Mt. Hamiguitan is Mindanao’s first in the list of World Heritage as declared by UNESCO …. the local govenrment vows to take their responsibility of sustaining environmental protection in the are …. here’s my story ….


DavOr crafts stronger policies to protect World Heritage Mt. Hamiguitan 
By Prix Digna D. Banzon

DAVAO CITY, June 27 (PNA) — The province of Davao Oriental will be crafting more policies to ensure that the World Heritage Mt. Hamiguitan area is well protected.

Davao Oriental governor Corazon Malanyaon said there is a need to determine the carrying capacity of the place to assure that the flora and fauna and other organisms and their habitats are preserved.

“I will rally with the members of the provincial board to come up with policies to ensure that the mountain range is protected,” she said.

Malanyaon in her speech during the 38th Session of the World Heritage Committee last week in Doha, Qatar, said they will take seriously in protecting the site.

“We take seriously our responsibility to protect the site’s high endemic species of flora and fauna, some of which are critically endangered like the Philippine Eagle and the carnivorous pitcher plants. Mount Hamiguitan is home to an expansive centuries-old tropical pygmy forest,” she said.

While the inscription is a celebration of the global partnership in their shared vision and desire to conserve these natural gifts for future generation she said there is a need to strictly monitor and preserve it.

“It is a step forward towards the continuation of monitoring and preserving the fragile ecosystems in the mountain amidst changing climate and typhoon patters,” Malanyaon said.

The governor vowed to protect the mountain range saying “I affirm our resolve as local stakeholders to protect and conserve the site’s inscribed outstanding universal value and integrity”.

Malanyaon in an earlier report said that they were successful in convincing indigenous communities living near the mountain range not to include in their claim for ancestral domain, the area which has become famous for the century-old bonsai farm.

Mt. Hamiguitan was declared as protected area in 2004 through Republic Act 9303

It has five vegetation types: the agroecosystem, dipterocarp, montane and typical mossy and the mossy-pygmy forest and that it is found to possess high and varied ecosystem with many endangered, endemic and rare species of flora and fauna of 1,380 species including the endangered Pithecophage jefferyi or the Philippine Eagle.

The range covers the towns of San Isidro, Governor Generoso and Mati City of about 31,879 hectares and the mountain range is 1,620 meters above sea level.

The mountain range is the first area in Mindanao that made into the World Heritage list. (PNA)


Nutritious drink … Ang Buko, Bow !

Pinoy love this … freshly picked from the tree these are sold anywhere be it on the street, the supermarket, the wet market … it is sold as cold drink still in the husk … it is chilled or frozen that vendors sell near offices, schools, parks and other places where people converge. They say it is medicinal …  yes it is rich in electrolytes … and when one drinks this after too much sweating because of hard work like jogging running it brings back energy as one research that I read said. The business side of this is that a multi-national company operating right here in our region will bring this thirst quenching drink to the international market … an expansion of its operation here will not only bring the by-product of our Miracle Tree, the coconut, internationally but also more jobs for our fellow Pinoys … bring it on … !  Here’s my story … 


Davao Sur coconut firm to produce coco water for int’l market 

By Prix Digna D. Banzon

DAVAO CITY, April 10 (PNA) — With the high demand for coco water in the international market, Franklin Baker is expanding the operation of its plant in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur to producing a new product out of coconut.

Sta. Cruz Mayor Joel Ray Lopez disclosed on Thursday at the Davao Business Forum organized by DermPath, SM City Davao and San Miguel PureFoods that Franklin Baker is expanding its operation in their town for production of coco water.

Mayor Lopez said the company is finalizing negotiations with the Ayala’s for the acquisition of the property that was earlier leased to CJ Toyota Tsusho Philippines, Inc.

He said Franklin Baker is negotiating for the property that was earlier occupied by the CJ Toyota Tsusho Philippines, Inc. which company produces coconut sugar D-xylose out of coconut shell.

The Korean company however closed down due to technology problem that caused them tremendous losses.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Davao del Sur provincial head Eulogio Orevillo said the negotiation is ongoing and the parties are already finalizing details.

“We see positive results with the negotiation undertaken by two parties,” he said.

Provincial Agri-Industrial Center (PAIC) administrator of Sta. Cruz town Camila Infuesto said Franklin Banwas first agri-industrial processing plant that located in their municipality.

The Sta. Cruz processing plant produces desiccated coconut which produce is exported to international market like the US.


She said new businesses or expansion of existing business is what our locality needs because this would also mean more jobs for the locals.

She said as indicated in their Investment Code, companies that locate in their municipality must employ residents of the area.

The entry of more businesses in Sta. Cruz gave their municipality a tremendous increase of the local revenue, she said.

She said from the P75.1 million income in 2001 it grew by 426 percent in 2013 as it generated an income of P196.765 million.

As shown in the graph, the town’s income from 2001 to 2007 recorded a very minimal increase but went up in 2008 with the entry of more businesses.

She said they continue to invite investors even as she said that they make sure that they maintain their reputation as a business friendly town. (PNA) CTB/Digna D. Banzon/ldp



This year more and more exciting events are happening in Davao City including this ….

‘Davao Fun Sale’: a ‘must-visit’ event


DAVAO CITY, Jan. 28 (PNA) — Private and government leaders of Davao City join forces as they mount the biggest and longest “Big Davao Fun Sale” that will open in time for the “Araw ng Dabaw” festivities this year.

“Araw ng Dabaw”, which is an attraction to travelers, tourists both foreign and domestic, businessmen including families never miss the opportunity to celebrate with the people of Davao and this time it will be more exciting as major malls in the city is offering biggest fun sale ever in the country.

Department of Tourism (DOT) regional director Art Boncato said the planning and preparation of the fun sale even started last year although he said we wanted our visitors to enjoy the best dining and shopping experience.

He said they wanted Davao City to develop a strong shopping and dining segment among travelers to Davao and to improve the image of the city as a thriving destination for business and investment.

The first-ever four-week long shopping frenzy in the country with the retail industry offers fantastic deals like unique activities, freebies, discounts, awards and prizes, he added.

He said there will also be a food festival spearheaded by the Restaurants Association of Davao, Inc.

Boncato said “the holding of this event is a big support to tourism as we also wanted to increase our tourists arrivals by 15 percent”.

SM assistant vice president for marketing in Mindanao and Ads and Promo Vice Chair for the Big Davao Fun Sale Russel Alaba in a separate interview said the Big Sale will also have several fun events that will take place in the different participating malls.

He also said there will be parties even as he cited that they will have electronic dancing and other first and unique events during the duration of the Fun Sale.

The sale will not only be on dry goods but the first three days on March 14 to 16 will be of General Sale (Mall Wide).

He said the succeeding days where it will be on sale the whole time on March 14 to April 16 on Dining, Crafts, Fruits and Flowers.

Themes will come in starting March 16 to 23 for Health and Beauty; March 23 to 30 will focus on Electronics and Gadgets; March 31 to April 6, Home and Travel; and April 7 to 16, Active Lifestyle/Fashion.

Participating the month long Big Davao Fun Sale are Abreeza Mall, NCCC Mall of Davao, SM Lanang Premier, SM City Davao, Gaisano Mall of Davao, GMall of Toril and Robinsons. (PNA)

PageSnapp Davao goes to Silicon Valley

Anywhere in the world, you can find Pinoy talents … and they don’t stop coming and this time with this group of young professionals who emerged winner in the AngelHack Manila Competition 2013 that entitles them to compete globally this September in Silicon Valley. They will compete with 250 other developers coming from the different countries around the world. Good luck to these Pinoy guys.  Since I got the chance to interview them … here’s my story …

DAVAO CITY (PNA) — After getting the grand prize winner in the competition at AngelHack Manila 2013, the developers of PageSnapp are preparing for their trip to Silicon Valley, California this September.


(Courtesy Photo)

PageSnapp team is composed of Rolly Rulete, Marvin Consuegra, Raymond Delfin, Miro Galang and Jay Albano.

The group in an interview after the Kapehan sa Davao at SM City recently, said their main objective of developing the application is to help the business community of Davao and those from other parts of the world.

Four members of the team are employed with a startup company, Life Bit, whose owner was also a winner in an AngelHack competition years back. The other team member is from Pampanga.

But they said their employer at Life Bit did not prevented them from exploring thus they improved on their skills on program development and graphic works and competed in the event that was joined by 250 developers and gave them the opportunity to present their product to the global market. During the competition they were given 24 hours to do the coding and make the software work.

PageSnapp will join 31 other winners of the AngelHack Spring Global Challenge conducted in various cities in Asia Pacific, North America, South America, and Europe.

Davao ICT chair Eriberto Barriga, Jr. said PageSnapp together with the other winning teams will present their startups to investors and other related sectors during th Global Demo Day in Silicon Valley this September.

He said of the competing developers, 10 will be picked and be given booths at the TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco from September 7 to 11, 2013.

“We are optimistic our Davao-Pampanga team will make it,” he said.

Barriga said “their project could help a lot of small businesses and we are proud we have top notch developers who can compete globally”.

He said they are looking at the 16 million local business pages worldwide and get a share of the pie, build their network and later go into commercializing their product.

He said AngelHack will introduce them to incubators and investors to help run their idea into a start-up which is part of their 5,000-dollar travel grant to Silicon Valley. (PNA)
hbc/ASA/Prix Digna D. Banzon/ldp

Green building designs in PHL now a trend

Green design is the answer especially now that demand of power continue to increase and yet not enough supply is generated to meet the requirements.  What I like with green design is it factors in the use of all natural yet free use of the basics … air and light and even the use of rain water.  Many might think it’s late but embracing it is the right thing to do.  Some experts have spoken and I made them as the source of my story …  Please check the attached article … 

DAVAO CITY, July 24 (PNA) — Although the green designs for buildings in the Philippines has just started, it is becoming a trend and a good opportunity for Mindanao to go for it.

This was said by Architect Romolo Valentino Nati, chairman, ITALPINAS European Design & Eco-Development Corporation in a press conference held during the conduct of Mindanao Energy Efficiency Forum on Tuesday at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao.

Nati said there is a need to correct the impression that green design is costly saying “we should help correct this kind of stereotyping.”

The design of the building helps ensure natural ventilation as Nati said we need to control the temperature inside the building.


He said the use of aircondition units is 60 percent of the total power consumption and with green designs the consumption of energy can be reduced.

Nati’s corporation has built an eco-friendly mix use building in Cagayan de Oro City where funding was accessed through the Renewal Energy facility of the Bank of the Philippine Islands.

He said the mix use building offers the same price range with the other buildings in the market.

Meanwhile, Noel Verdote, operations officer, Sustainable Energy Finance, International Finance Corporation said only few projects fall under renewable energy and investment size is large.

He said there is a huge opportunity for investment on energy efficiency of about 97 billion dollars for 97,000 investment decisions.

But he said despite the huge opportunity, it is not perceived as a core business because more is focused on top line growth and competing internal interests.

He also said that the potential is underestimated because decision makers underestimate energy losses by half and technical personnel focus on reliability and not on efficiency.

He also said there is also the lack of turnkey package as solutions seem fragmented and ambiguous while the value of savings uncertain and the need for external financing.

Verdote said several banks and other financial institutions have facilities to fund projects on renewable energy even as he said that the need to innovate must continue.

And this can be done through microfinance, the ESCO financing and Green buildings for commercial retrofits, construction of green buildings and green mortgages.

He also said that banks like the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) provide funding for energy efficiency projects for SMEs and the savings they generate from energy consumption is used to pay for the loan. (PNA)

FPV/ASA/Prix Digna D. Banzon/ldp

International brand chooses Davao over other cities outside Manila

more international brands are coming to town … here’s the latest … it made its third store in the country within the span of four months when it first came to the Philippines … Davao City is their first provincial store … here’s my story …

DAVAO CITY, July 26 (PNA) — An American brand opened its third store in the Philippines here in Davao City.



The world-class retail giant American Eagle Outfitters chose to locate in Davao City and opened its first provincial store at SM Lanang Premier on Wednesday.

Mae Jeanjaquet, brand manager of American Eagle, said Davao is a cosmopolitan city and it’s fast developing that is why “we want to expand our presence here.”

Occupying a 494 sq. m area at the ground floor of SM Lanang Premier, Jeanjaquet noted that “a lot of Dabawenyos travel to Manila to shop, so why not bring our store here”.

“Dabawenyos are not different from those fashionable Manilenos and they are a captive market,” she said.

Since American Eagle opened in the Philippines last March, she said the brand is very well received. The other stores are located in SM Aura and at the Bonifacio Heights in Taguig. The fourth store will be opened next month in Greenbelt, she said.

Jeanjaquet, however, said they are also looking at other cities in Mindanao and talks are ongoing given the fact that their partnership with SM is doing well with the appropriate spaces given to them which suit their requirements.

With over 1,000 stores all across the globe, American Eagle Outfitters is an iconic brand synonymous with versatile lifestyle clothing and stylish signature denims at affordable prices.

SM Lanang Premier mall manager Engr. Therese Lapena-Manalo said some 30 international brands are now housed at the mall since it opened last year.

Among the other international brands that opened branches at SM Lanang are Cotton On, Cotton On Kids, Terranova, Call It Spring, Marks & Spencer, Guess, Mossimo, Esprit, Philip Stein, Kipling, Stacatto, Technomarine, Arrow, Etude House, Merrell, Mothercare, The Face Shop, Von Dutch.

She said more stores are opening starting next month like Aldo, Aeropostale, Charles and Keith, Sperry and Beauty Bar. International restaurants like Vikings is opening soon here, she said.

“We are in talks with more brands to locate in our Davao mall as we also wanted other unique branded stores to come as we continue to service the Davao region and its neighboring areas of providing our shoppers with more choices and good quality products,” she added. (PNA)

Strict enforcement of smoking ban in Davao City: a big challenge to other ASEAN countries

Davao City made it …. and nobody smokes in public places … in tourism related establishments, in streets, in public cars, in beaches … and upon touchdown while riding a plane … you will be advised that Smoking is strictly ban in this city.  A gathering of representatives from Asean countries was held here recently to discuss and formultate “Smoke-free Laws”.  The participants did ocular visits to strategic places, offices, parks …. they observed and they were impressed.  Here’s my story …   

DAVAO CITY, July 10 (PNA)– The strict implementation of smoking ban in Davao City is a big challenge to other member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN).

This was the statement of Director Bungon Ritthiphakdee of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance(SEATCA)whose group facilitated the three-day conference to strengthen smoke-free policies in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

The conference opened on Monday and ended Wednesday at the SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier here.

The director said it would be a big challenge for police officers to enforce the no-smoking law in their countries.

Earlier, the SEATCA director cited Davao City as the first metropolitan city to be smoke-free not only in the Philippines but the ASEAN region. SEATCA conferred a plaque of recognition to Davao City.


Davao City co-chairperson for Anti-Smoking Task Force, Dr. Domilyn Villareiz said the delegates made an ocular inspection in public places where people converge.

“They were in awe, amazed, happy and impressed seeing public places free of smokers,” she said.

Villareiz attributed the successful implementation to the team effort undertaken by the Task Force saying that the enforcement of stiffer laws discouraged smokers to be slapped with penalties and the hassle of being subjected to court proceedings.

She said there has been no let-up of our advocacy through proper education and understanding of the law even as she said that the public also supports the campaign.

Since its implementation over ten years ago, she said Davao City has become the model for anti-smoking campaign and all sectors including the media played an important role in delivering the messages properly.(PNA) PDS/ASA/Prix Digna D. Banzon/ldp