Thursday, November 25, 2010


Visit To Aklan Rehabilitation Center
by Megs S. Lunn

During the State of The Province Address of Aklan Gov. Carlito S. Marquez on January 31, 2008, he said that, "in 2007, with 207 inmates in its custody, our Aklan Rehabilitation Center (ARC) or Provincial Jail, has undergone improvement with the construction of an annex to the administration building. A rooftop guardhouse was also constructed at the main building. Two Jetmatic pumps were installed while the old well was rehabilitated to insure potable water for the inmates. A medical-dental team from the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital conducted medical missions for our prisoners while the Philippine Pharmacists Association also held the same activity."

For five (5) years, P/Supt. Cristito Angob was in charge as Warden of the Aklan Rehabilitation Center at Nalook, Kalibo, Aklan. Now, Major Gelacio Guarino serves as the ARC Consultant.

The Infant Jesus Academy Kalibo Family Council (IJAKFC) visited the Aklan Rehabilitation Center at Nalook, Kalibo, Aklan on November 16, 2010. It visited the ARC to do a need assessment for the forthcoming Handog Pamasko scheduled on December 17, 2010.


To their surprised, the visit opened their eyes to the real situation of the ARC and the detainees. From their observation and interview, the group came up with the following observations.

1. They need immediate medical attention and medicines for common illnesses. First Aid Kit visible either in the office or in the cells are not available.

2. From 57 inmates in 2004, today there are 239 or 417 percent increase for five years. Of this number, 18 are females. The nine (9) cells and two (2) other cells (with mental illness) are poorly ventilated and inadequate for the inmates to breathe.

3. Cell 3 and 4 are leaking. PVC pipe needs repair and new toilet bowl is urgently needed for Cell 8.

4. No vehicle in time of emergency. Prison guards use motorcycle during emergency and in going to the courts to attend hearings.

5. Meals of less nutritional value are being served.

6. No library or reading materials for information and leisure.

7. Compliance to NO SMOKING rule is not implemented which is detrimental to the health of detainees who are diagnosed with Asthma and other related illness.

To effect a better system of jail management, for the safe keeping and rehabilitation of persons in conflict with the law under the direction, supervision and control of the Provincial Governor as Chief Jailer, they must be provided with the basic human needs.
How long would it take for a Warden to carry on and implement the ARC mission, vision and objectives? For some inmates who told stories about coping up with their life inside the ARC, the mental illnesses are rooted out of no love from the family members who abandoned them. The services the ARC is offering are not enough to alleviate their conditions.

A custody sergeant ensured cells are clean and as germ-free as possible in accordance with the Human Rights Act. Any inmate can spread a disease to a more or less 40 inmates in 48 square meter room or 1.2 square meter per inmate. This is congestion. At present, the detention facility is so filthy and so crowded like sardines for 239 detainees.

Section 10 of the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners Adopted by the First United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders directs that all accommodations provided for the use of prisoners, particularly all sleeping accommodation shall meet all requirements of health, due regard being paid to climatic conditions and particularly to cubic content of air, minimum floor space, lighting, heating and ventilation. This also includes adequate sanitary installations to enable every prisoner to comply with the needs of nature necessary in a clean and decent manner. All parts of the institution regularly used by prisoners shall be properly maintained and kept scrupulously clean at all times, even including the provision of clean water and with such toilet articles as are necessary for health and cleanliness.

On the health concerns, a medical officer shall have the care of the physical and mental health of the prisoners and should DAILY see all sick prisoners, all who complain of illness, and any prisoner to whom his attention is specially directed. It will be treated that (1) The medical officer shall regularly inspect and advise the director upon: ( a ) The quantity, quality, preparation and service of food; ( b ) The hygiene and cleanliness of the institution and the prisoners; ( c ) The sanitation, heating, lighting and ventilation of the ARC; ( d ) The suitability and cleanliness of the prisoners’ clothing and bedding; ( e ) The observance of the rules concerning physical education and sports.

On Education and recreation, (1) Provision shall be made for the further education of all prisoners capable of profiting thereby, including religious instruction. The education of illiterates and young prisoners shall be compulsory and special attention shall be paid to it by the administration. (2) If practicable, the education of prisoners shall be integrated with the educational system of the country so that after their release they may continue their education without difficulty.

These and many more concerns of the ARC are being neglected by the officer appointed, elected and or on duty. The detainees may have offended and broken the law, but they deserve rehabilitation and human treatment. When proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt, they must serve their penalty.

A vigorous objection from one bystander who asked, "Why visit them? They deserve to be there; let them suffer for their crimes." But, we believe the other way. We live by a Christian attitude. Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD stated that "Christian attitude is: Despite their crimes, they are still children of God and Christians have the duty to reach out to them. This had always been the attitude and example of the Lord, I have come for sinners, not the just. It’s the sick who need the physician."

Reaching out to prisoners is not easy. Because of this, we admire those who make the sacrifice of working in this apostolate, whether by choice or duty, like the CWL, NGOs, the academe, catechists, chaplains, wardens, and guards. Not only during Christmas season that we asked you to offer a moment of prayers for our prisoners and the needy, but we should also remember them every time we are in the moment of luxury, good life and fun. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente
Solon Wants Pardon Rep. Pacquiao
Aklan Rep. Florencio T. Miraflores called on the House of Representatives to excuse the holder of eight (8) world boxing championships Rep. Manny Pacquiao for his absences in the House of Representatives.

"Giving pardon to Pacquiao for his absences is one way of expressing the gratitude of his colleagues for being pride to the country. Pacquiao is known in the world as the best boxing champion, Miraflores pointed out.

Miraflores considers Pacquiao a responsible lawmaker." Even if he was busy with his training and boxing fight, Pacquiao is able to fulfil his responsibility as a representative of Sarangani. The boxing champ is also active during plenary session. He has already delivered two privilege speeches", said Miraflores.

Miraflores is chairman of the House Committee on Tourism and on his third term as congressman. He knows of no lawmaker is ever penalized for being always absent in the sessions of the House of Representatives.

Romano Resigns

Undersecretary Vicente Romano of the Department of Tourism (DOT) resigned from his office following public disapproval and of President Noynoy Aquino of an ad material "Pilipinas Kay Ganda". The Philippines through the DOT has spent several millions of pesos in coming with the public relations material to cajole foreign tourists to visit the Philippines.

But why did the Undersecretary resigned? Why not the secretary? Following excellent public management practice and principle, it is always the head of office who takes responsibility of any project, job or activity done in his/her coverage in this case, the DOT.

When a job is successfully done, the credit is first attributed to the head of office. On the other hand, when a project fails, the head of office is responsible as well.

While authority can be delegated to a subordinate, the head of office retains the responsibility.

In this DOT promotional material which the public rejected, DOT Secretary Alberto Lim is still responsible. Hence, he must resign as DOT Secretary. He cannot assign all the fault to his subordinates.

This is the second time Sec. Alberto Lim bungled his tourism job. The first time was when he suggested to tourists to go elsewhere because Boracay Island Resort is over crowded, and dirty.

BIR Seeks Assistance

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Kalibo, Aklan appeals for help of the Aklan Public Information Officers Association (APIOA) in disseminating information to attain an effective tax collection in the province of Aklan and to reach its collection target, reported PIA’s Venus Villanueva.

Atty. Vicente Tady, BIR-Aklan RDO-17 OIC ARDO aired this appeal during the Briefing/Update on BIR’s activities and tax collection accomplishment in the province.
More than 30 APIOA officers and members attended the briefing, which was held November 23 at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall, Provincial Capitol compound, Kalibo.

The activity was part of BIR’s year-round Public Assistance Awareness Campaign which the PIA is assisting to ensure extensive dissemination of information on their tax collection activities and in the process encourage Aklanon taxpayers to pay their taxes correctly and promptly.

Atty. Tady reminded Aklanons to ask for receipts everytime they pay goods or services.

The receipts amounting to P100.00 and above could be used in joining the BIR’s Premyo Sa Resibo promo," added Tady.

The latest BIR-Aklan record according to Atty. Tady show that for October 2010, the revenue district was able to collect P50,417,122.77. Last year for the same period, BIR-Aklan was able to collect P43,820,187.02, showing an increase of P6,596,935.75, or 15.05 percent. /MP

Kalibo Ati-Atihan Day Tour

The Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Foundation, Inc. (KASAFI) has prepared a day tours for the Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival 2011. The tour is valid from January 10 – 16, 2011.

According to Mr. Albert Meñez, president of KASAFI, at a cost of P3,500, a tourist will enjoy the following services from Boracay Resort to Kalibo and back on board air conditioned van with tour coordinator; ferry transport and terminal and environmental fees, lunch and afternoon snack; and t-shirt. There will be an English speaking guide during the tour.

While in Kalibo, the tourists will meet and greet at Kalibo Pastrana Park. Lunch will be served at Hernani’s Mix ‘n Match.

Lunch over; there will be a walking tour at Pastrana Park, Kalibo Cathedral, Museo It Akean Trade & Exhibits.

Those who will join the tour will savor merry making and dancing at the Kalibo Ati-Atihan this January 2011. Considered as the "Mother of all Festivals", Kalibo Ati-Atihan will allow the guests to experience the history/culture of Aklanon which has drawn the masses to the streets of Kalibo during the weeklong festival.

Experience the "Sadsad" (street dance), a century old tradition believed to commemorate the successful pact between the native Aetas and the Bornean datus who landed in Panay. The coming of the Spaniards revolutionarized the tradition with the introduction of the Sto. Niño.

Guests are prepared to smear themselves with paint or soot and to dance to the beat of the drums shouting in unison, "Viva! kay Senior Santo Niño!!"

Kalibo is the home of the oldest edifice of catholic worship in the Province of Aklan such as the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. One will also experience the unique age-old faith healing rule of the miraculous Sto. Niño (Holy Child) called "paeapak".

Nearby the Kalibo Cathedral is the "Museo It Akean" (Aklan Museum). This houses the famous Aklanon art works ranging from poetry to crafts, photography, and paintings. Fronting the cathedral is Pastrana Park where most of the festival activities are held. /MP

ANHSAT Has Best School Paper Adviser

One of the region’s Outstanding School Paper Adviser for 2010 is an Aklanon.

The award is the second one for Ronel Tersol, school paper adviser of Aklan National High School for Arts and Trades (ANHSAT). He will received the award along with eight (8) others from various schools in Western Visayas during the awarding on November 26 at the Iloilo Grand Hotel.

The Search Proponent, Philippine Information Agency, has been conducting this search for years to appreciate and recognize the efforts of the school paper advisers in promoting development and responsible campus journalism.

In her letter to Mr. Richard Flores, Secondary School Principal of ANHSAT informing him that Mr. Tersol qualified for the award, PIA Regional Director Ma. Janet C. Mesa also thanked the school for participating in the PIA’s yearly campus journalism seminars.

"The award for Mr. Tersol is also in recognition for your school’s unfailing support to your publication," Atty. Mesa said.

ANHSAT’s school publication is called "Ink Gesture".

The region’s Best Performing School Paper Advisers for 2010 are Anabella F. Pascua, Pontevedra National High School, Negros Occidental; May F. Olorga, Philippine Artisan, TUP-Visayas, Talisay City; Ronel M. Tersol, Ink Gesture, ANHSAT; Brenda Tumala, The Carrier, JBLCF Bacolod, Inc.; Genalyn L. Moscaya, Techno Forum, SIPC, Miag-ao; Mary Jean Apuhin, Sumiklab, Sapian NHS, Capiz; Ernesto Fulgencio Jr., The Insight, Vicente Andaya, Sr. NHS, Sigma, Capiz; Celestino S. Dalumpines IV, Ang Madyaas, ANS, Antique and Cheryl D. Villanueva, AVS Courier, Bugasong, Antique. (by Venus G. Villanueva) /MP

Bioreactor Turns Trash To Cash

by Rodel G. Offemaria
One’s trash could be somebody else’s treasure. This is a cliché that never gets tired especially in a society where economic classes are sharply defined between the affluent and deprived.

But more than the philosophical allusion, waste disposal is a staple topic among environmentalists, urban planners, and other concerned citizens. It even gets shrill attention especially during the rainy season when canals and rivers are clogged by jumbled trash.

Individual efforts to clean up immediate environs can hardly hold back the rising tide of trash. In parts of the country, mounds of trash are more than an eye sore. These could trigger respiratory trouble and soured air, among others in a long list of irritants.
But there are sparks of hope in what appears to be a hazy waste management landscape. And these could be happening almost always quietly and away from national spotlight.

In Pagadian City, garbage collection units literally do the dirty work. The city’s Public Service Division’s General Services Office takes charge of garbage collection since 1991. It is manned by 64 personnel, 44 of whom, collect solid wastes in 21 barangays (villages) using 12 regular collection vehicles.

But the city, like its progressive counterparts, has set its sight on innovative solution to the recurring waste issue. Guided by the landmark Solid Waste Management Act or RA 9003 passed in 2003, the local government leadership decided to adopt a technology-based option. The law empowered LGUs and also provides that "each LGU plan shall include an implementation schedule which shows that within five (5) years after the effectivity of this Act; the LGU shall divert at least 25 percent of all solid waste from waste disposal facilities through re-using, recycling, and composting activities and other resource recovery activities". It also decreed "that the waste diversion goals shall be increased every three (3) years", and encourages LGUs to implement re-using, recycling, and composting activities "designed to exceed the goal".

RA 9003’s stringent terms are substantially answered by a bioreactor developed at the Department of Science and Technology’s Industrial Technology Development Institute called "Bioreactor 500" (500-kilo daily capacity). This Accelerated Composting Technology has three components such as harnessing of composting process, application of solid inoculants, and use of bioreactor.

The inoculants are microbes present in the environment selected and isolated due to its ability to withstand heat of up to 60o Celsius, a very important characteristic since garbage generates so much heat that microbial inoculants must survive to do its decomposition job.

The microbes hasten the decomposition of degradable municipal solid wastes in 12 to 18 hours if incubated at 55 – 60o Celsius using a bioreactor. Biodegradable wastes like spoiled or wilted vegetables, fruit peels, meat/fruit/vegetable trimmings, food leftovers, fish entrails/trimmings, leaves/twigs, seeds, among others are converted into organic fertilizer. The inoculants have long shelf-life and can be sourced locally.

The Bioreactor 500 has a horizontal electric-driven stirred tank reactor, with aerated system, approximately 75-100 kg/d/cu.m. throughput, uses no external heat source, capable of batch or semi-continuous operation, uses forced air circulation, manual or automatic process control, and modular type. It is suitable to small-scale applications and fits the resources and needs of LGUs.

The Bioreactor 500 averts leachate (the smelly liquid from garbage) resulting to minor odor emission and competitive compost production cost.

Moreover, the organic fertilizer it produces contains nitrogen (2.09-6.0%), phosphorous (0.57-0.79%), potassium (0.14 – 0.17%), organic carbon (36-39%), moisture (22-30%), and is pathogen-free.

Pagadian City acquired the Bioreactor 500 through DOST’s Grants-In-Aid program and has been fully operational since May 2003. It handles biodegradable materials from the Agora market, slaughterhouses, and part of collected household wastes in the city.

In 2004, Pagadian City generated an estimated 52 tons of solid waste daily, 38 tons of the wastes went to dumpsites. The wastes include biodegradable materials (81.92%), residual wastes (16.69%), recyclables (1.34%), and special wastes (0.01%).

In the same year, the city produced about 68 tons of compost sold at P3 per kilo to local farmers and other consumers. Only 9 percent of total recoverable materials per day were recovered, while the rest of the biodegradable wastes were cast off to the city’s 2.13 hectare open dumpsite.

The city wanted to meet the requirements under RA 9003, and sought DOST’s help to acquire an additional bioreactor with a bigger 1-ton daily capacity. This would ensure the city’s compliance to recover at least the minimum 25 percent solid waste diversion percentage required by the law.

In September 2005, the new 1-ton bioreactor went to work raising production output to 8,960 kilos of compost valued at P26,880. The two bioreactors absorbed 169,050 kilos of biodegradable solid wastes on 8-hour, 7-day operation.

Other than the cheery environment impact, the twin bioreactors put the city in a strong position to haul up a budding industry like horticulture, one of DOST’s development priorities through the flagship Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program or SETUP. The compost is earth-friendly and inexpensive, ideal for SMEs and acceptable to most international markets that are sensitive to environment and quarantine issues.

Domestic and international demand is strong and growing for ornamental horticulture products such as cut flowers, fresh or dried foliage, live plants, and other dried ornamentals. In the domestic market, "roughly 80 percent of the total value of ornamental products" traded are foliage, DOSt’s Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development reported in 2007.

Prized ornamental plants that can be developed commercially include "orchids, bromeliads, Mussaenda, Medinilla, Aglaonema, Heliconia, palms, and gingers", PCARRD noted. The most common cut flowers produced in the country are Dendrathema (chrysanthemum), orchids, Anthurium, roses, gladioli, Heliconia, daisies, asters, Limonium, and Gypsophila.

The world’s largest suppliers of Draceena by 2007 are Costa Rica, Guatemala, and the Philippines. But in Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Thailand are the regional export leaders, though compared to global leaders, their output are not substantial, PCARRD said.

The Netherlands topped the world’s cut flower exporters in 1999, followed by Colombia, Ecuador, Kenya, Israel, Spain, Italy, Zimbabwe, Belgium, and the US. This top 10 list may have changed little since. World horticulture exports at the time were valued at US$7.8 billion, and world imports were placed at US$7.5 billion, PCARRD reported citing data from the Department of Trade and Industry.

According to PCARRD, Dutch horticulture products that also grow in the Philippines include Anthurium, bougainvilla, Dendrathema, Cymbidium, Gerbera, Guzmania, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, and pointsettias.

Growth prospects remain sunny. Domestic horticulture has a vast forest of opportunity.

Meanwhile, Pagadian City eventually implemented two-8-hour shifts to double the production to deal with the large volume of wastes collected and the need to increase compost production capacity. As of June 2006, three regular employees were hired and average monthly production volume went up to 3,000 kgs. of organic fertilizer out of 56,602 kgs. of biodegradable wastes.

The ITDI bioreactors allowed the LGU of Pagadian City to continuously produce organic fertilizer widely used in its vegetable gardening project, mitigated air pollution, generated employment, and provided additional income for the city. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro
Hari It Mga Kobra
Pinaka mabagsik sa tanan nga sawa ro kobra. Kon maka angkit ra imaw hay naga guwa ro kamandag sa anang pangil ag pilang segundo, mamatay ro biktima o ro ha angkit.

Si Ador hay isaeang ka mangangayam. Idto imaw naga estar sa kagueangan. Ro anang pangita agod mabuhi ra pamilya hay ro mag dakop it mga sawa agod ibaligya sa mga naga paguwa it karnabal. Ko isaeang agahon ngaron, nagpahikas eon imaw agod mag adto sa kagueangan. Pag abot nana sa anang paborito nga eongib nga pahuwayan, may hakita imaw nga isaeang ka puting panyo nga may naka marka: "Ro tawong maga buyot kara ro kilaeahon nga hari it mga kobra. Gamiton eamang ra sa kamaeayran ag indi mag datae sa eogta".

Guin tago nana ro panyo sa anang dughan agod indi mahueog. Pagkakaon nana, nag umpisa eon imaw it saka sa mga dalipi ag eoka hasta naka abot si Ador sa guina pugaran it mga kobra. Pag abot nana, hakita nana ro mga patay nga kasapatan nga owa eon it atay ag tagipusuon. Una ro karnero, kanding, baboy nga tamaeonon ag mga baka. Sa sobra nanang kaakig, sinueod nana ro eongib. Idto hakita nana ro pinaka mabahoe nga kobra nga ro utod hay tawo ag ro ueo hay kobra. Maka ngingidlis ro mga sawa.

Bu-ot nana nga dumaeagan agod maeagiw ag magguwa sa eongib. Ogaling hadumduman nana ro puting panyo. Nagpundo si Ador. Guin bo-oe nana sa anang dughan ag dayon guin wasiwas. Pagkakita ko mga sawa hay nag eogpay sanda bilang pagkilaea ko bag-ong hari.

Pagkakita man ko dati nga mga hari it mga kobra, nag alimpapasa imaw tongod sa kaakig nga guin boe-an eon imaw it gahum. Sa anang pag alimpapasa, nahueog imaw sa kumunoy nga ana man nga obra. Isaea imaw ka mapintas nga hari nga kon indi masunod ro anang kagustuhan, anang guina pahaboy sa kumunoy.

Umpisa kato, si Ador ro guin kilaea nga hari it mga kobra. Guin duea man nana ro kumunoy ag guin bawaean ro nga kobra nga mag angkit sa mga tawo, puwera eamang kon guina sakit sanda. Bihira eon lang makaron nga makit-an ro mga kobra tongod sa idto sanda naga estar sa mga lugar nga owa haeos guina adtuni it mga tawo. Idto sanda naga kabuhi kaibahan ko iba pang kobra sa idaeum ko gahum ni Ador. /MP

Documents Confirm CPP Orders Extra Judicial Killing

Based on the revelations of former and captured Communist front secretaries in Region VI and confirmed by documents surrendered by a Communist front Secretary in Negros, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has ordered its armed wing, the New People’s Army, to execute their former mass supporters and leaders who have sided with the military.
Captured in Dumaguete City, Danilo Escropolo Badayos, Kilusang Rehiyon Sentral Bisayas Front Secretary, by virtue of a warrant of arrest dated January 14, 2010 issued by Judge Ananson Jayme of the Regional Trial Court, Bayawan City, for charges of rebellion. The documents containing these information were seized from him upon his arrest.
The documents reveal the CPP intends to pursue a strategy of terrorism guided by their vision of elevating the People’s war to the highest level; disregarding Rules of Engagement and respect for International Humanitarian Law.  The plans encourage the use of illegal landmines and explosives in populated areas, a clear violation of the CARHRIHL and the Geneva Convention which bans the use of landmines.  The documents also outlined the systematic murder of unarmed civilians, a way to terrorize the masses into submission.
During the celebration of the CPP-NPA-NDF’s 40th year, they vowed to elevate the People’s War to the highest level by increasing the volume of their violent activities.  They have adopted a more violent strategy wherein they intend to focus more on violent tactical offensives over mass-works. This sudden shift in strategy is a response to the successful insulating factor of the Army’s Civil Military Operations in insurgency affected barangays. These empowered barrios stand up against the NPA in the name of community defense and are now the targets of retaliation of the terrorists. 
According to 3ID Chief Major General Vicente Porto, "The recovery of these plans provides us a correct picture of the situation in our area, especially in Negros.  We now have everything we need to stay two steps ahead of the New People’s Army.  Our troops will continue to remain vigilant and with the information gathered off these documents, we will now bring the fight to them."
The most recent victim of the terrorist KR-N’s murderous rampage was Renante Canete, a former rebel member of the RPA’s Alex Boncayao Brigade. Canete was shot twice in the head one afternoon by five armed men of the New People’s Army near his home in barangay Lopez Jaena, Sagay City. The killers were reported to have fled towards Hacienda Erlinda, barangay Malasibog, in neighboring Escalante City. The army and the police are now conducting pursuit operations of the killers.
"We are seeing a pattern in these killings and terrorist acts consistent with the plans seized from front secretary Badayos. We now have evidence thru these documents that these systematic killing of civilians as military targets is sanctioned by the Communist Party’s highest leadership and are carried out by the NPA," said regional spokesman 1LT Mark Andrew T. Posadas of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division. 
"With this latest killing in Negros island, the civilian death toll has risen to 170 percent compared to last year’s figures," Posadas said. The increase in civilian deaths perpetrated by the NPA in pursuit of this new strategy is indeed alarming.  We call on all peace-loving citizens to join us in seeking justice for those ruthlessly murdered at the hands of the terrorist New People’s Army.

We challenge our partners in Bayan Muna and Karapatan to show to us that championing human rights includes all Filipinos regardless of their profession or political inclination. This includes condemning and fighting for the human rights of those murdered by the New People’s Army terror groups. The more you keep silent on these murders, the more the public understands why you exist and who you are protecting.
We hope that these cases of extra-judicial killings in Region VI will find resolution so that the families and loved ones of those who perished in this conflict will attain peace of mind that comes with knowing what truly happened. /MP

Marina: Ro-Ro Vessels In WV Are Sea Worthy

As part of the nationwide inspection of roll-on-roll-off vessels (RoRo), the Maritime Regional Office 6, Iloilo City has conducted inspections on the 15 RoRo vessels that dock in the ports of Western Visayas, it reported. All the 15 RoRo vessels are docking in the ports of Caticlan, Malay, Aklan; Guimaras province; Dumangas, Iloilo; and Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.

Marina Regional Dir. Mary Armi Arcilla said based on their inspections, such RoRo vessels are all found to be sea worthy.

"They are sea worthy and so far, have no violations against maritime laws," she said.
Arcilla is constantly encouraging the manage-ment of RoRo vessels to make sure that their vessels always comply with maritime safety standard, she claimed. (PNA)/MP

Aklan Eyes P3M on 2010 Product Showcase

The provincial government of Aklan eyes a P3-million revenue from its 8th Product Showcase in SM City-Iloilo from Nov. 15 to 21.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)–Aklan Provincial Director Diosdado Cadena said the target sale from this year’s event is around P3 million. Last’s year’s sale, including orders from bulk buyers, was around P 2.87 million, he added.

According to the DTI provincial director, at least 31 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have joined in this year’s presentation.

Cadena said, "the Aklan Product Showcase has been boosting the MSMEs in Aklan as well as providing employment to communities. The DTI continues to find buyers and potential investors for the products of Aklan since the annual showcase started in 2002", Cadena added.

Engineer Roger Esto, Aklan provincial planning and development officer and representing Aklan Gov. Carlito Marquez at the opening ceremonies on Monday last week said, the yearly activity has also been a venue for promoting indigenous materials and local talents.

The weeklong event showcased the various products of Aklan, including engineered bamboos, bayong, furniture, processed meat, special delicacies, as well as handmade paper crafts, clay-based and nito products, and piña cloth.

The theme for the 8th Aklan Product Showcase 2010 is "E Edition" with E standing for engineered, eco-friendly and elegant.

The event is sponsored by the Hugod Aklanon Producers Association Inc. and DTI, in partnership with the provincial government of Aklan.

DTI Aklan Exports Piña Cloth

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Aklan is eyeing major exports of piña cloth and fiber abroad.

DTI – Aklan provincial director Diosdado Cadena said that piña cloth and fiber are rapidly gaining recognition abroad through several national product showcase and fashion events.

Director Cadena said that many foreign companies have already ordered piña cloth from Aklan. Some fashion companies are sending their representatives to buy and ship bulk orders of piña cloth every year, he said. Most of these are from companies in Japan, United States and Europe, added Cadena.

Cadena said, "we are protecting the quality of the piña fiber industry through the Aklan Product seal. He stressed that the seal proves that the piña cloths have passed the quality standards set by the DTI and its stakeholders. Moreover, the Aklan piña fiber has experienced sudden growth, and increasing orders from bulk buyers and potential investors for more than 10 years. (PNA) /MP

Iloilo City Ranks 98th In World’s 100 Outsourcing Cities

Iloilo City ranks 98th in the world’s Top 100 Outsourcing Cities. The firm Tholons, found this in its study conducted. Tholons provides globaliza-tion and investment advisory services.

The metropolis also made it to the list of 50 "Aspiring Cities" around the globe vying to become ideal hubs for business process outsourcing (BPO) investments.

The 2010 Top 100 Outsourcing Cities list "is not only a reflection of the current competitiveness and stature of cities in the global outsourcing landscape but provides insight to the future potential of locations in addressing emerging trends and demands in services globalization."

This was the assessment of Global Services, a media platform which connects buyers and service providers in the global IT services and BPO industry, according to a statement posted on its website.

Last year, the Global Services-Tholons research team ranked Iloilo City as third in the "Top 10 Aspirants" which have potential to improve as "emerging global out-sourcing cities" in the coming years.

The aspiring cities have still a lot to do to develop and facilitate outsourcing activities, the Global Services pointed out.

Meanwhile, the cities of Manila and Cebu are already "established" in the Top 10 by ranking fourth and ninth, respectively.

The cities of Davao and Bacolod also fared as "aspiring" by ranking 69th and 100th, respectively.

Another list of global 40 cities are considered "emerging" BPO centers.

Tholons first con-ducted surveys and interviews with service providers and buyers to determine trends in delivery and consumption of outsourced services in specific destinations as well as market and labor sizes, and identify the expansion strategies of service providers.

The secondary research includes country economic information gathered from historical data from governments, trade bodies, and global institutions; government’s publicly released data used to present macro-economic; and market assumptions and analyses from data such as annual reports, industry bulletins, and trade publications. (PNA) /MP

Monday, November 22, 2010


Practice Sound Fiscal Policies
Aklan Provincial Finance and Budget was the topic discussed during Kapihan forum on November 13 at Smokehauz Resto & Bar. Guests were Ms. Suzette F. Pioquid, Provincial Treasurer and Engr. Roger M. Esto, Chief Provincial Planning Development Office (PPDO).

Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino cited Sec. 316 of RA 7160 which directs LGU’s to organize local Finance Committee to address fiscal policy on social and economic development. Regular members are PPDO Provincial Treasurer and SP representative. One of their unenviable tasks is to prepare the Annual Budget Appropriation and Provincial Investment Plan.

Fortunately, the 2011 budget was submitted to the SP last October 15, 2010 said Engr. Esto. By category, budget is divided into three which are: social, economic, and environ-mental development. The 20 percent economic development fund is targeting poverty alleviation, food security, maintenance of roads and bridges, and all others.

The PPDO Chief cited education thrust of Gov. Marquez’ administration allocating P14 million for scholarship and School of Nursing where first crop of graduates last year got 82 percent passing average.

Meanwhile, agriculture thrust is strengthened with the on-going hybrid rice production program, livestock upgrading project, lambaklad, abaca, and cacao production to increase farmers’ pro-ductivity and income, Engr. Esto added.

Ms. Pioquid revealed that of the P700 million collectible revenues for current year, 73 percent of it has been done as of October. Obviously, problem lies with poor real estate tax receipts that call for drastic action like sale of it at public auction of land whose owners are notorious tax evaders.

The lady treasurer confirmed that budget cap on personnel expenditures is limited to 41 percent rather than the maximum of 45 percent. This is the reason why we could release funding for pay increase, 13th month pay and other incentives. The province employs 986 regular employees plus 1000 casuals, majority of them are serving in seven community hospitals.

However, there is a need to brace up for P75 million earmarked for debt servicing by next year said Ms. Pioquid. "Most likely, we will charge this to 20 percent allocation for Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA)", Pioquid suggested.

The present adminis-tration of Gov. Marquez is beginning to feel the backlash of deficit spending mainly driven by massive infra development. By fiscal year 2011, the P75 million originally destined for economic development will be channeled to debt servicing. This will create a profound economic impact on the most vulnerable sector of society. Poverty affects 42.6 percent of the total population. Without remedial measures in sight, this could induce them into desperation.

Trend In EU

In the European Union (EU), countries like Greece has adopted stringent austerity measures while France has increased pension age from 60 to 62 years old. These are bitter pills to swallow but apparently there is no recourse if the economy is to survive the worse global recession since the last 50 years.

It is noted that a big chunk in the budget is allotted to casuals which outnumber the regular employees. Of course political patronage could not be ruled out but the public is entitled to fair and competent services. The Department of Budget and Management must adopt a ceiling on hiring of casuals and determine the needs of their services.

Nurses Over Supply

Otherwise, we are entertaining a bloated budget that is outrageous and unsustainable.

The School of Nursing funded by the Provincial government may have achieved the status as one of the top ten proficient schools in the country. Our sincere congratulations! However, nursing education in the country is heading to bad times. Glut of nurses abroad especially in the US does not bid well for aspiring graduates to enter this medical job. Popular demand is now on blue collar workers like plumbers, electricians, welders, and mechanics. It appears that nursing program of Aklan would only lead to oversupply of nurses, economic hardship and frustration. The wise move is to abandon the whole nursing education program and strengthen private school sector participation not only in nursing but criminology and restaurant courses.

On tourism, the proposed Jetty Port in Pook, Kalibo will eventually be started next year. It is envisioned that the infra facility would boost tourism by ferrying tourists from abroad via fast craft direct to Caticlan and back. Obviously, RORO vessels could be provided alternate docking destination aside from Caticlan and Dumaguit ports. This will minimize traffic congestion and road damages.

Unlike the Jetty Port in Caticlan where Boracay Island serves as natural cover, the site in Pook is open to disastrous wave action during Northeast moonson (Amihan). Lambingan park is also near protected area for angelwing clams (diwae) whose survival is at stake. Reclamation and heightened oil pollution could disrupt breeding, spawning and growth of this rare marine specie that is source of food and livelihood of local fisherfolks.

Public spending must be balanced with what we earn. This is basic. It must also be responsive to peoples’ need and interest. Debt servicing is bound to continue and escalate for several years if our present leadership does not hedge in their propensity for high impact projects. It should be underscored that only Jetty Port in Caticlan is gaining among the offices listed under the Economic Enterprises Department. Unsound fiscal policies are a deterrent to progress and must be avoided at all cost. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente
NEDA Consultation
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Region VI will conduct a Consultation – Workshop on the Medium – Term Regional Development Plan for 2010 – 2016. The consultation aims to get comments, suggestions and recommendations to further improve the regional plan.

The consultation is a whole day affair scheduled on November 30 at the Provincial Training Center, Old Buswang, Kalibo, Aklan. The NEDA Regional plan consists of 11 chapters based on National guidelines.

NEDA for years has been formulating plans following the accepted principles in development planning. Its past plans were found highly feasible but politics often ruins its execution.

One good example is the construction of International Airports. A multi billion pesos airport in Iloilo for the construction of International airport. The airport constructed is world class, globally competitive, but worst for neither a single plane has took off destined for abroad, nor a plane has landed coming from abroad.

In Kalibo, a P60 million airport was constructed and called Kalibo International Airport. It is now busy servicing planes serving Asia and the Philippines.

NEDA is mandated to formulate development plans but cannot depend its plans when politicians go against it.
Violates of Comelec Rules

According to the Commission On Elections, PNP and AFP, III violators of Comelec gun ban were apprehended in Western Visayas during the Barangay elections of the 111 violators, 19 were civilians, two government employees and one member of the AFP. Some 81 assorted firearms were confiscated in several checkpoints operations.
In Bacolod City, 30 violators were arrested, 16 firearms and eight bladed weapons followed by Iloilo City with 25 violators. In Negros Occidental, 24 persons were arrested for Comelec gun ban.

There is no reported incident in Aklan. The Sigcay incident on election day on October 25 was not included in the report.

ASU President

If plans are carried out, Aklan State University will have a new president in January 2011 Vice Dr. Benny Palma. Dr. Palma’s term as president of ASU has expired on December 31, 2009. He is designated OIC-President until a new president is appointed and has assumed the presidency.

The selection of a new president must follow a process according to law.

First, a search committee must be formed by the Board of Regents – ASU which will receive applicants and determine if they possess all the desired qualification.

Even if the ASU president position became vacant on December 31, 2009, the Search Committee was only formed on December 17 chaired by Atty. Julito D. Vetriolo of the Commission of Higher Education. The search for ASU president was further delayed by the national election held on May 10.

Due to the election ban on appointment, the announcement of the vacant position was done on July 16, 2010 after the qualification standard was approved by the Board of Regents.

There was six (6) applicants who filed their application papers. After the review of the Search Committee, two were disqualified. The remaining four (4) applicants presented each their vision and mission of ASU and how they will achieve it during a public presentation held in ASU Amphitheatre, Banga on Nov. 15. A panel interview with the Search Committee followed on Nov. 16. The Search Committee will meet again on Nov. 28 to finalize the short list of qualified applicants where the Board of Regents will select one for appointment President of ASU. /MP

Repealing Presidential Decree No. 269

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Oriental Mindoro has enacted Resolution No. 949 – 2010, a "Resolution Requesting The Congress of the Philippines, Both The House of Representatives and Senate To Review Presidential Decree No. 269, also known as the "National Electrification Administration Decree, As Amended, and when necessary to Enact a Law for the Repeal or Amendment of Provisions Thereon Found To Be Contrary to the Interest and General Welfare of the Electric Cooperatives As Well As Its Members and the Public In General".

A copy of this said Resolution was sent to SP Aklan for the information of the presiding officer and members, and "to gain support on this cause".

The Oriental Mindoro Resolution was included in the "Order of Business" of SP Aklan and presented during its 19th Regular Session held on November 17, 2010.

It was agreed that the Oriental Mindoro Resolution No. 949-2010 be referred to the Committees on Laws, Rules, and Order chaired by Hon. Selwyn Ibarreta and Committee on Cooperatives chaired by Hon. Nemesio P. Neron.

According to the SP Oriental Mindoro Resolution, PD No. 269, the NEA has been vested "so much powers that many of which, to the mind of the Oriental Mindoro SP members are very restrictive to that extent that those are directly, indirectly inimical to the total development of electric cooperatives".

SP Oriental Mindoro resolution cited the overwhelming powers of the NEA over electric cooperatives in securing or entering into loan agreement with other lending source…it restricts, delimits and/or impedes cooperative powers to secure or enter into a loan agreement with other funding source…the NEA’s administrator approval and certification is a pre requisite before a cooperative can secure loan agreement".

SP Oriental Mindoro members also cited the provision of PD No. 269 which made electric cooperative puppet of the NEA As Section 24 provides that "the cooperatives are under the control and supervision of the NEA which shall have the right to be represented and to participate in all cooperative Board meetings and deliberations and to approve all policies and resolutions". This provision made a puppet out of all electric cooperatives, according to SP Oriental Mindoro members.

Moreover, Section 22, PD No. 269 requires 100 members only to obtain a quorum at any meeting of an electric cooperative.

This provision of 100 members present to obtain a quroum to transact business or approve matters is overwhelming the majority members who are in the case of Oriental Mindoro the member-consumers are 107,000. In Aklan, Akelco has more than 100,000 member consumers.

PD No 269, as amended, is crafted at the helm of martial rule, is no longer relevant to the principle of democracy, justice and transparency, the SP Oriental Mindoro members pointed out. It is not in accordance with the present policies and method of governance being fostered and followed, the resolution added. /MP

Kiteboarding: Boracay Prepares for Kiteboard Tour Asia

Boracay Island resort prepares for the holding of the Kiteboard Tour Asia (KTA) on March 16 to 20, 2011.

Organizers said, aside from this resort island, other venues for the Kiteboard tour will be on Hainan, China (November 25 to 29); Mui Ne, Vietnam (January 12 to 16); Pranburi, Thailand (February 16 to 20); Philippine tour will be in Boracay and Busan, Korea on April 15 to 19.

"The KTA is open to everyone from anywhere, amateur and pro-riders alike. It is the one and only officially Asian continental tour sanctioned by the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA). The kite surfing world governing body which in turn is the class representative to the International Sailing Federation sanctioning international sailing competitions from world championship to Olympic levels," the organizers said.

According to the organizers, they had chosen Boracay to be one of most established kite locations in Asia because of its world reputation for top class wind and kiting conditions and as one of the Philippines’ top holiday destinations.

The KTA competitions will be held at the Bulabog beach side of the island where all the kite schools and actions take place during the winter monsoon months.

The kiting here takes place inside a large reef protected bay that means for the most part flat or more or less flat water in all but the strongest of winds, which can be pretty strong during January, so expect chop on those days.

The organizers added that the 2011 event highlights the fully sanctioned continental tour. This means that riders will be awarded world ranking points for winning and being placed within each of the disciplines they compete in.

In turn, riders will then be able to view their overall world ranking position against all other riders in the world on the official International Kiteboarding Association website at any time during the season.

Under the IKA sanction, the KTA is able to run a number of different disciplines under their unified rule and rankings system.

For the 2010/11 tour, the KTA events will concentrate on two of these disciplines. The two KTA tour disciplines are Freestyle and Course racing.

This year, further to the two main IKA points ranking events, the KTA Asian Tour will also include, in the course racing section, a twin-tip sub-class to compliment the race board competitors keeping the entry level to racing open to everyone.

Old Skool will also be making an appearance this year with the KTA Big Air Old Skool continuous cup in association with SPLOCS.

Each tour stop has been designated as a four day event. The first day is allocated as a free ride warm-up day for riders to test out the location and to allow for registration and the competition format, rules and safety briefings to take place.

The following three days are full competition days which will be organized and run in accordance with the weather conditions on any given day.

The final event, wind-up and prize giving, will then take place at the end of the event party on the final evening of the tour stop.(PNA) /MP

Sen. Villar On Pacquiao’s Win Over Margarito

Once again, the country stands proud of displaying to the world the undying Filipino spirit as shown by the winning punches of world boxing sensation and our very own, Rep. Manny Pacquiao.
Pacquiao is now the only living fighter in history to win eight titles in various weight divisions.
Indeed, he’s a fighting machine that brought honors not only for himself but also for the millions of Filipinos all over the world.
I, therefore, join our
countrymen in congratulating Pacquiao in his latest conquest. Today, we rooted as one nation, we cheered under one flag and we celebrated at the global stage our being a Filipino.

No travel advisories, no threats of volcanic eruptions, floods or super typhoons could knock out our national resolve to rise from every challenges and emerge as victorious like what Manny did last week.

Thank you Manny for allowing Juan de la Cruz walk head to head with the ‘giants.’ /MP

Molasses Leak Kills Fish In La Carlota

The damage caused by molasses products that leaked from the depot of the sugar mill in La Carlota City, Negros Occidental has reached P250,625.

This was based on the assessment report submitted by provincial agriculturist Engr. Igmedio Tabianan which he submitted to the office of the Provincial Gov. Alfredo Maranon Jr.

The run-away sugar mill by-products that spilled to as far as Brgy. San Juan in Pontevedra town resulted to fish kills in Marayo river and in shoreline in the said municipality.

Some 176 sustenance fishermen living in 10 puroks in the said coastal barangay have been affected by the water contamination.

Fortunately, the more than 350,000 tons of leaking molasses products that threaten fish habitat in rivers along its path has been contained through measures initiated by the management of the sugar central.

The local government units of La Carlota City and Pontevedra town are also expecting financial assistance to be extended by management of the sugar milling company to affected fishermen.

On Friday last week, some 350,000 tons of molasses products leaked from depot of Central Azucarera de la La Carlota sugar mill in La Carlota City, Negros Occidental and 90 percent of this by-products found its way and flowed to the river tributary and nearby shore that resulted to fish kills in the surrounding areas.

This sugarcane by-products reached to as far as Pontevedra town and engulfed the vast shoreline resulting to a large fish kill.

Concerned environmentalist closely watched the spread of the streaky substance and advised fishpond owners to initiate measures in order to block the polluted waters coming from the contaminated river and shore to avoid fish kill of their bangus stock.

The streaky substance which penetrates the river basin and sea floor prevents the oxygen to mix with water needed by freshwater and marine fishes, thus resulted to fish kill. /MP

Elorde Grandson Fights In Pacquiao-Margarito Undercard

ARLINGTON, Texas — The 25-year-old grandson of the legendary former WBC junior lightweight champion Gabriel "Flash" Elorde saw action in the 10-fight undercard bouts prior to the 12-round WBC light middleweight title match in the main event between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito on November 13 at the Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas, USA.

Juan Martin Elorde (11-0, 4 KO’s) faced the 29-year-old Angel Rodriguez (10-3, 5 KO’s) of Houston, Texas for four rounds in super featherweight division. Elorde lost the fight by technical knock out.

Juan Martin is the son of Manila boxing impressario Johnny, who is the second son of the late and longest reigning WBC champion Gabriel "Flash" Elorde in the 130-lb who died of lung cancer in 1985.

The unbeaten Juan Martin until its defeat on November 14 is the protege of her grand- mother, Laura, who wants him to follow the footsteps of his grandfather who reigned as world champion from 1960 to 1967.

Juan Martin, a college graduate, is one of the three Filipino fighters in the undercard. The others are Dennis Laurente (34-3-4, 17 KO’s) who fought Pacquiao’s sparring partner Rashad Holloway (11-1-2, 5 KO’s) of Los Angeles, California for eight rounds in the super lightweight division and Richie Mepranum (16-3-1, 3 KO’s) who traded mitts versus Anthony Villareal (10-3, 5 KO’s) of Perris, California in the flyweight division.

Two other little-known world title bouts preceded the main event. Ricardo Cordoba (37-2-2, 23 KO’s) of Santa Marta, Panama disputed for 10 rounds the WBA interim world junior featherweight title versus Guillermo Rigondeaux (6-0, 5 KO’s) of Miami, Florids.

Jesus Soto-Karass (24-4-3-1, 16 KO’s) of Los Mochis, Mexico collided with Mike Jones (22-0, 18 KO’s) of Philadelphia, PA for the 10-round NABA, NABO, WBC continental Americas welterweight title. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro
Ro Maisot Nga Pueang Mus-an
Pilang dag-on eon ro nakataliwan sa Banga. May isaeang ka puting agak ro haabutan ko isaeang ka pueang mus-an nga naga pinanghayhay ko agahon ngaron.
"Malisod eot-a ro paniyempo makaron. Siin eot-a baea nag aeagto ro mga eago? Kato anay, sang kahig ko eang hay abo eot-ang eago ro naga toeonga. Makaron, haeos tanan ko tinumpok nga dahon hay ha ukay ko eon ogaling owa it maskin sambilog akong hakitang eago", masubo nga mitlang it agak.

Habatian imaw ko pueang mus-an. Ogaling owa guid imaw magreklamo. Anad eot-a imaw nga naga pangabuhi sa tiyempo it tigmaea-ea ag maskin tiyempo man it tig baeaha. Eompad ro agak ag tumugpa sa eaging galingan agod mag umpisa it pagkahig.

"Owa guid ako it tiyempo nga hasayran nga ako hay nawad-an it eago," paniguro ko mus-an. Pumili eon man it bag-o nga lugar nga owa pa naka agi it pagkahig. Hakit-an imaw it agak. Guin eas-ay imaw nga owa kuno it eago sa lugar ngaron. Sige ro pagkinahig it mus-an.

"Dapat nga adtonan ko ro mga eago, tongod indi man sanda mag-adto kakon," hambae it mus-an. Samtang sige nga reklamo ko agak. Mainit kuno ro adlaw ag masunog ro anang panit. Matig-a kuno ro eogta, ag kon anu-ano pa nga pulos malisod ro anang guina sinambit. Madali lang magdueom. Pag-abot it gabi-i, owa imaw it ihapon. Nag umpisa eon imaw nga naka batyag it gutom ag kaduyog. Hakita nana ro mus-an nga bag-ong abot.

"Sigurado nga ga-oy ka eon, ag eabaw sa tanan gutom ka pa". May pagkabaeaka nga hambae it agak.
"Nagpahuway-huway manlang ako, samtang naga bantay it pagguwa it eago", sabat man it mus-an. Eompad ro mus-an sa anang haeapunan agod magkatoeog. Samtang naga agaw-agaw ro anang katoeogon, naghambae imaw, "Mga inunga, pamatii ninyo raya: Bugana ako sa eago ag malipayon, tongod busog ako nga mayad. Una pirmi ro eago, kinahangean nga imo eang nga bantayan ag kahigon."

Husto guid ro eago. Kinahangean nga purgahon naton ro atong tagipusuon ko kaila sa pagpaka eomo ag pirming maeomo. Ibutang naton pirmi sa atong paino-ino ro sumpa ko katamaran. Maga madinaeag-on kita kon ibutang naton sa atong kabuhi ro kahugod. /MP

Two Killed, 40 Injured In Aklan Bus Accident

Two minors died while 40 other persons were injured when the bus they were riding fell into a ravine in Barangay Alaminos, Madalag, Aklan late Wednesday afternoon last week.

Police identified the fatalities as John Rey Nemis, 11, and Gerald Nadua, a high school student, both of Madalag.

Bus driver Joephil Iquin, 34, of Barangay Bagto, Lezo, Aklan, surrendered to the authorities after the incident. He said he lost control of the bus after its brakes malfunctioned.

The 40 injured victims, most of them students, were immediately brought to the nearby Madalag Health Center for treatment.

Investigation showed that Nemis and Nadua were at the rooftop of the bus when the accident happened. They jumped from the bus, but they died when the vehicle fell on them.

Police authorities are set to file not only reckless driving charges but also overloading of passengers against the driver. (PNA) /MP

2012: A Boracay Tourism Milestone

The Aklan provincial government considers the year 2012 as a milestone for the Boracay tourism industry.

Karina Quimpo-Ruiz of the Aklan Provincial Tourism Office said, "this resort island will be reaching the one million -targeted tourist arrivals in the year 2012."

"We initially targeted the one million mark on the year 2013 but because of the current positive outlook on tourism industry, we are optimistic that Boracay will reach its goal of having one million tourists in the year 2012," Ruiz said.

Among the factors that the Aklan provincial government considers is the approval of the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) for the Aklan Provincial government to push for its much delayed reclamation project at the Caticlan Jetty Port.

The government aims to put up additional tourism infrastructures in the reclamation project such as the MARINA hotel, cable car facility, medical tourism facility, among others.

The new project will be managed by the Aklan provincial government under the Economic Enterprise Development Department. /MP

Farmers Sues Ex-Estancia Mayor, For Illegal Construction

A farmers’ group sues a former Estancia town mayor and an engineer for illegally putting up infrastructures in a vast tract of land placed under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in Estancia, Iloilo.

In their complaint, the Central Region Farmers Beneficiary Association Inc. (CRFBAI), represented by its president Roger Bellosillo, claimed that former Estancia municipal mayor Restituto Mosqueda illegally constructed his house in areas covered by CARP.
CRFBAI also included in its complaint an engineer who followed suit by constructing a hollow block factory and a bottling company which stock piles cases of soft drinks inside the 71-hectare property.

The CRFBAI claimed that the subject persons and the soft drink company have violated certain provisions of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL), thus there’s a need to dismantle the said structures despite the absence of court proceedings.

The agrarian reform land that is located in Barangay Cano-an, Estancia, Iloilo, has been decided to be distributed to almost 400 farmer-beneficiaries of CARP on Oct. 22, 2007. The decision was declared final and executory by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo thru Atty. Manuel B. Gaite, Deputy Executive Sec. for Legal Affairs.

CRFBAI earlier filed a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas against the DAR in the region for alleged negligence in implementing the writ of execution.

On the other hand, the National Commission on Indigenous People has started the gradual distribution of land titles to the indigenous people to ensure ownership of the piece of land where they presently lived.

In a recent interview over Iloilo City-based radio station, Alfonso Catolin, regional director of the National Commission on Indigenous People Region 6, said a total of 156 land titles or equivalent to four million hectares of lands have already been distributed to almost one million indigenous people throughout the country.

Catolin said most recipients of the land titles were indigenous people from Region 11.
Catolin said that in Western Visayas, almost 20,000 hectares of land had been distributed to seven groups of indigenous people landholders in the region.

He clarified that beneficiaries of the program could not sell the land titles awarded them nor passed on to non-members of the community of indigenous people. (PNA) /MP

Antique Board Member Bats For Senior Citizens Center

Antique provincial board member Dino Ruel Operiano wants a senior citizens center be established in all the municipalities of the Province of Antique.

Operiano, who chairs the social sector in the provincial sanggunian, said that the senior citizens center should be included in the Annual Investment Program (AIP) of Antique for next year or 2011.

He said, “the budget for the center must be included in the 2011 annual appropriation of the province and the utilization of the Internal Revenue allotment (IRA).

Operiano pledged to convince the council to construct the senior citizens center as part of the government’s program for the elderly. The center will also be the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) for the towns. It will be used as conference and meeting place for the elderly.

Likewise, the center will provide education materials, venue for conducting skills trainings and a one-stop shop of information regarding the town’s program for the elderly.

He said that only nine out of 18 municipalities in the province of Antique have centers for the elderly. These are in the towns of Bugasong, Hamitc, Pandan, Patnongon, San Jose, Sibalom, Tobias Fornier, Tubungan, and Valderama.

The social sector of the province is chaired by Operiano and Lazaro Petinglay of the provincial social welfare and development office (PSWDO) as co-chair.

7th SC Congress

In a related development, the provincial government of Antique is set to conduct the 7th Senior Citizens Congress this November.

According to Antique provincial board member Dino Ruel Operiano, the annual event is set to honor the elderly in the province as well as discuss senior citizens’ rights and needs. It is slated on November 22 to 23.

“The two-day congress will discuss the various programs of the provincial government intended for the elderly community. Other topics include health care, social services, and the strict implementation of the Expanded Senior Citizens Law”, Operiano stressed.

Five top senior citizens’ friendly barangays will also be awarded during the event. These barangays will be cited for their active participation in helping their elderly population, as well as various activities and projects wherein the seniors are partners and beneficiaries.

The province of Antique has 590 barangays in its 18 municipalities.
Operiano currently chairs the Committee on Social Welfare in the provincial council.
Nutrition Summit
Antique Provincial Governor Exequiel B. Javier has instructed the Provincial Planning and Development Office to hold a Provincial Nutrition Summit as soon as possible. This instruction came out after the Philippine Nutrition Council informed the governor that 41.19 percent of the children in Antique are malnourished.

The nutrition summit is aimed to reduce the prevalence of malnutrition in Antique especially among children 1 to 6 years old. (PNA) /MP

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Breathing Fresh And Clean Air
"An Ordinance Amending Provincial Ordinance No. 4, Series of 1995 As Amended by Provincial Ordinance No. 02-005 for The Regulation of Smoking in Public Places, Including Public Conveyances, Advertise-ments, Promotions and Sponsorships of Tobacco Products, And Providing Penalties Therefore, In Accordance With The Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 and Its Implementing Rules," was finally heard during a public hearing last November 3, 2010 at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall, Capitol Site, Kalibo, Aklan. The Public Hearing was convened by SP Committee on Laws, Rules and Ordinances and SP Committee on Health and Social Services.

Alas! My hats-off to Hon. Selwyn C. Ibarreta, for sponsoring the said Provincial Ordinance that has been piling under SP Aklan desk. It is never too late to learn our lessons. There is always room for improvement. It’s never too late to implement the law.

Pity, I still remember giving my personal position letter to the Office of the Aklan Governor and Vice-Governor, Aklan Congressman in 2007. Again, in 2008, right after Typhoon Frank, another three separate folders were given to the same offices, but to no avail. I felt disappointed then, but never stopped fighting for. I felt that it was purposely ignored though. Why? Because, most often than not, the law makers are also the law breakers. People behind their desk have been smoking even inside their offices. That "NO SMOKING" notice is just right in front of their faces, or they simply ignored the notice? Or because, they are afraid to offend their fellow law makers? Or is it ignorance of the law? As my favorite saying, "they know how to read, but they don’t know how to understand". I wish they could then stop making laws when it is only "Ningas Kugon".

PNP Officer Nacion in his presentation during the hearing, "asked on what and how will be the contribution of the PNP in apprehending law breakers?"

Members of the Academe (DepEd Aklan) and civic organizations like the Kool Earth, Aklan Medical Society, Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs and Toastmasters International representatives expressed their strong support to the approval and rigid implementation of the provincial ordinance the soonest possible time. Even most of the towns’ Mayors and Vice-Mayors are likewise supporting the ordinance. In some LGUs, they are already implementing it at their own backyard. However, the question is, "Will this ordinance finally become the cutting edge between drafting the law and implementing the law on the other hand?"

There are many apprehensions of some public officials on some detailed provisions of the ordinance, but the bottomline is that, we are to implement the law. "The law is harsh, but that is the law." People will resist to change, but it is always the case. It is how the implementers of the law will become true to their words that they are indeed worthy of their position as law makers.

We have the right to breathe clean air, for life is good and precious. Indeed, we strongly support Provincial Ordinance No. 02-005 in accordance with the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003. We also want you to be a RESPONSIBLE LAW MAKERS of Aklan not only by amending the Provincial Ordinance No. 4, Series of 1995, but to make sure that this law is strictly implemented. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente
Aklan SP Intervenes In Press Freedom
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Aklan has just passed an ordinance that will unnecessarily intervene in the press freedom.

On their 18th Regular Session on Wednesday, November 10, 2010, the honorable members of Aklan SP has approved on the third and final reading an Aklan Provincial Ordinance making it "mandatory" the singing/playing of the Aklan Hymn in all flag raising ceremonies, official and formal functions, activities and programs, and special occasions in Aklan.

Public and private schools in Aklan are required to sing or play the Aklan Hymn during their flag raising ceremonies, flag retreat and on formal occasions.

Broadcast outlets like radio and cable televisions are likewise mandated to air the hymn on sign-on and sign off or at least three times a day.

This provision in the provincial ordinance making it mandatory for radio and television stations the airing of the Aklan Hymn daily maybe a violation of the "press freedom provisions of the Philippines Constitution".

"No law should be passed abridging the freedom of speech". This mandatory provision in Aklan Ordinance is a sterling violation of the Philippine Constitution of 1987.

It is no denying that Aklan Hymn is beautifully composed, with profound lyrics that strongly appeal to one’s love and loyalty to his/her country.

Since the Aklan Hymn was released, it has become popular. Radio Stations in Aklan such as RGMA-DYRU had been airing the Aklan Hymn. They are not only playing three times a day, they play it several times a day. Radio station managers and members of their staff have also a great sense of pride, loyalty and love of their country, more so far the province of Aklan. Who would not appreciate listening to the Aklan Hymn?

Perhaps, the SP Aklan will adopt the idea of approving a Certificate of Appreciation to radio and television stations which had popularized Aklan Hymn. The honorable members of the Aklan SP can take time to restudy the ordinance with the view to change the term "mandatory" to "encourage" regular playing of the Aklan Hymn in their respective radio programs.

Likewise, a certificate of appreciation/recognition for the author, Dr. Jesse M. Gomez, the singers and the accompaniment be awarded them. Dr. Gomez is a native of Numancia, Aklan and the current City Schools Superintendent of the Division of Roxas City, Capiz.
Congratulations LGU Balete

This column sincerely congratulates the LGU Balete for winning the EXCEL award for three consecutive years: 2007 to 2009. Balete also won the Seal of Good House-keeping National Award. This award is given by the Department of Interior and Local Government.

Balete led all the 4th to 6th class municipalities in Region VI in the areas of administrative governance, economic development, local legislation, environ-mental protection, and fiscal management. Because of its excellence in the areas of planning, budgeting, revenue mobilization, financial management, budget execution, procurement and resource mobilization, Balete was awarded the Seal of Good Housekeeping.

Balete is also the lone municipality in Aklan with an Executive – Legislative Agenda, it was noted. /MP

Kalibo Starts Beautification In Preparation For Ati-atihan

Kalibo Mayor William Lachica (standing) explaining the preparation being done for the forthcoming Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-atihan 2011 celebration. With him on the presidential table are officers and members of KASAFI.

The beautification of major areas in this town has started in anticipation for the grandest Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-atihan Festival on January 16, 2011.

Kalibo mayor William Lachica has already ordered the municipal engineer’s office and other sectors to help in the efforts in order to ensure a beautiful town for the festival, which is being considered as the mother of Philippine festivals.

Among those areas that are being cleaned are the Magsaysay Park, Pastrana Park, Veterans avenue and others.

"I also will seek cooperation of the local media to help us pinpoint locations where we need to clean so that tourists coming to the festival will be pleased," said Lachica.

"I hope that revelers could expect a grand festival next year with the introduction of the newly-formed Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-atihan Foundation Incorporated (KASAFI)" Lachica added.

The KASAFI, composed of different sectors, has been tasked to supervise both the management, planning and the marketing of the revelry.

Already, KASAFI has promised that next year’s festival will be more colorful than before.

"The KASAFI has increased 20 percent of the subsidy of the participating tribes with the condition that they would present a colorful and lively presentation during the festival," added Lachica.

In a press conference held on Nov. 8 at the Captain Mijares Memorial Bldg., Kalibo, Mayor William S. Lachica disclosed the arrangement the LGU Kalibo made with a private sector organization – Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Foundation, Inc. (KASAFI).

Several committees are already organized to perform specific functions in the 2011 Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan celebration.

Each committee gave its report such as Finance Committee chaired by Mr. Rufino Leyson, Marketing & Promotions – Ms. Lilibeth T. Goboy, Souvenir Program – Ramil Buncalan, Health and Sanitation – Dr. Emmette Costudio, Spiritual and Social Affairs – Ms. Precy Magallanes, Ati-Atihan Conduct and Adjudication, Public and Private Schools Parade – Mary Ann Lopez, Higante Parade & Contest – Carina Q. Ruiz. Ms. Albert A. Meñez gave the overview of KASAFI. /MP

100th Birthday of the Father of Aklan

Former Assemblyman Jose Tumbokon extolling the life and works of the late Godofredo P. Ramos, Ms. Vicky Ramos-Antonino giving her response for the honor being bestowed upon her late father, and Hon. Selwyn Ibarreta delivering a speech in behalf of Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez

The Centennial Birthday of the Father of Aklan, the late Congressman, Governor, and Justice of the Court of Appeals Godofredo P. Ramos was officially launched on Monday, November 8. The launching was spearheaded by the Aklan Historical and Cultural Society, Inc. with its president, former vice provincial governor Ronquillo C. Tolentino.

At 7:30 o’clock in the morning, a holy sacrifice of the mass was held at St. John the Baptist Cathedral, Kalibo. The holy mass over, wreath laying followed at the GPR Park, Provincial Capitol Ground, Kalibo, Aklan. The official launching program of the Birth Centennial of Godofredo Peralta Ramos followed in the Museo It Akean, Poblacion, Kalibo.

Ms. Marcelo R. Tinagan led in the invocation and Mr. Uziel Adores, the Philippines National Anthem.

Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino, in his opening remarks, underscored the importance of the launching program and the historical significance of the occasion to the province of Aklan and the Aklanons.

In his testimonial speech, Atty. Plaridel M. Morania reviewed the milestones of the life of the late Justice Godofredo P. Ramos and his significant and important contributions not only in the development of Aklan but the Philippines in general. Morania cited how Ramos worked for the approval of the law separating Aklan as a distinct province from Capiz.

Republic Act 1414 provided for the separation of Aklan from Capiz authored by Cong. Ramos was approved in 1956. Morania also cited the role of Ramos in the Philippines’ Sabah claim which until today is pending action in the International Court of Justice of the United Nations.

Former Assemblyman Jose T. Tumbokon talked about the lucrative law practice of Justice Ramos and his entry to Aklan politics. Tumbokon talked also how did he arrived to a decision to name the Regional Trial Court Building in Kalibo: Godofredo P. Ramos Hall of Justice Bldg.

Governor Carlito S. Marquez was out of town and was unable to attend the launching program. He was however, ably represented by Hon. Selwyn Ibarreta.

Hon. Emmanuel Soviet Russia Dela Cruz, Kalibo SB member presented the various activities during the Centennial celebration (Nov. 8, 2010 – Nov. 8, 2011).

In behalf of the Ramos family, his most illustrious daughter, Ms. Victoria Ramos Antonino gave the response. She sincerely thanked the Aklan Historical and Cultural Society for its initiative in honoring her beloved father, the late Justice of the Court of Appeals, Governor and Congressman of Aklan. /MP

Father’s Day Celebration In Batan

Batan, Aklan - The illustrious fathers of this town will hold it’s 76th Father’s Day celebration with pompous and gaiety on Dec. 31, 2010. Punong Barangay David R. Sucgang will be proclaimed as Father of the Year 2010.

This occasion is one of the most important social activities in this historic town of Batan since l930 when it was first observed by prominent fathers in the poblacion with Mr. Roman Patricio as the first Father of the Year 1930. The celebration was only interrupted for four years during the Japanese occupation of the country from 1941 to 1944. 

Among those activities are typical to the children of the fathers at 5:00 o’clock in the morning, and Son of the Year celebration as a related activity at 8:00 o’clock. Thanksgiving Mass is at 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon. Fellowship Dinner will follow at 6:00. That includes slide show of Father’s Day in Batan (a retrospection and a vision), Cultlural Presentations of selected children of Batangnons, Father’s Day Diamond Jubilee celebration which includes doxology, singing of the National Anthem, welcome message of the father of the Year 20l0, Recognition and giving of awards to distinguished fathers.

Rigodon de Honor will be danced by past fathers of the year and other distinguished fathers. Public dancing by all guests and visitors will be done until the wee hours of the evening. The election and proclamation of the incoming Father of the Year 20l1 will also be done. This includes the presentation of the Traditional Cane, Hat and a lechon’s head to the in-coming Father of the Year.

After his election, the incoming Father of the Year 2011 will then give his acceptance speech and his plans for the next year’s 77th Father’s Day celebration.

Many Batangnons from afar particularly from the United States, Canada, Middle East, Europe and Southeast Asian countries and from other parts of the Philippines are expected to come home, not only for the Christmas season, but to join the observance of the Father’s Day celebration in their beloved town of Batan. /MP

Margarito Is Tallest Tree In Pacquiao’s Forest

HOLLYWOOD, California – Manny Pacquiao will not only attempt to chop down the tallest tree in his 15-year professional fistic career, he will also try to silence the business’ fastest gun alive that currently holds the record in number of punches thrown in a single fight.

Antonio "The Tijuana Tornado" Margarito (38-6, 37 KO’s), who is as tall as heavyweight Mike Tyson at five feet and 11 inches (180 cm) and four inches taller than the smallest heavyweight champion in history, Tommy Burns, currently holds the Compubox all-time record of 1,675 punches thrown when he hammered out a 12-round unanimous decision win over African speedster Joshua Clottey to retain his WBO welterweight title at the Broadwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey on December 6, 2006.

The record has remained unsurpassed. The same Clottey fought and lost to Pacquiao in a boring 12-round WBO 147-lb brawl at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on March 13.

Another common denominator is Puerto Rican Miguel Angelo Cotto, who was violently stopped by Margarito in the 11th round for the WBO welterweight title in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 26, 2008 and who was halted by Pacquiao in the 12th stanza also for the WBO welterweight tiara on November 14, 2009.

Pacquiao, 31, has admitted he is "at my best" in the welterweight division, a fragile territory for someone who stands only five feet and six inches and who, three fights ago, was considered as "the biggest little man in the world" for having successfully breached the 147-lb division after a giant leap from a scrawny 108-lb customer in 1995 and now as the best fighter in the world pound-for-pound.

Having secured seven world titles in different weight divisions, Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KO’s) will aim for his record eight in the 154-lb (69.9 kg) when he battles the 32-year old three-time world champion from Tijuana, Mexico for the WBC light middleweight title on November 13 at the Cowboys Stadium.

"My main priority now is public service," the Filipino lefty blurted during a recent break in his training camp at the Wild Card Gym here where he sparred with heavy hitters Rashad Holloway and David Rodela under the tutelage of Hall of Famer coach Freddie Roach.

Pacquiao was referring to his duties and obligations as elected representative of Sarangani Province in the Philippines where he is expected to focus his attention full time after the Margarito bout.


Pacquiao was obviously in a hurry to wrap up his appointment with Margarito that he already weighed 150 pounds a week after the fight on November 13.

"People don’t understand," Top Rank promoter Bob Arum sighed. "Manny will weigh in at 150 but then he will come into the ring at maybe 151. When Margarito weighs in at 150, he will come in the ring at about 165. And that is a big, big difference."

Team Pacquiao has been scheduled to depart to Dallas/Forth Worth, Texas November 8 in a chartered "Air Pacquiao" flight together with friends and relatives and a few Manila-based journalists, while Margarito, whose reach is similar to Oscar De La Hoya at 73 inches (185 cm), hit Texas together with his wife, Michelle, on board Margarito Bus on November 6.

Both protagonists will join the Cowboys Stadium owner Jerry Jones in a final press conference on November 10 at the cavernous stadium, which opened on May 27, 2009 with a sitting capacity of 80,000 (111,000 if expanded).

The Pacquiao-Clottey fisticuffs on March 13, 2010 was ranked as No. 3 in the highest number of attendance with 50,994 audience next to 105,121 audience during the football match between the Dallas Cowboys versus New York Giants on September 21, 2009 and 108,713 audience during the NBA All-Star Game on February 14, 2010. /MP