Friday, July 25, 2008

EDITORIAL July 26 Issue

Reconstruction To Prevent Recur
Typhoon Frank on June 21, brought damages both to lives and properties. It brought sacrifices, pains and unquantifiable loses.
However, typhoon Frank also brought strength to the people of Aklan. One month after Frank, Aklanons had survived the vast devastation, a realization that we are strong, we withstood the pain. Now, we are in our feet standing. In the process of rehabilitation and survival, we united among ourselves and faced the great odds. We were one in solving the problem.
Typhoon Frank brought love and the realization that people from other provinces, from abroad love the Aklanons. There was outpouring of concern, expression of encouragement to make the victim strong. There were continuous arrival of relief assistance such as food, water, clothes, cash and others.
The president of the Philippines came twice on July 1 and 2. Senate President Manuel Villar, Sen. Mar Roxas, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada Sen. Bong Revilla, Sen. Migs Zubiri, Speaker Prospero Nogrles, Sen. Loren Legarda and several Cabinet members came. Makati Mayor Jojemar Binay, former Pres. Erap Estrada, and many other very important persons were in Kalibo.
MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando did not only visit Kalibo, he sent his fleet of engineering equipment and men to help clear the mud, remove debris, declog drainages and give technical advise to mitigate the adverse effects of flood and mud. The MMDA Mercy Mission left Kalibo on July 21, some 25 days of free labor, use of engineering equipment and technical assistance that if quantified into pesos will amount to several millions. The MMDA Mercy Mission left Kalibo with its GREATNESS imprinted in bold letters in the hearts and minds of Aklanons, especially Kalibonhons.
On the other hand, typhoon Frank is now serving as eye openers. Now, public officials are talking about dredging Aklan river, reconstruct the drainage system of Kalibo. Now, we are talking about disaster preparedness. Political leaders are now talking about rehabilitation and recovery of the loses, of the damages.
Perhaps, science has not discover yet any means to stop strong winds. People may construct wind breaks such as the planting of trees but those will be toppled by strong wind velocity.
Maybe, it can only delay wind destructions.
There is rain seeding to induce rainfall in time of drought. But is there rain prevention? Maybe none, but people may come up with a way to direct the flow of excess water on a path that nothing can be damaged by its current. Flood damage can be minimized if man is very discreet in the process of earning his living. Sand and gravel quarrying must be carefully studied. Rules, laws and regulations must be strictly observed by people who process application permit, those who issue permit and those who implement the permit. Any building or any structure construction must be situated on areas that will allow the free flow of water, specially the excess water.
The construction of Tambak Bridge, Tambak, New Washington has totally impeded the free flow of water. The conversion of several creeks into residential areas has hastened flooding and erosion.
It is fervently hope that the reconstruction prevents the recur of Frank catastrophe, that normal life will continue. There will be power, business will continue, no bank interruption, communication is continuing.
Typhoon Frank has a message to all of us. The message will mean according to the person decoding the message. To understand the message, a person may stop for moments to decode the message and analyze it. Meanings will vary from person to person depending what kind of person he/she is. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

In The Hearts and Minds of Men

Greatness of a man or a woman or a group of men and women is imprinted in the hearts and minds of people. Simple things done to a man or woman by another man or another woman that allowed him or her to experience good feeling will endear that man or woman to whom service is given, service that is fair, just and equitable.
A simple example is the group of men with their equipment from the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA). In their Mercy Mission, they removed mud and debris from the streets of Kalibo. They declogged drainage canals. They studied the drainage system of Kalibo and its environs. Through their team leader, Mr. Aldo Mayor, on the basis of their study, findings and conclusions, they made recommendations to be done in Kalibo and Aklan in order to minimize the damage in case another typhoon, flood and mud hit Aklan specifically Kalibo in the future.
MMDA assisted Kalibonhons clean Kalibo of mud, debris and garbage for 25 days. They arrived in Kalibo on June 25 with complete heavy equipment and left Kalibo on July 21.
Before the MMDA Mercy Team left Kalibo, there were outpouring of appreciation for their great efforts from the Aklanons and Kalibonhons. Expression of thanks were aired over the radio stations. There were streamers printed and hang on some conspicuous places of Kalibo. When they departed Kalibo in the morning of July 21, people stood still along A. Mabini Street and Roxas Avenue, waved their hands goodbye with genuine smiles. That were gestures of beleaguered people to a helpful group of people who mitigated stress, pain and sorrows over the damages incurred due to strong wind, deep flood and mud.
Indeed, MMDA under the leadership of Chairman Bayani Fernando has imprinted itself in hearts and minds of Aklanons, specifically Kalibonhons.

Great Plan

When MMDA first came to Kalibo, neither Mr. Aldo Mayor nor any member of his team talked of what they will do in Kalibo but help clear the mud. They immediately buckled down to work clearing streets of mud and debris and declogged drainage canals. It was only on July 5, 2008 at the Kapehan Sa Aklan where he was invited with Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo that Mr. Aldo Mayor talked to inform the people of their great jobs and accomplishments.
That was a contrast to Aklan Electric Cooperative (AKELCO) which when radio stations resumed operation on the first week of July, immediately announced their Akelco rehabilitation plan. According to Mr. Chito Peralta, Akelco general manager, Akelco has three (3) priorities in its rehabilitation (reconnection) program. These are:
1. The main trunk line along the national highway;
2. The secondary trunkline or along the provincial roads; and
3. The interiors.
Hearing it as it was announced, the plan appeared sensible that deserved the support of everybody, every Aklanon.
When President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo visited Aklan in the afternoon of Tuesday, July 1, he, Mr. Peralta assured Mrs. Arroyo, Akelco must have completed the restoration of electricity to all its member-clients by July 26. Moreover, Mr. Peralta bragged to the president, “all the towns of Aklan were already lighted.” The venue was in Kalibo International Airport.
On the second week of July, Ms. Bueno, National Electrification Administration Administrator in a radio interview in Kalibo announced, “85 percent of electricity in Kalibo were restored”, on the basis of Akelco’s progress report. Was it?
Can He Do It?
Will Mr. Peralta fulfill his commitment to Mrs. Arroyo that by July 26, there have been a 100 percent electricity services to its member-clients? This column strongly supports the plan of Mgr. Peralta. However, with the number of days left, completing electricity restoration might be a “mid summer night dream”.
Probably, July 26 target of completion or even earlier was possible had Mr. Peralta and his staff adhered to his project plan.
Consider these points:
1. Akelco was given ample supports by NEA and other electric cooperatives from Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon like the Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative and CENECO. They have completed their assigned jobs, they had gone back while Akelco is still repairing;
2. Akelco Management have abandoned its project plan. There is now a rumor circulating that to get earlier reconnection, one must pay a certain amount. This belief came about because of the observation that the reconnec-tion is not massive, but done in a selective way. For instance, a repair team will reconnect one, three or five houses in a purok then left. They will come back later and reconnect one.
Good example is the Doña Crispina Resort Hotel. A repair team came, reconnected Doña Crispina and left. In Linabuan Sur, a repair team came, reconnected a few houses and left. They came back two days later, reconnected one house. What a waste of people’s money in terms of personal services, use of vehicle and time which resulted to poor production.
Akelco management either did not know or has forgotten that “time and motion” theory which enhances the highest productivity if applied or practiced. This is a practice in project management, the application of which will result to increase productivity at minimum time spent and less movement.
What Akelco is doing is moving more and producing lesser by reconnecting 1-5 clients and move out. Akelco could have assigned its men and equipment on a daily basis to a certain place from 8 am to 5 pm. This will prevent unnecessary movement; more time devoted to the job, less travel time and expenses. Hence, higher productivity at lesser cost of production. /MP

Kapehan Sa Aklan

Kapehan Sa Aklan, a Saturday Media Forum sponsored jointly by the Aklan Press Club, Inc., Aklan Media Forum, and PAPI returned to its original venue: Kusina Sa Kalibo last Saturday July 19 after it was interrupted by typhoon Frank on June 21. It resumed on July 5 at IBC-DYRG, Kalibo on July 5 & 12. Shown above (l to r) are medical doctors, Dr. Myrtle Pelayo, Dr. Felma R. Dela Cruz, and Dr. Emmett L. Custodio, and Mr. Mario Balandra. They discussed the health risks as consequences of flood and mud brought by Frank and its prevention and control.

RC Kalibo Induction

Triumph & Adversity



After their induction program, the Rotary Club of Kalibo distributed relief goods to typhoon victims of Kalibo, Brgys. Fatima and Pinamuk-an, New Washington. Picture shows packs of relief goods with (l to r) Pres. Megs Lunn, Aklan Gov. Carlito S. Marquez, R.I. 3850 District Gov. Emma Nava, District Gov-Elect Edgar Sy, PP Nonoy Macahilig, VP Pete Ruiz, President Elect Joel Mercurio & Jr. Rotarian Clouds Lunn.

New Rotarians: Ms. Joana Tay and Philip Sage are the newest members of RC Kalibo. They are shown above with their respective sponsors PP Vady Marin for Joana & VP Pete Ruiz for Philip.

Ms. Melrose “Megs” S. Lunn assumed the presidency of the Rotary Club of Kalibo in a simple induction ceremonies held for Rotary Year 2008-09 which started on July 1, 2008. The induction program was held at the RC Kalibo Livelihood and Training Center, Andagao, Kalibo in the morning of Saturday July 19, 2008.
Ms. Lunn is the first ever lady president of RC Kalibo since it was chartered 41 years ago. The committee on program prepared a grand induction program, but due to the destruction typhoon Frank brought to Aklan, the execution was made too simple. It begun with the club assembly at 9:30 in the morning presided by Rtn. Bing Santamaria, lady dean of ceremonies, with the call to order by 2007–08 president, Morris Morier; invocation by Pres. Nominee Joel Mercurio. PP Panski Rebuelta led the singing of the Philippine National Anthem and Rtn. Efren Abayon the Rotary Hymn.
Vice Pres. Pepito Ruiz gave the welcome address. Sec. Leny Alcedo introduced the guests and visiting Rotarians from other Rotary Clubs. District Governor Emma Nava of R.I. District 3850 administed the oath of office to the officers. Installation of officers, turn over of the club followed. 2007-08 president More Morier delivered his valedictory address and Pres. Megs Lunn her inaugural address.
Aklan Gov. Carlito S. Marquez administered the oath of office to the officers of the Rotary Spouses of RC Kalibo.
The induction program ended with the awarding of plaques of appreciation by Pres. Megs Lunn and Sec. Leny Alcedo to friends of Rotary and the awarding of Certificates of Honorary Membership by PP Vady Marin and PP Botoy Villorente.
The relief packages giving followed in the afternoon after the induction program. Three teams distributed simultaneously relief goods to typhoon victims in Barangays Fatima and Pinamuk-an, New Washington and Andagao, Kalibo.
In the words of Megs, it is a privileged to be a Rotarian. It is much more privileged to be the first lady president in the history of Rotary Club of Kalibo’s 41 years in existence.
I have never dreamt to be in the history. However, last June 21, 2008, another history for our club took place when typhoon Frank ravaged our area of responsibility – the towns of Kalibo and Numancia. No one was spared but everybody. However, as Rotarian by heart, it is in my heart that no matter how devastated we are, we still have the willingness to serve and reach out to our fellow victims. Though what happened was overwhelming to each one of us, we still managed to open our homes to some refugees who have lost their roof earlier before the mudflow.
June 22-23 was our own clean-up drive at home and in the neighborhood. June 24, as soon as I heard there was some generators in the corner street, I immediately ran to charge my cellphone for a short while and right away sent S.O.S. to all our fellow Rotarians in District 3850 to help my fellow victims in the town of Numancia. God is good that He uses other people as instruments to answer our prayers. As human beings and not just a Rotarian, I believed we have to respond timely. It was only when I felt so emotionally stressed when I went around our town assessing the damage of the calamity that I felt the need of my fellow Rotarians. Lo and behold! It was much more of a total disarray when I saw that even my fellow Rotarians were totally wrecked by typhoon Frank. I must be on top of everything.
In a capsule, my family shelled out some resources first in order to respond immediately. Then, Rotary Club of Bacolod North and their Spouses was the first ever to respond from my S.O.S. thru my ever reliable good friends PP Biboy and Sps. Emily Jocson who sent cash personally delivered to me by their able Sec. Rebie. Then came classmate-Pres. Pip who was asking for me the day after the typhoon, but nowhere to be found, still thanks for the concern, they sent the first truck of potable water. The second time they came back, they brought relief goods, extra medicines and candles/matches; here comes a good couple who offered extra cash to help me out in our cause; Rotary Club of RC Metro Roxas Central led by my fellow Toastmaster and Pres. Chit—with her were the full force of women power of her club, the Capiz Medical Society and its volunteers, came to rescue with loads of medicines, water and relief goods, too; RC of Roxas, our mother club led by Pres. Nonoy came with a complete attendance & loaded with hundreds of relief goods, boxes of medicines and biscuits.
Kodus to our most outstanding RCC, Seals (Recsue) Aklan led by VP Pete Ruiz for leading the group to St. Joseph Parish of Numancia clean-up drive, as well as the “sagibin” for PP Panski’s house covered with mud up to knee-high for weeks. Thank to our parish team moderator Fr. Jessie Pandongon for allowing the use of Parish Formation Center as our venue for relief operation and medical mission a few times. The St. Nino Seminary Fathers gave us two boxes of balikbayan clothes; RC Iloilo Central headed by Pres. Richard sent boxes of medicines; PP Fred Chua of RC Iloilo South sent his personal contribution, too. Our daughter club, led by Pres. Rod, were non-stop coordinating with our club who likewise, worked with mighty strength to accommodate even non-Rotary organizations into their home.
The council of Presidents of Negros and Dipolog (PDG Prince, PP Lindon, RC Bacolod North, RC Bacolod West, RC Marapara, RC Bacolod Central, RC Bacolod, RC Silay, RC Bacolod East), thru the initiative of the charming District Governor Elect Edgar “Diotay” Sy (RY 2009-2010) turned over a big amount for 30 sacks of rice; Rtn. Ward Brainard of RC Kalibo – cash and Ms. Menchu Sarmiento of PAL Foundation thru Rtn. Boy Bermejo – 8 boxes of blankets, clothes and pillow cases. Our provincial governor – honorary member – Gov. Carlito S. Marquez, thru PP Lino delivered sacks of rice and boxes of bottled water, Judge Maceda sent 30 kilos nylon for tying materials, and Mr. Anthony Ching—boxes of medicines and TT vials to augment the needs of Numancia Municipal Health center. Madalag Hospital shared with the medicine .
Hand in hand with LGU Numancia, we were forefront during the biggest Relief Operation of Buddhist Philan-trophical Association with over 1,260 packages of relief goods with 13 items each bag; Operation Blessing (an arm of 700asia club from Manila) in the interior Barangays of Numancia held a very compassionate way of medical mission to include bible stories and teaching for children and counseling for the victims, respectively. Likewise, our club is working with different religious organizations like Operation Blessing, Operation Compassion, Cataract and Dios Mabalos Po Foundation to facilitate all their logistic needs and manpower, even room accommodation. Our partner in service—Aklan Provincial Office led by (Col.) Rtn. Bong Durana, Jr. augmented security to serve as peacemaker whenever Rotary is on the road to MAKE DREAMS REAL for RY 2008-09.
These and many more blessings came for RC Kalibo. What a way to start our Rotary Year 2008-09. However, we thanked the Lord, for it is in this purpose that we know “real friends are friends in deed.” We are very fortunate that no matter how big or small we received and shared, it was all done with great love. In the words of Mother Teresa, “In this life, we cannot do great things, we can only do small things with great love.”
In between our busy schedules of left and right relief operations and medical missions, I thanked God that He sustained me with strength and presence of mind to ask aide for our victims. I don’t want to make history, yet, God has purpose in all our dealings. Our plan is not His plan. And so for whatever comes our way now and the next tomorrows, I endorsed it to His Will. /MP

Congress Allocates P15 Billion For Bangon Program

by Ambrosio R. Villorente


Speaker Prospero Nograles with microphone flanked by Cong. F. T. Miraflores & Gov. C. S. Marquez during the press conference.

Congress of the Philippines will appropriate P15 billion for “Bangon” program to rehabilitate Panay Island of the damages made by typhoon Frank. This was the assurance Speaker Prospero Nograles of the House of Representatives made in Kalibo, Aklan last week.
Speaker Nograles visited Aklan to see the actual damages done by Frank in Aklan. He was accompanied by Aklan Cong. Florencio T. Miraflores in his visit. Together with Gov. Carlito S. Marquez and Cong. Mirflores, Nograles met with the 17 mayors of Aklan and other local officials. Some members of the Aklan press were politely requested to stay out of their meeting.
In a press conference held after lunch, Speaker Nograles announced he is in Aklan to update himself of the magnitude of typhoon damages in Aklan and to listen to the local executives of their rehabilitation program. Nograles also disclosed Congress is ready to appropriate P15 billion for the rehabilitation program of Panay for 2008–2009.
Asked on his view on the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) Nograles agreed for its extension for the completion of the unfinished CARP projects and the completion of payments of unpaid obligation. Nograles proposed to extend CARP on the basis of real evaluation. He wishes to know the progress gained by CARP. “Are the CARP beneficiaries progressive?” he asked. He wanted to know what are in CARP to extend and what to change.
Asked his view on the case Sen. Jamby Madrigal filed with the Supreme Court, Nograles retorted,” Sen. Jamby could have questioned the membership in the Senate, in the Commission on Appointments, where she belongs and not in the House of Representatives where she is not. But Sen. Jamby is not a lawyer and she included me in the case, so I must answer.”
On the mandate of unifying Lakas CMD and Kampi political parties, Nograles said, he has to do it being the President of LAKAS-CMD. He has finished in Mindanao and some regions in Luzon. In the Visayas, “hinay-hinay lang” Cong. Joeben and Gov. Lito will unify it in Aklan, he said.
On the question of family planning, Nograles wants for a win-win solution. He has already organized Committee in the House of Representatives composed of five (5) headed by Cong. Edsel Lagman to arrange for a decision mutually acceptable between the church and the family planning advocates. /MP

The Hazards of the Mountain

Editor’s Note: To make us more informed on disaster preparedness, we are yielding this space to the Aerial Assessment Report of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau made on July 10, 2008 in the headwaters of Libacao, Aklan. This report was submitted to Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez.

Based on the aerial geological assessment that MGB-6 (Mines Geosciences Bureau) has conducted last July 10, 2008, there were numerous landslides observed at the mountain ranges in the headwaters of Aklan River, Libacao, Aklan. The landslides were confined along the gullies (landforms created by running water eroding sharply into soil, typically on a hillside) and steep slopes of the mountain ranges and in some instances at river banks. The occurrence of landslides in these areas was due to the high precipitation (rainfall), which has widened the gullies and exposed the underlying lithology/rock types. This is attributed to “Typhoon Frank” which hit Panay Island on June 20-21, 2008. In addition, the slopes of the mountain ranges in the headwaters of Aklan River were observed to be very steep (75-80) degrees).
The mountain ranges at the headwaters of Aklan River, Libacao, are underlain by the Late Miocene Lagdo Formation. It is composed mainly of andesitic breccias and lavas with tuffaceous layers. These are often intercalated with coarse graywackes, mudstones and conglomerates with clasts of volcanic rocks, limestones, gabbros and serpentinites.
It was also observed that there was no accumulation of debris at the river channels of Aklan River that could impede or block the passage of water. It is deemed that the volume of materials that came down from the mountains and carried by the river waters was well accommodated in the meandering (aimless wondering) channel of Aklan River. Thus, at present there should be no apprehension of damming effect, which could result to a sudden onrush of floodwaters, as the river channel is wide enough to accommodate the slide materials. However, this situation cannot be totally discounted as it may occur in narrow or constricted areas, such as tributaries between hills and mountains. A periodic monitoring for this particular possibility or condition is advisable.
It is further noted that the municipality of Libacao is very near and is almost surrounded by the Aklan River on account of its meandering thus the town is highly susceptible to flashfloods and siltation. A bigger threat is the possibility of an event wherein the river waters due to its volume and water velocity will seek a shorter route towards its downstream destination and by doing so will overflow its banks and cut across the town. While this process is natural and normal for rivers, the town should be prepared and protected for this event.
It is also worth to note that the floodplains of Aklan River within the jurisdiction of Libacao have been occupied as evidenced by the presence of houses and cultivated fields. These areas are considered a risk for the occupants in the event of floodwaters overflowing its banks and spreading throughout the floodplains.
Based on the foregoing assessment and findings, the following are our recommendations:
A. Flooding
1. No structure/houses along previous and present river channel, banks/large creeks/canals/shorelines and floodplains since these areas are highly susceptible to flooding;
2. The water levels and turbidity (soil content) in lakes/rivers/creeks, etc. should be constantly monitored. A rain gauge or makeshift rain gauge is recommended for each barangay or one for several adjacent barangays. Communities, especially those near bodies of water, should prepare for evacuation anytime and the concerned authorities (LGU officials) should be informed if the condition worsens;
3. There must be periodic monitoring of the river system, from the headwaters going downstream. In case of large landslides occurring in river channels, cooperative efforts should be exerted to keep the channels free from debris and wastes. This will help maintain the flow capacity of the river; and
4. Coordinate with the Department of Public Works and Highways to plan for the appropriate structures to be constructed to protect the town against flooding and bank scouring/erosion.
B. Landslide
1. No structure/houses should be constructed at the slope and foot slope of the mountains since these are highly susceptible to landslides;
2. If these are active/recent landslides in the area, residents should monitor the progress of mass movement (e.g. landslides, tension cracks, damming effect. Communities, especially in slope and foot slope of the mountains should prepare for evacuation anytime and the concerned authorities (LGU officials) should be informed if the condition worsens;
3. Residents in the area with the leadership of barangay/municipal officials should develop early warning device/system in order to alert the people of the impending landslides. Moreover, there must be person(s) in-charge to operate/monitor this early warning device/system always;
4. Residents should also watch for signs of impending landslides such as:
= Rapid increase/decrease in creek/river water levels, possibly accompanied by increased turbidity (soil content)
= Saturated ground or seeps in areas that are not typically wet
= Sunken or displaced road surfaces.
5. The Barangay/Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council should always be vigilant especially during rainy seasons. There must be periodic monitoring of landslide and its debris at the headwaters of the Aklan River especially during rainy season; and
6. The effects and occurrences of landslides could also be mitigated by various engineering measures, such as, slope reduction (reduction of slope angle, additional support of foot of slopes to prevent slide or flow at the base, reduction of load/weight of slope), use of retention structures or other slope stabilization measures.
C. Other General Recommendations
1. Barangay/Municipal officials should identify evacuation sites wherein the residents could go and if needed, relocation sites should be identified and assessed; and
2. Most importantly, geohazards such as landslides and flooding could be mitigated by proper land use plan and observance of proper buffer zones.
This report was signed by LEO VAN V. JUGUAN, OIC-Regional Director./MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Alien

Ro planetang X-Lur hay masyadong gutok. Busa, nag-osoy ro mga tawo it maestahan. Dugang pa basi ano man nga oras hay masamad ro andang planeta. Nakita nanda ro isaeang ka berde nga planeta, ro planet Earth. Nagpadaea sanda it sugo agud discubrehon kon anong klase nga planeta ag kon sarang nga maistahan it mga taga planetang X-Lur. Mas-yadong moderno ag progresibo ro taga X-Lur ngani madali nanda haabot ro planetang Earth. Idto sanda tumugpa sa Cordillera Mt. Range. Andang guin tago ro andang spaceship sa mataas nga bukid nga owa it tawo. Nagpatindog sanda it antenna para sa pag paniid. Idto masa-yuran ro pagpangabuhi adlaw-adlaw it mga tawo sa earth. May mga onga sa kalye nga nagawinarang ag owa nagaadto sa eskwelahan. May mga tatay sa sugaean, nanay sa tong-itan, ro mga dalagita ag binatilyo hay idto sa discohan, ag ro ibang mga inonga hay naga babad sa computer games.
Sumueod ro mga Aliens sa kada computer. Guin higop nanda ro paino-ino ko mga onga. Ko olihi, haeos sanda hay nakasueod sa mga inonga, daeaga ag mga magueang. Pag-oli ko mga onga sa andang baeay, nag-iba eot-a ro andang batasan, nangin mapili eot-a it pagkaon. Kon indi pagtaw-an ko andang guina pangayo hay naga pangasa ag naga sokoe sa ginikanan. Hilig nanda ro puro matam-is ag owa naga kaon it tinoea kundi puro karne, baboy ag mga junk foods. Owa man sanda naila magpaligos; owa naga ilis it eambong ag owa naga panipilyo it ngipon. Ro mga binata hay mainiton it oeo ag naga paeatyan sa sangkurot nga bagay.
Nagkabaeaka ro mga ginikanan. Isaeang ka siyentista nga guin tun-an nana ro tanan. Hakita nana nga mas abo ro mga onga nga naga babad sa computer games ag owa naga adto sa eskwelahan agud mag aeam. Nagpasa it ordinansa ro Sang-guniang Bayan nga ipag bawae ro mag hampang sa computeran. Hakita man it mga doctor sa medisina nga nag-euya ro eawas it mga onga tongod indi eon sanda makakaon ag ro iba hay naga panakaw agud ihampang. Nagnaba ro kita it computer hasta ro iba hay nagsara. Ratong mga guin suyop ro paino-ino it mga onga hay nagbalik sa normal. Nagbulig man ro eskwelahan, ro simba-han ag gobiyerno. Ro mga nanay hay guinpilit nga pakan-on it tinoea ag isda, prutas ag itlog ro mga onga. Sanda man hay guin papaligos ag guin pailis it eambong.
Ka’t indi eon makatakud ro mga Aliens tongod puro eon matambok ag limpyo ro mga tawo, nagbalik eon lang sanda sa andang spaceship sa Cordillera agod mag-uli sa planetang X-Lur.
Tongod kara, guin patihan nga mas maaeam gali ro mga taga planetang Earth. Indi tanan masakop ro paino-ino it tawo. Eabaw sa tanan, indi sanda makatakod sa kalimpyo it mga tawo. Sanda abi sa andang planeta hay owa nagapaligos ag owa naga kaon it tinoea ag prutas kundi puro mga kapsula eamang. Busa, ratong owa naga adto sa eskwelahan ag naga-warang sa kalye ro peligroso nga makita it mga Alien. Halin kato, sa bulig it eskwelahan, guin tatap ro mga eskwela. Kon Dominggo, idto sanda naga simba sa andang simbahan ay ro Alien nahadluk sa Diyos. Ag ro gobiyerno hay naga pani-id sa tanan nga mga onga sa kalye ay guina dakop ag daehon sa peresuhan. /MP

AMS Harvests Awards

For their outstanding service to humanity specifically to the Aklanons, the Aklan Medical Society (AMS) harvested three (3) major awards from the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) out of the seven (7) categories.
These three awards are: 1. PMA Award for Most Outstanding Component Medical Society – Category V; 2. PMA leadership Award – Category V; and 3. PMA Award For Most Active Component Society in Environmental and Sanitation Project.
The AMS led by its Past President, Dr. Cynthia Dela Cruz received the awards with the other officers and members during the award ceremonies held in Maynila Ballroom, Manila Hotel, Manila just recently.
PMA is headed by its president, Dr. Jon Asa Sabili.
According to chairperson of the committee on awards, Dr. Elizabeth M. Del Rio, it was really difficult for a medical society to qualify for the awards. Likewise, it was also really difficult for the awards committee to select the awardees because of their several accomplishments.
For instance, in the Most Outstanding Component Medical Society, the contestants were evaluated on the basis of their scientific activities such as scientific meetings held, scientific papers presented and research activities; their organizational structures; community development projects implemented; PMA special projects done on nutrition, family planning, environmental sanitation and fund raising; and compliance with PMA Board decisions and policies.
In the PMA award for Most Active Component Society in Environmental and Sanitation Project, the medical societies were judged on the basis of their accomplishments’ relevance to sanitation and environment, impact on people, innovation done and community mobilization. /MP

The Promise


On this spot (Kalibo Airport) at about 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon, July 1, 2008, Mr. Chito Peralta, Akelco General Manager, vowed to the president that restoration of Akelco power will be 100 percent done on or before July 26. With the few days left and the selected reconnection process, will it be done?

Pacquiao’s Help Is Coming

By Terence Toriano

The frequently asked question relating to the boxing champ, Manny Pacquiao in Kalibo nowadays is, “Where’s Manny Pacquiao’s help?” It is yet to come.
The boxing champ promised assistance to the victims of Typhoon Frank after he won the title fight against David Diaz last month. He personally visited Iloilo and Bacolod Cities last week where sources said he donated 1.5 million pesos to Iloilo province and one million pesos to Negros Occidental province.
Aklanons, particularly Kalibonhons, are expecting a visit from Pacquiao dubbed as the “People’s Champ” last week when he was in Region VI but were surprised to find out that he only visited Iloilo City and the least affected area of Typhoon Frank of Bacolod City. He allocated 500,000 pesos worth of assistance to the entire Province of Aklan which is the hardest hit area especially the capital town of Kalibo with over 900 million pesos worth of damages in all sectors and almost all houses made out of light materials completely destroyed by Typhoon Frank and the flood.
Kalibonhons are now asking who of the national or regional officials has a brilliant idea of influencing Manny Pacquiao’s itinerary and forget about visiting Kalibo, the origin of the famous Ati-Atihan Festivals in the country. /MP

The House of Roxas


In this house shown above, Manuel A. Roxas was born on January 1, 1892, some 116 years ago. This house is situated at corner Rizal St. and Zamora St., Roxas City.
Roxas was the last President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines and first president of the Republic of the Philippines (1946-1948). Roxas is dubbed as Fiery Orator, dignified statesman, realistic economist, and true patriot.
He was the third son of Gerardo Roxas and Rosario Acuña. Roxas became a lawyer in 1913; councilor in 1917; provincial governor in 1919; and speaker, House of Represen-tatives in 1922-1934. He was Secretary of Finance in 1938. He was Senator and became Senate President in 1945-1946.
He died of heart attack on April 15, 1948 in Angeles, Pampanga while delivering speech in defense of democracy in Clark Field. /MP

Frank’s Damage In Aklan Totals P2.013 Billions

by Venus G. Villanueva

Typhoon Frank’s total damage in Aklan is now placed at P2,012,461,435.75. According to the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC), this report is based on the validated reports of local government units during the conduct of Rehabilitation Planning Workshop at Sampaguita Gardens on July 10-11.
As of July 15, the report revealed 52 died, 1,047 were injured and 7 are still missing. Earlier, death toll was 53 but upon validation, the number went down to 52 due to double reporting.
Houses partially destroyed listed 43,068 while totally destroyed reached 11,210. The total number of persons affected is now placed at 358,946, more than half of Aklan’s population of 496,906 as of August 2007 Census of Population of the National Statistics Office.
Typhoon Frank’s total damage in Aklan is broken down as follows: Agriculture – P488,544,008.00; Lifelines – P696,661,290.00; Infrastructure – 276,576,137.75 and Public Utilities – P550,680.00.
Meanwhile, repair and rehabilitation of typhoon – damaged infrastructure in Region 6 is now ongoing.
According to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Region 6, it has already completed the immediate repair of four of 11 bridges which were totally damaged by typhoon, located in Magapa, Janiuay, Pajo and Ulian in Lambunao, and the Kantil Box culvert in Badiangan, all in the province of Iloilo, with an estimated cost of P248,500,000.
In Aklan, DPWH District Engineer Roberto Cabigas reported during the PDCC meeting last week that DPWH–Aklan has cleared national roads of typhoon debris like fallen trees. It has also started clearing secondary roads. DPWH–Aklan equipment and personnel are also deployed and assisted Kalibo and nearby areas to clean municipal roads of mud and spoils. /MP

PSWDO–Aklan Assumes Full Control Over Donations/Distribution

In a strongly–worded statement, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer (PSWDO) Elma Malbas emphasized that she has full control over the donations and distribution of relief goods coming from various government, non government, private individuals and international sources forwarded to the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) chaired by Governor Carlito S. Marquez.
“As the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer, I am the over all in-charge in the receiving of all donations in behalf of the PDCC. Since my office is still under mud and the entire capitol compound, the receiving area of all donations is at the warehouse of Gov. Carlito S. Marquez at Brgy. Libas, Banga, Aklan. As the PSWDO, and in-charge of the relief operations, I refute reports that the governor is holding donations in his residence, I have full control over the donations and its distribution. The DSWD Region 6 is there together with the Philippine Army, always our partners in the relief operations”, Mrs. Malbas stressed.
Mrs. Malbas read this statement before she reported on the total amount of donations that reached the PDCC since its activation after Typhoon Frank wrecked Aklan on June 21.
As of July 11, donations that reached the PDCC already amounted to P41,186,927.00. Cash donations received reached a total of P2,273,500.00.
The figures are still expected to go up, as help still continues to pour in. Last week, Senators Ramon Revilla, Manny Villar and Migz Zubiri came to Aklan to bring in more donations.
DA Secretary Arthur Yap was also here, distributed rice, fish, vegetables seeds, and led in the dispersal of goats, piglets and chicken to help typhoon victims rise from the crisis caused by the calamity. /MP

RAFC Re-elects Provido, Jr.

The Regional Agriculture and Fishery Council (RAFC) re elected Mr. Ricardo Provido, Jr. chairman of RAFC, Region VI. Provido, who is a successful Agri businessman of Iloilo, will be serving his fifth consecutive term as chairman of RAFC. He was elected during the RAFC regional quarterly meeting on July 18, held in the Department of Agriculture Regional Office, Iloilo City.
Elected with Provido are: Mr. Tidon – vice chairman; Ms. Lily Ong – treasurer; Ms. Villanueva – auditor; Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente – PRO.
Those elected to the sectoral groups are: 1. Imelda Fernandez – Poultry & Livestock; 2. Don Rhoda Jamandre – Agricultural Mechanization; 3. R. Gamba – Feed Crops; 4. T. Matulac – Fish & Aquaculture; 5. Joy Palacpac – Rural Women; 6. I. Fernandez – Fruits; 7. Rice and Corn – Pablo Subong; and 8. H. Tolentino – Vegetables. /MP

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Editorial - July Issue

Typhoon Frank Teaches Lessons

An ancient adage states: “Ro disgrasya indi makalipot sa kuko”. (Accident cannot happen around your fingernail.) This simply means accident happens unnoticed at the most unexpected time and place. So elders, man of age and wisdom, often give advise to be cautious of what we do in whatever place and at all times, and be prepared to any accident that may happen.
“Ang taong laging handa ay ligtas”, said Kuya Kim. This is the Boy Scout Motto “Be prepared.” How prepared was Aklan before Typhoon Frank came without mercy, destroyed properties, injured persons and killed people? Did we prepare for the arrival of Frank which brought 140 – 170 kilometers per hour wind, mud which buried Poblacion, Kalibo 8 inches to one foot deep and barangays of Numancia and up to the ceiling flood water that killed and injured people, killed livestock and poultry, eroded vegetable and other crops. Flood water submerged motor vehicles and engineering equipment in water making it inoperable.
In Aklan, the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council before the coming of Frank held several regular meetings among its members. However, observation reveals and records will show, if not damaged by flood, that most of the regular members did not attend. Only representatives or their substitutes who often could not commit on matters which demand immediate decision were sent to attend. During some regular meetings, it were disasters itself for the regular members were absent, but their substitutes. I was lucky to see three municipal mayors attending simultaneously in a meeting.
Moreover, the most frequent matters listed in the agenda were criminality in the province, new People’s Army, the illegal such as gambling and drugs. The occurrence of strong winds and flood with mud were seldom discussed if ever. Unexpectedly, Frank came which brought killer winds, flood and mud. We expected wind, but not that strong. We expected flood, but not that deep, and we never expected mud.

Why Typhoon, Flood and Mud?

Whirlwind, flood and mud came on June 21 at daytime. The damage to lives could have been more if it came in the evening. Flood was so sudden, people have no time to evacuate. The designated evacuation center, ABL Sports Center was flooded anyway. All documents, furniture, appliances, computers were all wet and dirty with mud, if not carried by strong current. Any thing located in the ground floors of all private and government buildings were damaged. It was history. Shall we allow history to repeat itself? Typhoon Frank taught us several lessons.
Almost everyone knows why typhoon occurs. Continuous raining in a community results to flood. However, why the flood on June 21 was extremely deep which carried mud that buried Kalibo, Aklan 8 to 12 inches deep?
First, there was that almost 24 hours continuous rain which resulted to 13.2 inches or more than one foot deep rain water. Since the upper communities are so wide than Kalibo and Numancia, flood water was consolidated that became the deepest in the history of Aklan calamities. Why did water carried mud and deposited it in Poblacion, Kalibo, Aklan?
According to Libacao Mayor Charito Navarosa, the continuous rain in the mountains of Libacao has loosened the soil that led to the uprooting of huge trees. These huge trees with its leaves formed artificial reservoirs. When too much water accumulated in those ponds, it gave in thereby water simultaneously flew bringing with it sandy loam soil.
Since Aklan river and its tributaries had became shallow due to siltation and irresponsible sand and gravel quarrying, construction of structures on creeks, water overflowed as flood. Since Kalibo and part of Numancia are on the seacoast, flood waters met the sea water there. This prompted the flood water to linger in Kalibo and Numancia before it receded at low tide. This allowed mud to settle in Kalibo and Numancia. /MP

Typhoon Frank Pictorial

streets of Kalibo turns into paddy fields




Kalibo was hardly hit by mudflood

hauling of NFA rice for relief packing to be given to typhoon victims

packing of relief goods



Rotary In Action

In Triumph & Adversity
(Pictorial)





Entrepreneurial Farmer

Aklan River Is Dead
The removal of mud could not have been finished in one month without the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Mercy Mission. There are also other engineering equipment with crew members from municipalities of Capiz and Malay, Aklan.
One thing MMDA Mercy Mission did was to declogged the drainage system of Kalibo in order to hasten the flow of excess water. Until this writing, MMDA is still declogging. They opened the manholes only to discover broken glasses, plastic bags and other non-biodegradable matters in the drainage system. MMDA also found out water pipe inside the drainage system, according to Mr. Aldo Mayor–Team Leader of the MMDA Mercy Mission.
This water pipe does not only impede the draining of excess water. It is community health hazard. When the water pipe leaks, water will be contaminated with all kinds of germs thereby adversely affect the people’s health.
Another discovery is that the actual construction of the Kalibo drainage system is not in accordance with the project plan and specification. What are in the plan are not in the actual field. There are overlaps, drainage canals had no outlets which when the canals are filled up, results to overflow of water. Meanwhile, manhole covers are constructed very thickly using sacks as frames. These resulted to the difficulty to open if not breakage of covers as cement sticks when there is no wooden frame.
As to biosphere, Mr. Aldo Mayor, concluded that, Aklan river is a dead river. What does it mean when he said, “dead river?” “Patay na ilog?” anything or matter has its specific purpose. A river, specifically Aklan river, has its purpose for its being, and Aklan river is God given to serve as passage of water, the way for excess water to pass through, otherwise excess water which seeks its own level damages lives and property if there is no passage way. Aklan river is dead because it is now very shallow that any excess water due to continuous raining cannot be drained through the river will overflow thereby, resulting to destruction.
Mr. Mayor recommends the dredging of the Aklan river following its former route to prevent if not totally stopped flooding. All the municipalities where Aklan river passes may approve Municipal Ordinance strictly regulating mining along its riverbanks. The Provincial government of Aklan with the Aklan River Systems Development Council also prepares draft, formulates and recommends provincial legislation that will provide rules and regulations in the application, granting and operating mining in the river systems of Aklan with particularly strong emphasis in strict implementation. Mining along Aklan river maybe banned until ample safeguards in the protection of man and his environment is put in place and implemented. It may engage in program formulation for Aklan river development for approval, strict and religious implementation. It may also assist the local governments of Aklan in fund raising to finance projects.
P1.2 M For Aklan Emergency
Employment
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through its Emergency Employment Assistance Program distributed 11 bank checks in the total amount of P1,207,500.00 to 11 municiplities of Aklan. The municipalities which received are as follows: Banga - P82,500; Batan - P82,500; Ibajay - P82,500; Kalibo-P180,000; Libacao-P90,000; Madalag P80,000; Makato - P82,500; Malinao -P80,000; Numancia - P165,000; New Washington - P200,000; and Tangalan - P82,500. The checks were distributed by Dir. Aida M. Estabillo-Regional Director, DOLE and Gov. Carlito S. Marquez to the Mayors of the 11 towns. When Vice Governor Billie V. Calizo asked why only 11 towns are provided this assistance and not all especially Balete, Dir. Estabillo replied: “Balete has less than the minimum 3,000 typhoon victims./MP

MMDA Removes Kalibo’s Mud

Devastating effect of mud flood after typhoon.

MMDA heavy equipment & personnel clearing roads of mud and debris after typhoon

MMDA Mercy Mission and contingent clearing Kalibo of thousands
and thousands cubic meters of mud typhoon Frank brought.
“It cost P700,000 to transport MMDA heavy equipment and personnel from Metro Manila to Kalibo, Aklan,” declared Mr. Aldo Mayor, team leader of the MMDA Mercy Mission and contingent that are now clearing Kalibo of thousands and thousands cubic meters of mud typhoon Frank brought to Kalibo. Mr. Aldo Mayor said this when Kapehan Sa Aklan resumed its Saturday tri-media program. According to Mr. Mayor, MMDA will spend another P700,000 when the same heavy equipment and personnel will return to Metro Manila. To do its job in Kalibo, P30,000 is also spent daily.
Mr. Aldo Mayor and his MMDA Mercy Mission arrived in Kalibo on June 25 after a journey from Metro Manila. They immediately made camp and buckled down to work, clearing roads of mud and debris typhoon Frank brought.
Usually, in Mercy Mission they engage such as in Kalibo, they are allowed to remain in such place in 10 days only and then back to Metro Manila. However, in Kalibo, MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando has instructed them to stay beyond 10 days until the job is finished. Leave only after Kalibo is cleared of mud and debris and restored to its former condition as if no mud was ever deposited there. /MP

Donations for Typhoon Victims Reach P40M

Donations received by the Provincial Disaster Coordination Council (PDCC), Kalibo, Aklan for Aklan typhoon victims have reached a total of P40,257,447.00 as of last count.
Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Elma Malbas, in her report during the PDCC meeting held July 8 at the Conference Room of the Provincial Guest House here also bared that Aklan, through the PDCC, also received a total of P2,273,000 cash donations.
Donations came in the form of rice, bottles of purified and mineral water, boxes of noodles, sardines, medicines, family food packs, sleeping mats, blankets, ready to eat foods, used clothing, assorted canned goods, soap, coffee and sugar.
Donors who extended assistance include national government agencies like the DOH, DSWD, Land Bank of the Philippines, Department of Labor and Employment, PAGCOR and PCSO. PDCC-Aklan also contributed a bulk for the relief assistance, while other provinces, like Albay and Guimaras also shared. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints gave bottles of purified water amounting to P1,559,250; US Navy, rice and water amounting P24,051,560; Universal Robina Corporation, water worth P480,000; Philippine Institute of Quezon City, noodles, plastic plates, cups and used clothing, P139,725; Panasonic, assorted food amounting to P102,400.00.
World Vision Development Foundation, a non-government organization specially catering to the needs of children, in coordination with the PDCC also distributed food kits to a total of 4,557 families in the four towns being served by the organization – Tangalan, Nabas, Altavas and Batan for the first phase of assistance. Each food kit, according to Karen Indico–Apuang, World Vision Program Officer, contains 10 kilos of rice, 6 cans sardines and 1 kilo dried fish. The assistance was estimated to reach P2 million pesos.
World Vision also extended P10,000.00 cash assistance to the family of a child who died in Mandong, Batan at the height of the typhoon. As the second phase of its relief assistance starts with the distribution of food kits to target families in the town of Madalag, hiring 50 workers each for the two towns who will be tasked to clean schools. To be hired are those whose houses were totally destroyed, so they will have money to construct their houses. Work under this program, in coordination with the Department of Education, will last for two weeks.
Cebu Pacific, Smart Communications, Global Business Power Corporation, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers and private individuals also forwarded their donations to the PDCC, which was temporarily based at the second floor of the Provincial Capitol, Kalibo.
The DOH gave medicines amounting to P2,000,000; PCSO, financial assistance for the rehabilitation of hospital equipment, P2,000,000; PAGCOR, P1,409,341. The Philippine National Red Cross also extended assistance, however, they need to submit their list to the PDCC, so all donations and relief assistance will be documented and recorded by the provincial government and the PDCC.
Almost three weeks after Typhoon Frank struck Aklan bringing strong winds, the deepest flood ever experienced in Kalibo with accompanying tons of mud which reached the streets and houses, and unimaginable destruction to lives and private and public properties, help still continuously pour in Aklan from various sources: government, non–government and international organizations.
Sen. Bong Revilla visited Aklan, saw the damage and turned-over his relief assistance in the form of 500 sacks of rice. Surprised of the devastation in Kalibo, he pledged another 500 sacks of rice. Sen. Manny Villar also came over to distribute his relief assistance to the flood victims in Kalibo, Banga, and Numancia. /MP

DTI Charges 10 Business Establishments

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Kalibo, Aklan under the helm of its newly assigned Provincial Director, Diosdado Cadena, has filed formal charges to 10 erring business establishments found violating the Price Act of 1992.
On his report on Price Monitoring during the recent PDCC meeting in Kalibo, PD Cadena revealed that of the 10 business establishments charged by his office, 6 sold construction materials while 4 are engaged in selling basic necessities.
“If anyone has information on any acts of profiteering, let us know. We have enough supply here. Anybody should not just take advantage of anybody in this kind of situation,” warned PD Cadena.
PD Cadena said those found violating the Price Act will face closure of his establishment and confiscation of goods. It will also be fined.
For the DTI action, Aklan Police Provincial Office Director Benigno Durana, Jr. commended Cadena, and challenged other agencies to do the same.
“Let’s go beyond monitoring. Monitoring should already be over by this time. This should already be enforcement period. Other agencies like the DENR, DA and DOH should set up enforcement teams. We will help you,” PD Durana assured.
For his part, Governor Carlito S. Marquez said victims of profiteering are usually the poor ones. He cited the prices of nipa shingles badly needed as roof material, and bamboo to have increased tremendously.
The DENR is in charge of monitoring of prices and supply of nipa, bamboo, lumber, charcoal and other forest products, the DA on agricultural products, DTI on manufactured goods and the DOH on medicines. (by Venus G. Villanueva) /MP

Army Recruits Leave Aklan Amid Cheers, Praises and Gratitude

Wearing green T-shirts bearing the words “Help Aklan After Typhoon Frank” in front and “I Was There” at the back, some 52 Army Reservists recruits from Capiz left Aklan on July 11 amid cheers, praises, heartfelt gratitude and tearful goodbyes from Aklanons who saw what the young recruits did to help the province, especially Kalibo, rise from the ruins brought by mud and fallen trees due to Typhoon Frank.
They arrived in Aklan on June 25, three days after the typhoon. The army reservist recruits, with ages ranging from 18 to 28, quickly buckled down to work in their uniforms carrying spade and helped Kalibo clear its streets, schools, the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital, the cultural center and the “Daeangpan It Mga Kababayenhan It Aklan” of mud, fallen trees, debris and spoils caused by the record-high flood and piles of mud that came in the wake of the typhoon.
The recruits started their day marching from the Provincial Capitol grounds where they were temporarily housed during their 17-day stay in Kalibo, to the heart of the town where the government buildings are located, spading mud out of classrooms and offices and carrying tree trunks and branches of trees to clear streets adjacent to the schools and public buildings. Late in the afternoon, they were seen marching back to the Provincial Capitol Grounds in a single file, their uniforms and bodies splattered with mud and other dirt while rendering volunteer work. Instead of long firearms which they may carry, each of them carried a spade and cake of mud.
Lt. Decion Joe P. Gahum, who led the group said, “despite the arduous work the young recruits rendered during the stay in Kalibo, they only suffered broken skin on their feet.
“The Aklan Medical Society took care of their medical needs and vitamins and throughout their stay, they have not suffered any major health problems.”
The group members of BCMT CI-01-08, from 603rd CDC, 6RCDG, ARESCOM of Camp Belo, Timpas, Panit-an, Capiz, will be graduating on August 2, 2008, informed Lt. Gahum.
Before their departure, the group was given a send-off reception in the evening of July 10 by the Provincial Government under Governor Carlito S. Marquez and the Aklan Medical Society. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva) /MP

Catch The Bayanihan Spirit, Durana Tells Aklanons

“Let’s catch the bayanihan spirit, let us show that Aklanons can rise above the ruins.”
This challenge came from Aklan Police Provincial Office Provincial Director PSSupt. Benigno Durana, which he issued at the recent PDCC meeting held at the Provincial Capitol, Kalibo to discuss the latest report on relief, medical donation, price monitoring, damage assessment and casualties by the different task groups.
“Let us show the Filipinos that Aklanons are united. We are too dependent on the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA). Let’s revive the bayanihan spirit, let us clean our neighborhood,” PD Durana told council members and the media who were in the meeting.
The MMDA came to Kalibo to help clear the streets of mud and other debris brought by the flood at the height of Typhoon Frank that ravaged Aklan’s capital town as well as the neighboring municipality of Numancia.
PD Durana said, “Aklanons should not have this mendicant attitude because cleaning up will reduce further loss and a way to return back to normalcy”.
“The longer it stays there, the more depressing it becomes,” Durana added, apparently referring to the mud and thrash along Kalibo streets, despite efforts of the MMDA and the army to help clean the streets of mud and garbage everyday.
Durana stressed that returning back to normalcy by putting order in the neighborhood is a step for recovery. The PNP, according to him, has already formed Task Force Bayanihan, volunteering to clean schools.
“The people are already through cleaning their homes, now is the time to go out and make a difference in the streets,” Durana suggested.
He also said that officials should inspire the people to make them move and not to have a dependent attitude.
Despite the crisis, Durana said what happened was also an opportunity for the province to improve its capacity building, disaster management, relief operations and other disaster measures. (by Venus G. Villanueva) /MP

PDCC To Validate Damage Report

Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez expressed the need of the Provincial Disaster Coordination Council (PDCC) to validate its report on the damages wrought by Typhoon Frank which brutally struck Aklan June 21. Gov. Marquez chairs the Aklan PDCC.
“There is a need to validate the reports submitted by the different towns in the province. For reported deaths, for example, it must be made sure that the death was typhoon-related. Names of owners of houses which were partially or totally – damaged must also be ascertained, so that when government aid comes in the form of rehabilitation of these houses, rightful recipients will be benefited,” said Governor Marquez during the recent meeting of the PDCC held at the Conference Room of the Provincial Guest House, Provincial Capitol, Kalibo, Aklan.
The need to validate the typhoon damage report was further stressed by Governor Marquez, citing the case of a town whose number of affected persons was more than its total population based on the released National Statistics Office (NSO) Census of Population of 2007.
For his part, Aklan Police Provincial Office Provincial Director, Police Senior Supt. Benigno Durana, Jr., Vice Chairperson of PDCC said the council needs accurate and reliable data as far as extension of assistance is concerned.
“The PDCC needs the full support of line agencies. We must be specific and accurate in reporting the number of casualties”, PSSupt. Durana stressed.
Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Elma Malbas said that currently, MSWDOs are validating reports in their respective municipalities down to barangays, and cited Friday, July 11, as the self-imposed deadline of her office to come out with the validated final damage report.
The PSWDO in Aklan and personnel of DSWD Field Office 6 based in Aklan were augmented by DSWD forces from Regions 10 and 11, days after the typhoon. DSWD 6 also sent to Aklan Asst. Regional Director Joel Galicia to assist in the relief operations, as well as other staff from Iloilo, Capiz and Negros Occidental.
DSWD Secretary Esperanza Cabral also visited Aklan first week after the typhoon.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo also came to Aklan to bring and distribute relief assistance for two days in a row on July 1 and 2, a gesture which many Aklanons said was very rare and surprising, and the first time for the country’s Chief Executive to do for Aklan.
At the PDCC recent meeting, Governor Marquez took the opportunity to thank heads of offices of Aklan for the help extended to the province as well as non-government organizations, institutions, local government units outside the province and private individuals who gave donations in cash or in kind. (by Venus G. Villanueva) /MP

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

EDITORIAL

Madyaas Pen June 22 – 28, 2008 ISSUE


Typhoon Frank Teaches Lessons

An ancient adage states: “Ro disgrasya indi makalipot sa kuko”. (Accident cannot happen around your fingernail.) This simply means accident happens unnoticed at the most unexpected time and place. So elders, man of age and wisdom, often give advise to be cautious of what we do in whatever place and at all times, and be prepared to any accident that may happen.

“Ang taong laging handa ay ligtas”, said Kuya Kim. This is the Boy Scout Motto “Be prepared.” How prepared was Aklan before Typhoon Frank came without mercy, destroyed properties, injured persons and killed people? Did we prepare for the arrival of Frank which brought 140 – 170 kilometers per hour wind, mud which buried Poblacion, Kalibo 8 inches to one foot deep and barangays of Numancia and up to the ceiling flood water that killed and injured people, killed livestock and poultry, eroded vegetable and other crops. Flood water submerged motor vehicles and engineering equipment in water making it inoperable.

In Aklan, the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council before the coming of Frank held several regular meetings among its members. However, observation reveals and records will show, if not damaged by flood, that most of the regular members did not attend. Only representatives or their substitutes who often could not commit on matters which demand immediate decision were sent to attend. During some regular meetings, it were disasters itself for the regular members were absent, but their substitutes. I was lucky to see three municipal mayors attending simultaneously in a meeting.

Moreover, the most frequent matters listed in the agenda were criminality in the province, new People’s Army, the illegal such as gambling and drugs. The occurrence of strong winds and flood with mud were seldom discussed if ever. Unexpectedly, Frank came which brought killer winds, flood and mud. We expected wind, but not that strong. We expected flood, but not that deep, and we never expected mud.

Why Typhoon, Flood and Mud?

Whirlwind, flood and mud came on June 21 at daytime. The damage to lives could have been more if it came in the evening. Flood was so sudden, people have no time to evacuate. The designated evacuation center, ABL Sports Center was flooded anyway. All documents, furniture, appliances, computers were all wet and dirty with mud, if not carried by strong current. Any thing located in the ground floors of all private and government buildings were damaged. It was history. Shall we allow history to repeat itself? Typhoon Frank taught us several lessons.

Almost everyone knows why typhoon occurs. Continuous raining in a community results to flood. However, why the flood on June 21 was extremely deep which carried mud that buried Kalibo, Aklan 8 to 12 inches deep?

First, there was that almost 24 hours continuous rain which resulted to 13.2 inches or more than one foot deep rain water. Since the upper communities are so wide than Kalibo and Numancia, flood water was consolidated that became the deepest in the history of Aklan calamities. Why did water carried mud and deposited it in Poblacion, Kalibo, Aklan?

According to Libacao Mayor Charito Navarosa, the continuous rain in the mountains of Libacao has loosened the soil that led to the uprooting of huge trees. These huge trees with its leaves formed artificial reservoirs. When too much water accumulated in those ponds, it gave in thereby water simultaneously flew bringing with it sandy loam soil.

Since Aklan river and its tributaries had became shallow due to siltation and irresponsible sand and gravel quarrying, construction of structures on creeks, water overflowed as flood. Since Kalibo and part of Numancia are on the seacoast, flood waters met the sea water there. This prompted the flood water to linger in Kalibo and Numancia before it receded at low tide. This allowed mud to settle in Kalibo and Numancia. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer


Ambrosio R. Villorente

Rendezvous With Frank

It was Friday evening. As I listened to “Parke De Libertad” at RGMA–DYRU, a certain Lilia of PAGASA, Roxas City informed the DYRU audience that Frank, the typhoon was in Samar and was blowing toward the direction of the Bicol region. Typhoon Signal No. I was raised in Aklan.

However, Lilia warned that Frank might change its course. She called the attention of the Aklan Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council and forewarned them of the impending disaster through radio station DYRU in the course of her interview about the typhoon.

Lilia was prophetic for at 11:00 o’clock in the evening of Friday, PAGASA, Quezon City hoisted Typhoon Signal No. III over Aklan. The typhoon changed its path, turned to Aklan instead of visiting the Bicol Region. But only very few Aklanons heard of the midnight announcement.

The Aklanons woke up with Frank, devastating people and properties, with its 140–170 kms. per hour wind speed, whirlwind, floods with mud. It was my first time in my whole life to experience catastrophe Frank brought. The wind whistled a frightening sound, the wind was curling that ruffled trees, broke most and toprootted more; Frank rendered more families homeless by either totally or partially damaging their houses.

It started raining on Friday, June 20 and continued the next day, Saturday. Flood water suddenly came in the afternoon of Saturday. It rose to a depth of five feet in Badio portion of Poblacion – Albasan, Numancia road. In my mixed orchard, it was six feet deep.

The flood waters carried with it huge amount of mud from the mountains of Libacao. The mud was left and transformed Poblacion, Kalibo into instant rice farm. A portion of the mud was also deposited in some Barangays of Numancia like Brgy. Bulwang. It will take more time and effort to clear Poblacion, Kalibo of mud.

Moreover, the flood destroyed several houses and other infrastructures that blocked its way. While it eroded soil, plants like trees and vegetables, flood also killed livestock and poultry along its way.

As of the latest count, typhoon Frank inflicted P2.035 billion damage to property. It killed 50 people, injured 424 persons, while eight are still missing. This casualty is purely typhoon related and does not include its after effect death.

Almost all the people of Aklan are victims of Typhoon Frank. They are directly and indirectly adversely affected by Frank. For businessmen, they suffered direct damages due to flood and business opportunities. While the typhoon was ravaging Aklan, Aklan was isolated from the rest of the world. There was no communication of any kind, no electricity, no radio.

Until today, only the Poblaciones are served with electricity, no bank services, no potable water, no e-mail, no national coverage for cellphones. Almost all drugstores are closed and grocery stores are closed except for a few.

Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) came to help Kalibo clear of mud but progress of the work seems slow. MMDA came with its own equipment and men.

Relief Goods

Typhoon victims are discouraged, dead tired of clearing mud and debris. They were psychologically and physically injured. The typhoon was strong, harsh and painful.

Many stayed in the rooftop like in Bubog, Numancia at the height of the flood. Some stood erect with submerged body in neck deep water to have air and to survive. Others whose houses are beyond the reach of the flood water also painfully watched their personal properties in their yards floated and went with the flood. Others who tried to rescue their pet animals died with them in the flood.

However, typhoon Frank was not the end of the world. Assistance from other provinces and from abroad kept coming in. Cash and material assistance are coming. The provincial government of Aklan under Governor Carlito S. Marquez and municipal LGUs with their respective mayors provided relief goods to the typhoon victims that answered their immediate needs, even to partly relieve the victims of their pain.

Rice, canned foods, noodles, medicines, drinking waters, blankets and other materials were provided the typhoon victims. While relief operations are continuing perhaps, it is now time to start rehabilitation and recovery.

VIP’s Visit

To express their genuine concern for the welfare of the victims, Vice Pres. Noli de Castro visited the victims in Aklan. After coming from USA, GMA visited Aklan. The first was until the Kalibo Airport. Two days after, she came back and visited Brgy. Mobo, Kalibo which looked like an ocean at the height of the flood.

Sen. Mar Roxas was the first to visit and then he came again. Former Pres. Erap came also to Kalibo, Numancia and Ibajay. Sec. Arthur Yap of Agriculture came and axed his NFA Provincial Director of Aklan for his failure to control rice price. Sec. Cabral of DSWD and Sec. Gilbert Teodoro of Dept. of National Defense also visited the victims.

There are many other VIPs who visited Aklan. We will acknowledge them in the next issue. We will also acknowledge the donations, respective donors and its quantity or amount donated. /MP

The ERRs of Frank

(PHOTO CAPTION) Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is being briefed by Gov. Carlito S. Marquez with microphone, on the damage of typhoon Frank in front of the terminal bldg., Kalibo Airport, Nalook, Kalibo, Aklan. With them are Vice. Gov. Billie V. Calizo, Hon. Rodson Mayor, New Washington Mayor Edgar Peralta, Sen. Mar Roxas, Kalibo Airport Manager Percy Malonesio, and DSWD Sec. Cabral. GMA later presided the distribution of relief packages to the typhoon victims of Kalibo.

Frank is described as the worst typhoon to hit the Philippines. It was the worst typhoon to hit Aklan province in a century. Frank brought the deepest flood in Aklan, whirlwind at a speed of 140 – 170 kilometers per hour which damaged trees, public and residentiall buildings and public infrastructure; and it killed and injured people.

Flood carried with it 8 inches to one foot deep mud that buried Poblacion, Kalibo and a part of the town of Numancia. “Kaean-an Sa Kalye” at Pastrana Park, Poblacion, Kalibo was transformed into a paddy field after flood water subsided on Sunday, June 22 with soil ready for transplanting rice. The commemoration of the feast of Saint John the Baptist on June 24, the Patron Saint of Kalibo was put off as his devotees were busy clearing their houses of mud and debris. They washed clothes, cleaned furnitures, salvaged appliances. The vehicles were rendered inoperable as it were submerged in flood water and mixed with mud.

Princess of the Stars


In Sibuyan Island, Romblon, a 23–ton M/V Princess of the Stars of Sulpicio Lines sank with about 800 passengers and crew members at the height of Typhoon Frank. Of the passengers and crew, some 700 passengers sank with it with less than 100 survivors.

Officials of Sulpicio Lines blame PAGASA officials for feeding them wrong information. As M/V Princess of the Stars left North Harbor, Manila, Typhoon Signal No. I was hoisted over Metro Manila and its route on its voyage to Cebu City. When it reached Romblon, the ship encountered huge waves and strong wind of Typhoon Frank Signal No. III. M/V Princess of the Stars ran aground off Sibuyan Island, then capsized on Saturday, June 21.

Gloria Leaves For The US

While Typhoon Frank was ravaging the Philippines and the Filipinos were grimacing from pains, its President, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo flew to the United States for a 10 days working visit.

With her according reports were 59 congressmen, two (2) Senators, 10 members of her Cabinet, her relatives and aides.

To name some, the members of the entourage from the House of Representatives were Speaker Prospero Nograles, Rachel Arenas, Elpidio Barzaga, Amelita Villarosa and Raul del Mar. The 10 Cabinet officials were Sec. Alberto Romulo – DFA, Sec. Margarito Teves – Finance, Sec. Peter Favila – DTI, Sec. Gilbert Teodoro- DND, Sec. Ronaldo Puno – DILG, Sec. Arthur Yap – Agriculture, Sec., Rolando Andaya–Budget, Marianito Roque – Labor, Sec. Jesus Dureza – Press and Sec. Ignacio Bunye – Pres. Spokesman.

Amando Tetangco of BSP, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago and Sen. Richard Gordon were in the entourage. Yes, Rep. Mikey and Rep. Dato Arroyo were also in the entourage.

In Aklan, typhoon Frank killed 50 persons and injured 424 others. Until today, eight (8) persons are still missing.

According to the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council Damage report, some P2.079 billion were damaged in agriculture, lifelines, infrastructures. Frank damaged 48,930 houses in Aklan, 13,239 of which were totally damaged.

It adversely affected 73,681 families with 294,844 members according to Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez, this damage report is not yet final as additional damage reports from the barangays of the 17 towns of Aklan are still coming.

In a meeting of the Aklan Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council, some P40 million worth of relief goods were distributed to the victims. The relief packages came from donations from the Local Government of Aklan and municipalities, from government agencies, NGOs, PNRC and Senators Mar Roxas, Bong Revilla, Loren Legarda and Manny Villar.

Chairman Bayani Fernando of the MMDA dispatched the MMDA equipment and crew members to help Kalibo clear the one-foot deep mud. “Donations received from several sources will be reported to the public as soon as the records are submitted to us,” said Gov. Marquez. /MP

NEWS PICTORIAL



Text by Botoy Villorente

Photos by Megs Lunn

Rendezvous With Frank

The Philippines Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Administration (PAGASA), Roxas City announced Typhoon Frank is somewhere in Guiwan Eastern Samar in the evening of Friday, June 20. It was estimated to hit Albay in the morning of Saturday, June 21. PAGASA announced too, typhoon Signal No. I was raised in Aklan.

However, at midnight of Friday, PAGASA raised Typhoon Signal No. III in Aklan. But only few heard it as it was announced midnight. Therefore, people were caught prepared just for Signal No. I. People in Aklan woke up early morning of Saturday, June 21 with Frank, whistling with winds 140 – 170 kms. per hour. It was not only wind but whirlwind. In the afternoon of Saturday, floods came with mud specially consigned in Poblacion, Kalibo, and Bulwang, Camanci Sur and Norte, Pusiw and Bubog, Numancia.

Frank transformed into rice fields ready for transplanting rice “Kaean-an Sa Kalye” at Pastrana Park, Poblacion, Kalibo.

This pictures shows the strength of Typhoon Frank.