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I can’t delay this. Perhaps there is no other time.

I have due respect for the competent people at Reuters, but I have to raise this one.

Reading the news below have disturbed me as a resident in Mindanao and as a citizen relating to many decent Muslims everyday.

There is clearly bias here and stereotype —working to anticipate a public notion.

If its the hideout that is suspected to be of the terrorists, where is the connection to “Islamic militants?” as presented in the first paragraph? Is terrorism = Islamic militants? Are we sure the government has learned to distinguish between an Islamic militant and a law-abiding citizen? Read More…


Selling mining with two sides now

Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau regional chief Edilberto Arreza says they now tell investors about possible opposition to mining projects from the Lumads (indigenous people) unlike in the past when they were silent about this.Arreza’s presentation to businessmen attending various meetings for the East Asean Growth Area two weeks ago showed potential areas for mining, legal framework and other information for investment promotions but was silent on the issues brought up by those opposing mining.  

Arreza earlier told MindaNews they didn’t want to mention it as it might scare off the investors.  But he told MindaNews Monday that the “silence” was his own lapse. Read the rest of the report on

Bukidnon Reporter blog: Mining in Bukidnon?

There’s a lot of talk about rich gold deposits in Pantaron Mountain Range in San Fernando, Bukidnon. All these gold panning stuff we hear from treasure hunters tickled our imagination over the years.

This time, however, it has become official. The government started to include Bukidnon’s mining potentials in its marketing presentations to foreign investors. Read the rest of the post on Bukidnon Reporter blog.

Gov’t flaunts five “high interest” mining sites in Mindanao

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources this week flaunted to investors from the East ASEAN Growth Area (EAGA) five potential “high interest” mining areas in Mindanao.

Edilberto Arreza, OIC regional director of the DENR’s Mines and Geociences Bureau (MGB) in Southeastern Mindanao identified the areas as North Central Mindanao, Zamboanga Peninsula, Southern Mindanao, and Palawan, and Samar-Eastern Mindanao. 

The five districts are included in the twelve “mineral districts” the government identified in its international roadshow for investors. Read the rest of the report on

GRP – MILF peace talks on the Go!

Latest information from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from the peace panels of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Finally, the 13-month impasse in the negotiations over the contentious ancestral domain issues was broken after two days of informal talks .

This signals a return to formal talks before the year ends, and, probably a final peace agreement by mid-2008. Read the report on

Direct international bonds, new funding source for LGUs?

Local governments need not worry about where to source funding for income-generating projects, an official of the Mindanao Business Council said in a press conference marking the end of the two-day BIMP-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) investment conference Tuesday.

Vicente Lao, MinBC chair, announced an emerging scheme how local government units, who play a crucial role in helping improve the business climate, could access funds.

“You will be surprised how international financing works and what available sources of funds local government could access,” he said.

Lao was referring to the floating of municipal bonds to international financing organizations, which he said is now available to LGUs without jeopardizing their internal revenue allotment (IRA). Read the rest of the report on

Malaysian, Davao companies to go into joint venture for jathropa plantation

A Malaysian and a Davao-based company are set to enter into a multimillion joint venture agreement to produce biodiesel fuel from jathropa (tuba-tuba), an official of the local firm said in the sidelines of the BIMP-East ASEAN Growth Area investment forum Tuesday.

Antonio Vergara, president of the Davao City Multi-Culture Development Corporation, said they have scheduled agreement signing in December and would proceed with planting operations in January 2008.

He said the state-owned Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) Sabah Sdn Bhd would take charge of providing equipment and financing while the local firm on plantation expertise in the 60-40 ownership joint venture.

Vergara, a former city councilor, said they have an initial capitalization of P35 million for a 1,000-hectare plantation.
He said the joint venture would plant jathropa to an area covering at least 60,000 hectares in the Marilog and Paquibato districts in upland Davao City. Read the rest of the report on