NORDECO strengthens partnership with Igacos, Talikud power consumers

EMPOWERING THE MCOs BEYOND ELECTRIFICATION

All three (3) barangays in Talicud Island (SPUG area), Island Garden City of Samal organized under the National Center for Electric Cooperative Consumers (NCECCO) signed the Memorandum of Agreement for the downloading of economic activities specifically on the meter reading, distribution of power bills, and collection.

The activity, according to Nordeco, is attended by Area 4 Services Department Manager Dionisia R. Abaquita, NCECCO Officers and Barangay officials of Barangays Sta. Cruz, Dadatan and Linosutan held at Sta. Cruz, Talicud National High School Gym.

With this endeavor, MCOs through NCECCO will serve as partners of our Electric Cooperative (EC) in executing such activities.

Nordeco added that the activity is a continuing effort of NORDECO (Ang Bag-ong DANECO) to further strengthen the partnership with our MCOs especially at this time of pandemic.

This would give easy access to basic electric services and increase the economic productivity of the MCOs through our EC., according to the power cooperative.

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IGACOS resort island suspends beach operations, resort parties

 May 30, 2021, 4:05 pm

DAVAO CITY – Operations of all beach and inland resorts in the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) are suspended, as well as gatherings and parties in private resorts and establishments, starting June 1 to June 14.Mayor Al David Uy on Sunday released Executive Order (EO) No. 291 that aims to… Read More

IGACOS resort owner mulls suite vs. transgender guest

A resort owner in the tourist island of Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) in Davao del Norte is mulling charges against a transgender, who after an alleged incident of discrimination in the resort, went to social media to place his resort and its employees in shame through “trial by publicity.”

Isla Reta Resort owner Mario Reta said his employees were affected by the “trial by publicity” caused by the transgender’s posts in social media.

Reta, in a report in SunStar Davao, said that he is considering on filing a case against Shannon Remotigue Gonzaga for the latter’s online post alleging that the resort’s management is transphobic and homophobic.

Gonzaga, who identifies herself as a transgender woman, posted on her Facebook account on Monday evening, May 10, that she was discriminated against while staying at Isla Reta Beach resort on Saturday, May 8.

The guest, who appealed to the resort employee to allow her to rinse in the female restroom, was allegedly barred from entering and was told “bawal ka diri, sa pikas ka kay gay ka (you are not allowed here. Go to the men’s bathroom because you are ‘gay’).” With SunStar Davao report

DOT probes Samal Island resort over discrimination complaint

 May 13, 2021

MANILA – The Department of Tourism (DOT) will investigate a resort in Samal Island over a sexual harassment and gender discrimination complaint against its employees and management.”The DOT is an advocate of gender equality and mainstreaming, and does not tolerate any form of gender-based… Read More

FLOIRENDO GETS 9 MULTI-MILLION-PESO DPWH ROAD PROJECTS FOR IGACOS

PUSHING UP MINDANAO’S BORACAY

The Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) will get 9 road construction and improvement  projects in 2019 that were expected to boost the tourist island’s bid to be the Boracay of Mindanao.

The road projects will provide access to “Tourism Declared Destinations” aimed to promote Igacos as one of the country’s primary tourist destinations, among the top priorities of Davao del Norte Governor Anthony del Rosario and Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr. in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s tourism program.

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Said to have been denied government projects during the previous leadership of the House of Representatives, the now popular tourist island in the Davao Gulf known for its white sand beaches like top-drawing Boracay Island in the Visayas, has been allocated with the multi-million infrastructure projects in the P3.757-trillion General Appropriations Act  (GAA) of 2019  under House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

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Rep. Floirendo of the Second District which covers Igacos earlier had lamented that congressional funds for his district had been deleted in the 2017 and 2018 GAA by the previous leadership of the House.

Former House Speaker First District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez had denied Floirendo’s claim but the two legislators, former political allies and long-time friends, had since been estranged following a public quarrel between their girlfriends in 2016.

The split has led to an ugly confrontation:  Alvarez filing a graft case in the Ombudsman against Floirendo and initiating a House inquiry into the Floirendo-owned giant banana-producing Tagum Agricultural Development Company (Tadeco).

Alvarez is also said to have deleted congressional fund allocations for Floirendo’s Second District. He also removed his-long-time buddy  from membership in the House committees.

The conflict has also rattled the once united political landscape of Davao del Norte: Gov. del Rosario is not seeking reelection in the 2019 mid-term elections and is running in the First District to contest the return to Congress of Alvarez, whose Alvarez Wing political bloc is fielding a candidate against the reelection of Floirendo, the governor’s cousin.

Floirendo and Gov. del Rosario are running under the banner of the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP), a regional political party founded by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

The presidential daughter was also expected to flex her political muscle in next year’s local election in Davao del Norte, following her vow to campaign against Alvarez for calling the HNP as an “opposition party” without the blessing of her father.

Mayor Duterte-Carpio is said to have played a key role in the ouster of Alvarez, whom she earlier also described as an “asshole” and a liability to the Duterte administration.  

The Igacos projects, to be implemented in January 2019 by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), came following the ouster of Alvarez as Speaker in July this year.

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The DPWH Davao del Norte District Engineering Office has informed the offices of Gov. Del Rosario and Rep. Floirendo about the oncoming projects.

It has also advised Igacos Mayor Al David Uy about the projects.

“Inasmuch as some developments situated within the project alignments  are to be affected, we would like to request assistance in the negotiations in the removal of the affected structures, to expedite the project implementation to benefit the travelling public and constituents in your locality in particular,” said District Engineer Daniel Jaravata in a letter dated October 15, 2018 to Mayor Uy signed by DPWH DavNor administrative officer Charlie Maravilla.

Jaravata also told Mayor Uy that a joint site inspection by road-right-of-way personnel of DPWH and Igacos is scheduled for October 23-25 to identify the affected improvements and structures.

IGACOS

The multi-million-peso projects, , whose total actual cost could not yet be established pending release of vital documents by DPWH,  were expected to be welcomed with elation by Vice Mayor Orly Amit, given that Igacos had previously been starved of government projects.

In a recent interview with a Davao City radio station, Amit said he almost cried when told that projects for Igacos had been shelved when he visited DPWH DavNor, before Alvarez was ousted as Speaker,  to inquire about the status of projects for his island city.

Reportedly deleted during the stint of Alvarez, funding for the Igacos projects were now taken from the P51-billion additional infrastructure fund for DPWH alleged to have been “inserted” in the DPWH budget during the tenure of Alvarez.

Arroyo has ordered the insertions re-aligned to other projects like projects earlier earmarked for Igacos.

The budget “insertion” described by some congressmen  as “pork barrel” like the scandalous Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), was discovered as the new House leadership deliberated on GAA 2019 after Alvarez was ousted and replaced by Arroyo.

The alleged insertion happened even as President Duterte had said that GAA 2019 will not have any pork barrel for legislators like PDAF which has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Before Duterte, PDAF was a multi-billion congressional fund allocated to legislators that were used to fund ghost projects proposed by scam queen Janet Napoles, who coughed up huge  commissions to the lawmakers.  

Approval by the House of GAA 2019, earlier  set to be in October, had been delayed as the House  leadership probes the P51-billion “insertion” and re-align the fund to other projects.

House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya has formed a panel to identify projects to be funded by the insertion that some critics call as the  “Alvarez pork barrel.”

The P51-billion insertion in the DPWH budget in the 2019 GAA  is said to be one of the reasons why Alvarez was deposed as Speaker and then majority leader Rep. Rodolfo Farinas to lose his position and replaced by Andaya. Davao City First District Rep. Karlo Nograles, a close ally of Alvarez, retained his chairmanship of the  powerful committee on appropriations, by denying he had a role in the insertion.

The online news site Rappler.com reporting on the insertion said that:

“The (P51-billion) was intended for a “parking” funds scheme, when a lump sum of money, often without a specific purpose identified, is listed under the budget (of the DPWH for) a particular congressional district. However, the congressman of that district is informed …. that this particular allocation was merely listed or “parked” in that allocation, but will be used for a different project or district.”

Related reports on the issue said that the P51-billion insertion would be going to the districts of close allies of Alvarez.

THE IGACOS  ‘TOURISM RELATED DESTINATIONS’ ROAD [PROJECTS

  1. (A) ROAD WIDENING – Secondary Roads Babak-Samal-Kaputian

  2. (B) ROAD WIDENING – Secondary Roads Babak-Samal-Kaputian

  3. CONSTRUCTION/IMPROVEMENT OF ACCESS ROAD from  Pasog-Licup-Tagbitan-ag-Tagluna leading to Putting Bato, Canibad Resort-Aundanao

  4. CONSTRUCTION/IMPROVEMENT OF ACCESS ROADS from Camudud leading to Samar Dairy Farm, Provincial Demo Farm, Mango Orchard and Secdea Beach Resort

  5. CONSTRUCTION/IMPROVEMENT OF ACCESS ROADS from National Road to Hagimit Falls, Barangay Cawag

  6. CONSTRUCTION/IMPROVEMENT OF ACCESS ROADS from City Road Sitio Buhangin leading to Magongawong Falls, Barangay Tagbaobo

  7. CONSTRUCTION/IMPROVEMENT OF ACCESS ROAD from San Antonio Proper leading to Sitio Anggas Peak, Barangay San Antonio

  8. CONSTRUCTION/IMPPROVEMENT OF ACCESS ROADS from NRJ leading to Sanipaan Marine Park, Fisherfolks Village, Seaweed Farm and other resorts

  9. CONSTRUCTION/IMPROVEMENT OF ACCESS ROADS – Talikud Circumferential Road

‘ALIENS’ INVADE DAVAO’S IGACOS TOURIST ISLAND

ORLY AMIT 2

An official of Davao del Norte’s Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) expressed worry that ‘aliens’ have landed in the tourist island with their false promises of huge financial dole-outs to local officials and millions of pesos in funds for barangay projects.

 

JUBAHIB ALVAREZ

Amit named the unwelcome visitors from “outer space’  as First District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez and his assistant Edwin Jubahib. Igacos belongs to the Second District represented in Congress  by Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr.

Alvarez is seeking reelection while Jubahib is the gubernational candidate under the Alvarez Wing of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Amit  rued that Mayor Al David Uy and some barangay officials fell victims to the Alvarez-Jubahid racket by believing their promises.

Amit is running against re-electionist Uy in the 2019 mid-term elections.

Alvarez and Jubahib are aliens who have landed in Igacos, said Amit in an interview with broadcaster Sammy Baog on Davao City’s DXRR Radyo Rapido last week.

They are not from our district. They are from the First District. They came with false promises of congressional funds, and some people believed them,  said Amit.

Amit lamented that the two fragmented the unity of politicians in Igacos by dividing its leadership with promises of millions of pesos in development funds if they join their group.

Amit said until today, Alvarez’s promises of funds have remained promises.

The vice mayor however believes that the local officials will come to their senses and make the right decision who to support in the 2019 mid-term elections, as Alvarez has not delivered on his promises of funding for the barangays.  

The Alvarez Wing is fielding Vice Governor Allan Dujali to contest the reelection of Floirendo and Jubahid for governor against Board Member Rodney del Rosario, older brother of Governor Anthony del Rosario who will challenge the reelection bid of Alvarez.

Floirendo and the del Rosarios will run under the banner of the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP), a regional political party formed by presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. Amit is the HNP’s candidate for Igacos mayor.

Amit said Davao del Norte local officials, including those from Igacos, should learn a lesson from Alvarez’s lies of millions of pesos in development funds if he is reelected.

Prior to the Sanggunian Kabataan and Barangay elections last year, Alvarez, while still the sitting Speaker, also promised funds of P2 million for every barangay in the province  where his candidates under the Alvarez Wing would win in the elections.

It is also reported that Alvarez and Jubahid  cough out thousands of pesos in “pocket money’ to barangay officials if they join the Alvarez Wing and attend its political events.

While barangay officials admit they received the dole-outs, Alvarez is still to deliver on the promised barangay funds.

Kung wala na mahatag ni Alvarez sa una, labi na karon nga dili na siya Speaker (If Alvarez failed to deliver on his promise before, how much more now that he is no longer the Speaker),” Amit told Baog in the radio interview.

Alvarez was replaced by former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in a coup in July this year. Mayor Duterte-Carpio is said to have initiated the ouster of Alvarez for earlier calling HNP as an “opposition party.”

DEL ROSARIO FLOIRENDO

Going sentimental in the radio interview, Amit also expressed sadness over Igacos officials who were quick to jump to the ‘alien’ Alvarez-Jubahid camp, and forgetting leaders who had helped in the development of Igacos for many years.

If we have fathers who nurtured our growth, it is the del Rosarios (former governor Rodolfo del Rosario and son Gov. Anthony del Rosario) and Floirendo, he said.

Alvarez and Jubahid are aliens to Igacos who have no contribution whatsoever to Igacos, the vice mayor emphasized.

DAVAO TOURIST ISLAND IGACOS CITY TO RELOCATE SHORELINE SQUATTERS

The Island Garden City of Samal city government will be relocating some 271 families consisting of about 1,000 individuals from the shoreline of the Barangay Miranda in Babak District “hopefully before the end of this year.”

City housing officer Ernesto Tundaan said that a 3-hectare relocation area situated in neighboring Barangay Tambo is being prepared by City Mayor Aniano Antalan for the coastal families affected by his drive to relocate and resettle informal settlements in the island’s shorelines.

“It’s clear in the law that shorelines are considered danger areas, and what’s needed is just an administrative order,” Tundaan said.

“We are only making demolition once we have prepared relocation and resettlement area,” he added.

Antalan has been getting flak for this drive from an anti-demolition group who alleged that he is uprooting coastal communities for the shorelines to be vacated and cornered bv rich people and real estate developers who would turn convert it as commercial beach resorts.

Tundaan belied the charge of the anti-demolition group he would not name, saying that the mayor is just implementing what is said by law and to relocate informal settlers in shorelines to safer grounds.

The mayor is concentrating relocating shoreline settlers in Babak, where development has been rapid since the recent years, he said.

Shorelines around the island are still considered lush, unpolluted beach areas trekked on by domestic and foreign tourists especially during weekends when there is heavy traffic of incoming weekend beach goers.

Informal settlements in the island’s  shorelines are concentrated in Miranda and Villarica areas in Babak District and in the poblacion of Peñaplata district. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Antalans brace for war vs. Floirendos in 2016 IGACOS polls

BY ROGER M. BALANZA

p14 (2)ISLAND GARDEN CITY OF SAMAL Mayor Aniano Antalan and his brother former mayor Roger Antalan has formed a political group in what is seen as  a challenge to the leadership of the Floirendos in the Davao del Norte tourist island.

 Mayor Antalan, who is on his way out as a last termer mayor, sees the political group Uswag IGACOS (U & I) as a “a strong force to reckon with.”

igacosThe group was formed after the mayor broke political ties with District 2 Representative Anton Lagdameo, a scion of the politically-entrenched Floirendo clan of the late banana magnate Antonio Floirendo Sr. The political career of the Antalans was practically nurtured by the Floirendos starting with the mayor’s older brother Roger becoming the first mayor of the Davao del Norte tourist island.

 Mayor Antalan is rumored to run for vice mayor as running mate of Roger, who will stage a comeback in 2016. The Antalans formed U & I following reports the Floirendos is grooming another candidate for mayor in the 2016 elections.

U & I Party press relation officer Ernesto Quidlat said that the group with the mayor elected as the executive committee chairman and Roger as secretary general would push for greater and consolidated unity among the people and further development of the island.

The group has already received 700 committed member-leaders and already established party chapters in 46 barangays. It has held a first political assembly on July 23.

 “Definitely U & I Party is a force to reckon with in the coming 2016 polls considering that the Antalans are already a political institution,” Quidlat said.

The U & I Party is yet to be registered as a local political party with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Manila, according to Quidlat.

This early, however, political observers concede that the Antalans would end up as political garbage if they push through with their plans to clash head-on the Floirendos in the 2016 elections.

 

IGACOS MAYOR ANTALAN blind to rape of mangroves

BY ROGER M. BALANZA 

p14 (2)While beach resort owners in the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) are locked in legal battle with City Hall over its order to dismantle their structures that encroached into foreshore areas, an apparently influential businessman is developing a resort and rest house in Barangay Tambo in Babak in blatant violation of the mayor’s order.

The businessman identified in radio reports as an Alex Oliver also built in his resort a jetty that stretched out to sea for about a hundred meters from land.

igacos jettyThe worst of the environmental violation of Mr. Oliver was the destruction of a forest of olD mangrove trees uprooted to provide the resort a wider view of the sea.

ANIANO ANTALAN, Igacos mayor
ANIANO ANTALAN, Igacos mayor

Radio reports said Mr. Oliver appears to be ‘untouchable’ being said to be “close” to Mayor Aniano Antalan, with City Hall appearing to have closed its eyes in the illegal construction that has been ongoing for months now.

Tambo residents are now preparing a formal complaint to be filed before City Hall and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Mayor Antalan has ordered a stop to all illegal constructions and has imposed penalties on existing structures.

The Samal City Resort Owners Association (SCROA) said several of its members have received closure orders from Mayor Antalan for illegal construction.

In a press conference in Davao City in April, SCROA president Engr. Pasto Lozada Jr. said that some members of the SCROA have already received notices of closure after refusing to pay the “unjustifiable” fines imposed by City Hall on the illegal constructions.

The penalties, ranging from P50,000 to P300,000, were imposed against resort owners with jetties by virtue of the City Ordinance 2009-150 or the Revised Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of the Island Garden City of Samal.

Araceli   Ayuste, SCROA adviser, said that resort owners said the five-year-old ordinance is “very oppressive.”

Ayuste is the owner of the Punta del Sol Beach Resort and is the president of both the Davao del Norte Tourism Council and Mindanao Tourism Council.

There are more than 70 beach resorts around the island.

According to Ayuste, the old ordinance was suddenly revived when they were about to renew their business permits early this year.

SCROA has brought the case to court, and in March, Regional Trial Court Panabo City Judge Dax Gonzaga Xenos issued a prohibition mandamus injunction in favor of the SCROA which stopped Mayor |Antalan from implementing the ordinance and the collection of the fines, said Ayuste.

 

IGACOS on way to becoming another Boracay

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BY ROGER M. BALANZA

Nearly half-a-million summer tourists last year visited Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos), a record-high figure for Davao’s premier tourist destination now on its way to becoming another Boracay.

samal 2Jennifer Cariaga, investment and tourism officer, said nearly 200,000 of the tourists stayed overnight based on records of the island’s tourism industry players.

Cariaga said she expects the figure to rise by 20 percent this summer, with Igacos’ Visit Samal campaign  heating up.

Like Boracay, Igacos tourism banks on its sun-sand-sea lures andsamal 5 about hundred small-budget and high-end beach resorts. The tourist island sits in the middle of Davao Gulf facing Davao Region provinces Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte, and Davao City from where visitors take off on a 15-minute ferry ride.

 At the business forum Club 888 at Marco Polo Hotel Davao, Cariaga said Igacos was expected to beat its 2013 record of 399,000 arrivals, with 177,000 staying overnight.

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yellow finIgacos celebrates its nine-day summer fest Festival of festivals from April 25 to May 3, with three major events coming up at the tail-end to add up to tourists’ delight: Kabasan Festival, White Nights Festival and the Madyaw Hugyaw.

Cariaga said other  activities in the summer festival are island cruises that includes the Taklobo tour at the famous Adecor pearl farm, sand sculpture competition, bike festival, wall climbing, Liga Futsal, Natural Art Contest and mountain climbing.