Thursday, November 13, 2014

SC Automatic Philhealth Coverage Approved

SC Automatic Philhealth 
Coverage Approved 

According to Sen. Teofisto Guingona, the passage of Philhealth for Seniors Citizens (SC) is an early christmas gift. It shows how we take care of our elders as it reflects our character as a nation.
Senator Teofisto “TG” Guingona III this week said the passage of Republic Act 10645 which mandates the automatic Philhealth coverage of senior citizens throughout the country is an early Christmas gift to the country’s elders.

“It is high time that we give back to our country’s elders. In our culture, the condition and situation of a person in his/her advanced age is the reflection of the character of his/her children. How we take care of our senior citizens is also a mirror of our character as a nation,” Sen. Guingona stressed.

He sponsored the measure as chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography. The senate version of the bill was authored by Senators Ralph Recto, Guingona, Bam Aquino, Loren Legarda, Nancy Binay, Cynthia Villar, Sonny Angara, Alan Peter Cayetano, Pia Cayetano, Francis Escudero, JV Ejercito, Vicente Sotto III, Sergio Osmena, Aquilino Pimentel III, Grace Poe, Sonny Trillanes, Gregorio Honasan, Manuel Lapid, Bongbong Marcos and Senate President Franklin Drilon.

With the signing of RA 10645, it amends RA No. 994 (The Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010). It also removes the qualification that a senior citizen has to be an indigent before being covered by Philhealth, with premium payments fully subsidized by the national government.

There are roughly 6.1 million senior citizens in the Philippines of whom, 3.94 million are already covered by Philhealth under classifications such as indigent, sponsored, lifetime members, and dependents. With the signing of the new law, the remaining 2.16 million will now be covered by Philhealth.

“It is the priority of this administration to give social protection services to all Filipinos. Let us start with our seniors,” Sen. Guingona said.

He added that with the passage of the mandatory Philhealth coverage for seniors, our country’s elders will now feel secure during the remaining years of their lives because of the guarantee that they now have sufficient access to medical and health care once the need arises.

“In their younger years, our elders have worked hard to take care of their respective families and communities. Now it is our turn to return the favor,” Sen. Guingona pointed out. /MP



Some three and a half million coconut farmers and workers who are beneficiaries of the coconut levy funds will have an estimated P200 billion worth of financial protection with the passage of House Bill 4900 filed by AAMBIS-Owa Party list Representative Sharon Garin.

Already referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Food, House Bill 4900 or the proposed Coconut Farmers’ Trust Fund Act aims to create a trust fund for the benefit of small coconut farmers and farm workers who shouldered coconut levy collected during the administration of former President Ferdinand Marcos.

“House Bill 4900 proposes a better trust fund as it unequivocally specifies the purposes for which the Trust Fund shall be established such as social, marketing, and development fund,” Former Philippine Coconut Authority Chairman Jose Romero, Jr. said.

“Scholarships, pension plans, educational assistance, health and life insurance coverage, and credit and investment facilities are just some of the benefits that every coconut farmer will enjoy if the trust fund proposed by Congresswoman Garin will be set up for farmers,” Romero added.

 The proposed measure stemmed from the clamor of major coconut farmers’ organizations for a new law that will create a mechanism that will ensure that the coco levy money is used for their benefits.

In its July 9, 2013 ruling, the Supreme Court after decades of litigation upheld the dual-ownership character of the funds, ruling the fund is owned both by the government and by the coconut farmers. The funds should be used for the benefit of marginalized coconut farmers and workers, the Supreme Court ruled further.

Even before the high court’s latest ruling, national coconut farmer organizations like the Philippine Association of Small Coconut Farmers Organizations and the Pambansang Koalisyon ng mga Samahang Magsasaka at Manggagawa sa Niyugan expressed their favor of setting up a trust fund for farmers’ benefit, (October 9, 2012 issue of the Business Mirror).

If HB 4900 becomes law, a Coconut Farmers’ Trust Fund Council will be created to administer the fund. The Council shall be composed of the President of the Philippines as Chairman and 17 other members.

Of the 17 members, four (4) will be from coconut farmers’ organizations in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and two (2) will come from non-governmental organizations involved in rural development.

Rep. Garin is set to meet soon with coconut farmers groups and the Philippine Coconut Administration (PCA) to iron out details of the trust fund mechanism.

Meanwhile, Coconut Industry Reform (COIR) Movement Executive Director Jose Marie Faustino believes every group claims to propose a ‘better’ measure for coconut farmers.

“Amidst all these, all stakeholders must remain vigilant to prevent a rerun of what happened during the Marcos regime where farmers’ money was stolen right under them,” Faustino added. /MP

Bring Filipino Resilience To Higher Level, Legarda

Bring Filipino Resilience 
To Higher Level, Legarda

One year after Super typhoon Yolanda battered Central Visayas and other nearby regions, Senator Loren Legarda this week said that the well-known Filipino resilience should be manifested even before a natural hazard occurs.

“The world recognizes the resilience of the Filipino spirit. Even after experiencing the worst disaster, we find reason to smile and laugh, we help others even if we are victims too, and we immediately go about our business. Resilience has been a remarkable strength of our citizens, but at the end of the day, the greater challenge after a typhoon or earthquake is always: how do we rebuild our communities?” said Legarda.

“One year after Yolanda devastated numerous communities in Central Visayas and nearby regions, I hope we all have learned our lessons well. Let us bring our resilience to a higher level—where we need not weep for a lost loved one after a natural hazard and where there is less or no more damaged infrastructure and properties because we have already managed to make our communities safe,” she stressed.

Legarda, United Nations Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, said she hopes that the rehabilitation plan of the government will be carried out well so that the survivors would not face the same tragedy again.

“I am glad that our government has embraced the concept of ‘building back better’. In building back better, we must rebuild communities with the confidence that we are not rebuilding the risks again; we need to ensure that reconstruction of homes and infrastructure will be on safer ground following geohazard maps and sound construction standards; we need to re-start and create livelihoods; and restore normalcy to people’s lives with a stronger sense of hope and confidence for the future,” she explained.

Legarda also reiterated key lessons from Yolanda and other disasters that caused great devastation, such as typhoons Ondoy, Pepeng, Sendong and Pablo.

First, we must focus on managing the risks rather than managing disasters.  Local disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) plans are indispensable. Funds should be sufficiently allocated. Cooperation among local and national governments, businesses, and the communities is imperative.

Second, governments and businesses need to let science work for our communities. The best solutions are possible only with the guidance of science.  Develop land use plans that are risk sensitive.  The dictum is not just to build, but build stronger.  Build for the future.

Third, protect our environment and pursue green urban development.  We need to go back to the basics: protect our ecosystems and natural buffers such as mangrove forests to mitigate floods, storm surges and other hazards. Design and enforce building standards to address future hazards, not past ones.

Fourth, we should all be ‘disaster-literate’. We need to understand and believe in the risks.  Everybody should be part of the solution.

Finally, prepare adequately and engage. While disaster prevention should be the greater focus of our efforts, response preparedness is likewise important to prevent further casualties and reduce losses. Contingency plans are crucial in times of disasters. LGUs must have the political will to implement forced evacuation when called for. With adequate and proper preparation, we would have won already half the battle.

“We do not hope for more natural hazards to come, but that is already part of our lives. We only hope that when the next typhoon or earthquake strikes, the world will laud us for our strength, for the greater resilience of our communities—zero casualty, minimal property damage, quick response and recovery,” said Legarda. /MP

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Remembering Yolanda

Remembering Yolanda
The remains of a house the morning after Yolanda in Dongon, Numancia, Aklan.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC), Aklan Chapter will commemorate the first year anniversary of the devastation brought to the Province of Aklan by Haiyan (Super Typhoon Yolanda). The commemorative program will be held on Saturday morning, November 8, at Teodosio’s Cultural and Sports Complex, Banga, Aklan.

The guests and participants will start arriving at six thirty o’clock in the morning. The opening program will begin at eight o’clock in the moring which will have Ms. Mary Cris Leyson-PRC  Chapter volunteer and Mrs. Carol Ordines-PRC project staff as masters of ceremonies.

There will be photo exhibit and trade fair which will feature some interesting case stories and showcase livelihood projects from selected beneficiaries.

Aklan Governor Florencio T. Miraflores and Mr. Andrew Nocon, member Board of Governors, PRC will lead the guests and participants in the commemorative program.

Madalag Mayor Alfonso A. Gubatina, Banga Mayor Erlinda M. Maming, Balete Mayor Teodoro V. Calizo, Jr, Altavas Mayor Denny D. Refol, New Washington Mayor Edgar Peralta, Lezo Mayor Victor L. Fernandez, Malinao Mayor Ariel I. Igoy, Numancia Mayor Jozyl Isidore Templonuevo, and Libacao Mayor Vincent I. Navarosa are expected to attend the program.

During the opening program, Ms. Arcely C. Pelayo-PRC, Aklan chapter administrator will welcome all the guests, visitors and participants. This will be followed by Ms. Zorne R. Abada-Field Operation Head with the PRC Recovery Program power point presentation.

Governor Florencio T. Miraflores and PRC Governor Andrew Nocon will deliver their respective messages. They will turn over Disaster Risk Reduction equipment to the 22 barangays of Libacao. Libacao Mayor Vincent Navarosa will give his message.

Some 80 core shelters will also be turned over to respective beneficiaries in Guinbaliwan, New Washington. This will be followed by the message of Mayor Edgar R. Peralta and a testimonial of a core shelter beneficiary.

Dr. Floriphez L. Yer-ro of Malinao and Dr. Anna Lyn Refol of Altavas will receive medical supplies in behalf of their respective Rural Health Units. Altavas Mayor Denny D. Refol will deliver a short message. 

In behalf of the recipients, Malinao Mayor Igoy will deliver a brief message after the distribution of Lego Set to 13 elementary and high schools. A footbridge is constructed in Brgy. Oquendo, Balete, Line Ditch with rip-rap in Brgy. Alas-as, Madalag, eight (8) core shelters in Brgy. Cogon, Lezo from Air Asia for which Lezo Mayor Victor Fernandez will give his message of thanks.

Madalag Mayor Gubatina, Balete Mayor Calizo and Banga Mayor Maming will deliver their respective messages of thanks. Ms. Wendelyn Castro, a cash for work beneficiary and Ms. Evilita Fuentes, a livelihood beneficiary will give their respective testimonials. John Daniel Regimen, PRC volunteer will relate interesting story about his Red Cross experience. 

Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente-Vice Chairman, PRC Aklan will give his thank you message for the guests, visitors, and participants who contributed to the success of the PRC programs, projects, and activities. /MP



“I welcome the decision of the Pasay Regional Trial Court to temporarily stop the collection of airport fees from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW),” Vice Pres. Binay said.

I am concerned about the implementation of the International Passenger Service Charge (IPSC) scheme without consultation with our OFWs, he added.

The IPSC integrates the terminal fee with airplane tickets, automatically requiring all passengers including OFWs to pay P550.  

By virtue of the Migrant Workers’ Act of 1995, OFWs are exempted from paying airport fee, travel tax and documentary stamp upon presentation of their overseas employment certificate (OEC) issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. 

The government must address the problem in our airports, and make the arrival and departure of passengers as smooth and hassle-free as possible. Efforts to improve airport service are welcomed. However, imposing fees and charges on our OFWs should not be done unilaterally, Binay stressed.
He called the Manila International Airport Authority and the Department of Transportation and Communications to defer the implementation of the IPSC scheme, and seek a dialog with our OFWs and other stakeholders. We must listen to their voices and address their concerns over the IPSC. /MP



I join the entire nation in mourning the passing of Senator Juan M. Flavier. While the country has lost a statesman who achieved greatness in dedicating his entire life to public service, I have lost a dear friend.

Senator Flavier’s humility and simplicity defined him. He was a doctor who shunned the lure of a financially rewarding private practice to be a “Doctor to the Barrios”. He continued his selfless ways by joining public service as a Secretary of Health who bravely campaigned for his advocacies, and as a Senator who placed the interest of our people above all else.

That was JMF or Johnny, who I came to know—a man whose integrity and devotion to duty only a few can match.

I am fortunate for having had the opportunity to work with Senator Flavier both in the cabinet and in the Senate. I am personally thankful for his dedication and hard work as my Senate President Pro-Tempore, and his loyalty to the institution.

On behalf of the Senate, I extend our condolences to the family of Johnny.

Senator Juan M. Flavier passed away on October 30, 2014. /MP


Vice President Jejomar C. Binay last week decried the recent move of the Senate Blue Ribbon Subcommittee to drag his youngest daughter into their effort to malign his name.

Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano on Thursday, October 30, 2014 presented photos posted on Instagram by Binay’s youngest daughter showing her inside the Batangas estate owned by Sunchamp.

Binay said that contrary to Cayetano’s claims, having a photo taken inside the property does not prove ownership of the estate.

Binay also slammed the blatant disregard for protocol of the senate subcommittee when they prevented United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) Interim Secretary General JV Bautusta and UNA Interim President Tobias Tiangco from attending the hearing.

Binay also appealed to members of the subcommittee to raise the standards of politics and not resort to mudslinging.

On the other hand, the architect who has been named by former Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado as the one who designed a rest house in a farm estate in Rosario, Batangas purportedly owned by the family of Vice President Jejomar C. Binay has vehemently denied the claim, saying that his signature on the supposed design proposal was forged.

The purported written proposal, which was allegedly submitted by Architect Rodolfo R. Bongato to JCB Farms, Inc. on September 10, 1997, was reported in a front page story of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and presented by Mercado at the Senate hearing.

In an affidavit executed on October 30, Bongato attested that he never submitted such a proposal and that it was “obviously a FORGERY” as the signature that appears above his name “is not even remotely similar to my real signature.”

“I have never designed a rest house for JCB Farms in Rosario, Batangas or in any other location. The signature over my printed name as appearing in the proposal is not mine. It is a clear FORGERY as I have never signed the same,” Bongato stated.

Bongato also noted in his affidavit that the price quoted in the said proposal was not the “normal price” which he charged for the scope of services stated therein.

“I am executing this affidavit to attest to the truth of the foregoing facts and BELIE in the strongest possible terms the genuineness and authenticity of the said proposal and anyone who will be peddling the same as genuine is committing a BLATANT LIE,” he stated.

Rodolfo R. Bongato is a member of the United Architects of the Philippines. /MP 

GMA Network Wins 18 Recognitions At 36th CMMA

GMA Network Wins 18 Recognitions 
At 36th CMMA

GMA Network received multiple honors for its value-laden programs and special projects at the recently held 36th Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA).

The big winners in the television category are GMA-7’s weekend primetime newscast 24 Oras Weekend (Best News Program) for its Yolanda Coverage and family sitcom Pepito Manaloto: Ang Tunay na Kuwento (Best Comedy Program); GMA News TV’s original series on education Titser (Best Drama Series/Program) and pioneering documentary program Reel Time (Best Public Service Program); and GMA News’ comprehensive coverage of the first-ever joint papal canonization St. John Paul II: We Love You (Best Special Event Coverage).

GMA-7’s multi-awarded documentary program I-Witness, the Philippines’ first and only nature and wildlife series Born To Be Wild (Best Adult Educational/Cultural Program), and the youth-oriented programs Tropang Potchi and Binoy Henyo (Best Children and Youth Program) received special citations. Also cited were GMA News TV’s highly-acclaimed flagship newscast State of the Nation with Jessica Soho (Best News Program) and weekly news magazine program Brigada (Best News Magazine); GMA News’ Bantay Kaban ng Bayan, which traced the anatomy of the pork barrel scam (Best TV Special); and GMA Cebu’s Visita Iglesia (Best Religious Program).

GMA’s flagship AM radio station Super Radyo DZBB took home awards for the radio programs Imbestigador sa DZBB (Best Public Service Program) and Bangon Na Bayan (Best News Commentary).

GMA Marketing and Productions, Inc., bested the entries from other creative agencies by gaining the top prize for KFC’s “Munting Sakripisyo” (Best TV Ad – Branded) while So Lucky’s “Kahati ng Kahapon” received a special citation in the same category. 

Recognized in the Music Category is “Pagbangon” (Best Secular Song) – an initiative of GMA News, produced by the Program Support Department, written by Joseph Saguid, composed by Edward Mitra, and sung by Asia’s Pop Sweetheart Julie Anne San Jose. “Pagbangon” tells of the resilience of the Filipino people and reminds everyone to help his fellowmen in times of crisis. 

Since 1978, the CMMA has been recognizing students, professionals, and organizations that made use of mass communication in promoting Christian values among Filipinos. /MP

A T.E.A.C.H.E.R. by Merlinda Nadal Flores Master Teacher I, Banga Elem. School

A  T.E.A.C.H.E.R. 
by Merlinda Nadal Flores Master Teacher I, Banga Elem. School

Ms. Merlinda Nadal Flores, Master Teacher I, in the bneautiful flower garden, Banga Elementary School, Banga, Aklan. 
A TEACHER is terrific, energetic, able, cheerful, hardworking, enthusiastic, and remarkable.
You are a terrific Teacher if you truly care for your students. As the saying goes, “the best Teacher is a Teacher who teaches from the heart.” As a terrific Teacher, you need to be genuine and show interest in the students. When you are real, it radiates from within to your aura. Students can see if you fake them or if you truly care for them.  A terrific Teacher thinks about his/her students welfare and wellbeing. 

How do you show that a terrific Teacher cares? He/She ask if the students truly learn from their lessons and he/she ask for evaluation, then a follow up. The learning is also structured according to the need of the students. A teacher needs to show them support. If he/she has high standard, he/she needs to check on them if they can come up with what is expected from them or else, if not, a teacher doesn’t need to adjust his/her standard, but rather, challenged them in a good way that reaching that standard would mean a good future for them. Help the students understand what effective studying is so they will appreciate the topic and learning at the end of the day.

Teaching with enthusiasm requires heaps of motivation from within.  Teaching is a noble profession. Therefore, those who teach should embrace this noble characteristic to be an energetic Teacher. Once the teacher steps inside the classroom, the students expect their teacher to be an inspiring Teacher. Being enthusiastic is one of the many qualities of an effective Teacher.  

Engaging students and showing spark in the activities of the day would surely inspire them to be participative and attentive.  Teacher energy shows so that they will also show their energy back, too. The more motivated a student, the more a teacher gains respect from them and he/she will significantly and truly have a great day. An energetic Teacher is someone that shows joy, mastery of the subject and good influence to the students.  On the other hand, a boring Teacher will also expect the same from students. It is behavioral because energy is emotion. It is one’s willingness to teach and to stimulate to share ideas with the student. Always remember, energy is infectious!

To be a Teacher is someone who is able to know what is right and wrong. An able Teacher is someone who truly understands his/her profession and can carry it accordingly. For one, a Teacher should be digitally challenged. He/she knows how to connect with his/her students. He/She knows what his/her students want and need and able to cope up with those. A teacher is able to learn how to adjust and be flexible, update with what is the need of the industry, as well.  One very good quotation states, “The greatest sign of success for a Teacher is to be able to say, the children are now working as if I did not exist.”

There is hundreds of reasons why a Teacher should be cheerful. For one, seeing the children is a blessing from above. They are our second children away from home. Teachers are blessed to be called their ‘second parent’ once a teacher steps on that gate and in the comfort of the classroom. 
Smile is always contagious. It is a virtue that a teacher carries as a person of authority. Teacher should enjoy teaching and seeing the children play, creative, and attentive. Teach them to view the world as a happy and better place to live in. Teach those good manners and right conduct, to be like you so that you can create another you. What a beautiful feeling of creating another model person like you, isn’t it? “Smile and so the world will smile with you.” 

“Motivation comes from the heart. Ideas come from the brain. Achievement and success come from hard working person.” Indeed, a Teacher is expected to deliver the task with a full knowledge of the subject with a wholehearted effort.  It is hard work because a teacher painstakingly prepared for it. 

A hardworking Teacher is one that gives more beyond what are called for, information, knowledge and skills. Consider teaching profession as a gift from the Lord. Otherwise, you will not be where you are standing now – A Teacher. Be an empowered Teacher by being hard working.

A Teacher shares one special quality – “They all loved what they are doing.” 

“Teacher enthusiasm plays a central role in holding students’ attention, generating students’ interest, and developing students’ positive attitudes toward learning. Highly enthusiastic teachers are highly expressive in vocal delivery, gestures, body movement, and overall energy level. All of these are crucial ingredients that, in turn contribute to greater student achievement.” (Tauber and Mester 1995, p11)

An enthusiastic Teacher constantly develops his/herself and who continuously learns and develops by studying more and attending more updates on teaching.  Discovering more of you is showing interest in what you are called for.

What makes a remarkable Teacher? A student who feels they are warmly welcomed in their classes, a student feels the leadership of a Teacher in class, students are comfortable with the Teacher’s presence. A Teacher is articulate and knows how to get his/her message across to them and more. But most importantly, “You must be very skilled, very knowledgeable, and exquisitely well trained, because neither the teacher nor the surgeon can say, ‘Everybody sits still until I figure out what in the heck we’re gonna do next.” (Goldberg, 1990, p. 43). /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Hueuwarang Manogturo

Sa lugar it mga Ati sa Zambales natawo si Arita. Bukon imaw it kapareho ko ibang mga Ati nga kontento eamang nga magpakalimos ag guina inom rong pinakalimosan. Samtang ro mga eaeaki hay nagapanikop it ueang sa suba ag guina eamhay sa gawad ag gutaw para sa andang ilabas ag ihapon. Pagkatapos it ihapon, naga suguilanon dayon sanda sa libot it dap-ong ag kon duygon hay una eon lang sanda man matueog sa idaeum it kahoy o siin nga masilungan.

Handum ni Arita nga makatalimwas sa anang miserableng kahimtangan. Guin eapas nana rong kaugali-an it tribo. Sa edad nga trese dag-on hay ipaasawa eon imaw sa sangka Ati nga eaeaki. Mataas ro handum ni Arita. Bu-ot nana nga mabuligan ro anang isig ka Ati.

Ko isaeang agahon ngaron, samtang naga eaba imaw sa isaeang ka busay, may nag-agi nga babaye agod magpalibanaw ko anang siki. Hakita nana si Arita ag nababasa sa anang mata nga may maeab-ot nga swerte bangod sa anang kahugod. Sa mapig-od nanda nga pagsuguilanon, nagpahinuhod nana si Arita nga boe-on nga kabulig. Nagpasugot si Arita maskin indi magsugot ro anang ina. Isa-eang ka pagpasimpaead ro anang pagahimu-on.

Bangod sa kahugod ni Arita, naila-an ro anang serbisyo. Isaeang ka manogturo si Mrs. Satero sa primary ag tanan nga tu-eon-an hay guinabinasa ni Arita. Ko olihi nag-antiguhan eon imaw magsueat ag magbasa. Napan-uhan ni Mrs. Satero nga interesado nga mageskwela si Arita. Sa edad nga trese anyos nag umpesa imaw sa grade one hasta nakatapos sa mataas nga eskuylahan. Guin patun-an pagid imaw hasta sa kolehiyo. Nagtu-on si Arita agud mangin maestra. Nakatapos it kurso sa pagkamaestra si Arita. Ro una nana nga guinobra hay nag-uli imaw sa andang lugar ag guintipon rong tanan nga kabataang Ati. Sa bulig it mga kaeaeakihan, nakapatindog sanda it isaeang ka kamalig agud idto tun-an it pagsueat ag pagbasa ro mga inunga. Sa bulig ni Mrs. Satero, guin tun-an man ro mga kababayen-an it pagtahi, pageaha ag pagobra it basket human sa  oway, butong, nito, ag buli.

Nakaabot sa Mayor it banwa paagi sa kapitan it barangay rong guin himo ni Arita. Bosa guinpatindugan sanda it eskwelahan. May mga negosyante nga nagdonar it mga igdaeapat sa eskuylahan kapareho it tueon-an, papel ag iba pang igdaeapat it mga eskuyla. Nageapta rong balita. May mga reporter it radio ag peryodiko nga nag-abot sa lugar ni Arita. Guin baehag imaw sa mga pahayagan ag nangin bukang-bibig rong pangaean ni Aritang Ati. Guintaw-an imaw it plake bilang pagkilaea sa anang pagka Huwarang Manugturo. Nagapati si Arita nga maskin ano ro imong kolor ag ikaw hay may handum, guinabaton ka it sosyodad eabi guid sa tagipusu-on it mga tawo nga imong habuligan. /MP

Editorial by Ernesto t. Solidum

Visual Arts: Journey 
Begins  With A Single Step

“The Role of Visual Arts in Tourism” is the topic of the weekly Kapihan on October 25, 2014 held at NVC Carmen Hotel. Guests are Ms. Erlinda Quimpo-Wilson, Visual Artist and Mr. Ricky Molo, Pres. Rotary Club of Metro Kalibo.

Born in Kalibo, Ms. Wilson is the daughter of former Judge Rustico Quimpo and Carmen Salas. Early in her teens, she dabbled in painting still life and lush greenery that elicited praises from her peers, teachers and parents. Naturally gifted with ability to mix different colors and etching them on canvass gave way to greater interest and involvement.

However, her father wanted her to study Education course in order to prepare for better security and exciting career in life. As a dutiful child she took up BSEEd at UP Diliman, Quezon City, but all the time her burning ambition was to study architecture.

Eventually opportunity came when Erlinda was recipient of American Field Service scholarship to the United States. For three years, the young Kalibon-hon studied art classes in two schools namely: Mt. San Jacinto College and Hemet Valley Arts Association. The latter emphasized Plein Air Impressionist or “on location” painting sessions.

Madam Wilson has participated in 10 joint exhibitions in the US and made three solo performances in Kalibo. Her impressionists paintings done in oil show delicate use of colors to draw contracts in her subjects making rich tapestry of bucolic life, majestic waterfalls and vibrant gardens.

Samples of her art works are on display during the Kapihan while bulk of her prized collections done in the United States and in Aklan whetted the appetite of viewers during the power point presentation. Actually, some of her art pieces are on display at the GSIS Museum in Manila together with other contemporary art works which runs on October 1-31, 2014.

Mr. Johny Dayang former member of National Commission on Culture and the Arts commented that as a nation, we have not matured in our cultural identity particularly in appreciating and treasuring various visual art forms. Artists have a mystical talent of capturing on canvass scenic landscapes, the fine wrinkles on a man’s face and uninhabited laughter of a child.

Development of visual arts into our way of life could be started with 33,000 out-of-school youth as suggested by Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente. Kids could be provided with non-formal training on basic art like coloring black and white pictures, clay or plaster moulds, and others.

Mr. Ricky Molo is currently holding art classes at NVC focusing on disabled youth especially deaf mutes. We are successful in our series of exhibitions here in Kalibo that we want to show our finished works in Manila. Hopefully, this will be realized this coming October 30. This will afford kids especially Lester Lumio, an outstanding PWD to further enrich his knowledge and skills.

Hon. Lilian Q. Tirol confirmed that the Provincial government of Aklan is now finalizing draft proposal to create the Provincial Council on Culture and the Arts. Objective is to conserve and enrich our cultural history in language, music, dance, visual arts, religion, political, architecture and agriculture. Centerpiece of this collections will be Museo it Akean said Hon. Tirol.

Vietnam which was colonized by the French for four (4) centuries has emerged the bustling capital of art works in this part of the globe. Time magazine in its report 14 years ago revealed myriad display of live colors and designs posted on concrete fences, sidewalks and graphic artists who ply their trade in downtown Hanoi. For small fee, any visitor could have his picture etched on canvass using either charcoal or water color. Her art shops and antique stores are crammed with a passion for art and burden of life has diminished with the beauty around them. No wonder more tourists flock to this socialist country than the Philippines.

Paris is world’s top tourist destination attracting 32.2 million visitors per year. This is because of its enduring icon “Eiffel Tower”, baroque churches, treasure trove of reknowned art masterpieces from 18th to 20th century. Modern transport of fast trains, planes and ships are marvels of modern engineering. The French also excels in education and supported political slogan of “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity” during the French revolution. The slogan remains to the present.

When can the Philippines achieve maturity and appreciation for the arts?

Surprisingly, we have inspirational models. Juan Luna’s “Parisian Life” created in 1892 was prized at $1 million and Carlos “Botong” Francisco’s “Nose Flute” - $649,000. Francisco V. Coching, now delared National Artist has ancestral roots in Brgy. Aquino, Ibajay, Aklan.

It is welcome news that Dr. Jesse M. Gomez, Aklan Schools Div. Superintendent plans to train teachers in visual arts. Local art exhibit will be held in Boracay early January 2015 confided Ms. Wilson.

Confucious once said, “The mile long journey starts with a single step.” May it be a reality soon./MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Wanted Agri-Businessmen
by Ambrosio R. Villorente

The latest survey report of the Social Weather Station (SWS) states that 43 percent or 9.3 million Filipinos considered themselves hungry. While 55 percent or 12.1 million Filipino families believed they are poor. The survey was conducted on September 26-29.

Moreover, Sen. Grace Poe pointed to a very grim statistics. In her recent privilege speech, she called the government to redirect its focus to the rampant hunger and poverty. According to Sen. Poe, “some 87 percent of households are so bereft of proper food that they resort to food alternatives like soy sauce, bagoong, tomato, salt, and coffee.” About 7.36 million Filipino children, five (5) years and below, are malnourished, and 5.5 million of 13.4 million poor children below 18 years old are forced to skip school. They look for jobs to augment family income.

In Aklan, more than 33,000 children of school age are out of school of whom 12,000 or about 35 percent wanted to attend training to qualify themselves for immediate employment and eventually conquer poverty.

Sen. Poe recommends for the “realignment in budget priorities to increase funding for children’s feeding programs and for greater institutional support for agriculture, a sector long battered by natural calamities and chronic governmental corruption, to ensure the adequate supply of food.

Agriculture - The Weapon Against Poverty
In the column of Jose Rene C. Gayo in PDI, August 25, 2014 issue, he pointed out to “agriculture still the most potent weapon against poverty.”

However, a review of “Philippine experience in managing economic development shows a strong bias against agriculture,” Gayo stressed. Since 1950, industrialization has been the main focus of economic policy that has its centerpiece strategy hinged on import substitution.

To attain sustainable agriculture development, Gayo recommends some measures to do:
1. Re-engineering bureaucracy for agriculture with rural development. This is the merging of DA, DAR, DENR to maximize resources facilities, coordination, and avoid the problems associated with “turfs”. The DA be the surviving entity with DAR, DENR as bureaus. These sectoral groupings may serve as the basic framework for the DA.

2. Manage agriculture as a business. Until today, agriculture is being treated from the scientific and technical point of view. It is now time to shift to “farming as a business, make farming more profitable. The farmers must know how to manage their farm well, finance adequately their operations, market their production and solve their expenses, income and profit.”

3. Re-invent education for agriculture and rural development. Education must prepare agricultural curriculum to generate corps of agriculture entrepreneur and agri-business professionals who will engage in agriculture and rural development projects.

ASU Still To Produce Agri-Businessmen
Aklan State University is still to produce agriculture leaders in the field and agri-businessmen. What ASU has been producing are graduates who are job seekers rather than job providers. ASU Banga seems to forget its primary mandate which is to produce farmer leaders.

Agriculture is a system, therefore, our farm education training institutions must develop human resources who are competent to manage agriculture as a system. Being a system, it must start from production, harvesting, transportation and handling, processing, storage, marketing and utilization.

Motivation must be provided to young men to go to agri-business, to cajole them to study and become agri-businessmen. Scholarships for students of agriculture be provided and guaranteed starting capital for those graduates who will venture in agriculture enterprise after graduation.

The Philippines is an agricultural country with her soil and climate best suited for agriculture. She has most fertile lands, wide seas, long rivers and lakes. But, sad to say, these huge natural resources are just left undeveloped and continuously wasted.

The Philippines needs the best and the brightest farm developers who are in excellent health conditions to withstand the adverse weather condition. The Philippines need farmers who know more, who must know biology as farmer deals with life, engineering, accounting to compute his investment, chemistry as he deals with chemicals, human relation as he deals with peoples and many other human disciplines.  /MP


by Ernesto T. Solidum

Mr. Efren Trinidad, Secretary to the Mayor of Kalibo has confirmed the notice of STL Panay Resources that its outfit is prepared to undertake excavation/extraction and hauling of gravel and sand from the Aklan river. This is based on Aklan SP resolution approved by then Governor Carlito S. Marquez in early 2013 to mitigate periodic risks and disasters during typhoons.

About 15 million cubic meters will be extracted from the Aklan river starting from its mouth at Bakhao Norte up to Linabuan Norte, Kalibo at no cost to the government. Payment will be a token of P5.00 per cubic meter. Excavated minerals will be shipped in bulk to Singapore.

With this advice from STL, a technical working group will be convened to prepare the memorandum of agreement, said Mr. Trinidad. It appears that they have secured the Environmental Clearance Certificate from the DENR dated July 25, 2014.

Aklan province has two (2) main river ecosystems that are perennially flooded during super typhoons namely: Kalibo and Ibajay. Worse off is Kalibo because of its dense population and relative bigger built-up area. Typhoon Frank in 2008 inundated all 16 barangays of Kalibo and the adjoining municipalities of Numancia, Lezo, Malinao, Banga, Madalag, and Libacao.

From aerial footages after Typhoon Frank, mud and debris seen on both sides of the river upstream specifically in Daguitan, Banga was 800 meters wide. However, water flow became constricted in its path going to Poblacion, Kalibo where floodwater was “squeezed” to 400 meters. The resulting impact was massive flooding and distruction never experienced in the last 40 years.

Engr. Jun Sanchez Jr., Head of Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council stated that Surabya, second largest city in Indonesia has encountered similar flood problems before. What they did was to build concrete river dikes from the City to its source in a straight line at equal widths. This means that if the width upstream is 400 meters, the lower portion must be the same to prevent flooding and danger from soil erosion.

In Aklan, the same ingenious method can be done. Once successful with flood management, Aklan can easily attract domestic and foreign investments. Can we remember the disastrous P100 million dredging project on Aklan river administered by DPWH in 2012? That went nowhere.

Under the plan, the provincial government is expected to get a revenue of P75 million, but there is no guarantee it will solve recurring risks. STL Panay Resources is just too happy to exploit the Aklan river with motorized dredger and flat bottom boats with no Pinoy laborer on its payroll. Everything will be mechanical and systematic, 24/7.

Unnecessary bottleneck or constrictions in the normal flow of water is removed once the concrete river dike is approved. This means restoring the full length of the Kalibo bridge to its original structural design and capacity. At least Puroks 1, 2, 3, and 4 in Laserna St. must give way to the natural volume of flow of the Aklan river.

A technical working group composed of representatives from DPWH, PRRMC, MPDC, DENR and DILG must be convened at the soonest time possible to design the concrete river dike for funding consideration by the Regional Development Council. At least the concrete structure may have a total of 10 kilometers long which could be undertaken by segments. The priority must be the three (3) kilometers segment from the Aklan river delta up to Brgy. Tigayon before any dredging and extraction takes place.

The alternative proposal could be the advance payment of STL Panay Resources for the P75 million compensation for concreting the river dike. Is the P5.00 payment per cubic meter of sand and gravel fair and just? Is this Aklan-STL Panay Resources deal onerous agreement that allows foreigners to exploit our patrimony right under our very noses at a token cost?

Black gold means oil to Arab countries, coal to Semirara but gravel and sand to Aklanons. This is a resource for our younger generation to cherish and nurture, given away for free is the height of stupidity.

However, historically after the Israel-Egypt war, gasoline mining in the Middle East was nationalized for the advantages of the Arabs. It ended the exploitation of the Magnificent 7 oil companies. /MP

Drilon Demands Evidence To Show ICC Is Overpriced

Drilon Demands Evidence 
To Show ICC Is Overpriced
Senate President Franklin M. Drilon is not adverse to any Senate investigation into the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC). He expressed confidence that the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) will be able to defend the regularity of the project.

“The DPWH, which supervised the ICC, can easily disprove the malicious allegations made against the implement-ation of the project.” Drilon said. “I have no involvement in any way in the bidding process for the project. I was nowhere near that process to intervene, let alone nominate anyone to be the contractor of the project.”

Likewise, Drilon said he will never use his position as Senate President “to block or prevent the holding of a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee inquiry into the matter.”

“I have nothing to hide. Any inquiry or investigation will validate the facts and figures of this project, and will just show how absurd these vile allegations really are,” he said.

He emphasized that it was only proper that those who were responsible for spreading lies regarding the ICC “must be made liable for their actions if their allegations were proven wrong and politically-motivated. The project was bidded out under the supervision of Public Works Sec. Rogelio Singson, who is widely known for his integrity”.

Sec. Singson had earlier disputed the allegations of overpricing. He said the project was above-board and strictly followed bidding process. In fact, Singson said the actual price of the ICC is even lower than the approved budget for the contract, after they allowed the adoption of value engineering specifically on structural aspects of the building.

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez had earlier said that he “expressed full trust and confidence in the competence and sincerity of all those involved in the ICC Project.”

“I firmly believe that our actions in support of this project will withstand scrutiny. Notwithstanding this unfortunate allegation of overpricing, we will not allow this distraction to derail our mission to make tourism a force for growth and inclusiveness in this country,” Jimenez said in a statement.
Drilon said he believed that the public will realize that the issues being hurled against them were mere harassment. “The ICC is a major undertaking by various agencies particularly the DPWH, DOT and TIEZA. To say that Secretary Singson, Secretary Jimenez and I all connived to ruin the integrity of the ICC project is absurd, baseless and malicious,” said Drilon.

The ICC’s construction is part of a major campaign to improve Iloilo’s capacity to host and accommodate international events and conferences, particularly the 2015 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation ministerial meetings.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee will formally investigate the alleged overpricing in the construction of the ICC and other issues related to it.

The Blue Ribbon Committee will initiate the probe on these controversies that are also partly covered by Senate Resolution No. 906 filed by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

The Blue Ribbon Committee shall commence the investigation as soon as initial preparations have been completed. /MP

Miraflores Submits P1.527 Billion 2015 Annual Budget For SP Review

Miraflores Submits P1.527 
Billion 2015 Annual Budget For SP Review

The Aklan Sangguniang Panlalawigan has set marathon schedules of budget briefings and hearings starting November 3, 2014 on the proposed 2015 annual budget of the Province of Aklan. It carries a total appropriation of P1,527,370,719.00 submitted by Gov. Florencio T. Miraflores.

The 2015 proposed budget is higher than P300 million over that of this year’s annual budget of P1.2 billion. 

The 2015 budget is projected to be funded by income/revenue projections of P149.2 million from regular local income sources, some P618.805 million income projections from the operation of the province’s economic enterprises, mainly from the operation of jetty ports and terminals and the projected share of the Province from the national government’s Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of P759.365 million.

As to next year’s expenditure programs, out of the budgetary allocations, some P45.428 million is reserved as calamity fund; P53.339 million for debt servicing; P121.485 million for social services; P262.678 for economic programs and services; and P425.634 for general public services.

“Transparent and Accountable Allocation of Government Resources by Delivering Basic Services that are Responsive to People’s Needs,” is next year’s budget theme according to Gov. Miraflores.
Local non-tax revenue is projected to be at P618.805 million and some P544.230 million tax revenue from the operation of the economic enterprises.

Under the general/regular fund operations, the total tax revenue for 2015 is projected at P235.7 million, P18.5 million from non-tax revenue, and P759.365 million from external sources, and P105 million from the Special Education Fund. 

Since three years ago, Aklan has joined the elite Billionaires Club of Provinces throughout the country in terms of revenue generation and budgetary appropriations.  It also ranks first in local income generation among the provinces in the entire country last year, thus, greatly reduced its dependence on its share of the Internal Revenue Allotment.  Aklan is also one province at the top 10 of the heirarchy which spends more amounts for the education of its young people through the Special Education Fund. /MP 



The Northwestern Visayan Colleges (NVC), blesses and inaugurates its new NVC RSQ Annex Building located at Capitol Site, Kalibo, Aklan this week. Father Allan Sta. Maria officiated the blessing ceremony. Ms. Melrose Q. Martelino-Chairman, NVC Board of Directors and Cong. Teodorico T. Haresco of the lone district of Aklan are shown cutting the ribbon. Others in the picture are Atty. Allen S. Quimpo-NVC President, Hon. Lilian Quimpo Tirol, & Hon. Plaridel M. Morania both Aklan SP members, Engr. Rex Bautista and Mr. Aguelles. 

After the blessing of the building, cocktail followed and distribution of books to some public elementary and secondary schools in Aklan.  

The new building is of three levels. It will house the Medical and Dental Clinic, the Research Office and six classrooms. /MP

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Senate Pushes Sugar Cane Industry Development Bill In Preparation For ASEAN Integration

Senate Pushes Sugar Cane Industry 
Development Bill In Preparation For 
ASEAN Integration

The Senate this week passed on third and final reading a bill which seeks to help sugar industry players become more competitive. Sugar from abroad will start flooding the local market with the integration of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community in 2015.

Senator Cynthia Villar, chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Food sponsors Senate Bill No. 2400, otherwise known as the Sugar Cane Industry Development Act of 2014. The proposed legislation would put in place programs to promote and support the competitiveness of the Philippine sugar industry.

 “The fear among sugar farmers is their inability to compete with cheaper and government-subsidized sugar from abroad and this will directly impact their livelihood,” Villar said.

 “As it stands, we are self-sufficient in sugar but we are anticipating stiffer competition with cheaper sugar from abroad, particularly Thailand, which is the largest sugar producer among ASEAN countries with the Philippines coming in second,” she added.

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon agreed that the agricultural measure will greatly complement “the set of economic reform measures currently being pushed in the Senate to secure the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals and fiscal sustainability, in preparation for the ASEAN Economic Community’s (AEC) launch next year.”

 Once the bill is passed into law, Villar said the sugar workers will be granted more assistance to boost their competitiveness through the Block Farm Program, Farm Support Program and scholarship program.

The Block Farm Program is a consolidation of small farms, around five hectares or less, into a large farm.

“Admittedly, small players will have difficulties competing with bigger players. This practice will take advantage of the economies of scale in the production of sugar cane. This will result in operational advantages because activities in the small farms are aligned and the efficient use of farm machineries and equipment, deployment of workers, volume purchase of inputs, and financing, are ensured,” Villar explained.

Owners of farms with around nine hectares or less can avail of the Farm Support Program wherein they will be granted access to socialized credit through the Land Bank of the Philippines for the acquisition of production inputs, farm machineries, and implements necessary for the continuous production of sugar cane.

Another provision of the bill is the availability of a Scholarship Program for the underprivileged college and post graduate students who are taking up courses in agriculture, agricultural engineering and mechanics, chemical engineering/sugar technology in state colleges and universities as well as vocational courses for farmers and farm technicians and skilled workers in sugar mills, sugar refineries, distilleries and biomass power plants.

The capability trainings will be conducted as well as attendance to local or international trainings including seminars by farmers and workers on the latest technologies related to sugar cane farming, manufacture or production and other products derived from sugar cane, according to Villar.

 She said the program would be sourced from the Sugar Cane Industry Development Fund, which would receive 15 percent of the Value Added Tax on local and imported sugar and tariff collected from the importation of sugar.

 “The bill aims to generate funds to strengthen the competitiveness and boost diversification efforts of the sugarcane industry, especially when tariff on imported sugar drops to a mere five percent by 2015 under the AEC,” Villar said.

 Currently, the Philippines sugarcane industry provides employment to at least 600,000 workers and contributes P76 billion annually to the country’s economy.

 “The biggest opportunity is that it has turned our region and our market into a very promising and viable market. We need to equip Filipino businesses and industries, including the sugarcane industry, with adequate support to get a sizable chunk of that market or to seize those opportunities. The key is preparedness and enhanced competitiveness,” Villar said. /MP



One of GMA Network’s award-winning documentary programs, Front Row is this year’s Winner of the prestigious UNICEF Asia-Pacific Child Rights Award for Television.

Its winning documentary, “Ulilang Lubos” (Orphaned) follows the daily life of 10-year-old Princess, who has had to take care of three younger siblings since their mother abandoned them. Princess washes produce at a wet market to earn money. She receives five to 20 pesos for this.
After working the entire morning, Princess then proceeds to her second job: scavenging. She does this every day to feed herself and her siblings.

“I haven’t seen my mom since she left us three years ago,” Princess said. “We started scaven-ging to get some money and asking around for food. Sometimes we don’t have anything to eat and our stomachs hurt. We sleep on cardboard boxes on the floor. I envy my friends because they go to school but I don’t.”

The jurors praised “Front Row: Ulilang Lubos” for reflecting the vulnerable children’s world in their own eyes. “It was very effective,” they said. “There are many heartbreaking moments in this film. The interviews were handled with sensitivity and the three children came across as everyday kids. Their interaction during bath and meal times was very naturalistic, as if the cameras weren’t there. This is a powerful story that really captured the plight of these children.”

The UNICEF further said, “Front Row: Orphaned is a powerful piece of television. It shows the importance of protecting and nurturing children, and the strength and resilience they possess, through the eyes of four abandoned children trying desperately to make the most of their lives,” said Christopher de Bono, Chief of Communications, UNICEF East Asia and the Pacific.

“It is also a testimony to the value of powerful television storytelling, by motivating all of us to meet our responsibilities and address the suffering of children in need.”   Dr Javad Mottaghi, ABU Secretary-General, said: “To know there are documentary makers of this quality working in our region, chronicling the lives of our most vulnerable children and celebrating the triumph of their young spirits over great adversity, must spur us all to be the best media messengers we possibly can.

‘Front Row: Orphaned’ shows how great documentary-making not only exposes inequality and exploitation but journeys deeper into the human spirit and reminds us that each human being, however young, poor and disadvantaged, carries the light of hope in their soul.” Christopher Slaughter, CEO of CASBAA, said: “CASBAA congratulates GMA Network for their unflinching look at childhood poverty in ‘Front Row: Orphaned’. Our industry reaches hundreds of millions of people around the world daily. It is heartening to see our medium being used as a platform not just for entertainment, but in the service of such a worthy cause as alleviating the plight of children in need.”

Managing Producer Joseph Israel Laban accepted the prestigious UNICEF prize at the Asia Broadcasting Union awards ceremony held in Macau. He shared the viewers’ positive response to the program. “Since the documentary aired, one of the children’s relatives has reached out to them. Viewers are now sending two of the children to school and more help is still coming in. But we are hoping for a more permanent and comprehensive solution to address the plight of Filipino orphans, perhaps with better Government facilities to take care of them and their basic needs.”

The UNICEF Asia-Pacific Child Rights Award was established by the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), CASBAA and UNICEF in 2001. It recognizes the efforts of broadcasters and producers in pursuing high quality children’s television and better coverage of children’s issues, and is given each year to the best programme on children’s rights produced in the Asia-Pacific region.
Front Row’s “Ulilang Lubos” also previously won a Silver Screen Award at the 2014 United States International Film and Video Festival and received a Finalist citation at the 2014 URTI Grand Prix for Author’s Documentary in Monaco, the sole Philippine program to be honoured this year. /MP

Read and Have Fun

It’s clean & funny....
A girl asked her boyfriend to come over Friday night to meet, and have dinner with her parents.  
Since this is such a big event, the girl announced to her boyfriend that after dinner, she would like to go out and make love for the first time.

The boy was ecstatic, but he has never had sex before, so he took a trip to the pharmacist to get some condoms. He told the pharmacist it’s his first time and the pharmacist helped the boy for about an hour. He told the boy every-thing there is to know about condoms and sex.

At the register, the pharmacist asked the boy how many condoms he’d like to buy, a 3-pack, 10-pack, or family pack. The boy insisted on the family pack because he thought he will be rather busy, it being his first time and all.

That night, the boy showed up at the girl’s parents house and met his girlfriend at the door.  “Oh, I’m so excited for you to meet my parents, come on in!”

The boy went inside and was taken to the dinner table where the girl’s parents were seated. The boy quickly offered to say grace and bows his head. A minute passed, and the boy was still deep in prayer, with his head down. Some 10 minutes passed, and still no movement from the boy.
Finally, after 20 minutes with his head down, the girlfriend leaned over and whispered to her boyfriend, “I had no idea you are this religious.”

The boy turned, and whispers back,  “I had no idea your father is THE pharmacist.”

If you DON’T forward this to at least 1 person you have no sense of humour !!!!!! 
from Dr. Raphy Tayco /MP


By: Megs S. Lunn

 “A teacher who accepts a position assumes a contractual obligation to live up to his contract assuming full knowledge of the employment terms and conditions.” (Code of Ethics Art VI, Sec. 6)
The Diocesan Commission on Catholic Education, in collaboration with the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines, led by Regional Vice President Rev. Fr. Gualberto “Joebert” Villasis, Jr. and Rex Bookstore, held a learning session on Legal Updates on Laws Affecting Private Education last October 28, 2014, held at the ACC Gym, Kalibo, Aklan.

Rev. Fr. Joebert believes, “our schools are vulnerable to legal challenges. It is then necessary for our administrators, faculty and personnel to be informed and updated with the legal issues and concerns affecting us and our school operations.”

The speaker is one of the few active legal minds in the field of Educational Law. A very sought after school lawyer, Atty. Ulpiano “Ulan” P. Sarmiento III completed AB LLB LLM degrees. He is a Law Professor and Dean of the College of Law, San Beda College, Manila. 

Atty. Sarmiento presented two topics/updates to the delegates from the different private parochial schools and colleges in Aklan. He discussed basic constitutional objectives of a Teacher, and Duties and Responsibilities of the Teachers touching the DepEd issuances on Child Protection Policy and Anti-Bullying Act.

He particularly mentioned the two basic constitutional objectives the Teachers must abide as it is their obligation to do so. These are: 1)  Art. XIV, Sec 5 (Protect and promote the right of all to quality education) and 2) Art. XIV, Sec 3(3) (the formation of character on ethical, spiritual, moral and personal discipline of the student).

Through these basic objectives, the Teachers need to understand their contractual and statutory duties. 

Poor education comes from a poor teaching and negligence of duty by the Teacher. It is poor education when a student is promoted to the next level without sufficient knowledge and competence. On the other hand, a good solid education comes from a good solid foundation of teaching by a good Teacher. Teachers are duty bound to deliver a good solid education according to the constitution. 

The Code of Ethics for Professional Teachers Article IV, Section 2 states that, “A Teacher must be competent and efficient, must uphold the highest possible standards of quality education, make the best preparation for the career of teaching and shall be at his best at all times in the practice of his profession.  Likewise, Education Act of 1982 Sec. 18 (2) provides, “The Teacher shall be accountable for efficient and effective attainment of specified learning objectives.”

“Teacher shall participate in the continuing education program of the Professional Regulatory Commission and shall pursue such other studies as well as improve efficiency, enhance prestige of the profession, and strengthen competencies, virtue and productivity in order to be nationally and internationally competitive. A Teacher ensures the conditions contributive to the maximum development of learners, and shall extend assistance in preventing or solving learner’s problems and difficulties.” (Article IV, Sec. 3)

In order to become more competent and effective, Teachers must give a fair and just evaluation of learners through giving correct scholarly and academic grades, never accept favors or gifts.

The second objective deals with the formation of character. According to Atty. Sarmiento, 1) Teacher should lead by example (Code of Ethics Article 3, Sec. 3), 2) To act with honor (Article 6, Sec 6) and 3) Impose discipline and right to parental care (Family Code Article 218). 

The three reasons why discipline must be imposed to students are 1) To establish and maintain proper order in school; 2) For character formation, (discipline, morality, conduct), and 3) To protect the good name and reputation of the school.

On DepEd Memorandum Order No. 40, Series of 2012, the duties and responsibilities of teaching and non-teaching staff of a school, it must adopt the law and explain it to their stakeholders for better understanding. Atty. Sarmiento stressed, that “the need to prevent bullying is a necessity.”

He shared simple techniques on how to prevent like the Adoption of Anti-Bullying Policy, and Train student to become ally’s not just bystanders as allies prevent bullying from happening.

Atty. Sarmiento also reminded the delegates that no other laws shall be mandated by the school authority except those from the Secretary of the DepEd. Regional and Provincial memoranda must conform with the law. The school has the right to refuse obedience on such memorandum if not in accordance with the law. He stressed that we need to follow the rule of contractual and statutory duty. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Daeayawon Nga Umagad

Bulahan ka kon makakita ka it mabuot ag daeayawon nga umagad. May mga owa it paghilibaut sa pamilya bangod sa mga maldita o maldito nga umagad. May isaeang ka estorya sa bibliya hanungod sa relasyon kong magpanugangan ag mag-umagad nga makapamukeat katong mga umagad ag panugangan.

Ro mag-asawang si Elimelid ag Naomi hay nagpadueong sa Moab agod likawan rong tag-gutom sa andang lugar. Daea nanda ro andang daywang ka onga nga ea-eaki nga sanday Mah-lon ag Chilion. Nagtener sanda it mga napueong dag-on sa Moab hasta naka asawa ro andang daywang ka onga. Namatay si Elimelid. Owa mabuhayi, namatay man ro andang daywang ka unga.

Ko isaeang agahon ngaron, guintawag ni Naomi ro anang daywang ka umagad. Anang guinhambae nga mauli sanda sa lugar ni Naomi. Nabalitaan abi ni Naomi nga nagtaliwan eon rong tag gutom sa andang lugar sa Bethlehem. Owa man nagbalibad sanda. Nagmunot ro daywang ka umagad nga si Orpah ag Ruth. 

Nag-uli eon sanda. Pag-abot nanda sa guin sanghan it daean, binalikid ni Naomi ro daywang ka babaye. Guinhambae nana nga mag uli sa andang mga pamilya, tungod patay eon man ro andang asawa. Mahimo pa sanda nga makapag-asawa it uman. 

Nagpasugot si Orpah. Nagea-ong imaw nga eoha-an kay Naomi ag nagpanaw. Samtang si Ruth hay nagpabilin maskin anong pilit ni Naomi. Ro anang hambae, “Ayaw ako pagpilita nga aywan ko. Kon siin ka maadto, mamunot ako kimo. Ro imong Diyos mangin akon nga Diyos. Kon siin ka mamatay idto man ako ieubong.” Rondaya rong tumaeagsahong hambae kong mabuot nga umagad. Pag-abot nanda sa lugar nanday Naomi, guin abi-abi sanda ag guin dayaw nanda rong mabuot nga umagad. Guinhinyo ni Naomi nga tawgon imaw nga Mara, nagakahueugan nga mapait, tungod abo nga kapait ro anang haagyan idto sa Moab.

Oras guid it tig-aeani sa andang pag-abot. Nagpanagpot it mga nabilin nga paeay si Ruth, ag tungod sa anang daeayawon nga batasan, abo kanang nagbulig sa pag-ani. Bulahan guid si Naomi bangod maskin, naduea ro anang asawa ag daywang ka onga, may kabueos man nga umagad nga naga-unong kana. /MP

Reason and Concern

Mar Roxas’ Sentimental 
Quest For The Presidency
by Ronquillo C. Tolentino

Secretary Butch Abad has declared that DILG secretary Mar Roxas is the Liberal Party’s sentimental choice for the presidential candidacy (in the 2016 presidential election).

It would now be Mar Roxas’ sentimental journey in his presidential quest.

Sec.Abad had occasion to mention Mar’s oblation giving way to President Benigno Aquino III’s presidenial bid in the last elections.
The Binay-Trillanes scheduled debate bears watching. Since this is a form of a Lincoln-Douglas debate (the two men debate), the rules should now be had, inclusive of the proposition to be debated.
A few months ago, I chanced to read an article on the factors resulting in an increase of the crime rate.  In an article written by Daniel Francis, How Contributor, titled  “The FBI keeps data on crime rates”. He cited that many factors are involved in the crime rate from the overall economic conditions to the psychological state of the criminal, some factors clearly result in increased crime rate. And although the Francis article is about the government, schools and social scientists studies of the rising and falling rates of crime  in the United States for more than a century,  certain factors on the increase in crime rate are also happening in other counties, inclusive  of the Philippines.

The factors resulting in an increase of crimes are due to: First: Density, business and transportation; second, police and justice; third, living conditions; and fourth, the economy.

I would like to quote here the observation on police and justice as one of the factors that can result in an increase of the crime rate, thus: “ One factor in seeing an increase or decrease in a crime rate is the effectiveness of law enforcement in the area. An increase in crime could be linked to an ineffective, understaffed or under-funded local police department. A lack of prosecution  of crimes  from a local jurisdiction could also contribute to an increased crime rate. The policies of judicial, correctional and probational arms of an area can also contribute to an increase or decrease in crime rate.”
I am tempted oftentimes to look for some anecdotes about funny senior moments. Just where the term ‘senior moment’ came is provided in Will and Guy’s collection of funny senior moments, humour, and amusing stories,  thus: “senior moment was apparently coined in America in the mid nineties, but became more widely used in the United Kingdom during the past couple of years. Originating with specific reference to senior or senior citizens -people aged 60 or over- it has now entered general use and be applied in any situation where someone experiences momentary lapse of memory regardless of age.

“The term highlights the idea that our brain  simply were’nt built to cope with the information overload and stress generated by life in the 21st century.”

A story is told about an 80 year old man who has problem with his house. It has two storeys. It has stairs. When he uses the stairs, he stops midway to catch his breath. His main problem is that, when he is ready to start again, he is unable to remember whether he was going upstairs or downstairs.

“An absent-minded activity, like putting your furniture polish in the fridge or your prepared casserole in the cupboard, can also be referred as a senior moment.” /MP

Entrepreneurial by Ambrocio R. Villorente

Are You A CAVE? A Wall?

What is the difference between a cave and a wall? This question is answered in the handbook “Moments” of Father Jerry M. Orbos, SVD.

According to Father Orbos, “a cave is open. It welcomes people to whom it provides warmth and shelter”. He compared a cave to a person who is “someone who takes in and shelters people.”
“On the other hand, a wall  obstructs and even divides. It is also closed and cold. A wall is likened to a person, someone who shuts out people. One has to put up a wall.”

What are You? A wall or a cave?
Many families, countless of them are Filipino, construct walls around their houses. What for? High walls built around a house portray insecurity. They have no trust with their neighbors.
Further, in his handbook, Moments, Father Orbos asked: “What kind of heart do you have? Do you have a stony heart, a wooden heart, or perhaps a plastic heart?”
Please check your answers.

According to Father Orbos, “there is no peace in (our) heart as long as (we) had in it the sins of the heart.  Which are: 

The Senate Committee on Finance will scrutinize the multibillion pesos proposed allocation for monitoring and evaluation of government spending, which eats up a big chunk of the proposed spending package of the government.  

Sen. Chiz Escudero, chairman of the Senate finance panel, said he finds most of the monitoring budgets and cost of services of many agencies too steep, like in the case of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) which allocated P4.2 billion to implement, monitor and evaluate its project under the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program.

The welfare department is seeking a P108-billion spending package for 2015, of which P64.7 billion is for CCT. Of this amount, P57.1 billion will go to actual cash transfer, P3.3 billion to personnel services and P4.2 billion to implement and monitor the DSWD’s cash dole out program.
The amount of money set aside for “monitoring and evaluation” is too expensive.  

Escudero agrees there is implementation cost needed to actuate a program, to monitor implementation of programs and projects to ensure accountability and judicious use of public funds. But it should be at reasonable amount. There is existing machinery and mechanism to monitor and evaluate project accomplishment like the Commission on Audit. 

The P4 billion proposed allocation for monitoring budget can be used for other serviceable purposes that have actual and direct benefits. This amount can be put to better use. Better reduce it and add the amount to major programs, suggested Escudero.

Escudero also questioned the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for the P840 million it plans to spend for monitoring and evaluation of its program under grassroots participatory budgeting process (GPBP) amounting to P5.7 billion. The DILG must give the detailed breakdown of these projects and programs in all 1,600 LGUs across the Philippines.

Concerned agencies must seriously look into these items in the budget with the view to introduce sensible spending at all levels and allocate the scarce resources equitably and fairly utilize for significant purposes.

Vice President Jejomar C. Binay chose to bring the issues being thrown at him by his detractors directly to the public. He discussed the allegations against him with the people in Pagadian City last week.

Binay was in Pagadian to attend the 11th Rovers Moot of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.

The Vice President joined local officials at the Pagadian Public Market in a boodle fight for breakfast, during which he gamely answered the accusations of his detractors in the Senate.

The Vice President again discussed the latest allegations in the on-going Senate Blue Ribbon Subcommittee investigation on the supposed overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building 2 during a live studio interview with local radio station DXCA.

He thanked the public for their continued support for him and his family. He urged people from listening to baseless accusations.  /MP