Sunday, December 30, 2007

Firecrackers Ban in Gensan

FIRECRACKERS INSPECTION. Personnel from the Licenses and Permits Division of the City Mayor's Office of Gen. Santos inspect one of the stalls selling fireworks at the Oval Plaza. Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. has decreed a ban against the use and sale of the more dangerous firecrackers.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Darlene Treats Orphans to a Party

PAMASKONG PAMBATA. Representative Darlene Antonino-Custodio, of the 1st Congressional District of South Cotabato, hands out a gift to one of the kids from St. Gemma's Orphanage during the Pamaskong Pambata: Alay ng Kongreso affair at the Oval Plaza Children's Playground last weekend. The kids were earlier treated to games and entertainment courtesy of the office of the congresswoman who has been doing this annually to a number of the city's underprivileged kids and orphans.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New Dance Group Delights LGU Employees

NEW LGU DANCE GROUP. Dr. Arvin Alejandro, City Chief of Hospital (front) leads his group from the Livability Cluster perform their dance moves during the Employees' Christmas Party of the local government of Gen. Santos last weekend at the KCC Mall Convention Center. Also in him in the photo are (back, L-R) LCR Assistant Department Head Inday Tablizo, CSWDO Head Becky Magante, LCR Department Head Elena Sarino and City Health Office Action Officer Dr. Lalaine Calonzo. More than 2,000 employees and their family members who showed up for the festive occasion cheered their lively number. Later on, Mayor Jun Acharon distributed cash gifts of P10,000 each to his workers.

Kitkat Wows Generals

KITKAT AT THANKSGIVING CONCERT. ABS-CBN Sexy Comedienne Kitkat performs at the Pamaskong Bigtime Aginaldo-(PBA) Thanksgiving Concert mounted by the Office of City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. and ABS-CBN Socsargen on December 22, 2007 at the Gensan Oval Plaza. More than 3,000 Christmas revelers were treated to this song-and-dance affair which signaled the end of the 3-week long Pasko-sa-Gensan 2007 Festival. (GenSan CMO/avel manansala)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Mayor Releases P30M Cash Gifts

CHRISTMAS CASH GIFTS. General Santos City Mayor gives out cash gifts of P10,000 each to the regular employees of the local government unit during their Christmas Party on December 21, 2007 at the KCC Convention Center. Assisting him are (L-R) Councilors Jane Calunsag, Nephthali Natividad, Meggie Santos and First Lady Dr. Rose Acharon. A total of P10million was appropriated by the Sangguniang Panlungsod for the said Christmas gifts.

Land Bank Chief Calls on Mayor

BANK PRESIDENT AT CITY HALL. Land Bank of the Philippines president and chief executive Gilda Pico during her courtesy call on Gen. Santos City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. on December 20, 2007 to discuss his priority environment-protection related projects. The Land Bank of the Philippines is offering a loan facility of about P300million to the city to finance its Sanitary Landfill Project in Barangay Sinawal .

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bariles Supports AIDS Awareness Month

Awareness Ribbons Customized -

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Beach Volleyball Tourney Starts

BEACH VOLLEYBELLES. SK Federation-Gensan President Jane Calunsag, representing City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. gives the thumbs up with volleybelles of Gen. Santos Doctor's Hospital Foundation (left) and Holy Trinity College - Team A at the start of the 2nd Beach Volleyball PBA Jr. Cup Tournament at the Queen Tuna Park (Lion's Beach) on December 19, 2007. Also with her are (extreme left) Rodolfo Yu and Christian Gonzales (extreme right), both from the Sports & Games Development Division of the City Mayor's Office. The Trinitarians won this first fight of the tournament which is an official event of Pasko sa Gensan 2007. (GenSan CMO/avel manansala)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

December 19 is Muslim Holiday (Hariraya Hajji)

The Office on Muslim Affairs under the Office of the President of the Philippines has announced on December 14 in a letter addressed to Gen. Santos City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. that December 19, 2007 is a legal Muslim Holiday.

According to OMA Field Director Guialil R. Kanda, this is in observance of Eid'l Adha - Hariraya Hajji (Feast of Sacrifice) which falls on December 19, 2007 and corresponds to the 10th Jul Hijjah 1428.

Muslim Holidays in the Philippines were created by virtue of P.D. 1083 and the Civil Service Commission Resolution NO. 81-1277 dated November 13, 1981. In view of this, the mayor has ordered all the local government employees not to report for work for that day in deference to this directive.

1st Table Tennis PBA Jr. Cup Tourney Held

TABLE TENNIS PBA CUP. Dr. Arvin Alejandro, Tournament Director of the 1st PBA Jr. Invitational Table Tennis Tournament congratulates the winners during the awarding ceremony on December 16, 2007 at the Oval Plaza Gym while Event Manager Christian Gonzales listens behind him. Players from various high schools of Gensan were pitted against those from Davao, Cotabato City and North Cotabato during the 3-day tourney which was part of the Pasko-sa-Gensan calendar.

The first-ever PBA, Jr. Invitational Table Tennis Tournament finally ended on Sunday, December 16, 2007 at the capacity-filled Oval Plaza gymnasium after a three-day run which pitted the city’s best and upcoming young players from different schools against those from Cotabato City, Midsayap and Davao, among others.

An official event of the Pasko-sa-Gensan 2007, the tournament this year was spearheaded by the Sports & Games Development Division under the City Mayor’s Office under Sports Division Officer Ernesto Nanali in cooperation with TATAP (Table Tennis Association of the Philippines – Gensan).

Dr. Arvin Alejandro was the Tournament Director while Christian Gonzales was the Event Manager.

Here is the complete set of winners who received cash prizes of P3,000 (1st), P2,000 (2nd) and P1,000 (3rd) respectively:

• Boys – 17 Years Under
o Champion – Wilbert Lio
o 2nd Place – Kevin Hilado
o 3rd Place – Carl James Ranoa

• Boys – 13 Years Under
o Champion – Gil Ablanque
o 2nd Place - Ronald Gamaliel Donaire
o 3rd Place – James Philip Ybañez

• Girls – 17 Years Under
o Champion – Mirabel Roferos
o 2nd Place – Princess Laarni Masong
o 3rd Place – Jaren Castro

• Girls – 13 Years Under
o Champion – Lyndel Sellado
o 2nd Place – Ma. Joven Bugnos
o 3rd Place – Roxanette Mae Noriega

The Team Event winners are: Champion – Medatta A of Davao (P5,000); 2nd Place – UM Davao (P3,000); and, 3rd Place – PNP Gensan (P2,000).

Monday, December 17, 2007

BBC Reporter Calls on Mayor

BBC REPORTER. Gen. Santos City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. orients British Broadcasting Corporation Reporter Andrew Harding and his camera man Darren Conway (2nd & 3rd from left) on the current state of the Tuna Industry in the city during their courtesy call on him last week. The award-winning BBC Asia Correspondent was in town to do a special report about the aforementioned matter and meet up with some of its major stakeholders.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

75 City Hall Employees Honored

For serving the city government for 20 years with utmost dedication and good performance, seventy five (75) rank-and-file employees were honored Thursday night at Sydney Hotel.

Mayor Pedro B. Acharon, Jr. personally awarded the employees brand new Nokia cellular phones (colored, polyphonic, with accessories) in recognition of the contributions of these employees in delivering total quality service to the people of Gensan.

This is the second batch of employees who were honored by the city through its “Parangal sa Kawani” program.

This annual program is initiated by the city’s PRAISE committee whose officers include HRMDO Department Head Ms. Sarah t. Sanchez and Mr. Ernesto V. Quisay, chief of staff of the Office of the City Mayor.

In his message, mayor Acharon cited the employees good performance and challenged them to continue working for the betterment of the city’s constituents.

Mr. Quisay, on the other hand, said that they made sure that the awards night this year will be truly memorable. The preparations were made earlier particularly on the venue, food, entertainment plus the token for each of the awardees. (CPIO/ping aponesto)PARANGAL NG KAWANI. Chief of Staff Ernie Quisay of the City Mayor's Office of Gen. Santos is flanked by emcees City Assistant Administrator Glennville Gonzales and City Population Program Officer Judith Janiola while welcoming the 75 honorees from the local government to the Parangal ng Kawani, a tribute-of-sorts for their 20 years of service. Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. later awarded a Nokia cellphone to each one of them as a token for their longevity and dedication.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

WBO Champ Peñalosa Visits City Hall

PEÑALOSA AT THE CITY HALL. Reigning WBO Bantamweight Champion Gerry Peñalosa (3rd from left) shown here with City Administrator Teodorico Dumagan (4th from left, representing Mayor Jun Acharon who was out of town) in a recent visit to the Gen. Santos City Hall. The champ was accompanied by his wife, GenSan beauty Goody Llido-Peñalosa (2nd from left). Also shown in photo are (L-R) Gerry's brother-in-law Mark Landseer Llido, mother-in-law Virgie Odi-Llido, sis-in-law Shandee Llido-Pestaño and nephew Billy.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Acharon @ the LCP Caravan in North Mindanao

LCP'S OPLAN LINGAP-ESKWELA IN MARAWI. Gen. Santos City Mayor and Vice-President for Mindanao of the League of Cities of the Philippines Pedro Acharon, Jr. (standing 2nd from right) is flanked by two Marawi City DepEd officials and Tagum City Mayor Nestor Alvarez during the MOA Signing for OPLAN LINGAP-ESKWELA at the Marawi City Hall recently. This project of the LCP and Ciarra Abalos Foundation, in cooperation with the DepEd and UAP-Marawi Chapter will provide for the construction of schoolbuildings in Marawi. Also shown in photo are (seated L-R) Tagaytay City Mayor Abraham Tolentino, Iligan City Mayor Lawrence Cruz, Mandaluyong City Mayor and LCP President Benhur Abalos, Marawi City Mayor Fahad U. Salic and Ms. Ciarra Abalos, Foundation Trustee. LCP MAYORS IN MSU-MARAWI. Mayors from various areas representing the League of Cities of the Philipines is shown here during their courtesy call on Mindanao State University President Dr. Ricardo De Leon recently, as part of their LCP Caravan in Northern Mindanao. From left to right are Tagum City Mayor Rey Chiong T. Uy (LCP Representative for Region 11), Gen. Santos City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. (LCP VP for Mindanao), Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos (LCP President), Tagaytay City Mayor Abraham Tolentino (LCP Treasurer), Iligan City Mayor Lawrence Cruz (LCP Representative for Region 10), Muñoz City Mayor Nestor Alvarez (LCP Focal Mayor for the Millenium Development Goals), former Samal Mayor Roger Antalan (LCP Program Coordinator), and Mr. Ram Sitaldas, President of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Barangay Orientation Held

BARANGAY ORIENTATION. Gen. Santos City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. during his welcome address at the opening of the Barangay Orientation Seminar for newly-elected barangay officials of the city held at the Sangguniang Panlungsod Hall on December 10 and 11, 2007 where he introduced the members of his cabinet including the department heads and officers-in-charge of the different local government offices.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Gourmet Resto Opens in Osmeña North

NEW GOURMET RESTO. Fr. Alex Salas, DCC performs the ceremonial blessing rites for Theresa's Cafe and Gourmet Restaurant late last week while flanked by (from right) Gen. Santos City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. and owners Malou and Beth Lim. Located along the "quieter" North side of Osmeña Street as opposed to its busier South side, this newest restaurant destination in downtown Gensan aims to cater to people who need a "more relaxed and cozier ambience" and a varied American and European gastronomic fare. GenSan has been experiencing a boom in the opening up of dining establishments recently.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Festival Highlights

ADMIRING THE FIREWORKS. Kagandahan GenSan Chairperson and GenSan First Lady Dr. Rose Acharon and City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. observe the Fireworks Display in the sky above the Oval Plaza right after the latter led the countdown signalling the formal start of the Pasko-sa-Gensan 2007 during a jampacked Opening Ceremony of the Pasko-Sa-Gnsan 2007 Festival.
FREE TUNA AT FISHERMAN'S WHARF. Gen. Santos City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. (partly hidden from camera) observes City Economic Management and Cooperative Development Office (CEMCDO) staff Darlon Solana and Stewart Ang prepare the tuna sashimi they were giving out for free at the Fisherman's Wharf at the Oval Plaza last week as part of the activities during the Opening Week of the Pasko-sa-Gensan 2007 Festival. This annual activity by the local government runs for the whole month of December.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Barangay Apopong Awarded Best Lupong Tagapamayapa

BEST LUPONG TAGAPAMAYAPA. Outgoing Barangay Apopong Captain Delia Rabanes (2nd from right) proudly displays the mock check of P50,000 she received from Gen. Santos City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. and DILG City Director Rodolfo Bernardino (1st & 2nd to her right) which her barangay won as the Best Lupong Tagapamayapa of the city, besting 25 others and giving it the right to compete in the Regional Finals sponsored by the DILG. Republic Act 7160 known as the Local Government Code of 1991, mandates in its Section 399 the creation in each barangay a Lupong Tagapamayapa and in Sec 402 the functions of such body for dispute settlement and conflict resolution. Also in this photo taken during the Barangay Councilors' Oathtaking last week are (from left) City Councilor Ramon Milleza and Vice-Mayor Florentina Congson.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

SK Federation Elect Officers

SK FEDERATION OFFICERS. Gen. Santos City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr.(center) with the newly-elected officers of the Federation of Sangguniang Kabataan Chairpersons, (from L-R) Sgt.-at-Arms Keven Pragados (Dadiangas South), Auditor Marianne Dayap (Calumpang), Vice-President Alysa Marie De Leoz (City Heights), President Jane Calunsag (Barangay Apopong), Secretary John Ruel Cunanan (San Isidro), Treasurer Irene Baguio (Tinagakan) and PRO Precious Pia Abatayo (Bula). They and their 19 other young honorables underwent a 2-day orientation seminar conducted by the Department of Interior and Local Goverment prior to their election at the Sydney Hotel. SKF president Calunsag immediately becomes their permanent representative to the City Council.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas Under-the-Sea Wonderland Wows Indonesians

PASKO-SA-GENSAN TOUR. Gen. Santos City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. gives Major General Jenderal Tni. Djoko Susilo Utomo, Chairman of the Border Committee of the Republic of Indonesia a walking tour of the different pavilions and other features of the oval plaza which has been converted into an under-the-sea wonderland, the centerpiece of the Pasko-Sa-Gensan 2007 festivity which formally opened this week. The Indonesian visitor who was with his wife and 30 others also witnessed and enjoyed the DANCE FUSION Competition at the oval plaza stage. They were in the city to attend the 26th Chairman's Meeting of the Border Committees with their Filipino counterparts.
FIRST LADIES. Gen. Santos City First Lady Dr. Rose Acharon with the wives of some of the members of the Border Committee of the Republic of Indonesia at a Welcome Dinner hosted by Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. on December 4, 2007 at the Sydney Hotel prior to their tour of the Pasko-Sa-Gensan Grand Reef festivity at the Oval Plaza. To her left is the wife of Major General Jenderal Tni. Djoko Susilo Utomo, head of the delegation. They were in the city for a joint border patrol meeting with their Filipino counterparts.

Friday, December 7, 2007

26th Chairman's Meeting of Indo-RP Border Committee in Gensan

INDON BORDER COMMITTEE CHAIR. Major General Jenderal Tni. Djoko Susilo Utomo, Chairman of the Border Committee of the Republic of Indonesia is welcomed at the Gen. Santos City International Airport by Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. upon his arrival on December 4, 2007 from Manado, North Sulawesi on board their own army plane. He and 35 members of his team are in town for the 26th Chairmen's Conference of the Border Committe members from both countries at the East Asia Royale Hotel. BORDER TALKS. GenSan City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. addresses the 35 members of the Indonesian Border Committe during the Welcome Luncheon he tendered for them at the Babes Bar of the East Asia Royale Hotel on December 4, 2007. They and their Filipino counterparts from the Philippine Navy and Philippine Army are in the city for their joint country 26th Chairman's Meeting on December 5-6.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Simultaneous Lighting of City Ushers in Pasko Sa Gensan 2007

In a never before seen spectacle in General Santos City, on December 3, 2007, the whole stretch of Pioneer Avenue including the Gen. Paulino Santos, Sr. Park up to the large expanse of the Carlos P. Garcia Park (Oval Plaza) simultaneously burst into a sparkling exhibit of muti-colored lights signalling the start of the city's annual yuletide festival.

After leading a countdown among the 5,000-strong crowd at the oval plaza stage prior to the light-up, GenSan City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. formally announced the commencement of the month-long PASKO-SA-GENSAN 2007.

A dazzling fireworks display then ensued , illuminating the sky and eliciting screams of delight among the spectators, mostly members and supporters of the ten school bands which participated in the TUNOG TAMBOL, TUNOG LIRA Drum & Lyre Competition conducted earlier that afternoon.

Pasko-Sa-Gensan which started in 2003 under the administration of Mayor Acharon has been growing in grandeur and scale annually. For this year, the festival took on a theme which played around the city's fame as the country's Tuna Capital and on the resiliency of its people who have managed to survive a series of unfortunate events the past 5 years or so. Thus, the theme "KULAY PASKO ANG DAGAT NG BUHAY" was conceptualized as the rallying point for the festivities.

According to the mayor, "Not only will our displays, decors and activities remind us of the blessings we have gotten from the bounty of our seas but will also help instill in us the spirit of hope as symbolized by the vibrant colors of the sea creatures so much present in the festive hues of the Christmas season."

Indeed, if one goes around the city, colorful marine flora and fauna are displayed side by side with symbols of Christmas while the oval plaza takes on the character of a Grand Reef with a Giant Seaweeds Christmas Tree in the center.

Pavilions built by participating schools RMMC, NDDU, HTC, MSU and Golden State College are scattered near the tree, each one adopting a certain marine creature as its mascot.

Other than that are the Coral Carnival Pavilion (carnival rides), the Fisherman's Wharf Mini Trade Fair and Food Bazaar and the Seashells Pavilion (Kids Playground).

Nightly events are also scheduled at the Oval Plaza Stage with the city's FM Radio stations outdoing themselves with their concerts, dance parties and cultural programs.

Everything culminates at the same venue with a Closing Program on December 21 and a thanksgiving concert on December 22 dubbed as Pamaskong Bigtime Aginaldo-Pasasalamat Concert sponsored by the City Mayor's Office and ABS-CBN Socssargen. (GenSan CMO/avel manansala)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Council) Takes Oath

Gensan City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. strikes a wacky pose with the Sangguniang Kabataan Chaipersons of the city's 26 Barangays after their oath-taking ceremony on November 28, 2007 at the Lagao Gym. Earlier the mayor briefed them and their councilors on his administration's vision and development strategies while challenging them, as "generals" (term coined for GenSan residents) to be "general solutions" to today's problems. In a few days time, these chairpersons will elect among themselves a president to be their permanent representative at the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

208 Barangay Officials take oath

Two-hundred eight newly-elected officials from General Santos City's twenty six barangays take their oath of office before Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. on November 28, 2007 at the Lagao Gym. The mayor proceeded to orient them on his administration's programs and policies, goals and benchmarks based on his 15-year city development strategies or SHEEP Development Agenda to ensure a unified and coordinated approach on each individual barangay's plans for the continuous progress of their turfs.

ACHIEVERS ALL. Gensan City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. strikes a happy pose with members of his clan, all newly-elected barangay officials after administering their mass oath-taking ceremony along with 205 others from the city's 26 barangays on the morning of November 28, 2007 at the Lagao Gym. Photo shows (L-R) Brgy. Dadiangas West Councilor Yolando Acharon, the mayor, Barangay Sinawal Councilor Ricardo Acharon, and Barangay Dadiangas West Captain Edgar Acharon.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mayor Attends Peace Forum

PEACE FORUM. Gensan City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. acknowledges the crowd at the opening of the Peace Forum at the Sarangani Capitol Gym on November 26, 2007. The forum is part of the celebration of the Mindanao Week of Peace which is an initiative of the Office of the President under Honorable Jesus Dureza, Secretary of the Peace Process. Photo shows (L-R) General Vicente Luna (Eastern Mindanao Command Chief), Secretary Dureza, Sarangani Governor Miguel Rene Dominguez, Mayor Acharon and Sarangani Vice-Governor Steve Solon.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

SarGen Leaders in Tahuna, North Sulawesi

SARGEN LEADERS IN INDONESIA. Gen. Santos City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. and Sarangani Province Governor Miguel Rene Dominguez (1st & 2nd from right) stand in attention during the arrival honors for the Philippine delegation at the Tahuna City Airport in Sangihe Island, North Sulawesi on November 21, 2007. The leaders were in this Indonesian island for trade talks and to witness the culmination of the 3-day joint border patrol exercise between the two countries. Also in photo are (from right) AFP Eastern Mindanao Commander Gen. Cardozo Luna, Chair of the Philippine panel overseeing the border crossing agreement and Regent Winsulan Salindejo, Regent of the Sangihe Islands chain. (avel manansala/foto by edwin espejo)

INDONESIAN DANCE. Gen. Santos City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. and Mindanao Economic Development Council Chair Virgilio Leyretana perform the Indonesian welcome dance "Kabasaran" with lady dancers at the arrival program in honor of the Philippine Delegation in Tahuna City, Sangihe Island on November 21, 2007. The mayor was in this Northern Sulawesi territory to witness the culmination of a joint border patrol exercise between the Philippines and Indonesia and for trade talks between Gensan, Sarangani Province and Tahuna. Together with him was Sarangani Governor Miguel Rene Dominguez. (avel manansala/foto by edwin espejo)

McDonald's Donates Reading Kits to local schools

MCDO DONATES READING KITS. McDonalds' Manager-Tainee Nathaniel Atoc (extreme right) looks on as GenSan City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. (2nd from right) hands over a sample copy of their Bright Minds Read Kit to City Councilor Richard Atendido and DepEd Supervisor Emerenciana Robin (extreme right) at a turn-over ceremony during the regular prescon moderated by City Assistant Administrator Glennville Gonzales (partly hidden from camera) at the City Mayor's Conference Room on November 20, 2007. These kits will be used by public school teachers as tools in improving the english reading and comprehension skills of their pupils. This endeavor is a project of McDonalds Charities, Inc and the Department of Education in coordination with the City Mayor's Office.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Junior Officials Take Over City Hall

JUNIOR OFFICIALS TAKE OVER CITY HALL. Photo shows Gen. Santos City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. (seated) and the Junior Officials tasked to take over the duties of the elected local government leaders during their first day of office at the city hall on November 19, 2007. Selected from more than 75 applicants from various schools in the city, these high school students will perform the basic functions of the mayor, the vice mayor and the councilors for a week. Also in photo are (L-R) Hope Christian School's Ruby Jane Ong, Stephanie Chu, Sharla Billena, Kenn Derik Sy (Junior Vice-Mayor) and Mary Rose Torrijos; Notre Dame of GSC's Dennis Marigon and Eva Cynthia Flores; MSU's Boni Brendi Abuyog (Junior Mayor); Leoncio Enobio, Jr. of GSC National School of Arts and Trade; Trixia Marie Ebol of MSU; Ivan Dimadid of RMMC; Angelica Rose Dellosa of NDDU-IBED and City Youth Affairs Division Chief Elmer Cequiña. Not in photo is Jamie Villamor of Holy Trinity College. This undertaking is an annual project of the YADO which is under the City Mayor's Office.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mayor Enrolls in Waste Management Course at the UP

WASTE MANAGEMENT COURSE AT UP FOR ACHARON. GenSan City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. (extreme left) during a break at his class on "Toxic & Hazardous Waste Management" at the University of the Philippines Diliman from November 9-12, 2007. This is the first of the four-module training course which the mayor, a licensed civil engineer, enrolled in under the Certificate Program on Toxic and Hazardous Waste Management of the UP's National Engineering Center to strenghten his administration's implemention of the city's Integrated Solid Waste and Waste Water Management Plan. With him in the photo are (L-R) Phil. Batteries, Inc.'s Jayme Gonzales, Course Director Dr. Gene Peralta of NEC, Globe Telecom's Beth Tamayo, Team Enery Sual Corp.'s Eric Legarda, Phil. Abatement Systems Specialist Inc.'s Lito Pogon and Carlito Cabanela, also of Team Energy.

For a period of five days early this November, Gen. Santos City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. undertook a training course in the first of a series of modules on Waste Management at the University of the Philippines in Diliman.

This is the Certicate Program on Toxic and Hazardous Waste Management which is a four-module training course conducted by the university through the National Engineering Center (NEC) in coordination with its Department of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Engineering Graduate Program.

Its objective is to build the technical capacity of leaders from the government and private sectors on the key elements of toxic and hazardous waste management for the implementation of RA 6969 or the "Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act".

Mayor Acharon, who is a licensed civil engineer has focused on environment protection as one of his adminstration's flagship missions through his Environmental Governance Project or Eco-Gov2.
This includes his designs on the city's Integrated Solid Waste and Waste Water Management Plan and the Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape Plan which is in partnership with Sarangani Province. An offshoot of these plans is the Sanitary Landfill project in Barangay Sinawal which is in its bidding stage at this point and will be completed in 2009 at the earliest.

The course in UP, according to the mayor, therefore, "will not only equip us with more technical knowledge on how the city should conduct its handling of its waste material but they will also strengthen our networking with capable institutions and agencies which may assist us on matters pertaining to environmental protection and regeneration."
For this first set of module from November 5 to 9, entitled "Toxic and Hazardous Waste Management", Mayor Acharon teamed up with Engr. Nael Cruspero, who heads the City Planning Development Office. Subsequent modules scheduled for next year are: "Chemical Emergency Response and Preparedness"; "Inspection, Compliance and Enforcement"; and "Pollution Prevention".

All of these are under Course Director Dr. Gene Peralta of the National Engineering Center.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ms. Universe-Philippines in Gensan

TOKEN FOR MS. UNIVERSE-PHILS. GenSan City Mayor hands over a token to Ms. Philippines-Universe 2007 Michelle Escuin during her last day of visit in the Tuna Capital on November 16, 2007. The 24-year old Fil-Am beauty whose family hails from Bacolod was in town to belie negative reports about the peace and order situation as usually reported in the US press. She toured the Fishport Complex, the world's largest pineapple plantation of DOLE in Polomolok, South Cotabato and the white beaches of Glan, Sarangani, among others. She also hobnobbed with the students of the Dole International school and a class of specially-abled kids at the SPED School in Gensan.( GenSan CMO/avel manansala)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

TV Sets Turned Over to Gensan Schools

GenSan City Mayor Pedro Acharon, Jr. and Glan Mayor Enrique Yap, Jr. at the turnover of 7 television sets and educational dvd's to 5 schools in Gensan and Glan from SuperFerry under its Educational Television Program in partnership with ABS-CBN. In photo are (L-R) Elementary School Principals Flora Maglunsod (New Society), Erlinda Tobis (Bula Central), Renato Odi (Fatima Central), Agosto Libuton (Glan Padidu) with SuperFerry Manager Flor Luces, Mayor Yap, Mayor Acharon, DepEd Superintendent Estrella Lariosa, Bula District Superintendent Araceli Medina and Mr. Lucibar Salamanca. The activity was held during the Teacher Training Workshop conducted by SuperFerry at the Bula Central Elem. School on Nov. 15, 2007. (GenSan CMO/avel manansala)

Raking in the Dough

Right after Wilfredo "Bing" Royeca and Maria Carmela "Armie" Magtoto tied the knot in June of 1992, they immediately invested their wedding gift of forty thousand plus their savings of around twenty more in a bakery outlet at the old bus terminal of Gen. Santos City.

Bing's family has been in the bakeshop business for over twenty years in Gensan at that time and it was inevitable that he himself venture into it. But not after resigning from the NFA in Davao City and marrying Armie two years earlier who was then managing her family's furniture business in Gensan that he saw it fit to start their own Rolee Bakeshop outlet.

Luckily, their sixty square meter outlet with 5 workers was right smack in the middle of a high traffic area along the city's business district, Santiago Boulevard. Three months later, they opened their second branch at the Central Public Market.

The couple did not leave anything to chance and personally supervised the operations of their two outlets.

"With an old Toyota Tamaraw which I borrowed from my family, we personally did the purchasing of raw materials and helped in the delivery of our finished products to the two outlets," Bing says.

The newly-weds were sticklers for quality. According to Armie, "We made sure that we use the highest quality ingredients for our products available in the market. And we do not let our breads stay on the shelf for more than 24 hours including our flagship brand, the Rolee cream bread."

Armie who has Kapampangan roots even enrolled together with Bing at Asian Baking Institute in Manila, immersing themselves into discovering their own signature bread. She and Bing paid considerable attention to learning from other bakeshop outlets during their travels, tasting their bestsellers, hoping to ascertain what made them become such, and ultimately trying to produce their own versions.

The couple's efforts on R&D eventually paid off and from a product line of 20, Rolee's now boasts of 60 types of breads and pastries.

One current favorite is the La Crema with its soft-willowy crust and sweet-pastel filling. Armie recalls, "The first time we came out with it, our customers immediately liked it but were dismayed by the price. We had to come up with a solution where we made it a wee bit smaller but still we did not scrimp on our ingredients."

Just recently, they spun off the NATURA line of breads, for the health-conscious bread eaters. Bing, who visits the gym daily, considers this his baby.

"We're giving the consumers more reasons for patronizing our bakeshop. We want them to know that we value their health and well-being, hence this new line of baked goods. We never stop innovating; we never stop improving on our offerings to provide our clients more value for their money."

Armie, who has a degree on Master in Entrepreneurship at the Asian Institute of Management to her name said that this desire to constantly give their clients the best also moved them to come up with a premium version of their successful cream bread to which Rolee was known for.

She explains, "When we felt it was time to upgrade our flagship product, we knew we had to increase its price because we will be using more expensive ingredients and better packaging."

They however did not want to abandon their old customers who were loyal buyers of the classic cream bread.

"Although we have come up with first-rate products, we decided to keep the old cream bread bestseller because this was how Rolee became known for. Besides, why fix it if it isn't broken?" Armie opines.

So now if you visit any of their outlets, you will notice the old reliable variety still sitting side by side with the more pricey upstarts on the shelves.

From a mere 5 employees in 1992, the couple now supervises over a hundred workers, some of whom have been with them for more than ten years.

According to Bing, "We consider our employees as family members. We want them to feel that whatever success we reap is all because of team work, because of the individual contribution of each member. This business is also theirs as much as it is ours."

Now on its 13th year, Bing and Armie consider this phase of their business as their "second wind".

With their two kids going off for college in the very near future, the couple is now getting ready for their eventual involvement in the family business but not before instituting more radical changes on their operations.

With 13 outlets including one franchise in Metro Manila and counting, they are now working on professionalizing the ranks of their workforce, hiring well-trained managers in the process. Simultaneously, a total upgrade of their Accounting and Inventory Systems will also be carried out.

"Our goal is to establish two additional outlets every year and the need to come up with more cohesive and fool-proof systems to better manage them is now on the pipeline," Bing explains.

"We could have actually built more outlets than we have now at a faster pace early on but we felt that this could get in the way of providing quality time for our children," he says.

That is why, in envisioning a future which requires minimal involvement from them in running the business, the couple couldn't help but smile at the prospect.

"We have been working so hard at it ever since we started. Although we have managed to balance our lives between our business and our kids, still it would be refreshing if we could delegate more and worry less," Armie adds.

Their advice for young entrepreneurs?

First, is to never sacrifice family on the course of earning a living. Despite what has been a busy lifestyle for the couple, they still had time to supervise their children's education. Their daughter and son are among the top of their classes at a school in General Santos.

Second, practice "delayed gratification" in handling your finances. If they couldn't afford it, Bing and Armie never purchased anything beyond what was in their savings even if it could be had on credit. They lived simply, only buying what they need for their business and their family.

Third, do what you can for your community. Bing is currently the President of the Rotary Club of General Santos City. He has devoted a lot of time in his incumbency in a series of projects to help out the less fortunate in the city. At the same time, Armie has ventured into a scheme for their bakery outlets which gives a percentage discount on purchases made by Senior Citizens. Both have also involved themselves in tourism-related affairs of the city government like the Tuna Festival.

"That is the least we could do bearing in mind the graces we have received from above. All of these were just loaned to us by our Maker and for anyone who wants to succeed in what he does, he should always be humbled and guided by the fact that to whomever much was given, much is also expected," Armie explains while husband Bing nods in agreement.