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EU widely known as center of excellence in higher education

October 26, 2019

IF you’re looking to pursue higher education that is better than the usual, then the EU is the best place for you!     Beyond countless picturesque spots and the diverse cultures of its Member States, the European Union is widely recognized as a center of excellence when it comes to higher education.     The EU has long established its educational  preminence with superior academic courses, mobility and scholarship opportunities, and cutting-edge technology.  Its academic and cultural environment is proven to be conducive to higher learning, research, and a well-rounded educational experience.     One such example is Kent Tangcalagan, who earned summa cum laude honors for his Master’s Degree in Comparative Local Development.     Kent credits the EU’s innovative facilities and cutting-edge technologies in providing him the perfect tools to excel in his chosen programme.     He said, “The expertise made available during our classes came from professors who were in different fields (i.e. academia, corporate, third sector), different sciences (i.e. economics, sociology, natural sciences, etc.), different genders, cultures, and countries of origin. That diversity provided us different perspectives that challenged our way of thinking, our ideologies, and our concept structures that have been based from how we were brought up and educated in our own countries.”   Another proud EU summa cum laude alumna is Katy Macaso, who earned her Master’s degree in Food Science, Technology, and Business said “Studying (in Europe) was eye-opening especially the practical courses and site visits which let you engage with high tech instruments and machineries not currently available or just off-limits in the Philippines.  Overall, it was just enriching.”   For dance guru and entrepreneur Georcelle Dapat-Sy, studying in the EU provided her with new perspectives with regard to her passion and craft. “In 2016, I realized I could not run my dance company for the next twelve years based on gut feelings,” Georcelle said.  “I needed a new formula.  I learned more about myself as a leader when I went to THNK School of Creative Leadership in Amsterdam.  You can unlearn things, become a blank canvas again, be a sponge and absorb new knowledge.  EU’s diversity unlocked innovation within me.”   EU’s high standard of excellence in higher education also enabled Danie Laurelto be a multi-hyphenate woman.  Aside from being a news anchor, a business journalist, and a business events host, she’s also a finance professor, thanks to her MBA and PhD degrees—all earned in the Europe.  Because of what she has achieved, Danie is very passionate in telling Filipino students—especially women—to pursue higher education abroad.  “Studying in the EU has made me who I am today: a strong, independent, confident, and highly educated woman who above all things believes in the power of learning in changing peoples’ lives and in education as the cornerstone of our country’s future.”   And for Ella Laxa-Pangilinan, who took an Interior Design course in Florence, Italy. Her EU education led her to a profound realization about what she wants to do in her budding career.  “You get to learn a new way of living and thinking. Art and culture is everywhere, and so you’re constantly surrounded by different sources of inspiration to the point it actually made me appreciate my culture so much more. It also gives one the chance to bring home these learnings to be able to add a different value to society.”   For Kent, Katy, Georcelle, Danie, and Ella, an EU education is definitely the right path towards excellence.     Do you want to study in the EU?   Start you own journey to excellence in higher education and come to this year’s European Higher Education Fair on October 26 at the Grand Atrium of Shangri-La Plaza, and on October 28 at the Lyceum of the Philippines University in General Trias, Cavite.   This highly anticipated showcase event gathers some of the EU’s topnotch universities and higher education institutions and connects them directly with Filipino students.   The event will also feature country presentations and discussions about scholarship and mobility opportunities.   The EHEF 2019 is organized by the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines, together with EU Member States’ Embassies and Cultural Groups, and in partnership with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and supported by venue partners Shangri-La Plaza, Lyceum of the Philippines University-Cavite, and media partners: ANC, Business World Spark Up, Click the City, Philippine Business and News, Primer PH, Radyo Inquirer, Roots and Wings Online, and WhenInManila.com.

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6 LGUs turn over 30 loose firearms

October 26, 2019

BALOI, Lanao del Norte--Thirty loose firearms were turned over to the Army's 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion by six local government units from this province last Friday afternoon (October 25). Since the start of 2019, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) urged local chief executives to direct their constituents to surrender or turn over their loose firearms to authorities. The move is in compliance to the Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunitions. The local chief executives and representatives of Matungao, Linamon, Pantar, Munai, Poona Piagapo and Pantao Ragat led the turn over ceremony inside the headquarters of the 4th Mech in Barangay Nangka, in Baloi town as witnessed by Col. Facundo Palafox, commander of the Army's 2nd Mechanized Brigade that has operational control of the area. Since January this year, around 150 loose firearms have been turned over by the LGUs to the AFP through the battalions in the area. Seventy five of these are high-powered firearms while 71 are low-powered. Nineteen of these were recovered in series of focused military operations against lawless elements according to Palafox. "We are sustaining the program to be successful. In the coming days, mapaigting po natin ang ating seguridad by helping ng ating kapulisan at kasundaluhan sa pag-surender po ng ating mga loose firearms para maiwasan po natin ang magkasakitan sa ating kapwa," Palafox said in his message during the ceremony. LtCol. Bernardo Taqueban, commander of 4th Mech, said implementing the law is also helping the government to make the people in the area safe and secured. "Ito ang tools kung saan nagkakaroon ng kremin. Hindi na po kailangan ang mga ito dahil ang ating lugar, unti-unti ay nakikita natin na peaceful na ang ating lugar," Taqueban said. He added that aside from helping the government, the military is also helping the public because a civilian's mere possession of firearms would expose somebody to be harmed. Munai town mayor Racma Dansal Andamama in her response said Munai LGU has been supporting the military in implementing the program because they believe that there is development if there is stable peace and order. "Kami sa Munai, alam natin na ang Munai ay kasali sa conflict area sa Lanao del Norte. Nagpapasalamat ako sa 4th Mech sa pagpapanatili sa kaayusan at kapayapaan sa Munai," Andamama said.

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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.

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City Hall happy with latest CDO Competitiveness Rankings

October 25, 2019

The Cagayan de Oro City Government expressed its satisfaction with the city’s latest competitiveness rankings. Cagayan de Oro was ranked as the 7th Most Competitive City in the Philippines in the Highly Urbanized City Category during the 7th Regional Competitiveness Summit held 24 October 2019, at the Reception Hall, Philippine International Convention Center. “We’ve very pleased-and proud-of CDO’s latest CMCI rankings,” said City Mayor Oscar S. Moreno. CMCI stands for Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index, an annual ranking of Philippines cities and municipalities based on a tool developed by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) with the assistance of United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Department of Trade and Industry, through its Competitiveness Bureau recognized LGUs with exemplary performance in the four pillars of the index – Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, Infrastructure and Resiliency. “Firstly, over these years, we’ve consistently been in the country’s Top 10 Highly Urbanized Cities,” Moreno stressed. “Secondly, in each of the four pillars, CDO was in the Top 10 also.” Cagayan de Oro ranked #2 in Resiliency, #6 in Government Efficiency and #10 in both Infrastructure and Economic Dynamism of the latest CMCI rankings. Although Cagayan de Oro slipped to #7 from its #5 overall ranking last year, it recorded improvements in government efficiency, climbing to #6 (from #7 last year and #16 in 2017), and Economic Dynamism jumping 3 ranks to #10 from #13 last year (from 15th in 2017). It slipped one rank from #1 to #2 in Resiliency after rising 21 ranks in 2018, and five to #10 in Infrastructure (from #5 last year and in 2017). “Thirdly, 4 HUCs outside Metro Manila (two from the Visayas and two from Mindanao) landed among the country’s Top 10 HUCs, a clear statement of the competitiveness improvement of HUCs in these areas.”   The two cities in Mindanao which made it this year’s Top 10 in overall competitiveness were Davao and Cagayan de Oro, while Bacolod and Cebu were the two which made it from the Visayas. The four cities maintained their competitiveness rankings from last year, with Davao (4th), Bacolod (8th) and Cebu (9th) remaining the only cities along with Cagayan de Oro outside of Metro Manila which made the Top 10. Despite the slight slippage from last year’s overall competitiveness rankings, Moreno still remained ebullient and praised the close public-private partnership which made it possible. “I’d like to thank CDO’s bureaucracy and our community for this sterling record.” A total of 1,518 LGUs participated in this initiative and awards were given to LGUs in four categories: 3rd to 6th Class Municipalities, 1st to 2nd Class Municipalities, Component Cities, and Highly Urbanized Cities. For the fourth year, Quezon City was overall most competitive Highly Urbanized City (HUC), making it to the CMCI Hall of Fame. Manila was second followed by Davao City in 3rd place. Antipolo City was the overall most competitive Component City (CC), with Calamba, Laguna and Santa Rosa, Laguna in 2nd and 3rd places, respectively. Cainta, Rizal reclaimed its top spot as overall most competitive 1st-2nd Class Municipality, while Taytay, Rizal slipped to second spot, followed by Baliwag, Bulacan in 3rd place. Mambajao Camiguin again tops For the 3rd-6th class municipalities, Mambajao, Camiguin again topped this category followed by San Remigio, Cebu (2nd) and Baler, Aurora (3rd). Mambajao placed first in economic dynamism and third in government efficiency. It also topped the CMCI rankings for the overall category in 2015. Rizal Province was adjudged the most competitive province overall for the fourth consecutive time, with Laguna 2nd and Cavite at 3rd. All three provinces are from the CALABARZON region. "I am glad to hear that more and more Local Government Units (LGUs) are seeing the importance of the CMCI project," said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez. “The CMCI now has 1,518 cities and municipalities, from 122 cities and 163 municipalities in its pilot run in 2013. Beyond being an annual ranking event, it is a vital opportunity for policymakers and public officials to see where things are, compare it to past performance, and relate it to the experience of other localities. As such, the program serves as a driving force to do better, to be more innovative, and to utilize and manage resources more effectively," he added. Most improved LGUs DTI also recognized local government units that significantly improved their performance in the CMCI. For the HUC Category, Valenzuela and Malabon shared the top spot, followed by Angeles, Pampanga (2nd) and Parañaque and Caloocan (3rd). For Component Cities, Meycauayan, Bulacan topped the list, while Tangub, Misamis Occidental and Toledo, Cebu tied for 2nd place and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan ranked 3rd. For 1st-2nd class municipalities, Plaridel, Bulacan ranked 1st followed by Pandi, Bulacan (2nd) and Santa Rosa, Nueva Ecija (3rd). For 3rd-6th class municipalities, Poro, Cebu was the top placer, followed by Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija (2nd) and Tabina, Zamboanga del Sur (3rd). (with a report from DTI)

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A TRIBUTE TO OUR CHAMPION AND HERO: AQUILINO “NENE” PIMENTEL, JR.: The Father of Cooperativism

October 24, 2019

“From time to time, there appear on the face of the earth men with rare and consummate excellence who dazzle us by their virtue, and whose outstanding qualities shed a stupendous light. Like those extraordinary stars of whose origins we are ignorant and whose fate once they have vanished, we know even less, such men have neither forebears nor descendants: they are the whole of their race.” Indeed, no greater love there is than a fearless man who is willing to give his life so that others may be free.  Sen. Nene did what was probably the most difficult task in the restoration of democracy in the Philippines. A freedom-fighter, Sen. Nene was imprisoned four times during the 14-year Martial Law Rule. During those painful years, a poem, Veritas Liberabit Vos” loomed:       “My name is Veritas. So simple is my language. Mankind runs after me because I am a precious position. But to the rule of a dictator, I am a threat, so I have to be imprisoned. But there will always be lovers who will search for me because they cannot live without my presence.  Dictators do not know that in the silence of the prison cell, I am gaining strength. One day, when the Filipino people are awakened, I will burst out in the open and through a people powered revolution, I will unfetter the people from oppression. Indeed Veritas Liberabit Vos!”  (The Truth shall set us fee!)      After Martial Law, it was so amazing how he dismantled the entire martial law apparatus by replacing en masse incumbent officials with handpicked officers-in-charge.      A brilliant lawyer, he had been the Dean of the College of Law of Xavier University, then becoming the City Mayor of Cagayan de Oro. He was one of the chosen few who framed the 1987 Constitution that amazingly captured the essence of  cooperativism in Chapter XV, Article XII, “to promote  the viability and growth of cooperatives as instruments of social justice, equity and economic development,” to pave the way to institutionalize “people power” through cooperatives to transform a highly skewed pyramidal societal order not through armed struggle but through cooperativism by harnessing peacefully the collective power of the people.          Sen. Nene had seen cooperativism as the one to democratize wealth and power which is under the strangled hold of the oligarchs in a country where 73% of the economy is controlled by just 200 families.      Through that empowerment constitutional provision, then Senator Nene who later became the Senate President co-authored the twin laws: RA 6938 (the Cooperative Code of the Philippines) and RA 6939 (The Creation of the Cooperative Development Authority).  Sen. Nene also shepherded the enactment of the crucial Local Government Code which included the LGU’s mandate to advance cooperativism in their respective territorial jurisdiction.      The amazing mindset of a transformative leader has indeed been manifested in the said laws especially in debunking gross social inequities and social injustices which have been looming in so many ways. These are evident in the life of the farmers tilling land that they do not own or if they do, they do not control the mode of production and marketing.  That’s the reason why everyone is profiting from farming except those who struggled to make the land productive – the poor farmers.  In a land controlled by Cartel, our beloved Nene wanted to rectify a social wrong especially in the life of the eleven (11) million member-consumer-owners (MCOs) of the so-called Electric Cooperatives.  Sen. Nene’s counter measure then  was the provision in the law creating CDA that it is “the “sole registering office” of all types of cooperatives” and that all agencies of government which are doing registration especially the National Electrification Authority (NEA) must turn-over the registering power to CDA but it never happened manifesting how powerful the electric cartel is.      Let us make the “Father of Cooperativism” our model in advancing “Transformative Cooperatives for People, Planet, Prosperity and Peace,” so that the cooperatives can become a countervailing force against poverty, gross inequities, social injustices, ecological turbulence due to climate change and violent extremism which is so alarming as manifested recently by a Filipino suicidal bomber.      Sen. Nene was not only the father of the cooperatives, he was a cooperative hero and champion, bringing a beacon of light during those martial law years and a beacon of hope amidst poverty and social inequities. In a world with so much veneration to the profit motive “that has captured the mindset of all governments, institutions, universities and religious group and denigration of spiritual values, Sen. Nene had indeed crafted cooperativism as the countervailing force to effect social transformation which is the real essence of cooperativism in a world beset with so much consumerism and materialism.      As Sen. Nene’s remains will soon be buried, what comes to my mind is the 12th stanza of the 17th century poem written by Thomas Grey in a Country Churchyard, to quote: “Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid, some heart once pregnant with celestial fire, hands that the rod of empire might have sway’d, or walked to ecstasy the living lyre.”      To our dearly-beloved hero, father and champion, you had lived with us with that “celestial fire” to advance cooperativism as a liberating force to make life better for the poor and the oppressed. Where ever you are, now with us, then with the stars and in the loving embrace of the Being, you must now walk to ecstasy the living lyre, all for God’s greater glory – with our firm salute and warm embrace.  All the more than 10 million members of the cooperatives all over the country are now shouting: WE LOVE YOU SEN. NENE! Marami pong salamat!

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BREAKING NEWS: Ex-Vice Mayor Acenas, 4 others arrested in Cebu for "double your money investment scam"

October 24, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - Former Cagayan de Oro City Vice Mayor Caesar Ian Acenas and four others were arrested Tuesday (October 22) in Mandaue City, Cebu Province during an entrapment operation conducted by operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-7). Their arrest came after alleged victims of their alleged  "double your money scheme" reported to police authorities. Investors in Cebu reportedly complained regarding their presence in the Visayas and how they were lured to invest millions of pesos to the alleged investment scam. CIDG-7 agents conducted surveillance operations for more than 2 weeks and later botched their entrapment plan and agents acted as investors and met the group at a cafe in Mandaue. When both parties already exchange money and products, fully armed CIDG-7 agents who acted as back up immediately swooped down at the cafe and arrested the suspects. CIDG-7 case investigator identified the suspects as former Cagayan de Oro City Vice Mayor Caesar Ian Acenas, 43 of Xavier Estates; Ailyn Matulac, 41 a resident of Green Meadows Subdivision in Davao City; Arjon Gumban, 26 of Mlang, North Cotabato; Maria Esperanza Makinano, 34 of Camp Alagar, Cagayan de Oro; and Adjector Daya Jr., 35 of Purok 6, Barangay Tugbok, also in Davao City. Initial investigation disclosed that Ailyn Matulac was the chief executive officer of Phoenix EA Holding International Inc. Complaints pointed to her as the leader of the group. Meanwhile, former vice mayor Acenas also denied involvement in the group but arresting operatives maintain their position that the vice mayor was with the group who transacted to them. MDN tried to contact the former vice mayor to shed light on the issue but failed. He was unavailable for phone interview yesterday. Acenas told investigators he was also a victim of the groups false promises and he is willing to testify against them in court to prove his innocence. Acenas was dragged on the alleged investment scam after he joined with the group during the supposed pay ins made by CIDG operatives who acted as investors. CIDG-7's Police Major Edwin Lacostales said the actual target of the entrapment was actually Ms Ailyn Matulac but since Matulac was with the group, her companions were also arrested. Matulac, according to CIDG-7 will be charged with estafa, while her companions including former vice mayor Acenas, are still to be interrogated to confirm their alleged involvement to the "double your money in 45 days scheme." Lacostales told reporters the group would assure the victims of promised return of their investment after 45 days. And this did not happen, prompting more than 10 investors to report the scam to police authorities in Mandaue. It took the police at least a week to hold surveillance and properly identify those involved in the scheme. The compainants also reported that the alleged scammers  would entice their alleged victims of 30 percent return of investment (ROI) in 30 days only, OR double if they choose to be paid after 45 days.  ###  

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