Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Sexcion's entry is titled "Festival", a picture of dancers in colorful coconut-based garbs during the Lubi-Lubi Festival of Glan.
Aside from The Beauty of the Philippine Scapes Award, other awards in the professional division are The Beauty of the Philippine People/Portrait Award, and The Beauty of the Philippine Culture Award.
Over a million pesos in total prizes will be awarded to winners in the Professional, Enthusiast and Junior divisions.
Judges will reveal the winners and finalists of this year's most prestigious nationwide photography competition during the awarding ceremony on November 10, 2007, 3 to 6 PM at the SM Mall of Asia Activity Center.
The First Philippine Airlines Photo Contest is for the benefit of Philippine Airlines Foundation's ecotourism projects, and is presented in partnership with EPSON and SM Supermalls.
The contest is presented in partnership with EPSON and SM Supermalls. Sponsors include I-MAG Photography, Mabuhay Magazine, philphotography.net, El Nido, Marithe Francois Girbaud, The Tides Boracay, The EMBASSY, Gadgets Magazine, Speed Magazine, Action & Fitness, Graphic Expo and OWG Creative Centre.
Travel photographs of Sexcion, photo editor of Sarangani Newsmagazine, have appeared in various airline, motoring and travel magazines, including Mabuhay magazine of Philippine Airlines.
In 2006, Sexcion was 1st Prize winner of the Maitum Safari Photo Contest (Maitum At Large Category) with his photo of a fruit bat titled "Solo Flight". He was 2nd and 3rd Prize winner in the Festival Category.
Maitum Safari Photo Contest is the most prestigious photo contest in Region 12. (SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
ALABEL, Sarangani (October 16, 2007) - South Central Mindanao cooperatives open their 7th summit Thursday (October 18) with the theme, "Developing Opportunities for Cooperatives in SOCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato-Sultan Kudarat-Sarangani-General Santos) and JAGS-CT (Jose Abad Santos-Glan-Sarangani Cooperation Triangle)."
The cooperatives, in a profile, have prepared seven resolutions for presentation to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
1) To issue an executive order mandating all local government units to support the cooperative councils and create a cooperative development office with regular plantilla and providing funds thereof.
2) To fund the National Cooperative Development Councils (NCDCs)and Regional Cooperative Development Councils (RCDCs) thru the CDA to fast-track the mandate as provided for in EO 95 dated June 8, 1993.
3) To certify as urgent bill the proposed amendment of CDA charter particularly on the provision granting quasi-judicial functions and more funds allocated to CDA for additional manpower for effective monitoring and supervision of cooperatives.
4) To review and issue an executive order lifting/recalling or nullifying the EO No. 623 and instead directing the NEA to amend the self-serving guidelines on conversion which manipulatively and unreasonably rendered it difficult or impossible for the members to push through with its plan on conversion of electric cooperatives from non-stock cooperative under NEA (PD269) to a genuine cooperative under the CDA (RA6938 and 6939)
5) To provide funds for the realization of the regional cooperative training center.
6) To issue an order supporting the COOP-OTOP and directing the line government agencies such as the LGUs, DTI, DA, NFA, DOLE, TLRC, TESDA, LBP, DBP, QUEDANCOR and others to provide technical and financial assistance to viable projects identified by the coop sector.
7) To issue an order encouraging the MERGER and CONSOLIDATION of various coop sector in order to achieve a strong, viable and globally competitive cooperative agency. (SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE/RGP)
Arthur Aller, chair of the Regional Cooperative Development Council XII (RCDC-XII), told a news conference Tuesday (October 16) this summit aims to set a momentum and lead cooperatives in the country with its renewed unifying purpose.
"Cooperative means development through self-reliance," Aller said.
Aller also chairs the National Cooperative Development Council.
A cooperative should prove that it can "stand on its own first before external funds could come in."
Aller said there are 65,000 cooperatives in the country from which a conservative estimate of 28 percent are successfully operational.
Mismanagement and corruption are most factors causing cooperatives' operations to fail, according to Aller.
"That's why we are reactivating the basic principles and legal foundation of cooperativism in the country," Aller said. "If cooperative development should start from the Far South, so be it."
"Here, the advent of JAGS-CT is seen to establish linkages with our neighboring countries and thus help our cooperatives," Aller noted.
JAGS-CT stands for Jose Abad Santos-Glan-Sarangani Cooperation Triangle. It was initiated by mayors in 2004 which aims to establish international trading linkages with other ASEAN countries such as Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
Mayor Enrique Yap of Glan said new infrastructure projects had been on going in Glan, Sarangani province, and in Jose Abad Santos and Sarangani municipality in the province of Davao del Sur.
This includes the completion of the P43-million port in Sarangani municipality recently while Glan's old trading port, now a limited international port, was coming up with a P16-million renovation. (SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE/RGP)
Glan Mayor Enrique Yap Jr. said that new infrastructure projects in the Davao del Sur towns of Jose Abad Santos and Sarangani, and Glan in Sarangani province would lure more investments to the growth area.
Yap said the approval of a 25-hectare economic zone in Glan would speed up development in the cluster, officially known as Jose Abad Santos-Glan-Sarangani Cooperation Triangle (JAGS-CT).
The P43-million port in the island municipality of Sarangani (Balut island) has been completed, according to the JAGS-CT secretariat.
Glan was also set to renovate its old trading port following its declaration as limited international port.
Mayor Yap, who chairs JAGS-CT, said construction of the national highway connecting Glan to Jose Abad Santos was halfway through where only a trail under coconut trees was used before.
The mayor said a JAGS-CT resolution has been passed requesting for the immediate release of the P20-million fund to finish the road from Glan to Jose Abad Santos.
In a recent forum here, Undersecretary Virgilio Leyretana, chair of Mindanao Economic Development Council (Medco), said he had personally followed up the release of the road fund with Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap.
Leyretana commended the JAGS officials for their efforts in helping "accelerate the attainment of economic development" of the depressed areas not only in the Philippines but in nearby northern Indonesia as well.
He added that better relations between the two countries should be maintained to facilitate "trade and commerce."
JAGS-CT and Indonesia had forged trade agreements for goods and local products, and traders expect regular shipments when the Glan port is completed.
JAGS-CT is a cluster of southern Philippines towns formed in 2003 in support to the Brunie-Indonesia-Malaysia-the Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
It aims to increase trade, tourism and investments by enhancing cross-border linkages with the northern provinces of Indonesia .
Mayor Yap said JAGS-CT can prove to other municipalities and countries that smaller growth areas can develop if they just only "cooperate with each other."
He said JAGS-CT is solely run and financed by the local government units of Jose Abad Santos, Glan and Sarangani municipality. (SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE/BCP)
MAASIM, Sarangani (October 11, 2007) – "Camping here would be very good, too."
From an altitude more than 3,000 feet above sea level, Governor Migs Dominguez made the impression to the T'boli residents and friends who came along with him and Vice Governor Steve Solon to sitio Datal Basak on October 5.
The group was inspecting the rehabilitated eight-kilometer road now passable to four-wheel vehicles.
At high noon, the road to Datal Basak was foggy, seemingly living up to its former image as bandits' lair.
This village of 166 people is part of barangay Kablacan, a forested area in the 50s; logged in the 70s; and suffered flooding in its lowlands years later.
The barangay experienced a nine-month drought in the 90s followed by grasshopper and rat infestation.
In 1987-1988, the communist movement gained ground in Kablacan "tungod sa bulok nga sistema nga gipatuman sa gobyerno ug sa pagpangdaug-daug sa mga katawhan" ( because of the inefficient system of the government and oppression by some government officials), according to a barangay documentation.
By 1990, "nakita sa mga katawhan nga mi-abuso ang mga CPP-NPA sa ilang mga ginahimo ngadto sa mga katawhan ug wala na nakasabot ang mga tawo sa direksiyon nga ilang gipatuman. Tungod niini, mitukod sila ug usa ka organisasyon nga mosupak sa kalihokan sa mga NPA, mao ang Alsa Masa. " (The CPP-NPA showed abuses among the communities and misled them. So, they organized the Alsa Masa to counter the NPA.)
The story of Nolding Lanon, 32, has also helped in changing the image of the once barren and war-torn highlands.
"Years ago I was with some scores of bandits making trouble in villages here," he recalled. Today Nolding is best performing technician of the Polo Samahang Nayon Cooperative who attends to pineapple growers' needs.
"Finally, we have hope for our highland communities," Gov. Dominguez remarked.
Earlier in the day, Dominguez led local officials in the joint medical mission in Kyumad Elementary School with Dole Philippine's Mahintana Foundation, Philippine Association of Medical Technologists, Kiwanis Club, and other civic groups.
The school has only five classrooms for the 252 Grade I to Grade VI pupils, with only three teachers.
"We are very happy helping the children here, and we are not here only for the pineapple but we also want to help," said Kevin Davis, general manager of Dole Philippines.
Pupils in Grades I and II received from the mission 147 hygiene kits. A medical check up indicated a lowered rate of soil-transmitted helminths (lukewarm-caused diseases) among the children by 8% compared to last year.
Most of the kids walk three hours daily from home to school.
Teacher Helen Nerpiol said of the place: "It's very difficult." It was her first experience as a teacher to be assigned in one of Sarangani's remotest schools.
From the highway, it takes some 10 kilometers of a rocky, uphill climb to reach the school.
With classroom shortage and inadequate school supplies of pupils, Nerpiol has to split her classes to morning and afternoon sessions to maximize their learning process.
But she said the pupils' number almost doubled with Dole's assistance. Dole has given in chairs and some reading books.
Mayor Jojo Lopez said the municipal school feeding program has started with the distribution of one kilo of rice per pupil daily from the National Food Authority.
With government and corporate people hanging around in these highlands, things are looking up.
"By now, there are nearly 2,000 hectares in Kyumad and Tahakayo planted with pineapple through Dole's growership program," Lopez said.
The national and local government had already poured in up to P38 million for farm-to-market roads, the mayor said.
Lopez said due to his town's economic turnaround, it has earned P160 million worth of investments, livelihood, roads, jobs and money in circulation.
Datal Basak was also being eyed by Dole for strawberry plantation due to its cold climate and elevation. Davis disclosed there would be a demo farm of about 20 hectares to be planted first before the tilling of 150 hectares for strawberry. (SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE/RGP)
Emilia Regua, Food-for-School Program (FSP) provincial coordinator, said majority of the 211 schools province-wide have posted an increase.
The rice allocation was winning the interest of pupils as it "minimizes absences," according to Romeo Saya-ang, Glan district supervisor.
Saya-ang disclosed the food program has pulled up attendance records in his district to a hundred percent since its launching.
"They are not only attending classes regularly but they also come to school early," he added.
Erlinda Andujar, mother of a Grade IV pupil, said her son now has become "much eager" to go to school, especially that he comes home with a rice pack.
Parents in Andujar's neighborhood were encouraging their kids not to be absent from classes because one kilo of rice can already feed the whole family.
Milagrina Caballero expressed her delight that her Grade V daughter is a beneficiary of FSP.
Every packed-rice her daughter brought home in the afternoon was enough for their family of five the next day.
FSP is part of the Arroyo administration's flagship Accelerated Hunger Mitigation Program aimed at improving school attendance of children while mitigating hunger among young learners and families thru food subsidy provided that the child goes to school everyday.
In Sarangani province, some 88,855 children benefit from this food intervention undertaking.
Deborah Adrales, Sarangani schools division superintendent, pointed out the implementation of FSP covers all public elementary schools from Grade I to Grade VI.
DepEd-supervised pre-schools within the seven municipalities were included since the province belongs to the "priority one" provinces.
The implementation originally covered 120 school days but what was approved presently was good for 19 days feeding period only, Adrales stressed.
Based on the approved feeding allocation, National Food Authority provincial manager Geronimo Palomo said only 27,563 bags are provided.
This, he said, would cost around P27.5 million at P20 per kilo of iron-fortified rice.
Palomo explained NFA's role was "only to supply" what has been approved. However, he was anticipating for the central office to notify him of the next approved allocation based on the planned 120 school days feeding period.
Education officials said the daily ration of rice was not only anchored on addressing poverty but would improve health and nutrition of school children as well.
DepEd records show that from 65,588 grade school children weighed in this school year, 25 percent were malnourished.
Public schools were now implementing the "gulayan sa paaralan" in partnership with the Department of Agriculture to help improve the health condition of these children. (SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE/BCP)