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IP leaders acquire basic computer literacy training

September 11, 2017

TAGUM CITY – To boost the efficiency in inter-agency communications by our local IP community, Tagum City’s tribal leaders are now equipped with basic skills and literacy in using the computer and its certain applications. In partnership with the City Government of Tagum, the University of Mindanao Tagum College offered a free training on Basic Computer Literacy for Tribal Leaders. The training featured a series of seminar workshops that taught the participants on how to use the computer and some of its essential applications for business communication such as MS Word and PowerPoint. This activity fell under the banner project of the UMTC Department of Engineering Education Community Extension Service, coordinating with the City Tribal and Muslim Affairs Office and City Literacy Coordinating Council. Complete with high-quality facilities and PC units, the UMTC Computer Laboratory served as a conducive venue for the workshop, maximizing the effectiveness of learning how to deal with basic computer applications through interactive hands-on training. The first set of workshop scheduled last September 2, 2017, was well-attended by a number of tribal leaders composed of 22 Brgy. Tribal Chieftains, 3 Brgy. IPMRs, 4 Federated Presidents (Youth, Women, Elder, Bagani), and 22 Brgy. Tribal Secretaries). The training on Basic Computer Literacy for Tribal Leaders is scheduled every Saturday afternoon and runs until October 14, 2017. Drex Rafols/CIO Tagum

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18th World Alliance Religious Peace summit set in SoKor

September 11, 2017

DAVAO CITY -The 3rd Annual Commemoration of the September 18th World Alliance of Religious Peace (WARP) Summit is scheduled on Sept. 17-19, 2017 in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The commemoration of the September 18th WARP Summit is an annual gathering of various sectors of society that share a common interest in achieving world peace and the cessation of war. More than 1,000 participants from 120 countries are expected to attend the summit. Participants will include former and current heads of state, high level government officials, religious leaders, journalists and representatives from women and youth organizations and academic institutions. Peace Advocate Man Hee Lee of Heavenly Culture, World Peace, and Restoration of Light (HWPL) said the summit has made a tremendous contribution towards enhancing peace and prosperity in the world and has been established as one of the largest global peace summits. The aim of this year’s summit is to further strengthen synergies between policy makers and civil society to achieve the key elements described in the content of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War. The Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) which was drafted by 21 renowned legal experts is comprised of 10 articles that form the pillars essential to international peace and security. Participants of the 3rd Summit will share their best practices and good experiences aligned with the fundamentals principles promoted in the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War as well as the plan of action to further execute the components in the declaration to secure sustainable peace both national and international levels. Lee said the WARP Summit is to strengthen collective efforts towards reaching the corevirtue of solidarity and World Peace. One of the topics to be discussed during the summit is the development and implementation of the DPCW through the establishment of peace governance. PIA

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PIDS’ expert tackles fiscal federalism in Zambo forum

September 11, 2017

AS debates on federalism in the country heat up, state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) makes it one of the main topics of its Development Research Policy Month (DPRM) celebration this year. Pursuant to Proclamation No. 247 issued in 2002, PIDS has been designated as lead agency in the annual celebration of the DPRM every September to promote the significance of evidence-based research in program planning and policymaking. This year’s DPRM theme is “Strengthening Decentralization for Regional Development” or “Pagpapatibay ng Desentralisasyon Tungo sa Kaunlarang Panrehiyon” to emphasize the need for in-depth reflections and evidence-based analyses not just on federalism but also on decentralization reforms in general. During the 3rd Mindanao Policy Research Forum, which is one of the activities lined up for the DPRM, held at the Ateneo Zamboanga de Zamboanga Auditorium on September 7 (Thursday), PIDS’ public finance expert Rosario Manasan presented the findings of her study on the possible fiscal impacts of shifting to a federal form of government. Manasan talked about the importance of properly allocating financial resources to each level of government under a federal system. According to her, the allocation of fiscal resources may enable or constrain governments in the exercise of their constitutionally assigned legislative and executive responsibilities. She also noted that taxing powers and expenditures are important instruments for regulating the economy. The PIDS senior research fellow underscored that each level of government must have enough revenues to finance basic services for the public. In a federal system, taxing and spending powers are decentralized to local governments or federal states, which give them a free hand to decide how and where to use their budgets. With this setup, Manasan said, they will be able to spend their funds on projects and policies that are responsive to the needs of their localities without seeking approval from the national or federal government. Citing some practices in the distribution of taxing powers in federal states, Manasan pointed out that customs and excise taxes are assigned most of the time to the federal or national government. The same goes with corporate taxes. However, in some federations, these may be under the concurrent jurisdiction of federal and state governments. For personal income tax, Manasan said this may be more directly attributed to the location of residence. But in the case of Austria and India, personal income tax has been exclusively under the federal or national government. Sales or consumption taxes are shared by both federal and state governments, she added. Furthermore, Manasan raised the possibility that some local government units may not be ready for the shift to federalism especially in terms of development and financial stability. To address the risks of greater disparities under a more decentralized form of government, Manasan said policymakers must design a feasible intergovernmental transfer, which could be in the form of tax shares, unconditional block grants, or specific purpose conditional grants to assist poorer states or regions. It can also be through equalization arrangements, which are administered by the federal or national government to help poorer states just like the current practice in Germany, Canada, and Switzerland. Aside from Manasan, speakers including Dr. Romulo Emmanuel M. Miral Jr., director-general of the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department, and Mr. Jonathan Malaya, executive director of the PDP Laban Federalism Institute were also at the forum. The activity, which was co-organized by the Mindanao Development Authority and the Ateneo de Zamboanga University, was attended by members of the academe, civil society organizations, national government agencies, and local governments in Mindanao. Meanwhile, a press conference was also conducted during the event to promote awareness about the DPRM celebration and explain its overarching theme to the press. This is part of the series of regional media road shows organized by PIDS in partnership with the central and regional offices of the Philippine Information Agency.

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AboitizPower employees send relief for Marawi

September 11, 2017

The need to provide sufficient evacuation provisions continues to grow as cities open their doors to more Muslim and Christian evacuees following the ongoing armed-conflict in Marawi. In a bid to help alleviate the living conditions of the evacuees, team members from AboitizPower subsidiary Therma South, Inc. (TSI) gathered donations in an employee-initiated relief drive since July this year. The pooled donations, comprised mostly of ready-to-eat Halal food, clothing, sanitary kits, toys were turned over to the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) last 17 August 2017. “TSI’s donation is very timely with the development of the situation in Marawi. Donor fatigue has started to set in, so we are grateful for this donation that we can send to the evacuees,” said MinDA Deputy Executive Director Romeo M. Montenegro. “With a lot of evacuees still displaced, there remains a need to continuously support our Muslim and Christian fellows. We hope that more people will be spurred to extend help,” said TSI Vice President and Plant Manager Valentin S. Saludes III.

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Lapeña: BOC plays vital role in anti-drug campaign

September 8, 2017

CAGAYAN de Oro City--The Bureau of Customs (BOC) plays an important role in the government’s war on illegal drugs, Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said Friday. As the former head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Lapeña said his new assignment is no different from his previous work as an anti-drug crusader as both agencies are tasked to stop the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country. Lapeña, who took over the BOC leadership from Nicanor Faeldon, said the Customs bureau has an active participation in the Duterte government’s war on drugs. “I have not left the campaign against illegal drugs, since in Customs, if we are able to prevent the entry of illegal drugs through the seaports, then we prevent about 70 percent of entry of illegal drugs in the country,” he told reporters during his visit to the BOC Northern Mindanao district on Friday, Sept. 15. When asked to elaborate, Lapeña declined to give an estimated worth of the reported 70 percent of the prohibited drugs that supposedly being trafficked into the Philippines. Just recently, a shipment of suspected “shabu” (crystal meth) with an approximate street value of P6.4 billion from China was intercepted by Customs and PDEA operatives after it was given a green-light by a BOC personnel who was alleged to have been in cahoots with drug traffickers. The illegal substance also dragged the name of Presidential Son and Davao City vice mayor Paolo Duterte and his brother-in-law Manases Carpio as they appeared before the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing. Lapeña said the shabu shipment is still under investigation by concerned agencies. In a previous interview, he assured to “take action including further investigations” of the entry of illegal drugs, adding that there will be exemptions in the implication of perpetrators. His visit was also to meet with the BOC-10 personnel and to listen to their concerns, one of them the long overdue promotion of many of its employees. Meanwhile, BOC-10 has posted a higher collection of duties and taxes in the first eight months of this year, said BOC-10 District Collector Jamail Marohomsalic. Marohomsalic said his district surpassed its target by as much as 21 percent or more than P1.553 billion. From January to August of this year, BOC-10’s target was P7.4 billion, but they exceeded it by P1.5 billion. Its total collection for said period has reached P8.951 billion. “While there was only a single time when we were unable to meet our monthly target, that was minimal and we were able to quickly recover from this setback, [and accomplished] more than what was expected of us,” he said. Except for the month of April, the BOC-10 made a collection surplus each month, based on the district’s records. For the whole year, the BOC-10 is expected to collect P11.45 billion, but Marohomsalic said he is optimistic that they will achieve their target as their collection has already reached P8.951 billion. Alvin Y. Enciso, chief of the BOC-10’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), attributed their positive performance in revenue collection to Marohomsalic, whose background in the agency’s assessment division in Davao City, aided him to efficiently collect the right amount of duties and taxes from shipments that entered the ports in Northern Mindanao. Enciso said implementation of martial law has also helped boost BOC-10’s collection efforts as smugglers may have ceased their illegal operations due to the presence of military and law enforcers in ports and entry points in the region. “We think the smugglers are afraid because now, even if their goods successfully leave the port undetected, they still have to go through the several layers of military and police checkpoints. At these checkpoints, cargo truck would have to show their cargo and the military also tries to check what is inside the container vans. The police are also conducting frequent security patrols,” Enciso said. Nash Guro, the chief of the Assessment Division at MCT, said they are working hard to ensure that all the shipments that arrive at the sub-port are properly assessed so that importers can pay the right amount of duties and taxes to the government.

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XU plays hosts to 15th PH-Spanish Friendship Day National Conference

September 8, 2017

XU Pres Roberto Yap SJ gives his opening remarks.For just the second time, Northern Mindanao again hosted an event marking the annual Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day. The 15th Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day National Conference was hosted by Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, Department of History/International Studies/Political Science and National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) in partnership with the Ateneo Historical Society, Ateneo Diplomatic Corps, Xavier Center for Culture and the Arts, COAS-ASEA Region, Commission on Higher Education –X, Office of International Cooperation and Networking, and the Cagayan de Oro Historical and Cultural Commission. The theme for the day-long event was “Legacy and Diplomacy, Celebrating Historical and Modern Ties between the Philippines and Spain.” In his opening remarks, Fr. Roberto Yap, S.J,, XU president, cited Fr. Horacio dela Costa’s 1975 essay In a 1975 essay, “The Filipino: Identikit,” describing how the Philippines is (still) in the process of becoming a nation. “We must steel ourselves against the shock of finding ourselves in our part of the world a nation of Malay stock, socially structured on a basically Indonesian pattern, obviously the recipient of a large infusion of Chinese blood and attitudes, yet with a cultural heritage in part Spanish, in part Anglo-Saxon; for this nation will be ourselves.” “The concept of hybridity has continued to trouble Filipinos, who labor under the false impression that it simply implies the blend of two different species, resulting in a “mongrel” culture,” Fr. Yap noted. “A mongrel, mixed-breed dog or mutt is a dog that does not belong to one recognized breed and is not the result of intentional breeding. In reference to persons, mongrel denotes offensively a person of mixed descent.” However, he further explained how hybridity can result in a new species that is both stronger and more adapted to a different environment and result in a people more resilient and more diverse. De la Costa, the first Filipino who became Provincial Superior of the Jesuits and a well known historian, wrote, “On the part of the national community, an effective willingness not only to accept but to welcome pluralism … we should make it perfectly clear to ourselves that our indigenous culture has been modified by techniques, attitudes, and insights derived from cultures other than our own … and that this contribution is truly an enrichment, not a negation or distortion, of our national values. Diversity is indeed the essence of our culture.” “Our friendship with Spain has certainly enriched us as Filipinos,” Fr. Yap said. “De la Costa significantly observes that: “(i)t was through the mediation of Spain that the ideas of human equality, civic freedom and the rule of law, ideas Hellenic and Christian in origin, became an integral part of Philippine culture.” He further acknowledged our Christian faith as one of the gifts that have blossomed in this friendship between the Philippines and Spain is our Christian Faith. In a famous essay that the young De la Costa composed in 1943 during the Japanese occupation entitled “Jewels of the Pauper,” he wrote, “But poor as we are, we yet have something. This pauper among the nations of the earth hides two jewels in her rags. We are a people when we pray. This is our other treasure: our Faith. It gives, somehow, to our little uneventful days a kind of splendor: as though they had been touched by a King.” The conference was conducted under an Agreement on Academic Collaboration between NHCP and XU-ADC in line with the celebration of the 15th Philippine-Spain Friendship Day and the 70th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Philippines and Spain. The NHCP is the national government agency mandated to promote Philippine history through its museums, research and publication, and preserve the nation’s historical heritage through conservation and the marking of historic sites and structures. The conference was highlighted by the presentation of the following papers in relation to the theme: Reconfiguration of Historical Perspectives on Pre-Hispanic, Hispanic and Post-Hispanic Social Spaces in the Philippines (Luzile Mae B. Satur, Southeast Asian Studies, University of Passau, Germany); The Alubijid Spanish Kiln: The Archeology, Colonial History, and its Cultural Significance (Leee Anthony M. Neri, Ph.D., Deputy Director, Archeological Studies Program, UP-Diliman); Mindanao Muslim History: Documentary Sources of the Spanish Colonial Intervention into Mindanao and Sulu (Maria Janua Cunanan (Political Science and History Dept. Faculty, Ateneo de Davao University; Encuesta Basica de la Motivacion en el Aprendizaje de Ele (Español Lengua Extranjera): A Case Study in Foreign Language Learning, Xavier University, AY 2015-2016 (Catalina H. Gaite, Communications Office Director, History Dept. Faculty, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan) The Komedya of International Development (Andres Narros Lluch, Ph.D., President & Co-Founder, KILAHA Foundation, Mambajao, Camiguin). A total of 230 students, faculty and institution representatives from the following schools attended the day-long conference: Central Mindanao University-Valencia, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), MSU-Naawan, MSU-Marawi, Capitol University, Cagayan de Oro College, Cagayan de Oro National High School, Iligan City National High School and the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP). Philippine–Spanish Friendship Day (Día de la Amistad entre España y Filipinas or Día de la Amistad Hispano-Filipina) celebrates the strong links between the Republic of the Philippines and the Kingdom of Spain every June 30. It was established by Republic Act No. 9187 on 22 July 2002, in commemoration of the day when General Emilio Aguinaldo, president of the First Philippine Republic, issued a decree requiring the last Spanish soldiers who had been besieged for almost a year inside Baler's (Aurora) church be treated not as enemies and prisoners of war, but as friends. It also ordered that they receive the necessary permission for their return to Spain. These diplomatic ties established in 1947 mirrored our countries’ mutual commitment to pursue beneficial initiatives as it recognized our unique connections in history. It is also a fortunate circumstance that 70 years ago, one of the earliest texts and illustrations on the Philippines in the 16th century came into the possession of Professor Charles R. Boxer, which now bears the name Boxer Codex. “The manuscript describes the customs of the Filipinos in Luzon and the Visayas, but it is best known for the illustrations that are the earliest representations of the Tagalogs, Visayans, Cagayanons and Negritos,” said Kristian Ian Sulmayor, XU History Dept. Head. “The content of the Boxer Codex presents us with the initial contact between two worlds, signaling the beginning of the history of our relations.” Since 2006, Philippine–Spanish Friendship Day has been simultaneously celebrated and organized in various locations in Spain (Madrid, Barcelona, Palencia and Almonte in Huelva). In Madrid, several institutions such as the Philippine Embassy and the Asociación Cultural Galeón de Manila celebrate this Friendship Day since 2009. It has also been hosted by several cities and provinces around the country like Malolos, Zamboanga, Iloilo, Bohol, Iligan, Manila, Vigan and most frequently by Baler, Aurora. “Healthy friendships will always involve quarrels and misunderstandings, good times and bad, ups and downs, but friendships endure because of the gifts, comfort, support, shared with each other,” Fr. Yap said. “In this conference may we celebrate Philippine – Spanish friendship, a friendship that has stood the test of time.”

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