Archive | May 2006

Today’s youths prefer the office than the farm

(From MindaNews news service 31 May 2006)

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/31 May) — Today's youth would rather work
in the comfort of an airconditioned office rather than in the farm out
there with the elements, according to the Agricultural Training

"Our youths, with age ranging from 15 to 30, don't find farming
profitable and enjoyable. Their tendencies are to go and work in the
cities," said ATI's Naomi Orocio during the four-day National Young
Farmers' Forum that started last Monday. About 250 participants from
the country's 16 regions joined the forum.

The annual forum, with the theme "Strengthening Partnerships: Towards
a More Responsive Provision of Extension Service," is aimed at
preparing the young generation to appreciate farming, said to be the
backbone of the Philippine economy.

Orocio warned that a shortage of farmers is inevitable if the young
people continue to prefer work in the cities. "Our farmers' population
is aging. We need to infuse new blood to the agriculture sector or it
will just collapse in no time," she said.

The participants were given lectures on the latest in farming
technology to encourage the youngsters to eventually fill the gap with
the aging population of farmers.

Wilson Paclibar, ex-officio member of the South Cotabato Sangguniang
Panlalawigan, said they want to instill to the young generation the
importance of tilling the land for bountiful harvests. "Many of the
food we eat are products of farming. We should encourage our youths to
go into farming to sustain this sector," he stressed.

Many of the participants in the forum were members of the 4H Club,
which stands for "head, heart, hands and health." There are 4,000 4H
Clubs across the country with membership of around 100,000, claimed
Orocio, who is also the club's national coordinator.

The forum was not just all about farming. Orocio said the participants
were taught how to make handicraft out of farm materials. They also
learned how to cook nutritious foods. (MindaNews)


OIC: okay to Islamic U in Mindanao

(Publisher's note:  This article is taken courtesy of and can be viewed from the site using this URL:  

OIC: okay to Islamic U in Mindanao
By Carolyn O. Arguillas / Mindanews / 21 May 2006

DAVAO CITY — A proposal to establish an Islamic University in Mindanao met favorable reaction from the visiting delegation of the Organizaiton of the Islamic Conference (OIC) whose head of delegation said many Filipinos who studied in Saudi Arabia can serve as the teaching corps.

The proposal was to establish an Islamic University in Mindanao was aired by Salam Demuna of the Learned Kagan Muslim Foundation, Inc. (LKMFI), during the OIC delegation’s “interaction with civil society” late Friday night at the Marco Polo hotel.

“As we talk peace and development, our people cannot appreciate because we have to go back to the basic: we have to educate our people. That is why we are asking the OIC, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to establish an Islamic University in Mindanao just like the International Islamic University in Medina because we think this will sustain our peace and development.”

Secretary Jesus Dureza, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process did not reply to the appeal for an Islamic University but cited the distribution in Marawi City the day before of thousands of books from the Islamic Society in Libya.

He said the Libyan group turned over the books and will continue to print more educational materials in the effort to providing educational needs on Islamic values and Isalmic way of teaching.

The response of Ambassador Sayed El-Masry, Adviser to the Secretary-General of the OIC and the head of delegation of the OIC visiting Mindanao to look into the implementation of the nearly 10-year old peace agreement between the Philippine government and the MNLF, drew applause and chants of “Allahu Akbar.”

El-Masry noted that the OIC has four universities in the world, four belonging to the OIC. “I think we are ready to propose to the Secretary General the idea of having to establish an Islamic university in Mindanao,” he said. The predominantly Moro crowd applauded and chanted “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.”

“Of course, provided the request will come from the government of the Philippines. I don’t think there will be an obstacle,” he said.

El-Masry added that many Filipins from Mindanao have studied in the Middle East and they can form the core of teachers.

“The teaching corps is already available,” El-Masry said.

Resisting Time

What's with turning a year older?
I asked myself that when I edgy reacted to Chiza's declaration that I'll be a big-bellied 30-year old by the "10th of May". The h**l with that offensive against my "abs" sorry state of affairs.hehe. I'm doing everything naman in my reach to "keep it down", pronounced: "not any bigger". But I'll be 29 only not 30!  And for one reason or another, i'm happy about it.

To be 30 is a feat, that's right. But, I think its the "visual" of stepping from a "20 something to 30"!  On Wednesday, ill be 29 — or 20 something, something. Gee.

Getting "edgy" really surprised me.

"I think" I am so secured about the way I live my life, about working in the terrains of my homeland, about finding the right partner in life, about living with the love and warmth of my family, about the good prospects of our news organization; and pursuing all my dreams in general. 


I'm waxing dramatis here I know; instead of writing a blog about my advocacies I wrote about my own "state of affairs". After all, how could I champion those advocacies if I do not reflect on my own state (now that's very political).

"If its not yet there, no one can force it; if it is already there, no one can keep in from coming." I hear that message often. It keeps resounding, echoing, coming.

All those issues that not so young people like me face, altogether I think makes "men out of boys". I am thankful of the pressure the universe is pushing towards my direction –towards my little private world — because I know this is the way. (to flatten my belly once again after all these years of agonies…hehe).

I feel that I owe myself to "take my time" and not rush into the ballistics of chaos, around me and possibly within me. Or, I'll risk becoming a loose canon that could not contribute to the peacefulness of the world; much worst destroy order –or should I say, "orders".

So what's about turning a year older? Nah, its not about progressing from one numerical integer or real number to another with aging as backdraft. I also do not think its about counting achievements in, again, material manifestations or (in the other end) in illusory lamentations.

I think its about "moving" around –the act itself, as a whole person, having the confidence that you are part of a bigger convergence of actions towards "betterness" not bitterness (this is such a pathetic rhyming crime!). I'd like to put it this way, "I"m part of the solution." (Ey-men!)

In short, I'm, edgy because I feel that I have not done enough, or I could only do so much amid the need for "more, better" from me. I wouldn't want time to move so fast, because I think I am not yet moving just as fast. Wew!


Resolution from the reflection: Maybe I am just a tiny, petty life form (what at 72 kilograms?!) trying to matter, but I could matter and I would matter because I choose to! (God willing!)


MindaNews, Matina, Davao City, Philippines 
May 9, 2006

GRP-MILF peace talks:“Substantive gains” but no agreement yet on territory

(Note: As dispatched by MindaNews news service as of 04 May 2006 and will be posted in on 05 May 2006)

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/04 May)  – Although “substantive gains” have been
achieved in the negotiation on ancestral domain during the three-day
exploratory talks that ended today in Kuala Lumpur, the Philippine
government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panels have
acknowledged that “more work had to be done” on the issue of territory,
particularly in the “determination and delimitation of areas” that would
be put under the prospective Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE).

The ten-paragraph joint statement signed today (May 4) by government peace
panel chair Silvestre Afable, Jr. and MILF peace panel chair Mohagher
Iqbal noted that “significant progress” had been achieved in “defining the
concept, sharing the resources and establishing governance in the BJE” but
they were “held back from reaching full consensus by the highly technical
nature of discussions on the delineation and demarcation of territory.”

Both parties agreed to conduct “further ground validation” and collection
of additional data to guide them in the resolution of the remaining items.

At present, the governance entity that focuses on the Bangsamoro is the
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) which comprises five provinces
and one city among Mindanao’s 25 provinces and 27 cities:  Sulu,
Tawi-tawi, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and Basilan and the Islamic City of

But the MILF had repeatedly said the ARMM is not the juridical entity it
envisions. What the proposed BJE is, the panels are still discussing.

Iqbal declined to go into the details on the BJE. “We cannot go in
details. The details are still confidential,” he told MindaNews in a
telephone interview evening of May 4.

But Iqbal said the MILF and government peace panels will talk to those who
are registering their opposition to the proposed BJE as well as other
sectors that need to be enlightened on what this political structure is.
The government of Zamboanga City has been very vocal against inclusion in
the proposed BJE, claiming the people had spoken in the 1989 and 2001

“We have a joint advocacy with government . We will reach out to all,”
Iqbal said.

In the KL talks, the panels also agreed to “immediately” activate a joint
advocacy team “to formulate and undertake a program of public information
aimed at raising broad awareness or, and support for, the peace process.”

Government peace panel chair Afable told MindaNews that the joint advocacy
team will be activated very “very soon.”

“They are just coordinating schedules,” Afable said in a telephone interview.

Afable said the government panel representatives in the joint advocacy
team are vice chair Rudy Rodil and Sylvia Paraguya while the MILF panel
representatives are Datu Michael Mastura and Maulana “Bobby” Alonto.

On the BJE, Afable said the two panels are negotiating on the range of
political structures. “We don’t want to put a label to it (the structure)
until it’s firmed up,” he said,  adding this is the reason why it is being
referred to as BJE. “It’s a structure of government.”

The City Council of Zamboanga in Resolution 962 passed on November 24,
2005, expressed its “strong opposition” to the inclusion of the city in
the proposed BJE, citing the overwhelming No votes in the 1989 and 2001

Under the Philippine Constitution and Philippine laws, residents are asked
in a plebiscite if they wish to be part of a new juridical entity.  In the
13 provinces and nine cities originally listed as “areas of autonomy”
under the 1976 Tripoli Agreement, residents there have had to vote thrice
– 1977, 1989 and 2001, if they wanted to be part of the autonomous region.

The Marcos administration set up two regional autonomous governments. The
Aquino administration had the autonomous region included in the 1987
Philippine Constitution but only four Moro-dominated provinces said yes to
inclusion in the ARMM in the November 1989 plebiscite.

The Philippine government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)
signed a “final peace agreement” on September 2, 1996, allowing for, among
others, the passage of a law that would provide for the expansion of the

But in the August 2001 plebiscite on the 1996 agreement, only one province
and one city– Basilan, and the  Islamic City of Marawi – joined the
“expanded” ARMM.

In the KL meeting, the government and MILF peace panels also agreed to
request Malaysia, Brunei and Libya to extend the mandate of their
contingents in the International Monitoring Team (IMT) and to “expand the
composition of the IMT to include the participation of other nations in
monitoring the rehabilitation and development work related to the peace

The Panels also agreed to extend the mandate of the AHJAG(Ad Hoc Joint
Action Group) Interim Guidelines for a period of one year once its mandate
ends on June 21, 2006.

The IMT and AHJAG are major players in the implementation of the ceasefire
agreement between the government and the MILF as they have helped prevent
skirmishes from escalating into full-blown wars.

The AHJAG provides for a joint coordination on the pursuit of criminal
elements and terrorists in so-called “MILF areas.”

The two peace panels also agreed to “move forward” the establishment of
the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI). In this
endeavor, the parties are assisted by the Malaysian Technical Cooperation
Program (MTCP) and the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP).

They also welcomed the entry of the United Nations World Food Program and
other organizations in Mindanao to support the peace process prior to the
signing of the comprehensive agreement and that this should be “in
coordination with the Bangsamoro Development Agency.” (Carolyn O.