Saturday, September 27, 2008

EDITORIAL


Economist: Crisis Stretching
OFWs’ Ability To Send Money
by JEREMAIAH M. OPINIANO
A US-generated financial crisis is testing overseas Filipino workers’ ability to send cash home, an economist said using government data on remittances.
"If OFWs persist in sending more money, it will not be physically sustainable for them," Alvin Ang stressed before monetary authorities reported on August 15 that OFWs sent home a record $1.5 billion in June, 2008.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas linked the 30-percent year-on-year remittance growth rate to an increase in the number of Filipinos who left for work abroad from January to June this year.
The BSP cited government recorded more than 600,000 Filipino workers left the Philippines using official channels during the first six months of the year. That figure just a little above the total number of oversea contract workers deployed in 1991 which was 615,019.
While acknowledging the increasing rate of remittance from these Filipinos, Ang warned that remittance flows especially from the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are entering a "plateau."
Using year-on-year total formally-sent cash remittances on a six-month period ending May, Ang said if the growth rate of remittances is below and up to three percent, "that for me is a plateau."
He cited as example cash from land-based OFWs in the US grew by less than a percent (0.66) to $2.462 billion in the first six months ending May as against the same six-month period in 2007 of $2.446 billion.
Likewise, Ang noted money credited as coming from land-based OFWs in Saudi Arabia in the five-month period ending May this year hit $528.013 million. That amount represented a 1.12 percent growth rate from the $522.156 million sent from Saudi Arabia in the first five months of last year.
While remittances from land-based Filipino workers in these major host countries still rise, Ang said growth rates year-on-year are "not of significant increases".
Borderline
EVEN the Philippines’s total monthly remittances are either touching plateau level or are experiencing negative growth rate "Monthly remittance data shows downward spikes", Ang pointed out.
The country received $1.396 billion in December 2007 but the following month’s remittance declined by 9.52 percent to $1.264 billion and to $1.258 billion in February this year.
Ang believed the declining rates may be due to several factors including US inflation and higher oil and commodities prices. He, however, said the effects on remittances from these economic aberrations are not immediate. "Give it one to one-and-a-half years before we really feel the full effect."
Ang noted that cash from OFWs in countries other than the US and Saudi Arabia have been contributing more to the growth rates and helping arrest the decline in cash flow.
Land-based OFWs in Singapore, for example, sent home $0.175 billion during the first five months, or an 81.98-percent growth year-on-year from $95.985 million in the same period last year.
Filipinos in Canada sent $0.46 billion during the first six months, achieving a year-on-year 70.65-percent growth rate.
Filipinos in Europe, such as Italy (22.11 percent growth rate), Germany (27.22 percent), and the United Kingdom (19.01), also saw their year-on-year five month remittance volumes grow.
Returns
ANG’s prognosis on the Philippines’s plateau-level remittance growth rates recalls a basic economic concept: the law of diminishing returns. There will come a time that remittances from OFWs, whether it’s the overall total or the per-continent or per-country totals, "will go down somewhere," he added.
Given the weakening dollar, World Bank economists Dilip Ratha and Sanket Mohapatra said rising inflation rate, oil, and other commodities prices "further eroded the purchasing power of remittances" received by Mexico, India, and the Philippines.
Ratha and Moha-patra specifically noted that while the Philippine remittances increased by nearly 50 percent between 2004 and 2007, "[a] large part of this increase has been simply to preserve the purchasing power of recipients since the Philippine peso appreciated by 33 percent against the US dollar."
OFW remittance to the Philippines hit roughly $14.5 billion last year. It was $8.5 billion in 2004.
After accounting for the peso’s appreciation and domestic inflation, Philippine remittances increased by only three percent [in the three years beginning 2004]," Ratha and Mohapatra wrote in Remittances Dispatch.
India’s and Mexico’s remittance growth rates after accounting for inflation were 13 and 19 percent, respectively.
While the effects of the world price adjustments are yet to sink in, Ang said he expects Filipinos in many countries would be sending lower amounts of money home. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer


Ambrosio R. Villorente
Akelco Gets 17 Centavos of Its Proposed
75 Centavos Rate Adjustment
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) approved Akelco application "of its overall tariff adjustment in the amount of PhP0.7543/KWH, with prayer for issuance of provisional authority, is hereby approved".
ERC "granted a Total Revenue Requirement of PhP160,810,351.00 equivalent to an overall average rate adjustment of PhP0.1736/KWH on its total Distribution, Supply and Metering charges".
In simple language, Akelco applied with ERC to increase its rate by PhP0.7543/KWH on its total Distribution, Supply and Metering charges but ERC approved PhP0.1736/KWH, smaller by PhP0.5807.

Facts

Akelco filed its application with ERC on March 31, 2008 to increase power rate by P0.7543 per kwh. Public hearing was conducted regarding the application on May 15-16, 2008 in Akelco compound, Lezo, Aklan. The hearing was presided by Rauf A. Tan, Commissioner, ERC.
During the hearing, Ramil T. Dala, Lilian Q. Tirol, Ramon S. Gelito, Harvey Y. Reloj, Franklin Quimpo, Carlo Macahilig, George Calaor, Benny Q. Laserna and Romeo T. Inocencio filed their joint petition for intervention and pre-trial brief. They agreed with Akelco on a single issue which is: "whether or not the proposed overall tariff adjustment is just, prudent, reasonable and proper, and should be approved" by ERC.
To support its application, Akelco presented Paterno Ibarreta, Akelco Board President and Roselie R. Tarantan, manager for finance, Akelco. The two testified to support the Akelco application.
I thought the Akelco board members were elected by the consumer-members to protect their interest. In this case, the President of the Akelco board still insisted and dependent the application to increase its power charges to the consumers. For whom the members of the board working? I have not heard any board member consulting some member-consumers on rate increase application. Likewise, Akelco only furnished the copy of its application to some LGUs in Aklan.
The Diocese of Kalibo, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan, and Sangguniang Bayan of Kalibo among others opposed the said Akelco tariff adjustment application with ERC.

Proposed Revenue Requirement

In 2006, Akelco has a total revenue requirement of P199,815,323.00. It proposed P211,823,571.00 or an adjustment of P12,008,248. This increase will be for salary standardization – P3,923,503; retainer’s fee – P5,555,040; and real property tax – P2,529,705. Wow! P5,555,040 for retainer’s fee. Is Akelco so notorious that it must require P5.5 million a year for retainers fee? To whom will Akelco pay this cold cash? Who are these retainers? This explains why the sum of more than P3 million was spent without any voucher and receipt alleged to have been disbursed as legal fee.
Please take note: Akelco proposed to spend P53,145,732 for personal services. ERC approved P49,678,971. ERC reduced it by P3,466,761.
Akelco proposed P110,598,588 for Operation and Maintenance, ERC approved P72,425,347, a P38,164,239 reduction. This is astronomical reduction for an astronomical proposal. Some 35 percent of the proposed amount was reduced.
Money intended for donations; solicitations and sponsorship; financial assistance and death aid; excess in advertisement expenses; excess in annual meeting; legal fees for non recurring cases; auditors adjustment for legal case; arrears on tax deficiency; expenses on bank charges; excess in uncollectible accounts; adjustment in outside services; and excess in annual real estate tax was disallowed. Does Akelco advertise and pays its advertisers?

Debt Service

As to debt servicing, Akelco proposed P20,393,020. ERC approved P10,313,467, a P10,097,553 reduction. Why did ERC reduced Akelco’s proposed amount for debt servicing by more than 50 percent? Is it bloated? Akelco management often announce it is indebted.
Akelco proposed to reinvest P32,389,207 for expansion and rehabilitation of electric power system. ERC found it meritorious. It approved it and even increased it to P33,253,119. (to be continued next issue) /MP

Marquez: More Food Production Conquers Poverty Grants P10T To Tondog Farmers

by AMBROSIO R. VILLORENTE



Tangalan Mayor Gene Fuentes (extreme left) inducting into office the officers of the Tondog Clusters Farmers Association.

Gov. Carlito S. Marquez

Dr. Noel Manicpic

Farmers and LGU Tangalan officials.

Farmers Field Day and Harvest Festival in Tangalan, Aklan was centered on Modified Rapid Composting (MRC) Project. The Farmers Day was a one day affair held in Ramon Aguelo Farm, Sitio Bangkiling, Tondog, Tangalan, Aklan on Tuesday, September 16.
The opening program highlights included the welcome statement of Tondog Brgy. Chairman Edito M. Rubias. Dr. Noel Manicpic, a retired professor at UP Los Baños and consultant of Food and Agriculture Organization, Bangkok, Thailand gave technical updates on SL-8 Hybrid Seeds. SL-8 is a hybrid rice seeds developed by SL Agritech Corporation where Dr. Manicpic is now the vice president for research and development.
In his inspirational message, Gov. Carlito S. Marquez explained why some people are remaining among the poorest of the poor. "There is a shortage of employment", he stressed. "And the only way to liberate the Filipino farmers from the bondage of poverty is the application of modern method of crops production," Marquez pointed out.
Marquez urged the farmers to follow the recommended agricultural practices like the use of hybrid seeds, proper application of fertilizer, proper pest management, effective weed control and post harvest practice to cut post harvest losses. These correct application of all the factors of production will increase crop yield like the rice from 80 cavans to 180 cavans per hectare per season.
"An 80 cavans per hectare per season of rice will not liberate family from poverty but 180 cavans will," Marquez stressed. He urged the farmers to borrow P10,000 from the provincial fund at one percent interest per month to procure inputs of production. Moreover, Marquez talked about the importance of positive work habits of the farmers in order to fight and conquer poverty in the countryside.
Having viewed and convinced of the Tondog Farmers Association on Modified Rapid Com-posting, Marquez pledged to grant P10,000 to each farmer who will put up an MRC project.
The panel discussion that followed centered on the Provincial Ordinance which bans the burning of rice straw and other farm waste. All the local officials present promised to strictly implement the ordinance for the best interest of the farmers and to help minimize climate change. The panel discussion was led by Provincial Agriculturist William Castillo, Asst. Prov’l. Agriculturist Salome David, OIC Administration, Ms. Erna T. Young, NFA, Dr. Noel Manicpic and Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente.
Tangalan Mayor Gene T. Fuentes inducted the officers of the Tondog Cluster Farmers Association.
In the afternoon, Modified Rapid Com-posting using tricho-derma was discussed, its procedure, production data and cost analysis. There were testimonies of farmers who are practicing MRC.
The participants also viewed exhibits of projects and crops produced with the use of it. Hon Jay E. Tejada, SB member, Tangalan was the Emcee while Ronilo S. Salaver, GMA Rice Report officer was the Farm Symposium Moderator. /MP

DOT Holds TEST Seminar Workshop


The Environmental Security on Tourism (TEST) was the subject of a one day seminar held last Tuesday. September 11. It was held at Hernani’s Mix & Match Bar and Restaurant, Kalibo, Aklan.
Tourism Undersec-retary Salador D. Sarabia, Jr. led the seminar which covered several topics. Gov. Carlito S. Marquez was represented by SP member Gerick Templonuevo who read the governor’s welcome message.
The TEST project is an assessment of stakeholder’s analysis that aims to turn the threat to tourism into opportunities by promoting responsible travel to natural areas while conserving and protecting the environment and improving the well-being of the community.
There were several valuable topics presented and discussed. The overview of Biodiversity was presented by Lilian dela Vega of Haribon Foundation; Reforestation Program for Region VI – Forester Annabelle B. Briones – DENR 6; Provincial Security – Capt. Roel Tabas, 301st Brigade, AFP; Conservation of Marine Environment Thru Diving – Gigi Santos, Philippine Commission on Sports; DBP Forest Program – Jessica E. Eucogan, DBP; and Bamboo For Life – Conrad Perreras, Rotary Club of Makati Central.
The afternoon was spent for the workshop and work group presentation and recommendations.
The conference workshop was sponsored jointly by DOT, Haribon Foundation, National Defense College of the Philippines and the provincial government of Aklan. /MP

State of the Art Hall of Justice To Rise In Kalibo


by AMBROSIO R. VILLORENTE
When completed, the Hall of Justice Building of the Province of Aklan located in Kalibo will be the most modern and can be called the state of the arts. This was revealed by Atty. Antonio H. Dujua, Deputy Court Administrator, Supreme Court of the Philippines. According to Administrator Dujua the hall of justice building can compare with that of Makati City if not better when completed.
Administrator Dujua was in Kalibo, Aklan last Monday, September 15. He presided the Pre Bid Conference with the 21 pre qualified bidders to the reconstruction and improvement of the Godofredo P. Ramos Hall of Justice Bldg. which was badly damaged during typhoon Frank on June 21, 2008.
According to Atty. Arnaldo C. Tejada, Jr., Clerk of Court VI, Regional Trial Court, Kalibo, Aklan, the reconstruction has P47 million budget and will take 120 days to complete the reconstruction.
During the Pre-Bid Conference, Adm. Dujua explained to the 21 qualified bidders the pre-bid requirements, building plan, scope of work and other requirements. He also explained the contents of the Bid Bulletin.
In a question and answer portion, several problems were clarified such as who will secure building permit, bidders bond, mode of payment, interpretation of the building plan among others. Suggestions were also given to facilitate the preparation of the bid offer as well as the completion of the project.
Adm. Dujua is the vice-chairperson, Supreme Court Bids and Awards Committee for the Halls of Justice. He was assisted during the Pre Bid Conference by the members of his committee. They are Atty. Lilian Barribal – Co-Finance; Ms. Estrella D. Eje–Budget; Atty. Carisa Anne O. Manook-Frondozo–representative of the Chief Justice, Engr. Joan Cabe and Arch. Natividad.
The submission of bids will be in Manila which deadline of submission, according to Atty. Dujua is at 9:30 o’clock in the morning, September 26, 2008 in the Training Room, Supreme Court of the Philippines, Manila. All bids will be opened also immediately. Bids submitted after 9:30 AM on that day are automatically disqualified. Bids Bulletin will be available on September 19.
According to Atty. Arnaldo Tejada, Jr. a small amount of the P47 million will also be spent for the repair of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court in Kalibo.
When completed, the Godofredo P. Ramos Hall of Justice will serve as the offices of the nine (9) branches of the Regional Trial Courts in Kalibo.
Meanwhile, presiding judges are holding office and court hearings in a rented building situated across Goding Ramos Park, Estancia, Kalibo. /MP

MANNY PACQUIAO IS OUR KID: FIL-AM COUPLE


by ALEX P. VIDAL
Unknown to most spectators who watched the 12-round World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight championship fight between David Diaz and Manny Pacquiao at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 28, the husband and wife seen on HBO television waving a big streamer that screams "Pacquiao marry me", were Pacquiao’s most ardent fans in the West Coast in the United States.
They were Premchand or "Prem" and Rowena or "Weng" Encarnacion, who agreed to celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary on that day together with the crowd rooting for Pacquiao inside the spacious event center.
"We had no gift to each other," said Prem, an architect from Vigan, Ilocos Sur, who has lived in the United States for 22 years. "Ito lang (our attendance in the fight of Pacquiao) ang regalo namin (Our attendance in the fight is our gift to each other)."
"We have one thing in common," added Weng, a nurse at the Arcadia Methodist Hospital in Los Angeles, California, who has been in the US for 10 years. "We are both die-hard, real die-hard fans of Manny Pacquiao."
Weng, of Bilar, Bohol , admitted that they have no kids. "Our kid is Manny Pacquiao," the couple, who live in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles , said in jest.
"Hindi niya alam but siya ang highlight sa relationship naming mag asawa (he doesn’t know it yet but he is the highlight in our relationship as couple)," Weng said.
They said as much as possible they did not want to miss any fight of Pacquiao in the United States . During free time, if their idol is in the US (their house is located 15 minutes away by car from Wild Card Gym in Hollywood where Pacquiao trains), they would visit him and watch while doing his regular workouts.
While Pacquiao was shadow boxing inside the ring in the Wild Card Gym before his rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez sometime in March, the couple carried a tarpaulin with a slogan "Just Pac it" while watching him. They caught the attention of journalists and photographers present.
Pacquiao recognized their presence by waving at them and flashing a big smile.
"Down-to-earth siya at hindi mayabang. The fact na nasilayan namin siya sa gym ay malaking bagay na sa amin (He is down-to-earth and approachable. By just watching him in the gym we are already satisfied)," said Weng.
They called as "amazing" Pacquiao’s gesture when he invited them to eat with him in a Thai restaurant a stone throw away from the gym after the workout.
"I nearly jumped in joy when he called me by my first name ‘Weng,’" she added. "We were among the luckiest people to be invited to eat with him in one table."
Pacquiao also once invited them to eat in his apartment in La Brea "and we just wanted to know where he lived," Weng said.
The couple said they are glad that Pacquiao recognized them as his fans "but we are not big names here."
They admired the 29-year-old lefty from General Santos City "because he knows how to look back at ordinary Filipinos and he has a stamp like Jose Rizal."
"He is very nice to his fans; very cool. He was telling us story about his life when he was a kid. Maka Diyos siya and he prays the rosary," they said. "Manny Pacquiao is a world class athlete and he represents our race."
The couple also described the people around the WBC champion as "very nice and very accommodating."
As true-blue boxing fans, how do they react when they see their idol being hit by his opponents in the ring? "I had butterflies in the stomach when he fought Marquez. Para akong hinimatay (I nearly fainted)," Weng pointed out.
Prem and Weng have not yet issued a statement now that Pacquiao has been pitted against the world’s most dangerous boxer in the person of Oscar De La Hoya dubbed "It’s Personal" on December 6 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Tita Linda Belayro
Ro Bosoe Ni Sarik

May sangka nanay nga may unga nga si Sarik. Guin sugo si Sarik ko anang ina nga ibaligya eonlang ro andang baka sa tindahan ay indi eon mapuslan bangud magueang eon. Pumanaw si Sarik guyod ro baka. May nasubeang imaw nga magueang ag guin byluhan kana it bosoe nga makata-o kana it manggad. Guinbaton ni Sarik ro bosoe sa engganyo it magueang. Pag-abot sa anda, guin tao nana ro kabak-eanan nga bosoe kay Nanay na. Sa kaakig ko anang ina, hinaboy nana ro bosoe sa liwan it bintana.
Pagkaaga, nangawa si Sarik nga may nagtubo nga tanum sa andang kilid it baeay. Sinaka nana. Hapan-uhan man nga idto gali nagatumoy sa ibang kalibutan. Idto nagaestar ro mga maintok nga tawo ag naga tinibag it mga bato agod ayagon ro bueawan ag obrahon nga bareta. Guina bantayan sanda it higante nga imaw naga panag-iya ko bueawan. Kon mahinay ro pagtrabaho ko mga tawo hay guina hueog nana sa nagabukae nga kawa.
Nagbo-oe si Sarik it sangka baretang bueawan parabil nanaog. Guinbaligya nanda ro bueawan busa nag manggaranon sanda. Ka’t naubos eon ro andang kwarta, bumalik eon man si Sarik idto. Tama guid nga bag-ong bugtaw ro higante.
"Matsa may nahum-gan akong ibang tawo iya", singgit it higante. Guin-usoy imaw ko higante. Nagpakita si Sarik. Guin-eagas imaw it higante.
Kat guina dakma eon kunta si Sarik it higante hay maabtik nga eomokso si Sarik sa pihak nga parte ko kawa. Sa pagsunod it higante, owa imaw naka panimbang ag nahueog imaw sa naga bukae nga kawa. Ogaling, naka-takas pa guihapon ro higante Sige ro anang eotos kay Sarik. Nag daeagan si Sarik sa baeagon nga tanum. Guin sunod imaw ko higante. Ka’t sa katung-anan eon ro higante, guin potoe ni Sarik ro puno ko anang daeang porakoe. Nahueog ro higante sa eogta nga tumama ro anang oeo sa mabahoe nga bato ngani namatay. Nag hugyaw ro mga maintok nga tawo sa pagkamatay ko higante. Mas malipayon si Sarik tongod abo nga bareta ro anang nasaeod sa boesa parabil imaw bumalik pauli. /MP

Dance Drama Depicts Challenges in Solid Waste Management Program


by Terence Toriano
The Environmental Awareness and Advocacy Dance Drama opened its one day three part performance on September 8, 2008 at the APSTA Center with a showcase of talent from the Kalibo Council for Culture and the Arts (KCCA). All students from the Regional Science High School for Region VI, with a special participation of Physical Education students from West Visayas State University are participants. The only Aklanon chosen as one of the twelve 2008 Bayer Young Environmental Envoys in the Philippines, Jemuel Garcia Jr. directed the dance drama.
The dance drama showcased a three part performance: "Trahedya de Payatas" – "Tapon, Tapon, Tapon Mo" – an interpretation of the Filipino version of Fur Elise by Ludwig Van Beethoven, and "Wer na U? The Frank Exposé – a dramatization of the recent flooding put in context for the text messaging generation. It depicted the difficulties that the local governments face in the implementation of their solid waste management programs. It also showed the rewards of a well-managed sanitation projects.
Hundreds of students, parents and teachers witnessed the free performance including the Provincial Administrator Diego Luces representing Gov. Carlito Marquez, Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Concepcion Constantino who is also the principal of the Regional Science High School for Region VI, and this writer representing Mayor Raymar Rebaldo as LGU-Kalibo’s Information Officer.
The performance is documented by video and still photography which Garcia is set to present to the Bayer National Eco-Camp on September 20-24, 2008 in Manila.
Kalibo Mayor Raymar Rebaldo commended Garcia for his achievement and applauded him for serving as a role model to the youth. He exhorted students and performers of the KCCA which Mayor Rebaldo himself chaired to excel in whatever field they are in and not to forget their focus on the environment following the flash flood that ravaged the Ati-Atihan town two months ago.
Garcia was a member of the KCCA when he attended school at the Regional Science High School for Region VI. He is now a graduating physical education student of West Visayas State University, Iloilo City. /MP

Student Leaders Attend NLTSGO


by Lea Niña C. Roma

The 6th National Leadership Training for Student Government Officers (NLTSGO) was held at the Teacher’s Camp, Baguio City on September 5–10, 2008. With the theme "Responding To The Needs of the 21st Century Leadership: Equipping Student – Leaders in Reaching Out to Peers". According to Joey G. Pelaez, Executive Director, DepEd Center for Students and Co-curricular Affairs (CSCA), the training "aimed to focus on enabling student leaders to implement a school-based peer counseling program as a way to address both the needs of guidance counselors in public schools and the need of our students to be guided on wide ranging adolescent issues and concerns".
"To be sure, there are other juvenile cases that we need to address. This move to institutionalize a peer counseling program in the public schools should be the start. We urge everybody to support this initiative", Dir. Pelaez stressed.
Speakers all over the country with different personalities made their way to Baguio City to share their knowledge, experiences and skills with the student–leaders whom they presumed to be future leaders. They are Ardy S. Abello, Jeric Soriano, Emily Abrera, and Henry Tenedoro. Some celebrities were requested to speak to share in cooperation with the Master’s Lighthouse Foundation.
NLTSGO was not pure seminars, conventions and listening to different speakers. It entertained student–leaders with surprise guest celebrities and performers like Jimmy Bondoc, Miguel Agila, Nanette Inventor, Ava Jugueta and others.
Ateneo Student Trainers (STRAINS) was acknowledged for their help in motivating the personality of every student leaders. This year, they aim to develop respect and trust among them; how to deal with failure and peer counseling in every student in their daily two-hours sessions.
The NLTSGO nominated and elected the new set of National Federation of Supreme Student Government Officers for the year 2008.
Awardees of the 2008 Vice President Noli de Castro Academic Excellence and Exemplary Leadership Awards were presented. These students who came from all over the country received their awards in the office of the Vice President, Malacañang, Manila.
The training was supported by STRAINS; the Master’s Lighthouse Foundation; the Philippine Star; and Rex Book Store, Inc.
Kuya PJ and Kuya Ian hosted the affair that added taste and savor to the convention, making it fun and entertaining from sunrise to sunset.
This biggest gathering of young student-leaders of the country, despite of lining up for meals, waking up early; sleeping late at night; the over crowding of Benitez Hall; yet the knowledge and skills of being a leader are inculcated from this rare and irreplaceable experience. Student-leaders went home equipped with knowledge and skills from the convention. The participants gathered experiences one can learn outside the four corners of the classroom. Their participation in the leadership training are things to remember and cherished. /MP

Dr. Ted Robles CPU President-Elect

Dr. Ted Robles

Professor, Electrical Engineer and Computer Science Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSE)

Education:

1. B.S. Electrical Engineering, Central Philippine University, 1964
2. M.S. Electrical Engineering, Montana State University, Montana State University: Bozeman, 1969
3. Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Montana State University: Bozeman, 1975
Experience: 17 Years of service with MSE

Roxas: Use More Ethanol, Mitigate Oil Shocks Calls For Sugar Cane Crash Planting Program


Senator Mar Roxas greets an old lady outside the Bacolod North Public Market in Bacolod City, Negros Occiental, where he visited recently. Roxas has stressed that prices of many basic goods should be going down with a drop in world oil prices. Roxas’ Senate Committee on Trade and Commerce held a price hearing last Tuesday where he spoke with industry officials on the right pricing of their goods.


"The volatility of oil prices dictates the use of more ethanol in fuel production", said Senator Mar Roxas. As he called on the government to implement a crash program to boost sugarcane production for the purpose.
"Now that the price of oil is temporarily abating, the government must seize the opportunity to boost the search for alternative fuels and wean off the country from its dependence on imported petroleum," said Roxas, who was at Negros Occidental, known as the "sugarbowl" of the Philippines, as it produces more than half of the country’s supply of sugar, the source of ethanol.
"The Philippines remains prone to severe oil shocks and we should not sit idly by, dreadfully anticipating another round of price increases. We have 370,000 hectares in the country that can be tapped for expansion or conversion into sugarcane plantations," he said, noting that a National Biofuel Board is in charge of overseeing implementation of RA 9367, the Biofuels Law, as well as promotion of alternative sources of fuel.
"As co-author of the Biofuels Law, I saw the need to find alternative sources of fuel, particularly ethanol. Sugarcane has two primary purposes – as food and fuel. We encourage the private sector’s expansion of our country’s present sugarcane plantations, so that we can more than meet the present demand for both food and fuel," he added.
The law mandates a 5 percent ethanol blend in gasoline by 2009, two years after its effectivity. By 2012, five years after effectivity, a 10 percent blend will be required. The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) says that about 16 percent of the 389,000 hectares of sugarcane plantation nationwide is needed to produce the 269 million liters of ethanol to meet the 5 percent requirement next year. In 2012, 38 percent of the total sugarcane plantation area nationwide will be needed to produce the 624 million liters of ethanol to meet the 10 percent requirement.
"Oil companies are required to meet a minimum ethanol mix in gasoline over the next five years. But if we’re able to increase sugarcane production and the ethanol supply, our energy companies will be able to increase their ethanol mix above the law’s minimum requirement, and find it more cost-effective to do so," he said. /MP

ASU Reviews its Extension and Community Services Program


The Aklan State University Extension and Community Services (ASU-ECS) Unit conducted its In-House Review on September 3-5, 2008 at ASU, Banga, Aklan.
The In–House Review aimed at strengthening programs, projects, strategies and policies towards local, regional, national and international competitiveness of the extension services of the university. It provided opportunity for the faculty members from the different academic units to present papers on completed, on-going and proposed extension program/projects for academic year 2008-2009. There were 38 faculty member participants and 22 papers presented.
Through presentation of extension programs and projects, critiques from the panel of evaluators, group discussions and brainstorming of participants, the effectiveness of the University’s Extension and Community Services were determined and projects were integrated in the R D & E thrusts on quality education, sustainable agriculture, enterprise development, health and social welfare.
The evaluators were: Dr. Ma. Lulu L. Loyola, Vice President for Research and Extension of West Visayas State University; Ms. Rose T. Mueda of the University of the Philippines in the Visayas; Dr. Allan V. Alimodian, Center Director of the Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training Center VI; Engr. Roger M. Esto, Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator of Aklan, and Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente, Chairman of the Provincial Agriculture and Fishery Council.
In the on-going project category, Best Paper was awarded to the "Eco-Health Agenda" (Enhancing State of Health and Economic Status of Barangay Venturanza) presented by Prof. Carol Joy P. Remaneses, et.al. of the School of Arts and Sciences. Under the proposed and completed categories, the best papers are on "Organic Fertilizer: Produce and Use in Palayamanan" by Prof. Paterno I. Rebuelta, et.al., and "Capacity Enhancement for Improved Productivity and Community Participation of Women in Kinalangay Nuevo" by Dr. Alma I. Irader, et.al., from the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Environmental Sciences.
At the end of the In-House Review, the participants came up with innovative extension program of activities, strategies and policies. These will maximize the extension expertise of faculty and financial resources of the university towards the convergence of the R D & E thrusts as well as the advancement of academic programs of the university.
In the over-all evaluation conducted by the University Monitoring and Planning Unit, the activity was rated "very good," which exceeded the expectations of the participants. The activity was facilitated by the University Extension and Community Services Unit, headed by its Director, Dr. Anna Mae C. Relingo, with full support from the Vice President for Research and Extension, Dr. Roberto L. Saladar and the University Officials headed by President Benny A. Palma. (SR Villasis, ASU-ECS)/MP

Friday, September 19, 2008

EDITORIAL


Is MOA
Between DPWH–DEO and Altavas Valid?

Is a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) entered into and signed by a person whose term of office as mayor of a municipality in behalf of that municipality valid and binding?
A case in point is a "Project" Memorandum of Agreement Between The DPWH and the Local Government of the Municipality of Altavas For the Implementation of President’s Priority Program of Water At Barangay Linayasan, Altavas, Aklan and the Municipal Government of Altavas, Province of Aklan Herein Represented by its Duly Elected Municipal Mayor, Hon. Denny D. Refol and Duly Authorized by the Municipal Council Hereinafter Referred to as the LGU".
Is the past municipal mayor of a town whose term of office has expired who signed the MOA in behalf of that municipality valid and binding to all concerned?
Among others, the MOA covered the implementation by the LGU of the DPWH water supply project…in Brgy. Linayasan, Altavas, Aklan…in the amount of P3 million. The LGU Altavas shall implement the project by administration in accordance with the program of work, plans and specification. The LGU Altavas shall use labor based equipment, starts the project 15 days from approval of the MOA, LGU shall seek prior clearance from DPWH–DEO any change in price, payment, conditions, and completion time; LGU shall submit monthly monitoring reports on the project to DPWH – DEO every 25th day of the month.
Upon completion of the project by the LGU, verified by the designated inspectorate team, the DPWH-DEO shall issue to the LGU the corresponding Certificate of Completion. One year after the project completion, the LGU shall correct all defects of the project at its own expense. The LGU must also place a prominent billboard on the site of the project during construction.
Another provision is project funding which shall come from DPWH budget, LGU must insure the fund is used for activities in the approved program of work.
The MOA also stipulated the schedule of fund releases, auditing of fund, LGU counterpart fund and the relation of LGU employees to the project.
The MOA is signed on July 16, 2007 by Delano Pelayo, District Engineer for DPWH–DEO and Denny D. Refol, Municipal Mayor. Rolando M. Asis, CESO VI, Regional Director, DPWH approved the MOA. Cortesa C. Macahilig, Accountant III, DPWH and Elpidio B. Payba, Jr. Municipal Accountant of Altavas signed as witnesses.
The MOA was notarized by Notary Public Pepito M. Iligan on July 16, 2007 as per Doc. No. 156; Page No. 33; Book No. 130; Series of 2007.
It cannot be denied those who signed for DPWH, Kalibo, Aklan were incumbent officials of that office. Is Mr. Denny D. Refol the Municipal Mayor of Altavas at the time of the signing of the MOA? It cannot be denied that his term of office as Mayor of the Municipality of Altavas has expired at 12:00 o’clock midnight, June 30, 2007. The duly elected and incumbent mayor of Altavas is surely not Denny D. Refol.
If former Mayor Denny D. Refol was not any more the Mayor of Altavas, why did he sign the agreement? It is extremely difficult if not impossible for Mr. Denny D. Refol to fulfill his obligations under the agreement. How can he implement the project when he is not the mayor?
On the other hand, why did the DPWH–DEO perfected a MOA with a party which is represented by an official whose term of office has expired? To whom will the DPWH–DEO talk to on matters of the project? Whom will the DPWH–DEO demand compliance as the signatory is not really the elected mayor and therefore cannot represent the municipality of Altavas in that MOA as duly elected Mayor?
The Privilege Speech of
June 19, 2008
Be that as it may, Hon. Rodson F. Mayor, member, Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan on June 19, 2008 delivered a privilege speech on the matter of the P12,087,859.00 water projects in barangays Cabangila, Cabugao, Odiong, Man-up and Linayasan all in Altavas. Take note that June 19 is the birthday of the national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal.
The sum of P12,087,859 is appropriated as follows: Cabangila–P2,901,113; Cabugao–P871,622; Odiong–P1,290,000; Man-up–P4,024,489; and Linayasan–P3 million.
On the basis of the status report of the "Water Supply for Waterless Municipalities, Altavas, Aklan, of the total budget of the water project in five (5) barangays, P11,093,783.93 or 93 percent are already spent. This report was signed by Vivian B. Dalida, Engineer II; Eleanor P. Orbigo, Chief, Planning & Design Section; and Roberto J. Cabigas, OIC, District Engineer.
However, in Mayor’s privilege speech he said," except for some pipes installed in those barangays, not a drop of water coming from the faucet of the residents of those barangays can be obtained."
Mayor characterized those water supply projects as "ghost projects". The privilege speech of Hon. Mayor was referred to the "Committee as a Whole" of the SP. A committee hearing was scheduled. All those concerned LGU officials of Altavas was invited to attend to provide relevant information to the committee as a whole to get the truth on the alleged "ghosts projects" in Altavas.
Ms. Madeline Fermalino, State Auditor III, Commission on Audit was invited. Those invited officials of LGU Altavas did not attend the SP committee meeting. They snubbed the presiding officer and members of Aklan SP.
Ms. Fermalino rejected the invitation signed by Odon Bandiola, SP secretary to attend the August 7, 2008 interaction on the privilege speech of Hon. Mayor.
Ms. Fermalino declined to attend for according to her, "through interaction, I would become a party to a fishing expedition or investigation". Further, Fermalino wrote, "I will be asked and required to answer incriminating questions or to incriminate others." Finally, Ms. Fermalino charged that the provincial SP has no power, expressed or implied, to request the presence of COA auditor for interactions.
With this kind of thinking, behavior and work ethics of a COA official, how can government stop, erase or eradicate thieves in the government? This does not admit however, there is graft in the Altavas water and college projects.
But when Ms. Fermalino said, the Aklan SP is on a fishing expedition does it mean there are the presence of fish in the pond? Ms. Fermalino also said that if she attended the interaction, "I will be asked and required to answer incriminating questions or to incriminate others." Does Ms. Fermalino possess any knowledge of a person who might be incriminated of her answers? If none, whom will she incriminate?
This matter of water project is worthy to pursue until its conclusion. There will be good and valuable lessons to be learned here that may contribute and be a part of the solution to minimize if not stop thieveries in the government./MP

Kalibo Agriculture Sector’s Struggles To Move Forward


by E. Soviet Russia A. dela Cruz
Chairman, Committee on Agriculture

Through centuries, the town of Kalibo has evolved as the center of numerous historical events, both, political and cultural evolution that contributed to the invaluable heritage of the Aklan people. It has remained the land of enchanting sights and sounds, like the Sto. Niño (Ati-Atihan) Festival and the home for centuries of skilled weavers in the piña fiber industry which has produced the exquisite gossamer-like piña cloth now world renowned.
The Municipality of Kalibo is a first class Municipality with 72,984 people. Approximately 75 percent of the family households are engaged in farming and the remaining 25 percent are either employed in the government or private sector or are entrepreneurs. The Municipality has a total land area of 5,075 hectares comprising 16 barangays, two of which are bounded by island waters. There are eight barangays located along the coastal areas of the Visayan Sea and seven barangays by the Aklan River basin.
Vegetable Sector – the total land area primarily devoted to vegetable production in Kalibo is 106 hectares. Barangays Mobo and Bakhaw Norte, Linabuan Norte, Tigayon, Estancia, Tinigaw, and Bakhaw Sur are located along the Aklan River and have served as the vegetable baskets of the town.
On June 21, 2008, the Ati-atihan Town of Kalibo was ravaged by tropical cyclone Frank, the worst in living memory to ever hit the town. Packed with devastating force, Frank destroyed or torn in shambles everything on its path. The rampaging flood waters wiped out all the standing crops and farm animals and beasts of burden that farmers use in the field.
Fishery Sector – Kalibo has a total of 271 hectares of land devoted for fishponds, 268 hectares of which are brackish; the remaining three hectares are fresh water ponds. There are 168 registered fisherfolks in Kalibo who are engaged in catching or capturing fish mainly by fish nets.
The heavy rain that accompanied super typhoon Frank brought havoc to the fishery sector in Kalibo. In fact, the flood water that rose and engulfed the whole town was the deepest in Kalibo’s history. In some areas, the flood water was between 10 to 14 feet deep. The strong current of the flood water toppled numerous walls and dikes of fishponds. In some areas, flood water and high tide submerged fishpond embankments. On the other hand, violent waves coupled with a strong under current entangled and severed many of the fisherfolks’ fish nets. Several motorized bancas were damaged or lost during the storm.
Rice Sector – The rice bowl of Kalibo straddles over nine barangays. These are the barangays of Mabilo, Briones, Nalook, Caano, Pook, Estancia, Tigayon, Linabuan Norte, and Andagao. Kalibo has 880 hectares of irrigated rice land with an average yield of four metric tons per hectare. Some 345 hectares lowland rain-fed yield an average production of three metric tons per hectare.
Miraculously, the rice crops were spared from the havoc of the typhoon. Only 10 to 20 percent of the standing rice crops suffered from the onslaught of the storm. Farmers are optimistic. They harvested the fields starting September.
Though the rice crops were spared, the same cannot be said of the houses and livestock of the farmers. Their meager resources, intended for their agricultural production, were exhausted in repairing their destroyed homes, and in buying for the much needed food and medicines, which have, unfortunately, gone up exorbitantly after the typhoon.
Livestock and Poultry Sector – The livestock and poultry industry in Kalibo directly suffered from the storm and the flood waters that followed. The industry suffered further losses due to infections, diseases, brought about by contaminated water supply, the lack of medicine and care given. Its owners were all busy attending to their own personal needs. In one barangay alone, an estimated 300 heads of large animals (cattles, cows, and carabaos) were lost.
The Rehabilitation of the Agriculture Sector - As Kalibo starts to rise from the quagmire and effects of the storm, the agriculture sector is at the forefront in its agenda for rehabilitation. As early as a week after the storm, the municipality formulated and released its immediate rehabilitation program for the agriculture sector. It also has continuously appealed to both the government and the private sectors for the much needed funds that can bankroll the programs.
Vegetable Development – Kalibo needed to acquire 450 kilograms of assorted vegetable seeds estimated to value at P250,000 to be distributed to the seven barangays that are primarily devoted to vegetable production. The vegetable production is estimated to utilize 320 bags of fertilizer and would require budgetary requirement of approximately P620,000. The intended acquisition of 16 hand tractors, seven water pumps and 30 portable sprayers are also included in the rehabilitation program. These hand tractors shall take the place of the beasts of burden that farmers used to cultivate their farm fields but were lost during the storm. The utilization of hand tractors will certainly fast track the agricultural production.
Thru the representation made by Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo to the Office of the President, the Department of Agriculture delivered to Barangay Mobo four kilos of assorted vegetable seeds and two sacks of corn seeds. The private sector, the Convoy of Hope, also donated one barrel of assorted vegetable seeds. One hand tractor was donated by Mr. Jose Ernesto C. Rodriguez, a business man from Cebu but presently based in Manila. Rodriguez’s donation was brand new hand tractor received by Kalibo of the 16 hand tractors it seeks to acquire.
At present, the Municipal Agriculture Office promotes a program "Butil ay Buhay". Under this program, the Municipal Agriculture Section actively solicits seeds from the government and private sector for distribution to farmer beneficiaries. The program also gives tribute to the importance of seeds as it symbolize the beginning of life and upon such seed, all living creatures depend for its sustenance and existence.
LGU-Kalibo also seeks funds to help finance the rehabilitation of its plant nursery in barangay Tinigaw and to acquire a bigger track of land that shall regularly produce the needed seed requirements for the vegetable sector.
Fishery Development – the rehabilitation of the fishery sector consists of requesting the national government for funds to provide financial assistance for the repair of fishpond dikes and embankments, acquisition and distribution of bangus and tilapia fingerlings as well as organic fertilizers and mollusticide for fishpond preparation. The total needed funds for the rehabilitation of the fishery sector is estimated to reach P4,561,200.
Director Malcolm I. Sarmiento of the Bureau of Fishery and Aquatic Resources sent 30 fishing nets to Lgu – Kalibo distributed to its fisher folks.
Rice Development – LGU Kalibo seeks funding from the national government to help fund the acquisition of fertilizers and other inputs to assist rice producing farmers. In addition, LGU – Kalibo is also preparing a 2-Year Rice Sufficiency Plan CY 2009-2010. Under the program, farmers are encouraged to adopt high quality seeds like certified inbred and hybrid seeds. Certified seeds are pure, clean, full, and uniform in size and have a minimum germination rate of 84 percent.
The program seeks to increase production of rice and to attain self-sufficiency in food by the year 2010 by adopting an integrated crop management, use of high quality rice seeds, educating the farmers and adopting technologies that will enhance production, providing post harvest and mechanization, marketing assistance, incentive system, regulatory services and monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the program.
At present, discount coupons on fertilizers are distributed by the Department of Agriculture and LGU-Kalibo as financial assistance to rice farmers.
Livestock and Poultry Development – the rehabilitation of the livestock and poultry sector consists of restocking the swine and cattle by dispersal program. It also identifies the need to acquire 800 gilts to be distributed to the 16 barangays in Kalibo. The acquisition of gilt instead of piglets will help accelerate the restocking of swine in the Municipality. Veterinary vaccines, drugs and supplies are included in the rehabilitation program which is estimated to reach to P500,000.
There is plenty of work to be done for the Municipality of Kalibo. Frustrations and disappointments will certainly haunt the rehabilitation program but with the government and the private sector helping out each other, we can build better Kalibo, much better than the one battered y Tropical Cyclone Frank.
The agriculture sector is still in need of financial and technical assistance and any help may be channeled to the Municipal Agriculture Service Division, Kalibo Municipal Office, Kalibo, Aklan. /MP

Boracay Summit Discusses HB No. 1109

Hon. Florencio T. Miraflores, Cong-ressman, Lone District of Aklan was the keynote speaker of the Boracay Summit sponsored jointly by the PAPI and Aklan Press Club. It was held in Boracay Regency, Boracay, Malay, Aklan on Sept. 7, 2008.
Miraflores discussed thoroughly his House Bill No. 1109 for better understanding and appreciation of its provisions. According to Miraflores, it is not true that the Bill was approved in the House of Representatives without any public hearing. He traced the history of the Bill which was originally filed in congress several years ago and it has undergone several public hearings. Miraflores also enumerated the benefits of the Bill for everybody if it is approved into law.
After his presentation, panel discussion followed. The panel was composed of Attorneys Ronquillo Tolentino, Selwyn Ibarreta, Stephens Arcenio and Allen S. Quimpo. /MP

Aklan Arts & Culture

Guests resource persons during the Kapehan Sa Aklan on Saturday, Sept. 6 are (l to r) Atty. Allen S. Quimpo - President, NVC; Cong. Florencio T. Miraflores, Lone District of Aklan; Com. Adel Suemith and Com. Edmar Engles - NCCA and Mr. Juan P. Dayang, President, PAPI.

To further understand themselves as Aklanons, their culture and their arts, Kapehan Sa Aklan in its weekly tri media program discussed Aklan Arts and Culture on Saturday, September 6.
Two commissioners from the National Council for Culture and the Arts (NCAA) were among the resource persons. They are Com. Edmar Engles and Com. Adel Suemith. Officials of the Arch. Gabriel M. Reyes Memorial Foundation (AGMRMF) president Arwena Tamayo, Ms. Sumra Dela Cruz Rojo and Ms. India Dela Cruz Legaspi were also present.
Atty. Allen S. Quimpo, NVC president, in his opening statement, enumerated the importance of looking back and discussing the culture and arts of a community. Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino talked about the pre-historic people of Aklan and the carried over arts and culture. Quimpo and Tolentino revealed their resentment on the opinion of Mr. Ambeth Ocampo on his impression regarding the non-recognition of the famous Bendahara Kalantiaw and the Code of Kalantiaw.
The two commissioners of the NCCA Engles and Suemith explained the role of their agency in the promotion and financing the works in the field of arts and culture. They urged Aklanon artists and arts enthusiasts to avail of the endowment funds to promote their artistic projects and cultural works.
Cong. Florencio T. Miraflores explained the specific provisions of his Bill in Congress regarding the titling of land in the island of Boracay.
The NCCA is created by virtue of RA No. 7356 geared to extend assistance in the perpetuation, preservation and development of indigenous art works and cultural heritage toward the correct Filipino identity.
Com. Engles after a talk with Hon. Immanuel Soviet Russia Dela Cruz, consented to promote and finance the publication and launching of a workbook on XIX Martyrs which will honor and pay tribute to the only Katipunan members outside Luzon.
The NCCA held its Visayas Inter–Committee Regional meeting in Sampaguita Gardens Resort, New Washington, Aklan on Sept. 5–6, 2008.
Some 35 participants who came from all the provinces were entertained with the presentation of "Barter of Panay" by the Northwestern Visayan Colleges during the Fellowship Night on September 5. Some of the NCCA Commissioners attended the Kapehan Sa Aklan on Saturday morning, September 6. In Aklan, the NCCA participants reviewed the status of their projects in the Visayas and made some adjustments where necessary. They held a cultural night in the evening of September 6.
Going over the proposed projects, there is the Regional Media Cultural Awareness Conference for Region VI with Aklan Press Club, Inc. as the proponent. This project is for implementation under Sub Commission on Cultural Dissemination.
The establishment of a community library proposed by LGU New Washington, Aklan is not implemented because its proponent "did not submit the requirements as communicated". /MP

Akelco Power Rate Decreases In September


Akelco likes to inform all its valued member-consumers that there is a reduction in power rate with an average of P1.00 per kilowatt-hour for the September Billing as compared to the August Billing statement. Hereunder is its power rate for all types of consumer classifications for the said months.

AUGUST - SEPTEMBER DECREASE

RESIDENTIAL P9.2971/per kwh P8.2621/per kwh P1.035
COMMERCIAL P8.0100/per kwh P7.0214/per kwh P0.9886
INDUSTRIAL P7.9372/per kwh P6.9238/per kwh P1.0134
PUBLIC BUILDING P8.4903/per kwh P7.4318/per kwh P1.0585
STREET LIGHTS P12.9341/per kwh P11.9328/per kwh P1.0013
The reduction in rate is due to the decrease in basic rate of National Power Corporation (NPC) and likewise decrease in generation of Global Business Power Corporation (GBPC).
For further clarifications and information, you may call AKELCO hotline 144. (By Lovell Gepte-Juliano, Public Information Officer)/MP

GUIDE TO MANNY PACQUIAO


by ALEX P. VIDAL
How Armstrong and Duran fared well as lightweight bombers who fought middleweight terrors.
Manny Pacquiao after all will not be the first world lightweight champion who has agreed to fight an opponent who has campaigned in the middleweight division like Oscar De La Hoya.
Henry Armstrong (149-21, 101 KOs) actually first did the trick on March 1, 1940 when he fought Filipino world middle-weight champion Ceferino Garcia (102-28, 67 KOs) in Los Angeles, California.
The ambitious Armstrong, who captured the world lightweight bauble with a point win over Lou Ambers in New York City on August 17, 1938, however, could only manage to eke out a draw after 10 rounds against the durable Filipino wrecker who was credited for popularizing the "bolo punch."
Before scaling the middleweight ladder, Armstrong lost his lightweight crown on points on the same venue on August 22, 1939 in a rematch with Ambers, who forfeited the title for his failure to defend it against top-ranked Davey Day.
After the draw with Garcia, Armstrong decided to campaign in the welterweight division and his fight against Garcia, recognized as "world middleweight championship" only in California, was his first and last exposure in the middleweight division.
Armstrong retired after losing a controversial 10-round decision to Chester Slider in Oakland, California on February 14, 1945.
The "Hand of Stone" Roberto Duran (103-16, 70 KOs) of Panama followed suit. Duran first won his major crown as a lightweight on June 26, 1972 by capturing the World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight championship with a scintillating 13th round stoppage of Ken Buchanan in New York City.
After posting nine title defenses, Duran abandoned the lightweight division after brutally putting away in the 12th round World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight titlist Esteban de Jesus on January 21, 1978 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
As a welterweight, Duran easily made a major impact when he rolled past 1976 Montreal Olympics gold medalist Sugar Ray Leonard (36-3, 25 KOs) in 15 rounds to snatch the WBC welterweight title in Montreal, Canada on June 20, 1980.
In a rematch on November 25, 1980 in New Orleans, however, Duran crashed back to earth with a thud when he turned his back and cried "no mas, no mas" (no more, no more) losing by 8th round technical knockout (TKO) to Leonard, who also fought as a lightweight in the Montreal Olympics.
Sensing he wasn’t destined for greatness in the welterweight division as long as Leonard was there, Duran invaded the light middleweight class and was ambushed via 15-round decision by Wilfred Benitez for the WBC belt on January 30, 1982 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
After picking up the pieces of his embarassing loss to Benitez, Duran finally made his presence felt in his farewell outing in the light middleweight division on June 16, 1983 by wresting the World Boxing Association (WBA) jewels with a signature one-punch demolition of defending champion Davey Moore in New York City.
Having restored his reputation, Duran relinquished the title to do a Henry Armstrong, invade the middleweight division then being lorded over by Marvelous Marvin Hagler (62-3, 52 KOs).
Experts had warned Duran from "prematurely" entering the "lion’s den."
Three years earlier, while Duran was being booed and heckled by his compatriots for being "coward" when he went back to Panama after the "no mas, no mas" debacle, Hagler was making headlines all over the globe in defense of his undisputed world middleweight title: he blasted to bits in three rounds the famed Englishman Alan Minter in Wembley, England; massacred in 8th round Fully Obelmejias in Boston; tortured Vito Antuofermo in 4th round also in Boston; annihilated Mustafa Hamsho in 11th round in Rosemont; and swallowed whole Caveman Lee in one round in Atlantic City, New Jeresy.
After Hagler turned back three more customers—Obelmejias in a rematch (TKO 5) in San Remo, Italy on Oct. 30, 1982; Tony Sibson (KO 6) in Worcester on February 11, 1983; and Wilford Scypion (KO 4) in Providence on May 27, 1983, a showdown with Duran became inevitable.
On Novermber 10, 1983 in Las Vegas, Nevada, former world lightweight champion Duran was up against Hagler, the world undisputed middleweight ruler.
Despite losing on points after 15 bruising rounds, Duran made a good account of himself by being the first challenger to halt the knockout binge of the amazing Hagler.
After edging Duran, Hagler was back on his homicidal habit scoring four straight spectacular stoppage wins in defense of his title against Juan Domingo Roldan (KO 10) in Las Vegas; Hamsho in a rematch (TKO 3) in New York City; Thomas "The Hitman" Hearns (KO 3); and John "The Beast" Mugabi (KO 11) in Las Vegas.
Hagler retired after losing a controversial split decision to Sugar Ray Leonard for the WBC middleweight title on April 6, 1987 in Las Vegas.
On December 6, 2008 in Las Vegas, world lightweight champion Pacquiao (47-3, 35 KOs) will attempt to defy the odds and duplicate Armstrong and Duran when he goes up against six-time world champion De La Hoya (39-5, 30 KOs), a light middleweight and middleweight superstar, in the welterweight (147 lbs) class in a duel dubbed "It’s Personal."
The only difference though is that Pacquiao, unlike Duran who defended his lightweight crown several times before going up, fought only as a lightweight (135 lbs) once when he grabbed the WBC title from David Diaz on June 28 in Las Vegas. /MP

The Story Behind the Pictures


by Terence Toriano
Some common stories surfaced right after the destruction brought by Typhoon Frank are personal accounts of what happened during the storm and flood and what they did to secure their respective families and properties.
Mayor Raymar Rebaldo is often heard saying that everyone is a hero since they braved the storm and remained strong in their faith.
But perhaps his untold heroism should be made known with the many detractions circulating around often with intent to malign his name.
There are many stories during the storm but none is simply amazing than what happened to the good mayor himself. Despite the many unverified tales floating around, the following are true.
In the afternoon of June 21 when the flood waters rapidly rose around the Municipal Building, most of the key officers of the Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council (MDCC) were caught outside or with their families following the lull of strong winds leaving only a handful of support staff mostly female in the MDCC Action Center. A group of 29 students, taking shelter near DepEd-Aklan’s Division Office is spotted just before dark and they were told to cross the road towards the Municipal Hall since the water level rose to five feet and was still rising. Some managed to get into the Municipal Hall safely. But there were others who got stranded. Mayor Rebaldo, at first asked who among his staff knew how to swim. When he found out that none knew, he just jumped into the water. He single-handedly rescued the stranded students.
Another feat happened two days after the flood. When the driver of the payloader failed to report since he tended to his family and the roads needed to be cleared, Mayor Rebaldo took it to himself to drive LGU-Kalibo’s payloader. He started clearing out some of the roads. Even the Municipal Engineer, Emerson Lachica, mistook him as one of LGU-Kalibo’s drivers.
These two incidents are stories of the good mayor’s heroism Kalibonhons maybe delighted to hear including the ones when he himself installed a portable generator in MDCC’s Action Center to get it running.
However, Mayor Rebaldo shrugs at it when recalled to him. He pointed out that there were also others who instead of pointing fingers to blame, put their hands to work in helping the Ati-Atihan town of Kalibo back on its feet for which he hails them as heroes.
This 31st of August in commemoration of the National Heroes Day, the Kalibonhons were reminded of the nameless heroes who have given their time and effort like the National Agencies, religious sector, civil society organizations and private companies for the relief operations and rehabilitation of the capital town of Aklan. /MP

NaFFAA Hosts 8th Seattle Empowerment Conference


Philippine President Macapagal Arroyo to Deliver Gala Keynote

NaFFAA — This month, about 1,000 community leaders and advocates throughout the United States and other countries will gather in Seattle to discuss how to "Forge a New Filipino American Agenda for the 21st Century" and promote the welfare and well-being of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans by fostering unity and empowerment.
The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) will hold its 8th National Empowerment Conference, a three-day event on September 26-28, 2008, at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle. Since its founding in 1997, leaders from across the nation and now around the world will convene to discuss how Filipinos can anchor their contributions to society and build on the countless accomplishments that benefit not only the Filipino communities but all communities.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will deliver the keynote address at the Conference Gala on Friday, September 27.
"We are honored to have the presence of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo," says Alma Q. Kern, NaFFAA national chair. "We have this opportunity to report on NaFFAA’s success in the dual citizenship program, the progress we have made in civil rights and political empowerment, as well as our continuing fight for the Filipino Veterans Equity campaign." "We look forward to her remarks and the message she will bring to our community, because as Filipinos and Filipino Americans we remain attached to our culture and country no matter how far back we can trace our Filipino ancestry or how long we have lived in this country."
"Equally important is the opportunity to hear from the campaign representatives of presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain," states Kern. "We must know the issues and understand the reasons of where both candidates stand – to vote intelligently."
"The conference also offers a youth workshop that focuses on leadership development, identity and culture, and how the younger generation can today – and not 10 years from now – take part in the 21st century dynamic and strong Filipino bloc," states Ian Puruganan, Region 7 Youth Chair. "There are also educational trips to various Filipino and Filipino-American sites of historical significance such as the Carlos Bulosan Exhibit, Jose Rizal Park and the Jose Rizal Bridge."
Mariela Fletcher, the Overall Conference Chair, adds, "We have planned the workshops so that there is something for everyone from discussions on how to enjoy your retirement pension in style to a workshop on health and alternative medicine to domestic violence prevention, and much more." "This conference is rich with intellectual stimulation, and still another opportunity to network with community leaders, activists and trailblazers like Dolores Sibonga, Bob Santos, Pio de Cano, Dorothy Cordova."
NaFFAA’s aims to monitor legislation and public policy issues affecting Filipino Americans, and work in coalition with other national groups around common issues and concerns. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and recognized by policy-makers, private industry and national advocacy groups as the voice of Filipinos and Filipino Americans throughout the nation. It is a non-partisan, non-profit national affiliation of more than 500 Filipino-American institutions and umbrella organizations. Its 12 regions cover the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the Marianas.
The Filipino Chamber of Commerce in the Pacific Northwest, a member organization, is offering workshops designed to help new and existing businesses to make their millions. Topics such as Access to Capital, IT Infrastructure for Small Business and Supplier Diversity are among the many topics being offered.
The registration fee is $195 per NaFFAA delegate, which includes all workshops, materials, meals, and a gala dinner. Registration for business tract is $ 125. including lunch.
To attend the conference, be an exhibitor or for more information, contact Mariela Fletcher, the conference chair, at marielfletch@ msn.com or call 206-892-0075 or visit www.naffaapacnw.org /MP

Informal Remittances Sink To Seven-Year Low


by JEREMAIAH M. OPINIANO
Manila–Padala or the money brought home by vacationing overseas Filipinos here, is on its seven-year low, based on data from the Philippines’s Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP).
Migration and remittances experts call these cash —$506 million in 2007— as "informal remittances." This includes money that did not pass through "formal" banking channels.
Usually, informal remittances are sent through door-to-door companies, in particular those without partner banks, and courier services. Increasingly, some Filipino-run money transfer organizations with door-to-door services have partnered with commercial banks.
That 2007 figure is the lowest since the BSP, following the fifth edition of the Balance of Payments (BOP) manual of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), started computing the amount of informal remittances in 2001 when the total volume was $1.69 billion.
But the diminished volume of informal remittances have been evident since 2004. From $1.71 billion that year, informal remittances went down to $1.603 billion in 2005, and $1.276 billion in 2006.
The BSP’s multiple-year data showed that the 2007 total of formal and informal cash remittances from overseas Filipinos was $14.956 billion, broken down into $14.45 billion of formal remittances and the $506 million of informal remittances.
That combined total is a seven-year high as well, as informal remittances make up 3.38 percent of the 2007 total.
That 2007 percentage of informal remittances to the total cash remittances is also the lowest. In 2001, when the combined formal and informal cash remittances reached $7.721 billion, the $1.690 billion of informal remittances made up 21.83 percent.
From 2002 to 2007, the percentage share of informal remittances to the combined total remittances dropped further.
The seven-year total informal remittances of $10.02 billion made up 13.01 percent of that same period’s total formal and informal remittances worth $76.967 billion.
In 2005, when the BSP started adopting the BOP 5 Manual of the IMF, informal remittances showed it "mitigated the downward effect of adjustment in goods imports".
Using that same BOP 5 manual, BSP data showed that total imports also had a seven-year high with $57.527 billion from $43.827 billion in 2000.
According to Director Iluminada Sicat, the BSP estimates the volume of informal remittances every time the National Statistics Office comes up with the results of the annual Survey on Overseas Filipinos so that it may determine "an under-coverage ratio" to determine the volume of these informal flows.
Indications
MELINDA dela Cruz, a migrant worker in Paris, France, reported that the "newer remittance channels run by Filipino banks and financial institutions in the last five years has made remitting easier." Melinda has been in Paris for 28 years. She is now working in a shopping mall.
Undocumented Filipinos in Paris usually send money through informal channels because of their irregular status. France is home to some 39,000 undocumented or irregular Filipinos, the largest in Europe according to the 2007 Philippine government data.
But the country has no restrictions for undocumented migrants wishing to send money home, said Filipina Lea Munnecom who is handling the outlet of Bank of the Philippine Islands and correspondent French bank, Banque d’Escompte that serves some 1,000 Filipino clients monthly.
Since Filipinos in host countries like France have started queuing to new remittance companies that have partner banks in the Philippines and in the host country, Filipinos in France, said another set of data from the BSP, reported an eight-year-high of $54.48 million remitted in 2007 from $15.42 million in 2000.
Banco de Oro, BPI, Philippine National Bank, Allied Bank, and Metrobank are the Philippine banks that serve Filipinos in Paris.
According to Philippine ambassador in Paris Jose Abeto Zaide remittance charges are among the reasons why Filipinos send money through informal channels.
Remittance charges of banks in 2006 were €15 "and the three-Euro reduction this year was news," Zaide said.
Melinda revealed, she only sends through padala whenever she and her daughter Abby go to the Philippines every July while avoiding the summer heat of Europe.
But when Melinda returned to her home located in a district just outside of Paris, "I have no choice but go to the bank."
That makes her siblings in Paris and executives of Philippine banks branches in Paris, happy every month. /MP

SMART Assists Displaced Families In Mindanao

Photo shows the relief operations organized by SMART and PNRC in Ozamis. Photo below shows the evacuees staying at Iligan City National High School availing of the Libreng Tawag service.

Leading wireless services provider Smart Communications, Inc. (SMART) helped conduct a series of relief operations in Mindanao for displaced families from their homes as a result of armed hostilities.
In cooperation with the local chapters of the Philippine National Red Cross, SMART employee-volunteers distributed relief goods in Iligan and Ozamis Cities and Sarangani province.
In Ozamis City, relief goods were distributed to some 350 families staying at the Misamis Annex Elementary School and Maningco Elementary School. The relief operations held in Iligan Central School, Iligan City, benefited some 333 families. Relief packs were also distributed to affected families from the towns of Kiamba and Maasim, Sarangani Province.
Through the efforts of the PLDT-Smart Foundation, 2,150 families also received relief goods. The distribution was coursed through the Philippine Business for Social Progress and the Kadtuntaya Foundation, Inc. (KFI), which brought the relief goods to 14 schools serving as evacuation centers in the towns of Aleosan and Pikit, North Cotabato.
In addition to the relief operations, SMART also set up a Libreng Tawag station at the Iligan City National High School.
Almost 270,000 persons from the provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Northen Mindanao and SOCSARGEN were displaced by the fighting between the military forces and armed groups, according to a report of the National Disaster Coordinating Council./MP

Environmental Awareness Dance Dramas


by Terence Toriano
Jemuel Garcia, Jr., a 20-year old Physical Education major from the Western Visayas State University, Iloilo City and the only Aklanon of the twelve 2008 Bayer Young Environmental Envoys, showcased an Environmental Awareness Dance Drama in partnership with the Municipality of Kalibo and the Kalibo Council for Culture and the Arts (KCCA) on September 8, 2008 at the APSTA Centre, Kalibo.
The dance drama showcased three production themes: "Trahedya de Payatas" – dramatization of the Payatas Tragedy, "Tapon, Tapon, Tapon Mo" – an interpretation of the Filipino version of Fur Elise by Ludwig Van Beethoven, and "Wer Na U? The Frank Exposé – a dramatization of the recent flooding put in context for the text messaging generation.
Garcia is set to represent the Province of Aklan in the Bayer National Eco-Camp on September 20-24, 2008 in Manila.
Kalibo Mayor Raymar Rebaldo commended Garcia’s achievement and applauded him for serving as a role model to the youth. Rebaldo exhorted students and performers of the KCCA which the mayor himself chairs to excel in whatever field they are in and not to forget their focus on the environment following the flash flood that ravaged the Ati-Atihan town two months ago.
Garcia is a former member of the KCCA when he was attending school at the Regional Science High School for Region VI. /MP

Friday, September 12, 2008

EDITORIAL


Young, Healthy and Bright Farmers
Will Make The Philippines
Self Sufficient In Food
The Pilipino farmers are getting old. According to the records of the National Census and Statistics Office, the average age of the Pilipino farmers is 55 years old. This average age is past the prime life of a man.
This aging of the Pilipino farmers simply means the young Pilipinos are the least attracted to make a living in the farm and engage in agricultural entrepreneurs. It is hard to imagine and remember the Philippines’ poorest of the poor are the Pilipino farmers. While farmers of other countries like Australia, Malaysia and Thailand are progressive, Pilipino farmers remain poor, majority of whom are below the poverty line.
Why are the Pilipino farmers poor? First, the parents have bias against farming. They prefer their children who are of high IQ to study and become a member of glamorous profession like in the medical and legal professions. Those with lowest IQ may proceed to study farming.
Second, consumers give less appreciation to agriculture products being sold in the market. For example, buyers as much as possible will pay the least price to a kilogram of squash, eggplant, tomato, papaya. They bargain much with the retailer. Sometimes, neighbors who are sufficiently capable to pay reasonable price like the price of green papaya and malonggay will first show their admiration to the commodity and then request the producer to give it for free. This is showing less appreciation or none at all of the labor of the farmer.
Is it true that even in gift giving, much is given to the rich person than what is given to the poor? Is it true that alms offered to a rich person is much higher than alms given to a poor? Yes.
Our lack of appreciation of the products of the farmers, gives them less motivation to produce the food requirements of our people. Yes, because of our value in the choice of profession and livelihood. Those who belong to the agriculture sector also belong to a group below the poverty line.
The people must remember that a successful farm businessman must be a man of excellent health and be among the brightest. The work place of a farmer is in the farm expose to all kinds of weather and climatic conditions. A rice farmer, from land preparation to harvesting, must be in the farm daily to take care of his crop. He cannot be a week-end farmer otherwise his crop will be a failure. During rice transplanting, he is on the knee deep mud while the rest of his body is either exposed to the rain or sunshine.
A fishpond operator is similarly exposed to all weather and soil elements as he takes care of his fishes. If not, the absence of one of any life requirement such as oxygen, water, proper temperature, his fish will die.
An accountant, if compared to a farmer, has a workplace in a well ventilated, maybe air conditioned room and sitting on a swivel chair comfortably working.
Let us remember that farming in order to be profitable must be properly managed. A farmer takes care for lives of plants and animals. He must know biology. Farming is a business, therefore, he must know accounting to be able to solve for his profit. He must know human relation as he deals with people. He must know veterinary medicine to produce high quality pork, meat, poultry and eggs, fish and vegetables.
Hence, a farmer must be of excellent health condition, quite good and of high intelligence. This is the only way the Philippines can improve the economic condition of the farmers. The consumers must learn to appreciate the value of farm products.
In the study in management, maximum production is possible if all the factors of production is available with excellent manpower to implement the project. These six (6) Ms: money, management, moment, machine, method, materials if man is highly capable, skillful and well motivated in the implementation of the project will make the Philippines self sufficient in food. Encourage the youth, healthy and the brightest to make agriculture their profitable business and to provide food to the consumers. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer


The Need To Standardize
Organic Fertilizer
by Ambrosio R. Villorente
One of the proposed agriculture extension projects I like is the "Organic Fertilizer Produce and Use In Palayamanan". This project was presented during the ASU 2008 University Extension Program In-House Review held this week in ASU Conference Hall, Banga, Aklan.
Prof. Paterno I. Rebuelta presented the proposal to the panel. According to him, his co-workers in the project will be Prof. Carmenchita M. Tumaca, Prof. Eleuterio B. Guarino, Dr. Clyde G. Abayon, Dr. Ana Mae C. Relingo, Prof. Margie Y. Sumanga and Mr. Andy P. Eston.
The organic fertilizer project will be located in Malinao, Lezo, Batan, Madalag and Balete, all in Aklan with the cooperation of Philippine Rice Research Institute (Philrice). The fund of P620,150 will come from the LGUs mentioned above, Philrice and ASU. This amount will be spent for three years as follows: first year, P336,150; second, P244,000; and third, P40,000.00.
The project aims to promote production and use of organic fertilizer for sustainable farming. Specifically, it will gather baseline data and document information gathered; enhance the knowledge and skills of members of partners in the production, utilization and marketing of organic fertilizer; evaluate nutrient content analysis and evaluate organic fertilizer products of partners; and provide technical and material support for the development of production, commercialization and marketing of produced organic fertilizer.
Going over the said proposal, prof. Rebuelta will conduct baseline survey, organize and enhance capability of partners, and provide technical and material supports. He will go into the production, processing, marketing and utilizing compost. Monitoring and evaluation of the success of the project will be provided. To assure continuity of the project, prof. Rebuelta recommends for the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement on the material and technical supports provided to the participating people’s organizations between and among the ASU and LGUs concerned.
Prof. Rebuelta included in his proposal alternative, processes of organic fertilizer production. Procedure for its process is provided and list of probable local materials to be used in compost making is given.
Why Produce
Organic Fertilizer?
To an entrepreneurial farmer who has a complete knowledge of an organic fertilizer, this project will easily get support. Prof. Rebuelta will deal with five (5) local government executives and their respective staff members must be ready to provide the rationale of the production and use of organic fertilizer. He has no problem with the ASU and Philrice for these are institutions advocating the use of organic fertilizer in food production. But he needs to convince the LGU officials.
For example, the project needs P620,150 budget for three years of which P205,000 or 35 percent will come from the LGUs. However, Prof. Rebuelta has not provided in his proposal any projected income. The vogue now among LGUs is economic enterprise. What will LGUs get in return if it invested P205,000 for the project?
If LGU invested on a certain project, it expects a return of its investment plus reasonable profit. Prof. Rebuelta must convince the municipal mayors concerned that the funds invested will be recovered with profit.
For those who are now producing and utilizing organic fertilizer, the proposal will be beautiful, excellent. However, to expand it to produce product for the market will be a 45 degree mountain climb.
The proposal speaks of "Marketing Strategies". A producer of organic fertilizer will be "assisted in terms of providing opportunities...to participate in exhibits, in conducting farm demonstration and field day, and opportunities to expand distribution and market centers for display product for sale". These are fine. But can it be done in three years?
Since the government through the Department of Agriculture has been advocating the use of fertilizer, it has not put up a soils laboratory to analyze nutrients content in the soil in order to know the appropriate plant nutrients needed and quantity to be applied in the soil.
Farmers have been applying fertilizers to their farms based on the following: 1. the quantity they can afford to buy; 2. on the general recommendation of the technologist; 3. on what quantity and nutrients content their fellow farmers apply; 4. on what they heard from the radio; and 5. on what they read from the newspapers.
Will laboratory facilities be made available to the organic fertilizer producers so that their products can be branded and patented so that producers can comply with all the marketing laws, rules and regulations? Any commodity like organic fertilizer must comply and maintain certain required standard.
Nutrient contents in fertilizer like nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium are volatile that require strict packaging. This is not included in the proposal.
And these laboratories necessary to get data to support product branding, patenting and registration are neither available in Aklan nor in Iloilo City.
Meanwhile, what Prof Rebuelta may do is for the production of organic fertilizer for home consumption. The project can be expanded as fast as government or private sector can put up facilities needed in the analysis of the nutrient contents of materials use in production and its organic fertilizer produced.
Akleco Loss: P72.6 M
On the June 21, Akelco lost a total of P72.6 million due to typhoon Frank. According to the Engineering Department report, some 600 electric posts were toppled down, 25,000 electric meters were either damaged or lost and 60 units of transformers were also damaged and therefore changed. Electric wires valued at around P1 million were also installed.
In a report gathered from "Kahayag" the official publication of Akelco, power lines were restored with the help of "Task Force Kapatid" composed of OR-MECO, NORMECO, LANECO, MORESCO I and II, CENECO, VRESCO, MOELCI I & II, FIBECO, BUSECO, ANTECO and ILECO I. Without their help, it would have taken about three months to restore electric power in Aklan, admitted Akelco.
National Electrification Administration (NEA) also extended P25 million loan for Akelco rehabilitation.
In spite of the damage due to the typhoon Frank, NEA awarded Akelco the Highest Amortization Payment and Best Collection Efficiency. These awards, according to Akelco Gen. Manager Chito R. Peralta, will enable Akelco to avail a higher credit line from material suppliers and banks.
The report did not say if the plaques are accompanied with cash award. /MP

Fishes In Concrete Reefs


Governor Marquez delivering his message and the people of New Washington with Mayor Peralta (hand in pocket) attending the blessing and deployment of artificial reef made of concrete.



by Ambrosio R. Villorente

Artificial Reef Project was blessed and deployed in a simple program held in Poblacion, New Washington, Aklan in the morning of Friday, September 5, 2008. It was fully attended despite inclement weather and rain.
New Washington Vice Mayor Jean Velarde welcomed the guests and visitors. Her welcome message was replete with biblical passages dealing with the productivity of man and woman and their capability to provide for themselves.
The message of New Washington Mayor Edgar R. Peralta was a mixture of economics, humanity and politics. He spoke about the looks of provincial governor Carlito S. Marquez and his quest to conquer poverty. Peralta also told the audience of the favorable relation with him and Gov. Marquez.
Governor Marquez spoke about his economic development program. He explained the relationship of population with agricultural productivity and livelihood.
"Aklan has no factory and industries where our people may find employment and income", so job is limited", said Marquez. He announced the banning of the construction of electric power generating plant using fossil fuel in Aklan to help reduce global warming. He hopes for the early construction of hydropower plant in Libacao and Madalag to reduce the cost of electricity in Aklan. According to Marquez, cheaper electricity will induce business to locate in Aklan when the cost of electricity is comparatively cheaper.
With even the meager resources now available in the government and the private sector in Aklan, Marquez believes, poverty will be wiped out. Marquez emphasized to the people of New Washington the benefits this artificial reef will offer to them especially in the availability of food at a very competitive cost.
This artificial reef is made of concrete. It is a joint project of the LGU New Washington, Aklan Provincial Government through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, Barangay Poblacion, New Washington and Samahan Ng Mangi-ngisda Ng Poblacion New Washington.
The program ended with the blessing and deployment of the artificial reef by the sea coast. /MP

Women In Development


by Ambrosio R. Villorente


Picture shows (l to r) Vice Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo, Dr. Lyn Salido and Ms. Rebecca L. Mobo. Not shown in the picture is Ms. Manolita Q. Acevedo.

Women In Development is the main topic discussed in the Kapehan Sa Aklan last Saturday, August 30. Vice Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo, Dr. Lyn Salido, Ms. Rebecca L. Mobo and Ms. Manolita Q. Acevedo were the invited resource persons.
The four leading women discussed before the members of the Aklan tri-media their accomplishment in the advancement of Aklanon women.
The four lady Kapehan guests are leading officials of the Soroptimist International of Kalibo (SIK). Vice Governor Calizo is the current president of SIK, Ms. Acevedo is the charter president and Ms. Mobo and Dr. Salido are past presidents. SIK belongs to the Soroptimist International of the Americas. SIK is organized 25 years ago and now observing its silver anniversary with Vice Governor Calizo as president.
Today, SIK is composed of 23 Aklanon professional and businesswomen. They celebrated their 25th founding anniversary on June 25. However, due to the typhoon on June 21, they have postponed their induction of new set of officers on September 25 this year.
The women officials and members of SIK cited their accomplishment in their quest to advance the cause of women. They cited the accomplishment of Miss Maranatha Estrada who was a Richardson Awardee for her volunteer work in the promotion of reproductive health in Makato, Aklan. She was awarded cash and a job offer in the United Nation as soon as she finished her college education.
Mispah Evangelio of Malay, Aklan, an Ati single mother was also presented with Outstanding Woman award by Soroptimist International of the Philippines region.
SIK is also credited for its work in emergency mission such as in dental/medical mission, relief assistance provisions among others. Moreover, SIK provides as well livelihood and skills trainings for women like in the piña fiber industry. It is also engaged in environmental protection such as taking care of D. Maagma Street, Kalibo.
Earlier, in the Kapehan, Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino, former Aklan Vice Governor paid tribute to the Aklanon women who are actively in all human endeavors like in governance, business and humanitarian projects. /MP