Thursday, September 30, 2010

EDITORIAL

The Parable of the Three Trees

May I begin this editorial with a short parable. With your permission, the "Parable of The Three Trees" runs this way.

There were three trees on a hill in the woods. They discussed their hopes and dreams. The 1st tree said, "Someday, I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems and be decorated with intricate carvings. Everyone would see my beauty."
The 2nd tree said, "Someday, I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of my strong hull." Finally, the 3rd tree said, "I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time people will always remember me."

After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. One came to the 1st tree and said, "This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a carpenter," and he began cutting it down. The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest.

At the 2nd tree, one of the other woodsman said, "This looks like a strong tree, I should be able to sell it in the shipyard." The 2nd tree was happy, because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.

When the woodsmen came upon the 3rd tree, the tree was frightened, because it knew that if it cuts down, its dream would not come true. One of the woodsmen said, "I don’t need anything! special from my tree, so I’ll take this one," and he cut it down. When the 1st tree arrived at the carpenter’s, he was made into a feed box for animals, placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what he dreamed of.
The 2nd tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end. The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark. The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams.

Then one day, a poor man and woman came to the barn. She gave birth, and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but the manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it held the greatest treasure of all time.

Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose, and the tree didn’t think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and he stood and said "Peace," and the storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat.

Finally, a humble man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of a hill and be as close to God as possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.

The moral of this story is that, when things don’t seem to be going your way, always know that God has a greater plan for you. If you place your trust in him, He will give you great gifts. Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined but with a divine purpose.

We don’t always know what God’s plans are for us. We just know that His ways are not our ways, but His ways are always best.

The parable is on the religious aspect. On the socio economic point of view, why do we plant and care not only a tree but trees?

First, because of the beauty of the trees! To view a tree is very enjoyable with its multi colored leaves, flowers, and fruits.

Second, planting and caring of trees provide good exercise. It is a science and art. Prevention of the attack of pests and diseases is science. Laying out a plantation is an art.

Third, trees mitigate the effect of strong winds. Trunks and leaves block the speed of wind.

Fourth, it cools the area. A 10 year old tree cools an area equal to one horsepower air condition unit. Trees provide shade and shelter for both man and animal like monkeys and birds.

Fifth, trees conserve the soil as it prevents soil erosion. It serves as water banks when it absorbs water during rainy season and releases water during dry season.

Sixth, trees reduce pollution as it takes in carbon dioxide emitted by vehicles and other engines. On the other hand, trees release oxygen for man to breath.

Seventh, trees provide food like fruits and nuts. Oil can be produced. Trees provide livelihood for any person.

Eight, trees are sources of medicine like Banaba, Guyabano, Coconut, Guava, and others.

Nine, when matured, trees maybe cut and sewn into lumber, manufactured into furniture, use in house construction, bridges, and boat. People may ride in it, pass on it, sit on it, sleep on it, and keep things inside it.

There are other valuable reasons to plant and care the trees. You please add on and enrich the uses of trees.

There are two kinds of trees which are forest trees, and the fruit trees.

Forest trees do not yield edible fruits for men. However, wild animals feast on its fruits. Should I give example of forest trees? Bakhawan, Narra, and others.

I do not need to name fruit trees. You know them. Who does not eat fruits? Want to plant trees? It is very easy. But the test to grow it is in the care. One can plant trees by the hundreds a day but it will only die as fast if not given the required care.
Trees seedlings need area to grow both for root system and foliage. It must be provided with enough moisture until its roots had developed. Weeds must be removed, fenced to prevent destruction from animals. Tree like man is sensitive. Provide its needs, it grows luxuriant and beautiful. Give no care, it dies.

Therefore, plant and care trees for it pays doing it. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer


Ambrosio R. Villorente
Retrogression
The return of the ambulant vendors to Toting Reyes Street, Kalibo, Aklan means retrogression. This is backward looking and backward walking.

After the ambulant vendors left Toting Reyes Street five years ago, the area became passable to both vehicles and pedestrians. Now, some of those who advocated for the ambulant vendors to leave Toting Reyes are now opting for their return.

The return of the ambulant vendors to Toting Reyes will enable Kalibo to loss opportunities to advance forward. Once the ambulant vendors return to Toting Reyes St., the enthusiasm and the drive to search for a better market site will subside. This will serve as setback of Kalibo. To allow the return of ambulant vendors to Toting Reyes is a defeatist decision.

Leaders are contented of what is available even if of inferior site. They stunt to explore areas where everybody is agreeable.

After five years of leaving Toting Reyes Street for the exclusive use of pedestrians and vehicles, did it make Kalibo different? Inferior?

Is it correct to say that the present leadership of Kalibo does not want to construct but it only wants to utilize? The number of vehicles running in Kalibo and people in Kalibo have tremendously increased but notice, there is no additional road constructed.
 
Reclassify Aklan

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan has approved Resolution No. 2010 – 086 to reclassify the Province of Aklan from second to first class province. The reclassification request is based on the Aklan provincial income from Calendar Year (CY) 2005 of P365,434, 927.75 which increased annually until CY 2008 at P650,347,960.26.

This is a good move, a progressive one. The Department of Finance cannot do otherwise but to approve this request.
Blood Banking

It is not only money that is being banked. Blood is being banked as well. Excess money is deposited in a bank to be withdrawn when needed. Likewise, blood can also be deposited in a blood bank maybe operated by a hospital or by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) operating in a province, Aklan for instance. Anytime a member of the family who deposited blood, and needs it can withdraw where it was deposited.
Hon. Victor Manuel M. Garcia has filed SP Resolution requesting Gov. Carlito S. Marquez budget to finance the putting up of a blood bank in DRSTMH. Based on his estimate, the sum of P7.3 million is needed to procure two brand new blood bank refrigerators, brand new plasma freezer, brand new portable automatic sealer, brand new pharmaceutical refrigerator, brand new blood collection mixer, and other equipment. How about approving it?
 
Another Crown

Congratulations! Madam Vicky Ramos Antonino for your election as Chairman of the Regional (Region VI) Tourism Council. She out voted former Congressman John Orola of Bacolod City during the election on Sept. 30.

This is another crown for Madam Vicky who also co-chairs the Aklan Provincial Tourism Council. /MP

Kalibo Starts Preparation for 2011 Ati-atihan Festival


The Black Beauty Boys, a multi-awarded Kalibo Ati-atihan tribe doing their "sadsad" in Ati-atihan festival in Kalibo.

Preparation for next year’s Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-atihan Festival has officially started with the newly organized Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-atihan Foundation Incorporated (KASAFI) leading the way.

Kalibo Mayor William Lachica disbanded this year the Kalibo Ati-atihan Management Board (KAMB) which for years organized and managed the annual tradition being held for centuries. Lachica re-organized the management board and converted it into a foundation.

One of the starting points of the preparation is the signing of the memorandum of agreement between the local government and the KASAFI headed by Albert Meñez. Kalibo Parish Vicar General Monsignor Jose Dollete and Efren Trinidad representing the non-government organization witnessed the MOA signing.

The KASAFI composes the different sectors from the business, civic, academe, non-government and religious organizations in Kalibo.

After the MOA signing, Meñez said that they will soon be launching fund-raising activities for the festival.

"The Kalibo Ati-atihan has over the years, attracted and continued to attract companies and organizations to launch or advertise their products and services during the Ati-Atihan festival in January of each year.

"Given the media coverage and the variety of tourists descending on this festival town, advertisers and marketers have found the festival to be an effective medium of raising public awareness and thus increasing their market share," said Meñez. (PNA) /MP

NVC Graduate School Inducts Officers






The Northwestern Visayan Colleges (NVC) Graduate School held its General Assembly and Induction of officers last week in RSQ Bldg., Kalibo, Aklan.

Some 220 graduate students, majority of whom, are from Aklan and Antique attended the affair. The general assembly centered its discussion on the theme "The Role of Graduate School and Research In Enhancing Leadership and Managerial Capabilities".

Dr. Jesse M. Gomez, schools division superintendent of Roxas City Division was the guest speaker. His presentation deeply analyzed the theme with particular emphasis on the managerial capabilities of the schools administration. Open forum followed after Dr. Gomez’ presentation, moderated by Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente.

Dr. Reinalda I. Magdaluyo, dean of the Graduate School and College of Education welcomed the participants, guests and visitors.

Atty. Allen S. Quimpo, NVC president presided in the induction program. Those sworn to office are Marcial Rodriguez – president, Ruby Agnes Estrada – vice president, Azalia Eulalio–Jabagat – secretary, Purisima Randoy – treasurer, Edson Andrade – Asst. Sec. Treasurer, Roberto Vergara –Auditor, Ezequias Bansuli, and Amor Misplacido – business managers, Mark Selorio and Anna Lou Mole, Ariolo Aguirre, Maricris Indemne, Pearl Mari Baltazar, and Marianne Duran – Sgt. at Arms.

The Master of Public Administration Officers are Eulalio Laserna – president, Methuselah A. Santamaria – vice president, Garry L. Pastrana – secretary, Jona R. Pingoy – treasurer, Fria Mae Ursua – Asst. Sec. Treas., Villordon R. Manares – Auditor, and Abdon I. De Mateo – PRO. /MP

Boys & Girls Week of RC Roxas


by MEGS S. LUNN


The 28 high school students are lucky to be chosen to represent in the boys and girls week event of RC Roxas, the celebration of the New Generation Month this Sept. They faced a panel of adjudicators on Sept. 26 at the Provincial Health Office, Roxas City, Capiz.

There were 64 students applicants who took the exams on Sept. 25 at the Rotary Center. They came from both public and private high schools in Roxas City. Some 28 students successfully made it to the top. They are chosen to be Mayor, Vice-Mayor and Councilors for the week.

During the interview, one general guide question was given them: "If you are the new elected Philippine president, what are the first three priority projects you will carry out in your first 100 days?" They were very conversational and outspoken. They prioritized Education, Alleviation of Poverty and Health.

Education they said is key to progress. According to Ivy Lopez, a 16 year-old high school student, "if one gets a good education, he/she will surely succeed. However, most of the students at present are not serious in taking good education. "When asked why, she replied, "most perennial problems that the youths are facing right now are: teenage pregnancy, smoking/addiction, truancy and joining fraternities."

These concerns raised were likewise affirmed by the rest of them. A student, Stefanie explained, "some of the reasons why most students do not have interest in their studies are the low quality of teacher’s strategy in teaching lessons. Students, instead cut classes and play computers." Other classmates would say, "the teachers are boring, I hate the subjects".

As to their stand in the additional two years of school, they almost disagreed. Jasef said, "perhaps the government would instead think to add more classrooms and hire quality teachers so that students will become globally competitive." According to them, the additional two years will not answer the deteriorating standard of education, but rather, will give more problems to the parents especially that 80 percent of Filipinos fall below the poverty line."

On teenage pregnancy, John Rey said, "parents play a big role in discussing sex education in the dinner table. Among the 28 students, about half of them agreed to include sex education in the curriculum. They favor getting awareness thru sex education in school. As to how the module will be presented, is a matter to debate. They are concern of the few cases of teenage pregnancy in their school, even if they are not very much aware of the human reproductive system.

Truancy outside of the school community is rampant. Mariah Yza agrees to this. She suggested that computer shop owners should be disciplined by the city government and implement the law rigidly on truancy. Kirbie added, "to prevent these students from cutting classes and resort to truancy, teaching strategy should be improved. Teachers should be trained, learn new strategy in presenting lessons, make it interesting to them, provide teachers good salary, construct additional school rooms and facilities for more learning opportunities".

As to abolish Sangguniang Kabataan, Toni Maree, Ann Karlyn, Pearl Ann and Joem disagreed. They believed, they represent the voice of the youth and their Barangay. They do good deeds like providing sports fest for out of school youth and the like. However, Ferdinand, Jason Jay, Christina and Venice agree to abolish SK as they are being lured to corruption by some politicians like vote buying. They end up with corrupted mind and become liability of the community.

These students indeed identified perennial problems of the youth in school and in the community. They exposed negative cases happening before their eyes like addiction to smoking, drinking, peer pressure, population control, and selective justice especially to the poor.

As to the alleviation of poverty, they suggest feeding program, housing to the poor, and jobs to the jobless. As to health, they all agreed to solve the alarming Dengue.
They gave a grade for P-Noy six (6) in a scale of 1 – 10, 10 being the highest. They all saw the hostage crisis on television. They wished P-Noy could have done something to stop the crisis and avoid the loss of lives. Most of them idolized P-Noy. They hope Aquino could bring positive changes to the country and become the role model of the youth.

A couple of them gave solutions to improve tourism by bringing in investors in the country. Jan Erol affirmed, "where there is development, there is also negative effect of tourism. However, it is normal that there is the pros and cons to tourism, though there are more on the pro side like employment generation.

These 28 students are facing the challenges from Sept. 27 to October 1 at the Roxas City office. Led by Pres. Jerry Lames as the committee chairman, the panelists are PE Mariz Gepilano, PP Megs Lunn, Rtn. Raoul Bermejo, Rtn. Marie Antonette Borres, Rtn. Rexam and Rtn. Toto Arce. /MP

The Partnership of Media And Business for Development


by Ernesto T. Solidum
Boracay, the fabled island tourist destination is site of Publishers’ Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI) initiative to blunt the downward plunge of tourism revenues of the country. Joining the ranks are elite core of journalists from print and broadcast media, publishers from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao together with Aklan LGU officials and Boracay Foundation, Inc. (BFI)

Juan P. Dayang, PAPI Pres. earlier announced that 50 delegates from 17 provinces of the Visayan region were expected to come but it turned out the Sept. 25-26, 2010 guests doubled in attendance. The theme was "The New Media in the Service of Tourism and the Nation". Gracing the forum were Usec Jose Fabia, PIA, Usec Simeon Marfori, DOT, and Albay Governor Joey Salceda.

Usec. Fabia cited the impact of media coverage particularly the botched August 23 Quirino grandstand hostage crisis. Nevertheless, we need not dwell on the negative side but think positively on how we can recover from that adversity. The media has a definitive role to play in portraying our image both domestically and internationally. He spelled out PIA’s policies governing responsible journalism in a climate of shared interests and goals. Definitely, PIA is shedding its image from propaganda machine under Pres. Arroyo to development orientation of Pres. Benigno C. Aquino III.

"Tourism contributes 6.0 percent of GDP growth and 3.92 million jobs to our economy, said Usec Marfori. Our tourist arrivals is a modest 3.5 million annually but could be considerably increased with strategies to follow which are a) Developing new products aside from natural endowments like cultural heritage and relics of the past, b) Infra access to tourists attraction through public and private sector partnership, c) Marketing promotion in China, India, and the Middle East, and d) Implementation of Tourism Code by LGU’s.

Gov. Joey Salceda’s discussion of the Economics of Disaster Mitigation and its Impact on Tourism is considered mind boggling with research and statistical information. It all boils down to the fact that the increasing carbon foot-prints and unrelenting population growth have increased global temperatures by 1.4 to 1.8 degrees centigrade since 1880 when the Industrial Revolution began. Inexorably, we are now experiencing catastrophic weather disturbances such as El Niño, La Niña, and super typhoons.

"The Philippines contributes 0.24 percent, an insignificant volume of carbon dioxide to global warming. Yet it receives full impact as a result of massive appetite of industrialized nations to fossil fuels. Virtually, climate changes are impacting tourism, agriculture, fisheries, health, infra, transport our vital life supporting processes. Our next move is to claim carbon credits from our global polluters."

Aware of the UN Millennium Development Goals, the Albay Governor has embarked on successful projects like Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation. Presently Bicol registered an astounding 8.2 percent GDP growth in 2009 compared to national average of 1.1 percent. Thanks to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of its Chairman, Gov. Salceda of the Bicol Regional Development Council.

Turning to Aklan’s anemic money circulation despite P13 billion annual revenues, Gov. Salceda recommended development of cottage industries to address domestic and international markets. In addition, there must be aggressive promotion and funding of Aklan Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival to encourage more tourist arrivals.

Feedbacks from PAPI delegates about Boracay include the high cost of tourist accommodations in hotels, passenger jeepneys and tricycles, vagrancy and over development of the island. Vice Governor Billie Calizo–Quimpo mentioned that Environmental and Tourism Code of Aklan have been approved. However, the Comprehensive Land Use Plan of Malay will be taken up in a joint SP and SB session on October 6, 2010. The latter hopes to resolve conflicting issues and concern of land use by stakeholders and developers and the long term sustainability of the island.

The occasion also marked the induction of interim officers of the Federation of Provincial Press Clubs headed by Mr. Allen Sison, also Pres. of Pangasinan Press Club. In his acceptance speech, Mr. Sison vowed to provide insurance coverage to all media practitioners through House Legislation.

Importance of media in tourism development could not be overstated. In the words of Chairman Henry O. Chusuey of Boracay Regency, media must be honest, responsible and balanced in the delivery of information. We counter that this is also our sublime and unequivocal mission. Indeed media and businessmen are responsible partners for development. /MP

Margarito Stays In Big Bear As Pacquiao Hiefs Off To Baguio


by ALEX P. VIDAL
BOSTON, Massachusetts — They both have camped out in cold weathers. Best boxer pound-for-pound Manny Pacquiao in Baguio City, Philippines and three-time world champion Antonio Margarito in Big Bear, California.

Pacquiao and the hard-hitting Mexican warrior will dispute for 12 rounds the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) light middleweight tiara at the cavernous Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, USA on November 13 this year.
Big Bear Lake is a city northeast of San Bernardino County along the south shore of Big Bear Lake, located 25 miles (40 km).
The population was 5,438 at the 2000 census.
Surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest, Big Bear Lake is a year-round resort destination for South California.
Seven-time world champion and semi-retired Oscar De La Hoya was so enamored of the place he picked it for his training camp in his ill-fated fight against Pacquiao on December 6, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
 
SUMMER CAPITAL
 
Baguio City, on the other hand, is a highly urbanized city in northern Luzon, Philippines. It was established by Americans in 1900 at the site of an Ibaloi village known as Kafagway. Baguio City was designated by the Philippine Commission as the Summer Capital of the Philippines.

Team Pacquiao chose Baguio City over Vancouver, British Columbia when he revved up for this World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight battle against Miguel Angel Cotto on Nov. 14, 2009 also held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Now a member of the Philippine legislature representing Saranggani Province, Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KO) hopped from his major job in congress to his temporary training camp at the Elorde Gym in Paranaque City, Philippines before hieding off to the City of Pines recently.

He is favored to capture his record weight title against the taller Margarito (38-6, 27 KO), who holds a reputation as the first fighter to knock out the legendary Cotto on July 26, 2008.
ILL REPUTATION
 
Margarito is on a comeback bid after absorbing a humiliating stoppage loss to Shane Mosley on January 24, 2009 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. It was the fight that cost him his license which had been cancelled after he loaded his fists with plaster of paris.

Despite his ill reputation, Top Rank boss Bob Arum tapped Margarito to face Pacquiao after efforts to lure former pound-for-pound king and undefeated Floyd Mayweather in one of the longest negotiations in fight business history failed.

Margarito got back his license in Texas.

Pacquiao repulsed Joshua Clottey via 12-round unanimous decision for WBO welterweight crown on March 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in a match backed by Cowboys big boss Jerry Jones. /MP

Ang Ilog ni Nene


Mga Ginang at mga Ginoo:

Ako po ay isa sa mga mararaming tao sa probinsya ng Aklan na lubos na nanlulumo sa kasalukuyang kinasasapitan ng ating mga kailogan. Kung napapansin po ninyo, unti-unti na’ng bumababaw at dumudumi ang mga ilog natin. Bukod sa pinapaliguan, dati rati ay ang mga ito po ang pinagkukunan ng mga karamihan sa mga kababayan natin ng kanilang mga pang-inom, panluto, panlaba, at iba-iba pang pinanggagamitan. Malaki po ang kahalagahan ng mga ilog natin sa ating lalawigan.
Sa pamamagitan ng tula sa ibaba, ako po ay nagbabasakali na muling mapukaw ang mga kababayan natin sa kahalagahan ng ating unti-unting nawawalang mga ilog. Ang isang malinis at malusog na ilog ay nakakapagbigay ng buhay, samantalang ang isang marumi at natutuyong ilog ay walang ibang hatid kundi - salot.

Maraming-maraming salamat po.
Ang Ilog ni Nene

Noong si Nene ay may pagkabata pa,
ilog malalim at higit limang dipa;
isda ay sagana busog ang pamilya,
pag nauhaw.. sa tabi lang humukay ka.
Sa t’wing umaga si Nanay naglalaba,
maruming damit sa ilog dinadala;
at habang labang damit ay nakakula
si Nene’t si Nanay naliligo muna.
Ang ilog ni Nene’y lugar pahingahan
ng mga tao lalo na’t kabataan;
pag sa buhay sila ay nabibigatan,
ilog ang tungo bigat ay gumagaan.
Lumipas ang panahon ilog ay tuyo,
kumalat putol-putol na mga puno;
dati tabing ilog hitik ng kakahuyan,
ngayon nasa pangpang baboy at kulungan.
Nakakalbong kakahuyan dapat agapan,
kung hindi ang ilog ang s’yang matuyuan;
pagbagsak ng ulan baha di’y aapaw,
laking pinsala maraming mamamatay.
Hindi pa huling dilubyo ay maiwasan,
ang pangpang ng ilog ay muling taniman;
tabi linisin at lagyan ng kakahuyan,
at nang ilog ni Nene magandang tingnan.

NPA Leader Dies in Negros Occidental


A top leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) was killed during an encounter with government troops in Sitio Dung-e, Barangay Manlucahoc, Sipalay City, Negros Occidental Tuesday afternoon last week.

The military said the body of Armando Sumayang, also known as "Pao" and "Joas" and the appointed secretary of the CPP’s KR-Negros Southwest Front, was recovered early Wednesday morning by the 31st Division Reconnaissance Company of the Philippine Army.

Information from the public affairs office of the 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division (3ID) stated that Sumayang’s group was earlier seen resting near a creek in Barangay Manlucahoc.

The members of the 3ID’s Task Group Southwest Negros responded to the area upon receiving a report from disgruntled former sympathizers of the group.

Aside from Sumayang’s body, also recovered from the area are a homemade shotgun and his personal belongings.

Meantime, the 303rd Infantry (Brown Eagle) Brigade is still conducting pursuit operations to capture the remaining rebels.

"We will maintain the pressure and eventually flush them out of hiding," 303rd Brigade Commander Col. Jonas Sumagaysay said. (PNA) /MP

Malay & Coron Are Sister Towns


Both the local governments of Malay, Aklan and Coron, Palawan have initially agreed to ink a sisterhood agreement between the two towns for tourism purposes.

Councilors and government representatives from Coron, Palawan recently met with their counterparts in Malay, Aklan. They both agreed that tourists from Boracay would love to also visit Coron and vice versa.

Because of this, the two town councils plan to lobby for different airline companies to explore the possibilities of having direct flights from Caticlan Airport, Malay, Aklan to Coron, Palawan and vice versa.

The Malay Council members recalled that some airline companies have direct flights from Caticlan Airport, Malay to Coron, Palawan. But the plane connection has been stopped.

Both the Malay and the Coron councils still continue drafting the details of the text of the sisterhood agreement.

The two towns also vowed to strengthen the tourism industry of both municipalities once the agreement have materialized. (PNA)/MP

No Jueteng In Western Visayas

Police Regional Office (PRO) 6 Director Chief Supt. Samuel D. Pagdilao, Jr. said, “there is no jueteng in Western Visayas unlike in Luzon”.

According to Pagdilao, “only Small Town Lottery (STL) exists in Western Visayas which is a derivative of jueteng but this has been legalized by the government.”

He further said that although STL has been legalized, there are some provinces where it has not been allowed by the local government units (LGUs).

According to Pagdilao, STL is allowed in Iloilo City but not in Iloilo province. Thus, the operators who collect bets in Iloilo province are being charged by the police for their illegal operations. “It (STL) is legal only within the area where the authorized franchise is,” Pagdilao said.

“This is the same case with Bacolod City where STL is not authorized, but it is authorized in Negros Occidental,” added Pagdilao.

“This is why the reported Boy Jalandoni, who is an authorized franchise holder of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office in Negros Occidental and who has been previously reported to operate STL illegally, could have been identified because of his collectors who penetrate Bacolod City.” Pagdilao explained.

But the intelligence report in Negros Occidental has cleared Jalandoni of involvement in illegal gambling.

For Aklan and Antique provinces, the problem on illegal gambling is not much except for the betting on the last two winning numbers of STL and lotto and the cara ‘y cruz or what is locally known as “hantak.” “For Guimaras province where the STL is not being permitted, some Iloilo City operators also illegally operate the numbers game, but their number is small,” added Pagdilao. (PNA) /MP

Consumerism, Product Standards And Safety Showcase Forum

To celebrate the Consumer Welfare Month and in observance of the Product Standards and Intellectual Property Rights Week this October, the Department of Trade and Industry – Aklan will organize a Forum on Consumerism and Product Standards and Safety Showcase. This will take place on 14 October (8:30 am to 4:30 pm). The venue is in ACP Centerpointe, Archbishop Gabriel Reyes St., Kalibo, Aklan.
The invited participants are consumers coming from the different sectors (government academe, students, Pos/NGOs, business, professional groups and civil society).

The resource persons will be from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Health, Bureau of Product Standards, and Philippine Product Safety and Quality Foundation, Inc. Exhibitors are local dealers/retailers of mandatory electrical and other hardware products.

The main objective of these activities is to heighten public awareness about consumers’ rights and enhance their knowledge on the significance of standards quality and safe electrical/hardware products, as well as, the different consumer welfare advocacies of the government and other private agencies.

Induction of the newly elected officers of Altavas Consumers Organization, Numancia Consumers Organization and ASU-Kalibo Consumers Advocates Club will be held on the day of the forum. Gov. Carlito S. Marquez will preside the induction ceremony.

This year’s Consumer Welfare Month Celebration is led by Department of Environment and Natural Resources on the theme, “Consumers: Green Multipliers”. /MP

Western Visayas Receives National Gawad Kalasag Award


Western Visayas is awarded the National Gawad Kalasag Award.

The Gawad KALASAG (Kalamidad at Sakuna Laban, Sariling Galing ang Kaligtasan) is award Malacanang and the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) give to recognize the stakeholders in their Disaster Risk Management program.

Office of Civil Defense (OCD) regional director Rosario T. Cabrera was informed that Region VI will receive the Gawad Kalasag Award for having the Best Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council (MDCC), Best Barangay Disaster Coordinating Council (BDCC), Best Private/Volunteer Organization, Best NGOs on Humanitarian Assistance and the Best School.

Cabrera said, "the award for the Best MDCC 1st-3rd Class Category went to San Jose, Antique as 1st Place, and for the 4th-6th Class Category to the Guimbal, Iloilo as 1st Place."

The Best BDCC award is won by Barangay Hoskyn, Jordan, Guimaras as 2nd place.
The Private/Volunteer Organization Category is won by 5052nd Search and Rescue Auxiliary Squadron of Antique as 1st place.

The Best NGOs on Humanitarian Assistance Award went to Social Action Center – Diocese of Antique as 3rd place.

Cabasi-Sta Rosa Elem. School, Guimbal won 1st place in the School Category National Gawad Kalasag. (PNA) /MP

Sunday, September 26, 2010

EDITORIAL

No Bet, No Jueteng
“JUETENG” still flourishes due to the blessings of the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Philippines National Police” said Sen. Miriam Defensor – Santiago in a privilege speech on September 22.

Santiago added, “The equation DILG plus PNP equals jueteng means that illegal jueteng consists of conspiracy between the interior secretary and the police chief”. The two key government officials are the “prime beneficiaries and ultimate protector” of jueteng, she pointed out.

In her privilege speech, Sen. Santiago linked an incumbent governor allied with Ms. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as among those who are involved in this illegal gambling.

About P118.1 million a day is collected from 42 cities and provinces from seven regions in Luzon and Metro Manila. There is no mention of Visayas and Mindanao which areas are also engaging in Jueteng.

The top five in Jueteng in Santiago’s list are Atong Ang, Tony Santos, Danny Soriano, Aging Lisan and Bong Pineda who is the husband of Gov. Lilia Pineda of Pampanga.

Moreover, Sen. Santiago also pointed to Ilocos Sur Gov. Chavit Singson as the main Jueteng operation in Ilocos Norte, IIocos Sur, and La Union, Bonito Singson in Abra, and Boy Bata in Pangasinan.

As to the daily income, Santiago revealed Pangasinan – P9 million Ilocos Sur – P2 million, Ilocos Norte – 2 million, Abra – P900,000, and La Union – P800,00. In Region 2, according to Sen. Santiago, Atong Ang’s area, Isabela P3.5 million and Nueva Vizcaya gets P1.5 million. In Cagayan, Danny Soriano has a daily take of P1.4 million, and P300,000 in Querino.

Sen. Santiago revealed she received report that the Jueteng operations in Nueva Ecija get a revenue of P7.5 million P9 million – each in Bulacan and Pampanga, P3 million – Bataan and P1.5 million – Angeles City. In Tarlac, the daily revenue is P3 million, but no mention who is responsible in Jueteng operation.

Sen. Santiago recommended for the graceful exit of DILG Sec. Rico Puno from the Cabinet of P-noy. Usec Puno has announced, he will submit his resignation paper to P-noy.

That Sen. Santiago privilege speech came as a bombshell in the Senate floor on Sept. 22. But who are the casualties?

Under Sec. Rico Puno has opted to resign not only on illegal gambling but also because of the “major, major” hostage drama in the Luneta on Aug. 23, 2010.

Gov. Chavit Singson of Ilocos Sur vehemently denied he is involved in the jueteng payola. He challenged Sen. Santiago to furnish proof, witnesses. But who will testify against Singson? Well headed Filipinos can just read historical facts about jueteng who is one of the causes of the downfall of President Erap in 2001?

Atong Ang, number game also denied his involvement in illegal gambling. Atong Ang admitted he is only a consultant on jueteng. He is therefore an excellent specialist on number games protocol. And he was consulted by Bishop Oscar Cruz. Did Atong Ang give it all to Bishop Cruz?

If Ang is consultant, who are his clients? He should reveal to the public who are consulting him. Anyone who consults Ang is probably the “top guns” in the jueteng industry. Why consult Ang if they are not in the deals?

Jueteng in the Philippines has been discussed for a long, long time with the view to ultimately stop for it is a public menace. But it is still here persisting.

The only way to stop jueteng is to stop placing bets. Jueteng is a business and any business enterprises will not prosper and finally stop when there is no clients, no patronage.

STOP JUETENG, illegal gambling by not placing any bet. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente
The Difference
After one decade, Metro Manila has changed. The use of modern information technology enabled the newsboy to stop vending newspapers along the roads. Newsboys are no longer visible on the roadsides to sell newspapers. Even the sidewalk vendors had only limited copies of newspapers for sale every morning.

Today, most of the people of Metro Manila have their own laptops which they connect to the internet to read the news reports. Unlike before, people have converged in Metro Manila which brought about several problems. There is squatting problem for lack of space, garbage, traffic, peace, order, pollution. Name a problem, and they have it in Metro Manila.

Multi storey buildings are increasing but not enough. Cost of food and anything are increasing. inspite of the multi – level roads and highways, vehicles move at a very slow speed.

Tried to drive in Metro Manila this week and I lost my way because of the physical changes. I thought I can do it because I lived in Metro Manila for 45 years (1955 – 2000). But no!

Why not move out of Metro Manila, back to your roots? Just take a vacation if necessary. Leaving Metro Manila for the province will mitigate the difficult condition in Metro Manila.

I feel good after returning to the Province, Aklan. There are more good food, limited pollution, and good neighbors. Life amenities are better.

Major, Major Review

The report of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) that investigated the August 23 hostage taking incident was submitted to P-noy and to the Hongkong officials.

However, it will be reviewed by a committee composed of the Executive Secretary and the Presidential Legal Adviser before P-noy will take any action on the said report.

The IIRC which investigated the incident and made the report was chaired by DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima. If ever the review is made, Sec. de Lima must not be included. She made the report and she must have studied all aspects of the report. Why include her in the review?

If ever she joins in the review, it must be limited to the explanation she may give on items not clear to the review committee.

Eat Hotdog

Reports reached us that President Noynoy and party ate hotdog in New York. They also ate lunch which cost $2,000.

To me, that is a minor information to hear. I expect them to live a normal life, especially abroad. That information brings more humiliation and complex to the Filipinos.

The best information to hear is the favorable attitude of his counterparts broad toward the Philippines and the Filipinos. It will be best to know the respect accorded President Noynoy by other heads of states.

Dengue and Perfume

Perfume a person uses to attract other persons, especially the opposite sex also attracts Dengue mosquitoes and malaria mosquitoes.

According to Dr. Estrella Cruz, mosquitoes are attracted to people "who sprayed too much perfume or cologne, who sweated profusely, wore dark sleeveless clothing and shorts. Mosquitoes re attracted to hundreds of stimuli, as it can smell humans more so often when sprayed perfume and when one sweats."

Dr. Estrella Cruz is an entomologist at the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine. /MP

Caticlan/Cagban Jetty Ports and Terminals Prohibits Smoking

Effective August 1, 2010, smoking is strictly prohibited in Caticlan/Cagban Jetty Ports and Passenger Terminals. The prohibition is mandated by Provincial Ordinance No. 004, S. 1995 “Ordinance Banning Smoking in Certain Public Places in Aklan Province and Imposing Penalty for Violation Thereof”, as amended by Provincial Ordinance No. 02-005.

Mr. Niven M. Maquirang, Jetty Port Administrator and his staff members are strictly implementing the said provincial ordinance since August 2010, specifically within the premises of the Caticlan/Cagban jetty ports and passenger terminals.

Provincial Ordinance No. 004, S. 1995 strictly banned smoking in hospitals, assembly halls, enclosed and air-conditioned public buildings, school rooms, auditoriums, sports complex, movie houses, and other similar places and establishments except in designated smoking areas of said establishments.

The penalty imposed by said provincial ordinance as provided in Section 2 is a fine of not more than One Hundred Pesos (P100.000) or imprisonment from one to ten days of arresto menor or both such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the Court.

Said ordinance was enacted on Oct. 31, 1995 when the vice governor and regular presiding officer of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan was former vice governor and now Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Jean O. Rodriguez. The provincial legislative body then was composed of Plaridel M. Morania, Ronquillo C. Tolentino, the late Victorio R. Mabasa, Lou P. Tirol, Alexander S. Sitjar, Romeo P. Inocencio, Apolinario Roldan (representing the PCL) and Rodson F. Mayor (representing the ABC). Other members of the SP at that time were Santiago R. Regalado, Roberto M. Garcia, Jr., and Jean T. Fuentes (representing the SK).

Upon the passage of Republic Act No. 8749, otherwise known as the Philippine Clean Air Act, the penalty imposed, pursuant to Rule LVI Sec. 5 of its implementing rules, against violators of the smoking ban is six months and one day to one year imprisonment, or a fine of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000).

Hencefore, Provincial Ordinance No. 02-005 introduced by lawyer Estrella M. Briones, then SP member, effectively amended Provincial Ordinance No. 004, S. 1995 adopting penalties imposed by R.A. 8749.

The general public, tourists, commuters and all concerned utilizing the Caticlan/Cagban Jetty Ports and Passenger Terminal in coming to and from Boracay Islands are hereby advised to refrain from smoking. /MP

3 Provinces in Panay Island Report On Rice Infestation


Three provinces in Panay island have now reported to the Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Office 6 their problem on rice infestation.

DA Agriculture Center Chief Ricardo B. Saltin said that as of late they have received a report on rice infestation from the provinces of Capiz, Antique and Iloilo.

For the province of Capiz, the municipality of Mambusao has reported that 1,000 hectares of the rice fields have been affected with 2-5 hectares now on the booting or ripening stage damaged while for the municipality of Dumalag 70 hectares have been affected with three to four- hectares damaged.

Also in the municipality of Cuartero, there are 20 hectares affected with two to five hectares damaged.

The province of Antique particularly in the town of Sibalom has 18 hectares of rice fields affected with 5 hectares damaged.

Iloilo province, however, has the biggest affected area of 6,762.95 hectares and area damaged of 1,329.975 hectares.

Saltin advised the farmers to use carbamate as insecticide when spraying the plants. He said that before spraying farmers should clear the area because it is where the pests usually stay.

Farmers should also use 20 tank loads of carbamate per hectare to see its effectiveness. (PNA) /MP

It’s Time To Grant Amnesty To Soldiers


Members of the civil society and the opposition have crossed party lines to persuade President Benigno Aquino III to grant amnesty to active and former military officers and enlisted personnel involved in the failed mutinies against the Arroyo administration for the sake of peace and reconciliation.

In a manifesto that appeared in a national broadsheet, they urged the President to extend a hand of reconciliation to soldiers in the same way the present administration is reaching out to the Communist Party of the Philippines, the Moro National Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to resolve the long-standing political conflicts.

"This appeal is neither to encourage impunity for their actions in the Oakwood incident of 2003, the Marine standoff of 2006, nor for those in The Peninsula Manila siege of November 2007 and several other related incidents," stated the manifesto signed by 90 national and local leaders that included former President Joseph Estrada, former Senate Presidents Jovito Salonga and Ernesto Maceda, former Chief Justice Reynato Puno and former House Speaker Jose De Venecia, Jr.

"We believe that it is time for them to rebuild their lives, and in the process, contribute to rebuilding this nation," they added, since these soldiers have already "paid their dues" and have suffered the consequences of their actions.

Recently, the Senate has approved a resolution seeking the temporary transfer of custody of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to the upper chamber to allow him to fulfill his mandate as representative of 12 million Filipinos who voted for him in the 2007 elections.

Trillanes has been under detention since 2003 for the coup d’ etat charges in connection with the Oakwood mutiny in Makati City. He also faces rebellion charge with the Makati Regional Trial Court for taking part in the 2007 takeover of Peninsula hotel.

Aside from Trillanes, the only mutineer left in detention, about 300 to 500 officers and enlisted personnel will be affected by the amnesty. Others have been released from detention but with pending cases before the civilian courts for the mutinies against the government of former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. 
"President Noy, we believe that granting amnesty to these soldiers is not only acceptable, but also timely in view of the government’s agenda for peace and reconciliation," the manifesto said.

Others who signed the manifesto are Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, former Senators Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Leticia Ramos-Shahani and Victor Ziga; former Justice Secretary Artemio Tuquero; Jesus is Lord leader Bro. Eddie Villanueva; constitutionalist and Ateneo Law School dean Fr. Joaquin Bernas; Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines director Bishop Broderick Pabillo; Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz; and retired Air Force commander Gen. Ramon Farolan and Commodore Rex Robles.

Former UP president Dr. Francisco Nemenzo, University of the Philippines professors Randy David and Raul Pangalangan, former Pangasinan Gov. Oscar Orbos, Ilocos Norte  Gov. Imee Marcos, former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros -Baraquel, Liberal Party director general Chito Gascon, PDP-Laban secretary general Jose De Venecia III, Concerned Citizen Movement lawyer Harry Roque, Black and White co-conveners Imelda Nicolas and Leah Navarro, and whistle-blower Rodolfo "Jun" Lozada also signed the manifesto. /MP

Celebrating Aklan Ati-Atihan Festivals


by Ernesto T. Solidum
Officers and members of the Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Foundation, Inc. (KASAFI) are guests of the September 18, 2010 Kapehan at Smokehauz Resto & Bar. The topic is "2010 Kalibo Ati-Atihan Festival" celebration. Mr. Albert A. Meñez, BOD Chairman, Ms. Mila R. Balleza, Secretary, Mr. Augusto C. Tolentino and Mr. Edison M. Lao – Auditors, Mr. Dennis Dalida and Mr. Joselito Motus, – members Festival Event attended the forum.

Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino, Consultant of KASAFI, stated that Section 23 of our Constitution in the Declaration of State Policies encourages involvement of non-government organization (NGOs) in government planning and implementation of programs/projects for the benefit of society.

Ms. Balleza said, "the overriding concern of KASAFI is a meaningful and successful religious revival of Ati-Atihans’ colorful past. The only way to achieve this is through volunteerism. Today we have all private and public sectors represented in the Foundation that we are bound to succeed".

The creation of KASAFI, according to Meñez, is mandated Resulotion No. 2010-41 approved by Mayor William S. Lachica. This is formal transfer of power from the Kalibo Ati-Atihan Management Board created in February 2, 1988 during the incumbency of Mayor Allen S. Quimpo. While there is considerable outpouring of support from our local partners, we need to reach out to our friends and benefactors abroad. Kalibo Ati-Atihan is known as the "Mother of Festivals" in the country and we believed preparation for this event must be on year long basis.

Atty. Tolentino believes that Kalibo festival, over the past two or three decades, have considerably weakened because of inadequate tourism promotion. "What I see from my travel abroad is that airport and hotel lounges have stocks of flyers/leaflets advertising festivals celebrations. What can be disheartening is that nothing is mentioned about Aklans’ Ati-Atihan. I think the best way to start massive info campaign begins among us – members of the tri-media and fanning throughout the country and the world through the internet".

"Balik Ati" concept started in last year’s celebration will be featured again according to Mr. Dalida. Presently, there are 25 active groups that urgently need sponsorship by individuals, business establishments or organizations. He averred that reason behind the success of festivals in neighboring is sponsorship and commitment.

Mr. Lao is rallying for support to a plan to transfer flea market from shopping area to Veterans’ Avenue. The objective is to avoid disruption of regular business flow and transactions from establishments in and around Shopping Center. Important changes will be the rerouting of procession and ceremonial parade. Parking of motor vehicles along Mabini St. will disappear completely in order to allow free passage of RORO passenger buses and trucks.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mutos will implement poster making contest and Day of the Drums from Monday to Friday. In view of the shortage of lodging accommodation in Kalibo, he proposes that Day Tours be encouraged among local and foreign tourists from Boracay. KASAFI will coordinate with Boracay Foundation, Inc. to provide shuttle buses for their interested guests to see and enjoy the week long festival in Kalibo. Actually, this is reminiscent of the heyday of late Mayor Federico Icamina where boatloads of tourists from Negros Occidental docked at New Washington Port, their ship converted as floating hotel.

Replacement of inept Kalibo Ati-Atihan Management Board of KASAFI is long overdue. It is hailed as monumental success for Mayor William Lachica to rid the organization of in-competent officials. Kalibo Ati-Atihan celebration has waned over the years with loss of religious adherents and public support. This was compounded with shooting rampage resulting to the deaths of three members of the PNP and one civilian almost six years ago. Now heightened PNP alert is always part of the celebration and foreign tourists often shy away from "tightly secured military strongholds". It is understandable since British and Malaysian law enforcers use night stick. Here in this country, we use assault rifles and high caliber pistols in maintaining peace and order. Yet our streets and homes are not safe against criminals.

Now the "Mother" is eclipsed by its dashing and more popular cousins: Dinagyang of Iloilo, Sinulog of Cebu and Maskara of Bacolod. The younger generation seems to be fascinated with these festivals that millions are attracted there. What make them tick?
Well, the common bond is part entertainment, semblance of religiosity and culture. Admired ones are choreographic tableau presentation of different tribes of Sinulog, rhythmic dance steps and exotic costumes of Dinagyang and outlandish masks design of Maskara. Evidently, they just evolved from Ati-Atihan taking advantage of local talent and raw materials. In all these celebrations, audience is passively watching the events unfurled before their eyes as if mesmerized.

In the case of the Kalibo Ati-Atihan, both participants and guests are free to enjoy the rhythm and beats of the drums. Prancing and shouting "Viva kay Sr. Sto. Niño" could be an arduous six kilometer trek through sun and even rain. Aching muscles, sunburned faces and tired feet are parts of festival experiences but nevertheless cherished. Religious vows are actually of self sacrifice and piety.

It would be welcome event that all 17 towns in Aklan are slated to present their One Town One Product display floats during the Ati-Atihan parade. Given that tribal groups are privately sponsored. There is a need to hedge in commercial advertisements like product display, banner and streamers.

While KASAFI may be engrossed over tourism and material benefits, why don’t we consider deepening our Christian faith? Remember that Kalibo’s celebration is both religious and cultural. We need to be original and devoid of inconsistencies. What if we failed to be No. 1 in the region? Tourism is just an offshoot of our religious-cultural heritage. Some may exploit this for economic gain but let this be exercised in moderation. It would be best under the circumstances to practice our life, holy and acceptable in the eyes of God and not of men. Those that think otherwise are plain hypocrites. /MP

Lalong Nagalit Ang Intsik Hongkong

Sa halip na humupa ang galit ay lalo umanong “uminit ang ulo” ng mga taga Hong Kong.

Makaraang pababain pa ng Pangulong Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III ang pagtingin sa opisyal ng pamahalaan ng Hongkong. Lumalabas na hindi itinuring na ka-level niya ang pinuno ng Hongkong at hindi tama sa protocol ang pagtawag ni Tsang sa kanya dahil ito ay isang “gobernador” lamang at “probinsiya” lang ng Tsina ang Hongkong. Matatandaan natin na ang Hongkong ay itinuring ng Tsina na isang Special Autonomous Region o halos isang “independent state” ng Tsina.

Hindi sinagot ni PNoy ang tawag ni Tsang sa kasagsagan ng hostage crisis at sabi niya sa kanyang presscon, hindi din niya sinagot ang sulat ni Tsang at ito ay nakakainsulto. Sinabi ni Donald Tsang na puno ng respeto ang sulat niya. Ang mga taga Hongkong naman ay puno ng sama ng loob dahil sa maliit pala ang tingin ni PNoy sa kanila sa kabila ng OFWs natin sa Hongkong at marami silang naging contribution sa economiya at business ng Pilipinas.

Ayon kay Dolores Balladares-Pelaes, Chairwoman ng 6,000 strong member ng United Filipino Union sa Hong Kong, hindi umano nagustuhan ng mga taga Hong Kong ang ginawang pagdepensa ng Pangulo sa ilang miyembro ng gabinete at mga opisyal ng Philippine National Police (PNP) na pumalpak sa naganap ng hostage drama, sa naganap na media forum sa Malacanang kamakailan.

Sinabi pa ni Dolores, ang inaasahan sanang paghupa ng galit ng mga taga Hong Kong ay ang gagawing pagsibak ng Pangulo sa mga opisyal ng gobyerno na natukoy na nagkamali sa pagresolba sa naganap na “hostage crisis”.

Ikinumpara pa ni Balladares, ang ginawang pagsibak ng Pangulo kay Frisco Nilo ng PAGASA ay ura-urada na wala namang kapalpakan na ginawa pero ang mga tauhan ng PNP at ilang miyembro ng gabinete na hindi gumawa ng mabilis at matalinong aksiyon sa hostage drama ay nananatili pa sa puwesto hanggang ngayon.

“Karamihan sa mga sinabi niya sa media ay hindi nakatulong, gaya ng lalo na ng sabihin ng Pangulo na katapat ni Tsang ay isang Governador lang kaya hindi sinagot ang tawag nito sa telepono” dagdag pa ni Balladares. /MP

Dreaming And Breathing “Multicolored” Air


by Gabriel M. Delfin
I like to walk around in our streets, and roads. Why? I breathe techni-colored air, black, white, a combination of black and white and others. And sometimes air mixed with cement. A nice combination?

Certainly it is. For this is what we get on our streets and roads. Is it healthy? If you are in doubt, don’t walk without a mask. And savor the Aklan air.

Yes, I am talking about our dear beloved Aklan. The streets of our towns, any town and our highways. Provincial or national road. It does not matter.

But where do these kinds of air, the black smoke flying around, come from? From tricycles, diesel-fed cars and vans and delivery trucks or 10-wheelers. And cement dust from delivery trucks (ten wheelers and others) that deliver cement either from the wharf, any wharf, to either the bodegas or construction sites.

Shall this environmental condition in our province continue? For how long? Who is (are) concerned with this?

One crack pot told us that if this condition continues in our province, especially Kalibo and neighboring towns such as Banga, New Washington, and Numancia, there may be an epidemic of (tuberculosis) TB and/or lung cancer in 10 to 12 years.

Let us consider the tricycles waiting for passengers in front of schools. With 15 to 20 tricycles "blowing" their black or technicolor smokes in front of 7 to 10 years old children, what do you expect in the near future? Say, about ten, fifteen years late? Their continuous breathing those smoke-filled air from grade one to six?

When series of ailments hound those school children, who are responsible? And when medical expense mount with those sicknesses attending our school children knowing not the cause of an "epidemic" to whom do we go? Or get money for medicine and medical treatment?

Have our parents not seen these? Why? They don’t even cover the noses and mouths of their children when these smoke-belchers pass. Or when tricycle drivers warm up their vehicle at home. They seem careless about it. Probably, they are just ignorant of the effects these environment-unfriendly vehicle pass their way.

Do our PCTAs officers consider discussing these, this subject matter, during their regular meetings? This is beside the contributions parents may dole out.

Yes, we have a lot of trees around us – in all towns of Aklan. But who breathe that air before it gets to the trees some distance away?

Am I dreaming? Yes, let us all of us, wake up from our deep slumber. And consider this unidentified problem that may take a procession of coffins to the cemetery in the near future. That is if we wake up too late.

But who is responsible? Let us not play a blame game. Don’t blame the Land Transportation Office (LTO). That office does its duty. All these vehicles pass the Smoke Emission Test. But our drivers, together with their owners, use their ingenuity. They clean their vehicles to pass the Smoke Emission Test before the renewal of their annual vehicle registration. But coming out of that office means total freedom. And does the unbelievable. So smoke gets into our eyes again, as the song states.

One knowledgeable friend once said, "I don’t know if our traffic enforcers have seen those smoke? Or have they not breathe them and savor them? And those at street corners blow their whistles until they turn blue. Or is there real traffic enforcement despite our laws and ordinance?"

So, let us take a walk and breathe. Technicolored air which no other place, but the Philippines, Aklan in particular, is known for. And develop the base of whatever ailment that may come our way. You bet /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda


Ni Tita Linda Belayro
Ro Baganihan It Mga Ilokano
Ro pangaean ni Lam-ang hay bukang-bibig sa kada Ilokano. Imaw ra ro guina kilaea nga baganihan sa bug-os nga Ilokandia. Kon ham-an, hayra ro epiko hanungod kana.
Si Lam-ang hay unga nanday Don Juan ag Namongan. Sanda ro pinaka manggaranon nga pamilya sa Ilokos. Sa pagkatawo pa eang ni Lam-ang, maka hambae eot-a imaw. Hasayran eon man nana sa anang ina nga nakipag away ro anang ama sa mga Igorot. Halin kato, owa eon maka balik ro anang ama. Nag ea-ong si Lam-ang sa anang ina nga imaw ro ma boeos sa pagkamatay ko anang ama.

Maskin guin pahan-an imaw nga peligroso ro anang paga obrahon, nagpadayon man imaw guihapon. Sa anang kaga-oy, nagpahuway anay imaw sa idaeum it punong kahoy.

Nagdamgo imaw nga ro oeo ko anang ama hay naga kabit sa butong ag guina piyestahan it mga Igorot. Sa anang kaakig, dali-dali imaw it bangon ag magpadayon sa pagpanaw hasta nakaabot sa lugar it mga Igorot. Hakita nana nga guina saut-sautan ro oeo ko anang ama.

Inatubang nana ro pinuno it mga Igorot nga si Bumakas. Nag away sanda. Sa bulig ko anang amigong hangin, hadaug nana si Bumakas kaibahan ko anang mga soldado halin sa 25 ka mga barangay.

Nag uli imaw sa anang ina. Sa owa magbuhay, nag ea-ong eon man imaw nga mapangasawa si Inez, ro pinaka gwapa nga babaye sa bug-os nga Ilokandia. Nag panaw si Lam-ang. Nag agi imaw sa suba agod magpaligos. Tongod sa kahigko ko anang buhok na higkoan man ro tubi it suba. Bangod kara, ro mga isda ag mga poeos-anon hay nagkaeamatay. Pagka paligos, nagpadayon it panaw. Hasubeang nana ro mga daeaga nga nagpreparar it shampoo halin sa abo it mga taeahib.

Nag ilis imaw it sadyaan nga biste ag kaibahan ko anang mga magic nga mga hayopan, nagpadueong sa baeay ni Inez. Hasubeang nana si Sumarong nga isaea sa naga pangasawa man kay Inez. Nag away sanda. Sa bulig ko anang amigong hangin, hadaug nana si Sumarong. Pati pa ngani si Saridandan nga bu-ot nga magpikot kana.

Sa pag-abot nana sa kalamutian, sayod ni Lam-ang nga may mga pagsubok imaw nga maagyan. Rondaya hay matupungan ro manggad nanday Inez. Sinabat sanda nga kumaingking guid lang ro manggad ni Inez ikumpara sa ana. May ana pa nga koneksyon sa negosyo sa hari it Puan-Puan. Nakapasa si Lam-ang sa pa abu-abo it manggad ag nag asawa sanda ni Inez.

Sa guihapon, owa pa matapos ro anang kalbaryo. Kinahangean nga mapatay rong isdang Rarang nga guina kahadlukan it tanan. Sayod si Lam-ang nga paga tunlon imaw it isda, ag guin tueon ngani. Pagkasayod ni Inez nga guin toeon ro anang asawa it Rarang, nag usoy imaw it pinaka mayad nga manog eonip. Guin tipon tanan ro toe-an ni Lam-ang ag guin hamyad sa tapis ni Inez. Paagi sa ritwal ko anang magic nga mga alilang hayop, nagbalik ro kabuhi ni Lam-ang. Nag uli sanda sa paghinugyaw ko mga tawo. Owa eon rong guin kahadlukan nga isda. Rondaya ro rasun kon ham-an it indi guid malipatan ro pangaean ni Lam-ang sa bug-os nga Ilokandia. /MP

Police Arrests Tourist For Cocaine In Boracay

Operatives of the Boracay Special Tourism Police Office (BSTPO) arrested a 34-year old tourist for possession of cocaine, a prohibited drug, while staying in this resort island.

Police officials identified the suspect as Nikki Araneta, a resident of Makati City.

Based on the police investigation, a police personnel accidentally caught Araneta in possession of suspected cocaine while inside the comfort room of a bar in Boracay. Araneta reportedly came out of the comfort room bringing along with her a sachet of cocaine and a drug paraphernalia.

The plastic sachet, which contains the suspected cocaine, was then sent to the crime laboratory of the Police Regional Office-Western Visayas in Iloilo City, for examination.

Araneta remains detained at the BSFO lock-up cell while police is preparing charges of violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act once the laboratory test turns positive of cocaine.
PNP-Media Relations Seminar In Aklan
A two-day Philippine National Police-Media Relations seminar was held at Camp Pastor Martelino Kalibo, Aklan on September 16-17 which aimed to foster harmonious relations between the PNP and media personnel.

Sr. Supt. Epifanio Bragais, provincial police director Police Chief Supt. Samuel Pagdilao Jr., Police Regional Director for Western Visayas, led in the seminar participated in by the local media and police information officers in 17 towns of the province.

Police from the Boracay Special Tourism Police Office also sent a delegation.
The said event was supported by the Aklan Provincial Government.

The PNP-Media relations seminar was ordered by Pagdilao to be organized in the provincial level after a successful regional conference was held in Iloilo City.

One of the highlights of the activity is the conduct of the simulation exercise to determine the capability of the local police in terms of hostage-taking and the like.

The simulation exercise harnessed partnership of police with the media in covering any given situation.

Earlier, Aklan Gov. Carlito Marquez said the Aklan provincial government, the police, media and other key stakeholders in the province would work hand-in-hand to ensure peace and order in the province.

Marquez said the cooperation among the key stakeholders in the province is needed because of the sensitivity of the tourism industry of the province.

“We want to provide impression among the tourists that we in Aklan are capable of ensuring their safety while they are in the province or in Boracay Island,” Marquez said. (PNA) /MP

Ochoa Leads 2010 Bulacan Gawad Dangal Awardees


Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr. heads the list of Bulacan natives honored by the Bulacan Provincial Government in the "2010 Gawad Dangal ng Lipi" Awards on September 13 in the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center, Malolos, Bulacan.

Started in 1974 by Gov. Ignacio Santiago, the Gawad Dangal ng Lipi is the highest honor that the provincial government of Bulacan bestows upon exemplary Bulakenyos in various fields, including public service, community service, education, science and technology, arts and culture, sports, professional, trade and industry, health and agriculture.

Ochoa, commonly referred to as the "Little President," is awarded the Gawad Dangal ng Lipi Paglilingkod Bayan. Joining him in this year’s roster of awardees are Dr. Reynaldo C. Cruz (Edukasyon), Dr. Carina J. Galvez-Lao (Agham at Teknolohiya), Teresita J. Nethercott (Entreprenor), Dr. Camilo I. Porciuncula, (Pang-kalusugan), Ma. Victoria R. Tengco-Burgos (Panga-ngalakal at Industriya), Dr. Pablo S. Trillana III (Sining at Kultura), Msgr. Sabino A. Vengco, Jr. (Paglilingkod Mamamayan) and Supreme Court Justice Martin S. Villarama Jr. (Propesyunal).

Past winners of the Gawad Dangal ng Lipi Award are the late President Corazon C. Aquino, the late Sen. Blas Ople, Foreign Sec. AlbertoRomulo,  Dolphy, RegineVelasquez,  Virgilio Almario, Arnold Clavio, Cheche Lazaro, Lydia de Vega, Sen. Juan Flavier and Carina Constantino-David.

The Executive Secretary, who delivered a message on behalf of the awardees, lauded the provincial government led by Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado for continuing the awards, which continue to "honor those who can serve as an inspiration to Bulakenyos, particularly the youth."

Ochoa, who hails from Pulilan, Bulacan, practiced law in the province after passing the Bar in 1986. He was one of the youngest officers of the provincial chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, serving as vice president of IBP Bulacan Chapter. His father, the late Paquito Sr., was also a lawyer and former Pulilan Mayor.

After a successful private practice, Ochoa joined the Quezon City Government in 2001, first as an assistant secretary to Mayor Sonny Belmonte. He was named city administrator in 2003.

Ochoa’s work as city administrator has earned him praises from governance specialists in the academe like Ateneo School of Government Dean Tony La Viña, who called him "an effective, efficient and innovative public servant," whose "programs intended to improve education, health and business permitting processes" have helped improve the delivery of basic services in Quezon City. /MP

Villar: Check On RP Posts’ Assistance For OFWs


In light of the death of an overseas Filipino worker in Saudi due to acid burns, Sen. Manny Villar last week pushed for a Senate inquiry on the procedures followed by the diplomatic posts and the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) in providing assistance to OFWs in distress.

Villar filed Senate Resolution No. 190, which urges the Committees on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development and Foreign Relations to look into the performance of POLO, as the satellite office of the Department of Labor and Employment, in attending to the problems of Filipino workers abroad.

"The fact that many of our kababayan continue to suffer and die overseas tell us that there is a need to review the appropriation and programs for OFW assistance. This could mean the tightening of existing laws with regard to overseas recruitment and the establishment of OFW-centered diplomatic posts and POLO offices," Villar said.

On September 8, Romilyn Eroy-Ibanez, 22, a household service worker in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, was found in her employer’s kitchen with stab wounds in her neck, abdomen and wrist, as well as acid burns in her mouth, arms and legs.

Ibanez came from North Cotabato. She arrived in Saudi on May 31 supposedly as a nursing aide. The attending physician said that it is impossible for Ibanez to have committed suicide by stabbing herself and ingesting the acid at the same time.

Villar also cited the case of a number of stranded migrant Filipinos in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who are in need of repatriation and assistance.

"Our government should be aggressive in pushing for protection mechanisms of our OFW workers. A people-oriented foreign relations policy should be put in place where the safety and welfare of our workers are guaranteed. There must be a system to address their needs when they encounter trouble overseas and to bring them back if need be," he said. /MP

Thursday, September 16, 2010

EDITORIAL


Aklan Needs P4.5 M To Equip PNP SWAT
by Venus Villanueva
The province of Aklan needs to shell out almost P4.5 million to have a fully-equipped and well-trained Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) members from the Philippine National Police that could respond effectively to crisis situations.

In a recent meeting of the newly-formed Technical Working Group (TWG) for the establishment of a Crisis Management Committee of the province, Aklan Police Provincial Office Provincial Director Epifanio A. Bragais, Jr. told members that the amount comprises the purchase of firearms, individual equipment and uniforms, communication equipments and ordnance items.

PSSupt. Bragais also said the SWAT team also needs fund support for its training requirement.

Bragais disclosed the SWAT funding requirement during his Briefing Presentation of Crisis Management Organization and Its Structure/Presentation of Composition of SWAT Team and Equipment during the recent meeting of the TWG at the APPO Headquarters in Camp Pastor Martelino in New Buswang.

The formartion of the TWG for the Crisis Management Committee in Aklan came about due to the bloody hostage-taking incident at the Quirino Grandstand, Manila which resulted to the death of 8 Hongkong tourists which triggered the Aklan SP led by Vice Gov. Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo to sponsor a collective resolution requesting the DILG and the law enforcement agencies under it, particularly the Philippine National Police, the Provincial Government of Aklan, all related national and local government agencies, and private sector organizations in the province to organize a security crisis management structure to craft and implement a ready, doable, adequate and responsive security plan and protocol designed to preempt and effectively respond to crisis situations involving security matters particularly focused on the tourist gateways and destinations in Aklan.

In answer to this, Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez is due to release an Executive Order to create and strengthen the TWG for the establishment of a Crisis Management Committee.

Based on the presentation of APPO Director Bragais, the national organizational level is composed of the National Peace and Order Council (NPOC); NPOC Crisis Management Committee (CMC) composed of the DILG Secretary, DND Secretary, DSWD Secretary; DOJ Secretary, the Chairman of the Cabinet Crisis Committee; the NHQ, PNP and the GHQ AFP.

The regional level’s composition includes the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC), the Regional Crisis Management Committee, Regional Crisis Management Committee, AFP units in the region, the Philippine Cpast Guard, Philippine Marine Brigades, Regional Non-Government Organizations and PNP units in the region.

The Provincial and municipal level follow the same pattern. Except in the case of municipalities, the DOJ is represented by the Municipal Attorney or Prosecutor.

Subsequent meetings of the TWG are now regularly held and scheduled weekly for each group members to present his respective agency contingency measures in case of emergencies, disasters and hostage-takers with the aim of drafting a doable, adequate and responsive provincial security plan and protocols/proceducres. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer


Ambrosio R. Villorente

Ill Equipped Project
The concerned office like the District Engineer of the DPWH Aklan has the duty to obtain compliance of the contractors in the construction of roads in some barangays of Libacao.

According to my trusted informant, the contractors are ill equipped to construct the volume of work in the total amount of P472 million in four barangays in Libacao. The report revealed the following equipment are seen in the construction sites: a) two backhoes, b) one pay loader, c) four dump trucks and d) one stake truck.

With the available engineering equipment, a practicing civil engineer believes the above stated equipment are inadequate to open new roads, and improve existing roads with the environmental conditions prevailing in the construction areas.

In Dit-ana river which is 90 meters wide, a box culvert of 30 meters long was placed at the top of the river bed. Gravel was used to fill both approaches with riprap which is now starting to deteriorate.

On the basis of the present condition, and when long and heavy rain comes, gravel placed at both approaches will be eroded, water will overflow and damage crops and property along both banks of the Dit-ana river.

In Loctuga river, the same is done. A 30 meters box culvert was placed on the middle of the 100 meters wide river on top of the river bed, filled both approaches with gravel and riprap. It is now on its deterioration stage. It is also predicted that water will overflow and damage crops and property at both sides of the river banks.

In Manika, a 70 meters wide river was placed on its river bed a 30 meters long box culvert with gravel filled at both approaches. It will not take long when heavy and continuous rain comes, water will overflow and damage crops and property in both sides of the river banks.

Public Safety

Perhaps, Mayor Charito Navarosa can request Engr. Cabigas to inspect the public engineering constructions to assure the projects are really done, and public safety is assured.

Barangays Rosal, Loctuga, Manika, and Oyang are almost 23 kilometers away upstream of Poblacion, Libacao with about 6,000 people. The projects to open new roads and to improve existing roads are about six (6) kilometers. Why spend the almost P.5 billion for it? Who made the project feasibility study? Who justified its implemen-tation? When is the return of investment? And who is/are getting its ROI?

This P472 million being spent in the up stream of Libacao could have been well spent for the cementing or asphalting of the remaining Banga – Libacao gravel road. It will be in accordance with the principle of "the greatest good for the greatest number".

The completion of the cementing of the Banga-Libacao road will be happiness for all Libacao-nons, other Aklnons and other people traveling on the Banga-Libacao road.

But this is sometimes the case of some Filipino leaders with skewed priorities. They approve the construction of bridges in places devoid of rivers. After the bridge construction, they construct rivers under bridges.

In Iloilo, leaders constructed a very modern international airport. But after its construction, thank God international flights neither land nor take off. What a waste of scarce resource. Money is not only scarce, it is loaned.

The Filipino leaders borrowed money for use as dole outs like the 4Ps. This is only in the Philippines. No government in the world borrows money for distribution to their peasants. They only borrow for capital investment.

This 4Ps project that will promote mendicancy. Majority of the 4Ps beneficiaries will not attempt to earn their bread but wait for the dole out. This is probably one of the reasons why some NGOs seek accreditation so as to be in a priority list for public assistance.

Nava: Plant Fruit Trees

In Guimaras, the provincial government is urging fisher folks to plant fruit- bearing trees and crops as alternative source of income.

Guimaras Gov. Felipe Hilan Nava suggestsfor the planting of fruit bearing trees like cashew, papaya and jack fruit. Nava believes "fisher folks and seaside communities must start planting these trees in their backyards as an alternative source of income during poor fishing seasons. These fruit bearing trees could grow a lot longer compared to the instant catch and market brought by fishing."

"It could add to their income when the fruits mature and sold to the market as there are high demands for these fruits anytime."

The provincial agriculture office and the Department of Agriculture (DA) must help these fisher folks how to grow their trees, as well as plant the best type suited for their soil. The farmers coordinate with these offices for free technical assistance. Guimaras is not all mangoes. It has the soil and climate for other fruit trees, too. A good example is the success of cashew industry which is currently being marketed outside the country.

The Guimaras provincial government is bullish in the promotion of land-based agriculture and livelihood among predominantly sea and fishing-dependent communities. /MP

PCL Aklan Elects Morales–Torres President


Hon. Jonna Morales–Torres

She made it! At a vote of 74 – 72, Hon. Jonna Morales–Torres of Banga won the presidency of the Philippines Councilor’s League, Aklan Chapter. Morales–Torres defeated Hon. Vincent I. Navarosa of Libacao.

Other officers elected are Vice President – Mark Zaldivar of Nabas, Secretary General – Jay Tejada of Tangalan, Treasurer – Plaridel Solidum of Ibajay, Press Relations Officer – Junie D. Repiano of New Washington, and Business Manager – Nilda B. Tambong of Kalibo.

The members of the Board of Directors are Inocentes Bantigue – Balete, Monday Belarmino and Ronnie I. Panadero of Altavas, Arnaldo Tejada – Kalibo, George R. Villarubia – Lezo, Jupiter Gallenero – Malay, Ricardito de Asis – Nabas and Noel Redison – Banga.

The election was held on Wednesday, Sept. 15 at the Trade Hall, Capitol Site, Kalibo. Some 166 members of the SB of the 17 towns attended the election. /MP

Aklan SP Confirms Manares & Castillo Appointments


The Aklan Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) confirmed the appointments of two provincial government department heads pursuant to the provision of the Local Government Code or RA 7160.

As requested by Gov. Carlito S. Marquez, the appointment of Atty. Lee Manares as head of the Provincial Legal Office of Aklan is confirmed effective August 2, 2010. Likewise the appointment of William Castillo as Provincial Agriculturist was also confirmed effective on September 1, 2010 as reported by Richie D. Oloroso of the Aklan SP.

Castillo was Senior Agriculturist when he was designated OIC of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist on February 16, 2008 after Mr. Delano T. Tefora was assigned to prepare project feasibility studies in the office of the Provincial Governor. The position of provincial agriculturist became vacant after Mr. Tefora retired from the government service in July 2010.

The confirmation of their appointments came during the SP Aklan regular session on Sept. 1, 2010.

The appointment of Atty. Diego M. Luces as provincial administrator of Aklan was also confirmed earlier.

On the other hand, the SP also approved the accreditation of World Vision Inc. and Panguma Inc. as Ms. Richie Oloroso reported. /MP

Lanzones Politics


Can PCL Rise to the Challenge?


by Ernesto T. Solidum


Kapehan Sa Aklan guests are (l to r) Hon. Vincent Navarosa - Libacao, Hon. Emmanuel Soviet A. Dela Cruz - Kalibo, Hon. Jonna M. Torres - Banga, and Hon. Basilides Tabernilla - Makato, all SB members.

Weekly Kapehan on September 11, 2010 at Smokehauz Resto & Bar discussed the topic: "Election of President of Philippine Councilors’ League (PCL), Aklan Chapter". The election is scheduled on September 15, 2010. Guests are SB member candidates: Hon. Emmanuel Soviet Russia A. Dela Cruz - Kalibo, Hon. Jonna M. Torres – Banga, Hon. Vincent Navarosa – Libacao, and Hon. Basilides Tabernilla – Makato.

Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino mentioned that based on RA 7160 section 467, duly elected Pres. of PCL is entitled to act as Ex-Officio member of the Sangguniang Pan-lalawigan. In Aklan, the post was left vacant by Atty. Ariel Igoy who is presently Mayor of Malinao. The forthcoming PCL election stirs away from the old practice of appointing people to the position without the electoral process. The voting is limited to all SB members in the province.

SB member Tabernilla as newly designated interim PCL member of the SP. He hopes to continue his advocacy of good governance and accountability. Now in his third term as SB member of Makato his focus is on strengthening the bond of cooperation among SB members in all 17 municipalities of Aklan. Hon. Tabernilla averred that strategy involves only two things namely: working out benefits for his SB constituents and be innovative and creative on proposed provincial legislations.

SB member Torres bats for continuing education and technology transfer particularly youth and rural women. As a hard working legislator and acutely aware of the problems of poverty and unemployment, she intends to pass legislation that will be coordinated with TESDA, DOLE and other government agencies. While most training is conducted in training centers, these may be reversed as trainers will undertake the skills training in the work places, said the young lady.

SB member Dela Cruz is into his second term but has sponsored 78 resolutions, authored three (3) ordinances and co-authored three (3) ordinances. His advocacy has an acronym, ASTIG: A-agriculture, S-sports, T-tourism, I-industry and G-good governance. He said that it is meritorious and deserving that ordinances although of local application like declaring March as Remembering Aklanon Martyrs and Patriots and Fish Conservation Measures on Angelwing clams can be adopted at the provincial level. It is obvious, angelwing clams are targeted. Other exotic and endangered species like tabios and bangus fry must be regulated.

Hon. Dela Cruz is vigorously supporting the move for opening a Legislative Academy as invaluable tool in governance. He is also interested to provide health and death benefits to all SB members considering the slow processing of claims by responsible government agencies on the matter. There is a need for a government lodging house in Kalibo that caters to stranded SB members while on official travel.

SB Navarosa is a neophyte but exudes energy and enthusiasm. He once worked with the Asian Development Bank and lured into politics by his father, Libacao Mayor Charito Navarosa. Libacao is known as the last green frontier and like its natural beauty of flora and fauna, another resource is her youth. The young Navarosa is the first to organize the first Binibining Aklan pageant. He is also involved in youth development, a non profit organization that mobilizes youth to protect the environment and assist in disaster relief operation. His priority is to establish teamwork among SB members in Aklan and be their voice in the SP.

The issue of lobbying by Mayor Charito Navarosa with Cong. Florencio T. Miraflores and municipal mayors for his son, Vince was asked by Broadcaster Rolly Herrera. Is the PCL election a done deal? Is traditional politics rearing its ugly head?

SB Vince Navarosa confirmed bombshell revelation is true only with lobbying. It remains to be seen whether promises of municipal mayors contacted could actually translate to votes. He clarified that there is no malicious intent of prostituting the electoral process but projecting a legitimate move to excel in the competition.
Hon. Tabernilla countered that the electorate must be shielded from outside pressure particularly lobbying by traditional politicians. "Independence is a key word in this campaign and those aspiring for the position must be of integrity and good moral character", Tabernilla pointed out.

Hon. Dela Cruz shared the same sentiment. He said, it is unfortunate election is on exercise of a privilege. His personal campaign sorties in the different towns are based on his strong performance and nobility of purpose. Here I have nothing to lose except my pride," he claims.

"What is immoral about bid daddy helping sonny or the other way around in an election campaign?" it is asked.

Despite adrenaline rush in the debate, plain answer is no. As long as activity is conducted above board the Omnibus Election Code does not prevent someone from doing it. This is normal in a democracy. In fact, token of gifts like fruits (lanzones from their backyard) is part of courting favor or even lanzones diplomacy. Vince said, it is just like courting a girl. "There is no evidence they are rejected anyway. Significant observation in this campaign: Lots of leg work and secrecy.

Indeed governance is an art and a science of serving the peoples’ interest and need (It is deception too). In an election, voters must know the background info of those running for public office. Obviously, talent and character must go together in a public servant. Unfortunately in most cases they either have one or none at all (in favor of personal interest).

What a terrible price to pay for mediocrity! First we lose our citizens and second loss of political direction. It appears that our goal of global competitiveness is empty rhetoric.

It is sensible and highly recommended that the proposed Legislative Academy under DILG be established in Region VI, Iloilo City and other parts of the country. Perhaps those outlandish ordinances like passage of labor code and declaration of official holiday be a thing of the past. Can PCL rise to the challenge? /MP