Mindanao Times http://mindanaotimes.net Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:53:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.17 DO intensifies promotions of key tourist destinations http://mindanaotimes.net/do-intensifies-promotions-of-key-tourist-destinations/ http://mindanaotimes.net/do-intensifies-promotions-of-key-tourist-destinations/#comments Wed, 22 Mar 2017 08:42:14 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=40759 ]]> MATI CITY, Davao Oriental  – The provincial government of Davao Oriental is expecting inflows in tourist receipts as it enhances its tourism sector through promotional activities, including the holding of sports activities.

At a press conference here during the first day of the holding of the Davao Regional Athletic Association meet today, Gov. Nelson L. Dayanghirang said his office has noted the influx of tourists to the provincial tourist destinations even before the sporting event.

“We are hoping that this event will help us promote the province and its tourist destinations,” said Dayanghirang, adding that the museum of the province, Subangan, has been teeming with visitors.

Inaugurated in 2014, Subangan, a Mandayan term loosely translated as eastern as well as sunrise, is a museum that depicts the cultures as well as the archeological finds in the province.

Cynthia B. Rodriguez, tourism consultant of the province, told the TIMES that the province is looking at mechanisms that will help promote the province, the first in the country to have a tourism development plan that was a result of a national law.

Republic Act 10560, signed in 2013, is a law that mandates the national government to include the tourism development plans of the province in its own plans.

“We are looking at focusing our efforts in promoting our destinations to our niche markets,” said Rodriguez, among these markets are backpacker, considered among the “low maintenance travellers” as they do not need high-end facilities but are also into adventure and eco-tourism destinations.

Aside from its museum, the province also hosts a World Heritage Site, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-recognized Mt. Hamiguitan Range and Wildlife Sanctuary, a forested area known for its unique flora and fauna, including a bonsai farm.

The province, which prohibits the encroachment of the sanctuary,  has built a park at its foot to showcase its beauty.

The province has also enhanced its Aliwagwag Falls, a known eco-tourism spot at its eastern side which was devastated during the typhoon Pablo in December 2012.

Other key tourism spots that it has been promoting are the Pusan Point in Caraga town, the location of the millennium sunrise, and the old light house in Governor Generoso, its fishing capital.

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LINE OF SIGHT: Microfinancing the microenterprises http://mindanaotimes.net/line-of-sight-microfinancing-the-microenterprises/ http://mindanaotimes.net/line-of-sight-microfinancing-the-microenterprises/#comments Wed, 22 Mar 2017 05:33:16 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=40772 ]]> IT IS the policy of the Philippine government to pursue a program of poverty eradication so that poor Filipino families shall be encouraged to undertake entrepreneurial activities to meet their minimum basic needs. In pursuing entrepreneurial activities, financing is needed to start, sustain and grow the business.

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However, one of the challenges of small and start-up entrepreneurs and the microenterprises is the access to finance.

Without financial access, microenterprises will have difficulty in growing the business and moving up to the next level. Most of these microenterprises are willing victims of the “5-6” money lenders which charge a very high interest rate. Such growth barrier will limit the potential of these enterprises to create more jobs and help eradicate poverty, particularly in the countryside.

Other governments around the world are also looking to micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and entrepreneurs as important sources of economic growth and social cohesion. Based on the paper recently published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) entitled “Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 2016”, it says that appropriate access to finance is a critical pre-requisite to enable these businesses to invest, grow and create jobs, and the issue has been climbing steadily up the policy agenda in recent years.

In the Philippines, this financing gap is partly being addressed by the government by encouraging the private sector to lend money to microenterprises. One of the strategies of the government to encourage private sector participation is to pass a law that provides tax incentives to microfinance non-government organizations (NGOs). Republic Act (RA) No. 10693 otherwise known as the “Microfinance NGOs Act” was approved by former President Benigno Aquino III on November 3, 2015.

The Microfinance NGOs Act aims to address poverty by supporting and working in partnership with qualified NGOs in promoting financially inclusive and pro-poor financial and credit services.

This law covers only microfinance NGOs and does not cover for-profit microfinance institutions.
Revenue Regulation No. 3-2017 was issued last February 22, 2017, by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to implement the tax provisions of RA No. 10693. For clarity, the following terms are defined:

1.    “Microfinance” means a viable and sustainable provision of a broad range of financial services to poor and low-income individuals engaged in livelihood and microenterprise activities;
2.    “Microfinance loans” mean small loans granted to the basic sectors, as defined in RA No. 8425, otherwise known as the “Social Reform and Poverty Alleviation Act”, and other loans; these loans are granted to the poor and low-income individuals for their microenterprises and small businesses so as to enable them to raise their income levels and improve their living standards;
3.    “Microfinance NGO” is defined as a non-stock, non-profit organization duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), with the primary purpose of implementing a microenterprise development strategy and providing microfinance programs, products, and services, such as microcredit and microsavings, for the poor and low-income clients; and,
4.    “Microcredit” is the extension of microfinance loans by a Microfinance NGO to its poor and low-income clients.
In accordance with RR No. 3-2017, a duly registered and accredited microfinance NGO shall pay a two percent tax based on its gross receipts from microfinance operations in lieu of all national taxes. This rate shall only apply to lending activities and insurance commission of microfinance operations which are bundled and forming integral part of the qualified lending activities of the microfinance NGOs.

All other incomes by a microfinance NGO shall be subject to all applicable existing taxes.

The microfinance NGOs shall be deemed as a withholding agent for the government on payments of compensation to employees and on purchases of goods and services subject to withholding taxes.

Books of Accounts and other pertinent records of Microfinance NGOs shall be subject to periodic examination by revenue enforcement officers of the BIR.

To qualify for the incentive, the microfinance NGO should secure a Certificate of Accreditation from the Microfinance NGO Regulatory Council. The Microfinance NGO should be a non-stock non-profit corporation with a capital contribution of at least P1 million and must comply with the following requirements:

1.    The word “Microfinance” must be included in its corporate trade name;
2.    The Articles of Incorporation and By-laws shall specifically state that:

•    It is “non-stock and non-profit”;
•    Its primary purpose is to implement a microenterprise development strategy and provide microfinance programs, products, and services for the poor;
•    It shall specifically provide that upon dissolution, its net assets shall be distributed to another NGO organized for similar purposes, or to the State for public purposes or as may be determined by a competent Court of Justice;
•    No part of its property or income shall inure to the benefit of any member, officer, organizer or any individual person;
•    The trustees shall not receive any compensation or remuneration, except reasonable per diem;
•    The level of administrative expenses shall not exceed 30% of the total expenses for the taxable year; and,
•    Other requirements which the Council may deem necessary.
According to OECD, by strengthening access to both traditional banking and diverse alternative financing instruments and channels, we can unleash the ability of MSMEs to invest, innovate, and contribute to the productivity growth sorely needed for more prosperous and inclusive societies.
With the passage of the Microfinance NGOs Act to provide tax incentives to these NGOs, we hope that existing Microfinance NGOs will expand to the countryside and new Microfinance NGOs will be created all over the country.
In this way, more microenterprises will have access to microfinance to fuel their growth and contribute to the overall economy. If poverty will not be eradicated, we hope that it will be reduced significantly with the help of these revitalized microenterprises.
(Mr. Ganhinhin is a Partner and Head of P&A Grant Thornton Cebu and Davao Branches.  P&A Grant Thornton is one of the leading Audit, Tax, Advisory, and Outsourcing firms in the Philippines, with 21 Partners and over 800 staff members.   For comments on this article, please email wendell.ganhinhin@ph.gt.com or PAGrantThornton.marketscomm@ph.gt.com.
For our services, visit www.grantthornton.com.ph.  Follow us on Twitter: pagrantthornton, and FB: P&A Grant Thornton.

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Power Rangers, CHIPS at Gaisano Mall Cinemas http://mindanaotimes.net/power-rangers-chips-at-gaisano-mall-cinemas/ http://mindanaotimes.net/power-rangers-chips-at-gaisano-mall-cinemas/#comments Wed, 22 Mar 2017 03:42:15 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=40769 ]]> POWER RANGERS Becky G., Naomi Scott Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi This is the third film based on the Power Rangers property, it serves as a reboot and re-imagining of the superhero franchise. The film features most of the main characters of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers portrayed by a new cast.

Power Rangers follows five ordinary high school kids who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove – and the world – is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat.

Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover that they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so they will have to overcome their real-life issues and band together as the Power Rangers before it is too late.

CHIPS

Action | Comedy | Crime

Michael Peña, Dax Shepard

Based on the TV series of the same name, the film is an action comedy buddy cop film.

California Highway Patrol (CHiPs) officers Francis “Ponch” Poncherello and Jon Baker run around the L.A. area stopping speeders and car thieves, helping stranded motorists, assisting paramedics at accident scenes, and occasionally investigating crimes.

These two middle-aged officers soon find themselves in a situation like none other when a sadistic ex-cop and his theft hitmen are wreaking havoc throughout their city.

LIFE

Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds

Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

This science fiction horror film follows a six-member crew of the International Space Station that uncovers what initially seems to be the first evidence of life on Mars.

An ISS crew performs a successful capture of a space probe returning from Mars with a sample inside. The crew is tasked with studying the sample, which may be the first proof of extraterrestrial life. However, the study eventually backfires as the organism displays incredible strength and gains intelligence. Trapped aboard the ISS with the rapidly-growing organism, the crew must find out how to kill it before it manages to escape and decimate Earth.

THE LAST WORD

Shirley MacLaine, Amanda Seyfried

Comedy

Harriet (Shirley MacLaine) is a successful, retired businesswoman who wants to control everything around her until the bitter end. To make sure her life story is told her way, she pays off her local newspaper to have her obituary written in advance under her watchful eye. But Anne (Amanda Seyfried), the young journalist assigned to the task, refuses to follow the script and instead insists on finding out the true facts about Harriett’s life, resulting in a life-altering friendship.

Except for CHIPS (to open on Thursday), the rest will open at Gaisano Mall Cinemas on Wednesday.

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Beauty & the Beast smashes box-office http://mindanaotimes.net/beauty-the-beast-smashes-box-office/ http://mindanaotimes.net/beauty-the-beast-smashes-box-office/#comments Wed, 22 Mar 2017 03:40:30 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=40767 ]]> DISNEY’S “Beauty and the Beast” shattered box office records in its opening weekend, taking a monster $175.7 million in North America and $357 million in total.

The film, featuring “Harry Potter” star Emma Watson as Belle to the frightening Beast played by Dan Stevens of “Downton Abbey” fame, set a number of benchmarks, including the biggest debut ever for a PG title both domestically and in foreign markets, where it took $182.3 million.

It passed the $166 million US opening weekend of last year’s “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” to become the top March opening of all time and beat “Iron Man 3″ to become the sixth-biggest domestic opening of all time.

Film site Fandango reported the movie had sold out at more than 1,000 showtimes in big cities and small, something more common for superhero blockbusters than for a family-oriented production.

“‘Beauty and the Beast’ will look to continue its domestic performance over the coming weeks after receiving an ‘A’ CinemaScore from opening day audiences, of which 72 percent were female,” said Brad Brevet of BoxOfficeMojo.

The movie, which had a whopping $300 million production and marketing budget, is the latest in an ever more lucrative production line of Disney live-action remakes of their animated classics that have recouped more than $4 billion worldwide.

It swept aside the previous North American box-office leader, Warner Brothers’ “Kong: Skull Island,” which managed a second-week take of $27.8 million — less than half its opening weekend sales.

“Kong,” which has taken in $109 million since its release, tells the story of a group of explorers on a mysterious island that proves to be the frightening domain of the mighty ape.

In third place on North American screens was “Logan,” in which Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine character helps a young girl with claws of her own (Dafne Keen). The Fox production earned $17.8 million for the weekend, and $184 million over three weeks.

Next was Universal’s dark thriller “Get Out,” with $13.4 million in weekend receipts. The Universal film recounts the increasingly tense encounter between a young black man played by Daniel Kaluuya and the family of his white girlfriend (Allison Williams). It has taken in $133.3 million in four weeks.

Fifth was Lionsgate’s “The Shack,” with Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer, the story of a man who, after suffering a shocking personal tragedy, receives a mysterious invitation to go to a remote cabin deep in a forest. It took in $6 million for a three-week total of $42.5 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

“The Lego Batman Movie” ($4.6 million)

“The Belko Experiment” ($4.1 million)

“Hidden Figures” ($1.5 million)

“John Wick: Chapter 2″ ($1.2 million)

“Before I Fall” ($1 million)

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TRMH-De LaSalle Green Archers head cast in Araw hoop http://mindanaotimes.net/trmh-de-lasalle-green-archers-head-cast-in-araw-hoop/ http://mindanaotimes.net/trmh-de-lasalle-green-archers-head-cast-in-araw-hoop/#comments Wed, 22 Mar 2017 03:37:59 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=40765 ]]> THE ROYAL Mandaya Hotel-De LaSalle Green Archers will head the six-team cast of the 2017 Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Araw ng Dabaw Commercial Invitational basketball tournament which tips off in grand rites this March 23 to 26 at the Davao City Recreation Center (Almendras gym).

The Royal Mandaya Hotel-De LaSalle Green Archers are the defending champs in the annual league sanctioned by the SBP-XI chapter which is part of the 2017 Araw ng Dabaw celebration. Contesting their aim for back-to-back crowns are Montana Pawnshop Davao, PACMAN Warriors, Malacanang Kamao, University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons and the National University Bulldogs.

The tournament will follow the two-bracket format single elimination round with the winner-take-all finals to be played on the league’s final day, March 26. The champion team will get P100,000 while the first and second runners-up will bring home P60,000 and P40,000, respectively. The third runner-up will get P30,000 and the fourth runner-up P20,000, in that order. P5,000 will also be given to the tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Best Coach.

The Royal Mandaya Hotel-De LaSalle will parade its cast having Justine Baltazar, Andrei Caracut, Mark Dyke, Jose Go, Andrew Langston, Aljun Melecio, Kid Montalbo, Brent Paraiso, Jason Perkins, Rashleigh-Paolo Rivero, Ricci-Paolo Rivero, Julian Sargent, Thomas Torres and Abu Tratter with headcoach Aldin Ayo and Miguel Solitaria as assistant.

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SCENE CITY| Leonora @71, Mercy @ 50 http://mindanaotimes.net/scene-city-leonora-71-mercy-50/ http://mindanaotimes.net/scene-city-leonora-71-mercy-50/#comments Wed, 22 Mar 2017 03:36:48 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=40763 ]]> BECAUSE their birthdays fall only a few days apart, mother and daughter Leonora and Mercedita Lim choose to hold the party together at the D’Leonor Hotel Inland Resort Center in Cabantian every year. Leonora was born on March 07, 1946. She turned 71 this year. She is the President/CEO of RDL Realty Estate Corporation. Mercedita was born on March 10, 1968. It is a popular belief that when one reaches the age with the number 9, it is bad luck that is why this year, the age of Mercy is considered 50, to skip one year.

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LEONORA Lim – President/CEO RDL, LDL Realty Estate Corporation

Friends and relatives arrived at the resort and filled the large Convention Hall which accommodates two thousand guests, to attend the event which was dubbed The RDL Business and Birthday Bash 2017.

The occasion is also a Distributor Business Summit. It is a yearly gathering of RDL Distributors from three different island groups – Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. This yearly gathering serves as an appreciation to those distributors who did their job all throughout the year and also a celebration of friendship and success. Distributor summit gathering is for corporate leaders delivering sustainable business with the top management. This year’s celebration started March 06 to 11, 2017. The Distributors Business Summit was a back-to-back birthday bash with the two important ladies of RDL, Leonora and daughter Mercedita Lim.

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MERCY Lim – Licensed Pharmacist, Vice- President-Operations of RDL and Executive Vice President of LDL Realty Corporation with Albert Martinez

VIPs and Distributors included Albert Martinez, Jay Manalo, Jane de Leon, Kelvin Miranda, Kara Mitzki, Akihiro Blanco, Ellen Adarna, Paulo Avelino, Annabelle Rama, Eddie Gutierrez, Rocky Gutierrez and partner distributors.

Thank you, Charles Reyes for the photos.

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FREEZE| HER NAME IS REGINE ERFE RETRO MUSIC LOVER http://mindanaotimes.net/freeze-her-name-is-regine-erfe-retro-music-lover/ http://mindanaotimes.net/freeze-her-name-is-regine-erfe-retro-music-lover/#comments Wed, 22 Mar 2017 03:33:30 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=40761 ]]> CASA de Amigos is a fun-filled bistro with a lot of wonderful musicians who perform with guests on stage every now and then. The recently transformed acoustic lounge that used to be the al fresco area features new and veteran local performers every night. After the live sets at midnight, guests may stay on to belt out a tune or two with the videoke system.

Inside the main music lounge, a couple of female singers usually take turns on a platform to caress the air with their pleasing voices. Singers perform with a partner musician called, in their parlance, a sequencer player – or simply, sequencer. Technically, the sequencer is a computer program that emulates a full band sound. The operator of the sequencer could either be a keyboard player or a guitarist who play along with computer-generated musical instruments.

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DAVAOEÑA songbird Regine “Gigi” Erfe

On a Tuesday evening, one of the lady performers at the main lounge could be a student from the Philippine Women’s College named Regine “Gigi” Erfe. The post-millennial songbird is at home with retro classic music but also ready to groove with R & B, jazz, alternative, and contemporary pop songs.

Regine used to be with the Music Authority Band Davao from 2011 to 2013 and cranked up the mood at Taboan – Matina Town Square, Kanto Bar MTS, Blue Room – Apo View Hotel, Sound Box Bar, Marco Polo Hotel, and Waterfront Insular Hotel.

In 2013, she was the second half of the Loen and Regine Acoustic Duo that performed in Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort in Thailand.

From 2014 to 2015, Regine wowed the V-Place Bar, Suplados Bar and Grill, and Ecotimes Seafood Grill and Restaurant with the Koldash Band Davao.

In 2015, Miss Erfe rocked the Ipanema World Music Bar at Orchard Road in Singapore with the SEVENHIGH band.

She has also performed with the local Playlist Band in several venues.

Like many singers, Regine Erfe dreams of having her music recording album someday. She wants to travel and see unfamiliar places. Feed her with Spaghetti aglio oilo if you want to get her attention. Gentlemen who want to befriend her should have clean fingernails and must smell good.

She is open to the idea of a romantic date by the sea, sipping wine and enjoying good food, turning the sand into a private dance floor while moving to the rhythm of the waves beating the shore, getting the bare feet titillated by the earth, and basking in the glow of the setting sun with a special someone.

When not performing at Casa de Amigos, Regine may be singing in private events. Those who would like to book her services may call or text her at 09272021581.

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ROUGH CUTS| A white elephant in the making? http://mindanaotimes.net/rough-cuts-a-white-elephant-in-the-making/ http://mindanaotimes.net/rough-cuts-a-white-elephant-in-the-making/#comments Wed, 22 Mar 2017 01:31:06 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=40742 ]]> SEVERAL columns back we tackled the issue of having our City Engineer’s Office (CEO) conducting no-nonsense inspection on buildings in Davao’s more urban areas. We recommended in that column item the CEO’s tapping of the city’s association of structural engineers.

The primary reason for our unsolicited proposition was the recent earthquake that hit hard the Province of Surigao del Norte and Surigao City. That earthquake which registered a magnitude of 6.4 destroyed millions worth of government and private infrastructures, killed eight people and injured over two hundred others.

As an aftermath of the temblor a group of structural engineers mostly from Davao City, volunteered to conduct inspection of the damaged buildings. And they discovered that most, if not all of the vertical structures did not meet the standard specifications including the materials used.

While we appreciate such voluntary efforts of the structural engineers we could not help but likened the same to making the sign of the cross right after a lightning strike. The intervention was late in any way it should be described.

In the case of our two cents worth of recommendation for the local government of Davao, we believe that it is something that would not do the city any harm at all if done. All that our city officials need to do is admit that we just have to undertake the inspection of both new and old vertical structures because the city engineering personnel are not really conducting actual inspections during the construction of building starting from the laying of the foundation up to doing the finishing touches.

While their seeming neglect of responsibility is understandable because of lack of manpower to conduct actual inspection and monitoring of the construction activities, we believe that the situation will justify the CEO’s asking for additional warm bodies to do the job. And if the Executive and Legislative departments of the local government are really serious in mitigating potential damage should a big one hit the city they have to agree on finding ways to produce the qualified personnel.

For now, it would appear that the CEO only depends on the integrity of the plans of buildings submitted to the said office for the procurement of construction permits. Of course with the size and height of structures being constructed in Davao City these days the owners will have to tap the services of their own technical people to inspect and monitor every aspect of the construction work.

But then, again, it is the responsibility of the CEO people to make sure that government standard in construction is followed. Thus, even if the owners set their own standard anything less than that set by government is violation.

Meanwhile, how many buildings are standing in the city’s highly urbanized sector before the onset of the multi-level structures? Clearly they are much more than the modernly engineered new and more sophisticated ones.

So, from where we are perched these old buildings should be the more immediate focus of inspection should the city government decide to conduct serious intervention with support from the city’s structural engineers.

And we do not think that this group of professionals would turn down such request from the city. Their group also needs to undertake some kind of social responsibility activities.

How about that gentlemen and ladies?

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We do not know what is the plan of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as far as the bridge that is constructed traversing the Davao River between barangays Pangan and Lampianao both of Calinan District.

We learned that the roads leading to that multi-million peso span both from the Pangan and Lampianao sides are not yet rehabilitated except for some portions where concreting is being done.

So, even if the project is completed and opened for public use its return of investment by the government is economically zero.

Therefore, we deem it extremely important for the DPWH to inform the public what that bridge is constructed for. Is it in preparation for a much bigger and economically viable project? Will that be part of the next diversion highway that will be opened in the city’s hinterlands?

Or, is that bridge just a satisfaction of the caprice of some politicians or perhaps a reward for barangays that have extended political support to them during the past many elections?

May we hear from our friend DPWH spokesman Dean Ortiz?

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URBAN APE| Unraveling the conundrum of traffic http://mindanaotimes.net/urban-ape-unraveling-the-conundrum-of-traffic/ http://mindanaotimes.net/urban-ape-unraveling-the-conundrum-of-traffic/#comments Wed, 22 Mar 2017 01:28:39 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=40740 ]]> A CONUNDRUM is a puzzle that does not seem to have a beginning and an end. A mental challenge where the apparent solution reveals a resulting problem. Such is travel, and the problem that everyone sees is manifested in the quality of vehicular movement, better known as – TRAFFIC.

Travel and traffic is like a snake eating its tail. Places that are underdeveloped are usually inaccessible, while areas that offer a better quality of life, can be reached so easily. We are all made to believe; which somehow is very true; that making a place accessible contributes to the development of the place and the improvement of the lives of people living there. Enhancing travel within and to a place increases vehicular movement. This increase in vehicular movement feeds the economy of the place, which in turn encourages residents and non-residents to engage in more entreprenuerial activity, which further increases vehicular movement [TRAFFIC].

This increase in traffic becomes an incentive for even more entreprenuerial or economic activity. Entreprenuers and the general public love to see this type of growth. This positive development is always encouraged. But, when left unchecked; economic growth turns into a nightmare. The most obvious manifestation is – TRAFFIC.

Vehicle congestion in a place is the most concrete feedback that the place has improved. Leaving traffic unregulated and uncontrolled will slowly hurt the place, and result in a slow death. All of the effort used up to develop the area would get wasted. To avoid this waste, long range anticipation of most likely conditions is needed. This is where traffic projections are needed.

The projection of traffic scenarios is an exact science. City planners and traffic engineers have worked together to ensure that traffic flow becomes cost effective and time efficient, for the travelling public and for property developers.

This is the science that solves the Transportation and Traffic conundrum. It has been practiced by highly urbanized cities in many developed countries. In the Philippines, ONLY the City of Davao is doing it, and it is in its infancy.

Next week I will write about The Science of Traffic Impact Studies

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TIMESMAN| Those were the days http://mindanaotimes.net/timesman-those-were-the-days/ http://mindanaotimes.net/timesman-those-were-the-days/#comments Wed, 22 Mar 2017 01:26:11 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=40738 ]]> I MISSED those good old  days when we were fishing at Talicud Island and nearby surroundings of Samal Island now Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) with fellow Timesmen in the first generation of this paper.

Weekend fishing was the only outdoor hobby the group knew then. Unlike today when most of the bosses and their assistants are indulged in sports like basketball, golf and car racing, among other indoor activities, while others in nightly videokes. Aray!

Pare Jess (Dureza) was the youngest among the regular fishing hobbyists that mostly composed of Timesmen Chuck Nunez, Dodong Loyola, Pete Lavina, Ernie Corcino, Joe Angliongto, Joe Libron, Vic Generoso, Rey Teves, and Mike Balbin of UMBN, Nap Doctor of PAL, Mon Santos of B.F. Goodrich, and this writer.

The group usually met at Santa Ana Wharf early morning of 5’oclock before the trip to the sea and back in the afternoon on the same place. Sometimes we stayed overnight fishing when the weather was fair.

We enjoyed every minute of our time then on board a hired pump boat with riggers on both sides while fishing at a depth of 100 to 150 feet using 30-pounder hand-line fishing nylon.

We also had baon of two to three cases of cold beer with fried peanuts as pulutan, aside from rice and sandwiches. We never attempted bringing viand because fishermen’s belief they will not catch fish if they already have that in the banca.

Our weekend outing also temporarily shelved us from meeting our editorial deadline while taking a bit of respite from the noise of city life, and most of all, from the bill collectors.

Our catch consisted mostly of talakitok, lapulapu, and isdang bato (known in English Stonefish), but most often not even one among us lucky to have a catch for the day.

But we never came home empty handed. In order to save us from getting embarrassed from the family members, some of us dropped by Agdao market to buy a kilo or two of assorted fish and told our children these were all we got from fishing.

Pare Jess and I are the only survivors in that generation. The rest never saw the light when their mayor will become President of the Republic. They died one after another of heart attack, hypertension, and lung cancer while others died of unknown cause in the succeeding years. They may be fishing somewhere!

And as the music plays, “Those were the days my friend/and they will never end…”

I still go fishing these days as a weekend hobby but no longer in those spots that we used to visit, but in Santa Ana Wharf or at Times beach.

Pare Jess is still ‘fishing’ but no longer with the usual hobby he used to know. Instead of hook and line, he now devote his time searching for peace in Mindanao and the rest of the country to end the more than five decades of infighting among our brother- Filipinos.

Recently, the peace process between the Philippine government (GRP) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) was restored after it was suspended early February of this year.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jess Dureza announced last Sunday from Utrecht in the Netherlands that the backdoor talks were held March 10 and 11.

“ I am pleased to announce that the peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the Communist Party of the Philippines New People’s Army/National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF) which broke down weeks ago, are now back on track,” Dureza said in a statement.

Hopefully, tuloy tloy na ito. Even the enemies of the state want this bloody useless war to end.

-o0o-

I must congratulate the army in announcing that an estimated 47 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and their allies were reported killed and wounded while five improvised exclusive devices (IEDs) and numerous components were seized during a three-day operation in Datu Salibo, Magundanao while zero casualties were reported among pursuing government troops.

Mabuti naman, pero nakakalungkot pa rin. We noticed that while the government is always on top of the situation for the last 50 years of encounter between the military and the enemies, the rebellion seems to continue.

Now I want to believe that even the children of the armed groups still in the wombs of their mothers are already trained to fight the government. Huwag naman sana.

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