DAVAO CITY COUNCILOR MOCKS SOLICITATIONS PESTERING POLITICIANS AS SOLI REGULATION ORDINANCE IS PUSHED

July 30, 2016

A Davao City councilor hooted and mocked solicitations of people asking for help from elected officials as a pestering burden to bear with by incumbent politicians like the councilors who gathered in a three-day seminar that ended over the weekend in a posh seaside hotel in Davao City.

Meanwhile, as this happened, the Sangguniang Bayan of the municipality of Ninoy Aquino in Sultan Kudarat has been preoccupied in formulating an ordinance regulating solicitations from begging people to public officials.

sultan kud

Davao City Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang spoke Friday before over 300 councilors from various parts of the country and told them that if they could not take the burden of meeting various solicitations from people easily they would die of bitterness while serving their term of office.

As a resource person, Dayanghirang talked first on the brand of leadership of President Duterte as one that is “fast, inclusive and moving up forward”, then past the middle of his talk he shifted sharing about the pangs and pain of encountering varying solicitations from begging constituents.

He said he could have died easily in meeting many solicitations and other difficulties in being a politician while salaries of councilors are fixed and low had he not married a physician.

He said that nowadays councilors have salaries ranging from P30,000 to P60,000, but at these salary levels and considering the deductions, it would already be hard for them to part money daily for the solicitations.

He complained that there are solicitations which ask for definite amount, such as those for student yearbook where the minimum amount that is solicited is P500.

Dayanghirang said that what he is doing for this is to return the solicitation letter to the solicitor and he gives P200 only. But he added giving P200 multiplied by 10 solicitors of the same kind could hit them hard even.

He shuddered over the thought that in some cases solicitors would bring solicitation letters with blank addressee and “infront of you they would ask what’s your name then they write and give the letter to you”.

As Dayanghirang was about to end, he also mocked the “AC-DC” (Attack and Collect, Defend and Collect) mediamen as also another individuals who come to pester them.

He gave then an advice that like a councilor in Quezon City who gave AC-DCs money worth for a bottle of Tanduay, he gave AC-DCs in Davao City money worth for a bottle of “Empe” for Emperador, which ironically is a little higher in price than Tanduay.

But several blocktimer broadcasters and self-financing mediamen who were around buzzed, saying that on the contrary Dayanghirang is “laaw”, a local media term for an allegedly selfish no-giver politician.

He is described as evasively non-media patron politician, a type “who would immediately run as soon as the face of a poor man mediaman appears to his office at the SP building.”

However, councilors serving under an understanding chief executive enjoyed having funds for solicitations out from the latter’s magnanimity of sharing his intelligence fund to brother politicians, like the members of a municipal council or a provincial board in Davao Region who enjoyed P10,000 and P20,000 each monthly, respectively, during their last term.

That is besides when they dipped their fingers on their gasoline allocations, and in their small priority development projects under sort of local pork barrel identified in the annual investment plan of the local government unit, according to highly placed sources.

Dayanghirang told though his fellow councilors that the challenge is “how to navigate in this very unique life of a politician to be able to survive.”

It is quite a public knowledge that solicitators among poor constituents ask for donations and monetary help and assistance from elected public officials out of reasons ranging from birth to burial.

But for the indigenous people representative Sultan Rey Dakias of the Ninoy Aquino town in Sultan Kudarat he sees solicitations as “not a burden, but just normal and part of being in public service.”

He added he has a net salary of P49,000 and he said he does not quiver over parting 10 percent of his salary or about P5,000 or even P10,000 monthly for solicitations.

“It’s tulong na rin sa mga mahihirap na constituents namin, no problem on that,” said second-termer Councilor Suaid Manipil of Talibay, Maguindanao.

But for Ninoy Aquino town first-termer Vice Mayor Rafael George Flauta III, “solicitations need to be regulated by the government.”

He said that while giving for solicitations is an act of social responsibility, there is a “need to balance” and “not to be excessive in soliciting”.

“There should be no forceful solicitation and there should be consent on our part. In solicitation that fixes an amount, it should be open for bargaining,” he added.

Flauta said that the proposed measure regulating solicitation has already passed the first reading.

He was a councilor for two terms and won for his first term as vice mayor last May election.

The councilors trooped for three-day seminar under the the auspices of the Philippine Councilors League Legislative Academy (PCL-LA) at Waterfront Insular Hotel in Davao City. It ended Saturday, July 30, today. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Philippine councilors take first post-election respite in PCL seminar by the sea in Duterte country

More than 300 Philippine councilors, battle-tired after the last May election, practically went unwinding and relaxing themselves in premier hotel by the sea in Davao City while earning educational units as they took part in a seminar under a ladderized curriculum offered by their own national training organization.

Councilors from different parts of the country took part in three-day lecture-discussion of Philippine Councilors League Legislative Academy (PCL-LA) at the posh Waterfront Insular Hotel in Davao City which ended Saturday, July 30, today.

atty owen babba garcia valencia city

Each day, the seminar began at 9 A.M. and ended 4 P.M. so they could have time to unwind in the hotel’s beach, swimming pool and facilities or go outside to shop and enjoy in the city’s malls and R & R facilities.

“We’re are still in the period of first 100 honeymoon days, and during this time new councilors are being oriented on their functions and tasks while old councilors who were reelected have already adjusted in their respective local government systems,” said PCL-LA Chairman Atty. Oliver Owen Garcia of Valencia City, Bukidnon.

The training-seminar was entitled Lecture-Discussion with focus on the power of the local sanggunian, the roles of parliamentary procedure, important decided cases in local governance, and quasi-judicial functions of the local legislative body.

The seminar gives councilors and other public officials like mayors, vice mayors, barangay officials and those in the higher ups corresponding units for baccalaureate, masters and doctorate studies.

Atty. Garcia reported that the PCL-LA for the past six years since its start of operation in 2011 has produced a total of 2,689 graduates, 102 of whom have earned a title of Doctor of Public Administration (DPA), 1,396 as Master of Public Administration (MPA) and college degree of 1,181 Bachelor of Public Administration.

Officials in Makati topped in getting master degrees with 417 graduates, followed by 389 graduates from Davao Region. Moreover, for doctorate studies, 57 graduates came from Manila while 45 graduates from Davao Region who included Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte.

Elected officials especially those who have not graduated in college have now the chance to finally graduate by attending PCL-LA’s unit-earning seminars during their elective term.

Those who want to earn their masters and doctorate degrees have to pass in the final requirements of policy paper and dissertation, respectively.

“The PCL-LA has linked with some academic institutions in customizing a curriculum with infusion of theoretical framework into practical application or actual life experience of public officials,” Garcia told participants.

“Some of our graduates have already presented their policy papers and thesis to local and international conferences. These papers are now the basis for governance reforms. Sometimes, Congress requested their papers for benchmarking during committee hearings,” he added.

Garcia also bared that besides these PCL-LA has recently launched a foreign study program for councilors and other elected officials for which the first batch went to Thailand and the second batch to Singapore.

PCL-LA is a brainchild of Philippine Councilors League and its own charter was approved on June 10, 2010. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

70% inmates of Davao Norte provl jail are “shabu drug connected”- jail warden

About 70 percent of the current inmates in the Davao del Norte provincial jail have been incarcerated connected to illegal drugs.

Assistant provincial jail warden Marilyn Erolon said in an interview Thursday that she observed that gone are the days when the provincial jail was populated by inmates who committed holdups, robberies and crimes against properties.

davao del norte jail warden marilyn erolon
“At present, we have total of 162 inmates, 153 are male and 9 are female. About 70 percent of them have been imprisoned due to illegal drugs,” she said.

She said that “drug-connected” inmates have varying cases, adding that from some confessions inside the jail said that inmates facing the crime of rape had committed the crime because they were high on shabu drug.

She said that when she said illegal drug it is meant to be shabu as inmates jailed due to marijuana was no longer in vogue unlike in the past.

“It’s shabu now,” Erolon said, shaking her head to gesture how shabu has spread unabated throughout the country since the early 90s and on the unexpected biggest magnitude and scale of the drug problem that the Duterte administration only exposed in its current war against drugs.
She gave a high thumb-up to the total war against drugs of President Duterte, saying that “he is really God-sent for in the next ten years without him as our President many Filipinos we would become zombies.”

“We won’t know that whom we are facing on the streets are zombies,” she added.
Erolon has been serving the provincial jail as province-paid employee for 28 years now.

The inmates in Davao del Norte provincial jail came from the province’s towns of New Corella, Kapalong, Talaingod and Asuncion, which all have only small municipal-level jails.

Other jails in the province can afford to hold or not to remand their inmates to the provincial jail as they have bigger, district-capacity jails.

These are the Panabo District Jail, Samal District Jail and Tagum City Jail. The Panabo District Jail also accommodates inmates from the towns of Sto. Tomas and BE Dujali.

Last Oct. 3, 2012, the provincial government and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) forged a memorandum of agreement making the latter as the management of the jail and putting the 13 province-paid employees under its supervision.

BJMP augmented the provincial jail with a deployment of its own 20 jail officers.

But the adjacent provincial jail of Compostela Valley has more than 600 inmates under the watch of the security personnel of its provincial government.

Since the separation of the Compostela Valley from the erstwhile bigger
Davao del Norte in 1998, its provincial jail is still located within the same jailing compound within the provincial Capitol complex of Davao del Norte in Brgy. Mankilam, Tagum City.

The provincial jail of Compostela Valley located in Brgy. Cabidianan, Nabunturan is not yet completed since it was started to be established four years ago. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Free movie in Tagum City expanded to cover senior citizens for all movie types- 3D or not 

Free movie access to modern and fully airconditioned cinemas in malls in Tagum City has been expanded to benefit the much greater senior citizens and for all movie types- three-dimensional (3D) films or not.

Last March 3 the persons with disabilities in the city started enjoying free movie access for once a week every Thursday but only for regular movies, excluding 3D and 2D movies.

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Top 1 City Councilor Eva Lorraine Estabillo said Thursday that City Ordinance 749, series of 2016 granting free movie privilege for the city’s senior citizens has been enthusiastically welcomed by cinema operators in Gaisano Mall and the new Robinsons Place of Tagum, which only opened last May 4. Each of the malls has six cinemas.

Estabillo, the main author of the ordinance, said that the expanded measure was approved by the previous 6th City Council which still convened last June 13. Reelected City Mayor Allan Rellon then confirmed it.

She said that under the ordinance senior citizens who are entitled to free movie admission in any movie theater in the city are those who are bonafide residents of Tagum City and who possess senior citizen’s identification cards issued by the mayor through the Office of the Senior Citizen’s Affairs (OSCA).

Free admission is allowed on Tuesdays of each week with a maximum of only 200 senior citizens per cinema.

Each qualified senior citizen can avail of the privilege once a week only. The privilege is non-transferable.

The senior councilor also bared that the memorandum of agreement with theater management in both GMall and Robinsons pursuant to the new ordinance have already been discussed and pre-agreed with.

Estabillo thanked for their enthusiastic support for the elderly sector as well as for the persons with disabilities. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

LGBT’s PRIDE FESTIVAL ORDINANCE IN TAGUM APPROVED, PUSHED BY AN EVA

To ensure to protect the rights of the lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs) and to recognize their valuable contributions and services in the society, the ordinance for the holding of a week-long Tagum City Pride Festival each year was approved by the 7th City Council Tuesday morning at the Session Hall, third level of the New City Hall.

Lawyer Councilor Eva Lorraine Estabillo, main author of City Ordinance 771, series of 2016, said that the ordinance declared every 3rd week of July as Tagum City Pride Festival.

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She thanked her co-proponent, her brother ABC Federation President Prospero “Popo” Estabillo, Jr. and the rest of the members of the new city council for the historic passage of an unprecedented piece of local legislation that recognized the LGBT community which has been giving their valuable effort and support for the development of Tagum City since time immemorial.

“The laws of LGBTs continue to be oppressed by the iniquitous treatment of society at large, primarily because of misconceptions and ignorance,” she said.

“Sadly, for our democracy. LGBTs are still considered ‘second class’ citizens when they try to exercise the rights to which they are rightfully entitled,” Estabillo added in her rationale for the ordinance.

The ordinance provided creation of steering committee to be headed by the City Mayor and appropriation of half million to one million pesos for its effective implementation. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Piñol gives anti-corruption sample at DA, to relieve entire BPI quarantine staff in Davao down to janitor over alleged extortion to small banana exporters

Acting on complaints that small exporters of Cavendish banana have been allegedly milked of P8,000 per shipping container or P40,000 per transaction by several Bureau of Plant Industry quarantine officials for years now, Dept. of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has relieved a quarantine officer in Davao City.

The relieved officer was tagged that his office has been “demanding grease money from exporters of Cavendish banana.”

 

manny pinol bpi davao quarantine officials

 

The secretary bared this in his post on Facebook Sunday morning.

“After I received complaints from small exporters of Cavendish banana that the BPI Quarantine Officer in Sasa Port, Andres Alemania, and some of his people were demanding “fees” for every container van, I immediately directed BPI Acting Director Vivencio Mamaril to issue a relief order,” Piñol said.

He vowed that on Monday, July 18, he would issue another directive to Director Mamaril “to relieve the whole BPI Quarantine Service staff in Sasa Port down to the janitor and replace them with a fresh group of Quarantine Officers.”

He added: “There will be due process. This week, I will dispatch graft investigators belonging to a new unit I organized in the Department of Agriculture to proceed to the Sasa Port in Davao City to validate the charges.”

“They will interview the over 200 Cavendish banana exporters who have reportedly been paying the “special fees” to the BPI Quarantine Office for so many years now,” he said. “The going rate, according to sources I talked with is P8,000 per container or P40,000 per exporter per transaction.”

There are over 200 small banana exporters in Davao Region, besides the big players like Dole Philippines, Sumifru, Tadeco, Uni-Frutti and others.

“I can just imagine how much these people, granting that the charges are true, have been raking in all these years,” he said.

“Lifestyle check will also be conducted on the said officials and if the charges are validated, I will officially ask the Office of the Ombudsman to start an official investigation and recommend the filing of graft charges,” Piñol also said on his Facebook.

With a concluding hashtag #Changeishere!, Piñol warned: “President Duterte’s vow to rid government of corrupt officials is not just cheap talk. It will be done. Learn, adapt, adjust or get fired!” (Rural Urban News copy/Cha Monforte)

Duterte bidding farewell to euphoric City Hall employees: “I believe in one God, Allah” 

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte bade farewell to Davao City Hall officials and employees during their flag-raising ceremony Monday morning , stressing at the last part of his speech that he is a believer of “one God.

He said he is not more a believer on saints whom he reckoned that the Catholic Church has about 5,000 saints.

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In jest he said, he does not know really who are saints and their lives, and for these it would be hard for him to believe on them.

“I believe on one God, Allah period. Only one God ako,” he said.

It was Duterte’s last appearance as a mayor of the city that he has long served since 1988 election after election where he never lost.

On the same occasion, he also expressed anew his aberration to drugs and corruption and his fear that narco politics would firmly take control of the country even as he warned again druglords and criminals including the colonos who despite being in prison are still doing their criminal activities.

“I’m harsh to the criminals and I’m strict to the the wrong doers. I’ll protect especially those who are hopeless, helpless and defenseless,” Duterte added.

In his last act of giving bonanza, he ordered the city treasurer’s office to release P10,000 education assistance for the City Hall employees.

He thanked his fellow government workers, saying that he appreciated so much for their fidelity, trust and brotherly love to him since he was first elected into public office in 1988.

“Without the backing of the military and the police and kayo, I would not have succeeded,” he said, thanking the visibly elated and euphoric employees trooping on the footsteps of the main City Hall building that leads to the mayor’s office.

He also gave plaques of commendation to outgoing City Administrator lawyer Melchor Quitain and his longtime executive assistant Christopher “Bong” Go. Both will go with Duterte in Malacanang.

The outgoing mayor-President-elect will take his oath of office in Malacanang noon of June 30.

His daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio would also assume as city mayor on the same day. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Samal Island oppositors posit 4 good  reasons vs. Marina’s plan stopping nighttime navigation of lanchas, and you should know why

Tens of thousands of Samal Island residents are strongly opposing Marina’s plan to stop the nighttime navigation of small wooden hulled boats (lanchas) sailing as passenger vessels between Davao City and the island.

Lanchas have been sailing back and forth the protected sea waters of Davao Gulf since time immemorial and Marina’s plan would finally restrict the lanchas in the name of safety and modernization.

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But the plan would affect at least 5,000 nighttime-cruising Samal residents studying and working in Davao City.

Jojo Tejano, leader of Samal Watch group, said that their group’s four good reasons make up their opposition reasonable and justified against Marina’s plan of stopping the navigation of lanchas until 6:00 P.M. only effective July 7.

“First, the ferry boat is not convenient compared to the lancha. Taking the ferry boat is very convenient for those with vehicles but extremely inconvenient to us who are simply passengers,” he said.

“Often there are very long lines during rush hours going up to the passengers’ area through a very stiff staircase, and it has limited seats while we inhale hazardous fumes of airconditioned vehicles that are not put off while on board the ferry boat,” he said.

“Second, the ferry boat is not safer. Boarding the ferry boat along with rushing vehicles puts us in danger of being run over or bumped especially our children and elderly. Going up to passengers area through a very stiff staircase puts everyone in danger of falling especially children, mothers carrying babies and the elderly,” Tejano added.

For this, he continued: ” ferry boat has no enough life jackets. Being steel hulled does not make the ferry boats safer. On the other hand, it will just directly sink along with the passengers God forbid in case it meets our feared sea tragedy. Whereas, our very own lanchas have enough life jackets and will simply float in case it capsized. “

“Third, taking the lancha is cheaper. Taking the ferry boats will mean additional expense of P20 from faraway Caliclic wharf to our homes while the lanchas directly dock at Babak wharf”.

“Fourth, lancha is faster. Taking the ferry boats will cause a delay of at least two hours before reaching our homes.”

The Samal Watch oppositors also voiced disgust that “wooden hulled boats catering to tourists are exempted from it when they are more exposed to the dangers of big waves when they tour around Samal island.”

The oppositors also said that the lanchas are more closely monitored by the Philippine Coast Guard while the ferry boats are not. “Marina records itself shows that there has never been any sea tragedy involving our lanchas.”

Marina conducted a public hearing on the issue last June 21 but the oppositors claimed that they were not fully consulted and informed about it.

Marina central office in Manila had issued a memorandum circular for the gradual phase-out of wooden hauled boats in 2003 but the agency is back this time vowing to finally implement it .

“Many Samalenyos will be affected by this classic imperiaistic order of your Marina’s central office. There are more or less 5,000 of us mostly students and daily wage workers who go to Davao City and come home daily,” Tejano relayed the group’s position.

“This add up to the woes of our fisherfolk families who were forced to give up fishing and just find other means of living in the mainland after they were demolished and forcibly relocated away from the shores to give way to beach resort operators and high end subdivisions who now control almost every inch of our beachlines,” he said. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

Duterte warns mayors who are into drugs

Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte warned Tuesday mayors who are into drugs in his yet another strong statement against illegal drugs before his inauguration on June 30.

Speaking before businessmen in Duterte-called workshop in Davao City, the President-elect warned that “seven years from now the country will have narco politics” at the rate the drug menace continues unabated victimizing the youths.

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“Ok lang sana kung matanda na ang nabiktima,” Duterte said, recalling what he personally saw at a gasoline station in Pasay of a young boy “na parang tulog na gising (half awake).”

“You have crossed the red light, and I’m warning you,” he added, visibly directing this to the mayors who are into drugs, druglords and dealers and corrupt policemen “including the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation).”

Duterte said that these mayors had received from Binay and goodies from the Liberal during the last election and “they won because of drug money that comes very easy.”

“I will not allow it to happen, wawarningan ko talaga kayo pati itong police na tinamaan at ang NBI,” he said, cutting his statement on what he would do if he meets involved mayors in one corner.

Duterte expressed positive note that as soon as he commented on the Pasay rave party incident for the police to prepare for a “massive revamp”, on the next days many drug-involved had been arrested and even killed.

“Baka pinapatay ang bata nila para hindi na pumiyait,” he said,offering a scenario of the silencing of drug cohorts so they could not sing their syndicate’s secrets.

Duterte said that when he assumes office he would form one elite company of policemen with special assignment to crackdown on the drug menace, and “if they kill upon my orders, they would be mine.”

He added he would not follow the the orders of Commission of Human Rights Chairman Chito Gascon.

The incoming president earlier raised a P5 million bounty for those who could kill a top drug dealer, even as incoming PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa warned for a scorched-earth war against drug in response to the report that top druglords operating inside Bilibid prison raised a P50 million kill price each for Duterte and Dela Rosa.

The two-day consultative workshop wrapped up yesterday, June 21 at SMX Convention Center at SM Lanang, Davao City.

It was called by the president-elect to draw out the his administration’s 10-Point Socioeconomic Agenda.

It was attended by the country’s top businessmen, captains of industries, and top economic stakeholders. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

pic credit: from FB of photojournalist Rene Arias

Duterte: “All mining companies have to stop mining in Mindanao”

In what is seen as a draconian measure to stop the further destruction of Mindanao’s mineralized land, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said Saturday night that “all mining companies have to stop” operations in Mindanao.

“Mining people must shape up… Tingnan ninyo and Surigao puro butas na. You have to stop spoiling the land, you’re destroying Mindanao,” he said in his talk during his “One Love, One Nation” thanksgiving party attended by more than 200,000 supporters.

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The grand party was held at the sprawling grounds of the inland resort Davao Crocodile Park at Maa district in Davao City.

He said that the policy of destroying the land of Mindanao and dislocating its people including the Moro people “has to change.”

For him, he added, Mindanao’s  mineral resources have first to be enjoyed by people from Mindanao like by the “coops of Filipinos digging out there, and I’ll just give instructions how not to spoil the land, una muna ang taga Mindanao.”

He said earlier in his speech that he is scouting one who can be the secretary of the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources after he turned down the wish of his long-time administrator who is now the Mayor of Maribojoc, Bohol and his appointed Secretary to the Cabinet Jun Evasco.

He said he was poised at first to appoint Evasco as his DENR secretary.

“There’s a big problem of mining companies. They’re destroying our country. You have to force the military and the police to enforce,” he said obviously referring  to the mining laws that are more often not enforced.

Duterte explained that Evasco was once a New People Army rebel who surrendered to him when he became the city vice mayor, contending “nobody would believe” on Evasco when he would call the military and the police for law enforcement.

The incoming President, apparently bullish  on the rich mineral resources of Mindanao, appears to be veering away from the regime of big mining companies and favoring to small-to-medium scale mining that flourished  in the island since the gold rush days of Mt. Diwalwal in the 80s.

Through more than three decades,  small miners in Mindanao turbulently evolved their sharing and organizational scheme into coop-like corpo system.

During the last campaign period, involvement of Mar Roxas to big mining became one of the big issues.

Roxas was hit of the issue of being supported by billionaire businessman Eric Gutierrez, CEO of SR Metals, Inc., a controversial mining firm which was subjected to a Senate investigation for the allegedly illegal shipment of tens of million tons of nickel ores from Agusan del Norte amounting to P28 billion.

Roxas and other Liberal Party national candidates were said to be using the private Cessna planes owned by Gutierrez.

The LP camp tagged that Duterte was just making “baseless controversy” adding that they only leased the planes and that Roxas and other involved LP stalwarts were not engaged into “illegal mining practice”.

One columnist of national newspaper also dug up that in Roxas’ 2012 SALN, he showed to have personal interest in the mining sector. His stockholdings, amounting to ₱120 million, include shares in seven big mining companies, namely: Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company, Manila Mining Corporation, Philex Mining Corporation, Marinduque Mining and Industrial Corporation, Mindanao Mother Lake Mines, Samar Mining Company, Western Minolco Corporation. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

pic credit: ABS-CBN News Channel