Archive for July, 2014

Fears, anxieties spread in Davao del Norte over DANECO blackout

Posted in daneco blackout with tags on July 25, 2014 by cha monforte

june 10, 2014

Fears and anxieties from among officials and other sectors in Davao del Norte were heard yesterday over the disconnection of power to Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative putting its entire franchise area into long power blackout which was reported to start today.
Tagum City Councilor Tristan Royce Aala during Monday’s session of the City Council told his colleagues they ought to know whether the Power Sector and Assets Liabilities Management (PSALM) would have to disconnect their power supply to Daneco on June 10, 2014.
As of morning Monday, Tagum city officials are still clueless on when would the PSALM-imposed blackout would hit Daneco’s franchise area.
Councilor Fernand Bordios said that from what he heard Daneco had been given a two weeks’ time yet.
Councilor Aala slammed congressmen and other top public officials in the province for allegedly not giving concern to the Daneco problem.
He and other councilors supported Bordios’ call for the convening of a power summit to be attended by governors, congressmen and mayors in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley.
In Sangguniang Panlalawigan session Monday afternoon, the call to clarify the reported blackout and for congressmen to act on the problem was sounded by Board Member Shirley Belen Aala.
Board Member Raymond Joey Millan also wanted to invite Daneco’s power suppliers to come to the SP to shed light on Daneco’s obligations.
Daneco-NEA OIC general manager Benedicto Ongking, in an phone interview, said that PSALM’s notice of disconnection was received last Feb. 25, 2014, which “lapsed already”.
As to the final disconnection notice, he said, “we still have no information yet, and we still have not yet received a document for that.”
He said though that “PSALM would anytime disconnect considering that it had already its notice of disconnection that lapsed already.”
The Daneco group under the supervision of the National Electrification Administration or the Daneco-NEA had announced in a press conference last week its heavy indebtedness of power obligations to PSALM amounting to P601.37 million.
Besides, Daneco has also power obligations of P50.94 million from the Aboitiz-owned Therma Marine, Inc. (TMI) and P12.76 million from the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines.
NEA project supervisor to Daneco-NEA Godofredo Guya warned that an impending blackout would come anytime in the month of June to the provinces of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley claiming that the Department of Energy has apparently issued a go signal to the earlier request of PSALM to disconnect Daneco of its power supply.
Guya said that Daneco-NEA has been saddled with only 70 percent collection efficiency rating and has still to collect an accumulated P1.1-billion payables from member-consumers.
But the opposing Daneco faction under the Cooperative Development Authority or Daneco-CDA group immediately tagged Daneco-NEA’s report of heavy indebtedness as “a bluff, a lie.”
Daneco-CDA spokesperson Oliver Autor said that Daneco-NEA officials made “a new bluff threatening consumers of total blackout like what they did last year.”
He charged that Daneco-NEA has resorted to anew to threats based on bloated obligations so that member-consumers would have to pay their electric bills to Daneco-NEA.
He said that last year Daneco-NEA officials threatened member-consumers that the power obligations had already reached more than P700 million when “in truth it was only more than P300 million.”
Also, Daneco-CDA media consultant Nilo Lariosa rebuffed Daneco-NEA saying, “There is such thing as an order from PSALM or from DOE to disconnect. They are bluffing because they could not show any document. It’s part of their continuing pangilad sa katawhan (cheating the people).”
He said that the Daneco-CDA had earlier “secured a status quo ante order from Regional Trial Court Branch 95 in Tagum City directing Daneco-NEA including PSALM, NGCP not to do inimical actions against the interests of Daneco-CDA and its member-consumers.”
“If ever they have that order to disconnect they should show that to the people,” Lariosa added.
Daneco-NEA group claimed that they have been dutifully paying the P8.15-million monthly amortization of the restructured P275-million of the P576 million outstanding debt to PSALM from March 2013 to April 2014, and that the Daneco-CDA failed to settle its power bills, the latest of which was given in Dec. 2013. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

BE Dujali town seeks P35 M LBP loan

Posted in Mayor Lolita Moral of BE Dujali town with tags on July 25, 2014 by cha monforte

june 7, 2014

The municipal government of the interior municipality of Braulio E. Dujali in Davao del Norte is seeking P35-million loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines to fund six various projects that would be implemented during the current last term of Mayor Lolita Moral.

The Sangguniang Bayan recently approved the loan sought by the mayor.

The P35-million loan would fund for the construction of P13-million new public market, acquisition of P9-million heavy equipment, construction of P5.45-million cultural center, P5-million-worth of  development of the public cemetery, acquisition of P2.5-million support vehicles and acquisition of P400,000-worth truck van. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Daneco-NEA warns impending PSALM disconnection; “A bluff again,” says Daneco-CDA 

Posted in daneco nea cda, Daneco-CDA board president Engr. Albert Omega with tags on July 25, 2014 by cha monforte

June 6, 2014

The National Electrification Administration project supervisor to Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative has warned that the electric cooperative would be disconnected of power by its main supplier PSALM anytime soon this month if it continues to pay low to its ballooning power obligations.

NEA project supervisor Engr. Godofredo Guya bared in press conference Wednesday in Tagum City that Daneco has only about 70 percent collection efficiency rating while it is being saddled by a ballooning power obligations from its four power suppliers amounting at press time to a total of P767.01 million, of which P601.37 million is due for the Power Sector and Assets Liabilities Management (PSALM).

Daneco-NEA officials said that throughout the franchise area in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley, Daneco has more than P1.1 payables from member-consumers. 

Guya said that the Department of Energy has “apparently given go signal” to PSALM to cut its power supply to Daneco.

Last week, PSALM president and chief executive officer Emmanuel R. Ledesma in a statement said that PSALM requested the DOE to issue a notice of disconnection against Daneco due to the failure of Daneco to comply with the financial obligations under their power supply agreement.

Guya, however, did not show any written letter from PSALM addressed to Daneco-NEA relating power disconnection.

But the warning of power disconnection aired by Guya and Daneco-NEA officials has been immediately tagged by opposing Daneco-NEA media spokesperson Oliver Autor as “a desperate move, a new bluff threatening consumers of total blackout like what they did last year.” 

Autor charged that Daneco-NEA is resorting anew to threats based on bloated obligations so that member-consumers would have to pay their electric bills to Daneco-NEA.

He said that last year Daneco-NEA officials threatened member-consumers that the power obligations had already reached more than P700 million when “in truth it was only more than P300 million.”

Daneco-CDA board president Engr. Albert Omega also earlier contended that PSALM could not arbitrarily cut its power supply without the hearings of Energy Regulatory Commission.

Omega claimed that ERC was no longer entertaining Daneco-NEA as the body wanted only to deal with one Daneco entity.

During the press conference, Guya and Daneco-NEA officials bared that Daneco has already an outstanding power obligation to Engineering Equipment Inc. (EEI) Power Corp. amounting to P101.93 million.

It was a first revelation on Daneco’s obligations to EEI since the latter started supplying Daneco during peaking hours October last year amid long daily rotational brownouts. EEI is a diesel-powered 13-megawatt independent power producer based in Tagum City. 

Besides, Daneco has also power obligations of P50.94 million from the Aboitiz-owned Therma Marine, Inc. (TMI) and P12.76 million from the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines.

Daneco failed to pay P576 million outstanding debt to PSALM covering the period March 2013 to April 2014, causing Daneco–NEA in June 2013 to seek for loan restructuring of the P275 payables with a monthly amortization of P8.15 million.

PSALM, however, said that Daneco-NEA “had dutifully paid” the monthly amortization while the Daneco-CDA group failed to settle its power bills, the latest of which being given in December 2013.

PSALM apparently is seeing Daneco as one entity being the main power generating supplier since then when it was yet the original, bigger National Power Corp. 

So with the other secondary power suppliers whose contracts to supply power were made before July 2012 when Daneco was still one entity, without divisive infighting over who is legitimate between Daneco-NEA and Daneco-CDA groups. 

PSALM and TMI supplies power to Daneco at an average of 30 and 15 megawatts, respectively. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Massive organic production of famous Samal mongo to be launched

Posted in Gregorio “Boy” Sarmiento, Seagrass Beach Resort with tags , on July 25, 2014 by cha monforte

May 31, 2014

A massive production of the famous and the best Samal mongo through organic farming will soon be launched throughout the island of Samal in Davao del Norte.

Gregorio “Boy” Sarmiento, owner of Seagrass Beach Resort in Penaplata District, said that a private support group he coordinated would be funding for the mass propagation of mongo, which is known to grow as “quality grain when produced in Samal Island.”

He said the plan is now being finalized with the cooperation of several interested barangay councils.

Sarmiento said that the support group, composed of socially concerned private businessmen of a civic organization, would complement the mongo production with support programs and incentives for the farmers such as provision of appropriate organic farming technology, product marketing assistance, fuel discount cards and educational support for the farmers’ children through their farmers’ organization.

Barangay Guilon punong barangay Edgardo Bastillada said that they are optimistic to the plan of massively producing the Samal mongo, saying it would spread like a wildfire that would greatly complement and help marginal and indigent farmers in the island through intercropping with their already existing plants.

“The Samal mongo is known to have the best taste as it is so milky and oily when cooked,” he said.

He added mongo stands for the “smallest m” that would make Samal Island be even known throughout country and the world after the island’s other m’s- its mariculture and mango production.

The first planting time of supported mongo farmers is scheduled in the coming August. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Police looks into 2 angles in mayor’s killing in Compostela Valley

Posted in laak mayor rey navarro with tags on July 25, 2014 by cha monforte

may 30, 2014

The Compostela Valley provincial police is looking into two angles in the killing of Laak town Mayor Reynaldo Navarro last Wednesday at Asuncion town in neighboring Davao del Norte.

PNP provincial police director PSSupt. Abraham Rojas said in radio interview that possible angles that the police is looking into are related to politics and to illegal logging.

He added that police investigators are still in the thick of their investigation to the case as of press time.

Mayor Navarro, 62 years old, was ambushed by some five armed assailants Wednesday at around 8:30 A.M.Wednesday while his convoy of two vehicles was cruising Kilometer 9 at Barangay Sagayin, Asuncion.

The mayor’s back-up escorts managed to fire back resulting to the killing of two still unidentified assailants.

The mayor was hit in several parts of his body causing his instantaneous death while his driver Estelito Pacano and security escorts Glen Ochoco and PO1 Rey Llones sustained gunshot wounds.

Injured in the crossfire were civilians Crespolo Matawa, Sr. and Paquito Sonocarte.

Hours after the ambush, Col. Lyndon Panesa, spokesperson of the armed forces’ eastern command, said there were strong suspicions that communist rebels were behind Navarro’s ambush.

As of press time, the NPA has not yet claimed for it.

Last May 23, the NPA posted in its website http://www.philippinerevolution.netaccusing the mayor as “lying as logging is rampant in Laak villages”.

The communist group through Aris Francisco, NPA spokesperson for Comval-North Davao- South Agusan areas warned the mayor and other “local reactionaries” not to continue making “big business out of the remaining forest resources, (as) the NPA will impose measures to protect the environment and peasants.”

Navarro is on his third term as Laak mayor. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Creation of Talikud Island of Samal Island as a municipality drummed up

Posted in Talikud Island with tags on July 25, 2014 by cha monforte

may 23, 2014

Davao del Norte Board Member Alan Dujali has drummed up the townhood bid of Talikud Island out from its four barangays.

Talikud Island is part of the larger Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) and is known of its yet pristine, largely unspoiled nature.

Dujali has called on the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to nod on the joint resolution of the Barangays  Sta. Cruz, Dadatan, Cogon and Linosutan that petitioned for the creation of Talikud Island as a component municipality of Davao del Norte.

On April 7, 2013 the barangay sanggunians of the four barangays held a joint session at the Barangay Hall of Sta. Cruz of Kaputian District in Samal Island and approved a joint resolution petitioning that their barangays would compose Talikud Island as a full-pledged municipality.

The joint resolution was backed up by thousands of signatures of people residing in the island obtained from signature campaigns.

Dujali said that the creation Talikud Island as a municipality is one of the priority good governance agenda of Governor Rodolfo del Rosario.

The four barangay sanggunians reasoned out that that Talikud Island “has been neglected and deprived by the national, provincial and city governments in one way or the other, thus development was slow, and it is now high time that they be given more attention and larger allotment of funds and projects by the provincial and national governments.”

They premised that island “has been endowed by nature with white beaches, pristine sea, wonderful underwater coral garden, abundant fishes and sea mammals, explorable caves and underground attractions, and of course, friendly and God-fearing, peace-loving inhabitants.”

They said that the forming of the four barangays into one municipality qualifies the requisites of income, population and land area spelled out in the Local Government Code. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Davao Norte’s fledgling law school produces first 4 lawyers in first crack

Posted in St. Thomas More School of Law and Business with tags on July 25, 2014 by cha monforte
may 22, 2014
In its first crack at Bar exams, four of the six first law graduates of six-year-old St. Thomas More School of Law and Business in Tagum City passed the 2013 Bar examinations.
In 2009 the law school opened with 72 law students enrolled. Of the number only six graduated.
The six took the bar exams last year but only four had passed. It is higher 66.66 passing percentage, though being a fledgling law school.
The St. Thomas More School of Law and Business was founded by Atty. Rodolfo Rapista, current school president and former board member of Davao del Norte.
Its founding law school dean is now Judge Gil Dela Banda.
“The school is owned by lawyers and businessmen,” said Rapista in an interview.
He said is just proud to produce the law school’s first four lawyers as he expressed confidence the school could produce more, with its kind of training.
One of the St. Thomas More’s new lawyer Ian Enterina described the law school training as “so rigid one that really prepared law students to become lawyers.”
“Every week there’s quiz, and there’s always recitation that you are forced to read. The exams are long and extensive from first year to fourth year,” he said.
He is a son of a welder. He graduated through the law scholarship of Compostela Valley Board Member Arvin Dexter Lopoz, the No. 2 Bar topnotcher in 2000.
Atty. Lopoz launched his law scholarship intended for the youths in his legislative district so that once they become lawyers they would first serve the lawyer-deficient Compostela Valley and serve for the ends of justice.
Compostela Valley is the province where its sole Regional Trial Court in Nabunturan town is most troubled of thousands of backlog cases to resolve.
St. Thomas More School of Law and Business counts to be one that proximately attracts law student enrolees, usually working or coming from low-income families, from the provinces of Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley and Agusan del Sur.
There is another law school that opened in Tagum City three years ago, the St. Mary’s College Law School. It is yet to produce its first graduates in the coming school year.
In Davao Region, the old and established law schools are the Ateneo de Davao University-College of Law and University of Mindanao-College of Law in  Davao City, and Cor Jesu College-Law School in Digos City. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

BHW incentives assured in legislation in Davao Norte

Posted in Davao del Norte Liga ng mga Barangay provincial president Edgar Castillo with tags on July 25, 2014 by cha monforte
may 22, 2014
Incentives and benefits for the barangay health workers have been assured in legislation in Asuncion town in Davao del Norte.
Davao del Norte Liga ng mga Barangay provincial president Edgar Castillo
pushed “The Municipality of Asuncion Health Workers and Incentives Ordinance of 2014” with an appropriation of P450,000 from the general fund.
Davao del Norte Liga ng mga Barangay president Edgar Castillo

Davao del Norte Liga ng mga Barangay president Edgar Castillo

It  assured that the municipality shall appropriate a local fund for the BWH monthly honorarium which shall not be less than P150 per month.
The honorarium would be added of hazard and subsistence allowance which shall be determined by the Barangay Local Government Unit Health Board.
Besides the monthly honorarium and allowances, Castillo’s BHW ordinance also provided for a terminal fee of P500 per year of service for those BHWs who have reached the age of 65 and has served the barangay for a total of ten years of continuous service, provided however that the terminal fee shall not exceed P10,000 per BHW.
The ordinance also stressed on the grant of second grade civil eligibility for those BHWs who have rendered five years of continuous service, provided that should the BHW becomes a regular employee of government, the total number of years served as BHW shall be credited to his service in computing retirement benefits.
The proposed ordinance reasoned that the BHWs are frontliners in the delivery of primary health care services to barangay people and that while performing their duty they are exposed to hostile situations, dangers and risk, and for such their invaluable services should be recognized with the LGUs providing assured benefits and incentives to them.
At press time, the proposed ordinance is about to be approved by the municipal council of Asuncion following support and endorsement he obtained from Mayor Joseph Nilo Parrenas.
Castillo has urged the rest of the ten municipal and city ligas in the province to do the same to recognize the invaluable health services rendered by the BHWs.(Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Future Samal Bridge will cause costly relocation of oil depots in Davao City

Posted in Dav-Sam (Davao-Samal) link ferry with tags on July 25, 2014 by cha monforte

may 16, 2014

Oil depots along the shorelines of Barangay Pampanga in Davao City will be facing a prospect of bearing a “costly relocation” to Panabo City if the P6-billion Samal bridge will come true.

Island Garden City of Samal Vice Mayor Al David Uy said that since the shortest route for the proposed Samal bridge is from Barangay Caliclic  in Samal Island to Pampanga, Davao City, with a little more than a kilometer in length and ten-minute ferry travel , the scenario thought out would be the relocation of several oil depots to the neighboring Panabo City.

“There’s huge cost involved and the consequence of having increased costs of oil due to relocation,” he said, relaying the proposal he came across with in one interagency conference he attended in the past.

The Samal bridge project was recently endorsed by the Regional Development Council-XI as one of the regional development priorities for 2015, drawing again mixed reactions from various quarters.

The project has long been by subjected on-and-off calls by regional economic and development councils and special development bodies based in Davao City for over a decade now for the national government to put up funding to realize it.

Uy said that he is in favor for the Samal bridge “but the number 1 question is how much?”

He said that people in Samal Island have been looking up the planned bridge as free to take for passage but “it is not since the cost of its construction would have to be paid with toll fee.”

“How much is then is the toll fee? Basig modako pa na sa ferry kay dako man nga investment (The toll fee might cost more than a ferry fare because of the huge investment involved,” he added.

At present, people going to and fro Samal Island are taking two ways: via the old lantsas (motorized small boats for passengers only), which number a dozen, or via the two Mae Wess roll-on-roll-off (RORO) ferries that have been operating for more than a decade now.  

A lantsa ride costs a fare of P13 in going to the island, and vice versa to Davao City at P14 per head with the additional P1 levy for the city government. 

Passengers still considered the lantsa as the fastest means of transportation to go to Samal Island as it leaves the wharf every 15-20 minutes, without waiting for the maximum of 70 passengers to ride on.

Taking the Mae Wess ferry cost only P10 but it has more lag time in the loading of vehicles.  

There is new shipping player which entered Samal Island’s shipping business September last year, the Dav-Sam (Davao-Samal) link ferry owned by AMTC firm identified with businessman Johnny Ng. 

But  the lone ferry is observed to have been scarcely patronized by passengers and vehicles as they have been used to taking the lantsas and the Mae Wess ferries.

The Mae Wess ferries are owned by businessman Ronald Bangayan, Uy’s baptismal godfather.

“The Bangayans are family friends of Uys long before. I’m in favor for the bridge but I have many questions, ” the vice mayor said to refute his critics’ charges that he is protecting the Bangayans to allegedly monopolize Samal’s shipping business.

He said there is a need to put up support infrastructures, adding that the issue of putting up the Samal bridge is like “a chicken and egg problem.”

“Will we first develop the island before the bridge, or put up the bridge to develop the island? “ he asked.

Vice Mayor Uy also said that as of now the Bangayans have already acquired properties in Tagpopongan coastal areas in the island that in case the bridge is realized with the Mae Wess ferries losing as a result the Bangayans can shift their RORO shipping operations linking the island to the fronting RORO wharf in Pantukan, Compostela Valley.  

But Mindanao Tourism Council president Araceli Ayusta said that people are still troubled by a delay in crossing of people through the short sea strait “unlike when there is a bridge where people can easily go to Samal Island and enjoy its fine beaches.”

She said that before she was not in favor for the Samal bridge considering its implications to the surge of informal settlers and rise of population and their consequent burden and effects to environment.

She said that beach resort owners in the island like her are in favor for the bridge.

IGACOS Councilor Alberto Ortiz, on the other hand, is not in favor to the bridge saying that besides the expected rise in the number of squatters and the expected consequent problem of waste, housing and food out from increased population, “it is good and enjoyable sometimes to ride a boat in shortest time as Samal in the first place is just so near to Davao City.”

Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, who recently pushed for the RDC-XI’s renewed call, said that massive developments would occur in the island once the bridge is realized. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

150 more tricycle franchises asked due to Tagum’s boom 

Posted in Councilor Nicandro "Nickel" Suaybaguio Jr with tags , on July 25, 2014 by cha monforte

may 15, 2014

The Tagum City Tricycle Franchising Regulatory Board has asked the City Council to grant franchises to 150 tricycle units to join with the 3,150 tricycles-for-hire plying due to apparent physical changes in Tagum City in a span of 12 years after tricycle franchise grants were stopped.

TCTFRB chairman and city legal counsel Armando Seras in committee hearing Wednesday said that in his view on the “physical circumstances” that the city had undergone such as the establishments of various malls they recommended only 150 additional units of the 215 applicants that would be granted with Motorized Tricycle Operator’s Permit.
TCTFRB argued in its resolution that the city “has gone through tremendous and remarkable improvements such as mushrooming malls, hotels, commercial establishments, visible rise of population and increased road networks.”
The last time the City Council granted tricycle franchises through a resolution was in July 2002.
The joint committees of laws and transportation of the Tagum City Council will still act on the TCTFRB’s request although committee member Councilor Nicandro “Nickel” Suaybaguio, Jr. contended there is a “need for a formal study” to support the additional 150 tricycle franchises requested. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)