Mindanao Times http://mindanaotimes.net Mon, 28 May 2018 02:56:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.24 Exec: Longer visa validity for medical tourists needed http://mindanaotimes.net/exec-longer-visa-validity-for-medical-tourists-needed/ http://mindanaotimes.net/exec-longer-visa-validity-for-medical-tourists-needed/#comments Mon, 28 May 2018 02:53:53 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=58290 ]]> THE INTER-agency body tasked to promote medical tourism and wellness has pushed for the extension of validity of visa for foreigners who want to avail of medical services in the country, an official of Department of Tourism (DOT) said.Roberto P. Alabado III, director for medical tourism of DOT, said on Friday in the membership meeting of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. at The Ritz Hotel that there shall be a visa for medical tourists, which should be valid up to six months.

The national government currently issues visa that is valid up to 59 days, which is continuously renewed if a tourist wanted to extend his or stay in the country.

“But it would be a hassle for medical tourists to apply for extension. There should be a visa for medical tourists. Its validity shall be longer compared on the present visa for travelers,” Alabado said.

He said there are vast opportunities in medical tourism that can attract tourists. Currently, he said the markets of the Philippines for medical tourism are United States, Canada, Indonesia, Pacific Island nations, Palau, Guam, Papua New Guinea, the Middle East, and Australia.

The inter-agency body includes the Department of Health and the Bureau of Immigration.

In its website, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said nationals from countries like those in Southeast Asia, Australia, United States, Bahamas, Belgium, Greece, Finland, Kuwait, Japan and Korea can stay in the Philippines without visa for 30 days.

Those who want to apply for extension have to obtain a visa.

“A Philippine Visa is an endorsement made on a travel document by a consular officer at a Philippine Embassy or Consulate abroad denoting that the visa application has been properly examined and that the bearer is permitted to proceed to the Philippines and request permission from the Philippine Immigration authorities at the ports of entries to enter the country,” the DFA said. (KMF)

 

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Wanderlust | Cooling down in Maco’s hottest spot http://mindanaotimes.net/wanderlust-cooling-down-in-macos-hottest-spot/ http://mindanaotimes.net/wanderlust-cooling-down-in-macos-hottest-spot/#comments Mon, 28 May 2018 01:37:48 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=58259 ]]> Where in the Philippines can you find a place where can see a network of sulfuric hot springs, a series of waterfalls, streams and caves, plus a P100 massage in one destination?Well, I only know of one place – Mainit Sulfuric Hot Spring, also known as Mainit Hot Waterfalls, in Barangay Mainit in the municipality of Maco. Mainit was one of the sites we visited last week as we journeyed around Compostela Valley with our friends from the Department of Tourism Xl, Visit Davao Summer Festival, and ComVal Provincial Tourism Office.

Mainit is located in a craggy terrain along the Mt. Leonard Mountain Range, a stone’s throw away from another emerging tourism attraction in the province, Lake Leonard.

American photographer Jacob Meantz takes some snapshots of Mainit

American photographer Jacob Meantz takes some snapshots of Mainit

On our way to Mainit, while navigating the winding and unpaved Nabunturan-Mainit road, we had a dramatic panorama of forested mountains capped with low lying clouds. We took the same road that will lead to Lake Leonard in Barangay New Leyte, which was around 15 to 20 minutes farther up.

Mainit, in spite of its name, actually enjoys cool weather conditions all year round – or at least, for the rest of this 1,374 hectare watershed area outside the hot spring complex. The barangay is situated 3,900 above sea level. Only a portion of the area is allowed to the public to preserve the natural beauty of Mainit.

There are no eateries or sari-sari stores (only stalls selling snacks) inside Mainit, so it’s best to bring your own food and beverage. There are also few tables and benches that you can share with fellow visitors. At the moment, the complex has a lone comfort room and toilet.

However, things are expected to get better in the coming months, assured the province’s tourism officer Christine Torino Dompor, as the visitors’ area is currently undergoing rehabilitation. So, expect the place to be a bit Topsy-turvy, in case you’re planning to visit Mainit in the coming weeks or so.

Nonetheless, the massive sulfuric rock formation that greets you as you enter Mainit will take your attention away from the busy surroundings.

Steaming water endlessly flows through the crevices of the mound, forming waterfalls and natural pools in various spots around the complex.

To enter the “wet area,” guests are obliged to remove their footwear in order to keep the area sanitized. It is safe to walk barefoot around but be very wary on stepping on those green colored surface. Blue-green algae that thrive in hot springs can cause the floor to be perilously slippery. Guests are also not allowed to climb up the sulfuric rock for safety reasons.

Kids enjoy taking a warm shower in Mainit

Kids enjoy taking a warm shower in Mainit

Underneath the lower right portion of the sulfuric formation, there’s a tiny opening that leads to a shallow cavern that visitors use as a natural steam room.

As part of the Wellness Loop of ComVal, as promoted in this year’s Visit Davao Summer Festival, the provincial and local governments added another attraction inside Mainit: a relaxing massage by the hot spring.

Well, it does make a whole lot of sense.

Hot springs are known to help improve blood circulation, treat skin infection, keeps your skin smooth and healthy (thanks to sulfur and iron), reduce stress, detoxify your body, and help boost the immune system. Couple that up with some serious kneading, the result is another good reason why one must visit Mainit.

A natural sauna in Maco, Compostela Valley

A natural sauna in Maco, Compostela Valley

Their 30-minute back, foot, or head massage is available for only P100 while a full body massage will set you back P250. The hot spring massage service is organized by trained local residents.

As a precaution, drink plenty of fluids before, during and after your hot water soak or when trying the natural sauna as this can rapidly increase body temperature, putting abnormal stress on the heart. Pregnant and nursing mothers, the elderly, those who have heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, or using prescription drugs are also advised to consult first with their physicians before visiting hot springs like Mainit.

To help preserve the natural beauty of Mainit, visitors must be mindful of the cleanliness of the area and strictly follow park rules at all times.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the local government of Maco have proposed to declare the watershed as a protected site.

There are many ways to get there. One can either take a Monkayo or Butuan-bound bus from Davao Overland Terminal in Ecoland, then drop off at Mawab Terminal, where you can take a habal-habal to Mainit; or take a Tagum-bound Metro Bus at Abreeza, drop off at Tagum terminal, take a jeep to Barangay Masara. Inform the driver to drop you off at Mainit. The trip from Mawab to Mainit can take around 45 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on weather and road conditions.

Mainit is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entrance is P20 per person, which is collected by the barangay. For more information, contact the ComVal Provincial Tourism Office at 0908-888-8038/0912-023-8511 or check out ecomval.gov.ph.

 

 

 

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Scene City | Beauty secrets revealed by Beautéderm http://mindanaotimes.net/scene-city-beauty-secrets-revealed-by-beautederm/ http://mindanaotimes.net/scene-city-beauty-secrets-revealed-by-beautederm/#comments Mon, 28 May 2018 01:30:03 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=58255 ]]> COSMETICS often cover what we want to hide from people who come close to us. This is because some of us have lost our self-confidence because of our skin problems. Faces dotted with pimples, uneven skin color, Melasma are some of the reasons we lose our self-confidence and cause us to shy away from people and countless opportunities.When we came face to face with the ladies who invited us to introduce the Beautéderm Ambassadors, we noticed their faces glowing, their skin flawless, we were curious to find out what caused this glow. And because they wore white dresses to the event, their beauty was all the more highlighted on this occasion.

The long ride to Madaum brought us to the Plantation Villas developed by the Tuason family, where the Beautéderm Ambassadors were introduced to the media. Here we met the mega distributors and users of the products who have eventually become resellers and who have reached out to the communities in the Compostela Valley area not only to promote the products but to make sure the people, especially the women, improve the quality of life, regain their self-confidence which they lost by being full-time mothers and were able to find a way to augment their family income by using, distributing and reselling Beautéderm products.

Cornelia Lariosa was a full-time mom in 2010. She relates her interesting story in being fully dependent on her husband’s meager income. When her neighbors and acquaintances would meet her outside her home doing errands and shopping for household needs, she would receive unsolicited pieces of advice to “improve her grooming”.

Cornelia went on a diet, took heed of the suggestions of her friends and met the ladies who introduced her to the plant-based cosmetic, Beautéderm. Its mission is to further develop aesthetic and dermatological products and solutions that will cater to the ever-growing needs of its consumers. Beautéderm aims to help consumers regain their natural beauty and glow from within by performing daily skincare regimen. After following the regimen that Beautéderm prescribed, Nelia’s friends could hardly believe their eyes nor recognize her. A complete transformation happened to her skin, even her husband was complimenting her on how her face glowed and her skin was flawless.

Skin problems such as dark spots, freckles, acne and scars diminish with regular use of the products. They protect skin with SPF 60 and natural zinc oxide by blocking harmful UVA and UVB rays, reduce fine lines and visible signs of aging, rid skin of excessive oil, and more.

Beautéderm Ambassadors for Mindanao who were introduced and serve as inspiration were Carlie Jane Chua, Korina Diana Sawan, Claudine Alyssandra Verga, Leo Revita, Dr. Chad Fabular, Dr. Camille Gallardo, Sholai Lim, Vice Governor Mei Ling Quezon.

Beautéderm is an all-Filipino capital whose investor, CEO Rhea Tan, comes from Pampanga. Movie stars Matt Evans, Sylvia Sanchez, who is asked quite often what her beauty secret is and Carlo Aquino are some of the endorsers of the product.

 

 

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Rough Cuts | Are our dads playing proxies? http://mindanaotimes.net/rough-cuts-are-our-dads-playing-proxies/ http://mindanaotimes.net/rough-cuts-are-our-dads-playing-proxies/#comments Mon, 28 May 2018 01:03:50 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=58250 ]]> SO THE city council has junked the applications for sand and gravel quarrying by five entities? We could only imagine the interest of the public much more the media in knowing what was or were expected to happen during the May 22 Sangguniang Panlungsod session where the applications were to be deliberated and voted upon.Yes, even us, if we were aware that such proposed action was to be taken up on that particular session, we would have attended the same. Imagine the voting on the applications was done on nominal basis where each councilor was allowed to explain his/her vote! And what lengthy explanations they made with some members of the council earlier in the deliberation heatedly putting forward their objection because of some questionable issues such as unmet requirements still unsettled. Yet, while entertaining the idea of abstaining some of them voted to approve the gravel and earth-fill quarry applications!

In the end though, in the words of this paper’s headline last Wednesday, the applications for permits to quarry were “crushed” by the city council.

But we have a different take on the issue. We believe that the bugaboo in the Sanggunian on the quarry applications could be a “proxy war.” That is, the “war” between the existing quarry operators and those who want to cash in on the huge potentials for quarry products under the present administration.

Yes, the current quarry operators in the city want to lord it over in the supply of earth fill, sand and gravel, and other aggregates needed in the present administration’s “Build, build, build” program some projects of which are on-going in Davao City. The coastal highway project alone would need so huge volume of quarry materials for its completion. Then there is the forthcoming Phase 1 of the Mindanao Railway System that will cover a stretch of 103 kilometers from Tagum City to Digos City via Davao City.

We therefore have some wild thoughts that the positions of the members of the city council may have been “influenced” by those who are already in the quarry business or by those who are aspiring to take advantage of the opportunity to have a share in supplying the requirements of the government’s massive infrastructure project implementation in the country a big bulk of which will be done in the Davao Region.

Well, let us wait and see. After all, last Tuesday’s rejection of the five quarry applicants could just be some kind of initial setback. Why, because some councilors themselves have made it known that the rejected applicants can still re-apply.

Isn’t it that the reason of the non-approval of the applications is due to questions on legal basis?

Well now, the first round goes to the existing quarry operators. Will the newcomers just allow themselves to be floored immediately? The potentials for quarry materials are so enticing under the present regime. So, we can be certain that they’ll be up before the bell rings for a second round.

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Compliance of billboard requirements for infrastructure projects is actually not totally ignored by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) or the City Engineer’s Office (CEO).  But in all billboards that we have seen installed in strategic locations there are critical information that are not indicated. And if these are, they are enough factors to create intrigues.

We have these billboards on infrastructure projects as examples. In Catalunan Grande where there is an on-going road expansion project, we have noticed several billboards installed. But what is revealed there is the name of the contractor, the date of the start of the project and its supposed completion which was last January, 2018 or already over four months ago. But conspicuously not included on the billboard notice is the amount of the contract and the budget for the project.

Another billboard of an infrastructure project is that one in front of Davao City Special National High School in Bangkal. It is a project of the City government of Davao and implemented by the CEO. Yes, it has the figure of the budget for the three-storey nine-classroom building amounting to P16 million. But what caught our attention was the contract price which was just short of the budget by a few hundred pesos and centavos. And we have similar observations on billboards we saw installed in other school building projects.

Somehow it would appear that the bidders are winning in pesos and centavos only. Isn’t this phenomenon intriguing?

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Editorial | Curb smuggling http://mindanaotimes.net/editorial-curb-smuggling/ http://mindanaotimes.net/editorial-curb-smuggling/#comments Mon, 28 May 2018 00:56:21 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=58247 ]]> DESPITE the stringent measures that the Bureau of Customs has imposed in fighting smuggling, unscrupulous individuals have continued to find ways on how to bring to the shores contrabands.For example, last week the agency reported that it seized five shipments of misdeclared goods worth P50 million at the ports of Davao in separate incidents.

Based on the report, among the shipments were candies and mosquito coils, apples, onions, used clothing, magic sugar and lotion. Another container also contained rice.

As a result of the incidents, the agency has blacklisted the importers and other companies, among them brokers that were involved in sneaking the misdeclared goods to the ports.

It only goes to show how much creative have the smugglers become so crafty in ensuring that their illegal goods enter the country without being noticed.

It is high time for the government to tap steps that will make it really hard for these dishonest people in sneaking these goods without even paying their dues and that some of them are illegal in nature.

For one the government can initially use the long-mothballed x-ray machine at the designated examination area of businessman Rodolfo Reta.

The area has been closed since the agency, then under former Collector Anju Nereo Castigador, ordered its closure when Reta reported that an importer smuggled rice by misdeclaring the cargo. Instead of commending it for a job well done, the agency at that time made the order to close it down.

Because of the incident, Reta has sought legal remedies as the area has been covered by an agreement between him and the government. But even with the court order and the entry of the new officials of the agency, the area has not been reopened.

It is about time for the agency to reopen it so it could function for the purpose that it was designed. This will not only give the government another facility to help curb smuggling, but it will also correct the injustice done on Reta.3cartoon

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MILAN: More companies eyeing investments in the city http://mindanaotimes.net/milan-more-companies-eyeing-investments-in-the-city/ http://mindanaotimes.net/milan-more-companies-eyeing-investments-in-the-city/#comments Mon, 28 May 2018 00:46:56 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=58244 ]]> FOREIGN investors have continued to get interested in putting up their businesses in the city as a Chinese company expressed its desire to set up a health facility that can offer modern treatment, an official of Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII).At the sidelines on chamber’s membership meeting at The Ritz Hotel last Friday, Arturo M. Milan, president of DCCCII, told reporters that there is a China-based company that is exploring to set up a health facility in the city.

The company, he said, is already present in Manila.

“If they would push through in investing here, it would be a benefit for us as they offer modern treatments like cryotherapy,” Milan said.

Apart from the China-based company, he said there is also Japanese firm that bared interest in establishing a hotel and an entertainment-related project. He said the firm is one of the biggest hotel chains in Japan.

“Actually, there are a lot of prospects with foreign companies that wanted to invest in the city. By June, there would be also a group from Malaysia. They are asking us to organize site visits,” Milan said.

He said the business group has collaborated with the Davao City Investment Promotions Center in facilitating the investments.

Milan said the group from Malaysia bared interests to venture in manufacturing and information technology-business process outsourcing projects. He said their planned site visit would be a boon as it could also bolster the current air connectivity.

MILAN

MILAN

The city has direct flight to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, which is serviced by budget carrier AirAsia.

As of last year, reports cited that there were already foreign investors that bared interest to put up their projects in the city like the Japanese chocolate company, Japanese processer of fruits and vegetables and Korean manufacturer of air-conditioning systems. There were also Chinese and Korean firms that signified intention to put up a railway system in the city. (KMF)

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NPA attacks military camp in Surigao Sur; no one hurt http://mindanaotimes.net/npa-attacks-military-camp-in-surigao-sur-no-one-hurt/ http://mindanaotimes.net/npa-attacks-military-camp-in-surigao-sur-no-one-hurt/#comments Mon, 28 May 2018 00:41:49 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=58240 ]]> THE MILITARY questioned the control of the Communist Party of the Philippines leadership over its force as New People’s Army rebels reportedly continue to engage military camps.Both panels of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front are fighting to beat the 60-day deadline set by President Duterte to get the peace talks going or face cancellation.

Capt. Francisco P. Garello Jr, the civil military operations officer of 36th Infantry Battalion, claimed that more or less three armed men, believed to be members of SPP3, Guerrilla Front 30, Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee  under alias Nicko attacked their headquarters in Sitio Upper Mambago, Barangay Dayo-an,Tago, Surigao del Sur on May 24 around 8:50 p.m.

Garello said rebels attempted to surprise the soldiers when they fired one rifle grenade followed by intermittent shots that lasted for 15 seconds.

However, he said the troops repelled the attack as they fired back and forced the rebels to scamper away. Reports claimed that they boarded habal-habal motorcycles going to Barangay San Isidro in Tandag City.

Lt. Col. Xerxes A. Trinidad, commanding officer of the 36th IB, ordered the deployment of troops to chase the rebels and clear the area.

Recovered from the position of the NPAs were empty shells and unexploded ordnance (UXO) of M-14, AK-47 and M-16 rifles, one safety pin, and shrapnel of one rifle grenade.

“The bravado of (NPAs) intends to show their true nature of insincerity on the resumption of peace talks,” Trinidad said. “The NPA had continuously instigated atrocities not only against military targets but also against innocent civilians.”

But he gave assurance to Surigaonons that the military is already ready to protect them from the NPA. He said they will pursue the rebels “and bring them in a situation where their only choice is to surrender.”

 

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Firefighters rush to Dacoville fire http://mindanaotimes.net/firefighters-rush-to-dacoville-fire/ http://mindanaotimes.net/firefighters-rush-to-dacoville-fire/#comments Mon, 28 May 2018 00:36:40 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=58235 ]]> A FIRE broke out in Dacoville subdivision, Barangay Dumoy around 1 p.m. on May 25.The house was owned by Val Raymond V. Cang, 39, a call center agent. He called 911 after he was informed by his children that the back of their house is on fire. The Bureau of Fire Protection and Central 911 responded to the scene.

Medical rescuers also attended to Cang who complained of difficulty breathing. The cause of fire is still under investigation as well as estimated damage. Firefighters declared a fire-out around 2 p.m.

 

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Al-ag still eyes public office but unsure which position http://mindanaotimes.net/al-ag-still-eyes-public-office-but-unsure-which-position/ http://mindanaotimes.net/al-ag-still-eyes-public-office-but-unsure-which-position/#comments Mon, 28 May 2018 00:34:39 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=58233 ]]> VICE MAYOR Bernard Al-ag clarified that he has not discussed with his party any plans for the May 2019 elections.“We will have to wait for the plan of the party since I ran under a local party from the start of my political career last 2010,” he said. “We need to talk and consult with the local party.”

Al-ag ran under the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, a local party organized by President Rodrigo Duterte.

He told the media to wait for October for the announcement of the lineup of Hugpong, which is the start of the filing of candidacy for the 2019 elections.

But Al-ag said that he still wants to run for public office.

“I still want to serve as a public servant, an elected official of the city but I don’t know for what position yet,” Al-ag said.

This would be the last term as councilor for Al-ag as his first term was in 2010 to 2013 followed by 2014 to 2016.

But he assumed the vice-mayor position last January after former vice mayor Paolo Duterte resigned from his position in December last year, citing delicadeza following the public squabble with his daughter Isabelle.

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Worker slain in gang riot http://mindanaotimes.net/worker-slain-in-gang-riot/ http://mindanaotimes.net/worker-slain-in-gang-riot/#comments Mon, 28 May 2018 00:31:54 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=58231 ]]> A CONSTRUCTION worker was found dead at about 3 a.m. in Talisay, Times Beach, Barangay 76-A on May 25.

The victim was identified as Dexter C. Maglasang, 34, and a resident of Purok 25, Sabroso, Ecoland. He was found with a deep hack wound on his forehead.

According to the witnesses, Eddie Mandin Paig, 44, and Nicasio A. Tinio, 64, Maglasang was last seen with a group called the Barkadang Tunay Gang around 2 a.m., the group being involved in a riot with a rival group called Tars Gang, led by an alias Totoy Buco.

The victim’s remains were brought to Angel Funeral Homes along F. Torres Street.

Personnel from the Talomo Police Precinct are now in a manhunt for the possible perpetrators.

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