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Normin tourism suffers P1-B losses from Covid

May 18, 2020

 NORTHERN Mindanao's tourism sector has been one of the hardest-hit by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, with losses reaching as high as more than P1 billion.     This assessment was made by the National Economic and Development Authority in Region 10 (NEDA-10) on Friday, based on the tourism outputs the region reported in the previous year.     NEDA-10 director Myla Fe Cariño said that between March 15 to April 30, the estimated losses to the tourism sector could reach P905,313,492 from domestic tourists, and P61,184,124 from foreign visitors, totaling to P966,497,616.     But since the extension of general community quarantine (GCQ) in different cities and provinces in the region, NEDA-10 estimates that from March 15 to May 15, the region will have recorded losses of up to P1,354,811,064 from domestic tourists, and P85,705,045 from foreign tourists, for a total of P1,440,516,109.     "This was also based on our previous data, which estimates that local tourists usually spend P2,117 per day, and the foreigners spend PHP5,497 daily," Cariño said.     Even after the quarantine is lifted in the region, she said the tourism industry will still have to cope with the losses while adjusting to the "new normal" arrangements.     "Based on the national survey, only 24 percent have expressed to travel to go on vacation, while 74 percent are not going. Other than that, hotels and resorts need to reconfigure their accommodation to comply with DOH (Department of Health) protocols, which means all rooms are only for single occupancy. Can you imagine if there is a family of four on vacation?" Cariño said.     Cariño said the economy can only fully recover when Covid-19 vaccines are already available.     Lanex Bregonos, owner of Zyll's Airlines Booking Office here, said that since the community quarantine was imposed on March 15, his airplane ticket sales are virtually non-existent.     "I am currently making ends meet with my savings, I am waiting for the reopening of flights even just for domestic destinations," he said, saying he has no alternative means of income as of the moment. (PNA)

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Davao Region posts lower fish production in 2019

May 18, 2020

DAVAO City -- Fish catch in Davao Region decreased by 7.2 percent, or 48,245.89 metric tons (MT) in 2019 from 51,983.43 MT in 2018, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).     The region’s fish catch last year was the lowest since 2015, when it recorded a production of 59,498.46 MT.     Of the total regional fisheries output last year, 49.8 percent came from aquaculture, 45 percent from municipal fisheries (marine and inland), and 5.2 percent from commercial fisheries.     Commercial fishing reported the biggest decline in production at 28.8-percent, from 3,498.54 MT in 2018 to 2,490.76 MT in 2019.     The biggest chunk in commercial fishing came from Davao City, comprising 50.8-percent. Davao Oriental followed with 37.0 percent, Davao Occidental with 8.6-percent, and Davao del Sur with 2.6-percent.     The PSA said the provinces of Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro have no commercial fishing operations.     It added the region’s commercial species with most volume of production in 2019 were yellowfin tuna estimated at 910.57 MT; roundscad, 299.28 MT; big-eye tuna, 268.92 MT; frigate tuna, 224.96 MT.     The municipal fisheries of Davao Region posted 21,704.67 MT, a reduction of 6.1 percent from 23,120.86 MT in 2018. Of this total, 98.1 percent came from marine fisheries and the rest inland fisheries.     In terms of municipal fisheries production, Davao Oriental accounted for 42.1-percent; Davao Occidental, 39.3 percent; Davao del Sur, 9.6 percent; Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro shared 3.8-percent a piece; and Davao City, 1.5-percent.     Marine municipal fisheries production likewise declined, registering a production of 21,455.32 MT in 2019 or a decrease of 6.2 percent from 22,876.92 MT in 2018.     Aquaculture declined by 5.2-percent, registering a production of 24,050.46 MT in 2019 from 25,364.03 MT in 2018.     In aquaculture production Davao del Sur showed a substantial contribution with 46.7 percent, followed by Davao Occidental, 25.3 percent, Davao del Norte, 12.3 percent, Davao City, 8.5-percent, and Davao Oriental, 4.8-percent.

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PCG probes oil spill at CDO port

May 18, 2020

THE Philippine Coast Guard in Northern Mindanao (PCG-NM) on Friday began investigating the oil spill that occurred on the seaport of Barangay Macabalan, this city.     The oil spill was first reported to authorities by crews of the ships docked at the Macabalan port Thursday morning, said Ensign Jerich Ybañez, PCG-NM spokesperson.     “As soon as we got the information, we then referred it to our MEPU (Marine Environmental Protection Unit) which responded right away,” Ybañez said.     He said the MEPU contained the spill by retrieving the oil through absorbent pads and cordoning the area with “spill boom,” a floating barrier used to contain an oil spill.     As of Friday, the oil spill has already been contained as the PCG is now determining who was responsible for dumping the substance into the sea, he said.     “We have collected samples from the oil spill. As of the moment, we have yet to pinpoint (the culprit) but we are conducting an investigation,” Ybañez said.     He said they are now tracing the source of the spill through the samples they have gathered from the sea and from the shipping lines docked at the port.     Since Thursday, the PCG-NM has collected about 210 liters of concentrated and diluted oil from the spill, he said.     At the Macabalan port where a team from the PCG-NM was conducting the clean-up, ships coming mostly from Vietnam can be seen unloading tons of imported rice onto waiting cargo trucks.     “There is a ‘footprint’ and we are going to take the ‘footprint’ of what we have collected. From there, we will know where the oil came from,” he said, adding that once they have traced the oil spill to a particular ship, they will then prepare a complaint with the imposition of sanctions and penalties to follow.     He also said that it was good that his team was able to contain the spill immediately, as they have also coordinated with the Philippine Ports Authority and other agencies so they can prepare for any eventualities.     Commander Jonie Belarmino, head of the PCG’s MEPU in Northern Mindanao, said the oil spill could have an adverse effect on the marine life such as fish, corals, and mangroves if it was not contained.     He also said that the spill has reached a stretch one nautical mile or 1.852 kilometers when it was first reported.     “There was a possibility that it could escalate. So far, we have contained it through the use of the spill boom to prevent it from further spreading,” he said.     Belarmino appealed to shipping line operators to be mindful of their actions that could impact the environment such as discharging wastes in bodies of water.     “Ship operator and seafarers are all aware that disposing of oil into the sea is strictly prohibited. It is our responsibility to take care of our oceans,” he said. (PNA)

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Adidas reopens 3 Mindanao stores

May 18, 2020

HARD hit, like many businesses are, by the COVID-19 pandemic, Adidas Philippines is slowly, steadily getting back into action.     This developed following the reopening of the company’s three stores:  Ayala Centrio Cagayan de Oro, Gaisano Mall of Digos, and SM Cagayan de Oro Uptown.     The shoe and apparel brand stressed that these reopening are “in line with local government guidance and in collaboration with our retail partners”.     Cagayan de Oro and Digos are among the areas that transitioned to general  community quarantine on May 1, as they are classified as moderate-risk locales, according to Mindanao Daily.     Majoirty of the physical retail arm of Adidas remains closed in the country. However, “our .com is now able to resume operations to fulfill and deliver your orders,” the statement continued.     The company also announced that their online store is now running with a “skeletal team”. However, this team is working within regulated hours and under proper health guidelines.     Earlier, in March 18, the brand had announced that deliveries and fulfillment of their online store would be indefinitely suspended until clearance for normal operations would be given.     This month, it was able to hold a successful online drop of the Yeezy Boost 380 Mist. Tomorrow, May 9, 11 a.m., the Yeezy 700 V3 will go on sale.     “We appreciate your patience with us during these times and we thank you for continuing to look out for each other, our families, and the teams around us,” finished Adidas' statement.

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Mindanao’s food production capacity, an advantage under the ‘New Normal’

May 18, 2020

DAVAO City – For many years, Mindanao contributes a huge percentage of food production for the whole country. This trait of the said region is seen as an advantage under the ‘New Normal’ since Mindanao is known for being more than capable of sustaining its own agricultural needs and at the same time develop its own food surplus.     The President of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Incorporated (DCCCII) Gian Carlo Borja-Tria is positive that Mindanao is going to have huge potential at re-building its economy under the ‘New Normal’.     “…the consensus of many business observers is that the food production capability of Mindanao will be the premium advantage of the island…,” Tria said.     It is because of this that the DCCCII discussed the capabilities of Mindanao in food production as an indicator of how agriculture is going to play a vital role in re-building the losses brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.     “…the fact the we (Mindanao) can produce food - and we actually have the capacity to produce surpluses – will be our advantage and I think that is where a lot of businesses will have to examine…”, Tria added.     The current trend of food production is currently low due to complications in logistics or movement brought about by the imposed public health safety measures. That is why it is important for the agricultural sector to ensure a dependable and stable system in ensuring the delivery of farm-to-market goods.     “Yung logistics kasi ng pag padala ng food sa ibang area ng Pilipinas ay medyo mahirap. Kung malakas ang logistics at mababa ang price nito, our products can easily be competitive and find their way to other markets like the Visayas and parts of Luzon (The logistics involved for sending food to different areas of the Philippines is a bit difficult. If logistics will become more dependable and affordable, our products can easily be competitive and find their way to other markets like in the Visayas and parts of Luzon),” Tria discussed. (PIA XI/KPLCaro)

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DSWD disburses P96-B for SAP, R10 at 97% completion

May 18, 2020

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—About 96 billion has already been disbursed to 16.9 million families nationwide through the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Social Amelioration Package and in Region 10, 611,688 families have already been served comprising the 97.34 percent disbursement.     During the daily Network Briefing with Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar, May 15, DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said about 1,131 out of 1,634 local government units (LGUs) in the country have accomplished 100 percent in the SAP distribution.     The secretary added that about 140 LGUs have already submitted their liquidation report, “Siyempre i-vavalidate ito ng ating mga field offices (Of course, these will be validated by our field offices).”     As for the social pension, P2.5 billion has already been disbursed to 835,937 beneficiaries while the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) already helped 51,056 beneficiaries who have COVID-19 related problems.     This includes 6,478 stranded individuals who were also assisted by the DSWD.     In region 10, about P3.6 billion has already been disbursed for the SAP. There are only 16,555 families left unserved which would require about P100 million. (RTP/PIA10)

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