Category Archives: mindanao

Asean, Mindanao sea links pushed

The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) is pushing for the development of sea linkages between ports in Mindanao and three neighboring Asean countries to boost regional trade.

In a speech at the Second Mindanao Shipping Conference last Wednesday, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Emmanuel F. Esguerra said that since Mindanao played a critical role in the Asean Economic Community, the following commercial routes should be established or improved: Davao and General Santos to Bitung and Manado in Indonesia; Tawi-Tawi and Tarakan, Indonesia; Zamboanga and Muara in Brunei; and Zamboanga and Sandakan in Malaysia.

Esguerra, who is also Neda Director General, said there were still concerns on Mindanao’s sea transport sector that needed to be addressed.

Among the issues included the seaports’ limited capacity in terms of berthing structures, transit/cargo shed areas for non-containerized cargo, container yards for containerized cargo and passenger terminal buildings.

Esguerra said there was also a need to slash local cargo rates since prevailing rates in Mindanao are more expensive than foreign cargo rates.

The Neda chief said the government was ramping up infrastructure development to support economic growth across the country.

“The growth-enhanced fiscal space has allowed major investments in infrastructure, with spending on public infrastructure more than tripling. The bulk of investments were slated for transportation, covering 43 percent of total infrastructure investments from 2013 to 2016 and beyond, which was estimated to reach more than P7 trillion. This should be complemented by private investments in public infrastructure amounting to about P1.5 trillion based on the status of PPP (public-private partnership) projects as of April,” Esguerra said.

The Neda chief was also bullish about the planned implementation of the Three-Year Rolling Infrastructure Program (TRIP) starting July.

The Trip for the period 2017 to 2019 was aimed at “[meeting] investment targets for public infrastructure” while “[promoting] the optimal use of public resources for infrastructure development by assuring fund allocation for well-developed and readily-implementable projects,” Neda earlier said.

“The multiyear rolling program for infrastructure would assure us that once an infrastructure program has been planned, and it is rolled out, it is going to continue to receive funding from the government. This was one of our efforts to synchronize and tighten the link between the programming and budgeting functions of the government for infrastructure projects and programs,” Esguerra had said.

According to the Department of Budget and Management, “the policy of dispersing the investment/infrastructure spending toward growth regions in the Visayas and Mindanao (such as Central Visayas and Northern Mindanao) was pursued [under the Trip] to provide the physical infrastructure support for the promotion and development of business and industries.” Ben O. de Vera, Philippine Daily Inquirer

Wao-Maguing road now open to traffic, Lanao sur guv sees boost in agri trade

LANAO del Sur – Governor Mamintal “Bombit” Alonto Adiong, Jr. of Lanao del Sur officially traversed the now passable Wao-Maguing road, also known as “The Dream Road”, in the morning of April 4, 2016 and seen to boost the agricultural sector and trade between Bukidnon and Lanao del Sur.

It took him and his convoy two and half hours to reach the municipalities of Amai Manabilang and Wao from Marawi City using the said road. In the past, residents of mainland Lanao del Sur would travel eight hours to go to the towns of Wao and Amai Manabilang of the same province and had to first pass through Lanao del Norte, Iligan City, Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon.

According to Engr. Mikunug Macabantog of DPWH Region 10, 11.3 kilometers of the 75-kilometer national road is still being concreted and shall be completed once the funds allotted for it from the 2016 budget is fully released.

Macabantog also said that DPWH has already requested for the inclusion of additional funds in the amount of P255 million in the 2017 national budget to fully concretize the remaining 6.5 km unpaved portion of the Dream Road and another P152 million for the construction of five permanent bridges necessary to connect the road.

Plans for the Wao-Maguing road, now jointly constructed by Fiat Construction and CDH Construction, started in the later part of the 1950s when Senator Ahmad Domocao Alonto, Sr. lobbied for the approval of the allotment of funds for the said project when he was a member of the Senate Committee on Public Works and Highways. Because Alonto was not re-elected, the budget was diverted to another province in Mindanao. When his son-in-law, Congressman Mamintal Adiong, Jr., was elected into office, Alonto urged Adiong to continue the plans for the Dream Road.

Adiong died during his second term as governor and the continuation of the Wao-Maguing Road was shelved. His sons, Bombit and Ansaruddin, continued the plan to construct the project when they got elected as governor and congressman respectively.

Governor Bombit Adiong said he was overjoyed seeing the Dream Road becoming a reality in his administration because of the history behind the said project which involved his family. He added that the Wao-Maguing Road shall make it easier for farmers of Bukidnon and Lanao del Sur to sell cheaper fresh agricultural crops to one another thereby enhancing the economy and livelihood opportunities in his province. He also added that monitoring the implementation of his programs in Wao and Amai Manabilang towns would be easier.

Congressman Ansaruddin Adiong said he shall continue doing everything he can for the Dream Road to be fully concrete by 2017 should he win the Lanao del Sur first district congressional seat once more on election day this year.

Mindanao Goldstar Daily

Added value pushed in Northern Mindanao research congress

BusinessWorld Online
Mark D. Francisco
April 1, 2016

Small-scale farmers in Northern Mindanao continue to expand into value-added products as they recognize the need to diversify income sources.

The farmers and agriculture officers of 16 local government units (LGUs) in the region took part in a two-day congress this week on Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR).

Under CPAR, crops and technology packages for making value-added products are introduced to farming communities by the Department of Agriculture (DA).

The program was introduced to the farmers in 2005.

At the congress that opened on March 28, the LGUs exhibited their existing processed products from rice, corn, soybean, different potato varieties, and vegetables.

Their goods include food crisps, native cakes, milk, and soap.

There was also a demonstration of potato-based farming systems and an introduction of alternative crop varieties.

DA — Region 10 Director Lealyn A. Ramos said she was elated to see how the communities have developed their own value-added food and non-food products.

“We are backing our farmers up through trainings and support in production, post-harvest, technologies, [and] market linkages, among others,” Ms. Ramos said.

The outstanding farmers groups, agriculture workers, and LGUs were given recognition during the event.

JOBS DRYING UP
Employment in Northern Mindanao’s agriculture sector, which makes up about 23% of the regional economy, has been declining due to the dry weather brought about by El Niño, according to the National Economic and Development Authority in Region 10 (NEDA-10).

In NEDA-10’s latest quarterly report released this week, the number of agriculture workers dropped to 725,000 as of October 2015, fewer by 13% than the year before.

The agriculture sector covers agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing.

Cecilio Y. Clarete, NEDA-10 chief economic development specialist, said the decline could be attributed to the erratic weather phenomenon.

The country’s weather bureau started logging a significant sea surface temperature anomaly in April 2014, and the prevailing El Ninõ is expected to last until the middle of this year.

Tablon power plant to use coal: official

Goldstar Daily News
Lito Rulona

IS it going to be a coal-fired power plant or not?

When the city council gave the Cagayan de Oro Corn Products Inc. the green light to construct and operate a power plant in Tablon, it was because of a supposed assurance that the firm would not be using coal.

But a barangay councilor in Tablon said the six-megawatt power plant would be coal-fired in times when the supply of biomass are insufficient or not available.

Tablon barangay councilor Angelo Pomar revealed this on local radio even as he vouched that a public consultation was made in his village before the barangay council gave the firm the go-ahead.

Pomar’s pronouncement contradicted Councilor Zaldy Ocon’s claims.

Ocon, chairman of the city council’s environment committee, said he endorsed the project before the city council after the firm’s lawyer Arnold Barba assured in writing that the power plant would not be coal-fired.

A biomass-fired power plant generates fuel from scrap wood, forest resources, and other waste residues while coal-fired power plants generate electricity through burning coal.

The opposition to the Cagayan Corn Product’s project is snowballing. The environment watchdog Sulog said it was preparing a petition even as it questioned the city council’s nod on the controversial project.

Sulog has also questioned the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau for supposedly giving the Tablon project the green light.

Environmental activist and Cooperative Development Authority chairman Orlando Ravanera, Sulog chairman, said the group met over the weekend, and agreed to release a petition to question the city council, and the DENR-EMB for giving the firm an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC).

Ravanera said the group that include representatives of Xavier University, Task Force Macajalar, various religious organizations, farmer, fisherfolk, indigenes, and other stakeholders, would also seek a Writ of Kalikasan from Court of Appeals.

“It is a question of money and conscience,” Ravanera said. “We are wondering why, despite the position papers sent to the city council and EMB, they still approved it.”

Ravanera said it was clear the firm would operate a coal-fired power plant in the middle of a residential area, adding that the firm “has a history of violating environmental laws.”

He said massive protest actions were being planned against the project, and officials who favor it.

“Kamo diha sa city council and barangay pamati-on sab nato ang demand sa mga mag-uuma and fisherfolk,” Ravanera.

EMB regional director Sabdullah Abubacar however said the firm submitted all the required documents. He said an ECC was issued because the firm complied with all the requirements.

BIR hikes zonal values in key cities

April 23, 2015
Manila Bulletin
Jun Ramirez

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has increased the zonal value of real estate properties in selected areas in Metro Manila and elsewhere to hike and collect the right amount of capital gains tax (CGT) and documentary stamp tax (DST).

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima approved the recommendation of BIR Commissioner Kim. S. Jacinto-Henares to adjust the value of properties to a more realistic level.

They included properties located in Quezon City, San Juan, Rizal province as well as those in certain areas in Mindanao.

BIR insiders described the adjustment as timely since the last zonal valuation update was made 10 to 15 years ago, especially those in the provinces.

Revenue regional officials together with local assessors, treasurers, independent appraisers as well as landowners and developers decide on how much the zonal value should be hike.

It takes years to come out with the new schedule because of opposition by land owners and developers who will be required to remit more taxes when they dispose these assets.

Records showed the BIR collected in 2013 more than P3 billion in CGT and DST which rates are 6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, based on the selling price of the property.

The Tax Reform Act authorizes the BIR commissioner to divide the country into different zones to determine the fair market value of real properties in each locality.