November 8, 2008


Matoy Barinaga: what provision in the AO?

No helmet: a fine of P500

No side mirror: P1000

Former 2nd District Congressman Roseller ‘Matoy’ Barinaga claimed he was for safety driving which includes wearing of helmet when driving motorcycles and equipping the vehicle with safety accessories.

However, he found it revolting to fine violators of P500 for non-wearing of helmets and P1000 for the absence of right accessories.

The congressman claimed everybody have to abide with the law since it is for their own good but he questioned the provision in the Administrative Code where the Land Transportation office based its penalty rate.

“If the fine for not wearing helmet is clearly defined in the administrative order to be P500; and for the absence of side mirror to be P1000, the motorists have no way out,” the former congressman stressed, “but to follow the order.”

Considering the present crisis the motorists have also been experiencing, the former lawmaker suggested that if possible the Administrative Code must be amended to help the motorists.

“They have the right to be clarified why the fines are that big,” Barinaga said.

“What provision in the Administrative Order, may I know?”, the lawmaker repeatedly asked.

It could be remembered that motorists were recently alarmed when the Dipolog PNP Traffic Division imposed the penalty cited among the erring motorcycle drivers.

The LTO Administrative Order was signed by LTO Undersecretary Alberto Suansing and approved by Department of Transportation and Communication Sec. Leandro Mendoza.

The said order was based on the Administrative Code of 1987 and the United Nations Convention for Road Traffic of 1968.

“If this was so, I’m asking what provision in the code allows them to collect the amount cited?”, Barinaga asked.

It was learned several motorists were complaining against the traffic enforcers of the Dipolog PNP who were allegedly asking ‘kotong’ from them.

Although they completely denied the allegations, many motorists feared they could become the enforcer’s milking cow if they really would make the LTO order their excuse for collecting money from them. (Press Freedom, Vol. XXI No. 1)


 Team Dipolog Bags Reg’l Quiz Bee Honors
By: ZP Mayormita

The 9-man team of the Dipolog City Division who attended thee 29th  Regional Super Quiz Bee at Tetuan Central School, Zamboanga City last October 23 came home with major honors from the said “longest running and most prestigious” competition.

Al-Habbyel B. Yusoph of Zamboanga del Norte National High School lords it over 7 contestants in the Science and Technology category to emerge as champion. “It was the question on transplantation of animal organs to humans that gave me the edge. I was the only one who got it correctly. With those three points, my fate as winner was sealed, “quipped Yusoph in an interview after the competition.

In Elementary Mathematics, Karl T. Baliton of Dipolog Pilot Demonstration School came out victorious after getting a perfect score in the 5-question, 3-point each difficult round of the competition. “I was still hopeful despite the fact that he got zero in the easy round. I was sitting tight, unmindful of the questions as I fervently prayed,” enthused Mr. Benjamin Acido, the coach.

Jeralph G. Rosal of Sta. Cruz Elementary School landed on the third runner-up slot after a triple-tie in the Makabayan category of the said quiz bee. “It was unfortunate that three quizzer got the same score because Jeralph was just a point away from them,” joked his coach, Marigold B. Mejares.

The team was headed by Division Supervisors Mrs. Gloria Banogon (Makaba-yan), Dr. Melchora B. Hamoy (Mathematics) and Mrs. Visminda F. Curabo (Science). Yusoph (with his academic coach Dr. Joel P. Ogoc) and Baliton will Zamboanga Peninsula in the National Summit of the Champions at the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) in Tagaytay City on Dec. 4-7, 2008. (The New Nandau, Vol. XVIII No.14)


As RP looks forward to breaking cycle
PGMA calls on all countries to ratify Int’l Convention on Migrant Workers Rights

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo this week called on all countries, especially migrant-receiving countries such as the United States, Australia and European nations, to ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

The President issued the call in her keynote address at the two-day 2nd Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD2) Government Meeting at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) as she stressed the need for a concerted effort to address issues on migration, foremost of which is the protection of human rights.

“We call for fundamental global reform. To that end, we look upon the United Nations for leadership. We urge all countries which have not yet done so to ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.”

The President said the global forum on migration and development is one venue where coordinated action among nations can be effectively pursued as this is the “better path than going it alone.”

“It is essential that the major economies of the world, along with strong representation from emerging economies who are the source of migrant workers, be part of the global consultations to resolve challenges in the global financial system, particularly its negative impact on migrant workers,” the President stressed.

The President said migrants must not be viewed as “depersonalized movable components of globalization, or worse, as inconvenient necessities.” Instead they must be treated as human beings who contribute to the essential well-being in this age of vast movement and change.

“We must prepare them for – and make them full partners in – our world of developmental, democratic and demographic transformation,” she stressed.

She urged the participants of the Global Forum for Migration and Development to work together for that transformation by ensuring that globalization is for everyone, including migrant workers who contribute much to the economy through their remittances that often buoy up the economy, including that of the Philippines.’

The United Nations Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Their Families constitutes a comprehensive international treaty regarding the protection of migrant workers’ rights, emphasizing on the connection between migration and human rights.

The Convention aims at protecting migrant workers and members of their families. It sets a moral standard that would serve as a guide and stimulus for the promotion of migrant workers’ rights in each country.

The primary objective of the Convention is to foster respect for migrants’ human rights, guaranteeing equality of treatment, and the same working conditions for migrants and nationals.

The Convention must have a minimum of 20 ratifications before it could be enforced. When El Salvador and Guatemala ratified it on March 14, 2003, this threshold was reached.

As of March 2007, Argentina, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Belize, Bolivia, Boznia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Peru, the Philippines, Senegal, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uganda and Uruguay have already ratified the Convention.

In addition, several countries have signed the Convention to express their intention of adhering to its intentions. These are Bangladesh in 1998; Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Paraguay, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone in 2000; Togo in 2001; Cambodia, Gabon, Indonesia, Lesotho, Liberia, Serbia and Montenegro in 2004; and Peru in 2005.

So far, those that have ratified the Convention are primarily countries of origin of migrants. No Western migrant-receiving state has ratified the Convention, even though the majority of migrants live in Europe and North America. Other important receiving countries, such as Australia, the Arab states and India, have not ratified the Convention either.

Thus, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, in his opening address at the GFMD2, stressed the need for “triple win” in dealing with migrants’ issues.

He said countries of origin of migrants, receiving countries and the migrants themselves must all benefit from migration.

Some 462 governments are participating in the GFMD2 hosted by the Philippine Government. (PIA)


 PGMA’s way of strengthening of RP fiscal position impresses top U.S. business execs

Members of a delegation of senior executives from the US-ASEAN Business Council which recently met with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo expressed their appreciation for the measures taken by the President to strengthen the country’s fiscal position.

“Our delegation was impressed with the candid and frank discussion we had with President Arroyo... We noted her administration’s success in strengthening the Government of the Philippines’ fiscal position which allows the government to devote additional resources to the areas of health, education, infrastructure and agriculture,” said Marc Mealy, senior director of the Council’s Philippines Business Committee.

The delegation, which conducted a three-day mission in the Philippines (Oct. 15-17) included representatives from Coca-Cola, Ford Motors, General Electric, GlaxoSmithKline, Hewlett-Packard, Jhpiego, Johnson & Johnson, Monsanto, Oracle, Pfizer and Unisys. The delegation was co-led by Council vice president William Marmon and Kandy Anand, president of Coca-Cola Philippines and chairman of the Council’s US-Philippines Business Committee.

“In today’s global economic climate, the breadth of this mission and range of sectors involved send a clear message on the continued commitment of the American business community to growth and development in the Philippines,” William Marmon said.

This year’s mission came on the eve of a round of bilateral talks between the governments of the United States and the Philippines under the US-Philippines Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). It provided a timely opportunity for American executives to engage Philippine government and business leaders on a number of issues affecting the local business climate and global competitiveness.

The mission themes included the importance of human capital development and the protection of intellectual property rights; attracting foreign direct investment; policies affecting the competitiveness of the Philippines’ auto sector; value of investments in health care to economic growth; potential of international-standards-based Information and Computer Technology (ICT) solutions to support national policy reform projects, and economic opportunities for the Philippines in relation to ASEAN regional integration.

During the three-day mission, meetings were held with officials from the US Embassy, Philippines-US Business Council, Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry, American Chamber of Commerce, Business Processing Association of the Philippines, National Competitiveness Council, and the Personnel Management Association.

Meetings were also held with Trade Senior Undersecretary Thomas Aquino; IP Philippines Director-General Adrian Cristobal; and Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran.

The highlight of the mission included a luncheon with President Macapagal-Arroyo and several members of her Cabinet including: Secretary of Trade and Industry Peter Favila, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto Romulo, Secretary of Energy Angelo Reyes, and Customs Commissioner Napoleon Morales.

The US-ASEAN Business Council and affiliates are dedicated to strengthening bilateral and US-ASEAN relations and building strong economic and commercial ties.

Members of the Council include Fortune 1000 companies in support of promoting trade, investment, and technology cooperation, advancing US-ASEAN relations through strong participation in public-private partnerships, and committing to development and corporate social responsibility.

The Council members are represented in diverse industries, including aerospace, agribusiness, automobiles, computers and information technology, consumer goods, energy exploration and development, express delivery services, financial services, health care and pharmaceuticals, media & entertainment, mining, software, and telecommunications. (The New Nandau, Vol. XVIII No.14)


Mayor Macias frowns at Cong. Labadlabad’s tarps

He’s claiming ownership what are not his.

This was how Sindangan Mayor Bert Macias reacted to the various tarpaulins of Cong. Labadlabad poised along the national road.

The tarpaulins reportedly claimed the different projects that the congressman has been implementing during his administration.

The municipal mayor pointed to the different school building projects which were funded by the Department of Education but claimed by the Congressman as if they were funded by his own funds.

“He has the right to claim ownership of the projects if they were funded by his own congressional funds,” the mayor was sad, suggesting that he could have announced that the projects were DepEd’s, not his.

On the other hand, Gov. Yebes warned barangay officials against politicians who claimed ownership of projects although they were funded by PGMA.

Citing the barangay electrification project, the governor disclosed that the National Electrification Administration funded it and no one politician could claim it as his.

Since the name of the TESDA training center in Sindangan has been changed through the prodding of a certain politician, the governor warned the TESDA Chairman not to allow himself to be turned around by this politician. “…or we stop giving our assistance,” Yebes warned. (Press Freedom, Vol. XXI No. 1)


Top Chinese pharmaceutical firm calls on PGMA, bares plan to invest in herbal facility in Davao Sur


HANGZHOU, Zhejiang Province, China – Executives of a leading Chinese pharmaceutical company called on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today to express their desire to establish laboratories in the Philippines.

Led by its vice president and chief executive officer (CEO) Yang Yin, officials of the Jiangsu Kanion Group (JKG) paid a courtesy call on the President at the Shangri-la Hotel here this morning, to convey their company’s intention to invest in laboratory facilities in the Philippines.

Yang told the President that they are eyeing a 10,000-hectare land in Davao del Sur as possible site for their planned laboratory were they will conduct tests on the viability of growing traditional Chinese herbs, the main ingredient of JKG medicines.

One of China’s top pharmaceutical companies, JKG employs more than 2,000 workers and operates in more than 48 countries, including Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, the United States, and some parts of Europe.

The company’s main products are traditional Chinese herbal medicines such as herbal powder, herbal extracts and diet supplements.

The President welcomed JKG’s plan to invest in the Philippines and assured Yang that the Philippine Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) would just be too willing to assist his company through the bureau’s herbal medicine license department.

She added that the government would assist JKG to get started with its plan to start planting medicinal herbs in Davao del Sur. (PIA)


Tightfist RP banks cited for saving country from crisis

Strict and overly-cautious banks in the Philippines have been cited for saving the country from being drawn deeply into the current global financial crisis.

“For all you know, this country may not even be hit hard by this global financial turmoil,” says financial adviser Myrna Valdez who runs her own MPV Asset Management Company, a financial consulting firm in the southern city of Davao.

Valdez said most Philippine banks have “very tight credit policies” that turn off many Filipino businessmen unlike in the United States where credit is easy to get with hardly any collateral.

“It’s much more difficult to get bank loans here. Philippine banks have this pawnshop mentality and don’t want to lend you money unless you meet their requirements which include so much collateral,” says Valdez who also sits as corporate financial officer of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The noted financial adviser agrees with the recent views of US-based rating agency Standard and Poor’s which stated that the Philippines is an “island of calm” in Asia amidst the ongoing financial turmoil in the higher-rated and supposedly more stable countries like Malaysia, Thailand, India, and Korea.

“The Philippines won’t be as badly hit by this global financial crisis which is crippling such powerful countries like the US, Europe and Japan. The panic that you also see in our own country is just a farce—there’s no need to panic because our country’s economic fundamentals remain strong as ever,” Valdez said.

Philippine bank’s “inherent distrust” of borrowers, strict lending guidelines and other banking reforms have placed the country in a much stronger financial position to withstand another worldwide financial crisis after going thru the devastating and crippling 1997 Asian financial crisis, according to Valdez.

The financial consultant explained that the financial turmoil started in the US when banks owning a lot of long-term assets, like subprime home mortgages, took short-term debts which they tried to pay off with short-term loans borrowed from other banks. Nervous bankers, out of fear, stop extending short-term credit and hoarded their capital, shutting out the flow of cash in the system which caused a lot of bank failures in the US.

“A country’s economy cannot function if people can’t get credit easily. This is what’s happening and it has a domino effect on the global economy,” Valdez said.

Trade Undersecretary Merly Cruz, however, cited government banks and financial institutions for their prudent banking policies that helped the country weather the worldwide financial turmoil and boost the steady growth of the Philippine economy in recent years.

“We’re confident our country will weather this global crisis. Right now, this country stands on a better and stronger economic position because our banks made all the needed adjustments and banking reforms since the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

“In fact, the robust growth of our country’s trade and investments over the years can also be attributed to the financial support of our Philippine banks,” Cruz said. (PNA)



The Philippines pushed for the mutual recognition of professional skills and qualifications of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to ensure equality of treatment and compensation for the migrants and, thus, optimize their contributions to the growth and development of both labor sending and receiving nations.

Speaking before delegates to the Second Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Manila this week, Labor and Employment Secretary Mariano D. Roque called on the international community, particularly the destination countries of OFWs and other migrant workers to provide for mutual recognition arrangements and other means of determining skills equivalences of migrants at bilateral and regional levels.

“To maximize opportunities as well as the capacity of migrant workers to contribute to development, we need to agree at bilateral and international levels on better systems of recognizing their professional, education, and technical achievements,” Roque said stressing that “fair equivalency methods can certainly expand opportunities for migrants in sending countries while meeting the needs of receiving nations for needed skills.”

The Labor and Employment Secretary specified that mutual cooperation of sending and receiving nations may zero in on providing migrants opportunities for additional skills upgrading, either through on-the-job training or before they leave their home countries for their employment abroad.

Towards this end, the establishment of training centers for migrant workers through partnerships of labor sending and receiving nations will address the needs of both parties, Roque said citing the Philippines’ partnership with Norway and Japan in the establishment and operation of training centers for the maritime sector.

Roque also called on countries which have yet to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of their Families to do so in conjunction with the recognition of migrants’ vital contributions to development locally as well as globally.

At the same time, he asked the international community to redouble efforts – at the national, regional, and international levels – in combating trafficking in all its forms, particularly in the trafficking of women and children.

The GFMD, he said, is an opportunity for labor sending and receiving nations to reaffirm the commitment to protect the rights of workers particularly those under irregular circumstances.

He said there is a need for bilateral and regional mechanisms that would address vulnerabilities of migrant workers particularly in ensuring minimum standards of pay and decent working conditions for them. (PIA-ZN)


ZN Press Club conducts journalism gab in Davao

The Zamboanga del Norte Press Club, Inc. in its unending commitment to develop the youths in oral and written communications aside from sharing the journalistic skills of its members, again conducted a two-day campus journalism seminar in Maco, Compostela Valley October 23-24.

Press Club lecturers from Zamboanga del Norte went to Maco Heights Central Elementary School in Maco, Compostela Valley for the second time around upon the invitation of District Supervisor Antonio Ordoño of the Department of Education in Region XI.

Provincial officials led by Governor Arturo “Chiongkee” T. Uy, Congressman Rommel Amatong of District I, Mayor Arthur Carlos Voltaire Rimando of Maco municipality, Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Lillian Calicdan and Manuel Castro, principal of Maco Heights Central Elementary School and Estela Navarro, Maco Journalism Project chairman, welcomed the visiting pressmen during the opening day.

“Thanks for sharing your thoughts and knowledge in campus journalism here in Compostela Valley,” was the personal note of Gov. Uy to the members of the ZNPCI.

While Congressman Amatong related his fun days in Zamboanga del Norte during his teen years before migrating to Compostela Valley with his family and later entered into politics inheriting his father’s (the former Congressman Prospero Amatong of that place) position as a legislator in the Lower House of Congress last election.

“I could not thank you enough for sharing your God-given talents to the youths of ComVal for free which you unselfishly gave considering the long trip in coming here,” Amatong said.

Teachers and students from the secondary and elementary levels were excited and gave a warm applause to the congressman when he informed them that he will provide the necessary budget for next year’s journalism seminar to continue what has been started by the Zamboanga del Norte Press Club.

As a gesture of goodwill, Mayor Rimando of Maco town said that he would also do his share to continue the project for their youths.     

The lecturers for the two-day Campus Journalism Seminar were Edith Pagente-Tomong in news writing, Rosemarie Patangan-Miranda in feature, Atty. Paul Gudmalin in editorial writing and Laws on Libel, Anastasio Junio, Jr. in media ethics, Rolando Bayron in sports writing and Sammy Amatong in editorial cartoon and layouting.

Radio broadcasting was tackled by KBP accredited announcers and broadcasters Tomong and Miranda with the assistance of Leonor Pagente and Rolando Bayron during the actual workshops.

Meanwhile, Provincial Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Habib Adzhar Sarahadil of the Department of Education in Zamboanga del Norte in an interview last Sunday during DXDR’s “Kapihan sa Dipolog” radio program, was surprised at the same time was impressed of the latest development in campus journalism undertaken by the Press Club.

“As one of the topnotch rural superintendent in the country with regards to quality of education for our youths, we would be threatened,” he jokingly said to the panelists, namely, Atty. Ruben Legorio, Rose Miranda, Edgar Sorronda, all past presidents of ZNPCI with Tomong being  Kapihan’s  anchor and incumbent president of the local press club.

The Campus Journalism Seminar cum Media Tour in Compostela Valley was made possible through the assistance of Congressman Amatong of Compostela Valley, Zamboanga del Norte Vice-Gov. Francis H. Olvis, Dipolog City Mayor Evelyn T. Uy, Vice-Mayor Senen O. Angeles, ZANECO General Manager Adelmo P. Laput, ZNPCI past presidents Atty. Gudmalin, Junio, Jr., Rosalia “Ante Sally” D. Elia and members Halleck Valdez based in Davao City, Julius Salaveria and Antonio Jalosjos. (ZNPCI-empt)



President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo called today for concerted efforts to protect expatriate workers all over the world against exploitation, abuse and other forms of ill-treatment stemming from the global economic and financial shocks.

In her address during the opening session of the 2nd Global Forum on Migration and Development at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Pasay City this morning (Wednesday, Oct. 29), the President said it is unfortunate that some countries that send their people to work abroad are not fully equipped to protect them in times of trouble.

She said the financial and economic turmoil sweeping across the world has raised new concern over the protection and wellbeing of expatriate workers.

“The global financial crisis currently taking place challenges us again to gather our forces, within government and in partnership with other countries, to better protect our people abroad against the financial and economic shocks, business and economic, and the side effects of such shocks – exploitation, abuses, and other forms of maltreatment,” she said.

The President thanked United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon for the attention he is giving to the “world’s poor especially in this time of financial crisis.”

The UN official arrived in Manila Tuesday to address the migration and development forum.

She said countries can draw encouragement from the fact that the UN, civil society, governments and international organizations are increasingly giving emphasis on the various aspects of migration.

Saying that the Philippines is ready to champion the cause of migrant workers, the President pointed out that the country has won the distinction as “one of the best-regulated expatriate worker programs in the world.”

“On the basis of their contribution and of the nation’s humanitarian responsibilities to its people, wherever they are, our government works doubly hard to strengthen migrant workers’ protection – protection from the degradation of domestic recruiters as well as of overseas employers, agents and officials, and protection from physical harm,” she added.

She said that her administration’s “comprehensive and multi-dimensional ‘life-cycle’ strategy covers all facets of the overseas employment process, from pre-departure orientation to post-return reintegration and retraining.”

The effectiveness of this approach of ensuring the protection of Filipino overseas workers (OFWs) has been acknowledged by international organizations, the President said.

She stressed, however, that the “full protection and empowerment of migrants is a task that goes far beyond what individual countries of origin can do on their own.”

The President said the Philippines is honored to be the first developing country and the first Asian nation to host the Global Forum on Migration and Development.

“For the Philippines, which is at the forefront of the global migration issue, hosting this meeting represents a high point in our efforts to assist migrants through intensified global dialogue and networks for consultation and cooperation,” she said.

She congratulated the leaders of the migrant-workers-sending and receiving nations for seeking common grounds on coordinating assistance to their economies and protecting their workers.

“It is essential that the major economies of the world along with the strong representation from emerging economies who are the source of migrant workers be part of the global consultations to resolve challenges in the global financial system and its impact on migrant workers,” the President said.  (PIA-ZN)


ZaNorte left out by DOT

Since the province and the Zamboanga peninsula have not been represented for so long, Provincial Tourism Officer Atty. Ivan Patrick Ang saw this as the reason why tourism industry has not developed.

Ang who has been recently elected representative and chosen as legal counsel of the Association of Tourism Officer of the Philippines (ATOP) disclosed that he was pushing plans for the development of tourism industry in the region now that he has a seat in the national organization.

One such plant is the inclusion of the province in the national advertisement of the Department of Tourism just like what other tourist destinations in the country are doing.

Destination areas like Rizal park, Dakak and other beautiful places in the province deserved a place in the national advertisement, Ang said.

The tourism officer also suggested to ATOP it has to adopt a resolution urging major television networks in the country to to use a few minutes of their daily news to promote tourism in the different places.

“This could serve as tourist advisory,” Ang suggested. (Press Freedom, Vol. XXI No. 1)


Dipolog employees can’t get benefits –Darunday

It is apparent that the employees of Dipolog City cannot enjoy the benefits as ordered by law especially the 10% salary increase.

Board member Anecito Darunday, chairman of Committee on Finance and Appropriations of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan disclosed that Dipolog City has already reached its budget limits for Personal Services.

Like Dipolog, Dapitan and the 25 municipalities of Zamboanga del Norte have also reached their limits on personal services and could not give additional benefits to their workers.

“As of now, only the provincial government is in a position to give any benefits to its employees since it has still P20M,” BM Darunday said.

Under the law only 45% of the entire budget is for Personal Services and other benefits.

BM Darunday pointed out that if the local government went beyond the limits for PS, the giving of additional benefits and the hiring of new regular employees are affected.

“This could happen if the local officials will accommodate political supporters all the time,” the board member explained. (Press Freedom, Vol. XXI No. 1)


Governor elated over ‘gaya-gaya’

Although it is by another name, Gov. Rolando Yebes was happy to know that Dipolog City and other municipalities of Zamboanga del Norte have also launched their own programs patterned after the province’s Hi-Green program.

“The happier  I could be if the barangays will also adopt the same program as it helps the hunger Mitigation Program,” the governor said.

If reports that Dipolog has also its own version of LANDO BIBO were true, the governor disclosed he felt lighter when the city would take up the health care services of its own people.

“I don’t mind if they copied…anyway, it’s all for the benefits of the people,” the governor said, adding that it would just be proper that other local governments will also have their own share in health care programs and hunger alleviation. (Press Freedom, Vol. XXI No. 1)


Credits: Press Freedom is published every Saturday and entered as 3rd class mail matter in Dipolog City. Printed by Young Printing Press with Editorial Office located at Upper Turno, Dipolog City. Tel. No. (065) 212-4343 or 212-6665. Email: freedom_nandau


DILG nahimuot  kalamboan ilang nakita dinhi sa Dipolog

Daku ang pagdayeg ug kahimuot ang gipabati sa representante sa Local Government Academy sa Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) nga si Joy Juanite ug Paulie Mora sa League of Cities sa kaulohang Manila, sa dihang nakita nila ang mga malampusong proyekto sa kagamhanang lokal sa Dipolog alayon sa pagpalambo ug kaayuhan sa mga kabataan ug mga batan-on.

Ang mga tinugyanan sa DILG (itaas) nga sila si Mora (ikaduha gikan sa wala) ug Juanite (ikatulo gikan sa wala) samtang misusi sa kahimtang sa katawhan sa usa sa mga relocation sites sa Dipolog naka- pamatuod sa mga kalam- boan nga napahimutang dinhi ug dayon ilang gipahibalo ang ilang nakita ngadto kang Mayor Belen Uy (lara- wan sa tunga).

Ang duha ka larawan sa ubos mao ang Center for Children with Special Needs nga sa tibuok kapupud-an ang Dipolog mao lamay nagbaton niini sumala sa taga DILG.

Kini atol sa dihang mipahigayon sila ug duha ka adlaw nga evaluation ug monitoring  partikular sa implementasyon sa proyekto sa Millenium Development Goals-Family Based Actions for Children and Their Environs in the Slums (MDG-FACES).


I have been out of town for the past two weeks doing community facilitation in the municipality of Liloy and Leon B. Postigo towns, as such this writer have been hard pressed in community works of LANDO-BIBO communities, my apologies for failing to come up with a piece in this space for the past two weeks. Since I have been committed to advocate for truth and fairness in the field of journalism, despite of hectic schedules, I must find time to tell you on matters that everyone needs know. It’s good my friend Nick d’ Power still have the patience to remind me every bit of deadlines for me to beat them.

I would like to explore on the societal complexities involving human attitude and conflict as we try to understand the prevalence of human misunderstanding that often times would lead to social upheaval. The current global slump not only exacerbate the brewing discontent of the large sector of our communities it also questioned the seeming inabilities of our leaders to address this social ill. The question lies mainly on our ability to understand the system, and our leaders’ resolve to fight inadequacies and social evil such as greed, self-interest and opportunism.

WE as a people are self-bound to pursue our own directions and self-preservation, a curse that from the beginning put us into conflict with others. We tend to see things from our own perspective and try to gain from every system according to our own understanding. Our selfishness has lead to human competitions that most of the time put other people at the top and most others in the bottom.

This system has been there for thousands of years and made possible to the never ending struggle for existence for those who are left behind by that race. For those who gained the upper hand, the continuance of gaining balance is also a tedious effort to sustain that kind of existence.

We know the problem and we also know of its solution, but we tend not to look at them in clearer perspective. Human understanding and compassion is the only answer, selflessness is a vital tool. That would be over in a second.

I saw the real meaning of selflessness when you discover too much rural suffering, people’s basic needs denied and economic opportunities lost. People have been very supportive on the initiative of Governor Lando Yebes through the BIBO program because they found them as timely and passionate in the part of the provincial government and opportunity for their communities.

The provincial leadership’s resolve to fight these social inadequacies although meet by harsh opposition by those threatened by its potential political force, it has gained momentum due to the outpouring of understanding among those who were neglected and abused by the traditional politicians, that during their time have done nothing to ease the burden and suffering of the greater number of the people. (The New Nandau, Vol. XVIII No.14)


Credits: The New Nandau is a member of the Publishers Association of the Philippines (PAPI). Editorial office is located at 076 Quezon Avenue, Dipolog City with Tel. No. (065) 212-3794; Cell No. +639205201041. Email: freedom_nandau


My Best Foot
By: Engr. Ric Tenorio 

Crying for Blood

Sec. Romulo Neri of the infamous ZTE Broad band deal can now hold his peace forever.  The Supreme Court upholds his right to keep silent.

“He is one fish that didn’t opened his mount.  So he was off the hook.”


Jocelyn “joc-joc” Bolante, under Secretary of Agriculture is in deep trouble.  He is caught between the “devil and the deep blue sea.”  In the U.S. he was deported.  Back in the Philippines he will be jailed.

“One consolation though, he become an overnight celebrity but landed at St. Luke’s Hospital for over fertilization.”


The ZTE Broad band deal was a far cry from the Fertilizer Fund Scam.  The ZTE deal was aborted while the Fertilizer Scam was given the green light signal.

“Whether it is a far cry or a near cry, still the Senate is crying for blood.”


Overheard in the Senate:

“During hard times like these we can’t afford to squander over meager national wealth, let alone another fund scam.  It will truly make our lives miserable.”

“Never mind if they bleed this country to death.  Anyway if there’s no more money to suck, they will stop.  Ano ba yan pare ko?”


Our economy is not only sick.  It is very sick.  What it needs is a major operation to keep it going sans global economic meltdown.

“Maybe it’s time for Lando’s hospital to offer its services.  Hospital Administrator Rosevic Ocampo is also the province’s Planning Officer par excellence.”


The Boy Scouts Urban Encampment held recently at ZaNorte Sport Complex was a show of unity.  LGU’s and School Officials stand on four squares in cooperation to make the affair a success.”

“Yes Sir, everybody cooperated except the weather.  Calling Mr. Weatherman.  Please furnish BSP Officials of your weather bulletin.  Maybe next time their activities will be held during dry season.”


Former Speaker Jose de Venecia advised his son Joey to get ready for more attacks from Malacañang as an offshoot of the impeachment complaint against President Gloria Arroyo.

“JDV knows that the President will retaliate with greater intensity once provoke.  As my tagalog kin use to say, “Lintik lang ang walang ganti.”


Retired PNP Chief Director General Avelino Razon Jr., is now Deputy Director General of National Security Council.

“Another payback time for GMA.  Her love for generals started when she asserted her legitimacy as duly elected president. (kuno).” (Press Freedom, Vol. XXI No. 1)


Credits: Press Freedom is published every Saturday and entered as 3rd class mail matter in Dipolog City. Printed by Young Printing Press with Editorial Office located at Upper Turno, Dipolog City. Tel. No. (065) 212-4343 or 212-6665. Email: freedom_nandau




Matoy: It’s a small deal

Former 2nd district congressman Roseller Barinaga kept his cool and just smiled when he learned that some projects implemented during his administration were reportedly claimed as Cong. Rosendo Labadlabad.

“It’s just a small matter,” the former congressman dismissed the reports coolly especially the electrification project of the 11 barangays in District II which he believed he started.

“Ang kahitas-an nalang maantigo kanila,” Barinaga stressed, referring to his detractors who claimed the projects were Cong. Labadlabad.

However, ZANECO General manager Adelmo Laput confirmed that the electrification project passed  congress during Barinaga’s tenure but this was funded by the Department of Energy and National Electrification Administration. (Press Freedom, Vol. XXI No. 1)


Motorcycle cops told to wear helmets

Even policemen who are driving motorcycles are told to wear helmets and follow the traffic rules and regulations.

In a fax memorandum received by the Dipolog PNP, all policemen who are driving motorcycles are directed to wear helmets as well.

It was learned that the memorandum order outlined the administrative cases the cop may be liable if found violating the order.

These include grave neglect of duty, with penalty of suspension and forfeiture of salary among the violators.  However, immediate superior or supervisor may suffer the same penalty but of shorter duration only.

If the erring policeman has been repeatedly committing the same offense, a maximum penalty shall have been imposed on him. (Press Freedom, Vol. XXI No. 1)


NPC to condone P546M ZANECO obligation

It’s about time.

ZANECO General Manager Adelmo Laput did not hide his happiness upon learning that the cooperative’s P546M obligation to National Power Corporation can be nearly condoned.

Laput disclosed that the cooperative’s legal counsel and other officials will be meeting with NAPOCOR to finalize plans for the condonation.

It was learned that ZANECO owed NAPOCOR P30M for unpaid fuel cost charges and increment cost charges but payment was pending due to the case filed by former Governor Isagani Amatong.

The 30M earned interests until it amounted to P546M.  However, the 30M capital has already been paid and ZANECO was hoping that NAPOCOR would completely disregard the accumulated interests of the unpaid FCA and ICC.

“Like how we worked for our BIR taxes successfully, we also work for the condonation of our interest obligation,” ZANECO Manager Laput said. (Press Freedom, Vol. XXI No. 1)


OPAG urges synchronized rice planting

The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist recently advised all rice farmers in the province to adopt the synchronized rice planting method to combat the deadly rice disease called tungro.

Provincial Supervising Agriculturist Maybel Bustaliño appealed the help of all barangay captains in the affected rice lands in the province to help them explain why rice farmers should observe a similar planting schedule.

“Study shows that if farmers have different planting schedule and different harvest times, there is a possibility for the Tungro virus to cross from one farmland to the other,” Bustaliño explained.

She stressed that there should be a time gap between harvest and planting time to prevent the tungro virus to perpetuate.

“We cannot prevent the virus to spread; they have no cure at the moment,” Bustaliño stressed.

The supervising agriculturist hoped that the barangays could pass an ordinance outlining the time of planting rice in their own farms.

Although the synchronized farming entails sacrifice on the farmer’s time, Bustaliño stressed this should be observed to affect a bountiful harvest. (Press Freedom, Vol. XXI No. 1)


Dipolognons warned of fake P200 bills

After a suspect who was reported spreading fake P200 bills was arrested in Molave, Zamboanga del Sur, Dipolog was feared to be the next ‘dumping’ area of the fake money smugglers.

The suspect identified by Molave PNP as Joel M. Cañas of Tiguma, Pagadian City told police authorities that he was just tipped P50 for every P200 bill he could dispose.

Cañas identified his source as a certain man who hails from Palaran, Pagadian City.

Police investigators learned from the suspect that he had started the operation a few months yet but admitted that Dipolog City will be their next target.

It was learned that Cañas had moved around Molave terminal and victimized businessmen and would have moved to Dipolog City, if not arrested. (Press Freedom, Vol. XXI No. 1)


Gov. Yebes orders strict measures vs. hog cholera

Gov. Rolando Yebes recently ordered the Quarantine Officers of the Provincial Veterinarians Office to monitor strictly the entry of live hogs and meat originating Misamis Oriental due to the reported hog cholera outbreak in the province.

PROVET Chief Vicente Sanchez Jr. disclosed that the Provincial Quarantine Offices have been on their toes all the time especially these days when there was a reported hog cholera outbreak in Cagayan de Oro City and the neighboring Misamis Oriental province.

“This is why the province has never experienced any animal disease outbreak,” Sanchez disclosed.

The governor ordered the spraying of disinfectants on the wheel of all vehicles coming from the Misamis provinces including the inspection of all animals transported into the province. (Press Freedom, Vol. XXI No. 1)

Barangay urged to enact infra resolutions

Gov. Rolando Yebes called upon all the barangays of the province to pass resolutions on infrastructure projects they wish to implement by 2009 so that they could avail the financial assistance the province is extending to them for the second time.

However, the governor clarified that it will be asking each barangay a counterpart of every project it will be implementing.

Under the 20% Economic Development Fund for 2009, P34M has been allocated as Financial Assistance for the barangays.

“It’s not enough for the 691 barangays in the entire province, so they have to give their counterparts,” Gov. Yebes said, stressing that the first ones to submit their resolutions could be the first ones to enjoy the financial assistance. (Press Freedom, Vol. XXI No. 1)

A scene to remember: ZaNorte Governor Rolando Yebes rides a habal-habal as he crosses a worn-out hanging bridge during one of his barangay to barangay visits.



 The Turning Point
Edwin G. Bernido
Confident on the Good Shepherd Guidance

While Psalm 23 is familiar to most of us, upon reflection we realize how little most of us know about shepherds and their sheep.  In Psalms 23:1-4, says, the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.  He guides me in paths of righteousness for his namesake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the Shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

This is how Kid David, has described Him as a Good Shepherd, even the ultimate Good Shepherd.  It is God who is the Good Shepherd in Ezekiel 34.  God also criticized human shepherds for failing to do their jobs well and even for abandoning His sheep.  God, however, would take the initiative to protect His sheep.

God is Lord of the universe, but He cares for His people individually.  As our Good Shepherd, God gives us everything we need.  This Psalm does not promise that God will fulfill our every wish, since some of those wishes might be selfish, contrary to God’s will for our life, or simply unnecessary.  Its true He often showers us with blessings beyond those wishes of ours.  But these blessings represent His generosity and grace, not fulfillment of His promise to meet our needs.  Read Matthew 6:30-33, which says, if that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow, is thrown into the fire, will be not much more clothe you, o you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, what shall we eat?  Or what shall we drink?  Or what shall we wear?  For the Pagans run after all these things and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Down to the smallest detail, God is concerned about every aspect of our lives, and he meets our needs on every level.  God also directs us in the path of righteousness.  God has revealed His Divine Road map for our lives in His word, for it reveals His will, not about everything but about enough to give us clear direction in most areas.


Spill over, at times, God fills our cup full and running over, not so we can boast or measure, but so we can spill over into the lives of others.  God Bless to all! (Press Freedom, Vol. XXI No. 1)


Credits: Press Freedom is published every Saturday and entered as 3rd class mail matter in Dipolog City. Printed by Young Printing Press with Editorial Office located at Upper Turno, Dipolog City. Tel. No. (065) 212-4343 or 212-6665. Email: freedom_nandau



On lingos and jargons

The young is the most dynamic of all learners. They easily adapt to their environment. Everything they see and hear is immediately imbibed into their system. This adeptness at adopting trends is most visible in the way they speak. They have a language all their own. To the extent that they sound alien to an untrained ear. And if you are not quick enough to catch up you will be lost in their contraptions of words or the distortions of the same.

The sward speak is the most pervasive language used in the campus when students grouped themselves as to cliques. This is true to all-girls grouped or even to all-male one. Who have not heard of it? Take time to listen at how kids speak and intertwined in their usual language are jargons taken from the internet, movies, gay lingo and the television programs they tune in to. It seems to have a way of worming itself to daily conversation getting endeared to everyone. Case in point is the phrase, “whatever, major loser” replete with hand acrobatics that pervades the campus after the initial showing of Camp Rock.

Then there is the e-language, the newest addition to the young’s tools of confusing their parents to their conversations. Remember that Sun Cellular Mobile phone commercial where a dad received a “lol” text message from her daughter after he sent her a joke. The dad got furious at it and called the daughter to admonish her only to find out that “lol” is actually short for “laughing out loud.” Another mutation of the same is “lmao” for “laughing my ass out” which I suppose is a degree higher than the original. Not to mention the wonders they could do with the text machine.

It is actually entertaining hearing them speak this things. It’s melodious and at times casts  away the ennui in the campus. However, it’s a different story if these jargons permeates itself into the way students answer during an oral recitation. Once in my class, I called on a student for a graded participation. While he was grasping for words to say, he filled his vacuous statements with “chuva this” and “chuva that”. My gut reaction was “Come again? What the heck is that?” Then there was this presenter who, for lack of word said “the chuva of the fluid in the tube” (referring to the meniscus of the water in the capillary tube). When I asked her “how is the chuva related to the tube?’ a perplexed look was the only answer I got. She did not get my question.

In both instance, I controlled myself not to laugh and with a morose face made my spiel of putting things in proper perspective. That there is a place for everything and everything in its proper place. I reiterated that it’s not bad to have a language when with friends but that’s just it, it should be used among and when with them. To use such words in the classroom would be gross disrespect to the teacher. This is not brought about by my being a mentor but because it is what common sense dictates. Not to mention that it puts the teacher in a situation where he need to give a failing mark because he don’t understand the answer given to him. And neither the student nor the teacher wants that to happen. This is not brought about by my being a mentor but because it is what common sense dictates. Since then they never used such terms were we cannot level off nor attempted to do it again.

Unconsciously I was found guilty of breaking my own rule. this was made clear to me when a student brought it to my attention. Her mom, a teacher from a tertiary school in  the city gets angry with her students for using the word “sabotable” in her class. My initial reaction was why can’t she reprimand them the way I did? Then it dawned to me, she got every right to be mad. I am a teacher and I should take responsibility for my utterances in the classroom.

The word was actually blurted out after a lengthy and quite complicated mathematical method at arriving to an answer of a physics problem. It was meant to lighten the otherwise oppressive atmosphere brought about by the lesson. “Sabotable” -- an englishcized term for the vernacular “sabot” meaning “to understand”. I used it to ask if “they got it, were they able to follow or do they understand.” Whatever my reasons, one thing is clear now, I should not have used it.

What Ara’s mom did have me realized that the effect teachers have on their student transcends even after they have long passed the class. It goes beyond the four walls of the classroom. The reality check was a hard pill to swallow and it puts me at a defensive but I had to accept it. It kept me grounded and aware of my responsibilities. I was at fault and should learn from it. Now, I’m more cautious on things I say inside the classroom. not that I abhor being reprimanded but more so because I don’t know where my influence as a teacher ends. Albeit at times, I still backslide. (Southpoint, Vol.1No.43)


Credits: The Southpoint is the latest weekly news publication circulated in the province of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay and Misamis Occidental. It is registered under DTI Permit No. 00282924. The Southpoint can be reached through the following contact info: Sindangan, ZN; Landline: 212 – 4019; Mobile No.: +63 921 458 3830. Email:



A tribute to Papa
by Leah Mariel L. Reyes

(Atty. Young is not writing his column to give way to an article written by Leah Mariel L. Reyes, the daughter of the late Atty. Ferdinand Reyes, the regular editor of this paper.)

It was all with that loud “BANG” at our house on that faithful day, February 12, 1996, where I was staring blankly at him, looking into his body with an oozing red fluid. I thought it was not for real for I always see it on movies… but when people started screaming around and panicked, I’ve realized it’s not a joke anymore, and the red fluid flow was his… blood.

Nothing made me anxious at first when I saw the incident with my own naked eyes. A 3-year old little girl in front of a murder, witnessing the crime merely cause trauma into my mind. But I never had one. I can still remember him when the gunman positioned his weapon onto my Papa’s neck, he was not fighting back at all, but I guess he’s whispering a silent prayer to God while the gunman snatches his soul away from his limp body. Then, that was the end of my father’s life on earth.

It’s too painful recalling those memories I had with my father. When we went to resorts with him, he always hugs me tight, he makes me smile, and I can really feel his longing love, but it was all in the past, and it would never come back.

I faced my years with my mom alone, taking care for me and my brother. Living in a small residential place, we still managed to survive.

Someone important to my life scolds me because she thinks I need so much attention, that I wanted to be popular like those other students in school. I dance, I write, play the piano, join parade presentations, I join camps in far away places and contests. Is my mama pleased with what I do?

She demands that I must excel in academics but I said I don’t belong in there, what I like most are these skills and talents of art. What really hurts so much is when the final presentation is up and when I danced, my eyes roamed around the audiences just to find the important person I’ve invited. Sadly, she can’t come because she’s busy for her work and doing more important things than watching my dance showcase.

I can still remember the last time when I had my afternoon sonatina recital, all pianists are required to be at the venue before the time so I need to go ahead. I was asking her to fetch me, and sit beside me while the program has not started yet since I have no close friends among the pianists.

But she insisted that I’ll go ahead, and that she’ll just be there after she’s done chatting. I silently cried in the comfort room and I was nervous, my hands aren’t moving and I can hardly breathe. She did arrived, and had the chance to witness my performance but she’s just not there when I needed her most and it keeps flashing into my mind whenever a recital comes.

But I still love my mother so much and I can’t afford to live without her, she’s my life. Even though she does some of those things I hated, I know that it is for my own good and even the best for me.

How about you Papa, will you be happy or you’ll just ignore me and say your busy too? I guess not. I think he will be very proud of me, and I’m sure that I’ll get his support. Will you be proud of me Papa? Will you smile if I won a dance contest? Will you appreciate my canvass even if it’s not that nice? Will you listen to the songs I’ve composed? Will you taste the food I’ve cooked? Are you going to read my articles and correct my mistakes? Will you help me survive life and grow as a young lady?

If only I can bring back time, then I would erase that terrifying memory, I won’t open the door in your office and I will never let that gunman in, I will stick with you always and be good, I will obey and I will love my brother. If only, this could happen, then my life could have been complete.

I miss you Papa, I want to play a sonatina piece for you, I am longing for your presence, so that you can give me a guiding hand and see me growing up…

I wish to be just like you….a great writer, a lawyer and a professional journalist. Being the editor-in-chief of the Press Freedom before that fatal day, a swift-shadow cold-blooded-hand took your life away from us.

I want to follow your footsteps, and slowly I did…I am now the Editor-in-chief of “The Zamboanguenian”, our school paper. I never expected to excel in the field of journalism. I only joined the Press Conference for the sake of participation but I was amazed when I won, and reached the National level. They say it runs in the blood. But still, I am thankful to God for this gift I have, and I hope that if you were still here Papa, will you be happy for me?

You are in heaven now Papa. I shouldn’t have felt this loneliness because God fulfils my childhood-plea, and nothing is impossible with Christ. I love you Papa, though you only have a fleeting time with me. I know that you love me too, and that’s what makes me feel so special.

 I dedicate this tribute to you Papa. I will be the best that I can be, so that you will be proud of me Papa Ferdie. You will be my guiding star in the darkest nights of my life….

And I will tremble no more. (Press Freedom, Vol. XXI No. 1)


Credits: The New Nandau is a member of the Publishers Association of the Philippines (PAPI). Editorial office is located at 076 Quezon Avenue, Dipolog City with Tel. No. (065) 212-3794; Cell No. +639205201041. Email: freedom_nandau



Press Freedom Editorial
A more meaningful Halloween

All Saints Day and All Souls Day have been days for visiting our loved ones who have departed from this world and possibly joined the Creator for good.

To show our reverence for the dead, we visit the graveyards, paint them immaculately white, offer flowers, light candles and say a few words of prayers for their eternal rest.

The dead, if they are really just around looking at what we are doing could be more than just happy -

minus the drinking boisterous spree and the noise of the blaring music pervading the cemetery area;

minus the gambling;

minus the stealing of the candles before they could even melt halfway and the carting away of the beautifully-arranged flowers;

minus the bickering over parking spaces;

minus the overcrowding of cemetery areas with stalls;

minus the bringing of guns and other deadly weapons;

minus the hungry children stalking our “halad” perched on the tomb;

minus the plundering burglars who find comfort in our houses while we are away to the cemetery.

Scare away the minuses and have a more meaningful Halloween.  Happy Halloween celebration! (Press Freedom, Vol. XXI No. 1)


Credits: Press Freedom is published every Saturday and entered as 3rd class mail matter in Dipolog City. Printed by Young Printing Press with Editorial Office located at Upper Turno, Dipolog City. Tel. No. (065) 212-4343 or 212-6665. Email: freedom_nandau





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