northern mindanao

More IT firms to invest in Oro

November 22, 2017

CAGAYAN de Oro City--Leading foreign and local players in the information technology (IT) industry are expected to put up shops here following the city’s hosting of the recently held 9th National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) Summit, a city official said. NICP, an umbrella organization of information and communications technology (ICT) councils in the country, named Cagayan de Oro and nine other cities last year as “next wave” cities. Eileen San Juan, the city’s local economic and investment promotions officer, said Cagayan de Oro has what it takes to be the new IT hub not just in the region but in Mindanao. Proof of this, San Juan said, is the presence of business process outsourcing (BPO) facilities in the city. Before coming over, she said, BPOs expect all the infrastructures needed for their business to be already in place, not before. “When you say ‘next wave city,’ investors will know what you have, what you’re capable of,” she told reporters on the sidelines of the two-day summit held in a hotel here from Nov. 16-17. For an urban center to be categorized as next-wave city, it must have the infrastructure and a business-friendly environment. San Juan said the city can capitalize on these assets to attract IT firms to put up investments here. With the expected entry of IT companies to the city, San Juan said more businesses that will cater to the needs their workforce will also sprout and this will help prop up Cagayan de Oro’s socio-economic growth. At the summit, topics that were discussed focused on creating world-class digital cities in the country, inclusive digital workforce, open innovation and startup ecosystem, and the highlight of e-governance platforms for digital cities. In his message to the summit participants, Mayor Oscar Moreno has appreciated the ICT industry for its confidence in holding NICP’s biggest event in Cagayan de Oro even though Mindanao is still under martial law. Moreno said the city “wants to take part in nation-building.” Meanwhile, Cagayan de Oro was declared as the champion in the 6th Awards in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Local Government Units or eGov Awards under the Best in Digital Payment category. The city’s winning entry is the Internet Online Service of the City Treasurer’s Office, featuring its user-friendly online tax payment and billing system that taxpayers and business owners the convenience and comfort. San Juan said while other cities only use the online system for its billings, Cagayan de Oro has utilized the digital method for paying bills to the city government, including the payment of traffic citation, real property tax, and even the “cedula” (community tax certificate). (PNA/Jigger J. Jerusalem)

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Moslem women drafted Maute-ISIS recruitment

November 20, 2017

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: Moslem women were reportedly drafted in the recruitment of Maute-ISIS fighters as law enforcers in Mindanao throw a dragnet to track down the remnants of the terrorist group in the island, a police officer said Saturday. Chief Inspector Mardy Hortilloza, the spokesperson of the Cagayan De Oro City police, said that Maute-ISIS terror group is reportedly paying recruits from ­P 20,000 to P 50,000 aside from the monthly stipend once the training starts. The alleged Maute-ISIS massive recruitment in Northern and Central Mindanao areas was tackled during the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) meeting here. “The local law enforcers are closely monitoring various ‘soft areas’ in the city like the Mosques, schools, and the local Moslem community,” Hortilloza said. However, despite the close monitoring of the alleged Maute-ISIS massive recruitment, the police exercise measures to prevent the occurrence of “human rights” violation, Hortilloza said. He said that aside from the military and police, the local government units (LGUs) were also mobilized as “force multiplier” in the gathering of information. “So far, no suspect has been arrested. The police, however, is not taking chances considering that some of the Maute-ISIS suspects were also collared here at the height of the Marawi siege,” Hortilloza said. In the neighboring city of Iligan, 88 kilometers west of here, the city government has intensified security measures as recruitment of armed men believed to be New People’s Army (NPA) rebels have been reported in the city’s mountain villages there. Jo Pantoja, the city’s information office, said that 148 individuals were evacuated from the mountain villages of Rogongon and Mainit to safer grounds as the military and police launched pursuit operations against the communist rebels who killed a soldier and wounded another Sunday. The hinterland village of Rogongon is located in the tri-boundary of Iligan City-Bukidnon-Lanao Del Sur while Mainit is the bordering villages of Iligan City and Misamis Oriental. Killed were TSgt. Edgar C. Andal and wounded was Cpl. Reymart B. Pamplona, all members of the Philippine Army, who were waylaid in a rebel checkpoint in Mainit. Pantoja said that while the measures to counter the alleged Maute-ISIS recruitment have been heightened, the concern was more on the NPA rebels who were reportedly conducting massive recruitment in the hinterlands of Iligan City. Aside from the reported incident in Mainit and Rogongon, the city of Iligan remains peaceful as the military and police continue to monitor and track down traces of the Maute-ISIS terrorists who fled from Marawi City. Marawi City is 35 kilometers southwest of Iligan City, where fighting between the Maute-ISIS terrorists ensued in May 25 after the group led the Maute brothers and Isnilon Hapilon, the ISIS “Emir” in Southeast Asia, tried to establish a “caliphate” in the Islamist city. The fighting between the Maute-ISIS terrorists ended mid-October that killed about 1,000 people and displacing about 400,000 individuals. The apprehension of possible retaliation by the vanquished terrorist group in the neighboring provinces and cities in Mindanao was exacerbated following the alleged massive recruitment of the Maute-ISIS remnants.

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Police swoop on Misor capitol, arrest employee

November 20, 2017

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Police officers from the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) Station 2 swooped down on the Misamis Oriental provincial capitol compound along Velez St. here and arrested a Provincial Engineering Office employee who had an outstanding arrest warrant. Station commander Chief Insp. Harvey Abellanosa identified the arrested person as one Engr. Ernie Obsioma, who was facing a malversation case before Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 39 under Judge Filomena Rana-Bernales under Case No. 2017-2073. Abellanosa said they based Obsioma’s arrest upon a warrant issued by Bernales. The arrest was implemented at 5:00 p.m. last Friday when provincial capitol employees were about to go to their flag retreat rite for the week. According to court documents obtained by this paper, Obsioma was facing a count of malversation or violation of Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code. The complainant of the rap was then provincial administrator Edmundo Pacamalan but was elevated to the People of the Philippines plaintiff status due to the nature of the matter. The court set the bail bond at P30,000. It was the first time under the five-year-old administration of Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano that an arrest was made at the provincial capitol compound. A few months ago, a Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) employee was arrested for drug possession but the arrest did not occur at the capitol.

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Two months’ ban for sardines fishing in Macajalar Bay

November 20, 2017

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will order a ban on sardines fishing in Macajalar Bay from December this year to February the next. According to BFAR Misamis Oriental director Teodoro Bacolod, there was a recent Mindanao State University (MSU) Naawan study indicating that sardines, locally known as tamban, hatch their eggs during this period in the bay. To implement the ban, Bacolod said that BFAR called on the legislative councils of all 15 local government units (LGUs) hugging Macajalar Bay to enact ordinances for the purpose. The cities of Cagayan de Oro and El Salvador, the municipalities of Alubijid, Balingasag, Binuangan, Jasaan, Kinoguitan, Lagonglong, Laguindingan, Opol, Salay, Sugbongcogon, Tagoloan and Villanueva and the province of Misamis Oriental are all located within the bay’s shoreline. Bacolod said the Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group is ready to implement the ban once ordinances are in effect. He said he was dismayed after patrolling the Opol shoreline recently and discovered that fisherfolk are harvesting sardine fingerlings from the bay. “One pail of fingerlings is already equal to 40 pails of adult sardines. If they are not allowed to spawn, we will lose our sardine population in Macajalar Bay,” Bacolod said. He said there are other fish species in the bay such as bolinao or Philippine anchovy that fisherfolk could haul in during the closed season for sardines.

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Road show highlights food safety

November 20, 2017

Cagayan de Oro City – Carrying the theme: “Pagkaing Ligtas at Sapat, Tungkulin at Karapatan ng Lahat”, a Food Safety Road Show was staged on November 9, 2017, here in the city, which highlighted how one’s behavior and activities contribute to the safety of food and how one can avoid potential health hazards. Leading the information drive which focused on the Food Safety Act of 2013 is the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Regulations (OASR) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) headed by Atty. Hansel O. Didulo. It was participated in by the different food safety regulatory agencies (FSRAs), food business operators (FBOs), agricultural and fishery councils (AFCs), provincial, city and municipal local government units, and farmers. “The main purpose of the law is to protect the consumers of food-borne and water-borne illnesses, and unsanitary, unwholesome or adulterated foods,” said ASec. Didulo while also encouraging the participants to bank on this law, considering that it has earned support from the government with its enactment. Provided in the law, he added, that it aims to enhance industry and consumer confidence on food regulatory system and to achieve economic growth and development by promoting fair trade practices, at the same time. Stakeholders’ role towards food safety With the purpose of bringing the Act down to the grassroots level, the road show centered its discussion on the law’s salient features, stating that national government agencies involved include DA for primary food and the Department of Health (DOH) for processed foods or pre-packaged foods. Pedro R. Dumaraos, Jr., Ph.D., food safety coordinator of OASR, likewise highlighted the principal responsibility of the LGUs on food safety. “They shall be responsible for the implementation of the food safety requirements of foods produced within their areas of jurisdiction and that they shall be guided by national regulations,” he said. Meanwhile, he reported that FSRAs shall support the Department of Interior and Local Government and LGUs in executing its food safety functions and urge them to use the food safety regulations and standards. FSRAs under DA include the Bureau of Animal Industry, National Meat Inspection Service, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority, Philippine Coconut Authority, Sugar Regulatory Administration and the National Food Authority.   On the other hand, the FBOs, AFCs, LGUs and the farmers, who are the frontlines in guaranteeing food safety, were introduced to the codes of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Animal Husbandry Practices (GAHP) and Good Aquaculture Practices (GAqP). These are established government policies and programs for addressing food safety hazards. Initiatives on Food Safety in R-10 At the regional level, Juliet B. Araos, chief of the Regulatory Division of DA-Regional Field Office 10 reported updates before the body on the initiatives that the region has undertaken relative to food safety. She said the agency serves as a member of the Regional Inter-Agency Committee on Environment and Health headed by DOH and has participated in the drafting of the proposed creation of the Regional Food Safety Regulatory Coordinating Board. “We saw it as a very important entry point for different agencies to cascade food safety concerns at the local level and to have a smooth engagement with the LGUs thru the Regional Development Council,” Araos explained. In addition, she conveyed that the region has intensified briefings for certification of farms, resulting to 14 GAP and 3 organic certified farms while other farms have on-going applications. Despite the strides, Araos added that the region will continue to strengthen its mechanisms to stress food safety. It will collectively do so through the conduct of orientations on the said law, creation of modules, formation of a quick response team, capability building for implementers, among other activities. With the affair at hand, the DA eyes that all involved in the food safety systems, whether from the government or the private sector, will help in the enhancement of regulatory services in adherence to the Act to ensure not only affordable and available food for all, but safety and quality food. #

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C. de Oro sanitary landfill’s wastewater passes EMB testa

November 16, 2017

CAGAYAN de Oro City--Wastewater coming from the city’s new sanitary landfill in Barangay Pagalungan has passed the test of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), the City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) stated in a press release. Clenro released the report after an inspection by Councilor Edna Dahino was conducted last week while heeding a complaint from barangay chair Rodolfo Nacario of nearby San Simon that the landfill caused the fishkill in Iponan river situated in his barangay. The wastewater sampling was registered at 6.5 @ 28.6 degrees Celsius for its acidity and temperature. In contrast, EMB has set the industry standard of these baselines of up to 9.0 @ 32 degrees Celsius. Its biochemical oxygen demand is at 10mg/L versus the EMB limit of 15mg/L. Its dissolved oxygen has though been slightly higher at 3.2mg/L compared to the EMB limit of 2 mg/L. On November 9, Dahino visited the area. She has yet to make a report to her committee on environment and natural resources about the new findings. Nacario sounded the alarm bells last October before the committee, stating aloud his observation of the alleged fishkill. Neither the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Clenro – which dispersed the initial tilapia inputs in 2014 – corroborated the report.

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