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The Liberal Party tandem of senators Benigno Aquino III and Manuel “Mar” Roxas  topped the  survey conducted by Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. among elected officials in mock polls in the province’s three congressional districts this week.

In caucuses held at the BRCI compound in Manolo Fortich on November 3, at the Folk Arts Theater in Malaybalay City on November 4, and at the Municipal Gym in Maramag on November 5, Zubiri asked mayors, vice mayors, municipal and city councilors, and barangay captains in the districts to cast via secret balloting their choice for President, Vice President, and district representative.

In all three gatherings, the LP tandem led the mock polls.

Zubiri requested an embargo of the poll figures although he obliged MindaNews  to release the ranking.  He said they want to put it on hold until the mass oath-taking of  politicians in the province to the Liberal Party at a still undisclosed date.

In the first district, where LP senatorial contender and former Rep. Nereus Acosta is based, Aquino led the survey with Defense Sec. Gilbert Teodoro a poor second, followed by Sen. Manuel Villar, and ousted President Joseph Estrada and Sen. Francis Escudero tying for the fourth place.

Roxas led among the vice presidential contenders, followed by Sen. Loren Legarda, who also was a poor second like Teodoro. Legard was followed by Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay and Vice President Noli de Castro. Read on at

noynoy in maramagLiberal Party stalwarts Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas visited Bukidnon on September 26.

They visited several locations including the foot bath in Lorega, Kitaotao; Quezon, Maramag, and Malaybalay.

Aquino and Roxas were supposed to be on a four-province six-city swing since Friday, visiting Davao del Norte, Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental and Lanao del Norte  and the six cities therein.

But Aquino cut short his Mindanao visit, opting to take the early Sunday morning flight back to Manila to help mobilize support for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy.

While in Bukidnon, Aquino asked those who handed him coin banks and jars intended to be used for his campaign to instead use it for the flood victims. The crowd agreed to his plan, as MindaNews’ Carolyn Arguillas reported Sunday. Read her full report here.

(Liberal Party presidential standard bearer Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino is surrounded by supporters as he entered the bus terminal in the town of Maramag, Bukidnon Saturday. Aquino and running mate Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas are on a four-province, six-city Mindanao visit since Friday. Photo by Froilan Gallardo)

The City Government of Malaybalay opened its controversial new public market on September 18 with simple rites amid uncertainties whether the two other phases of the P225-million project would push through.

A few food stalls have since operated in the public market as the city government has campaigned for occupants to the new public market, opened around two years late of its target opening of November 2007.

Malaybalay City Mayor Florencio T. Flores told MindaNews on September 4 the city government would open the market within the month of September following the expiration of a nine-month extension given to contractor H.R. Lopez Co. Inc. But only the first of the two-level public market building was operational.

The public market project has been subject to heavy criticism by the public on comments aired over radio station DXDB. Flores challenged his detractors to go to court if they have proof that indeed money changed hands in the project. He also broke his silence on the allegations the city government hired a contractor that ended up subcontracting the project to another firm. Read more of this at

(First published at  Malaybalay City Mayor Florencio T. Flores Jr. challenged his detractors over the controversial P225-million public market complex in Barangay 9 to go to court if they have proof that indeed money changed hands in the project.

The mayor has responded to allegations aired over radio station DXDB that the delayed three-phase infrastructure project has been marred by corruption.

Flores also broke his silence on the allegations the city government hired a contractor that ended up subcontracting the project to another firm.

“It’s for them to settle. We did not deal with a subcontractor,” the mayor said. He added that the supposed subcontracted firm, Dreamworks, Inc., who tried to collect payment from the city government, has stopped doing so.

But Flores said they are seriously evaluating the capacity of contractor H.R. Lopez Co., Inc. whether they are able to finish the whole project.

“Extending the project (for another term with the contractor) is no longer an option,” he said.

The 540-day project was initially scheduled for completion in November 2007 but the project has been fraught with doubts of the contractor’s capacity and problems over payment scheme.

As of now, the firm is completing only the first phase, the public market. The integrated terminal and commercial complex phases have yet to be done.

Flores said for the remaining two phases, they will have to pick from only two options: to rebid or for the City Engineer’s Office to take over. He has been mum about possible legal action against the contractor.

Sources said the city government has allegedly sacrificed its other functions because of the delay in the completion of the project. A source said City Hall has used funds for other expenses to pay the amortization of the loan it acquired for the project.

The public market, an economic enterprise unit, is said to be self sustaining. Proceeds of the operations of the three buildings would be used to pay the loan.

Flores denied this, saying the money used to pay contractors is taken only from the loan acquired with Land Bank of the Philippines. He said city government allotted regular budget for the amortization.

The mayor said they have planned to open the public market within the month of September.

In the past, other city officials said the market would be opened in time for the parochial fiesta in May, then in July, and this time from the mayor himself, “within the month”.

He admitted, however, that the original design of the building has been modified to meet adjustments.

“It’s only the ground floor that’s being completed,” he told this reporter in the sidelines of a provincial government affair with Australian Ambassador Rod Smith for the memorandum of arrangement signing of the Provincial Road Management Facility Grant.

In March, Flores told this reporter they were leaving it to the City Legal Office to study the right move after the City Engineer’s Office certified that the firm, H.R. Lopez Co., Inc., had not finished the project despite the nine-month extension.

The firm is supposed to finish within the extended time the whole project, including the integrated terminal and the commercial complex adjacent to the public market.

Based on the slippage alone, Flores said, the city government could already take action against the firm.

Vice Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri shared the mayor’s position but stressed there should be amicable settlement.

The project was first extended from February to July 2007. In July 2007, the Commission on Audit’s Legal and Adjudication Sector considered the contract void, a decision which the firm appealed in September that year.

Construction was stopped in September 2007, according to city engineer Teodocio Pabillaran, but H.R. Lopez Co. said they stopped in November 2007.

On July 3, 2008, the COA Legal and Adjudication Sector declared no legal impediments to the validity of the contract, prompting the firm to request for the nine-month extension since “they are ready to complete the balance of work.”

Flores endorsed the request on August 1, 2008 to the city council, which approved the extension three months later, on October 21. But councilors noted that the firm resumed construction on August 15, or prior to the approval.

Zubiri said then that the P250-million loan acquired for the project will incur interest only when money is withdrawn. He said rules might allow another extension if the firm asked for it.

“But I prefer termination,” he said.

Gloria-Macapagal-ArroyoCome July 27, Monday, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo once again speaks to Filipinos in her 2009 State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Logically, this is her last before the Constitution (the unchanged one of 1987) forces her to step down on June 30, 2010.

There are reports indicating Arroyo will use the SONA to express a direction for moves for charter change.

Hopefully, the next President delivers his or her first SONA in July 2010, to open Congress for a new era.

The SONA is one solemn event in the strictest sense. It is one occasion when we cease to become just people from Bukidnon, Bohol, Isabela, Cotabato, or Batanes. We become a people from one nation looking at our present collective situation.

The SONA for all its worth, nuances, controversies is a report card. Somehow just as the report card our children show us every grading period.

Basically the SONA is the national government’s, not just the President’s report card of performance.  But since the President is chief executive, command responsibility dictates we look at her for accountability.

The President has a duty to give the nation a real report. Not a fantastic imagination of dreams but an actual grasp of real achievements of targets, goals, missions, and above all a vision.

A SONA should be presented and viewed thru a framework: the realization of plans, the solution of problems, and the preparation for anticipated challenges.

Some people say since the SONA is a report of achievements it naturally blurs on the bottlenecks, unaccomplished, and if not failures.

In a way, the SONA should touch on very pressing issues and situations in the country like the peace process in Mindanao. The President should go beyond the hype of this as award-winning journalist Patricio Diaz said in his column.

But somehow, the SONA is like a balance sheet – a report of financial condition of an organization. It should show the assets, liabilities, and the net worth.

More than the figures, the SONA should be a sincere and forthright account of reality. It should not only inform, but convince, and inspire.

Whether Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was able to do that in her past eight SONAs and if vows to reflect in this SONA come Monday afternoon, will tell us enough whether people would still listen and deem it important.

Already, a newspaper in the US has expressed in an editorial on July 26 that the President is unwanted in her visit to the White House this week. The paper called a “mistake” President Barack Obama’s choice of Arroyo as first S.E. Asian leader to pay a state visit in his administration.

Nevertheless, the SONA is an opportunity to gather as a nation, reflect as a person, and plan as organized individuals to learn from lessons and make resolutions.

Among many, every Filipino, rich or poor; at home or abroad; who cares for Arroyo or not, should use this time to discern who to choose and what should we look for in a chief executive, head of state, and national symbol of leadership. (Based on the Editorial of Bukidnon’s Central Mindanao Newswatch/July 23 to 29, 2009 issue)

It has been a while since I last posted an entry in this platform.

I take now that the period of absence could be considered a cleansing time in order to refine work.

After the absence and some plans cooked up, I’m returning to blogging with a new twist. There should be no earthshaking changes, only a sharper focus.

I’m trying to advance a step ahead in my intention to expand the usefulness of my journalism.

I am inclined to convert Bukidnon Our Home into a beat blog, (what a journalist’s blog should be.) In this case, I continue both my journalistic endeavors and my blogging experience. What is a beat blog? Find out more here.

How will this happen?

I will continue posting materials on Bukidnon here but I want to limit it to the general topics under “Economy””Governance” and “Politics”.

These three themes are still broad. They are however inter-related that I want to try to make this a “beat” to report about, and blog about here.

I plan to fuse traditional reporting skills, new media, and social networking to generate not just attention and feedback but productive and useful interaction. In short I aspire to build an online community.

With this mix, blogging becomes a tool for the improvement of my reportage.

Meanwhile, I will continue to publish my two other active blog sites: (Peace and Development in Mindanao) and (Campus Journalism in Mindanao).   I planned to evolve them into more focused sites as I progress in this new blogging experiment.

Others think blogging will make a reporter less of a journalist. But with the right skills, intention, and understanding, beat blogging could help improve the skills and span of work of reporters. How? Try reading this.

The possibility that reporters lose credibility if they blog is still there. But there is a way to do it. We don’t have to lose face as we gain interaction. We can make blogging useful in journalism.

This experiment on beat blogging is about that.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan committee on environmental protection will bring the conflict on the Manupali River between the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and the Lapanday Diversified Products Corp. to the province’s multipartite monitoring team (MMT) for investigation.

Provincial board members have summoned the two following NIA’s complaint that the firm was clogging a canal in Dalaingon Creek. Lapanday denied the charges.

The deliberation on July 22, however, was considered an executive session only for lack of quorum. Only seven of the 14 members were present.

The board decided to pass the matter to the committee level for further study. Board member Glenn Peduche, who chairs the committee and also concurrent head of the MMT, said the MMT is the proper forum for investigation.

He said they would find out if LPDC has violated the terms of its environmental clearance certificate (ECC).

The firm claimed the logs that clogged the NIA’s North Main Canal are not theirs.

Gaudencio Ramos, NIA irrigation superintendent, however, said LPDC was responsible for the clogging, citing witnesses that the logs were from the area developed by the firm.

He said the Dalaingon Creek was struck with waterburst (buhawi) and the damage to the clogged dam now has worsened, prompting them to propose a P7-million rehabilitation, instead of an earlier program of work worth only P5 million.

Clogging caused Bangcud flooding?

He said the clogging caused the heavy flooding downstream in Cabangahan and Bangcud when heavy rains fell earlier due to “buhawi”.

Pollution control officer Francis Potestas said at the time they cleared the area adjacent to the creek, they only found small logs. The small logs could not have caused the clogging since their 4.5-hectare land previously planted to corn and sugarcane is just adjacent to Dalaingon Creek, where the canal is. He denied the firm was responsible for the clogging.

He added they aren’t “washing our hands” and are in fact cooperative on a move of the barangay government of Bugcaon to mediate and discuss solutions to the problem with other firms operating in the area.

But he stressed the canals are too small to accommodate volume of water coming from above the area.

Board member Camilo Pepito told the session LPDC should look at the issue as a shared responsibility.

Later the board members proposed to let the MMT find out the crux of the matter. Board member Nemesio Beltran Jr. referred to Peduche if they have done inspection of the area to know the truth considering the two parties are already trading accusations.

Where’s the general manager?

Board member Roland Deticio also balked at the absence of LPDC general manager Luis Alvarado, who instead sent two deputies to the session.

Joanne Caspillo, from the firm’s support services department, told board members Alvarado was with LPDC’s vice president in a meeting scheduled “long before” the SP’s invitation.

“Why did he schedule that meeting today? Why? Are we second class citizens here? He preferred that meeting over us? There is a valid concern here that concerns the welfare of the people,” Deticio said.

“The meeting has been scheduled long before. And we apologize for that,” Caspillo said.

“Tell him to apologize here, we can schedule another session. We will expect him here,” Deticio said.

Earlier, NIA had called the attention of LPDC on the  clogging of drainage in Dalaingon, Lantapan due to three logs allegedly uprooted by the firm’s bulldozer operating in the area.

But the firm’s management denied the allegation, saying they have never developed the area referred to. They have likewise asked that their firm “should not be singled out for every unfavorable events or occurrences in the vicinity”.

To shed light on this public concern, the provincial board, upon motion of Deticio, summoned the two organizations to be present at the regular session of the SP on July 15, then later moved on July 22

Deticio cited the public domain of the matter being discussed that’s why the request to be present during the session.

Ramos wrote the LDPC on June 17 asking the firm to clear the clog.

“With the above information, and if found true, it is hereby advised that your company should make urgent action in clearing the drainage to constrain further damages,” he said.

Ramos said the clogging caused water level to rise at the drainage, overflowing to the road and the canal support.

“It was noted that damages of our roads / canals started when your company commenced operation thereat and if not rectified immediately delivery of irrigation water supply to Bangcud area might suffer,” Ramos wrote in the letter.

‘It means higher cost for NIA’

He said NIA has set a P7-million rehabilitation program to repair recent damages. If the firm “will not cooperate” so the budget will not be enough, he added.

LDPC contested NIA’s report.

Luis Alvarado, LDPC general manager, and Caspillo said in their reply letter on June 26 they have never “touched or developed” the 13-hectare property beside the upper portion of Dalaingon Creek in Brgy. Bugcaon, Lantapan town for a year since leasing it in 2008.

But they admitted developing a three-hectare land downstream of the creek “but it was more than a year ago already”.

“We cannot take credence to the above cited report,” Alvarado said in the letter.

LDPC officials added that records will also bear that even before they developed the Bugcaon area, there were already “voluminous” water passing through NIA drainages “which as time passes by might have damaged the roads and berm of your canals”.

They also cited the overflowing water coming from the uplands of Bugcaon during heavy rain “obviously, is also contributory”.

“It should be emphasized that there are other farm holders or companies in the area adjacent to our operations,” LDPC officials said. They said there were issues and concerns lobbed at them that are beyond their control.

But the firm admitted they sent personnel to closely coordinate with the barangay government on clearing drainages as pt of their “corporate social responsibility” as community member.

They said last week, they sent people to clean the clogged area in Zone 6 in Bugcaon village. Deticio added that another reason why they have to summon them is on the issue of flooding in Aglayan, Malaybalay City.

Peduche said the probe is important to ensure the firm will be penalized if alleged violations are proven. (This story also appeared at

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Bukidnon has asked Congress to classify as “heinous crime,” economic plunder,” or even “crime against humanity” the raising of oil prices under “unjust and questionable” circumstances.

“It is now time to let the ax fall no matter where it will fall and to crack the whip on the big oil companies who have enjoyed tremendous fortune because they have taken the Oil Deregulation Law as their refuge,” said the resolution, sponsored by Board Member Nemesio Beltran, Jr. “It is now time to impose stricter measures for the welfare of the hapless public.”

The Provincial Board also suggested to Congress to authorize the Department of Energy to scrutinize their books for any suspicion of unjustified fuel price increase.

Otherwise, the resolution said, “they should be charged for heinous crime, economic plunder, or crime against humanity punishable with the penalty of reclusion perpetua as maximum.”

The resolution said the big three oil companies have taken the said law as their “license and authority| since the law was passed in the 1990s, raising fuel prices “at their whim.. inflicting undue sufferings to the already over-burdened averaged income earners”.

Beltran said that pressures and even threats by street demonstrators, irate consumers and public drivers “fell on deaf ears.”

“In the mean time, the oil companies wracked up unjustified profits and laughed their way off to their offshore banks, stashing away millions of dollars out of the country in the midst of the phenomenal global financial crisis,” he said in the resolution.

In March this year, the prices of oil products were raised successively, prompting Malacañang to order the investigation of the oil companies’ records.

Half a year after the provincial government introduced female traffic enforcers now known as “Yellow Ladies,” has travel safety improved along Bukidnon’s highway?

The Land Transportation Office in Bukidnon says there are gains to cite.

Arthur Ranque, head of the 19-member traffic enforcers, said drivers and vehicle owners are now more conscious about vehicle registration, accessories, road safety, and driver licensing than before, as his office noted an increase in apprehension of violators since the last quarter last year.

The spike in the arrests started when the LTO dispatched traffic enforcers in both north and south Bukidnon. As of the end of March this year, the women enforcers had apprehended a total of 1,119 violators and impounded 59 vehicles. But they have also become the object of drivers’ anger. Read full report here.

Editorial, Central Mindanao Newswatch, April 2-8, 2009 issue

Whoever they are, civilians shouldn’t be dragged to the problem of insurgency. That is not just a political right, but a basic human right.

The fact that three civilians were killed in the recent attack of the New People’s Army in a Zamboanguita militia post gives this gruesome war an even more gory look.

And we can say this to the two parties, the military (including the Civilian Armed Auxiliary) and the New People’s Army: employ more tactical and humane actions.

What does it speak of this protracted conflict between ideologies and sensibilities?

There is no excuse for the death of any single civilian. Much more, for a child’s life, in a fight that has shown to have gone berserck because of the suspended peace process between the government and the National Democratic Front.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s warning to end the CPP-NPA insurgency by 2010 is being matched with this unremitting attacks, summary executions, encounters, jail attacks, gun-grabbing, and what have they, etcetera, etcetera.

Both parties have sustained losses and claimed some gains.

But the civilians have nothing to gain, and carry the brunt of all losses.

It is the public that suffered the biggest casualties to life, property, normalcy, and even sanity. The fear and terror of being caught in the crossfire is a heavy load to a people coping with poverty especially in the rural areas.

If it is a consolation, the head of the City’s Social Welfare and Development Office told a local radio station: the residents in Upper Pulangui, venue of yet the most recent mayhem have already got used to evacuating that they possibly could not be traumatized anymore. If it is true, then it is a bad sign, not a good one.

The point is every action of any of the warring parties constitute some amounts of free will choices. That they choose to go to war, is the greatest crime they commit to the civilians.

Instead, both parties choose the path of war, and what could you expect from war? There is no better war. We can never ask warring parties to tone down because civilians are there. War is always trash and it always brings violence.

Peace could also be an option, but it is a remote choice, the road less traveled, the option less taken.

Actually, it is stupid to ask both parties to employ more tactical and humane acts in conducting war. War is always inhuman.

So we better stick to the basic: choose peace and let it happen, know ceasefire and make it happen, and resume the peace talks, at all cost.

Three civilians, a woman,  a seven-year-old daughter, and a village councilman, were among 18 killed as suspected members of the communist New Peoples’ Army (NPA) attacked a paramilitary detachment in Zamboanguita village in this city’s remote Upper Pulangi district past noon Tuesday.

Police identified the victims as Helen Dumogan and a still unnamed girl,
who were reported to be inside the patrol base of the Citizens Armed
Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) in Barangay Zamboanguita during the
attack at around 12:30p.m.

Dumogan visited her husband Winnie, one of four CAFGU personnel killed
along with 11 rebels in the almost two-hour battle.

Madi Hamsali, assistant detachment commander who was one of three
other wounded government troops, said the attack was perpetrated by a
hundred rebels who arrived in two Izusu Forward trucks.

Hamsali, who spoke while being treated at the Bethel Baptist Hospital,
said they were not able to call for backup right away because the
radio man was among those killed.

He said there were at least 15 of his colleagues in the base at the
time of the attack.

One of the trucks used by the rebels was traced to Aurelio Ramos, a barangay kagawad (village councilman) nearby Brgy. St. Peter. Ramos was found dead in another part of the village.
Lt Col. Cresente Maligmat, commanding officer of the 29th Infantry
Battalion, told DXDB that “hot pursuit operations” are ongoing as of
Wednesday morning to track down the rebels believed to be members of
the NPA Front Committee 89.

Maligmat said government troops did not arrive immediately because
they also had to clear their way.

He said eight of the rebel casualties were found in the patrol base
while three others were found in a nearby village on their way out to

He said the Army sent two companies to the area for the pursuit operations.

Virginia Flores, head of the Malaybalay City Social Welfare and Development
Office said 46 families or 207 individuals were displaced by the fighting. He said they sent relief goods early Wednesday morning.

Maligmat told RXDB the evacuees were scheduled to return on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education has ordered teachers working in
the eight barangays in the district to refrain from traveling in the
area to wrap up the school year while hostilities are ongoing, an
elementary school principal told this reporter.

Zamboanguita village was also where suspected rebels burned heavy
equipment of a construction firm in 2006, sparking heavy fighting in
the neighboring villages of St. Peter that displaced thousands of

In early January this year, the city government of Malaybalay
bankrolled the training and salaries of 80 personnel for a local
paramilitary unit to work exclusively in the city under the Special
Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary (SCAA).

The city government of Malaybalay signed a memorandum of agreement
with the Army’s 403rd Infantry Brigade for the training and operation
of 80 personnel to be dispatched to two detachments: in the city’s
Upper Pulangui area and in Pat-pat village against communist rebels.

Later in January, suspected NPA rebels attacked the city’s jail,
carting out weapons.

Two weeks ago, Civilian Volunteer Organization members found improvised claymore
mines planted by suspected NPA rebels in a bridge near Brgy. St. Peter.

The attack came after the 45-day training of the CAFGUs and after they
were installed in Upper Pulangui.

City officials told reporters the SCAA was meant to help maintain
peace and order in the city as a “blocking force”.  (From Central Mindanao Newswatch)

Bukidnon will finally have its own office of the Philippine Mediation Center, a body created by the Supreme Court in 2001 to decongest the courts of cases which can be resolved outside of trial, according to Regional Trial Court 10 executive judge Josefina Bacal. Bacal has invited judges and justice stakeholders in the province to an orientation conference on April 3 at the Pine Hills Hotel, which is part of a process en route to the opening of a local mediation center, an employee at the RTC Branch 10 said.

The Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) and the Philippine Mediation Center, Bacal said, will conduct the conference in coordination with the Office of the Court Coordinator.

Read full news report here.

Councilor Victor Aldeguer said the committee on commerce, trade, and industry is studying incentives offered by the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro to Gaisano and Sons, Inc. after Vice Mayor Ignacio Zubiri last week said a portion of it is unfair and must be taken out.

Zubiri lamented at the City Council session on March 17 that the business tax incentives provided for the business locators inside the mall is unfair to those who rent outside.

Aldeguer, who chairs the committee, said Zubiri’s manifestation was a suggestion.

“But there would likely be no amendments to the incentives ordinance,” he told this reporter after the session on March 24.

Newswatch reported last week that Aldeguer said they are looking at possibly amending City Ordinance 637 Series of 2008, which embodied the city’s offered incentives both to Gaisano and Sons, Inc. and companies intending to rent in the mall.

The pronouncements came eight months after the City Council approved the ordinance in July 2008 and as the construction of the P500 million, four-storey mall in downtown Malaybalay goes on full swing.

The ordinance provides incentives for the firm’s first five years, with full implementation of taxation only in its sixth year of operations.

The city gave the firm exemption from the payment of basic real property tax for five years asking them to pay just the Special Education Fund. It also provides exemption from the payment of amusement tax for five years, and providing payment only of the current business tax rate from its operation for five years.

For locators, it has offered to give full exemption from payment of business tax on their first year of operation and subsequent 25 percent increase in imposition every year after until full implementation on the sixth year.

But the incentives were offered only to locators with capitalization of at least P500, 000, according to Section 3 of the ordinance.

Mayor Florencio T. Flores Jr. was critical of the proposed review saying it would put a question mark on the integrity and credibility of the city to investors. He cited that the mall’s investment is biggest to date in the city, just enough to merit commensurate incentives.

Aldeguer said the same incentives cannot be offered to locators outside the proposed mall because their investments are not as big as that of the Gaisanos.

Gaisano and Sons., Inc. has started the construction of its P500 million mall project in Malaybalay in the first quarter of this year.

The construction came amidst a possible review by the Malaybalay City Council of the incentives offered to the mall’s locators.

Councilor Victor Aldeguer, who chairs the councils committee on trade and commerce said amendments to the incentives ordinance might be unlikely. He described Vice Mayor Ignacio Zubiri’s call for a review as “expressing his opinion”.

Malaybalay City mayor Florencio T. Flores Jr. has decribed the mall project as the biggest building project in Malaybalay to date.

He said the review will cast the doubt on the credibility and integrity of the city to investors.

He said the city council should have thought well of the project first before approving it iin July 2008.

The city council passed the incentives ordinace for Gaisano ahead of the passing of the City’s Investment Code.