Friday, April 25, 2008

Editorial - April 26, 2008 ISSUE

Akelco’s Silence Does Not Serve Best
On March 28, 2008, Atty. Romeo P. Inocencio filed with the Energy Regulatory Commission, Pasig City an “Urgent Motion/Supplemental Manifestation in the Matter of the Petition for Approval of the Inclusion to Akelco’s Retail Rate of Costs From the 5 – MW and 12.5 – MW Electric Power Purchase Agreements (“EPPA”) as Amended With Mirant Global Corporation.”
Atty. Inocencio is the counsel for the Oppositors SP Member Ramon Gelito and Franklin Quimpo against the implementation of the Amended EPPA between Akelco and Mirant Global Business Power Corporation. Atty. Inocencio is also a co-oppositor in ERC Case No. 2005 – 013 RC.
According to Inocencio, the Amended EPPA has been immediately implemented by Akelco which resulted to the “paying excessive and exorbitant electricity rates to Global Business Power Corporation”.
In his urgent motion, Inocencio pointed out that for the 10 month period of May 2007 to February 2008, Akelco was not able to consume the contracted 4,000,000 Kwh a month. for the same period of 10 months. Akelco consumed 2,835,200 Kwh only or an average of 283,520 Kwh per month at an average cost of P40.00 per Kwh.
Incocencio furnished copies of his urgent motion six other offices like the Tañada, Vivo, Tan and Follosco, Morallos & Herce Law offices. Akelco was also furnished a copy.
Moreover, Akelco has also filed with the ERC an “Application for Approval of Over-all Tariff Adjustment”. If this application is approved, the cost of electricity in Aklan will increase as follows: For residential – P0.72 per Kwh; for Small Commercial – P0.13 per Kwh; for public buildings – P0.83 per Kwh; for street lights – P4.40 per Kwh; and for large commercial – P0.95 per Kwh.
It appears that this application for approval of over-all tariff adjustment with the ERC has no imprimatur from the Board of Directors of Akelco. There was also no consultation made by Akelco with the consumer – members who have been believing they own Akelco.

Who Owns Akelco?

Is consultation necessary between the seller and the buyers of any public utility commodity especially on goods, the distribution and marketing of it is a monopoly? The seller must agree how must it may sell his commodity while the buyers must also agree how much to buy that commodity like electricity.
There are several vital information surrounding Akelco that its consumer-members must know because it affects their economic condition and even social life.
It was for these reasons that the “Kapehan Sa Aklan” decided to discuss “Koryente” on April 12, 2008. However, the most concerned officials and authority on Akelco affairs begged off not to attend because they have prior commitment. Mr. Chito Peralta, general manager and Mr. Paterno I. Ibarreta, chairman, Board of Directors, Akelco were not able to attend.
Only the oppositors in ERC Case No. 2005 – 013RC attended like Atty. Romeo Inocencio, Hon. Rodson Mayor and Mr. Franklin Quimpo. Their sides were presented but the Akelco side was not.
In the spirit of fair play and transparency, Mr. Chito Peralta and Mr. Ibarreta were again invited for the April 19 Kapehan in the hope to hear their points. However, the Kapehan Advisory Council did not hear any word from them after that invitation was served.
In Akelco’s application with ERC for general rate adjustment, it only revealed the existing rates, the proposed rates, and the rate differences. It also revealed the existing revenue of P126,016,058.72 per month while the proposed revenue is P211,823,571.37 which is about double the existing.
Akelco proposed to spend the proposed revenue for the following expenses like personal services, operation and maintenance, Debt Service and for reinvestment. Akelco needs to pay its quarterly loan obligation at P5,144.669.00 or a total of 20,395,020 annually. These are the Akelco matters Kapehan Sa Aklan must discuss for the information of its consumer members who are deemed Akelco owners.

GBPC 4M KWH Contract

Going over the 10 month record of May 2007 to February 2008 of Akelco as found in its website, Akelco has not distributed or consumed the monthly minimum energy take off of 4 million Kwh for that 10 month period. It has only consumed 2,835,200 Kwh. And Akelco paid the amount equivalent to the minimum energy take off of 4 million a month. Why does Akelco pay for the energy it has not made use of and passes the cost of payment to its consumer members?
But that is stipulated in the Amended EPPA. These are the things the consumer members long to know why through the tri media program Kapehan Sa Aklan.
The approval of the Amended EPPA between Akelco and GBPC was done at the time when Mr. Chito Peralta was at the helm of Akelco. It was also approved by ERC upon the BOD Akelco and Mr. Chito Peralta’s recommendation. He therefore has the obligation to answer Akelco consumer members’ questions. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

The Tale of 42 Percent Poor

“Figure does not lie”, according to mathematicians. And the latest figure on poverty is: “some 42 percent of the Aklanons are in the poverty threshold.”
This figure is based upon that data the Bureau of National Statistics Office, Aklan gathered and analyzed. This present figure shows an increase of nine (9) percent over the previous years which was 33 percent poverty threshold.
This 42 percent threshold level means that for every 100 persons living in Aklan, 42 of them are poor while 58 are above the poverty line who are living with all the basic requirements of life such as food, housing, clothing, health, education and recreation.
On the other hand, the persons who belong to the poor group are characterized as having no employment with small income, if any, who can hardly or even unable to support to live a normal life. They maybe living partly on government charity and some dole outs from relatives, friends and charitable institutions.
This high poverty incidents in Aklan is hard to believe but that is the figure released by no other than the official statistician of the government. Unless another figure is released by the government mandated to conduct studies and release result of the study, the 42 percent of Akeanons are living below the poverty level stands.
But some people concerned in economic enhancement in the provincial capitol in Kalibo, Aklan are questioning the credibility of the 42 percent poverty threshold level of Aklan. Engr. Roger M. Esto, chief, Provincial Development Planning Office of Aklan has expressed doubts on the figure. He questioned the sampling method used, the identification of samples, the questionnaire used and the enumeration process.
Engr. Esto may have the good points, but still the 42 percent threshold level stays.
It maybe to the best interest of the provincial government of Aklan to review the twin provincial program, Tourism and Agriculture. Questions like: 1. Does the benefits of the twin program in tourism and agriculture really benefit the 42 percent for which the program is addressed to? Is the program really implemented accordingly with full support? Are the processes and methods of program implementation complied with?

Field Level Grain Center

For instance the Aklan provincial government has installed a field level grain center in Brgy. Laguinbanwa, Ibajay, Aklan. This project cost P7 million which was started in 2002. The project is designed to provide warehousing, drying, milling and hauling facilities of palay of the farmers. It is designed to improve the quality of palay produced, increase milling recovery of rice and finally increase the net profit of palay producers in Aklan particularly of Ibajay. The lot where the grain center is located is being rented by the provincial government from the land owner. However, until today, the grain center is not being utilized. This post harvest facilities for palay has never contributed in economic progress until today. It even increased government expenditure.

Symptoms of Poverty

To disprove the 42 percent poverty threshold level, it will require another data gathering, tabulation, and analysis using the proven statistical and scientific method of studies. However, this will entail some budget, any expenditure which may not be available at this time.
But how about observing the present situation in Aklan, review the data already available on hand? The provincial government may have the record as to the number of Philhealth Cards it issued in the year 2007? This is one good indicator of the economic status of the Aklanons. The more Philhealth Cards issued, the more poor families there are. Also, from the office of the Provincial Treasurer of Kalibo, Mr. Evan Timtiman may collate and reveal the percentage of collection of real estate tax. How many percent for every 100 centavos collectibles real estate property tax is collected? This will also serve as good indicator of poverty or wealth. The ability to pay taxes may show the economic status of the people.
In the government hospitals like DRSTMH, they may have some data of 2007. How many were indigent patients compared to patients in the paywards? In the office of the Provincial Governor, Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Office of Municipal Mayors and Sangguniang Bayans of 17 towns, they might have data on the number of solicitors who requested financial assistance for food, hospitalization, schooling and other assistance. This will help disprove the 42 percent threshold poverty level in Aklan.
Statistics cannot be disproved unless another record is shown to invalidate it. Those concerned in the upliftment of the standard of living of the 500,000 Aklanons must take note of the 42 percent threshold poverty level. There is a need to review the present programs and adjust it to address poverty. After a year, once that number is substantially reduced, that is a big success. The 42 percent is a good baseline data to be used as a gauge of success in the coming year. Let the provincial planners and program implementors review the current programs, if necessary and implement it according to the purposes for which it were drafted and approved. /MP


Proudly Aklanon made piña barong Gov. Carlito S. Marquez & Vice Gov. Gabrielle V. Calizo

MP Publisher Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente with DTI Aklan Director Ms. Ermelinda Pollentes, DTI Region VI Director Dominic Abad, & DILG Director.

Sen. Loren Legarda, with Megs Lunn of Madyaas Pen & Jessie Reyes of Panay News – Aklan

Dr. Ambrosio Villorente during the presscon.

With SB Madeline Regalado, Elverita Templonuevo, and Pandan Mayor Sanchez . Sen. Legarda facing the Aklan media in a presscon.

Gov. Lito Marquez & Spouse with their son in Piña Barong.

Gov. Marquez giving bouquet of flowers to Vice Gov. Calizo after the fashion show.

The captain of tourism in Aklan (left) who successfully brought piña fiber cloth showcase during the Aninag show, being the director of the show herself….Vice Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo.

Fr. Boy Quan, Gov. Marquez, Vice Gov. Calizo, Ms. Nora Lao and other Philippine Export guests from Manila during the opening of Trade Fair at Capitol .

LGU Lezo exhibits at the 52nd Aklan Day

CT Scan Paga Inagurahan

The multi million peso worth of CT Scan just installed in DRSTMH with Dr. Paul Macahilas, Chief of Hospital II, and Ms. Palmi Isturis, Administrative Officer II will be inaugurated in the afternoon, April 24.

Ginakalipay ko Aklan Provincial Government sa pagpanguna ni Gov. Carlito S. Marquez ro pagbukas it CT Scan Service sa sueod it Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital (DRSTMH), Kalibo, Aklan
Matapos ro pilang buean nga preparasyon sa pag kaayad sa lugar nga pagabutangan it makina, paghanas sa mga empleyado nga maga padaeagan, ag ro mismong pag samit kara, sa maabot nga April 24, 2008, adlaw nga Huwebes, 2:00 it hapon pagahiwatun ro inagurasyon it CT Scan ag ro blessing it bilog nga Radiology Complex. Ro nasambit nga porsyon it DRSTMH hay pagatawgun eon nga Department of Radiology and Ultrasound and Diagnostic Imaging Service Complex kung siin dikara makit-an ro X-ray, ultrasound ag CT Scan sections it ospital.
Ro brand new nga CT Scan machine hay makunsiderang first-of-its-kind iya sa isla it Panay. Raya hay naka-hook sa internet. Buot hambaeon bisan nga ro proseso it pag-scan hay ginapatigayon iya sa Aklan ag ro doctor nga magabasa hay idto sa ibang lugar, pinaagi sa internet, ro resulta hay mahimong maipadaea kana ag pinaagi man gihapon dikara mai-paabot man eagi it doctor ro anang findings sa kondisyon it pasyente.
Si Dr. Douglas B. Budok, sangka Radiologist ag kilaeang Consultant sa pilang ka mga maeagkong ospital sa Iloilo City ro maga-dumaea sa CT scan section. Kaibahan na ro tatlong ka mga Radiologic technologists nga nagpa-idauem it paghanas sa East Avenue Medical Center sa Manila. May kaangtanan sa magiging sinouektan, ro presyo hay kapareho sa ana it West Visayas State University Hospital sa Iloilo City.
Ro dating mabahoe nga problema, maawat sa byahe, ag magastos ro magdaea it pasyente sa Iloilo o Roxas City agud maipa-idauem sa CT Scan examination, makaron hassle-free eon ro makarayang proseso sa pag-angkon it DRSTMH it kaugalingon nga CT Scan machine. Ro inauguration it CT Scan sa April 24, 2008 hay sangka mabahoe nga regalo it Aklan Provincial Government sa mga Aklanon nga naga selebrar it 52nd Aklan Day sa April 25, 2008, suno kay Dr. Paul L. Macahilas, Chief of Hospital II. /MP

Kapehan Tackles Aklan Day

Resource persons during the “Kapehan Sa Aklan” are shown in the above picture who are (l to r) Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino, Dr. Reinalda I. Magdaluyo, Engr. Roger M. Esto, and former Mayor of Numancia Ernesto I. Templonuevo.

“Kapehan Sa Aklan” discussed the Aklan Day Celebration in its weekly tri-media program held in the morning of Saturday, April 19. The Kapehan is a joint project of Aklan Press Club, Publishers Association of the Philippines and the Aklan Media Forum.
This is held every Saturday at 7:00 to 9:00 o’clock in the morning at Kusina Restaurant, Kalibo, Aklan. The discussion is open to the public for their participation. The result of the discussion is published in the newspapers. It is also recorded and played in radio stations and cable television in Kalibo.
Kapehan envisions to highlight for discussions some important and relevant concerns that hasten or impeded development and progress in Aklan.
For the last four Saturdays, topics like the Kalibo Airport Improvement, Rice, Electricity and Aklan Day Celebration were the subjects discussed. Last week, we invited Mr. Chito Peralta and Mr. Paterno Ibarreta, general manager and chairman, Board of Directors, Akelco respectively.
However, they were not available on April 12. Another invitation was given them for the April 19 Kapehan. But they were not able to attend too. Their presence will provide the answer on the 2004 Amended EPPA between Akelco and Global Business Power Corporation which many believed is onerous and most disadvantageous to the consumer members. They will also be requested to inform the public what is this “Application for General Tariff Adjustments” believed without the prior imprimatur of the Akelco Board. But they have failed Kapehan with their presence.
On Saturday, the Kapehan Council will try to have Sec. Arthur Yap of the Department of Agriculture to discuss with him the global food shortage and specifically rice shortage in the Philippines. /MP

Bishop Lazo Hails Aklan Media For Launching Public Forum

by Johnny P. Dayang

Bishop Jose Romeo Lazo of the Diocese of Kalibo hailed the Aklan media for launching a press forum, saying the Catholic Church supports freedom to express ideas and attitudes to help develop society and attain progress.Public opinion is an essential expression of human nature, hence it is necessary that there be freedom to express it, he said before officers, members and guests of Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI), Aklan Press Club, Inc. (APCI) and the Aklan Media Forum (AMF).PAPI, headed by Juan P. Dayang as president, initiated the recent launching of the weekly (every Saturday) “Kapehan sa Aklan” here, in cooperation with APCI and AMF, to discuss, analyze and interpret social, political, economic and cultural issues of vital interests to the public.Among the guests were Mayor Jerry Pelayo of Candaba, Pampanga, National Press Club president Roy Mabasa and Philippine Daily Inquirer publisher Isagani Yambot. PAPI awarded a plaque of appreciation to Mayor Pelayo for his magnanimous gesture of support during PAPI 12th National Press Congress in December held at the state-run Clark Freeport Zone in Angeles city.In his keynote speech during a testimonial dinner of the Aklan mediamen, Bishop Lazo said that communicators have a most important role to play, noting that the news and views they gather and disseminate useful information to enable the people to understand and make a proper decision.Quoting the Vatican II, the prelate said that freedom of speech for individuals and groups must be permitted so long as the common good and public morality be not endangered.If public opinion is to be formed in a proper manner, it is necessary that the public be given free access both to the sources and channels of information and be allowed freely to express its own views, Bishop Lazo said. He also stressed the need for sincerity, honesty and truthfulness in public commu-nications, saying it must state the truth and accurately reflect a situation with all its implications.The moral worth and validity of any communication does not lie solely in its theme or intellectual content. The way it is presented, the way it is spoken and treated and even the audience for which it is presented all these factors must be taken into account, Bishop Lazo stressed.He noted that journalists face formidable obstacles and these include persons interested in concealing the truth. The Church condemns the use of violence against newsmen or against anyone in any way involved in passing on the news, the prelate said, adding that media is in the service of truth, the dignity of man and public interest. /MP


Inviting all the graduates of Capiz Farm School, Banga Rural High School, Aklan Agricultural College, Aklan State College of Agriculture and Aklan State University to the General Alumni Homecoming on April 26, 2008 at ASU Amphitheater, Banga, Aklan.
The activities include a Mass at 8:00 A.M. at the St. Joseph Parish Church, followed by a motorcade around Poblacion, Banga up to the ASU Amphitheater. Registration starts at 9:30 A.M., which will be followed by a short program and election of officers.
The activities will be in honor of the Golden Jubilarians (BHRS Class 1958) and Silver Jubilarians (AAC Classes of 1983).

Aklan State University (Main) Alumni Association, Banga, Aklan, Tel. No. (036) 267-5040. Thank you!

‘No Political Benefit From Pacquiao’s Win’

While Manny Pacquiao was being given accolades inside the ring after grabbing the WBC 130-lb crown on a hairline decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez, I took the opportunity to leave my assigned seat as accredited reporter (credentials number SEC 002 Row E#06) to hobnob with several VIPs and showbiz personalities from the Philippines. This was what they said when sought for their comments:
“Sana naman they should not equate Manny Pacquiao’s victory with politics. Iba yong political turbulence sa Pilipinas, iba naman ang panalo ni Pacquiao. Walang kinalaman ito sa politics and politics will not benefit from Pacquiao’s win,” said Helen Gamboa, wife of former senator Vicente “Tito” III and mother of “Unfinished Business” Philippine National Anthem singer, Ciara.
“Yes, definitely. Manny Pacquiao’s victory was expected to change for the better the political climate in our country today as the entire nation was watching the fight and praying that Pacquiao will win for the sake of national unity,” said House Speaker Prospero Nograles.
“I really expected Pacquiao to win even if (Juan Manuel) Marquez came out very strong. Medyo worried lang ako when it reached the full 12 rounds but I had no doubt in my mind that he won. I saw his win as something that can help unite our nation,” said Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Joselito Atienza, Pacquiao’s foster father.
“There was no doubt that Manny Pacquiao won. His punches were tremendous and they landed very well enough to give Manny a clear victory,” said composer-singer Lito Camo.
“Muntik na akong mapa iyak sa saya. Lumulundag nga ako eh. I was very happy to be given the chance to sing the national anthem for our country. I hope that Kuya Manny’s victory will translate into many positive things for our country,” said Ciara Sotto.
When he saw promoter Rex “Wakee” Salud coming out from the event center, Bacolod Rep. Monico Puentevella embraced the Cebuano hefty and yelled, “Panalo na naman tayo!”
Puentevella’s fellow Negrense and political nemesis, Bacolod Mayor Bing Leonardia said he was personally requested by Pacquiao to again carry the WBC international belt in the ring during the introduction.
“Hindi totoo ‘yan,” protested Lito Mondejar, one of the country’s boxing old timers and perennial carrier of Pacquiao’s belt. “He was the one who requested for it and you can quote me on this.”

Marquez Gave Me A Hard Fight, Admits Pacquiao

The newly crowned World Boxing Council (WBC) super-featherweight champion Manny Pacquiao has admitted that the Juan Manuel Marquez he fought four years ago is not the same person he challenged and beat by split decision on March 15 for the WBC jewels at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada.
“First of all, I would like to thank the Lord for giving me this victory that night,” announced Pacquiao (46-3-2, 34 KOs) during a post fight press conference at the media center. “I would like to thank the Marquez Team for giving me a hard fight.”
Pacquiao admitted that “Marquez was better that fight night; he had a lot of improvement and he had a lot of counter punches.”
The 29-year-old Filipino three-division world champion said his strategy during that fight was to counterpunch as he was wary of Marquez’s jabs which “were not like before” during their first encounter four years ago.
Pacquiao acknowledged that Marquez (48-4-1, 35 KOs) had a power but said he could handle it and that if Marquez wanted to defeat him, the dethroned champion should knock him out.
“I could handle his power because of my brave heart,” Pacquiao, who needed at least 10 stitches to close an ugly cut below his right eyebrow, declared.
He suffered two superficial cuts, according to Dr. Jeffrey Ross, who attended to his injury after the fight.
According to Ross, it will take about six to eight months for the wound, caused by Marquez’s wicked right in the sixth round, to heal “but it will not preclude him from training and fighting in his regular schedule.”
After the fight, Pacquiao blamed himself for absorbing that cut which he admitted had affected his performance after he scored a bone-chilling knockdown in the third round that everyone thought would end the fight.
“Masyado kasi akong nag relax eh dahil alam ko na kaya ko ang suntok niya,” he sobbed.
Marquez and his team refused to accept the verdict. At the press conference that followed after the fight, they bewailed the controversial split decision and insisted that Marquez had won convincingly.
“They took away the victory from me even if I won clearly,” Marquez protested. “I’m happy because of the performance I had that night even if I’m already 34 years old. I have proven that Pacquiao is not a superman as what they have been saying about him.” /MP


Note: In commemoration of the 52nd Aklan Day, Madyaas Pen is pleased to publish this “Composo” submitted by Ms. Leny Alcedo.

Ak-ean, probinsya nga akon naeoeotan,
Eogta ku akon nga mga ginikanan;
Ginbakae ni Puti, Sarok nga bueawan,
Sa kay Marikudo, hari it kaatihan.

Bilidhon Akeanon, nagsueat it “kudigo”;
Imaw si Kalantiaw, Batangnong husto;
Ag si Bangkaya, ku Panay pangu-eo,
Ay ru Ak-ean – puno it Panay katong tiempo.

Ag paghalin kato, ru Akean naghandum,
Nga sa Capiz kita, gabu-eag it dayon;
Abril biente singko, ru-inagurasyon,
Si Goding Ramos kara rung nagpatigayon.

Ku mil nueve sientos singkwenta y saez,
Rung Akean makaagum it pagka libre,
Isaeang probinsyang, may gobyernong
Ngani sa makaron iya kita eagi-eagi.

Aton nga dumdumon rung nagta–ealiwan,
Kon ano rung atong probinsya it Akean;
May maragtas kita nga dapat tipigan,
Hasta sa ulihi nga kaapu-apuhan.

Atong ipangamuyo sa mahae nga Dios,
Rung pa-ea-abuton kung probinsya naton;
Maging malinong ag mangin mauswagon,
Ay kitang Akeanon tawong mabinuligon.

Akon nga tapuson rayang akong kansyon,
Nga una gihapon rung pagpahanumdum;
Aton gid tipigan, ag pakamaha-eon,
Masadya nga binuhatan it mga Akeanon.

Malipayon kita sa rayang higayon,
Ay rung Akean gasilibrar it kahilwayun;
Raya hay pasayod sa tanan gid katon,
Nga rung Akean hay probinsya nga…DUNGGANON!!!

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Tita Linda Belayro

Nag-date Paagi Sa Damgo

Nag umpisa ro tanan ko isaeang gabi-i tag nag damgo si Zarina nga nag-adto imaw sa isaeang ka isla sakay it isaeang ka baroto. Sa anang pag-abot, may hakilaea imaw nga isaeang ka eaeaki nga ro anang pangaean hay Satur nga taga una man sa isla.
Owa magbuhay ro andang pag suguilanon tongod nag uean it mabaskog busa nagbueag sanda. Parabil sanda magbueag, naghambae si Satur nga magakita sanda it uman paagi man sa damgo.
Pagbalik ni Zarina sa anang trabaho sa baraka, may nagpaeapit kana nga suki. Hakibot si Zarina sa pagkakita kay Satur. Nagsuguid si Satur nga magkakilaea sanda. Maeaka naga bakae si Satur sa rayang baraka ag sa gabii sanda nagakita sa andang damgo.
Isaeang adlaw, may magueang nga nag bakae kay Zarina. Bangud sa mayad ro anang pagtatap sa magueang, kontento imaw sa servisio. Guin taw-an imaw it putting panyo. Ro panyo hay may tumaeagsahon nga kahumot nga maka patueog sa tawo. Raya man hay maka boeong sa masakit kon gamiton eamang sa mayad nga katuyu-an. Sa pag-uli ni Zarina ko hapon ngaron, may hasubeang imaw nga hilong. Bu-ot nga sakiton si Zarina. Hadumduman nana ratong panyo. Guin wasiwas nana sa hilong ag natumba ro hilong nga owa it pangalibutan. Nagpadayon sa pag uli si Zarina.
Ko gabii man ngaron, oras eon man nga magakita sanda si Satur. Sa anang pagdamgo, hakita nana si Satur nga masakiton. Suno kay Satur, owa it boeong sa anang masakit kundi kay Zarina eamang. Ko mga oras ngaron hay owa kay Zarina ro panyo. Ngani pagkaaga, guin butang nana sa anang boe-sa ro panyo agod haum imaw sa andang pagkita. Owa eot-a maka adto si Satur sa anang baraka. Owa man imaw makasayod kon siin naga estar si Satur.
Ko masunod nga gabi-i, nagdamgo imaw ogaling owa man gihapon si Satur. May iba nga nagpakita kana, isaeang ka babaye nga maniwang ag isaeang ka onga nga babaye nga masakiton. Naghinyo ro babaye nga eayu-an ro anang asawa para eang sa anang onga nga masakiton. Kon indi sanda mag eayo, hay mamatay si Satur.
Agud indi sanda magkita ni Satur, owa eon imaw mag katoeog kon gabii para indi magdamgo. Sa adlaw eamang imaw naga katoeog. Kon gabii, bugtaw si Zarina. Nagniwang si Zarina tongod owa it toeog kon gabi-i. Indi matakuran ni Zarina ro owa it toeog. Pagkalipas it pilang adlaw, ag sa masunod man nga gabii nagdamgo si Zarina ag nagkita sanda ni Satur.
Iba eot-a ro anang itsura kaibahan ni Satur ro anang pamilya. Nangayo it patawad si Satur. Owa it mahimo si Zarina. Paagi sa panyo nga perme nanang daea, anang guin pahumutan si Satur. Tumaliwan ro pilang oras nga owa it pangalibutan, nagbangon si Satur nga nagbalik sa dating dagway. Guin patawad nana si Satur. Owa imaw naila nga imaw ro maging kabangdanan sa pagkasamad ko pamilya ni Satur.
Halin kato, owa eon sanda nagakita ni Satur maskin sa anang damgo man lang. Ro panyo anang guin gamit sa pagbulig sa tawo. Guina gamit man nana ro panyo bilang panaming sa mga maeain nga ispiritu. /MP

PNRC Aklan Schedules Election

Ms. Lourdes Casas Quezon, Governor, Philippines National Red Cross (PNRC) will be the principal guest and speaker during the Board of Directors’ meeting, PNRC Aklan Chapter. The meeting will be held at Nenette’s Garden, Roxas Avenue Extension, Kalibo, Aklan on May 17, 2008.
Gov. Lourdes Casas Quezon will be introduced by Atty. Plaridel M. Morania, member, Board of Directors, PNRC Aklan before she delivers her keynote speech. During the meeting, 14 new members of the Board of Directors will be elected in accordance with the “Standard Chapter By-Laws of the PNRC”. Atty. Saykeme M. Martelino will serve as chair of the nominations and election committee. She will present election rules and procedures, and present the nominees to the voting delegates. Election will follow, canvassing of votes and proclamation of the 14 elected members of the Board will be done after the counting. Gov. Quezon will sworn them into office. She then will also orient them of their functions, responsibilities and privileges as members of the BOD, PNRC Aklan Chapter.
The morning activities will start with the registration of delegates at 9:00 o’clock. Ms. Pearl Jimriz M. Apostol will do the Doxology and then “Pambansang Awit Ng Pilipinas” by Ms. Alma C. Cawaling. Ms. Remia H. Donguines, member BOD, PNRC Aklan Chapter will read the seven (7) Fundamental principles of the Red Cross. After which, Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino–Chairman of the Board of Directors, PNRC Aklan will open the assembly and call it to Order. Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente, vice chairman, PNRC Aklan will deliver the words of welcome to the guests, visitors and delegates who will then be recognized by Mr. Ernesto F. Melgarejo, secretary BOD PNRC, Aklan.
Atty. Tolentino will deliver the chairman’s report for 2007. Governor Carlito S. Marquez of Aklan and PNRC Governor Ramon Cua Locsin are also invited to deliver their respective messages. Mr. Locsin is a PNRC governor who represents the Visayas. /MP

Flag Carrier’s Low–fares Unit Unveils PAL Express

The Philippine Airlines is launching a new, low-fares unit that will operate a fleet of turbo-propeller aircraft to mostly domestic island points under the brand name “PAL Express”, PAL president Jaime J. Bautista announced recently.
“PAL Express will meet the growing demand of the traveling public for a high-quality carrier offering low fares”, said Bautista.
At the same time, it supports the Philippine government’s efforts to promote trade and tourism, particularly to our many small islands, thus providing a much-needed lift to the local economy of these communities.”
PAL will acquire nine turbo-props: three Bombardier Q300s and six Q400s to comprise PAL Express initial fleet, which will be based mainly in Cebu. Some flights will also operate out of Manila.
PAL Express will primarily fly intra-regional routes in Visayas and Mindanao from its Cebu hub, as well as secondary routes to smaller airports in island provinces that are not able to accommodate PAL’s regular jet aircraft.
The launching PAL Express is a ground-breaking step for the flag carrier, which is creating a sub-brand for the first time in its 67-year history.
“We will leverage on the strength of the PAL brand to make PAL Express the leader in the markets it serves. In turn, PAL benefits from the expansion of its network to areas it does not presently fly to from where PAL Express aims to draw traffic to feed the main trunk routes,” Bautista added.
“But the biggest beneficiary will be the traveler, who is now able to tap into PAL’s extensive route network and enjoy seamless connections between erstwhile inaccessible provincial points and 43 destinations across the Philippines, Asia, Australia and North America,” Bautista stressed.
The structure for PAL Express is similar to the set-up found in several international airlines, where the “legacy” carrier establishes an operating division intended to serve a market niche distinct from the mainline operation.
The division, however, is still supervised by the parent airline, which also provides logistical and administrative support. Examples of this structure are American Airlines, American Eagle, United Airlines, United Express, Air Canada’s Jazz, and Lufthansa’s Lufthansa Cityline.
PAL Express is scheduled to take off on May 5, 2008 with eight flights daily between Manila and Boracay. Services ramp up dramatically on May 19, when PAL Express–Cebu–hub operations commence with flights between Cebu and five points in Visayas and Mindanao.
To introduce these new services, PAL Express is offering a promotional fare of P88 (excluding taxes and surcharges) for one-way flights between Cebu and Bacolod, Caticlan, Tacloban, Butuan and General Santos.
The special fare can be availed of until May 18, 2008 and is for travel from May 19 to August 15, 2008 only. /MP

Aklan Solon Calls For Fast-Tracking of Kalibo Airport Development

Rep. Florencio T. Miraflores of the lone district of Aklan has called for the fast-tracking of the development of Kalibo airport into a modem international airport.
Miraflores issued the call during the Kapihan sa Aklan, a media forum under the auspices of the Aklan Press Club, Inc. (APCI) and the Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc (PAPI), in partnership with the Aklan Media Forum (AMF), held at the Kusina Restaurant yesterday in Kalibo.
The weekly forum, intended to discuss and analyze socio-economic, cultural and political issues, took up government plans to develop the airport in Kalibo, given the surging traffic of tourists en route to the world-famous Boracay resort island.
Among those who joined the discussion were Atty. Allen Salas Quimpo, a former Aklan Congressman, president of the Northwestern Visayan Colleges; Benny A. Palma, president of the Aklan State University; Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino, former Aklan vice-governor and former APCI president; and APCI president Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente.
Attended by concerned citizens from various sectors and covered by Aklan’s tri-media journalists, the forum was handled by media men Odon Bandiola and Allen Alcedo as hosts with Boy Ryan Zabal, president of the Aklan Police and Defense Press Corps and Billy R. Arguelles of AMF as coordinators.
In his remarks, Miraflores underscored the urgent need to fast-track the development of the Kalibo airport into what he called a “visionary and futuristic air transport hub of the country.”
The Aklan lawmaker cited Kalibo’s strategic location not just in Panay island, but throughout central Philippines, making it imperative for the national government to give it priority attention.
Miraflores said he believed that the Kalibo airport’s facilities must be modernized in keeping with the current trends in airport development worldwide.
Kalibo Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo also sought the speedy upgrading of the local airport into an international facility to cash in on the booming air travel and tourism industry.
“With the sustained traffic of travelers and tourists, it’s not only imperative but also urgent that the national government takes immediate concrete steps to improve our airport in Kalibo,” he said.
He favored tapping multilateral financial institutions such as the Asian Development Bank and the Japan Inter-national Cooperation Agency to help bankroll the full development of the Kalibo airport. /MP

It’s Fiesta In Numancia

The St. Joseph The Worker Parish Church, Poblacion, Numancia, Aklan. The center of religious activities in the celebration of Numancia town fiesta.

The Municipality of Numancia, Aklan will once again celebrate its Municipal and Religious Fiesta in honor of its patron saint, Saint Joseph The Worker on April 27 – May 1.
The religious fiesta will highlight holy masses, prayers, baptisms, weddings and procession.
The preparation of the municipal fiesta is being prepared by the Numancia Festivals Advisory Council chaired by Mayor Elverita T. Templonuevo.
Among the highlights of this year’s celebration are the Civic Cultural Parade in the morning of April 28. The parade will feature the “Best Lechon Sa Parada” and the “Best Adorned Anwang/Baka Sa Parada”. These can actually be viewed during the opening of the Agro-Industrial Trade Fair in the Numancia Public Plaza in front of the Numancia Cultural Stage.
The Civic Cultural parade will feature the “Young Beauties of Numancia” who are participating in the current search for Miss Earth Numancia 2008. Spectators will also enjoy watching the march of officials with their colorful uniforms from the 18 barangays of Numancia. Enjoy also the sounds coming from the Numancia Integrated School Percussion Band and majorettes with their beautifully shaped legs. Moreover, there is the Bluebirds Drum and Lyre Corps, the members of which will entertain you with their well choreographed movements in harmony with their beatings. /MP

Friday, April 18, 2008

EDITORIAL - April 13 -19, 2008

Savings From Cheaper Medicines For Rice, Food

Sen. Mar Roxas urged the House committee on trade to form a consensus around President Arroyo’s proposal to drop the generics-only provision in the Quality Affordable Medicines bill.

“This will hasten the approval of this long-awaited measure. Implemented correctly by the executive branch and with the cooperation of all sectors, a 20 percent to 50 percent savings per family on medicines is achievable within a reasonable period after its approval,” Roxas said. The bicameral conference committee agreed to adopt the Senate’s provision to strengthen and upgrade the Bureau of Food and Drugs to ensure the quality of imported medicines, he added.
According to Senator Roxas, the generics-only provision is found in the House version of the bill. The Senate panel believes that amendments to the Generics Act can be the subject of a separate measure under the jurisdiction of the committee on health.
“The consolidated version is 99 percent complete and the only obstacle is the generics-only provision which can be the subject of a separate bill,” Roxas explained.
The principal author and long-time advocate of the Quality Affordable Medicines bill said the Department of Health should start laying the groundwork for an Affordable Medicines Summit to formulate a clear road map for the implementation of its provisions with the help of different sectors.
“This is a landmark bill that will transform the lives of many Filipinos, many of whom have to make the painful choice between food and medicines,” Roxas added.
Roxas expressed confidence that the proposed Quality Affordable Medicines Act would free a large portion of the household income now being spent by Filipinos to pay for expensive maintenance drugs, which they can then allot to buy rice and other food items.
Roxas sees Filipino families saving thousands of pesos every month on maintenance drugs once the bill is finally enacted. “Households will definitely spend much less for medicines, and thus be able to spend more of their earnings on other basic necessities,” he said.
“The measure has become even more compelling, now that ordinary Filipinos have to cope with soaring prices of rice, bread and other commodities, not to mention the frequent adjustments in fuel prices,” Roxas said. He also cited the case of some 7.76 million Filipinos suffering from hypertension in which the blood pressure is chronically elevated.
“Many Filipinos with high blood pressure now spends about P137.50 every day, or P4,125 monthly for their maintenance drugs. We reckon this amount can easily be reduced by at least half once more quality affordable medicines come in,” Roxas said.
Roxas is chairman of the Senate Trade and Commerce Committee and principal author of Senate Bill 1658, the proposed Quality Affordable Medicines Act. He is also co-chair of the Senate-House Conference Committee reconciling the final version of the bill.
The bill seeks to provide Filipinos greater access to inexpensive drugs through parallel importation. It allows for a price regulation mechanism for certain medicines when the President, through the recommendation of the Secretary of Health, deems this warrants.
The measure proposes to relax existing patent rules by declaring that parallel importation would not violate trademarks, as long as the drugs brought in are determined to be genuine counterparts produced in other countries.
A study by the Philippine Development Forum Millennium Development Goals and Social Progress Sub-Working Group on Health showed that drug prices in the Philippines are among the highest in Asia — at least three to four times higher than the international price index scale.
For example, a common “maintenance drug” for diabetes, Daonil, locally costs P9.86 per 5-mg tablet that is taken twice daily. The same tablet is being sold in India for the equivalent of less than P1, or roughly 80 centavos.
Another anti-diabetes medication, Diamicron, locally costs P11 per 30-mg tablet, which is also taken twice daily. The same tablet is being sold for just P5 in Pakistan and P7.57 in India .
The Philippines, through the PITC, has been importing from India and Pakistan about 90 high-quality but low-priced drugs for resale here through 11,000 Botika ng Bayan outlets. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

Committee Meetings
At Aklan SP

Last Tuesday, April 15, I was privileged to attend a Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan committee meeting of the Committee on Agriculture being chaired by Hon. Plaridel M. Morania. The invitation stated that the meeting will start at 2:30 in the afternoon.
I arrived at a designated place and time of the meeting. However, at about 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon there was no quorum. Hon. Plaridel Morania, Hon. Jose Yap, Hon. Daisy Sucro Briones and Hon. Jean Rodriguez were present.
Like a busy man, I suggested an off the record discussion to utilize the time. But Hon. Vicente Seraspi, Jr., SB Member of Banga arrived to attend another committee meeting regarding Banga’s proposed Market Code. The committee where that proposal belongs proceeded with the committee meeting with Hon. Seraspi as resource person.
After the meeting on the proposed Banga Market Code, the SP Agriculture Committee tackled the proposal authored by Hon. Plaridel M. Morania. The proposal requests Hon. Carlito S. Marquez to allocate more funds out of the 20 percent Internal Revenue Allotment for agricultural production of rice, abaca and other high value crops. It did not state any definite amount and for what definite crop.
Mr. Delano Tefora – Provincial Agriculturist and Ms. Salome David, Asst. Provincial Agriculturist were requested to give their views on the said proposed resolution. Both Tefora and David reported the result of the previous rice crops using hybrid rice seeds. According to Tefora, Aklan placed 17th among the provinces which engaged in the previous hybrid rice crop seasons. As far as hybrid rice production is concerned in Aklan, it is successful. However, according to Ms. David, the hybrid crops in the recent seasons were not as successful in view of the adverse weather condition. There were rains, floods and wind that damaged not only rice but other crops too. Ms. David explained the capital requirements in the production of hybrid rice which will reach P50,000 per hectare.
With this investment per hectare, only a handful of Aklanon farmers can afford to spend P50,000 capital per hectare per season, the Committee agreed.
The proposal of Hon. Morania requests for more money for investment in agriculture. There is neither project plan presented where to invest the money nor projection or target and time frame of the project.
I therefore recommended to the Committee on Agriculture to ask the concerned offices in Aklan to prepare an Agricultural Development Program. This Agriculture program maybe a short term, medium term and long term, or one year, five years, and 10 years and beyond. These programs will be used to justify the request for funding.


One crop I recommended for commercial planting is Asparagus. Asparagus is a perennial crop. Once asparagus plantation is established, the farmer owner’s job is to manage, care and harvest asparagus for the next 15 to 20 years depending upon the skills and technology of the farmer owner.
But this Asparagus must be planted only in Libacao which is free of flood and strong wind. Libacao is the coolest place of Aklan, fairly suited for the planting and production of Asparagus. Moreover, the establishment of a one hectare Asparagus plantation requires at least P500,000. However, this investment will be returned on the 10th month after planting as farmers will start harvesting shoots of Asparagus starting the 10th month after planting. If seeds are used, harvesting starts after two years.
A one hectare Asparagus will yield from 10 to 12 metric tons each year. At P50.00 per kilo, that means P500,000 gross income per year. But a one hectare Asparagus crop requires five (5) laborers daily, working at an average of eight hours a day, six days a week.
Libacao can produce Asparagus as it has done before. It can start at a small scale and gradually expand the area.


Demand for Asparagus in Aklan is high. Boracay is a ready market. Kalibo needs asparagus too. Why, fill up the supply to earn more money out of this crop?
Asparagus soup is favorite of both foreigners and Pilipinos. Asparagus salad is a Pilipino favorite. The Chinese likes Asparagus juice for it is sweet, rich in vitamins and minerals needed by human body. Yes Libacao, go, plant, raise, eat and sell Asparagus for good nutrition and earn money out of it. /MP

Kapehan Sa Aklan Tackles Rising Power Rates of Akelco

By Ambrosio R. Villorente

Resource persons during the April 12 Kapehan Sa Aklan discussing the Electric Power Rates situation in Akelco. They are ( l to r) Atty. Romeo Inocencio, Rev. Fr. Isauro David, Engr. Roger M. Esto, and Atty. Genalyn Ibardolaza.

Odon S. Bandiola and Allen V. Alcedo jointly moderating the Kapehan.

The Aklanon’s long-held indignation and bitter protests over the prohibitive costs of power supplied by an electric cooperative was tackled during a no-holds-barred media forum on Saturday, April 12, 2008 in Kalibo, Aklan.
The discussion was on House Resolution No. 306 introduced by Aklan Congressman Florencio T. Miraflores which was approved by a congressional committee on rules for adoption without any amendments on Dec. 10 last year.
In his resolution endorsed by other lawmakers in the House of Representatives, Congressman Miraflores noted the mounting public outcry in Aklan over the steep rise in power rates imposed by the Aklan Electric Cooperative (Akelco).
He said the public indignation led to a massive rally on Oct. 23 last year by thousands of Aklanons denoun-cing the Akelco’s power rate hike which only prejudiced the province’s consumers.
As sought by Congressman Miraflores, the congres-sional committee on rules, through the committee on energy, agreed to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation into the validity of Akelco’s power charges in Aklan to protect public interests.
The legislative probe would focus on the validity of the amended electric power purchase agreement (EPPA) entered into by Akelco with Mirant Global Philippines, Inc. on Aug. 3, 2004.
Congressman Miraflores, representative of Aklan’s lone district, said the EPPA unduly increased the power rate charges in Akelco’s service areas.
He denounced the unwarranted rise in power costs spelled out in the two EPPAs forged between Mirant, an independent power producer, and Akelco, the sole power distributor in Aklan and several towns in Antique, on Oct. 1, 2003.
Under the deal, Mirant would supply Akelco with electricity from the former’s two power plants a 7.5 megawatt(mw) capacity in Nabas and a 5.0-mw plant in New Washington, both in Aklan, at an agreed price of P4.30 per kilowatt hour (kwh), including transmission charges.
As presented to the Aklan provincial government, Mirant made it clear that its power supply rates would be the same as those of Napocor and that they could only be made lower, not higher, during the time of the agreements.
Congressman Miraflores, however, deplored that on Aug. 3, 2004, Akelco and Mirant amended the EPPA involving the Nabas plant without prior consultation with and consent from the Aklan provincial government increasing the rate by a whopping 105 percent from P4.30 to P8.82 per kwh.
In his resolution, the lawmaker said it is incumbent upon Congress as a policy-making body of government to look into what he called the dubious practice of amending agreements not only for remedial legislation, but also to safeguard public interests.
But during the Saturday, April 12 Kapehan, the invited resource persons, Mr. Chito Peralta and Mr. Paterno Ibarreta, general manager and chairman, BOD respectively of Akelco were not able to attend because of previous commitments.
The every-Saturday media forum, hosted by Kusina Restaurant, was initiated by the Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI) in cooperation with the Aklan Press Club, Inc. and the Aklan Media Forum. /MP

BSP Aklan Holds Annual Meeting

by Ambrosio R. Villorente

Mr. Jose Rizal C. Pangilinan graced the 14th Annual Aklan Council meeting of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) Aklan Council as guest speaker. Pangilinan is the Secretary General, BSP. Other guests with Pangilinan are Bienvenido B. Toledo, Regional Scout Director for the Visayas and Lorenzo B. Sayco, Regional Field Scout Executive, Region VI. The meeting was held on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at Sampaguita Gardens Resort, New Washington, Aklan. It was attended by some 100 scout leaders from all municipalities of Aklan.
Some of the highlights of the annual meeting are the opening ceremonies. It started with the opening prayer of Maria Fe T. Rabe, Nelly M. Briones led the singing of the “Pambansang Awit Ng Pilipinas” and Marvie I. Navida led the “Panunumpa Sa Watawat”. Jesse E. Bereber, Jr. led in the Rededication to the Scout Oath and Law.
Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino, Chairman, BSP Aklan Council formally opened the council meeting and welcomed the delegates to it Ms. Leila C. Pamatian, provincial scouts executive of Aklan presented the guest of honor and speaker.
Jose Rizal C. Pangilinan in his speech expressed his sincere congratulations to the parents who are fully supporting their children in leadership development through the boy scouts way. Likewise, Pangilinan congratulated the scout leaders, especially the teachers, in their incessant efforts to develop leaders via boy scouting. He urged them to continue the excellent jobs the scout leaders do in building leaders. Pangilinan challenged the youth to join the boy scouts and be community leaders of tomorrow.
During the business meeting, Atty. Tolentino rendered the accomplishment report for the boy scouts year 2007. Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente, BSP Council treasurer made the council financial report which, together with the year accomplishment was approved.
Medsil C. Carillo provided the participants with the Calendar of Scouting Events ’08; Leila I. Pamati-an, the Key Result Area for 2008 and Ernesto F. Melgarejo, the Training Calendar and Goals of 2008.
As one highlight of the annual meeting, election of four members, Board of Directors was held during lunch. Of the 12 nominees, the following are elected: 1. Dr. Reinalda I. Magdaluyo; 2. Vice Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo; 3. Hon. Roger Lumbre–SB Member, Makato; and 4. Atty. Immanuel Sodusta. The four were immediately sworn to office by Jose Rizal C. Pangilinan, Secretary General, BSP. Romeo S. Tumaob served as chairperson of the election.
The 14th Annual Council meeting ended with the distribution of certificates of commendation and recognition by Pangilinan and Tolentino. Atty. Tolentino formally closed the meeting with Jolly Cabangon who led the scout benediction. /MP

DILG Conducts 2-Day Seminar–Writeshop for BNEO Studies Burning Bad Effects

by ATBaylon

This picture was taken at Brgy. Caano, Kalibo, Aklan on Monday afternoon, April 7. The farm owner still burns plant nutrients and organic matter then buy fertilizers to replenish what he lost by burning rice straw as shown above.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) headed by Mrs. Ava Miriam C. Seraspi, Mun. Local Government Operations Officer (MLGOO) in cooperation with Liga ng mga Barangay under its president, Hon. Eduard P. Tefora, and LGU – Makato under municipal mayor, Hon. Ramon S. Legaspi, Jr. conducted a 2-day Seminar Writeshop on Radyo Aralan. They also held a face-to-face meeting for Barangay Newly Elected Officials (BNEO) from 18 brgys. of Makato, Aklan. It was held at AB Legaspi Memorial Hall just recently.
In the opening program, Ms. Seraspi introduced the participants. Topics/activities discussed were Leveling of Expectations, Mechanics of the Program, Introduction To Distance Learning Concepts and Principles as a Primary Mode of Delivery, among others.
All participants led by Hon. Tefora, Liga president listened and actively shared ideas during the Simulation Exercises, Synthesis, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Action Planning.
Along the general orientation on enhancing proficiency towards effective governance, Ms. Seraspi prioritized discussion on saving the decaying state of our environment. She made leaders aware of existing laws about environmental protection such as RA No. 9003, the promotion in the planting of top-quality fodder for livestocks, and to have more green cover to protect us from the damage of global warming. She explained the use of rice straw as feeds to ruminants to produce high quality meat as well as best organic fertilizer. Seraspi discussed the importance of composting and the losses by burning farm waste.
With the theme/words that not only inspire but also challenge everyone to action, MLGOO Seraspi wishes them to treasure thus: Do more than belong, participate; do more than care, help! Do more than believe, practice. Do more than dream, work!!! /MP

9th Aklan Piña Festival (Fiber Fest) Opens

The 9th Aklan Piña & Fiber Festival (Fiber Fest), one of the major events to highlight the weeklong celebration of the 52nd anniversary of Aklan, will be formally opened on 23 April 2008 at 3:00 in the afternoon. Venue will be at the Provincial Capitol Grounds, Capitol Site, Kalibo, Aklan.
Ninety-one exhibitors will participate in the said fair as follows: loomweaving (10), gifts & house wares (10), furniture & furnishings (4), food processing/bakery (8), garden/cutflower (18), Tsibugan sa Kapitolyo concessionaires (15), local government units/agencies & non-government organizations (24) and others (2).
Fiber Fest will showcase Aklan’s best products of blended loomwoven fabrics, fashion accessories and furnishings from piña, abaca, raffia and other fibers. Mixed-media-based gifts and houseware and furniture and furnishings will be of the latest designs and concepts. Deboned bangus, meat-based processed foods, and bakery products will also be highlighted as well as the cutflowers and the ornamental plants.
Special features of the Fiber Fest are the Aninag Fashion Show (6:30 pm on 23 April) and Raw Material Showcase that will be set-up side by side with the One Town One Product (OTOP) corner and the contemporary lifestyle setting of living spaces by the world-renowned lifestyle designer, Mr. PJ Arañador, regular designer-consultant and visual merchandiser of the show.
Aside from the assisted MSMEs, the 17 municipalities of Aklan and several community-based organizations/agencies will exhibit their OTOP and agri-industrial products.
Fiber Fest is a joint project of the Provincial Government of Aklan, the Congressional District Office and the Department of Trade and Industry – Aklan Provincial Office in coordination with the Aklan Piña Manufacturers and Traders Association, Inc. and the Hugod Aklanon Producers Association, Inc.
Alongside the Fiber Fest is the Tsibugan sa Kapitolyo, a nightly dinner event at the Godofredo P. Ramos Park, Provincial Capitol Grounds. Local restaurateurs will showcase their various native gourmets’ amidst music from live bands. This is a special project of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. – Aklan Chapter (PCII-AC) and the Provincial Government of Aklan.
Both the Fiber Fest and the Tsibugan sa Kapitolyo will run from 23 to 29 April 2008. /MP

Sulat Mula Sa Isang Middle Class Pinoy

Ako ay isang middle class pinoy, isang officer sa isang malaking korporasyon at may asawa...dalawa ang anak. Di na importante pangalan ko kasi pare pareho naman tayong mga middle-class trabaho 9-5, inom konti tapos uwi sa pamilya, laruin si baby, itutor si ate/kuya tapos tulog na. Pag wala na pera intay nalang ng sweldo.
Sa nangyayari ngayon sa ating bansa, lahat nalang ng sector ay maingay at naririnig. Tayo lang mga middle-class, tax paying at productive Pinoys ang di naririnig. Subalit, buwis natin ang nagpapaikot sa bansang ito. Pag may mga gulo na nangyayari, tayo ang tinatamaan. Kaya eto ang liham ko sa lahat ng maiingay na sector na sana makagising sa inyong bulag na pag-iisip.
Sa Mga Politiko: - Diyos ko naman, sa dami na nang nakurakot ninyo, di na ba kayo makuntento kelangan nyo pa ba manggulo?
Sa Administrasyon:
Hayan, ayus na ha pinatawad na namin ang pandaraya nyo sa eleksyon, pruweba dito e di kami umaatend sa mga panawagan ng people power, kaya sana naman gantihan nyo kami ng magandang serbisyo, magaling na pamumuno, at malaking bawas sa kurakot naman please para kahit papano maram-daman naman namin na may napupuntahan ang binabayad naming buwis.
Sa Oposisyon: Di nyo pa ba nakikita na dalawang klase lang ng tao ang nakikinig sa inyo....isa ay bayaran na mahihirap kungdi man ay tangang mga excited na reporter na parang naka-shabu lagi....mga praning e at naghahallucinate.
Bago man lang kayo maglunsad ng kilos laban sa administrasyon, pumili muna kayo ng magiting at nararapat na ipapalit sa liderato ngayon. Hirap sa inyo paresign kayo ng paresign wala naman kayo ipapalit na maayos.
Advise lang galing sa isang middle-class na syang tunay na puwersa sa likod ng lahat ng matagumpay na People Power, magpakita muna kayo ng galing bago nyo batuhin ang administrasyon. Wala na kaming narinig sa inyo kundi reklamo, e wala naman kayong ginagawa kundi magreklamo....para kayong batang lagi na lang naaagawan ng laruan.....GROW UP isip sa salita at sa gawa.
Please lang gasgas na rin ang pagrarally nyo na katabi nyo ay mga bayaran na mahihirap, magtayo nalang kayo ng negosyo at iempleyo ang mga rallyista para maging productive silang mamamayan. Sige nga, pag nagrarally kayo yakapin nyo nga at halikan yang mga kasama nyong nagrarally!! Nung People Power namin nagyayakapan kami lahat nuon.
Wala naman mangyayari sa mga rally nyo nakakatraffic lang, kami pang middle-class ang napeperwisyo. Di nyo kayang paghintayin ng 3 araw ang mga rallyista nyo kasi kelangan nyo pakainin at swelduhan ang mga yan. Kung gusto nyo tagumpay na People Power kami ang isama nyo....pero pagod na kami e, sori ha.
Sa Military:
Alam nyo lahat tayo may problema, pati US Army may problema, 2,000 plus na patay sa kanila sa Iraq na parang walang rason naman, pero nakita nyo ba sila nagreklamo? Wala diba kasi professional sila na sundalo.....yan dapat ang sundalo di nagtatanong sumusunod lang. Kasi may mga bagay na di kayang maintindihan ng indibidwal lamang, at ang mga nakatataas lang ang nakakaintindi ng kabuuan, kaya ito ang panuntunan ng lahat ng military ng lahat ng bansa. Pero parang military natin yata ang pinaka-mareklamo.
Sabi nga sa Spiderman “with great power comes great responsibility”.....kaya maging spiderman kayo lahat at protektahan ang mamamayan. Sa totoo lang natatakot kami kapag nagrereklamo kayo, kasi may baril kayo at tangke, kami wala.
Wala ako comment sa mga mahihirap, di naman kasi sila maingay na kusa e, may bayad ang ingay nila. Saka wala rin naman sila email.
Kaya paano na tayong mga middle-class?? Eto hanggang email nalang tayo kaya ikalat nyo na ito at magdasal tayo na umabot ito sa mga dapat makabasa nito at makiliti naman ang kanilang mga konsyensya.


Isang Middle-Class pinoy na walang puknat na binabawasan ang sweldo ng Buwis!

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Ro Kanding Ag Ro Lobo

Katong unang tiyempo, may isaeang ka kanding nga Intsik nga may daywang sungay. May tatlo man imaw nga ka onga nga sanday, Hakak, Pukak ag Sungak.
Isaeang adlaw, nagpanaw si Nanay Kanding agod mag-osoy it pagkaon para sa anang mga onga. Sa anang pagtalikod, sumueod sa baeay ro Lobo nga mabuhay eon nga nagabantay kon paano makasueod sa andang baeay. Kinaon ngani nana ro tatlong tiyo ag nagmadali nga gumuwa ag pumanaw. Pag-abot ko nanay nga kanding, masubo imaw nga hakita tongod owa eot-a ro anang mga onga. Hadumduman nana ro Lobo. Umadto imaw sa anang baeay. Sumaka imaw sa atop ag magpinundag. Nagkaea-wasak ro igdaeapat it Lobo ag nagkataktak ro agiw sa pagkaon. Naakig ro Lobo busa guin ayat nana ro Kanding nga magtuos sandang daywa pagkaaga.
Nagdaea it gatas ro Kanding sa panday agod bairon ro anang sungay agud magtaeum. Ro Lobo man hay nagdaea it sangka sako nga pagkaon sa panday agod pataeawison ro anang ngipon. Ogaling, pagbukad ko panday, ro sueod hay mga baeas ag bato. Naakig ro panday. Imbis nga pataeawison nana ro ngipon it Lobo, anang guin gabot tanan nga owa habatyagi ko Lobo.
Pagkaaga, nagkita eon ro daywa. Unang sumugod ro Lobo. Inangkit nana ro kanding ogaling owa makabatyag ro kanding bangud owa man it ngipon kana nga naka angkit. Bumaeos ro kanding. Paagi sa anang matauem ag mataeawis nga sungay, guin wak-wak nana ro tiyan it Lobo ag nag gueowa ro tatlong ka kanding. Nalipay ro Nanay nga kanding bangud buhi ag owa it mga deperensya ro anang tatlong ka tiyo. Hapatay nana ro Lobo.
Umpisa kato, owa eon it guina kahadlukan ro Kanding nga Intsik. Pwede eon nana nga aywan ro anang tatlong ka tiyo nga si Hakak, Pukak ag Sungak ano man nga oras. /MP

How To Get GAS Back Down To P30.00 Per Liter

Forwarded e-Mail by Dr. Raphy Tayco

This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the “don’t buy gas on a certain day” campaign that was going around in April or May.
It’s worth your consideration.
I heard we are going to hit close to P60.00 a LITER of gas by next summer. It might even go higher!! Want gasoline prices to come down?
We need to take some intelligent, united action. The oil companies just laughed at that because they knew we wouldn’t continue to “hurt” ourselves by refusing to buy gas.
It was more of an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them. BUT, whoever thought of this idea, has come up with a plan that can Really work.
By now you’re probably thinking gasoline priced at about P30.00 is super cheap. Me too! It is currently P45.00/liter for regular unleaded.
Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to think that the cost of a liter of gas is CHEAP at P30 - P35/liter, we need to take aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS control the marketplace...not sellers.
With the price of gasoline going up more each day, we consumers need to take action.
How? Since we all rely on our cars, we can’t just stop buying gas.
But we CAN have an impact on gas prices if we all act together to force a price war.
Here’s the idea: For the rest of this year, DON’T purchase ANY gasoline from the two biggest companies SHELL and CALTEX.
If they are not selling any gas, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit.
But to have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of SHELL and CALTEX gas buyers. Let’s say I am sending this note to 30 people. If each of us sent it to at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300) .. and those 300 sent it to at least ten more and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth group of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers. If those three million get excited and pass this on to 10 friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted.
How long would all that take? If each of us sent this e-Mail out to ten more people within one day of receipt, 300 MILLION people could conceivably be contacted within the next eight (8) days!!!
If this made sense to you, please pass this message on. I suggest that we do not buy from SHELL/CALTEX UNTIL THEY LOWER THEIR PRICES TO THE P30.00 RANGE AND KEEP THEM DOWN.. THIS CAN REALLY WORK. /MP

Low Brain Drain Rate Among Pinoy College Grads OECD Report Shows


A RECENT report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) showed the Philippines has a low brain drain rate. However, Filipinos who reached college remain attracted in working or settling over long periods in OECD’s 29 member-countries.
The report bared that some 46.7 percent of the nearly two million Filipinos in OECD member-countries are tertiary educated while 35.7 percent have secondary education.
The Philippines’ brain drain rate (or the emigration rate of people holding a tertiary degree) is 3.9 percent in total, the report titled A Profile of Immigrant Populations in the 21st Century revealed.
The Philippines joins a group of origin countries with large populations such as Brazil, Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, and China which have less than five (5) percent brain drain.
Countries with smaller populations have higher brain drain or emigration rates, some of which are more than 40 percent.
But in 24 of 29 OECD countries (counting some 1.819 million Filipinos), some 64.7 percent of them stay in these countries for over a decade compared to some 19.8 percent who have stayed in these countries from 5-10 years.
By percentage, there are more males who have stayed over-10 years than females (65.6 percent versus 64 percent).
Across educational levels, there are more Filipinos who have stayed over-10 years in these OECD-member countries, compared to those staying from 5-10 years or from 0-5 years.
The highest among these groups of Filipinos by educational level is the group with tertiary education (66.8 percent), followed by those with secondary education (65.1 percent) and those with primary education (58.7 percent).
The OECD is made up of mostly developed countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


FILIPINOS located in the OECD area are the ninth largest foreign-born population, OECD reported, with females outnumbering males (1.187 million versus 0.745 million).
In terms of those holding tertiary education within their gender segment, females outnumber males by percentage: 48.3 percent versus 44.1 percent.
Filipinos in these OECD-member countries are also mostly employed (65.3 percent). While there are only some 3.4 percent of them who are unemployed in these countries, 31.3 percent of Filipinos are inactive.
There are also more employed males (69.6 percent) than females (62.5 percent), in terms of percentage counts within their gender segments.
By occupation, in some 26 OECD member-countries that count an estimated 332,000 Filipinos, some 58.9 percent of them are operators.
These countries, however, exclude Japan, Turkey, and the US.
Nearly 27 percent of these Filipinos are technicians, and 14.5 percent are professionals.
In OECD’s data on the sectors of activity of immigrant workers, covering some 1.208 million Filipinos in 27 of 29 OECD countries (minus Germany and Japan), some 52.5 percent of them are in personal and social services; 17.4 percent in agriculture and industry; 16.8 percent are in distributive services; and 13.3 percent are in producer services.
For some 173,000 tertiary-educated Filipinos aged 15 and above, 40.1 percent of them are graduates of humanities and social sciences.
Meanwhile, some 30.6 percent of these tertiary-educated Filipinos have degrees in education and health, whereas another 26.1 percent are science and engineering graduates.
The OECD report presented profiles of what it calls “immigrant” populations in their member-countries, the report being a result of OECD’s extensive immigration databases. The report also packaged information that lumped together data from all 29 countries, and in some select member-countries.
OECD even has data on populations coming from the top 50 origin countries of immigrants per OECD member-country.


MOST of these OECD member-countries are favored destinations of Filipinos whom Philippine government officials call permanent settlers or immigrants, pertaining to those who will live overseas for good.
Some OECD countries are destinations for temporary contract workers, such as Japan (overseas performing artists), Italy (domestic workers), United Kingdom (nurses), and Canada (caregivers).
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’s remittances data from the year 2000 to 2007 show that remittances coming from OECD members United States, Japan, Canada, Australia, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom total to some US$48.542 billion.
This is 66.5 percent of the worldwide seven-year remittance total of US$72.996 billion, with some US$14.449 billion coming in last year.
The OECD report also said that Filipino nurses and doctors in OECD-member countries are among the highest in number, but the country’s health emigration rate to these OECD member-countries is lower that African and Carribean countries.
These countries stand out “as being disproportionately affected by the emigration of health professionals,” the OECD wrote.
The OECD also wrote that the share of people with tertiary education is higher for the foreign-born (23.6 percent) than the native-born population (19.1 percent).
The emigration rate of tertiary immigrant women to these OECD-member countries is also higher than that of men with a similar level of education, OECD added.
That emigration rate for immigrant women is some 13.9 percent, compared to the men, which is 9.7 percent. /MP

PLGPMI – Aklan Holds Lecture, Re elects De Lemos President

by Cecille dela Rosa de Lemos

The Philippine League of Government and Private Midwives, Inc. – Aklan Chapter conducted Lecture, General Membership Meeting, and Election of 2008-2011 Officers on March 29, 2008 at Bread and Butter Bakeshop, Kalibo, Aklan.
Dr. Cynthia C. dela Cruz, president of Aklan Medical Society and one of the advisers of PLGPMI–Aklan, facilitated the lecture on the Traditional Beliefs and Practices in the Philippines, Proper Measurement, Adult Practices and Clinical Tips.
Ms. Celia R. de Lemos, president of PLGPMI–Aklan gave the overview of the meeting. She discussed the PLGPMI accomplishments, attendance of midwives to the national convention this year, the ULAP resolution 2007–012, the Community Managed Maternal and Newborn Care Training designed for officers and the IRR on Magna Carta of Public Health Workers.
During the election for 2008–2011 officers, De Lemos was re-elected unanimously as president of PLGPMI–Aklan. In 2007, she was promoted as Supervising Midwife at the Provincial Health Office. She is also a part–time college instructor at the Northwestern Visayan Colleges, Kalibo, Aklan.
She maintains her Healthlink column in the Madyaas Pen. She is the Secretary General of Aklan Press Club, Inc. De Lemos is associate editor of Viva Aklan Journal, the official publication of the Provincial Government of Aklan and PLGPMI Akean Newsletter, the PLGPMI’s official newsletter.
Others elected with De Lemos are: Virginia L. Agapin, 1st vice president (finance), RHU–Banga; Luzviminda N. Patricio, 2nd vice president, RHU–Batan; Anafe I. Ibea, secretary, RHU–Malinao; Derly R. Guarino, treasurer, RHU–Banga; Annavic Magdael, Auditor, RHU–Lezo; and Chito T. Goboy, PIO, RHU–Banga.
The board of directors: RHU Altavas-Jennifer MI. Corminal/Caroline Elias; RHU Banga-Jossie Icotanim/Emily Restar; RHU Batan-Marqueza R. Dionisio/Luz F. Cortez; RHU Buruanga-Sofia Lubigan/Teresita Sim; RHU Ibajay-Leonida S. Maagma; RHU Kalibo, Mary Obligar, Gemma Sayon/Sheila Elias; RHU Lezo-Anamie Martinez/Noemi de Guzman; RHU Madalag-Helen Zulueta; RHU-Makato-Lorna Casimero, Lilinor T. Palmani/Agnes M. Milano; RHU Malinao-Evelyn Igoy, Raidis Y. Icawalo/Liezl A. Insecto; RHU Malay-Nida Solano/Elma S. Flores; RHU Tangalan-Salvacion T. Garino/Edith dela Cruz; and Hospital-Myra O. Laserna.
Dr. Cynthia C. dela Cruz, president of Aklan Medical Society, Dr. Floriphez L. Yerro, municipal health officer of RHU-Malinao, Dr. Rane Tabañar, municipal health officer of RHU-Makato and Dr. Myrtle M. Pelayo, Aklan DOH representative are the advisers.
The PLGPMI-Aklan was organized in 2005. It has been an ally of the provincial government, the local government units, and the NGOs in various health programs for the welfare of Aklanon community. It has received 2 awards in 2006 and 2007 for its contribution in the Aklan Provincial Health Board as the Most Outstanding Provincial Health Board in Western Visayas. /MP

Chicago-based Fil-Am Folksinger Defends Pacquiao From Critics


Critics of newly crowned World Boxing Council (WBC) super-featherweight titlist Manny Pacquiao include not only biased and disgruntled Mexican-Americans still mour-ning the fall of Juan Manuel Marquez. This includes fans of Chicago’s pride, WBC lightweight ruler David Diaz and some Filipino-Americans who have no love lost for the 29-year-old pride of Gen. Santos City, Philippines.
But for Luisito V. Macatual, Jr., popularly known in music industry in Chicago and in the Philippines as “Chito Ilonggo”, Pacquiao “undoubtedly bested Marquez” in their title fight in Las Vegas last March 15.
“But you cannot please everybody,” lamented Macatual, a Filipino-American USA Hall of Fame awardee in 2001 and 2002 in Chicago for music and song entertainment. “What I cannot understand is that some Fil-Ams who did not even watch the fight were the ones who criticized Manny Pacquiao and questioned his victory over Marquez.”
Macatual said some of those who did not believe that Pacquiao beat Marquez in their WBC 130-lb championship match “were merely influenced by fans of Marquez who continue to sourgrape and make excuses because their bet was beaten.”
He cited the incident last March 23 in Niles City, five miles away from in Chicago where a woman Fil-Am restaurant owner insisted before her mostly Filipino customers that “Pacquiao was only lucky he scored a knockdown (in the third round) or else, he would have lost”.
Macatual quickly retorted: “No, I beg to disagree. In fact, it was Marquez who was lucky because he was saved by the bell when Pacquiao was about to finish him off after that knockdown.”
Macatual said the woman may have seen the fight on HBO’s pay-per-view “but most of those in attendance were her employees rooting for Marquez.”
An American fight fan working at the VIP lounge of the O’Hare International Airport argued that “Pacquiao clearly lost to Marquez.” Macatual immediately ribbed him: “You are entitled to your own opinion but you must consider that Pacquiao scored a knockdown in the third round and a knockdown is always a knockdown in any language.”
Fil-Ams in Chicago are still agog over the “Unfinished Business” main event even as they continued to make post-fight analysis during several party gatherings.
The 64-paged The Philippine Weekly, a publication in Illinois, in its March 21, 2008 issue, carried the news about Pacquiao’s victory extensively with seven post-fight stories in the front and inside pages.
Those who failed to watch the fight because they were working grabbed copies of newspapers that carried the coronation of Pacquiao as the new WBC champion. /MP

PAL Acquires 9 Turbo-Props

The Philippine Airlines is acquiring up to nine turbo-propeller aircrafts to serve its revived inter-island operations, a major move by the flag carrier aimed at boosting trade, tourism and local economies in rural island communities.
PAL’s turbo-prop fleet will consist of three Q300 and six Q400 aircraft manufactured by Bombardier Aerospace of Canada, valued at $150 million. Deliveries of all nine turbo-props are expected within the next four to six months.
The aircrafts will enable PAL to provide better service to passengers commuting between island points across the archipelago.
PAL’s renewed foray into turbo-prop operations will expand its network to secondary points not currently served by jet aircraft. Most small-island airports in the country are able to accommodate only turbo-prop aircraft.
For passengers in these far-flung communities, being part of the PAL system allows them to enjoy seamless connections to the flag carrier’s extensive network of destinations throughout the Philippines, and across Asia, Australia and North America.
Bombardier’s top-of-the-line turbo-prop aircrafts, the Q300 and Q400 are parts of the manufacturer’s “Q Series” of turbo-props – the Q standing for “quiet” due to a patented suppression system that reduces cabin noise and vibration levels to nearly those of jetliners.
The aircrafts are equipped with two Pratt & Whitney turbo-prop engines with maximum ranges of 1,819 kilometers for the Q300 and 2,826 kilometers for the Q400. Both airplanes have outstanding take-off and landing capabilities even on unprepared airstrips, making them the ideal choice for PAL’s services to small provincial airfields.
The pressurized Q300 cabin is configured with 50 seats at a comfortable 32-inch pitch while the slightly larger Q400 seats 76 passengers at a 30-inch pitch, making for low seat-mile costs that are ultimately passed on to passengers in the form of low fares. /MP

Cebu Pacific Launches Cebu-Boracay (Caticlan) Route With New ATR

Charles Uy, President of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce-Boracay and Charles Lim, CEB Corporate Communications Consultant.

Cebu Pacific (CEB), the country’s single largest domestic airline and biggest carrier to the ASEAN region, added a direct Cebu-Boracay (Caticlan) daily service to its domestic network since, April 4, 2008.
Philippine Chamber of Commerce-Boracay President Charles Uy sent off the passengers to the paradise island at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) departure area, saying, “It is the first time an ATR72-500 with a 74-seat capacity will be landing in the Caticlan Airport, and we really welcome this development from Cebu Pacific.”
CEB’s newest ATR aircraft was delivered a few days prior to its maiden Cebu-Boracay (Caticlan) flight. It landed at the MCIA for the first time on April 4 at approximately 11:00 am.
In a press release, CEB spokesperson Candice Iyog said, “Boracay has one of the world’s best beaches, and with our trademark year-round ‘Go’ fares, more Filipinos and foreign tourists will now be able to spend less on their air travel and more on the fun and exciting activities the island has to offer.”
Meanwhile, SKAL International Cebu President Charles Lim said on behalf of the private sector, “With the CEB service, the two most popular destinations in the country are now finally efficiently and conveniently linked.”
The airline is acquiring up to 18 ATR72-500 regional aircraft manufactured by Avions de Transport Regional (ATR), based in Toulouse, France. CEB expects to take delivery of six ATR aircraft this year, and another four in 2009. ATR is the world leader in the 50-74 seat turboprop market. This fleet expansion is valued at over US$330 million.
Now in its 13th year, CEB has the youngest fleet in the country. It flies to 12, soon to be 15 international destinations, with the addition of Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi and Kaohsiung. CEB also operates flights to 21 domestic destinations. /MP

DAR –ASU Engagement Boon To Aklan Farmers

The Aklan State University (ASU) in partnership with the Department of Agrarian Reform in Aklan played a vital role in the development and access to technology of the communities it serves through a major project implemented by the University in partnership with DAR, Agricultural Training Institute and some LGUs.
According to Dr. Anna Mae Relingo, ASU Director for Extension and Community Services, since 2002, the project “Establishment and Sustainability of Farmer-Teachers in Agrarian Reform Communities in the Province of Aklan” commenced. It aims to develop farmers as effective partners in the promotion of agricultural technologies and serve as model of new breed of farmer entrepreneurs. The project trained 17 Farmer-Teachers on teaching methodologies, 193 farmers on high value vegetable production and established 10 demonstration farms in five pilot agrarian reform communities in Aklan that showcased various technologies.
The Farmer – Teacher partnership was recently adjudged as 3rd place in the Search for Best Public Sector Projects coming from 24 entries region wide. The first of this kind in the country and is being replicated in selected academes and ARCs in the Visayas and Mindanao. The engagement recognizes the potential and capacity of farmers’ teaching fellow farmers thereby empowering them in the process. DAR-Aklan through the Agrarian Reform Communities Project provided P424,800 and ASU counterpart costs P67,700.
ASU President Dr. Benny Palma enthused that partnership with DAR truly brings out meaningful impact into the lives of farmer beneficiaries thus, extension of CARP after 2008 is essential to sustain projects such as the Farmer-Teachers in Agrarian Reform Communities. /MP

Friday, April 11, 2008

Editorial - April 6 -12

Another Deception
On March 24, 2008, Mr. Chito R. Peralta sent a letter to the Sang-guniang Bayan (SB) of Kalibo. The same letter was also sent to the Sangguniang Panlala-wigan (SP) of Aklan. The said letter requested to “kindly issue a certification in the official letterhead of this office (SB Kalibo or SP Aklan) and stamped with your official seal (sample certification is hereto attached) to show that this Honorable office has been duly furnished a copy of the aforesaid application”.
Attached with the letter is “Akelco’s application for approval of over-all tariff adjustment, with prayer for issuance of provisional authority and its attachments in hard copy.”
As I read the request, Akelco general manager simply needs acknowledgment that indeed the SB Kalibo and SP Aklan are duly informed, that they are furnished copy of the “application for approval of over-all tariff-adjustment.”
I asked Hon. Elverita Templonuevo if she has received similar letter and she replied, “NONE”. If the municipality of Numancia was not given a copy of such tariff adjustment request, is it possible that the 15 other towns are not requested to acknowledge receipt of such application?

Tariff Adjustment Application
Going over the tariff adjustment application, I was proven wrong. I thought some adjustments are to reduce electric power rate and some items maybe adjusted higher. However, all the adjustment is adjustment upward. This is another “Deception”. Why use the term adjustment and not rate increase for clarity?
The application “in the matter of the application for approval of the over-all tariff adjustment, with prayer for issuance of provisional authority” is of 10 pages signed by two lawyers in Pasig City, Metro Manila on March 17, 2008. It was verified and certified of “non forum shopping” by affiant Paterno Ibarreta on March 17, 2008 and subscribed and sworn to before Notary Public Saykeme Molino – Martelino on March 17, 2008 in Kalibo, Aklan, a very quick process. No signature is found among the other nine (9) pages.
Of the 10 pages, eight (8) revealed the electricity customer classes, the existing rates, proposed rates and the price differences. Sad to say, all those portrayed are increases and no decrease. For residential, small commercial, industrial, street lights and large commercial, the respective rates are increased.
While Akelco proposes the rate increase to respond to implement the salary standard of employees, cost of operation and maintenance, and debt servicing, it failed to present data to justify the rate increases. Data regarding the cost of Akelco operation and debt services are not presented. Consumer members who are accepted owners must be informed of Akelco cost of operation and distribution of electric power. Any rate increase must be mutually acceptable to both seller and buyers especially of public utility matter like electricity which Akelco monopolizes being the franchisee.
Is there any Akelco Board approval on the said rate adjustment application? If none, who authorized the general manager Chito R. Peralta and Mr. Paterno Ibarreta to file such application with the Energy Regulatory Commission?
Akelco Snubs Sanggunian
The SP Aklan invited Akelco to attend its session in the morning of April 10, 2008 just to respond to some clarificatory questions regarding the Tariff Adjustment application. Nobody attended from Akelco. Likewise, the SB Kalibo invited Akelco representatives to attend its session in the afternoon of Thursday, April 10. They were snubbed. /MP