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South Cotabato News Online - South Cotabato Jobs, Koronadal City, T''nalak Festival
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The second edition of SalaMindanaw International Film Festival (SIFF) will be held simultaneously in the cities of General Santos and Cotabato.

“SalaMindanaw is expanding this year to cater to more artists, peace advocates and film lovers in the region,” Festival Director Teng Mangansakan announced.

The opening and closing ceremonies will be held in General Santos and Cotabato respectively, in recognition of the importance of the two cities in the educational and commercial development of SOCCSKSARGEN region.

“For its sophomore edition, the Festival theme shall be ‘Deconstructing Cinematic Space.’ As we continue to celebrate the development of regional cinemas across Asia, we also attempt to veer away from the traditional space of film screening, that is the movie house, and explore alternative and non-traditional screening venues like buses, parks, markets, and barangay centers to bring films closer to the people,” Mangansakan added.

SIFF features competitive sections for Asian full-length films, Asian short films, and Mindanao short films, as well as exhibition sections that present the richness and diversity of form and expression in Asian cinema. Submission of entries is open to narrative, documentary and experimental films made in the last two years. Deadline of entries is on October 25.

As the first and only international film festival in Mindanao, SIFF remains strongly committed on its mission to raise awareness and promote international cinema with emphasis on strengthening the cultural ties between Mindanao and its Southeast Asian neighbors, to support the nascent film movement in SOCCSKSARGEN and its neighboring regions, and to engage the public in both popular and critical discourse on art and cinema and their transformative power to shape ideas about society, thus encouraging cultural diversity and the plurality of creative expressions.

The second SalaMindanaw International Film Festival will take place from November 26 to 29, 2014.

For updates, go to the Festival’s Facebook page http://facebook.com/salamindanaw

.


“If they are drivers that are accredited, it means they know the destination, they have hospitality, and knows how to handle tourists,” said Department of Tourism Region 12 (DOT-12) Regional Director Nelly Nita Dillera referring to the importance of applying for accreditation for Tourist Transport Service.

DOT-12 is now inviting qualified transport owners/operators to apply for tourist transport service franchise.


DOTC Department Order Number 2013-01 provides all tourist transport operators an endorsement to the DOTC for tourist transport service franchise, pursuant to DOTC Department Order Number 2013-04.

This application for endorsement requires the following procedures: Applicants shall accomplish the Application form in two copies – one each for the DOT and DOTC, and shall submit the documentary requirements provided for Section B thereof;

Only notarized applicants with complete documentary requirements shall be accepted by DOT. DOT shall evaluate whether the applicant is a legitimate tourist transport operator and shall conduct an inspection of vehicles and their garage within three days upon receipt of the application.

After due evaluation and inspection, DOT shall endorse the application form together with complete supporting documents. Only brand new vehicles shall be endorsed. For this purpose, a brand new unit shall mean a unit manufactured in the current year when the application was filed.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) shall grant or deny the issuance of franchise.

Within 30 days after issuance of the LTFRB franchise, the applicant must apply for accreditation as Tourist Operator prior to registration with the Land Transportation Office for a tourist transport service license plate. Failure to do shall constrain this office to recommend to LTFRB the cancellation of the issued franchise.

“They will be evaluated and inspected to be aligned with the standards before accredited… they are not just any tourist transport that will drive, they are trained because we require trainings for drivers as frontline service provider… this will set them apart from just having a driver’s license,” Dillera said. (DOT NEWS)



At least, 150 participants attended the 3-day Benefits Administration – Stakeholders’ Forum at FB Hotel, City of Koronadal last September 23-25, 2014.

First day of the 3-day fora was participated by lying-in clinic owners and TB-DOTS operators; second day by the representatives of infirmaries, free standing dialysis centers and ambulatory surgical clinics and third day by the representatives of Levels 1, 2 and 3 health facilities.


Please help us achieve our goals of providing financial risk protection for all. Let us work together for universal health care. This is not our program. This is the program of every Filipino that is why, all of us needs to take care of this. Philhealth needs everybody’s support for the sustainable implementation of its program,” Acting OIC, Regional Vice President and Management Services Division Chief, Merlie C. Sabug said.

Common issues raised were on the guidelines of claim filings on Maternity Care Package, Newborn Care Package, rules in filling out Philhealth Benefit Eligibility Form (PBEF), the No Balance Billing Policy and point of care enrolment for indigents.

Specifically, licensed doctors operating lying-in facilities verified if they could conduct IUD insertion without further training because as licensed OB-Gynecologist they have already undergone the same.

AQAS Head, Dr. Antoniette M Ladio approved the request provided they could present a copy of certificate during their training as OB.

They have also asked if the pre-natal services can be conducted in the residents of their clients especially those who are living in far flung areas.

Benefits Admin Section Head, Dr. Henry F. Manzares agreed provided the delivery must be conducted in their respective accredited facilities. “…you may bring the services to the community during Barangayan activities,” added Ladio.

They have also requested Philhealth to allow their facilities to adopt the point-of-care enrolment to cover non Philhealth members.

To date, only government hospitals are allowed but we hope to expand the program if that will help attain our Universal Health Care Program,” Health Care Delivery and Management Division Chief, Dr. Edson F. Pama said.

Information Technology Management Services Head, Claudette A. Canlas on the other hand, clarified the inconsistent reply of yes and no of the portal on the issuance of PBEF for patients.

Electronic portal hastened the process of benefits availment for members because it no longer requires them from submitting their member data record; however inconsistency of feedback by the system happens if several entries are logged at the same time,” Canlas said “…just bear with us when it fails due to traffic of information and low signal of the internet connection … hope to solve this issue in the near future,” she added.

The same problem on PBEF issuance was actually raised by the participants on the second day.

Can we cancel, delete or edit our entries in the process of checking the eligibility of member prior to admission?” one of the participants asked.

Canlas replied that they are allowed only once during the verification process provided all data entered must be correct. “Ask the patient first about the veracity of eligibility or better send us your query through email to verify the validity of the member. This is why we keep on asking of your active email account and why we keep on reminding to check your mail from time to time,” she added.

OIC Field Operations Chief, Lorelie G. Bonilla requested them also to verify not only through the system but also through the Regional Office for the authenticity of information.

The system may fail from time to time but take note that all over the Philippines, Region 12 ranks second in the number of turn-around time in processing claims of hospitals. In fact, from 60days, we have now reduced the number of processing days to 23 as of August and hope will be lessened soon,” Local Health Insurance Office Head, Nonito G. Bayaras added.

One facility owner lauded the efficiency of services assured by Philhealth and its noble intention of providing the No Balance Billing Policy which however according to him does not provide satisfactory services to the members.

We are willing to grant the NBB because as private hospitals, we can guarantee to provide not only quality of care but sure availability of laboratory services and drugs and medicines to our patients. What is Philhealth doing to these government facilities abusing members’ benefits?” he verified.

Manzares replied that Philhealth has its anti-fraud monitoring team in-charge of checking out those hospitals in the watch list. “Those who are violating are strictly monitored and they are already warned… On the other hand, private facilities may also adopt their own version of the No Balance Billing Policy at their initiative. Just send us your Letter of Intent. We will take charge of your incentives,” he added.

Sharon Rose Ysmael representing the Legal Support Services Unit (LSSU) also said that the LSSU has its anti-fraud team who are constantly monitoring hospitals in the watch list.

The increasing number of teenage pregnancy which restricts infirmaries from providing the maternity care package was likewise taken up.

We can’t afford to risk the lives of teenage mothers. That is why we recommend them to deliver their babies in the hospital.” Manzares said.

In the forum for Levels 1, 2 and 3 facilities, the common concern of government hospitals in implementing the point of care enrolment is the multiple enrolment of members in different membership categories.

Others are actually enrolled as self-employed, however failed to pay their premium. This duplicates their membership with us and cause the denial of our claims,” one rep said.

It was clarified that as long as the member is enrolled and was paid for his premium prior to submission of his claim, he is covered and the claim filed by the hospital for him shall be paid.

The common problem raised by private hospitals on the other hand is on the issuance of PBEF which delays their transaction of admitting the patient and filing claims for reimbursement.

Is there a way that other than checking on the eligibility of members, can we also check for their 45-day admissions to determine whether they are still allowed to avail of the benefit or not?”asked one rep.

Canlas replied that for now, PBEF can only provide the status of membership and contribution status which determines benefit eligibility of the member. “As to the number of admission our member has already incurred is something that we are looking forward to be included by the system soon,” she added.

To avoid further denial of claims, Ysmael reminded all the participants to follow all the guidelines, comply with the requirements needed for claims processing and submit them to Philhealth less than 60days after patients are discharged.

Rest assured that all issues and concerns presented during the forum are well noted. Regional level matters shall be taken charged by the PRO and other matters requiring policy interventions shall be sent to the Central Office,"Bayaras concluded.

In line with the coming PhilHealth 20th anniversary, Bonilla invited all the participants to join another round of PHilhealth Run on February 15 next year. (hanah g. naanep)


Josephine “Arjho” Carino-Turner is an inspiration to all of us. Though she is now based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, she still managed to help our kababayans through her promotional campaigns (arts, cultural and the like) using social media and through humanitarian services. She is very passionate in helping the Indigenous People (IPs) most especially the Blaan tribe in Sarangani Province. I really admire her because she is genuinely cool woman.

In an interview via Facebook, Arjho shares her experiences while she was in the Philippines. She also shares her advocacy in helping our fellow IPs.

YaduKaru: Since I did not have a chance to meet you personally, can you tell me something about yourself?



Arjho: I was born at Landan, Polomolok, South Cotabato, Philippines. I am a representation of a mixed Filipino culture having been born to an Ilocano/Waray father, Mr. Jose Singson Carino, and to a mother belonging to the Blaan tribe of Southern Mindanao, Mrs. Maria Caturan Latimban Carino.

I graduated Class Valedictorian from Dole Cannery Central Elementary School in Polomolok, South Cotabato in 1992. I finished High School from Mindanao State University-Science Curriculum (CETD) in General Santos City and was then a recipient of Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani Foundation scholarship grant. In 1996, I was admitted to the University of the Philippines at Los Banos (UPLB) with two scholarship grants - the Iskolar ng Bayan and the Agricultural and Rural Development Scholarship (ARDS) Grant. I took up BS Agriculture major in Plant Pathology and graduated in April 15, 2000.

While in college, I worked as a Student Research Assistant for STRIVE Foundation and also served as a Student Assistant to the UPLB Dean of Student Affairs. During my semestral break, I was an active volunteer for the Ugnayan ng Pahinungod community development efforts for the Aetas in lahar affected areas of Zambales (in Luzon). I also took active leadership roles in different student organizations and a campus based ministry-LakasAngkan Ministry Inc. (LAMI)

After college I went back to my region (Region XII). I first joined as Research Assistant to the MINDSET Technical Consulting firm based in General Santos City under Dr. Nick Perez. I did technical assistance for Geographic Information System (ARC-GIS) software training among government employees.

While having a fulltime job in Sarangani, I also enrolled in a distance learning education at the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) where I earned a post-graduate degree for Master in Environment and Natural Resource Management major in Upland Resource Management.

YaduKaru: Can you share about your experience as Former Indigenous Peoples Development Program (IPDP) Manager?

Arjho: With passion for community development work, I served the Provincial Government of Sarangani under the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist as Program Manager for the Luntiang Lumad Program (LLP) from December 2000 up to December 2003. With new provincial leadership in 2004, I was designated to conceptualize the LLP transformation into a more comprehensive Indigenous Peoples Development Program (IPDP). I served as the Program Manager for IPDP under the Office of Governor Miguel Rene A. Dominguez for 2 years before immigrating to the USA. I am an advocate for indigenous cultural development (e.g. literary arts, performing arts, school of living traditions projects, cultural and agricultural research), environmental management, and good governance.

YaduKaru: What motivates you to help our fellow IPs?

Arjho: Farming is our way of life. When I was in high school and is getting ready to take UPCAT exam, I chose UPLB campus (with the degree of BS Agriculture) with the prayer and ultimate goal of going back to my region and serve in the government specifically for the indigenous peoples (IPs) group. During semestral breaks, I spent volunteer work thru the UP Volunteer Corps and the Ugnayan ng Panhinungodserving Aeta communities in Zambales. Their plight is very similar to the IP situation back in my region: discrimination in all forms, unequal opportunity for jobs, and inaccessibilityof government services, and disparity of income. IPs just hastily used for “show off” on cultural presentations delegated as “program entertainments” or “intermission numbers”. The marginalization from their very own ancestral domains, always just the point of interest for “shadow” programs to politically appease the IP groups but NEVER truly empowering them to exercise their rights to govern themselves according to their customs and traditions. Those community service exposures strengthened me the more, to go back and hopefully serve my fellow IPs for a better difference.

YaduKaru: How's your experience working under former Gov. Miguel Rene A. Dominguez?

Arjho: Even though I just spent two years working under Gov. Migs administration, I can say that it was a very productive two years that shaped the cultural development of the province and impacting the respective IP groups in each of the Municipal Local Government Units (MLGUs).

It’s a dream work come true! I have a leader that fully supports cultural development initiatives and helped ushered in support from various partners (individuals, non-profit organizations and businesses). It was a very busy two years too. There were a lot of projects and major cultural works that successfully done, like - School of Living Tradition (SLT) Project implementation at Lamlifew; Sarangani’s participation for WOW Mindanao in Davao City; The cultural research in partnership with historian Dr. Heidi K. Gloria that was made into a first publication of the province (Sarangani: People, Places and Culture published in 2006); The first upland rice research in Sarangani in partnership with Mindanao State University-Science Department at Kihan, Malapatan; and I was part of the first Sarangani Bay Festival and it was my last work in the province.

YaduKaru: Even when you are in the US, you still promote Sarangani Province thru your blogs and other write-ups. What motivates you to do so?
Arjho: When I met Filipino-Americans in Atlanta and I told them I am from Mindanao, I can see the fear and the ridiculous reactions like “Really? Oh my God! That place is dangerous!”, “Di ba maraming Muslim doon?”, “Naku, nakakatakot naman ang mag-stay sa Mindanao.”(There are lots of Muslims there, right? Oh no! It’s really scary to stay in Mindanao)

And when I say that I am from General Santos City, some would say without hesitation,“Uy, you came from the Tuna Capital ng Pilipinas!” Or some would be so happy to say “Kababayan mo pala si Manny! You came from the home of Manny Pacquiao!”

I was really bothered because I realized how much people from Luzon especially those who have not been to Mindanao, have that kind of mindset. If not based on fear from news they have read or from their excitement of famous personalities like boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, Mayor Duterte, and Shamcey Supsup, they know nothing about the beautiful island of Mindanao, especially its people and the diversity of cultures. I cannot cover all of the provinces of Mindanao for promotion purposes so I chose to focus on Region 12 specifically Sarangani Province. Since I am getting e-mail from the Sarangani Provincial Information Office, I started re-posting them in my first blog that I made back in 2007.



When I joined Facebook back in 2008, I also decided to make use of the opportunity to expand more my online cultural advocacies. I got lots of invitations to do cultural presentations in various Fil-Am activities, speaking engagement at Asian-American events like the Annual Asian Pacific Historical Symposium and sharing Blaan dance at the Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival to represent Philippines in the International Stage. I never did a Blaan dance in the Philippines but I do not have a choice here. All for the love of sharing part of Mindanao’s indigenous culture.

YaduKaru: I noticed that you have a lot of blogs to maintain, how do you manage it?

Arjho: As my online volunteer activities, I do technical assistance here in the USA thru promotion in social networking sites, creating and maintaining blogs and free basic website development as well as project proposal preparation. It is more of a hobby and I only do updating when I have time especially now that I have an infant and a toddler. I love doing it as mental exercise too, aside from routine motherhood duties.

Each blog has specific tags/labels for easy reference when I share about topics related to Sarangani, General Santos City and the GFI Mindanao outreach documentations submitted by beneficiary schools. I get news articles from PIO Sarangani since I came here in the USA. 


I also receive news articles from the Gensan City Information Office, under the administration of Mayor Rivera, whose City Administrator,Atty. Arnel A. Zapatos (a friend of mine), is the former Chief of Staff of (former) Gov. Migs before I left. How I wish I would have news articles from South Cotabato too but I do not have contacts in the provincial government there.

Website development for specific organizations, individuals with artistic creations, non-profit organizations with meaningful development and volunteer works or businesses are part of my online technical assistance for free. This is just drag and drop kind of basic website that is user friendly and less maintenance compared to regular blogs. I also do them whenever I have time. The respective recipients/owners of the websites are provided with all information to access it, edit or change as they wish.

I also started my first website (Blaan.net) but it was not updated for more than 2 years. But it needs an overall updating/aesthetic presentation or may be choosing a new theme. I find this difficult though compared to the free features of weebly.

YaduKaru: What can you say about the state of Indigenous People in the Philippines, especially in Mindanao?

Arjho:I think the IPs is more empowered now since the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) was made into law. There are lots of IP leaders now that are serving in various capacities - politicians, traditional elders, academic think tanks, and cultural development workers - in their respective communities. We still have long way to go for equal access to basic services after decades of neglect and no representation on the local government units’ development programs. I hope that the respective IP Mandatory Representative (IPMR) will be fully implemented in provinces with high IP population (from the PLGU, MLGU and BLGU levels).

There are also rising younger IP professionals that are more vocal, more independent and progressive thinkers that gives back to their communities in big and small ways they can. There are lots of IP groups from Mindanao who has relatives living outside of the country and lots have inter-racial marriages like mine that also gives back to help our fellow IPs.

YaduKaru: What is Galing Foundation, Inc. Mindanao Outreach? What is your role in GFI?

Arjho: Since 2007, I served as the Secretary and the Mindanao Outreach Director for the Galing Foundation, Inc., - a non-profit organization here in Atlanta. Galing Foundation, Inc. is dedicated to provide educational and community service to local Filipino Americans as well as promoting the importance of functional and English literacy in rural areas of the Philippines as the foundation for future development, working towards awareness on global citizenry.

YaduKaru: Any plans to go back in the Philippines?

Arjho: We plan to visit when kids are old enough to appreciate international travel and also remember their experience. It will be quite a while though.

YaduKaru: What is you dream project(s) for our fellow IPs?

Arjho: I dream for the Blaan tribe to have a Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA) Awardee soon. I want also to have the establishment of the Philippines Blaan Foundation, Inc. spearheaded by my former colleague in Sarangani and the former QUEST Program manager, Annalie Edday. And more support for Schools of Living Tradition (SLT) Projects and Research and Development (R&D) for the traditional upland rice.


-|-


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
YADU KARU contributes articles here at I Love South Cotabato. He is a freelance filmmaker and a photojournalist. He also blogs at YaduKaru.Com.



The city government of Iloilo will soon sign a sisterhood agreement with the Koronadal City government.

The signing of the sisterhood agreement will be held on October 8, 2014 to highlight the 14th Charter Anniversary of the City of Koronadal. Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog together with other city officials of Iloilo will visit Koronadal for the signing.

A city official of Koronadal said that the sisterhood agreement will further strengthen the relationship between the two cities. Koronadal is dubbed as the "Ilonggo City of Mindanao" because most of the people are descendants of settlers from Iloilo and majority speak Hiligaynon.

The official added that the sisterhood agreement will be also beneficial to Koronadal as it can learn from ideas and best practices of Iloilo, one of the most progressive cities in the Visayas.


To give the people of the City of Koronadal full opportunity  to celebrate and participate in the celebration of the 14th Charter Day Anniversary and 4th Negosyo Festival, Malacañang Palace has issued Proclamation No. 877 series of 2014 declaring October 8, 2014 as a Special (Non-working) Holiday.

The proclamation was signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr last September 12, 2014.
MALACAÑAN PALACE
MANILA
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
PROCLAMATION NO. 877
DECLARING TUESDAY, 8 OCTOBER 2014, AS A SPECIAL (NON-WORKING) DAY IN THE CITY OF KORONADAL, SOUTH COTABATO
WHEREAS, Wednesday, 8 October 2014, marks the 14th Charter Day anniversary and the 4th Negosyo Festival of the City of Koronadal;
WHEREAS, it is but fitting and proper that the people of the City of Koronadal be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, PAQUITO N. OCHOA JR., Executive Secretary, by authority of His Excellency, BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, do hereby declare Wednesday, 8 October 2014, as a special (non-working) day in the City of Koronadal.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of the Philippines to be affixed.
Done in the City of Manila, this 12th day of September, in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Four.
By authority of the President:
(Sgd.) PAQUITO N. OCHOA JR. 

Aside from the anniversary program, activities on October 8 which falls on a Wednesday includes signing of siterhood agreement with Iloilo City, mass wedding, street party and many more.
[SEE FULL SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES HERE]



Another must-visit place when traveling to South Cotabato is Fortune Field Resort in the Municipality of Banga. The place is frequented by tourists for its Pantatan Restaurant which is known here and even outside the province for their specialties, different "pantat" or hito (catfish) dishes.


I was able to visit Fortune Field Resort two weeks ago together with some bloggers from Manila and Cebu. The resort was one of the pit stop of the South Cotabato leg of the SOCCSKSARGEN Experience Tour for bloggers. 

We had our lunch at Pantatan Restaurant and tried some of their popular dishes. Our favorites were the Sinugbang Hito or grilled catfish which is their best seller, deep fried hito, and adobong hito.

Aside from hito, Pantatan also has different tilapia dishes, pork, seafood and native chicken dishes on their menu all at very affordable prices.


We also had a quick tour around the resort where a staff showed us their other amenities. I was surprised upon learning that Fortune Field Resort has lodging facilities with very affordable rates. The resort also has function halls for different occassion, swimming pool and a scenic area called Triangle Lagoon.


Samantha Hall. Ideal venue for wedding & reception, birthdays and other large special occasions
DJ Hall
Villa Victoria at Fortune Field Resort.  It has six (6) available rooms which we all find very spacious for a low rate of only P750.00 per night. Good for two persons. Each room has hot and cold shower, cable TV and own parking lot.
Matrimonial Room.
Twin Bed.
Villa Sophia at Fortune Field Resort. Three (3) new rooms located near the pool area. 
Rooms are smaller compared to that of Villa Victoria but also has hot and cold shower, cable TV and are wifi hot spot. 
Very affordable for only PhP 650.00 per night good for 2 persons with free pool passes.
Triangle Lagoon at Fortune Field Resort. This area in the resort is ideal for a romantic wedding proposal, for photo shoot for prenup, or for lagoon wedding venue.

Fortune Field Resort is located at Crossing Kipot, Banga, South Cotabato. 

For inquiries, contact:
Phone:  0921-720-0690, 0926-701-2588 ; 083-239-1090
Email:  resortfortunefield@yahoo.com.ph


City of Koronadal's 4th Negosyo Festival & 
14th Charter Anniversary of the 
Schedule of Activities

Tiangge sa Parke (Trade Fair)
September 12- October 12 | Rizal Park

Agri Fair
September 12- October 12 | Rizal Park

Carnival
September 22- October 12 | Jaycee Avenue

Motorcycle Industry Showcase
October 1- 8 | Alunan Avenue

Grand Sale 2014
October 1- 31 | Participating Establishments

October Fest
October 1- 8, 7 PM | Alunan Avenue

Organic Congress and Fair
October 1-8, 1 PM | Gaisano Grand Mall

Koronadalandia
October 5-8, 8 AM | Rizal Park

Palengke Festival - Market Day
October 1, 4 AM | Public Market

Thanksgiving Mass
October 1, 7 AM | City Hall Lobby

Opening Program
October 1, 8 AM | City Hall Lobby

Opening of Sec. Jessie Robredo Avenue
October 1, 9:30 AM | Robredo Road

Tiangge sa Parke (Trade Fair) Opening
October 1, 10 AM | Rizal Park

Motorcycle Industry Showcase Opening
October 1, 10:30 AM | Alunan Avenue

Palengke Festival - Opening
October 2, 7 AM | Public Market

Job Fair
October 2, 9 AM | Gaisano Grand Mall

National Cultural Education Conference
October 2, 1 PM | NDMU
October 3- 4, 8 AM | NDMU

Bonsai Show
October 2, 1 PM | Rizal Park (Opening)
October 3-8, 8 AM | Rizal Park

Koronadal Drivers Convention: Open Seminar
October 3, 7:30 AM | South Cotabato Gym and Cultural Center

2nd Diwang Sagisag Kultura National Kwis Competition
October 3, 8 AM | Gaisano Grand Mall

Motorcycle Convention
October 3, 1 PM | City Hall Lobby ( Registration)
October 4-5, 8 AM | City Hall Lobby

October Fest with Celebrity Band
October 3, 7 PM | Alunan Avenue

Night Market Launching
October 3, 7 PM | Night Market Site

Pabonggahan ng Beauty sa Mercado - Presentation of Candidates
October 3, 7 PM | Public Market

Fun Run
October 4, 4 AM | Front of South Cotabato Sports Complex (Assembly)

Dog Show
October 4, 8 AM | Rizal Park

Dart Tournament
October 4, 8 AM | Food Harbor

Chess Tournament
October 4, 8 AM | City Hall - 3rd Floor

Palengke Got Talent
October 4, 8 PM | Public Market

Celebrity Night
October 4, 8 PM | Alunan Avenue

Golf Tournament
October 5, 7 AM | Paraiso Golf Course

KOMAVA Day
October 5, 8 AM | Public Market

Motocross
October 5, 8 AM | Ladera's Farm

Organic Fair and Product Demo
October 5-8, 8 AM | Gaisano Grand Mall

Dungog Koronadaleño (A Night of the Champions)
October 5, 5 PM | Alunan Avenue

Pabonggahan ng Beauty sa Mercado
October 6, 7 PM | Night Market

Consumer Welfare Seminar
October 7, 8 AM | EMR Center

Skills Training with Community Service
October 7, 8 AM | Gaisano Grand Mall

Region 12 Got Talent (Fellowship Fun Night)
October 7, 7 PM | City Hall Lobby

Pigdiriwang
October 8, 5 AM | Rizal Park

Anniversary Program
October 8, 7:30 AM | Rizal Park

Signing of Sisterhood Agreement with Iloilo City
October 8, 7:30 AM | Rizal Park

Grand PBM
October 8, 9 AM | Rizal Park

Motorcycle Industry Showcase Culmination
October 8, 9:30 AM | Alunan Avenue

Kasalan ng Bayan
October 8, 9:30 AM | Rizal Park

Battle of Lights and Sounds (Disco sa Kalye)
October 8, 8 PM | Alunan Avenue

Pangkabuhayan Showcase Grand Draw
October 8, 8 PM | Alunan Avenue

Quiz Bee
October 9, 8 AM | EMR Center

Regional Bagwis Awarding
October 9, 11:30 AM | EMR Center


An application developed by a group of electronics and communications engineering students from Notre Dame of Marbel University (NDMU) in Koronadal City has made it to the shortlist of this year's Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (Sweep) Innovation and Excellence Awards.

Out of more than 100 entries submitted by different schools and universities nationwide, the application called "Bill of Rights" developed by the group of  Ron Joeffrey Baldove, Alfe Matthew Polo, Arjan Jay Fariolan, Jascent Joy Tutor, Joed Cordero and Judel Ochavillo, all BSECE students of NDMU made it to the TOP 20 of the annual competition and will advance to the next stage.


Bill of Rights allow users to check and pay monthly bills easily and conveniently using smartphones. The application can also store monthly bills, payment records, and official receipts codes that can be access anytime and anywhere if needed.

Below are the 20 shorlisted entries for the 2014 SWEEP Awards.

This year's SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards theme is “Building Cloud-based Communities.” The goal was to develop cloud-based applications that is innovative, community-based, sustainable and technology-focused.




The year 2015 will be an exciting year for the City of Koronadal as it will celebrate its 75th Founding Anniversary on January 10.

According to reports, the city government has already started its preparations for next year's big celebration.

"It will be grander and more colorful", a city official said in a report. 

And to make the upcoming celebration more exciting, there will be a diamond jubilee countdown which will begin this October.

Created on January 10, 1940 as Marbel Settlement District, City of Koronadal today is the center for finance, business, education, services and government institutions in the Province of South Cotabato. It is also the regional seat for Region 12 and one of the most progressive cities in southern Philippines. 

The city was adjudged as the Most Competitive Small-sized City in the Philippines in 2003, one of the Most Competitive Small-sized Cities in the Philippines in 2005, and Most Business Friendly City in Mindanao in 2005 and 2006.

Last year, Koronadal was 6th Most Competitive City in the Philippines.



The second edition of SalaMindanaw International Film Festival (SIFF) will be held simultaneously in the cities of General Santos and Cotabato.

“SalaMindanaw is expanding this year to cater to more artists, peace advocates and film lovers in the region,” Festival Director Teng Mangansakan announced.

The opening and closing ceremonies will be held in General Santos and Cotabato respectively, in recognition of the importance of the two cities in the educational and commercial development of SOCCSKSARGEN region.

“For its sophomore edition, the Festival theme shall be ‘Deconstructing Cinematic Space.’ As we continue to celebrate the development of regional cinemas across Asia, we also attempt to veer away from the traditional space of film screening, that is the movie house, and explore alternative and non-traditional screening venues like buses, parks, markets, and barangay centers to bring films closer to the people,” Mangansakan added.

SIFF features competitive sections for Asian full-length films, Asian short films, and Mindanao short films, as well as exhibition sections that present the richness and diversity of form and expression in Asian cinema. Submission of entries is open to narrative, documentary and experimental films made in the last two years. Deadline of entries is on October 25.

As the first and only international film festival in Mindanao, SIFF remains strongly committed on its mission to raise awareness and promote international cinema with emphasis on strengthening the cultural ties between Mindanao and its Southeast Asian neighbors, to support the nascent film movement in SOCCSKSARGEN and its neighboring regions, and to engage the public in both popular and critical discourse on art and cinema and their transformative power to shape ideas about society, thus encouraging cultural diversity and the plurality of creative expressions.

The second SalaMindanaw International Film Festival will take place from November 26 to 29, 2014.

For updates, go to the Festival’s Facebook page http://facebook.com/salamindanaw

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“If they are drivers that are accredited, it means they know the destination, they have hospitality, and knows how to handle tourists,” said Department of Tourism Region 12 (DOT-12) Regional Director Nelly Nita Dillera referring to the importance of applying for accreditation for Tourist Transport Service.

DOT-12 is now inviting qualified transport owners/operators to apply for tourist transport service franchise.


DOTC Department Order Number 2013-01 provides all tourist transport operators an endorsement to the DOTC for tourist transport service franchise, pursuant to DOTC Department Order Number 2013-04.

This application for endorsement requires the following procedures: Applicants shall accomplish the Application form in two copies – one each for the DOT and DOTC, and shall submit the documentary requirements provided for Section B thereof;

Only notarized applicants with complete documentary requirements shall be accepted by DOT. DOT shall evaluate whether the applicant is a legitimate tourist transport operator and shall conduct an inspection of vehicles and their garage within three days upon receipt of the application.

After due evaluation and inspection, DOT shall endorse the application form together with complete supporting documents. Only brand new vehicles shall be endorsed. For this purpose, a brand new unit shall mean a unit manufactured in the current year when the application was filed.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) shall grant or deny the issuance of franchise.

Within 30 days after issuance of the LTFRB franchise, the applicant must apply for accreditation as Tourist Operator prior to registration with the Land Transportation Office for a tourist transport service license plate. Failure to do shall constrain this office to recommend to LTFRB the cancellation of the issued franchise.

“They will be evaluated and inspected to be aligned with the standards before accredited… they are not just any tourist transport that will drive, they are trained because we require trainings for drivers as frontline service provider… this will set them apart from just having a driver’s license,” Dillera said. (DOT NEWS)



At least, 150 participants attended the 3-day Benefits Administration – Stakeholders’ Forum at FB Hotel, City of Koronadal last September 23-25, 2014.

First day of the 3-day fora was participated by lying-in clinic owners and TB-DOTS operators; second day by the representatives of infirmaries, free standing dialysis centers and ambulatory surgical clinics and third day by the representatives of Levels 1, 2 and 3 health facilities.


Please help us achieve our goals of providing financial risk protection for all. Let us work together for universal health care. This is not our program. This is the program of every Filipino that is why, all of us needs to take care of this. Philhealth needs everybody’s support for the sustainable implementation of its program,” Acting OIC, Regional Vice President and Management Services Division Chief, Merlie C. Sabug said.

Common issues raised were on the guidelines of claim filings on Maternity Care Package, Newborn Care Package, rules in filling out Philhealth Benefit Eligibility Form (PBEF), the No Balance Billing Policy and point of care enrolment for indigents.

Specifically, licensed doctors operating lying-in facilities verified if they could conduct IUD insertion without further training because as licensed OB-Gynecologist they have already undergone the same.

AQAS Head, Dr. Antoniette M Ladio approved the request provided they could present a copy of certificate during their training as OB.

They have also asked if the pre-natal services can be conducted in the residents of their clients especially those who are living in far flung areas.

Benefits Admin Section Head, Dr. Henry F. Manzares agreed provided the delivery must be conducted in their respective accredited facilities. “…you may bring the services to the community during Barangayan activities,” added Ladio.

They have also requested Philhealth to allow their facilities to adopt the point-of-care enrolment to cover non Philhealth members.

To date, only government hospitals are allowed but we hope to expand the program if that will help attain our Universal Health Care Program,” Health Care Delivery and Management Division Chief, Dr. Edson F. Pama said.

Information Technology Management Services Head, Claudette A. Canlas on the other hand, clarified the inconsistent reply of yes and no of the portal on the issuance of PBEF for patients.

Electronic portal hastened the process of benefits availment for members because it no longer requires them from submitting their member data record; however inconsistency of feedback by the system happens if several entries are logged at the same time,” Canlas said “…just bear with us when it fails due to traffic of information and low signal of the internet connection … hope to solve this issue in the near future,” she added.

The same problem on PBEF issuance was actually raised by the participants on the second day.

Can we cancel, delete or edit our entries in the process of checking the eligibility of member prior to admission?” one of the participants asked.

Canlas replied that they are allowed only once during the verification process provided all data entered must be correct. “Ask the patient first about the veracity of eligibility or better send us your query through email to verify the validity of the member. This is why we keep on asking of your active email account and why we keep on reminding to check your mail from time to time,” she added.

OIC Field Operations Chief, Lorelie G. Bonilla requested them also to verify not only through the system but also through the Regional Office for the authenticity of information.

The system may fail from time to time but take note that all over the Philippines, Region 12 ranks second in the number of turn-around time in processing claims of hospitals. In fact, from 60days, we have now reduced the number of processing days to 23 as of August and hope will be lessened soon,” Local Health Insurance Office Head, Nonito G. Bayaras added.

One facility owner lauded the efficiency of services assured by Philhealth and its noble intention of providing the No Balance Billing Policy which however according to him does not provide satisfactory services to the members.

We are willing to grant the NBB because as private hospitals, we can guarantee to provide not only quality of care but sure availability of laboratory services and drugs and medicines to our patients. What is Philhealth doing to these government facilities abusing members’ benefits?” he verified.

Manzares replied that Philhealth has its anti-fraud monitoring team in-charge of checking out those hospitals in the watch list. “Those who are violating are strictly monitored and they are already warned… On the other hand, private facilities may also adopt their own version of the No Balance Billing Policy at their initiative. Just send us your Letter of Intent. We will take charge of your incentives,” he added.

Sharon Rose Ysmael representing the Legal Support Services Unit (LSSU) also said that the LSSU has its anti-fraud team who are constantly monitoring hospitals in the watch list.

The increasing number of teenage pregnancy which restricts infirmaries from providing the maternity care package was likewise taken up.

We can’t afford to risk the lives of teenage mothers. That is why we recommend them to deliver their babies in the hospital.” Manzares said.

In the forum for Levels 1, 2 and 3 facilities, the common concern of government hospitals in implementing the point of care enrolment is the multiple enrolment of members in different membership categories.

Others are actually enrolled as self-employed, however failed to pay their premium. This duplicates their membership with us and cause the denial of our claims,” one rep said.

It was clarified that as long as the member is enrolled and was paid for his premium prior to submission of his claim, he is covered and the claim filed by the hospital for him shall be paid.

The common problem raised by private hospitals on the other hand is on the issuance of PBEF which delays their transaction of admitting the patient and filing claims for reimbursement.

Is there a way that other than checking on the eligibility of members, can we also check for their 45-day admissions to determine whether they are still allowed to avail of the benefit or not?”asked one rep.

Canlas replied that for now, PBEF can only provide the status of membership and contribution status which determines benefit eligibility of the member. “As to the number of admission our member has already incurred is something that we are looking forward to be included by the system soon,” she added.

To avoid further denial of claims, Ysmael reminded all the participants to follow all the guidelines, comply with the requirements needed for claims processing and submit them to Philhealth less than 60days after patients are discharged.

Rest assured that all issues and concerns presented during the forum are well noted. Regional level matters shall be taken charged by the PRO and other matters requiring policy interventions shall be sent to the Central Office,"Bayaras concluded.

In line with the coming PhilHealth 20th anniversary, Bonilla invited all the participants to join another round of PHilhealth Run on February 15 next year. (hanah g. naanep)


Josephine “Arjho” Carino-Turner is an inspiration to all of us. Though she is now based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, she still managed to help our kababayans through her promotional campaigns (arts, cultural and the like) using social media and through humanitarian services. She is very passionate in helping the Indigenous People (IPs) most especially the Blaan tribe in Sarangani Province. I really admire her because she is genuinely cool woman.

In an interview via Facebook, Arjho shares her experiences while she was in the Philippines. She also shares her advocacy in helping our fellow IPs.

YaduKaru: Since I did not have a chance to meet you personally, can you tell me something about yourself?



Arjho: I was born at Landan, Polomolok, South Cotabato, Philippines. I am a representation of a mixed Filipino culture having been born to an Ilocano/Waray father, Mr. Jose Singson Carino, and to a mother belonging to the Blaan tribe of Southern Mindanao, Mrs. Maria Caturan Latimban Carino.

I graduated Class Valedictorian from Dole Cannery Central Elementary School in Polomolok, South Cotabato in 1992. I finished High School from Mindanao State University-Science Curriculum (CETD) in General Santos City and was then a recipient of Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani Foundation scholarship grant. In 1996, I was admitted to the University of the Philippines at Los Banos (UPLB) with two scholarship grants - the Iskolar ng Bayan and the Agricultural and Rural Development Scholarship (ARDS) Grant. I took up BS Agriculture major in Plant Pathology and graduated in April 15, 2000.

While in college, I worked as a Student Research Assistant for STRIVE Foundation and also served as a Student Assistant to the UPLB Dean of Student Affairs. During my semestral break, I was an active volunteer for the Ugnayan ng Pahinungod community development efforts for the Aetas in lahar affected areas of Zambales (in Luzon). I also took active leadership roles in different student organizations and a campus based ministry-LakasAngkan Ministry Inc. (LAMI)

After college I went back to my region (Region XII). I first joined as Research Assistant to the MINDSET Technical Consulting firm based in General Santos City under Dr. Nick Perez. I did technical assistance for Geographic Information System (ARC-GIS) software training among government employees.

While having a fulltime job in Sarangani, I also enrolled in a distance learning education at the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) where I earned a post-graduate degree for Master in Environment and Natural Resource Management major in Upland Resource Management.

YaduKaru: Can you share about your experience as Former Indigenous Peoples Development Program (IPDP) Manager?

Arjho: With passion for community development work, I served the Provincial Government of Sarangani under the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist as Program Manager for the Luntiang Lumad Program (LLP) from December 2000 up to December 2003. With new provincial leadership in 2004, I was designated to conceptualize the LLP transformation into a more comprehensive Indigenous Peoples Development Program (IPDP). I served as the Program Manager for IPDP under the Office of Governor Miguel Rene A. Dominguez for 2 years before immigrating to the USA. I am an advocate for indigenous cultural development (e.g. literary arts, performing arts, school of living traditions projects, cultural and agricultural research), environmental management, and good governance.

YaduKaru: What motivates you to help our fellow IPs?

Arjho: Farming is our way of life. When I was in high school and is getting ready to take UPCAT exam, I chose UPLB campus (with the degree of BS Agriculture) with the prayer and ultimate goal of going back to my region and serve in the government specifically for the indigenous peoples (IPs) group. During semestral breaks, I spent volunteer work thru the UP Volunteer Corps and the Ugnayan ng Panhinungodserving Aeta communities in Zambales. Their plight is very similar to the IP situation back in my region: discrimination in all forms, unequal opportunity for jobs, and inaccessibilityof government services, and disparity of income. IPs just hastily used for “show off” on cultural presentations delegated as “program entertainments” or “intermission numbers”. The marginalization from their very own ancestral domains, always just the point of interest for “shadow” programs to politically appease the IP groups but NEVER truly empowering them to exercise their rights to govern themselves according to their customs and traditions. Those community service exposures strengthened me the more, to go back and hopefully serve my fellow IPs for a better difference.

YaduKaru: How's your experience working under former Gov. Miguel Rene A. Dominguez?

Arjho: Even though I just spent two years working under Gov. Migs administration, I can say that it was a very productive two years that shaped the cultural development of the province and impacting the respective IP groups in each of the Municipal Local Government Units (MLGUs).

It’s a dream work come true! I have a leader that fully supports cultural development initiatives and helped ushered in support from various partners (individuals, non-profit organizations and businesses). It was a very busy two years too. There were a lot of projects and major cultural works that successfully done, like - School of Living Tradition (SLT) Project implementation at Lamlifew; Sarangani’s participation for WOW Mindanao in Davao City; The cultural research in partnership with historian Dr. Heidi K. Gloria that was made into a first publication of the province (Sarangani: People, Places and Culture published in 2006); The first upland rice research in Sarangani in partnership with Mindanao State University-Science Department at Kihan, Malapatan; and I was part of the first Sarangani Bay Festival and it was my last work in the province.

YaduKaru: Even when you are in the US, you still promote Sarangani Province thru your blogs and other write-ups. What motivates you to do so?
Arjho: When I met Filipino-Americans in Atlanta and I told them I am from Mindanao, I can see the fear and the ridiculous reactions like “Really? Oh my God! That place is dangerous!”, “Di ba maraming Muslim doon?”, “Naku, nakakatakot naman ang mag-stay sa Mindanao.”(There are lots of Muslims there, right? Oh no! It’s really scary to stay in Mindanao)

And when I say that I am from General Santos City, some would say without hesitation,“Uy, you came from the Tuna Capital ng Pilipinas!” Or some would be so happy to say “Kababayan mo pala si Manny! You came from the home of Manny Pacquiao!”

I was really bothered because I realized how much people from Luzon especially those who have not been to Mindanao, have that kind of mindset. If not based on fear from news they have read or from their excitement of famous personalities like boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, Mayor Duterte, and Shamcey Supsup, they know nothing about the beautiful island of Mindanao, especially its people and the diversity of cultures. I cannot cover all of the provinces of Mindanao for promotion purposes so I chose to focus on Region 12 specifically Sarangani Province. Since I am getting e-mail from the Sarangani Provincial Information Office, I started re-posting them in my first blog that I made back in 2007.



When I joined Facebook back in 2008, I also decided to make use of the opportunity to expand more my online cultural advocacies. I got lots of invitations to do cultural presentations in various Fil-Am activities, speaking engagement at Asian-American events like the Annual Asian Pacific Historical Symposium and sharing Blaan dance at the Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival to represent Philippines in the International Stage. I never did a Blaan dance in the Philippines but I do not have a choice here. All for the love of sharing part of Mindanao’s indigenous culture.

YaduKaru: I noticed that you have a lot of blogs to maintain, how do you manage it?

Arjho: As my online volunteer activities, I do technical assistance here in the USA thru promotion in social networking sites, creating and maintaining blogs and free basic website development as well as project proposal preparation. It is more of a hobby and I only do updating when I have time especially now that I have an infant and a toddler. I love doing it as mental exercise too, aside from routine motherhood duties.

Each blog has specific tags/labels for easy reference when I share about topics related to Sarangani, General Santos City and the GFI Mindanao outreach documentations submitted by beneficiary schools. I get news articles from PIO Sarangani since I came here in the USA. 


I also receive news articles from the Gensan City Information Office, under the administration of Mayor Rivera, whose City Administrator,Atty. Arnel A. Zapatos (a friend of mine), is the former Chief of Staff of (former) Gov. Migs before I left. How I wish I would have news articles from South Cotabato too but I do not have contacts in the provincial government there.

Website development for specific organizations, individuals with artistic creations, non-profit organizations with meaningful development and volunteer works or businesses are part of my online technical assistance for free. This is just drag and drop kind of basic website that is user friendly and less maintenance compared to regular blogs. I also do them whenever I have time. The respective recipients/owners of the websites are provided with all information to access it, edit or change as they wish.

I also started my first website (Blaan.net) but it was not updated for more than 2 years. But it needs an overall updating/aesthetic presentation or may be choosing a new theme. I find this difficult though compared to the free features of weebly.

YaduKaru: What can you say about the state of Indigenous People in the Philippines, especially in Mindanao?

Arjho:I think the IPs is more empowered now since the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) was made into law. There are lots of IP leaders now that are serving in various capacities - politicians, traditional elders, academic think tanks, and cultural development workers - in their respective communities. We still have long way to go for equal access to basic services after decades of neglect and no representation on the local government units’ development programs. I hope that the respective IP Mandatory Representative (IPMR) will be fully implemented in provinces with high IP population (from the PLGU, MLGU and BLGU levels).

There are also rising younger IP professionals that are more vocal, more independent and progressive thinkers that gives back to their communities in big and small ways they can. There are lots of IP groups from Mindanao who has relatives living outside of the country and lots have inter-racial marriages like mine that also gives back to help our fellow IPs.

YaduKaru: What is Galing Foundation, Inc. Mindanao Outreach? What is your role in GFI?

Arjho: Since 2007, I served as the Secretary and the Mindanao Outreach Director for the Galing Foundation, Inc., - a non-profit organization here in Atlanta. Galing Foundation, Inc. is dedicated to provide educational and community service to local Filipino Americans as well as promoting the importance of functional and English literacy in rural areas of the Philippines as the foundation for future development, working towards awareness on global citizenry.

YaduKaru: Any plans to go back in the Philippines?

Arjho: We plan to visit when kids are old enough to appreciate international travel and also remember their experience. It will be quite a while though.

YaduKaru: What is you dream project(s) for our fellow IPs?

Arjho: I dream for the Blaan tribe to have a Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA) Awardee soon. I want also to have the establishment of the Philippines Blaan Foundation, Inc. spearheaded by my former colleague in Sarangani and the former QUEST Program manager, Annalie Edday. And more support for Schools of Living Tradition (SLT) Projects and Research and Development (R&D) for the traditional upland rice.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
YADU KARU contributes articles here at I Love South Cotabato. He is a freelance filmmaker and a photojournalist. He also blogs at YaduKaru.Com.



The city government of Iloilo will soon sign a sisterhood agreement with the Koronadal City government.

The signing of the sisterhood agreement will be held on October 8, 2014 to highlight the 14th Charter Anniversary of the City of Koronadal. Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog together with other city officials of Iloilo will visit Koronadal for the signing.

A city official of Koronadal said that the sisterhood agreement will further strengthen the relationship between the two cities. Koronadal is dubbed as the "Ilonggo City of Mindanao" because most of the people are descendants of settlers from Iloilo and majority speak Hiligaynon.

The official added that the sisterhood agreement will be also beneficial to Koronadal as it can learn from ideas and best practices of Iloilo, one of the most progressive cities in the Visayas.


To give the people of the City of Koronadal full opportunity  to celebrate and participate in the celebration of the 14th Charter Day Anniversary and 4th Negosyo Festival, Malacañang Palace has issued Proclamation No. 877 series of 2014 declaring October 8, 2014 as a Special (Non-working) Holiday.

The proclamation was signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr last September 12, 2014.
MALACAÑAN PALACE
MANILA
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
PROCLAMATION NO. 877
DECLARING TUESDAY, 8 OCTOBER 2014, AS A SPECIAL (NON-WORKING) DAY IN THE CITY OF KORONADAL, SOUTH COTABATO
WHEREAS, Wednesday, 8 October 2014, marks the 14th Charter Day anniversary and the 4th Negosyo Festival of the City of Koronadal;
WHEREAS, it is but fitting and proper that the people of the City of Koronadal be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, PAQUITO N. OCHOA JR., Executive Secretary, by authority of His Excellency, BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, do hereby declare Wednesday, 8 October 2014, as a special (non-working) day in the City of Koronadal.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of the Philippines to be affixed.
Done in the City of Manila, this 12th day of September, in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Four.
By authority of the President:
(Sgd.) PAQUITO N. OCHOA JR. 

Aside from the anniversary program, activities on October 8 which falls on a Wednesday includes signing of siterhood agreement with Iloilo City, mass wedding, street party and many more.
[SEE FULL SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES HERE]



Another must-visit place when traveling to South Cotabato is Fortune Field Resort in the Municipality of Banga. The place is frequented by tourists for its Pantatan Restaurant which is known here and even outside the province for their specialties, different "pantat" or hito (catfish) dishes.


I was able to visit Fortune Field Resort two weeks ago together with some bloggers from Manila and Cebu. The resort was one of the pit stop of the South Cotabato leg of the SOCCSKSARGEN Experience Tour for bloggers. 

We had our lunch at Pantatan Restaurant and tried some of their popular dishes. Our favorites were the Sinugbang Hito or grilled catfish which is their best seller, deep fried hito, and adobong hito.

Aside from hito, Pantatan also has different tilapia dishes, pork, seafood and native chicken dishes on their menu all at very affordable prices.


We also had a quick tour around the resort where a staff showed us their other amenities. I was surprised upon learning that Fortune Field Resort has lodging facilities with very affordable rates. The resort also has function halls for different occassion, swimming pool and a scenic area called Triangle Lagoon.


Samantha Hall. Ideal venue for wedding & reception, birthdays and other large special occasions
DJ Hall
Villa Victoria at Fortune Field Resort.  It has six (6) available rooms which we all find very spacious for a low rate of only P750.00 per night. Good for two persons. Each room has hot and cold shower, cable TV and own parking lot.
Matrimonial Room.
Twin Bed.
Villa Sophia at Fortune Field Resort. Three (3) new rooms located near the pool area. 
Rooms are smaller compared to that of Villa Victoria but also has hot and cold shower, cable TV and are wifi hot spot. 
Very affordable for only PhP 650.00 per night good for 2 persons with free pool passes.
Triangle Lagoon at Fortune Field Resort. This area in the resort is ideal for a romantic wedding proposal, for photo shoot for prenup, or for lagoon wedding venue.

Fortune Field Resort is located at Crossing Kipot, Banga, South Cotabato. 

For inquiries, contact:
Phone:  0921-720-0690, 0926-701-2588 ; 083-239-1090
Email:  resortfortunefield@yahoo.com.ph


City of Koronadal's 4th Negosyo Festival & 
14th Charter Anniversary of the 
Schedule of Activities

Tiangge sa Parke (Trade Fair)
September 12- October 12 | Rizal Park

Agri Fair
September 12- October 12 | Rizal Park

Carnival
September 22- October 12 | Jaycee Avenue

Motorcycle Industry Showcase
October 1- 8 | Alunan Avenue

Grand Sale 2014
October 1- 31 | Participating Establishments

October Fest
October 1- 8, 7 PM | Alunan Avenue

Organic Congress and Fair
October 1-8, 1 PM | Gaisano Grand Mall

Koronadalandia
October 5-8, 8 AM | Rizal Park

Palengke Festival - Market Day
October 1, 4 AM | Public Market

Thanksgiving Mass
October 1, 7 AM | City Hall Lobby

Opening Program
October 1, 8 AM | City Hall Lobby

Opening of Sec. Jessie Robredo Avenue
October 1, 9:30 AM | Robredo Road

Tiangge sa Parke (Trade Fair) Opening
October 1, 10 AM | Rizal Park

Motorcycle Industry Showcase Opening
October 1, 10:30 AM | Alunan Avenue

Palengke Festival - Opening
October 2, 7 AM | Public Market

Job Fair
October 2, 9 AM | Gaisano Grand Mall

National Cultural Education Conference
October 2, 1 PM | NDMU
October 3- 4, 8 AM | NDMU

Bonsai Show
October 2, 1 PM | Rizal Park (Opening)
October 3-8, 8 AM | Rizal Park

Koronadal Drivers Convention: Open Seminar
October 3, 7:30 AM | South Cotabato Gym and Cultural Center

2nd Diwang Sagisag Kultura National Kwis Competition
October 3, 8 AM | Gaisano Grand Mall

Motorcycle Convention
October 3, 1 PM | City Hall Lobby ( Registration)
October 4-5, 8 AM | City Hall Lobby

October Fest with Celebrity Band
October 3, 7 PM | Alunan Avenue

Night Market Launching
October 3, 7 PM | Night Market Site

Pabonggahan ng Beauty sa Mercado - Presentation of Candidates
October 3, 7 PM | Public Market

Fun Run
October 4, 4 AM | Front of South Cotabato Sports Complex (Assembly)

Dog Show
October 4, 8 AM | Rizal Park

Dart Tournament
October 4, 8 AM | Food Harbor

Chess Tournament
October 4, 8 AM | City Hall - 3rd Floor

Palengke Got Talent
October 4, 8 PM | Public Market

Celebrity Night
October 4, 8 PM | Alunan Avenue

Golf Tournament
October 5, 7 AM | Paraiso Golf Course

KOMAVA Day
October 5, 8 AM | Public Market

Motocross
October 5, 8 AM | Ladera's Farm

Organic Fair and Product Demo
October 5-8, 8 AM | Gaisano Grand Mall

Dungog Koronadaleño (A Night of the Champions)
October 5, 5 PM | Alunan Avenue

Pabonggahan ng Beauty sa Mercado
October 6, 7 PM | Night Market

Consumer Welfare Seminar
October 7, 8 AM | EMR Center

Skills Training with Community Service
October 7, 8 AM | Gaisano Grand Mall

Region 12 Got Talent (Fellowship Fun Night)
October 7, 7 PM | City Hall Lobby

Pigdiriwang
October 8, 5 AM | Rizal Park

Anniversary Program
October 8, 7:30 AM | Rizal Park

Signing of Sisterhood Agreement with Iloilo City
October 8, 7:30 AM | Rizal Park

Grand PBM
October 8, 9 AM | Rizal Park

Motorcycle Industry Showcase Culmination
October 8, 9:30 AM | Alunan Avenue

Kasalan ng Bayan
October 8, 9:30 AM | Rizal Park

Battle of Lights and Sounds (Disco sa Kalye)
October 8, 8 PM | Alunan Avenue

Pangkabuhayan Showcase Grand Draw
October 8, 8 PM | Alunan Avenue

Quiz Bee
October 9, 8 AM | EMR Center

Regional Bagwis Awarding
October 9, 11:30 AM | EMR Center


An application developed by a group of electronics and communications engineering students from Notre Dame of Marbel University (NDMU) in Koronadal City has made it to the shortlist of this year's Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (Sweep) Innovation and Excellence Awards.

Out of more than 100 entries submitted by different schools and universities nationwide, the application called "Bill of Rights" developed by the group of  Ron Joeffrey Baldove, Alfe Matthew Polo, Arjan Jay Fariolan, Jascent Joy Tutor, Joed Cordero and Judel Ochavillo, all BSECE students of NDMU made it to the TOP 20 of the annual competition and will advance to the next stage.


Bill of Rights allow users to check and pay monthly bills easily and conveniently using smartphones. The application can also store monthly bills, payment records, and official receipts codes that can be access anytime and anywhere if needed.

Below are the 20 shorlisted entries for the 2014 SWEEP Awards.

This year's SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards theme is “Building Cloud-based Communities.” The goal was to develop cloud-based applications that is innovative, community-based, sustainable and technology-focused.




The year 2015 will be an exciting year for the City of Koronadal as it will celebrate its 75th Founding Anniversary on January 10.

According to reports, the city government has already started its preparations for next year's big celebration.

"It will be grander and more colorful", a city official said in a report. 

And to make the upcoming celebration more exciting, there will be a diamond jubilee countdown which will begin this October.

Created on January 10, 1940 as Marbel Settlement District, City of Koronadal today is the center for finance, business, education, services and government institutions in the Province of South Cotabato. It is also the regional seat for Region 12 and one of the most progressive cities in southern Philippines. 

The city was adjudged as the Most Competitive Small-sized City in the Philippines in 2003, one of the Most Competitive Small-sized Cities in the Philippines in 2005, and Most Business Friendly City in Mindanao in 2005 and 2006.

Last year, Koronadal was 6th Most Competitive City in the Philippines.