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Bong Go reaffirms solidarity with Muslim brothers in Marawi

April 23, 2019

MARAWI CITY – Former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Friday reaffirmed his solidarity with his Muslim brothers here as he vowed to help the city rise from the ashes of conflict.     Even as this developed, actor Robin Padilla—a Muslim convert—appealed to his brothers in Marawi to support Go’s senatorial bid, as well as the chosen candidates of President Rodrigo Duterte.     “Masaya po ako na nakabalik muli kami dito sa Marawi. Alam nyo po sampung beses kaming bumalik ni Pangulong Duterte. Tulong-tulong po tayo na pabangunin ang Marawi. Bangon Marawi po, mabuhay po ang taga-Marawi,” Go said a at the rally of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan at the Mindanao State University gym here.     He recalled that he has established a close relationship with Muslims while serving as assistant to then Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.      “Alam nyo, malapit po sa akin ang mga kapatid kong Muslim. Kada taon nagpapadala po si Pangulong Duterte ng mga nagha-hajj po sa Mecca nung Mayor pa po siya ng Davao City,” Go said.       “At ang ginagawa ko po, pinipili namin yung mga mosque na malayo at saka yung hindi talaga nakakapunta, yung wala pong pera..inuuna po namin yung mahihirap na hindi makaka-afford na pumunta po sa Mecca,” he added.     Go stressed that Duterte treated Christians and Muslims equally in Davao City, noting the city has passed an Anti-Discrimination ordinance, adding: “Ganun namin kamahal ang aming mga kapatid na Muslim sa Davao.”     Assured by the people of Marawi that they are satisfied with the President Duterte’s performance in handling the affairs of the country for the past three years, Go vowed to support the President’s programs and policies.      “Kung masaya kayo ipagpatuloy natin yung pagbabagong inumpisahan ni Pangulong Duterte. Ano po ito? Kampanya laban sa kriminalidad, kampanya laban sa corruption, kampanya laban sa iligal na droga.”     Go also appealed to the people of Marawi to help President Duterte win the fight against the menace of illegal drugs.     “Alam nyo naman po na ang puno’t-dulo ng giyera dito sa Marawi ay droga. Tulungan nyo po ang ating mahal na Pangulo,” the former SAP stressed.     Reports said the Maute terrorist group that attacked Marawi in May 2017 and sparked a five-month armed conflict that caused death and widespread destruction was largely funded by illegal drugs.      The Duterte administration has prepared a massive rehabilitation effort for Marawi. As of February this year, the government has raised nearly P42 billion for the rehabilitation of the city. The program involves rebuilding roads and key infrastructure, as well as provision of livelihood and shelters for residents.     Victims are expected to be able to return home in September 2019 as the clearing of debris was expected to finish by August 30, 2019.      In addition to the campaign against criminality, corruption and illegal drugs, Go said he would also push for improvement in the delivery of health services, including the upgrade of facilities of public health institutions and the passage of a law to enable the establishment of Malasakit Centers in more areas of the country.     The Malasakit Center makes it easier and faster for poor patients to avail of medical and financial assistance from the government by bringing together in one room all concerned agencies such as the DOH, DSWD, PCSO and Philhealth.      Go likewise said he has prepared programs to support agriculture, provide housing for the poor, education, long-term sports development, localized peace talks, fire protection and prevention, creation of a Department of OFW, the passage of a Magna Carta for barangay officials, and improved benefits for senior citizens.      “Kami ni Pangulong Duterte, serbisyo lang kami sa inyong lahat. Serbisyo sa tao ay serbisyo sa Diyos. Wala kaming ibang hangarin ni Pangulong Duterte kundi kabutihan ng bawat Pilipino, kabutihan ng bawat Moro dahil mahal namin kayo,” Go said.      Meanwhile, Robin Padilla bared that Go was instrumental in allowing him to provide assistance to them despite the strict military security in place after the siege of the city ended.     “Labas masok ako sa Marawi kahit curfew, naghahanap kami ng evacuation center para paglagyan ng tubig. Alam nyo ba kung sino ang nagbigay sa akin ng go signal para makapasok at labas sa Marawi para makatulong kami? Mga mahal kong kapatid, si Bong Go po yun, yung SAP natin,” Padilla said.      He noted that he was assisted in his effort by the police, the military and the member of the Bangon Marawi task force because of Go.      “Huwag niyo po akong tignan bilang isang pulitiko kundi bilang kapatid. .. At ang pinakikiusap ko sa eleksyon bomoto kayo ng straight, lahat ng kaalyado ni Presidente Duterte, iboto ninyo. Unang-una na siyempre, yung aking best friend si Bong Go,” Padilla said.     He stressed that while many of his Muslim brothers in Marawi were urging him to run for the Senate, he decided against to dedicate his life to his faith.     Padilla also assured the people of Marawi that President Duterte is sincere in his effort to help them.     “Kahit kailan hindi kayo malilimutan ni Presidente Duterte. Ngayon kumakatok ako sa puso ninyo, huwag ninyong kalimutan ang Presidente natin at ang kanyang mga (kandidatong) senador,” he stressed.

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Jaraula clarifies issues on The Golden Mile Project

April 22, 2019

Former Mayor Constantino G. Jaraula has issued a clarification about his Golden Mile Project after allegedly being “ridiculed and vilified” by radio commentators on the “unfinished” renovation of the Amphitheatre.     In a statement sent to this newspaper, Jaraula explained the historical background of the project which eventually led to the controversial demolition of the former Amphitheatre known as the “Amphi” to Kagay-anons.     “The block referred to as the Amphitheater, from Burgos to Capistrano Streets, used to be the Public Market. The western half was the “wet” portion and the upper half was for dry goods. The other block from Capistrano to Rizal Streets was likewise for dry goods. In 1958 the Cogon Market was made operational under the leadership of Mayor Justiniano “Tinying” Borja and Vice Mayor Jesus “Jake”Seriña.”     “Under the same leadership the entire “Divisoria Park” from Burgos to Corrales was fully developed and was recipient of a national award in 1963 for “beautification” among local governments. City Engineer Herminio Lucero was the designer and trusted official of Mayor Borja.  It is unfortunate he died not long thereafter.”     Jaraula noted how even before he assumed office as Mayor in July 2007 the Amphitheater was non-operational and was enclosed with barbwire.     “It was “over-used” and needed rehabilitation. This was aggravated by the need for additional space in the City Hall complex so that taxpayers would not jump from one office to another area, wasting so much time in between,” he noted. The Golden Mile     Thus, he conceived the Golden Mile Project in response to the crying need to expand the City Hall Complex at the time to accommodate the growing demands of the expanding city.     “When I took over in 2007 City Councilors did not have individual offices which we used to have. There was a demand for a One-Stop-Shop to consolidate City offices and save taxpayers time and expense. I humbly accepted the challenge and conceived of the Golden Mile Project.     Among the salient features of the project were enhancement of the river bank to prevent flooding; expansion of City Hall; construction of a multi-storey City Center to house a Public Library, Tourism and Museum,  with commercial floors to partly finance the Project; and redevelopment of the Amphitheatre to be integrated with the City Center.     In 2009, his administration was able to construct with local funds the Legislative and Administrative Buildings surrounding the Barangay/Tourism Hall by buying the old residential area of the late Assemblyman Isidro “Ñor Idroy” Vamenta and a portion of the late Edmundo Chaves property for a “discounted rate” of P13, 000 per square meter. This was considered a good bargain by former City Councilor Lourdes “Inday” Laviña since the prevailing price was at P25k/Sq.M.     The Golden Mile Master Plan called for the acquisition of all the areas bounded by the river bank and Burgos Street up to Hotel Ramon owned by the Chaves, Reyes, Roa, Montalvan, Gacula, and Pelaez families. Moving Forward     “We started with the 782 Sq.M, lot of the late Angel Chaves right beside Hotel Ramon and at the back of the Amphitheater, with the very specific purpose of putting up the City Center, also at a bargain, thanks to Charisse (Chaves) and Rafael “Pepot”Fortich.”     “We paid off the “occupants” of the property for their houses (whether paying or non-paying of rentals) and they demolished the same and vacated the area. In fact, this generous couple donated One Million (P1,000,000.00) Pesos as their contribution to the construction of the City Center with the condition that proper acknowledgment thereof be placed in the Center Marker. The amount was deposited with the City Treasurer’s Office.”     The plan also called for the construction of a foot/pedestrian bridge at the back of the City Center towards Brgy. Carmen, in the area owned by the late Domingo Vamenta.     “This was and still is a necessity since the Ysalina Bridge is always congested and dangerous to pedestrians. A view from the Science building of Xavier University and the Golden Friendship Park would have been extended up to Brgy. Carmen. Of course, it was fully understood at the time that all these could not be accomplished in just “one term”.  And I only had one term.” All Legal and Approved     Jaraula noted all the foregoing were covered by corresponding Resolutions and Ordinances, none of which has been repealed. They are available at the City Council for the honest and responsible commentators and scholars.     - Resolution No. 9305 – 2008 “ResolutionAdopting the Golden Mile Project consisting of (600) Six Hundred Meters of Walkway from the junction of Toribio Chaves Street to the proposed Boulevard along the river bank , going upstream to the 5th Bridge, and 1 kilometer of Boulevard from Toribio Chaves Street going downstream to J.R. Borja Street (or thereabout).     Correspondingly authorizing the dredging and reclamation of the Cagayan River as may be convenient and necessary for the early completion of the Project; and for this purpose authorizing the Honorable City Mayor to negotiate with any person, entity, or Corporation to undertake the Project or any part thereof, provided that any and all agreements in relation thereto shall be subject to the final approval of the Sangguniang  Panlungsod.” (Unanimously Carried on September 8, 2008)     - Resolution No. 9306 – 2008 “Resolution Authorizing the Redevelopment of the Golden Friendship Park (formerly Divisoria), including the extension of the same up to the proposed Boulevard along the River Bank and all the way to Barangay Carmen through a Walk Bridge, and the consequent acquisition of the area behind the Amphitheater, and for this purpose authorizing the Honorable City Mayor to conduct negotiations with any person, entity, or Corporation, as may be necessary to fulfill the foregoing functions, provided that any and all agreements in relation thereto shall be subject to the approval of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.” (Unanimously carried on September 8, 2008)     - Ordinance No. 11262 - 2008  “An Ordinance Authorizing Honorable City Mayor Constantino G. Jaraula to immediately implement or undertake the Redevelopment of the Community Amphitheatre Area at Divisoria, this City, as part of the Golden Mile Project, and further authorizing: the City Mayor to negotiate with Mr. Angel Chaves for the acquisition of his property affected by the said Project and to file expropriation proceedings in Court in case of failure thereof.” (Unanimously Approved December 15, 2008)     - Resolution No. 9560 – 2009 “Resolution Authorizing the Construction of a Multi-Storey City Center at the back of the Amphitheater (Chaves Lot to be acquired by the City) and the Immediate Bidding process therefor after compliance of basic requirements and in connection with the Redevelopment of the Amphitheater, further Authorizing the Construction of an Elevated Floor for the Amphitheater with the present Ground Floor serving as the area for Pay Parking and the Stage over Burgos Street, and other purposes.” (Carried by Majority on February 24, 2009)     - Ordinance No. 11379 – 2009 “An Ordinance Appropriating the sum of P10,975,881.00 from the Item “Non – Office Land Acquisition/Expropriation” in the 2009 Annual Budget to be made available for the full payment of the claim for just compensation including Registration and Documentation expenses of the Lot owned by Mr. Angel Chaves, located at Barangay No. 6, this City, which was affected by the construction of a Multi-Storey City Center at the back of the Amphitheater; and for this purpose, authorizing the Honorable City Mayor to sign the Deed of Absolute Sale thereof. (Approved by Majority on May 5, 2009) The Incomplete Amphi     Asked why the Golden Mile Project remained incomplete, Jaraula explained that the reconstruction of the Amphi was almost finished with stage already done but it had to await the construction of the City Center to which it has been integrated.     “In fact, the first to use it was ABS-CBN. This was specifically why the Angel Chaves lot was purchased to construct the City Center thereon and integrate the Amphi thereto,” he noted.     “In  the meantime, I used the ground floor of the Old Water Tank across Gaston Park to  “put up” the Museum which is being used until now as such without being expanded,” Jaraula added. Thus, he explained that the main reason why the Golden Mile Project, including the Amphi, was not completed was because the succeeding administrations did not elect to pursue it.     “There was an offer by a Korean consortium to put up a 30-storey building but my 3-year term ended faster. It was always assumed that the projects covered  by the resolutions and ordinances quoted could not be finished in just one term and subsequent administrations were expected to finish them through since they were neither amended nor repealed,” he said.

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Senate urged: Penalize gencos involved in unplanned outages

April 22, 2019

An infrastructure-oriented think tank has called on the Senate energy committee led by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian to push for penalties against all power generating companies involved in the recent unplanned and forced outages which caused unexpected rotating brownouts within the Luzon power grid.     “The public demands an explanation how in the world was it possible that major generating plants suddenly become unavailable in such a short window of time. More importantly, the public should not be made to pay for these unplanned shutdowns. It should be these gencos that should pay the costs of higher power rates in the spot market,” said  Terry L. Ridon, Infrawatch PH convenor and former member fo the House energy committee.     Ridon said the following unplanned outages of the following power plants caused the April 13 red alert:      a. San Miguel Consolidated Power Corp. (SCPC) Unit 2, with 150-MW     b. Sual Unit I of Team Energy and San Miguel, with 647-MW     c. Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp. (SLPGC) Unit 2 of DMCI, with 150-MW     d. Pagbilao Unit 3 of Team Energy and Aboitiz Power, with 420-MW     e. South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp. (SLTEC) Unit 1 of AC Energy with 135-MW.. Explain shutdown, bear the costs     “We note that these generating plants are operated by country’s leading conglomerates, and thus, all the more should they be made to explain why their plants went out, and whether they are making a commitment to bear the costs of higher power prices from the spot market.”     Ridon said should the gencos refuse to make a voluntary commitment, government should initiate penalty proceedings, similar to its intervention in the water sector.     “The main concern of the public during these times is more on the higher costs due to the unplanned shutdowns. We can more ably bear rotating brownouts than higher power rates for reasons we have absolutely nothing to do with.”     Infrawatch recently lauded the  Department of Energy 's crackdown on gencos profiting from price spikes in the electricity spot market during the string of yellow alerts over the Luzon grid.     “This move by the energy department is a welcome development to ensure that the public interest is protected during times of limited power supply," said  Ridon.     The energy department recently said that it will release a list of gencos which may have gained financially from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). Proactive action welcomed     “The crackdown on profiteering gencos is consistent to the resolve of President Rodrigo Duterte to make life comfortable for Filipinos.”     Ridon said unexpected price hikes due to unplanned outages should not be borne by consumers but by erring gencos.     “The public should not be made to pay for the inefficiencies and failures of generating companies. They should pay the higher costs in the spot market themselves.” No repeat of 2013 spot market spikes     Ridon said the energy department should not stop at simply naming profiteering gencos, but also make them accountable through penalty proceedings, similar to what is now being undertaken in the water sector.     “The public will not be contented at simply knowing which gencos had profited. They would also want to know whether government can stop these gencos from passing on their profits to the public.”     Ridon said the bitter experience during the 2013 price spikes in the spot market should serve as a warning that government should not surrender its mandate in protecting the public.     “Profiteering gencos should be penalized, and rebates reflected in our monthly bills.”

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PRRD rallies Mindanaoans to support Bong Go, PDP bets

April 22, 2019

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon – President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday rallied Mindanaoans to support the Senate bid of former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and the entire senatorial ticket of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) during a rally at the Capitol grounds here.     Earlier yesterday, Go’s candidacy received a boost after Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri and his father, Bukidnon Governor Jose Maria Zubiri, Jr. endorsed the former SAP by raising his arms before the people of the province.      Addressing the people of the province, President Duterte stressed that Manila-based opposition candidates tend to look down on Go as just his former aide, not knowing the former SAP has the experience, educational background and skills to become a good senator.     “Ito kasing (taga Manila), akala yung aide (Bong Go), ordinaryong empleyado lang,” Duterte said, noting that the family of Go owned one of the biggest printing press in Davao City.      Duterte also noted that Go is a graduate of De La Salle University.  But the President stressed that Go earned his full trust and confidence because of his integrity and honesty that were manifested during Go’s 21 years of public service.      “Twenty one years na syang nasa sa akin. Maraming dumaan sa kamay nito dahil sya ang aking pinagkakatiwalaan,” Duterte added. He earlier noted that not a single centavo went missing in the funds he had entrusted to the former SAP.       Duterte said that being a man of integrity, Go can be trusted by the people to be a senator who can be his partner in his effort to rid the government of corrupt officials.       “Bakit magiging senador si Bong Go? Kung merong graft and corruption, sabihan lang ako, kahit anong oras. Kung meron kayong kakilala, like kay Governor, ipasabi lang (kay Bong Go) na gusto ninyong makipag usap kay Mayor,” the President said.     The President also endorsed other PDP-Laban candidates like Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, Francis Tolentino, Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Zajid Mangudadatu, as well as guest candidates like Cynthia Villar, Sonny Angara, JV Ejercito, Pia Cayetano, Imee Marcos, Rafael Alunan and Freddie Aguilar.      In his message to the people of Bukidnon, Go committed his full support to President Duterte’s programs and policies.     “Ipagpapatuloy ko po ang mga pagbabagong nasimulan ni Pangulong Duterte. Yung kampanya sa iligal na droga, kampanya laban sa kriminalidad, kampanya laban sa korapsyon, suportado ko po iyon,” Go said.      Likewise, Go said the people can always rely on him to help bring to the attention of President Duterte any concerns that they may have, including corruption in government.     “Noon, ngayon at saan man ako ipadpad ng tadhana, patuloy ninyo akong magiging tulay kay Pangulong Duterte. Basta kami, serbisyo lang sa tao dahil ang serbisyo sa tao ay serbisyo sa Diyos. Wala po kaming ibang hangarin ni Pangulong Duterte kundi kabutihan ng bawat Pilipino dahil mahal namin kayo,” he said.      Go bared that among priorities for the Senate is to push for improvement in the delivery of health services, including the establishment of a Malasakit Center, which brings together in one room all concerned government agencies such as the DOH, DSWD, PCSO and Philhealth to make it easier and faster for poor patients to avail of medical and financial assistance from the government.      “Pagdating ng panahon, gusto ko pong maisabatas ito,” said Go, noting such a law would enable the establishment of Malasakit Center in more provinces and key urban centers of the country and allow continuation of the program after the term of the Duterte administration.      Go’s priority concerns also include agriculture, education, housing for the poor, long-term sports development, fire protection and prevention, localized peace talks, barangay welfare, creation of a Department of OFW, and improved benefits for senior citizens.  Go is also supporting the proper implementation of the development programs of the Duterte administration.     In urging the people of Bukidnon to support Go, Senator Migz Zubiri noted that the former SAP was instrumental in pushing for the planned airport in the province, the establishment of the P500-million drug rehabilitation and other big-ticket projects of the Duterte administration here.     The Bukidnon Airport Development Program is a P408.8 million project for the construction of an airport in Maraymaray, Don Carlos, Bukidnon capable of large planes used for international flights. The project was opened to bidders in November last year. Once completed, it is expected to boost economic and tourism activities in the region.      In August last year, President Duterte has inaugurated the drug rehabilitation center here, composed of three-patients’ dormitories with training center, medical service building, staff dormitory, visitors building, gymnasium and other important facilities.      The province likewise stands to benefit from the $800-million new hydropower plant that will be developed in Bukidnon to add 250 megawatts (MW) capacity in Mindanao by 2021 and expected to reduce power rates for consumers, boost economic activity in the region and ensure sustainable power supply in the country.      The planned Phase 3 of the Mindanao Railway Project, involving the construction of a 521.52-km railway connecting Davao City to Cagayan de Oro via Malaybalay, Bukidnon will provide a safe, convenient and faster means of transportation and spur economic development in the entire Mindanao.

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500K tourists seen to visit pilgrimage sites

April 17, 2019

MORE than half a million individuals are expected to visit the various pilgrimage sites in Northern Mindanao, especially in Misamis Oriental, during the Holy Week, a tourism official said Saturday.     The Divine Mercy shrine in Barangay Ulaliman, El Salvador City, Misamis Oriental, is projected to have the most number of visitors, provincial tourism officer Jeffrey Saclot said.     Last year, more than 200,000 devotees visited the shrine’s 50-foot statue of Jesus Christ, the most prominent structure at the Divine Mercy Hills, and the figure is seen to increase this year, Saclot said.     The statue is considered as one of the tallest religious structures in the region.     Aside from the Divine Mercy site, devotees will also visit the Our Lady of Lourdes Church, known for its “healing pool,” in Binuangan town; the Sipaka Heights in Talisayan town; and soon-to-be finished Christ the King Shrine in Gingoog City; and Medina town where “Hinuklog” (reflection), a street play depicting the passion of Jesus Christ, will be held on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.     In the city, two pilgrimage locations are expected to draw in Roman Catholics: the “via cruzes” (station of the cross) in Malasag, Barangay Cugman, and Guadalupe in Barangay Tablon.     The “Panaad” (vow) is one of the reasons why Camiguin’s tourists swell during the summer. Already practiced for decades, devotees walk around the island’s 64-kilometer circumferential road as part of their annual penance.     Meanwhile, the police regional office said in a statement that they are on full alert in time for the Holy Week.     Brig. Gen. Timoteo Pacleb, police regional director, said he has ordered unit commanders all over the region to “strategize deployment” of officers in areas of convergence and commercial centers such as terminals, airports, seaports, highways, malls, resorts, churches, and other sites to ensure the “tranquil observance of the [Lent].”     “We will continue to undertake preemptive measures against terrorist attack while keeping our watch against other form of criminalities prevalent during the [Holy Week],” Pacleb said, adding that they have intensified the presence of mobile forces within the regional police’s jurisdiction.     “We continue to strengthen our intelligence coordination and monitoring with other government agencies to prevent untoward incident during the holiday,” he said.     The police official has also encouraged the participation of “force multipliers” and public safety volunteers from government and nongovernment organizations to help the law enforcers.     For his part, Lt. Col. Surki Sereñas, police regional spokesperson, has urged the public to refrain from posting their vacation plans and routine activities on social media.     “We should be very cautious because criminals are also active [on] social media. They have leveled up to look for likely victims in the internet. Let us deny them the opportunity to commit crime through responsible use of [social networking sites],” Sereñas said. (PNA)

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Passing the art of weaving through generations

April 17, 2019

MALAYBALAY City -- At the strike of dawn, around 80 Tagolwanen women in Barangay Can-ayan here roused from their beds to make mattresses and baskets for the markets in Manila and the United States.      They would worked feverishly before the sun would rise over the mountains and before the “sodsod” grass, the main material for the mattresses and bags, would welt in humidity making it difficult to weave.      Each of the mattresses they make is distinct to the creative style of each of the weaver. Not one mattress is similar.      “Each one of us learned the art of weaving from our mothers. They too learned the art from our grandmothers,” 56-year-old Eileen Sumala said.      Sumala said the weaving of the banig, baskets, nets and containers is always part of the traditional art of the Bukidnon-Tagolwanen tribe.      “Weaving is always part of me and now I am teaching my daughter how to weave,” said Sumala, who learned the craft from her mother when she was still 12 years old.     Sumala said as she weaves each of the sodsod grasses into a banig, she would always think about the relationship of their tribe to nature.     She said the mountain, land, star and flower designs they weave are part of the nature they have experienced.     Sumala said weaving has been a tradition of the Bukidnon-Tagolwanen tribe but was nearly forgotten when prices of the mats dropped to almost nothing.     “I used to walk seven kilometers to Malaybalay to sell my banigs and they only buy it cheap,” Sumala narrated.     City folks, she lamented, buy their banigs as low as P300 or, worse, exchange them for a couple of sardine cans.     With no clear incentive, many of the Tagolwanen women stopped making banigs and baskets, Sumala said.     This was the situation that Lorielinda Bella Marte, a community organizer, found more than seven years ago.     She said she was impressed by the mattress that was given to her as a wedding gift that she went looking who wove the beautiful banig.     “I found Nang Eileen to be the only Tagolwanen weaver left. The rest have stopped to practice the tradecraft,” Marte said.     She said she found from Sumala that the other weavers stopped because of low prices of their products.     She thus designed a scheme so buyers would have to pay a higher price for the products made by the Tagolwanen women.     “What the buyers do not understand is that each of the product is unique and each has individual imprints of the weaver,” Marte said.     Marte said she was able to convince the other weavers to go back working – from Sumala to now 80 weavers working.     She said the women have organized themselves into an association – the Tagolwanen Women Weavers Association – to avail of government assistance.     Marte said the women have wisely used social media to reach out to potential clients.     “They now have a website, Facebook and Instagram accounts,” said Marte, who now chairs the association.     Sumala said she is happy with how things turned out for them.     She said from her earnings, she was able to send a son to school. The boy graduated as a new teacher last March.

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