Mindanao Times http://mindanaotimes.net Tue, 21 Feb 2017 02:58:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.16 LINE OF SIGHT| Penetrating the Filipino market http://mindanaotimes.net/line-of-sight-penetrating-the-filipino-market/ http://mindanaotimes.net/line-of-sight-penetrating-the-filipino-market/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2017 02:58:02 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=39586 ]]> FILIPINOS spend more time on social media than anyone else in the world, according to a recent global study conducted by the social media marketing firm, We Are Social. As of January this year, 58 percent of the country’s population (around 60 million Filipinos) is connected to the internet. The study added that in 2016, Filipinos spent an average of 4.17 hours daily on social media; 3.6 hours of which (three-quarters of that time) were spent using their smartphones.

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MAMACUS

Who could have ever imagined that the telephone of Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 which is the size of a huge bag would mutate itself more than a century later into a handy piece of multi-functional device? The world is practically within our reach, right through the palm of our hands. How do smartphones and the social media affect companies and businesses in the Philippines and how they interact with their Filipino market?

Undoubtedly, the internet is going mobile and with this shift in technology, businesses in the Philippines with smartphone-compatible websites are at a competitive advantage over those with websites that are not smartphone-friendly. These incompatible websites are cluttered when viewed through mobile phones; the images may not show up, texts are too large or scrolling through them makes it difficult and inconvenient for consumers. For a brand to compete now, it needs to be as mobile as the customers.

We are now living in a world where everything should be easy and convenient. With just a few taps on your smartphone, you can already place an order of your favorite burger and French fries, delivered to your doorstep, fast and easy. Of course, no one can deny the emerging growth of online shopping in the Philippines. Who are not familiar with online platforms like Zalora, Lazada, and OLX which are transforming the old shopping methodologies that Filipinos were used to in the past?

MasterCard’s Mobile Shopping Survey in 2016 reported: “More Filipinos are using smartphones to shop for the convenient transactions, and are focused on fashion items, beauty products, and home accessories.” The survey also noted that in the Philippines, the increase in mobile shopping was dramatic, with 41 percent of the respondents purchasing an item via their smartphones. Filipinos point to being able to shop on-the-go and convenience as the primary reasons for mobile shopping.

Social media also have significant impacts on marketing and advertising in the Philippines. If you’re not “following” and “friending” or “tweeting” and “YouTubing”, you’re missing out on a lucrative opportunity to connect and engage with the Filipino market nowadays. Strong social media presence can entirely make a difference for Philippine businesses.

You can just imagine how a short clip uploaded on content-sharing websites like YouTube and Vimeo can reach millions of prospective and target customers. Social media marketing increases brand awareness and helps companies establish a growing online market of Filipinos that will, willingly and unwillingly, promote their business through liking and sharing.

For instance, Facebook, the world’s largest social media outlet, allows businesses to advertise to its billions of active subscribers using the highly-advanced “Ads Manager” tool to aim ads at the companies’ exact target market. Not to mention all those pesky ads that pop out on the screen when we are playing online games or those lurking on the sides of websites. These are annoying for some but unconsciously, it slowly penetrates the Filipino market right through the palm of their hands.

Just this Valentine’s Day, the whole Filipino social media were reacting and debating the three promotional videos of a famous fastfood brand on YouTube and Facebook. The fastfood brand not only premiered these videos on the social media to create enough buzz but they also promoted them during the meal hours so that the hunger would follow the buzz.

Lastly, social media is an effective tool for companies to improve their customer service by receiving feedback from customers and clients. If companies have good social media presences, it would be easier for them to address complaints, concerns, and inquiries from its market. A company that wishes to innovate should not do all the talking, it also should listen.

Indeed, technology has greatly changed how Filipinos make business these days. Now, it becomes a challenge for companies and businesses, big and small alike, how they can keep up with the rapid change in technology and how they can manage to jump ahead of ahead of competitors to take advantage of the turning tide. It is either you swim or you sink.

Mr. Mamacus is with the P&A Grant Thornton, one of the leading Audit, Tax, Advisory, and Outsourcing firms in the Philippines with 21 partners and over 800 staff members.  It has branches in Cavite, Cebu, and Davao.  We’d like to hear from you!  Tweet us: @PAGrantThornton, like us on Facebook: P&A Grant Thornton, and email your comments to raymond.mamacus@ph.gt.com  or pagrantthornton.marketscomm@ph.gt.com. For more information, visit our Website: www.grantthornton.com.ph.

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FREEZE| A GLIMPSE INTO THE BLESSED LIFE OF MA. MICHAELA D. MAGTOTO AGUMAN DING CAPAMPANGAN DAVAO INC IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT http://mindanaotimes.net/freeze-a-glimpse-into-the-blessed-life-of-ma-michaela-d-magtoto-aguman-ding-capampangan-davao-inc-immediate-past-president/ http://mindanaotimes.net/freeze-a-glimpse-into-the-blessed-life-of-ma-michaela-d-magtoto-aguman-ding-capampangan-davao-inc-immediate-past-president/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2017 02:51:37 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=39582 ]]> AGUMAN Ding Capampangan Davao 2016 President Ma. Michaela “Mitz” Magtoto feels blessed in many ways. Having been born and raised in Mindanao denied her the opportunity to bask in a community of fellow Capampangan people during her formative years. Although she fluently speaks the Pampango language, Mitz felt she lacked enough knowledge about the culture and traditions of the Capampangan beyond the walls of the Magtoto household.

Joining the association of Capampangans in Davao City afforded her the shared experience of celebrating life in the unique Capampangan way – while serving even those who do not belong to the Aguman (association).

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A WOMAN of substance and fun, Mitz Magtoto doesn’t mind striking a pose for the camera

Since 1954, the Aguman Ding Capampangan Davao has been perpetuating values of inter-dependence among Capampangans without shunning the appreciation of other regional cultures. They regularly gather to enjoy friendship, songs, dances, prayers, and reaching out to the needy when disaster strikes.

Unknown to many people, a true blue Capampangan is a master of sarcasm and that brand of humor is often misconstrued by the uninitiated as arrogance. In a group of Capampangans, it is not uncommon to hear tall tales and ridiculous anecdotes to elicit laughter. Politically incorrect jokes are not taken seriously in the circle. To the extreme, one-upmanship has become a friendly sport of sort among the gents – much like the spirit of a Fliptop rap battle. In private, Mitz Magtoto can also play that game with gusto – but only with those who know that it’s all for fun.

This Fine Arts, Major in Interior Design, graduate from the University of Santo Tomas is also a registered nurse in California, USA. She worked in America for three years after getting her marriage annulled in 2005. The good part of her unsuccessful union was having three wonderful kids who help her stay strong in facing life’s challenges.

She returned to the Philippines with a new shot at romance. With fiancé Dr. Thianlyn Chu, Mitz established the Prime Review Center. The review center has been helping examinees pass nursing exams with flying colors. In the recent tests, the center produced a number eight topnotcher.

But life is not always kind. On April 12, 2014, in a car crash, the angels took Thianlyn Chu away.

The world stopped for Mitz.

Cold and empty, she sought refuge in her faith in God. Healing words from the scriptures came like rain in the desert of pain. Refreshed and renewed, a better Mitz rose from the tragedy and dedicated herself to support several ministries. The struggle disappeared when she surrendered her life to the creator.

A wise man once said that, “To be closer to God, be closer to people.” Mitz did just that. Even in her multiple businesses, she considers the staff as top priority and treats them with due importance and respect. Good projects come to her construction and real estate ventures without trying hard to promote Solid Pearl Builders and Designs. Probably the good vibes within simply win out.

Her industry and belief in the goodness of people can be traced back to her upbringing. Her hardworking parents from Pampanga showed tenacity and pride in making a living through honest toil while recognizing divine providence along the way to material and non-financial success.

Beneath the jest of the typical Capampangan stance of being always one step ahead in many things is deep humility and surrender to a higher power – a recognition and acceptance of God’s love.

“Alone but not lonely” is how Mitz Magtoto describes her relationship status today because she is single but so much in love with Jesus and those who are around her. With an open mind, this lovely mom of three is not closing the door to the possibility of meeting someone to be with – as long as that person shares her strong belief in God.

Psalms 37:4 keeps her optimistic as it says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

This part president of Aguman Ding Capampangan remains busy with aguman projects, charity, and worship matters. Her blessings keep coming by sharing what she has with other people.

She believes that her success as Aguman Ding Capampangan president can only be measured by keeping the association alive and functioning well as a useful member of society through the next set of officers’ success.

Mitz extends her support and congratulations to the 2017 Aguman Ding Capampangan leaders: President Nelson S. Briones, VP-External Zenaida O. Castillo, Secretary Jaime C. Sunga, Asst. Secretary Gloria T. Araneta, Treasurer Kristoffer B. Sunga, Asst. Treasurer Jesus F. Isip, Auditor Hiram D. Magtoto,P.R.O. Ralph Justine D. Gopez, and to the members of the board Pearly Guinto Antoque, Mary Ann A. Salas, Marlie Y. Pechardo, Cresencio S, Reyes, Angelo M. Lagazon, and Gregorio G. Salazar.

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PLAIN AND SIMPLE| The phenomenal growth of Madeco http://mindanaotimes.net/plain-and-simple-the-phenomenal-growth-of-madeco/ http://mindanaotimes.net/plain-and-simple-the-phenomenal-growth-of-madeco/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:57:39 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=39623 ]]> THIS COOPERATIVE amazes me.

A couple of years ago I was in Madeco in Maco, Compostela Valley. The cooperative wanted to strengthen its human resources and its communication group.

The board chaired by Mawi Esperanza, a homegrown manager, invited us to conduct team-building to strengthen their human resource.  With a team of communication experts from the academe and community journalists, we train their communication group to manage their media bureau.

The co-op was still building itself. It was moving on the right direction with a growing membership, and with a board elected by the members.  The board went to work, focused on the many areas of the organization, infused new concepts and corporate practices.

Madeco had one gasoline station which was doing good, a mart, and the regular services of a cooperative. It had branches in Mabini, Mawab, and Tagum aside from its main office in Maco, Compostela Valley.

There were plans to expand to other towns because it has the resources, but the board is cautious and calculating as it heard experiences of other cooperatives expanding its branches and it failed. One of that experience is the experience shared by COOP NATTCO partylist Rep Ben Canama.

Impressed by the growth of Madeco, Congressman Calama advised  chairman Experanza to be careful with expanding so fast. Mawi took the advice to heart, but he knew from experience that spreading the co-op’s resources too thinly would spell disaster to the cooperative.

But the Madeco cooperative has acquired a property along the national highway of Tagum City. We visited it and Mawi said it is doing fine. It has earned resources for the cooperative.  Mawi, being chair of the board, said they don’t plan to expand anymore. They have to solidify whatever they have at the moment.

How did the co-op start? This is what fascinates me. It started in the Catholic Church of Maco with a few ordinary people. When I say ordinary I mean simple folks of Maco who were active in the Church, lay leaders who were so selfless and devoted to the parish.

Most successful co-ops if you notice were founded and formed in the simplicity and prayerful ambience of the Church. Madeco was founded by the lay faithful of the Catholic Church in Maco, then part of Davao del Norte.

Sta. Ana Coop was also founded in Sta Ana Church hence its name Sta Ana. El Grande Coop in Catalunan Grande was founded in a dimply lit San Isidro Chapel in Skyline.  Madeco, El Grande, and Sta Ana are God’s gift to His people. The board, the employees and the members should take this truth to heart.

You know why co-ops fail? When they are formed by politicians with vested interests. When the board and the employees think highly of  their own interests and their own abilities in managing the coop. But when they think that they take their power and abilities from God, the coops usually succeed.

Their selflessness spells the difference between success and failure of managing coops. Or any organization. Be grateful too with those who selflessly and generously started them.

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LUGAR LANG| Publish or perish: Mindanawon writing today http://mindanaotimes.net/lugar-lang-publish-or-perish-mindanawon-writing-today/ http://mindanaotimes.net/lugar-lang-publish-or-perish-mindanawon-writing-today/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:54:29 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=39621 ]]> IN NOVEMBER 2015, the National Book Development Board (NBDB) held the annual Philippine International Literary Festival in Davao, outside of Manila for the first time. It was dubbed “Laláng,” or creation, and brought together writers from Manila and other Philippine regions, and a few from abroad. I mention it now because it was only at that event when I realized that I was a publisher. In one of the panels, NBDB Executive Director Graciela Cayton asked the audience, “Who among you are publishers?” I reluctantly raised my hand, because I have previously only seen myself as an author.

But indeed I am a publisher. Through the efforts of the Davao Writers Guild (DWG), we have been publishing writing from Mindanao since 2007 in our literary folio called Dagmay, which initially came out only in print in Sun.Star Davao as a quarterly spread and later evolved into its currently regular Sunday issue, edited alternately by DWG members.

To boost our presence and reach, DWG member and IT professional Dominique Gerald Cimafranca created the online Dagmay page on http://dagmay.kom.ph in December 2008, bringing us into the world of digital publishing. In its first month, the site got a grand total of twenty-one hits and at most, twelve visitors (probably only the DWG members).

In the past eight years, the Dagmay page has grown steadily even without funding, currently averaging approximately 80 unique readers daily. But more important, the digital archive of poems, stories, essays, and plays in English, Filipino, and Binisaya from Mindanao has grown not just in number, but also in quality. Fueled mainly by our annual Davao Writers Workshop, the Ateneo de Davao University Writers Workshop, and the UP Mindanao Creative Writing program, we receive a steady stream of quality submissions. We also receive anonymous submissions from all over Mindanao, as well as from migrant Mindanawon writers.

Today, dagmay.kom.ph is the Top 1 site under the “dagmay” keyword search in Google. However, it appears only in the fourth page under a “Mindanao Literature” search, where most sites are still about ethnic or folk literature. Yet this is exactly the gap that Dagmay wants to fill. Mindanao literature is as alive as the writers who have live in this land, whether born or settled here.  Yet even more significant is the ideological stand we take on what our writing must do. We are not only “Mindanaoan” writers, referring to our genetic stock or geographical location. We are Mindanawon writers, i.e., we participate in the struggle of our peoples— Lumad, Moro, migrant—for self-determination.

Collectively and individually, we fight for our rights to say who we are, to act on our own without external compulsion, and to decide where we want to go.  This struggle is essential to our survival as writers, and clearly it is one we share with our indigenous communities. If we do not provide opportunities to nurture and publish our own Mindanawon writing, we will perish in the Manila-centric publishing world.

With funding from the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the DWG has published landmark anthologies of Mindanawon literature Davao Harvest 2, as well as The Best of Dagmay, the first volume covering 2007-2009. Both are out-of-print because of the measly 500 copies print run afforded by the grant. The second volume was launched to an enthusiastic crowd of young writers in December 2016, covering 2010-2012, and is available at the Ateneo de Davao University Publication Office. This year, the Guild is set to publish the third volume of Davao Harvest, featuring works by our senior writers as well as collaborative work with Davao visual artists. Also in the pipeline is an eBook version of Davao Harvest 2.

But it is not only the Davao Writers Guild that is involved in this book revolution of sorts. In the recent launch of his book, A Hundred Years of Gratitude published by the quixotic Aletheia Publications,Bro. Karl Gaspar, CSsR confirmed that “I am more of a Mindanawon than a Filipino.” Those who are familiar with his advocacy and life work will not view that statement as anti-nationalist, but as super-nationalist. With the historical injustice and discrimination that the peoples of Mindanao have suffered, we do need more champions like Bro. Karl who believe that our individual efforts to assert our diverse identities and rights will somehow lead to our collective triumph.

In my editor’s introduction to The Best of Dagmay 2, I affirm, “the writerly dreams we weave individually are manifested through the warp and weft of digital threads and links, the design of which continues to unfold.” Just like the durable abaca weave of the Mandaya people from which we borrow our name.

Follow or message me on Twitter @jhoannalynncruz

 

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EGALITARIAN| Form of government in the proposed federal republic http://mindanaotimes.net/egalitarian-form-of-government-in-the-proposed-federal-republic/ http://mindanaotimes.net/egalitarian-form-of-government-in-the-proposed-federal-republic/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:52:37 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=39619 ]]> FEDERALISM is decentralizing the powers of the national government. This is bringing to the people, down from the many layers of government bureaus, the government. It is making the government relevant and within reach of the people it is serving. Yet, one requirement to maximize social benefits of a federal system is the need to identify a compatible form of government. Here, two fundamental and opposing proposals emerge: presidential and parliamentary. Yet, in the middle which is less discussed, is a hybrid model.

In the presidential form, the president is elected for a fixed term and has a full claim to democracy. The president, to be removed, has to be impeached. Impeaching a president is very costly. It will undermine services of the government, and it will disturb the national ethos.

Likewise, the legislature in a presidential form is elected for a fixed term and has full claim to democracy. In this situation, both the legislative and executive have full claims to democracy, resulting in a dual democratic legitimacy.

What is wrong with dual legitimacy? Both claims equality of position and maintains autonomy. These oftentimes results in locking of horn between the two branches in the pretext of “check and balance”. This is very costly, again, and too insensitive. The casualties in a gridlock are the poor and the marginalized who relies heavily on the welfare services. The growth of the country is also punished.

Let us move to the other side. In a parliamentary government, the prime minister is elected and receives legitimacy from the legislature. At any time the prime minister loses the confidence of the legislature, a call for resolving the government of the day through vote of no confidence can be done. This is easy, less costly, and non-disruptive. Then legislature can again select another prime minister to head the government. The prime minister can also dissolve the parliament in concurrence with the head of the State, on the other hand. Given this, the executive and the legislative must maintain mutual dependence. They will and have to work together.

Therefore, parliamentary is relatively superior to presidential because it prevents gridlock, ensures stability and continuity in governance, has strong accountability system, and facilitates cohesion and cooperation of political parties.

However, the Filipino political ethos is deeply rooted in a presidential system given our paternalistic culture. Even in civic and social organizations that I know of, I am yet to see an organization with a prime minister, all are presidents. It is always the “presidential thinking”.

It is just practical to find a middle way given this clash of practical points and the tradition. The middle way strikes a balance. In our case, we propose a hybrid where the advantages of the presidential and the good features of parliamentary are combined to form a responsive government.

In a hybrid model, the prime minister is selected from legislature while the president is elected at large. The prime minister will be the head of the government and the president as head of the State. The format is much like any local government where a mayor is elected and a city administrator is appointed. In the words of the Davao-based federalists, Atty. Aristeo Albay and Arch. Chito Gavino of Kilos Pideral sa Pagbabago (KPP), the hybrid model fits to the idiosyncrasy, paternalistic nature of Philippine culture, and the political perceptions and experiences of the public. In the Philippine political epoch, presidential elections are always an event associated with much involvement of the public, hence, already part of our culture. This is not offered in a pure parliamentary.

In addition, there shall be two houses in the proposed hybrid model. There is still a lower house (House of Representatives) and the upper house (Senate) much like that of the French parliament. Politically speaking, this is the better way to push for the federal republic.

Another peculiarity of the hybrid model is the manner by which the Vice President is elected and the functions the VP will take. The model takes inspiration from the United States where the Vice President is elected indirectly through the votes of the President. The Vice President will be the legislative representative of the President being the Senate President. Meantime, The Lower House will elect the Prime Minister among members of the House much like the federal republic of Germany. However, the manner by which the executive and legislative is combined is very cultural. The fusion of the two branches in a parliamentary form, the executive and the legislature, comes in favor for the executive in deference to the paternalistic orientation of the Filipinos. Towards this end, the hybrid model takes much inspiration from the experiences of the United States as a presidential-federal, Germany’s federal parliamentary, and the French-model of semi-parliament.

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EDITORIAL| When doves cry http://mindanaotimes.net/editorial-when-doves-cry/ http://mindanaotimes.net/editorial-when-doves-cry/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:51:51 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=39617 ]]> WITH THE growing casualties as a result of the resumption of hostilities between the government and the New People’s Army, the need for a bilateral ceasefire has become more urgent.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared the lifting of the ceasefire with communist rebels last Feb 3, a copule of days after Ka Oris, the NPA spokesperson announced it would end its unilateral ceasefire with government on Feb. 11, claiming that the Duterte administration had failed to release political prisoners and the continued operation of the military, including their occupation in 500 barrios “which are within the authority of the revolutionary government.”

People from all sectors, even those coming from Europe where the peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front were held, urged the President to consider his position and to resume the peacetalks that have already tackled simultaneously the substantive agenda on social economic reforms, political reforms and disposition of forces in the different working groups convened to hasten the drafting of the agreement.

Since most of the clashes happened in Davao City, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, yesterday said she was offering her hand in peace to the New People’ Army, to stop more bloodshed. She expressed willingness to talk and listen to the rebels.

Over the weekend, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) expressed intent to return to the negotiating table if President Rodrigo Duterte decides to send his team of peace panelists back.

Is the resumption of the peacetalks possible? In a statement issued by Peace Secretary Jesus G. Dureza yesterday on the NDFP’s call to proceed with the bilateral ceasefire negotiations, he reiterated that the Philippine government “share the same commitment to work for just and lasting peace in the land” if the compelling reasons as cited by the President are present.

The road to peace is clearly difficult and it makes doves cry.

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ROUGH CUTS| How’s the additional P1,000 SSS pension? http://mindanaotimes.net/rough-cuts-hows-the-additional-p1000-sss-pension/ http://mindanaotimes.net/rough-cuts-hows-the-additional-p1000-sss-pension/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:51:07 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=39615 ]]> WE WATCHED keenly last Thursday’s fourth Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the alleged P50 million bribery-extortion case involving officials of the Bureau of Immigration (BI), some top personalities in the online gambling operation, with the Department of Justice and the National Bureau of Investigation possibly being dragged into its vortex.

Wally Sombero, the so-called high profile personality identified to be representing the gambling magnate Jack Lam, as expected, was “superb” in his denial antics and in his portrayal of himself as the “persecuted hero” in the case. So good was his performance in the presentation of himself and his supposed assistance to the government in saving the online gaming so bigger taxes can be collected from its operation that any uninitiated television viewers or readers of newspapers would likely take as gospel truth.

Sombero anchored his claim that he is a founding member of an association that educates government officials and the public on what online gaming is and how it can supposedly help the country’s economy.

Unfortunately, despite the apparent sharp minds of our senators present no one was able to ask Sombero a question that would have immediately established the credibility of the organization that he claims to be carrying as vehicle for his support to the government.

We seem to wonder why not a single senator asked the former police official to present to the committee a copy of the registration of his association with government regulating bodies for non-government organizations (NGO). Had that question been raised and Sombero was able to present documents the senate committee would have known if his association is legitimate and had the opportunity to examine its objectives, its duties and responsibilities. But no such question was ever raised.

Yes, there were two that were closed to it. That was when Sombero was asked who are the members of his association and whether he was receiving any compensation and how much for his services to the association.

His answer on the first question was that the members are companies engaged in the Pagcor-licensed on-line gaming operation. On the second question Sombero told the committee that he is not receiving any compensation. Unfortunately, no one was able to make follow-up questions like how is the operation of the association funded and what keeps Sombero going without any compensation.

And how can one imagine the truth of Sombero’s claim that he is not an employee nor is he a representative of Jack Lam or any of the online gambling operators when everything that transpired in that bribery-extortion drama points to him as the “link?”

So, as more stories are expected to be unfolded during the next, and perhaps the last committee hearing on March 2 people may finally know who Sombero is working for; who he is linking for.

And we are looking forward to the unmasking of the real culprits, both from the government side and the on-line gaming operations hierarchy, and appropriate charges are filed in court.against them.

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If our memory serves as right, the first tranche of P1,000 in the P2,000 additional monthly pension benefit approved by Congress was to start either last week of January or first week of February.

But pensioners who are expecting the amount to be added already to their monthly pension found nothing from the remittance in the banks. Whatever happened to the commitment of the SSS executives, gone with the wind? Or, are those charged to compute the amount that would be added still in the process of computing? Or, is the SSS still revalidating the number and names of the pensioners?

We know that these questions are now badgering the minds of the millions of pensioners who are now saddled with expenses attendant to their growing years in life.

And perhaps what could be more ironic is if some of the pensioners who are waiting for the motely amount after this was announced approved and due for release last week of January or first week of February suddenly depart from this world.

Wouldn’t the SSS be rubbing more salt to gaping wound of acute needs of pensioners to survive?

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Power spot market consultation today http://mindanaotimes.net/power-spot-market-consultation-today/ http://mindanaotimes.net/power-spot-market-consultation-today/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:46:56 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=39613 ]]> THE DEPARTMENT of Energy (DOE) is set to conduct today the public consultation with the energy stakeholders in the region on the plan to set up wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) in Mindanao.

In a statement, the DOE, the objective of the public consultation “is to solicit the views of all stakeholders on how to improve the circular, which will lay down the policies for the establishment of WESM Mindanao.”

The consultation will be held at the Royal Mandaya Hotel with DOE officials, Assistant Secretary Romeo M. Montenegro of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and Melinda L. Ocampo, president of Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) as members of the panel.

The city is the third stop on the series of public consultations, which were already held at N Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City and Garden Orchid Hotel in Zamboanga City. This would be also conducted on Feb. 28 at Balanghai Hotel in Butuan City and March 7 at Greanleaf Hotel in General Santos City.

“The information drive will help more Mindanaoans better understand WESM and to appreciate the benefits it will bring in sustaining investments in Mindanao, which needs a robust power sector to support a booming economy,” DOE said in its statement.

Power industry stakeholders recommended in the two public consultations earlier on the need to boost the information-education campaign drive.

Montenegro said earlier that establishment of WESM in Mindanao is timely as the island is already having a surplus in power supply. As of last year, the island’s additional generating capacity reached to 782 megawatts.

The island, DOE reported, will further have a boost in supply with an additional of 1,208 MW this year as new power plants would start their commercial operations.

“The WESM will serve as open electricity market for power stakeholders, which will allow more opportunities for infrastructure development in the island-region,” cited the statement of MinDA.

Mindanao is the only part of the country which has yet to have a WESM. This was first launched in Luzon in 2006 and in Visayas in 2008, which are operated by the PEMC.

DOE is planning to start the commercial operations of WESM Mindanao on June 26.

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Owners told to declare true value of properties http://mindanaotimes.net/owners-told-to-declare-true-value-of-properties/ http://mindanaotimes.net/owners-told-to-declare-true-value-of-properties/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:45:52 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=39611 ]]> THE CITY government has required property owners to declare through a sworn statement the true value of their lands, buildings and machinery as part of the preparation of the 2018 proposed General Revision of real property assessments.

The order came about after the Commission on Audit (CAO) two years ago instructed the local government to improve its real property tax collections starting from increasing the value of RPTs from the assessment level.

The CAO said under Section 202 of RA 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, real property owners are duty-bound to declare the actual value of their properties, whether these had been previously declared or undeclared, taxable or exempt, through a Sworn Statement.

The deadline for filing of the sworn statements is June 30 this year.

If owners refuse or fail to file their Sworn Statements, the CAO will have to assess the property and declare its value in the name of the defaulting property owner for taxation purposes.

For compliance and additional information, real property owners are advised to go to the CAO at the Ground Floor of the Sangguniang Panlungsod building along San Pedro St., or the district offices in Bunawan and Toril.

The COA had earlier said the city should revise its schedule of assessments, since the last one was dated 2008.

The recommendation was part of the COA’s annual audit review for the calendar year 2015, during the time of then-Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

According to the COA, the last general revision of real property assessment was in 2008 for taxes collected January 2009.

Moreover, the tax rates were only implemented in 2011.

The revision was due on 2013. “However, the mandatory revision was not yet undertaken.”

The city appears to be in violation of Sec. 219 of the Local Government Code, which requires the revision of real property assessments every three years, the report added.

The current property values were “obsolete and materially undervalued,” the COA said, “hence the need to update those values so as to increase the tax base and boost revenues.”

 “However, the Sanggunian (City Council) concerned seems unsupportive of its enactment into an ordinance.”

For his part, council finance chair Danilo Dayanghirang said he has asked the city assessor’s office to immediately work on the improvement on the assessment of real properties.

He said that the COA report already criticized the city’s reliance on internal revenue allotments instead of its own revenue-generation capabilities.

The 2015 budget, for example, showed a larger increase of 14% for the IRA compared to only an 11% increase in local sources.

“This information reflects Davao City’s dependence on IRA more than its local sources,” the COA report said.

At this point, the city council had to return to the city assessor’s office a proposal to increase property valuations.

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Survey: House loan payment at 78.5% in Davao Region http://mindanaotimes.net/survey-house-loan-payment-at-78-5-in-davao-region/ http://mindanaotimes.net/survey-house-loan-payment-at-78-5-in-davao-region/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:44:32 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=39609 ]]> A RECENT survey showed that nearly eight in every 10 households in the Davao Region are able to paid their housing loan amortizations on time, which improved from 2009 figures.

In the Consumer Finance Survey (CFS) of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas that was released last week, “there was a marked improvement from the 2009 CFS in the percentage of households that paid their housing loan amortizations ahead of/on schedule” as Davao Region had 78.5% in 2014 from 55% in 2009.

The figures were similar with those in Regions 1 and 7.

BSP’s CFS is a nationwide quadrennial survey on consumer finances among Filipino households. In Mindanao, there were 3,757 respondent households who were surveyed from July 2014 to Jan. 2015.

Throughout the country, 55.9% of the households were able to pay their monthly housing amortization either ahead of or on schedule.

With regard to the values of housing loans, the corresponding average of housing loans in Davao Region was P70,000 as of 2014, the BSP data showed.

 Government institutions were the most popular providers of housing loans, followed by banks and money lenders.

“Relatives and friends, and in-house financing and financing institutions also provide a significant portion of housing loans. The primary source of housing loans is Home Development Mutual Fund in outside National Capital Region and National Housing Authority in National Capital Region,” BSP’s CFS cited.

The loan repayment period was predominantly 20-25 years.

“Overall, about three in 10 households with housing loans paid P1,000 and below monthly amortizations while about six in 10 paid more than P1,000 up to P5,000 per month. The rest of the households paid a monthly amortization higher than P5,000,” BSP’s CFS added.

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