SECURITY GUARD LEADS BAGUIO’S OUTSTANDING CITIZENS

Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan addresses the awardees of the Society of Outstanding Citizens of Baguio

In celebrating this year’s Baguio Day, the Society of Outstanding Citizens of Baguio (SOCOB) had chosen five men and women to be awarded as the city’s best. Leading the laudable roster was the courteous security guard, Guillermo Battad Cortes, who was nominated by the owner of the Insular Life compound in the city’s McDonald’s food chain branch. Although he’s a college undergraduate, Cortes has been known for his courageous personality and had continuously received positive comments from his employers for his work ethic. He consistently returns items left by customers in his workplace, including a bag containing P1 mil-lion, which was left in Maharlika center. His honesty and dedication to his profession are the main reasons why he was chosen to be a part of the city’s top award.

This year’s other awardees were Rosalind Rusgal Camat, who is the caregiver for her husband; teacher-leader Ester Kiw-is Litilit; highly-skilled nurse, Generosa Boado Carbonell; hospital consultant in surgery, Jose Bugayong, Jr.; philanthropist, Jose Ong Tajan; businessman, Rolando Veneracion Villanueva; engineering professor, Bonifacio Ilao dela Peña; Teresita Marcelo for culture and arts; and Jane Cosalan for community service.

MARGIELYN DIDAL CLAIMS FOURTH GOLD FOR PH IN ASIAN GAMES

The 19-year-old athlete, Margielyn Didal, brought pride to the Philippines when she secured the country’s fourth gold medal in the 2018 Asian Games. With a total score of 30.4 in the women’s street skateboard competition, Didal barely broke a sweat as she stood out from the seven other competitors at the JSC SkateBoard Stadium in Palembang, Indonesia. She started her humble skateboarding journey in Cebu and rose to become the country’s representative with her exceptional talent. After this, expect to see the young athlete to possibly appear in the Southeast Asian Games or the 2020 Olympics. With the country ranking 16th among the 35 countries that participated in the regional sports meet and earning its 17th medal overall, Didal has proven that skateboarding is more than just performing tricks but also an entirely different world of art and sports that gives joy to everyone.

THOSE AFFECTED BY TYPHOONS HENRY, INDAY, AND JOSIE RECEIVE THREE-MONTH ADVANCE PENSION

SSS offers a three-month advance pension to the existing SSS retiree, disability, and survivor pensioners and employees’ compensation disability and survivor pensioners who live in the calamity areas that were identified by the National Risk and Reduction Management Council. The advance pension, however, is not to exceed three months at any time. Requirements like a properly accomplished application form, valid ID cards and documents, authorization letter and valid IDs from the pensioner, and photocopy of representative’s ID are needed for the processing for the pensioners affected by tropical cyclones Henry, Inday, and Josie. Applications can be filed at any SSS branch, from August 16 to November 12, 2018.

FREE GUIDED TREE WALKS TO SAVE THE ARROCEROS FOREST PARK

Considered to be the “last lung” of the capital city of the Philippines, the Arroceros Forest Park is home to 61 different tree varieties such as Bagras, Bitaog, Narra, Molave, Mahogany, and Red Balete; 8,000 ornamental plants; and 10 different bird species. Located between the Metropolitan Theater and the Pasig River, the forest park that was designed by landscape architect, Wilfrido Dizon, and the Bulacan Garden Corporation may soon lose its charm. Rumor has it that the park will soon be demolished to give way to a gym, a mall, or a condominium for the sake of urban development. Concerned citizens have made efforts to help save it. A free guided tree walk at the historical forest park was hosted by the Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society, Inc. last July 22, while volunteers from Winner Foundation filed a petition to turn the last remaining forest park in Manila into a Tree Park.

DAVAO CITY HOTS ITS 33RD KADAYAWAN FESTIVAL

Davao City Mayor, Inday Sara Duterte, thanked everyone for the success of the 33rd Kadayawan Festival. The festival is a way of showing appreciation for the “gods of generosity,” as people filled the city with colorful displays and performances. Topping the week-long festival were the Indak-Indak contestants who performed a depiction of the values of Davaoeños. Thirty-seven vibrant floats took part in the Pamulak Kadayawan Float Parade. Winners were the Kisan Lu and Development, Inc. in Dako Category (big float), Teleperformance for the Gamay category (small float), and the Davao Horse Club in the Lahi category. Meanwhile, the Cosplay Kadayawan Competition featured eagle-inspired costumes, while first-time participants, Asuncion Drum Beaters, won the Pitik Kadayawan Drumming Contest. Thousands of locals and tourists enjoyed the festival, which Mayor Inday declared as being the biggest Kadayawan ever.

NIA TO BUILD P11.2-B MEGA DAM PROJECT IN ILOILO CITY

At the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Complex in Quezon City, NIA Western Visayas and Korean firm, Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd., signed the contract for the P11.2 billion Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project (JRMP) II in Calinog, Iloilo. The signing was attended by Sen. Franklin Drilon and Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. NIA is currently hiring an estimated 17,000 workers for the construction. Interested jobseekers for laborer, masonry, welder, and driver positions can go to the municipal hall said Calinog Mayor, Alex Centena. The multi-billion dam project is funded by the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Eximbank) with a P9 billion loan. Constructed to boost the city’s rice production, it is expected to be completed after six years and will be the biggest dam outside of Luzon covering three dams, namely the Jalaur High Dam, Afterbay Dam, and Alibutan Catch Dam.

FIRST ‘EXPLORER ENCOUNTERS’ CONFERENCE PRESENTED BY MASUNGI GEORESERVE

In partnership with the National Geography Society-Asia and the Forest Foundation Philippines, the Masungi Georeserve Foundation presented the first ever Explorer Encounters conference this September at Bonifacio Global City. The conference aims to be a platform that would host discussions regarding mainstream environment conservation in the Philippines with both local and international experts and organizations. The event brought together a total of 80 storytellers for their workshops and expert forums which will be a way for the participants to create networks, join expert talks, and be taught about advance conservation through storytelling. Organizers invited were molecular biologist Prasenjeet Yadav; international photographer Hannah Reyes-Morales; ethologist Alessandro Ponzo; and senior director Yannick Kuehl, to be the event’s speakers, workshop facilitators, and performers. International photographer Paco Guerrero is tasked to host the event, while journalist Atom Araullo will moderate the explorer talks.

HOUSE APPROVES OF GRANTING 100-DAY MATERNITY LEAVE

The House of Representatives approved on its second reading the 100-day paid maternity leave proposal to both government and private sector workers which is sponsored by Bagong Henerasyon Representative Bernadette Herrera Dy, the chairperson of the women and gender equality committee. House Bill 4113, or the 100-Day Maternity Leave Law, seeks for employees to have an option to increase the number of days to 100, contrary to the existing law which only has 60 to 78 days of paid leaves depending on the delivery procedure. In the case of an employee whose employment is concluded, maternity leave would still take place if birth or miscarriage happens not more than 15 days after it’s terminated. When availing of the maternity benefits as a member of the Social Security System, the bill requires the employee to have paid at least three monthly contributions in the 12-month period immediately before giving birth. If approved on the third reading, the proposed maternity bill still needs to be reconciled with conflicting provisions by the two chambers before President Rodrigo Duterte signs it into law.

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