todays top stories

Senator Gordon confirms 3 dead in Bulacan helicopter crash

April 25, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MDN digital, April 25) - Senator Richard Gordon in his tweet Thursday has confirmed that three passengers on board a private helicopter that crashed in Anilao, Bulacan have died. "Death toll rose to 3 in a helicopter crash in Malolos, Bulacan. Other injured passengers were already transported by our team to Bulacan Medical Center," the senator said in his tweet. The senator did not reveal the identity of those who died but Bulacan Governor Willy Alvarado has identified and confirmed that one of those who died was Businessman and the helicopter owner, Liberato "Levy" Laus. Other fatalities were said to be the pilot and another male who was rushed to the nearest hospital but attending doctors pronounced him dead several hours later.  The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CCAP) told the media that around 12:47 in the afternoon today, the helicopter with body marking RP C8098 crash landed at a fishpond in Anilao, Bulacan. CAAP said the helicopter was owned and operated by LGC Air Transport.   CAAP said aircraft was bound for San Fernando, Pampanga when it encountered trouble and the pilot crashlanded the helicopter into a fishpond hoping they could still survive. Meanwhile, Police investigator Danilo Torres has confirmed to reporters that initial investigation disclosed three passengers have really died including the pilot.  The aircraft, authorities said, carried more than five passengers and left Ninoy Aquino International Airport at around 12:28 this afternoon. Minutes later it crashlanded in Bulacan.

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Bong Go pushes for advancement of cooperatives and MSMEs in the country

April 22, 2019

FORMER Special Assistant to the President and 2019 senatorial candidate Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Sunday committed to support the advancement of the cooperatives in the country as well as the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). “Susuportahan ko po ang pagsulong ng Philippine Cooperative Development Plan (PCDP) at MSME Development Plan,” said Go in his message during the 13th General Assembly and 14th Founding Anniversary of Southern Global Services Multi-Purpose Cooperative at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.      Among others, the PCDP seeks to implement measures, such as documentation of cooperative best practices; modelling of cooperative good governance and ethical practices; cooperative education program, and promotion of the cooperative movement in general.       On the other hand, the MSME Development Program is a P50-B assistance and development program until 2022 to alleviate the plight of MSME. Among its components include the micro-financing program called “Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3), construction of more shared service facilities (SSF) across the country, and international trade promotion to open global markets for MSMEs.      “Paigtingin (ko po) ang mga programa tulad ng Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso para magbigay ng loan sa mababang interest at isusulong ko po ang mga dagdag negosyo centers para mas maraming makapaghanap-buhay sa mga miyembro ng kooperatiba,” Go said.       Started in 2014, the Negosyo Centers help stimulate entrepreneurship development in the countrysides.      Likewise, Go assured the officials and members of the cooperative that they can always rely on him to bring to the attention of President Rodrigo Duterte any concerns or request for assistance.       “Anyway nandidiyan naman po si Pangulong Duterte, may three years pa po siya. Kung papano po kami makakatulong po sa inyo--- asahan nyo po na ako po ang patuloy ninyong magiging tulay kay Pangulong Duterte,” Go said.       With the consent of the cooperative officials and members, Go also took the opportunity to explain to them his plans for the Senate.       “Ipagpapatuloy ko po ang mga pagbabagong inumpisahan ni Pangulong Duterte,” said Go, referring in particular to the campaign against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.      “Itong kampanya sa corruption, tuloy-tuloy po ito. Kahit yung mga tumulong sa kanya sa kampanya at nagpapapawis, sabi ni Pangulong Duterte, pag pumasok sa corruption maghiwa-hiwalay tayo dahil interest ng bayan ang una bago interest ng sarili at kaibigan—ganyan po si Pangulong Duterte,” he added.      Go likewise said that among his top priorities include efforts to improve the delivery of health services in the country, not only through improved facilities for public health institutions but also with the establishment of Malasakit Center.      A program of the Duterte administration based on Go’s idea, the Malasakit Center makes it easier and faster for poor patients to avail of medical and financial assistance from the government by bringing together in one room all concerned agencies such as the DOH, DSWD, PCSO and Philhealth.       “Gusto ko pong maisabatas ito pagdating ng panahon para tuloy-tuloy ang programa kahit hindi na Pangulo si Pangulong Duterte. Basta po Pilipino qualified dito at may express lane pa para sa disabled at senior citizens,” said Go. He also wants to establish Malasakit Centers in more provinces and key urban centers of the country.      Other priority concerns under Go’s legislative agenda include agriculture, housing for the poor, education, long-term sports development, fire protection and prevention, localized peace talks, barangay welfare, creation of a Department of OFW, and improved benefits for senior citizens.       “Alam nyo, serbisyo lang kami (ni Pangulong Duterte). Ang serbisyo sa tao, serbisyo sa Diyos,” Go said.       “Wala kaming ibang hangarin ni Pangulong Duterte kundi kabutihan ng bawat Pilipino dahil mahal namin kayo,” he added.

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Comelec warns Jasaan mayor of courting election offense

April 21, 2019

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial elections supervisor in Misamis Oriental has warned Jasaan Mayor Julius Pagaspas that he could be charged for violation of the Fair Elections Act if he would not allow a specific political party to hold campaign rallies in the municipality. In a three-page resolution dated April 12 this year, provincial elections supervisor Aleli Dayo-Ramirez stated that her office has received a complaint from PaDayon Pilipino represented by Floramae Jo Abbu alleging that the office of the municipal mayor in Jasaan had refused to act on the party’s request to conduct a rally in the said municipality on April 10. Upon receiving the complaint, Dayo-Ramirez immediately dispatched municipal elections officer Lailani Nazi to conduct an investigation on the matter. During the course of the probe, Nazi’s office discovered that the office of the mayor of Jasaan granted 29 days for another political party, Team Unity, to conduct a campaign rally in the said municipality while PaDayon Pilipino was asking only for one date. In her report to Dayo-Ramirez, Nazi concluded that the actions of the mayor of Jasaan constituted a violation of Section 32 of Republic  Act 9006, otherwise known as the Fair Elections Act, which stated that “the approving official shall give all candidates and parties equal and fair opportunity as to date, time and place, to hold public political meetings or rallies.” Upon receiving the report, Dayo-Ramirez immediately granted PaDayon Pilipino a total of eight days to conduct handshaking and campaign rallies in the said municipality in eight barangays. Dayo-Ramirez further stated that if the mayor of Jasaan would prevent PaDayon Pilipino from holding the sorties in those dates, he would be liable under the Fair Elections Act.

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Mindanao Beat HR Summit 2019 | Future Proofing with Innovation to Drive Global Competitiveness

April 17, 2019

Metro CDO & Metro Davao as Innovation Hotspots   The President of one of the country’s leading Mindanao based conglomerates believes nations, organizations and individual should future proof themselves to drive global competitiveness. “The Philippines is at a crossroads.  We can prepare for the next 10, 20, 50 and 100 years for our children and children’s children by taking steps to be globally competitive or watch the world pass usby and overtake us until we are way behind,” said Ramon B. Segismundo      President and COO of Hijo Group of Companies in his keynote address during the Mindanao Beat HR Summit 2019 held last April 8 at Cagayan de Oro City.      “The answer lies in future proofing ourselves.   Changes are proceeding at warp speed and we need to respond in an agile way.  To future proof, we need to innovate, innovate and innovate.”      “It is by doing innovation at a national, organizational and personal level that can we really drive our country’s competitiveness,” Segismundo stressed.   Innovation Nation      At the national level, Segismundo cited Israel, Singapore and Silicone Valley which became “hot spots” of innovation, as showcased in Gary Shapiro’s book “Ninja Innovation”.      “Israel spends over 4 per cent of its gross domestic product on research and development. As a result, Israel has produced five start ups worth more than $1 billiondue to Tel Aviv’s healthy start up ecosystem,” he noted.      “It earns high marks in entrepreneurial activity with 3.11 entrepreneurs for every 1,000 people.  Google acquired Israel-incubated Waze for $966 million.”      Singapore boasts one of the lowest corporate tax rates and a high new business entry rate of over eight per 1,000 people.       56 per cent of its workforce is highly skilled and half of all college students earn degrees in science, technology, engineering and math.  It has produced two unicorns (i.e., a privately held start-up valued at over $1 billion): transportation company Grab and e-commerce start up Lazada.      “I think we have an opportunity to create Metro Cagayan de Oro or Metro Davao as innovation hot spots.There is no standard definition of an innovation country or an innovation hotspot.  The Philippines will chart its own innovation journey and Metro CDO and Metro Davao will have their own paths as well,” Segismundo stressed.      To jump-start this process, Segismundo suggests the following from the US based Consumer Technology Association:      For  technology: invest in broadband, self-driving vehicles, short term rentals, ridesharing and drones.      For society: foster diversity, freedom, environmental awareness, resilience and human capital development.      And for the economy: invest in R & D, ignite entrepreneurial activity, drive Ease of Doing Business and support Filipino unicorns.      These would create a more inclusive society, reduce poverty and create a vibrant and a dynamic entrepreneurial middle class.   Innovation Company      At the company level, Segismundo cites intrapreneurship as the key to the successful sustainability of an innovation company.      “You need not go out of your current organizations to be an entrepreneur- in fact, the word intrapreneur was coined.  Within your respective organizations, you can identify innovation projects that will either incrementally improve performance or achievesignificant breakthroughs or quantum leaps in organization performance,” he said.      Per  his personal experience as a corporate executive and employee, he adopted two philosophies to drive innovation in companies: Honor legacy and heritage by respecting the past; and Reinvent the future.      “Be willing to change the business model if you have to.   Be like a start up.  Be like a new entrepreneurial venture,” he stressed.      Citing Eric Ries in his book “Start Up Way”, there are two ways to spark “Start-Up Thinking”: “Think big.  Start small. Scale fast”. This could be done by having “innovation project teams”within your organizations and having current organic teams work on innovation projects in addition to its usual work.      “Thinking like a start up begins with talking to current and future customers.   This is where real customer centricity happens.  Oftentimes, we start with designing a technical product/service or solution.” Done is better than perfect      By looking out for customers’ needs that are now unserved or may be addressed at a superior level, design thinking can come up with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that could be an initial version of your product or service.  Then a version 2.0 after talking with customers then a version 3 and so forth with each version upgrade including a new round of inputs from customers. “Done is better than Perfect”.      This  Build-Learn-Measure method of continuous innovation fosters a mindset that is always  ready to learn from mistakes and pivot to another project or persevere.      The bottomline is that entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship is what will fuel innovation in organizations.  If you are an owner/founder of a start up or a corporate executive in a corporation or an officer in the public sector, doing more of the same or keeping the status quo may spell failure.   Key Questions      Segismundo suggests some key questions to ask in the pursuit of an innovation company: identifying key personnel responsible for innovation and/or entrepreneurship in the company;communicating with current and future customers; constantly looking at ways to create new ideas tocreate value for current and future customers; looking out to sense developments in their respective your industries and IT applications globally; identifying in-house or outsourced capabilities to develop the next generation product, service or solution; and, allowing for failures as long as the firm is willing to learn from them moving forward.   Innovation You   Most important, Segismundo cited the need to future proof individualsby doing their best to be innovative. He offered some 15 suggestions on how to be an innovator.      Innovate or die. Experiment. Take Risks.  Learn, relearn and unlearn.Be Inclusive. Network.      It’s ok to fail but fail fast. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. Travel.Read a book once a month.Fight for a cause.  Reinvent. Seize opportunities. Know what you are great at.       Be true to your values.      “In short, if we bring the Philippines, Metro CDO or Metro Davao closer to becomingan innovation nation/region, if we drive our organizations to become high performinginnovative companies, and if we all work hard to kindle the latent innovation in each of us, weare a step closer towards creating maximum value for our constituencies which theyrightfully deserve.”      Besides Hijo, Segismundo is also CEO of 1-HR.X Pte. Ltd. and President of the Meralco Power Academy.

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IEMOP seeks Growth through Inclusivity with WESM in Mindanao

April 16, 2019

Tentative Mindanao WESM Launch December 2019   The independent operator of the Philippines’ Wholesale Electricity Spot Market is confident Mindanao residents from generation down to the supply to end-users will soon be reaping its benefits as one WESM.   “The power of choice will soon be in the hands of even of the marginalized sectors in the entire country. WESM will grow and so will the number of those benefitting from it,” said Atty. Francis Saturnino P. Juan, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines Inc. (IEMOP).   IEMOP held its first ever Market Participants Update (MPU) for Mindanao in Cagayan de Oro City last April 11 to apprise participants on various market developments, tackle issues and concerns with respect to operations, and provide updates on WESM Mindanao implementation.   The Last Frontier   “Mindanao is the last frontier, with market participants and electricity users yet to reap the benefits of the competitive and robust market that IEMOP operates, the electricity spot market which has long served the requirements of the Luzon and Visayas participants and consumers,” Juan noted.    “Hence, our theme, Growth through Inclusivity. The operationalization of WESM in Mindanao is no longer far in the horizon and with that follows retail competition,” he added. IEMOP is a non-stock, non-profit corporation, led by a board of directors comprised entirely of independents, “who do not have any interest or connection to the WESM participants” which took over the operation of the WESM effective 26 September, 2018 vice the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC).  IEMOP now operates the wholesale electricity sport market (WESM) managing the registration of market participants, receipt of generation offers, setting market prices and dispatching schedules of the generation plants, billing, settlement and collections, while the PEMC remains as the WESM governing body to monitor market participants’ compliance of market rules, in compliance with the policy and regulatory oversight of the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).   Conditions ripe for Mindanao WESM   The improved power situation and availability of supply excess make it viable for Mindanao’s eventual transition from purely bilateral to market operated regime, says an official of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).     Assistant Secretary Romeo Montenegro, MinDA deputy executive director, said in a statement that conditions are ripe for the establishment of the Mindanao WESM which is currently awaiting regulatory approval.   “Mindanao has already transitioned into supply excess regime, with an energy portfolio of diversified energy mix,” according to Montenegro, who also heads the Mindanao Power Monitoring Committee (MPMC) Technical Working Group.   “It’s time to bring the competition in so that load off-takers, especially electric cooperatives, can enjoy the flexibility of sourcing out capacity through the market, rather than being completely locked-in to long term bilateral contracts.”   Dialogue tradition to continue   Meantime, Juan said IEMOP continues PEMC’s tradition of conducting regular dialogues with the market participants not just to inform of market developments or report on WESM operations and market performance, but also to create a discourse with Mindanao WESM stakeholders.    “We look forward to these gatherings for us to learn from you, to give us a sense of what you want us to do to improve how we serve you. As WESM operator we want to enhance your customer experience when interacting with the market.”    Juan said IEMOP looks forward to forging a shared responsibility and commitment to identify market issues to be addressed through policy recommendations and potential solutions that would growth and improve the WESM and market outcomes.   “Our exchanges form part of our efforts to lay down the foundation for a strong WESM operator geared towards improving market operations and providing better service,” he stressed.   Ways forward   Juan said the MPU and similar events are planned for 2019 ensure that WESM participants get more value out of their market membership.   “As operator of your electricity market, IEMOP will be your reliable service provider, ever ready to meet your needs and exceed your expectations,” Juan said.   IEMOP’s timeline for the Mindanao launch of the WESM is tied to the launch of the New Market Management System (NMMS) in Luzon and the Visayas. This is the IT system that will be used to operate the WESM with enhanced design, which allows for 5-minute trading intervals.   “We are hopeful all the critical activities for us to be able to operate under the enhanced WESM design, will already happen by June. With allowances for some contingencies, we are looking at September as a possible target date for the launch of the NMMS, or the implementation of the enhanced WESM design,” Juan explained during the open forum portion of the MPU.   “The results of the assessment being undertaken now by a third party consultant, and the decision and discretion of PEMC’s recommendation to DOE, will determine when the NMMS launch will happen, and/or whether WESM Mindanao will be launched simultaneous with the launch of NMMS for Luzon and Visayas.”   “However, should the NMMS launch for Luzon and Visayas happen ahead of the WESM Mindanao launch, providing for some few months delay, we’re looking at December as the possible date for the commercial launch of WESM in Mindanao, still within 2019,” Juan noted. (RMB)

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Elipe bats for IP representation in MisOr board

April 16, 2019

MISAMIS Oriental vice gubernatorial candidate President Elipe, an incumbent Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) member, is batting for an indigenous peoples (IP) representation at the provincial board. During their weekly session last Monday (April 15), Elipe said that it is important for the legislative body of Misamis Oriental to have its own IP or Lumad representation given the number of IPs residing in the province. It was learned that Section 6, Rule IV of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) 8371 mandates IP representation in local Sanggunians proportionate to their population in the said locality. RA 8371 is the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1991. During their session that day, Elipe said it is long overdue for Misamis Oriental to have such representation. “Long overdue na kini nga meeting kay sige ka-postpone kay dili gakahatod ang invitation sa mga personahe,” he said. Elipe did not mince words in expressing his dismay over the current leadership at the Misamis Oriental Sangguniang Panlalawigan, saying there were efforts to delay the invitations to representatives of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NICP) so the matter could be taken. “Ayha pa naabot ang letter sa DILG ug sa NCIP apparently karo nga naay intent to delay the proceedings,” he said. According to the law, it is NCIP which must endorse to DILG the name of the prospective IP representative. Then the Sangguniang Panlalawigan must enact an ordinance for the recognition of such IP representative in their body. The next step would be to invite representatives from the provincial legal office and provincial budget office for the draft of such measure. “Ubos sa balaod, kinahanglan ang representation from different sectors apil niana ang IP kay kinahanglan madungog nato ang ilang hunahuna kalabot sa mga polisiya sa atong pangagamhanan,” Elipe said.

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