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From Grassroots Sports to Roots for Boracay

April 24, 2018

The league replaced a former regional basketball league that supports grassroots basketball. Beyond sports, Tan is also passionate about green initiatives. He himself was on top of the transformation to a zero-waste facility of Absolut Distillers, Tanduay’s alcohol distillery based in Lian, Batangas. The facility bagged numerous environmental awards, including the prestigious Green Apple Awards, an annual international campaign to recognize, reward and promote environmental best practices around the world. Absolut Distillers is the only local distillery to have received this award up to this day. The company likewise has since been a recipient of awards by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for their outstanding environment conservation practices. “We understand the need to lessen our impact by making our operations cleaner and greener. We do not just want to make the best rhum in the Philippines, bet we want everyone to know that our rhum is made with good intentions and we hope to improve our operations year after year,” Tan continued, adding that, they have started investing in solar energy as a cleaner alternative as well. “We want our consumers to know that every bottle of Tanduay that they drink is made from green intentions and green energy.” The Tanduay president further shared that the concern for the environment sprang from the knowledge that the distillery industry is considered as one of the dirtiest. “Before we took over Tanduay, there have been cases filed against its practices pertaining to pollution. We said, let us clean up first. We started investing in technologies that we are using in our Absolut distillery in Batangas in order to reduce our carbon footprint. It was a long process, and we did it.” Now, Tan would like to bring public attention to a project he started in 2011 to protect what little is left of the old Boracay. The island has been noted as one of the world’s top destinations, but it has encountered controversy lately due to the amount of pollution that has been plaguing the once-pristine paradise. There are talks of a government shutdown to tourists in order to rehabilitate the natural landscape. Tan pioneered the project “Roots for Boracay” to save the last mangroves in the island. “When we first got there, we already saw the amount of solid waste that lay among the mangroves. Before we started reforesting the area, we needed to have it cleaned up,” Tan revealed. He noted that if the mangroves have not been cut down indiscriminately, the problems being faced by Boracay today would have been much lesser. There would be no need to set up expensive artificial waste treatment facilities for the island’s recovery, as the mangrove roots will naturally filter water waste. According to him, Boracay is far from any of his business interests, but the need to respond to an impending crisis was what drove him to act. “It took awhile to bring together the various people who will help us in our quest to get hold of the right to implement our project to clean up and re-plant in order to stop the continuous degradation of the mangroves in that area of Boracay,” Tan further related. But Tan had the right man on his side to make sure his visions will be realized. Gerry Tee is the chief operating officer of Absolut Distillers. He is the same person with whom his father Lucio Tan Sr. entrusted the green transformation of the Batangas alcohol distillery. With the help of Tee, they engaged the Tan Yan Kee Foundation led by Philip Sing to gather a 200-strong workforce that began the clean up efforts in Barangay Manoc Manoc, where the mangroves are located. They have gathered four truckloads of garbage by the time they finish cleaning the mangroves area. “To protect Boracay, it is important to go down to its roots. In this case, we seek the last frontier of Boracay – the mangroves. It is where the fish and other sea creatures get nutrients, it is where life starts. Without the mangroves, the island would also cease to exist, as it protects the island from typhoons. The beautiful fine white sand will go back to the sea because their roots are the ones holding the island together,” Tee explained. He added that aside from building the infrastructures and replanting mangroves, the mission of the project is to showcase that part of Boracay that is often neglected, so people can know what it takes to protect the beaches that tourists love so much. The project had partnered with the local government unit, the DENR and concerned non-government organizations to come up with a sustainable development in the area which involves the locals, educating them about the importance of the mangroves to their island. “So much has been cut down to make way for real estate, others cut them down for firewood. A portion is also dying out, because a road development cut off water supply. With Roots For Boracay, people have begun to understand what needs to be done,” said Tee. The Tanduay executives underscored that it is not about the company, which has also instituted other environmental campaigns in partnership with the Tan Yang Kee Foundation such as The Canopy Project, which replants trees in the denuded forests in the North. “Boracay is only part of the market for Tanduay, we are more concerned about our legacy. It is not about Tanduay, it is about the locals – their subsistence, their livelihood, and their existence. Tanduay is just there as a vehicle to raise awareness,” Tee said. They cautioned that if the lack of concern for the environment continues in the name of profit, Boracay will not be the only one. “If Boracay is closed down, people will move on to Palawan. This has happened before, just look at how Matabungkay deteriorated,” Tee admonished. “The issue is lack of awareness, and we are trying to address that with our project.” They said that the plans of shutting down Boracay will hurt a lot, but from their perspective of what they have seen in the mangrove forest, it could be a one-step-backward, two-steps-forward situation. “It is about moving forward, and we can all help in our own little way, by doing things like picking up a cigarette butt and not throwing your garbage just anywhere,” Tee said. “It was a directive from the Chairman, Mr. Lucio Tan to follow the concept of sustainable development, where we do not profit at the expense of the environment. We make sure that everything we do is about reducing our carbon footprint and become more independent from the environment where we do not use to dump our waste,“ Tee further shared.

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CDO’s Very Own Green Developer Attends the Singapore High-Level Dialogue

April 24, 2018

In company with Enrico Letta (President, Associazione Italia ASEAN, Italy; and Former Italy Prime Minister) Tharman Shanmuugatnam ( Deputy Prime Minister, Singapore), Valerio De Molli (Managing Partner & CEO, The European House- Ambrosetti, Italy) and Benjamin Diokno (Secretary of Budget and Management, Philippines) Arch. Nati, an expert in green architecture, emphasized the advantages of promoting sustainable buildings for developing cities in the Philippines namely in Cagayan de Oro. He further explained that aside from reducing overall impact to the environment and to human health, green buildings are the key for property developers to winning financially, as they have been proven to be cost-effective with reduced energy requirements within a development. With its flagship project, Primavera Green Residences and now Primavera City, located in Uptown Cagayan de Oro. IDC has marked itself as the first mover in an eco-friendly building in the city. According to Italpinas, which invested heavily in CDO when it broke ground on its flagship project Primavera Residences in 2009, the city is the cornerstone of the fast-growing Northern Mindanao region and rightly deserves to be recognized as a metropolis and an economic center of Mindanao. “We develop our projects in perfect spots just like Cagayan de Oro, and opportunities are higher. Also, one thing we consider first is our projects location and the kind of environment to make sure they complement the idea of green living, as what our advocacy stands for and we believe Cagayan de Oro best suites our visions. Cagayan de Oro is not only one of the fastest growing cities in the Philippines but also a great place to set up a company due to its & quot; business-friendly" environment. Government units are very efficient in and run professionally and that's what investors need" Nati added. IDC is a leader in promoting green advocacy in Cagayan de Oro. Both projects of IDC, Primavera Residences, and Primavera City, won the International Property Awards for Best Mixed-use Development in the Philippines. With its dedication to smart and passive green developments, Primavera Residences garnered the distinction of being the First Completed Condominium Project in East Asia to be given an EDGE (Excellence in Design For Greater Efficiencies), a global green certificate by IFC World Bank.

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Labor Day job fair at Limketkai Atrium

April 23, 2018

Of the confirmed vacancies solicited, DOLE 10 director Joffrey Suyao disclosed that around 5,541 will be available for local employment from 60 participating private companies mostly from the retail sector. The 2,305 job vacancies for overseas employment come from seven recruitment agencies accredited by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). Most of the overseas manpower services job posts are for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Middle East countries. The top local job vacancies are in the construction industry from EEI Corporation (2,860), Arriba Telecontact (303), Southern Arms Corporation (225), Philippine Call Center Institute (200) and Josepheans Proficiency Services (172). Government agencies are also hiring such as the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) with 1,504 vacancies,  Philippine Army Recruitment Office, (550)and Bureau of Internal Revenue (61). This year's celebration is also highlighted through a business fair on May 1 to 2 at Limketkai Rotunda. Livelihood projects within the province will be showcased in the event dates. Provincial Labor Day activities on May 1 include a foot parade around Malaybalay City, program at Kaamulan Folk Arts Theater with ceremonial turnover of DOLE Kabuhayan grants as well as the ceremonial turnover of school supplies to some identified child laborers from five selected schools in the city. In Misamis Occidental, a 6:00 a.m. Mass at the Holy Rosary parish church, Oroquieta City will be observed followed by a motorcade around Oroquieta City and after which a livelihood fair and skills demo will be held in ABC Gymnasium, Oroquieta City. Also in Iligan City, the Federation of Democratic Labor Organization invited DOLE 10 to attend their sponsored Eucharistic Mass at St. Michael's Cathedral, foot parade within the city then followed by a program at the Freedom Park, City Plaza. "I invite our jobseekers to participate in the job fair and ready themselves with their proper business attire, bring multiple copies of resumes, school credentials, certificates of employment, clearances, photos, passport (for overseas applicants) and other pertinent pre-employment documents needed by employers," Suyao added. This year's month-long Labor Day celebration in the region is anchored on the theme Pagpupugay sa Manggagawang Pilipino: Dangal ng Lahi Kabalikat sa Progresibong Pagbabago. DOLE 10

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Groups Nudge Senate to Prioritize Passage of Safe and Non-Hazardous Children’s Products Act

April 23, 2018

Through a letter sent last week to Senate President Koko Pimentel and Senator JV Ejercito, the two groups prodded the lawmakers to fast track the approval of Senate Bill 1084, or the proposed Safe and Non-Toxic Children’s Products Act, for the sake of children’s health and safety. “While its counterpart bill at the House of Representatives was unanimously approved in December 2017, Senate Bill 1084, as per Senate records, has not progressed at all. We request the Senate leadership to get the legislative process moving with the aim of getting this important bill enacted this year,” said Atty. Vic Dimagiba, President, Laban Konsyumer, Inc. Senate Bill 1084 seeks to regulate the manufacture, importation, distribution and sale of children’s toys, school supplies, childcare articles and other related products containing toxic chemicals beyond the permissible limits. It was introduced by Ejercito on August 25, 2016, read on First Reading on August 30 2016 and subsequently referred to the Committee on Health and Demography (the primary committee) chaired by Ejercito himself. Among the chemicals of concern initially targeted under the said bill are heavy metals such as antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury, phthalates and Bisphenol A. On the other hand, the House of Representatives approved last December 17 House Bill 6702, or the proposed Safe and Non-Hazardous Children’s Products Act, which was co-introduced by 35 legislators from different political parties and party list groups. “As Senate Bill 1084 seeks to uphold the health of all children who are most susceptible to the detrimental effects of chemical exposures, we believe our good senators should put the passage of this bill on top of their priority list,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition. "The approval of the bill, we hope, will pave the way for stringent controls that will ensure children's products sold in the country do not pose health risks to their users and to the environment, too," he added. According to Laban Konsyumer, Inc. and the EcoWaste Coalition, the enactment of the consolidated Senate and House Bills and its approval by President Rodrigo Duterte may serve as the most enduring legacy of the 17th Congress in terms of protecting kids from hazardous substances hiding in everyday children’s products.

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DAR hands over P1.5 M post-harvest facilities to farmer groups in North Cotabato

April 23, 2018

Eduardo Suaybaguio, MinSAAD Project Manager, identified the five Peoples’ Organizations (POs) as Palao Farmers’ Association, Kitubod Farmers’ Association, Kiloyao MRDP-CFAD Consortium, Cabpangi MRDP-CFAD Consortium, and Sinapangan Farmers’ Association. Each of the four farmer groups received one unit corn sheller amounting to P120,000 while the Palao Farmers’ Association, as the lead PO, received the one unit corn mill, one unit corn sheller, one unit weighing scale, and one unit moisture tester with a combined amount of P1,110, 000 million under the corn production, processing, and marketing sub-project of DAR-MinSAAD. “The provision of these facilities will surely help more than 250 corn farmers toiling more or less 2,030 hectares. Aside, from these facilities, DAR-MinSAAD also ensures that recipients are consciously and organizationally prepared to accept, implement and sustain the projects given to them,” Suaybaguio said. In his message, Suaybaguio reiterated that DAR-MinSAAD has extended the best way to capacitate the recipient organizations to be critically aware and meticulous in accepting the equipment that adheres to the specifications of the project. He further said, “POs should manage the project well to generate more income and to buy additional units of corn shellers and other equipment to cater more farmers in their respective areas and adjacent barangays.” Strengthening of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) is among the priorities of the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. President Duterte recognized the role farmers on food security, thus, the government, especially the DAR, will not only focus on emancipating them from the bondage of tenancy but also provide them with support programs and services. Christopher Cuan, Libungan Municipal Mayor is thankful to DAR for choosing their municipality as a partner in the implementation of the MinSAAD project. “Finally, the project has been realized and I appreciated those who extended their efforts in making this project a reality for our farmers. This project is a big help to the farmers and to the whole community who depend on their living on corn farming,” Cuan said. Mayor Cuan reminded the POs to be responsible for managing the projects given by DAR-MinSAAD and other government agencies because these projects come from the government to alleviate their lives from poverty. He also assured DAR that the local government unit of Libungan is also working its best to implement projects that support and corresponds to the need of the community such as farm to market road to provide better and greater accessibility especially in the delivery of agricultural services and ecotourism. Meanwhile, after receiving the turn-over certificate, Pedro Bayog of Palao FA expressed his gratitude to DAR-MinSAAD and LGU Libungan for the assistance in the form of corn post-harvest facilities. “In behalf of the recipients’ POs, we commit to manage and sustain the project to the best that we can. We will try hard to make these facilities as instruments to improve our lives and the community,” Bayog said. The recently turned-over project was part of the Php4.7 million corn post-harvest facilities under the corn production, processing and marketing sub-project of the DAR-MinSAAD project for five peoples’ organization in Libungan, North Cotabato. [Rodel D. Orejudos]

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Cagayan de Oro Pitbull and Bully Alliance holds dog show across all breeds

April 22, 2018

During the event, there was an American bully conformation show and an all-breed fun match categorized into the following: puppy group, terrier group, toy group, working group, sporting group, non-sporting group and mix group. The puppy group is up to 12 months old. The terrier group is composed of bull terrier, Russell terrier and West Highland white terrier. The toy group is composed of Chihuahua, Maltese, Havanese, miniature Pinscher, Pomeranian, miniature poodle, pug, Shi Tzu, Pekingese and Yorkshire terrier. The working group is composed of Akira, American boxer, bull mastiff, Siberian husky, Doberman pinscher, Great Dane, Rottweiler,  Samoyed and Saint Bernard. The sporting group is composed of Wienaraner, cocker spaniel, golden retriever and Labrador retriever. The non-sporting group is composed of Boston terrier, English bulldog, chow chow, Chinese Shar Pei, French bulldog, Dalmatian, Lhasa Apso and poodle.

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