by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

After a 40-hour land trip from Davao to Manila, I will head a team from the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) for an early morning meeting today with Manila Mayor Francisco Moreno Domagoso to finalize the staging of the MinDA Tienda in Manila set next month.

The meeting will be as early as 6 a.m. today in the Mayor's Office as arranged by his chief of staff and former Undersecretary Cesar Chavez.

The MinDA Tienda in Manila was originally scheduled to be held at the Mehan Garden this week but it was deferred because of COVID 19 concerns.

The MinDA Tienda which was launched in Baguio City last year with the MinDA Fruit Festival in Baguio City, aims to promote and market Mindanao's products in big urban centers.

For the MinDA Tienda in Manila 2020, various products from Mindanao, including the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, will be displayed and sold at the Mehan Garden for one week.

Beyond just the staging of a MinDA Tienda, I will discuss with Mayor Moreno today the prospect of establishing an institutional relationship between MinDA and the City of Manila.

Details of this proposal will be taken up during our meeting in his office today.

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by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

The immediate economic recovery of Mindanao hinges mainly on profitable agriculture and fisheries.

With thousands of Overseas Workers coming home and millions of employees of small and medium businesses losing jobs, the only sector which could provide income earning opportunities and work is agriculture.

Here are the reasons why:

1. Profitable agriculture and aquaculture will result in the shift in investments from COVID-battered small businesses to food production;
2. Greater investments in agri and aqua sector will create millions of jobs;
3. More investments in agri and aqua sector will mean greater productivity thus ensuring food sufficiency;
4. Greater domestic productivity will boost the economy and trigger Mindanao’s economic recovery.

To achieve this, government does not have to allocate hundreds of billions for the economic recovery.

All that is needed is just to make agriculture and aquaculture profitable by:

1. Regulating the entry of imported goods and encourage local production, especially rice, meat, grains and other products;
2. Assist and support efforts by the agriculture and aquaculture sector to access both domestic and foreign markets.

By doing this, government will create millions of jobs, boost productivity and save billions in the country’s dollar reserves.

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KIDAPAWAN CITY - The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has called the heads of all Mindanao electric cooperatives to a forum in Kidapawan City Sept. 17 to discuss the energy situation in the island.

The planned assembly would either be held via a Zoom online conference or a strictly-observed safe physical distancing gathering of 29 electric cooperative heads across the island in one huge venue provided that minimum health protocols for the deterrence of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) are observed.

MinDA chair Sec. Emmanuel Piñol made the statement on Sunday, after a visit by officials of the Cotabato Electric Cooperative (Cotelco) at the former’s farmhouse at Barangay Paco here.

The planned September meeting targets to review the current energy status, performance, and projections of electric cooperatives (ECs) in consonance with the economic growth and energy requirement in Mindanao.

The same conference aims to address peculiar issues with viable to improve electric distribution services concerning the rising number of investors planning to put-up ventures in Mindanao.

MinDA, as the coordinating body of the national government for Mindanao-wide inter-regional development plans, programs, and projects, also joined hands with ECs to upgrade its capacity in providing ample power supply energy to their respective franchise areas in Mindanao.

“We will try to tap all necessary measures and approach to ensure that development will commence with enough and sufficient energy services even in the rural areas potential for agri-business and trades”, Piñol said.

Piñol said he remains optimistic that development is reachable with a planned and feasible outlook of electricity use as support to drive industries to a manageable future.

ECs are service-oriented, non-profit, and non-political entities that have the primary advocacy of providing electrification in far-flung areas of the country.

“This is a significant stance in partnering MinDA to craft necessary initiatives to realize the common goal of attaining the prosperous and well-developed Mindanao”, said Engr. Godofredo B. Homez, Cotelco general manager and concurrent chair of the Central Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperative Association (CEMRECA) in Region 12.

Homez vowed to relay the details of the initial meeting with Piñol to officials of the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperative (AMRECO) and the National Electrification Administration (NEA). AMRECO has 29 active EC members in different parts of Mindanao. (story from John Andrew Tabugoc, Philippine News Agency)

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(Photos courtesy of: Mr. Gabriel Ortigoza)

by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

As the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) honors young Filipino soldiers who fought in the Korean War 70 Years Ago, the first to come forward and be counted is our own living hero in M'lang, North Cotabato, Lt. Marcelo Ortigoza, Sr.

Lt. Ortigoza now lives with his wife, Daisy, a pianist, in a farm in Dugong, Mlang where he turned to farming after his retirement from the Armed Forces in 1981.

Returning home from Korea after the war, Lt. Ortigoza was assigned to the Philippine Military Academy where he taught Tactics.

In 1972 he was assigned in Awang until his retirement in 1981.

Now 92, Lt. Ortigoza remains sprite and physically fit and is a proud father to three children, Marcelo, Jr., a journalist based in Pangasinan, Gabriel, himself a former PMA instructor and now nurse in California and Sadie who is also a nurse based in Sacramento, California.

The Mindanao Development Authority salutes Lt. Marcelo Ortigoza Sr. and honors him as a living hero of Mindanao!

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by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

Butuan City - The province of Agusan del Norte has joined the Mindanao Sorghum Development Program initiated by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) with a committed production area of about 5,000 hectares.

Agusan del Norte Governor Dale Corvera along with several town mayors of the province met with MinDA officials Wednesday night following a day-long orientation program on Sorghum farming conducted by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist with the support of the Department of Agriculture in Caraga Region.

The orientation was attended by tribal leaders and farmers groups from the different towns of the province.

The Mindanao Sorghum Development Program is pat of the initiatives of MinDA to produce sufficient feed materials for Poultry and Livestock in Mindanao.

Sorghum is being introduced as a complementary crop to corn which is produced only twice a year in many parts of Mindanao.

The sufficient supply of feed grains for the feed millers of Mindanao is expected to result in lower feed costs and in the process lower production cost for poultry and livestock growers to make them competitive with imported chicken and pork.

Corvera said he is convinced that Sorghum could provide additional income earning opportunities for the farmers in his province known for rich and fertile soil.

MinDA will engage big and small local feed mill companies and corporations to enter into a marketing agreement with the farmers groups who will grow Sorghum.

Among the corporations interested to buy Sorghum for their feed formulation are the Aboitiz-owned PILMICO, the CP Foods Philippines and San Miguel Corporation.

Other smaller and independent feed millers have also signified interest in joining the Sorghum Development Program.

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