August 16, 2005 
(STAR) THE SOUTHERN BEAT By Rolly Espina - Tomorrow, some 600 delegates from all over the country will gather at the Cebu International Convention Hotel and the Waterfront Hotel in Lahug, Cebu City for the Philsutech Convention, which will last until the 19th.

The two-day event will also usher in the first cabinet meeting and convention of the Visayas Lions 301-B district at the Diplomat Hotel. This will be highlighted by the formal oathtaking of District governor Tony Luy Kim Kok of District 301-B. Also to be sworn in is vice district 301-B governor Pablo Nava.

The other members of Tony Luy’s cabinet are secretary Anthony Luy Jr., treasurer Mariano Mancao, executive secretary Renato Aquino, executive administrator Frederick Lim, district counsel Edwardo Rosello and district PRO Romy Amores.

More than 300 Lions delegates are expected to arrive in Cebu for the district meet. It does not mean though that there will be less attention for the 52nd Philsutech Annual Convention. Starting today, hundreds of delegates are expected to arrive in Cebu from all over the sugar-producing areas of the country. Surprisingly, most of the delegates are sugar producers from the four major federations of sugarcane planters. Over the years, Philsutech has taken over the former role of the sugar producers federation in hosting discussions on the state of the sugar industry in the country.

Thursday’s opening ceremonies will be held at the Pacific Grand Ballroom with Perpetua Garredo will delivering the invocation. Convention chairman Eduardo Concepcion will grace the formal opening of the convention. Philsutech president Javier Sagarbarria will deliver the welcome address and Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña and later Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia will speak before the guests. Keynote speaker Agriculture Secretary Domingo Panganiban will reportedly send his undersecretary to read his speech.

Technical papers will also be presented during the convention. Incidentally, many policies and programs of the sugar industry have emerged from technical papers presented during past Philsutech conventions. But there are some presentations that have already piqued the interest of prospective delegates.

Among the most awaited paper is the "First Fruit Experience", a report by Mrs. Olive Gamboa and Mrs. Ma. Theresa Sistoso on their experience in Bukidnon in Northern Mindanao, particularly their saga in transforming their farm into one of the most progressive in the country.

Another paper everybody is looking forward to reading is the "Integrated Farming Experience" of Ramon Peñalosa of the Victorias Mill district in Negros Occidental. Peñalosa’s farm has become a model of multiple cropping and he is now considered one of the most successful sugar producers in the area. No less than Negros Occidental Gov. Joseph Maranon had cited Penalosa’s dramatic success in integrated farming last year.

There is also the "Sustainable Development in the Sugar Industry: An Environmental Policy Perspective" by Ms. Edna Tatel of the Philippine Sugar Millers Associations. Another possible topic of interest to sugar producers is "Mist Irrigation System as an economical alternative to overhead sprinkler system."

In terms of its major impact on the industry, the forum on "Cane Supply/Logistic Management" is most anticipated. What will be taken up here will determine more or less how the industry hopes to find ways to improve its viability.

The panelists include Ricardo Leon Echaus (First Farmers Milling Company), Renato Cabati (URSUMCO), Democrito Oppus (Busco), Norberto Capay (Victorias Milling Company) and Ramon Peñalosa (National Federation of Sugarcane Planters).

The others are Nicolas Alfonso (UNIFED), Francis Trenas (PanayFed), Pablito Zandoval (Luzonfed) and Ferdi Corpus (Sugar Regulatory Administration and Confederation of Sugar Producers Associations Inc.). Sugar Administrator James Ledesma will be the guest speaker on the second day. He will be introduced by David Villanueva. The general assembly will then elect the incoming Philsutech officers. Primito Rivera Jr. will proclaim the newly elected directors.

Chairman Ricardo Leon Echauz will then induct the newly elected officers. Echaus will also deliver the closing remarks. Avoid political crisis — Papal Nuncio Papal Nuncio Antonio Franco said last weekend that the Church should face the present political crisis with a greater sense of responsibility and should see the challenge on a longer range. He also stressed the need to rediscover the spiritual values of society, especially the formation of honesty and commitment of the people. The Papal Nuncio said that the Church, in its prophetic mission, must be involved in social and political realities.

"We are present — the priests and bishops — in this reality whether there is black and white, or when there is good and less good," the Papal legate stressed. But he also added that those in charge of the evangelization of the political and social realities are the lay people, not the priests and the bishops.

Meanwhile, the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the episcopal ordination of Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo elicited from the incoming president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines a major statement that must be studied by political pundits and the country’s leading politicos.

"I hope that everybody — congressmen, senators as well as our President — will stand for the truth no matter how painful it may be," said the prelate. He reiterated the CBCP’s position that the political crisis be resolved by setting up a Truth Commission to investigate the allegations against the President.

Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal also called the legislators to continue with the impeachment proceedings. "I hold the impeachment should go on because it’s the only way we will know the truth, so far as the Constitution is concerned. We hope that our congressmen will not stop the impeachment process," Cardinal Vidal stressed.

Former President Cory Aquino also made a similar call last Thursday when she called on Lagdameo in the company of Senate President Franklin Drilon. They were accompanied by former Land Reform Secretary Rene Villa and Iloilo Gov. Niel Tupas.

Cebu celebrates 30 years of RP-China relations C‘EST CEBU By Honey Jarque Loop The Philippine STAR 08/11/2005

In today’s highly sophisticated but volatile world, many believe diplomacy is a vital at necessity more than at any time in man’s history. A couple of affairs recently recognized the great importance of such relations between countries, which generate mutual benefits.

Cebu-based Consul General Cui Luosheng of the People’s Republic of China (PROC) and his wife Madame Liu Pei Fang hosted a formal dinner reception at the Cebu Marriott Hotel to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and China. Guest of honor and speaker Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia acknowledged the many achievements since the establishment of the diplomatic ties and spoke highly of the extensive and fruitful cooperation in the political, economic, cultural, and other fields. She likewise pledged to further enhance the special relationship in the years to come. Meanwhile, Consul General Luosheng expressed his country’s gratitude for the friendship of the Filipino people and the Philippines’ efforts to promote goodwill and understanding.

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The Romanian Ambassador to the Philippines Radu Homescu recently conferred the title of Honorary Consul of Romania on Grand Benedicto, a member of one of Cebu’s oldest families, with interests in several trades and industries around the nation’s premier province, during a reception at the Cebu Country Club. His gracious wife Georgeta was the co-host. Proudly standing beside him during the simple installation ceremony attended by close relatives, supportive friends and colleagues were his wife Genevieve and parents Honorary Consul of Belgium Enrique Benedicto and his wife Helen. The ever growing Consular Corp of Cebu, a testimony of the island’s globalization in more ways than one, was likewise excellently represented to welcome its newest member. They included Consul General of Austria Arcadio Alegrado, British Honorary Consul Moya Jackson, Honorary Consul of Albania Ceferino Benedicto, and Honorary Consul of Spain Jaime Picornell.

Congratulations to Honorary Consul Grand Benedicto! Long live Romania! Mabuhay Philippines!

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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