Wednesday, December 29, 2010



(Editor’s Note: The editorial below is a forwarded material from an avid Madyaas Pen reader, Dr. Raphy A. Tayco. Madyaas Pen editorial board found it too valuable and deserving for others to read for their consideration. Therefore, it has decided to publish it for its New Year 2011 issue. It is our fervent wish that this piece will touch our people’s lives leading to economic prosperity, national peace, and contentment in our times.)
What has our nation become?
This Pastor has guts!
When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas State Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:

"Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask for your forgiveness and to seek for your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, "Woe to those who call evil good, but that is exactly what we have done."

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot anti-abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Amen!"

The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest.

In six (6) short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively.

The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa and Korea.

Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, "The Rest of the Story," and received a larger response to this program than any others he has ever aired.

With the Lord’s help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and whole-heartedly become our desire so that we again can be called: "one nation under God."

If possible, please pass this prayer on to your friends. "If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for everything."

Think about this: If you wish, you may share this prayer to your Friends and Love Ones and to everyone so it would be heard by the world. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente
War Zone
A reader of Madyaas Pen just drop by the office while I was preparing this column. He just came from Lezo, Aklan specifically at Akelco office.

He said, "I was scared as I entered the premises of Akelco to pay my latest electric bill". Why? There were about four (4) guards by the main gate in full uniform with long fire arms each. Moreover, there are also some scattered in the office. Akelco Lezo appears like a war zone".

My friend showed me his official receipt for his latest electric consumption. He said," I aid close to P1,500 but the amount paid and other figures printed in the official receipt are hardly readable. Maybe, Akelco computer printer lacks toner".

For all the strength and weaknesses at Akelco, credit it to management and National Electrification Administration (NEA). According to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Oriental Mindoro, electric cooperative Board of Directors are puppets of NEA.

P14 M Budget For Dinagyang

The organizer of the 2011 Iloilo Dinagyang Festival has appropriated P14 million to finance its staging on January 21 – 23, 2011.

How much is the budget of the Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival scheduled on Januaryy 10 – 16, 2011? P2 million?

That is only 14.28 percent of Iloilo’s P14 million.

Aklan claims and it is so, that the Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival is the mother of all festivals in the Philippines. How long can we sustain it?

Iloilo claims Dinagyang is the Philippines premiere world class festival.

Of the P14 million budget, 6 million will come from Iloilo City fund. The remaining P8 million will come from the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc. (IDFI). Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and Ramon Cua Locsin, IDFI president assured they will deliver the fund.

How much will the Ati-Atihan town of Kalibo and KASAFI spend for the January 10 – 16 Ati-Atihan Festival?

Mayor Mabilog hopes the festival will continue to produce results, continue serving as a model festival in the Philippines and best practices for others to follow.

KASAFI and LGU Kalibo are yet to conceptualize what must the Aklanons expect in the staging of the annual Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival.

On the religious aspect, Father Secio emphasized "that the festival has become a useful part of our life, being a fully alive people with faith". He expressed hope that "the IDFI will continue to promote camaraderie and the country as the people of God and as an independent body with faith."

Mayor Mabilog plans to extend P500,000 to finance a selected project to the winning barangay or school in the Ati-Atihan contest.

Going Green

While the Dinagyang is also celebrated to inculcate values among the Ilonggos, it will also "go green" in the January 23-24 celebration.

Iloilo City Tourism officer Ben Jimena is working doubly hard to focus on pro environment activities and help save the earth initiatives to raise the participants’ level of awareness, the public and visitors. Jimena aims Dinagyang to be known also as the "Green Festival" in the Philippines to promote environmental awareness.

The Dinagyang Festival is officially kicked off on Monday, December 20 highlighted with the "Pamukaw". Cong. Gerry P. Treñas, Iloilo City’s Lone District graced the "Pamukaw". He did the first bang of the drum that marked the start of the annual merriment honoring Sr/ Sto. Niño. Dinagyang for the last 8 years has brought honors for Iloilo City, Treñas stressed. /MP

Kool Earth Sponsors Non-Biodegradable Gown Contest


Kool Earth contestants in their non-biodegradable gown.

If rain shower is God’s way to bless our environment and His people, then the Kauswagan Christmas Party Treat for Children 2010 has no excuse. Amidst the pouring rain, it turned out to be a complete success.

In connection with the Earth Day celebration and in support to the Kool Earth Aklan Environmental Advocacy Group for a Cleaner and Greener Environment, a contest for Non-biodegradable gown is a special feature which highlighted the annual celebration of the Christmas Street Party by the Kauswagan Youth Movement (KYM), Poblacion, Numancia, Aklan.

Ms. Megs Lunn of Kool Earth, cited with great pride and enthusiasm the relevance of beauty, ingenuity and competitiveness in promoting cleaner and greener environment.

There are four contestants who competed for the non-biodegradable gown contest. They are Dan Reb Regalado, Kint Yrll Regalado, Harvey Macahilas, and Felmari Tapican. Kint Yrll Regalado was unanimously conferred the title: the Best In Non-biodegradable Gown by the panel of judges who are Megs Lunn, Atty. Rea Divina Fajardo, Jenette Suco, Cecile Regalado, and Andrew Tarantan.

The KYM of Brgy. Poblacion, Numancia is supporting Kool Earth on environmental advocacies in Aklan. Thru its active members, Megs Lunn who is a long-time adviser of the KYM supports the advocacy by initiating a community based under-taking. "Be The Change You Want In The World, Gather Your Trash and Win A Prize."

Glenita Regalado Family won the 1st Prize - 2-day trip to Boracay, 2nd Prize - Home Appliance went to Alexis Regalado Family, and 3rd Prize - New Year Noche Buena to Nick Navarra Family. This initiative in the KYM and Kool Earth Numancia Chapter community is inspired to render social responsibility to answer the long-pressing concern on the management of our waste in support to the Ecological Waste Management System. /MP

MP’s Selected 12 News Stories In 2010

December – Flash floods forced government offices, banks and other private firms in Kalibo to close down on Friday, December 10 due to floods!

The inter-tropical convergence zone forced all schools in Kalibo to suspend classes on December 8 – 10.

November – The victory of Manny Pacquiao over Antonio Margarito of Mexico on Sunday, November 14 held in Cowboy Stadium, Arlington, Texas, USA. Pacquiao won in a wide margin after 12 rounds of boxing at a score of 120-108; 119-109; and 118 – 110 of the three judges. It was a unanimous decision inspite of Margarito’s size and height. Margarito had 17 pounds advantage over Pacquiao, 4.5 inches in height, and 6.5 inches in reach.

October – The departure of Rencee. Dr. Florencia F. Villorente (April 15, 1935 – October 11, 2010) died after her five (5) months fight against cancer on Monday evening, October 11. Her death was reported in radio stations, Kalibo the following day, Tuesday, October 12.

Her dead body was cremated on October 14 and the ashes was brought to Kalibo where it arrived at midnight. Although her body was transformed from its original form to "ash", several relatives and friends welcomed her at the Kalibo International Airport.

Her friends and relatives fondly called her Rencee. She was a high school Math teacher and guidance counselor. After 20 years in the public schools, she resigned and became college professor at Manuel L. Quezon University, United Medical Doctors, and G. Araneta University Foundation.

In 1986, she forgot teaching, went home to Numancia, Aklan and took over the management of the family fish farm.

September – PCL Aklan Elects Morales – Torres President is a news item in the front page of Madyaas Pen, September 12 – 18 issue.

It is about the election of officers for the Philippines Councilors League (PCL) Aklan chapter where four candidates vied for the presidency. They are Hon. Emmanuel Soviet Russia Dela Cruz of Kalibo, Hon. Basilides Tabernilla of Makato, Hon. Vincent Navarosa of Libacao, and Hon. Jonna Morales-Torres of Banga.

Ms. Morales-Torres prevailed over Hon. Navarosa with a one (1) vote margin.

It was a hot election for the following reasons:

a. A candidate offered ripe Lanzones the persons present in the Kapehan and a joke was invented: "Lanzones Politics";

b. A candidate paid the registration of some of the delegates to the election;

c. There was more money spent to win in the election, and

d. A Mayor volunteered to go naked if a candidate won over his candidate. For humanitarian reason, the bare show did not happen.

August – Aklan’s First Dengue Death Case – The Provincial Health Office Kalibo confirmed the death of a suspected Dengue case. The patient from Malay, Aklan who was confined at the pedia ward of the DRSTMH, Kalibo died.

This death has alarmed the Aklanons, especially the health authorities of Dengue as health menace.

It was revealed that July 2010 registered the highest number of Dengue patients as follows: Kalibo – 37 patients; Numancia – 28; New Washington – 19; Batan – 8; Makato – 7; Lezo – 5; Banga – 4; Malay and Altavas – 4 each; Malinao – 3; and Balete – 2.

July – The murder of Hon. Fernando Baldomero on July 5 disturbed peace in Aklan. The late Baldomero was a Sangguniang Bayan member of Lezo who was gun down in front of his rented apartment at about 7:00 o’clock in the morning.

He was one of the most feared guerilla commanders of the New People’s Army. But he came back to the folds of the law.

Police Sr. Supt. Epifanio Bragais, Jr. Aklan Police Provincial Director, identified the suspect as a certain Dindo Lovon Ancero of Brgy. Malinguin, Bogo, Cebu. Ancero is also wanted for several criminal cases like murder, bank robbery, and drug trafficking.
June – Oath Taking of the 2010 – 2013 elected officials. Tibyog officials elected and re-elected in the May 10 election took their oath of office before executive Judge Marietta J. Homena Valencia, Executive Judge, Regional Trial Court, Kalibo, Aklan on June 30 at the ABL Sports complex.

May – That was election month. Newspapers, radio and television were full of political propaganda all aimed to win more votes.

April – Aklan province played host to the Regional Pambansang Palaro after 15 years since Aklan last hosted the annual event. It was held at the New Calangcang Sports Complex, Makato.

Aklan in that sports fests, placed third after Negros Occidental and Iloilo in the weeklong competitions.

Secondary level Arnis team took the overall champion, and athletics team girls elementary were also champion.

March – Kalibo celebrated the 113th Martyrdom of the XIX Martyrs with Congress-woman Cynthia Villar as the guest of honor and speaker.

February – Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez claimed Aklan is a billionaire province. In his state of the province address, Marquez announced "Aklan is now a first class province with an annual income close to P1 billion.

January – That was the noisiest month of the year, being the month of Sr. Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan celebration.

There was a claim agriculture is neglected despite Aklan’s twin: Agriculture and tourism program. /MP

2010 Gawad CES Winner Denis F. Villorente*

by David C. Desamito
* Reprinted from: The PUBLIC MANAGER, Official Magazine of the Career Executive Service.
It is an unfortunate reality that we Filipinos have all come to accept – the mass departure of our educated and skilled countrymen who finding no further opportunities here, seek for the proverbial greener pasture overseas.

This phenomenon is called ‘brain drain’ and its depleting our nation with the needed intellectual and technical capital to achieve a more progressive status. What is even more sad (and troubling) is the fact that a number of these bright and talented professionals are Iskos and Iskas – scholars who benefited from government support, received the best education the country could offer and whose schooling has been funded by the Filipino taxpayer.

Fortunately for us, however, there are those who choose to buck this trend. There are those who still embrace idealism over pragmatic concerns and find the challenge of nation-building to be more than worth making the sacrifice of less financially rewarding career.

Fortunately for us, there are still Filipinos like Engineer Denis F. Vilorente: A Pisay graduate, a UP Isko, an Engineering Board Exam topnotcher, a CESO and now a 2010 GAWAD CES awardee.

An Accomplished Public Manager

Since 2005, Engineer Villorente has been at the helm of the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) where he has served in various capacities starting as Science Research Specialist in 1989. ASTI is one of the 21 agencies attached to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the one mandated to conduct R & D in the advanced fields of studies including communications engineering, microelectronics and information technology.

Holding a Director IV position at the Institute, he leads and guides the agency in the efficient and proper implementation of research and development programs and projects consistent with overall national development goals. He plans, programs, directs and controls the operational and administrative activities of the Institute and promotes and maintains close coordination between government and private sector organizations engaged in research and development activities.

As one of the 2010 GAWAD CES awardees, he is being cited for three of his most successful accomplishments. One, for leading the continued growth and promotion of research networking in the country through the Philippine Research, Education and Govern-ment Information Network or PREGINET. Two, for being an enabler of the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) technology and awareness in the country. And three, for leading the technical team involved in the certification of the automated election system.


PREGINET is the country’s national research and education network, linking institutions that conduct research and development work. A pioneering endeavor, PREGINET was Engineer Villorente’s brainchild. He was the one who proposed the project and eventually became its leader and champion.

PREGINET has provided a faster and more reliable way of academic collaboration among researchers and scientists. Instead of using the commercial internet, researchers could now test and experiment their ideas, concepts and theories using the network. It has connected various Philippine research institutions that span the entire country and allowed them to collaborate over the internet. Thus, through PREGINET, they were able to conduct several multi-sectoral and multi-regional projects and researches.

PREGINET likewise provided internet connectivity to govern-ment agencies enabling them to comply with the Government Information System Plan. (GISP) thereby providing a platform for them to be connected and have internet presence through the establishment of government websites.


The uninitiated in ICT can better grasp this accomplishment if one recalls the Y2K scare or millennium bug in 1999 when everybody raced to make their computers Y2K compliant. This time, the concern is on the inevitable exhaustion of IPv4 addresses. IPv4 addresses are the numbers assigned to a computer which enable it to communicate in the world wide web. IPv4 addresses are expected to be exhausted by 2011, thus, the country should be ready to make the transition to a higher network. Engineer Villorente advocated hard for the adoption of this next generation internet technology leading to an awareness for the country’s eventual transition to IPv6 among government and telecommunications providers.

In the process of gaining IPv6 capability, ASTI drew up the Philippine Open IX, the only facility in the Philippine internet industry, operated by a neutral institution (ASTI), that allows internet traffic in a free market environment. Thus, when the IPv4 addresses are exhausted, government agencies will not have to pay for or hire IPv6 consultants because ASTI is ready and can be tapped to advise agencies on low cost alternatives.

The 2010 Automated National Elections

The Amended Automation Law provided for the creation of a Technical Evaluation Committee, which Engineer Villorente headed, allowing him to play a pivotal role in the most difficult task of certifying that the winning system worked.

As Chairman of the Committee, Engineer Villorente foresaw the eventuality that a certain percentage of the compact disks (CDs) would not properly function. If such a situation is not quickly addressed, then COMELEC’s credibility would be put on the line. He, therefore, led the ASTI in providing back-up and on-call advices even on election day.

Despite birth pains, the automated elections pushed through principally because of Engineer Villorente’s contributions. Automated technology may have been long around but he helped bring the technology to make the elections clean and honest.

CESO Brand of Leadership

Engineer Villorente is a patriotic and dedicated public servant. There were people at the Institute who had apprehensions about being involved in the automation of the elections, fearful of the controversies and criticisms which may hound them. Their fears were not unfounded as various sectors raised questions and doubted the system but Engineer Villorente rose above those fears. He patiently explained the systems involved, confident that technology would address many problems of the electoral process such as the lengthy tabulation period which makes it prone to cheating. More importantly, he saw the automation of elections as an opportunity to share his technical expertise into something very important at that particular juncture of the country’s history – having clean, credible, orderly elections.

Engineer Villorente is likewise admired by colleagues and sub-ordinates alike for the simple lifestyle that he leads. Moreover, he has made his ethical stance explicit to his staff – that one must not use one’s post to gain favor or unduly wield authority. A favorite anecdote about him relates to one incident when a high-ranking official of the COMELEC and some officials of SMARTMATIC invited him to dinner. It was late in the evening and Engineer Villorente has not had dinner yet, but he declined out of delicadeza.

Now that is one of the scholars who is indeed worthy of his investment and an official every CESO could be proud of.

Engr. Villorente is the fourth child of Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente and the late Dr. Florencia F. Villorente of Badio, Numancia, Aklan. Denis is married to Maribeth Macapil. They have two children: Andrew 5, and Cara 2. /MP

Dapitan Stages 5th Handuraw Festival

DAPITAN CITY – This historic Shrine City in Southern Philippines staged its 5th Handuraw Festival on December 27-29 to usher in the celebration of  the martyrdom of the Philippines national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal on December 30.

Rizal was exiled to Dapitan by the Spanish colonial authorities in the Philippines on July 17, 1892 as a punishment for his advocacy of equal rights and respects for Filipinos whom the Spanish colonists considered and derided as lowly "indios" then. He left Dapitan for Manila on July 31, 1896 after he volunteered to serve as a doctor in Cuba, then also a Spanish colony.

The City of Dapitan hosted the recently concluded three-day 15th National Press Congress organized and spearheaded by the Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI) as mandated by Presidential Proclamation 1187. It was held at the Dakak Park and Beach Resort in Dapitan City.

Handuraw is a Cebuano term which means flashback or recommitment to memory. Dapitan held its first Handuraw Festival on December 28-30, 2006 as part of the 110th death anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal. Since then it was held annually not only to commemorate the national hero’s death but also to promote Dapitan and its nascent tourism industry.

The Handuraw Festival merges historical, cultural, social and economic elements related to Rizal’s life in Dapitan. The festival activities generally include a holy mass, parades, seminar-workshops on Rizal’s teachings, agro-trade fair exhibits, choral and rondalla competitions, painting exhibits and street dancing, among others.

Dapitanons consider Rizal’s exile in their community as a bridge to the limelight of prominence in Philippine history, which can also help open their city to the glamour and wealth of the tourism industry.

Rizal’s four-year exile in Dapitan actually set the course of the community’s destiny. The hero introduced modern engineering, agriculture, medicine, education and the concept of generous community service to Dapitanons who in turn have accepted Rizal’s cultural legacy as their own to cherish. (by Johnny Nuñez) /MP

Palmones Laments Fading Radio Drama Industry

Former DZMM radio station manager and now Congressman Angelo Palmones of the Alyansa ng mga Grupo ng Agham at Teknolohiya (AGHAM) partylist laments the fading of the radio drama industry in the Philippines.

"This means that the golden era of the radio drama industry in the early 1900’s have been replaced by soap operas and telenovelas on television. Indeed, television nowadays plays a large influential role to the public," Palmones said.

The radio drama industry started to dominate the public as a form of entertainment among the residents in the 1940’s. Among the favorite topics it featured are love, horror stories, legends, conflict, and adventure, among others.

Right now, some radio drama can still be heard in radio networks such as Bombo Radio Philippines and other radio networks. Observers, however, noted that radio drama is now being used as filler for the radio programs.

Despite the large influence of television and newspapers to the public nowadays, radio is still influential to the people in the hinterland.

Sources from the radio industry, however, said that many radio networks are upgrading their stations from AM to FM band because of technology and its operation is cheaper.

The radio turning into the FM bands is concentrating on musical and public affairs program, neglecting to further enhance the drama industry.

Ambrosio Villorente, dean of the mass communications department of the Northwestern Visayas College, Kalibo said that the fading radio drama industry in the country should challenge radio drama scriptwriters to do more to revive the radio drama industry.

The NVC mass communications department has recently garnered two major awards of the 1st Annual Don Henry Canoy Radio Script Drama Writing competitions in Western Visayas. NVC mass communication graduating students Mechelle Repedro won the first prize while Sheryl Santillan won the second prize. A student of Filamer Christian University, Roxas City was third place.

The radio drama competition was initiated by the Radio Mindanao Network (RMN). Canoy, a businessman, founded the RMN and is currently one of the largest radio stations in the country.

The three winners in the secondary level are from Guimbal, Iloilo and Bacolod City. (PNA) /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro
Eaging Baeahugan
Si Beryong hay mahugod magkorte it mga bagay halin sa kahoy. Naka obra imaw it mga pispis, isda ag mga titires. Abo guid nga naga bakae ko anang obra sa tindahan maskin owa pa it pintura. Sa anang pandayan, may habilin pa nga kahoy nga owa pa haubra si Beryong. Hapaino-inohan nana nga obrahon nga baeahugan it mga hayopan. Pagka human, anang guin daea raya sa tindahan, ogaling owa guid it nagbakae. Ana eon lang nga guin oli ag guintago sa anang kamalig.

Ko gabi-i ngaron, may daywang ka mag asawa nga halin pa sa ibang lugar. Sige ro andang inusoy it baeay nga madayunan tongod manog onga ro babaye. Ogaling owa guid kanda it nagbaton nga tag-baeay. Nakaabot eon sanda sa isaeang ka kamalig. Nag desisyon nga una sanda magpataliwan it gabi-i.

Owa pa maagahi, nag onga ro babaye, ag kinahangean nga may maeogban ro eapsag tongod maeoya pa ro babaye. Hakita nanda ro naga sandig nga baeahugan. Guin butangan ko tatay it mga dagami it paeay ag mga dahon ratong baeahugan, ag guin hapinan it hamo. Raya ro nangin kuna it eapsag.

Manami ro katoeogon ni Beryong hasta inuhaw imaw. Inabot it kauhaw si Beryong samtang naga katoeog. Bumangon imaw agod mag inom it tubi. Hakita nana nga mahayag ro baeahugan. Nagling-ling imaw ag hakita nana ro hitsura ko eapsag nga imaw si Niño Hesus. Ag ro eaeaki ag babaye hay si Maria ag Jose man. Nag eohod imaw ag nagpasaeamat tongod hakita nana ro pagkatawo ko atong manunubos. Pagkaaga, owa eon ro Sagrada Pamilya. Habilin eon lang ro eaging baeahugan.

Mas bulahan ro eaging baeahugan tongod maskin owa imaw guin inato it mga tawo, mabahoe ro anang papel ko mga oras ngaron. Imaw ro guin eogban ko atong manunubos. Bulahan man ro mga kubos tongod sanda hay guin bayaw sa mata it Diyos. /MP

Aklan PNP Prohibits Indiscriminate Firing of Guns

Aklan Police Provincial Director Senior Supt Epifanio A Bragais, Jr reminded his men to observe ‘no firing of guns’ for the Christmas and New Year holidays last Monday.
Bragais said, "muzzle taping of issued firearm aims to prevent PNP personnel from indis-criminate firing during New Year celebration and in response to policy directive issued by the CPNP."

"The schedule of sealing of firearm will be disseminated to PNP personnel after announcement and proper guidance from higher headquarters, said Bragais.

"The taping of the muzzle is done to make sure their government-issued firearms are not used indiscriminately for the New Year celebrations. This is also to remind our personnel of the consequences if they engaged in indiscriminate firing," Bragais said during the Traditional Monday Flag Raising Ceremony.

"Those violating or firing guns in welcoming the New Year will be investigated and faced possible criminal and administrative charges for illegal discharge of weapons", Bragais stressed.

The sealing of firearms is an annual campaign of the Philippine National Police (PNP) during the revelries to refrain the policemen from using their guns, unless for justifiable reasons.

Moreover, Aklan Police Provincial Director Epifanio Bragais, Jr. reminded the Aklanons to be vigilant while celebrating the yuletide season. The families must always provide a person to attend to their residences to prevent possible robbery. They must not leave their homes unattended.

The holiday season is the best chance for thieves to commit crimes especially robbery.

According to Bragais, the PNP is working doubly hard, day and night to curb criminality. However, community support is necessary to win the battle against criminality.

Dir. Bragais has underscored the Aklan Provincial Police Office’s implementation plan for police visibility and deployment of personnel and patrols at all times. especially this Christmas season. /MP

Malay SB Members Question Boracay’s Exclusion From New Peso Bills

The Malay Sangguniang Bayan (SB) members which has jurisdiction over Boracay resort island is questioning the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) why it did not include the world-famous Boracay in the design of the new peso bills.

The BSP has been receiving flak from various sectors for its alleged errors in the design of the new bills.

The new bills’ designs are said to have added security features to prevent counter-feiting.
The new bills which were presented to the public last week are expected to be released next year.

The SB members discussed the new bills in its regular session Tuesday and the members decided to come up with a resolution to formalize their sentiments. All the SB members have unanimously voted in favor of issuing the resolution.

"The BSP should have included Boracay in its new design, the resort island being the premier tourism destination in the country," said Councilor Ezel Flores.

The SB members believed that the Boracay tourism industry would be further strengthened if the BSP decided to include it in the design of the new peso bills.

The SB members maintained that Boracay Island has the right to be included in the Philippine peso bills because of the billion of pesos it contributes to the coffers of the government.

Once the resolution is drafted and finally approved, this will be submitted to the BSP Central Office. (PNA) /MP

Iloilo City PESO Is Best In W. Visayas

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) recognized Iloilo City’s Public Employment Service Office (PESO) as one of the "best performing PESOs" in Western Visayas.

DOLE provincial director Filomeno Sonza recognized PESO in a letter to Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog.

He said the award was announced during the Regional PESO Capability Building Performance Assessment at Aklan State University, Banga recently. Evaluation period was from January to September 2010.

"Iloilo City PESO has met all the necessary requirements in all indicators such as submission of reports, registration, referral and placement of all applicants, and other employment related services," Sonza said.

Consequently, Mabilog gave a Mayor’s Citation to City PESO manager Alan Zaldivar for his dynamic leadership.

"Such accomplishment is an excellent testament to the city government’s incessant commitment and dedication to provide continuing avenue where job generation and work opportunities for our people are consistently provided for," the citation reads.

"This outstanding recognition truly inspires our government to seriously address the unemployment condition which continues to plague our people as one of the chronic social ills which require decisive action from the state and its functionaries," it added.
Last year, Zaldivar also received recognition from the federation of PESO officers, with an award of best in placement category and best in attendance.
DOLE Inspects Establishments

DOLE in Western Visayas has completed inspection of 51 percent of business establishments scattered throughout the region.

DOLE Assistant Regional Director Crispin Dannug said 69 percent of 1,233 establishments examined passed the Labor Enforcement Action Program requisites, while 31 percent were found violating labor laws.

The DOLE executive said the provinces already visited are Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Aklan, and parts of Negros Occidental. Usual labor infractions include underpayment of minimum wage, non-payment of overtime and other service incentives, Dannug said.

However, Dannug expressed satisfaction over the firms’ quick response to the labor-related deficiencies as many have already complied with government-set rules and regulations.

The routine DOLE inspection of business firms is now on its third month, and the next stop will be Negros Occidental.
Western Visayas, Best In Statistics

Western Visayas is the country’s best region in terms of statistical programs and projects, including the works of its partner agencies and government offices.

The recognition was given during the 11th National Convention on Statistics (NCS) held at EDSA Shangri-la Hotel, Mandaluyong City, recently

The citation was earned after the region’s successful implementation of the government’s program through the use of statistics.

The National Statistics and Coordinating Board (NSCB) secretary general Dr. Romulo A. Virola and Peter Paul Rueben Galvez, chief of research and specialist studies divisions of Department of National Defense and chairman of last year’s National Statistics Month (NSM) awards committee presented the award.

NSCB 6 Regional Head Presentacion Penpillo said the award shows that various government agencies, local government units (LGUs) and attached agencies are keen in using statistical data in making programs and implementing the projects of the government.

The region celebrated the 21st NSM celebration spearheaded by NSCB.

This year’s statistics theme is "Towards a Philippine Statistical System Responsive to Emerging National and Global Challenges."

The month-long celebration highlights the works of the country’s statisticians and professionals in the government, academe and private sector.

It also discussed the challenges in the Philippine Statistical System. (PNA)

Check Meat Quality Before Buying

The Department of Agriculture (DA), Iloilo City is reminding the public to check the quality of meat before buying for the holidays.

DA said that "double-dead" meat could abound in public meat markets if left unchecked, especially when consumers are in a hurry to buy for the holiday celebrations. Chicken and pork products could be mixed with old supplies, the DA warned

The DA also noted the increasing importation of meat by local vendors. The buyers are reminded to be wary of local meat mixed with imported meat, so as to manipulate the prices.

Earlier, DA issued a set of guidelines for meat sellers and suppliers on how to handle chilled and frozen meat. The guideline was enforced since December 15, 2010.
Likewise, DA through the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) requires that importers of meat be fully accredited, as well as licensed by the local government units (LGUs). DA regional director Larry Nacionales also reminds LGUs to step up policies and regulate the entry of mishandled meat in their own level. He added, the guideline is only set by the DA, but it’s the LGUs’ full responsibility to protect consumers by enforcing the law.

According to Nacionales, LGUs should help through their respective veterinary offices to round up their wet markets and make sure only good meat will be sold. Nacionales has noted the increasing rate of meat buying in the region every December.

The DA maintains that there is enough meat for the holiday season. (PNA) /MP

Kalibo Town Names Hotel Venues For Ati-atihan

The local government of Kalibo and the Kalibo Ati-atihan Accommodations Association have officially named the hotels available and recommended for tourists for the Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-atihan Festival in January next year.

The hotels are Marzon Hotel, La Esperanza, Cabagnot Tourism and Training Center, Glowmoon Inn, Bakhawan Inn, RG Travellers Inn, Kalibo Hotel (formerly Beachcomber Inn), Agzam Resort and Spa, Garcia Legaspi Mansion, Mercantole Cheque Hotel (formerly C-9 Travellers), Asia Novotel, Eden’s Apartelle, Judith Pension, RB Lodge, Suburbia Garden Hotel, Ambito Pension House, Center Parkway Pension House and the Ati-atihan Festival Hostel.

These hotels are also being endorsed by the Aklan Provincial Tourism Council.

A tourist police, information and rest area are available at the Pastrana Park, Kalibo for tourists wanting to inquire about the available tourism services in this Ati-atihan town of Kalibo.

This town is using the theme "Captivating Kalibo" in their tourism promotion efforts. The Tourism Promotion and Development Services handles tourism services under the office of Mayor William Lachica.

Revelers can expect a different Ati-atihan this year with the public-private partnership Lachica initiated. /MP

Thursday, December 23, 2010


PhilRice Prepares To Improve
Upland Rice Yield
To support the Department of Agriculture’s rice development program for the upland, the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) sets down to prepare plans to help increase rice yields in said upland areas.

"We are gearing up for our upland projects to be implemented next year. The upland remains our priority as incorporated in the PhilRice’s program on developing technologies to break the low yield barriers in rainfed, upland, and other adverse environment," Atty. Ronilo A. Beronio, PhilRice executive director said.

He reported that rice varieties and breeding lines yielding four (4) tons per hectare per season will be developed. Varieties being planted in the upland such as NSIC Rc9, popularly known as Apo, have an average yield of about three (3) tons per hectare per season and are susceptible to tungro, blast, brown planthopper, and green leaf hopper.

"The upland, with 100,000 harvested hectares nationwide, is prone to abiotic stresses such as inadequate moisture. Rice must be genetically improved to become resilient to abiotic stresses; thus, the new varieties to be developed will be high yielding, resistant to pests, and of good grain quality," Beronio assured.

Moreover, recommendations for improved pest manage-ment will be produced. By assessing the extent of pest incidences and enhancing farmers’ practices, among others, Beronio said yield loss due to pest attack could be reduced by 10 percent.

Strains of rice blast occurring in the upland will also be characterized as drought stress and year-round presence of blast spores in the air triggers blast incidence in these areas.

Likewise, appropriate water lifting devices using renewable energy sources and rain water harvesting system for small farms will be generated.

"Other than the development and pro-motion of technologies, we will also advance the concept of Palayamanan to increase the income and address food security at the farmers’ household," Beronio said. Palayamanan is a diversified integrated rice-based farming system.

Since 1993, PhilRice has been involved in improving rice productivity in the upland through its membership to the Consortium for Un-favorable Rice Environ-ments (CURE), an organization composed of 26 national agricultural research and extension systems based in the 10 Asian countries. It aims to benefit 100 million farm households in Asia that are dependent on rice and living in areas stricken with poverty and food insecurity.

Under CURE project, PhilRice provided technical support in preserving and improving traditional varieties such as Dinorado and Azucena in Arakan Valley, Arakan, North Cotabato, and in diversifying crops planted in the upland.
DA-PhilRice is a government–owned and–controlled corporation that aims at developing high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

Not only rice farmers living in the upland rice areas are suffering from low productivity and income but also other farmers. They are having difficulty in food production because of the lack of water for irrigation and domestic consumption.

But there is still time to develop for agricultural researchers to look for and design appropriate upland technologies not only for rice but for other crops like vegetables, fruits and live stocks. The government for years has been concentrating its assistance to farmers in the lowland. It must not only be the PhilRice to look for possible solutions to upgrade productivity and income of the people living in the upland. All agencies, government and private, must now concentrate their efforts and resources to upgrade the lifestyle of the people in upland areas. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente
MKWD 2007 Report
This writer wishes to thank the management of Metro Kalibo Water District (MKWD) for honoring his request for a copy of its latest Annual Performance Report. Thank you very much Mr. Renato T. Albar, General Manager for providing the Entrepreneurial Farmer a copy of the MKWD 2007 report. It was provided after four months since a letter request was sent on September 10, 2010. A follow request was sent on December 13, 2010. After which, a copy of its audited 2007 report was provided.

According to GM Albar, "the Commission On Audit is presently conducting their annual audit of our operation for the years 2008 and 2009, thus we could not provide you a copy of the same".

Thank you and Merry Christmas GM Albar. I hope to receive the 2008 and 2009 reports when available. I hope to study your performance report and come out with my views after this holiday season.

Clean Linen

I believed Atty. Adolfo Iligan, Mayor of Numancia is one of the brilliant practicing lawyers in Aklan. He has also proven his ability in local legislation when he was Vice Mayor of Numancia and the presiding officer of the Numancia Sang-guniang Bayan.

But he has yet to prove his mettle as local chief executive, the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Numancia as its municipal Mayor. As manager of LGU, the most important factor in the provision of essential services to the citizens is the Municipal officials and employees. All other factors like budget, time, and equipment among others will be wasted if the personnel are not properly motivated.

Mayor Iligan is the man to lead the municipal employees in providing the highest quality of services to the constituents. And this is only possible when they are properly motivated and in an excellent inter personal relation. However, with the use of the social networking site in the internet, Numancia Municipal employees, are washing not only clean linen but especially the dirty ones. The Numancia-hanons, curious of the on-goings in Numancia and Aklan, are fully informed of the negative things taking place in Numancia.

If I may suggest, Mayor Iligan must make full use of the newly constructed "Bagsakan Center" inside the Numancia Public Market. This is constructed at a cost of P1 million grant from the Department of Agriculture. It was inaugurated in June 2010. However, the Entre-preneurial Farmer was frustrated upon seeing that the Bagsakan Center does not function for which it was constructed.

The bagsakan was empty except for a small quantity of ice being sold. The comfort room was very dirty.

That bagsakan was put up as per request and effort of the Numancia Municipal Agricultural and Fishery Council. The proposal was strongly recommended for approval by the Aklan Provincial Agricultural and Fishery Council where I am a part.
The project is there, but not use for which it was constructed. The LGU Numancia is highly competent to implement the objectives for which it was constructed such as to provide agricultural products to the consumers of high quality and at reasonable price. There is also an urgent need to orient vendors especially fish in the proper conduct business.

Aklan SP Seeks Investigation

In its regular session held on December 15, 2010, Aklan Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) approved Resolution No. 2010-152. Sponsored by Hon. Rodson Mayor, the Resolution is asking Secretary Rogelio L. Singson of the DPWH to conduct an immediate investigation on the status of the P100 million dredging project for the Aklan River Kalibo.

Resolution 2010 – 152 also informed Sec. Singson of the following: 1. Aklan SP has protested the bidding of the project without consultation with the LGU Aklan which is in violation of the law.

2. The project was awarded to a contractor who lacks the needed equipment;

3. Upon the Aklan SP members’ request, a DPWH representative was sent to give update of accomplishment made as of October 20, 2010; and

4. The SP members were dismayed upon learning that the project completion was delayed and the contract was extended where P8 million goes to the rental of heavy equipment which should not have been allowed as the contractor must provide the necessary equipment. /MP

Ecological Waste Management Board Reorganization


Aklan environmentalist like officers and members of Kool Earth devote time and effort to collect garbage to promote conducive biosphere for man to live in as shown in the above picture

The Municipal Government of Kalibo, through its Solid Waste Management Services Department held a two-day Orientation and IEC Planning Workshop last month at the Municipal Conference Hall, Kalibo Municipal Building, Kalibo, Aklan.

Hon. Mayor William S. Lachica has issued Executive Order No. 018, Series of 2010, dated November 5, 2010. It reorganized the Municipal Solid Waste Management Board of the Municipality of Kalibo, Aklan. The Executive Order issued is in support to Republic Act No. 9003 entitled "An Act Providing for an Ecological Solid Waste Management Program, Creating the Necessary Institutional Mechanisms and Incentives, Declaring Certain Acts Prohibited and Providing Penalties, Appropriating Funds Therefore, and For Other Purposes." Furthermore, this executive order encourages the Solid Waste Management Board to take the lead in the implementation of the program.

Ms. Adorada T. Reynaldo, Public Service Officer II, Solid Waste Management Services head, together with Ms. Juliet T. Melrgarejo – Exec Asst/OIC MEEDO of the Municipality of Kalibo, initiated the conduct of the Orientation and IEC Planning Workshop.

In the two-day orientation and planning workshop, Ms. Reynaldo presented The Kalibo Waste Management Situation; and Dr. Emmette L. Custodio – Medical Specialist/Member, Local Health Board presented the Health Impacts of Improper Solid Waste Management; Fundamentals of ESWM and Its Legal Framework by Mr. Heherson R. Alvarez – Ecosystem Management Coordinator; Roles and Responsibilities of MSWM Board, Agreement on the MSWMB Working Protocol. The Planning Workshop was led by Ms. Maricel M. Bechayda – MLGOO, LGU Kalibo;

Ms. Reynaldo brought up to the workshop some inherent issues on waste management. She also updated the body about the ecology on solid waste management framework of the Municipality of Kalibo. Waste segregation at source is being encouraged to Non–Biodegradable, Residual/Hazardous and Biodegradable (home composting) by the ESW Management Board. This includes waste materials from establishments/institution and the households. According to the survey on waste composition, it was found that 42 percent come from kitchen waste, 19 percent are paper, 17 percent are plastic, 6 percent from metal, 7 percent from garden waste and 9 percent are unidentified waste materials.

In RA 9003 of 2000, Sec 2 states that there is NO issuance of business permit once the establish-ment will not follow the provisions on proper disposal of their waste materials. In Kalibo, there is a business establishments which religiously follows this provision. Filbake/Bread and Butter earned more or less Php300K alone for one year practicing Materials Recovery Facility in its company backyard. Indeed, "May Pera sa Basura."

Ms. Reynaldo, also reported the progress of their implementation of SWM. They have purchased a Rotary Drum Composter Composting Supplies at a cost of P529,000.00 for the Kalibo Composting Facility located at Tinigao, Kalibo; the Enactment of Municipal Ordinance 2009-004 otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Code of Kalibo, the Printing of Environmental Citation Tickets and Component of ESW Management Board.

The board agreed to also enlist the support of all the civic organizations, the academe, tri-media, and sangguniang kabataan/youths to help conduct community service and to keep the passion of advocacy on environmental concerns. The workshop ended with the signing of a covenant to support the Ecological Solid Waste Management Code of Kalibo. /MP

Pres. Aquino Appoints Capiz Gov. Tanco Western Visayas RDC Chair

President Benigno S. Aquino III has appointed Capiz Governor Victor Tanco and Ma. Luisa Segovia of the Iloilo Business Club as chairman and co-chairman of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in Western Visayas, respectively.

Information from the Knowledge Management Division of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) disclosed the news upon receipt of an Omnibus Appointment Letter sent by Malacanang to Secretary Cayetano Paderanga Jr. and was forwarded to Director Ro-Ann Bacal, Iloilo City Monday.

"I look forward to working with Governor Tanco and Ms. Segovia in effectively steering the RDC-VI towards the development of Western Visayas (Region VI) for the benefit of its people," Bacal who is the head of the technical secretariat of the RDC said.

The RDC is composed of the governors of the region, city mayors and mayors of capital towns, presidents of the League of Municipalities, selected regional directors of national line agencies and private sector representatives.

Tanco and Segovia were nominated during the RDC meeting held last Sept. 3.

Tanco is a graduate of B.S. Business Administration at U.P. Diliman. His career has been centered in local governance, starting as a three-term councilor for Dumarao, Capiz and eventually as its three-term municipal mayor. He was then elected vice-governor of Capiz for three terms and is now a 2nd-termer governor.

Among the many advocacies of Governor Tanco are in the areas of culture and heritage, health, environmental protection, disaster preparedness, climate change adaptation and ensuring reliable power supply for the region.

Segovia has been chairperson of Iloilo Business Club from 2001 to 2005 and is a member of various business organizations advocating for socio-economic development and a business-friendly region. She supports initiatives that promote local products and services to tourists and investors.

She is a graduate of B.S. Management at the Ateneo de Manila University. Currently, she is vice-president for Operations for Nissan–Iloilo and has businesses under Segovia Enterprises.

Having been actively involved in the activities of the business community, Segovia has built a network with regional line agencies, local government units and non-government organizations. (PNA)/MP

Aklan PNP Is On Maximum Visibility Since Dec. 16

The Aklan Police Provincial Office (APPO) is on maximum visibility mode starting the Simbang Gabi on December 16 to ensure the safety of churchgoers and other persons.

APPO director S/Supt. Epifanio Bragais urged the cooperation of the public for them to also on alert for possible criminal elements that are out to take advantage of the traditional Misa de Gallo, PO2 Nilda Grecas, APPOP information officer reported.

Moreover, public vigilance is strongly encouraged to ensure safety while at the height of the yuletide celebrations.

Bragais stressed that the public must also do their share to ascertain their own safety especially this holiday season, which is the best chance for robbers and thieves to commit crimes.

The Aklan PNP is working day and night taking firm steps to curb criminality. Community support is essential to win the battle against criminality Bragais pointed out. /MP

Journalists Condemn Illegal Detention of Dipolog Broadcaster

Journalists who attended the recently concluded 15th National Press Congress organized by the Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI) in Dakak, Dapitan City on December 5–7 have condemned the physical assault and continuous detention of Dipolog broadcaster Ryan Uy by the Dapitan City PNP.

In a strongly worded resolution adopted, the media congress delegates deplored the police brutality inflicted on Uy who reportedly earned the ire of the Dipolog City Police for exposing illegal gambling, including widespread betting in unauthorized jai alai tolerated and cuddled by local authorities.

The resolution, presented subsequently to Zamboanga del Norte Gov. Rolando Yebes at his Dipolog City office. Uy’s father Mariano, asked Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Malacanang, the Department of Justice and the Commission on Human Rights to look into Uy’s case and free the broadcaster from illegal police detention.

Mediamen who attended the PAPI National Press Congress in Dakak later assembled and staged a peaceful rally in front of Robredo’s DILG office on December 9, joined by contingents from Dapitan City

The press congress theme actually focused on Re-engineering Tourism and Climate Change initiatives and the resolution demanding justice for Ryan Uy served as a rider to it. The Congress also tackled the suggestion by Atty. Mel "Batas" Mauricio for PAPI to work for the abolition of libel as a crime from our statute books and anyone claiming to have been damaged by any article, column or broadcast of any mediaman should instead file a civil case for damages only.

Mauricio explained the law on libel violates the Constitutional guarantee for a free press. The renowned lawyer also proposed that "the status of a person in authority be conferred on all journalists, so that anyone causing harm to them could be punished with imprisonment of up to 12 years. /MP

Canadians Explore Greeting Fluency Concept In Filipino

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Learning seven simple phrases is not much difficult than learning to use chopsticks.

This was the gist of former Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan’s message when he conceptualized the introduction of seven phrases of Vancouver’s three most important languages — Cantonese, Punjabi and Tagalog—in a forum on "Greeting Fluency" at the Global Civic Society on Hamilton Street last December 9.

Sullivan invited three lecturers to speak on the three languages in a three-hour forum attended by college teachers, businessmen, students, community leaders, among other professionals and sector representatives.

Cantonese, one of the nine major languages spoken in China by people mostly in the southern province of Canton (Guangdong) and in nearby areas, is Vancouver’s second most spoken dialect, according to lecturer David Choi. 

Punjabi is the spoken dialect in India and Pakistan, while Tagalog is official language of the Filipinos, now the third largest visible minority in British Columbia with almost 120,000 population.

"Although they ultimately come from the same source they now belong to completely different language families," Sullivan pointed out.

"Greeting fluency can be achieved by learning at least seven simple phrases in another language. By learning even seven short phrases, one can experience the sounds and structures that define a whole culture and open doors to a community of neighbours," he added.

"Vancouver has many new citizens who struggle daily in a sea of the strange sounds of English," said the former mayor who is recipient of the Order of Canada.

"Their mother languages are a deep part of their sense of identity with sounds that are familiar and elicit memories of another home. To have someone address them in their own native language is like the comforting sound of an old friend and can create an immediate bond," Sullivan stressed.

According to him, over the last few decades, Vancouver’s streets have filled with voices speaking more than 100 languages. For most of us the sounds seem like impenetrable babble. Although it is unlikely that any of us will become fluent in these languages, this should not deter us from discovering the treasures that they hold or the richness of the relationships they can lead to. I believe that with a minimal amount of effort most of us can become Greeting Fluent".

Vancouver has many new citizens who struggle daily in a sea of the strange sounds of English, according to Sullivan, a wheelchair user who is Canada’s Paralympics ambassador.

"Their mother languages are a deep part of their sense of identity with sounds that are familiar and elicit memories of another home. To have someone address them in their own native language is like the comforting sound of an old friend and can create an immediate bond," he said.
"An old saying declares that if we learn another language we will gain another soul. Every language dissects and analyzes our world in different ways."

He added that "languages can shape the way we perceive and entire value systems and traces of ancient history are embedded in them."

"Perhaps the reason most English speakers don’t make an effort to speak another language is because we assume others will treat us the way we treat them," Sullivan explained.

Thousands of new citizens in the community reportedly "make the herculean effort daily to live their public life in our strange language."

"The response they get from us is impatience, a critical comment, a passing over. What a difference when an English speaker utters an awkward phrase in one of our many other languages," the former mayor said.

"The eyes light up, great big smiles, gasps of joy, sometimes applause. A good reason to become Greeting Fluent is to become aware of the struggles of our neighbours and to make a gesture of solidarity to our fellow citizens." /MP

Trees, Wave of the Future

A month ago, a composite team of CENRO Boracay apprehended two tricycles loaded with charcoal and mountain agoho fuelwood in Regador, Ibajay, Aklan. The campaign is a stepped up effort of DENR to stop illegal cutting of trees in forest reserves all over the country.

Forest lands in Aklan total 48,177 hectares or 27 percent of provincial land area. Half of forest destruction is caused by firewood gatherers and charcoal makers. Their favourite target is Mountain Agoho and other hardwood species because it commands a higher price in the market. Current price per sack of charcoal is P180.00 upped by 38 percent before the crackdown. This is also affected by increased cost of LPG now costing P840.00 per 11 kilogram container.

Mr. Rene C. Reyes, Chief Forest Management Services, CENRO Kalibo said that they do not need to implement drastic measures of law enforcement. Instead, they maintain close supervision over two organizations namely: Multi Sectoral Forest Protection Committee (for towns of Libacao, Malinao, and Madalag) and the Aklan River Watershed Forest Resource, an NGO. Program cite is Metro Kalibo Waterworks planting of 52 hectares to agro forest trees, part of 150 hectares reserved in Galicia, Madalag.

"So far, our partnership has been very fruitful in terms of meeting contractual agreement on forest conservation. In addition we have quarterly meetings to thresh out problems and get feedbacks from them," Mr. Reyes declared.

The United Nations Environmental Program is deeply concerned over climate change as a result of rising carbon emissions. There has been a ten fold increase of carbon in the last century that could trigger a rise of five (5) degrees Fahrenheit in our global temperature by the end of this 21st century. The culprit is massive industrialization, car emissions and human activities.

Cars and trucks are major sources of global warming as each litre of gasoline pumps more than 2.5 kgms of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. An average person spews 13.6 – 22.7 kilograms of CO2 each year.

However, a single tree can trap one ton of CO2 per year. With high carbon emissions, it is imperative that our current population of 94 million collectively plants 30 trees per person per year in order to mitigate global warming and environmental degradation. Definitely at stakes are the very high poverty alleviation, employment and stability. Trees are the wave of the future. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro
Titeris Ni Lola Inday
Maisot pa si Vina kat mamatay ro anang Lola Inday. Naubos it lustay ko anang mga tiyo ro andang na-e-ridar nga mga bagay kay Lola Inday. Tongod kamanghuran ro anang ama sa tatlong ka magmanghod, kana guin aywan ro eagi nga baeay. Ogaling guin bo-oe man ro mga eaging muwebles ag ibang igdaeapat. Ro habilin eonlang kanda hay mga eaging aparador nga may sueod nga eaging eambong ag ibang igdaeapat ko anang Lola.

Bisperas it paskwa eon. Nag uli nga masubo ro ama ni Vina. Owa guid imaw pagpahueama it cuarta ko anang tiyo agod ibakae it pang Noche Buena.

Samtang guina kaayad ni Vina ro mga igdaeapat ko anang Lola, nahueog rong eaging titires. Matsa may mga bato sa sueod ro titires. Guin buka ni Vina ag hakita nana ro mga papelon nga kwarta ag mga alahas nga antigo ko nang Lola. Nagdaeagan imaw sa anang ama ag guin pakita ro anang hatukiban.

Mabahoe nga paskwa ro guin regalo ko anang Lola kanda. Naga hueat guid lang it tama nga tiyempo, sa tiyempo nga sanda hay maga kinahangean.

Umpisa kato, owa eon say Vina naga kalisod eabi guid kon oras it kapaskwahan. Guin gamit nanda sa mayad ro regalo ko anang Lola ag owa nanda guina kalipati nga mag panupod it pamaskwa sa andang isig katawo. Sa rondayang paagi, hadumduman nanda ro regalo ko andang Lola nga guina balik man nanda sa tawo agod makaagum it kalipay kada mag-abot ro paskwa. /MP

Boracay Is Tsunami Safe – PHIVOLCS

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has officially ruled out any tsunami possibility in Boracay Island resort averting any tsunami scare in the future.

Phivolcs director Renato Solidum said that the geographical location of Boracay is protected by its cove situated at the back of an open sea. The perfect location makes it difficult for tsunami in Boracay despite the fact that this resort island is along the Tablas fault.

"If a tsunami happens in the surrounding area, we expect Boracay will experience a minimal risk. Boracay’s geographical location is considered a suitable tourism destination," Solidum, who traces his roots in Aklan province, said.

Phivolcs local officials, for several years are constantly monitoring the activity of Tablas fault which traverses Romblon and Antique provinces. In the 16th century, a tsunami reportedly hit the coastal areas of Romblon, making PHIVOLCS believe that it could happen again in the future.

The PHIVOLCS, an agency under the Department of Science and Technology, has undertaken a study on the geographical status of this resort island. (PNA)/MP

P800,000 Cash Prizes For The 2011 Dinagyang Festival

More prizes are up for grabs in the various events highlighting the 2011 Dinagyang Festival slated January 21 to 23 in Iloilo City.

The Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc (IDFI) decided to increase prizes for the Ati-Ati competition where 15 tribes and the Kasadyahan contest with 10 competing groups will participate.

Robert Alor chairman of the Ati competition disclosed, "in 2011 the grand champion will receive P150, 000 while the first to fourth runners up will receive P80,000; P60,000; P30,000 and P25,000, respectively."

The champion for the Kasadyahan contest will receive P120,000 while the first to the fourth runners up will bring home P60,000; P45,000; P35,000 and P25,000 respectively.

A cash prize of P10, 000 for every minor award at the Ati and Kasadyahan contests will bring home P5, 000, will also be awarded.

There will also be cash prizes for winners of the drum and lyre competition slated Jan. 21,2011 which will kick off the three-day highlights of the festival.

Alor also announced that Monday’s Pamukaw activity will serve as preview of what the people may expect to happen during the Jan. 23, 2011 Ati competition.

"The 15 tribes that will compete for the Ati have been advised to send not just their drummers but their warriors as well during the Pamukaw", Alor said.

The Pamukaw is an event organized by the Association of Tribes in Iloilo which aims to raise public awareness about the forthcoming Dinagyang event.

Alor, however, vowed to strike out from the list of participating tribes those who will not perform well during the Pamukaw. /MP

ASU Hosts The 2010 Regional SCUAA Meet

The Aklan State University in partnership with the Province of Aklan hosts this week the yearly regional State Colleges and Universities Athletics Association (SCUAA) sports competition on December 17-23, 2010 at Aklan Sports Complex in Calangcang, Makato, Aklan.

Delegates from 11 state colleges and universities, which include Aklan State University, Capiz State University, Carlos C. Hilado Memorial State College, Guimaras State College, Iloilo State College of Fisheries, Negros State College of Agriculture, Northern Iloilo Poly-technic State College, Northern Negros State College of Science and Technology, West Visayas State University, Western Visayas College of Science and Technology, and University of Antique are participating in the five-day sports competition.

Some 3,000 SCUAA member-athletes, coaches and delegation officials are competing in different events such as tae-kwon-do, table tennis, baseball, basketball, swimming, athletics, badminton, lawn tennis, sepak takraw, boxing, softball, chess, volleyball, football, karatedo and dancesports.

Aside from the Aklan Sports Complex as the main venue, the sports events are also being held in other venues in the municipalities of Kalibo, New Washington and Numancia. /MP

Gabby Wants To Be Radio Announcer


VANCOUVER, British Columbia–To host a radio commentary program is one of the dreams of Philippine movie actor Gabby Concepcion.

The matinee idol in the 80’s, who resurrected his career after more than a decade of hiatus, revealed in an exclusive conversation with the Philippine Showbiz Today last December 12 that he was hoping DZMM, sister AM station of ABS-CBN TFC where as a talent, would give him a break as anchorman.

"Matagal ko nang pinangarap ‘to," he chortled. "Gusto kung maging radio commentator dahil maka-ka relate ako sa tao (I have been dreaming to become a radio commentator for a long time now because I can relate with people)."

Concepcion, who stayed in the United States during his semi-retirement years following a spat with former manager Lolit Solis in the mid-90’s, said he was "deeply touched" each time he heard stories of overseas Filipino workers reuniting with their families after long years of separation.

"Habang nakikinig ako sa kanila habang nag uusap sa radyo, tumutulo ang luha ko dahil sa masyado akong emotional when it comes to separation among family members (While listening to some of them talking on radio, I cried because I am very emotional when it comes to separation among family members)," Concepcion narrated.

"Naranasan ko na rin yun. I mean, noong nagkita kami nang anak ko (actress KC Concepcion) malaki na siya," Concepcion added.

"We have not seen each other since she was two years old. When she saw me for the first time in San Francisco (California, USA), napatingin lang siya sa akin nang matagal; tinitingnan niya ang mga mata ko and she told me, ‘we have the same eyes’ at nag yakapan kami at nag iyakan."

Concepcion has separated with KC’s mother, Sharon, a top Filipino actress, who is now married to Philippine Senator Kiko Pangilinan.

Concepcion was here (in Vancouver) last December 12 as "special celebrity guest" in the "Paskong Pinoy sa PNE" at the Forum of the Pacific National Exhibition./MP

SWD Wants Children’s Code Enforcement In Boracay

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is looking forward to the implementation of the much delayed Provincial Children’s Code in Boracay resort island next year.

Elma Malbas,provincial DSWD officer reported that they are already conducting information awareness on the Code among the transport group and laborers of the Caticlan Jetty Port.

Earlier, the DSWD-Western Visayas mobilized the Children’s Welfare Desk at the Jetty Port to register all minors passing in the jetty port.

The purpose of which is to protect children from abuses while staying in this resort island.

"We are just waiting for the passage of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Children’s Code. Anyone, including resort owners, would be held liable if they violated certain provisions in the Children’s Code," said Malbas.

Prior to the passage of the code, resort owners prohibited policemen from entering their premises to investigate suspected child prostitution cases.

"Based on the code, we could use the strategy of rescuing the children whenever they are suspected of having an illicit relationship with any adult be it foreigner or local," said Malbas.

Once the IRR is released, the DSWD will then start a massive information campaign relative to the implementation of this law.

They also hope that stakeholders and resort owners will fully comply with the ordinance for the protection of children.

Reports said that children are prone to abuse and child trafficking cases in this resort island.

DSWD Will Release P52M For 4Ps

For those who are failing to support themselves economically, DSWD Regional Office 6 is set to release P52,508,100 before the year ends to the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries in Negros Occidental and Aklan provinces.

The beneficiaries from Negros Occidental to receive the cash grant under 4Ps are those who belong to Set 3C which are from the cities of Bacolod, Cadiz, Escalante, Himamaylan, Kabankalan, Sipalay, San Carlos and Sagay.

The total cash grant to be released to the beneficiaries in Negros Occidental is P48,086,600.00. The payment will be done through over the counter for 15,379 households.

For the province of Aklan, the 1,471 household beneficiaries who belong to Set 3A are from the municipality of Buruanga. They will receive their cash grant amounting to P4,421,500.

In Roxas City, the City SWDO head Lorelie Suelo has recommended 22 barangays flood ravaged areas of Roxas City to declare under state of calamity. These barangays are situated in coastal and fishpond areas. /MP

DOE To Conduct Boracay Energy Audit

The Department of Energy (DOE) is set to conduct an energy audit among resorts and hotels in this resort island in order to encourage stakeholders to take part in their conservation program.

DOE assistant secretary Leonilo Lariosa said the government is able to save P1.2 billion worth of electricity for this year in their campaign for energy conservation efforts among the government offices around the country.

"If the private firms would take part in our energy conservation program, we would be able to use our meager energy resources for a more productive means to further strengthen the economy," he said in a press conference held in Boracay Convention Center on December 7.

The DOE visited Boracay as part of its National Energy Consciousness Month (NECM) observe every December. The theme of this year’s celebration is "Towards Energy Access for More Through Energy Efficiency and Conservation."

Energy conservation hopes to reduce need for oil imports. Such reduction will lower the capital and operating costs of electricity and will consequently provide Filipino sufficient electricity at lower possible costs.

"For companies, increased energy efficiency means more savings and higher profit which will lead to greater company stability, more jobs and competitive markets. At the household level, energy conservation will mean less power consumption and more savings from electricity cost," Lariosa added.

To conduct the energy audit, the DOE plans to enter through a memorandum of agree-ment among business organizations in this resort island such as the Boracay Foundation Incorporated (BFI) and the Boracay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI).

They also plan to personally discuss the program among big hotels which are not members of either the BFI nor the BCCI. (PNA) /MP

ASU (Main) Alumni Schedules Homecoming

The ASU (Main) Alumni Association will hold its 2011 alumni homecoming on April 25, 2011. This is announced by its president, Atty. Ariel Gepty.

According to Atty. Gepty, several activities are being prepared by the preparations committees geared to provide more funs to the alumni officers and members, enhance bonding, and develop cooperation and camaraderie.

The activities start with welcome and recognition program; here, the alumni’s former teachers, instructors, and professors will be recognized and honoured. A Plaque of Appreciation will be given them. This is in appreciation to their contributions that made life pleasant and meaningful to their students.

There will also be held award ceremonies for outstanding alumni who are very successful in their chosen professions such as in agriculture, fishery, public service, business and the profession, diplomacy, journalism, arts and culture, religion, science, education and Information Communication Technology among others.
Thanksgiving mass is scheduled in the afternoon of April 25. After which torch parade and dinner will follow.

Business meeting is also scheduled where the treasurer will report the financial status of the association and the president will render his accomplishments for the past year. Resolution will also be presented for action and approval.

In the evening “Binayle” is scheduled where Mr. & Ms. ASU (main) Alumni 2011 will be proclaimed and honoured.

Atty. Gepty has created several committees to prepare the specific detail of each activity during the Board of Directors meeting held at ASU Cafeteria, Banga on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010.

Any alumni who have good ideas to include in the homecoming activities will be highly appreciated. Please feel free to inform Atty. Gepty of any idea you believe will be best for the association. /MP

Iloilo Anti-Smoking Drive Goes High Gear

No one will be excused from the anti-smoking campaign, be it a top government official, police or military and influential businessmen.

"I don’t give a damn whoever will be apprehended and fined." This was the vow of city councilor Joshua Alim in implementing the anti-smoking campaign to make the city tobacco smoke-free.

The city councilor said, he is ready and capable to face violators if a clash happened during the campaign.

Alim said the implementation of Regulation Ordinance 2006-150, otherwise known as The Comprehensive Anti-smoking Ordinance of Iloilo City is expected to mobilize all the city citizenry and informed them on the ills of tobacco smoke and the many diseases it may carry.

Aside from drivers of utility transport, the composite Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Task Force (ICAST) also zeroed in on students who participated in smoking adult sessions near their schools. Shopping malls, restaurants, bars, hotels and other public places are not spared from the anti-smoking drive, Alim said.

The city councilor said his advocacy against smoking had netted the cooperation of well meaning volunteers such as the Bantay Bayan, barangay officials and the media in the drive against smoking.

The task force held exhibits and counseling on Dec. 6-13, 2010 at Robinson’s Place, Iloilo City to show to the public the evils of smoking. A culminating activity was held to show appreciation on volunteers and city government officials who will go out of their way and help the campaign. (PNA) /MP

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Decent Market Venue For Kalibonhons
Modernizing Kalibo’s public market can be a long and arduous process. Transformation from a wet market of makeshift stalls in the early sixties to its present state of semi permanence, high rise building and upbeat fish/meat section remind everyone that positive action has been done by the previous administration to alleviate problems associated with wholesale and retail trading.

Along with its modest success is the unprecedented growth of commercial establishments along its main thoroughfares: Roxas Avenue and Toting Reyes St. Magnet has drawn customers away from the old shopping district converging around Pastrana Park and Shopping Center effectively converting them into proverbial "ghost towns". The present shopping destination is where customer services and satisfaction are better addressed brought about by rising expectations.

The present public market although given funding and attention by Mayor William S. Lachica is far from adequate. Market stalls inside the facility are cramped, dark and filthy. Half of them are unoccupied. Those without business permits are forced to occupy sidewalks otherwise reserved for pedestrians.

The Provincial government on September 6, 2010 acceded to the request of LGU Kalibo to allow a portion of Toting Reyes St. for ambulant vendors’ use during Sundays. Obviously, customers prefer areas where wares such as RTW’s, plastic and aluminium products are openly displayed, reasonably priced and of good quality. In turn, sellers want broad space, pleasing ambiance and positive interaction. The only hindrance to this otherwise profitable partnership is submerged location during heavy rains.

Cemetery Effluents

Undoubtedly, drainage system in and around the vicinity of the Kalibo Public Market must have larger pipes, connected and clogged-free. The provincial capital’s business, residential and institutional areas are susceptible to flooding even with slight downpour of rain. What makes it controversial is that effluents from the low lying four cemeteries located south of the public market are easily carried via Toting Reyes St. by massive water flow. This affects domestic water supply and health of the people in contact with contaminated water.

Based on modern marketing trend, traders are simply housed under one massive roof, classified into their major kinds of merchandise and have a uniform selling platform. Underneath these platforms are storage areas for their wares and could be padlocked for the night. These allow for sufficient lighting, sanitation, and transparency.

Wet Concrete Floor

The second level of the market could best be rented out to public and private offices. Experience proved that customers seldom climb up stairs. They prefer "ground zero" merchandise unless there is an escalator or driven by need. Concurrently, two other towns namely Ibajay and Makato suffer the same predicament of low patronage. By the way, this is also true with the supermarket in Cotabato City where the second floor lacks tenants.

It is disheartening to find an army of cops and auxiliary personnel directing traffic in the vicinity of the public market. The main reason is that planners miserably failed to allocate parking space for motor vehicles. Good grief! One must pity those business establishments who are swanked with private vehicles in front of their stores. Despite the big number of law enforcers, there is perennial traffic problem that sees no end.

In addition, periodic declogging of drainage canal on the north and west sides of the public market by aides of the General Services Unit leaves much to be desired. The black, slimy, odorous material extracted is not immediately collected and disposed but allowed to remain on the roadside for two to three days. Accidentally stepping on one of those piles could be a terrible disaster. Rubber boots is advisable to use even during summer months. Reason: concrete floor is literally wet all the time.

Culprit is the failure of LGU Kalibo to prosecute landowners and developers who callously usurped the Andagao Creek to themselves. Abetting environmental disaster are also people who unscrupulously throw their garbage into the canal. The big losers are the children and future generations. It must take the audacity and courage of former MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando to do the impossible in Kalibo, Aklan.
Current Move

Aware of the problem posed by unsanitary and congested environment of the Kalibo public market, current move of the Lachica Administration is to develop the auxiliary market at the Bagsakan terminal in Oyo Torong. This is laudable move and can effectively address consumer needs of those living in the western section of the Poblacion. At least a number of meat and vegetable shops have opened along Roxas Avenue and even in Bulwang, Numancia. What is obvious in this trend is that there is growing customer awareness towards quality and affordable priced products.

Modernizing Kalibo’s public market definitely requires excellent planning and implementation. There must be a termination of bad practices (like sub-leasing/non payment of stall rentals and tampered weighing scales) and political accommodation associated with market governance. Using town streets and sidewalks to market one’s wares runs counter to smooth motoring access and pedestrian safety. We must insure that our food source is predominantly secured from the open market and remains free of disease carrying pathogens, fresh and nutritious as it could be.

Almost half a century has passed, yet to this day, Kalibonhons are still looking forward to a decent marketing venue that could be a source of pride and inspiration not only here but abroad. An eagle’s vision is to soar above the clouds of doubt and uncertainty. Together, with our elected leaders, we can realize this vision in due time. /MP