Tag Archives: valencia city

ESCAPING COVID-19: Valencia City Mayor Huervas , SHFC prexy Cabling go virtual in socialized housing MOU signing


The Covid-19 pandemic cannot stop us from helping secure shelter for the underprivileged and homeless citizens of our country, said Mayor Azucena Huervas of Valencia City Bukidnon, in her dramatic speech at the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between her city and the state-owned Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) on Monday, July 20, 2020.

The MOU opens the door for low-income, homeless residents of Valencia City to secure housing loans from the SHFC. 

With potential infection from the deadly coronavirus making physical social gatherings a big no-no, Mayor Huervas and SHFC president Arnolfo Cabling went virtual in the signing ceremony.


valencia shfc mou

Cabling joined the online ZOOM event while in Davao City. Gathered in Valencia City, under strict minimum Anti-Covid-19 health protocols were Vice Mayor Policarpo Murillo, members of the Valencia City Council, the Local Housing Board and key officials of the local government. SHFC was represented by a small contingent led by Executive Vice President  Atty. Junefe Payot and Senior Vice President Atty. Ronaldo Saco.


SHFC, a key shelter agency under the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), implements the government’s socialized housing program through its flagship Community Mortgage Program (CMP). The program provides long-term, low-interest housing loans to organized Homeowners Associations (HOA) of homeless formal and informal settlers, especially those located in danger areas or displaced by government projects and court orders.
In her speech, Mayor Huervas welcomed the partnership with SHFC admitting that Valencia City has its share of constituents in risk areas who are vulnerable to calamities like typhoons and flash floods.

Cabling is a strong believer in the role of Local Government Units (LGUs) as a partner of the SHFC in providing socialized housing to underprivileged homeless Filipinos, and has steered his agency in inking MOUs with several LGUs with aim to solve the country’s housing woes.


Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) is set to implement its flagship initiative, the Community Mortgage Program (CMP), in  Valencia, Bukidnon, through a deal that will provide affordable housing to more than 600 families from three barangays in the  city. The development came after SHFC President Atty. Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling and Mayor Azucena Huervas signed a  memorandum of understanding (MOU) in a virtual ceremony held on July 20.  
Under the agreement, SHFC will finance the lot acquisition, site development, and construction of houses for 348 families from La  Presa, Long Vine, and Lady Bamboo homeowner’s associations (HOA) in Barangay Taas. The agency will also fund the housing of  230 and 60 families from Valencia City Urban Poor HOA in Barangay San Carlos and New Homeland HOA in Barangay Mailag,  respectively.   
The MOU, signed in the presence of Vice Mayor Policarpo Murillo IV and SHFC Senior Vice President for Operations Atty. Ronaldo  Saco, followed similar deals between SHFC and the local governments of Taysan in Batangas, Daet in Camarines Norte, and  Jones in Isabela. SHFC is poised to ink more deals through video conferencing technology to adapt to the new normal brought  by the COVID-19 pandemic.   
In his speech, Atty. Cabling said SHFC remains fully committed to fulfilling its mandate despite the virus crisis through  collaborative projects with local government units, which are mandated to undertake shelter programs under the Urban  Development and Housing Act of 1992. He noted that SHFC has made its interest rates even more affordable through its  socialized approach, with borrowers paying between 2 percent and 6 percent depending on their income.  
Atty. Cabling explained that housing projects under the CMP center around the sense of neighborhood and ownership. These  two fundamental elements create a stable foundation for all of its shelter initiatives in the country. “These initiatives will help  pump prime the economy by creating jobs for the people, especially those in the countryside, which is very crucial during this  time of pandemic,” he said. Atty. Cabling added that SHFC is looking to roll out more projects in the provinces to decongest  Metro Manila and other highly urbanized cities.   
Mayor Huervas echoed the sentiment and thanked SHFC for partnering with the city to address its housing needs. “Part of our  vision for Valencia is to empower its people,” she said. “For me, people empowerment includes giving our residents the  opportunity to have a place they call home, one that will provide them security, privacy, respect, and dignity.”  
SHFC has so far forged similar agreements with 90 local government units, including 15 new partners added this year. In the  light of the pandemic, the agency continues with the provision of adequate housing, which has become even more crucial now  given that viruses spread fast in congested informal settlements. To date, it has provided security of tenure to more than 

Duterte: I might run for President

fed valencia cityIf you look south and it’s me you see, and if Gov. (Jose) Zubiri is beside me, I might think about (running for President in 2016),” Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said at the conclusion of his speech on April 15 during a forum on federalism in Valencua City in Bukidnon.

It touched off a thunderous applause instead.

Duterte has been categorical about his disinterest in the presidency and he said so again at the start of his speech during the “Summit on Federalism and Current Issues” at the Valencia City gym.

He recalled that he was merely chosen to give a face to federalism by two of the region’s elder statesmen, former Assemblyman Ruben Canoy and ex-Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr. which is the reason why he is going around the country.

Canoy, who was seated at the presidential table on stage, nodded in agreement.

council of eldersFEDERALISTS. The historic meeting in Davao City of the ‘Council of Elders,’ at mid-year which was followed by the launching in December in Davao City of the Federal Movement.

On September last year while the country’s Muslims were jubilating and eagerly awaiting the creation of a new Bangsamoro homeland in Mindanao, the Philippine southern island’s Christian political leaders were hatching up a plan yo prod Manila  to adopt a federal form of government in Mindanao.

     Duterte met in a closed-door meeting with five influential Mindanao political leaders to discuss federalism.

The political leaders in the historic  Davao City meeting were Romeo Jalosjos of Dapitan City, Bukidnon Governor Jose Maria Zubiri, former Cagayan de Oro City mayor Vicente Emano, former DOTC secretary Pantaleon Alvarez, and Rueben Canoy of the Radio Mindanao Network. The meeting of the group called  “Council of Leaders,” would be followed by the launching of the Federal Movement in Mindanao in Davao City in December.

Duterte was eagerly awaited inside the 4,000-capacity gym. The audience stood and clapped as he made his way to the stage and once again when his turn to speak came.

There was no mistaking the agenda of the gathering with tarpaulins welcoming Duterte saying: “the Filipino people should support a presidential candidate who promises during his incumbency (a) federal parliamentary form of government will be a reality.”

Zubiri left no doubt about the importance of the gathering, pointing out that only one of Bukidnon’s 20 town mayors and two city mayors was absent while all 464 barangays were represented. 

Also present were Representatives Jose Zubiri III, Maria Lourdes Acosta-Alba and Rogelio Neil Roque.
Former Sen.Miguel Zubiri also graced the event.

The scene inside the gym was a virtual microcosm of Mindanao: indigenous peoples in their ethnic costumes, government officials in their office uniforms, religious leaders, ordinary citizens and soldiers and policemen.

The welcome fit for a president was not what Duterte wanted, but which he could do nothing about.

In the end, he was left with little choice but to acknowledge that he might just think over what he said is like “a distant star”.

For people in a region that has been looking north since the birth of the republic, there is little doubt it is time to look south. 

With the elections still more than a year ahead, that is good enough for his audience who rewarded him with a thunderous applause.


Worrying over BBL


Mayor Rodrigo Duterte expressed his concern about the fate of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which is facing rough sailing in Congress during a forum on Federalism in Valencia City in Bukidnon on April 15.

The mayor had repeatedly warned that violence will break out in the event that the BBL fails.

Duterte, however, made it clear that he is merely hoping for the passage of the BBL “for the sake of peace”.

The mayor pointed out that if the BBL is given to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the government is bound to give it to all.
“There must be equality of the law,” he stressed.

The BBL has come under closer scrutiny after the Mamapasano incident with at least four senators voicing opposition to it. 

With the BBL hanging in the balance, Duterte said the problem is that the government has no plan B. 

“Nobody is minding the store,” he added, pointing to the uncertainty in the region which he said will again be the battleground.



Valencia City dad loses bid for 4th District Congress seat

VALENCIA CITY – Former Bukidnon Vice Governor Wenifredo Agripo and first termer Valencia City Councilor Rogelio Roque will fight it out in the May election next year for representative of the newly-created Bukidnon 4th District.

But another aspirant, Incumbent City Councilor Peduche has missed the boat having been beaten by the October 5 deadline of filing Certificate of Candidacy (COC).
Agripo and Roque have filed their COCs as aspirants for the Congress seat in the 2nd District, but will be running now in the 4th District which covers Valencia City, Pangantucan and Kalilangan.
The Commission on Elections has issued Resolution No. 9539 spelling out rules for candidates for representative of the new district.
Under the rules Agripo and Roque are now candidates for the 4th District Congress having filed their COCs for the 2nd District race before the creation of the 4th District, which includes Valencia City.
Peduche, who has long made known his wish to run for the new Congress seat, has not filed his COC and the Comelec resolution was silent on the case similar to his. He said he did not file a COC under 2nd District because he toyed with the idea that candidates could still file COC for the new district after the October 5 deadline.
Peduche assailed the Comelec resolution that he said deprived him of his right to run under the new district.
Marisa Estrella -Peduche’s wife earlier filed her COC for City Councilor in Valencia City.
Agripo, running under the banner of Liberal Party which is allied with Zubiri’s Bukidnon Paglaum Party (BPP), said he was happy that the peopleof Bukidnon has added their voice in Congress with the creation of the new district. Agripo was the district political officer for six years of Senator Teofista Guingona when the senator was still a congressman.
The young Roque, an independent candidate, is a pro-environment advocate who wants to contribute to the development of the new district.

BUKIDNON NEWS UPDATES: 4-cornered fight in Valencia City mayoral race in 2013


4-cornered fight in Valencia

CITY of VALENCIA – Three termer incumbent City Mayor Leandro Jose Catarata of Zubiri’s Bukidnon Paglaum Party (BPP) will face off again with political foe, former Mayor Jose Galario Jr. of Aksyon Demokratikong Pilipino (ADP).
Joining the fray are two women councilors: last-termer Arlyn Ayon under the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP)-Lakas ng Bayan, and businesswoman councior Cleofe Mabao under the banner of Nationalista Party (NP).
In the vice mayoralty, incumbent BPP Azucena Huervas will be challenged by two last termer city councilors: PDP-Lakas ng Bayan Dr. Almer Alfonso and Independent candidate Rhea Rhena Agripo.
Twenty eight aspirants are vying for seats in the ten-member city council. MEL VELEZ

Valencia supports P181M by-pass roads

VALENCIA CITY – The Sangguniang Panglungsod is strongly supporting the release of funds for the P181 million by-pass roads that aim to free the national highways from vehicular traffic congestions, that was requested by Vice Governor Jose Ma. Zubiri Jr. and the Provincial Board from President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III.
City Vice Mayor Azucena P. Huervas said she and SP members are to meet in a bid to strengthen the lobby for the release of the fund for the roads seen as a solution to traffic jams in Valencia’s national highways.
The P181 million fund is part of the P675 million asked by Vice Governor Zubiri and provincial board members in two resolutions submitted to President Aquino III.
The by-pass roads project involves the construction of an 18-kilometer road and four bridges at Dalwangan- Barangay Captain Angel-Camp Impalambong-Sta. Ana-San Jose route of Malaybalay City, and the Bagontaas-Lumbo section consisting of 7 kilometers and one bridge from Barangay Sugod passing through Barangays of Kahaponan, Sinayawan and Maapag.

87M Euro fund for
Bukidnon reforestation

MALAYBALAY CITY – A reforestation project aiming to mitigate climate change and global warming funded with Euro money is set to be launched next year, DILG Provincial Director Ronelo Alvarez told the officers and members of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) Bukidnon Chapter during its monthly forum in Manolo Fortich.
The fund for the 15-year environmental project worth 87 million Euros to be handled by the Hiniliban Foundation and DILG will be spread among local government units throughout the country.
Bukidnon, whose advocacy for environmental protection, is among the beneficiaries of the project, said Alvarez. MEL N. VELEZ

FIBECO holds consultation
on new 5MVA sub-station

PANGANTUCAN, Bukidnon – First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FIBECO) held on October 5 a public consultation on its proposed 5MVA sub-station at Barandias, Pangantucan, as part of requirement in its application for Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The power generatiion project of FIBECO, now one of the country’s best performing distribution utilities, aims to further improve its quality services and increase power efficiency.
The consultation in Pangantucan showed tremendous community support for the project, said FIBECO Institutional Service Department (ISD) Chief Armand Cantoy.
Aside from backstopping power supply in Bukidnon, the Pangantucan 5MVA sub-station will also expand the distribution capacity of FIBECO in the towns of Kalilangan and Wao, Lanao del Sur which are under it’s franchise area.
This project is part of our corporate commitment to upgrade our facilities and equipment to improve performance and enhance services to our member-consumers, FIBECO General Manager Engr. Renato S. Cortezano said. MEL N. VELEZ

 P105 million perimeter stalls project

MARAMAG, Bukidnon – Construction of a perimeter in the Maramag Agro-Commercial Center has started in a prelude to the construction of the P105 million perimeter stalls project.
Municipal Engineer Tiburcio Macalam told the Durian Post workers are now securing the area for the 186 units of perimeter stalls.
The multi million project is an add-on component of the Maramag Agro-Commercial Center, which has the wet & dry market, food courts, ‘’ukay-ukay section and integrated bus terminal, Engr. Macalam added.
Maramag, the fastest growing and most progressive town in Southern Bukidnon, is undergoing drastic physical changes with various government projects being constructed.
The perimeter stalls project under a build-operate-transfer scheme funded by Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) would be finished in 520 days by contractors FUCC and Abratique and Associates, Engr. Macalam said. MEL N. VELEZ



Valencia City Council tackles FIBECO hydropower project


   CITY of VALENCIA, Bukidnon –The Valencia City Council committee on public works and infrastructure  has started tackling the  proposed First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FIBECO) 4MW mini-hydro electric power plant at Lumbayao.
    Committee chair Engr. Francisco L. Alkuino said the project needs the endorsement of the city council.
    FIBECO is initiating 3 mini-hydro power plants in San Fernando and Valencia City with total capacity of 12MW. The projects respond to RA 9513 (Senate Bill 1303) authored by former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri which encourages the development of renewable energy resources, such as hydro-power.
    FIBECO is complying with the pre- development requisites that include endorcement of the LGU, National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) endorsement, DENR-Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) and National Water resources Board (NWRB), FIBECO general Manager Engr. Renato Cortezano said.
    Present during the committee hearing were Councilors Camilo Pepito, Glen Peduche, Rhea Agripo, Cleofe Mabao, Rolando Laviña, Vice Mayor Azucena Huervas, FIBECO director Alfredo Bajao and Fibeco’s Project Management Officer Lemuel Leaño. MEL VELEZ

Bukidnon sugar planters unfazed by drop in sugar price

VALENCIA CITY – Cut production cost. This was the advice given out by the association of sugar planters here as  forcast say mill gate price this year would drop down by an estimated 33.12%.
Sugar planters can still enjoy the fruit of their efforts by cutting on production cost, said Abner Balagulan, operations manager of the 4,500-member Associated Bukidnon Sugarcane Farmers Inc. (ABSFI).
An estimated price of P1,200 raw sugar per bag is expected this season, with BUSCO Sugar Milling Co. Inc. ready to start milling on October 24, for its 2.3 million metric tons sugar production for the period 2011-2012.
Due to enough sugar supply last year, price is expected to drop but not to the extent that other planters speculate, Balagulan said, adding the price drop is “normal.”
Last year, rhe average price was  P1,800 per bag.
Balaguna encouraged the ABSFI active members to plant more sugarcane to help the economy of Bukidnon.


PUBLISHED IN THE DURIAN POST NO.79, Sept 26-Oct. 2, 2011

The Valencia Water District (VWD)

Getting Stronger at 31

                  “Breaking barriers and limitations in providing improved water services for urban and rural development.”

      Thirty one years ago, the Valencia Water District (VWD) was born out of the basic requirement for safe, potable and affordable water supply. During that time, Valencia was recognized as the commercial hub of the Province of Bukidnon. With several major financial investors, domestic immigrants, and the constant rise of businesses over the years, Valencia significantly benefited from hosting these socio-economic developments. Accordingly, as Valencia’s population and financial market escalated, the need for reliable water supply likewise remarkably increased.

      Thus, Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 80-61 dated August 1, 1980 created the VWD, operating initially as a small water district in serving the water needs and demands of Valencia. Its Conditional Certificate of Conformance No. 141 was obtained from the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) on October 24, 1980.  Moreover, when the Municipality of Valencia was reclassified into a city, VWD was renamed Valencia City Water District (VCWD) following the mandate of Presidential Decree No. 198, the charter governing water districts nationwide.

      There were only six personnel when VCWD started its operation, with meager facilities as follows:  2 intake boxes from Sitios Cabanuangan and Maulawan, 227 cubic meter ground reservoir, 47 km. dilapidated transmission and distribution lines, and 275 unmetered connections, on top of a measly flat rate of P10.00 per connection, per month.

            Sometime in the year 1985, with the facility of the first approved loan from LWUA, VCWD was able to successfully undertake   several developments in the form of implementation of the metering of all water connections, repair of leakages, installation and improvement of transmission and distribution lines, among others.

      Back in the year 1990, VCWD only had 2,100 service connections. To date, VCWD has 13, 619 active water connections, 9 service barangays, 9 pumping stations, 6  reservoirs, and 6 spring sources. It is also engaged in micro-forest program by buying out lands for watershed development and expansion, boosting a total of 17.528 hectares located at Sitios Cabanuangan, Hindangon and Barobo, and home to about 60,000 grown-up mixed tree species. Conversely, VCWD has an average production of 303,504 cubic meters as of the month of June. VCWD’s success can be attributed to its 117 highly performing employees, maintaining an impressive staff productivity of 1:129 higher than that of the DBM requirement of 1:120.

      From its humble beginnings, VCWD already achieved major accomplishments in its effort to continuously deliver quality water to all its concessionaires, to name only a few: replacement and abandonment of leaking pipes and distribution lines, rehabilitation works geared toward a comprehensive and expanded water supply system, human resource development, strengthened the mechanisms to enhance customer service, watershed development and expansion, intensive application of effective marketing strategies, development of computer program for the billing and collection system, continuing modernization of its existing water supply, and the completion of its new Administration Building to cater to its increasing number of personnel, to name only a few.

      VCWD’s achievements were not without turmoil and tribulations, yet with unwavering diligence, hard work and perseverance, the District has definitely seen it through. In the year 2004, it was re-categorized from small to big water district, and has earned several awards and recognitions for its 2006 operations, to wit: water district with high collection efficiency, innovation, watershed management and development program, creditworthy water district, 100% service coverage area, and nominee for 2006 outstanding water district.

             “We aspire to deliver quality water supply 24/7 especially to the elevated portions of the City, and we hope to reduce our non-revenue water, improve customer satisfaction and put up more infrastructure to better serve our most valued concessionaires,” declared Ms. Ma. Socorro Ester R. Paluga, General Manager of VCWD.

      VCWD is indeed, getting stronger at 31. It continues to remain steadfast in its mission of providing quality water service to the City of Valencia and looks forward with a renewed hope of more productive years to come.



PUBLISHED IN THE DURIAN POST NO.74, August 15-21, 2011