Monday, June 27, 2011

Eco-farming, Organic Agriculture Solution to Hunger and Poverty

Save climate and double food production with eco-farming

Eco-farming could double food production in entire regions within 10 years while mitigating climate change, according to a new UN report released in Geneva.

An urgent transformation to "eco-farming" is the only way to end hunger and face the challenges of climate change and rural poverty, said Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, following the presentation of his annual report focusing on agro-ecology and the right to food to the UN Human Rights Council.

"Agro-ecology mimics nature, not industrial processes. It replaces the external inputs like fertiliser with knowledge of how a combination of plants, trees and animals can enhance productivity of the land," De Schutter told IPS, stressing that, "Yields went up 214 percent in 44 projects in 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa using agro-ecological farming techniques over a period of 3 to 10 years... far more than any GM [genetically modified] crop has ever done." Other recent scientific assessments have shown that small farmers in 57 countries using agro-ecological techniques obtained average yield increases of 80 percent. Africans' average increases were 116 percent.

"Today's scientific evidence demonstrates that agro-ecological methods outperform the use of chemical fertilisers in boosting food production in regions where the hungry live," De Schutter said.

Agro-ecology applies ecological science to the design of agricultural systems. It enhances soil productivity and protects crops against pests by relying on the natural elements.

Eco-farming doesn't require expensive inputs of fossil-fuel-based pesticides, fertilisers, machinery or hybrid seeds. It is ideally suited for poor smallholder farmers and herders who are the bulk of the one billion hungry people in the world. Efforts by governments and major donors such as the $400 million Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to subsidise fertilizer and hybrid seeds will produce quick boosts in yields but are not sustainable in the long term, De Schutter said.

Malawi is touted as an AGRA success story by funders such as the Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation who have massively subsidised fertilizer and created a corresponding improvement in food production. However, the country simply cannot afford to continue those subsidies and is shifting its strategy to agro-ecology. "The [Malawi] government now subsidises farmers to plant nitrogen-fixing trees in their fields to ensure sustained growth in maize production," he said.

De Shutter says AGRA is looking for quick results and is getting them. He has found it difficult to overcome AGRA proponents' suspicions about the effectiveness of agro-ecology, despite the mounting evidence. "I expect countries to express scepticism towards these solutions because they are not in accord with the dominant paradigm," De Schutter said.

The dominant view of agriculture is the industrial approach - of maximising efficiency and yield. However, that system is utterly dependent on cheap fossil fuels and never having to be held accountable for environmental degradation and other impacts. One the most under-acknowledged but astonishing impacts is on the global climate. "It is fair to say that between 45 and 50 percent of all human emissions of global warming gases come from the current form of food production," De Shutter says.

Climate-damaging emissions from industrial agriculture are more than just carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels. They include massive amounts of the super-heating greenhouse gases like methane from animals and nitrous oxide from chemical fertiliser. Add in deforestation - which is mostly done to increase farmland or plantations - and that's around a third of all emissions. Now, add on the emissions from food processing and the long distance transport of foods around the world and it comes close to half of all human emissions.

The food system doesn't have to be a major source of emissions, the problem is just the way we have designed it around cheap fossil fuel energy, he said. Eco-farming can produce more food for the world's poorest people, while also resulting in a fraction of the emissions. It can even store carbon in the soil.

"The evidence is irrefutable. If we can change the way we farm and the way we produce and distribute food, then we have a powerful solution for combating the climate crisis," said Henk Hobbelink, coordinator of GRAIN, an international non-governmental organisation that produced a report in 2009 showing that industrial agriculture was by far the biggest source of climate-disrupting emissions of greenhouse gases.

"There are no technical hurdles to achieving these results, it is only a matter of political will," Hobbelink told IPS. Trade, economic and agricultural policies are all skewed in favour of the current industrial food production system. And many of those policies are pushing small farmers - the ones who are by far the most efficient in terms of carbon emissions and energy use, according to GRAIN - off the land.

De Shutter says the techniques and benefits of agro-ecology are now well established, so his role is to push governments to change policies and support the transformation of food production. His report offers policy-relevant recommendations for countries, such as increasing public funding for research and training.

"Private companies will not invest time and money in practices that cannot be rewarded by patents and which don't open markets for chemical products or improved seeds," De Shutter said. "If we don't radically transform the direction of the global food system, we will never feed the billion who are hungry," De Shutter warns. "Nor will we be able to feed ourselves in the future."

Filipinos concerned about nuclear emergency in Japan

Filipinos concerned about nuclear emergency in Japan:

Revival of Bataan nuke plant should be junked

Following reports that the nuclear plant in Japan around 250
kilometers northeast of Tokyo had explosions and vented smoke to the
environment, Philippine activist groups under the No to BNPP Revival!
network reminded the Aquino administration of the dangers of reviving
the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) here in the Philippines.

The two affected nuclear plants are in the Fukushima plant owned by
the Tokyo Power Electric Company. Although the nuclear plants went
onto automatic shutdown, problems after the event such as the failure
of cooling systems caused the nuclear emergency. People have been
evacuated around a 10-km radius of the plant. The reactor was already
leaking radiation eight times the normal levels outside the facility
and 1,000 times normal inside Fukushima 1's control room.

"Japan should issue a full disclosure of the status of their nuclear
plants and immediately implent protocols to contain the potential
meltdown. The affected communities should be protected and nearby
countries such as the Philippines should also ready in case the
emissions affect our surroundings," said Dr. Giovanni Tapang, convenor
of the No to the BNPP Revival!

Dr. Tapang said that this unfolding precedent in Japan should serve as
an ample warning to the Philippine government to not rush headlong
into the BNPP's revival.

"Issues concerning the safety, viability and environmental risks
associated with the Bataan nuclear plant are still unresolved and yet
the Department of Energy and the National Power Corporation seem to be
hell bent on pushing through with plans to privatize the operations of
the BNPP," explained Dr. Tapang.

Similar problems such as falling barrels containing radioactive
material thus releasing it to the environment were also observed in
previous accidents such as the 2007 Kashiwarazaki-Kariwa accident
caused by a 6.6 Mw earthquake near Niigata, Japan. There were
radiation leaks in the sea and 400 drums ng low-level nuclear waste
fell down during the earthquake. Fourty of these barrels opened and
emitted traces of radioactive Cobalt 60 and chromium 51 in the
environment. The Kashiwarazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant was one of the
largest plant in the world.

"There are chances of having a similar accident if the government
operates the BNPP. The Philippines is vulnerable to earthquakes, being
near the Manila Trench and is sitting on the slopes of Mount Natib",
added Dr. Tapang.

"Things also become problematic if the operations of a facility like
the BNPP will be handed over to a private foreign firm like the Korean
Electric Company (KEPCO) which had conducted feasibility tests on the
plant," said Dr. Tapang. Other firms from Russia, Japan and South
Korea were reportedly interested in operating the BNPP.

"The reopening of the BNPP is just one of the plans of the Aquino
administration that is no different from his predecessor. It would not
benefit the Filipino people and instead expose us to unncessary risks
to its recommissioning," Dr. Tapang added.

"What should be done is to reverse the privatization of the power
industry and build safe and reliable sources of electricity. The
country has vast indigenous energy resources from fossil fuels to
alternative energy that we can use if only the government stops
selling these to private investors," said Dr. Tapang

Program Officer Job Hiring in the Philippines

The Local Governance Support Program for Local Economic Development (LGSP-LED) is seeking applications for a LED Initiatives Coordinator/Program Officer to be based in the LGSP-LED Office in Manila. The Terms of Reference (TORs) detailing the background, scope of work, roles and responsibilities and qualifications is provided.

LGSP-LED is a collaborative, eight-year Program of the Governments of Canada and Philippines, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and implemented through the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). Its purpose is to reduce poverty by strengthening local governance and supporting sustainable local economic development (LED).

Interested applicants must submit the following:

1. Letter of Intent addressed to the Field Director, Local Governance Support Program for Local Economic Development
2. Comprehensive CV, not to exceed 4 pages detailing the following:

a. Name and citizenship
b. Education and pertinent dates and degrees received
c. Language(s) spoken, read and written, and degree of proficiency in each category
d. Length of service with current employer, position and status (permanent, temporary, contract employee, associate, etc.)
e. Pertinent experience: A summary of the skills and experience that would be valuable and applicable to this project
f. A history of employment and assignments (in reverse chronological order)
g. List of publications/presentations, if applicable
h. Membership in associations

Please send applications via email to not later than April 29, 2011. Only short-listed applicants will be called for interview.

We encourage you to share this information with your colleagues and partners who might be interested and are qualified to apply for this position.

LGSP-LED is an equal opportunity employer. Women are encouraged to apply.

Bury Marcos in Batac, Ilocos where he is truly loved

A people is only as strong as their memory. A country without memory has no history.

We are a peace-loving, forgiving, "maawain" people. Ferdinand E. Marcos is forgiven, although as far as we shall ever know, he died mute and unrepentant. But his legacy is not forgotten – the hypocrisy and violence of his "New Society," the rapine by his cronies and sycophants, his hidden loot, his deception with his fake medals and phony guerrilla unit; the repression, corruption, and injustice; the ruin of our country's economy; the military abuse, torture and "salvaging"; all these throughout his Martial Law dictatorship. To the very present, we suffer from that bitter legacy.

I say this without sarcasm or irony: "Bury Marcos in Batac where he is truly loved."

As for the Congress of 2011 and those 262 so-called people's representatives, let them look to a time ago when a crowd screamed at Pilate for him to release Barabbas to them, and Pilate acquiesced, had a Man crucified, and then washed his hands.

My earnest prayer for those 262 amnesiac Congress(woe)men: May they not follow after Anatole France's "Procurator of Judaea" who lost his memory of ever having met the Man he had crucified because, listening to a vociferous mob of fanatics, opportunists, and bootlickers, he was afraid of losing his power and influence with the Roman emperor.

Gemino H. Abad
University Professor emeritus
Department of English & Comparative Literature, UP Diliman

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hiring Local Economist Consultant in the Philippines

The Philippines-Canada Cooperation Office (PCCO) is looking for a LOCAL ECONOMIST to support the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) Program. CIDA seeks the services of a new local economic expert (see attached Terms of Reference - TOR) that can provide planning and policy advice in the thematic area of sustainable economic growth.
This consulting work will be on a part-time, Standing Offer Arrangement (SOA) with PCCO thru its executing agency, Coffey Philippines Inc. (CPI), The SOA between the Consultant and PCCO will detail general terms of contract, including the agreed professional fee (per day).  A Task Requisition (job order) will be prepared for every activity that CIDA will require the Consultant to work on. The level of effort (number of work days) will be estimated by CIDA for each Task Requisition.    

Those qualified and interested in applying should submit their:
1.             CV (no more than 5 pages) that addresses the qualifications indicated in the TOR  and contains the following information: 
·                           complete name and current contact info (e-mail address, telephone and mobile numbers);
·                           related formal education and special training;
·                           work experience;
·                           specific skills and know-how that will be useful in this consulting job; and
·                           at least three references (professional)
2.             One-page Expression of Interest (EOI) indicating why s/he is suitable for the job.
Please send by courier or mail your EOI and CV (Subject: EOI-Local Economist) before 5pm Wednesday, 04 May 2011 to the PCCO, 9F Salcedo Towers, 169 H.V. dela Costa St, Salcedo Village, Makati City or fax it at fax no. 892-8913 (we will not consider EOIs sent via e-mail).
A shortlist of successful candidates will be selected within 1-2 weeks. Short-listed candidates will be required to write a test and come for an interview. Only short-listed candidates will be requested to submit their preferred consulting fee per day at the time of their written test. The per diem rate/financial part shall comprise 20% of the final assessment with the technical qualifications accounting for the remaining 80%.  Only successful candidates will be acknowledged.

For those already registered with the PCCO Database of Local Consultants, you need not submit a new CV (just update online thru your personal account). For those who have not yet registered, we invite you to do so by accessing our website ( ) and posting your CV in our CV registry. Please share this information with your colleagues and network partners who might be interested and qualified to apply for this position (or ask them to register with the PCCO online database).
We thank you in advance for your interest and look forward to receiving your EOI & CV on or before the specified deadline.
General Manager
Philippines-Canada Cooperation Office (PCCO)
The program support unit of CIDA in the Philippines
Tel. (632) 813-8255  Fax (632) 892-8913

Friday, June 24, 2011

When you engage in business

Learn to wear the heart of others. When you engage in business, your main responsibility towards your employees is to provide them benefits and motivation to achieve quality results in work. Monetary gains should not be your topmost priority for yourself. Think of the welfare of the employees first.

Whatever position you handle in the workplace, God places you there to keep your life happy with all the incentives, empowerment and fulfillment that you can cherish for the rest of your life. Be sensitive and compassionate for others. - by Ralph Oscar Bagaboyboy

Liberate yourself from a chaotic life

Liberate yourself from a chaotic life by keeping simple things and ways in mind. Be practical in buying your wants and always focus on your needs. Do not entertain so much problems, worries and intrigues about you. Choose an ordinary life that seeks inspiration and happiness for others. Never be tempted with cheating practices and monetary motivations. Make God the center of your life.

Some people get into chaos because they try to pretend somebody they cannot be. They engage in complicated decisions and God has never been a part of their daily activities. -by Ralph Oscar Bagaboyboy

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Make Money with Health Insurance

Make Money with Health Insurance
You are cordially invited to our exclusive lead program. There is no cost for you.

There is an urgent need in our organization for health insurance agents to participate in our lead program. Unequivocally, we have the superior products in the guaranteed health insurance market. Leads are plentiful. We need health agents. Please join our organzition (you will not become a captive agent).  

(leads are garnered from multiple web sites, including Google's # 1 site for "guaranteed health insurance" )

Level commissions for lifetime of the policy: 25%

Highlight #1: 100% of Medicare's RBRVS allowance for surgery on the plan that costs $306.95 per month. 
Highlight #2: Creditable coverage will determine whether the pre-existing condition limitation applies. 
Highlight #3: There is no cost for you to be contracted and have your website activated.

A minimum of 10 leads after you make 1 sale.  The leads are exclusive. 45%-55% close ratios on these leads are the norm. No-cost agent websites will be given to agents that contract.  

Why do we need you to sell?

An avalanche of leads are coming in from ZZ. 
We hold an informative conference call every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Noon Eastern Time that details our guaranteed policy and lead program.  

LGU NGO Job Opportunity in the Philippines

The Local Governance Support Program for Local Economic Development (LGSP-LED) is seeking applications for five Partnership Advisers to be based in select Regions. The Terms of Reference (TORs) detailing the background, scope of work, roles and responsibilities and qualifications is provided herein.
Location Assignments:
1.)    Metro Naga Development Council, Region 5
2.)    Metro Iloilo-Guimaras Economic Development Council, Region 6
3.)    Panglao-Dauis-Baclayon, Bohol Marine Triangle, Region 7
4.)    Province of Leyte, Region 8
5.)    Allah Valley Landscape Development Alliance, Province of South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat, Region 12
LGSP-LED is a collaborative, eight-year Program of the Governments of Canada and Philippines, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and implemented through the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). Its purpose is to reduce poverty by strengthening local governance and supporting sustainable local economic development (LED).
Duration of Assignment:
May 2011 to March 31, 2012 with possibility of extension
Interested applicants must submit the following:
1.       Letter of Intent addressed to the Field Director, Local Governance Support Program for Local Economic Development
2.       Comprehensive CV, not to exceed 4 pages detailing the following:
a.       Name and citizenship
b.      Education and pertinent dates and degrees received
c.       Language(s) spoken, read and written, and degree of proficiency in each category
d.      Length of service with current employer, position and status (permanent, temporary, contract employee, associate, etc.)
e.      Pertinent experience: A summary of the skills and experience that would be valuable and applicable to this project
f.        A history of employment and assignments (in reverse chronological order)
g.       List of publications/presentations, if applicable
h.      Membership in associations
Please send applications via email to  not later than April 29, 2011. Only short-listed applicants will be called for interview.
We encourage you to share this information with your colleagues and partners who might be interested and are qualified to apply for this position.
LGSP-LED is an equal opportunity employer.  Women are encouraged to apply.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

God uses you as an instrument to uplift others' lives

God uses you as an instrument to uplift others' lives if you really acknowledge and believe that He empowers you to be so. When you think of glorifying His name in thoughts, words and deeds and others are blessed with your life's disposition, that is the time God is truly using you to fulfill His purposes in our lives.

Be thankful to Him when you are given huge responsibilities and challenges because it means God trusts you so much to be His instrument for others. Never complain, never refuse the challenge and never stop allowing yourself to be a useful citizen of life. - by Ralph Oscar Bagaboyboy

Simplicity keeps our heart stable and happy

Simplicity keeps our heart stable and happy. Sometimes we encounter and become the cause of major problems of others because we don't simplify understanding and relationship with them. 

We insist on our own ideas even if they are not acceptable to modern times. You justify wrong doings and believe that you are always right even if your heart tells you that you are actually guilty with it. Let us not worsen the situation we are in. Come closer to God and let Him simplify your thoughts and feelings with simplicity of understanding for love and harmony. - by Ralph Oscar Bagaboyboy

A Father's presence in the home is a builder of courage

A Father's presence in the home is a builder of courage and practicality. His natural character radiates protection, strength and power in fighting against life's struggles. 

Today, we look back and turn on the episodes of Fatherhood as we thank the Lord God for making family life built on his extraordinary leadership. Our fathers are the replica of how the Almighty Father in Heaven touches our souls each day. We salute them! - by Ralph Oscar Bagaboyboy

Kisan Lu Moves to Fix Flooding in Davao City

FYI - Friday and Saturday, Kisan Lu cleared the right-of-way along the north side of the river bridge of trees and undergrowth.  This is apparently to resume excavation and installation of the five foot diameter culverts all the way to the river past the underground storage tank manufacturer.

Kisan Lu will have to have to temporarily cut the cement road on the west side of the underground storage tank manufacturer.
In addition, we must be sure Kisan Lu promptly connects their own outflows at the beginning point of the drain line.

It might also be an additionally effective flood reduction measure for the City to somehow intentionally divert a portion of a flood stage level of Ma-a Creek to the culvert, somewhere in the Datu Loho Village area.

Might I add that thanks are due Councilors Zozobrado, Braga and of course, Vice Mayor Rody Duterte for being the head of the spear to prod Kisan Lu to action. - Stacey

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Leadership must be an image of services

Leadership must be an image of service. It entails greater responsibilities and burdens on the part of the leader. Being a leader is a God-driven task. He is not a God to a few. But some of our leaders in the modern world act like Gods in their own selfish ways.

If you claim to be a leader, you are endowed with the qualities of God's leadership: humble, truthful, passionate, committed, selfless and God-fearing. If you do not have these qualities of a leader, then you can be considered a person acting like God in your own territory, which is also part of God's realm. 

You can never be a God wherever you are. You are only a caretaker of God's territory on earth. - by Ralph Oscar Bagaboyboy

God is the greatest sharpener of our Faith

Sometimes God gives us terrible sickness to teach us to take good care of our health. He provides tragic economic crisis and places our business in closure to remind us to slow down in handling our employees. He breaks our heart by giving us huge pains and unimaginable sufferings to turn back our minds to Him. 

God is the greatest sharpener of our Faith. In times when your world turns upside down, just turn on your heart and mind to God's will and think of what you have done in your life. Probably, you have already abused the freedom and love He gave you. - by Ralph Oscar Bagaboyboy

Little and minor successes and achievements

Little and minor successes and achievements could endanger yourself. Whatever highness of feelings you have due to initial progress and changes in life will lead you down. Do not start to become sarcastic, proud and unreachable because you feel that you have improved your life's standing. 

God is the highest of all, but He never thinks of Himself as our Boss. He just leads us the way and shares life as a friend, counselor and provider. Stay on the ground whatever highness of life you have and God will bring you up. - by Ralph Oscar Bagaboyboy

When you desire to live longer, make sure you live better and greater

When you desire to live longer, make sure you live better and greater. Never involve yourself in any compromising practices and transactions. You might have hidden yourself from people in keeping dishonest truths and things. But you cannot escape from the eyes of God.

Some people feel so proud for having cheated others using their intellectual supremacy and emotional appeal. They think those who were cheated are idiots and weak to fight for their rights. We are just tiny bubbles in the air. God can wash away our smartness and expertise in due time if we use them to deceive mankind. - by Ralph Oscar Bagaboyboy

Be a carrier of good and wonderful memories to others now

Be a carrier of good and wonderful memories to others now. Every little sweetness and affection you will do to a friend costs so much gladness. Your jokes and wise counsel can really break one's heart when you die. Your usual sending of inspirational text messages and cards to somebody else brings a lot of hope and faith. The aura of your personality that captures the winds and skies to harmonize the world is truly a fantastic gentle whisper in your silent moments.

Prepare your meaningful death today by giving meaning to the life of others. God created you to be a meaning of life for them. - by Ralph Oscar Bagaboyboy

If you do every thing for your own interest and happiness

If you do every thing for your own interest and happiness, you cannot find real fulfillment in life's endeavors. Some people want to become more rich, more educated, more prominent in order for others to recognize who they are. 

But when you go home, feelings of anxiety, insecurities, sadness and negative competition strike your bones. You are still not happy and contented with what you have because you lack God in you. God should be your major interest and you will get, not just happiness, but joy.- by Ralph Oscar Bagaboyboy

Be a person of " thank you " to everyone

Be a person of " thank you " to everyone. Any little good things done deserves such phrase and should be considered an automatic behavior. Some people around you may not be that too expressive to let others hear it from you. They say , " please", but no word of " thank you is being said afterwards. 

Get in touch with your heart closer through this phrase, " thank you ". Make it a habit to welcome little good things and gestures from others. Your " thank you " is a way of thanking God for the people around you.

Financial increase and abundance

A person who always measures success through financial increase and abundance is still empty-handed. Your success is determined on how your life has made a big impact to others. Being considerate, affectionate, generous and caring to the needs of others are just one of the golden qualities of a successful individual. 

Don't just be wealthy, popular and famous to consider yourself successful. Use your kindness, wisdom, love and support to change others' lives for the better and for God's greater glory. - by Ralph Oscar Bagaboyboy

Friday, June 17, 2011

How to Energize Your Day

When you wake up every morning, energize the new day by saying, " Thank You Lord for the new life! " If you repeatedly express it at the start of the day, you will end up the whole day thinking of God's faithfulness in your life. 

" Thank You Lord " expression should be your regular vitamins to keep your mind and heart grateful of God despite of every thing. - by Ralph Oscar Bagaboyboy

Love your work and your workplace

Love your work and your workplace. There are people who criticize badly their office and management for not giving their due. They create gossips, rumors and negative statements and share them to others, especially those who are young and innocent, trying to get their sympathy and support in their cause. 

What they are unconscious and insensitive about is the fact that this is the work and workplace God has assigned them to enrich their economic and personal lives. Stop making yourself an additional problem to the injuries. Help and open out your sentiments in a very ethical and professional way. - by Ralph Oscar Bagaboyboy

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Food Poisoning in Tuguegarao, Philippines

Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Armin Luistro on Wednesday morning visited the wake of the two kindergarten pupils who died Tuesday due to food poisoning at the canteen inside the Larion Bajo Elementary School, and vowed to give financial support to their bereaved families.

Luistro also visited the confined teachers and students at the Cagayan Valley Medical Center, who were transferred from the People's Emergency Hospital. He also promised to give assistance to the confined victims.

"We regret the incident as we conduct a deep investigation into this case," Luistro said.

Tuguegarao City Mayor Delfin Ting has also promised financial assistance to the victims.

Meanwhile, parents of the fatalities have vowed to file criminal and administrative charges against the school officials of Larion Bajo Elementary School soonest, claiming that the school officials have acted in gross negligence that caused the death of two kindergarten pupils and confinement of 42 others to hospital after eating "sinantak" or sauced rice noodles.

Ellen Ballad, mother of Eloisa Marie Ballad, one of the pupils who died, said they would focus on their complaint after the funeral.

The relatives of the other fatality, Jessica Mae Bangayan, have also decided to file charges after the burial of their kin.

Education officials have formed an investigating committee led by the regional office supervisors who have been looking deeper into the poisoning.

Education regional director Benito Tumamao told the Philippines News Agency that they would look into those responsible officials and teachers after the full-blown investigation.

The confined victims have been in "stable condition" and recuperating, according to CVMC medical officer Dr. Encarnacion Malana.

Malana said their initial assessment showed that the rice noodle soup, locally called "sinantak" was sprinkled with oxalic powder, a poisonous white crystalline chemical powder which is being used for cleaning household and kitchen facilities.

Japan Donates Computers to Negros Oriental Schools

The government of Japan has so far extended P40.8 million in grant for 1,256 computers donated to public high schools in Negros Oriental as part of the Personal Computers for Public Schools Project in collaboration with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

This was disclosed by DTI provincial director Javier Fortunato Jr., as additional computers are being distributed in time for the opening of classes this year.

He said Phase 4 consists of 506 computers to be distributed to 46 public high schools all over the province at 11 units each.

The program started in 2002 with 20 units of each of the 12 recipient schools amounting to P7,182,264. Second phase had a total of 28 public high schools as recipients of ten computer units each worth P11,734,515.46. Third phase consists of 22 schools consisting of P8,261,295 and the biggest so far is more than P13.6 million under Phase 4.

He said public high schools in the province are lucky enough to have this grant despite that calamity had struck Japan.

Each computer package consists of 11 units Redfox computers, 11 units Bosline UPS, 11 units AVR and one unit Brother DCP inkjet printer. (PNA)

Proper protocol on media coverage during delicate police operations

In a bid to avoid costly lapses and, at the same time, create a harmonious working atmosphere during "bombing" incidents, police authorities here recently conducted a half-day seminar on the proper protocol on media coverage during delicate police operations.

Bulacan acting police director Senior Superintendent Fernando Mendez Jr., said that higher police authorities at Camp Crame issued a directive to conduct seminar, information drive and disseminate the guidelines during bombing incidents for the media.

Mendez said it is very important and a win-win situation both for the police and members of the working press to have mutual understanding during coverage of delicate police operations like bombing and hostage incidents.

He said that covering bombing or hostage-taking incidents, local media men were also advised to observe police line (at least 50 meters away from the scene) and proper protocol at all times.

Chief Inspector Gerardo Andaya, chief of the Police Community Relations Branch, said that under the guidelines,"the media shall not be allowed access to any area or scene of an incident or crime where there is a possibility that evidence may be damaged, altered, destroyed or otherwise prejudiced by its existence being published or portrayed."

Andaya also said that mediamen should look for the designated spokesperson upon arrival at the scene of the crime. If none, stay at the police designated media area (outside of the police line).

Before releasing information, he added, newsmen should seriously weigh the benefits to the public as against the potential harm the information may cause.

He said that it would be better to avoid inflammatory catchwords and phrases and do not report any information intercepted from police communication.

Andaya also said that it will be helpful to explain to listeners/viewers why certain information is being withheld by the police authorities.

Chief Inspector Sabino L. Vengco III, chief of the logistic branch of Bulacan Police Provincial Office and concurrent head of the Explosive Ordnance Division (EOD), said covering bombing situations has its dangers and the guidelines will remind newsmen as well as the public to "never attempt to approach, examine, poke, shake, squeeze, open, drop or mishandle suspect packages in any way and report immediately to law enforcers the occurrence of a bombing incident."

Planting Trees in Bataan, Philippines

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office has recently launched President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino's National Greening Program (NGP) where more than 2,000 people planted 10,000 tree seedlings below the slopes of historic Mt. Samat in Barangay Parang here,

Lawyer Ricardo Lazaro, provincial environment and natural resources officer, said they are targeting to plant trees on 833 hectares in Bataan for 2011 alone.

It will cover four priority components: reforestation, agro-forestry, protected areas and urban parks, Lazaro said.

Personnel of the Philippine National Police, Philippine Army, government workers, members of people's and non-governmental organizations as well as workers of big firms like Petron Bataan Refinery and the GN Power Plant joined the activity.

Regidor De Leon, assistant secretary for Luzon Operations of the DENR, said the activity in Bataan is part of the centerfold program of the President that targets to plant 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares of forest lands in the country from 2011 to 2016.

"We call this as the most ambitious program because if we attain the target, it will surpass the accomplishments of previous administrations for the last 25 years," De Leon said.

He said the Chief Executive planted the first tree seedling in the official launching of the program at DENR's central office some three weeks ago.

De Leon added that DENR Secretary Ramon Paje has sought the involvement of all Filipinos in the project.

He also said the project will address the country's problems on food security, biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and adoption, including unemployment. To be planted in the six-year program are narra, mahogany, indigenous species to bring back the old classes of trees and also agro-forest trees like fruit trees.

Honda Motorcycle Accident in Lingayen, Pangasina

Two motorcycle drivers died when their vehicles, traveling at a fast clip, collied head-on along the provincial road in Barangay Matalava, Lingayen at 9:00 p.m. last Sunday, according to the police. 

The fatalities were identified as Nelson Nieto, 33, of Barangay Artacho, Lingayen, driver of Honda XRM 110 motorcycle; and Ronnie Fernandez, 37, of Barangay Lomboy, Binmaley, driver of Honda Wave motorcycle.

Both drivers sustained serious injuries and were rushed separately to Jesus Nazarene General Hospital as well as the Don Mariano Verzosa Memorial Hospital, both in Lingayen, where they expired hours later while undergoing treatment.

Iloilo Election Scandal Update

There exists no problem in the possible recount of votes in the May 2010 mayoral election by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as far as Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is concerned. 

"I was declared the overwhelming winner of the 2010 mayoral elections and it is the right of any person to file a petition challenging my win. However, I want to focus on my obligations as city chief executive and finish all my development projects by 2013," Mabilog said.

The issue on a possible recount came out last week when Mabilog was in New York leading a delegation of Ilonggo officials and Tribu Pan-ay of Dinagyang to grace the advance celebration of the 113th Philippine Independence Day.

Former Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr. earlier filed a recount petition with the Comelec questioning the 15,706 edge of Mabilog who got 80,654 votes against Gonzalez's 64,948 votes.

Similarly, Mabilog's congressional tandem Jerry P. Treñas got 101,304 votes over Gonzalez son Raul Jr.'s 75,884 votes, notching a 25,420 margin win over the then incumbent congressman.

The 2010 elections also showed overwhelming support to the vice mayoral and city councilor candidates belonging to the Mabilog and Treñas group.

"Iloilo City is fast moving forward non-stop with several bigtime investments settled here. I have already accomplished 60 percent of the 10-point agenda as pledged to the people of Iloilo City and I am determined to finish all the projects before my three-year term expires," Mabilog said.

The city is currently experiencing an unprecedented influx of investors and business locators who made this southern city as the next important business hub outside of Metro Manila.

Current investors in the city include the Global Business Power Corp. and Panay Energy Development Corp., Megaworld Corp., Ayala Landholdings, several business process outsourcing and call centers and several high-end housing subdivisions, among others.

Iloilo News - Major Bridges in Iloilo Philippines

Three major bridges replacing those that were damaged by typhoon Frank way back in 2008 are up for completion this year. 

The projects include the completion of Baltazar Aquino Bridge in Brgy. Iraya, Leon; replacement of the E. Marcos Bridge in Brgy. Amerang, Cabatuan and construction of the Camangahan Bridge in Brgy. Camangahan, Guimbal.

The construction of the Baltazar Aquino Bridge worth P110 million comes in two phases. The Phase 1 worth P38.3 million was already completed in 2010, while the Phase 2 is already 75.5 percent completed as of May this year.

The Phase 2, which covers the construction of five spans pre-stressed concrete girder bridge (PSCG) including approaches and other river protection works, is expected to be finished by June 24 this year.

The project connects 40 barangays of Leon to the town proper and serves as links between the southern part of Iloilo and the municipality of San Remegio, Antique.

On the other hand, the replacement of the E. Marcos Bridge worth P180 million is already 79.1 percent completed as of May this year. It includes the construction of six spans of the PSCG Bridge including approaches and river protection works.

The project directly links central parts of Panay to this city and consequently makes it easier for products of Maasin town and other neighboring barangays to be brought to city.

Meanwhile, the P90-million Camangahan Bridge is 77.57 percent completed as of April, a report from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) here showed.

The project comes in two phases; the first one was already completed last year. The Phase 2, meanwhile, covers the construction of the PSCG Bridge with approaches and river protection works.

Who Shot Atty Cres Dan Bangoy?

A team, composed of Investigation and Detective Management Branch (IDMB), City Public Safety Management Command and the Sasa Police Precinct, arrested a suspect involved in the shooting of an officer of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Davao City chapter Sunday evening. 

Authorities arrested one Rogelio Penafiel, 27, a security guard and resident of Purok Dancing Lady, Barangay Saging, Makilala, North Cotabato. He was tagged in the shooting of lawyer Cres Dan Bangoy, the vice president of the IBP Davao. He was accosted in a house at Phase III, NHA Bangkal around 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

Sr. Insp. Ranulfo Cabanog, head of the Case Tracker Team of IDMB, said Penafiel was identified by the taxi driver as the same person who boarded his taxi, drew a firearm and shot Bangoy. Penafiel's arrest stemmed from a series of follow-up investigations.

Cabanog said an artist sketch of Penafiel was earlier released to the public. He was then described as heavily built, stood at 5'2 and was wearing a blue T-shirt.

Silverio Caballo, driver of Maligaya Taxi Company, surfaced at the Sasa Police Precinct last Thursday to deny any participation in the crime.

Cabanog said around 7:30 p.m. of June 3, Bangoy was about to enter his house in Bell Air Landmark, Barangay Sasa, this city when shot by Penafiel. Bangoy was then rushed to Davao Doctor's Hospital for a gunshot wound in his arm. Doctors declared him out of danger as of presstime.

Members of the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) gathered a shell and bullet from a .45 caliber pistol at the scene.

Investigators said they are still looking into the motive of the attempted slay and hunting down the suspect's accomplice, identified only as Lito. (PNA)

Road Project in Boracay Island Resort

The Malay town council which has jurisdiction over this resort island has asked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to fast track its long delayed P80-million circumferential road project here. 

Malay councilor Jonathan Cabrera said that the delay in the completion of the circumferential road hampers initiatives for the improvement of this resort island.

Among these are the deliberations on the proposed traffic code and terminal parking ordinance to ease traffic situation.

The DPWH is still waiting for the release of the fund from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the project to be completed.

"Part of our deliberation is to ask the DPWH why the Boracay Circumferential Road has been suspended," said Cabrera.

For several years this resort island has been besieged with traffic woes due to the increasing numbers of both tourists and local residents.

Nissan pick-up truck Accident

A couple and their four-year-old son died on the spot after a black Nissan pick-up truck hit them along the national highway in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur on Monday morning. 

A report from the Bislig City Police Office to the Caraga PNP regional information office identified the victims as Alexander Genon Bongo, 47, his wife, Elena, 39, and son Renz Daniel, all residents of Barangay Mancarao, Bislig City, Surigao del Sur.

The report said the owner of the black Nissan pick-up vehicle bearing plate No. PDQ-820 was later arrested and identified as Benito Duero Arellano Jr., 43, businessman and resident of Block 7, Castillo Village, Mangagoy, Bislig City.

Police said the vehicle was traveling from Bislig City proper when it accidentally swerved to the opposite shoulder of the road and hit the three victims who were then waiting for a ride to Butuan City.

The vehicle dragged the victims into an open canal at the side of the national highway, which led to their sudden death.

Internet Cafe in Zamboanga City

The local government, through the City Administrator's Office, is set to conduct an inspection on all the 168 internet cafés operating in this southern port city to ensure compliance of City Ordinance No. 32. 

The ordinance, which was enacted on June 21, 2007, regulates the operation of internet cafés and computer centers

Assistant city administrator Elmeir Apolinario said a composite group, which will conduct the inspection on all the internet cafés, will be composed of members from his office, City Treasurer's Office, City Legal Office, and City Permits and Licensing office.

The group will also focus on students being allowed to play computer games during classes hours which is prohibited under City Ordinance No. 32, Apolinario said.

He said violators of the ordinance will be slapped with P5,000 fine for first offense, P5,000 fine plus 15 days suspension of operations for the second offense, and P5,000 fine plus 30 days suspension of operations for the third offense.

Full military honors for the burial of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos

By Aure G. Galacgac

Baguio congressman Bernardo Vergara on Tuesday said full military honors for the burial of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos in his hometown in Batac, Ilocos Norte is fitting to his "services to his country as soldier." 

Vergara, who served as former manager of the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) in the 1970s, said the late president "being a World War II veteran deserves a soldier's burial."

"We all know he served as congressman, senator then president of the Republic. But what we have to always remember is that he served our country as a soldier and that he deserves that honor to have a full military burial," he said.

For his part, Baguio city vice mayor Daniel Farinas, although known in his younger years as among the active militant student leaders, also said he is in conformity of Vice President Jejomar Binay's suggestion of giving the late president full military honors' burial.

Internet cafes in Central Visayas Should Ban School Children

A senior education official appealed to owners of Internet cafes in Central Visayas to heed ordinances prohibiting them from accepting school children during class hours. 

Department of Education (DepEd) 7 Assistant Director Carmelita Dulangon urged parents to protect their children against the negative effects of using the Internet amid reports of child exploitation through the Internet.

Dulangon said that while the Internet is helpful to students who need to do research, it can also harm them in many ways.

She raised concern over children's addiction to computer or online games, which turn their attention away from their studies.

"While the school serves as the children's second home, parents should be the first ones to show love and care to their children," Dulangon said.

Last July 1, a couple was arrested after authorities caught them using their six children and a niece for cybersex in their house in Cordova town.

The incident prompted local officials, including Cordova, Cebu Mayor Adelino Sitoy and Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, to discuss measures against cybersex in the province.

The Cebu Provincial Women's Commission has planned to create a module that will translate English words related to online pornography for a massive information drive.

With the school year in full swing, Dulangon also called on school officials to keep their students away from violent fraternities or gangs.

In 2004, a gang attempted to torch the bathrooms of the Lahug Night High School in Cebu City, sent death threats to the school principal and nearly assaulted a teacher.

Dulangon also warned teachers against the use of corporal punishment in the classroom.

DepEd took a serious stand against corporal punishment following the death of a nine-year-old pupil in Taguig in 2006.

Metro Cebu police officials

Metro Cebu police officials plan to consolidate their information on major robberies in the region into a single database as a step to eliminate robbery syndicates in Cebu. 

The plan, dubbed "No Borders", was brought up by Lapu-Lapu City Police Director Senior Supt. Anthony Obenza, in light of the murder of an ex-Kuratong Baleleng member, his live in partner and their three-year-old son last week.

Obenza said the idea of creating a consolidated major crime database came up during a meeting with the provincial and city commanders of Metro Cebu last week.

He said that aside form Lapu-Lapu City, the cities of Cebu and Mandaue were also affected by major robbery incidents in the past year.

With the database, police chiefs in Metro Cebu can share information on different robbery cases in their areas.

The information will be organized into files, which could be accessed through the database.

While the police stations will provide the data, the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Theft and Robbery Section (TRS) will organize it, Obenza said.

He said the organized data can be used as a reference for future incidents.

Obenza said they were able to come up with "No Borders" during a seminar on major crime case management in Manila earlier this year.

Also, the "No Borders" plan may improve police coordination on major crime incidents as police offices in other areas in Metro Cebu can help in solving crimes committed outside their jurisdiction.

Alex Badayos Sun Star Photographer Mauled

The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas has indicted six people for less serious physical injuries for attacking Sun.Star Cebu chief photographer Alex Badayos while covering the retrieval and transfer of ballot boxes from Bogo City to Cebu City in 2007. 

Graft Investigator Amy Rose Soler-Rellin found probable cause to charge Ramil Ochea Pelayo, Bobot Son and Marwen Camay, all members of the Bogo Traffic Management Office, with violation of Article 265 of the Revised Penal Code.

Also named respondents were Jikjik Monterola, a job-order worker at the Bogo City Hall; Demosthenes Bacasmas Jr., member of the Civil Security Unit; and private respondent Harry Ybanez.

"The respondents acted in a conspiracy in inflicting bodily harm upon complainant (Badayos)," Rellin said in her 18-page resolution.

Four of the six respondents earlier denied the crime, arguing they were somewhere else when the mauling of Badayos took place.

"Between the positive identification of respondents by complainant and respondents' denial, greater weight must be given to the former," Rellin said.

"What is more, both denial and alibi are considered as the weakest defenses not only due to their inherent weakness and unreliability, but also because they are easy to fabricate," the graft investigator said.

Last July 9, 2007, Badayos and Sun.Star Cebu reporter Mia Abellana went to Bogo City to pursue a story on the retrieval and transfer of ballot boxes from there to Cebu City to finish the canvassing of votes for the hotly contested Cebu's fourth-district congressional seat.

When he arrived at the Bogo City Hall, Badayos began taking photos of supporters of Mayor Celestino Martinez Jr. converging in front of the City Hall.

Later, barangay official Briccio Pilapil assaulted Cebu City elections officer Michael Sarno and snatched the ballot box from the poll officer, Badayos said.

Badayos said he fought his way through the crowd to assist Sarno by taking pictures of Pilapil, who was at that time carrying the ballot box.

Badayos said he saw Pilapil pass the ballot box to Monterola, who gave it to Alvarez. He said Alvarez brought the ballot box to the office of Martinez.

Badayos said he and fellow photographer Tonee Despojo tried to climb the stairs to the mayor's office but Bogo City's traffic group members stopped them.

Badayos said he heard somebody shout "puahanon na." Bacasmas then punched Badayos in the head. Other supporters of the mayor and the traffic group also joined in kicking and punching Badayos.

His camera and laptop computer were taken from him.

His attackers dragged him in front of the City Hall while they continued mauling and punching him. The next thing Badayos knew, he was being assisted by policemen who brought him to the Comelec office.

A medical examination showed Badayos suffered multiple physical injuries, including chest abrasions and bruises. The doctor advised him to seek medical treatment for 10 days.

DTI Diskwento Caravan in Nueva Vizcaya

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) here has recently conducted "Diskwento Caravan" benefited at least 331 buyers in this province. 

Clifford Gregorio, chief trade and industry development specialist, said there were 163 buyers who preferred school supplies, 50 for school uniforms, 68 for footwear items and for rice products.

"One day is not enough for the influx of buyers and here are still buyers coming from other municipalities who wanted to avail of the discount," said Gregorio.

With the caravan, the retailers earned at least P51,507.00 from rice products with P3,500.00, footwear items with P9,412, school uniforms with P12,900 and school supplies with P15,695.

The Diskwento Caravan which intends to provide 10 percent discount among buyers was organized by the local government of Bayombong, National Food Authority(NFA) Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Trade and Industry(DTI) and DWRV Radio Station to help students in availing quality school and food supplies at a cheaper cost.

The caravan was supported by Ludan's RTW, Zenco Footstep, Anita's Department Store, S 7 B Prints and Graphics, Pandayan Bookstore and RO Supermart. (PNA)

Another suspect in the November 2009 Maguindanao massacre

Another suspect in the November 2009 Maguindanao massacre fell into government hands a few days after soldiers unearthed 16 high powered firearms in Maguindanao, a regional Army spokesperson said. 

Colonel Prudencio Asto, 6th Infantry Division spokesperson, identified the latest massacre suspect captured by government agents as Nasser Talib.

He was the 92nd crime suspect arrested while more than 100 others remain at large.

Asto said Talib was arrested by soldiers of the 104th Infantry Brigade in Barangay Poblacion Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao at about 9 a.m. Monday while he was watching a basketball tournament.

A warrant of arrest was presented to the surprised Talib and he did not resist arrest although he vehemently denied any hand in the November 2009 massacre of 58 persons in Barangay Salman, Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

Talib has been turned over to the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group which brought him to Manila to be turned over to the Department of Justice.

The massacre, the country's worst political violence, was blamed on the former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his son Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr.

Among those killed were supporters of now Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Toto Mangudadatu and 30 journalists.

Davao Prison and Penal Farm with Modern Facility

The Davao Prison and Penal Farm (formerly the Davao Penal Colony or Dapecol), the country's oldest penal colony located in Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte, is now secured with modern facilities. 

Davao Prison and Penal Farm superintendent Venacio J. Tesoro, at a press conference here recently, assured the penal colony is secured like the entrance of the detention facility now with rigged security cameras and motion sensors that reduce incidents of jailbreaks.

Tesoro said the penal colony only has a total of 150 guards. The ideal ratio would have been one guard for every 10 inmates. But, in this case, it is closer to one guard per 39 inmates.

In this regard, Tesoro said "let technology do the work."

"Lack of manpower can easily be resolved with the help of technology," he said.

Tesoro said nine more will be installed for a total of 10 security cameras and motion sensors. One security camera is like having 10 guards keeping watch.

He said of the 5,800 inmates, 2,000 are classified under maximum security or those serving a sentence of 20 years and above; 2,500 are medium security or those whose sentences are below 19 years; 1,100 inmates classified as minimum security, plus 200 women in the women's correctional at the Juan Acenas Sub-Colony in neighboring Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte.

Tesoro said the penal colony is also providing a work program for its minimum security inmates partnered with the Tagum Agricultural Development Company, Inc. (Tadeco), which is owned by the Floirendo family, to allow prisoners to work in its banana plantation located inside the 5,212 hectares jail compound.

In exchange, Tadeco gets to use part of the penal farm's land as banana plantation area.

Tesoro said inmates who are part of the work program remain to be the breadwinners of their families earning P261 a day from manual work in the plantation. The work program applies only to women and men inmates who are classified as minimum security prisoners.

Meal Allowance of Inmates Prisoners in the Philippines

An official of the Davao Prison and Penal Farm (formerly Davao Penal Colony or Dapecol) located in Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte, said the national government is allocating P100 million annually, 85 percent of which or some P85 million, is being utilized for the food allocation of their 5,800 inmates. 

Prison Superintendent Venacio Tesoro told reporters during a press conference here on Monday that the amount is just enough for some 5,800 inmates to have a decent meal.

y P16 per meal for a three-meal a day.

But based on the P85 million meal budget allotted, each inmate only gets P13 per meal and not P16. This amounts to only P39 daily food allowance for each inmate and not P50.

He said the Davao Prison and Penal Farm has an in-house nutritionist to ensure that each meal is packed with proper nutrition.

Water Lily at Rio Grande de Mindanao

The military here has junked a proposal by some local officials to blast aquatic plants which block rivers along Rio Grande de Mindanao and triggered massive flooding in Cotabato City's low lying villages. 

Instead, the 6th Infantry Division spokesperson Colonel Prudencio Asto said Maj. Gen. Rey Ardo, Army division commander, ordered the deployment of soldiers to help volunteers remove water lilies that have been clogging the rivers.

"Instead of firearms, our soldiers will bring with them chainsaw and ordinary farm tools, to fight the threat of more flooding," Asto said.

Asto said Army engineers discouraged the use of explosive to blast off the water hyacinth which stretches up to about 10 kilometers long along Rio Grande de Mindanao and Tamontaka river, two huge rivers that criss-cross Cotabato City.

"Once blasted, the soil and silt attached to the roots of aquatic plants will scatter in the river beds making it shallow," Asto said. "We better cut the water lilies chunk by chunk and let it flow downstream toward the Moro gulf."

Public works officials who have been working day and night in removing the water lilies said the continued stay of vast water hyacinth at the columns of Delta Bridge and Tamontaka Brigde could weaken its foundation and could collapse anytime.

Commuters from Datu Piang, Maguindanao, who used the river as route in going to Cotabato City, told officials that huge chunks of water lilies are slowly moving downstream.

"We are in a very difficult situation now, we are bracing for bigger problems," according to Sultan Kudarat Mayor Tocao Mastura.

The torrential rains spawned by low pressure areas east of Mindanao swelled marshes in several towns in the first and second districts of Maguindanao, causing the inundation of some 200 barangays and forcing more than 350,000 people to evacuate to high grounds.

Davao City Pre-school Enrollment

The Department of Education (DepEd) Davao has recorded almost double the number of preschool enrollees this school year

Virginia J. Nocos, supervisor for the preschool education program of DepEd Davao City Division, said with the start of the campaign to universalize the kindergarten program, the number of enrollees increased to 13,354 this year compared to the 6,762 preschool children in 2010.

Nocos said the universalization of the preschool education is the first step under the K+12 program of the government which makes kindergarten mandatory as well as adding two years to the current 10-year basic education curriculum with six years of elementary and four years of high school.

DepEd Order No. 37 penned by Education Secretary Armin A. Luistro on May 4 provides that "the inclusion of preschool, currently known as kindergarten in the basic education cycle, making it free and compulsory is presently being considered at the policy level."

Nocos said the program intends to expand the coverage of the kindergarten education through reaching five-year old children who belong to the poorest households.

Rice Production Contest and Cash Award

The Department of Agriculture will recognize local government units and extension workers for their outstanding contribution to the country's rice self-sufficiency program.

DA Regional Technical Director for Operations Valentino Perdido said the DA will select 10 provinces in the country which have the highest palay production and recognize them with P5 million cash award each.

Perdido said 50 municipalities implementing numerous programs and projects in increasing rice production will also be recognized and receive P1 million each. Some 500 outstanding agricultural extension workers will also receive P20,000 each.

Perdido said this will be the first time that the government will recognize LGUs and extension workers in the country for their outstanding performance and contribution to palay production.

The rice production program is one of the priority thrusts of the government who is aiming to become rice self-sufficient by year 2013.

During his visit in this province recently, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala has recognized the role of farmers, including the irrigators' associations, who are all contributors to the government's rice self-sufficiency programs.

Cebu Provincial Government Opposes Cebu City Ordinance

The Cebu Provincial Government has made formal its opposition to a Cebu City ordinance that amended the 1996 zoning ordinance mandating that government properties along the Banilad-Talamban corridor should only be for public use.

The province owns a property in the corridor that it wants to develop into a P1.2-billion commercial complex with a private developer.

In 2009, at the height of the conflict between the Cebu City mayor now Rep. Tomas Osmena (south district) and Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia, the council amended the zoning ordinance.

The amendment calls for all lots acquired through the Friar Lands Act to be devoted to the purpose for which they were acquired.

"It curtails the property rights of landowners," read the provincial government's position paper, a statement shared by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

The province also invoked Proclamation 394 of March 15, 1957, where the late president Ramon Magsaysay revoked Executive Order 20 signed by then governor-general Francis Burton Harrison that reserved the Banilad friar lands estate for public use.

"As it is well within the rights of the Cebu Provincial Government to maximize the use of its land, the curtailment obviously forced upon this ordinance (amendment of the 1996 Zoning Ordinance) is tantamount to taking without just compensation," the position paper read.

It also said hindering development in the Ban-Tal area is not the solution to the traffic problem.

It called the prohibition an oppressive exercise of police powers.

"Easing the traffic problems in the Ban-Tal area can be better solved by the widening of roads or finding other routs," it also stated.

Osmena said these solutions entail a lot of money because of the expropriation of prime property.

Around P50 million was spent to expropriate lots covered by the road widening during the construction of the Banilad flyover alone, he said.

Concluding the position paper is the call to abandon the subject ordinance.

Transfer of Cebu City Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (CCTRC)

The Cebu Provincial Government has ordered the Cebu City Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (CCTRC) to vacate the provincial lot in Salinas Drive, Lahug.

Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia said the Capitol will give the center 60 days so it will have time to look for a relocation site.

She said they need to start advertising the property so they can solicit bid proposals these projects to be finished by then," she said.

Garcia said he has met with the center's administrator, Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr., who is also the medical director of the state-run Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City.

The CCTRC, which has 140 patients, sits on an 11,475-square meter Capitol lot. It is close to the former site of the Cebu City jail called the Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center and the Asiatown IT Park, the bustling center for business process outsourcing (BPO) firms in the city.

Cebu Provincial Attorney Marino Martiquilla said they sent three demand letters to the center: the first on March 31, 2006, the second on Feb. 20, 2007; and the last on Feb. 8, 2008.

Capitol sent a fourth demand letter last June 3.

Garcia said they will start the ball rolling and not wait for the center to decide when to vacate.

Cebu City Port to be Transferred to Liloan, Cebu?

The Cebu Port Authority (CPA) is set to enter into an agreement with the Korean International Cooperation Agency to update the study of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) on relocating the Cebu International Port (CIP).

Undersecretary Aristotle Batuhan, who heads the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) maritime cluster, said there's a need to move the CIP because the facility, in its current location at the Cebu City port, won't be able to accommodate bigger ocean-going vessels in the future, especially if there's heavy siltation.

Jica conducted the feasibility study in the early part of the last decade upon the request of then general manager Jose Jake Marquez.

The study was worth USD3.3 million or equivalent to P165 million at that time.

The study recommended the 60-hectare area in Tayud, Liloan, Cebu as the site of the new international port because it is deep, it has a shoreline frontage, it is near Cebu City and the Mactan Economic Zone, it is accessible to transportation facilities and it has natural protection against strong winds.

It also recommended the CPA taking out a P9-billion loan with the Japan Bank for International cooperation to build the international port that will have six berthing area. The construction was supposed to start in 2006.

The project, though, was shelved by Marquez's successor Mariano Martinez.

The plan was revisited during the time of general managers Angelo Verdan and Vicente Suazo Jr. after the Mandaue City Government under Mayor Jonas Cortes banned prime movers and 10-wheeler trucks carrying container vans from the CIP from plying the city's major thoroughfares during the day.

The CIP currently handles 2,000 container vans of imported and export products per week.

Batuhan, who chairs the CPA Board as alternate to the DOTC secretary, said the agency is seriously considering a new international port to decongest traffic in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue.

Batuhan said the CPA and DOTC may consider entering into a package deal with an interested developer who will win the public bidding.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Iloilo News - Bukas Kotse Crime Group Busted

A notorious 'Bukas Kotse' suspect from Jaro, Iloilo City finally fell into the hands of police authorities after victimizing some 20 car owners in this metropolis.

The suspect, Rollen Magno y Cabardo, 31, of Javellana Extension, Jaro, Iloilo City, was caught by operatives of Special Operations Group (SOG) while ransacking the Nissan car of a medical technologist parked in one of the resto bars at Smallville complex along the Diversion Road in Mandurriao district here.

When confronted by the police, Magno made an alibi that he was ordered by his aunt to get her things inside the car but the police declined to believe his tale.

SOG head Supt. Noel Lamsis said they have already initiated several tedious casing operations on Magno's activities for the past three weeks prior to his arrest on Saturday night.

The suspect looted the car of a shoulder bag with P400 cash and several dollar bills. Seized in his possession were three deformed scissors which he reportedly use in his operation and three plastic sachets of suspected shabu including drug paraphernalia.

Lamsis said Magno seems to boldly operate on his own using a Mitsubishi Lancer as a get-away vehicle. The suspect has already victimized at least 20 cars mostly park in big restos and flush malls in this metropolis since January up to the time of his arrest.

Among his prominent victims include former Iloilo provincial administrator Boy Mejorada whom the suspect victimized of his laptop computer and a service firearm in March this year.

The suspect admitted to have sold the laptop computer to his uncle while the firearm was bought by a former classmate in this city.

The SOG chief said that Magno was detained in 2008 for a similar offense but went on with his illicit activity after his release until he was caught red-handed over the weekend.

Lamsis said that apart from thievery, Magno could also be criminally charged for violations of Section 11 of Republic Act 9165 for yielding shabu at the time of his arrest.

Eat Bulaga Show Applies for Trademark Registration

Television and Production Exponents, Inc. (TAPE) filed four applications for trademark registration with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) for four versions of its Eat Bulaga logo last May 29.

It has been in business since 1981.

Trademark registrations are required in order to obtain ownership and protection for brands and logos. It is granted on a first come, first served basis.It is not mandatory under the law, unlike business name registration, however, when copying occurs, the only basis for legal protection is a trademark certificate.

A certificate of trademark registration is obtained from the IPOPHL. Trademark certificates operate like titles for brands.

IPOPHL is an agency attached to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). It issues registration over copyrights, trademarks and patents for protection. (PNA)

China’s new bank loans Slow Down

China's new bank loans for May showed a slowdown from April, though the drop indicates only a marginal tightening of credit. Beijing is attempting to cut back on credit expansion, but cutting back too suddenly could slow down the economy. Finding the middle ground on lending is only one challenge Beijing faces as it attempts to reduce social tensions by dampening inflation without harming growth.

China's new bank loans for May showed a slowdown from April. In May, the country's mostly state-dominated banking sector extended about 551.6 billion yuan, or about $85 billion, in new yuan-denominated loans, down from 739.6 billion yuan in new loans in April.

But the drop in new loans suggests a marginal rather than a sharp tightening of credit. And even as China considers raising interest rates further and implementing other measures to tighten credit, new risks to growth are emerging that will challenge the leadership's resolve in combating inflation.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Take time to remember people who don't deserve to be remembered

by Ralph Oscar Bagaboyboy

Take time to remember people who don't deserve to be remembered
. The feeling of doing it eases the pain and obstacles to face the brighter future we long to have.

Don't tell anybody that you are happy now for forgetting somebody you hated in the past. Things, events, circumstances and faces of people you meet along the way will let you remember the dark past again. What you should do to resolve the agony of denying what is stored in your memory is to remember them in prayers and allow God to heal the wounds between you and the others. Prayer is the strongest healer for brokenhearted memories.

Do Not Be Frustrated with People

by Ralph Oscar Bagaboyboy

Do not be frustrated if people do not consider your good acts good to them. You don't live in this world to impress upon people, to show up how great and intelligent you are to them. This life was made by Heaven to fulfill God's purposes on earth.

Some people may have been so envious and mad at our own goodness. They spread out bad words about you and try to destroy your reputation. But God will never let you down. Every good thing, word and spirit you did is always counted.Make your life counted in Heaven.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fake Nationalists in the Philippines

Calling the KMU, MAKABAYAN, BAYAN MUNA, GABRIELLA, and others like these fake nationalists, why are you not staging protest rallies in front of the obnoxious chinese embassy? C'mon boys /gals, show your love for your country!!!

Hey congresswoman Edcel Lagman, why are you not making any noise in Congress against the illegal, bullying activites of the obnoxious chinese in the Spratlys? - from Philippine Star

Legal Policy Advisor Job in the Philippines

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is looking for a Legal & Policy Advisor to support its Investment Climate Program (see attached Terms of Reference).
Those qualified and interested in applying should submit their:
1.      CV (no more than 5 pages) that addresses the qualifications indicated in the attached TOR and contains the following information: 
        •   complete name and current contact info (e-mail address, telephone and mobile numbers);
        •   related formal education and special training;
        •   work experience;
        •   specific skills and know-how that will be useful in this job; and
        •   at least three references (professional).

2.   One-page Expression of Interest (EOI) indicating why s/he is suitable for the job.

Please send by courier or mail your EOI and CV (Subject: EOI-Legal & Policy Advisor) before 5pm Monday, 30 May 2011 to the IFC, 11th Floor, Ayala Tower, Ayala Triangle, Makati City or fax it at fax no. 848-7339 (we will not consider EOIs sent via e-mail).

All applications will be treated in strict confidence. Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Short-listed candidates will be required to write a test and come for an interview.
We thank you in advance for your interest and look forward to receiving your EOI & CV on or before the specified deadline.

Meaning of Extraordinary Life

Extraordinary life does not mean living in glamor, riches, popularity and power. You can be extraordinary even in the way you love people differently, motivate them to reach their dreams faithfully and change their mindset and values towards good living.

Some people today are very much concerned on getting more titles, degrees, achievements and honors for themselves. But they do not become good, loving and wonderful neighbors, friends and relatives to others.

Start Getting Extraordinary!!! This is the life that I am promoting now through my books, inspirational materials and trainings. Live the life God wanted us to be, and not the life dictated by the modern world trends. - by Ralph Oscar Bagaboyboy

Peak of Success

You are not required to change the way you are because you reach the peak of success. There are people now who change so differently when they become successful in their career. They don't mingle anymore with those they think are in low estate of life. They drive their cars to neighborhood even if it is a walking distance and forget old poor friends and relatives anymore.

Bear in mind, whatever highness of feelings and attitude you have right now will later on bring you down if you don't learn to believe that any people who come in and out of your life are God's amazing angels to help make your life complete.- by Ralph Oscar Bagaboyboy

Superiority of our Intelligence

Sometimes we think we are Lords in our own way. When we believe in the superiority of our intelligence, skills and experiences, we think also of others as inferior to us. We dictate them what to do, abuse their being who they are and underestimate their capacity to prove they can.

Wake up my friend!!! All of us in this world are caretakers of God's place on earth. Never think of yourself as higher than anybody else for we are all animals made humans by God so we can give love and kindness to everyone. - by Ralph Oscar Bagaboyboy

Southern Luzon International Airport (SLIA) in Daraga, Albay

Outgoing Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Jose "Ping" de Jesus has assured Albay Governor Joey Salceda that the construction of the Southern Luzon International Airport (SLIA) in Daraga, Albay would be in full steam following the inclusion of the P500 million fund in the DOTC budget next year.

During their meeting last week, Salceda said De Jesus announced that the P500 million earlier slashed by Congress from the P870 million originally proposed in the National Expenditure Program (NEP) for 2011, is being restored in the DOTC 2012 budget upon the request of the Regional Development Council (RDC) and the provincial government of Albay.

At present, the SLIA is working on a P370-million fund involving site development and the construction of concrete road network that would link the airport site to the Maharlika Highway in Daraga.

Bidding documents for the P370-million 2011 budget are now being readied and it would be procured by the DOTC central office, Salceda said.

Salceda said De Jesus assured him that the DOTC has strongly and clearly reiterated that the SLIA in Albay is a national priority of President Benigno S. Aquino III given its impact to Bicol's tourism and the overall economic development of the countryside.

The DOTC believes that an international airport in the Bicol region would place a critical role in tourism, provide easy access for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and open neighboring markets that would boost the region's economy.

Data from the SLIA feasibility study indicate that tourism in the last four years (1997-2000) in Bicol had posted 1.2 million visitors (foreign – 65,016; domestic – 1.1 million and OFWs with 20,066). The figure constituted about four percent of the total number of tourist arrivals in the Philippines, and about two percent of the total foreign visitors in the country.

The DOTC said the SLIA in Albay would be an alternate gateway given the congested traffic in existing international airports in Metro Manila.

As for the travel demand market, Salceda said Bicol alone has 5.4 million people and Samar provinces with 1.65 million for a total market of 7.1 million.

"If we were a country, we would be as big as Hong Kong and Tajikistan, slightly smaller than Switzerland, Israel, Honduras and Bulgaria and certainly bigger than Libya, Finland, Singapore, Nicaragua, Laos, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Ireland," Salceda said.

The DOTC technical study concluded that Daraga is the most suitable location for an international airport in Bicol given its "wind conditions" conducive year-round to air transportation unlike other newly proposed sites.

Considering the sheer lack of financial resources of the government, a new strategy has evolve this is by way of build and privatize, popularly known as "public-private"" partnership.

Under the public-private partnership (PPP), the government will essentially build the airport but its terminal construction and airport operation will be bid out under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) scheme.

Salceda said, this strategy reduces the financial cash out and reduces the construction period of the investor, thus making it more attractive to potential investors.

The BOT format that will be presented for international competitive bidding is also being accelerated. The budget of about P10 million for the BOT feasibility study will be funded by the P300 million PPP FS budget of the BOT Center.

He said the DOTC is in the process to studying a proposal to "bundle the privatization of the Old Legazpi Airport with the BOT for the Southern Luzon International Airport". This will give an incentive to the BOT investor to accelerate the SLIA construction so it can immediately access the land of the Old Legazpi national airport.

The Legazpi airport has the best locational advantage in terms of commercial potential since it is right at the center of existing commercial and residential development, Salceda said.

The PPP scheme would allow private investors to develop the old Legazpi airport into an "integrated resort" much like Sentosa in Singapore which can easily create new business opportunities and incremental jobs.

For the local government of Legazpi and Daraga, the PPP scheme would also mean a bonanza in real property taxes since both will now be operated by private firms with Legazpi City's 75 hectares in the Old Legazpi National Airport to get P56 million in tax revenue while Daraga's 140 hectares in the SLIA at some P14 million.

Philippine Navy operatives backed by policemen

Philippine Navy operatives backed by policemen intercepted Wednesday a shipment of a truckload of tanbark at a private pier in this city, a Navy official announced Thursday.

Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) chief Commodore Armando Guzman said the confiscated tanbark was just unloaded from a vessel, M/L Marwiza, which docked at Wee Bin wharf in Barangay Baliwasan.

Guzman said the truck, which was about to leave the private port, was loaded with 310 sacks of tanbark.

"The tanbark is to be delivered to an undetermined warehouse somewhere in this city which is now being located by the joint Navy and Police operatives," he said.

He said the harvesting of tanbark has been outlawed in the Philippines since this tree bark when removed kills the mangrove trees.

Mangrove trees are important to the environment since they provide many diverse species of birds, mammals, crustacea, and fish a unique irreplaceable habitat.

Guzman disclosed that tanbark is commonly smuggled to Malaysia and Indonesia and is highly valued as a source of organic dye used in making batik cloth. (PNA)

Davao City Scholarship for College Students

The city government has allocated P45 million budget for the expanded scholarship on tertiary education program (STEP) this school year, according to Lemuel Ortonio, chief of staff of the City Mayor's Office here.

Ortonio said the budget has increased from P30 million as Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio wanted to cater to a total of 420 scholars this year.

He said Mayor Sara wanted the 420 scholars to exist until they will graduate from the institutions that partnered with the city government. They were advised that they should be disciplined and continue to strive in their studies to finish college.

In the launching on the educational benefit system unit recently, Duterte-Carpio signed a memorandum of agreement with the different institutions like the University of Mindanao (UM), University of the Philippines-Mindanao (UP-Min), Holy Cross of Davao College (DHDC), San Pedro College (SPC) and Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU).

The agreement formalized the partnership with the schools in the monitoring and development of the scholars' academic performance.

On the other hand, the educational benefit system unit will handle the various scholarship programs such as the STEP, Lumad Educational Assistance Program, educational assistance for the Airport and Sasa bombing victims and City Councilor Edgar Ibuyan's Rody Sagop Bata.

Ortonio said the educational assistance for the Lumads provide P1,500 per beneficiary. At least 60 lumads from Marilog and Paquibato districts are given financial assistance under the program.

Furthermore, he said the scholarship grant program for the Lumads and Moros who want to enroll in law and medicine courses is still open. (PNA)

General Santos City News - Hand Grenade Explosion in GenSan City

Unidentified men lobbed a fragmentation grenade early Thursday at a house of an official of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BIMP) here but no casualties were reported.

Senior Supt. Cedric Train, city police director, said the explosion at around 12:40 a.m. partially damaged a portion of the façade of jail Insp. Panga Arab's residence in Purok Saway in Barangay Labangal here.

Based on their initial investigation, he said four unidentified persons aboard a black Suzuki and Honda XRM motorcycles were seen near the area before the explosion happened.

He said the city police's Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit initially recovered a safety lever of a fragmentation grenade near the blast site.

Arab, who is deputy administrator of BJMP-Sarangani, said the explosion destroyed the glass door and windows of their house.

"We we're just awakened by the loud explosion. We initially thought it was from our air-conditioning unit but we later noticed several grenade fragments infront of our house," he said.

The jail official said he can't speculate on the motive and the identity of the suspects as his family has no known enemies or begrudged anybody that might trigger such kind of attack.

"(But) it appears that I'm the main target of the attack," he said.

Flashfloods in General Santos City

At least 17 families from a riverside community here have been displaced as flashfloods swept anew the area Wednesday evening.

City Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio said Thursday a portion of Purok Matinabangon in Barangay Labangal here remained submerged in floodwaters due to the swelling of the critical Silway River at the height of heavy rains in the area on Wednesday afternoon.

She said no casualties have been reported but the floods washed away at least two houses, several animal sheds and farm animals.

"We immediately ordered the evacuation of the affected families due to the rising volume of floodwaters coming from the river," the mayor said.

Custodio, who rushed to the scene Wednesday evening, said she has directed the City Social Welfare and Development Office to provide immediate assistance to the affected families.

She also instructed the City Disaster Risk reduction and Management Council and the City Engineer's Office to conduct a regular monitoring of the river's water level and implement remedial measures to prevent further flooding in the area.

Engr. Mark Reyes, acting city engineer, said they have assigned at least two bulldozers to the area to conduct a partial re-channeling of the river Thursday morning.

"We will prop up the riverbanks and clear the main waterway to prevent the floodwaters from flowing towards the nearby communities," he said in a radio interview.

As a long-term solution, he said they are planning to establish a dike and re-channel the river to allow the normal flow of water towards the Sarangani Bay.

Reyes said they have been closely monitoring the situation in the area now due to the onset of the heavy rains in the area since last week.

On Wednesday afternoon, he said they dispatched one of their bulldozers to conduct a remedial clearing of the river but they later pulled out due to its rising water level.

He said the bulk of the floodwaters were mainly from the river's tributaries in the upland portion of nearby Polomolok town in South Cotabato.

No Ban for Media to Report Cases at Fiscal's Office

Justice Secretary Leila De Lima clarified that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has not issued any directive prohibiting the media from getting updates on cases pending in the City Prosecutor's Office.

De Lima stated this to reporters at the sidelines of the anti-trafficking forum of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) at the Waterfront Insular Hotel here on Wednesday.

"I don't prohibit the media to get updates on the process of the cases," she said.

In a press conference held after the forum, a reporter based here asked about Chief Prosecutor Raul Bendigo's letter stating that photocopying the charge sheets is prohibited by the Regional State Prosecutor's Office (RSPO) Regional Circular No. 2010-003.

The RSPO circular states that no requested documents and pleadings pertaining to a case shall be released by any prosecution office in the region and/or its personnel to the media until after the final termination or preliminary investigation. The circular was issued for the protection of the interest of all the concerned parties in a case and so as not to hamper the speedy and impartial disposition of cases.

"What is the rationale behind this? I'll check on it," De Lima said.

The DOJ, however, issued Memorandum Circular 09 dated Sept. 30, 2010 regulating the follow-up of criminal and administrative cases and other matters in the Department. The memorandum, signed by De Lima, covers interested parties although it does not specifically mention if these include members of the media.

She said barring reporters from doing their jobs goes against the program of the Aquino administration to promote transparency in government affairs.

"In Manila, I allow the media to get the information on the cases," De Lima said. (PNA)

Twister Hits South Cotabato

A strong twister hit a remote village in Tantangan town in South Cotabato Wednesday afternoon, destroying at least eight houses and four classroom buildings in the area.

Tantangan Mayor Arnold Garingo said the strong winds brought by the tornado struck Barangay New Lambunano at the height of the heavy rains in the area at around 3 p.m. Wednesday, wrecking the houses and classrooms along its path.

The mayor said he and some municipal government personnel were distributing school supplies to pupils of the New Lambunao Elementary School when the twister came.

"The wind suddenly blew heavily and then plowed through the houses. I saw several roofs and personal valuables being blown away by the twister," he said.

Garingo said he immediately mobilized the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council personnel to assist the affected families and assess the extent of the damage wrought by the twister.

He said they initially distributed relief goods and will work out the release of shelter assistance to the affected residents.

Casualty by Dodong Typhoon in Romblon, Philippines

A 56-year-old woman died in Romblon while a 10-year-old boy was reported missing due to the effects of Tropical Depression "Dodong" on Thursday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported.

NDRRMC executive director Undersecretary Benito Ramos identified the fatality as Alejandara Mortel, 56, a resident of Sitio Kabangan, Barangay Carmen, San Agustin, Romblon.

Ramos said Mortel drowned in a flash flood in San Agustin. No other details were given from Romblon.

Ten-year-old Mark Daniel Ken Mateo of Batangas City, Batangas, was reported missing since Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Ramos said flooding incident occurred in Barangay Sta. Lucia, Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro due to the swelling of the Alongpong River which caused the stranding of three passenger buses bound for San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. But as of press time, only one bus remained in the terminal. (PNA)

China-owned cellular phone and gadget shops Bad for Filipinos

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Kalibo (PCCI) is worried over the proliferation of China-owned cellular phone and gadget shops as they are dislocating local traders here.

Jose Mari Aldecoa, PCCI-Kalibo president, said they are planning to invite representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Aklan Press Club Inc. for an inter-agency action on the matter. The assembly is initially slated July 16.

"We just wanted to know why there are increasing number of cellular phone shops in Kalibo and what are their business status," said Aldecoa during their monthly meeting recently.

It was said that Chinese shops are dislocating local businesses because of the aggressive expansion of their businesses. The Chinese shop owners are reportedly using locals as dummies to legally register their businesses. (PNA)

Boracay Reclamation Project Bad for the Environment?

The Aklan provincial government is keen on pushing its reclamation project although it currently abides by the Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) issued by the Supreme Court (SC) recently.

Aklan governor Carlito Marquez is in Manila now along with his economic team to prepare for the legal battle against the Boracay Foundation Incorporated (BFI) that is strongly opposing the project.

"We are confident that we could be able to push the project. As long as we are concerned, the reclamation project is safe because of the study undertaken by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA)," Marquez said.

The Aklan provincial government undertook the project through a bond flotation to expand tourism lure in this resort island considered as one of the world's best beach tourism destinations.

The Aklan provincial government is confident that the SC will consider its plea as they have met all the necessary requirements needed for the project.

The SC, in its TEPO, has given the Aklan provincial government 10 days to file its comment.

The Aklan provincial government targets one million tourists for Boracay Island next year hoping to complete the project in time. (PNA)

POEA Jobs for Filipino in Taiwan Factory

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in Davao is now helping a Taiwan-based company in recruiting five male factory workers under the POEA's Government Placement Branch.

Maria Carolina Agdamag, chief of the POEA regional center for Mindanao, said the Queikon Enterprises Co. is in urgent need of high school or college graduates who are 20 to 40 years old with experience in textile manufacturing to qualify for the position.

Agdamag emphasized there are no restrictions on height and weight requirement. The salary rate at stake is New Taiwan 17,880 dollars or about P26,900 a month.

She said qualified applicants may register online at or, a detailed resume with job description, school credentials, employment certificates, passport copy and two pieces 2x2 recent picture.

Interested applicants may also personally submit the requirements at the Manpower Registry Division, Window M, ground floor, Blas F. Ople Building (formerly POEA Bldg.), Ortigas Avenue corner Edsa, Mandaluyong City. The deadline of submission is on June 24, 2011.

Those who will register online will be asked to present original documents for authentication of writer information before forwarding the resume to the employer, while those who will submit personally should present the original documents, she added. (PNA)