The 5th RAFI Triennial Awards book is
a compilation of stories featuring the top 10 – five for the
Individual category and five for the Institutional category – finalist
of the fifth run of the awards program.
The book is a documentation of
inspiring stories of hope of people and institutions "going the extra
mile" for positive change, as well as best practices in community
The articles written for the special
publication provided an in-depth narration of the works of the
finalists – what motivated them to undertake community development
work, what they do for their communities and their impact, what
strategies they implemented, what challenges they faced, and how they
The publication of the book was also to acknowledge the finalists'
efforts and affirm their contribution to create positive change in
their respective localities in the Visayas and Mindanao.
The book also sought to show appreciation and continue inspiring
people who were in many ways involved in the search process.
The RAFI Triennial Awards is conferred every three years to honor
those men, women, and organizations, who, through their efforts and
selfless commitment bring about change in the lives of the
less-privileged in various groups and communities in the Philippines.
RAFI is now accepting nominations for the 6th RAFI Triennial Awards
for the Ramon Aboitiz Award for Exemplary Individual and the Eduardo
Aboitiz Award for Outstanding Institution.
On-line nomination forms can be accessed through RAFI’s website at
Nominations are also accepted from government agencies, non-government
organizations, people’s organizations, civil society, academe, and the
business sector. Self-nomination is discouraged.
The Anvil Awards is given yearly by the Public Relations Society of
the Philippines in recognition of outstanding public relations
programs and tools designed and implemented in the past year. In its
48th run, Anvil gathered 396 entries nationwide, surpassing last
year's count of 283.
A new Tacloban
rises in Eastern Visayas
By DAVID STA. MARIA
March 7, 2013
TACLOBAN CITY – This is not
your grandfather’s Tacloban. Since the plebiscite in December of 2008
firming it up as a Highly Urbanized City, the Leyte capital has been
on a solid track to progress. The Region 8 hub city, led by its mayor
Alfred Francis Romualdez, is aggressive in showing that Tacloban and
its locals are ready and serious about business.
The city has been ranked 4th by the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)
in terms of deposit, hitting the P42B mark, as of last year, with
various commercial banks present in the locality and continuously
expanding their operations. The construction industry noted a building
boom in the city, especially in its key locations for the past four
years. Mayor Romualdez further stated in his address to the city, that
these constructions and renovations are indicative of a growing
interest in opening businesses in Tacloban. The city government
reported a steady 1000 new businesses being registered and started
annually since 2009, as the locals cope with the transition from a
quiet town to the bustling regional center of commerce it aims to be.
Three state universities (University of the Philippines, Leyte Normal
University and Eastern Visayas State University) have established
full-functioning facilities and campuses within the city, providing a
capable and competent work force for emerging businesses and
Daily flights in and out of Tacloban is up to 13 and rises to as much
as 17 flights on peak season, with the local attention shifting from
tourism to business and investments.
A testament to the vibrancy of local commerce, retail activity has
picked up. Retail giants Gaisano Malls and Robinson’s Malls have both
seen the opportunities the city offers businesswise, and responded
with the establishment of their own outlets in the City, Gaisano with
2 properties, and Robinson’s gearing to expand to another facility.
Local business people and chambers of commerce attribute the boost in
development and progress largely to the administration of Romualdez,
under whose leadership, City Hall services were optimized. This
involved streamlining processes involving business registration,
revenue collection, and back office efficiency issues.
Romualdez has taken aggressive steps, pushing for the development of
Tacloban, including advocating its transition to HUC. This gave the
city autonomy to create policies for itself, positioning it now as the
region’s capital. Because of this, real estate has valuated after
being pinned in its value for roughly 20 years.
Also uncommon, but key to the optimization of city services, is the
city executive’s decision to stop taking on consultants for essential
services. The city now hires full time professionals, such as doctors,
ensuring cost efficiency for the city, and also guaranteeing services
for the people whenever it is needed.
With a more streamlined City Hall, massive bank deposits and a
prospect of booming business, Tacloban is poised to take the forefront
in new businesses for the next few years.
teamwork of a group of youth leaders were put to test in Tire
Ball, one of the initiative games introduced by KAC to this
year's AYLC delegates.
By Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.
February 19, 2013
CEBU CITY – Eighty-one
selected youth leaders from around the Philippines learned more about
developing leadership skills and attitude and setting and achieving
goals through the activities facilitated by the Kool Adventure Camp (KAC)
of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) during the Ayala Young Leaders
Congress (AYLC) 2013 on Feb. 5 to 8 in Alfonso, Cavite. The activities
include trust activities, initiative games, and challenge course.
The activities facilitated
by KAC promoted Playing to Win, Challenge by Choice, and Upheld Full
Value Contract. Among these activities are Trust Lean, Willow in the
Wind, Trust Run, Trust Reach, Human Pipeline, Archimedes Sponge, Tire
Ball, A-Frame, and Initiative Wall.
“I really like the way KAC
handled the outdoor challenges for the congress because it was not too
physical and there was a longer time allotted for sharing, which I
think is the most important part,” Annie Fe Perez, a student leader
from University of the Philippines Cebu College, shared.
“It was the processing that
helped me learn because I got to hear different perspective on how
they understood the activity. I like best the Initiative Wall because
it inspired me to push my batchmates and the people in my own
community and organizations to be the best that they can be,” Perez
Together with Perez, Marmie
Dyan Deniega of University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) and Rhyle
Clifford Sayat of the University of San Carlos (USC) compose Cebu’s
delegation to AYLC.
“One has to use more than
one leadership style to be able to successfully lead an organization
because as a leader you not only lead but also manage your group, and
to succeed as a manager, one has to be adaptive to different
personalities and leadership styles of the people in your team,” Sayat
spoke of his insights on leadership.
With this year’s congress
theme, “The Leadership Imperative: Confronting and Adapting to
Changing Realities,” AYLC also marked its 15th year of putting
together a national youth leadership conference.
AYLC is the Ayala Group’s
commitment to national development. It is the keystone of “Shaping
Tomorrow’s Leaders”, the youth leadership development program launched
in 1998 by the Ayala group of companies.
The four-day leadership
congress featured outdoor activities facilitated by KAC, plenary
sessions; workshop group discussions and talks moderated by Cheche
Lazaro, editor-at-large of Rappler.com.
Speakers who tackled on
overcoming challenges despite changing realities were Ramon del
Rosario, president and CEO of Phinma Corporation; Christian Monsod,
former chairman of the Commission on Elections; and Sister Eva Maamo
SPC, president of the Foundation of our Lady of Peace Mission Inc.
The participants also had
the chance to interact with well-known and highly respected leaders
from the government, civil society, business, arts, media, and
KAC has been offering
adventure education programs on leadership and team development for
youth and professionals for the last decade. It is currently building
the Philippines’ first fully dedicated adventure education center,
which is set to open in early 2013. For more information on KAC and
its services, contact 418-7234 local 407 and look for Althea Santillan,
or visit www.rafi.org.ph/kac-professional or www.facebook.com/rafi.org.ph.
Leyte lady farmer
is 2nd most outstanding farmer of PHL in 2012
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
February 19, 2013
PALO, Leyte – The Food and
Agricultural Organization of the United Nations say that “If women
farmers have same access to tools and opportunities as men, they will
produce more food for their families, and the world.”
This was proven true by Lady
Farmer Ditas dela Peña of Barangay Anahaway, Palo, Leyte who was
recently awarded as the second Outstanding Farmer of the Philippines (TOFARM)
in 2012 besting 111 other farmers from the different parts of the
All these years, Ditas, 52
years old who is also a village chief, has fused hard work and
innovative ideas to respond to her family circumstances and shifts in
consumer demand and market conditions.
She received a silver plaque
and P25,000 for her achievement last January 24 at the Raffles Hotel
in Makati City from the TOFARM, a search undertaken by the Junior
Chamber International Philippines (JCIP) in cooperation with Universal
Harvester, Inc. to recognize the resilience, ingenuity, and strength
of the Filipino farmers as backbones of the society.
For Barangay Chairperson
Ditas, “Being one of the finalists was already a great honor for me
considering the number of exceptional farmers we have in the country.”
She expressed her gratitude
to the Tacloban Jaycees through President Onie Balintong, the Leyte
Provincial Agriculture Office through provincial agriculturist Rogelio
Portula and the Municipal Government of Palo through Mayor Matin
“Without their support, I
would not be able to join the national search,” she said.
Ditas was recognized for her
efforts in preserving the bio-diversity through recycling farm and
animal wastes into usable organic fertilizers, adoption of integrated
farming system which provides good income and opportunities for
expansion and replication, quality and market-driven farm products,
benefit to community where neighbors earn their keep by working in her
farm and impact to the agriculture sector which has inspired other
farmers to join the farming industry.
She personally manages her
24-hectare farm grown and planted with rice, high value vegetables and
fruit crops ranging from lettuce, pechay, eggplant, cucumber, kangkong,
ampalaya, sweet and hot pepper, beans, alugbati, sweet corn,
watermelon, rootcrops, sweet corn, papaya, among others.
Moreover, fruit trees such
as jackfruit, pomelo, passion fruit, bananas, rambutan, calamansi,
guyabano, coconut, red lady papaya and many others occupy a large
portion of her farm with a nursery for asexually propagated plants.
Aside from these, she also
tends to her poultry farm where she is a contract grower of the
Genesis Broiler Chicken Farms, Inc, goat and swine production projects
as well as her soon-to-be finished fishpond.
For Ditas, farming
activities starting at 3:00 o’clock in the morning till night time
occupy much of her time 24/7.
Her valuable insights and
contributions within and outside her community are manifested by her
numerous awards and recognitions received.
Her latest achievement
included being the Valedictorian of the University on the Air High
Value Crops Production, 2012 UGMAD award as Outstanding
Farmer-Entrepreneur and Most Outstanding Irrigators Association as she
is president of the Irrigators Association in her town.
Ditas is among the women
farmers who are half of all farmers in the developing world; women
farmers who can grow 30% more food if they have access to the same
resources as men.
By helping women farmers
just like Ditas, boost their production, as FAO observed, “we could
reduce global hunger by 150 million people.”
Lake Danao as premier ecotourism destination
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
February 7, 2013
ORMOC CITY, Leyte – Lake Danao Natural Park in Ormoc City, in the province of Leyte is
projected to soon become a premier ecotourism destination in Eastern
The pronouncement was made during the launching of the updated
protected are management plan of Lake Danao spearheaded by the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources in convergence with
fully supportive stakeholders.
DENR-8 Regional Executive Director Manolito Ragub said that the plan
envisions Lake Danao Natural Park as “a climate change resilient
center of biodiversity and a premier ecotourism destination in region
8, providing clean water and sustainable livelihood, and is managed by
The Management Plan, RED Ragub said, which was crafted in 2009 was
revisited to make it more responsive to current concerns and to
include a wider participation of stakeholders in the planning process.
Noting that the previous plan promotes Lake Danao Natural Park as an
iconic ecotourism destination in Eastern Visayas, inputs such as the
Ecotourism Development Plan and the Lake Danao Site Development were
included in the Updated Plan, RED Ragub said.
Among the updates are the current physical and biodiversity data of
the park, definition of a management structure and the roles of
stakeholders, and definition of a financing mechanism for park
Moreover, the Plan ensures that climate change concerns are addressed
and management standards and guidelines are set.
The Updated Management Plan has six (6) goals, namely, biodiversity
conservation, improved quality of life, eco-tourism promotion,
sustainability of the park, informed lake users and waste management.
Ms. Lilian Madjos who represented the Department of Interior and Local
Government at the launching program, told the Lake Danao stakeholders,
particularly the community residents that the Plan will remain a plan
unless it is implemented. She committed the support of DILG to provide
capability building and empowerment through training for the immediate
stakeholders of the park.
Ormoc City Tourism Officer Ira Montehermoso informed that the local
government unit of Ormoc City has an annual budget of 5 million pesos
for infrastructure and other activities at Lake Danao Natural Park.
Facilities such as view deck and restrooms are already being completed
onsite. She appealed to the village residents to help in the
cleanliness and maintenance of these infrastructures.
Barangay Kagawad Eleazar Mistula in behalf of the residents, pledged
continued support to protect the park and towards the successful
implementation of the Updated Management Plan particularly in its
provision of livelihood opportunities for stakeholders of the park.
Also present to pledge their support for the implementation of the
Updated Management Plan were representatives of the Energy Development
Corporation (EDC), Department of Tourism, the Local Government Unit of
Ormoc City and its City Environment and Natural Resources Office, the
Local Government Unit of Barangay Lake Danao, People’s Organization
Lake Danao Farmers Association (LADFA), and some residents of the
A Protected Area declared under the National Integrated Protected
Areas System (NIPAS) of government, Lake Danao Natural Park is being
managed by a multi-sectoral Protected Area Management Board chaired by
the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
It is managed on-site by a Protected Area Superintendent (PaSu)
designated by the DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources
Office (CENRO), Albuera, Leyte.
Lake Danao is a guitar-shaped lake on the island of Leyte, Philippines
in the province of Leyte, covering an area of 148 hectares. It is
situated in the 2,193 hectares (5,420 acres) Lake Danao National Park,
which also includes the Amandiwin mountain range.
The lake is 18 kilometres northeast of Ormoc City, half an hour drive
along the San Pablo - Tongonan and Milagro - Lake Danao roads.
It was originally named "Lake Imelda" and was declared a national park
on June 2, 1972 by virtue of presidential memorandum issued by then
President Ferdinand Marcos. Later it was renamed and declared as Lake
Danao National Park on February 3, 1998 through Proclamation No. 1155
and is now protected by Republic Act No. 7586 otherwise known as the
National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS) Act of 1992.
The lake supplies potable water to at least seven towns in Eastern
Leyte including Tacloban City as well as the source of irrigation for
ricelands in some municipalities like Dagami, Burauen, Pastrana and
At 650 meters (2,130 ft) above sea level, Lake Danao lies on an
altitude similar to Tagaytay, making the area cooler than the average
Lake Danao is one the best places to go boating here in Leyte. It is
also known as “The Hunters Paradise” because many wild animals roam
its forest. Birds that are mostly hunted are hornbills, doves, and
pigeons. It is also believed that the lake is the habitat of the giant