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Lanzones festival in Camiguin festive

October 26, 2019

MAMBAJAO, Camiguin--Thousands of residents and tourists gathered at the capital town here for this year’s annual Lanzones Festival, which has become more festive as the island-province is also celebrating its win in the national award for local government units with best practices. The 40th Lanzones Festival is one of the island’s major attractions and was established to celebrate the bounty of the lanzones fruit, considered as the sweetest in the country. Among the highlights of the festivities is the street dancing competition held in Mambajao Saturday. Camiguin is named the fourth Most Competitive Province in the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index Awards out of the 84 provinces in the country, according to Gov. Jurdin Jesus Romualdo. The distinction, now its seventh year, was bestowed on deserving LGUs by the Department of Trade and Industry through its Competitiveness Bureau. In consonance to that award, the province’s capital town of Mambajao also bagged the Most Competitive Municipality award for the 3rd to 6th Class Municipalities Category. Aside from that, Mambajao has won the Best in Economic Dynamism and the 3rd place in Government Efficiency for the same category. Awards are given to LGUs in four categories, namely, 3rd to 6th class municipalities, 1st to 2nd class municipalities, component cities, and highly urbanized cities. Romualdo said it has always been the vision of develop the island-province with sustainability and environmental consciousness in mind. “We worked hard for this,” he said, referring to the awards, “to make Camiguin a better place for us and for our guests.” To realize this, Camiguin has to take measures that would ensure food and power security for the island, he said. Romualdo said they are now working to implement a province-wide agriculture program that would encourage Camiguinons to plant crops so they would not have to depend on the mainland Mindanao for their food requirement. On its drive for a more fossil fuel-free energy, the provincial government will be putting up solar panels and windmills in the island, he said. The province will also be regulating its water supply starting next year as a way to prevent a water crisis that is being experienced in Metro Manila at present. “We will not wait for the time that we will suffer because of water shortage. We have to act now,” the governor told the crowd at the coronation of “Mutya sa Buhawanan” beauty pageant held at the provincial capitol grounds Friday night. With these future programs in the pipeline, Romualdo said it wouldn’t be a surprise if Camiguin will reap more awards. “We will just keep on working hard for the good of Camiguin, for the good of its people,” he added.

Recuerdos de Ayer: The salad days of Nene Pimentel, journalist

October 23, 2019

  (We are bringing back this updated vignette on Cagayan de Oro’s beloved statesman first published in Business World back in 2006 as our tribute to his heritage to us journalists in the Cagayan de Oro Press Club where he was a member for life.) CAGAYAN de Oro City--Even before he was cutting his teeth as a lawyer and teacher, Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr., without question one of this City of Golden Friendship's Golden Boys, started out as a cub reporter for the Mindanao Star, then the No. 1 weekly newspaper in the city. The late Manuel Quisumbing, Sr., who was fondly known as Mr. Q, was editor-in-chief and the future Senator of the Philippines was in the company of an illustrious band of writers and journalists who represented the cream of Cagayan de Oro's men and women of letters at the time: Sarah Velez, Ronulfo Sabanal, Pureza Ramos, Eustaquio Gonzales. "The newspapers of that time tended to be more tame and sedate than those we have today. News which used to be relegated to the tabloids then are now making headlines in the broadsheets." Eventually, Nene became Legal Counsel for the Cagayan de Oro Press Club when he finished law school and passed the bar. He was also appointed in the same capacity for the Mindanao Press Club in 1963, when Mr. Q became president of that organization. Later, when Nene was elected as the Cagayan de Oro delegate to the Constitutional Convention of the 70's, he rejoined the media as a columnist for Mindanao Star. He also wrote a column for The Manila Times for a year in 1994. We asked, “Is there a basis for government's criticism of today's media as overly critical of the present administration to the point of overlooking its good points and accomplishments?” “There is a basis for the criticism. Negatives are emphasized more than the positives. Crime, sex and violence are sensationalized. However, overall, we are beginning to get responsible reporting. The Philippine Daily Inquirer's battle with the windmills of influence in this country is good for the nation. The Philippine Star is also fast gaining the same reputation.” “However, the print media in Cagayan de Oro today tends to be abrasive and condemnatory of public officials without convincing evidence of their allegations, thus maligning people in the process. Sources are not always verified and grave abuse has been committed in a number of cases. I hope our journalists could be a little more concerned about people even if they are in public office and the basis for complaints regarding the public service should be properly verified.” “On a scale of 1-10, the local print media is 7 on the average, with a lot of room left for improvement. In contrast, newspapermen of Mr. Q's heyday in the Mindanao Star were first and foremost trained to be accurate in their reporting.  Mr. Q was a veteran newspaperman who was also an instructor for the journalism course then offered by Xavier University, and his writing, as well as those of the reporters working under him, were founded on accuracy." The former senator has also authored four legal tomes to date: “The Local Government Code of 1991: The Key to National Development and Barangays” and “The Local Government Code,” both published by Rex Book Store; “Cooperatives: Theory and Practice” and “Primer on Cooperatives,” both published by Cacho Hermanos. However, he is in the process of writing a totally different book entitled “Politics and Religion,” started while he was still in the Senate and which he personally works on a little at a time. The book is based on his experience in politics and reflects his desire “to stress the fact it is time to imbue our political process with a spiritual dimension which should permeate the whole political spectrum.” “We have the spirit of renewal in the hearts of our people as the only Christian nation in the Far East. New generations actively handling political power should not forget we can start renewing only when you go back to the fundamentals of your religion, as long as he believes in God to use his talent and make religion relevant to his life as a citizen.” “The Ten Commandments tell us “Thou shall not steal,” yet politicians steal all the time. It likewise tells us “Thou shall not kill,” yet politicians are probably responsible for more deaths than any other professions.” Nene also wrote a column for Teddy Berbano's “MoneyAsia” and Oscar Jornacion's “California Express,” a Filipino-American newspaper based in the US. Nene never forgot his journalistic roots and at the height of Martial Law in 1982, he signed Executive Order 241 in May 1982 mandating every last week of May as Press Freedom Week, the first ever such celebration in the world, even predating the United Nations declaration of World Press Freedom Day in 1993 by over a decade. Former Cagayan de Oro Press Club President Gerry Orcullo recalls: "But he was not afraid, and because of that unbending courage, we will persevere and continue the search for truth," Orcullo stressed. The Cagayan de Oro media community recently celebrated the 37th anniversary of Cagayan de Oro Press Freedom week last May 26-31, 2019, as it had unfailingly done during the last 37 years. Nene was born on December 11, 1933, in Claveria, Misamis Oriental (coincidentally the same year as the establishment of the Ateneo de Cagayan.  He spent his high school up to law school (1948-1959) at Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan as a bright and remarkable student and leader, earned his law degree and  passed the Bar the 1959. In April 1960, he married Lourdes “Bing” de la Llana, and they had 6 children, among them future senator Koko Pimentel and future Human Rights Commissioner Gwendolyn Pimentel Gana. Nene became the dean of Xavier's College of Law from 1962 to 1967. The 1967 edition of the Xavier University Yearbook edited by Rico Nazario was dedicated to outstanding XU graduates, among them Nene Pimentel. Nene was XU High School Class 1952 and became dean of the XU Law School in 1967. The tribute to Nene on the 1967 Yearbook reads: “From the class ’52, Aquilino Pimentel Jr. has risen to occupy the seat of the Dean of the College of Law of Xavier University.” “Commenting on his profession, he stated that the practice of law is interesting and challenging. Interesting, because there never is a dull moment in the study and trial of a case. Challenging, because one’s convictions are often put to the test whenever a case is accepted and tried in the courts of law.” And Nene, a former moderator of the Xavier University Law School Journal, never flinched in his defense of press freedom as demonstrated by his successful defense of the two staffers of The Varsitarian, the University of Santo Tomas school paper, in 2011 against a libel case filed against them by one of the country’s most prominent businessmen, who was represented by one of the country’s top law firms. Not only did he help draft their counter-affidavit, but appeared in their behalf during the preliminary investigation that the case never made it to court and was dismissed by the Makati prosecutor. As quoted in the recent editorial by The Philippine Daily Inquirer (URL:, Pimentel expressed his decision to take on the case: “Speak out when you see something wrong. We are a democracy, that is the job of the people,” he had said time and again.  “One of the most fundamental freedoms accorded to citizens like us who live in a democratic country is the freedom of speech and of the press,” said the closing paragraph of the counter-affidavit he helped draft.  “If no law can abridge our freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, we submit that no whimsical complaint [s]hould be allowed to trample upon the freedom of the press [w]hich we exercised in our student publication with due care and without malice even if the attempt is made by wealthy and presumably powerful individuals,” Pimentel wrote in conclusion of the counter-affidavit. URL: (Thanks to Ramoncito Ocampo Cruz, XUGS Class 1967 for reconstituting Nene’s picture from this yearbook. Monching is the CEO and President of MUSE Books and Media Wise Communications, publishers of a series of award winning books on the Jesuits and the Ateneos including the latest multi-awarded and internationally recognized On the March: The Jesuits in the Philippines since the Restoration and Jesuits in Mindanao: The Mission.)

Taiwan expo 2019 kicks off in Davao City on November 8

October 18, 2019

DAVAO City--Taiwan will again be at the forefront starting November 8, 2019 in exhibiting its best products at SMX Convention Center this city. The expo will culminate on November 9. Hosted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, Taiwan Expo will showcase Taiwanese companies in various commercial industries that continue to integrate additional value and innovation into their products. TAIWAN EXPO is highly regarded as a hallmark of development and innovation, and is consistently globally competitive in the ever-expanding modern landscape. This is the first time TAIWAN EXPO has changed the venue to Davao! TAIWAN EXPO will have 100 booths by 100 companies covering a wide range of categories such as Smart City, Taiwan Lifestyle, Healthcare, Agriculture and Fisheries and Taiwan Tourism. The exhibition offers complimentary entry. In addition to authentic Taiwanese bubble tea, there is also a lucky draw onsite. In 2017 in Manila, TAIWAN EXPO attracted over 36,000 visitors during its three-day run, while 93.8% of buyers liked the quality of the exhibited products. The overwhelmingly positive reception underscores TAIWAN EXPO's success in promoting the image of "Taiwan Quality" for the Philippines. In 2019, Taiwan's cutting-edge technology will also be prominently featured across TAIWAN EXPO in response to the Philippines' development trends and market demand: Taiwan Excellence Pavilion will showcase outstanding ICT Products and Smart Solutions. You'll even find a smart service robot to give you a warm welcome; COMPUTEX TAIPEI brings the world's second largest ICT exhibition, COMPUTEX d&i Award winning products to showcase Taiwan's high-tech products. TECO Energy Efficiency Solution Pavilion will bring highlights of "energy conservation, emissions reduction, intelligence and automation." Visitors will get the opportunity to experience a sneak peek into tomorrow's smart future with the latest technology. Also, Taiwan Healthcare Pavilion and Kaohsiung Goods Pavilion, which integrate smart technology into healthcare services and many other amazing innovations, such as the world's most advanced medical techniques in radiation therapy-Proton Therapy. For agricultural and fishery development in the Philippines, the Taiwan Agriculture Pavilion will introduce a circular economy business model to develop agricultural industries and maintain ecology at the same time; Taiwan ranks 21st and 20th in marine and aquaculture fisheries, and its fishing industry has been growing for over 100 years. This time, the Taiwan Fishery Pavilion will showcase products ranging from offshore fishing to farming fisheries. Fine fishery products can bring greater efficiency to the fisheries industry. Taiwan in Design Pavilion also features some creative products, home decorations and accessories. In parallel, TAIWAN EXPO will host various events including industry forums like Smart Medical Innovation brightens Up Your Life! , Transform Cities with Taiwanese Technological Solution, Taiwan Bubble Tea Conference, Taiwan Agriculture & Fishery Seminar, which provide the audience an opportunity to learn about Taiwan's current industrial development and solutions; Cultural performances will include indigenous modern dance and traditional singing, performed by excellent craftspeople. In addition, the most popular drink in the world, bubble tea, will also be served for onsite tasting at the Taiwan Bubble Tea Pavilion. This year, visitors have the opportunity to enjoy a lucky draw. Simply check-in our fan page and you’ll have the chance to bring PHP5000 gift card home! There will be 10 themed pavilions at the expo - Taiwan Excellence Pavilion, Taiwan Healthcare Pavilion, Taiwan Bubble Tea Pavilion, Taiwan Tourism Pavilion, Taiwan in Design Pavilion, Taiwan Agriculture Pavilion, Taiwan Fisheries Pavilion, COMPUTEX Taipei, TECO Energy Efficiency Solution Pavilion and Kaohsiung Goods Pavilion. Taiwan Expo 2019 will run from 8 November (Friday) to 9 (Saturday) between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. at SMX Convention Center, Davao. Entry is free; visitors only have to register for a visitor's pass. To register for activities or for more information, please visit the official website: or social media platforms and

Dad pushes passage of mental health law in Oro

October 17, 2019

CAGAYAN de Oro City--A councilor on Monday (October 14) sought for the passage of mental health law in the city. In her special report, Councilor Jocelyn Rodriguez said the city's mental health condition is one of our serious problems, especially for our young people. "It is incumbent upon us to come up with relevant local legislation to combat mental disorders in our city," said Rodriguez in her special report during the regular session Monday, October 14, presided over by Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin V. Uy. The councilor presented data from the Philippine Mental Health Association, which shows that there were 24 cases of suicide in the city from January to September this year. “From the data, it shows that one out of four suicides in our city are from the young people below 18 years old, 33-percent within the age range of 20 to 29 years of age, and 21-percent from the age of 30 to 39. Further, 92-percent of those committing suicide are male, and 88-percent are single,” she reported. Alarmed over these figures, the councilor cited the need for the members of the city council to work on the improvement of the mental health of the city’s constituents. “In legislating to improve the mental health of our constituents, we must always be reminded that with the right approach including the passage of relevant legislations, mental disorders can be successfully treated,” she stressed. Councilor Rodriguez said the work to improve the mental health of the city’s constituents includes the promotion of mental well-being, the protection of human rights, and the care of people affected by mental disorders like schizophrenia, depression, intellectual disabilities and disorders due to drug abuse. She said it is time to formulate the Mental Health Ordinance to monitor and improve the human rights conditions in mental health facilities, promote adequate health care, and stop social exclusion, coordinate all mental health actions in this city to maximize positive outcomes for people with mental illness and the communities in which they live, and improve mental health services. “We must craft that vision that at least by year 2021 under this administration, Cagayan de Oro will have  publicly maintained mental health facilities to cater to the needs of our constituents suffering from this disorder,” Rodriguez said. (The Power)

DOH orders monitoring of 3 siblings due to poliovirus

October 15, 2019

MARAWI City--The Department of Health (DOH) has directed the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) to monitor and conduct surveillance against the three siblings from Lanao del Sur who showed symptoms of poliovirus. In a press briefing in Marawi on Monday (October 15), Dr. Shalimar Rakiin, chief of Amai Pakpak Medical Center (APMC), confirmed that the patients are siblings aged 10, 5, and 2 years old who are experiencing fever and pain of their lower extremities upon their admission. In September, a three-year old girl from the municipality of Marogong was tested positive of poliovirus, one of the two patients reported, almost 20 years after the Philippines was declared polio-free in 2000. IPHO chief Dr. Alinader Minalang said the patient first manifested of having poliovirus in July. On Monday, the DOH launched the Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio in Marawi targeting 134,411 children under five years old in the province to be vaccinated in the first round of mass immunization against poliovirus by October 27. The launching also kicked-off the house-to-house intensified campaign urging parents in 39 municipalities, including Marawi City, to immunize their children. The DOH declared the re-emergence of polio in the Philippines last September 19 after two polio cases were confirmed in a 3 year-old from Lanao del Sur and in a 5 year-old from Laguna. "The task before us, to address the outbreak, is enormous and vast," Doque said in a statement during the launching. The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is helping the campaign by tapping the influence of religious leaders in Marawi and Lanao del Sur. Religious leaders, with their influence, have an important role in the campaign according to Oyun Dendevnorov, UNICEF Philippines Representative, because they can deliver sermons to influence mothers, fathers and caregivers to have their children vaccinated. The Philippines has seen a decline of immunization coverage in the past few years, including for protection against polio according to the World Health Organization. In 2018, 66% of children completed their oral polio vaccine (drops) doses and 45% received their inactivated polio vaccine (injection) dose. At least 95% of children under 5 years of age need to be vaccinated, irrespective of their current vaccination status, to stop the spread of polio in the country. The second round of mass immunization will be on November and the last round will at the end of this year targeting 97% of the children five under be vaccinated.

New measure to require public execs to commute

October 14, 2019

ILIGAN City--A lawmaker from the lone district of this city is proposing a new measure requiring public officials to commute every Monday. Rep Frederick Siao said he will propose that all elected and government officials to commute every Monday to reduce traffic congestion and vehicle volume in Metro Manila. This after Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo accepted the "commute challenge" on Friday enduring an almost four hour commute from Marikina to Malacañang. "We appreciate the effort and good example of Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo when he endured his 3 1/2 hour commute from Marikina to Malacanang. His gesture can help show to the public that the government knows the situation on the ground and that Malacanang is not an isolated seat of government," said Siao, chairman of the House committee on civil service and professional regulation. Siao clarified that the proposal is "initially every Monday" for all government vehicles used to fetch and bring home public officials, from the division chiefs to cabinet secretaries to elected officials, would be grounded at their respective motor pools. "That would already be thousands of government vehicles off the streets, enough to significantly decongest traffic. Those ranking civil servants should commute using any of the available options: tricycles, jeepneys, buses, FX/UVs, light rail, PNR trains and TNVS units. Kung gustong magbisikleta, pwede rin. Tuwing Monday lang naman," Siao said. He said he was inspired by the idea of former AANGAT TAYO party-list representative Neil Abayon's proposal during the 17th Congress for the government officials commuting atleast once a month. "But my improvement on that idea is these officials should commute at least every Monday so they will be reminded weekly of the suffering the masses endure on a consistent basis," he added. The concept of the House Bill, which will be entitled "Public Servants' Commuting via Public Transport Act", can be given a trial run all over Metro Manila, and can be replicated in other highly urbanized areas of the country where heavy traffic is also a daily torment, if successful. “Kapag naisabatas po ito, makakaasa po ang publiko na mas mamadaliin naming mga government officials na solusyunan ang problema sa transportasyon,” Siao said. "I note that Secretary Panelo had to ride three different jeepneys to get from Marikina in the east to Malacanang in the west. LTFRB (Land Transportation and Franchise Regulatory Board) may have to take a close look at the sufficiency of PUVs on that route, especially now that the LRT2 is not in full operation because of a recent fire," he added. Siao said, "there may also be a need for shorter North to South bus routes via EDSA because by the time the buses reach Makati, they are jampacked. Same with the bus and PUJ route from Fairview-Novaliches to Manila. More PUVs may be needed. Maybe a midpoint turnaround zone can be identified for the shorter bus routes."


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