davao

Taiwan Excellence highlights Taiwan’s edge in tech innovation

November 5, 2019

Taiwan Excellence, as one of the highlights of this year’s Taiwan Expo in Davao City, is featuring the cutting-edge technology of Taiwan particularly its outstanding information and communications technology (ICT) products and smart solutions. Visitors to the expo happening at the SMX Convention Center Davao (SM Lanang Premier) from November 8-9 are given the opportunity to experience a sneak peek into tomorrow's smart future with Taiwan's latest technology. Fifteen brands representing Taiwan’s ingenuity and excellence will be the highlight at Taiwan Excellence Pavilion at Booth #400. The Taiwan Excellence Pavilion at the expo will showcase the country's most elite, world-class brands in technology to Filipino buyers and industry traders, pressing its promotion of the “Taiwan Quality” to the global market. Among the featured companies in Taiwan Excellence Pavilion is GEOSAT Aerospace & Technology Inc. which will feature the application of Commercial Drone system in building Smart City in today’s lifestyle and a sneak peak of the innovative future ahead.  Another brand to look for in the pavilion is Cal-Comp Technology (Philippines) which will showcase the exciting “AI Robot”.  The much anticipated ICT brands of ASUS and ACER will also be among the featured brands at the Taiwan Excellence Pavilion.  The latest and highly advanced computer technologies of these two companies offer gamers and non-gamers alike a treat that they should not miss. Aside from high profile brands Taiwan Excellence will also hold a seminar entitled “Transform Cities with Technological Solutions from Taiwan” on November 8th, 1:30PM at Meeting Room 4.  Various topics from IoT applications, Modern Technology, Transportation and Smart Business solutions will be presented by four distinguished brands.  Representatives from different brands welcome one-on-one interviews and business meetings to interested parties after the seminar and for the whole duration of the expo (Selrahco). ABOUT TAIWAN EXCELLENCE AWARDS The Taiwan Excellence Awards are yearly awards that are given out by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Taiwan External Trade Development Council to encourage Taiwan industries to upgrade and incorporate innovation and value into their products. Brands that have been selected for the Taiwan Excellence Awards have been deemed to have innovative value and are chosen to serve as examples of the domestic industries to be promoted by the government in the international market in an effort to shape the creative image for Taiwanese businesses

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A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: From out of nowhere

November 5, 2019

From Davao, a group of us – me and three of our parish staff from the Mother of Perpetual Help Parish along J.P. Laurel St., Bajada, Davao City – drove to Kidapawan City on Monday morning, November 4, to deliver relief goods and funds solicited from our parishioners to Bishop Colin Bagaforo at his residence in Barangay Balindong. The Diocesan Relief Operations’ Center was set up in the diocesan offices beside his residence. As we were entering the center of the city, I noticed a signage signifying the name a restaurant – From Out Of Nowhere.  I thought: what an interesting name for an eatery and how appropriate in this season of earthquakes that recently hit towns in south Mindanao. Because for most of us living in this part of the country – especially those badly hit by the repercussions of the series of earthquakes measuring on an average 6.5 magnitude and who cringed every time there was an aftershock – these disastrous moments seem to have come from out of nowhere. But scientific facts dispute this “from-out-of-nowhere”” myth.  Earthquakes do come from somewhere.  At the height of this earthquake scare at the end of October, a Facebook friend sent this reading of a geologist as to what was behind the seismic-caused earthquakes: “The fault system active in these quakes is the newly named Makilala-Malungon fault. It’s part of the Mindanao fault system that extends from Sindangan all the way to Sarangani and up to Molucca Sea. These are all related to the movement of the Philippine sea plate subducting under the Philippine Trench and there is an additional subduction zone around the Molucca Sea (Halmahera-Sangihe). The faults haven’t moved in the past 10,000 years but all part for the course given our tectonic setting.”  So take note people, earthquakes arise out of somewhere which are the faults below the ground. And so sorry, there is still no way to predict when faults give rise to the earth’s movements. Which makes earthquakes far more scary than other natural disasters which can be predicted. Passing through the center of Kidapawan City, we find ourselves face-to-face with Eva’s Hotel, the city’s landmark that has now been immortalized in a million posts in social media. Fortunately, long before the recent earthquakes the hotel has already been condemned and has not accepted guests owing to noticeable fractures in various parts of the building. So when the building collapsed during the earthquakes, no one was hurt. There are other buildings that have cracks or damages and the malls remain closed, but otherwise, the city was not so badly hit by the disasters.  We made it to the Bishop’s residence and saw that the Relief Center still has stocks of food and other supplies.  Of the different cities and towns in the Cotabato-Davao regions hit by the four succeeding strong earthquakes (Magnitude 6.3 on October 16, Magnitude 6.6 and 6.1 on October 29 and Magnitude 6.5 on October 31),  Makilala seems to be the worst hit.  From the last barangay of Bansalan, Davao del Sur to the area around the municipal hall of Makilala, North  Cotabato, we saw houses upon houses destroyed and/or damaged by the earthquakes. The main evacuation centers are those located in Barangay Malasila and the area around the municipal hall. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported: “A total of 20,704 families or 103,520 individuals from the 38 barangays have been affected by the earthquake. More than 20,000 houses in the town were damaged.”  The evacuees were from Barangays Kisante, Old Bulatukan and Luayon. Among them are the Lumads whose residences are at the slopes of the mountain range connecting to Mt. Apo.  Along the highway one could see the landslides on the mountain side that forced them to evacuate. Relief operations have been ongoing since after the first earthquake struck on October 16 and have been sustained for the past two weeks.  At the evacuation sites, agencies such as the DSWD, the International Red Cross and other private groups were busy distributing relief goods especially food, water, shelter, medicine andtrapal (the main material used for tents). Along the road where victims remained near their homes and have not moved to the evacuation centers, the people wait for relief goods.  Most of the private individuals, families, groups and associations in their own vehicles approach those camping along the road rather than join the relief operations in the evacuation centers. After we left Makilala on our way to Magsaysay, along the highway we encountered at least seven huge trucks carrying DSWD relief operations as well as military trucks also  carrying goods. From Makilala, we covered the other areas of Davao del Sur where the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) has reported a total of 2,722 families or 13,600 individuals displaced due to the earthquakes.  Entering the town of Magsaysay, we saw clusters of families still sheltered in tents near their homes.  The main attraction in this town is the seriously damaged new municipal hall which has been temporarily condemned.  Its tall posts visible as part of the facade remain standing but most parts of this massive building are damaged.  Relief operations take place in the yard opposite the hall.  Passing by Matan-ao and Kiblawan on our way to Digos, we did not see too much damage wrought by the earthquakes unlike Makilala and Bansalan. Digos is also badly hit, not so much in terms of the destruction of people’s homes but how the earthquake destroyed buildings.  The one that stands out as the most dramatic are the buildings inside Cor Jesu College, two of which will have to be dismantled completely. But the other buildings also need to be repaired as there are noticeable cracks on the walls. Across the city there are buildings that show fractures and malls remain closed. As damages are suffered by mainly businessmen, relief operations are not as massive as those in Makilala. Lastly, Davao City did not experience too much destruction, except for a high-end condominium’s lower floors that collapsed and is now condemned. We surmised that with the national and local government’s relief assistance, supplemented by those of civil society (IRC, NGOs, schools, church groups, families and individuals) there may still be enough to assist the evacuees in terms of their urgent needs. Still, if there are those who still plan to go and assist them, the best relief assistance for now are food that can be immediately eaten (as cooking facilities are still quite limited) and water. But depending on how soon the evacuees can return home, so also the need to sustain the availability of relief operations.  As per experience in previous disasters, the problem is when evacuees cannot return home as quickly as possible and thus relief operations need to be sustained in the long haul. Returning home for most of those in the evacuation centers depend on how much help they can secure to rebuild their homes, no matter how modest these are so long as they can already be lived in. This is true for the Lumads whose homes are affected by the landslides; new sites will have to be identified where the new houses could be built.  Meanwhile, there is still need to assess how much trauma-healing sessions the evacuees still need especially for the children.. It has been less than a week after the last strong earthquake and there are still those who would not trust sleeping in their houses and continue to spend the night in tents. Business has taken a beating as malls and big stores have been forced to close or to shorten their store hours as the usual crowds have thinned out.  As many schools have been damaged, the classes of pupils and students have been disrupted.  For most of the people, the return to normalcy has been slow. But as we take stock of the tragic figures reported by the NDRRMC – 22 dead, 424 injured, 37,706 families or more than 188,000 people affected with 4,800 families or 24,000 persons taking shelter in 34 evacuation centers – we pray that these natural disasters end so we no longer have to live in fear of what will happen next.  We storm the heavens with this prayer: That please, no more tragic disasters especially those that come out of nowhere!

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REFLECTIONS: Sana...

November 3, 2019

 Tumigil muna and ilan sa paulit ulit na bangayan, pagbantay sa mga statements na me political colors, mali, mababaw, nangungutya, o nanghuhusga ... Sa gitna ng mga unos, na hinaharap ng ating bayan, sa mga pighati at dalamhati impit ng mga me pinagdadaanan dahil sila ang mga direktong napinsalaan, namatayan, manahimik naman tayo sandali at igalang natin ang lagim na bumabalot sa buhay nila ngayon. Sana pigilan muna natin ang panghuhusga , paulit ulit na panghihikayat na magbigay ng maitutulong, isa... dalawang beses na panawagan, OK no, pero paulit ulit, medyo nakakabasag na ng trip. If we want to do good for the survivors of the series of earthquakes, fine, do it silently, do not over promote, it stirs suspicions. lf you have that pure intention of helping, do it , within your means... not obliging others to be as "engaged or committed" as you! Sana rin, bawasan natin and pag announce ng mga detalya nating naramdaman sa lindol, our narration of fears may promote fears. Baka mas ok na positive thoughts and feelings muna and ating i-share... Pwede natin ipromote ang PEACE ENERGIES Bawasan natin ang self promotion.. Pwede... SANA... Taimtim, magdasal tayo...sa kapakanan at kaligtasan ng bawat isa. ..

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REFLECTIONS: How do you bring back the feeling of safety and control?

November 3, 2019

We were in Magsaysay town (Davao del Sur), on our way to Tulunan (North Cotabato) to distribute food packs when the 6.5 earthquake this morning struck. It so happened we were in a stretch of road where there were several houses. We saw panicked women running out, dragging children behind them. A woman cried uncontrollably, tears and snivel flowing together. An old woman scraped her knee in her panic to get out. All of them were scampering to cross the street where no structures could fall on them and hurt them. The quake lasted for only a few seconds but it gave me a lifetime worth of lessons on how an earthquake could impact an individual and community. It’s unlike a typhoon which is forecasted, the details from strength of wind to speed and track are known beforehand. Earthquakes on the other hand you don’t know. And you also don’t know how many aftershocks if any would follow. In short you don’t know when it will start and when it will end. Even during distribution of food packs in Magbok, Tulunan, some mothers were tightly clutching their children’s hands, saying the children want to be near them when another quake occurs. Obviously the adults also want to be near the kids when the dreaded quake comes again. That feeling of not having control over what will happen, that sense of helplessness, are partly what makes earthquakes worse than most calamities. Many of those I spoke with said they now hardly sleep, ready to bolt to safety at the slightest tremor, real or imagined. The quake areas are now dotted with blue makeshift tents where people sleep, too afraid to stay inside their houses. Even our hotel has guests asleep on the sofas in the lobby. And throughout the day, people I was with would suddenly stop, fearfully gauging if the earth had moved again. Since then I have been asking myself: How best to help them? How do you bring back the feeling of safety and control? I wanted to hug the woman who cried so hard. She spoke in Cebuano and explained in between sobs her fears. I didn’t fully understand her words but I understood what she was saying.

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Another condo project of DMC-UPDI condemned

November 3, 2019

 Mayor Sara Duterte has issued an order to condemn the two buildings of the Palmetto Place, another project of property developer DMC Urban Property Developers Inc. (DMC-UPDI), in Barangay Maa here after they sustained major cracks on the structures following Thursday’s Magnitude 6.5 earthquake. In a statement issued by the City Information Office on Saturday evening, Duterte said inspectors found major cracks on the walls, beams, channels, and posts of Buildings 2 and 3 of the Palmetto Place. The mayor said residents voluntarily left after receiving notices to vacate from the Office of the Building Official. Duterte had also ordered a probe on the actions of the City Engineer's Office, Office of the City Building Official, and the Building Administrator's Office of Ecoland Residences 4000 in relation to the collapse of the five-story Himeji building when the Magnitude 6.5 quake struck. “At least one person was arrested for disobedience to a lawful order in relation to the operations at Ecoland 4000,” she said. She added search and rescue operation concluded on Thursday evening after rescuers found no trapped occupants on the second floor of the Himeji building, where nine occupants were injured after the first two levels collapsed. A day before its collapse, the City Engineer’s Office had given DMC-UPDI notice that the building was unsafe for occupancy and was to be condemned. At least 20 individuals were evacuated from the destroyed condominium tower, she said. No one was reported missing due to the powerful earthquake last week, she said. She added the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and local officials of the landslide prone barangays are conducting joint ground assessment. The mayor said that based on initial results,  the assessment team flagged Juario Village in Maa as a “danger zone,” and had advised residents of the village to evacuate immediately due to possible landslides. She said all bridges and roads in the city were inspected and have been declared safe. She said classes from kindergarten to post-graduate studies in public and private educational institutions will resume on Tuesday. “School authorities are mandated to spend November 4 as a day to thoroughly inspect school buildings, review earthquake action plan and disaster manual to ensure the safety of the students and employees,” she said. She said school authorities should conduct earthquake and fire drills at least once a month and provide students with experts who can discuss with them stress, trauma, and anxiety. 

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Mayor Sara to convene CDRRMC to discuss stricter standards on new buildings

November 1, 2019

Mayor Sara Duterte will meet the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) on Monday to discuss plans on strengthening the building requirements after a series of powerful earthquakes damaged infrastructures in Mindanao. Duterte said in an interview that members of the council will consider proposing stricter measures that will set standards on new buildings to make them withstand magnitude 7 and stronger earthquakes. Under the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, the CDRRMC is chaired by the mayor. Members include the heads of City Planning and Development Office, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, City Social Welfare and Development Office, City Health Office, City Agriculture Office, Gender and Development Office, City Engineering Office, City Veterinary Office, City Budget Office, the division head/schools superintendent, highest ranking military and police officials, city fire marshal, president of the Association of Barangay Captains, Philippine National Red Cross, four representatives from accredited civil society organizations, and one private sector representative. The mayor said there is also need to pass the proposed ordinance that seeks to regulate the height of the buildings and structures in the city. Based on the draft ordinance, the proposed measure indicates that the applicable zones for the premium height limit are the major commercial zones, high-density residential zone, and institutional zone. It will impose a higher regular building limit of 90 meters at the maximum for structures that will be built within the 500-meter radius from the boundary of railway station or intermodal transit station but 110 meters (about 33 stories) for structures in zones within identified major commercial zones, high-density residential zone, and institutional zone. The draft also says that the City Government may allow construction of a tower building that will serve as the city’s “tallest landmark postcard image” in Maa and Matina (zone 3) Bangkal (zone 9), and City Hall Complex to Bucana area (zone 10) with a height higher than the premium height limitation. But it should not exceed what the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has set as a limitations such as 72 to 162 meters (about 21 to 49 stories) for zone 3, 162 meters for zone 9, and 145 meters (about 44 stories) for zone 10. To be awarded with the privilege of building the tallest landmark in the city, the proposed law provides that the project’s design is unique and should bear semblance to or representation of the city’s culture and heritage; devote at least 50 percent of tis ground floor area accessible to the public and its summit must also be made accessible by the public for viewing purposes either for free or for a fee. It added the proposed law will serve as guide, control, and regulate future growth and development of the city; provide an orderly pattern of development that is both transit-oriented and transit responsive; conform to flight safety regulations and improve disaster-resilience; preserve view of cultural and heritage sites; promote and improve urban livability index such as better air quality, sufficient access to sunlight, open and green spaces and urban connectivity and mobility efforts; and provide incentives to the private sector in improving the build environment. Some of the existing tallest buildings in the city are the 33-story mixed-use condominium Aeon Tower, 37-story Vivaldi Residences, and twin-tower Avida (19-story tower 1 and 23-story tower 2). “We really need that ordinance not just for disasters but also for urban planning,” Duterte said.

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