Sunday, February 28, 2010


Put Celso In Jail
Senator Mar Roxas last week challenged authorities to find and put to jail pre-need scammer Celso delos Angeles if reports are true that the businessman has been living in a condominium near the St. Luke’s Medical Center in defiance of court orders to confine him in the hospital.

If this is true, Roxas said there is nobody to blame but Ms. Arroyo because her administration has shown nothing but total disregard of the rule of law and treated with kid gloves its allies involved in scams like Celso de los Angeles, whose Legacy Group of pre-need companies defrauded billions of pesos of savings of thousands of middle class Filipino families. Even former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn "Jocjoc" Bolante, a trusted confidante of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo remains scot-free despite Senate and an Ombudsman panel’s recommendation that he faces plunder charges for his role in the P728-million fertilizer fund scam.

"We must bring to justice those who steal from our people, whether in business or in government. This is what Senator Noynoy Aquino and I will proceed to do when we win in the May elections," said Roxas in reference to the platform against corruption pushed by him and Aquino as LP bets for President and Vice-President.
The wanton disregard for the rule of law is what Ms. Arroyo and her allies, including a not-so-secret partner in the May elections – the Nacionalista Party of Senator Manuel Villar — want to continue despite overwhelming desire among our people for reforms in all levels of government and society, Roxas added.

"The voters must not elect those who will allow the likes of Celso de los Angeles and Jocjoc Bolante to go scot-free even if they have clearly stolen from public and/or private coffers. It is clear that Ms. Arroyo has found an ally in making this possible with her Villarroyo coalition," he added.

De los Angeles is facing multiple cases of syndicated estafa for absconding billions of pesos in funds from the Legacy group of pre-need companies, including 12 rural banks, which were invested by tens of thousands of families, many of them middle-class, for education and additional retirement pension plans.

Based on the evidence he gathered in the investigation, Roxas filed along with several Legacy victims a number of syndicated estafa cases against De los Angeles and other Legacy officers.

Educate Poor On Poll Automation
Sen. Manny Villar last week also called on the Commission on Elections to prioritize the poor in its education drive on poll automation. He stressed that they are easily intimidated by the new technology.

Unlike other sectors, he said, the poor belonging to the D and E classes of society generally have less access to digital know-how and capacity to learn overnight the new voting system.

Villar’s appeal was prompted by the latest survey of Pulse Asia showing the number of Filipinos uninformed about automation is still the largest in socioeconomic class E (very poor), where three out of 10 respondents said they have no knowledge at all about the automated election.
Government data showed that the poor sector comprises at least 30 percent of the country’s voting population. The estimate was derived from most recent government poverty data showing 33 out of 100 Filipinos are poor.

Villar said, "Comelec must be aware that before the poor worry about how poll automation works they have to worry first where to get food, and this will be a big challenge for the poll body."

"With the May 10 balloting barely three months away, what will happen to these voters who are still at a loss about the automated election procedures?" Villar asked.
Villar, whose vision is to improve the lives of the underprivileged said, "while the poll body conducts demonstrations on the poll machine, it must look for other means to reach out to the poor." He suggested mass dissemination of illustrated leaflets and easy-to-understand reading materials on automated balloting.

"It is a cause for concern, as I have said before, as early as now, while there is still time, the Comelec must continue the automation information education to the voters," said Villar. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente
Honoring Local Heroes
In the implementation as provided for in the Municipal Ordinance of Kalibo, honoring local heroes, several activities are being done. The Municipal Ordinance of Kalibo declared the month of March as "Local Heroes" month.

The preparation and implementation of activities for the month of March is being done by the Sangguniang Bayan Committee on Education, Culture, History and Arts being chaired by Hon. Mark Vega Quimpo. The detail of the activities will be announced during the Kapehan on Saturday morning, February 27. But the highlight will be the commemoration of the 19 Martyrs of Aklan.

There are several agencies involved in the preparation of the activities like the DepEd, LGU Kalibo, Aklan History Society, the veterans, civic clubs, and the media.
During the previous two meetings of the committee, Hon. Soviet Russia Dela Cruz appealed to the residents of Kalibo to display the Filipino Flag in our respective residences and or offices. This practice is geared to instill loyalty and love of country among the people.
Peace Covenant

To promote the holding of a clean, orderly, honest and credible election in the province of Aklan, a peace covenant is being readied for provincial candidates and municipal candidates of Kalibo.

In a recent meeting among the Comelec represented by Atty. Ian Lee Anunario, provincial PNP Director Epifanio E. Bragais, Jr. and Mr. Augusto C. Tolentino, chairman, KBP, it was agreed that the peace covenant signing be held at St. John the Baptist Cathedral, Kalibo in the morning of March 9. The peace covenant signing in other municipalities of Aklan will be scheduled after March 9. The details of the program are being finalized.

According to PNP Director Bragais, tension among candidates are developing in some towns such as in Malinao and New Washington which deserve watching.

Gas Station

It is now clear. It is a gasoline station. This is the construction located at Corner A. Mabini Street and Roxas Avenue, Poblacion, Kalibo. What is not known is who owns it.

At the start of the construction, only a small notice was placed in a less conspicuous location within the construction site. It told the Bldg. Permit Number and date of approval.

While this construction project is a good indication of progressive Kalibo, it might be a hazard to the pupils and teachers of Kalibo Pilot Elementary School. It is a danger zone for people living nearby.

One of the pre-conditions in locating a gasoline station is the distance from a school. Is the gasoline station more than 50 meters away from the Kalibo Pilot Elementary School?

Across the gas station is the school. Who measured that distance between the school and the gas station? Is it more than 50 meters away? Anyway, a mathematician once said, "figure does not lie". The project owners and the approving officials are responsible. /MP

Pacquiao’s Victory for the Filipino

The days draw near. Pretty soon the Pacquiao – Clottey fight will take its toll. For most of the Filipinos, it is with great excitement, pride and without a shadow of doubt, "It’s gonna be Manny". I can’t wait for the fight.

Remembering Pacquiao’s victorious fights, Manny won it in amazingly calm manner. What a great performances! Those powerful punches that seemed instinctual but of course, a result of experiences, tedious training he painstakingly does as a professional fighter, talent and power.

Who won’t be proud to be a Filipino? The Philippines is a peaceful country and Filipinos are patient people. In every Pacquiao fight, Filipinos are waiting, shouting, cheering, as our boxing hero from General Santos City exchanging punches with his opponent. He delivers more and receives lesser. And when the challenger fell, the whole nation rejoices.

The boxing events that ended prematurely were spectacles that will forever remain etched in the memories of every Filipino glued on their television screens whether in their homes or in an improvised big screen at the park. Notwithstanding the commercials that ran longer than the main event itself.

What’s really significant in every Pacquiao’s victory, it at least unified our country. But sad to say, things went back automatically to how it used to be after every fight. People disunited, unsatiable and impatient with a government that is so insensitive and acting blindly to the miserable plight of the Filipinos.

The fight scene are played and even replayed over televisions until Manny would almost occupy the primetime news slot for weeks. Politicians are flocking around him in an attempt to take advantage of the media exposure basking in the glory of the champion boxer. After all, election is not too far away.

In the Province of Aklan, as in the rest of the world, the same historic scene was staged. Like all other fights that Pacquiao won, the Aklanons rejoiced because his victory serves as hope and inspiration, a confirmation that we are competitive and world class. That a great burning desires to conquer the world though is not easy but is possible.

Pacquiao’c victories make every Filipino rekindles the love and pride for the Philippines who are gradually deserting us. Victories also make us proud of our race as God-fearing but fearless, family oriented, and peace loving people.

Manny Pacquiao portrays the Filipino sense of loyalty and love of country. Pacquiao’s fights momentarily stops our busy lifestyle, postpones political bickerings, empties police blotter records, solves traffic problem, and causes the economy to surge for a few points.

If only Manny Pacquiao’s fight is staged everyday, Filipinos will realize that we are one nation worth fighting for. If only the Filipinos will understand that we don’t need to be a fighter like Manny Pacquiao to make a difference and change our country for the better the best way we know how. /MP

Political Maturity Defines Kalibo’s Tibyog Party


Picture above shows (l to r) Kalibo Mayoralty candidate Efren ‘EQ’ Fernandez - Handum It Kalibo, Vice Mayoralty candidate Noli Sodusta - Handum It Kalibo , and Mayoralty candidate Mark V. Quimpo - Tibyog Aklan.

Team Tibyog, Kalibo Chapter members were the guests to the weekly Kapehan on February 20, 2010 at Smokehauz Resto & Bar. The topic was "Kalibo Governance" headed by the tandem of Hon. Mark V. Quimpo for Mayor and Hon. Gregorio R. Malapad for Vice Mayor. They were backed up by SB candidates who are Ronald L. Marte, Edgar I. Aranas, Ariel O. Fernandez, Ronce M. Reyes, Mark C. Sy, Randy A. Rebaldo, George L. Quimpo, and Soviet Russia A. Dela Cruz.

Earlier, the "Pagbag-o" party headed by Ret. Gen. EQ Fernandez presented a seven minute video presentation about EQ’s checkered life and passionate love for Kalibo. The presentation over, EQ left to give way for Team Tibyog to present its version of governance.

Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino noted that as of that date, it was 79 days before the May 10 elections. That made it very significant that the electorate be given widest opportunity possible to know their candidates and their political platform. An empowered person is always educated, peaceful, and prosperous therefore to be vigorously pursued by all, said the former Vice Governor.

Team Tibyog’s vision is for a progressive, peaceful, and self reliant community inhabited by empowered citizenry with secured economic life. Power point presentation by Mayoralty candidate Mark V. Quimpo listed 10 priority agenda that are needed for Kalibo’s modernization. They are education, productivity for food security, health, environment, good and efficient governance, economic development, tourism, infrastructure, youth and sectoral welfare, and law and order.

The highest priority of Tibyog is education. This could be implemented by granting scholarships to deserving students in partnership with Gov. Carlito S. Marquez and Cong. Joeben T. Miraflores. Technical skills training to out of school youth shall be extended with the assistance of TESDA.

Food security and (poverty alleviation) shall be addressed through a program known as Food Always in the Home (FAITH). This involves planting of high value commercial crops, livestock, aquaculture, and mariculture. Liberal credit will be extended through financial institutions.

Health concerns will be addressed by strengthening municipal health services and facilities. Universal Philhealth coverage will be extended to depressed barangays also in partnership with Gov. Marquez and Cong. Miraflores’ health initiative.

On environment, Team Tibyog will implement an integrated environmental education and awareness program to target zero waste disposal. Plan is to relocate present dumping site where Material Recovery Facility (MRF) will be established. Priority shall be on conservation of coastal and inland resources through enforcement of fishery laws and establishment of more mangrove forests.

Economic development thrust is to encourage and support the formation of cooperatives and development of small and medium enterprises. It will adopt appropriate manpower development program for labor export market and train work force for domestic demand.

Tourism development shall be enhanced with modern facilities of Kalibo International airport as gateway to Boracay. It will support development of natural and man made tourist attractions in-cluding proposed Panay Railway connecting all four provinces.
Infra development covers the construction of Laguinbanua East/Mobo/Estancia/Tigayon bridge, improvement of Municipal Slaughterhouse, establishment of Wet Market with transport terminal to serve Estancia/Tigayon/Linabuan Norte growth corridor, upgrading of Kalibo Shopping Center into a four storey commercial center and circumferential road network linking riverine barangays to coastal roads.

Youth and Sectoral welfare include technical skills training mentioned earlier in education, gender sensitive service and institutionalized support for senior citizens.

On law and order, it is strict implementation of laws and ordinances by professionalized law enforcement agency.

Hon. Greg. Malapad appealed to voters and the media to support candidates with integrity and performance. The veteran alderman said that there is no need of choosing from other parties since Tibyog has the most credible and doable program of government.

On food security, data provided by Hon. Soviet Russia A. Dela Cruz stated that Kalibo has 781 hectares of irrigated rice land while 1,200 hectares are rainfed. Based on self-sufficiency analysis of 110 kilograms rice per capita consumption per year and a population of 70,000, surplus is equivalent to 2,246 kilograms or 45 cavans rice. Definitely, this is good as zero or crippling shortage three years from now if this is not properly addressed.

The Bureau of Agriculture Statistics data show that 200 hectares of prime agricultural land mostly irrigated areas in Aklan are converted by landowners into residential, commercial or industrial purposes yearly. Imple-menting watchdog is Department of Agrarian Reform but it is helpless in the face of rapid urbanization and expansion. Data of National Irrigation Administration reveal that more than P80,000 is expended per hectare for putting up irrigation infrastructure. Undoubtedly, the big loss to Kalibo’s food security is the 1.2 kilometer runway of Kalibo International Airport in Pook.

Ironically so far, nobody has yet been jailed for flagrant violation of the law. A paralyzing trend could be Sen. Manuel Villar’s real estate development company in Pavia, Iloilo where 12 hectares of irrigated rice land were converted into a subdivision.

Tibyog Aklan gives importance to education and health which are commendable. However, tangible revenue comes only from the one percent Special Education Fund of real estate tax which is intended for salaries/allowance of Day Care teachers, school supplies, and others. Obviously, the strategy to realize the above program hinges on subsidies of provincial Chief Executives. This can be an inherent sign of weakness and vulnerability which is counter productive.

The Kalibo Ati-Atihan Management Board could not have been under fire if financial transactions are transparent and above board. The disclosure of official financial statements based on standard operating procedures is not more than two months after Ati-Atihan event. Certainly if the report is released a year later, it has lost its intrinsic value.

Expectedly, adminis-tration candidates are very defensive to maintain its present status quo rather than the suggestion to place it under management of a private contractor. The reason behind the success of Dinagyang festival in Iloilo City is traced to innovative and creative ideas that attracted phenomenal growth of foreign and domestic tourists each year. Another example is Cebu’s Sinulog that annually attracts six million devotees and guests. Relevant question: What has happened to the Mother of Festivals that is the Kalibo Ati-Atihan?

Tibyog Aklan under Hon. Mark V. Quimpo has youthful idealism and pragmatism borne out by years of grueling legislative debate and committee hearing. Political maturity is an asset reserved for some people and he got lots of it. /MP

Bread & Butter Celebrates Silver Jubilee

Congressman Ruffy Biazon of Muntinlupa is the guest of honor of the Silver Jubilee celebration of Bread & Butter on February 20. He is shown above center flank by Chita Dela Cruz Heap (left) and Jeda Sale, an NVC student.

Hon. Rozzano Rufino "Ruffy" B. Biazon was the guest of honor and guest speaker during the 25th anniversary celebration of the Bread & Butter. Biazon is a congressman of Muntinlupa City.

The anniversary celebration was held on February 20. It started with a Thanksgiving Mass held early in the morning at St. Jude Thaddeus Parish, Andagao, Kalibo and the Anniversary Program in the evening held in Gov. Corazon L. Cabagnot Tourism and Training Center, Buswang Old, Kalibo.

However, during the day, the guest of honor and speaker arrived. Cong. Biazon met the Aklan media members in Roman Aguirre Bldg. Kalibo. He also met the Aklan youth in a dialogue at Hernani’s Mix & Match, Kalibo.

In the evening program, Dr. Cynthia Dela Cruz, Vice President of Bread & Butter welcomed the guests. A video presentation showing "Bread & Butter Since 1985" was made while guests were partaking dinner.

The Anniversary theme: "One Bread & Butter, One Family" was interpreted in a "Bread & Butter Extravaganza" contest. It consisted of four groups, all employees of Bread & Butter participated. Through their presentation, they portrayed the history of the company, its progress, and its products.

The group presentations over, Hon. Soviet A. Dela Cruz introduced the guest, Cong. Ruffy Biazon. His speech was followed by the presentation of loyalty awards and contests winners awards. Mr. Guidon I. Dela Cruz, president of Bread & Butter delivered his anniversary message.

The awardees are: Gold Loyalty – Victorio Icayan Igat, Harley Reprado Gonzales, Vilma Macahilig Sepsia, and Celestina Gerona Roselo.

Silver Loyalty – Bernadette Sarabia Iremedio, Jay De Juan Flaviano, Carlos Cerrada Tabigue, Elsa Gerona Igat, Nicolas Gilza Vigil, Floribel Melgarejo Bartolome, and Maria Lerma Bartolome Igat.

Bronze Loyalty are Ermelita D. Tumbagahan, Bonifacio D. Saturnino, Manuelito A. Mirano, Gina E. Isidro, Rowena G. Florida, Jabar T. Custodio, Cherry C. Custodio, Jhoeana D. Alcaraz, Johnny E. Julao, Janet C. Ilejay, Melvin I. Igat, Martin F. Igat, Merly R. Cahilig, Jennifer Z. Delos Santos, Vicente D. Deloria, Ma. Loisa L. Lasa, Eduardo A. Lasa, Libert C. Artiaga, Willy C. Villaflor, Gregorio G. Valenzuela, Joyce B. Tranco, Maria Marylen R. Roselo, Edwin A. Pelayo, Jonalyn T. Delos Santos, Bingchu S. Dela Cruz, Margie A. Dela Cruz, Maribel A. Bartolome, Mendel A. Tumbagahan, Larry L. Andal, Arnel M. Aguirre, Janesville S. Agreda, Richard Z. Zomil and Ma. Carmelita C. Israel. /MP

Libacao Candidates For May 2010 Election

The official candidates in Libacao, Aklan for the May 10, 2010 elections for Mayor, Vice Mayor, and Sangguniang Bayan members are as follows:

There are two candidates for Mayor who are Hon. Charito Inventado Navarosa – LK CMD; Edwin Ramos Inosanto – I.

There are three candidates for Vice Mayor who are Napoleon Nillasca Navarosa – PMP; Paterno Dolinog Turang, Jr. – LP; and Ramon Sison Zapata – LK CMD.

There are 23 candidates for the eight positions of SB members. They are Gualcon Mayuga Aguila – LP, Lea Lynette Teodosio Delos Reyes – LK CMD, Antonio Masagnay Esto – LK CMD, Giovanni Villorente Iguiz – LK CMD, Jose Jerome Villamil Legaspi – NP, Vincent Icamina Navarosa – LK CMD, Winston Patrimonio Navarosa – LP, Robert Zapico Navarette – LP, Bayani Zata Nemis – PMP, Pablito Vicente Orbista – PMP, Lilia Villorente Peralta – LK CMD, Edwin Zabala Ruiz, Jr. – LK CMD, Florentino Zorca Ruiz – PMP, Aizel Manares Villorente – LP, Jesus Aguila Villorente – PMP, Stephen Pelayo Ycay – PMP, Vecine Pelayo Ycay – LP, Roselo Napal Zambrona – LP, Am Salazar Zapatos – LP, Aniano Veric Zaspa – PMP, Tolomeo Navotas Zaulda, Sr. – PMP, Rodolfo Zaulda Zolina – LP, Alberto Zausa Zomil – PMP. /MP

Cheaper Meds Law Ends Pharma GiantsPrice Monopoly

The Cheaper Medicines Law made medicine price reduction a mandatory, not optional, program of the government and provided for shields against corruption of the regulatory process.

Senator Mar Roxas said Congress’ decision to reject the lobbying by Iloilo Rep. Ferjenel Biron for a new Drug Price Regulatory Board cut away a new layer of bureaucracy that, like other agencies involved in market and price regulation, would have been exposed to corruption and political pressure. 

According to Roxas, the Department of Health and the Office of the President has enough responsibility to determine what essential medicines must be subjected to price ceilings give little space, if any, for lobbying from multinational drug firms.
He pointed out that sufficient price regulation safeguards were written into the law to ensure that the DOH and the President do not abuse the powers vested on them. 

"The Senate and the House stood firm against the lobbying of Biron for the drug regulatory board because we saw it would make it easier to manipulate drug prices in the name of regulation," he said.

But Roxas said he believes Biron’s ‘concern’ about bringing down the prices of expensive medicines was all a show as it was in Biron’s interest to put in place a new agency that regulates the drug industry that could be influenced by him and other politicians. 

He noted that the Philippine Pharmawealth Inc. owned by Biron and his family was engaged in the selling and supply of cheap but substandard medicines to government agencies as shown by records of the Department of Health. 

In fact, Pharmawealth was suspended by the DOH from getting medicine supply contracts with government hospitals after it was found guilty of selling 500 ampules of methylergometrine maleate to the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital in Tagbilaran City, Bohol. That medicine when used led to the death of one (1) patient and forced doctors to put four others to undergo emergency medical operations. 
"The reason why the public does not believe his yarn of a regulatory board is because he and his Pharmawealth already has a record of selling supposedly cheap but sub-standard drugs," Roxas said.

Roxas said he was also saddened that while he was pushing hard for President Arroyo to use her powers to force pharmaceutical companies to lower their prices through a list of essential medicines to be placed under the maximum retail price (MRP) provision of the Cheaper Medicines Law, his critics like Biron and his fellow members of the pharmaceutical industry subjected Roxas to an intense black propaganda campaign without letup.

Roxas vowed that his political critics’ effort to subject him to black propaganda will not deter him from fulfilling his promise to lower prices of more essential medicines. 

"Under an Aquino-Roxas administration, my first and most important task is to do something to further lower prices of essential medicines," Roxas said. /MP

Response to Climate Change

(Editor’s Note: Speech of Hon. Lilian Quimpo Tirol on the opening program of the 62nd Foundation Day of Northwestern Visayan Colleges, Kalibo)

Hon. Tirol receiving Plaque of Appreciation after her speech from NVC president, Atty. Allen S. Quimpo and Dr. Reinalda I. Magdaluyo, Dean, Graduate School and College of Education.

Hon. Lilian Q. Tirol
Greetings! Our President, my brother, Atty. Allen S. Quimpo, the different College Deans and Dept. Heads, NVC Faculty, NVC King and Queen of Hearts, dear students, ladies and gentlemen…

Once again, our beloved institution, the Northwestern Visayan Colleges is celebrating its birthday, the college foundation day, we traditionally call "NVC College Festival". This is the time to give thanks to our God Almighty for all the blessings bestowed upon our 62-year old NVC, and to all of us, NVCnians. This is the time to be proud of all the successes that our school and all NVCnians have attained. This is the time to renew our commitment to our missions and visions, and our commitment to our community and the world.

This year’s theme: "The NVC Responding to the Challenge of Climate Change", speaks of roles and contributions in the protection of our environment. Mother Earth is growing old, is becoming fragile, and needs a lot of caring. Let us work hand in hand, in protecting her. This is our commitment. Through environmental awareness, we hope to leave for the future generation a better world to live in. We, not only celebrate our foundation day, we actually work and do something, in our own little ways to help preserve the environment.

For many years now, we have always been part of the development of the multi awarded mangrove project, the Bakhawan Eco Park. Our students, including foreign students have contributed their shares by planting trees and by making the Eco Park beautiful. We can, therefore, proudly say, we did our share. Let us continue doing this, and be proud of it.

Let us do more. Let us support projects and programs related to the conservation of the environment. For example, the proper disposal of garbage; not to cut trees or use wood for fire. Instead, use other biomass; not to burn leaves but instead process them into fertilizers, and a lot more that each and everyone of us can actually do. If all of us do small things, taken together, these could add up to become big ones.

The NVC is a venue for educating our people of the perils of degradation of the environment. Let us be the models so that when you, students, go home to your homes, you will be passing it on to your brothers, sisters, mother, father, neighbors.
Our community needs each and everyone of you with this commitment.

As your public servant, I promise to do my share not only in the Education of our youth, but also in this commitment for the preservation of the environment.

As your public servant, I will work for the partnership of public and private initiatives for a better Aklan. Yes, I shall be extending the volume of our scholarship programs for the poor and deserving students. NVC, through the years, have produced thousands of graduates who have enjoyed scholarships and discounts. I will be there for you and your families so that you will enjoy affordable but good quality education. I will be there to place the importance of education as the basic core of development.
In addition, I will be there to encourage and help assist programs and projects related to the preservation of the environment.

Let us make our NVC community stronger as ever. I extend my warmest congratulation to all those who have contributed in the success of this year’s NVC College Festival.

Mabuhay NVC, more power! /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Tita Linda Belayro
Prinsesa It Mga Sawa
Bata pa si Perlina hay maila-on eon imaw mag pamantaw it mga sawa. Nag umpisa raya ko gabii ngato kat habugtawan ko anang ina ro isaeang ka maisot nga sawa nga naga eokon sa kilid ko anang onga nga naga katoeog. Bu-ot kunta nga patyon ko anang ina ro sawa ogaling habugtaw ag nagtangis ro eapsag. Ro tangis hay limog it matsa naga pakitlo-oy nga indi pag sakiton ro sawa. Umpisa kato, nangin ordinaryo eon lang nga taean-awon sa baeay ni Perlina ro mga sawa.

Isaeang adlaw, may matsa naga toeod kay Perlina nga mag adto imaw sa kagueangan. Nagpanaw man gid ngani imaw. Nag sueonod kana ro kahampang nga mga sawa. Pag-abot sa tunga it kagueangan, may nag-pakita kana nga isaeang ka mabahoe man nga sawa. Golpe nga nagbaylo ro anang dagway ag nangin tawo. Hakibot si Perlina. Nagpakilaea imaw nga reyna it mga sawa ag naga usoy sanda it prinsesa bilang kabueos sa namatay nga prinsesa nga natum-bahan it mabahoe nga kahoy ko nagtaliwan gid lang nga bagyo.

Guin baton ni Perlina ro pagiging prinsesa it mga sawa. Guin taw-an imaw it puting bato nga may gahum ag sarang maka kambyo sa pagiging sawa kon gustuhon nana. Dugang pa karon, may ana pa nga kinaadman nga mabaton bilang taga bantay ko kagueangan.

Kon bilog ro buean, naga pamasyar sa kagueangan si Perlina agod tan-awon kon may problema ro mga sawa.

Isaeang adlaw, may nag-abot nga mga tawo sa kagueangan ag may daeang pang potoe it kahoy. May mga wasay ag eagari sanda. Sanda ra ro perming naga pamukan it mga kahoy nga owa it naga kaigong permiso halin sa gobyerno. Nag report ro mga sawa kay Perlina. Sa owa magbuhay, nag baylo ro dagway ni Perlina. Dali-dali man imaw nga nag adto sa kagueangan. Sa anang mando, tanan ro sawa sa kagueangan hay nag aeabot ag guin pang angkit ro mga tawo, samtang guin pang paeopotan ro mga igdaeapat sa pagpukan it kahoy agod indi maka hueag. Nagpinamaril ro mga tawo ogaling owa guid nanda hapatay ro mga sawa. Owa sanda it mahimo kundi nagpaeagyo ag owa eon magbalik balik.

Tag sa kagueangan si Perlina, guin usoy ko anang ina imaw. Owa man magbuhay, nag abot si Perlina. Guin suguid nana ro tanan hanungod sa anang pagkatawo. Nalipay ag nasubo ro anang ina, ogaling ko ulihi, nalipay man gid imaw tongod mabahoe ro naibulig ni Perlina sa anang isig ka-tawo. /MP

Brave, Snappy MAP of Malay

by Eric Laserna

Emerson F. Taunan

All passersby, both foreign and local tourists are attracted by this man who is wearing rings in all of his fingers. He wears over all upper black uniform combined with black maong pants. He carries big medallion at his chest. He braves all kinds of weather by night and day, stands by the middle of the street poured by rain. Sometimes, he baths in the intense heat of the sun. He directs the flow of traffic at the very busy street in Brgy. Caticlan, a jump off point going to Boracay, Malay, paving away traffic violators for a smooth flow of vehicles around the busy Jetty Port of Caticlan.

At the first glimpse, you can say that this Municipal Auxiliary Police (MAP) is a Mexican cowboy but, lo, he is Emerson Flores Taunan, a brave, snappy Chief of Municipal Auxiliary Police of Malay, Aklan. His group is responsible for the implementation of Malay Sea and Land Ordinance.
During my first encounter with Emerson sometimes in 2008, we have a heated argument over my car which I parked in front of Andok’s Restaurant in Caticlan. I thought he was a cop with his uniform printed with a big letter "POLICE". I was not able to read the word "Auxiliary" because it was partly covered with his sleeveless black jacket. We almost figured in a brawling fight if not for the intervention of my friend who happened to be his uncle, Emerson’s godfather. He introduced Emerson to me. That was the start when I found myself curious about the personality of Emerson.

He was a Civilian Home Defense Force (CHDF) member of Malay who fought leftist rebels alongside with the Philippine Constabulary in the late 1980’s. When the CHDF was dissolved, he joined the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) in the early 1990 as was assigned in Malay and Buruanga, the stronghold of the New People’s Army. He was chosen as the sharpshooter of their 6th CAA CAFGU Batch and elected as their overall president in the municipalities of Nabas, Malay, and Buruanga.

Emerson, being the eldest sibling of Mr. Gemeniano F. Taunan, former Municipal Treasurer of Malay and Fausta Flores Taunan, is a passer of NAPOLCOM examination. But did not pursue his ambition to be a policeman. Instead, he trained with the Philippine Marines, but went AWOL for unknown reason. He was and eventually dismissed from the service. With his experience and training in the Marines, he served as bodyguard of high ranking police and military officials for several times.

It was in 1987 in Caticlan, Malay, Aklan when he save the life of Lt. Audie E. Arroyo, Chief of Police of Malay (now a PSSUPT Audie Arroyo) from an assassin. If not for Emerson’s quick response the said police officer should have been gunned down by a killer. It was also in 1987 when Emerson accomplished big. He single handedly arrested an Italian tourist named Fernando Alissandria in Boracay who attempted to smuggle in a 700 kilograms of Marijuana (Expat Philippines, Newspaper).

When asked by this writer if what is his biggest achievement in his life, he just smiled and said, "a child". When asked again of what he wants in his life, he only smiled and said, "a loving wife and a little wine every night".

I consider Emerson as a pretty boy who never gives up. Handsome as he is, he is a deadly guy who never surrender to the battle of life. /MP

Dry Spell Induces Heat Stress On Livestock

by Gloria Lourdes S. Parreñas
Iloilo (Feruary 17, 2010)— As the El Niño phenomenon progresses and the temperature rises, livestock farmers should be mindful of stress the heat can put on animals. According to Director Larry Nacionales of the Department of Agriculture 6, farmers should not take this dry spell lightly but take strategic actions and start bracing themselves for the unexpected during the next two to three months. The phenomenon is expected to last until July of this year.

In Western Visayas, the livestock sector established that keeping livestock especially cattle and other domestic animals comfortable under hot conditions is important to maintaining animal health. The heat can impact any animal, but dairy cattle are more susceptible because of their high metabolism.

Studies conducted by the livestock sector show that dairy cattle are already generating heat for milk production and additional environmental heat can just make them more stressful. Heat stress can affect health, fertility, and milk production, which eventually affects the yield of our livestock producers.

In addition, stress can increase a cow’s susceptibility to diseases like digestive disorders, and can also create fertility problems, thus, it is difficult to get heat-stressed cows pregnant or keep them pregnant.

The agriculture sector as well as attached bureaus and agencies in the region are advised to take adaptive measures should the situation becomes more severe. Signs of heat stress include rapid respiration, laying or standing with mouths open with or without hanging tongues, and excessive salivation.

For livestock farmers, enough water must be stored in their pens so that animals do not have to go far to get access to drinking water. Farmers should also make sure that the place where the animals stay is comfortable enough and well-ventilated.

Livestock producers can help minimize heat stress on cattle by following the recommended tips provided by the DA. Farmers are encouraged to seek immediate assistance at the nearest agriculture offices in their respective areas whether it is for crops or livestock. 

(Much more the DA personnel must visit the farmers in their farms to provide assistance. They are paid for the service.) /MP

Army Holds Security Awareness Symposium

Camp Jismundo, Libas, Banga, Aklan: The Army’s 12TH Infantry (LICK "EM") Battalion headed by LTC HENRY G DAR INF (GSC) PA Commanding Officer and spearheaded by 1LT RICARDO C. VILLARUEL III (INF) PA Civil Military Operations Officer conducted an INTERNAL SECURITY AWARENESS SYMPOSIUM (ISAS) at CALIZO NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL (CNHS) last 15 February 2010. With the Theme of "KABATAAN KAAGAPAY TUNGO SA KAPAYAPAAN AT KAUNLARAN", the symposium was held in cooperation with the Personnel of 601st (AKLAN) CDC, ARESCOM, and Civil Military Operation Unit, Civil Military Operation Group and Balete Police Community Relation Officer.

Mr. LINO S. QUISOTE, Head Teacher of Calizo National High School opened formally the activity. The presentation of different lecturers on the Anti-Drugs Campaign was discussed by PO3 Panganonong of Balete PNP: Captain Wilfredo J. Nicolas (RES) PA discussed the ROTC PROGRAM of the 601st AKLAN Community Defense Center, ARESCOM; SSG GLEN I. ZOLINA (Inf) PA of CMOU, CMOG, PA presented KNOWING THE ENEMY and EVILS OF COMMUNISM. The activity was attended by 330 students.

The Internal Security Awareness Symposium aims to enlighten the student and youth sectors the Evils of communism and the Lies of the Communist organization and to draw away from membership to militant organizations or the New People’s Army. /MP

Villar-Bolante Coalition In Capiz Shows Dark Side of NP Campaign

The coalition between NP bet Manny Villar and alleged fertilizer fund scam mastermind Jocjoc Bolante in Capiz clearly shows the transactional nature of the billionaire-politician’s campaign to win the presidency, Rep. Jun Abaya of Cavite and LP secretary general said this week.

"The denials that this coalition only applies to the level of the mayors is pure garbage. I don’t think the people will fall for this slimy excuse," Abaya said.

"This reveals the dark side of a campaign that does not hesitate to spend over a billion pesos for advertising alone. What deals have been cut with people like Bolante, only God and Sen. Villar know," Abaya said.

The LP leader was responding to the declaration of open support made by Bolante’s Ugyon Kita Capiz (Unite Capiz) during a meeting with Villar in Balete, Aklan where the NP bet had a campaign sortie. (Villar was in Aklan last week.)

Bolante is running for Capiz governor under the Ugyon banner against incumbent reelectionist Governor Victor Tanco Sr., who is running under the LP banner.

Villar has denied talking to Bolante and even suggested that the former agriculture undersecretary may not support him.

"Does Sen. Villar really think that he and Bolante can fool the people all the time? I shudder to think what excuses he will make to keep the truth from seeing the light of day if he becomes president," Abaya said.

Bolante was accused of diverting some P728 million in so-called fertilizer funds that were supposed to benefit poor farmers but went instead to local government officials who were suspected of using the funds to back the reelection bid of Ms. Arroyo in the 2004 presidential elections. He is never formally charged in court. /MP

Absence of Electricity In Akelco

There will be a black out in the whole Municipality of Altavas and Municipality of Batan on Sunday, February 28 from 8:00 o’clock in the morning to 5:00 in the afternoon.

Other municipalities to be affected are Lezo, Malinao, Numancia, Makato, Kalibo, Nabas, Pandan, and Libertad Antique. Practically all municipalities of Aklan will experience no electric power like Banga, Balete, Libacao, and Madalag.
According to Akelco Public Information Officer, Rence Necesito-Oczon, Akelco will energize the NGCP’s 69 KV Panit-an Kalibo – Nabas – Culasi transmission line. It will also conduct a check up/repair of PCB 51 PA4 at Panit-an substation due to low level of oil; repair rotten cross arms and corroded insulators; and temporary by-pass of 69 KV line to facilitate the transfer of battery bank and charger at Nabas.

During the power interruption, some areas of Kalibo will experience the availability of electricity. /MP

PMA Class 1980 Adopts Aquino Sisters As ‘Mistahs’

The Aquino Sisters, BALSY, PINKY, VIEL and KRIS

The Mapitagan Class of 1980 of the elite Philippine Military Academy (PMA) has adopted the four Aquino sisters – Ballsy, Pinky, Viel, and Kris — as honorary members or mistahs to honor the late President Corazon Aquino.

"It was a decision of the whole class," Mapitagan Class president and PNP Chief Superintendent Victorio Caragan said.

Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, the eldest among the four, was inducted ahead of the siblings on February 15 at the office of the Public Safety Mutual Benefit Fund in Quezon City.

Pinky Aquino-Abellada was inducted on February 19 at the Baguio Country Club while Viel Aquino-Dee and Kris Aquino-Yap will officially become mistahs of the Mapitagan Class after this month’s celebration of the 24th anniversary of the People Power revolution.

In her acceptance speech, Pinky Aquino acknowledged and thanked the members of the Mapitagan Class who played key roles in the wake and funeral of the democracy icon last August.

"That was one of the saddest days of our lives but seeing all of you at the funeral services… made our goodbye to mom really, really, special," she told her mistahs, their wives and children, and other family members.
Members of Class 1980 who were detailed for the duration of the wake of former President Aquino were Police Chief Superintendents Leo Kison, Roque Ramirez, Ager Ontog, Jufel Adriatico and Police Senior Superintendent Silvestre Primero. 

Mapitagan Class president and Police Chief Superintendent Vic Caragan, Police Chief Superintendents Benjardi Mantele, Danny Siongco, Nick Bartolome, and Herold Ubalde served as pall bearers.
"We really really thank you for considering to adopt us. Ballsy told me she had a very memorable evening with you last Monday. We will not forget this honor you have given us,"she said.

Pinky Aquino recalled that she became very scared of the military when her father, the late Sen.Benigno Aquino, was jailed by President Marcos.

But her attitude changed when loyal officers and soldiers defended with their lives President Cory and her family in several coup attempts during her presidency.

"We really owe so much to the military. You really saved us from all of those coup attempts. We are alive today because of our dear friends in the military. We have a very special place in our hearts for the members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG)," she said.

Caragan said Mapitagan has a total number of 111 members composed of 107 graduates from PMA and 4 graduates of foreign service academies. Of the 111, 11 died during service (ambush, encounter, missions in Mindanao). Of the current 60 active members, 16 are in the PNP, 8 in the Army, 4 in the Navy, 4 in the Air Force, and 1 in the Marines. /MP

Bermejo Speech Laboratory Turn-over To CNHS

by Benny Cortes
Roxas City Mayor Vicente B. Bermejo turned over the speech laboratory he initiated and named after him to the Capiz National High School (CNHS) in simple ceremony held at the Library of the said school last month.

"The 40-cubicle speech laboratory in one of the classrooms of the school is one of its kind in the province of Capiz, said Mayor Bermejo. This lab is one of two speech laboratories funded by the city government for P1.5 million from the school board fund of the city. Another one will be installed at the President Manuel Roxas Memorial School – South, Roxas City, the mayor added.

Mr. Nestor dela Cruz, CNHS principal, received the speech lab in behalf of the school. He thanked Mayor Bermejo by saying that this lab would enhance the speech learning capacities of students of this school.

Mayor Bermejo pointed out that with this project, students will be able to acquire the skills and know how, and to develop and improve better their speech ability. The city government has been giving aid of P500,000 every year although the school is nationally funded one, Bermejo added.

The CNHS is the premier high school in the province of Capiz where most of the prominent Capiznons are products of the school.

Among those present during the turn-over rites were former DepEd Asst. Regional Director Elnora A. Barrios, Provincial Schools Division Supt. Eveleth C. Gamboa, city officials, school teachers, students and local media practitioners.

Roxas City Jobs Fair

Among the various activities lined up during the Sinadya sa Halaran celebration in Roxas City was the 5th Roxas City Jobs Fair. It was held at the Dinggoy Roxas Civic Center, Roxas City jointly sponsored by Mayor Vicente B. Bermejo, the Roxas City Government and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in cooperation with CAPTESA, Department of Labor and Em-ployment, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Capiz PESO Federation.

According to Milagros I. Barquin, Roxas City PESO manager, many applicants applied for various jobs such as for international employment – skilled workers (carpenters, welders, plumbers, hotel staff, electricians) for Guam, Canada, Kuwait, Dubai, New Zealand, Australia, Medical and Teaching professions for USA, Canada, and Middle East, Security Guards for Macau, Domestic Helpers for Singapore, Hongkong, Cyprus, and Middle East and others.

For local employment were call centers agents, Service Crew, Management Trainees, Security Guards, Hotel Staff, and Sales Representatives.

Those accredited POEA Recruitment agencies like Manorata International Manpower Agency, MY International Manpower Corp., Concord International Human Resource Corporation, STD Overseas Manpower Employment Corporation, Active Works, Inc., Greenfields International Manpower Services, Inc. participated in Jobs Fair.

According to Barquin, the holding of these jobs fair is Halad ni Mayor Vicente B. Bermejo: Trabaho para sa mga Capiceño. /MP


NVC Celebrates 62nd College and Foundation Day

NVC Beauties who are from (l to r) Jessa R. Inostro - 2nd runner up, Rezie M. Lucerio - 1st runner up, Lyka S. Villanueva - Queen of Hearts and Carlo Ken Villanueva - King of Hearts. They are viewing the ROTC parade and review in their honors.

Hon. Mark Vega Quimpo at left delivering his speech during the program and playground demonstration in connection with the 62nd College and Foundation Day held at Pastrana Park, Poblacion, Kalibo in the afternoon of Friday, February 26, 2010.

NVC ROTC parade and review in honor of the King and Queen of Hearts and College and Foundation Day.

Pre-school, Grades I and II pupils dancing the Magtanim di Biro during the 62nd College and Foundation Day of NVC held at Pastrana Park, Poblacion, Kalibo on Friday afternoon, February 26.

The 62nd College and Foundation Day of the Northwestern Visayan Colleges opened with a Thanksgiving Mass held at CSQ Gym, Estancia, Kalibo in the morning of Friday, February 26. This was followed with the opening program with Hon. Lilian Q. Tirol as guest speaker.

Her speech was about her view on Climate Change. Expounding on "The NVC Responding To The Challenges of Climate Change", she urged the NVC community to participate in the mitigation of the damages that climate change may bring to us.
After the program, Larong Pinoy followed.

In the afternoon, there was a parade and review of the NVC ROTC Unit in honor of the guest speaker, Hon. Mark Vega Quimpo, Senior Member, Sangguniang Bayan of Kalibo.

Hon. Quimpo was introduced by Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente as guest of honor and speaker. His speech was followed by Playground Demonstration featuring Magtanim di Biro, Abaruray, Kasadyahan, and Tiksiliw.

Atty. Plaridel M. Morania delivered the words of welcome while Ms. Rebecca T. Barrios was the lady dean of ceremony. /MP

Sunday, February 21, 2010


The Need To Redistribute
Hacienda Luisita
Liberal Party standard bearer Noynoy Aquino’s initiative to redistribute Hacienda Luisita will put a closure to an issue that has been used by partisans of his main political rival to demonize him and his family, his spokesperson said.

"To say that this is a recycled line adopted from President Cory’s 1986 campaign against Marcos is stretching the often repeated lie too far," said lawyer Edwin Lacierda.

"The fact that Sen. Aquino has now decided to honestly declare his plans on agrarian reform and Hacienda Luisita is proof of his resolve to settle this once and for all," he said.

Lacierda also belied claims by allies of Sen. Manny Villar that President Cory exempted the family-owned sugar estate from the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL).

On the contrary, he said that President Cory expanded the agrarian reform program to include land planted to coconut and sugarcane under CARL.

This was way beyond the scope of the land reform program launched by her two predecessors, Diosdado Macapagal and Ferdinand Marcos, who limited coverage to rice and corn lands only.

"The truth is (former) President Cory acted against the very interest of her family and class, and yet she is being attacked for doing so by those who benefited most from the restoration of democracy in 1986," Lacierda said.

He also said the records will show that the stock distribution option was one of the ways of re-distribution under CARL and more than 90 percent of the farm workers of Hacienda Luisita approved of the proposal in a referendum.

"There is a process that needs to be followed. Sen. Noynoy will have to be judged by history on the basis of the promises that he made on the first day of this presidential campaign," Lacierda said.

"We challenge Sen. Villar to declare his position on agrarian reform and tell us exactly what his deal is with his supporters in the Left," he said.

Why Wait For Five Years?

Why wait for five years to redistribute Hacienda Luisita? Is the redistribution of that huge tract of land a pre-condition for Noynoy Aquino’s election as president of the Philippines?

Is Sen. Aquino asking the Filipinos to elect him president of the Philippines so that he will redistribute Hacienda Luisita? Sen. Aquino can start the first step to redistribute that land in San Miguel, Tarlac now.

It must be recalled that the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) was established to provide the financial needs of the agrarian reform program beneficiaries under RA 3844, Agrarian Reform Law. When Cory was president, LBP was converted into a commercial bank.

Until the end of 1985, the farmers were enjoying interest free loans for rice and corn production under the supervised credit program. When Cory became president that was stopped.

Simply stated, former president Corazon Aquino deprived the Filipino farmers of financial help and adversely affected agrarian reform implementation.

For one thing, will Sen. Aquino return to the coconut farmers the more than P100 billion coconut levy fund being hoarded, used, and enjoyed by his close relative?

By all means, let us elect Noynoy to the presidency if he redistributes Hacienda Luisita to the tenants now, repays to the coconut farmers the coco levy fund, and provides appropriate assistance to farmers to increase agricultural production and net income. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente
Roxas Twits Bolante
Senator Mar Roxas asked former Undersecretary of Agriculture Jocelyn "Joc Joc" Bolante to stop covering up for the fertilizer scam. "Bolante should now stop covering up for his and his bosses’ role and complicity in the P728 million fertilizer funds suspected to have been diverted to (the) 2004 campaign kitty of (Mrs.) Arroyo and her allies", said Sen. Roxas.

According to Roxas, Joc Joc’s options are getting fewer. Evidence is piling up that he is just inventing his alibi…If I was Joc Joc, I’d tell the truth now, admit everything he knows, and spills the real brains behind it".

Roxas warned the former Agriculture Undersecretary that he could be arrested and detained anew if he continued to be elusive and if he sticks to his fabricated story.

Ms. Maritess Aytona, the alleged Bolante "runner" has surrendered herself to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee investigating the multi million peso fertilizer fund diversion anomaly. Moreover, a committee witness: Jose Barredo had testified that Aytona who is alleged to report directly to Bolante and who was used by Bolante as conduit with Barredo for recipients of the fertilizer funds.

Bolante will do great honors to himself, his family, and to the Filipinos especially the farmers for whom the fertilizes were intended for if he told the truth, admitted the irregularities in the fertilizer project. His truth will be a great valentine gift to the Filipinos.

Mr. Bolante, according to reports, is now a strong contender for the position of the Provincial Governor of Capiz in the May 10, 2010 local election.

Japanese Government Turns Over Fertilizers

In November 2009, the Japanese government turned over to the Government of the Philippines a total 26,135 metric tons of ammonium sulfate fertilizers. That quantity was valued at 480 million yen. which is equivalent to P220 million, a huge amount of money.

The turn over ceremony was held at the Port of Iloilo, Iloilo City. Japanese Ambassador to the Philippine, His Excellency Makoto Katsura, First Secretary of Agriculture Takehiko Sakota and Third Secretary Shigehiro Matsuda led in the turn over ceremony on the Japanese part. Their Philippine counterparts who received the goods were DA Under-secretary Salvador Salacup, NAFC Deputy Executive Director Maria Luz A. Enriquez and city and provincial officials of Iloilo.

Mitsubishi Corporation which won the supply tender held in Japan is the procurement management agent.

The 2nd fertilizer shipment arrived in Iloilo City on October 2, 2009. It consisted of four (4) shipments. The first shipment was delivered in Davao City on Sept. 9, 2009, and the third and fourth shipments were delivered in Subic in Nov. and December 2009.

The fertilizers are intended for the use of Filipino rice farmers who are using certified and good seeds in areas covered by the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (Rice Program) in Regions 2,3,6,10,and 11.

Five months after the first shipment in Davao, and four months after the second shipment in Iloilo City, there is no announcement. Where are these 480 million yen worth of fertilizer?

The DA officials announced they received it, but until today, no announcement of the whereabouts of the fertilizers and who received it.

The people has the right to know how did the DA distribute the fertilizer.

Aklan is in Region 6 which is one of the priorities for the application of said fertilizer. The DA officials must inform the people what did they do with that Japanese fertilizer. /MP

Rationalizing The Use of Irrigation Water Aklan Is Moderately Vulnerable to El Niño

Picture taken on Thursday morning, February 18 shows the Aklan River almost empty of water. This is a portion between Bakhaw Sur and Bakhaw Norte.

The government is rationalizing the use of irrigation water by scheduling their use in farming communities as part of the conservation measures it is currently implementing to ease the impact of the El Niño dry spell agriculture and fisheries sectors.
Undersecretary Bernie Fondevilla of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said that while water in irrigation facilities and dams remain adequate, it is better to conserve this precious commodity while the country is experiencing a moderate El Nino attack.
Citing the assessment by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Fondevilla said in media interviews that while the latest onslaught of El Niño appears to be mild or moderate, it could be longer than usual, though, and could possibly last till July instead of only in May or June.

"We are rationalizing the use of irrigation water but that doesn’t mean that it is not enough," Fondevilla said. "Water supply remains adequate for our farms and we are just resorting to conservation in the face of a PAGASA-forecasted prolonged dry spell this year. So what we will do is to provide our farmers with just enough water that they need and schedule its release so that we wouldn’t waste water in irrigating their croplands. The DA will coordinate with local government units (LGUs) so it can maximize the use of irrigation water by scheduling or synchro-nizing its release in El Niño-affected farms," he said.

"Water conservation measures should be implemented even beyond El Niño’s onslaught as part of the government’s long-term measures to ensure the adequate supply of water to the farms," he stressed.

"The DA, for one, is now studying a plan to place concrete linings in irrigation canals to prevent water seepage," he added. The DA is realigning P1.2 billion from its regular budget this year to bankroll a slew of El Niño mitigation measures.

On top of rationalizing the release of irrigation water, the other mitigation measures include cloud seeding operations over watershed areas; provision of pumps, engine sets, fishcages, vegetable seeds; building small scale irrigation facilities; and alternative livelihood assistance.

Of this amount, the DA is carrying out P570 million worth of intervention measures for the palay sector, according to Fondevilla.

Under its 2010 El Niño Mitigation Program, the DA will set aside P613.7 million to carry out intervention programs for the corn subsector; another P411 million for high value commercial crops (HVCC); and P117.4 million more for fisheries.

As early as December last year, the DA created its own task force to carry out programs to raise crop production along with farmers’ incomes in the face of the then-looming El Niño attack.

This DA task force is focusing in mitigation efforts on 23 "highly vulnerable" areas and 24 "moderately vulnerable" areas in the country.

The highly vulnerable areas are Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, La Union, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Aurora , Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Cavite, Rizal, Occidental Mindoro, Palawan, Capiz, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Zamboanga City, Sarangani, and South Cotabato.

As for the "moderately vulnerable" areas, these are Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Mt Province, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Romblon, Sorsogon, Aklan, Antique, Bohol, Samar, Zamboanga Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga Sur, Bukidnon, Davao Oriental, Davao Sur and Davao City.

Fondevilla said that based on studies made by the DA, a total of 453,204 hectares of land planted to palay, 227,843 hectares of corn areas and 14,160 hectares in the fisheries sector are threatened by a prolonged El Niño attack.

The total production losses under a mild El Niño scenario could reach P8.09 billion and P20.46 billion under a severe dry spell, Fondevilla estimated.

Under a mild El Niño, he said the DA estimates losses of 264,940 metric tons of rice worth close to P4 billion and 174,224 metric tons of corn valued at P2.26 billion.

The fisheries subsector could lose 21,181 metric tons of catch worth P1.27 billion, he said, while losses in the HVCC sector could reach 3.17 million metric tons valued at P583 million under a mild El Niño attack.

A severe dry spell could lead to losses of 816,372 metric tons of rice worth P12.24 billion;440,429 metric tons of corn worth P5.2 billion; 42,362 metric tons of marine catch worth P2.54 billion; and 3.08 million metric tons of HVCCs worth 443 million. /MP

Integrity and Excellence Mark Kalibo Governance


Picture shows former Kalibo Vice Mayor William Lachica explaining his program of government in case he wins in the May 10, 2010 local election as Mayor of Kalibo. Others in the picture are (l to r) Robert Mejes for Vice Mayor, Jun Beltran for Mayor, Lachica, and Hon. Madeline Regalado for Vice Mayor.

"Kalibo Governance" is the topic of the weekly Kapehan on February 13, 2010 at Smokehauz Resto & Bar. The guests included candidates Pablo C. Beltran, Jr. and Roberto A. Mejes (Independent) running for Mayor and Vice Mayor respectively. From the Bigkis Pinoy are former Vice Mayor William Lachica and SB member Madeline A. Regalado seeking the posts of Mayor and Vice Mayor respectively. Also present are Andrewlini D. Sualog, an independent SB candidate.

Quest to the top of the leadership pyramid begins before the local campaign period and members of the tri-media grill candidates of their platform of government. The final decision rests upon the 43,020 registered voters of Kalibo.

Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente said that politics is the art and science of governance. Managing people can be challenging since they have different needs and interest. However, the principle involved is to seek the common ground that benefits the big majority.

Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino quoted the Supreme Court decision on the case Perez vs Sullon, 40 Official Gazette, third suppl. 256 as follows: "As long as government is an end to be achieved and safeguarded, suffrage, whatever may be the modality and form devised, must continue to be the means by which the great reservoir of power must be emptied into the receptacular agencies wrought 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 the established authority."

Mr. William Lachica has a long experience in public office. He started as Brgy. Captain of Andagao, elected SB member and later Vice Mayor of Kalibo. His latest position is with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

He said that his basic mission is to create a progressive and peaceful environment necessary for the growth of business and industry. For a growing metropolis, he plans to undertake urgent projects namely: a) Dumping site at Bakhao Sur long an environmental health hazard to be relocated to a six hectares area in Balete; b) Health services – provide primary health care in all barangay health centers. Indigent families shall be given access to free consultation and medical drugs; c) Tricycle franchise issuance – authority to regulate and issue TC franchise must be taken over by the SB; d) Drainage system – proper funding of the master plan to improve sewerage and sanitation; and d) Street lighting installation/improvement of street lights to minimize traffic accidents and crimes. It can also promote healthy night life such as a stroll in the park.

Engr. Jun Beltran is one time seaman now successful businessman. He said that his foray into politics is borne out of his sincere desire to serve public interest. He outlined his program of government as follows: a) Health – primary health care, b) Education – full support of education program from pre-school to post graduate, c) Employment – oppor-tunities for being employed in business and industry must be offered in Kalibo rather than abroad, d) Infra development – street lighting, sewerage system, and river flood control, e) Tourism – scenic tourism spots and Ati-Atihan, f.) Peace and Order – Police visibility and strengthening of Brgy. Lupong Tagapamayapa, and g) sports development – Brgy. sportsfest.

Hon. Regalado is a teacher by profession, married to a businessman, and SB member from 2004 up to present. Her legislative agenda is closely tied up with that of Mr. Lachica. Confident and assertive, she makes no idle talk about corruption in public office saying that it’s not her cup of tea. Ask whether to cooperate with an executive coming from another party as a result of the election, she immediately responded yes.

Mr. Mejes has a BSC title and Master in Public Administration. He had a stint with the Department of Agriculture, Committee Chairman of Lupong Tagapamayapa and Coordinator, Urban Poor in Oyo Torong. He bared that his interest in public service is towards uplifting the poor to become economically stable, educated, and productive.
RA 9003 or Ecological Waste Management Act has been a nagging issue with the Sangguniang Bayan of Kalibo since the passage of the law in 2000.

The 2.7 hectares dumping site at Bakhao Sur is declared environmentally hazardous by DENR five years ago. Typhoon Frank simply expedited the process in 2008. It is noteworthy that a possible relocation site in Balete could be negotiated and a sanitary landfill could be constructed. Acquisition cost will be P3 million while developmen is P20 million.

Observance of common poster area incorporated in the Omnibus Election Code must be respected and obeyed by everyone concerned. With February 9 as the start of election campaign for national elective positions, LGU Kalibo and Comelec do not yet have common poster areas for all campaign ads. It is gratifying to note that all political parties will cooperate in this regard.

Minors in conflict with the law (less than 1 year old) have frequent brashes with the laws that need to be corrected. RA 9343 prohibits incarceration, but in some cases authorities recommend rehabilitation. According to SP Secretary Odon S. Bandiola, there is pending resolution for the establishment of Provincial Center for Youth Offenders. Objective shall be focused on learning livelihood skills, values formation, and citizenship training.

On the issue of corruption, it is noteworthy that all candidates disdain the mere shadow of the word. "Public office is a public trust. We are for accountability and transparency. For me, there is no such thing as payback since what I do is based on goodwill." Above are too good to be true unless proven otherwise. We sincerely wish all elective officials to be clothed with integrity and excellence in our path toward nation building. At least we could make a difference not only for now but in the succeeding generations.

Integrity and excellence are the hallmarks in good governance. /MP

Gov. Marquez Is NVC Foundation Day Guest

Ms. Lyka Villanueva
NVC Sweetheart Queen

"The NVC responding to the challenges of climate change" is the theme of the 62nd College and Foundation day of the Northwestern Visayan Colleges (NVC), Kalibo, Aklan on February 26-27, 2010.

According to NVC president, Atty. Allen S. Quimpo, several activities are lined up for the celebration. On February 26, the activities will start with a Diana, followed by Thanksgiving Mass at 8:00 in the morning at CSQ Gymnasium. The Holy Mass over, Opening Program will follow with Hon. Lilian Quimpo Tirol as guest speaker. There will also be "Larong Pinoy".

The afternoon program will start with a parade from the NVC Administration building, going around Poblacion, Kalibo to Pastrana Park where anniversary Program is scheduled.

Hon. Mark Vega Quimpo will be the guest speaker. After his speech, NVC president Atty. Allen S. Quimpo will present Plaque of Appreciation. He will also give a message.

The day one activities will close with Play-ground Demonstration.

Pre-School and Grades I & II classes will demonstrate "Magtanim Di Biro", Grades III, IV, and VI classes – "Abaruray", High School – "Ro Kasadyahan", and college – "Tiksiliw".

On the following day, February 27, there will be a Fun Run to be done in elementary, high school, and ABL Sports Complex. Tree planting/poster/slogan/essay contests will be held in Bakhawan Eco Park, New Buswang, Kalibo.

In the afternoon, there will be simultaneous activities by departments. According to Executive Vice President and Dean Erlinda Q. Fernandez Wilson, the Criminology Dept. will have Blood Letting, the Hotel and Restaurant Management – Kitchenomics; Education – Lecture Forum, Elementary and High School–Sports; Humanities and Arts – Arts Exhibit, and Computer Dept. – Seminar.

The Mass Communication and Commerce will sponsor a joint symposium on journalism and business.

Gov. Carlito S. Marquez will be the coronation speaker in the evening during the Cultural Show and Coronation night. This will be held in CSQ Gymnasium.

Gov. Marquez will crown the King and Queen of NVC Sweethearts 2010 who are Miss Lyka S. Villanueva – Queen and Carlo Ken Villanueva – King respectively.

Lyka is the daughter of Mr. & Ms. Lucas Villanueva of Balabag, Malay, Aklan. Lyka is 19 years old taking up Hotel and Restaurant Management at NVC. She got 51,450 votes.

On the other hand, Carlo Ken, the King is the son of Mrs. Teodora P. Dela Cruz. He is 16 years old, studying in NVC High. He got 7,155 votes. Carlo is from C. Quimpo St., Kalibo.

The Royal Princesses are Ma. Regie M. Lucerio who is the daughter of Mr. & Ms. Rezie M. Lucerio – 1st Runner Up and Jessa R. Insotro – 2nd Runner Up. She is the daughter of Ms. Liza Inostro. /MP

Malinao Candidates For May 2010 Election

The official candidates in Malinao, Aklan for the May 10, 2010 elections for Mayor, Vice Mayor, and Sangguniang Bayan members are as follows:

There are two candidates for Mayor who are Hon. Wilbert Ariel Imperial Igoy – LK CMD; Ret. Gen. Pedro Ike Ibarreta Inserto – NP.

There are two candidates for Vice Mayor who are Josephine Iguban Iquiña – LK CMD; Marcial Tito Rocillo Ituriaga – NP.

There are 17 candidates for the eight positions of SB members. They are Eleanor Garcia Agustino – LK CMD; Miguel Imasa Domingo – NP; Ferdinand Ismil Flores – NP; Edwin Yasol Garcia – NP; Paterno Jayme Ibaretta, Jr. – NP; Ramiro Francisco Icabandi – I, Josefino Arnesto Imaculata – NP; Ferdinand Macahilo Inserto – NP; Richard Iledan Iquiña – LK CMD; Junito Isuga Iscala – LK CMD; Luisa Insauriga Mendoza – NP; Maricel Inac Nacabu-an – Mobo – NP; Raul Retome Quinisio – LP; Expedito Ibuna Rey – LP; John Impreso Rondario – LP; Zacarias Magdael Yabut – LP; and John Ruen Ildesa Yerro – LK CMD. /MP

Houses That Migrant Workers Build

(Editor’s note: This story is from an ongoing study that the Ateneo de Manila University president, Fr. Bienvenido F. Nebres, S.J., commissioned the author to do.)
THERE’S a remarkable landscape sculptured in the upland villages of Batangas province, more than a hundred kilometers southeast of Manila.

Except for the meandering road, these villages emit a very urban feel and air about them, dispelling the urbane notions toward rustic towns located uphill from the coast.
One of these is the village we’ll call Sumilang, where brightly-painted houses offer an explosion of colors – cream, light blue, orange, red, white, and yellow.

Roads are well-paved and most houses are made of concrete.

Some of the houses are quite imposing. Their design, style, size, and color are truly contemporary; some very Mediterranean. While some houses have the expensive type of iron sheet roofing. Others use the pricier colored-lacquer tiles.

These effect the sensation of being inside one of the gated middle-class residential enclaves in Metro Manila.

Similarly, Sumilang is rather too quiet in the daytime. The silence is unbroken by playful shrieks and giggly shouts of children running around the streets –common in the countryside and in middle-to-lower-income urban communities. It is as if all adults were off to work and all children were in school.

At night, lights slice brightly through windows, creating what residents call a "happy" atmosphere.

Despite the lighted houses, however, the individuals who have gone off to work have not returned, and will not be returning for a very long time.

Many of these brightly-lit houses are empty, like the street that separates them. The people who spent to build these houses are out of the country.

Overseas Labor Migration Transforms Sumilang

The village used to be an agrarian, artisanal, and petty-trading village, located some five kilometers inland from the coastal town center. Today, a large segment of its population of nearly 2,000 persons work overseas, mostly in Spain and Italy. A sizeable number of them also work in the Persian Gulf states, Canada, and Taiwan.
Why these absent workers send money for building houses they do not and would not live in continues to baffle many observers of the Philippine labor migration phenomenon.

A few who consider migrants as poor deem the construction of a costly house in the "middle of nowhere" as a case of misplaced values, if not a waste of scarce resources.

If not houses, some buy electrical appliances like refrigerators and washing machines, even when the village has no electricity. Anecdotes abound of migrant workers who introduce such modernity to their remote villages.

Some economists explain such spending as stimulating demand for consumer goods and services, which ultimately increases production.

While various studies worldwide suggest that large proportions of migrants’ remittances are spent on construction of houses, there is still no consensus on whether such spending should be viewed as investment or as consumption.

A case can be made for house construction as productive and as enhancing human capital, particularly if migrants and their families occupy the improved accommodation.

However, the cases of migrants building houses that they and their families would not live in, in the immediate or even distant future, are particularly intriguing. Such economic behavior could be brushed aside easily as irrational.

Evoking their own perspective, the people of upland Batangas use the English word "investment" to talk about the houses that migrants build—as if it were a way of keeping money.

The house became a sort of piggybank. They also say that if labor migrants do not put their money in houses, then the income they earn can be dissipated easily in all sorts of small and in-consequential purchases.

"Before you know it, the money is gone," said Veloso, father of over-seas worker Helen.

A house, hence, is a tangible evidence of the fruits of one’s overseas work, much like a trophy.

No Market for Houses

STRICTLY speaking, however, there is no market for houses in Barangay Sumilang. In most of the Philippine countryside, a market for houses that have been occupied by a previous set of owners is nonexistent.

In Sumilang, no one has ever bought any of the migrant houses and no migrant intends to sell the house that she has built. On that note, resources poured into house building cannot be considered as an investment in a marketable asset.
Rather, house building is a form of investment of a different kind. To understand this type of investment, we need to understand economic behavior from the perspective of the local culture. We must also remember that economic actions are embedded in social relationships.

Let us take the case of Helen, Veloso’s daughter. Her parents’ house is in the middle of a residential lot where their ancestral house once stood.

Veloso used to work in Manila, but decided to retire from his job and returned to Sumilang. He wanted to build a house but his savings were insufficient.

"Luckily," Veloso said, "Helen was able to leave for Spain." Veloso claims Helen supported his goal of building a house.

"All right, dad, let’s proceed with building a house because we’re also earning some income. Anyhow, we’ll build it."

Veloso went ahead and had a plan drafted to which, he said, Helen agreed. Construction began October 2003 after Helen sent a large sum of money. By December of that year, Veloso and his wife moved in to the basic structure that had been completed.

Helen’s husband, meanwhile, lives with his own parents in another town. For over three years, Veloso’s house resembled the neighbors’ with its bare and unpainted exterior, as many houses in Sumilang were being completed according to the availability of funds.

Veloso said he wanted to have the house painted "but an engineer-friend suggested making some changes."

Veloso said he called Helen who again agreed to foot the bill.He said he always "consulted" her on matters such as design and paint color.

She, in turn, would give instructions on things she would like done, Veloso claims.
He added he would also send Helen photographs of the work in progress.

Thus, beyond providing the funds, Helen, while working as a domestic worker in Spain, participated transnationally in building the house, which has since been completed.

Children’s Consent

IN SUMILANG, often the impetus to improve the original structure or build a new house comes from parents who live in the home village.

Parents like Veloso say they seek first their children’s consent in pursuing the project.
Migrants usually do not deny parental wish.

By supporting house building, migrant workers like Helen demonstrate that they are dutiful daughters who live up to parental expectations. The house suggests that the absence of children has not meant neglect of parents.
Even a partially completed house conveys the message of filial duty that is in the process of fulfillment. The house serves as a memorial to parents and to the wider community that migrant children have not forgotten.

A migrant’s investment in a house gives face or esteem to parents. Their parents, hence, reap higher social status locally.

Although there is no clear or strict rule on filial duty, in many families the youngest daughter is expected to care for the parents.

Helen, however, is the only daughter, and her only other sibling, a younger brother, works in Manila.

Her funding of the parental house eases the tension between her physical absence and her obligation to care for them. Had she not worked overseas, she could have cared for her parents but not given them face in the community.

Unoccupied Houses

AMONG the large, modern houses in Barangay Sumilang, many remain unoccupied, such as that of Digna’s.

Her house was built across the road from her sister’s house, a larger one on the lot once occupied by their parents’ old house. Digna’s sister and her children are in Italy, so her sibling Norberto and his wife live in that house, which otherwise would have been empty.

Digna and her husband were already based in Spain when work on their own house began. Their three children are still living in Sumilang during the construction of their house.

It took a while for the house to be completed, receiving its coat of paint only in 2003.
Digna’s three children moved into their house upon its completion and after it was fully furnished and equipped with appliances.

The three children would spend the day in their house but would cross the road at night to sleep with Norberto’s family, rendering the two houses as a single unit.
Digna’s youngest child was the first to leave for Spain, followed by the middle child, with the eldest finally leaving in 2005.

She hired a caretaker among the villagers to keep the house clean and to switch off the lights in the morning and switch them on at night.

"Doing so prevents ghosts from colonizing it," the hired help said echoing the community’s belief.

As in the case of Digna’s unoccupied house, migrants do not sell their houses but maintain them through a paid caretaker. Remittances pay for minimal utility bills and incidental expenses.

These houses are hardly lived in, except during rare visits by the migrant family. People say it would not be nice if migrants would not have a home when they return to visit. It is not simply because there is no hotel in Sumilang, but because return migrants must have their "own" place. "That’s why they built a house so that they have their own place when they come home.

It is as if not having one’s own house would render a migrant’s homecoming as incomplete; they would not have a "home" to return to. Although not places of regular habitation, these houses are kept and maintained as cultural statements.

By clinging to the house and ensuring its regular upkeep, the absent family says in effect that their origins in upland Batangas have not been forgotten, even as the houses are showcases of a diasporic life.

Pointing inwards to the village, these houses serve to remind kin and village residents that the families that own them are still part of the community despite their physical absence. The non-migrants reciprocate by still considering absent migrants and their families as members of the community.

Overseas migrant workers who own houses in Sumilang can console themselves with the thought that they still have a foothold in the homeland. The un-occupied houses are like anchors of stability, amid the dislocations and instabilities of overseas labor migration.

The thought of a nice house in the origin village may be most salient because the migrants’ own accommodations abroad a small room in the employer’s house or even a small rented flat– are nowhere as spacious and comfortable as the houses in the origin village.

In the cultural context of upland Batangas, the houses that migrants build but do not live in are transnational investments in family ties, kin relations, community membership, status competition, village roots, and cultural identity. The gains from such investments are immeasurable. /MP