Archive | August 2007

ARMM traders: immediate peace agreement, please

The business community in conflict-affected areas are sounding off their stand: enough to conflicts, sign the peace agreement and start developing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Datu Haron Bandila, chair of the ARMM Business Council, said the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) must stay focused on the peace process for an immediate signing of the peace agreement.

He told MindaNews Thursday the biggest concern of the business community in the ARMM is the ongoing conflict.

He said they are calling on the government and the MILF to stick to the peace process and never to allow any more delays. Read the rest of the report on


Lumads effective mining watchdogs — MinBC

he indigenous peoples in communities where mining sites are situated can be effective in helping ensure responsible mining in Mindanao, an official of the Mindanao Business Council (MinBC) said.

The lumad communities’ role, said MinBC chair Vicente Lao, would be more on monitoring to check if mining firms have become abusive.

He said many lumad communities and organizations have grown around Mindanao who can help check mining operations. Read the rest of the report on

Me and Customs Security

I was asked to attend the dialogue between the media and the business community on reporting corporate social responsibility on Wedensday at the Marco Polo.

It was organized by Newsbreak. Since I have to come in late after filing my share of news stories of the day, I planned to enter the session hall, which was at 3rd level, with another reporter.

I went straight to the sofa at the hotel lobby to wait for him. Before I could plunge into my relieving seat, however, a man in white security uniform, asked me what am I doing.

“I’m trying to sit down before you stopped me,” I said. What will you do? Who are you?” he asked sternly.

“Why is it your business to know what I will do?” I asked, trying to equal his stern tone. Read More…

TAG in Mindanao

Business, community and governance are among my favorite beats.

For me, they naturally go together. Business comes in with favorable business climate – which could be achieved with the help, err, the leadership of the government.

There is no other fitting lens from which to see this aside from the Transparency and Accountable Governance funded via The Asia Foundation, Inc. The project binds together TAF with the League of Cities in the Philippines, the Mindanao Business Council and the Mindanao Coalition of Development NGOs.

Five years into the program, partners believe they are making a difference. Mincode is proud to announce that, at least, a venue is provided for the three sectors to work together.

The program claims it has achieved key reforms in different LGUs.

I hope the results are really tangible, sustainable, and practical. Read the rest of the report on

Prolonged agony with Davao’s flooded roads

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has admitted full responsibility for the city government’s failure to anticipate the problem of lack of road right of ways in building the city’s P247 million urban drainage and flood control project.

Duterte said construction of the project will be delayed because of problems on securing land clearance for portions of the project that pass though private property.

“It is my fault. I take full responsibility,” he said Sunday at the “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa” (From the masses, to the masses) television program of the city government aired over ABS-CBN Davao.

But Duterte warned land owners of expropriation starting next month. He said the process will take long. Read the rest of the report here.

Congrats Tom!

I’m referring to someone who I doubt could be familiar to anyone here in blogosphere. I virtually met this 24-year old Tboli today from Brgy, New La Union in Maitum, Sarangani Province.

The Sarangani Information Office sent a press release, which our news organization used in this story.

Tom isn’t Mark Twain’s adventurous Sawyer kid of-all-time. Tom is Tom Balatac, the 24-year old Grade 1 student of Kipalkuda Elementary School in Maitum.

I commend Tom for the courage of going against social persecution, perhaps, of coming to school much later. It is one brave act that sends a wonderful message to those who have access to quality education but did not value the opportunity as of now. Read More…

One condescending story

I found in my blog’s search engine terms yesterday the name of controversial Manila Standard Today society columnist Malu Fernandez. By this time, I think I am the last to know in this recent public uproar against an article she wrote for People Asia magazine.

Better late than never. I’m tempted to add a few takes on this.

I had searched for her original texts, to no avail. Instead I found in the world wide web hundreds of threads on her.

Her columns that depicted her view of overseas Filipino workers enraged OFWs around the world. Try these comments here on a special blog.

Fernandez have reportedly resigned from MST, according to this story amid calls to fire her. My initial reaction was to ban the magazine, too, for running that story.

Manuel Quezon III even suggested a more direct way of getting even in this post.

Fernandez said she was only being true to herself even if she loudly sounded to condescend. Kung sa Binisaya pa, Naka minus gyud siya! She sounded as if Filipino workers were pests loitering her peripherals. What was her concept of “self”? Something that is devoid of identity and sensibility?

Did the writer feed a bashing-hungry audience who shared her views on OFWs? I think there is a greater need to search for relevance, using this case as a wake-up call.

I wish I could take her side. Unfortunatly, I will not come near her. I belong to the hoi polloi, the common people which makes her slash her wrist.