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Planting seeds of grassroots football in Mindanao

October 7, 2019

THE Mindanao Cup set at the Tiongko Field in Davao City on Oct. 22-25, will be the start of the revival of the grassroots development of the beautiful game here in Mindanao.      Organized by the local FA and the supported by the Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) under Ricky Yanson Jr., the tournament is for players born 2008-2009.       The tournament is envisioned by Yanson to discover young talents to play in the different national teams in the future.       The Mindanao Cup is the spill over of the five-year grassroots effort of Yanson in Negros Occidental, the NOFA Cup. The tournament held every summer at the Sta. Maria fields Talisay City since 2014, has become a showcase of young talents nationwide.       Out from the NOFA Cup young talents like ‘Whiz Kid’ from San Carlos City, Negros Occidental Elizah Zedric Ballesteros, the ‘Little Maradona’ from Kidapawan Kurt Sarip, ‘The Tiny Messi’ from Muntinlupa Jax Pena, Julio Yoldi from Dumaguete City, Lucas Andan, Adrian Bacolod, Earl Siconieguem,Viggo Louis Herce have emerged and have already represented the country in various age group competitions abroad.       The Mindanao Cup will be the start of the formal planting of the grassroots of the sport in Mindanao and it takes a Negrense, Ricky Yanson Jr. to do the initiative.       Does anyone remember a Mindanawnon initiating grassroots program for football in the island? This tournament will surely boast the grassroots development of the sport in the island where grassroots development has long been forgotten by the football gods.       When was the last time that there has been a grassroots development program in Mindanao or probably in the country? It has been a long time and I can’t even remember it now.      No wonder why our age group teams are whipping boys in any international tournaments abroad. The 17 local football associations affiliated with the PFF are excited about this tournament and most of them are expected to send teams to the weeklong competition.       Football is very popular in Mindanao. Just watch the different football festivals organized by local FA and you can just ask the question where do these players come from.       The players come in different sizes, different ages, boys and girls, men and women. They come in droves just to have a chance of kicking the football and competing against other teams.       These festivals sprout every weekend in every corner where there is a football pitch. In every big city fiesta celebration there is always a football fiesta.       Two weekends ago there was the Diyandi Football Festival in Iligan. A week prior to the Diyandi Football Festival, there was the Rep. Siao Festival also in Iligan. Last weekend the town of Initao in Misamis Oriental, through its local government also held its own football festival. This weekend, Dipolog will host its own football festival and after that more festivals are held all over the island.       These festivals are organized by individuals or local football FA’s without any support from the PFF. Sometimes local politicians fund these events like Mayor Regencia and Rep. Siao in Iligan and the Guingonas in Gingoog or the LGU of Dipolog.       These festivals attract hundred of teams from different age levels. They are magnets of politicians, sponsors and players. These festivals are the only source of competitions among our young players aside from the Department of Education Palaro eliminations.       Despite of the lack of a grassroots program in the island there are countless good players in and the best are plying their trade in the collegiate leagues in Manila. Just check the lineups of the different teams in the UAAP and in the NCAA. They are abundant with players from Mindanao.       The Mindanao Cup will only be the start of many grassroots program to come initiated by Ricky Yanson Jr. With his resources and his love for the sport, the golden age of grassroots football in our country is coming and the future of the beautiful game is bright. (Jack Biantan)

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Rotary New Generation forum

October 7, 2019

THE Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro has once again shepherded 32 junior high students from various schools here to act as mayor, vice mayor, councillors and department heads with their real life counterparts.      For one week starting September 23, the junior high students busied themselves immersing in the various functions of the local government unit (LGU).      Prior to the event, these students attended the New Generation forum at Philtown Hotel with the topic on mental health.      Panelists in the forum this year were Northern Mindanao Medical Center psychiatrist Dr. Doris Inihao, Lourdes College guidance counselor Marilou Descallar and I Will Serve Foundation president Emily Mora.      Project chair Tito Mora said they chose mental health as the topic for this year’s forum because of its relevance among the youth.      Two days later, the students were ready.      Nathan Josh Ruelo of Phinma-COC took his oath as youth city mayor along with Chelsea Kirsten Alpaca of Liceo de Cagayan University as youth city vice mayor.      From thence, they immediately assumed their duties for the whole week such as sitting side by side with their respective adult counterparts and formulating recommendations at the end of the week based from what they have learned.      The Rotary Youth Officials Week is one of the biggest annual projects of Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro. It aims to cause leadership development among the youth in the city.

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PowerSource Group bolsters Iligan’s growth

September 18, 2019

ILIGAN CITY - Iligan’s biggest investment project in years is now operating its thermal hybrid power plant in Barangay Kiwalan assuring the Industrial City of the South’s continuous electricity supply.      In a press conference called during the recently concluded 28th Mindanao Business Conference held at the MSU-IIT gym in Iligan City, officers of the Power Source Philippines Energy Inc. (PPEI), a subsidiary of the PowerSource Group, announced it completed the construction of its P3 billion (B) hybrid power plant, in July of last year.       PSPI has set up PowerSource Philippines Energy Inc. (PPEI) as a special purpose vehicle for the project. Its Board of Investments (BOI) filing listed an initial investment of P2.3 billion in 2015 and construction of the power plant commenced in February 2016.      “Through a joint effort with the local government unit, other energy companies, and the local community, we want to help protect and bolster Iligan’s energy future so that homes have light, businesses can function, and important healthcare services continue to operate worry-free,” said  Ricardo G. Lazatin, President of PowerSource Group, PPEI’s mother company.      “This plant is unique in the sense that it is an embedded plant within Iligan,” said PPEI Executive Director Michael Dennis D. Rayala. “So basically, if anything happens say a massive blackout in Mindanao, PPEI and other embedded plants in Iligan can power the city independently. So there is assurance and security of power in such situations.”      The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) granted PSPI a certificate of compliance (COC) last February 6, 2019 to operate its 25-megawatt (MW) circulating fluidized bed (CFB) thermal hybrid plant and two units of 3.20 MW blackstart diesel engine generator sets located in Brgy. Kiwalan, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte. The plant utilizes a mix of 70% coal and 30% biomass.      Rayala said PPEI signed a 25-year power supply agreement (PSA) with the local distribution utility Iligan Light & Power, Inc. (ILPI) for 12MW baseload power and 8MW baseload power with Republic Cement Iligan Inc.  Investments & Promotions Code      Lazatin credits Iligan city for crafting an attractive local investment code which was a major factor in its decision to invest in the area.      “PowerSource is highly appreciative of Iligan’s Investment and Promotions Code, which makes the city an ideal location for new business ventures,” Lazatin said. Corporate Citizenship      Lazatin added the PowerSource Group is going beyond merely providing energy to the city and is also focusing on how the company can make a meaningful impact on the community.      Foremost, PPEI made the decision to transfer its headquarters from Makati to its newfound home in Iligan on March 20, 2019 to show its long term commitment to the development of the city.      “PPEI) our subsidiary that operates the embedded thermal hybrid plant in Iligan has moved its head office from Makati to Iligan because we’d like to really support the community and generate additional revenues and taxes for the city. Most importantly, this move is an insurance and a security for power supply in Iligan,” Lazatin stressed.      Lazatin added that PPEI has complied with an extensive list of regulatory requirements in the development and construction of the plant, so by promoting good corporate governance, PPEI can help the city attract more investors to Iligan.      PowerSource Group is currently drawing up plans to work with schools starting with the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) to create a cadetship program for young engineers and students that will aid their skills development. This will eventually help turn Iligan into the Philippine center of excellence for energy engineering, or what Lazatin calls Energyneering.      Aside from creating jobs at the plant, PPEI has donated a fire truck and ambulance worth P4-million to the Iligan LGU last June 24 which was assigned to its host barangay in Kiwalan.      “Right now, we want to focus on finding potential partnerships and building good relationships with Mindanaoan communities,” said Lazatin. “Aside from generating revenue for the local government, we’re hoping our presence encourages others to consider Iligan as a viable investment opportunity.”      Additional opportunities that PowerSource Group is currently exploring include, among others, initiatives that will support the environment and restore natural resources through agro-forestry and water distribution.      “PowerSource Group considers itself as a long-term partner in the economic growth of Iligan and the rest of Mindanao. We are here for the long haul in helping promote the brighter future of Mindanao,” Lazatin concluded.

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MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: 28th Mindanao Business Conference Executive Report

September 18, 2019

ILIGAN City – The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry expressed its satisfaction with the results of the recently concluded 28th Mindanao Business Conference held in this City of Majestic Waterfalls last September 12-14, 2019.      Over 700 delegates from business, policy makers and stakeholders from government and private sector attended the three day conference organized by the PCCI and hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation of Iligan, Inc. (CCIFII) at the MSU-IIT gym in Barangay Tibanga, this city.      A major milestone of the conference is the immediate response from President Duterte’s Cabinet Secretary Karlo B. Nograles on the policy resolutions submitted by PCCI Mindanao. “We believe that the best evidence of government’s commitment to follow through on Mindanao development efforts are the Administration’s response to the 2018 MinBizCon Resolutions submitted to the President last year,” Nograles said.      “We are encouraged by the fact that many of the priorities and plans of the Administration are aligned with your concerns, and you have our assurance that the concerns you have raised are factored in the government’s ongoing programs and projects in the region,” he added.      In response to the six policy agenda put forward by the PCCI to the Office of the President, Nograles, who represented President Rodrigo R. Duterte, committed to prioritize in the 2020 National Expenditure Program (NEP or Budget) the following major infrastructure projects and programs:      ·    Upgrading the airport capabilities in Pagadian, Ozamiz, Tandag, Surigao, Camiguin and the expansion of the  Laguindingan Airport;      ·    Roads Leveraging Linkages for Industry and a Trade (ROLL-IT) proposals from all regions in Mindanao;      ·    Rehabilitation of the Agus-Pulangi Hydro Power plants;      ·    Rehabilitation programs for Marawi City (livelihood, telecommunications, and other social services); and ·Packages of services and assistance for the implementation of Executive Order 70 - the Whole of Nation Approach to address peace and development in Mindanao. Target groups are geographically isolated and disadvantage areas, communities whose poverty incidence is more than 30% and conflict areas in Mindanao.      “As we reach the halfway mark of the Administration, our focus is now ensuring that the programs and projects that we promised at the start of this term are being executed, if not yet completed, and will make a lasting impact on our countrymen via the many projects in Mindanao, “ Nograles said. Upgrading Mindanao Airports      The night rating of the Pagadian, Ozamiz, Surigao (and Siargao), Camiguin airports are expected to be completed by 2019 to 2021. The Laguindingan Airport Original Proponent Proposal is undergoing NEDA vetting and is expected to be approved soon.       For the 2020 budget, the DOTr proposed funding for the aviation sector amounting to P 865 million for the development of airports and the upgrading of airport facilities. Of this, P100 million is allocated for the development of Laguindingan Airport. Based on the latest inspection, the November 2019 completion target for the initial 400-meter repair of the Surigao airport runway is expected to be met and the full 700-meters by February 2020. ROLL-IT Project      Mindanao’s road network is being now developed by the DPWH with funds amounting to P126.86 billion. The Mindanao Road Development Network Program, covering 2,600.67 kilometers, connects the Zamboanga Peninsula, Southern Mindanao, Central Mindanao and Caraga Regions. For 2020, the proposed budget for ROLL IT alone is P10.2 billion. The DOTr also proposed for FY 2020 the inclusion of P97 million for the Mindanao Railway Project.      “Also requested in this resolution is the conduct of consultations on policy-making. For this, we have the Regional Dialogues (Dagyaw), currently being conducted nationwide. Dagyaw 2019: Open Government and Participatory Governance Regional Dialogues encourage participation among government agencies, the public, and other stakeholders. As a platform for engagement and convergence, each regional dialogue focuses on area-specific topics to address the issues and problems encountered in each locality,” Nograles noted.             Agus-Pulangi Rehab      The Agus-Pulangi Hydropower Plant rehab was among the projects lined up for China financing after the President obtained US$9 billion official development assistance (ODA) during his visit to Beijing in October 2016. Funding for this was firmed up as part of the “second basket” of projects in September 2017, and according to the NEDA, the rehabilitation of the plant is scheduled for 2020, to be completed by 2022 Rehabilitation of Marawi City      “On fast tracking the Economic Recovery of Marawi City, we cannot agree with you more that acceleration for livelihood-related interventions, supplementary support such as financing and new and better opportunities for MSMEs and in parallel, continuing capacitation of those affected to be able to take up and sustain these activities, are paramount to the rehabilitation of the city as well as to establish business resiliency,” Nograles said.      Corollary to this, however, is ensuring the security and the public’s safety so that dividends from current recovery programs will not be wasted, he added.       The reconstruction and rehabilitation of 18.97 kilometers of roads in Marawi City is now ongoing. Funding from both local and foreign sources have enabled the Duterte Administration to fast track the extensive planning and preparations required for the P67.99 billion reconstruction and rehabilitation program for Marawi within just a year after government troops liberated the city.      Displaced families continue to be transferred to transitory shelters built through the efforts of Task Force BangonMarawi, and have been able to avail of livelihood projects and skills training programs undertaken by different implementing agencies, development partners, CSOs and NGOs.      “As we build on these efforts that continue to this day, we in government welcome the new recommendations from the MinBizCon for 2019. From the initial briefing papers provided to us, there are new projects and priorities being recommended, and we welcome your input,” Nograles noted. Executive Order 70 - the Whole of Nation Approach      While underscoring the media’s role in conveying to the public this government’s policy, the EO is now paving the way for better formulation of programs by the Regional Peace and Order Councils (RPOC) hand in hand with that of the Regional Development Councils (RDC).      The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has also launched its own initiatives that utilize this approach to address the root causes of insurgency, internal disturbances, and armed conflict.      The Convergence Areas for Peace and Development (CAPDev) initiative of the Regional Development Council-Region 10 (RDC-10) and the Regional Peace and Order Council-Region 10 (RPOC-10) is the first such mechanism to pioneer this approach. Emerging Investment Destination      “In the coming years, we can expect increased investments since most of the committed investments and projects committed in the early part of the Administration are now past feasibility stage and are, in fact, already being implemented,” Nograles said.      The Board of Investments (BOI) reports registered investments in Mindanao increased by 420% from P18.2 billion in April 2018 to P94.7 billion in April this year.      The bulk of these investments in Mindanao are in the Caraga region (P 57.87 billion); Northern Mindanao (P31.97 billion); Davao Region (P2.7 billion); and Soccsksargen (P2.1 billion pesos). These registered new investments are expected to generate at least 7,000 new jobs.

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Strengthening Business Sector-Academe-Government Collaboration Thru Orobest Innovation Program

September 16, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - The Optimizing Regional Opportunities for Business Excellence through Science, Technology, and Innovation (OROBEST) is a regional program that enhances industry productivity and competitiveness through the generation and adoption of scientifically-developed technologies.        This program is a pilot endeavor of the Oro Chamber in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-X), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-X), USAID – Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE), and the academic institutions in Region 10.        According to Dr. Irene Floro, president of the Oro Chamber, “We have this innovation program in order to serve the technology innovation needs of the business establishments in our locality. We are tapping our local universities in the region that has the capacity to provide these answers through their research departments and technology centers..”      After its successful launching last July 11, OROBEST Program Team conducted technology needs assessment with the small and micro-enterprises within the region as well as inventory of commercial and potential technologies from the academe.      “At the moment, we are currently reaching out and prioritizing the small and micro enterprises who may have the needs to improve their technologies,” Queritess Queja, Executive Director of the Oro Chamber said.      Last September 10, a Consultation with the Business Sector and Academic Institutions was held at Limketkai Luxe Hotel which identified the challenges of these sectors in terms of collaboration. The consultation also determined how these sectors can further strengthen their partnerships towards technology development and innovation.       With the positive results of the Consultation among these sectors, the Oro chamber- OROBEST program will again hold a series of activities on September 18-20, 2019, such as, Innovation Talk, Ideation and Project Design Workshops.

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Chamber Management Forum strengthens Mindanao chambers

September 16, 2019

ILIGAN CITY - The network of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Mindanao took a step forward following a Chamber Management Forum 12 Sept at GoHotels Iligan.       Over 70 chamber officers in various capacities from chambers as far as Siargao, Davao, General Santos and Cotabato joined the half day forum organized by the Phil. Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Philippines Chamber Development Institute (PhilCDI).       The event aimed to increase awareness of participants on trends and developments affecting business and business support organizations to help them shape their local chamber work programs.       It also sought to present opportunities for developing and expanding local chamber services particularly training and international networking.       The forum featured outstanding speakers for the four topics discussed.       The "Three-Circle" Guide for Chambers was discussed by Edwin R. Glindro, Asst. Sec. Gen. for International and Regional Affairs of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).       Renato G. Simbulan, PCCI Director for Chamber Developmemt and Chairman, International Affairs, spoke on Business Networking through PCCI Business Councils.       Engr. Leandro H. Gazmin, President of the CVDFH Agricultural Products Training, discussed The Role of Chambers in Promoting Agriculture Competitiveness.       Not the least, Marlon Mina, Executive Director of the Human Resource Development Foundarion discussed Implementing Dual Education through Local Chambers and Industry Associations.       The forum was also graced by PCCI Pres. Ma. Alegria S. Limjoco, PCCI Vice President for Mindanao Mercedes S. Quisumbing, and PCCI Region X Gov. Ma. Teresa R. Alegrio.

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