Sunday, June 27, 2010

EDITORIAL


Leadership Categories
by Ronquillo C. Tolentino
I still relish the days when I was active with the Jaycee movement. Jayceeism is a leadership organization for young people. Starting as a charter member at the age of 30 in 1973, I became chapter secretary, chapter president, editor-in-chief of the Aklan Jaycees’ first publication. Our concern, regional development officer for Western Visayas secretary-general for Western Visayas and finally as Philippine Jaycees parliamentarian for the Visayas.

From some of my lectures, the copies of which were mostly destroyed by typhoon "Frank" on June 21, 2008, I managed to save a few. I remember to have lectured on leadership when in 1979 the Leadership Development Commission headed by Atty. Santiago Regalado and myself as chair of the Membership and Extension Commission prepared some lectures on leadership.
This topic, "The leader that you are" may not be original as I found so many notes on leadership in my files but this one is a simple understanding of leadership categories which may be essential reading for our young leaders, especially young men and women who were elected in the May 10, 2010 local elections.

The leader that you are, please find out whether you are within the following categories, to wit:

A leader that fights change. He struggles to maintain the status quo, to defend what is, to oppose the new. He strives to repeat the past.

A leader that is defensive. He guards against attack of any kind. He wants not to be questioned or challenged. He never moves forward or sticks his neck out.

A leader who is "fixed" or inflexible. He takes a position.. refuses to move. He will not bend.  He is incapable of compromise.

A leader without team spirit. He wants to "do it by himself". He wants no suggestions, no critism, no help of any kind. Even a helper is a threat to him.

A leader who is disorganized. He jumps irrationally from job to job and is fragmented, wasted. He begins a job at the middle, work on two jobs at the same time. Does unimportant work first.

A leader who flies into rages. Fails to exercise emotional control. He rants and raves and insults his subordinates. He intimidates his superiors. He is himself upset and unproductive.

A leader with a personal problems. He drinks to excess, he has a "family problem," has developed a neurosis, has come up with a secret problem about which he will say nothing.

A leader who is fat and lazy. He has "arrived." He is secure confident of his corporation and its complete willingness to "carry him" for the rest of time.

A leader who won’t take a risk. To enter into competition of any kind, to suggest a new product, a new system.. those actions present hazards too great to bear.

A leader without imagination. He cannot or will not think creatively.He refuses to reach out and stretch his mind to the broad horizons.

A leader who passes the buck. Whether it’s a minor mistake or a colossal catastrophe, he either can’t or won’t accept responsibility or even casual involvement in it.

A leader who has poor understanding of people. He lacks the ability to listen and to hear the people with whom he works. He can’t be sympathetic. . . or kind and, therefore, is rarely helpful.

Mostly of the military and police officers or members who aspired for elective positions in the May 10, 2010 national and local elections went down in defeat.  From Danny Lim to Quirubin in the senate race to the congressional and local government positions in the provinces, and municipalities, it would seem that the attractions that military and police officers or members for local and national elective positions have faded unlike Biazon, Gringo Honasan and Trillanes. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer


Ambrosio R. Villorente
Status of AOPC Biomass Project
In reaction perhaps to my column "BOI Approves P1.8 billion Aklan Power Project" June 8 – 12, 2010 issue, a copy of the "Progress Report" of ASEA One Power Corporation is provided to this writer.

The progress report was dated June 22, 2010 and addressed to Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez. It was signed by the Chief Executive Officer Paul Y. Rodriguez. The report is of three (3) pages, written on short bond paper.

The report tells about the status of the 12 MW Biomass Power Plant Project in Banga, Aklan.

The report said: 1. The selection of the Engineering, Procurement, Construction Contractor on a turnkey system will be done on July 15, 2010 after conducting the bidding; 2. The power plant construction is expected to start in September 2010. Some 300 technical and non-technical personnel to be employed and priority will be accorded to Aklanons,

3. The power plant construction completion is in June 2012 or in January 2013 at the latest; employ 160 officials and employees when operational. 4. The submission of the initial Environmental Examination Report to the DENR necessary for the issuance of the ECC, a pre-requisite before the start of the power plant construction.

Mayor Refuses

However, the ECC application is still pending with the DENR regional office, Iloilo City because the Mayor of Banga is refusing to sign the Zoning Classification already passed by the Sangguniang Bayan of Banga, Aklan.

The AOPC is requesting assistance from the office of the Provincial Governor for the issuance of Zoning Classification therefore.

But what are the reasons of Banga Mayor Antonio Maming of refusing approval of the Zoning Classification which has already passed critical study and analysis of the members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Banga?

It will be good for Mayor Maming to give his reasons why he is refusing to approve the Zoning Classification. If the project is feasible as far as Aklan, specifically, Banga is concerned, Mayor Maming must approve the Zoning Classification.

His continued refusal will redound to the deprivation of Aklanons from possible employ-ment, will deprive the people from selling and earning income out of farm waste, and will impede the production of electricity badly needed by the people of Aklan.

Mayor Maming will earn the ire of 54 rice millers who have already signed sales contracts with AOPC and the members of the farmer’s cooperatives for the supply of rice straws. 5. The Biomass Renewable Energy Contract was already signed and the Department of Energy has issued Certificate of Registration on February 1, 2010. This strongly attests to the financial and technical capability of AOPC to undertake the biomass power plant project. 6. The Board of Investment has approved the project that will entitle the project for fiscal and non-fiscal incentives under the Renewable Energy Law of 2008.

So that the project can start and be completed in June 2012, the AOPC is requesting for the immediate approval by the Mayor of Banga of the Zoning Classification of the 12 MW in Banga, Aklan. AOPC also requests Akelco in Complying with the terms of the Power Supply Agreement.

But what are the terms and conditions of the Power Purchase Agreement signed by Akelco and AOPC? The Akelco members – consumers must be informed of it. After all, they are the buyers and consumers who will pay for what they received and used. The people have the right to know of matters concerning and affecting them. Akelco and AOPC are obliged to reveal the terms and conditions provided in the contract.

Fiscal Incentives

But the catch is, AOPC is asking the provincial government to grand it exemption on the payment of realty and other taxes on civil works, equipment, machinery, and other improvements for seven (7) years".

Wow! Seven years not to pay provincial taxes! And the request is open-ended: "payment of realty and other taxes" and "taxes on civil works, equipment, machinery and other improvements". It is unlimited tax exemption for everything for seven (7) years?

AOPC’s basis of its request for tax exemption is its "substantial investments…on the project and the immense positive socio-economic environmental, triple bottom line impact of the project on the community and …stakeholders."

This request for tax exemptions deserves public discussion. Let the people know for their better information and under-standing. Let the people know of the terms and conditions of PPC Akelco signed with AOPC. /MP

DA Urges W. Visayas Farmers To Raise Hybrid Seeds


The Department of Agriculture (DA), Iloilo City, is urging farmers in Western Visayas to use hybrid palay seeds this planting season.

DA Regional Executive Dircetor Larry P. Nacionales said that "with the coming of rainy season, farmers should use the hybrid palay seeds since it has higher yield compared to other palay seed types".

The DA technical group has proven that hybrid rice produces more yield in the long run since it can produce more grains per panicle than most inbred rice varieties. This way, farmers would be able to earn more with just less cultivation," Nacionales said.

Hybrid palay seeds are available at the National Food Authority. Likewise, the DA will provide free technical assistance to farmers in the region on how to cultivate and plant the hybrid palay seeds.

Farmers in the region should consider using the hybrid palay seeds, especially with the lower production in the past months due to El Niño phenomenon, Nacionales added.

Western Visayas remains one of the top rice producing regions in the country and it could retain this spot especially that the hybrid seeds are now available for farmers.
DENR: The Need for Functional Drainage System

BORACAY, Aklan, - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has called on both the local governments of Kalibo and Malay, Aklan to implement a functional drainage system to avert possible flood scenario when La Nina comes.

The DENR recently acknowledged that the town of Kalibo is a flood-prone area as proven after typhoon "Frank" hit the province in 2008. This resort island under the governance of Malay, Aklan, meanwhile has also experienced flooding in the past due to the construction boom of resorts.

"I believe that a functional drainage system is an effective tool against flood control like the experience of New York, USA. New York maybe a city, but it never experience flooding," said DENR Undersecretary Manuel Gerochi.

The businessmen are worried on the flooding scenario in the province because it disturbs their businesses. Aklan is not exempted from the threat of global warming.
The Department of Public Works and Highways announced earlier that it will implement the Aklan River flood control and drainage system in 2011. The system is to be implemented by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Gerochi said that they welcome the plan of the DPWH although the project does not include Boracay Island. Only seven out of 17 towns of Aklan would be beneficiaries of the project.

The said towns are Libacao, Madalag, Lezo, Malinao, Banga, Kalibo and Numancia. (PNA)/MP

Reason & Concern


by Ronquillo C. Tolentino
Last Flickering Gasp of Fading
Political Power
 The Philippine Red Cross (formerly Philippine National Red Cross), a voluntary humanitarian organization was created in 1947 by virtue of Republic Act No. 95, as amended. 

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) serves as an auxiliary arm of the government in providing relief, health, and welfare to the most vulnerable people in need including victims of disasters.

On April 27, 2010 a memorandum of agreement was made and entered into by and between the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the PRC on the El Niño Phenomenon that was then hitting the country and was greatly affecting the agricultural sector and livelihood of farmers, fisher folks and indigenous people in the El Niño affected provinces.

The out-going President had instructed to fast track the distribution of government rice assistance to farmers, fisher folks and indigenous people affected by the El Niño Phenomenon with funding approval of Five Hundred Million Pesos (Php 500,000,000.00).

As the planned distribution of government rice assistance came within Section 261 of Article XXII of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines prohibiting all government agencies to release, disburse or spend public funds during the 45 days before a regular election except for salaries of personnel, and for regular and routinary expenses that the Commission on Elections may authorize after due notice and hearings, the DSWD requested to COMELEC for an exemption.  The COMELEC denied the request for exemption.

Considering the COMELEC’s denial of the DSWD’s request for exemption pursuant to the Omnibus Election Code, all funds for disaster victims were ordered by the national government to be turned over to and administered and disbursed by the Philippine Red Cross subject to the supervision of the Commission on Audit or its representatives in accordance with Section 261, Article XXII of the Election Code.

The PRC willingly agreed to have the amount of Five Hundred Million Pesos transferred by the DSWD to the PRC in two schedules: the amount of Php 250 million consisting of Php 237,500,000.00 for the initial purchase of 190,000 sacks of rice at 50 kilograms per sack or 9,500,000 kilograms at Php 1,250.00 per sack from the National Food Authority for the first 190,000 farmers, fisher folks and indigenous people affect by the El Niño Phenomenon and Php 12,500,000.00 for administrative cost in the implementation of the program and made available to the PRC upon signing of the approved MOA and receipt of the required documents. 

The remaining amount of Php 250 million with the same allocation of the initial release upon submission of Fund Utilization Report of the first release certified by the Accountant and approved by the President/Chairman showing a summary of expenses, distribution list of beneficiaries duly signed/acknowledged of accom-plishment report and validation/favorable recommendation by the Internal Audit Report (IAS) of the DSWD.

Actually, the list of farmers, fisher folks and indigenous people beneficiaries of the Rice Assistance Program were made available to the PRC by the DSWD and Department of Agriculture.

In Aklan, Dr. Minda B. Brigoli, CEO VI, Regional Director, Department of Social Welfare and Development in her May 20, 2010 letter to Governor Carlito S. Marquez, stated that there are 4,187 small farmers beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in four municipalities. They were identified as recipients of the Rice Assistance Program. These are the municipalities of Balete with 643 farmers, Buruanga with 311 farmers, Libacao with 2,078 farmers and Madalag with 1,155 farmers.

 Governor Carlito S. Marquez and the Municipal Local Government Units involved in the Rice Assistance Program have sincerely and seriously manifested their willingness to complement the rice assistance program. The acts of Gov. Marquez and the municipalities’ mayors affected by the El Niño Phenomenon should be appreciated.

As to out-going President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, she can always look forward that history being the final judge of deeds would look kindly at her when the high court of history shall sit in judgment.

Verily, this Rice Assistance Program for families affected by the El Niño Phenomenon is a concern that merits praise implemented by an administration in the last flickering gasp of a dying political power. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda


Ni Tita Linda Belayro
Kontra Amulet
Si Marites hay solong onga ni Aling Salud. Masaligan imaw sa tanan nga bagay, relihiyosa ag may hitsura. Abo nga naga pangasawa kana. Isaea eon si David nga may pag tan-aw kay Marites. Isaeang ka negosyante si David. Kada hapon naga bisita si David kay Marites ag perming may haead nga regalo. May kahilapit baeay si Marites nga si Elsa, sangka daeaga mang nahikaw guid imaw kay Marites. Sekreto si Elsa nga naila kay David, busa, bu-ot nanang agawon ro binata kay Marites.

Isaeang hapon, nagpamasyar si David sa daeaga ogaling nagpanaw sa banwa si Marites, owa sanda magkita. Hasubeang ni David si Elsa. Guin sampit imaw ni Elsa agod idto sa andang baeay hueaton si Marites. Guin taw-an na it pamahaw si David. May guin preparar gali nga eomay si Elsa kay David. Guin taw-an it pamahaw ag tubi. Busa pag inom ni David it tubi, nag epekto ro eomay.

Ro anang panoeok kay Elsa hay si Marites. Dungan man nga nag abot sa andang baeay si Marites. Pagling-ling na sa bintana, hakita nana nga naga haeaksan ro daywa. Pagkakita ni David kay Marites, nag away ro mag nobyo. Ko olihi, naduea eon ro epekto ko eomay ag owa eot-a si David naila kay Elsa. Nagpanaw it hipos si David sa ibang lugar nga owa it nakasayod. Tongod sa paltos ro plano ni Elsa, binalikan nana si Marites.

May anang lola nga mayad mag amulet paagi sa abo. Guin eobong nana ro retrato ni Marites sa abo. Tongod kato, nag katoe ro eawas ni Marites. Nag adto imaw sa isaeang ka manog bueong. Suno sa mediko, guin amulitan gali imaw. Ro guin obra man ko mediko, nagbo-oe imaw it nigo ag guin butangan it abo. Dayon nga anang guin huyop ro abo.

Bumalik ro abo sa oyahon ni Elsa ag hapuling imaw. Busa nabulag imaw. Dugang pa haputos man it goeos ro anang eawas. Ka’t owa eon katakod imaw, nangayo imaw it patawad. Naeo-oy si Marites ag guin pa ulian imaw. Nangin maeo-eot nga mag amiga sanda ko olihi. Kon ano ro natabo kay David, owa it nakasayod. /MP

Prawn Fry Hatchery, A Strong Business Venture*


In the 70’s, the shrimp industry in Bicol was still at its infancy. Two decades hence, several hatchery establishments emerged in the province of Camarines Norte. Distance was not a constraint for buyers from Metro Manila because they were assured of quality fry that is comparable to those from the Panay area.

Drawing on his extensive knowledge on Penaeus monodon fry hatchery operation gained from experiences in Bataan, Quezon and Zambales, Mr. Jaime M. Borile ventured into the business. His expertise was further enhanced from trainings and experiences gained under the tutelage of the Japanese couple, Iwao and Bing Fujimoto while working for their hatchery firm in India.

In 2002, Mr. Borile joined the band of prawn fry producers with a PhP700,000.00 capitali-zation. He registered his business as JIMBO Prawn Fry Hatchery in April 2003 as a sole proprietorship. His wife, the former Lorna Lee, a graduate of the Bicol University College of Fisheries assists in the operation of the hatchery in San Roque, Mercedes, Camarines Norte.

By word of mouth, JIMBO became a name in the shrimp/prawn industry. Orders from the Manila Bay area alone reached 15 million per cycle. Jimbo’s existing 12 million productions cannot adequately serve buyers from the Bicol Region, Manila Bay area and other walk-in clients.

Salinity and control of temperature within the hatching tanks were the main production constraints. For 45 days, the temperature has to be controlled and continuously maintained at 30oC.

To overcome this technical/production constrains, JIMBO requested for assistance from the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SET-UP) of DOST to maximize production. DOST innovation support(ed) with the infusion of equipment controlled and maintained the necessary parameters for optimum fry production.

In 2004, SET-UP granted JIMBO a PhP515,000.00 equipment assistance for the purchase of a portable heating system which will ensure constant temperature within the hatching tanks; a salinometer to monitor salinity of water in each tank; electric motor; and one unit generator set. The equipment ensured a controlled temperature within the hatching tanks resulting to increased production from 9 million to 14 million fry, equivalent to 55.5 percent. Income likewise rose from PhP900,000 to PhP1,140,000 or a 26.66 percent increase after SET-UP intervention. JIMBO was also able to provide additional employment for 22 partime workers in addition to the existing 7 regular workers, 50 indirect-backward (fisherfolks, mother prawn suppliers), and 650 indirect-forward (hatchery and fish pond operators and workers) jobs.

With the increase in production, JIMBO was able to supply not only the Manila Bay area and the Bicol Region but also hatchery and fishpond operators from Bataan, Batangas, Pangasinan, Quezon, and Zambales.

The generator set was a great help in the hatchery operation. JIMBO was able to continue its operation even after typhoon Yoyong in December 2004 when the municipality of Mercedes (Camarines Norte) had no power supply for almost a month. While other hatcheries suffered losses, JIMBO gained a net income of PhP500,000.00.

JIMBO was able to purchase an adjacent lot where a new hatchery dedicated to the production of nauplii another prawn specie was constructed. As of April 2007 total assets of JIMBO include a 2-hectare lot, building worth PhP2.0 million, equipment amounting to PhP1.0 million, and working capital of PhP900,000.00 for fry production and PhP2.0 million for nauplii production.

Production for the local market reached 10.5 million fry and 1 billion nauplii with corresponding gross sales of PhP1.05 million and PhP1.20 million.

Direct employees include 13 regular employees and 2 part-time workers. Backward-indirect employment was provided to 1,200 (900 fisher-folks from Camarines Norte and 300 from Sorsogon and Masbate area). Forward-indirect employment was also provided to 25 prawn-fry producers and 114 nauplii-fry producers.

Local markets for prawn fry are Bulacan, Pampanga, Sorsogon, Tabaco, and Mindoro and local hatcheries as market for nauplii are Bataan, Batangas, Zambales, Pangasinan, and Tagkawayan (Quezon).

SETUP assistance in terms of provision of equipment made a great difference, upgrading its operation, a turning point that enabled JIMBO to control and maintain the salinity and temperature, the critical parameters for optimum fry production. /MP

Are Firemen Themselves Fire Culprit?


The fire that occurred in Numancia last night is of no shocking event. It just signifies that our people are not observing some mitigating measures to ensure their safety at any time of their daily living; not just relying upon those who are in charge of the government. The question is who is responsible?

One of the Numanciahanons commented on Facebook that the firemen of Numancia, so though with Kalibo and other fire stations are "owa it pueos" (no use). This is quite unfair to the men in uniform. I want to share with you some experience, some historic fire occurrences in the Province of Aklan for us to ponder and to know the factual life of being a fireman. I am neither bias nor fanatic of idiotic acts of government people. This is just to give some sort of knowledge to those uninformed persons out there.

As far as I can recall, way back in 1995 as the people of Aklan celebrated the feast of the Sto. Niño and the merry-makings were in the midst of the festivities, the Aklanons and guests horribly witnessed the fire that almost crushed and totally devastated C. Laserna community. I even lost my books which I left in my boarding house after I went home that same day before the calamity. Later on, I learned that a girl who was one of the majorettes of the parade was rushed (airlifted) to Manila. She was in a state of shock. Who is responsible my dear friend?

A fire also happened in Ibajay that destroyed the market and goods for sale valued at several millions of pesos. Again, the first fire station alerted was the Numancia Fire Station as it is nearer to Ibajay. But sadly, its fire truck stuck up in Campo Verde. The brakes broke up. The rest is "his-story" that merited public criticism for its failure to respond immediately. Again, who is responsible? The machine or the public officials concerned?

Sometime in March or April, I heard over the radio that people of Tangalan were pressing charges of negligence of duty to the firemen of Ibajay for not responding to the forest fire during the celebration of Fire Prevention Month. A landowner commented over the radio: "Una eon sanda, owa eagi pagsakaan ro andang fire truck, kasaka ngani pirme rang auto!" (They are there, they did not immediately ascend their fire truck, even my car can ascend.) Whew! That was amazing! But does his automobile carry big volume of water compared to the fire truck? I guess, he is conscious that to go to war, the soldiers must be well equipped.

Upon arrival in the fire scene, the protocol to follow is to look for the main source of fire and where to blow. What if there are bombs and explosives in the place? Then attack to control the fire.

Again, that same area in Tangalan was ravaged by another fire. The Kalibo Fire Station helped stop the fire. Again, the Kalibo and Ibajay firemen were lambasted on air. But the firemen were recognized and thanked for the good job well done. How cynical people was when one of the men nearly stumbled to death when the fire truck could not bear the load to come up and down of that slope. People just stood by and looked. Why not help push the fire truck so it can run?

Notice how the bureaucracy works. The municipal treasurer is responsible for the collection of Fire Code Fee. He remits the amount to the DILG national office. The DILG releases the budget to the regional office, to the province, and finally to the municipal fire station. But sad to say, almost all fire stations around the country is using second-hand fire trucks basically designed as a water supply delivery truck. What a shame!

My dear friends, have you ever tried to help firemen suppress a fire? Maybe you can fetch pails of water.

We are at large. The world is about to fall. Why wait for the sun to set in its place before you make your move? Now is the time to change and bestow your kindness to our Mother Earth and to your neighbors too. What you got is the result of your own doings. Stop corruption, save lives, learn to appreciate the warmth and kindness of our mother nature and be counted!

The rest will be his-story…/MP

Are Firemen Themselves Fire Culprit?


The fire that occurred in Numancia last night is of no shocking event. It just signifies that our people are not observing some mitigating measures to ensure their safety at any time of their daily living; not just relying upon those who are in charge of the government. The question is who is responsible?

One of the Numanciahanons commented on Facebook that the firemen of Numancia, so though with Kalibo and other fire stations are "owa it pueos" (no use). This is quite unfair to the men in uniform. I want to share with you some experience, some historic fire occurrences in the Province of Aklan for us to ponder and to know the factual life of being a fireman. I am neither bias nor fanatic of idiotic acts of government people. This is just to give some sort of knowledge to those uninformed persons out there.

As far as I can recall, way back in 1995 as the people of Aklan celebrated the feast of the Sto. Niño and the merry-makings were in the midst of the festivities, the Aklanons and guests horribly witnessed the fire that almost crushed and totally devastated C. Laserna community. I even lost my books which I left in my boarding house after I went home that same day before the calamity. Later on, I learned that a girl who was one of the majorettes of the parade was rushed (airlifted) to Manila. She was in a state of shock. Who is responsible my dear friend?

A fire also happened in Ibajay that destroyed the market and goods for sale valued at several millions of pesos. Again, the first fire station alerted was the Numancia Fire Station as it is nearer to Ibajay. But sadly, its fire truck stuck up in Campo Verde. The brakes broke up. The rest is "his-story" that merited public criticism for its failure to respond immediately. Again, who is responsible? The machine or the public officials concerned?

Sometime in March or April, I heard over the radio that people of Tangalan were pressing charges of negligence of duty to the firemen of Ibajay for not responding to the forest fire during the celebration of Fire Prevention Month. A landowner commented over the radio: "Una eon sanda, owa eagi pagsakaan ro andang fire truck, kasaka ngani pirme rang auto!" (They are there, they did not immediately ascend their fire truck, even my car can ascend.) Whew! That was amazing! But does his automobile carry big volume of water compared to the fire truck? I guess, he is conscious that to go to war, the soldiers must be well equipped.

Upon arrival in the fire scene, the protocol to follow is to look for the main source of fire and where to blow. What if there are bombs and explosives in the place? Then attack to control the fire.

Again, that same area in Tangalan was ravaged by another fire. The Kalibo Fire Station helped stop the fire. Again, the Kalibo and Ibajay firemen were lambasted on air. But the firemen were recognized and thanked for the good job well done. How cynical people was when one of the men nearly stumbled to death when the fire truck could not bear the load to come up and down of that slope. People just stood by and looked. Why not help push the fire truck so it can run?

Notice how the bureaucracy works. The municipal treasurer is responsible for the collection of Fire Code Fee. He remits the amount to the DILG national office. The DILG releases the budget to the regional office, to the province, and finally to the municipal fire station. But sad to say, almost all fire stations around the country is using second-hand fire trucks basically designed as a water supply delivery truck. What a shame!

My dear friends, have you ever tried to help firemen suppress a fire? Maybe you can fetch pails of water.

We are at large. The world is about to fall. Why wait for the sun to set in its place before you make your move? Now is the time to change and bestow your kindness to our Mother Earth and to your neighbors too. What you got is the result of your own doings. Stop corruption, save lives, learn to appreciate the warmth and kindness of our mother nature and be counted!
The rest will be his-story…/MP

Alan Celino Defeats Vic Bermejo


by Benny Cortes
Roxas City - Surprisingly, in a boxing lingo, former City Vice Mayor Alan Celino, out slugged incumbent City Mayor Vicente B. Bermejo, for the mayoralty post of the city of Roxas in the first automated national and local elections on May l0 this year. Celino of the Liberal Party garnered 33,l33 votes as against Bermejo’s 32,436 votes, or a margin of 697 votes in favor of Celino.

The followers of Bermejo were caught by surprise, they said. They believed that prior to the May l0 elections, borrowing cockfighting lingo, Bermejo was llamado, while Celino was dejado. What went wrong? YOUR GUES IS AS GOOD as mine. Bermejo is a first termer city chief executive of Roxas City. He was formerly the municipal mayor of Panay, Capiz for nine years and provincial governor of Capiz, also for nine years.

Other Roxs City candidates elected are vice mayor, Atty. Ronnie T Dadivas,  (LP), re-elected with 39,940 votes, as against incumbent city councilor Dennis Q Altobano (Ugyon), with 2l,365 vote; and Isagani C. Acat (Ind.), with l,090 votes.

For city councilors, incumbent city councilor Erwin B. Sicad tops with 35,536 votes; former city councilor Teresita H. Almalbis (Ugyon), 34,874; Powel del Rosario (LP), 33,l66; Matthew James Viterbo (LP),29,ll9; Jennifer Ann Anisco (LP), 27,4l9; incumbent city councilor Jose Agdalipe (Ugyon), 24,925; Erlynne Lim (LP), 24,328;  Emmanuel Billones Jr. (LP), 24,l55; incumbent city councilor Carla B. Abela (UGYON), 22,792; and former city prosecutor Julius L. Abela (LP), 22,64l.

Roxas City has 84,689 total registered voters as of December 2009. The total number of voters who actually voted was 69,l40. It has 79 polling centers, 48l precincts and ll2 clustered precincts.

For the province of Capiz, for congressman in the 1st district, re-electionist Rep.  Antonio A. Del Rosario (LP), garnered 33,53l votes; former Rep. Rodriguez D. Dadivas (Ind.), l6,547;;incumbent Capiz Vice Gov. Felipe B. Barredo (Ugyon), l4,272;and Conrado A. Tinsay II (Ind.), 933 votes.

For congressman, 2nd district, Jane Castro of Dumalag town (LAKAS), with 109, 147 votes against former PNP Chief Roberto T. Lastimoso (LP), 44,32l votes.
For provincial governor: incumbent Capiz Gov. Victor A. Tanco (LP), l89,50l votes; Jocelyn I. Bolante (UGYON), l2l,l76; and Zenon E. Amoroso (Ind.) 2,329 votes.

For vice governor: former board member Esteban Evan B. Contreras (LP), l70,340 votes, as against former city councilor Mark Anthony G. Ortiz (Ugyon), l23,2l0 votes.
For national candidates: For president, Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III (LP), 4,07ll votes; Manuel B. Villar Jr. (NP), l0,l45; Gilbert C. Teodoro, Jr. (Lakas), 7,687; Joseph Estrada (Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino), 6,280; and Eduardo C. Villanueva (Bangon Pilipinas), 998 votes.

For vice president: Sen. Manuel A. Roxas  (LP), 39,609 votes; Jejomar C. Binay (Partido Demokratiko), 23,597; Loren Legarda (NPC), l,992; Bayani F. Fernando (Bagumbayan-VNP) 645' and Eduardo B. Manzano (Lakas) 388 votes.

The top l2 senatorial candidates: Franklin M. Drilon (LP), 40,027; Meriam Defensor Santiago (Peoples Reform Party),33,685; Ramon B. Bong Revilla Jr. (Lakas) 32,6l6;Jinggoy E. Estrada (Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino),31,967; Ralph G. Recto (LP), 26,803; Ana Hontiveros-Baraquel (LP), 26,322;Juan Ponce Enrile (Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino), 26057; Teofisto D. Guingona III (LP),24,82l; Sergio D. Osmena III (Ind.), 24,800; Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (NP), 23,727; Pilar Juliana S. Cayetano (NP), 22,799 and Rozzano Rufino B.Biazon (LP), 22,l87 votes. /MP 

Kalibo Food Festival Launches With A Spanish Theme


by TERENCE TORIANO
The 2010 Kalibo Food Festival launched last June 18 at the Magsaysay Park with the Spanish theme "(Bienvenido) El Pueblo Kalibo, Vamos a Comer!" which roughly translates in English as "The Town of Kalibo, Please Come and Eat!" indicating that this year’s main food showcased have a Spanish or Mexican flavor.

At least two dishes with Spanish or Mexican flavors were prepared by participating establishments and made available inexpensively to diners from June 18 to June 23, 2010 while being serenaded by a live band. Food lovers or foodies (food connoisseurs) got a kick of the Spanish or Mexican dishes such as Imbutido, Calamares, Chicken Sarciado, Chicken Asado, Paella, Burito, Taco, and many more.
For those who want privacy and comfort, a VIP Lounge in the middle of the park set the mood for them for only 1,500 pesos where they and partners or family or friends dined and at the same time helped out the Kalibo Ati-Atihan Tourism Council’s fund raising efforts. 500 Pesos will go to the council’s funds for the rentals of tables, chairs and hiring of waiters and stall supervisors. The 1,000 Pesos is consumable of food and drinks on any of the stalls in the park. Tickets for the VIP Lounge was available at the gate.

Edwin Trompeta, Department of Tourism’s Regional Director, served as guest speaker during the opening of the Food Festival on June 18. /MP

Sunday, June 20, 2010

EDITORIAL


Filipinos In The Eyes of Expats
by MEGS LUNN
The hospitableness and helpfulness of a person are innate among Filipinos. It is basic to every Filipino when one enters their home that they welcome him with a smile; right away will offer something to eat or drink. At fiestas, they give guests their best silver platter and offer them the newest and cleanest linens in the guest room. These and many more acts of kindness are found – ONLY IN THE PHILIPPINES.

"We heard of news where foreigners are victims of pick pockets and looking at people planning to rob them. On the other hand, it is also nice that you know you are in a place and have neighbors willing to lend a hand when you are in trouble," expat John of Baguio City amusingly shared.

In the United States and perhaps in other places, it is common a practice to go to a neighbor’s house to borrow a cup of sugar if one runs out. One might even go to a neighbor and borrow screwdriver or wrench if needed. But that’s about all.

According to most of the expats I talked to, they said that here in the Philippines, mostly all people, friends and even those you do not know are quite willing to lend items to anyone who is in need. A good example of this is if one is going to a store and can’t or don’t want to walk for some reason, someone will loan him a bicycle.

In Bulacan, Willard said, "yesterday for example, our washing machine short circuited and burned itself out before our washing was even half done. Anywhere else that would have created a major problem. I would have had to load all the wet and dripping clothes into the car and take my wife and dirty, wet clothes to the Laundromat. Here, on the other hand, there is no problem at all and laundry still got done within the same amount of time. My wife, Viol and her sister simply went to a neighbor down the street for help. No, they didn’t take our laundry there. They simply "borrowed" the neighbor’s washing machine and brought the machine to our house to wash the clothes!"

It was an over-whelming feeling that one hears magnitude of gratitude like this from expats. They know how to appreciate our generosity. No wonder, Aklan and other neighboring provinces are now stormed with foreigners married to ever beautiful Filipina.

A retired American Ed said, "I agree, and it’s one of the reasons I love living in the islands. And I love how this generosity that is often extended without being asked. For example, as I have mentioned to my friends back home in the States, we have two (2) houses, one (1) on the island of Rapu Rapu and the other in Legaspi City on southern Luzon. Living on isolated Rapu Rapu requires trips to Legaspi 2 or 3 times a month for shopping, there’s appointment and others. I sometimes make the trip alone and stay 1 or 2 nights in Legaspi, City. Even though I have money to dine out or can cook food for myself, the neighbors always bring me food if I am home when they cook." Ed is happily married to his wife for ten years now. They bear no kids but are contented living in the island outside of Legaspi City.

While in Roxas City, there is a good friend named Jack who loves the city and the whole Province of Capiz. He is ever kind to put up a website for soon to be retirees and foreigners who are married to Filipinos and who are looking for opportunity to live in the Philippines after their retirement. He has brought many of his friends in the city and now enjoying life with the whole community. Part of their life in the city is joining community services. When asked, Jack replied, "we find fulfillment in what we do. We love to help our neighbors and the community in our own little way and joining civic organization here is one way that we get connected and connections, too."

In Dumaguete City, there is also a tremendous number of expats we saw having meetings at McDonalds. Almost every morning, they spend time to have breakfast together, while their Filipino wives are on the other side of the table catching up stories of family life. Seeing them altogether enjoying the food, the sunrise and their day to day diary of good life living in the island, it is an enormous feeling of "proud to be a Filipino". One expat I talked with, Philip. He lives in Siquijor. He said, "I am very happy to cross to the city twice a week to be with my friends and do some shopping, too." He does his shopping for food and other needs for their resort business in the island of Siquijor.

Foreigners living in Antique do their shopping in Kalibo once a week, dine out in our best restaurants in town, enjoy catching up with friends and go home contented back to their place they love to call now – our hometown.

The islands and some islets in the Philippines last summer was a learning opportunity. It was also opportunity added acquaintances and friendship and cherished moments with our foreigners who love the Philippines.

How about you? Do you happen to contemplate to live in the Philippines? How well you appreciate Filipinos lifestyle, and the generosity? No wonder, my daughter told me, she loves to do more touring around the Philippines before she could even appreciate places abroad. Now, that is so patriotic and kind of her to give more time to learn about her country. I learned from her and she indeed has a BIG POINT.

Can you go around the Philippines and see the beauty, the wealth, and the greatness of the Philippines and her people? /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer


Ambrosio R. Villorente
Mass Induction of Officers
The Mass Induction of Newly elected officers of municipal and provincial officials of Aklan is scheduled on Friday, June 25, 2010. It will be held at 8:00 o’clock in the morning at the ABL Sports Complex, Provincial Capitol, Kalibo, Aklan, according to re-elected Gov. Carlito S. Marquez.

In 2007, the winners of Kusog led by Vice Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo took their oath of office held in Park Homes, Andagao, Kalibo. Among those were Hon. Nemesio P. Neron, Hon. Rodson Mayor, Hon. Daisy Sucro Briones, and Hon. Ramon Gelito.

The induction ceremonies over, Sen. Manuel Villar then inducted barangay, municipal and provincial level officials as members of the Nationalista Party (NP).

However, those who pledged allegiance to the NP forgot their oath to the NP for some joined, coalesced, and won as candidates with other political parties last election.

The mass oath taking on Friday, June 25 deserves watching. Will those who now are with Tibyog or United Leadership continue their support and loyalty to Tibyog?

Many political pundits are predicting there will be some re alignment of political forces within three years and for the 2013 local elections.

The now Cong. Joeben T. Miraflores was mayor of Ibajay, three (3) successive terms Aklan Governor and now on his third term as Congressman of Aklan.

Will Cong. Miraflores go back as Mayor of Ibajay in 2013? Will he exchange position with now Governor Carlito S. Marquez? Marquez is not qualified for reelection in 2013 as Cong. Miraflores is also disqualified for reelection for having served three consecutive terms. There is a great probability that Gov. Marquez may aim for congress in the 2013 election. Will Cong. Joeben opt for a political position in 2013?
Atty. Allen S. Quimpo is a classic example. He was vice mayor and mayor of Kalibo. After serving the Aklanons as their Congressman for nine (9) years in three (3) successive terms, he quitted politics, neither one of his immediate member of his family join the political fray. Atty. Quimpo is now devoting his time and efforts to the academe and consultant on local development. Will they follow Quimpo’s example?

New Gas Station

A new gas station located at Roxas Avenue corner A. Mabini Street, Poblacion, Kalibo has just started catering its products to vehicle owners. This new addition to the fuel retailing in Aklan is a positive sign of a progressive economy.

Is there a diminution of daily sales of the existing stations? Is this additional gas service station a factor in the pricing of gasoline products? Its presence has not affected fuel prices.

The economic law of supply and demand has not work for the advantage of the buyer consumers. Gasoline products is cartelled, an international monopoly. The producers dictate its prices to their dealers and distributors. What the buyers may do is to reduce their consumption to minimize the quantity purchased. Better still if consumers can think of and produce their supplementary product to substitute for cartelled goods.

But why is it that gasoline product in Aklan is P7.00 per liter higher than in Metro Manila? Why can fuel producers charge uniform price in all parts of the Philippines. Beer and soft drinks charge uniform price per bottle in any place in the Philippines.

Can the pricing of fuel and fuel products be one of the major changes in the administration of President Pinoy beginning July 1, 2010? Will it be done?

Obedient

Obedient means giving in to orders or instructions of one in authority or control. It is a temperament that submits easily to control. It is yielding meekly to another person’s request.

Are you obedient? Can you obey traffic rules and regulations? Do you comply with the no smoking signs? Do you fall in line like in a front desk to buy food? In front of clerk’s window to pay taxes? In gate to pass to board a plane? If not, then you are a disobedient person. You are urged to obey legal orders, laws, and regulations. If not, you will become unhappy, a disgrace to society. /MP

You’re The Men


Happy Father’s Day!
by CHRISTY ANN NAVARRA
If there’s one man I look up to, there will be no other than my dear father. For me he is a superman! Not in terms of having superpowers but, to bring me to this world for greatness!

He had me in his 30 years of age. I can pretty much figure out how happy he was when he first held me in his arms as he glanced over my fragile and purely innocent face. It is surely rewarding.

I am really attached to my father ever since. I could still remember the times when I was still a kid. My father was my devoted playmate because I was shy to play outside with other kids in the neighborhood. We used to play games that he thought it will make me feel happy. When I got hurt in playing, he would ease the pain of my wounded knee. I used to cry when I didn’t see him around.

If there are things we have in common, it is our looks and our curly hair. He is a big kid in many ways. He fools around, we dance together, laugh about something or talk about someone. He is neither a clown nor a military commander. But don’t get me wrong, he could be a horrible one when I disobeyed him.

Then my childhood days ran out. I’m now a young lady and not a kid anymore. I knew he was afraid of it. He will be missing the best days of my childhood. I want my freedom this time. I would go and hang out with friends and gone into dates. He did not know because I was afraid he would get mad and never let me go.

He was so strict, maybe over protective. Yet, he lets me do what I want. He allows me grow up. He confidently gives me the option to choose, to discipline myself, and to stand on my own. So far, so good. He consistently tells me to get through whatever changes come my way. He would say, "you too would be a parent one day; and you would understand how complicated to be one.

I may not be expressive to him because how weird I am to find it cheesy. But I am thankful that he is my father. He may not be a lawyer, a doctor or an engineer, but to me, he is the greatest father on earth who will always be there for me, to constantly remind me of the things I will miss when I’m grown up!
 
BE INSPIRED

I came across a man whom I admire most and wished I could have at least half of his vitality and passion to life. I’ve known this man better through the years and therefore have a deeper appreciation of him. A man who has a zest for life, notwithstanding his lengthy accomplishments but more than his professional achievements. What strikes me most is the accomplishments of his children in their own field of endeavors. That, for me, is something very admirable, for the measure of a father’s greatness is in the quality of his children.

His children are all professionals. All six of them graduated at the University of Philippines, four are INTAPS/NSTA scholars, three have MBA’s from Ateneo de Manila and Rollins College in Florida, USA, one cum laude, one magna cum laude, a topnotcher in the Electrical Engineering Board Exam, now Director of DOST, one law graduate and one physician who is a diplomate in Radiology. Wow!

To be able to build a career and family life is an honor to a man. But to have raised truly competitive children is a blessing. More than just a family man, he is an entrepreneur, an editor, a teacher; he is also an advocate for change, development, peace and integrity in this world the best way he knows how.

He has never run out of ideas, frustrations, suggestions, and reactions. You’ll get inspiration from him. His greatest teachings, "each one of us has its own worth, don’t allow the negative responses of others to determine your value, let go gladly and graciously".

It is very inspiring to find someone who celebrates the best years of his life yet, keeping his simple and humble self despite his professional successes and as a father.

There are only a few special men I know who had the empowering and inspiring attributes I definitely found with this man. (From the Madyaas Pen family, Happy Father’s Day!) /MP

Peace and Order In Aklan


Aklan Gov. Carlito S. Marquez is shown (in the rustrom) welcoming the invited participants to the quarterly meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council. Sitting in front (l to r) are the resource persons with Atty. Allen Salas Quimpo, P/SSupt. Epifanio Bragais, Jr., and LTC Henry C. Dar of the 12 IB.

Cases of motorcycle robbery are increasing. This is confirmed by P/SSupt. Epifanio Bragais, Jr., PNP Provincial Director, Aklan during the Provincial Peace and Order Council meeting held on June 11 at Gov. Corazon L. Cabagnot Tourism and Training
Center, Buswang Old, Kalibo.

Presided by Gov. Carlito S. Marquez, the meeting discussed the peace and order situation in Aklan, Internal Security in Aklan, La Niña Preparedness Plan and the Updates on the Aklan Rivers and Introduced Mitigating Measures.

LTC Henry C. Dar of the 12 IB reported on the Internal Security Operation the military is doing to promote peace and order in Aklan.

P/SSupt. Bragais presented the crime situation in Aklan, number of incidents and percent solved. He discussed that Aklan is quite peaceful even during the election campaign period and on election day, May 10.

Mr. William B. Castillo, provincial agriculturist; Engr. John Kenneth C. Almalbis, AKENRO; Mr. May R. Guanco, Provincial Fisheries Director, Aklan; and Engr. Rizalo S. Concepcion, manager, NIA Aklan presented the preparedness plans of their respective office to mitigate the effects of El Niño and La Niña.

Atty. Allen S. Quimpo, chairperson of the Aklan Rivers Development Council gave some "updates" on the Aklan Rivers Introduced Mitigating Measures. He reported the accomplishment made in the dredging of Aklan Rivers.

Atty. Quimpo reported the measures being done to help stop global warming like the planting of cacao and other crops. These will not only increase forest cover but will also help prevent soil erosion, make our people busy and provide additional source of food and income. /MP

Boracay Tourism: Holding An Empty Bag


by ERNESTO T. SOLIDUM



Re elected to her third term as member of the Aklan SP (eastern part), Hon. Daisy Sucro Briones is shown discussing her accomplishments for the last six (6) years and her agenda for 2010-2013. With her is Hon. Plaridel M. Morania who recollected his vast accomplishments as SB member and vice mayor of Libacao and as member of the SP Aklan for six terms.

Today, June 12 marks the 115 years of Philippine Independence. Happy foundation anniversary! Kapehan session on June 12 at Smokehauz Resto & Bar is titled, "SP Priorities of Elected Officials". Guests were Hon. Plaridel Morania and Hon. Daisy Sucro Briones.

Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente cited current issues that impact socio-economic development in Aklan namely: a) Release of P600 million Bangon Aklan fund out of P4 billion pledged by PGMA (P160 million is earmarked for Aklan for flood control), b) Pending application of Asea One Power Corp because of technical problems with LGU Banga, c) San Miguel Corp backing off from Caticlan Airport Develop-ment project due to controversial environmental problems, d) Timbaban Hydro-electric power generation approved by DOE, e) Atty. Allen S. Quimpo’s briefing on Disaster Preparedness based on forecast of La Niña by PAG-ASA and f) deliberate failure by House of Representatives to pass "Right to Info Bill".

In an impassioned speech, outgoing SP member Plaridel Morania bidding farewell to his peers in the august chamber citing four decades of uninterrupted service to country, province, and people. He thanked all Aklanons who have supported him as SB member and Vice Mayor of Libacao and SP member (Aklan Eastern sector). He credits his "landscape of political tenacity" based on honor, integrity and independence of the provincial legislature. For his unblemished record, he received the Outstanding Aklanon award in 2006.

Atty. Morania is either author or co-author of the following legislations: Environmental Code of 2007, Tourism Code, Investment Code and Children’s Code. Pending before the SP are General Ordinances of the Provincial Board and Productivity Enhance-ment Ordinance.

SP Daisy Sucro-Briones also thanked Aklanons for elevating her to rank number two in the recent May 10 polls. With the new mandate, she will vigorously pursue gender advocacy on women and children’s rights.

"We could only accomplish this objective by providing them with proper education regardless of their status in life," said the veteran lawmaker. Ironically, she balks at sex education for school kids since parents are in the best position to teach and nurture them. It may be too early but both the Senate and House have preliminary debates on reproductive health bill recommended by DOH. At any rate, the Aklan Childrens’ Code needs to have the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) before it can take effect.

Asea One Power Corp in order to generate 12 MW of electricity needs to consume 70,000 metric tons of biomass (mainly agricultural wastes) per year. This is equivalent to 191.7 metric tons per day or 38 truckloads (5 tons cap) using our narrow congested nautical highway and secondary roads. One formidable problem is fuel sourcing. Absence of big rice mills and by products (mainly rice hull) in Aklan and highly fragmented farms make collection and transport difficult. If the buying price of the power firm is P250 per ton biomass delivered to its plant site in Venturanza, Banga then in all probability, it is not commensurate and sustainable.

Massive appetite of this plant could also "feast" on forest trees and coal. If this happens, indeed this is environmental disaster comparable to the epic Trojan horse. Obviously, we do not need another Independent Power Producer to hoodwink us like Mirant or Global Business Corp.

Wind power farms and hydroelectric power as renewable energy sources are highly recommended for Aklan since they are environment–friendly and economically viable. It could be futile to spread out P160 million among four towns for flood control knowing that the enemy is immensely big, powerful, and unpredictable. Since present task is rehabilitation, then SP leadership should wisely use the money from Bangon fund for initially funding the proposed Timbaban Hydroelectric power project.

It is lamentable that San Miguel Corp backed out from its original plan to invest in Caticlan International Airport (CIA). Despite favorable endorsement and funding of NEDA and the provincial leadership of Aklan. There are stoic objections and criticisms that stalled its proper implementation. We should remember that we are all partners in national development not in our selfish-parochial world. It is ironic that we can not put our acts together in this simple basic issue of being customer-oriented. Really, the difference between KIA and CIA is 15 minutes travel time to Boracay. If KIA could perform this feat then forget CIA.

Truth hurts but our Boracay tourism receipts in the estimated amount of P12 billion annually is not handled by banking institutions. That amount of money does not circulate in Aklan. Foreign travel tour agencies usually transact business with local partners in Metro Manila leaving only loose change for local folks. This explains the reason why Libacao, Madalag, Buruanga, and Balete have worsening problems of poverty and unemployment.

GMA once stated that Boracay figuratively is the goose that lay the golden eggs for Aklan. Thanks for the compliment but in truth we are holding an empty bag.

Perhaps, it is charisma and pragmatism of Atty. Morania that he remained undefeated in his long political career. Male chauvinism is rife in the air but real success or failure of a man is his better half, the former Ms. Pamela S. Quimpo who is the wind beneath the wings.

It is up for our new set of SP leadership to craft pertinent legislation to stabilize/upgrade existing ones or pass new ones in the face of ever changing domestic and international events. Considering overspending cost of P1 billion and projected credit squeeze vital socio-economic services may be disrupted if no safety nets are instituted.

Many thanks to Technical Staff of Aklan CTV for their full coverage of Kapehan forum. /MP

Boracay Posts P3.4-B Revenue In Summer



The Department or Tourism (DOT) Iloilo City boasted that the Boracay Island has posted a whooping P3.4 billion worth of revenue this summer alone.

The DOT said that the tourism powerhouse has collected more than P3 billon for the summer months of April and May, 2010. In April, which was the height of summer vacations, Boracay tourism has collected some P1.8 billion, while May posted some P1.6 billion.

According to DOT Regional Director Edwin Trompeta, "Boracay’s revenue is no easy feat considering the economic slump in the world market which affected the tourism industry. Still most tourists were lured by the beauty of Boracay.

Most of these tourists are Asian, especially Koreans, Japanase and from mainland China. Some are from the United States, United Kingdom and Central Europe.
Meanwhile, some 188,600 tourists visited the island in just two months, said the DOT. Of the number, 4,537 are overseas Filipino workers, while 142,790 are local tourists, and some 41,265 are foreign tourists.

"Boracay has kept the Philippines in the tourism world map. It has also become a jumping point for foreign tourists to visit nearby tourism regions like Bohol, Cebu, Guimaras and Palawan", said Trompeta.

"It’s accessibility to the tourism market has also boosted business among small and medium entrepreneurs in the region," added Trompeta. (PNA) /MP

Aklan River Flood Control Project Starts In 2011


The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) targets to start next year the construction of the Aklan River flood control and drainage system.

DPWH District
Engineer Roberto Cabigas said the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is allocating P1 billion for the project that will include economic profiling, studies for flood control and components of infrastructure package in the seven towns of the province covered by the project.

These towns are Libacao, Madalag, Lezo, Malinao, Banga, Kalibo and Numancia.
"We are hoping that the said project will now become our permanent solution to flood incidents in the province of Aklan particularly in the town of Kalibo," Cabigas said.

Residents of Kalibo are alarmed by floodings because of typhoon ‘Frank’ which hit the province in June 2008.

Cabigas said the typhoon has created an enormous damage to the Aklan river.
The construction is expected to commence after the JICA finishes the feasibility study which will be within the next six months. (PNA) /MP

Reason & Concern


Sionil Jose’s Open Letter
to President Noynoy

Watching the proclamation on the night of June 9, 2010 on television of Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino, III as the duly elected president – the 15th – of the Republic of the Philippines, I thought of what I would write in my next column.

At about 8:00 o’clock in the morning of June 10, 2010  as  I  was preparing for a court hearing at 9:00 o’clock, I opened my e-mail to find a forwarded message from my California friend, Henry Enriquez Villanueva of Estancia, Kalibo, Aklan, about an open letter of Francisco Sionil Jose to president-elect Noynoy Aquino.

I need not narrate lengthily who Francisco Sionil Jose is.  I remember him to be the 1980 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Journalism, Literature and Creative  Communication Arts.  The award is considered the most prestigious of its kind in Asia.  I cannot remember the year now but Francisco Sionil Jose had been nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature .

Herewith is Francisco Sionil Jose’s open letter to President-elect Noynoy Aquino:
 
"Dear Noynoy,

"You are now swamped with suggestions and advice, but just the same, I hope you’ll have time to read what this octogenarian has to say.

"You were not my choice in the last election but since our people have spoken, we must now support you and pray that you prevail. But first, I must remind you of the stern reality that your drumbeaters ignore: you have no noble legacy from your forbears. It is now your arduous job to create one yourself in the six years that you will be the single most powerful Filipino. Six years is too short a time - the experience in our part of the world is that it takes at least one generation - 25 years - for a sick nation to recover and prosper. But you can begin that happy process of healing.

"Bear in mind that the past weighs heavily on all of us because of the many contradictions in it that we have not resolved, whose resolutions would strengthen us as a nation. This past is now your burden, too. Let us start with the fact that your grandfather collaborated with the Japanese. Your father was deeply aware of this, its stigma, its possibilities. He did not leave any legacy because he did not become president. He was a brilliant and courageous politician. He was an enterprising journalist; he had friends in journalism who can attest to his effulgent vision, who did not profit from his friendship, among them Nestor Mata, Gregorio Brillantes - you may consult them. I cannot say I did not profit - he bought many books from my shop and when he was in Marcos’s prison, your mother brought books from my shop to him.
"Forgive me for giving you this unsolicited advice. First, beware of hubris; you are surrounded by panderers who will tell you what is nice to hear. You need to be humble always and heed your conscience. When Caesar was paraded in ancient Rome before the cheering multitudes, there was always a man chanting behind him: "Remember, you are mortal."I say to you, remember, the poor - some of them in your own hacienda - will be your ultimate judge.

"From your comfortable and privileged cocoon, you know so little of our country and people. Seek the help of the best - and the best do not normally want to work in government and neither will they approach you. You have to seek them.

"Be the revolutionary your father wanted to be and don’t be scared or wary of the word "revolution." It need not be always bloody. EDSA I was not. Your father wanted to destroy the most formidable obstacle to our progress - the Oligarchy to which you and your family belong. To succeed, you have to betray your class. If you cannot smash the oligarchy, at least strive to have their wealth develop this country, that they bring back the billions they stashed abroad. You cannot do this in six years, but you can begin.

"Prosecute the crooks. It is difficult, thankless and even dangerous to do this. Your mother did not do it - she did not jail Imelda who was the partner in that conjugal dictatorship that plundered this nation. Watch her children - they were much too young to have participated in that looting but they are heirs to the billions which their parents stashed abroad. Now the Marcoses are on the high road to power, gloating, snickering at our credulity and despicable amnesia.

"You know the biggest crooks in and out of government, those powerful smugglers, thieves, tax cheats - all you really need is guts to clobber them. Your father had lots of it - I hope he passed on to you most of it.

"And most of all, now that you have the muscle to do it, go after your father’s killers. Blood and duty compel you to do so. Cory was only his wife - you are the anointed and only son. Your regime will be measured by how you resolve this most blatant crime that robbed us of a true leader.

"And, finally, your mother. We loved her - she united us in ousting an abominable dictator. But she, too, did not leave a shining legacy for her presidency was a disaster. She announced a revolutionary government but did nothing revolutionary. She promised land reform but did not do it. And most grievous of all - she transformed the EDSA I revolution into a restoration of the oligarchy.

"She became president only because her husband was murdered and you became president elect only because your mother died. Still, you are your father’s son and may you now - for the good of this country and people - scale the heights he and your mother never reached.

"I am 85 and how I despair over how three generations of our leaders failed! Before I go, please let me see this unhappy country begin to be a much better place than the garbage dump our leaders and people have made it. You can be this long awaited messiah but only if you are brave enough and wise enough to redeem your father’s aborted promise. "
Hopefully yours,
"F. Sionil Jose"

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda


Ni Tita Linda Belayro
Guinhampangan it Duwende
Ro baeay nanday Emie hay may bungsod sa idaeum, sa oto. Kada agahon kon imaw magpanilhig hay hakikita nana nga may mga bueak ag prutas sa bungsod ngaron. Ko olihi, bukon eamang it prutas ro anang hakikita kundi mga kutsara ag tinidor pa nga pilak. Guina kaon ni Emie ro mga prutas. Guina tago nana ro mga kubyertos.

Isaeang bes, hadakpan ko anang ina ro mga gamit. Tongod karon, guin pangutana si Emie kon siin nana guin bo-oe. Ro anang sabat hay sa anang amigo. Indi magpati ro anang ina. Guin bunaean ko anang ina si Emie tongod sa pag eaum nga anang guina panakaw rato.

Sa uwa magbuhay, ko olihi, nagmasakit si Emie.

Samtang guina bantayan imaw ko anang ina, may nagpakita nga isaeang ka duwende nga may daeang dahon. Guin pakumos ratong dahon ag ipuga sa tubi agod ipa inum. Nagmayad si Emie ag nagkilaea ro anang ina ag ro duwende.

Pagkataliwan it pilang adlaw, nag abot ro anang ama nga mataas ro eagnat ag naga kurog, agahon pa. Nangayo it bulig si Emie sa duwende. Guin taw-an man nana it dahon si Emie. Guin pa-eaga ag guin painum. Nagmayad man ro anang ama.

Tongod sa kabuot ag mainamiguhon si Emie, guin taw-an imaw it kubyertos nga bueawan ko duwende. Andang guin baligya ro iba agod ipatindog it baeay ag tindahan. Guin pabay-an ro bungsod it duwende. Owa guid nanda pag guba-a ro bungsod kundi guin pakuraean pa ngani it semento agod indi masamad. Nag mang-garanon sanday Emie. Tanan ro naga pangayo guina taw-an. Owa guid paghikawi. /MP

Rural Banks Urged To Be Creative To Survive Market Competition


Rural banks must be innovative for them to remain competitive amid the intense competition in the market.

This was the challenge hurled to them by Makato mayor Ramon Legaspi Jr during the induction of the new set of officers of the Aklan Federation of Rural Banks.

Legaspi administered the oath of office to the new set of officers.

Legaspi said that rural banks head on not only with commercial banks but also with the growing number of pawnshops and lending firms in the province.

Elected new officers of the organization are Guidon dela Cruz (Rural Bank of Malinao) - president; Laniel Refol, vice president (Rural Bank of Altavas); secretary Raul Balandra (Rural Bank of New Washington); treasurer Rosemarie Aborka (Rural Bank of Banga); Auditor Selmar Valencia (Assembly-man Rafael Legaspi Rural Bank of Aklan) and assistant secretary treasurer Ma. Luisa Angeles Miraflores (Rural Bank of Ibajay). All the executive officers are also members of the board.

Other members of the board are Atty. Gloria Masangcay of the Rural Bank of Nabas and Rey Quimpo of the Rural Bank of Balete.

Dela Cruz, during his inaugural address said that rural banks in the past are like dinosaurs because costumers often rely on them for loan and other banking needs. Their existence however was threatened because of the mushrooming of commercial banks, lending firms and pawnshops.

"We can still survive by means of extending our services and cooperation in the regional and national levels while we also try to find alternative source of services such as electronic lending and insurance," Dela Cruz said.

EPG Keen On Putting Up Center
For Tourists In Boracay

The Eminent Persons Group (EPG) is bent on establishing a Trauma Receiving Center (TRC) that will provide medical assistance to tourists who meet accidents while staying in this resort island.

Many of the accidents in the past are believed to have been due to climate change.
EPG Undersecretary Rey Dela Rosa said that they have already coordinated with the St. Luke’s Global City in Metro Manila to become partners in their endeavor. Also present in the said meeting is Jane Rossignol, director of EPG-Support Services for Health Care and proponent of the island’s trauma center project.

"During the meeting, they looked towards the Boracay Garden Hotel option because there’s already the infrastructure with only minimal renovation to do, and has excellent accessibility from anywhere on the island. That’s why we are now working out with Henry Chusuey, the hotel owner, the possibility of an arrangement between St. Luke’s and Regency Garden to put up its Trauma Receiving Center there," Dela Rosa said.

At least P2 million are reportedly needed by the EPG for the renovation of the office of the TRC. The funding will be coming from the national, provincial and local government of Malay. Dela Rosa said they are also currently soliciting funds from Tourism Infrastructure Economic Zone Authority (TIEZA), formerly the PTA, Department of Tourism and the Philippine Convention & Visitors Corporation (PCVC).
Recently, two Chinese tourists were rescued by the Philippine Coast Guard after the sailboats they were using in touring around Boracay submerged due to the sudden change of weather. Several Korean businessmen and tourists also died and were injured because of the climate change.

Dela Rosa said they expect that tourists arrivals will rise by 10-15 percent in Boracay if the planned TRC will materialize. (PNA) /MP

NIA Inaugurates P65-Million Irrigation Project in Aklan


Some 1,200 hectares of rice areas from the eight barangays of Ibajay town, Aklan are expected to benefit from the P65-million irrigation project of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) that was inaugurated last week.

Data from the NIA information office said that the 240-meter long elevated concrete flume runs across Ibajay and Panakuyan Rivers. It will serve about 1,200 hectares covering Brgys. Agdugayan, Unat, Bagacay, Capilijan, Laguinbanwa, Maloco, Batuan and Agbago.

Most of these barangays were once rainfed areas, the information said from NIA revealed.

The project was initiated by Cong. Florencio T. Miraflores of the lone District of Aklan back in 2008. Brgy. Agdugayan is located between two diversion dams, namely, San Jose communal irrigation system (CIS) Diversion Dam and Panakuyan river irrigation system (RIS) Diversion Dam.

The elevated flume was designed as a channel to augment the water supply coming from Ibajay River to Panakuyan River Irrigation System.

"This is another milestone for the agriculture sector and this is one legacy among others, which Cong. Miraflores will leave for the people of Aklan," NIA Acting Regional Manager Edilberto Lomigo said.

JICA To Finance Rehabilitation
of A Fishing Port Complex

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has approved the P1-billion soft loan by the Iloilo Fish Port Complex. It will be used to finance the latter’s rehabilitation and installation of new facilities.

Iloilo Fish Port Complex officer-in-charge Elmer Figuracion said the feasibility study of the project was completed last year and now ready for its implementation in 2013.

According to Figuracion, among the major components of the projects are the installation of solar-powered electricity, fish processing plant, additional brick water, and the rehabilitation of the existing refrigeration plant to suit the needs of local clients.

"The solar-powered electricity is the fish port complex’s response to the high cost of electricity which when addressed will consequently encourage more investors to come in," Figuracion pointed out.

Further, it will encourage those who are in the fishing industry to engage in other fish-value added products for their fish products because the rentals of the facilities would be cheaper as a result of the lower electricity rate.

The fish processing plant will answer the need of the Fish Producers Association in Iloilo whose products are designed mostly for export. Figuracion added that the facility will be built at par with the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point or an acceptable international standard.

The project is expected to be completed in 2016.

Once completed the project is expected to encourage more invest-ments, especially those whose markets are outside the country, aside from their existing clients, Figuracion added. (PNA) /MP

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Monday, June 07, 2010

A Beginning of a Transcendental Change


by Dortea Peralta

Established for a Noble Purpose

The establishment of SIFE ASU-CHARRM marks a newfound beginning of a trans-cendental change in the community. Having realized the noble goal of SIFE world, the Aklan State University- College of Hospitality And Rural Resource Management, Ibajay campus never doubted why not to get involve. Adopted by the University in 2008, now the team gained a positive response from among the university’s active students especially the student leaders.

Founded in 1975, STUDENTS IN FREE ENTERPRISE (SIFE) has grown into one of the largest university-based organizations in the world. At present, 40- active countries comprise the SIFE world. Working as a team, this organization is composing of active student members and skilled faculty advisors. Its primary goal is to make a primary transition in the community through implementing educational outreach programs that reach individuals in their communities the principles of market economics, success skills, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, environmental sustainability and business ethics. Hence, SIFE brings out a dramatic positive impact on many lives — better enhancing lives of millions globally.
 
SIFE ASU-CHARRM Heads On For that Change
 
SIFE ASU-CHARRM team serves true to its purpose by organizing a tour guiding seminar and training to the local tour guides in Brgys. Bugtongbato and Naisud, Ibajay, Aklan in the promotion of the "Katunggan it Ibajay." This training aims to empower local tour guides through skill-enhancement and encouraging jobless folks and out-of school youths to be involved. The team began gradually by giving lectures on the principles of management, financial management and prospects on tour guiding. Moreover, the training focuses not only on tour guiding but also, to introduce them into putting-up a business and cater profitable services for the convenience of the visiting tourists in the mangrove Eco-Park.

The SIFE ASU-CHARRM in partnership with the ZSL (Zoological Society of London) aims to attract more spectators to come, making it a potential destination for tourism business. While implementing fruitful projects to the community, SIFE ASU-CHARRM team also promotes environmental sustainability through creating awareness among its audience a sense of responsibility towards ecological balance and environmental development sustainability.
A Realistic Dream

Realizing the youth arm to bring changes in the community and in nation’s economic progress, SIFE ought to train young individuals to become the future leaders in building up a future that is more certain, realistic and sustainable. To achieve this, mobilizing students to start and become productive to its community is the starting point towards the SIFE’s realistic dream. A response to National Hero, Jose "The youths are the Fair Hope of the Fatherland", ASU-CHARRM SIFE’s commit itself to supporting the "Katung-gan It Ibajay" in its economic endeavor through education and training of skills needed to make tour guiding as an economic life and not just a past time.

Thus, realizing SIFE’s battle cry, "A head for Business. A heart for the world." /MP

Random Thoughts


Let’s Make Our Schools Safe for Women and Girls
by RECTO I. VIDAL

Are you a magnet for any unwelcome, uninvited and offensive attention? Be forewarned for it could be a wily predator disguised as sexual harassment.

Sexual Harassment is an act or a series of acts that is committed against someone because of his or her sex. It is a verbal, visual and/ or physical conduct that is sexual in nature and which is unwanted, uninvited and offensive.

It is committed to take advantage of the weaknesses, vulnerability, status and professional, social and economic social standing of a person. As a result, most victims of SH tend to feel vulnerable, intimidated or disempowered.

Examples of acts of SH may range from Physical: any sexually suggestive physical contact that is uninvited, unwanted and offensive such as hugging, holding, grasping, stroking, patting, touching, "tsansing," or position one’s body closer than what is socially acceptable.

The verbal/ non-verbal SH can be qualified as making sexually suggestive gestures with one’s tonque, lips, face, eyes, hands, fingers, or through body movements; staring, ogling, peeping and stalking. In addition, this may also include displaying sexually suggestive materials and persistent courting or amorous advances, despite the clear refusal by the object of attention.

Other forms of verbal SH include whistling or making catcalls, making sexual comments about a person’s body or appearance, sexually suggestive invitations or innuendos, explicit or implicit demand for sex or related acts as a condition for securing employment, advancement, promotion, protection or preferential treatment, narrating green jokes or sexually vulgar stories, asking personal questions about a person’s social or sexual life, telling lies or spreading rumors about a person’s sex life.

SH is considered a human rights violation for it compromises one’s personal safety and security (Universal Declaration of Human Rights-UDHR Art.3). It subjects the victim to indignities and degrading treatment (UDHR, Art 5).

Thus, SH is a form of Gender-based discrimination wherein an unhealthy, unsafe working and educational environments prevents women from fully exercising their rights to work and education (CEDAW, Arts. 10 and 11) and seriously inhibits women’s ability to enjoy rights and freedoms on a basis of equality with men (CEDAW Arts. 1 & 3, Gen. Recommendations No. 19).

We can do something to stop Sexual harassment by promoting a culture of human rights in scools and everywhere. This can be done by teaching all men and women, girl and boys, to respect every person’s privacy and personal space.

This can also be made possible by treating every person with dignity, regardless of her/his race, gender, ethnicity, social or economic status, and public reputation.

Stopping SH can also be made possible by protecting vulnerable groups, especially women, by supporting preventive programs versus SH. This includes empowering young girls and women to stand up to sexual harassers.

So what can schools do to stop SH? Schools can address this problem by formulating and adopting a clear school policy against sexual harassment. This may include information about anti-SH policies in employee and student Handbooks.

Presenting information and update on the school’s anti-SH policy during annual orientation meetings is also a must. It is imperative that the school prepare and strengthen the redress mechanisms by forming a committee and by capacitating is members to act quickly and fairly on SH complaints.

There is also the need to increase the competency of guidance counselors to provide gender-sensitive and rights-based counseling to SH victims and their violators.

Schools may also design and maintain physical infrastructure facilities that ensure a safe and SH-free environment for women and girls.

It is also vital to protect SH complainants from further harm, damage to reputation, and intimidation. Authorities must also demonstrate zero tolerance for acts of SH and other forms of gender-based discrimination through leadership pronouncements and actions.

This corner likewise encourages student councils and other student and employee organizations to increase awareness on SH within their ranks and to undertake actions for its prevention.

More often than not, the victims of SH are women. Under RA 7877, Sexual harassment committed by a supervisor to a trainee/ subordinate, or by a teacher to a student, is a crime which is punishable by a one to six-month prison term and/ or a fine of P10,000-P20,000.

RA 7877 requires managers of workplaces and educational institutions to formulate and adopt organizational standards or safeguards against sh. Managers and supervisors who fail to act on an H complaint within a reasonable time are also liable under this law.

Reality check: Does your school have a policy on SH? It should.

Many women also experience SH by fellow students, employees or peers and even by subordinates. Sexual harassment between equals or peers is not directly covered by RA 7877 but it may be addressed by filing a criminal case for Acts of Lasciviousness based on Article 336 of the Revised Penal Code.

If the offender is a government employee, Civil Service Commission CSC Res. 010940 (2001) may also apply and result in the reprimand, fine, suspension, demotion, transfer, or dismissal for service of the accused.

The laws and mandates geared against sexual harassment are as follows: Republic Act 7877 (Anti-Sexual Harassment Law), Civil Service Commission (CSC) Resolution No. 010940 and Memo Circular 1994-19, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Memorandum Order 26 and the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Our schools authorities have the obligation to oppose, expose and end all forms of sexual harassment. Schools are duty-bound to ensure a safe environment for women and girls and to protect them against sexual harassment.

So let’s condemn, not condone acts of sexual harassment. /MP

Work Overload for Kalibo’s New Elected Officials


by ERNESTO T. SOLIDUM

Weekly Kapehan forum on May 29, 2010 is titled, "Kalibo Elected Officials, First 100 Days." As usual venue at Smokehauz Resto & Bar was alive with exciting personalities that would shape and guide Kalibo’s political landscape. On hand to brief the press on priority programs were Mayor elect William Lachica and his Vice Mayor Madeline Ang Regalado and Dr. Nilda Buyoc Tambong.

Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino observed that electorate of the premiere town of Aklan manifested political maturity since new elected officials have their own track record of performance and credibility. With the help of God progress and stability could be achieved if we work out our plans, the ex-Vice Gov. added.

Mayor elect William Lachica has five priority projects which are: a) determine and evaluate status of municipal employees based on civil service guidelines, b) upgrading public market at Andagao, c) street lighting installation at D. Maagma St. from Golden Salakot to Gen. F. Castillo monument and Mabini St. intersection to crossing Old Buswang, d) Relocation of dumping site from Bakhao Sur to Balete and e) implementation of Master Drainage Plan.

As former Vice Mayor of Kalibo, Engr. Lachica is familiar with personnel administration but did not elaborate on specific plans. Upgrading of public market parti-cularly native handicraft section is facilitated with P11 million loan by present Administration from Land Bank of the Philippines. Practically he is averse to bank loans but will closely monitor project implementation.

Street lighting installation has been given the nod of PAGCOR Chairman Efren Genuino who pledged P3.4 million.

Leyson property of 6.0 hectares in Balete to be used as Kalibo Municipal Dumpsite is worth P3.0 million. Sanitary landfill will accommodate all non-biodegradable, non-recyclable materials or those rejected by Material Recovery Facility (MRF) PO2 Julius Barrientos, head of Task Force MRF said that training of participants from all 16 barangays will begin next week.

Panelists were swamped with other pressing issues and concerns especially the following: "Modern" slaughterhouse at Tinigao is a misnomer and equated with misadministration. Established 28 years ago during the term of Mayor Wilihado Regalado, it has never acquired accoutrements of modernization. Source of our beefsteak and lechon kawali comes not in aseptic meat processing facility but from a rundown government outfit.

Daily average of 70 heads swine and large cattle are processed with barest essentials: single hand pump, bare rugged concrete floor as butchering ad cleaning area and five large vats for boiling water. Workers have no ventilation or back-up lighting in case of brownouts. (They use open kerosene lamps). Dumping ground for discarded body parts (horns, hooves, and hair) are piled outside and sloppy waste drain out not to catchments basins but the Aklan River!

The stink and swarm of flies are serious health problems of the community but their cries have fallen on deaf ears.

Dressed meat is transported to the public market in open tricycles where dust and more pathogens are attracted. Meat handlers do not care much about personal hygiene, approved health certificate or handling meat with rubber gloves.

Nutritionists often advised homemakers to rub a wet cloth on dressed meat or use water sparingly to avoid unnecessary loss of nutrients. The question is must this be the advised if the source of our meat supply is highly questionable? Nevertheless a large percentage of daily output of Kalibos’ abattoir goes to Boracay and neighboring towns.

The Plazoleta marker has come under fire with statements from incumbents Vice Mayor Tambong and SB member Regalado that it is an Executive proposal of Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo. Approved supplemental budget is P1 million but never deliberated upon nor supported by an SB resolution.

Dr. Tambong said that there is no need for a minipark since we have three big parks namely: Pastrana, Magsaysay, and Goding Ramos where patrons could safely play and relaxed.

Now for Datu Bangkaya reverently upholding the Sto. Niño image is preposterous. A local priest denounced the life size statue as sacrilege since the holy Child’s image must do not be touched by a known Muslim devotee. The Muslim world also condemns it as idolatrous since they do not worship graven images.

Going to historical accounts landing of ten Muslim Datus from Sabah, Malaysia occurred in early part of 12th century. Christianity as first brought by Franciscan missionaries happened in 1571 (founding of Kalibo) or late 16th century. From this data it is unlikely that Datu Bangkaya lived for 400 years and converted to Christianity.

The Aloha marker fronting Kalibo Pilot Elem. School poses serious threat to motorists and school children. Constructed in early 1970’s, Mabini St., then had a light traffic load. Toward the 1980’s however it was expanded to accommodate more vehicles especially tricycles and buses. Present alignment of the Aloha structure occupies one-third of the three lane highway thus creating an abrupt bottleneck in front of the school gate. This is even exacerbated by double parked tricycles jostling for paying commuters.

Safety consideration of these "historic" markers like the Aloha and Golden Salakot of Kalibo and Welcome Arch. Rotonda of Banga are questioned not on their merits but on whether they are presently relevant and useful. Even concrete traffic barriers in Metro Manila are trimmed down and replaced with steel fences. Conventional wisdom only dictates that traffic public safety must be paramount when designing structures along or in the middle of the highway. The Republic Nautical highway that spawned 10 wheeler trucks and big provincial buses exert a heavy strain on our defective transport system marked by narrow twists and turns and bonanza of slow moving vehicles.

Obviously the only solution is dismantling structures that have outlived their usefulness. It is high time that Kalibo install traffic lights and CCTV cameras on busy street intersections since they are operational 24/7.

Mr. Conrad Indelible of DYRU Superadyo has lamented uncontrolled volume of tricycle units as a result of Mun. Mayors’ decision to approve tricycle franchise. Despite the findings of the Municipal Tricycle and Traffic Management Board headed by Ms. Gay Quimpo that only 1500 units could be safely accommodated has ballooned to 3,000. Considering that this problem is included in the political platform of Mayor elect Lachica, this usurpation issue that originally belonged to the legislative body will be restored.

The number of children in conflict with the law remains unabated as no comprehensive government program is set in place to train and rehabilitate them. In this case we are losing our most valuable resource to uncertain future unless the Christian social outreach program opens to minor offenders and their parents or guardian.

The Ati-Atihan Management Board usually funded with P1 million annual appropriations for the two week long celebration will have one representative from the tri-media to promote transparency and accountability. Likewise the incoming Administration that will be sworn into office on June 30, 2010 promised to hold monthly presscon. Hopefully, interaction and feedback will be fruitful in effective governance.

With priority projects at hand and pressing issues and concerns, new elected officials led by Mayor elect William Lachica will surely experience work overload for the first 100 days.

On behalf of members of tri-media, warm congratulations and Godspeed! /MP