Friday, September 19, 2014

EMPOWERING AKLANON WOMEN VIA SOROPTIMIST

EMPOWERING AKLANON WOMEN VIA SOROPTIMIST
By: Megs S. Lunn
Group picture with Soroptimist International of the Philippines Region (SIPR) Governor Myra Paz V. Abubakar and District Director for Western Visayas Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo.
The Soroptimist International of Kalibo, Inc. is a member of Soroptimist International, a global volunteer organization working to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.

On September 7, 2014, the new set of officers of The Sorotimist International Kalibo was inducted into office held at the Grande Royale of Marzon Hotel, Kalibo, Aklan.

Inducted are the powerful and dynamic Aklanon women, to wit: Atty. Flora B. Almero – President, Dr. Christine Z. Palomar – President-Elect,  Ms. Ester E. Sauza – Vice- President, Atty. Maria Fe M. Taal – Recording Secretary, Dr. Mary Karen Veronica R. Icamina – Corresponding Secretary, Atty. Saykeme M. Martelino – Treasurer, Atty. Diane Angela O. Alindato – Asst. Treasurer, Ms. Joanna T. Meren – Auditor, Dr. Julita Amihan C. Laserna – P.R.O., Dr. Bernadette R. Lim – Ex-Officio. 

The Board of Directors are Dr. Daisy Sucro-Briones, Dr. Felma R. Dela Cruz, Mayor Ma. Lourdes M. Miraflores, Dr. Myrtle M. Pelayo, Dr. Lynn D. Salido. The Board of Advisers are Ms. Manolita Q. Acevedo, Dr. Ofelia E. Laurente, Ms. Ofelia B. Martelino, Ms. Rosario V Quimpo and Ms. Anne M. Salazar. The BOD members are Ms. Maria Santia A. Arboleda, Ms. Annie R. Barbasa, Dr Leilanie C. Barrios, Dr. Luzviminda R. Isagan, Atty. Ria Divina I. F. Macanvinta, Vice-Gov. Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo, Dr. Hiyas E. Quimpo, Ms. Roselle Q. Ruiz, Ms. Jocelyn M. Salido, Dr Pauleen M. Sazon, Dr. Ma. Victoria O. Soguilon, Dr. Zelda Z. Tolentino and Ms. Lucita D. Yu.

Soroptimist means “best for women” by which the organization strives its best to be. Businesswomen and professionals are invited to join. They help each other live their dreams through projects that benefit women and girls. Through their initiative, they improve the status of women and girls and significantly empower them to make positive changes not only in their personal life, but more in their communities. /MP 

FPI Recognizes GMA News and Public Affairs Pillars At 2014 Media Awards

FPI Recognizes GMA News and
 Public Affairs Pillars At 2014 Media Awards
Above photo shows (L-R): GMA News and Public Affairs pillars Mike Enriquez, Mel Tiangco, Jessica Soho and Arnold Clavio
GMA News Pillars Mike Enriquez, Mel Tiangco, Jessica Soho and Arnold Clavio were each bestowed with the FPI Bayabay Media Award by the Federation of Philippine Industries, Inc. (FPI).

At the awarding ceremony held on September 3 in Makati City, FPI recognized the four Kapuso news anchors for their “untiring effort in discussing important issues that have serious impact on our country and for conscientiously educating the masses in a clear, equitable, and balanced manner, thereby making them a well informed citizenry, which is a basic tenet required to ensure the preservation of our vibrant, democratic country.”

The FPI Bayabay Media Award is given to media practitioners who have raised awareness on socially relevant issues that include good governance, environment, labor and productivity, international trade, the academe, anti-smuggling concerns and other national issues.

These awards serve as a testament to GMA News and Public Affairs’ credo of Serbisyong Totoo as GMA’s broadcast journalists continue to uphold the values of truth and integrity in their responsible delivery of news and information.

Mike Enriquez, who co-anchors GMA’s primetime newscast 24 Oras with Mel Tiangco and banners the hard-hitting investigative program Imbestigador, affirmed his commitment to the anti-smuggling advocacy saying, “Lalo lang iigting ang ating pakikipag-ugnayan at pakikipagtulungan sa mga grupong katulad nito na walang tigil, walang pagod at walang katakot-takot na lumalaban sa anti-smuggling dahil tayo ay galit sa illegal. Kaya kasama natin ang FPI at iba pang grupo at sektor tulad nila, iyong mga gumagawa ng illegal, di namin sila tatantanan.”

“Napakaganda na ang media at ang mga industry leaders ay nagkakaisa upang mabigyang-pansin ang mga mahahalagang isyung panlipunan,” said Tiang-co. “I’d like to thank the Federation of Philippine Industries for giving me this honor in recognition of our efforts to create awareness and dialogue on issues that matter.”

“I thank our viewers and those who honor us with awards for their trust,” shares Jessica Soho, who hosts the top-rating weekly news magazine program Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho on GMA-7 and anchors GMA News TV’s flagship newscast State of the Nation with Jessica Soho. “And I will continue to help ensure that we are worthy of their trust – through accurate, objective and responsible news reporting.”

Unang Hirit host and Saksi news anchor Arnold Clavio, relates, on the other hand, “Minsan mahirap pag nasa TV ka o nasa radio ka, iniisip mo kung may nanonood ba o may nakikinig ba. So ang mga ganitong award ay confirmation na natutuwa sila na nasa tamang direksyon tayo.” 

The Federation of Philippine Industries, Inc. is an umbrella organization of manufacturers and producers in the Philippines composed of 34 industry associations and 110 corporation members who are local manufacturers and producers of various products from different industries. /MP

STI CHAMPION

STI CHAMPION
By Ms. Megs S. Lunn
Photo above are (l to r) Ms. Roselle Quimpo-Ruiz, Aklan Provincial Tourism Officer, BSTRM Esrah Jims Gutierrez, Arnelyn Tandez, Donna Jane Aroskin, John Patrick Visca and Ms. Megs Lunn, Chair-Travel Management Department, STI College ,Kalibo.

The STI Travel Management Department, once again won the championship in this year’s Provincial Tourism Quiz Bee and in the Tour guiding Contest 2014 the Aklan Provincial Tourism Office and the Aklan Tourism Association in the municipality of Kalibo sponsored on September 16, 2014 at the ABL Sports complex, Capitol Site, Kalibo, Aklan.

BSTRM Year III students Esrah Jims Gutierrez, Arnelyn Tandez and John Patrick Visca and Dona Jane Aroskin were announced CHAMPION among the other contenders of the different Tourism and HRM Colleges and University in the province of Aklan.

The Tourism Quiz Bee and Tour guiding contest is part of the celebration of the Aklan Provincial Tourism Week every September aimed to enhance the students’ knowledge to the different tourism spots and pleasures of Aklan and the Philippines as a whole. It also helps develop students’ confidence and life-long learning and development.

The team coach is Ms. Melrose S. Lunn. The School Deputy Administrator–Mr. Edsel Tupas and Ms. Rebecca Nacubuan congratulate the BSTRM Team for being champion, making STI College Kalibo proud.

Mr. Genesis Castillo and Mr. Ur Marcelino of STI IT led the Tabulation Committee in this year’s event. /MP 

CONGRESS RECEIVES BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW DRAFT

CONGRESS RECEIVES BANGSAMORO 
BASIC LAW DRAFT
President Benigno Aquino III watches as Senate President Franklin M. Drilon receives the official draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) from Bangsamoro Transition Commission Chairman Mohagher Iqbal during the turnover ceremony at Rizal Hall, MalacaƱan Palace, Wednesday, September 10, 2014. Joining them are House Speaker Feliciano M. Belmonte Jr. and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles. (Rey Baniquet photo) /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Sueat Paadto Sa Eangit

Nagbahoe si Nengneng sa anang lola. Halin pa guid nga guin aywan imaw ko anang ina. Ro anang lola ro nagbatiti kana tungod nag masakit it polio ro unga. Maskin ngani indi makatikang si Nengneng, mabahoe man imaw nga kabulig ko anang lola. 

Maeapad ro tanum nga Sampaguita ko anang lola ag imaw ro nagatuhog para obrahon nga kulintas. Abo ro suki ko anang lola bosa owa sanda guina kabos sa pang adlaw adlaw nga gastos.

Isaeang adlaw, may nag-abot nga madre sa baeay ni Nengneng agod mag pidido it kulintas nga Sampaguita. Mabuot rong madre. Duro guid ro anang kaeo-oy sa unga pagkakita nana. Nangutana si Nengneng kon makaabot sa eangit kon magpadaea imaw it sueat. 

Owa it mahimo ro madre kundi nag paho-o agod indi mapaslawan rong pagea-um it unga. Guin bo-oe ni Nengneng rong guin obra nga sueat ag guin tao sa madre. Pag-abot sa simbahan, guin bukad ko madre ro sueat. Sueat rato para kay Papa Jesus.

Naghinyo nga usuyon ro anang ina nga owa nana makita it mabuhay eon. Bangod sa kaeo-oy, guindaea it madre rong sueat sa anang amigang announcer sa radio. Paagi sa radio, idto nangayo it bulig. Guin obrahan nanda it istorya ratong sueat, dungan ko pagpanawagan. 

Ko mga oras ngaron, nakabati rong ina ni Nengneng. Mabuhay eon nga bo-ot nanang makita ro anang unga ugaling owa imaw it oras bangod nagabantay imaw ko anang masakiton nga asawang Hapon. Guin adtonan nana rong estasyon it radiyo ag idto imaw nakabo-oe it impormasyon kon siin naga estar si Nengneng. Kaibahan ko Madre, nag adto sanda sa baeay nanday Nengneng nga naga tinuhog it Sampaguita. Nagkita rong mag ina. Nalipay man ro lola ni Nengneng bangod nagkita sanda ko anang unga. Guindaea sanda sa baeay kong ina ni Nengneng ag kumo owa sanda it unga ko Hapon, guin kabig nga unga ko hapon si Nengneng. Guin pabueong si Nengneng. Nakatikang imaw sa bulig it saklay.

Nag uli sanda agod magbisita sa andang dating lugar. Guin pa arkilahan nanda ro andang katamnan nga Sampaguita, agud may trabaho ro mga kababayehan sa andang lugar. 
Suno kay Nengneng, guina sabat mat-a gali ro sueat paadto sa eangit. /MP

CHIZ ASKS PNP TO STOP KIDNAPPINGS

CHIZ ASKS PNP TO STOP KIDNAPPINGS

Senator Chiz Escudero is alarmed over the rise in kidnapping cases in the country, as he put to task the Philippine National Police (PNP) to step up its campaign to arrest the perpetrators in order to allay fears of a restive public.

Escudero, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, said crimes brazenly done in broad daylight are indications of the criminals’ contempt for law and order and a clear mockery of police authorities.

“Why are criminals so emboldened nowadays to perpetrate their crimes in public? Why do these things happen under the noses of our police authorities?” Escudero asked. “I have received feedback from friends who have witnessed kidnappings or relatives of victims who have been subjected to abduction and have paid ransom for their releases. There’s a segment of the community who is already in panic and there must be a concrete action to abate these crimes and prevent the spread of alarm among the public.”

Recent incidents of kidnap-for-ransom have been reported with the perpetrators even killing their victims. Last week, Chinese-Filipino businessman Benito Chao was snatched in Bulacan and was found dead hours after. The kidnappers were reported to have asked for a P20-million ransom but a series of negotiations by the family has brought it down to P15 million.

Just last week, a photo went viral showing a group of heavily-armed men appeared to be forcing passengers of one vehicle at gun point to get out while in the middle of EDSA. When police authorities arrived, the gunmen were gone. 

“These crimes that do not even hide under the cloak of darkness are very disturbing. These are the reported ones, but there are more which have remained unreported by the victims and their families out of fear of retaliation from their aggressors.

“I ask the PNP to intensify its campaign against criminals and beef up security to protect the public. The people must be assured that they can walk safely on our streets to and from their homes,” Escudero said. /MP

DA & KOICA To Develop Panay Upland Areas

DA & KOICA To Develop 
Panay Upland Areas

Recognizing the high agricultural potentials of upland areas in the four provinces of Western Visayas, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Office 6 and the Korean International Cooperation Agency ((KOICA) will implement the five-year Panay Island Upland Sustainable Rural Development Program (PIU-SRDP) beginning 2015. 

This program will reduce poverty incidence; increase farmers’ income, technical skills and livelihood opportunities; provide market access; and promote ecological awareness. 

Regarded as suitable areas for agro-forestry development and production of high value crops and upland commodities, Libacao, Aklan; Patnongon, Antique; Jamindan and Tapaz, Capiz; and Alimodian, Iloilo are chosen as the pilot areas for the implementation of PIU-SRDP.

Upland areas, with up to 2,000 meters altitude, 18 percent slope and 1,000 to 2,500 mm annual rainfall, should be of public domain and cannot be declared as alienable and disposable. 

“Foreign assistance is very important in the implementation of agricultural projects,” said DA Regional Executive Director Larry P. Nacionales during the stakeholders’ orientation of               PIU-SRDP held at Hotel Del Rio, Molo, Iloilo City, September 11. 

Emphasizing rural development, Dir. Nacionales urged the collaborating agencies and the local government units (LGUs) to prioritize the needs of the farmers in the upland communities by providing them with appropriate and sustainable projects. 

This Korean government-assisted program will provide production technology support, capacity building, educational and livelihood skills such as the conduct of Farmers Field School, alternative financial support and guarantee mechanisms, building of agri-infrastructures, and support to institutional and organizational development. 

The PIU-SRDP, with the budget allocation of US $7M from the Korean Government and US $2.3M from DA and LGUs, is in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippine Coconut Authority, Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority, Department of Agrarian Reform, National Commission on Indigenous People, Civil Society and People’s Organizations.

“In addition to the Rice Processing Complex in Pototan, Iloilo, this PIU-SRDP is another big project from the South Korean Government through the Official Development Assistance,” said DA Regional Technical Director Manuel O. Olanday. /MP 

Congress Eyes Passage Bills To Increase Workers’ Take-Home Pay

Congress Eyes Passage Bills To 
Increase Workers’ Take-Home Pay

The Congress eyes the passage of two major bills aimed at alleviating tax impositions on Filipino workers and increasing their take-home pay within the 16th Congress, according to Senate President Franklin M. Drilon.

“The Congress is aware of the necessity to revisit our existing tax structure which has remained unchanged since 1997. The Congress is committed to pass legislation which will lower individual income taxes in order to help our workers in dealing with the effect of inflation,” said Drilon.

“If the salary hike that our workers have been asking the government to provide is not yet possible due to fiscal constraints, a legislation that will increase the workers’ net take-home pay is the best alternative we can work on,” he added. 

The first bill which will receive urgent legislative attention, according to Drilon, will lower the rates of individual income tax and adjust individual income tax brackets. The proposed measure is being heard in the Committee on Ways and Means of both houses of Congress.

He also warned that in 2018, if Congress fails to plug loopholes in the nation’s existing tax system, the lowest ranking government employees will find themselves paying under the same tax bracket as the next Philippine President himself.

The same will be the case for entry level employees of an average corporation who will share the 32 percent tax rate with the executives and top officers of their company, who earn way much more.

Both scenarios will be inconsistent with the requirement of the Constitution for a progressive system of taxation, said Drilon.

“If we do not seriously study our tax system and make the necessary adjustment, by 2018 everyone will pay the same tax rate which is not progressive as what the Constitution mandates. This is the sort of unjust ways of taxation that we need to prevent,” Drilon stressed.

Under Article VI, Section 28 of the 1987 Constitution states that (1) “the rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable. The Congress shall evolve a progressive system of taxation.”

“We at Congress are ready to work on any proposed measure that helps the average Filipino in their daily expenses. The lowering of tax rates may affect the nation’s overall revenue collection, but it will increase the purchasing power of our countrymen and it will be of great convenience for them,” said Drilon.

“When we increase their purchasing power, we could also expect an increase in the household spending that will contribute to the country’s overall economic growth,” he added.

The Congress will also pass a bill which will raise the tax exemption limit on the 13th month pay and other work benefits of all workers in the public and private sectors.

“We have an agreement with the House of Representatives that we will pass this bill within the year, so that Christmas could be merrier for our workers,” Drilon assured.

The proposed measure intends to raise the exclusion limit on an individual’s 13th month pay, Christmas bonus, and other work benefits from income taxation from the current imposed limit of P30, 000 to P75,000.

“There is really a need to revisit the antiquated provisions of the Republic Act No. 7833 which imposes the P30,000 cap on bonuses back in 1994,” said Drilon. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer by Ambrosio R. Villorente

Amount Of Real Estate Tax Is 
Dependent On Its Use

Tax Ordinance No. 001, Series of 2014 has became a controversial legislation of the Province of Aklan. The ordinance seeks to fix the schedule of New Base Market Values of Real Properties for the 17 Municipalities of Aklan for the Year 2015 General Revision Allowed by Law. The ordinance was enacted on June 18, 2014.

Shortly after its approval, a group of oppositions surfaced. Two petitions were submitted to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) requesting for the postponement of its implementation. It alleged that the people is not yet capable to pay the increased amount of Taxes as the Aklanons are still recovering from the losses brought about by Typhoon Yolanda. There are also allegations that the Tax increased is quite high, oppressive, unjust and confiscatory. Further, they alleged that the enactment of it did not follow the proper legislative process.

These two petitions came from the municipalities of New Washington and Kalibo. Moreover, a group of oppositors led by Mayor Edgar R. Peralta of New Washington held a rally in Pastrana Park, Poblacion, Kalibo. They criticized very badly the provisions stated in the said Provincial Ordinance No. 001, Series of 2014.

In view of some negative opinions and opposition, Hon. Rudson Mayor, member of the SP of Aklan filed a resolution to recall the said SP Ordinance No. 001, Series of 2014 with the end in view to institute adjustment and be made acceptable to the people concerned. But Hon. Mayor was rejected by his fellow members in the SP.

“To Be Or Not To Be”

“To be or not to be, that is the question.” Will Governor Florencio T. Miraflores implement the mandate as provided in the Provincial Ordinance? If he implements, some will not be happy. If he will not, all will rejoice for who will be delighted to pay additional amount over the usual?

However, paying taxes is one of the duties of good citizens. The amount a citizen pays as Tax to the government enables the government to manage successfully the affairs of the nation like maintenance of peace and order, infrastructure, education, health and others. The higher the tax a citizen pays, means his higher degree of usefulness to the nation.

The Tax levied and collected on a productive agricultural land will not hurt if that piece of land is highly productive. A land where grasses grow is useless, does not contribute to progress. It means the owner of that land just hoard it, thus preventing more food production. That land owner must be taxed higher for keeping his land idle. A land owner who produces more must be rewarded. He gets more increased income who produces more. He who has idle lands must pay higher taxes. 

Hence, the amount of taxes levied must be dependent on the way the real estate owner uses his property. More improvement on land leads to higher income. Thus, has higher ability to pay taxes. Non-improvement of real property, means zero income, zero capacity to pay tax. 

Anti Burning

One  of the projects of the Department of Agriculture is the production of organic agricultural products. This is the technology where no chemicals are used in the production of crops like fruits, vegetables, and cereals. The produced are free of toxin as  agricultural chemicals are not used. 

The crops are grown in the soil, fertilized by decomposed agricultural waste like rice straw  and other plant materials.

However, even with  this project, farmers in Aklan are still heavily using agricutural chemicals which active ingredients are systemic leading to the attack of human diseases to man when  the limit is reached.

Until today, farmers are burning  the rice straw inspite of the Aklan Provincial Anti Burning Ordinance. This is  a big failure of the agriculturists in the province of Aklan. /MP  

Editorial by Ernesto T. Solidum

Imbalanced Growth Of Aklans’ 
Tourism Industry

“Tourism Month Celebration” was discussed in a weekly Kapihan on September 6, 2014 at NVC Carmen Hotel. The guests are all Municipal Tourism Officers namely: Rhea Rose E. Meren – Kalibo, Ryan T. Candelario – Tangalan, Fransisco A.  Intela – Madalag, Mario Perucho, Jr. – Banga, Maria Zolita Z. Guzman – Nabas, and Razon Perlas – Numancia.

Ms. Meren stated that Tourism Act of 2009 mandates all LGU’s from Regional, Provincial, and Municipal levels to develop its tourism potentials, provide economic and sustainable delivery of services in order to achieve progress and stability in the rural areas. In view of the significant contribution of tourism to the economy and the understanding of peoples around the world, the United Nations has designated September as Tourism Month.

The planned activities are: training on front office operation on Sept. 8-10, Takbo Para sa Turismo with zumba session on Sept. 14, Orientation on the Protection of Mother and Children on Sept. 15, Tourism Quiz Bee on Sept. 16, Specialized Tour Guiding training on Sept. 19 in Kalibo.

As an international gateway to Boracay, Aklan has package tour for tourists visiting Bakawan Eco-park, Pina Village and Tigayon Hill. The Kalibo Ati-atihan festival will be on Jan. 9-18 with opening salvo “Sadsad-Tamboe” on October 24. Tigayon Hill will be fully developed and enhanced by a discovery of earthen jars, ceramics and other artifacts hidden in a cave. A team of archeologists from the National Museum is set to visit the site, averred Ms. Meren.

Madalag has a number of tourism spots like waterfalls and caves located in remote places. The most accessible is the Liktinon in Maria Cristina. This is a picturesque convergence of massive rocks strewn along the path going to Maria Cristina Falls. It is accessible by motorcycle up to a certain point but visitors had to hike one and one half (1 ½) hours over rugged terrain. Guests may savor “Tinuom” delicacy or fish roll cooked in banana leaves and sweet lanzones, said Mr. Intela.
Bugna it Tangalan are Century old church in the Poblacion, developed sites as Jawili Falls, Jawili Beach and Marine sanctuary. Other areas in the pipeline are mangrove walkaway, wave rock formation in Afga, camping and nature trail in Campo Verde. Road widening and concreting are underway to connect Tangalan Poblacion to Naisud, Ibajay to make tourism spots more accessible and enjoyable, Mr. Candelario pointed out.

Mr. Perucho cited Banga’s successful celebration of “Pag-aeaw-aeaw” and Sagibin festivals. The former reminisces the massacre of 350 Banganhons by Japanese troops after they assembled to welcome them to the Poblacion on October 23, 1943. Sagibin is Aklanon word for bayanihan or giving a helping hand.

Like a sentinel, Manduyog Hill hosts the Stations of the Cross and Duyan Pahuwayan. Banga, the Beautiful is known for its tree lined avenues, well managed public plaza and premiere center of vocational education in the province of Aklan.

Nabas has interesting sites like its scenic long beach capped by powdery white sand at its Western end, protected forest reserve-home to numerous flora and fauna, enchanting caves and cold springs. The town holds its annual “Bariw” festival and honors its famous weavers and the industry that supports thousands of families.

Being adjacent to Boracay, Nabas has distinct advantage in infra as terminal of Godofredo P. Ramos International Airport (GPRIA) and two wind power plants nearing completion, Ms. Guzman claimed.

Navitas and Camanci Norte beaches in Numancia attract daily hundreds of bathers/excursionist from neighboring towns. We have tourist attractions of century old acacia trees in Albasan and lechon festival held in May. Presently, Numancia is reviving its buri waving industry to ease out the use of plastics as packaging materials, said Mr. Perlas.

Aklan has a rich goldmine in tourism. Last year tourism influx to Boracay was 1.3 million and revenues totaled P28 billion. Kalibo International Airport (KIA) is congested. GPRIA is being improved by a private firm. Caticlan and Cagban Jetty Ports and road improvement program of DOTC, DPWH and Provincial government of Aklan is progressing at snail speed. Not contented on spending splurge, a Jetty Port and Terminal building will be constructed in Pook to accommodate big fastcrafts. Gov. Joeben Miraflores projects 2.54 million tourists will visit Aklan in 2015. There is 9 percent increase of tourist arrival in the 1st half of this year compared to the same period in 2013. 

Presently, Boracay is bursting at the seams with more and more foreign visitors. It has an area of 1,000 has. and crammed with 37,100 resident population or population density of 37 persons per hectare. This excludes the average number of 4,000 tourists per day using Boracay’s services and amenities. Seeing the google map of Boracay with all high end buildings and infra, former Prov’l Agriculturist Delano Tefora believes that Boracay has transformed from an island resort into a full blown city.

However, the basic problem of eco-tourism of frontier towns like Madalag and Libacao are accessibility, transport and personal safety. Municipal Tourism Officers are temporarily appointed or designated by Municipal Mayor. Hence, they cannot implement a sensible long range plan, except Kalibo and Malay. It is hard to believe that despite its status as tourism capital of Western Visayas, Aklan has never crafted a Provincial Tourism Plan for the last 44 years. This hit or miss way of administering public funds has no equal and most likely boomerang on the taxpayers. Just consider the mothballed P160 million Caticlan Jetty Port Reclamation project restrained by TEPO of Supreme Court. Moreover, the two international airports in a small province can be elegant and convenient, but highly controversial and self defeating.

If ever drafted, the Aklan Tourism Strategic Plan must be the development of other eco-tourism sites in order to decongest Boracay. However, the present officials of LGU’s must strengthen their respective tourism offices with competent personnel and reasonable budget. 

Meanwhile, local farmers and fishfolks are disillusioned and entirely left out by the tourism bonanza with no products to sell to visitors. With the high demand and low supply inevitably leads to higher prices of prime commodities. There is need to rationalize our economic and social agenda that food producers may also benefit from tourism rather than only service providers like hotels, resort, business, construction and transport services. 

Last year, visitors who came to Aklan spent 31 percent of their money for food out of their total expenses in Aklan. However, it is highly lamentable to know that of what they ate like vegetables, only seven (7) percent are Aklan produced, four (4) percent of fruits and 38 percent of meat and fish. The rest was supplied by other provinces or imported from abroad.

This miserable performance in food for tourists is brought about by miss-managed agriculture system, aging food producers, lack of interest among public officials in agriculture and assistance to farmers, and the negative attitude of the youth towards farming among others./MP

CHIZ TO FUND BARANGAY OFFICIALS’ PHILHEALTH PREMIUM IN 2015

CHIZ TO FUND BARANGAY OFFICIALS’ PHILHEALTH PREMIUM IN 2015

Sen. Chiz Escudero
Senator Chiz Escudero will work for funding the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) premium of all barangay officials in the country for 2015.

Escudero, chairman of the Senate Finance Committe, said next year’s budget will have all barangay officials in the country covered by the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) through PhilHealth benefits.

He said he will put a special provision in the PhilHealth budget to include an amount to cover the premiums of barangay officials who are not yet enrolled in the government health insurance program.

An estimated 600,000 barangay officials from the country’s 42,000 barangays will stand to benefit from this healthcare program. Currently, under a Department of the Interior and Local Government Memorandum, barangay officials are enrolled in PhilHealth depending on the capacity of the barangay to pay their premiums.

 “Given Philhealth’s increased budget, the inclusion of all barangay officials  as its members can  be made mandatory. As public servants who are in the frontlines of public services, the members of the Sangguniang Barangay should have access to healthcare assistance, which is a universal basic service,” Escudero said.

 “We will not wait anymore for the NHIP to identify barangays and its members for enrollment as this will slow down the delivery of a much-needed basic service which is elusive to most of our barangay officials,” Escudero added.

From its P12 billion budget in 2013, PhilHealth’s appropriation amounted to over P37 billion as full national government subsidy for the health insurance premium of over 15 million families for 2015.
According to the Department of Health, 82 percent of the total population or around 80 million individuals are already covered by PhilHealth. The goal is to boost its coverage to more than 90 percent of the total population by the end of 2015.

Escudero explained that the estimated 600,000 to 700,000 additional members from the Sangguniang Barangays, including barangay tanods, to the exisiting number of individuals that are covered by the health insurance is very well within its absorptive capacity.

Under the Local Government Code, a barangay chairman, along with the other barangay officials, should get paid between P600  and P1,000, and Escudero said the compensation they are receiving is enough proof that the health insurance is a need rather than an incentive.

“Their compensation is not even enough to buy the most basic of medicines, much more pay for hospitalization bills,” said Escudero.

Barangay officials, as  listed,  will be classified as members earning P8,999 and below, and shall pay P100 as monthly premium. /MP

Thursday, September 18, 2014

“Only God Can Make A Tree”

“Only God Can Make A Tree”
Only God can make a tree, but man may cut it and climate change may kill it. The above picture shows one of the mango trees approved for cutting to give way for the construction of a fastfood business. These trees are growing on the DRSTM Hospital, corner D Maagma and A Mabini streets, Poblacion, Kalibo, Aklan.

Its cutting means increase in temperature, carbon dioxide, and decreased wind break. /MP

Senate Passes Bills To Upgrade Forestry & Metallurgical Engineering Laws

Senate Passes Bills To Upgrade Forestry 
& Metallurgical Engineering Laws

The Senate last week approved two bills on third and final reading seeking to upgrade the Forestry Profession Law and the Metallurgical Engineering Law to international standards.

Sen. Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV, author and sponsor of Senate Bill No. 2055 or the Forestry Profession Act 2014, said the measure repeals Republic Act No. 6239 and enacts a more comprehensive law that will regulate the practice of forestry in the Philippines. Sen. Cynthia Villar co-authored the bill.

“The pressing concern of climate change has been aggravated by human-induced environmental destruction as well as by natural calamities. This necessitates a major reorientation of the Forestry profession which has remained unchanged since it was signed into law by former President Ferdinand Marcos in 1971,” Trillanes pointed out.

“The bill seeks to remove a provision in the previous law that allows the registration of forestry practitioners even “without examination” and to define the scope of work of the forestry profession,” said Trillanes.

“The measure will enhance the standards of the forestry profession and create a professional regulatory board. It also provides for a foreign reciprocity clause, continuing professional education and designation of an accredited integrated professional organization,” he said.

Trillanes noted the shortage of foresters in the Philippines, which has 30 million hectares of land. While the ideal ratio is one forester to 5,000 hectares, the Philippines  has only 8,000 foresters. He said the passage of the measure into law would encourage students to enroll in the forestry and make it their career.

“Forestry is already a dwindling profession and hardly a child would manifest the desire to become a forester someday. One of the objectives of the bill is to set the standards so that more courses in forestry would be offered in different universities across the country,” Trillanes said.

Also approved on third and final reading is Senate Bill No. 2103 or the Metallurgical Engineering Act of 2014.

Trillanes said the measure seeks to replace the existing Metallurgical Engineering Law created under Presidential Decree No. 1536 to make it more attuned to the recent developments in the technological advancements.

Like the Forestry profession, Trillanes said, SBN 2103 seeks to create a professional regulatory board which will supervise the practice of metallurgical engineering, including the conduct of examination for the prospective metallurgical engineers.

The bill also seeks to redefine the scope of practice of metallurgical engineering, providing for a clear delineation of functions against its allied professions such as mining engineering and geology.

“To mainstream metallurgical engineering practice in the country, there is a need to provide a stable and updated framework which will ensure for the country a capable and competitive stream of metallurgical engineer professionals. The country’s professionals must keep pace with the changing environment and this bill will help them do that,” Trillanes said.  (Pilar S. Macrohon) /MP


KALIBO’S DUMPING SITE IS SERIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL THREAT

KALIBO’S DUMPING SITE IS SERIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL THREAT
by Odon S. Bandiola

Unless drastic remedial measures are undertaken, the threat to the environment being posed by the dumping site of Kalibo can worsen further. It will endanger the health and lives of people living nearby, to include schools’ population operating near its vicinity. 
  
This surfaced in a committee hearing conducted by the Committee on Environmental Protection of the Aklan Sangguniang Panlalawigan on Monday, September 8, 2014.

The SP committee conducted an inquiry into the matter when the Sangguniang Barangay of Old Buswang furnished the body of its resolution addressed to local officials of Kalibo seeking for the immediate closure of the said dumping site.  Kalibo’s dumping site is located at the adjoining barangay of Bakhaw Sur, along the Sooc River, an extension of the Aklan River.

Not only residents of the two barangays are affected of the persistent emission of foul odor from the dumping site but also commercial and institutional establishment operators and students near the area.

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Ivene D. Reyes of Aklan stressed that LGU Kalibo maybe liable for several violations in the operation of the dumping site. Since 2006, the DENR ordered the LGU to start the safe closure procedure for the dumping site. But until now, it is yet to be implemented.

The foul odor to be temporarily and immediately remedied, spraying of chemicals on the dumpsite must be done at once, but safe closure procedure must be started right away, the DENR Aklan emphasized.

Engr. Jessie Fegarido of Kalibo’s Municipal Economic Enterprise Development Department, said safe closure procedure will start next week with the construction of the perimeter fence of the said dumping site expected to be finished within one month.

Portion of the concrete enclosure of the dumping site had been damaged while holes were bored at the undamaged portions facing the Sooc River which caused emission of the waste fluids into the river.

Former Congressman Allen S. Quimpo feared that the naturally grown marine resources in the nearby 250-hectare mangrove eco-park are already affected by the pollution of the river.

Adorada Reynaldo, Solid Waste Management Officer of Kalibo explained that the safe closure procedure can never be successful until wastes segregation is strictly enforced on Kalibo’s households.

Both Fegarido and Reynaldo expressed their exasperation over their difficulty to obtain budgetary appropriations for its P20 million needed to fully implement the safe closure of the dumping site.

PENRO Reyes informed the committee that DENR has already identified a 12-hectare area in Castillo, Makato, Aklan which can be developed into a sanitary landfill site for Kalibo’s garbage and that of the neighboring towns west of Kalibo like Numancia, Makato, Lezo and Tangalan.

But Reyes said this will take about one year for the area to be ready to recieve the wastes of these towns. /MP

Monday, September 15, 2014

SP CONDOLES WITH FAMILIES OF THE LATE SP MEMBER AND ARMY SOLDIER
by Odon S. Bandiola
Vice Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo (3rd from left-front) and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members (L-R-Front): Esel L. Flores, Apolinar C. Cleope, Lillian Q. Tirol, Plaridel M. Morania, Harry C. Sucgang and SP Secretary Odon S. Bandiola. (L-R-Back)Ramon S. Gelito, Stephen Z. Bolivar, Nelson D. Santamaria, Jose Enrique M. Miraflores, Emmanuel Soviet Russia Dela Cruz and Roberto M. Garcia posing with the parents (4th and 5th from left-front) of the late Private First Class Henry BantigueLumio, Jr. of Arcangel Sur, Balete, Aklan during the   Aklan SP Regular Session on August 6, 2014 at SP Session Hall.

Through separate resolutions, Aklan Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) passed recently the provincial legislative body expressed its deepest sympathy, in behalf of all Aklanons, and extended their sincere condolences to the bereaved family of Private First Class (PFC) Henry BantigueLumio Jr. of Arcangel Sur, Balete, Aklan who was killed in an ambush staged by the New People’s Army (NPA) in the hinterlands of Negros Occidental on July 17, 2014, specifically in barangay Buenavista, Himamaylan City.  

In another Resolution, the SP likewise expressed condolences and the deepest sympathy of the people of Aklan to the bereaved family of the late Thelma Delos Reyes Aguirre who served the people of Caticlan, Malay as Barangay Captain, the people of the whole town of Malay as President of the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC), and the whole of Aklan as the representative of the ABC to the SP of Aklan from 1982 to 1994 as an Ex-Officio Member.
Aguirre died on August 19, 2014.

The expression of sympathy and condolences to the family of slain PFC Henry BantigueLumio Jr. was embodied in Resolution No. 164, S. 2014 passed during the Regular Session of the SP on August 6, 2014, while that of the family of Aguirre was embodied in Resolution No. 186, S. 2014 passed during the SP Regular Session on August 27, 2014.

PFC Lumio of Arcangel Sur, Balete, Aklan joined the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) via the Philippine Army (PA) during the last four (4) years and six (6) months.

Former SP Member Thelma R. Aguirre died on August 19, 2014 of lingering illness.

The 16th SP remembered Aguirre as the recognized political leader of her town Malay and for her family being known for humanitarian deeds and community involvement even in their private capacities by willingly donating real properties in Malay for public use and for her government and private sector efforts for provincial development and community building. 

The 16th SP also praised Aguirre for honesty, efficiency and responsive service to the people of Malay and the people of Aklan, a compassionate public service which spanned from the weaning years of the martial law regime until early 1990s when democracy had been restored and the reign of dictatorship had ended. The late Thelma D. Aguirre’s public service record remained untainted and free from any perceived wrongdoings or dishonesty, Aklan SP pointed out. /MP


BATAN, LIBACAO HAVE NO 2014 BUDGETS

BATAN, LIBACAO HAVE
NO 2014 BUDGETS
by ODON S. BANDIOLA

Except for the towns of Libacao and Batan, all municipalities have their annual budgets for 2014 approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan after having been reviewed by the Provincial Local Finance Committee of the Province of Aklan.

Actually, Batan and Libacao have already submitted their annual budgets but the review and approval by the Provincial Local Finance Committee and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan were held in abeyance. There are discrepancies between budgetary appropriations and the Annual Investment Plans the two (2) municipalities have submitted.  

Altavas, Buruanga, and Balete have submitted early their 2014 annual budgets for review and approval by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. Altavas 2014 annual budget carries a total appropriation of P59.26 million under the general fund and another P6.029 million for its economic enterprise. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan approved on December 18, 2013, but declared inoperative in part through SP Res. No. 185, S., 2013.

Buruanga carries a total appropriations of P50.58 million for the general fund operations and P2.82 million for its economic enterprise.  The approval was embodied in SP Res. No. 021, S., 2014 enacted on January 22, 2014 declaring Buruanga’s 2014 annual budget operative in its entirety.
Approved on February 12, 2014 through SP Res. No. 033, S., 2014 is the annual budget of Balete carrying total appropriations of P66.765 million.

Malay’s annual budget, the highest among the 17 municipalities, carries a total appropriation in the general fund of P350 million. It is approved through SP Res. No. 047, S., 2014 on February 26, 2014.  Malay’s economic enterprise 2014 annual budget carries total appropriation of P20.6 million is approved through SP Res. No. 128, S., 2014 on June 18, 2014.  

Kalibo’s 2014 annual budget, the next highest, carries a total appropriation of P173.764 million under the general fund approved through SP Res. No. 048, S., 2014 on February 26, 2014. Kalibo’s economic enterprise 2014 annual budget is P49.339 million approved through the same resolution No. 048, S. of 2014.

Ibajay has the third (3rd) biggest annual budget approved on June 18, 2014 through SP Res. No. 129, S., 2014. It carries a total appropriation of P89.012 million for the general fund and P6.256 million for its economic enterprise.  

Other annual budgets already approved with their corresponding appropriations are the following:
1. Banga - P72.678 million (GF) - approved through SP Res. No. 100, S., 2014 on May 21, 2014 and P8.157 million (MEED) approved through SP Res. No. 113, S,. 2014 on May 28, 2014 
2. Lezo - P39.581 million - approved through SP Res. No. 163, S., 2014 on July 23, 2014 
3. Madalag - P66.742 million - approved through SP Res. No. 126, S., 2014 on June 18, 2014 
4. Makato - P61.212 million (GF) and P4.282 million (MEED) - approved through SP Res. No. 056, S., 2014 on March 5, 2014 
5. Malinao - P62.324 million - approved through SP Res. No. 102, S., 2014 on May 21, 2014 
6. Nabas  - P68.602 million - approved through SP Res. No. 194, S., 2014 on September 3, 2014 
7. New Washington - P82.527 million (GF) and P7.189 million (MEED) - approved through SP Res. No. 162, S., 2014 on July 23, 2014 
8. Numancia - P60.782 million - approved through SP Res. No. 101, S., 2014 on May 21, 2014 
9. Tangalan - P52.805 million (GF) and P2.818 (MEED) - approved through SP Res. No. 034, S., 2014 on February 12, 2014

Some municipalities which have approved annual budgets had since then submitted Supplemental Budgets which are duly approved. These are the following municipalities with the corresponding supplemental appropriations:

Altavas-P494,253.00

Banga-P3.1 million

Buruanga-
Supplemental Budget No. 1 
P1.256 million – general fund 
P200,000.00 -MEEDO
Supplemental Budget No. 2
P415,161.78

Kalibo -P2.456 million

Numancia-P3 million. /MP


DA 6 Brings Agri-Pinoy Programs To Belison, Antique

DA 6 Brings Agri-Pinoy 
Programs To Belison, Antique
by: James Earl E. Ogatis

 The Department of Agriculture (DA) 6 brought closer the five Agri-Pinoy banner programs to farmers, livestock raisers and fisherfolks in the municipality of Belison, Antique through the conduct of agricultural information caravan and technology forum on September 3, 2014.

Dominador Marquez - Provincial Agricultural Coordinating Officer of Antique said that the conduct of the Agricultural Information caravan is one of the venues wherein agricultural stakeholders are updated of the thrusts and priorities of the five banner programs of the DA.

The DA’s five banner programs are: Agri-Pinoy rice, corn, livestock and poultry. High value crops and organic agriculture programs were extensively discussed by the respective regional focal persons.

Marquez stressed the importance of agricultural information for the farmers to be competitive and cope with the challenges of climate change and of the global community.

“A well informed farmer can surely be competitive in terms of technology adoption, increase yield and productivity and eventually hurdle the challenges of climate change and impending Asian economic integration by year 2015”, Marquez stressed.

Belison Mayor Daryll B. Dela Flor said that the forum is essential for the farmers to raise issues on irrigation, seeds, fertilizer and marketing of their respective products.

He said that economic activities depend mostly on agriculture with more than half of its land is devoted to rice. The rest are planted to corn, coconut, sugar cane and other high value commodities like vegetables and peanuts.

“Being a coastal municipality, the town’s fisherfolks harvest more fishes, shells and other marine resources throughout the year,” said Mayor Dela Flor.   

Dir. Charlito Brilleta of Philippine Crops Insurance Corporation  talked about crop insurance, livestocks and fisherfolks in the municipality. Mr. Arthuro Blancaflor of Philippine Carabao Center at West Visayas State University Campus explained the program to preserve and upgrade the native carabaos.

Engr. Randy Alipis, provincial NIA administrator answered all queries on irrigation from water scheduling, irrigation canal repair and maintenance, irrigation fees, assurance of irrigation water supply and provincial irrigation plans.

Mr. Nicolasito S. Calawag, Antique Provincial Agriculturist expressed support to all the DA programs in his province.

“Antique is self-sufficient in rice wherein farmers are planting rice three times a year,” claimed Calawag.

Antique is exporting rice to neighboring provinces such as in Iloilo and Aklan particularly to Boracay, he stressed. /MP

ENSURING CHILDREN’S SAFETY

ENSURING CHILDREN’S SAFETY:
Acting Senate Minority Leader Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III (left), vice chair of the Senate Committee on Public services, asks officials of the Department of Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and motorcycle associations to submit their position papers on how to minimize motorcycle accidents in the country. “We should address this problem to ensure the safety of our people, especially our children,” Sotto said during a public hearing Tuesday, Sept.  9. Also in photo is Sen. Gregorio Honasan II (right). (Romeo Bugante photo)/MP

AVOIDING DOUBLE TAXATION

AVOIDING DOUBLE TAXATION: 
Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, chair of the Senate Subcommittee on the Philippines-Turkey Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation, discusses with Turkish diplomats led by Turkish Second Secretary Davut Ocak the disadvantages of double taxation during a hearing Tuesday, Sept. 9. Double taxation arises when a person is subjected to tax on the same income by both the country where he resides and the country where he derives the income. (Photo by Albert Calvelo/09 September 2014)/MP

Aklan Celebrates Tourism Month 2014

Aklan Celebrates Tourism Month 2014

The Aklan Tourism Officers Association (AKTOA) in partnership with the Aklan Provincial Tourism Office (APTO) shall spearhead the conduct of its annual Tourism Month 2014 celebration. Thus, is slated on September 14 – 16, 2014 with the theme “Tourism And Community Development.” It aims to showcase and promote Aklan’s various tourism attractions and create awareness and better understanding of the benefits of tourism. 

A number of activities have been lined up to highlight this year’s celebration. It will open in a Tourism Fun Run or “Takbo Para Sa Turismo with Zumba” on September 14, 5:30 AM at the Pastrana Park, Kalibo, Aklan for the Opening Program; Orientation On The Protection Of Women And Children In Travel And Tourism slated on September 15, 9:00 – 5:00 PM at Nennette’s Garden, Roxas Ave. Extension, Andagao, Kalibo, Aklan; Tourism Quiz Bee on September 16, 1:00 PM at the ABL Sports Complex; and Familiarization Tour at the municipalities of Libacao, Madalag, Ibajay and Malay on September 17-19.

This year’s Tourism Fun Run shall be participated in by the various tourism stakeholders in Aklan, the professionals and students of colleges and university which offer Tourism, and Hotel and Restaurant Management Courses, as well as those individuals who would voluntarily participate or involve for the same cause. The proceeds of this year’s Fun Run is intended for specific, significant purposes through procurement of tourism promotional materials to be put up at the Kalibo International Airport to improve the airport’s structural, aesthetic image being the province’s show window and gateway to visitors and tourists alike. 

Other activities shall put emphasis on upholding gender responsiveness amidst the increase of tourist traffic in Aklan which shall be tackled during the one-day Orientation seminar to be participated in by the resorts or hotel managers and front liners of the various accommodation establishments in Kalibo and nearby municipalities. Furthermore, participating tourism students shall be provided a learning venue to hone and improve their knowledge and ability in the aspect of tourism during the quiz bee and tour-guiding contests. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Bisita Sa Ibang Planeta

Kon gabi-i nga libong dueom, bangod owa it buean, dagaya nga mga maeagko nga bito-on ro atong nakikita. Guina tawag naton ra nga mga planeta. Naga libot libot sanda sa adlaw. Nagahueam sanda it kahayag sa adlaw. Isaea eon rong atong planetang eogta. Kon amat hay nagapangutana kita sa atong kaugalingon kon baea may kabuhi idto sa rondayang planeta?

May mga planeta nga may satellite. Rondaya hay nagalibot sa planeta. Isaea eon karon rong buean nga nagalinibot libot sa atong planeta. Haadtunan eon rong buean it mga tawo. May kabuhi idto sa buean apang malisod sa mga tawo nga magtener tungod iba ro andang init, eain ko sa atong planeta.
Kon kita hay nagapangutana ag naga dis kobre it ibang planeta, may una man nga mga tinuga nga bu-ot man makadiskobre ko ibang planeta. Sanda ra hay kapares man naton nga may isip, naga kabuhi, naga obra, ogaling mataas rong antas ko andang kaaeam. Sa pilang beses nga pag inusoy ko andang igdaeapat, nadiskobre nanda ro atong kalibutan nga eogta. Pilang paghana ro andang guinhimo nga magtugpa sa atong planeta. Indi nanda matakuran rong kasangag nga halin sa atong planeta. Nagbalik sanda agod estudyohan pagid kon paalin makatugpa. Rondaya ro mga balita hanungod sa UFO nga hakikita ko atong igdaeapat sa laboratoryo.

Sa pelikulang ET nga guinbaton ko atong mga kabataan, nagtao katon it leksyon nga indi tanan nga taga ibang planeta hay ma eain. Halin sa pagkilaea ag pag-uli sa andang planeta, indi matapos tapos rong pagpasaeamt ko ratong tinuga nga nag estar it mabuhay sa isaeang ka pamilya. Sa anang pag-uli, guin daea nana rong handumanan it isaeang ka pamilya nga nagtao kana it kalipay.

Sa pelikulang “Alien Invasion”, nagpakita man nga bo-ot kitang sakupon ko taga-ibang planeta. Nag-abot sa punto nga pati ro atong paino-ino hay anda pa nga sakupon. Sanda ra hay owa nagakilaea it Diyos kundi nagapati sa andang ka aeam eabaw sa tanan. Saeamat ay may pagto-o kita sa Diyos. Saeamat man ay sobra ro atong pagsalig Kana. Saeamat ay may mga guinikanan kita nga nagtanum sa atong isipan nga rong kaaeam it Diyos hay eabaw sa ka aeam it tawo. 

Agod maga daog kita kontra puwersa it kadueom, hay pangamuyo eamang rong sabat. Kat sa oras eon nga sakupon kita ag pati ro atong painu-ino, indi sanda makatigayon nga makasueod. May kon anong kusog nga indi nanda masukean. Pati ro andang mga igdaeapat hay indi mag andar. Sa kabuhayon nanda nga pag eksperimento, napaslawan sanda ag nagbalik eon langsanda sa andang planeta.

Halin kato, owa eon kita it nabatian nga mga UFO. Pabay-an naton rong taga ibang planeta. Tun-an naton rong paguswag ko atong kaugalingon nga planeta, tatapon, ipreserba, ag indi pagsamaron tungod sambilog man lang rong planetang eogta nga guin tao katon it Diyos. /MP

Senate Praises Bravery Of Filipino Peacekeepers

Senate Praises Bravery Of 
Filipino Peacekeepers

 The Senate last week commended the Filipino peacekeepers stationed at the Golan Heights for exhibiting bravery and resolve during a tense standoff against Syrian rebels.

The Senate in Resolutions 876, taking in consideration Senate Resolutions 877, 881 and 899, introduced by Senators Manuel “Lito” Lapid, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Teofisto “TG” Guingona III and Antonio “Sonny Trillanes IV lauded the “extraordinary valor” shown by the Filipino peacekeepers.”

The resolutions state the Filipino peacekeepers, together with the United Nations peacekeeping force are stationed in Golan Heights since 1974 to monitor a ceasefire between Israel and Syria.
Of the 331-strong Filipino contingent serving as part of the United Nations Disengagement Force in the Golan Heights, 75 were encamped at the region’s Positions 68 and 69.    

On August 28, 2014, Syrian rebels surrounded the two encampments and demanded that the Filipino peacekeepers surrender their firearms. Filipino peacekeepers refused, resulting in a standoff.

On August 30, 2014, 40 Filipino soldiers valiantly held their ground as around 100 rebels attacked Position 68 while 35 Filipino peacekeepers from Position 69 managed to leave their encampment with Irish peacekeepers securing their escape route. At midnight of the same day, the 40 Filipino soldiers from Position 68 also managed to flee, walking 2.3 kilometers to safety, as the rebels slept.
“Our Filipino peacekeepers exhibited extraordinary valor above and beyond their call of duty, demonstrating once again that Filipinos are among the bravest peacekeepers in the world,” Guingona said.

“Our soldiers’ brave front only proves that Filipinos will not back down from any challenge that we face,” said Senator Bam Aquino, who dubbed the Filipino peacekeepers as the new “action heroes of the world” for their bravery and resolve during a standoff with Syrian rebels in Golan Heights./MP


Over-Worked Aklan Teachers*

Over-Worked Aklan Teachers*

*Privilege Speech of the Honorable Plaridel M. Morania during the 31st Regular Session held on September 10, 2014.

Honorable Chair, Ladies and Gentlemen of this chamber, as Chairman of this body’s Committee on Education, Culture, Science and Technology, my attention was called by one of the radio stations in Aklan to an anonymous open letter coming from the concerned teachers of Aklan, complaining against the Schools Division Superintendent of making them worked overtime on Saturdays and Sundays, most often, to attend to school related and non-related activities such as scouting encampments, sports meets, seminars and workshop on the dates supposed to be their rest periods in company with their families. 

The open letter alleging that the division head over-worked them was never signed for fear of reprisal from their higher authorities. Almost all radio stations in Aklan have recognized the validity and legitimacy of the issues raised by the concerned teachers that anchormen of almost all radio stations have tackled the issue over the airwaves. Soon after, these radio stations were deluged by text messages and calls confirming and affirming the truth of the issues raised in the open letter, mostly messages and calls from teachers.

I would therefore, propose that this chamber takes cognizance of the issue and refers this to the Committee on Education, Culture, Science and Technology so that this body will be enlightened of all the happenings in our public school system. 

May I propose to direct the secretariat to invite Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Jesse M. Gomez, Mrs. Mary Ann Lopez-Division Sports Coordinator, Mrs. Edna Ayon-Planning Officer of the Division, Boy Scout of the Philippines Executive Officer Alex Pamatian to the next scheduled committee hearing on Monday, (September 15) and advise them to bring with them documents showing the legal basis of all these scouting and sporting events and other activities they are implementing in the Province of Aklan.

Perhaps, after our interaction with them and it has been proven that these school events and activities have legal mandates from the highest DepEd hierarchy, this chamber may take position of passing a resolution to the DepEd Secretary requesting that office to immediately unburden the workloads of our over-worked, lowly paid, and pathetic teachers in Aklan.
I so move, Honorable Chair that this matter be referred to my committee and that the secretariat be directed to invite those persons I have mentioned.

Open Letter

September 5, 2014

SA MGA IGMANGHOD NAMON SA MEDYA:

KAMING MGA KAEUOY NGA MGA MAESTRA AG MAESTRO IYA SA DIVISION OF AKLAN HAY NAGAHINYO AG NAGAPAAPIN SA AMONG MGA GINASALIGAN NGA MGA IGMANGHOD SA MEDYA NGA KABULIGAN KAMI SA PAGPAABOT SA AMONG DIVISION SUPERINTENDENT AG SA ANANG MGA ALIPURIS SA DIVISION NGA PUNDUHON EON RO ANDANG POLISIYA NGA AMAT-AMAT NGA NAGAPATAY KAMONG MGA MANUGTURO.

DAPAT PONDOHON EON KO DIVISION RO PAGHIWAT IT MGA HILIKUTON IT MGA ESKWELAHAN NGA KAPARTE MAN IT KURIKULUM SA SABADO AG DOMINGO NGA KAPAREHO IT MGA NAGASUNOD:

1. SPORTS MEET (Unit Meet, District Meet, Provincial Meet)
2. SCOUT ENCAMPMENTS AG JAMBORETTE
3. DISTRICT MEETINGS IT MGA MANUGTURO
4. SEMINAR AG IBA PA

OWA EON KAMI IT PAHUWAY NGA MGA MANUGTURO HAY BISAN MGA ADLAW IT SABADO AG DOMINGO NGA DAPAT IPAHUWAY NAMON KAIBAHAN AMONG PAMILY, SA TRABAHO GIHAPON KAMI. PAG-ABOT IT MGA ADLAW IT KLASE, INDI EON KAMI MAKATURO IT MAYAD HAY GAOY EON KAMI NGA MAYAD. KO MGA DINAG-ON NGA NAGTALIWAN, KULELAT RONG AKEAN SA NATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT TEST RESULTS SA BILOG NGA WESTERN VISAYAS BANGOD KO RAYANG POLISIYA.

KO NAGTALIWAN NGA SABADO (August 29-30), DISTRICT ATHLETIC MEET, MAKARONG BIYERNES, SABADO AG DOMINGO (September 5-7) SCOUT LEADER ENCAMPMENT SA CABUGAO, ALTAVAS PARA SA DISTRITO IT BALETE, BATAN AG ALTAVAS. SA MASUNOD NGA SABADO AG DOMINGO KAB SCOUT ENCAMPMENT EOMAN SA BATAN.

POR DIYOS, POR SANTO. GINOO. PATYON T’A KAMI NGA MGA MANUGTURO. DAPAT RAYANG MGA HILIWATON HAY IBUTANG SA WEEKDAYS HAY KAPARTE MAN KO KURIKULUM.

MAEUOY MAN KAMO KAMON. RAYA HAY NAPAABOT NAMON SA DUMAEAHAN IT DIBISYON PAAGI SA AMONG MGA KAAPIN SA MEDYA.

OWA KAMI GAPIRMA KARA NGA OPEN LETTER HAY SAYOD KAMI NGA MGA MAESTRA AG MAESTRO KUN MAUNO MAGPANGISOG AG MAGPAKAHUYA IT ANANG MGA SUBORDINADO RO AMONG SUPERINTENDENTE

BULIGI KAMI MGA IGMANGHOD SA MEDYA. PANGUSISAA EANG NINYO HAY RAYA RO MATUOD.

CONCERNED TEACHERS

OF AKLAN. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer by Ambrosio R. Villorente

Lamentable Agriculture 
System Management

Aklan has a twin development program: Agriculture and Tourism Development. But Tourism has multi-million pesos budget, unlike Agriculture which the Aklan provincial government has allotted a mere P10.8 million this year. The LGUs budget for agriculture is not spelled out.

Moreover, Aklan has accumulated some P38 million savings out of its previous years’ budget, 80 percent or about P30 million should have been spent for agriculture

Poor Management Of Agriculture Development System

This Twin Agriculture Tourism Program should have strengthen the links between agriculture and tourism. But this did not happen and it will not happen should the poor management of Agriculture System will continue.

In a study done by an Australian volunteer with the Department of Agriculture Reform, she found out that: seven (7) percent of the fruits consumed in Boracay were produced in Aklan, five (5) percent of vegetables and 39 percent of the meat were produced in Aklan. What a lamentable statistic as far as Aklanons are concerned.

Last year, 1.3 million tourists went to Aklan, specifically in Boracay. They spent billions of pesos in Aklan, 31 percent of which was spent for food. But how much is the share of Aklanon farmers in the food market?

This Twin Agriculture Tourism Program of Aklan must be reviewed and adjusted with the end in view to allow increase income to Aklanon farmers. If not, then they are the victims and never a beneficiary of the booming Tourist industry. An Aklanon who sells goods or services is beneficiary of the Tourist industry. Aklanon who does not sell anything is victims of the negative effect the tourists bring in Aklan.

Those who have nothing to sell suffer the traffic hazard, noise pollution, increase prices of commodities, among others.

Yet, farmers of Aklan can be the leading beneficiaries if only the Agriculture System is properly managed. There are six factors of production of any products which are manpower, money, time, machineries, materials, and management itself.

The Aklan LGU has agriculture development staff under the leadership of the provincial agriculturist. This manpower resource is a formidable force if they are properly motivated to work by providing adequate facilities. The 17 municipal LGUs have their respective agricultural technologists who can be deployed in the barangays to help farmers in the use of recommended technologies to increase production and income. But they are around to standby in the municipal offices. Can plants and animals be produced in municipal offices?

The money for agriculture has not been fully spent for the benefits of the farmers as evidence by the huge savings in agriculture fund.

The facilities are not made operational such as the multi-million pesos field level grain center in Ibajay, the P3 million bagsakan center in Banga and the rice mill in Guinbaliwan, New Washington.
Due to the location of agriculture offices in the Poblacions of Agriculture Technologists, their time is being spent with nill accomplishment. The materials, like seeds and fertilizer doled out to farmers are not scientifically used and maybe wasted. The solution to poultry and have farms thats smell bad is the application of scientific farming, not closure.

To promote food production and empower farmers to participate in the tourist industry, Aklan’s agriculture system management must be improved in terms of manpower utilization, Agriculture Technicians must be barangay based with their office surroundings as show-windows of scientific agriculture, as plants and animals projects. The present facilities must be made operational, make use of the time and support agriculture projects with ample budget. Organize an effective marketing system for farm products.

Mango Tree

Two (2) mango trees which had been growing for last eight (8) decades will be cut off anytime this year. These trees are growing at the DRSTM Hospital ground, corner E Mabini St. and D Maagma St.

  The cutting is approved by the Aklan SP  upon the request of the Provincial Governor. This will pave a way for the establishment of a fastfood in that hospital ground. It will also contribute in making the town of Kalibo cement jungle. It will also deprive the ordinary people from gaining profit selling native food products in front of the hospital. /MP 


Editorial by Ernesto T. Solidum

Promoting Tech Voc Education

Celebrating its 20th founding anniversary, Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) proudly waves its banner of success and well being in its mission to empower youth with technical skills. However, despite phenomenal 7.2 percent GDP growth in 2013, the Aquino Administration is haunted by non-inclusive growth where unemployment is 7.0 percent or 2.9 million of the labor force. The Social Weather Station (SWS) survey on June 27-30, 2014 shows it is 25.9 percent or 11.8 million.

In Kapihan Forum on August 30, 2014 held at NVC Carmen Hotel, the invited guests gave positive outlook on impact of technical vocational (Tech Voc) education to increase family income, financial security and progress. Data show that for the last 20 years, TESDA has produced 6.0 million graduates, 65 percent of whom is fully employed in their various fields of expertise.

Of this total, more than 50 percent underwent competency assessment where 3,289,179 received their national certificates. Employer satisfaction survey had 86 percent of 5,451 public and private firms answered satisfactory work and skills. Employment status was 91.4 percent for graduates of electronics and semi-conductors while 70.9 percent for info technology and business process management.

Mr. Joel Villanueva, Director General stated that “we have unloaded the potential of tech voc education, greatly reduced the social bias against it and made its impact felt in tackling unemployment.”

Mr. Ely G. Arensol, Sr. TESDA Specialist said that legal basis of TESDA is RA 7796 actually reorganized from the former National Manpower and Youth Council. It aims to provide educational skills and avoid the pervasive mismatch between jobs on one hand and education and training on the other. Roughly two-thirds (2/3) of college graduates land in jobs that are different from their training such as teachers working as clerks or hotel receptionists.

There is a Provincial Training Center at Laguinbanwa East, Numancia that offers courses on automotive servicing, plumbing, carpentry, refrigeration/airconditioning and welding that may be completed within 2 years. Competency assessment test is administered to ensure that graduates possess the desired aptitude and skills.

TESDA maximizes its resources by offering scholarships in coordination with accredited institutions also known as Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) schools on other courses such as housekeeping (hotel services), cell-phone repair and special ones as may be requested by LGU’s and approved byTESDA. For instance project proposal from Altavas and Tangalan are massage therapy, masonry, welding and carpentry, while Nabas is training of security guards.

The current enrolment program is released to accommodate as many students who are: a) high school graduates or college undergraduates, b) 18 years of age, c) indigent, and d) completed application paper. This privilege is extended to PWD’s, IP’s and OFWs, Arsensal disclosed.

Ms. Leonore O. Medina, ATSA Vice Pres. revealed that in Aklan there are 21 TESDA accredited private schools that offer tech voc courses. Based on TESDA monitoring and evaluation, 70 to 80 percent of the graduates are now working abroad where wages of blue collar workers are competitive with that of white collar employees.

Ms. Rhodora S. Brillantes of New Lucena Polytechnic College, Iloilo is in Aklan to conduct Trainers’ Methodology to teachers of TVET courses. The first batch of 30 participants will graduate on September 8. The second batch will start on September 15. The duration of training is 17 days held at Northwestern Visayan Colleges. The course module covers agri-fisheries, horticulture, computer hardware, plumbing, sheet metal arc welding, housekeeping and refrigeration/air-conditioning. This is excellent arrangement since Aklanon teachers are spared of hassles and bussles of going to Iloilo and spend a fortune, said Ms. Brillantes.

It is hard to believe that with an obscure and improbable agency as TESDA can produce sterling accomplishments despite minimal support services and short time period are beyond question. Its annual budget is austere and easily pails behind that of DepEd yet 65 percent of its graduates are gainfully employed while DepEd-Ched has a pitiful score of 20 percent. It takes 4 to 5 years to obtain a college degree after high school while only 2 years is spent in tech voc education. With bigger expenses foregone on the part of parents, there is need to evaluate basic DepEd school curriculum in as much as availability of jobs are ephemeral and dependent on local and international markets demand. Better option could be orienting youth on entrepreneurial skills so they could not be affected by a fickle job opportunity. 

Specialized skills need to be developed on courses as tour guide, front desk, and health care, among others in order to bolster our tourism industry in Aklan. The challenge is to be globally competitive in view of Asean Economic Integration in January next year.

We extend our heartfelt congratulation and best wishes to TESDA on its founding anniversary. /MP