Subanen -Philippine Flag unity
Showing posts with label News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label News. Show all posts

Philippines orders 240 Japanese train cars for first Manila subway for $556 million USD

Philippines orders 240 Japanese train cars for first Manila subway for $556 million USD


Sumitomo and JR East's $556m contract follows 2019 commuter rail deal

Philippines orders 240 Japanese train cars for first Manila subway

Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp. and an East Japan Railway unit announced Monday that they won a 57.5 billion yen ($556 million) order for train cars that will serve Manila's first-ever subway system. 

President Rodrigo Duterte's Build Build Build program highlighted the Manila's first-ever subway public transport system which idea was rejected by all previous Philippine Presidents due to their belief that subway train system could not withstand in the Philippines due to flooding issues ignoring the suggested engineering intervention that could protect the project from floods. 

Sumitomo and JR East subsidiary Japan Transport Engineering signed the contract on Dec. 15, 2020 according to the news release. The order covers 240 subway cars, with the final delivery date set for March 2027.

The subway will span 36 km and 17 stations in the Greater Manila region. The line will connect Quezon City in the north to the city of Paranaque in the south.

The subway project is the centerpiece of the "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure initiative being led by President Rodrigo Duterte's government. The Japanese government is providing foreign development assistance for the undertaking.

The contract comes on the heels of last year's order for 104 cars that will run on a north-south commuter railway serving Manila. The line is expected to fully open in 2025.

Japan Transport Engineering is making both the subway and commuter cars, which will be similar. The company owns the largest share in Japan's commuter-rail-car market.

The cars run on Tokyo rail lines operated by parent company JR East, also known as East Japan Railway. The Manila subway line will be modeled after Tokyo's subway system. Read more at Asia Nikkei

MSU-IIT ILIGAN, Siliman University Dumaguete :TOP Asian Universities QS List 2019

MSU-IIT ILIGAN, Siliman University Dumaguete :TOP Asian Universities QS List 2019
Iligan Institute of Technology of Mindanao State University (MSU-IIT) and Siliman University newly joined QS Asia's top Universities 2019 ranking

(CNN Philippines) — The Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) joined the roster of Philippine schools in the annual list of top Asian universities by United Kingdom-based group Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

MSU-IIT placed in the 451-500 bracket of the QS Asia University Rankings 2019, along with Dumaguete's Silliman University.

The University of the Philippines still led the country's universities in the rankings, rising three notches to 72nd place.

It was followed by the Ateneo de Manila University at 115th spot (down from 95th place), De La Salle University at 155th (down from 134th place), and University of Santo Tomas at 162nd (down from 145th).

University of San Carlos and Mapua University trailed, retaining their positions at 301-350 and 401-450, respectively.

The National University of Singapore regained the top spot in the region after falling to second place last year. It was followed by University of Hong Kong at second spot and Nanyang Technological University-Singapore and Tsinghua University both at third place.

Rounding up the top ten were Peking University, Fudan University, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Seoul National University.

The rankings are based on universities' academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty-student ratio, international research network, citations per paper, papers per faculty, staff with doctorate degrees, international faculty, international students, inbound exchange, and outbound exchange.

In a statement, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) lauded the eight Philippine universities and said it will soon launch a project aimed at developing public and private institutions further.

"The Commission will soon launch a project through its International Affairs Service that will assist Philippine universities to showcase their excellence to the world, promote their internationalization initiatives and increase global reputation through international benchmarking assessment of institutions using internationalization metrics," CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera III was quoted as saying.


Canadian mining firm admits wrongdoings to Gukom State of Subanon Territories in Mindanao

 Gukom sog Pito ko Dolungan (Gukom of the Seven Rivers Region)

After years of violating the human rights and customary laws of the Subanon Territory, TVI Resource Development, Inc. (TVIRDI)  a Canadian firm later then admitted to its wrongdoings in a cleaning Ceremony led by the Subanon's traditional judicial authority in Gokom State.

TVIRDI, a subsidiary of the Canadian mining firm TVI Pacific, began exploiting the resources within Mount Canatuan in 1994. However, the company never obtained the Subanon's consent to occupy the sacred mountain, which is located within the ancestral domain lands in the Subanon Territoreis, Philippines province of Zamboanga del Norte. The Subanon Authority led by Honorable Timuay Jose Boy Anoy refused to give his consent to TVIRDI, because Mount Canatuan is sacred mountain to our ancestors.

Over the years, the Subanon did everything in power to protect the mountain; but with the Philippine government being a major investor in the mine, our efforts always fell through.

In 2007, with no other options in sight, the Subanon authority in Gukom State decided to turn to the own Traditional judicial authority for help. The Traditional authority, known to the Subanon here as the Gukom sog Pito ko Dolungan (Gukom of the Seven Rivers Region), agreed to step in.

After months of deliberation, the Gukom found that TVIRDI was guilty of violating human rights and Subanon customary law. The verdict mentioned, in part: TVI's refusal to recognize Timuay (traditional leader) Jose "Boy" Anoy as the traditional leader of the Subanon in the area; damages they caused to personal property and the environment, the physical abuse of certain individuals; and their failure to obtain the Subanon's free, prior and informed consent (FPIC).

The verdict required TVIRDI to take part in a mandatory cleansing ceremony and pay fines to the Subanon for their actions.

Initially, the company would have no part of it; but, "In August 2009, after a series of consultations, Honorable Timuay Boy Anoy was formally installed by the Gukom as the legitimate Timuay in the titled ancestral domain in Canatuan. During the event, TVIRD also publicly declared their recognition of Timuay Anoy's leadership and declared its willingness to discuss ways of resolving their conflict with Timuay Anoy and his Council" the Gukom state, in a May 18 Press Release. "The act paved the way for further negotiations of the other penalties."

Two years later, on May 17, 2011, TVIRDI took part in that Ceremony.

During the Ceremony, the company finally acknowledged that Mount Canatuan is a sacred site and admitted that they were wrong for desecrating it. They also admitted to their other misdeeds and agreed to pay the fines as stipulated by the Gukom.

"Since TVIRDI admitted its fault and presented themselves to Honorable Timuay Boy Anoy whose authority they violated, the imposed penalty could be negotiated to an agreed minimum amount," explained Timuay Fernando Mudai. The fine was presented by a TVIRDI representative before the formal opening of the Boklug Ceremony.

Some may view the Ceremony--and indeed, TVIRDI's admission---as little more than a symbolic gesture; however, as Mines and Communities points out, "For the legitimate leaders who have struggled for recognition (and lost much in the process because of their anti-mining stance), this event is more than symbolic. The submission by TVI to tribal justice marks a victory in overcoming the huge imbalance of power faced by tribal people like the Subanon when confronting such companies."

The victory is of the rarest kind, given how Canadian mining companies incessantly claim they're accountable only to themselves.

That said, with the ceremony now over, TVI has to prove that it means it. Mines and Communities suggests that "TVI should back up its apparent new-found respect for the Subanon, by assuring that the Canatuan mine is closed according to best international practice and by agreeing not to mine on the lands of other Subanon peoples without their Free, Prior and Informed Consent."

Subanen UN-CERD Complaint against Racial discrimination

Subanon UN-CERD Complaint from katutubo ako on Vimeo.

Back in 2007, when the Subanon first approached the Gukom Office, they also filed a complaint with the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) against the Philippine Government for its own role in the Canatuan mine.

As the Gukom explain in the press release, the government is just as responsible for what happened as TVI. Only they don't want them to go through a ceremony. They want to proceed with the complaint. As Honorable Timuay Noval states, "...our complaint in the UNCERD is against the violations of the Philippine Government to our rights, customs and traditions. The Buklog... is TVIRDI's compliance to the Gukom's imposed penalty."

 "Whether we accept or not TVIRDI's atonement, it does not matter to our UNCERD complaint because the fact remains that the Philippine Government violated our rights," added Timuay Lambo. 

"We are not imposing penalty nor requiring the government to conduct a cleansing ritual, what we are asking is an admission of their fault and commitment to protect the rights of indigenous peoples, first and foremost," said Timuay Jose Boy Anoy.

For more information, please contact: 

Soliling Eufemio Undadi 
Media Relations Officer 
Mobile Phone: +63 (0)921-254-6917 


Honorable Timuay Noval L. Lambo 
Gulang Gukom 
Mobile Phone: +63 (0)926-485-9820 


Gukom sog Pito ko Dolungan Office Block 7 Lot 8 Phase I Country Homes, Ayala Zamboanga City Email: gukom7d @

Subanen tribal council, slain Basilan mayor named “Peace Weaver” awardees

Delia Bisquera-Biel received the posthumous award for her husband, Mayor Luis R. Biel II of Isabela City who was gunned down in March last year, while Subanon Timuay Noval Lambo received the award on behalf of the Gukom Sog Pito Kodulungan (Council of Seven Rivers) on December 2 at the Garden Orchid Hotel here.

Biel was mayor when Basilan’s capital town became a city in 1998. The Peace Advocates Zamboanga’ awards committee conferred on him the award, though posthumously, in recognition of his  “boundless compassion, noble vision and just peace for the people Basilan.”

“In the eight years since his first election in 1998, Mayor Biel built a city hospital, government complex, public markets, two bus terminals, schools, day care and feeding centers for children, multi-purpose and barangay halls, roads for farmers, cultural centers for his Muslim constituents as well as Christians, health units, and many more,” the citation read.

“He created livelihood assistance programs for the poor, farmers, fishermen, rebel returnees and women for them to enjoy economic security and human dignity. He initiated and encouraged inter-cultural dialogue and interfaith programs amongst his Muslim and Christian brothers and sisters,” it added.

The committee also noted how Biel “proudly promoted the new city as a tourism destination mainly for its people’s rich and unique cultural diversity.”

Biel’s family managed a transportation business in Basilan with hundreds units of buses and passenger jitneys plying different routes reaching even far-flung areas. Before becoming the city’s chief executive, Biel also held different elective posts in the island.

The entire city mourned his death as “it meant a loss of a father and loss of a builder of Isabela,”  Biel’s wife, Delia, said in accepting the award.

“He was a simple man but with big heart for Isabela City and for Isabeleños. He gave the contentment and peace to the heart (of Basilan people),” she said as she accepted the recognition before the award’s committee from Peace Advocates Zamboanga and the local interfaith group called Interreligious Solidarity Movement for Peace.

“His death, though, is not in vain, for men and women of goodwill continue to remember, honor and love him.  Truly, the blood of this martyr will water our meadows of hope for a long, long time,” the citation read.

The Gukom Sog Pito Kodulungan (Gukom), Subanon council of seven rivers in the Zamboanga Peninsula is composed of some 30 timuays (chieftains) of various tribal communities, whose total present population is approximately 300,000, mostly living in the highlands of the southern part of the peninsula.

The awards committee cited the Gukom’s mission of reviving and consolidating the traditional form of leadership and governance in their efforts to federate their widely dispersed (Subanon) villages.

The committee also honored Gukom’s role as facilitator, mediator or arbiter in communal conflicts among its tribesmen.

“As such, it is an authentic modern-day peacemaker who utilizes time-honored, traditional ethnic norms of conflict management and resolution.   Its continuing successes are reinforcing the Subanons’ sense of indigenous identity and pride, thereby empowering them to achieve their many hopes and dreams,” the citation stated.

Gukom, through the support of other civil society groups, also served as its people’s vanguard in their quest for better social and economic well-being.

“Indeed, this awarding occasion is considered as the most memorable event in the history of our Subanon people,” said Gukom chieftain Timuay Noval Lambo in his acceptance address.

Aside from it being the first award they received, the Timuay said, it also recognized Subanon people despite  “our being the most marginalized tribe in our present society.”

He assured that Subanon had been and will remain peace-loving citizen in this region.

“Peace-building has been observed faithfully and religiously by our Subanon people up to the present time. Where there is peace, the Subanons are there,” he stated in response to the common goal of the award.

Fr. Angel Calvo, PAZ president and chair of the awards committee said the recognition is given annually to individuals or groups who demonstrated consistent effort and works in promoting peace and development in different areas and fields and their communities.

Previous awardees include fomer Zamboanga Archbishop Carmelo Morelos, the late Muslim leader Professor Amilussin Jumaani, community worker James Alih Abdul and Miriam Suacito, Tausug women rights advocate Piang Albar, former Basilan Bishops Romulo dela Cruz and Jose Ma. Querexeta and Fr. Rhoel Gallardo.

The Peace Weaver Award is also part of the annual activity calendared for the weeklong celebration of the Mindanao Week of Peace. This year’s celebration started on November 29 and ends on December 05. (Nung Aljani/MindaNews)

Subanons hold three rallies to demand ancestral domain titles ZamboEcoZone

The claim has been opposed by the Zamboanga Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (ZamboEcozone) because it said the area was granted to the agency under a presidential proclamation issued in 1997. Because of ZamboEcozone’s opposition, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has stopped the processing of the Subanons’ claim until the conflict shall have been resolved, NCIP executive director Rosalina Bistoryong said in a recent memorandum to the local agency’s office.
The Subanons were joined by some Muslim and Christian residents living in the three barangays to express their support for the tribesmen’s demand.
With most of them wearing their native costumes, the protesters first stopped at the ZamboEcozone office in San Ramon and afterwards proceeded to the NICP office to voice their sentiments to the officials of the two government organizations. The city government has also conveyed last month to NCIP its opposition to the same claim.
But several timuays interviewed by Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) said under the Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA), the estimated 2,500 Subanon families who now occupy the upland areas in the three barangays should be granted the ancestral domain title since they possess a native title to the land. The IPRA, which was enacted in 1997, says that natives whose ancestors have occupied a land even before the pre-Spanish regime possess a native title to the area. The same law says that any land that is covered by a native title may be considered as public land.
Rural-Urban Missionaries (RUM) executive director Priscilla Saladaga, whose non-government organization has been assisting the Subanons prepare the documents related to the claim, said pre-historic archeological artifacts, the families’ ancient genealogies, the extant Subanon names given to mountains, rivers, trees and other landmarks plus other existing evidences support the “native title” claim of the families. RUM is a local Church-based civil society group operating only in Western Mindanao with a special apostolate for the indigenous peoples.
The Subanons in Labuan filed their initial petition for the same land in the same year of 1997 when the IPRA law was enacted by Congress, the timuays said. But complicated procedures and requirements have hindered the processing of the claim, Saladaga said.
NCIP Zamboanga sub-office head Engr. Humphrey Hamoy told PAZ that his office also supports the Subanons’ demand. He said the opposition by ZamboEcozone should not stop his office from proceeding with the perimeter survey that is the next step in determining the validity of the claim.
Most of the Subanon families cultivate the upland areas as kaingin farmers, growing various crops they sell in the city. Anthropological records in government archives show that their ancestors started inhabiting the Zamboaga Peninsula as early as 1,500 years ago.
NCIP has issued ancestral domain titles to other Subanon communities in Zamboaga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay provinces, Engr. Hamoy said. Rey-Luis Banagudos/PAZ Press Release