Monday, May 25, 2015

Business Community Condemns Harassment Versus Aklan Resort Owner

Business Community Condemns
Harassment Versus Aklan Resort Owner
by Johnny P. Dayang

A cloud of fear has enveloped the business community in an emerging tourism town in Aklan after the local government there ordered the closure of a resort owned by a leader of the local chamber of commerce without due process.

Businessman Ariel Abriam, past Boracay chapter president of the Philippines Chambers of Commerce and Industries (PCCI), has asked the Regional Trial Court in Kalibo to order Mayor Quezon F. Labindao of Buruanga, Aklan to cease and desist from further implementing the notice of permanent closure he issued versus Ariel’s Point, a resort in the area that has caught the fancy of international tourists and has been featured in several online sites.

Ariel’s Point, acquired by the Abriam family in 2009 and has been granted permits and licenses by the office of Labindao and the national government since then up to 2014, is a subject of a permanent closure order issued by the mayor on March 3, 2015 that was enforced immediately.

Abriam, through his counsel Marienne M. Ibadlit, in response, filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with urgent application for temporary restraining order (TRO), and/or writ of preliminary prohibition/mandatory injunction.

In his petition, Abriam said he became a subject of harassment by the municipal government since June 2014 up to the time when Ariel’s Point Resort was padlocked by Labindao’s men.

Abriam revealed that in one occasion during a hearing set by the municipal government on the alleged violations of Ariel’s Point Resort, Labindao disclosed his desire to have the property acquired by Oceanpark, which already has a facility nearby. “He explained that it would be more beneficial to the Municipality of Buruanga if the property is sold to Oceanpark as it is a bigger investor.”
He said the municipal government only concocted grounds to shut down the resort, and that the closure order was issued without due process.

Abriam, thus, asked the court to issue a 72-hour ex-parte TRO; upon summary hearing extend the TRO for another 20 days, and subsequently injunction orders to permanently stop the implementation of the mayor’s order to padlock the resort.

Aside from declaring the notice of closure as null and void, Abriam also wants the judge to order Labindao and his fellow respondents to pay P4.7 million in indemnity, damages and litigation fees. /MP

Kanta Ni Tita Linda

Ro Unga Nga Mahugod
Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Ro unga nga mahugod,
Sa ulihi indi magkalisod,
Sanay sa obra ag pagkayod,
Bugae ko anang mga igmanghod.
Nalipay si Nanay,
Bugaeon si Tatay,
Sa ungang mahugod,
Ga tao it kalipay.
Sa trabaho masaligan,
Ro oras guina pangin puslan,
Guina obra rong tanan,
Agod indi maagahan.
Mahugod man sa pagtuon,
Guina tun-an tanan nga leksyon,
Agod sa klase hay haum,
Pangutana ni ma’am masabat dayon.
Ro unga nga mahugod,
Bugae it pamilya,
Manggad ko atong banwa,
Maeapit kana rong grasya. /MP


By Odon S. Bandiola

Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao climbs the ring at the MGM Grand Arena at Las Vegas determined to box and engage in a brawl.

Floyd “Money” Mayweather, the other protagonist, climbs the ring to sway, glide, dance and run and to hug his partner for 36 minutes.

It was an incompatible pair, Pacman of boxing has no business meeting “Money”, the greatest atop the ring of all times.

It would have been wise, execiting and amazing for Mayweather to be paired with the PacMom”, Mommy D, Pacman’s mother in an exhilarating ballroom dancing.

I doubt if Mayweather could last twelve rounds hugging and swaying Mommy D at the MGM Grand Arena.
Mayweather hallucinated saying that he is the “greatest”, greater than Ali. He is miles and miles away from greatness, the likes of Ali, Joe Frazier, George Forman, Mike Tayson, Thomas Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marrin Hagler, Roberto Duran, the real boxers.

He hallucinated of being the greatest exhibiting his unblemished 48-0 record not admitting that many of those wins were questionable.

Many experts call it scientific boxing on the part of Mayweather. To me it is not boxing at all. Boxing is engaging contact sports. It is not about hit and run, it is not about treating the ring as a dancing hall or making the ring a track oval.

Judges in the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout had done injustice to the boxing fans all over the world. To many, their lopsided scores could have been reversed in favor of Pacquiao. Referee Bayless is never an exception. He allowed Mayweather to throw low blows, head locked Pacquiao and wrestled Pacquiao’s neck.

Experts talked about compubox scoring in favor of Mayweather. But human fingers press entries to this compubox which cheated many deserving winners in amateur boxing in the Olympics and regional meets.

Mayweather hallucinated with self-acclaimed greatness forgetting that greatness is only achieved by the love in the hearts of the people and adoration on the minds of sports followers and aficionados. Mayweather has a scarcity on this score.

Mayweather failed miserably to get the hearts and minds of boxing fans all over the world.

Minutes after his bout with Pacquiao, he stepped on the rope strands of the ring and waved to people at the MGM Grand Arena which was jampacked with no vacant seats left.

He was overwhelmingly booed no end. Where is his greatness here?

Pacquiao instead got the overwhelming cheers and applause of the crowd, boxing fans indirectly affirming Pacquiao’s victory and greatness.

Pacquiao remains the People’s champ all over the world.

Paying boxing fans and aficionados all over the world felt cheated with Mayweather’s antic in the ring. They paid abnormally too much to see a bout where one protagonist, Mayweather, refused to engage. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

The Art Of Borrowing
by Ambrosio R. Villorente

Have you ever obtain a loan? If you did obtain, from whom? Did you borrow from your relatives? Friends? Pawnshops? Lending shops? Or Banks?

If you have experienced borrowing from these various loan sources, from which is convenient for you to borrow? Which charges the least interest? Which requires volumes of supporting documents? Which releases the loan at the shortest possible time?

In the farming community, the farmers borrow palay in three modes of payment. One is what they call “dubli”. This is 200 percent interest rate. A family borrows 50 kilograms of palay before the planting season payable after harvest. The borrower pays the lender 100 kilograms, double the quantity. But this is easy to do as no document is needed. The agreement is verbal.

The second mode is “Tersiya”. The procedure is similar with the first mode except that the 30 kilograms palay loaned will be paid for 45 kilograms. This is given when the borrower has already standing palay crop to guarantee sure payment after harvest.

The third mode is the “Uli”. This is given to those relatives such as brother to brother, or father to son or daughter. If 50 kilograms palay is borrowed, the borrower just pays the same quantity as borrowed, free of interest.

These three modes of lending don’t need any documentation. Everything is verbally done. The lender may, however, keep record of his creditors.

Another mode of lending is the “Five Six” (5/6). The lender does not need any supporting documents from the borrower. It is enough for the lender to know that his borrower has the capacity to pay. The lender even visits his clients to extend loan. He knows what kind of person he lends his money. The loan proceed is instantly released to the borrower who just signs in a notebook acknowledging that he borrowed an amount from the lender.

The loan is amortized daily which the borrower pays P6.00 for every P5.00 borrowed per month. The borrowers are usually small businessmen like the vendors.

Another mode of loaning is by non-government organization like the cooperative association. As practiced, the cooperative raises fund for re-lending to its members to start a business in accordance with the objectives and projects of the cooperative. The loaning procedure depends upon the articles of incorporation and by-laws of the cooperative.

Usually, the rate of interest is moderate and reasonable and the schedule of payment is not strictly observed. There are some members who seek membership in a cooperative whose motive is to borrow money. After obtaining the loan, that member or members stop attending meetings, do not repay the loan. This is one of the causes of extinction of cooperative organizations.


The Rural Banking law was enacted to organize rural banks in each municipality in the Philippines to provide the credit requirements of the people at a very low interest rate with a minimum documentation. It is geared to accelerate agricultural development and hasten farm productivity.

The Rural Bank Law provides that the owners of a rural bank must be residents of a community where that bank will be put up. The Bangko Sentral ng Filipinas (BSF) provides 50 percent of the initial investment while the incorporators invest 50 percent. As soon as a rural bank is ready to operate, the BSF will advance operating capital.

However, for reasons the public did not know, almost all rural banks in Aklan was closed. Even the Cooperative Rural Bank of Aklan collapsed and was closed. Only in New Washington, Malinao, Banga, and Ibajay rural banks are still functioning.


Pawnshops lend money to anybody who has jewelry, and other valuable personal belongings to be pawned. It is instant cash to those who pawn a ring, necklace or IPad. Usually, pawnshops lend money at three (3) percent interest per month or 36 percent per year, such that a small loan of P10,000, the borrower must have paid P13,600.00 to the pawnshop.

Moreover, some pawnshops are dishonest. I got a friend who pawned his 24 carat gold necklace in a pawnshop in Sta. Cruz, Manila. After one month he redeemed it. He measured it and found out that his necklace length decreased by two (2) inches. Another friend pawned her 21 carat gold ring, imbedded with five (5) tiny diamond stones to a pawnshop in Kalibo. The ring was her birthday present from her father. After one month she redeemed it. She got back her gold ring with one diamond stone missing and the gold diminished by one (1) gram.


In Kalibo, Aklan, there are several lending shops. They lend money such as for acquisition of motor vehicles, pension loan, mortgage loan, barangay loan, salary loan, and seaman’s loan among others. Lending shops have several loan categories, but they have also kilometric documents required that a probable borrowers might collapse even before obtaining the loan proceed.

For those who wish to borrow from the lending shops, here are what they will ask you to submit: I.D pictures, co-makers’ names, 2 valid I.Ds, Brgy. Clearance, bank statement, ATM card, Residence Certificate, Certificate of Employment, Marital consent, Pension Certificate, Collateral slip, and many others.
Moreover, the interest rate is enormous. I got a friend who borrowed from a lending shop in Kalibo. After several days of preparing the loan document, he submitted it to a lending shop. It was approved. He was granted a small amount of P50,000.00, payable in six months.

He got the money, spent it for some consumer goods. He religiously paid the amotization monthly without fail. After adding all what he paid, it amounted to P86,632.23. The lending shop almost double its money after six (6) months.

This is one explanation why some individuals don’t improve economically. Acquiring loans and spending it for consumer items is poor economics.


It is safe to borrow from banks. However, banks likewise require several documents to submit before it approves loan application. One reason why some people shy away from borrowing from the banks is the hardship in the preparation of documents.

While banks charge from seven (7) to 36 percent interest per year for loans, it offers very low interest rate to money deposited in their banks. Saving deposit for instance only earns less than one (1) percent per year, 20 percent of which is paid as withholding tax. Time deposit only earns four (4) percent per year.

Not only that, to transact business with a bank, a small bank depositor on the average spends one (1) – two (2) hours until he is serve.

For a depositor whose amount is insignificant, better keep your money in your aparador. It needs more time and effort for a small transaction like P5,000 in a bank in Kalibo.

The policy on savings is highly skewed in favor of the wealthy, the bank owners and big depositors. Congress must review the banking law to help equitable wealth distribution. /MP


Nabas Wind Farm Reenforces 
Aklan’s Power Needs
by Ernesto T. Solidum

The Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla declared that Aklan has more than enough power supply to meet the present and future consumers demand with entry of 50 MW Nabas Wind Power Project. This is the gist of the 30 minute presscon with Tri-media held at the main Office of Petro Wind energy, Inc., Pook, Nabas. Aklan’s minimum supply load is 40-42 MW but emergency power reserve on line must be the same rated capacity.

For the Visayas Power outlook, available supply is 2,000 MW while peak demand is 1,900 MW. Thanks to the commissioning of coal fired power plants in Lapaz and Concepcion, Iloilo and just recently, the Wind Power Plant in San Lorenzo, Guimaras. “If there is recurrent blackout/brownout, this can be traced to disruption of transmission grid or distribution lines. At least we are confident that power supply will be sufficient until 2018,” said the Energy Chief.

In response to a remark that the Philippines has attracted no investors because it has the highest residential power rate in the world even surpassing Japan, Petilla said, “commercial users the country charges the second highest rate after Singapore.”

Mr. Petilla agreed to the above stated comments but based on EPIRA law of 2001, the government is not allowed to invest, operate and maintain power plants but is left to independent power producers like Petro Wind Energy.

In Indonesia, consumers of electricity pay half of the cost that we pay here in the Philippines because the government there subsidizes 50 percent of the power cost. Critical analysis however, shows that this is anti-poor and unsustainable since fully 22 percent of $30 billion annual budget goes to subsidize power.

For practical purposes, electric cooperative and big industrial firms band together to get cheaper prices from wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) where they could get as low as P5.00/Kwh, a positive case that happened in Mindanao.

“Regarding the bill of Sen. Serge Osmena in the 16th Congress, I am amenable to abolish the 12 percent E-VAT on monthly electric bills.” He sympathizes with Aklanons paying almost P9.00/Kwh while Metro Manilans bear higher fees – P11.00.

Wind farm project has recently attracted local and international visitors. There is the need to rationalize and plan for eco-tourism projects because of business potentials and local employment generations. We do not like to duplicate the disaster at Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte’s Wind Farm where tourists are left out to find for themselves.

Nabas Wind Farm is located at Pawa, Nabas, Aklan about 300 meters above sea level. Its 125 meter high wind turbine perches on deep ravins. It has 4.5 meters blades that can self adjust to any wind turbine per second. The rated capacity per wind turbine tower is 2 MW but could be reduced up to 15-30 percent of rated capacity during the Easterly winds (April to June). The power output is expected to pick up by July when the Southwest moonson starts when it can generate 36 MW from all 18 wind turbines. 

Each turbine tower has a base diameter of 4.5 meters and could withstand wind speeds of 270 Kph. The whole wind power project has a commanding view of the Visayan sea, Boracay and Tablas Islands. A 4.0 km winding road allows group visiting tour to see the Control and Protection Area and Switchyard complex.
Initial commissioning power dispatch is 34.5 KV that is stepped up to 68 KV for the power transmission grid of National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP). This output comes from 9 wind turbines running in full operation. The total units that need to be constructed is 25, seven of them to be located inside Northwest Panay Peninsula National Park. Its pending application on the land to be released is to be decided by Congress.

Petro Wind has adopted the Spanish technology including the hardware. However, the computer software is from China. The total project cost is P4 billion.

The power firm has shown its corporate responsibility to the small community of Brgy. Pawa with significant investments in health and sanitation, livelihood, education and re-greening.

Other guests in the presscon are: Asec Jose Raymund A. Acel, Department of Energy, Vice Mayor Wilbec Gelito, Mun. of Malay; Francisco Delfin Jr. Exec. Vice Pres. for Operation, Petro Wind Energy; and Milagros B. Reyes, Pres. Petro Wind Energy.

A total of 25 members of Tri-media in Aklan visited the Petro Wind project and attended the presscon. /MP

Pacquiao’s Heart Prevails

Pacquiao’s Heart Prevails
GMA airing is most-watched coverage of the Battle for Greatness

GMA Network is proud of its Kapuso Manny Pacquiao for fighting like a true hero in his recent battle with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. 

Despite the unfavorable outcome, Manny still emerged as the People’s champion and won the hearts of people around the world with his audacity and sportsmanship in the ring.

Throughout his two-month training in Los Angeles, California and especially in the days leading to the fight, GMA delivered the most comprehensive coverage of the road that led to what was touted to be the biggest bout in boxing history dubbed “Pacquiao vs. Mayweather: Battle for Greatness.”

In support of the Pambansang Kamao, GMA also launched the Laban para sa Pilipino #GoManny campaign, providing fans across the globe the latest news on Pacquiao and updates on his fight preparation on various platforms.

Meanwhile, more Filipinos tuned in to GMA to watch the epic battle as the Network’s airing of the Pacquiao-Mayweather match became the most-watched telecast based on National Urban TV Audience Measurement (NUTAM) ratings (based on overnight data).

According to the industry’s widely-trusted ratings service provider Nielsen TV Audience Measurement, GMA won in NUTAM ratings with an average household audience share of 47.4 percent, higher than ABS-CBN’s 31.5 percent by 15.9 points and TV5’s 6.9 percent by 40.5 points. 

The airing of the fight on GMA also attracted the most number of viewers in Urban Luzon and Mega Manila, where it beat competition by even bigger margins.

Moreover, the May 2 airing of the weekend edition of GMA’s flagship newscast, 24 Oras Weekend, which provided in-depth coverage on the biggest sporting event in boxing, also recorded a 13.3 percent audience share in NUTAM with its ABS-CBN counterpart scoring 11.6 percent. /MP



The leakage of the Anti-Money Laundering Council’s (AMLAC) report that led to the freezing of 242 bank accounts, five of which are under Vice President Jejomar C. Binay’s name, creates a “chilling effect” on the business community, Binay said Friday.

Speaking at the 36th National Conference of Employers, the Vice President described the AMLAC report as “whimsical” and expressed hope that the issue would be resolved soon.

“Let us all hope this whimsical use of regulatory powers is stopped sooner than later. It creates a chilling effect on confidence in business and banking system that is detrimental to our economy and development,” he said.

Binay jested that he hopes no one among the participants will be invited to attend the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee hearings for being called his friends.

“Now that I have referred to you as dear friends, I hope you will not get an instant invitation from the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee to prove you are not my dummies, and your companies, not my dummy corporations,” he quipped.

“It is also my prayer your bank accounts will not be subjected by AMLAC to a freeze order solely on the basis of our friendship and association, or the fact that you are in the same room as Jojo Binay,” he added.

The Vice President lamented the order, saying it is being used to persecute persons affiliated with him. 

“Such is the sad fate of some honest and hardworking business persons I know. They were publicly ridiculed, intimidated and harassed, and their bank accounts now frozen simply because they happened to be my friends,” he said.

Binay said he was not surprised that AMLAC’s report had been leaked to other parties even as he himself has not yet received a copy. 

“Hindi ko na tatanungin kung “paano” nakakuha ng report na ayon sa batas ay confidential, dahil alam ko naman kung “bakit” inilabas ang report na ito,” he said, noting that AMLAC’s report was one-sided as it has yet to include his respon-ses to the findings.

“Ito po ay mga sabi ng AMLAC. One-sided lamang ang nasabing report. At uulitin ko ang sinabi ko kahapon: The AMLAC is wrong. Maling-mali ang AMLAC,” the Vice President said.

“Lima lang po ang bank account ko, hindi po dalawang daan at apat na pu’t dalawa. Lima lamang sa kasama sa freeze order ang na sa pangalan ko. At lahat ng pondo na nilalaman ng limang accounts naito ay legal at hindi tagong yaman,” he added. 

Binay clarified that the funds in his bank accounts came from his income, savings and investments before he joined government as well as the campaign donations when he run for Vice President in 2010.

“Sinasabi din ng AMLAC na ang tanging pinagmulan ng kita ko ay ang sahod na tinatanggap ko bilang inyong Pangalawang Pangulo kaya hindi tugma ang aking kita sa halagang nilalaman ng aking mga bank accounts. Wala pong katotohanan ito,” he said.

“Hindi po itinagong yaman ang sweldo ko bago ako naging Mayor. Hindi po itinago ng yaman ang kinita at naipon ko bago pa man ako mapabilang sa hanay ng gobyerno. Hindi po itinagong yaman ang kinita namin sa aming mga negosyo na nagsimula noon pang dekada otsenta. Nagbabayad kami ng tamang buwis sa aming mga negosyo,” he added.

The Vice President also stressed that the campaign contributions he received was duly reported to the Commission on Elections.

“Hindi rin iti-nagong yaman ang mga campaign donations na deklarado sa Comelec. Maling-mali ang AMLAC. At mas lalong mali na sabihin nila na akin ang dalawang daan tatlumpu’t pitong accounts ng ibang mga tao, kasama na ditto ang mga kilalang negosyante at investor,” he said.

“I remain hopeful that our business sector remains resilient to the oppressive heat of politics and remain focused on the bigger tasks ahead,” he added. /MP

Organic Agriculture Potential In Dueñas

Organic Agriculture 
Potential In Dueñas
Mayor Ramona Palabrica-Go receives one million cash as the 2014 Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Awards Outstanding Municipality during the awarding ceremony at Resorts World Manila recently. Photo shows standing from left are: Assistant Secretary Edilberto de Luna, DA 6 Regional Technical Director Manuel O. Olanday, Mayor Palabrica-Go, UnderSecretary Antonio Fleta, Agricultural Technicians Nezza Villalobos and Rodney Benjamin and Under Secretary Emerson U. Palad (James Earl E. Ogatis photo)

Mayor Mamerto Pelopero mentioned the potentials of Dueñas as one of the centers for organic farming during the town’s 2nd Farmers Week Celebration, May 6.

With the theme “Organiko nga Pagpanguma ang tadlong nga dalan Padulong sa Kauswagan sang banwa.” The celebration focused on organic agriculture, as his municipality wants to venture on organic farming. Mayor Pelopero calls for oneness, cooperation and support among farmers and stakeholders in order to achieve their goal in promoting organic agriculture. He assured a continued support, assistance and more projects in agriculture in order to continually improve their agricultural industry.

Dueñas is an agricultural community, wherein 86 percent of its total land area is soley devoted to agriculture. Its important crops include sugarcane, corn and banana. Hence, agriculture has a big contribution to the growing economy of the municipality.

“Organic agriculture is a new direction or venue to improve our agricultural economy while living in harmony with nature,” said Dr. Ildefonso Toledo, Provincial Agriculturist of Iloilo. He emphasized that if farmers really want to push for organic agriculture, they need to be honest about it and observe the protocols set.

“Organically grown products have bigger market value compared to the conventionally grown crops. This idea attracts more farmers to convert their farms into organic areas. Market for the organically grown crops is no longer a problem but the challenge is on how to sustain the supply of the said products. The demand for organic goods continues to increase and the supply needs to cope with this constant upturn,” he added.

On the other hand, the Department of Agriculture RFO 6 Public Relations Officer James Earl Ogatis reiterated the interventions and assistance given by the DA to the farmers. He emphasized the importance of preparing proposals for interested farmers/farmers’ organization who want to avail projects from DA especially in organic agriculture.

A total of 39 Farmers’ Organization participated in the Farmers’ Week Celebration whom Municipal Agriculturist Danilo Penpillo thanks for attending in the week-long celebration. He hoped for a more progressive agricultural industry for the municipality of Dueñas.  /MP

DA 6 Conducts AEC Awareness Campaign Among Farmers’ Organization

DA 6 Conducts AEC Awareness
Campaign Among Farmers’ Organization  
by James Earl E. Ogatis
James Earl E. Ogatis, DA 6 – Public Relations Officer II turned over 60 pieces of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) integration poster to Dr. Jonic F. Natividad, Chief, Regulatory Division to be distributed to the participants of “Awareness and Information Dissemination For The AEC 2015 Integration Among Farmers and Peoples’ Organization In Western Visayas”. (Remegio Soqueño photo)

The Department of Agriculture 6 through its Regulatory Division conducted an awareness campaign on ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) integration among farmers’ organizations in region 6.

Dr. Jonic F. Natividad, Chief of Regulatory Division, said that understanding AEC integration will equip farmer leaders of necessary information about its effects to the agriculture sector.

Natividad added that adopting organic agriculture technologies and strengthening good agricultural practices (GAP) among farmers’ organization will be a vital edge to gain competitive advantage among ASEAN member countries.

He encouraged the participants to emulate technologies and best practices of GAP-certified farms from other countries.

Ms. Felicitas M. Neturada, DA 6 Senior Science Research Specialist discussed the topic on “Code of Conduct on Hygienic Practices for Herbs and Spices” while Mr. Sonie S. Guanco,   Agriculturist I talked on “Understanding GAP and Its Guiding Principles.”  

The participants were expected to identify their needs and opportunities towards GAP certification of their respective farms in line with the country’s AEC commitment.

The ASEAN Economic Community is an integrated economy of 10 ASEAN member countries. It is envisioned as a highly competitive economic region that is fully integrated into a global economy having equitable economic development and a single market and production base.

AEC 2015 heralds the establishment of the ASEAN economic community that will allow the free movement of goods, services, investments, skilled labor and capital flow in the region. /MP 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Aklan Tourism Business Survey Begins

Aklan Tourism Business Survey Begins

The Philippine Statistics Authority-Aklan is currently conducting the 2014 Survey of Tourism Establishments in the Philippines (STEP).

The STEP aims to collect information on the available supply of tourism goods, products and services, which are valuable inputs to measure the economic contribution of tourism industry in the economy.

About 233 establishments in Aklan are selected as samples for STEP where more than half are located in Boracay Island, Malay.

Mrs. Rodelyn Panadero, Interim Provincial Statistics Officer, said that establishments covered in tourism survey are accommodation, restaurants, transport operators, tour and travel agencies, health and wellness, and other tourism activities.

“Tourism has great importance, role and impact on the social and economic development of the country,” Panadero stressed.

Hence, according to her, there is a need to measure the economic contribution of tourism for effective and efficient policy research, monitoring, analysis and development of the tourism industry.

The STEP is a rider survey for this year’s Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry (ASPBI).

Mrs. Panadero appealed to all respondents to give complete and reliable information to PSA field personnel conducting the survey. 

She, also, assured them that all information given will be held “strictly confidential”. It cannot be used for taxation, investigation or for other law enforcement purposes. /MP

Aklan Pina, Fiber Fest Marks its 16th year

Aklan Pina, Fiber Fest Marks its 16th year

The Aklan Pina and Fiber Festival has become one of the major events that will highlight the series of activities celebrating the Aklan Day Anniversary.

On its 16th year, the five (5) day Festival was conducted on April 22-26, 2015 at the Trade Hall, Capitol Grounds in Kalibo, Aklan. The event mainly featured Aklan’s best products made of pina, abaca and raffia loom woven fabrics, fashion accessories and souvenir items, health and wellness products.

The public was also expected a treat of sorts from the best-tasting processed meat, bakery, confectionery and pasalubong products to ornamental plants and garden products.

Other exhibits included  a garden wedding setting by local artist/ designer Nina Candelario and company; a mini-fashion show presented various ensembles of wearing apparel made from indigenous materials and fashion accessories; an agro-industrial exhibit of the 17 towns of Aklan that featured their One-Town-One-Product (OTOP).

A nightly dinner event with native, exotic and gastronomic treat cuisine was also offered for guests at the Tsibigan sa Kapitolyo. Visitors, as well as families, enjoyed the jovial mood with live band music plus cultural entertainment.

The Fiber Fest also displayed of Public and Private Partnership (PPP) led by the Provincial Government of Aklan, Department of Trade and Industry, PhilFIDA, the Hugod Aklanon Producers Association, Inc. and the Aklan Pina and Indigenous Fibers Manufacturers and Traders Association, Inc. /MP

I Juander Celebrates 4th Anniversary In Palawan

I Juander Celebrates 4th
Anniversary In Palawan

After years of exploring the rich Filipino culture, solving mysteries and even busting myths that center on long-held beliefs, GMA News TV’s I Juander celebrates its fourth year this May.

Week after week, seasoned broadcast journalists Susan Enriquez and Cesar Apolinario embark on carefully-researched episodes aiming to get to the bottom of widely-accepted Filipino notions and take with them the viewers on a journey through the nation’s dynamic and ever evolving culture and society.

With the help of field experts, Susan and Cesar also break misconceptions and disprove age-old Filipino myths by investigating the truth behind these fascinating superstitions.

This month, I Juander sets sail to the magnificent island of Palawan for its two-part anniversary special.

Here, Susan and Cesar discover the stories about the Philippines’ “last frontier” and why Palawan was nicknamed as such. Susan takes a dip in what is possibly the country’s most pristine lake, with its immaculate emerald water. Cesar, for his part, plunges deep into the Palawan waters and sees for himself the ship wreck and learn about the story behind it.

The second part of I Juander’s fourth anniversary special finds the hosts engrossed in a food trip showcasing the best cuisines of the Palawan Island from the infamous nido soup to the bountiful and freshest catch the sea has to offer.

Hop on aboard with Susan Enriquez and Cesar Apolinario for the two-part anniversary special of I Juander airing this May 13 and 20 only on GMA News TV. /MP

CPAR Lin-ay kag Ulitawo 2015 Search Shows The Project’s Success

CPAR Lin-ay kag Ulitawo 2015
Search Shows The Project’s Success
by James Earl E. Ogatis

The success of the implementation of Community Participatory Action Research (CPAR) projects in the province of Iloilo are expressed by the participants for the Search for CPAR Lin-ay kag Ulitawo 2015 during their interview portion.

Pair number 1, Rene Sortegosa and Josephine Libao of CPAR Zarraga said that the project has strengthen their organization’s cooperation and camaraderie among the members. 

“We have improved our yield with the use of certified seeds from the DA and we have encouraged our members to actively participate in our meetings and livelihood activities,” said Ms. Libao.

Meanwhile, Pair No. 2, Greg Saliva and Sanita Maaliw of CPAR San Miguel stressed that the inter-cropping technologies being taught to them by the CPAR technicians are their guide to maximize the production of their farmlands.

While pair No. 3, Roy Caguimbaga and Lucia Calaor of CPAR Leon said that project has helps them in increasing their income through native chicken and vegetable production after harvesting rice. They are able to sell their produce to their weekly town market day and earn extra income.

Ms. Gemma Portillo of CPAR Cabatuan as contestant No. 5 for the CPAR Lin-ay emphasized that through the project, she has gained knowledge, entrepreneurship and confidence. 

“I can now make a yearly production plan for my farmland and see to it that my activities are in line with the objectives of CPAR which are to increase income, high yield and safe and nutritious products.

Dr. Joyce S. Wendam, DA 6 Regional Technical Director for Research is overwhelmed hearing the testimonies of CPAR beneficiaries during the interview portion.

Crowned CPAR 2015 Lin-ay was Gemma Portillo of Cabatuan, first runner-up was Ms. Josephine Libao of Zarraga, second runner-up - Lucia Calaor of Leon, third runner-up - Ms. Wilsie de Jesus of Sigma, Capiz and fourth runner-up - Sanita Maaliw of San Miguel.

Crowned CPAR 2015 Ulitawo was Rene Sortegosa of Zarraga, first runner-up - Roy Caguimbaga of Leon and Second runner-up - Greg Saliva of San Miguel and third runner-up - Bus Indicus of Sigma, Capiz.

Minor awards included best in farm attire - Gemma Portillo and Rene Sortegosa, best in production number - Josephine Libao and Rene Sortegosa, best in indigenous gown - Lucia Calaor and Rene Sortegosa, best in talent - Gemma Portillo and Roy Caguimbaga; best in Interview - Gemma Portillo and Rene Sortegosa; and Darling of the crowd - Gemma Portillo and Rene Sortegosa.

The Search for CPAR Lin-ay kag Ulitawo 2015 highlighted the 56 anniversary celebration of the Western Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center (WESVIARC) which was founded in 1959 located at Hamungaya, Jaro, Iloilo City. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Baeas Nga Puti
Rong Isla It Boracay
Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Sa isaeang ka tribu sakop it Antique, may magkahigugma nga nageapas sa kasugu-an ko andang tribu. Ro babaye hay unga kong pinuno it tribu. Bawae sa unga it pinuno nga makipag-asawa sa mga ulipon nga eaeaki. 

Mabuhay eon nga naga higugmaanan rong daywa apang natukiban kong pinuno rong relasyon it daywa. Guin padakop rong eaeaki ag guin pereso. Agud makilaea imaw nga nagkasaea, guin kalbo imaw busa guin tawag imaw nga si Burog bangod sa anang bueog. 

Guin pinahan imaw it kamatayon paagi sa pagtagbong kana sa eawod parabil magbilog rong buean. Antes magbilog rong buean, guin taw-an it aeak nga may pangpatueog rong gwardya. Guin takas imaw ko babaye nga si Acay, ro unga nga babaye it pinuno.

Sakay sa maisot nga baesa, nagtakas sandang daywa, daea ro mga igdaeapat ag pagkaon. Nagpautaw-utaw sanda sa eawod nga owa it dereksyon hasta napadpad sanda sa isaeang ka isla sakup it Aklan. Pagdungka nanda sa may binit it baybay, abo nga mga isda ag pawikan ro andang hakita. Rikara sanda nagpatindog it payagpayag. Hakita man nanda nga bugana rong prutas sa kagueangan.

Owa sanda nakasayod nga may mga Ada nga naga estar sa isla. Bo-ot nga matungkad ko mga Ada kon ano ka puti rong tagipusuon ko daywa. 

Isaeang adlaw, may isaeang ka magueang nga nag-abot sa isla. Gutom nga gutom ag ga-oy pa nga mayad rong magueang. Guin paka-on nanday Burog ag Acay ro magueang. Guin taw-an nanda it inihaw nga isda, mga prutas ag tubi halin sa uean rong magueang. 

Nagpasaeamat ro magueang ag parabil nagpanaw, nangayo imaw it sang hakup nga baeas. Anang guin sabwag sa mag-asawa ratong baeas ag kutob matugpaan nangin puti nga matsa kristal rong baeas. Sige rong sinabwag nanda hasta napuno ro bilog nga isla it puti nga ba-eas. Owa it eabot, hay nangin matin-aw rong tubi sa baybayon ag maeamig sa idaeum it tubi maskin alas dose eon ro udto ro adlaw.

Rondaya rong guin halinan kon ham-an it nangin puti rong baeas sa raying isla nga guina pangayaw it mga turista.  /MP

8 Original Akeanon Songs Available In CD

8 Original Akeanon 
Songs Available In CD
By Annie B. Malacas

Some Eight (8) original songs composed by Aklanon artists were selected and compiled in CD through the efforts of the Songwritting Committee under the Inakeanon Bible Translation Project (IBTP) and Summer Institute for Linguistics (SIL). The CD is launched on April 25, 2015 on the 59th Aklan Day Celebration, Goding Ramos Park, Provincial Capitol during the live concert performed by the composers themselves who featured their own songs. A large crowd came to witness and hear for the first time authentic Aklanon music savoring its vibrancy, warmth and charm.

The Inakeanon album is a product of the five-day EthnoArts songwriting workshop held at ASU College of Industrial Technology, Andagao, Kalibo on April 7-11, 2014. The goal of the workshop was to revisit Aklanon culture and create songs to entertain and communicate in the native tongue.

Mechanics of the workshop required that participants form in group to compose songs based on the theme given by the facilitators. Out of the many finished works, eight (8) are finally chosen to be recorded based on relevance, impact, style and market potential.

The songs in the album and their respective composers are: a) “Imaw Gid Lang” by Jodevon Carcillar, Shemiah O. Melgarejo, Kellah Besana, Richard Valencia and Joel Aguedes, b) “Ngani” by Melody Magarzo, Shekinah Onayan, Deborah Ruth Beltran, Shechaniah Joy Onayan, Shemiah Melgarejo and Kellah Besana, c) “Saeamat Gid Ginoo” by Linnea Irene Rubias and Dennis Cyril Zabala, d) “Dayawon” by April Valencia, Heron Pastrana and Janelyn Rubias, e) “Ro Anang Paghigugma” by Jodevon Carcillar and Janelyn Rubias, f) “Taw-an Ro Tanan” by Kezia Jemilou Ibabao, g) “Musya Eon” by Janelyn Rubias, Maria Belle Ruiz, Lourdes Villorente and Jethro Pelayo, and h) “Mumoy” by Fredelyn Cezar Beltran.

The IBTP was founded on November 1, 1999 whose ministry includes getting local knowledgeable people to render faithful translation of the Holy Scriptures into their native language. Publication of the bible will pave the way for greater understanding of the Holy Scriptures.

Incumbent Advisory Council Chairman is Rev. Roberto Labor, Senior Pastor of Glad Tidings New Life Church. Bible translators are Marilyn Torres of Glad Tidings New Life Church, Bishop Wilfredo Beltran of Philadelphia Community Church, Fr. Erol Villanueva of Cathedral of St. Michael and Ptr. Cyril Agustine of Faith Baptist Church.

The CDs are available at IBTP office, 106 Old Buswang, Kalibo, Aklan at P120.00 per copy. Email address is or call Tel. No. 268-1995. /MP


Supreme Gesture 
On Mother’s Day

Undeniably, Filipinos possess a genuine and deep love for the family. This includes not only among the spouses and children, parents, and siblings, but also grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, godparents, and other ceremonial relatives. We, as a people, are noted worldwide to have many outstanding values such as our strong sense of hospitality, pakikipag-kapwa tao, pakikiramay, industry and hard work and to single out our strong family orientation. 

As a people, we are person-oriented, and sensitive to relationships with others which are  very important part of our lives. Thus, we are capable of much caring and concern for others. Our family-person orientation leads us to be concerned for people more so with our family.

 To the Filipinos, the family is the source of personal identity, the source of emotional and material support, and the person’s main commitment and responsibility.

Concern for family is manifested in the honor and respect given to parents and elders, in the care given to children, the generosity towards relatives in times of need, and in the great sacrifice one endures for the welfare of the family. This sense of family orientation results in a feeling of belonging or rootedness and in a basic sense of security. 

However, our family orientation is both a strength and a weakness, which is very essential to any form of reaching out to others even beyond the family and to the larger community.

We connect with each other especially in times of sorrows. This becomes the family bonding time since every member of the family far and near comes home for the final viewing and internment of their loved ones. In addition, the family gathers together during happy occasions such as christening of an additional member of the family, birthdays, anniversaries, fiesta, Christmas, New Year and weddings. These are clear manifestations of strong family orientation 

There are other occasions when the families show love and concern for each other. Although this may not be well within the culture of many Filipinos nowadays, however, these are traditions we should include in the festive celebration of every Filipino family.  

Last May 9, the country celebrated MOTHER’s Day. Interviews were done on TV and on radio from celebrities who had their style of making their mothers happy. Gifts and greetings rocked the heavens to express how important a mother is .Indeed it was a significant reminder to many who have forgotten their mother. 

Here at the Northwestern Visayan Colleges, the classes of the Guidance and Counseling and Values Education/Personhood put their hands together on how best to celebrate Mother’s Day. The students expressed their creativity such as designing huge Human formation of Happy Mothers Day which was posted in their facebook accounts. This received many “likes”,  “share”, and “tags” from friends, classmates, and the community which were amazed with the pictures and who read the messages. The thousand responses made the pictures and the messages ‘trendy’.  Many expressed their gratitude for reminding them of the occasion because without it they have totally forgotten the occasion. Still others made tarpaulin saying:

A mother is the truest friend we have,
When trials heavy and sudden falls upon us;
Adversity takes the place of prosperity; 
When friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us;
When troubles thicken around us;
A mother bears with us forever. 

Many students used the radio stations in Kalibo to air their greetings. These supreme gestures again brought back to the consciousness of people to remember love ones such as their mothers who nurture them with unrequited love and sacrifice.  

The concerted efforts of the students in BSED, BEED, with majors in Mathematics, English, Pilipino and MAPEH will for certain go a long way to start anew the momentum of keeping up traditions of Filipino Values.

Hugs and kisses to you Mother!  We love you!!  /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

by Ambrosio R. Villorente

Led by its president, Mr. Rey C. Villaruel, the Aklan State University (main) Alumni Association, Inc., Banga, Aklan celebrated their Grand Alumni Homecoming on April 25, 2015. This was participated by graduates of Capiz Farm School, Banga Rural High School, Aklan Agricultural College, Aklan State College of Agriculture and now Aklan State University.

ASU Banga, started as Capiz Farm School in 1917. It was converted to Banga Rural High School in 1928, then converted to Aklan Agricultural College in 1963 designed to offer and confer bachelor’s degrees in Agriculture. In view of the increasing demand in Agricultural education and the urgent need to accelerate farm production in Aklan. AAC was again transformed to Aklan State College of Agriculture in 1992.

In order to provide higher education to students who pursue doctoral degrees in various disciplines, ASCA was converted to Aklan State University on April 4, 2001 by virtue of Republic Act 4055, a consolidated version of House Bill 1548 authored by Cong. Allen S. Quimpo and Senate Bill 2236.

With RA 4055, it integrated ASU with: 1. Roxas Memorial College of Arts and Trade in Kalibo, 2. Aklan National College of Fisheries in New Washington, 3. Northern Panay Teachers College in Makato, and 4. Western Aklan Polytechnic College in Ibajay.

Is the ASU in five (5) Campuses responding successfully to their respective mandates? ASU Banga is yet to graduate progressive farmers. Trades in farm products and farm inputs are being handled by others rather than graduates of agriculture. A big and modern poultry farm is owned and managed by a chemical engineer, former Governor Carlito S. Marquez in Mangan, Banga.

In 2013, some 1.4 million tourists ate four (4) percent of the vegetables produced in Aklan, seven (7) of the fruits produced in Aklan; and 38 percent of the fishes caught/produced in Aklan. This is a big challenge for ASU to educate future farmers to handle agricultural enterprises in Aklan and produce more food for the Aklanons and their visitors. ASU is a flag bearer of agricultural colleges, yet it has not produced progressive farmers and fishermen.

This can only be accomplished if ASU Banga will concentrate on its mandate and give the least priority to non agricultural education like nursing and criminology.

ASU New Washington will be doing a good job if it concentrates on fishery production, conservation and development. It is well advised if Criminology and Hotel and Tourism courses are listed the least priority and give more emphasis on fisheries and allied courses such as fish processing.

Grand Alumni

Anyway, the Grand Alumni Homecoming was held on April 25, 2015 with the theme: “Sustaining Development Transformation Through The Alumni”.

Part I of the program was held in the ASU Amphi Theater on Saturday afternoon. After the registration. Ms. Daylinda R. Rigodon acknowledged those present. Retrospections were given by Ms. Emma Masigon-Ingalla, BRHS class 1955 representing Diamond Jubilarians; Mr. Renato I. Rasco, class 1965 – Golden Jubilarians, Ms. Marilou Relingo-Dela Cruz, class 1990 – silvery thoughts, and Ms. Mary Ann Acifar-Ramos, 1985, pearly reflections. Mr. Rey C. Villaruel, president presented his accomplishment reports and future alumni projects. ASU President, Dr. Danilo E. Abayon delivered his message to the alumni.

Thanksgiving mass was celebrated for the alumni at Banga Parish Church. After the holy mass, torch parade around the Poblacion, Banga followed which ended at Banga Cultural & Sports Complex for Part II of the homecoming was held. ASU Alumni President Rey C. Villaruel gave the opening remarks after the doxology by Prof. Yuhum P. Ruiz.

Dr. Marivel S. Villorente, BSA class 1985 was unable to attend the Alumni who should have introduced the guest speaker, Dr. Christy B. Laurente. She is the Supervising Education Program Specialist, CHED, Region VI, Iloilo City. Dr. Laurente is one of the three (3) outstanding ASU alumni 2015. She graduated with the degree, Dr. of Philosophy in Education at ASU. 

The other two (2) outstanding alumni of 2015 are Mr. Roberto D. Teodosio and Mr. Jeffrey A. Delos Reyes who graduated with the degree Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1978. He is the present Provincial Manager, Philippine Coconut Development Authority in Capiz.

Teodosio completed his secondary education course at AAC in 1956. He was commended for his exemplary services and contribution as a civic leader and volunteer in various non-governmental organizations and institutions.

The outstanding Alumni trophies were awarded by Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente – chair, committee on awards with Dr. Danilo E. Abayon, and Mr. Rey C. Villaruel- president. 

The Award Ceremonies over, Coronation Ceremonies for Ms. Alumni 2015 followed with Ms. Rufina Rigodon-Villaroman, HS Class 1964. Banga Mayor Erlinda Maming was the coronation speaker. She crowned Ms. Alumni 2015.

Dr. Michael T. Ibisate – Director, Alumni and Public Relations closed the award ceremonies with his closing message. Part III which is “Party Till You Drop” followed until the wee hours of the morning. /MP



Vice President Jejomar C. Binay told war veterans that he is hoping President Benigno S. Aquino III will allow a government-owned and controled corporation’s request to increase its donations for the Veterans Memorial Center and Filipino War Veterans Federation Inc. this year.

“Ako po’y nananalangin na ngayong 2014 ay mapalawig pa ang tulong na maaaring ilaan ng PHIVIDEC.”

“Ikinatutuwa ko pong ipaalam sa inyo na sumulat na si Ginoong Magno kay Pangulong Aquino upang humingi ng permisong itaas ang kanilang donasyon sa dalawampung milyong piso (P20,000,000.00),” said Vice President during the Review in Honor of the Veterans at the Hunters ROTC Guerilla Field at the Philippine Army Headquarters in Fort Bonifacio.

The Phividec Industrial Authority is the corporation tasked with managing the 3,000 hectare Phividec Industrial Estate in Misamis Oriental. Its administrator is Mr. Leo Magno.

According to Binay, the corporation’s donations have been increasing yearly. Phividec donated P5 million in 2011, which increased to P8 million the next year. For 2013, the corporation donated P10 million.

“We have come a long way compared to the 2010 allocation of only two million pesos. We are thankful for all the help that has been raised but this is only a start, we are working even harder to secure more resources so that we can once again infuse our veterans programs with the vigor they need to last the tests of time,” said Binay.

Binay stressed the importance of looking after the welfare of the country’s war veterans and keeping the memory of their heroic deeds alive.

“Just as we pay tribute to the honored dead, we work tirelessly to ensure that those who are with us still, receive the support and recognition of a truly grateful nation,” he said.

“Ngunit sa ating paggunita sa ating mga bayani, marapat na buhayin natin ang kanilang alaala nang mabigyan natin ng tunay na pagpapahalaga ang mga hamong kanilang hinarap at ang mga hamon na kanilang nilampasan alang-alang sa ating bayan,” he added.

He lauded the production of films such as “Death March” by Adolfo Alix, Jr. that provide a clear picture of the realities that war veterans faced.

“These memories, however sad, remind us and urge us with the greatest possible urgency to never forget our obligations and opportunities to give back to our war veterans and the families they left behind,” he said. /MP


by Megs S. Lunn

Driving the potential of our Small and Medium Enterprises to grow, compete and excel, the Go Negosyo Center in Aklan is now open. The establishment of Go Negosyo is to assist your business registration, business advisory and business information advocacy. 

The Go Negosyo RA 10644 - “An Act Promoting Job Generation and Inclusive Growth Through the Development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises”, otherwise known as the “Go Negosyo Act”, approved into law on 15 July 2014 by His Excellency President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, the salient points are to seek and promote ‘job generation and inclusive growth of MSME’s in the country, eases the doing of business and facilitates access to services, technology, management, training and marketing of MSMEs, and the establishment of a Philippine Business Registry Databank under the DTI to serve as a database of all business enterprises in the Philippines, establishment of a Start-up Fund for MSMEs and re-composition of the MSME Development Council and its additional functions. 

According to DTI-Aklan, “The Ist Negosyo Center in Aklan is a joint project of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Aklan, Office of Senator Paolo Benigno “BAM” Aquino IV, Provincial Government of Aklan, Municipal Government of Kalibo, Aklan Provincial Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council, and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry- Aklan Chapter.”

As Provincial Director Diosdado “Dads” P. Cadena, Jr. puts it, “Go Negosyo Center will serve as a one-stop-shop for services that cater to the entrepreneurs’ need for easy and faster access on information that is essential for the SMEs growth.” 

The Provincial Government of Aklan will assist in the implementation and promotion of Negosyo Center; the Municipal Government of Kalibo will provide staff to facilitate delivery of services, accept and facilitate applications for business permits, access fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, generate business data and information; the PMSMED Council will encourage public and private partnership, monitor, evaluate and provide information materials, and the PCCI-Aklan Chapter will assist in developing a mentoring program for MSMEs and assist manning the center. 

On the other hand, the Small Business Guarantee Fund Corporation (SBGFC) will similarly assign staff (on call) to provide advice and accept and evaluate loan applications, while Aklan Catholic College and Athena Business Solutions Group, Co will provide technical expertise as Business Development Service (BDS) provider for business consultancy and capability building training in organization management, strategic planning, accounting and finance, product development and packaging, systems development and office administration and archiving. 

The office is located at DTI Bldg., Veterans Ave., Kalibo Aklan. /MP

Valuable Inputs From BBL Hearings In Jolo and Zambo To Correct BBL Flaws

Valuable Inputs From BBL Hearings In Jolo and Zambo To Correct BBL Flaws
Senator Bongbong Marcos, Chair of the Senate Committee on Local Government reiterated during hearing on the Bangsamoro Basic Law held in Zamboanga City that, “What is imperative to prioritize is to get the Bangsamoro Basic Law right, meeting the deadline should come as a far second.” Among those who attended the jam packed hearing at the Astoria Hotel ( from left to fight of pic) were Davao del Norte Congressman Antonio Lagdameo, First District Zamboanga Congressman Celso Lobregat, Basilan Governor Ium Akbar, Senator Bongbong Marcos, Senator Allan Peter Cayetano, Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco and Second District Zamboanga Congresswoman Lilia Nuno.

Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr., said his decision to hold two-day, marathon hearings in Jolo and Zamboanga on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) proved to be correct as it gave his panel valuable inputs that would help in crafting a version of the BBL acceptable to the majority of the stakeholders.

Marcos, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, said the hearings brought out in the open sentiments and concerns of local residents and officials over the draft BBL not given much attention either in the news reports or in the congressional discussions over the proposed law.

“There is really no substitute for talking to the locals,” Marcos said.

The glaring issue that came to the fore in two-day hearings is that of “inclusivity”, according to the senator.
In Jolo, for example, Marcos noted that many resource persons spent a lot of time decrying the fact that they were left out in the process “because they are MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front), because they are Tausugs, and they belong to the Sultanate of Sulu.”

Representatives from both the MNLF and the Sultanate said they want out of the Bangsamoro territory, as conceived in the draft BBL.

In the Zamboanga hearing, Basilan Governor Jum Akbar bared that the five governors of provinces comprising the ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) were never consulted in the drafting of the BBL.

Likewise, Marcos noted that majority of the indigenous people (IP’s) of Mindanao were apparently left out in the process too.

“That is a very serious shortcoming in the process, that is why we are going to correct it,” Marcos said. For this purpose, he had set a hearing for the MNLF on May 18 and for the Sultanates on May 25.

Marcos said he is also looking at the possibility of another hearing for the local executives of areas that will be included in the Bangsamoro territory and adjacent LGUs even as the ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives  is set to vote on its version of BBL.

“It is now well recognized that the only peace agreement that will bring true, just and lasting peace is one that includes all stakeholders in the BBL and in the surrounding territories,” Marcos said. 

“And whatever shortcomings Congress has had in consulting with those entities we will try to correct in the next few weeks by asking them to come to the Senate and to give their views and opinions on the BBL,” he added.

Marcos gave assurance that conducting another hearing for the local executives will not cause undue delay in the work of his committee. Malacanang has openly expressed its desire to have BBL passed before the last session day of Congress on June 10. 

Marcos earlier said his committee will also introduce amendments to address issues of constitutionality, administration, wealth-sharing, and power relations, among others.

But Marcos warned that if Congress rushes to pass BBL without addressing its flaws it won’t achieve its end of bringing just and lasting peace in Muslim Mindanao.

“The main priority is getting it right; maybe, a far second is getting it done under the deadline,” he stressed. /MP



Hundreds of fishermen from different towns of Guimaras and Iloilo provinces in Western Visayas benefited again from motor boat engine distribution program from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources initiated by AAMBIS-Owa Partylist.
Last April, 40 units of 10 horsepower motor boat engines were distributed to fisherfolks situated in the towns of Jordan, San Lorenzo, Buenavista, Sibunag, and Nueva Valencia in Guimaras in a ceremony held in San Lorenzo during the Manggahan sa Kabanwahanan festival.

The 40 units of motor boats shall be made available for use by all fisher folks to maximize the use of engines. The maintenance of units shall be under the care of the barangay government units.

The recipients were identified by the local government units and endorsed to the AAMBIS-Owa Party list which in turn processed all the necessary requirements to ensure that fishermen in those remote villages get access to motor boat engines.

“Ensuring that fishermen get all the help they need to provide food for their families and catch fishes for the consuming public is in consonance with the responsibility of AAMBIS-Owa to be the true voice of marginalized farmers and fisher folks in Congress,” AAMBIS-Owa Party list Representative Sharon S. Garin said.

For three (3) years now, AAMBIS-Owa Party list has facilitated the distribution of motorboat engines to the remote villages in Western Visayas.

In 2013, 40 units of boat engines were distributed to fishermen in Miagao and Tigbauan towns in Iloilo. In 2014, 50 additional units were distributed to fishermen in Guimbal, Oton, Tigbauan, and San Joaquin, and Miagao. 

BFAR defines small fisherfolks as those who use fishing boats weighing not more than three (3) gross tons. They are also known as municipal fisherfolks. /MP

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

DA-PhilMech Installs P6.4M Agricultural Tramline System In Tapaz

DA-PhilMech Installs P6.4M
Agricultural Tramline System In Tapaz
Secretary Proceso J. Alcala answering queries from the members of Capiz quad-media during the press conference in connection with the celebration of the 8th CapizTahan Farmers and Fisherfolk Day last April 14, 2015. Alcala stressed the vital role of the media to tell farmers to text/air their concerns on climatic condition in their respective areas so that proper agricultural assistance will be given to them. He expressed his support and trust to DA 6 Regional Executive Director Larry P. Nacionales saying that Dir. Nacionales is one of the top performing Regional Executive Directors in the country. He added that through his leadership the region has consistently ranked 3rd in rice production, 1st in small ruminant and carabao population, 1st in sugarcane, 3rd in hog, 5th in chicken, 5th in banana, 6th in corn and 7th in mango production. (James Earl E. Ogatis photo).

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) Executive Director Rex L. Bingabing and Department of Agriculture (DA) 6 Regional Executive Director Larry P. Nacionales turned over two units of Agricultural Tramline System (ATS) to the local government of Tapaz, Capiz during the 8th Farmers and Fisherfolk Day, April 14. 

“Instead of gumawa ng kalsada na taas-baba, tramline na po ang binibigay. Kasama po sa pagbabago ng design, hindi lang po mga produkto ang pwedeng isakay, pwede na pong sakyan ng tao in terms of emergency katulad ng mga buntis na mga manganganak.”

The tramline is an alternative transport system used by farmers in hauling agricultural inputs and products in areas isolated from road network because of ravines, rivers and dense vegetation. ATS is a system of steel cables and pulleys that links the production area to the nearest access road for the transport of agricultural products.

Sec. Alcala explained to farmers that aside from easing the drudgery of hauling, agriculture, tramline also seeks to reduce the hauling cost thus increasing the farmers income, helps on time delivery of produce and maintains the good quality of vegetables by the reduction of mechanical damages. 

The ATS in Brgy. Daan Norte has 1, 204 meter-long cable, while the ATS in Brgy. Daan Sur measures 923 meters. Both agricultural tramlines have 80Hp diesel engine prime mover, can haul 350kg of produce in each trip in an average speed of 100-150 meters per minute. 

These tramline units aim to help 275 farmers of Brgy. Daan Norte and 115 farmers of Brgy.Daan Sur who are producing upland rice varieties such as Katulak, Solig, Malido, Milagrosa, Magsunaya, Kapawud, Kinawdas, Bulandi, Dolores, Dyamante, Kapino and Kabuno, and other agricultural commodities. 

The DA-PhilMech provided P4,316,272.94 funding while the provincial government of Capiz funded P2,181,909.06. 

According to PhilMech Executive Director Bingabing, there are more than 120 ATS all over the Philippines and Western Visayas have already 14 units. 

The previous year, the DA-PhilMech had constructed P2.9million tramline in Brgy. San Antonio, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo. Dir. Bingabing added that there is an ongoing construction of ATS in Maayon, Capiz. (DA Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section 6/ JEEOgatis and SMHToreno). /MP



Senator Chiz Escudero urges the government to exhaust all legal means for the pardon or commutation of the death sentence of Mary Jane Veloso, who was given a reprieve by the Indonesian government shortly before her scheduled execution along with eight other people for drug-related crimes.

Escudero expressed relief and gratitude that Veloso’s death sentence was stopped on the wee hours of Wednesday, but said there should be no let-up in the Philippine government’s efforts to save Veloso.

“Dapat ituloy natin ang pagsulong ng legal na proseso hanggang ma-commute o ma-pardon si Mary Jane. Ganundin dapat sa iba pang mga distressed Filipino sa iba’t ibang parte ng mundo,” Escudero said, who is strongly opposed to death penalty.

Escudero chairs the Senate Committee on Finance. He said, there are about 13,000 to 14,000 distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) languishing in prisons in various parts of the world. With this number, the “current P100 million budget allocated to DFA for legal assistance to OFWs is evidently not enough to reach to as many OFWs in need of assistance.”

“Para sa akin, tama man o mali at kahit sinuman ang biktima, basta Filipino ang sangkot, may karapatan sa due process na dapat pangalagaan at isulong ng ating Foreign Affairs Department,” he said.

Escudero has maintains his stance against the revival of death penalty in the country, saying that it is still the certainty of punishment that will deter drug lords and other criminals from plying their trade rather than the re-imposition of the death penalty.

“Sana pangunahan at isulong ng ating bansa sa international community ang pag-alis na ng death penalty bilang kaparusahan sa anumang krimen,” he said.

He also cautioned Filipinos who are bound for work or travel overseas to be extra careful and be wary of people who may dupe them into carrying drugs or contrabands. “Sana magsilbing aral at leksyon ang nangyaring ito kay Mary Jane para mag-ingat, huwag tularan o maging mapagmatyag ang sinuman kapag nagbibiyahe sa ibang bansa.”  /MP

SRC Core Shelter

SRC Core Shelter

Shown at right photo is one of the Core Shelters that cost P80,000.00 per house. This is made of GI sheet for roofing, concrete footing, coco lumber flooring and coco lumber  and bamboo sidings.

This is located in Brgy. Mamba, Madalag, Aklan. 

Shown in front of the house are  (Left-Right) Mrs. Remia Donguines, Dr. Marianne L. Quimpo, Mrs. Arceli Pelayo, Mrs. Sepalina Peralta, Mr.  Louis Carascoso of the Spanish Red Cross (SRC), and Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente. The picture was taken recently during their visitation which covered Brgys. Paningayan, Singay, Mamba, Alas-as, San Jose, and Alaminos, all in Madalag, Aklan. /MP 

Asiannovela Na The Master’s Sun, Ipapalabas Sa GMA Telebabad

Asiannovela Na The Master’s
Sun, Ipapalabas Sa GMA Telebabad

Simula sa lunes, ika 19 ng Mayo, ipapalabas na ng Kapuso Network ang kauna-unahang romantic/comedy/horror Korea-novela na The Master’s Sun sa Kasaysayan ng Philippine television sa GMA Telebabad.

Pagkatapos ng kilig at dramang hated ng hit Koreanovela na A 100-Year Legacy, nakatakda naming magdala ng isang kakaibang kombinasyon ng tawa, pagmamahal, at nginig sa bawat pamilyang Pilipino ang The Master’s Sun sa pamamagitan ng kaabang-abang na kuwento at mga ma-titinding eksena nito.

Tiyak na magiging kapana-panabik ang gabi-gabing panonood ng mga Pilipino dahil itinatampok sa Koreanovela na ito ang isang kakaibang kuwento ng pag-ibig na hindi pa nila nasasaksihan. Dito rin maririnig sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon ang bagong awitin ng Kapuso singer/actress na si Julie Anne Jose na “Right Where You Belong.”

Iikot ang kuwento ng The Master’s Sun sa buhay ni Sunny (Gong Hyo Jin), isang dalagang dati ay masayahin at may positibong pananaw sa buhay hanggang sa masangkot ito sa isang aksidenteng magbibigay sa kanya ng isang supernatural na kakayahang makakita ng mga multo. Mula noon ay namumuhay na siya ng may takot at lungkot. Ngunit magbabago muli ang buhay niya nang makilala niya ang guwapong president ng isang shopping mall na si Johann (So Ji Sub).

Dahil sa pagdating ni Johann sa buhay niya, matutuklasan ni Sunny na maaari palang maglaho ang mga multong nakikita niya kapag lagi niyang kasama ito. Bilang isang praktikal at seryosong lalaki, hindi pinaniniwalaan ni Johann ang mga kuwento ni Sunny tungkol sa pagkakaroon ng mga multo. Ngunit dahil sa palagi silang magkasama, unti-unting magbabago ang pananaw nito at mahuhulog ang loob nila sa isa’t isa.

Panoorin at subaybayan ang phenomenal romantic/comedy/horror Koreanovela na The Master’s Sun na magpapatawa, magpapakilig, at magpapanginig sa bawat gabi ng mga manonood simula ngayong lunes pagkatapos ng Rhodora X sa GMA Telebabad. /MP