Showing posts with label Visayas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Visayas. Show all posts

First Batch of Qatari & Saudi investors Arrive the Philippines for Palawan, Visayas and Mindanao Million Dollar Projects

Qatari Investment in the Philippines
MOUs worth amounting to US$ 206 million were signed this afternoon between Qatari local companies and the Philippines Economic Zones Authority (PEZA) Photo: Asian Telegraph Qatai

1st batch of investors from Qatar, Mideast visit Philippines

The first batch of investors from Qatar and the Middle East has visited the Philippines to study the locations identified by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) for investments in several sectors.

Peza director general Charito B Plaza posted on her Facebook page that investors from the Middle East “are ready” to invest on agro-industrial economic zones, including a 1,000-hectare area for poultry and vegetable crops.

Other projects, according to Plaza, include the development of five islands in the southern part of the Philippines where investors are planning to build a resort, retirement village, and other tourism destinations.

The first batch of Middle East investors is among the 13 companies that signed letters of intent (LoI) with Peza during Philippine President Rodrigo R Duterte’s state visit to Qatar in April.

Speaking to Gulf Times during Duterte’s Qatar visit, Plaza had said Mindanao would be home to most of the $206mn (P10.3bn) worth of investments Peza signed with Qatari investors. She said the investments are expected to generate 5,870 new jobs in the country.

The investments range from retirement village projects, hotel and tourism ecozones, IT services and digital marketing, ecozone management services, poultry and halal food processing, as well as agro-industrial farming, and hospital and medical tourism economic zones, among others.

Plaza said, “While waiting for the Peza board’s approval of their application, we can already start looking for areas and economic zones where the investors can establish their industries. Vast islands in Palawan, Mindanao, and the Visayas are awaiting development.” According to Plaza, Peza had achieved 64% of its $1bn target from its initiatives in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE, which Duterte visited in April.

“Thanks to the good economic climate and favorable conditions of the Arab investment market, I am confident that Peza can easily exceed its $1bn target earmarked for the Middle East,” she pointed out.

She also said the Philippines would be an ideal distribution hub for Qatar in fields such as defense, manufacturing, and food processing due to its “strategic location” in Asia and the Pacific.

Plaza also emphasized on the need for economic zones with logistics hubs, seaports, and airports, which are under the helm of the Philippines’ Department of Transportation.

“These logistics hubs must have special economic zone services such as warehouses, cold storage, and container yards so that we have abundant facilities to stock goods while waiting for ships to arrive,” Plaza said. She added, “All types of economic zones can be built in the Philippines depending on the potential and the type of land. Agro-industrial, agro-forestry, paper making, aquamarine, eco-tourism, medical tourism, and export manufacturing remain to be the most popular.”

PEZA & Qatari Investors Sign MOUs of US $ 206 m Investments in Philippines Economic Zones

A number of Qatari business community members and their representatives had one to one detailed meeting with Chairman and accompanying members of Philippines Economic Zone Authority today.

On the sideline of President Duterte visit to Qatar, a number of MOUs worth amounting to US$ 206 million were signed this afternoon between Qatari local companies and the Philippines Economic Zones Authority (PEZA).

Ramon M. Lopez, Secretary (Minister) Department of Trade & Industry of Philippines was also present on the occasion and witnessed the MOU ceremony. On behalf of PEZA, Brig. Gen. Charito Booc Plaza, Director General PEZA signed the MOUs.

PEZA local representatives Joseph Rivera, Greg Loayon and Adel Sa’adeh assisted in organising the signing ceremony.

Philippines Trade minister and PEZA authorities are part of official delegation of President Rodrigo Duterte, who is on his official visit to State of Qatar.

Read more at Gulf Times and Asian Telegraph Qatar

Cebu Travel Bullish: 12 % Up - Chinese Tourists Visiting the Islands

Filipinos in South Korea
Paradise Island of Cebu, Central Philippines

More Chinese tourists seen visiting Cebu on better ties

The management of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport is bullish that the volume of Chinese tourists coming in the Philippines via Cebu will continue to increase this year, due to much-improved relations between the two countries.

GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. President Louie B. Ferrer said China has proven to be a significant market for the airport operator, as Chinese tourists now make up 12 percent of the total passenger count at the Cebu air hub from just 8 percent in 2015.  “China is a really an important market for us. Our focus is on China because of the opportunity of the Chinese market,” he said. “We expect a lot from the tourism side, and even businesses.”

Currently, there are two Mainland Chinese airlines flying in and out of Cebu: Xiamen Airlines and Sichuan Airlines.  “China Eastern has also signified its interest,” Ferrer said.

As such, the company is hoping that the Chinese government will set up an embassy in Cebu to further support growth in the Queen City of the South.

“Were also hoping to have visa on arrival for Chinese visitors,” Ferrer said.

GMR-Megawide is targeting to breach the 10-million passenger mark for the airport by the end of 2017. The airport clocked in a 11.5-percent increase in passenger volume to 8.9 million passengers in 2016, from 7.98 million passengers the year prior.  The Filipino-Indian joint venture started operating the airport in Mactan in November 2014, after winning the deal to modernize the existing facility while building a second terminal to support projected growth.

Slated to open in June 2018, Terminal 2 will increase passenger capacity to 12.5 million. The new terminal, spanning 65,500 square meters, will not only lessen congestion but will also offer an exciting and wide-ranging retail environment. The architectural design is inspired by Cebu’s island heritage. - Lorenz S. Marasigan Business Mirror

Where to Stay in Cebu?

Book the cheapest to the most elegant hotel in cebu in a very affordable prices. 

Controversial ₱700-million Iloilo Convention Center opens for APEC Summit


PNoy opens Iloilo Convention Center

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III led on Monday the inauguration of the controversial ₱700-million Iloilo Convention Center (ICC).

Aquino opened the state-of-the-art convention facility located on a 1.7-hectare lot in Iloilo Business Park, Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

The ICC became controversial last year after former provincial administrator Manuel Mejorada Jr. alleged that the structure was overpriced and implicated Senate President Franklin Drilon, an Ilonggo.

Mejorada accused Drilon of conspiring with a supposedly favored contractor to rig the bidding of the project.

Mejorada alleged that W.V. Coscoluella and Associates, which designed the building, was awarded a contract without a public bidding and that construction was overpriced by ₱488 million.


President Aquino at the inauguration of the Iloilo Convention Center in Iloilo City. Official Gazette PH

Drilon was charged with graft before the Office of the Ombudsman in October 2014, but the charge was dismissed for lack of merit.

Two stories high with a floor area of 11,832 square meters, the ICC can accommodate over 3,000 guests. It will be used as one of the venues for some high-level ministerial meetings of this year's Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.

The construction of the ICC began in 2013 and was based on a design inspired by Iloilo's Dinagyang and Paraw festivals.

Aquino also joined the ceremonial launch of the Iloilo Business Park and Richmonde Hotel Iloilo. - Louis Bacani @philSTAR

#AkoSiDaniel Campaign Aims to Empower Children in the Philippines Through Education

#AkoSiDaniel Campaign Aims to Empower Children in the Philippines Through Education
As another academic year gets into full swing in many countries in the Northern Hemisphere and some parts of the Southern Hemisphere, so too does an education campaign called #AkoSiDaniel in the Philippines. With the aim of getting 1.2 million primary-age out-of-school children in the country into schools and learning, the cause is making headlines with the support of local and international youth leaders, nonprofit organizations, and celebrities united to bring hope to young Filipinos living in poverty.
Inspired by nine-year old Daniel Cabrera of Cebu and the global Up For School movement, #AkoSiDaniel, meaning "I am Daniel," was launched in July 2015 by The Philippines Foundation in partnership with international initiative A World at School and American crowdfunding company Crowdrise.
A few weeks before, the photo of Daniel studying on a makeshift desk by a McDonald's underneath a lamp post went viral, drawing the attention of online and on-the-ground communities who mobilized to support him and his mother. As a result of their collaboration, they raised over 230,000 Philippine pesos, equivalent to approximately 5,300 U.S. dollars, as well as scholarships that will be financial assistance for his living expenses and schooling.
In the spirit of their crowdfunding project, #AkoSiDaniel is anchored to a digital platform, Through this microsite, people across the world can sign the Up For School Philippines petition and donate to The Philippines Foundation, which will support programs devoted to increasing access to quality education for children in the Philippines.
At a forum this past May 2015, Min Jeong Kim, Head of the Global Education First Initiative Secretariat, stressed the importance of innovative funding to education. Therefore, partnerships such as are imperative for making a positive difference in the lives of youth like Daniel, because, unfortunately, Daniel's plight is only one among many. In the Philippines, poverty, natural disasters, conflict, and shortages in education resources hinder children and their family from pursuing and persisting in school.
These challenges have placed the Philippines on a list of nations yet to achieve United Nations Millennium Development Goal 2, which, in 2000, set a global mission to achieve universal primary education by the end of 2015. Today, there are around 59 million primary-age children who are unable to realize their potential through education. As a result, governments have been mobilizing talent and treasure to set an agenda that will afford their young populations an education.
To this end, the Philippine government released its own framework for action to accelerate and sustain its efforts in expanding access to primary schooling, in time for approval of the Sustainable Development Goals at the upcoming United Nations Summit in late September 2015, which will call for inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.
With only a month left until the historic conference, #AkoSiDaniel joins the global Up For School coalition bringing hope to children living in difficult conditions, deprived of pencils, books, teachers, and schools. Supporters and strangers alike can join in solidarity by going to, signing the petition, donating, and raising awareness among family and friends on social media and in-person. Now is the time to empower current and future generations through education.
Benedict Joson is A World at School Global Youth Ambassador for education supporting The Philippines Foundation and #AkoSiDaniel campaign. - Huffing post

Manila Govt irritating Visayas – Mindanao Call Unity for Independence from Manila Government

An Online petition signed by some Visayan and Mindanaoan for a change

The Visayas and Mindanao Language and Culture

The majority Visayas and Mindanao Language and culture have been rejected by the manila Government and discrimination persist to these groups.

In spite of the majority spoken language by the whole country is Binisaya or also called Bisayan (Cebuano), the Manila government insisted that the national language must pattern to Tagalog as the language of the people in the capital.

People in the remote Visayas and Mindanao strive hard to understand Tagalog but always failed and finally give up to get involved in the Manila political discussion as it could not be understood by the majority Filipinos in the Visayas and Mindanao.

People from Visayas and Mindanao are always at the last priority in anyway. Job applicants from Visayas and Mindanao are less entertained compared to the people from the Katagalogan regions.

The discrimination of Visayans and Mindanaoan seems to be never ending which independence from the Manila Government is the best solution. An independence that doesn't need to be a separate country from the Philippines, a genuine independence that the discrimination will end, and independence that the majority Spoken language "Binisaya" could be recognized as official language for both Bisayans and Mindanaoans.

Huge amount of taxes from Visayas and Mindanao are also sip by manila Government for its own development and less prioritized the impoverished remote Visayas and Mindanao Islands. Independence of Visayas and Mindanao could be the solution to have an even development in these regions in par with what is in Manila now.

The root of Conflict

Manila government is so bold to intervene the Mindanaoan government in selective way.

Manila could easily jump in and intervene the governance of any part of Visayas and Mindanao for publicity but not heartily.

Until now the Maguindanao Massacre is not properly addressed. The victims are still hungry for justice but the Manila Government is picky to give justice for the victims.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) wants to focus on the Davao Death Squad (DDS) which victims are drug pushers and drug lords but could not focus on the Maguindanao Massacre which victims are innocent civilian and media people.

It is right that we must not put the justice in our hand but the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) must prioritize the case which victims and innocent civilians and good people. The move of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is seems to get in favor for giving justice firs for the sore of the society than the innocent people who are victims of the massacre.

Manila Government jump into how Davao governs its people but it could not jump into giving justice for the Maguidanao Massacre.

 Manila culture and Mindanao Culture is absolutely different and direct exposure is important for them to understand what Mindanao is.

What is the root of conflict in Mindanao by the way? Conflict begins when a person is in the state of hunger and could not find any sources of bread to feed the aching stomach. The root of all conflict in Mindanao is hunger, hardship in life, joblessness, and injustice.

As long as the Manila government could not address the needed development in Mindanao, as long as there is not justice, as long as there is no Job; the Iron hand is needed to guide the people.

Rights group finds reason to probe Davao killings

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said it had found a pattern of selective and systematic extrajudicial killings of 206 individuals accused or suspected of committing various offenses by a vigilante group in Davao City from 2005 to 2009.

CHR Chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales presented the commission's findings on the activities of the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS) in a statement issued Wednesday.

The CHR faulted local officials for failing to conduct any meaningful investigation into the killings, thereby violating the state's obligation to protect the rights of its citizens.

It said the then city mayor, Rodrigo Duterte, as the local chief executive and deputized Napolcom representative with general and operational control and supervision over the city police force, had clearly disregarded information on alleged human rights violations in Davao City, and did not act on them.

Rosales asked the Office of the Ombudsman to look into Duterte's administrative and criminal liability for his inaction and for tolerating such violations in his jurisdiction.

"It is axiomatic in human rights law that where there are human rights violations, there must be accountability," Rosales said.

The CHR investigation was prompted by the search for accountability for the many lives taken arbitrarily by the DDS, a group allegedly responsible for summary executions of delinquents and drug traffickers in Davao.

Rosales said the number of persons killed could even be higher as the 206 figure was only based on what the CHR had in its records.

According to Rosales, dead bodies were piling up in Davao City during that period, consisting mainly of addicts, drug pushers, thieves and young people with police records for petty crimes. Many of the victims were minors.

Then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo established the Melo Commission to look into the killings. Official concern from the United Nations came with the visit of Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, who visited the country in February 2007.

In his report to the UN Human Rights Council in 2008, Alston observed that "it is a commonplace that a death squad known as the 'Davao Death Squad' (DDS) operates in Davao City. One fact points very strongly to the officially sanctioned character of these killings: No one involved covers his face."

The New York-based Human Rights Watch observed that the DDS "typically make greater efforts to conceal their weapons than their identity."

The CHR at the time, then headed by now Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, decided to conduct an investigation into the killings.

The CHR conducted public hearings in Davao City in March, April, May and September 2009.

According to Rosales, the CHR's investigation was hampered by a climate of fear gripping witnesses and by official denials from local government and law enforcement officials that the Davao Death Squad even existed.

Still, enough evidence emerged that there was a pattern in the victims targeted and in the methods of attack, she said.

"The killings were selective: The victim was usually involved or suspected to have been involved in some type of illegal activity. The manner of killing was also distinct: The assailants were usually motorcycle-riding gunmen," she said.

Freedom and Independence of the Visayas and Mindanao Islands

Visayas - Mindanao Independence Not in Hand of Moros but for the Majority People.

It has been several decades which the Manila government controlled the Islands of Visayas and Mindanao Politically but not the economy as it missed the Development Target for the Region because of Priority Development which focused in the Capital Manila.

A call for unity and independence in Visayas and Mindanao is over shadowed with fears and divided the people's vote because of the threat from the migrants Muslims from the islands of Borneo who are in thein the Island who want to dominate over the lumad and the majority Christian Populations in Mindanao.

For several years, Moro group called for the independence of Mindanao but gain only a very less support as their advocacy is over shadowed with crimes, land grabbing and killings of the civilians in the island.

 Recently a mask group of majority Christians and Lumad advocates starts drafting for the "Movement for Independence for Visayas and Mindanao from Manila Government for Peace and Development to attain the dreamed progress and development without Manila intervention to assert their right to freedom and independence as an expression of their right to self-determination..

Right of Self-determination

The right of self-determination is the collective right of peoples to determine their own future free of any outside interference or coercion. It is the right to choose the kind of political status the peoples want and to freely pursue their economic, social, spiritual and cultural development.

The United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights expressly provide that "All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development".

In the exercise of that right, the peoples have wide latitude of choice. At one end, they can demand and pursue within the nation state more political power, active participation in the decision making and administration of government affairs, equitable redistribution of economic benefits, and appropriate ways of preserving and protecting their culture and way of life. On the other end, they have also the right to organize their own sovereign and independent government, or reclaim their lost freedom and independence.

In pursuing that right to self-determination the Christian and Lumad Advocates are opting, as manifested both by the liberation movements and the civil society, for the restoration of their freedom and independence that they enjoyed for more than six centuries prior to the establishment of then country the Philippines in honor of the invader king of Spain.

Long History of Independence

The historical experience of the Mindanaoan people in statehood and governance started as early as 10 century under the Sultanate of Sulu which Mindanao, Sulu and North Borneo as part of this old Kingdom.

By the time the Spanish colonialists arrived in the Philippines the Muslims of Mindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi archipelago and the islands of Basilan and Palawan had already established their own states and governments with diplomatic and trade relations with other countries including China. Administrative and political systems based on the realities of the time existed in those states.

 For centuries the Spanish colonial government attempted to conquer the Sulu states to subjugate their political existence and to add the territory to the Spanish colonies in the Philippine Islands but history tells us that it never succeeded. The Mindanao states with their organized maritime forces and armies succeeded in defending the Sulu territories thus preserving the continuity of their independence.

That is why it is being argued, base on the logic that you cannot sell something you do not possess, that the Mindanao and Sulu territories are not part of what where ceded by Spain to the United States in the Treaty of Paris of 1898 because Spain had never exercise sovereignty over these areas.

The Mindanao resistance against attempts to subjugate their independence continued even when US forces occupied some areas in Mindanao and Sulu. At this time the resistance of the Sulu governments was not as fierce as during the Moro-Spanish wars but group- organized guerrilla attacks against American forces and installations reinforced what remained of the sultanates' military power. Even individual Sulu and Mindanaoan showed defiance against American occupation of their homeland by attacking American forces in operations called prang sabil (martyrdom operation).

Opposition to Annexation

When the United States government promised to grant independence to the Philippine Islands, the Mindanao and Sulu leaders registered their strong objection to be part of the Philippine republic. In the petition to the president of the United States dated June 9, 1921, the people of Sulu archipelago said that they would prefer being part of the United States rather than to be included in an independent Philippine nation.

In the Declaration of Rights and Purposes, the Sulu and Mindanao leaders meeting in Zamboanga on February 1, 1924, proposed that the "Islands of Mindanao and Sulu, and the Island of Palawan to the Spratly Islands be made an unorganized territory of the United States of America" in anticipation that in the event the US would decolorize its colonies and other non-self governing territories the Mindanao and Sulu homeland would be granted separate independence. Had it happened, the Mindanao and Sulu would have regained by now their independence under the UN declaration on decolonization.

Their other proposal was that if independence had to be granted including the Mindanao and Sulu territories, 50 years after Philippine independence a plebiscite be held in Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan to decide by vote whether the territory would be incorporated in the government of the Islands of Luzon and Visayas, remain a territory of the United States, or become independent. The 50-year period ended in 1996, the same year the MNLF and the Philippine government signed the Final Agreement on the Implementation of the Tripoli Agreement.

The leaders warned that if no provision of retention under the United States would be made, they would declare an independent constitutional sultanate to be known as Sulu and Mindanao Nation.

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