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!

PH Eleksyon Serye: New Leaders, New Hope!

[Late upload.]

We’re finally in the last stage of our “eleksyon serye!” After several months of hearing nothing but election ads and political mudslinging on the national news and even on social media, we can finally go back to our old life and routines. There’s no need for us to bash supporters of other candidates or post a lengthy status on our respective Facebook walls about why our candidate is better than the rest. It’s also time for us to say sorry to all those friends we’ve somehow offended because of this very divisive election period. The Filipinos have spoken, and they’ve chosen the tough-talking Mayor of Davao City—Rodrigo Roa Duterte—as the country’s 16th President.


Although the COMELEC has not yet officially declared the results of the election, Duterte’s 15 million + votes are already too high for Mar Roxas’, with 9 million + votes, to surpass. As a matter fact, all four of the other presidential candidates have already conceded and wished the Davao mayor good luck for the next six years. Duterte himself has said, “Let’s all begin healing.”


With a new administration coming our way, everyone has high hopes that things will be better than before. For the last 6 years, President Benigno S. Aquino III has focused on the country’s economic growth, and his administration’s efforts were not in vain. It was during this administration that the Philippines experienced the highest GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth in the last four decades. President Aquino was able to turn things around and made the Philippines one of Asia’s fastest growing economies. And now, it’s up to our next president to outdo what President Noy has done for the country.


For this new administration, there are three things, apart from economic progress, that I hope the president would focus and act on immediately.  These three things have already caused so much trouble, but the current government has done little or nothing about it:


  1. The “Laglag Bala” Airport Scam

Last September 2015, the whole country was put in bad light after it was discovered that an extortion scheme is going on in NAIA by means of planting bullets in passengers’ luggage and then asking them to pay a fine (it is illegal to bring bullets and firearms on a flight). There have already been at least 30 reports of such incident and yet, even up to the present, the government has not taken any concrete action regarding this scheme. The Ninoy Aquino International Airport has been dubbed as the worst airport in the world because of this “laglag bala” scandal.


If the new administration does not want the country’s tourism industry to suffer, then they need to do something about this. Perhaps they can even fix the entire system at NAIA so that passengers, international and domestic alike, will feel welcome and safe.


  1. Power Shortage in Mindanao

Last 2009, I left Mindanao and went to the country’s capital city to pursue my tertiary education. That same year was also when the long and frequent power interruptions in the island began. I came home two years later and still, nothing has changed. Mindanaoans are still suffering from power shortage. It has been almost seven years since the power shortage crisis has affected Mindanao, and again, the government has given little attention to the problem. Now that the president is a son of Mindanao, I am really hoping that he will address this issue right away and help the island’s electricity supply become stable so that there will be no more prolonged power interruptions all throughout the year.


  1. Abu Sayyaf Hostage-Taking

For four decades now, this militant group has done nothing but harm innocent people and cause foreigners to consider Mindanao—and the whole Philippines—as a dangerous place to visit. As a matter of fact, because of this rampant hostage-taking and killing in the island, several countries have declared Mindanao as a no-go zone. Just last April, the Abu Sayyaf beheaded a Canadian tourist after the Canadian government failed to pay ransom for the hostage.



As a resident of Mindanao, it is really sad that the island’s beauty and bounty are marred just because of bandits who incite fear in the hearts of people just to get what they want. It has been 40 years since the Abu Sayyaf started to inflict turmoil in Mindanao and yet they seem to be unstoppable. It is high time that the whole island of Mindanao experiences peace and progress.


The inauguration of the new president and vice president will take place this coming June 30; it will introduce the country to a new administration. There are so many things that need to be changed in our country, and I have high hopes for the President to be able to accomplish great things. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

Eleksyon Serye 2016: Rodrigo Duterte – PH’s Hope or Downfall?

[Late upload.]

Three days before the national elections and things are really heating up. Just last night (May 5, 2016), an anti-Duterte ad was broadcasted nationwide by two of the country’s biggest TV networks–ABS-CBN and GMA–causing more bedlam in the already chaotic Philippine elections. A lot has been going on with the news now: accusations of ill-gotten wealth, of secret bank accounts with billions of dollars, of allegiance to the NPA, and many more. But what amazes me most is that despite all the negative news, millions of people are still staunchly defending Rodrigo Duterte, Davao City’s mayor and one of the presidential candidates for this year’s national elections.


I first encountered the name Rodrigo Duterte after being tasked to write a lengthy article about the booming cities of Mindanao, namely: Cagayan de Oro, Davao, and General Santos. Although I haven’t been to Davao City yet, I have already heard how amazing and orderly the city is, but since this was not enough, I still had to do more research on Davao City. While reading some of the resources, I discovered that the past image of the city of Davao was very far from its current status.


Davao City may be known today as one of the world’s safest cities and among the country’s most progressive cities, but what we don’t know is that before the city came to be that way, Davao was once dubbed as the “Murder Capital of the Philippines.” The city only became peaceful and started to enjoy progress when Rodrigo Duterte came into the scene as Vice Mayor in 1986 and then Mayor in 1988. Today, Davao City is the country’s model city where people, especially women, are protected. It is a city where people are disciplined and everyone follows the rules. It has been declared by several tourism organizations as the “most harmonious city in Southeast Asia.”


The Country’s Hope?

To know that a place like Davao City exists in a country filled with crimes, corruption, and poverty, millions of Filipinos came to see Rodrigo Duterte as the hope that the Philippines have waited for for so long. Even in Cagayan de Oro, a lot of people really believe that he is the one who can help change the country’s crooked society. Who wouldn’t want to live in a peaceful country? Who wouldn’t want to live in a country where justice is served hot and criminals (no matter how powerful) get their just desserts? Who wouldn’t want to live in a country where women and children can walk home safe and sound?


Who wouldn’t want a president that all religions respect (Muslim, Christians, Catholics) and even leftist groups admire? Who wouldn’t want to have a government that is not corrupt and is quick to respond to the citizens’ needs? Having heard of how Duterte led Davao, Filipinos rushed to support him because he has given us hope that it is possible for our country to be as peaceful, as rich, and as united as other countries.  Duterte has given the people hope that change is really possible for our country.


The Country’s Downfall?

Despite the fact that Duterte is surrounded by countless supporters, there are still many who are not impressed with the mayor’s track record. Some are even scared that instead of the promised change, the Philippines will become worst when Duterte holds the highest position in the land. Duterte has promised that once elected, he will eliminate the country’s crimes within 3 to 6 months. But how can he do that when it took him decades to totally transform one city?


A self-confessed womanizer, Duterte also got a lot of the country’s women alarmed and anxious about what will happen with their rights once the mayor is elected president. The mayor has also shown himself to the public as a man with a short temper and who swears a lot, will he be a good role model to our children? Once he is President, will he declare martial law and end the democracy that our fathers and mothers fought hard to reclaim from the Marcoses? Is he really the hope of the country or the start of our downfall?


Since we all have the right to choose our own candidates, I won’t tell you whether you should vote for Digong or not. But let me just remind you to vote wisely because the next president will be the one to guide the country to progress or to poverty. Don’t vote for someone just because everyone else is voting for him/her. Do your research, weigh the candidate’s good and bad side. Get your facts from reliable sources before deciding who to vote for this coming May 9. Lastly, also consider that no human is perfect, and that includes all the presidential candidates. Whoever wins this year’s election, let us support our new president. Change needs to start from us, so let us not depend on one person to do it all. Be the change!

Ororama Run for Rewards 2016

Ororama is one of the oldest and most well-known department stores in Cagayan de Oro. They are known not only for offering an excellent array of products at reasonable prices, but also for always looking after their customers and for giving back to the community in any way they can. This year, they once again held their annual Run for Rewards, which is currently on its 5th year.
Ororama run for rewards

As indicated by the event name, this run was purely for fun. It was Ororama’s way of saying thank youto their customers. They made it very easy to join the fun run and gave away so many freebies that encouraged people to join. In fact, many of those who joined the run weren’t really there to win; they were just there to have fun and, of course, to enjoy the freebies!

How Participants Joined

As mentioned earlier, Ororama made it very easy to join Run for Rewards. The first 300 individuals who presented a receipt with PHP 200 worth of sponsors’ products were registered for free. And with their registration, they got a free racing kit, which consisted of a singlet (racing shirt) and a race bib. Registration for the fun run was only PHP 100 though so those who registered late had nothing to worry about. Aside from the racing kit, all registrants also got free Ororama Rewards Club membership and were eligible for the freebies overload on the day of the run!

This year’s Run for Rewards was held on May 29. The race started at 4AM on Mortola Street, outside Ororama Cogon. Categories for the run were as follows: 1K for kids 12 years old and below; 3K and 5K for adult Men and Women.

Fun Run Tips

Just because a Run for Rewards event is just for fun doesn’t mean you can just go there in your racing shirt on the day of the race and then run to your heart’s content. You need to prepare for the event—any fun run event, for that matter—to make sure you are safe and able to fully enjoy it. Remember, the event doesn’t just include the run itself; there are freebies to be claimed and food to be shared afterwards! You wouldn’t want to be too tired to enjoy the post-run activities, would you?

  1. Sleep Well
  2. The night before the run day, make sure you get enough sleep. In fact, it is generally advisable for you to get at least seven hours of sleep each night for two weeks before the day of the run. This helps you stay fit and keeps your mind alert, two very important attributes for a successful run. Even if you aren’t aiming for a win, you’d at least want to complete your run without collapsing or causing damage to your muscles, right? So rest up!

  3. Warm Up
  4. Again, it is important to protect yourself against possible injuries and muscle damage. One of the best ways to do that is to warm up for about 15 minutes before the run begins. Stretch your muscles gently, do some brisk walking, and jog a bit to loosen up and make sure your body is fully awake before you subject it to the physical stress of a good, long run.

  5. Bring the Essentials
  6. Of course, you need to bring your race kit on the day of the run. Other than that, it is also advisable to bring a water bottle, a small towel, an extra shirt, and an extra pair of socks. You wouldn’t want to be dehydrated in the course of the run and you’ll definitely want to change into a dry shirt and socks after the run so you can enjoy the post-run activities even more. Remember as well to check your course map and your shoelaces just before you set off on your run.

Go and have some bonding time with your friends at the Ororama Run for Rewards. Enjoy free food and all the free items up for grabs. You might even make some new friends along the way. But the most important thing is for you to stay safe and have fun! After all, what’s a fun run if you’re not having fun? We hope to see you in one of the Run for Rewards events!
Ororama Run for Rewards freebies

Energy Dept. Eases Kagay-anons’ Fear, Assures No Power Interruption during May Election

For several years now, the whole island of Mindanao has been affected by power shortage. Almost every summer season, the island’s provinces, cities, and towns have been suffering from frequent blackouts. There are even weeks when power interruption is scheduled daily and would last for several hours.

Having experienced the drawbacks of frequent power interruption, a lot of Mindanaoans are fearing that blackouts will wreak havoc on the upcoming national and local elections this May 9. Now that our country is using PCOS machines (which are powered by electricity), a blackout on the election day could really plunge the whole thing into disarray.

To help ease the fear of the people, Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada has assured that the energy reserves in the region would be sufficient during the automated national and local elections this May. Monsada has even e-mailed a statement to concerned organizations regarding the fear of power interruption this May 9. In the letter, she said that all Filipino voters have the inherent right to have a clean election.

Just last April 8, the PTFE or the Power Task Force Election 2016 under the leadership of Monsada, convened in CdO to discuss with stakeholders pre-emptive measures that would ensure that there will be no power shortage during May 9. The PTFE has already visited the Agus 6 and 7 hydropower plants in Maria Cristina, Iligan City; its base within the Iligan Regional Disaster Command Center and National Grid Corporation of the Philippines are also stationed to ensure that the power supply is sufficient 10 days before and after the elections.

The Power Task Force Election was created under the power of the DOE, National Power Corporation, National Electrification Administration, and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines. The task force’s main objective is to ensure that the power plants around the country are working and available, provide technical manpower in case of emergency situations, and implement maintenance on power facilities.

Apart from securing the supply of power in Mindanao, members of the task force have also visited their headquarters in Visayas (Banilad, Cebu). Just last April 21, 2016, the PTFE has also successfully finished conducting a test run that tested all systems among PTFE’s headquarters in Mindanao, Luzon, and Visayas.

Apart from the Power Task Force Election, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Securing Energy Facilities (IATFSEF) was also tasked to counter the bevy of attacks made by insurgents on the transmission lines. This task force is composed of the Mindanao Development Authority, Land Registration Authority, NGCP, Armed Force of the Philippines, DOE, National Transmission Corporation, National Power Corporation, DILG, and Department of Justice.

So Kagay-anons who are concerned about a possible power interruption during the May election have nothing to be worried about. Spread this news to everyone and vote wisely this May 9.








Red Cross Philippines – Saving Lives Since 1917

Among the many humanitarian organizations that operate worldwide, the International Committee of the Red Cross is absolutely the most recognized. Established in 1863 by Henry Dunant and Gustave Moynier at Geneva, Switzerland, the International Red Cross aims “to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering.” Currently, the organization has more or less 97 million volunteers and staff working in all parts of the globe.

In the Philippines, the idea of forming a national Red Cross was spearheaded by Apolinario Mabini. On February 1899, Mabini’s request was approved by the Malolos Republic and the Constitution of the National Association of Red Cross was born. But although the Filipino Red Cross Society was already operating in the Philippines for quite a while, it was only on December 4, 1917 when the country’s Red Cross was officially recognized as a chapter of the American Red Cross.

During the time of President Manuel L. Quezon in 1936, plans of creating an independent Red Cross were again petitioned but since the country was considered as a US territory (and then, later on, a U.S. Commonwealth), it couldn’t be recognized by the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. Finally, in 1947, under President Manuel Roxas, the country’s Red Cross movement was recognized by the ICRC after we gained our independence.

A few years back, the Philippine Red Cross only focus on blood-letting and disaster-related activities, but today, they now offer a wide selection of humanitarian aid-related services. Currently, the PRC is providing six major services: Disaster Management Services, National Blood Services, Health Services, Safety Services, Red Cross Youth, and Welfare Services. From its main office in Bonifacio Drive Manila, PRC has also branched out around the country including in Cagayan de Oro City.

In Cagayan de Oro, the Misamis Oriental Chapter of Philippines Red Cross is located at Barangay 27. Aside from that, a regional blood center is situated at Capitol University Medical Center Compound. Red Cross’ blood center is responsible for the blood supplies in Northern Mindanao and other neighboring regions. The Philippine Red Cross – Misamis Oriental Chapter was first established in 1946 after Dr. Jose Carillo—Manila Red Cross Chapter’s former administrator—visited CDO. The purpose of Dr. Carillo’s visit was to organize another Red Cross chapter that would start the movement in Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon. Since then, the humanitarian organization has been assisting the city.

Apart from supplying the people’s need for blood and conducting blood-letting activities, the Philippine Red Cross Misamis Oriental Chapter is also involved in other activities. In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Sendong, Red Cross was one of the first organizations to offer help and conduct rescue operations.

For those who want to donate blood or become a Red Cross volunteer, you can visit their chapter or call them at 856-8855. You can also send them an e-mail at [email protected]




CDO Local Government Promotes Greener Environment, Transforms a Former Dump Site into a Tree Park

It is no secret that our natural environment is experiencing so much disarray today. With people doing little or no action at all to combat pollution, improper waste disposal and illegal logging and mining, we are absolutely on the verge of destroying Mother Nature. Unless we do something, it’s only a matter of time before our entire planet heads south.

When it comes to saving our rapidly deteriorating environment, every small act counts, and the local government of Cagayan de Oro is aware of that. Having experienced Mother Nature’s wrath last 2011 with Tropical Storm Washi (Sendong) and not wanting for it to happen again, the city has been conducting a number of activities that will benefit the environment.

Last April 15, 2016, the local government unit of Cagayan de Oro, under the leadership of the city’s environmental officials, has planted more or less 2,000 tree seedlings at Upper Dagong in Barangay Carmen. Together with the cooperation of individuals who were tapped to plant the seedlings, the area will be made into a tree park.

The area in Upper Dagong that was planted with seedlings used to be a dump site occupying 17 hectares of land. Under the orders of DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) and in compliance with the Ecological Waste Management Law, the landfill was closed last 2010.

According to the CSWMB (City Social Waste and Management Board) coordinator, Elvisa Mabelin, the tree planting activity conducted this month was already the second stage of the dump site’s closure and rehabilitation project worth PHP 98 million. Mabelin also added that the environmental officials are also doing an inspection for a sanitary landfill replacement as part of the project. The first tree planting activity at the former landfill was initiated last October 2015. More or less 1,000 tree seedlings were planted that time. During the second tree planting activity, a total of five hectares were covered. The trees grown at the site varies from golden shower trees, acacia, narra, and teak wood.

Apart from transforming the previous dump site into a tree park, the rehabilitation project also includes the construction of a drainage system that would dispose the city’s garbage properly. The flammable gases that will be emitted from the refuse will be collected through several vents and stored for safety purposes. As for the liquid substances; they will be also collected, then processed, and will be later used to water the trees and plants around the landfill area.

To also help those individuals who have lost their means of living after the dump site was closed, the city government has already planned a job program for them where they will receive a comprehensive training so that they’ll be the ones to operate the MRF (Materials Recovery Facility) of CDO. The facility is specifically made to receive, categorize, process, and store recyclable materials.

Kudos to the local government of Cagayan de Oro for making the city a greener and more sustainable place to live!