Monday, September 28, 2009

EDITORIAL


A Political Coup de Grace

by Recto I. Vidal

The forging of the United Leadership Coalition in Aklan can best be described as crafty, methodical, and calculating.

It had the precision of a fine surgeon working a scalpel during surgery. It was akin to pulling off the improbable. Watching Tibyog’s work of art was almost a virtuoso.

The dream team comprising Aklan Rep. Joeben Mirflores, Aklan Gov. Lito Marquez, and Vice Governor Billie Calizo-Quimpo has got what it takes to become Aklan’s most formidable political force to reckon with: lock, stock and barrel. To say that it is the political tandem to beat in the forthcoming 2010 local election is an understatement.

Hearing the announce-ment from Tibyog’s founder, former Aklan Rep. Allen S. Quimpo himself, a cascade of mixed emotions raced through me as I witnessed a historic event slowly unfolding before my very eyes. It was simply stunning, scintillating, and overwhelming. Simply put, it was designed to shock and awe the political pretenders who cast a moist eye in the May 2010 pools, to say the least.

Still enjoying the afterglow of said unification, the three assured the local media during the media forum Kapehan sa Aklan held at Café Latte on Saturday morning, September 12 that they all decided to set aside politics and work together for the sake of progress and development of Aklan. A welcome development, one might say. Others dismissed it as motherhood statement, for all intents and purposes.

The casualties, collateral damage or one must say chess pawns in this political power play are still reeling and feeling the heartaches of a thousand after burns resulting from the fall out, whatever that means.

But those disgruntled made their intentions clear that they won’t get caught up with the hype and just be willing stooges. Unless one will make this as an excuse and buy this stunt hook, line and sinker, will it be for the best public interest?

Political Dynasty

No doubt, it was a tough sell. To the skeptics, it has the makings of a con job: a smart and calculated business maneuver. Un-believers branded it as nothing but a family affair designed to solidify the ties that bind so that political power can be further consolidated and confined within the favored few thus raising the spectre of a political dynasty.

We have it on good authority that lawyer Romeo Inocencio, former Aklan Sangguniang Panlalawigan member, forewarned that said political development poses a fear factor designed to "intimidate and discourage" other political wannabes from joining the political fray lest they would suffer disastrous consequences. "Nobody has the monopoly of competence and good intentions," he stressed.

The good solon and the workaholic vice governor, on the other hand, assuaged the fears and eschewed the notion that the time honored mechanism on check and balance will not be compromised. In that case, that would make me an avowed political atheist. Only a hypocrite would dare say otherwise.

But the nagging question remains: Will there be an opposition gutsy enough to pose a respectable challenge and face the onslaught of a political tsunami called the United Leadership Coalition ala Don Quixote chasing the windmills despite insurmountable odds? Can the opposition at this time finally come up with a blueprint to overcome and defeat the much vaunted well-oiled political machinery of a coalition whose leaders motivate followers by appealing to self-interest?

Is change forth-coming? Are the Aklanons ready for the passing of the baton of leadership to a new set of leaders in the province thereby changing Aklan’s political landscape? This is easier said than done.

Only the Aklanons can decide its ultimate fate or get lost in the swamp of Aklan politics. Otherwise, it may become a footnote in the province’s dustbin of history.

Sometimes, the road to perdition is paved with good intentions. After all, it has been said time and again: those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer


Ambrosio R. Villorente

Planting The Roadsides

The other day, a person was sideswiped by a speeding bus in Bacan, Banga, Aklan. That person was walking on the road when suddenly a bus at normal speed passed and side swiped that person.

The accident happened because the pedestrians are forced to walk on the vehicle lane as the sidewalks are either fenced or planted.

This kind of road accident can be minimized if not totally stopped if the road shoulders are left open, and improved for pedestrians’ use. Fencing the road shoulders, planting it or re-greening it defeat security and safety.
Japan Imports from RP Decrease

The Japanese imports from the Philippines decreased from US$ 5.1 billion to only US$ 3.5 billion for the first seven months of 2009. This is 32 percent less compared to the same period last year.

For the period January to July, the Philippines’ export products to Japan accounted for 1.2 percent of its total imports while Japan exports to the Philippines for the same period made up 1.4 percent of total Philippines imports. Japan made up a trade surplus of US$ 650.2 million of her trade with the Philippines.

This trade deficit of the Philippines with her trading partners explains why our foreign debt is increasing annually. We import more than what we export. One way to repay foreign debts is to produce and export more goods and services and balance our foreign trade. Better still to refrain from borrowing and service the old accounts.

DBP Kalibo Insufficient Fund
Mr. Ernesto Tambong went to the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) Kalibo to in cash a check sometime last week. Upon entering the bank, the security guard issued him a number. Mr. Tambong waited for more than one hour for his number to be served.

When his number was called, he showed his DBP check issued by a cooperative group. The woman teller told him: "Basi koeang ro deposito kara iya sa bangko, magbalik ka lang sa pilang adlaw". (This bank check might have insufficient deposit with the bank, you may come back in another day.)

"Ganyan sila sa DBP Kalibo. Sana hindi kayo ganyan". (They are like that in DBP Kalibo. Hoping you are not like them.)

After learning of the incident I called up DBP Kalibo and was able to relate the story of Mr. Tambong to Ms. Teofilo. She checked with the woman teller who told her "I cannot remember such incident".

That is negligence of duty. That woman teller could have checked how much money is still available of the issuing cooperative deposited in the DBP Kalibo. That woman bank teller has damaged the integrity of the one who issued the bank check and caused undue inconvenience to Mr. Ernesto Tambong.

Tambong just deposited that bank check to his account with the Philippine National Bank, Kalibo without any trouble. "Ganon sila sa PNB, Kalibo." (They are like that at PNP, Kalibo.)

The purpose and intent in the establishment of DBP are to hasten economic development and serve the people well. But a few personnel in that bank is making it difficult for its clients to transact business with that bank and retard progress. /MP

Gearing Up for May 2010 Elections


by ERNESTO T. SOLIDUM



Picture above shows Ms. Lorena B. Tumbagahan (right), election registrar of Kalibo and Comelec spokeperson for Aklan giving updates of election automation for the May 2010 national and local elections to the members of the tri-media during the Saturday, Sept. 19 Kapehan Sa Aklan held in Kusina Sa Kalibo. At her right is Mr. Juan Ruiz, Jr., Comelec registrar - Ibajay.



The September 19, 2009 Kapehan forum honed on voters’ education for the forthcoming May 10, 2010 national and local elections. Comelec registrars led by Ms. Lorena B. Tumbagahan – Kalibo, Mr. Juan Z. Ruiz, Jr. – Ibajay and Ms. Concepcion T. Ruiz – Nabas briefed the public and members of the tri-media on election updates, the rules and guidelines on the automated election.

Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino on the importance of suffrage quoted US Supreme Court ruling in Perez vs. Soller, 40 Off. Gaz., Third Supp. 266 said that, "As long as popular government is an end to be achieved and safeguarded, suffrage whatever may be the modality or form devised, must continue to be the means by which the great reservoir of power must be emptied into the receptacular agencies brought by the people through their Constitution in the interest of good government and the commonweal. Republicanism in so far as it implies the adoption of a representative type of government, necessarily points to the enfranchised citizens as a particle of popular sovereignty and as the ultimate source of established authority."

Ms. Tumbagahan said that our Supreme Court has validated automated election despite vigorous opposition and fears of failure of election in the country’s first ever tried electronic voting system. Out of 3 million estimated voter registrants both new and transferees nationwide, some 2.3 million have gone through their biometric machine data processing. In order to accommodate students, professionals and fully employed individuals, Comelec offices are open everyday including Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. Official deadline for registration is October 31, 2009, emphasized the lady registrar.

Comelec Resolution No. 8446 shows the Calendar of Activities to wit: November 20 – 30, 2009 Filing of Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for both national and local elective posts; February 9 – May 8, 2010, campaign period for national candidate; March 26 – May 8, 2010, campaign period for local candidates; May 10, 2010, election day; Jan. 10 – June 9, 2010, election period (prohibitive acts cited in Omnibus Election Code RA 9369 will be in effect).

Out of 2058 original precincts, Comelec has drastically reduced this to 562. Strategy includes clustering of small precincts but not to exceed 1500 voters. Where 5 precincts are involved, there shall be 6 members of the Board of Election Canvassers (BEC). In the case of 2 precincts, only 3 BEC members will be appointed.

Picos machine will be provided by Smartmatic and PIM in all polling places using paper based voting system, said Ms. Tumbagahan. Voter simply shades or darkens oval portion of the ballot corresponding to the candidates’ name of his choice. After completion, voter personally feeds the ballot into the machine of Precinct Count Optical Scan. (Those unable to perform above task can be aided by a closed relative or any person that he/she could trust.)

A member of BEC presses a button and automatically canvass the ballot. With another button digital copy of canvass is furnished the Municipal Board of Canvassers. Procedure is the same for second and third levels of Board of Canvassers.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, election results for local posts will be known within 24 hours. Tumbagahan said that winning candidates for national positions may be officially known a little bit later since the President and the Vice President are proclaimed by Congress. On the other hand, senators are administered by the Supreme Court.

Comelec is scheduled to conduct mock election or dry run using Automated machine in order to familiarize/educate voters and members of the BEC. Exact date, places and time may be announced later by the agency.

Meanwhile, to minimize fraud or irregularity is one vital aspect in the conduct of honest, clean, and credible elections. Cleansing process involve identifying double registrants and inactive voters, the latter because of failure to vote in previous two elections. Illegal acts like double registration and voting according to the Omnibus Election Code is punishable by six (6) years imprisonment and permanent disqualification to hold public office.

One issue and concern is the obvious loophole in the Omnibus Election Code that allows premature campaigning activities of prospective candidates. Supreme Court upholds such ruling for as long as no COC has been filed with the Comelec. Anyone for this matter could make covert and overt campaign speeches through the tri-media. Media mileage could most likely prejudice other aspirants who are financed with a moderate budget.

Of what use then is Comelec Resolution declaring official start of campaign period when there is ample two months leeway from that date before the start of filing COC?

Election offenses particularly vote buying, ballot box snatching, vote rigging, and others. always feature in Philippine traditional politics. Nevertheless, violators seem immune from criminal prosecution. Worse, when some gets rewards and promotion to choice government positions. Hello Garci tape and Jocjoc fertilizer scandals stink to high heavens because of lapses in law enforcement and moral degeneration.

Considering that 23 percent of new voters is still unregistered as of this date despite repeated calls over the mass media, it is safe to assume that they are not interested at all to participate in this forthcoming electoral process. October 31, 2009 deadline is still far off yet given the penchant to procrastinate, everybody marches off to Comelec office on the last day. Comelec personnel are also human. Needless to say voters must be aware of their rights and responsibilities under the law otherwise they can be disenfranchised for good. /MP

Developing Scout Leaders


Picture shows (l to r) Leila L. Pamati-an, Scout Provincial Executive for Capiz and Aklan, Ernesto Melgarejo, Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente and Vincent Piccio III.

To strengthen institu-tional heads capability in performing their respon-sibilities as leaders of adults, Scouting Orientation and Basic Training Course is held. The course opened on Friday morning, Sept. 25 in Sampaguita Gardens Resort, New Washington. It will end on Sunday, Sept. 27.

The course is designed to strengthen institutional heads capability in performing their respon-sibilities as leaders, explain why scouting is very effective contributor to the solution of the problems of Philippine Society, and to explore ways of promoting the competitive advantages and relevance of scouting in the present social realities.

DepEd district supervisors, principals, head teachers, teacher in-charge, OICs of public and private elementary and secondary schools and institutional representatives are attending the course according to Dr. Victorina S. Laroza, Aklan Schools Division Superintendent. The participants come from the Divisions of Roxas, Capiz, and Aklan.

The three-day activities are the opening program, course objectives, history and fundamentals of scouting, scouting of family, BSP adult family, roles of leaders, outdoor program, scouting activities, round table demo, and other relevant topics. These will be discussed and presided by top leaders of the scout community under the leadership of Course Leader Vincent Piccio III of the BSP, Antique Council./MP

New Aklan PPO Police Director


The new Aklan PNP director, Senior Supt. Epifanio Arao Bragais, Jr. formally took over his post as Aklan Police Provincial Office (APPO) director in a simple ceremonies at Camp Pastor Martelino, New Buswang, Kalibo last week.

Bragais is a member of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Tagapaglingkod Class 1987. He replaced officer-in-charge, Senior Supt. Ruperto Floro, Jr.

Floro is now the regional chief of operations and plans division (ROPD) of the Police Regional Police Office (PRO) -6 in Iloilo City.

Before his assignment, Bragais worked with the Directorate for Logistics in the PNP National Headquarters, Camp Crame, Quezon City. He was promoted to the rank of Senior Supt. on January 30, 2009 together with Senior Supt. William Macavinta, the former Aklan police director. Macavinta is now assigned as deputy director of the PNP public information office.

Aklan Gov. Carlito Marquez selected Bragais from the three qualified officers recommended for assignment as provincial director by the Senior Officers Placement and Promotions Board (SOPPB), PNP.

Police Regional Director, Chief Supt. Isagani Cuevas, Jr. witnessed the turn-over ceremony at Camp Pastor Martelino. Other officials present in the ceremony were some municipal mayors, sangguniang panlalwigan members and the provincial government of Aklan represented by Atty. Diego M. Luces, were also present.

APPO is designated as Model Police Site (MPS) by the PNP hierarchy for its Integrated Transformation Program. A P10-million brand new three-storey police building is being constructed at Camp Pastor Martelino to enhance the operational and administrative capabilities of the 631-strong APPO personnel.

APPO is also named "Best Provincial Police Office" in Western Visayas last year for its over-all performance and accomplishments. It is awarded training program from the United States International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) and the New Zealand government./MP

Pacman’s Secret Weapon To Victory

by Alex P. Vidal

Las Vegas, Nevada - Who says it’s difficult to hit a towering windmill like Oscar De La Hoya?

One of Manny Pacquiao’s specialties is to harass his opponents with wide punches, and according to respected boxing historian and biographer Bert Sugar, "De La Hoya can be reached with wide punches."

In his pre-fight breakdown of the "Dream Match", the ageless Sugar disclosed that "speed tends to bother De La Hoya. In his two losses to Sugar Shane Mosley, Oscar had difficulty dealing with the speed of Mosley’s punches."

De La Hoya’s other weakness, Sugar explained, is "when De La Hoya throws a punch he is up on his toes, giving Pacquiao an open target for his body punches, which could tend to slow De La Hoya down in the later rounds where he has had stamina in the past."

Also, "De La Hoya has been far less active than Pacquiao, having had only six fights in five years (and only three in the last four), winning only three of those six fights while Pacquiao has held 12 in the same five-year time span, winning 10, losing one, and drawing one," added Sugar.

He also observed, however, that Pacquiao (47-3-2, 35 KOs) has his own glossary of weak-nesses with his giving away of height, reach, and weight to De La Hoya (39-5, 30 KOs) Team Pacquiao should worry about.

Sugar observed that when "Pacquiao, who started his career as a 106-pound light flyweight, is fighting at a weight limit of 147, raising the question of whether he can carry his firepower north with him as well as whether he can weather the heavier punches of a heavier fighter."

"Pacquiao’s style is one predicted on offense, not defense, and he tends to come charging in with his hands held low and drops his hands and raises his chin after he punches, leaving an inviting target for Oscar.

"The ‘Pac Man’ sometimes experiences difficulty ‘getting to’ an opponent who doesn’t stand directly in front of him and moves out of range," Sugar noted.

But Pacquiao can still beat De La Hoyo as he "possesses speed and power, throwing quick and explosive punches."

"Pacquiao is an aggressive fighter, one who keeps coming, coming and coming some more, moving in behind a sharp right job, sometimes doubling up, and then following with a powerful left—alternating between left hooks and left uppercuts.

"The boxer called ‘Pac Man’ is a non-stop boxer with bottomless energy and a buzzsaw style, which tends to wear his opponents down in the late rounds.

"A sharper puncher with fast hands, Pacquiao can hurt any opponent as well as being an excellent ‘finisher’ as attested to by his 35 knockouts in 52 fights (a 67 percent slugging average if you’re scoring at home)," concluded Sugar.

Pacman did it and won in his fight with Oscar dela Hoya. Can he repeat it to Cotto in November? /MP

School Bags From Mayor Maming



The picture shows Banga Mayor Antonio T. Maming distributing school bags to some 40 Grade I pupils of Muguing Elementary School under Ms. Invina, teacher-in-charge of Grade I pupils of the said school. Muguing Brgy. Chair, Armando F. Fetilo is assisting Mayor Maming. Ms. Josephine Maming Sorinio of California, USA, mayor Maming’s sister donated these bags. The donation is a commitment of Mayor Maming to extend assistance to the less fortunate barangay people.

What Will I Aspire? Rebaldo*


*Official Statement of Mayor Raymar "Boyet" Acevedo Rebaldo of the Municipality of Kalibo regarding the recent political development in the Province of Aklan.

George Patton once said, "It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains victory."

On September 12, 2009, Congressman Florencio T. Miraflores, Governor Carlito S. Marquez, and Vice Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo declared that they have formed the United Leadership Coalition. After that day, I was besieged with questions from some well-meaning associates: "Ano eon ing daeaganan kara, Boyet/Raymar?" (What will you aspire for now Boyet/Raymar?)

Well, just a couple of months ago, prior to the said announcement of the United Leadership Coalition, the Tibyog-Akean Kalibo Municipal Directorate, with the former Mayor and Congressman Allen S. Quimpo; former Mayor Diego M. Luces and other Tibyog leaders endorsed me for the Vice-gubernatorial slate. I have accepted this and made known my intention to the Provincial directorate until this recent political development came in.

Now, the question of many friends: Ano eon ing daeaganan kara, Boyet/Raymar? (What will you aspire for now Boyet/Raymar?)

But I also asked myself, kinahang-ean baea magdaeagan ka Boyet/Raymar? (Is it needed for Boyet/Raymar to be a candidate?) Well, there are many ways to lead: by delivering motivational speeches, by sporting an iron fist, by dispensing patronage, by belonging to a dynasty. But as for me, I would rather receive the mandate of the people to lead than to claim for a position to lead.

Thus, I announce that I shall listen to the voice of the people. I shall respect the group’s decision, whatever it is and shall follow the men and women who are chosen to lead us in the spirit of unity.

I arrived at this decision by just looking back at how the stalwarts of Tibyog-Akean welcomed me to the fold and anointed me for the mayoralty in 2001. Nobody stood against the party’s decision then. I also have to look at how the Hon. Daisy Sucro-Briones, SP member, observed the process for her affiliation, and how the Municipal Directorate welcomed her to the fold. Nobody questioned the party’s decision then; nobody would, now.

For the victory of the United Leadership Coalition and of the Akeanon, I am here to follow the voice of the people. Let us support our leaders!

And in my remaining days as Mayor of Kalibo, I will continue to serve until the last day of my term. I will finish what has been started, and start what I am capable of doing until the end of my term which are Establishing Stimulation Therapeutic Activity Center (STAC); Rehabilitation of Youth Hostel; Improvement of Slaughterhouse/Public Market; Construction of Satellite Market/Terminal; Solid Waste Management Program; Rehabilitation of Roads/Drainage; Improvement of Pastrana Park (Stage/CR), BLISS site & other shrine; Strengthen Philhealth & Indigency Program; Creation of Economic Enterprise and Human Resource Development; other Infrastructure Projects and Programs of LGU Kalibo.

Kabay nga rayang mga butang hay padayon nga pagasuportahan it akong mga kaibahan ag taw-an sanda it Gino-o it kahayag para makahimo ag makabaeay it ikamayad para sa banwa ag ko pumueoyong kalibonhon. (I hope this matter will be continuously supported by my group and may God enlighten them for the good of the municipality and the people of Kalibo.)
Magpangamuyo ag magbueoligan kita. (Let us pray and cooperate.) Viva Sr. Sto. Niño! Viva Kalibo!
Saeamat it abu. (Thank you very much.) /MP

Centennial Woman of Dongon



The centennial woman, Ms. Panfila Enero Ibabao is seated with her children who are Pablo Taluyo, Dr. Reinalda I. Magdaluyo,Ester I. Ibañez, Dr. Lutgarda I. Taluyo and Mr. Proceso T. Magdaluyo during "A Centennial Celebration of Life" on Sept. 19, 2009.



Can you live 100 years and still walk straightly? Yes, this is true to Ms. Panfila "Pilang" Enero Ibabao.

To her relatives and friends, she is popularly and lovingly called Pilang. She is born 100 years ago on September 21. Her birthday was celebrated with a thanksgiving mass held at St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Numancia, Aklan on Sunday morning, Sept. 19.

The holy mass over, the guests, relatives, and friends were entertained in a reception and luncheon program held in Gov. Corazon L. Cabagnot Training Center, Old Buswang, Kalibo. In behalf of the family, Dr. Reinalda Ibabao Magdaluyo, one of the successful children welcomed Nay Pilang’s guests and well wishers.

There were greetings and warm wishes given by Numancia Mayor Elverita T. Templonuevo, Vice Mayor Evangeline M. Ibabao, and Atty. Allen S. Quimpo, president, Northwestern Visayan Colleges. There were intermission and surprise numbers from the relatives and friends. During luncheon, a video was presented on the life of Nay Pilang and her family.
Her grandchildren and great grandchildren paid tributes to their Lola in the form of dances, songs, poems and declamation highly entertaining to those present as well.

In her teaching career in Dongon, Numancia, she started as Grade I teacher and retired from the teaching job as Grade I teacher after 44 years. Promotions were offered, but she declined it. This enabled her to stay longer at home and provided the motherly love and care to their children.

One of her pupils in Grade I is Mr. Rudy Revesencio. He is now a retired Akelco Area Manager for Banga and Altavas. According to him, it was Nay Pilang who influenced his attitude and behavior. "I was quite poor in arithmetic. I often got low in the tests", Rudy related. "In one of the tests, I got a chance to copy the answers of my seat mate", Rudy continued. "After checking, I got a 100 score. Nay Pilang was in doubt. She told me, "Maybe if you can get a high score next test, I will believe you did not copy," confided Rudy.

"With those words of Nay Pilang, I tried to study hard. In the next test, I got 100 again. Nay Pilang believed, I did an honest work," revealed Rudy. From then on, Rudy became diligent in his studies. It is a great lesson by an illustrious teacher to a young boy that shaped his life.

At age 100 years old, Nay Pilang walks straightly with clear hearing and vision. With her husband, the late former Vice Mayor of Numancia, Conrado Reyes Ibabao, they have four successful children: Dr. Reinalda Magdaluyo is a PhD holder, a retired DepEd Assistant Regional Director and married to Mr. Proceso T. Magdaluyo. They have five children, four of whom are nurses and one Doctor of Medicine.

Atty. Wenceslao E. Ibabao is a retired Regional Trial Court judge of Davao City. He married the former Miriam Pacifico Ibabao. They have one child who is also a nurse.

Dr. Lutgarda I. Taluyo, a doctor of medicine is married to Pablo Meneses Taluyo. They both work in the United States.

Ms. Ester I. Ibañez is a CPA married to Mr. Cenon Carbonel Ibañez, Jr. They have four children who are all professionals.

Today, Nay Pilang is happy with her four children; three sons in-law and one daughter in-law. She also has 12 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Indeed, Nay Pilang is a great mother and model teacher imbued with integrity, humility, patience, wisdom and understanding. You may not be Nay Pilang, the century woman, but you can be Nay Pilang, the model mother and teacher. /MP

Voice for Peace


text and photo by AMBROSIO R. VILLORENTE



Picture shows the participants to the ‘Voice for Peace’ An Impromptu Speaking Competition the RI District 3850 and the Rotary Club of Kalibo conducted at the Rotary Livelihood and Training Center, Brgy. Andagao, Kalibo, in the evening, September 22, 2009. They are Roselle Q. Mongaya, Roxanne Melody D. Flor, Jesanny Ibo Yap, Jett Panadero Pastrana, Hanskee Montoya Roquios, Nigel Tesorero Valencia, Kahannah Maben C. Vega and Cherry May I. Concepcion.


"Peace: A Response to Society’s Problem" is the subject of an impromptu speaking competition sponsored by the Rotary Club of Kalibo. It was held in the Rotary Livelihood & Training Center, Andagao, Kalibo on Tuesday evening, Sept. 22.

Hanskee Montoya Roquios, a fourth year high school student of New Washington Compre-hensive National High School, New Washington bagged the first prize. Jett Panadero Pastrana of Sto. Niño Seminary, Numancia captured second place while the third and fourth places went to Kahannah Maben C. Vega and Jesanny Ibo Yap respectively.
There were eight contestants who vied for the award who represented eight high schools in Aklan. They were judged on the following: substance of speech, relevance and originality of ideas, personality and delivery of speech, and spontaneity and effectiveness of delivery. All participants were given Certificate of Participation, while the winners received citation.
The Board of Judges was composed of former RTC Judge Niovady Marin, Ms. Bing Santamaria, Dr. Mona Magayanes, Atty. Yen-Yen Ibadlit – members and Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente – chairman.
Hanskee will represent
the Rotary Club of Kalibo to the zone level contest which consists of the Rotary Clubs from Capiz and Aklan.
If he wins in the zone level contest, Hanskee will vie for district championship to be held in St. John Institute Auditorium, Bacolod City on November 28, 2009. The champion will receive P10,000 cash, first runner up – P5,000 and second
runner up P3,000.
The Voice for Peace impromptu speaking competition aims to: 1. develop the students ability to formulate their views and opinions on a vital issue and concern within a limited time. 2. develop the ability to express their views and opinions to an audience in plain English, and 3. create awareness and instill in the consciousness of our youth the importance and urgency of propagating and maintaining peace in our country.
Jett Panadero Pastrana will be the alternate of Hanskee. /MP

Team Kalibo Airsoft Players in Operation Crystal Star in Dao, Capiz

by Terence T. Toriano

Kalibo, Aklan – 16 airsoft players from Team Kalibo (T-K) Airsoft represented Aklanon airsoft enthusiasts in Operation Crystal Star in the 1st Mayor Joselito "Bobo" Escutin Speedball Challenge in Dao, Capiz held on Sept. 12-13, 2009.

Some 13 airsoft teams from Capiz, Aklan, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, and Antique consisting of over 150 players came in the airsoft speedball challenge sponsored by the local government of Dao. This number did not include family members of the players who came with them.

Team Kalibo gave a stellar performance on the Fellowship Night on Sept. 12 in an impromptu talent presentation. Each team presented a song and dance performance that won them Php 1,000.00.

Although the members played well, team Kalibo did not win the speedball challenge unlike the military simulation game last December 6, 2008 at Milibili, Roxas City dubbed as Op: Mission Hills where they stood as champions.

Airsoft Gaming is a regulated military-simulation sport where players wear protective gears such as goggles, masks and tactical uniforms. They used replica rifles and pistols powered by gas or battery that expels 6mm plastic BB pellets.

Organized airsoft gaming in Aklan began four years ago by Airsoft Kalibo (ASK). Other teams followed suit but the number of players dwindled as members move to other places while others could not find time from work resulting to a regrouping of Aklanon players simply called "Team Kalibo" (T-K) as they participate in competitions outside the province. /MP

Friday, September 18, 2009

EDITORIAL


One Aklan Provincial Party?
Atty. Allen S. Quimpo, founder of the "Tibyog it Akean" a local political party announced Tibyog It Akean and "Kusog it Akean" have merged into one called the "United Leadership Coalition" for the May 2010 local elections. The announcement was made in Café Latté, Andgao, Kalibo on Saturday morning, September 12 during the "Kapehan Sa Aklan".

"Leaders of both Tibyog and Kusog political parties have forged into a United Leadership Coalition for the forthcoming 2010 elections", read Atty. Quimpo. "This show of unity, vision and mission covers the position of congressman, governor, vice governor, and Western District Panlalawigan slots", said Quimpo. The coalition does not include the Western District of Aklan.

It is expected though other political leaders of Aklan will follow suit. Other details, according to Governor Carlito S. Marquez are yet to be finalized especially regarding the selection process of fielding candidates. The equity of the incumbent will be observed with exceptions.

The key to the agreement are the daunting challenges on poverty alleviations, jobs creation, and environment conservation. Another factor is the sustainability of the social and economic programs like roads, airport, tourism and agriculture development programs, projects, and activities.

What are the political, social, and economic implications of the merger?
First, there will be enhancement of the provincial leadership. Approval of proposals will be hastened, even unanimous. Since there are assumed trust and confidence among the provincial leaders, proposals will be approved for implementation maybe short of critical study and analysis.

Second, the coalition will promote peaceful, orderly, and honest election in Aklan. Unless a strong contender or group of contenders in Aklan emerge, election in May 2010 will be cooled.

Third, there will be minimum expenses spent in the elections. Voters who used to market their votes will have no more clients.

The United Leadership Coalition for Congressman, Governor, and Vice Governor has yet to find opponents. Who will oppose them? Some predicted, there will be. It is worth waiting.

In the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Aklan’s Eastern side, the incumbent SP members are Hon. Nemesio Neron (K), Hon. Rodson Mayor (K), Hon. Daisy Sucro Briones (K), Hon. Jean Rodriguez (T), and Hon. Plaridel M. Morania (T).

Hon. Neron, Hon. Briones, and Hon. Mayor have earlier parted away from Kusog and applied with Tibyog. Hon. Mayor is accepted while Briones and Neron maybe accepted soon.

Hon. Morania is now on his third term and is not qualified for re-election. Since Morania is of Tibyog, who will select the replacement for Morania? Will Tibyog do it alone since the Eastern part of Aklan is not included in the coalition?

In the Western Part of Akln, there is no Kusog SP member. Hon. Ramon Gelito belongs to Aklan Independent Movement. Will he be a lone candidate of AIM for SP?

During the Kapehan, it was announced that the United Leadership Coalition only covers local politics. Vice Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo is free to select and support presidential candidate of her choice. Likewise, Cong. Florencio T. Miraflores and Governor Carlito S. Marquez of Lakas Kampi are still waiting who will be their presidential candidate. Now that Sec. of National Defense Gilbert Teodoro is selected standard bearer of the Lakas-Kampi, will they support Mr. Teodoro?

Of course Vice Governor Quimpo belongs to the Nationalista Party and is known to support the presidential candidacy of Sen. Manny Villar.

The question is: who among the SP members join Vice Gov. Quimpo to support Manny Villar? Who will be among the SP members join Cong. Miraflores and Gov. Marquez to support Sec. Gilberto Teodoro?

An innocent friend even asked: "Will Gov. Marquez and Cong. Miraflores support Noynoy Aquino instead of Gilberto Teodoro?

The best thing to observe and to watch is the alignment of municipal mayors, and vice mayors, and members of the sangguniang bayan of the 17 municipalities of Aklan.

As far as Kusog is concerned, it has only two (2) municipal mayors. The mayors of Balete and Banga belong to Kusog. The Mayor of Libacao seems to have jumped fence inside Tibyog. Unless something serious happens, Balete will be with the United Leadership Coalition.

The question is, will Mayor Antonio T. Maming of Banga support Gov. Carlito S. Marquez? /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer


Ambrosio R. Villorente
Does KIA Deserve Terminal Fee Increase?

Mr. Percy A. Malonesio, Airport Manager of the Kalibo International Airport (KIA) informed the Entrepre-neurial Farmer the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) will conduct a public hearing on the proposed Passenger Terminal Fee increases. The hearing was held on Sept. 8 in the New Iloilo Airport, Iloilo.

The invitation was dated Sept. 3. However, I received it on September 10, one day after the scheduled hearing. Even if I wanted to attend and participate in the hearing, it was not possible. The invitation came late. It should have been given me one day before the event considering the distance and travel time from Kalibo to Iloio.

On the basis of the information given, except for NAIA, Clark and Subic, all airports terminal fees in the Philippines will be increased from 750 to 1,000 percent.

In the KIA, Passenger Terminal Fee of P20 per passenger will increase to P200 or P1000 percent. The present Passenger Terminal Fee of P500 per international passenger will increase to P750 or 150 percent.

What does Kalibo International Airport have that will make it deserving to increase its passenger terminal fee? Of course the plane passengers will agonize in the congested both in the check-in area and departure area. They will also endure the dirty toilet, sometimes devoid of water, soap and toilet paper.

Of course, even if the departure area is already congested, the CAAP has even rented out some spaces to a SPA operator, souvenir shops, and gift shops for additional income the CAAP badly needs. Inside the departure area, some advertisements are allowed not only for more money but also for more ugliness. This is world class at the bottom in terms of facilities.
Battle of Relatives
Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III is the presidential candidate for the May 2010 national elections, the standard bearer of the Liberal Party in that election.
Sec. Gilberto Teodoro has also been selected by the LAKAS KAMPI CMD as its presidential candidate in the May 2010 presidential elections. Teodoro is the current Secretary of National Defense, while Noynoy Aquino is an incumbent senator of the Philippines.

Both Aquino and Teodoro are natives of Tarlac province in Central, Luzon. Both are Cojuangco scions. Noynoy’s mother, Cory is a Cojuangco and Teodoro’s mother is also a Cojuangco. The respective families of Teodoro and Aquino are key provincial leaders in Tarlac and in the national level. What is the difference between the two then? Nothing. They are both from Central Luzon, both wealthy, both of Cojuangco family. Their culture is similar, their language identical.

But who between the two is sincere and man of integrity and honesty? Who is sympathetic to the flight of the poor? They are wealthy. Do they know the problems and aspirations of the poor people? Will Teodoro or Aquino share his tremendous wealth with the poor families? Or who has unsatiable greed and will continue acquiring more wealth?

It is not enough to restore freedoms and democracy among the people. It must be accompanied with economic freedom. All other freedoms are useless, meaningless in the absence of economic freedom. All other freedoms will be surrendered in the absence of economic freedom.

More Filipinos are living in poverty because few families have more and more wealth. They hoard more wealth and deprive the many of food, clothes, medicine and other basic needs.

Will they let go a part of their wealth for millions of Filipinos who sleep hungry and allow access to food? To good education? To decent shelter? To effective medicine? These are the questions Mr. Teodoro and Mr. Aquino will answer during their campaign sorties. /MP

Tibyog - Kusog Merge As United Leadership Coalition


by ERNESTO T. SOLIDUM
Current political development, 5-year Investment Plan for Health and latest legislative agenda are hot topics discussed during the press conference at Café Latté, Andagao during Kapehan Sa Aklan held on September 12, 2009. Cong. Joeben T. Miraflores, Gov. Carlito S. Marquez and Vice Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo were the resource persons.
In a prepared statement read by former Aklan solon Atty. Allen S. Quimpo revealed, leaders of both Tibyog and Kusog political parties have forged into a United Leadership Coalition for the forthcoming 2010 elections.

This unprecedented show of unity, vision and mission covers the position of Congress-man, Governor, Vice Governor and Western District Panlalawigan slots. It is expected that other political leaders will follow suit in a dramatic move to end years of divisive and destructive politics in the province of Aklan. While some details of the coalition are yet to be finalized, Marquez said that the selection process of fielding candidates will be based on equity of the incumbent with some exceptions.

Gov. Marquez declared that key to this agreement are daunting challenges on poverty alleviation, jobs creation, and conservation of the environment. It also considered continuity of on-going socio-economic program particularly road, airport infra, tourism and agriculture development. He pointed out that Aklan has steadily advanced from 4th class status five (5) years ago to 1st class province today.

The 5 year Provincial Investment Plan for Health (2009-2013) has been approved and funded under a joint agreement (50-50 equity) with the European Union. The total amount of P1.04 billion will be used to upgrade hospital facilities, equipment, and manpower training. Marquez envisioned that health care cost will be more affordable and available even as universal health care/medicare beneficiaries are expanded.

Vice Gov. Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo cited important legislation approved such as the Tourism Code, Environ-mental Code and Children’s Code (both in their final draft) and Code of Ordinance (under delibe-ration). To expedite session and proceedings, high information technology gadgets are installed that will allow paperless sessions including uploading on Aklan SP website.

Commenting on the political union, the lady Vice Governor mentioned that Aklan needs sustained development and forceful leadership. "We simply can not do this if our leaders’ visions are fragmented. At least we have achieved political maturity within this context".

Congressman Florencio T. Miraflores also echoed the above sentiments maintaining that the "marriage" is not based on convenience but commitment to the ideals of governance.

The Aklan solon said that "upgrading of both Kalibo and Caticlan airports into international status are on stream with some modifications. Based on benefit–cost analysis, lengthening of Kalibo International Airport runway North-east to Pook would be more expensive than extending to Southwest direction of Tigayon". He also debunked claims by Berosil, an environmentalist group that Caticlan airport lacks ECC papers for runway extension.

Issues and concerns were numerous on the United Leadership Coalition. Reservations and skepticisms were aired on the ability of coalition to endure considering previous deep seated antagonism and debacles. Certainly, the ability of party leadership to unite and manage will be tested on its Eastern sector Sangguniang Panlalawigan members and the fate of the 17 municipal mayors, vice mayors, and SB members of respective towns.

While the United Leadership Coalition is a powerful party to contend with in the May 2010 local elections, will this signal the end of healthy, constructive opposition? How can the public be assured of quality legislation or programs that are based on needs, problems, and aspirations of the people?

As regards the national political leaders, the coalition agreed to respect their individual choices to support such as the president, vice president and senators.

Response to the above questions can only be gauged by its performance, integrity and capability. Voters must decide on these crucial factors if they want real leaders and a better life ahead. /MP

Kalibo Terminal Fee Increases


Kalibo International Airport Terminal Fee will increase from the present P20 to P200 per domestic passenger and from P500 to P750 per international passenger. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines announced to the public during a public consultation/hearing held on Sept. 8, 2009, New Iloilo Airport, Sta. Barbara, Iloilo.

However, Cong.. Florencio T. Miraflores of Aklan moved to differ the implementation of the said terminal fee increase meanwhile that the Kalibo International Airport is undergoing improvement and the present facilities are below standard.

"The toilets are dirty, no soap, no toilet paper. The departure area is highly congested", said Miraflores. /MP

Use Hybrid Seeds, Nacionales Urges Farmers


OTON, ILOILO – Producing 7.0 metric tons per hectare is very attainable when one uses hybrid seeds. Dir. Larry P. Nacionales proved this during the harvest festival held on September 9, 2009 at Tagbac Norte, Oton, Iloilo. The DA Region VI director uses PHB71 of the Pioneer Seed Company.

PHB71 is early maturing compared to other rice varieties. It is resistant to rice blast disease and has high milling and head rice recovery. PHB71 has good eating quality.

Dir. Nacionales does not only teach the right technology on rice production, he shows also the use of hybrid seeds to increase yield.

Nacionales acknowledges the role of the private sector in attaining rice sufficiency in the country considering that rice is the number one commodity of Western Visayas.

He is urging the local government units to continuously deliver technical services and information to our farmers for they are the front liners in extension.

Nacionales reported that Western Visayas ranks second in rice production in the whole country after Central Luzon.

The Region VI yield performance on rice production was 3.10 metric tons per hectare in 2008.

The demo farm of Dir. Nacionales is one (1) hectare and he uses five (5) bags seed only at 5 kg/ bag.

This dry cropping season of 2009, there is a 50-50 scheme on seed subsidy which the National Food Authority (NFA) will implement, Nacionales announced. As regards the hybrid rice, when one can plant up to September 15, the subsidy from the government is P1, 500.00.

In cluster areas of at least 60 hectares, all hybrid seeds will be paid by the DA but farmers must follow synchronous planting. (RAFID6) /MP

Health Link


Breastfeeding Promotion
by Cecille R. de Lemos
Women Aklan, a civil organization of empowered women entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs, celebrated the Breast-feeding Month last August. Exclusive breastfeeding was promoted via the radio stations. It was extended until the first week of Sept. by conducting small group discussions among mothers.

The group was led by this writer, the chairperson of the committee on family, health and wellness, together with breastfeeding champion, Ms. Euelah Magwale and baby Yuan. In addition to information, Ms. Magwale’s presence provided a real-life mother example on how she manages motherhood.

Women-Aklan, in line with its advocacy for family, health and wellness practices, is working in tandem with the government and other non-government organizations, is under the dynamic leadership of its president, Rose Flores Nepomuceno.

On August 15, 2009, the Aklan Provincial Health Office with the Department of Health guested in the Kapehan sa Aklan. The Breastfeeding Month in the Philippines is celebrated every August of each year. This year’s theme, "Gatas ni Nanay Laging Handa sa Oras ng Pangangailangan" focuses on the importance of breastfeeding as vital emergency response.

The Kapehan high-lighted the importance of breastfeeding in normal situation and during emergencies through inter-active discussion among the members of the tri-media with the following panelists: Dr. Victor A. Santamaria, provincial health officer I; Dr. Myrtle M. Pelayo, Aklan DOH rep-resentative; Celia R. de Lemos, breastfeeding program coordinator/provincial BHW coor-dinator; Rossini T. Mortalla, IYCF coor-dinator; Crescini S. Roxas, provincial nutrition program coordinator; and the sharing of experience of Ms. Euelah Magwale, breastfeeding champion in Aklan.

Various groups supported the celebration including Women-Aklan, Northwestern Visayan Colleges, Aklan Federation of Barangay Health Workers, Inc., Aklan Press Club, Inc., Aklan Media Forum, Publishers Association of the Philippines, Philippine Information Agency, and the United States Agency for International Development.

Other activities under-taken were the airing of Media Guide on breast-feeding messages for radio public service announcement at Bombo Radyo and the conduct of Mother/Baby – Friendly Hospital Initiative monitoring by the PHO breastfeeding task force to hospitals in Aklan. /MP

Forfeiture Case Against Cong. Mikey Arroyo


Sen. Chiz Escudero last week said a forfeiture case could be filed against Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel."Mikey" Arroyo for the manifestly dis-proportionate jump of his net worth from P5.7 million in 2001 to P99.2 million in 2008. The bulk of his net worth was acquired after he became a congressman in 2004.

Under RA 1379, when a public official’s net worth is grossly disproportionate to his salary and other legitimate sources of income, it is enough ground for any taxpayer to initiate forfeiture proceedings, Escudero said.

Cong. Arroyo had disclosed in a television interview that campaign contributions were partly the reason for the increase in his net worth.

According to published reports, Cong. Arroyo, however, only declared campaign expenses of P483,000 in 2004 and P552,876.15 in 2007, when he ran and won as representative for the first District of Pampanga.

"Cong. Arroyo’s declaration makes it unexplained wealth in violation of the law which can subject the property to forfeiture proceedings in favor of government," said Escudero.

"We all know how-ever that Ombudsman Merciditas Gutierrez will not initiate proceedings against Cong. Mikey at this time. Any action will likely languish on her desk," said Escudero.

The senator said that RA 1379, however, provides for a one-year ban on the filing of a petition for forfeiture against a public official before an election year.

Escudero said that Arroyo may have also violated election laws if it can be established that he failed to fully report all campaign contributions in the past two elections.

The Omnibus Election Code requires candidates to file a "full, true and itemized statement of all contributions and expen-ditures in connection with the election" within 30 days after the election.

Escudero has pushed for early Senate approval of a bill requiring all public officials and regular government employees to sign a waiver that will allow the Ombudsman and other agencies to look into their bank deposits.

He said the measure is aimed at maintaining honesty and integrity in the public service by requiring government employees to be open and transparent in all of their financial transactions and dealings.

It covers all public officials and employees, except those who serve in an honorary capacity, laborers and casual or temporary workers.

The measure requires a yearly submission of a waiver in favor of the Ombudsman, the Anti-Money Laundering Council and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to obtain from all financial institutions, public or private, domestic or overseas, information and documents on their financial assets, deposits, investments in bonds and securities.

"If we had this law today, it would be easier to look into the bank accounts of Cong. Arroyo and everyone else who will be elected to public office or appointed to high office," Escudero said. /MP

Kalibo Eyes ‘Diwae’ Seafood Festival


by Recto I. Vidal
Members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Kalibo being led by Hon. Soviet Russia dela Cruz are interested to replicate the Diwae Festival in Capiz. The said festivity will boost the capital town’s tourism industry and generate more revenues for local folks in Barangay Caano who are likewise engaged in the harvesting of said exotic delicacy. Capiz province which claims to be the seafood capital of the Philippines celebrates Diwae Harvest Festival annually.

During a recent SB session, Dela Cruz who earlier authored a municipal ordinance calling for the regulation in the harvesting of "Diwae", bared that he will lead a delegation tasked to go on a study tour in Capiz, dubbed as the "country’s seafoods capital" for the group to immerse themselves on the best practices of said festival.

"We hope to learn valuable lessons from them in the hope that we could somehow adopt their success story and avoid pitfalls that could spell doom if and when this valuable resource is not properly managed," dela Cruz told his colleagues who later unanimously passed the said ordinance.

The Diwae Harvest Seafood Festival in Capiz is held every 2nd weekend of July. Diwae is a rare bivalve shell found abundantly along the coastal waters of Roxas City and Capiz.

Ten years ago, it disappeared from the waters of the City and Province because of illegal harvesting practices and pollution. Now, after an intensive research, seeding and strict fishing and harvesting process, Diwae is now in abundance. The effort of the city and province is paying off.

The festival is first celebrated this year and will be celebrated annually. The Diwae is known for its sweet and juicy qualities. It has immaculate white elliptical shell, hence the name "Angel Wing" shell.

Every year during the festival, tons of bivalves are harvested and sold in the open market. There are seafood festival, with drinks and music, and lots of partying in thanks-giving to the Almighty for the great and rare bounty that is Diwae.

The two-day celebration fits its national image as the seafood capital. Diwae, popularly known as "Angelwings" is one of the most sought after bivalves for its sweet, juicy and tender taste.

To recall, Diwae was first harvested in commercial quantity back in 1994. Its abundance triggered wanton harvest that wrecked havoc to its natural habitat. The destruction caused the depletion of Diwae for almost a decade.

Later, a research team from the Institute of Aquaculture, College of Fisheries of the University of the Philippines in the Visayas came to the rescue in cooperation with the Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development (PCAMRD), the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the Capiz provincial government.

The Roxas city government, on the other hand, funded the study on "Habitat and Reproductive Biology of Angelwings, Pholas Orientalis (Gmelin) eventually restored the natural habitat that brought back Diwae from years of absence. /MP

NVC Libacao Alumni Elects Esto President


Mr. Getulio M. Esto was elected President of the NVC Alumni-Libacao Chapter in an organizational meeting held last month at Libacao Municipal Hall.

Esto finished his BSC degree in NVC in 1976. He is now working as Election Assistant II in Comelec-Libacao.

Mrs. Lorna T. Sison, Alumni Assistant Secretary Treasurer briefed the Alumni of the coming Reunion scheduled on January 12-13, 2009 and the planned activities and programs.

Elected with Esto are the following officers of the NVC Alumni, Libacao Chapter: Stephen S. Teodosio, vice-president, Llyzel S. Dela Cruz – secretary, Sefarina N. Villorente –treasurer, Alma F. Ninonuevo – asst. sec. treasurer, Jessie R. Tasis – P.R.O., Alex Dionela, Sulficio Zaulda, Donna Y. Villorente, Orbelita R. Ortega, and Rafael Zaulda – members board of directors.

Mr. Esto is appealing to all NVC Alumni of Libacao to lead in the participation in the Alumni homecoming and to reach out to other alumni. /MP

Homage To Enable Muguingnon Youth


The Homage To Enoble Muguingnon People (HEMP) art organization, a non-stock non profit group based in Muguing, Banga, Aklan launched recently its program in a three (3) months commercial arts painting for 2009. This is in cooperation with the Banga Municipal Office through the very active municipal mayor Hon. Antonio T. Maming, Muguing barangay captain Armando Fetilo, and Mambog barangay captain Rowena R. Restar.
HEMP is guided by its vision to promote youth empowerment through skills development. There are 34 artistic youth of Muguing and Mambog officially enrolled in the program. They are Dave R. Apolinario, Ruby Ann R. Batiles, Jinky C. Billones, Johnjie C. Billones, Erwin E. Cristobal, Ray L. Cuenca, Genelyn R. Dela Cruz, Erwin R. Dela Cruz, Alfred Dunhil R. Fetilo, Andrew M. Guarino, Stanly R. Liberato, Stephen R. Liberato, Erwin F. Manabat, Enrico M. Nacino, Albert M. Nacor, Carl R. Nalangay, Gary R. Nalangay, Rafel L. Oquendo.

Eugene John A. Rabanes, Leonard P. Ramos, Anamor V. Raquin, Angely V. Raquin, Genesis N. Rebogbog, Jayson C. Rebustes, Jimmuel C. Rebustes, Roselyn R. Renardo, Tyron A. Renardo, Ivy Rose T. Reprado, Marilyn C. Reprado, Reymar N. Reprado, Anna Marie R. Restar, and Mario A. Perucho III.
Classes are conducted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 6:00 to 9:00 in the afternoon. Outdoor painting is also conducted every weekend. For its first semester operation, the program offered Commercial Designing, Drawing Fundamentals, Anatomy, Life Drawing, Color Theory, and Cartooning.

At the end of the course, an art exhibit will be conducted in selected schools in Banga and in Banga Municipal Town Hall to showcase the art works of the class. The HEMP is under the tutelage of Mr. Mario A. Perucho, Jr. – artist presently civil security officer of Mayor Antonio T. Maming, Ansley M. Braulio, Tee Jay Dadivas, and Ma. Griselda A. Irodistan are also imparting their skills. They give lectures to the above named members. Hon. Rosemarie S. Piolo, Sangguniang Bayan member of Banga extends her support to the organization for the success of the program. /MP

Thursday, September 10, 2009

E D I T O R I A L


Questions for Sen. Aquino
What will he do with the Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac? This is one of the questions asked after Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III declared: "I accept the call of the people and the advice of my parents. I accept the responsibility to continue and lead the fight for our country. I will run for president in the coming elections".

Sen. Noynoy Aquino announced his acceptance to be the candidate for president of the Philippines in the May 2010 presidential elections. He read his acceptance speech prepared in Pilipino during a press conference held on Wednesday morning, Sept. 9 at Club Pilipino.

According to him, "he could not turn his back on the people’s clamor for change". He added, "during my mothers wake and burial, we saw and I think no one can dispute the people are hoping to bring back the time when the people had real democracy and freedom".

But will the outpouring of love and emotion for Ninoy and Cory of the people be translated into sufficient number of votes for Noynoy Aquino to win the presidency in the May 2010 elections? It is no denying, hundred of thousands of people exhibited love and sympathy for the former president Cory Aquino. However, almost all those people came from Metro Manila and Central Luzon. Assuming the people of the Visayas and Mindanao did the same with that of Luzon, will that love and sympathy converted into enough votes?

For all these years, people should have learned to elect public officials, especially the President of the Philippines with reasons. They now must use their heads and reasons.

Can he respond to poverty? Can Sen. Aquino convince the family to distribute the family estate to their tenants? Will he return supervised credit program to the Pilipino farmers? Will he return the Land Bank of the Philippines to the Agrarian Reform beneficiaries for which it was organized by mandate of RA 3844 when he becomes president?

Before the death of his mother, the balding Sen. Noynoy Aquino was a low profile public official. He has no plan to be president. In the House of Representatives where he served for three (3) terms or nine (9) years, he has no major legislative accomplishment neither in the Senate where he has served for almost three (3) years.

Senator Aquino finished a degree in economics at the Ateneo de Manila University. He was a part time employee of his mother for 17 years. He also worked as a volunteer outreach worker of an NGO.

With his track records, will Sen. Aquino become active and effective President? Can he make his own sincere, appropriate decision on state affairs?

Excluding Sen. Mar Roxas, who have exerted more efforts to Aquino to run for the Presidency?

What are the agenda of these people? What are their track records? Can we trust them on the basis of their performance? They will influence Sen. Aquino, in case he wins the presidency, in decision making.

What will be the role of Ms. Kris Aquino Yap, his sister? Will the showbiz personalities be a factor in Aquino Presidency in case he is successful?

Will Sen. Aquino have the will and the strength to get back the more than 100 billion pesos coconut levy funds and return it to the coconut farmers to which it rightly belongs and of which is being enjoyed by Mr. Danding Cojuangco? These are some of the questions for Sen. Aquino must answer the electorates during his campaign for the coming election. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer


Ambrosio R. Villorente

Cleansing Records
The GSIS has a new meaning. Do you know what is the new meaning? A frustrated member told me, "GSIS means Government Slow Insurance System". What a shame for a premier government financial institution organized, being operated, and maintained by the government to assure the welfare of government employees.

The GSIS used to operate efficiently, serve its millions of members promptly on time. However, its services deteriorated upon the assumption of Mr. Winston Garcia as general manager and president of the GSIS board.

Until a few months ago, the GSIS paid government pensioners every first day of each month of their respective monthly pensions. In year 2009, the GSIS management advised the government retirees that their monthly pensions will be paid every 8th day of each month. Of course, the payment is through the Union Bank which does not exist in the provinces of Aklan, Guimaras, Capiz, and Antique. Withdrawals of monthly pensions in these provinces are being made via the other banks which the GSIS members must pay P12.00 for every withdrawal and P3.00 for every inquiry. This is a diminution of the pension amount of the GSIS members.

Of course the "e-Card Plus" issued by Union Bank must be used in all transactions. The e-Card Plus must be validated annually. In case of lose, duplicate e-Card is issued at cost, and after payment.

This morning, Sept. 8, hundreds of Aklanon pensioners went home frustrated. They went home with empty pockets as their e-Cards have insufficient deposit. Some whose cellphone numbers are available with the GSIS office received text that informed them their monthly pension will be available on September 23, 2009. The GSIS is "cleansing" its records, it reasoned out.

Why? Are the GSIS records so dirty that cleansing is required?

Who dirtied it? Under Mr. Winston Garcia the GSIS has been consistently announcing to the world that all GSIS records are being computerized in accordance with the latest state of the arts in information and com-puterization technology.

The GSIS has shifted from the usual method of transacting business to the latest high technology method.

It has shifted to the use of e-Card Plus in paying the GSIS pension and other money transactions with its members.

The GSIS has been spending millions of the members’ money in its paid advertisement in all communication media like television, radio, newspapers, and internet telling the Filipinos the alleged innovations being done in the GSIS to improve the services for its members.

Today, GSIS begs to delay pension payments. It has spoiled, dirtied its records. It needs cleansing and must be cleansed.

After record cleansing, many are suggesting people in the GSIS management must be cleansed as well starting from Mr. Winston Garcia.

Garcia has stopped paying pensioners using bank checks which were believed very effective. Garcia junked the bank checks and shifted to e-Card Plus which is found costly, painful to the consumers, time consuming, and inefficient. Winston Garcia must leave the Government "Slow" Insurance System so that a person of integrity will replace him and restore the GSIS as an effective government financial institution. To kick him out of the GSIS is to reject the administration candidates in the May 2010 national and local elections, or reject candidates sympathetic to Garcia.

To the aged pensioners the hard earned monthly pension is becoming de-motivation because the GSIS (Government Slow Insurance System) is still "cleansing its records". /MP

COMMENT ON THE BLOG


Aklanons Launch LCT Mighty Sailor

Hello,
It is good news of people helping the community.

However, I noticed one thing missing about this article. How will LCT Mighty Sailor help the community? After much have been written about the Salvador family, you forgot to also tell where will LCT Mighty Sailor be used. Will it be used between New Washington and Manila? To Boracay? To Batan? To other islands facing New Washington? Where? You missed this part.

Regards,
Elmar
The Mighty Sailor will be used in the Province of Aklan and the nearby islands. - Editor
A Millionaire Caregiver

Hi,

Thanks for the great post, I started my career in nursing after finishing an associate degree in nursing.

From Associate Degree Nursing Schools

RI District Governor Edgar Sy Visits Aklan

Picture above shows District Governor Edgar "Diotay" SY (second from right) of RI District 3850 on his arrival on Thursday morning, Sept. 10. President Joel Mercurio (right) of the Rotary Club of Kalibo welcomes him with PP Vady Marin (left) in Libas, Banga, Aklan.

NFA Operationalizes Biomass Fed Mechanical Driers


According to the National Food Authority Administrator Jessup P. Navarro, the NFA is now operating 11 units of mechanical dryers using biomass furnace to boost its drive to reduce grains post-harvest losses and cut the cost of palay drying.

The 11 units now in operation are part of the 91 units of grain dryers complete with biomass furnace the NFA bought to be used during the first half of this year as part of the FIELDS (Fertilizer, Irrigation, Extension,Loans, Dryers and Seeds) program of the govern-ment to increase the country’s palay production.

Post harvest losses, particularly in palay, increases during the main harvest season which coincides with the rainy months when farmers’ income is low, Navarro pointed out.

"Grains losses during this period due to improper grains drying also sets back efforts towards rice sufficiency," said Navarro.

The NFA addresses this problem by continuously upgrading its drying facilities to cater to the farmers’ need. Based on the NFA’s record, however, the utilization of mechanical dryers remain low primarily due to the high cost of fuel for mechanical dryers, Navarro pointed out.

"Through the extensive use of mechanical dryers among farmers, we expect to reduce the estimated 14 percent losses in the country’s palay produc-tion," he added. "At 65 percent milling recovery, this volume is equivalent to 1.48 million metric tons or close to 30 million bags of rice. This could contribute a lot in attaining the country’s goal towards rice self-sufficiency and in reducing the incidence of hunger and poverty, " he emphasized. An NFA study conducted on the performance of batch-recirculating mechanical dryer retrofitted to a prototype biomass furnace proved to be adaptable and cost viable in the NFA’s dryer installation.

The use of biomass fuel significantly reduces the cost of drying by around 36 percent. "Lower cost could eventually attract more farmers to avail of NFA’s grains drying services and give them the opportunity to produce quality grains that could demand a better price in the market," said Navarro. (NFA-PAD) /MP

NFA Operationalizes Biomass Fed Mechanical Driers


According to the National Food Authority Administrator Jessup P. Navarro, the NFA is now operating 11 units of mechanical dryers using biomass furnace to boost its drive to reduce grains post-harvest losses and cut the cost of palay drying.

The 11 units now in operation are part of the 91 units of grain dryers complete with biomass furnace the NFA bought to be used during the first half of this year as part of the FIELDS (Fertilizer, Irrigation, Extension,Loans, Dryers and Seeds) program of the govern-ment to increase the country’s palay production.

Post harvest losses, particularly in palay, increases during the main harvest season which coincides with the rainy months when farmers’ income is low, Navarro pointed out.

"Grains losses during this period due to improper grains drying also sets back efforts towards rice sufficiency," said Navarro.

The NFA addresses this problem by continuously upgrading its drying facilities to cater to the farmers’ need. Based on the NFA’s record, however, the utilization of mechanical dryers remain low primarily due to the high cost of fuel for mechanical dryers, Navarro pointed out.

"Through the extensive use of mechanical dryers among farmers, we expect to reduce the estimated 14 percent losses in the country’s palay produc-tion," he added. "At 65 percent milling recovery, this volume is equivalent to 1.48 million metric tons or close to 30 million bags of rice. This could contribute a lot in attaining the country’s goal towards rice self-sufficiency and in reducing the incidence of hunger and poverty, " he emphasized. An NFA study conducted on the performance of batch-recirculating mechanical dryer retrofitted to a prototype biomass furnace proved to be adaptable and cost viable in the NFA’s dryer installation.

The use of biomass fuel significantly reduces the cost of drying by around 36 percent. "Lower cost could eventually attract more farmers to avail of NFA’s grains drying services and give them the opportunity to produce quality grains that could demand a better price in the market," said Navarro. (NFA-PAD) /MP

Tertiary Education Trials, and Challenges


by ERNESTO T. SOLIDUM
Once again the focus of attention revolved around the tertiary education, its problems and challenges. Kapehan guests at a weekly forum on September 5, 2009 were Aklan education stalwarts Atty. Allen S. Quimpo, President, Northwestern Visayan Colleges, and Dr. Benny A. Palma, President, Aklan State University.

In his opening statement, Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino cited the constitutional mandate that education is a public or state function. Careful evaluation shows that, years of government neglect in providing enough funds for education has resulted in tragic consequences. Philippines as poor as ever in the group of 77 nations.

Atty. Quimpo was one of the architects of the Congressional Committee trifocalizing education. He bewails that today, we are suffering from an identity crisis because of certain policies we do not understand ourselves. Quimpo stated that much of the rhetoric, teachings, and practices have been imposed on us by Western educators that our indigenous culture is inferior. Decidedly, our history started only with the discovery of Magellan in 1521. In reality, based on artifacts, our civilization started very much earlier. For a fact, our 9th century mercantile boats called balangay still exist in Surigao del Sur, according to Atty. Quimpo.
Turning to the present educational woes, the former Aklan solon enumerated major setbacks that need immediate action. These are high drop out incidence; poor teacher quality; poor student performance; inadequate support and linkages; great disparity between research and application; and defective, counter productive, and anti-developmental curriculum.

Quimpo advocated human capital theory stating that the more and better educated the people is, the greater the chance of economic development.
Dr. Palma cited the need of tertiary education to focus on international competitiveness since the Philippines is signatory to the World Trade Organization. He said that sunshine area for investment is on Information Com-munication Technology (ICT) which have far ranging applications in the field of agriculture, fisheries, computer chips, food processing, textile and garments manufac-turing, and others.

Considering the various researches undertaken by government agencies that are often irrelevant, repetitive, and expensive, Palma favors the recommendation of UP study that all basic and applied researches in the Philippines be undertaken by a lone agency – the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Dr. Palma disclosed ASU-NVC collaboration in charcoal making and briquetting machine project (P5 M), Biofuel plant (P15 M) and ICT (P5 M).
Issues and concerns are the present limited budget to education. The Philippines allots 2.1 percent only of her gross national product (GNP) where neighboring countries spend an average of 6 percent. This invariably resulted in congested classrooms, ill-equipped laboratory facilities, shortage of books, office supplies and equipment, and low salary scale of teachers that trigger low quality education.

Great disparity between researches and practical application is shown by empirical data that inbred rice and hybrid corn have potential yield of 5.0 metric tons per hectare. The average farmer’s yield is just 3.9 metric tons per hectare for rice and 3.7 metric tons per hectare for corn.

On global com-petitiveness, the Philippines seriously lags behind in research and development (R&D) with allocation of only one tenth (0.1) of one percent of GNP. Dr. Palma confirmed that 50 percent of this meager budget goes to personnel services, leaving practically nothing for meaningful research. The highest net gain is usually five times the original investment achieve by other countries. R&D is the foundation of creativity and innovativeness. Hence, its high premium particularly the race on micro word processing technology. UN recommendation is 6 percent investment of GNP for research. In the US, even if her R&D is at a minimum, private sector participation is phenomenal and generous.

Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) research and application is undertaken locally by transnational companies on rice, corn, soybean, potatoes, sugar cane, and other crops. Ironically, only very few farmers are adopting this technology despite passing safety regulations of US Food and Drug Administration. The question then is how can we be globally competitive if our agricultural products do not meet international quality standards?

Basically, the quality of our tertiary education does not meet international standards of the first world economies. Our engineers, physicians, and nurses are employed as assistants. Reason is that our education is limited to 10 years where minimum requirement is 12 years. While hot issue is being deliberated upon by the Commission on Higher Education, it would be best if an in-depth study about specific problem considering economic, social and educational implications, (including love of country and politics).
A looming controversial issue is vernacularization of language teaching in the elementary grades. Atty. Quimpo believes there would be a label of tongues since the Philippines has 80 ethnic dialects. How can we establish a common language in these 7,107 islands?, he asked.

Quality education also demands a high price. However, state owned colleges and universities must be adequately funded in order that poor but deserving students may be able to enroll and complete a degree. High drop out incidence of 16 percent at tertiary level is very significant. It needs to be acted upon through proper legislation. Furthermore, high investment cost in education must be offsetted by graduates whose chosen courses match with volatile and discriminating labor market. /MP

EFFECTS OF RECESSION?


Pinoy Olympian Medalists
To Earn More Than U.S Tracksters
by ALEX P. Vidal
CHICAGO, Illinois — Filipino athletes stand to earn more cash incentives if they harvest medals in the 2012 London Olympics compared to what members of the United States track and field team will get for the same feat.

While the Philippine government, with the help of a giant telecom-munication company, has pledged to award cash prizes worth P12 million (about $232,800), P3 million (about $58,200) and P1 million ($19,400) for gold, silver and bronze medal winners, the United States Olympic Committee will give only $25,000 (about P1.175 million) for gold medalist, $15,000 (about P705,000) for silver medalist, and $10,000 (about P470,000) for bronze medalist in track and field.

However, USA Track & Field chief executive officer Doug Logan recommended paying additional $15,000 to those who will achieve personal bests at the Games and $5,000 to those who will hit their high mark of the season.

Logan wanted the United States track and field team to improve from the 23 medals it won in Beijing in August 2008 to 30 at the 2012 Games in London. The Associated Press quoted Logan: "We have to do more to support and cultivate our talent, but it is undoubtedly there."

Logan also recom-mended shortening the trials for the Games as ways of improving the team’s results after a disappointing effort in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

This was his response to an unflattering 69-degree report issued last February by a panel that examined the federation’s problems after the United States won only seven gold medals in Beijing.

He said the failures in Beijing were not merely aberrations but were proof that validates "the unease felt by many" in American track and field.

Meanwhile, more windfalls await victorious Filipino athletes most particularly amateur boxers in international competitions aside from the World Summer Olympic Games.

These are: P2 million, P1 million and P500,000 for gold, silver and bronze medal winners respectively in the Asian Games; P1 million, P500,000 and P250,000 in World Championships; P300,000, P200,000 and P100,000 in the Southeast Asian Games and P30,000, P20,000 and P10,000 in minor international tournaments.

The Philippines, however, has not won any gold medal in the Games. The highest achievements of Filipino Olympians were the silver medals won by boxers Anthony Villanueva in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. /MP

Aklan Leaders Welcome Caticlan Airport Improvement Project


by RONQUILLO C. TOLENTINO
Cong. Florencio T. Miraflores, Governor Carlito S. Marquez, other Aklan leaders and tourism stakeholders welcome the proposed expansion and improvement of the Caticlan Airport to accommodate bigger and more planes.

Cong. Miraflores sees the project as the solution to the problem of accessibility of Boracay Island tourists, the main bulk of whom has to pass thru the Kalibo Airport and travel by land for one and one half hours to get to Caticlan, jump-off point to the island.

Caticlan airport’s present and obsolete facilities and short runway can allow the landing of only small airplanes.

Governor Marquez said that it is the lack of world-class transport that has hindered the full development of our country’s tourism industry such that although Boracay Island has invariably been acknowledged as the world’s No. 1 beach, the Philippines in a recent report ranked No. 86th only among tourist destinations in Southeast Asia.

The governor who has prioritized tourism as Aklan’s development thrust added that Boracay Island as one of the major destinations of the Philippines should be given special attention by the national government.

He said that the drawing power of Boracay Island has already been proven these many years and should, therefore, take precedence in the use of our scant resources for tourism development.

The two Aklan leaders said, they will seek the help of the President in fast tracking the Caticlan Airport project. /MP

Botika ng Barangay Visayas Zonal Summit


by Cecille dela Rosa de Lemos
Some 150 delegates gathered in Boracay Island for a three-day summit. They adopted a common stand on botika ng barangay issues and concerns. It was highlighted with the giving of due recognition to the Best Performing BnBs in the Visayas.

The DoH CHD VI hosted the Botika ng Barangay (BnB) Visayas Zonal Summit held at One MGM Hotel, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan on September 1-3, 2009. Delegates from Regions 6, 7, and 8 and the DOH Central office participated.

Dr. Victor A. Santamaria, provincial health officer I, delivered the welcome address. Dir. Susana M. Madarieta, regional director and FIMO zonal technical coordinator for Visayas conveyed the message of DOH Secretary Francisco T. Duque III. Dr. Myrtle M. Pelayo, Aklan DOH representative did the formal acknowledgement of guests and participants. Mr. Jose E. Cortes, PITC Pharma vice president for sales gave updates on PITC’s Role in Ensuring the Availability of Medicines, followed by an open forum. The BnB Best Practices were shown through a video presentation.

Barangay Capt. Diva S. Agustin, BnB operator of Capilijan, Ibajay was awarded the regional winner for the Search of Best Performing BnB. Through a power point presentation, Brgy. Capt. Agustin shared her experience on how she made the BnB of Capilijan the best performing botika ng barangay that requires every BnB operator to pursue a culture of excellence. She was joined by Ibajay Mayor Maria Lourdes Miraflores, Municipal Health Officer Antonio Maagma, Provin-cial BnB Coordinator Celia R. de Lemos, Aklan DOH representatives Eva A. Taytayon, Grace B. Ureta, Zuela A. Calizo, Filipina Mabasa, and Dr. Myrtle M. Pelayo, Supervising Phar-macist Jazmin Sol, and the RHU Ibajay staff namely: Sarah Samuyo, Charto Sales and Leonida Maagma.

Dr. Sofia G. Chua, OIC assistant regional director of CHD VI and Dr. Albert L. Teruel, BnB coordinator for Western Visayas led the recognition and awarding of provincial and regional winners. Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to the local chief executives of outstanding BnBs for their contribution in its accomplishments. /MP