The PNP’s movement would be enhanced if we have more patrol cars, he said.

Dela Rosa said that at present, each PNP station has one to three units. However, the urban stations including Stations 1,2,3,4, and 5 would be more effective with up to six patrol cars. The outlying stations can make do with up to three patrol cars, he said, but wished that the stations in Paquibato, Baguio, Marilog and Toril will be equipped with 4x4 vehicles since most of the areas here have a rough terrain.

He said the existing patrol cars of the city are more than ten years old but are thriving because of good maintenance. They also need radios to bolster PNP Davao’s communication system, he added.

The SWAT needs additional equipment like tear gas and tactical lights. He said they also need stun grenade and long firearms that can cost up to P20 million. He said they are thankful because they are about to receive Glock 17 pistols from Camp Crame. He said Crame prioritized Davao City for the new generation pistols maybe because they saw na “maganda ang performance ng PNP.”

Dela Rosa said there is also a need for more training to enhance the skills of the police so that it will be at par with the PNP standards when it comes to speed and accuracy.

Monday, July 1, 2013

DTI to conduct roving academy for SMEs

Aspiring Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the Davao Region can increase the chances of setting up their own businesses through the SME Roving Academy.

“The SME Roving Academy is a machinery for information, communication and knowledge creation of Philippine SMES which aims to guide existing or aspiring entrepreneurs establish their own business or sustain existing ones,” Romeo Castañaga of the Department of Trade and Industry said during Monday’s Kapihan held at SM City Annex.

Castañaga said that with the launching of the SME Roving Academy during the 1st Philippine Investment Conference (I-Con) in Davao City last June, entrepreneurs can expect a package of interventions to help them start or sustain their businesses.

While the Conference aimed to showcase the investment opportunities in the country, it also aimed to steer interest towards the cluster based industrial development strategy to fasttrack countryside growth and development. He said they targeted 600 participants to the Conference, but achieved a 200% attendance with 1,050 participants during the two-day Conference.

He said the package of interventions will include the startup support to help the would-be entrepreneur to choose the appropriate business given his interest, skills and resources. If the entrepreneurs has decided to push through with the business then we will provide registration support, he added.

Also included in the package of interventions for the SMEs are product development, skills training, management and marketing training, entrepreneurship training and financing. The support will extend to helping the entrepreneur maintain or sustain the business or even go into export, he added.

Castañaga said the SME Roving Academy in Davao City will be conducted initially for free in time for the SME Week this July.

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 ...