XU Nursing Garners 100% Passing Rate; Two Grads Top NLE

The results of the June 2016 NLE (Nurse Licensure Examination) have just been released online by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) last June 17, 2016. Out of the 14,184 nursing graduates who took the exam in different testing centers nationwide, only 6,183 passed.

 

The College of Nursing of Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan soared high once again after the PRC declared that they have garnered a 100% passing rate. Of all the nursing graduates who passed the June 2016 NLE, 39 are proud graduates of XU. According to XU President Fr. Roberto Yap, SJ, this is the 4th consecutive NLE where the XU College of Nursing has achieved a 100% passing rate.

 

Furthermore, two nursing graduates from Xavier University did not only pass the NLE, but also aced it. Both Rachelle Eve Alolor Bensig and Ma Minvilu Verano Marbella made it to the top 10 of the Nurse Licensure Examination this June, with Bensig landing on the 2nd spot while Marbella garners 5th place.

 

Rachelle Bensig garnered a score of 86.60%. She shares the 2nd spot with Joszabelle Estrella of Bicol University-Legazpi and Gianna Roman of Bataan Peninsula State University-Balanga. As for Ma Minvilu Marbella, she garnered a score of 86.00%. She shares the 5th spot with Glenn Marie Fantillo of University of Iloilo and Eunice Kay Sanson of Ateneo de Zamboanga.

 

In her interview with the local press of Cagayan de Oro, Ma Minvilu Verano Marbella revealed that she did not expect to become a topnotcher in the NLE. She said that she only prayed for guidance during the examination and the tenacity to accept whatever the outcome will be. Topping the licensure examination for nurses definitely came as a surprise to her. Marbella then added that being a nurse is not just about the rank and the result ratings; for her, it’s all about the things that she learned. She devotes her triumph to her family, classmates, XU teachers, Lourdes College, and Peak Excellence Review Center.

 

The announcement of the NLE results for June came just a few days after Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan made it to the list of Asia’s top universities, which was released by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), an education and career consultancy company.

 

For this NLE, the #1 spot is shared by Bernard John Ezra IV Rafols Icamen of Cebu Normal University (Cebu State College) and Melissa Castor Malong of De La Salle University-Health Sciences Institute. Both achieved a percentile score of 87.20%.

 

The other nursing graduates who made it to the top 10, are as follows:

 

Top 3

Paul Lexus Gomez Lorenzo (University of the Assumption) – 86.40%

Top 4

John Michael Morin Canita (West Visayas State University -La Paz) – 86.20%

Jodi Marian Piamonte Dagudag (Silliman University) – 86.20%

Top 6

Camille Osias Cosare (University of the Visayas-Mandaue) – 85.80%

Rigelle Anne Cabal Delos Santos (Far Eastern University-Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation) -85.80%

Jose Paolo Larrazabal Garcia (Cebu Doctors’ Hospital) -85.80%

Miya Marcelo Gomez (Angeles University Foundation) -85.80%

Angella Mari Recio (San Beda College) -85.80%

Anthony Wines Teves (Velez College) -85.80%

Top 7

Terrence Michael Villamor Cuyos (Cebu Normal University – Cebu State College) – 85.60%

Maeriel Salatan Gadaingan (Ateneo de Zamboanga) – 85.60%

Brittney Kindred Tek-ing Madrigal (Velez College) -85.60%

Top 8

Mae Beann Equila Asuncion (University of Pangasinan) -85.40%

Kathereen Roman Canindo (West Visayas State University-La Paz) – 85.40%

Alyssa Marie Nivera Lobaton (University of Saint La Salle) -85.40%

Jodith Bygie Belacaol Mediana (West Visayas State University-La Paz) -85.40%

Arian Mae Cortez Pabon (Riverside College) -85.40%

Margie Joy Cardel Red (Bicol University-Legazpi) -85.40%

Alyana Marie Gamboa Tapang (Angeles University Foundation) -85.40%

Glanzen Mae Buyser Tijing (Mountain View College) 85.40%

Top 9

Rania Irih Askali (Ateneo de Zamboanga) -85.20%

Maria Rocell Serafines Bustonera (Emillio Aguinaldo College-Dasmariñas) -85.20%

Christine Joyce Mallari Figueroa (Our Lady of Fatima University-Valenzuela) -85.20%

Zsheerahzhade Ali Gaspar (Notre Dame of Jolo College) -85.20%

Monette Jane Borja Guevarra (Bicol University-Legazpi) -85.20%

Florante San Jose Hernandez (De Ocampo Memorial College) -85.20%

Vilma Manjares Jumila (Holy Name University) -85.50%

Jasmine Celina Sia Lazaro (Southville International School and Colleges) -85.20%

Ma. Jarsi Rheyda Tang Tejada (West Visayas State University-La Paz) -85.20%

Top 10

Athena Marie Abella Anog (Cebu Normal University – Cebu State College) 85.00%

Pamela Aya Bojos Bernada (West Visayas State University-La Paz) -85.00%

Bryan Amiel Lapore Brey (University of Saint La Salle) -85.00%

Jana Bautista Cabato (Ateneo de Zamboanga) -85.00%

Diane Barneso Dolina (Far Eastern University-Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation) -85.00%

Rashida Tulawie Habbi (Notre Dame of Jolo College) -85.00%

Pamela Quiao Ligtas (University of Bohol) -85.00%

Ileana Orejudos Lim (Velez College) -85.00%

Alyssa Claire Andal Malaguit (De La Salle University-Lipa) -85.00%

Genesis Esma Velasco (Far Eastern University-Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation) -85.00%

 

Congratulations to all the passers!

 

 

Northern Mindanao’s Population Surged by 1.68% – PSA Census Reveals

In the most recent nationwide census conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), it was revealed that Northern Mindanao’s populace is progressively and quickly growing. Composed of 5 provinces, 9 cities, and 84 municipalities, Northern Mindanao (Region X) now has an estimated 4,689,302 inhabitants.

 

Among all the places in the region, PSA’s latest census has also shown that the city of Cagayan de Oro—Misamis Oriental’s capital city—is Region X’s fastest growing area. In a span of five years (2010-2015), the city had an average population growth rate of 2.23%.  Being considered as Northern Mindanao’s business hub and education center, the boom in CDO’s populace is not that surprising. According to the data released by the PSA, the number of the city’s inhabitants rose from 602,088 in 2010 to 675,950 in 2015. CDO’s current number of residents has already surpassed that of Camiguin Island and Misamis Occidental.

 

Cagayan de Oro isn’t the only city in the region where a steady growth in the number of residents has been observed. Several components cities in Northern Mindanao have also experienced an increase in populace from 2010 to 2015. In Malaybalay City (Bukidnon’s capital city), the number of residents rose from 153,085 to 174,625 in five years. As for Valencia City (also in Bukidnon), the population also increased from 181,556 to 192,993. From 68,945 last 2010, Oroquieta City’s populace rose to 70,757 while Ozamis City’s number of residents also grew from 131,527 to 141, 828. In Tangub City, the current population count is at 63,011 compared to 2010’s 59,892 populace. All three cities are part of Misamis Occidental. An increase in the population count has also been observed in El Salvador City and Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental. From 44,848, El Salvador’s number of residents is now at 50,204 while in Gingoog City, the current population is at 124,648, up from 117,908 in 2010.

 

Out of the five provinces in Northern Mindanao, the province of Bukidnon has the highest number of inhabitants, with around 1,415,226 residents. This is followed by Misamis Oriental’s 888,509 (excluding CDO’s population count), Lanao del Norte’s 676,395, Misamis Occidental’s 602,126, and Camiguin Island’s 88,478. Although Bukidnon currently has the biggest population in Northern Mindanao, the province of Lanao del Norte has the fastest population growth rate in the span of five years. According to the data collected by the Philippine Statistics Authority, Lanao del Norte’s growth rate from 2010-2015 is 2.05%. PSA stated that if the province’s population rate continues at this pace, they are expecting that in the next 34 years, Lanao del Norte’s populace will double.

 

As explained by the PSA, in all 18 regions in the Philippines, Northern Mindanao (Region X) has the 8th biggest population size. Of the 100.98 million population of the country, Region X contributes 4.64%. From 2010 to 2015, the average growth of the region’s population is 1.68%. This means that for every 100 persons, 2 persons are added to the population per year.

 

Although the number of inhabitants in our region is steadily growing, as revealed by the recent Popcen, the rate is still not that alarming. The current population density of Northern Mindanao is 590/sq mi. Being Mindanao’s largest regional economy, we still have more than enough resources for the whole populace. Besides, experts have revealed that a growing population is nothing to worry about, since it also has plenty of advantages.

 

With more people being born in or relocating to the region, it could only mean that companies will have a larger workforce to utilize. Another thing about a steadily growing population is that it opens an opportunity for economic development. It can also encourage productivity in an organization, since more people means more ideas are being generated. Many of the remarkable innovations that we’ve had for the last 300 years were actually attributed to the population growth. For example, manufacturers have to change their way of producing goods and finished products just to be able to adapt to the greater needs of an ever increasing demand (thanks to population growth). It has also paved the way for humans to develop advanced agricultural processes that would combat food shortage. Most people may not be aware of it (especially since books only teach us the negative impact of a large population), but having a growing population offers a lot of benefits to society. It can even increase the national savings of our country.

 

PSA’s population study was based on a nationwide census that was participated in by about 90,000 enumerators.

 

Kagay-anon News – CDO-CSWD and COCPO Implements City-Wide Juvenile Curfew

 

Last June 1, 2016, the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) Office of Cagayan de Oro, together with the COCPO (Cagayan de Oro City Police Office), has reinstated the 1994 city-wide curfew for minors. Under City Ordinance No. 4373-94, kids aged 15 and below are ordered to strictly follow the curfew from 10 o’clock in the evening until 5 o’clock in the morning of the following day.

 

According to Teodoro Sabuga-a, Jr., the chief of CSWD, they have been enforcing the 10 o’clock evening curfew for adolescents during the opening of classes in the city for years now. But with the ongoing plans of the Duterte administration to effectuate teenage night-time restriction across the country, the CSWD and the COCPO have decided to bring back the 1994 city regulation. Apart from protecting the youth, the said city decree will also help us Kagay-anons prepare for and adjust to the upcoming laws and regulations that President Duterte expects to have executed starting June 30.

 

Although the night-time restriction for teenagers is now fully implemented across Cagayan de Oro city, just like many Kagay-anons, Sabuga-a believes that the 1994 city code should be revised to make the enactment of the curfew more effective. In an interview, Sabuga-a has stated that under the 1994 curfew ordinance, all adolescents who are caught violating the order will be fined an amount not less than PHP 500.00 and not more than PHP 1,500.00. Lawbreakers may even be imprisoned, depending on the ruling of the court. However, with our present laws, penalizing and jailing minors are strictly against RA no. 9344, also known as the Comprehensive Juvenile Justice and Welfare System. It is clearly stated in RA no. 9344 that children aged 15 years old and below are exempted from criminal liabilities. Because of this, Sabuga-a wants the code to be amended and its penal clause changed. When asked about the sanctions of the revised code, he said that he wants it to be in the form of community service, since not all parents can afford to pay the fines.

 

During the first week of the curfew implementation, police officers confided that they were amazed at the result of the curfew. According to Police Inspector Leo Huraño, Police Station 3 (near Agora Integrated Bus Terminal) deputy station commander for operations, it was the first time that he and his team have witnessed that the roads are empty of street kids. Afraid of being caught and reprimanded by the police, many Kagay-anon teenagers made sure they were home before the night restriction started. However, there were still plenty of adolescents who were caught roaming around after 10 o’clock, and they were instantly rounded up by the police.

 

In Barangay Cogon, the deputy station commander of Police Station 2, Police Inspector Johnny Agutaya, shared that during the first night of the enactment of the curfew for minors, they were able to gather 12 children. These minors were all ushered to the police station where they were interviewed by the Women and Children’s Desk Officer. They were asked to provide basic profile data and their family background information. Agutaya also revealed that those teenagers who were caught staying outdoors after the 10 PM curfew will be brought back to their respective barangays, but only if they still have parents. For those teenagers who do not have parents anymore, they will be turned over to the CSWD.

 

The main goal of the teenage night-time restriction in the city is to protect the children while also decreasing their involvement in crimes such as gang wars, pickpocketing, and drug addiction. The ordinance also hopes to strengthen parents’ responsibility for their kids.

 

With the implementation of a curfew for minors throughout the city, a lot of Kagay-anons are undeniably happy with the newly revived ordinance. Many believe that it will really help city authorities in curbing crime in the city and promoting peace and order. It would also help decrease the rate of teenage pregnancy and drug addiction among teens. Throughout Cagayan de Oro, only the barangay of Gusa has been strictly implementing a curfew for minors since 1994.

 

Both the City Social Welfare and Development Office and the Cagayan de Oro Police Office are positive about the outcome of the city-wide curfew. However, the CSWD and the COCPO are also asking for the full cooperation of the parents, the barangay officers, and everyone in the city. Share with us your thoughts about this newly re-enacted decree in the city of Cagayan de Oro.

 

Kanos in the City – The Pros and Cons of the Impending US Military Base in CDO

It has been years now since Lumbia Airport closed its doors and gave way to a bigger and more modern airport facility in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental.   But even though it is no longer operating as a commercial airport, it is still being utilized by the 10th Tactical Operation Group of the Philippine Air Force. However, just this year, it has been announced that the old airport will be rehabilitated into an army base for American soldiers. This has been confirmed by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin last February 1, 2016, after he attended the 46th founding anniversary of the Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division as the guest of honor. According to Gazmin, the facility will be built as part of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) of our country with the USA. The construction of the facility will start later this year, as soon as pertinent documents are finalized.

 

Although Gazmin has assured the public that the looming military station in Lumbia will not bring harm to Kagay-anons but instead would result in a more efficient delivery of humanitarian aid to Filipinos, it still did not stop several militant groups from protesting against it. Last June 4, 2016, during the 116th anniversary of the historic Battle of Macahambus (which happened during the Philippine-American War), about 3,000 protesters from different socio-civic groups joined forces to stage a rally to express their opposition of EDCA. Groups such as Kalumbay, Bayan, Gabriela, and the League of Filipino Students believe that instead of the promised defense, US military existence in the city will only threaten the country’s sovereignty and integrity.

 

With this issue being the most talked about in the city, I’ve decided to do some research about the possible pros and cons of having an American military facility in CDO, and here’s what I’ve found out:

 

The Pros

As what Secretary Gazmin said, the main objective of the proposed US military base in CDO is to enhance the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Filipinos, especially during disasters and threats of war. And with the ongoing saga in the South China Sea, we really are on the verge of declaring war against China. With China’s resources and their state-of-the-art machinery, a third-world country like the Philippines definitely can’t win against them. That’s why we need assistance from foreign countries in order to fight for our territories. But hopefully, a peace talk with China would keep the situation from escalating.

 

On a lighter note, I really do believe that US military presence in Cagayan de Oro will also improve the economic standing of the city. Once the army station is finished, more investors will certainly flock to the city.

 

The Cons

One of the major drawbacks of having a US army station in the city is that it will likely be raided or targeted by communist rebels for their supplies and machineries. In an article written by Rappler, the New People’s Army (NPA) has released a statement saying the US facilities and soldiers have always been a rebel’s legitimate targets.  In case leftists attack this military base in Lumbia, CDO will be badly affected.

 

According to Cesar Renario, the spokesperson of the National Democratic Front – Northern Mindanao chapter, US army presence in the city will not do us any good, but will only turn it into the next conflict area. Renario believes that the US forces are only using the country as a staging area for its Asian conquest. He also added that once the facility is built, even the Philippine government will not have authority to enter.

 

Another negative impact of having an American military base in the city is that there’s a huge possibility that the city will become the next prostitution den in the Philippines. Remember Subic? After the government allowed the US to build a station there, the sleepy port of Subic became a red-light district. Not only that, the military presence in Subic resulted in 50,000 Amerasian children who were left behind and neglected by their American fathers after the naval base was closed in 1992. Do you want CDO to be the next Subic? That’s definitely a big no!

 

Now that I’ve shared with you some of the pros and cons of building a US military base in the city, what are your thoughts? Should the government really allow the Americans to build a station in CDO or should we stop it now and protect the sovereignty of the country and the interests of our society?

 

Curfew for Minors in CDO – Weighing Its Good and Bad Sides

Last June 1, 2016, the local council of Cagayan de Oro has reinstated the 1994 curfew order for Kagay-anon minors. Under City Ordinance No. 4373-94, children aged 15 and below are not allowed to roam the city from 10 o’clock in the evening until 5 o’clock in the morning. This ordinance is expected to be carried out around the city, except during special occasions such as the eve of the town fiesta, New Year, Christmas, All Souls’ Day, All Saints’ Day, Good Friday, Resurrection Day, and other holidays that the city observes. Minors who are guilty of violating this decree will have to pay a fine of not less than PHP 500.00 and not more than PHP 1,500.00. Violators can also be imprisoned for not less than 1 month and 10 days and not more than 4 months, depending on the ruling of the court.

 

The main objective of ordering a curfew for minors is to fortify protection for the youth while also helping parents strengthen their responsibility over their children. In Cagayan de Oro City, the majority of citizens is in favor of the curfew, but just to be fair, let’s examine the positive and negative impact of this newly-revived city ordinance.

 

The Pros

Imposing a curfew for minors in the city will definitely lessen the alarming rate of juvenile crime around CDO. Nowadays, a lot of adolescents are involved in gang wars, pickpocketing operations, and even drug activities, but with the curfew taking full effect city-wide, the number of crimes will certainly go down, since young people are no longer allowed to wander the streets late in the evening. Apart from decreasing the involvement of juveniles in various crimes, having a curfew will also protect children from such things as kidnapping, child trafficking, and prostitution. Parents won’t have to worry anymore about their children’s whereabouts, since they are assured that their kids will be home before 10 in the evening.

 

The curfew in CDO will not only fortify the safety of the children, it will also give them enough time to attend to important stuff such as studying for an exam or finishing a project or assignment instead of hanging out with their friends. It is also expected that this ordinance will help decrease the startling rate of teenage pregnancy in the city.

 

With the implementation of a curfew among Kagay-anons aged 15 and below, it is expected that the city will become even more orderly and peaceful, especially during the wee hours.

 

The Cons

No matter how we look at it, the implementation of a curfew for minors, without question, is beneficial to our city, most especially the youth. But before you say that there’s nothing wrong with this decree, read first these situations and decide:

 

Situation #1: Not all of us are born into a well-off family, some of us even have to start working at an early age just to be able to help our respective families earn money to buy food. Around the city, you’ll notice that there are many children working as sidewalk vendors and jeepney conductors. Despite being young, they need to work in order for them to have something to eat, but with the enactment of the city-wide curfew for minors, it means that the number of hours they can work will be reduced.

 

I am not encouraging child labor in the city, but as you’ve noticed, our current government does not have a concrete solution yet as regards the situation of these children who have to work at a young age just to be able to feed themselves. Although the main point of having a curfew is to keep our children safe, we need to consider that not all of them have the same family. Some are born with everything that they need, while some have to struggle and work hard to be able to get the things they need.

 

Situation #2: A single-mom got sick and she needs to take medicine right away. Unfortunately, the only person who can buy meds for her is her 15-year old son. All of her relatives are living far from her, and it’s too late to ask friends or co-workers to buy medicine for her. Although the pharmacy is just two blocks away from their house, her son can’t go because there’s a curfew.

 

A curfew for minors is undeniably for the best interests of the children, but I really do believe that there needs to be a special provision that addresses the situations I have cited. How about you? What can you say about this recently implemented ordinance in the city?

 

 

Bad Burgers – Is It Really Bad?

So, I just learned that there’s a new burger joint in Cagayan de Oro called Bad Burgers. Yes, I know I’m a bit late to the party, considering that it opened about four months ago. But I don’t really go out that much and I also don’t spend that much time on social networking sites, so it’s really quite normal for me not to be aware of the existence of a new establishment in the city until months after it opened.

Photo by kentstark52390

Anyway, I wanted to see if this new burger joint was really as good as my friend said it was. The name is interesting, at least, so I figured maybe the proprietors were as clever and creative with the place itself as they were with the joint’s name. And I wasn’t disappointed.

bad burgers facade

The Place

The place carries a sports theme, something you currently cannot find in any other burger joint in the city. There’s a basketball ring, a bicycle, a few jerseys, and some trophies that serve as interior décor. But what I appreciated about how they designed their space is that, even with a sports theme, the place doesn’t have an overly macho or only-for-jocks kind of ambience. In fact, the overall feel of the place is cozy enough for a family to hang out in.

The Food

They have a good variety of burgers, and contrary to what the name suggests, their burgers are actually good! They have some very interesting options as well—one with wasabi, another with pesto, and one with a black bun. These burgers may seem weird, but they’re all mouthwateringly tasty! And if you love donuts as much as you love burgers, then you’ll be sure to love their donut burger (yes, they slice a donut in half and place burger patty between the slices).

Of course, if you’re going there in a group, not everyone in your party may be in the mood for a burger. Not to worry, because Bad Burgers also has pasta, a couple of meals, and an all-day breakfast menu you can choose from. This may be a burger joint, but its owners sure thought way beyond burgers when they planned this place.

It may have taken months, but I sure am glad to finally have learned of the existence of CDO’s new burger joint. And I may not go out that often, but you can be sure I’ll be back sometime in the near future.

Moreno and Rodriguez – CDO’s Great Leaders

 

Election in the Philippines (local and national) has always been both chaotic and colorful. Chaotic, because it’s impossible for voters not to hear or witness political mudslinging from left to right; and colorful, because politicians always make sure their rallies and events are festive and fun (part of their strategy to encourage people to stick with them).

 

Among the many people who ran during this year’s election are two of Cagayan de Oro’s seasoned politicians—Oscar Moreno and Rufus Rodriguez. Both politicians ran for the position of CDO’s mayor, and although it was Moreno who emerged as the winner, we have to admit that both of them have contributed a lot to the city’s progress. For the last three years, Oscar Moreno has been serving as the city’s mayor, while Rufus Rodriguez has been the city’s 2nd district representative to the House of Congress.

 

Oscar “Oca” Moreno

Oscar Moreno first became the city’s mayor in 2013 after defeating Vicente “Dongkoy” Emano, who held the position from 1998 to 2007 and again from 2010 to 2013. Prior to becoming the city’s mayor, Moreno already had a long list of experience as a politician. He was the congressman of the first district of Misamis Oriental from 1998 to 2004; during his time as a member of the House of Representatives, he was named as one of the Top Ten Outstanding Congressmen by several organizations, including the Asosasyon Ng Kumentarista at Anaunser ng Pilipinas and Free Press Magazine.

 

In 2004, Moreno was elected as the governor of Misamis Oriental; he was then re-elected twice (in 2007 and in 2010). During his administration, Moreno focused on these programs: poverty alleviation, agricultural productivity, education, revenue generation, and environment, among others. Under the leadership of Moreno, Misamis Oriental was given the Galing Pook Award twice for the province’s strategic innovations in its public hospital systems and for successfully renovating Lantad—a no-man’s land in Balingasag. Apart from that, the local government of Misamis Oriental has also received a number of accolades.

 

After winning the 2013 election as CDO’s mayor, in a span of three years, Moreno was able to accomplish a lot of things for the city’s development, including the construction of hundreds of high school and elementary classrooms, the revival of the J.R. Borja Memorial City Hospital, and the extension of free medical services, especially to less fortunate Kagay-anons. Because of Moreno’s transparent leadership, the city also attracted plenty of investors and businessmen, speeding up CDO’s economic growth. One of his most visible contributions, perhaps, was the transformation of Divisoria from one of the city’s dirtiest, most congested, and crime-infested areas into a traffic-free, orderly, and safe commercial district.

 

Rufus Rodriguez

Rufus Rodriguez first held the position as the city’s 2nd district representative in 2007. But prior to that, he has also served in government for several years. Rodriguez was even chosen by President Joseph Estrada as the head of the Bureau of Immigration from 1998 to 2001.  While still studying at the University of the Philippines College of Law, Rodriguez was elected as board member of Misamis Oriental. In 1984, he was chosen as the province’s vice governor.

 

An achiever since he was young, he graduated valedictorian in grade school and high school at Xavier University. During his college days in De La Salle University, he took up AB-Economics and graduated Summa Cum Laude. Right after his graduation, he pursued law at UP’s College of Law and passed the bar examination in 1981. During his post-college studies, Rodriguez graduated from Columbia School of Law in 1995 for his Master of Laws with Harlan Fiske Stone Honors, which is equivalent to our Magna Cum Laude status.

 

During his term as the city’s 2nd district representative, Rufus Rodriguez is recognized as one of the congressmen with the most numbers of bills and resolutions filed. In the 15th and 16th Congress, he ranked first in the number of bills and resolutions filed as well as in the number of bills that became law. Rodriguez has also co-authored several bills and resolutions.

 

During Rodriguez’s tenure as a representative of Cagayan de Oro in the Congress, he did not only promote progress in the city, but also made sure that the life of every Filipino in the country improved.

 

Despite the outcome of the election in Cagayan de Oro, we have to admit that these two achievers have helped improve lives and the general situation of the city and the province. Here’s hoping for more politicians who are honest and transparent like Oca Moreno and Rufus Rodriguez!

 

It Pays to Know! Election in the Philippines

[Late upload.]

It has been six years since our country held a national presidential election, and now, the people have chosen their new leader—the tough guy, Rodrigo Duterte. Although the official results have not yet been declared by the Commission on Elections, Duterte, with almost 16 million votes, is the clear winner of the presidential race. As early as today, the camp of Duterte has already started choosing the President’s prospective cabinet members.

 

But before we get to experience this so-called “Disiplinang Duterte,” let me share some interesting facts that not all of us know about the country’s elections:

 

-The Philippines has several types of election. The president, vice president, and the senators are elected for a six-year term while the house representatives, governors, vice governors, mayors, provincial board members, city/municipal councilors, and barangay officials are elected for a three-year term.

 

-Under the 1987 Constitution, the election for the house representatives down to the local positions (except for barangay officials) will be held on the second Monday of May every three years. As for the presidential and vice presidential race, it will occur once every six years on the second Monday of May.

 

-Every Filipino citizen aged 18 years old or above on Election Day has the right to vote (unless disqualified by law). Although we have the right to vote, we still need to register and comply with residency rules (you can only register if you have been living in the Philippines for at least a year or at least 6 months in the locality where you plan to register.

 

-A Filipino is disqualified from voting if he/she has lost his/her Filipino citizenship under Philippine laws, he/she renounced his/her Philippine citizenship and pledged allegiance to a foreign country, he/she committed offenses punishable by imprisonment or if he/she is in the final stage of judgement in a tribunal or court. A person is also disqualified from voting if he/she is declared insane and incompetent.

 

-The first presidential elections in the country happened in 1935. Three presidential candidates ran for the land’s highest position, namely: Emilio Aguinaldo, Gregorio Aglipay, and Manuel L. Quezon. The election was made possible after lawmakers ratified the 1935 Constitution of the Philippines. Manuel L. Quezon was the winner of the said election and he became the country’s first president to be elected.

 

-For this year’s election, a total of 18,083 government positions were vied for. Most of these positions were for the local government, such as town councils.

 

-During an election, the presidential and vice presidential candidates as well as the senatorial candidates, are only allowed to campaign for 90 days. As for the local elections, 45 days are allotted for the campaign period. Barangay election campaign period lasts for only 15 days. Campaigning a day before or on Election Day is strictly prohibited.

 

-Under Section 64 of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines, to be qualified to run and be elected as the next president and vice president of the country, a person must possess the following qualifications:

 

  1. Natural-born citizen of the Philippines
  2. Registered voter
  3. Able to read and write
  4. At least 40 years of age on Election Day
  5. Resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years before the election

 

-In case of death, resignation, impeachment, or permanent disability, the president-elect will be succeeded by the vice president. As specified in Article 7, Section 10 of the Constitution, the line of presidential succession is as follows: Vice President, Senate President, and Speaker of the House of Representatives. The presidential successors will be the ones to take on the responsibility of the leader of the land until a new president is elected.

 

-During this year’s presidential elections, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, although not yet officially declared, is clearly the next president, as he is leading by more than 6 million votes. In case two or more presidential candidates have the same highest number of votes, the President will be elected by the members of both Senate and Congressional Houses. The presidential candidate with the majority of votes will be declared as the winner.

 

-Under the 1987 Constitution, an elected President can no longer be re-elected after serving his/her 6-year term.

 

– Prior to the 2010 elections, Filipino voters had to write down the names of their preferred candidates for each position. Voters were also allowed to write the nicknames of the candidates. In 2010, the first automated elections in the Philippines happened.

 

And that’s it! I hope you learned something new today regarding elections in our country.

 

Disiplinang Duterte: Liquor Ban, Curfew for Minors, and More

It has only been three days since the national elections, and even if the COMELEC has not yet officially declared the new leaders of our country, it is clear that former Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte will be the next President of the Republic of the Philippines. All four other presidential candidates have already conceded and congratulated Duterte. Effective this June 30, after the president and vice president’s inauguration, we will be under a new administration.

 

For those who have supported the southern mayor all the way, Duterte becoming the country’s president is also our victory. And for those who are dismayed that their candidates did not win, they have no choice but to support and respect the new leader.

 

Prior to winning the elections, Rodrigo Duterte has made several statements as regards what he will do when he becomes president. One of those statements is the now famous claim of eradicating the country’s crime within 3 to 6 months. While some are really doubtful if he can do this, others are just happy that someone finally has the guts to confront these criminals and give them the punishment they deserve in the fastest way possible.

 

Apart from the promised crime curtailment, it has also been the talk of the town whether or not the mayor should implement a liquor ban, strict compliance to the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, and a curfew for minors. For the benefit of those who don’t know, the city of Davao follows these rules as ordered by Rodrigo Duterte. Although it is not yet final, Peter Laviña, spokesperson of Duterte, has hinted that these laws might be also implemented nationwide.

 

Since I neither drink nor smoke and I do not really go out late at night, except for emergencies (and I am not a minor anymore), if ever the new administration will implement these policies, I will have no problem with them at all.

 

Change is Finally Here!

The reason why a significant number of Filipinos have chosen Duterte to be the country’s next president is because he has shown himself to be someone who can instill discipline (that’s what he did in Davao City). And part of this discipline is banning liquor during specific hours, regulating smoking, and keeping minors from roaming around in the wee hours without adult supervision. As I have said earlier, if these policies are executed, it won’t change a thing for me, but the way I see it, these rules will really make a difference in our country.

 

Why Ban Liquor?

While it is true that drinking alcoholic beverages can sometimes ease the mind and even help you de-stress, it is also the culprit in many road accidents, quarrels, and even killings. Let’s also include the fact that drinking too much liquor has long been proven unhealthy. So, if the Duterte administration will impose a liquor ban nationwide, people need to see that we will be the ones who benefit in the end. Additionally, this liquor ban will only be implemented at specific hours. In Davao City, bars and stores are banned from selling liquor to customers from 1:00 am to 8:00 am. During these hours, drinking in public places and establishments are prohibited as well. If you want to drink, you have the option of buying liquor before 1:00 am and consuming it at home.

 

Why Smoke in Designated Places?

Public smoking has long been prohibited under the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 or RA 9211, but nobody seems to obey this particular law. Medical experts have also proven decades ago that second-hand smoking is as dangerous as first-hand smoking, and yet smokers seem not to care that they are affecting the lives of other people simply by being irresponsible smokers. If RA 9211 will be followed by all citizens now that Duterte is the president, we’ll definitely become a healthier nation.  For smokers, this policy is just a reminder that you should also consider other people who do not like the smell of cigarette smoke and who do not want their life to be endangered by smoking.

 

Why Set Curfews for Minors?

Setting curfews for minors is absolutely reasonable. First, why should they be outside their homes in the wee hours? They are underage, and they have no business being outside (except during an emergency). Crimes are rampant, and they’d be an easy target for offenders if they are unaccompanied by an adult. Curfews are meant to protect our children, so stop ranting about it on Facebook.

 

Whatever laws and policies President Duterte would want to implement, as the citizens of the country, we need to follow it and respect him. Change won’t come if only one person is doing it; let’s all be a catalyst for change in our country. Isulong ang Pagbabago!

Disiplinang Duterte – Are You Ready for this Change?

“I do not believe democracy necessarily leads to development. I believe what a country needs to develop is discipline more than democracy.”  – Lee Kuan Yew, 18th Philippine Business Conference

 

The Filipino people have spoken! And they’ve chosen the tough-talking mayor from Davao City to lead the country for the next six years. Rodrigo Roa Duterte will be the Philippines’ 16th president. Together with the newly-elected vice president, he will be inaugurated this June 30, as is the country’s tradition.

 

And while many people are expressing their dismay on social media about the results of the election (especially because their candidates did not win), there are also millions of people who are positive that Mayor Duterte (he announced on national television that he still wants to be called “mayor” even if he is now holding the highest position in the land) will bring change to our country. Are you ready to experience Disiplinang Duterte?

 

The main reason why millions of Filipinos voted for Mayor Duterte despite all the black propaganda and mudslinging he received from detractors during the campaign period is because of the obvious change he has made in Davao City, Southeast Asia’s 2nd safest city next to Singapore. I haven’t been to Davao City, but I have heard nothing but great things about the progressive southern city. Liquor ban during specific hours, curfew for minors, and smoking strictly prohibited in public places—these are just some of the things that Mayor Duterte has successfully implemented in Davao that made it a city to envy.

 

Let’s admit it, Filipinos are naturally hard-headed individuals; we love breaking rules, and we do not like it when someone dictates to us about what we should or shouldn’t do. So, it is really amazing that the mayor of Davao was able to implement these rules and oblige everyone to follow it. According to my friends who have already visited Davao, not one citizen would dare defy the orders of Duterte, everyone submits to the rules, but they do it happily. They know that the mayor’s rules are for their own good.

 

Apart from the city’s amazing law and order, the facilities and privileges that a Davaoeño gets to enjoy are also remarkable. The city is even the first and only one in the Philippines that has a centralized 911 hotline where citizens can call during emergencies. Davao’s international airport also boasts the most advanced air tower control in the whole country.

 

All these things that  Duterte has done for Davao are absolutely fantastic, but the most amazing thing that he probably did is changing Davao’s image from being one of the country’s most chaotic and criminal-infested city to the most progressive and safest. Before Davao City was governed by the mayor, it was dubbed as the Murder Capital of Philippines; things only began to change for the better in 1986, when Duterte was elected as the city’s vice mayor. He later ran for mayor and has since held the position for 22 years.

 

Disiplinang Duterte 2016

I personally believe that what was lacking in the previous administrations is that the presidents, and even the lawmakers, failed to discipline us; they all failed to convince us to follow and fear the rules and laws. Thousands of laws have been passed, and yet only a few are observed.  Let’s take, for example, RA 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003. Under this law, it is clearly stated that smoking in open and public spaces is strictly prohibited, and yet no one is obeying this law. Even smoking in public transportation is not allowed, but it’s frequently the drivers themselves who break this rule, and no one gets fined (except in Davao).

 

Even the simplest traffic and road rules or the proper segregation of waste seems to be too difficult for us to follow. We love disobeying the law and then when caught, we always blame other people or make ignorance of the law an excuse. And because we do not know how to honor rules, the Philippines always ends up being disorderly. But now that Mayor Duterte has been elected as the next president, the Filipinos are really hoping that they’d also get to experience how he implemented discipline and progress in Davao. The time has come for the Philippines to have someone who can discipline us and teach us to become law-abiding citizens. Once the Filipinos become disciplined and learn how to submit to the law, that’s the only time we can experience real change. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!