todays top stories

DepEd condemns slay attempt on Bukidnon teacher

October 18, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- The Department of Education (DepEd) strongly condemns the shooting of Zhydee Bitago Cabañelez, an elementary teacher at Dalit Elementary School (ES)  in Valencia City, Bukidnon on October 15, 2019.    In a statement, DepEd has called on authorities to conduct an exhaustive investigation of the gruesome incident and expects results that will bring the perpetrators to justice.   Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones also instructed DepEd-X and the Schools Division Office of Valencia City to submit complete incident reports and obtain investigation reports from the authorities.    Four (4) unidentified gunmen onboard motorcycles went inside the victim’s classroom and shot the victim and her husband, Mr. Ramil Cabañelez, also a teacher in the same school. The husband managed to escape while the victim sustained serious physical injuries.    Initial police reports forwarded by Valencia City Police Chief Zurki Serenas showed that the victim sustained multiple gunshot wounds but is now in stable condition at the hospital and will be provided with psychological first aid as soon as possible.    Meanwhile, DepEd said pupils, parents, and teachers in Dalit ES have already been stress debriefed a day after the shooting incident.  The conduct of the 2nd Periodical Test scheduled on October 17 and 18, in the school was also postponed.   In a coordination meeting, Barangay and Sitio leaders committed to assign CVO and Purok leaders to serve as security officers during school hours. They will also accompany teachers in coming to school and going home at least until the Pulangi River.   Moreover, DepEd-X Regional Director Arturo Bayocot confirmed that DepEd Central and local offices have collected financial contributions to augment funds for the hospitalization of the victim.    DepEd sternly enjoins the community, local officials, and law enforcement agencies to work closely in ensuring the safety of schools, learners, and teachers. (DepEd)

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Strong quake in Mindanao also hit Cagayan de Oro's tallest hotel

October 17, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - A strong earthquake that hit Mindanao yesterday also made a crack in the city's newest and tallest hotel, according to a report received by this paper Wednesday. City Engineer Roland Pacuribot shows to the media yesterday a crack at the city's tallest hotel. (File Photo) Based on Philvoc's report, the city was hit by a strong quake at an intensity of 3 while in North Cotabato and General Santos reportedly experienced Magnitude 6.3. The crack was reported by City Engineer Roland Pacuribot as he made immmediate check and inspection at Limketkai's Luxe Hotel. But the City Engineer quickly said the crack was only small and minor repairs are only needed. The media who covered the site inspection made by the City Engineer also made the crack in public purposely to make awareness that even the newest buildings made up of the latest in building construction materials are not safe for tremors. Meanwhile, in Misamis Oriental, Governor Vincente "Bambi" immediately instructed Engr Mario Batar, the provincial engineer, to immediately make ocular inspections on buildings owned by the provincial government. The governor's order developed after yesterday's 6.3 Magnitude  that hit many citys and provinces in Southern Philippines. The quake's epicenter was in Tulunan North Cotabato based on the report made public by Philvocs. The said government agency said the quake was tectonic in origin. Engr Batar last night around 9:00pm immediately inspected the primises of the Provincial Capitol to monitor the structural integrity of the building to keep the employees safe from future dangers of the upcoming earthquakes and all forms of calamity. A sketchy report also said one was dead in North Cotabato after he was bombarded with a falling debris as a result of the strong tremor.   ALL PHOTOS BY ERCEL MAANDIG

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Solons back measure raising salaries of Comelec workers

October 17, 2019

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur--The two lawmakers of this province have co-authored House Bill 1669 filed by Rep. Luis Raymund “RLay” Favis Villafuerte Jr. of the 2nd District of Camarines Sur which seeks to standardize the salaries of workers of the Commission on Election (Comelec). Rep. Alfelito M. Bascug of the 1st District and Rep. Adolph Edward G. Plaza of the province’s 2nd District separately signed the manifest of support of the proposed bill , “An Act Reorganizing the Comelec Offices” at their respective congressional offices at the Provincial Capitol on October 15. When HB 1669 becomes a law, all Comelec workers nationwide will enjoy standard salary grades at par with fellow government workers in the Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Justice and Commission on Audit. Presently, Comelec workers in the municipal level are still receiving salaries six steps behind from the salary grades of these other government agencies. Both Rep. Bascug and Rep. Plaza agreed that the Comelec workers deserve the long overdue increase of their salaries and benefits being the stewards to exercise of democracy by way of performing their poll duties. Gov. Santiago B. Cane, Jr. witnessed the ceremonial signing of the manifest of support to HB 1669 together with officers and staff of the Provincial Comelec Office. Lawyer Raquel B. Limbaco, Provincial Election Supervisor III and Frederico A. Blanco, Election Officer IV who is also ASCEA-EU President thanked the two congressmen of the province for standing as co-auhors of the proposed law to standardize the salaries of Comelec workers.

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Zero Hunger is bound to fail, says int’l coalition

October 17, 2019

ON “World Food Day” today, an international movement of grassroots groups of small food producers and food sovereignty advocates challenged the member states of the United Nations to change the policy framework on food and agriculture to truly eradicate hunger and malnutrition worldwide. According to the People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS), the worsening global hunger and undernourishment are tell-tale signs of the “counterproductive neoliberal framework” of Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2), which aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” by 2030. One in every nine people in the world are suffering from hunger in 2018 and one in every four of them do not have regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food, according to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019. “Zero Hunger is not just off track. It is bound to fail,” said Sylvia Mallari, global co-chairperson of PCFS. She said SDG 2 will never meet its target progress as long as the real causes of global hunger and undernourishment are not addressed. The PCFS official asserted that resources and energies should be channeled in ending landlessness and global land grabbing, man-made starvation in proxy wars and occupation, and the corporate control of food and agriculture. “The realignment of public investments and private capital to the infrastructure and high-tech solutions especially of small-scale food producers fall short and shallow in realizing Zero Hunger by 2030,” Mallari added. “Global inequality and corporate monopoly should be factored in as threats and not just as mere trends that affect the global hunger situation.” “Healthy diets for everyone are far from happening as long as the decisive actors of our food and agriculture systems maintain their foothold in adherence to neoliberal globalization,” she said, referring to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s theme for this year’s World Food Day, which was established to commemorate its founding. “There is hunger amid plenty. Unless food sovereignty takes center stage in our food and agriculture policies, we are far from achieving Zero Hunger in ten or twenty or even fifty years from now,” said the PCFS official. “They are fooling themselves in believing that neoliberal globalization will take us to a hunger-free world.” Meanwhile, PCFS global co-chairperson Razan Zuayter challenged the governments to scrutinize the role of the corporate private sector in their food and agriculture policies. She said the policy changes they demand only enable their continued investment and secure their immunity from violations. Zuayter cited, for example, Brazil’s inaction to the Amazon fires which were instigated and aggravated by the expansion of industrial cattle farms to increase their beef production and export. Meanwhile, trade liberalization in Asia has resulted in a rice crisis. Rice-producing countries such as the Philippines have relied on imports instead of local producers to supply their staple food, killing the local rice industry. “Transnational corporations continue to monopolize the seed and pesticide industry and should not be treated as our partners for development. Their insatiable interest for profit has always undermined the rights and welfare of the marginalized,” Zuayter said. The PCFS official also called for the accountability of governments that use starvation as a weapon of modern warfare in conflict-stricken countries. “The aid provided to us in West Asia and North Africa will never compensate nor even address the famine in our region. It is man-made, a war crime the Saudi Coalition should be made accountable of,” Mallari seconded. According to the PCFS global chairpersons, various grassroots groups and civil society organizations worldwide are commemorating October 16 as “World Hunger Day” to underscore the hunger as a global phenomenon through various activities such as protest actions, assemblies, and press conferences. They will also rate the performance of their governments toward achieving Zero Hunger based on food sovereignty principles. They shared that the World Hunger Day was declared by the Asian Peasant Coalition in 2012 to counter UN FAO's World Food Day celebration. PCFS has since joined its commemoration, with members highlighting their efforts to uphold food sovereignty. Such include the practice and development of local agroecology and the assertion of land rights and the right to food through democratic exercises and mass campaigns.

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Xavier Ateneo Economics hosts talk on effects of TRAIN Law

October 17, 2019

THE Department of Economics of Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan hosted a talk with Dr Philip Arnold P Tuaño on the effects of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act or commonly known as TRAIN Law on various industries and social classes, held at the XU Little Theater on October 12 in Cagayan de Oro. Tuaño, who finished his master’s degree at Sussex University in England and earned his PhD from the University of the Philippines, presented the findings of his team’s intensive research and predictions for the effects of the controversial TRAIN Law. Based on their findings, sugar-sweetened beverages, tobacco, gas, and petroleum products are predicted to be adversely impacted by the said law in terms of their rising prices, which will eventually affect the consumers. He also pointed out a number of positive effects TRAIN law may provide to our economy, namely, helping elevate the middle class, while potentially enabling both universal health care program in the Philippines and the greater unconditional cash transfer funds to poor income households. Tuaño, who formerly served as a director of the Macro-Policy Unit of the National Anti-Poverty Commission, currently serves as the chairperson of the Department of Economics of Ateneo de Manila Univerisity. His presentation was then followed by reactions from the invited guests. Department of Trade and Industry’s Almer Masillones explained the benefits of taxes to the audience: “We pay taxes because those are used to fund provisions of public goods and services that benefit the general welfare of the people. This includes national defense, administration of justice, internal security, the conduct of foreign policy, infrastructure, and fund programs implemented by the government. Another reason for taxation is to approach a 'more equal' society. One of the ways to redistribute wealth is with tax policy.” Masillones emphasized that taxes have the ability "to curb badly behaving companies." She said: “Another reason for paying taxes is to correct for harmful behaviors that affect many people. This refers to negative externalities. [...] Imposing taxes on [harmful] activities can correct for negative effects on some economic activities. We pay taxes to finance projects for the common welfare, to approach a fairer society and to correct to harmful activities.” In sharing his reaction, Alberto Daba, chief of the Regional Investigation Division of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), was quick to warn the audience about the proliferation of illegally manufactured cigarettes in the market because of the excise tax on tobacco imposed by TRAIN law, even citing some of the results of their BIR-led raids within Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce representative Maria Teresa Alegrio, who is also the regional governor of Northern Mindanao Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and corporate social responsibility and public relations manager at STEAG State Power Inc, also shared on the challenges that the energy sector continues to face around the country and within the Mindanao area. Following the reactions from the invited guests, the audience got a chance to ask the speakers questions on macro and microeconomic concerns. The open forum was moderated by the XU Economics Department’s faculty member Jhon Louie Sabal. This event was sponsored by the DTI, in celebration of Consumer Welfare Month. In her closing message, XU Department of Economics chairwoman Caroline Laarni Sereñas shared on Benjamin Franklin’s famous line, "In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” She went on to remind the audience that our taxes serve not just protect our environment and community from "misbehaving companies" but it can serve to better our country as a whole when properly utilized.

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Luxe Hotel exec announces engineering team conduct evaluation on building wall cracks on Tower 2

October 17, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - The management of Lim ket Kai Luxe Hotel has confirmed their engineering team are now conducting evaluation on the reported wall cracks at the hotel's Tower 2, 3rd Floor area. In a statement sent to the media, Mylene P. Sison, the hotel's public relations & marketing manager said Tower 2's 3rd Floor is temporarily closed starting today (October 17) as an engineering team from Limketkai Luxe Hotel will check on the reported crack due to a strong earthquake that jolted early evening on Wednesday (October 16). "Our Tower 1 where the lobby, functions rooms, outlets and guestrooms are located, is still on regular business operation," the hotel's executive said. The Limketkai Luxe Hotel, located in this city, is the tallest hotel in Mindanao. AFTERMATH OF TREMOR Based on Philvoc's report, the city was hit by a strong quake at an intensity of 3 while in North Cotabato and General Santos reportedly experienced Magnitude 6.3. As a result of said quake, five people have been reported dead while many were also injured in many areas in Central Mindanao, who were badly affected by the strong tremor. A mall in General Santos was engulfed with fire after the tremor and firefighters took more than 10 hours before they could control the fire. In Cagayan de Oro, the crack on Luxe Hotel was reported by City Engineer Roland Pacuribot after his team conducted immmediate check and inspection at Limketkai's Luxe Hotel. But the City Engineer quickly said the crack was only small and minor repairs are needed. The media who covered the site inspection made by the City Engineer also made the crack in public purposely to make awareness that even the newest buildings made up of the latest in building construction materials are not safe for tremors. Meanwhile, in Misamis Oriental, Governor Vincente "Bambi" immediately instructed Engr Mario Batar, the provincial engineer, to immediately make ocular inspections on buildings owned by the provincial government. The governor's order developed after yesterday's 6.3 Magnitude  that hit many citys and provinces in Southern Philippines. The quake's epicenter was in Tulunan North Cotabato based on the report made public by Philvocs. The said government agency said the quake was tectonic in origin. Engr Batar last night around 9:00pm immediately inspected the primises of the Provincial Capitol to monitor the structural integrity of the building to keep the employees safe from future dangers of the upcoming earthquakes and all forms of calamity.  

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