Saturday, February 25, 2006

EDITORIAL - February 25, 2006

The Wrath of God

Brigadier General Danny Lim, Col. Ariel Querruben and Chief Supt. Marcelino Franco were invited last night, February 23 for a conference regarding the plan to break the chain of command and to withdraw their support to the Commander-In-Chief. According to General Senga, Col. Querruben and Gen. Lim are now in camp Aguinaldo while Chief Supt. Franco is in Camp Crame. In the words of Col. Dodoy Suerte, Gen. Lim, Col. Querruben and Chief Supt. Franco “are neutralized”.
For the last three weeks, three principal disasters happened. First is the Ultra Stampede where 79 persons perished and some 300 injured. Last week, there was mudslide in Barangay Guinsaugon, St. Bernard, Southern Leyte. The whole barangay, two (2) square kilometers was wholly covered with 30 feet of mud with only less than a hundred survivors. To date, only 129 dead bodies were recovered while some 2,500 are still missing. Less than 50 persons survived.
Yesterday, in Adriatico Street, Manila, portion of the road caved in on a deep excavation for a building construction. Two vehicles parked on the road were partly buried and an engineering heavy equipment was toppled.
It is hard to believe that such engineering failure in Adriatico Street will happen in the construction site of DM Consonji Inc. This engineering construction firm has a long, tested excellent records in the field of construction not only in the Philippines but also abroad.
Before these three disasters, there were some accidents that happened like the military chopper crash in Bulacan. The captain of that chopper died. Are these disasters happening in coincidence with the national governance of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo? Or regardless of who is the head of state of the Philippines, those disasters would have happened? Or if someone else headed the country, would the accident may not have happened?
According to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) the root of all the major problems in the political life in the Philippines is the lack of morality, absence of truth, justice, unity and peace among our people. Hence, CBCP recommends the continuous search for truth. It also urges the political leaders to show adequate changes so as to restore just and fair politics and change to those corrupt public officials at all levels. To do this, CBCP recommends not to scrap the election in 2007.
But President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has been alleged to have cheated in the election of 2004 and had lied the Pilipino people. Some people like former President Cory Aquino, Senate President Franklin Drilon and some members of her cabinet have asked President Arroyo to step down from the presidency since last year. They questioned her legitimacy and moral ascendancy to the presidency. But she resisted them. Only God knows of what President Arroyo has been doing. Did she cheat? Did she lie? She, herself and those of her allies know the truth. To a certain extent, Ms. Arroyo has been impeding her allies to disclose the truth as she issued Executive Order No. 464 which prevents officials from testifying in any investigating committee without the consent of President Arroyo.
If the allegations that President Arroyo cheated in the election and lied to the people, are these disasters happening to us today the Wrath of God? /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

By Ambrosio R. Villorente

Time To Share

Aklan, especially Kalibo showed its best to some 3,000 delegates and guests to the 2006 National Schools Press Congress (NSPC) during its opening day in the afternoon, Monday, February 20, 2006. Prior to their arrivals, DepEd Aklan, schools conducted repairs, swept the grounds and rooms clean. Where comfort rooms were lacking, they constructed additional and repaired the old ones. Local government units made their communities clean.
In Numancia, it lived up to its title as the cleanest and greenest community. No garbage, stones along the streets were painted white and hedges trimmed. The Numancia National School of Fisheries with the PTCA solicited funds for the construction of additional toilets. Today there are more toilets than the classrooms.
Aklan is “on time”. During the opening day, the parade from Pastrana Park to the ABL Sports Complex started on time. The ambiance at ABL was so conducive brought about by the most fitting venue arrangement from its backdrop to chair arrangement. The acoustic at ABL was highly improved.
The conduct of the program was so snappy hosted by our very own Butz Maquinto, Station Manager of RGMA-DYRU and Area Manager of GMA AM radio. Kaibahang Butz displayed the best of himself and of the Aklanons. What more can we ask? He has done it in a national magnitude, he will do it in the international level. It is just a matter of time. DepEd chose the best man for the occasion.
Likewise, Madalag choir did not only displayed the best of piña fiber through their dresses, they displayed the best quality and blend of voices as they sang the Philippine National Hymn. The priests showed their best in rendering the doxology. A salute to them. Congratulations to the organizers.
There was only one hitch in the opening program. The stand of the Philippine National flag on the stage and the flag itself collapsed for two times.
As I conversed with a delegate from San Bartolome National High School, Quezon City, I learned that his delegation was enjoying its stay. “Food is fresh and very much cheaper”, he said. “We ate our lunch today at RML Kamayan & Manokan House. For the quantity and quality 11 of us ate, I thought we will be charged P3,000. But we only paid P1,900.00”, he confided. Asked what did they eat, he answered, “chicken, prawn, vegetables and of course rice plus soft drinks and mineral water.”
Alaska condensed sweetened creamer, Great Taste Coffee, refined and brown sugar are among the prime commodities which prices increased from seven (7) to 20 percent over a one month period. According to the DTI-Aklan Monthly Price Monitoring Report on Basic Necessities, refined sugar per kilogram basis increased from P31.80 to P38.00 or 19.5 percent; brown sugar from P24.65 to P29.00 or 17.65 percent; Great Taste coffee (25 grams) from P14.50 to P15.60 or 7.6 percent and Alaska Condensed from P30.50 to P32.5 or 6.5 percent price increase.
In the case of cement, all brands increased ranging from two (2) to 4.2 percent . G.I. sheets and other steel products prices went down except for Galvalume which increased from P24.50 to P25.00 a piece or 2.04 percent.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan has approved a resolution authorizing Provincial Governor Carlito S. Marquez to donate P100,000 out of the provincial fund to the victims of the mudslide in Guinsaugon, St. Bernard, Southern Leyte as a relief assistance. This was announced during the press conference Governor Marquez held in the morning of Wednesday, February 22, 2006 in the guest House.
Governor Marquez also launched the relief assistance project for the victims of St. Bernard, Southern Leyte tragedy. He called and appealed to all able, willing and generous Aklanons to give assistance to those mudslide victims. The relief contributions shall be coursed through the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council, c/o P/Maj. Paquito S. Saratiosa, ABL Sport Complex, Estancia, Kalibo. It can also be coursed through in any editorial offices, radio stations and TV offices in Kalibo.
Yes, this is the time to demonstrate the Aklanon generosity and compassion to our countrymen in Southern Leyte. “It is much better to give than to receive.” /MP


By: PAG Vady Marin and Rtn. Megs S. Lunn

To most of us, water is such a common fact of life that we don’t realize what a precious resource it is. Clean water is essential for life and health. Yet, most people in developing countries, including the Philippines, do not have enough water for household use, more so for drinking purpose.
The province of Aklan, where the Rotary Club of Kalibo, RI D3850 is situated, is composed of 17 municipalities, most of which are agricultural rural communities. Although the municipal town centers have potable water supply, the outlying barangays especially in far-flung areas where majority of the poor people live, do not have access to safe water. It is to be expected then that, during rainy season, outbreaks of diarrhea diseases among children occur every year as evidenced by increased consultations in health centers and admissions in hospitals. A good example is in Barangay Aquino, Ibajay, Aklan where people suffered of typhoid fever for lack of potable water just this February.
Potable Water Management is one of the major thrusts of Rotary International.
In line with the thrust to have access to clean and safe water, and in support to the Community project of the RC Kalibo, District Assistant Hyun Song Lee of Rotary Clubs of Sae Onyang and Director for International Service and Woon Young Yeo of the Rotary Club of Onyang and Rotary Club of Onah, R.I. District 3620, South Korea came last September 2005 to RC Kalibo to donate directly the amount of US$3,600 for the potable water project.
The project is geared to help increase the percentage of households with access to safe water by providing water pumps to rural communities. With the money, water pumps were installed in twelve {12} barangays. Each water pump serves at least fifteen {15} clusters of houses, benefiting about 90 inhabitants per cluster.
In addition, there were two {2} Drinking fountains installed at Aklan National High School for Arts and Trades, Kalibo, Aklan, and one (1) direct line connection to the system of MKWD was done. Some 17 deep wells with jetmatic pumps were installed on the following depressed areas:

2 units – Brgy. Andagao, Kalibo 2 units – Brgy. Pook, Kalibo
2 units – Brgy. New Buswang, Kalibo 2 units – Brgy. Old Buswang, Kalibo
1 unit – C. Laserna St. Purok 3, Kalibo 1 unit – Brgy. Tinigao, Kalibo
1 unit – Brgy. Tigayon, Kalibo 2 units – Brgy. Pinamuc-an, New Washington
1 unit – Brgy. Tugas, Makato 1 unit – Brgy. Jawili, Tangalan
1 unit – Poblacion, Tangalan 1 unit – Brgy. Estancia

All the expenses in the construction were of the Rotary Clubs of Kalibo and the three Rotary Clubs from Korea.
With this water Management project, safe and potable water supply is now available in the above stated places. Hopefully, the project will help reduce the incidence of food-borne and water-borne diseases among children in the community; reduce the financial burden to the community’s indigent population brought about by hospitalization and other medical expenses; and improve the health and well-being of the children of the community. /MP


by: CL Megs Lunn

{* The winning piece of Competent Leader CL Megs S. Lunn delivered during the
International Prepared Speech Area Competition sponsored by Toastmasters International on January 28, 2006 at Sugarland, Bacolod City}

“Everybody sees how you seem. However, only some knows who you are.”
It is like drinking wine. Wine drinking is an art and not for those who simply want to get drunk. Swishing the wine around the mouth allows the taste buds and sense of smell to detect the finer flavor of the wine.
The older the wine, the better it tastes. Just like me, the longer I become your friend, the more you know me better and deeper, though it does not mean you need to taste me.
The nose is invaluable in wine tasting-a specialized nerve. The nose is necessary to identify the subtle flavor. And you do not need the nose of Panchito to increase your quality control.
Now as a friend, the more you being nosy about me, the more you will know the real me – the real sexy voluptuous me.
Who is Megs? According to Megs, I am a survivor. When I say a survivor, neither of hurricane, landslide nor of a big C. I am a survivor of a stormy college life. Who can survive the life in the city where loneliness and loneliness beset you while your brain is struggling with loads of school assignments and thinking of tomorrow’s fare and meal? Yes, I am proud to survive the life in the city alone with my strong belief that this would lead to something worthwhile. That something worthwhile is my college degree – mind you without the help of leakage.
Moving ahead, this wine is my companion wherever I get invited to a party. It is the only way out for me to forget loneliness, but just for a while. The next morning I wake up, the world is still the same. I am Megs, I still use my left hand in scratching my left ear and I use my right hand in brushing my teeth – although sometimes – I use toothbrush. But here I am, lonely as ever, alone as usual – although sexier.
In marriage, people come into your life for a reason, a season or for a lifetime. That is why they say marriages are made in heaven – but some are made for a lesson. You know which one it is for a person, you will know what to do with that person. Get him to marry you. Right DTM Greg?
I met my late husband, Toastmasters Lew Lunn in a conversation over a bottle of wine. My husband died last September 30, 2005 of Lung Cancer. And before he died, he already knew that today, I will be talking about him, not to him. Toastmasters Lew passed away and left me with only one bottle of wine in the fridge, but I tell you what, he was a big fan of wines and beers. No wonder, I love it too. Because of that bottle of wine, I met him. Like the three steps in wine tasting: LOOK, SMELL and TASTE. That’s how I judged him and told him, okay, we’ll get married. O looked at him he looked like Robert Redford. So I shook my head off and he became Lew again. Fondly then he told me jokes and made me laugh. He smelled like beer and not wine. So you have to believe me when I say that our marriage was inspired by the famous Saint San Miguel. And of course, the wine tasted good but who cared? You know what happened next? he asked”, “Yes, Melrose I will marry you” this proposal happened over a group of friends having fun in a small dinner party, overflowing with wines and beers.
The next thing I knew, Toastmaster Lew was calling me non-stop, talking about how he loved me, the wine and the beer. Well, not exactly in that order. After we got married, he told me, his first love was the army. Oh great! what a revelation! Now, I’m totally confused of the billing and his favorite song, it goes like this. {sing} you are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy, when skies are gray. . .
The true color of marriage life is like the color of the wine that reveals much about its character and hints at its taste. The wine should be poured into a clear glass and held in front of a white backdrop. Married to Toastmasters Lew has never been the same again. Like the wine, the longer, the more tastier. The longer you are married, the more you appreciate life to the fullest.
Swirling the wine in the glass helps the sense of sight and smell. When deep colors remain consistent even when the wine is swirled, it is an indication of full body. Swirling releases the aroma of a wine, called the bouquet or nose.
The most important quality of wine is balance between sweetness and acidity like in a marriage, sweet & sour to get the full taste, take note of the following: get the initial taste after taking a sip. Swish the wine inside your mouth and draw in some air to detect the deeper texture and flavor of the wine. Is it light or rich? Smooth or harsh? Notice the after taste. How long did the taste last? Was it pleasant? Wine drinking becomes more pleasurable with each sip.
Toastmasters Lew and our daughter Clouds are my life, my happiness, my sunshine. Some people come into your life for a reason, because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! /MP

MKWD Consumers Must Oppose Water Rates Hike

By Boy Ryan B. Zabal

Concessionaires of the Metro Kalibo Water District (MKWD) must take the lead in asking the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to disapprove the water rate increase of the water district, said Vice Gov. Ronquillo Tolentino.
The 31 percent increase will start appearing in their March 2006 billing.
Curiously, the 50 percent decrease in water meter rental and maintenance fee for MKWD’s 14,000 concessionaires was glossed over.
“The legislative body opposes the hike. Considering the current economic hardships, consumers should appeal the decision with NWRB in Manila,” he said.
MKWD General Manager Renato Albar said the increase was approved through MKWD Board Resolution No. 01, Series of 2006 implementing the NWRB decision dated November 18, 2005 on Case No. 03 – 059.
The water rates increase will affect concessionaires of the towns of Kalibo, Banga, New Washington and Balete.
“Although the MKWD justified the water rates hike, the reconsideration should be with the NWRB,” Tolentino pointed out.
MKWD claimed that “the water district is left with no recourse but to impose the charges as part of averting a possible negative cash flow this year.”
They said the NWRB freeze order in MKWD’s water rates increase in 2003 affected their capability to manage the water district.
That year, the water district was embroiled in a P25-million controversy on the purchase of materials and for the additional infrastructure projects in the town of Balete.
MKWD will also reduce the water meter rental and maintenance fee by 50 percent from P20 to P10 per month per concessionaire. Starting next year, the water utility will charge P205 from the P170 minimum rate for residential consumers or 44 percent compared to 2005 water rates schedule
To ensure prompt payment of water bills, MKWD is offering a 10 percent discount during the March 2006 to February 2007 billing period; and 7.5 percent during the March 2007 – February 2008 period. /MP

Government Agency Sets Fund For Entrepreneurs

The government is setting aside funds through the National Livelihood Support Fund (NLSF) as total loanable amount to local entrepreneurs who want to start or expand their businesses.
Besides allocating P1.7 billion that will be loaned to entrepreneurs, the government lending agency has also tied up with the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) which will be conducting summit and exposition this month.
“The PCE was successful in bringing together stakeholders and leaders from the academe, the government, business, diplomatic and non-profit sectors. And through this summit and exposition, we hope that we will be able to help small and medium entrepreneur start and expand their businesses,” said Jose Conception III, the Presidential consultant for entrepreneurship, and also one of the event’s organizers.
The NLSF said the applicants could avail themselves a maximum loan of P150,000. This is under a micro-financing scheme with a loanable amount ranging from P150,000 and below. However, the NLSF, which is also a conduit of other government financing institutions, said it is lending money to wholesalers not retailers.
According to Concepcion, the exposition will showcase many business ideas, entrepreneurship schools, NGO-led programs, micro-lending facilities, award-winning business plans, marketable inventions and free seminars for would be entrepreneurs.
“With these initiatives, we hope that small businesses would be able to market many other products aside from leading commodities such as food. The idea is to assist them explore other areas and move out of the “survival products like foods,” he said. (PIA)

A Paradox No One Can Explain *

{*Eulogy Delivered By Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino, Vice Governor Province of Aklan, in honor of the late Professor Dominador I. Ilio, held in Parish of St. Joseph the Worker, Malinao, Aklan, February 17, 2006.}

There is a curious paradox which no one can explain. Who can explain the secret of the reaping of the grain? Who can explain spring after winter’s laboring pain? Or why must we all die in order to grow again?
In “Thanatophsis” of William Cullen Bryant are these words; “So leave that when the summons come to join, the innumerable caravan which moves to that chambered realm where shall take, his place in the silent halls of death.”
So great a man has left this world to join God’s kingdom.
It is with a feeling of trepidation that I pay tribute to a great and outstanding Aklanon.
I first read the name of Professor Dominador I. Ilio in my studies of high school literature, specifically in the Philippine Prose and Poetry where his literary works and poetry ranked with literary greats like NVM Gonzales, and others. Much later, I would read his poetry in the 1946 book titled “The Guerilla Flowers”, a book of poems of the guerillas of World War II in Panay together with Aklanon guerilla poets like Beato A. dela Cruz, Roman A. dela Cruz, Jose J. Parco and Leopoldo A. dela Cruz. Actually, “The Guerilla Flowers” is a collection of poems written by soldiers of the Panay Guerilla Unit under the command of General Macario Peralta. I remember that professor Ilio’s poems: Camp Agsasaging and Sinaeangan were anthologized by Manuel E. Buenafe in The Voice of the Veteran. Camp Agsasaging is included in Philippine Prose and Poetry Volume III, and in Gems in English and American Literature, an anthology by Mercado, Sanches, et. al.
Permit me, to quote, what was written about Professor Dominador I. Ilio in the book titled “An Oral History of the Second Generation of Writers in English” written in 1987 by Edilberto Algre and Doreen Fernandez, thus: “He is a rare combination – an engineer, specifically a teacher of hydraulics for decades, and a poet. Even to Dominador Ilio himself the two abilities are separated, unrelated. His hobby is the key, perhaps. Even now he has a passion for bridge. Given a specific number of objects and a set of rules, the fun and the challenge rest in the permutations and combinations – in anticipating them, in predicting them, and when one is a player, in bringing them about.
“No wonder he writes of Percival in Times Square, of St. John in Chicago, of Icarus in catechism class. No wonder too that his favorite Filipino poet is Jimmy Abad. He has completed 250 pages of the story of pre-barter Panay in verse. Like his famous poems, this is a juxtaposition of legend, geography, and imagination. Physiographical is what he calls the description of setting. Surely it would be layer upon layers of historical and geologic time. Between the layers would be spaces for people and events imagined and real.
“The formation of the poet Ilio must be set in the educational system of his time, the public school educational system specifically, which furnished the opportunities for a quick mind like his. One recalls T.D. Agcaoili, Sinai Hamada, and Manuel Viray. The educational system provided the channel through which they could move from the periphery to the center. And the center was the University of the Philippines. The trip from Malinao, Aklan, to the UP at Padre Faura followed the pattern of a centralized structure of power.
“The next step was to go to the US. Although Professor Ilio averse that, in his case, engineering and poetry do not mix, he did get an M.S. in Engineering from the University of lowa, and at the same time the most advanced training in the writing of poetry in the Creative Writing Workshop of the same university. If the two indeed did not mix, they took place in the same place at the same time.
“The names of publication venues attest to the encouragement given by media to new and established writers in English: Graphic, Sunday Tribune, Saturday Evening News, UP’s Philippine Collegian, and the UP Writers’ Club annual Literary Apprentice. Then there were the public high school libraries and the National Library, whose lending facilities fed the minds of about all writers of this generation. The national weeklies paid contributors of poetry and fiction. No wonder then that Ilio developed a lifelong fascination for reading and writing. Capturing Philippine experience in English was a natural assumption, as writing of Icarus, Percival, and St. John was to become a natural extension.
“Professor Ilio is quiet and withdrawn, but he has always had friends who believed in his writing – Abelardo Subido, Manuel Viray, Sinai Hamada, Katoks Tayag, NVM Gonzales, and then later in lowa American friends in the College of Engineering, and lastly in the UP, the Beta Epsilon fraternity of the College of Engineering. A small coterie, but a faithful one.
“Now that he is retired, he has more time for writing and for bridge. He has focused his mind on pre-barter Panay – a return to his past, a recapturing of the stories he heard when he was a child, a forging of a reality which is the product of locale, milieu, and creative powers”.
Rabindranath Tagore once said that death is not extinguishing the light. It is putting away the lamp because the dawn has come.
I remember the Ash Wednesday reminder of death when the priest says, “Memento homo, quiae pulvis est et pulverem reverteris.” “Remember man, that dust thou art and to dust you shall return.”
Death, it is said, is the liberator of him, whom freedom cannot release, the physician of him whom medicine cannot cure; the comforter of him whom time cannot console.
Daniel Webster, the great American orator and statesman said: “One may live as a conqueror, a king or a magistrate but he must die a man. The bed of death brings every human being to his pure individuality to the intense contemplation of that deepest and most solemn of all relations - - the relation between the creature and his Creator”.
Death is the crown of life. Where death denied the poor man would live in vain; to live would not be life; even fools would wish to die.
We seem to have an erroneous concept of death. We picture death as coming to destroy; let us rather picture Christ as coming to save. We think to death as ending; let us rather think of life as a beginning, and that more abundantly. We think of losing; let us think of gaining. We think of parting, let us think of meeting. We think of going away; let us think of arriving. And as the voice of death whispers “You must go from earth,” let us hear the voice of Christ saying: “You are but coming to me.”
Professor Domiador I. Ilio, a literary genius, is gone – from earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, in sure and certain hope of the resurrection.
Death is the golden key that opens the palace of eternity. So it is for Professor Dominador I. Ilio who now rests in the loving bosom of his Creator.
To Professor Dominador I. Ilio’s dearest ones, to his beloved Clotilde who he shall now join in God’s kingdom, to his children, Mayor Dominador Y. Ilio, Jr., Engr. Dennis Y. Ilio, Dr. Kenneth Y. Ilio; to his daughter-in-law, Fatima Arnie; his grandchildren, Christian, Lara, Lani, Lisa and Jon Dominador and to his brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, friends and relatives, I extend our deepest sympathy and condolence, and this prayer.

“Now the laborer’s task is o’er
Now the battle day is past;
Now upon the farther shore
Lands the voyager at last,
Father, in thy gracious keeping
Leave we now thy servant sleeping.” /MP

Music Soothe The Savage Breast

By Paquito S. Saratiosa

R. David Paul Zorc will arrive Kalibo on March 5, 2006. His arrival will relieve the days when Zorc dared to make the first English – Aklanon dictionary. It will also bring to mind his formation and training of the Boys Choir in Kalibo while he was a Peace Corps Volunteer where he trained all the 120 boys.
On the same year when Zorc formed the Boys Choir, the late Kalibo Mayor Federico O. Icamina along with the late Kalibo Vice Mayor Gaudioso C. Martelino formed the more known and famous Kalibo Men’s Choir. The Kalibo Men’s Choir had their debut during a Philippine National Red-Cross-Aklan Chapter musical presentation on June 17, 1967 at the Aklan College gym-auditorium which was filled to the rafters. Thereafter, they performed in several occasions.
The Kalibo Men’s Choir still exists and when occasion demands, they can still sing. Some of its members had already departed to the great beyond but to recall some names of the Kalibo Men’s Choir, as follows: Edwin Formaran (+), Roberto Matoree (+), lawyers Arturo R. Quimpo, Daniel Y. Martelino, Diego M. Luces and Ronquillo C. Tolentino; Rosauro Roldan, Rhett Roldan, Tito Payad, Jesusimo Laurente, Flocerpido Gonzales, Ben Quimpo, Cipriano Maribojo, Jr., Gil F. Martelino, Johnny Tonel, Felipe Oquendo (+), Stephen Concepcion (+), Sergio Salazar and Ruben Salazar.
Summer is again here. Aside from the various athletic tournaments lined up in the province, municipalities and barangays, may we see more Information of choirs like the Boys’ Choir and Kalibo Men’s Choir. For, indeed, music, has charms to soothe the savage breast, to soften rocks, and bend the knotted oak.
The musical revival of old songs started five years ago during the governorship of now congressman Joeben T. Miraflores, by Attorneys Allen Salas Quimpo and Ronquillo C. Tolentino shall have another presentation on the 50th Anniversary of Aklan on the first term of Governor Carlito S. Marquez.
More power to haunting and unforgettable music of the good old days! /MP

Friday, February 24, 2006

AKELCO Membership Hits 85,427

The membership of the Aklan Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AKELCO) has increased to 85,427 this year. Its membership of 78,180 in 2004 has increased by 9.26 percent in a two year period.
According to Wilfredo A. Ortiz, AKELCO Institutional Development Department (IDD) manager, the increase in membership was due to the additional 27 barangays energized by AKELCO in 2005 and the corresponding increase of power supply from the National Power Corporation (NPC).
As a result, AKELCO’s household connections also increased to 80,724 in 2005 from 73,861 in 2004 or 8.05 percent.
AKELCO got an average of 10 megawatts per month last year from NPC, an increase by about one megawatt per month compared to 2004.
“AKELCO was able to energize 27 more barangays last year bringing to 354 the total number of energized barangays in AKELCO’s service area,” Ortiz added. There are only 12 energized barangays in each service area, which include all the 17 towns of Aklan, the resort-island of Boracay, and two towns – Libertad and Pandan – in Antique,” he further explained.
The AKELCO also reduced its systems loss performance from a high of over 20 percent in 2002 to around 14 percent last year.
AKELCO hugged the headlines in April 2002 after NAPOCOR cut its power connection for three days due to unpaid bills. Irate resort-owners in Boracay pleaded with Malacañang to break the impasse. Acting on a presidential directive, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) took over AKELCO’s management on April 20, 2002.
Since then, AKELCO has recovered financially and has been given awards and citation by the NEA and the Department of Energy (DOE) for “Unprecedented Excellent Performance” including attaining “A+” category for the first time in 2004 according to Ms. Sylvia R. Quinisio, Asst. General Manager for Human Resource. /MP

Friday, February 17, 2006

Aklan Board Urge Congress To Probe oil Spill Off Semirara

By Recto I. Vidal

Members of the provincial board of Aklan passed two separate resolutions during its session on Wednesday, February 8, 2006. One resolution urges Congress of the Philippines committee on environment and natural resources and other independent bodies to conduct investigation on the oil spill caused by the National Power Corporation (NPC) barge at Semirara, Antique and its effect to the island of Boracay and other areas of Aklan.

Sponsored by board member Franklin Quimpo, the said resolution expresses concern on the "destruction wrought by the massive oil spill caused by NPC barge last December 18, 2005 along Semirara Island of Antique. This is believed to be the country's largest oil spill that poses grave hazard to marine and human lives.

"After the incident, very little if not limited information is being presented to the public thus making all stakeholders together with the local residents of Aklan worry about the long term effect of the disaster," Quimpo lamented.

He likewise rued that "the irreversible damage to the areas affected by the oil spill spells death to the inhabitants of the area as it directly affects the source of food and livelihood of the people."

He said, “a Princeton report emphasized that after their studies on oil spills worldwide, even a small amount of petroleum can damage marine life and ecosystem.

The impact of the oil spill is not directly related to the size of the spills since even a small spill is an ecologically sensitive area that have a long term impact,” the report said.

"All oil spills have negative impact on marine organisms and oil from open ocean spills can end up contaminating beaches hundreds of miles away, thus our critical concern as tourism is considered the most important Aklan industry and majority of tourism activities are concentrated in the island of Boracay.

Quimpo said that after the investigation, all stakeholders should be informed of the findings and indemnify all those affected by the accident.

In another resolution authored by board member Plaridel Morania, he urged President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to order the immediate cleanup of the oil spill.

He said Semirara Island is very near the province of Aklan, particularly the seas surrounding northwestern Aklan to include most importantly the island of Boracay.

"There is an urgent necessity for the immediate cleanup of the spillage which has already affected marine life and the environment in the area. Not until sooner contained, there is an imminent danger that the territorial waters of Aklan in the northwestern portion will also be affected," he warned.

He cautioned that the coastal waters of Boracay will be the first to be affected should the spill be spread by northwesterly winds or by bad weather conditions. /MP

Editorial – February 1 - 18, 2006

Will MKWD Run Dry?
Will Metro Kalibo Water District (MKWD) Run Dry? It will, when there is El Niño, when all trees are cut, when sea water pollutes the underground water and if worse disaster happens.
But No! For the water concessionaires of Banga, Balete, New Washington and Kalibo will not allow it to happen. Anybody who attempts to destroy MKWD will better watch out for the foolishness it may inflict on MKWD.
What the water concessionaires vehemently object is the unreasonableness of the water rate increase from P130 for the first 10 cubic meters to P170 effective in the March 2006 billing and from P170 for the first 10 cubic meters to P205 effective in the March 2007 billing. These rates will increase as the volume of consumption increases, size of pipe and type of consumer’s such as commercial and industrial. At P205 minimum rate, MKWD will be the most expensive water of the water districts in the Philippines.
But will MKWD run dry with the present rates? The water concessionaires strongly believed it will not. It is only its Board of Directors and Management who love to increase the rate. They are bend to extract more money from the already dehydrated concessionaires’ hard earned money. The MKWD will do it, to extract more money.
So the water concessionaires who are hard pressed filed Special and Action No. 7700 for Certiorari With Preliminary Injunction with the Regional Trial Court, Kalibo, Aklan. The petition was filed on February 13, 2006. It is now pending with the RTC. The water concessionaires “prayed to the honorable court that after trial, the decision of the respondent Board be declared null and void. . . that pending trial a writ of preliminary injunction shall be issued directing the respondent water district to desist from implementing the contested water rates, and after trial, the injunction shall be made permanent.”
According to the petition, the MKWD BOD “acted in excess of its jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.”
MKWD cited in its reason to increase rate the water rate in Boracay, Island. But according to the water concessionaires, the minimum charge being charged by Malay Water District is under litigation in court. Moreover, the cost of delivery of water in Boracay entails more expenses as under water transmission pipes have to be established unlike pipes being laid on land.
As the MKWD admitted, the annual net income of MKWD was P2.611 million in year 2004. If MKWD netted a huge amount with the P130 minimum charge, why does MKWD ask for more? It is not fit to say, as due to insatiable greed for MKWD is a government owned and controlled corporation? Maybe to increase salary, allowances, and other imaginable benefits.
If MKWD lacked money, it should not have expanded its operation to Balete. But it did without additional rate increase or budget but with what were available. Why increase the rate?
Gen. Manager Renato Albar, in response to invitation of the Sangguniang Bayan of Kalibo attended its session. He was asked to justify the rate increase on February 9, 2006 and was requested to submit its financial statement to see if MKWD Fund is running low. Albar declined to provide any financial statement because “the Commission on Audit” has not audited its financial report. “He needs to request permission from the office of the Government Corporate Council,” Albar added.
Similarly, Manager Albar appeared in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan on February 8, 2006. He was asked to justify the rate increases. He also refused to provide copies to the members of its financial report to find out if MKWD is really in dire need of additional income. The same answer: COA has still to audit its financial report and there is the need to get OGCC permission.
Who really owns MKWD? Why can the Local Government Units of Kalibo and Aklan not be given the courtesy of looking at the financial status of the MKWD? Mr. Albar and the BOD of MKWD must give access to the MKWD performance, after all MKWD is a public corporation. Even unedited report will do for the information of the Aklanons.
Mr. Albar and the present BOD members will step out of MKWD sooner, but MKWD must stay to continue servicing its concessionaires. MKWD must yield to the request of the people for which it was organized to serve. MKWD has no reason to increase its present rates for with the present rates, it has net gain of P2.611 millions in 2004 operation. /MP

P150,000 Para Kubos Sa Kalibo

May P150,000 nga iga panupod sa 30 ka mga beneficiaries sa Barangay Bakhaw Sur sa idaeum it Self-Employment Assistance Kaunlaran (SEA-K) program. Kada isaea hay paga tau an it P5,000 ni Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo sa adlaw it tagipuso-on, Febrero 14, 2006 alas tres it hapon (3:00 P.M.)
Sono kay Mayor Rebaldo, rayang butang hay gina himo agud mabuligan ro mga ig,anghod nga kubos sa Kalibo, ag makatimawas man sa kapobrehan. Rayang pagpanupod hay gin hiwat sa adlaw it tagipuso–on para mataeopangdan naton ro hantop nga pag higugma eabi gid sa mga kubos. /MP

Pag Abi Abi It Kalibo Sa Delegates It Press Congress

Viva kay Senior Santo Niño! Hala Bira!!! Maura eon man ro atong mabaskog nga singgit ag mabati-an sa banwa it Kalibo, Aklan sa petsa 20 it Pebrero, 2006 bisan maeayo pa ro Santo Niño celebration.
Ro singgit ag pagsadsad sa karsada hay sa pag abi-abi it mga bisita halin pa sa iba ibang banwa, siudad ag provinsya it Pilipinas. May mga tres mil (3,000) ro ma abot nga bisita agud maga participar sa 2006 National Schools Press Conference (NSPC) nga iya pagahiwatun sa Kalibo halin it petsa 20 hasta 24. Sanda ra hay mga estudyante, manugturo, school principals ag mga mataas it poder nga officials sa DepEd.
Ro pag abi abi hay paga pangunahan ni Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo it Kalibo. Sono kay Rebaldo, kaibahan do DepEd Aklan sa pagtau it kasadya sa mga bisita ag sa pag pa ambit it mayad ayad nga eksperyensiya it Ati Atihan sa Kalibo.
Paga patunogon eon man ro mga tamboe ag lyre ag maga sadsad ro iba ibang tribe ag grupo nga naka bisti it sari saring kolor ag uniporme. Sono kay Mayor Rebaldo, ro mayad ayad nga pagbaton naton it mga bisita maga serbing saeaming it mga Aklanon nga mahimong ipa abot man it mga naka niid nga bisita ag mahimong iga sugid man nanda sa andang dogalingong banwa.
Ko Valentine’s Day, February 14, adlaw it tagipusuon, nagpanagtag man it tig P5,000 sa 30 ka mga pomoeoyo sa Bachaw Sur. Raya hay bulig financial sa kada isaea agud mapa umwad ro andang negosyo ag sanda hay maga ugan man ro pag pangabuhi.
Sono kay Ms. Janet Calizo – Project Evaluation Officer it DSWD, ro cuarta ngara hay paga bayaran sa sueod it daywang dag-on. Owa it tubo. Igapahueam man dayon sa iba. Ro ratong nakahueam eon ogaling dapat pang pahueamon hay paga pahueamon man guihapon. /MP

DTI Schedules Skills Training

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Aklan will conduct a SKILLS TRAINING ON TUTSUKA EMBROIDERY in coordination with technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) – Aklan and Aklan Piña Manufacturers and Traders Association, Inc. (Aklan Piña Man-Tra, Inc. This training will be held on 17 – 21 February 2006 at Dela Cruz Compound, Estancia, Kalibo, Aklan. Target participants are loomweaving firms.
The training aims to:
- train out-of-school youth and idle adults on “tutsuka embroidery (Japanese hand embroidery) utilizing loomwoven materials (abaca, piña, raffia);
- to introduce new technique on hand embroidery and develop new products; and
- to create pool of “tutsuka” embroiders.
Registration fee for Aklan Piña Members is P450.000 and P500.00 for non members. The fee covers lunch and sewing kit.
However, participants are requested to bring their own snacks and bastedor.
For additional information, please contact Ms. India D. Legaspi of Heritage Arts & Crafts at tel. Nos. 268-7649/500-8183. Ms. Slmy N. Beltran of HAMPCO at tel. nos. 268-6880/262-4388 and/or ms. Philomena T. Valencia of DTI-Aklan at tel.nos. 286-3405/268-5280. /MP

Assurance of Steady Economic Source of Power

(Last Part)

(Ed’s Note: State of the Province Address of Gov. Marquez delivered on January 25, 2006 at the SP Session Hall, Provincial Capitol, Kalibo, Aklan.)


We have phenomenally increased revenue generation of the provincial government to narrow the gap between our budgetary income projection and actual revenue generation last year, Another significant factor is human resource management and development which has kept in tune to executive policy of keeping the provincial government work force trimmed to the barest minimum without sacrificing quality and responsiveness to public service. We took caution in the hiring of casual, job orders and contractual employees and restaurant in filling-up existing vacancies with the periodic assessment of cash flow as main determinant. We did it through the provincial human resource management office with the cooperation of all government department heads.
Transparency in the conduct of our provincial general services office was maintained and improvements were sought through the full implementation of Republic Act No. 9184 otherwise known as the government procurement reform act in the procurement of goods, materials for infrastructure projects and consulting services. We became updated in the preservation of the provincial government assets and properties by being current in its inventory including utilization and registration of all motor vehicles. Through this, we had realized income of more than half a million pesos in the sale of bid documents whose rates were updated through a provincial ordinance passed by this august body. Two hundred projects were bidded for hospital supplies and INFRA projects last year. Hospital supplies themselves accounted for about ten million pesos worth.
This year, in the execution of our 2006 annual budget in the general fund and in the EEDD, the preparation of which was spearheaded by our provincial budget office in cooperation with other provincial government departments composing the provincial finance committee, our last measure for fine execution is whether we can balance appropriation outlays with income actually generated. We collect less and we must spend less. We collect as much and we spend as much. And for these, we need the constant review and evaluation of our provincial accountant and provincial treasurer. We can see in the completion of the general revision of real properties by the provincial assessor a hefty increase in income out of real property taxes. Balanced budget indeed is the need. And to effectively accomplish the objectives of the economic enterprise development department, we have to purchase major hospital equipment such as a CT Scan, an ultrasound machine, complete laboratory facilities and the full computerization of the hospital operation in addition to the already approved computerization program for real estate tax collection. We calculate that this information technology application must have a payback period of not more than 3 years to be viable. We shall be appropriating about P50 million for additional hospital equipment and information technology program acquisition.
All our development strides, however, will come to naught if we do not have assurance of a steady and economic source of power.
To successfully attain our objectives for agriculture and tourism for instance and, thus, reduce poverty through employment generation, we have to industrialize agriculture. We need to put up factories and food/agri processing plants. For this we need electric power generation. Cheaper and sustainable power.
In line with our open-arms invitation to all investors, especially, in the area of power, we welcome the entry of MIRANT as a power supplier but its two plants’ (New Washington and Nabas) 12.5 MW capacity is not enough and we need to have a long-term solution to power shortage crisis even.
Thus our current and earnest efforts to finally implement the long-standing proposal of a hydropower plant at Timbaban in Madalag which will supply us low-cost electricity as long as our rivers continue to flow. West Japan Engineering consultants has already completed an updated feasibility study and PNOC shall be filing an ECC application with the DENR. We are waiting, However, for the enactment of a law exempting the Timbaban area from the NIPAS (National Integrated Protected Areas System). Congressman Florencio T. Miraflores is set to file the bill next week.
A run–of-river type of power generation project, the Timbaban Hydropower Plant will have a maximum output of 29.1 MW, more power than Aklan and Boracay need, thus the possibility of the plant supplying the power requirements of neighboring provinces.
Along with this, we hold on to the view that our Electric Cooperative, the AKELCO, be a true cooperative, power company that is truly owned, managed, and operated by the consumers. For a supplier of a very basic service to be responsive to the needs of it’s clientele it must be owned by them. We are confident that the commitment of the board of directors to either register with the Cooperative Development Authority or with the Securities and Exchange Commission as stock corporation this June 2006 will materialize.
May I also express my commendation to our Law Enforcement Agencies spearheaded by the Philippine National Police under Supt. William S. Macavinta, the Philippine Army and Col. Perez, the coast guard and all other law enforcement agencies for the ideal peace and order condition prevailing in this Province very particularly during the two Presidential visits and this year’s Ati- Atihan Festival.
Lastly, may I thank Congressman Florencio T. Miraflores, the National Government Department heads and employees, our very own Provincial Government Department heads and employees, Vice Governor Tolentino and the Honorable SP members, former Congressman Allen S. Quimpo, and all sectors in Aklan, people’s and non- government organizations in the province and all Aklanons for their very valuable help and cooperation.

My special thanks to our Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member Led by:

Vice Governor. Kel Tolentino
SP Steven Fuentes
SP Daisy Briones
SP Plaridel Morania
SP Sonny Regalado
SP Eriberto Venus
SP Pete Garcia
SP Gerick Templonuevo
SP Selwyn Ibarreta
SP Jose Yap
SP Ramon Gelito
SP PCL REP. President, Franklin Quimpo
SP REP. ABC Federation President, Ananias Solina
SP SK Federation President Rep. Kaizan Victor Fernandez

Your support in the passage of landmark legislations is highly appreciated and recognized. I know that you are a part of that dream.
God has entrusted to us that dream, and when we believe in His Almighty power, we will survive…and Aklanons will survive.
Thank you, and good morning.


{Ed’s Note: The Entrepreneurial Farmer yields this space to this statement of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). The magnitude and great importance of this “Renewing Our Public Life Through Moral Values” is real essence to the moral and political lives of our people.}

Excerpts from the Pastoral Letter
Of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, January 29, 2006:
Pinalangga nga Katawhan it Dios:

Kami, nga inyong mga Obispo, tingob nga nagapamaeandong sa kahayag it Ebanghelyo kon ano ro ginasugid it aton nga mass media, mga lideres sa politika ag kapin kinyo nga mga parokyano sa nanarisari nga diosesis. Ro maathag nga nagtuhaw imaw ngani ro padayon ag tama gid nga pagkinahang-ean it pagpanibag-o sa sosyodad ku atong nasyon.

I. Ro Aton Nga Sitwasyon Pastoral: Ano Ro Mga Ginahambae It Mga tawo
Aton nga na-obserbahan ro kapaitan sa mga proseso political agod nga ro mga nagaserbisyo sa publiko magpanabat sa andang mga saea nga binuhatan. Ro aton nga mga nakit-an hay ro mga akto it pag-eapak ag pag-eandong sa kamatuoran kapareho sa kaso it wiretapping ag ro kontrobersiya sa mga tapes ni Garcillano.
Ngani ro resulta, matsa may nakaparalisa sa patag political samtang ro mga interes it kada partido nagaeabaw sa kamaeayran it kadagayaan. . .Sa mga naga-inabo nga katawhan, may una nga pagkaduea it pag-eaum sa aton nga nasyon ag ro pagkaduea man it matuod nga reporma.
Ro gina-eksperyensyahan ag ginahambae ku mga tawo sa mga diosesis nagapahisayod katon nga ro andang kinahang-eanon ag prioridad sa adlaw-adlaw nga paghimakas hay imaw rong pag-usoy it pangabuhian. Kapobrehan sa gihapon ro pinakamabug-at nga paeas-anon ku mga tawo.
II. Ro Ugat Ku Krisis: Pagdaganas It Kabuhi Moral (Pagkaduea it Moral Nga Haega)
Bilang mga Obispo, nagapati kami nga ro pinaka-ugat ku kinagamo sa politika hay ro kakueangan eon sa moral nga klase it pagkabuhi, ro kawad-an it kamatuoran ag hustisya, paghiusa ag pagtingob aeang-aeang sa kamaeayran it tanan ag matuod-tuod nga kalinong. Ro kamatuoran nangin biktima it pamartido political imaw man ku pamulitika sa mga transaksyones. Ro moral nga saeabton, hustisya para sa mga krimen kamana ku pagpamatay it mga journalists ag lideres it mga trabahante hay owa pa gid naagom.
Aton nasaksihan ro mga kabudlay ku mga kubos nga mangunguma nga apektado it pagtaas ku mga presyo ku mga gamit sa panguma samtang naganubo ro bili it andang mga produkto. Ro mga katutubo, mangunguma ag mangingisda sa mga diosesis hay puno it kahawag ag kahadlok sa mga negatibo nga epekto it ginabawaean nga pagmina, illegal nga pagpamutoe ag pagbaligya it mga kahoy ukon puno, ginabawaean nga pagbungkag it mga kabatohan, illegal man nga pagpangisda, ag ro banta it pagpahalin sa ginbugtawan nga eogta o lugar it mga katutubo. Kapin pa nga makanum-oe hay ro hayag nga kasayuran nga maabo sa aton nga mga politico ro sanda pa sa likod it hayrang mga ilegal nga hub-eag nga nagasikway sa kamaeayran it kadagayaan.

Bilang mga Obispo, na realisar namon nga ro pinaka-ugat ku atong makaeoeo-oy nga sitwasyon hay ro pagdaganas ku moral nga pagkabuhi o pagkaduea it moral nga pagpahaega sa atong palibot. Raya hay klaro gid sa mga bueohaton it kapurihan, corruption, pagpamigos ag ro makamaeatay nga kahakog sa interes it politika. . .Ro atong Santo Papa Benedicto XVI hay nagmitlang ku obserbasyon ni San Agustin nga “ro Estado (nasyon) nga owa ginadumaeahi suno sa hustisya hay mga panong it manakaw.” (Deus Caritas Est, 28)
Amon man nga natukiban nga ro aton nga sitwasyon hay bukon gid man it puro kadueom. Kita hay napahalipay ag na-inspirar man sa mga mayad ag desente nga mga Filipino, sa nansarisari nga tradisyon sa pagtueo-uhan, nga nagatrabaho it mahugod ag sinsero nga nagabaeay it atong nasyon. Rayang mga tawo, nahugpong it sangka tinutuyo ku madinaeag–on nga pumueoyo, hay mga rason sa pag-eaum, bisan pa sa tunga it mga krisis politikal sa atong kabuhi.
III. Ano Ro Atong Kinahang-ean Nga Himuon?
Ro misyon it Simbahan hay naga-eakip sa pagpanibag-o it kaayusan it sosyodad ag kabuhi pampubliko paagi sa pagtinu-eon-an ag pagpa-ambit ku mga ginapahae-gahan halin sa Ebanghelyo. Tungod sa moral nga bahin it aton nga pamulitika ag ekonomiya, “Ro Simbahan hay may mahambae sa mga konkreto nga sitwasyon ku tawo, kinaugalingon man o katilingbanon, sa bilog nga nasyon man o sa bug-os nga kalibutan.” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, No 521) “Anuman nga matuod-tuod nga pag-usoy it kalinungan” kon sa aton nga Sto. Papa pa hay “kinahangean nga mag-umpisa sa pag-ako nga ro problema sa kamatuoran ag owa it kamatuoran hay pasaeangnan it kada isaea.” (In Truth, Peace, No.5).
1. Ginarekomendar namon nga ro pag-usoy it kamatuoran indi gid pag-ungkatan o padayon nga itub-ok paagi sa mga istraktura ag proseso nga ginmando it laye ag ku atong konstitusyon. . . Raya nagakinahang-ean nga rayang mga natungdan dumaeahan it mga matarong nga mga tawo nga may sangkoe nga kredibilidad ag ginatahod it tanan.
2. Ro kompyansa ag pagsalig sa atong proseso political hay kinahang-ean ibalik. Ro Comelec hay kinahang-ean magbag-o nga mangin masaligan nga ahensya nga indi madudahan.
3. Ro Eleksyon o pinili-an sa 2007 hay indi dapat i-kansela.
4. Samtang nagsugot kami nga may una nga aspeto sa konstitusyon nga nagakinahang-ean bag-ohon ag umanon, owa kami nagasuporta sa madalian nga pagbaylo ku mga laye it nasyon nga owa pa ngani nakapa-idaeom paagi sa maeawig nga diskusyon ag partisipasyon nga kinahang-ean sa makaron nga pagbaylo. Ro rason sa pagbaylo it konstitusyon dapat mapasad sa kamaeayran it katilingban eabaw sa personal nga interes ukon interes it mga political dynasties.
5. Gina-uman ag ginapadumdom gid namon kinyo ro amon nga panindugan sa among ginpaguwa nga July 25 Statement nga owa namon ginapangin-waea o ginasuportahi ro mga hub-eag nga makahalit o maka-eabag sa konstitusyon bilang pamaagi it pagresolba sa aton nga krisis.
Sayod namon nga ro pagbag-o it kinabuhing publiko sa Pilipinas nagakinahang-ean it pagbag-o ku kinamueat nga istraktura ag nagakinahang-ean it mas ma-id-id nga pagpaninguha sa parti it Simbahan. Ginakomitar namon ro among kaugalingon sa mga masunod:

1. Magpatupad it mas sistematiko nga programa nga nagasakdag ku moral values nga nasambit sa pito (halin sa siyam) pastoral priorities nga ginbaeay ku 2001 National Pastoral Consultation on Church Renewal.
2. Magpadayon ku pormasyon sa BEC (Basic Ecclesial Communities) ag sa iba nga komunidad it pagtueoohan halin sa pinakakubos.
3. Magsakdag ku espiritwalidad it pagserbisyo sa publiko, integredad ag kamayad bilang tinugyanan nga pampublikong alagad ag grupo man it pumueoyo.
4. Ihugpong o itingob ro mga nanarisari nga mabinaeak-on nga mga pumueoyo nga nagapanarabaho sa mayad nga pagdumaeahan agod nga ma-enganyo sa pagbueoligan sa pagtrabaho sa gobyerno sa pagbantay sa graft and corruption ag sa paghikot sa mas mayad nga pagserbisyo sa publiko.
5. Ideklarar rayang dag-on 2006 nga “Social Concerns Year” sa idaeom ku pagtatap ku Putli nga kasing-kasing ni Maria ag Eabing Balaan nga Kasing-kasing ni Jesus. Ro pagtinueon-an it Simbahan. . . sarang matun-an, madiskusyonan, mapamaeandongan ag ma-aksyonan sa tanan nga diosesis, parokya ag catholic schools.
6. Ibhan it pagpangamuyo ag pagsakripisyo ro aton nga paghimakas ag madaeom nga pagsalig sa nagapabag-o nga gahom ku grasya it Dios sa kabuhi it kada isaea ag sa komunidad.


Sa tanan nga among ginpanghambae iya kara, kami nga inyong mga Obispo nagatinguha nga mangin matutom sa sugo it Ginoo nga maghigugma, ag sa anang panawagan sa anang mga sumueonod nga tatapon ro tanan, eabi gid ro mga kubos (Mt.25:40). Rayang anang mando sa Ebanghelyo, ro ginahandom namon nag pakita nga bastante nga kaibahan sa pagpaninghuha nga mapahi-uli ag mapanibag-o ro atong mga kapaltahan sa kultura political ag corrupted public life (mahigko nga pamulitika). Sa paghimo kara, ginapakita namon ro among paghiusa sa mga kubos nga naga-antus sa makaron nga estado it politika. Kabay ro gugma it Dios kay Kristo, mabubo sa kada isaea sa Espiritu Santo, magtao it kaisog ag pag-eaum nga bag-ohon ro atong pagkabuhi ag magbaeay it matuod ag matarong nga sosyodad, ag kabay si Maria mangin giya ag modelo sa rayang pamanawon sa pagpanibag-o paagto sa kamatuoran, hustisya, kahilwayan ag paghigugma – ro mga haligi it matuod-tuod nga paghidait ag kalinong sa atong nasyon.
Para sa Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines

+ Angel N. Lagdameo, D.D.
Arsobispo it Jaro
29 Enero 2006

Bread and Butter For A Family *

{ *A speech delivered by Aklan SP Member, Honorable Selwyn C. Ibarreta as guest speaker during the 21st Anniversary celebration of JG Macciri Corp. last February 11, 2006 at Apsta Bldg., Kalibo, Aklan}

Honored Guests, officers and employees of J.G. Macrciri Corp., friends, ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
It came as a surprise, but pleasurable one, to have been invited to grace this evening’s momentous occasion – the celebration of the 21st year of existence of a corporation behind two of the landmarks of Aklan – the Bread and Butter Bakeshop and the Blue Star School and Office Supplies. I hope that I will be able to do justice to the said task and live up to your expectation.
With the 21st year anniversary, we look back to how everything started. The time, money and effort spent and exerted to be where you are now – plain hardwork and dedication on the part of the management, and utmost loyalty on the part of the employees, proved not to be an exercise in futility, but had greatly contributed to the success, which all of you now enjoy. Yes, it seems like only yesterday that you were struggling to make a name for the corporation. But look at you now, an entity which Aklan people can truly be proud of, worth each and every praise and emulation.
Indeed, it is such an accomplishment, to have lasted so long and to have established such a reputation. For the number of years that the business proved to be productive, a significant number of people have likewise been benefited. With the establishment of branches, not only have you made your products/services more accessible to the people but you have also ensured that client/customer expectations are met and the highest business standards are adhered to at all times. More importantly, you have provided work opportunities to Aklanons, thereby playing a role in the Aklan economy and in improving the lives of those who work for you. Definitely, it is a very important role in the history of Aklan and its people. And I for one, am grateful for your active participation and contribution in the community’s past, present and future.
Finally, a job for one, is the bread and butter for a family. . . and no mater how blue one may feel, up ahead in the distance a star shines brighter, lighting the path towards the realization of dreams. . .Thank you for being both the bread and butter and the star to the significant many.
Congratulations on your anniversary. . .Keep up the good work and continue the fire burning of not only pleasing and serving the community but to go on and on, touching other people’s lives in the process.
May God bless us all. Happy 21st anniversary!

Decade-old Dev’t Plan to Undergo Revisions

By Boy Ryan B. Zabal

BORACAY - The provincial government of Aklan is supportive of the plan of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to update the Boracay Master Development Plan.
The development plan is already a decade old, revealed Vice Gov. Ronquillo Tolentino, and thus “the administration of Aklan Gov. Carlito Marquez is supportive to redesign the plan”.
Marquez wants the resort island to strengthen its position as a premier tourist destination comparable to Phuket, Thailand and Bali, Indonesia.
IFC, the World Bank’s largest multilateral source of loan and equity financing for private sector projects in the developing world, gathered last June 2005 a 14-member team of German and Filipino consultants, engineers, tourism, marketing and investment experts to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the island’s tourism situation.
“Tourism continues to be an anchor industry of our province and we have to prepare, particularly the resort island of Boracay for our projection of one million tourists by year 2010,” Marquez earlier said.
Tourist arrivals last year reached 499,452, of whom 155,739 were foreign and 343,714 domestic. They all gave Aklan P3.8 billion in tourism receipts.
Tolentino said he also supports moves to improve tourist-related services in Boracay such as health facilities, solid waste management, and the transport system.
“It is important for the island to revise the 1990 Boracay Master Development Plan to sustain investment prospects and maintain tourism growth,” Tolentino added.
IFC, private investment arm of the World Bank, likewise, recommended the construction of more tourism projects, transfer sthe sanitary landfill to mainland Malay and improve the transportation facilities.
Winfriet Weirner, head of the German team from Bavarian-based Obermeyer Planning and Consultancy and Mina Gabor, a former secretary of tourism, both agreed the tourism-focused projects would develop Boracay Island into a world class tourist destination.

MKWD Must Oppose Water Rates Hike

Concessionaires of the Metro Kalibo Water District (MKWD) must take the lead in asking the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to disapprove the water rate increase of the water district, said Vice Gov. Ronquillo Tolentino.
The 31 percent increase will start appearing in their March 2006 billing.
Curiously, the 50 percent decrease in water meter rental and maintenance fee for MKWD’s 14,000 concessionaires was glossed over.
“The legislative body opposes the hike. Considering the current economic hardships, consumers should appeal the decision with NWRB in Manila,” he said.
MKWD General Manager Renato Albar said the increase was approved through MKWD Board Resolution No. 01, Series of 2006 implementing the NWRB decision dated November 18, 2005 on Case No. 03 – 059.
The water rates increase will affect concessionaires of the towns of Kalibo, Banga, New Washington and Balete.
“Although the MKWD justified the water rates hike, the reconsideration should be with the NWRB,” Tolentino pointed out.
MKWD claimed that “the water district is left with no recourse but to impose the charges as part of averting a possible negative cash flow this year.”
They said the NWRB freeze order in MKWD’s water rates increase in 2003 affected their capability to manage the water district.
That year, the water district was embroiled in a P25-million controversy on the purchase of materials and for the additional infrastructure projects in the town of Balete.
MKWD will also reduce the water meter rental and maintenance fee by 50 percent from P20 to P10 per month per concessionaire. Starting next year, the water utility will charge P205 from the P170 minimum rate for residential consumers or 44 percent compared to 2005 water rates schedule
To ensure prompt payment of water bills, MKWD is offering a 10 percent discount during the March 2006 to February 2007 billing period; and 7.5 percent during the March 2007 – February 2008 period. /MP

OFW Senses Sensible Scent of Spa Service

by: Julie Javellana-Santos

HE avoids alcohol and doesn't smoke, so former migrant worker Miguel Bolos spent millions of pesos on his sole vice: the Bay Spa.
I never imagined myself as the owner of this spa, said Bolos –"call me 'Mike', please"– who, at first, thought the prospect of being one was too far fetched. Hence, he immediately snatched the opportunity to become a businessman when the option arrived on his feet in 2005.
"I don't drink and I don't smoke. I don't even patronize night clubs. This is really my only vice," Mike told me at his spa along Diosdado Macapagal Avenue, Pasay City.
The Bay Spa can be described as quaint and, like other spas, "offers to rejuvenate your body and mind with therapy and massages and pampering at its best."
What sets the Bay Spa apart from the other similar businesses running on this booming market is what Mike has done to transform the place after buying it at less than P3 million.
It was really run-down when the owner handed me the keys, Mike said.
And it had a coffee shop.
"Who ever heard of a spa with a café?" he quipped.
Most of all, his blood curdled upon discovering a lack of privacy for men and women.
Thus, Mike designed sections in such a way that male and female clients would never interact.
From trying out the different spas in the metropolis, Mike saw that women and men remain stressed out since they are without privacy.
Hence, he redesigned Bay Spa so that women and men will focus on what they came for: stress-free individual rejuvenation.
Mike would know his spa: he has tried out nearly a hundred in the metropolis every time he went home twice a year from Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he worked for 25 years.
I like to pamper myself this way, Mike stressed. It is in spas that he said rejuvenates his skin and senses.
He was so rejuvenated, he decided to cash out as an OFW and cash in on a booming industry.
New thought
Mike's leap from OFW to entrepreneur didn't happen overnight.
Bay Spa also was only the many spas he frequented everytime he came home for vacation from working as a financial analyst for the GAMA Services Ltd. (a member of the FAL group of companies) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
In his third time there last January, 2005, Mike learned that its owner was selling the place.
“Having been a regular client, I became interested because their personnel was really good,” Mike said.
However, the asking price of more than P3 million was too steep for him so he dropped the idea but continued dreaming.
During a vacation last year, Mike heard that the Bay Spa, which he had been patronizing for three years, was being sold.
He got another chance in June when he next vacationed in Manila and again went to Bay Spa.

“I overheard the staff talking about employment under the new owner,” Mike said.
But when he asked, the staff said the place was sold for only half of what the owner earlier told Mike.
I talked to the manager and requested the owner to call me if things did not proceed as planned with the buyer, Mike said.
Three days later, the owner called Mike and was told the buyer hasn't paid him yet.
So he told me if I could come up with the payment post haste, the place would be mine, Mike said.
Mike said he scrounged for cash and paid the owner "before he changes his mind" again.
After assuming ownership of Bay Spa last August 1, 2005, he immediately began renovating the estimated 40-square meter establishment and tweaked the operating system.
Business Scents
FOR a start, Mike said he made sure therapeutic scents from aromatic candles will put his client at ease upon entering Bay Spa's door.
Flavored warm tea is also served while the client bides time at a receiving area that is embraced with piped-in classical music of Mozart, Beethoven, and other masters.
He also built six private rooms for massage therapy: three for women and three for men.
There is also a room at the second floor that can be divided into four with the use of retractable dividers. This, Mike said, are for couples.
Since he values privacy and knows that clients also do, these rooms offer separate doors even when divided into smaller units.
We don't have common massage areas, Mike explained.
Bay Spa offers different kinds of therapeutic massage, body care treatments for the face, hair and feet, and even body bleaching services.
In the ante-rooms before the private rooms are several divans or lazy-boys where some clients have opted to be massaged.
Mike said these rooms are frequented by his Korean clients who wanted to be massaged while getting a foot bath at the same time.
He describes his service fees as "reasonable" and are within the country's spa industry-wide range of US$25.
According to data from the University of Asia and the Pacific, this cost is still lower than the US$81 in Singapore, US$51 in Malaysia, and US$48 of Thailand's spa industry. Likewise, a facial wellness service cost of US$23 in the Philippines is definitely lower than the US$94 in Singapore, US$52 in Malaysia, and US$43 in Thailand.
Citing Department of Trade and Industry statistics, the UA&P said there are 39 spas in the country. These establishments pale in comparison to the total 108 spas in Singapore, 198 in Malaysia, and 250 in Thailand.
UA&P's Winston B. Padojinog said in a briefing on health tourism, where the spa industry is categorized, that the Philippines can compete with these countries with the low cost as well as its skilled labor force.
For Bolos, that is the most relaxing news he could get from home. /MP

Monday, February 13, 2006


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Friday, February 10, 2006

EDITORIAL - February 10, 2006

First Man Called Valentine
By: Megs S. Lunn
This article may sounds melancholy. It is the celebration of LOVE soon! We think that too often we forget the real importance and significance of love in our lives and for that reason we think it's great to have a day that celebrates it - forcing us to remember how sweet and rare it is to have.

But who is the original Valentine? What does the name Valentine mean? Let me share with you what I have researched about Valentine.

Valentine comes from the Latin word Valentinus, derived from valens—"to be strong, powerful, mighty." The Bible describes a man with a similar title: "And Cush Begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod, the mighty hunter before the LORD" (Gen. 10:8-9). He was said to have hunted with bow and arrow.

The Romans celebrated Lupercalia to honor the hunter god Lupercus. To the Greeks, from whom the Romans had copied most of their mythology, Lupercus was known as Pan, the god of light. The Phoenicians worshipped the same deity as Baal, the sun god. Baal was one of many names or titles for Nimrod, a mighty hunter, especially of wolves. He was also the founder and first lord of Babel (Gen. 10:10-12). Defying God, Nimrod was the originator of the Babylonian Mystery Religion, whose mythologies have been copied by the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans and a multitude of other ancient peoples. Under different names or titles—Pan, Lupercus, Saturn, Osiris—Nimrod is the strong man and hunter-warrior god of the ancients.
But what does the heart symbol have to do with a day honoring Nimrod/Valentine?

The title Baal means "lord" or "master," and is mentioned throughout the Bible as the god of pagans. God warned His people not to worship or even tolerate the ways of Baal (Nimrod). In ancient Chaldean (the language of the Babylonians), bal, which is similar to Baal, meant, "heart." This is where the Valentine heart symbol originated.

Now notice the name Cupid. It comes from the Latin verb cupere, meaning "to desire." Cupid was the son of Venus, Roman goddess of beauty and love. Also known as Eros in ancient Greece, he was the son of Aphrodite. According to myth, he was responsible for impregnating numerous goddesses and mortals. Cupid was a child-like archer (remember, Nimrod was a skilled archer). Mythology describes Cupid as having both a cruel and happy personality. He would use his invisible arrows, tipped with gold, to strike unsuspecting men and women, causing them to fall madly in love. He did not do this for their benefit, but to drive them crazy with intense passion, to make their lives miserable, and to laugh at the results.

Many of the gods of the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Assyrians and others were modeled after one man—Nimrod.

But what does this have to do with us today? Why should we be concerned with what happened in the past?

Whether we celebrate the month of love every Feb. 14 or not, love will always be around to those who welcome it with both hands. As the saying goes, “to loved and be loved is the best thing in life.” So, remember to dance as if no-one was watching, make love as if everyone was watching and love as though you have never been hurt (with apologies to the original author). So, embrace yourself, grab your dates and let’s celebrate love on February 14. Let’s celebrate love everyday! /

Gugma Ni Castro

By: Ambrosio R. Villorente
“Gugma ni Castro” means “bad roads” to the Aklanons who pass by that Capiz portion of the 200 hundred kilometers long road between Kalibo, Aklan and Iloilo City. Except for a small portion, the roads from Capiz – Aklan boundariy and Capiz – Passi City boundary are extremely badly damaged.
It took us two hours to travel from Aklan – Capiz boundary in Sapian, Capiz to Capiz – Passi City boundary in Dumarao, Capiz in our recent travel. We used to travel on this portion of the road going to Iloilo City in less than one hour on a normal and allowable speed. Now, to travel over that road, the driver must go slow with the excessive use of clutch and shifting of gears. Car with automatic transmission will not last.

After our travel on that road for two times last week, our driver requested for a day off to rest and to relieve his body pains as a consequence of driving along the “Gugma ni Castro” road in Capiz.

The road is located in the second Congressional district of Capiz. This district is represented in Congress by Congressman Fresnidi Castro who is the subject of ridicule by those using the said road. “Gugma ni Castro” means love of Castro but given malicious meanings because the road is in bad shape supposed to be under the care of Cong. Castro. However, that road was badly maintained until this time when that road has badly deteriorated. Moreover, there are signages along the road which read: “ SLOW DOWN – Gugma Ni Castro.”

Several Aklanons are likewise asking if Senator Mar Roxas still care for the Capiznons and the Aklanons. If he really cares, Sen. Roxas must do something to put in shape that Capiz portion of the Aklan – Iloilo highway. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

By Ambrosio R. Villorente

What Triggers The Stampede?
“ABS-CBN event organizers treated the people like animals”, said Undersecretary Marius Corpus during a hearing about the stampede that happened on Saturday morning, February 4, 2006.

Corpus is the undersecretary of the DILG and head of the investigating task force to find out what triggers the stampede which left 74 people killed and 359 injured. The tragedy happened at the Philsports Arena, Pasig City while the people were entering the Philsports Arena to witness the game show “WOWOWEE” of ABS-CBN hosted by Willie Revillame. It was the first year anniversary of the game show.

Several days, before the scheduled first year anniversary of the WOWOWEE, ABS-CBN made repetitious announcements and ads over radio T.V. encouraging people to attend and join the fun, entertainment, millions pesos in cash and even house and lot as prizes. There was a promise of P1,000,000.00 to the first 300 persons to enter the venue.

Enticed by the promise of more fun and relaxation and instant cash, people begun arriving at the Philsports days before the show to be the first to enter and get the best chance to win the P1,000,000.00. They came from the provinces, encamped themselves in front of the two gates of the arena. They stayed there, slept, ate, urinated and defecated there with their children and grand children. People continuously arrived until the early morning of February 4 when about 25,000 – 30,000 persons competed for space outside the Philsports Arena. They jockeyed for position toward the gate and be the first to enter to have a good chance to win prizes.

But people became impatient. They were tired, maybe hungry, thirsty, lack sleep and their chances of entering the Philsport Arena was diminishing as the number of people was increasing. The capacity of the venue was at that time smaller to accommodate those people outside. There were announcement requesting some to just leave the place as they cannot all be accommodated inside.

“People then started pushing and shoving one another. The steel barrier by the gate gave way that eventually started the stampede”, Mr. Rene Luspo, chief security officer of ABS-CBN told the fact-finding panel. As a result, 74 persons died and 359 injured during the stampede.
Who is responsible for the stampede? One can easily point who is the culprit after reading newspaper and radio TV reports about the incident. ABS-CBN invited those people, they should have provided adequate provisions for crowd control, first aides like ambulances in case of stampede like what occurred and riot. ABS-CBN invited those people and therefore they were its guests who must be taken care of.

The local government of Pasig City is also partly responsible. There seemed some failure on the part of LGU to provide the necessary assistance to the WOWOWEE event organizers as provided in the local government code.

The stampede was a classic demonstration of the Filipino people’s desire for more fun, entertainment and the strong desire to access to resources like the jackpot prize of P1,000,000 and house and lot. Resources are so inaccessible to millions of Filipinos so that even in a game show they would participate.

The stampede for fabulous prizes at WOWOWEE game show ended a great tragedy. Some lost their lives, injured themselves and spent efforts for nothing. /MP

Aklan Solon to File Raps vs Fertilizer Scam Witness

By Recto I. Vidal
The Aklan Governor and now Rep. Florencio Miraflores disclosed before the local media here that he will file appropriate charges against Jose Barredo Jr. who earlier accused him of receiving P1.5 million commission for the delivery of liquid fertilizer to Aklan.
"I'll definitely file the necessary charges against him (Barredo)for damaging my name. I'm now consulting with my lawyers and with my colleagues in Congress whose names were also dragged in this controversy. I believe that the court is the proper venue for us to ferret out the truth," Miraflores told the local media in various interviews.
Last week, the Aklan solon expressed surprise that his name was dragged in the controversy as he said he neither knew nor heard of Barredo.
"No such transaction of that nature ever took place before the May elections in 2004. While Aklan was a recipient of the P5 million, said project was implemented only in September 2004, when I was already a congressman," he clarified.
Miraflores also denied the existence of "ghost beneficiaries," contending that as per records at the Department of Agriculture, at least ten towns in Aklan benefited from said project among them are the capital town of Kalibo and New Washington.
He described Barredo's testimony as "contradictory" as he denied ever meeting the former.
"No money has ever changed hands. How can he claim that we have met when it has been my habit not to entertain visitors a day before elections? And I have no use with that money considering that election spending was over and considering further that it was the day before the elections," he pointed out. /MP

Bora Coop Welcomes MMC’s Withdrawal

The boat cooperative has welcomed the decision of Magsaysay Maritime Corporation (MMC) to withdraw its investment in the transport services in Boracay, Malay, Aklan.

Godofredo Sadiasa, chairman of Caticlan Boracay Transport Multi-purpose Cooperative (CBTMPC), said “the withdrawal of the P150-million investment is partly to be blamed to the perceived massive displacement of Malaynons and the controversy surrounding MMC’s operations in Olongapo.”

“We have an agreement with MMC’s negotiator to pursue in other endeavors for the resort-island despite the withdrawal of its investment last year. The cooperative would therefore develop the transport services even without competitors from multi-national corporations like MMC and AMPO Shipping Lines,” Sadiasa added.

MMC, a leading provider of skilled workers in luxury cruise ships abroad, initially planed to invest four all-weather ferry boats and 55 units of specially designed vehicles for the efficient and comfortable transport of tourists and goods in the island.

No less than President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the MMC, Aklan Governor Carlito Marquez, Malay town Mayor Ceciron Cawaling and Aklan Cong. Florencio Miraflores to provide a world-class transport services in the island.

“We are hoping the P2.6-million ferry boat is ready this February to respond to our call to expand the transport services for local and foreign tourists aside from the motorized pump boats,” Sadiasa said.

He also said that the Unified Cooperative and Associations of Malay (UCAM) has strongly opposed the entry of MMC and AMPO Shipping Lines last year citing the massive displacements of 3,000 workers, tricycle drivers, boatmen, paraw and boat operators.

But, the MMC and the provincial government insisted of the gains of the entry of world class transport services for the island with 500,000 visitors last year, saying, “it is high time for the premier tourist destination of the country to expand the transport services to other stakeholders like MMC and AMPO Shipping Lines.”

As this developed, Sadiasa clarified the cooperative is waiting for the implementation of the one-entry one-exit policy this year, although, the local government of Malay has questioned the legality of the provincial ordinance before a regional trial court in Kalibo.

“I think the one-entry one-exit is necessary, but, the government should improve the infrastructures and services in the island before we could really implement the scheme.
The provincial government is actually negotiating with our local officials in Malay how to implement the ordinance,” Sadiasa claimed. /MP

Incremental Employment Registers 32 Percent Growth

(3rd of Four Parts)

(Ed’s Note: State of the Province Address of Gov. Marquez delivered on January 25, 2006 at the SP Session Hall, Provincial Capitol, Kalibo, Aklan.)
Investment, Employment and Income Generation

The report of the Department of Trade and Industry covering the entire period last year only confirms positive indicators in other spheres of development that indeed we continue to enjoy economic growth in this province.
The agency reported that total incremental investments last year amounted to P612 million, or an increase of 64 percent over the 2004 performance. The great bulk of the investments reported were seen in business names registered, original and renewal, which generated the most to a tune of P502 million from the 1328 business name registrants. DTI-reported incremental employment for directly and indirectly impacted activities reached 5,408, or a positive growth of 32 percent over that in 2004.
Our provincial employment and service office (PESO) continues to play its facilitative role in the placement of our labor force in the international market accounting for some 119 who were accommodated in foreign employment lat year, aside from local employment. In addition, our passporting service greatly helped Aklanons, and so do with the satellite office of the National Bureau of Investigation which our provincial legislative body and the provincial leaders sought to have one in Aklan.
In addition, our provincial government has closely linked with the JS International Placement Agency owned and managed by former OIC Gov. Jolie Dodoy R. Pelayo, who has given priority to Aklanon skilled laborers in the foreign employment contracts. This resulted in the initial placement of some 36 Aklanons this January 2006 in the labor force for Carribean countries. This year we hope to send 1,200 Aklanons construction workers for the overseas market expecting an inflow of $18,720,000.
Tourism in Boracay resulted in the direct employment of more than 5000 skilled and unskilled workers, 56 percent of whom are Aklanons, engaged in various services in the island and employed by tourism-related business in this prime tourist destination of the country.

Health, Education and Other Social Services

Despite the impending upgrade of the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital into a tertiary category with the completion of the new facilities, our administration shall always maintain our health indigency program which calls for a sizeable amount of several millions of pesos from the provincial coffers. Our old facilities will cater to paying patients, while the old medical facilities will cater to the needs of our poor constituents.
As of the end of last year, we are subsidizing part of the premiums required for the coverage of 23,085 families in Aklan in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s indigency program. Our plan is to cover 100 percent of indigents with PhilHealth – this is approximately 30,000 families this year.
We foresee the establishment of our academic enterprise with the initial opening of the Provincial School of Nursing in joint venture with the Aklan State University last year as a step to further boost better delivery of health services. At present, there are 100 students enrolled in the ASU Banga campus for which we appropriated P2 million to put up the nursing laboratory. Another P15 million is appropriated this year to put up the facilities for the school of nursing.
Aside from the problem of allocating adequate funds for basic services for our constituents, our province had to oblige for the hiring of provincial school board teachers. Although the hiring of teachers for our public elementary and high schools is a national government responsibility we had to shoulder it because what is at stake is the education and the future of our youth.
So we now pay the wages of 147 provincial school board teachers which total P8.8 million per school year.
Also, for our youth, we continue to fund the provincial government college scholarship project started by the late Gov. Corazon Legaspi-Cabagnot and also sustained by former Gov. Joeben T. Miraflores. We now have 1,116 scholars whose school fees total P6.7 million per school year.
We are going to reopen the doors of the Daeangpan It Mga Kababayenhan Sa Akean to women and children victims of hostility in society this year as a crises intervention center. Our Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office is closely working with the regional office of the DWSD towards this end.
Our provincial planning and development office shall continue to serve as the main facilitator and key office, in close coordination with other national and local government offices, in the planning and implementation of social services programs like the early childhood development project, breaking barriers for children-stimulation therapeutic activity center project, gender and development and other population program.

Environment And Infrastructure

With the institutionalization of the Aklan Rivers Development Council as a result of a Provincial Ordinance passed by this body and my subsequent issuance of an executive order, we hope to revitalize and sustain efforts in implementing projects and programs to preserve and develop the rivers systems. I am aware that the council through our executive director, the former Congressman Allen S. Quimpo, has evolved action plans and its timetable for implementation. I am waiting for the completion of the master development plan for my submission to regional development council as a supporting document for funding deliberation and subsequent implementation.
There is an urgency in finding alternative sanitary landfill sites for our garbage disposable not only for Boracay but that of the capital town of Kalibo, and New Washington. We hope that DENR can find for us ideal site as a common landfill area for the province.
This year, a significant portion of the P60 million development funds of the province are for our INFRA projects. We appropriated 2.5 million pesos to spruce up our capitol grounds and facilities and another 15 million pesos to replace the old building at the south wing of the provincial capitol grounds. We also set aside 2.5 million pesos as our contribution in the preparation of the feasibility study for the proposed one hundred million port complex in Navitas, Numancia being pursued by the Philippine Ports Authority. (to be continued next issue) /MP


“Flawed and Baseless”
– Mayor Rebaldo

By Boy Ryan B. Zabal
The allegation of Jose Barredo, Jr is “flawed and baseless”, said town Mayor Raymar Rebaldo following the former’s statements that he received ‘kickbacks’ in the distribution of the controversial fertilizer funds in 2004.
Barredo implicated Rebaldo during a Senate hearing on food and agriculture committee last week in the so-called P728-million fertilizer fund scam under the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) program, a priority agricultural project of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
However, the town mayor admitted he entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Agriculture (DA) where 2,000 liters of liquid fertilizers were turned over without any price tags in 2004. This, he said, were witnessed by DA and local officials of Kalibo.
Rebaldo said DA turned down his earlier proposal for farm-to-market roads in the barangays and instead DA responded with the GMA agricultural program.
Meanwhile, Municipal Agriculturist Joel Semitara admitted his office took charge in the distribution of liquid fertilizers to barangays and over 1,000 farmers-beneficiaries after the elections.
“The liquid fertilizer is actually overpriced, but it was not diluted with water as claimed by Barredo. Some (farmers) even tried to solicit for additional liquid fertilizers for their rice production. Although I knew the fertilizer was quite overpriced, we distributed it to the intended recipients,” Semitara said over DyKR Kalibo.
The P3-million fund intended for Kalibo was shelled out in the Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) issued by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on February 3, 2004 to former Agriculture Secretary Luisito Lorenzo.
Barredo, a native of Brgy. Hanglid, President Roxas, Capiz, also claimed that Rebaldo disagreed with his initial offer of P600,000 in commission and demanded for more “kickbacks” a day before the 2004 local elections.
“This is a clear and blatant form of character assassination. I vehemently deny. I met him a day before the 2004 elections. Barredo’s allegation is flawed and baseless,” Rebaldo said.
Mayor Rebaldo said “supporters and friends were using his residence as campaign headquarters at that time and it would be impossible to conduct clandestine meetings. The campaign headquarters was frequented and filled with people night and day.”
Rebaldo also denied receiving any financial assistance from DA as evidenced by the official letter sent by the Municipal Accountant to the Commission on Audit (COA).Barredo said, “the fertilizers came from Feshan Philippines, authorized supplier of fertilizers and farm inputs, which normally priced between P180 and P350 a liter and was purchased at P1,500.”

G.S.I.S Delivers Checks

The G.S.I.S. Roxas City, Capiz went to Kalibo, Aklan to personally deliver the pension checks for February, 2006 of the pensioners. The gesture was highly appreciated by those concerned even if they were physically hard up to go to Kalibo.

New Stimulation and Therapy Activity Center Igahalin

Ro Stimulation Therapy and Activity Center (STAC) hay iga halin sa Daeangpan it Kababayenhan sa may Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital paadto sa dati nga site it Kalibo Municipal Library sa Municipal Hall, Veterans Avenue, Poblacion, Kalibo.
Ro pagpadaeagan hay nasandig man sa Breaking Barriers for Children program ko Munisipyo it Kalibo sa pagpanguna it atong alkalde, Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo, kaibahan sa service organizations it Katipunan ng May Kapansanan sa Pilipinas Incorporated (KAMP), ag Danish Society of Polio and Accident Victims.
Ro bag-ong nahamtangan hay magatao it kumbenyenteng lugar para padayong mataw-an it kinahangeanon nga therapy ro mga onga nga may pisikal nga kapansanan nga taga Kalibo ag maging mahayag man ro andang paea-aboton, nga sanda hay makabulig sa progreso it banwang Kalibo. Ro pag saylo hay pagahiwatun pagkatapos ko paghalin it Kalibo Municipal Library sa bag-ong lokasyon sa 2nd Floor it Capt. Gil Mijares Building. /MP


TESDA & Private Sector Forge Partnership
To upgrade Tourism Industry Workforce
The Philippines is set to produce more world–class and highly skilled workforce that will meet the needs of the local and global tourism industry. This is the main objective of an agreement between the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the private sector-led Tourism Industry Board Foundation Inc. (TIBFI). The agreement, signed by TESDA Director General Augusto Syjuco and TIBFI Chairman and President Larry Cruz on September 26, will accredit TIBFI as Tourism Industry National Assessment Board.
The accreditation of industry groups to directly and actively participate in the development and upgrading of the country’s workers is a component of Phase II of the Philippines – Australia Technical Vocational Education and Training Project (PAQTVET II) funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).
One of the major concerns of PAQTVET II is to strengthen the role of industry in the development of technical vocational education and training standards. Target industries are tourism, health care, information communication and technology, and agriculture and fisheries.
TESDA is mandated by law to develop and upgrade the competence of the country’s industry workers to enhance their employability and ensure long-term economic development. to realize this mandate, TESDA established the Philippine TVET Qualification and Certification Systems (PTQCA).
Recognizing the immediate need to forge an effective and efficient institutional arrangement with industry boards to provide direct participation of employers and workers in the implementation of the qualification and certification system, TESDA has chosen the Tourism Industry Board Foundation to act as the country’s Tourism Industry National Assessment Board.
TESDA and the Tourism Industry National Assessment Board will jointly implement a competency assessment and certification program for the tourism industry to ensure that workers are appropriately trained and certified for the human resource requirement of tourism establishments here and abroad.
Under the agreement, the Tourism Industry National Assessment board will identify, develop and submit to TESDA for promulgation, agreed industry priority regulations, comprising qualification, competency standards and training standards in accordance with TESDA’s PTQCS guidelines; prepare and implement operation plans for accreditation and assessment activities; handle first line complaint filed by clients; and appoint and develop Local Industry bodies (LIBs) in major regions of the country, among many other tasks.
For its part, TESDA will oversee the implementation of the PTQCS assessment and certification program in the tourism industry sector. Among the major tasks of TESDA under the agreement is the management and maintenance of an Assessment Information Management System (AIMS) which will serve as information base for tourism industry players. /MP