5.24.2010

PIA News Service - Monday, May 24, 2010

DPWH starts ‘Oplan Balik Eskwela”

BUTUAN CITY – All district engineering offices of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Northeastern Mindanao (Caraga region) will start on Monday the ‘Oplan Balik Eskwela’ in line with the opening of classes early next month. 

DPWH Region XIII director Dr. Evelyn T. Barroso on Friday ordered all district engineers and field officers to mobilize their respective maintenance divisions for the ‘Oplan Balik Eskwela’. 

The regional office of the DPWH here directed district engineers to start the repainting of pedestrian crossings near schools in their respective areas of jurisdictions. 

Director Barroso ordered field engineers to help de-clog drainage systems to avoid flooding when rain occurs, repair potholes and clear obstructions along national roads for the safe travel of students. 

She also ordered to accelerate the completion and repair of school buildings, inspect its structural safety and to remove unsafe billboards/signs near schools for the safety of the students. 

Barroso made the move in line with the directive of Public Works and Highways Secretary Victor A. Domingo that all regional offices should gear up for the opening of classes on the second week of June to ensure the safety of school children. 

In his directive to all regional directors, Domingo said the ‘Oplan Balik Eskwela’ was part of the department’s commitment in preparing school classrooms, school buildings, billboards and roads safe and “well-kept in time for the school opening”. (muc/PIA-Caraga)

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600 business entrepreneurs join region-wide seminar in Caraga region

BUTUAN CITY, May 24 - At least 600 business entrepreneurs from different cities and provinces in Northeastern Mindanao (Caraga region) participated in a one-day business seminar over the weekend at downtown hotel and convention center here. 

Academe, cooperatives, local government units (LGU) and other business agencies also joined in the seminar aside from the business sector. 

The business seminar was spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Northeastern Mindanao together with “Go Negosyo” for the DTI's One Town One Product Program (OTOP) and micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSME). 

Participants, along with various speakers discussed on setting the right mindset in starting a business, creating changes and reaching success, spotting business opportunities and selecting the best market for the business, innovating products and services, proper advertising, subsidizing and managing finances in a business. 

The speakers also discussed to the participants the 21 steps on how to start their own business, innovative approach and even marketing approach to make it more competitive. 

The primary objective of the seminar is to promote entrepreneurship to the mindset of businessmen and to the existing and potential investors, said Region Xlll DTI Regional Director Brielgo O. Pagaran. 

“Know your product and know your market is a very vital ingredient to have sustainable business,” stressed Director Pagaran in his message Friday. 

During the seminar, Ramon Lopez, executive director of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship presented the overview of the “Go Negosyo” while Ferdinand Maranon, president and chief executive officer of Sagrex Foods, Inc.; Salvacion Leunberger, founder and chief executive officer of SUL Orchids; and Cathy Brillantes-Turvill, founder and president of Nurture Spa, spoke inspiring stories of successful entrepreneurs, respectively. 

Other speakers in the seminar include Efren Sotto, Human Resource Consultant; Paulo Tibig, president V-Cargo and Association of Filipino Franchisers, Inc.; Reuel Virtucio, executive director of Punla sa Tao Foundation; Mylene Abiva, president and chief executive officer of Felta Multimedia, Inc.; and Glenn Baticados, Social Enterprise Development manager, Punla sa Tao Foundation and director of School of Management and Technopreneurship, De La Salle Canlubang. 

All the resource speakers gave a special speech about leadership and success, tips on how to start a business and the importance of having a right business at the right place and with a good service, importance of letting the people know about a business product and making people patronize it and how to give sufficient financial support to the business and how to properly handle the money aspects of a business. 
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The participants in the business seminar came from the cities of Butuan, Bislig, Surigao, Cabadbaran, Bayugan and Tandag and from the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur. (muc/PIA-Caraga)

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Mindanao’s 33 electric coops decry the 66% transmission rate increase

BUTUAN CITY, May 24 - The 33 electric cooperatives in various areas in Mindanao decried over the weekend the 66 percent transmission rate increase on ancillary service charge and regulated transmission services, saying “it is very shocking on their part”. 

The Mindanao’s major electric cooperatives such as Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative, South Cotabato Electric Cooperative, Zamboanga Electric Cooperative, Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative and Davao del Sur Electric Cooperative, are set to file their petitions with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to intercede, hoping to lessen the impact of transmission rate increase imposed by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP). 

Among the five major Mindanao’s electric cooperatives, the Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative (Aneco) will file its petition on Monday with ERC chair Zenaida G. Cruz- Ducut. 

In the 66 percent rate increase, the NGCP is set to collect an estimated close to P700 million from the 33 electric cooperatives in Mindanao, it was learned. 

“The NGCP has abruptly billed us the amount of P49,630,809.28 covering the billing period from March 26 to April 25, this year, and it is very shocking on our part,” said Aneco General Manager Horacio T. Santos. 

He added: “The price becomes P977.12 per kilowatt hour which is 66 percent more than the preceding billing period”. 

He said that all electric cooperatives in Mindanao also suffered the same 66 percent transmission rate increase. 

The electric cooperatives in the island are requesting the ERC to intervene with the NGCP to “spread out their billing on ancillary services charge into six months or one year time in order for them to lessen the impact of transmission rate increase”. 

“We are only asking to give us ample time to pay the additional charges imposed by the NGCP,” also said Engr. Namocatcat. 
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However, it was also learned that some electric cooperatives pose to file in the lower court on the alleged abrupt imposition of transmission cost increase by the NGCP. 

In a related development, the business sector, particularly the Federation Chamber of Commerce in Mindanao is waiting for the immediate move of the incoming administration under President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III on power issues that concern Mindanao up to now. 

The Mindanao Business Council (MBC) and Mindanao Electric Power Alliance (MEPA) chair Vicente Lao bared the sector's wait and see status on how Aquino's administration will resolve Mindanao's power crisis. 

The Mindanao power outages is back on Friday where the state-owned National Power Corporation (Napocor) and NGCP imposed a 2 up to 4 hour rotating brownouts in all electric cooperatives and other power users in the island. 

The companies who are dependent on Mindanao grid will again rotate their working schedule where daily or hourly wage workers will be affected due to rotating power brownout. (muc/PIA-Caraga)