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news archives - 2005-2006

news archives - 2005-2006

feb. 2005

Increased tax for expanding export bananas pushed

Increasing the taxes of export bananas is being pushed in Compostela Valley which is seeing its expansion since the recent years.

This developed as banana companies are reportedly wrapping up in their studies in further expanding to the vast hinterlands of New Bataan and in the barangays of Nabunturan.

The province has about 7,979 hectares of export banana plantation based on report of the Comval Provincial Agricultural Office. The province is second in rank in export banana production throughout the country after Davao del Norte. The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics reported that Comval has produced 600,500 metric tons of the commodity in 2003

Gov. Jose Caballero said that the tax due from the industry was just too small at P1,025 per hectare per year compared to the estimated gross earning of P.5 million in the same area per year.

The P1,025 tax due for export banana was still in 2003, a 63.65 increase from P625.40 in 2000 assessment,

He pushed that the tax levying on the commodity should be adjusted not only to bring in revenues but more so to compensate accompanying environmental costs and to compensate from the loss of lands devoted to staple food production.

He said that the banana expansion brings land conversion affecting the province’s volume of corn and rice production level and pricing stability. He said that the province is paying in terms of responding to pollution and calamities contributed by banana expansions.

However, the governor acknowledged on the greater economic multiplier that the industry has been generating to the province while unemployment and lack of livelihood characterized the province’s countrysides (cha monforte).


feb. 2005

More LGU social services than infras urged

More social services than the oft-preferred infrastructure projects are being expected from local governments units in line with the national government’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

DILG Comval provincial director Susan Pantero said that while provision of infrastructures to communities remain to be attractive among local chief executives and officials, it is much better if LGUs embark on giving more social services to the people in the light of the present administration’s poverty reduction thrusts under the MDG.

She said that while some infrastructures like the access roads to barangays support the delivery of social services the latter need to be stressed by local officials to better contribute in the realization of the country’s MDG.

The Philippine Government is a signatory of the United Nation’s MDG which centrally targets marked reduction of poverty, enhancement of children welfare and gender advancement. Adopted in 2000 by community of nations, the Millennium Declaration spelled out specific targets and milestones for eliminating extreme poverty by 2015.

Consequently, the Philippines became the recipient of assistance from United Nations Multi Donor Programme–3 (UNMDPD). In Mindanao is implemented through the Mindanao Economic Development Council, which fully supports the localization of the MDG.

Meanwhile, Pantero bared that DILG has also its thrust of pushing for replication of best practices and replicable models and experiences in governance from an LGU to others.

She said that as of last year they have identified in Compostela Valley at least three innovative programs like the trailblazing women organizing and empowerment of the provincial government, the material recovery facility project and barangayan civic action program of the Maragusan municipal government.

Before her Comval assignment, Pantero was the DILG provincial director in Davao del Sur. She replaced Liborio Diana, who was transferred to head the Davao del Norte DILG office. She assumed office last Oct 14 (cha monforte)


feb 2005

Comval’s abaca finds its way to Mati

Compostela Valley has been producing abaca at a volume greatly more than what the official statistics has been scoring for Davao del Norte in years and it finds its way to the buyers in Mati, Davao del Sur.

The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) Compostela Valley office recently bared that there was a possible mix up in the statistics that has been giving Davao del Norte 240 metric tons and Comval 240 metric tons of abaca production volume

BAS Comval operations center head Virginia Celestra said that on the contrary the figures should be reversed in favor to Comval.

She said that BAS is clarifying the statistical mix up with the Fiber Industry Development Authority which was known after finding that there has been marked increases of abaca production in the recent years in the New Bataan villages, Barangay Mainit in Nabunturan and in the upland Paloc and Araibo areas in Maragusan.

Celestra revealed that the commodity has been going to the markets in Mati, Davao Oriental not via downhill to Comval mainland but passing via the alternate yet mountainous Araibo route.

Once in the 60s abaca plantation flourished in Comval mainland valley until there was a market slump in the 70s. In the recent years, renewed abaca production in the province has been noted.

The BAS provincial office started operating in the capital town of Nabunturan five years ago following the birth of Comval on March 8, 1998.

It gathers agriculture-related provincial statistics such as retail and prevailing prices of agricultural, fishery and livestock products in weekly basis, and farmgate prices of palay, corn and other commodities in month basis, and conduct seasonal surveys pertaining prices, production volume, hectarage, agricultural labor, among others. (cha monforte)


April 13, 2005

Community partnership vital in anti-malaria fight in Comval Province

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

Persons afflicted by the age-old malaria disease are decreasing in Compostela Valley helped in greater way by increased vigilance of communities especially those in remote hinterlands.

Michael August Canarias, provincial coordinating officer of the United Nations Global Fund project that combats malaria disease, bared that malaria-stricken persons drastically dropped in the province down to slightly over 100 from a high 300 two years ago.

In 2001 the province ranked No. 8 in top 10 malaria endemic provinces in the country.

Canarias attributed the decrease to the active partnership of communities identified to have malaria cases. He said that the Global Fund Malaria Component project campaigns which started in the province in 2002 have resulted to the higher awareness of identified communities on malaria from spotting symptoms and identification of breeding places of Plasmodium falciparum- the most common carrier in the country-to treatment and taking up of community prevention measures.

He identified those remote hinterlands that have slow-flowing creeks and rivers which are prone to be hit by the disease. He said that most of the cases last year were in Casoon village in Laak town.

The Global Fund’s local malaria eradication program is anchored at the Comval Provincial Health Office which coordinates with rural health units in municipalities.

In the province, the fund has already infused over P10 million of medical supplies and mobilizations that include distribution of 15,800 chemically treated mosquito nets, medicines, microscopes, insecticides, clean-up and treatment drives, organizing and trainings of barangay microscopists and health workers.

Canarias said that the project has already organized 92 barangay malaria management teams and municipal action committees under the health boards. Barangay health workers have also been trained rapid diagnostic test in identifying malaria cases. There are already nine trained barangay microscopists who could work with BHWs in the fight against malaria.

The country's $11-million Global Fund share was accessed from the United Nations by the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement and implemented by the Dept. of Health through provincial health offices. The fund also funds for the fight against AIDS and TB besides malaria. It targets to reduce the malaria morbidity by 70% and mortality by 50% in the 25 priority provinces at the end of 2008.


In 2001 the Dept of Health reported that although the control of malaria in the Philippines in the 1990s had significantly reduced cases by 60%, from 89,047 in 1990 to 36,596 in 2000, still it remains endemic in 65 of the 78 provinces, 760 of the 1,600 municipalities and 9,345 of the 42,979 barangays nationwide. It also estimated that at risk of malaria nationwide are 11 million Filipinos mainly living in the remote hard-to-reach areas and the need for at least P100 to sustain malaria control efforts.

Mostly found to be endemic areas in the country are those along provincial and regional borders, frontier areas, places populated by indigenous cultural groups and areas with socio-political conflicts.

In that year, Compostela Valley ranked number 8 in the top 10 provinces in terms of the number of malaria cases, while its contiguous provinces of Agusan del Sur and Davao del Norte ranked 3rd and 7th, respectively. Other provinces included in the category were Palawan (1st), Tawi-tawi (2nd), Sulu (4th), Davao del Sur (5th), Isabela (6th), Apayao (9th) and Cagayan (10th).

The same contiguous provinces in 2003 ranking belonged to the worst 25 Category A provinces where there are more than 1,000 malaria cases per year or where the malaria situation had worsened. Fourteen provinces in Mindanao were in the same category accounting 53 percent of the country's cases, while provinces in Luzon and Visayas accounted 46 percent and 1 percent, respectively.


Despite that malaria, one of oldest diseases afflicting mankind, has been fought by many governments for centuries, it still persists and in fact recurs with a worldwide prevalence of 300-500 million clinical cases each year.

The United Nations reported that the malaria is still a public health problem in more than 90 countries inhabited by a total of some 400 million, 40 percent of the world’s population.

Mortality caused by the disease is estimated to be over 1 million deaths each year a vast majority of which hitting among young children in Africa, especially in remote rural areas with poor access to health services. More than 90% of all malaria cases are in sub-Saharan Africa.


April 13, 2005

Only half of region’s LGUs well prepared to meet disasters

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

About only a half of the 52 local government units in Region XI are functionally prepared to meet head on natural and man-made disasters that may strike in their respective areas.

The Office of Civil Defense (XI) regional director Carmelito Lupo bared this assessment Wednesday during first day of the two-day disaster management training for the municipal and provincial officials in Compostela Valley held in Nabunturan.

Governor Jose Caballero initiated the activity to further strengthen the province’s disaster preparedness capability.

Lupo said that the OCD (XI) with the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC) said that while disaster coordinating councils (DCCs) are already organized in all of the region’s LGUs but in terms of functionality only a half of them are active and could better meet disasters.

He said that for this they have been coordinating LGUs to enhance their disaster management programs.

He added that they have been pushing good models and best practices in preparing and meeting disasters down to the municipalities and most importantly to the barangays which he said are the first line of defense in times of emergency.

"It is in the barangays where the action is and barangay disaster coordinating councils (BDCCs) should be organized," Lupo said.

Besides the five-percent calamity funds that could be tapped as manadated by the Local Government Code, BDCCs must also have plans and stockpile of logistics and their capabilities enhanced, he added.

During the first day of the training, resource speakers from the Philippine Atmospheric and Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivocs) and Mines and Geo-Sciences gave inputs on various types of disasters such as rain-induced landslides and flooding, earthquake, volcanic eruption, tsunami and particular geo-hazards and calamities experienced in various parts of the country.

OCD and RDCC resource speakers also give inputs on the Philippine country’s disaster management system and the national DCC’s current four-point agenda on disaster preparedness which are the upgrading of the Pagasa and Phivocs’ forecasting capability, focusing of public information campaigns on disaster preparedness, cascading of capability building for LGUs in identified vulnerable areas and strengthening of the mechanisms for government-private sector partnership in relief and rehabilitation.

Phivocs-Davao City station chief Engr. Desiderio Cabanlit said that disaster preparedness is a must concern of all considering that the country has been considered as the most disaster-prone throughout the world as it is located in the volcano-laden Circum-Pacific Rim of Fire while it is most visited by tropical cyclones which averaged 20 yearly based on the Pagasa record in the previous years.

He bared that Comval is within a seismologically active belt given that it is traversed by the Philippine Fault Line that stretches from Luzon to Davao Oriental and hosts the only Davao Region’s active volcano, the Mount Leonard which is located at New Leyte, Maco town.

The Mt. Leonard crater is believed to have formed what is now known as the Lake Leonard, the region’s smallest highland lake. A few geological studies said that the lake had been formed out of the sunken crater of the volcano that erupted thousands of years ago. The lake is teemed with freshwater fishes. It is one of the eco-tourism spots of Comval.

The Phivocs listed in its April 2002 primer "Volcanoes of the Philippines" Mt. Leonard as active with unknown historical eruption unlike to what has been recorded to other active volcanoes in the country since the 15th century. Phivocs though reckoned that Mt. Leonard had its last eruption or known activity sometime 1,800 years ago.

Other resource speakers of the training were Pagasa-Davao City personnel Jerry Pedrico, MGB (XI) specialist Dianne Christine Velasco and OCD (XI) officer Edgar Salanio. The NDCC chief operations officer Maj. Gen. Glen Rabonza (Ret) is expected to join on the second day.


April 16, 2005

With Phils as most disaster-prone country on earth, NDCC launches disasters forecasting modernization program

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

With the Philippines reputed as most-disaster prone on earth, the National Disaster Coordinating Council is moving everything to upgrade the country's disaster forecasting capacity.

National Disaster Coordinating Concil (NDCC) operations chief retired Maj. Gen. Glenn Rabonza said that the national govenrment has been making technological upgrades to improve the disaster forecasting capacity of the Philippine Atmospheric and Geophysical and Services Administration (Pagasa) and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivocs).

Rebonza bared this Thursday, April 14 during the culmination of the two-day disaster preparedness training for local executives held in Nabunturan town. It was sponsored by the provincial government in collaboration with the Office of Civil Defense (XI) and the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC-XI).

He said that the national government has all the more sped up its upgrading efforts for the country's weather and volcanology authorities in the wake of the local disaster experienced in Aurora and Quezon provinces and the tsunamis that badly hit Asia recently.

He said that after the Aurora and Quezon landslides stuck killing over 1,000 persons there were certain criticisms that Pagasa had no accurate warning system like in failing to analyze the effect of the volume of rains to rained areas especially following continuous heavy downpour.

"To some extent these were true," he told training participants composed mostly of the members of provincial and municipal coordinating councils.

He bared that at present Pagasa has already installed six sophisticated dupler radars and rain gauges in various locations in the country to beef up its early warning capacity. Four of the dupler radars were provided by the Japanese government.

Dupler radars could tell how heavy the forthcoming rain is, while rain gauges could measure up volume of the rains.

Rabonza added that besides the facilities and Pagasa's forging of close partnership with modern weather stations worldwide, the Japanese government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with the Philippine government has embarked into a P1-billion modernization program for the Phivocs.

He said that program already put up 64 marine stations linked to satellites which could enable scientists to get real-time geological data such as the fault movement or earthquake starting on sea.

The upgrading of the forecasting capacity of Pagasa and Phivocs is part of the present administration's four- point action agenda. The other agenda are the launching of strategic public information campaigns, cascading of capability buildings for LGUs in identified vulnerable areas and the strengthening of mechanisms for government-private sector partnership in relief and rehabilitation.

Rebonza also informed that the NDCC has been forging agreements with various sectors and groups such as the DepEd and CHED on the possible inclusion of disaster preparedness subjects in school curricula, as well as partnership with trauma treatment organizations and the governors' league. NDCC has also been organizing disaster response drills and trainings nationwide, it was learned.

"Our objective is to create a national consciousness, a culture of preparedness as against the prevailing culture of reaction, of reacting only when disasters and calamities already come, he said.

Gov. Jose Caballero, on the other hand, said that Comval is one among the most flood-prone provinces in the country as reported by the environmentalist Haribon foundation.

He added that while disasters could not be prevented, the people's preparedess capability is a must concern especially of local governance.

In one United Nations report, the Philippines is considered as the most disaster-prone country throughout the world. Besides that it is located in the volcano-laden Circum-Pacific Rim of Fire and has its own volcanoes, fault zones and trenshces, the country is also most visited by tropical cyclones which averaged 20 yearly based on the Pagasa record.



Microlenders compete stiffly in Comval villages

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

Microlending organizations compete stiffly in Compostela Valley’s barangays and villages that some of them at times lend small loans to the same borrowers.

"There’s income in lending business, that’s why microlenders thrive and compete against each other," says Susan Ayco, project manager of the Savings and Credit with Education (SCWE), the micro lending service of the Nabunturan Integrated Cooperative, a pioneer multi-million cooperative in the province.

She said that it is already happening at present when two or more microlenders serve the same borrowers thus endangering the loan as they now have the burden of paying two or more loans.

NICO’s SCWE service was jumpstarted by the Credit Union Empowerment and Strengthening-Philippines (CUES-Philippines) which extended technical and financial assistance for the program’s administrative expenses for two years beginning Sept. 2000. NICO has already infused P7.1 million credit as of February this year serving over 2,300 women beneficiaries from a total of 132 groups.

There are at least fourteen entities that are competing to serve Comval’s market of borrowers in the province’s mainland municipalities which offer group or community-based micro loans.

Some of the microlenders are cooperatives, others are banks, nongovernment foundations or private lending agencies. Microlenders seize on credit investigations¸ community-based organizing, pre-loan education activities or deployment of field collectors to achieve efficient collection of payments from borrowers.

Identified to be offering said type of loans are Rural Bank of Montevista, Network Bank, Green Bank, Enterprise Bank, People’s Bank, King Cooperative, KMBI, KMTK, MIDF, Tagum Cooperative, NRBL, Jovan and Triple D. Some others came as far as Caraga region to do microlending business in Comval.

NICO’s SCWE loans is anchored on organizing solidarity groups, and savings and credit associations which avail of the group loan and distribute it to the women members who guarantee each other’s individual loans. "Once a member defaults from her loan, the rest of the members of the group assume the responsibility of paying the loan balance,"Ayco explained.

A solidarity group is comprised of usually 4 to 6 women members wanting to establish or augment their livelihood business. Solidarity groups comprise the savings and loan associations to which NICO extends the SCWE loans. The association, usually composed of 25 borrowers, releases the loan to the members and serves as the loan’s second guarantor.

It is also the association that maintains the book of accounts and collects members’ loan repayments during weekly meetings and then deposits the collection either direct to NICO in Nabunturan or to NICO’s depository in other areas.

Members were first extended a minimum of P1,500 and maximum of P15,000 loan but these were doubled last year as competitors offered higher amount, Ayco said.

The loan is payable for a period of four months with 5 percent interest per month. Most of the loans were availed by women in the barangays than those in town poblacions. Women’s livelihood included sari-sari store operations, making of native pastries and delicacies, buying and selling of food items, clothes and other items and others. The loan is not intended for farming.

SCWE members though could later avail more than the amount depending on their track record of payment and the profitability of their livelihood business.

The project is proving to be successful after five years of implementation as the total loan exposure has only met a delinquency rate of 8.9 percent or conversely the scheme is 91.1 percent collection efficient thus far, Ayco added.

She also observed that other microlenders followed suit following SCWE's feasible collection experience. But she said some of the microlenders are offering hgiher loans that promise small interest rate like 3 percent but are actually making a lot of pre-paid deductions such as membership, redemption fees, insurances and retention fund that result to a reduced net amount of loan.

The SCWE loan has already covered the Comval’s mainland municipalities of Mawab, Nabunturan, Montevista, Monkayo, Compostela and New Bataan, and the upland Masaraline communities of Maco town. Lately NICO has established a branch in the highland Maragusan and started extending its SCWE loans to the rural women in far-flung villages in town.


April 21, 2005

Some sectors not happy with lumad rep in Comval SB

By Cha Monforte

COMPOSTELA Valley (Rural Urban News)- Call it sourgraping, as some sectors are just not happy with a sitting down of a lumad representative to the municipal council who would now have to elbow with the same rights and privileges with the elected councilors.

An elected official, who refused to be named, said that he felt not happy with the recent installation of Mansaka Datu Daniel Pagantupan as pushed by New Bataan Mayor Margarito Cualing saying that it was unfair to the elected councilors who had spent a lot during the last polls just to be able to sit in the Sangguniang Bayan.

He said that it appeared that Pagantupan was so lucky that the local government spent for the consultations with various tribal groups leading to his installation.

He recalled that from even before the start of the electoral campaign elected councilors were already spending money up to their oathtaking rite and thanksgiving party to where they still had to contribute funds.

But Shirley Iguianon, provincial officer of the National Commission on Indigenous People-Compostela Valley, in an interview, was quick to say that the NCIP appreciates the indigenous people (IP) representation to New Bataan sanggunian.

Pantupan's installation has been billed by Cualing as unprecedented, the first throughout Mindanao if not in the country. Even Compostela Valley’s 1st District Rep. Manuel "Way Kurat" Zamora, who came late during the installation rite, raced to claim that throughout the country the IP’s representation to the SB was first to happen right in his district.

The local sanggunian adopted Resolution No. 11 enacting Municipal Ordinance No. 03, series of 2004 which gave IP representation to the council. The same ordinance was confirmed by the provincial board in its Ordinance No. 27, series of 2004.

Reports said that Cualing had earlier initiated consultative meetings among IPs to draw up the mechanics in selecting the sector’s representative.

On Feb. 18 this year the mayor accordingly hosted an IP consultative meeting which elected Pagapatan as the IP representative to the town’s council.

Other Comval mayors were said to be not keen on replicating Cualing’s advocacy.

But the interior department was unhappy either as both of its provincial and regional offices were unsure of the legality of Cualing’s appointment act.

DILG provincial director Susan Pontero noted that Cualing might have opened instead a Pandora Box of more troubles stating that the council representation of other sectors has still no enabling laws at present.

The DILG representatives during the Pagapatan’s installation were only acting as observers.

Pontero had already reported the case to the DILG (XI) legal counsel who subsequently referred the matter to DILG national office in Manila.

Iguianon confirmed that the NCIP has not yet come up an agency’s memorandum circular providing for the implementing rules and regulations on the IPRA’s provision of assuring IP’s representation in policy-making bodies in governance.


May 5, 2005

Compromise agreement with delinquent taxpayers stepped up in Comval to increase tax collection

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

The Compostela Valley provincial government is stepping up its tax collection efforts by forging compromise agreements with property owners which condone payments of penalties of their tax-delinquent properties.

The local revenue-raising moratorium on penalty payment legislated by the Comval provincial board in Provincial Tax Ordinance No. 03 enacted last Sept. 29, 2004. It will last until December 2006.

This year’s penalty condonation is the second after the first moratorium scheme proved to be successful in shooting up the real property tax (RPT) collection in 2002

The RPT remains to be the major source of locally generated taxes of the provincial government which shares 35 percent of the total RPT collection.

This time the covered properties whose owners can avail of penalty condonation are those undeclared properties subject of back taxes and those declared but tax-delinquent until 2004.

Properties tied in court cases are not covered by the scheme, Comval provincial treasurer bared.

Under the present scheme, delinquent property owners can forge compromise agreements with the provincial treasurer that condone their monthly 2-percent penalty payment provided they would pay at least 20 percent of the total amount of delinquent RPT.

The 80 percent balance will be installed either monthly or quarterly within six months to two years depending on the amount of tax delinquency.

For properties delinquent of P5,000 or less, the balance will be paid for 6 months or 2 quarters; for P5,001 to P25,000 delinquency it will paid in 12 months or 4 quarters; and for P25,001 and above it will be paid in 24 months or 8 quarters.

The date of compromise agreement commences upon the giving of the 20 percent downpayment, Razul said as she enjoined involved property owners in Comval to visit their municipal treasurers for the computation of RPT of their landholdings.

In 2002 when the first penalty moratorium was implemented, the RPT collection throughout the province in that year soared to P60.4 million from P43.8 million in 2001 or a 38-percent increase, which recorded the highest from the range of 3 to 12 percent increase in the previous years starting from the Comval’s creation in 1998.

Under the Local Government Code, the municipalities and barangays also share the RPT by 40 percent and 25 percent, respectively. (PNA)


Export banana lands assessed the highest in Comval’s revision of property assessment

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

The assessment levels and values for lands planted with export bananas recorded the highest among lands devoted to other crops, plants and agricultural uses in the recently revised assessment of fair market values of lands including buildings and other structures in Compostela Valley.

Comval provincial assessor Armando Atake said that the assessment of land devoted to export bananas has increased greatly by 82.4 percent compared to the last general revision of assessment of property values and classifications in 2002 due to the technological improvement in the banana production and its rapid expansion in the recent years.

He said that in the past government assessors considered only 1,500 banana stems in a hectare compared to the improved production density at present where a hectare could already accommodate an average of 1,950 stems.

He said that the assessment for export banana land and improvements is just fair considering the current expansion and profitability of the industry owing to the increased demand of the world market for the product and the increases of the dollar exchange rate.

He said that in the provincial assessment revision activities starting August last year he learned of many investors going to invest for export bananas and many landowners wanting to open their lands for the commodity in many areas in the province.

Moreover, he said he observed the modernizing production technology for export bananas like the presence of post-harvest refrigeration facilities, improved product packaging and mechanized processes.

"If the export banana industry is not profitable, why is it expanding and improving?" Atake said.

The province has at least 8,012 hectares of export banana land engaged by various groups of landowner-grower groups or CARP beneficiaries under production contract with big banana firms such as DOLE_Stanfilco Phils., Marsman Drysdale Farm, Dizon Farms, and MD Rio Vista Agri-Ventures.

The general revision of assessment of land values is conducted every three years. Assessed values, fair market values and assessment levels in percentages are factors in the computation of taxes. Already, three general revisions have been made in Comval since its creation in 1998. (CHA MONFORTE)


April 28, 2005

Endangered cathedral-like cave explored in Comval

By Cha Monforte

The Provincial Tourism Office of Compostela Valley explored Wednesday, April 27 a rather dead cathedral-like cave and a still living cave at the hills of Barangay Salvacion in Mawab town.

A spelunking team headed by provincial tourism officer Eden David in cooperation with the Salvacion barangay officials reached the location of endangered caves after two hours of trekking over steep ravines from Salvacion.

Barangay Salvacion is only two kms west from the Mawab Cliff section of the Philippine-Japan Davao-Butuan National Highway.

The first cave, which though still considered living by cave enthusiasts, lacks water spouts in its interiors. It has about two-meter triangular horizontal passage with at least two deep tiers of three-meter descent in its first 20-meter length before the channel narrows outwardly to a man-size hole. The muddy flooring in that semi-end portion prevented the team from going farther.

The team went inside spelunking in coarse and wavy floor formation which has small water draining in between and saw a clear water pool catchment in between the 20-meter length. The cave has mostly bigger whitish stalactites formation especially after the first and second descents. Water dews signifying life could only be seen at the extreme semi-end walls.

After the first cave which is unnamed yet by the barangay folk, the team proceeded to the other cave that looked to be already dead by the complete absence of water inside its interiors.

"It might be dead but its big interior hall which has a mosaic of grayish stalactites hanging in its high ceiling and the bright ray of light from the sky make us feel we’re inside a cathedral," muses Antonio Salarda Jr, the videographer of the team.

It took the team half an hour of difficult deep trail to reach the dead cathedral-like cave from the first cave. The second cave could be approached taking the downstream flow of the Salvacion river as a guide from small falls and lagoon located in between the trail. The river’s water is fresh and potable and in fact it is the source of water of Salvacion villages.

The second cave has small semi-circular opening, but after a three-meter distance the passage swells up and sideways in a wide 30-meter expanse of its halls. From the portal spelunkers can already see rays of light casting down to the cave’s flooring located afar. The light which illumines the cave came from three yawning holes which seemed to be caused by a past collapse of the upper ground of the mountain that hosts the cave, Salarda observes. "The cave’s dead because the host mountain might have long been bald," he says.

The holes are located in between the 50-meter length trek of the team inside the cave. A unique huge stalagmite formation resembling ancient Chinese artworks rising up to about 10 feet can also be seen inside.

David assessed that Salvacion’s caves are potential for eco-tourism development and a site for trek and spelunking most proximate to the cities. "The Salvacion cavcs are wondrous but endangered, all the more there’s a need for re-greening projects to revitalize it with life-giving trees," she added.

Hearing of the discovery of the team, Board Member Kris Caballero vowed to include in her greening projects the vicinity of the cave in close coordination with host barangay Salvacion.

Kris has been launching massive reforestation drives in the province with the youths since her assumption into office last year.




By Cha Monforte

Plantation economy

There’s now bullish mood of some sectors over reports on the expansion of export or cavendish banana production in Compostela Valley. Unlike before, Compostela landowners now even those producing the staple food rice are voluntarily knocking at the doors of banana exporting firms to have their land converted into banana plantations under growership contracting scheme.

In the past, there was that pocket of resistance met by banana companies on charges that they were swallowing up the Compostela rice granary and that they used toxic and hazardous pesticides which caused illnesses to banana workers that included deformation of body parts exposed to the chemicals and sterility. In fact, there was that class suit filed by workers in Panabo plantations but we heard it ended giving more profits to the organizers and lawyers than to the suing workers after erring US chemical manufacturers paid a hefty amount for damages.

The volunteering landowners now couldn’t be faulted for hearing that the plight of early banana growers have improved after liquidating their borrowed financing from banana companies after a long time. It’s a natural reflex after all to imitate neighbors who made good out of a certain product or trade. It’s when growers share income in dollar terms from oxes of bananas they produce that matters more than what they could get from producing rice.

That finds discord to the target of realizing food sufficiency particularly a rice production commensurate to the number of local consumers. Enough with that line of our agri department. It’s really a folly to always aspire for rice sufficiency when the Comval’s rice is being transported to Bislig or when Comval’s sari-sari stores sell the tasty Banaybanay rice. Still we can only rely from the workings of the market, domestic or foreign, as to the adequacy of our rice the same as the laissez faire has been dominating among the rules in our farms.

Davao del Norte farms particularly those in Sto. Tomas, Dapecol, Tagum and Panabo fringes were there before Comval farms are being gobbled up by the present vogue of goin' export bananas. And indeed, monies still come and go until present for the early banana growers in the way we see them line up in rural banks chosen by banana companies as dispensers of growers’ production shares.

It's the cash that flickers in village economies that rely on cavendish bananas. To many banana workers cash is the be-all and end-all of their existence otherwise we would not be seeing a bloody fight over land between the poor and the poor in Davao del Norte. There a bane of goin’ bananas is, while banana buying companies just wait for the victorious poor ARB (agrarian reform beneficiaries) group which it could deal with for growership after a bloody fight over CARP and CARPable land.

This staking of land by ARBs is a powderkeg issue as much as the question of whether we would be going full-steam in export banana production is largely a bread-and-butter issue. In areas where landowner growers are present than ARBs, it’s the cash that matters to the laborers notwithstanding that it is shared to benefit first and foremost the banana firms then next the landowner growers before the ordinary workers.

Beyond the contention that the banana growership farming is only good for the companies and the few landowner growers, the great laborers have to feign agreeable to the scheme for the other alternative is either unemployment or out-migration from their communities blockaded by banana hectarages and plantations. This is where a plantation economy results in giving development without equity in the long-run. That would especially true to areas where few landowner-growers abound than to areas that have ARBs. At least latter has stake as an organization for their laborer members to benefit. The former has only a bitter pill for the taking of unorganized banana workers.

(Brown Edges is one of the views of Rural Urban News (RUN), a community news agency edited online based in Compostela Valley seizing up the seamless Internet, e-mail technology. For comments/reactions, e-mail to ruralurbanews@yahoo.com)

Comval budget precedent may set domino effect to LGUs

COMPOSTELA VALLEY- The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of this province finally approved Wednesday, May 18 the P539 million annual budget for this year which earlier underwent cuts, veto and override dragging its approval for over six months since it was originally proposed by the executive department.
The revised budget has now a provision for project fund for the vice governor and boardmembers which the legislative department could disburse without passing the chief executive's approval setting off observations from local quarters here that the Comval's budget precedent may generate replications from local governments across the country.
In the newly approved budget the project fund came in the account of grants and donation which came from the half of the executive budget for financial assistance for various projects and programs for the SP.
But accordingly the provision for project fund for the provincial legislative department started with a precedent in Bohol province.
State auditor Bienvenido Presilda of the Commission on Audit Comval office, who was invited last Wednesday's SP session, said that the budget’s P7.5 million grants and donations sourced from 50 percent of the executive’s P15 million financial assistance for various projects and programs to the SP, is just legal and within the bounds of governmental budget laws.
He however opined that papers of transactions involving procurement under grants and donations would still have to pass through the governor’s approval even if the accounts are already transferred to the legislative department.
Those treated as direct grants, donations or financial assistance to recipients like barangays, municipal governments or organizations would only need to have the vice governor’s approval, he said.
In the latter case, the procurement occurs at the recipient’s level and therefore the transaction is to be scrutinized by the governmental procedures and the operations of the bids and awards committees at the lower level, Comval provincial budget officer Joel Reterba said.
The provincial government only monitors the realization of the latter transaction through the provincial community affairs officers (CAOs), he said.
It was also learned that should portions of grants and donations to the SP be made as augmentation fund to a depleting SP budgetary items like those in the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) the transaction would need an authority to augment from the SP in a form of an ordinance.
The financial assistance to the SP is otherwise locally dubbed as Rural Development Fund (RDF) mimicking the congressmen’s CDF and PDAF prok barrel and is a yearly budget allocation with each boardmember including the vice governor sharing P1 million and P2 million allocations, respectively, for a couple of years now.
Under the previous scheme, the vice governor and boardmembers would have only to identify their respective RDF-funded projects passing the local chief executive’s approval.
The P6.5 million RDF for the 13 boardmembers, sharing P500,000 each, and the P1 million RDF for the vice governor were transferred to the legislative department as grants and donations accounts.
Disbursements from the two transferred accounts were contended to no longer need approval of the local chief executive, but from Presilda said the disbursements routing to the chief executive would be a case to case basis.
But some local quarters interviewed here were just insistent that the Comval budget precedent is dangerously treading on gray areas which might result to disallowances to the prejudice of the SP.
Others doubt over the legislative's prerogative to approve final disbursement of project funds which they said belonged to the executive, adding that "it is not in the books yet".
With the provision of grants and donations and the initial COA's opinion, it appears there would now be new portions of provincial government's resources intended for projects and programs that would exit via the legislative or not through the executive as has been practiced.
The legislative department though has been independent of its disbursements in so far as its MOOE such as those for supplies, gasoline and personnel services within its budget with the vice governor as the approving authority.
Adding to the P7.5 million retained at the governor’s office representing the other half of RDF that needs governor’s approval is the P1,492,772.46 re-appropriated amount from last year’s unspent RDFs from allocations of several boardmembers.
The revised annual budget grew by about 29 percent, from P411 million to P539,293,283.45.
The budget approval came a month before the budget call for the next year's budget will be made which is June. The budget call officially starts the process of budgeting for the forthcoming year.
Based on the Local Government Code, LGUs are expected to have their forthcoming annual budgets submitted on or before October 16, and the budget approval before the year ends.
At natl agribusiness summit in Manila
"Comval is in best position to support 10T new agribusiness areas"- Caballero
By Cha Monforte
Presenting his novel mass production program as a Mindanao model in yesterday’s, May 27, National Agribusiness Summit at Century Park Hotel in Manila, Compostela Valley Governor Jose Caballero stressed that his province "is in the best position to aggressively support the development of the 10,000 new agribusiness lands".
At the summit attended by investors, businessmen, governors and agricultural officials led by Dept of Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, Gov. Caballero underscored that his province’s capability to meet the national challenge of opening and developing new lands for agribusiness has been well beefed up due to innovative agricultural programs and practices the provincial administration leading among which is the Lamdag Panginabuhi Progrram.
The governor’s Lamdag program engages in the mass production of agricultural, fishery and forestry products and livestock such as seeds, high-value fruit and tree, seedlings, kabir chicken, hogs, goats, sheep, carabao buffaloes, cows and freshwater fingerlings to thousands of needy constituents in the province since 2000. It is based in the once idle 97-hectare mass production complex at Pasian, Monkayo.
The program has benefited thousands under partnership schemes with the provincial government providing free inputs and the beneficiaries their industry and time.
The fruit tree seedlings alone already covered some 15,200 hectares and the over million freshwater fingerlings have covered at least 100 hectares of small fishponds across the province, bared Comval provincial agriculturist Antonio M.I. Mencidor.
He said that the program has dispersed at least 30,000 heads of kabir chicken, 500 heads of hogs, 450 heads of goats and sheep, 750 kgs of vegetable seeds, among others.
Gov. Caballero said that potential business locators to the agricultural frontier province can well seize up opportunities given by the province’s vast tracts of lands, favorable climate, industrious manpower, supportive provincial government policies and facilities and innovative, applicable and best practices and technologies to support them.
In committing the province’s Lamdag program to DA’s agribusiness thrust, Caballero vowed to aggressively support the opening and development of new lands particularly in the production of high-value crops leading among which are the banana, aquaculture, livestock and poultry.
For these, he called on especially the DA and private sector for fund counterparting in the launching and completion of the P22-million worth of provincial projects geared towards agribusiness support.
Identified were the establishment of tissue culture laboratory, organic fertilizer plant and soil testing laboratory, improvement of trichogramma laboratory, dairy buffalo project and freshwater fish and prawn hatchery, expansion of plant nursery and the completion of training center facility.
The development of Comval’s new agribusiness lands could at directly benefit at least 10,000 people in the countrysides not counting those benefited in the ancillary economic activities such processing, marketing, trading, transport and hauling, Caballero said.
Highly elevated village dreams big: a farming model village in Comval
By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News
COMPOSTELA VALLEY- At 1,000 meters above sea level, faraway Barangay Las Arenas of this province dreams big: to be a truly upland farming model village.
"I know we’ll not fail with the help of all," says barangay captain Teodoro Besinga.
His village can be only reached by about five hours of habal-habal passenger single motorcycle from the poblacion of Maragusan town, which is also about two hours uphill climb from Nabunturan, Comval’s capital town. It is part of Pantukan but it is rather accessible via Maragusan due to high terrains. It has about 1,400 population, mostly Visayans.
By and large, it is a poor upland village whose people subsist on marginal, unproductive farming.
The village, already nestling on high elevation at 998 meters above sea level (ASL), has logged-over, degraded mountainous areas that go beyond the 1,000-meter ASL area which the National Integrated and Protected Areas System (NIPAS) law restricted to be non-agricultural in use.
But the villagers are too optimistic now learning that the P7.5 million Canadian development grant for three-year implementation through the auspices of the Davao Integrated Development Program (DIDP) is now coming in to make it a farming model village where assorted crop production will be actively pursued while the capacities villagers will be enhanced and their forest rehabilitated.
About P4.69 million of the total project cost is expected to be released by DIDP to over for projects to be launched for the rest of this year. DIDP is a special program of the Department of Agriculture and has been providing capacity-building assistance, farm-to-market roads and irrigation infrastructures to the province since 1998.DIDP covers the provinces and cities of Davao Region. Its infrastructure component is funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, while a Canadian grant shoulders its Upland Farming Village Model Project component.
The budget will be poured for Las Arenas piloting in four components, which would have projects and activities for the capacity enhancements for support institutions and community organizations, reforestation, agro-forestry and livelihood.
"We in the barangay should be strict in implementing projects to succeed," Besinga adds.
He said that the village as it is now lacks so many while its coffee and abaca plants and the vegetable and corn production where they subsist are always threatened by pests.
But the agriculture officials and personnel of Compostela Valley Governor Jose Caballero are currently drawing out all best practices and successful models, technologies and learning processes they have in their stocks to make Las Arenas become a farming model village.
"The focus in training the farmers develop their village should be based on hands-on, technology demonstration (techno-demo) and farmers field schools (FFS) approaches rather than the ineffective lectures, which only obfuscate them with information overload" said Comval provincial agriculturist Antonio M.I. Mencidor during the meeting of the Project Implementing Unit-Steering Committee for DIDP’s model village project last Monday, May 30 at NICO Conference Hall at Nabunturan.
He said that in his years of observance farmers on the average have problem on knowledge retention and absorption level as like during purely lecture or seminar activity.
He said that provincial success stories with the farmers tell that lectures should be made side by side in training them hands-on of replicable agricultural technologies, adding that "agricultural technicians should be with them in the course of implementation."
He observed that farmers usually believe on what they see and learn by experience.
With these underlying principle of the provincial government in cutting a role in training the farmers, the project steering committee has lined up to launch thirteen capacity-building trainings covering various subject areas such as on leadership and management to cooperativism and agricultural production and technologies.
Barangay captain Besinga said that that the production they would pursue would still be on the free preference of the barangay people as guided by expert advice by agricultural technicians.
Mencidor said that in areas which are not suitable for agricultural production, whether for cash or high-value crops, would be planted with durable trees to rehabilitate Las Arenas forest.
He also pushed for the replication of the contour-based diversified farming system (DFS), a replicable model developed by the Upland Development Programme (UDP) in Southern Mindanao. The seven-year UDP is currently on its terminal stage for a program exit in next year.
He said that whatever success that can be drawn from Las Arenas own piloting will be replicated to other upland villages in the province.
Gov wows audience of natl agribusiness summit in Manila
*DA commits P1.5 M to Lamdag
By Cha Monforte
The Compostela Valley’s unique mass production Lamdag Panginabuhi Program drew high raves and accolades from the motley audience of upscale investors, businessmen, governors and agriculture officials following presentation of the program no less than by Governor Jose Caballero himself.
At Century Park Hotel in Makati last May 27, the governor presented Comval’s own innovative agricultural program which he and First Lady Mildred had jointly conceptualized in 1999 and which has become now as one of the best practice models throughout Mindanao.
“Our Lamdag Panginabuhi promises high replication rate to the rest of the country judging from the highly enthusiastic reactions from present governors present alone,” said Comval provincial agriculturist Antonio M.I. Mencidor, who accompanied the governor to the first-ever national agribusiness summit under President Gloria Arroyo’s administration.
Buoyed up by the emphatic and straightforward presentation of Gov. Caballero, who called for multilateral partnership and collaboration in making the 97-hectare Lamdag Panginabuhi complex at Pasian, Monkayo more robust and well-equipped, Dept. of Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap immediately committed P1.5 million for the completion of the Lamdag Panginabuhi Training Center.
More governors have also expressed their interest to make educational tour to the Pasian complex. Already last March, Bohol Gov. Erico Aumentado, president of the League of Governors of the Philippines went to Lamdag center after learning good reports about the program.
The governor bared that the Lamdag Panginabuhi since its 2002 formal start has benefited some 33,500 constituents from the mass production and mass distribution of 30,000 kabir chicken, 500 heads of swine¸ 450 heads of goats and sheep, 300,000 seedlings of high-value crops, 750 kilos of vegetable seeds, and millions of tilapia and hito fingerlings, and from the numerous skills and livelihood trainings launched by the program.
The program especially taps the Compostela Valley Provincial Council of Women (CVPCOW) chaired by the first lady as the beneficiary-project identifier and conduit of Lamdag goods and services.
In committing the Lamdag complex to the national goal of opening new agribusiness lands, Gov. Caballero said that the Lamdag program will play a pivotal role in the realization of the province’s share of opening 10,000 new agribusiness lands.
He particularly zeroed in on the province’s target of developing 2,500 hectares for cavendish bananas and 1,000 for cardaba bananas which have already a combined 16,732 hectarages of production at present.
He said that the combined new bananas areas could directly generate at least 7,250 new jobs besides the other thousands that could be employed by ancillary activities down the line.
For these, he bared his plan of establishing support agribusiness facilities such as the tissue culture laboratory, production plant for organic, environment-friendly fertilizer, soil testing laboratory, expansion of freshwater hatchery and nurseries.
Models of other provinces were also presented by respective governors at the summit which included pineapple production of Sarangani, cassava production of Cagayan Valley, rice production of Occidental Mindoro, and marine culture of Leyte region.
The summit ended up with the 250 participants signing of a covenant supporting the government’s agribusiness plan.
Revised assessment bares growth status of town economies of Comval
By Cha Monforte
The newly revised assessment rolls for the lands and improvements in Compostela Valley just also bare a comparative growth status of the economies of the eleven towns in the province.
Based alone on the revised schedule of market values on urban lands in the poblacion and barangays drawn up by Comval Provincial Assessor’s Office (PASSO), the mainland towns of Mawab, Nabunturan, Montevista, Monkayo and Compostela have the same values and hence tax dues accounting the highest in the assessment brackets.
In an example of an assessed 300 square-meter lot located in the first-class residential area in poblacion, the parcel has a market value of P105,000 or P350 per sq. m. , and charged with 20 percent, it has P21,000 assessed value which in return is levied with 2 percent basic and special education fund to come up a P420 tax due.
Coming next is the middle bracket formed by the coastal towns of Maco, Mabini and Pantukan, and the lowest bracket of the highland-upland Maragusan and Laak and New Bataan, whose category shows its still being a backwood town of the mainland.
In the same land category, the market values are P290 per sq. m. with P348 tax due and P130 per. sq. m. with P156 tax due for the coastal and the lowest town brackets, respectively.
The newly revised assessment roll in Comval is a sea of difference compared to the 2003 assessment which has highly differentiated values to each type and location of land in all towns of the province.
The present schedule bares the values of the highest bracket of towns have been adjusted to the assessment levels and values of Mawab town in 2003.
Compostela tops in P2.2 B export banana industry in Comval
By Cha Monforte
Compostela town has about 2,432 hectares covered by cavendish banana plantations making it the top of the nine banana-producing towns of Compostela Valley.
Compostela Valley, with its 8,012 hectares of export bananas under assessment, boasts of about P2.2 billion in market value of the province’s export banana industry based alone in the newly revised assessment rolls for properties and improvements by the Comval Provincial Assessor’s Office.
Comval is top 2 producer in the national ranking for the commodity after Davao del Norte which boasts of over 20,000 hectares.
Of the provincewide market value of the cavendish banana industry for this year and until 2006, about P438,821,495 or 35 percent is accounted from the pooled market values of Compostela’s four big plantations, which are Dole-Phils (with 1,434.6 has), DFC (410.31 has), CPI (370.56 has) and BAC (225.2 has).
Per data of the Comval Provincial Assessor’s Office, which recently revised the assessment rolls of properties throughout the province, only Montevista and Laak have no cavendish banana plantations as of last year’s count.
Provincial Assessor Armando Atake has however bared earlier that he heard during his field assessment surveys of many landowners in the towns of the province being met and negotiated by representatives of banana investors.
In descending order of ranking per assessment record¸ following after Compostela are Maragusan (with 1,086.2 has), Mabini (821.74 has), Mawab (778.52 has), Pantukan (756.13 has), Monkayo (700 has), Maco (670.1 has), Nabunturan (449.4 has), and New Bataan (3318.5 has).
Total assessed value of the combined .production area is pegged at P597.4 million.
The provincial government is currently seeking to increase by 82.43 percent the assessment of the lands planted with cavendish bananas from low values in 2003 last assessment in its bid of generating more local taxes from the industry that has niched greater foreign markets since the recent years.
The export banana lands have the highest increase among the lands in the province for this year’s assessment until the next assessment in 2006.
The new assessment rolls are still at the committee of Comval Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
UDP turns over P1.2 M GIS equipment to Comval
The Upland Development Programme (UDP) in Southern Mindanao has been turning over its Geographic Information System equipment to various provincial governments with the Compostela Valley becoming the latest recipient in yesterday’s turnover rite at Provincial Capitol in Nabunturan.
The turnover was capped by the signing of memorandum of agreement between the UDP represented by European Co-Director Wiebe Van Rij and the Comval provincial government led by Governor Jose Caballero.
The UDP is a special program for Southern Mindanao provinces supported by a grant from European Union coursed through the Dept. of Agriculture. The program will end by January next year, although the governors of the beneficiary provinces have earlier petitioned the EU for the program extension until mid 2007.
UDP co-director Van Rij said before the MOA signing which seeks to sustain the GIS development in the province through the provincial government that the UDP looks forward for the expansion of the GIS applications to the 11 Comval municipalities, seven of which are UDP beneficiary and pilot municipalities.
On his part, Gov. Caballero said that the high-technology tools like GIS can do great things for the development of the province and its people even as he gave tribute to UDP in the province for its efforts and achievements that really serve the province.
The GIS set which the UDP donated consists of a plotter, digitizer, 21" desktop computer, 1 Geographic Positioning System (GPS)- Magellan 315 model, and GIS ArcView 3.2A software and UDP’s databases including customized thematic maps and shape files.
Earlier the UDP had its turnover of the same GIS set to Sarangani province and DENR regional offices in its covered areas.
Gaudencio Babiera, technical operations chief of UDP-Comval office said that the UDP once it completed its turnovers to five beneficiary provinces would effect a transfer of a total of P8 million for GIS equipment alone, aside that the program during had already infused about P3 million for the GIS and GPS trainings of LGU personnel.
Amongn those who witnessed in yesterday’s turnover at Comval were provincial first lady Mildred Caballero, UDP-Comval and Davao Oriental provincial manager Esmindo Cuda, provincial agriculturist Antonio M.I. Mencidor and provincial planning and development coordinator Lucia Damolo and ITCD chief Joyzel Odi. (Cha Monforte)
Comval’s revised revenue code to tax Diwalwal, plantations for environmental damage
by Charlie V. Monforte
Persons, groups and corporations engaged in mining and banana and oil palm plantation business would now have to pay for the damage and cost they give to the environment in Compostela Valley.
In the revised Revenue Code of the province which is yet to be approved by its provincial board at presstime, at least two new environment-friendly provisions such as the charging of the one-percent environmental users’ fee for gold ore production in mining areas and the annual environment rehabilitation fee at P1,000 per hectare of the banana and oil palm plantations.
The codification of 1% environmental users fee would give the power for the province to share in what was not explicitly provided in the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources order concerning the sharing of the 15-percent service fee of service contractors in the government’s direct state development project in Diwalwal, Comval provincial treasurer Carmen Razul said.
Razul bared that the province has not yet received any remittance of the supposed share from Diwalwal operations while per one report of National Resources Management and Development Corporation the municipality of Monkayo had already received its share from the users fee amounting to P453,655 as of August 2003 from the collection of P2.50 per bag of gold ore produced by NRMDC alone based on a municipal ordinance.
She said that the province appeared to have been sidelined by the DENR’s sharing scheme, while Monkayo had received its NRMDC share citing that when the latter sent its check payment for the fee it stated only the municipality’s share and without mentioning the share of the province.
NRMDC is said to be a government-controlled corporation that has already staked on the lowest depths of the gold ore-rich 600 Level of Balite vein in large-scale mining activities following national government’s direct takeover of mineral production in 2002.
In DENR memorandum order dated Sept. 16, 2002 signed by then Sec. Heherson Alvarez, the 1% users’ fee of the 15% service fee was only stated in general terms as "a fee to be imposed by the local government units." The province was supposed to share 40% from the 1% users’ fee while the host municipality and barangay would share 40% and 20%, respectively.
The 1% environment users fee in the code is also applicable to other mining areas in the province.
The 15% service fee is further divided into 2% excise tax for the Bureau of Internal Revenue, 1% royalty to indigenous people concerned, 5% management fee for the DENR and Natural Resources Development Corporation (NRDC) as implementor of Diwalwal’s mine management plan, 5% for social development and environmental protection fund and 1% royalty for any vested rights of any claimants in the area.
On the other hand, the provincial treasurer also said that the province’s local finance committee tasked in the updating of the provincial tax code is also entertaining the recent opposition of the banana firms to the P1,000-per-hectare environmental rehabilitation fee saying a lowering of the per-hectare levy is possible.
Earlier, the Pilipino Banana Growers and Export Assn., Inc. through its president Stephen Antig raised its opposition to environmental rehabilitation fee saying that the imposition was baseless, excessive and discriminatory to banana industry while "other farms or agriculture industries that are also using chemicals and pesticides that may cause harm to environment" are spared from paying the fee.
Razul said that the provincial government has enough legal bases to tax the banana industry especially on matters of its negative impact to the environment.
At P1,000-per-hectare levy, the province could immediately cough up a minimum of P8 million from the over 8,000 hectares of cavendish banana plantations of the province to substantially increase its local tax revenues that hovered at P34.5 million last year.
Since the birth of the province in 1998, the ongoing revision of the province’s revenue or tax code is already the third after the 1998 and 2002 codes.
Revenue rates of Lamdag products, facilities up in the Comval’s 3rd tax code
By Charlie V. Monforte
Compostela Valley’s revenue code, which is yet now on its third revision after the 1998 and 2002 codes, has uniquely included a provision of sale to mass dispersal products and rental for the use of facilities in the 97-hectare Lamdag Panginabuhi Center at Pasian, Monkayo.
In the revenue or tax code, the use of the Lamdag’s farm machinery and equipment, Bio-N and feed-mixing plants is now provided with rental rates.
Treated also by the code as potential revenue sources are discards and surplus of dispersal products such as culled breeds, rejects and those unfit for distribution from the herds and flocks of its livestocks and inland fish fingerlings, surplus rice and corn and fruit seedlings, manures and non-dispersal products such as bamboos and kaong.
On recommendation of the Provincial Agriculturist Office, selling prices of said surplus and discards of Lamdag products and the rental rates are to be pegged based on prevailing market situation.
The good-condition and dispersible of Lamdag products would however continue to be distributed in mass by the provincial government pursuant to the policy of Governor Jose Caballero of dispersing them as free capital inputs since beneficiaries give more counterpart in terms of spending more time, industry and resources in the growing up of products dispersed. The scheme is intended to make the Lamdag products most accessible and available to as many Comvalenyos as possible.
The codification of Lamdag products and facilities is a starting point as it gives a legal basis in measuring worth of the huge services the nationally-acclaimed Lamdag Panginabuhi Program gives to the people of the province.
The provision of sale and rent for some Lamdag products and facilities is one of the three novel insertions in this year’s update of the province’s revenue code. The other two are the provisions of the 1% environmental users fee on mining areas and the annual P1,000-per-hectare environment rehabilitation fee on banana and oil palm plantations.
For over five years now since the Lamdag Panginabuhi Program had its soft start in 1999 it has thus far benefited at least 33,000 constituents in the province through mass provision of kabir chicken, goats, hogs, sheep, cows, buffalo carabaos, fingerlings, vegetable seeds, fruit and tree seedlings, milk, livelihood and skills trainings.
Comval’s 3rd Revenue Code well crafted
By Charlie V. Monforte
The Revenue Code of Compostela Valley has been comprehensively crafted for its third revision for this year with more inclusion of provisions from the 1998 and 2002 codes but with more new provisions aimed to raise the local sources of revenue for the province and its municipalities.
Provincial treasurer Carmen Razul said that besides the codification of environment-friendly provisions, adjustments in the taxes, levies and fees were also made following workshops, meetings, due consultations and public hearing with concerned sectors starting November last year.
She said that at presstime the five-man local finance committee is on the process of finalizing the document for approval of Governor Jose Caballero and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
The revenue code lays down the legal basis and parameter, definition and sources of local revenues of the province including the rules, processes and mechanisms of appeal and remedies and exemption clauses.
Revenue sources codified also include real property taxes, franchise tax, professional Tax, tax on sand and gravel and other quarry resources, amusement tax, regulatory fees, permit fees, annual fixed taxes on delivery trucks, service fees, rental fees and charges, certification fees, and sale of agricultural products.
Together with Razul in the finance committee are provincial budget officer Joel Reterba, assistant SP secretary Salem Kanda, executive assistant Hermogenes Maning and Board Members Armando Codilla and Arthur Uy .
Last year the province’s local revenues reached P34.5 million while it shared about P360.8 million of Internal Revenue Allotment.
107th Boy Scout Council established for Comval
By Charlie V. Monforte
Compostela Valley has now a Boy Scout of the Philippines Council of its own.
After being attached with Davao del Norte’s BSP Council for over seven years since the Comval’s creation in 1998, the BSP National Executive Board through the its regional scout office for Eastern Mindanao Region conferred the province the 107th BSP Council yesterday, June 14 at the Governor’s Conference Room at the Capitol, Cabiadianan, Nabunturan.
The Comval BSP Council will still function as an associate council for the next three years of before getting a full-pledged status once it proves to stand independently, said Jose Rizal Pangilinan, secretary general of the Davao City-based eastern Mindanao BSP office.
Pangilinan led the BSP regional officials in installation rite of the ad interim council officers of the province. He pledged to support the province’s full councilship bid to the national level.
He also invited the province’s council to send a delegate to the slated 45-day National Training School of the BSP for an on-the-job training in BSP-Manila office.
Provincial administrator Atty. Anesio Ranario, speaking in behalf of Governor Jose Caballero, welcomed the BSP officials and said that the provincial leadership is confident that it could push to higher heights the scout movement in the province’s communities.
Ranario said that the governor has been trying his best for the province to qualify for BSP councilship.
Provincial planning and development coordinator Lucia Damolo was the governor’s pointperson in the province’s bid for councilship.
The other BSP officials present during the rite were Victor Serrano, director BSP-EM region, Teofilo Paña, BSP-Davao del Norte officer, Jesus Meris, BSP-Davao City scout executive, Warlito Salido, BSP-DC first vice chair, Ernesto Munpala, BSP-EMR officer, and Atty. Alan Zulueta, BSP-national executive board member.
DepEd- Comval division superintendent Fe delos Reyes, who was also present, opened the rite saying the BSP has long been a partner of the DepEd in molding the youth.
The governor is the chairman of the ad interim officers. With him are provincial budget officer Joel Reterba, 1st vice council chairman for administration and finance, assistant provincial administrator Fernando Juab, 2nd vice council chair for operations, provincial treasurer Carmen Razul, council treasurer, accountant II Beatriz T. Mancao, asst. council treasurer, PPDC Lucia Damolo, council auditor, DepEd Div. Supt. Delos Reyes, council scout commissioner, ALT/CLT district supervisor Roberto Padilla, deputy scout commissioner, CALT district supervisor Rosita Macaraeg, deputy scout commissioner for program and activities, and concurrent BSP-Davao del Norte executive secretary Teofila Paña, OIC BSP-Comval scout executive secretary.
Comval gov inspects legacy projects
Compostela Valley Governor Jose Caballero won’t stop inspecting projects that have been already started to make sure they would be completed before his third and final term ends.
Speaking before the Parents Teachers and Community Association officials and school officials and students of the Don Lorenzo Sarmiento National High School at Mawab Thursday, June 16, Gov. Caballero said that he would be spending much time for the next two more years in inspecting ongoing and forthcoming projects which he said are his legacies to the people.
He said that he wished the projects would be the reminder of the close access of the governor to the people so other upcoming provincial leaders would do the same.
"We still have two more years to do something more to serve the people," he said adding that projects would be provided under the "governance by consultation" like what he has been making since his first term
He also challenged parents to make education as their priority. "It is an important tool to fight poverty. An educated person can do a lot of things. His imagination is very wide," he added.
After his consultation with the school community where he pledged to complete their mini gym and provide other support, the governor made ocular inspection to almost completed Integrated Development Center infront the Mawab municipal hall, then to the ongoing mini gym at Barangay Tuboran, Mawab.
The governor earlier guested in the launching of the P134- million communal irrigation project of the Dept. of Land Reform at Nuevo Iloco, Mawab. (Cha Monforte)
One Town One Product program pushed in Comval
The One Town One Product-Philippines (OTOP-Philippines) program is being pushed in Compostela Valley by the Dept. of Trade and Industry provincial coordinating office in its bid of promoting a specific product or service which has competitive advantage.
OTOP-Philippines provides support to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to manufacture, offer and market distinctive products or services through the use of indigenous raw materials and local skills and talents.
DTI-Comval program coordinator Nenita Berdan said that OTOP-Philippines promises to offer a comprehensive assistance package through a convergence of services from local government units (LGUs), national government agencies (NGAs) and the private sector.
Under the scheme, the LGU would identify the specific product or service and make available all forms of assistance to which the DTI will spearhead in the marshalling of support from especially the key government agencies that include the departments of agriculture, environment and natural resources, interior and local government, land reform, science and technology, tourism and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda).
Support assistance package from agencies includes the business counseling, skills and entrepreneurship training, product design and development, appropriate technologies and marketing
Berdan said that in Region XI the banana chip production has been identified as one model OTOP but more potential local products or services could be identified by the LGUs.
OTOP-Philippines is in line with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s priority program of entrepreneurship promotion and jobs creation and is DTI’s product development strategy listed under the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) 2004-2010.
The concept of OTOP-Philippines is similar to Japan’s successful One Village One Product (OVOP) project, which was started in 1979 by Governor Morihiro Hiramatsu of Oita Prefecture as a form of people’s participation in the regional development of that country
Its success prompted other countries to adopt the concept in their own areas as an effective toool for proverty alleviation, particualry in the rural areas.
OTOP has been established in Thailand, Vietnam, Malawi, Cambodia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Indonesia. (Cha Monforte)
Kaimonan Festival on Maco Araw and fiesta celebration
The municipality of Maco is currently having its weeklong Kaimonan Festival in celebration for the 38th foundation day Thursday¸ June 16 and the town fiesta on June 25.
Maco Mayor Arthur Carlos Voltaire Rimando said that the town’s own Kaimonan Festival is a thanksgiving fest for the bountiful harvest and blessings received by his people.
It started Wednesday, June 16 and will culminate on the town’s parochial fiesta.
Already provincial first lady Mildred "Mimi" Caballero guested during last night’s Search of the Ginang Municipal Council of Women (MCOW) together with Governor Jose Caballero.
In her keynote speech, the first lady recognized the outstanding accomplishments of Maco’s affiliate MCOW in giving service to their women constituents and in being an active council in the Compostela Valley Provincial Council of Women (CVPCOW).
She said that the CVPCOW will continue to sustain without let-up its valuable services, projects and activities for the development and empowerment of the Comval women. Mrs. Caballero is CVPCOW’s president.
Meanwhile, the province would also have to witness the festivities for the foundation days for the towns of Montevista and Compostela on June 18 and June 23, respectively. (Cha Monforte)
DepEd’s Delos Reyes conducts Schools First Initiative orientation to Comval mayors
Several mayors in Compostela Valley Thursday, June 16 got a lengthy dose of an orientation of the new program thrust of the Dept. of Education under the leadership of Secretary Florencio Abad.
Yes, they did listen than speak as they normally do in public functions, so well and intently during the almost three hours on the hot course on Schools First Initiative (SFI) dished out by DepEd-Comval division superintendent Fe delos Reyes.
Delos Reyes was invited by New Bataan Mayor Margarito Cualing during the meeting of the League of the Municipalities-Compostela Valley Provincial Chapter yesterday, June 16 at the Comval Hotel and Restaurant in Nabunturan.
Mayors who attended in yesterday’s LMP-Comval chapter meeting were Cualing¸Nabunturan Mayor Macario Humol, Montevista Mayor Teofista Jauod, Mabini Mayor Reynaldo Dayanghirang, Maragusan Mayor Arsenio Yanong Jr and Laak Mayor Rogelio Arambala.
Delos Reyes introduced Abad’s SFI thrusts to the mayors for the first. She said that she was supposed to dovetail with individual mayors and found the invitation of Cualing a good opportunity to orient them about SFI in an occasion.
She said the under the SFI local chief executives are encouraged to involve and participate themselves in the affairs of their respective schools.
The SFI calls for greater stakeholders participation beginning on the School Improvement Plan (SIP) which would be directed by the School Governing Council (SGC), Delos Reyes bared.
The SGC signifies for the broader "ownership" of public schools and provides the grassroots support as source of stability of the school.
The SGC is comprised by two co-chairs, which are the school head and the LGU representative (designated by the local chief executive with concurrence of the local council), and the members who include two parents, male and female (designated by the PTCA); teacher (elected by the teaching staff); student (student council head); a local businessman or professional and an educator from academe, retired NGO or private school (both nominated by school head with concurrence of teaching staff).
She noted that in the past there have been past failures in fully addressing the problems in the schools as the drawing out of solutions have been more "administrative approach to education", that is based on hierarchy, supervision and control, among others.
She said from that approach, reforms should lead to "educational approach to administration", which is "to make public schools efficient in learning and applying learning in different local situations" and "turning schools into learning communities" that is anchored on engagement with community and partners".
Under defined delineation of functions of education stakeholders and DepEd layers of offices, the SFI will be pushed with its strategic objective of making all Filipinos acquire the basic education competencies.
Also present in the LMP-Comval meeting was Federation of the Associations of Barangay Captains president and boardmember Reynaldo Navarro, who asked support from the Comval mayors present on the general barangay officials assembly slated on June 26-27 at NCCC Mall Convention Hall in Davao City.
Navarro bared that the slated assembly would draw out agreement for the resolution asking President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the extension of the term of the barangay officials until 2007 considering that the end of their term is fast approaching on July 31, 2005.
Navarro said that barangay officials have been anxious over their fate as they have no knowledge now on what have happened to the two house bills in Congress concerning the postponement of the barangay election after the national controversies on wiretapping and jueteng broke out. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)
Comval mainlanders can now travel straight to coastal towns without passing Tagum
By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News
Compostela Valley residents living in the mainland valley could already travel straight to the province’s coastal towns without passing first - and circuitously- Tagum City.
"Just this year the road connecting the mainland to the coastal towns was at last completed, " bared provincial district engineer Silvino Cortez, Jr. of the Dept. of Public Works and Highways- Compostela Valley District Engineering Office.
The province creation in 1998 begot territorial infirmities like when the southern coastal towns of Maco, Mabini and Pantukan were seemed isolated including the western upland town of Laak as they could be traveled from the northern mainland, where the capital town Nabunturan is located, by circuitously passing via Tagum City of the mother province of Davao del Norte.
Cortez said that the connecting mainland-to-coastal road, which is yet in rawly graveled form, has been realized out from staggered special funds reaching to P60 million from the Office of the President.
He said that the Comval’s case of intermittent areas that break territorial unity of the province is similar to the case of the coastal side of Saragani and Cotabato provinces that are intervened by General Santos City.
The mainland-to-coastal road project starts from Mawab passing the completed Sawangan concrete bridge and the not -so elevated barangays of both towns of Mawab and Maco.
He said that DPWH will continue improving the road in the next years to make it an all-weather road.
On the otherhand, the graveled road connecting Laak to mainland Comval was earlier completed passing via the western barangays of Montevista and thus escaping northway the usual lengthy road that leads to the mainland via Tagum City.
About P30 million was infused for the Laak-Montevista road while another P5 million is being programmed at press time for its improvement, Cortez said.
Besides, there is also an ongoing road construction in New Bataan that would alternately connect the highland Maragusan to the valley’s lowland plain. The usual route to Maragusan has been via Nabunturan passing an uphill artery and the former depot of the closed Sabena Mining Corp.
The road funded by the Rural Road Network Development Project alternatively link the interior backwood town of New Bataan to the highland Maragusan. Already, the concreting of the New Bataan to Barangay Liboton section has been completed and the road will pass Barangay Tupaz then to Maragusan, it was learned.
Cortez also said that in all his district office is maintaining a 260-kilometer length of national road within Comval.
He said that the provincial government’s request for conversion of the Maragusan road via Nabunturan from provincial to national road category is already being processed at DPWH central office.
Comval Muslims confer gov a sultan title
Muslim sultans reigning in Compostela Valley conferred Governor Jose Caballero an honorary sultan title for his invaluable support to the Muslim sector since when he assumed the governorship in 1998.
The governor was conferred by seven known sultans in various municipalities as the Sultan Na Datu A Gaos sa Comval or the father-provider sultan of all Muslims in the whole province in a rite Tuesday last week, June 21 at the municipal gym of Monkayo.
The governor has been extending various support to the Muslim population which includes monthly honoraria to ustadzes or the Madrasah teachers, school buildings, classrooms and facilities, livelihood projects and skills trainings.
The Muslim sultans who conferred governor the sultan title were Ibrahim Batawi of Monkayo, Arabio Anting of Nabunturan, Ismael Alonto of Montevista, Cairoding Datu Manong of Compostela, Suod Macarampat of New Bataan, Casan Sultan of Maragusan and Nasrodin Bangcola of Mt. Diwata. The belonged to United Muslim Organization in the province. (Cha Monforte)
Comval barangay assembly urges Congress, PGMA to act on pending bill on postponement of brgy elections, not to allow foreign investors in Diwalwal
By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News
Some 1,300 barangay officials of Compostela Valley are presently converging for a three-day general assembly which started the Monday, June 27 at the NCCC Convention Hall in Davao City.
Bannering a theme "Barangay Development is National Development", the Comval's Liga ng Barangay assembly is set today to approve a resolution calling the Congress and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to immediately act on the pending bill in Congress that seeks to postpone the barangay elections.
Compostela Valley's Liga ng Barangay provincial president Reynaldo Navarro that the passage of the bill will resolve the present uncertainties felt by barangay officials given that their term of office is expected to end by October 31 this year.
"We are in quandary what would happen to us and where to leave the rein of the barangays once the day comes and no bill is enacted in Congress," Navarro said adding that the barangay election issue has been stepped over by much raging issues of the day such as the jueteng and wiretapping controversies.
The Comval's liga president also said that the assembly is also expected to approve today a resolution supporting the earlier resolution of the province's chapter of the League of Mayors of the Philippines calling the President not to allow foreign mining investors in Diwalwal but only the local ones.
Dept. of Interior and Local Government (XI) regional director Rodolfo Razul, in his talk on the national government's ten-point millineum agenda yesterday, informed that in case there is a failure of Congress to pass a law for the purpose, barangay officials would continue serving on holdover capacity until their replacements come in following the next elections.
During the first two days of the assembly, barangay officials who include the barangay captain, kagawads, Sangguniang Kabataaan representatives and secretaries and other staff were given inputs on the law on violence against women and their children, disaster preparedness and management and updates on their provincial and national federations.
Comval’s cardaba banana pushed in One Town One Product (OTOP) program
COMPOSTELA VALLEY - The poor man’s cardaba banana is being pushed here as a competitive product for most of the province’s municipalities which could be promoted within the government’s One Town One Product (OTOP) program.
Dept. of Trade and Industry (DTI) provincial coordinator Nenita Berdan said that the product has been pre-identified after consulting with municipal mayors, planners and other officials and representatives of concerned national government agencies.
The towns which would have cardaba banana as OTOP are Compostela, Pantukan, Mawab, Mabini, Maco, New Bataan and Montevista.
OTOPs of other Comval towns are calamansi for Nabunturan, gold for Monkayo, vegetables for Maragusan and corn for Laak.
The pre-identified OTOPs will however be subjected to further field validation, consultations with various stakeholders at the municipal level and final approval by the municipal officials as there might be other product that might be finally chosen by the municipality, she said.
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) provincial director Urbano Budtan said that due mechanism to promote the chosen product must be in place at the local level to pursue sustainable OTOPs.
Various municipal officials in DTI consultation held last June 21 agreed to have their respective OTOP incorporated in municipal annual development and investment plans and budgets after it gets approved by the local sanggunian and the local chief executive.
They also lined up various plans and activities where they could converge government services to promote the chosen OTOP.
OTOP is a new DTI program advocacy patterned after the successful One Village One Product (OVOP) project in Japan. At least eight countries in Southeast Asia have replicated the concept which led to the success stories in development of industries.
OTOP aims to promote and develop community, small and medium enterprises to spur growth and employment in the countrysides. (Cha Monforte)
Comval quiet in anti-GMA activities- PPOC
All is quiet in Comval front.
Based on the reports of civilian and military officials heard during Thursday's meeting of the Compostela Valley Provincial Peace and Order Council, the province is seeing anti-Arroyo administration activities such as rallies and demonstrations while its peace and order situation is generally normal and stable for the first half of this year.
Governor Jose Caballero, who called the PPOC meeting with the province’s Dept. of Interior and Local Government, heard only sporadic and isolated cases of violent incidents and crimes from reports of municipal mayors, chiefs of police and military officials from 404th Brigade and 28th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.
Col. Florante Martinez, newly assigned officer-in-charge commanding officer of the 404th Brigade based in Tuburan, Mawab, assured PPOC members and the people that the military under his command are committed to defend the Constitution and squelched rumors of participating in a military coup as they have "no more time of it as they focus on their job" of securing the province and defeating the communists.
Col. Martinez was designated OIC commanding officer of 404th Brigade just last Tuesday replacing Brig. Gen. Ferdinand Bocobo who was recalled to his Cagayan de Oro post. Before his present assignment, Martinez came from the Philippine Army national headquarters in Manila, it was learned.
Earlier Bocobo replaced Col. Ricardo Morales, who was earlier relieved of his post after he sent e-mail letters to fellow military officials indirectly questioning the national leadership in what Morales later claimed as part of his right for self-_expression.
The Tuburan-based 404th Brigade covers Comval less the Laak municipality and Davao Oriental as its area of responsibility. The brigade has two maneuver battalions and one cadre battalion with 34 companies and 83 detachments.
Besides the 404th Brigade, also present in Comval are 28th IB based in Upper Ulip, Monkayo, the 72nd IB and 60th IB in various areas, and the 401st IB which was recently assigned to cover Laak and adjacent areas of Davao del Norte.
Col. Martinez said that the situation in Comval is well under control and cited in his report of only three armed attacks perpetrated by the New People’s Army occurring in the first half of this year.
He said the province has only 5 influenced, 8 threatened and 20 less threatened barangays by the NPA.
He said the military remains to have relentless tactical and security operations throughout the province.
Police and military officials last year bared that Comval has seven NPA fronts operating in its territory.
Mayors present reported they have not yet seen any anti-GMA activities in their respective municipalities.
In the same PPOC meeting, Lt. Col. Hernando Caraig, commanding officer of the 28th IB that secured Diwalwal said that the mining area is secured by six outposts and 19 detachments.
He said the peacekeepers’ immediate concern is the threat of the small scale miners to directly takeover the mining operations in the area below 600 meters above sea level (MASL) of the gold-rich Balite vein where the government is directly operating through the National Resources Management and Development Corp. (NRMDC).
On the other hand, deputy Comval provincial police director Samson Orendain in his situation report bared that the crime rate in the province is on the downtrend compared to the previous years.
He informed PPOC members that from April to June this year the province’s crime index averaged on 15.3 with a crime rate of only 5.6 percent revealing a "generally stable and normal" peace and order condition.
He said that NPA attacks were minimal in the previous months and crimes recorded remained the usual from petty to graver types.
Mayors and chiefs of police in various towns also reported several apprehensions of persons involved illegal logging, illegal drugs, marijuana planting, drug abuse, illegal fishing, unauthorized transport of toxic chemicals used in gold processing, and illegal gambling particularly last-two gambling.
Orendain said that the last-two gambling in the province has been greatly diminished but he said scheming last-two operators and financiers have been engaged in hideous guerilla-type of operations, "patago" in continuing their gambling activities.
Maco Mayor Rimando claimed that his town has been already a "last two gambling free" but admitted he received information that operators and financiers tried to go back to their trade through guerilla-type of operations.
Hearing of the relentless peace and order drives of the civilian, police and military officials, Gov. Caballero thanked and commended each of them. - RUN/Cha Monforte
Joecab’s baon ug patuon BLEW held at Capitol
The baon ug pagtuon Barangay Legal Education on Wheels (BLEW) had literally made a stopover right at the Capitol last Tuesday, July 19 over five years since it was initiated by Governor Jose Caballero.
Some 200 participants from the Provincial Peacekeepers were given detailed orientation on basic laws including on Republic Act No. 9262 otherwise known as the Violence Against Women and their Children (VAWC).
BLEW is a mobile education activity with participants bringing their meal provisions for lunch and the panel of lecturers from the provincial government providing inputs on civil laws, human rights and cases and situationers on processes in effecting civilian arrests on various crime acts.
Lately, it included VAWC in its course to protect and promote the rights of the women and their children. It is actively being campaigned by the Compostela Valley Provincial Council of Women (CVPCOW) headed by the province’s first lady Mildred "Mimi" Caballero.
During the activity, Board Member Kris Caballero thanked and urged Peacekeepers to continue serving their communities with sincerity and dedication.
She also reminded everyone in authority not to not to abuse their power and to implement laws with justice, honesty and good faith.
Kris exhorted people anew with her own "Aja!" battlecry, which mean in popular Korean telenovela, to continue to fight, not to waver even amidst adversities.
The Provincial Peacekeepers are unarmed partners in the governor’s peace and order thrust in the province.
The police considered the Peacekeepers as one of its force multipliers.
Over 3,000 of them have been supported with honorarium and insurance by the provincial government. (pr/IDS-Comval)
Joecab, Colina thank Peacekeepers; P2.29 M honoraria released
Compostela Valley Governor Jose Caballero and Board Member Cesar Colina of the 1st District expressed gratitude to the Provincial Peacekeepers who converged Tuesday, August 16 at the Social Hall of the Provincial Capitol Building.
Some 119 Peacekeepers from the municipality of Montevista and 279 Peacekeepers from Laak first converged for a meeting with the governor before getting their honoraria for the past six months amounting to P900 for each of them (or P150 per month) from the Provincial Treasurer’s Office on that day.
Also on that day, some 70 Muslim ustadzes (Madrasah teachers) each received their two months honoraria worth P2,600 gross for May-June months (or P1,300 per month), and the Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) from New Bataan and Mawab with P900 each (or P150 per month) for their Jan-June honoraria.
On Thursday, 187 Peacekeepers from Nabunturan and 179 Peackeepers from Monkayo trooped to the Capitol and received their honoraria. The Peacekeepers from Mawab and Pantukan also received theirs Friday.
The rest of the Peacekeepers, BNS from the other municipalities and the Barangay Health Workers are scheduled to receive their honoraria next week and until the end of this month.
For the Peacekeepers alone, the provincial government is releasing a total of P2.29 million for their honoraria for the said period.
The governor in his talk with the Laak Peacekeepers said that the Provincial Peacekeepers have been contributing a lot in the maintenance of the stable peace and order condition in the province by playing as pacifier and monitor to cases of petty troubles in their respective puroks.
Gov. Caballero said that while the provincial government has only given them "little but regular assistance" the Peacekeepers have shown they nevertheless give great service to their communities while they have now earned high recognition from the barangay, municipal and provincial leaders.
The governor also informed them that the model of directly tapping the purok leaders to be involved in provincial government’s peace and order drive even as the purok is not a part of the political subdivision in the country has been replicated already in other cities and provinces although the purok leader-Peacekeepers are named differently like Peacemakers.
Gov. Caballero also refreshed Peacekeepers of their tasks and functions and their organization of being a creation and direct link of the Office of the Governor.
On the other hand, Board Member Colina also thanked the Peacekeepers for being a good partner of the provincial government.
Colina also further asked the Peacekeepers to continue supporting the governor even in the scenario when there would be abolition of term limits which he said might be a possibility in constitutional change. (cvm/IDS-Comval)
Comval budget preparation underway; Reterba estimates P443 M budget for 2006
By Cha Monforte
With the issuance of the provincial budget memorandum of Compostela Valley Governor Jose Caballero last July 1, all departments of the provincial government are currently preoccupied in preparing their respective budgets for consolidation this week to become an executive budget
Provincial budget officer Joel Reterba during the budget forum last Aug. 4 said that the provincial government would have an estimated income of P443.56 million next year which becomes the basis for the budget for 2006.
The estimated income for 2006 is actually increasing in real terms from this year’s original executive budget of P411 million which was declared inoperative by the Dept. of Budget and Management (DBM) following the transferred cuts, governor’s veto and override by the provincial board.
From the original P411 million the budget rose to the present P539.29 million budget due to the inclusion of the beginning balance from 2004, increment of Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) and loan proceeds.
Under the governor’s budget memorandum, policies, guidelines and procedures in the preparation and submission of budget proposals of provincial departments were fully laid down.
The memorandum first spelled out for the provisions of budgets for the mandatory and statutory obligations of the provincial government which are the 20% of IRA for development fund, 5% of the estimated revenue from regular sources for calamity fund, aid to barangays amounting to not less than P1,000 each per barangay, 2% of actual receipts from basic real property tax in the next preceding calendar year for discretionary purposes of the local chief executive, intelligence or confidential fund not exceeding 30% of the annual amount allocated for Peace and Order efforts or 3% of the total annual appropriation, whichever is lower, and the equipment loan amortization.
The budget would also have accounts for personal services (PS), maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) and capital outlays (CO).
In the tentative schedule of activities, after this week’s submission and consolidation of office budget proposals by the Provincial Budget Office (PBO), a thorough technical review of the budget would be made by the PBO and the Local Finance Committee (LFC).
The LFC is composed of the governor, Reterba, provincial treasurer Carmen Razul, provincial planning and development coordinator Lucia Damolo, provincial accountant Leonora Melendres, provincial engineer-designate Eduardo Cabellon, and Board Member Arthur Uy, chairman of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s committee on appropriation, budget and finance.
Oct. 11 is the targeted date for the submission of the approved executive budget to the SP, and its deliberation and authorization thru the enactment of the appropriation ordinance is scheduled on Oct 18 to Nov. 12.
The PBO projected that within Nov. 19 to Dec. 31 the annual budget would have already been reviewed by the DBM and it would have to be executed starting Jan. 1, 2006, otherwise this year’s budget would have to be re-enacted.
UDP’s GIS finds permanent home at the Capitol
The P1.2 million-worth Geographic Information System (GIS) set earlier donated by the Upland Development Programme (UDP) in Southern Mindanao was finally transferred from the UDP-Comval’s office at Brgy. Sta. Maria, Nabunturan to the Information Technology and Communication Division office, 3rd floor of the Capitol Building last Aug. 14.
The GIS set is composed of digitizer, plotter, computer and their peripherals, softwares and hardwares including digital layers and files.
The physical turnover was effected by UDP-Comval operations chief Gaudencio Babiera, UDP-PMO GIS programmer Christian Rommel and GIS specialist Rosevic Borseque. They were welcomed by Provincial Administrator Atty. Anesio Ranario, GIS in-house expert Alex Remegio and Joyzel R. Odi, ITCD head, and her staff.
GIS is a high-technology digital solutions which could be used in mapping, planning and decision-making activities. It was learned that the GIS plotter could print and reproduce a map of up to 20 ft x 20 ft size.
The UDP is a seven-year program supported by the grant from the European Union. The program will exit January next year. (domilyn g. ramos/IDS-Comval)
Contractors report infra accomplishments in Comval IMAG
By Cha Monforte
Contractors of big infrastructure projects in Compostela Valley reported their accomplishments during the meeting of the Infrastructure Monitoring and Advisory Group (IMAG) held last July 29 at the Governor’s Conference Room at the Capitol in Cabidianan, Nabunturan.
Engr. Gregorio Omay, representing the Katahira and Engineers International (KEI), reported that as of July 2005 the Shinsung Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd. incurred an accumulated slippage of works of only –4.54 percent indicating that its implementation was slightly behind of its project schedule.
Shinsung, a South Korean firm, is the contractor of the ongoing rehabilitation of the Monkayo-Tagum section of the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway. The project costs P1.48 billion in three-year timetable. KEI acts as the project supervising consultant.
Project consultants found out that Shinsung was hindered by the adverse weather condition and advised the contractor to work overtime including during holidays and Sundays to catch up minimal delays and backlogs in project implementation.
Since the project started May 17 last year, Shinsung had already used up over P305 million for the asphalting, repair and construction works in subject highway and bridges, Shinsung’s executive summary stated.
Provincial administrator Atty. Anesio Ranario, who presided the IMAG meeting in behalf of its chair Gov. Jose Caballero, also checked on Shinsung officials on whether they had installed proper early warning devices before road excavations and diggings as agreed in the last IMAG meeting.
Engr. Monhee Lee, Shinsung’s project manager, appraised the body on their company’s early warning measures. He said that they had already increased early warning signboards and barricades in road excavations.
But Lee complained over acts of vandalism and thief committed by unidentified persons citing that several of their company’s early warning devices disappeared in the next days after they put them.
Atty. Ranario advised Lee to report the incidents to the police and barangay officials for them to make necessary actions.
Ranario reminded Shinsung officials to place enough reflectorized signboard and barricades well ahead of excavations to prevent accidents to motorists.
Also, Manuel Gonzaga, project manager of Algon Engineering Construction, contractor of the of the replacement and retrofitting of 11 bridges mostly located in the province’s coastal areas bared that their company had incurred a slippage of a minor –6.85 percent and has completed at least 76 percent of its contracted works.
The 11 bridges in Comval contracted by Algon firm are part of the national government’s Contract Package 8 under the Sixth Road Project-Bridge Component and funded through and Asian Development Bank loan.
Lamdag’s Bio-N makes savings of P9,195 per hectare of cavendish banana farm-Pagro
By Cha Monforte
In what could be seen a miracle discovery, the Bio-N fertilizer being produced by the Lamdag Panginabuhi Center of Compostela Valley provincial government is now proving it can make production cost savings of at least P9,195 per hectare per year in cavendish banana farms.
In an enthusiastic report of Provincial Agriculturist Antonio M.I. Mencidor to Governor Jose Caballero, the Bio-N mixing fertilizer powder tested to Sanbagro’s cavendish banana farm in Compostela town proved to have fortified plant stands comparable to the plant quality grown in commercial plantation farm and made vigorous vegetative growth of bananas resulting to increased yields.
Mencidor stated that the recent field findings showed that Bio-N could also potentially increase yields not only for export bananas but also for corn, rice and vegetables.
"These observations open a new potential market of our Bio-N produced at the Lamdag Panginabuhi Center," he reported.
Bio-N is a solid inoculant in powder form that contains azospirilium bacteria strains that are capable of converting atmospheric nitrogen into a form available from plants. It has been proven effective in supplying needed nitrogen for crops to maintain vigorous plant growth. The bacteria comes from the roots of the talahib (saccarium spontaneum). Bio-N is proven an environment-friendly fertilizer.
In Comval’s Bio-N field experiment, cavendish banana grower Sanbagro mixed a pack of Bio-N into five bags of organic fertilizer and reduced its urea application by 66 percent. It was then treated to a pilot farm while the grower maintained an area which used urea and organic fertilizers and chicken dungs for later comparison after a year’s experimentation.
Cost computations made by Pagro’s technicians bared that the area using Bio-N proved to have incurred a total cost of materials and labor amounting only to P25,545, about 27% decrease from the total cost incurred to the area using urea and chicken dung.
The Bio-N mixing plant was launched at the provincial mass production complex at Pasian, Monkayo August 12 last year as material grant of Dept. of Agriculture-Regional Field Unit-XI.
The DA-RFU-XI and the provincial government inked a memorandum of agreement requiring the latter to provide land, labor cost and building as counterpart of the mixing plant and to take the lead in the promotion and distribution of Bio-N technology through field days and demonstrations.
Comval provl police chief retires after 33 years of service
By Cha Monforte
After serving the police institution for 33 years, Compostela Valley Provincial Police Director Paulino Mendez bade farewell to comrades and friends to retire from service as he turned 56 Wednesday, August 31.
“But this isn’t goodbye… but see you still and soon as friends,” Police Senior Supt. Mendez jested in ending his farewell speech where he profusely thanked the rank and file of the provincial police, provincial and local officials, relatives and family and foremost the Divine Providence for reaching “the summit of (his) career”.
PSSupt. Mendez, a multi-awarded police officer who started his police career in the erstwhile Philippine Constabulary, was given tribute and accolades by officials present as he turned over his post in a fitting ceremony held at the Comval PPO headquarters in Purok 16, Nabunturan.
PSupt. Amilbasa Usnaini, assistant provincial police director, assumes Mendez post as officer-in-charge police provincial director.
Witnessing the turnover of office were Atty. Rey Placido Alcomendras III, provincial legal officer who represented Governor Jose Caballero, PSupt. Samuel Navaja, PNP-XI deputy regional director for operations, Col. Antonio Amodia, newly assigned 404th Brigade commander, the 11 municipal chiefs of police and the provincial police force elements, and civilian guests.
Also present were Mendez wife Lilia and children Laarni, Hazel, Jorge Mark and John Paul.
With the retirement of Mendez at mandatory age he automatically becomes a police chief superintendent, which is equivalent to the general in the Philippine Army, pursuant to the civil service law on retirement of law enforcement personnel.
Atty. Alcomendras, speaking in behalf of the governor, who is out of town for urgent official business, thanked Mendez for his notable accomplishments, loyalty and dedication during his long years of being with police service.
He said that Mendez has been effective in maintaining the stable peace and order condition in the province.
Mendez assumed as the provincial police director last Jan 26 this year replacing PSSupt. Jaime Morente, who was reassigned to head the Davao del Norte provincial police office.
Tesda skills olympics kicks off at Korphil
By Cha Monforte
Skilled workers starting making action yesterday, Sept. 1 in the two-day Regional Skills Competition (RSC) of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) at the Korea-Philippines (Korphil) Vocational Training Center compound at Buhisan, Tibungco, Davao City.
Tesda-Compostela Valley provincial director Urbano Budtan bared in an interview that this year’s RSC will have 34 trade areas to be competed in youth, open and abilympics categories
Comval alone will fielding some 27 skills competitors in various trade areas.
RSC, also popularly dubbed as Skills Olympics, is a Tesda competition aimed to showcase and develop the best of the skills of the country’s middle-level manpower. Regional winners will vie in national skills competition, whose winners will then vie in Asean skills competition.
City officials graced the start of the competition.
Trade areas to be competed in youth and open categories are Computer-Aided Design and Development (CADD), information technology, electronics technology, welding, electronics application, commercial wiring, automobile technology, ladies dressmaking, cookery, restaurant serviced, hairdressing, IT/PC networking, butchering, feed-mixing, mechatronics, masonry, meat processing, vegetable processing and smoke fish making.
Trade areas in abilympics category are floral arrangement, cake decoration, waste reuse, painting oil color, painting water color, poster design, batik tie-dye, billboard advertising, tailoring, webpage development, desktop development, English text encoding, jewelry making, photography-portrait, events coverage and embroidery.
RSC 2005 has for its theme, “Tatak Agila Team: Soar Higher, Grab the Golds!”
Joecab orders energy-savings measures
By Cha Monforte
Compostela Valley Governor Jose Caballero has ordered Capitol officials and employees to strictly implement energy-saving measures pursuant to a presidential directive issued recently.
In the governor’s Memorandum Order No. 082-2005, pursuant to Administrative Order No. 126 issued by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in response to the looming energy crisis in the country, the Capitol officials and employees have been directed to regulate the usage of electricity, fuel and vehicle and overtime services.
Concerned are directed switch off computer units and lights during lunchtime except those used in daily time record. Moreover, electrical equipment such as electric pots, water dispensers, refrigerators should be unplugged at exactly 4 pm, while air-conditioning units should only have a 9 am –4 pm switch-on time.
As to the use of fuel and vehicle, the governor directed concerned that government vehicles should be strictly for official business only while departments heads are instructed to impose a limit on gasoline expenditures by operating within their respective annual budgets.
As to overtime services, department heads are instructed to see to it that overtime services would be rendered only when the need arises such as budget and annual reports preparation to meet scheduled deadlines and in the completion of work which could not be met within regular work days and hours.
Moreover, overtime has been discouraged except on occasional basis. “Overtime should be allowed with a very clear project design which includes the purpose of overtime, number of hours and others. Those who render overtime without pay should be encouraged to cope with the backlogs,” the memo stated.
Finally, it stated that “unless it is extremely necessary rendition of overtime is allowed provided, however, that request or permission to render overtime services must first be approved by the governor.
Due to Joecab’s plea for log ban in Comval, DENR conducts consultation on the issue
By Cha Monforte
The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (Penro) made consultation with various sectors on the issue of whether a log ban should stay in Compostela Valley as earlier pushed by Governor Jose Caballero Tuesday, Aug. 30 at Nabunturan.
Caballero and the Provincial Peace and Order Council requested last April President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to exempt the province from her order of lifting the log ban in various provinces which included Comval.
Penro invited various stakeholders that included the representatives from the church, chamber of commerce, barangay captains’ association, council of women, Dole Philippines, Philco Mining, sawmill operators, Sangguniang Kabataan and indigenous people.
The governor contended that Comval’s forest cover is now at critical stage after decades of illegal and legal logging operations, among others.
Shinsung warns: beware of Monkayo-Tagum highway!
By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News
Better be careful in passing the Monkayo-Tagum highway than be sorry.
Thus the Shinsung Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd has advised drivers and motorists to better go slow in speed while negotiating the highway section undergoing repair and asphalting.
"The lengthy 60-kilometer expanse of the highway from Monkayo to Tagum could not just allow us to be always on guard of the early warning devices and barricades before potholes and diggings we installed," said Bong Jin Jun, a South Korean national and Shinsung’s planning manager.
He said that drivers should better be warned that the repair works the company are undertaking change place from time to time and hence they should watch out for the open diggings in changing locations.
Jun’s statement given to the provincial media in an interview came following complaints from motorists over the company’s alleged failure to adequately put reflectorized early warning devices before its construction diggings.
He said that the company has been putting up and replacing road signs and barricades but many of these were either lost due to thief or were bumped off to improper location.
There were already at two least deaths of persons, one driving motorcycle and another driving a bicycle per reports received by Shinsung management, while several others cheated death for almost crash-diving into open diggings in the highway.
The Shinsung management however said that the two deaths and other minor accidents in road sections under repair were caused by reckless driving.
Jun also said that they have already responded to the inquiries on road safety and warning signs and devices made by Dept. of Public Works and Highways assistant secretary Rafael Yabut.
"We are doing our best to give to give safety to motorists while doing our repair and construction works," he said.
Besides the installation of early warning devices and barricades, the firm has also been deploying flagmen to forewarn and to do the traffic of vehicles in temporary one-lane passages and reblocking areas, and a 10-man mobile safety team that maintain its road safety measures.
Shinsung is yet in the thick of its P1.48-billion, three-year Monkayo-Tagum highway rehabilitation project package of the national government after its start in May 2004.
In the same interview, Jun said that Shinsung has been in the country for the past 12 years and had completed highway projects in Alacapan areas in Luzon and in Bukidnon and Zamboanga provinces in Mindanao.
Shinsung is a 53-year old South Korean company with its central headquarters based in the Seoul. It has also undertaken mega construction projects in Vietnam, Indonesia and China.
For its present project covering Comval and Davao del Norte, the firm employs some 280 workers, it was learned.
Joecab airs concern over early politicking in Comval;
Guv says pols setting back what his administration started
As the local election is still so away from the present, Compostela Valley Governor Jose Caballero has aired deep concern over the early politicking activities engaged by ambitious provincial politicians saying that these have instead led to unproductive polarization of public officials and political leaders.
The governor, in an interview, said that early politicking has reared its ugly head in the form of infighting and animosities that disrupt the delivery of service by the leaders of the people in the province.
He said that in the course of the insidious push to put the province into political mood and disarray, efforts of politicians wanting to be spotted as election wannabes have been revealing their obstructionism which only affects the smooth delivery of services. "It’s the people who are the losers in this."
He said that the groupings and realignments engineered by some politicians "in the guise of forging bond among local officials are actually gatherings in disguise and are meant to destroy one another."
He said that these obstructionist efforts worsened by character assassinations and mudslingings in the guise of a purported pursuit for good governance are rude attempts to set back what the Caballero administration started and gained in building the seven-year old province.
"They pollute the air with distortions and deceptions … and even intimidation," said the governor.
"But then no amount of blandishment, harassment and intimidation can deceive the people. At the end of the day, the people will always ask: What have you done for the good of the people? Are you sincere in your intention of serving us?" the governor added.
In his seven year of immersing and consulting with the province’s villagers the governor said he observed that the people always put a highest premium on the politicians’ sincerity to serve "that has no personal interests and vested agenda behind endeavors."
Gov. Caballero instead challenged officials from the provincial down to barangay and purok level to help one another and all the more sustain their vital contribution for the continued growth of Compostela Valley.
He said that the prevailing mood of partisanship egged out by politicians has been counter-productive to the sustained development of the province adding that ill motives and selfish intentions of elected politicians can ultimately be unmasked by the people as disservice and betrayal to their mandate. (Cha Monforte)
"Mimi" in CVPCOW’s food products choice of Comval women entrepreneurs
The Mimi’s Food Products homemade by women entrepreneurs who are members of the Compostela Valley Provincial Council of Women are productive results of the organization’s accessing of the Provincial Government’s past provision of trainings and material grants to the needy women sector in the province, said Elsa Collado, CVPCOW coordinator.
CVPCOW’ is chaired by provincial first lady Mildred "Mimi" Caballero, whose nickname was the brand name choice of the women entrepreneurs in recognition of her effort to uplift and empower the needy women sector in the province, Collado said.
"Our president (Mimi) has no pecuniary and business interests in whatever form in Mimi’s Food Products," she said.
Over a hundred women entrepreneur-members of CVPCOW are now actively engaged into small-scale processing of Mimi’s food products that included ketchup, durian jam, salabat, jellies, nata de coco, pastillas, camote and banana chips, camote bar, crispy mix, corned beef, soriso and other homemade table foodstuffs.
Collado said that CVPCOW is not engaged in profit-making activities with women entrepreneurs as it only assists them put up small business endeavors in order to earn a livelihood in a most decent way.
"CVPCOW is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and is committed to help the women in their livelihood like the seeking of BFAD approval for appropriate products in behalf of the women entrepreneurs," Collado added.
Currently, those Mimi’s products that really need BFAD approval are on process.
The CVPCOW coordinator also refuted the negative issues hurled against Mimi’s Food Products saying that they have only earned disgust and anger from the small women entrepreneurs and the community. "It’s an attack to the small livelihood and micro businesses put up by the women in their desire to help their men and alleviate from their poverty. "
She said that women entrepreneurs are on their own small livelihood after being trained through CVPCOW’s facilitation and accessing of Gov. Jose Caballero’s mass livelihood program that included provision of simple tools and equipment such as meat grinders, sawing machines and others and small livelihood fund.
The CVPCOW only trains women to become entrepreneurs, gives technical and capacity-building assistance and accesses as an organizational conduit of the support services and provisions from the provincial government.
Besides the training and access provisions, CVPCOW is also engaged in other notable undertakings and projects such as being a conduit of the governor’s pet Lamdag Panginabuhi Program that massively disperses agricultural, fishery, forestry products and livestocks to needy constituents. It is also active in educating women of their rights under Republic Act 9262 otherwise known a s the Anti Violence Against Women and their Children, among others.
Recently some 200 women leaders were trained on disaster preparedness, the first throughout Region XI.
Last year the 60,000-strong CVPCOW gave pride and honor to the province when it won a national Galing Pook Award for exemplifying a trailblazing and innovative program for good governance. (Cha Monforte)
New Comval police chief launches drive vs. last-two gambling, crimes
By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News
Compostela Valley- Just three after he assumed as provincial police director here, Police Senior Supt. Nestor Quinsay Jr. has effected some 30 arrests and seizures relating illegal last-two gambling, illegal logging and illegal drugs.
Quinsay was installed as the present Comval police chief last Sept 19.
From such date, PSSupt Quinsay said that badly hit in his campaign were the operators and financiers of last-two gambling to which his police force has effected over 20 arrests and seizures.
During the period, the Quinsay also caused for the four and three arrests and seizures on illegal logging and illegal drugs, respectively.
Meanwhile, the provincial police chief operationalized last Thursday various mobile 24-hour checkpoints primarily to watch out and apprehend trucks carrying illegallly cut logs, and secure the peace and order condition in the Comval mainland and coastal areas.
"Police checkpoints are now on the guard in the Comval highway sections leading to Davao and Butuan cities in the mainland as well as in the highway leading to Mati and Tagum City," he said.
Quinsay also bared that they are also particularly guarding for the cargo trucks of Dole Philippines given the existing labor dispute in the company's plantation in Panabo City and Sto. Tomas town in Davao del Norte which surfaced two weeks ago.
Dole Philippines has also considerable investments in export cavendish banana in Comval.
He said that he is one with Governor Jose Caballero in pushing mass livelihood for the people as component of the reconciliation program of the government which is being offered to the New People's Army.
Quinsay hoped that peace would also be forged between the government and NPA rebels citing that the MILF will sooner be striking out a peace accord with the government.
P443 M Comval badyet ehekutibo sa 2006
Anaa na sa hawanan sa Sangguniang Panlalawigan sa Compostela Valley ang badyet ehekutibo alang sa sunod tuig nga mokantidad sa P443,563,500.
Kini ideliberar sa SP ug kung hitsas kini pagaaprobahan pinaagi sa appropriation ordinance aron maimplementar sa pagsugod sa sunod tuig, 2006.
Ang maong badyet nasubmitar sa ehekutibo probinsyal niadto pang Oktobre 14, o sa wala pa miabot ang deadline niini nga mao ang Oktobre 16 matag tuig subay sa atong Kodigo Lokal, sumala pa ni Provincial Budget Officer Joel Reterba.
Base usab sa Kodigo Lokal gikinahanglan nga maaprobar ang badyet sa mga lokal nga kagamhanan sa dili pa matapos ang tuig sanglit kung kini madelatar ang badyet sa kasamtangan nga tuig ma-reenact o padayon nga maoy sundon sa unang adlaw sa Enero aron modagan pa gihapon ang panggobyerno, pamulong ni Reterba.
Apan nahibal-an nga may dakong dis-adbantahe ang gobyerno kung ang badyet madelatar sa pag-aprobar mao na'ng sama sa Kongreso sa kasamtangan kini paspas nga nagalihok aron mapasar ang badyet sa nasud sulod sa gitakdang panahon, dugang pa niya.
Siya miingon nga sa lokal nga kagamhanan ang diretsong maapektuhan kung ang badyet madelatar mao ang 20-percent development fund kay kini nagpasabot nga dili pa kini makasugod ug paghimo ug mga bag-ong proyekto nga gikinahanglan kaayo sa katawhan.
Nahibal-an gikan sa PBO nga ang badyet ehekutibo sa 2006 sa probinsya gamiton paggasto sa mosunod nga mga serbisyo: general public services- P207,313,123 (46%), social services- P108,790,482 (25%) ug economic services- P127,459,895 (29%). Kini mosumada total sa galastuhan nga P443,563,500 (100%).
Kining galastuhan nagsumikad gikan sa mosunod nga tinubdan sa kita sa kagamhanang probinsyal: tax revenues- P19,415,000, Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) - P389,748,500, operating miscellaneous revenue-P10,600,000, ug sa economic enterprise- P23,800,000. Kini mosumada total sa kita nga P443,563,500 nga takdo lamang sa kinatibuk-ang badyet sa galastuhan sa tuig 2006.
Kris pushes Comval's Children Code
COMPOSTELA VALLEY- After over a year of research, community visits and consultations, Board Member Kris Caballero has drawn out her ace ordinance aimed to make the province a real child-friendly one.
And the children which the Comval's Children Code is seeking to protect aren't the chidren per se but are actually the enlarged youth clientele aged 18 years below or "those over but unable to fully take care of themselves or protect themselves from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation or discrimination because of physical or mental disability or condition."
Last November 8, a public hearing was conducted by the young Caballero at the Provincial Capitol in Cabidianan in Nabunturan. It was attended by some 200 sectoral, provincial, municipal and barangay officials.
"The code is a product of our joint labor and cooperation," Caballero declared in her speech before presenting the code.
A provincewide interagency technical working group helped the governor's daughter complete the draft of the code.
The code resolutely declares as a matter of provincial principle and policy that Comval as "a child-friendly province... shall promote, protect and support (the children's) physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being" and "inculcate youth patriotism, nationalism".
The ordinance "providing for a comprehensive children and family support system in the province" is a sum of concise cross-collation of pertinent international and local laws, statutes and policies including those embodied in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Humanitarian Law applicable to the Philippine Armed Conflict, relevant national laws and their implementing rules and regulations and inter-departmental thrusts and programs, bared Caballero, a graduating law student of Ateneo de Davao College of Law.
But the ordinance embodies as well child-friendly best practices that have been locally drawn out from the over seven years of continued Caballero-led provincial administration such as the tapping of the councils of women in protecting the children, institutionalization of a provincewide structure, the Provincial Council for the Protection of Children, provision of educational grants for poor but deserving children, establishment of communal food gardens, among others.
Moreover, the code It also seeks a yearly provision of children program funds to be taken out from the annual budget and spells out acts of neglect, abuse or exploitation and other conditions prejudicial to the child development as embodied by the most recent law protecting women and children, RA 9262 otherwise known as Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004.
It enjoins parents, child care and development workers, people's organizations and nongovernment organizations, government agencies, private sectors and communities to forge a strong and genuine partnership in the wholistic protection and development of all children in the province.
The proposed ordinance contains five articles among which are the rights of the child as collapsed into three categories- the survival rights, development rights, protection rights and participation rights or the so-called Four Gifts of Children as embodied in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Moreover, it has anti-child abuse and -trafficking provisions in view of the province's largely countrysides culture, and in the context of the province hosting some seven guerilla fronts of the New People's Army at its mountains and reported lairs of retreating and resting Moro rebels at its coastlines, Kris incorporated relevant rules of international convenants on armed conflict.
Particularly, the ordinance specifies that it respects the international convenant and as such it specifies that children should not be object of violent attack nor of recruitment to become members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or its civilian units or to be used as guides, couriers or spies, among others.
"The next step after the passage of the code will be the formulation of the five-year development plan for the children with realistic and time-bounded targets to really make Comval a child-friendly province," she added.
She vowed to incorporate the inputs and reactions coming from representatives of various sectors and other public officials as expressed during the public hearing. (cvm/IDS-Comval)
P443 M 2006 Comval budget now at SP
The executive branch of the Compostela Valley provincial government beat the deadline in submitting its executive budget to the provincial board last Oct . 14 and- figuratively- the ball is now at latter's hand to act on it and pass a budget ordinance before the end of December.
Otherwise, this year's budget would be deemed reenacted by January 1, 2006.
But will the next year's budget suffer similar fate to this year's budget which has accordingly wasted almost a year of project implementation after it was delayed for long with the board approving it only toward the middle this year following the controversial SP cuts, governor's veto, SP override and DBM's nullification on the 2005 budget?
Assistant SP secretary Salem Kanda is optimistic that the SP can beat the deadline considering that it has still a month time to deliberate it.
Provincial Budget Officer Joel Reterba bared that the next year's budget totalled to P443,563,500 which will be spent for the following: general public services- P207,313,123 (46%), social services- P108,790,482 (25%) and economic services- P127,459,895 (29%).
The budget was derived from the estimated incomes from tax revenues- P19,415,000, Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) - P389,748,500, operating miscellaneous revenue-P10,600,000, and sa economic enterprise- P23,800,000.
Reterba said that based on experience it was found out that the provincial government stands to bear more disadvantages under reenacted budget estimating that this year's budgetary delay has eaten up about three quarters that set back project implementation.
He said that under a reenacted budget the item that is immediately affected is the 20-percent development fund and it would mean the government unit concerned could not start to make and implement new projects needed by the people, while it could only continue implementing the uncompleted but ongoing ones.
He added that if the 2006 budget will not be passed this month then this year's uncompleted projects will meet with the next year's projects which will result to so much preoccupation of the provincial government in the simultaneous implementation of accumulated projects.

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