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Xavier Ateneo’s New Normal

April 27, 2020

It’s been over a month since Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan decided to shut down and temporarily halt operations in all of its campuses.     The XU community is left to face uncertainty due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In response to the pandemic, various changes have been implemented in Xavier Ateneo.     Transition to Work-From-Home Arrangement     In his memo, Xavier Ateneo president Fr Roberto Yap SJ detailed the work-from-home arrangement. Administrators, faculty, and staff are all encouraged to continue with their tasks and submit their deliverables online.      To aid employees, the minimum net pay is adjusted for the month of April. A moratorium on payables to the university was also granted for tuition/books, counterpart installments on subsidized laptops, CHED Bridge loans, and Sendong loans.     Strengthening of Online-Learning Support     Fr Yap also calls for the strengthening of the online learning capacity of Xavier Ateneo. The teaching faculty are called to conduct classes through online learning methods. Committees were set in place to enhance online learning facilities and to help faculty moderate their classes.      Xavier Ateneo is promoting self-directed and peer learning which emphasizes independence and cooperation among students. Departments are encouraged to come up with “innovative and credible assessment processes done face-to-face.”      Postponement of University Testing Dates     Xavier Ateneo postponed university testing dates scheduled from April 15 to April 30 for SY 2020-2021 Senior High School, Higher Education, Graduate and Professional Schools. Pre-evaluation for agencies inside the XU community and admission exams to other schools are postponed as well.      Notification emails about the postponement of tests are sent to those who registered, physically or online.      Online Celebration of Holy Week, Easter     Following local government and CBCP directives, Archbishop Antonio Ledesma SJ of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro reminded all clergy and parishioners that there should be no public masses.      In lieu of public celebrations, the bishop encouraged “all the faithful to stay at home and be in spiritual communion with the presiders at these celebrations through TV, radio, Facebook, or any media.”      Through the official page of the Xavier University Immaculate Conception Church, Xavier Ateneo offered live online masses on announced schedules. Mass intentions were commented on the live online masses posts. Songs were also posted prior to the online masses as guides.     Institutionalized Response (#XUKontraCOVID19) Xavier Ateneo unified its COVID-19 response under #XUKontraCOVID19. As of April 19, cash donations reached a total of P 692,000 and material donations range from PPEs for frontliners to food assistance to families in need. “I am heartened by the quiet dedication, creative problem-solving, and generosity to respond that I am witnessing here at Xavier Ateneo, ” Fr. Yap said.  “I thank Ateneans who are truly acting as men and women for others, who care for the common good, and who put themselves and their needs in second place after those whom we serve.” In Xavier Ateneo, excellence is experienced in service to others.

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PARA SA BAYAN Shell gives fuel discounts for everyone in Mindanao

April 19, 2020

With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases climbing over a hundred in Mindanao, Pilipinas Shell has expanded its efforts in the region to improve public transportation and aid frontliners in their fight against a potentially severe outbreak in Mindanao.    “The health and safety of our people, our customers, and the community are most important to us, and we continue to monitor the situation closely so we can respond to the needs of our kababayans,” said Pilipinas Shell CEO and Country Chairman Cesar Romero. “As everyone plays their part in this fight against this pandemic, patuloy ninyong kasama ang Shell sa bawat biyahe ng buhay.”     Free fuel has been provided to two partner hospitals, Davao Doctors Hospital in Davao and Cagayan de Oro Polymedic Medical Plaza.     After identifying a mobility challenge in the area, Pilipinas Shell offered the fuel subsidy to its partners in order to aid the transportation of frontliners, the mobilization of ambulances, and other ongoing relief efforts.     As of the moment, there are also 61 Shell retail gas stations in Mindanao who are offering discounts on gasoline and diesel products not only for frontliners, but for everyone making their journey on the road. Shell’s gas stations have also starting donating water and food packs to nearby hospitals and frontliners from their Select convenience stores. One site in Davao has even set itself up as a donation hub where people can leave donations such as PPEs and food packs to be picked up by the Davao Task Force and delivered to hospitals. Other stations have also started making face shields for frontliners and have donated them to Socomedics Hospital in Koronadal City as well as various checkpoints throughout Iligan City. In an effort to help decongest traffic in supermarkets, Select stores have updated their product offerings to provide basic needs to the public so they can continue to purchase crucial supplies while still maintaining appropriate social distancing. Various retailer partners have also stepped up to provide additional support by offering free coffee, face masks, and snacks at their stations. For 106 years, Shell as remained committed to be the country’s partner in nation-building. During this trying time, the company has made the Philippines’ mobility, health and safety, and energy security its top priorities. It aims to help the nation weather today’s COVID-19 situation so it can be ready to progress again tomorrow.

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CCIFII Rolling Stores enhance ECQ in Iligan

April 19, 2020

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation of Iligan, Inc. has launched its rolling stores in a bid to enhance the effectiveness of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Iligan City.     As defined by the Iligan Chamber of Commerce, a Rolling Store is a “One-Stop-Shop” where consumers can buy their groceries, vegetables, fish and meat items within their barangays without going to public and supermarkets to lessen their risks of infection from the COVID-19 coronavirus.     When Iligan Mayor Celso G. Regencia declared an Enhanced Community Quarantine throughout Iligan City from March 20 to April 30, 2020, it raised the issue of how social distancing could be enhanced with only two public markets serving Iligan City: Tambo and Wet Market in the City proper.     It also made life more difficult for people who did not have private transportation and had lacking access to buy their daily needs such as the dry goods, vegetables and fruits, meats and other household needs.     Rolling Stores to the rescue On April 7, the Iligan Chamber of Commerce launched its Rolling Stores Project in coordination with the Local Government Units (LGUs), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), City Agriculture Office, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and other stakeholders to address the issues of social distancing, encouraging to stay home indoors and assisting certain sectors to mitigate the big impact of the ECQ in Iligan City.  “We have 10 rolling stores every day, they have different schedules and diff barangays to cater to,” said Ms. Reggie D. Punongbayan, CCIFII President. “So far, the rolling stores have already covered about 90 percent or 40 of the city’s 44 barangays.” “We have been consistently been urging buyers to strictly comply with the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). Buyers should provide their own ecobags, prepare their shopping lists in advance to avoid delays, always wear face masks and maintain social distancing in accordance with Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1, Series of 2020, R.A. 11469,” she stressed. To get the stores rolling, the Iligan Chamber of Commerce requested the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) President to identify which barangays would be interested to participate in the project. “The barangays were divided into clusters composed of various puroks,” Punongbayan explained. “The identified barangay will be divided into sectors with designated spaces where our Rolling Store will standby on agreed days and times, assuring that all barangay residents can access the rolling store at least two or three times a week.” Once the designated spaces for the rolling store had been identified, barangay officials assisted in securing the area by marshalling buyers to assure the proper social distancing and health protocols are observed during the 4-5 hours the rolling store would be selling in a barangay. Opportunities in adversity The City Agriculture Office (CAO) has been supplying at least ten (10) basic agricultural products from local farmers which are delivered to the City Slaughterhouse where the CAO is located, and where participating entrepreneurs get their orders repacked based on their needs. “We collaborated with chamber members who were interested to operate the rolling stores in the 3-4 barangays assigned to them,” Punongbayan said. “A Halal operator has also been tapped to serve our Muslim communities.”  “The fish, meat, groceries, rice, and dried fishes which are considered basic priority needs of our people are taken from our selected participating outlet members arranged by CCIFII to get the best prices which comply the suggested retail prices set by Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry under the present price freeze of basic and prime commodities,” she added.   To further keep prices down, the chamber coordinated with the Department of Agriculture which coordinated with local farmers to have their produce delivered to a “bagsakan” where RS operators buy directly from them, and where meat products like pork and chicken can also be likewise bought direct from piggery and poultry operators. In addition, grocery store owners give wholesale price for canned goods and other grocery items to RS operators while donors shoulder like DPWH and the CAO donated gasoline allowance of 10 liters twice a week for each RS operator. Public-Private Partnership Through the Rolling Stores Project, the Iligan Chamber of Commerce aims to assist the local and national government enhance health measures such as social distancing, help curb the spread of COVID-19 by limiting the number and distance residents need to travel to purchase their daily needs, keep down the prices of basic and prime commodities, and further expand opportunities for synergy and cooperation between the public and private sectors. (RMB)

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ACDO asks clergy and parishioners to open idle lands for community gardens

April 13, 2020

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro is encouraging the establishment of household and community gardening for local food production during the COVID-19 quarantine and lockdowns to help sustain especially vulnerable residents in the informal sector, the unemployed, and those unable to be gainfully employed at this time. In a statement released April 6 to all archdiocesan clergy and parishioners, Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, S.J. called on all the clergy to open parish spaces to community food gardening and set up. nurseries to ensure a continuous supply of planting materials.      “I am encouraging parishioners to set up their individual home gardens which can be container gardens for those within tight urban areas,” Ledesma said. “I am also encouraging parishioners to help in the community gardens.”     Ledesma said it is imperative that families and communities have access to locally produced food as the usual food chains from locked down areas like Bukidnon locally and rice sources like Vietnam and Thailand internationally tighten up.     “We need to produce nutritious food like vegetables, both leafy and protein sources (beans and legumes), and rice substitutes for carbohydrate, like sweet potatoes (camote) and bananas,” the cleric stressed.     “Let us intensify local food production through individual household and community gardening to help especially the poor, the unemployed, and those unable to be gainfully employed at this time.”      With sufficient local food supplies, the archbishop said not only is the family and the larger community assured of adequate meals and nutrition, bolstered immune systems, but gardening can also prevent hunger-related crime; and improve mental health. “I am encouraging parishioners to set up their individual home gardens which can be container gardens for those within tight urban areas, but also help in the community gardens.” He appealed to those with idle land to open them up for use as community gardens and for those who have special skills in agriculture, organic gardening, and food preservation, to volunteer their skills. Cagayan de Oro has pool of experience agriculturists who have been pursuing local production of food through communal and backyard vegetable gardens. Among them are Xavier University College of Agriculture which implemented the The Periurban Vegetable Project (PUVeP) as part of the Research and Social Outreach Cluster; In cooperation with the local government of Cagayan de Oro City as well as the municipality of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, barangay administrations, the Department of Education and local communities, it has implemented ten allotment gardens, three of which are located inside public elementary schools, equipped with ecological sanitation toilets for about 100 urban poor families.   Another is the Square Foot and Vertical Garden espoused by former COCPO Chief Col. Honorio Cervantes (Ret.) at his farm in Bgy. Pagatpat, an Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) Learning Site that is hailed for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). He is a leading advocate of organic farming through urban gardening and regularly conducts seminars and orientations at his 300sqm farm.   Not the least, Cagayan de Oro City’s “Urban Household Container Gardening” (UHCG) Project aims to combat rising problems of malnutrition, poverty and high drop-out rates among school age children in Cagayan de Oro. At-risk communities are taught to feed themselves by planting their own vegetables with their own, sometimes limited, space. For its second phase, The UHCG Project added the integration of Solid Waste Management by recycling and re-integrating waste from the city into their container gardening projects. Paul Douglas Calingin, the city government’s COVID-19 economic cluster head and acting city agriculturist, recently disclosed that the City Agricultural Productivity Office (APO) will be providing some 800 urban gardeners with seeds from the DA to immediately start plating to bolster the city’s local vegetable supply. The UHCG Project is a joint program of the City Housing & Urban Development Department (CHUDD) HOA Federation, APO and City Social Welfare & Development Department. The UHCG was awarded third place in the “Food Justice: Projects that improve food access in underserved communities” Category of the 2016 International Network for Urban Agriculture (INUAg) Awards. However, Ledesma cautioned parishioners to strictly observe the mandated physical distancing in community gardens, and disinfect commonly used garden tools and seed packs and containers to be distributed. The ACDO’s Health/Ganda Natural Farming Ministry team headed by Ms. An-An Denuyo, and the archdiocese Social Action workers will be assisting parishes and communities willing to pursue local food production projects in collaboration with DA, LGU’s, and other partners. The Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro is an archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines. It is a metropolitan see on the island of Mindanao which is composed of the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Camiguin and the municipality of Malitbog, Bukidnon. It is headed by Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, S.J and its seat is located at Saint Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral in Cagayan de Oro City.

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CDO Filipino-Chinese Community donations to NMMC breach P4.3-M

April 13, 2020

Cagayan de Oro’s Filipino-Chinese Community showed its unequivocal support for the city’s battle against the CoVid-19 coronavirus with its biggest donation yet to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center on April 7. The group headed by President Sonny Choi and COVID-19 Response Committee Chairman Efren Uy turned over to NMMC Medical Director Dr. Jose Chan 1,980 sets of PPEs each worth P1,500 with a total value of  P 2,970,000.00 and 500 pieces of N95 face masks each worth P130.00 valued at P65,000.00 for a total donation of P3,035,000.00.     With this latest donation, the community’s collective donations to NMMC comes to a total of P4,304,000.00, excluding donations also made to the city owned and operated J.R. Borja General Hospital (JRBGH).     The NMMC is the only hospital in Region X with the capability to test and treat CONVID-19 Patients Under Investigation (PUI).     Under the strategy adopted by the Regional and City Health offices, COVID-19 patients are exclusively referred to NMMC, while JRBGH and other private hospitals take in as many non-COVID cases as they can accommodate to give NMMC’s personnel and facilities as much slack as possible to deal with the outbreak.     From March 23 to April 6, the CDO Filipino-Chinese Community had previously donated to NMMC on four separate occasions urgently needed PPEs and medical supplies collectively valued at P1,269,000.00.     The initial shipment consisted of 60 cartons rubbing alcohol and sanitizing gel, two units knapsack sprayer, 12 pails disinfectant solution (chlorine), safety goggles, rubber boots, protective raincoats with pants, face shields, and 50 cartons disposable water tissues/paper towels collectively valued at P365,00.00     This was followed on March 28 by 480 set plastic rain coats worth P250.00 each valued at P120,000.00.00 and 800 locally made face shields worth P80.00each and valued at  P64,000.00 for P184,000.00 for the entire batch.     On April 3, the group turned over 250 sets of PPEs made in Korea worth P1,800.00 each valued at P450,000.00 followed on April 6 by 100 sets PPEs made in China worth P 1,300.00 each valued at P150,000.00 and 200 sets of 5M brand PPE kit worth P600.00 each valued at P120,000.00 or P270,000.00 total. The Filipino-Chinese Community of Cagayan de Oro includes 21 community organizations, including family associations, chambers of commerce, schools, martial arts, civic and religious fraternities.  These including the following: Misamis Oriental Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Inc.;  Mindanao Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China in the Philippines; Cagayan de Oro Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Inc.; Cagayan de Oro You We Tong Civic & Religious Fraternity, Inc.; Oro Christian Grace School; Misamis Oriental Liong Tek Fraternity Association, Inc.; Sejo-Lim Family Association-Northern Mindanao Chapter; Cagayan de Oro Bell Church Foundation, Inc.; Kong Hua School; Cagayan de Oro Volunteer Fire Brigade, Inc.; Phil. Wushu Federation-Cagayan de Oro Chapter; Phil. Kim Mun Association-Misamis Oriental Chapter ; Cagayan Gospel Church ; Cagayan de Oro Filipino-Chinese Amity Club;  Cagayan de Oro San Lorenzo Filipino-Chinese Catholic Community; Philippine Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.-Misamis Oriental Chapter; Philippine Chinese High School Alumni Association-Cagayan de Oro Chapter; Misamis Oriental Progressive Mason Temple, Inc.; Kong Hua School, Inc.; and the Chee Kung Tong Chinese Free Mason Misamis Oriental Branch.

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Globe Studios via .giff teams up with local filmmakers and enthusiasts to raise funds for daily wage film workers

April 13, 2020

In light of the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon, the Philippine film industry along with many other local businesses continue to be impacted as normal operations and services are put on halt. Globe recognizes this pressing need and continues its efforts to help frontliners and daily wage earners who have been affected by these developments through a new unique collaborative effort with film artists. Globe Studios via .giff festival of new cinema has teamed up with Lockdown Cinema Club, a coalition of independent Filipino filmmakers who wish to reach and help their colleagues amid the COVID-19 pandemic, to raise funds for daily wage film industry workers in the country. Workers affected by the crisis include crew members, electricians, caretakers, camera men, artists, post-production assistants, and everyone who is vital in creating a film.  Majority of them are freelancers and are compensated on a per project basis.     To raise funds, directors, writers, producers, cinematographers, production designers, production managers, film editors and film students will showcase their best works online and for free via https://giff.ph/watch/. Film enthusiasts and audiences from all walks of life can visit the page to stream, enjoy their favorite films, and take part in raising funds through donations via GCash - all while staying connected, inspired and #SafeAtHome.     As of April 7, the initiative has extended aid to over 1000 film workers. Through the combined efforts of .giff, Lockdown Cinema Club and local film aficionados, the goal is to raise P3,000,000 in the succeeding weeks of the extended ECQ.     Everyone is invited to watch all they want through the .giff site https://giff.ph/watch/ and give what they can via the GCash QR code found within the same page. For updates, you may visit the official Globe Studios FB page at https://www.facebook.com/globestudiosph/ .

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