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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Army nabs alleged NPA leader in Bukidnon

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/28 September) – Elements of the Army Special Forces arrested a suspected ranking leader of the New People’s Army after a shootout along the national highway in Malaybalay City Sunday, a military official said.
But Col. Jesse Alvarez, commanding officer of the 403rdInfantry Brigade withheld the name of the alleged NPA leader pending tactical intelligence confirmation on her standing in the rebel group.
Alvarez said the driver who drove the Mazda Bongo truck carrying the woman was killed during the exchange of gunfire with the soldiers belonging to the Army 1stSpecial Forces Battalion.
A source said the driver who was identified only as a certain “Edwin” was the husband of the captured woman who is believed to be the regional medical officer of the NPA in Northern Mindanao.
Alvarez said found in the Bongo truck were a .45 caliber pistol with two spare magazines, documents, nine mobile phones, two power banks, a Samsung tablet, a fragmentation grenade, and P276,000 in cash.
He said the alleged rebel leader is now in the custody of the Philippine National Police in Malaybalay City.
“The police told us they would file a case of frustrated murder and illegal possession of firearms and explosives against the woman,” Alvarez told MindaNews.
He said another accomplice managed to escape barefoot from the pursuing soldiers.
One soldier was slightly wounded when he tried to seek cover but crashed into a boulder.
Alvarez said the soldiers were going to Maramag town, also in Bukidnon province but decided to stop along the highway in Barangay Cabangahan, Malaybalay City to urinate. - From mindanews.com

Bukidnon rubber industry needs to improve quality

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MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 14 Jan) – The rubber industry is an emerging industry in Bukidnon but small rubber farmers need to improve quality of production to be able to command a good price, an official from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) here said.
Junar Merla, senior trade and industry development specialist at DTI-Bukidnon, said local producers need to improve their practices to increase quality of latex, the natural extract from the rubber tree that is highly in demand in the Philippines and other countries.
Bukidnon rubber producers, Merla added, are looking at the big market in China as they increase production. But he said in one of DTI’s assessments that poor quality is one issue confronting the industry.
He cited that there is a need to train and improve the skills of rubber tappers and handlers to ensure good quality of latex.
Merla said traders expressed dismay that they found rubber cup lumps sold to them by local suppliers mixed with “foreign objects.” He cited that traders complained of some stocks mixed with soil or even battery solution to increase weight.
He said small local producers do not know that the scheme is doing a boomerang as traders become hesitant in buying locally produced rubber, or want to buy it at a cheaper price.
Buying stations in Bukidnon and North Cotabato, Merla noted, are willing to pay P36 to P48 per kilo of good quality cup lumps but some would pay only P26 to P30 due to the problem.
One more problem in the local rubber industry, he added, is the lack of an industry consolidator – one that can process rubber cup lumps to rubber crepe, which is the form in demand by tire producers like Yokohama in Pampanga.
He said at the moment a mix of locally-based and mobile traders buy cup lumps. But Merla said small rubber farmers can command a bigger price if they have the option to sell the stocks or have these processed for a fee and be the one to sell rubber crepe. - From mindanews.com

Monday, September 28, 2015

Talama: Rewarding the unheralded heroes of conservation

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MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 25 Feb) – Since its proclamation as a national park in 1990, and later as a full-fledged protected area in 2000 through Republic Act 8978, timber smuggling and other illegal activities have been minimized, if not stopped, in Mount Kitanglad Range Natural Park. Many would attribute the conservation of the park’s forest to formal mechanisms such as the Protected Area Management Board, which always takes pride in this achievement.
Little has been said however of the efforts of local communities, the indigenous peoples in particular, in protecting one of the country’s important biodiversity sites, which sits in the northwestern part of Bukidnon province. And they have received too little too in terms of rewards and incentives for such efforts. Not much has been said about the role of culture in the conservation of Mount Kitanglad, and how the tribes had tried to resist commercial logging in the years prior to the imposition of logging ban in the province. In a study made in 1995, Malcolm Cairns explained the link between culture and conservation in this ancestral territory that its inhabitants consider sacred.
Efforts have been made in recent years to recognize the contribution of the indigenous peoples to environmental protection. In Mount Kitanglad its palpable manifestation includes the participation of their leaders in decision and policymaking through the PAMB and programs that aim to uplift their socioeconomic conditions. These have been found wanting; the socioeconomic interventions in particular have not really made an impact mainly because these did not consider cultural factors and did not match the capacity and experience of the intended targets.
Nonetheless, the indigenous peoples or Lumad of Mount Kitanglad believe they deserve more for their efforts. This time they are not entertaining the idea of receiving yet again a form of assistance based on standards prescribed by donors, be they private entities or government agencies. They are pushing for the adoption of a culture-based system that views their efforts as deserving of a reward. Is there such a system? - From mindanews.com

4 Mindanao provinces among top 10 rice producing areas

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 11 March) – Four provinces in Mindanao made it to the list in the top 10 rice producing provinces in the country last year, data from Department of Agriculture (DA) bared.
Of the four provinces, data from DA XI showed that three were from Davao Region – Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental and Davao del Sur. The other one was Bukidnon in Northern Mindanao.
Those areas will be awarded as outstanding rice producing provinces during the Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Award (APRAA) on March 26 at Resorts World Performing Arts in Pasay City. Each will receive P4 million as prize.
The other outstanding rice producers in the country include Pangasinan in Region 1, Isabela in Region 2 and Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Bulacan and Tarlac in Region 3.
Remelyn R. Recoter, regional director of DA XI, said in a statement that the region was able to produce 452, 267 metric tons of rice last year from 421,692 metric tons in 2013. The area planted with rice also increased to 106,911 hectares last year compared to 103,475 hectares in 2013.
“Positive growth rate was noted because we have matched the existing conditions of rice production in their respective areas with appropriate interventions,” she said. Interventions include farm mechanization and postharvest facilities.
The municipality of Banaybanay in Davao Oriental also made it to the list of outstanding rice producing municipalities and cities in the country. It will receive P1 million during APRAA, the annual event of DA.
“The APRAA is part of DA’s interventions and incentive system to encourage local government units, irrigators associations, small water impounding system farmers’ associations and agricultural extension workers to contribute their share in increasing farmers’ harvest and incomes, to attain national rice sufficiency,” said Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala. - From mindanews.com

Thursday, September 24, 2015

69MW hydro plants to rise in Bukidnon at a cost of P12.5B

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MANOLO FORTICH, Bukidnon (MindaNews / 23 Apr) – A groundbreaking ceremony that will tap hydropower from Tagoloan River, the country’s 13th largest river system, to produce a total of 68.9 megawatts of electricity was held in Barangay Maluko, Manolo Fortich on Wednesday.
Hedcor President Rene Ronqillo said construction of the two cascading hydro plants—the 43.4 MW Manolo Fortich Hydro 1 and the 25.4 Manolo Fortich Hydro 2—will start right away.
Ronquillo said they expect to finish the construction with its total 68.8 MW rated capacity available to the Mindanao grid in 18 months.
He said the total cost of the project is P12.5 billion.
“The province of Bukidnon is the right place for this project and we commit that it will serve all the stakeholders,” Ronquillo said during the brief groundbreaking ceremony.
Since 1996, Hedcor has been interested in harnessing the tributaries – Tanaon, Amusig and Guihean – of Tagoloan River for its hydropower project.
The government, however, shelved the project proposal in 1998.
After government gave Hedcor the go signal in 2012, Ronquillo said it took them another two years to complete government requirements and get the approval from the lumads who live beside the three tributary rivers located in the towns of Manolo Fortich and Impasug-ong.
The Bukidnon provincial board said seven lumad communities – Santiago Tribal Community Inc., Higaonon Tribal Communities, Maluko Tribal Council, Bukidnon Tribal Community, Amosignon-Higaonon Tribal Organization, Nalandangan Tribal Datu Association Inc., and Apo Datu Namikunan Association Inc. – will be affected.
Ronquillo said Hedcor has already complied with all government requirements and the lumads have already given their consent to the project.
A lumad delegation led by Datu Honorio Sumohoy witnessed the groundbreaking ceremonies and helped bury a time capsule containing the written notes of Higaonon children.
Ronquillo said more than 800 local workers will be hired in the construction phase. - From mindanews.com

Biz group says Bukidnon needs updated tax codes to draw investments

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MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/01 May) – Bukidnon needs to reform its tax codes if it wants to attract more investors to the province, a business chamber official said.
“At the start of the day, you are supposed to put up signage saying Bukidnon is ready for investments, but you cannot (because of obsolete tax laws and other policies),” Roderico Bioco, president of the Bukidnon Kaamulan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (BKCCII) said.
He said promoting investments is good but should be backed by a correct policy environment.
“If investors (check on government’s) due diligence; we can only get very brave investors, but they are not as aggressive,” he said, adding Bukidnon is not the only investment destination.
Bioco spoke at the 19th Strictly Business News Conference at the Department of Trade and Industry-Bukidnon office on April 23.
The chamber announced the holding of a forum mapping out Bukidnon’s top commodities aside from rice, corn, and sugar. He said the province also produces rubber, abaca, cacao, cassava, oil palm, and banana.
He said it is important to lay out the value chain of these commodities to draw out an investment plan to support and promote them to possible investors.
But he said no investment promotion will work without a favorable business environment.
Bioco cited that the tax codes of Malaybalay and Valencia City needs to be updated.
Malaybalay, which became a city in 1998, is still using a tax code based on Presidential Decree 236, an earlier version of the Local Government Code of 1991, he said.
He said such law computes taxes based on gross sales. “But gross sales/receipts may include Value-added tax (VAT). You cannot tax a tax,” he said, adding PD 236 was imposed when there was no VAT yet.
He cited the case of the trucking industry, where he is one of the players, which is also excluded from the tax computation based on gross sales. “Only the provincial government can tax on trucking. Even with that, they can only tax per unit, not on gross receipts.” - From mindanews.com

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

THE VOICE: Heneral Luna: Reflections

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PUERTO PRINCESA CITY (MindaNews/21 September) — Why look for unity when it’s not there…?
My eyes still stung long after Gel, Ruby and I left the movie house.  It’s been ages since I last saw one memorable movie; much less one memorable Filipino movie.
Raj texted Friday that we should watch Heneral Luna.  Okay…movies cost a fortune – well, maybe pittance – but it’s hard to part with hard-earned money on scripts and plots that just change titles, producers, locations and actors.  Maybe I could wait for the DVD; and since I abhor many things that occupy space – maybe an e-copy will do.
Ever the loving firstborn who makes things happen without being disagreeable, Raj just lets his movie-bored mom be.
With time on my hands I googled (where else to go but virtual) Heneral Luna.  Why, it’s been on FB at the time when Pacquiao and Mayweather were pummeling each other, and I didn’t see it?  Shame.  Unfolding in front of me were reviews that led to another; and another; and so on and so forth.  This may be worth my time so Sunday was a date; after church.
*****
The ticket girl told us that religious services are held every Sunday at the same cinema where Heneral Luna was assigned.  I told her to convey to management that their schedules on the internet should be updated so as not to fool patrons.  Who cares if the message got across?
People were forming a beeline to another cinema dedicated to some movie – again, Filipino (arrgghhh) – about confused relationships.  Why do they love to create problems where there’s none, no…? So so first world let’s just discuss that later.
We had no choice but take the first screening the next day Monday.  And be there an hour early. - From mindanews.com

RIVERMAN’S VISTA: Mindanao Specter over APEC Summit

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews /19 Sept) — The Philippines will have a good moment in the sun in November when we host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit. Its an opportune time to be holding the APEC Summit in our country with the Philippine economy performing well and the President Aquino’s performance and trust ratings back at high levels. The summit’s coinciding with the opening salvos of the 2016 election campaign is also a good thing; we can show off our working democracy with all the noise and intensity that accompanies it. There will of course be some inconveniences, with traffic likely to be a sore thumb that week. That the days of the summit, November 18 and 19, have been declared non-working holidays will hopefully ease gridlock and make Manila a more pleasant experience for our visitors.
As we prepare for the APEC summit, it should be said that the government and the private sector has done a really good job in making our hosting of APEC world-class. The preparatory conferences have been done well and without a hitch. It seems that the participants in all these pre-Summit meetings have been enjoying them and have maximized their value for economic and cultural exchange.
I was in the government in 1996 when the Philippines last hosted the APEC Summit with President Fidel V. Ramos welcoming the leaders to Manila. That was challenging to do and we did that well. The Aquino government has done the same and risen to the challenge. It should be congratulated for its good preparations.
I am personally hoping for the success of the summit. In fact, I am preparing now a series of welcoming articles to publish during that period to help the country have a good and united face before the visitors.
Recently, however, two developments from Mindanao threaten to be a specter over the APEC Summit. These are the Bangsamoro question and the Lumad killings. I urge our decision-makers to pay attention to these two matters so the country does not suffer a black eye during the run-up to the summit. Maybe I might be exaggerating this, but I am concerned that things could come to a head on these issues in November and crises could flare up if they are not addressed early.
For the Bangsamoro question, by November, we should have clarity on whether a Bangsamoro Basic Law will be enacted by Congress and on whether that law is acceptable to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). While the MILF leadership has promised that there will be no going back to war if there is no BBL or if the one enacted does not conform with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, tensions would sure rise and probably reach a crescendo in November, coinciding with the APEC Summit. - From mindanews.com 

A SOJOURNER’S VIEW: Cinema in situ

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NABUNTURAN, Compostela Valley (MindaNews/20 September) —IN SITU,  the Latin phrase that literally means “in its (original) place or position” as well as “on site” or “in position”,  “locally”, “on the premises” or “in place” to describe an event where it takes place – is not what one would think of when the name of Nabunturan, capital town of Compostela Valley Province,  comes up in a conversation.
But these past four days – 17 to 19 September 2015 –  I was just amazed howin situwas the appropriate term to use when referring to an event that took place in this ordinary Mindanawon town.  This rather amazing event is the NABIFILMEX or the Nabunturan Independent Film Exhibition where most of the films were shown in situ.  Meaning, there were short films made by the ordinary folks of Nabunturan showing in their original place of origin, that is, films locally produced.  And the actual site where the films were shown was the local plaza of the town where there is a park where people can sit on cement benches or grass.
This was alsoin situ,referring to the yesteryears of my youth when films were shown for free in the town plaza of Digos where I grew up; the original drive-in theatre or as the NABIILMEX would label – an open air theatre or cinema in open spaces.  What a delight these past four nights were for those who made it to the film showings of this very local (very yano ngafilm festival).  The goings on of this film exhibition  paralleled the thrills of cinema romantically profiled by the award-winning Italian film CINEMA PARADISO, now considered  an extraodinary film classic.
Through my elementary years and early high school, there were those vehicles owned by merchandising corporations selling soap, cigarettes, etc. that traversed the small towns delivering goods to the sari-sari stores. While going around town, the driver announced that he would be showing films in the evening in the town plaza in case there was no rain. At night, the driver  unfolded the gadgets for film showing; most films were old Hollywood films including those about cowboys, comedians and Christ Jesus. In-between, there were the endless advertisements. We had to bring chairs if we wanted to sit comfortably.  Of course, there were enterprising vendors selling boiled peanuts.
NABILMEX  brought those memories back as we satin situto watch the films at the town open air plaza in Nabunturan. A big screen – the size corresponding to what cinemas have – was set up facing the park and the people could either sit on cement benches or on the grass. The sound system made it possible for everyone to clearly hear the films’ sounds.  This time, however, these were no longer long feature films from Hollywood.  Instead, we and  Nabunturan’s madlang people watched short films made by budding filmmakers, most of whom are ordinary folks including those who are citizens of Nabunturan.  On an average, these were films that lasted from 10 to 20 minutes and these were in Bisaya and Tagalog with English sub-titles. - From mindanews.com

Monday, September 14, 2015

Bukidnon youth leader cuts on expenses to save money for Pope’s visit

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MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/17 January) – A youth leader obliged herself to cut on expenses so she can save money for the plane ticket to Manila as one of the delegates of the Diocese of Malaybalay to the youth encounter with Pope Francis on Sunday, Jan. 18, at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.
Shiela Lumambas, head of the youth formation core team of the diocese, said that after knowing she could join the trip to Manila she started to save so as not to miss the opportunity to see the Pope. She flew to Manila on Friday.
“It is an investment for young people, it is an opportunity I could not miss,” she said.
Lumambas, 23, works as associate editor of the church-run Ang Bandilyo newspaper for her day job.
She said young people like her took the opportunity to travel to Manila for the youth encounter with the Pope because others need to travel abroad just to see him.
But since it entails cost, she and the other delegates have to make sacrifices.
The Episcopal Commission on Youth allotted 60 slots for the delegation from the Malaybalay Diocesan Commission on Youth. But Lumambas said only 53 confirmed to attend due mainly to the cost of travel.
She was able to buy a round-trip Laguindingan (Misamis Oriental)-Manila ticket at a discounted rate of P3,000 plus. But others were unable to avail of such rate.
She said many intended to attend because of the possibility of a free ride on a Philippine Air Force’s C-130 plane. They initially submitted 15 names and later 40, but no confirmation came.
Seven members of their delegation tried to get slots on the PAF plane at 6a.m. on January 16 from Cagayan de Oro City but failed.
Lumambas cited that Jay-ar Yabo, a member of the Bukidnon youth delegation, was picked to join a lunch with Pope Francis in Manila. - From mindanews.com

Town police chief, deputy killed in Bukidnon grenade attacks

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MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 10 Feb) – A Bukidnon town police chief and his deputy died when another policeman lobbed grenades at them after a gathering and dinner Monday night, reports said.
The fatalities were identified as Senior Insp. Crisanto Molina and Insp. Dexter Garcia, both of the municipality of Cabanglasan, which is situated in Bukidnon’s border with Agusan del Sur.
The suspect, PO1 Gorospe Cairo of the Cabanglasan municipal police who was reported to have tested positive in a drug test, is at large, municipal officials said.
Police Inspector Jiselle Ester Lou M. Longakit, Bukidnon provincial police office public information officer, said manhunt operations are ongoing against the suspect.
Hansel Echavez, chief of the Bukidnon Provincial Public Affairs and Information and Assistance Office, quoted Cabanglasan Vice Mayor Lolita Obsioma as saying that Cairo lobbed the first grenade at the dining hall. The blast killed Molina instantly after being hit with shrapnel in the head and back. Garcia ran after the suspect, but the latter threw another grenade, killing Garcia.
Before the incident, local officials have cited requests they made to pull out two police officers in Cabanglasan who were reported to have tested positive in the drug test. Molina was quoted to have said he was waiting for the order from the regional and provincial police offices for the pull out.
Longakit said Cairo was supposed to report to the Bukidnon Provincial Police Office on Tuesday while undergoing the process of pre-charge evaluation of the administrative case that will be filed against the erring police officers.
Both Molina and Garcia, she added, joined the Philippine National Police through its Lateral Entry Program, a scheme that allows professionals from select fields to enter the police force obtaining inspector ranks without going through the Philippine National Police Academy. - From mindanews.com

Friday, September 11, 2015

Hundreds displaced, 7 dead, 3 missing in Valencia floods

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MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/05 August) — At least 226 families or 793 individuals have been displaced by floods in five barangays in Valencia City, the Philippine Information Agency-Bukidnon on Wednesday said, citing figures from the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
The floods were caused by heavy monsoon rains that hit Valencia and other parts of Bukidnon this week.
The evacuees, who started fleeing Tuesday and were housed at the Valencia City gymnasium, came from Barangays Bagontaas, Poblacion, Guinoyoran, Sugod and Tugaya.
PIA-Bukidnon quoted City DRRM Officer Alejandro Larosa as saying that the floods totally damaged 18 houses and partially damaged 36 others.
Larosa said seven persons were confirmed to have drowned as flash floods hit the city at around 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Among the casualties was a 6-month old baby boy who was rescued on Tuesday afternoon but died in a hospital on Wednesday morning, he said.
The boy’s mother identified only as Gina also died. Rescuers retrieved his body on Wednesday, the official said.
Larosa said a rescue team was still looking for the body of the boy’s father at Panlibatuhan Creek.
He added three persons identified as Bobsky Batistil, 7; Epifanio Canyamu, 23; and Eddie Eroisa were reported missing after they were swept by the rampaging waters. (MindaNews) - From mindanews.com

Road project to shorten travel time from Marawi to Cagayan de Oro

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COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/08 August) — Travel time from Marawi City to Cagayan de Oro City will soon be shortened from 3.5 hours to 1.5 hours with the concreting of the Kapai-Tagoloan-Talakag road.
Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Lanao Del Sur Mamintal Adiong Jr. signed in Kapai, Lanao del Sur last Friday the memorandum of agreement (MOA) allowing the provincial government to implement the project starting this year, with the concreting of the road from Kapai to Tagoloan, also in Lanao del Sur, the last ARMM town en route to Talakag, Bukidnon in Region 10.
Groundbreaking rites were also held for the Phase II of the Kapai-Tagoloan road.
Kapai town is 30 minutes away from Marawi City and is the gateway to secluded Tagoloan town, the last frontier in the tri-boundary of Lanao Del Sur, Bukidnon and Cagayan De Oro City.
“This road project is part of the vision of Gov. Mujiv Hataman to open a ‘short cut’ that will allow residents of Lanao del Sur to reach urban centers like Cagayan de Oro at the shortest time possible, no longer passing through Iligan City,” said Engr. Don Loong, Secretary of the ARMM’s Department of Public Works and Highways.
Loong stressed that for decades, farmers travel for half a day before reaching the town center of  Marawi City to bring their agricultural goods, paying excessive transportation fare.
At worst, some travel on foot for almost a day, he said.
“The impact of this now is cheaper transport cost and faster transactions for farmers to bring their goods to the market, Hataman said in his speech after the signing of the MOA.
He added that the project will also open up vast tracts of potential agricultural land for more rural development initiatives including the attraction of tourism for Lake Lanao.
“Soon we can have trucks to bring the goods to the people, easy access to urban trading, health facilities, government offices and education for children” Hataman said.
A press release from the DPHW-ARMM quoted District Engineer Luzvimin Sani as saying the province’s first district engineering office had earlier determined the capability of the provincial government to implement the project in terms of human capacity, equipment and other resources. - From mindanews.com

DENR clarifies report on illegal logs seized in Davao del Norte

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/17 August) — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Southern Mindanao has clarified that illegal logs seized in Davao del Norte in the first semester of 2015 did not come from neighboring Bukidnon province.
A MindaNews report on July 27 quoted Victor Billones, Chief of the Enforcement Division of DENR XI, as saying that 32 suspected illegal loggers were arrested in Davao Region, 17 cases of which were noted in Davao del Norte.
Billones was reported to have said this did not make Davao del Norte as a hotspot and that the province has a strategic location for the transport of illegal logs, most especially coming from neighboring Bukidnon area.
In a letter sent to MindaNews, Billones clarified that what he meant was that Davao del Norte has a high concentration of Wood Processing Plants (WPPs), and that it is a “strategic location and a convergence area from neighboring provinces or region like Davao Oriental, Agusan and Bukidnon.”
But this “cannot be construed that illegal logs are transported to a strategic location in Davao del Norte and that said illegal logs are sourced from the neighboring Bukidnon area,” he said.
“I know for a fact how strict the LGU of Bukidnon is in their implementation of the forestry laws, rules, and regulations .. but also the fact on how they have effectively managed to protect their area from illegal cutting of trees,” he said.
Of the 32 suspected illegal loggers, four from Davao del Norte and one from Compostela Valley have been charged for violation of PD 389, also known as “Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines, as amended by PD 705.
DENR XI has intensified its anti-illegal logging drive in the region, along with the military which set up 10 checkpoints throughout the region. DENR XI hired 59 forest protection officers who report any illegal logging operations in their communities.
Authorities have so far recovered 521.90 cubic meters with market value placed at P1.9 million. This is higher than last year’s record of 510.32 cubic meters of logs worth P1.8 million from 56 apprehensions for the entire year of 2014.
Billones attributed the increase to participation of the community in reporting suspected illegal loggers.(MindaNews) - From mindanews.com

Thursday, September 10, 2015

ANGARAY’S TAKE: Customizing education despite ASEAN 2015

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/27 June) Harnessing the potentials of the people behind the creative industry is one objective of Arts Management Incentives, which I found very interesting. The Cultural Center of the Philippines recently brought together the artists, teachers, cultural workers, curators, film-makers, writers, designers and tourism officers for the gathering on June 25 to 26, 2015 in Xavier University. I contextualized the inputs of the speakers in reviewing a curriculum. Among those who spoke in the gathering were: Nestor Jardin on Creative Industry, Luwindela Concha on Copyright, Dennis Marasigan on Marketing the Arts, Steven Fernandez on Social Media Marketing and Diwa de Leon on Online Platform. The author with Diwa de Leon, one of the famous video-bloggers. Explore his craft in The String Player Gamer via youtube. Management program includes analysis, planning, implementation and control; and these four concepts are very fitting in curriculum development. At present, outcome-based curricula shape the content of higher education. It gears adjustments to learning processes, school structure and to the culture of the school itself. This educational perspective challenges both the educators and social scientists to work together and prescribe the best education. Analyzing the local needs of the community will guide the setting of goals of a particular school whose service must benefit first the locals. Though schools now have to gear up for the Asean 2015 but its accountability to the localities remains. Planning includes re-structuring of manpower and over-hauling of curricula to befit the characteristics and learning styles of today’s students. Computer-motivated learning requires computer-motivated teaching. This is one aspect of implementing a new educational landscape where we should find e-school, e-book, e-library, e-notebook and the like. Dr. Oscar B. Cabaňelez, president of Bukidnon State University (BSU), has recently declared the Quality Policy of BSU to assure the public of a high quality of service from the school. One philosophy of management is Societal Marketing Concept that goes beyond just achieving organizational goals and delivering goods to the market. Businessmen’s language explains this concept as the consideration of the society’s well-being; and individual’s well-being. With this philosophy, I go for customized education. Self-actualization, where school is an avenue, is a universal aim of education thus; it requires a personalized manner of learning and teaching. Customized education disbands cognitive uniformity and promotes diverse interpretation of knowledge. Customized education exalts the learner’s self. Customized education means I should know my students, their skills, interests, psychological condition or their needs and design a learning process to befit their level of readiness for intellectual engagement. This sounds unrealistic but ideal. Is there a space for customized education in the outcome-based curriculum? Could it be accommodated in the paradigm of the Philippine schools? Maybe. As I listened to varied discourses for two days in that activity sponsored by the Xavier Center for Culture and the Arts, I thought of ‘selling my products’ or promoting my subjects creatively by customizing my teaching material. I was just right then when www.balugto.blogspot was born in 2013 in Davao City with the intention of providing literature to my students and to any researchers whose interests are on the people, the places and the culture of Bukidnon. I’m still in the threshold of the digital world, at least, but I’m willing to work on a customized teaching. -From  bukidnonnews.net

Educator’s Voice: Bitter Bites of K to 12

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MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/03 September) Five and fighting! The K to 12 Program of the Department of Education has been around for five years since its implementation in 2010.Yes, five years has passed yet we still debate whether K to 12 is a help or harm, bitter or better, and go or no. We still talk of it like bread out of the oven, fresh and warm.Up until now, we still share the same worries and fears. On May 9, 2015, thousands of people gathered around Liwasang Bonifacio and rallied for the suspension of RA 10533 otherwise known as K to 12 Law.The call against K to 12 was led by Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV. They laid out, one after another, bad and bitter bits of the K to 12. They argued that Philippines is not ready for that one giant step. Their concerns include lack of classrooms, shortage of teachers, and loss of jobs for those teaching in college, and more expenses for the added two years in high school. At some point, they may have a good score.The new program entails gigantic preparation. We can’t just sit around and play safe. We want to be sure than sorry. It needs further and stronger study. Better yet, get everyone involved in a survey. This big change doesn’t and shouldn’t happen overnight. It needs more time. If it was a piece of cake, it would come out half-baked. We can’t just close our eyes and play dead amidst these possible problems. Classrooms, if not out-of-number, are out-of-order. Students and teachers struggle in make-shift classrooms. Some even hold classes in the gymnasium. More than 60 students crowd themselves inside a small classroom. We even need more books, manuals, and materials,especially that pupils in primary education use their native tongue as medium of instruction due to the MTB-MLE (Mother-Tongue Based Multi-Lingual Education) which is a major part of K to 12. Add to that, teachers need to undergo seminars and trainings to orient them of the new methods, policy, and grading system. The program is in need of thousand more teachers particularly for the classes required for junior and senior high schools. Even prior to the implementation of the said program, the country is in dire want for teachers, which the government can hardly cope with. Two of the strongest points against the program are unemployment of teachers and employees in universities and colleges, and the two more years which parents and most students consider a burden. One more year and the pioneers of the new curriculum will have entered Senior High School. It is during this initial stage when enrolment to colleges and universities shall drop for two school years. This will mean massive unemployment of college instructors, employees, and staff. What will these workers do? Where will they go? - From  bukidnonnews.net

EDUCATOR’S VOICE: The Power of Giving Read more at:

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MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/07 September 2015) There’s more to life than wasting your money, energy and most especially your time while you can do something that can be beneficial. We live in this world that is full of changes and the rise of technology. We all have wants. Yes, there is a difference between wants and needs. Most of us just waste our money for unnecessary things. We have what we call insecurities, and these insecurities we all have seen on the television and ads. For example, a beauty product that gives a branding of looking like the endorser or a celebrity. What we don’t know is that it does not give us contentment instead to strive more even though what we have is what we have. To cut the chase, why not live and be contented. There is another way you can do for your money and time. The best thing you can do is to give. Why don’t you share something to the needy. There are many things you can offer like giving foods, clothes, footwear or a simple yet fun program. The moment you remember other people who suffers from famine and poverty, you may be their blessing. Each of our brothers and sisters who are unfortunate in life, they also pray to meet someone to help them. IT MIGHT BE YOU the answer. The power of giving is essential because it gives you a pure joy and fulfilment. It is such an honor to be a blessing to others. The moment you share your time and give something, it touches the lives of the needy. You may not know their feelings, but deep inside, they are rejoicing and thanking the Lord and you. In the Bible, Proverbs 22:9 said, whoever is generous will be blessed because he has shared his food with the poor. By giving, it creates camaraderie to others and the sense of belonging. Our Lord, parents, school teaches us to be generous because life is not constant. That is why if we receive many blessings, let us also remember that someone also is in need. We value our money so much because we work hard to earn it. But let us also think that if we just spend it right away, we might think as well to spend it wisely. Through giving, there is love. Love and affection is the key why we help others. Life is too complicated and there are so many things yet to come. That is why we should not be selfish. Instead, we also care and help the society, the people and of course, our self to be loving and caring. As the song of the late Whitney Houston goes, learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all. The song has a selfish meaning but the thought is true. It order for you to love others, you need first to love yourself. This world will be a better place if all of us will unite and extend hand in hand. Above all, God works in mysterious ways. He may make you as the Good Samaritan to others and the answer to their prayers. Give and be a blessing! (Contributed to BukidnonNews.Net by Jenelyn A. Cid) - From bukidnonnews.net

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

‘It was the worst flood ever in our place’

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VALENCIA CITY (MindaNews/06 August) – She had lived with floods in previous years. But for Leilani Cabanez, the flood that raged along Panlibatuhan Creek in this city on Tuesday was the worst she had experienced so far.
Cabanez said it was the first time the water level of the creek rose so high that she and most of her neighbors were unable to bring any belongings with them as they tried to escape to safety.
“I brought nothing. The clothes I’m wearing now are all donated,” she said in the vernacular.
Cabanez’s house stands beside the creek in Purok 16, Barangay Poblacion. She said her house was not damaged but was still dirty with mud and debris.
She said she believes the flood was caused by a “buhawi” (twister). “Dako man gyud kaayo ang tubig, unya morag naglukot-lukot og maayo ba” (The water was so big and raged like waves).
Cedenda Vina, Cabanez’s neighbor and relative, also said it was the worst flood along Panlibatuhan Creek.
Vina said she started living in Purok 16 in 1992. She recalled that floods had occurred in the past years “pero dili ingon ani kagrabe” (not as bad as this one).
“Before, the water only flooded the floor of our house. But on Tuesday the water level already reached our window,” she said.
“Ingon ani kataas among bintana,” (Our windows are as high as this) she said, putting her right hand above her head while her left hand shook the head of her one-year old daughter who had started to cry.
Vina stands around five feet tall.
She said she was in nearby Barangay Bagontaas on Tuesday to attend her father-in-law’s burial when she heard about the flood.
She rushed home but it was too late to try to save their belongings. She would have been trapped inside by the rising water if not for the rescuers who threw a rope to them and pulled them to safety.
At the time, two of her seven children were still in school. The flood occurred around 3pm.
Norvin Yam-oc, a resident of Purok 6A, said he and his wife, Luisa, would have drowned too if not for the rescuers.
“I had to carry my wife on my shoulders while holding on to the rope thrown by the rescuers. She could no longer walk on the ground as the water was already so high,” Yam-oc said.
He said they managed to save some clothes but their appliances and two motorcycles were all damaged.
The flood on Tuesday displaced 226 families or 793 individuals. They were housed at the city gymnasium and provided rations by the local government. -From mindanews.com

Monday, September 7, 2015

“We suffer when our parents have no work”

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/02 May) — Fifteen year old Lito of Bukidnon joined his parents in the Labor Day march here last Friday to express how children suffer when their parents suffer from low wages and lack of job security.
“I am here with my parents because children also suffer when our parents do not have work. My father keeps on jumping from one job to another and what he receives can’t even sustain our family. As a result, all of us – our mother and my siblings — try our best to work as well to help,” Lito said.
Lito and his parents joined some 2,500 protesters from the different parts of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental in the march to commemorate Labor Day.
“Our activity is for the interest of our workers, we are gathering here to signify our intention for balanced labor practices. The rallies are staged simultaneously all over the Philippines. Ask and demand from our government to act on the rights of our workers, wage increase and also the problem on the never ending increase of basic commodities and public utilities,” Joel Maglungsod, Kilusang Mayo Uno vice president for political affairs, said.
Maglungsod reiterated that the government headed by President Benigno Aquino III has a lot of labor issues that need to be addressed.
“Now we have 12.1 million Filipino people who are unemployed or underemployed and more people are working without security of tenure due to contractualization. Our workers are shouting for 16,000 pesos across the board minimum wage both public and private,” said Manglunsod.
Wildon Barrios, KMU chairp in Nothern Mindanao pointed out the need for government to attend to the wage problem in Region 10.
“The nominal wage of workers here in region 10 is around 279 to 306 a day while our inflation has pushed up the family living wage at 1,086 per day for a family of around four to six while prices of basic goods and services had been continuing to increase,” said Barrios.
“There are other sectors in the service in malls, restaurants, banks, hotels, hospitals, media, call centers and others. There is also in construction sector that aside from being dangerous, the given salaries from the contractors are very low and don’t have benefits,” he added. -From mindanews.com

Malaysian, MisOr firms sign deal on 1M oil palm seeds for formers

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CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews/12 May) — A leading Malaysian agribusiness firm entered into an agreement with a Misamis Oriental-based agricultural company on Monday to distribute one million of high quality oil palm seeds to farmers in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental.
Felda Global Ventures (FGV) Vice President S. Palaniappan hailed the signing of the business partnership with Bali Oil Produce Corporation of Misamis Oriental as “a milestone.”
Palaniappan said the oil palm seeds they intend to distribute to farmers in the two provinces are assured of quality as these are backed by extensive research and development by their firm.
“This is a milestone in collaboration. The quality of our seeds is supported with extensive research and development by our company,” Palaniappan said.
He said they plan to distribute one million oil palm seedlings to farmers in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental through the help of Bali Oil Produce Corporation.
FGV is a leading agribusiness firm in Malaysia which uses its cutting edge technology from its research and development department to boost production of palm oil.
Manuel Boniao, chair of Bali Oil, said they will distribute the seedlings to farmers in the towns of Kalilangan , Maramag in Bukidnon and Tagoloan and Villanueva in Misamis Oriental.
He said they intend to cover 50,000 hectares in the first year of the arrival of seedlings.
“One major thing that is different here is that the farmers still own and till their lands unlike other agricultural companies that produce pineapple and bananas,” Boniao said.
“We are just adding more value and profitability to the farmers,” he added.
Boniao said they have tied up with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the Cooperative Development Authority to provide soft loans to the farmers.
He said DBP has already agreed to provide loans to 1,750 farmers in the towns of Kalilangan, Pangantukan and Talakag towns in Bukidnon.
The distribution agreement between FGV and Bali Oil also included technology training for the farmers and nursery operations. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews) -From mindanews.com

Friday, September 4, 2015

BUKIDNON VIEWS: A Closer Look Into DepEd’s K to 12 Program

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LOS BAÑOS (BukidnonNews.Net/25 June) To address the dismal state of education in the country, the government’s education department came up with the K to 12 program. In a discussion paper circulated by DepEd last Oct. 5, 2010, the following reasons are cited as to why K to 12 should be implemented: 1.) the previous curriculum is congested; 2.) Mediocre performance of students in 2003 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS) where Philippines ranked 34 out of 38 in HS II Math, 43 out of 46 in HS II Science; and 23 out of 25 for Grade 4 in Math and Science; 3.) Low passing rate of students in National Achievement Test (NAT) – 69.21% for Grade 6 and 46.38% for High School; 4.) Graduates are not ready enough to work or to pursue higher studies; 5.) College graduates in the Philippines are not recognized abroad. From the reasons cited above, it can be deduced that the K to 12 program seeks to upgrade the basic education curriculum in order to uplift our educational system. This, of course, is a laudable initiative when taken at face value. However, we need to treat it with caution as laudable initiatives nowadays are usually laced with unsavory motives. The PDAF and the DAP fiasco has taught us that it is not wise to readily believe what some government officials tell us. The K to 12 program sponsors argue that to be at par with international standards, the addition of two more years to the usual 10 year cycle is necessary. This line of argument banks on the idea that the lack of more instructional time for students to master core competencies is the culprit behind the country’s dismal state of education. But then, this argument becomes irrelevant in the actual implementation of the program. Why? Well, simply because the addition of two more years in the education cycle does not actually address the lack of instructional time for core competencies. The added two years are allotted for skills development that is meant to guarantee a ready supply of cheap labor. With this, it can safely be assumed then that K to 12 does not truly address the issue of a congested curriculum. Another buzzword from the K to 12 program is the so-called spiral approach. Proponents of the program claim that the spiral approach is better and that it is more beneficial in achieving mastery of core competencies. But then, how can this become favorable and better when we consider the fact that teachers usually have specializations? How can teachers efficiently teach lessons which are not in the domain of their specialization? Can we expect a chemistry teacher to be effective in teaching biology? Or perhaps for a statistics teacher to teach calculus? The answers are quite obvious. From the questions above, it can be gleaned that the effectiveness of the spiral approach hinges on the number of teachers available to cover all specializations. So this would mean that the government needs to hire even more teachers which is not feasible from a financial point of view. Another option would be to retrain all the teachers in order for them to be equipped for the spiral approach. This is not just financially unsound but also pragmatically flawed as it does not guarantee that the training (however comprehensive it might be) will produce effective teachers for the spiral approach. To address the effectiveness of teachers for the spiral approach would mean that the curriculum for teachers’ education should also be drastically altered and tailored to the spiral approach. Moreover, claims that the low passing rate of students in the NAT can be traced back to the previous curriculum are not well founded. To date, there is no solid research yet that ties the previous curriculum to low performance in the NAT. But even without research, it is easy to suppose that the low passing rate in the NAT can be attributed to a lot of factors which would include the lack of basic facilities like classrooms, and lack of well-trained teachers. -From bukidnonnews.net

EDUCATOR’S CORNER: BNHS Brigada Eskwela 2015 draws 6,000 volunteers

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MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/ July 2) Bukidnon National High School’s Brigada Eskwela volunteer program last summer gathered a total of 5,990 volunteers and raised a total of around P1 million from donations and equivalent labor cost. Volunteers repaired and repainted classrooms, comfort rooms and roofs from May 18 to 23. They also constructed a new roofed walk, pathway railings and a volleyball court as well as rehabilitate the old multipurpose court. The number of volunteers this year is 1,427 more than last year’s volunteer count at 4,563. BNHS reached the feat despite its exemption from this year’s competition for Best Brigada Eskwela Implementing Schools. BNHS won the contest for three consecutive years earning the Hall of Fame honor. It was given a year of break from joining the national competition. Students, parents and officials of the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) composed the main volunteers. Representatives from other sectors also joined like those from the local government units of barangay governments, the City of Malaybalay and the Province of Bukidnon. There were also personnel from the Traffic Management Center and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of Malaybalay who attended. The Philippine National Police was also represented by officers from the Bukidnon Provincial Police Office and the Malaybalay City Police Station along with representatives from the Army’s 403rd Infantry Brigade. The Malaybalay City Water District also sent their representatives. BNHS alumni and members of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) and the Red Cross Youth (RCY) joined the community work. There were also representatives from religious groups like Christ Commission Fellowship (CCF) and The Church of Christ of the Latter Day Saints who joined the project. Personnel and officials of private companies also joined the project along with teachers from private institutions. Pariso L. Orong, then BNHS secondary school principal, said there was a need for the school to sustain its Brigada Eskwela achievements this year even though it’s no longer competing. The Brigada Eskwela this year raised a total value of PhP 1,099, 844.90 from donations and equivalent labor cost. This was the amount that the Department of Education (DepEd) was supposed to spend for the maintenance and repair of the school. Donations, which include cash, materials, and snacks, are valued at P202, 844.90 while the labor cost of the volunteers was valued at Php 897,000.00. The school management used the formula: total number of volunteers multiplied with the number of hours rendered at P37.5/hr.) Last November, BNHS was awarded as Best Implementing School of Brigada Eskwela National Finals for Big School Category. It was also one of the 22 Best Implementing schools out of 95 school awardees that made it to the Hall of Fame. Last year’s Brigada had drawn 4,563 volunteers and raised a total donations and labor cost valued at P1,546,122.00. By 2016, the school can already compete in the Exceptional category of the Brigada Eskwela National Finals. DepEd’s Brigada Eskwela also known as the National Schools Maintenance Week focused on the theme “Tayo Para sa Kalinisan at Kahandaan ng Ating mga Paaralan.- From bukidnonnews.net

CMU student wins in Asia-Pacific agro-science tilt

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MUSUAN, Maramag, Bukidnon (BukidnonNews.Net/21 June) Central Mindanao University master’s degree student Fedencio V. Paslon, Jr. won second place in an agro-science competition in the Asia-Pacific region. He won in the research-based AllTech Young Scientist Competition (AYS) – Graduate Category. Paslon, a student taking Master of Science in Plant Pathology, presented his study entitled “Antagonistic Effects of Different Rhizobacteria against Bacterial Blight Pathogen (Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae) and Growth Performance of Rice (Oryza sativa L.).” He prevailed second best in Asia Pacific Region over 9000 entries worldwide. The first prize was bagged by a researcher from China.

The CMU academic community honored Paslon in an awarding ceremony at the university administration building on June 19. The awarding rite was held along with the opening salvo of the 50th anniversary of Central Mindanao University. The campus launch of the Alltech Young Scientist 2015-16 was also held. Dr. Ma. Luisa Soliven, university president, handed a medal, two plaques of recognition, and the prize of US$ 1,000. Mr. Damy Garino and Mr. Grant Amoncio, AllTech representatives, attended the awarding rites. Soliven hailed Paslon for being the first CMUan to win in the said competition. She also assured that there will be more winners from the university in the future. Amoncio, also a graduate of CMU and one of its previous student leaders, challenged the university to produce winners especially in the undergraduate category. A researcher from Pampanga won the first place in the competition’s undergraduate category. “The feeling was very good”, the 26-year old Paslon said recalling his reaction when he was informed of the result. The awardee works as a research entomologist in Syngenta in General Santos. “There was a good use of figures and tables and the paper was well referenced. Great research”, said Dr. Inge Russell, Scientific Director of the AYS, as quoted by Amoncio. -From bukidnonnews.net

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Military, police claim Bukidnon town raid legal

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THE military and police said on Wednesday they are confident that the raid on a small village in Bukidnon last week can stand legal scrutiny if questioned in court by human rights organizations.
Bukidnon police director Edgar Daniel Jr., said the raid in Barangay White Kulaman, Kitaotao town last August 26 was covered by a search warrant issued by acting executive Judge Maritess Bernales of the Regional Trial Court Branch 39 in Misamis Oriental.
“The judge found our request to search in order. The search warrant covered 57 houses in Barangay White Kulaman. We are confident it will stand the scrutiny,” Superintendent Daniel said during a press conference on Wednesday.
Earlier, Bayan Muna lawmaker Representative Isagani Zarate told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro he found it “highly irregular” that Judge Bernales issued a “general“search warrant that covers 57 houses in Barangay White Kulaman.
Zarate said the army and police operation was nothing but a “Gestapo-like raid” considering the search warrant is “defective.”
He said search warrants are specifically applied to individuals with “specific addresses.”
Rebellion, illegal possession of firearms
Meanwhile, charges of rebellion and illegal possession of firearms and explosives were filed at the Regional Trial Court in Malaybalay City against 11 residents of Barangay White Kulaman on Wednesday.
The army presented chairman Felipe Cabugnasan of Barangay White Kulaman who said he and some members of their council were the ones who provided the “details and specifics” where the firearms and explosives of the New People’s Army were hidden.
“We became fed up by the abuses of the NPA. They asked everything from us even our Internal Revenue Allotment; Disaster management funds. It was too much,” Cabugnasan told reporters Wednesday.
He said the NPA rebels who came to their village in 2003 have gotten so embolden that they even exacted daily revolutionary tax of P200 a day on small vendors and chainsaw operators.
Army Captain Jonald Fallar obtained the search warrant from Judge Bernales after presenting the sketches and information from Cabugnasan.
Gunpowder residues.
Meanwhile, Superintendent April Madrono, assistant regional director of the PNP Scene of the Crime Operatives (Soco) said they found gunpowder residues on the hands of all five NPA rebels killed by the soldiers in Pangantucan town last August 19.
“Four of the rebels have gunpowder burns in both of their hands while one of the dead rebel had only gunpowder burns in one hand, “Madrono said.
“Meaning these persons fired their weapons when they were killed,” she added.
Karapatan and other militant organizations claimed the five rebels were not NPA members but farmers summarily executed by the soldiers.
Pangantucan 5 not rebels
In a statement released by Karapatan in Northern Mindanao on Wednesday, Emer Somina, Ramil Somina, Norman Samia, Jobert Samia, and Herminio Samia were only farmers living in Barangay Mendis, Pangantucan, Bukidnon, according to relatives and neighbors of the five.
The statement said that village chief Victor Klerigo even identified to Karapatan the five were not members of the New People's Army (NPA) but were “visible” and “regular” residents in the community. Karapatan also found 'legal documents' proving the identities of the five alleged members of the rebel group.
Among the documents were certificate of membership with the government project 4Ps, voter's and PhilHealth IDs.
Karapatan also said the victims' deep wounds located on their necks were indication that they were not killed in the encounter with the government troops.
"Aduna sila’y mga laglum na samad na mura ug gipanggulgol gamit ang hait na instrumento, subay sa mga nikuha sa patayng lawas sa mga biktima," Fr. Christopher Ablon, spokesperson of Karapatan-NorMin said.
He also said those who carried the victim's bodies did not see any guns or bombs nearby the bodies to indicate they were armed civilians. Ablon furthered the lumads' culture was violated following the Army's order to autopsy the bodies of the victims.
"Wala man gud sa ilang kultura gani na mag-embalsamar so murag na-violate gyud ilang pamaagi sa ilang community."
Ablon also calls to stop the unjust tightening of security in the area.
"Ang mga army gilimitahan nila ang oras sa pagsaka sa atong mga lumad, sa uma, didto man unta sila matulog para dako ug agi, pero karon, hangtud udto naman hinuon sila taman lang," Ablon said.  -From sunstar.com

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

EDUCATOR’S VOICE: Relevant gov’t response: Addressing high drop-out rate through 4Ps

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MARAMAG, Bukidnon (15 August/BukidnonNews.Net) The perennial problem of dropouts in many schools has been addressed by the government. This incidence of school drop-outs was attributed to the condition of the pupils’ family who cannot totally support their children’s schooling. Such condition is characterized by the inadequate food, school supplies and money for transportation from their home to the school. Most parents expressed that they let their children give up school because they cannot give them enough “baon.” Fare is high and food is not enough for all their children who go to school everyday. They also expressed that the children who dropped out are actually forced to work to help augment the family’s income. Having children out of the school is not favorable to the government. Children are given the preferred treatment because they are recognized to exercise their rights as provided in the 1987 Philippine Constitution and guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of Children (CRC) promoted by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the UNICEF. Similarly, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization promotes Education For All (EFA) that ensures the equal access and opportunity to quality education for all children. Under this condition, the government responded by implementing the 4 Ps program that provides the poor families with cash allowance to support the children’s need in school such as food, and school supplies and ensure that they stay in school to study. The 4 Ps or Pantawid Pampamilyang Pilipino Program aims to give financial support to the poorest of the poor sector in different communities to ensure that high literacy level among the Filipinos remains high. Although, the 4Ps program is viewed by some sectors to be a dole-out approach, the education sector is hopeful that the program would be an effective means to reducing high drop-out rate. However, government intervention must go beyond just giving in the form of cash transfer. It must also develop the value of responsibility and accountability among parents. The recipients should be trained to use the funds for the school needs of their children. The school officials and teachers, on their part are expected to take the responsibility of educating the parents on the proper and wise use of the financial resources given by the government. In this way, values formation of parents will also be part of the 4Ps so that the perception of dole-out will be eliminated. (Contributed by Melba C. Arteta/Camp 1 Elementary School, Maramag, Bukidnon) -From bukidnonnews.net