Friday, March 28, 2008

EDITORIAL March 23 - 29

Rice Is Diminishing in Filipino Households
The Philippines is short of not only rice but corn too. Cebu City and province are gripping because of the real shortage of rice and corn. The Cebuanos eat more of corn than rice. Corn is their staple food. The national president of the Grain Retailers Confederation of the Philippines, Teresa Alegado fears the country “is running short of rice supply” even if she considers rice shortage abnormal at this time of the year. She maybe correct, for the month of March is the month when rice harvesting is in full blast. Moreover, March is also the season for harvesting corn which were planted in the December – January corn planting season. In addition, almost all rice varieties farmers plant are more seasonal therefore they plant anytime of the year provided water is available in the ricefields. Farmers also harvest palay anytime of the year. But why Shortage? There are several reasons why the Philippines incurs cereal shortfall. First, the rapid increase in population is unabated while the increase in cereal production like rice is very static. It is slower than the population growth; Second, the annual per capita intake of rice has increased from 96 kilograms five years ago to 122 kilograms today; Third, the area devoted to rice production has decreased and still decreasing due to land conversion from agricultural to residential, commercial and industrial; Fourth, the policy on rice and corn is more advantageous to the consumers and most disadvantageous to the producers thereby discouraging production; Fifth, while cost of production has increased brought about by the increase of fertilizer, farm machines and fuel, labor, land rental, and taxes, the National Food Authority has pegged the buying price of palay at P10 – P11 per kilogram; and Sixth, rice being hydrophonic plant consumes much water. But out of the 1.8 million hectares devoted to palay production, only 50 percent of the area is irrigated. International Rice Research Institute studies show that 5000 kilograms of water is needed to produce one (1) kilogram of palay. Recommendations 1. Repair and construct irrigation systems to irrigate 100 percent of the area devoted to rice production. Water promotes the utilization of plant nutrients, prevents the growth of weeds, prevents pests and diseases attacks, and enhances the favorable growth of rice crop; 2. Review the present rice policy with the view to provide more incentives and motivation to palay farmers such as fair prices of both production inputs and palay products; and 3. Provide adequate post harvest facilities like grain dryers to minimize post harvest losses and improve the product quality. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

GMA Forgets The Farmers

Now the Philippines is reaping cereal shortage in view of her negligent to provide love and support to the Filipino farmers. Until today, the government continues to forget the role of Filipino farmers in the production of food for the Filipinos.
This shortage of rice and corn is actually felt, nevertheless, the government continues to claim there is enough supply of the staple food. Notwithstanding, the increasing market price of both corn and rice in the market, the tenant in Malacañang is still claiming of sufficient supply. She must tell the real status of the supply and demand situation of the staple Filipino food, rice.
While Sec. of Agriculture Arthur Yap is very much aware of the cereal shortage, his approach is to save whatever rice and corn are available. Yap urges the restaurants and hotels to serve rice of the quantity the clients can consume. He also challenged the Filipino households to cook rice or corn enough for the family and the family members to put rice on their plates the quantity they can eat. According to Sec Yap, some P25 million worth of rice or corn is being wasted daily which can be saved by cooking the quantity enough to consume.
It appears that the government has forgotten the Filipino farmers who are the real factor in farm production. So far, the solutions being resorted to mitigate rice shortage and price increases are: 1. to reduce consumption and losses, and 2. to import rice from abroad to cover the shortage.

Love The Farmers

If GMA and her administration loved the farmers as they loved the soldiers, this food shortage and increasing prices of rice could not happened. But GMA so loved the soldiers that she is well protected from going down her throne in Malacañang. Never mind if the Filipinos will starve.
According to Gen. Esperon, the Armed Forces of the Philippines is not even capable to depend the Spratly islands in case it is invaded. Even the ammunitions of the soldiers will not last in a one day shooting battle.
GMA forgot to provide just enough production support to motivate the farmers to produce more. In fact, money intended for the farmers were stolen.
If only our Filipino farmers will be provided with sufficient support in the provision of production inputs, the Philippines will not only be self sufficient in rice, it will also become rice exporter.
Rice is a hydro-phonic plant, that in order to grow and produce the desired quantity and quality of grains, it must be provided with enough water. Water must be provided from land preparation up to its ripening stage. All other investment in palay production will be damaged in the absence of water in all the stages of palay production.
To produce one (1) kilogram of palay, a farmer needs 5,000 kilograms of water. Seeds, fertilizers, labor and other investment will not be recovered in palay production if the rice crop is not provided with enough water. Without water, certified seeds will have abnormal growth, weeds will grow fast which will compete with rice plants in the consumption of plant food, the weeds will shade rice plants, hence deprive it of sunshine. Since rice crop grown with even less water is weak, it is susceptible to the attack of pests and diseases.
On the other hand, palay raised with enough water, it will yield high even without fertilizer. Weeds are prevented from growing with rice; plants are sturdy and therefore resistance to pests and diseases. Even if fertilizer is applied to rice crop which is not irrigated, fertilizer cannot be available to rice plants, hence weeds will consume the plant nutrients and grow faster than palay plant, therefore irrigation is a must in rice crop production.
For our policy makers in agriculture, make it a policy to construct irrigation system to double the present average rice production. It can even be tripled. If there is no water, recommend the change of crop from rice to other crops like vegetables, corn, fruit trees, coconuts or flowers and other potted plants.

Rice Policy

The present rice policy is highly bias to the consumers. This discourages the farmers to devote more time and effort to their rice production project. The margin of profit on the per unit area basis is highly insignificant compared to other crops. If only our rice farmers will take time to compute their cost of production and compare it with the value of their production output, they will understand their return of investment is almost nil.
Be that as it may, the Filipino rice farmers do not stop planting rice. However, they are growing old annually as well. They are becoming poor while the rice traders are growing rich. The young Filipinos prefer other jobs which are high paying and glamorous. Why go to the farm, do heavy jobs with less income and remain destitute? Our policy makers may re-examine the rice production and marketing industry to make it attractive to our people so they stay in the farm.
The government must prioritize the provision of efficient and effective irrigation system so that other factors of palay production will be efficient. The policy makers must review the present rice if not all agriculture policies with the view to institute reforms to make agriculture business fair and just among producers, traders and consumers. /MP

PAPI - APCI Launch “Kapehan Sa Aklan” In Kalibo on March 23

Aklan’s journalism leaders and opinion makers with top provincial officials of Aklan launched the “Kapehan sa Aklan,” a media-led roundtable discussion, on Sunday, March 23 in Kalibo, Aklan. In a grand launching ceremony, the occasion was graced by Aklan Public officials led by Gov. Carlito S. Marquez and Vice Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo. Hon. Rodson Mayor, Hon. Plaridel V. Morania were also present. It was also attended by Mr. Roy Mabasa, President, National Press Club with other media luminaries from Metro Manila and the Visayas. Mr. Isagani Yambot, Publisher of the Philippine Daily Inquirer also attended.
Initiated by the Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI), and the Aklan Press Club, Inc. (APCI), the media forum will address such issues as tourism, investments, culture and the arts, peace and order, employment and education among others.
Good governance involving local government units and the imperatives for working partnership with the media will likewise banner the discussions which will be analytical, incisive and in-depth, PAPI president Juan P. Dayang added.
“This forum will be an ideal platform to launch fresh, bold and innovative initiatives to spark a new climate of hope, change and development in Aklan,” Dayang said.
Dayang, a former Manila Overseas Press Club president, is the lead convenor of the “Kapihan sa Aklan” in his capacity as chairman of the newly formed Aklan Media Forum, a multi-sectoral grouping of opinion leaders in Aklan.
Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente, APCI president, said the forum will feature speakers from national and local groups. Villorente said, the “kapihan” launching formed part of the series of whole day activities that were attended by municipal and provincial officials and tri-media journalists of Aklan.
Highlighting the event was the historic groundbreaking of the APCI’s proposed 3-storey building on a 250 square meters lot at Veterans Ave., Poblacion, Kalibo. The lot was donated by the provincial government of Aklan.
“This press club building will be a golden monument to the professionalism of the Aklan tri-media journalists and their unwavering commitment to the freedom of the press,” Dayang pointed out. Hon. Jerry Pelayo, Mayor of Candaba, Pampanga graced the groundbreaking of the building. In his brief but meaningful speech, he pledged for a big amount to help finance construction of the building. Likewise, Vice Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo pledged a good amount for the building construction.
Also held on Sunday was the seminar-workshop on journalistic ethics and responsibilities conducted by competent journalists for the benefit of Aklan media practitioners and mass communications students. Mr. Yambot, of the Philippine Daily Inquirer made a power point presentation on ethics and responsibilities of journalists. Mr. Al Balato, Ms. RD Batoy and Dr. Romeo Zapra of UE, Communications Department all spoke on journalism ethics and responsibilities. Mr. Roy Mabasa of the National Press Club talked on journalism hazard.
A testimonial dinner, in honor of the participants and guests was held in the evening at the Gov. Corazon L. Cabagnot Tourism and Training Center in Kalibo, Aklan capped the whole day affair with His Excellency, Bishop Jose Romeo O. Lazo, of the Diocese of Kalibo, as guest of honor and speaker. /MP

SWA-ILHZ IB, PNRC-Aklan Conduct Blood Letting

In order to improve the accessibility and availability of a more responsive health system, the Southwestern Aklan Inter – Local Health Zone IB in coordination with the Philippine National Red Cross- Aklan conducted a blood letting activity, now on its second year, with the theme “Dugo Ko, Kabuhi Mo” recently at the Philippine Craftsmen National High School, Malinao, Aklan.
At least 115 blood donors from different barangays in the health zone qualified for this noble mission. Invitations were initiated by the following local chief executives of the five component municipalities of the health zone: Mayor Ramon S. Legaspi, Jr. - Makato (chairman of SWA-ILHZ IB), Mayor Elverita T. Templonuevo - Numancia (vice-chair), Mayor Dominador Y. Ilio, Jr. - Malinao (Treasurer), Mayor Rex T. Gubatina - Madalag (Asst. Sec. Treas.), and Mayor Victor L. Fernandez - Lezo (Auditor).
A dynamic strategist, Dr. Rane T. Tabanar, municipal health officer of RHU-Makato and chairman of the TWG-planning committee, led the members of the technical working group composed of the five municipal health officers: Dr. Floriphez L. Yerro (RHU- Malinao), Dr. Athena C. Magdamit (RHU-Lezo), Dr. Josephine T. Ricamonte (RHU- Madalag), Dr. Levens T. Maravilla (RHU-Numancia); Provincial DOH representative Dr. Myrtle M. Pelayo, DOH technical representatives Filipina Mabasa and Grace Ureta, and Dr. Grace G. Tumaca, chief of Madalag Emergency Hospital.
This project was made possible in cooperation with PNRC-Aklan through its administrator Ms. Araceli Pelayo. /MP

ASU Prexy Joins COMSTE

Dr. Benny A. Palma, President of Aklan State University, Banga, Aklan is appointed member of one of the six technical panels of the Congressional Commission on Science and Technology, and Engineering (COMSTE). Specifically, Dr. Palma is a member of the Science, Mathematics and Engineering Education Panel. The other expert panels comprising the technical advisory board of COMSTE consist of outstanding academe and industry experts, which include the: (a) Information Technology and Information Technology -enabled Industries; (b) Electronics and Semiconductor Industry; (c) Health Sciences; (d) Agriculture and Food; and (f) Energy and Environment.
The COMSTE was created through a joint resolution authored by Senator Edgardo J. Angara, which became a law after it was signed by the President of the Philippines on the Thirteenth Congress. The COMSTE will review and assess the state of competitiveness of science and technology and engineering research and development sector in the Philippines. It will provide recommendations on harnessing these sectors to make the country more competitive. It will also undertake a thorough review of science education in public and private schools, particularly at the graduate level. COMSTE would review or even overhaul the educational system to encourage students to go into science, technology and engineering.The COMSTE is composed of five senators and five congressmen, chaired by Sen. Angara and co-chaired by Rep. Joseph Emilio A. Abaya, together with the government and private agencies for assistance. (ASU-ECS) /MP

Reason and Concern

By Ronquillo C. Tolentino

Notes On Corruption
(Last of two parts)

“A kickback is an official’s share of misappropriated funds allocated from his or her organization to an organization involved in corrupt bidding. For example, a politician is in charge of choosing how to spend some public funds. He can give a contract to a company that isn’t the best bidder, or allocate more than they deserve. In this case, the company benefits, and in exchange for betraying the public, the official receives a kickback payment, which is a portion of the sum the company received. This sum itself may be all or a portion of the difference between the actual (inflated) payment to the company and the (lower) market-based price that would have been paid had the bidding been competitive. Kickbacks are not limited to government officials; any situation in which people are entrusted to spend funds that do not belong to them are susceptible to this kind of corruption Related: Bid rigging, Bidding, Anti-competitive practices”.
“It is a controversial issue whether the size of the public sector per se results in corruption. Extensive and diverse public spending is, in itself, inherently at risk of cronyism, kickbacks and embezzlement. Complicated regulations and arbitrary, unsupervised official conduct exacerbate the problem. This is one argument for privatization and deregulation. Opponents of privatization see the argument as ideological. The argument that corruption necessarily follows from the opportunity is weakened by the existence of countries with low to non-existent corruption but large public sectors, like the Nordic countries. However, these countries score high on the Ease of Doing Business Index, due to good and often simple regulations, and have rule of law firmly established. Therefore, due to their lack of corruption in the first place, they can run large public sectors without inducing political corruption”
“Privatization, as in the sale of government-owned property, is particularly at the risk of cronyism. Privatizations in Russia and Latin America were accompanied by large scale corruption during the sale of the state owned companies. Those with political connections unfairly gained large wealth, which has discredited privatization in these regions. While media have reported widely the grand corruption that accompanied the sales, studies have argued that in addition to increased operating efficiency, daily petty corruption is, or would be, larger without privatization, and that corruption is more prevalent in non-privatized sectors. Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that extralegal and unofficial activities are more prevalent in countries that privatized less.”
“In the European Union, the principle of subsidiarity is applied: a government service should be provided by the lowest, most local authority that can competently provide it. An effect is that distribution of funds into multiple instances discourages embezzlement, because even small sums missing will be noticed. In contrast, in a centralized authority, even minute proportions of public funds can be large sums of money.”
“If the highest echelons of the government also take advantage from corruption or embezzlement from the state’s treasury, it is sometimes referred with the neologism “Kleptocracy”. Members of the government can take advantage of the natural resources (e.g. diamonds and oil in a few prominent cases) or state-owned productive industries. A number of corrupt governments have enriched themselves via foreign aid, which is often spent on showy buildings and armaments.”
“A corrupt dictatorship typically results in many years of general hardship and suffering for the vast majority of citizens as civil society and the rule of law disintegrate. In addition, corrupt dictators routinely ignore economic and social problems in their quest to amass even more wealth and power.”
“The classic case of a corrupt, exploitive dictator often given is the regime of Marshal Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled the Democratic Republic of the Congo (which he renamed Zaire) from 1965 to 1997. It is said that usage of the term kleptocracy gained popularity largely in response to a need to accurately describe Mobutu’s regime. Another classic case is Nigeria, espeicially under the rule of General Sani Abacha who was de facto president of Nigeria from 1993 until his death in 1998. He was reputed to have stolen some US$3-4 billion. He and his relatives are often mentioned in Nigerian 419 letter scams claiming to offer vast fortunes for ‘help’ in laundering his stolen ‘fortunes’, which in reality turn out not to exist. More than $400 billion was stolen from the treasury by Nigeria’s leaders between 1960 and 1999.”
“More recently, articles in various financial periodicals, most notably Forbes magazine, have pointed to Fidel Castro, ruler of the Republic of Cuba since 1959, of amassing a personal fortune worth US$900 million. Opponents of his regime claim that he has used money amassed through weapons sales, narcotics, international loans and confiscation of private property to enrich himself and his political cronies who hold his dictatorship together, and that the $900 million published by Forbes is merely a portion of his assets, although that needs to be proven.”
“In the political arena, it is difficult to prove corruption. For this reason, there are often unproved rumors about many politicians, sometimes part of a smear campaign.”
“Politicians are placed in apparently compromising positions because of their need to solicit financial contributions for their campaign finance. If they then appear to be acting in the interest of those parties that funded them, this gives rise to talk of political corruption. Supporters may argue that this is coincidental. Cynics wonder why these organizations fund politicians at all, if they get nothing for their money.”
“Laws regulating campaign finance in the United States require that all contributions and their use should be publicly disclosed. Many companies, especially larger ones, fund both the Democratic and Republican parties. Certain countries, such as France, ban altogether the corporate funding of political parties. Because of the possible circumvention of this ban with respect to the funding of political campaigns, France also imposes maximum spending caps on campaigning; candidates that have exceeded those limits, or that have handed misleading accounting reports, risk having their candidacy ruled invalid, or even be prevented from running in future elections. In addition, the government funds political parties according to their successes in elections. In some countries, political parties are run solely off subscriptions (membership fees).”
“Even legal measures such as these have been argued to be legalized corruption, in that they often favor the political status quo. Minor parties and independents often argue that efforts to rein in the influence of contributions do little more than protect the major parties with guaranteed public funding while constraining the possibility of private funding by outsiders. In these instances, officials are legally taking money from the public coffers for their election campaigns to guarantee that they will continue to hold their influential and often well-paid positions.”
“Measuring corruption - in the statistical sense - is naturally not a straight-forward matter, since the participants are generally not forthcoming about it. Transparency International, a leading anti- corruption NGO, provides three measures, updated annually: a Corruption Perceptions Index (based on experts’ opinions of how corrupt different countries are); a Global Corruption Barometer (based on a survey of general public attitudes toward and experience of corruption); and a Bribe Payers Survey, looking at the willingness of foreign firms to pay bribes. The World Bank collects a range of data on corruption , including a set of Governance Indicators.”
“The ten countries perceived to be least corrupt, according to the 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index, are Finland, Iceland, New Zealand, Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Australia, and The Netherlands.”
“According to the same survey, the nine countries perceived to be most corrupt are Haiti, Indonesia, Myanmar, Iraq, Guinea, Sudan, DR Congo, Chad, and Bangladesh”.
“In the US, based on public corruption convictions, Mississippi, North Dakota and Louisiana were the three most corrupt states. Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Iowa had the least amount of corruption. The most populous states, California and Texas, are ranked in the middle, California ranking 25th and Texas in 29th.”
Notes: Watch for the Aklan Media Forum’s Kapihan sa Aklan to start on March 29, 2008… Tibyog Aklan. The political monolith organized by former congressman Allen Salas Quimpo, is still very strong and the joint leadership of Governor Carlito S. Marquez and Congressman Joeben Miraflores. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Ro Unang Bayawas

Sa isaeang ka maisot nga barangay maeapit sa baybay, may pobreng mag-asawa nga naga-estar kaibahan ro andang solo nga onga nga si Bayawas. Imaw ra ro nagabantay sa andang tatlong ka matambok nga anwang. Kada agahon, guina hatod nana sa eati ro anang mga alilang hayop agud mag-hangeab. Parabil mag-uli sa hapon, ana man anay nga guina pa sab-sab it tubi parabil pig uran sa idaeum it mangga maeapit sa andang baeay.
Samtang naga bantay imaw sa anang anwang, naga saka imaw sa mga kahoy agud mag bo-oe it mga bungang prutas nga owa nana guina tabinga bangud guina patihan it tanan nga makahihilo rayang prutas.
Isaeang utdo ro adlaw, samtang naga pahilay-hilay si Bayawas, nakahambae imaw, “Kon mahimo eamang makaon rondayang prutas, ako ro pinaka malipayon nga onga sa rayang kalibutan.” Maangan angan, golpeng nagdaeogdog. Makataliwan ro eopok, may nagtunga nga isaeang ka gwapahon nga daeaga. Naka eambong imaw it azul ag may korona sa oeo, guinabuytan ro isaeang ka baston nga masiga.
Nagpakilaea kana ro daeaga. “Ako si Diwata sa rayang kagueangan. Habatian ko ro imong hinyo. Akon nga ita-o ro imong pangayo kon wisikan mo it dugo ko itom nga ayam rondayang puno it kahoy. Dati anay nga puedeng kan-on rondayang prutas, ogaling guin maldisyon ro mga tawo nga maea-ot ngani nangin makahihilo”. Naduea dayon ro daeaga.
Nag-uli si Bayawas nga mabug-at ro anang dughan. May anang palangga nga ayam nga itom ogaling masakit nga maduea kana. Pagkatapos ko anang pagbinag-binag, nag desider imaw nga isakripisyo ro anang ayam para sa kamaeayran it linibo nga onga nga makabenipisyo sa anang pagahimu-on. Abo ro maibulig nana para sa mga gina gutom.
Pagkaaga, guindaea nana ro anang ayam ag bag-ong ba-id nga sanduko agud sundon ro sugo it diwata. Ha-um eon imaw sa pagsakripisyo. Golping nagpakita ro diwata. “Punduha ro imong pagsakripisyo Bayawas. Malipayon ako nga makakita it isaeang ka onga nga bukon it mahikaw. Indi eon kinahangean nga isakripisyo mo ro imong ayam.” Guinbuytan ko diwata ro prutas ag naghambae, “halin sa adlaw ngara, rayang prutas hay sarang eon nga kan-on”. Nag –ipo it sambilog nga bunga ro diwata ag guinta-o kay Bayawas. “Hayra, samiti”, hambae it diwata. Matuod nga matam-is ro bunga. Naduea dayon ro diwata.
Ko hapon ngaron, nagdaea it mga bunga si Bayabas agod ipanupod nana sa mga tawo. Para mapapati nana ro mga tawo nga bukon eon it makahihilo ro prutas, imaw ro unang kumaon. Pagkakita ko tanan nga owa it natabo kay Bayawas, tanan sanda hay nagkaea-on. Halin kato, guintawag nanda nga Bayawas rondayang prutas sa pagkilaea sa isaeang ka maatag nga onga nga haum nga magsakripisyo para sa kamaeayran it tanan. /MP


Pressure Mounts On Kalibo’s Sanitary Landfill
by Ernesto T. Solidum
Ms. Editha I. de Lemos, Chief, Mun. Services of Kalibo bared the closure of its dumping site facility at Bakhaw Sur. This is in compliance with RA 9003 which mandates all LGU’s with open dumpsites to convert it into sanitary landfill. Necessarily, it must conform to established standard for human and environmental safety, sustainability and economy. Penalty clause for failure to comply is a whooping P500,000 monthly payment. This can easily hurt taxpayers and local Executive’s initiative.
It is for the above reason that Sang-guniang Bayan of Kalibo passed Res. No. 2006 – 042 dated May 16, 2006. The resolution requests Gov. Carlito S. Marquez to look for common landfill site for those towns east of Aklan river like Altavas, Balete, Banga, Batan, Kalibo, New Washington and Libacao as a group to have one common landfill site. Initial development cost is P65 million, obviously beyond financial capability of any local government unit. Suitable site is rolling to mountainous terrain, heavy textured soil and accessible. Until this time, nothing has been heard of from the Governor on this matter.
Present dumpsite of 4.0 has. is established under the then Mayor Atty. Allen S. Quimpo in July located in Bakhaw Sur. Identification and endorsement were done by a task force and approved by Department of Environment and Natural Resources. It was taken as best working alternative despite its adverse location being flood prone and adjacent to a mangrove swamp. Prior to this, municipal dumpsite was a section of reclaimed land, west of Laserna St. where tons of fresh garbage are periodically washed out into the Aklan river. Impact of this anomaly is tremendous as it is resulting to the dwindling fish catch and the impoverishment of fisherfolks.
Utmost concern is centered on fragile food chain that starts from marine microorganisms known as plankton fed upon by herring and the whale. Other issues are on deteriorating condition of soil, air, water and beachfronts.
Surprisingly, there is a dearth of marine animals and other wildlife thriving on Kalibo’s 100 hectares Bakhawan project. Plausible reason is traced to unabated seepage of poisonous effluents from adjacent garbage facility.
The Environment Waste Mgt. Office, DENR estimates that a total of one half kilogram per capita solid waste is generated daily. With projected urban population of 68,124 in 2007, Kalibo accumulates 34.07 metric tons of garbage daily. This is grouped into domestic, institutional and industrial waste. Of this volume, only 73 percent of total waste is routinely collected by five (5) dump trucks. The remaining 27 percent invariably find its way into idle lots, passage ways, creeks and river. The uncollected waste, especially plastic materials, clogs waterways, culverts and manholes causing flood and untold human miseries.
The policy of “No segregation, no collection” was first implemented in 2001. Ms. de Lemos said, “it fizzled out miserably. There was neither prior information drive nor training of barangay leaders on ecological waste management. We’ve learned a lot from this unpleasant experiences.”
Harnessing cooperation of local leaders particularly Poblacion Brgy. Captain, Ms. Jean A. Rebaldo can be a step in the right direction. Ms. de Lemos envisions that biodegradable and recyclable waste be exclusively handled by Brgy. Council, while LGU Kalibo concentrates on residual waste that will be deposited at landfill site. In principle, plan is laudable and practical since it will downsize an intimidating giant.
Biodegradable and recyclable waste means money and opportunity to not just a few. It has spawned a lot of junkshops nationwide. SB Member Madeline A. Regalado beams with pride that her persistence and initiative are paying off. By segregating waste at home, her two helpers derive extra income of P400.00 per month out of plastic bottles, tin cans, boxes, cartoons and other wastes. Entrepreneurs at existing dumpsite have vermiculture projects that are producing several sacks of quality organic fertilizer from cultured earthworms.
Even as LGU Kalibo is awaiting response from Governor Marquez on relocation site, immediate concern is focused on the rehabilitation aspect of existing dumpsite. Objective is to completely seal off nefarious liquid and gaseous pollutants that may damage environment in the long term. Enviable task primarily includes building perimeter walls, filling whole area with clay and tampering them, paving surface with concrete and finally landscaping it to enhance its value. Estimated cost runs to P22 million.
“Heaven knows that we do not have this amount right now but rational decision must prevail, otherwise we will have to contend with legal sanctions’, concluded Ms. de Lemos. /MP


Comment on the “EDITORIAL - February 2, 2008 Issue”:

Thank you for writing an article on our Lola Meling (Mrs. Carmen Salas Quimpo). She is greatly missed but at least her memory will live on thru the internet and can be viewed by her family, my children and the future generation.

(You are welcome, MYK. Ed)

I Will Fight A Slower Pacquiao in the Lightweight Division—Diaz

by Alex P. Vidal
CHICAGO — Ready and excited to win.
This was how World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight champion David Diaz described his reported upcoming duel with WBC superfeatherweight champion Manny Pacquiao on June 28 in Las Vegas.
“It is now my time and I am ready and excited to win this big fight,” declared the 31-year-old conqueror of Erik “El Terible” Morales who has been picked by Top Rank big boss Bob Arum to tangle next versus Pacquiao, who is fresh from toppling Juan Manuel Marquez in a championship fight at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas last March 15.
Diaz, a native of Chicago, is with his family a week after scoring a mediocre 10-round majority decision win over Pacquiao’s sparring partner Ramon Montano of Mexico in the main aperitif of the Marquez-Pacquiao encounter.
After being assured of a megabuck collision with Pacquiao immediately after silencing Montano, Diaz went back here and enjoyed his vacation before going back to the gym first week of April for his Spartan-like training in a bid to add Pacquiao in his list of victims as lightweight kingpin.
Diaz has been assured by his publicist Bernie Bharmasel that “he is the number one priority” in the June 28 megabuck rumble although the camp of Marquez is insisting to face Pacquiao for the third time.
Arum told reporters during the press conference immediately after the “Unfinished Business” card in Las Vegas that everything but the signing of contract is ready for the Pacquiao-Diaz showdown in the lightweight division.
Diaz, who was with Arum during the press conference, acknowledged the “good news” and blocked the proposed Marquez-Pacquiao trilogy saying “it is now my time” and that “they (Marquez and Pacquiao) have already fought twice.”
Diaz declared: “I know I have to pick up my game a little more, and I know what I am capable of doing. If I can do what I am capable of doing, I know I can beat Manny Pacquiao.”
Diaz (34-1-1, 17 KOs), said if the boxing community and Pacquiao think he is just a raw slugger and an easy prey for Pacquiao’s brand of fight, they’re all mistaken.
Diaz added: “I think his camp think it’s going to be an easier fight, and I welcome that. Train hard, please train hard, because I am going to be there all 12 rounds.”
Diaz accumulated almost 200 amateur fights and was a three-time US National Golden Gloves champion and a member of the 1996 US Olympic team before turning professional after reaching the second round of the Atlanta Games.
Meanwhile, Team Pacquiao left Los Angeles Saturday night (Los Angeles time) and is expected to arrive to a hero’s welcome in Manila Monday morning (March 24).
The decision to postpone the homecoming from the original plan of March 18 came after Pacquiao suffered an ugly cut in the right eye during his 12-round rumble with Marquez.
Texas-based Dr. Allan Recto had to proceed to Los Angeles last March 21 to remove the stitches before Pacquiao’s March 22 trip in Manila. /MP

Monday, March 24, 2008

New Rotary Club of Kalibo Site

It's now

pls click the site on the LINKS (right side) of this box.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

EDITORIAL March 16 - 22, 2008

‘Sign of the Cross’

Jesus says to us: “Take your cross and follow me”.

The cross symbolizes our day to day sufferings. Without which, there is no crown for Christians. The cross was used by the Assyrians, Persians, Phoenicians of Carthage, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans for punishing criminals. The cross has various symbols but the cross where Jesus was nailed was the Latin or Roman, unequal-limbed cross since according to Mark 15:26, a writing was nailed above the head of the savior.
Jesus Christ was hung on the cross and crucified because the chief priest and the religious teachers envied Him. Everyday, Jesus taught the people of Jerusalem; many listened to His teachings. Thus, authorities planned to put Jesus to death.
When Peter tried to keep Jesus away from the cross, He called Peter “Satan”. So it was clear, Satan was afraid and kept himself away from the cross, as it was through the cross that Jesus destroyed the devil’s kingdom and saved mankind from the slavery of sin and death.
By giving His life on the cross, Jesus removed the barrier between God and Man. The cross reminds us of God’s perfect love for mankind that through the death of His only son Jesus, sins were forgiven.

The Biblical Basis

The sign of the cross proclaims the message of salvation purchase by Lord Jesus, our loving God through the cross. The Bible clearly states: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved is the power of God” (1Cor 1:18)

The Historical Basis

Even before the Bible was formed, the cross became a symbol worn proudly by Christ’s followers. Early Christians kept this spiritual practice to keep Satan away and to save themselves from the power of evil.
We make the sign of the cross on our foreheads, decorate our churches with the cross and administer sacraments with the same sign. The bible teaches us to be proud of it, as the message of the cross is the power of God.
Cyril of Jerusalem wrote in AD 386: “Let us therefore not be ashamed of the cross of Christ, but through another hide it, do openly zeal it upon thy forehead that the devils may behold the royal sign and flee trembling far away. Make then this sign at eating and drinking, at sitting, at lying down, at rising up, at speaking, at walking: in a word, at every act”.
Ephrem of Syria testified in AD 373: “Make all your actions with the sign of the life giving cross. Do not go out from “the doors of your house till you have signed yourself with the cross. Do not neglect that sign whether in eating and drinking or going to sleep, or in the home or going on a journey. There is no habit to be compared with it. Let it be a protecting wall around your conduct, and teach it to your children that they may earnestly learn the custom”.
The sign of the cross is used to be victorious over satanic attacks as it is through this sign that Jesus made possible the forgiveness of our sins. Christians must use the ‘sign of the cross’ proudly as it terrifies Satan and the Bible proves it.
Let it be remembered that: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have an ever-lasting life.”
Moreover, acquire just enough wealth for “it is easier for an elephant to pass through an eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven”. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

APCI Bldg. Ground Breaking
Groundbreaking of the Aklan Press Club, Inc. (APCI) building will be held at 10:30 on Sunday morning, March 23. This will coincide with the 111th Commemoration of the 19 Martyrs of Aklan. The building will be constructed on a lot at Veterans Avenue, Poblacion, Kalibo.
Before the ground-breaking, “Kapihan Sa Aklan” will be launched, a joint project of the PAPI and the APCI to help stimulate a dynamic, progressive and peace loving Aklanon community.
The APCI building is dedicated to the memories of the 19 Martyrs, two of whom Candido Iban and Emilio del Castillo who bought a printing press in Hongkong used in the information drive of the Katipunan to liberate the Philippines from the abuses of Spain. The printing press was used in the publication of La Solidaridad.
The building will also serve as a convergence center of the members of the tri media to enhance friendship, cooperation and understanding among them. It will serve as vanguard of press freedom and democracy.

The Difference Between Filipino
& American Officials

For the amount of 4,000 US dollars, the Governor of New York State has tendered his resignation as State Governor.
He did not receive that money. It was the reversed for he paid that money to a prostitute for an instant sex pleasure.
The governor of New York referred to is Gov. Eliot Spitzer. He resigned from his office after it was disclosed that he had been a regular client of a prostitution ring. Ashley “Kristen” Alexandra Dupre was identified to be the woman of his choice.
Even with this personal immoral scandal, the said Governor of New York State tendered his office resignation sans hullabaloo and justification.
This cannot happen in the Philippines. Immoralities, graft and corruption, even cheating in the election, no one will accept the guilt but even challenge the accusers to submit evidence, go to court, and follow the constitutional process to prove their accusations. They will always tell the accusers, those are allegations, hearsay devoid of proof. They will even prevent, threaten, or murder witnesses to prevent them from testifying. They bribe, kidnap, or murder witnesses. They lie, cheat, and cover up. They invoke executive privileges to prevent disclosure of truths.
Some good examples of the government offenses to the people are: 1. alleged election cheating; 2. Fertilizer scandal in 2004; 3. North Rail and South Rail Transit questionable deals; 4. Spratly executive agreement with China believed to be in violation of the Philippine Constitution among others.
Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s immorality is not hurting to New York or the United States, but he resigned.
In the Philippines where the sovereignty of the country is involved and billions of pesos of the peoples money are lost brought about by rampant graft and corruption, cheating in the election, Ms. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is still in Malacañang sticking like a leech, does not disclose the truth, and even prevent others from telling the truth.

Save Rice

Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap is appealing to all Filipinos to save rice. According to Sec. Yap, millions of pesos worth of rice is damaged or lost daily due to cooking more but not consuming all.
Yap noticed the daily damages of rice in the Filipino households, in the restaurants and party celebrations of all kinds.
Yap is appealing to all households to cook rice in a quantity the family members can consume in a meal. He is also appealing to restaurants and hotels to serve rice in a quantity its clients can consume.
Even if the Phili-ppines has money to finance the importation of rice, it is not possible because there is world rice shortage. The traditional rice exporter like Thailand is experiencing rice shortage. The only way to make rice available on the table is to conserve it, stop loses and increase production. But will the Filipino farmers increase rice production?
The production cost of palay per kilogram is increasing, yet the buying price is still at P11.00 per kilogram which is the price 10 years ago, the price when the cost of fertilizer was P2.50 per bag. Today, it cost P1,400 per bag. Rental of land has increased, cost of farm machine and its operation and maintenance and labor cost has increased as well. Credit is tight, hardly accessible and expensive.
To motivate rice farmers to increase palay production, farm credit must be liberalized, increase market price of rice, improve irrigation system, and provide low cost post harvest facilities to improve quality of the product.
Overhaul government policy on rice to make it producer oriented. It is cheaper and easier to buy subsidized rice rather than produce rice at more expensive cost. Actually, the Philippine government imports rice at higher price more than it pays the local produce. The rice policy today is highly favorable to palay traders and disadvantageous to the producers. Why produce to lose? Plant high value crops, sell it and buy rice enough for the family consumption. /MP

Cuevas Installs APDPC Officers Admits New Members

Police Regional Director of Region VI Isagani Cuevas installed in office the officers of the Aklan Police and Defense Press Corps (APDPC) at Hernani’s Mix ‘n Match Restau-rant, Kalibo, Aklan in the evening March 15, 2008. The induction program was one of the highlights of the first year anniversary of the APDPC.
Mr. Boy Ryan Zabal was inducted President with others who are: Ambrosio F. Villorente, Jr. - Vice President, Jessie Reyes – Secretary, Edsel Mainit – Treasurer, Jun Ariolo Aguirre – PRO, Ronnel Irodistan – Auditor, Rolly Herrera – Bus. Manager, and Arnel Relampago – Chairman of the Board. The Board Members are: Jujit Reyes, Arnel Vicente, Jodel Rentillo, George Cawaling, Isidro Rasgo, Jr., and Ron Bautista.
Senior Supt. Benigno Durana, Jr. inducted as members Michael Selorio (RGMA DyRU); Eleanore Reyes and Melbert Taay (IBC DyRG), Roben Laserna (CBIS 98.5 Hot FM); Jessie Reyes (Panay News); Daniel Tonel (DyIN Bombo Radio) and Gary Vargas (Kalibo Cable TV).
During the program, Libacao Mayor Charito Navarosa, Engr. Winston Carillo of AUMA and Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente gave their inspirational messages. Police Regional Director of Region VI Isagani Cuevas was the guest of honor and speaker.
APDPC was founded on March 17, 2006. It has established and maintained the vibrant partnership with the Aklan Provincial Police Office through its weekly “Talakayan Sa Isyung Police”. /MP

Kalibo Celebrates 111th XIX Martyrs Day

The Municipality of Kalibo, in partnership with the Provincial Government of Aklan will commemorate the 111th anniversary of the martyrdom of the XIX Martyrs of Aklan.
The highlight of the celebration will be the Holy Mass at the St. John The Baptist Cathedral at 7:00 o’clock in the morning, Sunday, March 23. The Holy Mass over, Civic Military Parade will follow. It will start at the assembly point, Pastrana Park, going around Kalibo until it reaches the Aklan Freedom Shrine where a commemorative program will be held.
Top Aklan provincial and Kalibo municipal officials will lead in the celebration. There will be invited guests and speakers to grace the occasion.
It may be recalled that the XIX Martyrs compose the first Katipuneros in Western Visayas and the only group outside of Luzon. Led by Gen. Emilio del Castillo, they died 111 years ago to liberate the Philippines from the abuses of foreigners and achieved freedom and democracy in the Philippines. /MP

Pacquiao Frustrates Marquez’ Ambition Continues To Dominate Mexican Boxers

Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao became the first Asian to hold three world crowns in three different divisions in boxing. Pacquiao became such after defeating Juan Manuel Marquez in a bloody boxing match that lasted the 12 rounds in Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada on March 15, 2008 (March 16 in USA).
The Filipino survived the match and won the fight via a split decision despite his cuts with blood flowing that impaired his eyesight. But Pacquiao with his big heart to get through and fighting instinct survived the battle in the eight round and continued until the final bell sounded in the last round.
Reports said, the Filipino crowd in Las Vegas was silent until the final result was announced. Judge Jerry Roth scored the fight, 115–112 for Marquez, making the Filipinos closed their eyes. But they blinked their eyes when Duane Ford’s score of 115–112 for Pacquiao was announced. They erupted in celebration after the 114–113 score given by Tom Miller was announced too.
Pacquiao’s victory was too close to call. Marquez boxed strongly in the first two rounds. However, Pacquiao came back on the third and floored Marquez with a strong left to the jaw, his two feet up the canvas. Marquez got up before the eight count groggy. There was only about 10 seconds left. Pacquiao followed up and Marquez staggered against the rope, but there was no more time to deliver the knock out punch.
Marquez came well prepared for the fight. Compared with Pacquiao. Marquez is more skillful in the fight and wiser. Moreover, Marquez also employed dirty tricks. He boxed below the belt prompting the referee to advise him twice to box higher.

Marquez Offers Rematch

Believing he was cheated, Marquez offered a rematch. But Pacquiao said, “business is over”.
The fight was really close as both fighters claimed victory at the sound of the final bell. Both fighters were boosted in the air by their respective handlers. The decision went to Pacquiao, believed to be a sort of a payback for a judge’s error that gave the victory to Marquez during their first fight in May 2004 that denied Pacquiao his victory.After the fight, both Pacquiao and Marquez saw their doctors. Pacquiao’s two superficial cuts around his right eye due to accidental head butts were closed with 10 stitches. Marquez needed eight stitches only to close his wound on his eyelids. /MP

Ombudsman Holds Roadshow In Cebu

Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas N. Gutierrez led the third leg of the National Anti-Corruption Program of Action (NACPA) roadshow on March 13 -14 in Cebu City as part of the campaign to involve the public in the drive against graft and corruption.
Dubbed “Katiwalian ay Labanan, Maging Tapat as Bayan”, the event started with a forum with members of the Multi-Sectoral Anti-Corruption Council (MSACC) at 5 p.m. at the Parklane International Hotel where Assistant Ombudsman Evelyn Baliton of the Office of the Ombudsman’s Public Assistance and Corruption Prevention Office (OMB-PACPO) briefed participants about NACPA and its projects, in partnership with the government and the private sector.
The highlight of the event was the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Office of the Ombudsman and different business and religious organizations in the province: Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce; Mandaue Chamber of Commerce; Couples for Christ-Province of Cebu; Naval Social Action Center; The Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals and the Hilongos Organization for Progressive Economy, Inc.
The following morning, March 14, almost 10,000 Cebuanos representing the media, youth, business, civil society groups and other sectors and participating agencies converged in front of the Provincial Capitol where they marched to the Cebu City Sports Complex. Ombudsman Gutierrez delivered her keynote address on this event.
The NACPA Road-show in Cebu coincided with the second anniversary of the launching of the NACPA convention summit on March 17, 2006 and the first anniversary of the MSACC launching on March 1, 2007.
The first-ever NACPA Roadshow was held last August 17 at the Quezon City Memorial Circle (QCMC). Almost 5,000 MSACC members participated in the event which kicked-off at the QCMC Bike Path to the UP Bahay ng Alumni in UP Diliman, Q.C. where a short program was held.
The second was held last October 19 in Davao City . More than 5,000 participants met in front of the Ateneo de Davao University then marched to the Holy Cross of Davao College Gymnasium for a short program. Highlight of the event was the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the OMB and the Mindanao Business Council.
The MSACC, described as the “convergence of the brightest and dedicated individuals from various sectors of society,” is headed by the OMB with 30 members representing various sectors: Executive Department, Senate, House of Representatives, Judiciary, Constitutional Bodies, Local Government, Academe, Youth, Civil Society Groups, Business, Media, Religious Groups, Government Financing Institutions, and the Donor Community.
“Through the convergence process, corruption will be reduced to such an extent that will enable Filipinos to fully enjoy the blessing of independence and democracy as proclaimed in our Constitution’s preamble,” Ombudsman Gutierrez said.
The MSACC, with funding support from The Asia Foundation and USAID, serves as a “consultative and coordinating body” for the NACPA, and is an effective mechanism for consultation and coordination among key anti-corruption stakeholders and to strengthen the anti-corruption commitments of the government and non-government sectors.
The powers and functions of MSACC include: 1) provide general direction for NACPA; 2) provide a coherent framework for the consolidation and harmonization of all anti-corruption plans, projects, programs and initiatives in the country; and 3) formulate and recommend anti-corruption policies for the convergence and effective coordination and monitoring of anti-corruption programs of stakeholders to increase efficiency and avoid gaps and overlaps in their implementation.
Inputs provided by the MSACC were used in the preparation of the country’s report on the progress of the Phils.’ anti-corruption efforts presented during the 2nd Conference of the State Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in Bali, Indonesia in January this year. /MP

Reason and Concern

By Ronquillo C. Tolentino

Notes On Corruption

(1st of two parts)

I had kept some notes on corruption in Asia. In the light of the on-going congressional investigation, specifically in the Senate, I would rather quote herewith the effects of corruption on politics, administration, and institutional as well as economic and environment.
“World map of the corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International measures “the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians”. High numbers indicate relatively less corruption, whereas lower numbers indicate relatively more corruption.”
“In broad terms, political corruption is when government officials use their governmental powers for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, like repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Illegal acts by private persons or corporations not directly involved with the government is not considered political corruption either. Illegal acts by officeholders constitute political corruption only if the acts are directly related to their official duties.”
“All forms of government is susceptible to political corruption. Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, and embezzlement. While corruption may facilitate criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and trafficking, it is not restricted to these organized crime activities. In some nations, corruption is so common that it is expected when ordinary businesses or citizens interact with government officials. The end-point of political corruption is a kleptocracy, literally “rule by thieves”.
“What constitutes illegal corruption differs depending on the country or jurisdiction. Certain political funding practices that are legal in one place may be illegal in another. In some countries, government officials have broad or not well defined powers, and the line between what is legal and illegal can be difficult to draw.”

Bribery Around The World

“Bribery around the world is estimated at about $1 trillion (£494bn) and the burden of corruption falls disproportionately on the bottom billion people living in extreme poverty.”
“Corruption poses a serious development challenge. In the political realm, it undermines democracy and good governance by flouting or even subverting formal processes. Corruption in elections and in legislative bodies reduces accountability and distorts representation in policymaking; corruption in the judiciary compromises the rule of law; and corruption in public administration results in the unfair provision of services. More generally, corruption erodes the institutional capacity of government as procedures are disregarded, resources are siphoned off, and public offices are bought and sold. At the same time, corruption undermines the legitimacy of government and such democratic values as trust and tolerance. “
“Corruption also undermines economic development by generating considerable distortions and inefficiency. In the private sector, corruption increases the cost of business through the price of illicit payments themselves, the management cost of negotiating with officials, and the risk of breached agreements or detection. Although some claim corruption reduces cost by cutting red tape, the availability of bribes can also induce officials to contrive new rules and delays. Openly removing costly and lengthy regulations are better than covertly allowing them to be bypassed by using bribes. Where corruption inflates the cost of business, it also distorts the playing field, shielding firms with connections from competition and thereby sustaining inefficient firms.”

Corruption Undermines Economic Development

“Corruption also generates economic distortions in the public sector by diverting public investment into capital projects where bribes and kickbacks are more plentiful. Officials may increase the technical complexity of public sector projects to conceal or pave the way for such dealings, thus further distorting investment. Corruption also lowers compliance with construction, environmental, or other regulations, reduces the quality of government services and infrastructure, and increases budgetary pressures on government.”
“Economists argue that one of the factors behind the differing economic development in Africa and Asia is that, corruption has primarily taken the form of rent extraction with the resulting financial capital moved overseas rather invested at home (hence the stereotypical, but sadly often accurate, image of African dictators having Swiss bank accounts). University of Massachusetts researchers estimated that from 1970 to 1996, capital flight from 30 sub-Saharan countries totaled $187 billion, exceeding those nations’ external debts. (The results, expressed in retarded or suppressed development, have been modeled in theory by economist Mancur Olson.)
In the case of Africa, one of the factors for this behavior was political instability, and the fact that new governments often confiscated previous government’s corruptly-obtained assets. This encouraged officials to stash their wealth abroad, out of reach of any future expropriation. In contrast, corrupt administrations in Asia like Suharto’s have often taken a cut on everything (requiring bribes), but otherwise provided more of the conditions for development, through infrastructure investment, law and order, and others”.
“Corruption facilitates environmental destruction. Although even the corrupt countries may formally have legistlation to protect the environment, it cannot be enforced if the officials can be easily bribed. The same applies to social rights such as worker protection, prevention of child labor and unionization. Violation of these laws and rights enables corrupt countries to gain an illegitimate economic advantage in the international market.”
“Bribery requires two participants: one to give the bribe, another to take it. In some countries the culture of corruption extends to every aspect of public life, making it extremely difficult for individuals to stay in business without resorting to bribes. Bribes may be demanded in order for an official to do something he is already paid to do. They may also be demanded in order to bypass laws and regulations. In some developing nations up to half of the population have paid bribes during the past 12 months. “
“While bribery includes an intent to influence or be influenced by another for personal gain, which is often difficult to prove, graft only requires that the official gains something of value, not part of his official pay, when doing his work. Large “gifts” qualify as graft, and most countries have laws against it. (For example, any gift over $200 value made to the President of the United States is considered to be a gift to the Office of the Presidency and not to the President himself. The outgoing President must buy it if he wants to take it with him.) Another example of graft is a politician using his knowledge of zoning to purchase land which he knows is planned for development, before this is publicly known, and then selling it at a significant profit. This is comparable to insider trading in business.”
“While bribes may be demanded in order to do something, payment may also be demanded by corrupt officials who otherwise threaten to make illegitimate use of state force in order to inflict harm. This is similar to extortion by organized crime groups. Illegitimate use of state force can also be used for outright armed robbery. This mostly occurs in unstable states which lack proper control of the military and the police. Less open forms of corruption are preferred in more stable states.”
“Government officials, especially if involved in illegal activities, are also liable to extortion, both by senior corrupt officials or other criminals. These develop over time into complicated networks of corruption, where law enforcement merely serves as a way to discredit and destroy. The anti- corruption effort is not immune to corruption either: there are examples of cases where officials of an Anti- corruption Bureau have extorted sums from corrupt officials.”

Patronage Favors Supporters

“Patronage refers to favoring supporters, for example with government employment. This may be legitimate, as when a newly elected goverment changes the top officials in the administration in order to effectively implement its policy. It can be seen as corruption if this means that incompetent persons, as a payment for supporting the regime, are selected before more able ones. In nondemocracies many government officials are often selected for loyalty rather than ability. They may be almost exclusively selected from a particular group (for example, Sunni Arabs in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, the nomenklatura in the Soviet Union, or the Junkers in Imperial Germany) that support the regime in return for such favors.”
“Favoring relatives (nepotism) or personal friends (cronyism) is combined with bribery, for example demanding that a business should employ a relative of an official controlling regulations affecting the business. The most extreme example is when the entire state is inherited, as in North Korea or Syria.” /MP (to be continued next issue...)

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Guindaea It Baha

Eain-eain ro daea it baha sa kabuhi it mga tawo. May naga kasamad nga igdaeapat, may guina anod nga baeay, may guina anod nga mga hayop. Maskin tawo guina anod man ngani. Ogaling may guinabaton man nga grasya bangud abo man nga guina sueog ag guina saeag nga mga igdaeapat ag mga hayop. Raya ro gusto ni Diego kon magbaha tongod abo pirme ro anang natipon sa pagsaeag. May ana nga baesa ag sige ro anang libot kon may baha agod magsaeag ko mga guina-anod.
Isaeang adlaw, guin balita sa radiyo nga may maabot nga madauem nga baha. Sige-sige ro pag inuean idto sa ilaya busa, sige man ro ilig ko tubi sa suba. Dugang pa, ro madauem nga taob sa baybay hay naga subeang sa sueog. Ro puersa it daywang ka tubi hay naga subeang, busa naga eapaw sa pangpang. Pagkasayod ni Diego nga may baha, nagpahaum eon imaw ko anang baesa. Guin aywan nana ro andang baeay ag ro anang mag-ina agod magpang saeag ko guina anod daea ko baha.
Samtang sige ro anang pag pinang-saeag, may napan-uhan imaw nga baeay nga guina anod paeayo. Owa sa ana nga buot tongod abo pa man nga igdaeapat ro anang guina hinakwat dungan sa anang baesa.
Sa owa magbuhay, naghubas eon ro baha, ngani malipayon si Diego nga nag-uli. Ogaling, pag-abot nana sa anda, owa imaw it hakita ko andang baeay. Dali-dali nana it pinanghaboy ro anang guin pangsaeag ag apason nana ro anang baeay. Haabutan nana ro anang baeay ag guin pang dapit nana ro anang pamilya agod daehon sa pangpang.
Tumaliwan ro sang adlaw, habalik nana ro andang baeay sa bulig ko andang mga kahilapitan. Nakabatyag dayon it sakit-oeo ag sakit it tiyan si Diego. Sa pagtan-aw kana it doctor, nasayuran nga may masakit si Diego nga dueot ko ihi it mga eanggam. Mayad ngani ay naagapan eagi ag imaw hay nagmayad.
Halin kato, owa eon si Diego naga panga-eakman kon may baha. Naga preparar imaw kon mag-abot ro baha paagi sa pag-gaid o pag sueay ko mga poste agod indi ig anod ro andang baeay.
Indi bali nga owa imaw it masaeag, basta indi eang maanod ro andang baeay ag indi magmasakit nga dueot sa pagbabad sa tubi kon mag baha. /MP

Shrinking Space In Public Schools School Sites Need Physical Upgrading

by Ernesto T. Solidum
Aging folks like myself vividly remember with nostalgia that our public schools once sported only three basic buildings constructed in their tutelage area namely: Main, Home Economics and Industrial Arts. Architectural designs were discreet but imposing and magnificent. They seemed to float amidst a sea of verdant hills and open space. Present were majestic acacia trees, home to numerous birds and creeping animals and the ubiquitous gumamela. Playground served as area for camping, sports, cultural shows and graduation rites.
Young and agile bodies romped freely on well kept lawns, chatted or took merienda under verdant trees and concrete benches. No bottled mineral water or chicken barbeque during those times but water and air naturally fresh and pure nourished us.
Now, half a century later this picture looks pretty much different. The same land area hasn’t change. Yet, almost all vacant spaces including those allotted for vegetable gardening and ornamentals are now gone. In their stead are buildings in various shapes and colors. Low profile buildings such as Bagong Lipunan are indeed low cost but unbearably hot especially during summer. The aged one leaks during rain. Majority of these structures are now dilapidated and fit for rehabilitation or demolition.
Culprit can be population pressure and lack of constructive foresight of DepEd/DPWH officials and leaders at all levels to regulate erection of permanent structures inside school grounds. School enrolment which grow at 2.1 percent per year inevitably triggers more building constructions and other facilities.
Since there is no national policy regarding establishment of two storey buildings and the fact that no fund exist for such undertaking, the only option is for horizontal growth. In progressive urban centers, intermediate pupils and high school students are based in two storey buildings. At first glance, it may be expensive but upon analysis, it is cost effective on account of upgraded land value. Furthermore, DepEd has no policy for the acquisition of school sites by direct purchase. Consistently, over the years it has relied solely on generous donors residing in the area.
To some extent, school sites shrink because of oversight or administrator’s deference to politicians. At Ibajay Elem. School, three unrelated structures namely: Ibajay Waterworks, tennis court and upbeat canteen are thriving without any dissenting public opinion. Kalibo Elem. School ground has been usurped by APSTA Teacher’s Center building. Above facilities although necessary in the interest of public relations are distantly related to education. Therefore, should be bared from school’s premises. APSTA is best located at Prov’l. Capitol grounds since target coverage are teachers in the whole province of Aklan.
Compounding woes in land use planning is growth of secondary schools within the hubris of the primary school system. Currently, there are six (6) Integrated and 58 National High Schools operating under the direct supervision of DepEd. Integrated schools are jointly funded by national government and LGU’s while National High Schools get their budget from national government. Following successful implementation of barangay high schools in early 1980’s they have morphed into its present state. Almost all secondary schools are still based in their mother units thereby scrimping by impulse on remaining open land.
Optimum standard for open spaces in public schools is 40 percent of total land area. Mrs. Edna R. Ayon, Planning Officer II of DepEd Division Office said that “this is illusory.” “Pragmatic approach is always to accommodate new entrants and construct more buildings to the hilt if its necessary.” Average school site is just 1.0 hectares. With prevailing “overloaded” status of campuses, open spaces will most likely disappear two decades from now.
A case in point is the Kalibo Pilot Elem. School (KPES). Established at the turn of the 20th century, it enjoyed singular luxury of space (2.6 has.) An imposing Gabaldon building was constructed, actually one of 377 units in the country. Over the years as part of urbanization, 14 other new buildings/structures have sprung up while four are in the planning stage.
The result: practically only 4,000 sq. m. remain as open space where optimum requirement is 10,400 sq.m. With enrolment of 2,483 pupils and the whole area is swamped with stagnant water during inclement weather, children do not have alternative place except to play indoors.
Mrs. Nenita R. Bicera, Principal II, Kalibo Pilot Elementary School, views shrinking open space with utmost concern. “Although there is a National Heritage Act to conserve historical and cultural landmarks among them the Gabaldon building, yet the whole structure is greatly saddled by defects.” Natural aging and incursion of insects, bats, and rodents have taken a toll on this historic building. Renovation of the building is hindered by meager fund release which frequency is far in between.
DPWH structural engineers must render thorough investigation of the building and recommend measures either for full scale renovation or for demolition. (How about restoration to preserve its historical value?) Mrs. Bicera contends that if funds are available, a two-storey edifice must be constructed near the towering Mabini monument.
Educational thrust can only be effective if a conducive atmosphere of teaching-learning exist in our schools. This include a systematic upgrading of buildings. All schools whether public or private must be child friendly.
Let the 21st century be a challenge for educators and public officials to implement a meaningful and substantive change in the physical environment of schools. Time to act is now. /MP

Promote Welfare, Foundation Vows of Handicapped Ilonggo Children

by Alex P. Vidal

The executive director of the reorganized Iloilo Mercy Foundation for the Handicapped, Inc. (IMFHI) has vowed to prioritize the promotion of welfare of handicapped children in Iloilo City.
Sister Sandra C. Alejo, F.I., a social worker by profession, and executive director of IMFHI, said since the foundation was reorganized, reentered and approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 26, 2001, it has engaged into networking with other non-government organizations (NGOs) and government agencies especially the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Iloilo.
She identified these agencies as the Iloilo Code NGO, Iloilo Council of Social Development, Association of Disabled Persons, Inc. and Philippine Association of Social Work, Inc. (PASWI).
Formerly known as the Philippine Band of Mercy-Iloilo Chapter (PBM-Iloilo), IMFI is a non-stock, charitable, non-government foundation established to promote the welfare of persons with disabilities (PWD), especially the physically and mentally handicapped children, youth and elderly with congenital deformities, said Alejo.
Some of the deformities are known as cleft-lip and cleft-palate medical cases and other disabilities acquired through illness or accident.
Alejo, 69, said the foundation has served Western Visayas since 1975. Its primary purpose is the rehabilitation through medical and surgical of handicapped children, youth and elderly.
She stressed that most applicant/patients came from poverty stricken families often from far-flung areas and hard-to-reach areas of Iloilo province and nearby provinces of Guimaras and Negros Occidental.
“Often, these handicapped-member families have no access to medical and surgical treatment because they cannot afford the fees,” Alejo explained.
The foundation envisions that Filipinos with disabilities both physical and mental are “to enjoy the access to health services as a right especially in Western Visayas to affordable but quality medical and surgical treatment regardless of economic, social status in life as getting admitted to hospital/clinic for medical and surgical treatment.”
Poor handicapped children must be given top priority, Alejo said.
Meanwhile, some of the programs and services of IMFHI are: for medical and surgical assistance—1. laboratory examination, medical check-up; 2. medical/surgical repairs of congenital deformities, especially cleft-lip and cleft-palate, and other deformities acquired through illness and accident; preventing blindness through cataract treatment in children and especially elderly; 3. preventive medicine through primary health care program, barangay/community-based identified by IMFHI; conducting training to primary health care workers; 4. conducting dental and medical mission to far flung and hard-to-reach areas in Iloilo province whenever requested as to provide medical check-up and low-cost medicines; and 5. provision of artificial leg, artificial eye, other prosthesis.
Also, for preventive measures as having Mother Candida Eq Center for children, an early childhood education program, an alternative approach to learning using EQ (emotional intelligence of Daniel Goleman as core learning experiences with an inclusion program; educational assistance to children and youth with disabilities and social work intervention: social casework and group work; helping families through women’s organization augment family income through livelihood projects or IGP (income generating projects) in identified areas.
Officials of the IMFHI are: Julia C. Benedicto as honorary president; and Board of Trustees led as president and chairperson by Erlinda Liberiaga , Atty. Felipe Macahilig as first vice president for internal affairs, Elizabeth Lacson as second vice president for external affairs, Dr. Therese F.P. Muyco as secretary, Sister Alejo as treasurer and executive director, and Fr. Manuel Vergara, OSA as assistant treasurer. /MP

OFW Families Saving: Junk Cars, New Homes

RECENT central bank data doesn’t bode too well for those selling cars and houses to families of overseas Filipino workers. Majority of OFW families are either deep in debt to lenders for the overseas stint or they prefer to save money.
Whatever’s in between the latter two major spending, as cited in the recent consumer expectations survey of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), are spent on food and education.
Just ask 44-year-old Clarita Quisel, a housewife and fish vendor in Los Baños, Laguna.
Her husband, who’s now in Qatar, had just finished repaying some P65,000 in debt prior to his overseas trip last year.
Despite that, she said it’s still an uphill climb to save P20 a week or nearly a dollar within 14 days.
“We’re still hard up,” Quisel told the OFW Journalism Consortium and sweeps her hand to their one-bedroom house on a 70-square meter lot.
With the strengthening of the peso against the American greenback, Quisel said she augments the P9,000 (US$219.50 at $1=P41) monthly remittance her husband sends every month.
Much of that takes care of our daily needs as well as for the children’s schooling, she explained. All three of their six children are in school.
Scratch out Quisel among either the 1.4 percent of OFW households who said they would buy a car or the 1.1 percent who said buying a house is a spending priority.
These figures represent a poll of 2,526 Filipino households in Metro Manila and 2,561 outside of National Capital Region (NCR) polled by the BSP for the fourth-quarter consumer expectations survey.
The survey got responses from 2,445 households in Metro Manila and 2,524 from the provinces, out of the targeted 5,087 respondents.


Some 469 of the total number of respondents to this first nationwide consumer survey are OFW households, said Winecito Tan of the BSP’s Department of Economic Statistics.
And most of these households are saving than spending.

Debt Repayment

MAJORITY of the total 469 households, according to the survey, are still focused on repaying debts they incurred prior to working abroad.
Only 17.5 percent of the total that have dependents working abroad allot remittances for saving while paying loans.
The numbers also point that most OFW households who save money are outside the NCR.
This development surrounding the number of OFW families who save while these households allocate remittances for daily sustenance in the household, for schooling, medical expenses, and repaying debts incurred prior to migration such as placement fees, membership payments, among others.
The year-end consumer survey figures for OFW households show that almost all OFW households (97.3 percent) use remittances for food and other household needs. While some 61.2 percent of these same households use remittances for education, 29.3 percent of OFW families use the monies for medical expenses.
Repaying debts incurred to facilitate the overseas migration of the household member is what some 34.0 percent of OFW households do.
“Good thing we have written off that debt,” Quisel said. “That (repayment) affected our family’s spending.”
“What I have is some P3,000 in Kawayanan (referring to the Kawayanan Bayanihan Multipurpose Cooperative in Malinta village, Los Baños,” she said adding that that comes from her own savings selling fish from Laguna Lake.
There are some “lapses” to the weekly habit, she admitted, especially when there are urgent expenses at home.
But Quisel goes back at the Kawayanan’s weekly Sunday queue once again to make another deposit.
“Somehow, I have learned the habit of saving,” she said, “and I have learned to set aside some amounts from the daily expenses for my next deposit.”
She also learned one new thing with Kawayanan: “If you want to save, you have to work harder.”


DATA from property brokers like CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) emphasize the notion that unlike the pre-Asia financial crisis levels, OFWs are pushing market demand.
In their presentation during the Asian International Real Estate Expo and Conference in December 2007, CBRE said that foreign investors and local and foreign end-users like OFWs and overseas Filipinos are the drivers of the current property boom experienced by the Philippines.
Notably, as the percentage of OFW families that save reached at least 17 percent of the surveyed households, only 5.9 percent of these use their incomes for investment.
The figure was 5.2 percent for OFW families in Metro Manila, and 6.6 percent for provincial-based counterparts.
If matched with the BSP survey, these OFWs may be part of the high and middle-income groups polled.
But they are the minority in the survey.
Majority of the respondents (59 percent) of the consumer surveyed were in the “low-income group,” or those families who earn less than P10,000 monthly.
Nearly 36 percent of the total 4,952 respondent households were in the middle-income group (P10,000 to P29,999 monthly) while five percent or 254 households belonged to the high-income group (over-P30,000 monthly).
It is only this latter household group who showed optimism that will run up to the next 12 months.
The results from the consumer survey for OFW households contrast what previous studies from Economics students of the University of the Philippines point to the conclusion is that OFW families have a hard time saving.
A study by Ramon Jose Idang and Cheddie Yap, titled “Determinants of the Saving Behavior of Filipino Households,” finds that as more Filipino families increase the number of members going abroad and their remittances, “the need for relatives back home to increase their savings lessens”.
“As the number of overseas Filipino workers increases, income tends to decline,” the authors contend in their 2002 study that looked at data from the Family Income and Expenditures Survey. /MP

Men Are Just Happier People

Forwarded e-mail by Dr. Raphy Tayco

What do you expect from such simple creatures? Your last name stays put. The garage is all yours. Wedding plans take care of themselves. Chocolate is just another snack. You can be President. You can never be pregnant. You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO shirt to a water park.
Car mechanics tell you the truth. The world is your urinal. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky. You don’t have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Same work, more pay. Wrinkles add character. Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100. People never stare at your chest when you’re talking to them. New shoes don’t cut, blister, or mangle your feet. One mood all the time.
Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. You know stuff about tanks. A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. You can open all your own jars. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.
Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack. Three pairs of shoes are more than enough. You almost never have strap problems in public. You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes. Everything on your face stays its original color. The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades. You only have to shave your face and neck.
You can play with toys all your life. One wallet and one pair of shoes; one color for all seasons. You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look. You can “do” your nails with a pocket knife. You have freedom of choice concerning growing a moustache.
You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes. No wonder men are happier.
This is good reading for the women who can handle it and for the men who will enjoy reading it /MP

Aklanons Call All Filipinos To Stand Up For Truth

A group of Aklanons had organized themselves into “Aklanon’s Movement For Truth and Accountability. They are calling all Aklanons to UNITE and JOIN hands and be a part of a noble cause to effect social change. The members and officers are urging everybody to act now against the morally bankrupt government. They are urging everybody to act now for truth, accountability and meaningful change, “so our next generation will have a humane, just and a better place to live in”.
The group is headed by Ms. Erlinda “Tita Linda” Belayro as chairman/convenor. Tita Linda is a three termer Kalibo Sangguniang Bayan member.
In their prayer rally held in Pastrana Park, Kalibo, Aklan in the late afternoon, Friday, March 14, the Aklanon Movement condemned the following acts:
1. The cover–up and the past and current whitewashes of evidences which implicate Ms. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her husband, Miguel Arroyo along with Malacañang minions in numerous deals that involved bribery and corruption;
2. The gross and systematic plunder of the Philippines’ coffers and resources for the benefits of limited influential government officials and cronies resulting to grave poverty and social injustices among Filipinos;
3. The Arroyo administration’s shameless disregard of the intensity and effects of NBN scam, North Rail Transit and South Rail Transit questionable transactions, the Spratly Issue, the Fertilizer scandal and election cheatings among others;, and
4. The blatant and unabashed misuse against the people of the government machineries and government agencies like the GSIS, Dept. of Justice, Philippines National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The Aklanon Convenors group ended their prayer/rally with candle lighting ceremonies and went on a procession around Pastrana Park to show to the people their disgust against the abuses of the present Malacañang occupants, as well as to pray that Malacañang occupants will be enlightened and that they stop now graft and corruption. /MP

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Editorial march 9 – 15, 2008 ISSUE

Watching The 2008 National Budget

The 2008 national budget of the Philippines was signed into law this week in the midst of corruption issues against Malacañang Palace. The budget bill was signed simultaneously while the joint Senate Investigating Committees of Blue Ribbon, Trade and Industry, and National Defense continues its hearing on the National Broadband Network which allegedly involved the “greedy group”. The NBN Scandal has branched out to the sovereignty issue specifically on the Spratly group of islands.

The 2008 national budget amounts to P1.227 trillion, an investment according to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for the Filipino people and to fight corruption in the Philippines. This is an acceptance that her government is graft laden.

It was found in the results of regional poll of expatriate businessmen, that the Philippines is the most corrupt nation among 13 Asian economies. An expatriate is a person from another country doing business in places other than his homeland. A good example is a Briton doing business in the Philippines.

According to the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC), the “Philippines is a sad case when it comes to corruption”. It is no worse than countries such as Indonesia and Thailand. However, corruption in the Philippines has become politicized and discussed openly in the media.

In the study, the Philippines scored 9 out of possible 10 points in a grading system PERC used. Under that grading system, a score of 10 points is worst in the incidents of corruption while a zero (0) score is the best score, no corruption case.

With this case of the Philippines in the field of corruption, will this P1.227 trillion national budget for 2008 matter and will it make a difference in the lives of the 87 million Filipinos? To illicit a yes answer in this age of corrupt officials is extremely difficult. It is like a rich man who strongly wishes to pass through an eye of a needle but cannot until he dies and be pulverized.

The implementation of this gargantuan amount of 2008 national budget demands watching by eagle eyed men. For instance, will the Department of Education continue buying computers at P249,970 per set which brand and quality is available at not more than P30,000 a set in the open market?

The top 10 government agencies which must be watched as they got the top 10 highest allocations are:

1. Department of Education – P140.24 billion;

2. DPWH – P94.73 billion;

3. Dept. of Interior and Local Govt. – P53.25 billion

4. Department of National Defense – P50.93 billion;

5. Department of Agriculture – P24.71 billion;

6. DOTC – P20.82 billion;

7. Department of Health – 19.77 billion

8. State Universities and Colleges – P19.64 billion;

9. Judiciary – P10.28 billion; and

10. Department of Foreign Affairs – P10.19 billion.

According to the proponents of the 2008 budget, it is an investment, essential building blocks of the Philippines’ education, economy, and environment. This deserves watching. Watching your taxes, watching your money. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

Will GM Chito Peralta Void

The Amended EPPA?

Last week, Mr. Chito Peralta got the approval of the members of the Board of Directors, Akelco as general manager. He got a 7 – 0 votes, unanimous for Mr. Peralta.

After more than one year search for a person who can manage best the affairs of Akelco, a man is found in the person of Mr. Chito Peralta. The new manager is not new to Akelco. He is an old hand in Akelco having been there for several years.

Mr. Peralta used to be a member of the Akelco Board, even the chairman of it. If my memory served me best, it was during the chairmanship of Mr. Chito Peralta when the Akelco – Mirant Electric Power Purchase Agreement (EPPA) was approved. This EPPA was hurriedly amended and finally the subject of the protest among the consumer–members.

Today, that amended EPPA between the Global Business Power Corporation and Akelco is the subject for annulment of contract in court. According to the oppositors, the amendments were done in bad faith. Some major provisions in the original EPPA were deleted and changed with the provisions using a formula which altered the computation of power rate so different from what was presented. The exclusivity clause was added too. Moreover, the BOD approval of the said amended EPPA was done hurriedly. Those involved in the original contract were not consulted like Congressman Florencio T. Miraflores.

Now that Mr. Chito Peralta is the Akelco general manager, what side will he select? Will he join the oppositors against the Amended Electric Power Purchase Agreement so that the said amended EPPA will be rendered null and void? Will general manager Chito Peralta continue his support to the amended EPPA?

Water At Numancia Water District

Since last week, water coming from the Numancia Water District is flowing regularly. We expect this kind of service will continue to be the role rather than the exception. And that if there is any advisory, it will be about the water project being done to improve water service rather than water interruption.

On the other hand, I cannot figure out how did I consume 17 cubic meters during the period February 8 to March 5, 2008. During those days, the role was more of water interruptions and less water supply. In my case, air flew most of the time when I opened my faucet the previous weeks. I am gathering water from the rain, as there is more rain, which I am using like cleaning the comfort room. Rain water is free and of better quality.

Congestion At Kalibo Airport

Congressman Florencio T. Miraflores announced, “the Kalibo domestic airport will soon become an international gateway.” This is a very positive development which all Aklanons must welcome.

“The airport will have a new terminal building which initial budget is P80 million. It will have regular customs and immigration offices. The national government has assured additional facilities,” Miraflores added.

This new terminal building construction is scheduled in April this year which is adjacent to the old terminal building.

But “this is only a stop-gap move in our mission to build modern facilities. Our budget is limited but can answer the needs of tourists and passengers for the time being,” explained Miraflores. He urged all Aklanons to make the airport safe with tourist-efficient service despite its lack of facilities.

At present, Asian Spirit Airlines is having regular flights between Kalibo, Aklan and Incheon, South Korea. Another foreign airline will soon service the Kalibo, Aklan – Taipei, Taiwan route.

Our officials have grand plan for the Kalibo Airport and tourism industry in Aklan. But shall we allow to continue the present deplorable condition in the departure and arrival areas?

Areas of the Kalibo Airport

There is congestion not only because of the limited space but so much so because of the massage clinic, snack bar and souvenir shops.

I cannot imagine why those matters are inside in the departure area. Let it be removed from there for they are misplaced articles in that place. It must be situated in a proper location. Nowhere in the airports in the world where massage clinic is located in departure area. Let nothing bothers the arriving and departing passengers in Kalibo Airport. Will ATO-DOTC “moderate its greed”? /MP