The CEO is a woman

December 18, 2010

It’s a woman again for Pag-IBIG Fund and this time Atty. Darlene Marie B. Berberabe is the new Chief Executive Officer who hails from Batangas City vice Jaime A. Fabiana of Davao City. The first woman head was Zorayda Alonzo, the CEO who, during her time, checks on us if time warrants, while Joe was assigned in Cotabato to open the Branch Office there in the late 80s. Like a Mom, CEO Alonzo by then was concern of the family with Kim at 3 and I was preggy with Joe3 and Joe’s sick father (bed-ridden) left under my care at home. The transfer of work assignment was untimely “sana” with the family situation that time. But after about four years in the wartorn Cotabato the CEO surprised me on my birthday with his transfer to Davao City. The four long years were hard but the transfer was indeed a great relief. I will never forget Mrs. Alonzo in my life time and with a woman again i could only anticipate no less but the good and the best for the workers of Pag-BIG Fund and the members of the Fund … kasali ako dyan sa members. The men (leaders) were exceptionally good but there is something in women perhaps (because of the hand that rocks the cradle). I am not being biased, with this writer being a woman too.

I’ve heard of the new CEO from my hubby and his first meeting with her upclose was when he defended at the SM (senior management) a project for southern Mindanao. The meeting was good and the discussion was comprehensive, he said. The more that he was impressed during the corporate officers meeting where she stressed about strict adherence to government rules and policies and to stick to what is right. I am also impressed with this.

I’ve read about her in the papers and online and here are some interesting information (that were earlier reported) for a law professor appointed as PAGIBIG chief.

Atty. Darlene Berberabe is a professorial lecturer in the College of Law, UP Diliman.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude and valedictorian from UP in 1989. She graduated salutatorian from the College of Law in 1999. She is an associate lawyer in Quisumbing Torres (Baker & Mckenzie) Law Office and was a professor in the Department of Philosophy, UP Diliman. In the College of Law, she is a professorial lecturer who teaches Legal Theory. Her MA thesis in 1995 was on the Divine Command Theory. She wrote “Retail Trade Liberalization” which was published in the Asia Pacific Legal Bulletin in 2000. She is described as a labor law specialist.

Prior to her appointment as Pag-IBIG chief, Berberabe was the head of the Corporate Legal Department of multinational company Procter & Gamble (P&G) Distributing (Phils.), Inc. She joined P&G in 2004. Before that she was a Labor Associate at the Quisumbing Torres (Baker & McKenzie International) Law Office from 2000 to 2004. An academician, Berberabe was also a Professor of Philosophy for 10 years at UP Diliman, the first female Philosophy Professor; and Professorial Lecturer of Labor Law, Legal Method and Legal Theory at the UP College of Law from 2002 to 2008.

The above data is so rich and tough but I think she’s one good person by heart. She even asked Joe about us and the children and when she was in Davao City, December 15 to lead the loyalty service awarding of employees from Southern Mindanao, Northern Mindanao and the Visayas Group she took time for foto opportunities not once but many times with the employees which she readily obliged herself.

I know there are more good things to come to HDMF (with credit of course to the former bosses), the office is my husband’s bread and butter even as we are equally proud to be part of that one big family now stronger at 30.

I am looking forward to my first interview with the woman who is the boss of my husband together with my Davao business reporters friends.

Photo courtesy of Eric Morales.


SM to open two more malls in Mindanao next year

July 26, 2010

SM will open its second mall in Davao City and one in General Santos City next year, according to Glenn D. Ang, SM Supermalls vice president for operations.Ang said with the coming in of two malls in the island, Mindanao will have four SM malls by 2011.

He said by the third quarter of 2011 these malls will start to operate and will be bringing in to Davao City the first hypermarket in the island.

He said General Santos City mall will have the same concept with the rest of the malls.

SM has an existing mall at Ecoland, Matina in Davao City and in Cagayan de Oro City.

Meanwhile, Ang said their existing 37 malls will have an addition of five this year, making the total number 42 by end of 2010.

He said every year, five new ones are added and more areas are in the plan.

Ang also said they want to establish call centers in the near future. “It is management direction to have a business process outsource (BPO) in every mall,” he said.

Likewise, Ang said their succeeding malls will adopt the Green Building scheme and one will be up by July of 2012.

Although he did not give details, he said this will follow green architectural designs, green landscape and environment-friendly facilities.

But he said their malls system-wide are now environment friendly as they adopt the use of less energy types of lamps and waterless urinals and the re-use of water for their cooling facilities.

“SM has a strong advocacy for the protection of the environment,” he said.

Ang also said part of their expansion program is the opening of SaveMore Stores and by end of 2011, this type of store will number about 200 nationwide.

Ang was in Davao City for the formal opening of the 11th Global Pinoy Center (GPC) at SM City here. The center at SM City Iloilo was also launched on the same day.(PNA)

Thank you learn-finance …

July 26, 2010

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SMI education program for IPs, employees continues

July 25, 2010

The education program of Sagittarius Mining, Inc. (SMI) in Tampakan, South Cotabato continues to help not only tribal groups as it also undertakes education program for its employees in order for them to better understand the local culture, specifically that of the Blaans.

At the 2009 Sustainability Report of the Tampakan Project it showed that the company’s Cultural Induction Program (CIP) consists of three modules that aim to provide staff and contractors an insight on how to relate with the B’laans.

The participants are contractors and employees from SMI’s various departments. The first module is an introduction to Blaan culture, through an extensive discussion of the Blaans’ history, belief systems, worldviews, customs and traditions.

 The second module gives tips on practices that should be observed when in a Blaan village, and dealing with Blaans in an office setting. The third underscores cultural commonalities with other dominant Philippine ethno-linguistic groups by encouraging the participants to understand and respect cultural differences, he said.

SMI operates a mining site in Tampakan town where its area covers three barangays, namely, Danlag, Tablo and Pulang Bato where deposits of copper is estimated at 2.4 billion metric tons containing 13.5 million metric tons of copper and 15.8 million ounces of gold.

The report also stated that SMI continues to demonstrate its commitment to social responsibility by contributing to the social, economic and institutional development of communities by forging meaningful partnerships with stakeholders.

In its website, it showed, among others, their support to the host community where in its report in 2008, it implemented the Tampakan Social Improvement Program (SIP) after an extensive stakeholder consultation process.

The SIP identifies and defines the projects that best respond to the key social challenges and opportunities in the host and neighboring communities. By focusing on education, health, skills training and enterprise development, it aims to help communities establish sustainable economies that can survive long after its operations end.

Particularly for the Tampakan Project, the SMI granted free elementary, high school and college education in the Tampakan communities benefitting some 5,700 students.

Meanwhile, SMI stressed that with their approach to sustainable development (SD), it will continually improve on performance, ensure the efficient use of resources and maintain a safe and healthy workplace as it create value for their stakeholders in order to contribute to a sustainable environment.

Acosta emphasizes that in achieving SD it must be safe, environmentally and socially responsible way between the people, the communities, government and other stakeholders.

The leaders of Blaan tribes in Tampakan town in South Cotabato continue to partner with SMI on projects that benefit the youth through scholarship program.

Danleg tribal chieftain Dalena Samling said their scholarship program is not only for the elementary and secondary levels but also college education. Samling said school ages belonging to their tribe are now in school.

“I am grateful of this opportunity kay sa akong panahon wala ko nakaeskwela (during my time I didn’t have the chance to go to school),” she said.

Her group comprises of 2,000 indigenous people (IPs) of the Blaan tribes who are residents of Barangay Danlag.

Sbangken tribal chieftain Tonio Binuhay, meanwhile said school age children of his tribe who are also B’laan of 1,800 are also beneficiaries of the program. He said of their college scholars, four already finished college education. He said this education program when sustained will help improve their quality of lives. The groups of Binuhay are residents of Barangay Tablo. (PNA) DCT/PDB/lvp

Mindanao farmers eye int’l market

July 24, 2010

(This photo from Wikimedia Commons … thank you)

Some 25,000 farmers in Mindanao will be equipped with skills and new technologies to produce high-quality cacao beans that are acceptable to the international market. Party of Agricultural Cooperative Development International/Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA)–a private, nonprofit organization that promotes broad-based economic growth — will use the proceeds of the US$ 5.4 million funds awarded to it by the US Department of Agriculture in transfering the skills and new technologies to cacao farmers.

Nic K. Richards, ACDI/VOCA chief, said during the recent launching of CoCoPAL Integrated Farming System Project here that the amount granted to the project would be monetized to produce 13,200 metric tons of high-quality cocao beans. Richards said they will use the proceeds over a three-year period to improve the capacity of smallholder farmers in targeted Mindanao provinces.

The project was dubbed as CoCoPal, deficting cocoa, coconut and the Palayamanan concept of rice-based diversified farming. It hopes to improve the income and food security of the farmers including a total of 15,000 indirect beneficiaries.

Richards said that initially, the project targeted eight provinces and two cities from Western Mindanao and Southern Mindanao namely Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga City, Basilan, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao City and Compostela Valley Province.

He said the demand for cacao was high as developed countries like Europe and the US were looking at Southeast Asia for sourcing their supply.

Most ot these countries source out their beans supply of 250,000 tons annually from Africa. But the risk of having a steady supply is highly vulnerable to political instability, drought and expensive freight cost, compared to the Philippines where shipping cost could be lower than in other African countries.

Shipping cost in Africa could reach about US$ 100 per ton of beans. He said the concept here is to train the farmers on good production and processing techniques and link them to a value chain approach and become micro entrepreneurs. Under the project, there will be 250 trained CoCoPal extension facilitators assisting the farmers.

There will also be 75 Village Technology and Extension Farms (VTEF), a one stop innovative learning sites to be managed by the different farmer-groups.

 The project will also include the putting in of 150 post harvest facilities around Mindanao from small to medium- scale such as bamboo-type solar dryer to kiln dryer and the semi-industrial using new technology and innovation.

Richards said the organization had similar project here in 2006 and the farmer-participants were already shipping cacao beans to the international market. In the last six months, the farmers posted a first shipment of 100 tons of quality cacao beans from farms in Calinan, Davao City and San Isidro, Davao Oriental.

Richards also said the organization will link the farmers to the market of companies that have big demand for cacao. Meanwhile, Richards said the other project of ACDI/VOCA is the Sustainable Cocoa Enterprise Solution for Smallholders (SUCCESS).

He said Alliance Philippines Project Phase II is also a project of ACDI/VOCA that also received funding support from the USDA.

It is in partnership with the Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines (CocoaPhil), World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and MARS, Incorporated, a worldwide manufacturer of confectionery, pet food and other food products.

Fay Fay Choo, commercial manager of MARS Inc. said the company is looking at the Philippine production of 100,000 metric tons of cacao beans in 2020 valued at US$ 300 million.

“We are optimistic that the Philippines can deliver that is why we did not hesitate to set up the MARs Cocoa Development Center in partnership with the Sunset Farms in Malagos, Calinan, Davao City,” she said.

She said MARS is a US$ 28-billion business that operates in six basic segments, including chocolate. The company has 65,000 associates in over 250 locations with 135 factories in 68 countries worldwide, she said.

“Our headquarter is in McLean, Virginia, USA and our chocolate brands are M&M’s, Snickers, Dove, Galaxy, Mars, Milky Way, Twix and Bountry,” she said. For Bountry, she said we see a huge growth potential including the desiccated coconut, which is an important ingredient for this production aside from cocoa.

The Philippines, she said, could tap this and see a year- on-year growth of two to three percent. “I know the Philippines can deliver total quality beans to the world market because it has good planting material, great soil and skilled farmers. When cacao is properly nurtured it produces aroma and there is premium in the aroma,” she said. (PNA) RMA/Prix Digna D. Banzon/lvp

US$47.1-M processing plant up soon in Davao Sur

July 22, 2010

STA. CRUZ, Davao del Sur (PNA) — The CJ Toyota Philippines, Inc. is putting up a processing plant in Barangay Darong, Sta. Cruz, here with an estimated cost of 47.1 million U.S. dollars for the production of xylose, a natural sweetener derived from coconut shells.The company said the product is mainly produced as raw material for xylitol which is known to be one of the major functional sweeteners used in the production of gum. It has the capacity to produce 15,000 metric tons of xylose per year.

The produce will be exported to various markets in Korea, Japan, and Europe. The project is expected to finish by January 2011.

Davao del Sur Governor Douglas Cagas, in his message during the recent ground breaking ceremony, said the investment of CJ Toyota Philippines, Inc. in Sta. Cruz town is a welcome development for the entire province of Davao del Sur, saying that they need more income for their people, more jobs and more utilization of their resources.

Korean Ambassador Choi Joong Kyung was also present during the event.

“I have always believed that the best possible partnership between Filipinos and Koreans is in (the agriculture) sector where the Philippines has a big potential. The combination produced by Korea’s technical artistry with the Philippines’ natural environment and skilled manpower will produce pioneering results,” Choi said.

CJ TPI is made up of four partner companies which CJ President Kim Jin Soo tagged as a “dream team”.

CJ Cheiljedang Corporation, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Binggrae Co., Ltd., and the Anflo Management and Investment Corporation (ANFLOCOR), the only local company among the four.

“I’m confident that all the elements [of the four companies] will be put together in one bowl to generate one of the strongest players in this business world,” Kim said.

Also among the dignitaries who graced the ceremonies were Davao del Sur Congressman Marc Cagas and Mayor Joel Ray Lopez.

The executives of the four companies were led by their respective heads Toyota Tsusho Corporation Managing Director Makoto Hyodo, Binggrae President Lee Kun Young, and ANFLOCOR Chairman Don Antonio O. Floirendo Sr.

Sta. Cruz town is the industrial hub of the province where many foreign and local investments operate, among them the San Miguel Brewery plant that is also located in barangay Darong. It is also the site of Franklin Bakers Company, a plant that produces dessicated, processed and value added coconut products for export to the US. (PNA)

DTI Davao eyes development of Sasa Wharf as key tourism destination

July 22, 2010

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Davao is looking at developing the Sasa Wharf as key tourism destination in the region.Trade Undersecretary Merly Cruz said Sasa Wharf was one of the areas in the city where tourists and businessmen were taking banca rides in going to the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte; and Mati City in Davao Oriental.

Cruz said DTI also planned to put up a port of international standards in Samal as part of the tourism corridor being developed in the Davao Region.

“What we are looking at is the establishment of a gantry crane and a passenger terminal that will be at par with international standards,” she said.

A fast craft now traverses the route between Davao City and the town of Lupon, Davao Oriental, shortening the travel time between the two destinations to one hour from a previous three-hour travel time.

“This is in line with our bid to showcase Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) as a single window for tourism,” Cruz said.

She said negotiations with the management of Ekran Berhad wre in its final stage, where visitors from all over Asia were expected to converge in the region once the five-star casino resort re-opens its doors. (PNA)