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Discovering Surabaya’s spices and steams

AS THE crow flies, or an airplane would, Surabaya in Indonesia’s Java Island would just be two hours away from my hometown of Davao in the Philippines’ southern island of Mindanao.

2nd Indonesian goods expo, business-matching set Nov. 23

THE INDONESIAN Consulate in Davao City is holding the 2nd Indonesia Manufactured Products Expo (IMPE) on Nov. 23 to 25 at Abreeza Mall as part of continuing efforts to boost trade relations.

Davao Crocodile Park now a SEAZA member

THE DAVAO Crocodile Park is now operating under the Southeast Asian Zoo Association (SEAZA) standards following its recent membership to the group composed of around 90 conservatories and zoos in the region.

SM Davao brings back ice skating rink

DAVAO CITY -- SM City Davao recently reopened a 250-square meter ice skating rink, the centerpiece of the mall’s Ice Wonderland-themed Christmas decor this year.

Payments, martial law hampering Mindanao outsourcing growth

DAVAO CITY -- The growth of technology start-ups and the overall outsourcing industry in Davao is being hampered by payment system problems and the martial law in force in the Philippines’ southern islands.

BPI Direct BanKo serves over 10,000 SEMEs, on track with 200...

DAVAO CITY — Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is on track with opening 200 branches of its microfinance unit BPI Direct BanKo Inc. (BanKo) by the end of the year, with 180 already in place as of end-October.

Smart LTE network coverage on track to be 90% by yearend

SMART Communications, Inc. is on track to have long-term evolution (LTE) coverage for wireless data services in over 90% of the country’s towns and cities by the end of the year, according to Smart Public Affairs Visayas-Mindanao head Maria Jane C. Paredes.

Regulated barter scheme wins support from Sabah gov’t

REGULATED barter between southwestern Mindanao and neighboring countries is expected to get rolling by next year with the state government of Sabah in Malaysia ready to open its borders to the trade by January, according to an official of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

Cathay Pacific bullish on Davao

DAVAO CITY — The Cathay Pacific Group, through its regional airline Cathay Dragon, flew in its maiden direct flight from Hong Kong to Davao on Oct. 28 with the goal of developing the service as the main Mindanao link for the long haul.

Davao chocolate makers target int’l trade shows

DAVAO CITY -- The recently-concluded 5th Davao Chocolate Festival saw a growing number of chocolate makers preparing to raise the industry’s profile in international trade shows.

Max’s to open 3 stores in Visayas before end-2018

DAVAO CITY -- Max’s Group, Inc. (MGI) is opening three new Max’s restaurants in the Visayas before the end of the year as part of its expansion outside Metro Manila.

SMARTSeas PH Project aims to arrest marine resource degradation

DAVAO CITY -- Small-scale fishermen, whose livelihoods depend mainly on municipal waters, require expanded fishing territory due to the continued degradation of the marine habitat, according to Vincent V. Hilomen, project manager of SMARTSeas PH.

Davao City inks deals with Vistaland, SMDC, HLURB for socialized housing...

THE DAVAO City government signed agreements with two of the country’s major real estate firms along with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) last Oct. 26 for the development of a 20-hectare (ha) property in Barangay Lasang for socialized housing.

Agus-Pulangi sale on hold at least until after Bangsamoro vote

DAVAO CITY -- The privatization of the Agus-Pulangi hydroelectric power complex in Mindanao has been put on hold until after a plebiscite next year on Republic Act No. 11054, or the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Japan’s Aeon to sell TADECO bananas under agri best-practices label

DAVAO CITY -- Japanese retail group Aeon Co. Ltd. is including Philippine bananas sourced from Tagum Agricultural Development Company, Inc. (TADECO) for a special product line recognizing companies with Global Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) Certification.

Davao summit to roll out apps for farmers, halal

DAVAO CITY -- A mobile application that will help farmers connect directly with buyers will be one of the new technologies that will be introduced during the 2018 LivEx, an innovation summit organized by ICT-Davao, Inc., to be held here on Oct. 22.

Hungary, PHL to hold first joint economic meeting in early 2019

DAVAO CITY -- The governments of Hungary and the Philippines will hold the first meeting of their Joint Economic Committee (JEC) in the first half of 2019, according to Hungarian Deputy Chief of Mission David Ambrus.

Davao-Samal bridge construction to start on Davao side in 2019

DAVAO DEL Norte Governor Anthony G. del Rosario announced last week that the construction of the bridge linking the Island Garden City of Samal to Davao City in mainland Mindanao will start by 2019.

Redefining cooperatives: 1CISP ventures into retail

DAVAO CITY — The 44-year old 1 Cooperative Insurance System of the Philippines (1CISP) is diversifying into retail operations through a partnership with Davao-based New City Commercial Center (NCCC) Group of Companies.

Gov’t bracing for legal steps in land acquisition for Mindanao railway

THE GOVERNMENT may have to go to court to assert its eminent domain for the first phase of the Mindanao Railway System (MRS) project as some land owners are not keen to let go of their properties that are on the path of the train track, a regional official said.

Mental Health Division proposed in Davao City

AN ORDINANCE creating the Mental Health Division under the City Health Office has been presented before the city council to address rising cases of psychological illnesses, particularly depression among teenagers.

Durian’s next incarnation might be wine

DAVAO CITY -- Durian -- the funky-smelling, strong-tasting fruit that people either love or hate -- has been developed into many processed forms, including sweets, ice cream, and flavored coffee.

Cebu Pacific eyes Zamboanga-Sandakan route

DAVAO CITY — Cebu Pacific is looking at flights between Zamboanga City in Mindanao and Sandakan in Sabah among the new routes that will be served by the new aircraft that will be delivered beginning November.

No invite for Cebu Pacific on Davao City council’s probe on...

BUDGET CARRIER Cebu Pacific has yet to be invited to the Davao City council’s Oct. 8 hearing on airfare rates, according to Cebu Pacific Director for Corporate Communications Charo Logarta-Lagamon.

Small farms in Davao upland district eyed for agri-tourism

DAVAO CITY -- The upland district of Marilog -- home to numerous small vegetable, fruit, and flower farms as well as a growing number of hillside resorts and restaurants -- is being groomed to become one of the city’s main agri-tourism site.

Healthy-snack venture hoping to cement place in GenSan food universe

BUSINESS PARTNERS Chad D. Dorego, Alex Emmanuelle G. Aponesto, and Kaye M. Peratero from General Santos (GenSan) City maintain their own day jobs for now, but they aim to eventually pursue their Good Chips venture into a full-time social enterprise.

Irrigation firm from Israel targets Davao Region’s fruit, vegetable farms

DAVAO CITY -- Rivulis Irrigation, an Israeli company specializing in micro-irrigation solutions, is eyeing fruit and vegetable farms in the Davao Region, starting with banana plantations.

Cassava, corn model farms in Davao City seen to ease local...

MODEL FARMS for cassava and corn are being set up in upland areas of Davao City to increase production for these crops that are considered as alternatives to rice.

Davao Doctors Hospital opens upgraded OR complex

DAVAO DOCTORS Hospital (DDH) has opened its upgraded operating room (OR) complex, located at the third floor, which cost P200 million in investments, including new equipment for advanced surgical procedures.

Cotabato’s Kumbira: A simple, shared meal for a cause after Kalivungan...

MORE THAN 20,000 people, mainly locals, gathered for the Kumbira 2018 — a simple, shared meal for a cause that caps Cotabato province’s Kalivungan Festival held end-August.

GOCC Legaspi Oil aims to bring Davao coco oil mill back...

DAVAO CITY — Legaspi Oil Co., Inc., a government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC), has taken back the management and operation of a coconut oil mill here and is aiming to return production volume up to 600 metric tons per day (MTD).