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1st batch of modern jeepneys in GenSan deployed; mayor assures transport...

GENERAL SANTOS City Mayor Ronnel C. River assured public utility drivers and operators of an inclusive modernization program following Tuesday’s turnover of the first batch of modern jeepneys that will be deployed in the city.

Local governments at the front lines of UHC implementation

FORTY-FIVE-year-old Melodina Hugo is the go-to person when family members and relatives, especially those from the remote Paquibato district, get seriously sick and need to be brought to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City, the biggest government-owned hospital in Mindanao.

Hasten recovery plan to access P5B fund, Cotabato governor orders

COTABATO GOVERNOR Nancy A. Catamco has ordered local government units (LGUs) and the Provincial Rehabilitation Task Force to fast-track the completion of data on affected families and damages from the series of earthquakes last year to pave the way for the recovery program’s implementation.

Last Abu Sayyaf captive rescued

THE LAST captive of the kidnap-for-ransom Abu Sayyaf Group was rescued Wednesday in Sulu, the military reported.

Zamboanga City mayor says initial P300M fund ready for new airport...

AN INITIAL P300 million fund from the national government for the purchase of the land where the new Zamboanga City airport will be built is ready for release, Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar announced Tuesday.

Help desk, livelihood program set in Iloilo and Lanao for OFWs...

LOCALIZED initiatives are being rolled out to assist overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families amid tension in the Middle East.

Zamboanga mayor asks water district to reconsider rate hike proposal

ZAMBOANGA CITY Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar wants the water supply distributor to defer its proposed rate hike and first reassess its operations.

Gun ban, checkpoints still in effect in Lanao del Sur despite...

THE PROVINCIAL government of Lanao del Sur, which covers Marawi City, announced on Thursday that peace and security measures such as the ban on carrying firearms remains in place despite the end of the martial law declaration effective January 1.

2-week ceasefire announced as gov’t, communist group prepare to resume peace...

THE GOVERNMENT and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the lead communist group in the country, have announced a ceasefire from December 23 to January 7 in observance of the Christmas and New Year holidays, and pave the way for the resumption of peace talks.

BTA committee on Marawi City to hold public hearings on rehabilitation

THE BANGSAMORO Transition Authority’s Special Committee on Marawi will hold a series of public hearings starting January to put together a report intended to help improve the slow implementation of the rehabilitation plan for the city that was devastated in 2017.

4 kidnap victims remain in Abu Sayyaf hands as Asian neighbors...

MARITIME AUTHORITIES from neighboring Asian countries are meeting in Manila on Dec. 18–19 to tackle security in the Sulu and Celebes Seas, where the Abu Sayyaf terror group is the biggest threat, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

A tribute to Gokongwei’s hometown and the sea

ROBINSONS Land Corp. (RLC) formally marked its venture into the luxury hotel sector with the recent launching of Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu, and it will be the first in a planned network of top-end accommodations.

Davao de Oro gets ‘yes’ vote

“WE ARE Davao de Oro” reads the new profile picture on the official social media page of what used to be Compostela Valley province.

New facilities ready at Lubi Plantation Resort

THE LUBI Plantation Resort, one of the joint ventures of Torre Lorenzo Development Corp. and Dusit International in Davao, has opened additional facilities as it officially received on Dec. 1 its Dusit Thani mark, the Thai hotel group’s high-end and full-service brand.

Lanao del Sur network calls for stricter gun control as it...

THE MILITARY’S Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) has been reporting on the continued turn over of loose firearms in Lanao del Sur province, with the latest on Nov. 18 involving 44 weapons, including two homemade Uzis and a sniper rifle.

Minimum daily pay in BARMM to increase with 1st wage order

MINIMUM WAGE rates in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) are set to increase with the approval of the new regional government’s first wage order on Nov. 13.

6 years after typhoon Haiyan: Survivors highlight disaster preparedness, call for...

COMMEMORATION ACTIVITIES will be held on Nov. 8 in Tacloban City, one of the areas hardest hit by super typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) in 2013, in remembrance of the more than 7,000 who died during one of strongest tropical cyclones in history.

Assistance programs for former MILF, MNLF combatants proposed before BTA

THREE RESOLUTIONS calling for emergency financial assistance and other development programs for former combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were proposed during the Bangsamoro Transition Authority’s (BTA) 21st session last Friday.

How a ‘crazy’ man brought Dusit kind of luxury to Davao

TORRE LORENZO Development Corp. (TLDC) President and Chief Executive Officer Tomas P. Lorenzo likes to tell the story of how most everyone thought him “buang,” meaning crazy in Visayan, when he first started talking about developing top-end facilities in Davao City for business and leisure travelers.

TLDC-Dusit to build Princess hotel as its 4th Davao project

DAVAO CITY -- Torre Lorenzo Development Corp. (TLDC) and Dusit International are embarking on their fourth project in the Davao Region, a Dusit Princess hotel in the city.

Mindanao to export initial 5,000 MT of rice to Papua New...

AN INITIAL 5,000 metric tons (MT) of rice from Mindanao will be shipped to Papua New Guinea following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between farmers’ groups represented by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and PNG’s Central Province government.

Quirino celebrates Panagdadapun Festival

GETTING TO Quirino requires a long journey — either by plane from Manila to neighboring airports plus a one to three-hour drive, or an eight-hour land trip — but the province promises attractions that would make it worthwhile.

New trade patterns unfold as ‘rule-maker’ China rises

HONG KONG’S Maritime Museum gives a glimpse of China’s trading prowess in the centuries when seafaring was the order of the day, and how its rules back then controlled foreign merchants.

Less election-related shootings, but political clan wars still a major threat...

THREE DAYS after the May 13 midterm elections, troops under the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) seized firearms and other weapons in Talitay, Maguindanao in an operation intended to contain the escalation of conflict between the private armed groups (PAGs) of vice-mayoralty candidates Montasir Sabal and Suraida Ameril.

NHCP to seek calamity fund to restore heritage churches in Pampanga

THE NATIONAL Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) on Thursday said it is preparing to ask for calamity fund assistance from the Office of the President for the restoration of at least five Churches that were damaged by the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that shook parts of Luzon last Monday.

TPMT cites Marawi City rehabilitation as one of crucial components in...

THE INDEPENDENT Third-Party Monitoring Team (TPMT) of the Bangsamoro peace process, in its 5th Public Report released on Tuesday, said the “immediate rehabilitation” of war-torn Marawi City is one of the crucial components in the region’s transition under the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

Unifrutti secures P1-B loan from DBP for banana area expansion

UNIFRUTTI TROPICAL Philippines Inc., one of the country’s major banana growers and exporters, has signed a $19-million loan agreement with the Development Bank of...

At least 24 of 67 villages in Cotabato to join Bangsamoro...

UNOFFICIAL AND partial results released by the joint military-police-Commission on Elections (Comelec) monitoring office indicate a majority support for the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), but new areas joining the new region are limited.

More areas at stake in today’s Bangsamoro vote

TWO PROVINCES in two regions in Mindanao stand to lose parts of their areas as towns and villages cast their votes on Wednesday on whether or not to be part of the new Bangsamoro region.

Military seizes Maute-ISIS group camp in Lanao del Sur

INFORMATION provided by the community and local government officials led to the military’s taking of the remaining camp of the local terror group Maute in a remote part of Sultan Dumalondong, Lanao del Sur.

A vote for peace

PASS the Bangsamoro law: Check.

Puentespina’s Malagos farm recognized internationally as heirloom cacao producer

DAVAO CITY -- The Puentespina Farm, maker of the award-winning Malagos chocolate brand, has become the first in the Philippines to join the list of recognized “heirloom” farms by the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative (HCP).

Officials call for calm in Cotabato City in run-up to BOL...

SECURITY and peace process leaders met with local officials Thursday afternoon to ease rising tension in Cotabato City in the aftermath of the Dec. 31 bombing and the run-up to the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite on Jan. 21.

Typhoon Usman death toll reaches 85

THE DEATH toll from landslides and devastating floods in the central Philippines triggered by a tropical depression climbed to 85, officials said on Wednesday, and 20 people were missing as rescuers slowly reached cut-off communities. The casualties, including young children, were mostly killed when their homes collapsed in landslides after days of heavy rain in several provinces in the central Philippines, said Ricardo B. Jalad, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). “If we don’t recover the missing or we recover them dead, that is 105 deaths, which we hope not,” Mr. Jalad said. The tropical depression named Usman, which weakened into a low pressure system before leaving the Philippines on Sunday, brought heavy rain that triggered landslides and flooding in the Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions.

Major campaign rally for BOL to be launched Dec. 10 in...

A MAJOR campaign rally for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) will be launched today, Dec. 10, in Cotabato City, as the official campaign period started last Friday, according to the Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.

Indonesian kidnap victim escapes from Abu Sayyaf

AN INDONESIAN fishing ship worker escaped his Abu Sayyaf captors and has been rescued by security forces, the Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) reported on Friday, Dec. 7.

Marawi rehab gets P35-B pledges

DAVAO CITY -- Multilateral funding agencies and foreign governments have pledged P35.1 billion in assistance for the rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City, covering almost half of the estimated P72.58 billion needed for the overall recovery program.

Floirendo’s DLI to add third tower in Damosa IT Park

DAVAO CITY — The Floirendo-owned Damosa Land Inc. (DLI) is constructing a third building within the Damosa IT Park in the central-western side of Davao City and is now in talks with locators.

New Malagos chocolate varieties bag awards in Florence event

DAVAO CITY -- The Malagos chocolate brand of cacao grower and chocolatier Malagos Agri-Ventures Corp., is capping the year with another four awards in a global competition, the International Chocolate Awards–World Final held Oct. 26-Nov. 2 in Florence, Italy.

EU-PHL Business Network cautions against solar national franchise

THE EUROPEAN Union-Philippine Business Network (EPBN) has cautioned against the passage of House Bill 8179, which will grant Solar Para sa Bayan Corp. a license to operate nationwide.

A glimpse of the beginnings of a growing empire

DAVAO CITY -- Dennis A. Uy’s Udenna Group of Companies has pending proposals for two major infrastructure projects in Davao City: a P30-billion monorail that already has a stamp for Original Proponent Status from the Department of Transportation, and the development and management of the Davao International Airport under an unsolicited 30-year private-public partnership contract.

Gov’t aims to complete Marawi rehabilitation in three years

THE GROUNDBREAKING ceremony for the rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City finally pushed through on Oct. 30, with the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) head promising completion by 2021.

PHL, China to sign at least five agreements during Xi Jinping’s...

DAVAO CITY -- The Philippines’ economic managers met on Monday with a delegation from top trading partner China, led by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, to prepare the groundwork for at least five deals that are expected to be signed during President Xi Jinping’s November visit.

US top admiral: Navigation in disputed sea continues

US top admiral: Navigation in disputed sea continues

Habitat, Euro Towers partner to help close socialized housing gap

WHILE CONDOMINIUMS and gated subdivisions continue to mushroom in urban and sub-urban parts of the country, the need for affordable housing units is seen at 6.8 million between 2017 to 2022.