cagayan de oro

Soaring Ahead of the Curve | Cagayan de Oro takes off as PH’s next Metropolis

April 3, 2019

The Philippine Development Plan of 2019-2022 envisions Cagayan de Oro City to become the Philippines ‘next metropolis by 2025. However, one only has to look around to see for himself that the boom that’s suppose to propel the metropolization of this gateway city to Mindanao and its environs could already be coming in ahead of schedule. Although the outward signs evidently are all over town, data from government entities charged with recording business and financial transactions prove beyond the shadow of a doubt there is indeed a healthy lifeblood of investments and business confidence beneath the muscle and sinew putting up the new buildings and new businesses. Data from the City Finance Department /Treasurer’s Office show that from 3,439 new business permits issued in 2013, there were already 4,367 by 2017.  Renewals have grown even faster, from 14,640 in 2013 to 19,330 in 2017. In toto, from 18,079 business permits in 2013, there were 5.618 more in 2017, for an impressive 31% growth over the four year period to 23,697 total permits, barely a year into the second term of City Mayor Oscar S. Moreno. On the average, prior to 2013, there were only 13,099 registered businesses on record per year.  From 2014 to 2019 the number ballooned to 18,125 registered businesses per year.  New business registrations in these groups of years on the other hand had a yearly average of 3,156 and 4,000, respectively. “The people deserve more to be able to respond to the pressures and demands of their city that is fast becoming a burgeoning metropolis,” said Moreno in his message published in the City Mayor’s Report for 2018. “The city that continues to attract investments as a competitive destination for commerce and industry, city of choice for education, preferred medical/hospital care destination, and as banking and financial hub of the region.” “All of these because of its business-friendly governance, comfortably calm peace and public safety condition, as well as its sustained commitment to become a climate resilient city where people live and enjoy relatively safer environment.” New investments reported by the City Finance Department grew 136.7% with total capitalization of P3.906-Billion (B), consisting of more than 4,000 businesses that were registered with the Department of Trade and Industry(DTI) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The construction boom surged to new heights in 2017 driven by the construction of new hotels, condominiums, housing projects and commercial/hospital buildings. The single largest investment recorded was the P2.8-B bulk water supply project of Metro Pacific Investments. Meantime, investments monitored by the Misamis Oriental provincial office in 2017 grew 214%  to P7.260-B, from only P2,310-B in 2016. Major sectors covered included P4.468-B under Infrastructure and Services, and P2.267-B for Real Property/Real Estate/Real Estate Development.   City Competitiveness Network To further bolster the city’s competitiveness, Moreno established the City Competitiveness Network in 2017. Chaired by the City Mayor and co-chaired by the NEDA-10 Regional Director, it is supported by the Local Economic and Investment Promotion Office as Secretariat, which also operates the Cagayan de Oro Trade and Investment Promotions Center. Since it was first established in 2013, Cagayan de Oro has maintained its position among the Top 10 Most Competitive Cities (Highly Urbanized Cities Category) and was ranked fifth in overall competitiveness in 2018, and No. 1 as the Most Resilient City. Eileen E. San Juan, the city’s Local Economic & Investment Promotion Office, credited the initiatives undertaken by the Moreno administration since its first term in the latter half of 2013 to improve the business climate in the city and make it more business and people friendly. “Primary among these are the automation/online platforms for business registration, payment of taxes and fees, building permits, the updating of the Local Investment Incentive Code in 2018 and the Local  Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Code,” San Juan said. From an average of 19 days in 2012, the City under the Moreno initiative reduced the time for securing a new business permit to only 46.88 minutes in 2013 and further to 31.82 minutes in 2014. It takes an average of 5 days in other LGUs to secure a new business permit. Similarly, business permit renewals which took two days in 2012, were reduced to only 100.93 minutes by 2013 and further reduced by 50% of that to only 51.79 minutes. This likewise compares well with other LGUs where an average of 5 days is needed to renew a business permit. Cagayan de Oro became the first country in 2014 to institute an Online Assessment and Payment for new and renewal of business applications, quarterly business permits, real property taxes, city building fees, fines for road and traffic violations, market stall rentals, and other taxes and fees. For this achievement, Cagayan de Oro was declared champion in the 6th Awards for Excellence in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Local Government Units or eGOV Awards under the Best in Digital Payment category. Organized by the DICT and NICP, the eGOV Awards recognizes innovative and outstanding local government units which innovate information and communication technology to improve the delivery of public services. Cagayan de Oro likewise blazed the trail for other LGUS in the same year when it streamlined the construction permitting process for building and occupancy permits through the Building Permit Management System of the Cagayan de Oro Office of the Building Official (OBO) in partnership with the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP). Not the least, it updated its Investment Incentives Ordinance in 2018 by offering a local business tax holiday on gross receipts of new businesses from two to five years depending on the number of workers employed, capitalization, nature of technology used and location of new enterprises. These business-friendly initiatives did not go unnoticed, and made the city a finalist in 2018 in the Most Business Friendly Local Government Unit category. Peace and Public Safety On top of all these, Cagayan de Oro has also scored high peace and public safety, a priority concern businessmen and investors rank highly in Mindanao. From 2018, Cagayan de Oro accomplished an impressive 45% reduction (-3,369) in total crime volume compared to 2017. The Cagayan de Oro City Police Office further bolstered its crime clearance efficiency to 87.2% in 2018 (from 72.4% in 2017), and its crime solution efficiency from 63.3% in 2017 to 77.1% in 2018. As a result, the average monthly crime rate in Cagayan de Oro City dropped from 89.3 percentage points in 2017 to  only 49.1 per 100,000 population in 2018 , an impressive 40.2 reduction. “Peace is an entitlement of the people,” said Moreno, who currently also serves as the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-10) Chairperson. (RMB)

Oro residents attend anti-rabies forum 

April 2, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - Over a hundred residents of this city, as well as people from the academe and other professionals, attended the recent forum on March 28, 2019 about the government's anti-rabies campaign held at the ballroom of Hard Hat Cafe. The said forum focused on the new guidelines of Republic Act 9845, otherwise known as the Welfare Act in line with this year's celebration of Rabies Awareness Month, which carried the theme "Towards Responsible Pet Ownership." Dr Perla Asiz, the city veterinarian said during the Talakayan organized by the Philippine Information Agency regional office 10 that under the new guidelines of RA 9845, villages should organize Barangay Rabies coordinators which would undergo a deputization training as members of Barangay Pamatong Team (BPT). The team would be trained for proper determination of human and animal rabies especially dogs and cats. They will be officially deputized by the barangay for the full implementation of violations stipulated under RA 9845.  Rabies is a viral disease that is 100% fatal but 100% preventable,according to Asiz. The Department of Health(DoH) targeted a Rabies elimination through the tight coordination of all Local Government Units(LGU) in the country on 2020 or next year but in Northern Mindanao who has 5 Provinces with 9 cities,only the island Province of Camiguin is "Rabies Free". The City Veterinary Office declared the villages of Bugo and Tablon in the East and Carmen in the west as villages who has high incidence in Rabies.The city has a total of 6,756 Rabies patients in 2018, 3,110 are patients from the city run J.R.Borja Memorial City Hospital.In Northern Mindanao,Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental has the highest Rabies incidence. Dr. Asiz added that every year,city's dog population are increasing since 90%of the residents are dog owners with 58,217 dogs registered or an increase of 10% from 2017's population of 49,012 with 56,526(97%)are vaccined.She said that 15 years old and below usually are the victims of Dog bites. The Rabies Forum culminated with an awarding ceremony of Top 3 "Best Rabies Compliance" villages which was 1assessed by the Bureau of Animal Industry in Northern Mindanao,a conduit of the Agriculture Department. Prizes at stake are Php25,000.00 for the 1st Prize,Php15,000.00 for the 2nd Prize and Php10,000.00 for the 3rd Prize with trophies.  ###

COWD clarifies Water Fund from their budget, not City Hall

April 1, 2019

The Cagayan de Oro City Water District has clarified that the P6 million fund for potable water supply development projects the City Council wants the water district to account for is actually funded by COWD. As provided through Cagayan de Oro City Council Resolution No. 7732-2006, COWD voluntarily established a P6 million annual fund for various water system projects or water services improvement in the city and suspended the 10% surcharge on the “city water bills” which was passed and approved on Jan. 30, 2006. “The fund is actually a token assistance from COWD meant to augment the city government’s and the barangay or school concerned funds for small water projects identified by the sitting Local Chief Executive (now Mayor Oscar S. Moreno),” explained COWD Acting General Manager Bienvenido V. Batar, Jr. “We submit an annual report to the Office of the City Mayor on projects covered by this fund and anyone who wishes to look into the details of these projects can submit a request to his office,” he added. Earlier, Councilor Edna Dahino, chair of the City Council Committee on Budget, Finance and Appropriation of the City Council requested COWD for an immediate accounting of the P6 million per year fund which totals P78 million for the past 13 years. Among the city councilors who endorsed the resolution were incumbent city councilors Annie Daba, Ian Mark Nacaya, Zaldy Ocon and former city councilors Jose Benjamin Benaldo, Alvin Calingin, Edgar Cabanlas, Alfonso Goking, Maryanne Enteria, Simeon Licayan, and Alexander Dacer. Batar cited the recent experience of the Suntingon Elementary School at Reyes Main Road in Barangay Bugo which had been reported to have a water problem by the Check My School program through the DepEd School District Superintendent due to the relatively high elevation of the school. “Mayor Moreno referred the project to us for possible funding through our fund allocated for such special projects. Our technical department surveyed the area and COWD constructed a cistern to stock water, a pipeline to pipe it to the higher elevation where it was stored in a water tank and distributed to the various classrooms and buildings downhill by gravity,” Batar noted. Batar said Mayor Moreno evaluates the requests for such water projects from barangays, schools for water supply systems, pipeline extensions and the like, and endorses to the COWD which ones he considers the priority projects to be funded from the P6 million annual fund. COWD then prepares the program of works and other related documentations, fund and implements the priority projects from its P6 million annual fund. Batar further clarified that COWD does not receive any form of subsidy from either the local or national government. “COWD relies solely on its water sales to fund its operations and implement improvements and expansion projects,” Batar noted. “The only payment the city makes to the water district is for the monthly bills incurred by city hall and its various offices. In the City Mayor’s Annual Report for 2018, the City of Cagayan de Oro is listed as having undertaken the construction of five water supply systems in barangays Balubal, FS Catanico, Lumbia, Mambuaya, and Tuburan;  two water improvement projects in Barangays Cugman and Tumpagon; and the rehabilitation/construction, and expansion of the water system in Barangay Taglimao. These were undertaken by the Office of the City Engineer through the Barangay Panubig Project Point Person Engr. Sid  Obligado, who has subsequently been assigned as the current City Building Official.

Almirante named IBP-Misor new president 

April 1, 2019

By Ercel Maandig, Correspondent Cagayan de Oro City - The newly elected president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines(IBP) Misamis Oriental Chapter, Atty.Carlo Antonio Almirante has assumed office on April 1 2019. IBP-Misamis Oriental Chapter, is the biggest and most prestigious organization of professional lawyers in Cagayan de Oro City, Gingoog and El Salvador City, and has a total of 1,300-strong members. Almirante will be leading the group of lawyers for two years after past president Atty.Eddie Cuaresma ended his term. Atty.Almirante, in an interview told the media that he is pushing to continue a group insurance for their members which was already started by the past prsident, and on that insurance system, he will propose to have an assistance program for the welfare of lawyer retirees. He said that he will lobby a Php50,000.00 to Php100,000.00 assistance to lawyers who are already retired and incapable to do their respective jobs because of illness or old age. On top of that,the local IBP chapter will also fully support the Supreme Court's fast tracking of the transfer of the regional Hall of justice at their new offices in upper Carmen. It can be recalled that the old Hall of Justice building, located at the back of Xavier University main campus, was razed by fire in January 2015. Almirante is a College of Law Dean at Liceo de Cagayan University since 2014 after Atty. Adel Tamanos tenure. On February 2018,President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Atty.Ago (as his close friend fondly call him),to the Board of Trustees of Government Service Insurance System(GSIS) until at present. Atty. Almirante also revealed during a media interview that Misamis Oriental Chapter will be hosting next year's  IBP National Convention sometimes April.

Crime in Oro, Normin in free fall

March 29, 2019

There has been a drastic reduction in crime volume in Northern Mindanao from 2017 to 2018, an improvement accomplished in all its five provinces and two key cities. Statistics from the Police Regional Office Region 10 (PRO-10) presented during the Quarterly Review of the Economic Situationer (QRES) conducted by the National Economic Development Authority Region 10 office March 22nd, show that total index crimes in 2018 dropped by 50.9% while total non-index crimes decreased 29.7%, leading to an impressive 36.5% drop in total crime volume region-wide compared to 2017. "We can attribute these reductions to the extension of martial law in Mindanao, dialogues conducted between DOJ prosecutors, reviews of cold cases, and the installation of chiefs of police trained in the Investigation Officer Basic Course," said P/Sr. Inspector Glenn C. Abalde, PRO-X Chief of the Crime Research & Analysis Section.  Crimes against property recorded a drastic reduction of 65% (4,384 vs. 1,533) with impressive reductions across the board: theft (-69.2%), robbery (-60%), cattle rustling (-58%), and carnapping of motor vehicles and motorcycles (-69.2%). Crimes against persons dropped 29.2% (2,873 vs. 2,033) with greatest reductions in physical injuries (-38%), murder (-18.2%), and rape. As a result, the average monthly crime rate in Region 10 dropped -14.3 percentage points (ppt). Although the total number of crimes solved dropped 28.2 ppts as a result of the overall drop in total crime volume, as did the number of crimes cleared (-26.7%), police and other law enforcers nevertheless still managed to increase crime solution efficiency by 8.5 and their crime clearance efficiency by 11.7 ppts. “Peace is an entitlement of the people,” said Cagayan de Oro City Mayor S. Oscar Moreno, who sits as the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-10) Chairperson. “The beauty of bringing development to the countryside is you know that it is needed and you know that it will have its optimal results. Giving the people in the mountains the opportunity to live a life that those in the highways have long enjoyed is beyond compare,” he added. During the March 13 launch of the Regional Peacebuilding and Development Framework and Agenda (RPBDFA) for northern Mindanao, Moreno recalled a convergence experience of the government in Sitio Lantad, Barangay Kibanban, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental, which he described as “a symbol of neglect that the government has been guilty of.” When it was abandoned by previous administrations of the provincial government, the New People’s Army made it a regional headquarters. However, during his tenure as Misamis Oriental Provincial Governor, Moreno related how they restored peace through development and made it a showcase for local peace building initiative ( “The Lantad Peace-Building Experience: Turning Red to Green in Misamis Oriental”/From a ‘No Man’s Land’ to a Land of Hope/Strategic Innovations in Upgrading Misamis Oriental’s Provincial Peace and Order Council) that won the province its second straight Galing Pook award in 2012. Similar gains have been made in Cagayan de Oro especially Moreno’s second term as City Mayor. Despite a rise in total crime volume from 2016 to 2017, crimes cleared reached 138.5% and crime clearance efficiency 41.1%. While Cagayan de Oro still recorded the highest crime volume in Region 10 for 2018, it accomplished an impressive 45% reduction (-3,369) in total crime volume compared to 2017. As a result in the drastic drop in crime volume, the number of crimes cleared by the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office dropped from 5,422 in 2017 to only 3,593 in 2018. Nevertheless, COCPO increased its crime clearance efficiency to 87.2% in 2018 from 72.4% in 2017. Similarly, the number of crime solved by COCPO dropped from 4,740 in 2017 to 3,177 also due to the drastic drop in crime volume. Still, COCPO again delivered by improving its crime solution efficiency from 63.3% in 2017 to 77.1% in 2018. Thus, as a result of the combined effects of the -45% decrease in total crime volume, coupled with the 13.8% in crime solution efficiency and 14.8% improvement in crime clearance efficiency by the COCPO, the average monthly crime rate in Cagayan de Oro City dropped from 89.3 in 2017 to 49.1 per 100,000 population in 2018 , an impressive 40.2 reduction. "We can also attribute these gains to our activation of barangay tanods as  force multipliers and the first line of law enforcement and engagement in all of Cagayan de Oro City's 80 barangays," said City Administrator Teddy Sabuga-a, Jr. The LGU and barangays share the budget 50/50 honoraria for the tanods monthly honoraria. The decline in criminality region-wide is also attributed to the crime prevention efforts of the police with the cooperation of the community, particularly in sustaining efforts to keep the streets safe and crime free.  This earned the Philippine National Police – Regional Office X (PRO-X) a commendation as the top regional office in the country in terms of crime reduction for the first half of the 2018 and ranked No. 3 nationwide in law enforcement for 2018.  “The relentless effort on crime prevention especially on illegal drugs operations resulted in the reduction of crimes,” said P/Supt. Lemuel B. Gonda, former PRO-10 spokesperson and currently 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company Commander in Misamis Oriental. “Most of the crimes recorded are drug-related cases.”

Metro CDO Master Plan for Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Development Underway

March 28, 2019

The National Economic Development Authority Region 10 is in the process of formulating a Master Plan for the Sustainable Infrastructure Development of Metropolitan Cagayan de Oro. Sustainable urban infrastructure expands on the concept of urban infrastructure by adding the sustainability element with the expectation of improved and more sustained urban development.  In the construction and physical and organizational structures that enable cities to function, there is the aim of meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the capabilities of the future generations (Tiwari, 2016). According to the College of Engineering and Applied Science of the University of Colorado Denver, urban infrastructure refers to the engineered systems (water, energy, transport, sanitation, information) that make up a city.  However, challenges resulting from increasing population growth generated a need for sustainable infrastructure that is high performing, cost-effective, resource-efficient and environmentally-friendly. (UCD, 2015) NEDA-10 Regional Director Mylah Faye Aurora B. Cariño said NEDA-10 received the notice to proceed with the P 64.857 Million project last 23 January 2019, followed by the kick off meeting 7 February 2019. A Regional Consultation was held 11 March 2019 at a local hotel with LGU Chief Executives, government planners, civic society groups and media, following its presentation to the Regional Land Use Committee 4 March 2019.  “We have managed to come up with the vision for Metro Cagayan de Oro which shall form the basis for the Metro CDO Master Plan, among other things,” Ms. Cariño said. The 12 month study aims to formulate a master plan for the sustainable urban infrastructure development of Metropolitan CDO; guide decision-makers in the preparation and approval of plans, policies, and Programs/projects/activities (PAPs) in the urban growth center; and improve the competitiveness, security, and resiliency from disaster; and general urban conditions of the metropolitan area. Background The Metro Cagayan de Oro Master Plan had its beginnings in 1990 when the Metro CDO Special Development Project was first proposed by regional planners through the Integrated Area Development paradigm then in vogue. This was followed in 1996 by the proposal to develop a Comprehensive Metro CDO Master Plan. In 2009, the Expanded CDO-Iligan Corridor (CIC) Area was identified as Metro CDO, the hub for trading and services, which was formally recognized in 2017 with its inclusion in the Philippine Development Plan of 2017-2022 as the realization of Metro CDO by 2025. Finally, the Metro CDO Master Plan for Sustainable Infrastructure Development was formally approved in 2018, and funds provided under the General Appropriations Act of 2018 through the Project Development and other Related Studies (PRDS) Fund. Metro Cagayan de Oro Metropolitan Cagayan de Oro was formally included in the Philippine Development Plan of 2017-2022 which envisions Region 10’s role in National Development with the emergence of Metro CDO as the Philippines’ 4th Metropolitan Center by 2025 as a major gateway & trans-shipment hub, and Key educational center with potential growth in the banana industry, rubber, bamboo, cacao, coco coir, coffee, agribusiness, and tourism. With a total population of 1, 219, 005 as of 2015 and total land area of 2,221, 13 square kilometers, Metro CDO initially planned to include the two cities of Cagayan de Oro and El Salvador in Misamis Oriental, eleven municipalities in Misamis Oriental (Initao, Gitagum, Libertad, Laguindingan, Alubijid, Opol, Tagoloan, Villanueva, Jasaan, Claveria, and Balingasag) and six municipalities in Bukidnon (Manolo Fortich, Baungon, Sumilao, Malitbog, Libona, and Talakag). “Originally 11 municipalities and 2 cities were involved but the configuration of Metro CDO has evolved,” said Ms. Cariño. “More municipalities are being considered.” Population trends indicate Metro CDO will have a total population of 1,382,574 on 2.73 growth rate by 2020, to grow further to a populace of 1,559,475 on 1.28 growth rate by 2025. Key Deliverables Key deliverables for the project include ensuring the Metro CDO Vision is consistent with national and regional objectives of the Philippine and Regional Development Plans for 2019-2022; stakeholders profiles and determination of physical, climatological and socio-economic attributes; infrastructure requirements to support the Metro CDO development, and the overall framework, action plan, business case/pre-feasibility study of top priority PPAs and communication plan. With the help of the Consultants for Comprehensive Environmental Planning, Inc. (CONCEP), the project will conduct situational analyses of economic development, land use, transport and connectivity, environment and disaster risk reduction, housing, services and facilities, recreation and tourism, energy and power. National Alignment The Metro CDO Master Plan for Sustainable Urban Infrastructure is aligned with the Philippine Development Plan of 2017-2022 dubbed “ AmBisyon Natin 2040, and the National Spatial Strategy which sets the direction of future growth recognizing population, geography and the role of cities as engines of economic growth, with infrastructure providing efficient connective networks of sustainable urban and rural communities, consistent with the country’s long-term vision and the Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 and Strategic Development Areas. Identified Key Development Zones in Region 10’s SDAs include Lanao del Norte Development Cluster, Iligan Industrial Core, LADP Impact Zone, CDO Metropolitan Area, and the Misamis Ecozone.  These KDZs are conceived to capitalize on commonality of resources, optimize potentials and identify concerns for more focused interventions; serve as areas of efficiency, innovation and creativity; anchored on the National Spatial Strategy: concentration/regional agglomeration; connectivity; and vulnerability reduction. Development Challenges Among the development challenges in Metro CDO that the Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Master Plan aims to address are the following needs: An efficient transport system as evidenced by traffic congestion resulting in opportunity costs lost and increased costs of vehicles in gridlock; the absence of efficient mass public transport (e.g. bus rapid transit, rail) and weak enforcement of traffic rules. Improved Solid Waste Management to address indiscriminate waste disposal by households, institutions and industries into waterways and water bodies; non-segregation of wastes despite local ordinances. Resilient infrastructure to manage and control flooding events in downtown CDO which paralyzes economic activities. Environmental Integrity to curb rampant and unchecked conversion of prime agricultural lands (with Misamis Oriental  as a Top 10 province with biggest number of conversions) and the major challenges to land management and economic growth. Priority Areas for Development Among the identified priority areas of development in Metro CDO as a Land Use and Master Plan for the Metro CDO that includes the following key vision elements: Making communities more resilient/sustainable; Balancing Socio-economic opportunities;  Connectivity;  Septage & Sewerage Facilities;  Efficient Mass Transport System (BRT/Rail);  Establishment of Disaster Risk Management & Mitigation, and traffic monitoring office;  Walkable neighborhoods, parks and open spaces geared toward sustainable environment; and a Metro-wide Solid Waste Management System. Ways Forward Following the ongoing data collection needed to flesh out the master plan, the Consultants are scheduled to deliver a Midterm Report by July, 2019; with the delivery of the Draft Final Report set for December 2019. This would include the draft Master Plan and Pre-Feasibility Study which will be presented to the Infrastructure Committee and the Regional Development Council general assembly on the same month, with the delivery of the Final Report (Master Plan and Pre-FS) expected  by January 2020.


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