City gives aid to Luzon flood victims

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte called for a special emergency session of the Davao City Council yesterday afternoon to appropriate funds to help victims of Typhoon Ondoy in Metro Manila and Luzon.

Twenty of 27 members of the City Council showed up in the hastily arranged emergency session and approved P10 million in cash assistance to the Philippine National Red Cross.

The Mayor also donated the equivalent of his one month salary and the councilors present followed his lead. The total amount is more than P10.5 million. He directed the city’s chief of police Chief Supt. Ramon Apolinario to fly the cash this morning so that PNRC can buy food, water and other needs to help the flood victims.

The City Government and Davaoenos also extended help in the past like those struck by calamities in northern Mindanao, Leyte and Samar.

In your face!

During the many debates on the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), its proponents promised us that the country would be treated well by Japan with this pact. And that we will gain much in trade, aid and investments, among other things.

Ngek!

What is this P1.3 billion loss?

This clearly shows that the Philippines is not a favored nation in spite of the JPEPA as Tokyo cuts its aid to Manila next year.

Time to make those who voted for JPEPA accountable. Remember them on May 10, 2010.

Davao is safe for ships

This old report from the International Maritime Bureau was simply outrageous.

“The center said ships calling at Davao in the Philippines have also reported men firing rocket-propelled grenades at ships from banca (small canoe with outriggers). In the past 4 weeks, four ships have been attacked this way.”

This report was part of the FF World Ocean News to warn against pirates.

I have been a resident of Davao for the past 52 years, a member of the media and an elected official. I can attest that no incident of this type happened in Davao.

Clear proof of this is the uninterrupted sailings of banana boats from Davao to Japan, China, South Korea, Middle East and other destinations.

This news would definitely help correct the utterly erroneous IMB report.

3-in-1 Today

Three important events are being marked today, 37th anniversary of Martial Law in the country, celebration of Eid ‘l Fitr, and UN International Day of Peace.

Here are some activities in Davao City:

9 a.m. – Aksyon Mindanaw and Mindanaons for Noynoy Movement interfaith prayer and Kaduli at Shanghai Bro’s Restaurant;

1-5 p.m. – Task Force Detainees of the Philippines Human Rights Forum at the UP-Mindanao Anda Campus;

3 p.m. – Kabataang para kay Noynoy Aquino (K NA!) Free t-shirt printing at Centennial Park;

5 p.m. – Candlelight ceremony at Centennial Park to honor victims of martial law and promote the International Day of Peace

Robinsons at Abreeza

Davao City will have a full-service Robinsons Department Store located at Abreeza, the Ayala Center project here of Ayala Land and the Floriendo Group.

Clavel Tongco, Senior Division Head of Ayala Malls based in Cebu City told me that Robinsons Department Store would be the anchor department store at the Ayala Center Davao at Bajada.

She said Robinsons would build its own department store connected to the Abreeza Mall.

Robinsons recently opened a Cyber Center along JP Laurel but with limited space for stores and restaurants. The entire second level of the center is devoted to BPO business locators.

Tongco said the Ayala Center Davao is expected to open in mid 2011 with development cost topping P2.4 billion.

The Davao City Investment Incentive Board recently granted its application for local tax holidays.

Luzon goes Noynoy

The SWS survey in Luzon has confirmed Senator Noynoy has now become the man to beat in next year’s polls.

He polled 50%, the highest ever among the so-called presidentiables since polling to track voter preference started more than two years ago.

This survey also confirmed results of our own survey in the first district of Davao that he can win support from erstwhile supporters of other presidentiables, cutting across all political forces and economic classes.

The survey also revealed an interesting fact. He gets more support every time a presidentiable’s name is taken out in the survey, getting a high of 63% in a three-way fight among Noynoy, Villar and de Castro, and 55% in a four-way contest among Noynoy, Villar, Erap and de Castro.

He needs to sustain the momentum is how one vice mayor in Davao told me in reaction to the survey result.

Well, the Noynoy support groups are mounting more activities this week in Davao including community and campus tours, Rock the Vote Concert, Piso-piso fund drive and start of round-table discussions in crafting a Mindanao Agenda for Noynoy.

Washington Sycip in Davao

The SGV, the country’s and perhaps Asia’s best accounting and business consulting firm, marked its 50th year in Davao with a lavish dinner last night at the Marco Polo Hotel.

The golden anniversary was complete with songs and dances, tributes to past and present employees, thank yous to all clients and guests, and sumptuous dinner with an open bar.

What was unique about the event was the message of its founder, Washington Sycip, one of the most respected business leaders in the country and in the Asian region.

His words were not about the glory of the firm he built after the war to become was it is today. His speech was a tale of lament and a challenge.

He said the country was seen 50 years ago as the leading country in Asia after Japan. He said being democratic and a Christian nation were seen as the country’s asset for development. But now, he said the country lagged behind our neighbors, and has become a bottom-dweller in almost all categories in Asia. He cited though that the Philippines was No. 1 in corruption!

He expressed worry about the continuing decline in the quality of education, the rising poverty, and the ballooning population.

He said the country is now realizing that being “democratic” and a Christian nation have become instead obstacles to development.

The anniversary may not have been appropriate to promote his passion for certain advocacy such as education and raising the living standards of the Filipinos.

Yet, he said he was concerned about the country that we will leave behind for our children.

It was a message that struck the hearts and minds of most in the audience of accountants, business leaders and government officials.

SGV gave out copies of his new bio “Wash: Only a bookkeeper” as the program closed. I rushed to get mine and had it autographed by this great man, who at 88 was still sharp and witty. His citation of statistics during his speech was admirable.

I told him his speech was great. He just smiled knowing that he has inspired or challenged another human being, a fellow Filipino.