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NEVER FORGET!

Logo for the commemoration of the 1st anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre

In line with the commemoration of the 1st anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre in Maguindanao, we are sharing this logo/patch.

You may use this instead of your present Facebook profile pix on Nov. 23 as a sign of your solidarity with the families of the victims, the journalists and media workers, and the rest of the world.

It was so far the biggest blow to journalists and journalism in the Philippines. Let this be a symbol of our collective cry for justice and for more protection for journalists, where ever they may be.

Resource projects dominate EAGA biz matching

Business interests mainly on biodiesel, palm oil plantations, and mining dominate projects eyed for business matching at the first ever BIMP-East ASEAN Growth Area investment conference here.

About 28 of the 39 projects were clustered under the natural resource development sector, according to a list provided by the conference secretariat to reporters.

Only 11 were classified under tourism development, transport, infrastructure and communication. Four of the projects are into mining, including another mining project in Zamboanga Sibugay, two in Compostela Valley under the Philippine Mining Development Corporation, and another one on coal in West Kalimantan in Indonesia.  Read the rest of the report on MindaNews.com.

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…

More village dialogues pushed in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / August 10) – Mindanao bishops and Muslim scholars and the top brass of the military and the police have suggested wider dialogues in the localities to help find solutions to the triggers of violent conflict in Mindanao.

This was one of the consensus points reached in a closed-door meeting Thursday between the conveners and other leaders of the Bishops-Ulama Conference and the top brass of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP). The leaders agreed to pursue dialogue down to the parishes, towns and units as the BUC and the Defense establishment agreed to set up a quarterly forum together to continue their “Dialogue on Peace.”

The dialogue at the localities was contained in a joint statement read by Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo in a late night press conference held at the Waterfront Insular Hotel in Davao. Read the rest of the report on MindaNews.

KADAYAWAN 2007: Calendar of Activities

All roads lead to Davao City for this year’s Kadayawan Festival. The whole month of August is festival fever in the city. Visitors from other places in Mindanao, the country and the world are expected to troop to Dabaw.

Organizers speak of this year’s focus on returning to the city’s indigenous ancestry. Will it bring in new energy for the booming city? Or it will hurt the tourism sector as some people feared?

Take Davao by yourself. Experience the festival to find out the excitement with this guide: Read More…

National Census kicks off amid concerns

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/1 Aug) – “Be counted and give the right answer,” census takers appealed Wednesday as the government starts its nationwide census today, two years after the original 2005 schedule was delayed because of budgetary woes.

The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), which is coordinating the country’s statistics agencies, said the census will help the government identify long term programs for the poor.

Nicasio Angelo Agustin, NEDA Southern Mindanao regional director, announced 25 days of field work for around 2,500 enumerators and supervisors starting today to interview residents about population and other demographic information.

Read the rest of the report on MindaNews.com.

(Updated) Duty-free shop back in Davao City

Three years after it pulled out of Davao City, the local duty-free shop will be reopened tomorrow together with other shops at the Davao International Airport.

In March, the news was disclosed by the Department of Tourism signaling the city is receiving more tourist arrivals.

There are other shops that will also open in the airport’s arrival area. I can post more details later as they have organized a press conference after tomorrow’s opening ceremonies.

If I am not mistaken, the duty free shop at the Grand Regal Hotel was closed after the March 2003 bombing and for other reasons.

Now that it will be reopened it should signal better environment for tourists to come, and hopefully for more better things to come to the city and the rest of Mindanao.