Monday, December 8, 2008

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Malaybalay has new FM station

The City of Malaybalay has a new player in the airwaves, 105.3 Praise FM.

It is a Christian music station that is drawing more listeners, and advertisers, too, day by day.

The station's tagline says: it is "Bukidnon's only Christian music station".

This brings to two music stations in the city, the other one Q106 FM Love Radio. From Malaybalay, Valencia city's Wild FM could also be heard well.

There are now four radio stations in the city, the other two are AM stations namely DXDB Radyo Veritas and DXMB RMN. What's next a TV station?

The new station is a welcome development in the province. It only shows there are more listeners and advertisers!

The best thing is that they offer good Christian music. Their music is soothing and you can even hear some of your favorite Don Moen songs on air.

They have a bonus, too. They run a three times a day, daily Bible Quiz show so its good for the mind and soul.

I'm not sure, though, if we can find an internet platform of the station for now.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Book on Bukidnon to be launched

The Kitanglad Integrated NGOs Inc. (KIN) is launching the book “Keepers of Dreams”: Stories and Images of the Bukidnon tribe, this month.

The book is a compilation of “conversations” and “sharings” among different leaders, elders, and other personalities of the Bukidnon tribe, which claims portions of the Mt. Kitanglad Range and Natural Park.

MindaNews editor H. Marcos C. Mordeno edited the 50-page book published to help raise funds for the scholars of the Bukidnon tribe.

The tribe’s address is in Dalwangan, Malaybalay City.

Easterluna Canoy, KIN’s executive director, said the book would be launched first at the Bukidnon State University in Malaybalay City and in Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City.

Launching dates are yet to be finalized.

The book sells at P300 per copy.

Valencia City approves funds for barangay plebiscite

The city council of Valencia has approved a P3 million appropriations for the conduct of a plebiscite regarding the division of Valencia City's Brgy. Poblacion into four smaller barangays.

Councilor Oliver Owen Garcia told this reporter the P3 million was the quote given by the Commission on Elections to conduct the plebiscite to let the residents of the city proper barangay decide on the fate of their village.

If the registered voters of the existing barangay would vote "yes" for the division, Garcia said it means the creation of three new barangays in the poblacion area in addition to the "mother" barangay.

Valencia City's Brgy. Poblacion is Bukidnon's most populated barangay at 29, 737 (Population Census 2007). The other two barangays in the province that comes close in terms of population are Malaybalay's Casisang (18, 787) and Quezon town's poblacion barangay Kiokong (13, 627).

Its population is even bigger than that of the municipalities of Malitbog (21, 948), Sumilao (21, 720), Dangcagan (21, 254), and Damulog (21, 183).

The barangay, with an internal revenue allotment of P7 million this year, has been subjected to attempts for division for at least a decade.

In 2006, the city council passed an ordinance approving the appropriation of P2 million for the conduct of the plebiscite set for the second Monday of September. But then Mayor Jose M. Galario Jr., requested to defer the poll due to lack of funds, Garcia said.

He said they have already included appropriations for the plebiscite in the city's 2009 budget.

Garcia said in the amendment he presented that the plebiscite must be conducted before the end of 2009 or as soon as the Commission on elections fixes the date.

He said the barangay has grown too big and it is high time to subdivide it to comply with local government mandates for efficient management.

He clarified, however, that the creation of three new barangays would have little impact on the IRA of the city's existing 31 barangays. He explained that allotment for the new barangays would be taken from the share of the country's 34,000 barangays.

He said he has heard of no opposition to the division or the referendum.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

City Gym – City Hall’s next big thing?

The city government has eyed building a big city gymnasium conceived many years ago, but it has to be reevaluated, Mayor Florencio T. Flores Jr. said this week.

Flores said in an interview Tuesday an architect, a native of the province, has initially designed a 10,000-seater gymnasium previously to be located in a site along the diversion road.

He said years back, based on costs of materials then it was estimated to cost at least P200 million.

He said it would be a venue that could accommodate a PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) game with air conditioning and modern equipment such as four-side monitors and scoreboards.

But Flores said this has taken a back seat for now since the P225-million public market-bus terminal-commercial arcade complex is the priority.

“After that big project, we might be able to proceed with that,” he told this reporter.

He said they eyed the city gymnasium project to upgrade the city’s capacity to accommodate big events.

But he said they are not in a hurry in catering to big events because the city still lacks facilities to house visitors like hotels and inns.

“We still have to pass on to Valencia some of our accommodation needs because we don’t have enough,” he said.

Flores cited the recent hosting of the Provincial Board Members Leagues of the Philippines last month as an example when there was a shortage of “presentable” hotel rooms for visitors.

But he clarified that by creating events in the city they are showing to the private sector for the need to invest on the city’s hotel capacity.

Flores said aside from the public market complex the city government has no other “big infrastructure projects”, only small projects such as roads among others.

He clarified that it might not be possible to open the public market before the end of this year as reported by this paper earlier.

But he said the contractor is on schedule to finish it early next year and the two other phases within the nine months extension it was granted.

Crisis sends firms away from Malaybalay's Christmas trees

The city government of Malaybalay led formal lighting of the traditional Light A Tree project on December 1 to mark the Christmas season in the City of Pines.

Mayor Florencio T. Flores Jr. addressed Malaybalaynons in a brief speech signaling the lighting of trees in Plaza Rizal now adorned with colorful lights and decors.

A drum and bugle corps ushered the lighting after a countdown to the delight of hundreds of spectators around 6-7p.m. Monday night.

But there’s a difference in this year’s project --- the city’s business community are not the ones footing the bill for the Christmas tree lighting and decors.

Mayor Flores told the crowd it is the City Hall’s different departments and divisions who took charge of the Christmas trees.

He told this reporter in an interview Tuesday they allotted P10, 000 for each of the 34 departments to spruce up the trees.

He said many of the firms begged off to be excused from the traditional sponsorships this year with some of them experiencing lay offs and other financial problems.

“The crisis has affected the private sector that is why we are making them rest. Some signified that if they be excused this year,” he said.

Mayor Flores said, however, that the set up is temporary as he would still push for a joint public and private sector effort next year.

Monday, December 1, 2008

(Updated) Merry Christmas in Malaybalay City

As I am writing this down, the city government is holding a semi-formal short program to open the annual "Light a Tree" project at the Plaza Rizal.

The project involve establishments and other organizations in the city to take charge of glorifying an existing tree or a structure with Christmas lights.

It is actually a contest but its ultimate goal is to delight the Malaybalaynons with the Christmas atmosphere .

It is not exactly a grandiose display of lights and sights but its enough to amaze the residents typical of simple living in the province of Bukidnon.

The city of Valencia usually has brighter lights but I am not sure it stays on this year. Will update this with photos and more details later.

Updates: Mayor Flores spoke to the crowd last night about the change in preparations for the Light A Tree endeavor. He said due to the global crisis, many private companies have to beg off from sponsoring the project.

The mayor announced that it is the city government departments who has prepared for the tree lighting with a budget of about P10,000 each.

But he said in an interview today (02 December) that next year it would be a mixed local government and private sector initiative.
Some observers at Plaza Rizal said decorations last year was brighter but this year's presentation isn't a far cry from that.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Valencia City holds trade fair for holidays

The city government will hold a trade fair to mark the celebration of Christmas and the city's charter day to help boost local entrepreneurs.

Dr. Pol Murillo, presiding officer of the city tourism core group, told radio station DXDB on November 20 the initiative offers a big shift from past celebrations.

"There are big changes (from the past's Bonggahan sa Valencia). We will have direction. We will give chance for small entrepreneurs through our trade fair," Dr. Murillo said.

The core group works with the office of Councilor Baby Mabao, who chairs the city council's committee on tourism.

The trade fair, to be held at the City Oval, will attempt to showcase Valencia City's products from local small medium entrepreneurs, he added.

"Sayang ang ilang mga product (It's sorry their products) were not showcased. We need to support the small scale business community," he said.

Dr. Murillo said since they would spend for the celebration they would rather also provide opportunities for livelihood.

He cited the products of local entrepreneurs that did not figure in trade fairs and promotions.

He mentioned products such as a flour product of students from the St. Augustine Institute of Technology (SAIT) derived from sweet potato and lutia and a garland product from corn cover.

He also cited locally-made slippers, delicacies, and other crafts.

He said the trade fair focuses on Valencia-made products of local entrepreneurs, craftsmen, processors, and those coming from barangays.

"This will not only benefit the processors but also the producers of raw materials," he said.

But Dr. Murillo called on interested parties to enlist as there was no list of the city's products.

The trade fair also features a learning hub, a venue where daily business and enterprise seminars and trainings will be conducted.

Dr. Murillo said anyone interested to learn putting up a business could attend.

The trade fair will run a total of 45 days from December 1 to January 15 with a big opening on December 8.

The "Bonggahan sa Valencia" during the time of former mayor Jose Galario Jr. showcased booths lavished with Christmas lights and decors. He said the city government foots the bills of the booths built by different agencies.

Dr. Murillo said this time they would build smaller booths to be raffled to interested exhibitors, who will be the one to improve the booths.

The city celebrates its charter day anniversary on January 12. Dr. Murillo said they will allow a three-day "closing sale" before wrapping up.

Dr. Murillo cited other activities for the celebration including a beauty pageant dubbed Ms. Tourism search from the city's 31 barangays.

The city government has earmarked a budget of P2 million for the celebration.

He said they moved the fair's venue from the Plaza Rizal to the City Oval to anticipate the preparation for the construction of the Valencia City – Davao del Norte highway.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Higaonons train youth on mat weaving

Some 20 Higaonons, mostly out of school youth, are attending 36-day training on mat weaving here as part of their "school for living traditions.”

Sol Dinlayan, Bukidnon State University Ethno-cultural Museum in-charge, said the participants are joining the training to learn a livelihood skill and also as a way to preserve and revitalize the craft as part of the tribe's culture. She said they are trying to teach the craft to the younger generations as the tribe's weavers are growing old.

Most of the participants are from Poblacion barangays 10, 11, and Casisang. The training was initiated by barangay leaders.

Dinlayan said cultural master Rosita Into, a 79-year old Higaonon weaver is the mentor in the three-phase training, which started last week.

She said there is value added when the tribal women weave - they have more time to share about their culture and life to younger generations.

"During mat weaving we have ample time to socialize. Mostly it is a time for elders to share to the youth about maayong pamatasan (good manners)," she said.

Dinlayan, however, said that while there is no problem with the market for the mats the industry is threatened by the problem of scarce materials.

She cited the depleting plant source called sudsod, a type of water grass used as straw for the mats, and the lack of a showroom for their products.

Read a full report on this post here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bukidnon board approves P1.06-B budget for 2009

The Bukidnon Sangguniang Panlalawigan (provincial board) approved on November 5 the P1.06 billion budget proposed by Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr.

The proposed budget passed the board's scrutiny without cuts.

But Zubiri requested an amendment in a letter to the board on November 17 asking that P19.51million of the budget for the Provincial Indigency Health Project be used as partial for the construction of the Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (provincial jail).

Zubiri endorsed to the provincial board the proposed executive budget of the general fund for 2009 on October 3. The proposal has been referred to the appropriations committee.

The budget covers statutory and mandatory obligations (P319.02 million), general public services (P283.50 million), economic services (P113.50), social services (P218.99 million), and subsidy to economic enterprise (P125 million).

By expenditure type, more than a fourth of the budget, P287.2 million or 27 percent goes to personal services; another fourth to mandatory obligations such as calamity and development funds, P256 million or 24.15 percent; almost a fifth goes to non-office expenses or for projects, P191.77 million or 18.09 percent; about 13 percent goes to maintenance and operating expenses (MOOE) at P136.89 million; andabout 12 percent for subsidy to the province's economic enterprise,P125 million, or 11.79 percent.

The province also plans to spend about 6 percent of the 2009 budget to pay for loans, estimated at P63 million or 5.94 percent.

The breakdown for statutory and mandatory obligations include economic services (P256, 018,000) and general public services to be spent on loan amortization (P63 million).

Under economic services are barangay development fund (P928, 000), 5 percent reserve for calamity fund (P53 million), and development fund(P202.09 million).

For the statutory obligations under general public services the provincial government is earmarking P56 million for loans with the Land Bank of the Philippines and P7 million for the Asian DevelopmentBank for a total of P63 million.

For full report read here.