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The University of Nebraska Board of Regents could grant the system’s top administrator broader authority to sign contracts, a move board members say will increase efficiency. When regents convene for ......
|Description||The University of Nebraska Board of Regents could grant the system’s top administrator broader authority to sign contracts, a move board members say will increase efficiency. When regents convene for their final meeting of 2018 on Dec. 4, the board could extend the contract amounts NU President Hank Bounds and future leaders could approve by 150 percent. NU’s current procurement policy was last updated after previous efficiency reviews conducted in 2000-01 and about a decade ago, said Chris Kabourek, the universitys vice president for business and finance. "As we just went through with the (budget response teams), weve been having this conversation with the board and Business Affairs Committee if there are other ways to modernize our policies to deal with business in 2018," Kabourek said. Under the existing policy, presidents are authorized to sign contracts for the procurement of goods and services or construction projects up to $2 million without board approval. Any contracts above $250,000 but below the $2 million threshold simply require a report be made to the Board of Regents, according to the policy. Likewise, any change order to a construction project, or other facility improvement less than $150,000, can be approved by NUs president without board approval, with similar reporting requirements if the cost rises above a certain threshold. NUs president can also sign contracts for certain professional services, such as search firms or other consultants, without needing a vote of the regents if those contracts do not exceed $400,000. The proposed changes to NU’s procurement policy would raise those thresholds to $5 million for construction and service contracts, while triggering reporting requirements for contracts above $1 million. The university systems president could also approve change orders to construction projects up to $1 million, and approve service contracts up to $2 million under the proposed policy. Any contract with an accounting or auditing firm, regardless of the dollar amount, would require the approval of the regents’ Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee, according to the plan. The proposed policy would also restrict the president from signing leases longer than 20 years, or exceeding $5 million, without regents’ approval. Kabourek said committee discussions have centered on balancing the administrations ability to move ahead with buying specialized equipment such as microscopes or MRI machines without requiring several months of review by the regents, as well as oversight and control by elected leaders. "This is a policy the committee has vetted extensively and they are comfortable at this level of control that the risk of anything going haywire is minimal," he said. Regent Jim Pillen of Columbus, who chairs the board’s Business Affairs Committee, said the proposed changes will make NU more efficient and effective. “We believe the proposed changes to our contract policy — the first in more than a decade — give us an opportunity to be more streamlined and competitive in the way we do business,” Pillen said in a statement. “The changes strike the right balance between appropriate board oversight of university contracts, administrative authority, and accountability to the public,” he added. Regents will also consider approving the construction of a privately funded $5 million Gnotobiotic Mouse Vivarium at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln that will support the Nebraska Food for Health Center established last year. Gnotobiotic mice, which are born in controlled environments, are critical to understanding how dietary fibers affect the functions of the gut. UNL created its Gnotobiotic Mouse Facility in 2008, and it has since generated $5 million in research grant funding and contributed to 30 peer-reviewed papers, according to a program statement. “Facility expansion is needed to move microbiome research at the University of Nebraska to the next level,” the university said in its proposal for a 12,000-square-foot facility that would be built on the northeast side of the Life Sciences Annex on East Campus. If approved, construction on the vivarium — an aquarium for mice — would begin in August, with opening set for July 2020. At that point, UNL could expand the number of experiments it performs annually from 50 to roughly 300, researchers say. Regents will also consider a proposed $3.4 million renovation of approximately 10,000 square feet of the third floor of Hamilton Hall, home of UNL’s Department of Chemistry. According to the project description, the renovation of the hall’s north wing would overhaul four undergraduate teaching laboratories and the Undergraduate Instrument Center. It would also lay the groundwork for future renovations to the south wings of Hamilton Hall’s third and fourth floors, which are used for organic chemistry courses. Construction, which would be paid for through state funds, would begin in December 2019 and wrap up in time for the 2020-21 school year.|
|Industry||Education & Training|
The 5b-riyal project will be spread over 20 years and see up to 11,000 new homes Oman’s largest “urban” development costing 5 billion Omani riyals and to feature 11,000 homes has been launched in a j ......
|Description||The 5b-riyal project will be spread over 20 years and see up to 11,000 new homes Oman’s largest “urban” development costing 5 billion Omani riyals and to feature 11,000 homes has been launched in a joint venture between Dubai’s Majid Al Futtaim Group and Omran (Oman Tourism Development Co.). The location of the “Madinat Al Irfan” is minutes away from the new Muscat International Airport and adjoins the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre. The project will also see the creation of 100,000 square metres of retail space and 700,000 square metres for offices. It will be built in three phases over 20 years. Located in the western area of Madinat Al Irfan, it spans over 4.5 million square metres. “This is another important step forward in the transformation of Muscat’s real estate and tourism, offering a new international benchmark for urban development living,” said Peter Walichnowski, CEO of Omran. “Madinat Al Irfan is fast becoming a key catalyst for economic and social growth and opportunities.” The first phase of the project, scheduled for completion by 2023, will see investment in land infrastructure that will enable the development of mixed-use components. Madinat Al Irfan will be the second mixed-use community by Majid Al Futtaim in Oman, following the Al Mouj Muscat. The community is currently home to more than 2,000 families and will include 6,000 residential units when completed by 2025. In the retail arena, Majid Al Futtaim operates City Centre Muscat, My City Centre Sur and City Centre Qurum. According to Alain Bejjani, CEO at Majid Al Futtaim — Holding, “Our long-standing commitment to this country has led us to invest 705 million riyals and create employment opportunities for more than 42,000 people. We are Oman’s largest non-energy Gulf investor and a long-term contributor to the local economy. “We are pleased to partner with Omran to be part of what is set to be the largest development in Oman.” Majid Al Futtaim will be responsible for managing the development of all assets as part of the western area of Madinat Al Irfan. “Omran’s public-private strategic partnership approach is successfully bringing together the highest standards of expertise and quality with local knowledge and passion,” said Walichnowski. “We are already seeing this positive impact at Madinat Al Irfan, with the Oman Exhibition and Conference Centre precinct, which is now making a vital contribution to Oman’s MICE sector.”|
IT biggies Intel, IBM, Wipro, Lenovo set to attend retreat for strategic discussion in Goa on September 16, 17. VIKANT SAHAY explores the potential implications for Goa as an IT destination The seq ......
|Description||IT biggies Intel, IBM, Wipro, Lenovo set to attend retreat for strategic discussion in Goa on September 16, 17. VIKANT SAHAY explores the potential implications for Goa as an IT destination
The sequence has not broken and a series of visits by IT companies seems to be a continual process. At least, 20 senior-level management of different Information Technology and related companies, which includes companies like Intel, IBM, Wipro, Lenovo etc will be here in Goa for business with.
Manufacture Association of Information Technology (MAIT), a lead body for IT hardware in India is organising a retreat for startegic discussion and executive council meeting at Goa on September 16-17 in which managing director, South Asia of Intel and President of MAIT, Debjani Ghosh will be present along with other leading senior management of different companies.
The Chief Minister of Goa, Laxmikant Parsekar along with the Director Information and Technology, Ameya Abhyankar will in all likelihood, have a roundtable discussion with these company representatives and explore possibilities for tie-up with them for helping Goa on e-governance.
Probably this will be for the first time that Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events (MICE) tourism will actually be facilitating for business by MAIT.
Nitin Kunkoleinker, All India Senior Vice President of MAIT who also is member of Goa’s Investment Promotion Board is piloting the entire event in Goa. When asked why this event was held in Goa, Mr Kunkoleinker said, “We have had our retreat in Delhi, Bangaluru, Raipur etc. This time we said why not Goa as the State will be beautiful after the monsoons. IT and beauty should go together. Also, Goa is now showing keen interest in IT so it was an ideal time for us to make both ends meet which will be mutually beneficial and ultimately benefit Goa.”
The Goa government has been briefed about this retreat to which, the government has responded very positively “and CM has kept an interactive session with this MAIT group on September 16 as he wants to interact with them and listen to what and how they can come forward to help Goa in its IT endeavour,” added Mr Kunkoleinker. It could be an excellent opportunity for the IT companies to express their willingness to partner with the State.
However, the concern is that Goa has not been highlighted as a manufacturing destination yet. Thoughts among engineering, electronic and IT manufacturing units in India are emerging now that Goa can be used as a manufacturing hub and have centers like R&D, as the logistics in Goa are more or less in place. Goa is well connected through air, port and road. But little more time is needed for Goa to integrate these already available logistics. Also, the travel time within Goa is not more than an hour in any case.
Talking to Herald the Chairman of Logistics Committee of Goa Chambers of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Chandrakant Gawas said, “We would welcome such steps by the industry but Goa must educate those companies about the true facts. This may help the industry to play a longer innings here in the State and safeguard the jobs of the skilled manpower.”
Mr Gawas added that recently a delegation of GCCI has visited China and they got an excellent response. “Many companies in China are eyeing Goa as their business destination,” he added.
Goa can actually look at this opportunity to develop their capacity in sectors like design, social sector, e-governance and technology under three perspectives. (a) All these companies are global players and building up synergy with these players; (b) Goa is a place which is already famous in different corners of the world and sending a message across the industry that Goa is a serious partner in business too and (c) Lot of initiatives in corporate social responsibility with business can be clubbed in Goa like launch of pilot projects in smart education, smart city, street lighting etc.
Mark Weeks remembers when he first came to work in 1987 at the city of Everett’s water filtration plant. “When I first got here everything was analog,” he said. “It was all switches and paper recor ......
|Description||Mark Weeks remembers when he first came to work in 1987 at the city of Everett’s water filtration plant.
“When I first got here everything was analog,” he said. “It was all switches and paper recorders.”
Weeks now is the manager of the plant, at the south end of Lake Chaplain. And the plant now is controlled mostly by computers, with switches and levers replaced by mice and touchscreens.
Yet the 33-year-old plant has its shortcomings. Eight of the approximately 20 staff who work on site are in the maintenance business. One of the two backup generators, which would kick in if the main electric line were to go down, is out of service, meaning there’s a rental in place.
Add to that another concern on the horizon: growth.
The city’s system supplies most of Snohomish County with water for drinking and fire protection, about 600,000 customers total. According to Snohomish County, the population is expected to grow by another 200,000 people over the next two decades, a 26 percent increase.
The plant has a capacity of 134 million gallons per day, which represents a peak flow under good conditions, said John McClellan, the operations superintendent for Everett Public Works.
That flow likely couldn’t be sustained over an extended period, he said.
The typical daily production from the plant is 50 million gallons of water, but during the drought in the summer of 2015, nearly 100 million gallons were sent through nearly every day.
One way of planning for expected growth is a pilot project to test whether the capacity of the plant’s filters could be increased. Squeezing a bit more capacity out of the filters could save tens of millions of dollars over the long run, McClellan said.
The main source of the city’s water is Spada Lake, with Lake Chaplain as a secondary source. Chaplain also is the site of the filtration plant and the starting point of the pipelines that carry fresh water to the city’s reservoirs.
The state Department of Health caps the production of each of the plant’s eight filters at a rate of 8 gallons per minute for each square foot of filter.
As part of the pilot project, there is a room with a smaller version of a filtration plan with three filters identical in composition to the plant’s main filters: cylinders filled with 52 inches of anthracite coal atop a gravel base and a porous clay block.
Once the pilot study begins, possibly in November, Weeks and his staff will run water through the filters at higher rates. A moderate increase from 8 to 10 gallons per minute per square foot could lead to big savings.
After about a year, the results will be submitted to the health department for approval.
“We have to be able to produce the same levels of turbidity,” Weeks said, referring to naturally occurring particles suspended in the water. “If you can increase your production capacity, then you don’t need to build treatment basins.”
A new set of four filter systems could cost as much as $60 million, he said. Instead, running the existing filters at a higher capacity would mean installing new inflow pipes, at a more moderate cost of up to $3 million.
What that means downstream is significant. The filtration plant’s capacity of 134 million gallons per day could be increased to about 165 million.
If hotter and drier weather becomes common, a higher capacity plant, coupled with conservation measures at the tap, could help manage the increased demand.
Last year’s drought triggered water-use advisories for the first time since 2001. The advisories asked water customers to cut their use by 10 percent to maintain enough water in Spada Lake.
Spada Lake was only about 68 percent of its normal capacity at the time, and the advisory wasn’t lifted until November. It wasn’t until later that month that the water level returned to normal.
The summer of 2016 has been a lot wetter.
“We are pretty much topped off,” McClellan said.
|Industry||Water & Sanitation|
Created by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), ‘Business Events Thailand’ mobile application is completely free and packed with tons of useful information for anyone attending a busi ......
|Description||Created by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), ‘Business Events Thailand’ mobile application is completely free and packed with tons of useful information for anyone attending a business event in Thailand, a visitor or local resident.
The app uses location-based services to help you browse and find attractions, restaurants, hotels, business venues, events, and other points-of-interest in Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and other popular business destinations in Thailand. All information in the app can be conveniently saved in a favorites section, as well as shared with friends and colleagues via social media.
It features a comprehensive directory of trade shows, conferences, and business events throughout Thailand; a location-based travel guide for attractions, dining, entertainment, shopping and other points-of-interest; a directory of business meeting venues with key information for MICE organizers; a directory of business-friendly hotels throughout Thailand; a quick and easy search engine for airlines and their flight times to Thailand from major cities around the world, as well as domestic flight searches and special deals for MICE organizers and business travellers.
TCC Land Asset World Co, the retail arm of tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi's TCC Group, will invest 10 billion baht to build a five-star hotel near Asiatique the Riverfront, aiming to serve meeting a ......
|Description||TCC Land Asset World Co, the retail arm of tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi's TCC Group, will invest 10 billion baht to build a five-star hotel near Asiatique the Riverfront, aiming to serve meeting and exhibition guests as well as a growing number of tourists.
Surasit Manawatanakij, TCC Land's asset manager, said the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (Mice) business has been growing significantly and Thailand is expected to be a regional hub for the segment because of its tourism infrastructure and staff.
Located on the banks of Chao Phraya River, the hotel will have 800 rooms with a 3,000-square-metre conference hall, mainly to accommodate Mice customers. The luxury hotel is due to start construction in 2018 and finish in 2020.
"This hotel is likely to be managed by Maryland-based hotel management chain Marriott International," he said.
TCC Hotel Group has Marriott managing its hotels in Bangkok, Phuket and Hua Hin.
Mr Surasit said the strong growth of Mice has been backed by the country's tourism attractiveness and Thai hospitality.
Last year, Thailand welcomed 29.8 million foreign tourists and the arrival figure is expected to rise to more than 30 million this year.
Apart from Mice business, TCC Land expects its Asiatique mall on Charoen Krung Road to welcome 24 million tourists in the next two years, up from 12 million last year.
The project has become a tourist attraction with a giant Ferris wheel, restaurants and retail shops.
The nearby area is booming with new retail development including Iconsiam located on the opposite side of the river. The cabinet recently approved the construction of a 2.68-kilometre Gold Line monorail in Thon Buri district not far from this area.
TCC Land plans to earmark 300 million baht to build two new warehouses for the Urbano fashion zone and expand its pier at Asiatique to accommodate rising foreign and local tourists, especially foreign independent travellers (FITs), which have grown enormously in the past few years.
"FITs have three times the spending power of those from tour groups," Mr Surasit said.
TCC Land also wants to alter the ratio of FITs and tour group customers to 60:40 next year from 50:50 last year.
The company will partner with potential sponsors expected to be Thai Beverage, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and some tour agents to promote Asiatique during the festive season with a budget of almost 240 million baht, he said.
"Thanks to very good feedback from tourists the past five years, Asiatique will keep developing itself to become a tourism landmark for Bangkok," Mr Surasit said.
TCC Land targets 500 million baht in revenue for Asiatique this year, mostly from retail rents and activities during the year-end festive season, before reaching 550 million in 2018.
Last year, Asiatique's revenue stood at 423 million baht.
Asiatique has 1,500 shops and 45 restaurants and bars, including entertainment activities such as theatre, puppetry and a Ferris wheel overlooking the river.
The company plans to bring more Asiatique projects to Pattaya and Chiang Mai in coming years to serve a sharp rise of tourists.
Apart from Asiatique, TCC Land operates many retail projects in Bangkok including Gateway Ekamai, Centerpoint Siam Square, Pantip Plaza and Box Space.
|Industry||Hotel & Hospitality|
Oman’s two leading pension funds have decided to invest a total of 20 per cent in the new Crowne Plaza hotel, which is under development as part of the first phase of the Madinat Al Irfan Urban Centre ......
|Description||Oman’s two leading pension funds have decided to invest a total of 20 per cent in the new Crowne Plaza hotel, which is under development as part of the first phase of the Madinat Al Irfan Urban Centre.
State-owned Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran), the master developer of the Madinat Al Irfan Urban Centre project in Muscat, said its initial Private Placement Memorandum (PPM) agreement for the development has been a successful first stage of its public-private sector partnership approach.
Both the funds — the Public Authority for Social Insurance and the Sultan Special Force pension — demonstrated an interest in participation in phase one of Madinat Al Irfan, and when offered the Crowne Plaza proposition both chose to invest, taking a total of 20 per cent of the purchase between them, according to a press release from Omran.
The Crowne Plaza at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC), which is on track to open in 2017, was one of several assets offered for investment in response to private sector interest in involvement with phase one of the Madinat Al Irfan development.
“We had indicated an interest in investing in the major developments Omran and the Ministry of Tourism was planning, so the offer of an investment in the initial phase of Madinat Al Irfan was an attractive one. The investment proposition was low risk because Omran had done a lot of the development work already, including the award of contract and the financing, so this was a robust choice for us to participate in the flagship project,” said Sheikh Ghasan Khamis Al Hashar, Investment Director of Public Authority of Social Insurance.
“The Madinat Al Irfan Urban Centre is a milestone project in Oman, and one which will have far reaching benefits for residents. We saw this as a fantastic opportunity to become involved, and with the socio-economic benefits linked to the project, it aligned perfectly with our investment objectives,” he added.
“This kind of public-private sector cooperation is vital when it comes to developments on the scale of Madinat Al Irfan. The breadth of what the project will offer residents and visitors alike will come to fruition through investment from both public and private sector organisations,” noted Salah bin Salim Al Ghazali, chief investment officer of Omran.
“Omran has invested significantly in phase one of Al Irfan to create a robust foundation for growth of the site, providing low-risk options for private sector investment. Great progress is being made at the OCEC and surrounding precinct, and as the Crowne Plaza demonstrates, the private sector is investing in building this momentum now that assets are on the ground,” added Al Ghazali.
“Omran has saved approximately OMR1.5 million on construction costs of the Crowne Plaza project to date. And since Madinat Al Irfan’s Mulkhiya (title deed) was recently transferred by the Oman Ministry of Tourism to Omran, the company has increased its use of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) as a key approach in developing the project,” said Al Ghazali.
Part of Al Irfan phase one, the Crowne Plaza will be a four-star hotel with 296 rooms, offering visitors a comprehensive experience including varied food and beverage outlets as well as a health and leisure club. Its proximity to the OCEC will make it an ideal choice for business travelers.
The phase also includes the luxury JW Marriott hotel, a five-star, 304 key property with full amenities for guests. Both properties will be part of the OCEC precinct, the key initial asset in the first phase of Al Irfan. Both hotels and the convention centre are on track to open next year, with the OCEC exhibition halls set to open later this month.
The OCEC and the wider Madinat Al Irfan Urban Centre are at the heart of the Oman government’s strategy to diversify the Sultanate’s economy. By establishing a mixed-use business and urban city, Oman will become a major venue for regional and international events, developing Oman’s MICE and business tourism offerings as well as providing the ideal location to develop local talent.
|Industry||Hotel & Hospitality|
The ministry of tourism has approved projects to the tune of Rs450 crore for development of tourist circuits in five states, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Tamil Nadu ......
|Description||The ministry of tourism has approved projects to the tune of Rs450 crore for development of tourist circuits in five states, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Tamil Nadu.
The projects include heritage circuits in Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Ramayana Circuit in Uttar Pradesh, North East Circuit in Sikkim and Coastal Circuit of Tamil Nadu under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme.
The Heritage Circuit in Madhya Pradesh covers Gwalior-Orchha-Khajuraho-Chanderi-Bhimbetka-Mandu involving total project cost of approximately Rs100 crore. The project envisages development of world class infrastructure in the sites, including development of a theme park and convention centre in Khajuraho and sound and light show in Mandu.
Besides, the proposed interventions include site illumination and construction of tourist facilitation centres and parking area in the circuit.
The Heritage Circuit in Uttarakhand involves developing tourism infrastructure in Jageshwar-Devidhura-Katarmal-Baijnath sites with total project cost of approximately Rs83 crore. The highlights of the project involve development of eco log huts, sound and light show and upgradation of temple pathways.
The Coastal Circuit in Tamil Nadu envisages development of Chennai-Mamamallapuram-Rameshwaram-Manpadu-Kanyakumari circuit with total project cost of approximately Rs100 crore has been approved. Sound and light show, development of beach amenities, construction of pedestrian bridge connecting Vivekanand memorial with Tiruvalluvar statue are major highlights of project.
Ramayana Circuit in Uttar Pradesh envisages development of two destinations, viz, Chitrakoot and Shringverpur. The project cost for this circuit is approximately Rs70 crore for development of parikrama marg, food plaza, laser show, foot overbridge connecting MP and UP part of Chitrakoot, besides development of ghats, tourist facilitation centre and parking area.
The Ramayana Circuit in Uttar Pradesh also includes Ayodhya for which the state tourism department of Uttar Pradesh is preparing detailed project report (DPR)
The North East Circuit in Sikkim with approximate project cost of Rs95.50 crore includes development of eco log huts, cultural centre, paragliding centre, craft bazaar, base camp for mountaineering and meditation hall.
The ministry, meanwhile, will be organising the first ever 'Incredible India Tourism Investment Summit' later this month to attract investors across the globe.
The summit, being organised in association with Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) will offer a platform for domestic and international investors to meet project owners from across Indian states and the private sector.
The summit will present all investible properties, investment opportunities, MSME role in tourism sector, panel discussions on core infrastructure for tourism, session on start-ups, digital India, investing into Swadesh Darshan, PRASAD, MICE and niche tourism products, B2B meetings and signing of MoUs.
The summit will have dedicated space for seminars, business to business meetings and roundtables around focus themes.
There will be participation from major stakeholders, including states / UTs with their ready investible projects, banks and financial institutions, business developers, cruise liners, domestic investors, entertainment companies, global investors, helicopter services, hoteliers, infrastructure developers, international associations, restaurateurs, spa and yoga centers, tour and travel operators, urban developers, venture capitalist, civic amenity providers.
The Confederation of Indian Industry and Tourism Finance Corporation of India Ltd are principal partners of this summit.
THE deadly bombing that rocked Davao City last September 2 appeared to have minimal effect on the city's tourism industry. For instance, tourism-related events set earlier in the city are pushing thro ......
|Description||THE deadly bombing that rocked Davao City last September 2 appeared to have minimal effect on the city's tourism industry. For instance, tourism-related events set earlier in the city are pushing through as scheduled.
One of which is the city's hosting of the business-to-business meeting for World International Travel Mart in October of this year.
Marilou Ampuan said that some 50 companies, foreign and local, have confirmed their attendance in the event prior to the deadly blast that rocked Roxas Night Market that left 14 people dead and 67 others injured.
For the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) sub-sector, Ampuan, secretary of Mice Davao told reporters Monday in a roundtable interview in Felcris Centrale that they continued to receive bookings and inquiries both from different groups, domestic or foreign.
“After the blast, two of the 50 firms is having second thoughts in attending the scheduled event here while one other cancelled its participation, but majority are still going,” she said adding that most of the participating companies are first-timer in the city. The three companies are based in Manila.
Those that confirmed their participation in the event are tour operators from countries like in the Middle East, India and Japan. “Business is as usual for us here in the city,” Ampuan said.
The Department of Tourism secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo assures the tourists of Davao that the city remains a safe place for visitors and residents alike.
“The quick and professional response and action of our police, armed forces and security group shows that Davao is well-prepared for contingencies, including isolated attack like this bombing incident,” Teo said.
The tourism secretary expressed sympathies for those who suffered loss and injury in the tragic explosion and echoed the nation’s expression of outrage for the senseless act.
“The President is making inroads in his campaign against lawlessness and terrorism and we are united with him in his pursuit of peace in Mindanao and throughout the country," Teo added.
Ampuan, who also served as the general manager of Bloomers Travel and Tours, said this week, three groups (36 individuals) are scheduled to have a trip in Davao City.
“They will be travelling to the city to avail of the different tour packages including city tour,”
The city tour includes the house of President Rodrigo Duterte, Central 911, Museo Dabawenyo, Pasalubong Center, People’s Park, Aldevinco and Durian stalls, among others.
“The basic is the city tour, a lot of them interested in that tour package,” she said.
Ampuan added that apart from the city tour, tourists are also interested in highland and island tour packages.
City won best booth
In a recently-concluded 27th Philippine Travel Mart at SMX Convention Center in Manila last September 4, the Davao City was recognized as Best Booth Competition, besting 369 others under cities/municipalities category.
The booth featured the urban center’s different vibrant culture and tourist destinations showcasing flowers, durian and live cultural shows.
The annual event was spearheaded by the Philippine Tour Operators Association.
|Industry||Travel & Tourism|
Researchers at the University of Georgia are working to find the fastest way possible to treat and cure human African trypanosomiasis, long referred to as sleeping sickness. By working to improve chem ......
|Description||Researchers at the University of Georgia are working to find the fastest way possible to treat and cure human African trypanosomiasis, long referred to as sleeping sickness. By working to improve chemical entities already tested in human clinical trials, they hope to have a faster route to field studies to treat the disease using drugs that can be administered orally to patients.
The study, "Discovery of Carbazole-Derived Lead Drug for Human African Trypanosomiasis," was published in Scientific Reports Aug. 26.
Human African trypanosomiasis, or HAT, is a tropical disease endemic to some rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. A vector-borne parasitic disease, existing diagnosis and treatment regimens are complex, especially challenging in some of the world's most poverty-stricken regions.
"There is a significant challenge in terms of trying to find new drugs to control the disease," said Kojo Mensa-Wilmot, professor and head of the department of cellular biology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. "Currently used treatments cannot be given orally and require people to go to a clinic in rural settings, which presents a problem for both health professionals as well as those infected with the disease."
The new paper describes "drug re-purposing" by the UGA-led team, an approach in which drugs developed for one disease are tested for effectiveness against a different disease. As part of a drug discovery initiative funded by the National Institutes of Health, Cleveland Biolabs Inc. synthesized a class of compounds from which the research team selected to test against the parasite. Using an animal model for the disease, the researchers administered the drug orally to and cured the disease in mice.
"Their original goal was to create compounds to cure some types of cancer. From more than 30 compounds screened we found one that cures the disease and two more with potential to eliminate the infection," Mensa-Wilmot said.
"There are two compounds in clinical trials now that could be useful, but the pipeline for discovering these anti-trypanosome drugs is woeful," said Mensa-Wilmot. "HAT is a disease of poverty, really, so there is little motivation for the pharmaceutical industry to be heavily invested. Because the parasite can become drug resistant, it is very important for us to be vigilant in finding new effective, orally administered treatments for the disease."
HAT is caused by infection with the protozoan parasites belonging to the genus Trypanosoma brucei, which are transmitted to humans by tsetse flies. Rural populations living in regions that depend on agriculture, fishing, animal husbandry or hunting are the most exposed to the tsetse fly and therefore to the disease. The disease develops in areas ranging from a single village to an entire region. Sustained control efforts have reduced the number of new cases and in 2009 the number reported dropped below 10,000 for the first time in 50 years, according to the World Health Organization.
|Industry||Health & Medical|