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Cortes town in Surigao del Sur has country’s cleanest coastline

It’s a sunny morning in the fishing village of Burgos, and the narrow banca is gliding past a maze of fish corrals towards a guardhouse in the middle of lush beds of seagrass. Colored flags flutter in the cool breeze, marking the boundary of the marine sanctuary. In the depths of the clear waters are […].....»»

Category: newsSource: mindanews mindanewsDec 13th, 2017

NPA rebels raid vice mayor’s house

SURIGAO CITY, Philippines – Suspected New People’s Army rebels stormed the house of Vice Mayor Emmanuel Suarez of Cortes town in Surigao del Sur yesterday an.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 18th, 2017

Waves of Laswitan

People from different places in Mindanao enjoy the waves that lash at the rocks in Laswitan near the shore of Barangay Madreliño, Cortes town in Surigao del Sur on Sunday, February 5, 2017. MindaNews Photo by Roel N. Catoto.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsFeb 7th, 2017

Environmentalists praised closure of 23 mining firms

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Environmentalists and anti-mining groups lauded the closure of nearly two dozen mining firms and vowed to support government efforts to curb destructive mining practices in the country. Environment Secretary Gina Lopez ordered the closure of 23 metallic mines in the country, while suspending five more, for serious environmental violations discovered during the industry-wide audit conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) since July last year. “My issue here is not about mining. My issue here is social justice. If there are businesses and foreigners that go and utilize the resources of that area for their benefit and the people of the island suffer, that’s social injustice,” Lopez said. She said the closure orders were based on the final results and recommendations of the multisectoral audit teams formed to look into the compliance of mining operators with the existing environmental laws and regulations. The mining firms ordered closed were the following: Benguet Corp. Nickel Mines Inc., Eramen Minerals Inc., Zambales Diversified Metals Corp., and LNL Archipelago Minerals Inc., all in Zambales province, due mainly to siltation of rivers, destruction of a functional watershed and illegal tree-cutting. Mt. Sinai Mining Exploration and Development Corp., Emir Minerals Corp., and TechIron Mineral Resources Inc. in Homonhon mainly for siltation of coastal waters and destruction of functional watershed. AAMPHIL Natural Resources Exploration, Kromico Inc., SinoSteel Philippines H.Y. Mining Corp., Oriental Synergy Mining Corp., Wellex Mining Corp., Libjo Mining Corp., Oriental Vision Mining Phils. Corp., in Dinagat Islands mainly for siltation of coastal waters. ADNAMA Mining Resources Corp., Claver Mineral Development Corp., Platinum Group Metals Corp., CTP Construction and Mining Corp., Carrascal Nickel Corp., Marcventures Mining and Development Corp., and Hinatuan Mining Corp. in Surigao del Norte mainly for siltation of coastal waters and mining in functional watersheds. Benguet Corporation in Itogon, Benguet and Ore Asia Mining and Development Corp. in Bulacan were likewise issued suspension orders by Lopez. &'160; She also deferred to give a decision on the fate of Filminera Resources Corp. pending further investigation. The five mining companies that were issued suspension orders are Berong Nickel Corp., OceanaGold Phils., Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corp., Citinickel Mines and Development Corp. and Strong Built Mining Development Corp. According to DENR Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Maria Paz Luna, the companies can file for a Motion for Reconsideration to the DENR within 15 days from receipt of the order. Luna said the DENR decision can still be appealed to the Office of the President. The DENR had earlier assured the mining sector and the general public that due process was “meticulously observed” in the audit of all existing metallic mines nationwide. It also assured that the audit results “really promote the common good and social justice” espoused by Lopez and President Rodrigo Duterte. A staunch advocate of responsible mining, Lopez has made it clear that the common good and the protection of the environment would be her paramount concern, not money. She emphasized that no mining company can operate in a functional watershed which protects water sources. “Water is life. We will not allow the water of our people to be at risk for any business interest,” Lopez said. 16 Audit Teams Barely a week at the DENR, Lopez ordered an industry-wide audit in July last year to look into the adequacy and efficiency of environmental protection measures taken by the mining companies, determine gaps in those measures and identify the appropriate penalties for violations of mining and environmental laws. A total of 16 audit teams were formed to review the environmental compliance of mining companies in all regions in the country. Each team is composed of representatives from the DENR central and regional offices, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture and civil society organizations. The audit focused on safety and health; mine environmental management; social development; mining tenement; and compliance with laws on clean air, clean water, hazardous waste and solid waste. Technical experts from the different government offices that have been invited to conduct the audit all abide in the standards of truth, service, and the common good. “We based the checklist of the criteria for the audit on the items in compliance with the different mining and environmental laws. A cross-audit was also done, which means that the auditors who reviewed one site, have come from a different region,” Lopez said. “We also gave seven days for the companies to respond to the results of the audit, providing a leeway for them to clear the issues that were raised. We had to review the reported results of the audit for five months before we have to release it, ensuring that we followed the process meticulously.” Lopez said the issue is not about mining, but social justice. “If there are businesses and foreigners that go and utilize the resources of that area for their benefit and the people of that island suffer, that’s social injustice. We assure the industry and the general public that due process was meticulously observed in the mining audit conducted by the agency and that the results would be always anchored on integrity, social justice, and the common good,” she said. Zamboanga del Sur, Tawi-Tawi Environmentalists also urged Lopez to review again the mining operations of TVI Resource Development (Phils.) Inc. in Zamboanga del Sur’s Bayog town where Subanen natives opposed the entry of the company in [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsFeb 6th, 2017

BFAR: 8 areas test positive for paralytic shellfish poison

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) confirmed on Tuesday that shellfish from eight areas in the country have tested positive for paralytic shellfish poison. In an advisory, BFAR warned residents in the areas against eating shellfish from the following areas: Irong-Irong Bay in Western Samar Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar Coastal waters of Leyte Carigara Bay in Leyte Lianga Bay in Surigao del Sur Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan Coastal waters of Mandaon in Masbate Coastal waters of Bataan in the towns of Mariveles, Limay, Orion, Pilar, Balanga, Orani, Abucay and Samal BFAR said that shellfish caught from the areas are not fit for h...Keep on reading: BFAR: 8 areas test positive for paralytic shellfish poison.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated News10 hr. 9 min. ago

Bikers Gear Up for Alicia’s Kinatkatay MTB Race 2018

Mountain bike enthusiasts poised to test their endurance and skill on a cross country off-road trail can now prepare for the 2nd Alicia Mountain Bike Festival’s Kinatkatay sa Binabaje set on February 11, 2018. Set to take to the 12-kilometer trail from the Alicia town hall to Cambaol, exit the dirt road to single track […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsJan 14th, 2018

Daku Island in Siargao gets 24/7 power supply

GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Islands (MindaNews / 11 January) – Electricity has reached Daku Island, a tourist destination in this world-renowned town of Surigao del Norte. The P36-million underwater cable project linking mainland Siargao to Barangay Daku supplies round-the-clock power to at least 40 of the 85 households of the island which is also famous for […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsJan 11th, 2018

Popovich s odd alliance with red state fans

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com SAN ANTONIO -- About 400 people gathered at the Oak Hills Country Club in June 2016 and paid $500 to $250,000 to sip iced tea and nibble hors d’oeuvres next to a golf course designed by noted architect AW Tillinghast, who built many. One is owned by the man who was feted at this political fundraiser, Donald J. Trump. The presidential campaign was in full blast and saltier than the crackers on the cheese plate being passed around. Fresh off the plane, Trump thanked the Republicans for the big ‘ole Texas welcome, witnesses say, before launching a blistering attack on the usual targets: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, illegal immigration. Then, near the end of his 30-minute lunchtime appearance, in an effort to connect with the locals, he pivoted and mentioned perhaps the most famous man in town: Gregg Popovich. Witnesses say Trump called Popovich “a great coach” and said “he does a good job” and then there was some fidgeting in the room when the soon-to-be polarizing leader of the free world said this: “I don’t know if the coach is on my side.” Confirmation came emphatically, right after Trump won a divisive election that November. The coach of the Spurs lit into the President over the next several months with a handful of rants that had the stealth of Kawhi Leonard ambushing a timid ball-handler. In no particular order, here were Pop’s Greatest Hits, all issued through the media and without prompting or provocation: “The disgusting tenure and tone and all the comments … have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic. I live in a country where half the people ignored that to elect someone.” And: “He is in charge of our country. That’s disgusting.” And: “The man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks he can only become large by belittling others.” And: “We have a pathological liar in the White House ... You can’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth.” Popovich didn’t stop there with a President whose sensitivity and intelligence he questioned and accused of being guilty of “gratuitous fear-mongering.” When he took Trump to task for criticizing NFL players who knelt during the National Anthem and defended their rights to do so, Popovich also suspected a measure of the public outrage was racially motivated. “Our country is an embarrassment to the world,” he said. A 68-year-old wealthy white man, therefore, became a sports voice with weight in the political and social justice arena, where the NBA league office has greenlighted players and coaches to speak up. Popovich has done so with clarity and insight to gain national applause in certain corners. He wasn’t the first or the last in sports to verbally spank the president or tackle right-leaning sensitivities, yet he’s certainly the most unique in one respect. As a graduate of the Air Force Academy who works in a military town, and a five-time NBA champion coach who might symbolize the city more than The Alamo, Popovich has long been elevated to icon status, perhaps permanently so, in San Antonio, where folks are mad about the Spurs. Still, this is mostly conservative Texas, one of the most Republican of states based on the state legislature and the congressional delegation, a state that voted Republican in 10 straight presidential elections and saw 52.6 percent of voters punch for Trump. While voters in San Antonio-proper lean liberal, the surrounding areas swing solidly the opposite. Julianna Holt, the Spurs CEO and Popovich’s boss since March after assuming the position held for 20 years by her husband Peter, supported various Republican presidential candidates before eventually donating $5,400 to Trump’s campaign and $250,000 to the Trump Victory Fund, according to Federal Election Commission records. Popovich is therefore a blue blood in a red state and the contrast makes for strange if not uncomfortable alliance between a beloved coach and a group of conflicted Spurs worshippers. His views have in fact shattered the sacrilege by generating hostility from a segment of the basketball flock, something no coach with his credentials would ever feel. The constant winning and acts of charity do not insulate him from those who would prefer Popovich stuff a sweat sock in his bullhorn. Party lines not Popovich's focus “While we all believe Gregg Popovich has the right to his opinions, where was Popovich when Hillary called half of us a 'basket of deplorables?’Many were Spurs fans who are now tired of being insulted ... many of us will never pay to see a Spurs game again.” -- Donna Howington  “The money I will save this year not attending Spurs games should buy me a nice set of golf clubs. Thanks Pop!” -- Jake Ingorgia  “I will never watch them again until Popovich is gone. He is just like all the other leftist celebrities.” -- Lee Harbach, Bulverde They arrive on cue, most from the dusty towns that orbit around San Antonio, some from the city itself. Popovich has unloaded three times this year on Trump, once after the election, once at the start of training camp and most recently by cold-calling Dave Zirin, a friend and liberal writer from The Nation, a progressive magazine. And each time, the letters land in the office of Ricardo Pimentel, the editor who coordinates the comments section of the Express-News, San Antonio’s newspaper of record. “It’s a cycle,” says Pimental, with a sigh. “He speaks out. People who disagree with him send us letters to the editor, then people who object to their disagreement write us letters to the editor defending Pop. Then they respond to one another.” The initial reaction, he said, is always stacked against Popovich and many identify themselves as Spurs fans ripping up their tickets or promising to never attend or watch games again. Even if those who made threats actually carried them out, the change in the Spurs’ home attendance is a blip, from 99.2 percent capacity last season to 98.6 so far this season. Popovich, of course, has been big for business since his first full season as coach in 1997-98. Besides the titles, the Spurs have reached the playoffs every season and won 50 games every season (except for the lockout-shortened 50-game 1998-99 campaign, when they won 37). In short, Popovich's Spurs have a track record beyond reproach in the NBA. If the 2017-18 Spurs stay on pace, it’ll be 20 straight winning seasons for Popovich, one more than Phil Jackson for the all-time NBA record. He hasn’t been this politically vocal until lately, due to Trump, yet was always politically aware, say those who know him. Well-versed through his readings and observations, Popovich welcomes discussion with acquaintences about classism, leadership, government and preferably over a bottle of wine. His two-decades exposure to young black men from humble beginnings raised his awareness and sensitivities about race and bias. Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr once played for the Spurs and lately has echoed many of the same thoughts as Popovich. But Kerr coaches in the Bay Area, where folks nod their heads in agreement. Kerr said he can only imagine the flak Popovich catches in Texas. “Here’s this iconic coach who stands for everything that’s right and for honor and integrity, he served in the military, you see him stand at attention for the American flag — man, Pop loves his country,” Kerr said. “And in the middle of Texas for him to be questioning the Republican President, some of the people down there are probably confused. Like, 'I don’t get it, we love this guy but he’s on the other side from us.' “What I love about Pop is that it’s not about party, not about politics. It’s about integrity and character and that’s what people need to pay attention to. It’s not about some policy, not about how much we pay in taxes. If we can just get back to the point where character matters, then we’ll be in better shape. The problem is, it’s clear character has gone down the tubes in many leadership positions in our country. That’s what Pop is calling out.” True enough, Popovich never publicly attached himself to a political party; to suggest he is against Republicans might be as misleading as believing Colin Kaepernick is against the military. When he played for Popovich, Kerr couldn’t recall a time when the coach was this annoyed by the country’s leadership. “The country was in a better place in terms of a relatively peaceful time back then,” Kerr said. “Yes, 9-11 happened and the whole world changed. But we didn’t have quite the same partisan nature, not only in politics but the national conversation. And so people could just admire Pop for who he was and people might not have been aware of his political leanings because they didn’t ask. When we won and went to the White House, Pop and the team went when Bush was in office. We went in ’99 when President Clinton was there. Republican, Democrat, didn’t matter. The times are so different now.” Kerr laughed quickly when asked about the semi-serious groundswell of social media support for a Kerr-Popovich ticket in 2020. Kerr said he hopes to be on his fifth NBA title as a coach then, but turned semi-serious about Popovich. “Our country needs somebody like Pop who can actually lead and unite from a position of authority and credibility,” Kerr said. “This guy served in the military, grew up in a melting pot, understands leadership. More than anything, he’ll cut through all the [expletive].” Since going nuclear on Trump, Popovich declined invites from the national political shows (and wouldn’t comment for this story). That proves what friends have maintained all along: Popovich doesn’t want to be anyone’s political hero or pundit. He’d rather speak when the moment calls for it, then be left alone. That last part is tricky, though. Empathy often marks Popovich's way “Can you imagine being Republican on the Spurs? Would you feel welcome? He’s like Berkeley -- for free speech unless you disagree with him. Shut up and coach, Gregg.” -- Shannon Deason  “When it comes to coaching basketball or drinking wine, Popovich has experience. When it comes to our country, his opinion is no better than anyone else’s." -- Harold Siemens, Seguin  “Open letter to the NBA referee who ejected Pop from the Warriors-Spurs game: Don’t feel bad about what Gregg Popovich called you. He called the POTUS worse and got away with it.” -- Larry Peabody Once the wheels touched down, the pilot jokingly announced over the loudspeaker: “Welcome to Gregg Popovich International Airport,” and one particular passenger noticed that nobody on the plane thought it was strange. Sean Elliott always knew how deeply rooted Popovich is with San Antonio. Aside from the famous Spanish missions and the River Walk, the city is known for the only professional sports team in town. And while George Gervin, David Robinson and Tim Duncan have come and gone, the one lingering reminder is a sometimes gruff and scruffy coach, maybe the NBA’s best ever. “He’s one of the pillars of the community,” said Elliott, twice an All-Star with the Spurs. “He’s looked at with great admiration. He is as respected as anyone who has ever lived in or been part of the city. It’s not just because he’s a basketball coach. Pop has been a big part of the community, huge contributor to charitable functions, good leader.” Elliott was a Spurs rookie in 1989 when their relationship began and he saw the start of Popovich’s reach in the region. Popovich then was an assistant coach under Larry Brown and just planting his feet in the NBA. That summer, Elliott and Popovich piled into a van with the team's "Coyote" mascot and conducted basketball clinics in San Marcos, Corpus Christi, Laredo and similar places. They were signing autographs in malls and running kids through drills in 100 degree heat, never hearing a complaint from the coach. Elliott said folks in those small conservative towns loved him. “If you sit and hear him talk about something, you tend to agree with him,” Elliott said. “He’ll put it in a logical way and he’s very thoughtful, well read and super intelligent, maybe the most intelligent person I’ve ever known.” The owner of the Spurs then was Red McCombs, a homespun Texan who made his fortune in car dealerships and media companies. McCombs didn’t give Popovich the coaching job after firing Brown, telling Popovich “you’ve got a chance to be a great coach” if he got more experience, which he did, going to the Warriors to work for Don Nelson. Popovich returned to San Antonio two years later as general manager, then became coach and the rest is history. Now 90, McCombs said: “Popovich has become the distinguished part of the franchise. He wears it well. Can’t say enough about what kind of man he is and what he’s meant to San Antonio. God has blessed us with Gregg Popovich.” McCombs loves to tell how Popovich, by chance, learned that a local family needed a car. The coach wrote a check, gave it to the father and walked away. McCombs said it was “typical Popovich” who has empathy for those with less. McCombs, curiously, has traditionally been one of the biggest Republican bankrollers in the state, who gave to the Trump campaign and is fully aware of what Popovich thinks of his choice for President. And so one of the most powerful men in Central Texas, who leans politically to the color of his nickname, had a strong reaction to that. “He’s earned the right to give his comments about citizenship or Trump or anything else,” said McCombs, voice rising. “Yes, he made some statements that others might disagree with. But I’ll tell you this: Popovich would be elected to anything he wants to in San Antonio.” Remaining silent never an option “Our country is not an embarrassment to the world. I will tell you what an embarrassment is. It is an American citizen who got a free education from the great Air Force Academy ... and then has the audacity to say that the greatest nation in the world is an embarrassment because the President rightly demands that Americans stand for the anthem. Popovich should be ashamed of himself.” -- Nick DeLouis, Fair Oaks Ranch  “Nowhere on God’s green Earth do they have the right to disrespect our flag and the men and women who died to keep us free. I’m appalled that you stooped so low to join in that disrespect. Shame on you!” -- Fred Martin, Fair Oaks Ranch  “Coach Pop has squashed my love and enthusiasm for the team. A national treasure, he is not. Coach Pop has a voice, but not my voice." -- Jo Ivan A few years ago Popovich was in New York with his daughter to catch a Broadway play when the coach had a last minute change in strategy. He learned that John Carlos was giving a lecture at New York University that night. So Popovich told his daughter to take one of her friends instead; said he was going to see “Dr. Carlos” speak. “When he came in I was surprised and delighted,” Carlos said recently. “Quite naturally, everyone knew who he was but he just wanted to sit and listen.” A year later, in 2015, Popovich flew Carlos to San Antonio to address the team and Carlos admitted to being star struck around Tim Duncan and others. Yet Carlos was most curious about Popovich and why the coach took a strong interest in an Olympic sprinter who raised a fist on the victory stand in 1968, which is frozen as an iconic civil rights moment. “Being with the Spurs gave me an opportunity to check his character out,” Carlos said. “I knew he was a whiz at putting players together to bring out their best ability. But through my conversations with him it became apparent that he was a social activist himself at one point in his life. He was teaching his players about activism and to be concerned about their fellow man and what was going on around their lives, not just basketball. “I was impressed. He just wanted them to know they had a larger role than just playing basketball in the society in which they live.” Carlos, therefore, was not surprised to see Popovich defend the rights of kneeling black football players who came under attack from Trump. On the first day of training camp in September, Popovich said: “Obviously race is the elephant in the room and we all understand that. Unless it is talked about constantly it is not going to get better.” What followed was another swirl of exchanges between Popovich critics and supporters in San Antonio, and Popovich acknowledged receiving mail from both sides. The anti-Pop mail, though, was jarring to Carlos, given the coach’s work in town. “When people write and lambast him for taking leaders to task for what they’re doing to society, that’s like water rolling off a duck’s back, man,” Carlos said. “When they write negative things about him, it encourages him to keep doing what he’s doing. Those people are the problem. Go ahead and throw stones and it just motivates him to do his job. “Look, I’m a black man who spoke out. Imagine what they think of him as a white man who speaks just as strong, to try and get people to see things in a better light? They throw stones at him even more, like, 'Hey you’re white, you have a great life. Keep your mouth shut.’ Well, God points people in certain directions. We know who we are. We do what we do.” And what Popovich does is enlist the help of giants in the social justice world and bring them into his world. He did that with Cornel West, the Harvard professor and civil rights activist, last fall. Popovich invited West to San Antonio to speak at an East Side community center with a few hundred mostly black and Latino students and their parents. Done without TV cameras or media invitation, the discussion was about the importance of education, the imperfect world, self respect and how to help communities. This was an audience that, presumably and unanimously, connected with a white man who didn’t live among them, but was with them. They were the people Popovich had in mind when he attacked present leadership. This was not the audience that writes to the Spurs and the Express-News asking him to take a vow of silence, though he is aware of them, too. “Some responses make you wonder what country you live in,” Popovich said, “and other responses make you very hopeful … overall, it renews my feeling that something must be done because there is enough people willing to listen.” Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2018

5 farmers drown in Surigao Sur

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 4 January) – Five beachgoers were killed in a drowning incident in Lianga town in Surigao del Sur on Wednesday afternoon, police said. The victims were identified as Joseph Cajutol, 34; Ronald Getigan Baghucan, 19; Fernando Besing, 24; Alvin Almosera, 19; and Roland Lagata, all farmers from Barangay Santiago, San Luis […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsJan 5th, 2018

Ukraine, pro-Russia rebels in mass prisoner swap

GORLIVKA, Ukraine – Ukraine and Russian-backed rebels have swapped hundreds of prisoners in the war-torn east of the country, one of the largest exchanges since the outbreak of an insurgency almost 4 years ago. The swap of captives on a dusty road close to the town of ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 28th, 2017

Original Asian sprint queen Sulaiman passes away

The Philippines lost a sports gem after two-time Olympian Mona Sulaiman passed away Thursday. The first Asian sprint queen and three-time Asian Games gold medalist died of complications from diabetes. She was 75. Long before Asian marveled on Lydia de Vega’s feat on the tracks, Sulaiman was the talk of the town, winning three medals in the 1962 Asian Games in the 100m. and 200m. sprints and in the relay. She also bagged a bronze medal in shotput in the said meet. A barefoot wonder from Cotabato, the multiple national record-holder represented the country in the 1960 Rome and 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Her career, which included stints in pentathlon and discus throw, was also shrouded with controversy with people questioning her gender. Sulaiman qualified in the 1966 Asian Games but decided to quit the national team to avoid the insults and humiliation of undergoing gender tests.         She was inducted into the Philippine Sports Hall of Fame January last year......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2017

NPA to free 2 captive cops in Surigao Norte

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 19 Dec) – Communist rebels have agreed to release on Wednesday the two police officers they captured early last month in Placer town in Surigao del Norte. “As a goodwill gesture to promote the peace talks between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, and […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsDec 19th, 2017

6 soldiers hurt in grenade blast in Surigao town

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 16 Dec) —  Six soldiers under the 30th Infantry Battalion sustained minor wounds when a grenade exploded while they were on patrol in a village in San Francisco town in Surigao del Norte Wednesday evening, Major Arvin L. Dugho, the battalion’s press information officer told MindaNews on Saturday afternoon He said the […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsDec 18th, 2017

296 passengers of Surigao bound ship survive stormy seas

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 16 Dec) — “I told God that I want to spend Christmas with my family in Siargao,” John Erwin Migullas of General Luna town in Siargao Island said after he and 295 other passengers survived the stormy seas Friday aboard M/V Dumaguete from Cebu. The Cokaliong Shipping Lines’ M/V Dumaguete left […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsDec 18th, 2017

As Olympics near, South Korea agonizes over post-Games costs

By Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — South Korean officials have ruled out turning a state-of-the-art Olympic skating arena into a giant seafood freezer. Other than that, not much is certain about the country's post-Winter Games plans for a host of expensive venues. As officials prepare for the games in and around the small mountain town of Pyeongchang, there are lingering worries over the huge financial burden facing one of the nation's poorest regions. Local officials hope that the Games will provide a badly needed economic boost by marking the area as a world-class tourist destination. But past experience shows that hosts who justified their Olympics with expectations of financial windfalls were often left deeply disappointed when the fanfare ended. This isn't lost on Gangwon province, which governs Pyeongchang and nearby Gangneung, a seaside city that will host Olympic skating and hockey events. Officials there are trying hard to persuade the national government to pay to maintain new stadiums that will have little use once the athletes leave. Seoul, however, is so far balking at the idea. The Olympics, which begin Feb. 9, will cost South Korea about 14 trillion won ($12.9 billion), much more than the 8 to 9 trillion won ($7 to 8 billion) the country projected as the overall cost when Pyeongchang won the bid in 2011. Worries over costs have cast a shadow over the games among residents long frustrated with what they say were decades of neglect in a region that doesn't have much going on other than domestic tourism and fisheries. "What good will a nicely managed global event really do for residents when we are struggling so much to make ends meet?" said Lee Do-sung, a Gangneung restaurant owner. "What will the games even leave? Maybe only debt." ___ TEARING THINGS DOWN The atmosphere was starkly different three decades ago when grand preparations for the 1988 Seoul Summer Games essentially shaped the capital into the modern metropolis it is today. A massive sports complex and huge public parks emerged alongside the city's Han River. Next came new highways, bridges and subway lines. Forests of high-rise buildings rose above the bulldozed ruins of old commercial districts and slums. The legacy of the country's second Olympics will be less clear. In a country that cares much less now about the recognition that large sporting events bring, it will potentially be remembered more for things dismantled than built. Pyeongchang's picturesque Olympic Stadium — a pentagonal 35,000-seat arena that sits in a county of 40,000 people — will only be used for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and Paralympics before workers tear it down. A scenic downhill course in nearby Jeongseon will also be demolished after the games to restore the area to its natural state. Fierce criticism by environmentalists over the venue being built on a pristine forest sacred to locals caused construction delays that nearly forced pre-Olympic test events to be postponed. Gangwon officials want the national government to share costs for rebuilding the forest, which could be as much as 102 billion won ($95 million). ___ NO FISH Despite more than a decade of planning, Gangwon remains unsure what to do with the Olympic facilities it will keep. Winter sports facilities are often harder to maintain than summer ones because of the higher costs for maintaining ice and snow and the usually smaller number of people they attract. That's especially true in South Korea, which doesn't have a strong winter sports culture. Not all ideas are welcome. Gangwon officials say they never seriously considered a proposal to convert the 8,000-seat Gangneung Oval, the Olympic speed skating venue, into a refrigerated warehouse for seafood. Officials were unwilling to have frozen fish as part of their Olympic legacy. Gangwon officials also dismissed a theme park developer's suggestion to make the stadium a gambling venue where people place bets on skating races, citing the country's strict laws and largely negative view of gambling. A plan to have the 10,000-capacity Gangneung Hockey Center host a corporate league hockey team fell apart. Even worse off are Pyeongchang's bobsleigh track, ski jump hill and the biathlon and cross-country skiing venues, which were built for sports South Koreans are largely uninterested in. After its final inspection visit in August, the International Olympic Committee warned Pyeongchang's organizers that they risked creating white elephants from Olympic venues, though it didn't offer specific suggestions for what to do differently. Cautionary tales come from Athens, which was left with a slew of abandoned stadiums after the 2004 Summer Games that some say contributed to Greece's financial meltdown and Nagano, the Japanese town that never got the tourism bump it expected after spending an estimated $10.5 billion for the 1998 Winter Games. Some Olympic venues have proved to be too costly to maintain. The $100 million luge and bobsled track built in Turin for the 2006 games was later dismantled because of high operating costs. Pyeongchang will be only the second Olympic host to dismantle its ceremonial Olympic Stadium immediately after the games — the 1992 Winter Olympics host Albertville did so as well. ___ 'MONEY-DRINKING HIPPOS' Gangwon has demanded that the national government in Seoul pay for maintaining at least four Olympic facilities after the Games — the speed skating arena, hockey center, bobsleigh track and ski jump hill. This would save the province about 6 billion won ($5.5 million) a year, according to Park Cheol-sin, a Gangwon official. But the national government says doing so would be unfair to other South Korean cities that struggled financially after hosting large sports events. Incheon, the indebted 2014 Asian Games host, has a slew of unused stadiums now mocked as "money-drinking hippos." It would also be a hard sell to taxpayers outside of Gangwon, said Lee Jae-soon, an official from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Unlike the 1988 Olympics and the 2002 World Cup, which were brought to South Korea after bids driven by the national government, the provincial government led the bid for the Pyeongchang games and it did so without any commitment from Seoul over footing the bill. Under current plans, Gangwon will be managing at least six Olympic facilities after the games. These facilities will create a 9.2 billion won ($8.5 million) deficit for the province every year, a sizable burden for a quickly-aging region that had the lowest income level among South Korean provinces in 2013, according to the Korea Industrial Strategy Institute, which was commissioned by Gangwon to analyze costs. Hong Jin-won, a Gangneung resident and activist who has been monitoring Olympic preparations for years, said the real deficit could be even bigger. The institute's calculation is based on assumptions that each facility would generate at least moderate levels of income, which Hong says is no sure thing. He said that could mean welfare spending gets slashed to help make up the lack of money. South Korea, a rapidly-aging country with a worsening job market and widening rich-poor gap, has by far the highest elderly poverty rate among rich nations, according to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development figures. If Seoul doesn't pay for the Olympic facilities, and Gangwon can't turn them into cultural or leisure facilities, it might make more sense for Gangwon to just tear them down. Park said the national government must step up because the "Olympics are a national event, not a Gangwon event.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2017

Surigao vice mayor suspended

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the suspension of a town vice mayor in Surigao del Norte for a month and a city treasurer of  Z.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 13th, 2017

Reds postpone release of captive cops in Surigao

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/12 December) — Communist rebels called off the scheduled release of the two police officers they abducted in Placer town in Surigao del Norte early last month, citing the military’s refusal to suspend operations to facilitate the captives’ safe return to their loved ones. Ka Maria Malaya, spokesperson of the National Democratic Front […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsDec 13th, 2017

‘Gambling lords operate STL’

MANILA, Philippines — Gambling lords are involved in over 80 percent of small town lottery (STL) operations in the country, an official of the Philippine Cha.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 12th, 2017

Miss Universe candidates visit Siargao Island

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 10 Dec) — Four participants of the recently concluded Miss Universe 2017 visited Siargao, the surfing capital of the country on Sunday. According to Peter Paul Polovorosa, a ramp agent of Skyjet Airlines, the four arrived via SkyJet Airlines Sunday noon. “No fanfare whatsoever when they arrived. I think they will […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsDec 11th, 2017

This Week’s Milestones: Dec. 10-16, 2017

Dec. 15, 1660   Local chieftain Andres Malong of Binalatongan (now San Carlos City) in Pangasinan province led a revolt against the Spanish government for imposing forced labor on the Filipinos. Malong declared himself king and placed the province under rebel control. But their rule lasted only for less than a month after the Spaniards defeated them.   Dec. 15, 1920   Masbate was declared a province and the town of Masbate, its capital, by virtue of Act No. 2934. Masbate was previously a subprovince of Sorsogon province. Known as the "cattle country of the Philippines," Masbate's One Town One Product (Otop) is beef "tapa." The local version of the dis...Keep on reading: This Week’s Milestones: Dec. 10-16, 2017.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 9th, 2017

Sarangani: Tourism champ rises

When Sarangani province was carved out from the coastal towns of South Cotabato province in 1992, Manny Pacquiao was a 12-year-old lad who had yet to climb the boxing ring and probably unaware of his becoming a boxing great and senator.   Just like him, however, Sarangani would be a promising contender who can slug it out on the tourism ring.   Named after the Sarangani Bay, one of the country's richest fishing grounds, the province is dissected by General Santos City, thus creating the so-called "east" and "west" coasts.   West Coast   Maasim town is noted for its extreme adventures --- scuba diving and paragliding.   Lemlunay R...Keep on reading: Sarangani: Tourism champ rises.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 9th, 2017