the region

Sounding like a broken record: We badly need reforestation

July 22, 2019

There is a stark reality that we humans face today and as cliche as it may sound, changing that reality, is easier said than done.       Over the years, the problem in climate change and greenhouse gases spread like wildfire on a hot day. It continues to increase and it drastically affects our daily lives without us realizing it.       According to the recent study of British weather service body Met Office, carbon dioxide (CO2), which causes the climate-warming in the atmosphere, is dragging its near-record amount rise in 2019. Sadly, every year, this continues to increase even more.       In fact, over the past four years, it was recorded that the temperature of the Earth already reached its highest record.       Why is this happening?      One factor that majorly contributes to this massive environmental dilemma is the rising number of people and companies destructing forests. Deforestation is no longer new to our ears. We heard this word back in school and we are still talking about it today.      As recorded by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 18.7 million acres of forests annually are being swept by various industries in the world. This is equivalent to 27 soccer fields that are being destroyed in every 60 seconds. And once the year 2030 comes, the percentage of endangered forests might jump as high as 47 percent.      In the Philippines, the country that owns two-thirds of the planet’s biodiversity, forests lose 24 percent of their covers each year over the past 100 years, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). This means that 47,000 hectares of forest covers are denuded per year or a total of 1.2 million hectares in the last century.       Deforestation causes a huge chain reaction of disasters and crises. For instance, the forestry industry accounts for a sizeable portion of our water supply. Without trees, we might find ourselves in the midst of another water crisis.       Forests are also our natural barriers for disasters. A mangrove forest helps stop tsunamis during thunderstorms and earthquakes. Forestries also help stop erosion and prevent flash floods and landslides.       Aside from this, they also help mitigate and even negate the negative impact of climate change. But most importantly, they help bring about growth for both the economy and ecology.       Hence, massive reforestation is key to addressing major problems, and this initiative should be done collectively and with the right tools. Funding could also be an issue for this endeavour.       Recognizing that it has the capacity to help champion causes, GCash created a program, called GCash for Good, that will provide individuals to donate money to non-government organizations (NGOs) to champion environmental causes, among others.        Through the GCash platform, users can express their generosity and their love for the environment by sending their donations to environmental protection organizations such as Bantay Kalikasan, Haribon Foundation, World Wildlife Fund for Nature, and the Forest Foundation Philippines.      Just like a normal donation program seeking to help the unfortunate and the environment, GCash for Good introduces convenience with a cause.       With GCash's 20 million users in the country, the option of sending donations to stop deforestation can be possible in just one tap on our mobile phones. And If these 20 million users sent one peso from their accounts, a total of P20 million will be raised in no time.       Now, there'll be no more excuse in promoting a greener world for the future generation. Just like the old saying goes, "Vision without action is a daydream and an action without a vision is a nightmare."       So, let's act now before its too late.

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XUHS Batch 1980, Xavier Ateneo ink naming-rights agreement for SHS consultation room

July 21, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — The Xavier University High School Batch 1979-1980 and Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan, through the Advancement office, recently signed a memorandum of agreement for the naming rights of a consultation room at the new XU Senior High School campus in Pueblo de Oro.       The signing ceremony was led by XU president Fr Roberto C Yap SJ and XUHS Batch 1980 representatives, namely, Architect Ernest Martin D Soriano, Reynald Z Recentes, Robert S Capinpuyan, Dr Renan B Arbellera, and Anthony Paul G Falcon.       XUHS Batch 1980, with their donation worth three hundred thousand pesos, has earlier expressed their desire and intention to “honor the memory of their XUHS batch by immortalizing their batch’s name in one of the facilities of the new XU Senior High School complex.”      In particular, one of the meeting rooms will be named “Batch ’80 Consultation Room,” containing a floor area of approximately 18sqm, located on the ground floor of the new XUSHS building, situated beside the Alumni Office and northwest of the Registrar’s Office.      Prior to the MOA signing, the batch had already turned over a facsimile check during an alumni homecoming at the XU Covered Courts on December 1 last year, in the presence of the XU Board of Trustees chairman Frank Guerra.      The XU Advancement Office opened the Naming Rights Program (NRP) last year to interested  donors and organizations who want to name a facility or space at the new XUSHS campus, thereby, sharing in the university’s vision of becoming the “Senior High School of Choice in Mindanao.”      The new campus will implement environment-friendly technology in its buildings and operations. Among its salient features are the following: a sewerage treatment plant, rainwater collection system, natural ventilation, and sky gardens. They are designed to reduce the overall impact on the environment and human health.

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Xavier Ateneo, ADMU join forces to offer PhD in Economics offsite program in Mindanao

July 21, 2019

Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan (Xavier Ateneo) and Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU), through their respective Economics departments, sealed an agreement to strengthen graduate learning on economics in Mindanao.      Xavier Ateneo is the only Higher Education Institution (HEI) in Mindanao that offers both an undergraduate and graduate programs in Economics. As proposed in 2020, AdMU will offer a PhD in Economics offsite program to be housed in Xavier Ateneo. An offsite scheme provides an opportunity for potential graduate students in Economics from Mindanao to avail an Ateneo education, right at the heart of CDO as students will be officially enrolled under AdMU but classes are to be conducted at Xavier Ateneo.      Part of the MOU is to develop Xavier Ateneo’s Master of Arts in Economics program, as its students are eyed to be potential enrollees in the PhD in Economics offsite program. There will be regular and certificate classes for both teachers and practitioners in Economics. Subjects are to be taught by faculty members of Xavier Ateneo and AdMU.      For the first semester of this school year, four regular and certificate subjects are being offered. All four are to be facilitated in mixed classes. Research Methods in Economics and Microeconomics are scheduled every weekday. Dr Catherine Roween C Almaden, dean of the XU Graduate School, is handling Research Methods. While junior faculty of Xavier Ateneo Economics, Jhon Louie B Sabal, is teaching Microeconomics.      Macroeconomics and Mathematical Economics, on the other hand, will be recited in the modular set-up as AdMU professors are teaching these subjects. Dr Rosalina Palanca-Tan, senior faculty of AdMU Economics, is scheduled to facilitate her face-to-face lecture on August 19-23 and September 16-20. Dr Philip Arnold P Tuano, chairperson of AdMU Economics, will conduct his lecture classes on October 7-11 and 28-30.

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Cebu Pacific gears up to expand Clark, Cebu hubs

March 11, 2019

The Philippines’ leading carrier, Cebu Pacific (PSE: CEB), is set to expand its route network from its hubs at Clark and Cebu this year, on the back of increasing demand from tourists for more direct and seamless connections.     Speaking at the Routes Asia conference in Cebu, Michael Ivan Shau, Chief Operations Officer of Cebu Pacific, announced that the carrier will launch three new domestic routes from the Clark International Airport. CEB will mount daily flights between its hubs in Clark and Iloilo; as well as between Clark and Bacolod, starting August 9, 2019. Beginning October 9, 2019, CEB will mount daily flights between Clark and Puerto Princesa in Palawan.     “There’s still a lot of opportunity for expansion within the Philippines—inter-island connections from key cities like Clark and Cebu. We believe that there is a significant untapped market in northern provinces in the Philippines. Creating direct links between domestic destinations and our other hubs will spur tourism and movement of goods and investments, whilst doing away with having to pass through the main hub in Manila,” Shau noted.     The Clark International Airport has served as the hub for North and Central Luzon of Cebu Pacific for the past ten years. It has emerged as one of Asia’s fastest-growing airports, with passenger volume breaching 2.5 million in 2018. Over the past six months, CEB has boosted frequency in Clark by over 75%, with direct connections to Cebu, Caticlan, Tagbilaran, Davao, Singapore, Macau and Hong Kong.     “We are also in the final stages of launching a new route between Cebu and mainland China. We’ll have more details on that soon,” added Shau. Cebu Pacific had earlier stated they would ramp-up capacity in its Cebu hub by as much as 20% in 2019. Routes in development for its Cebu hub are focused on North Asia markets such as China, Korea, and Japan.     “The Philippines is the closest tropical destination from North Asia. Cebu and the 166 islands within the province alone boast of some of the best tropical getaways in the world. It’s a logical choice to be our ‘beach hub’ with easier access to world-class beaches, dive spots and resorts.”     From Cebu, CEB mounts direct flights to Bacolod, Caticlan (Boracay), Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Calbayog, Camiguin, Clark, Davao, Dumaguete, General Santos, Iloilo, Kalibo, Legazpi, Ozamis, Pagadian, Puerto Princesa, Siargao, Surigao, Tacloban, Zamboanga, Hong Kong, Macau, Tokyo (Narita), Singapore and Incheon.     Aside from its Clark and Cebu hubs, Cebu Pacific operates flights out of five other strategically placed hubs in the Philippines: Manila, Kalibo, Iloilo, Davao and Cagayan de Oro (Laguindingan). The carrier has maintained leadership in the domestic market with 37 destinations and over 2,130 weekly flights. Coupled with 26 international destinations, the entire Cebu Pacific network covers over 108 routes spanning Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and USA.

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Iponan holds Suman Festival, Christmas rites

December 17, 2018

BARANGAY Iponan held a double celebration last Friday with the launch of its civic Christmas festivities twinned with Suman Festival.     According to barangay chairman Maximo Allorin, there were 22 participants in the Suman Festival which has long been institutionalized since years past along with the Humba Festival which is celebrated separately each February.     Allorin said the 22 participants consisted of zones, subdivisions, organizations, schools and the business sector in Iponan, Cagayan de Oro City.     The criteria for judging is simple: palatability and presentation.     By sunset,the giant Christmas tree in Iponan plaza was lit preceded with fireworks.     Forty trees around the plaza were also decoratedly lit with Yule-themed designs. The contestants also consisted of zones, subdivisions, organizations and schools. Many of the businesses in Iponan also adopted their own trees but were not part of the tilt. The criteria for the Light A Tree were originality and uniqueness of recycling, indigenous theme, creativity and quality of design, craftsmanship and overall appeal and visual impact (both night and day).     The annual Christmas caroling contest was also participated by zones, subdivisions, organizations, schools and the business sector. Criteria for judging were voice quality, creativity and originality and stage presence. Time duration is seven minutes presentation for each group.   Hanging around the Iponan plaza each evening for the entirety of the Christmas season is indeed something to experience and enjoy serenely either for lovers, families or group of friends alike.

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Fulfilling anew an ‘inimitable’ mission

December 17, 2018

Heartwarming. Encouraging. Fulfilling.   This was how FDC Misamis Power Corporation (FDC Misamis) External Affairs Officer Aaron Rodrigo illustrated the firm’s conduct of “My Little Bag of Hope” (MLBH) at St. Paul’s Hospital (SPH) in Tagolo-an town, Misamis Oriental on Friday, December 14, 2018.    Now on its 4th year, MLBH is the power firm’s annual gift giving and employee volunteerism program. Through the generosity of FDC Misamis’ employees, Christmas gift bags containing supplies and food items were handed out to beneficiaries. The program is meant to spread the message of hope through the sense of “malasakit.”    For the past years, MLBH prioritized students from public elementary schools in remote areas of Villanueva and Tagolo-an. A total of 180 poor pupils from Maribojoc Elementary School in Tagolo-an were the beneficiaries last year.     This year, FDC Misamis’ employee-volunteers once again played as “Santa Clauses” to a total of 110 patients, 30 of whom are kids suffering from different illnesses confined at SPH.     “It was totally a different experience!” accentuated Rodrigo, who joined MBLH for the very first time.     “Seeing the smiles of the patients is totally heartwarming.”     “As if we “healed” them even in (just) a short period of time,” underlined Rodrigo, adding, “What a fulfilling kind of endeavor, really!”     For FDC Misamis Community Relations Specialist Analiza Miso, “This is one an inimitable mission-turned-tradition among FDC Misamis’ employees.”      She professed, “We always look forward for this activity. Because saving and sharing something to the poor kids or people during Christmas out of all the blessings we’d received for the whole year is truly encouraging.”     “Be it simple or ordinary toy really means a lot to a poor kid, especially during Christmas time,” Miso attested.     Moreover, she’s happy to note that, this year, MLBH also caused “candid” smiles to some adults, who are in “trying” situations at the hospital.      FDC Misamis President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Juan Eugenio L. Roxas said MLBH is a noticeable proof that apart from the efforts of FDC Misamis management per se, its employees, likewise have the desire to help the people in surrounding communities.     “May our employees continue to be passionate in sharing their blessings as giving is one virtue that FDC Misamis ‘cultivates’ within its organization,” imparted Roxas.    FDC Misamis, a subsidiary of FDC Utilities, Inc., the utilities and power arm of the Gotianun-led Filinvest Development Corporation’s (FDC) conglomerate, operates a 3x135-MW circulating fluidized bed coal thermal plant in Villanueva town.      Comprised of about 200-strong workforce, FDC Misamis was recently hailed as the number one real property tax payer in the entire Misamis Oriental Province.

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