Skirmishes trigger more evacuations in SurSur town
Read 494 times | Posted on October 05, 2015 @ 3 years ago
MARIHATAG, Surigao del Sur–A fresh wave of fighting between Army soldiers and an unidentified armed group triggered a new round of evacuees in this town on Friday. (more…)
R-XI as pilot for maternal, newborn health initiative
Read 449 times | Posted on October 05, 2015 @ 3 years ago
DAVAO City–The World Health Organization has selected the Davao Region (Region-XI) as a pilot area for maternal and newborn health program. (more…)
Students, Chinese-Filipinos in Oro clash in perspectives
Read 419 times | Posted on October 05, 2015 @ 3 years ago
By Mark D. Francisco
CAGAYAN de Oro City––A forum-cum-organizational movement pertaining to support for the Philippine government’s position on the West Philippine Sea issue, dubbed as “Kalayaan Atin Ito,” was held at the Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan last Friday and attended by students from different learning institutions in Cagayan de Oro City.
But a day earlier last Thursday, more than a thousand Chinese Filipinos trooped to a huge mall indoor center here and witnessed a satellite feed of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) parade in Beijing marking the 66th National Day.
The indoor celebration, marked with a full lauriat banquet to the thousands in attendance and ethnic Chinese dancing presentations, was a stark contrast to the battlecry of the college students from different universities here who were denouncing the Chinese military’s presence at the West Philippine Sea.
“Kalayaan Atin Ito” movement is primarily designed to improve the participation of Filipino citizens in supporting the position of the Philippines in addressing the territorial disputes.
The Freedom Flame Caravan which started in Manila last May 15, had a pit stop in Cagayan de Oro a day later last Saturday. The Movement’s caravan will travel to all the 82 provinces of the country to explain the issues confronting the country with regards to the West Philippine Sea issue.
The student-movement has designed four stages for the purpose. These are the four stages are Freedom Flame Caravan, Freedom Voyage, Freedom Island and Freedom Fishermen.
The second stage is the Freedom Voyage. In this, so-called “volunteer patriots” will ride 82 fishing vessels, representing the 82 provinces of the country, from Palawan to Kalayaan Island Group between November 30 to December 30, 2015.
The third stage is called Freedom Island, at which point when “patriots” who arrive the Kalayaan Island Group will join residents of the Island Group and the soldiers assigned there to show the youths’ support to the world peacefully and without violating the Laws of the Seas of the United Nations Convention.
The last leg is called Freedom Fishermen. In this, all the 82 fishing bancas will be given to the fishermen and residents of Palawan who want to reside and fish at the Kalayaan Group of Islands.
Johnny Lim, the convenor of the local celebration of the 66th Chinese National Day, refused to answer questions regarding the relevance of their activity.
Strategies for human capital, infra dev’t highlighted in PEB
Read 198 times | Posted on October 05, 2015 @ 3 years ago
The country’s top economic officials presented strategies to further pursue development of human capital and infrastructure which they said should help the Philippines hop on to the next stage of progress, during the 28th Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) last Wednesday.
With the theme “Shaping Our Future,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said investing in human capital and infrastructure development, together with institutionalizing good governance, serve as good foundation for further progress.
Over the past five years, the Philippines has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world due to rising investments and consumption on the back of improved fundamentals and better governance.
Economic managers say the Philippines can graduate to a stage where economic growth is even faster, is sustained for the long-term, and is more inclusive.
This is because the Philippines is said to be within the “demographic window” starting this year until 2050. This window is a period when a great majority of the population is of working age and, as such, there is chance for productivity to further accelerate.
Based on estimates, countries that enter the demographic window post an average growth of 7.3 percent for the first 10 years of entry to the window.
However, in order for the Philippines to actually seize the opportunity, there should be good quality of workforce and attractive investment climate. The latter requires, among others, sufficient infrastructure.
“In order to move us forward and on a higher economic growth trajectory, we need to make even more specific steps to further institutionalize governance, raise human capacity, and build infrastructure,” Tetangco said in his opening remarks.
Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said the Department of Finance, as chair of the Economic Development Cluster, is committed to a whole-of-government approach to developing human capital and improving infrastructure.
“Our partnership with the people is the ultimate PPP (Public-Private Partnership). Leveraging our continually rising budgets for education, health, and infrastructure is a sure-fire way to optimize our demographic dividends. This is the investment we pay forward for future generations,” Purisima said in a statement.
”We are projected to be Southeast Asia’s biggest economy by 2050; investing in our own people and infrastructure will ensure we have one that is inclusive and sustainable,” the finance chief added.
Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the structure of the Philippine economy is changing for the better, given improved governance and implementation of prudent policies. He said investments in human capital development should coincide with this.
“Structural transformation is now happening, and this must be further facilitated by preparing the workforce,” Balisacan said. “We owe it to ourselves to get it right this time,” he added.
Balisacan said that if the Philippines seizes the opportunity brought about by the demographic window, it has the potential of sustaining GDP growth of at least 7 percent year-on-year, which could bring the economy to a higher middle income status with gross per capita income of $4,000 by the end of the next administration.
He also said sustaining that pace of growth for three more administrations could bring the economy to high-income status with gross per-capita income of $12,700 dollars by 2040.
Improving the quality of workforce is high in the agenda of the Aquino administration. In pursuit of human capital development, the following are some of the projects and programs cited during the economic briefing: substantial increase in annual budget for health and education, curriculum reforms to better meet industry requirements, technical skills development, and expansion of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program.
The government’s budget for education has grown year after year from P225.1 billion in 2010 to P453.0 billion in 2015. The budget for health services has leaped from P31.0 billion to P96.3 billion over the same period.
Moreover, the budget for the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, which encourages school attendance among children from poor households, has also consistently risen. It stands at P62.3 billion this year compared with P10.9 billion in 2010.
“This administration would be noted in history as one that has actually provided that increase in the budget that will allow the education department to actually implement the programs that hopefully bring the graduates that industry needs,” Education Secretary Armin Luistro said in one of the panel discussions.
Meantime, on infrastructure development, details of the Transport Roadmap were presented by Noriaki Niwa, chief representative to the Philippines of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), during the economic briefing. The roadmap includes establishment of road networks and expressways, subways, railways, and other transportation systems for Metro Manila and surrounding areas up to 2030.
The Transport Roadmap is meant to ease mobility and ensure sufficient infrastructure to meet the requirements of a growing population and rising business activities in the covered areas.
It seeks to achieve “5 NOs” for Metro Manila and surrounding areas: (1) no traffic congestion, (2) no household in hazardous conditions, (3) no barriers for seamless mobility, (4) no excessive cost burden for low-income groups, and (5) no air pollution.
“The Transport Roadmap, which used to be called a “Dream Plan,” is no longer just a dream; it is already part of the roadmap of the Philippine government,” Secretary Rogelio Singson of the Department of Public Works and Highways said in the panel discussion on infrastructure development.
Singson said most of the road projects under the Transport Roadmap are already in various stages of development either through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program or through government funding.
With the comprehensive components of the Transport Roadmap, its implementation is expected to significantly decongest Metro Manila and surrounding areas, and to support sustained growth in business activities.
Besides government’s economic managers, private-sector representatives also served as resource persons during the economic briefing. They were: Maria Ressa, chief executive officer of Rappler; Jose Arnulfo Veloso, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of HSBC Philippines; Nico Jose Nolledo, CEO of Xurpas, Inc.; Rodrigo Franco, president and CEO of Manila North Tollways Corp.; Mary Jane Alvero Al-Mhadi, CEO of Geo Science Laboratory; and Andrew Acquaah Harrison, chief executive advisor of GMR Megawide Cebu Airport.
JICA’s Niwa also served as a member of one of the panels during the event. JICA was the government’s partner in developing the Transport Roadmap.
The Philippine Economic Briefing is a flagship activity of the Investor Relations Office (IRO) aimed at providing macroeconomic updates and discussing issues confronting the government’s priority sectors. (DOF)
Muslim candidates with UNA to bat for expanded, new BBL
Read 296 times | Posted on October 05, 2015 @ 3 years ago
By Cheng OrdoÑez
with Mark Francisco
of Mindanao Daily News
LAGUINDINGAN, Misamis Oriental––The Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is coming to form part of a decision this elections, at least, among Muslim candidates who are with the United Nationalists’ Alliance (UNA).
UNA held the Mindanao-wide launching of its local slates and induction of news members, here at the Municipality of Laguindingan in Misamis Oriental, organized
under the leadership of Misamis Oriental Governor Bambi Emano with no less than Vice President Jejomar Binay in attendance.
Some Muslim candidates are running under UNA, despite the political party’s lack of support to the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). But, this does not mean that they have abandoned the cause of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to pursue lasting peace and development through the BBL.
Instead, they are with UNA to pursue yet an expanded or new BBL.
Board Member Boyet Ilaji of Pandami, Sulu province, said they put their thrust in Vice President Jejomar Binay on the issue of the Bangsamoro people despite the latter’s lack of support to BBL.
Ilaji cited the Zamboanga siege incident, where he said that Binay has showed his suport to the affected Muslim communities by trying to negotiate for a peaceful settlement to the stand-off, but was allegedly blocked.
Ilaji is among some 5,000 delegates from all voer Mindanao to the UNA Mindanao-wide meeting.
Ilaji said he and his constituents are not totally abandoning BBL. He said they expect Binay to expand the coverage of the BBL should he win the elections next year.
Ilaji cited Section 3 of the Declaration of Principles of UNA, saying, “the government must aim to attain full sovereignty and must see to it that it promotes an equiatable distribution of political power.”
“As what UNA Declaration of Principle under political view states, governrment must ensure that the justice system is free from corruption, partisan politics and any sense of impropriety, which is truly fair and partial. This is one of the reasons why we, Muslim candidates, decided to join UNA,” Ilaji said, even as he said that the same principle cited can be the venue for a real BBL to pass into law.
For another Muslim candidate who is with UNA, former Sibuco mayor Atty. Norbi Edding, who will be running for municipal councilor next year, said he is with UNA precisely because he doesn’t want the proposed versions of the BBL and for the MILF to reign.
Edding said that the MILF has been claiming part of Sibuco as within its jurisdiction, and this has been creating trouble and un-peace in Siocon.
Edding said that should Binay wins the presidency in 2016, he and his Muslim collegues will push for another version of the BBL instead.
Local candidates in Mindanao
In his visit, Binay were accompanied by senatoriables Harry Roque, Princess Jacel Kiram and Alma Moreno. Roque is a known and respected lawyer nationwide, Kiram is the daughter of the late sultan of Sulu and Moreno is the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) president.
Assemblymen, provincial board members and mayors from all over the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (Armm) and their supporters made up the bulk of the delegation during the half-day event, dwarfing the delegates from the host province of Misamis Oriental.
Moreno’s estranged husband Fahad Salic, the outgoing mayor of Marawi City who is eyeing the gubernatorial slot in Lanao del Sur that is to be vacated by Mamintal Adiong Jr., brought in thousands of his supporters to show support to Binay and his presumptive senatorial bets.
Salic said that if elected, he would replicate his successful programs in Marawi City that he had implemented for the past nine years.
For his part, former Pandami, Sulu Mayor Radzma S. Jaca assured Binay that the local UNA slate in their respective localities in Armm would be a formidable one and could catapult a presidential win for the 72-year-old vice president.
Host Governor Yevgeny Vincente B. Emano of Misamis Oriental also brought with him his reelectionist Vice Governor Jose Mari Pelaez and possible contenders for the provincial board.
But he refused to divulge his candidates for congressmen in both districts, saying only that their names would be revealed during the actual filing of candidacy on October 12. It was learned that the incumbent congressmen, Reps. Peter M. Unabia and Juliette T. Uy, are not UNA members.
Emano’s father, the former mayor of Cagayan de Oro Vicente Y. Emano who was admitted in intensive care less than two weeks ago, brought his vice mayor and the councilors from the city but left before noon, meeting Binay only briefly. Physicians told him to recuperate more and avoid busy outdoor activities for some time.
Rufus lashes at Oca
Read 685 times | Posted on October 05, 2015 @ 3 years ago
By Mark D. Francisco, Staff member
CAGAYAN de Oro City––A fiery speech and a symbolic, but catchy gesture launched the candidacy of Rep. Rufus Rodriguez as mayor of Cagayan de Oro last Saturday. (more…)
Court clears Bigcas of criminal charges
Read 625 times | Posted on October 02, 2015 @ 3 years ago
By CRIS DIAZ
CAGAYAN de Oro City–A Regional Trial Court in Bukidnon has acquitted the controversial Lynard Allan S. Bigcas of criminal charges on the ground of “reasonable doubt.” (more…)
Fortun, Lagnada announce team-up in 2016 elections
Read 729 times | Posted on October 02, 2015 @ 3 years ago
By PAT SAMONTE
BUTUAN CITY – Ending weeks of speculation, Agusan del Norte First District Representative Lawrence Lemuel Hernandez Fortun and construction mogul Engr. Ronnie Vicente Conde Lagnada have announced on Tuesday their team-up in next year’s elections before wildly-cheering 3,000 chairpersons, council members and supporters from all of this city’s 86 barangays at Big Daddy’s Convention Center here. (more…)
Davao City Bulk Water project seen to protect aquifer
Read 768 times | Posted on October 02, 2015 @ 3 years ago
DAVAO CITY — The P12-billion Davao City Bulk Water Project to be undertaken by the Davao City Water District and the Apo Agua Infrastructura Incorporated will protect the city’s groundwater. (more…)
Pope Francis laments: FB and consumerism are ‘eating us alive’
Read 710 times | Posted on September 30, 2015 @ 3 years ago
PEOPLE’S lives today are ruled by consumerism which also leads them to overuse social networks rather than engage in real communication, the Pope bemoaned in an address to bishops in Philadelphia.
People’s lives today are ruled by the latest trend that the culture of consumerism dictates to them, instead of focusing on human relationships, Pope Francis complained in an address to bishops on Saturday.
Using the metaphor of the supermarket to describe modern life, the Pope compared today’s culture with the neighborhood stores of the past, which were centered on human relationships.
Rather than conducting business on the basis of personal relationships and trust, today’s culture is determined by consumption, said the Pope, who made his comments during an address to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia on Sunday, the final day of his visit to the US.
Pope Francis arrived in Washington on Tuesday for a six-day visit, prior to which he spent four days in Cuba, where he met with President Fidel Castro in Havana.
In Sunday’s address, the Pope said that because of its focus on consumerism, modern culture “discards everything that is no longer ‘useful’ or ‘satisfying’ for the tastes of the consumer,” which leads to loneliness and economic inequality.
“We have turned our society into a huge multicultural showcase tied only to the tastes of certain ‘consumers,’ while so many others only ‘eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table,’” said the Pope, quoting the New Testament’s Gospel of Mark.
The Pope, who has 7.4 million Twitter followers, identified the popularity of social networks is one symptom of the modern malaise.
“Running after the latest fad, accumulating ‘friends’ on one of the social networks, we get caught up in what contemporary society has to offer,” which he summed up as “loneliness with fear of commitment in a limitless effort to feel recognized.”
“Knowledge of life’s true pleasures only comes as the fruit of a long-term, generous investment of our intelligence, enthusiasm and passion,” advised the Pope. (PNA/Sputnik)