Mindanao Times http://mindanaotimes.net Thu, 20 Sep 2018 01:47:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.25 Editorial: Storm are warnings http://mindanaotimes.net/editorial-storm-are-warnings/ http://mindanaotimes.net/editorial-storm-are-warnings/#comments Thu, 20 Sep 2018 01:47:39 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62318 ]]> We can never prepare enough for the wrath of nature. Typhoon Mangkhut wrought devastation caused by landslides and floodings in northern Luzon and until now, many are still looking for missing love ones who could have been swept away at the height of the storm.

Images a day after show the coastline literally covered with trash, debris and flotsam which adds to the heartbreak of news slowly coming out from the disaster zones. We expect to see more of this sight in the coming days as rivers finally spew the remnants of the storm out into the sea. With disaster workers working on retrieval and relief operations, our coasts are left teeming with trash.
We all know the impact of trash floating in our seas. We are too aware of the number of beached whales and turtles that lost their lives after having swallowed plastic, twine or other debris floating that they mistake for food. Trash has destroyed habitats of fish and other aquatic animals and rendered some of our beaches unsafe for bathing. The coastal communities are bearing the impact of these problems.
September is the month dedicated to keeping coastal environment protected and healthy. During last year’s coastal clean-up day, two tons of trash were picked in the coastal communities of the Davao Gulf. Commodore Joselito dela Cruz from the Philippine Coast Guard-XI said the trash collected were mostly debris like driftwood and other items coughed up by the sea like plastic bags, plastic bottles, and other household waste in urban areas, particularly along the coast of Matina Aplaya, Boulevard, Isla Verde, Agdao and Sasa.
In one of the coastal clean-ups we were able to join last year along Sea Wall in Bucana, we found all kinds of trash – from shoes, broken chairs, kitchen utensils, medicine bottles, disposable diapers and all things imaginable – half buried in the sand. This shows how careless people are in disposing their household waste.
Coastal communities are challenged to come up with a holistic approach to keep trash to the minimum. We have to keep our source of life, our bodies of water, clean and renewable.

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Random Thoughts: Needed: Prudence in going Federal http://mindanaotimes.net/random-thoughts-needed-prudence-in-going-federal/ http://mindanaotimes.net/random-thoughts-needed-prudence-in-going-federal/#comments Thu, 20 Sep 2018 01:46:44 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62325 ]]> “I’m not against federalism per se. But as British philosopher statesman Edmund Burke once memorably warned, “Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident a security.” (Richard Heydarian, “Why Federalism”, HORIZONS, Philippine Daily INQUIRER July 17, 2018).


I’ve read several columns of Richard Heydarian and heard him being interviewed in TV Talk Shows. No doubt, he is a very knowledgeable and analytical commentator. I’ve learned a lot from his critical opinions especially on foreign affairs.
He rightly explained: “The crafting of a new constitution isn’t only a legal matter (too many lawyer members in our Consultative Committee or Con-Com). Instead, it is primarily a leap of faith into a new realm of political economy, namely the interface of power and finite resources.”
Heydarian admitted to be skeptical on the going push for federalism as I am also very doubtful of the Con-Com’s federalism proposals. Thus, we say: Be very prudent particularly on the issues of determining the number of Federal Regions to be created in our country and in the delineation of governmental powers between the National Federal Government and Regional Federal Governments. These questions are very crucial that could spell the success or failure in shifting to a Federal System.
One Editorial recently pointed out: “There is indeed a great deal that must be cleared up in the move to revise the constitution and set up a federal form of government. It appears that the Consultative Committee focused on legal, political, social, cultural and other aspects of its proposed new Constitution, and only belatedly considered the economic impact of its proposals. Its estimate of the costs is way below that of NEDA which is the national government agency concerned and familiar with funding matters.”
Our Davao-based Kilos Pederal Pagbabago (KPP) and People’s RevGov for Real Democracy Alliance (PRRDA) view the Con-Com’s federalism proposal as a Recipe for Disaster! Malacanang and Congress better watch out of this that could ruin our democratic government.
The KPP is prudently proposing the adoption of “Incremented Strategy” on the creation of Federal Regions. It is suggesting that we initially create five big and rich Federal Regions. KPP’s proposed delineation of governmental powers are: 27 Powers to National Federal Government, 35 Powers to Regional Federal Governments and 23 Powers to be shared by both Governments (see KPP’s 2017 Manual titled: “How to Federalize the Philippines”).

On the other hand, PRRDA is adopting the KPP’s federal proposals above. However, if the five federal Regions being proposed by KPP will not be acceptable to President Duterte, PRRDA is recommending a compromised version of initial eight Federal Regions.
KPP’s initial five federal Regions are: 1) North Luzon Federal Region; 2) National Capital Federal Region; 3) South Luzon Federal Region; 4) Visayas Federal Region; and 5) MINSUPALA (Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan) Federal Region. Its modified version of six Federal Regions will include Bangsamoro. While PRRDA is endorsing KPP’s six Federal Regions, it also has an amended compromised initial eight Federal Regions which are: 1) North Luzon Federal Region; 2) Central Luzon Federal Region; 3) Palawan-Negros Federal Region; 6) Cebu-Leyte Federal Region; 7) Bangsamoro Federal Region; and 8) Mindanao Federal Region.
Cordillera will be an autonomous region within the North Luzon Federal Region per PRRD proposal. Per KPP, Bangsamoro will be an autonomous region of M1NSUPALA Federal Region as well as Cordillera in North Luzon Federal Region.
Since PRRDA’s amended compromises initial eight Federal Regions which is three Federal Regions more than KPP, initial five federal Regions. It is advisable that we follow the Rule of the Thumb of less number of Federal Regions will get more exclusive governmental powers while more number of Federal Regions will get less exclusive governmental powers. The delineation of government powers approximately are: 30 Powers of National Federal Government, 30 Powers of Regional Federal Governments, and 25 Powers to be shared by both governments. Take note that 15 governmental powers are still under study.
Con-Com’s proposal of 18 weak Federal Regions with less governmental powers falls under the category to Permissive Federalism (of the worse kind) was the product of Con-Com members narrow imagination. KPP’s and PRRDA’s proposals of five to eight strong Federal Regions fall under the category of Competitive Federalism were products of pro-Federal Filipino aspirations.
The war between maintaining the present Unitary System versus shifting to a Federal System starts boiling. At this stage, the former which is supported by Filipino Imperialists are winning the battles due to their effective execution of their plan headed by the Yellow Army. The latter which is supported by the present administration are losing the battles because it has no veteran federalist Commanding General and no clear and effective battle plan to follow, thus confusion reigns in their camp.
We still have more or less, four years of the Duterte administration. As to who will win the war in the end is the big Question? This is a wake-up call to the Duterte administration.

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Plain and Simple: The passing of friends and brothers http://mindanaotimes.net/plain-and-simple-the-passing-of-friends-and-brothers/ http://mindanaotimes.net/plain-and-simple-the-passing-of-friends-and-brothers/#comments Thu, 20 Sep 2018 01:45:54 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62323 ]]> We buried lately Brother Ralph Abangan, a religious Brother of the Sacred Heart, the religious congregation where I belonged.

Brother Ralph was my mentor in conducting retreats and team-building. But more than this mentorship, he was a real brother to me.
I was so sad when he got sick, and really sick at 80. I could always justify that he lived his life as a human being and a missionary. But the fact that he slowly faded into the night after years of a vibrant life was something that pained me.
I wanted to remember him alive. He was one of the facilitators of the Development Academy of the Philippines and every time he went home, he brought us Pasalubong like a big brother to us.
I can write and write the best memories I had with him, but I want to keep them to myself with the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.
Some friends in the media are also gone. They went ahead. Like Ferdie Lintuan, the life in the group and the first president of the Davao Sports Writers Association. His death shocked me but God has His ways we cannot really fathom.
Tine Garalde is one good friend. His broadcast voice and a Bicolano tagalog are something I cannot forget. His daughter April was my mass com student in Ateneo.
I was a fan of Tine because he was a DJ in a local radio in Davao while I studied in the seminary of the brothers. I loved to listen to him because he played my favorite songs.
And Bert Tesorero. He mentored me in column writing. He told me to just write. He saw me one afternoon pounding the computer keys but did not have a column.
He told me to just write. Write about birds and the bees and ideas would pour in. And bingo, I have a column.
Between Bert and Rene Bartolo, Bert was a journalistic and political writer. Rene was a literary writer. He developed his fine writing with literature on his side. I told his son Atty Renjie Bartolo to collect the columns of his dad and compile them into a book.

Bert has confided to me that he has a manuscript on the history of Davao. He died and the book was not published.

We all have our time, and people will remember us if we create great memories for and with friends. In the movie Coco it is said that in heaven, the souls cannot cross if people on earth will forget the dead.

With this column, I pray for them. And I recall the memories with them. Memories give us meaning and purpose in life. Pray for your souls.

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Rough Cuts: The puzzle that is the rice crisis http://mindanaotimes.net/rough-cuts-the-puzzle-that-is-the-rice-crisis/ http://mindanaotimes.net/rough-cuts-the-puzzle-that-is-the-rice-crisis/#comments Thu, 20 Sep 2018 01:44:32 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62320 ]]> The present rate of inflation in the country is creating issues that have generated a lot of heated debates these days that the media are feasting with gusto.

And the issues emanate from one of the most critical triggers to the inflation — sharp spike in the price of the Filipinos’ staple food — rice.
The debates are on whether or not there really is rice shortage obtaining in the country. Another is whether there is or no fair basis in continuously increasing the price of the said commodity, and who is making the biggest cut in the exorbitant hike.
On the former debate subject, the government seems ambivalent in its position. Leading the non-believers in the rice production shortage are President Rodrigo Duterte himself and Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Pinol. The two are saying during the many interviews they gave the media that there is no rice shortage; that if the rice staple appears to be wanting in the market and other retailers’ stalls it is only artificial and that the possibility is that huge volume of rice are being hoarded in bodegas of big-time rice traders and wholesalers. The President himself was emphatic in saying that he would order the police to force open warehouses suspected of concealing the hoarded cereal.
For his part, Secretary Pinol has been insisting that there is no shortage in rice production. However, in one news report he was quoted making recommendation that the administration allows rice smuggling in certain areas so that the deficiency in rice supply there can be addressed. And he even ordered shipping of huge volume of the imported rice by the NFA to the Zamboanga region where shortage was acute and the price of available commercial rice reached as much as P70 a kilo. The NFA, probably under the DA’s secretary’s prodding being the current head of the NFA Council, even diverted a supply shipment for Cagayan de Oro City to Zamboanga. Of late, some lawmakers are proposing for a P10 billion supplemental budget for the purpose of buying palay from the local market at a higher price of P22 per kilo compared to the price it is currently buying which is at P17 per kilo. The same additional budget being sought, is also to be used for the importation of rice to back up local stocks.
From this ambivalence it can easily be deduced that officials of government agencies tasked with the monitoring of rice production in the country may have been deliberately feeding the President with erroneous data. They might have thought that the chief executive of the country is so busy with his campaign against illegal drugs that he does not anymore have the time to validate the information on the country’s rice production given him by some of his alter egos.
We also believe that other government agencies tasked to manage utilization of the country’s natural resources like lands, lakes and others are not also giving the President accurate reports as to the status of these God-given wealth.
For example, the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), the Department of Agrarian Reform, (DAR), and the DA may not have been apprising Malacanang of the actual number of hectares from the country’s agricultural land that have been converted into residential, commercial and industrial purposes and now the sites of massive development. For all we know the bulk of the once agricultural areas were all rice lands producing millions of cavans of palay.
The land owner-farmers may have sold out their possession to big-time residential housing or commercial/industrial estate developers, or made their former rice farms into equity in joint venture agreements.
Thus, even if we just assume a figure of 30 percent of the once massive rice farms are converted into uses other than agriculture, how many hundred thousands, perhaps million cavans of rice are taken out from the total annual harvest? And given the country’s high annual population growth rate how many more mouths need to be fed yearly even as rice production keeps on declining? That is simple mathematical equation. Then add the country’s unusually prolonged undesirable weather condition and the country’s rice production is certainly a total failure.
And the debate as to whether there is or there is no shortage of rice in the country still rages! Where have all these no rice production shortage believers been all these years? In the comfort of their cozy offices or travelling outside the country in the guise of searching better ideas to aid in rice production?
Meanwhile, heated discussions on what’s causing all these sharp increases in the prices of rice in the market also continue parallel with the debate on whether there is or no rice production shortage.
Until this very time officials from the government agencies already mentioned, with the addition of the Department of Trade and Industry and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), are still fielding their expert sleuths to identify the sectors in the grains industry that are making the most money from the sharp spike of prices of rice and other agricultural products..
Since it is common knowledge that the farm gate prices are getting lower by the day even as consumers need to jump just to reach the present rice price levels, then it is clear the big money in this rice crisis scenario are not accruing to the impoverished farmers.
Now, if you’d ask us, we believe that the big money induced by the supposed rice crisis goes to the big-time traders, many of whom are also the owners or stockholders of rice mills. These traders shrewdly put the farmers under their bondage by advancing the money needed to procure farm inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides, offer of free transport of their products, and even labor cost. In that proposition, the farmer’s responsibility is to sell all their produce to the big-time agri-product traders.
Unfortunately, the government is not doing all these. If it is, the corrupt in the agencies charged with uplifting the farmers’ lives make themselves become first in the line of beneficiaries in terms of kickbacks, over price and business opportunities.
Remember the close to a billion peso fertilizer scam during the Arroyo administration? Liquid fertilizers were overpriced many times over the actual cost. Pseudo dealers cropped up winning almost every fertilizer deal. And worst, many farmers did not receive even a single drop of the liquid fertilizer but found their names listed as beneficiaries.
Of course many of those in government then who were in cahoots with private individuals in taking the farmers in a tumultuous and deceptive ride, are now facing graft and corruption charges. But ironically, they are still very much around with others being able to serve government again. Thanks to our complex judicial system.
So, again, who are profiting the most from this supposed ongoing rice crisis? The government expert sleuths could be facing the wrong direction in their search. That is why they haven’t found the real culprits yet.

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DDH hosts medical summit   http://mindanaotimes.net/ddh-hosts-medical-summit/ http://mindanaotimes.net/ddh-hosts-medical-summit/#comments Wed, 19 Sep 2018 16:00:52 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62302 ]]> The Davao Doctors Hospital (DDH) will be conducting its first Healthcare Innovative Partnership Medical Summit this coming Saturday, Sept.22.

Medical practitioners from across Mindanao will be attending the event to witness the interactive sessions on best healthcare practices. The DDH has been “a long term innovator and pioneer on healthcare landscape in Mindanao.”

“This is a new program, our new project together with our learning and development team,” explained assistant director for medical education Dr. Ronald P. Tangente.

The upcoming event of DDH focuses on its healthcare partners to exchange ideas with them.

Dr. Alfred Batalla, an expert in interventional cardiology, will deliver the first topic on “Inside the State-of-the-Art Catheterization Laboratory.”

Dr. Ma. Ramona B. Reyes, an experienced medical practitioner in orthopedic and spine surgery, will take on the “Current Trends in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgey (MISS).”

Dr. Romeo Vincy Naranjo, a specialist on general and endocrine surgery will be discussing on “Minimally Invasive Surgery: Where Are We Now?” This is an innovation that provides surgery with less damage to the surgical site, less pain, and reduced complication for the patients.

Dr. Ma. Lourdes, a specialist in oncology and radiology, will talk about the “Current Trends in Radiation Oncology.”

So far 30 healthcare executives have confirmed to attend the said event including medical directors, chiefs of the department of surgery, head nurses and admins. Regina Mae Ronquillo

By Regina Mae Ronquillo

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44 OFW abuse cases recorded in Region XI http://mindanaotimes.net/44-ofw-abuse-cases-recorded-in-region-xi/ http://mindanaotimes.net/44-ofw-abuse-cases-recorded-in-region-xi/#comments Wed, 19 Sep 2018 16:00:43 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62300 ]]> The Rural Worker’s Association (RWA), a non-government organization, claimed to have served 44 cases of abuse against overseas Filipino Workers from January to July 2018.

Data from the group revealed that the total clients reached 37. Of the total, 33 are females and only four are men.

Kuwait had the most number of cases with 12, followed by Saudi Arabia with five cases. This was followed by Taiwan with four cases and Riyadh with two cases. Other places abroad with recorded OFW abuse cases were in Dammam, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Japan, Jeddah, Lebanon, Korea, Pakistan, and Malaysia.

The reported work-related complaints involved physical abuse, food deprivation, multiple employer, verbal abuse, illegal recruitment, and expired contracts. There were also non-work related cases such abandonment, teen pregnancy, livelihood and health problem.

As of July 2018, clients were referred to Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, City Social Services and Development Office, and Department of Social Welfare and Development for immediate repatriation, legal assistance, and medical assistance.

The OFWs came from Barangay Los Amigos, Tugbok (eight), followed by Calinan District (5 cases). Other abuse victims were from Matina Crossing, Bucana, Sto. Niño, Bago Ishiro, Bangkal, Catalunan Grande, San Rafael, Marilog, Tamugan, Buda, Sta. Maria and Matan-ao.

 By Regina Mae Ronquillo

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16 more barangays to be declared insurgency free http://mindanaotimes.net/16-more-barangays-to-be-declared-insurgency-free/ http://mindanaotimes.net/16-more-barangays-to-be-declared-insurgency-free/#comments Wed, 19 Sep 2018 16:00:37 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62296 ]]> Sixteen more barangays in the city will be assessed by October before they can be declared as free from influence by the New People’s Army.

Speaking in yesterday’s AFP-PNP press briefing held at Task Force Davao headquarters,

Brig. Gen. Ernesto Torres, the commander of the 1003 rd Infantry Brigade, explained that before a barangay can be declared cleared from insurgency, it will first be assessed by the evaluation board, which submits a recommendation to the validation board.

The board is composed of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, local government units, and barangay captains.

“In area clearing evaluation board, 16 will be submitted to the validation board wherein here in the city Mayor Sara Duterte is a member,” he added.

The 16 barangays are Gumalang, Dacudao and Lacson in Calinan; Baganihan and Magsaysay in Marilog; Atan-awe, Kilate, and Tagluno in Toril; Dalagdag in Calinan; Pandaitan, Fatima, Sumimao in Paquibato; Tigatto and Indangan in Buhangin and Barangay Gatungan in Buhangin; and Lampianao in Calinan.

“Should these be validated from 48 plus the 16 barangays we’ll have a total of 64 barangays in the area of the 1003rd brigade that would be cleared of insurgency,” Torres said.

The parameters the validation board follows in declaring a barangay insurgengy-free include, “the dismantling of CPP-NPA politico-military structure; the denial of CPP-NPA access to the area, resources, and manpower; and the establishment of a functioning barangay information network and integrated community public safety system.”

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2 new lawsuits http://mindanaotimes.net/2-new-lawsuits/ http://mindanaotimes.net/2-new-lawsuits/#comments Wed, 19 Sep 2018 16:00:32 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62292 ]]> -Pulong files 2 more libel cases against Trillanes

Two more  libel cases were filed against Senator Antonio Trillanes before the Office of the City Prosecutor (OCP) regarding the legislator’s linking of former vice mayor Paolo Duterte with the P6.4 million shabu shipment that slipped past the Bureau of Customs last year.

In a press conference, lawyer Rainier L. Madrid, the legal counsel of Duterte, announced that the two libel cases were filed yesterday afternoon based on the interview Trillanes gave to Anthony Taberna and Gerry Baja that aired on DZMM on June 6 this year, and another interview with Pinky Webb on June 14.

Earlier this month, Duterte and his brother-in-law Manases Carpio also filed a libel case against Trillanes who accused them of extorting Uber and other companies regulated by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Road Board and Department of Public Works and Highways.

Madrid explained that he sought the help of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) for the investigation, and not the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), because the former has been recently empowered to exercise subpoena powers through the Republic Act 10973.

The CIDG started the investigation in late June but “it is only now that the CIDG has completed its investigation. We have filed these cases down and it’s too bad that it has joined the amnesty issue.”

“We did not target to join this amnesty issue but I know Trillanes will once again say that this is part of the harassment,” he added.

Madrid said they filed the case in Davao City because the younger Duterte is a resident here. According to the rules, the complainant is given the choice of jurisdiction either in the place of publication or the residence of the offended party.

He also scoffed at the motion by Trillanes to move the case to Manila, citing possible influence of the Dutertes in the legal system here.

“We, as residents have to rely on the system. You cannot just simply say that when things go against you, you will cry for a change in venue,” said Madrid.

On record, there are now three libel cases filed by the former vice mayor and one libel case filed by Carpio.

While Trillanes was declared “persona non grata” in Davao City, Madrid said it’s his duty to follow the subpoena and appear before the court here.

Duterte was not present in the press conference as Madrid advised him to skip the event to avoid being misquoted.

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Sara says SC aspirant trying to reverse disbarment case http://mindanaotimes.net/sara-says-sc-aspirant-trying-to-reverse-disbarment-case/ http://mindanaotimes.net/sara-says-sc-aspirant-trying-to-reverse-disbarment-case/#comments Wed, 19 Sep 2018 16:00:26 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62304 ]]> Mayor Sara Duterte yesterday issued a warning regarding the alleged Supreme Court justice aspirant who is reportedly trying to influence complainants into dropping the disbarment case against her.

In a Facebook post, she said the person, whom she didn’t name, is trying to curry favor so he will be appointed as a justice in the high court.

However, the mayor said that she’s never used her privilege as a presidential daughter to influence the administration into appointing somebody to a government position.

“The Office of the President should think twice in appointing this individual to be a justice — more so a Chief Justice. He clearly lacks the virtues of honor, justice, and fairness.”

She claimed that she never asked the complainants and witnesses to withdraw the disbarment case against her following the punching incident on July 1, 2011. The mayor punched a sheriff at that time when he ordered the demolition of urban poor settlers in Barangay Soliman even after she requested for a two-hour abeyance.

“I have always maintained that I will face the consequences of my actions on that fateful day of July 1, 2011. Please do not believe individuals making representations on my behalf,” she wrote.

The mayor was said to have violated provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility and Article 148 of the Revised Penal Code.

By Regina Mae Ronquillo

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17 resolutions passed during Minbizcon: exec http://mindanaotimes.net/17-resolutions-passed-during-minbizcon-exec/ http://mindanaotimes.net/17-resolutions-passed-during-minbizcon-exec/#comments Wed, 19 Sep 2018 16:00:07 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=62306 ]]> The organizers of the 27th Mindanao Business Conference (MinBizCon) passed 17 resolutions during the holding of the event in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

Virgilio C. Agunod, during the weekly Wednesdas@Habi at Kape –Abreeza, said that the leaders of the Mindanao business sector submitted a copy of the resolutions to President Rodrigo Duterte, who was represented by Secretary Abul Khayr D. Alonto of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

Alonto who was the guest speaker during the closing ceremonies of the event.

Agunod said: “(The) resolutions are among the most important achievements (during the) Minbizcon as they are from ll over Mindanao.”

On agriculture, the business sector the Caraga Region urged the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to conduct research on the decrease of tuna catch. Another resolution requested the agency to stop the smuggling of high value aquamarine products in the ports and to promote the use of advanced technologies to support the development of Caraga’s high value aquamarine products.

The region also urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) shall strictly implement policies on illegal logging and adopt the modified reforestation mechanism for the region by propagating fast growing species.

Eastern Mindanao investors also requested the repair of the major road to Surigao Airport and eco-tourism spots.

The region also appealed to government to lift the moratorium on open-pit mining and for mining companies to operate processing plants to encourage value-adding instead of merely exporting raw materials.

Traders from Northern Mindanao called on government to immediately draft the implementing rules and regulations of the Ease of Doing Business Act of 2018. Tagum City, Agunod pointed out, can be a model in ensuring that there is ease in doing business as investors, as long as their documents are in order and complete, need only to complete three steps in their registration.

“In Tagum, you don’t have to go to several places because your paper will. The transaction for registration does not take an hour if you have all the documents,” he said.

The business sector of the same region also urged the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to educate the local government units of the region on the Public-Private Partnership scheme and for the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to include local chambers of commerce as part of the infrastructure committee of the Regional Development Council.

The same region also requested the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to prioritize the expansion of the Laguindingan Airport within five years.

Those from Western Mindanao, meanwhile, requested the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB) to relax its rules to enable small contractors to participate in government bidding for infrastructure projects in Mindanao.

The traders of the Zamboanga Peninsula also called on the government to upgrade their ports.

On electricity, North Cotabato traders requested the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to accelerate the upgrading of the Tacurong-Sultan Kudarat Power transmission system in order to stabilize the power in both areas.

The traders from Marawi also called on government to fast-track the rehabilitation of the city, which was devastated by the armed conflict between the government and the so-called terrorist group, and implement immediately the shelter houses program as well as provide financial support to traders and help establish trading centers.

Southeastern Mindanao traders, hosts of the event, pushed for the lowering of corporate income tax rates as well as rationalize fiscal incentives in the proposed second part of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion proposal.

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