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Oca, Klarex, Rufus, Kikang lead XU survey

April 26, 2019

REELECTIONIST Mayor Oscar Moreno, reelectionist first district Rep. Rolando Uy, former Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (second district) and reelectionist Vice Mayor Rainier Joaquin Uy led the much awaited survey commissioned by Xavier University. Kinaadman, the research arm of Xavier University, released the survey results Friday, April 26. Of the four top local candidates, three belong to the administration party PDP-Laban. Only Rodriguez belong to the challenging party PaDayon Pilipino-CDP. At the mayoralty level, survey results showed the incumbent Mayor Moreno of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino - Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) leading Jose Gabriel La Vina of Padayon Pilipino. Moreno had a voter preference of 61.5%, and a statistical ranking of first place, followed by La Vina with a voter preference of 16.0% and independent candidates Felix Frias Borres (0.6 %,) and Benjamin Tiu Contreras (0.3%.) Undecided voters accounted for 21.4%, while 0.2% had no response. The margin of error was at ±3.4 percentage points with 95% confidence level. Moreno’s running mate Uy (PDP-Laban) likewise topped voters preference for Vice Mayor with 55.0%, followed by former mayor Vicente Emano (Padayon Pilipino) with 23.6%. Undecided voters accounted for 21.3%, while 0.1% had no response. The margin of error was at ±3.4 percentage points with 95% confidence level. In District 1, incumbent Rep. Uy (PDP-Laban) had a voter preference of 66.1%, followed by Caesar Ian Acenas (Padayon Pilipino) with 16.4% and Gil Banaag (PFP) with 1.9%. Undecided voters were at 15.6%. The margin of error was at ± 4.7 percentage points with 95% confidence level. In District 2, Rodriguez (CDP) was picked by of 59.2% of the survey respondents, followed by Alam Lim (PDP-Laban) with 19.4% and Roger Villazorda (PFP) with 0.9%. 15.9% of the voters were undecided, while 3.1% had no response as to their preference for a congressman. The margin of error was at ± 4.7 percentage points with 95% confidence level. Of the 13 city councilor contenders with a statistical chance of winning in District 1, 8 came from PDP-Laban while four are from Padayon Pilipino and one from Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP). Ranked from 1st -to-7th  were (in alphabetical order based on surname) Roger Abaday (PDP- Laban), Romeo Calizo (PDP-Laban), Reuben Roa Daba (PDP-Laban), Inday Dahino (PDP- Laban), George Goking (PDP-Laban), Zaldy Ocon (PDP-Laban), and Jay Pascual (PDP- Laban). The margin of error was at ± 4.9 percentage points with 95% confidence level. Voters in the 2nd District also preferred PDP-Laban bets in the city council. Of the 13 candidates with a statistical chance of winning, seven were PDP-Laban, with four from Padayon Pilipino and two from Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP). In rank 1-7 were (in alphabetical order based on surname) Jun Acenas (Padayon Pilipino), . Edgar Cabanlas (PDP-Laban), Malou Gaane (PDP-Laban), Bong Lao (PDP-Laban), Ian Mark Nacaya (PDP-Laban), Eric Salcedo (PDP-Laban), and Ramon Tabor (Padayon Pilipino). The margin of error was at ± 4.7 percentage points with 95% confidence level. A total of 49 candidates (26 from the First District and 23 from the Second District) are gunning for 16 coveted spots in the city council. The Kinaadman survey was conducted among 800 registered voters using systematic random sampling from April 4 to 11. Candidates who trailed in the survey rushed to assure their supporters. "Results is a surprise as it is inconsistent with all other survey like our own and other surveys, dili na mao ang importante ang importante gasaka kita gakaubos siya," mayoral bet La Viña said. "We will exert more efforts... we will win. It would be close fight," second district congressional bet Lim for his part, said.

Misor guv, Ayala officials lead groundbreaking of Laguindingan Technopark

April 25, 2019

MISAMIS Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano and officials from Ayala Land led the groundbreaking Wednesday (April 25, 2019) of the P172-billion Laguindingan Technopark in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental. Present alongside the governor during the momentous occasion were Philippine Economic Zones Authority (PEZA) director-general Charito Plaza, Laguindingan Mayor Diosdado Obsioma, AyalaLand Logistics Holdings Corp. president Rowena Tomeldan, AyalaLand Logistics Holdings Corp. director Nathanael Co, Ayala Land, Inc. COO for Vismin Jun Bisnar, Ayala Land, Inc. AVP for Vismin Rico Manuel and AyalaLand Logistics Holdings Corp. head Patrick John Avila. Laguindingan Technopark is a 1-million square-meter property spanning the two barangays of Moog and Tubajon being marked for mixed-use development with focus on IT-related industries under the supervision of PEZA. In her speech, Plaza said the thrust of PEZA is to ensure that Laguindingan Technopark will not just cater to industries but will also set aside space for commercial and residential use as well. For his part, Emano said the Misamis Oriental will always be in gratitude to AyalaLand, Inc. for putting the province in the national spotlight. At full development, Laguindingan Technopark is expected to generate approximately 5,000 jobs to primarily benefit the local residents. Catering to light to medium industries, it is envisioned to be the new logistics hub in the Philippines due to its strategic location as the gateway between Mindanao and Luzon-Visayas. This development aims to take advantage of the projected positive momentum of the Philippine economy and the local business property market, according to Tomeldan. Plaza welcomed Tomeldan’s statement, saying it is now the thrust of PEZA to decongest Metro Manila and make industries boom in the countryside such as here in Misamis Orinetal. “Laguindingan Technopark will be a catalyst in the economic development not just of the municipality but will trickle down to neighboring towns, drawing in local businesses leading to more job opportunities,” Emano added in. “Aside from direct employment, people around the area will also benefit as they put up business that will cater to the needs of the locator-companies.”

UHC, NICC laws give cancer patients new lease on life

April 24, 2019

WHEN 66-year-old widow Gertrudes Calderon was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in May 2013, she feared the treatment costs more than what the disease will do to her body.      Calderon, at that time, works as “kasambahay” -- her only source of income for their daily needs.      “Natakot ako noong una kong nalaman dahil sa aming anim na magkakapatid na babae ako lang ang meron. Nagkusa lang ako magpa-checkup nung nakapa ko na may bukol at mula sa maliit na bukol. Lumaki na ito pagdating ng Hunyo (I was scared when I first learned about it because among us six sisters I’m the only one who has it. I went to have a checkup when I felt a lump in my breast and from a small lump. It became bigger in June), she told Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview.      According to the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, cancer is the second cause of death among females and males in 2016 nationwide at 60,470.      Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, in his speech at the First National Cancer Patient Congress on April 8, said cancer death toll for both adults and children is around 66,000 and there are 110,000 new cases diagnosed yearly.      Duque said the Department of Health (DOH) recognizes the burden -- emotional and financial – that cancer patients face, that it is why the agency continues to provide medical assistance programs in its hospitals and selected local government hospitals, where the public can get free diagnostics and other medicines for cancer.      “(The) DOH offers free breast and cervical cancers screening for women 25 to 55 years old, and medicines, therapies for those who have cancer,” he added. Cancer treatment cost      Calderon said she almost lost hope when she learned that she needed surgery, which would cost her hundreds of thousands.      “Sinabi ko sa mga doktor na wala akong pera para sa operasyon at may mga tumulong sa akin maipasok ako sa Ating Dibdibin Foundation noong July at naoperahan ako ng September nang matapos ang mga clearance na nilalakad ko (I told the doctors that I don’t have money for the surgery and someone helped me to become a member of Ating Dibdibin Foundation in July and I was operated on September when I finished the necessary clearances),” she added.      Calderon’s right breast was removed to keep the cancer cells from returning, her doctors said.      “Sinabihan ako ng mga doktor na kailangan ko ng chemotherapy, PHP120,000 daw iyon, pero nang sinabi ko na wala akong pera, pina-interview lang ako sa DOH at hindi nako nagbayad gaya ng iba. Wala akong binayaran kahit isang gamot o session, ang natatandaan ko lang na binili ko ay dalawang karayom dahil nabali iyong karayom na ginamit sa akin (The doctors told me that I need chemotherapy, it costs PHP120,000, but when I said I have no money I was interviewed by DOH and I didn’t pay for it unlike others. I didn’t pay any single medicine or session, I remember buying only two needles because the needles used on me broke),” she said.      Calderon added that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office provided for all her medicines for five years while the DOH supplied her with tamoxifen, a medication for breast cancer patients, for two years and a half. NICC Act, Universal Health Care law      Duque said cancer patients can now receive quality health care without financial hardship through the National Integrated Cancer Control (NICC) Act and Universal Health Care (UHC) Law, adding that both aim to ease the financial burden of cancer patients and their families by providing assistance for the early detection of the disease.      “Cancer care and prevention begin with the establishment of strong primary health care systems which enables early diagnosis, coupled with the social safety net which provides sufficient financial coverage. This complements of the NICC Act which utilizes mechanisms for the state to control quite complex treatment conditions of adult and childhood cancers,” he said.      With the NICC Act, Duque said the DOH has intensified the Philippine Cancer National Control program, which includes the establishment of 24/7 cancer centers in various DOH hospitals nationwide and continued provision of free medicines for breast, childhood and colorectal cancers.      “Recognizing that our resources are limited we commit to its judicious use through the institutionalization of the health technology assessment and price negotiation processes. This means for us to afford more conditions we’ll be benchmarking our reimbursements to the most cost-effective protocols,” he added.      Meanwhile, Cancer Coalition of the Philippines president Paul Perez said more cancer patients will have a fighting chance through the NICC Act, regardless of their status in the society, through sustained medication and reduction of “treatment abandonment”.      “Cancer patients and their families can look forward to life’s journey with new hope, especially the underprivileged, since they’ll now have better access to equitable and affordable cancer treatment and care,” he said.      Perez also underscored the importance of the law in boosting the efforts of various cancer awareness groups that are promoting cancer care, which include early detection, treatment, prevention and access to palliative care.      On February 14, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed into law Republic Act 11215 or the NICC Act which institutionalizes a “national integrated” program to control cancer.      Under the new law, the DOH is tasked to provide early and sufficient access to cancer medicines and “ensure highest possible chance of survival among people with cancer”.      The law also created the cancer assistance fund, which will support the cancer medicine and assistance treatment program and mandated the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to expand benefit packages for all types and stages of cancer.      Meanwhile, signed into law by Duterte on February 20, the UHC law makes all Filipinos members of PhilHealth, either as direct or indirect contributors, providing immediate eligibility and access to preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative care for medical, dental, mental and emergency health services.      “Sa mga kababaihan na gaya ko, huwag po kayo matakot dahil maraming natutulungan ang DOH na may cancer, gaya ko na walang binayad kahit piso. Huwag kayo magpapabaya at suriin ninyo ang mga sarili ninyo bago lumala ang maliit na bukol (To women like me, don’t be scared because DOH helps a lot of cancer patients, like me who didn’t pay a single peso. Don’t neglect yourselves and observe yourselves before a small lump becomes big),” she said.      After six cycles of chemotherapy and five years of medication, Calderon has been declared cancer-free and is now enjoying her life with her daughter and grandchild.      “Sixty-six years old na ako ngayon, trese kaming cancer patients na naoperahan noong 2013, ako na lang ang natitirang nabubuhay sa amin. Nagpapa-bone scan ako, every six months nagpapa-X-ray ako at ECG ako dahil kailangan pero lahat walang bayad (I’m 66 years now, we were 13 cancer patients who had surgery in 2013, I’m the only one left alive. I undergo bone scan, every six months I have X-ray and ECG because it’s needed but all of them are for free),” she said. (PNA)

World Bank to act on PHL call for closer coordination with ADB

April 24, 2019

THE WORLD Bank has responded positively to the Philippines’ call for the institution to closely coordinate its efforts and explore complementarities with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to more efficiently and effectively deliver development assistance and aid to countries in the Asia-Pacific region.  Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III received the World Bank’s commitment on collaborating closely with the ADB to improve aid effectiveness during a recent meeting with Victoria Kwakwa, the bank’s vice president for East Asia and the Pacific, at this multilateral institution’s headquarters in Washington D.C.  Dominguez reiterated during the meeting his concern about the duplication of the work of the ADB and World Bank in the region, which, he said,  has led small countries with limited resources to eventually incur unnecessarily high operational costs and borrowing rates in obtaining loans from the two institutions.  “As governor of both institutions, I’d like to see overheads not duplicated and how you can work together more effectively,” Dominguez told World Bank officials during the meeting.  Also present at the meeting were Mara Warwick, the World Bank country director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand; and Secretary Ernesto Pernia of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).  Dominguez pointed out that small countries would have to deal with two multilateral institutions with their own economic assessments before they can secure assistance from either the World Bank or ADB.  “What’s the value added there in relation to the overhead that the members really have to eventually bear in terms of higher interest rates, among other factors?” Dominguez stressed.  Pernia said the a more effective division of labor and specialization between the two multilateral institutions “results in higher efficiency.”  Kwakwa, in response, agreed with Dominguez, saying that his concerns mirror the goals of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (2005) and the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (2012), which both aim to improve the quality and effectiveness of aid extended to developing countries.   The Philippines, ADB and World Bank have endorsed, and adhere to, these Paris and Busan documents.  “So Secretary Dominguez, on this issue of collaboration and being more efficient as your development partners, our response is yes, we will take it forward. We will work with ADB to be more efficient,” said Kwakwa during the meeting.  Kwakwa said she will “engage ADB to see how we can move forward.” “I think we can do better. I think we have come a long way and I think we can do better,” she said. “This is something we will keep you very much in the loop and see how we can move forward on this agenda.” Kwakwa said the two institutions can start by discussing about coming up with a single, rather than, two economic reports for a country in need of development assistance. “On our side, we will seek opportunities to work more closely with ADB and others who are in the field working not just in the Philippines but other countries and so on. We will think about it some more,” Kwakwa said.  Kwakwa suggested calling a meeting between the ADB and World Bank “about how we can make sure we are not duplicating efforts.”  “That would be good. That’s the way that we can start on this,” she said. Also during the meeting, Warwick provided Dominguez and Pernia with a brief update on the Bank’s upcoming country partnership network with the Philippines, which will have a “strong focus on Mindanao” in terms of peace building and development, and will also cover disaster risk management, customs reform, and the modernization of the civil service.  Dominguez, on behalf of the Philippine government, thanked the World Bank for its financial support and valuable advice, which both reflect the institution’s “very deep” understanding of the Duterte administration’s goals to achieve inclusive growth.  “We are very happy with the engagements we have with the World Bank. For the first time in a long time, we are really truly, intensely working together,” Dominguez said.  Kwakwa said she looks forward to the Philippines accomplishing its goal of reaching high-income status by 2040 through its continuing strong partnership with the World Bank.

Heavy security readied for Palaro

April 23, 2019

DAVAO City--At least 3,866 military and police personnel will be deployed during the 62nd Palarong Pambansa (National Games), the country’s biggest local sporting event, from April 27 to May 4 in Davao City, according to Public Safety and Security Command Center head Angel Sumagaysay.       Sumagaysay said in an interview the security plan had already been prepared weeks ahead of the annual multi-sport event involving student-athletes from 17 regions of the Philippines, which would draw a crowd of around 20,000.      He expressed confidence that everything is all set for the hosting of the Palaro, the city’s second since 1950, given the yearlong preparations for the event.      In 2015, Tagum City in Davao del Norte hosted the 58th edition of the national games.      “It’s ready for implementation. Everything has been set. All the security components are already aware of it,” Sumagaysay said. He said the Police Regional Office 11 and the military’s 103rd Infantry Brigade would provide augmentation to strengthen the security setup here during the Palaro.      He said they expect most of the delegates to arrive days before the event.      He added the local government would install high definition CCTVs in all the playing venues at the 20-hectare world-class Davao City-University of the Philippines Sports Complex in the UP-Mindanao campus in Tugbok.      Sumagaysay said the security plan for the 26 billeting quarters and 32 playing venues has been laid out already.      “We have assigned security in every billeting quarter and playing venues where security team leaders would be assigned,” he said.      He assured delegates that the Davao City Central 911, City Health Office and City Social Services and Development Office would be deployed to attend to their concerns.      “Sa lahat mga participants (to all the participants), welcome to Davao City. Enjoy your stay. You have your partners here. Kung alone ka, ikaw lang isa, (If you are alone) you have a big brother. Just call 911,” he said.      From January 27 to February 2, 2019, the city also hosted the Davao Regional Athletic Association Meet held at the sports complex here. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)

Therma Visayas power plant now online

April 22, 2019

AboitizPower subsidiary Therma Visayas Inc. has started delivering energy from the first of two 170-MW (150 MW net) baseload units in Toledo City, Cebu.   The second 170-MW unit (150 MW net) is expected to come online by May 2019. “We are happy to have brought Therma Visayas online just in time to support the government’s call for more reliable energy supply as we head towards the midterm elections,” Danel C. Aboitiz, President and COO of AboitizPower’s Coal Business Unit, said. “By having a reliable baseload plant on the island of Cebu, the residents and investors on the island will enjoy a number of economic and strategic benefits that include increased energy security, more competitive prices, and local employment.” The plant will deliver power to Visayan Electric Co., Inc. (Veco) and electric cooperatives, as well as to open access customers in Luzon and the Visayas. Customers with energy supply contracts enjoy stable prices in the long term and are essentially protected from the volatility of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). The Toledo baseload power plant uses the latest circulating fluidized bed technology (CFB) and best available control technology (BACT) to minimize emissions to world-class levels. It is the second plant in the Philippines to build a “coal dome” to safely store its coal fuel and prevent fugitive dust outside the facility. The plant started construction in 2015 and at its peak employed around 5,800 people, most of whom came from the host locality. The facility is a joint venture between Aboitiz Power Corp. and Vivant Corp. Apart from TVI, the first unit of GNPower Dinginin baseload power plant with 668 MW gross capacity is also expected to go online later this year, while the second unit, which also has a gross capacity of 668 MW, is currently targeted for commercial operations in 2020. Once operational, these facilities will boost AboitizPower’s capacity and help address the country’s rapidly increasing demand for reliable and cost-efficient power. *** About AboitizPower AboitizPower is the holding company for the Aboitiz Group’s investments in power generation, distribution, and retail electricity services. It advances business and communities by providing reliable and ample power supply at a reasonable and competitive price, and with the least adverse effects on the environment and host communities. The company is one of the largest power producers in the Philippines with a balanced portfolio of assets located across the country. It is a major producer of Cleanergy, its brand for clean and renewable energy with several hydroelectric, geothermal and solar power generation facilities. It also has thermal power plants in its generation portfolio to support the baseload and peak energy demands of the country. The company also owns distribution utilities that operate in high-growth areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, including the second and third largest private utilities in the country.


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