Thursday, December 29, 2005


RIZAL…Martyr To A Just Cause

By Christy Ann Navarra

“To look beyond the glory is the hardest part, for a hero’s strength is measured by his heart.”

All men know what price liberty demands from its champions. The pages of history have shown countless names of men and women and even children suffering, working and dying for liberty that every school child now repeats with great respect and admiration. Noblest and grandest of all is Rizal, the genius, the patriot, the martyr!

Rizal to me is an ideal. He stands for unselfish patriotism. He is dead, this man all men know died many years ago in that place called Luneta that fateful day on December 30, 1896. He died from the bullets of tyranny and injustice. He died martyr to a great cause, the cause of liberty.

He worked, suffered and died that his people may see the truth. His voice called to his countrymen to action. It was a voice that tried to awaken them to their own defects, to their rights, to their needs. It was a voice that pointed forth the ills of Spanish rule.

When he was alive, whether in his own country or abroad, he never stopped asking for reforms in the government. Rizal stood for service. He went abroad and suffered hunger and sickness to become a doctor. He wanted to make the sick strong and happy. He wanted to help drive out epidemics that killed many of his people. He wanted the blind to see because he understood the pain of blindness from the experience of his own beloved and courageous mother. He treated the poor for free. He even spent his own money to buy them medicine they needed. He was indeed a doctor in the real sense of the word.

It was not alone as a doctor that Rizal served. He was also a farmer. He used his knowledge of agriculture, of surveying, of engineering to improve a community. Dapitan, his place of exile received the benefits of his time, efforts and his love for service. He educated the youth of the town so that they night continue his work of improvement after he was gone.

Rizal stood for undying courage. Though his relatives and friends warned him many times of the dangers around him because of his works and teachings, he continued writing about his country and people. Time and again he had a feeling that his life would be short, if he returned to his own country.

But knowing that he could best serve his people here, he preferred to stay and work. This made his enemies hate him more and wanted his death. Time and again he had chances to escape when he was being arrested. But his courage made him stick to his duty to the end.

Rizal is dead, but only in the sense that his body is no longer with us. His thoughts, his deeds, his ideals are alive, so alive he have taught men to love the country and defend her at any cost.

More than an ideal, Rizal was an example of what true Filipino citizen should be. Industrious, honorable, honest, fearless, patriotic, and a person who loved, supported, and defended his or her country and its interests with devotion.

Rizal is gone, but in the hearts of all Filipinos he is alive. Such a martyred hero, Jose Rizal is forever enshrined in our hearts. He will always be known to all the world as a martyr to a just cause! /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

By: Ambrosio R. Villorente

Badio Spends 50.9 Percent for Honorarium of Its 2005 Budget

Barangay Badio, Numancia, Aklan held its Barangay General Assembly Meeting in the afternoon of December 23, 2005 at the Multi Purpose Pavement. Barangay Badio claimed it is the second barangay of Aklan to have had held such a general assembly in compliance with the Local Government Code. Congratulations for being second. Badio can be first to hold such general assembly meeting next year.
What are the agenda in that general assembly? Of course the accomplishment, and the Badio Sangguniang Barangay is proud to have prepared some 25 barangay resolutions in year 2005. let us examine how much honorarium was paid the Badio Barangay officials in 2005 based upon the unsigned Financial Report, the Barangay officials received just a very small amount of P303,250 honorarium for the 11 month period from January to November. Moreover, they also collected mid-year bonus of P22,000 in May and Cash Gift of P22,000 in November or a total of P347,250.00.
But that is not enough, they have still the month of December for 2005 where they may collect P27,750 honorarium. This will make a grand total of P375,000. Not bad compensation, right? This amount is just 50.9 percent of the total Barangay Badio expenses of the last 11 months of 2005.
Another major expenses was used for the purchase of books, (SK project) worth P 26,352.00. Where are the books? Mrs. Amor Magdaluyo asked. It is located in the house of the Barangay SK chairman. Is the house converted into a barangay public library?
But for one thing, Badio is youth friendly, because in addition to books, more money was spent for youth like for the day care center, SK sports uniform and supplies, SK snacks, SK sound system and SK referees fee.
Because of sports activities in the evening and the road lighting, Badio spent a big amount for electricity and electric supplies.
Badio has a beginning balance of P77,428.90 in January 2005. But only P60,767.72 at the end of November 2005. Where did this money the Badio Barangay Council spent came from? Principally, from the Internal Revenue Allotment. Sad to say 50.9 percent of which were paid as emolument to Barangay Officials. It earned P4,790 only out of clearances/permit issued. The report neither mention earnings from community tax nor the share from real estate tax.
For the next general assembly, it will be wise for the Barangay Council to prepare its Annual Report for the information of the community. It well be best to prepare and distribute also the annual budget for reference and transparency. In the invitation, include the agenda of the general assembly.

The Information Technology (IT) project which is mainly the purchase of a very high quality cellphones to give prestige and more honors to the honorable members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Kalibo may not be pushed through. If ever cellphones are purchased, it will be for those who are determined to get it despite of the adverse reaction on the IT project from some Kalibonhons.
When interviewed, the following will not get the cellphone: Vice Mayor Nilda B. Tambong, Hon. Arnaldo Tejada, Hon. Madelene Regalado, Hon. Jerry Malbas and Hon. Ariel Fernandez. Hon. Greg Malapad is still studying if he will receive the cellphone.
“I have my own cellphone, I don’t need any additional unit. Moreover, I can not withstand the adverse public reaction,” Hon. Regalado answered when asked why she changed her mind.


Despite its loss of a court case, garnishment of its bank deposits, Akelco paid its top officials P20,000 and P15,000 for employees christmas bonus in 2005. What a benevolent people organization! Akelco is proving to be loving themselves first before others. “Charity begins at home”.
The Board of Directors and Akelco Management with NEA sanction have appropriated just a “small amount” for their bonus and honorarium.
These are (bonus and honorarium) the rewards for losing a court case against a member-consumer in Linabuan Sur, Banga and another court case against a supplier, the garnishment of bank deposit and frequent black outs that damaged electrical appliances and annoyed people. /MP

10 Big News of 2005

Upon the review of news stories published in the Madyaas Pen in 2005, the editorial staff selected the 10 considered top stories of 2005 which are as follows:

1. Magayanes Shot Dead – Police Supt. Odelardo “Ode” Magayanes, Provincial Director of Aklan PNP was shot dead in the morning, January 16 just after the field mass at Pastrana Park, Kalibo, Aklan. The assailant was Magayanes’ own close-in security named P01 Jonathan Moreño. The shooting took place at Rizal Street, in front of the Kalibo PNP station.
Police Chief Inspector Manuel Ilejay, Jr., SP01 Juan Gorion and P02 Ricky Urquiola also died with Magayanes all gunned down by Moreño. Moreño also shot and killed P01 Davy Tompong at F. Quimpo Street.
A 12 year old girl from Aranas, Balete, Aklan was hit by stray bullet from Moreño’s gun. Moreño also hit Dr. Tirol who died in the hospital. Moreño was subdued and killed by the PNP Regional Mobile group. Before Moreño died, he caused injuries to 25 civilian devotees of Sto. Niño and Ati Atihan revelers.

2. Hell In Paradise – Some P200 million worth of properties was turned into ashes after a fire broke out in the early evening of January 21. The fire started at K.C. Bactas Footwear. According to some witnesses, the fire could have been stopped without so much damage but the fire hydrant size did not match with the size of the available hoses. Moreover, Boracay at that time has a very old, mini fire truck too minute to control the fire.

3. Marquez Penalizes Provincial Guards – Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez dismissed PGI Rolly Zaulda fom the services; suspended PGIII Ben Dianco for six months without pay, PGI Antonio Malbas for one month; and reprimanded PGI Teodoro Centeno III. Zaulda was found guilty of gross neglect of duty while Dianco, Malbas and Centeno for simple neglect of duty.

4. Court Arraigns Jose Kim Alias Boy Cuadra – Boy Cuadra was apprehended at the Caticlan Airport on April 22, 2003. He was accused of transporting prohibited drugs in violation of Section 5, Republic Act 9165 or the Illegal Drug Act. Since then, Boy Cuadra is being detained in the jail of BJMP, Nalook, Kalibo, Aklan.
He was arraigned on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2005 in Branch I, RTC, Kalibo, Aklan despite the oral motion of his lawyer to postponed the arraignment. Boy Cuadra’s lawyer, Atty. Edgar Peralta argued his case for one hour, but the presiding judge, Hon. Marietta Homena Valencia proceeded with the arraignment. The court entered the plea of “Not Guilty” in Boy Cuadra’s behalf.
“My client refuses to be arraigned,” said Atty. Edgar Peralta while Mr. Boy Cuadra remained on his seat with crossed legs, in maong pant, signature T-shirt and in dark eyeglasses.

5. Rebaldo Removes Bolanteros Out of Toting Reyes St., Kalibo. – Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo of Kalibo stood firm on his decision to remove the Bolanteros from Toting Reyes Street and transferred them to Oyo Torong Street. His decision to transfer those Bolanteros is in implementation of Kalibo Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 2001-021.
The Bolanteros objected to the ejectment with the use of all persuasive means to go back to Toting Reyes Street. Their efforts resulted to nothing as Mayor Rebaldo did not give in to the appeal.

6. The Bloody Wednesday, June 29 – Dr. Arthur Juada, Schools Division Superintendent of Aklan was found dead inside his room No. 216 at Punta Villa Beach Resort, Arevalo, Iloilo City. He died of 26 stab wounds inflicted by unknown assailants. Until today, his death remains a mystery.
Dr. Juada was attending the Early Child Care Development Seminar in Iloilo City when he was murdered.
On the same day, Kai J. Kuhlhman was shot to death in Cabugao, Batan, Aklan. His wife, Paz Kuhlhman was wounded. The shooting took place at high noon in a fishfarm by the suspect, a certain Rogelio Torralba of Dumangas, Iloilo.
At sun down on the same day, two inmates staged a jailbreak in Aklan Rehabilitation Center, Nalook, Kalibo. Inmates Saldy Magaslang and Gari Sultan forcedly went out of Cell No. 3, proceeded to the guard house, shot the guards on duty, lobbed a fermentation grenade that did not explode, climbed the jail fence and vanished in the dark.
Despite the manhunt operation the police and jail guards conducted, Magaslang and Sultan were never recovered.
Jail Guard Romy Fernandez was wounded on the left side of his body, Jail Guard Edgar Bonifacio suffered gun shot wound at the back of his body and left arm, while Jail Guard Rosel Silverio was wounded on his hip.

7. Jindra Demeterio Is DA Region 6 Chief – Miss Jindra Demeterio of Batan, Aklan was appointed Regional Executive Director, Department of Agriculture, Iloilo City. She assumed the position on the last week of July 2005.
Jindra is from Batan, a BS Agriculture graduate of UPLB, major in Plant Breeding. After her graduation, she worked with the Philippine Sugar Institute, transferred to the DA in 1970 where various jobs were assigned to her.

8. BFI, Aklan Diocese: Stop AKELCO Mirant Power Project – The Boracay Foundation, Inc. (BFI) and the Diocese of Kalibo filed a petition with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to stop Mirant Philippines from constructing a submarine cable 13.8 KV from Caticlan toward Boracay Island.
This objection may have hurt and highly irritated Mr. Erico Bucoy, AKELCO Chief Executive Officer. Moreover, there was the pending objection of Atty. Romeo Inocencio, Hon. Ramon Gelito and Mr. Rudson Mayor filed with ERC against the Power Purchase Agreement between AKELCO and Mirant Philippines, so that Mr. Bucoy went to the extent of calling Mr. Murillo as “mayabang, sinungaling, dishonest and hypocrite”.
The AKELCO controversy is still raging. Governor Carlito S. Marquez is now highly involved in the fray. Retired Police Provincial Director Nemesio Neron was elected AKELCO member of the Board of Directors, elected president of the BOD unopposed. After just three (3) months, a special board Meeting was held, declared his position vacant and finally ousted him as president of the BOD on December 15, 2005.

9. Ombudsman Dismisses Albar’s Complaints – Mr. Renato T. Albar is the General Manager of the Metro Kalibo Water District which services the towns of Kalibo, Banga and New Washignton.
By authority given by the MKWD Board of Directors in its Resolution No. 066-B.S. 2003, Albar filed with the Ombudsman complaint: OMB-V-C-04-0012-A against Engr. Lydio I. Ureta, Division Manager, MKWD for violation of Sec. 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019 the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act and for violation of Sec.7(b)(2) of the Code of Conduct and Ethical standards for Public Officials and Employees.
Albar also charged Engr. Avelino Domingo, Jr., Engr. Lydio I. Ureta, Noriel Resulta, Engr. Vicente Ong III, Vicente de Tomas and Jess Resulta of violating Sec. 31(c)&(d) of PD 198.
To recall, Engr. Avelino Domingo Jr. is the former General Manager of Kalibo Water District. All the other accused are employees of the MKWD.
After critical consideration of the complaints, evaluation of the counter affidavits and all documents presented, the Ombudsman Visayas dismissed the charges “for lack of probable cause”.
The decision is signed by Samuel S. Malazarte, Edgardo G. Canton and Primo C. Miro.

10. Quimpo Heads Aklan Rivers Development Council – Atty. Allen S. Quimpo is designated Executive Director of Aklan Rivers Development Council. Governor Carlito S. Marquez designated him following the approval of Provincial Ordinance No. 05-026 which created the Aklan Rivers Development Council. /MP

The Electric Car

This electric car has the looks of the Philippine Eagle. This vehicle can run at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour on a public road with four (4) passengers on board at a range of 80 kilometers or 10 round trips between Kalibo-Numancia-Kalibo.
It is powered by 4 pieces –12 volts lead acid battery which can be charged with 220 VAC household current. It has a brush high efficiency motor.
It is custom designed with all steel chassis, fiber glass body, mag-style wheels and on-board charger.
Shaped like a Philippine Eagle, the car can be registered as LSV (low speed vehicle). The inventor, Jerry Camro calls it G-CAR designed to be “unique and stands out on the road as a genuine city car with a mature expression.” The vehicle is 2.5 meters long, 1.3 meters wide and 1.5 meters high.
Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente is shown leisurely test driving the vehicle. This car is ideal for subdivisions, amusement parks, natural parks, air terminal, golf course among others as it is a zero emission vehicle. /MP


Second of 4 Parts)

Pursuant to the provisions of Section 4 of Republic Act No. 9136, otherwise known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, the Energy Regulatory Commission hereby promulgates the Magna Carta for Residential Electricity Consumers as adopted in a Resolution by the Commission on June 9, 2004.


Article 6. Right to Electric Service. – A consumer has the right to be connected to a distribution utility for electric power service after the consumer’s full compliance with the distribution utility’s and local government units (LGU) requirements.

If the said consumer is not the owner of the premises sought to be energized, he shall be required to submit an undertaking from the owner of the premises that the said owner shall be jointly and severally liable with the applicant for any unpaid regular monthly bills incurred by the applicant after leaving the premises, in the absence of or insufficiency of the bill deposit.
Subject to the approval of ERC, a distribution utility which cannot service areas within its franchise territory may allow another distribution utility or a qualified third party (QTP) to provide electricity services in said area pursuant to Rule 7 and Rule 14 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the EPIRA.
The labor cost for connecting the distribution utility’s service drop to the connection point shall be free of charge. The connection point shall be designated upon agreement by the distribution utility and the consumer.

Article 7. Right to a Refund of Bill Deposits. – The bill deposit provided for under Article 28 hereof shall be refunded within one month from the termination of service provided all bills have been paid.

A customer who has paid his electric bills on or before its due date for three (3) consecutive years may, however, demand for the full refund of the deposit even prior to the termination of his service. An application for this purpose shall be filed with the concerned distribution utility which must refund the deposit within one month from the receipt of such application.

Article 8. Exemption from the Payment of Meter Deposit. – All consumers shall be exempt from payment of meter deposits since private distribution utilities have incorporated the cost of these electric watthour meters in their rate base. Electric cooperatives shall use their respective Reinvestment Funds to procure electric watthour meters for their consumers.

Incases of loss and/or damage to the electric meter due to the fault of the customer, he shall bear the replacement cost of the meter.

Article 9. Right to an Accurate Electric Watthour Meter;
Determination of Average Error. – No meter, including instrument transformers, shall be installed or placed in service unless it has been tested, certified and sealed by the ERC. All watt-hour meters regardless of make and type before being placed in service must be adjusted to as close as possible to the condition of zero error.

The method provided in the Standard Rules and Regulations Governing the Operation of Electric Power Services (ERB Resolution 95-21, as amended) shall be used in the determination of average error.

The ERC seal is a warranty that (1) the meter is an acceptable or accepted type and (2) that it operates within the allowable limits of tolerance.

The consumer has a right o demand the production of the meter test report containing the findings of the authorized person who tested the said meter.

Article 10. Right to a Refund Overbillings. – The customer has the right to a refund in cases of overbilling by the distribution utility arising from a meter testing showing that the said meter was fast without any evidence of tampering.

In the event that a meter in service is found to have an average error of more than the tolerance of plus two percent, the customer is entitled to a refund, for a maximum period of six (6) months prior to the date of discovery, to be applied to the customer’s future billings.

Article 11. Right to a Properly Installed Meter. – The customer has the right to a meter installed in a clean place free of vibration and where it will be easily accessible and visible for reading and tesing by both the distribution utility and the consumer. Under no condition should meters be located behind doors or where they can easily broken or jarred by moving furnitures or equipment. Meters shall be located on the outside wall of the building or private pole and shall not be more than three (3) meters nor less than 1.52 meters mounting height from the surface on which one would stand to repair or inspect the meter.

Meters may be located in other areas based on justifiable reasons.

A customer shall bear the cost of relocation of his electric watthour meters under the following circumstances:

1. The customer requests for the relocation of his electric watthour meter, for reasons other than those provided for in the first paragraph; or
2. The meter installation fails to meet the conditions under the first paragraph resulting from improvements done on the customer’s premises, thereby necessitating such relocation.

All other relocations of the meter shall be borne by the electric utility.

Article 12. Right to a Meter Testing by Electricity Utility and/or ERC. –
A customer has the right to require the distribution utility to test, once every two (2) years, free of charge, the accuracy of the meter installed in his premises making use of a meter standard duly tested and sealed by the ERC.

If the customer requests for meter testing more than once every two years and the meter being tested is found to be within the tolerable limit as provided for in Article 9 hereof, the utility may assess the customer a testing fee based on the testing fee charged by the ERC. A written report showing the result of such test shall be furnished the customer.

The customer may also request the ERC to conduct a meter test, subject to the payment of a fee prescribed under the approved ERC Schedule of Fees and Charges.

In case the meter is found to be inaccurate, the customer may demand the replacement of the said meter or have the ERC calibrate the said meter to restore its accuracy closest to the condition of zero (0) error. The provision on refund or billing adjustment due to inaccurate meters shall apply as appropriate.

Article 13. Right to a Prompt Investigation of Complaints;
Customer Dealings. – Distribution utilities shall record and promptly investigate all complaints referred to them concerning their services.

The distribution utility must furnish the complainant a report of the action/s taken thereon within the period stated in the distribution utility’s Compliance Plan as provided for in the Philippine Distribution Code. In the absence of such pan, the report must be made within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the complaint.

In case of disagreement between the distribution utility and the customer, the latter may fie a complaint with the ERC in accordance with Article 27 of this Magna Carta.

In dealing with their customers relative to electric power services, all officers, employees and agents of distribution utilities must properly and conspicuously display their identification cards at all times.

Article 14. Right to Extension of Lines and Facilities. – A consumer located within thirty (30) meters from the distribution utilities’ existing secondary low voltage lines, has the right to an extension of lines or installation of additional facilities, other than a service drop, at the expense of the utility in as much as said assets will eventually form part of the rate base of the private distribution utilities, or will eventually form part of the rate base of the private distribution utilities, or will be sourced from the reinvestment funds of the electric cooperatives. However, if a prospective customer is beyond the said distance, or his demand load requires that the utility extend lines and facilities, the customer may initially fund the necessary expenditures.

To recover his aforementioned expenditures, the customer may either demand the issuance of a notes payable from the distribution utility or refund at the rate of twenty-five (25) percent of the gross distribution revenue derived for the calendar year, or if available, the purchase of preferred shares.

Revenue derived from additional customers tapped directly to the poles and facilities so extended shall be considered in determining the revenues derived from the extension of facilities.

When a developer initially paid the cost of the extension of lines to provide electric service to a specific property and incorporated these expenses in the cost thereof, and that properly was purchased and transferred in the name of the registered customer, the latter shall be entitled to the refund of the cost of the extension of lines, and exercise the options for refund provided in this article.

If the cost of the extension of lines or installation of additional facilities was funded gratuitously by other persons for the benefit of the customer, this provisions shall not apply.

In this connection, all concerned utilities shall furnish the Commission a semi-annual report of the names of customers who made the aforementioned cash advances, the amount of the cash advance and the mode or refund.

Article 15. Right to Information; Scheduled power Interruptions. – In order to increase consumer awareness, all offices of distribution utilities must provide a Consumer Bulletin Board where major announcement/documents issued affecting consumers will be posted. Furthermore, they establish communications facilities, including but not limited to a customer hotline and Short Messaging Service (SMS), to cater exclusively to their customers.

Major announcements/documents shall include, but not be limited to, rate schedules and any changes thereon; other service charges; terms and conditions of service; standard rules and regulations governing the operation of distribution utilities; general information on metering, including but not limited to the manner in which meters are read and description of method used in reading; decisions and orders of the ERC.

When there are two or more authorized schedules of rates applicable to a customer, the distribution utility should accordingly advise said customer in writing and apply the rates which are most beneficial to the customer.
At least two (2) days before a scheduled power interruption, a distribution utility must announce the same to its customers through print, or other mass or interactive media. In remote areas where such media are inaccessible, the distribution utility must set up a Bulletin Board where announcements of scheduled power interruptions will be posted in an area that could easily be seen by its customers, preferably along roadsides or in front of the entrance to the City/Municipal Hall or Public Market.

Article 16. Right to a Transparent Billing. – Bills to service customers shall conform with the format as approved by the ERC. The current formats approved by the Commission are shown in Annexes A and B of this Magna Carta.

Article 17. Right to a Monthly Electricity Bill. – Bills shall be delivered monthly to the customer by the distribution utility in accordance with the applicable rate schedule. Said bills shall be payable to authorized collectors, the collection office, authorized agents/entities or at its authorized banks.

Notwithstanding the provisions of the foregoing paragraph, no violation of the provisions of this Magna Carta is committed by the distribution utility in reading its customers’ meters beyond the maximum allowable time provided for in Article 2(h), Provided that such inability to read on time was due to a fortuitous event and, that the meter reading is done immediately after the said fortuitous event ceases to exist.

Should the period covered in the electric bill exceed the number of days provided for in this Magna Carta, the distribution utility shall nevertheless provide the applicable subsidy for that consumption level due to the customer as if the meter had been read within the maximum allowable period.

The distribution utility shall safely keep the duplicate, electronic or otherwise, or office stub of the bills used and shall not be destroyed within five years without authority from the Commission. (To be continued on the next issue) /MP

OPVET Immunizes 2.8 Percent of Aklan Dogs

Some 1,604 heads of dogs in Aklan, or 2.8 percent of its current total dog population of 55,312 are immunized against rabies. This is too far away of Aklan’s target to vaccinate at least 80 percent or 44,249 dogs to make Aklan a rabies-free province.
This fact was revealed by Lilia Tayco, Provincial Rabies Coordinator, Office of the Provincial Veterinarian (OPVET) during the PIA’s weekly Kapihan program aired over RMN-DYKR, Kalibo, Aklan.
“Most of the immunized dogs are brought straight to the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian by owners and those in the barangays whose officials coordinated with their office for mass dog immunization in the barangays,” said Tayco.
“To immunize all dogs in Aklan, some 4,425 vials of anti-rabies vaccines are needed worth more than 2 million pesos. However, only P650,000 was approved for this purpose by the province and from this amount, OPVET purchased some 323 vials only while the rest of the fund was spent for information dissemination activities,” according to Tayco.
“OPVET is strongly advocating for the implementation by all municipalities of Aklan of the Anti-Rabies Ordinance to minimize the incidence of rabies cases in Aklan. There are no reported cases of rabies infection although the Provincial Health Office in Kalibo recorded a total of 577 dog bite cases from January 2005 to December 2005, she added.
Tayco called all dog lovers to be responsible pet owners and take good care of their pets, feed them clean food and place them in clean sleeping areas to be free from diseases, and secure them so they won’t roam around to endanger the lives of the people.“OPVET is prepared to immunize dogs brought to the office from Monday to Friday. To help control Aklan’s dog population, free castration services are provided the dog owners except the needed medicines. For mass vaccination of dogs, all it takes is a letter from the interested barangay officials to Aklan Governor Marquez requesting the OPVET office for the conduct of the activity”, concluded Tayco. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva) /MP

Hate the Sin, Not The Sinner: LAGDAMEO

Iloilo Archbishop and Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Angel Lagdameo said he sees Church-Government relations in the country to be on the footing of friendship and peace.
But this does not mean the Catholic Church would condone or keep silent on any abuses and practice of corruption among government leaders and officials.
Msgr. Lagdameo said that his guiding principle of peace and friendship is “hate the sin, not the sinner”, which is what Christ would like his people to do so that a genuine transformation will take place.
Meanwhile, the Liturgical Commission of the CBCP composed a prayer in the observance of the Advent Season, which asks for God’s help in the resolution of the country’s present political crisis and deliverance from the evils of terrorism and bird flu.
The prayer is issued to be prayed in the churches all over the country, at the discretion of the local bishops.
Excerpts from the prayers go this way: “In this Advent Season of Waiting for the birth of our Savior, the Wonder-Counselor, and Prince of Peace, let your comforting light shine on our people that walk in the darkness of a political crisis caused by selfishness, lust for power and total disregard of the poor, the environment and the common good.”
“... Father soften the hearts of terrorists so that their hands may be stayed from using weapons of violence . . fill the hearts of world leaders with sense of justice and peace so that they may eliminate the just grievances that cause terrorism, and work for reconciliation and peace between the oppressors and the oppressed.”
“Father, this is the season of anticipated joy at the birth of your Son, yet we fear the threat of a deadly disease that quickly spreads in our region. We ask you to protect the world and us from the virus of the bird flu that has already caused many deaths and impaired our steady supply of food. Inspire with your wisdom all government agencies and science experts who must contend with this disease so that they may discover effective solutions through greater respect for the laws of nature.” /MP

Monday, December 26, 2005

A Moment In Crowded MRT

By Ambrosio R. Villorente

Manila Rail Transit (MRT) is a vehicle that travels over iron rails. I have ridden on the railroad trains for several times. I rode in the Bicol Express Manila-Legaspi for many times, in the Metropolitan in Paris, and New York City and the Euro Rail in Europe. I also experienced a long ride of trains in India from New Delhi – Madras and back to New Delhi.
And all those rides were very comfortable. There were so much room to move about. My Madrid, Spain to Paris, France was an overnight trip and I slept soundly while train was in motion. My trip from Lourdes, France to Rome, Italy, also a night trip was just like sleeping in my bedroom with all the comforts. My ride in the Bullet Train from Fukuoka-Kyoto-Fukuoka, Japan was so excellent. I did not feel we were moving even the train was running at a speed of 200 kilometers per hour.
I found the contrast in Metro Manila. It was 8:00 o’clock in the morning, December 12, 2005 at the Quezon Avenue station of MRT, Quezon City. I was going to Ayala Station, Makati City. But what a crowded couches! The first seven (7) trains just stopped and went. They were filled up with passengers. Nobody got out that nobody can go in. After 30 minutes of waiting, on the 8th train which passed me by, a few passengers got out. I got the chance to get in, squeezed myself inside. We stayed packed like sardines. “Mag Ingat Sa Mandurukot” is a popular and visible warning inside the couches. But all of us was rubbing skins with each other. One cannot sit but just stood straight.
We were so crowded in our journey. It was at Shaw Boulevard station, Mandaluyong where about one third of the passengers got out. I got a good deep breath and perspiring. That was my moment at MRT, Quezon City–Makati line. /MP


The Coming of Christ

(Note: We are glad to reprint this editorial as it appeared in the “Budyong” Official Weekly Publication of the Rotary Club of Kalibo in its December 20, 2005 issue. Ed)

Long time ago in Bethlehem, there was a Virgin named Mary, betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The angel Gabriel came to Mary and said to her that she will conceive in her womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. The Holy Spirit will come upon her and the power of the Highest will overshadow her, therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. It came to pass, she brought forth her firstborn Son, wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Now in that night, behold an angel of the Lord stood before the shepherds and proclaimed to them that night: “in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, was born”. The angel gave them a sign that the Baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God and saying: GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST AND ON EARTH PEACE, GOODWILL TOWARD MEN. So it was, when the angel had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds came with haste in Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger and they worshipped Him. This is the beautiful story that the Bible tells us how our Lord Jesus came here on earth as a Man.
The Season of Christmas commemorates the birth of Christ and celebrates it on the 25 of December, Christmas Day, the date stated in our Church Calendar. This is His 1st coming – Redeemer and Savior of the world. He brings peace, joy and hope to all mankind. He brings forgiveness and deliverance for all sins and through Him, He reconciles us to the Father. As we celebrate this season, let us share our love to others as He shares His love to us; let us forgive others who trespass against us, as He also forgives us; above all, we ought to imitate Christ what He had done for others. – PAG Botoy VILLORENTE

Magus is Within Us

Christmas message of Rev. Fr. Joebert I. Villasis, Rector of Sto. Nino Seminary during the DAIGON CONCERT 2005 dubbed as, MAGUS INTRA NOS (The Tale of the Reluctant Magus} held on December 13,2005 at the Sto. Nino Seminary, Poblacion, Numancia, Aklan.

We may observe that our country is steadily embroiled in more serious problems as the year advances. The endless bickering and the exchanges of tirades among our political leaders, in effect, have left our country in a quagmire of unattended and unresolved pressing concerns. There are more poor people now as there were in spite of the visible indication that our country is moving forward economically. There is business everywhere from Nay Juanita’s banana cue stand to the Gaisano Mall.
Business and residential edifices keep on sprouting from every corner. Roads are crowded with brand new vehicles and vintage ones as well. People are busy with life as they move around locally or globally to earn a living. From all indications, there seems to be no reason why poverty is still a factual predicament of this country.
What holds us from moving forward? The resurfacing of former Election Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano has once again heightened the question of legitimacy of the president and the credibility of the 2004 Presidential elections. The problem of credibility has even stretched to and affected the result of the recently concluded SEA Games. Why do we have such worries? Why do people perceive us as crooks and cheats? Or is it only a case of it takes one to know one?
Our presentation tonight is an eye-opener. It depicts the kind of attitude we have when confronted with tasks and responsibilities. We are reluctant to do our best…not only for ourselves, for our family, let alone for our country! We are very reluctant to be messengers and witnesses of honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, justice, truth, compassion and reconciliation. We are reluctant to become good neighbors and good Samaritans to those who are in need. We don’t want to be shortchanged. The more reluctant we become, the more we isolate ourselves and become helpless in trying and urging moments. Tonight, we are challenged to accept our responsibilities and perform our duties with love as our Lord Jesus courageously and with all humility took our human flesh to save us from the mess of sin and evil. He knows our weaknesses yet He trusted and gave us second chances. He saves us because He loves us. Only in love can we change, grow and achieve peace and happiness.
May the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ being in us a rebirth not only in our hopes and dreams but also a rebirth in doing what is best for each and every one of us in the spirit of total self-giving, trust and love!
To all our friends, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for your continuous support to the seminary. Your generous contribution has helped us improve and upgrade not only our facilities but has also equipped our seminary formators, faculty and staff, and personnel with the necessary skills in addressing the priestly program and formation. You are our collaborators in this noble responsibility. Your help is an enormous lift to our task. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much.
And may I remind you once again, that whatever situations there may be, let us never forget that there is always a magus within us; a heart of gold, a will of incense and a strength of frankincense. If we feel it within our hearts, then, there will always be Christmas. Kahit ano man ang mangyari, tuloy pa rin ang Pasko!
To give homage to our baby Jesus, let us now light our candles and offer our gifts…MALIGAYANG PASKO PO! /MP


(First of 4 Parts)

For the information and clear understanding of residential electricity consumers, Madyaas Pen will publish the “Magna Carta for Residential Consumers” in four parts in four consecutive issues. This Magna Carta, in Chapter I tells you about general provisions, Chapter II-Consumer Rights, Chapter III-Consumer Obligations and Chapter IV-Final Provisions.
This Magna Carta is signed by the Energy Regulatory Commissioners with Rodolfo B. Albano, Jr. chairman, and Oliver B. Butalid, Carlos R. Alindada, Leticia V. ibay and Jesus N. Alcordo – Commissioners.

Pursuant to the provisions of Section 4 of Republic Act No. 9136, otherwise known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, the Energy Regulatory Commission hereby promulgates the Magna Carta for Residential Electricity Consumers as adopted in a Resolution by the Commission on June 9, 2004.

Article 1. Title – This Resolution shall be known as the Magna Carta for Residential Electricity Consumers.
Article 2. Definition of Terms.
(a) Bill Deposit shall mean the deposit required from customers by distribution utilities of new and/or additional service equivalent to the estimated billing for one month to guarantee payment of bills;
(b) Billing Adjustment shall mean the amount charged to the consumer for the unbilled electricity consumed resulting from a stoppage or defect, conspicuous or otherwise, in the meter, provided that there is no evidence of tampering thereon;
(c) Connection Point shall mean the point of connection of the user system or equipment to the distribution system (for users of the distribution system) or to the grid (for users of the grid);
(d) Consumer or Customer or end-user shall mean any person who is the registered customer of the utility being supplied with electricity by the concerned distribution utility or any person authorized by the registered customer to occupy the premises and enjoy electric service;
(e) Distribution Utility shall mean any electric cooperative, private corporation, government-owned utility or existing local government unit which has an exclusive franchise or is authorized by law to distribute electricity to end-users;
(f) Differential Billing shall mean the amount charged to the consumer for the unbilled electricity illegally consumed as determined through the use of methodologies prescribed by law. It is determined by multiplying the unbilled consumption in kWh, the period covered and the current rate of electricity at the time of apprehension;
(g) Energy Regulatory Commission or Commission or ERC shall mean the independent regulatory agency created under Republic Act No. 9136, otherwise known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA);
(h) Month shall mean the elapsed time between two succeeding meter readings, at least twenty-eight (28) days part but not to exceed thirty one (31) days.
(i) An Officer of the Law shall refer to any person who, by direct provision of law or by election or by appointment by competent authority, is charged with the maintenance of public order and the protection and security of life and property, such as barangay captain/chairman, barangay councilman, barangay leader, officer or member of Barangay Community Brigades, barangay policeman, PNP policeman, municipal councilor, municipal mayor and provincial fiscal.
(j) A Registered Customer shall mean the customer who has a valid service contract with the electric distribution utility.
(k) Residential consumer shall mean a customer classified as such in the distribution utility’s rate schedule as approved by the ERC.
Article 3. Applicability. – This Magna Carta shall only apply to residential consumers.

Article 4. Basic Rights. – All consumers shall be entitled to the following basic rights:
(a) To have quality, reliable, affordable, safe, and regular supply of electric power.
(b) To be accorded courteous, prompt and non-discriminatory service by the electric service provider;
(c) To be given a transparent, non-discriminatory and reasonable price of electricity consistent with the provisions of RA 9136;
(d) To be an informed electric consumer and given adequate access to information on matters affecting the electric service of the consumer concerned;
(e) To be accorded prompt and speedy resolution of complaints by both the distribution utility and/or the ERC;
(f) To know and choose the electric service retailer upon the implementation of Retail Competition; and
(g) To organize themselves as a consumer organization in the franchise area where they belong and where they are served by the distribution utility or as a network of organizations.
Article 5. Basic Obligations. – Every consumer must comply with the following obligations and responsibilities:
(a) To observe the terms of his contract including, among other things, paying monthly electricity bills promptly and honestly;
(b) To allow the faithful and accurate recording of consumption to be reflected in the appropriate device;
(c) To allow the utility’s employees/representatives entry/access to his premises for the purpose provided for in Article 29 hereof;
(d) To take proper care of metering or other equipment that the electric utility has installed in his premises;
(e) To inform the distribution utility and/or proper authorities of any theft or pilferage of electricity or any damage caused by any person to the electric meter and equipment appurtenant thereto; and
(f) To cooperate with and support programs on the wise and efficient use of electricity.


Article 6. Right to Electric Service. – A consumer has the right to be connected to a distribution utility for electric power service after the consumer’s full compliance with the distribution utility’s and local government units (LGU) requirements.

If the said consumer is not the owner of the premises sought to be energized, he shall be required to submit an undertaking from the owner of the premises that the said owner shall be jointly and severally liable with the applicant for any unpaid regular monthly bills incurred by the applicant after leaving the premises, in the absence of or insufficiency of the bill deposit.
Subject to the approval of ERC, a distribution utility which cannot service areas within its franchise territory may allow another distribution utility or a qualified third party (QTP) to provide electricity services in said area pursuant to Rule 7 and Rule 14 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the EPIRA.
The labor cost for connecting the distribution utility’s service drop to the connection point shall be free of charge. The connection point shall be designated upon agreement by the distribution utility and the consumer.

Article 7. Right to a Refund of Bill Deposits. – The bill deposit provided for under Article 28 hereof shall be refunded within one month from the termination of service provided all bills have been paid.
A customer who has paid his electric bills on or before its due date for three (3) consecutive years may, however, demand for the full refund of the deposit even prior to the termination of his service. An application for this purpose shall be filed with the concerned distribution utility which must refund the deposit within one month from the receipt of such application. (To be continued in the next issue)/MP mailto: mailto:

Magsaysay Committee: P2.8B Farm Fund

Diverted to Gloria Election Campaign

By Joan Dairo

THE Senate committee on agriculture and food Sen. Ramon Magsaysay Jr. chairs concluded that P2.8 billion for agricultural programs was diverted to the campaign chest of President Arroyo in 2004.
"The release of the funds was timed with and had as a focal consideration the national elections of 2004. It is even claimed that the release of the fertilizer fund actually assured the victory in the polls of a number of incumbents in the government," the committee report said.
"Until disputed by a substantial and convincing evidence to the contrary are submitted by the Department of Agriculture and/or other relevant offices and officials, the funds released on February 3, 2004 amounting to P728 million; the funds released on February 11, 2004 amounting to P1.1 billion; the funds released on April 28, 2004 amounting to P544 million from the DAR and intended for the Hybrid Rice Production Program; and the P432 million released by DA to the National Food Authority, were all utilized to assure the victory of the administration in the electoral polls of 2004," it said.
The report named former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc-Joc" Bolante as the alleged "master architect" of the fund diversion.
Magsaysay said "based on documents and testimonies gathered by the joint committees, Bolante, may be referred rightly to be the master architect of the fertilizer scam, the so-called "grand theft agro" as opposed to grand theft alto in the video games."
"The testimony of Mr. Bolante is crucial in the hearing, being the first person appointed as undersecretary of the DA in 2001 by the incumbent leadership. Mr. Bolante is being trumpeted by his lawyers as a responsible citizen whose passion for verity is a commitment. But his actions prove otherwise, citing his apathy and utmost disregard for authority. His is a distorted sense of truth," Magsaysay said.
Magsaysay said other officials who should be held liable and accountable are former DA Secretary Cito Lorenzo, DA undersecretary Belinda Gonzales, then DA assistant secretary and now presidential adviser Ibarra Poliquit, assistant secretaries Jose Felix Montes and Edmund Sana, all DA regional directors; and former NFA Administrator Arthur Yap.
The committee also concluded that the identification of the beneficiary non-government organizations, people’s organizations and foundations and the naming of the suppliers of the liquid fertilizers "were done systematically and was orchestrated by some top officials of the (DA)."
"It appears that NGOs, POs and foundations were utilized as laundering agents for and in behalf of a syndicate working in the DA. Evidence clearly indicated that contrary to the claims made by the DA…the NGOs, the POs and foundations used as their conduits were not nominated, requested and identified by the so-called proponents and/or the supposed beneficiaries," the report said.
It said: "It was unmistakable that the DA favored certain NGOs, POs and foundations. An originally purely charitable organization has become an agricultural foundation in a day’s time, following its designation as a conduit for fertilizer fund."
Magsaysay said the committee has yet to resolve the veracity of the list of identified project proponents submitted by the DA to the budget department to justify the release of the funds.
Magsaysay admitted they have yet to obtain direct evidence to back up their findings, but he said his panel has a pile of circumstantial pieces of evidence in its possession.
Magsaysay said they were:
* Releases for the funds were done within the election period (between February to April 2004).
* The farm modernization funds fall within the realm of "social services." Under the Omnibus Election Code, government is banned from releasing funds for "social services" during the election period.
* No farmer organization has admitted receiving fertilizer fund assistance.
* The 2003 fertilizer fund requirement by the DA was only P28 million. If the computation used for the 2003 financial requirement was adopted and updated for 2004, "adjustments can be made but it will not be as costly as P2.8 billion or a hundred times of the needed amount.
* No delivery of fertilizer has been verified and validated and no substantial liquidation and auditing have been completed 18 months after the fund had been released.
In his committee’s preliminary report, Magsaysay said the disparity between the 2003 and 2004 farm modernization funds was "a classic case of gross disproportion between what is needed by farmers as scientifically studied and the wanton wasteful actual release of fund to support the cause."
"It may be that the project is a giant ghost project involving big-time crooks in the government or may have been padded because of excessive pricing," he said as he noted the absence of physical reports and financial liquidation, including the submission of delivery receipts, acceptance certifications and documents to prove receipts by the farmer-beneficiaries of farm inputs.
Magsaysay said more witnesses are willing to testify. He said one of them is a Jose Barredo, reportedly one of Bolante’s runners.
Also in the list of prospective witnesses are a former secretary, an undersecretary, and a governor whose identities would be made known in the next hearing in January. /MP

Island Paradise Adventure Race

The Island Paradise Adventure Race leg is a 9-day auto rally through 8 tourist destination/provinces in Luzon featuring 35 teams. Each team is composed of 3 persons, one of whom is required to perform certain physical and mental challenges at the control points and pit stops.
The Bakhawan Eco-Park is one of the pit stops. The Island Paradise Adventure Race passed by Kalibo on December 13, 2005. The Island Paradise Adventure Race is similar to the world renowned Amazing Race shown on television. The finish line was in Cebu on December 18, 2005. The winner got P1 million cash prize while second and third at P300,000 and P100,000 respectively. Trophies and prizes in kind were also given.
The Department of Tourism, Municipal Government and the private sector like the X Events Unlimited, MGM Advertising and Extreme Concept sponsored the event.
The said 9 day event game started in Rizal Park, Manila and traversed the Strong Republic Nautical Highways. /MP

MDCC Response To Typhoon Quedan

Sa gulpi nga pagbaha ko Desyembre17, 2005 it Sabado, ro Kalibo Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council (MDCC) hay nagconvenar para mapangatubangan ro krises, kaibahan ro Barangay Disaster Coordinating Council, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Army, Metro Kalibo Water District, RECAG, Kabalikat-Civicom, Municipal Auxiliary Police, mga Barangay Tanod ag Civilian Volunteer Organizations, nagpatigayon it isaeang ka massive rescue and relief operation sa 16 nga barangay it Kalibo. Suno sa status report it MDCC sa oras it 7:00 ro hapon may naapektuhan nga 132 ka pamilya nga may 543 nga miyembro. Ro 59 kara nga pamilya hay sa sueod it Evacuation Center nga may 240 nga miyembro. Resulta ro gulpi nga pagbaha it sigidas nga inuean sa kabukiran it Aklan.
Ro halit sa imprastraktura hay umabot sa PhP 15 milyones sa Kalibo kaibahan kara ro mga dike, breakwater, perimeter fence, Administration Office it Munisipyo nga nahamtang sa dumping site, ag ro mga parte it footbridges sa Bakhawan Eco-Park sa Barangay New Buswang. Samtang ro halit sa atong mga pananum ag agrikultura sa sueod it Kalibo hay umabot sa PhP 5 milyones. Tungod man sa krises, ro Sangguniang Bayan hay nagpasa it isaeang ka Resolution nga nagbutang sa banwa it Kalibo sa idaeum it State of Calamity.
Sa tonga it krises ginapakita ro determinasyon it Kalibonhon, mga grupo ag organisasyon nga makabulig sa ana nga pamilya ag isig-ka tawo paagi sa pagbueoligan sa atong lokal nga gobyerno nga ginapangunahan ni Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo.

ATI-ATIHAN 2006 Update
Idto mat a sa sueod it Magsaysay Park sa Hala Bira Ati-Atihan Nights halin it ika 9 hasta 15 it Enero 2006 hay maga butang it Night Flea Market. Ipagbawae ro pagbaligya it makahieilong mga ilimnon sa palibot. Raya nga tikang hay kagustuhan it mga pamueoyo nga maging mahilway ro mga programa sa sueod ag sa guwa it Magsaysay Park ag maging family-friendly ro palibot.
Ro Night Flea Market ngara hay bukas halin adlaw hasta gabii kadungan it Hala Bira Ati-Atihan Nights. Maga-showcase man it food products, trade crafts, 2nd hand clothes ag iba pa.
Sa ma abut nga 2006 Kalibo Santo Niño Ati-Atihan Festival, padayon ro isaeang ka pag-showcase it talento it mga Kalibonhon ag Akeanon sa January 10, 2006, alas Syete it gabii, eakip ra sa week-long Hala Bira Ati-Atihan Nights sa Magsaysay Park. Raya ro ginatawag nga Balik-Bayan and Ati Fashionista Nights. Sa rayang kahigayonan, makita naton ro mga produktong Kalibonhon ag Akeanon nga human sa Piña cloth. Ipakita ra it mga lokal nga fashion trendsetters ag haute couture specialists.
Sa pareho nga gabii, magahiwat man it isaea nga paindis-indis ag magapili it on the spot nga kandidato para sa Balikbayan Muse. Pagabotohan imaw paagi sa pagpalibot it money box para hueogan ko andang kontribusyon para magdaog ro andang ginpili nga kandidato.
Ro magadaog hay igaproklama nga Balikbayan Muse. Ag ro mga kontribusyon nga habuoe hay igastu sa pagpahuman it mga proyekto it Kalibo Ati-Atihan Management Board sa pagpanami it atong 2006 Kalibo Sto Niño Ati-Atihan Festival.
Pagapadayonon ni Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo ro pagtau it tama ag sa oras nga impormasyon parte sa preparasyon naton para sa 2006 Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival. “Ro well-informed Kalibo hay isaeang ka righteous ag responsive nga banwa,” sono kay Rebaldo.
Sa paeaaboton nga Enero 11, 2006 may bag-o man nga makita sa atong mga kalye dahil ro Kalibo Ati-Atihan Management Board (KAMB) hay nagpadaea it imbitasyon sa iba-iba nga mga munisipalidad iya sa probinsya it Akean nga maka-participate ro andang town fiesta celebration kamana ko Banig Festival ko banwang Nabas ag Sto. Niño Ati Atihan it mga banwang Makato ag Ibajay.
Sanda ngara hay maga-paambit sa mga Kalibonhon ko anda nga kinaibang tradisyon sa Ati-Ati o pyesta it andang munisipyo. Dikara mapakita nga ro mga selebrasyon it atong probinsya hay solo eamang tungod tanan kitang Akeanon ag ro mga pyesta ag selebrasyon hay para sa kadaeag-an it Akean. (Terence June T. Toriano) /MP

QUEDAN, Floods Destroy P103.3 M Properties In Aklan

By Ambrosio R. Villorente

A 24 hour flood Typhoon Quedan brought to Aklan damaged some properties with an estimated value of P103,332,397. According to the final report as of December 21 in the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council of Aklan (PDCC), New Washington town suffered the highest damage of P38.83 million as big waves damaged the sea wall in Tambak. Batan is second with 22.5 million damage and Kalibo lost 20 million.
According to Mr. Paquito S. Saratiosa, PDCC Action Offcer, some P56.8 million of infrastructure were damaged in Aklan. The farmers lost their crops worth P20.4 million. This includes poultry and livestock valued at P6 million. Private livelihood worth P5.2 million went with the flood. In Batan, Aklan, public utilities estimated at P21.5 million were destroyed.
Quedan adversely affected some 18,359 families. The flood destroyed partially 166 houses with 49 totally destroyed based upon the report of Ms. Elma S. Malbas, RSW of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development. As a result, some 67 families consisting of 466 members were rendered homeless. They were evacuated to four (4) evacuation centers in Kalibo, Banga, Malay and New Washington.
The flood left with one dead and another injured. Florico Flores, 14 years old of Oyo Torong, Kalibo fell off a banana raft, and carried by strong current which cause his drowning.
In Sta. Cruz Biga-a, Lezo, a house was burn after a TV antenna collapsed over the AKELCO mainline. The damage is estimated at P200,000.00.
In the afternoon of Saturday, December 17, some 12 farmers were rescued by choppers in Taba-ao, Banga. They were marooned in tiny island by the Aklan river. Their cattles and goats drowned with the flood waters. Their blooming vegetables were washed away by the cascading flood waters. /MP

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Kalantiao Toastmasters Club 767889-75
led by {Center in coat n tie} Charter President
Ambrosio "Botoy" Villorente and the Disrict
75 Officers, during the charter presentation
last March 10, 2005, at La Esperanza Hotel,
Kalibo, Aklan

Friday, December 16, 2005

EDITORIAL- December 10-17


By: Megs S. Lunn
Perhaps you are angry at a relative who said something hurtful. Maybe your friend didn't greet you on your birthday. Maybe you are holding on anger, blame and holding on to grudges. Perhaps your spouse cheated on you. Whatever it is, you feel hurt and angry, and you nurse those feelings - sometimes for months, sometimes for years.
Although it may feel like something important to hold on to, these grudges are no life preservers. In fact, anger and stress hurt your physical and mental health.
I remember reading a book of Barbara LeBey who is a former judge and author of Family Estrangements: How They Begin, How to Mend Them, How to Cope with Them that says, “When you hold a grudge, your anger causes your body to behave as if it's under constant stress, with the stress hormones kicking into high gear. This can increase your blood pressure and heart rate and lower your immune system. It eats energy out of your life, and doesn't make you feel very well.”
Therefore, is it time to forgive?
Forgiveness means letting go of your anger, which is no easy task. By forgiving, you assume a greater understanding of why a person did what he or she did, even if you don't agree with it. The idea here is not so much to benefit the person who hurt you, but rather to help you move forward and live a healthier life. You may or may not reconcile with this person. That depends on you.
Letting go of anger does not mean you stuff your feelings away. It means changing how you think about the situation. You cannot change what happened, but you can change your attitude and interpretation.
When you forgive, you are taking control of your future happiness. You learn to replace the feelings of anger with feelings of goodwill. You do not have to confront the person, and you may never have a relationship with that person ever again. The idea is to stop thinking about the situation in the context of your anger.
By forgiving, you reduce your stress levels. Keep in mind, though, that each situation is different. If you are in an abusive relationship, your main focus should be on getting out of the situation for good.
Keep in mind that forgiveness is a gift to yourself.

Please read this short excerpt from the book of Barbara LeBey:

So Mike approached Elsie. "You're still very upset about Sam," Mike ventured.
Elsie shot back, "Sam stole my job. I have every right to be angry."
"But you're clearly in pain. Why hold your hand on a hot stove?" Mike asked.
"I'm not holding my hand on a hot stove," Elsie replied. "Sam is."
"Sam sure burned you," Mike agreed. "But Sam walked away, but by holding a grudge you're still pressing your hand on the stove. Why not take it off so you can enjoy life again?"
David Leonhardt pointed out, “Don't let a long-standing grudge come between you and someone you love.”
Dig into your own family, and you may find a similar situation: a grudge that's keeping relatives apart. Many go on for decades. Disagreement involving money—usually an inheritance or a personal loan—is one of the most common triggers. "A loan between family members puts a creditor-debtor burden on the relationship, and that's a strain.”

More personal conflicts, such as an interracial marriage that someone refuses to accept, or a person revealing that he or she is gay, are also typical causes of lingering hostility.

But grudges can be overcame. Below are several strategies to mend fences with someone once close who has dropped out of your life. I asked some of my friends how to let go of grudges and each one of them gave different opinions.
Georgette said, “Do some digging. Ask yourself, what am I doing that causes the people I love to pull away from me or become angry?"
“Get a go-between,” Odette added. As Indira Gandhi said, “you can't shake hands with a clenched fist. An impartial relative can help heal the wound.”

A doctor friend said to “Meet, but don't rehash. Spending time with the person will help you reconcile, but not if it ends in a blowout fight. To guard against this, consider calling the person. If you're serious about reconciling with an irrational person, you may need to concede that you're partly at fault for the incident (even if you're not). Why would you do this? To break through the bitterness. Try a face-saving concession such as "Sometimes I overreact." This could loosen the person's defenses and prod him to apologize.

If you do bear some guilt, offer a sincere, plainly worded apology. What works: "I'm deeply sorry for what I did, I love you, and I'll do whatever I can to bring us together again."
My good friend puts it this way, “If you've tried to resolve the rift, and your relative won't budge, show that the grudge is one-sided. Make regular attempts to reconnect. "Send birthday cards, notes, e-mails, and make an occasional phone call so that they know you'll be there when they're ready to reenter your life.”

“And when you do reconcile, don't assume your relative has changed or "learned a lesson. You need to accept that possibility and be prepared to confront it—ideally without cutting him out of your life a second time.”
Friends, “There are some who bear a grudge even to those that do them good.” It is time to take your hand off the hot stove. This is Christmas, time to forgive and forget grudges. /

Cong. Miraflores

Cong. Miraflores Assures Support
to CTEC’s Item in LGUs

Congressman Florencio T. Miraflores assured the Community Training and Employment Coordinators (CTECs) particularly in making CTEC’s item a permanent position in the Local Government Units for his full support.
This was Cong. Miraflores’ response to the request of CTECs during the closing ceremonies of the Local Employment Management and Labor Market Analysis training held recently at Aklan State University-School of Industrial Technology, Kalibo, Aklan.
“CTEC function is additional load for us in the LGU”, said CTEC Magdalena Tibulan of LGU-Numancia. “We’re happy that Cong. Miraflores gave his assurance to work out CTECs position in Congress. This will strengthen our commitment to focus on employment generation and coordination in our respective municipalities,” added Tibulan.
Cong. Miraflores commended TESDA Aklan for facilitating the training on Labor Market Analysis and Local Employment Management for CTECs, school officials and career guidance counselors. “Initially, I was not very clear about this training but as I listened to the various resolutions of the LGU and TVET school participants, I am now convinced that this kind of training is very important particularly to enhance the employment opportunities in Aklan. I am very glad to have supported this project” remarked Cong. Miraflores.
“I am very pleased also by the strong commitment shown by the CTECs and TVET administrators to apply the learnings acquired from this training course. CTECs “Manifesto of Commitment” to come up with a Skills Map and schools administrators commitment to conduct Tracer Study of their graduates are indeed great help in the mobilization of local market management in Aklan” said Cong. Miraflores. “The Skills Map will help determine the training needs as well as the capabilities of our labor force to support our local government units to implement policies and programs that will redound to the promotion of decent and gainful employment to all Aklanons. On the other hand, the Tracer Studies of TVET graduates will determine their employment as well as their utilization rates and will guide all of us in making better decisions related to satisfying the requirement of the local as well as the global markets”, he added.
Aside from giving financial support to the labor market training, Cong. Miraflores also supported other TESDA’s programs on Plant for Life and the completion of the Provincial Training Center.
The Congressman assured the entire TVET community for his continuing support to the programs of TESDA. “Surely, I’ll tell DG Boboy Syjuco of these significant activities PD Lorena T. Yunque and her staff is doing for Aklan,” added Cong. Miraflores. /MP

Macavinta: “Iwas Paputok”

By: Boy Ryan B. Zabal

The Aklan PNP advised the public to refrain from using firecrackers and pyrotechnics to ensure a peaceful holiday celebration this christmas season.
Aklan police Provincial Director Supt. William Macavinta in an effort to reduce the number of injuries and accidents that maybe caused by illegal firecrackers in welcoming the New Year and Christmas celebration appealed to all Aklanons to observe “Iwas Paputok”.
“The public is warned to use firecrackers and pyrotechnics during New Year, instead, use other noisemakers to celebrate the occasion,” said Macavinta.
Macavinta also ordered the massive “clean-up” of unauthorized distributors, sellers and manufacturers of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices in Kalibo and other towns of Aklan.
He also advised all police chiefs to be most alert during the holidays to implement the law regulating the sale, manufacture, distribution and the use of firecrackers.
The “Iwas Paputok” campaign of the Department of Health and PNP, Macavinta said, is directed “to minimize accidents and deaths to civilians and revelers during the New Year and Christmas holidays.”
“Even the cops and civilians are discouraged to fire their guns to welcome the New Year. The policemen proven to have intentionally and indiscriminately fired their guns may face dismissal,” Macavinta stressed.Meanwhile, Kalibo mayor Raymar Rebaldo has yet to designate a firecracker zone in support to the government’s Iwas Paputok drive to minimize accidents, notably, the ‘explosion of firecrackers’, which destroyed stalls selling firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices along Osmena Avenue in 2003. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

By Ambrosio R. Villorente

Is NEA Corrupt?
“NEA (National Electric Administration) is so corrupt”, cried Ms. Elinore Timtiman Cabanilla. Ms. Cabanilla cited NEA as one of the government owned and controlled corporations which is so corrupt. And she said it a few times during a Forum on Electric Cooperatives. The Forum was held in the afternoon, Dec. 15, 2005 at the Sangguniang Bayan of Kalibo, Aklan.
The Forum, it coincided a day (Dec. 15) on the dislodgement of retired Col. Nemesio Neron as president of the Board of Directors of AKELCO.
Neron represented the Libacao-Banga-Madalag Consumer-Members of AKELCO to the AKELCO Board of Directors. He was elected with overwhelming votes over his other three opponents during the election. His votes were very much more than the votes combined of his three other opponents. During the election of officers of the AKELCO Board of Directors that followed, he was elected president of the Board unopposed. During his tenure as president of the AKELCO Board, Neron caused the approval of the Board resolution that will terminate the services of the “Change Management Team” on December 31, 2005. This resolution actually amended a Board Resolution which provided that the services of the Change Management Team is extended until the AKELCO is registered with the CDA.
Second, Neron also approved the immediate registration of AKELCO with the Cooperative Development Authority as evidence by his attendance to the two previous conferences where Mr. Pete Ilagan was the principal speaker which uncovered the “lapses” of AKELCO and the discussions moved toward the immediate AKELCO registration with the CDA. Moreover, Neron according to him, was asking several information and specially the AKELCO financial conditions which were adamantly provided him. “Some information was withhold,” he said.
Those moves, Neron confided were obnoxious to the NEA officials and some members of the Board of Directors.” And they are poised to dislodge me as president of the AKELCO Board,” Neron told EF two days before the stormy election of officers of the AKELCO Board on December 15.
Neron’s actuation during his tenure as AKELCO Board president was highly for the welfare of the member-consumers, but brutally negative to NEA. That enhanced his immediate ouster. A special meeting was held which only tackled election of officers. The Neron ouster is a shining testimonial that NEA wishes to hold on tightly with the electric cooperatives like AKELCO and does not want CDA registration.
As to Ms. Cabanilla she “does not believe AKELCO is class A+”. “I doubt it, for AKELCO to be class A+ from class E in two years”, she said. Maybe, management had maliciously padded the kilowatt hour consumptions of some selected consumers from two to five Kwhs or an average of two days electric consumption per consumer in an attempt to attain class A+ status. She termed this as “add on”.
AKELCO might had written off an account of Consumers Account Receivables and reclassified it as Other Accounts Receivables which has resulted in improved collection efficiency. To find this out, Ms. Cabanilla recommends for proper auditing of NEA. But will NEA disclose its audit findings when the change management team is of its creation? It is doubtful.
Asked what benefits will it give to members-consumers whose Electric Cooperative is A+? Ms. Cabanilla answered: “NON”. But increased salary and other benefits to AKELCO officials and employees. The BOD and Management are also given more freedom to manage its own affair by the NEA.
Ms. Cabanilla also discussed the “Magna Carta For Residential Electric Consumers”. Madyaas Pen will publish this in the next issue. /MP

Meat Processing Training at ATC-K

This Yuletide Season, TESDA-Aklan conducted training on meat processing particularly ham, bacon, sausages, corned beef, tocino, and longganisa. The training was on time to meet the high demand for meet products for the upcoming Christmas, New Year and Ati-Atihan celebrations.
The course started on December 5, 2005 and ended on December 16, 2005 at the Aklan Training Center-Kabuhayan (ATC-K), Ati-Atihan compound, Old Buswang, Kalibo, Aklan. The ATC-K is a co-managed training center for food and tourism sector of TESDA, DTI, and the Provincial Government of Aklan.
Prior to the conduct of training, the ATC-K was partially rehabilitated with financial assistance to TESDA-Aklan from the Aklan provincial government. The rehabilitation job included tile works for the floor, demo tables and lavatories, construction of cabinets, working tables, and whiteboards. TESDA-Aklan also brought in food processing utensils and appliances.
There were 26 trainees enrolled and finished in the Meat Processing course. The trainees came from unemployed individuals, women, out-of-school youths, and start-up entrepreneurs.
TESDA-Aklan has lined up short-term livelihood courses in food processing at the ATC-K. Interested persons may inquire at the TESDA Provincial Office with telephone nos. 268-8516. /MP

Aklan Celebrates World AIDS Day

By: Megs S. Lunn
World AIDS Day is about wearing the Red Ribbon, as a sign of support for people living with HIV and a symbol of hope for the future.
World AIDS Day is about people getting the facts about HIV and AIDS.
On December 1, 2005, the provincial Government of Aklan, the Provincial AIDS Council and the Butterfly Brigade thru the support of the UNFPA and DKT Philippines, held a STOP AIDS, KEEP THE PROMISE campaign at the Sampaguita Gardens, New Washington, Aklan.
Access for all and to Halt and Reverse the spread of HIV by 2015, is a “promise” Ms. Caca Carillo, the Provincial Project Coordinator of UNFPA-TAP Aklan, presented during the launching of Butterfly Initiative to Establish the 1st Community-Based Inclusive Full-Package HIV and AIDS program. She stressed the importance of this program by having a simple dreams, “that some day the people who are infected with AIDS will get equal respect and courtesy. That those who are vulnerable are not the victim, therefore, they dream to erase the stigma and discrimination at once.
The program starts with a prayer by Ms. Debbie F. Villaflor of the provincial STI Coordinator; Mr. Albert Ilarina acknowledged all the participants from the Media, private Sector, LGU’s and guests participants all over Panay who came to support the program. Provincial Governor, Hon. Carlito S. Marquez with his whole-hearted support to the program gave his Opening Statements; Dr. Zahidul Huque, Country Representative of UNFPA was all praise with Ms. Caca Carillo for her initiative and active participation on this program.
Huque promised to help the Butterfly Brigade’s advocacy and that he will take this to his country as a model 1st Community-Based Inclusive, Full Package HIV/AIDS Program. Dr. Jean Marc Olive, Philippines Country Representative of World Health Organization {WHO}, in his discussion pointed out that “HIV is one of the biggest social, economic and health challenges in the world. It is a global emergency claiming over 8,000 lives every day. In fact five (5) persons die of AIDS every minute.”. Mr. Edwin Alejo, the Franchise Field Operations Manager of DKT POPSHOP {the maker of FP Commodities} promoted the accessibility and availability of Condom Vendo Machine for people who are embarrassed to approach pharmacy and the like, in order to purchase condom for the practice of safe sex.
Mr. Harold Marshall encourages the Tri-Media to help them in their advocacies, as means of communication to creation awareness in the mind of the people the use of Condom to avoid HIV/AIDS. Mr. Edwin Ramos, PIA and member of AIDS Council served as the moderator during the open forum. Hon. Nono Bantique, SB member, Balete and member of the Butterfly Brigade gave the closing remarks. Engr. Luis Carmelo F. Orbista, LGOO V, DILG Aklan was the program host.
After the program at Sampaguita, the group proceeded to the site visitation of the Provincial Social Hygiene Clinic in Kalibo, Makato, Malay and the island of Boracay.
The 1st Community Based Inclusive, HIV/AIDS Full-Package Program in the Philippines is the first of its kind. It started in the province of Aklan thru the initiative of the Butterfly Brigade. It is an inclusive prevention education for those trained CSW’s, Men Living an Alternative Lifestyle, PLWHA’s conducting awareness raising and Safer Sex sessions among peers and the general population. The program ensures the availability of condoms and easy access with the installation of two (2) Condom-Vendo Machine in the island of Boracay: Charles Bar and CoCocomangas, Community-Based HIV and anti-Body Testing Centers, with pre
and post Test Counseling services provided by SACCL trained Med-Techs and RITM Trained HACTeam. The treatment is a sustained scheme to ensure availability of STI Meds in Social Hygiene Clinics, and a 2-way follow thru referral system in place.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the virus known to cause AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). If someone is HIV-positive, he will have AIDS when the virus seriously damages his immune system, making him vulnerable to a range of infections, leading to death.
HIV is transmitted through body fluids like blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk.

Four ways to acquire HIV:
1. unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected partner (the most common);
2. sharing needles or other contaminated injection of skin-piercing equipment;
3. blood and blood products through, infected transfusions and organ or tissue transplants; and
4. transmission from infected mother to child in the womb or at birth and breastfeeding.
HIV is not transmitted by casual physical contact like, coughing, sneezing and kissing, sharing of toilet and washing facilities, using of eating utensils or consuming food and beverages handled by someone who has HIV.
The best way to stop HIV transmission is to use condoms during vaginal or anal sex. It can take only a single episode of unprotected sex with an infected partner for HIV to be passed on. Condom is the only form of contraception that will prevent HIV transfer.

Living Up With The Promise. . .

In Makato, Aklan Ms. Charity Y. Perea, Regional Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Coordinator keynoted the recently concluded World AIDS Day Celebration held at the Augusto B. Legaspi, Sr. Sports Complex.
Street parade was held, followed by a program. Ms. Charity Y. Perea in her message encouraged every individuals to develop the sense of responsibility to partake with the “battle” to control and prevent HIV/AIDS. Statistical data were presented to provide an overview of the alarming effect/damage of the disease to the health and life in general of those afflicted with it.
Highlights of the event were concentrated on the youth which is among the most vulnerable social sector due to gallivant lifestyles they adopt brought about by their explorative attitude towards adulthood. Their views and opinions were given leeway for expression and appreciated through the conduct of various literary, arts and skills contests.
Dr. Zahidul Huque and Dr. Jean Marie Olive, United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative are respectively both expressed their appreciation of the efforts of the Local Government Unit is providing to sustain the 5th Country Program of Assistance of the UNFPA which are responsive to the five thematic areas of the Reproductive Health (RH) geared towards the achievement of a healthy citizenry for the nation.
The success of the celebration is attributed to the members of the Municipal IEC-Advocacy Team (MIAT) chaired by Mayor Ramon Legaspi, Jr. in partnership with the Academe, UNFPA and the Provincial Health Office. (By Hazel T. Dalida – PP Officer) /MP

NFA Aklan

NFA Aklan Holds Orientation On Food
For School Program II

By: Judith T. Tindog

An orientation about the implementation of the DepEd – NFA Memorandum of Agreement on Food For School Program II was recently conducted by the local NFA office. The orientation was held in the NFA Aklan Training Center, Linabuan Sur, Banga, Aklan. Mgr. Pablito G. Gemarino warmly welcomed everyone. He gave the background of the program.
Participants were DepEd officials identified in schools located in the 5th class municipalities of Aklan like Lezo, Tangalan and Buruanga. Ms. Evelyn Y. Rogan, Division Nurse Coordinator – Aklan/Nurse In Charge and Mary Jean Arsenio, Division Nutrition Coordinator/Public Health Nurse I were also present.
The DepEd spearheads the Food for School Program II. It is a package of comprehensive and immediate intervention for Grade – I pupils and pre-schoolers and their families. It includes provision of food assistance through the distribution of one (1) kilogram of rice in exchange for their attendance to school and at the same time conducts values formation activities and productivity skills training to their parents. The program aims to develop and empower the poor Filipino families to rise to a desired level of well being through provision of development support and interventions.
In Aklan, the target beneficiaries are the Grade – 1 and pre-schoolers presently enrolled at Agcawilan-Silakat Nonok Elementary School (ES), Uldario P. Custodio ES, Tayhawan ES, all in Lezo, Aklan; Tangalan ES, Tamalagon ES, Vivo ES, Pudiot ES, Jawili ES, Baybay ES, Dapdap ES, Tagas ES, Panayakan ES, Tondog Primary School (PS), Dumatad PS, Afga PS, Bungsod PS, Lanipga-Napataag PS all in Tangalan, Aklan; Santander ES, Habana ES, Alegria ES all in Buruanga, Aklan. The total enrollees in Grade-1 reached to 937 pupils while pre-schoolers reached to 427 pupils or 1,364 in all. A family with children all qualified for the program shall be limited to one beneficiary only.
Mgr. Gemarino assured the continuous supply of good quality of IFR/WMR repacked in one (1) kilogram based on the number of beneficiaries for a period of 90 school days.
Delivery of the rice requirement is assured to the school representatives. With the readiness of the NFA, the schedule of the initial delivery in November 2005 was made possible.
Assistance and coordination with DepEd from time to time will be done on the progress and problems encountered in the implementation of the program. Billing, payment and reconciliation between DepEd and NFA is on a monthly basis. /MP


BSP-Aklan Hosts 46th
Annual Scout Executives Conference
Aklan Council, Boy Scouts of the Philippines hosted the 46th Annual Scout Executives Conference held at Sampaguita Gardens Resort, New Washington, Aklan just recently.
Vice Governor Ronquillo C. Tolentino, BSP Council Chairman and Atty. Diego M. Luces, Provincial Administrator, in behalf of Gov. Carlito S. Marquez gave the words of welcome to the 130 participants and staff coming from the different Councils all over the Philippines.
Also present as Keynote Speaker during the opening Program was Hon. Francisco B. Aniag, Jr., Congressman of Bulacan and Senior Vice President, BSP National Executive Board.
The Aklan Council, BSP with the Province of Aklan hosted the Welcome Dinner held at the BSP Headquarters, Kalibo, Aklan.
Delegates were Council Scout Executives (SE) and Field Scout Executives who came from the 108 Councils all over the Philippines. Topics discussed were SEs Job, performance management, marketing Scouting and Workshop on Redesigning the BSP Vehicles. The Association of the Scout Executives of the Philippines held meeting and election of Officers for Year 2006. Initiation rites to the new Scout Executives was also held.
Mr. Abdullah Rasheed, Regional Director of the World Scout Bureau/Asia-Pacific Region and a citizen of Maldives gave the challenge to the Scout Executives during the Closing Ceremonies. Delegates were given an evaluation sheet and majority rated the conference outstanding.
Participants toured around Aklan especially in Boracay Island after the conference. They had a great time staying in Aklan and planned to return to Aklan bringing their families. /MP

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Picture shows MS. HEATHER MOELLER, a U.S. Peace Corp Volunteer in Numancia Integrated School, Poblacion, Numancia, Aklan during a short talk last February 3, 2005 at Rotary Club of Kalibo, RC Livelihood and Training Center, Kalibo, Aklan.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Editorial – December 8, 2005

Public-Private Mix DOTS {PPMD} in Aklan
By: Megs S. Lunn
In many countries, private health care providers are the gateway to health services for people with symptoms of tuberculosis. The types of private providers and their roles in TB management, however, vary greatly among and within countries.
The National Tuberculosis Prevalence Survey done in 1997 (1997 NPS) revealed that the magnitude of TBS in the Philippines hardly declined between 1982 and 1997. In 1996, the National TB Control Program (NTP) adopted the directly observed treatment short-course (DOTS) strategy. By the end of 2001, more than 90 percent of the population have access to it. Cohort analysis revealed good treatment outcomes. Public-private sector collaboration in TB control was strengthened since the Philippine Coalition Against TB (PhilCAT) was organized in 1994. There are four areas of collaboration, namely, policy development, advocacy and information dissemination, training and research and service delivery. Four models of public-private mix (PPM) DOTS in service delivery were developed. The private DOTS clinics provide the space, staff and operational funds while the Department of Health (DOH) provided technical assistance, anti-TB drugs, laboratory supplies and forms. Evaluation showed that PPM in TB control is feasible with good results. The major challenge is to replicate and institutionalize the PPM DOTS.
Hence, the municipality of Kalibo, thru the Municipal Health Office is privileged to be chosen as one of the expansion sites of PPMD. To make global health initiatives on communicable diseases with big emphasis on TB, the Municipality of Kalibo held a Public-Private Mix DOTS {PPMD} Symposium for Non-Medical Participants last December 6, 2005 at the CAP Bldg, Kalibo, Aklan. The symposium started with the warm welcome of Municipal Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo. Dr. Jocelyn T. Garcia, Rural Health Physician and PPMD Unit Head introduced the guest speaker – Dr. Edith G. Caloyloy of DOH 6, Regional NTP Coordinator and Vice-Chair, CICAT.
A very lively and productive open forum followed her presentation. Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo, assisted by Dr. Jocelyn T. Garcia and Dr. Agrelita D. Fernandez awarded the Certificate of Appreciation to the guest speaker. Vice Mayor Nilda B. Tambong gave the closing message. Ms. Marjo Verushka M. Morales was the program host.
Dr. Caloyloy discussed The Growing Burden of Tuberculosis in the Philippines. According to her, “Tuberculosis is one of the most common causes of morbidity and the most common cause of death in HIV-positive adults living in less-developed countries, yet it is a preventable and treatable disease.”
Since the quality of treatment influences the duration of illness and the case fatality rate, WHO developed a strategy for TB control comprising of five {5}s elements: political commitment, diagnosis by direct smear microscopy, a mechanism to secure drug supplies, standardized recording and reporting, and use of standardized short-course chemotherapy with direct observation of treatment.
Tuberculosis deaths include those of patients who died without ever being treated or while receiving treatment, as well as late deaths from relapse or posttuberculous complications.
DOTS strategy calls for sustained political commitment by national governments and mobilization of additional resources – human and financial – from within and outside endemic countries to help implement a comprehensive and expanded DOTS programme. The DOTS programme should be made an integral health system activity with nation-wide coverage that anchors TB activities throughout the health system at all levels, including peripheral health facilities and the community. ssBeing a public good with large benefits to society, adequate resources should be made available to achieve the goal of TB control worldwide.
Particular efforts are needed to foster local, national and international partnerships for TB programmes taking into account technical and financial requirements at all levels like improving the balance between disease-specific and sectorwide programs, between treatment and prevention, and among the roles of public, private, and community organizations and substantially enhancing monitoring and evaluation, research, and data gathering capacity at both the global and the country level.
Dr. Caloyloy stressed that, “Social mobilization is needed to tackle TB within high-prevalence countries. This is essential to further sustain the political will necessary for effective implementation of a comprehensive DOTS strategy. Governments can facilitate social mobilization by fostering communication among all health care providers, patients and public at large especially with the help from the media for information dissemination and public awareness,” Dr. Caloyloy further srecommended a method of case detection like the sputum smear microscopy among symptomatic persons rather than the use of x-ray results to avoid wrong diagnosis of the patients. Patients seeking care at health care facilities should be given more importance and for them not to be ashamed, rather to be proud of the treatment. In return, health care services must be available and accessible services to the whole population sof the community. Adequate investments in the health system are essential to provide access to a sputum microscopy network with built-in quality control.
Likewise, HIV infection remains the single most important factor that increases the risk of developing TB. For this purpose, TB control programmes should be linked closely with HIV/AIDS prevention and control programmes. Strategies for patient care must be be developed.
As resources increase, additional diagnostic tools such as chest X-ray, mycobacterial culture and drug susceptibility testing may be added to supplement sputum smear microscopy in a systematic manner. Standardized short-course chemotherapy to all cases of TB under proper case-management conditions including direct observation of treatment; proper case management conditions imply technically sound and socially supportive treatment of services must be made available. To ensure the accountability of TB services, help TB patients to adhere to treatment and avoid emergence of drug-resistant forms, direct observation of treatment is recommended.
Harnessing community contribution to TB care will increase access to effective TB care. To enable them to adhere to treatment, TB patients need support and care sensitive to their needs. It means providing a treatment partner or supporter acceptable to patients to reinforce their motivation to continue treatment and counter the tendency of some to interrupt treatment. TB control programmes must explore the use of locally appropriate and acceptable ways of community-based or work place-based direct observation of treatment. Quality-assured sputum microscopy must be accessible to monitor the treatment progress, assess treatment outcomes and certify cure among patients of pulmonary tuberculosis.
According to Dr. Caloyloy, “these Anti-TB drugs are made available free of charge to all TB patients since curing TB patients is beneficial to society at large. Their proper utilization in practice should be strictly monitored. People who are suspected with TB must go to their respective Rural Health Center and seek the treatment as soon as possible to avoid the spreading of the disease.”
Dr. Jocelyn T. Garcia pointed out, “Convenient and accessible TB treatment and care are essential. The challenge is to do this in ways that contribute to community development that are effective, acceptable and affordable”
Dr. Agrelita D. Fernandez added that, “Community participation in primary health care (PHC) is not a new idea where community health workers play important role with adequate support, motivation and incentives. It is better to work through existing community organizations than to create new ones./