davao

Marines discover marijuana plantation in Sulu town

October 26, 2019

Elements of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 7 on Wednesday discovered a marijuana plantation in Kalingalang Caluang town in Sulu while in combat operations in the area, the Western Mindanao Command’s Public Information Office said in a press release Friday night. It said the 1,800 square-mater marijuana plantation, located within the residential area of Adzhar Juamidim Mundoc in Barangay Masjid Punjungan,  could fetch an estimated cost of 3.6 million pesos.  The Westmincom report said the area was immediately cordoned off by troops of the 37th Marine Company and that the troops had subsequently coordinated with the barangay officials to determine who really owns the plantation. The MBLT-7 also coordinated with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Sulu for the PDEA-Sulu. Lt. Gen. Cirilo Sobrejana, chief of the Western Mindanao congratulated the Marines for this “very commendable accomplishment.”  “Our peace efforts do not only focus on ending terrorism but (also in) addressing its root causes which include the campaign against illegal drugs,” he said.

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Clarin mayor killed in Cebu ambush was in Duterte’s narco list in 2016 and 2019

October 26, 2019

The mayor of Clarin town in Misamis Occidental who was killed in an ambush along Velez St. in Cebu City Friday afternoon while on his way to the City Prosecutor’s Office for inquest proceedings was among those named in President Duterte’s ‘narco list’ in 2016 and 2019. Clarin  Mayor David Navarro was on his way to the prosecutor’s office a day after he was arrested due to complaints of physical injuries and acts of lasciviousness he was reported to have committed against two massage therapists on Wednesday night. The Cebu Daily News (CDN) reported that Navarro was wearing a bullet proof vest and was with two police escorts when shot by still unidentified gunmen at close range. CDN quoted Police Major Eduardo Sanchez, chief of the Abellana Police Station, as saying they did not notice the white van approaching and were taken by surprise by the ambush. Clarin was among those named in President Rodrigo Duterte’s August 2016 list of personalities allegedly involved in illegal drugs and in his March 2019 list of alleged narco politicians who should not be voted to office. In the 2016 list, Navarro was  erroneously referred to as mayor of “Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur.” In the May 2019 polls, Navarro, who ran under the Nacionalista Party, got 12,164 votes against 6,587 votes received by the PDP-Laban’s bet, Marisa Villa Navarro was in Cebu City for a workshop on comprehensive development plans of the Clarin Municipal Government in a hotel with a massage parlor on the third floor.

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Davao, Mambajao among most competitive areas

October 25, 2019

Davao City and Mambajao in Camiguin emerged as among the most highly competitive cities and municipalities in the country this year, according to the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) 2019 of the National Competitiveness Council (NNC). Leading the Mindanawon cities and municipalities, Davao City, the only highly urbanized city outside Luzon that made the cut, emerged as the third overall most competitive highly urbanized city. Mambajao, on the other hand, placed first overall most competitive town in the third to sixth class municipalities category. Davao tailed behind the cities of Quezon and Manila, adjudged as the first and second most competitive highly urbanized cities, respectively. Davao’s ranking this year improved from fourth in 2018. According to NNC, the cities and municipalities are ranked on their competitiveness based on an overall competitiveness score, the sum of scores on four main pillars—economic dynamism, government efficiency, infrastructure, and resiliency. It said Davao City placed third for government efficiency, infrastructure, and resiliency, except for economic dynamism where the city placed second, behind Pasay, in highly urbanized cities category, according to NNC. Aside from Davao, Cagayan de Oro placed second in resiliency pillar among the highly urbanized cities in the Philippines. Tagum in Davao del Norte placed second in government efficiency while Koronadal, second in resiliency among component cities. Meanwhile, Mambajao placed first in economic dynamism and third in government efficiency. Joining Mambajao is Magsaysay, Davao del Sur, adjudged as third in resiliency. Tangub, Misamis Occidental was declared second most improved component city while Tabina in Zamboanga del Sur as most improved town in the category of third to sixth class municipalities.

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Quake aftermath: forced evacuation of Bagobo families in Magsaysay town

October 24, 2019

The municipal government of Magsaysay in Davao del Sur has implemented a forced evacuation of at least 70 Bagobo families residing in Sitio Labidangan in Barangay Upper Bala on Sunday as their village is no longer safe for habitation. Antonio Allada, information officer of Magsaysay town, said in a telephone interview on Sunday that the local government will undertake the forced evacuation after experts from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the  Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) assessed on Saturday that the site was no longer safe for habitation. He said the experts recommended that the village of the Lumads (Indigenous Peoples) be declared a “no-build zone” as it is now considered a high-risk area. He said the forced evacuation will be enforced by officials from the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Municipal Engineer’s Office, Magsaysay Police Office, and barangay officials. Allada said the local government decided on the forced evacuation after the families, who subsist on agriculture for livelihood, refused to leave their homes which are close to their farms.. “Grabe ka dangerous, based sa assessment kagahapon sa MGB and PHIVOLCS didto sa area, recommend sa LGU forced evacuation 70 plus families (It’s very dangerous based on the assessment of the MGB and PHIVOLCS in the area. They recommended a forced evacuation of 70 plus families),” he said. He said experts saw  portions of a hill in Sitio Labidangan that collapsed and discovered some cracks there. “Dili nato hulaton nga naa pay ma landslide before igawas (Let’s not wait for a landslide before we take them out),” he said. He added the evacuees will take shelter at the nearby barangay gymnasium for the meantime as the municipal government prepares the construction of temporary shelters. A pre-emptive evacuation was implemented in Barangay Malawanit shortly after a landslide due to the Magnitude 6.3 earthquake on October 16 buried the house of a family. The father, Joyjoy Lakay and two children survived but the mother and her nine-year old son were killed. Allada said a total of 58 families were evacuated and are now staying in a tent city in a safe zone in Barangay Malawanit. The landslide affected 30 to 50 hectares, Allada said. A report released by the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said there are a total of 236 families or 910 individuals who are staying in the evacuation center at the Municipal Plaza of Magsaysay in Davao del Sur. The report said the earthquake destroyed 370 houses and 2,506 others partially damaged in the region. Of the 370 destroyed houses, 289 were in Magsaysay and 81 in Bansalan. 

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Davao City wins hosting rights for MICECon 2020

October 24, 2019

Davao City Tourism Office head Generose Tecson announced that the city has won the hosting rights for the Philippine Meetings, Incentive Travel, Convention, and Exhibitions/Events Conference (MICECon) 2020, dubbed as the biggest and most anticipated gathering of MICE professionals in the country. Tecson said in a text message that the hosting, announced by the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines at the culmination of the MICECONnect 2019 at The Peak, Grand Hyatt Manila on Wednesday, would boost the tourism push of the local government to position the city as the MICE capital of the Philippines and Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). According to its website, the TPB, an attached agency of the Department of Tourism, markets and promotes “the Philippines domestically and internationally as a world-class tourism and meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) destination, in strategic partnership with private and public stakeholders to deliver a unique high-value experience for visitors, significantly contributing to increased arrivals, receipts and investments to the country.” The TPB is also the organizer of the MICECon, which serves as a platform for MICE stakeholders to “learn from global experts new trends, approaches, methods and insights as well as draw inspiration and energy from their message to reach and fulfill new heights for the Philippine MICE and Tourism Industry.” “We are very much elated with TPB’s declaration of Davao City as the host for MICECon 2020. As we are positioning ourselves as the MICE Capital of the Philippines and BIMP-EAGA, this gives us a chance to renew ties with old economic and tourism stakeholders as well as make new connections,” Tecson said. She added that the MICECon 2020, expected to happen on September 28 to 30, 2020 at the SMX Convention Center Davao, will draw around 500 participants, giving the city a chance to showcase its “diverse, all-inclusive, and multicultural city with peace-loving and disciplined people.” Tecson said the Clark Development Corporation, which manages the Clark Freeport Zone, also placed bid for the same hosting rights. In an interview with reporters early this month, Tecson said the local government was quite confident it would bring home the hosting rights because “we’ve gone to other conventions in other parts of the country and we can say that we are very much at par if not better.” She said the local government has an existing MICE program created in 2013. “It’s just a matter of reinventing the incentives of our MICE program in order to get ready for next year but with the MICECon or not, we are going to push with the ‘Let's Meet’ program of the Mice Board, and we are going to make sure to strengthen the incentives that we will give for those organizers who will hold their conventions here in Davao,” she added. Tecson believed the city has sufficient convention facilities and hotels to be ready for the MICECon.

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P120-million genome center to open at UP-Mindanao

October 23, 2019

 A P120-million state-of-the-art Philippine Genome Center Mindanao Satellite Facility (PGC-MSF) will open at the University of the Philippines-Mindanao (UPMin) in Tugbok District here this year that will be utilized primarily for researches that will benefit agriculture and biodiversity preservation and conservation. Anthony C. Sales, director of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Davao, said during Wednesdays at Habi at Kape forum that the center would be housed at the three-story Research and Development Extension (RDE) building that is currently under construction, expected to be completed before the end of the year. He said some of the equipment for the center have already arrived, which are temporarily housed at the College of Science and Mathematics building of UPMin, and have been put on test run since February this year to capacitate the staff and other researchers in Mindanao. The center will be co-managed by UPMin, Sales said. He said the budget for the center, an extension facility of the PGC of UP Diliman in Quezon City and the first outside the National Capital Region, covered the cost for the construction of the building and procurement of the latest technology. “Right now, with the sole laboratory in UP Diliman, there is a long queue there because DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) testing takes a lot of time… So, what the researchers do is to send their samples to Singapore and even Europe because they don’t have other choice,” Sales said. He noted that DNA is very perishable, and thus should be stored properly at very low temperatures to keep the sample intact. Sales said the lack of such facility in the country prompted government to put one in Mindanao and another in the Visayas. He said the government procured the latest technology because “we cannot use the outdated machines.” “What we want are reliable results if you’re talking of DNA, more importantly the lineage. You need to be very sure, you need to be very conclusive with your methodologies because this is a matter of life and death,” Sales stressed. He said the government wants to utilize the center to do a mapping of the dreaded fusarium wilt in banana, including other diseases such as Sigatoka and Bunchy top, and hopefully find solutions to address these problems that have been bogging agricultural industry exporters. “We can do DNA testing on fusarium so we’ll find out where they are more prevalent,” Sales said. In Mindanao, he said, they can do a mapping of the virulent species of fusarium that causes the Panama diseases by extracting the DNA from soil or from the plants. Sales added a memorandum of understanding would be signed by UPMin, DOST, state colleges and universities engaged in genetic research, agri-industry corporations such as Tagum Agricultural Development Corp. (TADECO) and Unifrutti, civil society organizations, and media for the creation of the Mindanao Genomics Consortium (MGC) during the opening day of the three-day Regional Science and Technology Week at the SMX Convention Center Davao on October 28. Under the consortium, Sales said they hope to build an ecosystem of laboratories composed of “government and private, to work together to develop and implement programs and projects on genetics, and molecular research and development so that we can pull all these resources together, so we can generate technologies.”

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