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PowerSource group bolsters Iligan’s growth

September 18, 2019

ILIGAN City--Iligan’s biggest investment project in years is now operating its thermal hybrid power plant in Barangay Kiwalan assuring the Industrial City of the South’s continuous electricity supply. In a press conference called during the recently concluded 28th Mindanao Business Conference held at the MSU-IIT gym in Iligan City, officers of the Power Source Philippines Energy Inc. (PPEI), a subsidiary of the PowerSource Group, announced it completed the construction of its P3 billion (B) hybrid power plant, in July of last year. PSPI has set up PowerSource Philippines Energy Inc. (PPEI) as a special purpose vehicle for the project. Its Board of Investments (BOI) filing listed an initial investment of P2.3 billion in 2015 and construction of the power plant commenced in February 2016.  “Through a joint effort with the local government unit, other energy companies, and the local community, we want to help protect and bolster Iligan’s energy future so that homes have light, businesses can function, and important healthcare services continue to operate worry-free,” said  Ricardo G. Lazatin, President of PowerSource Group, PPEI’s mother company. “This plant is unique in the sense that it is an embedded plant within Iligan,” said PPEI Executive Director Michael Dennis D. Rayala. “So basically, if anything happens say a massive blackout in Mindanao, PPEI and other embedded plants in Iligan can power the city independently. So there is assurance and security of power in such situations.” The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) granted PSPI a certificate of compliance (COC) last February 6, 2019 to operate its 25-megawatt (MW) circulating fluidized bed (CFB) thermal hybrid plant and two units of 3.20 MW blackstart diesel engine generator sets located in Brgy. Kiwalan, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte. The plant utilizes a mix of 70% coal and 30% biomass. Rayala said PPEI signed a 25-year power supply agreement (PSA) with the local distribution utility Iligan Light & Power, Inc. (ILPI) for 12MW baseload power and 8MW baseload power with Republic Cement Iligan Inc. Investments & Promotions Code Lazatin credits Iligan city for crafting an attractive local investment code which was a major factor in its decision to invest in the area. “PowerSource is highly appreciative of Iligan’s Investment and Promotions Code, which makes the city an ideal location for new business ventures,” Lazatin said.  Corporate Citizenship   Lazatin added the PowerSource Group is going beyond merely providing energy to the city and is also focusing on how the company can make a meaningful impact on the community. Foremost, PPEI made the decision to transfer its headquarters from Makati to its newfound home in Iligan on March 20, 2019 to show its long term commitment to the development of the city. “PPEI) our subsidiary that operates the embedded thermal hybrid plant in Iligan has moved its head office from Makati to Iligan because we’d like to really support the community and generate additional revenues and taxes for the city. Most importantly, this move is an insurance and a security for power supply in Iligan,” Lazatin stressed. Lazatin added that PPEI has complied with an extensive list of regulatory requirements in the development and construction of the plant, so by promoting good corporate governance, PPEI can help the city attract more investors to Iligan. PowerSource Group is currently drawing up plans to work with schools starting with the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) to create a cadetship program for young engineers and students that will aid their skills development. This will eventually help turn Iligan into the Philippine center of excellence for energy engineering, or what Lazatin calls Energyneering.  Aside from creating jobs at the plant, PPEI has donated a fire truck and ambulance worth P4-million to the Iligan LGU last June 24 which was assigned to its host barangay in Kiwalan.    “Right now, we want to focus on finding potential partnerships and building good relationships with Mindanaoan communities,” said Lazatin. “Aside from generating revenue for the local government, we’re hoping our presence encourages others to consider Iligan as a viable investment opportunity.”   Additional opportunities that PowerSource Group is currently exploring include, among others, initiatives that will support the environment and restore natural resources through agro-forestry and water distribution.   “PowerSource Group considers itself as a long-term partner in the economic growth of Iligan and the rest of Mindanao. We are here for the long haul in helping promote the brighter future of Mindanao,” Lazatin concluded.

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PDEA-10 director to jail warden: resign

September 18, 2019

CAGAYAN de Oro City--The head of the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency in Region 10 (PDEA-10) yesterday (September 18) sought for the resignation of Misamis Oriental Provincial Jail (MOPJ) Warden Dominador Tagarda. PDEA Director Wilkins Villanueva urged Tagarda to resign shortly after his two sons were arrested for illegal drugs inside the compound of the Tagardas in Gumamela Extension in Barangay Carmen yesterday morning. PDEA-10 agents reportedly seized more than a dozen of sachets allegedly containing methamphetamine hydrochloride locally known as "shabu" when they executed the search warrants against Gregor and his younger brother Von Clinton Tagarda. Villanueva told reporters the Tagarda brothers have been the subject of surveillance since 2007 until their final arrest were made on Wednesday (September 18) when the PDEA arresting team were able to secure a search warrant from a judge. "Mag resign ka na, nagtratrabaho ka sa MOPJ. Itinago niya ang kanyang anak sa Gingoog City. Witness pa ang 3 taong gulang sa pag rerepack. Nasa iisang balay at lugar sila," Villanueva was quoted as saying in a report posted by Bombo-Radyo-Cagayan de Oro in its website. Over Magnum radio, Tagarda belied the accusation hurled by Villanueva. In the same interview, Tagarda said he has already filed his early retirement which is scheduled in December this year.

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Hog industry in Normin still safe from ASF: aggie exec

September 14, 2019

CAGAYAN de Oro City--The 200-kilos of pork grilled during the weekly Farmers' Market Day at the capitol grounds on Friday (September 13) can help boost the hog industry in Northern Mindanao, said an official from the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 10 on Friday. “It’s important that we secure our region from the outbreak of the ASF,” said Juliet Araos, DA-10 regulatory division chief during a press conference called by the Misamis Oriental provincial government. Araos said the spread of the deadly virus that can infect and kill swine in a matter of days can be slowed down as the country is archipelagic. Although the ASF has not yet reached Mindanao, agriculture officials are not taking any chances as points of entry to the island are being closely monitored. Dr. Leo Mira, officer of the Bureau of Animal Industry’s regional veterinary quarantine services, said they have stepped up their monitoring of incoming pigs and meat products and byproducts from other areas, whether local or imported. Those most likely affected if the ASF reaches Mindanao are the hog farmers. Robert Uy, a hog raiser in Northern Mindanao, said since they have biosecurity measures in place in their farm facilities, they are confident their livestock will not be easily infected. Their concern, though, is the lowering of the farm gate price of the pig. The average per-kilo for a live swine is P125 per kilo, but due to the ASF scare, they are selling these past days at P95 per kilo. But, he said, it has not yet affected their production on a large scale. Uy added those most vulnerable of the ASF are the backyard piggery growers who feed their swine with “swill” or food scraps. “Commercial hog raisers feed their livestock with feeds, while our backyard counterparts with swill. We urge them to cook the swill for at least an hour before feeding to kill the bacteria,” he said. At the weekly farmers’ market held at the Misamis Oriental Capitol grounds on Friday, about 200 kilos of pork meat were grilled and then given to the public and employees. This, Dr. Benjamin Resma, the provincial veterinarian, said is “to prove that our pigs and pork meats are safe and are free from the African Swine Fever.” On Thursday, Misamsi Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano has issued an executive order banning pigs, pork products and byproducts from entering the province, especially those coming from areas with ASF infestation. The executive order has also activated task force that will implement the ban including inspection and coordination with other government agencies to ensure no pigs and pork products from ASF-infected areas can enter Misamis Oriental and nearby provinces.

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‘Bambi’ leads tourism week festival in MisOr

September 14, 2019

PROVINCIAL Governor ‘Bambi’ Emano inaugurate the new tourism building in front of the provincial capitol as the observance of the weeklong tourism week in the province kick-off  today. Emano said that the weeklong tourism festivity showcased a wide and diversified array of food flavors uniquely made in the 25 municipal towns and cities of Misamis Oriental. He said that for the key players and tourism stakeholders, the celebration opens an avenue to reach a wider consumer population and exposure. Jeffrey Saclot, the provincial tourism officer, said that for the past two years now, the celebration lamps on one central them dubbed as “Tienda sa MisOr: A MisOr Food Exhibit.” Every month of September, the province of Misamis Oriental joins earnestly in the country’s annual celebration of the National Tourism Week, highlighting the quintessential food delights of the different municipalities and cities, Saclot said. He said that tourism has become the flagship program of the Emano administration, which propel Misamis Oriental into an economic powerhouse. As a flagship program, Emano banks on the potential economic activities that a flourishing tourism industry could offer. Aside from bringing the food products closer to your table, the province’s sole culture and the arts are also on the spotlight during the celebration. Saclot said that the Emano administration always brings the province to the national tourism radar that behind the mist of misconception, Misamis Oriental is more than just what meets the eye. Saclot also invites everyone to visit the Activity Center of Ayala Centrio Mall and the Misamis Oriental Provincial Capitol Lobby on September 16-20, 2019. Explore MisOr and be part of this year’s Province-wide Tourism Week Celebration. -0-

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8 GCTA prisoners in North Mindanao yield

September 13, 2019

EIGHT prisoners in Northern Mindanao who availed of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) had initially yielded to the various sub-police stations in the region. Lt. Col. Mardi Hortilloza, the spokesperson of the regional police command in Camp Alagar in Cagayan De Oro City, said that the eight former prisoners are now in the custody of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG). He said that some of them were already transported to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Manila while others were still in the CIDG. According to Hortilloza, the Bureau of Corrections (BUCOR) has also informed the police regional command of the updated list of GCTA prisoners. “We are expecting more names of the GCTA prisoners who remained at large to be transmitted to the regional police command anytime,” Hortilloza said. He said that the BUCOR is releasing the names of GCTA prisoners by batches. He said that the freed prisoners voluntarily reported to the various sub-police stations in Northern Mindanao to beat the 15-day deadline issued by President Rodrigo Duterte. On Sept. 4, 2019, Duterte gave a 15-day recall order to all released heinous crime prisoners under the GCTA to return to prison. He said that the police will apply a warrant of arrest only after the 15-day deadline set by the President has lapsed. Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, of Cagayan De Oro City, warned that the police who would conduct a “warrantless” arrest against the freed prisoners could be charged in court. Rodriguez said that the released prisoners were already released and were already considered free and no longer deprived of liberty. -0-

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Duterte to address 28th MinBisCon in Iligan

September 12, 2019

ILIGAN City--President Rodrigo R. Duterte will address the closing ceremonies of Mindanao’s biggest gathering of businessmen later today as the 28th Mindanao Business Conference (MinBizCon) ends at the MSU-IIT gym in Iligan City. Prior to his speech, the President will be presented with the 28th MinBizCon Policy Agenda and Top 10 Actionable Recommendations  by Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Vice President for Mindanao Merlou S. Quisumbing. The six policy recommendations on the 28th MinBizCon Policy Agenda were earlier raised in a series of regional consultations conducted by the PCCI with its chambers in Mindanao. These include the  Upgrading Airport Capabilities in five key areas; increasing private sector consultations and participation in the Roads Leveraging Linkages for Industry and Trade (ROLL IT) program;  expediting action on the TRABAHO Bill given its Implications to Business; Fast-tracking the Rehabilitation of Agus-Pulangi Hydropower Plant ; Institutionalizing the Whole-of-Nation Approach under EO 70 to address Mindanao’s perennial peace and order issues; and, Fast-tracking the Economic Recovery of Marawi City. Meantime, the Top 10 Actionable Recommendations were raised during the Mindanao Leg of Sulong Pilipinas held earlier the same day and facilitated by the Department of Finance as an integral part of the 28th MinBizCon. Spearheaded by the Duterte administration, the Philippine Development Forum – Sulong Pilipinas: Hakbang Tungo sa Kaunlaran is an annual consultative conference that brings together different stakeholders from all over the country. By establishing a strong partnership between the government and different sectors – from business and development partners, to the academe, youth organizations, and many others – Sulong seeks to build a truly inclusive economy, and work towards a comfortable life for all Filipinos. Sulong Pilipinas is a platform through which the government can provide updates on our country’s achievements. More importantly, it is a way through which the administration receives feedback on its proposed plans and programs. Each conference generates ten actionable recommendations for government: the public’s identified priorities, which can guide policy and reform moving forward. Recommendations from past Sulongs are in various stages of implementation, including the National ID, Ease of Doing Business law, and the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program. Facilitating the Mindanao Leg of Sulong Pilipinas  are Asst. Sec. Tony Lambino and Usec. Karl Kendrik T. Chua, of the DOF’s  Strategy, Economics & Results Group. Lambino will brief participants on the workshop purpose and mechanics while Chua will present updates on Zero-to-10 Point Socioeconomic Agenda. Adding inputs to the workshop will be Roberto C. Amores, Chairman, Agriculture Committee and Vice Chair for International Affairs who will speak on Opportunities for Developing Mindanao Agriculture and the DWPH which will present updates on key Mindanao Infrastructure Projects. As a Mindanaonon himself, the President will present his feedback on the MinBizÇon’s Policy Agenda and Top 10 Actionable Recommendations from the Sulong Pilipinas workshop. Previous Sulong Pilipinas workshop recommendations covered K-12, water security,  Ease of Doing Business Law, the Anti Red Tape Authority (ARTA), grants for startups to enable technology transfers, improvement of agriculture infrastructure and logistics, business and job creation, appointment of competent technocrats as Secretaries of key departments, enactment of a modern and sustainable national land use and marine use policy, rehabilitation of major airports, and amendments to the Public Services Act, Right of Way Act, and economic provisions of the constitution to improve infrastructure development.

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