Closing the Loop between Sanitation, Disaster Resiliency and Food Security for the ‘Base of the Pyramid’

A local foundation based in the boondocks of Mindanao was awarded the 2011 Raanan Weitz International Competition on Integrated Development Projects in Israel.  
Elmer Sayre and his sonJed Christian Sayre of the Water, Agroforestry, Nutrition and Development (WAND) Foundation based in Libertad, Misamis Oriental received the award at the Weitz Center for Development Studies in Rehovot, Israel on December 19.  
“The design of the project focuses on ecological sanitation and the prevention of the spread of diseases, including the conservation of water, minimizing pollution and conservation of valuable fertilizer,” said Elmer Sayre.  

WAND Foundation is a local NGO that promotes social development via ecological sanitation (EcoSan), by addressing climate change and extreme poverty through sanitation, food security and biodiversity improvement.
 Elmer Sayre, WAND in-house consultant, said the project aims to address the sanitation needs of the “base of the pyramid” (BoP): households too poor to buy their own toilets, those in remote areas not reached by government services, those with inadequate or no access to clean potable water, and those in conflict and/or disaster-hit areas.
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Region 10 statistics show a slow uptake in this regard especially in the rural areas where the proportion of the population using improved sanitation facilities over the last decade hardly approached the target reduction of 50 percent from 2000 (59%) to 2008 (69%).
Present sanitation systems based on the flush-pour toilet as the main technology operate on the premise that human wastes are better off disposed. But it is not effective in areas where there is no water or where septage is difficult to build as in slums or flooded zones.
EcoSan has addressed sanitation issues in a sustainable manner by using dry or waterless toilets and recycling and reusing nutrients in human wastes in a hygienic way rather than disposing them where they can contaminate groundwater aquifers, rivers and seas.
Mr. Sayre startedEcoSan in 2007 when the concept of “closing the loop” was first introduced to him by Peter Wychodil of the German Doctors for Developing Countries. He gained more knowledge from Ulrike Lipkow, GTZ adviser to an ecosan project in the Visayas, and Dr. Robert J. Holmer of the Peri-Urban Vegetable Project in Cagayan de Oro City.

Elmer Sayre & WAND Foundation, designed a wateless toilet that closes the loop between sanitation & food security.

 In 2008, WAND built some 17 double-vault ecosan toilets with fund support from the German Doctors for Developing Countries. Most of these were located in elementary schools in the Misamis Oriental towns of Initao, Libertad and Manticao.
 But the P28, 000 cost of the double vault model was too expensive for its target users. In 2009, Mr. Sayre won a research grant from the Science and Technology Innovations for the Base of the Pyramid in Southeast Asia (iBoP-Asia) to explore alternatives to the double-vault model.
Now four EcoSan models are available from the hanging ecosan toilet for coastal communities; lightweight, mobile arborloo toilets for mountain areas; single-vault ecosan toilets suitable for households and deployment during conflicts or calamities; and urinals (EcoPees).
 Mr. Sayre’s custom-designs dry toilets that can be used by those living in urban slums, uplands, marshy areas, river settlements and coastal areas (flood-prone areas), and dry toilets for persons with disabilities and young children.
 The designs were executed at the WAND demonstration area in Libertad and pilot-tested in Barrio Tuod in Manticao municipality, Barrio Oguis in Initao and a coastal area in Initao municipality.
Michael Brown, project manager of the Floating Community Waste Management Project in Cambodia, noted the high acceptance rate of ecosan in the primary school, beachside and mountain communities where it was piloted. Brown is a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Engineer by profession, and is also affiliated with Live & Learn Environmental Education, and Engineers Without Borders, Australia.
“Every user of the ecosan toilet was very happy with the toilet and spoke very positively about their experience with it,” Brown noted.
Local beneficiaries, who were mostly poor farmers and fishermen, were able to use, manage and take good care of the pilot units with little fuss.
Most of the materials used in the designs were indigenous materials like bamboo, coconut palm fronds, wooden poles, gmelina wood and rattan baskets. Recycled drums, containers, black plastic sheets and heavy-duty Manila hemp sacks were sourced from a junk store in Cagayan de Oro.
The design of the dual chamber ecosan and hanging toilet for beach communities was very innovative, and made excellent use of local materials and skills for construction, noted Mr. Brown.
 “The special ecosan bowl is produced by our local masons,” Mr. Sayre said. “The result is a much cheaper ecosan toilet.”
“Some of the biggest obstacles facing the ecosan design are misconceptions about the smell and dirtiness of the toilet,” Mr. Brown noted. “WAND has done an excellent job educating the communities on the use of the toilets and the ecosan process, and users were happy to have the ecosan toilets in their homes, which in my experience is very challenging.”
With proceeds of a grant from Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE), an initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, WAND is conducted an innovative global health and development research project entitled Ecological Sanitation for the Base of the Pyramid.

The WAND Foundation & Samaritan’s Purse teamed up to sponsor gardens in bunkhouse communities around Tacloban, Leyte.

 
GCE funds scientists and researchers worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold on persistent global health and development challenges.
To win the grant, Sayre had to demonstrate the viability and potential impact of EcoSan to address pressing issues in sanitation and family health technologies, one of five critical global heath and development areas.
“These grants are meant to spur new discoveries that could ultimately save millions of lives,” said Chris
Wilson, director of Global Health Discovery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
These ecological sanitation initiatives aim to help those at BoP by making available much needed fertilizer for plants to improve nutrition, income and biodiversity; prevent the spread of diseases due to open defecation; and prevent contamination of the water table and water sources.  
When Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) ran amok in Southern Philippines in November 2013, WAND was one of the first NGOs in the disaster areas, training survivors to plant their own gardens and become self-sufficient.
Typhoon Haiyan caused over 5,000 fatalities and displaced some 4 million Filipinos, and affected 14-16 million more, according to the Government of the Philippine’s Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC).
With donations from all over the world, the WAND Foundation trained 120 survivors/trainees in Ormoc City, Leyte, with trainees required to train their neighbors back home.
The core training was led by WAND staff, Annie Jane Lagawan, who undertook a 9 month Rural Leaders Training Program at the Asian Rural Institute in Japan. Training included active labor and theory that familiarized trainees with concepts as plant growth, agronomic requirements, organic fertilizer, soil conditioners, vegetable harvesting techniques, vegetable planning and budgeting and preservation of vegetables.
Apart from training survivors with gardening and harvesting knowledge, Lagawan set forth ARI’s philosophy called Enrichment of Foodlife, an ideology that encouraged the ‘value of producing and sharing healthy food in a manner sustainable to the environment and to the community, through the cooperative efforts of the community’.
With the aid of private donors, the food resiliency program implemented by WAND provided displaced households with proper farming training, vegetables seeds, garden materials and garden tools, helping over 440 families, with each of the original participant trainee reaching out to 3-4 other families in Leyte. This has allowed bunk-house residents to raise crops in small family plots, communal gardens and in containers when space became an issue.
Now, previously idle lands have developed into lush gardens yieldingpotatoes, kangkong,
onions, peppers, okra and squash. Families with a surplus of vegetables are able to generate extra income.

With gardening, WAND, has not only provided survivors with a source of sustainable nutrition and income but has also built a sense of community. People share what they have planted and gardens have become a communal point of conversation, meeting and work. As a tool of therapy, harvesting, has helped millions of people cope with the misfortunes and hardships in life, germinating seedlings of hope. URL: https://www.wordsinthebucket.com/philippines-post-haiyan-gardening-tool-social-impact
Samaritan’s Purse, an international nonprofit based in North Carolina, partnered with WAND to scale up Sayre’s attempts to provide toilets to neighborhoods at risk for contaminating fresh water sources and to provide tools for the gardens.
Sayre provided the design for an efficient toilet and Samaritan’s Purse provided the resources and hired Filipinos in the disaster area to produce donated bathrooms, said program director Gavin Gramstad.
Toilets made by WAND and Samaritan’s Purse are made through sweat equity. Families are provided assistance and materials but must build the toilet themselves.
“He is so tied into the community. Elmer says exactly what the needs are and how to address them directly,” said Yen Pham, a 2009 UCLA alumna who worked with Samaritan’s Purse in Tacloban.
The toilets are crucial to keeping illnesses like cholera out of communities that are already very vulnerable to infectious disease, Sayre said.
Samaritan’s Purse outfitted four municipalities with Sayre’s septic tank and bowl designs so that the towns were completely free of raw sewage by 2016. The whole process requires 10,000 donated toilets.
Samaritan’s Purse enrolls every recipient of a toilet in a class on the role of proper sanitation in water-borne illnesses like cholera that can devastate communities in the Philippines.
For now, the people who have learned to garden from WAND’s trainings are reaping the rewards of their newfound green thumbs. With harvests once or twice a month, people have plenty of vegetables to eat, and enough left over to sell sometimes, Sayre said.
Already, the Eco-San project has taken wings and diversified into organic agriculture with the next generation.
Jed Christian Sayre, Elmer’s son, was awarded a grant from The Pollination Projecton May 21, 2016 for his Philippines Heirloom Vegetable Seeds Project, which sought to restore essential micronutrients lost by Typhoon Haiyan’s destructive passage in the town of town of Albuera, Leyte.
Jed recognized the importance of vegetable farming to help bridge this gap and thus created the Philippines Heirloom Vegetable Seeds Project, providing open pollinated high-valued vegetable seeds to 750 youth backyard gardeners. While the project addressed food security and nutrition, it also provides economic security for its participants. URL: https://thepollinationproject.org/grants-awarded/jed-christian-sayre-philippines-heirloom-vegetable-seeds-project/
Two years later, it was Elmer’s wife Cora to be selected as one of GlobalGiving’s ten 2018 Disaster Feedback Fellows from community-based nonprofits spent who spent one week in Washington, D.C., in early October 2018 learning from each other, promoting their disaster recovery projects to peers and funders, and speaking at and attending the 2018 Feedback Summit.
The Disaster Recovery Network at GlobalGiving funded the fellowship to foster collaboration and community feedback in disaster recovery projects around the world.
“There is no more crucial time to foster this exchange than now, as disasters are increasing in frequency and severity around the world,” said Britt Lake, GlobalGiving’s Chief Program Officer and the Director of the Disaster Recovery Network, which pioneers a model of effective, community-led relief and recovery through locally focused grants, information exchange, and training programs.
During the Feedback Summit, fellows shared the innovative ways they collect feedback from the people they serve and learned new ways to integrate feedback into their everyday work.
“I am very greatly honored to be chosen as one of the fellows. I’ve learned so much, especially about interventions other NGOs use,” said Cora who co-founded WAND with Elmer in 2008. https://www.globalgiving.org/learn/2018-fellow-cora-sayre/?rf=cm
Cora has seen the increasing intensity of typhoons over the last decade—and made it her life’s mission to help rural farming communities in the Philippines become more resilient to devastating disasters and volatile economic conditions.
“Both of us were born poor,” she said, “and it kindled a desire in our hearts to really uplift ourselves and help other people who are like us to gain their voice and be active partners in their development.”
The destructive power of typhoons in the Philippines has intensified by 50% in the past 40 years due to warming seas, according to a North Carolina at Chapel Hill study.
As a resident of rural Philippines, she noticed major gaps in disaster recovery services after Typhoon Haiyan. WAND filled the gaps, bringing water and sanitation solutions, as well as food security programs, to remote villages. Because they’re based in the Philippines, they’re able to provide long-term support.
Building community resilience to disaster, Cora explained, doesn’t happen in a matter of days or months. It takes decades.
“It’s not only about tree planting,” she said, using one of WAND’s Typhoon Haiyan projects as an example. “It’s about tree growing. You have to monitor the trees you planted to make sure they grow.”
Reforestation is important, Cora said, but the people WAND collaborates are the real key to disaster resilience.

“Before, the rural folks used to only be on the sidelines, but now because of our engagement, training, and partnering, some of them have become village leaders and counselors. Women are involved in cooperatives. They are now agents and stakeholders in their communities.”

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Laguindingan Airport Expansion ready for RDC-X Full Council nod

Aboitiz InfraCapital’s Vision for Proposed Laguindingan Airport Check In Area by 2022 (courtesy of AIC)

The proposal to Upgrade, Expand, Operate and Maintain the Laguindingan Airport has been endorsed to the full council of the Regional Development Council of Region X for its endorsement to the National Economic Development Authority Investment Coordinating Council (NEDA-ICC).

If approved, the proposal will be endorsed by the NEDA-ICC to the NEDA Board headed by President Rodrigo Duterte which will trigger the Swiss Challenge process for the final selection of the winning proponent.

The unsolicited proposal from Aboitiz Infrastructure Corporation (AIC) was favorably endorsed by both the Municipal Development Council of Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental last February 14, 2020 and the Provincial Development Council of Misamis Oriental last February 21, 2020.

“Northern Mindanao has already endorsed the Laguindingan airport expansion project to the NEDA Board as a high priority project and hopefully within the year, government will be able to undertake the Swiss Challenge process because they know how urgent it is,” said NEDA-X Regional Director Mylah Faye B. Cariño.

“However, the time would ultimately depend on the number of companies which take up the Swiss Challenge and how viable the proposals the submit would be,” she added.

Not the least, the RDC-X Infrastructure & Utilities Development Committee favorably endorsed the proposal for the approval to the full council meeting scheduled in the middle of this March. RDC-X is chaired by Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano and co-chaired by Engr. Modesto Babaylan.

The Laguindingan Airport Project will be implemented by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and will involve the upgrade, operations and maintenance, and future expansion of the Laguindingan Airport. The project aims to address the Laguindingan Airport’s existing capacity constraint issue and accommodate air traffic growth.

AIC Vision for Proposed Laguindingan Airport External Airside View by 2022
(courtesy of AIC)

Regional Gateway

AIC said the Laguindingan Airport is a strategic entry point into Northern Mindanao which has experienced tremendous growth over the past years and is progressively catching up with the more developed parts of the country.

“As a regional airport serving Northern Mindanao and its adjacent regions, CGY/RPMY has been serving six provinces, two highly urbanized cities and five component cities with an average of two million passengers annually for the last three (3) years,” said Ma. Teresa R. Alegrio, vice president for Mindanao of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), which has been instrumental in pushing for the airport’s immediate expansion.

 “Laguindingan Airport has become an important logistic network for over 150 medium to large scale industries including four major thermal power plants, the Agus-Pulangi Hydroelectric Complex. 3 industrial parks, and emerging tourism destinations,” Alegrio noted.

AIC Vision 2022

Last February 26, 2019 the CAAP granted AIC original proponent status (OPS) for its unsolicited proposal to upgrade, expand, operate, and maintain the Laguindingan Airport for a 35-year concession period.

The unsolicited P42.70-Billion project has been proposed by AIC under the Operate-Add-Transfer (OAT) PPP structure with a cooperation period of 35 years. https://ppp.gov.ph/ppp_projects/upgrade-expansionoperations-and-maintenance-of-laguindingan-airport/

“Our proposal to the national government is to run the Laguindingan International Airport including operations, maintenance, rehabilitation, and expansion over a 35-year concession,” said Jose Emmanuel P. Reverente, vice president of Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. (AIC).

“Our plan is to spend initially P4.2 billion pesos to expand the airport; and a total of P43-billion pesos over the concession period half for repairs/capital expenditure and the other half to maintain a high state of readiness of the capital assets,” he added.

Immediate Expansion

Reverente said the first phase of their plan calls for the immediate expansion of the terminal building.

“It is not in our best interests to construct it over a long period of time. We will want to finish it as soon as possible, so we can have that capacity readily available. We prefer to build it in phases. An integrated PPP approach that allows us to build and operate the airport is the right combination so the P43-billion we would like to invest into the expansion and maintenance,” he said.

It’s one thing to build the infrastructure but another thing to maintain its operational readiness over the entire concession period, he stressed.

“For the first phase we plan to expand the existing terminal left and right to increase capacity to about 4 million passengers per year.  After initial expansion, passenger boarding bridges will be expanded to 5 from the present 3,” Reverente said.

“Even without international flights and larger airplanes, the passenger terminal is not big enough, so our first task is to expand the passenger terminal. We believe building the terminal first to accommodate the projected passenger traffic over the short term is the better use of capital at the start. When there are more passengers coming through the airport, then the next step is to extend the runway to accept larger aircraft which normally are required to fly longer distances.”

Ultimate master plan will expand airport terminal to be able to accommodate up to 20 aircraft at any given time.

 “Pre-departure and arrival areas, includes digital signage so check in counters are flexible and can be expanded or reduced depending on the number of flight departures for any given airline at any given time to expedite check in process.”

Aboitiz InfraCapital (AIC) Rendering of Expanded Laguindingan Airport Pre-Departure Area by 2022
(courtesy of AIC)

Government Budget

For 2019, P90-million was allocated for the expansion of the terminal building most of which was used to repair dilapidated facilities of the terminal building. For 2020, P100-million has been approved for either the expansion of the terminal building and extension of the runway.

DOTr Sec. Arthur Tugade announced last July 15, 2019 the proposed extension of the 2.1-kilometer runway to 2.4 or 2.5 kilometers is proceeding as planned.

DOTr will reportedly utilize the P100 million to start detailed engineering works and much needed repairs on the Laguindingan Airport as part of the P2.9 billion augmentation budget to fund its priority projects.

“While we appreciate the P90M Congressional Initiative Fund restored by Rep. Juliette Uy, this amount is barely enough to refurbish the dilapidated areas including the poorly designed comfort rooms and malfunctioning elevators,” said Engr. Elpidio M. Paras, president of Promote Northmin Inc.

“Government should now fast track the entry of private sector companies to expand and improve all the facilities of Laguindingan so that it can already accommodate direct flights from regional and international destinations, including lengthening the runway to meet wide body jet aircraft,” he added.

Passenger Traffic Growth

When it started operations in 15 June 2013, air passenger traffic at the Cagayan de Oro Lumbia Airport that Laguindingan Airport was designed to replace had already exceeded the 1.6 million design capacity of the new passenger terminal building (PTB).

When the passenger traffic exceeded 2 million annual passengers last year, the need for a larger terminal that could accommodate the current and expected passenger volume over the medium term became urgent and critical.

On a year-on-year basis alone, the CAAP figures for the past 10 years show passenger traffic increasing at an annual rate of 8.7% from 902,133 in 2008 at the Cagayan de Oro Lumbia Airport to 2,079,683in 2018 at the Laguindingan Airport (doubling passenger volume every 8.5 years.)

Recent growth in air cargo traffic was even more impressive, soaring 44% from 2017 to 25,366 metric tons (MT).

The 11% increase in the number of flights from 2017 to 2018 (17,478 aircraft takeoffs and landings) was mainly responsible for the meteoric rise in both passenger and cargo movements.

Rising Cargo Traffic

The runway extension is also expected to address the recent growth in air cargo traffic which soared 44% from 2017 to 25,366 metric tons (MT) in 2018.

Another factor expected to increase cargo traffic is the 105-hectare (ha.) Laguindingan Technopark now being constructed adjacent to the airport as part of Ayala Corporation’s Habini Bay mixed-use development covering Laguidingan and the adjacent municipality of Alubijid.

During a previous visit, executives of German logistics giant DB Schenker said such techno parks are expected to “drive massive airfreight” like what the Ayala’s Laguna Technopark did in Luzon.

“If the runway is already extended, it is even more important for us to expand the passenger terminal. Our plans also include the refurbish and expansion of the cargo terminal. We believe if the airport is run as a commercial enterprise, we will be able to respond much more swiftly to changes in the economic environment without having to go through a multi-year NEDA process,” Reverente noted.  

“As a private enterprise, Aboitiz will help market Northern Mindanao as a destination globally to assist marketing efforts of Dept of Tourism, DTI and other government agencies increase passenger and cargo traffic to Laguindingan Airport,” he added.

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Media Wise wins Gold and Platinum at 55th Anvil Awards

Jones Campos, Rey Albert Fuentes,Ramoncito Ocampo Cruz, Atty. Christmas Joy
at the 55th Anvil Awards.

Media Wise Communications / Muse Books raced out into 2020 with a rare repeat of last year’s trophy haul with a gold and a platinum at the 55thAnvil Awards held at the historic Manila Hotel on February 28, 2020.

The gold and platinum Anvils were for the coffee-table book The Manila Jockey Club: The Front Runner that Media Wise produced for the Manila Jockey Club, Inc. for its 150th anniversary.

The Platinum Anvil, the rarest and most coveted of the Anvils, is given only to the cream of the year’s crop of Gold Anvil awardees.

Normally, just one or two are given by the awards body per year out of hundreds of entries. Media Wise’s platinum last year was for the award-winning coffee-table-book On the March: The Jesuits in the Philippines Since the Restoration.

The Front Runner chronicles the evolution of horse racing in the Philippines, as embodied in the 150-year history of the Manila Jockey Club. It celebrates a century and a half of local horse-racing history, nostalgia, and excitement.

The Front Runner captures in insightful text and beautiful images MJC’s run through Philippine history from being the favored pastime sport of the social elite more than 150 years ago to being the enduring, thrill-a-second populist sport that it is today.

Within its 300 pages, the book takes the reader through the history of horse racing in the Philippines, through two wars—the Philippine Revolution and World War II—and through the historic transfer of the hippodrome from San Lazaro, Manila to the modern race tracks of the newly built San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite.

The Anvil Awards are given annually by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines to the best public-relations programs and individual practitioners of the year.

The Gold and Anvil trophies won by The Front Runner
at the 55th Anvil Awards.

Media Wise’s The Front Runner bagged the Platinum Anvil in the PR Tools Publications category. Although a boutique publication house, Media Wise has won many awards in PR and publications from various prestigious award-giving bodies locally and abroad.

Manila Jockey Club president Alfonso Reyno III and Media Wise president Ramoncito Ocampo Cruz, together with their respective teams, received the gold and platinum trophies at this year’s Anvil awarding ceremonies.

 “No such chronicle of horse-racing history has been produced before,” noted Attorney Reyno III. “The book captures the essence of how horse racing was born and kept alive in the Philippines over the course of 150 years, and how MJC played a central role in all that.”

The MJC book-project team led by MJC Director, Corporate Counsel & General Counsel, Atty. Ferdinand. A Domingo, MJC COO and VP for resource administration Attorney Peter G. Zagala, MJC VP for marketing Eduardo Ramirez de Arellano and MJC VP for MIS Carlos S. Tan.

Ocampo Cruz, the CEO and executive/creative director of Media Wise Communications, a many-time winner of the prestigious Anvil and Quill publication awards, said that producing The Front Runner showed how MJC “has evolved over time, and how it continues to innovate and gallop toward a rosier future through bold business strategies and strategic partnerships.”

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PAASCU grants Institutional Accreditation & Level IV Core Programs to Xavier Ateneo

The Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU) has granted Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan with an Institutional Accreditation for the first time ever.

Xavier Ateneo president Fr Roberto C. Yap SJ, shared the notification from the PAASCU board of directors to the XU community on in his memo, dated Friday, February 28.

“Institutional Accreditation is the highest certification that can be given to an educational institution. The distinction was granted based on Xavier Ateneo’s accomplishments and compliance with the five major criteria set by the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines,” Yap noted.

The major criteria for PAASCU Institutional Accreditation include the following:

1. The Arts and Sciences, Business, and Education programs should have been granted at least Level III re-accredited status; 
2. 75% of the program offerings should be accredited; 
3. Majority of the total student population should be enrolled in the accredited programs; 
4. The performance of its graduates in the licensure examination should be at par with or above the national passing rate for at least two years; and,   
5. The Higher Education Institution should have well-developed internal quality assurance mechanisms that include strong research and linkages, instruction process, and community service programs.

Yap said that PAASCU renewed the Level IV Accreditation to Xavier Ateneo’s core programs: Arts and Sciences (College of Arts and Sciences), Elementary and Secondary Education (School of Education), and Business Administration and Accountancy (School of Business and Management).

The validity of the accreditation for the core programs is until May 2024.

“Institutional and Level IV Accreditation are affirmations that at Xavier Ateneo, we truly Experience Excellence! We rejoice at this accomplishment, AMDG,” he added.

PAASCU is authorized by the Commission on Higher Education to certify the levels of accredited programs in educational institutions. Accreditation translates to the granting of progressive deregulation and other benefits.∎

Alegrio heads PCCI Mindanao as Area VP

Ma. Teresa Rillo-Alegrio

Former Oro Chamber Secretary-General and President Ma. Teresa R. Alegrio has been elected Area Vice President for Mindanao of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the country’s largest business organization.

Alegrio is currently the Head of the Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Relations Dept. of STEAG State Power Inc. at Villanueva, Misamis Oriental. She is also the Vice Chair in the Board of Trustees of  Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan  . 

Alegrio holds the distinction of being the first Secretary-General of the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. (Oro Chamber) to become its President, and prior to her election as PCCI AVP for Mindanao, also served as the PCCI Regional Governor for Region X (Northern Mindanao from 2018-2019. 

She will serve as part of the 20-member board of directors under former ambassador Benedicto Yujuico who was unanimously elected PCCI president during the PCCI annual meeting on December 6, 2019.

Alegrio said she would focus on supporting Yujuico’s focus on entrepreneurship and innovation as essential catalysts to supercharge the Philippine economy in the coming years, and projects to assist local government units implement smart city technologies to improve efficiency and reduce corruption.

The Oro Chamber and PCCI-X under Alegrio’s stewardship has been instrumental in pushing for the soonest implementation of the  proposal to Upgrade, Expand, Operate and Maintain the Laguindingan Airport of Aboitiz Infrastructure Inc. (AIC). 

More recently, Alegrio met with PCCI affiliate chambers of  Southwestern  Mindanao  to organize the 29th Mindanao Business  Conference.  

“PCCI is also finalizing a MOA with the Anti Red Tape Authority (ARTA) that will put up a desk in the regional chambers of Mindanao. Hopefully, we can have a MOA signing within this month.  

Alegrio met with officials of the National Economic and Development Authority-Region X and Department of the Interior and Local Government-Region X on 24 January 2020 at Cagayan de Oro to discuss ways to further strengthen collaboration and partnership in leveraging resources from the business sector through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds.

The meeting focused on how government, the business sector, and civil society organizations could best synergize and sustain efforts and resources to operationalize Executive Order  No. 70 (Whole-of-Nation Approach) in attaining lasting peace and inclusive development in the region.

NEDA-X generated information from the business sector on their CSR-funded activities in the region for CY 2020, which will be targeted to communities under the convergence areas for peace and development (CAPDev) program.

PCCI and the companies representing the energy sector, recommended to the Regional Development Council-X the need to review the provisions of Energy Regulation No. 1-94 to consider aligning its policy with EO 70 on making funds available for priority focus areas besides the host communities stipulated in I-94. 

ER 1-94 program is a policy under the Department of Energy Act of 1992 and the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, which stipulates that host communities are entitled to a share of one centavo for every kilowatt-hour (Php 0.01 / kWh) sold by power generation plants operating in their area.


The group agreed to make this undertaking a continuing engagement, to be institutionalized in the RDC-X through quarterly RDC-X private sector representatives meetings and with the appropriate Lines of Efforts /Task Groups.

Other members of the newly elected directors of PCCI include : Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr., Ma. Alegria Limjoco, Menardo Jimenez, Alfredo Yao, Francis Chua, Edgardo Lacson, Roberto Amores, Jose Leviste, Apolinar Aure, Edgard Sia II, Dennis Uy, Michael Chen, Felino Palafox Jr., Jeffrey Ng, Delia Jimenez (NCR), Gregoria Simbulan (North Luzon), Clarine Tobias (South Luzon), and Samuel Chioson (Visayas).

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