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Homegrown retail chain in search for new teen ambassadors

November 3, 2017

DAVAO CITY – Homegrown retail chain NCCC Department Store will present this year’s 20 charismatic, good-looking and confident young aspirants who will vie for the title of Teen Model Search grand winner during its grand finals on Saturday, October 28, starting at 4 p.m. at NCCC Mall Activity Center in Ma-a, Davao City. Two winners, one male and one female, will each receive P30,000 in cash plus P60,000 worth of apparel from Freshgear, while first and second runners-up will take home P20,000 and P15,000, respectively. “This homegrown model search aims to aid in the personality development of teens and also up their fashion experience,” according to Mia Flor Parais, NCCC Department Store Sales and Marketing Manager. She said the finalists will undergo workshops on make-up and grooming, ramp modeling and personality enhancement. The search is the longest-running of its kind in Davao City and has produced a number of local personalities, like Chinoy TV host Janelle Tee and Hashtag member Tom Doromal. Here’s the top 20 finalists who bested 297 other hopefuls from all over Davao Region: At the young age of 15, Carl Jasper Arbis sees to it that he gets enough sleep so to “maintain my body healthy and young.” Despite being body conscious, Carl admits eating chocolates and drinking soft drinks are his guilty pleasures. Hospitality management student, Josh Neil Rhyme Dale Melodi, apparently loves cooking and mixing drinks. His love for food even translates to his dog by naming him Kimchi. Josh, 19, is more of an eater than a sleeper. It does not come as a surprise that Mark Joseph Tunacao, taking up AB English, is best at public speaking. The 19-year-old says he does not eat much carbs but is fond of trying out products offered in free taste booths. Aside from doing push-ups every morning, John Lloyd Tejano, 18, drinks milk and eats a lot of fruits to maintain his bod. When not in school, the business administration student can be found at home bonding with his family. Carl Michael Arthur Porras, 18, cannot live without sports. In fact, he spends his free time playing basketball and training for swimming. He is proud to say that he was “never a hard headed kid.” Finance student Joshua Kareem Thompson admittedly sleeps late however; he believes that getting proper sleep is key in keeping his good looks. He does not have pets because he thinks that “animals should be free.” Before going to sleep, Yuki Ung rubs ice on her face for a glowing skin. Books, phone, family and friends are the things that Yuki cannot live without. At 17, she likes to dress in trendy clothes. Irra Loise Nebrada is currently taking up Tourism in Philippine Women’s College. She is a member of the volleyball team and stays in shape through training. She describes her style as classic and sophisticated. Princess Floree Aluiz enjoys eating “because food is life” but disciplines herself to consume only healthy and protein rich foods. For Princess, 18, dancing and modelling are her forte. Artist Wean Ahmed, 18, loves to sketch. She goes on a diet to achieve her desired figure although in between confessed to eat extra burgers than allowed. Being a varsity player doing physical training four times a week helps Kathleen Dela Pena stay in shape. She also keeps away from stress by getting some snooze. Kathleen, 18, spends most of her free time in the library to find peace. Proper and diet and exercise are some of Christelle Joy Caldazo’s beauty regimen. She believes in the importance of intelligence “because beauty will fade but knowledge is forever.” Christelle, 17, is comfortable in casual clothes. Chef in the making Trixie Cabiles has a handful of pets, nine to be exact. She says that she wants to be someone whom the youth of today could look up. Optimism is her mantra and turning negative vibes into positive is what she’s good at. The five things you can find inside the bag Arianne Charl Almaden are eyebrow pencil, phone, body lotion, water, and lip tint. Arianne, 17, limits her soda intake to be fit. Her style preference is casual, edgy, and sophisticated. Completing the top 20 are Alexis Gapuzan, Justine Monteiro, Abraham Yahya, Francisco Bonguyan III, Al John Lawrence Bana-ay, and Nhill Charl Barol. (Nelson C. Bagaforo/PNA)

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DA honors organic implementers

November 3, 2017

The exemplary catalysts for the organic agriculture sector have been recently honored by the Department of Agriculture (DA) through its search for the National Organic Agriculture Achievers’ Awards (NOAAA). The awarding was led by DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol before a crowd of nearly 2,000 organic farmer-practitioners, agricultural extension workers, exhibitors, enthusiasts and other industry stakeholders across the country during the 14th National Organic Agriculture Congress (NOAC), held in the city. “Let’s work on feeding the Filipino people first…and, you organic farmers kayo ang may malaking papel dito,” underscored Agriculture Secretary Piñol. He noted that while the agricultural sector is broadening its reach to the international markets, serving the country comes as top priority. The NOAAA winners were named by category, such as the outstanding provincial and municipal local government units, OA focal persons, agricultural extension worker, small individual farmer, farmer’s group and organic farming family. They were awarded based on their exemplary contributions to the implementation of RA 10068 known as the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 and achievement of the envisioned goals of the NOA Program of DA that more Filipinos will engage in Organic Agriculture. The winners at the provincial category are the Provincial Local Government Unit of Ifugao (PLGU-Ifugao) and focal person Catherine V. Buenaventura. The Municipal Local Government Unit of Itogon, Benguet (MLGU-Itogon) won in the municipal category. While Dexter Mendoza, city OA focal person of Ligao, Albay and Rowena Gonnay, agricultural extension worker of Pasil, Kalinga are named winners in their respective capacity. On the other hand, Elmer Salzar of Tigaon, Camarines Sur triumphed as the outstanding small farmer individual. La Top Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPC) of La Trinidad, Benguet, and the Marsan Family of La Trinidad, Benguet garnered the outstanding farmer’s group and organic farming family awards, respectively. For earning the individual awards, Buenaventura, Mendoza, Gonnay and Salzar received each a plaque of recognition and Php50,000, Php40,000, Php30,000 and Php200,000 cash prizes, respectively. The group winners such as the PLGU-Ifugao, MLGU-Itogon and La Top MPC were granted each a plaque of recognition and an OA project (proposal-based) amounting to Php3 million, Php1 million and Php500,000, respectively. For the Marsan Family, it received a cash prize of Php300,000 and a plaque of recognition. Moreover, the DA chief looks forward to giving more incentives on top of giving citations and awards to the national organic achievers. He encouraged the Congress delegates to join him in this aspiration. “Let’s focus our advocacy on organic agriculture, tingnan natin kung ano pang incentives ang ating maibibigay for every farmer who embraces the organic farming system,” he urged. Despite the different technologies espoused by DA, according to Piñol, it is always the market which dictates the kind of farming systems that we should embrace, and he pointed the bright potential of OA. “The world is moving towards healthier food, organic food, and you are lucky because early on, andiyan na kayo, kayo ang unang makikinabang as the world goes craving for healthier and safer food for themselves and their families,” Piñol remarked. “I assure you all of the full commitment of the DA to OA,” Piñol concluded. The occasion was also graced by Atty. Rhaegee Tamanya representing Cynthia A. Villar, senate committee chair on agriculture and food; DA Undersecretary for Agribusiness and Marketing and Regional Engagement Bernadette Romulo-Puyat; Engr. Christopher V. Morales, coordinator, NOA Program; heads of DA attached bureaus and agencies; regional directors of various regional field offices; organic focal persons and representatives. Hosting the 14th NOAC is DA-Regional Field Office 10 headed by OIC-Regional Director Carlene C. Collado, CPA along with assistant regional directors Engr. Roxana H. Hojas, CESO IV and Carmelita T. Bajarla, MBA, and OA Focal Person Samuel C. Natindim, Jr. in partnership with the City LGU of Cagayan de Oro, Xavier University – College of Agriculture and the PLGU of Misamis Oriental.

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Rio Verde to shut down its operations

November 2, 2017

UNLESS the Cagayan de Oro City Water District implements the proper pricing, Cagayan de Oro’s sole bulk water supplier warned over the weekend that they may be forced to shut down its operations. Last Thursday (October 26, 2017), Rio Verde Water Consortium, Inc. (Rio Verde) served a notice to COWD declaring it was increasing the selling price of its bulk water to the utility from P10.45 to P16.35 per cubic meter of treated water (or per million liters, MLD). In a follow up letter to COWD dated October 28, 2017, a copy of which was furnished to this paper, Rio Verde Vice President Joffrey E. Hapitan warned that the price increase was based on necessity and equitable grounds as explained in their notice of price increase. “Rio Verde has been experiencing financial debacle for many years because COWD did not implement the provisions in the Bulk Water Supply Agreement (BWSA) related to volume and water price increases.” “The company has had to comply with several legislated wage increases and prices of chemicals and operating supplies aside from many other legitimate expenses to maintain its facility in top shape which has unavoidably increased the cost of operations many times over.” “It reiterated that the financial debacle Rio Verde has experienced has been worsened further by the accidental damage recently to its underwater pipe crossing the Cagayan River, attributed to the combined forces of earthquakes and flooding.” “COWD’s continued refusal to accept and heed Rio Verde’s fair and reasonable request for price increase will unavoidably result to disruption and stoppage of bulk water supply. COWD will need to be ready to take full responsibility for the ensuing repercussions,” Hapitan cautioned. In its response letter dated October 27, 2017, a copy of which was furnished to this paper, COWD General Manager Rachel M. Beja expressed surprise upon receipt of the notice of price increase, since both parties were already working on a Compromise Agreement which remains to be decided by the courts. “We regret to inform you that, like in the previous years, COWD can only sustain disbursements of P10.45 for payment of your bulk water supply due to apparent legal constraints,” Beja said in her letter. “We believe you understand the very reason why we cannot further implement the next two phases of our contract, including the possible water price adjustments, as provided for in Article 9 of the Supplemental Agreement signed on January 21, 2005,” she added. Beja attributed COWD’s inability to comply with the terms of the contract with the Commission on Audit (COA) Fraud Audit Report, COA disallowances, and the nullification case pending in the courts. The COWD is referring the notice of price increase to its Statutory Counsel, the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, for appropriate action. The Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) is the principal and statutory law office of government-owned-and-controlled corporations (GOCC’s), such as the COWD. Rio Verde had previously served COWD a Notice of Increase in bulk water price rates March 1, 2007, barely three months after it started operations, as provided under the terms of the BWSA. Rio Verde said the increase to P11.55 per cu.m. was constrained by “extraordinary increase in power rates and extraordinary inflation.” This, as well as a subsequent notice for a further adjustment dated 15 March 2011 to P13.461 per cubic meter as provided in the BWSA were not implemented by COWD, citing certain disparities in the model agreement and the signed BWSA on 03 August 2007. Hapitan argued in his follow up letter that COWD has publicly admitted it can afford to absorb the price increase petitioned by Rio Verde without passing it on to water consumers. “It is noteworthy that recently, COWD made a public announcement that it is financially capable of absorbing the P16.35/m3 bulk water price without the need of increasing its water tariff for the consumers. COWD has likewise openly declared that is has signed a bulk water agreement with Metro Pacific Water Investments (MWIC) for P16.35/m3 bulk water price,” Hapitan explained in his letter. “It is definitely unjustified for COWD to refuse the long overdue, reasonable and necessary price increase being asked by Rio Verde,” he added. “It is thus imperative for COWD to issue a Purchase Order at the new rate of P16.35/m3 effective November 1, 2017 to enable Rio Verde to sustain the operation of its water treatment facility.” “We have been selling our bulk water to COWD for the same price for the last 10 years already,” Hapitan stressed. “Under the terms of our original BWSA, P16.35 should have been the current price by which COWD would have already been buying water from us at this time.” COWD has posted two notices of price increases covering the period 2011-2014 posted on its official website: The first dated November 1, 2013 brought the minimum charge for the first 10 cu.m. of residential and government accounts from P168 to P184.80, while another dated May 1, 2014 increased the minimum charge further to P218.40 for COWD’s Main Service Area and to P238.40 for Youngsville Subdivision, Opol, Misamis Oriental. The latter post further explained that this was the last tranche of the 30% rates adjustment approved June 17, 2011 per LWUA-BOT Resolution #84 effective May 1, 2014. The COWD assured its concessionaires lately it will not implement another round of rate increases during the next two years.

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DepEd urged to issue new rules for field trips

November 2, 2017

THE Department of Education (DepEd) has been urged to expedite the issuance of a new set of guidelines to manage school field trips like the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) when it lifted its moratorium on educational tours and other off-campus activities in public and private higher education institutions (HEI). “We are hoping that the DepEd will come out with their (new)set (of) guidelines on how to manage school field trips such that we can resume the hosting of field trips to elementary and high school,” said Mario Mamon, chairman and president of Enchanted Kingdom at an event sponsored by the Department of Tourism in Sta Rosa, Laguna. Last February, CHED issued the moratorium after the fatal bus accident in Tanay, Rizal, where 14 students were killed and dozens were injured. DepEd followed suit in March 2017 and imposed Memorandum No. 47, series 2017 to all public elementary and secondary schools until review and revision of related policies have been finalized. In a CHED Memorandum Order signed by Chairperson Patricia Licuanan on July 25, 2017, the ban was deemed lifted and all HEIs were urged to abide by the set of policies for school trips “in order to develop holistic experience of students.” The issuance of the memo by CHED was then lauded by the Department of Tourism (DOT) as a welcome development. “Educational tours and field trips provide the experiential learning that complements the subjects taught in the classroom setting,” Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo said. DOT has recently initiated a national education forum summit, inviting all stakeholders from the academe, local government units, travel and tour sector, transport sector and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to discuss measures that will enable quality educational tours while providing a safe and secure environment for the students. The summit held in Region IV-A (Calamba, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon or Calabarzon), resulted in the signing of a call to action for cooperation and eventually led to CHED’s lifting of the moratorium, it said. “A continued suspension of such activity will take away the opportunity for the students to see for themselves the culture, history and natural attractions that make them appreciate their being Filipinos,” Teo pointed out. The series of regional educational tourism forum was also held in General Santos for the Mindanao regions, in Bicol for both Regions 4-B and 5 and in Baguio City for Regions 1, 2 and 3. Meanwhile, slated to hold their respective fora are Regions 6, 7, and 8 in Iloilo and the National Capital Region (NCR) in Manila on November 26. “We will continue to be the bridge for these productive dialogues that can improve the content and experience for the students when they go on field trips,” Teo said. (PNA)

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Yap leads flag retreat in Northern Mindanao

November 2, 2017

CAGAYAN de Oro City--Assistant Secretary Sergio “Yoyoc” E. Yap II represented Secretary of Justice Vitaliano E. Aguirre II Justice in heading the flag retreat ceremony to conclude the 120th Founding Anniversary of the Department of Justice (DOJ at the Regional Prosecution Office in Region 10. The event was attended by the officials and staff of the National Prosecution Service (NPS) Region 10 and ARMM, as well as the officials of Department’s attached agencies like the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Public Attorneys Office (PAO), Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP), Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID) and Land Registration Authority (LRA). After the flag retreat ceremony, Asec. Yap conducted the formal turnover of 25 computer sets for the use of NPS Region 10 and 10 computer sets for NPS ARMM. The said computer sets were received by OIC-RSP Merlynn Uy of NPS Region 10 and RSP Ramy Guiling of NPS ARMM. He also announced that the Department of Justice is already ready to allocate funds amounting to P30 MILLION to P42 MILLION for the construction of a new DOJ building for the ARMM. The said building will be a complex to house the offices of the Regional Prosecutors, City Prosecutor, Provincial Prosecutor, NBI, PAO and BPP of ARMM. He also promised to strive hard for the allocation of budget for a new DOJ Building for Region 10 to house the City Prosecutors of Cagayan de Oro and Provincial Prosecutors of Misamis Oriental. On October 2, 2017, Assistant Secretary Sergio “Yoyoc” Yap II together with Undersecretary Erickson H. Balmes graced the opening of the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) for Mindanao Prosecutors. Asec. Yap highly stressed that the Secretary of Justice Vitaliano E. Aguirre II continues to support the MCLE Program to enhance the knowledge and expertise of the prosecutors of our country. During the event, Usec. Balmes announced the efforts of the Secretary to establish the DOJ Academy, which will either be placed at Clark or Tagaytay. Later that day, Asec. Yap visited the new Hall of Justice of Cagayan de Oro City and Misamis Oriental. He was able to have a meeting with MTC Executive Judge Cesar Merlas together with Judge Laina Lanticse-Saba and Judge Anabel Carmen Salcedo Casiño-Baluran. He was also able to have a meeting with RTC Executive Judge Dennis Alcantar and discussed the issues concerning the appointment of more prosecutors for the City and Province. With the theme, “Grace and Justice: 120 Years of Service to the Filipino People,” the DOJ maintains to uphold its mandate to serve as the government’s prosecution arm and to administer the government’s criminal justice system by investigating crimes, prosecuting offenders, and overseeing the correctional system.

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132 police from Luzon starts returning home

November 2, 2017

CAMP ALAGAR, Cagayan De Oro City: A contingent of about 132 policemen and officers who were assigned to augment the police force in Northern Mindanao at the height of the Marawi siege are returning home to their units in Luzon, the police regional command announced Saturday. Superintendent Lemuel Gonda, the spokesperson of the police regional command here, said that Chief Supt. Timoteo G. Pacleb , the police regional director in Northern Mindanao, formally led the send-off ceremony at the regional police office (PRO 10) here Friday. He said that the contingent is composed of elements from the police regional office in Camp Vicente Lim, Calamba, Laguna (PRO4A) and the police regional office in Camp Olivas Pampanga (PRO3) who were sent to Northern Mindanao to augment the police force who were securing the cities of Iligan and Cagayan De Oro when Martial Law was declared in May following the Marawi siege. During the send-off ceremony, Pacleb also lead the distribution of “letter of commendation” to the 61 PRO3 and 71 PRO 4A contingents, Gonda said. In his short message, Pacleb said that the policemen and the officers of the delegation would “always be our heroes.” “Maraming salamat sa inyong serbisyo, sa inyong tapang at malasakit para sa bayan. Maraming salamat sa inyong tulong para sa kapayapaan dito sa Northern Mindanao” (Thank very much for the services and the bravery for the sake of the country. Thank you very much for helping in maintaining peace in Northern Mindanao), Pacleb said. Gonda said that the contingent from PRO3 departs on Saturday on board a C-130 military plane, while the contingent from the PRO4A would follow in the coming days. He said that the PRO4A contingent is still at the regional police command here. The PRO 3 regional police office is based in Camp Olivas, Pampanga covers the regional provinces of Region 1, 2, and 3 in Northern Luzon while the PRO 4A regional police office Camp Vicente Lim in Calamba, Laguna covers the CALABARZON region. The war in Marawi, perpetrated by the local terrorists led by the Maute clan and supporters of the Iran-Syria, Islamic State (ISIS), an international terror group, which started on May 23, 2017 officially five months later on Oct. 23, 2017, following the death of Isnilon Hapilon, the officially designated “Emir” of ISIS in Southeast Asia by the Middle East-based ISIS, was killed by state forces together with his local counterpart, Omarkhayam Maute. President Rodrigo Duterte officially announced the cessation of hostilities in Marawi City and ordered the governmet’s various agencies and the military to lead the reconstruction and the rehabilitation of the Islamist City from the rubbles of war.

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