Archive for November, 2013

Comval State College interim trustees convened

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on November 26, 2013 by cha monforte
nov 26, 2103
Compostela Valley Rep. Maricar Zamora (First District) said that the interim Board of Trustees of Compostela Valley State College (CVSC) has been recently convened.
Composing the Board are Commission on Higher Learning chairperson Patricia Licuanan,  National Economic Development Authority-XI regional director Maria Lourdes Lim, DOST-XI regional director Anthony Sales, Ranjit Singh Rye representing Senator Pia Cayetano and Rep. Zamora representing Rep. Roman Romulo. 
“With it, the CVSC is now officially an institution,” said Rep. Zamora.
She said that it is certain that the CVSC will open by June 2014.
Last Monday, Zamora graced the ground-breaking of the site of CVSC’s  Maragusan campus in time of the 36th Araw ng Maragusan and Pyagsawitan Festival. 
The Comval congresswoman successfully pushed for the passage of Republic Act No. 10598, establishing CVSC by integrating as regular branches the Bukidnon State University external studies centers in Monkayo, Maragusan, Montevista and New Bataan. 
It will provide professional instruction and training in agriculture as well as science and technology. 
President Aquino signed the law for CVSC last June 2013. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Comval Congw. Maricar Zamora welcomes SC ruling on PDAF

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on November 26, 2013 by cha monforte

nov 21, 2103

Compostela Valley Representative Maricar Zamora (1st District) has welcomed the latest decision of the Supreme Court declaring the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) as unconstitutional.

She posted in her FaceBook account her seven-paragraph statement Thursday afternoon, first describing the decision as “a turning point in our history” and as a “response to the growing public clamor to abolish the PDAF due to recently-discovered, large-scale scams involving the misuse of the PDAF.”

The congresswoman said that the House leadership, “to its great credit” had already expressed its support to the Supreme Court ruling “even before the decision was ever made.”

“The Supreme Court’s decision’s effects and consequences will be felt most especially by Members of Congress, whose roles and responsibilities in the past were largely defined by how they dispensed their PDAF, rather than how they performed in legislation,” she said.

“The battleground has now shifted from the ability to “bring home the bacon” for the district, to one requiring time-tested and reliable skills on lobbying and pushing for responsive laws,” she added.

“However, with this change, we ask our constituents for understanding. The old way by which we were able to directly help and intervene in crises, problems and social issues by funding programs and projects is no longer the case. We will continue to help, but in newer and different ways,” she said.

“Our world as lawmakers has been interminably changed with the abolition of the PDAF. The job of being a legislator has now become a full-time, highly technical and exacting profession, demanding necessary training, experience and a fully evolved worldview for the public good.”

“We can no longer tackle our role as the voice of the people through the traditional way of doing things, nor can we entrust it to those who rely solely on patronage and transactional politics to achieve their own selfish ends. We owe it to our constituents to transform accordingly, with the requirements of the times. If we fail to rise to the challenge, then we will do so as a disservice to the public. Let us thus welcome the sea-change of reform, and let us ride the tide of new beginnings in fiscal responsibility and accountability in governance,” the second-termer congresswoman concluded. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Tagum Mayor Rellon on all-out war vs. criminals through swift pursuit, arrest, prosecution

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 26, 2013 by cha monforte
nov 20, 2013
Vowing he is making a recent case “a sample”, Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon said that “crime does pay” in his campaign against crimes and criminals in his city.
He recently showed his his anti-crime ways being carried through out through swift pursuit, swift arrest and swift prosecution as exemplified by a case of a suspected bag snatcher who made his heist Monday and “not less than 24 hours”, on the same day, the suspect was collared by pursuing police team in neighboring Asuncion town.
The city police immediately worked for inquest proceeding filing a robbery case against the suspect, one named Ddjay Cruz, a resident of the town.
“This sample would continue,” the mayor declared even as Tuesday afternoon he met police and Church officials and leaders of civilian volunteer force multipliers to wrap up a tight security plan for the peaceful and successful fiesta celebration of Tagum City by Sunday and in days preoccupied with celebratory activities this week.   
He said that the “sample” was made for three reasons: first, “the victim cooperated with the police”, second, “the police made swift pursuit without sleep” and third, “the justice system is moved with the inquest proceeding against the suspect.”
He also cited the important role of civilian volunteer force multipliers like the newly formed United Taxpayers Against Crime (UTAC) in augmenting the police force as part in his flagship EAGLES WINGS program, particularly in the agenda of genuine peace, safety and security.
UTAC members are composed of businessmen, tricycle and single motorcycle owners and drivers providing information and force-multiplying volunteerism to augment law enforcers and collaborating to support Rellon’s administration in fighting crimes.
Mayor Rellon said he is happy to note that UTAC gained increase in membership since it was organized in the advent of his administration last July.
UTAC has already over 500 members throughout Tagum City.
Earlier, the mayor said that he was beefing up the 30 motorcycle-riding police teams to be doubled in numbers, with acquisition of more single motorcycles and communication equipment, besides that motorcycle-riding civilian force multipliers have been increasing to augment the city police.
Last Friday the city police apprehended a robbery suspect, a certain Jeyrome Mahusay, who had still a stockpile of his “IT loot” that consisted of 13 cellphones, 9 laptops, one iPad, one digital camera and one portable DVD.
PNP Tagum police chief Solomon de Castilla urged robbery and snatching victims to check the valuables if they own any of which.
“They can claim it provided they can show proof of ownership,” PSupt. De Castilla said.
By nightfall Wednesday, the city’s giant Christmas tree located at the Freedom Park was lighted up again with a joyful program attended by public, Church and private sector officials, and thousands of city onlookers.
Thousands of Christmas lights  embellished and strewn around the Christmas tree were switched on again to continue the yearly tradition of giving Christmas cheer to Tagumenyos. 
This Thursday evening, the revived Mutya ng Tagum will see action onstage at RDR Gym at the Sports Center, fronting the provincial Capitol compound, Barangay Mankilam.
Tagumenyos, religious as they are, will be celebrating the feast of their Patron Saint Christ the King on Sunday. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Biazon tweets no mention of alleged smuggler of “hot rice” using Davao Port, but explains

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 26, 2013 by cha monforte

nov 17, 2013

Bureau of Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon asked in Twitter by a popular sports commentator on what action he has made on the alleged smuggler of “hot rice” using the Davao City port tweeted back trying to clarify his agency’s position on rice smuggling issue.

Sports commentator Ronnie Nathanielsz tweeted Biazon this Sunday: “The name of the alleged smuggler was given. What has Customs done about this?”

The commentator called the attention of Biazon on a news story “Davao import probe pushed” carried Sunday by a Manila paper, where the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) called for a Senate inquiry on the rampant smuggling of rice in the country, particularly in ports outside of Metro Manila, such as the BOC’s Davao port.

“The Manila Standard reports about 200,000 metric tons of rice being smuggled through Davao. Is this also not true?” Nathanielsz asked further.

Sinag president Rosendo So said that there was a recent entry of more than 200,000 cavans of hot rice that have been smuggled through the Davao port.

“We believe that the hot rice shipment is still part of the smuggling operations of a certain David Tan,” So added.

Sinag – a coalition of 33 farmers’ and irrigators’ associations – earlier tagged Tan as the head of the country’s biggest rice smuggling syndicate.

Biazon replied in series of tweets that “What is being reported as smuggled rice are those which were imported without getting import permits.”

“The rice has been put on hold by customs, not allowed to be released,” he said.

“The importers didn’t get import permits becoz they believe they don’t need it w/ the expiration of Quantitative Restrictions (under World Trade Organization agreements),” he added.

“The NFA’s position is that import permits are still required inspite of the expiration of QR under WTO agreements” and “(as) implementors of policy, we will implement the policies of regulatory agencies such as NFA,” Biazon said.

However, “(T)he importers took legal action to question our actions in holding the shipments,” he added.

The report said that last month the Department of Agriculture and BOC also seized 403 container vans of smuggled rice in Davao. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Finance Secretary Purisima positions 13 men to Bureau of Customs’ influential positions

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2013 by cha monforte
nov 16, 2013
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima has recently ordered a detail of thirteen officials from finance department to head various key and influential positions in the Bureau of Customs.
Sec. Purisima issued Department Order No. 062-2013 dated November 8, 2013, detailing officials from the Revenue Agency Modernization (ORAM) under the Dept of Finance (DoF) to influential posts of district collectors in various ports such as the Manila International Container Port, and the ports of Subic, Cebu, and Batangas.
The same order covered the airport of Clark, and various posts in key divisions and groups such as the enforcement, security and legal services, prosecution and litigation, customs police and intelligence divisions, and finance-handling services and groups in BOC.
The secretary based his order pursuant to DoF Executive Order No. 140- 2013, creating the Customs Policy Research Office (CPRO), which was earlier questioned in court last October by 15 customs collectors whom Purisima and BOC Commissioner Ruffy Biazon sought to be transferred as part of BOC’s ongoing reforms.
The affected customs collectors, to stop their transfer citing violation of their security of tenure, first got a three-day temporary restraining order from a  Manila court, and had it extended for 17 days before the petition for permanent TRO was later on junked by the court.
The 13 ORAM officials to head BOC’s various posts are Willie Tolentino as Director III of Enforcement Security Service, Atty. Alexis Medina as Director III of Legal Service, Arnulfo Gambayan and Atty. Lionel Gramata to the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Mario Mendoza as Collector of Customs VI of the Port of Manila, Atty. Emer Aceron as Collector of Customs V of NAIA Customshouse, Elmir De La Cruz as Collector of Customs VI of Manila International Container Port, Ernesto Benitez, Jr. as Collector V of the Port of Batangas, Arnulfo Marcos as Collector of Customs VI of the Port of Subic, Esteban Castro as Collector of Customs VI of the Port of Clark International Airport, Charo Logarta Lagamon as Chief Administrative Officer of the Public Information and Assistance Division, Roberto Almadin as Collector of Customs VI of the Port of Cebu, and Esteban Castro as Collector of Customs VI of the Port of Clark International Airport.
Earlier, last Oct. 31, Purisima through Assistant Secretary (Asec) Ephyro Amatong asked Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes for an exemption of the election ban on the hiring, transfer and detail of 20 BOC officials sought to be detailed to CPRO.
A day before Purisima’s order, on Nov 7, Biazon and Purisima issued Customs Personnel Order No. B-240-2013 detailing 10 BOC officials to CPRO.
Detailed were Deputy Commissioner of Customs Ericson Alcovendaz, Remedios Espinosa, who was the Collector of Customs of the Manila International Container Port, three officials with rank Directors III, and five other officials in customs police, intelligence and pubic information divisions in BOC’s Manila office.
The 10 newly detailed officials are apart from the 27 customs collectors ranked V and VI whom Purisma and Biazon ordered last September to be detailed to CPRO, which caused for 15 of them to file the TRO case. Reports said that several of the 27 affected customs collectors had resigned or went on leave from the Bureau out of disgust and dismay, while some 12 had reported to CPRO.
However, last Monday, Nov. 11, Purisima and Biazon issued CPO B-241-2013 amending their Nov. 7 CPO, which obviously corrected the statement of facts in the positions of Alcovendaz and Espinosa, but it replaced the name of Cesar Rubio Albano, who has the position of Special Police Lieutenant of the Customs Police Division with the name of Eric Garalde Albano, who has the position of Intelligence Officer IV of the Intelligence Division.
A BOC Davao insider said that the Albano retained in BOC is a close friend of DoF Asec Amatong. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Southern Philippines Medical Center to construct 4-floor centralized ICU building

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 26, 2013 by cha monforte

nov 10, 2103

The biggest government-run Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City is scheduled to construct next year a building for centralized intensive care unit (ICU) having four floors costing P80-P100 million.

SPMC Chief of Hospital Dr. Leopoldo Vega bared in an interview that aside to the centralized ICU building whose budget is already incorporated in SPMC’s 2014 total budget, the construction of a separate building for obstetric care (OB) department for women and children patients is also proposed by the SPMC management considering the congestion of the present space for them at present.

“It also costs the same, about P80-100 million,” he said.

The present gym within SPMC’s compound at Bajada area would be converted into a centralized ICU building.

The scheduled budget for the ICU building would stop SPMC’s five-year drought of having no capital outlay for infrastructure from the national government.

The last time that the SPMC got a capital outlay was in 2008 when the P30 million was provided for the upgrading of wards.

Dr. Vega also bared that the SPMC management has proposed for next year’s general appropriations a total of about P305 million, of which P250 million is for the salaries and wages of personnel while about P55 million is for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE).

He said that currently SPMC, which has a total of 750 personnel, is saddled in responding to an average of 1,200 admitted patients, 1,010 out patients, and an average of 840 patients taken into emergency room.

“SPMC is experiencing a gradual 12-15 percent yearly increase of patients,” he added.  (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Winner Tagum barangay kapitan, a captain of PH biggest banana chips’ maker

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on November 26, 2013 by cha monforte

nov 5, 2013

The barangay captain who won by landslide in the recent polls in Barangay Magugpo East, Tagum City started a small business making banana chips out from fresh cardava bananas.

Entrepreneur Magugpo East El Kapitan Ian Neo

Entrepreneur Magugpo East El Kapitan Ian Neo

Thirteen years later, it became a multi-million business, undoubtedly, in fact, now the country’s biggest banana chips’ manufacturer and exporter.

Punong barangay-elect Ian Neo, 35 years old, recalls that the family-owned Four Seasons Fruits Corporation (FSFC) he founded in June 2001 started in manual operations with only P200,000 as starting capital.

“Instead of using slicing machines, I hired slicers to cut the fresh cardava bananas into desired pieces. For two years, it went on that way. Manual operation is too laborious and has low production, but I never compromised the quality of our products to be accepted for export,” he said.

His first buyers were exporters from Davao City and Cagayan de Oro City, and luck suddenly came one day in 2003 when he met a buyer abroad who accepted unlimited supply of FSFC’S quality banana chips, which come in five slices- the round wholes, halves, quarters, brokens and the slants.

It was time for FSFC to directly export its banana chips to wholesale importers overseas which would do the repacking and branding for retail consumption.

“From there, FSFC had been clutching to its strong operations, forcing us to buy cardavas beyond our usual sources in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley, and hence, from different parts of Regions XI and XII as far as Cotabato and Caraga region to satisfy the buyers’ demand of 1.56 million kilos of banana chips in every 26 days,” Neo recalled.

“As this huge foreign market of our products came along into our way, we were able to acquire a one unit rover and several trucks for hauling of fresh cardava bananas, and transported our finished products to Davao City seaport. We then sharply changed our operation into technological manner using high-tech machines to meet the demand of best-quality products,” he added.

“We also bought few hectares of land at Barangay Apokon, Tagum City as the proper location of the manufacturing plant of the Four Seasons Fruits Corporation,” he beamed with pride.

Todate, FSFC’s quality banana chips reach the markets of Africa, Canada, European countries, Middle East, Asian and Scandinavian countries and United States.

He said that right now the FSFC has a correspondent marketing arm based in Hongkong.

But the Kapitan’s company was “deeply affected” by the wrath of vicious typhoon Pablo last December.

“Pablo toppled down our near sources and we were forced to procure mainly from far sources, which shot up our transportation and other costs. Our production at present is already considered sold in forward booking for January 2014. The markets we have niched on went shaky and became volatile as our supply was often short of the demand. At times we operated at loss just for our 700 factory workers to continue earning a living. Now we produce only around 1 million kilos from an average of 2 million kilos a month before Pablo,” he recalled his company’s coming on survival throes in the months following the typhoon.

But a captain of the banana chips’ industry as he has been through the years in banana-producing Mindanao regions, kapitan-elect Ian is seeing in the near horizon that “by early next year the FSFC will be back to normal” as  the newly-planted cardava bananas of farmers in flood-ravaged, typhoon-stricken areas have already grown up and started bearing fruits.

There are only four banana chips’ manufacturer-exporters operating in Davao del Norte including FSFC, which is the only locally owned and  homegrown among them. There is none in Compostela Valley.

Ian is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Accountancy, major in Management Accounting at the Ateneo de Davao University. After he completed his college degree, he worked first in Metro Bank-Davao City, but his father, outgoing three-termer barangay captain Santiago Neo, urged him to stop from his work and suggested to start a business of his own. And so he started the FSFC small.

For his feat in making FSFC big put from cardavas, he was chosen as the national Gawad Saka agri-entrepreneur awardee for the years 2010-2011 as bestowed no less than by President Benigno Aquino III.

Asked if could still steer on the barangay while he is FSFC’s chief executive officer at the same time, Kapitan-elect Ian says, “It’s all tight systems going on well at FSFC, which will even pour its corporate social responsibility to the barangay. It’s a matter of managing people and resources with the bottomline that barangay constituents’ welfare is not sacrificed.”

In managing FSFC, Ian has in his side his able chief finance officer, wife Mary Lorraine. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

1-kilo, 18-karat Comval’s ring declared as people’s property

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 26, 2013 by cha monforte
oct 31, 2013
Compostela Valley’s known Solidarity Ring made of gold weighing 1.18 kilograms has been declared as a people’s property through a provincial ordinance.
Board Member Moran Takasan authored Provincial Ordinance No. 13, series of 2013, “institutionalizing the Solidarity Ring and declaring the same as property of the people of Compostela Valley” to safeguard it “as the emblem of unity of Comvalenyos and as symbol to remind every Comvalenyo of the gains that they have achieved on unifying themselves.”
“Also, (it is) a fitting recognition to the leaders during the period 2007-2010, who cast aside their political differences and personal aggrandizement in order to heed the call for peace and reconciliation as indispensible components to address unity,” the ordinance stated.
The ordinance was unanimously approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan last October 16, 2013 after series of committee hearings and consultations.
The ring was made out of the donations of gold from miners, tunnel operators and corpo members operating in various mines inside the gold-rich province in 2008. They responded to the call for unity of now third-termer Governor Arthur T. Uy, who was elected for his first term in 2007 polls.
It is an 18-karat ring with an appraised value of P1.5 million as of March 2008.
It is made of 1.18 kilograms of gold of shining finish and 308 grams of 99.9-percent silver in diamond mettle finish, and has 5-interior diameter and a 6-inch exterior diameter.
Engraved in it are symbolic figures such as hands clasped, rays of shining sun, and a soaring eagle spreading its wings to especially note of the province’s Mount Araibo in the municipality of Pantukan, which is also a home of the extinct Philippine Eagle.
The provincial ordinance has also a provision on its safekeeping, adisplay area and formal turnover.
It provides that the Solidarity Ring shall be under the stewardship, responsibility and accountability of the provincial Governor, and for such, he is issued of a memorandum order by the general services office.
“The formal turnover ceremony would give an opportunity for the outgoing, exiting governor to meet with the incoming, new governor,” said Board Member Takasan in an interview.
The Solidarity Ring is currently on display for public viewing at the ground floor of the provincial Capitol building at Barangay Cabidianan, Nabunturan. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Media village in Davao del Norte pushed, supported

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 26, 2013 by cha monforte
oct 28, 2013
Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario has supported the media village housing project pushed by mediamen in his province.
He urged mediamen to look for site to be proposed for land-for-housing project for mediapersons, adding that the provincial government can possibly make a tie-up with housing agencies like the National Housing Authority to introduce site development in the area.
The governor made his fresh policy pronouncement last week before mediamen celebrating for the provincial press freedom month this month. 
He said a one-hectare area can accommodate a less a hundred mediapersons in the province, with a minimum of 100-square-meter homelot size per beneficiary mediaperson.
The Davao del Norte Press & Radio-TV Club (DNPRC) has recently asked the governor to acquire land for the landless and disadvantaged mediapersons in the province citing his earlier commitment to build a media village.
At press time, the DNPRC has been looking for suitable sites in Tagum City to be proposed to the governor next week while it is on the process of formulating its proposed guidelines in the selection of eligible beneficiary mediapersons.
The DNPRC is proposing that the land to be acquired would be provided by the provincial government as land grant while site development under the assistance of a national agency can be made through a soft community loan amortized at long-term term period.
The DNPRC is the oldest media organization in the province founded in 1967 during the erstwhile undivided Davao del Norte.(Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

TRO-benefited customs collector heads Customs Port of Davao

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 26, 2013 by cha monforte
oct 18, 2013
One of the 27 customs collectors affected by a reassignment order but not a petitioner in the temporary restraining order against it is the one heading the Bureau of Customs Port of Davao.
BOC Davao acting deputy collector for administration Dan Oquias said in an interview that Customs Collector V Raymond Ventura is deemed as their regular district collector by virtue of the 20-day extended TRO secured by 15 of the 27 affected customs collectors as well as due to an earlier customs personnel order of Commissioner Ruffy Biazon effecting a recall to plantilla positions of customs collectors and other key customs officers. 
But after October 21, he added, Customs Collector IV Samsum Pacasum would become the officer in charge (OIC) district collector of the BOC Davao “if they (the group of 15 customs collectors) could not secure a permanent TRO.” 
Biazon issued his customs personnel order (CPO) No. B-189-2013 last Sept. 17 detailing influential 27 customs collectors ranked V and VI to the newly created Customs Policy Research Office (CPRO) under the Department of Finance, which was not implemented due to series of TRO issued by Manila courts first for three days, and then extended for another 20 days until the coming October 21. 
The 15 TRO petitioners cited lack of due process and violation of their security of tenure.
Meantime, Pacasum is acting as BOC Davao deputy collector for assessment, Oquias said.
Both Ventura and Pacasum arrived in BOC Davao office at Sasa wharf last Sept. 30 seeing OIC district collector lawyer Edward James Dy Buco heading the port. Dybuco has been in that post for over a year now after district collector Martiniano Bangcoy took a leave of absence for health reasons.
With Ventura’s entry, Dy Buco slid down as the deputy collector for operations.
Dy Buco  had been holding the post while the entire Customs agency is rattled off by series of reshuffling moves of Biazon, and sniping between him and Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima over policies, days following the public chastising of the BOC by President Aquino last July due to continued rampant corruption in and smuggling involving the bureau. 
At one time, Purisima chided Biazon for not consulting him when the latter effected a personnel movement.
BOC is the Department of Finance as its mother agency.
Both Biazon and Purisima though decried over the extension of the TRO saying that the it ran counter to the efforts to reform the BOC.
BOC Davao personnel have been confused over the BOC situation in the national level that seeped down the port level.
Though BOC Davao reels on BOC’s nationwide shake-ups, it managed to hit its target last September by collecting P571.188 million.  (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)