Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kalibo’s Pauper

Kalibo’s Pauper

Picture above shows one of Kalibo’s paupers. This picture was taken by the side of the fence of Kalibo Pilot Elementary School at the corner of Roxas Ave. and A. Mabini St., Poblacion, Kalibo, Aklan. 

A picture speaks a thousand words and you can discribe this picture as you view it. The man is in a very deplorable situation. His relatives and/or friends  must take good care of this man. Give him a necessary care a human being deserves. If he has no relatives, the Municipality of the Ati-atihan Town of Kalibo must provide the necessary care.

Allowing him to remain in his present state of living portrays the kind and quality of life the people of Kalibo and Aklan. We say that Aklan province is a billionaire province which annual budget is more than one billion pesos.

If Aklan is billionaire,  its people must be living in abundance, clean, happy and contented. People must live according to human norm.

However, this man, by all means must be given the basic needs of life and allow him to live a dicent life. /MP
 The Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Justice should immediately and without delay get in touch with their counterparts and demand the attendance of the four witnesses.

Such demand is covered by the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) which calls not only for Respect for Law but the obligation to make available the US personnel for investigative or judicial proceedings. As worded in Article V, “US military authorities shall, upon formal notification by the Philippine authorities and without delay, make such personnel available to those authorities in time for any investigative or judicial proceedings.”

The VFA clearly states that the Philippines has criminal jurisdiction over US soldiers involved in a crime in the country, and it is a matter of invoking it with speed and conviction. The VFA, undoubtedly, is one sided and as such we must always insist and be vigilant with what is accorded us as a matter of sovereign right in that treaty.

 This is incident calls for the Philippine authorities’ and the Filipinos’ righteous indignation to fight for custody of the suspect and demand for the physical availability of the four American witnesses. We cannot just sit idly by and watch while our laws are being subverted. If we cannot defend, protect nor assist our fellow Filipino right here in our own soil, what chilling message do we get out there to our people and especially to those who are outside Philippine soils?

We cannot begrudge the US for acting to protect the interests of its nationals and its interests. Our own officials should also, with the same fervor, do the same.

This is why I continue my call for the review of the VFA for clearer, stronger and stricter stipulations which are mutually beneficial to both parties in every step of the way. /MP

Reason and Concern

Bar Exams 
Revamp Proposed
by Ronquillo C. Tolentino
October 26,2014 shall be the fourth Sunday of this year’s bar examinations.

Of the 6,344 bar examination applicants, 350 decided not to take the bar exams after the first Sunday, October 5, 2014 leaving 5,994.

 As I write this, my attention  was invited  to a Philippine Daily Inquirer  October 12,2014 news item titled: “Sereno seeks  revamp of bar exams to ‘define kind of  lawyer PH needs’ “Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno requested law schools to take and lead in the study on the ideal Filipino lawyer. Sereno admitted that the high court had no time to make the study considering its work-load. The chief justice said that “ the Supreme Court does not have the time to make the paper or the study that is necessary  for us  to define the kind of Filipino lawyer that must be produced by the legal profession, under the  supervision of the Supreme Court. In addendum, she stressed that  the study should identify competencies and basic skills that the ideal Filipino lawyer should possess considering the legal problems Filipinos usually  face, including the 10-million strong diaspora.”

Lawyers, to my mind have never forgotten the fact that a lawyer in the Philippines is an officer of the court and a person in authority. And if he is a notary public, he is a public officer. This is  explained in Salcedo vs. Hernandez, 61  Phil.724 (1935) when it emphasized : “An attorney  is a public officer....He occupies a quasi-judicial office because he is in fact an officer of the court whose close and intimate relationship with the bench described  by that phrase. He is figuratively speaking, a priest of justice.

“While an attorney has many rights and privileges, he has equally a number of duties and responsibilities. It is his duty to maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and to support the Constitution and obey the laws; to observe  and maintain the respect due the courts of justice and judicial officers; to counsel or maintain such actions or proceedings only as he believes to be debatable under the law; to employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes  confided to him, such means only as consistent with truth and honor, and never to mislead the judge or any  judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of fact or law.

“He is to maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself, to preserve the secrets of his client, and to accept compensation in connection with his client’s business except from him  or with  his knowledge and approval; to abstain from all offensive personality and to advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation  of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which  he is charged; not to encourage either the commencement or the continuance of an action or proceeding or delay any man’s cause for any corrupt motive or interest; never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself, the cause of the defenseless or the oppressed; and in the defense of a person  accused of a crime, by all fair and honorable means, regardless of his personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused, to present every defense that the law permits, to the end that no person may be deprived of  life or liberty, but by due process of law.”(Rule 138,Sec.20 (e) to (i) Rules of Court.

It is asserted that the bar exam revamp is part of the Chief Justice’s reform program for the judiciary.

If I may give my two cents worth of opinion to the issue, it must be continuously stressed to lawyers and law students alike the constant inculcation on the rules and ethics of the profession.
Of this year’ bar candidates, the oldest is an 88 year old man from Bulacan.

A joke is still told by some bar reviewers. Bar candidates are forewarned not to mark the notebooks given them in every subject of the bar examinations where they write their  answers in their own handwriting using a fountain pen.

A bar candidate failed the bar examinations eight times. As he was close to 80 years old when he took  his last bar examinations, he had written on  the last page of every notebook   this note :”Sir, let me pass the bar. I would like to die a lawyer. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Kamandag It Kobra

Ro mag-asawang Berto ag Saning hay naga estar sa maisot nga baeay sa tunga it kagueangan. Ro eogta nga andang guina estahan hay guin tao kanda it gobiyerno pagkatapos nga andang guinlimpyuhan. Abo ag maeangbo ro andang pananum. May mga hayupan man sanda. Kada Domingo, naga adto sanda sa banwa agod daehon ro andang tubas agod ibaligya. Ro kabakeanan hay anda dayon nga gina bakae it igdaeapat ag pagkaon sa sueod it sang domingo.

Isaeang adlaw, samtang naga pangtapas it taeahib si Berto ag Saning, may tumuklaw sa bati-is ni Saning. Isaeang ka mabahoe nga kobra rong hakita ni Berto. Dali-dali nana nga tinigpas rong ueo it kobra. Dayon guin suyop man nana rong kamandag it sawa sa batiis ni Saning. Sa kaeu-oy it Diyos, owa man it maea-ing hatabo kay Saning. 

Tumaliwan ro mga binuean. Nagnabdos si Saning. Makataliwan rong siyam nga buean, nag unga si Saning it isaeang ka matimsog nga eaeaki. Guin pangaeanan imaw kay Onyok. Nagbahoe si Onyok sa tunga it kagueangan nga may ka-ila maghayupan it sawa. 

Ko isaeang adlaw, may isaeang ka babaye nga hasubeang si Onyok. Naga-usoy it bueong sa naangkit it sawa nga anang onga nga babaye.

Guin daea imaw sa mga alila nga sawa ni Onyok. Guin turo ko babaye nga isaeang ka kobra ro nakaangkit kana. Dayon nagmunot si Onyok sa baeay it babaye. Daea ni Onyok ro anang alilang kobra. Guinpa suyop sa sawa ro anang kamandag sa batiis it daeaga. Nag balik rong kolor sa oyahon it daeaga, si Lolita ra ngaean. 

Halin kato, permeng nagabisita si Onyok kay Lolita. Owa mabuhaye, nag-asawa sanda ag una man guihapon naga estar sa kagueangan. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer by Ambrosio R. Villorente


Patogsiling is an Aklanon term which means empathy in English. In his Five Language Dictionary, Roman Dela Cruz translated empathy to Aklanon as “Baeatyagon ag huna-huna it iba.”

In the book of Alan Axelbrod, he pointed out that “emphathy is the foundation of etiquette. It is also a source of great power.” This is a matter of relating with people; and how can we make our time with other people as pleasant and productive as possible?

There are three simple ways to observe to make our time pleasant and productive which are: a. show other how much we value them, b. show others how competent they are, and c. create a work environment in which everyone can excel. 

Building Relationship
To establish a good rapport with other people, you may start with a body language. For one thing, begin with a smile which is a standing invitation. It shows one’s openness to contact and cooperation. 

A friendly wave combine with smile makes meaningful contact. It acknowledges a friend with a display of respect and affection.

A firm handshake makes a colleague feels good. Handshake delivers a message of warmth, openness and willingness to communicate.

Hold the palm of a person, not just the fingers. Otherwise handshake maybe likened to an insincere politicians campaigning for votes.

Look in the eye and maintain eye contact to show your confidence, friendship and transparency.
Say something nice to set the other person at ease such as, “you are handsome with your new haircut.”

A courteous act is necessary like holding the door open so a friend can pass. People will appreciate when a person goes out of his way to help others.

Conducting Meeting
In both public and private businesses, meetings are one important function to fulfill mission and vision. And to make a more productive meeting, the exercise of good meeting manners is necessary.

Effective leaders of meetings practice effective etiquette before the meeting begins. These leaders, such as chairman of the Board, president of organization, presiding officer prepare list of participants, invite them, and communicate to them the time, venue, agenda, and objectives of the meeting. This will create a climate in which participants can agree or disagree without being disagreeable.

One good thing a participant does in attending a meeting or other similar function is to arrive on time. The Northwestern Visayan Colleges is developing a culture of arriving on time in all and any function in the NVC Community. “The NVCians on Time”.

As participant in a meeting, please arrive on time, stay awake and listen, ask questions to develop ideas, stick to the agenda, no personal attack, and thank the leader of the meeting and may praise him for holding a more productive meeting after the meeting is adjourned.

How do we dress for success? Styles change, fashions are fickle and reality is no magic formula for appearance and grooming.

Dress is non-verbal communication. It reveals a great deal about us and attitude toward the world around us.

However, the most important is our clothes, must be impeccably clean, well maintained, and appropriate to what we do. An ideal way of dressing is to observe around your place, how others dress, identity people with cloth in the locality, but never imitate; you may emulate. Aim for the middle, and dress just a notch above it.

Dress for yourself at home. Outside, dress in a manner what makes us and others comfortable. Etiquette requires us to dress unselfishly for others as well as for us.

Shine Our Shoes
Clothing experts agree that the first article of clothing most people notice on men and women is shoes which must be kept in top shape, shined, and well maintained like replacing worn heels.
People of Banga, Aklan or the Banganhons are known to look at their visitors from “foot to head”. /MP

Editorial by Ernesto T. Solidum

Need For Philippine Comprehensive 
Sports Development Program

The Weekly Kapihan on October 18, 2014 discussed the topic, “Batang Pinoy 2014” at NVC Carmen Hotel. Guests are Atty. Jay Alano, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Franklin Quimpo, Sports Dev. Officer IV and Fred R. Neri, Sports Dev. Officer III.

Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente noted the enthusiasm and dedication of Filipino youths in sports in whatever state they are in life. The Greeks who originated the Olympics in the 9th century are interested in fulfilling life time goal of a “sound mind in a sound body.” Majority of the sports programs is undertaken by former Department of Education Culture and Sports, but later dropped it after its re-organization to Department of Education (DepEd). This development may be positive for over burdened teachers. But for no sensible reason, sports is still managed by DepEd.

Presently, the schools especially in urban areas are crammed with buildings with no more vacant space for outdoor sports activities. Big concern is obesity, a serious health risk affecting children. This problem must be resolved once and for all by Agencies concerned.

Atty. Jay Alano said that Batang Pinoy is a grassroots, laderized program open to youths 15 years old and below. Philippine Sports Commission targets both in-school and out-of-school population. This is the first time Aklan will host Batang Pinoy Visayas to be held on October 20-24, 2014. There will be 28 delegations from Eastern, Central and Western Visayas who will compete in 21 sports events.

Hotly contested are archery, badminton, billiards, dance sports, sepak takraw, swimming and volleyball. Sport competition will be held on October 21-25 in selected venues in Kalibo, Banga, Numancia, Tangalan, Malinao, and Makato. The winners in these events will represent the whole Visayas block in the forthcoming National Batang Pinoy competition on December 13-19, 2014 to be held in Bacolod City.

“We want to insure that all players sponsored by their respective LGU’s be given equal opportunities to compete and excel in various disciplines. A total of P7.2 million from PSC and counterpart of P250,000 from the Office of the Provincial Governor have been released”, the PSC representative revealed.

Mr. Franklin Quimpo expressed confidence over the state of Aklan’s preparedness in hosting Batang Pinoy. Our registration date is October 19-20 and delegation will comprise the athletes, technical officials, LGU representatives and members of Tri-media. At least PSC has 3,000 foam mattresses available on first serve basis. Provincial preparations include lodging accommodation and food, medical team, ambulance and PNP security.

“Sports development is a total commitment of mind and body to excellence”, said Mr. Fred Neri who is National Chess Master. Windfall, aside from cash prizes and recognition are pursuit of education and employment. It is very important that this goal be set early in life, Neri added.

While the grassroots development program targets both in and out of school youth, about 90 percent will be students. Children coming from poor families do not have the luxury of engaging in sports since the 8-15 year old bracket are mostly breadwinners or employed as child laborers.
About 30 percent of Filipino children, aged 1-12, are suffering from malnutrition and that 1 out of 5 has acute malnutrition and in danger of brain damage according to research study of Food and Nutrition Research Institute.

This is corroborated by Philippine Development Studies that 1 out of 3 Filipino children is living in abject poverty with their families. The per capita threshold level for fisherfolks is 13.4 million hungry mouths who are concurrently given intervention by DepEd and non-government organizations like supplemental feeding program and basic nutrition education.

Dr. Vicente Belizario added that some 6 million or 72 percent of Filipino children have intestinal worms despite vigorous government drive through deworming program. The World Health Organization wants it reduced to 20 percent.

Given the bad economic and health background of our local athletes, there is nothing to expect from them but mediocrity. Even at the ASIAN games, the Philippines is at the lowest rung of the ladder with few harvest of gold, silver and bronze. Come to think of it. We are beaten by Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore by a wide margin. Do you know the basic reason? We don’t have a consistent sports development program. Band aid legislation does not hold water in this digital age.

It would be highly appreciated if congress enacts a law reorganizing the PSC into an Authority that would develop and implement a comprehensive sports program for all ages and covering amateur and professional athletes. At least by this scheme, the Philippines could start in the right direction. /MP



Reforms in the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) have ensured there will not be a repeat of the housing scam discovered in 2010 and members will enjoy more benefits, Vice President Jejomar C. Binay said last week. 

The Vice President was referring to developer Globe Asiatique, which Pag-IBIG found to be allegedly using fake documents and ghost borrowers to secure P6.6 billion in loan from the Fund.

Among the reforms that Pag-IBIG instituted include the centralization of the approval of housing loan applications. The Fund will now have the final nod on all applications, taking the task from the developers. 

Pag-IBIG is also piloting the use of fixed loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, the amount of the loan divided by the appraised value of the property. This allows borrowers to avail of a bigger loanable amount compared to what they could get using the old system.

The Fund is also seeking to improve the documentation of loan applications. To be implemented next year, the process will enable developers to do away with Contracts-to-Sell and Deeds of Assignment, and issue only the Deed of Absolute Sale.

The enhanced method will expedite the processing of housing loan applications, eliminate foreclosure proceedings, and save time and effort usually spent on such proceedings.

Under the Pag-IBIG reforms, new members may now apply for loans provided they were able to pay 24 months of lumpsum contribution.

Co-borrowers need not also be blood-related to the principal borrowers. Borrowers may also avail of “tacked loans,” which means that at most three borrowers may combine their gross monthly incomes to qualify for a bigger loanable amount.

The Vice President also mentioned that should a member die, his/her family will get P20,000 death benefit from insurance aside from the P6,000 death benefit from Pag-IBIG and the insurance equivalent to the value of his/her housing loan.

Aside from being the head of the government housing sector, Binay also serves as Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns.

The reforms enabled Pag-IBIG to provide homes to close to half a million members since Binay and Atty. Darlene Berberabe took office as chairman and chief executive officer, respectively. 

The Vice President also noted that Pag-IBIG released P138 billion worth of loans for around 167,000 low-cost/economic housing units, and P19 billion for almost 60,000 socialized housing units. /MP

Senate Passes Bill TO Prohibit Chemical Weapons

Senate Passes Bill TO Prohibit
 Chemical Weapons

The Senate last week passed on third and final reading a bill which seeks to prohibit the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and at the same time establish a Philippine National Authority for the Chemical Weapons Convention (PNA-CWC). 

“In our modern society, the use of chemical weapons, especially by non-state actors such as terrorists, poses a grave threat to international security,” said Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, author and sponsor of Senate Bill No. 2042, otherwise known as the Chemical Weapons Prohibition Act.

The Philippines is a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993, the first disarmament agreement that provides for the elimination and prohibition of the development of chemical weapons. As of October 2013, 190 nations have already signed to be part of the treaty.

Trillanes, chair of the Committee on National Defence and Security, said the measure aimed to provide a legislative framework for the effective implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention in the country.

Furthermore, SBN 2042 aimed to establish a separate and permanent bureau that “will serve as the national coordinating body for effective liaison with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the implementing body of the Convention. The PNA-CWC will be the lead agency in the implementation of the provisions of the Convention.”

“Despite our efforts, we cannot fully implement its provisions in the country due to lack of a legislative framework that will give teeth to its implementation,” Trillanes added.

Under the proposed legislation, PNA-CWC will be composed of the executive secretary as the chairperson and the secretary of national defence as the vice chairperson. The members are the National Security Advisor and the secretaries of foreign affairs, justice, interior and local government, finance, health, environment and natural resources, agriculture, transportation and communications, trade and industry, science and technology and energy. 

Once passed into law, any person found guilty of the prohibited act faces penalties of imprisonment of 12 years and one day to life imprisonment and a fine of P2 million to P5 million, according to Trillanes.

“As a signatory to the Convention, the immediate passage of this bill is necessary to maintain our country’s commitment to international peace and security. It would be a vital step towards maintaining the peaceful and meaningful utilization of chemicals and the creation of a treaty regime which will ensure that governments from different states will fulfill their national obligation of implementing chemical disarmament and non-proliferation,” Trillanes said. /MP 



Filipinos will find more native chicken in the market and be assured of ample supply and affordable prices of poultry products should Congress enact House Bill Number 3880.

Filed by AAMBIS-Owa Party list Representative Sharon Garin, HB 3880 provides for the promotion of scientific propagation of native animals in the country by introducing effective animal breeding system. 

Pending before the Committee on Agriculture and Food, HB 3880 is the proposed Philippine Native Animal Act of 2014. 

The proposed measure seeks to create a Philippine Native Animal Development Center (PNADC) under the Department of Agriculture (DA). “This will develop and promote native animals as a reliable source of food for Filipinos and potential niche product of the Philippines. This will also generate additional income for small-scale farmers and other rural dwellers,” Rep. Garin said.

The DA Technical Working Group which included University of the Philippines Los Baños Associate Professor Veneranda Magpantay said native animals are “animals found in one geographical location that developed unique physical characteristics, behavior, product attributes, adapted to the local environment and are products of selection with no infusion of exotic breed for at least five (5) generations.”

Examples of native animals include, but are not limited to, native chicken, goats, pigs, ducks, cattle, sheep, and horses, Prof. Magpantay added.

“Since native animals are well adapted to their natural environments with minimum human intervention, it is no surprise that majority of the animals which survived Typhoon Yolanda were native animals,” Bureau of Animal Industry Director Rubina Cresencio said.

“Despite native animals’ valuable contribution in the economic status of farming communities, lack of adequate research facilities and appropriate technology in propagating local breeds hindered the development of native farming sector for years,” Director Cresencio lamented.

When the bill becomes a law, the DA shall link existing small-scale farmers and entrepreneurs who would want to venture into native animal farming to the Landbank of the Philippines, Development Bank of the Philippines, and financial cooperatives for loans, grants, and incentives.

The Department of Science and Technology, Bureau of Animal Industry and some State Colleges and Universities will provide farmers training and latest technology to ensure high yield.

The National Meat Inspection Service meanwhile shall enforce standards on propagating, processing, and transporting native animals.

Infrastructure like post-harvest, storage, distribution and facilities, and transport services will be provided to qualified farmers or cooperatives using the existing facilities of the NMIS and attached bureaus under the DA. /MP

PIA & DENR Fete Essay Writing Contest Winners At Kapihan Forum
by Ernesto T. Solidum
Photo shows Albert T. Rapista, champion in the Essay Writing Contest sponsored by PIA and DENR is shown with his prizes 3rd from right. Others in the picture are (L to R) Ms. Venus Villanueva-PIA, Ms. Marlene B. Aborka-DENR, Mr. Odon Bandiola-Aklan SP Secretary, Atty. Allen S. Quimpo-Northwestern Visayan Colleges, and Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente-Madyaas Pen.

Kapihan Sa Aklan on October 11, 2014 gave way to the Award Ceremonies to the winners of the Essay Writing Contest, to recognize and honor the cream of the crop of budding journalists in the college level for the spot Essay Writing Contest. Some 25 contestants from all tertiary schools in Aklan vied for the coveted prize but only three (3) won on the topic, “Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation.”

Mr. John Albert T. Rapista of Garcia College of Technology got first place with a trophy and cash prize of P10,000. Second place is Ms. Marry Claire Gellang of Aklan Catholic College with P7,000 cash and certificate and Ms Dalyn R. Oliveros of ASU Teachers’ Education College, Makato got 3rd place with P5,000 cash and certificate. 

Their respective schools were also awarded certificate of recognition which are Garcia College of Technology, Kalibo; Aklan Catholic College, Kalibo; and Aklan State University, Makato Campus.
The sponsors of this year’s event are the Department of Environment and Natural Resources headed by Ms. Ivene Reyes, PENRO Aklan and Philippine Information Agency – Ms. Venus G. Villanueva. The essay writing contest aimed to create public awareness and disseminate vital information on climate aberration such as El Nino and La Nina, super typhoons and Noachan floods or seismic upheavals like volcanic eruptions and earthquakes may prove invaluable in our quest to mitigate the ill effects of climate change.

According to Ms. Villanueva, the three provincial winners will represent Aklan at the regional level contest on October 17, 2014 in Iloilo City. This excludes Antique because they failed to meet the required number of 25 contestants. OIC CENRO Aklan Ms. Marlene B. Aborka along with the Aklan SP Secretariat headed by Mr. Odon S. Bandiola pledged all out support to the delegates.

In the open forum that followed, Ms. Aborka discussed “global warming is about temperature rising as carbon emissions from cars, factories and power plants trapped in the stratosphere creating the greenhouse phenomenon. Climate change is the direct effect of global warming. This is characterized by rising sea levels as polar ice caps melt and inundate low lying islands and atolls. A significant occurrence could be super typhoons, droughts, storm surge and tsunamis that could impact food security, health, water resources and political stability.”

Mitigating the effects of climate change is currently undertaken both at domestic and international levels. This includes re-greening program of DENR (planting of 1.5 billion indigenous trees in 6 years), preference of clean or renewable energy, solid waste management and disaster risk reduction and management. The data from the UN University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security and German Alliance Development Works rank the Philippines third on climate change vulnerability test after the first two countries: Vanuato and Tonga. Super typhoon Yolanda in 2013 affected directly and indirectly 0.6 to 1.5 million Filipinos who became poor and another four million to fall deeper into poverty according to Asian Development Bank.

It is not surprising that essay contest winners are active members of their school’s official publication. Ms. Dalyn R. Oliveros is News Editor, ASU Makato, Ms. Marry Claire Gellang – Editor in-Chief ACC and Mr. Albert T. Rapista – Managing Editor GCT. Our contestants have the best chance given their talents, literary skills and preparation to romp away with the coveted prizes.
Gracing the award ceremonies are school paper advisers namely: Ms. Dareen N. Naelgas, ACC, Mr. Lyndon T. Custodio, GCT, and Dr. Marivel S. Villorente, ASU Makato. Mr. Odon S. Bandiola, SP Secretary served as Chairman, contest Board of Judges. /MP

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ricefields Are Burning

Ricefields Are Burning

Photo above shows a newly harvested ricefield in Brgy. Mataphaw, New Washington, Aklan which rice straw is being burned. Inspite of the provincial ordinance prohibiting the burning of rice straw, the farmers are still burning it. 

The Anti-Burning Ordinance was approved 10 years ago but the agency concerned has not implemented the ordinance.  One hectare rice straw is equivalent to one bag commercial fertilizer valued at P1,200. Moreover, the fire will kill the beneficial insects like earthworms in the soil and destroys humus rendering the field unproductive. Burning will also hastened soil infertility. /MP



Vice President Jejomar C. Binay welcomes the results of the Pulse Asia survey while remaining focused on his work. Vice President Binay is set to meet housing beneficiaries and is pressing his appeal for the restoration of the budget allocation for overseas absentee voting which the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has removed from the 2015 budget. He encourages our OFWs to join his appeal for Congress to restore the budget.

He expects his political detractors to continue their campaign of lies. But the ratings drop for personalities involved in the on-going Senate sub-committee probe shows that people do not appreciate abuse of senatorial privilege to launch a witch hunt in aid of ambition. 

Unfortunately, these personalities will probably ignore this lesson and just redouble their vicious attacks. This will be of no importance to me as I continue to lead despite their grandstanding and the baseless attacks, and amid a widening field of contenders.

Again, if the detractors feel strongly about the allegations made by discredited local politicians, they should bring it before a court of law.  This would afford us the opportunity to cross-examine the accusers and scrutinize their so-called evidence, unlike in the Senate sub-committee probe where such rights are not allowed.

Meanwhile, Binay announced his Tagaytay property was sold in December 2012 to Constant Builders. The change in the title of ownership is being processed now by the Bureau of Internal Revenue. The property is listed in his SALN according to its lawyer, attoney Martin Subido. /MP

Korean Gov’t, PhilRice Prepare Quality Seeds For WV Rice Farmers

Korean Gov’t, PhilRice Prepare Quality 
Seeds For WV Rice Farmers

In support to the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) goal of improving food security in the Philippines, the Korea Project for International Agriculture (KOPIA) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) developed seed varieties to be distributed to farmers in the rainfed and irrigated lowland conditions in Western Visayas.

The KOPIA funded P254,666 for the seed production of PSB Rc 14 and NSIC Rc 214 during the wet season this year in the 2.5 ha. demo farm at Western Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center (WESVIARC), Hamungaya, Jaro, Iloilo City.

Managed by the Rural Development Administration of Korea, the KOPIA was launched in 2009 and it has centers in Vietnam, Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Kenya, Brazil, Paraguay, Congo, Algeria, Cambodia and in the Philippines.

On October 6, 31 Korean delegates are expected to grace the KOPIA Seed Production Project Farmers Field Day at WESVIARC. There will be a field demonstration of rice combine harvester and thresher in the said seed production area.

KOPIA Project Leader in the Philippines Dr. Norvie L. Manigbas, Center Director, Dr. Jeong Taek Lee, PhilRice Executive Director Eufemio T. Rasco, Jr., Dr. Yeo Un Sang of International Rice Research Institute and Dr. Jeong Eung Gi of the Rice Research Division in South Korea will discuss to farmers various seed production technologies. DA Regional Executive Director Larry P. Nacionales, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. and Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog will also attend the said activity.

Around 130 participants from the towns of Dumangas, Barotac Nuevo, Dingle, Passi City, Cabatuan and San Miguel are expected to attend the field day. These six municipalities are also beneficiaries of the Community-Based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) Project of the DA.
Meanwhile, the KOPIA will turn over one unit of soil analyzer and rice transplanter to one farmers’ organization of the Municipality of Dingle. /MP


by: Megs S. Lunn

Once I was told, “To make you a better person, never cease or stop exploring and experiencing life.”  As one author once said, “Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived and understood.”

It’s true. No matter how challenging and painful that experience would be, we need to face and experience. One becomes what he/she is because of that experience. It is better than experiencing nothing and not growing from life.

Widen our horizon by making ourselves open to learning and experiences, experience of a lifetime or surprise learning. When I excitedly asked God to help me pass in my exams so I can go back to school, He granted it to me. I thought when I pray to Him, I am like a child who asks for a ‘baon’ to go to school. 

When someone texted me that I passed, I jump like a child, too. As if, it was my first time to go to school. Why did I ask to go back to school? I feel hungry for knowledge. Then here comes another two learning opportunities that I whispered to myself, “God, I only asked for one school, now You give me two that I must attend to. Now I have three.” Indeed, ‘when it rains, it pours.’

I feel I am ready for another challenging school days. School allows me to experience a lifetime. Is education boring? No. It is needed in order for us to learn more and live a good life. 

Likewise, it broadens our horizon, experience something both old and new in our lifetime. Traveling to other places gives me a new breather, too. Something we can share and compare. An experience should be something relevant to us or a challenge to us. Why go back to school? A friend asked. “Do you need reasons?”  Sometimes, you just do it. No need to find reasons.

In my mission trips, it helps me decide on what side I should be. Seeing the people around me, who are suffering emotionally, physically, morally and financially, what is the best thing to do? I couldn’t help but share the sorrow with them. Then I thought of something that I can do to help. I search for strategies and other means to reach out. I think of people who can channel their wealth and energy through me so that others will live. These things are better ways to live my life. They are worth my effort and generosity. They are there to make me a better person. And you?

Life is spectacular. It is full of ups and downs but it also has so much learning that helps me become a better person. To be able to experience life itself is helping me open up to the world and learn to understand people, culture and habits. When I widen my horizon, I create a more compassionate ‘me’. When I welcome the opportunity of new learning, I create a better me and a better world around me. Life must be a discovery or an adventure. 

Warning, one can learn from the book. But one can learn better if he/she does those things, if I practice and act on the good learning. As Author Sanders said, “Focus to make yourself better, and not thinking that you are better.”

My prayer for all our readers is, “To simply wake up a better person than when we went to bed.” /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Tin-Tin, Maaeam nga Ayam

Halin pa nga nagretiro si Mang Andoy sa anang obra bilang mensahero sa isaeang ka pribado nga kompanya, isaeahanon eon lang imaw nga naga-kabuhi. Guin kabuhi nana ro anang maisot nga pension paagi sa pagbaligya it butong it niyog sa kilid it karsada maeapit sa terminal it bus. Madahog rong baligyang butong it niyog ni Mang Andoy eabi guid kon tag-init. Guinabutangan nana it yelo rong kinuskos nga butong ag ibaligya una mismo sa sueudlan nga niyog.

Isaeang adlaw, may isaeang ka tiyo rong nagpaeapit kay Mang Andoy. Guin painum nana it sabaw it butong rong ayam. Pagkatapos, nag eoko sa eoyo ni Mang Andoy hasta nakatoeogan. Pag-uli ni Mang Andoy, guin daea nana rong ayam sa anang baeay. Anang guin pangaeanan nga si Tin-tin ro tiyo. Nagbahoe si Tin-tin ag nangin kaibahan perme ni Mang Andoy. Abo nga naila maghampang kay Tin-Tin tungod guinatun-an it iba ibang abilidad ni Mang Andoy. Antiguhan eun imaw magsaot, magturo ko sari-saring kolor, pageompat sa kaeat ag iba pa. Abo nga nagadugok kay Tin-tin samtang naga kaon it butong it niyog.

Ko gabi-i ngaron, may habatyagan si Tin-tin nga kaeoskos sa pihak kong mabahoe nga baeay. Ro maaeam nga ayam, owa magpabaya. Dali-dali imaw nga eomokso sa kurae ag guin inangkit ro mga mananakaw samtang naga linahay. Nakabugtaw rong pamaeay ag haabutan nanda ro paginangkit ni Tin-tin sa manakaw. Nagtawag it pulis rong tag baeay. Nadakpan ro mga kawatan samtang nakauli eot-a si Tin-tin. Guin balita sa radiyo rong natabo ko gabi-eng nagtaliwan. Ogaling owa nanda makilaea kon anyo nga ayam rong nakadakop sa mga kawatan. Guin tago ni Mang Andoy si Tin-tin agod indi pagdumtan it mga tawong may maeain nga tuyo.

May nagtuhaw man nga sunog una sa lugar ni Tin-tin. Naglinahay man imaw pabalik balik hasta nakabugtaw rong mga tawo. May nakakita kay Tin-tin. Guinsuguid sa Brgy. Kapitan rong nahimo ni Tin-tin sa andang lugar. 

Pagtaliwan it pilang dag-on, umabot man rong tiyempo nga nagmasakit ag namatay si Mang Andoy. Sa eoeob-ngan ni Mang Andoy nagakatoeog si Tin-tin agod bantayan ro anang amo. Ko agahon ngaron, hakita kong sepoltorero nga patay man si Tin-tin. Ro maaeam nga ayam, nag-unong hasta it kamatayan sa anang amo nga nagtao kana it pagtatap ag pagpalangga. /MP


by Alex P. Vidal

While reading the Aspects of Western Civilization (Volume II) Problems and Sources of History (fourth edition) Chapter 6 on The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Era, compiled by Perry M. Rogers, I came across a very impressive poem written by Wilfred Owen, the greatest writer of war poetry in the English language.

Owen wrote out of his intense personal experience as a soldier and wrote with unrivaled power of the physical, moral and psychological trauma of the First World War. All of his great war poems on which his reputation rests were written in a mere 15 months.

From the age of 19, Owen wanted to become a poet and immersed himself in poetry, being especially impressed by Keats and Shelley. He was working in France, close to the Pyrenees, as a private tutor when the First World War broke out. At this time he was remote from the war and felt completely disconnected from it too.
Even when he visited the local hospital with a doctor friend and examined, at close quarters, the nature of the wounds of soldiers who were arriving from the Western Front, the war still appeared to him as someone else’s story, according to The War Poetry website. Eventually he began to feel guilty of his inactivity as he read copies of The Daily Mail which his mother sent him from England. He returned to England, and volunteered to fight on October 21, 1915.

He trained in England for over a year and enjoyed the impression he made on people as he walked about in public wearing his soldier’s uniform. Owen was sent to France on the last day of 1916, and within days was enduring the horrors of the front line. Here’s Owen’s famous poem:

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori. /MP

Reason and Concern by Ronquillo C. Tolentino

No to Pnoy’s Running Again

It was on August 13, 2014 that President Aquino made the confirmation that he is open to running again in the 2016 presidential elections. I cannot remember the other times that he made similar statements though..

On September 30,2014, a movement  calling itself as Movement for  Reform, Continuity and Momentum (More2Come) occupied a full page  propaganda in two national broadsheets urging President Aquino to seek a second term alleging and emphasizing “in order to make sure that the country stays  on course, on the right road and headed for continued Growth and Reform. “We must maintain the MOMENTUM AND CONTINUITY!”,the More2Come further asserted.

Malacañang was quick to deny  any hand and involvement in the More2Come propaganda albeit certain members of the Opposition were quick to raise doubt on the denial.

The third to the last paragraph of the More2Come propaganda emphasized, thus: “We understand that reelection is almost the greatest sacrifice PNOY can make for our country but then again, he is no stranger to sacrifice on behalf of this country. Such is the way of “Matuwid na Daan”.

The propaganda, trying to convince the readers and audience that the country stands in the threshold of Growth and Reform and boasting with : “ -7 successive quarters of 7-percent growth - a sterling investment-grade international credit rating -a buoyant domestic economic brimming with investor confidence - major reforms in fiscal and budgetary policies resulting in sizeable government savings,  greater efficiencies, and lessened opportunities for graft and corruption.”,   further asserted:

“ It seems that PNOY is still the BEST and ONLY SUCCESSOR.”

The propaganda is understandable from  the point of praising the subject and raising him to high heavens. It can beat-ify the subject as blessed among men or even proposed for his canonization as a living saint! Just joking! The Philippines is not new to this kind of propaganda though.

As I write this, banner headlined in the October 3, 2014 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer is  “ ‘Bosses’ say no to P-Noy 2” with the sub heading “Survey says 62 percent oppose second term for Aquino”.

Citing the Pulse Asia survey, “Six in 10 Filipinos are not in favor of President Aquino running for the presidency in 2016 should the Constitution be amended to allow his reelection.

So there. We do hope that we can put an end to the issue. But can certain sectors who idolize  Pnoy remain silent? What about More2Come? Proudly, the movement stressed: “The Barangays, with the vigorous support of various cause oriented groups, major civic, business and religious organizations will be the lead players of this effort.

More2Come did not capitulate. It even boastfully announced for  a two million signature campaign for Pinoy’s  second term and debunked Pulse Asia’s survey.

I do hope I have the luxury of time to re-read  a 2004 book titled :” The Rulemakers” authored by Sheila S. Coronel, Yvonne T. Chua, Luz Rimban and Booma B. Cruz.
The book is about how the wealthy and well-born dominate Congress.
It  studies the perks of lawmaking, the love of pork and search for alternatives.
We are prone to quote the oft repeated statement that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
There are others who have different views about power. Note for, instance John Steinbeck who said : “Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts, perhaps the fear of a loss of power.” Will and Ariel Durant has this to say :
“Power dements event more  than it corrupts, lowering the guard of foresight and raising the haste of action.” /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer by Ambrosio R. Villorente

Wasting Rice

Food is one of the basic personal needs and for an average Filipino wage earner, 52 percent of his daily wage is going to food.

Rice is one of the ingredients of a Filipino diet. To produce rice is a long and tedious process from land preparation, transplanting, care of plants, and harvesting. To produce one kilogram of palay, it requires 1500 kilograms of water from land preparation up to harvesting. In land preparation up to transplanting, the feet of the farmers are buried in the mud while the rest of his body is exposed to sunlight or rain.

According to the rice specialist in UP at Los Banos, College of Agriculture, 10 to 30 percent of the palay grains is lost from harvesting, to transporting, to storing and in milling.

On the table, 16 grams or ¼ cup per person per day is lost. At P24 per kilogram rice, the 100 million Filipinos must be losing billions worth of rice on the meal table annually. 

According to the Food and Nutrition Institute, Department of Science and Technology study, edible food wastes include plate wastes, food fed to pets and domesticated animals, pot wastes or burned rice and spoilage, or any other edible food materials, raw or cooked that family members failed to eat. 

Other food wastes amounting to one gram per person per day are from corn and its products, vegetables, and fish and its products. The FNRI survey found negligible amount of food wastes come from other cereals, starchy, roots and tubers, fats and oils, meat and poultry, eggs, dried beans, and fruits.

In another study by Gracia M. Villavieja, Scientist I shows that edible food wastes tend to be greater among smaller households. She observed there is abundant supply of food among households with few members and higher edible food wastes in households with domesticated animals.

Food wastage was also higher among households with larger budget in food. The families with higher budget for food have higher food wastage compared to families with less food purchasing power.

“Todo Asenso” are two words now being inscribed in billboards posted by the road sides where public work construction projects like road repair and bridge constructions. Todo Asenso billboards are seen in two bridges widening projects, in Marianos and Bulwang, Numancia.

What does it mean when we say TODO ASENSO? These are Spanish terms. TODO means fast, rapid, swift, and speedy. Hence, fast action, rapid result, swift progress or speedy action.

ASENSO means progress, moving forward or onward, advancing toward perfection, toward better life, moving forward course.

In Aklanon, TODO means madasig and mabakas. Asenso means pag umwad o pag uswag. TODO ASENSO therefore means rapid, fast and speedy growth. It may be swift progress, speedy action, rapid movement toward better, peaceful and contented living. Madasig o mabakas nga pag umwad agud madangatan ro malinong, mahidaiton ag malipayong pangabuhi it tanan sa Aklan.

TODO ASENSO billboards are especially posted in sites where there are ongoing public works constructions. It is also posted in conspicuous places as one is posted on the corner of Roxas Avenue and A. Mabini Street, Kalibo, Aklan.

One good thing with TODO ASENSO is its positive reinforcement effect on people who are busy doing good and who are fast progressing.

However, the author of this TODO ASENSO billboard aims to claim credit for these infrastructure projects in progress. TODO ASENSO billboards are mostly posted in the site of public works construction such as bridges and roads. These billboards must motivate the workers to work fast and rapidly. But the work is becoming slow as demonstrated in the Marianos bridge and Bulwang Bridge Widening projects in Numancia, Aklan. 

Instead of TODO ASENSO, it is FOCO ASENSO, mahinay ro pag umwad or slow progress. However, we want TODO ASENSO, rapid progress ag Madasig nga Pag umwad. /MP

Editorial by Ernesto T. Solidum

Everybody Is Responsible 
In Climate Change

“Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation” is a hot topic during the October 4, 2014 Kapihan at NVC Carmen Hotel. Lone guest from Environmental Management Bureau-Department of Environment and Natural Resources (EMB-DENR) is Mr. Heherson R. Alvarez, EM Specialist II, R6 Iloilo City.

Mr. Alvarez cited some most pressing problems confronting LGU Kalibo, the open dumpsite in Bakhao Sur. It gravely affects health and safety of residents and students population. Began in 1991, tons of garbage emits methane gas, toxic effluents and serves as breeding place of pests – flies, rats and mosquitos.

DENR memo addressed to then Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo in 2006 to close the dumpsite and use alternative area has fallen on deaf ears until the present Administration of Mayor William S. Lachica. Recently, two barangay resolutions from Bakhao Sur and Old Buswang strongly recommended closure of the above facility citing earlier memo of EMB-DENR.
Mr. Alvarez mentioned that a 10 hectare lot in Castillo, Makato can be common sanitary landfill site of 5 adjoining municipalities of Kalibo, New Washington, Banga, Makato, and Numancia. However, this needs construction of 1.8 km access road. The other issue is tipping fee that would be divided into 40-30-30 percent for host barangay, 30 percent for host municipality and 30 percent – province.

Meanwhile,  the details of the proposed facility is being ironed out. The EMB has recommended to LGU Kalibo the temporary mitigating measure that will ensure that pollutants will not harm health and safety of the community and marine ecosystem. This includes: a) sealing of holes on bottom concrete wall, b) reversing decomposed garbage to be placed on top of new pile, and c) sealing the top with clay soil. 

Mr. Alvarez confirmed that Boracay is environmentally critical based on blatant encroachments of business establishments in declared no build zones. This is to ensure long term sustainability of the island jewel of Aklan and the Western Visayas. Because of this development, the Forest Lease Agreement for Tourism (Flag-T) issued during the time of DENR Sec. Atienza is repealed.

Considering the issue of continued violation of EMB directive to LGU Kalibo since 2006 regarding its open dumping site, Atty. Allen S. Quimpo said that this must be resolved once and for all. Penalties or sanctions must have been done because DENR is recognized authority to implement Solid Waste Management Act. For instance, the City of Passi in Iloilo has been issued continuing mandamus by Supreme Court to insure compliance of environmental regulations.

Furthermore, the Climate Change Act of 2009 or RA9729 penalizes people who cut forest trees, CLOG THE WATERWAYS AND POLLUTE AIR AND WATER (emphasis mine). Now the table is turn on LGU Kalibo and the provincial leadership to address this environmental disaster.

The Solid Waste Management Act provides for on-site segregation and collection of wastes: bio-degradable, recyclable, and non-biodegradable. This is further refined in a Material Recovery Facility using a machine equipped with a conveyor belt. Recyclables like plastic, glass, and bottles and paper could either be turned into cash or plastic converted into monoblock chairs and tables while biodegradables are processed into fertilizer. What is left for the sanitary landfill is 1-2 percent of total volume of garbage.

Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino suggests incineration of garbage since this is very practical and safe practice done in Germany, Japan, and Sweden. What is innovative and creative is that there is no carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere and the facility produces electricity. In Sweden they import 700,000 MT of garbage every year to help produce electricity and heating for cities such as Helsingborg with a population of 100,000. Here the environment is adequately safeguarded with no garbage and pollution. This added value is power generation. Sweden hopes to cut carbon footprints to less than 1.5 MT/person by year 2020, well below the US average of 20 MT’s.

Technology uses no oxygen in the combustion process and burning temperature is 1,300 Celcius. Residence are slag-used as material in road construction and landscaping, ferrous metals-iron and steel industries, filter dusts-backfill in the mining industry and extracted gypsum-construction industry. Since no carbon dioxide is emitted from the smoke stacks but hot air, contrary provision of the Clean Air Act of 1999 or RA 8749 could well be negated.

As government watchdog in conserving and protecting the environment, DENR is very weak in enforcing pertinent laws especially on proper disposal of garbage, establishment and rampant cutting of trees for fuel and firewood in communal forests.

By 2050, Asean countries will have 64 percent of total population settled in urban areas. The Major challenge will be poverty, unemployment and climate change. Atty, Allen S. Quimpo however, cites the positive. Based on data, the Philippines has the 5th longest coastline in the world. We can utilize the coastal resources for mitigating climate change and enhancing economic growth.

The Philippines has 36,289 kms. of coastline and is considered to be the world’s second largest archipelago after Indonesia. However, BFAR data show our fishery output is rapidly declining while our mangroves drastically reduced from 450,000 has. in 1918 to only 138,000 has. in 1993. Nipa palm sap can be sourced of biofuel (ethanol) and now commercially produced in Malaysia. Studies show a hectare of nipa plantation can produce 15,600 liters of ethanol, twice the yield of sugar cane.

Climate change is one big subject to tackle. It can only be solved by active involvement of stakeholders. /MP



While hailing the bottom-up budgeting (BUB) as an excellent template in enlarging the share of local government units in the national budget, Senator Chiz Escudero, however, suggested it should be rid of expensive riders that can be utilized to cover more towns or projects.

Escudero chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, reported that P840 million was proposed in the 2015 national budget for the “monitoring and evaluation” of BuB projects.

 The amount is on top of the P20.9 billion for a menu of projects ranging from classrooms to clinics, which were identified by local governments through a process involving citizens’ consultation, and brings real allocation for the BUB to P21.7 billion, said Escudero. 

“I think, at the very least, we should reduce the monitoring budget. Then we add whatever amount slashed to the budget of the BuB proper so that we can cover more towns or increase the funding for those already in,” he added.

According to Escudero, Aquino administration’s BuB project introduced in 2013 can be implemented without creating a monitoring industry.

Piloted last year, BuB was officially renamed Grassroots Participatory Budgeting Process (GPBP) in the 2015 proposed spending plan. Under the program, funding for projects chosen by local government units (LGUs) is incorporated in the budgets of 11 participating national agencies. There is also a separate budget for monitoring.

In last week’s budget hearing of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Escudero asked department officials on the particulars of its total BuB fund amounting to P5.7 billion.

DILG Sec. Mar Roxas said their BuB is spent on monitoring and evaluation and other activities pertaining to projects in all 1,600 LGUs across the country. Escudero asked the secretary to submit to the committee the detailed breakdown.

Among the participating agencies with GPBP allocations are

 Department of Tourism (DoT), P348 million; Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), P2.717 billion; Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), P641 million; Department of Agriculture (DA), P4.28 billion; Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), P323.5 million. 

Department of Education (DepEd), P1.49 billion; Department of Energy (DoE), P84.6 million; Department of Health (DoH), P1.47 billion; Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), P444.2 million; and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), P296 million.

To monitor and evaluate the projects which will be implemented in partnership with LGUs, “monitoring and evaluation” expenses are proposed for the following:

 DILG, P451 million; DepEd, P44.8 million; DA, P113.3 million; DOE, P2.5 million; DoH, P44.1 million; DoLE, P13.3 million; TESDA, P8.9 million; DoT, P10.4 million; DSWD, P81.5 million; and DTI, 18.4 million.

To illustrate how funding for “monitoring and evaluation” of projects under BuB could be spent to finance other programs, Escudero said the P44.8 million set aside for DepEd could buy 64,000 classroom chairs, while the P81 million proposed for DSWD could cover the expenses of the agency’s Balik Probinsya Program for some 5,000 families.

“If you look at the DOH budget, there is no distinctly identified budget for monitoring one disease. There’s no funding to track Dengue, for example. Kulang ang ‘health sentinel’ funding support, but sa BuB merong P44 million,” he said.

Cutting GPBP’s monitoring budget by half will free up P400 million and “ if we later disperse this to 800 poor towns at P500,000 each, it can do a lot of good at the grassroots,” Escudero said. /MP



Some 2,000 people in the coastal communities in Iloilo province will receive cash-for-work incentives totaling P16 million to rehabilitate mangroves destroyed by Typhoon Yolanda. 

The Mangrove Rehabilitation Project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which started in August, aims to rehabilitate some 450 hectares of marshland along coastal towns of Ajuy, Barotac Viejo, Concepcion, San Dionisio, Estancia, and Carles in Northern Iloilo. These are heavily damaged when typhoon Yolanda struck the country in November, 2013. 

Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Acting Chief Salvador Manglinong, Jr. informed the people in communities typhoon Yolanda hit would be hired for a period of 180 days to prepare the planting site, haul seedlings and plant mangrove seedlings. 

“A worker is paid depending upon the volume of his output. A worker will be paid P3,000 for every hectare he planted. In addition, a worker is also paid P15 for every propagule he can raise,” Manglinong said. 

“The DENR needs to plant about 800,000 propagules to cover the mangrove forest stretching over six (6) municipalities. So there’s a lot of work for everyone in the community under the cash-for-work scheme,” Manglinong added. 

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Chief Raul Lorilla confirms that the project cost is P15.95 million. The amount is taken from the National Greening Program of the DENR through the initiative of AAMBIS-Owa Party list Representative Sharon Garin, a native of Iloilo province. 

Lorilla emphasized the importance of mangroves in fisheries and environmental protection. “Varieties of fish, shrimps, crabs, mollusks seek refuge in mangroves. These species form an essential food source for humans. Meanwhile, dense root systems in mangrove forests stabilize the shoreline and mitigate soil erosion.” 

Rep. Garin thanks DENR Secretary Ramon Paje for heeding her request for a project which will not only rehabilitate the typhoon-hit coastal towns but will also provide work for thousands of her fellow Ilonggo.  /MP

Sen. Villar Distributes Agricl. Interventions To Yolanda Victims

Sen. Villar Distributes Agricl.
Interventions To Yolanda Victims
By: James Earl E. Ogatis

Iloilo City – Senator Cynthia A. Villar, Chairperson Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food distributed additional agricultural interventions to the victims of super typhoon Yolanda to the municipalities San Rafael, San Dionisio and Barotac Viejo, Iloilo last week.

She handed over to some 500 beneficiaries from the three municipalities 240 packs of white corn seeds, 3,000 packs of assorted vegetable seeds (PAKBET), 450 pieces jackfruit seedlings, 60 packs of certified seeds (RC 238), 2,000 coconut seedlings and coconut fertilizers, 213 sets of garden tools (spade and trowel) and one unit hand tractor with trailer.

Villar said, the DA 6 is committed to give additional nine units of steel layer cages with 40 heads ready-to-lay pullets and 530 bags of certified seeds RC 238 to the farmers of the three municipalities. 

Aside from the agricultural inputs, Senator Villar also distributed G.I. sheets, nails and tying wires for roofs of some 300 affected families; medical kits from Las Piñas Red Cross, relief goods and 90 bags of organic fertilizers from savanna.

She said, the Villar Foundation together with the DA has already visited a total of 45 towns affected by Yolanda wherein 13 towns in Iloilo, 4 towns each in the provinces of Capiz, Aklan, and Cebu and ten towns each in the provinces of Leyte and Samar.

According to Villar, there are 33 million work force nationwide and 11 million of these are in the agriculture sector, 13 million are OFW and the rest are distributed to other sectors.

“With these data, there are 40 percent poor people in the agri. sector who need our help that is why all of my legislations is inclined for the benefit of the farmers in the countryside.” Villar said.

Sen. Villar is working on the disposition of the coco levy fund for the coconut farmers, pushing for the amendments of the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 and sponsored the sugarcane industry development act of 2014, a bill which will prepare the local sugar industry for the impact of ASEAN integration in 2015.

Director Manuel O. Olanday, Regional Technical Director for Operations said that white corn seeds, Pakbet vegetable seeds and jackfruit seedlings are produced from the different research outreach stations (ROS) of the DA in the region. These interventions are part of the DA rehabilitation assistance on Yolanda and Haiyan agricultural rehabilitation program.

According to Olanday, early intervention of DA 6 includes provision of cash for work on clearing and desilting operations; vaccination of animals; distribution of drugs, disinfectants and biologics; restocking of swine and goats; provision of mushroom fruiting bags and insurance coverage to rice farmers. /MP



Picture  above shows a billboard “TODO ASENSO” which means “fast progress” in english. It means “Hinay Umwad” in Aklanon.

However, under it is another billboard, “Widening of Marianos Bridge”. It portrays the project is started on June 23, 2014; Contract duration-100 calendar days; Contract cost-Php13.422 million; and Implementing  Office- DPWH, Region VI, Iloilo City.

Sad to notice, after 100 days the construction is still moving slowly. Many people are doubting if the construction of the bridge can be finished at the end of the year 2014 at its present working speed.

Hinay Umwad , isn’t it? It is very frustrating and dissapointing./MP

Thursday, October 09, 2014

14 Bulgarian Buffalo Bulls To Upgrade Iloilo’s Native Carabaos

14 Bulgarian Buffalo Bulls
To Upgrade Iloilo’s Native Carabaos
By: James Earl E. Ogatis

A total of 14 Bulgarian Buffalo Bulls (dairy type) from PCC-Ubay Stock Farm, Ubay, Bohol were imported by the Philippine Carabao Center based at West Visayas State University (PCC@WVSU) Calinog Campus to upgrade native carabaos in the province of Iloilo.

According to Dir. Arn G. Granada, PCCWVSU OIC- Center Director, the carabulls are given to identified coconut farmers who are members of Philippine Association of Small Coconut Farmers’ Organization (PASCFO) duly accredited farmers’ Organization by Iloilo Provincial Government which advocate carabao development in their villages thereby benefiting other carabao raisers out of palais or pakasta system.

The beneficiaries are Perlito Echeche, Rolito Cajilig, Ave Calagday and Arison Calugas from Leon; Rodrigo Gamarcha and Ruperto Tady of Sara, Rolando Pabilona and Elpidio Batallones of San Dionisio, Rogelio Ansuyon of Lemery, Pedro Palencia of San Enrique, Zoilo Suplemento of Dingle, Andrew Tiples of Dueñas, Nestor Alimpuyo of Alimodian and Franciso Eola of Igbaras, Iloilo.

Granada stressed that Iloilo Province which has a population of 93,872 native carabaos, around 18,774 of which are females ready for breeding that need Bulgarian bulls to upgrade. Said stocks will produce mestiza/mestizo that are proven as fast grower, bigger animals for meat, milk and work purposes.

“These bulls/stocks are about two years old and are expected to mate after a year or two. One carabull can produce at least 25 offsprings within a 5 kilometer radius area (or clusters of sitios/barangays) for the beneficiaries to fully own the bull.”Explained Granada.

He said that the beneficiary can also charge a minimal fee to the owner of caracows who wishes to avail the services of the bull. This will defray the maintenance cost of the bull while waiting for the completion of 25 offsprings.

The PCC @ WVSU conducted training on proper handling, housing, feeding and diseases control and related technologies on the management of the carabulls to the farmer beneficiaries.

Granada encourages the beneficiaries to take extra care for the bulls for the first two months to one year to develop a symbiotic relation with the local carabaos and socialize with the new caretaker.

This project is one of the major interventions of PCC @ WVSU to coconut farmers in Iloilo. Other services offered and being done by PCC are: artificial insemination, deworming, vaccination, project monitoring and technological assistance to carabao raisers/crossbred buffalo dairymen.

This is realized with the cooperation of the Philippine Coconut Authority and the Provincial Government of Iloilo. /MP 

Young Artists Highlight Family Farming In WFD Mosaic Making Contest

Young Artists Highlight Family Farming In WFD Mosaic Making Contest
Maetrix F. Gonzales with her Certificate of Recognition
Some 18 pupils from both public and private elementary schools in Western Visayas stressed the roles and importance of family farming in the promotion of food security and poverty reduction during the World Food Day (WFD) regional on-the-spot mosaic making contest conducted by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Education (DepEd) at DA Operations Building, Iloilo City. 

This year’s theme “Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth,” is in support to the United Nation’s declaration of 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming. 

Maetrix F. Gonzales, a grade VI pupil of Oton Central Elementary School is this year’s regional winner. Together with her coach Romel Mediavilla, Gonzales will represent Region VI in the national level on October 10 at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management, Diliman, Quezon City. 

Danielle Mari Yorac of Iloilo Central Elementary School and Val Joseph Valencia of Ticud Elementary School ranked second and third, respectively. /MP 



Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV speaks before the attendees of the 35th Manila International Book Fair during its opening ceremonies at the SMX Convention Center, MOA Complex, Pasay City on Wednesday, September 17. (Alex Nueva España photo)/MP