Regional Updates (06/10/20)

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Food manufacturer commits to expand in balik probinsya sites

DAVAO City-based food manufacturer Eng Seng Food Products has committed to expand in areas identified as pilot sites for the government’s Balik Probinsya program that aims to encourage people to return to their home provinces and boost development in the countryside. Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, chair of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), said Eng Seng President John Tan offered to open processing facilities for young coconuts for export to China and bottling facilities for Spanish sardines. The company, Mr. Piñol wrote on his Facebook page, “has offered to establish processing facilities in Lanao Del Norte and Zamboanga Del Norte to provide jobs to returning informal urban dwellers under the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program (BPBPP).” He added that Eng Seng, along with several other food processing companies, are looking for an area in the Northern Mindanao Region where they can set up an export processing zone for products from Mindanao, especially those produced in the Balik Probinsya communities. MinDA coordinates the implementation of the program in Mindanao. Mr. Piñol said the first group of BPBPP beneficiaries are expected to arrive in Zamboanga Del Norte on June 17. They will stay in a quarantine facility for 15 days, during which they will also be undergoing training organized by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. — MSJ

Another arrest warrant issued against 4 Yanson siblings for taking vehicles of disputed bus firm

AN arrest warrant for carnapping charges has been issued against four Yanson siblings, who are in an ownership battle against two other siblings and their mother over the family’s bus firm Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI). Judge Sue Lynn Lowie-Jolingan of the Bacolod City Regional Trial Court Branch 53 issued warrants of arrest on June 5 and 6 against Emily, Roy, and Ricardo Yanson Jr., and Maria Lourdes Celina Yanson-Lopez and three accomplices for violation of the New Anti-Carnapping Act of 2016. No bail was set. The case stems from a complaint filed by VTI Operations Manager Gary Manayon for grave coercion and carnapping when the four, along with their security guards, tried to take possession of VTI’s main office in Bacolod City in July 2019, according to a press statement from the company on Wednesday. The carnapping case involves a Mitsubishi L-300 vehicles and two Foton wing-vans. VTI legal counsel Gerry Llena said in a text message that as of June 10, “no report yet from the police insofar as the service of the warrant.” Another arrest warrant for the coercion charge was issued in May by Judge Abraham A. Bayona of the Bacolod court Branch 7. In a report to the court, Police Col. Anthony C. Gantang, officer-in-charge of Negros Occidental police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said the four accused were not in their residences and reportedly abroad when they tried to enforce the warrant on May 31 and June 1. VTI is the country’s biggest bus company, operating through Ceres Liner and sister firms Rural Transit of Mindanao, Inc., and Bachelor Express, Inc. Leo Rey Yanson, supported by the family matriarch and sister Ginette, was reappointed president during the shareholders’ meeting held at the company’s head office on Dec. 7, 2019. On the same day, another shareholders’ meeting led by the four was held at the Seda Hotel Bacolod where Maria Lourdes Celina was elected president. — MSJ