Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Bicycles To Promote Health & Leisure

Sen. Manny Villar is pushing for the passage of a law which will promote bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation in the face of the increasing price of fuel and fares.

"Bicycle riding not only promotes health and leisure but also provides for an alternative solution to high fuel prices, increasing transport fares, traffic management, air and noise pollution and high cost of motorized vehicles including maintenance and parking fees," Villar believes.

Villar authored Senate Bill No. 2688 or the Bicycle Act of 2011. This bill if approved into law, seeks to provide a framework for a bicycle law on a national level.

Under the bill, all main roads and highways shall be provided with bicycle lanes or bike ways identified by the Local Bikeways Office (LBO). The LBO is the agency which will be in charge of implementing the policies, rules and regulations pertinent to the Bicycle Act. This will include the registration of bicycles using the bike ways under the supervision of the city or municipal engineering office of a city or municipality.

Villar noted that in the Philippines, one of the first laws related to bicycle use was enacted by the Marikina City Council in 1996. That ordinance dwells on the use of all streets, avenues, alleys, sidewalks, bridges, parks, and other public places as bicycle lanes. Recently, a bicycle ordinance was also approved on second reading in Davao City.

The Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex has also integrated a bicycle lane in its road network, Villar pointed out.

Moreover, "the worsening pollution problem also calls for the promotion of the use of non-motorized vehicles that is free from harmful emissions".

The bill also provides for the creation of Bicycle Parks in each city and municipality where provisions for bicycles are present such as bikeways, bicycle parking areas and similar infrastructure.

Funding for the construction of bicycle parks will be sourced from revenues raised from the locality’s miscellaneous activities like parking and license fees.

The bill also includes a section indicating the rights, duties and obligations of cyclists, promoting safety of bicycle riders and all road users.

It mandates the use of helmets and appropriate signals and the use of reflective materials especially at night.

It also imposes restrictions upon cyclists and the right to use a bicycle such as the prohibition for a bicycle to carry more persons than it is designed to carry except when another regular seat or trailer towed by the bicycle is present.

It also prohibits the parking of bicycles in areas not specifically marked as parking areas for bicycles.

Once bike lanes are established on a road, the bill prohibits any person operating a motor vehicle to drive in the bikeway.

In Asia, especially in China, the use of bicycles is very intensive. In Western Europe, bicycles are used in going to work, for pleasure, and for body building. There is even the annual bicycle contest called "Tour de France".

But will the Filipinos welcome this proposed Villar Bicycle Law? What will be the reactions of the various local government unit officials on this proposed bicycle law? Will they construct bicycle lanes? How will the bicycle law affect the road situation in the Philippines? Until today, tricycles are prohibited from using the national highway, however, it is tolerated because there is no tricycle lane. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente
Lot For Aklan DepEd
Dr. Victorina S. Laroza, Aklan Schols Division Superintendent transmitted to the Sang-guniang Panlalawigan (SP) Aklan "A Resolution Appealing to and Requesting The Provincial Government Through the Hon. Governor Carlito S. Marquez and the Hon. Sangguniang Panlalawigan members to Donate A One Thousand Five Hundred Square Meters of land . . . to the Department of Education Division of Aklan".

The resolution originated from the Board of Directors of the Aklan Public School Teachers Association requesting a piece of land where to locate its office building.

The Aklan Public School Teachers Association does not need to appeal and request for another piece of land in Kalibo for its office building. DepEd has already one, strategically located in Poblacion, Numancia, Aklan. The land is adjacent to Numancia Integrated School and the construction commenced during the time of the late Dr. Juada as School Division Superintendent. Some P2 million was already spent for the ground work and concrete posts.

Numancia is an ideal place for an office like the DepEd. It is free of hustle and bustle of urban place like Kalibo. Why not try locating the DepEd Division Office in Numancia and work there? I’m sure they will enjoy every moment of their job there.

Calamity Fund

In Altavas, a town named after an illustrious man, half Spanish and half Pilipino, its Sangguniang Bayan has approved two (2) resolutions which should undergo a very close lock.

One resolution approved and noted by Aklan SP will convert money budgeted for expenses for disaster or calamity mitigation to general fund. That money for conversion to general fund is the calamity fund for 2010 but was not spent as there was no calamity. Is this allowable? Budgetary policy allows it. However, even if converted into a general fund that money could only be spent after three (3) years. However, should a disaster happen before the three year period elapsed, that money could be spent as calamity fund.

The second resolution of SB Altavas approved and SP Aklan noted will grant authority to Altavas Honorable Mayor to buy a vehicle with the use of that calamity money converted into general fund of the municipality. The purchase of that vehicle is by Emergency Purchase.

Is this allowable? Public policy allows Emergency Purchase for two reasons.
First, emergency purchase is allowed if it involves loss of life. A good example of this case is a public official who came from official business. On his way, he met an accident which needs medicine. He can buy that medicine by Emergency Purchase.
Second, emergency purchase is allowed if it involves damage to property. A good example of this is a vehicle on official travel but it stopped on the road because its battery is damaged. That old battery maybe replaced by new one acquired via emergency purchase to restore the vehicle to its normal operating condition. If not, more damage might occur.


Municipal Police Stations of Kalibo, Makato, New Washington, and Tangalan were commended for their laudable accomplishment last Monday, February 18 during the flag raising ceremony. Kalibo Police arrested Tirsol Ibit for qualified theft. Tangalan Police arrested Francis Conception y Dacula for reckless imprudence, Makato Police arrested Spouses Juanito Tacud y Lopez and Salvacion Tacud y Ortiz for theft, and New Washington Police arrested Jay-r Ilarde for frustrated homecide. /MP

NVC Celebrates 63rd Foundation Day

NVC students in front of RSQ bldg. preparing decorations for the Foundation Day.

"Northwestern Visayan Colleges: Committed To Ensure A Healthier, Safe, and Sustainable Environment" is this 2011 theme as it celebrates its 63rd Annual College Festival and Foundation Day on February 24 – 25, 2011.

Indeed, the Northwestern Visayan Colleges (NVC), Kalibo, Aklan community has more reasons to celebrate as the management, faculty, staff and students reminisce their contributions to develop-ment and progress of the country, specifically of Aklan.
NVC’s annual festival and foundation day celebration is focused on the preservation of our environment for safer and healthier place to live in, work, and enjoy. "The two days activities are geared to remind our people of their rights to live in a healthful surrounding and their obligations to conserve the peaceful and clean place to live in for our present and future generations," said Former Congressman Allen S. Quimpo, NVC President.

The two days activities start with our recognition of the existence of God and His love, kindness and benevolence in a Holy Mass in the morning of February 24. This will be followed with cleaning the NVC environs, care and planting of trees. Symposium on Rizal’s writings and journalism seminar with special emphasis on our biosphere, blood letting to save lives, commemorative programs and many more.

Indeed, the NVC community is celebrating their wide ranging fulfilment in the fields of education, local governance, crime prevention and solution, tourism development and promotion, and increasing the quality level of tri-media in Aklan.

Among this year’s guests are Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez, Mr. Juan P. Dayang, PAPI President and Dr. Adolfo Jesus Gopez, President, FEATI University, Manila.

The NVC has also embarked in the field of air transportation in a joint project with FEATI University.

Humbly, NVC for the last 63 years has travelled far, but there are more roads to walk and bridges to cross. Let NVC continue to pave the way in the conquest of poverty and promote progress, peace and contentment not only among Aklanons but all Pilipinos as well.

God bless and Mabuhay NVC! /MP

Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage


"Philhealth: Tapat sa serbisyo, sapat na benepisyo, lahat panalo", is the theme of the 16th year anniversary celebration of the nation’s leading health insurance provider. The guest at the weekly Kapihan on February 19, 2011 at Smokehauz Resto & Bar is Mr. O’J Roel del Rosario, manager Philhealth, Aklan.

Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente underscored the importance of good health to personal happiness. According to World Health Organization, health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmities.

Mr. del Rosario said the legal basis of National Health Insurance program is RA 7875 and its celebration institutionalized by Pres. Procl. No. 1400 issued in 2007. Today, Aklan has 44,437 Philhealth cardholders covering an estimated 60 percent of total families.

Del Rosario expressed strong optimism over upswing of individual paying members who are professionals, part time employees, fully employed household helpers, overseas contract workers and lifetime members. Actually, we have exceeded our planned targets. Record show Aklan bested other provinces in Region 6 as to the total cardholders and collection for the past year, revealed Del Rosario.

Philhealth subscribers had minimum monthly payment of P100, P200 for professional, and P350 for higher level income. The last two groups have their payment revaluated recently because of sky-rocketing cost of operation and on principle that those more fortunate in life subsidize those with less.

The policy insures that all Filipinos are given the financial access to quality health care. Normally 20 percent of all hospital bills (room and board, doctors’ fees, medical drugs) are deducted from the patients’ billing account. If patient happens to be a senior citizen, another deduction of 20 percent is effected. A total of 29 public health facilities in Aklan are accredited with Philhealth.

Access to socialized health insurance by poor segment of society has been made possible through financial assistance of Gov. Carlito S. Marquez and Cong. Florencio T. Miraflores, and Municipal Mayors of Nabas, Tangalan, and Kalibo. Malay LGU has approved an ordinance requiring all business establishments to register all their employees with Philhealth before issuance of business permits.

However, subsidies taken from Internal Revenue Allotment need constant updating since they are effective only for one year. Exception are lifetime members who have completed 110 monthly payments or retired from the service, said Del Rosario.

Direct benefit of a Philhealth cardholder and his beneficiaries is hospital confinement for 45 days per year. Beneficiaries include legitimate spouse, dependents, adopted child not more than 21 years old, parents 60 years old and above and congenitally defective children.

Undoubtedly, health is one of three primary concerns beside agriculture and education that needs to be given serious consideration by the Aquino Administration. Despite the presence of 134 doctors per 100,000 population, Dr. Jose Tiongko, MMG Federation Pres. said that 68 percent of Filipinos die annually without seeing a doctor. This is attributed to grinding poverty and unemployment. Majority lives in rural areas where medical services are not available.

This is supported by report of National Statistical Coordination Survey that only 2 out of 100 Filipino families were lifted out of poverty between 2008 and 2009. One family per 100 was lifted out of food poverty between 2000 and 2009.

Dr. James D. Welfensohn, Pres. of World Bank cited that high incidence of poverty in developing countries is due to rampant corruption in government. In addition, three fourth of 10 leading causes of mortality is directly traced to poverty.

With poverty incidence in Aklan recorded at 41.6 percent in 2010, there could be no guarantee that those living on one dollar per day could ever gain access to universal health care. High cost of hospitalization combined with expensive medical drugs cause frustration and confusion. Even if accommodated in a charity ward, a patient must buy almost all his medical supplies from drugstores rather than the hospital pharmacy. The result is insolvency and prolonged hospital confinement.

Inflation for the past 10 years effectively shrunk our peso to 60 centavos in purchasing power. This means quality services of Philhealth could be jeopardize if revenues are not adjusted to harsh economic realities.

Considering that an average hospital confinement cost P6000, the P100 monthly premium payment by cardholders is not really commensurate. Reckoned from past 16 years of inflation most likely this must be increased to P200. If this seem farfetched by indigent families, LGUs can fill the void through legislation otherwise they can be pushed to leftist organizations.

A month long celebration of Philhealth appears dull and uninteresting. It is best that once in a year, its employees engage in a civic tree planting program, medical mission or be involved in environmental sanitation.

By the way what are our plans with that huge P180 billion investment question could be addressed to Pres. and CEO Dr. Dey Aquino.

Philhealth indeed offers generous benefits to cardholders but has limited impact. Certainly, the 20 percent financial coverage could hardly be accepted as socialized scheme when half of the population are struggling for economic and physical survival. The minimum target must be doubled with appropriate counterpart funding from LGUs and the countryside development fund of Cong. Florencio T. Miraflores.

It appears the vitality of our nation is sapped by circumstances that are preventable. Truly, life is precious but without good health, life can be an image of death. Presently, we are simply hoping for the best response from our elected officials. /MP

Highway Patrol Group Warns Car Buyers Against ‘Hot Cars’

The Regional Highway Patrol Group in Region 6 (RHPG-6) is warning buyers against "hot cars" being sold by criminal syndicates from Luzon.

The RHPG-6, based in Camp Martin Delgado, Iloilo City, has, so far, recovered eight carjacked vehicles since last year.

RHPG - 6 regional director Senior Supt. Cesar Jacob emphasized that the carjacking incidents happened somewhere in Luzon and not in the region.

Of the eight recovered vehicles, four are recovered in Bacolod City which include one unit Toyota Innova, two units Mitsubishi Lancer, two units Nissan Urvan and one unit Honda Civic.

The other carjacked vehicles are the Nissan Urvan and Toyota Avanza recovered in Antique and Iloilo, respectively.

Jacob said that based on their monitoring, there is no carjacking syndicate directly operating in Iloilo City. He advised buyers to coordinate with them before buying any second-hand vehicles. (PNA) /MP

Filipinos Deserve Good, Honest Media: Aquino

President Benigno S. Aquino III underscored the importance of having a good and honest media, one that not only dwells on the trivial issues but on the relevant ones as well.

In his speech keynoting the 111th Anniversary of Manila Bulletin on Wednesday, last week at its main office in Intramuros, Manila, the President said Filipinos deserve no less than this.

"I always make it a point to remind our friends in media to help elevate the level of discourse in our country. And while I accept that there are certain things about my private life that will always be of interest to the public, it would be better if you give the same amount of attention to issues that matter as well," the President said.

The President lamented that instead of highlighting the P29-billion worth of government owned and controlled corporations’ dividend that went into the country’s coffers last week, media chose to "speculate about whether I would have a date last Valentine’s Day.

"It was discouraging," Aquino said. He, however, said that he believes in media’s ability to weed out the relevant issues from the not.

"I believe in your (media’s) ability to discern what is relevant, the same way I believe in our people, that they are capable of rebuilding this country," the President said.

"What our country asks of us is simple: that the media remain fair, that the people work hard while maintaining their calm demeanor, and that our public servants do their jobs with honesty and competence. These are very challenging things, but if we hold strong and remind ourselves of our dreams of this country reaching its actual potential, then what can we not do?" he asked. /MP

The Philippine-Taiwan Row: In Search of Reason

by Allen Salas Quimpo
Institute of Public Policy Studies
Graduate School of Public Administration
Northwestern Visayan Colleges


This is a case of first impression. It encompasses legal, political and economic issues. This brief paper attempts to present these aspects for official consideration from the perspective of the best interest of the Philippine Government.

a) On December 27, 2010, the National Bureau of Investigation acting upon the tip and request of the Security Police of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), which have a pending warrant of arrest in mainland China, arrested 24 Chinese, suspected of being members of an international syndicate defrauding mostly Chinese nationals in mainland China of $20 million via internet transactions.

b) The Bureau of Immigration after inves-tigation determined that 14 were Taiwanese nationals and citizens of the Republic of China (ROC). Trade and Economic Cooperation (TECO) envoy in the Philippines attempted to take jurisdiction of the 14 Taiwanese citizens. It even filed and was issued a Temporary Restraining Order from the Court of Appeals to prevent the deportation proceedings. However, notwithstanding this legal move, those Chinese were deported to mainland China accompanied by Red Chinese Security Police.

c) The official reason advanced by the Philippine Government is the One China Policy which in effect recognizes that there is only one China, One Chinese Government and therefore the Taiwanese or Taiwan is only a part of mainland China, rightfully should be deported to mainland China.

d) Taiwan or the Republic of China immediately lodged a formal protest. It recalled its TECO Envoy Donald Lee, imposed a ban on OFW recruitment which currently is around 90,000, ordered the freezing of all Taiwanese Chinese investments, and demanded that the Philippine Government makes a formal apology.

e) Right away, the Philippine Government refused to make the public apology and insisted that the move it took is the correct one.

f) If there is now a serious controversy which the Philippine Government due to the geographical and historical ties could hardly afford to ignore.

Time heals. Let us learn from this incident and meanwhile from a short term policy, try to make amends and be good to both of our neighbors. Its hard to be in the center of two bulls fighting. However, from the long term policy, let’s all make our country strong, powerful and rich. These are ingredients to enforce our will and our rights.

No doubt the ultimate issue at hand is what is to the best national interest of the Philippines. National interest partakes of the following aspects:

1. The Legal Aspect – Under International and National Law, the issue of jurisdiction over the crimes committed within the Philippine territory, regardless of the nationality of the offender, is undoubtedly the sole jurisdiction of the Philippine government. To consider whether the act of defrauding others through the use of the internet, is legal or illegal, should alone be determined wholly by the laws of the country where the act is committed (American Banana Co., vs. United Fruit Co., 213 US 347 (1909). This principle should be correlated to modern crimes. Those committed through the communications technology or the internet.

The Council of European Convention in Cyber Crimes, the first International Treaty attempted to bring together countries to agree on how to provide common rules on Cyber Crimes. However, like all International Agreement, it is the accompanying national law adopting such rules that provides the legal basis for its implementation.

In the Philippines, after the embarrassing "Love Bug" incident where a Filipino hacker practically littered virus in computers around the world and billions of dollars lost in damages, Congress passed the E Commerce Law R.A. 8792 on June 22, 2000. This law defined what acts are considered unlawful and imposed penalties for their violations. The elements for taking jurisdiction are, the machines and computers were located here, the servers were here, and the defendants were caught here. Cyber crimes like this instant case of Chinese nationals caught in the Philippines, are well within the purview and coverage of our E Commerce Law. The Philippine Government should have taken jurisdiction and prosecution of these cyber criminals. Having abandoned its jurisdiction, the Philippines may become a safe haven for cyber criminals. If our government took this position, the Philippines could have avoided an international incident. This could have been an opportunity to gain the support and respect of the two Chinas. By favoring one over the other in taking jurisdiction, the Philippines became a pawn in the conflict of leviathans.

The Political Aspect – The One China Policy is a political issue. This has its historical basis when the Communists overran China and the Kuomintang retreated to the island of Formosa or Taiwan. The aftermath brought the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China. Each one claiming to be the only legitimate government. With the emergence of the PRC, the majority of the members of the United Nations began to recognize the PRC as the State of China and Taiwan as an integral part thereof. However, because Chinese will always be Chinese, each country is moving towards reunification or unification and peaceful recognition of each others separate identity. Both agreed that there is a China in both sides of the Straits of Formosa. Even business and official exchanges with an average of six (6) flights daily between Taipeh and Beijing are allowed. The only unique policy being that they do not accept the passport but instead stamp the words "Compatriot visit Permit" in the case of the PRC, and "Mainland Resident" in the case of the ROC. The United States and many other countries are following developments of the two governments with anticipated interest. The official US definition of One China is "still undetermined".

However, in the Philippines, it appears to be more acquiescent and exacting in our definition of the One China Policy. That Taiwan is just a province of PRC Mainland China. Thus, the severe consequence resulting to the Taiwan – Philippine Row.

The Economic Aspect – While, it is true that PRC has the highest growth rate in the region, yet one cannot deny that ROC is our closest neighbor and a friendship, economic, and historical relations that can be labeled as substantial. The better policy that serves best our national interest could have been a balanced and mutually acceptable policy of friendly relations. The Filipinos are good at that. After all we have a Trade and Cultural Office, which though private, really performs like a foreign embassy between Taiwan and the Philippines. This should have been the primordial consideration. We could simply have avoided resorting to a definition and application of the One China Policy or simply kept quiet about this policy and instead dealt on the legal aspects of international law and the cyber crimes as covered by our own E Commerce Law. Prosecute them here and show to both Chinas that indeed we are a sovereign country that knows how we dispense justice.

Time heals. Let us learn from this incident and meanwhile from a short term policy, try to make amend, short of apologizing. Be good to both of our neighbors. It’s hard to be in the center when two elephants are fighting. However, from the long term policy, let’s take jurisdiction when we have the legal laws as basis for taking jurisdiction. Let the Philippine Law assumes jurisdiction. File cases, prosecute them and impose the sanctions under our laws. The news about three Filipino citizens to be executed for drug violations in China is the best example of my thesis. (Although we too have Anti-Drug Laws, but because the act was committed in China, Chinese Law took jurisdiction). On a long period, let our nation and our country strive to become strong, powerful and independent. These are ingredients to enforce our will and our rights. This is the hallmark of a sovereign country. /MP

Donaire’s  Destruction of Montiel Is Justice To Gorres’ Controversial Loss

LOS ANGELES, California – The score was settled. It’s a poetic justice for the now retired Z Gorres (31-2, 17 KO’s), one of the best world boxing champions the Philippines never had.

Nonito Donaire’s second round destruction of three-time world champion Fernando "Cochulito" Montiel (44-3, 34 KO’s) at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada on February 19, avenged Gorres’ controversial 12-round split decision loss to the same Mexican ring dynamo for the WBO super flyweight diadem on February 24, 2007 in Cebu City.

Judges Raul Caiz Sr 115-111 and Chuck Giampa 114-112 awarded the bout to Montiel; while third judge Denny Nelson saw Gorres the winner, 111-115.

Ring experts believed Gorres should have clinched the world crown as he was "more impressive" ring generalship and effective hits, two of the three criteria in judging a world title fight. The other criterion is defense.

Using his superior speed and footwork that gave him glory in his amateur days, Gorres dictated the first phase of the bout and nearly scored a stoppage win in the middle of the title clash. Montiel survived Gorres’ murderous binge before a partisan crowd and blasted his way to eke out a split decision verdict.


The defeat derailed Gorres’ hunt for world title as he had been primed by Cebu’s top ring impresario Antonio Aldeguer to be the next world champion.

Eight months later, Gorres captured the lesser-known IBF inter continental super flyweight belt with a smashing 8th round TKO win over Montiel’s compatriot, Eric Ortiz, in Sacramento, California.

Gorres added the WBO oriental bantamweight crown to his collection of regional and international tiaras with a 7th-round TKO win over Roberto Carlos Leyva in Cebu City on March 14, 2009

After whipping Luis Melendez in a 10-round non-title scrapper in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 13, 2009, Gorres collapsed. He underwent brain surgery and ended his ring career which started on March 31, 2001 with a six-round unanimous decision win over Rudy Hibaya.
At one moment, Gorres became a nemesis of the Donaire boxing family. This was after he defeated Nonito’s elder brother, Glenn, by a controversial TKO in the first round at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on March 19, 2005.

Referee Jay Nady stopped the 10-round non-title tiff at 2:03 gone in the opening round when Glenn turned his back after being peppered by Gorres’ left hook. Glenn and his cornermen protested Nady’s "premature" decision. They insisted Glenn was not hurt and was about to resume fighting when the referee waved the fight off.

Donaire’s two-round demolition of Montiel on February 19 completed Gorres’ redemption. If he defeated Montiel in 2007, would have won the world crown ahead of Donaire, who became an international sensation when he pulverized the much-feared KO artist Vic Darchinyan in the fifth round to grab the IBF and IBO flyweight titles in Bridgeport, Connecticut on July 7, 2007.

Ring Magazine hailed the previous knockout of rnscathed Darchinyan as the "KO of the Year". Donaire (26-1, 18 KO’s) considered the punch the "put Montiel to dreamland" as "the No. 1 punch of my career." /MP


Mayweather’s Neighbor Says
Shane Mosley Is Old
LAS VEGAS, Nevada – At 39, Shane Mosley is past his prime and is not anymore as quick as when he was world welterweight champion 10 years ago.
This was the assessment made recently by Freddie Dawson, a veteran boxing analyst and neighbor of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (41-0, 25 KO’s) in Southern Highlands, here.

Dawson, 62, said he wasn’t excited to hear that Mosley, who beat 1992 Barcelona Olympics golden boy Oscar De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KO’s) twice in as many confrontations during his prime, will fight Manny Pacquiao on May 7 at the MGM Grand.

"Mosley is old and he won’t last the distance with Pacquiao," said Dawson, who predicted the 32-year-old eight-time world champion Filipino to demolish the black American speedster in five to six rounds. "He doesn’t have the stamina that he used to have."

Dawson, a registered nurse and retired army, said Pacquiao’s advantage is he is quicker and younger. Mosley (46-6, 39 KO’s), he said, can’t take the Filipino’s strong punch as "he has never fought anyone that has put a lot of pressure on him."

Dawson cited Mosley’s two back to back losses to the late Vernon Forrest in 2002 where Mosley got buried from Forrest’s avalanche of punches on several occasions and was nearly counted out if not for his footwork, en route to losing a decision on January 26, 2002.

In their rematch on July 20, 2002, Dawson observed that Mosley "obviously didn’t fight toe-to-toe with Forrest for fear of being knocked out."

Forrest (41-3, 39 KO’s) had been pulverized by heavy hitting Hispanic Ricardo Mayorga (29-7, 23 KO’s) and was shot dead in a robbery in Atlanta on July 25, 2009.
But Dawson credited Mosley for nearly stopping Mayweather in the second round in their title fight on May 1, 2010. "Mosley, of course, could still punch hard as manifested by his brutal annihilation of Antonio Margarito and his near upset knockout win over Mayweather," Dawson pointed out.

Mayweather recovered from the second round ambuscade and outslicked Mosley for a 12-round unanimous decision win.

Dawson cautioned Mosley from fighting toe-to-toe with Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KO’s) saying his best chance to beat the best boxer pound-for-pound is to "stay away from Pacquiao and avoid his left."

Dawson believed that Pacquiao’s best weapon is his left straight although the hard-hitting lefty, who was elected congressman in the Philippines before beating Margarito in Arlington, Texas last Nov. 13, 2010, has developed his right punch and is now believed to be equally destructive.

Dawson said Top Rank needs to tap Mosley to fight Pacquiao because Mosley has a large follower in California and Las Vegas "and this means a lot of money."

In agreeing to fight Pacquiao, Mosley believed to have severed his ties with his former promoter, Golden Boy Promotion.

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum considers the Pacquiao-Mosley fisticuffs as "boxing’s version of the Super Bowl."  

Dawson also predicted that the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight will push through.

"I think Mayweather is only waiting for Pacquiao to get older and slower because he knows that, by that time, he can beat Pacquiao," he stressed. "If Mayweather will fight Pacquiao today, Pacquiao will knock him out in the third round."

"Every great fighter has trouble with another fighter," Dawson explained. "Muhammad Ali always had trouble with Jose Frazer. Pacquiao will always have trouble with (Juan Manuel) Marquez. Mayweather will have trouble with Pacquiao."
Dawson worked in the emergency room of the West Anaheim Medical Center in Anaheim, California for 15 years and has watched and analyzed with his late father, Luther, the epic heavyweight title clashes between American Floyd Patterson and Sweden’s Ingemar Johansson as well as the bloody wars of Jersey Joe Walcott and Dick Tiger, among other prominent pugilists in the 50’s and 60’s.

He rates Muhammad Ali as the greatest fighter of all time followed by Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Leonard. "Pacquiao would be no. 3 or 4," Dawson gushed.

Meanwhile, Mosley has expressed confidence of beating Pacquiao. In a recent press conference to kick off the promotional tour in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and New York, the three-time world champion gushed: "I think it’s very hard but styles make the fight. Being that he’s a very exciting fighter and likes to bring it, that leaves openings for me. We’ll see when we get to the fight. It’s not the African-American style that will beat him. It’s my style that will beat him. Everybody fights differently and styles make the fight and in this fight you have two guys engaging and I think I have what it takes to get the job done.

"I don’t know what the odds are for this fight. I’m not a betting man. I definitely won’t be on the losing end. I think it should be even. We are two similar types of fighters. We both like to battle. He throws punches more rapidly than I do but my punches are heavier. I don’t know what the over-under is. It won’t go the distance. This is the type of fight that would never go the distance." /MP

We Are The Way To Sustainable Tourism


Green tourism is a good practice. It is defined as tourism that respects the environment and community (Stephen Page). Like many other environmental civic group in the country, green tourism in our province is now a practice through fun run and or walk for a cause, regular clean-up drive, cycling or using local transport, eating local food, staying in an Eco-Inn and many others. These are also the same practices that our tourism promoters are encouraging our tourists and guests alike.

Tourists and visitors now a days would rather go hiking, camping, mountaineering or what we called the "commune with nature" of which is likewise best for their health, rather than staying in high rise hotel buildings. Well, except for businessmen who need to stay in a 5-star hotel, most of the visitors would opt to get a respite with nature, and or the combination of both will do, depends on the need or wish of the tourists.

Green tourism to be sustainable is considered the most relevant of which it is defined as the relationship between the visitor and the natural environment. Meanwhile, many towns and cities have adopted the Ecological Solid Waste Management into local ordinances, hoping to teach and guide the community to be responsible for their own waste materials. Mind you, the local people has major role in sustainable tourism. In both academic and economic circles, this has been also a practice for promoting sustainable tourism.

In tourism planning, we try to involve the community. Thus, the makings of laws or ordinances on environmental impacts have been drafted. It is one of the precepts of tourism development. The host community shall be responsible and visible to get themselves involved in all the decision-making, too. It is but crucial that local people should help promote sustainable tourism in their own home and community. The contribution of the local people or host community will give greater impact to visitors, so that, they in return will also respect our environment while we host them.
The awareness of pollution from smoke (the right to breathe clean air) , proper disposal of waste (ecological solid waste management), support viability of local enterprises, respect the integrity of the local environment, culture, people, infrastructure and monitor strategies for minimizing negative impacts are the best green tourism practices that we should support. The challenge of sustainable tourism is in our hands. We all have recognized the damage effects of the environment in the many typhoons that we have had. Tour operator initiatives are in progress, of promoting eco-tourism in our country.

Just recently, in our own Boracay jewel, the mountainous garbage in the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) from year 2006 to present, there is still the need to segregate. LGUs and its people are doing its best to address them.

On the other hand, a variety of niche markets from the start of 1990’s have adopted terms like "eco-tourism", "green tourism", "sustainable tourism", "nature tourism", "soft tourism", to name a few has become the integral part of marketing promotions by many tour operators in the country. Moreover, involvement of stakeholders is a must for long-term sustainable tourism.

To maintain high level of tourists satisfaction and their awareness of sustainability issues, the World Tourism Organization has outlined what sustainable tourism should be: 1. Make optimal use of environmental resources (while maintaining the essential ecological processes while helping to conserve the natural heritage and biodiversity)

2. Respect the sociocultural authenticity of host communities (helping to conserve the cultural heritage and traditional values as well as seeking to engender intercultural under standing and tolerance)

3. Ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio economic benefits to all stakeholders (stakeholders should monitor the impact of tourism).

How much time would a town leader get his/her teeth to implement the ordinances that has been setting behind their desk? How many research studies our students and graduates would need in order that we see the truth behind those papers and implement them sooner? How much typhoon damage would we need to experience before we move our butts off our chair to be visible and get ourselves involved? Why many efforts have to be done in order to accept the change that we long time should have done and not wait for any political leader to show us the way? Honorable ladies and gentlemen, just in case we don’t recognize it, WE ARE THE WAY to sustainable tourism. Act NOW or NEVER! /MP

Donaire TKOs Montiel, Bags Bantamweight Crowns

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino bantamweight boxer Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire dethroned Mexican opponent Fernando Montiel in their headliner fight at the Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada, Saturday night (Sunday morning in Manila).

In a quick match, Donaire stopped Montiel via a technical knockout (KO) in the second round. 

In the first round, Montiel consistently evaded Donaire’s attacks.

Donaire was aggressive, but his punches failed to land on Montiel.

In the second round, Donaire then changed tactics by accepting Montiel’s attacks. He played with his improved defense and evaded the countering Montiel.

A minute before the round concluded, Donaire powered a left hook to Montiel’s face knocking him down.

Montiel got up and Donaire went for the kill, but the referee quickly stopped the fight.
With the win, the 28-year-old bagged the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization bantamweight crowns.

Donaire upped his record to 26-1 with 18 KOs.

Montiel, on the other hand, fell to 44-3-2.

Montiel could not make the post-fight press conference as he was sent to the hospital.

According to a tweet by Top Rank promotions, Montiel "was sent to the hospital to be checked due to the way he was knocked out."

Expected triumph?

After the match, Donaire said he aimed to finish the fight early.

"When I found out I would fight Montiel, I said ‘2nd Round’ and I used that to motivate me not to be afraid," he said in a Top Rank interview.
The "Filipino Flash" said he gave his all in the match. "I put everything in that punch... [I was] surprised he got up. That was my hardest punch. My best punch in my career," he said of Montiel, his "most complete" foe to date.

Donaire also stunned the boxing world with a quick match against Wladimir Sidorenko last December. The Filipino stopped the Ukranian via a 4th round knockout.

On the other hand, Montiel said he thought he could match Donaire.

"I knew that we both had the power to knock each other out... But I made the first mistake and I paid for it," he said in

According to ABS-CBN News North America correspondent Bev Llorente, boxing experts and fans at the Mandalay arena were surprised at how the fight ended.

"They were expecting (the fight will reach until) 6 or 10 rounds. But it seems that Montiel (did not match the strength of) Nonito," she added.

Boxing analyst Dennis Principe admitted he himself was shocked with how quick the fight was.

"Actually, I was expecting Nonito to knock (Montiel) out, but I was expecting a tough fight," he said in an interview on Dateline Philippines.

Principe said that with the victory, Donaire has levelled up in the sport.

"Donaire just proved that he’s the next best thing to come out of the Philippines after Manny Pacquiao, and a star is born," he said. 

Donaire kept the Philippine flag waving along with compatriot "Mighty" Mark Jason Melligen, who defeated Mexican Gabriel Martinez.

Melligen won over Martinez by a unanimous decision in their welter weight bout in an undercard match. (by Barry Viloria,, and Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN News North America correspondent.) /MP

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Managing Solid Wastes

The weekly Kapihan on February 12, 2011 focused its attention on the state of ecological solid waste management in the premiere town of Kalibo, Aklan. Guests are Ms. Juliet Melgarejo, Chief, Municipal Economic Enterprise & Development Office (MEEDO), Ms. Adorada T. Reynaldo, PSO II, Dr. Emmet L. Custodio, Consultant on Health & Environment, and Mr. Abel Plicarpio, Market Administrator.

In his opening statement, Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino said that LGUs are mandated to fully implement RA 9003 or Ecological Solid Waste Management. Kalibo has enacted Municipal Ordinance No. 2009 – 004 which aims to adopt and implement a responsive ecological solid waste management program that is anchored on sound legislation. Benefits would redound to better health of the people and preservation of favorable environment.

The former Kalibo alderman cited the 1999 Payatas tragedy wherein 300 people died. This is a valuable lesson learned from our lapses in solid waste management.

Ms. Melgarejo said that MEEDO is a revenue generating entity composed of market, cash, tourism cultural affairs, public affairs, information and communication, agricultural services, transport and traffic management. It has a specific power to supervise personnel in the delivery of services including collection and disposal of garbage.

Ms. Reynaldo averred that implementation of RA 9300 is based on five E’s namely: Engineering, Education, Environmental, Education, Enforcement, and Equity. Successful outcome depends largely on how well components are finely tuned and integrated with each other.

The engineering aspect on waste segregation at Bakhao Sur is under construction. Education on solid waste segregation must begin at home, school or office where separate containers for biodegradable and recyclable wastes are kept.

Environmental education requires behavioral/attitude change in people churning out one-half kilogram of trash per person per day and law enforcers to be vigilant against saboteurs. The provincial capital’s population is noted to swell to one-third its size by day as a result of students and people doing businesses in the area. Kalibo Auxiliary Police (KAP) has been deputized to implement the ordinance.

Equity is economic aspect of recovering sizeable investment. The dirty jobs division hopes to convert trash into good use particularly fertilizer, recycled products and methane gas.

Mr. Policarpio confirmed that the wet market is the biggest generator of solid wastes. Presently, it is a pilot area that entails full com-plement of market cleaners 16 hours a day. The spirit of normalcy and orderliness had finally come to the facility where shopping is enjoyable and wholesome.

Health and sanitation were voiced out by Dr. Custodio to warn the public of tragic con-sequences if basic safeguards are not met. He said that hospitals, private clinics and funeral parlors must comply with sanitary disposal of their pathological and chemical wastes. These entities must provide their own septic tank and or incinerator.

Waste segregation at the source should be implemented now rather than await final completion of engineering works at open dumpsite in Bakhao Sur. The policy of no segregation, no collection implemented in cities like Baguio, Puerto Princcesa, and elsewhere could be strong motivation for citizens to comply with provisions of the law.
Following the Greenpeace findings that the sea has become reservoir of trash especially plastic, lawmakers must pass legislation to outlaw the use of plastic containers and wrappers mostly used in commerce. Non biodegradable wastes emit poisonous substances, clog drainage, and septic tanks and responsible for accidental death of porpoises, whales and dolphins.

Instead, bayongs made of buri, baskets (rattan, nitto, bamboo) and wrappers (newspaper, banana leaves) are preferred because they are environmental and budget friendly. It is distinctly Filipino and evokes feeling of nationalism and pride.

Anti littering ordinance must be given teeth by law enforcers. Cigarette butt throwing violation is a fine of P200 while wrapping material exacts P400. Perhaps those who could not pay the fine must be required to undertake street cleaning services for a day or two.

It is reported that only four garbage trucks are now operational because a few was retired from active service. This is the main reason why some areas are not routinely serviced on scheduled dates. Imagine the stinking garbage in your house if not disposed within 10-14 days? Cogent need is for Mayor William Lachica to maintain adequate number of garbage trucks to collect segregated wastes on specified days.

Once implemented, Material Recovery Facility (MRF) managed by Barangay Councils will have their hands full in turning waste into gold. Perhaps an inter-barangay contest cold be held in this endeavor, the winners proclaimed and awarded during Foundation Day of Kalibo.

The drive towards effective management of solid wastes require firm and sustained compliance of pertinent laws by individuals, families and groups. It can be baby walk at first but there must be continuous progression toward the ideal. Successful implementers are leaders who govern people not by coercion but by voluntary cooperation.

For this reason, massive educational drive in cooperation with NGO, student organization and mass media (TV, Radio, Newspaper) must be waged in all 16 barangays of Kalibo. A clean and vibrant environment is not an impossible dream but a reality that affects our present life and future generation. Necessarily, it is a collective effort of humanity on a global scale. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente
Fate of New Washington Fishery Code
The "Revised Municipal Fishery Code of the Municipality of New Washington", Ordinance No. 2010 – 01 has been in the agenda of the Aklan Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) since January 19. It is still in the agenda on its session on Wednesday, Feb. 16, number VII A, 6a.

The joint committee on Laws and Environment which met on Monday, February 14 recommended consideration of it "be deferred while awaiting the rejoinder from the fishpond operators".

Negative Reactions

The Code appears to be mutually beneficial to all concerned and of noble intention. However, it is encountering strong objections from the fishpond operators of the municipality of New Washington.

EF is receiving negative reactions from various fishermen in New Washington. Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino in text messages informed. "I am receiving some fishermen from New Washington expressing to me the negative effects on their livelihoods if the Code is approved and implemented."

In a position paper, some fishpond operators submitted to Hon. Selwyn C. Ibarreta and Hon. Nemesio P. Neron, they wrote: Article 2 Section 1. Zone 1 – Brackish Water Tributaries and Fishponds refer to the river and bay systems particularly part of Batan Bay Beginning from the imaginary demarcation line dividing the water boundaries between the municipal water of ... Batan and New Washington, including the river system of Lagatik, Pinamuk-an, Mabilo, and Sook Rivers and the Andagao Bay and all streams, brooks, creeks, and fishponds, either developed or underdeveloped, found within the territorial jurisdiction of the municipal waters of the Municipality of New Washington.

The highlighted portion of the said Section failed to define with definite certainty the boundaries of this zone. The uncertainty of the specific metes and bounds would create confusion as to the boundaries of the municipal waters.

The inclusion of "fishpond developed or underdeveloped, found within the territorial jurisdiction of the municipal waters of New Washington" may be considered as a rider to usurp the public lands which is exclusively reserved to the State because it is intended for the development of the national wealth (Article 419(2) new Civil Code of the Philippines). It must be noted that in Republic Act No. 8550 the definition of "Municipal Waters" excludes the protected or reserved areas. This intent was clearly manifested in R.A. No, 8550 and in accordance with Section 2 of the Fisheries Administrative Order No. 197, Series of 2000 dated 23 February 2000.

Another rider in Article 4 Section 1 states, "It shall be likewise unlawful for any person, cooperative, partnership, association or corporation to operate and/or lease fishpond, fish cage, fish corrals or oyster culture beds or take or catch bangus fry of any species for propagation within the jurisdiction of this municipality without first securing a municipal grant conferred thereof by the Sangguniang Bayan as provided for in this Code".

Here, fishponds situated in the municipality of New Washington, Aklan is beyond the province of the said municipality because it belongs to the State thus it is not within its legitimate municipal fishery privileges as defined in Section 149 of R. A. No. 7160.
From the foregoing legal jurisdiction, it can be safely adduced that fishpond areas under fishpond lease agreements issued by Department of Agriculture through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources cannot be declared as part of the municipal waters and the Sangguniang Bayan concern has no authority to grant any fishery concession.

Article 5, Section 4. Fish Ports. "The Sangguniang Bayan shall identify, designate and/or create a municipal fish port where all fishing vessels shall unload their catch or cargo of fish and other aquatic resources for trading purposes. xxx." Here, the word "shall" signified that the New Washington LGU has not coordinated with the fishpond operators/FLA lessees as constituent of the private sector in accordance with Section 59 or R.A. No. 8550. Clearly, the establishment of the post-harvest facility should not be left to the sole discretion of the LGU.

Article 6, Section 2 states "All fishery products produced from fishponds or those fish catch taken within the municipal waters of the municipality including those taken from open seas by fishing vessels registered or having business license to operate in this municipality are strictly required to be unloaded at the designated Municipal Fish Port or Bagsakan Center for auction or trading." The ordinance uses the phrase "are strictly required". This simply means, it is a command to all stakeholders to trade all fishery products at the Bagsakan Center. No "if’s and but’s". This is no longer regulatory power but an act contrary to the declared national economic policy and it constitutes as monopoly and in restrain of trade. This is in violation of our constitution which provides: "The State shall regulate or prohibit private monopolies when the public interest so requires. No combination in restrain of trade or unfair competition shall be allowed."

Further, Section 4 of Article 6 also provides: "There shall be collected entrance fee for fishery products unloaded at the fish port or Bagsakan Center, as follows: 1.) Bangus – Php0.50 per kilo, etc." This provision is simply excessive, confiscatory, and exorbitant imposition of regulatory fees for revenue purposes.

It must be noted that Article 6 is entitled as a Regulatory Provision on Fish Port or Bagsakan Center Auction or Trading of Fish and other Fishery Products, Fees and Charges. Be that as it may, the imposition of entrance fee for fishery products is in defiance of the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court in the case of American Mail Line et. al., vs. City of Basilan, et. al., G.R. No. L-12647. May 31, 1961, which states that "The Power to regulate as an exercise of police power does not include the power to impose fees for revenue purposes (Cu Unjieng s. Patstone, 42 Phil., 818; Pacific Commercial Co. vs. Romualdez etc., et. al., 49 Phil., 917; Hercules Lumber Co. vs. Municipality of Zamboanga, 55 Phil., 653), and for fees to be purely regulatory in nature, the same "must be no more than sufficient to cover the actual cost of inspection or examination as nearly as the same can be estimated." (Manila Electric Co. vs. Auditor General, 73 Phil., 129).

Also, the foregoing arguments will hold true with regards to Article 11, Section 3 which reads "Report of Schedule of Harvest and the Actual Value Harvested per Gross Tonnage. It shall be the duty of every fishpond owner to make regular report to the Fisheries Management and Regulatory Unit and the Office of the Municipal Treasurer of the schedule of harvest and actual value of aquatic products (milkfish or bangus, prawn or sugpo, shrimp or pasayan, tilapia catfish or hito and crabs or alimango) harvested from his fishpond for inspection and regulatory purposes. Provided, that there shall be collected from fishpond owners a regulatory and inspection fees for the harvested aquatic products as follows: Regulatory fee: a) Mayor’s Clearance Fee Php500.00 per harvest. Inspection Fee: a) Milkfish or Bangus Php10.00 per 50 Kg. or fraction thereof, etc.

For an ordinance to be valid, it must not only be within the corporate powers of the municipality to enact but must also be passed according to the procedure prescribed by law, and must be in consonance with certain well established and basic principles of a substantive nature. These principles require that a municipal ordinance must not: (1) contravene the Constitution or any statute, (2) be unfair or oppressive, (3) partial or discriminatory, (4) prohibit but may regulate trade, (5) must be general and consistent with public policy, and (6) be unreasonable.

Here, the questioned ordinance has failed to comply with the foregoing doctrine and non-observance of the following basic principles under R.A. 7160, Sec. 130. Fundamental Principles. The following fundamental principles shall govern the exercise of the taxing and other revenue-raising powers of all local government units:
(a) Taxation shall be uniform;
(b) Taxes, fees, charges and other impositions shall:
(1) be equitable and based as far as practicable on the taxpayer’s ability to pay;
(2) be levied and collected only for public purposes;
(3) not be unjust, excessive, oppressive, or confiscatory;
(4) not be contrary to law, public policy, national economic policy, or in the restraint of trade;
(c) The collection of local taxes, fees, charges and other impositions shall in no case be let to any private person;

(d) The revenue collected pursuant to the provisions of this Code shall inure solely to the benefit of, and be subject to the disposition by, the local government unit levying the tax, fee, charge or other imposition unless otherwise specifically provided herein; and

(e) Each local govern-ment unit shall, as far as practicable, evolve a progressive system of taxation.

The position paper was signed by 15 major fishpond owners/operators who respectfully prayed that the New Washington Ordinance No. 2010-01 Enacting "The Revised Municipal Fishery Code of the Municipality of New Washington, Province of Aklan" be DENIED FOR APPROVAL.
What is the fate of that fishery code? /MP 

Solving Kalibo’s Garbage

Picture shows (l to r) Dr. Emmet L. Custodio-Consultant on Health & Environment, Ms. Adorada T. Reynaldo-PSO II, Ms. Juliet Melgarejo-Chief, Municipal Economic Enterprise & Development Office, and Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino-legal consultant, Aklan Press Club. They are discussing several alternative means to solve the worsening garbage problem in the Ati-atihan town of Kalibo. (ARV Photo)

Aquino Stops Timber Cutting, Harvesting; Creates Anti-logging Task Force

President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday, February 15 signed Executive Order (EO) No. 23 declaring a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in the natural and residual forests, and creating the anti-illegal logging task force.

EO 23 revokes, amends and/or modifies all executive orders, rules and regulations and other issuances which are inconsistent with the said EO.

In signing the EO, the Chief Executive directed to prohibit itself the Department of Environ-ment and Natural Resources (DENR) from issuing logging contracts/agreements in all natural and residual forests such as Integrated Forest Manage-ment Agreement (IFMA), Socialized Integrated Forest Management Agreement (SIFMA), Community-Based Forest Management Agreement (CBFMA) and other agreements/contracts with logging component in all natural and residual forests in the country.

Likewise, the DENR is prohibited from issuing or renewing tree cutting permits in all natural and residual forests nationwide except for clearing of the road right of way by the Department of Public Works and Highways, site preparation for tree plantations, silvicultural treatment and similar activities, provided that all logs derived from the said cutting permits shall be turned over to the DENR for proper disposal.

The EO further stated that the tree cutting associated with cultural practices pursuant to the Indigenous Peoples Right Act may be allowed subject to existing guidelines of the DENR.

Existing IFMas, SIFMAs, CBFMAs and other agreements and contracts shall be reviewed and evaluated by the DENR and immediately terminate contracts and agreements of those who violated twice the terms and conditions of their contracts/agreements and existing forest laws, rules and regulations, and if the holders of these contracts/agreements engage in logging activities in any natural or residual forest.

According to the same EO the DENR shall strictly implement a forest certification system in accordance with the United Nations standards and guidelines so as to ascertain the sustainability of legal sources and chain of custody of timber and wood products nationwide.

The DENR shall close and disallow sawmills, veneer plants and other wood processing plants to operate if they fail to present proof of sustainable sources of legally cut logs for a period of at least five years within one month once the EO on illegal logging takes effect.

The EO further orders the DENR, through the Department of Agriculture-DENR-Department of Agrarian Reform Convergence Initiative, to develop a National Greening Program (NGP) while the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education shall initiate the educational drive campaign.

The Department of Interior and Local Government(DILG) shall help in the establishment of communal tree farms for firewood and other purposes and the Department of Social Welfare and Development shall identify the upland farmers covered by the NGP as priority beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer program.
On the other hand, the Department of Budget and Management shall provide the necessary funds for the production of quality seedlings for the NGP from available funds of the government and the private sector.

Other sectors and agencies are also ordered to raise funds for tree planting activities.
The DepEd shall be the priority recipient of all confiscated logs.

The DENR Secretary shall chair the Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force and the members shall include the secretaries of the Interior and Local Government and National Defense, the Chief of the Philippine National Police and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or their authorized representatives.

The Task Force is tasked to enforce and lead the anti-illegal logging campaign, ensure the implementation of the EO under the supervision of the DENR, and assist the DENR in the implementation of other environmental laws.

The DBM shall provide the DENR P10 million as initial budget for the Task Force. The additional fund releases has to be approved by the President. /MP

More Lovesick Pinoys Turn To Radio

Do you need some no non-sense love advice? You might as well get it from Papa Jack.

Undoubtedly humorous but often straight to the point, Love Radio disk jockey John Gemperle a.k.a. "Papa Jack" made waves and changed the trend of local radio programming with the unusual format of his on-air love counseling program.

For almost four years now, Papa Jack has been hosting "True Love Conversations," a venue for lovesick Pinoys to vent out their relationship frustrations, confess their infidelity, or just cry on air.

Papa Jack deviates from the stereotypical radio love adviser. No, he doesn’t have that usual "bedroom voice" and he won’t even try to sympathize with you. If he thinks the caller is plain stupid, he will say so.

So, if somebody needs to hear what his or her friends can’t bring them-selves to say, then Papa Jack, a former professor at Polytechnic University of the Philippines, just might be the right person to call.

"I’m brutally honest. I give advice even if I sometimes offend people," Papa Jack tells Yahoo! Southeast Asia in an interview.

Because of this, people from almost all social classes tune in and give him a ring, despite his late-night time slot. He can accommodate at least five callers per night and each would share their story, sometimes in between sobs.

If you dread Valentine’s Day, Papa Jack says you are definitely not alone. In fact, you may be part of the majority—most of his callers ask for tips on how to recover from a heart break.

Unfortunately, despite the loads of advice he gives away, Papa Jack has proven that there really is no sure-fire formula when it comes to matters of the heart. He, however, believes that crying helps a lot and it’s a pre requisite for acceptance.
"For people who cry to move on, I’m happy for them," said Papa Jack, who’s happily in-love with his girlfriend Mimi. They’ve been together for almost four years now.

"Naiiyak lang ako, nadadala sa caller kapag walang solusyon ang problema nila [I only cry when their problem appears to have no solution]," adds Papa Jack, recalling of a caller who was crying so hard because she was widowed too early.

Papa Jack said he has probably heard it all—from fairy tales gone sour to love stories turning for the worse.

But isn’t it hard to hear all these sad stories?

"It’s a good thing I have a short-term memory. I don’t have to remember all these sad stories," he says. (By Thea Alberto, Yahoo! Southeast Asia) /MP

Aquino Installs EDSA People Power Commission Officials

President Benigno S. Aquino III swore in the officials of the Edsa People Power Commission (EPPC) tasked to promote the ideals of the bloodless and the first people power revolution in the country.

In simple mass oath taking rites at the Premier Guest House of the Palace on Thursday, February 10, the President installed the new officials led by its chairman, Executive Secretary Paquito "Jojo" Ochoa, Jr. in taking their oath of office.

Other members of the EPPC are actor-singer-composer Ogie Alcasid, advertiser Emily Abrera, Christopher Carrion, Milagros Kilayko, former Trade Secretary Jose Pardo, and former Government Service Insurance System chairman Cesar Sarino.

Executive Order No. 82. (S. 1999) created the EDSA People Power Commission to institutionalize the legacy of the EDSA People Power Revolution, rooted in the same spirit that brought Filipinos to freedom a century ago.

As a dedicated organization, the EPPC is established specifically to institute appropriate means, activities and concerted action that will serve to enshrine EDSA People Power as a continuing and permanent source of inspiration for future generations.

EDSA People Power is a historic uprising in February 1986 that toppled the decades-old Marcos regime and catapulted Corazon "Cory" Aquino, the President’s mother, to the presidency that time.

On December 22, 2010, President Aquino issued Executive Order No. 17, which streamlines the role of the commission and whittled down the number of its members from 25 to just seven.

Earlier, American book author Stephen Mansfield paid a courtesy call to the President to express support to his administration and the programs being im-plemented for the people.

The New York Times bestselling author and popular speaker Mansfield, who is also an evangelical leader, was accompanied by wife Beverly and some evangelical leaders of the Victory Church of the Philippines.

The religious leaders include Bishop Emmanuel Carlos, Bishop J. Raymund Mora, Bishop Jonel Milan, Pastor Ferdinand Cabiling, Pastor William Steven Murrell, Anastacio Escobar, Jr., and former Guam Governor Felix Camacho.

During the call at the Yellow Room, the Premier Guest House, Pastor Mansfield presented two of his best-selling books to the Chief Executive as gifts, namely, the "Pope Benedict XVI, His Life and Mission" and "The Faith of George W. Bush. /MP


My Power Is Natural: Pacquiao
LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Insisting he never used illegal substance in his entire fistic career, eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao on February 12 told boxing fans at the MGM Grand here "my power is natural" during the Las Vegas leg of the kick-off press conference of his  May 7 fight against Shane Mosley.

"You have to believe me that my power is natural," the 32-year-old Pacquiao declared in answer to the question of a male boxing fan during a press conference at the Grand Arena which was opened to the public.

"I never used any medicine because my power is natural," he reiterated. "I am strong."
Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KO) and Mosley (46-6, 39 KO) hit this city, known as gambling capital of the world, for promotional tour of their mega fight to be held in the same arena which will end in New York February 14.

Pacquiao, meanwhile, assured boxing fans there will be no distractions in his preparations against Mosley despite his schedules in Philippine Congress.

He also nixed reports he is planning to run for Philippine president. "My job is to continue boxing and attend to my responsibilities in Congress and I have no plan to run for president," he said.

Pacquiao also dismissed reports that he would hang up his gloves soon.

"I will not yet retire after my fight with Mosley," he promised.

Even before his fight against Mosley, promoters were already starting to negotiate for his possible showdown versus Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

Mosley, for his part, said his fight against the Filipino best boxer pound-for-pound "will make me shine and I will shine again."

The former protégé of the Golden Boy Promotion owned by his one-time victim, Oscar De La Hoya, refused to make predications but claimed he is unfazed by being tagged as underdog.

The two-hour press conference was arranged by Top Rank chief Bob Arum who announced that the May 7 event will be distributed at SHOWTIME Pay-Per-View.

"As everyone knows we’ve been in the land of Cowboys for our last two fights, but I live in Las Vegas and I thought it was time to come back to the place which is the capital of boxing. I think boxing needs Las Vegas and Las Vegas needs boxing. This is like boxing’s version of the Super Bowl," Arum said.

Some 3,000 fans watched the press conference and about 20 of them were allowed to ask questions. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro
Ro amaeanhig hay isaeang ka tawo nga maskin magueang eon hay mabuhay mamatay. Guina hibaygan nana ro pilang beses nga paghana ni kamatayon. Suno sa mga katigueangan ro amaeanhig hay abo pa kuno ro anang guina pas-an nga kasae-anan. Owa pa imaw naka hinoe-soe, busa indi pa pagbatunon ni San Pedro sa eangit.

Maskin sa edad nga 100 dag-on, sarang pa maka saka it kahoy. Ogaling mga tiko nga kahoy eang. Ro tawong guina eagas it amaeanhig, kinahangean nga deretso ro anang pagdaeagan agod indi imaw maabutan. Kon mapatay nana imaw, hay naga bangon dayon ro amaeanhig ag naga inom it tubi.

Si Bastian sangka amaeanhig hay mabakod pa guihapon. Sa edad nga 100 dag-on, nakasaka pa imaw sa kahoy nga buktot ag abong mga sanga. Pagkamatay ni Bastian tongod sa tama it baril, nagbangon imaw pagkaaga nga matsa naghalin sa pagkatoeog. Nag adto imaw sa suba agod magpaligos. Tongod sa anang kagueang, bu-ot ko anang mga onga nga mag pahuway eon imaw, ogaling mabakod pat-a man imaw.

Guin pangutana imaw kon basi may guin eobong kana, nagsugid imaw nga katong nagtaliwan nga giyera habaril imaw ag guin butangan it saway ro anang nina. Pag ueat ko nina, haaywan idto ro saway. Guin paoperahan ratong nina nga guin tubuan eon it unod. Guin bo-oe ratong saway ag golpeng nag-eoya ra imaw hasta namatay.

Guin butang imaw sa kabaong nga naga koeob ag guin hapinan it dahon it bago ro anang guina eogban. Owa eon naka bangon si Bastian amaeanhig. Natapos ro gahum ko anang pagka amaeanhig. Umpisa kato, owa eon it habatian hanungod kay Bastian. Nangin malinong man ro pamilya ni Bastian tongod naka pahuway sanda sa pagtinatap ko amaeanhig nga guina hibaygan permi ro paghana ni kamatayan. /MP

Javier To Collect Disallowed 2009 Bonus

Governor Exequiel B. Javier is studying the possibility of filing a case against former Governor Salvacion Perez in order to collect the amount of P15.55 million in Productivity Pay that the latter had paid the employees in 2009, but which was disallowed by the Commission on Audit (COA).

Gov. Javier said that his predecessor assumed full responsibility for the payment of the said Productivity Pay to the employees in her letter to former Vice Governor Rhodora Cadiao and the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP), asking them to pass a resolution granting her authority to pay the Productivity Pay.

"That’s P15.55 million that was illegally paid the employees and, for a fact, the employees did not ask for it. It was former Gov. Perez who thought of giving the employees Productivity Pay and she had that ‘comfort letter’ to the SP taking full responsibility," Javier said.

Each employee then received P10,000 less withholding tax that former Gov. Perez called as Extra Christmas Bonus.

To recall, the COA issued a Notice of Disallowance (ND NO.: 2010-00049-101(09) dated September 27, 2010 on the payment of Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) in 2009 in the amount of P15,552,265.

The COA disallowed the payment made last December 21, 2009 of the PEI to the total of 1,488 regular and casual employees because the Province of Antique has already exceeded its Personnel Services (PS) limitation by P135,628,062.32 (net of disallowed PS items) in its FY 2009 Annual Budget as per review letter dated June 15, 2009 by the DBM Regional Office VI, Iloilo City. (PNA) /MP

Police Arrests Gunrunner In Kalibo

A suspected gun- runner fell into the hands of lawmen after an entrapment operation of the Aklan Police Provincial Office (APPO) and Aklan Provincial Public Safety Company (APPSC) jointly conducted in coordination with the Kalibo Police Station.

APPO acting provincial director S/Supt. Cornelio T. Defensor said the suspect, Edgar Pastrana, 56, of Barangay Tinigao, Kalibo, Aklan was arrested on Monday, February 14 while in the act of selling assorted firearms to a police poseur-buyer at Purok 3, Tinigao, Kalibo.

Defensor said the arrest of Pastrana is part of the Aklan PPO’s campaign against illegal possession of firearms and the government’s fight against criminality.

Confiscated from the suspect are one caliber .45 Colt MK bearing serial no. 486325, one Armscor air gun rifle converted to caliber 22 rifle, one unit unidentified caliber pistol with serial no. 16077013, one standard magazine of caliber 45 without ammunition, two magazines with seven live ammunition and one piece 22 rimpire ammunition.

Moreover, the suspect voluntarily surrendered 33 live ammunitions of caliber .45 and .22, one cal. 45 holster and 1 unit N6070 cellular phone.

APPO deputy provincial director Supt. Samuel Nacion said, prior to the entrapment operation, the suspect was under constant surveillance for almost a month. It was confirmed the suspect was allegedly active in the gunrunning activities in Kalibo, Aklan.

Defensor said the operation is part of Aklan PPO’s intensified implementation of police integrated patrol system and the conduct of more frequent patrols in crime-prone areas based on reports of rampant robberies happening in Aklan’s capital town of Kalibo.

The Kalibo PNP is readying criminal charges of gunrunning and violation of PD 1866 as amended by Republic Act 8294 to be filed against the suspect who is presently under debriefing on the source of the firearms and his list of prospective buyers. (PNA)

Singapore Food Expert Holds Cooking Demo

A Singaporean culinary expert, Chef Akber Ali of Convotherm Singapore held an instructional cooking demonstration on February 16, 2011 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the 3rd flr. of Casa Dayang Boracay in this premier tourism destination island . The cooking demonstration is sponsored by Technolux Boracay, distributor of Convotherm Singapore’s foodservice equipment, laundry equipment, cleaning equipment and smallwares.

Roger Bimbinon, Technolux Boracay branch supervisor, said Chef Akbar Ali is Convotherm Singapore’s Director for Sales and Marketing for the Asia Pacific region.
Convotherm’s special line of foodservice equipments: laundry equip-ment, cleaning equipment, and smallwares and are on display at Technolux Boracay located at Casa Dayang Boracay, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan. 

The February 16 cooking demonstration is aptly billed as "Best Cooking Results with Convotherm." Invited to attend the event are gourmets and chefs from the various hotels and resort establishments in Boracay and from other parts of the country. /MP 

Miriam: True Love Is Like Measles

For Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, true love is like measles.

"You only get it once in your lifetime and you are immune forever," Santiago told reporters on Monday, Valentine’s Day. (But many does not believe "a person only loves once in his lifetime".)

Known for her sharp remarks, Santiago said many people believes in "serial love" or loving one person after another without knowing that it is detrimental to one’s mental health.

"I think we should get it over with," she said.

She even cited what happened to her when she met her husband, presidential adviser on revenue enhancement Narciso Santiago, Jr.

"I am completely immune to any temptation. All men who have passed my life after I got married might as well have been sticks of furniture," she said.

The senator has two adopted daughters and two biological sons with her husband, the youngest of whom died in 2003. — Kimberly Jane Tan/RSJ/KBK, GMANews.TV

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Angelo Reyes’ Death Shocks Country
The apparent suicide of a former Defense chief, who was at the center of a congressional probe into one of the biggest corruption scandals in the Philippine military, shocked the country Tuesday morning, February 8.

Sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family of Retired General Angelo Reyes are pouring in.

Reyes, 65, shot himself in front of his mother’s grave at Loyola Memorial Park, Marikina City. He was rushed to the Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City but declared dead at 8:32 a.m. due to a single gunshot wound in the chest.

Witness Feliciano Recorba, cemetery worker, saw Reyes standing near his mother’s grave as his two sons and bodyguards waited in their parked car. He then saw Reyes holding a pistol close to his chest with his left hand moments before the shot rang out.

His death is considered a dramatic twist in a scandal over accusations that top Philippine generals skimmed money from the Army to fund a lavish lifestyle. Reyes left millions of Filipinos — from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao — in a quandary with his death.

"His flight could mean guilt. I pity the people who wanted to know the truth," said Colonel Dickson Hermoso, former commander of the 7th Infantry Battalion assigned in 2009 in Pikit, North Cotabato.

Shocked over Reyes’s death, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) flew at half mast Tuesday flags in camps nationwide as they urge Congress to expedite its probe into the military corruption.

The flag will also be flown at half-staff in all 174 offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in honor of Reyes.

President Benigno Aquino III admitted that the untimely death of Reyes dampened the celebration of his 51st birthday Tuesday.

"I was shocked this morning when I first got the news. We don’t want this to happen to anyone. I expressed condolences to his bereaved family," Aquino told reporters when he graced a medical and dental mission in Mendiola as part of the activities lined up for his birthday.

Vice Pres. Jejomar Binay was also shocked by the news. "I offer my heartfelt sympathies to his family. Let us all pray that they find peace and overcome this tragic event," he said.

Binaywas at odds with Reyes after he led the AFP in withdrawing its support at the height of the corruption scandal in 2001.

The civilian military-backed demonstration catapulted then-Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to power. Reyes held different Cabinet positions in the Arroyo administration, from defense to energy departments.

Former President Joseph Estrada remembers Reyes as a "good general."

"I extend my deepest condolences to the family [of General Angelo Reyes]. In spite of what happened at Edsa Dos, I will always remember him as a good general," he said.
Arroyo, who went to the Quirino Memorial Medical Center when she learned of the incident, called on the Filipino people to remember Reyes for his "courage and patriotic service."

Malacañang will give full military honors to Angelo Reyes as he served almost half of his life in the AFP.

According to Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin assured military honors will be accorded to Reyes since he was not proven guilty of the alleged corruption in the military.

"He is an innocent man for now... there is a presumption of innocence so there should be no accusation of guilt for now," Lacierda said.

Reyes’s name was dragged into former military comptroller Carlos Garcia’s controversial plea bargain agreement with the government after former military budget officer George Rabusa told the Senate hearing "former Defense Chief Reyes received P50 million as "pabaon" money when he retired as chief of staff.

Rabusa, in a radio interview Tuesday, said with voice cracking: "I’m really sad and I don’t know why he did that… I know his children, they treated me like a second father. ... We ate together. He served me meals."

Lawmakers, who are still busy attending the hearings on the plea bargain deal and issues hounding the AFP also expressed their condolences to the Reyes family.

"Through this tragedy, we should respect the time of mourning of the general’s family as this event is a shock to all of us. We offer our gratitude as well for the years of valuable service the general has extended to the government and this nation which will not go unnoticed," said House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte.

"We offer our condolences and sympathies to the family of former Secretary Angelo Reyes. It’s hard to imagine what they’re going through right now," added Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles. Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello, asked the people to respect the grief of the family.

"It’s a sad news indeed," Pangasinan Representative Leopoldo Bataoil, a former police general, said in a message to Sun.Star.

For other legislators, the investigation into the military corruption involving high-ranking officials should continue despite the death of Reyes.

Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada said Reyes could no longer shed light on the matter, his death should not stop the Congress in its pursuit to uncover the corruption in the AFP.

"The death of former Armed Forces Chief Angelo Reyes is very unfortunate... Instead of helping us search for the truth, he decided to keep the truth a secret," said Tañada.

Western Samar Representative Mel Sarmiento said the suicide committed by Reyes also reminds him of the stark reality that amid all the investigations both in the House and the Senate, he has yet to see for himself a clear roadmap for the country’s future.
Iloilo Representative Jerry Treñas, expressed his deepest sympathies with the family and loved ones of Reyes, but pointed out that the incident should not cause any delay in the ongoing investigations.

"This tragedy should strengthen our resolve to correct what appears to be a systemic defect in the AFP and in the entire government bureaucracy," Treñas said.

"This is really shocking. Secretary Reyes was very helpful in discussing what he knows about the budgetary system in the AFP and his inputs are certainly useful in correcting its defects," Ang Kasangga Party-list Representative Teodorico Haresco said.

AFP’s Vice Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Reynaldo Mapagu hopes the investigation on alleged military corruption will push through.

"We are saddened that he ended his life. But the investigation must continue to include his wife and the children. We want to know the bottom of this," said Allan D. Yaphockun, governor of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Southern Mindanao.

Eastern Mindanao Command chief Major General Arthur Tabaquero said, Reyes’s death was unfortunate. He hopes the truth will come out.

"It is very tragic and sad," said Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat who said Reyes was adopted son of Zamboanga City, a good man.

Lieutenant General Ralph Villanueva, commanding general of the Central Command based in Cebu, said soldiers were "saddened and shocked" after hearing the news of Reyes’s death. "He was known to be a good officer," Villanueva told reporters.

Villanueva hopes the inquiry will be completed and those responsible will be charged.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama was also saddened by the death of Reyes. He believes the pressure of being publicly condemned prompted the retired general to end his life.

While he does not oppose congressional inquiries, he said it is important for participating legislators to be circumspect.

"What’s important is that we do not close our eyes that we need to correct the system to reduce and even eliminate corruption," Rama said.

Moro Islamic Liberation Front spokesman Eid Kabalu also extended condolences to Reyes’s family. "We have no ill-feelings against him despite his major role in the 2000 all-out war declared by the Estrada administration. We would like to condole with his family," he said.

Kabalu believes that Reyes killed himself apparently "out of guilt."

"If he was assassinated, which authorities have ruled out, that would be a different story that implies that others want him silenced forever for fear he might implicate them," the rebel spokesman added.

The question on whether Reyes would be given a Catholic burial is for his priest to decide, said Canon law expert Archbishop emeritus Oscar Cruz. The most recent ruling of the Vatican, admitted Cruz, already allows suicide deaths to be accorded with a Catholic burial but this is not yet clear to every clergy member.

"It would depend on the parish priest [of the area where he will be buried], just in case he is brought to the church," said Cruz.

In a Catholic burial rite, the remains of the dead will be given a Requiem Mass, a blessing of the cadaver, the blessing of the tomb, and burial in a Catholic cemetery. (Jonathan de Santos/Kathrina Alvarez/Jill Beltran/Virgil Lopez/AH/AMN/Carmelle Marie Harrow/Ben Tesiorna/Bong Sarmiento/Malu Manar/GAAgtay/Sun.Star Davao/Bong Garcia/ KAL/BAP/RSA/ETB/Sun.Star Cebu/Sunnex) /MP