Archive for the davao del norte Category

NEWS: Igacos VM to run vs. Antalan

Posted in ANIANO ANTALAN, davao del norte, Igacos, ORLY AMIT with tags , , , , on November 28, 2009 by cha monforte

nov 20

Island Garden City of Samal Vice Mayor Orly Amit has confirmed that he would be running under a “yellow group” against reelectionist Mayor Aniano Antalan saying that the island “deserves to have another one” and “considering the mayor’s age and health condition”.
Amit, a first termer vice mayor, speaking in yesterday’s Kapihan sa Kapitolyo media forum at the media center in Capitol, Tagum City, said claimed that an ealier meeting attended by former 2nd District Cong. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr and Cong. Anton Lagdameo and some island political leaders had drewn out a consensus of having him run as city mayor “in tandem with Antalan”.
Antalan, Lakas stalwart, could not yet be reached for comment at press time.
The vice mayor said that he had been running in previous polls as opposition bet and that while he won in the last polls as Kampi candidate over the candidate supported by Floirendos, he still maintained his “respect to the Floirendos”.
The Floirendos with Lagdameo are traditionally acknowledged to be District 2 political kingpin with their mammoth Tadeco plantation in Panabo and Sto. Tomas towns commanding at least 25,000 votes.
“I thank for the Floirendos but I need to listen to the voices of the people… It’s hard to refuse people who are millionaires, I maintain my respect to them, but people in the island clamor for change,” Amit said.
Amit’s declaration that he would be running under a “yellow group” has fueled speculations among observers in the province that the Floirendos would be girding into a polical fight comes election time against Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, who on Wednesday jumped ship to Liberal Party.
A mass oathtaking of District 1 political leaders led by Gov. Del Rosario to the Liberal Party took place in Tagum City Wednesday with vice presidential candidate Mar Roxas officiating. Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy also took his oath as new LP member.
Sources said the LP oathtaking for the District 2 would come next.

As this developed, the Lakas-Kampi-CMD in the District 2 would accordingly have its oathtaking of members today at Carmen town, after which they are expected to attend attend in the birthday bash of today’s celebrant Tadeco’s grand old man Antonio “White Hair” Floirendo Sr.
Earlier, Cong. Lagdameo reminded incumbent officials in the 2nd District in a meeting that they would be sticking it out with the administration’s Lakas -Kampi-CMD and its presidential bet Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro.
Observers have speculated that both the Floirendos and Del Rosarios, who position as District 1 kingpin, would put up their respective lineups of candidates in the municipal and provincial levels including the congressional slots against each other in the two districts in what could appear this early as a feverish Lakas vs. LP encounter in the coming 2010 polls. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: DavNor Capitol’s new P235M LBP loan bias to District 1

Posted in davao del norte with tags on October 17, 2009 by cha monforte
oct 9
About sixty percent or P135,227,605 of the P235-million loan that the Davao del Norte Capitol is seeking from Land Bank of the Philippines after Monday’s budget approval by the provincial board would go for the funding of various infrastructure projects in the District 1 where the governor’s son is positioning to run for Congress by 2010.
Per budget document obtained from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, a total of P131-million is appropriated for the construction, rehabilitation, improvement of various infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, reservoirs, seawalls, solar dryers and others.
The balance of P4 million was intended for the purchase of four units of vehicles for the mobilization of the Provincial Engineering Office.
The province’s District 2 consisting of the Island Garden City of Samal, Panabo City and towns of Sto. Tomas, Carmen and E. Braulio Dujali gets only about 41 percent or P95,772,395-worth of funding for infrastructure projects from Capitol’s fresh intent to borrow from LBP a year after it secured P500 million from the same bank.
Last year’s first LBP loan went for the purchase of heavy equipment and the construction of the provincial sports complex, which has presently remained to be incomplete.
District 1 consists of the city of Tagum and the towns of Kapalong, New Corella, San Isidro and Talaingod. It is where Governor Rodolfo del Rosario is widely talked about as the district’s pre-emergent kingmaker, while the other District is considered as the traditional turf of the Floirendos. His son Anthony Rafael has already re-declared to run in the district for Congress.
Last Monday P235-million budget sourced from borrowing was first approved by the committee of finance, budget and appropriations and then later inserted, read and approved by the entire Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
Shortly before the budget was approved, Vice Governor Victori-o “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr said that approval was in keeping with the governor’s commitment to give P1 million worth of projects per barangay, and “it is in compliance to our promise to our constituents that no barangay will be left out.” (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

OPINION: Baby Suaybaguio, the logical choice for Congress

Posted in AGR, anthony del rosario davao del norte, davao del norte, rdr, rodolfo del rosario, tagum city, vice gov baby suaybaguio davao dedl norte with tags , , , , , , on January 25, 2009 by cha monforte


By Cha Monforte

The admission of former Davao del Norte Vice Governor Anthony Rafael del Rosario (AGR) last week that he is afflicted with Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer on Stage 3 development and that he is now on the way for treatment and rest for the next six months has given a new, big twist in the political landscape of the province.

Since shortly after the middle last year, the congressional post that the last-termer District 1 Congressman Arrel Olano is finishing to serve had then become fait accompli in the declaration of the governor’s son to vie for it.  AGR’s declaration edged out early bird congressional aspirants from political warrooms in the province though it earned more audible verbal sniping from Boardmember Roger “Dangpanan” Israel over Radyo Ukay-Tagum, and flickers of thoughts from pundits on the possibilities of City Councilor Oyo Uy and even former Gov. Yayong Gementiza vying for the position. Blank blips were however were seen from the quarters of the two, while there was that little talk last week that former Cong. Bal Sator has been reviving his PDSP network in District 1. A source confirmed that before former Vice Gov.AGR made his declaration, Governor Rodolfo del Rosario had actually blessed first Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio to prepare for Olano’s post as he was his choice. AGR’s congressional plan was only prodded by a Kapihan questioning and earned subsequent bias interpretations even as he lay his bid that it was still up to the Lakas party’s decision (but who else can vote against a kingpin’s son). It was such declaration that preempted VG Baby’s subsequent moves in deference to AGR and true to his being a governor’s good soldier. Sator for being a Lakas outsider even if he is connected with Bert Gonzales PDSP, a minority ally party of the administration, has still to fend much for himself. He is a political has-been now, just like former Cong. Bebot Alvarez despite the unrepentant insistence of their respective political merons like that pondok sa purok.

Time’s a-changing really and the electorate is now looking for new, fresh faces in politics. Perhaps last-termer Councilor Joey Millan can cast his hat for the congressional post but it’s unlikely he’ll get the backing of City Mayor Rey Uy given that the known Suaybaguios- VG Baby and Councilor Nickel (include there the influential Nick Sr) are in ally with Uy.

Millan may as well join in the fray to the one open District 1 boardmember’s slot to be vacated by last-termer Macario “Bong” Bermudez, but the lawyer councilor would also be facing his co-equal last-termer councilors, chief among whom is the populist Councilor Enting Eliot.

But BM aspirants have also stopper scenarios coming: if last-termer Olano does run least dignified when he chickens out from squaring off with Uy in his mayoral option, or if City Vice Mayor Rellon isn’t shoved out from his last term to take instead for the BM’s seat if Oyo is positioned ala Sara Duterte by 2010 for his eventual mayorship by 2013, the year when the mayor will possibly gun for governorship, his ultimate pipe dream.

But then when Vice Gov. Baby becomes now a logical choice to take the place of Olano by 2010 the vice gubernatorial post is not only left much open but also much sighted by 2013 given the fast retirement age of Gov. RDR and the absence of a politico kin from his family now with AGR’s exit. The post is just a spit away to governorship.

There are also big variables in the political equation that Olano has to contend with- former Cong. Tonyboy Floirendo (and the grand old man “White Hair” Don Antonio Floirendo, and who knows Cong. Anton Lagdameo’s political lollipop is taken back by his tito and he’s positioned for VGship), Mayor Uy and former Gov. Yayong Gementiza. On where Tonyboy and Uy stand and relate to each other and on RDR’s political and familial considerations lie the next political fate of Olano.

But for VG Baby Suaybaguio? It looks like his political star is ever smiling now. Ok, there’s no “equity of the incumbent” Lakas rule for an open post. But what other yardsticks which could then be the bases of choice for the congressional standard bearer? Surveys, popularity, seniority in present position, Lakas years of membership and lastly but most importantly- the vote of the kingpin that partymates nevertheless have to follow. Certainly, VG Baby has all these even if BM Dangpanan sings “it’s now” than “never” or Yayong sings in refrain “you’re loser to me”.

AGR’s recent political exit has sprung up a new, big twist in the province’s political landscape that first made VG Baby Suaybaguio as the logical choice for Congress. (For online edition, visit my blog at: http://cha4t,, for comments and reactions, txt 09069104553, e-mail: Watch “Tagum Newsbreak” over wTV 11 channel in Skycable Tagum. Coming up “Ang Lungsod” over DXPA 103.2 FM)

OPINION: Political year

Posted in alleged sportivo scam in davao del norte, boardmember artemio san juan, comval, cong way kurat zamora, davao del norte, gov. chiongkee uy, governor rodolfo del rosario, tagum with tags , , , , , , , on January 23, 2009 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte

We’re definitely on political times down the road. Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario said it so Monday during a Kapihan. On the broadside, he described the spread of malicious text messages on the alleged Sportivo overprice scam as one political intrigue, even while he dared the unknown cabal to come out into the open and then prove and substantiate allegations. Veteran and seasoned Igacos politician, Boardmember Artemio San Juan has no reservation in saying that this year is when intrigues will fly thick and fast.
Good for Gov. RDR and BM San Juan. They said what should be expected. Recalling back during the gubernatorial reign of Joecab in Comval, this is the same time of his last term term when he got an ultra-filibustering and obstructionist majority of boardmembers led now Gov. Chiongkee Uy. Joecab’s executive budget was re-enacted for the majority’s intentioned failure to approve. On a hailstorm of allegations vented by Joecab’s oppositionists over the media, new budget approval was snagged while the issue of pork barrel for direct disbursement by the legislative department landed on COA’s frying pan. The cooked menu was named disallowance.
That was history though but preluding Joecab’s electoral defeat. The lesson learned is that towards halfway of a term is already a political season and politicians have to start politicking in the open. It’s now time to cast that phrase out, “malayo pa ang eleksyon, trabaho muna.” It’s no-no now. Such is good for the last year. The pundits are after all right. If outsiders and challengers could not make a dent in the public mind later this year, they could not break even with the incumbents considering the latter’s administration advantages. January 2010 is time for premature electioneering already.
So with this, the choice of Comval Lakas to make this month, January as the time to decide whether the congressional standard-bearer is Vice Gov. Ramil Gentugaya or congressman’s daughter Boardmember Maricar Zamora-Apsay is just right and fitting. At least the one who is left out by the party has still the time to jump to opposition’s ship and dovetail with the national opposition presidentiables and senatoriables. That way he or she could still have plenty of time to organize a districtwide or provincewide political structure and machinery.
The case of former Davao del Norte Gov. Yayong Gementiza is an exemption. He was shoved out from Lakas on the rather eleventh hour, two months before the 2007 elections, while he was the sitting governor. When he jumped to United Opposition, it was not late as he had all the provincial activities and government manpower and logistics served for his reelection. But RDR had more logistics, men, media, bailiwick, techniques and organization than what a personalistic Yayong could muster for a win.
The Big Ramil-Maricar Problem of Comval Lakas is different. If it’s BM Maricar now, then VG Ramil is shunted out from provincial-sponsored activities and mass gatherings from this month up to the election ban time as it would be a duty of of Gov. Uy in the tandem to expose and promote Maricar as his runningmate. VG Ramil could still invoke his inclusion being a VG to whatever provincial activity but it would be a sneaky one, if not a cat-and-mouse affair- he’ll appear first onstage while Maricar is still away and coming.
But that’s still an iringan win-win solution while VG Ramil holds his ground as a Lakas member banking on the possible free zone stance or lobotomy of Uy on the last hour. But it’s better for VG Ramil to jump ship to the opposition on this scenario as he has his own logistics and two mayores and the people’s opposition temper on the waiting to favor him. But a longstanding-Lakas member Ramil to the opposition? It’s too unlikely, but just maybe.
On the other hand, if the choice is VG Ramil, the same scenario would hold true to the provincial activities except that BM Maricar is a lesser political mortal for constant isolation. The big problem is that she has a card, in fact a wild card who could throw a money wrench to Lakas in Comval Uno- Cong. Way Kurat Zamora, a stage-, propa- and gimmick-savvy and most popular politician in Comval, while he has three mayores at his side. Which could trigger a chain reaction to District 2, and voila- provincewide! Being that, Cong. Way Kurat is good opposition material and a potential regional opposition chairman, from whom funding flows in the likes of Joe Tejado during Erap’s presidential running in 2001 elections.
But a Way Kurat to the opposition? He who delivered over 13,000 votes margin to GMA over FPJ in 2004 elections and who consistently participated in slaying the four impeachment complaints against GMA? It’s still likely since GMA has already been repaid by Way Kurat’s votes. Bayad na. A plain citizen Way Kurat could have the best potential of becoming a cabinet member, chairman or undersecretary of a national agency under a new President coming from the opposition. On this good scenario, Way Kurat has nothing to lose even if Maricar loses. But he has more to gain if Maricar wins. (For online edition, visit my blog at:, for comments and reactions, text 09069104553, e-mail:

OPINION: Sigh of relief

Posted in davao del norte, davao del norte boardmember janet gavina, tagum officials, tagum tricycle fare, vice gov. victorio suaybaguio with tags , , , , on January 17, 2009 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte

Davao del Norte Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio until this writing is out of town. In his absence since last week, senior Boardmember Janet Gavina took the helm of presiding the provincial board, that was well known last year of its legislative vigilance, I should say. BM Gavina is spirited in steering on the provincial board. Maybe it’s due to the good stuff that the body is made of while the Great Tug-of-War has not yet come (Or will it really come?).
Well, for the last year’s feat, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan junked two controversial city ordinances- the Nickel Suaybaguio-authored Urban Poor Ordinance and the legally infirmed Purok Ordinance. But on the same year, the body’s policy confirmatory authority was somehow belittled if not undermined when City Hall enforced its Flexi-Fare Ordinance even while the measure was not yet confirmed at the provincial level.
Somehow the hurried pre-implementation of the flexi-fare measure was just a revenge of sort for what the SP did to the first piecemeal P7-to-P10 tricycle fare measure when they evidently put it in suspended animation while the gasoline prices were still up and only let go off the increase when gasoline prices had already decreased thereby putting the City Hall red in cheek reeling on the shadow of irate tricycle-riding housewives. Nevertheless, the year 2008 ended well with City Council and the SP declaring sort of ceasefire. But it was not really a joke when four lawyer city legislators hopped on at the Capitol’s SP conference hall to advance the merit and worth of their Purok Ordinance only to know after that the measure was returned to the sender. But now here’s one proof of democracy, while the city remains a true component of the province.
But for those two stones, the City Hall made even with the Capitol at the year’s tailend with that hurried implementation of the Flexi-Fare Ordinance (as if the provincial board didn’t exist at all). When the SP would say negative, we would stop enforcing, City Legal Officer and CTFRB chair Roland Tumanda offered though a caveat. But who among the SP could junk the fare measure when the gasoline prices were decreasing last Yuletide Season and P1-fare saving was the first thing wanted by Tagumenyos as a Christmas gift. The City Hall felt vindicated, and more so last January 2 when it gave a New Year’s gift of another P1-fare saving to the city’s riding public. We pray that gasoline prices nowadays could hit the range of P20 to P29.99 so the tricycle fare can be adjusted down to P6, and what a forthcoming sigh of relief.
BLOGBUZZ: But Councilor Joedel Caasi on Monday’s session expected an uptrend of gas prices and reported about cases of arguments breaking down between tricycle drivers and passengers over whether the fare is still P8 or P7. Time to mount an electronic billboard for fare advisory infront the City Hall…. It’s almost mid January. Time flies so fast. We have a half month more of waiting on who should be the Comval standard-bearer for the District 1 congressional post. Is it VG Ramil or BM Maricar?…. A bubuwet said that Senator Chiz Escudero, a presidential wannabe, secretly went to Tagum City last week and met with someone who has a good record of electoral cheating. Intriguing lie?…. A pundit tipped us that a Davnor congressional dreamer is changing color and repackaging himself. From a social drinker, he’s now fast becoming a drunkard, if only to cast away his old image of being unreachable un-makamasa. He was last seen drinking til the wee hours of the night with a town priest. Who is he?  (For online edition, visit my blog at:, for comments and reactions, e-mail:, text 09069104553)

NEWS: No 13th month bonus for Tagum City Hall contractuals

Posted in comval capitol, davao del norte, mayor rey uy with tags , , , on December 22, 2008 by cha monforte

Davnor, Comval Capitols to release P10 T performance bonus

dec 18

Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy said yesterday that he could not give 13th month Christmas bonus to contractual employees saying that the Commission on Audit disallows it for them.

He said in radio interview that a law prevented him from proceeding of his plan of sharing also Christmas bonanza to contractual employees even as he bared that the City Hall has money for it.

He added that he would give the bonus for them it might be later be subjected to refund.

In that supposed case, the mayor said he has not regret if the money would be put to good use, but added it would be a problem if it would be splurged to booze.

Permanent and casual government employees in national government agencies, government-owned and -controlled corporations and financial  institutions across the country have been receiving bonuses since late November, and since lately of the P10,000 performance bonus as covered by President Arroyo ‘s Administrative Order No. 250  signed last December 10.

Both the Capitols in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley are accordingly releasing the performance bonus either today or tomorrow, sources said.

At press time, however, the amount of the performance bonus from said Capitols could not be known as it is to be funded from agency savings as contained in the Dept. of Budget and Management’s EO 250 circular for national State workers.

Said circular stated that if the savings is insufficient to cover for the P10,000 performance bonus smaller amount could be released provided it is the same and equal to all employees. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

OPINION: Forget Sto. Tomas and Nabunturan cityhood

Posted in bayugan agusan del sur, cabadbaran agusan del norte, comval, davao del norte, mati davao oriental, nabunturan, nabunturan cityhood, sto tomas davao del norte cityhoo, sto. tomas, tandag surigao del sur. requirements of cityhood with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2008 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte

nov 20

There was that buzz last week that the cityhoood in Nabunturan is forthcoming. Was it another diversionary stuff for the P90-million bond flotation that the town’s administration pushes to be implemented? (The bond float pushers are now respondents to an injunction case filed by representatives of people initiative petitioners in town. We’ll not touch this for now at the risk of being held in contempt of court). But sadly, for Nabunturan, the cityhood isn’t really coming (so with Sto. Tomas in Davao del Norte) since the Supreme Court the other day struck out the 16 new cities including the near Mati in Davao Oriental, Bayugan, Agusan del Sur, Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte and Tandag, Surigao del Sur. They’re now back as municipalities!

Forget the costly hoopla and celebrations when these towns became cities via Congress and not via the requirements of the New Local Government Code. What now magistrates, when the “city” officials have been already called as city mayores, city vice mayores and city konsehales? Throw into the garbage cans their calling cards, stationeries, and discard the new  “city” logo and seal, or put white-outs to the word “city” in the birth and marriage certificates of those who were born and who married during the time when Mati, Bayugan, Cabadbaran and Tandag were still called as “cities”?

In declaring the 16 cityhoood laws unconstitutional, the High Couirt pointed out: “The Constitution is clear. The creation of local government units must follow the criteria established in the Local Government Code and not in any other law. There is only one Local Government Code. The Constitution requires Congress to stipulate in the Local Government Code all the criteria necessary for the creation of a city, including the conversion of a municipality into a city. Congress cannot write such criteria in any other law, like the Cityhood Laws.” It’s really a big sorry for our four neighboring towns.

The trouble with their city conversion was that they had their congressmen sponsored their respective cityhood bills when their annual income had not yet hit the P100-million mark. They asked for exemption for it and the Congress granted. That’s via legislative fiat.

Really, forget the congressmen unless they sponsor for the further revision of the New Local Government Code (LGC) and not file bill through the short-cut, backdoor route. You see there’s that ultra-resistence from the cities as the SC’s nullification came from the court case filed by the the league of cities. They, like Tagum City, just don’t want more towns to become cities to eat with them the big IRA allocation for the cities.

But now the real route to cityhood is the New Local Government Code, as amended. Through this, the 3 requirements are needed: 100 square kilometer land area, 150,000 population based on the latest 2007 census and P100 million annual income. Nabunturan has 245.26 sq. kms land area, check. In 2007 census, it has only 67,365 population, fail. By next month, the town’s real income is still less than P100 million as the P40-50 million is still a planned borrowing for the bond float. I said it before, at the very least, the town could only hit the 150,000 population mark in 15 years.

Monkayo is more dejado since it already has the land and income requirements. If Mayor Manuel Brillantes is wise enough, he’ll have to lobby for the correction of the wrong boundary line of Comval’s north and Monkayo gets big chunks of population of Laak, and the Agusan del Sur towns of Santa Josefa and Veruela, and presto, it immediately qualifies to become a city. In 2007 census, Monkayo has 90,971 population.

What’s in a name? Nabunturan town can still function like a city without a city tag if has all the amenities, facilites and services well in place for its residents to live in comfort and convenience. Unfortunately, the town administration of Mayor Macario Humol has apparently been lacking of efforts in delivering good, potable water for the poblacion residents. This, for one gauge alone. (For online edition, visit my blog at:, for comments and reactions, e-mail:, or

OPINION: Clarity in Davnor SP

Posted in davao del norte, davao del norte news, davao del norte rufo peligro, davao del norte SP, davao del norte website, davnor boardmember, tagum news with tags , , , , on October 9, 2008 by cha monforte

oct 9

Things are making clear for the Davao del Norte Sangguniang Panlalawigan. There’s democracy at works in the legislative body as seen in the debates occurring in the session hall, whenever there are issues in need of contentious deliberations. There’s also particular vigilance that is a hallmark of the provincial board, as seen markedly whenever there are moments that need of collective rising up above from political considerations.

The cases of close scrutiny on budgetary matters rendered by the provincial board like its opposition to the Kapalong employees’ assertion on COLA (the Kulea case) that has reached the court whose judgment is yet to be rendered is proof of such profound vigilance, no matter what. Many other cases we monitored that the provincial board has minutely intruded, we dare say, onto technocracratic maze that for several counts it declared partial inoperativeness of the budgetary measures of municipal governments. Two sessions ago, it unmasked as but hollow the supposed particularity of Provincial Engineer Josie Jean Rabanoz when boardmembers having eye on details spotted an erroneous entry to Rabanos’ project design leading her to admit it and offer an alibi of having committed a typographical error.

When last Monday the provincial board rose above imaginary divisiveness under the same and similar party or political affiliation of what else but the administration’s and mustered unanimity against an initiative from the executive, although we still don’t know at the moment on whether Governor Rodolfo del Rosario had been apprised of the letter of his administrator Rufo Peligro before it landed to august hall of the legislative body, the SP’s message to return the letter to the executive in what could be seen as procedural snafu ring a bell of the body’s timely independence.

The other day the SP joint committee of organizations and laws backed up by the consensus of the collegial body following a caucus rendered the inevitable- in thumbing down the legally infirmed Purok Ordinance, that has already become a water under the bridge in all of the SP’s body languages. In the plenary by Monday, the motion to send the doomed Purok Ordinance back to its point of origin is but mere formal compliance. Most urgent now that needs order and sanity in the perception of things and resolute simplification of the already blown-up measure is the final resting of the legally infirmed Purok Ordinance, so the puroks in the city could already start moving, working and serving the people as usual than be constantly immobilized biting their feet in a limbo not of their making. The SP has long been bound to deliver its collective verdict to strike down this particular measure of the city government that has become a driving wedge between the City Hall and the Capitol.

For the SP’s many defining moments of decisions, whether on question of fact or on question of law, the Davao del Norte legislative department has kept on empowering itself. It warded off assaults of unquestioning councils bringing untenable argument that as reviewing body it could not question the wisdom of an LGU project or of the proponent LGU citing a ministerial case.

For all this legislative excellence, under diversity in unity, while the SP has not sprung up filibusters who could turn the august hall into an arena between an irresistible force and an immovable object, which is unproductive, shows only that its members are rolling up their sleeves in the tough spadework of legislation. Trabaho lang, walang personalan. Alas, when boardmembers rise up in unison regardless of politics they only want not to be put into precarious, questionable situations later and only want to protect the honor and integrity of their own turf, their mandates and the whole institution they serve including those at the helm of leadership. All of these show only one thing and that is, it is doing its work, and hence ought to be rewarded with much respect and magnanimity. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: Pagsabangan row continues; water contamination feared

Posted in davao del norte, tagum city hall with tags , on August 6, 2008 by cha monforte

aug 5

The controversy on unauthorized conversion of a riceland to banana plantation at Barangay Pagsabangan that threatens to contaminate a World Bank-funded water system continues to be unresolved and is left hanging in yesterday’s session of the Tagum City Council despite the extended hours used up to hear sides of the representatives of concerned government agencies and other parties on the issue.

Councilor Joedel Caasi had only to move for the termination of the discussion tackling the Pagsabangan problem when the session’s question hour portion had already hit the lunchtime, but not without him declaring “hanging pa ta ani” (the issue remains pending) before the City Council even as he earlier called for a “status quo” of prohibiting movements of affected parties while the issue has not yet been resolved.

Caasi spoke shortly after Councilor Reynaldo Salve apparently doubted this time the legal interpretation of Dept. of Agrarian Reform legal counsel present who earlier cleared that there was no violation in the conversion of the 2.2-hectare riceland owned by a certain Mrs. Helen Sorosa-Alfaras to banana plantation under the growership scheme of the giant banana multinational firm Dole- Philippines to a national circular suspending the conversion of the lands to other uses.

DAR-Davao del Norte legal officer Atty. Vincent Marie Rendon opined during the question hour that the Pagsabangan case was mere “crop conversion” from rice to banana production but having the same agricultural use and hence did not violate President Arroyo’s Administrative Order 226-A which suspended for two years the processing and approval of all land use conversion applications of rice lands in view of the rice crisis.

He said that in the case of crop conversion DAR has “no authority to stop landowners from changing their crops” and that there is yet “no law that prohibits them from doing that”. He added that AO 226-A has still no implementing rules and regulations.

But Salve insisted that there was still a need to clarify on the specific phrase “prohibiting any other land use or conversion” in the said circular implying that it might as well cover for the said crop conversion.

Past midway during the question hour for the Pagsabangan issue, landowner Sorosa-Alfaraz before listening councilors slammed the continuing probe being made by the City Council at the earlier castigation of a farmers cooperative Panibanco.

She strongly voiced a predicament that with the probe that dragged the Sorosa landowners they instead had been the object of blame in the feared water contamination of barangay residents.

She said that for 22 years her family has been suffering from lack of water supply for their riceland and that she was only looking for the future of her children who presently bear economic hardship when she and her husband decided to shift their rice production to cavendish banana plantation.

Sorosa dismissed allegations of the farmers’ cooperative that the ongoing construction of canals in their land for the banana plantation had threatened the existing water pipelines of the P12-million waterworks system earlier funded on loan under the World Bank assisted-Agrarian Reform Communities Development project (ARCDP) for the Pagsabangan Agrarian Reform Community (ARC).

A representative of banana growers association also said that they are maintaining a 5-meter distance between the banana canal diggings and the existing National Irrigation Administration (NIA) irrigation canals.

Mrs. Sorosa alleged that even then the water flowing in NIA canals has been so dirty and has toxic chemicals that she said have long threatened the water system in their barangay.

But Sorosa has apparently not yet submitted pertinent requirements to NIA such as the engineering development plan and memorandum agreement with NIA before she started developing a waterway infrastructure for her banana plantation as covered under the Water Code of the Philippines.

But fears lingered on that Sorosa’s canal diggings might hit one of the Pagsabangan water pipelines and contaminate the potable water consumed by the barangay residents with toxic chemicals from the farms and banana plantations that have almost covered the Bantayan area of the barangay.

The Tagum City’s liability on the WB loan for the Pagsabangan waterworks was also tackled with Councilor Robert “Tete” So warning anew over the liability of the city government paying a loan instead of a grant in case the waterworks project failed.

In the end, several councilors explained that the City Council’s probe is necessary considering the gravity of the issue and the many sectors affected by it.

Councilor Caasi called for a win-win solution to resolve the case saying that the rights of banana plantation growers have to be respected also given that they are reportedly shouldering a development cost amounting about P450,000 per hectare.

The City Council though is girding to throw the issue to resolved at the barangay level.  (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: “No need to worry of power supply for DavNor, Comval and DO”- TransCo-Tagum

Posted in davao del norte, tagum, transco with tags , , on August 6, 2008 by cha monforte

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The Tagum-based Southern Mindanao branch office of the National Transmission Corporation has bared that the power supply it is delivering to Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental areas is enough and adequate for now.

“TransCo is in fact coming out a new and additional 100 megawatt volt ampere (MVA) sub-station at Maco, Compostela Valley for a reserved power load for Daneco and Doreco which cover the three provinces,” bared Engr. Edwino Maceren, chief of TransCo’s South Eastern Mindanao Area (SEMA)- North Davao branch, which is based in Barangay Canocotan, Tagum City.

TransCo’s 100 MVA sub-station in Maco will further augment the power load and transmission capacity for the provinces under the coverage of TransCo-SEMA-North Davao operations given the need to develop it along with power generation to keep pace with the increases of population and economic transactions, he said.

“There is need to worry of our power supply for now,” he added.

Currently, the TransCo-North Davao operations is directly delivering about 75 mega watts (MW) of power to Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco), which consumes over 60 MW, Davao Oriental Electric Cooperative (Doreco), with over 10 MW, and to Apex Mines areas, with over 3 MW.

To energize these areas, TransCo-North Davao operation coursed through the power from TransCo’s backbone steel towers to existing 100-MVA Tindalo sub-station located at Mainit, Nabunturan, which services the mainland valley including the highland Maragusan, and Kapalong and Asuncion in Davao del Norte, and through the 100-MVA Maco sub-station, which services the rest Daneco’s Davao del Norte areas and Davao Oriental.

TransCo-North Davao operation transmits a 69-kilovolt power to its direct customers, the Daneco and Doreco as power franchisees and Apex Mines, which has long been directly tapping TransCo’s  backbone towers.

Transco transmits its particular power supply from the Mindanao grid, the aggregate power supply generated by various power sources such as the land-based diesel plants, geothermal plants, hydro power plants and power barges such as the one in Maco town.

In Mindanao, it has six operation and maintenance services areas. Transco-SEMA- South Davao operation services Davao City and Davao del Sur.

Transco is a government-owned and controlled corporation created in 2001 by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act.

It assumed the National Power Corporation’s electrical transmission functions which include the planning, construction and centralized operation and maintenance of high-voltage transmission facilities, grid interconnections and ancillary services.

TransCo has been operating separately from NPC since March 1, 2003. It has a unique and crucial role of linking power plants owned by NPC and independent power producers (IPPs) to the country’s 123 distribution utilities and electric cooperatives which in turn deliver electricity to end-users. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)